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Is This A Dream Or A Nightmare?


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In the last few days, I have felt like I have been living in a dream....or at times better stated a nightmare. I still sense Mike around with the footsteps that I hear at night, with his belongings, with the sense that I can see him for a split second in our home. I feel him when I cook with his utensils, wear his shirts, drive his car, when I do things around the home that we had talked of doing, getting chickens, planting another garden.....He is in our home all the time, through photographs, and the Psychic drawing that I have of him.........but did he really exist in my life? It just doesnt seem possible that this happened.

Oh I know I have been overwhelmed this yr, remodeling the house getting rid of my stuff, having Mike move in, it was my first live in relationship in 20 yrs!

(In all my other relationships we maintained our own homes, but with Mike it seemed to be "right" to take that "plunge"with) Then how dare him get sick and die, with only being in my life on a daily basis for 113 days! And then came the grieving, the constant sickness I have felt everyday. How I have fought everyday, to "get better" realizing along the way.....that I really dont know what that means. How I have dealt with rebuilding a life that I have no idea which direction this existence is taking me. How I have dealt with constant work stress, family stress.......and remodeling our home again! How I have dated again and found someone that is wonderfull to me.....I love the fact that we are developing a beautifull relationship based on a true friendship, a man that is gentle and patient with me, a man that has cared enough to be with me during my grief counseling, and who is caring enough to listen to what I and my counselor are saying....and is not afarid to talk of Mike..... all of this has occured in the last 11 months of my life........

All of this is surreal to me.......is this really happening to me.........the 6 month anniversary is coming next tues 11/9..........cant believe it, I have been in such a fog, and at times now I feel that it is lifting.......at times.....the numbness has lifted, the pain has worsened and yet...for the past few days I feel I can cope with it.....for the moment.....

What to do with the rest of my life? Will this nightmare....turn into a dream? Will I remember all the good times.....or will they forever be clouded, with this painfull grief? Where am I going next with this grief? This journey is more than I bargained for......more than any of us bargained for.........I feel that I have lived more in the last 11 months, then the last 20 yrs of my life! I have alot of questions and alot of growing to do yet........Take Care! Dave

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Dave,

I can so relate to what you're saying. It took a lifetime to find my soul mate and then he up and dies just 6 1/2 years after we met, only 3 years 8 months after we got married! It's been almost 6 1/2 years since he passed away now and it seems so long ago, like a dream, that he was living here and we were enjoying life together. I miss him so much! But like you said, it seems surreal. It feels like a dream! Once in a while I ask myself, did this even happen? Did he really live, was he a part of my life? It seems like a lifetime ago since he was here. But yes, people remember him and talk about him and I have pictures of us. No, they will never be forgotten, everything will always be indelibly etched in our memories and our hearts, everything they said, how they were, everything we did together, none of it will be lost. It's hard to think about him too intently sometimes because the missing him is so great, I try to keep it at bay so I can handle it. There will never be another George for me. I think, having remarried (albeit briefly) and having had another relationship just exacerbated how special my relationship with George was and that another will never even come close to what we shared together...I'm glad that some find happiness and can move on, but I guess that wasn't in the cards for me. I'm back to square one, sitting out on the back patio in our porch swing, talking to him, like I've lost my mind. We talked about it when he was alive and laughingly said they'd have to haul the other one away...yeah, I can see that. :blush: Well, however brief our time was together, it exceeded all I ever could have hoped for or dreamed about, he was the one for me and nothing will ever change that.

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Dear Dave,

Its really not the length of time, you had with Mike. It is all about the love you found. I was very lucky, in a way, to have my love, best friend, soul mate, my Wife, Pauline, for 33 years. You talk about a dream, it is a whole another life. I have found peace in my life. I still cry and let the tears flow when a wave hits. I have had more tears in my grief meetings the last 2 times, than I have had for many. Even at church, the tears are falling again. But it is different tears now, than at first. I loved her so much I had to let her go, not to suffer all the pain from the MS. As much as it hurt, I know she passed with such grace. Not one complaint or regret. Last breath telling me, " I LOVE YOU TOO! ". I find comfort in my home, because we were a team. Her ideas and plans, and I made it happen with my doing the work part. That is what, gives me the great peace I feel in my home. Not changing one thing. I already know what I will change the bedroom set to in a few more weeks, and kitchen curtains also. Because that is what we did every year. Peace comes from deep inside you, to love someone so much that you know what they will say before they say it. To feel what they feel. Pauline was sick for many years, it was just the two of us. She told me time after time, that she wanted me to move forwards in life, so for her I do, and from that it gave me the great peace in my life. Mike would not want you to stop living your life, and you will always have all those special memories, of the happy and best times you spent with him. That is what you focus on. The positive feelings and emotions he gave to you. It was a gift, you had with him. Like Pauline was my gift in my life, and I was hers. You were a gift to Mike, to be there for, and with him, when he needed someone so much. You were that guy, and always will be. Never let that go, never give up, or give in. We all had that true love, that, people look a life time for and never find it. We did, you take a deep breath, and know that we are all here for you, and it was not a dream at all.

God Bless

Dwayne

The Best and Most Beautiful Things in Live, can not be Seen or even Touched. They Must be Felt with the HEART!!!!! Helen Keller

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Dave,

Grief indeed leads down a stream, journey, path, road, or whatever you choose to call it...all the questions and fog you feel are normal from my grief journey and I am approaching my second year in Feb., and my second holiday in the weeks to come, I feel the presence of Ruth daily and lately more so than normal, I hear a door close, I feel her in the room, one thing is when that happens is the dogs go into a frenzy and get so excited, what I do is just enjoy it...It's good you have found someone to be close with, I am in a new relationship with a caring, beautiful person who is also so accepting as she is a grieving spouse as well, for us we are moving slow yet waisting no time doing the things we enjoy and building our new life as we both have really dicovered just how short life is now that we've experienced the loss of someone so dear...keep the positive energy flowing opposed to negative, move at our own pace, and take things day by day is all we can do...I ask myself everyday if this new life I'm living is a dream so don't feel alone, I also have been thru an ernormous amount of change in 21 months that I think is why we question Dream? or Nigtmare?....but we really know it's Life and Reality....

NATS

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Thanks for your input Kay, Dewayne, Nats.

I woke up to a frigid house this am the thermometer states it is 37 outside, rare to be this cool here this time of the yr! Had to turn on the heat here! Wow I remember 2 winters in Montana, in a camper without heat, I was much younger and poorer then, sure seemed like life was much simpler then, with the only reason I felt I was alive was to go skiing.....lol I miss those days!

I found myself last night and this am walking through the house, reminding myself that these belongings were Mikes and yes he was really here, I remember less than a yr ago, how healthy Mike appeared, how, while he was unemployed, he would take care of everything at home, I was so pampered, all I had to do was take care of the animals and yard, and work...... I never had to cook, do housework, heck! I would jump into the shower and when finished, my clothes for the day/eve were on the countertop......was a wonderfull feeling that someone cared.......I love those memories! Wow we were so happy! And then the nightmare began.......or as Nats put it life and then reality.....am starting to think I am going through this to make me the "Wise" old Uncle for my kids......someday they will call with a problem (hope it is nothing like what I have seen) and I will be able to guide them through their problem...............I guess that is why my favorite Aunt Linda calls everyday to check on me, she has never been down this path........but her support has been great or at least a distraction for me.

Just got off the phone with some old family friends back in Ks, they have been connected to the family for 60 yrs at least, in fact my gma served their dinner on their wedding day. I love them dearly and call them mom/dad. I have never told them of my relationship with Mike, as I thought they would be judgemental, of course I am sure they had heard of my relationship with him through others, just wasnt something I felt they needed to know.......and actually thought they would be......judgemantal, they had called to check on me due to the 6 month anniversary approaching, they were very supportive. Learned another lesson, those in my life I thought would be supportive.....many are not, others I didnt expect have been......interesting, and actually am very proud of them!

Hope everyone is hanging in there, going to go take care of the horses, chickens, cats, dogs etc....... Dave

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Hi Dave

I am so sorry for your loss. I think it wonderful that you have been fortunate enough to have experienced/currently experience love in the way that you did/do. You are blessed in many ways. What is more, it sounds like you have so much to give, so much so, that it is very resounding in your post. I liked reading your post for many reasons, but primarily because, that despite my own loss, It is good to be reminded of the love that is currently around me.

Hope you are having a wonderful harvest!

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As the 6 month anniversary approaches tomorrow....I feel that I am falling into the abyss........It is so hard to visit that dark area, and yet know I must.....to stay healthy and get stronger, or at least I hope I get stronger.....right know I am questioning everything in my life....I am so dissapointed.....I feel like giving up......no not on being alive.....with a heartbeat......but feeling alive, being happy........yes I know at the age 46 I have alot of yrs left.....and yet we would have never have thought that mike would have left at 45............

How can I go on and take chances, when I know that when I have.........it has left me broken...........how can I find that jest for life that i felt with Mike, that passion, not for just him, but also for life again?

Damn, I think I have visited that abyss enough for now.......dont like it, have just realized that it is not my friend........so time to hit the hay and go through the motions tomorrow again.....

Dave

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Dave,

I am thinking of you today as you honor the 6 month anniversary of Mike's death. I know these days are so difficult and I also know you will get through it as we all do.....I understand your fear of getting close again. We have all learned the hard way that everything changes, nothing is forever as it is...though I do believe love is forever and that Bill is with me.....death faces all of us. Should you give your heart again, the joy of that will make any pain that follows worth every minute. I do not regret for one second giving myself to Bill and our relationship. I would do it all over again even knowing this awful pain that I now live in.

Light a candle today....he will see it. He is with you.

Peace,

Mary mfh

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Dave, I apologize, the tone of your earlier post, seemed so much positive. I thought it best to respond in the like. I am so sorry once again, for your loss. I know, that there is no one thing that can be said, that can help ease your grief. Just as a thought, I think the fact, that you have gone on to continue to live life, perform chores, and realize the presence of that proverbial abyss, makes you very brave, thus, infused with the ability to take chances. I think, we all take chances everyday, even if we don't identify those actions as such. I think, when we are hurting, the mere act of stepping into the world, in what ever format that may be i.e. work, school, homelife, interaction on a forum, is a chance we take, as we are forced to take steps towards the living process. I don't think it is as hopeless as it feels, because the fact, that you are able to share, means that you do indeed have hope. Anyway..just a thought. I hope you enjoy what is around you today in all it's forms, I am postive that the energy force from the love you and Mike shared will be with you, and that is, a gift.

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Dave,

My thoughts are with you today...when you have the the ovewhelming feelings today just focus and remind yourself of the "happy times"

you had, I do this when I feel the SUG's and when an up comming event brings the anxiety about...stay positive you will preveil...

NATS

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Alas, this is how it goes...we sound positive and upbeat one moment, and in tears and down the next...all a very integral part of grief. My thoughts are with you today and I hope you've been able to find a good way to get through it. It was weird when I went through the six month anv. of George's death, because it was also the one year mark on when he'd died...and his heart had restarted, when he'd had a car accident due to heart failure and the air bags gave the thrust to the chest that got it going again, allowing us to have six more months together. At the time we didn't know about his heart or what happened, he'd thought it was his Diabetes, but it was the heart surgeon that figured it out, too late, the night before he died. Six months...so much has happened, it's hard to process it all, but it is, after all, just a number, the day before and the day after are no different, it's just that numbers/dates trigger memories for us. I hope the rest of the day goes well for you and you know you are in our hearts and thoughts...

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Dear Dave,

I prayed that you would find peace yesterday. I know how hard it is, and would do anything to have Pauline back again, but only healthy and happy, She was always a great shinning light of life. She lived every day as her last with no regrets at all. But to have her back in so much pain, she suffered with for years, no. I only try my very best to remember the good times, and focus on my future. She wanted that for me so much. Not to live in the finality of her life, but to move forward, into a new and very different life. I have not changed a thing in our home, only the bedroom set. We would do that 4-5 times a years. I already know what I will change for the winter in the bedroom and kitchen.

Dave, may you find the true inner peace, that I have found. When I saw Pauline's face that day in recovery, Happy, Healthy, even the same hair color, I dyed 5 weeks before she passed. It lit a fire inside me that burns stronger today than ever. I go on for her. So must you for Mike. He does not want you suffer and be locked in grief. I know easer said than done. Dig deep my friend, reach into your soul and bring out the good again. Live your life a new. Live life for Mike. His was cut way to short. Honor him in your life, by moving forwards with peace and grace.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Thanks as always for everyones support! Have come to the conclusion that I am so envious of those that had their love for a significant amount of time, I know deep down inside that time has no factor on the love that you have, true love is true love, but our time was so short. I guess I mourn also for the plans and dreams that died also.......dont we all........but had I had known what I was in for....would I have allowed him into my life......the happy times were so short, finding it is not enough to sustain me in my grief, and am not sure this love was worth it.

I cant help but to be very angry here, angry at god, angry at Mike, angry at his family for not providing him a better? life a healthier life style that wouldnt have expedited his demise........and angry at myself for falling in love. I personally dont buy that old saying " It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all" but also agree with that other adage " ignorance is bliss", for had I never had met Mike, my life wouldnt have been destroyed for the past months............With this all being said, If I really didnt love Mike and really wished he had never been in my life, why am I struggling so hard? I should just go happily along with the rest of my life, gratefull for new furniture and a new car.................that was NEVER why I entered into this relationship, can buy my own car and furniture........

My confidence is shaken to the core, as I have said before, this was the first live in relationship I have had in 20 yrs, this is a big deal to me that I took the plunge....................just to be left with a shattered heart, that is all I feel that has become of me.......I have a chance currently to develop another friendship that could be wonderfull.........but not sure I can pursue any further.........there is no guarantees that he wont get sick and die, have threatened to make him go get a physical......but alas as a medical professional, that really means nothing, there are many things the medical profession cannot detect.......and who can predict a horrible accident??? Maybe it will take me another 20 yrs to try a serious relationship........have to decide if the pleasure is worth the pain again.......

I really do love Mike and know he is here with me........ but peace is eluding me........Dave

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Good morning, Dave

I have been tracking your posts and replies and am just reaching out as you sit with your pain and anger and fear. I understand your wishing you had more time with Mike....it was way too short and so real. I, of course, wish we had more time before Bill was taken from me...we all wish that but when the time was as short as yours it has its own pain.

If you are doubting your ability or willingness to allow deep love to be yours again, I would suggest you are not ready. It is so soon. We live in a culture where we tend to rush....we tend not to give ourselves time to simmer, mull, ponder, live with, be in our pain......I have always told my clients that recovery/healing/being ready (whatever we call it) takes time and allowing that and being IN it is what prepares us for the next chapter in our lives. If we do not allow ourselves to do the transition work...we tend to stay stuck where we were. So perhaps it is best to just be "where you are planted" really BE there and not look at tomorrow in terms of relationship. I try this a often each day....it helps and is a challenge. Though I have no desire for another relationship, looking ahead too much to anything is always a temptation. Nothing takes the pain away. Distractions help. This morning I was looking for the cord for my iPad and opened a drawer and voila....there was Bill's razor, cords, etc. The dam broke and I stood sobbing. The cord was in the other drawer...right where I keep it. I am working ever so hard at being in the moment. It is all I have and it is painful but as I move from moment to moment, I find a light here and there. I move to my current painting and get lost in that moment. I dry the rain and snow off Bentley (our dog) and get lost in that moment. I pour coffee and am lost there. It all helps to take me away from the constant pain. But I also sit in the pain. Just some thoughts.....

It is snowing out...well slushing out. I hope it dries again so I can get the rest of my maple leaves off the lawn before we get a big one....winter has arrived here in Wisconsin. The good news about my bad shoulder is I get to hire someone to get all those leaves up as the MD does not want me raking. Winter is and always has been an interior time for me....the phone does not ring as often, there are fewer events in town and around, and frankly it is a breather from busyness. It is also dark and gray and cold....and lonelier.

I wish you peace,

Mary mfh

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Dave,

Re: "it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all"...for me that depends...if the relationship ended at will, for instance a breakup, I don't think that holds true for me. But to lose to death, that wasn't something the person wished on me. For myself, I definitely would not have wanted to have missed out on one second with George and I am so glad, that even though our years together were cut way too short, we lived what we did have to the fullest, loved each other completely, it was a beautiful relationship, exceptional, and I have no regrets. Can most married people boast that? Probably not. People, by nature, tend to take each other for granted...we never did, maybe because we were older and had already been through so much, we had a deep appreciation for each other. For me "The Dance" says it all, and I would not have missed the dance for anything in the world. If I had one wish it would be that he would still be here...I wouldn't wish that we had not met, never, not in a million years. Right now you're in so much pain and that pain is the price for having loved, but the pain will lessen and the memories never will. Your love will continue to stay with you and sustain you in the days ahead, long after his death...for me it didn't happen like that at first, it took at least a couple of years, at first there was just pain and fear and loss, and it's a tremendous thing to try and carry. It does get better. Last night I was with a widower friend of mine and we were talking about our spouses and their deaths, and the missing George was so penetrable I could feel it, I ached inside for him...and I know that will never go away until we're together again.

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Thought you all would like to know that last night, there was a full moon it was beautifull.....and was inspired to sit out on the porch and talk to Mike, I did this while playing the cd that was on at Hospice when he died, at that point I decided to drink one of his last beers and toast him and planted some of his ashes into the Magnolia tree, that I had planted a few weeks ago......first time I had done anything with his ashes, and for last night I did feel some peace, today?.......dont feel as good but at least I feel peace is in reach, at least for now........plans for today......to go into Sun City and hit some Estate Sales and pick up some items I dont need......then maybe it will then warm up here so I can do some more painting....and continue to digest what 6 months of this experience has done to me...Dave

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Dave, you said, for last night I did feel some peace, today?.......dont feel as good but at least I feel peace is in reach, at least for now . Yes! Sometimes the steps we take are so subtle and so short-lived that we fail to notice or appreciate them ~ but they ARE steps, they DO represent progress, and you ARE moving forward. Remember that feeling. Remember exactly what you were doing when that feeling of peace came over you. Hold it in your heart and return to the memory of it, whenever you need to remind yourself that you are making forward progress and you are strong enough to get through this.

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Thanks Marty, yes I know what you are saying but need to hear it again........and probably again........this week has continuely been the worst so far.......but am continuing on........

My big diversion for today was to go Estate sale shopping, big business in a retirement community like Sun City, fortunately I found nothing I couldnt live without but it did get me out of the house and was functioning......went to the local store to get some produce, and went to their dumpster to clean out the jeep, I live in my vehicles..........boxes of produce were being thrown out!!!! yes partially moldy....but I was raised around depression era g-parents, where nothing was wasted.......unfortunately that began a lifetime of hoarding by my gma...........I couldnt stand it going to waste, so loaded boxes of cauliflower, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, boxes of trash bags.....though I would take it to the local food bank....they refused due to it some mold on it........so what to do, stopped by a couple of friends homes that are struggling in todays economy......they refused, " wow we cant eat that it has mold on it" despite my ed that they need to just cut it off!!! so my plans for the rest of the day are to salvage what I can, and freeze it, give what I dont have room for to my family, and feed the rest to the chickens..........Mike would be pleased, amazing......actually sad...... to me what our country waste!!! ...........guess this maybe the start of my new hobby dumpster diving!!!!! but unfortunately that didnt stop the tears from flowing when I drove into my driveway..... Dave

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Dave,

I'm glad you are feeling some peace, even if it's intermittent! It's progress. Sometimes it's hard to see when we're in it, but if we look back where we've been...it's there.

I'm glad to hear you didn't buy out the estate sales, I'd hate for us to have to do a rescue. [i've been watching Hoarders too much. :) ]

Sun City, you must be in AZ? I lived there for a few months when I was young, Sun City was so pretty, I remember the beautiful sky, the sunsets...

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Dear Dave,

I have seen waste way beyond that, food so fresh and good, just dumped into garbage cans.

Pauline ha d an operation in Providence RI. at RI Hospital back in 1994, a Nissinfundlrplitation, where they take part of the stomach and wrap it around the top and uses tubes, to be sure it is not to tight or to loose. Her valve was not working and she hag Gurd really bad. This was the only way to fix it. And it worked well until her passing. Anyway, The hospital had a new way to help deal with patients after surgery, which was a coop center. Brand new. The room was like a luxury hotel room. I did a lot of the care and the nurses did not have to come around so often. One very nice modern for that time hospital bed and a big queen size bed for me, Well all she could have is clear liquids, They had a cafeteria where I would go to eat and bring back clear broth or maybe jello for her. Well one day, now we were there for 2 weeks after surgery, I went down to eat late. I got my dinner, and the food was like a five star hotel, with professional chiefs cooking meals, always 4 main courses to choose from. Well Pauline was sleeping, so I went and ate, as I was eating, the staff started clearing the food out of the warmers, so what did they do all the food left over was just dumped into 55 gallon plastic trash barrels. I asked what they were doing, they told me that all the left over food got taken out to the garbage, and discarded. I could not believe my eyes. Roasted half chickens, potatoes dishes, vegetables, deserts of all kinds, cakes puddings, now all this is five star quality food. Just unbelievable. I asked why they cannot take it to the homeless shelters. They said it is State Law any uneaten food has to be thrown away. Over the course of a year it must be several hundred thousand of dollars in wasted food. It just blew my mind. When so many people struggle every day just to maybe get one meal, and here is all this top quality food, just dumped away.I am glad that you could make good use of the produce, You are a good man, Dave.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Well at least some positive news, during the annual Light the Night Walk, for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, my family was able to raise more that $ 1,000 for continued research for this deadly disease that has killed my grandfather, uncle, and Mikes mom, having a profound effect on my life! And my grandmother was interviewed by the media, for being 91 and participating in the walk and for lossing her husband and son from this......Rainy cold day here but the weather is clearing......Dave

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Dave,

Wow, that is amazing, that your grandmother at 91 participated in the walk! My mom is nearly 90 and even in her 70 jogged daily, but we finally convinced her to walk instead, but now she's slowed way down, having had a couple of falls lately. To raise $1,000 for such a worthy cause is a great feat!

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Good am! Realizing as time goes on....that actually the pain is worsening, the numbness is wearing off.......but feel that this is normal, for me, right now......was feeling lousy last night and was on line to check on you all........the computer which was Mikes started to flash, and all the postings kept running.......I tried to go on other sites and the computer worked fine but every time I went back on this site the computer started acting up again and again.........guess it was Mike telling me to get to bed!!! Well need to get back to work....yuck.....Take care Dave....

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