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Feeling Guilty About Feeling Better


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This is something I never thought I'd be writing. Now at nearly six months I've begun to feel a little better, but I feel guilty about it. I thought about this while reading Dimcl's last post. I have moments where I actually don't think about my husband. That kind of scares me. Most of the time he's in my thoughts, but now and then, as I realize afterwards, he disappears.

Am I being disloyal to him? I still long to see him and talk to him again, but it's as if reality is setting in, and I have to focus on other things too. I feel like I'm not honoring his memory by not grieving as intensely.

I told my grief counselor this, and she laughed. She told me "A month ago you were still asking me the same question over and over again - 'When will it get better?'"

I'm sure that few of you understand this or you wouldn't be here, but maybe someone here does? Am I being disloyal? Am I not paying him the respect and honor he deserves? And most of all, does this mean I don't love him enough?

Melina

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Hi Melina,

Boy it is sure good to hear you say that you are feeling better. Disloyal? I don't think so. It sounds more like progress to me. I was just e mailing a friend of mine that lost her husband about the same time I lost my wife last year. I just told her the same thing, my wife was diagnosed in December of 2008 and died in April of last year. That's just over two years of uncertainty and suffering. It was put to me like this "you have suffered just over two years, she has been done suffering for months and you continue, I think its time you stopped." I am starting to get that now. I had guilt at the first sign of relief but now have learned to embrace it. The relief will save me from spending the rest of my time here in misery...I know my wife did not want me to live out a sentence of grief and misery after she left here. I don't think it would be possible to love my wife more or hold her in higher regard, this IS part of the way I honor her is to feel better and move through this... she was not the type of person to get stuck in the problem... she lived in the solution. I choose to look for the bright spots today and hope you do the same. Good to hear you Melina, have a great day.....BW

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Hi Melina, I agree with Billw and am happy for your progress. I haven't quite reached that level of progress in my journey, but I can feel it getting a little better. I was talking with my brother just last night, and was able to recall the events leading to Clint's death without totally breaking down and sobbing and that is great progress for me. I don't believe I go a day yet without thinking of him, but the periods between break downs are now farther away. I would hope that doesn't mean I've forgotten him, I really don't believe that.

You will get better and so will we all, in time. I'm told we all will progress in our own unique ways, but we'll get there.

I, too, think that our progress through grief is the best way to honor our loved ones' memories and somehow, I believe Clint is proud of my having loved him and learning to live in the world although he's no longer physically present.

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I am so glad you guys proached this subject. On Thursday, the 13th, Michael will have been gone a year. AND I am feeling such guilt that I seem to be moving on with my life. I dread the 13th, and I still miss him all the time, but the gut wrenching grief does not come as often, and when it does, it is much more manageable. I had surgery on my knee on January 11, 2010, in a hospital 1 1/2 hours from our home. The last time I saw Michael was on the 11th of January 2010, the evening of the day of the surgery on my knee, as he kissed me goodby, and walked out of the hospital room, laughing over something we were talking about. I spoke to him twice the next day, the last time at 7:30pm or so on the 12th. He died sometime just after midnight we believe. My daughter found him the next afternoon, and had to tell me over the phone that he had died.

I made it through the holidays much better than I expected, with some really sad, bad moments, but manageable. My friends and family kept me pretty busy, continuing traditions that Mike had also been a part of. A place was set for the "christmas angel" at our Christmas Eve party at our friends' Steve and Joe's house, for all our spouses and significant others who had died. It was very moving when one friend rang the bell to summon the angel.

I am feeling pretty guilty about something else. My friend Tom (lost his wife Ann to cancer in 9-09) and I are sort of spending time together, other than in the little support group that he and I and my friend Dana (lost her 48year old husband in April, 09) have every month. Not in a romantic way particularly, neither of us is ready for that, but we have become close friends, and sometime companions. He was my brother's best friend in high school, and is 3 years younger than me. Some people are thinking we are a couple, but we are not really, just two close friends who understand exactly how the other is feeling. I think Mike would be happy for Tom and I to have this friendship, but I feel disloyal just the same.

I know there will still be ups and downs, that roller coster ride that we have talked about before, and there are still going to be days that my grief will nearly take me down, but I know now that I am going to survive, and be happy and live the rest of my life, not in mourning, but in joy, and always remembering Michael.

Praying for us all on this rocky, uncharted road that we are traveling together.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Melina,

It really is good that you are feeling better! A while ago I was reading something about a grief group for parents who had lost their children. What one of the parents wrote has really stayed with me over the years. He came to this conclusion after years of misery: would my deceased son want me to spend the rest of my life being in pain and misery over his death, or would my deceased son want me to to find happiness for myself for the rest of my life?

This thought has been very helpful for any kind of loss I have experienced, and the answer for me is to try to live my life with the highest degree of happiness and contentment possible. Oh course there will be difficult days, but I think my mother would be happy knowing that I am pursuing my dreams while keeping her presence in my thoughts and with her photos, her paintings, and other items. Disloyal?? I do not think so. Happiness is allowed!!

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Hi Mary,

I don't agree that you are being disloyal by having a companion in grief who happens to be male. And if it were to ever progress further, so be it. Life does go on and I'm sure Michael would not want you to suffer alone. I don't believe we were necessarily meant to live the remainder of our lives without companionship at some point. The love you have for Michael will always be there regardless of any future relationship. It is possible to have love for different people at various times in life and it doesn't negate what you had with your lost mate. I have to believe this is true because there may come a time in life where it may come to pass for all of us.

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Melina,

It's good to hear you sounding positive. I have found as time goes on, I also don't have Lars on my mind all the time, but he is in my heart all the time.I'm glad you are back to work and doing hobbies again. Any distraction helps us to heal more. I don't think you're being disloyal at all and you shouldn't feel guilty because you're feeling better.

Lainey

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Melina,

This is very common because our grief/pain links us to them, so when we start to move through it and once again enjoy a little joy or laughter, we feel guilty. We feel like to let go of any of the pain is to take us further from them. But that is not true, we are so linked to them that we carry them with us always in our hearts. Grief of this intensity is not meant to continue forever for none of us could bear it...nor would they want us to. We need to acknowledge and realize the great truth that it is NOT our grief that links us to them, but rather the love that we share and continue to share. I just read that death signifies the end of a life here, not the end of a relationship. How true!

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