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Deeper Grief


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I lost my soulmate 10 months ago after 54 years of marriage. I have utilized Hospice counseling, both one-on-one and group, along with all the recommendations like journaling, meditation,etc but I seem to be having more periods of deep sadness every day than I did a few months ago. I'm wondering if anyone else is having this problem or has any suggestions for turning it around. Any comments would be appreciated.

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Dear Bob, I lost my husband of 34 years a little over 3 months ago, so I don't have any advice. I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am that you are having to experience this. This is a wonderful group of people that have helped me through some tough times. I hope you have some peace today. Love, Pam

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Thanks for your comments Pam and it's very nice to meet you. I am sorry to hear about your loss also and I guess we are both considered as being new to this grieving process. From what I read, the average time just for the deep grief to ease up is 2 to 4 years, so we may have a lot of sad days ahead. It's nice to know this group has been helpful for you and maybe, between all of us, we can eventually get through this and make some new friends along the way. Feel free to contact me any time you need to release some of these overpowering feelings of sadness we all experience. Take care until next time. Your friend, Bob

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Dear Bob,

I am also just over ten months into the process. My experience very much echos yours. Months 6-8 seemed like I was getting better every day. Now things seem to be going backwards a bit. People tell me this is not out of the ordinary--that around the ninth month things seem to get difficult again for a while. I thought it would be likely in my case because our year was back-end loaded--our anniversary was in September, Halloween was among our favorite times of the year, her birthday is in November, and Thanksgiving and Christmas always brought us great joy. Add to that the last three months of her life were filled with doctor visits and a month in the hospital--and there is just a lot to work through.

I am very sorry about your loss. Here we all know what this is like--and it makes a difference. We'd all prefer never to have met if it meant our spouse was still here. But the family of experience has great value for our circumstances. It was a relief to know that what I was experiencing was within "normal" if you know what I mean--given that nothing feels normal about where we are.

Read what is here. Write what you feel. We have been where you have been, are there now, or eventually will be. There is great solace in that.

Peace,

Harry

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Dear Bob,

Sorry you are here but welcome...

The more I learn about my own Grief the more frustrated I become. I have lost all my patience with other people and it doesn't help me when I have a daily job to do. Short tempered I have become... where before I would smile and just take care of the problems. I find it overwhelming now days without my husband's daily support and advice. My Grief is a but a reflection of who I WAS before compared to who I am NOW. This affects everything I do, say and touch in my life in this recovery. Trouble is it's not other people's problems on how I react, is it? I own all of it... I have to find my way out of this darkness into life again. If I don't I will age before my time or worse be very ill. I do know if it was I who left and not my husband, I would want him to grieve for me but be DONE with it, to move on and LIVE, to FEEL ALIVE again and to smile and hear his wonderful throughout the house again.

Peace to you,

Deb

redesigh08.blogspot.com

husband Bob, May 27th, 2011

mother, May 19th, 2011

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Hi Bob. I didn't lose a spouse, rather I lost my Mother. But that was a 50+ year relationship too. When I first read your post this morning, I didn't quite get what you meant by deeper grief. Now several hours later, I realize I've experienced something similar.

In the first months my grief was raw; I could hardly sort out my emotions for all the pain. Mostly i would just be upset, and then that would pass. Now, two years on, my emotions are different, much calmer, without the confusion of those first months. I still feel my grief, but its a different kind of grief. I feel a clarity or depth of sadness. Before I just got upset all the time. Now I'm feeling an almost contemplative kind of sadness. And I am not sure how to face it. And it hurts sometimes as much in those early months.

I'm struggling to understand this emotion. Sometimes the memory of my Mother will trigger tears. Other times the sadness just hovers about me, and then leaves me with feelings of despair. Mostly all I can do is endure these feelings. Or are there more active ways of uprighting ourselves when we get clobbered by sadness? I just don't know.

Thank you for your post; it helps me think through my own grief.

Ron B.

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Bob,

It's not surprising to me that it's harder for you now than it was at first, I think at first we're in shock and it's after everyone goes home and time passes that reality seems to set in. At first we expect them to walk through the door or be on the other end of the phone but after time passes we realize that's not happening.

It takes time for us to get used to this and all the more so the longer you've been together. It does help to express yourself and be heard, but I really don't know of any cure for the inner pain. I do know this is a wonderful site and a great group of people and it helps to know we are not alone, that there are others that understand and care.

Kay

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Thanks for the reply Harry. That's interesting that we're both at about the same time and it's nice to know we are not that unusual having our grief seem worse now. I know what you mean about all the medical appointments near the end and my wife was an amputee the last 3 1/2 years and unable to handle the prosthesis so she was in a wheelchair. We were still able to get out and do a few things and I miss every minute of even those memories. Let's hope it gets a little easier for us both and thanks again for the info and the support. Bob

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Thanks for replying Deb and I agree. My wife would also want me to get over it and move on but I just can't seem to do that. Let's hope we both find a way to accomplish that but it's a long and painful road we all travel isn't it? Best of everything to you.

Bob

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Thanks for the response Ron. I'm not sure I'm doing this right because I had several replies to answer and they don't come out on the page the way I would have liked. It's amazing how this leaves us all feeling lost with no direction and I'm finding that apparently, there's no end point to our suffering but it does change form. Let's hope we all make it through and end up being better in the end. Many thanks and good luck.

Bob

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It was great to hear from you Kay and I appreciate your words on the subject. They are very accurate about our feelings at different stages and nobody knows much about how to ease the pain. I'm glad to hear this site is of such help and I sure can use all the help I can get. I'm not sure I'm doing this right because I can't get the replies to line up with whom I want to answer but I guess that's just the way it is setup. Take care Kay and again thanks for taking the time to contact me.

Bob

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Dear Bob,

My wife Pauline passed away about 7 1/2 months ago. We were married 30 years, and lived together 3 years before, so we were together 33 years. She passed from MS, it was a very slow process until the last 4 months. Then it was like a wild fire. I think for me because of the 20+ years fighting MS, gave Pauline and I time to prepare for the final out come. We talked about every aspect of life and after. I knew exactly what she wanted and wanted for me. I set a goal 7 months before she passed. That if I was still young enough I wanted to become a nurse, little did we know she would pass 7 months later. I have gone through all the emotions like everyone else has, except anger. I was never angry, because that would mean I would have to fell anger towards Pauline. I would never let myself go there. She was my best friend, soul mate in life and death, lover, and wife. I quite my job of 27 years to care for her the last 2 1/2 years of her life. Some how I have found a great peace inside, along with this roaring blaze to get into nursing school. My summer was lost to a lot of health problems. Now I am doing well and choose to focus on all the good times we had in our 33 years together. Yes I still cry for her, last hospice meeting, we had a new person, join the group. I could not talk about Pauline without the tears flowing, but you know what, that is ok to cry. It just shows how much love we had and have for the one's we lost. Pauline told me before many time, not to curl up in a ball and stay there. That she wanted me to live my life, for ever how many years that is, and she will be waiting for me when I pass. I walk down my path into my new life and back among the living. Never give up or give in, because this will pass also. Like the rain at night, tomorrow the sun shines bright and new life gives way. So will you in time. We all travel trough this grief at a different pace, and path than any others. Just keep coming back and let those feelings and emotions out as often as you can. If you leave them bottled up it will eat you up with it. We are all here for each other.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Hello Bob,

I have felt the pain, sadness, and loss you feel my wife passed 2/14/10 after a brief 9 month fight with Lung Cancer, she was diagnosed in June 2009 and passed in Febuary 2010...from my point and approach I take a positive path in dealing with this such fearful event, I'm taking the time day by day continuing to live as she wanted but yet grieve her and miss her, somedays more now than early on...you are feeling normal if we have a normal taking this journey...stay in contact here and you will learn much, but the time is yours to heal we have no rush...

NATS

"Grief is healing: To take away our grief is to take away our healing.

and learning about life after death helps us heal with greater hope,

comfort and peace."

~Bob Olson~

~Author~

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Dear Dwayne,

Many thanks for telling your story. In a lot of ways, it rang true with me too as our feelings toward our wives were very deep. My wife suffered a lot starting with becoming an amputee 3 1/2 years before her death. She was in constant pain the last year with neuropathy and ha d to resort to pain meds the last few months. By the time she was diagnosed with cancer, it had spread to several organs and nothing could be done. We never suspected that she had it and she passed away just a month after diagnosis and it was not expected to be that fast. For that reason, we didn't have time to discuss how she would want me to finish my time here but I'm certain she would want me to go on and do something with my life. I volunteer at Hospice once a week and our Hospice group gets together for lunch every month. I try to stay busy but I can't make it through the day without breaking down several times......even while I'm driving. It's a long, hard road we travel but thanks for the encouragement. It's nice to meet caring people like yourself. Thanks again and take care.

Bob

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Hi Nats,

I can't believe how many people are taking the time to contact me. It sure is a great group and it's nice to have a place to discuss our woes with someone who is in the same boat. All we can do is take it day by day and hope eventually the pain eases a little. Thanks for caring enough to stop by and offer some guidance. It's too bad we all have to meet this way and I'm sure sorry for your loss and everyone else's loss in this group. Until we meet again, take very good care and God bless.

Bob

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Dear Bob,

This grief is like an ocean. Sometimes it can be very calm, then you feel that, puff of wind, or our human connections we lost, that's when you now that a storm is coming up and giant wave after wave hits us over and over, until the winds calms, our tears dry, and we keep moving forward, into our new life. We know though that somewhere out there will come another storm with maybe bigger waves. I still get those waves, but the storms and wave are not a strong, as they were in the first 3 1/2 months.

I had to have an operation on my Pauline's 5 month date of her passing. This was July 25, and as they woke me in recovery, the last thing I saw was Pauline's face. She was healthy and happy, even the hair color was the same as I dyed it for her 5 weeks before she passed. She told me it was the best color I had done yet. See I am a red head and Pauline always liked the color of my hair, so that is what she had for many years. After I had seen her face it just enshrouded me that she was fine, and was waiting for me, went it is my time. I feel her presents around me all the time keeping me going and focused on the goals I have set for myself to do with my life, but never ever forgetting, that great love I lost that day in February 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM. Bob you will make it through also just keep the faith and know that your wife suffers no more and awaits you when your time is up. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and you will also come back to life of the living again. Only a new life, different, but the same in many ways.

God Bless

Dwayne

Rose Kennedy, once said: "Birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn't people feel free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them"

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Hello Again Dwayne,

That was beautifully written and I became quite emotional while reading it. You had what several books I have read refer to as a "Visitation" which is always a bonus and very comforting for the survivor. The closest I have had was shortly after Marlene's passing there were a couple of vivid dreams in which she was walking beside me looking much younger and in great health. They both impressed me so much that it woke me immediately and...POOF...the dream ended. I wish I hadn't awakened so soon because it would have been nice to have had a little conversation but that's the way it goes.

Thanks once again for your kind and encouraging words. May we both get through this and come out the other side with an enjoyable and bright new life.

Your Friend,

Bob

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Bob, so sorry you had to join our group, but glad you found the site.

After 21 months since my husband's death, the only thing I know for sure that the grief just is like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes up, sometimes down. The first few months I think you are numb, and/or in denial, so after that when you start feeling things more normally, it seems as if you are going backwards. I am sort of having that trouble right now, even at this many months out. I was in the hospital, having just had knee surgery when my husband Mike died unexpectedly of a massive coronary at age 62. I was on pain meds, had just had anesthetic, and then the total shock of his death. I think it was months before I started really realizing what happened. I thought I was handling it so well, then this past summer around what would have been his 64th birthday, I started feeling a tad more depressed. Am scheduled to start with a therapist. Close friends think due to pain meds, etc., that I just never really allowed my self to deal with the reality. Some days are good, some are bad, but I want more of them to be better, so think it is time for a little help. Grieving is a personal thing, and there is no time table. Whatever happens, happens.

Take care of yourself Bob, and know there are some very wise people on this site, they have helped me a lot over the past nearly two years.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Hi Bob,

You are with a great group of people as you walk a path you never wanted to walk. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband Bill going on 19 months ago. He was the most important person in my life for 36 years and though I am dealing better with this loss now than I was a year ago...the pain resides in my broken heart and is ever present.

Bill was first my best friend and soul mate...we also worked together (both of us as clinicians in our own practice). So our lives were intertwined at many levels. The void is like a Grand Canyon inside of me and in our home.

You are in a good place here and our leader is really on top of things in the forums. There is no wrong way to grieve...we each do this in our own way and the beauty of this group is the respect we have for everyone's way of walking their path and the understanding because we are all on that path.

I wish you a moment of peace,

Mary

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Dear Qeeniemary,

Thanks for offering your story to me and I'm very sorry to hear about your loss and the way things happened. For some reason, everything seems to happen at once, making for more problems. Marlene passed away on December 4th of last year. This was exactly 1 week before my birthday, 3 weeks before Christmas and then there was New Years Eve to "celebrate". Our 2 kids had to leave after she passed away as they live in different states and had to return to their family and jobs. I spent the whole month alone with nobody to talk to or not knowing what to do next in my state of numb sadness. I now HATE the month of December and I don't know how I will get through it in a couple of months. I have already torn it off one calendar and threw it away.

I hope the therapy works well for you. They are usually very good and I think it will really help you. Our Hospice group counselors were very good and even now they occasionally join us when the 8 members meet for lunch. One of the things I still look forward to each month. Take care and let us know how the therapy works out for you. I'm betting it will really be a good move and help you along the road to recovery.

Bob

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For "MFH"

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your kind words and I know the pain will never completely be gone for any of us. My wife and I were close like you and Bill and everything we did was together and for each other. It is nice to know that you can deal with it a little better now. I'm nowhere close to that yet but I hope I will reach a better place eventually. I don't think any of us ever thought about how deeply we would be affected when this happened......there was no way to know until we are forced to experience it. Anyway, we all keep going through it day by day and it's nice to have a group of people we can depend on when we visit this site.

God Bless and Take Care,

Bob

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