Jump to content

Feel Like Giving Up


Recommended Posts

I lost my wife of 12 years to post partum depression. I am now still somewhat in a state of shock as her condition deteriorated so quickly in less than a week and she took her own life fearing that she was going to be a bad mother to our then three month old baby. We had been trying for eleven years unsuccessfully to have a child and finally when god granted us one he took my soul mate away. I loved my wife so much and she meant everything to me, and I’m struggling so badly notwithstanding the support of friends and counselors. I feel helpless, I feel weak, I feel like giving up and sometimes these thoughts of joining her are so appealing. I just wish the earth would open up and take me in…

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for you and your baby's immense loss!  Suicide seems to me one of the hardest things one can experience loss through.  :(  I had a neighbor that went through post partum depression, it was very real.  Yes, it can seem appealing to "join them" but what of your baby? I truly hope you will hold on and give this the time necessary to process your grief and begin to see some light, it is quite a lengthy process but you have begun by getting counseling and I'm so glad you have friends' support as well.

 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My heart hurts for you as I read your tragic story, my friend, and I hope you can feel our collective arms around you. You are barely three months into this most difficult journey, so it's no wonder that you're still in a state of shock. Like Kay, I'm pleased to learn that you have the support of friends and counselors to help guide you through this challenging time. I also hope you will find your way to some of the many resources that are out there and available to help support you as you find a way forward in this life ~ not only for yourself, but for your precious child. 

I realize that at this early point in your grief you may find it difficult if not impossible to concentrate, but I hope when you feel up to it, you'll check out some of the articles and resources listed here: Surviving A Spouse's Death by Suicide.

If you're a reader, you may find that this book speaks to you: Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by widower Matt Logelin. 24 hours after baby Madeline was born, her mother suffered a pulmonary embolism and died. Matt suddenly found himself a single father, faced with working his way through grief while raising his baby daughter alone. You can read Matt's story here. (I read just this morning that Matt's story has been made into a movie, Fatherhood, scheduled to appear on Netflix beginning today, June 18.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ECR:  I am so sorry to read about your tragic loss.  There are no words that come to mind that could help relieve your pain at such a tragedy.  Please know, we here on the Forum, understand what grief is even though each of us have experienced a different loss.  After I lost my husband the best advice I learned here is to just get through one day at a time; or possibly one minute at time, and try not to look past today.  It is good that you have the support of friends and a counselor's help.  My thoughts are with you.  Dee

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestion. I try to focus on using all of the coping strategies at my disposal and I understand how it’s important to take it a day at a time, but was it important for all of you to also have hope in the future? I just wonder what is the hope that I can look forward to? I lost the love of my life forever in this life and our dreams of raising my little one together as a complete family are also gone. Many people also tell me “it takes a long time.” To me I can’t see anything now but a bleak future. I am generally someone who likes to be able to look forward and plan things so this situation I find myself in causes me anxiety and it’s hard not to let it preoccupy your mind and drag you down throughout the day. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn’t a situation you can plan for.  It’s the biggest loss you have had and in a very sad way.  You’re still in shock and have a baby to adjust to as well.  What should be a joyous event is now shadowed by the unthinkable.  I have no wisdom as I’ve never had a child nor much experience with suicide.  I can only say that it’s a moment at a time thing.  Your path.  Everyone here can relate to most of it.  I found that knowing I could express anything I felt here was a life saver.  People on the outside think they get it, but they don’t.  Not fully.  I had to shut much of their chatter out for that reason.  I most appreciated those who honestly told me they did not know what to say but let me be whoever I was emotionally at the time.  That is true support.  Here you will find support from other broken souls as we try and navigate our personal twists and turns on this path.  
 

it’s so much more than words staring back st us from a screen.  This family here are real, caring and will embrace your feelings so you know what you experience is normal.  You’ll get to hate that word, but it is essential to know everything is normal and valid if we feel it.  I’m glad you have a counselor and hope they understand grief.  My heart goes out to you.

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ECR,

Hope will help you on this treacherous journey through grief. It will walk beside you as we all will. It will allow you to slowly make your way out of the deep dark hole you are in and see the sunshine again and in time it will help you adapt to this future you never planned.

I'm so very sorry for the loss you and your little one have suffered. May you find peace in your soul.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, ECR said:

was it important for all of you to also have hope in the future?

It is important to have hope...your hope is in the yet unknown.  I have grown old alone, it's been 16 years today so not a lot of hope anything will change in my life as it seems to be hardship and struggles (right now tending tto my disabled sister with dementia) but I do look for the little joys in each day (my puppy, neighbors, anything good I can find!) and have learned not to compare to what WAS as comparisons devalue and trivialize what is).

Do know that you won't always feel as intense pain as you do right now, and believe it or not, we do get used to being alone.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, ECR said:

I just wonder what is the hope that I can look forward to?

ECR:  What comes to me as I read your question about hope to look forward to....is that beautiful baby that you and your dear wife created.  As you look at your baby, I'm sure you hope what is best for her and her future.  Again, as one of our long time Forum members used to say, "One Day @ a Time".  Dee

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, kayc said:

Do know that you won't always feel as intense pain as you do right now, and believe it or not, we do get used to being alone.

I don’t mean to scare or discourage anyone new to this, but I don’t agree.  I’m going into 7 years and am not used to this at all.  If anything it is worse.  This is just me, of course.  Much is aging and maladies with no partner.  I don’t like depending on strangers, it intensifies the loneliness.  So I struggle a lot.  It’s stubbornness as I want to control when things get done.  Personal care I want to stay just that, personal.  Personally I know I will never get used to being alone.  I may have to endure it, but it will always feel wrong unnatural.  I don’t know how long I have left, but living to 59 with him and others til about 62, it will never be the kind of life I’ll ever feel OK in.  
 

I’ve never believed in heaven or hell.   But if I had to define hell, this would be it.  
 

There was a St. Elsewhere episode where a character was sentenced to hell.  He was surrounded by beautiful nature in a boat on a lake with fishing gear.  That’s all he could do. No home, no place to go if he wanted.  Alone forever.  I wasn’t anywhere near that being a feeling I would come close to knowing, but it creeped me out.  Now I know why.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, ECR, if there is such a thing as 'welcome' to this club no one ever wanted to join. I can't think of much to add to the wonderful responses you have had so far, but as to the question of hope, well... that's a hard one.  Human beings seem to need something to look forward to, because we all need purpose in life.  That purpose is as variable as we are individuals.  When you lose your mate in life, it's hard to find anything to look forward to, or even a reason to get up some days.  Many days have come and gone in which I felt there was nothing to look forward to, except transitory pleasures like a decent cup of coffee, or a chance to catch up with a friend, or a movie you've been wanting to see. 

On 6/18/2021 at 1:33 AM, ECR said:

I just wish the earth would open up and take me in…

I get that, very much.  After 4 years I still have those times.  I had one today, in fact.

But as Dee says, you have that beautiful child to live for, even though to raise her without her mother, the love of your life, will be hard and bittersweet.  From one guy to another, I say: Keep reaching out as you have done already, keep asking for help, even though men's grief tends to be more withdrawing and silent compared to women's.  Sometimes doing something physical is the way through the bad moments, be it exercise, or building something, making something with your hands.  And I hope you'll check in periodically. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today is my first Father’s Day and I get well wishes which ring so hollow. This was supposed to be a happy event and joy after the many years of envying other people celebrate with their children. Yet I can’t bring myself to even feel any happiness without my wife, and I cried the whole morning when playing with my child. Still wishing the ground would open up and swallow me.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I don’t mean to scare or discourage anyone new to this, but I don’t agree.  I’m going into 7 years and am not used to this at all.  If anything it is worse.

I have to mention that your circumstances are more difficult than most with the pain you live with debilitating as it is, and no close family left, no close friends nearby, being alone through all of this makes it all the harder to get through.  When I say I've gotten used to this, I do not mean I do not love and miss him each and every day!  I mean I do not expect him to come through the door, or call, or help me with chores, or hold me again.  I have gotten used to being alone after 16 years of it...I know good and well that I am alone.  The SHOCK and TREMENDOUS PAIN going through my heart as I learned of his death is the hardest thing I've ever faced!  It was harder than losing my parents, sister, friends, way harder than my divorce after 23 years with my kids' dad!  It was even harder than being in an abusive marriage when I was young, to a psychopath.  Not saying it's this way for everyone, but it was for me!  Losing my dog Arlie was close to it.  Arlie was my companion and best friend most of those years I was alone, a part of my everyday life, just as George had been.  Maybe it brought up those feelings, but maybe it was just stand alone, painful in itself.

And you have lost your dog as well so you're dealing with that on top of losing Steve.  As we age and lose the ability to do things for ourselves, that is another loss.  Going through what I am with my sister Peggy has only increased this as I see they're trying to take her life away because she fell and injured herself, to me that is far overreaching from the gov't!  We should have the ability to decide for ourselves if we want to live our life out at home or be institutionalized.  She said last night it doesn't seem reasonable or right that they imprison her for it...and then make her pay for it!

@ECR I do hope this Father's Day brings something good in it for you.  I think for me, having lost my husband on Father's Day, that will always taint that day, how could it not!  But my son is a father now so the day holds that good in it, that helps.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, kayc said:

I mean I do not expect him to come through the door, or call, or help me with chores, or hold me again.  I have gotten used to being alone after 16 years of it...I know good and well that I am alone. 

I guess I’m not finding the right words or definition.   I know these things all too well also.  I have to accept he isn’t here in any way.  But I don’t get think acceptance equals being used to it.  I certainly do things differently now.  The only remnants of our life are the times we ate and went to bed.  Maybe it’s that I am used to it and hate it.  Adding in Ally is huge too as well as my inability to do the things that kept me connected to the world.  I guess my use of the words 'used to it' would mean I have found some kind of peace in it, as in relief of pain, and that has not happened.  It was going that way up to about a year and a half ago when I began needing real help.  When reality became even more real as far as being so alone when so vulnerable with age.  Like you, losing Ally changed everything again.  I don’t know how to handle my last living link to him/us.  
 

I’m confused about your sister now.  I thought she needed help after the fall.  That there was question if she could live alone with her dementia.  I know it is a continual stressor for you and her.  I don’t know what state laws are regarding safety for those with the condition and no one to monitor them if is really bad.  I know some people know they have it as can manage it unless it gets weirder.  I hope you find some livable solution to this.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think she's at the point she needs institutionalized, I think she'd give up and die then.  Her judgment is her biggest handicap and that I can't help her with if she refutes everything I tell her.  I'm trying to get her to understand I'm on her side and fighting for her and need her cooperation.  A tall order.

Stupid place! *^%@! Between the care center, hospital, doctor, nurses, social worker, caseworker, etc, including my other older sister, everyone keeps giving me conflicting information, it makes it very difficult to navigate!  Now the social worker who told me she could conference in my other siblings for the meeting Tuesday, denies it.  AND she's turning the reins over to someone else who hasn't been here for any of it, someone coming back from vacation.  Sometimes I want to stop the world and get off!

Well, past time to go walk Kodie...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's pretty common, covering for a vacationing colleague but in my view, you can start fresh with this new person and lay down the law and say"No more conflicting info.  one person coordinate things and everyone gets on the same page.  Period.  My nerves can't handle all this back and forth."  And ask for a supervisor if you need to.  It's possible the covering social worker goofed or erred somewhere, and is deflecting rather than taking responsibility for a screwup. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for your loss you have gotten  such good advice on hear from everyone  not sure what else can say, except I understand  how you feel, the feeling of emptiness,  loneliness, of not wanting  to be here without them, of your whole life just crumbling,  I lost my Kevin 5 years ago from a drug overdose,  he had bipolar  disorder  and at least three times before the overdose  he had attempted  suicide though he did not succeed  it was very hard ,  it was very hard for me to think of a future,  I just took it one breath at a time my future did not exist  anymore  for me I  decided that I did not want to spend the remaining  years of my life in utter sadness,  and it was not easy but slowly  I started to smile again, I was able to find someone  to love again,   I still have rough days, days where I just want my past life back where I would give anything  to just hear Kevin's voice or see his face, everyone's journey is unique  to them and there is no right or wrong journey loss of a spouse  is so life changing,  just know  that you are never alone hugs 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Kieron said:

It's possible the covering social worker goofed or erred somewhere, and is deflecting rather than taking responsibility for a screwup. 

That's what I thought too.  I just want Peggy out of that place and back home, I think she's better of there and she's agreed to hire some help.

@ECRThinking of you, wondering how you are doing...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@kaycthank you - the last 2 days have been better. I tell all my family and friends there are no good days - just better or bad days. I’ve reached out to more support and also reconnecting with a few friends that wanted to contact me but have hesitated cos they didn’t know what to say or do. I’m keeping busy reading self help books, journaling, exercising and talking to people but everyday her loss still lingers and I miss my wife so so much. This morning I felt her reach out to me through the song “together” which happened to play on my playlist. It was uncanny but I felt it was a message to me. Guess I should take whatever little joys I can get. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you haven't, yet, I'd suggest attending a grief group for those who have lost partners. Often it is led by someone with experience in shepherding people through the beginning of the grieving process, and he or she can help steer you toward additional help should you feel it necessary. An additional benefit would be you being out of your home with other people. Your local hospital would be a place to start looking for something like that.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hospice can often connect you with a group.  I was doing one here for a few years before the pandemic, will start up again as the need arises, I loved it and we formed close bonds, it really can help.

I'm glad you're reaching out to friends.  Dr. Phil says we have to teach people how to treat us, I kind of feel that's applicable in grief too, they truly do not know how to respond.  It helps if we're candid and let them know what we need/want, what we don't.  It can actually be a relief to them, esp. good friends who want to be there for us and just don't know how.

Sometimes it helps to send them this with maybe a short introduction, like "Some have said they didn't know what to say/do but care, here's something on the subject."  http://www.griefhealing.com/column-helping-another-in-grief.htm

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh god I just got into the most awful conversation. This person may be well meaning but the things she said - “it’s going to take a long while, you may never recover…” This is like telling a wounded marathoner still running the race - the finish line is still very far away, you may never finish! And then she says it’s ok that it’s bittersweet that my wife can’t be here to witness my baby’s growth and development cos life is fleeting! We never know what we lose or gain in life. Aaargh!!!!!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t know how this conversation went down, but I understand the sentiment.  That is not to say it was delivered well.  When I think of recovery, I don’t think of it as a finish line.  I see it as an acceptance that our person will never be here physically again and we are forever changed.  No, it isn’t a race or goal.  We will never be the same again.  Others expecting that from us is unreasonable.  It also forces us not to be ourselves with those expecting us to become who we were.  I know we all here have experienced it with people in our social circles.  I don’t know if we scare, disappoint or just can’t be understood by them.  It doesn’t matter.  Our life now is to figure out how we keep going with the biggest loss we can experience.  Losing a child would fall into this real too.  Like everything in life, it’s a change that we have to accept and those who care about us have to as well to maintain a relationship with us.  There will be times we need more compassion.  Times we might have to bow out of something because we are struggling with our emotions.  What is hard for me is people forgetting I am so alone now and question decisions I have to make the best I can.  Sometimes I’m wrong, but I don’t have Steve to bounce other options with or even thought of.  I don’t bring many problems to others as I’ve found their help often more complicated as they think in a ‘couple' mindset.  
 

it sounds like you got blindsided by someone who tried to help, but failed.  I hope you can tell them.  It’s the only way we can educate others that we are now changed in a way they can’t understand, yet.  Your anger is valid.  Sadly, it won’t be the last time.  Anger is a tough thing when it comes up, no matter how.  Even in ourselves about why this happened to us.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, ECR said:

Oh god I just got into the most awful conversation. This person may be well meaning but the things she said - “it’s going to take a long while, you may never recover…” This is like telling a wounded marathoner still running the race - the finish line is still very far away, you may never finish! And then she says it’s ok that it’s bittersweet that my wife can’t be here to witness my baby’s growth and development cos life is fleeting! We never know what we lose or gain in life. Aaargh!!!!!

Well meaning or not, very inappropriate response to hear!  I would avoid her for a long time, you do NOT need that right now!  Bittersweet that your wife IS NOT HERE???!  Wow.  That's all I can say, wow.

I have seen that Ted talk, they're good.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...