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mittam99   

HEALING; ˈhēliNG/noun

tending to heal; therapeutic. "a healing experience"/

alleviate, ease, assuage, palliate, relieve, help, lessen, mitigate, attenuate, allay /"time will heal the pain of grief"

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The definition of healing I quoted above comes directly from Google. It's that last part I take exception to. Time may heal some wounds but it doesn't heal an open wound this deep. A wound that goes right to our heart and is forever embedded in our soul.

I lost my Tammy over 29 months ago and the hurt is still there. It will always be there. There is no healing in grief. No miraculous "cure". It's a nice thing to say but it isn't the truth. In a way, it's no different than phrases we hear from others like "they're out of their pain". Sure that's true, but they also aren't alive, so there's that. 

Grief healing is more realistically "grief coping" or "grief adapting" but those terms aren't as catchy. Aren't as appealing.

Those of us living life alone without our beloved know there's no sugar coating it. Grieving a lost soul mate is gut wrenchingly hard. It often feels hopeless and futile. Feels like one day of meaninglessness followed by another day of aimless existence. Another day of longing for the past. Another day closer to our own demise.

I know I'm not painting a pretty picture but it's the reality of this life of grief. And yet all of us here try our best everyday. We push on even though it hurts like hell. We are all so brave. We are all grief warriors. 

Mitch

 

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MartyT   

When I was deciding many years ago what name to give my collection of Grief Healing websites, I struggled with whether to use “healing” in my title, because I knew that the notion of healing from grief can seem offensive to some. After all, those of us who are anticipating or coping with the loss of a loved one know full well that grief is not an illness to be cured or a physical injury from which we will recover.  Read more here: Grief Healing: Where Did You Get That Name?  

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kayc   

I don't know who, that works for Google, wrote this description/definition, but they don't know much about grief.  Time alone does nothing to heal grief.  Healing is a process, not an event.

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Eagle-96   
2 hours ago, mittam99 said:

Those of us living life alone without our beloved know there's no sugar coating it. Grieving a lost soul mate is gut wrenchingly hard. It often feels hopeless and futile. Feels like one day of meaninglessness followed by another day of aimless existence. Another day of longing for the past. Another day closer to our own demise.

I know I'm not painting a pretty picture but it's the reality of this life of grief. And yet all of us here try our best everyday. We push on even though it hurts like hell. We are all so brave. We are all grief warriors. 

Mitch

 

Aimless existence is an understatement if there ever was one. Before 04/01/17, I was living. Lori and I had an amazing life that Shakespeare could not have penned any more eloquently. After that day I started existing. Fighting with everything I have to get through each day of despair just to get to another day filled with despair. My reward for soldiering on is to get more grief the next day. But fight on we do. I saw a quote somewhere that said our journey is like being drafted into war. We didn't volunteer for the service but we are fighting like Hell with everything we got in the face of unbelievable odds. I guess it's kind of like being on the beach at Normandy on D-Day. Every morning we wake up and the run onto the beach amidst a hail of bullets and bombs. And we do it all over again the next day. 

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TomPB   

Yeah, or as was said previously, it's more a life sentence than a life. There's an endless series of realizations of what I've lost. What's hitting me now is that for any problem Susan would be my #1, totally committed support. Now, even with friends and siblings, I have no one like that to run to.

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Eagle-96   
45 minutes ago, TomPB said:

Yeah, or as was said previously, it's more a life sentence than a life. There's an endless series of realizations of what I've lost. What's hitting me now is that for any problem Susan would be my #1, totally committed support. Now, even with friends and siblings, I have no one like that to run to.

We have nobody to bounce ideas or hopes off of. We  don't have that one person to go to for counsel in the decisions of life. We don't have that person that has our back no matter what. That is a hard reality to get used to.

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scba   
1 hour ago, TomPB said:

Yeah, or as was said previously, it's more a life sentence than a life. There's an endless series of realizations of what I've lost.

Agree, that is how it feels to me. I also have this idea of grief as living in the exhile

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TomPB   
4 hours ago, scba said:

Agree, that is how it feels to me. I also have this idea of grief as living in the exhile

Or, at the risk of flirting with "self pity", like a ghost floating around the world of real people.

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7 hours ago, mittam99 said:

Those of us living life alone without our beloved know there's no sugar coating it. Grieving a lost soul mate is gut wrenchingly hard. It often feels hopeless and futile. Feels like one day of meaninglessness followed by another day of aimless existence. Another day of longing for the past. Another day closer to our own demise.

Mitch, you blew my mind waking up to this.  I was laying in bed thinking about today and thought about the coming days after and what I had planned.   I've used a lot of words to  explain this to myself and others and it is so simple.  I had to get up and get thru another day I don't really want to live.  Because it isn't living.  It's just getting through it knowing it repeats again and again.  I'm surrounded by people living life as I used to.  Laughing and doing things that matter to them.  I just watch it all happening from a dead zone.  Nothing but memories of when that was me/us.  The simplest of things but important to us.

i have 3 doctor apts. over the next week.  I now tell the docs that it is so unimportant to me as there is no one to share in making my life better.  I often wonder why I go, but there must be some spark buried for inate survival (because it sure isn't coming from desire to feel better tho maybe if I did I could adapt better - hard to make the distinction from a depressed mind) or I just tire of the symptoms.  I have some serious issues too.  But motivation to tackle them is so lacking.

one of the hardest things I deal with is the sheer redundancy of the day.  There are no variances unless it is a problem that requires attention and those used to be something we tackled in day to day life, together.  When you are alone, there is no one there that creates I variances in the day by their ideas.  It's like living the same page of a script over and over.  I've changed timing of some things around but it doesn't really help.  I'm just mixing up the loneliness.  The outcome is the same.  

Warriors?  I dunno.   As Tom said, I feel more like a ghost in the world now.  Not really noticed.  Not involving myself in much of anything for lack of fulfillment as it was.  Just going thru the motions.  I had my social things outside of here.  Steve filled the mouse with his energy and music.  It's so damned quiet it's like being in solitary confinement without the locks on the door.  I can do anything I want.  But those wants have disappeared. What I want I can't have.  People think we get used to this or should.  I haven't yet and wonder if I ever will.  

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mittam99   

Gwen, I know you feel more ghostly than warrior-like but facing what we face on a daily basis and still trodding through is pretty amazing. Like you mentioned there still is that innate survivor instinct we carry deep inside.

And you're 100% right. This life of ours has little to offer in terms of satisfaction or emotional fulfillment. It's a monotone world that rarely has glimmers of hope for the future.

Some days (like today) I wonder if happiness will ever come again. Not in terms of finding someone else. Tammy was my once in a lifetime magical event. My one and only love. It's simply hard to imagine life going from the bleakness of today to some sort of happy go lucky fantasy future.

So we hold on. Hold on to the memories of our life of love. Sometimes we just hold on for dear life; this life of grief can be more frightening than the world's steepest and fastest rollercoaster ride. 

I don't have the answers on how to make our life better beyond some basic ways I've learned to cope with the heartache.

I'm just glad we have a forum like this to share our feelings and our grief.

Mitch

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kayc   

In the last 1 1/2 years my son stopped by once to pick up something, other than that I have had zero "visitors".  I spend my holidays alone.  George was the "fun" one, the sporadic one, the one in charge of our social life.  I go places, I see people, but I can't say as there's anyone that really cares.  If I died my kids would mourn a bit but it really wouldn't affect their everyday lives except for the inconvenience of having to settle my estate.  My sisters would miss me but none of them visit me.  I don't dwell overly on it, but it's nothing like the life George and I shared together.  We used to go camping, go for drives, take walks, go to the coast, even just watching a movie and sharing a meal was special.  How special is being alone?

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MartyT   
1 hour ago, kayc said:

I can't say as there's anyone that really cares.

I know it's not the same, but we certainly do care, dear Kay. I simply cannot imagine what this place would be without you.  

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Cookie   
2 hours ago, kayc said:

In the last 1 1/2 years my son stopped by once to pick up something, other than that I have had zero "visitors".  I spend my holidays alone.  George was the "fun" one, the sporadic one, the one in charge of our social life.  I go places, I see people, but I can't say as there's anyone that really cares.  If I died my kids would mourn a bit but it really wouldn't affect their everyday lives except for the inconvenience of having to settle my estate.  My sisters would miss me but none of them visit me.  I don't dwell overly on it, but it's nothing like the life George and I shared together.  We used to go camping, go for drives, take walks, go to the coast, even just watching a movie and sharing a meal was special.  How special is being alone?

I understand Kayc.  It was like that with my husband.  He was my best friend and the one I spent all my time with, and I also have a similar situation with family.  They all have their own lives....but, I love your posts.  You have a way of being so encouraging.  I'm always hoping you've posted.  Thanks, Cookie

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The only thing 'special' about being alone is how empty it is.  I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined this feeling.

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Eagle-96   
12 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

The only thing 'special' about being alone is how empty it is.  I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined this feeling.

There are so many things about this that cannot be explained to those that have not gone through it. No amount of words can prepare someone for what we endure. I honestly don't think I could sit down and begin to try to prepare someone I knew was about to go through this. Not that I wouldn't want to, but I don't think it's possible. 

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scba   
3 minutes ago, Eagle-96 said:

I honestly don't think I could sit down and begin to try to prepare someone I knew was about to go through this. 

I feel the same way. 

Outside from this forum, my experience with long time widows/ers and recent widows/ers has been depressing and confusing.

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I agree with you, Ana.  I have only spoken to one widower whose wife died in 1998.  While he was one of the most content people I have ever met on all other fronts, when we talked about that he totally got it and so compassionately that I could tell him anything and he understood and empathized.  He was so validating.  It showed me it stays with you forever no matter what the world sees in us.  He even still had hard times on weekends because like most couples, that was WE time.  It having been almost 20 years for him, he had perfected a way to stop letting the world dictate his feelings and learned what I am slowly doing to not talk about it with anyone who hasn't experienced it or those that have that just want to compare scars.  Sadly he moved away, but I learned so much about it never ending.  I don't like that, but I'd rather live in the truth than chase some pipe dream of total contentment.

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mittam99   
1 hour ago, Eagle-96 said:

There are so many things about this that cannot be explained to those that have not gone through it. No amount of words can prepare someone for what we endure.

You are so right, Sean. That's why I've learned to take the "advice" of people who haven't experienced a loss like ours with a grain of salt. Even many who have lost their spouse/partner don't quite know the feeling. The people posting here in the loss of partner/spouse section know the intense, life altering pain of losing  their soul mate. The agony of living a life that doesn't quite feel like living. Some days, it feels like a prison sentence on death row. And the calendar on the wall isn't used to mark upcoming events. It's used to "X" off another day in the depths of our living hell.

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Hugs Mitch , I am not sure I will ever heal...and yes, Kay,  nothing special about being alone... 

Love and prayers....thinking of everyone today....

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Eagle-96   
14 hours ago, mittam99 said:

You are so right, Sean. That's why I've learned to take the "advice" of people who haven't experienced a loss like ours with a grain of salt. Even many who have lost their spouse/partner don't quite know the feeling. The people posting here in the loss of partner/spouse section know the intense, life altering pain of losing  their soul mate. The agony of living a life that doesn't quite feel like living. Some days, it feels like a prison sentence on death row. And the calendar on the wall isn't used to mark upcoming events. It's used to "X" off another day in the depths of our living hell.

I mark the calendar at work every day and whisper, "One day closer to you Lori". It's sadly the only thing I have to look forward to anymore. 

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kayc   

I know it sounds morbid and I wouldn't tell most people this but I know you guys understand, it does feel like a prison sentence and I feel like each day I'm marking off another day I won't have to do.  That doesn't mean that all days are bad or depressing, there are days I enjoy, I try to create my life in a way I can enjoy it, but the bigger pull is getting to be with George again and I can't wait! :)  (Well I will but you know what I mean)

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mittam99   
6 hours ago, Marie Lee said:

Hugs Mitch , I am not sure I will ever heal...and yes, Kay,  nothing special about being alone... 

Love and prayers....thinking of everyone today....

Marie (and mind you, I'm only an "expert" in my own grief) ...

I don't believe that a wound this life altering ever really heals. We'll have days where it doesn't hurt as bad. Even weeks where we might not feel the pain as intensely. And then, without warning, one of the multitude of triggers hits and we're brought back to the day our beloved died. In the moment, we go from feeling somewhat sane to a babbling basket case.

That's because this pain is always with us, right below the surface. Our constant companion, lying in wait. So brace yourself, those grief waves will hit when you least expect it.

----------------------------------

So far in my journey (29 months and counting), I've come to a few realizations.

1. Life as we now know it (the pain, the angst etc.) pretty much won't change very much. This is our life moving forward.

2. We need to embrace the small victories and those small moments of comfort. No matter how trivial.

3. This life of grief is more about learning to adapt versus expecting to heal. And it takes time and mighty effort.

4. We can't expect anyone else to fully understand what we are going through. Each of our journeys is unique.

This is a life that is hard beyond words.

 

Mitch

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TomPB   
On 8/17/2017 at 4:46 PM, Eagle-96 said:

There are so many things about this that cannot be explained to those that have not gone through it. No amount of words can prepare someone for what we endure. I honestly don't think I could sit down and begin to try to prepare someone I knew was about to go through this. Not that I wouldn't want to, but I don't think it's possible. 

Part of it is realizing how much I took for granted. Had no idea how much my entire self-image and self-esteem, and sense of security,  depended on being part of T&S. Every day this becomes clearer.

I used to see people sitting by themselves looking lonely and maybe I'd feel a little sorry for them, and I now see that without any concious thought it would register that I wasn't like them. Now I think holy cow, that's me.

Didn't used to notice that the lonely looking people mostly weren't wearing wedding rings. I'm still wearing mine. The gold looks brighter than ever on my suntanned finger. For 48 yrs it told the world that I was part of a magical partnership. Now it's telling a lie, but I can't take it off.

It's a beautiful afternoon and I'm just doing nothing. It would feel warm and peaceful with Susan beside me or even in another room. Having EXACTLY the same lazy afternoon, except without her, feels sad and and my life feelss pointless.

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Gin   

Tom,. Pointless is the word!  I went to the health club this morning and had to hold back the tears several times.  Al had to exercise because of all the medical problems he had and I always  exercised with him.  Came home and figured I have to "kill" around 12 hours.  Made a list.  Read for an hour.  Knit for an hour.  Balance my checkbook.  Water plants on patio.  All regular things, but without Al they mean nothing.  Only 8 more hours.  

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