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I am 20 years old, I lost my boyfriend, he was 22. He had a heart attack because of an undiagnosed cardiac disease. The most traumatic thing was having to see him go in my arms and not being able to do anything, the ambulance was unable to rescue him and I find myself full of regrets and guilt. I miss him a lot and I can't see my future without him, every day is a struggle to stay because of my parents and his. I want to make him proud but It is hard when I lost my entire motivation. I just have a lot of questions and I know they will never be answered, I want to recover my happiness and be hopeful and excited about life again. 

 

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Hello, I think you mentioned in your other post that it had been 9 months since he died in your arms.  It's not surprising that you have the regrets and guilt, especially being unable to do anything about it even with an ambulance there.  I think all of us have experienced these or similar feelings in the aftermath of the loss, and in variable degrees of intensity at different times.  Having many unanswered questions is also very much a natural experience and is a big part of the journey. 

Having said all that, I'd also like to say that at 9 months, it's all still very fresh for you.  Everyone is different, and people's grief journey is individual, so I would suggest treating yourself as gently as you can and recognize that you're going to feel what you feel, especially as the first anniversary comes up.

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As Kieron mentioned, it is common, normal even, to feel guilt and whatifs following loss, we mull it around in ourselves, trying to find a different possible outcome, only there isn't one, just the one that happened.  It's important to keep in mind that our FEELINGS do not make us guilty!  Our FEELINGS are not fact!  Our feelings are real to us and we can have a myriad of feelings at once, including some opposing ones, all valid and normal, but that does not make us guilty!

I hope you will read these articles and take them to heart...you might want to reread until it seeps in.

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/03/in-grief-coping-with-moment-of-death.html
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/03/guilt-and-regret-in-grief.html

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/12/grief-and-burden-of-guilt.html
There is one more I want to include as it has been a while and you might find yourself smiling and then feeling abhorred that you did!  Know that is to be coveted and natural and important that we allow ourselves that as it is not their death or our grief that binds us, but the love we share and that continues still.

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/06/in-grief-feeling-guilty-for-feeling.html


 

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15 hours ago, Kieron said:

Hello, I think you mentioned in your other post that it had been 9 months since he died in your arms.  It's not surprising that you have the regrets and guilt, especially being unable to do anything about it even with an ambulance there.  I think all of us have experienced these or similar feelings in the aftermath of the loss, and in variable degrees of intensity at different times.  Having many unanswered questions is also very much a natural experience and is a big part of the journey. 

Having said all that, I'd also like to say that at 9 months, it's all still very fresh for you.  Everyone is different, and people's grief journey is individual, so I would suggest treating yourself as gently as you can and recognize that you're going to feel what you feel, especially as the first anniversary comes up.

It still feels like yesterday that this happened and I find myself scared of the anniversary coming up, It will feel like reliving it. I know I have a lot to work on, getting rid of the guilt and not being so hard on myself. Thank you for your words. 

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14 hours ago, kayc said:

As Kieron mentioned, it is common, normal even, to feel guilt and whatifs following loss, we mull it around in ourselves, trying to find a different possible outcome, only there isn't one, just the one that happened.  It's important to keep in mind that our FEELINGS do not make us guilty!  Our FEELINGS are not fact!  Our feelings are real to us and we can have a myriad of feelings at once, including some opposing ones, all valid and normal, but that does not make us guilty!

I hope you will read these articles and take them to heart...you might want to reread until it seeps in.

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/03/in-grief-coping-with-moment-of-death.html
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/03/guilt-and-regret-in-grief.html

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/12/grief-and-burden-of-guilt.html
There is one more I want to include as it has been a while and you might find yourself smiling and then feeling abhorred that you did!  Know that is to be coveted and natural and important that we allow ourselves that as it is not their death or our grief that binds us, but the love we share and that continues still.

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/06/in-grief-feeling-guilty-for-feeling.html


 

Our feelings are really strong and I know they are something I have to let go to let go my guilt and It is something I work everyday to forget. Thank you so much for your help with these articles and beautiful words. 

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7 hours ago, Smpl0409 said:

I find myself scared of the anniversary coming up, It will feel like reliving it.

Yes, very much so.  No one do that part for you, needless to say, but we know what it can feel like.  For me, it was like a giant door slowly slamming shut as the date approached.  It felt like I would no longer be able to say, "At this time last year we were..., or he was experiencing...., or I was doing..." and going forward from that date was like my past life was receding further away.  it still feels that way as I approach 3 and 1/2 years.  It is just less intense, in comparison.  I've used an analogy elsewhere of beach glass or sea glass, which is a glass bottle that fell into an ocean and shattered.  Over time, the constant waves in the ocean smooth the jagged edges of the glass shards, so they're worn down, smooth, sort of pastel, the way sea glass looks when it washes up on shore.  I use that image below to illustrate for others how the sharp and jagged edges of grief often wear down over time.  You can still feel that edge, but it's not as likely to cut you as deeply.

sea glass clock.jpg

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9 hours ago, Smpl0409 said:

I find myself scared of the anniversary coming up

Remind me closer to the time and I will post links to help you with it, it helps to plan what you're going to do that day.  Mostly listen to your inner self, how you want to spend the day, whether with others or alone, at a favorite place you used to go to together, or however you choose to handle it...or not.  But that's a ways away yet, try to stay in today, tomorrow has enough cares of it's own!

 

2 hours ago, Kieron said:

Over time, the constant waves in the ocean smooth the jagged edges of the glass shards, so they're worn down, smooth, sort of pastel, the way sea glass looks when it washes up on shore.  I use that image below to illustrate for others how the sharp and jagged edges of grief often wear down over time.

I love that analogy!  And beautiful clock, BTW!

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16 hours ago, Kieron said:

Yes, very much so.  No one do that part for you, needless to say, but we know what it can feel like.  For me, it was like a giant door slowly slamming shut as the date approached.  It felt like I would no longer be able to say, "At this time last year we were..., or he was experiencing...., or I was doing..." and going forward from that date was like my past life was receding further away.  it still feels that way as I approach 3 and 1/2 years.  It is just less intense, in comparison.  I've used an analogy elsewhere of beach glass or sea glass, which is a glass bottle that fell into an ocean and shattered.  Over time, the constant waves in the ocean smooth the jagged edges of the glass shards, so they're worn down, smooth, sort of pastel, the way sea glass looks when it washes up on shore.  I use that image below to illustrate for others how the sharp and jagged edges of grief often wear down over time.  You can still feel that edge, but it's not as likely to cut you as deeply.

sea glass clock.jpg

I am scared of feeling everything far away and being forced to remember with such pain still. I have a strong way to guide my actions with what I've been through and people often tell me this will be a lesson for life but I just feel I gets harder and hard. I like the analogy, I really hope those edges get less sharp and that time helps me to heal. 

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14 hours ago, kayc said:

Remind me closer to the time and I will post links to help you with it, it helps to plan what you're going to do that day.  Mostly listen to your inner self, how you want to spend the day, whether with others or alone, at a favorite place you used to go to together, or however you choose to handle it...or not.  But that's a ways away yet, try to stay in today, tomorrow has enough cares of it's own!

 

I love that analogy!  And beautiful clock, BTW!

I know people would like to be with me and I want to honor him, I'm just scared of my reaction. I guess I have to start living day by day and think about it when it's time. Thank you so much for your help, I will remind you, I would love your help to cope with it. 

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I'm so sorry about the pain you're experiencing!  My husband also died young, of a heart attack, and I felt a heavy weight of guilt as you do.  I was given a book called "Good Grief" by Granger Westberg.  It is a classic handbook for people who have lost someone or even some THING dear.  He wrote that feeling guilty is very much a part of the grieving process.  It's the frustration of not being able to talk to them and make everything right for them.
I can tell you that I also felt, like you, unmotivated and uninterested in life.  That is also a natural part of the process of healing.  Grief is exhausting!  It wears you out physically and emotionally.  Take it easy on yourself.  Find the right balance between activity and rest (don't overdo either one).  
The first year is the hardest.  It will start getting better gradually, but it is VERY difficult.  I used to say, all the time, "I don't know how people ever get through this without Jesus!"  He was so close to me when I needed Him most. 
I don't think you'll ever "get over" the loss you have endured, but you will start to find a new place for yourself where you can function and even thrive.  
I will pray for you.
https://www.amazon.com/Good-Grief-Companion-Every-Loss/dp/150645447X/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_0/144-9555677-2494361?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=150645447X&pd_rd_r=79c6c787-7090-4ead-9a03-b865064a703e&pd_rd_w=04L3H&pd_rd_wg=4SMuH&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=ZFSTPBPCBSPCDTV8SF46&psc=1&refRID=ZFSTPBPCBSPCDTV8SF46

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I have been told and that the first year is the hardest, I just hope it gets better and that I have to work on the guilt to begin accepting his death. Since I was young, I was always afraid of losing someone I loved and It happened and I just feel I have to learn from this and live in the moment. Thank you so much for the book and your advice. 

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Speaking only for myself, and not to scare you but to prepare you, I personally found the second year harder, particularly the 18-month/year-and-a-half point.  And even then, it was highly variable with some days being better and some worse.

Your mileage may vary, as they say.

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10 hours ago, Smpl0409 said:

I have been told and that the first year is the hardest, I just hope it gets better

It can take quite a while to process and adjust...a year is not enough to "be there" and I think the reason the second year seems the hardest for some is because we EXPECT it to be better and instead reality sets in harder the longer they're gone it seems!  I did feel I deserved a medal after surviving the first year of "firsts without."  (first Christmas w/o, first birthday w/o, etc)

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The "firsts withouts" has been the hardest but I think I have to stop expecting a lot from the second year. I have been taking antidepressants which have helped me a lot, I am scared of what will happen when I stop taking them.

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You do not have to wean off of them until you're ready.  This is a journey, I have come to learn, is "in for the long haul."  The good news is, it doesn't stay the same.  We do adjust, little by little and learn to cope.  The intensity of pain lessens eventually.  I've learned to not expect but hope just a little...by now I don't see a whole lot things getting better, growing old alone is not for the fainthearted.  

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 I know that it is a long journey and I have to be patient, I am grateful of the people that I have helped me, friends, family and his family and I don't know where I would be without them. But, I find myself getting a lot of pressure getting better and moving on but I am learning to ignore it because I just want to be with him. 

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I’m almost afraid to say anything, but this is about sharing experience and going into my 6thyear is proving to be the hardest challenge I’ve ever faced.  I factor in my being much older, the pandemic, a long history of losses and seeing there will be more as I get more limited by age.  This is only counting loss by death, not loss of other relationships from distance or not fitting anymore, which hurt to at that age as they are stilll there but you can’t connect with them anymore.  That’s a whole different pain.  

Its all so individual. Some find ways to channel that grief into a different life that will always have the pain but they still live.  Some get stuck because circumstances just wind up creating a prison.  I’m in the latter from physical prevention of attempts of things I’d like to try but just cannot.  Many would be avenues to more social interaction which I desperately need.   That can’t happen sitting here alone.  

I wont insult you by saying you are young and have so much time.  You've faced something no one my age at the time ever did.  Support must be even harder as you may have no one in your peers that could possibly understand fully what you are enduring,  I hope being with us helps somewhat.  You were just starting your life with another.   It was much too soon to end.  I wish I had some wisdom for facing that at your age, but I do know losing the one you love the most in the world is devastating.  Don’t bow to the pressure to get better.  I don’t even know what that means from the people around you.  Go back like it never happensed?  That won’t happen.  Feel what you have every right to feel.  It comes to finding who can you support you in the ways you need.  Some might be there for anything, others for certain things.  This is your journey and you do it your way.  

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30 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

Don’t bow to the pressure to get better.

 

30 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

 Feel what you have every right to feel.

 

30 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

It comes to finding who can you support you in the ways you need.

 

30 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

This is your journey and you do it your way.

There, you have it, words of truer wisdom never spoken!

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7 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I’m almost afraid to say anything, but this is about sharing experience and going into my 6thyear is proving to be the hardest challenge I’ve ever faced.  I factor in my being much older, the pandemic, a long history of losses and seeing there will be more as I get more limited by age.  This is only counting loss by death, not loss of other relationships from distance or not fitting anymore, which hurt to at that age as they are stilll there but you can’t connect with them anymore.  That’s a whole different pain.  

Its all so individual. Some find ways to channel that grief into a different life that will always have the pain but they still live.  Some get stuck because circumstances just wind up creating a prison.  I’m in the latter from physical prevention of attempts of things I’d like to try but just cannot.  Many would be avenues to more social interaction which I desperately need.   That can’t happen sitting here alone.  

I wont insult you by saying you are young and have so much time.  You've faced something no one my age at the time ever did.  Support must be even harder as you may have no one in your peers that could possibly understand fully what you are enduring,  I hope being with us helps somewhat.  You were just starting your life with another.   It was much too soon to end.  I wish I had some wisdom for facing that at your age, but I do know losing the one you love the most in the world is devastating.  Don’t bow to the pressure to get better.  I don’t even know what that means from the people around you.  Go back like it never happensed?  That won’t happen.  Feel what you have every right to feel.  It comes to finding who can you support you in the ways you need.  Some might be there for anything, others for certain things.  This is your journey and you do it your way.  

 I won't lie, I get really hurt when people tell me that just because we were not married or I am too young, that it means it does not hurt but I have learned to ignore and do what he would want me to do, keep trying to get better. I can't find people my age that have gone through this, and people get awkward when they are around me because they don't know what to do or say, I can sense it right from the beginning of the conversation. This forum has really really helped me because I don't feel pressured or judged, I feel free to tell my story and I know it is helping me heal. 

I feel really alone, I live with my parents but my siblings don't live here anymore, my friends have been wonderful in all of this but my insecurities sometimes get the best of me and I get the feeling they just don't know what to do. 

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KGrief knows no age.  Yes, it’s more common the older we are.  But we taste it thru loss of aunts, uncles, parents, friends as they age too.  Your friends are in an awkward position right now.  It’s not their fault, they just haven’t experienced a loss such as yours.  I have no idea how I would have felt if this happened To me then.  I’m glad you found support here.  You’re a part of this family.  I don’t know what I round do without them all.  

You may not have been married yet, but you were at the start of a life you both planned together. I don’t know if you had plans for that, but love is love..  To lose something that special is so unfair.  Your dreams were crushed before they could even happen.  It might help if you brought up your boyfriend to show your friends it’s OK  to talk about him.  They may think it’s too hard for you when the opposite is true.  At the very least, you can find out if they can be there for you.  You may lose some people, but may grow closer to others.  You may have already done this.  I wish I could offer more, but your situation is no one I traveled.  As you travel it, I’ll learn too.  We all educate each other thru support.  Support each other by sharing (education).  It’s a life saving system.

The biggest education I got was the transformation of sympathy to true empathy. 🦋 

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15 hours ago, Smpl0409 said:

 I won't lie, I get really hurt when people tell me that just because we were not married or I am too young, that it means it does not hurt but I have learned to ignore and do what he would want me to do, keep trying to get better. I can't find people my age that have gone through this, and people get awkward when they are around me because they don't know what to do or say, I can sense it right from the beginning of the conversation. This forum has really really helped me because I don't feel pressured or judged, I feel free to tell my story and I know it is helping me heal. 

I feel really alone, I live with my parents but my siblings don't live here anymore, my friends have been wonderful in all of this but my insecurities sometimes get the best of me and I get the feeling they just don't know what to do. 

I lost my boyfriend too. We were in our 30s. I totally understand how you feel cause I felt the same. I felt I was the only one whose life was destroyed, I was suffering so much also because widowhood was about old people and nobody around me understood. My relatives told me they found happiness in their children and grandchildren. We didn't get to be parents. I was also suggested that I could meet divorced men. As if we were going through the same experience. 

I was very lost and alone with my feelings, which I didn't understand. These aloneness and unvoiced grief made a scar on me that didn't heal. But there is hope. It's been 6 years and I learned to live with it. 

I was very young, in pain, with no tools. I found this site. 

So my advice is to look for a place where you can express yourself with no judgement. This is one, also counselling, art, writing, support groups. Look for a space to voice your grief. 

Don't let anyone dismiss it cause you are young, unmarried and etc. You and your feelings are important and they need to be attended too. In your own terms.

The expectations on us young adults are that we will find out our road and be our old selves again (soon, preferably). In our culture Loss to death in young adults is treated as a sad break-up. It is not. Don't let anyone put you under pressure to feel better X day, reach X place, do X thing, think this or that way.

We will survive. I did and you can do it too. But the journey hurts.

We are few youngers in the tribe, yet you don't walk alone. 

 

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So much wisdom and caring here.  

@Smpl0409  Don't let anyone invalidate your feelings, love has nothing to do with age, marital status, longevity, it has everything to do with the connection and love you shared with that person!  Many married people don't have what you had!  You know what you feel, you know what you've lost, I would set anyone straight that talked down to me like that.  Thank them for invalidating my experience.  I know that's not what they think they're trying to do, but in so doing it maybe need it called to their attention?  Do what you feel best!  What YOU feel is what matters most!

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20 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

KGrief knows no age.  Yes, it’s more common the older we are.  But we taste it thru loss of aunts, uncles, parents, friends as they age too.  Your friends are in an awkward position right now.  It’s not their fault, they just haven’t experienced a loss such as yours.  I have no idea how I would have felt if this happened To me then.  I’m glad you found support here.  You’re a part of this family.  I don’t know what I round do without them all.  

You may not have been married yet, but you were at the start of a life you both planned together. I don’t know if you had plans for that, but love is love..  To lose something that special is so unfair.  Your dreams were crushed before they could even happen.  It might help if you brought up your boyfriend to show your friends it’s OK  to talk about him.  They may think it’s too hard for you when the opposite is true.  At the very least, you can find out if they can be there for you.  You may lose some people, but may grow closer to others.  You may have already done this.  I wish I could offer more, but your situation is no one I traveled.  As you travel it, I’ll learn too.  We all educate each other thru support.  Support each other by sharing (education).  It’s a life saving system.

The biggest education I got was the transformation of sympathy to true empathy. 🦋 

I never thought that I would go through something like this and I just was not prepared at all, one moment I was hugging him and the next, he was gone. Even though we were young, we had already planned on getting married and having kids and he was definitely my soulmate. It is incredibly lonely life without him, no amount of friends and family can replace him but I know I have to be empathic and know that this is difficult for them too. 

Thank you. 

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