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About mittam99

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  • Birthday May 10

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    Reisterstown, MD

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  1. Stopping by on a difficult day. My beloved Tammy would have been 51 today. And it's been 5 agonizing years and 3 months since the day that change my world forever. I have no idea what happiness feels like anymore. Happiness was being with Tammy, plain and simple. Alone, everything feels a bit like drudgery. TV is now my main companion. I don't eat as well as I should or exercise. It's not that I don't care or that I've given up; there's just no joy in anything. Plus the aches and pains sort of limit what I can do. My brain thinks I'm 21, but my body feels much more ancient. I work in an essential job and deal with the public up close and personal. It's borderline scary being 65 years old and dealing with the pandemic and all the frightening possibilities. Then I come home and it's me, myself and I (and the TV lol). Rinse, wash, repeat. The constant feeling of stress overwhelms. I just wish I could press rewind and go back to the days of joy and love. The days when Tammy was by my side. The days when I had purpose and life didn't feel so sad and meaningless. Mitch
  2. First post in a long time... Exactly five years ago today, Wednesday March 4, 2015, was supposed to be the beginning of the rest of my life with my beloved Tammy. After another near death medical ordeal, Tammy was ready to go home after another long hospital / rehab stay. I remember looking at her in her room at the rehab place and thinking how beautiful she looked and that she'd be back home where she belongs. The world would finally be getting back on track. But things didn't happen as planned. Tammy was driven home in an ambulance while I followed her home. As we approached our development, I saw the ambulance take a turn down the wrong street. In a driving rainstorm I parked our car in front of our house and frantically ran to try to track them down. I did and the two drivers helped Tammy upstairs. It was a struggle though and they had to carry her the last few steps to our bedroom. Tammy was exhausted and I tucked her into bed and it was wonderful to be together in our own bed again. Thursday March 5th we woke up to a 10" snowstorm. The day was fairly uneventful but Tammy still seemed exhausted. The bad news was the snowstorm prevented me from getting to the pharmacy to get meds for Tammy. Friday March 5th was simply the worst day of my life. A day that started with so much promise. Early on that bright, sunshine laden day, I was clearing snow so I could get Tammy meds and pick up some foods for a special meal I had planned. After getting back home Tammy still was zonked. We had some lunch and watched some TV. What happened hours later was the nightmare of all my nightmares. My Tammy, the love of my life, the woman who made my life worth living died suddenly. I play those moments in my head over and over. Why did it happen? Why is life so unfair? Could I have done things differently? No one should die at 45 years old. And certainly not someone who was as joyful as Tammy. Five years later I'm here and I'm struggling. Still working and still trying my best. But my best isn't much more than an empty shell of an existence, lamenting what life should have been and how Tammy never could catch a break. Lupus can be a cruel and unforgiving disease and Tammy fought it with more grace and more courage than anyone I could imagine. She wasn't just my wife and my true soul mate. She and I were as one. When she died, so much of me went with her. I know she'd never want to see me struggle but the angst and pain is all too real. I hope all of my friends here are doing "OK" and know that I think of you often but haven't had the "oomph" or the right words to post here. Mitch
  3. I hear ya Gwen. It's partly the physical limitations we all are feeling as age takes it's toll but (at least for me) there's the lack of motivation component as well. I find it harder and harder to push myself and am neglecting things that need to be done. When I had my Tammy, life wasn't always easy but I had love and I had purpose. Devoid of both of those elements, life has become a 24 hour cycle of "drab" and finding positivity and meaning is elusive. I mean, I try to put a positive spin on things, but when I look at the big picture of the current state of my life, it's anything but where I wish it was. I've been in this same emotional place for a couple years now. I miss Tammy, I ache, I long for the life I had with her, etc... etc... etc... But I'm unable or apparently incapable of making a "new life" on my own that has any measure of happiness or genuine meaning. I feel like I push myself just by getting out of bed, but honestly, at the end of the day, I accomplish very little. I was proud of myself a while back that I lost 50+ pounds. But, I lost it because I wasn't eating properly. And unfortunately, along with the positive fat loss, I've lost a lot of muscle mass. I feel run down all the time. I'm getting older. I'm alone. I'm bored most of the time. And as dismal as that sounds, combine that with the fact I have no love in my life and no one that cares... well, you get the picture. No wonder I tend to yearn for the past. I have a hard time visualizing an improving future. And yet, I haven't given up hope but it feels like that hope light is flickering and fading. My apologies for the downer of a post. Mitch
  4. Gwen, here's my take on it as a forum owner/admin and avid online poster. It seems to me the options that work best are Like and Thanks. Like works for something that you agree with or maybe that even makes you smile. Thanks is even more straightforward for something that is helpful. The Upvote choice is tricky. Upvoting was originally used on Reddit as a method of supporting a post. When people upvoted, the post moved towards the top of the list of posts. The more upvotes, the higher towards the top the post went. Since upvoting doesn't actually move the post here, I'm not sure it fits.
  5. Kay, I don't have the words that will soothe your pain. I wish I did. All I can offer is a heartfelt virtual hug. ♥️
  6. "How do you keep living when you feel as if your life is already over?" Johnny, that's the biggest question of this "life" without our soul mate. Just like you I waited my whole life to find that special person to share it with. And when Tammy and I found each other, we knew it was right. She was everything to me and we truly were two peas in a pod and a perfect team. Our love had no boundaries and it always felt like it was Mitch and Tammy against the world. She struggled mightily with health issues but had such strength and grace and maintained her sense of humor. She was the most special person in the world. And when she died less than two days after coming home from another life and death medical ordeal, my world and my existence was shattered. The question of keeping "living" is more a question of staying motivated when there's little to motivate you. Just remember that your wife will always exist inside your heart and soul. Sometimes I lay in bed and reach my hand out to Tammy's side and imagine I'm back in time and Tammy can feel my touch. I still tell her I love her as I leave for work. Am I in denial that she's gone? No I'm not. But you do what works for you and gives you some sense of comfort. Hold on to that hope that you will be reunited at some point and in some form. None of us really knows the answers not only to this existence but to what is yet to come. "How do you keep fighting when it seems there is nothing left to fight for." Tammy always told me I was special. And I'm sure your Rene'e felt the same way about you. So, when you ask what is there left to fight for, the answer is "YOU". You are a worthwhile person who deserves a good life. Start with the basics. Eat right. Exercise. Do what you want to do not what others say you should do. I know it feels like you have no purpose and that's challenging. Four years after Tammy's death, that's where I am too. But, I'm not giving up because I don't quit and I know Tammy wouldn't be happy if I did. This grieving life is never going to be easy but life is a precious gift and maintaining a sense of hope is a good and positive place to start. Speaking of hope, here's hoping Strider is on the mend quickly. Mitch
  7. To Gwen and everyone else... For me, one of the hardest aspects of grief is the growing number of physical aches, pains and ailments that seem to have overtaken my life. In my head, I'm still that strong 20 year old, but when I walk up the steps or look in the mirror, reality hits home. It's not just the growing old or the aches and pains or the formerly salt and pepper hair that's now that's almost entirely salt. It's that I'm growing old alone. And it's growing old in a way that just wasn't meant to be. Me and Tammy were supposed to grow old together. Laughing at life's newfound aches and pains all the while sharing our immense love. Supporting each other. Holding each other. An unbreakable team 'til the end of time. The emptiness and silence of life without Tammy seems to be more unbearable as I get older. I try to push and try to put a positive spin on things. Then the newest twinge of pain shows up (or something else manifests itself) hammering home the fact that my life isn't getting better. When you've lived your life with that one person that you "can't live without", you realize after they're gone that those three words aren't just cliche. We pretty much are existing and attempting to cope, but living? Not so much. If only we could turn back the hands of time. In lieu of that, all we can do is try our best to deal with the cards we were given. If only life had one of these... Unfortunately, nothing seems to come easy in this new world without our beloved. It feels like our best is in the rear view mirror and happiness is just a memory or something that only happens to others. Yet, having said all that and realistically seeing the glass is fairly empty, I still maintain some hope. There's still the possibility that this "existing" will turn into something more than just 24/7 of monotony and anguish. And I think that power exists with us. No one else is going to make our lives better or more meaningful. It's what we chose to do and our outlook that will hopefully transform our grief journey into something with purpose and even contentment. - Mitch
  8. For a few months now, my grief journey has been stuck in a place where everything seems awful. And I'm not talking about the angst and sadness of losing Tammy or the ache of missing her. Those are givens in our lives without our beloved. This is a new, deeply intense feeling that life is on the downward slide. A place where hope seems to have vanished and the future looks bleak and dismal. After Tammy died, it felt like life was futile and that I had little that was worth living for. But, in time, I started to push myself. I got back into a regular exercise routine, lost a bunch of weight and was generally feeling physically well. I saw hope on the horizon that maybe just maybe, with Tammy's love in my heart for always, I might just find some purpose in life. Fast forward to a few months ago. A customer of mine who was basically my age, suddenly passed away. And it hit me hard. I think a good portion of that was that it got me thinking about my own mortality. Combine that with my own 64th birthday a month later and what would have been Tammy's 50th this month. I sort of started to get into my own head that my life was over. And in recent months the physical aches and pains are snowballing. Maybe it's those years of playing sports catching up to me (bad knees, bad shoulder etc.) or maybe I'm just old. And I'm looking older. The hair is getting grayer and grayer. Anyway, all of this was getting to me. I stopped watching what I was eating. Started half-assing my exercising. Slacked off on the house chores. It was like I was giving up to an extent. But, here's the thing. I don't want to give up. And I know a lot of what I'm feeling is my own doing. In this terrible life of grief, you have to keep moving. It's way too easy to just stagnate. And my key is to move. Far too often, I come home from work, eat something and spend the rest of the day/night in bed. It's a very unhealthy (physically and emotionally) way to live. I'm determined to start eating better again and to exercise and to not just lay around in bed. I've just been in a very bad place and was letting my grief swallow me up. I'm not a quitter and I'm not letting grief or my own negative inner thoughts beat me. I'm getting that glimmer of hope back and I'm ready to get things back on track. - Mitch
  9. Great to hear you're doing better Kay. Now stop worrying us like that! Hugs.
  10. Gwen, looks like she last visited here a couple weeks ago.
  11. Today would have been Tammy's 50th birthday. It is still so staggeringly painful knowing that she only got 45 years on this earth. How she struggled for more than half her life with catastrophic illness(es). Tammy had a heart of gold and an infectious smile. Everyone that got to know her, loved her. I was blessed to be the one she chose as her husband. I was blessed to have her in my life for 15+ years. I will always love her and cherish her and honor her. She was my everything. My one and only, forever and always.
  12. I lost my darling wife Tammy on March 6, 2015. She had many health conditions but had just come home from a long hospital stay and was in good spirits. I thought things were looking up for us. Less than two days after coming back home, she was gone. Believe me, I understand. It feels like the world you live in is completely different than it was just a few short weeks ago. Losing your soul mate affects every single aspect of your life. I made a topic here shortly after Tammy died called "Dealing with those moments". Those moments where you don't know if you can go on, or honestly, even want to. https://www.griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com/topic/8716-dealing-with-those-moments/ Many of the responses from members truly helped me and I hope will help you. You're very early in what we call your "grief journey". The pain is unbearable at times, I know. The wouldas and couldas and shouldas play on your mind. You've gone from knowing your place in this world to wondering if you even belong. This is the most difficult thing you'll ever go through. So, how do we go on with life without that one person who was our everything? There's no simple answer and there is no right way or wrong way. You start by taking things a moment at a time. Then a few hours at a time and ultimately it's a one day at a time sort of existence. Don't think too far ahead. Early on in my grief, a member here told me something that really helped. He mentioned that even though Tammy was gone, she will always be a part of me. Heart and soul. In a way, having her love and essence inside me gave me some "oomph" to not just curl up in a ball and give up. Right now you need to try your best to do the basics. Eat properly. Get your rest. Post here at the forum whenever you feel the need. We do understand and want to help. Consider seeing a grief counselor. Wishing you only the best and I'm so sorry for your loss. Mitch
  13. I still get a lot of raised eyebrows from people curious as to why I haven't started dating even though it's been over four years since Tammy died. I'm often told "you should (date)" or "living alone without love is a mistake". Well-intentioned comments, no doubt, but there's one problem. I had the life I wanted with the person I loved like no other. Me and Tammy were an unbreakable team. It's may seem cliche, but we literally were made for one another. Our love was for the ages. My life now, alone, is basically awful. It's the loneliness, and the monotony of 24/7 of grinding my way through life. The smiles are few and far between and the love is gone. Yet, somehow, I do push myself to an extent. I wish I knew how to find some contentment and more positivity. The loss of my Tammy has me at "a loss" in terms of figuring out a way to not just survive but to thrive. Instead, I'm basically doing the dog paddle and treading water.
  14. Gwen, it is a catch-22 in so many ways. I mean, I think most (if not all of us) know we're no longer living life to it's fullest. How could we? Our lives have been decimated. We're without that one person that completed us. So here we are, with little motivation, consumed by our grief, getting older by the moment, and clueless as to how to "reboot" our lives. In many ways it feels like we're royally screwed. I wouldn't call that passive suicide, more like helpless and hopeless. Everyday, I write notes (I have to because my memory sucks now) regarding my plans for the day. And virtually every time, few if any of those get accomplished. Maybe it's laziness but it feels more like a lack of oomph, motivation and desire. I know these are things I should be doing but my mind tends to wander back in time to a different and better life. A life that actually had meaning. It still hurts so bad knowing that my precious Tammy only had 45 years of life. I'm not suicidal. I want to live. I just wish I had that magic formula to bring happiness back. Instead, it's a rinse, wash, repeat life of boredom with rare moments of satisfaction. But those moments are fleeting. How do we emerge from all this with a true sense of optimism for our future?
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