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I Am Having A Major Problem

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I think I may be having a major problem. At the moment I'm just ok but just minutes ago I felt a heaviness in my heart and chest and I know it's purely emotional pain. I don't know what to do. I'm just going through the motions of everyday living. I really don't know what's going on with me. A few hours ago I felt like I wanted to scream but I got over it. I feel like I'm never going to feel well. One minute I'm just sitting and staring and the next minute I feel exhausted and the next minute I'm gasping dry sobs and the next minute I think I'm going to be sick, emotionally sick. Is this really "normal" for someone grieving? One thing that I'm very concerned about is that every time I just think of my husband's pictures, I get that heart-wrenching emotional pain that I talked about. I really can't look at them and I don't know how anyone who's spouse passed away can actually look at their loved one's picture and talk to them and kiss them goodnight. I was there when I waked and buried my husband so I know intellectually that he is gone but can I be in emotional denial because I don't want to see his smiling face and the picture his sister took of us where he's kissing my cheek (in public) because I don't want him to be a memory. I thought denial was a part of the process of grieving. I'm all confused that I may be doing the wrong thing by avoiding his pictures which is a symbol of the fact that he is only a memory now. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to feel. I don't want Danny to be gone. I want him to be here like before he got the cancer but I know that's not possible. I don't think I know how to grieve or mourn. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I wish someone would wake me up from this nightmare. I think only God can help me now. I just turn this over to Him and ask if anyone has any suggestions. Thank you and God bless.

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Dear Suzanne:

I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I lost my mother last year on March 20, 2009. My mother was 87, but, it was unexpected and although she had health issues, she was doing okay. Age makes no difference and no matter what the cause of death is, we never want to lose our loved ones. My father died 10 years earlier on the same date due to heart trouble which was related to a relapse of prostate cancer.

Just know that your loss is still fresh, being only about 2 months. Take it 1 day at a time. If you feel uncomfortable looking at your husband's pictures, wait until you feel up to it. There is no rush, there is no timetable. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve or mourn.

Just take it slow and do what is right for you. Finding this website will help you. I found it right away and it did help a great deal.

I also found a grief counselor. The grief counselor helped me and I've been coming to this website on a regular basis. I was helped a great deal by alot of caring and considerate people on this website and sometimes just reading the topics and posts are a help too.

Try to find a grief counselor or speak with a pastor or priest. A counselor or clergy person will help you and after a few months, you may consider attending a bereavement group. I attended a bereavement group for 8 weeks at a local church. It helped me a great deal. I still attend a weekly bereavement group and it has shown me that I am not alone. A lot of people lose loved ones and they grieve too.

There is a book that I read which really was a comfort to me and I highly recommend it to everyone who has lossed a loved one. Its called Life after Loss by Bob Deits. You can find it at the library or bookstore.

Just know also that grieving and mourning can be a tough journey. You will have your good days and bad days, but, you will get through it.

I remember when people would tell me that it would get better and I really did not believe that, but, it did get better. I still miss my mother and I still get emotional, but, it is less intense. I will always think about my mother. I will never forget her. I loved my mother and I miss her dearly. The pain of sorrow, however, does lessen with time.

Be well.

take care,


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Suzanne I am extremely sorry for your loss.....what you are experiencing, I experienced. My husband has been gone 13 months and I still cannot look at pictures. I have the help of a Grief counsellor and this site which validates what I am going through.It is the most recent pictures that bring me the most pain. I know the physical pain you experience but as time passes I must say it occurs less often. It has been described to me as anxiety, where you can't breathe and you feel a tightness in your chest and you feel like a caged rat....where crying had no meaning until now because you have never cried like this before. There is no clear process of grieving from my experience, you move in and out of the different stages at different times. I miss my husband as much today as I did 13 months ago but I can control it better now, it does not mean I don't have moments and sometimes days where the pain feels like too much but time has a way of acceptance. My advice to you would be to visit this site often, get the help of a Grief Counsellor or Group,keep busy and surround yourself with people who allow you to talk about how you are feeling and allow you to feel. There is no easy way but try to live in the moment and find some things to be grateful for. You are a strong person, it takes strength to be vulnerable and to express your feelings. I have learned many lessons through my grief and that is one of the most powerful. Take care of yourself.

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I am so sorry you are going through so much pain. When we encounter a loss of such magnitude, it can manifest itself any number of ways...one of which is what you are experiencing. These feelings can change or vacillate back and forth. I am out almost five years. For me, I receive comfort from seeing my husband's picture, but at a month it may have been different. I don't feel my husband is merely a memory though, because he lives on in my heart, and what we experienced was too great for it to ever be relegated to just a memory. Plus, I believe he lives on, just not here, not able to reach me like he used to, but he's there, somewhere, his spirit still lives and I believe we will be together again...so I do continue to talk to him and write to him. Yes it's changed, it's entered a new phase, but he is still himself and I am still me and our love continues. I hope that makes sense to you.

The spirit of heaviness you feel is normal and common for such a huge change, it is a very hard thing to process. This should lift somewhat in time, but it's hard to handle for the here and now. I'm sorry, big (((hugs))) to you!

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Dear Suzanne

I am so very sorry that you are feeling this pain because I know what it feels like too. It is probably one of the hardest things to go through because you really are alone, even when you are surrounded by loving and caring people.

In the very early months all you can do are those things that feel right to you - things that bring you some short reprieves from the agony or at least give you the chance to let the agony wash over you without any added pressures to 'be strong' or 'buck up because that's what Danny would have wanted'.

If you have no medical problems involved then everything you describe can be part of this awful road - the emotional ups and downs, the feelings of bewilderment, the belief that you'll never be well again, the inability to see a future and the absolute physical pain of grief that ends in exhaustion.

A counsellor helped me see that these feelings are the 'cost' of having loved someone so deeply and that I should expect to feel this way when he, and all that he was to me, is now gone(love/security/company/laughter/sharing/

care/support etc etc to name just a few). She really helped me to understand that I wasn't being hysterical, losing my mind, or being indulgent. She said I had a right to feel lost and disoriented and only had a 'problem' if this persisted indefinitely.

For me, I got most comfort for many months from being at home alone, seeing people for short periods of time every day at places where I could make a quick getaway when I needed to, and just generally giving myself space and time to comprehend and somehow come to terms with what had just happened and what it meant for my life now.

It takes many months for any sense of equilibrium to return and even then it's shaky. It's nearly eight months since I lost the one who made my life shine. I'm existing and functioning in public but not really living. When I'm alone it's a different story - I revert to the tears and tantrums and continue to protest this terible loss, but every day I get up to try again. I still can't believe on an emotional level that he is gone, even though I clearly know it's true.

It's going to take me a long time to accept his loss and be grateful for having been loved by him so deeply for many years. At the moment, like you and everyone else here, I just want him back. Come back to this site often to read and post - it will help you understand that although you feel helpless now, there are others who are struggling through - and this will give you some strength to continue trying too. Take care...Susie Q

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Dear Suzanne,

I am really sorry for your loss and if it helps, everything you described, the helpless devastation, is entirely normal. I was the same way for a long time. Now, I have brief relapses. Next month will be three years I've lived without my husband. There are many times, I hate it. I still want him here, with me. I miss everything about him. Seeing an older couple walking around the lake yesterday brought instant tears. I hear every day about bad marriages, the difficult breakups, or a miraculous recovery from a serious illness and I get angry. Why my husband? Or why yours or Kays or Susie Q's??? It doesn't make any sense at all, not here, not now. I have my faith, thank goodness, for that has saved me many times. It is that faith that assures me, this life is short, my eternity will be spent together again, in God's glory, with my beloved husband. You will, too.

For now, it is just survival mode. The feelings will wash over you in no particular order. But, you'll carry on. I think it is only in our mind that we seem to be as terrible as we are. Others don't seem to notice. I look at those in my life that lost spouses and I wish they were still here to talk about it. The thing I would want to say to them is "I understand. Sadly, sorrowfully, I get it." They did the best they could and I guess I will do the same. Some days I just have more grace about me than others. Hang in there. It won't always be this terrible.

Love, Kath

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I am sorry if your loss. I heard somewhere if you lose something(him), someday you will have to find it (him), and one day we will, we will all be joined with our loved ones again in heaven.

It has been a six week roller coaster ride for me. I've been on something for depression for years, being care giver for my husband and my mother. Last month I called my doctor to get something for sleep. Tuesday, and Wednesday I had to go without it because we were under a mandatory evacuation, I did not sleep. It seems like my mine is running at full blast, jumping from one thing to the next. I can't consentrate on something for no longer than a couple of minutes.

I feel comfort seeing his pictures, and I know he is not suffering anymore. My husband had been at home for 21 years, he was hurt at work. Every time I got home from work he was always here. His wheelchair was canary yellow, our daughter picked the color. We have two but the one that he always used brings me to tears. Knowing he spent months and years in that chair, but never again. I might give the other one away, but not HIS chair.

I still can't stay on task very long, but one day I will be awarded when I get to hold me BABY again. We will all have a big party, sitting on the streets of heaven.


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The feelings you are describing ring so heartbreakingly familiar. And at almost 10 months, looking at Scott's pictures is extremely hard (I usually don't look at them, except for the 3 I have in the living room). Just today, walking home from work, I wanted to scream out loud - and I wondered how God could play this cruel joke on me (and Scott).

I have been able to survive these months because I have a beautiful baby girl (well, not a baby anymore, as she is 14 months old) to care for, and because family and this site taught me that this process is HARD, and that though it will take a long time, we will survive and be stronger for it.

Scott is with me all the time. He was my partner and soulmate for 20 years, and my heart continues to ache, but I find I can laugh (though it is coloured with the sadness of my new reality). It might help you if you were to find something to focus on, like a project where somehow you can honour your husband, whatever that might be. And one book that both my mother-in-law and I found to be very helpful is Healing After Loss - Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief written by Martha Whitmore Hickman, who lost a daughter.

I hope you keep coming back to this site, because we all unfortunately, understand all too well what you are going through. And writing so often helps.

Take care,


Edited by MartyT
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