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I really don’t know how to write this as it is so 180 from so much that  is talked about regarding memories.

The depression about Steve has taken a very dark turn.  It feels like it was some kind of dream he ever existed.  There are all kinds of things around with no owner.  I’ve had to move some stuff or change it because something broke or there was an empty spot where there never was before. I can’t move any more because of the pain and reminders the gaps would bring.  Pictures of this man are like a ghost to me. Memories bombard me constantly.  I hate them.  They hurt too much.  I live a solitary life now and never have since I was born.  I wander around this house doing routines founded in the past.  Sometimes I don’t know why I bother cleaning or getting things repaired. 

There was a time when telling people about us made me feel that special feeling we’ve all had because of the uniqueness.  Now I feel the weight of the past tense every time and reliving what is forever gone.   

So many of you this far down the road seem to have found some meaning to keep you sustained.  I know the pain still dwells within you too.  I was there once.  Now I want him erased from my mind.  If he’s not going to be here, I want the pain to stop, desperately.  I’m finding less and less reason to face a future alone, truly alone.  Redundant, but no family or friends to lean on in real life.  I’m sick of eating, reading, watching TV, anything with no one to share it with.  I’m tired of living in fear because I was dependent on him.  I miss being depended on.  It’s all a tangled mess.  

I don’t feel that gratitude of the years we had anymore.  It’s become so black and white.  Be here or be gone.  I so want to cherish those times but the pain has reached a level I never thought possible.  I lost an important human connection last week and will another next month.  The guy gave me back the key to the house and had brought over one os Steve’s old guitars he uses on music nights.  I hadn’t seen itin years and it flooded me with more memories.  Getting the key had me at a loss.  Or I should another one.

  I feel like such a failure.  Not solely because of him but i thought I was stronger.  I have counseling,  I have the volunteering, I try and engage with my furry kids because they are in the happy moments.  I thought that strength would get better after 3 plus years.  Now I face my own aging process and find no motivation to help myself.  I was so shocked by losing Bruce from our family here but I now can totally understand why he left.  Understand it too well.  I don’t know if this will pass and that is what scares me the most.  

I never thought I would want Steve gone, but  I do.  I don’t even question if this is normal.  I don’t know what that is and haven’t for so long.  I’m hesitant to write this here and would never say it to outsiders beyond my counselors.  

I’ve been up 3 hours, 13 more to go to repeat it again after sleep which gives me about 4 hours of escape before the reality returns that last 4 know knowing what is coming.   I so miss smiling about him and the great  fortune I had with him in my life.  There are no rule books, but I don5 know if this phase is in there.  Wishing away the best thing that everhappened to me?  Never saw this coming.  

 

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Gwen,. I am so sorry you are hurting so much.  I have not found a purpose for going on, yet.  Still looking!  Age and physical problems do not help.  I am alone most of the time and do not see any reason for that to change.  There certainly is plenty to do around here, but my interests do not involve cleaning and getting rid of stuff.  Had a big snow and I am locked in the house for probably another week.  I am afraid of getting stuck in the alley, so no car for now.  

I can offer no answers for you.  Grief is such an involved, crazy thing.  Every day is something different.  Not different in a good way.  Don't be surprised if tomorrow you feel completely different.   I hope tomorrow is a better day!

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Gwen,. I do not think any of us can say what is unnatural!  I think we all do unnatural things on this unnatural journey called grief.

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“Grief is such an involved, crazy thing.  Every day is something different.  Not different in a good way.  Don't be surprised if tomorrow you feel completely different.   I hope tomorrow is a better day!” ~ Gin

I like what Gin has said in response to your post, Gwen.  I am sure that how you are feeling right now will change tomorrow.  That is how grief is.  Even after five years, I find myself puzzled by how I’m still going from disbelief that my Jim is gone and wondering how I’m going to continue on without him.  The quiet we experience is almost unbearable at times.  I do not think it matters if we have support from family or friends or not because we are still alone in a home that was shared by our spouses.  I wish I could say it changes but it doesn’t.  When one loses a significant other who has been a major part of our adult lives no matter how much we try to adjust it just doesn’t happen.  We remain alone. 

To me, this does not mean I have to be lonely.  Yes, we are alone but there are things we can do about it.  I get up in the morning and get dressed and take care of whatever has to be done for that day.  Sometimes it might be just going to the store for whatever and other times it might mean volunteering at a senior home for an hour or two.  Other times it is so hard that I spend most of the day under the covers.  I have passed that time where I think Jim might come in the door any minute.  I have even gotten so angry with him that as you said I’d like to erase him from my mind.  That is only a fleeting moment though because he had given me so many wonderful memories that I find I focus on those memories more now.  Tomorrow I may be right back to being angry with him.  Grief does that.  It’s like that damn rollercoaster people talk about ~ sometimes we are OK and other times we are not. 

One thing I do know, Gwen, is that these feelings do pass and we find ourselves going through yet another day ~ alone. It may not be as hard as it was a few days ago but we manage to carry on for that is what we do.

Sending you and others who are going through tough times a hug today.

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15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother cleaning or getting things repaired.

You do it for YOU.  And that is a good step.  I have not reached the place where I want my memories of George gone, if I were given a choice to keep the memories and live with the pain or to have all memory of him erased, I would without hesitation keep the memories.  Did they bring pain?  Yes.  Do they now?  I wouldn't call it pain, perhaps wistfulness at times, but it's changed for me and I hope it does for you too at some point.  I know it took me at least three years just to process his death, and many many more to find any purpose or build a life I can live.  I say "a life I can live", not that it's anything like it once was, but one that I can get through, one I can do, I hope that makes sense.  Nothing is as it was, I've accepted that.  We don't have to like something to accept that that is our reality now.  But I try to make the best of it.  I hope something changes for you, I know you're in a hard place right now.  I know you're going to a counselor, I assume you've shared your feelings, if you don't feel it's helping, maybe try another one or at least talk to that one about what you hope to get out of counseling and if they think they can and are helping you with that.  I sincerely wish you the best, Gwen, I know you've struggled a long while.

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Gwen, I've had some of those same feelings, wondering if he ever really existed, wishing I could erase him from my mind, but I know that you don't want to do that with Steve, any more than I want to do that with Dale.  You did have a life with him and he did exist and I know how much it hurts to think of him and to know he is never coming through that door.   Just last night I was awake all night long thinking of Dale and the times we had and all the things he did and wished it wasn't in the past tense, but I got out of bed this morning to start my day alone again.  I'm hoping your day is a little better today and am hoping that you can find a little relief soon.  Sending you all the hugs I can.

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What I want is for him to love me again.  I know many of you feeel they do, but I don’t because he doesn’t exist anymore.  I don’t have that 'faith' that his essence still exists.  Yes, I could be wrong, but we each have our beliefs.  That is my struggle.  I don’t believe he hears or sees me.  Knows anything about the life he left behind.  

Living without feeling that love in good and bad times is taking a toll as time passes.  Memories do not cut it right now.  That is why I am turning away from them.  

Kay, my counselors are my lifeline.  They are the best.  But they cannot fill the void 24/7.  Nothing can.  No one can.   

Ive just never been in a place I so needed that love as I do right now.  The pile of change and other losses timing is unbelievable.  For someone not in grief it would be a huge challenge,  add that in and it’s a fight to get thru every day.  Plus I am in the most physical pain ever.  Facing all kinds of things docs want to do to my body, but they won’t fix the true pain source.  So I have to decide if these fixes re worth it.  They do affect my thinking, but they won’t fix the lack of love and loneliness.

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On 2/11/2018 at 5:24 PM, Gwenivere said:

 Now I face my own aging process and find no motivation to help myself.

Doc asked me if I wanted a mammogram, then she said "No, you do not want anything done."  That's right.  No heroic measures at all.  Remember the joke of the brain, heart, all the organs arguing who was boss and the AH (use imagination) said he was.  In my case, he is.  Give me pain medicine, he will show who is boss when all the other organs shut down.   Life is so interesting.  Day by day.  That sounds so incomplete.  Have to make plans.  No plans.  Day  by day.  Hope, I do hope my granddaughter takes a-hold and finds out what life is, and she has a lot of it to live yet.  She knew the art of flirting in the 6th grade, now she hangs her head and walks past them, trying not to be ignoring them, just trying to be invisible.  I'm waiting.  We are all just waiting.  Waiting for so many things.  No plans.  Hope for other people, but no plans for myself.  Get up, do what I have to, go to bed.  It is what it is.  Possibly the ghost of Steve, the trying to forget things, maybe that is building scar tissue.  How did Rose Kennedy handle losing three sons, a daughter that had a lobotomy without her knowledge, another daughter killed, her husband's many affairs, she went to her father and he told her she was Catholic and could not leave her husband.  Then she outlived her husband.  Scar tissue on top of scar tissue.  How could she live to 104.   They found records for prescription tranquilizers Seconal, Placidyl, Librium, and Dalmane to relieve Rose's nervousness and stress, and Lomotil, Bentyl, Librax, and Tagamet for her stomach  And they limit our Xanax.  Maybe that provided her scar tissue.  I don't drink.  I don't over medicate.  Why would they hold back something that makes your life easier to tolerate?  I can just float on so many clouds over a blue lagoon.  

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19 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Ive just never been in a place I so needed that love as I do right now.

Gwen, my dear, I've no doubt that you've heard this from your counselors more than once, and I’m sure you won’t want to hear it from me ~ but I care enough about you and for you to say it anyway: Clearly in the life you shared with him, your Steve loved you. Are you willing to give yourself the love that he has given to you? Do you treat yourself on a daily basis as if you are worthy of that love? As if you deserve it?

There are dozens upon dozens of ways to practice loving yourself, and I’m sure you’re already familiar with most of them (e.g., Self-Love Must Come First: How to Love Yourself). I can think of no better way to honor the love Steve gave to you than to invest that legacy of love in yourself, and I wish with all my heart that you will find some ways to do so.    

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I know "Grace and Frankie" on Netflix is not a show everyone likes.  I like it because the women playing the parts, and the men, are in my age group and the many trials and tribulations they face are so funny because we all have faced them.  I know this is strange.  I wish Billy had left me for a man like their husbands did.  Then I could be angry at him but thankful he was alive.  And those two men face things elderly men face too.  One scene after Jane Fonda's character found out her husband was gay, she told him she wish he had died instead.  This was not funny and all I could think was "no you don't."  

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Dear Gwen, I wonder if you are doing the same thing I did? I was trying to fight the reality of Rick's loss. I was trying to make it go away but I couldn't make him come back. I couldn't make him part of my life anymore.There seemed to be nothing I could do. I was at 3 years too when I knew I couldn't go on that way. I came to a fork in the road, a turning point if you will. I read something that was just unbelievable. It was a verse: "I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for good and not evil, plans to give you hope and a future." This was so strange because I had no hope and my future had died with my husband. What I was going through did not seem good. It was unbearable. In fact it seemed like the very embodiment of evil. The verse kept coming to my mind though. It was what I wanted. I took a chance. I tested it. It lifted my heart. I decided to believe it. As I began to experience it as true, I embraced it. I began to cling to it. I held on for dear life. In time, I realized that what I was believing and clinging to was not the verse, but the One who had said the verse. It was totally a choice I made. The God who said the verse was inviting me to believe Him. It is a choice He gives to everyone. I found Him true. He did indeed give me a hope and a future.

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Thank you, Suzanne,but I don’t believe in God.  Wish I did as it brings so many some solace.  

Marty, thanks for the article, but it more relates to people not in my position.  Many of our positions.  It’s more for people that are having inner issues not related to severe grief.  There have been times in my life it would have helped, but not now.  It’s definitely a good one fo depression without trauma.

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27 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

 It’s more for people that are having inner issues not related to severe grief.

Not true, dear Gwen. With that statement I must respectfully disagree. Self-love applies to all of us, including ~ and perhaps most especially ~ those of us experiencing severe grief. I offered that article because it contains some suggestions for practicing self-love that are simple and do-able. If it's the article itself that you don't think applies to you, take a look at some of these:

Self-Compassion: The Key to Getting Through Grief

Surviving Grief Through Self Care, Self Compassion & Self Love

The Healing Power of Grief

Again, Gwen, I am hesitant to offer anything in response to you, because you have said repeatedly that you're not looking for any suggestions from anyone, including me. That's your choice and that is perfectly okay. But I am mindful that others do read what is posted here, and I am hopeful that sometimes what is offered may be helpful to someone else. 

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On 12/2/2018 at 7:27 PM, Gwenivere said:

Ive just never been in a place I so needed that love as I do right now.  

Dear Gwen, I know I cannot offer any good help, but I understand you on that line. I'm experiencing sth similar about it. It's embarrasing....

A friend is going to meet my ex boyfriend in a couple of weeks when he travels to where he lives. It's been 15 years, there is nothing left and I never met him again. Never missed him.  

I got suddenly overwhelmed, I was so tempted to call my ex, or to ask my friend to bring news from him, to invite him visit us....If I call he may reply, because HE IS ALIVE AND MY BOYFRIEND ISN´T!!!! He is alive and maybe we could talk about the past and our memories together......and so my mind got lost in a soap opera script.

But there's a time when mirages dissapear and you're back to where you are left. You face the truth.

I need MY TRUE LOVE TO BE ALIVE, TO COME BACK. I NEED HIM, I NEED HIS LOVE. I NEED THE PAST TO BE CHANGED. I NEED HIS HUMAN BEING TO EXIST.

These fancy dates should dissapear.

I'm tired, I guess as everybody here.

 

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I’m sorry, Marty,j if I sounded like it was harsh criticism.  It’s just so hard for me to do things when I have no energy or motivation.  BTW, you are not the first person who has called me resistant.  My counselors do too.  I guess we all just know what we can and can’t do.  Taking a bath, preparing a meal...those are overwhelming to me.  I’m glad you post the articles you do because they may help others.  I’m just so overwhelmed by multiple changes outside my control that all hit at once so anything more than the essentials (and as simple as possible) is all I can handle.  Microwaves and quick showers.  

i saw the neurosurgeon today and learned my only option for truly stoping the pain is surgery.  Com0licated because I am alone for care after and someone to take care of the dogs.  I’d have to go to a care facility for maybe 2 weeks.  Another thing that would be simpler if Steve were here and this is a biggie.  I’m numb about the news right now, sure that will wear off soon.  Even my Xanax has said...whoa!  This is way too much!  :blink:

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No need to apologize, dear Gwen. I don't think I've ever called you "resistant" ~ I hate labels like that, and I'm not in the habit of pinning a label on you or on anyone else. I do understand where you are coming from, I know how alone you feel, and my heart hurts for you. Clearly you need and deserve some sort of outside support, and I realize you don't have the energy or the motivation to find it. Can you enlist someone on your medical team, someone at the nursing home where you volunteer, or one of your counselors to point you to whatever services may be available to you in your community? Can your doc give you a referral to a physician who specializes in palliative care? There are so many organizations and agencies out there, but you need someone who knows what they are and who will help you to find them. I've listed a number of them here: Caregiving in Serious Illness: Suggested Resources. If you don't have the energy to explore this article, I suggest that you print it out and take it to one of your counselors, and ask for their assistance in selecting whatever resources might apply to your situation.

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Gwen,

I'm in the same boat as you, no one to help take care of me or my animals.  It's complicated because my dog is "special needs" because of his medical situation and I have to cook for him.  It's not a matter of just putting him in a kennel for two weeks.  I guess that's one reason I toughed it out instead of having surgery on my knees after I injured them so severely.  But I was lucky in that I could tough it out and see ever so slow but marked improvement in the last nine months.  Your situation is different in that you NEED the surgery, I think none of us can argue that you need some freedom from this pain.  Those of us who are alone no how important our independence and being able to take care of ourselves is.  Sometimes we need some assistance and if we don't have family to provide it, we have to pay money for it where we can find it.  I truly hope you find the resources you are needing.

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15 hours ago, Suzanne Larsen said:

"I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for good and not evil, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Thank you Suzanne.  Many of my mother's quotes from the Bible come to mind.  I think our brains become so enmeshed in what we have lost that we cannot let quotes, Bible verses, or the things people say trying to help us, I think it is like water off a duck's back.  I have been here before, though not from grief.  I have had my faith tested and I have failed.  Then, given enough time, one day, one surprising day, I am brought to my knees (figuratively), and the scripture breaks through this hard exterior and sinks in.  Then, I am gone again.  I don't think it is bitterness so much as turning away from the help that is handed to me in loving hands.  It is during these times I wish I had my faith of a child instead of my stubbornness.  And then again, I am brought to my knees and I realize that I still have my mustard seed faith.  It is what it is.  And sometimes, it provides relief, even for just a moment, and I feel that I am not lost, only wandering in a wilderness.  Analogies.  

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That is one of my favorite verses, it brings so much comfort to know someone sees the big picture even when I cannot.

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Hi again Gwen,  You are right. God gives solace to those who trust Him. I wish you could too, but since you don't, I will continue to pray for comfort and strength for you. You seem like such a nice person and I hate it that you are suffering so. Please know that I wish the very best for you.

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Hi Marge, Just hold on! I so identify with what you said. You have that mustard seed and it will grow. The reason I know that God's grace is sufficient is that I lived through those years that you are describing and going through now. When I look back, I see that He was getting me through it, even when I wasn't aware of it. I can report to you that there is joy at the end of this hard, painful journey even though it doesn't seem like that can be possible.  It takes years, but there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. 

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