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I have no purpose.


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My Honey passed away a year and 3 months ago.  We were married for 43 years.  I feel like I'm adrift with no anchor.  His special hospital bed is still next to my bed.  He passed away in that bed.  I know now that I have to get that bed out of the house.  He was my rock.  We both were retired.

He had Parkinsons since 2008.  The disease slowly took him away and in 2017 he was not able to care for himself.  I had a caregiver two or three days a week for 4 hours to help me with showers and allowing me to go grocery shopping.  My Honey eventually even lost his ability to speak.  That was the most devastating thing for me.  Caring for him was easy compared to not knowing what he was feeling or what he wanted. 

He was such a good husband.  He brought me coffee every morning before he would leave for work.  He cooked, did laundry and even folded and put away the clothes.  He gave me the most wonderful hugs and always supported me in everything.  I feel like I'm just existing and I have no joy in my life.

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I am so sorry. I know exactly what you're going through because I was my wife's caregiver before she passed away in May of last year. She had Type 1 Diabetes, had a prosthetic leg from an amputation, was legally blind, was severely overweight and had severe pain from Rhumatoid Arthritis- but she still had a smile for me every day and was my whole world. When I lost her, I had to move back in with my mother and brother- driving halfway across the country back to California. It's like my whole life that I built with her was completely erased along with her passing- I had to leave the house we loved and everything I knew in Tulsa, to end up back to where I started, like being in high school again, accept at 50 and with mental issues and medical debt. 

I was fortunate that my wife's father lived here and I was able to feel like I still had a connection to her whenever I was able to spend time with him. He passed yesterday morning from COVID. 

I know what it's like to feel like you are just existing. I can't work, and now another piece of my life has been taken away. But, I've learned that I am still here for a reason. With this Forum, I can find small joys in helping people with my experience. We are all in this misery together, but we don't have to be alone. That's about the only good thing about life in 2021, we can connect with people from across the country and I at least can hopefully help somebody get through their day. I'm a real person behind these words and though we can't meet and hug, we all need each other to get through our losses. We're still here to help each other. You still matter. 

James

 

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4 hours ago, Flowers said:

I feel like I'm just existing and I have no joy in my life.

Flowers:  I am so sorry to read of the loss of your dear husband.  Even though it has been a year ago, the loss of your husband is still very real and is no wonder you feel as if you have no joy in your life.  Only you will know when the time is right to move out the hospital bed.  It was your loss of someone very special and it is your choice how you deal with the grief.  You did not mention if you had children, or family to help you through this grief.   I just know from my experience, I have found much support from members of this forum.  I hope you will continue to be a part of the Forum.  Like James stated, we are all different and from different parts of the country with different experiences, but we all understand what you are feeling.

3 hours ago, nashreed said:

He passed yesterday morning from COVID. 

James, I am saddened to read your father in law passed away.  I can't begin to find the right words to ease your pain.  I do remember reading your posts how much you loved and respected him.  My thoughts are with you.

Dee

 

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18 hours ago, Flowers said:

I feel like I'm just existing and I have no joy in my life.

I am so sorry for your loss, my mom had Parkinson's and Leukemia but dementia got her first.  My husband passed suddenly, he was my everything, and I understand feeling cut adrift.  I think we all have.  Please come here and post any time, it helps to get it out.  I know it's already been a year but this is a long journey, grief has a beginning but not an ending, it does evolve with time.

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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17 hours ago, nashreed said:

He passed yesterday morning from COVID.

Oh James, I am so sorry!  I know this is one more loss, another crushing blow adding to the death of your wife.  I am so sorry.

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