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Hi. My name is Stephen and this is my first time posting. My wife died in April and I made every mistake possible afterwards. We were together 27 years.

She had ovarian cancer so we knew that it was only a matter of time but still wasn't ready. I fel apart for a couple weeks but since I'm from the "bootstraps" generation you're supposed to move on with your life.

Returned to work ( good thing, kept me sane) and tried to develop a life without Jeanie. Started drinking way to much. Stopped eating unless reminded lost about 42 lbs.

Of course loneliness set in. I met a nice lady and proceeded to make an a** out of myself ( someday, I'll have to apologize to her).

Instead of rambling I'll make a long story short. Everything crashed all at once, depression, loneliness, finances, job stress, etc all came down and I melted down ( may have been a goodthing if not then who knows what might have happened). Currently on anti- depressants, quit drinking, not all together have a beer every now and then, and seing a counselor.

Friends listen but really don't understand, half think all I need is a new relationship. Other half starting to avoid because I'm depressing.

How do you get through the day ? I'll do anything to get out of the house and be around people just to hear people enjoying themselves. Evenings are the worst.

Sorry for length. Hard to stop when get started.

Stephen

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Stephen, believe me you're not alone in the things you've done since your wife died. 27 years is a long time to be together and then the shock of her passing. I'm from the "bootstraps" generation, too, and that can be a good thing if we choose the right things to do. Everyone here, including me, has done something they probably wouldn't have done under normal circumstances. You're probably right about your melt down. At least it turned you in another direction. Your wife hasn't been gone very long so you have some haard times ahead....it seems like one darn foot in front of the other on a lot of days. You're also right that a lot of friends plain don't understand, no one does until it happen to them. We have to build a different "normal" for ourselves. I was in shock for a while but now try to keep busy since my husband died, which was 2 years now. I still have bad times and good. It's just the way it is. Please take care of yourself, try and eat right and exercise if you can. Keep coming back here because the folks here really understand and have true compassion for you. Let us know how you are.

KarenB

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Stephen,

I lost my wife of 12 years in April 2006, Karen is right you have a long road ahead of you. I have made a couple of mistakes nd I am sure I will make more. Unfortunately there isn't an instruction book. Relationships will take time, I have heard in my grief support group to wait 2 years before you get in a relationship. It is a big adjustment when we lose our spouse, 27 years is a long time to be with someone, it will take you time to learn you you are. I also stopped eating and started drinking a lot, but over time the drinking stopped and the eating started coming back. I was also on anti-depressants for awhile and they helped a lot. Keep coming to this site and you will find a lot of kind people who understand what you are going through.

Derek

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Losing your wife of 27 years has to be a tremendous loss. Anyone would have trouble coming to terms with this. I have found that friends have been of no support to me unfortunately. They can't understand until it happens to them. It takes time to find your way and ways to cope with the devastation. I hope you will use this site to learn from others before you and to share what your thoughts and feelings are. That will be a really big help to you during this time. We've got a few great guys on this site who have lost their wives and I'm sure will offer you help from their own experience. Try to take it a day at a time and let us know how you are doing. Deborah

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Stephen,

As was said, there is no instruction book, unfortunately, that tells us how to do this...it will be a little different for everyone. One thing is in common though and that is that we have all experienced loss and it is hard. Apologize, if you will, to the person you were a jerk too, but after that, don't give it a second thought...be full of grace and understanding to yourself, you have been and will be through a lot. This is tough at best. You have found a very good site with compassionate people who have been there and we are going through it together. Please feel free to come back on this site any time and voice yourself or cry out for help, we're here. You need to give yourself some credit for it hasn't been very long and yet you've already recognized some unhealthy things in your life and are doing what you can to change that, that is very wise and you are way ahead of where most of us were at that benchmark in our grief journey. You will learn the way to deal with this one step at a time, one day at a time. Hang in there, eventually it will be a little better.

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Stephen--

Sounds like we've been living parallel lives. My wife of 34 years died in April of cancer--we also knew for a while that she was terminal, and i also thought i was "prepared" or whatever--I had stayed home with her for her last 6 weeks, taking full-time care of her until the end. I had done what I thought was a lot of "pre-grieving" and felt i knew what was in store for me. WRONG! I was totally numb for my first 7 weeks--I went back to work, shuffled thru the routine, also stopped eating and lost weight (my son is still at home and he made me keep serving dinner, and made me eat with him, but I still went down into the 120's (pounds!), a dangerously low weight I'd not seen since I was 16 years old. I tried drinking, but got too sick, so turned instead to grass... I also found a woman, jumped into bed with her way too fast, like 2 months after the funeral, and made quite a spectacular mess of things. (By the way--we've since become friends and are still seeing one another, but it was way messy and very painful all around.)

After all of that, I FINALLY fell apart (or "melted down", as you put it)--I mean really broke into tiny pieces emotionally--crying jags that would last 3 hours, dizziness to the point of confusion and disorientation, I was inconsolable and The 4 weeks since my melt-down have been very difficult in every way--I feel like I barely know who I am sometimes. I'm just beginning to understand how difficult the work of "grief work" actually is: Can't sleep, can't eat, tired, numb, disoriented, resentful of the huge mess i've been left--funeral expenses, canceled health insurance, loss of her salary, raising my kids by myself, making all the decisions by myself--JUST when I have no emotional strength or resources to do any of it... and no help from my partner, my wife, my counsel and best friend, no comfort, no support, just when I need her the most. Yeah--it isn't hard--it's merely impossible, but somehow i have gotten thru 3 months without wrecking a car, getting fired from my job, bouncing too many checks, or alienating too many people for being so difficult and sometimes just impossible to be with. The crying myself to sleep at night still goes on. The laundry piles up, the weeds have taken over her flower garden, my son is unsupervised too much of the time, and certain chores i just keep putting off--her mini-van in the garage has not been started in months, and now won't start at all...

BUT--Stephen--you and me, we trudge (often with no motivation, no enthusiasm and no faith) through each day, sometimes hour by hour, until it adds up to a week, another month, and somehow we've put 3 months--three impossible, heartbreaking, mind-numbing months--behind us. That in itself is an accomplishment, no matter how much we've f@*ked things up. I know for me--with the Jewish high holy days, her birthday and our anniversary all coming up in the next couple of months, that the immediate future will not be any easier, and maybe even harder to endure. But it'll be six months, and then a year... and hopefully, the shape and flavor of this new, weird, unwanted life will start to become clear enough to take some ownership of it, to begin to live in this new life with some small degree of comfort and ease. that's all we can pray for.

Michael

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Michael,

You expressed yourself very well and pretty much summed it up. I am sorry you lost your wife, it is the hardest thing to go through. What you are going through is normal, the fact that you are aware of these things is a good sign and a start. You will make it through this, one day at a time and this is a very good place to start. Here there are people who have been through this and are going through the same things, and we are here to help each other along the journey.

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