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First new year without my partner


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About 6 weeks ago my partner/best friend who had been suffering severe mental health issues took his own life. Christmas was really hard without him and new years is harder. He loved going out to the city and dancing. Now he isn't here and I just feel so lost. Whatever I do for new years just feels so empty without him.

Then it will be next year, a whole new year where he doesn't exist. I want to start a fresh and do things a new for the next year but I just don't feel like any of it matters. I smile, and laugh with others but when I'm alone I feel the full weight that he just isn't here anymore. I miss so much about him, but mostly I just wish I could give him one last hug and have a chance to say goodbye.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to talk to other people that understand what losing a partner feels like. Other people in my life just don't understand the devastating impact that this has on a person. Your whole world has been turned upside down and there's an emptiness that will never be filled.

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Oh my gosh Hon, I am so sorry.  I honestly feel that suicide is the hardest of losses, we have someone on our site that also experienced this.  The missing them part continues just as the love does, but amazingly we do learn to adjust to all that it means to our lives, I can't tell you how long it takes, a very long time with much effort and hard work.  It's been 12 1/2 years for me since I lost my husband, I'd say it took about three years just to process his death, much longer to find purpose and even longer yet to build a life for myself that I could live.  I miss him each and every day, I talk to him in my mind all the time and sometimes aloud.  

Truly others who haven't been through it can't possibly understand, they think we should be over it, they have no clue how much it impacts our lives, how much you can miss the person we love most in the world.  It is a challenge, that is for sure.

I just posted this in another section but thought you might not run across it, so here it is...I wrote this based on what I've learned on my 12 year journey of loss of my husband.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.]
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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13 hours ago, Missing you so much said:

About 6 weeks ago my partner/best friend who had been suffering severe mental health issues took his own life. Christmas was really hard without him and new years is harder. He loved going out to the city and dancing. Now he isn't here and I just feel so lost. Whatever I do for new years just feels so empty without him.

Then it will be next year, a whole new year where he doesn't exist. I want to start a fresh and do things a new for the next year but I just don't feel like any of it matters. I smile, and laugh with others but when I'm alone I feel the full weight that he just isn't here anymore. I miss so much about him, but mostly I just wish I could give him one last hug and have a chance to say goodbye.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to talk to other people that understand what losing a partner feels like. Other people in my life just don't understand the devastating impact that this has on a person. Your whole world has been turned upside down and there's an emptiness that will never be filled.

Yes, 2018 coming. Don't know whether to say it's good to be out of the year I lost Susan or even sadder to be entering the first year without any Susan. 

You have the right idea about talking to others who understand. Unless you've lost a soul mate you have no clue. Nothing helps me more than being with others who been there. It's a sad club, but I seek them out. A network of grieving friends is IMO the best support.

Best wishes and deepest sympathy, Tom🐼

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Dear Missing you so much, I'm sorry you need to join the group, but from experience, this is exactly where you need to be. These people are all experiencing or have experienced the same things you are and they gather around and cocoon you in their arms and hearts. You are safe here and can say anything you need to..I know from my own experience.

Kay C's tips are absolutely right on target. It is not an easy or pretty path that we must take in our grief, but as time passes we do learn to accept what has happened and our pain does lessen. Does it disappear? not really, we carry it within our hearts, but it doesn't overwhelm us. We do learn to live again.

One step... one minute... baby steps... the only way to do it.

Sending hugs , Lainey

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3 hours ago, TomPB said:

it's good to be out of the year I lost Susan

Tom, I go as far as to not watch a TV show or movie that was made in 2015.  My granddaughter does not understand that.  Me either.

Dear "MYSM," all of our grief had endings that were different.  When it is all added up, compared, debated, there is one thing in common.  Our partner is gone and we grieve and we feel guilt, and we feel anger at ourselves for things we think "we should have done" but nothing changes the outcome.  And our grief is not all equal, sometimes we awake from nightmare grief, grief that we don't understand had to happen, things we think we should have done, would have done different, and that final look at our beloved and the fact that he/she is gone from us is a disaster we think we cannot ever get over.  Our brains are miraculous instruments.  If there is something so horrible it makes you want to disappear forever, sometimes if you let it, the brain does take over and the term I borrowed from Rose Kennedy, was that it forms scar tissue over the wound.  And, it can be ripped off if we dwell on that final glance, the final moments.  I had many years of psychotherapy fighting the aftermaths of cancer, the treatments, the uncertainty and the survivor's guilt with losing my two best friends and my dad all at once, while I was fighting to live.  I had strange things happen to my subconscious, my brain, where I would form times of disassociation.  The bad thing was, I looked forward to not being in my own mind and in talking to the psychiatrist (15 years, one shrink), I totally trusted her.  She said the brain protects itself sometimes by the disassociation episodes.  If I was able to make them come on now, I would.  It was brain overload, and even though I feel I have brain overload now, I cannot bring them back.  People used to have "simple" nervous breakdowns.  I guess that covers a wide range of things and think probably some of us have our own mini-nervous breakdown every day.  I am 26 months from Billy's leaving me.  My strange reaction was to leave the house, leave the state, get new clothes (not for narcissistic purpose), get new silverware, not open the 15-17 boxes (big plastic boxes with  tops with handles) and left things behind I wonder where they are now.  I even got a new tiny car.  I moved 175 miles away to where we started, I could not live where we ended..  Maybe that was my nervous breakdown.  I have not regretted it.  I don't want to visit the places we lived and he left me at these places.  I came back "home" to a place that was not home, but as close as I can get without him.  Home was him.  

We all handle things different, but you have to think of yourself and do what is best for you.  We have all found, no one else is going to do it for us, the path we travel is all different and it is lined with snarly characters, well meaning people, and people that really want to  help.  Either reach out, if that is what you want to do, or seek help in groups like this.  I joined 3 days after Billy left me and I would like to think maybe he had something to do with that, because I did not use his 50 morphine pills to do what I saw as my release from the pain.  And, I think this place kept me safe. 

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Me too. Lost George June 3rd of 2017. Can't believe its been 7 months. The rest of the year has been just a blur. Yes, New Years is the worst.....

Guess all we can do is just hang in there, and let the time pass. Looking for that light at the end of the tunnel....Take care of yourself

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@Missing you so much. I'm sorry for your loss and your pain.  I am finding that the special occasions are truly a difficulty for me too.  On this night in 1979 - 1980 my husband surprised me with a proposal and an engagement ring.  It was the best surprise of my life.  He left this world on January 5th 2016.  It is so hard to be happily excited about the future.

Last year was the first New Year's Eve.  I have no memory of it as I believe my brain was still protecting me from the harsh reality.  Tonight I am not doing anything special.  I am trying to remember the good times and that is the best I can do.

Take care.

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Hey guys, thank you so much for all the replies. It's unfortunate that we meet each other under such terrible circumstances. Each and every person here has felt a horrible loss that will never leave them. We've all had this special person in our lives that shared so many beautiful memories. They became a part of us. It feels a little better knowing that other people understand the pain I feel. Though also sad. I hate the fact that anyone has to feel this way. I read all your posts about your lives and it fills me with so much sadness that people you love were taken.

Also, @kayc, the tips on how to handle grief are very helpful. Every little piece of advice and support helps. 

You're all wonderful people, talk soon. <3

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Missing you so much,

Lainey is right, with time most of us accept what we can't change and make the best of it and the pain lessens to something a little more manageable, I hope it helps you to know that.  Going from utter shock to something we can carry inside of us is an accomplishment.  There's a LOT of articles on this site, check out Marty's blog, she's a haven of resources.  Take care!

 

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Thanks again for the advice and love. I'll read some more of marty's blog.  I know that with time the pain lessens, because unfortunately this isn't the first time I've experience grief. It's just the getting to there that I'm finding hard. Mostly I just feel very lonely now. I have lots of friends, and family that love me, but it's not the same without my partner. Whenever one of us would feel stressed we would give each other a hug. Sometimes we'd just stand there for 5 minutes hugging each other. It felt so nice and comforting. That no matter what was going on in our lives or even if we felt stressed with each other, we'd just give each other a hug and all that would dissolve away. I hug other people but it isn't the same. Do pets help with this feeling? Anything else? My cat is coming back to live with me and I'm hoping that his company will help.

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Oh I totally get that.  When George would hold me I felt it was the best place in all the world to be...I haven't had that protective safe feeling since.  My dog helps immensely, not only his goofiness and entertainment, but especially his love and interaction.  I love him more than I can say.  I have a cat too but she isn't about loving so much as challenging.  But I have seen our relationship deepen over the years and do feel that love is there between us and growing with time.

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14 hours ago, Missing you so much said:

Mostly I just feel very lonely now. I have lots of friends, and family that love me, but it's not the same without my partner. Whenever one of us would feel stressed we would give each other a hug. Sometimes we'd just stand there for 5 minutes hugging each other. It felt so nice and comforting. That no matter what was going on in our lives or even if we felt stressed with each other, we'd just give each other a hug and all that would dissolve away. I hug other people but it isn't the same. 

Exactly. I have friends and family but their love doesn't come close to what I had with Susan. With this storm coming we would be so happy to hunker down and snuggle. Now in these rooms where we lived since 1993, that Susan decorated so beautifully,  I am horribly lonely. 

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Tom and Brad, I was talking to my counselor today that one of the hardest things now is not having been touched or held, be it a good moment or bad.  Worst being crying.  Best snuggling to stay warm on cold nights.  

I have conversations in my head with him too, Brad.  Come up with some zingers but they are so useless voiced into a void with no reaction.  I miss the trying to out wit each other just for the sport of it.  With that gone here, I don’t really attempt it much with other people.  It’s like that desire has disappeared since my home world changed.  I guess the silencing of thier voices for years does that.  My skills are fading losing my best competition.

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I have a couple of friends that I can share hugs with but I don't see them often and of course it's not at all the same as George holding me, not even close.  :(

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Well, before we moved to Arkansas and before Billy's family all passed away (they were all older than him by a lot of years except one sister), there was a neighbor that Billy was friends with the man's brother and we were friends also for a long time.  When we got back, one of the first people I saw was this man at the Dairy Queen.  I went up and hugged him.  Turned out to be his twin brother, who I did not know, and who did not know the crazy woman whose husband had just passed away and was hugging him.  Well, I got to know him real fast.  He was nice like his twin. And, as I said, a lot of people are standoffish sometimes because they "hear the steps" coming up behind them too.  Sometimes I feel like I wear a black cloak and carry a sickle.   And, the twin recently passed away.  Maybe I am just bad luck, or maybe everybody I know is old and just follow the nature of the world.  From dust.........to dust.  

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Nope, Marg, you're not a jinx, it's just the older we get, so are the people we know and the percentages go up for death.  I have funerals to attend the next two Saturdays.  :(

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I don’t know how you do it, Kay.  I avoid each rituals like the plague.  I’ve felt bad about it, but I just cannot do it.  Probably because I am so immersed in my grief that is what I would be feeling and that isn’t fair to the people that have passed and their survivors.

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We go through this together.  I don't relish funerals, I don't think anyone does, but we do it to support their families and pay our respects.  It feels like pulling teeth to go there sometimes though.  But the one today was a very special man I've known for 18 years and the one next week is someone I've known about 37 years, also very special to me.  I've lived in the same place for 40 years and one of the hazards of that is knowing a lot of people...which means little by little I start losing them.

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Kay, you honor these people to their families.  My aunt lived on the same piece of land for 90 years.  Their church had a kitchen that served the family and friends after the services.  Times have changed in some places, but in small communities where people have lived all their life, people still bring casseroles and food to the houses of the family of the bereaved.  That is something that is disappearing and I think the church kitchen fixing food for the visitors and family is a good thing to do.  We still carry on our practices toward the living by honoring the people who have left us.  You do a wonderful thing for these families and I commend you.  

 

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Yep, we're doing sandwiches and desserts afterwards.  Kind of an odd time to eat, the funeral is at 1.  Bob loved lemon so there'll undoubtedly be a lot of lemon desserts.  

Chita's funeral is next week.  She was my choir director for years and she attended the Nazarene Church with me for years and we both ended up over at the Baptist Church, so we have a lot of history together.  She had her doctorate in music and a voice like an opera singer.  She sang "In The Garden" at George's funeral, he loved her singing that.

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Hi all I'm new here. I lost my Wife,best friend and the only woman who could put up with me last March. I've never in my life have felt such pain as if somebody has punched me in the chest, then stood back and said now get on with your life. The past couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year have been horrendous, I know I shouldn't have but I hit the bottle Christmas Day. 

I cannot seem to stop breaking down and sobbing away then there is the anger and guilt, the emptiness....

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