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I have never done this type of thing before but I have been reading some of the entries here and know that I need to try it at least once.

On March 6, I lost my soulmate. I am so alone and scared. I never imagined all the pain one feels with this. Even the physical pain, my chest hurts all the time and sometimes it is difficult to breathe.

I have this rewind and replay going on non-stop. What we were doing a few weeks ago, a couple months ago...and so on.

I don't feel as though I can recover from this. Everyone keeps telling me that it takes time, be patient. I feel at the end of my patience with hearing that. time...time...time... I mean, do you ever really recover from this?

Sometimes I feel moments of almost normalcy but not, if that makes sense. Then if I laugh at something, I feel guilt. Like it diminishes my love for her.

I am sure that this is very convoluted and I apologize. I just can't organize my thoughts at all.

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I wanted to let you know that you are perfectly normal in the way your feeling. If you were to read any of our posts when we first came here, we sounded just like you! Five months is a very short period of time in the grief journey and I won't tell you that "time" will make a difference because it hasn't in my experience. For some people time does soften the pain but I have to say that grief has a life of its own. In the beginning, like you are, it does feel difficult to breathe, to think, to get thru the day. I have days like that still, but just not everyday. What will help is to write your feelings, share with us, with family or friends, anyone who will listen, and express the grief with its sadness, confusion, disbelief, etc. There is so much support on this site from people just like YOU who are currently grieving for their spouses, best friends, soul mates. Just keep coming here, it has been a literal life saver for me. Deborah

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I want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. This is undoubtedly the hardest thing you have ever experienced, or ever will. What you are feeling and going through is very normal for this situation, and it is what we have all experienced. I, too, got very sick of hearing "It'll just take time...", yet, after 21 months, I know that that is true. Living through it in the meantime is very hard. You don't get over it, but rather learn to live your altered life, but that does take time. You will experience hurt, confusion, anger, loneliness, fear, all of it. You will have ups and downs. The important thing to remember is that all of your feelings are normal and allowed. Do not let anyone rush you through your grief. Our own individual personalities, how long we were married, what our relationship was like, etc. all affects how we handle it. Marty is the counselor on this site and she has offered us tremendous advice and help when we've needed it most. You will find this a very caring site full of people who have been there and are walking through this journey together. Please feel free to come back any time and to voice yourself. I have found it to be of utmost help to "let it out". We wish you the best...you WILL make it, one day at a time, like all of us here.

Edited by kayc
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thank you for the replies...I have been writing to Amanda in a journal...sometimes 3, 4, 5 times a day. I almost feel obsessed with it. Is this something healthy to do?

People tell me to get rid of her things..that they are only cues to cause more hurt. I can't even bear the thought of getting rid of anything. I have organized and have it put in a safe place but to get rid of it...

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No!!! It is too soon to make such a decision! People mean to be helful but usually haven't been there themselves so don't know. Listen to your own heart and what you are feeling led to do! I would definitely not get rid of her stuff yet, you'll know when it's time, and even then will want to keep some things.

As far as writing goes, I think it's healthy and still do it. Again, follow the needs of your own heart about the frequency...I don't think it's unusual at all to write that often at this stage of your journey. It will lessen with time, but naturally. You just lost your spouse, give yourself time.

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Doubledd,

I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, we are all too aware of your pain. My Mom passed a little over 8 months ago. Take one day at a time. Sometimes you may feel like that is too much. Do in your heart what you can handle. Don't handle what others tell you that you should. Everyone travels through this grief journey at their own pace. Everytime you think "OK, I'm might just make it." Some little insignificant thing will happen and send you right back down again. I truly don't think we'll ever be the same people we were before this experience. But you've come to the right place. Having all these wonderful friends here who are going through the same thing is just my "sanity" somedays. Keep posting.

Missing my Mom,

Trudy

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I wonder how anybody gets through those first few months. We all truly are so sad for you.

I am at 325 days, almost a year and the pain is still so intense I can hardly breathe sometimes. Most of the advice that I got was also on the lines of take your time, express yourself, be good to yourself, blah, blah. The advice that really helped me was protein drinks (because I wasn't able to eat), a sonic toothbrush (sounds crazy, but the simple task of even brushing my teeth was sometimes difficult in the beginning), and a AAA auto emergency policy ( you might not need this so much).

I still have most of his things right where they were. The first month I thought it was healthy to start getting rid of things so I emptied out his part of the bathroom medicine chest. Then every morning I had to look at that huge empty space and it was too hard to even open it after awhile (which certainly didn't help with the toothbrushing/hygiene issue). Now once every few weeks I might haul a very small amount of stuff down to the local Salvation Army. And I immediately fill the empty spaces.

I read posts here often and know that most of what I'm going through is normal (like that helps lessen the pain). Everybody's pain is so unique yet it's all so similar. I think the biggest benefit here is releasing some of the guilt for my grief and for my reactions to it.

I'm not sure the pain softens (at least not for the first 325 days) but most of us are learning to live with it. I'm doing much better, really.

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doubledd,

I am sorry for your loss and like everyone here has been saying what you are feeling is very normal. I lost my husband 9 months ago and things have become easier as time goes on. You definatly should not get rid of her things. I just recently started putting my husbands things away (as in they are in a tote under my bed. You have to grieve in your own way. People feel they are doing the right thing by giving you such advice, but there really is nothing anyone can do to take the pain you are feeling away right now. I will repeat the cliche that you have been hearing ,because it may not seem like it now, but time does heal. The hurt doesnt go away, but it gets much easier to live with.( at least it has for me) Take care of yourself and it helps so much to talk to others that know how you are feeling, so I like to come on here and vent. You always have friendly people here who care and will listen.

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Oh my goodness...I don't eat...and brushing my teeth, well, i used to be so serious about it and now I brush about twice a day.

I can't focus on anything. I work in a call center and have to write down what the customer is saying b/c I won't remember as soon as they are done saying what they are calling for.

I feel so hopeless and lost. I have four children and they do offer me comfort, but I am struggling with them also. That hurts also.

With Easter coming up, I am at a loss. Amanda did the decorating, she had the touch and she did such a beautiful job. I want to celebrate the holiday and find joy in it, but am actually dreading it.

The disbelief. I can't seem to grasp that this is reality. I think that there is no way I could cry anymore but then the most insignificant thing will cause me to completely break down.

I really appreciate every response.

Thank you very much...Deb

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doubledd,

You brought up Easter...that is a whole topic in itself, holidays and what to do with them.

The first year I tried going through everything, and it was SO HARD! My birthday, no one remembered me on it and I cried myself to sleep...George always made a big deal of it and I really missed him. I went through Christmas, without the ritual of our going and getting a tree like we always did together. It was hard. Valentine's Day and missing our banquet together. By the time I got to Easter, I was in major rebellion! I decided I WAS NOT going through another "first without"! I told the kids I would NOT be celebrating Easter that year! I had always attended church, but I even skipped that on Easter...it was too hard to face his empty pew anyway. Or singing (on the platform)without my biggest admirer smiling at me. I couldn't do another holiday without him and didn't care who understood...or didn't.

I was lucky, my kids were grown and very understanding. My son got the Christmas trees and my daughter did the decorating so I wouldn't have to. We had a family dinner together a week AFTER Easter. This year I am more able to do it. I say, follow your heart and stand up for yourself. Be assertive, you will need to be. People have a way of trying to tell us what to do when we're widowed and what we really need is for them to just be caring. This site helps a lot for that, there are people here who understand.

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Dear Doubled,

It has been 9 months for me and at times I still feel the pain I felt at first but it doesn't last quite as long. I still miss Rick every minute of each day and feel that I always will. We were married for 35 years but I had been with him for 5 yers before that - that means I have only been without him for 15 of my 55 years. He was my rock, my safety, my everything and it seems impossible to go on without him and to find "my" place in this world and my reason to go on. Do your kids live with you, if so you are lucky, mine are gone from home and my house is so quiet and lonely. Instead of writing to him, I talk to him every day, telling him what is going on with me and the kids etc. I feel better then because I believe he really is beside me, I just can't see him, but he can hear me. I also lost my mom just 10 months before Rick and hadn't had a chance to grieve for her when I started grieving for him. I think I started when he was first diagnosed (one month after mom's death) as he had stage 4 lung cancer - he was 57 and jsut retired. We had such great plans for the future, then everything changed. Marty has a great course on the first year of grief - you should check it out at selfhealingexpession.com. It truly is a great help. I am so sorry for your great loss, please keep coming back, it helps to talk to others who are in the same shoes. with love Jane

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The pain becomes easier to deal with over time. It doesn't really go away, but you get used to it a little more. It's very up and down. Well, at first I found I was DOWN nearly all the time. Then after maybe a year or so I started sometimes feeling a little better, then DOWN again, and it was almost worse because of the contrast.

It's hard when others tell you what they think you should do. I was not married to my ex husband for 20 years before he died, but it still felt like I was widowed. People would say to me, "Oh, he was only your ex, so why do you care?" That hurt a lot. We were together 12 years, married for 6 1/2, but he realized he was gay and we got divorced, but we remained friends, though sometimes very distant. When he got sick we became very close again, and best friends for the last two years of his life. It was so hard when he died, so that I lost my best friend, and the man I once loved as my husband. I found a great deal of comfort because his boyfriend and his best friends became my friends and we all comforted each other. It's helpful to have someone to talk to who knows how you feel.

But now it is 2 years and 9 months and I still have my crying spells. I also lost my father four months ago, which brings back the pain over my ex-husband.

My mom has rearranged a few things in her house, but has not gotten rid of any of my father's things. I told her not to rush into that. They were married for 56 years. It's a huge adjustment. I think it's much better to take your time. Other people think having things around will remind you of your loss, but those of us who are grieving know that the loss is ALWAYS on your mind anyway! Eventually, in your own time, you will feel ready to give away or pack away some of her things, but there will always be some very special things you will keep forever.

But when it is still so new, still in the first year, give yourself a break. It is an achievement just to get up in the morning and get dressed. Sometimes it's just an achievement to keep breathing. The pain is awful. If it was that much anguish for me, when I didn't even live with my ex anymore and hadn't for two decades, I can't imagine how painful to lose your soulmate you were living with, seeing every day. It's like having your heart torn out of your body. My grief counselor says, if you had a heart attack, you would need a long time to fully recover, and still your heart would be different, not like it was before. She says your heart has been broken, and though one day you will find joy in life again, you will be different, because this loss is part of you now. You will not become the person you were before -- you will find a new normal for yourself. But that takes a lot of time.

I have been keeping a journal ever since he died. I have six notebooks now. It does help, and is recommended by counselors to do this. I also talk out loud to him when I am alone. Maybe I will be locked up some day! But it helps me. I believe our loved ones are in a good place and watching over us. But that doesn't keep us from missing them so terribly much.

Hugs to you!

Ann

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