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Today, July 7th would have been my 30th anniversary with my beloved Michael. In 3 days on July 10th will be the 3 year mark of him leaving this earthly life.

I love you Michael, and miss you so. 😢

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I’m so sorry, C.  We missed our 31st by 3 months.  It’s never gotten easier since.   One of the cruelest parts of grief, taking one of the happiest days and turning it into one of seering pain.  Hugs to you.  💔

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Long after we quit counting, the love continues, I can attest...and I believe it for the other side of this veil just as I know I still love him.

I wish he were alive and you were both celebrating...but I believe we will be together again and celebrate then, we found each other once, we will again.  You're in my thoughts today.

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Gwen & Kayc,

Thank you for your kind words. It was a hard day, but the 10th will be even harder.

Do we ever find peace? After 3 years it still eludes me and each morning the gut punch of grief and anxiety always arrives.

I am so very tired, but I keep going because I don’t know what else to do.

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Yes, I think we can have some degree of peace even while grieving, but I can't say when, I'm sure it's different for everyone.  At this point in my life the struggle is about growing old alone.  Not sure I'll ever get used to that.  No matter what we go through, it's always easier shared...I miss having him to turn to.

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I know much of my anxiety comes from the prospect of growing old alone. 

I don’t know what I am most afraid of, dying or having to live without Michael.

Thinking too much about either can cause me to have a meltdown. I try very hard to do “one day at a time”, which is enough of a struggle.

I pray daily for peace in my heart and soul, and to find purpose and meaning in my life.

I am thankful I have my dogs, who I love with all my heart. They have been my comfort and support through these worst years of my life.

I keep going because I want to give them the best life I can.

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On 7/8/2019 at 8:13 AM, CairnLady said:

I don’t know what I am most afraid of, dying or having to live without Michael

Your whole post is a reflection of exactly how I feel.  Anxiety, aging alone, lack of meaning and purpose.

This line particularly struck me because my reaction is I’m already dead.  Dead in all the ways that bring any meaning to life.  I don’t know how to do this after years of trying.  I think the fear of dying is the unknown of it.  What really happens.  As we age we become more aware of what is coming.  One  of my dogs is elderly and I’ve never had to face that alone.  I know Kay is also in that place.  

I exist is the most I can say.  My body functions but there is no 'life' in my head and heart.  There is no give and receive anymore beyond passing encounters with strangers.  Even my volunteering leaves me cold inside now.  It’s so hard to feel a part of anything when you don’t feel like you matter the most to someone on this huge planet, and you have a person you care about too.  I saw a plane getting ready to land on my way home.  Inside were people that would have someone or family so glad to see them.   Reminded me of when we saw each other every other weekend when he took a job here.  The giddiness and anticipation.  It was intoxicating.  

The original plan is WE would not want for anything financially and we achieved that together.  I am grateful for it but without him  I wonder what he thought I would do knowing HE was my life.  Buy stuff we can’t share?  Upgrade techie stuff that was only fun because we did it together?  We’d have new TV's and sound system for our precious kick back after dinner time.   We'd have a screen as large as a  wall if I didn’t reign him in.  I’d gripe about too many bellls and whistles in a new car.  Bottom line, we’d be happy as we always balanced each out out.

I hijacked your post, CairnLady.  Sorry about that.  You really got me to thinking tho.  Seeing the pain again for what it is.  I always feel it but sometimes someone writes the perfect words and my emotions pour out as I keep them in check living around people that have never experienced this and I scare when they think of it happening to them, as it should.  Sad part about that is they avoid the subject making it more lonely.  

How often did we ourselves toss about the words lonely, sad, depressed, heartbroken and meaningless?  We are the definition you can’t find in any dictionary.  

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11 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

One  of my dogs is elderly and I’ve never had to face that alone.  I know Kay is also in that place.  

Yeah, this is the first time I've had to face losing a dog without someone to share in that with.  When I lost Lucky, my son was here with me.  When I lost Fluffy, I had a family that shared in that grief, same with Teddy.  But I am in this alone.

23 hours ago, CairnLady said:

I don’t know what I am most afraid of, dying or having to live without Michael.

For me, I do not fear death, I rather welcome it because of my beliefs that something better is beyond...but the living without George is tough and that doesn't seem to change no matter how much time goes by...I'm facing old age alone, I'm LIVING old age alone!  And knowing it's downhill all the way scares me.  As my hands get more arthritic, I wonder how many more years I can keep shoveling snow?  Will I be able to continue driving as I age?  There's no public transportation here.  I pray I can continue my independence, taking care of myself.  I don't want to live in a city, I'm a country girl, I love nature and animals.  So these are my fears, and knowing I have no one to call on if something comes up makes me feel very alone.  Shoot, I don't even have anyone to drive me to town (55 miles away) to get a Colonoscopy...these are the things husbands and wives do for each other!  I am the one who does the driving for other older people!  They can't reciprocate.  Scary.

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8 hours ago, kayc said:

Yeah, this is the first time I've had to face losing a dog without someone to share in that with.  When I lost Lucky, my son was here with me.  When I lost Fluffy, I had a family that shared in that grief, same with Teddy.  But I am in this alone.

For me, I do not fear death, I rather welcome it because of my beliefs that something better is beyond...but the living without George is tough and that doesn't seem to change no matter how much time goes by...I'm facing old age alone, I'm LIVING old age alone!  And knowing it's downhill all the way scares me.  As my hands get more arthritic, I wonder how many more years I can keep shoveling snow?  Will I be able to continue driving as I age?  There's no public transportation here.  I pray I can continue my independence, taking care of myself.  I don't want to live in a city, I'm a country girl, I love nature and animals.  So these are my fears, and knowing I have no one to call on if something comes up makes me feel very alone.  Shoot, I don't even have anyone to drive me to town (55 miles away) to get a Colonoscopy...these are the things husbands and wives do for each other!  I am the one who does the driving for other older people!  They can't reciprocate.  Scary.

Interesting as i have been pondering the same thing. I live in the city but I had a health scare a couple of weeks ago and thought, who could I call or ask for help? I am still, able bodied, working, etc.. but that could change in an instant. For thirty minutes, I was doing some serious praying and petitioning to God for help and calming my spirit.  It is odd to feel alone and yet surrounded by people.  I am on a quest to downsize, de-clutter, donate and to adapt to a more minimalist lifestyle.  In a few days it will be a month since my father died, and I have been thinking about his health and life the last few years.  As long as I wake up each morning. I will continue to strive to do what life lays before me and do my best to push forward to the goals placed before me.  

I still think about getting a dog but don't know how to pull it off with my work schedule unless I could train the dog as a cleaner.  😊 - Shalom (Peace) 

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If you could train your dog to clean, let me know the breed, we could all use one, LOL!

I'm sorry you had a health scare, we've all been there, at this age it's not easy growing old alone.  I used to have a friend I could count on and I reciprocated (neighbor) but since his daughter started living with him he never gets out or mingles anymore.  I pray for strength for the day for each of us here!

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CairnLady,  just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts today, I know exactly what you are feeling today as it marks my 4th year since Dale, the love of my life, left.

I know I don't post much, but it's not because I don't have any feelings, I do, it's just I don't have the words to express how I feel.  I'm still so lost and it doesn't seem to get any easier over time, that saying "time heals all wounds" is such a lie.  Some days it's a little less, but most days it's as hard or even harder than it was in the beginning (I guess the fog is long gone).  He's still my everything!  You all in my thoughts and hugs to all of you

Grief Poem 11.docx

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I think the saying applies more to circumstances that can’t be resolved like breaking up, someone saying or acting hurtful, misunderstandings between people that never resolve them because one moves on and leaves you to get closure much longer.  It does  not apply to our situations.  That’s not a wound, that’s an amputation of the emotional heart.  No time will heal that.  

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Joyce, did you write that?  Simply put, very true...

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Thank you all for caring. There isn’t really anyone else who does (besides my dogs).

Yesterday was very hard, tried to hold myself together but had a meltdown in the afternoon.

There was one small joy, I got to watch from my window a bird taking a bath in the birdbath I have in my backyard. The bird was thoroughly enjoying itself and I was thankful that I got to witness it.

Today I start year 4 of my grief journey. My heart is heavy. I am so alone and isolated. I feel as though I have been sentenced to life in solitary confinement. I wonder what my crime was.

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19 hours ago, CairnLady said:

My heart is heavy. I am so alone and isolated. I feel as though I have been sentenced to life in solitary confinement. I wonder what my crime was.

You have a way with words that always express the feelings we share.  I know it’s not true, but it feels like punishment.  I imagine many  hit with catastrophic situations feels this way.  My young neighbor just had a double mastectomy.  Yet she sees it as it a fight for survival because she has a life with lots of plans.  That’s where we are different.  I don’t feel I have a life, I exist now in that solitary prison.  That you could take joy from watching a bird has me beat.  I do take into account I am so rock bottom because of being hit with serious medical stuff that emphasizes the loneliness.  If those were reduced it would help.  My counseling is suffering as they are hijacking valued time for my emotional needs.

I so wish I had some words of comfort for you as you face another year.  I see your pain and want to reach out.  I hope knowing your pain has been heard helps just a little.  I’m around people sometimes but they don’t get it so it makes it feel worse. We need connection to feel true empathy and compassion.   Give and take, sharing, feeling we matter and can return that feeling.   It’s not a natural state if you had it and it’s taken away.  I have never felt like this before.  Wish I never had.  The reason for us all is obvious.  

Its really very simple, we want to feel alive.  

Many hugs to you at this milestone.  At least here I do feel for everyone.  I do care about you.  💔

BTW, isolation is used as a form of torture.  It’s very effective as we have seen.

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I wish I had some words to lift you up but I'm devoid today...my dog is going downhill rapidly.  I'm in a bad place.  It feels like everything I've loved and cherished is ripped away.

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I’m so sorry Kayc. I wish there was something that could be done to save Arlie for you, but we are powerless in that regard. The feeling of being helpless is another unbearable emotion.

My prayers for you and Arlie.

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Kay, I also don’t know what to say or offer.  Very much thinking of you and Arlie.  😓

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Kay, my dear, I don't know if you've seen this, but I'm passing it along for you and Arlie ~

As the article states, 

Anyone in the position of caring for a dying dog wants to understand the process as best as possible. Knowing what to expect provides some comfort in an otherwise completely disorienting and uncomfortable time . . . 

Read on here:  Crossing The Rainbow Bridge: Signs That The End of Life Is Near     

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12 hours ago, kayc said:

...my dog is going downhill rapidly.  I'm in a bad place.  It feels like everything I've loved and cherished is ripped away.

kayc:  So very sorry for you and Arlie.  Prayers are with you and your sweet boy.  Dee

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Thank you all for your words of comfort.  Marty, thank you for that article.  Yes, I've been through it before but not in this way, not with cancer.  My dog Teddy had cancer but we had him put to sleep when he bit someone as we knew it had affected his brain...he didn't get far advanced in the dying process though.

Arlie had a good day yesterday, I even chased him around the house, he smiled a lot and ate 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual in the morning.  I think that was my sign that it is NOT time yet.  I just hope I'll know when it is time, I really don't want him to suffer.  Obviously he's not as comfortable as he'd be if he was well, organs aren't working optimally, especially his liver but so far he's eating & drinking and his stools look healthy...I take that as nothing less than miraculous, especially 5 1/2 weeks after learning his liver is barely functioning.  I think the SAM-e and Milk Thistle are helping.  I plan to take him to his favorite park today if he's up to it.  He went outside at midnight and won't come in until breakfast time at 6 so will wait and see how he's doing.

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