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This is my 1st post & lost my amazing Husband of almost 16 years Jeffrey in May 2020 from complications due to MS. I know that everyone tells me that time will make it easier but it doesn't and all I want to be honest is just to stop continuing to live & I hope I can speak open & honestly without judgment or repercussions....
Although I'm not actively thinking of taking my life I'm also not stopping myself from putting myself in situations that arent entirely safe or legal. I'm as lost & completely alone & afraid as I was the day he passed. I've isolated myself from everyone & everything & don't really care to change it. Being without him is slowly killing me...I'm hoping I'm not alone. I don't know how good I'd be at the words of encouragement for your losses  because I have none but I can be a good listener. I'm sorry we have to meet under these circumstances but it's nice to vent & be honest about how i feel so thank you!

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No, you're not alone, and it's o. k. to still feel the way you're feeling right now. Even if we don't care about looking after ourselves anymore, I'm sure our lost loved ones wouldn't want this for us and would really cause them so much worrying. I lost my soul-mate in November 2020 but for me not even one day has passed, as if time has stood still. I joined this group just a month ago, and I find that only here I can express my true feelings, say whatever I want without feeling judged and most of all I know I'm being understood. Strangely, I can't do this with friends or relatives, I don't even talk about this with my own kids (aged 23 and 25)after all, they're suffering just like me, they were there when their beloved father was suddenly,unexpectedly, taken from us by a heart attack.

In my experience, letting it all out here truly gives me some soothing and healing, which is what we all need right now. I'm sure you too, will find comfort in sharing your feelings together with us. 

Take care. 

 

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3 hours ago, JJW1007 said:

I hope I can speak open & honestly without judgment or repercussions....

Of course!  That is what this place is for, an outlet, where we can share/vent/learn, a place where we're understood and supported.

 

7 minutes ago, V. R. said:

they're suffering just like me

Yes, and yet their grief is unique from yours, their loss is different.  Losing my parents was very different from losing my soulmate and best friend.

 

3 hours ago, JJW1007 said:

I don't know how good I'd be at the words of encouragement for your losses  because I have none

Don't worry about that, of course you're empty right now, this is a process and it has only been seven months, one of the hardest timelines, as shock wears off and reality sets in, "support" dries up, people tire of our "grief."  If only they knew...

Grief Process
Six Month Mark (separate article from the following)

Welcome here, I am so sorry for your loss and I wish it were anything but.  

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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3 hours ago, JJW1007 said:

This is my 1st post & lost my amazing Husband of almost 16 years Jeffrey in May 2020 from complications due to MS. I know that everyone tells me that time will make it easier but it doesn't and all I want to be honest is just to stop continuing to live & I hope I can speak open & honestly without judgment or repercussions....
Although I'm not actively thinking of taking my life I'm also not stopping myself from putting myself in situations that arent entirely safe or legal. I'm as lost & completely alone & afraid as I was the day he passed. I've isolated myself from everyone & everything & don't really care to change it. Being without him is slowly killing me...I'm hoping I'm not alone. I don't know how good I'd be at the words of encouragement for your losses  because I have none but I can be a good listener. I'm sorry we have to meet under these circumstances but it's nice to vent & be honest about how i feel so thank you!

Dear one,

This is a safe place to express yourself with no judgement from us. 

In my view, time in itself does nothing with our grief. It is what we do with it. I've lost my partner 7 years ago, but time is a variable of importance for the outside. "It's been too long" they say. And it doesn't match what I feel inside and my vivid memories of him.

You are not alone and you can survive this. In this forum you will find valuable threads and resources. 

Please, don't put yourself at risk. If this is some of a big problem, look for help.

 

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8 minutes ago, scba said:

In my view, time in itself does nothing with our grief. It is what we do with it.

This is very true!  @MartyTposted about that in her Grief Process article I linked above.

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4 hours ago, JJW1007 said:

Although I'm not actively thinking of taking my life I'm also not stopping myself from putting myself in situations that arent entirely safe or legal.

Dear one, you've heard from several members and I hope you'll take their wise words to heart, as so much of what you're feeling is not unusual ~ and you're certainly not alone. I also encourage you to read this: Thoughts of Suicide in Grief  

See also Physical Reactions to Loss and Physical Effects of Grief.  ❤️

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Welcome, and like the others I am sorry you have had reason to need to seek us out.

7 hours ago, JJW1007 said:

I'm as lost & completely alone & afraid as I was the day he passed.

This is very understandable.  I remember that for me it was as though my heart had been ripped out of my chest and I kept expecting to see a hole in it.  Feeling afraid and alone and unsafe were all a frequent feeling for me as well.  I barely left the house, except to go to work.  I don't even know how I managed that...

You need not fear judgment here.  I don't think anyone here is likely to do such a thing.  We've all been recipients of judgement so I think we are careful not to do the same to others.

In addition to all the other great feedback you have had here, it is important to hydrate, especially if you are shedding tears, so that your tissues don't continually dry out. 

I hope you will continue to post as you are able.

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Hi, and welcome.

I guess this Forum has saved my life. Writing my thoughts out and talking to my wife daily keep me sane. 

I absolutely admit to thinking of suicide daily. I'm too much of a chicken to really try, but I have a bottle of expired opioids that might do some harm. I'm more afraid of surviving an attempt. I am often disappointed and pissed that I wake up in the morning. I take my medications because I think Annette would be seriously upset with me if I didn't, and I can't live with that. 

It really is a blessing that I have this outlet. I live with my mother and brother in my childhood mobile home. I had to move back to California after Annette passed. What was once a safe retirement town has become a homeless infested ghetto in my absence. I feel like Marty McFly- that I did something wrong in the past and screwed up the present. All the places my wife and I loved or grew up with, shuttered, changed, gone. I can't talk to my family about anything of my "past life"- she didn't even like Annette, never forgave her for us moving away. I have no real life friends that could possibly understand- only 1 friend here at all really. Loads of Facebook friends who are only good for showing me how great their lives are, with their spouses. 

I am very, very thankful for this Forum. 

James

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I can add that ending this misery after 7 years is dominating my thoughts.  I’ve waited and waited for that time thing and it hasn’t happened. Why it has for others, I do not know.  I totally understand how you feel.  I seek help in counseling and it worked for awhile.  Now I do it for contact as I’ve lost it with the world.  It was helpful to get me thru so many times, especially watching my husbands last years.  Now I try and find ways to keep mine in sessions.  I don’t find solace in if it would dismay Steve.  I know he would understand. When you have had that deep love and it is taken from you, you’re halfway dead already.  He told me he would feel the same if the situation was reversed.  No telling if he would, but knowing him as I did, I think he would have followed a destructive path.  
 

You are in a safe place to say anything you feel.  No judgements.  I’m so lost that this is where I come to after I drag myself out of bed to read how my new family here is doing and knowing I can tell them about me and they don’t try and fix me like outsiders do.  Only people that experienced this understand.  The couple I have met that did well were not as close in their connections with their partners.  I learned this from talking to them, from them.  Not a judgement by me.  They missed their partners but stepped into other lives they created for themselves.  Their ties were not as intertwined with them. Again, no judgement.  I just saw how different Steve and I were from them.  Sometimes I envy them.  But I would have lost the deepest love not everyone gets to feel.  I never factored in the cost of losing it.  You can’t when you are in it.  It’s too intoxicating.  You meld into something so safe and wonderful.  What hurts is asking myself now if it was worth it.  It’s like adding more punishment on top of the grief which is merciless.  
 

I hope you continue to share.  I saw some fix its in the thread, but anything you feel is valid.  I’m a good listener too.  Everyone here is.  We are here for you.  

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It seems to me that finding meaning in the "after" --no matter if it's a month or a decade following the passing of the beloved-- that is the Herculean task of a lifetime.  No wonder grief is so exhausting.  Five years later, I still feel tired.

I don't necessarily agree with every point made in this essay, but Mark Liebenow has some thoughtful points about finding meaning.  And I like his concluding statement:

"Do what matters to you. The rest will fall into place."

https://widowersgrief.blogspot.com/2021/11/finding-why-to-live.html#more

 

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Also, thoughts of suicide are common in early grief, just want you to know you're not alone if you're feeling that, so important to give yourself ample time and processing your grief to begin to adjust to the immense changes it means for your life.

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From the movie "Jackie":

  • The Priest : I have lived a blessed life. And yet every night, when I climb into bed, turn off the lights, and stare in to the dark, I wonder... Is this all there is?

    Jackie Kennedy : You wonder?

    The Priest : Every soul on this planet does. But then, when morning comes, we all wake up and make a pot of coffee.

    Jackie Kennedy : Why do we bother?

    The Priest : Because we do. You did this morning, you will again tomorrow. But God, in his infinite wisdom, has made sure it is just enough for us.

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2 hours ago, scba said:

From the movie "Jackie":

  • The Priest : I have lived a blessed life. And yet every night, when I climb into bed, turn off the lights, and stare in to the dark, I wonder... Is this all there is?

     

    Jackie Kennedy : Why do we bother?

    The Priest : Because we do. You did this morning, you will again tomorrow. But God, in his infinite wisdom, has made sure it is just enough for us.

Ana:  I'm not sure I believe it is God giving us the incentive to get up and carry on.  For me, and only in my opinion, not to discredit God, whenever I can't pull up enough courage or strength to take that daily step forward I think of how my dear Bob would want me to keep going.  I pretend to be happy and try to find even a small measure of happiness so I can still be part of my little family and not disappoint my son by giving up.   Maybe it is God working through the love I had for my husband and my love of my family that keeps me going.   Even without my Bob here, I feel blessed to have had him for so many years.

Dee

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On 12/29/2021 at 3:16 AM, JJW1007 said:

Being without him is slowly killing me...I'm hoping I'm not alone. I don't know how good I'd be at the words of encouragement for your losses  because I have none but I can be a good listener. I'm sorry we have to meet under these circumstances but it's nice to vent & be honest about how i feel so thank you!

JJW1007:  As others have shared, I am so sorry you have had to join this Grief Forum.  This forum is ideal for anyone who wants to share or just to read how others get through their grief path.  I feel not being able  to share our feelings with others only adds to our grief.   I try to just get though one day at a time and not to think about how I will manage tomorrow.  Today is all I can handle even after being without my husband for 6 years.  Just know you are not alone in your feelings.  Warm thoughts, Dee.

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2 hours ago, Widow2015 said:

Ana:  I'm not sure I believe it is God giving us the incentive to get up and carry on.  For me, and only in my opinion, not to discredit God, whenever I can't pull up enough courage or strength to take that daily step forward I think of how my dear Bob would want me to keep going.  I pretend to be happy and try to find even a small measure of happiness so I can still be part of my little family and not disappoint my son by giving up.   Maybe it is God working through the love I had for my husband and my love of my family that keeps me going.   Even without my Bob here, I feel blessed to have had him for so many years.

Dee

Dear Dee

Thank you. I didn't intend to preach any belief here. I remembered that quote from a movie which put words to those moments when we wonder why do we still care. I found the answer to be kind of poetic. 

I share the same feeling as you do. My MIL told me in his funeral service: "we cannot lose another one". I might be getting up every morning and prepare my coffee for her too.

 

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2 hours ago, scba said:

I share the same feeling as you do. My MIL told me in his funeral service: "we cannot lose another one". I might be getting up every morning and prepare my coffee for her too.

Ana:   I hope you didn't think I was pointing out you were preaching.  I thought the quote was appropriate and beautiful. 

Your MIL's  words says it all.  When I think about how devasted my son was that night at the hospital when Bob died, I have to keep going as long as I can so  that scene isn't replayed.  I realize my time will come, I just hope it will be in my sleep or not when he is within view.   

Let's keep preparing coffee.  Hugs, Dee

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1 hour ago, Widow2015 said:

Ana:   I hope you didn't think I was pointing out you were preaching.  I thought the quote was appropriate and beautiful. 

Your MIL's  words says it all.  When I think about how devasted my son was that night at the hospital when Bob died, I have to keep going as long as I can so  that scene isn't replayed.  I realize my time will come, I just hope it will be in my sleep or not when he is within view.   

Let's keep preparing coffee.  Hugs, Dee

Not at all. I thought your post was very kind.

🙂

Let's keep preparing coffee. I like this phrase 

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I was also brought up Catholic, so are my kids, my husband's relatives, everyone. But, I feel guilty sometimes when I sit here blaming God for our sudden loss. Then again, one moment I believe there is a God, the next moment I don't, I just get so confused. I remember when my MIL was alive (she died 11 months after my soulmate) and my husband and I used to visit her everyday (early stages of senile dementia), cleaning for her, cooking, bringing her groceries, etc, etc. Well, when my poor husband tried to convince her to come and stay with us (rather than send her to a care hospice) she would just repeat to us:"No, don't worry about me, God will help me and provide for me."  Oh, how those words made us mad! I remember my poor, distressed, desperate husband pleading to her:"oh, come on, how can you not understand? Can God  bring you your life-saving medicines and food everyday?"   I still get furious when I remember these situations, apart from my own feelings of guilt (why didn't I realize he was having a heart attack?) I constantly hear in my head my husband's words :" oh, I can't handle my mother anymore, she's killing me...." 

I also believe though, that if there is a God, our human nature makes us blame God for all the bad things but forget to thank him for all the good things he does. 

All the best to you all, and may the New Year bring you comfort and peace. 

Enza

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, V. R. said:

But, I feel guilty sometimes when I sit here blaming God for our sudden loss.

A book that helped me years ago was Rabbi Harold Kushner's book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."  Can you talk with your priest about it?

I also LOVE "A Grief Observed!"  CS Lewis is so authentic and has BEEN THERE!  I've read a lot of his books over the years.

 

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I've just started reading "A Grief Observed' by C. S. Lewis and even if I haven't even finished the Intro yet, I've already decided that, yes, I like this book and I will continue reading it. I feel it will surely help me. Kay, yes, it would be a good idea to talk to my priest but  it's something I've  never done before,(I'd feel a bit embarrassed), have never been a church-goer, couldn't even to talk to him at my husband's funeral because of COVID restrictions(social distancing), I wouldn't have talked to him anyway even in normal circumstances, I was so distraught, in shock, my FIL had had to organize everything.

Best to you all. 

Enza

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I just want to let you know that it's common/normal to feel anger at God in early grief...He has broad shoulders, He can take it...and He understands.  There is so much our finite minds cannot get, how can we possibly understand why we lost our spouse, all too soon!  We were taught fairness from the time we were children, one of our siblings breaking a candy bar in half and the other choosing their piece...fairness.  But that's not how the rest of life seems to work.  Nothing about it seems fair!  If I'm married, tax law favors the single, if I'm single, it favors the married!  Losing our spouse is the hardest thing we've been through, and there's nothing fair about it, why some get to keep theirs into their 90s while I live my life alone.

Truth be told, if God has some kind of reason for this, and He chose to share that bit of knowledge with me, I wouldn't likely understand it, or agree with it, or like it.  Of course not!  So what difference would it make if I were to be told!  For me it would change nothing, my emotions are very much involved.  I've wondered that perhaps George was spared something worse, I don't know.  Maybe I'll know when I get to heaven, by then it'll be a moot point, what will really matter is I get to be with him, and God.  I'll be out of these struggles, away from politics and Covid, snow and taxes.  We'll be with our loved ones, I'll see my sister and parents again and all of my pets, including my companion, Arlie.  That is enough to look forward to.  What is hard is this in between, today...I don't have tomorrow, no one knows how long they'll live, we assume probabilities, but we don't know...we have right now, that's it.  I try to live each day with an embrace for what is in it but sometimes today disappoints.  And of course it's a process even being able to get to that point.  

Just know that you are not alone with what you are feeling, many of us have felt this and many still do, the trick is not letting it embitter you, change who you are, giving resentment reign.  Time enough to deal with it all, we have nothing but time looming before us, don't we.  Or so it seems.:wub:

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