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Hello to all this post might be alittle  long so I apologize  now if it is I am not sure how many  people  can relate  to this but need any support  out there I a week will be 5 years  Kevin  has been gone this upcoming marker has been alittle  harder on me than last few not really  sure why anyways I  was able  to find someone  special  in my life again to find love again been with him for 2 years  now I  never  thought I would utter  those words the first year Kevin  was gone  I could not picture  love again I know  alot of people  do not find love again or don't  wa to look for it again  and I completely  understand  that but I made a choice along this journey  road that I would not let the loss I suffered consume the rest  of my life I saw it eat away at my grandmother  when she lost my grandfather when I was nine my dilemma  is that I know  I will never and could never stop loving Kevin and his death day is an absolute  trigger for me the new man I am with is a good person  and he knows  my loss not necessarily  understands it completely  because  he got divorced  did not become single due to loss so at times he doesn't  understand  why I can't  just put it behind me he has suffered  loss in his life he has lost friends  and family but I guess he deals with those losses by letting  go which I know  everyone deals with grief differently in their own way  just so confused on how to proceed without hurting  the person  I am with now and without  letting go of Kevin it's like what right do I  have  to expect a person  to just accept  a part of me will always  belong to someone  not here anymore  just very confused  right now

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I'm happy for you. I wish I could help you will your question. I truly don't want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I fear its inevitable, as I am nobody's idea of a "catch". I'm hitting the one year marker on Sunday, and I hate life right now and I miss the day to day companionship and all our little catch phrases and everything so much right now, it literally hurts to exist. 

If I were to find somebody through some miracle, that wanted to be with me, they would have to understand that in Heaven I am going to be with Annette and I don't know that anybody can "share" me. It's a big ask. 

If they've been with you two years already, I'd say there's already an unspoken understanding, and maybe you're thinking about it more than they are. I would try to enjoy this blessing that you have and I wouldn't want to "rock the boat".

I wish you all the happiness in the world. Anybody on this forum that has happiness is a rare bird indeed.

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Thank you for your kind words I am so sorry  for your loss I remember  all to well those feelings  of not just being  here without  Kevin  hurt didn't  feel like living without him I do consider  myself  lucky in alot of way thank you for reminding  me of it I was lucky to of had 26 amazing years  of unconditional  love and I am lucky to be able  to love again maybe  I am thinking  to much into it 

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1 hour ago, Kevinslove said:

just so confused on how to proceed without hurting  the person  I am with now and without  letting go of Kevin it's like what right do I  have  to expect a person  to just accept  a part of me will always  belong to someone  not here anymore  just very confused  right now

My dear, I encourage you to read some of the posts by another member whose experience in finding love again may give you hope. Click on KATPILOT's Content and scroll down through all the topics listed there. 

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2 hours ago, nashreed said:

If they've been with you two years already, I'd say there's already an unspoken understanding, and maybe you're thinking about it more than they are.

James has excellent insight there.  I know all of us has a part that belongs only to the person we lost.  We can’t take that back and give it to someone else as it was unique to them.  What you are building is unique to this new love.   If I got involved with someone new, it would have to be expected that my grief comes with me too.  2 years is a long time.  Unless there has been friction or the expectation you need to change in some way, I think you are very deserving of happiness again.  We all are.  Some find it, others don’t.  My mother married a man after losing my father and he chose to accept her and his children.  He did and was a wonderful man.  I don’t know what discussions they had, but it had to come up.  Your new love can’t empathize fully with your grief, but they want to be with you.  Don’t diminish that with worry.  Just my 2 cents.

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On 5/11/2021 at 9:53 AM, Kevinslove said:

just so confused on how to proceed without hurting  the person  I am with now and without  letting go of Kevin

We never forget or "let go of" the person we love.  It sounds like some joint sessions with a grief counselor might be helpful in his understanding just a bit of what to expect and what is reasonable from him.  It sounds like it's his own insecurity and jealousy but that is not something for YOU to fix, it's something for HIM to work on!  And that is done through educating himself about grief.  I would never agree to "let go of" my George, it would take a big person to understand that.  I would encourage you to read posts from Steve and Patty here, @Gweniveredo you remember his username?  They're on my FB but that doesn't help here, need to be able to read their posts.  I have a friend who married someone divorced who required she not speak her late husband's name, nor could she have a picture of him up, even though she had minor children at home still, it has been VERY hard for her over the years, I advise you to hold off until this is settled and seriously get counseling together!

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Ahh, never mind, I see Marty already posted his name katpilot!

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

I have a friend who married someone divorced who required she not speak her late husband's name, nor could she have a picture of him up, even though she had minor children at home still, it has been VERY hard for her over the years, I advise you to hold off until this is settled and seriously get counseling together!

I don’t know what to make of not speaking her lost husbands name.  My mother and I would kinda talk about him.  She held back a lot.while I was growing up with my stepdad.  I know he didn’t forbid anything, but it wouldn’t have, IMO, been fair or considerate to have his pictures displayed.  She shared those with me time to time and gave me any I wanted later in life.  I never knew him, so it wasn’t a grief thing for me.  
 

Rereading Kevinslove post, I think she is wondering how to explain something we know can’t be understood unless it’s happens to you.  My cousin reminded me of that when I assumed she did because she was divorced (I was a newbie to grief).  Got me to see how different it was.  Made me think of Steve’s and my separations snd the difference it made I was alone, but he was still alive.  

On 5/11/2021 at 9:53 AM, Kevinslove said:

confused on how to proceed without hurting  the person  I am with now and without  letting go of Kevin it's like what right do I  have  to expect a person  to just accept  a part of me will always  belong to someone  not here anymore  just very confused  right now


I can see how counseling may help if you wanted to go that route. For you both.  Has your new partner expressed unhappiness in who or how you are?  2 years must have had this come up.  It more sounds like the conflict is in yourself.  I know if I had another relationship I wouldn’t be the person I was with Steve.  I’m forever changed now.  But it would come as a part of me snd would have to be accepted, even if not understood entirely.  Respected is the word coming to mind.  You give what you can to this new love and let it become its own unique connection.  You don’t have to let go of Kevin.  You couldn’t anyway.  Your on a unique journey now with another but he is a part of who you are making it.  On those days that now are significant, your new guy needs to let you experience them.  Perhaps down the line they won’t be as intense.   Only time will tell.  
 

you didn’t ask for it, but my take would be be who you are now, know you love them both and enjoy you found more love in this life.  So many do not.  Or they settle for less because of loneliness.  I just accept loneliness as I have no choice.  You have a great opportunity.  I say this only from what you’ve shared.  

 

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I don't think she is overthinking it at all, these are very real considerations.  Having seen firsthand what my friend has gone through, I would be careful what I agree to!  I think her SO may be an upstanding guy but needs educated about grief, what is reasonable, what is not and that often needs to come through a professional as they're more likely to realize what they are saying and not attribute it to just this personal situation.  They need to know what is normal and reasonable and what is not.  And it sounds like he has some insecurities he needs to work on, that is not something she can change or not change.  Trust me, I've been in relationships with that.  Having been widowed and still caring for your late spouse should not in itself cause insecurity, after all, they are no threat from the grave!  Would he want her to honor HIM when he dies?!  Sometimes putting it like that can spark a chord.

Dating After Loss
And for him to read:
Dating a Widower
Dating A Widower: Is This Unresolved Grief?

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5 hours ago, kayc said:

And it sounds like he has some insecurities he needs to work on

It doesn’t sound like insecurity, but not understanding how impactful loss is for most people.   Especially of a spouse which he has never experienced.  We know you can’t compare losses to each other that are the same, be even less so when the connection was different like parent, sibling, child of pet.  I’ve known some people that are good at compartmentalizing.  Even some who have lost this most significant partnership.   I know a child has to be gut wrenching too.  But even if not understood, it should be respected.  No one should have to make a choice is what I was saying.

5 hours ago, kayc said:

Would he want her to honor HIM when he dies?!  Sometimes putting it like that can spark a chord.

That’s an excellent way to put it!  We all want to feel we matter prominently in our partners lives.   We say we don’t want them to feel what we do, but deep down, I believe, we do.  Not to hurt them, but to feel we mattered as much to them as they did to us.  If I thought. Steve would just party on with his buddies and just missed for shopping and cooking, I’d be crushed.  There are those kind of marriages, I just thank gawd ours was the deepest one can be.
 

We can speculate so much,  maybe Kevinslove will share more of how this is affecting her relationship.  

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My grandfather remarried 8 months after losing my Mom's Mom. My Mom thought it was very sudden, impulsive and inconsiderate. I'm my Grandpa still loved his wife. Some men just need a spouse. I would love to find another love in my life. Of course, we was a good looking older man who owned his own mobile home and had the pickings of any widow in the trailer park. I should be so lucky. 

I think Annette would want me to be happy. She knew that she wouldn't live a long life and told me. I married her anyway because I was obsessed with her- I still am. It's funny how now it's like I have a celebrity crush on my wife- seeing her pictures of one she was young every night. Always my phone screen saver.  I still love that girl, and give anything to be with her. But, I know that I will see her again in Heaven. Until then, what do I do with these emotions that I have? For companionship? For a best friend? I never have trusted male friend relationships. I had a serious falling out with a school age friend and I still have no idea what it was about, but I find that I want/need a female confidant and friend. My Mom isn't going to be around forever- I am more than fully aware of this. I know I'm not supposed to look far into the future, but I drive past these homeless people on the street every day thinking "Hmmm...this might be a nice place to put my shopping cart". 

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We don’t feel we are fully living for sure.  But I can tell you that being on the street is a horrid existence.  There are 2 by me and it’s scary with them drugs and mental illness.  But I think I get your meaning of not much reason to be here.

I think we all have celebrity crushes on our partners.  I don’t add more places to see Steve’s picture.  For me that is too hard to bear.  I just have to close my eyes and the vital him is right there.  Untouched by the force of nature that stole him and changed him to almost unrecognizable.  That is an image I firmly push away if it surfaces.  I radiate towards women too.  There are good men out there with compassion, but women seem to talk more openly.  I think that is why they are sought by both genders for friends.

I look into the future too despite being told not to.  Can’t help it at this age and it would have happened even younger had I lost him then.

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Thank you all for the advice  a part of me thinks alot of it comes from him not fully understanding  the loss of a spouse  he told me when we first met he felt very sorry for my loss and he knew from reading my old Facebook  posts that I had gone through  alot pain  and I have  explained  to him that the sorrow  I feel for the loss of Kevin  has nothing to do with him he just can't  seem to completely  comprehend  that sometimes  example Kevin's five year mark is Monday and I took off work to be with my daughter  because  it is a hard day and his response  was I don't  understand  why you have  to be sad on that day I didn't  even respond  to that because  he will never  understand  fully he thinks you need to let go of the people  you lost which is how he handled  his brother passing  and friends and that's fine for some people  everyone  handles loss different I also know that it's harder for him to deal with things because  10 years ago he was in a bad car accident  that gave him some brain trauma  and I understand  that I guess I just have  to keep explaining  things to him and hopefully  he understands  one day

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As I face my one year mark tomorrow, I am just like a blob that can't do anything but sit and listen to some of Annette's favorite music and think of her. I want to be with her so much and if I could just choose to stop living right now, I would. This life is so empty without her. It's a grey cloudy day, and that's my mood. 

I can't see how I'm going to get to 5 years when it seems like its been 10 years already. If I ever were to have another relationship (people win the lotto too), I would still celebrate her on May 16, because I will never forget her. Somebody has to keep her spirit alive. I refuse for her to be forgotten, even when everybody else doesn't seem to care. 

Thank you for at least showing that there is "life after love" sometimes. I'm just so sick of this lonely life. I would give anything to have someone to hold again. It wouldn't make me love Annette any less though. They would have to understand. You're very. very lucky in that way.

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Thank you so much I feel you pain I really  do I still miss Kevin  very much especially  when something  is going on with my kids ( they are all adults) he was the only other person  on the planet  to love them like I do  I know  that marker  days are very hard some of the hardest  at least  for me I am very luck to be able to love again sometimes I get scared though scared of suffering  the loss again my new partner  is 7 years my senior  so high chance of it again but I try not to think about  it because  I have  learned  that with love comes  loss , I can't  say it gets better with time hopefully  we all learn to live with the loss and find a sense of peace  in our life, learn to smile again and appreciate  life more my heart  goes out to you 

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My partner and I must be ..different...somehow. I'm widowed, he's divorced, and neither of us have any problems mentioning our respective spouses. (FWIW Partner's ex-wife died last fall.) The two of them had many happy years together, raising two children. My husband, sadly, was an alcoholic. I loved him but previous to his announcement that he had a terminal illness, I had plans to leave. In a way, I was grieving the loss of the man I married long before he died.

Anyway...

A's life and love for me (however imperfect) and death, and my new love are, like Nora McInerny explains in a TED talk, are not separate stories, but strands of the same thread. My married life, and for that matter, -all - my loves, are part of what made me who I am today.  Partner's 25 year marriage made him what HE is today. If I wasn't widowed, if he wasn't divorced, we wouldn't be together. I was puzzled when I read of a widow and widower looking for a way to acknowledge their deceased partners at their wedding: well gee, if their partners hadn't died, they wouldn't be getting married

I did see profiles on dating sites from men who expected to hear nothing about former loves. There are limits, for sure. Don't need to hear about your former sex life (or that of any of my current  friends, for that matter) And if someone is still actively grieving, maybe some counseling is in order before one starts a new relationship. Maybe I'm too pragmatic, or something. As for someone who would want me to pretend I sprung fully armored from the head of Zeus - pfffft. I don't have time for rubbish like that. I had a life before Current Beau cam along. So did he. Not going to pretend otherwise.

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20 hours ago, nashreed said:

I face my one year mark tomorrow

James, thinking of you today...I remember my one year mark all too well, think I still felt some shock, it was just such a hard thing to absorb!  I remember writing a message in a balloon and sending it up to him, we get so desperate!  It burst and came back, somehow that made me laugh, like he did it!  Honestly, after having survived that first year of "firsts without" I felt I deserved a trophy for having done so!  The hardest thing in the world.  Not necessarily easier the second year but at least then we know we've already done it...so here's for you!  You're in my thoughts and prayers today.

trophy.jpg

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20 hours ago, Kevinslove said:

my new partner  is 7 years my senior

Live and love in the moment and enjoy each while you can!  Try not to go to "tomorrow" but stay in today, to enjoy it to the fullest.

About your five year mark, it stuns me that someone can't get that it's a hard day for you!  I had a pastor who'd lost his wife and baby girls in an accident when in his 20s, April was always a hard month to him, his second wife got it and understood even though she'd never experienced loss like that.  

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12 hours ago, ipswitch said:

if someone is still actively grieving, maybe some counseling is in order before one starts a new relationship. 

That sounds well and good, most of us HAVE gotten counseling, but what do you mean by "active grieving?"  We will grieve them the rest of our LIVES!  There is no point at which you can say you never give them a second thought or you don't carry your grief inside of you or thoughts of them never come.  Perhaps if/when your life is full of something else you aren't as consumed by it, but there's never a point at which you don't think of them at your five year anv. of death or any other for that matter!  You WANTED to be with them, it's nothing like a divorce!  Maybe it's different for some in horrid marriages where there's abuse, I knew one person who said she'd never marry again because her husband was an out of control alcoholic that beat on her.  Her loss is more a release whereas I MISS GEORGE!!!

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Some people don't want to recouple. They shouldn't be forced or even encouraged to. If someone is still so consumed with grief that he or she can't participate in a new love relationship, I guess that's what I'd call active grieving.  If "no one can ever measure up" to the deceased spouse (as if one can put humans on a scale like that) then stay single. As a corollary, a man or woman who can't bear that you've had a past, maybe he or she isn't mature or secure enough to be in a serious relationship. That's a problem, but it doesn't have to be YOUR problem.

Be careful what you assume. I don't assume that divorced people *wanted* that, as I've known several who didn't, and *very much wanted* to continue a marriage.  Sometimes, there is no abuse, but addiction that will impact the spouse and children. I was at a hearing test with my partner, and the tech asked about our marital status. No, not married, we said. One of us divorced, one widowed. She then said, "My husband left me for a younger woman. It would have been easier if he died."  Just because it isn't the *same* loss, doesn't mean it's not heartbreaking. I could tell by her voice it had been. 

Just because I was ready to leave, didn't mean I didn't love him any more. I realized wishing for his mental health wasn't going to make that happen. If loving someone made them healthy, most mentally ill would be cured, wouldn't they?

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7 hours ago, kayc said:

Not necessarily easier the second year but at least then we know we've already done it...so here's for you! 

The first year for me was stumbling around, but not in full  understanding of what was happening.  Like an unconsenting  tennis ball while grief continually practiced hitting me.  The first anniversary filled out all the firsts.  It was then I started to really feel impact of what I had experienced and what was to come.  So many firsts were close to the date he left, I didn’t have the slightest idea what to do.  His birthday wasn’t even 2 weeks after.  Xmas less than 2 months.  I functioned in shock most of the time.  The 2nd year started the 'what the heck do I do now?' stage.  Each year it keeps morphing a bit on that same feeling.  I don’t feel any wiser about grief after 6 years, just more familiar with it and unfortunately knowing it’s not something others want to hear about anymore in any detail. New people just want the basics.  They never knew him so I kinda get that.  It’s the loneliness that keeps increasing I never knew about.  That’s been one of the hardest feelings that just won’t ease up.  Makes me feel desperate and in despair so much.  I mumble a thanks when people say ‘I’m sorry' when I have to include that as to why I don’t know something.  Yesterday was getting his vans battery jumped and asked if it was the original, I didn’t know.  So I had to say it was my deceased husband’s.  
 

James, I don’t know how the day will go for you.  But you’ll never have to experience it again.  I know that isn’t much help, but it is a tough and important one.  If there were a way to put hugs here, I would.  ❤️

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Thanks Gwen. I have to figure out a way to use the name "Unconsenting Tennis Ball" as my user name somewhere. 

My Mom is treading lightly today, at least knowing that today is a difficult day. I'm just in a daze, listening to the comforting songs of 1982 in my ears. 

She suggested some fast food for today. Ooooh, heart attack chances coming. It's a grey, cloudy day thankfully. If the sun were out I would take it as a personal insult. 

Yeah, I'm in a place of "What am I going to do"? I just am not looking forward to never being happy ever again. Long stretches of boredom mixed with general malaise. I hate having to divorce myself from my happy marriage, just to get through the damn day. It's easier not to think about it. Today, I found myself looking at the pictures I took a year ago today, of our empty house. Her empty bed. 

 

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5 hours ago, ipswitch said:

If someone is still so consumed with grief that he or she can't participate in a new love relationship, I guess that's what I'd call active grieving.

From what I’ve observed in myself and others that are still caught in the grief, seeking out a relationship isn’t something that is even a desire.  I’m at 6 years and can’t fathom the energy it takes to start that kind of interaction.  Just running into people I can talk with having lost so many over the now couple less years is the closest I get.  
 

I like your corollary of a person that can’t accept your past as it is who made you who you are today and will always influence your going forward.  

5 hours ago, ipswitch said:

Just because I was ready to leave, didn't mean I didn't love him any more.

That’s the thing, people assume divorce always means the end of love.  I know we faced that and in no way had I fell out of love with him.  Had thought he had and came to see it was problems in himself he was projecting onto me as it was easier.  I let him go after trying to make him see and because I promised never to force him to stay if he wasn’t happy.  Turns out when he was forced to remove me as the catalyst he woke up, came home a new man and our relationship was unbreakable until death horned in.  I will say for as horrible as those almost 2 years were, it wasn’t this bad as he was alive.  After he got over blaming me for everything, we became the friends we always were and started dating again.  Tore up the documents and never looked back.

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