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Good morning everyone! I am new to this group. I have found comfort in the little bit that I have read so far. My husband Michael and I were married for 28 unbelievably fun and exciting years! We have one daughter who is 25. Michael dropped suddenly at work. He suffered a massive heart attack. Two men gave him cpr immediately and he woke up to talk with me on the phone twice. For that I am thankful. He survived the heart surgery but from the fall hitting his head caused a brain bleed. We took him off life support and he passed instantly. It will be a year on Oct. 21st. He died out of state. My daughter and I drove to be with him. It’s odd to say this but it was one of the most precious and tragic times of my life all wrapped into one. I’m a paralegal and went right back to work. Work at the time helped. We have a sailboat that has offered many relaxing days for me to think. What I’m feeling now is complete restlessness! I want to sell my house, quit my job and move then the next day I don’t. I guess I’m waiting for that lightbulb to go off and I will have all of the answers....thank you for listening. 

37E02813-98DC-4A53-B286-3D0700F8059A.jpeg

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Welcome to the club no one wants to join, with the first year anniversary speeding toward you.  I'm sorry.

50 minutes ago, Denra said:

it was one of the most precious and tragic times of my life all wrapped into one.

Wow, that is such a great way to phrase it.  As a writer I appreciate any new way to capture the spirit of this journey we're all on. 

I share this restlessness and the back-and-forth you describe.  Over the past 3 years, I resolved, and then backed out on, plans to start the proceedings to sell my house at least 3 times (so far).  After this latest round, I decided that for now, I don't know where I would even go, so why put myself through it?  I'm bored at my job but I'm not sure what else I would do, so once again... status quo.  🙄  Oh yes, I get this very well. 

What a cute photo.  😊

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Wow. I am so sorry. That hit me really hard, because when my wife had the low blood sugar which led to her cardiac arrest, she also fell off her wheelchair. I honestly believe she hit her head, but I didn't see anything at the time and the EMT's were concerned with getting her blood sugar up and her heart going. I'll never know if she hurt her head. What a rollercoaster of relief and then tragedy for you.

I was forced to move back to my mother's- financially I had no choice. I had to pack up everything I could (including 6,000 CD's) and drive myself from our home in in Tulsa back to where we met in California. After almost 5 months, I still don't know what to do. I'm in a limbo of grief and ennui and I don't have anything motivating me. I'm not so much restless as just stuck.  Keep hope alive, Denra!

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Welcome to our site, although I wish you had no need to be here.  It can take much time to process our grief, and I'm glad you've held off making permanent decisions until you have more clarity about what you want, which in our early grief can change.

I know you've already made your way through a year of this, but I wrote this article of things I've found helpful over the years, some can be applied immediately and some may not resonate with you until later on in your journey, some never, but I hope you'll read this perchance something might be beneficial to you.  My wish is to help people grieving as someone was here for me when I was in shock and didn't know where to start.  My husband also died of a heart attack when he'd just turned 51, it was totally unexpected.  I'm glad you got to talk with him for a bit.  I too had to go back to work, five days after he died to do the payroll and two weeks after he died, full time.  It does take your mind off things and get you out in the land of the living, but it can be very hard to focus on our job and think at times.

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 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • 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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Welcome and I’m sorry you had this pain enter your life.  

Unfortunately, you’ll probably not get that light bulb and all answers.  As Kieron pointed out, and many of us have faced, making decisions becomes very complicated.  Our emotions skip all over the place.  What sounds good one day sounds different the next.  I don’t know how many times I’ve made decisions only to cancel them out in favor for what is left that is familiar.   A year is still very early too for life altering changes.  But these are purely your choices to make.  I recall being gung ho and did some projects, but I couldn’t share them with him.  

We had 30 years invested in this house. Reminders everywhere, but also perfect for the life we had.  Yet I can’t envision me anywhere else.  I wasn’t formally working, but I can’t volunteer anymore with the pandemic.  

Restless is an excellent word.  I feel that every day wondering how I live life alone now.  It’s been almost 6 years this month for me also and I don’t know how to feel content.  I often feel I am waiting for something and the closest I can come is purpose and meaning without him.  I can change things around me, but I can’t change my heart.  I do understand your needing something to start bringing some peace and I truly hope you’ll find it on this journey.  

I hope you keep sharing.  We all learn from each other.

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8 hours ago, Kieron said:

Welcome to the club no one wants to join, with the first year anniversary speeding toward you.  I'm sorry.

Wow, that is such a great way to phrase it.  As a writer I appreciate any new way to capture the spirit of this journey we're all on. 

I share this restlessness and the back-and-forth you describe.  Over the past 3 years, I resolved, and then backed out on, plans to start the proceedings to sell my house at least 3 times (so far).  After this latest round, I decided that for now, I don't know where I would even go, so why put myself through it?  I'm bored at my job but I'm not sure what else I would do, so once again... status quo.  🙄  Oh yes, I get this very well. 

What a cute photo.  😊

 "it was one of the most precious and tragic times of my life all wrapped into one."

Great phrasing. That completely describes my journey. He reached out to me after he was diagnosed, I went all in, we fell in love. All via email and texting, in the shadow of his terminal cancer. A wild ride. 

 

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