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Lance,

Yes it is hard to adjust, take your time, I have found it's easier if we don't try

so hard trying to figure all this out..."go with the flow" and "easy does it" are my two biggest allies during this journey.

I am approaching 2 years and it takes time...I hope you find some comfort in the days to come...

NATS

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It is difficult to adjust, because I don't know WHO is adjusting.Im just empty

Lance, The end of February will be 4 years for me and I am still trying to discover who I am. The "new normal" is still a mystery to me. All the stuff is still difficult. I try to go with the flow, be gentle with myself, take deep breaths, and on and on.

There are some things that I have discovered that I am. I am a survivor. I am strong. I can handle life (most of the time). I still have bad days, and I am learning to accept that and not fight the feelings. I still love my husband of 40 years and miss him every single day. However, now I have more days that are good days and I can remember Dick with such love and those memories are a blessed comfort to me.

Hang in there. The journey through grief is not for wimps. Remember that you are not alone!!!!!

Anne from Colorado

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Lance, my dear, you are not the first bereaved spouse to ask this question. As you can see from others' responses to your post, you are not alone in wondering who you are now.

Here is a passage I saved from a book I read several years ago:

Who Am I Now?

Much of the emotional distress during the earlystages of grief results from an identity crisis. Throughout married life we develop an identity blended with our mate's. To be successful in marriage each partner willingly gives up part of his or her individual identity, and in manyways marriage defines who we are. The loss of a spouse can cloud a person's identity to the point of asking, "Who am I now?"

As surviving spouses, we know we are not the same person we were before we married. In many ways we still feel married. Yet the death of our spouse makes us someone other than who we were during our marriage. The stress associated with the loss and the disassociation is magnified by the fear of the unknown future.

The search for and the development of a new identity is, in large part, what moving through grief and into living again is all about.

[source: William Wallace,

LivingAgain: A Personal Journey for Surviving the Loss of a Spouse, Addax Publishing Group,Lenexa, KS, 1998, p. 26.]

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Marty, that was written by someone who well and truly knows what they are talking about. So very accurate. I take comfort whenever I come across information like this, that reinforces for me that my constant state of disorientation while still being able to function somewhat, is a recognised part of this awful struggle.

I recently told a kind and caring friend that although I seem OK on the outside, most of the time I feel like a balloon just floating through days/tasks/events/functions, observing it all but with no real connection to anything or anyone. She quietly said that my husband was the one who 'grounded my existence' and to lose him so suddenly would make anyone feel adrift, and that maybe those feelings would last for a long time.

Just hearing her acknowledge my feelings was good and her view that there may not be a short term fix in sight was a great reminder that it's OK to just be whoever I am today and not worry about who I will be for the rest of my life.

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