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Good morning,

I am moving through life in a kind of fog. I am taking time off from work to heal a bit. I work with mentally ill people who have been charged with crimes both large and small. Some are in jail, but most are scattered across a nearly seventy mile area. It is all the driving that is dangerous for me and every one else on the road with me. I am just not focused. Last night, I scheduled a massage for this Saturday, only to awaken this morning to remember I have a prior commitment for the time I scheduled the massage. I am being forced to write things down, and then, I forget I have written them down.

In our bedroom, I have a blown-up photo of my husband from his memorial service, his urn, his memorial flag and special mementoes of him... of us. I kiss his photo and the urn and talk to him. I just can't put my arms around him and hear him call me his "wonderful wife". I miss him.

I had an early dinner with a friend yesterday. It isn't that I don't have lots of friends close by wanting to be there. I just miss him. I know you all understand this like none of the people close to me. For the ones that are local, they all have their loved ones to go home to. I notice I get impatient when I hear one of them complaining about their spouse. In as loving a way as I can manage, I let them know I would give anything for the little daily annoyances that come with living with someone you love. He was, and in some ways still is, my best friend.

How do you get through the loneliness? I can be lonely in a group of people. So I know that just being busy isn't the answer. I pray, but my prayers are marred by my anger at this higher power who is supposed to have my highest good in mind. How is Mike's death God's will? How does this suffering lead to our highest good? I know it always has in the past. This time it just seems incomprehensible. I feel like I am just whining. I am just in mind numbing, sometimes blinding pain.

Thanks for listening.

Debbie S

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Debbie, Your statement of how you con be so lonely, with so many around you......is something I have thought of so many times, the only times I actually havent felt lonely was when I recieve my signs from Mike around the home, and when I come on this site. Have also felt annoyed with others, when they complain about Mikes OCD about keeping the house clean, would give anything to have him chew me out for tracking in dirt on the floor!!! I have decided to accept that I am forgetfull, not thinking critically anymore, and have stepped back from my role as as ICU and ER nurse, to do triage, registration or PSych Nursing....as I feel I can do little damage to others in those arenas, and I use to be an aggressive driver, now usually drive 5 miles under the speed limit...just not the race car driver I once was......my mind still after 5 months is not focused enough....guess this is the new me....for now.....Take care, thinking of you.....Dave

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Debbie - Your post moved me so. I remember trying to get back into social activities - lunch with friends, that kind of thing. It almost made me feel worse - there was a movie reel running full tilt in my mind to the point where I probably heard 50%, if that, of what people were saying to me. So this is what I did (and this is only me, mind you). I began to spend more time with me. I was busy enough running a business, but when I was home, I did whatever I needed to. And if that was screaming at the top of my lungs, I did it. Journaling, finding this site and reading old posts and listening - it's a hard and devastating road that we all walk. I might add, too, that it's perfectly normal (did I just say normal?) to feel negative emotions. As hard as it is to face, try not to bury anger, or guilt, or loss of faith. There's a process of emotions that I think all of us share. Take care, Marsha

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Debbie, Your post is so well articulated and it encompasses a large part of the spectrum of the statements made by everyone on this forum at one time or another. It is striking that each of us has experienced the identical elements that you mention. I have felt the anger you feel, I have been lonely in a room full of people, and I also wonder what good can come from the loss of my wife. It leads me to believe that the only galvanizing human experience is the loss of someone you love above all others. We are all unique in every facet of lives, and the common denominator is the grief we find ourselves inextricably immersed in. It has been my experience in the last sixteen months, that only on this forum do I find full understanding from people who know exactly the depth of my pain. You mention in your post that you feel a need to connect. That resonates so deeply wwith me, and I am sure others as well. This forum is just such a place to make that connection. Please know that even though not everyone will reply to your post, you will have the deepest empathy of everyone who reads it. Blessings, Marc

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Dear Debbie,

You are so right. When you are in the early month or 2, it is just like auto pilot. About driving, I had an accident, just 3 weeks after I lost my wife Pauline to end stage MS. Just like you I had to write everything down, or I would have no memories of it. I got to a grief group meeting as soon as I could. It slowly got better, along with medication, to calm me down, and then an anti-depressant. I did not want it, but after the accident, I though I better give it a try, just to get the chemicals in my brain back to more normal levels. After being on them for about 4-6 weeks people could see the difference in me, and most important I started feeling better, and able to concentrate better also. That is what has worked for me to get out of the fog, you are in now, because it is so early in your grief. But everyone is different and what has helped me may not help others, you can only try until you find what works best for you.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Hi Debbie,

I think we have all gone through or still are that feeling of loneliness. Sad to say it comes with the process we go through.

If you have not found out already you will find out the friends and family that get what your going through. That will help a great deal.

Take care

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Debbie, I so understand about being lonely when you're surrounded by people. In Sept. my family got together for my mom's 81st birthday. It was the first time we had all been together since my dad passed in June and my husband passed in July, my mom and I felt so lonely even though there was a crowd there. I become envious when my sister and her husband, and my brother and his wife are around. They are very supportive and loving, but I just can't help it. I'm still kind of angry at the Higher Power myself, but I'm working on it. I hope that you can find some measure of peace this day, this hour or even this moment.

Love,

Pam

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I also mirror the others comments. Some of the loneliest times I have had were being in a crowd of people with friends. They sure mean well, but sometimes it just doesn't work for me. Flying back from Indianapolis last week I had a nice couple about my age seating next to me and I just couldn't help thinking how I was robbed of being with my spouse, traveling and being them. Being home alone with my dogs feels more comfortable than a crowd. But.. it is important not to isolate ourselves where it is not healthy. Sometimes it is a balancing act. Grief is a long and tough road.

Blessings

Becky

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Debbie,

I'm not sure death IS "God's will", it certainly wasn't a part of his original plan. I think God is NOT in charge of this world right now and a lot of random things are happening. That's just my take. The part I struggled with is why didn't He intervene when He has the power to? That is something I had a hard time understanding. It took me a long time to let that go and just accept what is, is. It still doesn't mean I like it.

I wish I had an answer for getting through the loneliness because that's something I still struggle with after all this time. I would give the rest of my life gladly just to be held by him one more time. It seems we never forget we are alone. I always liked being alone part of the time, but it's different when it's foisted upon you and you have to be alone in life all of the time. It's different when you have no partner to turn to, no one to truly care or listen and talk to. No one to share meals with or attend things with. No one to share the financial and chore burdens. No one to hold you. My dog helps tremendously, I don't know what I'd do without him, it'd be unbearable. Sometimes I have to leave the house just to get out, go to the park, drop by a friend's for coffee, something, anything. It's been esp. hard since I've been out of work. I just read an article about stress and it mentioned telecommuters and unemployed esp. have to make an effort to connect.

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Dear Debbie,

Feeling alone in a room full of people can affect people for many different reasons I think. What I am experiencing is at almost 5 months in grief the people around me seem to think I should be feeling better by now... when in fact I feel more lost now than ever. I have found more support and understanding here on this discussion board than in my own family.

Feeling anger? This drove me to grief classes... I am on #5 this week. I am not much of a talker but just listening to others and knowing I am not alone in a room full of grievers like myself is helping. I do have to admit to confusion and MUCH anger towards the higher power when my hope for living for my husband taken. I have no answers... I will not have them until I pass on. Nor will anyone else. We must all follow our own hearts in this.

My heart lies shattered before me and each day a piece clicks back into place. My heart will never be whole again and I accept that. There will always be a hole there when all the pieces come together again. After more time the hole will form a scab and just maybe it will not be so tender. Soooo... that is my visual. I have quite a ways to go but my plan is to go forward. My husband would want me to move forward within his love in place, I feel it.

Peace to you.

Deb

redesign08.blogspot.com

husband Bob, May 27th, 2011

mother, May 19th 19th, 2011

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Hello--most of what you are saying I have experienced. I am lucky in that I've had a lot of contact with my wife of 40 years, since her departure from our world, 7 months ago.

I do go through deep feelings of loss, over and over, combined with times that aren't so raw and painful.

I've been trying to be more careful with my emotions and stop myself when I feel like I'm plunging to deep too fast. Don't get me wrong, it is completely ok to dive deep into the pool of emotions, but not always and not without some caution if possible.

I've been learning to see my wife as "not having a body" , but otherwise we are still in a relationship. It helps as does this C.S. Lewis quote:

"You don't have a soul, you are a soul.

You have a body."

I think when we lose a loved one, we have contact all along, but sometimes we don't know it. Remember, you have to turn the radio on to hear the song. In other words, keep open and don't push too hard--be patient and open.

Perhaps, you should try writing a letter to your husband. You'll be able to say the things your friends and family don't understand to him. I've written over 40 letters to my wife since May( she passed in mid-march) and it is so helpful. The letters are also sort of a journal of my experiences and feelings.

It has also helped me to remember that not every emotion I feel is directly related to my wife's departure. I sometimes felt sad, or lonely when she was with us physically, too.

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I love C. S. Lewis, he was an amazing person. He was from the religious world, a world so highly structured and conservative...and yet he dared to transcend higher than mere espoused dogma...he learned to see deeper, to love fully...to be a very real person. He did not separate his spirituality from his love, but rather saw one as an extension of the other. He was an inspiration. Having loved brought so much dimension to his life and only lent so much more to his writings, a legacy for us all.

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I find it a little helpful to see that others are going through what I feel. I just lost my husband 10 days ago and don't even know how to get from one day to the next. I have many of the same feelings you have and appreciate the input others have offered. I get great advice from family and friends, but none of it helps this gut-wrenching pain I have on a regular basis. I did try to get out this past weekend to go buy a pumpkin and broke down in the store. He and I were always in stores together and I realized I'll never have that again and it hurts so badly. I have two step kids and a step grandson from him and I do get along with them, but they have their own lives and I fear losing contact with them. My circumstance is a little different from those I've read on here who were married many years. I only knew my husband 5 years, but we were so close it was like I've always known him. He was married before, but this was my first marriage. We had so many plans for our future as and now there is a hole there and I can't see where it will ever go away. Tomorrow I'm going to try to go back to work for the first time in almost three weeks. I'm scared to be around the people even though they are truly a "family" to us.

Several of you talk about grief meetings you went to. How did you find out about them? Where would I look. I had an appointment to put my husband in hospice at 1:30 the day he died (he died at 1:05).

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Hi feeling your pain overwhelmed......just so you know we can be with our loved for 50+ yrs or for a few months.....it doesnt matter love is love....the pain is just as deep.....please contact you local hospice I am sure they can point you in the right direction for support, care......Dave

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Dear Debbie,

The first place to look is Hospice. They have a great support through hospice. I would call them first. They will have a grief counselor and that person will, tell you when and where they meet. Give them a try, I like my Hospice counselor very much, she is very good at getting me though my grief. It is FREE, they do not charge anything, and always has, great ideas for us to work on and towards. You must still have the Hospice phone number, if not you can find them in your local phone book.

I wish you well, that you will find peace in your heart someday, and comfort your soul. This will not happen over night, but it is a start.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Dear Overwhelmed,

We're so sorry to learn of the death of your beloved husband just ten days ago, but it's good to know that you've found your way to this warm and caring group. Dave and Dwayne have given you excellent advice. In addition to the companionship you will find here, your hospice is one of the first places you can turn to for the support you need and deserve. See Look to Your Hospice for Grief Support.

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Overwhelmed,

I knew my husband 6 1/2 years and we were only married 3 years 8 months...it's not about the length of time, it's the quality of love you had. They leave as deep a hole in your heart as the love you had together...someone said that hole is a tribute to what you had together.

Like you, we had so many plans for the future, we thought we had the rest of our lives together. I feel like it took us all our lives to find each other...only to be ripped apart by death.

The intensity of the pain will lessen as time goes by, we do get better at coping with the loss eventually, but the missing them continues. Try not to think about the rest of your life, try to stay in the now, that helps, it's enough to get through the day. I went back to work after two weeks, I don't know how I did, I did find mistakes later and wondered about my brain, but it's in shock at first so it's no wonder. It's hard to think at this stage.

My kids are grown and have their own lives so I'm alone too, you'll find that many of us are.

Keep coming here, it's a good place to be, you can express yourself to us and know you are heard and cared about.

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Dear Overwhelmed, I am so sorry that you have lost your husband. At 10 days you are raw and confused. I agree not much helps with the gut-wrenching pain...getting out is a distraction at best but it is helpful. Bill and i were married 24 years together 36 and I agree that it is the quality of the relationship that makes the difference. Bill was also married before and this was my first marriage and lots of plans.....just take one day or even one hour at a time...listen to your own inner voice, intuition, and follow it. You can't go wrong if you do that. Check out your local Hospice for groups. I was in a spousal loss group for a while and see a grief counselor. It all makes a difference. In the meantime, stay tuned here as we are all in the same boat and understand your pain. Mary mfh

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Mary,

thanks - I'm finding this site helpful to read how others are handling things. I do want to find some form of group/counselor, but right now there is all the "business" that happens after the funeral is finished. I'm finding all the legal pieces taking over my stress right now, and would rather spend the time grieving and working through my loss. My husband never finished his will nor did he change his beneficiaries over like he was going to when we got married. I get so mad at myself that I didn't follow up, but I was spending my time and my head was in the process of preparing to lose him while praying that he would get better.

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Dear overwhelmed,

I hear that all the time, in couples that some how just put things off. Not on purpose, but some how just never get it, done, until it is to late. Pauline and I had so many years with her MS, that we talked and planned everything out. She would always check me from time to time over the years, that I knew what she wanted, when and how. It is not easy to do, face death so many years out, but I for one am very glad we did that. It took so much pressure off in the final days and weeks, that I did not have any of that on my mind. I just had Pauline in my focus and gave her the love and support until the final day, hour, minute, and second. After I wasn't overwhelmed with all the legal details, and paper work. All focus was on her memorial, as we both decided in 1996 to donate our bodies to science, and had all the paper work, done then. After her memorial it was time to grieve.

I wish you well, and just let the coming days come and go with no expectations. Just rest as you are able to, cry all you want, be sure to eat even when you do not feel like it, come to read, all you want. When you are ready to share your feelings and emotions, we are all here for you. Take things in your own time, just day by day for now.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Overwhelmed,

I'm sorry you're having to deal with legal stuff at a time when you least need that on your plate. I pray you'll be able to have a clear head for that and some good legal counsel and that it will all work out for you. I made some huge mistakes after George died. I didn't have money so I didn't get an attorney, something I'd have been money ahead to do. The hospital was pressing me for money, it was thousands of dollars, and they had 27 or 29% interest, something I couldn't get anywhere on making payments, so I remortgaged my house to pay off the bills. Between that and a further setback later, the market dropping, now I'm upsidedown on my house that was once paid off and I lost my job. Having learned what I have learned since, Oregon's laws are such that I would not have been responsible for paying George's hospital bills and they could have written them off...I have a friend who went through it and they did that. I'd highly advise anyone who is widowed making an appt. with an attorney or financial advisor that knows the laws in their state and can help them make decisions.

The harder part are the emotions, and there doesn't seem to be anything but time and going through them to help you get through it. But it does help to have someone to talk to, someone who will listen, someone who understands, and this place has been that for me. Just remember that we're here for you.

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Hello Overwhelmed,

I feel your loss and pain, I also had almost the same situation here, Ruth's Will was not updated after we married and I had her two children to deal with, they knew what there Mother wanted as she, them and I had discussed her wishes, but after her passing it all changed, her son decided he was not going to sign over his portion of the deed to the marital property I could live there as a life estate, pay all the bills and then when I passed they would get the home and property, my wife had several pieces of jewlery that the daughter was to get but when they started "not honoring" the wishes of my wife my defenses went up...I hired a lawyer for probate and they got disbared, my records were now tied up with another lawyer an hour away, I consulted with them but decided not to use them, I remembered I had coached a boy in baseball and his Dad was a lawyer so I hired him, he advised no probate and to leave the the home as it was upside down, and they could not do anything without my signing over my 1/2, done, as painful as it was, it was a blessing as I now have a nice home built in 2006, I have not heard from the children regarding the jewlery since they last asked for it and I advised them if they signed a letter of "hold harmless" for her estate they could have it as it was appraised and had little value compared to what the creditors may seek...it is rough dealing with all this for sure, I still get stressed thinking they did not honor there Mothers wishes I'm sure she is sad...hang tough and focus on the important issues first, do not let anyone bully you into making choices you don't want to make, you are the surviving spouse now and you have many rights you may not be aware of, I would seek legal advise ASAP to find out about your options...on my side they even tried to get the life insurance info 1 day after her death, didn't happen...in short I got everything but the home which I find out now from my wife's sister Ruth wanted me to find a nice home and get away from the 2.5 acres we had to maintain...somehow it all works out just take it slow...you have found a great site and will find many answers as we have many wise members here, we support you completely....

NATS

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Thank you so much for the advice. It helps reading that others have similar experiences and I'm not alone in these issues. I do believe this site has so much to offer in the way of support. Everything I read from everyone gives me hope and I feel like I can get through the next day. I did get in touch with a lawyer who I've known for many years and she happens to specialize in wills, estates, and probate. I'm in Ohio, and have learned that it is really tough on spouses who are left to handle it all. I'll keep plugging away and I do try to remember that he never would have wanted me going through this I know that and it helps somewhat.

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You WILL get through ti, slowly but surely. One day at a time. Bill and I left everything legally to each other years ago trusting we would do the right thing regarding his children. We talked about all of it then and when he was actually dying before he lost his ability to talk about things.It was so much easier to have everything in my name or in his if I died first and trust the survivor. Now I drew up a living trust which my attorney recommended and all of this was done under the duress of just losing Bill. It is tough but we do it. I am still dealing with stuff like that. I just prioritize and do what I can. YOU are first. Take care of yourself first and be gentle. Mary

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