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How Do I Survive This Pain?


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This week has been one of many tears. How can I continue to feel so wounded and not die of a broken heart? I would be happy to do so. Before somebody starts worrying that I am going to hurt myself, know that suicide is not an option. I want to see my husband again, and I can't do that if I take myself out. I would be happy to be hit by a freight train or a bus or have an incurable heart attack. I must be surviving on the prayers that others are offering on my behalf. I am not doing much praying these days. I am so enraged with God and with people who say stupid things like "it's sin that allows death, not God." Bullsh--! OR the book with the title of Good Grief. My son has moved from Ohio to live with me for awhile. I am grateful he is here. I am also overwhelmed by having someone in my house that is not my husband. My plan for the next week is to try to get a living revocable trust and a will in place. I don't want my son to have any problems when I am gone.

I went to a grief support group for the first time this past week. I didn't want to go. Since they had all lost spouses or significant others, I really felt they got it. They meet every Tuesday night in Tempe. The next two Tuesdays, I have commitments, but I will likely return after that. They seem like nice people.

I have a friend who is clairvoyant. She has given me some information from Mike. She will be here again tomorrow to tell me more. I am wanting a laundry list of actions to complete, so I get to leave here... kind of like fulfilling entrance requirements for college. "Okay, you have submitted all the correct paperwork. You have been admitted." I am afraid it won't be that simple, but that is my wish.

Mike died on September 9, 2011. November 22 would have been his 63rd birthday. My recovery date is also on November 22nd. For all the years we were married, we "shared" the date. For his 60th birthday, he took center stage. When I celebrated 25 years of recovery, I did. I don't understand how God could break up such a great team!

How have you gotten through this pain? I need nuts and bolts, not pie-in-the-sky ideas.

Thanks for listening.

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Dear Debbie,

I know your pain you feel, along with the emptiness, and broken heart. My wife Pauline passed, February 25, 2011. It has been very hard to move on in life without her. She hag MS, ( Multiple Sclerosis ) for many years. That is what took her in the end. I have never felt anger over her loss, because if I felt anger, that would mean I would have to be angry with Pauline, and I will not let myself go there. I attend hospice grief group meeting every week. I have for 7 months now. I find it has helped me a lot, and I also got back involved with the church that Pauline and I attended before, she got so disabled that she could not go anymore. I find that to be very helpful also. It takes time, to make any progress, because grief is so individual for each one of us. All I can tell you is that you, being here is the right place to be. We have all been where you are at, and there are so many people on here you can give you help anytime. Just keep coming back and write whatever is on your mind. I hope that peace and comfort will come your way. It is so new for you that it is hard to tell which way is up or down. Just breath for now and not worry about tomorrow or the things we cannot change, They just are.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Debbie, I hear you. I'm sorry I don't have any "nuts and bolts" for you. I'm fumbling thru this as you are. My husband died July 4th, 2011. I have pretty good days and I have days that I can't bear to think about a future without Harv. I kinda think that's how it goes until the pain becomes like a dull pain instead of that sharp unrelenting pain. Just know I am thinking of you today.

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How have you gotten through this pain?

I remember all too well the excruciating pain when I lost George. I was in shock at first, which I think protected me in those early days. I remember spending 17 hours preparing a collage of pictures for his service, making/receiving countless phone calls, planning his service, going to the social security office, notifying the bank and insurance company, cleaning out his car, his trailer, the closet (the rod broke just a couple of weeks after he died, forcing my hand at dealing with it).

Then everyone went home, quit calling, and I was alone. Amazing how soon that happened. My routine was disrupted, gone were his phone calls from work on his breaks. Gone was our weekly grocery shopping trip together. It seemed unbearable going to church and seeing the sympathetic looks in people's eyes...and the empty pew where he always sat. Even worse came the day where some unknowing person sat in his place. I felt a myriad of emotions, panic, anger, hurt, betrayal, loneliness, fear, confusion...and loss of purpose. I didn't know what to do with myself. I went back to work two weeks after he died because I wasn't a rich widow, my income had just been cut in half and hospital bills were starting to pour in. I was lucky to have a job where my coworkers had been briefed and they were wonderful. But I still had to go home to that empty house. I couldn't bear to sleep in our bed...it was just a vivid reminder that he was missing. 6 1/2 years later I still choose to sleep on the recliner instead. I've let the dog have the bed.

But you asked how I got through it...

One of the first things I remember learning was to look for joy in each day. That was a daunting task! But I started by looking for something small, anything, anything good or positive at all...this would hone my focus and my attitude and was an exercise that was very good for me. A child's exuberance, a kitty's rub, a puppy's lick, a sunset, someone opening the door for me, someone letting me merge in traffic, seeing elk or deer, anything qualified if it was good. At the end of the day I would try to remember something good from the day and focus on it, even if only for a moment.

The second thing I remember learning was to reach out...this site was wonderful for me, it helped me feel not so alone. Here was a group of people that understood and were going through it too. I was fortunate to find this place shortly after he died.

I couldn't bear the thought of being alone the rest of my life and it scared me that 40 years alone might lay before me. I could imagine all sorts of ills and no George to help me along the way...I was terrified. Little by little I learned that somehow I would get by. Right now I'm out of work...no husband to fall back on, unemployment about to end...it's scary. But I learned the lesson of one day at a time. I learned to try not to bite off more than I can chew, don't think about the next forty years, stay in today as much as possible. Today is enough. Sometimes I had to shorten it down to one hour or even one minute.

And finally, about the third year, I learned to take comfort from George by drawing from him within me. The first couple of years I felt he was ripped from me...the third year I began to realize he wasn't totally gone, he's inside of me and I can reach in and draw comfort and strength and encouragement from him any time I want to...by remembering his amazing love for me, his smile, his devotion. How we used to lay in bed and talk at night at the end of our day! I can still talk to him...I hope that doesn't mean I'm crazy, but I guess I don't really care if people think that I am. I just know that a love like ours could never die, nor is death big enough to separate us completely.

The other thing I did was get a dog. It's another being here in this house, someone who welcomes me and loves me unconditionally, someone loving and fun, someone that makes me smile. Someone that gives me purpose and forces me to get exercise daily. It's important to take care of ourselves. It's so easy to just not care when we're grieving, but the truth is, if we eat right and get exercise every day, it'll help us feel better...and Lord knows we need that!

I also went through my barren time with God after George died...I don't think I could pray much that first year, I also was mad at Him for taking George away from me. I also hate the trite platitudes people said, stupid things like "it must be God's will". Hogwash! What do they know about God's will! Let THEIR husband die and see how much they think of it being God's will then! But little by little the anger slipped away and I accepted there's just a whole lot I don't know or understand, and I became okay...as okay as we can be after our life has been so drastically altered. I learned it didn't do much good to ask questions like "Why" when there seemed to be no answers but silence echoing in return. A better question is "What now?" And that can take quite some time to answer. I'm still working on that one.

You will get through this...I'm glad your son is able to be there for you. It helped me a lot to voice myself, to feel heard, and this is a good place for that.

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All of your words are words I have spoken in the past 18+ months. I knew I would not survive the pain. I woke up to emptiness every day. I still do wake up to emptiness and loneliness but if I am honest with myself, it does change and is not quite as difficult. It takes a long while, it takes walking each day one day at a time and a lot of patience and self care. Bill and I were as close as two people can be. Part of me is gone and I am forever changed. The pain is sharp and deep and vast but I don't walk around IN tears all the time. I do walk around on the verge of tears all the time. Just push the button and Mary is sobbing. Now that does not sound like an improvement but it really is.

this is a long painful road, I have learned. I thought I knew grief having had lots of loss in my life. But none of those losses can hold a candle to this one and yet I made it to month 18 and now I know I WILL keep going. That is a change. The loneliness is there...believe me. It haunts me. I do not know today if it will ever lift but I am here. I am involved with things though disconnected from them.

I am taking this a day at a time believing somehow that if I came this far, I might just go further and feel a bit better in another year.

DebbieS, you are still in a fog, very raw and very vulnerable. Try to take one day at a time, even one hour at a time...don't look ahead. It is like riding a roller coaster and looking down to see the steep fall ahead. Just be in the moment as much as possible. Get out with friends a few times a week and keep posting here. I think most of us here had close relationships...that is why we are grieving. Our lives and hearts were merged with our loved one and always will be. Keep coming back here. It does change. I never believed it would but it does...very very very slowly. Peace, Mary mfh

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Sadloser,

This is the first time you've posted in response to someone else. You may not take that as progress, but I see it as such. You are right that no one can be helped unless they want the help, but I can't imagine anyone not wanting help. If the pain is so great as you say, why would you not reach out for help...go to a doctor, call a bereavement counselor, return those friends' phone calls, see your pastor. It is not God that is wishing you dead, it is you. While there were moments in the beginning that I wished I could join George, I did not act on that, but it sounds like you are literally killing yourself with inertia. I strongly encourage you to get some help, you need it to break through this.

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hi debbie, my husband joe died of a stroke july 3rd. it was the most horrifing thing that has ever happened to me. i am having difficult writing this as i get very weak just thinking about it. i spend a lot of time just sitting and reading. i read different grief groups on the net. i went to a grief support group but did nothing but cry so i never went back and no one ever called me to see if i was doing ok.i get waves of grief. sometimes they are big waves were i sit and cry and cry. other waves are little but they still come across me with confusion and sorrow.of all the things i read it says this is normal and there is no other way but to go straight thru this. my daughter tells me of a quote from winston churchhill during WW2 that goes somdthing like this if your going thru hell just keep going to get tto the other side. i dont know whats on the other side of this saddness but i try to tell myself i have no doubt that my life will get better and i just have to keep to that. praying that you find some peace today. sharon

i found this poem i would like to share. "we can shed tears because they are gone or we can smile because they lived. we can close our eyes and pray they come back or, we can open our eyes and see all they left. our hearts can be empty because we don`t see them. or, we can open our eyes and see all they left us. our hearts can be empty b ecause we don`t see them. or, full of the love we shared. we can remember them and only that thier gone. or, we can cherish their memory and let it live on. we can cry and close opur minds, be empty and turn our backs. or, we can do what they would want to smile, open our eyes, love and go on." sharon

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Sadloser,

I am confused because the post I responded to this morning seems gone and instead there is your goodbye message. I really hate to see you go. I know how hard this is, I have felt the things you are feeling so many times, but I haven't chucked it in yet, and I don't want you to either. I just want you to know there are people here that do understand and care how you are feeling. It's up to you whether you want help or not, I'm not trying to tell you what to do, it was only a suggestion...I'm sorry if I offended you, I didn't mean to. Please keep reading even if you don't want to post.

I am truly sorry,

Kay

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Sharon,

Thank you for sharing that poem, your response to Debbie was spot on!

Kay

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(...someone just reminded me of one thing -- since I don't want to reach out for help, there's no reason for me to stay in this forum. Good-bye. I wish you all the best...)

Sadloser, I do not know who reminded you that if you do not want to reach out for help, there is no reason to stay here. That is just not true. First of all just by posting you are reaching out and we are all here for you. I hope you did not just go away and that you see this message and I hope to see you posting a lot.

Do come back...I will watch for you.

Peace, Mary mfh

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Debbie, Wednesday will mark 6 yrs. since Larry's death. Some of us cope better than others. I'm not one of those. The pain and sorrow is still a part of my daily life. I will tell you that this site, the other's here who share your pain and Marty (the wonderful moderator of this site) saved me on more than one occasion. I just poured my heart out, it wasn't pretty believe me. Lots of anger at God, lots of anger at friends who let me down, people's stupid reactions, etc. I didn't have much support around me and this site became my life line. That is my suggestion to you, stay here, keep writing and little by little you will be able to put one foot in front of the other. You just have to go through the grieving day by day. Deborah

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Dear Sharon,

I like that poem a lot. I learned about 4 months ago, to open my eyes, lift, up my head and move forwards into my new life, because that is what Pauline told me many times over all the years of her illness. Not to get stuck in grief and move on even if it is slowly. That is what I do everyday. I get involved in something everyday to keep busy and help others. I had this man I know at my church come up to me after service, His name is Denise, he lost his, wife 2 years ago, and is having a very hard time. The first time I talked with him was in August at the church picnic. I talked with him for over an hour. Lifting him back up again. Anyway Sunday he waited for me and told me he needed his weekly dose of seeing Dwayne and all the positive energy that I protrude outwards. It makes me feel great that I can help someone with just words of hope and positive energy.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Deborah, Just wanted to say youll be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. I know how hard that day can be! I miss my Larry so much too. I dont post much because Im working fulltime now and I dont have much to say. I still come to read so that I dont feel crazy some days. I will never be the same Im just trying to still fiqure out my normal?! There are few days that I dont cry but I am learning to live with the pain. I hate the Holidays so much!!! It use to be the best time of the year for me. We also had another blow in our family. My daughter recently lost her 1st baby. She was only 3 months along but I had such high hopes that it would help us all heal alittle. Now I am so scared to hope for anything!!! Well didnt mean to babble. Hang in there. I feel your pain. I hope someone is going to spend the day with you. Hugs Cris Another girl who misses her Larry!!!!

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Hi Cris,

I am so sorry your daughter lost her baby...I think when we are so raw with loss that any loss, let alone the loss of a baby, is just so much more difficult to deal with. I am sorry. You are not babbling...this forum is for us to say what we can't say anywhere else....so keep sharing. We are with you.

After a wreck of a day...computer issues, ad issues with the last minute folks, noise with the hammers going...tears at the missing of Bill....a friend called and invited me to the local restaurant where once every month or two hires a Madison chef to cook a gourmet meal...so I went. I sat with a friend who is also a widow but as I looked around I was in a couples world. A good friend was there with her husband and 3 other couples...she never invites me to do things when it is couples. I also looked out and knew that neither Bill or I walk in this world. It sounds wierd but I prefer a quiet dinner with someone I can really share with....I am not a socializer and neither was Bill. I enjoy people but not the party atmosphere...and empty chatter that is meaningless and oh so boring. I am grateful for invitations but am getting fussier about my yes responses....but needed to get out tonight anywhere. Then I was sorry, as usual, that I did not listen to my good old gut. Anyway, none of that matters except for the lessons I learn about myself, how far reaching this pain and life is...touches every corner of our lives.

Again I am so sorry about the baby. I don't think people take miscarriages seriously enough....it is a real loss, just like any other...hopes and dreams smashed and the world just does not get that...unless someone has experienced that.

Peace to your heart,

Mary

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Debbie..I am so sorry for your loss. I don't have alot of answers, but understand the state you find yourself in. I don't think there is a lexicon on how to get over such grief, or an overview of it impacts our lives. There are no simple explanations, rather it is just a state, that each individual must get through. I tend to immerse myself in the mundane, in the tasks of mother, wife, daughter and friend, I have those lonely night weeping episodes myself, so perhaps I am not the best person to talk to..lol, but never theless, I want you to know, that you are NOT alone!!

Mir

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Cris,

I'm sorry to here about the loss of your grandbaby. I too have waited a long time to be a grandmother and still do not have any grandchildren and can understand your immense grief, not only for your grandbaby, but for what your daughter and her husband must be suffering. I lost three myself before I finally had my daughter and know how hard it is...all of the hopes and dreams going up in smoke. I pray she conceives again and it makes it all the way.

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