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Sadmaiden

My boyfriend/love of my life dead suddenly

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It's been 18 days since I've seen him. I am 50 years old - he was 54. We were best friends/soulmates/together for 8 years. It felt like a 1st date every time we were together... we had very few arguments and even those were quickly resolved. We truly loved one another wholly and completely. He went to sleep and never woke up again. It turns out he had heart problems that he was unaware of. At times I can function as though I will be OK and try to find peace in the fact that he didn't suffer. But more often, I am frozen, sad and in disbelief. Just wondering if anyone riding this has experienced this?

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Sadmaiden:  So sorry to read your message of the loss of your soulmate.   Each one of us on this forum have experienced the feelings you are suffering right now and some are still experiencing what you describe even years afterwards.  You are so early in your grief.   I lost my husband over 4 years ago and have found great comfort by reading, sharing and learning how to battle Grief on this site.  There were some days I could manage and then even now there are days I don't want to manage.....  You are not alone.  Take one day at a time.  Dee

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You’re life has been forever changed now. There will be so many feelings flow thru you.  All are normal for grief but so very hard when you have never experienced anything like it.  As Dee said, this is the shock phase and nothing will make sense it being so new.  Keep posting here as you can and everyone can help you at least validating whatever you feel.  I’m so sorry you are here because of the cost to enter, but glad you found this safe place.

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You were together longer than my husband and I...I want to validate your loss as grievous...everything from this point in time is now "before" or "after."  We are all so sorry for what you are going through and feeling.  I hope you have close family/friends nearby that can be there for you.  

Are you back to work or able to take some time off?

I know it's hard to think right now, but I want to share with you some of the things I found helpful in the hopes something will help you now, perhaps something else later on.  It really helped me to take a day (or hour or minute) at a time and realize I didn't need to think about the whole "rest of my life" which just brought me extreme anxiety anyway.

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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Yes, the way you are feeling is very normal.  You have been devastated by a sudden and deep loss.  
I was the same way when my husband died suddenly.  I felt like a zombie, barely functioning every day.  In retrospect, I was just going through the motions.
I will pray for you as you walk through this awful valley, that God will reveal His great love for you, showing you how near He is to the broken-hearted.

 

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My fiance died suddenly. I am broken without John. The pain is unbearable at times...the tears just flow....Wednesday will be two months. I don't want to hear about seeing each other again someday. I don't want to hear he is in my heart...by  my side...in the wind....sending me signs...........

I want him back. Physically in my arms...hand in hand....laughing...deep in conversation....lovingly gazing at each other.

I feel I am dying.

I have to push the pain deep down inside of me because I have a daughter who is in the hospital three weeks now for depression. I must be there for her....

Meanwhile....I'm dying......

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Katie, 

I am so sorry this didn't show up in my "unread posts" sooner but I'm glad to have found you now.  I hope you will print out my "Tips" article above, they're all the things that helped me when I lost my husband and the years since.  I feel your pain and anguish, it mirrors what I felt when I lost my George.  I really hope you'll consider seeing a grief counselor.  And keep coming here, we want to be here for you.  It does help to express yourself like you have here rather than keeping it all inside.  Is your daughter grown?

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Katie,

I feel exactly the same even though I am approaching the one year anniversary of my dear wife Rene'e passing away unexpectedly in her sleep. We were married on Oct. 6th, 2018 and she passed away on Nov. 30th, 2018. I was totally and utterly devastated and I too know that a part of my being ceased to exist on that terrible day she was taken away from my arms forever.

At first, I was in complete shock and did not have any notion how to keep on going without her. I am so very thankful for the good people who listened to me here while I was in my deepest throws of unimaginable pain from loss of the one whom I loved so dearly. I truly believe that reaching out and writing about what I was feeling helped me in ways I will never really know.

I am so thankful to have a place to go where there is true understanding of what it means to lose the one love of my life.

I am so very, very, sorry for your loss. I too never got to experience my first Christmas together with my wife Rene'e. All the things people say to try to make me feel better just didn't stack up to even begin to make me feel any better. What I feel helped the most is being able to speak freely about the way I felt without ever having to worry about being judged for it.

I needed that more than anything. And, I still do.

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On 11/17/2019 at 6:28 AM, Katie1 said:

My fiance died suddenly. I am broken without John. The pain is unbearable at times...the tears just flow....Wednesday will be two months. I don't want to hear about seeing each other again someday. I don't want to hear he is in my heart...by  my side...in the wind....sending me signs...........

I want him back. Physically in my arms...hand in hand....laughing...deep in conversation....lovingly gazing at each other.

I feel I am dying.

I have to push the pain deep down inside of me because I have a daughter who is in the hospital three weeks now for depression. I must be there for her....

Meanwhile....I'm dying......

Katie1,

I wanted the same thing. In fact we all still do!  I was in Shock and AWE for a long time. I found this place of sanctuary, comfort, and people who truly understand what this side of grief and loss is that most of the world just doesn't comprehend.  Please come and share as you can. I found it very helpful in my grief to share what I just couldn't make sense of what happened to my beloved wife.  I still want her back...  Peace

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Hello. I'm not too sure about this and haven't registered yet. 

Sadmaiden, I don't know if you're still here but I am in a similar position. My name is Ruth, and I lost my person of 12 years—14 if you count the two years we spent emailing one another from across the country, having known one another vaguely years before—back in March. I am 49; he was 50. It's hard for me to even call him the love of my life or my soulmate, though he was—I wish there were an original term just for us, but there isn't, so I call him my person (we were common-law married). He had a late-onset seizure disorder; he was on medication that kept him from having seizures...until, I guess, it didn't, and he had one while driving. It is small consolation to me, as to you, that he likely didn't suffer—seizures are terrifying to behold (I saw my share) but the person having them has no idea what's going on—and of course that it was a one-car accident and he didn't hurt anyone else.    

After nearly 9 months the shock has mostly worn off and the grief is shifting toward deep depression. On the one hand the pure sadness of mourning him remains; on the other hand is the much-less-pure, guilt-ridden despair of feeling my own life to be over, loveless and lonely. 

I am getting ready to start therapy but I figured it was time to share with people who might understand. Thank you for listening.

Ruth

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Ruth, Therapy can help tremendously but I’m glad you found us, tho not because it was a good reason.  I love this family but I also wish I never had to meet them.  You all know what I mean. ❤️

I’m not the wisest at welcoming new people.  I will say that anything you feel is normal and valid for your journey.  As you share more you will see that.  Even things you may not feel you will empathize with.  That is what we all do for each other.

i have never seen a seizure.  My experience is watching cancer destroy a wonderful man.  So many stories here of loss that we can’t outrun.  Despair is the closest word I have found for this.  It goes beyond depression and the outside world does not get us now.  They  are there in the beginning and often drift away to their yet unbroken lives, as they should.  Tho it’s hard when they forget and think we should be 'better' in such and such amount of time.  We need a support only others that know can provide.  

I hope you stay and share.  It’s lightens the load even if by the tiniest bit.  

 

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Ruth,

Welcome!  I'm glad you found this place too, it saved my life when I went through it, my husband had just had his 51st birthday five days before.  We only knew each other 6 1/2 years, married 3 years 8 months, they were the happiest years of our lives.  His was a sudden death also (heart) and totally unexpected.

I want to share my "Tips" article above (see Oct. 26 post) with you, hoping something in it is of help to you at sometime now or later.  I'm glad you'll be getting some counseling, I hope it's someone who is experienced in grief counseling, my first one claimed to be but obviously was not.  He should have stuck to drug/alcohol counseling.

I've gotten so much help here and it really helps to know others that "get it."  

Gwen, I disagree, you're great at welcoming and an invaluable part of this forum. ;)

 

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Thank you both so, so much for welcoming me. I will definitely explore the Tips and much more on this site—grief is such a lonely business even when close friends and family are trying to help. There are certain ways in which they just can't. 

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I know...we just want them back, the one thing no one can fix.  But I want you to know that the intensity of pain you're in right now will soften eventually, we adjust somewhat in time.

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Thank you...Since you mention the softening of mourning, I would love to ask any of you regulars, if it's not too painful to revisit: How do you feel you have changed from the moment your loved one died to this moment? In some ways for the better? In some ways for the worse? Have you grown in some ways, been thwarted in others? I suppose I'm beginning to feel as though, without his love and support, my psyche (I've always tended to be anxious, antisocial, and depressed) is taking a sharp turn for the worse, and I'm worried it's going to be permanent rather than just part of the cycle. In any case I would be honored to hear your answers to my questions if they are of any interest.

 

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Ruth, your questions are the very core of this group.  I think I can say for everyone here that they have changed from the death.  How could we not?  Our worlds were/are forever derailed from each persons plans with their spouse.  The person that completes them and they us.  The only way I have felt better, if I dare use that word, it’s more aware, is that I have discovered true empathy.  I only know sympathy before.  I don’t know about grown.  I have had to adapt from a we to a me.  Your grief is still very fresh.  There isn’t anything you are feeling that is not normal.  We all experience so many emotions at one time or another and repeatedly.   There will be triggers, things you forgot, never thought would hit you in the gut and things people will say that have no experience like ours trying to help but can’t.  

So, yes you will be forever changed.  We’ve all worried it will last forever that we will spiral downward and there are times we do.  We surface for gasps of air and sometimes get a rest.  Your path will be uniquely yours.

i feel the best way to have your questions answered is to post your feelings and see who relates and how they handled them.  I can’t think of a single thing you could post someone hasn’t felt.  An example has been the discussions about getting thru the holidays for those alone and those feeling. Incomplete in once comfortable situations.  Some feel relief, some feel worse.  Others of us have developed mental and physical problems from the stress of the biggest loss of our lives.  It’s sounds scary, but it’s called intense grief.

i wish you didn’t have to experience it, as I do for all of us.

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Ruth, even though my life changed for the worse, I feel I've changed for the better.  Death changes everything.  Little things don't bug me as much, death tends to give you a different perspective..  I have more understanding/empathy when others are going through it.  I'm more confident after all the things I've survived (loss of job 3 times, surgery on my own, new roofs 5 times, buying new vehicles, etc) and decisions I've made.  I've adjusted about as much as possible and had to learn to live with what I'm left with.  I've had to learn to be alone.  I have learned to nurture myself, be my own best friend.  But I still miss him more than I can say and would give everything up just to have him back, who wouldn't?!

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Whew. These are such...powerful responses. Your perspectives mean a lot—thank you. They make me feel a bit less panicked if no less miserable—I'm sure you know what I mean by that. 

I have cried more in the past 9 months than I cried in the first 48 years of my life put together. It's exhausting. I'm sure you know what I mean by that too. 

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Ruth, I guess I had to think about this a while. I have been in a semi-fog for longer than I care to remember. My husband died in 2013, and then I lost my daughter in 2014, both to cancer. We were married for over 40 years. I feel as if I'm living someone else's life and I don't like it. I'm not sure that I have grown, rather lost the carefree, try anything once attitude I used to have. Facing your own mortality will do that to you. I'm sure getting older and a bit slower with failing body parts doesn't help. Ron and I had no close friends. It was always just the two of us. I don't have a lot of faith and trust in people(give me a dog, any day) and although I've tried joining a few groups, I am uncomfortable. I feel somehow that I just don't fit in. I'm not financially able to travel, even if I wanted to.

I look back some 43 years to when my father died. Ron and I always helped her in any way that we could, but until I lost Ron, I don't think I realized how my father's death affected my mother. We just didn't talk about it and I feel guilty now. Perhaps there was something more that I could have done.

I kind of feel like my life is in permanent limbo, waiting for something, just not sure what it is.

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3 hours ago, KarenK said:

I kind of feel like my life is in permanent limbo, waiting for something, just not sure what it is.

Wow, Karen, your whole post was powerful but this sentence jumped out at me.  Is how I feel every morning and now going to bed thinking about things I a have to do the next day that I am always looking for some feeling from.  Like accomplishment, empowerment, useful, rewarding, etc.  They’re all just tasks to fill the hours to the next cycle.  I saw my fireplace candles got wet again from our storms and I had cleaned everything once already.  Seeing it again just angered me.  I had spent the day tolerating Christmas and just wanted to veg out in my misery. My cousin called to thank me for some candy I sent and fortunately we have an agreement to be totally honest. I told her I was happy they arrived but I didn’t want to talk.  

My mother lost  my father when I was about 1.  I don’t know how she did it with me and my sister (13 at the time) in tow.  She remarried and never wanted to speak about him.  I learned from aunts he was the love of her life and she kept a part of her sealed off from everyone for the rest of her life.  I saw pictures of them together in her hidden albums and I saw the love in her eyes I never saw with my stepfather, who was my true dad that raised me.  My sister never accepted him as she knew our dad.  But I ramble off topic here.......

you make an excellent point.  We are now aging alone, so how motivated can we get about our health or life in general?  I’ve discovered I am a good actress in public.  Alone?  I’m truly alone and there are no words to describe it.  And no matter how well I act, I’m still the proverbial 'alone in the crowd' inside now.  So may lifelines not being complete in my heart are now severed.  

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Oh, Karen, the unfairness of losing them both is incomprehensible. I'm so, so sorry. 

Gaining more empathy as mentioned by Gwenivere can only be a good thing, and greater self-reliance per kayc—I thought of myself as so very independent before Brit died and now I know exactly how much he did for me. Both of us had jobs that required us to be relatively social, yet both of us considered ourselves loners by nature. It turns out being a loner isn't the same as taking care of yourself, and I'm doing a pretty bad job of it right now. 

Also before Brit, I had been in a series of more or less serious relationships, but never anything that, deep down, I really expected to "stick"—I never wanted kids and assumed that if I just went from relationship to relationship until I was too old to, that would be fine. Brit showed me that true love is what matters and means most, not career.

Which is why, as all of you are suggesting in one way or another, life now feels meaningless—I wake up, I complete the daily routine, I go to bed, repeat, with no idea why I'm bothering. As you said, Gwenivere, there's nothing promising or rewarding about it. 

Did any of you ever try to seek a life companion again, or did it feel pointless compared to having found your soulmate, or maybe like a betrayal of them? Please don't feel you have to answer this if it's too private, or maybe there's an already existing thread I should read that delves into this subject...

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5 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I saw pictures of them together in her hidden albums and I saw the love in her eyes I never saw with my stepfather, who was my true dad that raised me.  

I can relate with this. Last night I was collecting some pictures to send to my MIL. I made an effort and paid attention to me on those pictures. I could see how happy I have been, there was something in my expression, in my eyes, something that isn't there anymore. The difference was so evident to me. Truly, that who was me doesn't exist anymore. That face of serenity, that smile and those eyes are forever gone. 

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56 minutes ago, Ruth T said:

 

Did any of you ever try to seek a life companion again, or did it feel pointless compared to having found your soulmate, or maybe like a betrayal of them? Please don't feel you have to answer this if it's too private, or maybe there's an already existing thread I should read that delves into this subject...

I lost him 5 years ago but I guess my heart is still pretty much broken to even think of being in a couple as benefitial. I am a childless unmarried widow. I am not single, free, independent, open, ready.

I am simply not interested. I don't struggle with the idea, I am just not interested. I have friends who are dating or signing on apps to meet men. I am not interested in that stories, on how it works. I don't feel under pressure although I am loosing my youth. I am 40 now. I lost him at 35. I had it all and it was taken away from me. Some friends are upset for not meeting someone. I cannot relate with this feeling. I am in a total different situation and I accept it. 

I was with a friend doing some shopping and she suggested me to try a pair of very fancy trousers. I declined the idea and she said "you won't find a boyfriend with that attitude". I loudly reply "I couldn't care any less!". Meaning not finding a boyfriend. The answer came from my heart. 

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A few years after Ron died, I tried perusing some dating sites, a completely foreign concept to me. Being much older, there were not many men to choose from. I didn't want an "old man", and these old men were looking for someone 20 or 30 years younger anyway. I finally realized that the person I was seeking would never be found because he was already dead. That was the end of that. Although I'm lonely, I'm not that interested in starting over. I think my flame of wanting love has been doused.

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