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Why Do I Feel Like This?

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Eight years ago I fell in love. He was wonderful! I was a single mom, going to college, and he was my professor. Not as bad as it sounds, I was 33 and knew exactly what I was doing. I had been divorced for 7 years and never really dated after my divorce.

He was everything I ever looked for in a man. We didn't date while I was in his class, we both agreed that it wouldn't be right. We did, however, spend many wonderful hours in his office, talking about everything and nothing. We spent a year getting to know each other. I fell more in love every day.

After my final exam in his class, I was so excited. I was sure we would spend a wonderful summer getting to know each other in a more romantic atmosphere. That never happened. He didn't return my calls or emails, and never spoke to me again.

I was heartbroken and never understood why he dumped my like that. He really seemed to enjoy the time we spent together. He looked forward to our talks as much as I did.

Since then I have married a wonderful man, who has been a great stepfather to my children and a wonderful husband. He loves me and supports me in all I do. I have recently become disabled due to a rare illness and my husband is wonderful in taking care of me and understanding all that I am going through.

A month ago I found out that my professor "love" had died in a one-car accident 6 months ago.

I feel like I'm going crazy!!! For months after he dissappeared, I had wondered "why" and "what if", but I thought I was all over that by now. It's been 8 years, I made a life without him, and I never even thought about him. Well, not very much. But now, I can't seem to get over him. I find myself fantacizing about what would have happened if we'd been together, dreaming about him, and wanting him again.

I emailed his best friend (another professor of mine) and asked about his grave, so I could say goodbye. I was told that his gravesite is not to be published, that his wishes were that nobody knows where he is. He had no funeral, no obituary, and has no marker. This makes me even crazier. I now have fantasies that he survived the accident but doesn't want anyone to know. Like he faked his own death.

His only memorial is the college where he taught. I went there two days ago to say goodbye. I sat in the parking lot, cried, yelled at him, called him names,screamed at him for dumping me, and got even madder that he died in a single car accident. How could he be so stupid! Was he drinking? Did he fall asleep? I will never know, and I'm furious! He gave the world so much! His discoveries in the field of chemistry were life-changing, and he had so many students who he taught to change the world!

Why do I feel like this? He wasn't important in my life. We never even dated, it was just a flirtation several years ago. But now I feel like I lost a spouse or a lover, and I didn't!

Can someone please help me understand? What is happening to me?

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Hi Cyndy,

Reading your post, I felt like I could in some sort of way relate. My experience with death is different but I can relate in that we don't fit in a neat little category of greiving "spouse," "parent," "sibling" etc. It makes us question our grief. My very recent ex-boyfriend died in a car accident on March 5th. Although I was the one that initiated the ending of our relationship and didn't see that we would most likely get back together, I am greiving as if he was a spouse! For the first 2 months after his death, I questioned myself... "Why am I so upset?" "Why am I crying so much" "Why am I greiving like this; we broke up! The break up was hideous!" "He could be so awful!" And people even would say to me "Oh, it must be easier on you because you weren't together anymore." THIS IS NOT TRUE!! So writing all that is to let you know that despite not fitting in a neat little category, eventhough you were not together at the time of his death, he touched your life in a very special way. Once we have loved someone, have allowed ourselves to get very close in a very unique way, we are forever changed. And somehow, their death makes us realize how profound an impact they had on our lives eventhough we didn't realize it at the time. (Or, in our cases, we may have been trying to "move on" and trying to lessen their impact on our life to make the end of the relationship easier to accept.) So, although you may be wondering "why I am grieving so?," let yourself greive as much and as fully as your body leads you. Trying to rationalize why you shouldn't be greiving or questioning your grief is a natural response, but just tell yourself, "It's ok to grieve; he touched my life in a way I didn't fully recognize." I knew I had loved Josh but it had become clouded in my mind. His death and my grief has allowed me to see how fully and truly I loved him. And, although you say you have not lost a spouse or a lover, you did say that you loved him. So you have lost someone you had loved at one point in your life. Also by coming to this site I have realized that, although I don't fit into a neat little category, the experience of grieving the loss of a loved one is universal. Reading others experiences here will hopefully allow you to also see that you're not alone and, whatever the circumstances were, you can and should grieve as much as your body needs. I hope that all makes sense!

Take care, Kelly

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Thank you. I feel like I have no right to grieve, especially here. People here are hurting from REAL losses, the loss of a spouse or a child or someone else they saw everyday and counted on, and loved. I haven't seen him for 8 years, so I felt selfish posting. I never thought he was still important to me. I feel like I'm mourning a dream, not a real person. I can't speak to my family about this, and none of my friends knew him. I have no one to talk to about this.

Why do I miss him so much now? I want to talk about him. I miss his smile, the way he laughed, and all of the mannerisms that make a person special and unique.

I want to grieve. I read about the stages of grief, of course, and I seem to jump around all of the stages constantly. I AM angry at him, both for dumping me and for the stupid way he died. I also deny, since there is no grave or memorial to visit, it is easy to imagine him still alive. I think that I accept it, then it starts all over again. I feel so selfish because I have a family to take care of and a husband who loves me, and I have no right to live in the past. The needs of the living must be met, but I have trouble dragging myself through the normal daily routine. I blame my illness for my inability to function, my family understands my "bad days" and doesn't expect much from me when I have them. Then I feel guilty for lying to everyone and using an illness as an excuse to retreat from life.

I talked to my husband they day after I found out he died, and we talked about him as a man who gave so much to his students and the world, and how he was a wonderful man. I didn't tell my husband about our relationship, just that we flirted a little. I can't share this with him, because I know it would bother me if he fantasized about an old girlfriend!

Thank you for listening. I feel that writing about him helps. I just need to find out how to let him go and go one with my real life.

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My dear Cyndy,

You say you feel like you’re mourning a dream, not a real person, and therefore you somehow don’t have a legitimate “right” to grieve and you don’t even have the necessary qualifications to belong on this site. Let me assure you that you do have the right to grieve, and most especially here, in this place, in this forum!

The loss of a dream is yet another kind of death, and your loss is just as real as anyone else’s. I am reminded of a beautiful passage by author Robert Fulghum that I have posted on the Comfort for Grieving Hearts page of my Grief Healing Web site:

When we’ve changed our religious views or political convictions,

a part of our past dies.

When love ends,

be it the first mad romance of adolescence,

the love that will not sustain a marriage,

or the love of a failed friendship,

it is the same.

A death.

Likewise in the event of a miscarriage

or an abortion:

a possibility is dead.

And there is no public or even private funeral.

Sometimes only regret and nostalgia mark the passage.

And the last rites are held

in the solitude of one’s most secret self —

a service of mourning

in the tabernacle of the soul.

— Robert Fulghum, in From Beginning to End

You are the only one who knows in your heart of hearts just how much this particular person meant to you, Cyndy, and so you are the only one who can measure exactly what you have lost, now that you know he has died. Loss is loss, and pain is pain. Please don’t judge yourself for how and what you are feeling. We simply cannot control how we feel – and feelings aren’t right or wrong, good or bad – they just are.

You say you have no one to talk to about this, but you do have us, my dear. You will find the people here to be among the most compassionate, understanding, caring, non-judgmental ones you will ever hope to meet, and you are completely safe here.

You ask, “Why do I miss him so much now?” I think it’s because before, when he was alive, even though you didn’t think about him all the time, on some level you always knew that he was still there, somewhere, should you ever wish to find him. In a sense, you became accustomed to loving him in his absence, and deep inside your heart you could keep hope alive that one day you might see him again. Now you are faced with the reality that his absence is forever, and that is very hard to accept.

You say you want to grieve, and you’re aware of some very real feelings commonly associated with grief, such as “being angry at him, both for dumping me and for the stupid way he died.” You’re also feeling guilty “for lying to everyone and using an illness as an excuse to retreat from life.” Please know that anger and guilt are two of the most common reactions in loss: anger at the one who died, anger at God for letting this happen, anger at ourselves and anger at the world – and guilt for whatever we think we did or failed to do when the person was alive. You are a human being reacting in a very normal way to having lost very someone dear to you. Please accept your feelings as normal and completely understandable. Judge yourself not by what you are feeling, but rather by what you do with what you are feeling. When we simply acknowledge (if only to ourselves) what we are feeling and why we are feeling that way, oftentimes the energy generated by those feelings simply dissipates, and no one else is hurt. When we fuss and stew and push our feelings away or try to bury or deny them, they can come out in other ways we can't always control, usually every which-way but straight! This is why it helps so much when we are in mourning to do some reading about grief – it helps to know what is normal, what we can expect, and what we can do to manage our own reactions. It helps us feel more in control, or at least less "crazy" and certainly better informed about what we are experiencing. (The pages on my Grief Healing Web site are a good place to start.)

You also say, “I feel that writing about him helps,” and I think therein lies a clue for how you might help yourself. You might consider writing a letter to this man, telling him everything you need to say to him. Whether he can “read” what you write is not the point – the objective here is to get down on paper whatever thoughts and feelings you have about all of this, to get it out of your mind and heart and onto the paper (or the computer screen) so you no longer have to carry all of it around inside of you. That in itself can be very healing, Cyndy. You might also try to have this man write a letter back to you! Some suggest that, if you’re right-handed, you write your letter to him with your right hand, then use your left hand to write the letter that comes back (through you) from him. You could construct an entire ritual around this exercise: pick a quiet time and place when you’re all alone; put some soft music on the stereo, light some candles, find some paper and a pen, and let the words just come through your hands. If you want to do so, burn the letters when you’re finished, as a symbolic way of saying goodbye and letting him go. This is your ritual, and you can construct it in any way you like, and design it to accomplish whatever objectives you choose. Another alternative is to find a safe and quiet place and have a good long conversation with him in your heart and in your mind. (See my article, Creating Personal Grief Rituals, for more ideas.)

And even though this man died several months ago, Cyndy, you still can hold a memorial service for him -- in the solitude of your most secret self, your very own service of mourning, in the tabernacle of your very own soul.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Thank you.

I feel guilty when I mourn, like I don't appreciate my husband or love him...and I do.

I can't explain what I feel to anyone. When I mourne my lost love, I feel ungrateful for all God has given to me. I feel like he has given me so much..what right do I have to grieve over what I lost? When I fantasize about what could have been, I feel like I'm cheating on my husband.

I sent an email to my lost love's best friend, asking him to meet to talk about the one we both lost. Maybe if I see that smile through someone else's eyes, and hear the love from his friend, I can go on with the reality of my life.

Again thank you for allowing me to hurt and to grieve,


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i thought i would reply here because i always have gotten discouraged when i felt I didn't fit into a category neatly either. I just stumbled on this disscusion board and when i saw Kellymarie's post i couldn't not respond because of our similarities.

I lost my ex boyfriend ten months ago in a car accident, he was just 21. I had also been the one to end things between us, however things never felt over. Not even this past summer, when it happened, and we both were fresh into new long distance relationships when college let out. A lot of my friends felt like he didn't treat me good enough post our "official" relationship, but then again we didn't have a committment anymroe. No one understood how much I loved him, my first love. I mean they understood I had loved him, but no one knew i wanted to be with him in the future, maybe distant future, who knows. I mean I had a new boyfriend,who is so great through everything, so i felt like i couldn't grieve like i wanted to. not that he was stopping me, i just didn't feel like i was allowed to. I mean I broke his heart months before he died, i should have moved on and i felt everyone around me felt that too. It was so upsetting at first when I would tell people what happened I wouldn't know how to describe it. Saying he was my ex boyfriend, did not begin to cover what he was to me, I still feel like only the two of us understood what we had.

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I do understand what you're going through. I feel like I ought to be able to just say "Oh, he died. That's awful" and go on with my life, like we do when we read about the death of a celebrity or someone we never knew. I want to say that he was brilliant and kind, a good man, and go on with my life.

Do you imagine what would have happened if you'd stayed together? I find myself wondering if, instead of email or phone calls, I had gone to his office and talked to him again. Would he still have dumped me? I'll never know, and I wonder if my pride kept us apart. I felt then like I let him know that I wanted to be with him, and the rest was up to him. Now I wonder if that was enough. I didn't want to be a stalker, and we have all had people we are not interested in that will not leave us alone. I refused to do that, I always thought that he would have come to me if he wanted me. Now I wonder if I did enough. Did he think that I dumped him?

I can never know what he thought of me, or if he was just flattered by my attention but never saw me like I saw him. It doesn't really matter. I have a wonderful life now, and he is not part of it. He has not been part of my life for eight years. That's why I am having a hard time dealing with my reaction to his death. No matter how much I loved him, it was so long ago and I feel like I should be over him by now.

I hope we can both understand what's happening to us, grieve, and go on with life.

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Cyndy and l2mchic, Thank you both so much for sharing your stories with me here. Grieving can be such a lonely process in itself, and then feeling like no one in the entire world must being going through our specific situation makes it even lonelier. It's comforting to hear that others are greiving unique losses as well. It also seems that we're dealing with more than just his death; we're dealing with a relationship that still had unresolved issues. Since our loved one is no longer here, we alone have to resolve each issue without the other's input. Over the past almost 3 months (!), I've gone through so many of Josh and I's unresolved issues and tried to come to a resolution on each one. I am finally starting to be able to grieve his death now that I've worked on grieving the loss of a "love that will not sustain a marriage." (Marty, I love that quote! Thank you! That saying really seems to apply to Cyndy, l2mchic, and I in each our own unique ways.)

One of the best quotes that has helped me deal with all these unresolved issues is from Martha Hickman's "Healing After Loss" (an amazing book). I remind myself over and over and over....

"Our loved ones forgive us, as we forgive them."

I hope you don't mind if a share a happy little story as well (these are few and far between these days so I am very grateful to have one!). This weekend I went to visit Josh's mom (it's only about 900 miles! Had to fly!). Well, on the piano in her living room are pictures of Josh throughout his life, cute baby pictures, toddler years, elementary and high school, college, but none from the last few years of his life. (Josh was 27 when he died.) Well, his mom had framed a picture of Josh and I from a wedding that I was in last June (this upcoming weekend will be 1 year... that just made me cry... :( ). Josh had bought a new $700 suit, and I was in my beautiful bridesmaid dress (yes, it's true!). Josh was buried in that suit; he's wearing it right now. But in some little way, now that I'm on the piano in their living room with Josh, I feel like I am a little part of their family. There was so much love between us in that picture, it makes me smile ^_^ .

Thank you all for letting me share. And thank you so much for sharing with me. I don't feel so freakishly alone. :)

Also, Cyndy, you asked "Do you imagine what would have happened if you'd stayed together?" I imagine that and so many different things. I let myself think each one through, come up with simple to crazy things, and then let each one go just as it came into my thoughts. I recognize them, say "oh, that's interesting," or "that's just crazy!!" and then let the thoughts go. I did that for the first 2 months or so. And now those questions don't pop up in my mind that often. And it's nice. But I think it's because I allowed my mind to think each one through. (Eventhough they were some outlandish thoughts!!!)

l2mchic, "I mean I broke his heart months before he died, i should have moved on and i felt everyone around me felt that too. It was so upsetting at first when I would tell people what happened I wouldn't know how to describe it. Saying he was my ex boyfriend, did not begin to cover what he was to me." My thoughts and my experience EXACTLY!!!! wow... Also, there really is something special about a first love that can never be changed; it holds such a unique spot in your heart. I have continued to wonder over the years if I would ever get back together with my first love. We have kept in touch, sometimes years go by with no communication. He's married now but I still wonder in some wierd way if we would ever be together again. We hadn't spoken in years and literally days after Josh's death he contacted me. Life is so strange... But I just wanted to say that it makes so much sense to me that you are grieving, for so many different reasons. Also, I am so sorry that your friends may not understand why you are so upset. I can only say that's exactly how I feel!!! Sometimes I want to shake my friends (and my mom!!) and say "why don't you understand???" But I don't.... I just come to this site where I am understood...

Wow, that was alot of rambling! Guess I had more on my mind than I realized!

Take care, Kelly

I keep thinking of things and editing my post! ;) Last thought for tonight... Cyndy, you said you felt selfish for posting your story. Do you realize that you have now helped 2 other people in their often times dark and lonely pathway through loss and grief? ^_^

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hey cyndy and kelliemarie..

cyndy...yes, very much did i wonder what would have happened if we had stayed together. just a month before brandon died (i have saved conversations on my computer) he was drunk and he told me he wants to hold and kiss me and have things return to normal. We both had other girlfriend/boyfriends at this time which is the only reason i didn't say more than, "yeah". when i wanted to say "YES that would be amazing, do u still think about how we discussed ending up together?" I wish I had let him at least know how much I still felt for him and cared about him. Now typing on the internet i'm letting that out again, but I try not to think about "what ifs?" so much. i think after a certian amount of grieving that is not healthy anymore for anyone. 10 months of questions like that for me would have been unbearable. I really dont think it benefits anyone to wonder what if, or what if you did something different. however it might be unavoidable, but i dont think it's a good thing to do. oh yes, and don't feel selfish at all for grieving and posting this. everyone deals in their own ways. and i finally stumbled upon a message board and i'm so glad to read ur post because i saw a place that i could post

kelliemarie..i spoke a lot to brandon's first girlfriend because we shared a lot of common feelings and she was the only one who understood. after awhile it got repetitive and disheartening to me to hear her memories of them together..and i'm so suprised that we can share such common stories with different ex boyfriends! I'm happy to find other people who feel like i do! What's even more suprising is that i went to a family wedding of brandon's and we have a great black and white picture which was his favorite of us. He framed it in his room and it showed up in his funeral video of picutres and it meant so much that his parents found it and included. so i know how great (and sad) that can feel. he was also buried in that suit. i'm glad you got to spend some time with his family, thats a great opportunity you had:) Almost a year later, when i come in contact with his best friends or family it just makes me feel that much closer to him. knowing you both are thinking of him even without saying anything.

oh and also, i know this might sound stupid but something i liked saying was that he was my "old boyfriend" I didn't like the term ex-boyfriend for him ever, but once he had died it just represented how much hurt there was and i just hated it. Anyway, of course i could go on forever but i'll stop rambling lol. ttyl:)

Edited by l2mchic
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Wow, I think that would be pretty hard to talk to his first girlfriend. I can understand why it could have been disheartening. The weekend of Josh's wake and funeral I met Josh's girlfriend prior to me. They hadn't been friends the year after they dated (bad breakup; that was his "style") but over the past few months before his death they had started talking. She's married now but Josh had told me that she was somewhat jealous of things he would tell her about our current relationship. Josh used to go out of his way to do cute things for me and she was annoyed that he didn't do that for her. So before ever meeting her, I knew she had some "issues," shall we say. Over the weekend of the funeral (and actually an email after the funeral) she said things I now realize may have been intentionally said in an attempt to upset me (and they did upset me at the time!). But I've realized that I need to keep her at a distance; she's not helping me in the grieving process, she's actually making it worse. So she's out!!

Can't believe your Brandon was buried in his suit from your time together at the wedding...

"when i come in contact with his best friends or family it just makes me feel that much closer to him. knowing you both are thinking of him even without saying anything." I definately felt this way this past weekend when I visited. I spent one night with Josh's friends and then the next day with Josh's mom. I definatly felt closer to Josh being with them, especially one of his friends that was his first year college roommate. I stayed with this friend in his condo; it reminded me SO much of Josh's decorating style. I think Josh and his friend had alot of similar traits since they had lived together that first year on their own.

I think I may eventually adapt the "old boyfriend" instead of "ex." It is just still so recent that "old" sounds to far ago but eventually I think that will work much better. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm looking forward to the day when I can say my old boyfriend with loving memories instead of my ex-boyfriend with huge unresolved issues being killed in a car accident...

And I don't mind your rambling at all! I love the stories... again, makes me feel not so freakishly alone! :)

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yeah it took me too long to realize what you did, that talking to her does not help. I also found out some pretty upsetting things about their relationship overlapping with our relationship when it was "open."

I'm glad you got to spend time with a close friend who also reminds you of him! That's great.

"instead of my ex-boyfriend with huge unresolved issues being killed in a car accident" ....this is pretty much exactlyyyy how i wanted to describ brandon to everyone. it was tough, but i guess i dont lean towards saying that anymore.


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My professor's friend refused to meet with me and talk about him..I guess his death is still weighing hard on all who knew him.

My husband understands, so I guess I'm lucky. We talked about my lost love tonight. I couldn't go into details about our relationship, but I'm married to a wonderful man who understands that I had a full life before I met him. He also understands that I need to mourne, and that is the best part. I can mourne my lost love, without feeling like I'm cheating on my husband!

Thank you both for giving me the courage to talk to my husband about him.


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I have to say that I'm afraid it's easier to fantacize about a dead person and what could have been than to make a life with a live person, which takes quite a lot of effort and energy and is filled with the ordinary everydayness and all of the problems that go with life. Therein I see the danger. Keep in mind that this man did NOT pursue a relationship with you, so whatever might have been is a moot point. You have made a life with someone else...try to direct your energies into that life and that person and let go of the one that died...perhaps it just wasn't meant to be for whatever reasons. Try not to dwell on him, it's lost and gone. You had the beginnings of a good friendship...be grateful for what you had...and what you now have with those that are currently in your life. Try not to make more of what you had with this man than you actually did...it could be detrimental to you, your husband, children, etc.

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I have to say that I'm afraid it's easier to fantacize about a dead person and what could have been than to make a life with a live person, which takes quite a lot of effort and energy and is filled with the ordinary everydayness and all of the problems that go with life.

Thank you, KayC.

You are right. Now, whenever I go through the trials of everyday life, I wonder what my lost love would have done. It is easy to be in love with a ghost. They always act the way we want, and say what we want to hear. The everyday "did you pay this bill" doesn't fit with ghosts. And the fights don't either. Ghosts are perfect.

That's why I'm lucky...my husband understands. He had another love before he met me, but she is still alive and calls often. My love is only in my heart, which is the worst place for him to be. He was never human, never lost his temper, never had a hangover, and never woke up with morning breath! He never had 5:00 shadow. He never did the normal daily things that made me want to leave my husband, but after 6 years, kept me here.

Believe it or not, I do know what I have. I have an overweight, bald man, sleeping on the couch, snoring so loud it sounds like trucks downshifting on the highway! I also have a man who held my hand and cried when my daughter was on life support for a rare illness, and who told suiters of the same daughter that he had a gun (we live in Texas) to make my life easier at midnight. I have another daughter, who does not introduce him as "stepfather", she tells her friends that that know how dad's are,and ignores him as all teenagers do thier parents.

Therein I see the danger. Keep in mind that this man did NOT pursue a relationship with you, so whatever might have been is a moot point.

You are so right. My lost love is perfect...because he IS lost! I can never have him for whatever reason. I dream and fantacize about him. I want him more now than I did when he was alive...but like I said before, a ghost always says what you want. He is never mad , he is never too tired, he is always perfect.

Thank you for helping me remember that my REAL life is more perfect than I could imagine.

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You know I felt bad after I sent that last post because I didn't want in any way to diminish what you're going through and obviously you are going through something. It's all hard, no matter who they were to us, loss is loss, even, like Marty said, loss of dreams. But I'm glad you have a husband that is so understanding and there for you...when he snores, remind yourself that it is his way of letting you know that he is ALIVE! :)

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why do i feel like this? ive been asking myself this question over and over again for the past 1 month already. why am i hurting so bad?

my ex-boyfriend A, died in a motorcycle accident last apr.25. i only knew abt his death 20 days after, on may15.i can remember exactly my first reaction when his co-worker told me abt what happened to him. i was so calm. it didn't sink in yet. and i was with my mother and my sisters that time when they break the news with me. the fact hit me that night when i was all alone inside my room. i couldn't stop crying. my family and my friends dont know of my relationship with him and like you, cyndy, i have no one to talk to.what made it worse was we also have a whole-week family affair, and during daytime i have to pretend that everything is ok. but when night comes and i'm all alone..i just couldn't stop crying.

we were only together for 3 months, and we broke up last week of november last year. but we still keep in touch with each other. and i know, he is still hoping that we can fix things up.

i admit, i was very confuse during that time. i also have a long-distance relationship for 2 yrs already with a guy B, whom i met through the net but whom i have never met in person.

i broke with A coz i realized that time that it was B whom i love.

but i know i still care for A, and everytime, once every two weeks, A will send me text messages on my cell asking me how i am? i know he still cares for me. 16 days before his death, i wanted to see him and talk to him coz i was having problems with my relationship with B.but at the last minute, i did not come to our meeting place..i was scared of what will happen..of my vulnerability that time..and i dont want to make another mistake again.

the next day, i said sorry to him for not coming that day and he said he understood. 2-3 days before his death, he sent me another text message, asking my condition, asking me if i am out drinking with my friends. i told him i am feeling ok, and i asked him, maybe he is the one drinking., and he answered 'yes'. that was the last text message i received from him. his birthday was 13 days after his death. i did not greet him on his birthday coz i was thinking..it's better that way, that i should keep my distance from him..that i should stop communicating with him.

and u could just imagine my guilt and the pain i am feeling now.

i went to his gravesite for the first time on may 18, accompanied by one of his friends. i was surprised to see his brother there. 30 minutes after, the rest of his family arrived too, with his parents. that was the first time i saw his family. his brother said he was not able to inform me of his death coz they didnt know how to contact me. his mobile phone directory simcard was blocked. they told me that A always talked abt me to them. they told me that A wanted to marry already. and his brother told me that A love me. as far as they knew, A and me are still together and still have a relationship.

what i feel guilty now is that i have never told A about my relationship with B.

i have told B already about the death of A last week. but i could never tell him that i had a relationship with A before. i only told him that A is a very special person to me and that i have loved him before.

right now, i feel i am a very bad person..i am thinking of ending my relationship with B too. coz it is not fair with him that i am thinking constantly of A now.

i know i am grieving a lot right now, the pain is too much. sometimes, i woke up in the middle of the night and i just think of A and all our memories together. when i woke up in the morning, i am constantly wishing that A is still living. and i am constantly praying to God to give me a chance, to turn back the time even for just 3 months, to give me the chance to say what i want to say to A.

sometimes, when the pain is too unbearable, i send a text message to his brother telling him how i feel. i am glad i can talk to his brother, and express my pain. his brother was his bestfriend too and he told me that when A was living, they always share each other's stories..and A always talk abt me to him.

sometimes, i feel so numb. but prayers help me a lot. i want to move on, but it is not easy. tell me what should i do? will i be doing the right thing if i will end my relationship with B now? was i right for not telling B abt my relationship with A before?

sometimes, i feel so angry with A for dying that way..for leaving me that way..for the pain he caused me by his death.

but everytime, i feel happy that i knew him even for a short time. i treasure the moments we shared together..our kisses, our laughters. and i will never forget the respect he gave me..for the 3 months that we were together, we never had sex, coz i told him that i was not ready, and i was afraid of the consequences. he respected it. i admire him for that. also, i will never forget the advice he gave me..to forgive the one person i hated so much. he told me, just let it be, just leave it.

i will always miss A. it is hard letting go. i cannot accept his death yet. for me, he is just out there in some far-away place. i dont know when i can move on. it's almost 2 months since his death now.

ive only joined this discussion board now. this site helps a lot. of sharing my pain..of knowing that there are lots of people out there willing to listen..willing to understand.

i do hope someone out there can enlighten me too..

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Oh dearest Ann, the pain you are feeling! I am so sorry about your loss. Please try your best not to feel guilt...I have learned that guilt has a purpose and that is to bring about needed change in us...but anything beyond that is shame and does no earthly good but merely traps us and holds us down from where we need to be. Ever since I've learned that I've tried to let go of false guilt and I ask myself, in order to know the difference, what constructive purpose there might be in feeling this way and if it's something I've already dealt with, I recognize it for the falseness it is and let it go...otherwise I examine myself and try to figure out what changes there need to be and make them. But remember, we who are living go about our living and make decisions and take courses of action based on what we know. We owe it to ourselves, then, not to beat ourselves up over those decisions and actions, but to just continue learning. We do the best that we can and of course we recognize that hindsight is always clearer, plainer, than the journey in which we must make decisions in. Be full of love and grace and forgiveness to yourself. You had reasons for everything you did...those reasons exist and nothing there has changed. As to whether or not you should break up with "B", that only you can decide, but my personal recommendation is...for now, no. You are mourning, and it is hard to see clearly when heavily mourning, give yourself some time for healing and a clearer perspective. As long as "B" can handle all this and chooses to remain with you, why would you want him gone? If he can handle it and stays by your side, you may have found a jewel. Right now you can use some friends, I wouldn't cut any off. It is good for you to let out your feelings, you are safe to do so with us, but why would you keep any of this from your family? It might help if they knew and could be there for you...of course, only you know your family and how supportive or understanding they'd be (or not). Do you have a close girlfriend you can talk to, if not family?

Of course you are going to miss "A", you had a relationship and whenever we lose a close relationship to death, that finality is really hard to take. Realizing that death is not the end of that person, but rather a change, a move, a transition, helps most of us. The fact that there is a gulf we cannot breach is hard to accept. Yet we can, in some ways...I have a letter to my husband I have been writing since his death a year ago. Whenever I feel the need to say something to him, I go to my computer. We were close, I have a feeling he knows what's on my mind and understands. You might try writing a letter to "A". We have all found different ways to connect with our loved ones "afterwards"...it might be by doing something in their honor or memory or carrying on something they liked, or spending time with their loved ones...it could be anything we think would be meaningful to them.

It is not uncommon to obsess about our departed...we often feel shut off from people because all we can think about is our loved one and the rest of the world seems to want to go on...that causes us to feel a separation between ourselves and everyone else. But the truth is, death hits us all differently and no one else is going to mourn "A" exactly the same way or to the same degree that you do. And that's okay.

As to your not telling "B" before, perhaps you didn't see a necessity in doing so, perhaps you wanted to avoid possibly hurting him or making him feel insecure, or perhaps you just didn't see it as relative to your relationship. But now something has changed, your "A" has died and you are grieving and "B" could hardly miss that, and now he is on a "need to know" basis, so it is right that you shared with him now. Having a relationship with someone through the internet is a little different that having a relationship with someone in person...it is easier to compartmentalize, to relagate it to fantasy land rather than realize that there really is a live person typing those words to you...that may have affected some of your decisions as to why you went ahead and involved yourself with "A" even though you already had "B". Let all that go now, you already made your decision, continue where you are but give yourself permission that it's okay to grieve and think about "A"...in so doing you are processing all that has happened. But don't cannonize "A" just because he died...he had good and bad just like all of us and maybe things wouldn't have worked out terrific between the two of you if he'd have lived...it's easy to speculate what we'll never know...but remember, cut yourself some slack, you've been through a lot and you need a "be kind to yourself" week!

Edited by kayc
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thank u kayc for those kind words. i will keep that in my heart. yes, indeed, i acknowledge the fact that i am grieving too much..that i dont have a clear mind right now coz of my grief. and i know, i have to go through all these process in order for me to heal. i am trying.

tomorrow is A's 2nd month death anniv. i will go to his gravesite tomorrow. it helps everytime i go there..'though still i find it hard to accept.

u ask why i didnt tell my family and any of my friends about his death? in the first place, no one on my side knows abt my relationship with him. my family and my friends have so much expectation on me. 'A' is just a simple person, an ordinary worker, and they will not believe that i have fallen in love with him. i didnt tell them abt my relarionship with him coz i dont want to hear their judgment, or their reaction.

yes kayc, this afternoon, i sent an email to 'B', telling him what i was going through this week. i dont know what will his reaction after reading my letter. but as u've said, if he will stay with me, i am lucky to have found my 'jewel'.

what bothers me now, is the fact that my focus on my studies are distracted. it's hard for me to concentrate when everytime, memories of 'A' comes into my mind.

i lost my concentration. i lost my enthusiasm with life. i know this is another phase i have to go through. but it's hard dealing with this.

there are times also that i feel i am really ok, that i feel i am moving on. then, after a few days, pop!..i just broke down and cry..

i didn't go to church for 5 weeks now. i just cant. i am angry with God, with 'A' for the stupid way of his death, with myself, for those things left unsaid. but i still believe in God, every night, i still pray. i pray for courage and strength to help me go through each day.

now, i found comfort on this site. and writing helps a lot. i wrote poems, i keep a journal, and i read a lot. most of the times, i talk to 'A' in my prayers too. i want to assure myself that he is in a better place now. sometimes, i just think that i have an angel now watching over me..

it is not easy moving on, but i am trying..

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Oh Ann, I relate to so much of what you said...it is as if we've gone through much of the same thing even though the circumstances may vary. You said you haven't gone to church for five weeks now, that you're angry with God. I continued going to church, in fact, maybe even immersed myself in it a bit more...for a time...but deep inside, I also felt an anger with God for "letting it happen when He was perfectly capable of stopping it." People would tell me to pray and find comfort in God and I'd think, "God?! He's the one who did this to me!" I couldn't even pray and I have always been a praying person. I have even taught classes on prayer! I could easily write a book on prayer, and yet during the aftermath of George's death, I found it very difficult to pray. That's okay. God does understand that, He knows all about grief and everything we are going through and this is very normal. It is not a desired state to stay in, but for a time, this is to be expected. Finally, the core of my beliefs reached me...I finally reached "acceptance" and the point where I acknowledged and remembered once again the God that I know, the God I have always known, who He is, His character, and I knew deep down inside of me that no matter how it looked and felt to me, He knew what He was doing, He had valid reasons even if I didn't know what they were, and I knew, once again, that I could trust Him. I knew I didn't have to know what those reasons were or even understand them, I know God, and that's enough. I know He isn't out to ruin me, even if it seemed that way, that He really does love me and He will work things out in His time, in His way...I need to learn patience...and patience is very hard for us people. I am still not good at it. I probably never will be...not this side of heaven.

I know all too well what you are talking about when you speak of "what is "expected" of you. I lived my life that way until seven years ago. I was going through a divorce and my church, my friends, everyone turned their back on me. Overnight I lost everything I had known, except for my kids. I was getting hate mail, my kids had to screen my phone calls, I was talked about, judged, and thrown to the wolves so to speak. I received great harrassment at work over it. My life became a living hell. I had been doing a prison ministry and it changed my life. I realize that back at that time that I was still quite naive, however, I have learned so much and become so much stronger through all that I went through that now I am quite glad that I went through it, it made me a much stronger self-assured person in the end. I learned not to be as concerned with what others thought or said or did as with following what I knew inside of me I needed to do. Eventually I fell in love with my best friend, a man I met through writing a letter to an editor, coincidentally, an inmate...when he got out, we married...and although I'd never recommend that course to anyone else, there's a lot a person would need to know and understand about inmates, how they get there, what's wrong with their families and background and lives, their baggage, etc...still, for us it worked out with one of the greatest loves anyone has ever known, he was my George. I am so glad I met him and spent what I could of my life with him. He became a Christian through our writing, and I got to see him baptized, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was a Christian, and where he is today. I found that part of my life, my life with him, to be the best of all of my life, and my kids, who are grown, loved him so much, and learned so much as a result of our relationship. They learned, for one thing, that love does exist, and that people can have a happy home and live in harmony and have fun and joy in their marriage. They learned that when you love someone, there is nothing too great to go through, that you tough it out, that you make things work, as long as the core essentials are there. They learned that there can be intimacy and faith and respect in marriage. These are valuable lessons for them as they set about making choices for their own lives.

I am very sorry that your relationship with your family is based on a hypothetical construct and that you aren't able to be yourself and be real with them. But families can be very complicated to deal with, so if that is how it is, I would just advise you to find or make yourself a trusted friend that you can be real with...I just read in the newspaper that one out of four people have no such friend. That is sad, because we all need them. But that is one good thing about this site...we find here people we can unburden ourselves to and share with and have a two way caring exchange with.

You talk about losing your focus on your studies...again, I can relate. I have lost most of my focus since George died, and it's been a year now for me. Walt and John (Dusky) speak often about the books they read,yet I have found it difficult to read books...in spite of the fact that I have been an avid reader all of my life! My concentration, my clearheadedness, my focus is all affected. I don't know when or if it will come back. I hope this is temporary. For the most part, I am able to do my job...I have always practiced putting on professionalism...I was taught that so strongly in business school years ago, that personal is personal and professional is professional and you leave personal at home, and I have always been able to do that, to leave personal at home...but although I can apply it at work, I don't seem to be able to turn off personal at home. And maybe that's a good thing, because I need to feel, to experience, to grieve.

Hey, you don't think your family would like a blue collar worker? You ought to try an inmate! :) Ha! Just kidding...seriously though, I do know what you're talking about, it's about "going against the tide". The important thing is in recognizing what is important and right for you...not for them. Although family is a consideration, as is background, and I can tell you, background greatly affects a person. But my kids' dad...we "fit" in every sense of the word, our backgrounds, we fit into each other's worlds, with friends, church, professionally, everything...we fit into each other's worlds, but not with each other...together, we had no love, no joy, no intimacy. So given the choice between one or the other, I'd take the other. But that's not to say that's the right choice for everyone, there's a lot to consider.

You speak of going along, thinking you're moving on, doing okay, and then you just break down and cry...that's referred to as a "grief burst" and we all have them...I have them still. I think I always will, although they eventually become less frequent.

Keep on telling yourself he is in a better place...what you are doing is focusing on the positive aspects of all of this, and that helps greatly. It's the only way to survive. Sometimes it's difficult to focus on the positive...sometimes those things you tell yourself seem to ring hollow and empty, but that's because at that moment you are internally focusing on your loss and you can't get past it at that moment...and that's okay too. We're going to be back and forth with this, up and down, but we are making progress, even when it doesn't seem like it. Grieving is the hardest process we will ever work through in life. It takes tremendous effort, tremendous strength, and it's not for the fainthearted.

You are doing really well, Ann, you are going to make it. You are doing all the right things, just keep going, you'll make it through this.

Edited by kayc
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i feel better reading ur reply, kayc. just want u to know that u have indeed, inspired me.

yes, it is true that in order for us to be happy with our lives, we shouldnt think of what others think abt us, or what will their reaction be with our decision. as long as we are not hurting anyone then we should go on with what we think is right.

i am glad u were able to share a meaningful life with George. urs is a story of inspiration, and real love.

i have talked to 'B', and he understood. i explained to him my grief and everything i have to go through in order for me to move on. he understood. everything he told me is right. that what has happened, has happened. that what matters now is the present. and we are the present now.

i am thankful that i can share to 'B' everything im going through now, including the pain, the love i felt for 'A', and the guilt. i felt better knowing that he understood.

i will always keep in my heart everything u have told me kayc..

yes, prayers give me strength each day. i know, one day..i know it will be soon..that i will again get the courage and willingness to go to church again..

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I am so glad that "B" is so understanding...you need his friendship now more than ever. Healing has begun in you, but it is a process and it does take time. I wish you the best!

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  • 2 weeks later...


I hope that getting out all of your pain here is helping. I know that it did help me, to say all of the "crazy" things that have been building up in hy head since my lost love died.

I guess I have way too much time on my hands. I am disabled now and can't work, so I stay home with nothing to do. That gives me time to think. My proffessor's friend couldn't tell me where he was buried because he didn't know. I found that really strange, so I went to the cemetary near where he used to live and asked if he was buried there, and where I could find his grave. The kind attendant remembered his name and that he had helped set up the funeral, but could not tell me where he was buried. The family would not allow anyone to know where his grave was. He remembered the ceremony because his ex-wife (divorced 16 years)and his current girlfriend were fighting through the ceremony! There were only 10 people there, and all were family. No friends, none of his students. Nobody who loved him was allowed at his funeral! We also can't find his grave! I tried, but the cemetary was huge and the old graves and new are mixed together.

Needless to say, I lost it. I sat in my car in the cemetary screaming at him, trying to find him. I'm Catholic, I know that he isn't really there. But it would have meant a lot to me to see his grave.

I also checked the internet and found out that his girlfriend had applied for his social security and put his estate into probate only 6 days after he died. Now I'm morning his loss, and angry because the ones who should have loved him were so heartless. Why will they not allow anyone to know where is is! He was a fabulous scientist with connections and friends all over the world, why couldn't they be at his funeral?

I've written him a letter, telling him everything I feel and how angry I am, both for dumping me and for dying. I wanted to read it at his grave, then burn it, hoping I could get over the loss of him. Now, I think I'll just read it in general, at the cemetary or the school where he used to teach. I have to move on, but I just can't seem to let go.

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hello cyndy,

i can relate well to all the anger and the pain u felt. and i am very much willing to listen to the letter u wrote to him. u know, sometimes, i thought i felt ok, but then when night comes and i'm all alone, i couldn't help but cry again. for the past few days, i felt too numb. it's like im just existing but cant find the reason why i am living. and everytime, i just want the day to end fast. every day, when i woke up, i find myself thinking.."is it really real?"" i hope everything that had happened was just a bad dream..that's it, a bad dream." but then, reality sets in, and i have to go through each day again, and pretend that i am ok.

u know, last june 25 was his 2nd month. i wanted to go to the cemetery with his brother, but then it rained so hard the whole day, so i told his brother to cancel our visit. i was also thinking that day that after my visit to his gravesite, i will go to church. but then, plans changed because of the weather. what i did instead was, i lit a candle inside my room and just talked to him, and it helped. the next day, i went to his gravesite. i thought going there will lighten my feelings, but then when i reached home, i felt very empty again. and it's been this way for the past weeks.

moving on is really hard..i have accepted the fact that i can never let go of him, that i will always carry him here in my heart. i have accepted that i will always live with the pain everytime i remember his death.

but until now, accepting that i will no longer see him anymore is still hard. maybe, someday, somehow..i can.

what brought me too much pain sometimes, is the fact that i was not at his side during his last day, that i was not able to care for him during his last hours in the hospital(what is ironic is i am in a medical field too), that i was not at his burial,and everything. life is just not fair. i cant help but wonder sometimes why God brought us together, or why i've known him..then what, He will just take him away from me, just like that?

it is such a cruel game..

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Have you tried contacting his girlfriend or family? Not telling them your relationship to him but maybe just letting them know he was your favorite professor and it'd mean a lot to you if you could pay your respects. I never heard of such a thing, that they can't tell you where he's buried! A plot should be public information! Sometimes a person that dies has far more reaching contacts than we who are left behind will ever know. Just the other day my husband's old girlfriend called, after all these years, and I've been trying to reach her to let her know he died...I'd looked for her number to no avail back when it happened...I knew they'd been important to each other at one time and undoubtedly still had caring feelings for each other, and I want to honor and respect their relationship. I am secure enough in my relationship with him to not be jealous...I know I was the world to him and him to me...but long before I met him, there was him and her, and just because they weren't right for each other didn't mean they didn't care. To deprive someone of the right to pay their last respects to someone they love is just plain WRONG! I cannot understand why a cemetary can't release that information. When my dad died he was buried in a large cemetary and years later when I took my mom out there she couldn't find the grave but they were very helpful and told her how to find it. To my knowledge she didn't have to say who she was or sign anything...have times changed since then or something? Or is every cemetary different?

Also, I think it is a great idea that you could post your letter to him on here...we have written some things here that it'd be hard to bare to most people...simply because we know there's listening ears hear that understand and care.

Edited by kayc
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