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My husband died on November 2, 2021 which was his 70th birthday. Since then, I’ve had to re-home my cat, sell two vehicles, our family home and move out of state. Today, April 2, 2022 has been five months and my life has changed forever. I’ve been journaling, read several books on grief, am visiting a counselor via phone sessions and tried a grief zoom group. The zoom group was bible based and too religious for me, so I thought I give this a try.

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@Nightbeader I am so sorry for your loss!  It's the hardest thing in the world, if you ask me.  My husband had just had his 51st bdy, it was a shock!  That was nearly 17 years ago on Father's Day, now they've also made June 19th a holiday, so double whammy for FD & June 19th and it's on commercials, etc.  Not like I could forget it anyway!

I welcome you here and hope you'll continue to read/post.  We want to be here for you as you go through this.

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

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 its 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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Welcome.  We're a pretty welcoming bunch.  In the 4 or so years I have been here, I haven't noticed overtly political or super religious topics and everyone here has been respectful of differences.

I think the 5th or 6th month after is kind of a haze.  For me, it didn't really become real until well after the first year had passed, but everyone is different.  I hope you can find some solace here.  ❤️

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So sorry for your loss, understand totally how you feel. I lost my husband suddenly in the same month as you, but one year earlier. The irony of the sort is that we had first met in the same month too, 27yrs ago. Time doesn't mean anything to me now, my life stopped on that day he left us. I also should sell his car, I just can't pluck up the courage to part from it. I look at it everyday, parked there in our courtyard, still can't go inside though, my daughter has to turn on the engine every now and then, I just can't bring myself to do even that, too painful. I know I'm making a mistake, letting it get old, wasting away, I'll have to convince myself soon. 

All of us here can relate to you, we know what you're going through right now, I'm sure you will, like I do, find comfort in writing here, being able to say whatever  you're feeling or thinking. 

Take care. 

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I’m sorry as well you had to wind up here.  But thank gawd it is here.  Half of us die with them that day and nothing is ever the same.   I’m going into my 8th year and while time has helped, it’s also made things worse.  Your journey will be unique, but there will be those that can relate to anything you feel.   I hope you feel up to sharing more about your situation.  Sudden  or anticipated death, how long you wee together, a description of your partner.  Any feeling you have is valid.  I, also feel the first year is a blur.  We are reacting to shock, forced into the legal chores.  You’ve made some extraordinarily hard changes already.  I don’t know if I could have been that strong.  Do you have a good support system (family, friends)?  I can say this family here has kept me I sane since I joined.  No one has the answers, but often different points of view or a perspective from their experiences that have helped.  Some are religious and I’m not, but respectful and I’ve never had a problem telling someone that is not for me.  Just be yourself.  We care.  If you feel safe enough, maybe you could share more about your relationship.  You’ve done so much in a short time.  Much more than I could have.  

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 I do hope you can find some solace joining this amazing Grief Forum.  We all here understand exactly what you are having to face every day without your husband.    I lost my husband in 2015;  the loss still hurts daily.  One important strategy that worked for me was to get through the next hour, or even the next minute, until that day is behind me.  I try to face today the best I can.   Like Gwen stated, you are brave to have made such hard changes in such a short amount of time.  Take care, Dee 

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On 4/2/2022 at 6:10 AM, Kieron said:

I haven't noticed overtly political or super religious topics and everyone here has been respectful of differences.

It's not allowed here. There's been some mentions but nothing integral and yes we try to be respectful, also don't want called into the principle's office!  :D (Marty)

I want you to know that you will get through this, I hope you're not afraid like I was, I just didn't see how I could do this but I have been for so long now it must be possible. ;)

I hope you'll continue to come here, we're very supportive of each other.

 

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This afternoon was another day of streaming tears. Luckily I know live my daughter and her lovely partner. They gave me their room and fixed it up so beautifully. I’ve been with them for two months now and am learning about the state of Washington. I lived in Arizona for over 66 years and my husband was born in Arizona. He died so unexpectedly and now that my affairs in AZ are all settled I think that is why the tears are starting to flow so much. Right after he died I had so many things to do in order to move.

I wanted him to move here but he wasn’t interested so now I’m here and I brought his ashes with me.

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Wishing you well on this journey, I'm in OR (Oakridge), what town are you in?  I'm glad you aren't alone.

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It's understandable why you will have tears streaming.  You barely had time to recover from the shock of his unexpected passing.  The recent loss of your husband and then to resettle in an unfamiliar home only magnifies your sadness.  Six years after my husband passed away unexpectedly, I made the decision to move from our home where we lived and created our happy life together.  I still cry and grieve for him and for the life we had together.  Moving under the best of circumstances is traumatic enough.  It is good you have your daughter for support.   

I also live in Washington on the west side of the state, south of Seattle. I moved here in the early 60's where I eventually met and married my husband.   It's a beautiful state if you don't mind the rain.  Take care.  Dee

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I am living in Marysville, Washington and getting used to the new surroundings. Coming from Arizona where rain was rare, I am loving the rain and getting good use from brand new whipper blades lol

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I woke up to snow today, not much, may continue throughout the day, but concerning is I need a Covid test Sunday and it's supposed to snow this weekend, thought I'd be safe when I made my doctor's appt for Wed. the 13th as I've lived here 45 years and it's NEVER snowed past April 7th!  They won't let anyone drive me in (120 mile round trip), snowing to 1500 ft, I'm at 2420.

I don't mind the rain, we need it for droughts/fires this summer!  We have the same saying here that WA does, "If you don't like the weather, stick around, it'll change!"

It's good you got new wiper blades!  My defrost isn't working right on passenger side, made it through winter cracking the window, will have to get it checked out before next winter!

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OR too!

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On 4/4/2022 at 10:30 PM, Nightbeader said:

I am living in Marysville, Washington and getting used to the new surroundings

You're north of Seattle then.  My husband and I would visit his long time hunting/fishing buddy and his wife who lived in Mt. Vernon so we would drive past Marysville quite often.  I hope you got the chance to see the tulip fields in Mt. Vernon; it is or it was such a quaint little town.  Many happy, fun memories with my husband were made up there. 

I can only imagine how the change in surroundings in your life are such an adjustment for you.  Take care and enjoy the Spring in the Pacific NW as you follow your grief path.  Dee

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I’ve lived here over 30 years now and still haven’t seen the tulips.  Just pics on TV or ones people have taken.  Must be beautiful.  Back when I Gardner I bought them at local stores. Gave up on them when I found out you had to dig them up to break them up and replant them.  Never could find the deep purple ones that are so striking. I always hated planting bulbs in fall when it was nasty out, but it sure paid off in spring.  I bought other perennials like periwinkle and  candy tufts which was easier.  Eventually the dogs won tramplin everything.   Some periwinkles have survived.  As I got older, more and more stepping stones. Rain thrill (coming from NM) wore off after a few years too.  💦

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5 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I’ve lived here over 30 years now and still haven’t seen the tulips.  Just pics on TV or ones people have taken.  Must be beautiful.  Back when I Gardner I bought them at local stores. Gave up on them when I found out you had to dig them up to break them up and replant them.

Gwen:  Oh yes, the tulip fields were so awesome.  I hope some day you will get to see them.  Our friends bought an old farm house right in the middle of the area surrounded by the tulip fields.  They didn't plant tulips, but they did raise cashmere  goats, had horses and a few chickens.  She belonged to a group of other goat owners where she would sell the fibers from her small goat herd.  It was always so much fun to go up and spend the weekend with them.  Never boring for sure.  One more thing that won't ever happen again, but I do have the many wonderful memories laughing with these old friends and my dear husband.

Besides the amount of maintenance of growing tulips, there were those pesky squirrels that would dig up the bulbs for a snack.  I had a few survivors in my backyard.  I loved the big red ones.  Dee

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