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Our 2 year loss anniversary month is here. On 3/1/17 at this time we would be landing in St Thomas on our way to the Water Island campground, where we had a wonderful last vacation with no hint that Susan had a month to live. On 3/1/19 I'm sitting home by myself. For the first year I cried in the shower after swim practice. Haven't done that lately but did today and a whole lot more. Some life!   

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1 hour ago, TomPB said:

Our 2 year loss anniversary month is here. On 3/1/17 at this time we would be landing in St Thomas on our way to the Water Island campground, where we had a wonderful last vacation with no hint that Susan had a month to live. On 3/1/19 I'm sitting home by myself. For the first year I cried in the shower after swim practice. Haven't done that lately but did today and a whole lot more. Some life!   

Four years and grief still hits me and I cry as well.  It is part of life now.  We have suffered loss and it still hurts. My heart and prayers are with you. - Shalom

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Likewise for me, Tom, and George.  It's 2 years coming to an end and the start of Year 3.  Right now, it's bearable only because we are getting hammered with snow this season, and I am simply, profoundly grateful that I don't have to worry about him now.  He hated this time of year because it was when, at age 19, he received the news that his dad had died, and he had to become "the man of the house" as they said in those days. 

Funny how that is now my burden as well.

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March 6, 2015 was the day my life changed forever. And not in a good way. My wife Tammy was the best thing that ever happened to me and I cherish every moment we spent together. The medical ordeals she went through on a daily basis and the life and death moments we shared were far too many.

Lupus can be a very cruel disease. When you and I get a cold, for example, we get over it. For Tammy, that cold or a minor infection could turn into something much, much more life threatening. Her own immune system would attack her organs instead of healing them. She was on 20 daily medications that had many horrendous side effects. 

I'd go to work and I just prayed that when I came home Tammy would be OK. Our life together wasn't easy. She lost her job due to her illness and money was very, very tight. What got us through every day was our deep and total love for each other.  She truly was my perfect wife and I always did my best to be her knight in shining armor.

I miss her so much. How could it be nearly four years? One thousand four hundred and  fifty seven days. "Living" without the love of your life is hard. How have I survived the loneliness, the heartache, the emptiness... and the feeling that the best part of my life is over? Honestly, I don't know. I do know I want to live and maybe that's all there is to it. It's not much of a life, though. I simply don't know how to find happiness without Tammy. Maybe I'm a slow learner and that time will come. Who really knows?

My heart goes out to all who are suffering. This grief "journey" makes climbing to the top of Mt. Everest seem like an easy task. And "one day at a time" (mostly) adds up to another day that feels like life is passing us by. But, like you, I'm still trying to find my way.

Mitch

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Usually we'd get to Tortola on Wed, check out & provision the boat and sleep on it at the marina Wed night, and be sailing the Caribbean on Th feeling so free. We'd usually take a short hop to Norman Island, get a mooring in Kelly's cove, and spend the rest of te day relaxing and swimming. Then we'd head north, tacking against the trade winds, to Virgin Gorda and today would be in N. Sound at the Bitter End Yacht Club. BEYC was one of our favorite places and, fitting with my mood, was destroyed by the hurricane. There was nothing like snuggling in the vee-berth with Susan, or sitting in the cockpit lightly touching her while she steered. Now I'm home alone in dark snowy Boston watching BBall on TV and working. Will do my nightly Susan meditation in a bit. Usually I can talk to Susan and look at her pictures OK but last night I cried through the whole exercise. Best to all Tom🐼 

 

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Mitch, you will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow, I know March 6 has to be very hard for you...and you too, Tom, I know this is a hard time of year, a reminder of what you used to have and everything that has changed.

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Coming home, I see the mat where I keep my shoes and notice that Susan's are not there. Susan's bells ring as I open the door and I'm staring at shelves holding Susan's childhood shell collection. I go in our bedroom, step on a rug from Susan's parent's house to change, and see Susan's side of the bed, unchanged since 3/31/17. I put my keys and wallet on top of the dresser from her room in that house, along with the jar holding the things she had with her when she went to the doctor on 3/31/17 to be told she "might have pneumonia". Making dinner I'm aware of Susan's choice of countertop and backsplash. I'm concious of using our plates, our pans, our utensils, our trays and our fridge and stove and thinking of when we got them. There are a few things with turtles. I'll remember how she used to set timers for cooking while I always wing it. Maybe I'll catch a glance at the cookie making things, or in the freezer see the frozen berries she used to put in yogurt for lunch, still there. Cookbooks we got in the 70s. I'm aware of how she loved our beautiful hardwood floor and designed the exceptionally bright kitchen. At the windows by the deck her gardening things remain and the pillows we bought together. The deck seen through the windows reminds me of what a happy urban gardner she was....

I could go on, and more in every room including paintings of us by Susan's sister. Susan is everywhere in this home and in my mind. It's good but every good memory brings the pain of loss. I'm really a lost 🐼

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I so love reading about those good memories of yours, Tom, and I hope for the day when those sweet memories will bring more smiles than tears.

If you don't mind sharing, I've always wondered, how did you come by the panda bear nickname? I know it was one of your Susan't terms of endearment, but I'd love to hear how she came to give that particular nickname to you . . . ❤️

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1 hour ago, MartyT said:

I so love reading about those good memories of yours, Tom, and I hope for the day when those sweet memories will bring more smiles than tears.

If you don't mind sharing, I've always wondered, how did you come by the panda bear nickname? I know it was one of your Susan't terms of endearment, but I'd love to hear how she came to give that particular nickname to you . . . ❤️

Marty, thanks, and happy to share. When we lived in Cambridge MA in the early 70s we had no bed just a mattress on the floor. I had long hair and a very bushy black beard. One day when Susan had a fever and was a little delerious I came home and she looked up and said "You look just like a 🐼" and I was never anything else from that point on. 

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1 hour ago, MartyT said:

I love it, Tom! Your Susan must have been a very special lady ❤️

Special doesn't begin...

I've been trying to remember my dreams, writing them down so I don't forget. Last night I dreamed of being with Susan in a student-type apartment, just like when I was named 🐼. So this discussion obviously triggered the dream.  It's rare when I can see exactly where a dream came from, and it was one of my better ones, so thanks!

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Hey ya'll!

It's been a while since I've checked in with you.  Year 2 just ended for me and year 3 started on March 3rd.  Like you, I can't believe it.  Time has flown, but yet it hasn't.  Some days it feels like it was just yesterday when he passed and others it feels like it's been 100 years.  I still miss him terribly and wish he were here, but now I realize that he was suffering so much in the end,  that it was a blessing he was relieved of his pain.  I still have my triggers and cry at the drop of a hat, but the crying jags are not as frequent.  I smile more when thinking about our life together and I'm thankful for the precious time we had together and the many lessons he taught me.   Including repairing things around the house.  (He was a maintenance man and taught me how to fix basic things, which I've been able to accomplish myself!) He will forever be my soulmate and will forever be in my heart.  Now, I've got to live for me and show him that I can make it on my own and strive to make him proud.  

A lot has changed since I last wrote, but still a lot stays the same.  I've done minor maintenance around my house, had major renovations done, purchased a new car, kept the household running smoothly, spent time with my framily (friends who are like family), and was able to keep my head above water for the past 2 years.  

Starting year 3, I've begun my reflective period.  I'm still grieving Michael, but now I've accepted that he's gone.  It's time for me to look at my future without him, whether i like it or not.  We have no choice in that matter.  I've started to purge his piles of clutter, while taking pictures of the items I discard/remove/sell.  I don't need the item to remember.  A picture of the item will do just fine to jog my memory.  I've started moving furniture and rearranging things the way I want.  Also, I've been really searching to find who I am.  The new me.  I miss the old me, but it is kind of exciting to see who am I now and who I will become.  I will bring him with me in my heart and he will help guide me through. 

I've been feeling pretty good and things have been going pretty well for me.  Now the other shoe falls...

I've faced many things on my own since he's passed, but this one really scares me.  I had a mammogram done last week.  I just got a phone call from my doctor's office, saying that they want me to get additional films and an ultrasound done on my left breast.  My family has a strong history of cancer, including my mother and paternal grandmother both having breast cancer.  Thankfully, my mother is now cancer free for over 20 years, but it did take my grandmother.  I'm trying to look at this with my new eyes; as something that I can't control, so I shouldn't worry.  What will happen will happen. If it's there, it's just something I have to deal with.  Not going to get any better if I worry.   If it should turn out to be the worst case scenario, I hate that he's not here to cheer me on and be my comforter.  But on the other hand, if it does turn out to be the worst case scenario, then I get to see him that much sooner!  I'm sorry for being so blunt.  Not trying to be morbid or cause anyone a trigger.  I guess I'm just nervous and felt I needed to talk about it.  

Thanks for listening.

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Thank you so very much for sharing this update with us, my dear ~ and please know that we are holding you close, sending love and light, and hoping for the best as you deal with this latest challenge. I hope you will keep us posted, and know that we are pulling for you ♥️

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Thanks Marty!  It's good to know that you all are still here for me.  You all were such great help to me in the beginning.  I couldn't have made it through without you.  I truly appreciate all of the support!

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I hope you will update us as you know something further...meanwhile, we're rooting for you.  Your positive attitude has seen you through much and will see you through this too.  It's good to hear from you!

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Anticipation is such torture.  I wish there were a way things could be done when ordered.  None of us here need more 'what if' time.  

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MG we're on the same timeline and a lot of what you say goes for me. Two years ago we were back from our last vacation in the Virgin Islands and into our normal life with no idea that Susan had two weeks to live. Slowly throwng out thngs as I change my opinion of what is too precious. Even so, I have a lot of Susan's things remaining. Feeling OK when I'm in the moment. Occasional glimpses of what comes next with a lot of help from my counselor.  Still very sad and a memory can set me to tears in an instant. Its a nice spring day in Boston and my main reaction is not to enjoy it, but to  miss how Susan would be thinking about gardening, and how this is when we used to go the Caribbean and I'm going nowhere. When I hear a mourning dove I think of how Susan would imitate their call so sweetly, and it hurts. Spent the morning with friends and still lonely. Sometimes I think of my friends as "non Susans" LOL. So it goes as yr 3 of Grief World approaches. Best to you in yours.

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Two year week is here. I'd like to remember all the "lasts" but I don't. Last conversation besides what the doctor said, last crossword, last lovemaking, last panda pat, last coffee at whole foods.... I have our texts so I can reconstruct somewhat. 3/31/17 was a Fri and on the Wed before Susan had been dizzy after we walked up the hill. We thought she was just weak from the chronic cough but in hindsight it was a warning. Her cough hadn't been so bad in the islands so I thought it was weather related. On 3/31 I picked up her antibiotic and ginger ale and had a last minute urge to get some flowers but did not.

Last year I had a 1 yr memorial get together. Nothing like that this yr but know I can't be alone 3/31. Fortunately a close lady friend volunteered to spend the day with me. I have good friends, but once I had a soulmate. Playing music from the first years of our marriage tonight. Powerful. 

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I’m doing the opposite.  I don’t want to remember those last few weeks and can’t listen to music.  I saw some singers on Fallen last night that Steve would have been as blown away by as me.  Would have saved it for him to see. I didn’t feel bad for enjoying it, I felt so sad to delete it without sharing with him.  The little things that just aren’t so little anymore.

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My friend Carol is really being an angel about 3/31. Meanwhile...

Therapist: How are you feeling?

PB: I'm sad when I wake up, feel a little better after coffee.

Therapist: Tell me about the sadness.

PB: Susan isn't next to me.

Why is it so hard for so many to see that "complicated grief" is the most simple thing there is?

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6 hours ago, TomPB said:

feel a little better after coffee.

That's me, as well.  Many mornings, I feel as though I have little or nothing to look forward to until it's time to go to bed and start the cycle all over again.

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