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So I really thought that since I went through the grief thing nine years ago, I would be able to understand the feelings I'm having now.How different they are 

In both losses I made myself so busy the first two months, I was so exhausted  from getting rid of stuff, moving this time, I was too tired to grieve. Once I slowed down a bit, all I wanted to do was sleep the first around. This time sleeping scares me, I might dream about him and then I'll wake up crying.

Is it because Lars ' death was slow...cancer...I was caregiver and watched him suffer through the pain and drugs that did nothing? His death was imminent and as sad as it was, the family was thankful that the terrible suffering was over for Lars. After being with him for forty two years it was like a piece of me left.

I was so lucky to meet another wonderful man four years later. Because we were older, kids grown, not alot of money worries, we did the things that we both had planned to do with our first spouses.We had no idea that his heart was so bad, he was living on borrowed time.

Tom's death was sudden... we were teasing each other and he lurched out of his chair clutching his chest, then fell back into his chair. I did chest compressions to keep him breathing until the EMT's got there. Once in the hospital, heart surgery was done and it just got worse. I watched the nurses  stop the life supports and he passed minutes later.

Kissing two men goodbye because of death is hard. I have lost so much of my silliness, my spunk, my sassiness, because a huge void is in my heart. I know from experience that this pain lessens slowly and we begin to feel like becoming human again. It takes time and many, many hours of work and counselling.Right now I truly don't think i could do this again . Who knows..

The sadness that I carry right now is heavy... it bends me over with the heaviness and heart pain. I am not interested in meeting people ..old friends or making new ones. I don't want to do my scrapbooking, I don't want to go to the gym..my only solace is my two young granddaughters . Their little arms hugging me and kisses from them are what keeps me going. I have older granddaughters that i see also , they are wonderful but don't offer the hugs and kisses that the babies do. My children are wonderful also... but they can't replace the love between spouses. 

Thanks for letting me try to explain how I am feeling.

 

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Lainey, my dear, I simply cannot imagine how cheated you must feel, and how disappointed that life seems so unfair. You said you really thought that "since I went through the grief thing nine years ago, I would be able to understand the feelings I'm having now," but being in the midst of grief and understanding grief are two very different things. We may remember well how sick we were when we got the flu a few years ago, and we may understand completely what the symptoms are and be familiar with its course ~ but that does precious little to help us deal with how rotten we are feeling if we have the flu again right NOW. If you need a reminder of what you were feeling when you first joined us in 2010, go back and read some of your earlier posts, and notice the changes you experienced over time.

You also acknowledge that these two deaths are different from each other, and that is also true. This loss and the grief that goes with it will be different, too ~ but that does not mean that you won't find effective ways to make it through. You say that the hugs and kisses from your two littlest granddaughters are what keeps you going ~ so for now, take comfort in that, and expose yourself to their uplifting presence as often as you can. Indulge yourself. Discover and do more of whatever brings you comfort, and have faith that you will survive.  

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Lainey:  How strong you are really.  I cannot imagine going through the loss of a dear husband twice.  I'm still not there....I lost my husband 2 and 1/2 years ago and am still reeling from it.  My heart goes out to you....Cookie

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Lainey,

I understand your feelings.  I know you don't feel like you can do this again, but I think you will, in your time, in your way.  I'm glad you have those grandbabies, it's a wonderful time with them.  

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Lainey, going through this Hell two times, I don't think my body could handle it....My heart is out there for you....Grand children are great but don't give up those social inter actions like the gym, coffee shop etc....Fellow widower has me engaging in something everyday, even if its just picking up mail or walking a trail...It helps...all the best

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I applaud your courage in sharing your feelings here.  You wrote well--we can feel what you are going through in detail.  I hope that expressing your feelings provided some release for you.  I'm so sorry you had to go through this twice--and two such different experiences, with two different individuals and different situations.  Your grief is different too.  How wonderful that you have family near, and those sweet grandchildren.  Cling to them.  My family has been an anchor for me too.  I also have found much support at my church and in a support group (find one near you at griefshare.org).  I pray that in time this numbness will lift and you will be able to draw strength and comfort from friends as well as family.  We will always miss our husbands, but there still can be moments of joy.  God bless you on this journey.

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The swirling confusion in my brain seems to have slowed down a bit. I have learned long ago that the more we share, the pain lessens to a degree.So i have joined grief share in my town... this is my second time in nine years and I was lucky enough to get the same facillatator as I had that time. I also went to my doctor for a referral to someone that can help with grief. After I had my first session with her, I came home and realized that I will do this. My first thing she wanted me to do was do something for me. The next day I joined the gym again and I feel good that I'm working on my health and I still enjoy walking. Tiny steps as they say.

Thanks for caring enough to respond to my message.

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Lainey, I found Susan lifeless in the bathtub 10 min after we had a normal conversation. I did chest compression till the EMTs arrived but there was never a hint of any more life in my other half. I relive that day often.

Good move joining the gym. I'm a competitive swimmer and in addition to the great benefits of the exercise itself my teammates and coaches have been very supportive. One woman I've been swimming with for a long time lost her husband to cancer about a month ago and we share how we're doing after practice. Nice when exercise is also social. Best wishes, Tom🐼.

ps For most of our marriage Susan called me Panda Bear. She only said Tom or Thomas if she was mad at me. When I'd text with Susan after swim she'd call me panda fish 🐼🐋. When I was feeling sad she'd pat my arm and say Pat Pat the Panda Bear. Sometimes I think that's what I miss the most.

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Tom... I know what you mean about reliving it. My Tom and I were laughing about something and the next second he lurched out of his chair and then fell back into it. As soon as that happened I started the compressions and phoned 911. Did them also until EMT's arrived, they did get a pulse but I think we all knew that his aorta burst and there wasn't much hope. At the strangest times, the scene hits me again and it devastates me again.

Funny that you had pet names, but I imagine alot of did. And very seldom that I called him Tom or Thomas, it was usually Sweetie pie and I was Honey bun. Where do we get the pet names from anyway?

I have also involved myself with Grief Share and one of the men has been through this journey twice also. We know each other so stopped and chatted after the meeting.

I am quite proud of my little steps this week. Hopefully we all can make a few little steps every week until we can feel that we may actually start to live again.

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Lainey,I find this personal wellness is a rewarding pursuit and great diversion....daily exercise, nutrition etc....later get into the goal setting...I'm focusing on blood pressure and weight...not losing anything...maintaining to begin with....baby steps work, as long as there in the right direction....Keep up the efforts

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Kevin, you're right all this stuff is a diversion and then something else happens and you feel like you're back at square one. My last psychologist appointment began with me telling her about our day when he passed, his passing, the funeral, his families feeling towards me and more. After crying the full hour while telling her the story, I have to admit that I felt much better. This was this past Monday, Tues  and Wed were okay... Thurs little things began popping in my head and yesterday and today have been totally lost. It took a while to figure out what caused this... the radio had ads on about camping and trailers. every time I heard it, it gave my heart a little more sadness. We loved going to trailer shows and in fact when we got home last summer we bought the trailer of our dreams. We used it three times last summer before we had to store it. Now the excitement of this summer camping and travelling is making me wish that I wasn't here anymore. I know that I could never harm myself because of my family... but I'm missing Tom so much now that all the things i did to move forward aren't helping much

 

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Totally relate. I'm taking a mini-vacation in San Juan. We always went to the Virgin I in Mar and this is my attempt to get some sun without retracing our steps. I got out the bag I wanted to take and the end pocket had clothespins and sponges neatly packed by Susan from one of our sailing trips. I looked in our closet, which is very empty since I gave Susan's winter coats away yesterday, for some 3 oz sunscreen, and there it was in a ziploc bag along with insect repellent. Susan was amazing at packing for our trips. She had spreadsheets for sailing and for camping. These memories trigger grief attacks, later if not now. Hard to believe I'll ever not be sad.

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10 hours ago, TomPB said:

Hard to believe I'll ever not be sad.

I wouldn't say you won't be sad, we'll always miss them, but we learn to coexist with our grief, so you can smile about one thing all while carrying this kind of sadness inside you at the same time.  That may not make sense, but it is what I've experienced.

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Good to hear you experienced it. That’s what people tell me, hard to believe it can happen for me. 

Can I enjoy my mini-vacation, 3 nights in San Juan? I checked in for the flight and realized it was the first time I'd ever done that for just me on a vacation. The bag I'm taking had things Susan had packed for a sailing trip. Suntan and insect repellent were in ziploc bags Susan had prepared for TSA screening. I'm taking her backpack. Water is my element and I (we) love the Caribbean, and I'm deliberately going where we never went together. I don't control my emotions. Wonder what will happen with so many memories running through my head. 

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Tom,. that's what I do, too.  Al and I went to plays a lot.  I do not ever go to them anymore.  That was OUR thing...not mine.  I joined a book club.  That was fine because WE never went to one.  

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Thing is, even going to an all new place, the memories of travelling with Susan are still everywhere, overwhelming.

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I haven't ventured further than 3 1/2 hours, I guess I'm too chicken.  My dog and cat are my excuse, he's "special needs" so can't leave him for an extended time and his care is more than I could foist on anyone else, and my cat is quite elderly (22 1/2) but even if I didn't have them I don't know whether I would venture out like you are doing or not.  I know I'm worth it, I'm valuable, but somehow without being able to share things with George...it wouldn't be the same.  It sure changes everything, doesn't it.  I wish you a good trip, one you enjoy.

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Kayc, I'm thinking the same thing. I 'm not ready to venture for very long. In fact my kids and I will plan a day ending with me going to their place for supper or a massage. Last weekend I didn't go for the massage or dinner, simply because Tom wasn't with me. The only place I will go for  a few days is my sisters . We went there often in the years we were together and I can feel him there.

We also did alot of travelling through Canada and were hoping to do much more  in the next few years. those plans are now a mute point... but I can't imagine going places without him. Hope that will change in a year or two. 

Grief changes a persons life... we all grieve differently but I think the pain we feel is all the same.

Hugs to all that need one...

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I think the older I get the more I see home as my comfort zone.  Some of the younger folks venture out on big excursions and exotic trips, but I feel comfortable here.  Maybe someday if I didn't have my animals to take care of and it wasn't winter I'd go to Hawaii with a sister, but I'd still be too chicken to go by myself.  But the reality is I'll probably never get there and have to settle for looking at my sister's pictures of her trips.  :)

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We had planned on going back to Hawaii this coming winter, but I guess that's something in the past. I don't think I'd want to go on a holiday by myself either. I really don't think it's a safe thing to do anymore.

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Our summer vacay place was Provincetown. We always sailed over and got a mooring at the marina and lived on the boat for a week, and made some shorter trips staying on land. We wanted to spend more time so for last summer we had rented a condo before Susan died, and I went ahead and stayed there for a period that included our 48 anniversary and 3 months since 3/31. I wouldn't have gone except my sister stayed with me for a few nights and Susan's sister and husband were in Ptown also and I did a lot with them. Memories were everywhere in Ptown and it was almost overwhelming. 

In Mar we'd go to the Caribbean, usually Virgin I. I just, literally, got back from 3 nights in San Juan (with a 4 hr delay!). Here the plan was to go where we had never vacationed and there were no memories, but still going to any beach, planning any trip, exploring any new place,  dealing with air travel, brings memories of doing that with Susan even in virgin territory. I did enjoy the ocean, and did try to do the 5 min for Kay, and then wd get slammed with a grief attack, but that's the new normal. Being alone on vacay is very hard. My grief counselor says it's good that I went. 

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Well you tried, thanks, it's as close as I got to the beach this year.  

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