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I realised today, with a shock, that since my husband died 16 months ago, I don't laugh anymore. Even when I feel OK and am enjoying a rare moment of peace or when something amuses or pleases me, I seem to have developed this closed mouth smile.

But today a close friend and I shared a really hilarious experience that had us both in tears with laughter. Suddenly, I noticed how very good it felt and how long it had been since I had an ordinary happy moment like that. At that exact point in time she said "You know, he loved the way your eyes sparkled when you laughed".

Of course I burst into tears and she looked miserable and apologised profusely. I tried to explain that what she had said was beautiful and that she hadn't upset me - that she had just told me something wonderful. But the sense of enjoyment was well and truly gone and the grief monster was in charge again.

I was also known for my big smile and as a friendly, warm and welcoming person. People used to say that they could see our happiness and the love we felt for each other on our faces even after 32 years together. Wherever we were we had fun and shared that with those around us. Even apart, the sense of contentment kept us happy and vibrant.

I try not to look miserable all the time but I guess there's no hiding it. I know the light has gone from my eyes and my life - and tonight I'm left wondering if I'll ever get some of it back. We lose so very much of ourselves as well as the one we loved. Seems like a double blow.

I don't feel guilty for wanting to just feel happy again sometimes - I am clear that it's what he would want for me beyond anything else.

Just don't know how to achieve it and it feels like it's something I remember from three lifetimes ago.....Susie Q

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Yes, Laughter at the most strange moments do help. It will be 2 years in March that I lost Rick. We had some hard times but good times with laughter. Lots of times at my expense. 3 Years ago i shattered my ankle and had pins and plates put in it. I was home bound for 3 months and in a wheel chair. He would come home and take me outside on his lunch and bring me back in. He swore his arms were getting longer cause he had to pull me up a step. He said if i ever hurt myself like that again he would put me in a home to recoup. Well on Saturday something went pop behind my knee and the most excruciating pain i ever felt. I am off work . mom and dad were here to help me and out of the blue i said well maybe its a good thing rick isn't here to see this cause he was going to put me in a home this time. well we all started to laugh so hard. He was so tentative to me and i know he would of complained this time but he would have been kind to me in his own sarcastic way. Many times i will recall a time when he said something or did something to make me laugh and chuckle to myself. I even started writing some of the time down in a journal. I have a book that i gave my family and friends to write a time when rick made them laugh. I haven't read it yet but some night i will get the courage to sit down with it and read it slowly. Laughter yes is coming back and it feels good.

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Well, I could surely sign my name to this entry. My light is out also and on a very rare occasion I experience laughter and do enjoy it. Thanks for sharing what many of us have experienced....the grief monster back in charge again is also quite familiar. Occasionally for a moment or two the grief monster is in the background...not running the show. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he is in charge again. I write features for my own publication and a friend edits them and a few months ago suggested she do the writing for a while because my spirit was gone. She knew it would return because she has walked this path also but she is doing the writing for now.

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What a beautiful comment for your friend to make. Seems like it is so rare for people to talk about our loved ones. Not many of my friends bring Tim up on their own, but my kids and grandkids always do. I love it when they say things like, "Reminds me of grandpa" or "he would of liked that". Makes me smile because I know how much he is loved!


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