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Trying to "find" your lost loved one


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I feel like I'm trying to "find" Annette.

I live in my hometown again, the town where we met. It holds so many memories, but most of the places that mean the most to me and our relationship are gone, or changed, or closed. The Taco Bell we met at has been remodeled, and looks nothing like it used to. The park we used to love to go to (because it has grassy hills that we used to be able to "roll" down) is closed off. You can't drive into the parking lot for the park, because it's been taken over by homeless people.

If if I go to certain locations, I get a sense of deja vu, or I feel like just for a few seconds that it's the 80's or early 90's, before we moved away. It's a weird, cool feeling. I feel like if I drive past at a certain speed or just the right angle, I could hit a time wormhole and go back. 

I actually was able to figure out a location that still looks like it would have back when we lived here. She used to live in a tiny town in the area, and that towns post office still looks the same as far as I can tell. It's where she would have picked up her mail, and I just sat in the parking lot and soaked it in. Went inside and looked around (It's very small, and unfortunately, still has people picking up their mail). Pretty sad, huh. This is what happens when you have too much free time.

Anybody else indulge in this kind of thing? Do you go to the landmarks of your relationship or places your spouse used to work, or is it too painful?

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Most of the places I go(or did before Covid) are places we frequented. I never look for him there. I went to our cabin a couple of times in preparation for selling it. I didn't have to look for him. That's where his soul lived. I've not been to any of the out of state places we visited except Kentucky to watch my daughter die. I'm glad I didn't find him there. The only "looking" I can really think of is on a dating site after he'd been gone a couple of years. I remember crying and telling  my son there was no one that interested me because I was looking for his dad.

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I go to Google earth often and look at the streets we traveled on and the house where we lived. I see the birdhouses he made still on the posts in the yard. Sometimes I almost think I see him looking out the window of his office...

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I know about the going places because of free time.  I gave up our PO Box, but still take mail there rather than put it in my mailbox.  It’s a way to go someplace familiar as it hasn’t changed at all.  I pass by places we used to go and some are closed, others changed, remodeled or totally gone.  Our 2 favorite restaurants are still there, but they are of no use being alone.  A lot of places I can’t avoid in my travels without making it odder using different routes.  So I drive with mental blinders when I can.  Doesn’t always work.  I go to new places now I have found, but they intensify I would never be there if he was here.  I like the people I’ve met at where I get meals, but I sometimes find myself saddened I am there.  My option is to spend more time alone.    There is no 'winning' in this.  No real solace.  The house is a whole 'nuther story.  Being here he is everywhere and I don’t like the changes I’ve had to make for my health or because something needed to be replaced.  I’ll never get used to his side of the bed unused and the nightstand so empty of his bedtime stuff.  Seeing it there hurt too so I removed it.  Now it’s just a lamp and blanket control.  Either way, it hurts.  I miss his messes.  Meant life was happening here.  

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In the first year or maybe more it was hard for me to go to places we'd been.  I had to visit a friend in the hospital, same ward George was in (cardiac) about a year after he died, I bawled my way through it.  Don't think I cheered him up!  I told him I had to do this and I did want to be there for support and show my love, I just couldn't stop the tears flowing.  It was my best friend's husband and he was my friend also.

It was VERY hard for me to get groceries without him.  My daughter did it the first 2-3 months, again, I cried the whole trip (100 mile round trip), had to pull over and wait for some tears to clear.  Long after that it bothers me to see other women's husbands helping them bag groceries, etc.  I feel so sad.  We always made a day of it, went out to eat, visited friends, got groceries...George would get so excited to buy food!  He loved everything and had grown up, 11 kids, all hungry, dad spending $ on barflies instead of his kids.  His appreciation for food lasted all his life.  He'd get so excited!  I had just bought Cornish game hens for him to try (he'd never had them) and his first sharp cheddar, he never got to have them.  :(

Going to parks, stores, church, etc. w/o him was really hard.  Being on the praise team, I'm up on the platform, where I look out over the congregation...George was always in his spot, smiling at me, radiant with adoration & support!  It was so hard to look out and see his empty spot...even harder to see someone else there.  When I sat down, I had to sit in another spot, across the church.  I'm there still.

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I'm sorry, Kay. I truly find comfort in places that I can find here, where she would have gone to or worked at when she was young and healthy. They give me a sense of peace, because it was a place that she saw and was part of her life. I suppose if I still lived in Tulsa, seeing places that we went to would make me sad. Sadly, the last few years of her life, she didn't feel comfortable going out and she really just went to doctors appointments or Urgent Care. If she went to a store, her eyesight was poor and it was always frustrating to shop with her. I wish I had had more patience. Actually, yeah- Walgreens and Dollar Tree's do stress me out. 

What really, really depresses me are the unavoidable commercials for things like Humira, which she had to take for her RA for years. She started it the first year it was out. Unfortunately, it resulted in her amputation, because it suppresses your healing ability and led to an infection after her ankle replacement surgery. I truly hate those commercials (Commercials in general I can't stand. We always used to tape shows and fast forward through them. My family watches tv in real time and even when watching something recorded, refuses to fast forward through commercials!? Grrrr)

Annette grew up poor as well, and she though she wasn't a foodie, she definitely had her favorites. She had to be careful, because of her Diabetes, but I used to love to surprise her with little treats and things. I suppose that with all of the wonderous beauty in Heaven, one of the things that won't be there is the need to eat. I'm always wondering what Annette is doing up there. What relative she's hanging out with...

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We know we'll eat in heaven, there's a "marriage supper!"  I believe we will eat and no longer have Diabetes!  Yay!  I look forward to a piece of my MIL's pie, she loved cooking/baking for others and was wonderful at it!  And Annette will no longer know pain!

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I think they're enjoying themselves when there and why wouldn't they?  With new bodies, great company, no more pain or sorrow or tears, and my MIL to book/bake, sounds pretty good to me!  A lot better than COVID and isolation and struggles and pain.

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22 minutes ago, kayc said:

I think they're enjoying themselves when there and why wouldn't they?  With new bodies, great company, no more pain or sorrow or tears, and my MIL to book/bake, sounds pretty good to me!  A lot better than COVID and isolation and struggles and pain.

Too true. She ain't missing nothing down here (except her favorite TV shows). In California, fun has been cancelled. I mean, we didn't ever go out anyway- we always could enjoy the evening just hanging out and playing Uno. It's hard to believe Disneyland has been closed longer than Annette has been gone. Crazy.

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We both had our own activities and shared ones, like all couples.  It’s losing the shared ones that creates the despair.  It grows more so every year.  Covid (and back pain) so intensified my loss of personal outlets.  I never thought I would start becoming almost fearful of going out.  Oddly more so from in myself than the  obstacles.  Agoraphobia is a danger with panic disorder and I feel it growing again like when I got this 30 years ago.  Once I get out I seem to feel OK, but it’s under the surface when It was gone for decades.  I always get edgy for appointments, but I just hate going to docs or tests.  I’ve had so many uncomfortable shopping trips from my physical crap, I dread them so go in without confidence like I did.  Don’t hang around looking at things just for the fun of it.  

When getting my hair trimmed yesterday I liked the pampering, but I wanted out relatively quickly even tho I had nowhere to really go besides pick up dinner.  I do and don’t want to get home.  So it’s conflict all day long.  

I abhor being scared. My meds, therapy and active life kept anticipation in check.  It was about 50/50 on social stuff like Steve’s gigs or office parties and that was OK.  Mostly because I lived with rehearsals and heard everything o many times and didn’t care for mixing with work people’s partners I’d never see again.  I liked family and friends GT's.  

This isolation is perfect for creating fear with my anxiety.  I hate it.  I fought my way out 30 years ago from the disorder.  Now the meds and counseling can’t compete with age and a virus.  I can’t fight those.  I’ve always been somewhat dead inside losing Steve, this is definitely shutting down more of what’s left of me.  I know the virus is affecting so many people.  Age too.  

I want to be free.  

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I'd love to be free in similar ways. I'm trapped with a family I don't even like very much.  I totally understand being someplace and just wanting to leave soon after. I have agoraphobia tendencies that are definitely amplified by the pandemic. I could stay and just be with Annette for days without going out. Now, I have to get out for a drive to get out and away from the bastard kids terrorizing the streets. I have nowhere to go though. 

I really understand dreading appointments, even phone calls. I don't like my voice being heard by anyone but the person I'm talking to. (There's actually a name for it, but I forget what) Makes it really difficult to engage with three people total in the house, because I just shut down unless it's one on one conversation. 

Um, basically I can relate. 

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22 hours ago, nashreed said:

She ain't missing nothing down here (except her favorite TV shows).

And you.

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When my wife and I first met, we lived 200 miles apart. I’m in the area now, and I’ve driven by her place a few times. Driving around, grieving, talking to her, missing her tremendously! Seems like I’m bargaining with God: if I’m a good boy and do the right things, maybe she’ll come back. If I pray real hard, maybe she’ll come back. I know it’s not to be so I just sob some more. It does help to get it out but after awhile my head hurts and I feel numb. Then I can be numb and kind of zone out and not feel for awhile. I love her deeply, so I grieve deeply. 

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