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23 hours ago, AnnJ said:

Facebook memories I’ve come to both love and loathe in equal measure

Many choose to forgo FB for a while because of this but there is a setting for turning off the memories if you don't want...you can always turn them back on when you feel more able in a couple of years or so.  When my husband died, we didn't have FB, it was MySpace and I never got into that all that much.

23 hours ago, AnnJ said:

I don’t think even I realised how much I was in love with Tom until I lost him

Kieron's "signature" fits this so well!  "Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.  ~ Kahlil Gibran"

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On 9/14/2020 at 4:34 PM, Gwenivere said:

I didn’t think my love could possibly be deeper than it was til he died, too.  I had no idea how much it engulfed me and made a life worth living.  Not a single day has passed that I don’t feel that.

 You have really said it. What amazed me was that I could love so much, at this age. I thought that was over, that I would never feel that way again, except for my kids. 

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  • 6 months later...

Today marks two years since the death of my soul mate, and I have made only marginal progress in moving on. The only positive thing to report is I am feeling less sorry for myself, and better for him because of his relatively good death. It was swift (heart attack), and he was at home, surrounded by family, his cognition and dignity intact, one step ahead of the cancer end staging curve. No hospital. No drugs. No life support. No morphine drip. No DNR dilemma. He always said he was not afraid of dying, only of suffering. Well, his wife said he did not suffer in his last moments.

I, however, remain in the throes of complicated grief. Nobody else on this planet is mourning him the way that I am. I am still tormented that we were out of contact on his last day. Not for my lack of trying. But he was -uncharacteristically -offline all that day, after communicating as usual the previous day. Something happened after his typical good night signoff at 11:30PM (his last), and whatever it was kept him offline, and his friends in the dark. Well, that was his privilege. I hope he was not in pain. I hope he was tending to the business of preparing to die, in his own way. I have repeatedly read that it takes a lot of strength to make this transition, and people have to withdraw so they can devote all their energy to it. I have to believe this is what happened.  His family told me a bit about his last day, and he apparently was conscious, though did not engage much with them. But, they did not sense that he was shutting down, and his death surprised them too. Quite possibly I may be the only person with that clue. Messaging his friends was his lifeline, and he typically messaged me all through the day. So something cataclysmic must have happened that propelled him overnight from business as usual the previous day into shutdown mode -but I will never know what. 

My other big problem is the aloneness of it all. I had several brief and infrequent  contacts with his family overseas, during the first year after he died. These encounters, both electronic and in person, were sincere, nourishing, and seemingly much appreciated by them. His wife even took me to his grave. But now his family members seem to be moving away from me. They have read but not acknowledged my most recent communiques. While I cannot imagine their grief, they do have two mourning advantages that I do not share: each other, and the legitimacy to grieve openly.  My connection to them, however infrequent and constrained, helped me feel connected to him, or his memory, and losing that is like another death. I got alot of support from my closest friends in the first few months after his death, but they don’t understand why I cannot move on by now. Of course, the pandemic has not helped.

For me, he’s still “here, living and vivid and unforgettable forever” (the quote  refers to James Dean).  I worry that I am becoming addicted to mourning. Like in the French Lieutenant’s Woman, where the doctor says of Sarah, “She is addicted to melancholia as one becomes addicted to opium. Her sadness becomes her happiness.” But if I don’t mourn him, remember him, who will? 

Thanks for listening.

 

 

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Hi razorcalm

I know you probably don’t feel it today and I know I don’t know you, but you seem from your posts in this thread to have come a long way, you “are feeling less sorry for myself, and better for him because of his relatively good death”, and you don’t seem to be tortured by the cherry blossom either!  Maybe little things but huge in the grand scheme of things. I share a disenfranchised grief with you and know that it’s hard. I’m sending a big virtual hug to you today. I too feel Tom’s family and our mutual friends have “moved on” and it enrages me. I’m sure they haven’t but I can’t understand how they can seem so ok when I still think about and miss him every day. 

Your post actually really helped me. I woke up to a Facebook reminder that today marks a year since I last saw Tom,( the first anniversary of his death is next weekend) and I opened my email to find the notification of your post too, a happy coincidence for me which felt like it was meant to be so thank you 
 

Look after and be gentle on yourself 

 

Grief the price we pay for love 

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Dear AnnJ,

Thank you for your post, and your encouragement. Sending a big virtual hug to you too!  It appears that our situations have many common elements, and the opportunity to share is perhaps the clearest pathway to healing. I can't say how much I appreciate this site that has connected me to so many compassionate and understanding people. 

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