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Hi. I just lost my husband Eric 2 weeks ago. We were married for almost 10 years, and he was diagnosed with lung cancer in December. He still wanted to fight right up to the end. We have two young children, and a teen from my previous marriage who he has helped me raise.

I'm not sure how I'm doing right now. My eyes hardly misted during his memorial service. Occasionally, a very self-centered thought crosses my mind and I tear up, like that I won't be receiving any star-gazer lilies on our anniversary, or I don't want to be a single parent. It's like I'm not grieving for him, but wallowing in self-pity. I don't like feeling this way. I feel guilty that I'm not as upset as I should be.

I have begun thinking about other men, and doing some flirting. I don't want to be this way. Is this what it's like?

Sarah

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Sarah,

I can't totally relate due to the fact that my wife died suddenly, hoever I have heard a lot of people who have dealt with an illness say that they started grieving while their loved one was still alive due to the illness. Personally, I think it will hit you it is just a matter of time. Usually during the first few months we are in so much shock that the reality takes awhile before it smakes us in the face. All I can say is hold on. Don't jump into a relationship right away. I was talking with someone just last night who did just that, they are still married but the first few years were total hell. Give yourself time, time to re-learn who you are. I was marrried 11 years when Karen died and I just now started dating it has been 16 months since her death. I think you will find a lot of people will tell you the same. Good luck on your journey, and I am glad you have found this site. God bless.

Derek

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Sarah,

A lot of our grieving is for US, not for THEM. It's true, we know that they are okay, it's us that are left behind to deal with everything. It is us that face the myriads of losses. As Derek said, many people who went through the caretaking of a lingering illness situation have already begun their grieving long before the actual death. That doesn't mean, however, that you are ready for dating. I realize that we are all on a different timetable, but two weeks isn't much time for it to sink in, you may still be in shock. Please give yourself time, if not for your sake, for your children's. As Derek said, give yourself time to know yourself first. I jumped into a marriage 1 1/2 years after my husband's death and would have been wiser to have given it more time. Your feelings will undoubtedly vacillate in the oncoming months as you experience all different stages of grief and differing feelings. I am sorry you lost not only your life partner but also the father of your children.

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I do think you are still in some kind of shock state. I'm sure you still have a lot of grieving to do yet. You're lucky to have those children to care for and they really need you. I'm so sorry your lovely life was cut short. We sure don't know the answers to all of this but we just go on with our lives the best we can. I hope you give yourself some time to deal with things as they come up. There are some very wise and experienced individuals here and we're all here to help if we cam. Take care.

Karen

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karen - I think you were right on. The shock is beginning to wear off and I'm falling apart at the seams. I'm breaking down all the time. I picture him leaning back in his desk chair watching TV with the cat on his lap. My mother has been going through cupboards and pantry getting rid of things that none of us will eat, but they were items he liked. The flowers from the memorial service are starting to die.

In regards to feeling like I can't be alone, I think I've figured out the remedy for that...

(this is meant to be humorous, so don't take me seriously)

My ex-husband has been telling me how much he wants to get back together with me. I've been thinking that if I'm going to have a rebound relationship, he'd be the perfect person to have that with! That way I won't be hurting some nice guy who doesn't deserve it.

;)

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Believe me, I took it that way! I'm sorry but that wouldn't do you much good I don't think. I read something the other day. I hope it's okay for me to pass it on to you.

Are you facing a situation that feels overwhelming and you're afraid to make a wrong move or move at all? A well-known counselor says, "For years I heard about hiking. It sounded elusive, difficult and mysterious. A friend asked me to go hiking and I thought maybe I couldn't do it well enough or didn't know how to do it at all. I scolded myself for making it more complicated than it is. You've walked since you were a baby. I went and put 'one foot in front of the other.' I only made it half way that day. I'm saying, start where you are. Maybe start poorly but just start. If you already knew how to do it well, it wouldn't be a lesson. You'd never have that thrill of victory, years from now looking back."

Take the hand of those who don't know the way...to show them what roads to take. You may get into difficulty or be in over your head, but there is always someone there with you. Be willing to get your feet wet. The thing to keep in mind is there was someone there before you so keep on going. Take care and let us know how you're doing.

Your friend....Karen

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Sarah,

I like that you keep your sense of humor. That will take you a long ways. Sometimes all we can do is laugh or cry and I prefer to laugh.

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