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Well, here it is six month mark today. And as I sit here I realized that I am leaving on another vacation on the exact same day that Karen died. Six months ago today we were leaving for our vacation to Orlando and not knowing what was going to take place latter that day after we arrived.

Today we are driving to South Carolina and I can't help but look back over the last six months and how much has changed. I have gone from not knowing who I am to starting to have a clue. I am starting to find the "new" normal for my family. My finances are finally in order for the first time in years. I am able to finally slow down a little instead of running 90 to nothing until I drop. I have just a little (Very little)sanitiy. There has been so much I have learned in the last 6 months and I know there will be much to learn in the next 6 months. I know I will have my ups and downs, but I am begining to realize that in order to appreciate the ups you have to have the downs.

The best thing that could have ever happened this last six months is finding this site and all the wonderful people here that I consider to be my family. I thank you for being here for me when I am down, and I am glad that I have been able to help others even while going through my own pain. I know that when I am down all I have to do is log in and post and usually there will be a reply within the hour if not in minutes. You all have been able to lift me up when I couldn't. I was able to be here when one of our members had her baby boy, the first for this site. To read all of the wonderful postings and support that she had from all of us was heart warming.

As I look back at what I have gained, I realiize that none of it would have happened if not for that day in Orlando 6 months ago. Yes, I wish I could have Karen back, but at the same time it would be hard for me to give up everything I have gotten from you all in the last 6 months. So here's to you, thank you for the last 6 months you all have been a life svaer. And here's to the next six months may God give us the peace and put the right people in our lives to help us through. May God help the countless others that will lose loved ones find their way here so that we can welcome them into family and let them know that they are not alone in this world and there are still people out here that understand and care. May God bless you all.

Derek

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Derek,

You – my friend are a remarkable individual. I can remember your first post – and now I see this one – 6 months later. What a perfect example you have shown as to how to deal with grief – by passing through it – never avoiding it – and talking and writing about your feelings. As you may note – there are not very many men on this site who actively participate in the process.

For everything you may have received in comfort and support form this site – you have returned 10 fold to all of us. You are a shinning example of how to work through grief. I am proud of you – and thank you for the many times you have helped me through this difficult passage.

Your friend,

John – Dusky is my handle on here.

Love you Jack

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Derek

You have given so much to all of us here, i am so happy that i can to this site and found you and all of the other wonderful people. i pray that you have a wonderful trip to South Carolina and i know that karen will be with you the entire time. you have come so far and am so proud of you. Carson is a very blessed boy to have you as a dad. God Bless and may He replace your heart with joy and remove the sorrow,. (i say this numerous times through out the day) lori

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Derek, I have tears in my eyes! That was beautifully said. You TRULY have come a long way from 6 months ago - I'm having trouble believing that it has BEEN six months already. I'm SURE that you and your son will be fine. He has a strong and loving dad - someday he will tell you how proud he is of you! That will be a great day.

We are so glad that you are part of our "family". You are truly an inspiration to all of us.

About your trip....try not to dwell on the past. Just try to enjoy yourself and Carson! You both will be fine.

My best to you!!!

Patti

(Charlie 6/10/58-11/16/2004 - I love & miss you, Dear!)

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Derek,

When I first came to this site I did not think that I would be welcomed as so many people have left me after Herman died. I was terrifed to even write on here, not knowing if I would be accepted (I still feel that way at times) but then I read your response to me and I broke down because you were there for me even while going through the pain of losing Karen and the response you gave to me after you read Herman's euolgy...that you felt like you knew him and wished that you had.... will forever be in my heart and mind. I am crying as I type because I so wish I could be with you right now and hold you tight and tell you that you are an amazing man...because you are. My 11 month "mark" without Herman will be on October 13th and I am still struggling so much and I know that you are too and my heart aches for you Derek. Karen was so very blessed to have you for a husband and the father of Carson and in return you were blessed with both Karen and your son. It makes losing our loved ones even harder when you know how blessed you have been...for me anyway. Derek we are very close in age...you 37, me 38 and I struggle with losing Herman so young and I know that even if it is hard for you to say...you feel it too....please correct me if I am wrong. I try to stay positive but at times I can't...the pain is so intense. Derek...you asked me to be there for other people on this site if I could and that is what I am trying to do for you right now...I hope in some small way that I have been.

If you ever want to email me, please do.

Much love to you Derek and to all the people on this site who have allowed me to talk about Herman.

Lori

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Derek,

Your words really touched me. You have been, as Dusky mentioned, a good example for us all, for me personally, and thank you for sharing your experiences/feelings with us because somehow it has helped us to deal with our own grief too, and I must say too that this site has been a blessing for me too.. you all are wonderful.

I hope you may enjoy your vacation Derek, God bless you,

Gaby

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Derek,

Six months...in a way it seems so much longer. You are right, we learn so much through this process. None of us asked for it and yet in a way, we are richer for it, although all of us would choose to have our loved ones back if only we could. This site and each person on it has come to mean so much to me. Somehow God knew that I would need this family and ordained that I should stumble across this site just shortly after George died. You, Derek, have been an inspiration to me. You have been so positive and have reminded me of my need to turn to God in the middle of my pain and trials. Yet you have been strong enough as a man to freely state all of the feelings you have experienced, both positive and negative, and I feel so grateful to you for your honesty. You have braved the way for other men to express themselves in their grief, and that is so important, because letting it out that is so helpful. Thank you so much for being you...I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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Derek,

Has it really been six months already? I'm so glad that you have been able to find this site helpful. You've really come a long way. Yes, we would all love to have our loved ones back, but since that's not going to happen, we have to do the best we can to get throught the next moment. Thanks for your inspiration and honesty.

Have a good vacation with Carson, enjoy yourself!

Kathy

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