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Is It Better To Have Loved And Lost...


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So, I have been thinking about that old saying a lot:

"It's better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all"

Is it? My wife, Annette, was my life- my best friend, my soul mate, but what if I had never met her? My brother is similar to me in some ways. He is socially awkward, but the difference is he has never had a really serious relationship. As far as I know, he's only had one girl in college that he was really, really infatuated with, but she did not feel the same. He has been hung up on her ever since, but she would never even have considered them as having been serious. He's never been married, so he doesn't understand the connection and the love that me and Annette had. He's tried dating apps and websites without any luck (he's not traditionally handsome- he's 55 now, and he's given up) He just blissfully gawkes at girls online and though I'm sure he's not happy, he's resigned to reality. I, on the other hand, am tortured by the emptiness that I feel now for the relationship that I had. I constantly think about what Annette is missing- new music that comes out by her favorite artists, or shows that she loved that are still showing, and it makes me so very sad. It's not the same as being hung up on an unrequited love.

I know, ultimately, that the answer is "Yes"- I am incredibly blessed to have had the love that I experienced for 30 years. But, at the same time, I have this void in my heart. I feel empty and if I hadn't met her and been her love, I wouldn't know what it's like to miss her so much. I feel like the only way I'm going to be ok, is to have another relationship. I imagine it's more likely I'll get hit by lightning. I am open to it, and is that even right? Would Annette understand? I know she wouldn't want me to be miserable without a "female companion", but I don't want to try to replace my "soul mate". I want to be with Annette in Heaven- who would understand that going into a relationship? I don't know if anyone is familiar with that show "The Unicorn"? The whole premise infuriates me (basically a widower is pressured by friends to find a new romance). But, dang, I can see the point, because I am so lonely. I'm almost a year into this. I don't know what the point of my life is anymore, and I know we all feel like that.... Sometimes I just have the thought that if I hadn't had this incredible marriage, I would be saved this incredible heartache and be able to be "ok" with being just another miserable lonely person instead of always thinking that "I KNOW there's more"...

James

 

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2 hours ago, nashreed said:

Sometimes I just have the thought that if I hadn't had this incredible marriage, I would be saved this incredible heartache and be able to be "ok" with being just another miserable lonely person instead of always thinking that "I KNOW there's more"...

Well, for one, and this is just me, if I had not found Steve, I don’t assume I would have been another lonely miserable person. I know many people who are snd have been without a partner that are fine.  They may have tried and it didn’t work or it was by choice.  Obviously my life now would be drastically different, but that doesn’t mean bad.  
 

I totally get how the pain is something we are desperate to escape.  But we can’t because we did have that deep connection.  I’ve even given up on the if you could do it over again knowing this would happen.  I was too deep in love, young, this would have seemed forever away, and I couldn’t have turned that love off.  It was beyond my control. 
 

I don’t know how you’ll feel given more time about another companion.  It’s not been a year yet.  I’m going into 7 and found it isn’t meant to be for me.  Others have met another, but not replace that other person with, just start a new bond with.  We will love them always.  
 

I sense impatience in you about the grief, not that you asked.  Sorry if I’m overstepping.  You are on a journey like all of us snd no one gets a pass.  No short cuts and no take backs.  I hate this pain and what it cost me to lose Steve.  I can’t change that and I have to deal with the reality of it.  Don’t think I’m different tho, I had many times feeling and thinking what you are.  It’s by expressing it we see just how normal these things are about grief.  Like when I hit anger at Steve for leaving me, cussing him out and taking back any forgiveness.  I thought I was awful for that but I was normal.   This is complicated business and will be for the rest of our lives and that’s enormously hard to take in.

there would have been 'more' to life without him.  Have no idea what if would have been.  It would have had meaning because I wouldn’t waste that positive view I had.  Maybe someone else, maybe a solo career wit lots of friends, I’ll never know.  I know it wouldn’t be like your brother.  I also know you have your inner demons so Annette was a miracle in your life.  I guess all you can do is ask yourself would you pass up a miracle?  When you speak of her you sound so alive.

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Gwen, I am impatient, unfortunately.

I guess I'm in the "bargaining" stage, I'd give anything to have my old life back or anywhere away from the trap that my family life is. I sound so ungrateful to my family- I would be homeless without that. They understand to a degree about what I'm going through, but they probably also just think I'm lazy and should get a job already. I hate where I live and my family drives me nuts. Quite honestly, I'm just impatient to get life over with already. I want to be positive and get out of my funk, but the end result wouldn't be any better....my situation wouldn't improve, I would just be more miserable, with a job. I don't think even being with friends would help. I would still be coming home to a family that just puts up with me. Only Annette understood me. I could only be myself with her. I don't know who I am anymore. I don't have a personality without her.

 

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You do have a personality without her, you just cannot see it in your deep grief.  It’s grief that becomes our personality for a long time.  Plus you are tied to the person you were with her and rightly so right now.  I don’t know anyone here that knew who they were anymore  in the first few years.

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15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

You do have a personality without her, you just cannot see it in your deep grief.

Grief is like a filter that determines our perceptions and thus responses.  It affects everything within us.  It takes much much time to process this, to figure out who we are, how to do this, more than anyone can imagine.

As to the thread topic, yes is my answer, definitely, yes.  I would not change his being in my life, he enriched my life so much and I learned so much from having known him.  Just because life seems blase in comparison does not detract one iota of the beauty of his existence in my life!

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I look back and don’t see I really had a choice in my heart.  I had choice, but the many times I could have and few times I did never lasted.  As long as he wanted me, I wanted him.  Twice we separated and one was bad enough we should have ended, but we didn’t.  All I know is we went thru times, that with anyone else, it would have ended, but we didn’t.  Times with previous partners that we didn’t tolerate.  We both could find companions easily.  Discovered that in our separations.  But when it came down to making it legal and truly apart, we could not take that step.  We were of the same cloth as far as moving on from anything that lost spark and got too complicated.  Except between us it turned out.  We had a promise.  Let the other go if they were truly unhappy.  He gave it to me the first time and I to him the last.  That was 1995 and since then til he left this world, the relationship became something no one we knew had any idea could be so wonderful.  Sure, still bumps along the way, but a respect and love I never knew was possible and I thought he was the ultimate before this happened.  
 

My only regret is the price being left behind.  No one is ever prepared, but I never saw any of my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends ache as I do.  I’ve talked to them.  There is some deep......I don’t know what....missing.  I’ve always known not all loves are created equal. Now it has been proven to me.  I have talked with 2 men in my local support group in meetings that had that too.  I don’t want to say I loved more than others as that is invalidating. He and I loved different.  We really were as one.  Only one thing could stop it and did physically.  But not inside.  
 

Woke from a daydream while snoozing of a memory that while once happy, tore me up.  I’m getting so tired of being hit with reminders because I need him so much now.  I’m tired of hearing memories sustain us as they cause pain for me.  Find myself not talking about him anymore to others as I once did.  People were always so amazed at our stores, but now instead of reminding me of that specialness, they depress me.  This took a turn with my med problems and so wanting his strength to combine with mine again.  I despise how dependent I was at the same time I cherish the invincible team we were.  Nothing could stop us together.  We both found out our limits alone.  Now I am there again.  I chose to share that power and half left with him.  It’s not something I can get back because lord knows I’ve tried.  
 

it’s Sunday.  Weekends are the worst.  This post proves it.

 

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Gwen, I know what you are saying and we had it too.  You know I've been married four times (and I feel the first and last one shouldn't even count) but none were like George and my relationship!  We were so close!  It's as if our hearts truly beat as one, we knew what the other was thinking, we FELT each other, understood each other, loved reciprocally and completely!  I've never experienced anything even close to our love!  I was in a 23 year marriage and NEVER had anything close to that!  I never even felt my kids' dad loved me!  He didn't display love in any way towards me.  Even now he is cold to his kids, not making attempt to have a relationship with them, I don't get it, they're both wonderful people.  With George, there was a connection from the beginning, we could relate and we always showed respect to each other!  I always wondered why I had to lose the one relationship that was good!  Of course I expect no answers, I know none are forthcoming, I wouldn't get it if someone (God) tried to explain it to me.  I've accepted that, some things are beyond me to "get."

I reckon that feeling I had, that all-encompassing "it is right with the world" feeling when he held me, I won't have until we're together again.  Who is going to hold me like that?  Who cares?  Who indeed, I am alone, at least I have Kodie.  He is such a sweetie.

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