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debi,

That little boy (your husband) was wise...in his young innocence he understood what many adults fail to...that to take a break from mind boggling work and connect with nature, equips and refuels us better than staying at task and struggling when our brain is worn down.  I love that he was a nature lover even that far back...I am too and it began when I was a child.

I agree with all you told scba.  I think scba is very brave to have the gumption to see the interview through...I did that just months after my husband died, and it was so tough.

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Kayc, It was a lovely moment when his cousin told me and it is so lovely that you get the little boy he was and the man he became. He would sometimes stop the car for a second even on a busy street to look at a beautiful tree. I am so happy that your love began as a child too. I thing loving nature makes you compassionate to all living creatures (and I include plants in that) and enables you see beauty even when the world is grey. 

He tended to our little city garden so well and on the day he died we had beautiful strawberries, hydrangea plants, geraniums, roses and raspberries. He was in the garden caring for his plants a few hours before. He also adored the birds and cared for a pigeon that had been attacked by a cat. he nursed it back with good food and shelter and called it his pet. From that day to this there have been almost no birds in the garden and not his pet. I use to jokingly call it 'that pesky pigeon' but now I really miss it. It was a symbol of him. The strawberries have died (we did water them and tried our best) the hydrangeas have all turned brown and the raspberries have disappeared. He had such a way with nature because he was at one with it. He bought beautiful orchids for the office about 3 -4 years ago and because of his green fingers they flourished and would get many comments. I am sure it is the season but even they look sad.

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My George loved his garden too...alas, I do not have his green thumb.  One look at what used to be his garden and he'd know I need him back!

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 I had a similar experience in how my koi pond all but died off. The water hyacinth died, the other plants too save for a couple of lilies. I tried to nurse it back to health but it's just not the same. It's almost like color disappeared in our yard where we spent so many years just sitting and watching sharing a bottle of wine. It was like a sanctuary. No matter how hard I try these last few years, it just seems lost forever. Something left with her.

I know what you mean kayc.

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I tried the first five years, the last five I gave up keeping up with everything by myself.  There's only one of me and it shows in our yard.

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Our plants are still alive, but because I took them to my MIL home to be taken care of after I left our appartment. My mom's garden is full of flowers but I didn't pay attention to them for a long time. Instead, I enjoy bird's singing, I take it as a "sign" that my boyfriend is singing to me.

On the other hand, I'm dealing with some envy, and I don't like any of it. Today I had a call from my BIL telling me that he's doing fine, that he had a promotion and etc etc. I wasn't happy, I keep thinking: what's wrong with me? why I can't be happy for him? why is all of it disturbing me? what am I doing wrong in my journey? Really, who am I now, what kind of person I'm becoming? 

I'm so tired of emotions. Sometimes I can't be around people or listen to their talk. I had this conflict before, when I was at high school and some years during university. I thought all of it was over and I don't understand why it's back. 

I just want peace in my heart.

 

 

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When you're grieving, it's a time of self-centeredness...it has to be, it takes everything within us just to make it through the hour.  It's understandable to feel envy when you see everything going well for others while your world has fallen apart.  You don't mean to, but it's just such a stark contrast!  With most of us, this goes away as we learn to incorporate good into our new lives.

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Sb,

I have been waiting for someone to speak of these feelings of disinterest or selfcenteredness...I have bee feeling horrible about myself for not having excited interest in the good things and times others are having. When someone is struggling or facing something awful, I can pull together the strength to genuinely be there. But I just can't have that leaping heart or happy outpouring. I find a few things that can make me laugh; when the heat is not so strong, I enjoy sitting on the swing and just look at the trees. But I still tend to shy away from a group, and no desire to participate. I don't want to force myself to "enjoy" when my heart is not in it. I would not be true to me. Is that wrong?

 

 

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The same happens to me Maryann, when someone is going through hard times, I'm in the front line the way I can. For other (happy) circumstances, I'm detached. But I haven't shared my feelings with anyone because I feel ashamed of them. I feel ashamed of not being able to get along with people the way I did before, especially if I don't know them very well. I feel ashamed of feeling sad, hopeless about the future, and with rage about destiny. It doesn't happen all the time, through the day I feel ok. But when uncomfortable feelings arrive, they cover the rest. I feel under pressure to get up and leave all this sadness behind or carry it hidden in my soul, being proactive and practical on the outside, as it's expected from someone on her 30s. Long grief is seemed to many people to be reserved for "old people", and being sad at 36 years old is seemed like a place I choose to be. I've just been told that I've done nothing to overcome my current state. That I'm hidden in a sad, but comfortable, zone. I cannot say he's not partly right, but at the same time my whole future with my boyfriend was destroyed and I'm still coping/fighting with it. I've never thought to be in this situation. And none has taught me how to deal with it nor what to do. 

I hope, KayC, to learn to incorporate more good times in my life. Thank you!

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Scba, I'm so sorry to read that you're feeling ashamed of your feelings and of where you find yourself in this most challenging journey. I'm sorry, too, to read that you've been told that you've done nothing to overcome your current state. How painful it must have been for you to hear such a harsh and judgmental statement. 

Have you found your way to Megan Devine's website yet? She lost her partner to accidental drowning at the age of 39. She is a therapist who writes about her grief experience from a younger person's perspective, and in a voice that I think you might find helpful. You'll find her at Refuge in Grief.  I urge you to go to her site and read more about her, as I think you'll find that you two have a lot in common . . . 

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Oh Katpilot I can so tune in when you say It's almost like color disappeared in our yard it is the same here. Everything, and I mean everything, turned brown. I am desperate to keep his orchids at my office alive. Does anyone have any tips?

Kayc I agree. It is hard enough plodding on and trying to manage all the household chores. I know it has only been just under 6 weeks for me, but I should be looking after those things he loved if only to honour him but I am without energy.

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Scba I think most of us can relate to what you are saying. My business partner when off on his holidays this morning, full of joy. He came back from Thailand only 6 weeks ago. I don't envy where he is going (he deserves his holidays he is a hard worker)nor do I want to be him but I so envy his joy and light heartedness. I cannot imagine feeling those ever again. 

I don't know if I am allowed to tell you here but I am reading a book called 'You'll get over it' (the rage of bereavement) I think it is apt because of what was said to you. It is the story of bereavement as it is not as we hope it to be. No 2 people are the same and there is no A-Z 'journey' as so many books talk about. No one can tell you where you 'should' be please remember that. the love you had was and is unique to you and you darned well deal with your grief in any way you see fit. Let no one bully you or judge you (easier said than done I know) We are not just grieving for our love, we are grieving for all the golden tomorrows we will never see with them. We grieve our past, present and future. If we have children, we grieve for the mothers and fathers lost. Nothing in the human condition prepares us for this. We saw a glimpse of heaven in the love we shared and now we are in hell. That we must go on (there is NO alternative) is gruelling, chaotic and heart breaking. I know my darling husband would have given anything for one more day with us and I have to respect that I have been given more days even if they are not the days I want. I read somewhere 'you have been given this life because you are strong enough to live it' I am not so sure most of the time.

Maryann, I don't see anything wrong with shying away from groups. I am very sensitive to noise at the moment and idle chatter is one of those noises I can't stand. I'm afraid I am just not interested in listening about people's plans for the weekend or any other time. When someone says 'my husband said...' my eyes fill with tears and I have to find the rest room. I must share with you both something startling. A good friend came over last night. She was with me at the hospital all that last day and when we turned the machines off. She has a good heart but she said to me last night 'I can't stop thinking about Mathew. It is only now I have come to terms with the fact he has gone'....Excuse me? I was speechless I can tell you. That is why being alone is sometimes preferable.

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Thank you all for understanding and sharing your feelings, experiences and comments. I find so much help writing here.

Marty, thank you for the link. I've read some of Megan's articles in HuffPost. She's a very good writer and I could relate with what she expresses. Thank you!

Maryann, I don't think there is anything wrong with the way you feel. I'm learning how hard is to be true to myself and the way I feel. If sitting on the swing gives you more pleasure today that being surrounded by people, just do it. Whatever is right for you to bring you peace. I copy a link to one of Megan's article that I hope will give you some perspective. Dear Life how do I feel alive again.

Debi, I'm so sorry that you've to hear all those statements, somehow you'll get used to them and they'll hurt less with time. I don't know if I build up an inner wall or what, but when my friends talk about their husbands and family life, I listen, but I don't listen. I used to cry because of the effort. I don't know if being detached it's correct or not, but that's how I dealt with it.

Last night I was very nervous about nonsense.....I thought: "I love you and I miss you.....the truth is: I need you. 

 

Thank you all for reading. 

 

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debi, I just don't understand how it is that people don't get the effect of their words.  In time I hope you can forgive her, but honestly, "just came to terms with" is not something I'd want to hear either!  We NEVER come to terms with it!

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Thank you both for your kind comments. I feel the sad truth is that no one 'gets' it who isn't experiencing it and this can leave you feeling so lonely and isolated. There are of course some exceptions, I have a wonderful friend in New Zealand who writes incredible emails to me and they are a huge comfort. 

Scba I am with you all the way when people talk about their families, particularly partners/husbands. I am sitting here in the office and 2 or 3 clients have come in with a cheery hello asking me 'what are you doing this weekend? Any plans?' I of course kept my brave face on and just replied 'no and you?'

The truth? Is weeping a plan for the weekend? Because it is mine.

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It feels like a life sentence of some sort but they choose to ignore it.  Like my kids know I'm alone, but they don't invite me for holidays, take me out somewhere.  I wasn't that way with my mom, even though I hadn't yet been in her shoes, I had an idea of how it must be and I spent time with her on a regular basis and called her in between times.

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It is a life sentence KayC you are right. I am so sorry you are not getting the consideration from your children that you deserve. The problem is that their lives (and rightly so) go on and ours have come to a halt in terms of our loss of true love and companionship. My soon to be 16 years old has (I pray) the best years of his life ahead of him and I feel the best years of mine are behind me. The loneliness already, even after such a short time, is awful. I just want to sit with my beloved husband chattering about anything.

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KayC, My sister just invites herself over to her children's home.She wants to see them.  My sister is not pushy she just lets them know she wants to see them because she loves them.  No guilt trips.  She just tells them what she wants directly.  Just a suggestion... It may work.  Shalom

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In defense of those that say "stupid" things, I'm sure they don't think they are stupid and are just trying to help.  You can tell which people are sincere and which ones aren't.

Just like each one of us is walking down a different road, even those who have taken the journey may find some things more comforting than myself. I guess we have to respect how they are feeling too.  Just like my kids, who don't want to say something about Tom when we get together every year to celebrate his b'day.  I don't even ask any more because it hurts more to have them say no than to not have them say anything.

Like Kay C, I get hurt sometimes when the kids don't ask me to do something with them, but then I remember that they have their lives, their kids and their friends.  They don't have to babysit their mom.  I get that but it doesn't make it hurt less, it's just that I do understand. Scba, you'll probably never get totally over this, you'll just learn to adjust to it in your own way, whatever that may be.  Just don't be hard on yourself, you are still just a baby in this process; I'm almost 8 years out and have some of the same feelings. 

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You are right mig when you say that people don't mean to say insensitive things. Society still can't deal with death even though it is the only guarantee in life. Having lost all my birth family including uncles and aunts and now my beloved husband, I certainly now know what I would say to a bereaved person and it certainly wouldn't include me putting MY emotions first.

Maybe your children mig are trying to protect you because they feel that talking about Tom on the anniversary of his birthday will be more painful? The trouble is, we WANT to talk about them. To remember and cry but also to remember some of the sweetest times and smile. It is a way of keeping them alive in our hearts and minds. 

Our children do have their lives and they need to have their own safe network of support, independent from us so that they can carry on when we go. It doesn't make it any easier though for those of us that feel sidelined and alone. I do think George's suggestion of asking directly without a 'guilt trip' is worth trying though.

Yesterday my son and I set off together. Him for school and me for work. He was joined by a girl (my son is 16 next week) who kissed him on both cheeks (we live in Belgium and this is a custom amongst the French speakers they are very tactile!) I dropped back a bit to allow him some space -it isn't 'cool' to be walking with mommy at his age. I watched as they chatted animatedly in front of me. I pretended not to be with them. We boarded the tram separately and he got off without a backward glance. I thought to myself this is HIS life starting now. I was so happy but filled also with a sense of loss all over again. I wanted to call my husband immediately and say 'Max has a girlfriend!' His daddy and I would have chatted about the details and taken pleasure in his first baby steps towards love. To not be able to do that - his daddy was a wonderful father and rejoiced in everything positive our son achieved - was like a knife through the heart.

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I'm quite a ways away from my son's house so can't afford to make the trip more than once a month, and can't just drop in because they might be away.  My daughter doesn't answer her phone and does not have voice mail set up...she's been operating this way for ten years so it's not likely to change.

I plan to go see my granddaughter (& son) in two weeks.  His wife doesn't make me feel welcome, but that's okay, I keep trying anyway.

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Numb is nature's way of holding us until we can better deal with it.  (((hugs)))

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thank you KayC. I started to receive phone calls and messages. Tears are back. I cannot think of gratitude or sense of life today. I can only think of the man I lost, the man I love. I guess I have to get through this day too. 

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