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I'm 69, my husband was 70. Lost him suddenly June 3rd. We were together as a couple since 1978. Feels like the world has lost all its color. Trying to find the "me" without the "him". Just wanted to introduce myself. Don't even know what else to say...

 

Pat without George

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Patricia, the words will come.  So many emotions will come.  I'm so sorry you are in this club.  Write when you feel like it as we are a patient bunch and so many that will listen when you need it.  We totally understand/live the impact of your loss.  

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Pat, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. You say you "don't even know what else to say". And you know what? That's totally understandable and totally "OK". Just making an introductory post like you did is a big step in your grief journey. Your loss is so new... I totally know what you mean about the world losing it's color. Everything feels so gray and so cold.

I lost my beloved wife Tammy two years ago and when I lost her, I lost my everything. This forum has been a wonderful resource for me since then and I've tried to help others when I can. You've joined a truly understanding group here; a group that really "gets it".

Please take good care of yourself and read some of the topics in this forum. Post when you're up to it. In grief we need all the kindness and understanding we can find and you surely will find it here.

I hope you can find some comfort in the days ahead.

Mitch

 

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Pat the most important thing is to say something - anything. I lost Susan my other half 3/31 with no warning. Would have been 48 years on 6/27. Nobody can understand who has not visited this horrible landscape. Best wishes Tom?

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Pat, a lot of good people on here that understand grief.  Just pour out your heart.  I verbally bleed all over the place and I usually cannot keep it to two lines, but I will try.  You joined early, like I did.  I guess there is no cure, but if misery loves company (I know that is a hard thing to say), but we have plenty to share.  Come on along with us.

(Well, it was two lines before it printed out.)

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Thank you all so very very much. The ending was very unexpected and pretty traumatic. I honestly think I haven't fully digested the reality yet. I'm wondering if I'm still in some kind of shock.  Things seem so unreal. Also the fear. I feel afraid. Is that usual as well? Talking to others that aren't going through it almost makes me feel worse. Their conversation seems kind, but so casual. So I respond as if I'm in control but I'm actually broken in half. The words are going back and forth but it sometimes feel like I'm watching a movie instead of living it.

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5 hours ago, Patricia B said:

. I'm wondering if I'm still in some kind of shock

Sure you are in shock.  It is getting near 20 months for me.  I cannot remember what I wrote the three days after his passing when I got on here. I will not go back and look at things because I repeat myself so much and then I delete it.  I am going to go wash clothes.  I have put it off because I left my washer and dryer in my house I leased very soon after Billy left.  There are still some things I might need to "fix something" and I remember, I don't have those things anymore than I have Billy.  I have a washateria in these apartments and I miss my washer and dryer the most. (Aside from Billy.)  The house was empty, it was big, the silence was so loud I was going deaf.  You don't do something as big as move that first year.  I left as soon as humanly possible and I cannot go back.  Luckily the lease is working into them buying the house.  Good leasers that used to own a plant nursery and have invested much in that house.  That is okay with me.  We were leaving anyhow.  Our dream house was a 23 foot RV, at one time it had been a 19 foot 5th wheel.  I could not go back to what were our dreams because even though he was me and I was him, we were not an "our" anymore.  I did not want to forget him, I wanted to find him in our old hometown.  He is not here either.  I still have my moments of hearing my son call (sounds just like Billy), and just hearing a noise in another room, in an instant I think of Billy.  I got up too early this morning, but staying in bed the memories flash like a movie.  Memories are good, and I am remembering some of them now and it is okay.  Some are not.  

I am not "happy" but I am surrounded by strangers above, in front of, to the side of, and getting to know them.  I don't want that solitude of the beautiful house in paradise that we lived in.  I want distractions, and I am living exactly where Billy would not have lived.  That is one thing I knew I had to do.  I had to do this for me.  I could not help or live with my Billy, so I live among strangers in the land of my roots, our roots, and sometimes it provides comfort.  

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6 hours ago, Patricia B said:

Thank you all so very very much. The ending was very unexpected and pretty traumatic. I honestly think I haven't fully digested the reality yet. I'm wondering if I'm still in some kind of shock.  Things seem so unreal. Also the fear. I feel afraid. Is that usual as well? Talking to others that aren't going through it almost makes me feel worse. Their conversation seems kind, but so casual. So I respond as if I'm in control but I'm actually broken in half. The words are going back and forth but it sometimes feel like I'm watching a movie instead of living it.

 

Yes, the fear is very real. Your world has been shaken to the core. Most people truly do not understand or are in touch with this aspect of grief.  You and your beloved mate were together for over 39 years.  You with both united in love and life.  I was in such shock over my wife's sudden death. It rocked my world and the ground I stood.  The uncertainty and instability stirred up many things.  I purchased an alarm system for my home (my wife was home bound for the last six years of her life). 

The beauty of this place is that the people who come and hang around here helped each other to get through this grief and how to move forward.  You are not alone, crazy, or depressed.  You are grieving.  This is another aspect of love we are not taught or told about in life.   MartyT and others here offer great resources and suggestions. Try what you like and leave the rest.   You are welcome here to share what is on your mind and heart.  This is a safe place to learn and grow through your grief journey.  Shalom, George

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Dear Pat- You are among friends that " get it"...

I just passed the year mark of losing Kev...

I have tried to be positive and remember the good times ... hold close to his traditions..

But mostly I wonder aimlessly around...lost still...

hugs to you ... and everyone here..

Hang in there and be kind to yourself... Marie

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7 hours ago, Patricia B said:

Thank you all so very very much. The ending was very unexpected and pretty traumatic. I honestly think I haven't fully digested the reality yet. I'm wondering if I'm still in some kind of shock.  Things seem so unreal. Also the fear. I feel afraid. Is that usual as well? Talking to others that aren't going through it almost makes me feel worse. Their conversation seems kind, but so casual. So I respond as if I'm in control but I'm actually broken in half. The words are going back and forth but it sometimes feel like I'm watching a movie instead of living it.

Yes, that's normal under the circumstances.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  All of us can relate to what you're saying, we've been there.  Our close friends and families don't get it if they haven't been there.  It used to help me to talk to my mom because she was widowed, but now she's gone too.

Right now it seems surreal, it takes a good while for it to sink in and longer yet to process it.  It all takes time, but coming here was a good step, there's a lot of good articles on this site, and people to talk to who have been there.  It helped me just knowing I wasn't crazy, this can make you doubt yourself!  We'll be here for you if you want us to.  (((hugs)))

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8 hours ago, Patricia B said:

Thank you all so very very much. The ending was very unexpected and pretty traumatic. I honestly think I haven't fully digested the reality yet. I'm wondering if I'm still in some kind of shock.  Things seem so unreal. Also the fear. I feel afraid. Is that usual as well? Talking to others that aren't going through it almost makes me feel worse. Their conversation seems kind, but so casual. So I respond as if I'm in control but I'm actually broken in half. The words are going back and forth but it sometimes feel like I'm watching a movie instead of living it.

Pat, I am saddened that you are here. We don't wish this pain on anyone. I am glad you found us though. This forum has helped me so much through this process. I lost my wife to a sudden heart attack on April 1st so I am eleven weeks in to this. Fear is a very normal feeling as are sadness, loneliness, anger, regret, doubt...  they come and go and you may experience them alone or sometimes all at once. There is no rhyme or reason to how these emotions come. Sometimes I just have to ride the wave of emotions until they subside. 

This shock just and numbness you feel now are your body using its defense mechanisms to shield you from the pain. To me it is like a fog that I went through where days just melted into each other. 

Keep in mind that your friends and family mean well when they say things that may seem out of place or odd. The sad fact is that only people that have experienced the loss of a spouse can ever begin to understand what you are going through. The way I describe it to people is I ask them to think about the lowest they have ever felt emotionally in their life. Multiply that by one million and that doesn't even begin to approach how I feel. Your friends simply don't understand your pain. So if they say something that seems unhelpful or cliche just know that they are trying to help but may not know how. 

You will also learn that there is a mask you will wear around friends and family. The mask that makes you appear alright when the pain inside seems unbearable. I wear the mask because I fear that people will stop calling or asking me to go out if I am always down and sad. I mean who wants to be around a downer all the time. At the same time I fear that people will think that I am ok or that I didn't really love Lori if they see me acting as if I were living a life that could approach happiness. Inevitably I take the mask off when I come home to an empty house.  I don't say these things to scare you but to let you know that what you are feeling is normal. I pray for you and that you will find healing.

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9 hours ago, Patricia B said:

Talking to others that aren't going through it almost makes me feel worse.

I may have already said this, not going back up to find it.  Don't talk to others (unless you have a counselor), and even then, a counselor cannot understand.  I always say not to read or talk to anyone whose feet have not touched the flame.  You have things to say?  Talk to us.  Don't make the mistake of talking to someone that won't understand.  And fear is very real.  Sometimes it gets so real I don't want to leave the apartment.  Right now I am putting off washing clothes that have to be washed.  Gotta do it though.  Stuff we have to do and even if we don't want to.  And it always leaves little scars.  We are here.

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40 minutes ago, Marg M said:

I may have already said this, not going back up to find it.  Don't talk to others (unless you have a counselor), and even then, a counselor cannot understand.  I always say not to read or talk to anyone whose feet have not touched the flame.  You have things to say?  Talk to us.  Don't make the mistake of talking to someone that won't understand.  And fear is very real.  Sometimes it gets so real I don't want to leave the apartment.  Right now I am putting off washing clothes that have to be washed.  Gotta do it though.  Stuff we have to do and even if we don't want to.  And it always leaves little scars.  We are here.

That, to me, is one of the saddest aspects of this. That only people that have gone through this can relate. It makes it so tough to open up to people in our lives. It isolates us. I have three people(mother in law, friend of family, cousin)I know that have lost a spouse so I know when I talk to them they know my pain. They don't sugar coat it and they give me real words. I find the same solace and advice here and don't know where I would be without each and every one of you.

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Eagle, my mom with Alzheimer's when Billy passed.  We never were close enough to talk anyhow.  But that one real time of recognition, that one moment in time, and I shall cherish that moment even though it could have not been more than 10 seconds.  She looked at me with my mama's face, her eyes sad, and she said "it's hard isn't it?" and for that one moment in time, my mama validated my feelings.  I didn't need her validation, but it was like a tiny little gift.  Then she asked my sister (who had on a tee shirt with the Marvel characters) if those were her children.  But, I had that precious moment.  Your mother-in-law will understand you on more levels than anyone.  I'm happy you still have her.

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I don't agree with the advice about not talking about it to anyone but a counselor.  We all need a good friend we can let down and be real with.  I made such a friend when George died, and I thank God for her!  I just wish she hadn't moved away three years ago, I haven't found someone like her since. :(

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

 

I don't agree with the advice about not talking about it to anyone but a counselor.

 

We all have to do what we have to do.  I guess if you think you need a friend to discuss it with I am  being selfish, because I have so many I could discuss it with.  I tried doing some genealogy yesterday, am not ready for that yet.  Found an old friend from years ago, she had passed away in 2014.  Her husband, who I knew also, has Alzheimer's and their five children take care of him.  When I asked another friend if she talked to her husband not long after Billy left, she clearly figuratively patted me on my head and said "your still in early grief."  Made me think I would not need to talk to him later.  Works for her.  These are people my age.

After Billy left I had Hettie, my neighbor.  She had been a widow for about five years.  And yes, this woman helped me so much.  I miss her.  That was her hometown though, those were her kin all around her.  I was alone in the beautiful woods.  

Classmates were dying.  Hettie told me "We are at the age we are going to lose our friends" and we were, we are.  

I still have my friends.  But, I talk on here, I don't talk to them.  I am not ready for one to tell me "it is early" or "You will learn to find out who you are now."  We have plans to get together soon.  We will.  I won't mention Billy though, unless they ask and I'm sure they won't query into my closest feelings.  Friends are great to have, cousins, neighbors, church members, they are all great to have.  I find out about feelings on here, I find out about time and scars, and hurting on here.  I had asked one friend a long time ago, she had lost her husband a few years back (has it been 20 months for me?) and I asked her a question about our husband's deaths, not a very personal one, but one that she clearly did not want to talk about.  Right now, all I would do is be repeating myself like I do on here.  One thing I have found, people want to talk about living, not death.  Maybe it is location, people, and maybe it is me. 

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Marg, I have no one in real life except my counselors that remotely get what I am going thru.   I've tested the waters talking to those that have not experienced this with nothing but disappointment.  It may be 'good' to get the feelings out, but if there is no reciprocal true understanding, it intensifies the loneliness and isolation.  They understand I am alone now, but not the impact that has day after day.  How things that had meaning don't.   How being together meant there was always something to do or talk about, life had meaning because it was shared with someone.  Sharing all the little and big things it is to maintain a home that doesn't feel like one anymore.  Getting more physically limited is scary too.  Knowing there is no one to help if something happened to me except a medic alert button.  We had lost the physical intimacy part of our relationship, probably due to the cancer before we knew about it, but to be able to touch and talk to each other we found a level of love as deep as always.  I feel like I am losing my mind.  I can't make life without him matter anymore and that scares me more than anything I have ever felt.  I hate feeling that one day I might crack and find the guts to leave this world.  How long can one watch life and not feel a part of it?  Finding myself thinking this way is also something I never knew I was capable of.  So I can thankfully say it here and cry alone out there.

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2 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Marg, I have no one in real life except my counselors that remotely get what I am going thru.   I've tested the waters talking to those that have not experienced this with nothing but disappointment.  It may be 'good' to get the feelings out, but if there is no reciprocal true understanding, it intensifies the loneliness and isolation.  They understand I am alone now, but not the impact that has day after day.  How things that had meaning don't.   How being together meant there was always something to do or talk about, life had meaning because it was shared with someone.  Sharing all the little and big things it is to maintain a home that doesn't feel like one anymore.  Getting more physically limited is scary too.  Knowing there is no one to help if something happened to me except a medic alert button.  We had lost the physical intimacy part of our relationship, probably due to the cancer before we knew about it, but to be able to touch and talk to each other we found a level of love as deep as always.  I feel like I am losing my mind.  I can't make life without him matter anymore and that scares me more than anything I have ever felt.  I hate feeling that one day I might crack and find the guts to leave this world.  How long can one watch life and not feel a part of it?  Finding myself thinking this way is also something I never knew I was capable of.  So I can thankfully say it here and cry alone out there.

Dearest Gwen I understand your words so very well.  When I read them I can feel the (my) pain of not feeling like there is a safe place in the world.  If is a magical world and there are times I live there because it is the only place I feel like I can be me.  I come here for the same reasons you do and I know that finding this forum has been such a blessing.  

My husband's family are the worst ones as far as lack of understanding and compassion goes.  Perhaps they blame me for his death and don't know how to deal with it.  Funny thing is I grew up across the road from them.  I went to school with his sisters and his family had Christmas dinner with my family for about 40 years. The day will come when each one of them and/or their spouses will be facing life without their partner.  I hope that they become more understanding, develop some compassion, and learn to be tolerant of people in difficult situations.

My real message to you is to tell you that you matter to us here on the forum.  We understand and can empathize with what is happening in your heart, head, and life.  There is no fix but understanding with compassion and support to a long way in helping to soften some of the waves in this ocean of grief.  I was one little fish swimming around looking for my school and now that I have found it I don't feel so small and defeats.  Big hugs to you ?

Marita

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On Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 1:02 PM, Marg M said:

I may have already said this, not going back up to find it.  Don't talk to others (unless you have a counselor), and even then, a counselor cannot understand.  I

I only talk to my counselor about Grief and my former life. Last time I mentioned It to someone, face to face,  was last January. 

I like your sentence about the flames. I will use it. It will scare people, but it is not a lie.

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12 hours ago, Marg M said:

 

I still have my friends.  But, I ton here, I don't talk to them.  I am not ready for one to tell me "it is early" or "You will learn to find out who you are now."  

 One thing I have found, people want to talk about living, not death.  Maybe it is location, people, and maybe it is me. 

Marg, I so understand. I could be your grandaughter, I live very far away from you, yet the same situation about "those who don't understand" happens to me.

I still have my friends, but I don't talk to them about my grief and my past life. Last time I did, months ago, reply was: we all have suffered a loss.

None of my friends is a widow. I am thankful about that. I 

 

Still, I cannot wait 40 years to be understood. So I stopped talking. My

What's the point, I wonder, to keep trying with people. I quit, I got tired, felt worse, felt guilty, I rarely got an inch of understanding. I isolated myself on that and got trapped in a double life. Yet, I have survived this too.

We all do. 

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, scba said:

Still, I cannot wait 40 years to be understood.

Well Ana, I won't have that problem.  

My grandmother (I have quoted this before), when she got cataracts, the little church mouse said that if she could not see to read, she did not want to live.  She did not make jokes.  The only time I remember her laughing a lot was when we were at the cemetery and there was a snake on one of the graves.  I ran and she said I thought the devil was chasing me and she laughed and laughed.  Her girls took her to the doc and the cataracts were removed and she had a reason to live.  The bookmobile never passed by her little country store.  

I have been able to read books written by widows and widowers.  That was not escapism, that was just more realism.  Lets face it, we have a hard time concentrating.  After 20 months, I have finished two Dana Stabenow books.  Took me awhile longer than usual, but I concentrated.  I'm getting better.  Not with the hurting.  That will be something that will never leave.  I could concentrate on the books by widows and widowers.  That is our life.  Fiction is not our life.  

But, I am ready for a little escapism.  I am reading another fiction novel.  After reading "Life After Heaven" by Steve Musick, I am not going to read "uplifting" books again.  This was meant to be a wonderful book, but I am odd man out, it bothered me and set me back, and I could not talk to Billy anymore.  I've tried since then, but it is not the same.  I know this is my own fault, so I think I will just try escapism for awhile.

You all are doing great.  And, if you have a friend you can talk to, then that is wonderful.  If not, remember we are here and we do understand.  

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