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Dealing With Delayed Grief

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Based on the fact that I was busy trying to "replace" my lost partner Kathy with another person for much of the first year, my grief counselor and I feel I'm really only about 4 months into the grieving proccess.

I make this more difficult for myself by being the type that doesn't like to lose control, and I'm also pretty self-critical.

My counselor suggested that I use my late fiancee Kathy's voice in giving myself permission to feel my pain, and to allow myself down time more easily, and without criticizing myself so much for it. It seems to be helpful.

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I admire you for being honest with yourself and not creating a train wreck with your "replacement".

I spoke with a friend the other day that I hadn't run into in probably 15 years, who lost his wife about 10 years back to cancer. He would have been 60 or so then, and he said he was "desperate" at first to replace his wife. But now he is so glad he didn't. It wasn't time. Fortunately he managed to scare off the prospects he dated without even trying ... he is a missionary and most women that age don't have visions of running off to the back country of Romania!

Point being -- you weren't the first guy to do this and won't be the last, so give yourself a break.

At any rate that is an interesting strategy. I found during the first few months that it was a good idea to deliberately experience the pain, for example by visiting restaurants we used to haunt in better days. Not too much, but enough to keep the pain gently surfaced, so to speak. On the other hand, no anesthesia -- not from women, or excessive busyness or travel. Only delays things.

Best to you,


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