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We weren't allowed to do anything except homework after 9 pm.  My kids had an earlier bedtime in the school week than on weekends but never did that allow them to be inconsiderate of the rest of the household, we always had to be quiet at 9 because their dad went to bed.

I never like the adage "Children should be seen and not heard." because to me it meant minimizing their worth but I do believe in them being respectful, I do not recall ever once telling them that like my mom did us.

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kayc:  I hear you.  Shortly after my husband passed away, probably less than two months one of my dearest friends passed away.   I have missed her so much and wouldn't even know how to make another ol

I agree with Kieron about not being in a supportive environment.  I’m glad I was alone if that was my only other option.  I had lots of his friends contacting me at first and then they faded away.  I

Sometimes when we are in an unsafe or unsupportive environment, we take on protective coloration, so to speak.  Also, remember that grief is different in men compared to women, and you might well stil

I just randomly saw a report on the news about some guy celebrating a 100th birthday or something and I about had a panic attack. I DO NOT want to live a long life now. 

I seriously wish that I would die in my sleep. I think about suicide every day, but I know that that would disappoint Annette. It would be a slap in the face, when I still have perfect vision (with glasses) and I can walk and don't have any major pain and she didn't have those things. I understand that, but I just don't know what I'm going to do without her. We were a team, and now I sail this ship alone- no direction, just aimlessly. Without COVID it would be easier to find a purpose, but everything is so weird. I'm trying to acclimate myself to just being me, and COVID makes that easier. 

I miss her so much, and I can do this from day to day, but years? I don't know how you did it Kay. 

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Still doing it...we live well into our 90s in my family, and I hate to think about what's looming ahead so try my best to stay in TODAY.  Besides, I don't want to miss any good that there is.  I don't want to wish away Kodie's puppyhood, I enjoy him immensely and want to give him the best life I can, so I keep going and try to take care of what's left of my physical self. ;)

I intend to write an article on finding purpose after loss, have some thoughts going through my head, just need to get them down in written form.

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It really has hit me that I have no purpose now. I feel lost without Annette to take care of. I have lost my identity of being her husband. I'm so depressed. I just don't want to live without her. What's the point? 

I need to find my purpose all right.

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You’re still so new into this grief.  Having to face the holidays makes it worse for most, especially the first ones.  This is my 7th and very hard this year because I have issues I really need Steve to lean on.  I’m still trying to figure out my identity too.  I really hate the word 'widow/er'.  I’m Steve’s wife.  I always will be.  That part of my identity is solid.  Sadly, I cannot be a complete wife.  That creates the inner restlessness.  After all this time, so much is still engrained in me.  

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It took me years just to process my grief, and more years to find my purpose and more yet to build a life I can live...then Coronavirus hit and with it, my life, pretty much.  Add to it the pain I have and there went my life as I knew it.  But I'm hoping the virus is temporary, although it's sure hung around longer than any of us could foresee.

 

 

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I know I face years of this. I don't look forward to it. Lately, I've been apologizing to her for... well, everything. She wanted a service dog. In Oklahoma, they're not exactly progressive, and we looked into it- we just could never figure out any way to get her one. I should have just gotten her a regular dog. She would have loved it in her final years, and I think that maybe having a dog would have saved her life, alerting me to her low blood sugar. I have so much guilt and regret, and it's so hard to live with. I know I shouldn't feel the guilt, but it's part of the process. 

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When I talk to Annette, I always seem to need to apologize. I know she wouldn't ever stay mad at me, but I do it just the same. It's funny- I just don't want her mad at me. I can handle anything else, but I don't want her mad at me.

In the last few months of her life, when her health problems really got bad, one thing that we had to go through were her hallucinations. She thought she saw a huge spider in the room, or felt mice crawling on her. I hate the way I shouted at her, but I had to make her understand that they weren't real. I regret so much that I was selfish and more concerned about my sleep then trying to calmly talk her down from her imagination. I would yell at her, and tell her there's nothing there. She would be very stubborn and could be very hard to talk down. I would get so upset with her, and I wish I had handled it better. I still feel so bad about it. I still don't know if it the combination of medications, or her sleep apnea and lack of sleep- I'll never know. 

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I had times I had burned out as a caregiver.  I’d lose my patience and be obviously put out.  Quite natural in i high demand job 24/7.  Steve would often apologize to me for bugging me.  I would have to leave to get a break.  (I always made sure there was backup). We’re only as mortal as they were.  There were times I frustrated him pre cancer and he would need a break.  It’s normal dynamics when things are not stressed but everyday stress with illness, impossible to not be strained when it’s life threatening.

i couldn’t be anything different than what  I was at the times I snapped. A do over would change nothing unless So many factors even beyond him changed (unresponsive docs, medication screw ups in the hospital, his own frustrations).  

Have you considered reaching out for help to-talk to a counselor?  You’ve been carrying this guilt that haunts you but only has power because you give it so.  Does it really matter now why she saw things?  It’s how you won’t forgive yourself for being human, and you said she would too, that makes me sad for you.   If you stay there, you will just find more things to feel bad about.  I’m no professional.  But maybe you are centering in those to deflect the pain of the loss in the now a bit less?  I don’t know and am probably overstepping my bounds asking.  This is your journey to make as you decide and react to.  

I just wish you didn’t carry that extra weight.  I look back and see my failings, but I know Steve nor I do not need an apology.  

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I know that Annette isn't mad at me. She's too nice. I am getting better with this stuff- I am. Just writing it down makes it better. I wouldn't want to go to therepy with it being so weird right now. I will be ok. I know the answers. I have a hard time accepting them, but I'm getting there. 

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I have similar experiences as the two of you.  4 years ago yesterday  Mark collapsed from what turned out to be septic shock.  The morning of the day that it happened, I was impatient because he was feeling scared and anxious about something and I didn't take the time to find out. maybe he had a premonition that something was wrong.  I wasn't patient with him as I wish I had been and then later that day, I got a call that he had collapsed and was sent to the hospital.  That's when the nightmare really began. 😥

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I’m so sorry, Kieron.  You were caught in it too.  I hope you found forgiveness.  Our burdens are heavy enough.  There was no way you could have truly known.  Unless Steve told me specifically he felt off, I was Always in alert mode.  I depended on him to tell me if I needed to be more so.  It takes so much energy and we tire.  It’s hard to be super heroes 24/7.  

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I had no idea when I left on my sisters' reunion that George would have heart attacks and die that weekend!  Or that he'd keep it from me "so as not to ruin my weekend!"  We were always joined at the hip, I only went away once a year, just my luck.

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That's how I feel. I always used to instinctively know when Annette was really low. I used to wake up, like being woken up- except for that last night. I am so mad at myself that I didn't push her to get an insulin pump, but she had pride that she could handle it. She had so little pride left- she couldn't work, she was legally blind, her hands didn't work right anymore...

I have never told this, but I believe that Annette had a Guardian Angel that I saw once. It was 20 years ago, and she was first diagnosed with RA- in massive pain and not being on anything that worked yet. We couldn't sleep in the same bed, so I was in the bedroom and she was on a foldout couch in the living room. She had a light on out there, and I had the door open. It's a fuzzy memory now, but I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a male figure sitting on it, comforting her. I didn't freak out, I was awake though. I kinda thought I shouldn't be awake seeing this and went back to sleep. I always used to think I was woken up when she really needed me. I just don't know why I wasn't that night. I guess it was her time. 

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