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Losing my husband


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Hello , my name is Tina. I lost my husband a little over 3 months ago unexpectedly. Everyday is a struggle but yesterday was the worst or so it seeemed.  I can’t believe he is gone , we talked about doing so many things when we retire.  We were married close to 26 years , it’s such a big adjustment living alone, no kids.  The evenings are a struggle. 
at times I don’t even know how I am functioning. 

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Hello Tina. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm too living alone and I don't have kids either. Nights are very hard. It's been long for me but today, I've been sobbing all night because sometimes It hits me hard and I'm all lost again. 

It's really one day at a time. You and I and all of us here have made it through today, and we'll make it tomorrow.

This is a compassionate site. We understand how you're feeling.

 

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Welcome, and I am also sorry that the loss is so fresh and is now hitting you hard.  It tends to do that.  One moment you think you're okay enough to just keep going and then blammo, you're right in the thick of it, unable to see through the water in your eyes or breathe through the gasping sobs.  I used to say "I can't believe he is gone" probably hundreds of times by now, and still do it, now and again.  I'm back to wondering what I'm going to do with our place, especially now that it's dark earlier and we just had a big snowstorm, and there's no one else here but the cat for company.

As Ana says, this is a compassionate site and indeed we "get it," here.

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Hello Tina,

I recently found this forum and find that, after 5 months, it's important to have people that understand. Me and my wife were a team- we never needed anybody else, because we loved each others company. Now, I find I have such a hole in my life, such loneliness. But, it helps that there are people here that are friends. It is a day by day struggle, but post here- it helps! And listen to music- it's a great healer.

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Tina, I’m another with no kids and left with the total emptiness.  At the timeline you’re in, the feelings an actions are 'normal' and valid.  I had just over 30 years with my husband.  I remember very clearly the shock and attacks of grief.  Sobbing, screaming, lack of breath.  Triggers obvious and sneaky.  It is a day by day, often hour by hour struggle.  Even sleep is influenced.  I think if you stay in this 'club' none of us want to be in, you’ll find all of us understand your new world.  We’re all living with our lives ripped apart.  Even having family is tough on them.  They are fighting different grief by their relationship.  Child, brother, parent.  We all need people that speak this new language of losing our best friend.

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@TinaML I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm glad you found this place, it's been over 15 years I've been here, since the loss of my husband, George.  I'm also alone, and growing old alone is hard.  This is not what we'd planned!  He was barely 51 when he died.

I'm sorry you just had one of your hardest days.  It seems to go like that, but knowing so doesn't make it any easier to endure.  I hope you have some supportive family, even if only by phone.  Both of my kids (grown) are in the middle of moving so I haven't even talked with them lately as I know they're on stress overload and super busy (one going through a divorce as well).  

This is a good place to vent and know you're heard, there's always someone around if not at the moment, shortly.  And it does help to get it out and know you've been heard by others who "get it."

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

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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22 hours ago, scba said:

Hello Tina. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm too living alone and I don't have kids either. Nights are very hard. It's been long for me but today, I've been sobbing all night because sometimes It hits me hard and I'm all lost again. 

It's really one day at a time. You and I and all of us here have made it through today, and we'll make it tomorrow.

This is a compassionate site. We understand how you're feeling.

 

Hi.  Thank you for your sweet email and I am sorry for your loss too. What are some of your hobbies?  Are you in NC?  Do you go out with friends ? 
I try to make plans for weekends but I have a couple coming up and no plans, I am just going to go to a craft store in morning. 
 

I agree with u on it being difficult. 
 

take care 

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22 hours ago, Kieron said:

Welcome, and I am also sorry that the loss is so fresh and is now hitting you hard.  It tends to do that.  One moment you think you're okay enough to just keep going and then blammo, you're right in the thick of it, unable to see through the water in your eyes or breathe through the gasping sobs.  I used to say "I can't believe he is gone" probably hundreds of times by now, and still do it, now and again.  I'm back to wondering what I'm going to do with our place, especially now that it's dark earlier and we just had a big snowstorm, and there's no one else here but the cat for company.

As Ana says, this is a compassionate site and indeed we "get it," here.

Hi Kieran. Thank you for your sweet note.  Snowstorm already !  You must be out west.  I don’t like it getting dark early at all, gets more depressing.  I say the same thing to myself “ I can’t believe this “ or I think maybe he went somewhere and is coming back, which I know is not true but I’ll tell myself that.   I just never thought I would be alone this early in life but I guess there is no real time frame for death. 
 

take care 

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21 hours ago, nashreed said:

Hello Tina,

I recently found this forum and find that, after 5 months, it's important to have people that understand. Me and my wife were a team- we never needed anybody else, because we loved each others company. Now, I find I have such a hole in my life, such loneliness. But, it helps that there are people here that are friends. It is a day by day struggle, but post here- it helps! And listen to music- it's a great healer.

Thanks Nashreed.  I agree with u in that it helps having friends. I like to read mystery novels and watch tv, that helps some.  I’ll cook or bake too.  I am sorry for your loss. I know that it’s not easy at all. 
 

take care 

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20 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Tina, I’m another with no kids and left with the total emptiness.  At the timeline you’re in, the feelings an actions are 'normal' and valid.  I had just over 30 years with my husband.  I remember very clearly the shock and attacks of grief.  Sobbing, screaming, lack of breath.  Triggers obvious and sneaky.  It is a day by day, often hour by hour struggle.  Even sleep is influenced.  I think if you stay in this 'club' none of us want to be in, you’ll find all of us understand your new world.  We’re all living with our lives ripped apart.  Even having family is tough on them.  They are fighting different grief by their relationship.  Child, brother, parent.  We all need people that speak this new language of losing our best friend.

Hi Gwenivere.  Thanks for your sweet note and I am sorry for your loss too.  It’s a daily struggle, I am busy with work some days more than others, then I think I have no one to talk about work day like we both did in evenings.  I don’t sleep good at all, I end up taking shorts naps during day when I can. 
I try to have a plan for the weekend to get me out of house and just moving.   It’s sooo hard.  As you mentioned with family there are struggles too.  I am doing a zoom call with my sister and nieces tomorrow which I look forward to.  My husband loved the nieces and always played with them. 
 

take care 

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11 hours ago, kayc said:

@TinaML I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm glad you found this place, it's been over 15 years I've been here, since the loss of my husband, George.  I'm also alone, and growing old alone is hard.  This is not what we'd planned!  He was barely 51 when he died.

I'm sorry you just had one of your hardest days.  It seems to go like that, but knowing so doesn't make it any easier to endure.  I hope you have some supportive family, even if only by phone.  Both of my kids (grown) are in the middle of moving so I haven't even talked with them lately as I know they're on stress overload and super busy (one going through a divorce as well).  

This is a good place to vent and know you're heard, there's always someone around if not at the moment, shortly.  And it does help to get it out and know you've been heard by others who "get it."

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

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.

Hi Kayc.  Thank you very much for your sweet note and pointers to help me get through this.  I am sorry for your loss and you also lost your husband as he was young.  Life is busy for my friends , family as I have to find things to keep me going when I am not working.  I love to watch to, read novels , I like paper crafting, so that’s on my list for tomorrow. I am trying to cook on weekends too. 
 Thank you very much again. 
take care 

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Our church ladies had a great time of fellowship today, did crafts, had a taco bar, played bunko, it was a welcome diversion!  Guarantee I had more fun than my kids today.

I hope you feel welcome here and continue to come and post as you feel.  This is that "safe place."

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