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I totally agree with the above advice.  I learned this from pushing to hard to do things I wasn't ready for and I still do it.  I think it's because of a restlessness without them.  I don't do 'being stiill' very well.  Then I pay for it.  Personally, I would have cancelled the vacation because I know that is way beyond my comfort level.  But others, like you, Tom, might handle it, tho it will be filled with emotion.  That you won't be alone is good even when you need alone time.

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Tom,

George and I had a special place we liked to go to at the coast, it's where we honeymooned, where we spent our anniversaries.  I planned to go there after he died but had to cancel, just couldn't do it.  Finally, I was ready and to my chagrin, found out they'd razed the place.  It's too late for me to go there now but the memories are still inside to pull out. 

Good luck with Ptown, I'm sure it'll be bittersweet.

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I've wondered about this phenomenon.  I am as okay as I can be right now if I am doing things that Billy would not think about doing.  It is just when I go back to AR, go back where we were so happy that it all crashes on me.  I can do music that way also.  If Billy would hate it, I can listen to it.  (Except Elvis.  Billy hated Elvis and I loved his music, but I still cannot listen to him.)  Billy didn't really care too much for music period.  I love musicals from Broadway and I can listen to them.  Billy would have hated it.  I stay away from the western movies and usually go with chick-flicks or those Bri likes and Billy would not have liked them.  I'm not making up for lost time, I don't think.  It seems strange.  The last place Billy would have lived is an apartment and I love it, if I cannot have him, and I can't.  

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Thanks to all for the advice & concern. OK so far with moments of enjoying the beautiful view of the harbor mixed with periods of grief and tears, as expected. Never came here alone felt very disoriented on ferry. Many texts emails & calls with sppt net & already met some great people here. Real test will be 48 yr anniversary 6/27 when we may have some kind of memorial. Best to all Tom. 

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It helps to have some plans in place when facing those big days, but some prefer to stay in and ignore the day...not sure I could.  You pushed past your comfort zone, I have to applaud you!  The tears are healing, I'm sure it feels weird to go there alone.

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I do have plans for tomorrow. 

Worst yesterday was being in the water and looking back to see my single empty beach chair without Susan next to it waving at me. 

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I funded a 'family' holiday last summer in the Motel Angela and i took the kids to 30 years ago.......Grand kids had a good time(5 of them), adults enjoyed themselves, I felt like the 5th wheel........Enjoyed telling stories, but very hard to go back.........next adventure will have new zip code.... 

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My lifelong friend lost her husband nearly 20 years ago.  She never remarried.  Their vacations were spent on Lake Ouachita.  She talked about how much they loved it.  Terry even wanted his ashes put there.  Nope, she keeps them with her.   She nor her kids can go back.  My daughter feels closer to her dad where he left us, think my son does too.  Probably first time she had to take no for an answer..  I won't go back.  I don't even want to visit and my coworkers were like I had known them all my life.  I cannot go back.  Hettie, my neighbor there, she knew she was going to lose me for a friend, but she understood.  Yet, she cannot leave the house her husband built for them (construction), her roots are there, her kids are there, ancestors, and she cannot/does not want to leave.  She mentioned wanting a smaller house.  She won't get it though.  She is happiest right where she is.  I'm happiest not being where he left me, where we were our happiest..  People are strange. (I am).  

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5 hours ago, Marg M said:

I'm happiest not being where he left me, where we were our happiest..  People are strange. (I am).  

You know The Doors wrote that song about you.  ?

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28 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

You know The Doors wrote that song about you

Gwen, my association with the Doors was the movie and Val Kilmer.  My granddaughter is a musical genius and played the music for me straight away.  It's true. (In 1967, I was strictly country).  

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36 minutes ago, Patricia B said:

I'm sick of being mature and strong and civilized!!!!!!

I am the most immature, I am my weakest, if it did not hurt my back my hands would skim the ground like the cave women.  And I am 74.  If I don't straighten up and out a good straitjacket might help my disposition, but I want a padded room too.  And, I love everyone on here, but I want my own room by myself.  

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On 6/20/2017 at 2:37 PM, kevin said:

Pat, this was sent to me a year or so ago.....made lots of sense

11949293_867031293385416_547667990958561969_n.jpg

That says it all, doesn't it Kevin!  It absolutely nails it. Thanks for sharing it.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

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I just CANNOT believe he's gone. Today was a bad day for me. The reality of it all starts seeping in and I either hyperventilate or forget to breathe at all. I just miss him SO much. The word "heartbroken", never held such a deep meaning for me before.

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Pat, grieving a lost soul mate is the most overwhelming thing any of us have ever had to deal with. The realization that they're gone is so emotionally staggering. In time, the realization that they're not coming back sinks in and grief gets even more painful. Grieving is a process. One that will last the rest of our lives.

I remember joining this forum 27 months ago. In so much agony that for the first time in my life, suicidal thoughts passed through my mind. I reached out to members here and made a post called "Dealing with those moments". Those moments when things feel so bad, you don't even know if life is worth living. Members here were so kind and thoughtful. Their words helped.

I've had many of those moments. It's the ebb and flow of a life changing loss. I miss my Tammy with every fiber of my being and always will. I miss being with her. I miss the love we shared...

And yet, I'm still here. Still standing. Still surviving and still trying. It took much work and many emotional trials and tribulations. What has worked for me may not work for you. Grief is a personal, unique journey. What has helped me is the realization that Tammy lives on inside me. Lives on by me living. That I still feel like I'm part of the Mitch and Tammy team. I still feel married to Tammy and always will. And that someday, will will be "re-united" in some form. That's what helps me cope. And coping is a big part of moving forward in the grief process.

Mitch

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On 6/27/2017 at 10:36 PM, Patricia B said:

I just CANNOT believe he's gone. Today was a bad day for me. The reality of it all starts seeping in and I either hyperventilate or forget to breathe at all. I just miss him SO much. The word "heartbroken", never held such a deep meaning for me before.

Pat, I all to well remember being where you're at right now on your grief "time line".  In late January of last year when I was less than a month into this journey I was still in shock. My wife had lingered on life support for about 2 weeks before the time came to help her end her losing battle on New Year's Day, 2016. Even tho I thought I had spend that last week of 2015 preparing myself for what finally had to happen, I found out real quick that I really wasn't ready. I don't think it's possible to really be ready for something like that. I didn't stumble upon this wonderful group of fellow sufferers until Cristmas Eve of last year. I somehow stumbled along during (almost) that entire year entirely on my own. Somehow I managed to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I didn't want to. My wife and I had been together for 41+ years. All of a sudden I was having to learn how to be alone again. I hated it. I still don't sleep well at nite. Even if I slept on an army cot it would seem too big without Cookie beside me. I still have good days  and bad days. Fridays are still bad days for me. Her last New Year's Day fell on a Friday. Tomorrow will be my 18 month mile marker on this journey for me. A year and a half without my Rock. I don't like putting one foot in front of the other without her, but I make myself to it. And I somehow manage to. I will never stop loving her and missing her. But some parts of the grief process are easier by now. That burning, empty hole in my gut doesn't rage as out of control by now. 

My whole point of this rambling is to try to assure you that you will begin to see improvement in yourself little by little as you continue along this grief journey. And then, just about the time you see that improvement and pat yourself on the back, something will come along that will trigger a memory and you will backslide a little bit. That is just the nature of this beast.

You have found a good place to come to when you need some comforting and a hug. Everyone here either is or has been where you are at. A big hug to you from this ole transplanted Okie.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

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Thank you Darrel. As long as I know there is at least some type of respite

coming in the future. Sometimes it scares me to see that there are some that sound as if there is no relief in sight.

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Pat, the ebb and flow of grief will be with us forever. My wife Tammy died on March 6, 2015 and I still have moments of angst that are very intense. Unfortunately for us, time doesn't heal all wounds. This is a wound so profoundly deep that there is no way it hasn't "scarred" us for life. With deep love come even deeper heartache.

Having said that, in time, you do learn to at least cope. You learn what helps and what doesn't help. It's not easy in any way. Grief is hard work.

The hope for the future is that we can somehow find a way to make a life that at least has some contentment to it. That's my goal anyway. I know my life will never have the same joy it once had. I had a once in a lifetime love story with Tammy. Tammy will always serve as my inspiration moving forward. Her courage and her love is forever etched on my soul.

Today is a new day on our journey. Let's see where it takes us.

Mitch

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On 6/29/2017 at 4:54 AM, mittam99 said:

Pat, the ebb and flow of grief will be with us forever. My wife Tammy died on March 6, 2015 and I still have moments of angst that are very intense. Unfortunately for us, time doesn't heal all wounds. This is a wound so profoundly deep that there is no way it hasn't "scarred" us for life. With deep love come even deeper heartache.

Having said that, in time, you do learn to at least cope. You learn what helps and what doesn't help. It's not easy in any way. Grief is hard work.

The hope for the future is that we can somehow find a way to make a life that at least has some contentment to it. That's my goal anyway. I know my life will never have the same joy it once had. I had a once in a lifetime love story with Tammy. Tammy will always serve as my inspiration moving forward. Her courage and her love is forever etched on my soul.

Today is a new day on our journey. Let's see where it takes us.

Mitch

Mitch,

The power of this loss and the impact it is having on me is staggering. I never realized what losing a spouse meant before. Its only partly about losing that person and just as much about losing half of your own personality. How do you even begin to regain that? Is it a matter of coping, rebuilding? How do you even start? Sort of frightening to be 69 years old and trying to figure out who I am and where I fit in.

Its been 2 weeks since the funeral. Just finished writing thank you cards. How I got through it, I will never know. It felt almost as if someone was helping me do it.

Strange.

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On 7/4/2017 at 8:49 PM, Patricia B said:

Mitch,

The power of this loss and the impact it is having on me is staggering. I never realized what losing a spouse meant before. Its only partly about losing that person and just as much about losing half of your own personality. How do you even begin to regain that? Is it a matter of coping, rebuilding? How do you even start? Sort of frightening to be 69 years old and trying to figure out who I am and where I fit in.

Its been 2 weeks since the funeral. Just finished writing thank you cards. How I got through it, I will never know. It felt almost as if someone was helping me do it.

Strange.

Wow! You managed to write thank you cards. I wasn't even up for that.  Yeah, I was told I was supposed to but I was in such shock.  Most of us ask, "How do we get through this?".  One moment at a time; one day at a time.  MartyT, has some great grief tools and resources.  You will need to explore and find what works for you.  This place is my refuge.  A place where everyone here understands what this grief journey is all about.  Although, each one of us has different stories of grief and loss, we have a common bond and know personally and deeply, the pain, the loss; the grief of this life-altering event.

Please make sure you get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and eat healthy food to keep your energy up because this grief is tiring work. I find it helps to listen, share, and care here. There is no rush.  Take the time you need to grief and process all of this.Over time the severe intensity of grief will lessen and you will learn what you need to know to cope, adapt, and live with this grief and the afterlife.  My heartfelt prayers of peace and comfort continue for you. - Shalom, George 

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I wrote thank you cards too, I made them with the picture my sister took of the sky the night George died...a triple rainbow in the midst of a tremendous thunder and lightening storm!  No one probably got the significance, but it was cathartic for me.

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I have not - could not - written thank you cards. 

Every day I realize something else wonderful that I took for granted. Each time I feel it grab my throat. In the water I talk to Susan & cry. She loved fireworks & I talked to her loudly during the whole display. 

Yes Pat the impact is staggering. I'm at 96 days. I have 1 question for everyone in my sppt network "Can the rest of my life be OK without her? Really?" They say hopeful things but I'm not sure. I am sure that it's impossible without maximum reaching out & sharing. Best wishes TomPB

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Reading all the above makes me so grateful that all Steve requested was his music buddies get together in his studio and jam with pizza and beer.  It still was an emotional eveningfor the reason, but there was laughter and music.  He would not have wanted anything somber.  I feel for you all that felt that added Ms.Manners pressure to write cards.

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On 7/4/2017 at 8:49 PM, Patricia B said:

Mitch,

The power of this loss and the impact it is having on me is staggering. I never realized what losing a spouse meant before. Its only partly about losing that person and just as much about losing half of your own personality. How do you even begin to regain that? Is it a matter of coping, rebuilding? How do you even start? Sort of frightening to be 69 years old and trying to figure out who I am and where I fit in.

Pat, this grief journey can be very frightening at times, no doubt about it.

I've faced many losses including the death of both my parents. And I dealt with so many mind bogglingly scary moments when I didn't know if Tammy was going to pull through. Our life was difficult and stressful to say the least. But we had one thing that made everything worthwhile... we had each other. Heart and soul. And we had endless love for one another. Together, we were just better.

You're so right when you say this loss isn't just about losing our soul mate. It's also about trying to find our way when: 1. We're not even sure this life feels like living. 2. We feel lost and unsure of who we are now. 3. We look at the upcoming day with dread versus having a sense of hope. 4. We feel more anxiety and fear then we ever have before. The angst goes on and on...

And that's why it really is a one moment at a time life now. Doing what feels best in the moment. What feels best to you. One thing that helps me cope is that I still feel married to Tammy. I feel her courage and her positive outlook on life. That love we shared will never go away. It's deeply embedded inside of me. Grief is a process. And it does take time. And work. 

As far as who you are... you're still Pat, even though right now you feel so different. You feel emptiness and sadness like you've never felt before. It's the pain of losing the love of your life. In most ways, life as you've known it is gone; replaced by what feels like a very dark, cold and meaningless place. Again, it all takes time and in time we do adjust and adapt. Of course, It sucks that we're not living our life as "it was meant to be".

Last thought...

All of us had something few others had. A real, bonafide love story. Let that serve as inspiration as you move along your grief journey. Find some solace and comfort in that, if you can. This new life is anything but easy but it's the only one we have. And no matter how awful it feels right now, life is truly a gift.

Hugs,

Mitch 

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