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Feels Like I'm Two People

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Has anyone else found that sometimes the same things that make you smile also bring on the tears? Lately I feel like I've been split into two people. One's hopeful, trying to find her way and figure out how to rebuild her life, but the other, bitter side thinks nothing matters and wants only to be reunited with her husband.

I alternate between these two personas, sometimes within minutes -- which scares me. Can't say either "side" is winning, because at this point both sides seem to be evenly matched. For example: today I was gathering up Bill's old lesson plans and teaching notes, and out of one binder fell some beautiful photos of us together, taken not very long ago. I felt like they were a gift from Bill that he meant for me to find, and was happy. But in almost the same second I broke down and had a long, hard cry.

I guess the mood swings are normal. But wow, are they exhausting!

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Hi Kathy,

I've had those off and on over the last 2 1/2 years since Jack died as well. They do diminish after a while. There are so many emotions that go on during this period of time it's amazing. At this point for myself I do know that it all has made me stronger and more empathatic for others. Lately it's been unfortunate that another family member passed on and two friends have had someone dear to them pass on. I heard about this last Sunday. What a day that was! I was able to offer what comfort I could at the time and couldn't have done that as I did if I hadn't been through it myself. Lessons learned the hard way. You keep trying and trying....I feel you're doing well from your posts and know you'll come out on the stronger side.

Your friend, Karen :wub:;)

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hello Kathy, I feel exactly the same ..I think a part of us wants to live and smile and go on with our life..and the other part is still in deep pain and still cannot accept it...we need time to adjust..a plenty of time because the most significant part of our life is no longer with us..I believe eventually that first part will be the winner, but till than we have to endure and feel whatever we feel ...it is important to face it, not to runaway from that trying to speed the process...

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Kathy I know exactly what you are speaking of, that is what happens to me too and next month it will be one year since my sweet husband passed. The way I interpret this to myself is it is my brain fighting with my heart. My brain has had enough of crying and moping etc. and wants to move on and learn how to survive on my own but my heart is just not ready yet. My brain is tired of me being tired and not getting done all of my everyday tasks and my heart is still hoping one day I will wake up and it will all be a dream and everything will be back to normal again. My heart is broken, my dreams are shattered but I will survive as I have to, but am I happy about it? Just ask my heart.


Wendy :wub:

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Kathy G,

Your feelings are very very normal. The same things that bring a smile to your face make you cry. When Jack first died everything made me cry - even the memory of good times we had in the past. Every thought became a living hell - whether it was a good memory or a sad one. My mind saw only pain and sorrow.

I was talking about this very issue just the other day with a friend of mine who has seen me through all the levels of this grieving process. I was telling her, as I mentioned above, that in the early days of losing Jack - all memories brought me tears. Now I can smile and recall these same memories - it's not all tears anymore - it has become laced with smiles and joy. The tears still come with these memories on occasion - but now I can see the joy and laughter he brought to my life as well.

Over time, what appears to you as "alternating between these two persons" will melt together and you will also be able to smile and find some joy in all the marvelous moments you had with Bill.

The time table of healing is different for us all - but for me I was not able to experience any substantial memories of joyful times for almost two years. I was however able to "write through" my pain and find joy my putting my feeling down on paper. I found fleeting moments of joy by putting pen to paper.

Now - over two and a half years following Jacks death I have many more - and longer moments - of joyful memories of him - joyful memories of the wonderful life we had together. It took a lot of time - but it eventual melts together - and now the tears also have "smiles on them." I think in the end it's a matter of concentrating on what we have as opposed to what we have lost. It's difficult to reach this point in ones though process.

No one can take away the love you had for Bill - which makes that old saying that "love never dies" so very true to each of us. As Mitch Albom said in his recent book "For One More Day" "The dead sit at our tables long after they have gone." For years after Jack died I could only see the pain in that empty seat at my table each night and all I could do was cry. Now, although I still see an empty seat at that same table - I also can also remember with a smile as well as tears, all he was to me. I sit at the same table - but I have learned to see things differently - and I count myself lucky to have had Jack in my life for the 27 years I did have him there.

My best to you alwasy,

John - Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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Perfectly normal. All the great truths in life are paradoxes. The word "bittersweet" expresses the paradox you are talking about.

I have been part of a couple my entire adult life of thirty years. Now that I am on my own, it has show me how changed I am for having known my Linda. I can in the same moment, rejoice in how much of Linda remains with me -- her many good gifts to me -- and yet miss her presence terribly.

The mood swings will get smaller and more manageable. But yes, laughing and crying (and sometimes the laughter can have an edge of madness in it, too) can all happen at the same time.

You're normal, how 'bout that?


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