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I met Susie in July 2001.  I knew in an instant, that she was very special.  She was absolutely beautiful.  She had an infectious personality, a wonderful smile and a loving heart.  We hit it off instantly and right there, our adventure began.  We had so many things in common and so many shared interests that I wondered sometimes if we weren't a match made in Heaven.  Nothing is ever perfect mind you, but though we had our disagreements over the years, we always made up and the vast majority of that time we spent enjoying life together, loving, laughing and soaking up everything life had to offer.  Both of us had been through a previous marriage and divorce, having children from those respectively.  Though they were grown, my Daughter was like her's and her's were like mine.  Life was good.

During 2014, She began to have some health issues, primarily with back pain.  As time went on things got worse, but being stubborn as she was, she refused to seek help other than from our Chiropractor.  He began to suspect the potential for lesions on the spine and urged us to at least get some labs done.  After one long, horrible night of agonizing pain, I forced her to let me take her to the ER.  In October of 2014, my Susie was diagnosed with stage four, Her2 breast cancer, which had metastasized to the bone.  I will never forget seeing the PET scan, the shock I felt and wondering how much time we had left. I excused myself from the hospital room to collect my thoughts and headed outside to call my Mother and Father.  On my way out, I passed a small room that served as a chapel and I went inside taking a seat.  I prayed to God that he might provide a miracle, or at least provide me with guidance and I laid it in his hands.  I knew what had to be done and on that day, I committed myself to caring for her, no matter what the cost to me financially, emotionally, or physically.  I had already spent two years caring for my elderly Mother, so it became clear what I had been prepared for.

Thanks to the Her2 gene she had associated with her cancer, it opened her up to what was then, a fairly knew gene specific treatment.  Thanks to that, we got to spend 5 years, 2 months and 16 days more together, with the last couple of months being the worst.  Fortunately, the majority of it were of many great memories, spent enjoying music, movies, etc.. and we basked in the shared love we had for one another.  In those days, we, like the song says, worked to "Live like you were dying".  Just before Thanksgiving, she had to be transported to the ER, with what we suspected was a left fractured femur.  The right one went in 2017 at the location of a large lesion on the bone.  She had emergency surgery, came home, recovered, got physical therapy and it was right back to the good times.  This time we thought would be no different, but that was not the case.  Things progressively escalated out of control until the weekend of the 10th and 11th, when she became confused and I had her rushed back to the hospital.  A couple days later, an MRI revealed that the cancer in her bone had jumped to the brain in multiple locations, hence the confusion.  I got to spend the Monday and Wednesday of the following week with her, but by Wednesday, her condition had worsened to the point that she had been put on a ventilator.  I held her hand, stroked her head, leaned in closely and I told her that she was my hero.  I explained why she was confused and I could see the recognition in her eyes.  I told her to place her heart with the Lord and that I wanted to see her in Heaven some day, that I wanted to see her on the other side.  I told her that I loved her and that she was the best Wife a man could ever have.  Though severely weakened, she faintly said "I Love You".  I heard that 3 times that day and that evening i said my last goodbye.  her Daughters spent the following day with her, though she was unconscious, and on the evening of Thursday, January 16, 2020, my sweetest Susie lost her battle.

I know she smiles down on us from Heaven, and I am grateful that she was spared from anymore torment, but that is where her trial ended and mine is morphing into something completely different.    In the interest of full disclosure, I have no intentions, or thoughts of doing myself harm.  We simply didn't believe in suicide and even if I did, with my religious beliefs, it would be counter productive to my intent of seeing Susie again, so not to worry.   I am however in a very dark place at the moment.  I went from being immersed with her every want and need, to a complete dead stop.  I have never been so petrified in my entire life and for the first time in 19 years, I feel completely alone and lost without her.    Susie was the kindest, warmest and most loving individual I have ever met.  She embraced life with a passion and was afraid of nothing.  Her character was such, that it seemed as if she had her own gravitational pull.  Susie was like the Sun and I revolved around her.  I miss her sweet voice, her smile, our conversations, things like watching her delight in feeding the squirrels, who would take peanuts from her hand and I even miss hearing her snore.  I'm no stranger to grief, I've had a lifetime of it, but this time something is different.  I can't explain it, but in 2016, I lost my Mother and two months later, my Father followed and it rocked my world to the core, but this is hitting me far worse for some reason.  I'm going to try to go back to work tomorrow, but I don't think I'll be all there.  As a matter of fact, I dread it, but I feel I must do something.  I've been pouring over old photos, recordings where I played guitar and we sang together, emails and notes, to try to hang onto something.  It may sound nuts, but I have her phone, so I called it the night she passed and left a voicemail telling her how sorry I was for the way things had gone, that I'm happy she's in Heaven and that I love her, in some hope that she might hear me.  It's just me and our little dog Sadie now.  She knows something is wrong, because the last time she saw Mama, she was in a bad way.  She's all I have left.  My Daughter lives on the other coast and she offered to fly out when we learned of Susie's status, but I waved her off because I had a feeling she wouldn't be able to make it here on time and money is tight.

I'm sorry for the long read, but this is the way I have to deal.  I'm working on a photo collage for myself, her Daughters and the park memorial we plan to have.  I've put together a song list for it, many of which Susie loved and in some cases requested for this very purpose.  I will likely do a lot of praying, crying, writing and I'm sure I will write her a song.   Past experience dictates that there will also be a lot of music in my future.  These are the things I have found in my life, that have helped me recover from tragedy.

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I met Susie in July 2001.  I knew in an instant, that she was very special.  She was absolutely beautiful.  She had an infectious personality, a wonderful smile and a loving heart.  We hit it off inst

Hello, I too am sorry about what you have experienced.  Having been a caregiver for as long as I was, I can say authoritatively that the feelings you have, this "dead stop" as you put it, are real and

Mark M, Reading your story, I can so relate in many ways. I met my beloved wife, Rose Anne,  and our story has some very similar themes.  I was in SHOCK and AWE for a long time after her  sudden

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MarkM: I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Susie.  As I read your tribute to her I was so moved by your words that spoke of your love for her.  You both were blessed to have had such a love for one another.  I wish you both could have been together here on this earth much, much longer.  I understand your dark place right now and even though it seems unbearable at times, your joining this forum may help you escape from that place every once in awhile.  We here understand.  So sorry.  Dee

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4 hours ago, MarkM said:

this is hitting me far worse for some reason.

It is no wonder to those of us here who have been through it.  I am so sorry for your loss.  I am glad for the hope you and Susie have of being together again one day...that hope is what keeps me going, our relationship continues on faith.  2001 George and I got married, 2005 he passed, barely 51, we'd known each other only 6 1/2 years.  You will make it through this journey, one day at a time, as are the rest of us.  You are so right that this loss is unlike any other, losing my husband was the hardest hitting, I haven't lost children though.  But parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, pets, niece, nephew.  My second hardest was my Arlie, my perfect dog companion for 10 1/2 years...he had inoperable cancer, it reminded me of losing George although that was sudden/unexpected whereas I watched Arlie go downhill and I could only provide him hospice until it was time for him to be euthanized.  I pray I see them both when my time comes.

I wrote this article at about ten years out based on what I'd found helpful and hope something will be of help to you now, something else perhaps later.  Our journeys are unique but we also have commonalities, enough to know that this is a place where everyone "gets it" and we're not alone in this.
 

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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Mark, I'm so sorry that your beautiful Susie has been taken from you. Cancer is like a thief in the night taking our most precious. In 2013, it came for my husband of 40 years. A year later, it took my daughter. My life is forever changed. Although your soul is shattered, in time the pain will soften. Hopefully, only wonderful memories will remain. I have not had your faith in many years. I have lost too much. I envy you that.

We will walk beside you on this journey through grief. It is long and treacherous, but not impossible. You are not alone.

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9 hours ago, MarkM said:

I met Susie in July 2001.  I knew in an instant, that she was very special.  She was absolutely beautiful.  She had an infectious personality, a wonderful smile and a loving heart.  We hit it off instantly and right there, our adventure began.  We had so many things in common and so many shared interests that I wondered sometimes if we weren't a match made in Heaven.  Nothing is ever perfect mind you, but though we had our disagreements over the years, we always made up and the vast majority of that time we spent enjoying life together, loving, laughing and soaking up everything life had to offer.  Both of us had been through a previous marriage and divorce, having children from those respectively.  Though they were grown, my Daughter was like her's and her's were like mine.  Life was good.

During 2014, She began to have some health issues, primarily with back pain.  As time went on things got worse, but being stubborn as she was, she refused to seek help other than from our Chiropractor.  He began to suspect the potential for lesions on the spine and urged us to at least get some labs done.  After one long, horrible night of agonizing pain, I forced her to let me take her to the ER.  In October of 2014, my Susie was diagnosed with stage four, Her2 breast cancer, which had metastasized to the bone.  I will never forget seeing the PET scan, the shock I felt and wondering how much time we had left. I excused myself from the hospital room to collect my thoughts and headed outside to call my Mother and Father.  On my way out, I passed a small room that served as a chapel and I went inside taking a seat.  I prayed to God that he might provide a miracle, or at least provide me with guidance and I laid it in his hands.  I knew what had to be done and on that day, I committed myself to caring for her, no matter what the cost to me financially, emotionally, or physically.  I had already spent two years caring for my elderly Mother, so it became clear what I had been prepared for.

Thanks to the Her2 gene she had associated with her cancer, it opened her up to what was then, a fairly knew gene specific treatment.  Thanks to that, we got to spend 5 years, 2 months and 16 days more together, with the last couple of months being the worst.  Fortunately, the majority of it were of many great memories, spent enjoying music, movies, etc.. and we basked in the shared love we had for one another.  In those days, we, like the song says, worked to "Live like you were dying".  Just before Thanksgiving, she had to be transported to the ER, with what we suspected was a left fractured femur.  The right one went in 2017 at the location of a large lesion on the bone.  She had emergency surgery, came home, recovered, got physical therapy and it was right back to the good times.  This time we thought would be no different, but that was not the case.  Things progressively escalated out of control until the weekend of the 10th and 11th, when she became confused and I had her rushed back to the hospital.  A couple days later, an MRI revealed that the cancer in her bone had jumped to the brain in multiple locations, hence the confusion.  I got to spend the Monday and Wednesday of the following week with her, but by Wednesday, her condition had worsened to the point that she had been put on a ventilator.  I held her hand, stroked her head, leaned in closely and I told her that she was my hero.  I explained why she was confused and I could see the recognition in her eyes.  I told her to place her heart with the Lord and that I wanted to see her in Heaven some day, that I wanted to see her on the other side.  I told her that I loved her and that she was the best Wife a man could ever have.  Though severely weakened, she faintly said "I Love You".  I heard that 3 times that day and that evening i said my last goodbye.  her Daughters spent the following day with her, though she was unconscious, and on the evening of Thursday, January 16, 2020, my sweetest Susie lost her battle.

I know she smiles down on us from Heaven, and I am grateful that she was spared from anymore torment, but that is where her trial ended and mine is morphing into something completely different.    In the interest of full disclosure, I have no intentions, or thoughts of doing myself harm.  We simply didn't believe in suicide and even if I did, with my religious beliefs, it would be counter productive to my intent of seeing Susie again, so not to worry.   I am however in a very dark place at the moment.  I went from being immersed with her every want and need, to a complete dead stop.  I have never been so petrified in my entire life and for the first time in 19 years, I feel completely alone and lost without her.    Susie was the kindest, warmest and most loving individual I have ever met.  She embraced life with a passion and was afraid of nothing.  Her character was such, that it seemed as if she had her own gravitational pull.  Susie was like the Sun and I revolved around her.  I miss her sweet voice, her smile, our conversations, things like watching her delight in feeding the squirrels, who would take peanuts from her hand and I even miss hearing her snore.  I'm no stranger to grief, I've had a lifetime of it, but this time something is different.  I can't explain it, but in 2016, I lost my Mother and two months later, my Father followed and it rocked my world to the core, but this is hitting me far worse for some reason.  I'm going to try to go back to work tomorrow, but I don't think I'll be all there.  As a matter of fact, I dread it, but I feel I must do something.  I've been pouring over old photos, recordings where I played guitar and we sang together, emails and notes, to try to hang onto something.  It may sound nuts, but I have her phone, so I called it the night she passed and left a voicemail telling her how sorry I was for the way things had gone, that I'm happy she's in Heaven and that I love her, in some hope that she might hear me.  It's just me and our little dog Sadie now.  She knows something is wrong, because the last time she saw Mama, she was in a bad way.  She's all I have left.  My Daughter lives on the other coast and she offered to fly out when we learned of Susie's status, but I waved her off because I had a feeling she wouldn't be able to make it here on time and money is tight.

I'm sorry for the long read, but this is the way I have to deal.  I'm working on a photo collage for myself, her Daughters and the park memorial we plan to have.  I've put together a song list for it, many of which Susie loved and in some cases requested for this very purpose.  I will likely do a lot of praying, crying, writing and I'm sure I will write her a song.   Past experience dictates that there will also be a lot of music in my future.  These are the things I have found in my life, that have helped me recover from tragedy.

Mark M,

Reading your story, I can so relate in many ways. I met my beloved wife, Rose Anne,  and our story has some very similar themes.  I was in SHOCK and AWE for a long time after her  sudden and unexpected death.  I too, went back to work in a couple of days and walked through the valley you speak so well of.  My journey is recorded  in this group. For this is were I discovered how to make sense and learn tools to deal with the grief, loss, and eventual acceptance and living with both grief, and healing.  My Mother died, my brother, my MIL, but nothing prepared me for this journey.  This place is a sanctuary and a safe respite where people here truly understand and get what it means to be the one left standing in this world when our beloved passes.  Next month, it will be five years.  Your story reminds so much of where I was then and I too couldn't see or understand how to continue.  Welcome to the group that none of us really want to belong to and yet we are learning to deal with and manage each day as it comes.  Please return and share whatever you need or want to .  We are all here to help each other. Many people helped me through the roughest early time and many of us stay to help others as well as supporting each other.  - Shalom ( God's Peace be with you)

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Your loss is so new.  It has changed you forever.  There are so many phases, feelings and reactions you will have unique to you.  But you are surrounded by others that can relate to anything you feel and can hold your hand.  Just like everyone else here, I came to talk with only others that could understand how deep a loss this is.  There isn’t anything you can say someone won’t relate to.  As was said, it’s safe and a sanctuary from people around us that think they know what we feel, but do not.  Some had time to prepare, others not but we all responded the same in that this can’t be real.  I hope you keep getting your emotions out so we all can help with whatever you need as you enter this new and terribly sad journey.  There is so much love and caring here for the taking.  We can’t replace your Susie.  But we can hear you and hopefully help if you think you are feeling things that scare, confuse or in general make you feel you are alone.  A heartfelt welcome to where no one wants to be.  💔

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Mark, my dear, I hope the warm and compassionate responses you're receiving from our members brings you some small measure of comfort and peace, and I too am so sorry for your loss.

Having been consumed with your role as a caregiver for so long, it's no wonder that, among other things, you feel as if you've lost your bearings. When you feel ready to do so, I invite you to read this: In Grief: After Caregiving Ends, Who Am I? ♥️

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Mark ,my most sincere condolences....Marty's post sums up ,your main purpose of care giver now gone, leaves you with an absence in your mind/heart...I really needed my support network/friends first little while....My best advice(as told to me), watch your nutrition, we forget to eat, and don't do too much .....I remember the first 40 days as the worst days of my life....stay with us Mark.... 

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Thank you everyone for the kind words.  The outpouring of kindness is very much appreciated.  I can tell there is a lot of wisdom and insight when I hear you relate your own experiences.  Marty, I believe you are correct, with my role as caregiver behind me, I feel lost.  Thanks you for the link, I will read that.  Kevin, I went about 3 days without eating and I realized that I had to keep up my strength.  With so much flu and such going around, the last thing I need right now is to get sick and frankly, Susie would not be happy if I starved myself on her behalf, so I started eating, even though I don't have much of an appetite.  Thanks for the advice.

I went back to work Thursday and it was not a good time.  I just kind of sat there staring at my computer monitor, trying to gather myself to deal with the day.  I work in the sign industry and do graphic design, so Thursday and Friday I spent some time designing an "In Memory of.." decal for friends and family.  Everyone seems to love it.  I am also in the process of doing a large photo collage for the memorial service we're planning at a local park.  I made one of these for my Mom when she was in a nursing home, on the last leg of her life's journey.  I mounted it on the wall directly in front of her bed.  Dementia had begun to take it's toll on her, but her roommate told me she spent hours on end starring at the collage, which made me happy.  It consisted of dozens of photos of myself, Susie, her Grand Daughter and our little dog, who she loved.  The center piece was a beautiful old picture of my Grandmother when she was young.  Anyway, Susie's collage is coming along nicely.

Each passing day seems a little more bearable and I'm trying to keep myself busy.  One of the hardest things is notifying friends that still aren't aware.  I can only do about one of those a day and I feel drained after.  Fortunately most everyone knows now, so that's almost over.

Potential lyrics are popping into my head throughout the day.  As soon as I get caught back up on chores, I plan to set up my studio again and start writing and recording.  I realized early in my life that music was key to my dealing with life's tragedies.  It has gotten me through so many such events that I can say without a doubt, were it not for that, I honestly don't think I would have made it, or retained my sanity.  I thank the Lord and my Father for my love of Music.  

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You have many strengths, my friend, and it's good to know that you are aware of them and willing to use them. They will get you through this. One day, one hour, one moment at a time. ♥️

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1 hour ago, MarkM said:

Susie would not be happy if I starved myself on her behalf, so I started eating, even though I don't have much of an appetite.

I'm learning to eat to live rather than live to eat, when George died I didn't care about either one.  I lost then gained weight and ended up with Diabetes, now I'm finally trying to deal with it all and reverse what I can.  I wish I'd cared more about my health back then but their death somehow takes that from us.

I'm sorry your return to work was so hard.  I went back after two weeks and am not sure my brain went with me.  I don't think my brain has ever returned to pre-George's-death-normal even after all these years.  I get by but it's more of a struggle than before that time.  My jobs always required way too much brain-power.

You have a good attitude and that will aid you greatly, one of our greatest assets.

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Hello, I too am sorry about what you have experienced.  Having been a caregiver for as long as I was, I can say authoritatively that the feelings you have, this "dead stop" as you put it, are real and valid and understandable.  I lost 10 pounds in the last month of his life, and it was very strange in the house after he was gone, almost eerie with the sense of emptiness both inside me and around me, with the awareness of things no longer needed to be done.  And the feeling of being petrified about facing life without him has only now, after almost 3 years, eased a little.

As others have said, it's all very fresh and raw for you right now, and it's going to be that away for a good while, I'm afraid.  But I think the urge to write and compose is going to be your strength, as Marty says.  I wrote tons of poems and essays in the aftermath and I think some of them are quite good (being my own worst critic means that if I like it, it must be pretty darn good).  I think it's said, "You must suffer to write."  I found that to be true.  ❤️

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I think suffering reaches so far deeper into our 'souls'.  Easy to write about good times.  So much harder to express pain, heartache loneliness, etc.  We need the balance, but I know I have to not let myself stay in the suffering too long or it becomes seductive.  The suffering will always be there.  Waiting.  Those breaks provide a respite to approach them from a different angle, mindset or just plain want to dive back in and scream about it again.  I find vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate and a show or movie a great break. 😎

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Kieron, The emptiness is overwhelming and particularly today.  I feel hollowed out and wounded to the soul.  It's really difficult to describe.  I find myself talking to Susie throughout the day. from telling her "good morning" when I walk out the door and look up at the sky, to when I tell her I love her when I lay my head on the pillow at night.  The other morning, just as the sunlight was beginning to show on the horizon, the skies were clear and we had a crescent moon on it's back, my layman terminology.  She loved that phase and we always called it "her moon".  It reminded me of the line from the song "I'll be seeing you", that goes "I'll be looking at the moon, but I'll be seeing you".  I'll always remember her that way and I hope she's admiring it as much as I am, but from the other side.

Gwenivere, I've known people who deal with grief by attempting to suppress it, or converting it to anger, etc..., but I've never been such a person.  In these times, I typically am drawn to songs and poetry that trigger and express the emotions.  Once I do that from time to time, it seems to relieve the pressure at least for a little while.  I think I feel one of those episodes coming on soon.  I try not to wallow in grief, but to deal with it and move on to the next level.  Pain and heartache have been the influence for some of the most beautiful music ever written.  I've been fascinated with emotions in music my entire life.  My Father was a professional musician.  As a child, I remember watching in awe as he would perform "Old Shep" and watching people around a campfire fight back the tears.  Years ago he told me that tragedy evoked powerful music.  Music is a wonderful medium for emotion and for me, it has been both a way to express them as well as capture them in time.

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I know how primal music is for people.  it is a mighty force.  It can transport you in time, freezes certain times forever with good or bad memories.  I can’t listen to it much these days, not since Steve left and took the catalyst for his with him.  Older songs can make cry or smile depending on what was happening when they imprinted on my brain.   He wrote much of his own and did covers of ones that had significance to us.  The recordings are all in his studio.  I so miss hearing his voice and instruments.  The people that played with him.  

I have listened to a couple songs he did, but I’m still not ready to have them integrated into my life again.  I hear that voice and long to talk with him.  Since I am in a crisis, I want his consoling.  His protection.  His caring beyond the body.  But I veered off course.....

i have a CD in my car he made me of my favorite songs with his sprinkled in.  I thought I was doing OK the first couple times I heard him, but paid later for it.  Sometimes it takes much longer than we think to hear what was once so fulfilling.  As Marg says, it’s still a healing scab that keeps getting ripped off too often.  A unique journey for us all.  Took me 5 years to listen and I’m still working on it.  

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I feel the same Gwen...I listened to all of his CDs in the beginning but it was so raw then that listening to his music couldn't make me feel much worse.  Now though, it takes me back and it's just too painful, I rarely go there.

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6 hours ago, MarkM said:

 I feel hollowed out and wounded to the soul.  It's really difficult to describe.  

Yes, it's very difficult to describe what being wounded to the soul feels like. I cannot convey the words. 

Can the soul heal from this wound? I don't have the answer. 

I'm sorry for your loss. 

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I think we can heal but it's not the same as before, we have scars and we're not the same as before.  We no longer take things for granted like we innocently/naively did before.

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Marty, I just got through "After caregiving ends" and there are some excellent points I hadn't thought about.  There is no doubt that a lot of my feeling lost, is because my purpose with Susie has ended.  It was a challenge, but I honestly don't feel much relief with it being gone.  We have had many discussions over the years about what I felt was my loving duty.  She felt guilty on many occasions, about my having to do things for her, causing lost sleep due to her pain and discomfort, but I assured her it was not a problem.  In the last few months I believe she actually attempted to alienate me a time or two.  This I suspect was designed to potentially cause me to give up and relinquish my duties, relieving me of the responsibility, because she felt bad.  I called her on it and it stopped immediately.  About two weeks before she passed, she said that the only reason she thought about not clinging to life, was that I would no longer have to bother with her care.  I informed her that I loved her very much and that it was my pleasure to perform the task.  I think she finally understood, though neither one of us realized that it was nearly at the end.  I feel no guilt over the way I conducted my care.  I had plenty of experience caring for my Mom and thankfully it prepared me for Susie.  I wanted to make sure that I could sleep at night knowing that I always tried to do the right thing.

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Gwenivere and Kay, I totally understand where you are coming from.  I have always been a proactive person, immediately confronting my problems and doing my best to embrace old memories, even if they may at first make me feel uncomfortable.  Susie had a beautiful singing voice and when I was listening to some old mini discs of songs we did together, it actually made me feel warm inside, almost like she was there.  Thankfully I find great comfort in old photos, recordings and even the things she wrote.  I can't imagine not having those around me.

When I do start composing, it will be after this horrible stage I'm in now.  I don't want to write something that is a downer, but more a tribute to her kind heart and beautiful soul.  I feel it's all going to be critical in filling the void I now feel.  

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21 hours ago, scba said:

Yes, it's very difficult to describe what being wounded to the soul feels like. I cannot convey the words. 

Can the soul heal from this wound? I don't have the answer. 

I'm sorry for your loss. 

Thank you, I believe that though I will never be able to replace Susie, my soul will at least heal to the extent that it isn't constantly consumed with grief.  I attribute this to a belief of a life hereafter and that I will see her again.  I think love is a double edged sword, it can hurt and it can heal.  Now it's time to slowly strive for the latter.

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I'm having a really rough time today.  I pretty much didn't sleep last night and it took everything I could muster to get out pf bed.  Work is horrible and I can't concentrate at all.  I wish I could just go home, curl up in bed and cry myself to sleep.  I lost her two weeks ago today and it feels like it was last night.  I wish this was all a big nightmare and I would wake up and she would be there.

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I know, I don't think we ever forget those early days although much of it is a blur because we were in shock at the time...I do remember feeling frantic, couldn't sleep, it was awful.  It takes time to process it, much time but you won't always feel as bad as you do today.  It's hard to imagine, but our bodies adjust to even this.  I'm still getting over losing my dog 5 1/2 months ago, losing one's spouse takes much longer, we continue missing and loving them as the days and years go by.  I'm sorry it's so painful, I know of nothing harder.  (((hugs)))

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