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How this loss feels


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I lost my husband of 46 years in early April. And  I know that I have a long road ahead of me, but I came into this forum because I desperately needed to know that someone else feels the same way I do.  I have many casual friends, and am lucky to have two very close ones.  And while we have gone through decades of life events together and they have always been there, I'm alone in this one.  I've felt like I was on a deserted island and no one could really see me.  The emotions are SO MUCH more complicated than I ever imagined.  And I did imagine, because my husband was sick off and on for 25 years. So I was preparing.  But I had no idea what I was preparing for.  

My husband was a talker and told wonderful and funny stories about his cowboy days and his childhood and he even made his trip to the grocery store into a humorous anecdote.  And now the house is SO STILL.  And I'm not laughing every day. The silence is thick and oppressive.  Thank goodness for the tv and radio but I'm sick of needing them.   His energy that lifted me up and led me to the next tractor to rebuild, or meal to cook, or trip to take is gone.  Can I lift myself up?  I have been, but I'm a little afraid that one day, I won't be able to. And then where will I turn?

There is no one to reflect myself back to me.  I live in an empty soundless cave.  I'm not the most important person to ANYONE any more.  And as a widow, I feel broken.  I'm no longer part of a functioning unit.  I don't fit in anywhere.  And I'm tired of saying "I'm fine" when someone asks how I am because I can tell they don't REALLY want to know because they just don't know how to help. And I am so grateful when someone asks how I am and I can tell that they really DO want to know.  And I tell them.  Not the whole long tale, but I'm honest about how strange and foreign the world is without him.  And how hard it is to talk about it because I don't always have words to describe this bizarre tilted world.  How life feels surreal and crying is exhausting.

I want to talk about this.  I want us all to talk about this.  We just don't want to discuss death because it's too scary to think that we will be part of this cycle sometime.  It's such a relief to not feel like I need to comfort others for a change.  We're all suffering here and I feel sad for all of us.  And I don't want all this suffering to be for nothing.  So share your experiences.  How does it feel to wake up from a nightmare and there is no one there to comfort you?  What gets you back to sleep?  What does your house feel like now that you're alone in it?  How can you drive around the town you shared with him since you were both kids and not fall apart? 

I sincerely want to get to a place where I'm OK.  And I believe that it's possible because millions of ordinary people suffer this loss and most of them go on to live decent lives, even happy lives. And he would want that for me.  That's a comfort.  AND I don't feel this bereft every day.  But it comes on suddenly, often when I come back home after being with friends.  The quiet is staggering and the grief rises up and needs expression. 

Thank you all for sharing your pain and vulnerability and giving me a place to share mine.    It's comforting to know that we are not truly alone. 

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Dear one, quoting you:

How does it feel to wake up from a nightmare and there is no one there to comfort you?  What gets you back to sleep?  What does your house feel like now that you're alone in it?  How can you drive around the town you shared with him since you were both kids and not fall apart? 

I sincerely want to get to a place where I'm OK.  And I believe that it's possible because millions of ordinary people suffer this loss and most of them go on to live decent lives

Because grief changes and you will change with it, to all of that you will get used to and you won't mainly think of your loss when you wake up, when you drive around the town. This is very hard to understand because how could you not think of your beloved one? 

Our brains ara capable to adapt to survive. I'm saying adapting, not accepting. People confuse acceptance with adapting and from this place comes with lots of platitudes. 

Because of that millions of ordinary people go on to live decent lives. I'm one of them. All in all I have a decent life. But then how or when that happens, is very difficult to reply. Loss is a very confusing and contradictory experience packed with strong emotions, thoughts and pain. No right or wrong way of grieving.

You will be OK in your own terms.

Peace

Ana

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I want you to know I hear you, we can relate to your feelings and thoughts.  I've been doing this for over 16 years, as unfathomable as it once would have seemed.  Ana is right, this journey is ever evolving.  

 

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I met my wife, Annette, when I was 18. Before I met her, I was extremely awkward, socially inept and probably on the Autism scale, if there had been such a thing then. I was lost. I hadn't graduated high school (I got a GED later) and had been fired from my first (fast food) job. 

Annette worked at my 2nd job (Taco Bell), and was a shift leader. I was really not doing good at this job either. I was all thumbs making food and nervous taking register orders. Annette went out of her way to call me at me at home and tell me what I could do to improve, to try to give me a leg up and give me some confidence, to let me know that she was there to help me- and from that moment (1988), she was the entire focus of my life until May 16, 2020. From my inept wooing and tentative dating, to my trying to win her back when she despised me, through our marriage, moving out of California to Tulsa and being a team- never needing anybody else, she was my constant. I did everything I could for her. Her funny voices and our little in-jokes and everything that was so positive and warm about her helped us through 20 years of her physical pain, her losing most of her eyesight and all of the other hardships we faced-together. 

After she passed, I had to move back to our home town in California, which is now a shell of what was once a quiet, safe town. So many of the places we went to together are gone now- places from my childhood are shuttered, with graffiti and with homeless people camped in front. Driving down the streets of my town is beyond depressing. I had to move back in with my Mom and brother, after living with Annette almost 30 years. I'm living in the same little childhood bedroom I lived in when she called me back in 1988. I'm socially inept, awkward and lost again, except now I'm 51, and don't know how to "start over". Annette made me a completely different person. I was able to move out of state with confidence, manage retail stores, and be the best I could be, because I had her. Now, I'm in limbo- I have no direction or purpose.

I have no one to talk to about about any of this (other than here). I have a school friend that I reconnected with after moving back, but he just can't understand and only wants to talk about superficial things. My family will not talk about my feelings at all. The only I person I had that would talk with me about Annette was her father, who still lived here with his second wife and step family. It was so nice to be able to go out to breakfast with him and have a nice conversation where I felt that someone was actually listening to me and cared about what I was saying, rather than me just being a burden or a problem that nobody wants to deal with. He actually showed me understanding and I felt at peace with him, calm. He passed a little over two weeks ago from COVID. 

I know exactly what its like to not matter to anyone now. I've met some very nice people here on the Forum, and I know that they care and I am so grateful for their kindness and for them listening, but its not the same as having someone in the "real world". There, I feel pretty alone. But, I appreciate it here so much and I am glad that I found the Forum. 

James

 

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5 hours ago, scba said:

Our brains ara capable to adapt to survive. I'm saying adapting, not accepting. People confuse acceptance with adapting and from this place comes with lots of platitudes. 

Ana said so many wise things, but this jumped out.  How we live every day.  There are those that actually recover, but I’ve found out their partnerships were not like what we here had.  Not all connections run deep and become a critical part of us.  This adds to the weight of grief as people expect us to recover and be who we were and it’s not possible.  The platitudes anger and invalidate.  Often they aren’t offered for us anyway, more for the giver to ease their discomfort.

I often mix up the words in myself.   I have to accept Steve is gone.  I don’t want to, but it is the truth.  I do not have to accept how this has forever changed my life. It will never be complete again.  I’ve adapted so much that I barely recognize the once happy life I had.  It’s more an existence now.  Flatlined.  Not a feeling I’ve ever experienced.  Never in my life was I alone.  I’ve had 6 years and it feels harder as the time passes.  The emptiness has not been filled at all and where I had connection was shut down by the pandemic and now my own body.

There is so little I care about anymore.  The few people in my real life I wish I could connect more with all have so many things going, including their partnerships.  Those are hard to hear.  I live in a world going on around me.  I have to really dig into my memories to recall how it felt to be a part of that.  It’s all so overwhelming now.  I don’t know how to care about life with meaning.  I care about the people I know.  But I want to like I did.  The encounter ends and I feel left in a void.  
 

i know that is what is making this surgical recovery so much harder.  Yes,I want to lessen the pain and be with Mel again.  But all in all it’s loneliness.  Sorry,start of another long day in rehab wishing I had the love of my life here like I was for him.  

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44 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

 I have to really dig into my memories to recall how it felt to be a part of that.  
 

 

I feel the same as you do. Sometimes I have to remind myself: you were different, you were that one in the picture. You knew nothing about this. This is you next to him. He has chosen You. You have chosen him. You were part of a big story. 

Because of the emotional and physical distance that has grown between that Me and this Me (doctors may claim this is a form of PTSD.... whatever) because nobody mentions his name anymore, I found the thought of loving someone again unthinkable, among other reasons. But this isn't the topic of this post. Sorry for blackjacking 

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Ana, I do think this can take the form of PTSD.  I know I feel that way at times.  Certainly more than my usual grief and loneliness.  Mine has been exacerbated by this huge surgery.  How his presence would have motivated me by love over pain so I could spend the best time with him.  Motivated by pain is so depressing.  I’m doing all kinds of things to recover to still be without him.  
 

We were different.  We were complete.  A continuing story.  Yes, 2 people that chose each other above anyone else.  I don’t hear his name much either anymore.  I keep him alive by bringing him up now and then to people that forget I’m forever changed when they expect to hear I am getting 'better'.  No one gets I'll never be who I was again.  Why can’t I get that thru to them?  Aren’t I still of value in this change?

your reply fits right in.   No worries. 

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Yes, EMAL,we are plodding this road together.  Some further ahead, some behind.  But we’re all here together for each other.  All wishing none of us were here.  Since we are, I love this family.  Can’t imagine a day without them.  💖

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23 hours ago, scba said:

I'm saying adapting, not accepting. People confuse acceptance with adapting and from this place comes with lots of platitudes.

Wow, perfectly expressed. And yes, it's a form of PTSD.  I startle and shy away at things that in the past I would never even consider worth a response, yet other things that bother some people don't even register with me anymore, like small annoyances.

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20 hours ago, nashreed said:

He passed a little over two weeks ago from COVID

Oh no!  I am so sorry, James.  I probably don't matter to anyone either, not really, but I keep trying, injecting myself into other people's lives, neighbors, "friends," what  else can I do!  I'm very tired, life can be stressful indeed.  I wish you had someone in your everyday life...hey I wish that for myself too.  :(

10 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Aren’t I still of value in this change?

Oh yes, Gwen, you ARE!  I wish you could know that God loves you the same at every age, every size, able to "do" or not, even my sister with her mind gone and striking out, we are all valuable.  We don't seem to have affirmation from others in our lives anymore, that causes us to doubt ourselves, but we ARE still who we were then, somewhere deep inside, buried in the stresses and pain of our lives, seemingly forever altered by this tremendous loss that changed our lives and how we think, feel, respond.

Gwen, not a day goes by but I pray for you, I know rehab is not "fun."  Not by a long shot.  Keep Mel's sweet face before you and shoot for that, coming home and having her by your side.  Sometimes Kodie is all that keeps me going it feels.  But I know that even without him I'd have to, what choice do we have?  Bad as this can be, as long as there is breath there is hope...hope for what?  Hope that there will be a glimmer of good in our day.  We all know our "big joy" (Steve, George, etc.) is gone, but I look for something good in each day, no matter how small.  Yesterday it was making a batch of Avocado Brownies (I know, sounds gross, but they were amazingly wonderful!) and getting an invite to a friend's house for tomorrow (will have to make another batch to bring).

9 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

ll wishing none of us were here.  Since we are, I love this family.  Can’t imagine a day without them.  💖

Me too.  We're not imaginary people, we're real, and we've poured out our thoughts and feelings here for years, we KNOW each other, we CARE about each other, and all one need do is come here, read/post and they belong...we're a family of sorts.

 

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8 hours ago, kayc said:

we ARE still who we were then, somewhere deep inside, buried in the stresses and pain of our lives, seemingly forever altered by this tremendous loss that changed our lives and how we think, feel, respond.

 The person I was may still be there.  But it’s shattered pieces now.  It’s been about a decade that I felt anything truly happy.  I am forever altered.  I wish I could find the words to describe my situation better.   There are people that care.  It just doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore.  This surgery may be the proverbial straw.  I’m so tired of fighting life and problems.  Just talked to an ANRP I don’t like and she got me all worked up as usual.  She uses fear and intimidation.  I’m just to exhausted to fight back like I normally would.  I’m used to dealing with people that possess some empathy.  She does not.  Not an iota.  Fantasy - Steve here to take her down a few pegs as he would.  What I should be able to do.  
 

I appreciate your sharing the god aspect, but that doesn’t resonate with me at all.  Looking for good things everyday stopped during lockdown, losing volunteering and my rock, Ally.  I wish I had that belief, but if I did it would be anger at this being.  Nature makes sense to me.  Much as I hate what I’ve been dealt.  
 

Melody is my true focus but I’m not feeling I will be truly prepared to be able to be at home on this places time table.  In adding in stuff like getting dressed myself it has aggravated my back again.  We’ve barely addressed stairs into my house and showers not at all.  I looked into a porta potty for home over my home one as I don’t know how I will get up on my own without support arms.  I keep seeing dollar signs ramping up as this unfolds.  Another upsetting aspect as this is going to cost me thousands and my back hurts as bad pre surgery.  Now I have every aspect of what I do caught up in it where I could at least sit and get some relief.  But it wasn’t going to last.  
 

I’ll stop here, therapy times that will wipe me out.  I’m sure I’ll be back to whine.  Oh joy!  

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Gwen:  I'm feeling your utter despair as you go through your daily schedule of recovery.  And if the pain isn't enough, to top it off you have to deal with a "nurse" that shows little or no empathy.  I can't begin to understand how you are dealing with all the obstacles but over the years/months you have posted, you have somehow managed to get through each day.  Hopefully, as the days pass and some of your strength returns you will see a way to be back to being in your home.   Your Mel will learn to accept a little less ball throwing by being her sweet shy girl and will be happy lying next to your chair.  

I have stated before I struggle with my religious beliefs, but I still try to ask God to please help me get through the next day.  I have always admired those that strongly carried their faith. 

I hope your therapy session today was more manageable.  

3 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

 I’m sure I’ll be back to whine.  Oh joy!  

Your sense of humor still creeps in. 😁  Hugs, Dee  

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16 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

 Looking for good things everyday stopped during lockdown, losing volunteering and my rock, Ally.

I know, it's been the same for me.  Having my sister turn against me and strike out so viciously has felt the last straw.  I keep trying my best, sometimes I feel like I'm back pedaling against the tide.  I totally get everything you're saying.  Our struggles may be different but very very real to us.  I'm sorry you got Attila the Hun to work with.  :(

16 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Another upsetting aspect as this is going to cost me thousands and my back hurts as bad pre surgery.

Peggy's did too for some time but gradually healed.  Is there a program that will pay to add what you need?  Sometimes they'll even throw in a caregiver for life so you can stay in your own home...with the hitch you sign over your house to the state when you die.  I looked into that for Peggy but with her dementia I seriously doubt she can stay in her home, she won't cooperate or do anything for herself, won't see a doctor, won't let anyone help her, her mind is truly demented.  And now nasty, vicious.  :(  Thank God you still have your mind!  I'm doing my level best to take care of myself to stave off this curse.

I love your response, Dee.  You put into words what I feel but words elude me.  :wub:

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9 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Thank you, Dee.  You’ve amazed me with all you have done in your move and very life changing choice.  Your strength is amazing.  💪

Thank you Gwen for the kind thoughts.  I haven't felt strong through this venture.  There have been times I have questioned my decision to move.  But, then I have to remind myself I had no choice.  Without my dear Bob, I knew I had to make this difficult decision.  Unlike you, I fortunately had help from my son and some help from my daughter and son in law.  Another positive, so far, is I have a real estate agent that has been really supportative of my situation.  

Right now I am spending most of my time changing addresses, telephone numbers, utilities, billing information, medical providers, etc., etc., working on an old laptop that is trying to quit on me.  As we all know, trying to talk on the telephone to a human, is next to impossible.

I'm keeping you in my thoughts as you face your struggles.  "One Day @ a Time".  Hugs, Dee

3 hours ago, kayc said:

I love your response, Dee.  You put into words what I feel but words elude me.  :wub:

This statement coming from you kayc is much appreciated.  You always seem to say the right thing in each response to us here on the forum.  Thank you. 

I am truly sorry your sister's illness has brought you two to this separation.   Your health has got to be at the top of your list.  Take care.  Hugs, Dee

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My BP was 127/70 this morning.  I have to drive someone home past her house today, not looking forward to it.  This hurts me, every day, I've lost her.

19 hours ago, Widow2015 said:

Right now I am spending most of my time changing addresses, telephone numbers, utilities, billing information, medical providers, etc., etc., working on an old laptop that is trying to quit on me.  As we all know, trying to talk on the telephone to a human, is next to impossible.

I''m sorry.  Not as extensive, I know, but I had to change my M/C exp date and Dish Network took 2 1/2 months and several tries for them to get it, meanwhile they took my payments out early, resulting in double payments inside the month.  Reg. Gd. used it for an unauthorized charge and 1st Tech is taking three months to "investigate it," meanwhile I had to pay it!  And they want me to cancel my card and start over!  I don't think so!  It'd mean hours on the internet/phone, ugh!  If they can't get changing an exp. date, what hope have I!  You have my sympathy, Dee, my laptop wouldn't cooperate when I was evacuated, either, it was doing weird things, I haven't touched it since I got home.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/6/2021 at 7:50 PM, EMAL said:

I lost my husband of 46 years in early April. And  I know that I have a long road ahead of me, but I came into this forum because I desperately needed to know that someone else feels the same way I do.  I have many casual friends, and am lucky to have two very close ones.  And while we have gone through decades of life events together and they have always been there, I'm alone in this one.  I've felt like I was on a deserted island and no one could really see me.  The emotions are SO MUCH more complicated than I ever imagined.  And I did imagine, because my husband was sick off and on for 25 years. So I was preparing.  But I had no idea what I was preparing for.  

My husband was a talker and told wonderful and funny stories about his cowboy days and his childhood and he even made his trip to the grocery store into a humorous anecdote.  And now the house is SO STILL.  And I'm not laughing every day. The silence is thick and oppressive.  Thank goodness for the tv and radio but I'm sick of needing them.   His energy that lifted me up and led me to the next tractor to rebuild, or meal to cook, or trip to take is gone.  Can I lift myself up?  I have been, but I'm a little afraid that one day, I won't be able to. And then where will I turn?

There is no one to reflect myself back to me.  I live in an empty soundless cave.  I'm not the most important person to ANYONE any more.  And as a widow, I feel broken.  I'm no longer part of a functioning unit.  I don't fit in anywhere.  And I'm tired of saying "I'm fine" when someone asks how I am because I can tell they don't REALLY want to know because they just don't know how to help. And I am so grateful when someone asks how I am and I can tell that they really DO want to know.  And I tell them.  Not the whole long tale, but I'm honest about how strange and foreign the world is without him.  And how hard it is to talk about it because I don't always have words to describe this bizarre tilted world.  How life feels surreal and crying is exhausting.

I want to talk about this.  I want us all to talk about this.  We just don't want to discuss death because it's too scary to think that we will be part of this cycle sometime.  It's such a relief to not feel like I need to comfort others for a change.  We're all suffering here and I feel sad for all of us.  And I don't want all this suffering to be for nothing.  So share your experiences.  How does it feel to wake up from a nightmare and there is no one there to comfort you?  What gets you back to sleep?  What does your house feel like now that you're alone in it?  How can you drive around the town you shared with him since you were both kids and not fall apart? 

I sincerely want to get to a place where I'm OK.  And I believe that it's possible because millions of ordinary people suffer this loss and most of them go on to live decent lives, even happy lives. And he would want that for me.  That's a comfort.  AND I don't feel this bereft every day.  But it comes on suddenly, often when I come back home after being with friends.  The quiet is staggering and the grief rises up and needs expression. 

Thank you all for sharing your pain and vulnerability and giving me a place to share mine.    It's comforting to know that we are not truly alone. 

You wrote: There is no one to reflect myself back to me.  I live in an empty soundless cave.  I'm not the most important person to ANYONE any more.  And as a widow, I feel broken.  I'm no longer part of a functioning unit.  I don't fit in anywhere. 

I didn’t get a chance to marry John as COVID took him on August 14th.  But what you write is so true.  I still follow our routines but it’s just me now.  I don’t dream of him because I’m on Temazepam to sleep still.  I barely function by writing lists.  I’m done raging at everyone close to me and everyone close to him.  He lived in England and they lifted the restrictions within days of his condition plummeting.  I had much saved to bring him over this year, to marry, etc so I arrived the day the restrictions were gone, traveled from London to Southampton General Hospital only to be told I couldn’t enter his room.  I stood outside his window and we talked on the phone looking at each other when he wasn’t wearing the full CPAP BiPAP mask.  Eventually I gave enough Hollywood grade performances to patient liaisons and nurses to get snuck in and was able to see him twice in person, just to clip his nails, hold his hands, encourage him to eat something, anything.  He started crying the moment I entered his room.  I’ve been haunted by how wasted away his body became.  From diagnosis to death - 29 days.  I have a son with autism I had to return to.  We were still hoping for a recovery.  He died 6 days after I returned.  I couldn’t manage to go back for the funeral or even to watch.  Everything I cared so much for is gone.  Life feels like so much sawdust and pain.  Anyway.  I know this isn’t a very uplifting response.  But it is the loneliest sadness I’ve ever experienced.  I’m meant to be writing my dissertation for a PhD I started because of him.  I can’t even read a book.  I’m so sorry you lost your husband.  xxx Elizabeth

 

 

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Elizabeth,

I am so sorry for your loss, I know it's tremendous.  You were married already in your hearts, I know you feel gypped, I didn't meet my husband until our mid-40s, he was the love of my life, my soulmate and best friend, he died suddenly/unexpectedly, in the hospital, heart with diabetic complications.  He'd complained of symptoms for ten months, his doctor did nothing, maybe they could have saved his life had they listen/responded but it was too late that fateful weekend.  

I relate to your post even though it's been over 16 years now, it's indelibly etched into my brain.  We never forget.  My heart goes out to you in your sorrow, I know it all too well.  We learn to adjust to life without but never do we prefer it, we continue to love and miss them the rest of our lives.

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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I hope you will continue to post whenever you need to, even just to vent, it helps to express yourself where you know people "get it."

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