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  1. 13 points
    In August of 2009, Steve came home at lunch on a workday, sat me down at our kitchen table and said 3 words. 'I have cancer.' The world changed. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. It took days for him to explain the details because I couldn't comprehend much of anything but the gut feeling he would not survive. I knew our life just took a turn that would change us forever. For 5 years we became members of the medical community each year getting more intense. But we still had each other and could do familiar things, things that were always a part of our life. Key word being 'we'. In January of 2014, the same year he died, he again came home after a phone call from our vet after we thought our golden retriever just had a sprain and said 'Belle has cancer'. This time I dropped to the floor in inconsolable crying. We lost her in July, I lost him in October. As I enter my 3rd year without him, and have battled more illness than I could ever imagine (I never got sick thru his illlness), I wonder how much more I can take. But the big question that hit me last night was - how did I get here? Was this a plan, a fate? I have never been able to make sense of what happened or why. Why did whatever randomly select us? I never in my wildest dreams thought at nearly 59 I would wind up alone and abandoned. I know there are no answers, but it doesn't mean we don't beg for them, even if futile. I have no family. Just our other dog and a new golden I got 2 months after he died. It's a family, but I cannot do what I did before with them as far as dog parks and new adventures because of my health. I have no close friends in town and the few people I communicate with long distance emphasize the loneliness as I cannot touch them nor see them. It's been years since someone held me and I feel vulnerable and less than human. I dont feel at all safe anymore. I did better the 1st year, worse the 2nd, but things have gone awry this start of the 3rd year. I've never been more depressed and wondering why I go on. I'm surrounded by life I cannot relate to anymore. I've been cut off from the only thing that mattered which was my volunteerring since the beginning of February. That has shown me just how empty living is. The people I talk to from the old life are living thier lives fully still. Things matter to them. My counselors tell me I am suicidally depressed. Yet I am told I will make it thru this. I'm just passing time. Platitudes and inspiring articles and videos do nothing for me. Be in the moment they say. The moments pretty much all suck. I have no interests I want to pursue. Not looking for anyone's answer, but how did I get so broken? Come from a content life to this hell. 7 years has felt like decades. There is so much more I could write, but it's just more of the same - depression and utter loneliness. Just needed to get this out a bit. Now it's off to try and think of something to feel I did little more than exist another day wishing I could take some pleasure I did that. I was so proud of myself of handling all the legal things and neglected chores around here after years, but that I done. I had no idea how long days are on your own. last night 2 of the guys who use Steve's recording studio came by. They about all the stuff happening with them and it detoured to memories of Steve by them and I creatively nudged them outside to go play thier music. Ironic as I don't want to be alone but cannot handle hearing about people's lives with their mates and things to do that have purpose to them. Do I want to feel this way and looking for reasons to stay stuck? No. I just feel trapped. It's the redundancy day after day and Steve not here to alter it by just living. It was so simple. His presence.
  2. 10 points
    I am also slowly learning to have joy and grief co-exist in my life. Someone said to me the other day it was so good to hear me laugh. I know that Mark would want me to enjoy my life and not hold on to the sadness of losing him. It is more probable now for people to hear me laugh, than to cry. The times that I cry are more private now, and come at strange times...when I hear something or see something that I wish to share with Mark, and he is not there. We loved the show "Parenthood" and a cable channel started running the series and Monday night was the last three episodes, and so many emotions surfaced. Mark never got to see how the series ended, but I know he would have also cried. I have been feeling so unsettled lately, and I think it started when the car went in the shop after losing its battle with the falling palm tree (thank goodness it wasn't an oak tree). Now that I have our car back, and I can sit in it and be with Mark in a way....I am feeling some of the uneasiness leaving. Today is Go Texan Day here in Houston and I am dressed head to toe in my "cowboy" duds. I bring Mark with me because he was my cowboy (even though he really detested those who only "dressed cowboy" at rodeo time). I find joy in the ways I am able to honor him with my life, but also when I find "ME" in those things I do. I know I am not ready to share my life with someone else right now; I can be okay with the solitude because I was alone so much before we met and he changed my life. Like Steven said, the ones we grieve for can and will never be replaced in our hearts or lives...but perhaps when the time is right our hearts can expand to allow new love to enter. I can't ever imagine loving someone the way I loved Mark....and I can't because Mark was Mark; with all his flaws and imperfections. Like George said, Mark loved me with all my flaws; they are what make us who we are....the good and the bad. There will never be another Mark, just like there will never be another Kathy, of Ron or Rose Anne. But they would want us to live our lives and find happiness, wherever it comes from. I hope that my blossoming writing career can touch those who grieve, but also help those who don't to understand what we go through and how drastically it changes our lives.
  3. 9 points
    Post #1,000... There's been a lot of pain in those posts and the tears will never stop flowing for my Tammy. In the nearly two years since Tammy died, much has changed in the world. In my world though, things are about the same. Loneliness? Check. Emptiness? Check. Meaninglessness? Check. I've adapted only in the sense that I function. I still work. I do what "needs" to be done. In that sense my routine isn't totally different than when Tammy was alive. The difference is just that... Tammy isn't here with me. I do things but nothing gives me real joy. There's no sense of true happiness or the feeling that "life is good". Life right now, at best, is bearable. It's a world without purpose. When Tammy was alive, life wasn't always easy, she was almost always sick. We often were dealing with life or death emergencies. After she lost her job due to her health, times were extremely tight financially. But we were together and our love and deep connection made our world a special place. A world where we knew that things would be "OK" because we had each other. Now I go through life holding on to those memories. Those good and those difficult times. I cherish every moment I spent with my darling wife. I'm so glad I decided not to go into work on so many of those days when I knew Tammy needed me at home. She would protest at first, "Mitch, we need the money". But later would confide in me that she was glad I stayed home with her. I often had to skip family events and dinners with my sisters because Tammy needed me at home. They sometimes didn't "get it". They simply thought I didn't want to spend time with them. That wasn't it at all. I knew that Tammy wasn't feeling well and needed me. In my world, my Tammy came first. She was a wonderful, beautiful human being and I loved her more than anyone can imagine. It's not just words... Tammy was absolutely, positively my everything. March 6, 2017 will mark two years since my Tammy passed away. Every day without her has been painful and nothing short of torture. Yet, here I am, still hoping that life will become more meaningful, less empty and that maybe, just maybe, happiness will come. I'll always feel married to my Tammy and I will always cherish what we had. It was a love for the ages. - Mitch .
  4. 8 points
    I have dated and will date. The first person I dated, it was too soon for me..but it helped me through a dark time and we are very good friends now. I am going to counseling, mostly to heal wounds in me, not just the loss of Kev...but the things I have gone through in life. I want to become stronger emotionally to avoid the mistakes in the past and to live life as fully and richly as I can as a healthier human being. I read the article, I thought it was good. I am thinking, what is a relationship ? What am I looking for? I miss intimacy and companionship. I want to share the little things in life again with someone. Kev and I were in a good place in our marriage. We had forgiven each other and had grown from past mistakes, made some better choices,etc. Spending the rest of my years with Kev is no longer an option. That fateful day in June changes everything. He was and always will be the love of my youth. The father of my children. We grew up together, and made it for a 28.5 year journey of marriage..through the good and bad.... Dating again after 30 years, has been interesting to say the least. I am still learning how to do this in the modern world, lol. I am taking it slow. I want to build a good foundation of friendship and companionship...I also wonder, as I get used to my independent living, do I have what it takes to be with someone else? We are not going to be younger, lol... I don't know the answers...but eating alone, vacationing alone and not having that human touch ...are things that motivate me to date again...most likely I will be in another long term relationship....not sure about marriage this go around...my needs are different and I may want to keep some of my newfound independance...Time will tell. Good luck to us all on this journey, whatever our choices... Marie
  5. 8 points
    My lovely wife Tammy died two years ago today. It wasn't just a life changing event, it changed me as a person too. For the past two years, I've been able to hold on. Sometimes just barely holding on by a thread. This life without her is so lonely and it's a life that feels incomplete. After all, Tammy was the one person in life that "got me". Who loved me unconditionally. Who made me feel like I meant something to someone. I went to work to today but my head wasn't in the game. The pain and the longing for what happened on March 6, 2015 to be nothing but a bad dream overwhelms me. Still, I persevere. I'm here, I'm trying and I'm doing the best I can all the while co-existing with the intense pain and trauma of losing Tammy. In the past two years I've learned that most people, unless they've been through it, don't understand how it feels to lose the love of your life. That most people don't want to and simply don't know how to deal with someone else's deep grief. I've realized, more than ever, how amazingly lucky I was to have a wife like Tammy. And what an absolutely unbelievably courageous woman she was. My life will never be the same. I will never again feel the pure, unadulterated joy that I felt with Tammy. There is no "getting over" a loss like this; no "moving on". Finding Grief Healing Discussion Groups has helped me in many ways. The people here "get it". They know what this type of grief feels like. Over my two year journey members here have soothed my aching heart. At times their words have kept me from falling into a deep hole that I may never have gotten out of. I am grateful. I've tried to "give back" to this community by helping others when I can. I think Tammy would be proud of that and proud of me for trying to have a life. This is so so very hard. I can't believe it's been two years. - Mitch
  6. 8 points
    Gwen you are so right about who we were. We can never have the old "us" back. We were people who moved around with someone else who affected how we saw and enjoyed life. Their input was pretty powerful wasn't it? I have said before that I am not the same any longer but I am still me. Me is the person who re-invents himself constantly as I go through life. I am still influenced by Kathy because I see things a bit through her eyes. I like to think that I take the best of her and apply it to my decisions but with those decisions I am forced to make them on my own. I may be influenced but they are still a new me's decision.. I am now in a new relationship that also influences me. I cannot however deny who I have become over these last six years. What it does do though is allow me to explore new adventures and even though I would be having those new adventures alone had that been the case, I still would be living a different life. Now with that life I honor Kathy by not giving up. That would be the last thing she would want for me. The hardest part of grieving is to find the desire to continue living but life is short and we never will have this time again. If I am an average male I figure I have maybe fifteen years left on this planet. Those years go fast so I say seize the day. There will be something waiting on the other side but I intend to use this body while I still have it. I believe that Kathy can see things through my eyes. If that is true then the last three years have been better for her as well as I.
  7. 8 points
    Thinking of you and your beloved Tammy on this special day of remembrance, dear Mitch. She is but a breath away from where you are . . .
  8. 8 points
    i have come to understand and accept that i am not living without Rose Anne.She is in my thoughts, heart and mind and will always be a part of me. I still miss her presence and the loneliness is a struggle. The online dating sites scare me. You will find hidden lessons you will learn through this tremendous grief that will help you and others in ways you may not understand right now. It takes times and grief work to learn, grow, share and love. - Shalom, George
  9. 8 points
    Well said Brad. AB3, each persons timeline on grief is different. There is no right or wrong path dealing with this grief. I felt the same way for a long time. In the early newly grieving state, I was just in Shock for a long time. Death is so sudden and finally and it took me a long time to even realize and accept what happened. This place helped me to be myself and express what ever was going on. There is so much to learn and accept. For me, I knew I needed to just feel the feelings even though I would rather just stuff them down, deny them, bury them, etc... this forum is so great in allowing each of us to share and express what we are going through. Many days I would just get up hold on and hang on. Life didn't make sense but I knew by the fellow grievers here that this grief would become less intense. I hung on to the hope of that. My prayer is that you continue each moment to hang on and hold on. I discovered that even in all this pain and grief that there is a purpose. My faith and belief encourages me to press forward. I can FEEL the feelings but I do not necessarily need to act on them. But they do point and direct me to learn something about myself in this process. In your journey, you will discover your path through this grief one moment at a time. - Shalom, George
  10. 8 points
    Gwen, I haven't had the chance to talk to you before, so first let me say I am so sorry for your loss. Steve sounds like a wonderful, caring husband, and I am so sorry you are without him through your health issues, and indeed without him at all. I am only 45, and in good health, so I probably have many years before I have to deal with serious medical problems of my own. The prospect, and indeed likelihood that I will have to do so alone is daunting. You are an amazing person for dealing with it as you have. To continue to volunteer throughout it further proves the point. I know that volunteering is so important to you, and that not having that outlet is painful. I think someone mentioned phone volunteering, here, or in another thread. I know that many animal shelters and humane societies have phone volunteer programs now. I used to work for a shelter that had such a program. Essentially the volunteer matches lost dog reports that are called in by owners to the physical descriptions of dogs that are brought to the shelter. It may not be your cup of tea, but I thought I would mention the possibility. I don't think you are trying to stay stuck. I think that like all of us, you are having difficulty seeing any of the good things in life. Additionally the loss of your work volunteering has added another layer of grief to the whole puzzle, and a very recent one. Add in your health issues and your rut is deeper than most. I have trouble pulling myself out of the rut every day, if it were any deeper I can't imagine the strength and resolve it would take. Once again, to have dealt with it as you have shows what an amazing person you truly are. Hoping you find at least a little relief from your medical situations, and some comfort and peace in your life, Herc
  11. 7 points
    OK well. As some know, this is the reason it has been difficult to post here, yet I miss it so. I never intended to "date" again, let alone find myself in a relationship a year after my beloved Ron died - the shock, the sudden loss just 55 days long, the fact that we loved spending every minute of every day together at Maui Pasta. Even if I had a thought that maybe in 10 years I would find companionship for the "alone", I would admonish myself for such a thought. But when Steve and I found ourselves falling in love, it seemed impossible, but it seemed also that Ron and Kathy had brought us together. It is the four of us now. It was like an escalator -- we were standing completely still and yet we were moving towards each other by a force beyond us.There is not a conversation that goes by where they are not mentioned, remembered, loved. Our tears flow... mine a bit more since it is so raw. But, how do I face the world with such a thing, to my family, my staff, my customers, all those who have lived through my utter devastation by my side? Barely a year? Really? I am still working on this. As has been said in this thread, how can you be in such complete ruin and loss, and love, too? Smile, laugh, too. I don't know and yet here it is. It brings me to tears as I write this -- I think what I fear most deeply is for anyone to doubt -- for one iota of a second -- my love, devotion, devastation to and about Ron is not True, deep and endless. That every word here I have written about Ron and my pain is real and ongoing and that I miss and long for him every hour of every day. That I am still deeply grieving. That I am depressed, angry and full of anxiety from the grief and trying to live on without him by my side -- and not just the business. Especially not just the business. This, for me, is a lesson in duality. Holding two opposites at the same time. Steve is on a plane coming to Maui for a few days right now. Tonight, we will sit and watch sunset at the beach where Ron is - his eternal reef and where we held his service - and then we will go to dinner at a restaurant on the same beach and celebrate Kathy's birthday.
  12. 7 points
    Jo and I would talk about this. She would say things to me like "When I go, you'll find someone else won't you? I want you to find someone else and be happy". And I would reply "Don't be silly, of course not". But the last conversation of this nature, just before the final bout of illness which killed her, I replied: "Maybe, you never know". And she seemed so happy by my answer. So I guess that's basically my attitude now. The thought of being with somebody else, even after nearly ten months, just seems unpleasant and 'wrong'. But on the other hand I'm 46 years old, I never know who I may meet tomorrow and I don't totally discount the possibility of finding someone else. But they're going to have to measure up to Jo, and at the moment I'll be constantly making unfair comparisons, to the point where it'll be totally unfair on the lady. I don't like the idea of dating sites and agencies but maybe one day. I can't see myself actively 'looking' for quite some time. And I'm not totally sure I ever will. But I'm not going to turn a 'blind eye' either if you know what I mean.There is the slight possibility that one day someone may come into my life with whom I share a lot in common with and whom I find attractive. I doubt it, but there is the very slight possibility. Certainly not now, but maybe one day. I do think that some people [and I've been guilty of it too] are too quick to judge others. If someone finds somebody else quickly after the death of their spouse/partner, then it's not as if they'll suddenly stop thinking about their former love who would have wanted them to be happy. I'm not like that, but 'fair play' to them all the same. And we are all different after all.
  13. 7 points
    I never thought that I would or could date again. I met a guy at the support group I was going to. We have a lot in common. We like the same things. We both have lost the loves of our lives. When people would ask if we were dating, I would tell them that I didn't know what to call it. I was afraid of what my kids would think. Would they be upset? There were so many emotions involved. A couple of months ago when we started to get close, I told him that I didn't know if I was ready for a relationship. I didn't know if he was either. We took things slow. We did enjoy talking with each other and having someone that understood exactly what we are going through. We talk a lot about lost loved ones. And it is ok. We will never stop talking about them. Do we still love them? of course we do but they are no longer here. We have to continue to live this life. Is it hard and weird? Yes, it is but I know Richard would want me to be happy.
  14. 7 points
    I wondered that too for a long time. The day my wife died, I thought that as close as we were ( to each other) that I would have "felt" or "sensed" something but there was no warning at all. It was just a normal day. I don't not why but I have just accepted that this was how it was supposed to turn out ... because it did. There are many things in life that are out of our control despite our desire to control them. I pray God's Peace (SHALOM) for you and all who read and try to figure out why life happens the way it does. - Shalom
  15. 7 points
    Oh my dear Patty. What can I say? We are with you and pulling for you with all our might. I am so, so sorry that you are being dragged through such a horror story. Not fair. Not fair at all. You are in our thoughts, in our hearts and in our prayers ~ and I hope those landlords of yours get stuck in a volcano eruption or something equally suitable for the likes of them.
  16. 7 points
    I am not sure, but think I wrote my piece above between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Exactly three years ago to the date I was in the hospital, unconscious, and to my surprise (I was later to learn) might not make it. Last night I ate some brisket and less than an hour after I ate it (and I was hungry, so I ate a lot of food), anyhow, it all came back up and kept coming back up. I can only assume it was food poisoning. I finally was able to keep some ginger ale down later in the night. But until that time I spent it all in our single bathroom. At the other house we had two. I took my wastebasket with me to the bedroom, lay down, but you know how it is with food poisoning. I am fine this morning. Did run a temperature last night. Could not sleep so got on here with my Kindle. I'm much better this morning but hopefully will not overload my "innards" again. I am stubborn though. If any of us had the answers to grief, there would be no need for this forum. We definitely all travel a different path. When I would cry until I could not breathe, I found the feeling so peaceful, just to slip away, it would be so easy. At the time, I did not worry about the feelings of the rest of my family. I just wanted to stay with Billy and this seemed such a peaceful way to go, just don't breathe. Hating the counting of months, tomorrow will be 17 months. I can do some things I could not do six months ago, and certainly some things I could not do 15, 16, and 17 months ago. Our paths are all different, our pain is all the same, some things we realize we cannot keep, so we hide them away, they are ours and only ours. Only sure thing is, and accepting this is the hardest thing, they are not going to return. We all walk a different path, but in the beginning it was the same. And, understanding it will never happen. The old woman has possibly less time, the young woman has more time, but her grief will be longer, unless she learns to live without the most important person in her life. She begrudges the old woman her milestones, the old woman might (and might not) begrudge the young woman her time. We still go alone. And we each either look back and remember the good times (took me a long time to do this). We sometimes rely on music to help us out of our moods and then that one song will throw us to our knees, we watch TV and actually look forward to seeing our shows, Then one of those shows features an ER scene that will make us more aware of our loss. Brad, Billy was my hero. We look back on how they came from an impossible life to a life that they did learn how to make lemonade. None of us have the answers, but we sure have a lot of questions that cannot be answered.
  17. 7 points
    Going over things that might have given us a different outcome in the loss of our spouses is a total waste of our healing energy. We cannot change anything. We also know that they would want us to go on. One thing that we can say in our defense of grieving as long as we need to: Yes, our loved ones would want us to go on, but they would not have knowledge as to how very HARD it would be. Yes, us younger widows do have a life with so many possibilities, but we also have a longer time to have that absence; that void that cannot be filled. Each journey is individual and some people heal quicker, move forward at a quicker pace. Timelines for grief only exist for those who are not in the midst of it. We are all entitled to grieve as deep and as long as is necessary for each of us. But one thing we need to remember is that even in our grief, we need to keep some motion forward. If we shut all the windows and doors and seal them up, pull down all the blinds and sit in the dark, how is light ever going to enter again? Of course our first response is to turn away from it...that we are grieving and there should be NO light. But in all matters of being a human being, life DOES find a way. When you are in the first deep days ,weeks months of grief, you do not wish to see it and do not feel it is right to even want it. But that little voice you hear that says, "hey, take a walk outside" comes from our loved ones trying to encourage us. When we are deep in our grief, it is harder to hear or feel them trying to reach us. We KNOW they do not leave us; who else would want to give us the comfort we need. They can't take the hurt away, but they can stay near us and keep trying to send us thoughts, and messages and something to continue to guide us. Think back (if you can) to that first time that you REALLY smiled...something brought that smile out. We were open enough, had let go of that grief for a moment or two, and they slipped in next to us and helped us see it. Their spirit no longer holds the heaviness and burdens they had while they were with us; illness and pain are gone and they are completely filled with LOVE and they want us to have a part of that, even in their absence. I am not sure where all these thoughts are coming from, but respect everyone on this forum enough to say it. Many of us lost our spouses within the same time frame. We cannot say or believe we are happy on this new journey. But there has been a moving forward, and a level of acceptance that we can live with. That is not to say that we do not find ourselves back in that dark place. Our journey will NEVER be a straight line. It does NOT mean we do not miss our loved ones each minute of every day, and would give anything to turn back the clock. We know how hard it is to want the one thing we can NEVER have. But that love we have for them still...it helps keep us going. The first question we asked right after the loss was "how can I survive without them?". The answer turns out to be "how can we not?"
  18. 7 points
    Mitch, I was thinking about time this morning...I can't make myself say approaching 2 1/2 years; I still count the months. Saturday was 27 of them. Two years makes it sound so long, and it IS long; a long time to be without the person who was our world. But where did two years go? I am sure that Tammy would be (and is) VERY proud of you. She whispers each day to "keep going forward". You and everyone else on this site knows each of our journeys is individual and unique. Helping those who came after we did is a remarkable thing. Just keep doing what you do.
  19. 7 points
    Herc, you're absolutely right. We aren't the same person. We were were hit with an atom bomb that emotionally changed who we are. Our smiles will never again be quite as broad. Our optimism is forever tempered with the pain of our loss. Let's face it, our entire outlook on life is completely different. You hit the nail on the head when you said Christine helped forge who you have become. We were so blessed to have found that one person that made our lives more livable. How blessed we were to find someone who loved us and who we loved back so deeply, heart and soul. And it's that deep love and the loss of our every day interaction with our soul mate that makes life without them so nearly unbearable. We know that the best part of our life is behind us and our future is a question mark. This life of grief is not for the meek. But still, we're here and we have a life to live. I try to live mine with my Tammy living on inside me. She still motivates me from time to time and "tells me" to push forward. I have to live my life with the hope that someday, Tammy and I will be reunited. Without that sense of hope, I don't know if I could even function in this new world. Mitch
  20. 7 points
    Mitch, you continue to be in my prayers and thoughts. This after life (loss) is like nothing we could have grasped or imagined. Today, is a tough emotional day for me (no particular reason)... It is a day in the afterlife. - Shalom
  21. 7 points
    I totally agree, Kay. Our basic personality is still there (likes and dislikes for food, colors, morals, etc), but we are now new people too. I have told people that the Gwen they knew will never be back. I'm me, but a very, very different me and will be til my time is done.
  22. 7 points
    No doubt people just don't understand... I work with a woman who insists that "it's been two years and you definitely need someone in your life". Insists that she knows what is and isn't good for me. Even has the "perfect woman" in mind for me. Mind you, she's a widow herself. I have no doubt that, for her, finding a new love did the trick. But, like I told her, we're all different. We all do things at our own pace and in a way that's best for us. Still she persisted in telling me what I need and finally I had enough. I told her in no uncertain terms to "drop it". SMH... (shaking my head).
  23. 7 points
    You have truly helped me more than once Mitch. There were times when I just wanted to opt out of life but your posts have comforted me and inspired me. I know Tammy must be proud of all you have done here and elsewhere in this world. A love like yours does not fade it is an everlasting bloom. I'm sorry that Tammy was taken from the life you both loved. 💔
  24. 7 points
    Well, I went for a great hike today with a friend. It was wonderful and I'm tired, but I came home and miss him as much as ever. I want to come home and feel comfortable and at peace. I also have a lot of good things in my life, but it's like I'm living two lives, one where I function and enjoy some things, the other where grief is as present as ever....Cookie
  25. 7 points
    I am feeling a little lost today. I have nothing to do, no where to go. In the past I would have looked at this as a wonderful thing, a day to spend with Christine, or just enjoy my time. Now I don't know what to do. The pleasures of the past all seem so empty without her, and the idea of starting something new that she isn't a part of is a bit frightening. I am contemplating spending the day in celebration of her life. Looking through old photos of happy times, and playing some of the CD's from her collection. I know that would bring tears, but smiles as well. The clock I got her for Christmas is ticking away the minutes hanging on the wall. This anxiety of needing to do something to fill the void isn't healthy. I will have to find a way to be comfortable in the minutes that have no purpose again. Not every minute will have a purpose, but simply letting them pass when all I wish is that she had more seems wasteful. One of our great pleasures was that we could sit, doing nothing near one another, and still be happy and content. We didn't feel the need to fill the void, because we were there to fill it for one another, even if just with our presence. I read through some of my old posts, here and elsewhere. The motivation I found isn't gone, it will return to me. It is just odd that today I am not distraught, wracked with grief, but neither am I positive and pushing forward, finding the will and means to heal and improve. Today I am just bored, with a slight ache in my heart that is asking me to do something with it, either plunge headlong into it to grapple with the emotions, or fill it with new hope and reminders of my love. Stuck, in limbo, with neither the energy to move forward, nor look fondly, but with melancholy, to the past. The cats are having a wonderful time with it, getting more attention than they have been, so I guess there are some good things coming out of the nothing I perceive. I think I will go for a walk, Christine always wanted us to exercise more. Maybe that will help raise my energy level. But I almost don't want to, at some point the long slow moments will have to be dealt with as well, or I will always be running away from them. Neither hurting nor healing at the moment, and trying to find the comfort in that as well, Herc
  26. 7 points
    The beauty of being loved is to be accepted your faults. Sometimes we see the beauty in certain faults and flaws in another human being. I think George that that is what attracts us to just the right person. Since non of us are perfect the beauty of who we are is made partly because of those very flaws. Of course Rose Anne loved you in spite of them. Kathy loved me the same way. That is what makes it so special. George let me tell you and everyone else who can't wrap their mind around loving someone else while still mourning your loss. If it ever does happen it will just happen and wrapping your mind around it won't even be a factor. I watched my dad find new love quite soon after my mom died. For him I knew it was to escape loneliness. I watched him hide my mother away and move from his house. I never heard him speak of my mom to any of us children or to my step mother although it probably did occur at some point. For me however, the last thing I ever wanted was another love. Was I lonely for six years? Oh yes I was and sometimes severely but to replace Kathy? No way. The only reason this relationship I am now in can exist is because I don't replace Kathy. I embrace her in my life with a love that never will end. So that window of co-existence happened to open unwanted, unsolicited, but so strongly embraced. Kathy taught me how to love. Now she is taking me to another level. However we find joy amidst our sorrow I hope we can embrace it. The last thing any of our lost spouses would want would be to see us lose faith in life and suffer only for the loss. If we find joy in flying or involvement with anything else even traveling without them and seeing new things, we must live on. It is how we honor them best It is how we love them best. Steve
  27. 7 points
    My dear Brad, your statement calls to mind this piece by Carol Staudacher: 'I need to keep my mind clear and just think this through.' Some survivors try to think their way through grief. That doesn’t work. Grief is a releasing process, a discovery process, a healing process. We cannot release or discover or heal by the use of our minds alone. The brain must follow the heart at a respectful distance. It is our hearts that ache when a loved one dies. It is our emotions that are most drastically affected. Certainly the mind suffers, the mind recalls, the mind may plot and plan and wish, but it is the heart that will blaze the trail through the thicket of grief. Grief is a discovery process. I will open myself to the discoveries my heart and head will make. Grief is a healing journey, and I will trust my heart to lead my head in this journey. ~ Carol Staudacher, in A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One, p. 7 ♥
  28. 7 points
    I realized after reading your post Brad, that most of the time I come on here during a down time or when I'm having a lot of grief. I also have good times and times with friends, similar to what you experienced with your grandkids. That is great. Thanks for reminding me that there are some good times. I'm just waiting for the time when the sorrow and grief feelings are in the minority. I want to share an article written by someone who lost her husband and it pretty much speaks to me about the complexity of this journey.... I've been talking with a lot of people this week about "getting back to life." Have you heard that phrase from people outside of your grief? Even people who truly love and care about you might be pushing you to get back out in to the world, live your life. They may even tell you have so much to live for. The thing is, the people who often say these things actually do have a life to go back to. They may be deeply impacted by the death of the one you love, but if their family is intact, if there is no gaping hole in their daily life, they just aren't going to be affected the same way you are. I don't necessarily mean that you had to live with the person you've lost in order to be the most impacted by their death. Not at all. What I mean is that, for many of us, the people we've lost were such an integral part of every single day, every single facet of our lives, there really is no "normal life" without them. There is no part of our universe, our daily lived existence, that they didn't touch. There truly is no life to "get back to." Eventually, perhaps, new things will begin to grow around the crater that has erupted in the center of your life. The hole itself will remain. I don't mean that as a downer, either. I mean that a central loss, a loss that shifts the axis of the universe, is not something that simply shrinks over time. We - you, me, all of us - will not return to the life that was. That's simply not possible. What we can do is bow to the damaged parts, the holes blown in our lives. We can wonder what parts of ourselves survived the blast. We can come to ourselves, and our irrevocably changed worlds, with kindness and respect. That's the real work of grief - to show up with kindness, every day, many times a day. Somehow, if we don't see it as "fixing" your grief, or "getting back to life," it makes all that just a little bit easier.
  29. 6 points
    What you and Steve have found together is beyond beautiful, Patty, and no two people deserve it more than you do. Love like this is to be celebrated. No explanations are necessary. None are expected. Please don't let this be a reason that keeps you away from us, if and when you feel the need for our understanding and support. Our hearts are filled with joy for both of you, and I believe that Ron and Kathy are right there celebrating with you. They are the ones who showed you two what true love is, and to know it when you've found it. We're all sending love and blessings to both of you. ♥
  30. 6 points
    Gin, Even coming here and sharing with us the love you had with Al is honoring him. I really believe that.
  31. 6 points
    Somehow or other, for some reason or the other, maybe "as the twig is bent" this is what I believe. I sometimes think mine go no further than the ceiling, but sometimes I do feel there is someone far mightier than I am listening. It might not save anything, but then again, it might. And most times I feel like the elephant from "Horton Hears a Who." "Don't give up. I believe in you all; a person's a person, no matter how small." Dr. Seuss
  32. 6 points
    A compelling piece by our friend Megan Devine via Refuge in Grief: can there be a good life after loss? I’ve been recording a lot of podcast interviews lately. One thing they all seem to have in common: the interviewer asks me about how my work – and my life – relate to Matt’s death. They want to know if I’m…. recovered. If you saw my episode during this week’s Explore More Summit, you know I still cry when I tell his story. Our story. That it’s been nearly 8 eight years, that I’ve told the story – his story, our story, mine – a million times, doesn’t matter. It’s not just a story. It still matters. It still hurts. Even though I am largely “fine,” 7 and a half years out from Matt’s death, it is still inconceivable to me that that man is dead. DEAD. WTH. What’s more, I can’t believe I survived. In those early days (months, years), the thought of a good life – any life – was horrifying to me. And yet, here I am. Happy. Despite the gaping hole in my life his death created. Despite missing him, missing our life, missing that person I was back then. Life grew in and around that crater, in ways I could not have imagined (in fact, resented and resisted) in those early days. It’s a weird reality. So when I’m asked, in conversation after conversation, about my recovery, this is how I respond: I didn’t die back then, much as I may have wanted to. In the early days, I was horrified – disgusted – with the very idea that I would ever be “okay,” let alone happy. I couldn’t see any way that could happen, and not diminish Matt’s place in my life, in our life. That it’s happened – of its own accord – still surprises me. I’m so thankful for it, and – it’s still a little strange. The truth is, being happy now does not negate the pain of his death. They don’t cancel each other out. I carry both of them. Those two realities share the same space, side by side. They most likely always will. If you’re wrestling with the idea (from inside yourself or from others around you) that at some point, you’ll be “okay,” please know that it’s absolutely normal to feel freaked out by the idea. However long it takes, your heart and your mind will carve out a new life amid this weirdly devastated landscape. Little by little, pain and love will find ways to coexist. It won’t feel wrong or bad to have survived. It will be, simply, a life of your own making: the most beautiful life it can be, given what is yours to live. Both things will always be true.
  33. 6 points
    From Tim Lawrence blog: "I've experienced the first time too many times now. Every time it was a s*** storm of confusion and pain and longing and oh-dear-god-how-the-hell-did-this-happn. It didn't get easier. Only I didn't die. The bleeding just kept on coming. At the same time, there was one overwhelming experience that was always present with every loss: I became consumed with a surge of love so strong it nearly wrecked me. This was an aching love, the kind of love that rushes up throughout you, desperate to burst. Its intensity shatters you to your core, because you can't give this love anymore. Your loved one isn't there to receive it. The greatest gift in your being doesn't have a home, leaving this love to collapse inside of you with nowhere to go. This is the kind of love that doesn't feel good at all, but is necessary for your survival. This is anything but easy. It doesn't feel like there's anything to learn, you may have no sense of redemption, and no matter how grateful you may feel for the time you had with them, you're pissed. You want them back. And you have every right to" http://www.timjlawrence.com/blog/2016/12/19/death
  34. 6 points
    Had a major meltdown last night! Watched Andrea Bocelli on TV. Al and I went to many, many musicals. Andrea sang many show songs that Al and I had heard together. It did not bring comfort, but rather yearning and tears. Was rather surprised at the intensity. I will stick to shows like Perry Mason. Bonanza, etc.. Stay in my cocoon.
  35. 6 points
    Hello everyone, I've read a lot of posts on this forum, and been sharing regularly elsewhere. My wife Christine officially passed two months and two days ago. Christmas morning is the day the paramedics made the call, but I found her collapsed on the bathroom floor on Christmas eve and knew she was gone immediately. We had known one another for the past 12 years, and feel in love almost immediately. We were married for the last 6. She was 49, and though she had some serious medical conditions, we were supposed to have many years left to grow old together. We have two 22 year old children, my stepdaughter, and an unofficially adopted daughter, both of whom I consider my own. Our adopted daughter lives in Florida, where she went to college. She is planning on moving back to Maryland at the end of April. That had been the plan all along, but Christine's passing has accelerated it. My stepdaughter lives in our condo, which is now her condo. My wife and I met in the courtyard of our condo building, and throughout our relationship kept both condos. Christine needed space for her home office and home based business, and I was happy to have a whole apartment for a man cave. It was an unusual living situation, but it worked so well for us. Now I am moving back into my condo, and helping my daughters take the home that had been ours. I was at my condo wrapping a few last minute gifts for her the night she passed, so I wasn't with her in her last moments. I had some guilt about that at first, but have resolved it for the most part. I was in absolute shock until a day or two before Valentine's day. I could function normally for the most part, go to work, attending meetings with lawyers, make the arrangements, but it was all done in a daze. The moments I wasn't shuffling like a zombie, or nodding my head yes and hoping I was making good decisions, I was lost in my grief, crying almost non stop and just trying to find a way through the pain of losing half my heart. That was when I found the other forum, and started really digesting the passing of my wife. I am at a point now where I can be positive at times. I have accepted her passing and am trying to find my way forward in this harsh new world without her. It still hurts almost every minute, but I have found a few moments of comfort, and know I will find more. There are still moments where all I can do is sit, feel the pain of my loss, and cry for what should have been. But there are also moments where I know she is with me, in spirit, in my heart, or just in my memories. I can think of her and smile now, even if there are still tears in my eyes, which was all I asked for in those first few horrible weeks. I doubt I will ever heal from this loss, and I wouldn't want to. She was a part of me, and she is now gone. But I am beginning to think that I can find some kind of life after her, one that I can be proud of, and one which she will always be a part of, even if she isn't here physically. I have gotten to this point in my grieving process by sharing openly, and think that sharing here as well might be comforting. Wishing you all comfort and peace, Herc
  36. 6 points
    A local dear friend who has been extremely supportive sent this along a few minutes ago. It resonates throughout our new shared world.
  37. 6 points
    Sending virtual hugs, Mitch.
  38. 6 points
    Thank you all. Especially for no suggestions. Sometimes you just need to let it out. I'm sitting here again at midnight after 2 years and the obvious hits me every night. Feeling I have aged so much and realizing why. I'm growing old alone. I should be feeling this with Steve. That was the plan. We should be sitting here griping about the aches and pains together. Seems everything I watch/see is geared to another generation. That is fine, but I sure miss watching it happen with my 'old man'.
  39. 6 points
    Brad, I saw a great video yesterday and I will try and see if I can find it again on you tube. It talks about how men and women process grief. The gist of it is that we both have the same feelings, thoughts, and emotions but that most men are not taught to be attuned and in touch with them. Emotions are not perceived masculine but rather weak. Grief bring all of those out and we either, stuff them back down, drown them with addictive behavior or we just don't know what to do with them. Men tend to not trust their emotions and ignore or suppress them. sensitive men are considered to be gay or just weird. I have gone through several periods like "It feels like I'm living in two different worlds", "Doing time ", "being punished", Dragging through time", etc... My moods and feelings are affected by health, sleep, food, alcohol, exercising, vitamins, taking care of myself, Gratitude list, prayer, thankfulness, expectations, weather, etc.... The distance from the head to the heart is what drives my thoughts and feelings. I do best when I can just focus on now without too much internal expectations of what I need in order to be happy or content. It is a continuing work in progress. - Shalom
  40. 6 points
    All That I Lost When You Died Widowed on May 25, 2012 “i carry your heart, I carry it in my heart” e.e.cummings This is the same post only in PDF format for members. What I lost.pdf
  41. 6 points
    Thanks for your responses. It is good to have a place to vent without worrying about someone else's comfort level. None of us has real comfort now, and all long for those we've lost. Herc, the blame idea came at long last, after my ex has finally shut down the nasty texts, although she had to shoot two more to me after our son told her of my loss. She is easing back from the lawsuit now that I no longer have a purpose in life. As I thought through all that, i realized her purpose all along was to paralyze me. And it worked. I will not let go of that anger for a long time. Thanks for understanding the work angle. Some have questioned the wisdom of my not taking much time off, but what would I do otherwise? Marg, I have to tell you a salad story, too. One of the last things Dana said was how badly she wanted a salad. Had not had one in 6 months, and her craving was fierce. I have not been able to make or buy a salad since. I bought the fixins every week for about a month, then realized I could not make myself make one. If she had to do without, I will too, as long as I can hold out. If I go to my sister's and she makes one, I will be polite and take some, but it will be pushed aside. It is like the music we shared and loved together.I cannot listen to it right now, I just can't. I can listen to stuff she disliked, like heavy metal, but one can only stand so much of that at my advanced age. She didn't care for country, but for me there's too many sad songs getting air play right now. So mostly the radio is off. As far as her ashes, I have no rights in this. But I do have my memories, and I will do things to honor her as long as I live. She was an artist, writer, poet, editor and seamstress. Her signature symbol was a triangle variation. I had it tatooed onto my left arm about 3 weeks ago, my first tat ever. Also grew my first beard because she said she always wished for a bearded man. Fortunately she got to rub her cheek against it in November. Will keep it for good now. She also loved turtles and tortoises, so my second tat will be a tort. She had 2 small tatoos, one on her left wrist, the symbol, and one on her ankle. Martha Jane, Dana and I worked together for over 2 years, and near the end, began dating. We had been buds for months along with our work group, but that group gradually shrunk down to just the two of us. We realized all at once that we loved each other then. But I graduated college, and got a job offer in another state. She was just starting her Masters program, so we tried for a while, but distance and duty pushed us apart. We just reconnected last May after 32 years, and long, but failed marriages each. This renewal was amazing. We were both joyful for the first time in years. Each had gone thru bad divorces, and both of us had sworn off dating. But when we started talking, BAM, we were done for. Right back to the joy and excitement we shared so long ago. Both still had residual complications from the divorces, so it was going to take a while to get fully together. Now we never will. AB3, are you an Abbie? Doesn't matter, I have been pronouncing you as AbbieThree. Dana also had health issues, life-long often hospitaling asthma, When she was a little girl, she said whenever she spent the night at her grandparents' her grandmother would always sleep in the bedroom with her. The poor lady was afraid the child would die her her sleep. I have to hope and pray that Grandma was close by when Dana did finally do that. She had a bout with pneumonia in November, but had not told me. Her doc told the investigating officer who found her, and he shared that with me. With her weakness from malnutrition, I think she just gave out. And I wasn't there. Kills me. Thank you all for your kindnesses. I cannot express how much it means to me. I hope I can be a comfort to some of you at some point. And Marty, thanks again for working so tirelessly for us. Dave
  42. 6 points
    AB3, I haven't spoken with you before. I always feel a particular pain when I see someone who lost a fiancée. You were planning to start a new phase of your life, and it was replaced by this ongoing pain we all know too well. Unfair doesn't begin to explain the tragedy you have suffered, and the words I am so sorry for your loss don't begin to help with the relentless inequities of life. The daze you describe makes perfect sense, and yet it is senseless. We all know the awful haze of getting through one moment at a time, almost as if we are watching another person go through the motions of what used to be our lives. And yet we are all good, strong, caring people who don't deserve this tortured existence. There is no reason for us to be suffering so, and yet here we are. I feel lost on a daily basis. And the only purpose I have found is to go on, and try to be as caring and compassionate as I can to honor my wife. It often doesn't feel like it will be enough, and at those moments I completely understand the despair of thinking this pain is all my life will be. Your description of being stuck in a bad job in order to pay the bills is perfect. Have patience though. Don't try to think of your whole life, that will work itself out. Just get through the rough moments one at a time, however you can. Eventually we will heal, or at least the pain will fade to the point we can function and feel something else. I know it feels like a lifetime of suffering already, but we will get there, one step at a time. Hoping you find some moments of comfort, Herc
  43. 6 points
    Mitch, Today is 17 months since Al has been gone. Seems like yesterday and also forever. I still miss him so very much and have not found much meaning to my life. I do what I have to but not very enthusiastically. Friends do not want to hear about this anymore, so I guess this group has got to hear it again. We loved each other so much and were together all the time. My friends have significant others and do their own things, especially on the weekends. Tears still flow often. Went to health club this afternoon and that is it for the day. Thanks all for listening. I know you are all in the same boat. Today I think my boat is sinking fast.
  44. 6 points
    I echo you, Cookie. I have many distractions in my life now, work, household, a movie, tv on, walkings. BUT....my everyday life is a plan for distraction from what lays just below the surface. It is all there still and when I stop distracting myself, oh I miss him and I want him back. I don't know if I am avoiding grief with distractions, maybe. I had so much of it. But I feel empty, those activities are time fillers, that's all. It's been so long. I feel him so far away from me as never before. I cannot think of 10 20 30 40 50 years without him. It is beyond my brain cells to comprehend that. I cannot understand that this is it, how a deep love relationship ends. With him gone and me looking for distractions. I wish I knew, I feel cheated by someone or something and I feel I have been too naive. I cannot find a way to transform these feelings.
  45. 6 points
    I have always thought that I was logical and wanted to be less emotional most of my life. I wanted to be like what I envisioned my Dad was like. However, I tend to be more sensitive, emotional, feeling and caring than I think what men are supposed to be like. For whatever reason, I am made the way I am. Of course, that Georgie Porgie song and "Curious George" character really messed with my mind as well. After many years I have come to accept the way I am as how God made me, unique and special, not weird. I have seen my Dad's personality change in the last couple of years to a kinder more sensitive person. Rose Anne loved and accepted me as I was and loved me in spite of my own faults. She saw the best in me in areas that I did not see. I miss her; I miss us. At this point I can not wrap my mind around loving someone else while still morning her loss.... Yet I now have this passion to Fly that has rekindled a hope and lifetime dream of mine. I can not understand it logically. But Grief and Joy does co-exist in my life that I never imagined. So I don't know what the future holds. KATEPILOT and Patty65 are living examples of New Love and Grief co-existing. Although my mind doesn't comprehend it, my heart does. I will take all of this one day at a time and hope everyone will do the same. - Shalom
  46. 6 points
    Oh AB3 - You are still so early in the process. It has been a little less than three months so yes it does make sense: the emptiness, the sense of being lost, dazed, blind. This is such a long and exasperating process. Right now learning to accept this new life is a major milestone you should be proud of. Initially, I felt as if I wasn't progressing at all but then I learned to not look back at yesterday or last week but to look back at where I was months ago. Somedays are better, but they are rare. As days build into weeks which build into months things do improve. Right now I still don't know my purpose or who I am. Right now I only know that things are better than they were a year ago. Hopefully, for all of us, this isn't all it will be but someday we will have a better understanding of who we are.
  47. 6 points
    It is okay to have those days, Marie. You will have many of them. Part of our healing is allowing the pain. Tomorrow is another day. hugs
  48. 6 points
    think about this, Maybe when you go to happy places your wife goes with you. I hope she is there and sees you beginning to smile and have a little happiness. and what better way than with your little grandkids. And a good friend that needed you.
  49. 6 points
    Gwen, I just could not find the words to respond earlier. My heart bleeds for you. I heard those very words from my Debbie over the phone back in 2008 and similar ones from Ron's doctor in 2012. For years, I tried to stay strong and somewhat in denial of reality, I suppose, but in my heart I knew it was just a matter of time. In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined what losing them has done to me. I once was an outgoing, fun loving, healthy person. Being reclusive and depressed has become a way of life for me. I don't like ME anymore. Therefore, why would anyone else. Yes, I have my son I see for a few minutes each week, but no friends of any kind to call. I no longer seem to have the energy or the will to climb out of the rabbit hole. I seem to deteriorate a little more each day. I am not even the same person I was when I got my dog Marley. I had visions of taking her to the mountains or the park. Those visions are gone. Fortunately, I have a large yard so she doesn't lack exercise, but I often wonder if she would be better off with a young family with children. I just can't let her go. She is all I've got. Next month, I will be 70. It is selfish, but there is no anticipation of joy or celebration. There will be no one to spend that special day with. Yes, I am still alive, but only on the outside. I understand so well what you express.
  50. 6 points
    Gwen. Sorry you feel as you do. I kinda feel the same but I am only 12 weeks. Awful to think this is what is left for me. I am 73. Kids are all far away but call. We have three dogs. One is my husband's service dog...also a golden retriever. He has lots of fatty tumors. One I am particularly concerned about. He is 8. One of our sons is coming in March and we plan a trip to Santa Fe, NM where our daughter was killed in a car accident 13 years ago. This trip was planned before my hubby died. He was going to help us both get down the steep gully to the site. I had always helped my husband down the gully but broke my femur last year and now we both need help. It may well be my last trip there unless someone else can help me get down to the bottom. I plan to take our goldie to the vet when we get back. He seems totally fine but I still worry as they are prone to cancer. He misses his "daddy" a lot I think but I know if I lose him I will be that much more devastated. Just dont want the bad news before we leave and of course he is going with us as he has for many years. The other dogs will stay home with a helper. Sorry for my rambling. I think we all feel as you do one time or another, particularly if we are sick. Hard for me to imagine being really sick and alone with nobody. Scary. Many soft hugs to you. Our fur babies are a blessing.