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What Brings Me Here

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Alrighty then. Here goes.

Someone on another board mentioned this group as a better source of support than the group I was in before, that would be the short answer, but would mean very little.

Almost three years ago, my brother with whom I was just getting to know for the first time in my life, killed himself. This was in October of '07. During this time my mother was battling with ovarian cancer and I was taking her for her treatments and stuff. I didn't miss a doctor's appointment of hers, and was well in the loop and aware of what she was struggling with. In January of '08, after being left to tell her she had two months to live, she past away a week later in the midst of me trying to make arrangements for an in home nurse for her by refinancing her house. I was with her the whole time, and this one really haunts me till today. There was my dad, who I was also just trying to get to know. A year and half prior I had received a call from a hospital I never heard of one day at work, stating that he was in a comma in the ICU and I was the only living relative old enough to make decisions for him. It was over eighteen since I had seen him, he left on bad terms, and they wanted me to make the life or death decisions for him. I'm human, and the evil thoughts of revenge did cross my mind, but in the end, I drove to the hospital that was over two hours away, met my brother for the first, explained to him how awkward I felt having to be in charge knowing that he had never met me before, and asked him what he knew our dad had wanted, and made the decisions accordingly. Well a little over a year later, In June of '08 I get the call from his best friend who said, "your dad died last night and tomorrow is the final inspection of the new house he was building, so you need to be there.

I realized recently that I never had time to grieve. I went from one crisis to the next, and dealt with them as best I could. This best was apparently not that great. Because for most of time since then, until about a month ago, I would never open or send mail. I blamed my ADD which I insisted to my therapist that if I fixed that, everything else would fall into place. He kept saying I was depressed, and I kept saying give me something to help me focus and I won't be depressed.

Wellllll, about three months ago the suicidal thoughts where starting to come every other moment it seemed, so I got myself into some intensive outpatient therapy. Seems my therapist was right, I was depressed, and was depressed many other times during my life as I soon learned, by discovering what depression is. It was also about this time that my wife said we needed a divorce and had the whole plan laid from nuts to soup. I had told her about my thoughts and that I needed help, and she only told me to stop whining. Later she realized that depression explained a whole lot, and we stayed together.

Wellllll, after a couple of months, with some improvement in my life, but not much, I decided it was time to end my life. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with my cousin dying the week prior and also five years after her brother killed himself or not. I made a decision to get my mothers estate in the hands of a lawyer, take a second look around to make sure there was nothing else to handle, then kill myself. The day before the lawyer I found myself with some prescription pain killers and was popping them throughout the night. I had at one point made a deal with myself that if I make it half way through the bottle, I would have to make a final decision to either finish the bottle, and a couple others with some vodka, or get some help. It was driving me nuts that I couldn't keep to my plan, but the pills where there, and that night it would have been so easy. Halfway through at three in the morning my wife comes out of the bedroom. I looked at her and said, " I need to go to the hospital." She knew what I meant and with out a word, we got ready to go, packing clothes and everything.

I spent some time in the hospital. My wife would come and visit me and tell me how horrible I was and how I was messing up her life, she finally told me that her therapist had told that telling my in the hospital was a good time to tell me that she wanted a separation, because they could help me there.

I came home ready to kick her to the curb for all that, and found she was upset that I wasn't including her in my life. She and I decided to stay together again, this time with conditions I placed, such as counseling for her and us.

So here I am. I've seen a grief therapist who tells me I need to let it out. I can't. I was always told that crying made me weak and that men don't cry. I don't trust my wife after all the things she has said recently, and hove no family or friends to get with. Correction, I do have family, but no matter how hard I try to change it, they still communicate to me through my wife, if they communicate at all.

Soooo, any ideas on who to grieve with when you don't trust anybody close?

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I am so sorry for all you have been through. I am glad you are still here though. I want you to know that I grieve here. My family is all grieving about my dad but my dad has specifically asked me to be strong for my family and since he has said this I am unable to cry about my dads illness to anyone in my family. I can't talk to my husband about it because I also look at crying as a sign of weakness and I hate when people see me crying or try to help me when they do not understand how I feel.

I want you to know that I have been here since March and ever since I initially wrote what was going on and the responses I got from every kind person on here, I almost look at them as a 2nd family of people who feel how we feel. This is my only opening to express my hurt, anger and fear. I truly hope it does the same for you. We are all here for each other during these hard times and we are here without judgment. Welcome to the site, I truly hope it will help you in the ways it has helped me.

Much love and many hugs to you!


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Dear Ben,

I'm so sorry to learn of all the traumatic losses you've endured, and I can only imagine how overwhelmed, devastated, and defeated you must feel.

I want to assure you that you are most welcome to join us and continue to share your story and your experiences with us, because you need and deserve all the support you can find ~ and you are fortunate to have found your way to one of the most sensitive, caring, and compassionate groups of people you will find anywhere.

As I read your post, however, it's not clear to me whether you are presently in therapy and under the care and watchful eye of a mental health professional who is skilled and experienced in treating depression as well as complicated grief. Unless and until you are, it is not realistic to think that your participating in our online support group alone will be sufficient to meet your needs.

Our online support group is offered as a supplement to -- not as a substitute for -- sharing with a trusted other (relative, friend, neighbor, clergy person, colleague), participating in an in-person grief support group, or meeting with a professional grief counselor or therapist. It is best used primarily for social and emotional support, and for exchanging information about end-of-life care, grief, loss and transition. Experience teaches us that, when facing life-threatening health concerns or the gut-wrenching grief that accompanies significant loss, we respond well to such support. It helps us feel as if we are not alone, exposes us to alternative ways of understanding and managing our responses, and puts us in touch with resources we might not know about otherwise.

Hospice of the Valley strongly recommends that our online Grief Healing Discussion Groups be used as a compliment or adjunct to traditional grief therapy or grief counseling. It also needs to be said that some people's needs may exceed the capacity of a Message Board to help. Sometimes grief can be so complicated that people get "stuck" in the process, and they need more help than we can give them in a forum such as this. Persons in danger of hurting themselves or someone else, those whose anger is out of control, or those whose grief does not diminish at all over an extended period of time, will not find what they need on this Message Board, no matter how many messages are posted. Therefore we urge such individuals to seek professional assistance at once so they can get the help they so badly need and deserve.

As I have stated elsewhere, I believe that grief counseling and individual psychotherapy are among the most precious gifts we can choose to give to ourselves, and they can change our lives for the better.

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Hi Benpm,

I first want to say I am sorry for your loss, I am one of those people Marty has been talking about... I am seeing two therapists right now and it is the best gift I could have given myself... I continue with this board as well just to get the support this fine group of people give... Getting counselling is not for the weak as people might think but for strong people who just need a little help to continue on their way... Know that you are so welcome here and can continue to read and post but do not feel bad if therapy is something you could use... Shelley

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Thanks for your concern MartyT. I am under the care of a therapist. Currently on hold with one, and getting help specifically for grief alone with another for a few weeks. What got me stuck so to speak was the grieving with someone else part. Seems my cousin was the last person I was able to grieve with last year, and she died about a month ago. I did talk to my wife about being able to trust her (didn't phrase it that way) to grieve and not just keep try me up the whole time. I'l give it a shot. Holy Crap! I scheduled a real estate meeting after my grief counseling tomorrow. Oh brother.

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hi benpm,

I am so sorry for each of your losses that has brought you here to us. I'm glad to hear you took the step to go to the hospital and no doubt plenty of other people are also glad of it.

I'm sorry things have been so tough with you and your wife, grieving is already tough enough without feeling like you don't have support.

you mention grieving with somebody. Is this something you actually want for yourself or because someone recommended it you feel it's what you need ? I'm not sure if you've done any research yourself on grief. I know this was something I did in the beginning because I just had no clue what was happening to me, emotions and physical reactions that were a little scary because they were so new. I've read quite a few books but the one that always stands out that I still refer back to is "How to survive your grief". I mention this book to you because I recall one part of this book talking about not being able to cry and gives reassurance regarding this "emotion". Crying is not the only thing there is to grief, it's one tiny aspect of it.

The following is an excerpt from this book by Susan Fuller, I hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws putting it here !!

No Tears

Most people assume that grieving means tears, and it often does, but it is not at all uncommon for people to report never crying ..and every one of them questions it. If this is you, don't worry about it. Tears are not a requirement for grieving successfully. Some of the most common experiences are

  • Some people just don't cry ...period. And you know what ? It's all okay. However you need to grieve, with or without tears, is just fine

  • Oten, People report feeling like they want to cry, but can't. Sometimes it's described as tension or heaviness in the chest with a longing for the relief tears would bring. It's an awful feeling, but it's quite comming and totally normal. Eventually, one of two things will happen...the tears will come or the tension releases without them. Some people have found watching sad movies or listening to music can help access the tears, but you really don't need to force it. The tears will come if and when you're ready for them

  • Some people try to block the tears, some more successfully than others because they're afraid the tears will never stop once they start. All I can say is the tears do stop...really they do. If you need to cry, give yourself permission to do it. Blocked grief can backfire by turning into depression creating more intense pain later, or making it difficult to move on.

    Not crying does not necessarily mean blocked grief.

    We all grieve differently, in our own unique way, and with our own unique set of responses.

Do you write at all ? I write regularly in a journal to my Dad, I vent so much in it, I get so angry and there is where I probably let most of it out. I can't say the pain eases just because I've got some feelings out but I do know it's better than keeping them bottled up inside me.

I'm sorry your wife has said hurtful things to you. I know the smallest, tiniest "off comment" for me these days can just set me off so badly so when someone actually does or says something genuinely mean, it feels like such a major rejection. And all it does is highlight that they one person who could fix it all, make me feel better is not here and that's where it truly hits as opposed to me focusing on what was actually said or done. If your wife has not grieved before maybe it's something she needs to learn something about. I know one of my closest friends has told me she has learned so much from me. I tell her everything and am truly honest to the point that I have told her that when I say things that she hates to hear,(such as wishing to fast forward life etc), I've told her it's just part of the process, that she can't fix me and I can't cope with anyone telling me not to think like that. She's told me recently that so many times she has wanted to tell me to stop thinking like that but she bites her tongue because she knows, and I've told her that's all I need, that means so much more to me than trying to make it better for me because the truth is she can't. As much as someone wants to make it better for us, they simply can't. All they can do is ride through the storm with us.

Do you have brothers or sisters that ever talk about your Mom ?

Does your cousin have any family left ?

I find family very hard to talk with about my grief, in fact I actually don't. And the weird thing is they too have been hit with grief losing their Mom almost 4 yrs ago. To this dayI don't know the true depths of their grief and for some reason i find it impossible to talk to them about mine.

I do talk to friends, not as regularly now as it was in the beginning so i do find this site like a lifeline for me. I can open up honestly here, nobody judges what you say and in many cases people just relate to it. It can make things a tiny bit less lonely just knowing someone else knows what I am talking about. And nobody ever gets sick of hearing about it here.

Do you think or talk about your loved ones ? Do you think about what you miss ? Do you wish they were still here ? Maybe telling us some of these things can just help you begin to open up and start somewhere. Maybe have a read of some of the other posts on here too, something might just trigger something for you.

I know sometimes I find I have to make time for myself to think about it all properly because I go through the motions of life, work etc and at times I can go for a few days without crying but all the while I know something is building up inside, sometimes I am afraid to let it out, I am afraid to go to that place because it is so painful. Other times it will just erupt of it's own accord.

well I hope you can also share here with us as you also go to counselling. We can't fix it all but we can listen, share and relate with you,

hugs to ya and I hope your meeting went ok :)


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hi niamh,

Thanks for your kind words and attention. My problem is I refuse to cry, even when the desire to is overwhelming. On days it's unbearable, I wait till everyone is asleep and cry alone. Lately I've averaging 5 hours of sleep a night, so I don't even get that time to cry anymore.

you took the step to go to the hospital and no doubt plenty of other people are also glad of it. Actually No-one in my family has expressed that sentiment. They all are mad that I went.

As far as grieving with someone, that is because my therapist said that you need to grieve with someone, and not alone. Heck, the way I figure it, I take over an hour from life, and a nice copay to see the lady, I best listen and take home some new behaviors or advice, and follow through. Only problem is with the question of who to grieve with, the bell rung indicating round one was over, and my session was done. Didn't get any further with the who in that two part solution.

Do you write at all ? I tried journaling, I wrote my cousin on her face book page, and wrote a poem on the back of my mothers head stone (cost over $4,000 just for the engraving, probably should have written it on paper instead.) Little help, bust most of my journaling was about my depression in general, I'l try writing more about the losses.

I'm sorry your wife has said hurtful things to you. Hurtfull? When I told her at first I was suicidal she told me stop whining, she later reminded me that my depression was bringing the whole family down, and while in the hospital told me how she called my entire family about what I did to her by going in the hospital and they where all mad at me too, and when she found out they recommended a partial hospitalization program for a week, she said I was so pathetic that I needed all day day-care. Not much to misread in those statements. I've come to realize that she has almost no empathy, and is up to me to tell her flat out what I need as far as any emotional support. Don't get me wrong, she cares, and does try, it's her tongue that cuts deep wounds, while she is planning to help me at the same time.

Do you have brothers or sisters that ever talk about your Mom ? Only the one brother and he's gone.

Does your cousin have any family left ? Yes she left behind four little children and a husband who seems to have taken up with his girlfriend the same day of her death and forward. I don't talk with him much if I don't have to.

Do you think or talk about your loved ones ? Do you think about what you miss ? Do you wish they were still here ? Think yes, talk no. It seems to have been so long, I am embarrassed by the fact that I can't get over it. I don't know what I miss. I just know I don't miss the pain. I wish my brother never did what he did, I wish my father could finish his own damn house, I wish my mother was healthy and happy, I was my cousin Tommy didn't hang himself on his ex-girlfriends lawn and actually got the help he needed, I which my cousins daughter never had to wake up sleeping with mommy, with mommies hand in her daughters hair, and mommy dead. Yeah I wish this was all possible. I wish I could have been there better for most, if not all of them. I wish my mothers neighbors didn't tell their friends what a horrible son I was for not taking care of her.

hugs back at ya

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hi benpm,

thanks for hugs.

So I wish I had the answers for you but I don't. My heart goes out to you with all the losses. Unlike me you do have the addition of suicide which is something I can't begin to understand. It brings so many other questions and emotions that I don't know of.

Are there any grief support groups near you that you can go to ? I don't know how they operate, it's not a big thing where I am from but I'm sure you won't be forced to talk or anything but can sit and listen, and you will just meet people and maybe meet other men who can relate to you.

You mention that you refuse to cry but then you do let it out at night when alone so the tears do come eventually. I had a good friend lose his brother who was his best friend, he worked with him, to suicide last July, 4 months later to the exact date his Mom died of a sudden heartattack (broken heart really from the loss of her son). Anyways, the guy has a wife and 3 young kids. His wife told me in January that he never talks about his loss, his Mom, his bro. She tries to to bring them up, telling the kids little stories and he doesnt acknowledge the conversations. She said he won't cry but late at night, he will go to the bathroom and cry himself. Truth is there is nothing wrong with any of it. We each deal with grief differently and no way is right or wrong. Whatever way you do it is right for you.

I strongly recommend you do some research, just do lots of googling on grief. Its what I did at the beginning, I would google a certain feeling/emotion and just see what it was all about in relation to grief. It helped me just understand what I am going through. Perhaps aswell maybe find some books or something that you can give you wife, I know there's books out there on how to "help" or live with people grieving. Maybe that will help her bite her tongue a little and be patient with you. People mean well but when they have not experienced grief, even simple comments can cut like a knife. Some people as you say need to be told outright what you need from them. They just don't realise the impact of what they are saying. Sounds to me like your wife needs to gain some understanding of grief & depression. Without any understanding I guess maybe she gets frustrated and the tough words are lashed onto you.

The other thing that struck me is you saying you are embarrassed by the fact that you can't get over it and I wish I could help you change your mind but I can't. Here's the thing, we never get over loss, it's more like learn to live with it, learn to deal with it, it just becomes part of us.

I hope you are finding the therapist somewhat helpful, it's a slow process I guess., there is so much for you to deal with. But if you don't feel like you are getting anywhere, feel free to change therapists. The choice to grieve alone or with someone is entirely yours, I don't think anyone has the right to tell you how you should do it. Do it whatever way you want, if you want to grieve with someone, then seek out some support groups, but if you want to grieve alone KNOW that this is YOUR choice. Again there is no right or wrong way only YOUR WAY. I don't really grieve with somebody (altho I have my Mom around), the real full reality of my pain is something I let out when I am completely alone because that's what I am comfortable with so ,no, grieving with somebody is not something you have to do.

Again I wish I had the answers, there are no hard fast rules with any of this. It's a lifetime education as far as I'm concerned. Keep sharing with us whatever you feel, whenever, feel free to ask us any questions. All we can do is listen and share.

sending you hugs and peace for today


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Dearest Ben,

I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am for all your losses and pain. My heart aches for you. It is unfathomable to me how one person is supposed to deal with all these happenings. I lost my mom 6 months ago to congestive heart failure. That alone is difficult enough without all the other things you have going on. I wish I had some words of help but, plainly, I don't. All I can say is please keep coming to this site and reading, posting, whenever you want to.

I think Niamh said some great things, as usual. There is NO REASON to feel embarrassed. We, as people who have lost someone special, will NEVER be OVER IT. We can only live the best way we can and try to enjoy life until we meet our loved ones again. I'm glad that you are able to let it out a bit while you are alone. I always feel a bit better after a good cry. Listen, Ben, my husband is by all means not weak AT ALL but, he does shed tears when a subject touches his heart. We have cried together many times over the loss of my mom, whom he loved very much also. It only means that we have feelings and they are being expressed. My father has cried and continues to over the loss of his wife and my brother also. The old mentality needs to be changed towards men crying because it's not fair. Please feel free to come here and we will listen and even though we are all behind our computers and can't see each other I assure you, we are all shedding tears as we write. My sister-in-law (brothers wife) shared with me recently that my bro has not really spoken to her about how he feels. She is extrememly upset about it because she wants to be there for him. I think it's sad because we all need to get whatever we feel out and not bottle it up inside. But, my brother is doing it in his own time and we are all being patient. I have slowly been bringing up the subject hoping that he will open up to me.

I think you did a wonderful thing going to the hospital to see your dad before he passed. You can always be at peace with yourself that you did that and not regret that you missed the chance. Also, I think that you did the absolute best for your mom and she was happy to have you there every step of the way.

I am deeply sorry that your wife is not supportive. Like Niamh said, I hope she can get some help, too, to be able to understand and be more empathetic toward you. In any event, please keep sharing here and we will also.

Always remember, Ben, we are all here to listen, support and share with you. I feel that this site has been the best for me to have an outlet, as well as, reading other peoples stories and realizing that others have similar feelings.

Hugs and peace to you.


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Thanks Naimh and 2sweetgirls. I wish you diminishing pain with your loss too. It seems trying to find time for myself is impossible, but I am trying. It sucks when what little down and alone time I have has to be used for grieving, or just enjoying life. But I am trying to find the right balance. I haven't grieved near enough in a way that helps, but I am working on it, so that maybe sometime soon I can really enjoy my free time.

My therapist recommended writing letters to my mom, dad, brother, and cousin tommy like the one I put on my cousin Jenny's facebook page. I will try, even though I have no idea how I really feel about each death, and what it is I need to say them individually.

Below is what I put on the back of my mother's head stone. It took me over a year to get it done, but I am proud of the final result.

"Life is not meant to be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body. Instead live life to the fullest, caring for others as we go, sliding in sideways, cigarette in one hand, 7&7 in the other, screaming "Go Eagles, what a ride!"

And here is what I wrote to my cousin on her facebook page;

Okay, some miscommunication or changes at the funeral. I kinda thought people might be speaking about Jennifer. The following comment is what I had considered saying, not sure I would have the nerve, but I was prepared with these thoughts.

Hello, I always taught my son two important things, know the author, and when you write, know your audience. So, I am Jennifer's Cousin Patrick. I have been not so much a part of Jennifer's life recently, so many of you may not know me. In recent years my half brother past away, and i would never speak at his funeral, because I wasn't a major ... See Morepart of his life. Then my father died, and again, we where just getting to know each other, I had blood, but didn't feel important enough. Same with Tommy, we had a falling out of sorts, and although I always thought of him as a brother when we where growing up, sorry Vickie, it was because I was an only child at the time, and it was the closest I knew to a brother. I felt I had no place speaking on him at a funeral. The last few years I have been going through some stuff, and out of touch, so what allows me to speak at Jennifer's funeral?

Simply, what I could never come to understand before, that I love her. I loved my father, my brother, and Tommy too. And realize today, that although differences at the time of departure kept us apart, I loved them too.

So who is my audience? Simply, everyone here that loved Jennifer.

Jennifer was full of life. She suffered from some of her own demons, blame that on the Lisowski genes many of you have no clue about. Let's just say, they are a blessing and a curse. Jennifer didn't just like people, she seemed to show genuine love for all the people in her life. This is especially true of her children. Any mother can take notes from her life, and learn the lesson of love that she taught in being an awesome mom. She leaves behind four beautiful children, that I must say are a joy to be around, because of two parents that loved them abundantly. That much love, will never leave, it is like a stamp on the heart pounded in by a mac truck. It's pretty much permanent, and that is a gift only a few truly blessed people can impart.

So to those of you who wonder why I am talking so damn much, this is the point. It took me three awkward funerals to realize this. The only entitlement you need to speak about Jennifer today, is that you loved her. You can be a new friend, and old friend, or a friend lost in time. All you need is to love her, and all you need is to say that you love her, and will miss her. There is no other prerequisite.

So Jennifer, I love you, and will miss you, and my life is better and blessed, having known and grown up with you.

Now what to write the others. Grrrrr.

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Hi Ben,I'm sorry to welcome you,but whoever pointed you to this forum was right.You will find people who are kind and caring here.We care about each other,and this has helped me more than anything else.I just want to say sorry for all the pain you have been put through.i cant imagine all of that trauma,and you are strong.There is no way you are not.You took care of your mother,after the suicide of your brother.You did so much for her just by being there.Those 2 passings alone would be enough to destroy anyone.I'm glad you didnt finish that night,with the pills,but I do understand.I have had clinical depression since I was diagnosed at 12.I also understand having no one to grieve with.My mom hated my dad,and my brother refuses to talk about it.I have friends who cant express their grief,and I dont know how to help with that.I'm sorry about your wife,too.Its very hard dealing with peoplewho dont understand.I hope this site helps you release some of your pain.You can grieve with us.;)-lila

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thanks loulou,

I wasn't diagnosed with the depression till recently. But during group therapy I discovered that year I didn't talk as a child was depression, and all the crying in shame not knowing why, was also depression. A life time of shame in crying is hard to get over, but I'm working on it. Perhaps something else I should let my wife understand. That's what I like about these groups. I find new things I should be doing to make things better. Maybe if I explain the shame I have in crying because of my past, I won't feel she is shunning me so much in doing it. Sounds stupid, being stuck on crying, but I am, and I know I need to let it out, without holding back a care.

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I write to my Dad all the time, I have a journal that I keep just for that. You don't even need to think about what you want to write, just start writing and it will flow. It doesn't have to be anything you ever ever show anyone so you can truly speak your mind. I write so much of the same thing to my Dad, so much is repetitive but it doesn't matter, it's good not to bottle it up. The words will come to you. Take them one at a time,each is a huge loss and I can't imagine how hard to even try to begin dealing with so many, where do you start, how do you start.

But getting some feelings out here, in therapy, in private letters, none of it can make things worse that's for sure.

I definitely think it would be good for your wife to know a little more on grief and depression. She won't be able to fully know exactly what you are going thru, that's unique to each one of us. But if it can make her think a little before saying something to you, make her a little more patient and understanding again that absolutely can't make things worse for you.

I hope you do find some tiny comfort here with us just knowing you are not alone

hugs and peace to ya !


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