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Feeling Restless....


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I am coming up on a year since Jeff died and I am becoming more and more overwhelmed by this feeling that's hard to describe. I feel restless, like I am supposed to be doing something....but for the life of me I can't figure out what. I feel like every aspect of my life has changed and doesn't fit me anymore. Sometimes I come home from work, sit on the couch and just feel like I am crawling out of my skin....and to make matters worse, I really lack the energy or motivation to figure out exactly what it is!

A thought crossed my mind today, that when Jeff was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, it really hit us how precious time is. In spite of the cancer treatments we somehow managed to enjoy 9 months together as a married couple before he died, not letting a single second be wasted, taking every opportunity we had to be together. Now I look back on the last year since he died....and I just feel like I've been in a holding pattern, like I've wasted an entire year of my life.

Anybody else feeling like this??

Hugs,

Tammy

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I don't feel I wasted this past year (15 months) but I do feel I have been not really living fully. Healing is not a waste...in order to make the future fuller we have to heal and that is what you have been doing. Healing takes time...who knows how long...each one does it differently. If you spent a year in the hospital healing from a car accident you would not feel you wasted the year...this is a different kind of healing. I don't mean to discredit your feeling that you wasted the year but perhaps a new way of looking at the year will lead you to know it was not wasted. I know I have been non-productive this year...just doing the essentials while other essentials...crying...journaling...resting etc. are being done. Just a thought :) Mary

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Dear Tammy,

I am only 4+ months after I lost the LOVE OF MY LIFE. I know it takes a lot of energy just to get up and do just day to day things that must get done. I am glad that you do have a job, I do not, I lost my income the day Pauline passed. I have a goal to become a nurse. So far it has been one health problem after another. It gets very frustrating but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I trust in God and he leads me every day. Just yesterday because of what happened to me in the ER. I received a call from the Director of the ER. he had reviewed my report and talked to the DR. who treated me. Now as of yesterday they have a new policy in place. He told me it made perfect sense. Any male that comes into the ER and needs a Foley, then has to leave with the Foley, they will get a script for Flow Max and referred to a Urologist, not the primary like they did to me. I will finally get the Foley out Friday. Thank God. So your time is not wasted you never know how and when what you are going through, can make some on else see their life different and you made an impact on that person. I try every day just to keep moving forward and let tomorrow come as it may. I have had so many ups and downs after Pauline passed sometimes I wonder what will come next. This is by far the HARDEST thing in my life I have had to go through.

I wish you the best and just take it one day at a time. I will pray for you to find some peace and my GOD give us all the strength to battle our grief.

God Bless you and your children

Dwayne

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Tammy,

Tim has been gone 17 months now but I know exactly what you are talking about. I think that's what inspired my camping trip. I was so glued to the house. On the weekends I clean the house, do laundry, and then just sit and do nothing. I know that is good for you sometimes, but not all the time. I plan on doing some more camping and at least trying to get out a little more. I know Tim woud want me to live life for the both of us and that is what I intend to do. Take your time, you'll know when the time is right to venture out. Your year was not wasted, it was time you needed for you.

Chris

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HI Tammy,

I have felt restless this entire past year. What the heck have I been doing with all this time? So many days frozen in sadness. I have also felt like I've wasted so much time trying to figure out what is next, and yet I still don't have a clear picture in my head of what it's going to be. It's like I'm waiting for something to happen, some magic pill to start working. I spent alot of time trying to convince my therapist that I was failing at this grief thing. She has gently pointed out to me that it takes time to adapt and cope, let alone figure out my future. It has been happening without me even realizing it. I still miss him so much that I don't even realize that I'm doing better. I am impatient and just want to be happy again. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm not able to share my life with someone yet. I have felt my happiest years sharing my life with Mark and that hole is huge. The two year date is fast approachig and I am starting to feel more capable of seeing my future. I am able to volunteer now, able to socialize more and I am adapting slowly to being alone. I am starting to feel excited about the changes in store for me. I feel more capable than I did even four weeks ago. I understand how you feel. Cheryl

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Dear Tammy,

Let me tell you about snakes. They have to shed their skins as they grow. When the skin starts to get too tight they start to get restless and increasingly ornery. They can't get comfortable. They just want out. And they have to get out or the skin of that old life will strangle them.

I get restless myself with stuff sometimes--especially--WARNING:ABOUT TO SWITCH METAPHORES--when the chrysalis starts to feel too tight. Yes, I think butterflies go through something similar. And they equally have to break out or face real issues. So do baby birds, for that matter. I am always amazed anything that big can live in anything that small.

But i know what you mean about feeling like days vanish--and that you are making no progress on anything. The truth, I suspect, is that you have actually done a great deal. You have two daughters to take care of--and they seem as ok as two teenagers could be under the circumstances. And you tamed the jeep :D. And you have added a lot to the store of wisdom here. It takes a lot of energy just to keep moving forward and stay positive. You constantly are looking out for the other wounded ducks in this menagerie, demonstrating a level of self-sacrifice and compassion that is hard to equal. You've done that despite the sucking chest wound where they removed a part of your figurative heart a year ago.

My brother, who is a police lt. in Seattle--and took the Cpt.'s exam last week--was here for my retirement and the Relay. Sunday night we were up talking. He has worked more murder scenes than he wants to think about. He lost four friends in a shooting out there last year. We were talking about PTSD--which he says he has all the symptoms of--and I realized most of what I read here sounds very much the same--especially for those of us who dealt--as you did--with a sudden and very visible death. The more he talked, the more it aligned with a lot of what I have felt these last seven months--and a lot of what you described in one of your posts about not being able to get that last few hours out of your head. It isn't combat--but so much of it feels similar.

Mary is right, I think. This healing takes the time that it takes. A year in the hospital--if we came out in one piece--would not seem like wasted time to us. We might want to have done other things with that time, but we have to play the hand we have been dealt. Now we may be feeling that we're all out of aces--to steal from Willie Nelson--and at the risk of setting off a small storm of personal grief--Jane started singing the gambler one night before she had one of her coma events--but you still have some cards in your hand that you can keep. We all do. Every hand is a winner--and every hand is a loser. What makes a difference is how we play those cards.

I am a Star Trek addict. I was trying to put together a list of quotes and ideas earlier that would help me define who I am again. In the Wrath of Khan, Kirk is feeling very down on himself. He has lost most of his crew, his ship is crippled, and he is trapped in the middle of a moon with no way out. Dr. McCoy says to him something along the lines of "You have spent your whole life turning no chance into a fighting chance. You will do that again here." In the throes of grief we frequently feel there is no way we can survive this--that we have no chance. And that is ok, so long as we do not give into that despair that will make our cards--no matter how good they are--into losers.

You've played Leonard McCoy for a lot of people here Tammy--me among them. This is our time to carry you for a little while. A friend of mine once told me I was really good at giving--but that I needed to learn that sometimes taking was as important as giving. So take what you need the next little while--and don't worry about being weak or strong. We all know you here. We have all been where you are--or will be there eventually. And we'll need that giving spirit every bit as much.

Peace,

Harry

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Nicely said, Harry. mfh

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Hi Tammy, I spoke to one of "those" i.e. a person well-meaning, but has "you should be over it" mentality the other day. I was trying to explain, that I am trying, I have kept trying, but the reality is the pain of loss hurts... I attempted to put into words that you "don't understand" that Michael and I were together almost 24/7 outside of 'work', that when I lost him, I lost my identity as his partner, his wife and I lost my best friend, my champion, and all my plans for the future in a "moment". You just don't go out and "get a new man" (someone else once said). Michael has shaped me to who I am and in death to who I will be. I know I'm not "comfortable" in my new skin yet and haven't found out "who" I am now - it is a process and it is hard. I spoke to one widow that said it takes about 5 years before you finally feel "comfortable" in yourself after experiencing the tragedy of the death of a spouse. I get that and maybe it will be less, maybe more - we are all unique in this journey. So what we are left with is to keep trying... There are no wrong ways, no time wasted. We needed to do what we needed to do, feel as we needed to feel, cry as we needed to cry. This is all a part of the tiny steps we have made with each passing day that help us move forward. Michael will always be a part of me and I'll always see, hear and feel him in everything I do - no matter where life takes me... We do get stronger, time does heal and we will be more of who we once were "same/same but different". Take care, Deb

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Harry,

We missed you too. You surely have a way with words...sincere and poetic. Mary

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Tammy, that is the feeling I get when I am not busily involved with something. A lot of evenings I am involved in our community theater, or our arts council, but sometimes, when I am here alone, then I feel the same...like I am waiting for something to happen. What works for me may not work for everyone, but I stay pretty busy. Some of my best friends, and the ones who were rocks for me when Mike died, are involved in community theater and the arts council also. We do something that we really believe makes a difference in this town, and also is something we love doing. Mike and I were both involved in these organizations, so I can feel someway that I am carrying on for him also. I hate that feeling of "restless", like I am waiting on something to happen. SOMETHING has already happened, and it has changed the rest of my life. I don't think we have wasted any of the time in our lives, however. Grieving is necessary, and learning the new normal is necessary, it just all takes time.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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