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I signed up awhile back and left very shortly after due to the total lack of information regarding navigation on this site.  I have returned because the general approach to what I believe is the 'grieving process' is logical  and should be helpful.  I lost my wife a year and 8 months ago. We had known each other for 57.5 years and been married for 57.  She was truly my life partner. Nothing has been interesting or important to me since she passed. She was a smart, dedicated, Nurse and contributor to our family throughout most of our marriage until Alzheimer's struck. I was her caregiver until she was transferred to hospice care. She was definite in that she did-not want any extraordinary life support measures taken. I managed to carry out her wishes at the end.  I suppose now that I am seeking or looking for relief, understanding, and a reason to continue. It seems there is nothing left, now that she is gone.

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Mark, welcome to the club no one wants to join.  I recognize the feeling of "nothing left" after the caregiving years, having filled that role. It's messy,  and it's complicated, and by now almost everyone around you probably expects you to have moved on, or at least they have moved on with their own lives. I hope you find some measure of solace in responses from those who have been through this already.

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I am sorry you found difficulty navigating this site, if you tell us what you are looking for perhaps we can help you with it.    

Here is an article on the grieving process:
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html

It took me a good three years just to process my husband's death...more years yet to find purpose and even more years to rebuild a life I could live.  Don't let that scare you, everyone's timeline is different and we all cope differently.  It has been a lifesaver coming here, I've learned so much here from Marty, from fellow grievers.  It has helped me to be in the "Tools for Healing" section and to read articles, books, journal, and do my grief work.
http://ezinearticles.com/?Youve-Got-the-Power-How-to-Know-If-You-Are-Doing-Your-Grief-Work&id=9047323
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/03/bereavement-doing-work-of-grief.html

15 hours ago, Mark36 said:

Nothing has been interesting or important to me since she passed.

That is normal in grief.  I have fought hard to get through this...desire for old hobbies disappears, so can friends, it's been rough, I won't kid you.  But I'm finally at a place where I've built a life I can live...it's nowhere near like the life I had before but I've learned not to compare...comparisons are huge joy killers.  I've learned to live in the present moment and to embrace what is good no matter how small, how fleeting, I need all the good I can get!

I want to share an article I wrote at about ten years out, things I've found helpful and hope even one thing in it is of help to you...learning to take a day at a time was the best advice I got...when I think about the whole "rest of my life" it sets my anxiety on high so I even now try to stay in today.

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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