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I'm a therapist and the love of my life was also a therapist. He died of a heart attack on Tuesday. We had been fighting and the last thing he sent in a text was "right now I'm in a lot of pain." The text was sent at 12:36 and it was too late by the time I saw it. There is no one in the entire world like this man and I'm struggling to even move. The funeral isnt until another week and his family won't let me be a part of it in helping. I need encouragement and to know what helped you guys. I have an amazing life but am 33 years old and the thought of this life without him is too much.

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I am so sorry for your loss.  You are a therapist, but it's one thing to learn the books, it's quite another thing to experience it.  One of the good things about these forums is we walk this journey together and can know that what we're experiencing is normal in grief.  You say you'd been fighting...that is part of life and death seems to occur when we're busy living life, unaware of what's about to strike, and so it does catch people off guard even when they're fighting.  You knew each other well, you didn't feel your relationship ended because you fought, we extend a certain amount of grace to each other when we're in a relationship, so hold onto that and know that just because his physical body gave out doesn't change how you felt about each other.  When my husband died, I was shocked, terrified, anxious...he was the love of my life, my soul mate and best friend, I didn't see how I could live without him a week, let alone the whole rest of my life.  Early on I got some of the best advice I could have gotten, to take one day at a time, that helped.  I hope even one of these "tips" I've learned on my 12 year journey are of help to you:


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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I'm sorry his family isn't being very inclusive with you.  Sometimes when people are grieving they aren't at their best, it's hard to think and right now they're looking at everything from their lenses and not yours.  I hope it improves.

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Thank you. He is a famous individual and they are coming at me from all sides now. I can’t even grieve and the funeral isn’t until sat. I’m only going to the viewing on Friday. They are scary and unpredictable. I just want to grieve, not fight. Thank you for responding, it makes me feel good that you took the time to reply

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I'm so sorry.  His being famous does complicate things, perhaps they are overprotective because of it?  You may have to grieve privately unless/until they let you in.  Do you have any trusted friends you could talk to?

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