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47 months ago

It's Friday, March 13th - a cold, clear sunny day here.

I can't remember what the weather was like 47 months ago, but I know where I was and what I was doing then.

I was sitting by my wife's bedside in the Palliative Care Unit wondering how much longer she could hold on - would she be here for her next birthday - April 11th?

I do not recall much, if anything, of the next month of our "life" together on this earth - perhaps that is a good thing. But I do remember all the good times we spent together - when we were dating in High School - when we got married and had our first children - when they later graduated from University. Even after Jean was diagnosed with MS, which eventually disabled her, she never gave up and maintained her pleasant smile and positive outlook.

When she was diagnosed with untreatable cancer in January 2005 we were both in shock and disbelief, but somehow she still maintained her positive attitude.

To respect her memory I know that somehow I must not "give up", but I am at a loss on how to "move on". Move on to what?

I am thankful that I found this group with so many caring people who understand the loss of a loved one. It is good to have a place where one can share thoughts without fear of criticism.

Thanks for being here!

This song reminds me of Jeannie -

http://www.barb-coolwaters.com/cw001/dreamyeyes.html

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Walt,

Wow, would you have thought it possible four years ago that you would survive four more years? You asked a good question, "move on to what?" I don't know, I tried, that didn't work, I guess for me I've just tried to accept that I can't have my life as it was and now I have to accept just being me and try to make some semblance of a life. No it isn't what it was like when it was me and George, there is no one like him and I realize more and more each day how special he was and how lucky I was to have him in my life, I miss him so bad. I don't expect the idealistic happy life I had with him, but I'm trying to make my life good for me...I got a dog, it gives me someone to come home to, some purpose, it keeps me from being so lonely and I never have time to be bored. I can't hardly even remember what it was like to feel "loved", to have someone to snuggle up to, it's just been so long, I try not to go there in my mind. To have someone who leaves the garage light on for me when I'm gone, to talk over my day with, to have someone who truly cares...those are the things I try to leave behind. For now I come home and walk the dogs and the evening goes fast until it's time to go to bed and get up and do it all over again. That is what I have moved on to, if you can call it that. I know I can't stay in the past, and may never have a future, so I try to live in today. You have been here for me since the beginning...since that day I first found this site, for my four year anniversary is nearing too. Take care, dear friend.

Kay

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Dear Walt and Kay.

My heart goes out to both of you and your losses and how you are enduring this long struggle. You two have been really wonderful in helping me get through some bad times. Even if your posts are not always directed personally to me, they help. Alex has not been gone a year yet and I wonder at times how I will be at 4 years from now. I hope that I can handle it as well as I think you both are.

Hang in as I know you both will. We are in this together.

Love and God Bless,

Jeanne

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Dear WaltC, it is good to know you are here. It is really hard for my mind to grasp that it has been nearly 4 years since many of us met in this forum.........4 years without the ones we love so much. Feb 5th marked 4 years ago that Gene and I heard that now he was batteling liver failure along with heart failure. We never gave up hope and fought for every day we shared. I kept the 2005 calendar for that year with all the notes, appts, hospital visits. I finally was able to throw it away. For me maybe that's moving on because I just don't even know what that means. Sweet memories have replaced the dailey tears and I talk to Gene everyday. Our first Great Granddaughter was born 2 weeks ago and she'll never know the sweet, gentle, kind, loving man Gene was. But when she's older she'll hear and learn about the part of him that is now part of her.

Tomorrow we'll wake up and take another step into another day and we'll bring Gene and Jeannie with us into the sunshine.

Thank you for being my friend.

Always Gene!

Always!

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Evelyn,

I just went back and read my first post, I wrote it three weeks after George passed away. It was you and Walt that I first met, our time frame was close. It was interesting to read that first post...everything I was feeling and saying is what I've heard so many times since from others.

I wonder about you and some of the others that used to post, hope you are doing alright and that you are more than just existing, but maybe even finding some happiness in grandkids...I don't have any grandchildren yet, but I hope for the day that might come. It's about finding joy where we can and waiting out our time to be reunited, isn't it? It'll come...someday...

Love,

Kay

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Walt, I know it must be hard to realize that this much time has passed. I am at a little over three years and most of the time it all feels like yesterday. Time feels so different. I know time is moving on but I don't feel as if I have. I guess that is somewhat how you feel. I haven't figured out what kind of future to even think about, I'm still grieving over what I've lost. Your Jeannie, she was an amazing person to have endured all that she did. I'm glad you posted and shared with us. I wish for you some peace and comfort. Deborah

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Dear Walt,

I don't know what it is like at 47 months. I'm only at 22. Today, I am reminded most of what is missing, that Bob isn''t here to talk about my day and I still battle the guilt over the times when he wanted to just sit and be together, watching TV and I was too busy to just sit. I would like to think, that 47 months wouldn't be so much moving on but moving past...past the guilt, past the reminders that drop us in our tracks and closer to the sense that they are here, always in our hearts, our thoughts, and our ways of doing things. Some days I feel that Bob is such a part of me that my humor is intertwined with his. When I laugh, I'm reminded how he would have laughed. What I observe, I sense what would have been his reaction. So, I don't know if I'm moving forward or backward, but I am moving. And that is better than where I was 22 months ago.

Take care,

Kath

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Guess it's time for us "old-sters" to come out.... Can't believe that all of us still come here and HAVE for as long as we have been. I don't post very much 'cause at times I have no idea what to say, but I still come and read. Maybe not every day, but when I am here I try to catch up with what has been going on. I think I might be the "oldest member", now. I passed 4 years in November. Parts of my life have moved on, but other parts have not. People ask me all the time if I'm dating - dating who?! Guess I'm not ready yet because I can't even PICTURE myself with anyone else. I've had a couple of men tell me that they would like to take me out - to a movie and dinner or something, but I can't even bring myself to do that. I think it boils down to me being afraid. Maybe I will meet someone, someday, that I can be friends with first and then the dating part might become easier. I don't know....every time I think about it I want to cry.

I am glad that all of you ARE still here. I think we've become long distance friends and I look forward to seeing your names on here when I do logon. Sure is sad as to how many other people have "joined" us here!! I truly wish none of us had ever had to come here. I still miss my Charlie SO MUCH!! as I know ALL of you miss your loved ones as much!!!!!

Good thing we have each other, huh? Hugs to all of you!

Patti

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The success of any group depends upon the composition of its members, and you "oldsters" are one of the primary reasons that this place of safety, comfort and support looks and feels the way it does, and continues to be as special as it is. Your loyalty to one another; the kindness, patience, understanding, gentleness, respect, support, encouragement and hope you give to newcomers; the wisdom of your experience; and your continued participation ~ all of this is invaluable to those whose grief journey has just begun and to those who continue to walk this path with you. What would we be without each and every one of you? :wub:

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Walt - my heart went out to you when I read your post. I hestitated to reply - what could I say to you, what words of wisdom? Ij'm only at 8 1/2 months and still trying to give myself advice. But when Marty posted, she said all of those things so beautifully that I wholeheartedly agree with. You're a very caring person, and your posts, sharing your feelings, have helped me so much. I just wish you peace in this "winter" stage of your journey. Marsha

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Hi Walt and everyone,

I am only at 410 days today (not near 47 months) but it was about a year ago that I came here and met many of you. You seemed so far advanced and further along. I kept hoping that I could get to where you were. Well, now I am there and you are that much further. What has changed is I now know that the "progress" is really not what I would have hoped for. Maybe it is like having a baby.....you forget. The pain I felt those first few months were horrible and I know I am doing better because I am eating, sleeping, and going about my daily routine without falling apart. But I don't know if I am feeling any better. I just exist.

Now I read Walt's post and realize that he is feeling lost and without that much more purpose even 4 years later!!! Sometimes I wonder if we all lived close by one another if it would make it any easier? I feel like I have so much in common with the people here but I had stopped posting because it did not seem to be making enough of a difference.

So.....who is further than 4 years along? Are those folks just not here anymore? Have they gotten so far beyond their grief that they don't need this forum so that is why they aren't here? How did they do that? Or.......are they like me and just drifted off because they were feeling hopeless again?

I want to hear from people like me (and Walt) because it makes me feel less alone but I also want to hear from people who have "moved on". How did they do it? When did they know it was time? What did they do to "get there"?

Best to all of you.

Rosemary

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Rosemary,

The content of your post is very valid and I feel needs addressed. I come here, not so much for support as to give it...this place was my lifeline and salvation when I lost George. If you go back and read my very first post in July 2005, you will see where I was at just three weeks after he died when I happened upon this site. I don't know that you could say that we ever "move on" in the sense that we get totally past this, and we never forget our loved one, our memories, the life we had...we never stop missing them, and from time to time, it still hurts inside...for me, I have learned to keep the proponderance of the feelings at bay to make them more able to live with. I think it was somewhere around three years for me that I learned to carry George inside of me as a comfort and strength and rather than feel pain at the thought of him, he now brought smiles to me. It took me all of that time to process everything, and to incorporate all of these changes into my life. The incredible shock and pain of the early days did not continue in the same level of intensity during all of this time, but I can't say when I started sleeping or eating, it was more like the adjustment was very gradual with its ups and downs. You make some progress and then you feel you're back to square one, and then you make some progress again...all the while you are moving in a progressive manner, but it isn't discernible to you while you are in it. Not until you look back can you see it. Have I "moved past" this? No! I don't think there is such a thing, at least I cannot see it. My life with George was incredibly happy, and I have not felt the same since I lost him! He left such a huge gap and hole in my life and in my heart, it can never be filled. However, I have learned to live with it, I have had to. I cannot live in the past, cannot dwell on my loss...this is not something I would ever say to someone who is newer in their loss, nor indeed to anyone! Everyone has their own timetable and is entitled to all the time they need for their healing and adjustment, for that is what it is. I have worked very, very hard at trying to rebuild my life and focus in a positive way on joys. I have been willing to try new experiences and not box myself in. All of that hard work has resulted in baby steps. I have learned more in the last four years than I have in the rest of my life put together. It is all something I would never ask for and never wish on anyone else, yet I guess as they say, every cloud has it's silver lining. Again, this is not something you could ever see in the beginning, nor would I expect anyone to. To even think positive in the beginning is seemingly impossible and you feel guilty for smiling or enjoyment, it takes so much time to go through the whole process and give yourself permission to live. In the beginning, I have to be quite honest, I wanted to kill myself. I say "wanted to", because it's not something I contemplated acting upon, nor would I, I do not have that right, to kill yourself is the most selfish act in the world, we all have loved ones who care about us and it would devastate them...in spite of the fact that we don't always feel like others care, and sometimes we feel incredibly alone. I no longer feel like killing myself, but I have often wondered what my purpose is. Heck, maybe my purpose is nothing more than helping someone else muddle through this or just through life itself! I try not to worry unduly about tomorrow...it's too hard to look at my future stretching aimlessly before me...I try to stay in the now. My life will never be the same, and I miss George more than anyone can know, I am reminded how special he was each and every day as I miss everything about him...but my life has to be more than just missing someone or something...my life has to have something good in it no matter how small. I have tried to stop expecting too much, tried to let go of the feeling that I am entitled to anything, and instead tried to focus more on appreciation for what is. I know it may sound trivial, but just experiencing nature or enjoying the dogs is enough for me right now. It is no comparison to what I lost, nor can I expect it to be, but it is joy nonetheless. Does this mean our futures are all doom and gloom? No! It does mean we may have to readjust our focus and what we concentrate on. This all takes time, incredible amounts of time. Those who no longer come to this site are undoubtedly in the same place that I am, they have learned to process their losses and incorporate them into their daily lives. They are not "happy" in the sense that they once were, but have learned to be content with what is. It took time, much time. We aren't all the same, and some people struggle much more with their adjustment, but don't think it impossible, it can be done, it takes effort...and time.

In the beginning I didn't see how I could survive...the thought of making it a year loomed out ahead of me in a seeming impossible way. I didn't see how I could survive a week, a day, let alone a month, a year. But time passes, whether we wish it to or not, whether we like it or not, it does pass, and we survive. I look around me and see those who have struggled so hard to survive cancer or something else, and I think "here they are trying so hard to live, can I do any less?" Our loved ones would have lived too if they could have, can we do any less? It is up to us to try.

I have had some setbacks, gone through some incredible pain this last year, and again been faced with the seeming impossible task of surviving what I didn't want to go through. I can't say I am without pain yet, but it is getting better, little by little. We aren't always asked what we want to be handed in life, but we are asked to survive it, and somehow, I will.

I don't know if any of this helps you or not, I hope so, but try to understand, our lives will never be as they were, but somewhere down the road, we need to find our "new normal", our new identity, and live. It's not a replacement, it is what is.

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Dear friend .I was away for the weekend and Ifound yor post and all the replays now.Im 28 months and have no answer to move on to what .I try every day to find meening for what is left of my future hoping that the pain is going to be less.Sweet memories have not yet replace daily tearsfor me.Some days are so hard that I wonder why Im alive.I try to think that is my duty to be here.My birthday is also 11 of april .I wonder like others that are here longer about friends that that are not posting how are they coping ?Bob had always a wise advise Karen was agret suport Gail was here when I came. Fred a very caring friend .I want to know as Rosmary is asking what did realy help to move on?Love from far away TENY

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Walt, Teny, Rosemary and Deborah,

If you could say that I am moving on, then you would have to realize that it is only because I have decided not to stay where I am. It is not an easy decision. The easy choice is to stay with your grief forever. Part of me doesn´t want to move on, I am afraid of losing the link I still have to my wife. My grief is only tie I can still share with her. This feeling of loss will always be there, I know that, but I don´t have to let it consume me. I don´t have to define myself solely as a widower. That is an option we have.

At this point I do not know how successful this moving on process will be. I expect to fall down, I have several times already and probably will many times over. The key is to get back up and to try it again. I am looking at our grief as similar to raising a child, only now, we are the child we are raising all over again. We start by counting the baby´s age in hours, then days, weeks, months and finally years. Just like raising a child, I decided that I will no longer count the months now that I am past the second anniversary. I still think of them, of course, but if someone asks how long has it been, the answer is a little over two years. I may allow myself to answer two and a half when I reach that mark but no longer will it be twenty one months or twenty six, etc.. I have other thoughts and if you would like to pursue them, then let me know in the ¨New Beginnings¨ section. I do not feel that it is such a good idea to converse here about the difficulties we are facing at the stage we have reached, when new people are arriving here all the time. At some point they will realize that societies´ rule of a year to grieve isn´t reasonable, but let them work through all that they have to deal with at the moment; we certainly know what that is like

.

As always, I wish you all a better day tomorrow.

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Well, I am the oldest here, I am at 4 years and 8 months this coming Monday.

Moving on is so subtle. You don't really realize you have moved on, in your own way, unless you go back and maybe read your journal that you were keeping, or old posts on this website. Then you realize you really have done your griefwork. At nearly five years now, I no longer cry every day. I no longer think about him every waking minute -- I can now concentrate on work for awhile, have fun with friends, enjoy a movie. Memories of him now bring a smile as often as tears -- frequently both.

But I still have his things on my shelf, I still look at his picture before I go to bed, I remember him every day, all day. It's just that now there is some room for other thoughts, also.

I think it will always be like this, and that's okay. I will always miss him.

But I have come to a kind of peace that maybe is as close as I will ever get to acceptance. I know that there was nothing I could have done to prevent his death. I researched his illness and learned that there was no way at the time to diagnose his illness any earlier than it was found, or if it had been found earlier, there was no treatment available to halt the liver damage caused by his mutated form of Hep B. So those "what if's" have finally been mostly silenced. I no longer torture myself with "if only's", knowing that because he was gay, we needed to end our marriage for both our sakes, but that the loving friendship we established after much upheaval was a gift and a joy in my life, and I would not change anything. I told him I loved him before he died, I told him everything I needed and wanted to tell him before his death, so there is no need for the "if only's". That is my main progress in moving on -- for years, my brain spun constantly with the what if's and if only's -- and now my brain is quieter and more peaceful. The often wrenching pain of missing him is still there, but softer and although it brings tears to my eyes, I at least do not break out sobbing in public anymore.

I realize, I can live like this. I really don't want to get to a point where I don't miss him.

How did I get here? I didn't have a plan. I just felt my grief, and explored it, and confronted it, and hid from it, and confronted it again. I wrote endlessly in my journal. I talked to whoever would listen about it. I found this website so I could write about it. And slowly, so slowly, it eased a little, then a little more.

I would say, don't worry about moving on. You will. The main thing is to do that hard work, that is, feel your grief. Don't numb it with substances or too much busy work. You need breaks from your grief, but if you are feeling it, then you are already doing the work. Just keep on. Your mind and body know how to heal. You move ahead without realizing it. Then one day you realize you can go for a few hours without crying. Then maybe a day. Then maybe a couple of days. Then you go through a week of sobbing every day again. This is normal. This is not backsliding. You will have those times when it hurts again all over, as if it happened yesterday. But they will become less frequent.

The progress through grief is hard to see. Just keep going. You will be surprised in a few months, a few years, at how far you have come. You never forget. You never stop feeling the loss. It becomes part of your story, part of who you are. You are a person who has had so deep a love that the loved one could not die without leaving a mark on your life. Of course. But you learn to live with and honor the loss.

Ann

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Hi Fred, I felt a need to respond to your post. I feel that whether a person needs to stay in their grief or move on, as you are attempting to do, that neither is an "Easy" choice. I think a variety of factors may determine when and whether a person can "choose" to move on. It may seem simple to some to just make a decision one way or the other but for some of us its just not that simple.

You mentioned that you are no longer counting the months since your wife's death and that also is your choice. Yet there are many grieving persons who prefer to remember and share that anniversary with others. We all have our own way of coping. Neither is right or wrong.

And as far as posting this type of discussion in the "New Beginnings" section, I will post in this section until Marty boots me out. For me when I joined this site, I looked to others ahead of me in their grief to help me find my way. I had little support outside of this site and no idea what to expect or how to cope with the loss. When a new member comes here I try to provide undestanding and support in the beginning of their grief. I think it would be an injustice to lead a newcomer to believe it will be better soon or that those of us who are still struggling longer than "normal" will be somehow upsetting to them. On the contrary, early in my grief when I saw others move on quickly or improve dramatically, I felt something was wrong with me. So you see, I appreciate others honest expression of how they are coping with the loss of their loved one. New Beginnings is a good place for those who are trying to begin again and when I feel that something I have to say belongs there, I will post in that section. Deborah

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Fred - thanks for your thoughts and advice. :)

I don't know how old you are or how long you were married before your loss, but its good to read that you have decided to "move on" after only 24+ months, or 2 years as you say.

I don't enjoy staying with my grief forever, but the choice to forget about the 40+ years that I was fortunate enough to spend with my wife just because some arbitrary point like 2 years or 4 years has passed is not one that I am comfortable with. I hope that the loss does not consume me, but perhaps by continuing to post here it has. :(

I am really not interested in a New Beginning. I am quite "happy" with all the good memories I have of my wife. I try to be aware of the effect of my posts on the new comers here and for that reason I do not post as often as I once did.

I truly hope that you are successful with the moving on process. I hope that if you should fall down you will get back up and to try it again.

I have made some progress in that I no longer count the weeks, and have "graduated" to counting months. It is not hard to remember since Jeannie died on the 13th of the month. If someone asks how long has it been, the answer is "almost four years now"

Maybe some day I will be able to join you and others ¨New Beginnings¨ section.

Unfortunateey told me about society's "rule of a year to grieve". Who makes the rules anyway?

I wish you good luck as you pursue your New Beginning - I know that your thoughtful posts have helped many new comers here. They miss out on that wisdom if you stay away from here - so keep coming back - your posts always cause me to stop and think.

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I have to chime in here to what Deb said. One of the hardest things I'm learning is not to compare myself to anyone else. Although we share this hard road, it forks at different times for all of us, and all of us move at a different pace. I have to keep telling myself that. At 8 1/2 months, my big goal is figuring out how to use my grill this summer! The peace and acceptance that Ann talks about still eludes me, but I can see glimmers of it. It's such a slow process that can't be hurried - I know, I've tried it, and it doesn't work. Sometimes when I read all of your posts, I guess I put myself in your places; dependent on my mood, either I totally empathize,or sometimes I compare myself and come up short. I know this sounds totally out there, but I'm (and all of us) going through something I've never gone through before - there are no guidelines. I do feel better, but definitely not normal, at least who I was. And it can be scary to face the new normal. But I find that what gives me a measure of peace is accepting that whatever I feel is ok. At least I keep telling myself that! Marsha

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I read last night that if there were no death, there would be no forever happiness. I thought about that a long time. All the loved ones from this site that have gone on. We are the ones that suffer now. They are free and loved and happy beyond belief. They changed our lives forever with their love. So how do we celebrate that for them?

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I have to chime in here to what Deb said. One of the hardest things I'm learning is not to compare myself to anyone else. Although we share this hard road, it forks at different times for all of us, and all of us move at a different pace. I have to keep telling myself that. At 8 1/2 months, my big goal is figuring out how to use my grill this summer! The peace and acceptance that Ann talks about still eludes me,

And remember, I don't have that peace and acceptance ALL the time, but it's there at least part of the time. And you're only at 8 1/2 months, and I'm almost at five years, so it makes a big difference.

Add to that the fact that my ex and I were close, but not married anymore, so we didn't have that day to day interaction. I would think that would make a difference in the length of adjustment as well.

It takes as long as it takes.

Ann

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I work in a parish and, while I've only confided to a couple people about being a widow, word has gotten around. Several ladies have come in to chat and request masses to be said for their spouses and drop the line, "We're all in the same boat." I immediately ask for their story. It has helped. Some are 13, 20, even 30 years out and they tell it like it was yesterday. Some days, I think about Bob more and feel lonely and sad with the realization that I will carry this loss with me forever. I can't change that. On other days I see that these women have survived and they are wonderful, caring, and concerned people. We are all changed by our losses. What we do with these changes only time will tell. To all of you, keep reaching out. You never know who's life you will touch with the little spark of hope that was so necessary for them that day.

Kath

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Walt, It's been a while since I've been here, but I got on today because I need the comfort and this is the place I get some - I guess it's because

I can feel the loss of all of us - not the pain of each...but the understanding of how deep the pain has touched us all somehow touches my soul and

that touching somehow comforts me - maybe because then I don't feel so alone ... I don't know. I know in my mind that Rich has been gone

for more than a year and yet it's as though we were together doing life just yesterday...I miss his arms around me, his laughter, his instructions on

how to do things which I would patiently listen to, I just miss him so much. I guess to look at me, I look ok - I eat, I sleep, I shower, I take care

of the house, the car, the bills, I talk with neighbors, some family, some friends - but my heart and soul just seems to look past all that....

So, I think I know how you must feel after you lost Jeannie. Over the months, I have "filled" my life with "things to keep me occupied"....but

I miss the man I loved and who loved me. That's it in a nutshell. I can't think of what "God had a purpose" could possibly mean....or "God

has a purpose for you" what does that mean???? I don't want to offend anyone, but what does that even mean???

I don't get on to post because I'm often afraid that my comments may have a depressive efffect more than a helpful one and that I'll make

someone even sadder...then I think I'll take a chance because I know that reading others' posts often helps me by either a comforting -

letting me know I'm not alone in my sadness or feelings, or an empathizing - when others tell of their experiences with those who either

can't understand the loss, feel uncomfortable with us, offer words that are hurtful because they're just not thinking,,,

Walt, I think we're survivors - but not filled with the joy of life anymore. I don't know whether that ever comes. I'm only hoping

that someday I won't feel this heavy sadness because it's wearing me down and I just don't know what to do for it. I've tried and keep

trying to find a focus - but this life without Rich is not what I enjoy. No one and nothing fills the void. I know we're all different

and we all feel the pain and the loss differently and so I sincerely hope that this post ofmine is not hurtful to anyone who is suffering

a recent loss, making them feel as though there is no hope. You know, one of the things about Rich was his being by my side always -

if I said "oh I can't do that", he would always says something like ' of course you can; you just think you can't" or "you can do anything

you want, if you just put your mind to it" - he was there saying this when I went to law school, when I was preparing for a difficult

trial, when I was trying to learn how to ride a bike as a 40 year old; trying to stop circling in my kayak; trying to figure out how

things worked....he was just there encouraging....I think sometimes he's still here encouraging me to go on and maybe that's

why I'm not holed up in a room with the blinds drawn or a suicide...When I think I can't go on anymore, I can imagine him

saying "Yes, you can". So I do. Maybe, Walt, we'll move forward - it's just that like you say to what - we don't know yet - but maybe someday. Lily

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Lily - Two sides - you think your posts are depressing, I find them so enlightening I've printed them out to keep. I honor you for opening your heart and soul here. Your posts have made me cry, and think. "I miss the man I loved and who loved me, that's it in a nutshell". I think I wrote those exact words in my journal. As far as "G-d has a purpose for you"? Sounds like one of those platitudes that people love to spout out. So what the hell do they know, exactly? Do they have a pipeline to heaven?? Keep on keeping on, right? Peace, Marsha

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That's the great thing about this site and about grief groups. It actually is comforting to read or hear other people's stories. I was amazed when I joined a grief group, that I was comfortable with a room full of crying people. I'd been raised not to show emotion. But I guess it was because then I had permission to cry too, and I didn't feel that it was wrong, all 10 of us were crying! As the grief counselor told us, the group cannot make the pain go away, but we all walk beside each other while we are making this journey. You know you're not alone, that's the key. So the posts we read here are NOT depressing, they are comforting. When I read of the deep pain of someone else, I feel for them, because I have felt that, I am feeling it, so there is a connection, and a comfort in knowing this is part of life -- that I have not been singled out for pain, if that makes sense. That I didn't do anything to deserve this pain -- none of us did, it is part of being human and giving our hearts in love.

Those who are around us but don't understand the pain we are suffering, may tell us we're depressing when we tell our stories, which is why a grief group and/or a website like this is so precious, because we can tell our story to those who do understand. And my grief counselor said that part of healing is telling your story over and over until you feel it has been told. Thank heavens for this site and the grief group I attended at first, because in the first year I was telling our story to everyone, and I felt the checkers at the supermarket were ducking when they saw me coming! It helped me to tell my story as often as I needed to tell it in a setting that is full of people who can stand to hear/read it, because they too know the pain I am feeling.

So don't hold back -- tell your story. Telling your own story is healing, and hearing the stories of other people who understand loss is also healing. That's what we're all here for.

Ann

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Hi you "oldsters" ... I don't feel that I am qualified to add any words of comfort here as I am only nearing 3 months and therefore only a "rookie", but I will share some words of comfort that my friend told me. She said that in the beginning you feel like you have a big empty hole inside you that comes from your loss. Then after a few years and many oceans of tears, you realize that the big empty hole that used to be filled with pain is still there, but it is filled with love instead. And it is the love that you shared and the love that you have for that person that does this.

That's how she describes her journey of bereavement, and I liked the way she put it nice and simple for me.

The other thing I wanted to say was thank you actually. Thank you for watching over us rookies and helping us, even when you are still hurting. It means that you are very special to me.

xx

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