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Loss of significant ex boyfriend from 14 years ago


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This has been an entirely unexpected experience.  My ex boyfriend from over 10 years ago passed away suddenly.  I did not keep in touch.  Our break up was hard and one sided by me.  I know he married about 2 or 3 years ago and in addition to leaving her, they had a young child, an older child from her he adopted and his wife is due in August.  I didn't realize how much I thought of him until every memory is filled with sadness now.  We both moved on and I am currently married for almost 3 years.  My husband has done his best to be understanding but I feel like I can't talk to him about it.  I don't have anyone to talk to that knew him.  I did go to and was welcomed by his Mom and we hugged but during the memorial it was like I never existed in his life, which is mostly understandable with having a wife.  I feel incredible sadness and anger that he was denied a long life of happiness with his family.  He influenced so much of who I am now and so many things in my present life make me think of him.  It has been a month since he passed and I totally broke down today because of a broken computer because we took computer classes together in highschool.  I feel very alone and my best friend who I had kept in contact with died 10 years ago so no one to talk to.  Kinda in contact with his friends but I feel I cannot express this with them and they will not be sympathetic since I broke up with him.  I feel like I lost both my best friends from highschool and part of college.  My ex and I spent so much time together.  It made me happy to know he was happy with his family.  Now that is crushed and all these memories, good and bad have come back and I feel like it is not Ok for me to be this sad. 

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I'm sorry for your loss.  Our feelings can be complicated.  We may care about someone but that doesn't mean the relationship works out, there's so much involved...

I would feel that way if my kids' dad (my XH) died.  We were married 23 years, we were a family, there was a lot of shared history with him.  But no way would I want to live with him and it wasn't fun being married to him.  That doesn't mean I don't have feelings for him.  I remarried, so did he, I was extremely happy until my soulmate, the love of my life, died.  I think whoever we have a deep relationship with we are capable of having feelings for, just because it doesn't work out doesn't mean that stops, it doesn't mean you wish you were still together, it doesn't mean you don't value your current relationship.

I'm glad you have a husband that is trying to understand.  I know this is awkward.  Just try not to shut him out.  It's like you're grieving the death of a relationship that maybe you didn't grieve before, death makes the finality real, something you now feel you have to deal with.  

It's good you are going to see a grief counselor.  

On 7/20/2017 at 8:57 PM, XavialeJawa said:

I feel like it is not Ok for me to be this sad.

Your feelings just are.  They are neither bad nor good, they are yours and they are valid.  Your counselor will be able to help you with resolution, I wish you well with it and hope you let us know how you're doing.

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10 hours ago, XavialeJawa said:

I feel like it is not Ok for me to be this sad. 

Yours is a classic example of disenfranchised grief ~ that is, grief that isn't socially sanctioned, openly acknowledged or publicly mourned. It can leave you feeling isolated and alone, with nowhere to take your pain. As you say, it feels as if you have no right to mourn what is for you a very significant loss. But as Kay so wisely points out, your feelings are legitimate and real, and you need and deserve a safe place to express, to understand, and to work through your reactions to this death.

I invite you to read this article, along with the others that are listed at its base, in hopes that you'll find the information helpful: Disenfranchised Grief: Mourning The Loss of A Dream 

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