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13 hours ago, Johnny said:

The reason I feel this way is that I truly know how rare it is to find that one in a million person that you want to spend your life with.

That is how it was for us too.  In all my years since, I've never met anyone that even partially fit the bill like he did, and here I am, beginning my old age alone.  This was not the plan.

 

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I still get a lot of raised eyebrows from people curious as to why I haven't started dating even though it's been over four years since Tammy died. I'm often told "you should (date)" or "living alone without love is a mistake". Well-intentioned comments, no doubt, but there's one problem. I had the life I wanted with the person I loved like no other. Me and Tammy were an unbreakable team. It's may seem cliche, but we literally were made for one another. Our love was for the ages.

My life now, alone, is basically awful. It's the loneliness, and the monotony of 24/7 of grinding my way through life. The smiles are few and far between and the love is gone. Yet, somehow, I do push myself to an extent. I wish I knew how to find some contentment and more positivity. The loss of my Tammy has me at "a loss" in terms of figuring out a way to not just survive but to thrive. Instead, I'm basically doing the dog paddle and treading water.

 

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Dating is overrated anyway.  We were so lucky to meet our person...I wasn't looking for anyone when we met.  Somehow I feel we have to find a way to bring our own happiness, I just haven't figured it out yet...I'll let you know if I ever do!  ;)

 

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I think it is that dating thing that baffles me now that I’m so much older.  Finding someone interesting enough to do that.  People do it at every age, chemistry thing.  Steve and I never dated as it was a clandestine relationship and we married when we were free.  But I remember dating others and it was fun when I had that energy.  For us now having had the person, I always remember Katpilot and Cathy and how they said their relationship would always be 4 people.  That is the difference now.  My dad married my mom when my biological father died.  She kept him locked away as a ghost. Never talked about him.  Ever.  I don’t know how she did it.  I remember asking questions about him and she would push them aside.  Didn’t learn anything about him til she died and an aunt surfaced I didn’t know I had.  That all aside, they live in our hearts and minds and always will.  No one would ever have the whole me again.  

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1 hour ago, Gwenivere said:

No one would ever have the whole me again.  

Good description. I take this.

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I have no interest in dating or “finding someone” no matter how lonely I am because no matter who it is, they would all have the same problem. They wouldn’t be Michael.

He has my love, my heart, my soul. Forever.

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I'm  very new to this journey. I lost my sweet, loving husband on May 27, 2019. This is the first day that I have been fully and completely alone and to be honest, I'm not sure I can do this. I want to die. I'm 42 and have never lived alone and now there is nothing but silence. I came here to see how other people do it and it sounds like my life is pretty much over. I can't imagine how I will ever live or laugh or even function again, and I feel so guilty because our last conversation was an argument. I don't feel worthy of this grief. I feel like I should hurt forever. 

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I’m so sorry you are experiencing this.  10 days is such a time of shock and disbelief and feeling our life is over.  In a way it is.  What we knew is gone forever.  At over 4 years I still don’t feel alive.  I exist.  Everything you feel is normal.  I don’t know the details of your loss, but an argument is part of life.  We normally do not know the moment we will lose them.  Those of us that lost our partners in hospice or long illnesses have some warning.  But it doesn’t make the pain any easier.  I hope you will be able to tackle that guilt as there is nothing to feel guilty about.  Many here have lost their partners suddenly.  Perhaps if you could share a bit more of what happened, they can help.  Mine was not a sudden loss so there was time to talk.  You are in the right place with some wonderful, loving people.  

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:03 PM, Johnny said:

Yes Tom,

I like that you said "imagine going through a door to where I can meet Susan's spirit". Wouldn't that be such a wonderful thing! Imagine getting to hear from your loved one just once more after they passed and what they might have to say now that they can see the great sorrow in the loved one that they left behind to live a life without them.

I think Rene'e would say "baby, I am so sorry for all of your tears". "Know this, for all time, that you were the greatest love in my life and I would never have wanted to see you suffer in my absence". "I was so happy to have found you and share the love we had for each other". "I always wanted to spend every hour of every day by your side". "My last hours on earth were with you and only you." "When your final moments come, think of me, and our love together, with a smile". "I love you baby".

I think that what Shirley says must be true.

Thank you Tom. 

Johnny, yeah, I know Susan wants me to enjoy the rest of my life, and I know it hurts her when she sees me in extreme pain. I know I made her happy - I can see that in the smile on her pictures. The confusing part is that I think she also wants me to have another partner. My counselors and siblings tell me that I'm a person who needs a partner. So I flip back and forth between two different attitudes, from thinking that Susan was my one and only to thinking that I will start a new direction. From thinking that my only real life was being T&S snd I'm now stuck in a fake life, to thinking that the rest of my life is real too. I know that several regulars here say that another partner is impossible for them, and I totally get that, and feel that way myself often. But other times, I've started testing the waters. After 48 years of unconditional love from one woman I'm about as clueless at this as you can get. I wonder if I can have a close relationship with my mind full of Susan. I don't want to hurt anyone by presenting myself as available and bailing because she's not Susan. . It's a strange new world, but I'm exploring it...

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1 hour ago, TomPB said:

Johnny, yeah, I know Susan wants me to enjoy the rest of my life, and I know it hurts her when she sees me in extreme pain. I know I made her happy - I can see that in the smile on her pictures. The confusing part is that I think she also wants me to have another partner. My counselors and siblings tell me that I'm a person who needs a partner. So I flip back and forth between two different attitudes, from thinking that Susan was my one and only to thinking that I will start a new direction. From thinking that my only real life was being T&S and I'm now stuck in a fake life, to thinking that the rest of my life is real too. I know that several regulars here say that another partner is impossible for them, and I totally get that, and feel that way myself often. But other times, I've started testing the waters. After 48 years of unconditional love from one woman I'm about as clueless at this as you can get. I wonder if I can have a close relationship with my mind full of Susan. I don't want to hurt anyone by presenting myself as available and bailing because she's not Susan. . It's a strange new world, but I'm exploring it...

TomPB,

I understand exactly were you are coming from.  My wife told me many years ago that if I survived her, to please go find another because she knew I do not function as well on my own.  I met my wife when I was 32 and lead a pretty lonely single life.  I am back there again.  I don't even know how this whole courting thing goes in today's world. I am still trying to learn to be at peace with being single for the rest of my life and yet still desire companionship.  I don't have any solid answers for you. I didn't have a particular person in mind when I met my wife.  So if there is someone else, I know it would not be fair to that person either.  Plus, now I know the aftermath of death to a spouse.  I just have to trust that this path I am on will sort all of this out.  I am trying to approach each day with new mercy and grace.  - Shalom

 

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7 hours ago, jimswife said:

I'm  very new to this journey. I lost my sweet, loving husband on May 27, 2019. This is the first day that I have been fully and completely alone and to be honest, I'm not sure I can do this. I want to die. I'm 42 and have never lived alone and now there is nothing but silence. I came here to see how other people do it and it sounds like my life is pretty much over. I can't imagine how I will ever live or laugh or even function again, and I feel so guilty because our last conversation was an argument. I don't feel worthy of this grief. I feel like I should hurt forever. 

jimswife, I don't want your first post with us to get lost in this thread ~ so I encourage you to begin a thread of your own (just click on "Start new topic" at the top of this page, and share more of your story with us there). I also want to assure you that, as Gwenivere said, what you are feeling is normal, including your not being sure that you can do this and your wanting to die.  Most of us here have felt the same, most especially in the earliest days, where you are right now. As you come to know us here, you'll find yourself among kindred spirits who "get it" ~ along with the reliable information, comfort and support you need and deserve.

To get you started, I invite you to read these articles in hopes that they will give you some reassurance and hope:

Grief: Understanding The Process

Thoughts of Suicide in Grief

Grief and The Burden of Guilt

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15 hours ago, jimswife said:

I'm  very new to this journey. I lost my sweet, loving husband on May 27, 2019. This is the first day that I have been fully and completely alone and to be honest, I'm not sure I can do this. I want to die. I'm 42 and have never lived alone and now there is nothing but silence. I came here to see how other people do it and it sounds like my life is pretty much over. I can't imagine how I will ever live or laugh or even function again, and I feel so guilty because our last conversation was an argument. I don't feel worthy of this grief. I feel like I should hurt forever. 

Don't take anything any of us say as what your journey will be, we all handle this differently.  I want to let you know we will be there for you.  It helps us to come here and read and post because in each other we have found someone who "gets it" and we don't have to pretend to be okay when we're not.  We do begin to adjust somewhat eventually, in that it's no longer a shock, we function, but no, life is never the same as it was "before", and that is something we work at and sometimes struggle with.

Everyone argues sometime or another, you were just unlucky enough to have it happen when it did, but that doesn't mean you didn't love each other.  One thing I know, their love didn't die with their last breath...they may be passed into "what's next" before us, but we will always love each other.

Punishing yourself with pain will not help anyone, not him, and certainly not you.  I hope in time you will be able to let that thinking go as unhealthy.  I seriously doubt he'd want you to feel that way, he's been your husband, and as such we care enough to want what's best for each other.

I wrote this at about ten years out, the stuff that I'd found of value, and I hope you'll print it out and read it every few months, because this is an ever changing journey and what strikes you as needed now will be different yet in a few months or years.

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.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • 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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