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A Black Hole


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It's 7 weeks today since my darling Glenn left and I've been worse in the last 3 or 4 days than I've been since it happened. Glenn was always proud of me for not being a cryer, but he'd be at a loss if he saw me now. I guess I had lots stored up because I can't seem to stop now.

I know that part of it is Christmas, but I feel in such a pit of despair these days. I write him letter after letter, trying to explain how I feel, but he never had to go through this and I just can't seem to find the words. Writing the letters brings me comfort, but it's also frustrating because there are no words to express myself.

I went to have my teeth cleaned today and my hygienist told me that she'd been visiting a friend in the same hospital room that Glenn was in and that she saw me there, but that I was so busy looking after "whoever you were there for", that she hadn't spoken. Well, there you go... right there in the dentist's office, I start bawling like a baby. This is all horrible enough without these awful coincidences and reminders.

To be honest, folks, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I wouldn't mind. I have no real friends here, the phone calls from my friends in the next province over have quit coming (as I knew they would), Glenn and I had no children, and I am struggling. That's not to say that I won't keep putting one foot in the front of the other, just as Glenn would have if our roles were reversed, but right now, I don't feel like I have very much to live for.

I know that I'm just feeling sorry for myself and I hate that, but not in my wildest imagination did I ever think that grief could be so vast.

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Oh, I am just so sorry that you are feeling despair. This is a very difficult part of this journey. It is OK to cry, actually I believe it to be a strength to cry. I am sure your Glenn, is beaming with pride with how you are actively seeking to heal. I am sure your Glenn would be hugging you know if he could and telling you to go ahead and cry. I am proud of you for crying. I encourage you to cry whenever it comes. Tears are tears of healing, they are cleansing, they are honoring the love you and Glenn shared.

I know it is hard at times to even find words to write. I have been there before too. It is OK, if you don't know what to say, sometimes there are just no words that come, for me this is when I paint. Another thing you could do is just write about the fact that you don't know what to say and see if that is helpful for you.

It is so normal to end up sobbing out in public, when we least expect it. It is not our fault, we are not weak. Losing your husband in the physical sense is a total devistation, the pain is going to hit us like a ton of bricks at times. There was a time when it helped us to not feel, otherwise we might not have made it this far. It is safe to feel now, we don't have to be guarded any longer. You say you started bawling like a baby, I say you started bawling like an adult woman who is beginning to take in the reality that your husband has died. You have a right to start bawling when things trigger you. In time, I pray it becomes easier for you, the pain does not go away, and we still get triggered back, but as we keep soldiering on the pain does not render us dysfuntional, nor despairing, it is transformed. This is how my journey has been anyhow.

I understand and I know that you feel like you do not have very much to live for. This is an agonizing part of this journey. I know so well your feeling of aloneness. I never thought I would reach out to any human again, and I have. This is a very tough time for all of us who have lost loved ones, it magnifies our loss if you will.

I offer you a hug. And hey, you have every right to feel sorry for yourself. I applaud you for being able to name how you feel, that alone is movement in this journey.

Courage and Blessings, Carol Ann

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dimcl, know that I too offer you hugs. I don't have many words of comfort for you right now, your grief is overwhelming right now and you don't need to pretend it's not. I know we're just a bunch of internet friends, but you are not totally alone, because we're here for you. I was thinking yesterday if roles were reversed, I would hate it that Don would spend his days sad and lonely. So I too, put one foot in front of the other, and move forward.

A while back I had read a local story about a farmer who had colon cancer. He needed his crops harvested, and of course the community did that for him. I knew the family name so had included him in my prayers at night. After Don died, I had stopped praying for a time. I was saddened to see he died two days ago, and I can only imagine his wife at this time. In thinking of her, I realized how far I had come. I'm almost at the 3 month mark, so hang in there, I hope after the holiday season, our world will become more calm and peaceful and predictable. Nancy

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dimcl,

I am so sorry you are feeling all of these feelings, I know how overwhelming it is and how horrible and hard it is to go through. I promise you it won't always have the same level of intensity that it does right now but oh how I wish I could fast forward through this so it'd be easier for you...unfortunately, I haven't found any fast forward or undo buttons or I would have used them myself. Undoubtedly Christmas is not helping. Just hang in there, we're here for you and trust me that it will be a little less caustic one day.

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Dimcl, Wish there was some way we could make this easier on you. You are still so new to this grief, and I know that you do not believe it now, but it will get easier in time. In the beginning, I felt, like you, that I could just not go on. And, I had lots of support from family and friends, who all live close. It did not seem to matter. It took just one day at a time, one step at a time, and I can honestly tell you this. I am still missing Michael so very much, and will never stop missing him, but also I am able to find joy in things again. Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling joy over anything. On Jan. 13th it will be a year, and I am dreading when the time comes that I can no longer say, "A year ago, Michael and I were doing this or that". Like you I never imagined grief could be so overwhelming and vast, and don't beat yourself up for "feeling sorry" for yourself, that is, in my opinion, very normal given the circumstances. As NancyL said, we are just a bunch of internet friends, but we are here for you and we care, put one foot in front of the other, and one day it will be a little easier. Keep coming here, this place has helped me through a bunch of rough times. Praying for all of us in this journey we did not ask to make. Giving you a big HUG.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Hi Dimcl

Today is the second month since Clint's death and I understand your pain. I am sorry you're feeling down right now, but we have to feel it to get through it. Christmas makes it worse for me and for many people. Just a year ago, we were together, enjoying the season and now I'm alone. I know how you feel about not wanting to be here sometimes, I feel that way, too. But then, I realize that if roles were reversed, he would move on and I don't believe he wants me to give up. Of course he's not the one grieving, but I must go on because even though it was his time to die, mine hasn't come yet. No, the world is not and will never be the same and people who haven't lost their mates will not understand. The world may not realize that grief takes lots of time to even become manageable, let alone "resolved". It will always be with us which is why we come here for comfort from our internet alliance. We know what we've gone through and are going through. I haven't been on this journey as long as some, and I still have a long way to go, so we can console each other.

Take care and keep coming back!

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Thank you for your replies, but quite honestly, I don't know how I'm going to go on with this day in, day out, week in, week out. The really depressing part for us "newbies" on this site is to realize that so many people are going through the same thing months and years after their loved one's death. I look down the road and wonder how my psyche is going to be able to handle this. I've lost 10 pounds since my Glenn died and I'm losing tons of hair (stress, I presume) and my heart hurts so badly that it's an actual physical pain. The lump in my chest never goes away and my sleep patterns are all screwed up and sometimes I just wish I could die. I don't want to go through anymore of this and it's been less than two months! God, I used to be such a strong person. Now, I feel weak and helpless and totally out of control.

If Christmas weren't the reason for my despair, it would be something else. I write letters to my sweetie, and I just wrote that thought this morning. I told him that once Christmas is through, it'll be New Year's Eve, then it'll be my birthday, then our anniversary, then his birthday (which has been forever spoiled as the day he had his surgery). It'll be the day I sell his car, or the day I try to get the lawnmower started, or the next snowfall when I have to shovel the driveway. There can never be any respite, any relief from this endless, endless pain. And to hear so many people who are so much further down the road than I am, talk about how this goes on and on, is so disheartening.

Posters like Sunstreet are so kind and encouraging, but to know that she's still here after 7 years makes me feel so hopeless. Glenn was my heart for 33 years. He was my soulmate, my destiny, and I'm only 56 years old and my life feels like it has ended. How can I possibly go on for years with this pain? How can I function without my darling man? Oh, I do function but only because there's no choice. I've lost interest in everything and wander the house aimlessly and write and write and write letters to Glenn because that's the only thing I want to do now. Maybe I'm becoming delusional, but when I'm writing, I can pretend he's "just away". I don't really believe it, of course, but you know, I wish I did. Forever thinking that he'll be back would be preferable to the truth.

I'm alone and really don't care. It was always just Glenn and I and I want it to stay that way. I feel much better when I'm alone with just Glenn for company. When I'm with people, I feel naked.

Oh, what's the use? It is what it is and all the tears and pain in the world won't bring him back to me. It's a crappy world and after going through the crap, you die. Yippee!!

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I am deeply deeply sorry that knowing I am here almost 7 years after Melissa suicided is giving rise for you to feel hopeless. I want to tell you more about me, in hopes that it sheds some more Light for you as to why I am still here. It is not easy to share this with all of you but if you are feeling this way then perhaps others are as well. Thank you for telling me this so I can have the opportunity to help you with it.

I was raised in a very violent alchoholic family, seriously neglected as a child, incested by my Mother, my Grandfather, two Uncles, and one Brother. I shared with my Mother one day that I had feelings for women, and the punishment I received for uttering those words only God will ever know, Melissa did not even know. Some of what I have survived demonstrates the darkest side of humanity and they were my family. It is not easy for me to own and accept that my parents, the ones who are supposed to love and protect you, did not. In fact, harmed me so badly that at age 52, I am still working on healing from the abuse I endured. My current therapist tells me some of what I went through is actually called torture. My Father never did anything physically to harm me, but he did not protect me or my siblings. I think in some ways he was a victim as well. My Mother dominated him as she did me and all of my siblings. Personally, I think this why my Father developed Alzheimer's as he died inside watching his children being abused over and over again and he needed escape. During my Father's journey with Alzheimer's, is when I got to know my Father, he lived in the past and he relived all the abuse he endured as a child, and I was there with him to help him through, and quite honestly when he had no more ability to remember anything, not even who I was, I was so relieved as he did not have to remember anymore his own abuse history, nor his children's. It was an honour and a blessing to be by my Father's side in his journey with Alzheimer's. Melissa and I argued a lot for she did not want me to have anything to do with my Family, but you see I had to get him away from my Mother, for someone with Alzheimer's becomes like a child and no child is safe around my Mother. I had a duty to protect him as I would any child I knew was being abused.

Melissa suicided, my Brother suicided, my Sister suicided, My Father died, My mother died, my 5 year old cat died suddenly, I had to have my 19 year old cat euthanized all within a four year period. So for you to think that I have only been grieving on my loss of Melissa for 7 years is not accurate. I think I was in shock for the better part of three years after Melissa suicided. I think the fact that my grief is not widely accepted or tolerated even because I am a lesbian and Melissa was my wife complicates my grief. We could not tell the world, we were in love, we had hide our love. We could not show affection out on a stroll at the beach, or the park, in public, unless we wanted to endure looks, comments, and sometimes things thrown at us. When my family somehow found out about Melissa, they abducted her and gang raped her for several hours. I have had to live with that fact and no doubt was one of the contributing factors to her suicide. I had to be numb because I was instrumental in bringing those three family members to justice. None of it has been easy. I can only speculate why Melissa chose suicide because she did not leave a note.

In any case, I do hope you have a better understanding now and realise that I have been griefing not only Melissa but for many.

I hope my sharing has helped to ease your feeling of hopelessness some.

Courage and Blessings, Carol Ann

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Carol Ann, I'm so sorry that I was feeling so very self-centred last night when I mentioned the fact that it's been 7 years since you lost Melissa and that you're still here. I read your reply and am horrified with myself that I didn't think about anyone but myself when I wrote that last night.

I am so sorry for what you've been through. It makes my situation seem paltry by comparison and I am ashamed of myself. Thank you for giving me a wake-up call and a different perspective.

You must be an incredibly strong woman, and if you can go through the nightmare you've been through, I guess I can get through losing my love.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. How you can be so strong is a mystery, but you've given me an incentive to feel less sorry for myself. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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Thank you for your empathy. I really want to encourage you though not to be horrified with yourself or ashamed. You need not apologise for your feelings. It is entirely OK to be self-centred at times in this journey. I think loss affects us cognitively, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I was not horrified at what you wrote, nor was I saying how could she, shame on her. What I felt was saddness for you, for I know very well the pain you are in. I also felt proud of you for being able to identify and name and then express to all of us the pain you are in. That takes courage and strength and I am very proud of you.

I really want to encourage you to embrace all of your feelings as they come without judgement. This journey is difficult enough without us judging ourself about our feelings, behavior or thoughts. Your post last evening helped me and no doubt helped others.

I sometimes wonder where I get my strength from and these are my thoughts on that. I believe out of all the family members I am most like my Grandmother, she was a very courageous woman, and this is not the forum to talk about her and how she died but I know that I am like her. I also get my strength from my God, my Higher Power and my Faith in Him, to see me through whatever life brings my way. I also credit my Father, for it is he who helped me develop my imagination and telling me about a magic flying carpet that I could get on whenever I needed and could take me way up high in the sky, above the trees, and soaring with the birds.

What a wonderful, wonderful blessing you and everyone here is to me. I thank you from the depth of my being.

Courage and Blessings, Carol Ann

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I just joined this forum tonight when I was sitting here weeping over the loss of the love of my life last March. I do not believe you are being self centered. You are grieving and your tears are healing. I cry every day and some days are worse than others. I am still in shock and 9 months seems impossible to me. I, like you, have no kids...friends are good but as time moves on, they call or ask less often. I still write to Bill each day, talk to him on and off all day....just be yourself and embrace the pain. Try not to look ahead. I get nuts if I look ahead...

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Carol Ann,

My heart goes out to you. When I first met you here, I felt you were a special person, caring, insightful. But now I know you are more than just a special person, and there is all the more reason I can relate to you...for I have a mother not unlike yours. My mother is nuts. She is abusive. Now she is nearly 89 years old, a tiny little old woman, no one would ever suspect the things she did to us, but even while the world can see she's irrational, over the edge, crazy, they have no clue how we suffered, and in particular, me, as children and teenagers. But in actuality, she has tormented us all our lives. I won't go into the how and details, it doesn't matter anyway, it's not the big part of the story. The real story is how us kids grew up survivors and the close knit bonds we developed as a result. My father was the sweetest man in the world but ineffectual as he was weak-spined (my mother also dominated) and alcoholic and never stood up to her...well almost never, he did prevent her from stabbing my sister once, that is the only time I ever recall him interfering. Thank God he wasn't passed out that day!

That your family did those things to Melissa, I am so sorry. Please know you are in no way to blame for your family...they have to answer for their own sins. Poor Melissa and poor you! I know the pathway of any gay person is not easy and to think someone makes that choice to do so is ludicrous! The fact is, we are who we are and how we are, and we can only accept ourselves and live our lives as best we can...and if that upsets anyone because of their bigoted thinking, I'm sorry, but that's their issue to deal with.

You have had much heartache to deal with and need to take as long as you need to, if it takes ten years, twenty, the rest of your life, well so be it. I am here, after 5 1/2 years, not so much because I am in the throes of grief still, although I do still miss George, but because I want to be here for all of you...it is my way of giving back to this site that was such a lifesaver to me when I most needed it. And then too, being stupid, I've made some bad decisions since George's death that have caused me further grief to deal with, so here I am, still. Some people seem to sail right through their journey in short order, and for some it takes years, and for most it's somewhere inbetween. Does it really matter how long it takes? The point is, this place is here for those who need it and we go through it together, and thank God for that! We cannot get our eyes on someone else, our journeys are all unique. No one despair how long it takes, just take a day at a time and keep going. In the beginning I did not see how I could survive it, but here I am, still plodding along. And for the most part I'm happy. There are times I get scared, I am tired of the struggle, I miss George, I don't see how I can keep doing this and don't want to, and it's never like it was when he was alive, I imagine it never will be like that again, but I have a roof over my head (for now), a job (okay they don't pay on time, but it's a job), I have my dog, I live in the most beautiful place in the world, and I am at peace, what more could a person ask for?! Yes I could ask for George again, but at least I had him, I enjoyed him, and at least, for the rest of my life, I have memories, and know I was loved...and I loved...completely. That's more than some people EVER get!

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Guest Nicholas

It is a day-by-day process and there is no set figure for how long the grieving process can last. Your physician should be one of your first ports of call - I don't know how things work where you are, but in the UK our health services are free (even though, I suspect, the hospital speeded up the untimely death of my son). Obviously friends and family are an integral part of the process, but there must also be organizations you can turn to? We have the Samaritans. I guess there must be trained counsellors too. When my Mother died, I was only 19 and never thought I'd get over it, crying myself to sleep each night. But I did. Now, having just lost my son, I am having to go through the same ghastly process again. The difference this time is that I couldn't face my mother's suffering and left it to my sisters to deal with; now, though, I have to take responsibility as I adopted my son and his real parents died when he was still a child in Thailand. So I cannot run away now. It is the empty days that fill me with the greatest dread, but I am lucky to have a network of friends and family.

I wish you well.

Nicholas

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Carol Ann and Kayc

My heart goes out to both of you for the suffering you've endured from family.Both of you are so strong and caring, reading your posts have helped me through some very difficult times.

Hugs to you both.

Lainey

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Dear Kayc,

I am so sorry for what you have survived. I admire your resilience and physchological understanding. I want to acknowledge your courage in sharing so much of yourself here. I do not have a lot of energy tonight but I wanted to acknowledge your courage, thank you.

Lainey,

Thank you for your empathy. Hugs to you as well.

Blessings and Courage, Carol Ann

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