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How Do I Carry On?


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I don't know what I can do now. On Monday it will be 11 weeks since my husband and soul mate died. We have been married for 36 of the 37 years together and he was the most kind, generous, and wonderful person. We ought to have had at least another 20 years together and I can't help but ask WHY?

The last couple of months have been hell. Whilst my husband lay in the morgue I had to have a back operation. I had, without knowing it as I put the aful pain down to muscles - broken my back. I now have vertebrae made of bone cement. Yes, it aches and I am very restricted compared with what I used to do but I know that will get a lot better - but will I as whole person? Do I even want to? I admit that if it wasn't for our daughters and grandchildren I would 'duck out'. The idea of not feelng like I am any more is welcoming. I miss him so very much and can't stop the tears whenever they come. The lst 3 days of his life was awful. I was with him when he took his last breath, with my hand on his chest and talking to him all the time, telling him we would always be together and he would be with me always. I feel so alone and to think I won't be able to touch, kiss or cuddle him again is agony. As I can't stand the memories that are in this apartment I move on Wednesday to another apartment nearer friends and public transport. I can't drive a car but have a motocycle license but was told by the surgeon I can't use my bike until summer.

I live in Turkey and my family are in the UK. Due to commitments here I can't go back as yet and I do not even know if I want to. We were so happy here and had started a business (that is one of the commitments - closing it down). I can't run the business alone so have to sell off the stock and go through the closure process. Also there is the inheritance laws in Turkey which can take a year or so to get through.

I looked for forums online as I can't find an English speaking counsellor here. Although friends are so very helpful I need to be able to speak to people who do not know us or our life and have no preconceptions and understand perhaps how I am feeling day by day. The stress of everyday life is very hard to cope with. I have never lived alone before and can't seem to reconcile myself to doing so but sharing with anyone other than my husband is not something I could do.

Does the pain of this existence every go away or even get better?

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Hello

I am no expert at this new life, I lost my soulmate 14 weeks ago. He was alot older than me but I too thought we would have more years together. I do not like living alone either, not having him here on the settee to snuggle up to. Especially as the weather is so cold here. Just keep doing the next thing, dont plan ahead and let the tears come. I lay in bed last night crying over what seem to me to be insurmountable problems. Some days you just cant seem to cope with it all. Keep coming on this site and let it all out, I use it alot. We are all here supporting each other - try to live in seconds, minutes and hours - it really is tough.

love, Sue

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Thank you so much for your reply. I seem to be just existing instead of living a life. I am trying to get packed up to move and when I come across anything of my husbands it is agony. Ijust can't get rid of anything of his yet, I don't want to let it go. When the time will be I just don't know so it is all going with me. I am sorry you lost your soulmate too, it is a horrible thing to be so alone. I know crying is supposed to be good for you but it seems to be so much of it. I would like one day to go to bed without crying and to get up without crying too. Maybe then I will feel better. But at odd times when I do feel a bit better - with friends etc- I feel guilty about it. I hope you keepin touch and also hope tha others may contact me as well. At least you all know what I am going through.

thanks again

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I am so sorry for your loss. It is so very painful and your emotions are totally out of control. I can reassure you that it does get better. It takes time....lots and lots of time. You NEED to cry, to feel the loss and the pain.

My husband of 39 years has been gone 4 years this month. I believe I am becoming somewhat "used" to the feelings of loss, loneliness, being overwhelmed, and having to deal with life alone. It still hurts, but I think that I have felt the pain now for so long that it doesn't surprise me anymore, it's just part of my life without him.

Yes, I do still have really bad days. But, I have learned to just accept the feelings, go ahead and cry or whatever, because I know I will make it through.

This is a great site. There are always caring, compassionate, understanding people here who will listen, not judge, and share their experiences. There is comfort in knowing that we are not alone, we all continue this journey.

Don't make too many big decisions to soon, give yourself some time to regain you footing.

Anne

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I hope you will find some comfort here, we all understand the loss and the pain. Give yourself time to heal physically and emotionally or you will get worn down and that doesn't help at all. I think sharing your feelings will always benefit you. It all takes time and not wanting to live without him, I perfectly understand. I'm so sorry, Deborah

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Alone,

I am so sorry you lost your husband. You asked if it gets any better, yes, I have to say it does in ways, although in ways it doesn't. It's been almost seven years for me and I have gotten more used to it and am okay with living alone now for the most part although I do get lonely sometimes. The missing him never goes away though.

I'm sorry you're going through physical problems at the same time, that's a lot to have on your plate. I hope you will continue to come here.

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You will find good people here and lots of support. My husband died almost 2 years ago and it feels like yesterday...and a century ago at the same time. It DOES change...the pain changes over time...I guess as Anne says we learn how to integrate it in our lives and we know we will survive. I cry a little bit or a lot most days; the loneliness is very tough; but we do go on...give yourselves time, no big decisions that can be postponed; a day at a time...and come here for support. I was also in a spousal loss group and that helped some; did some individual sessions also and that helped more. We are here for you...Mary

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Dear Alone, I am so very sorry for your loss, and that you are now on this journey with us.

I lost my husband just over two years ago. I was in the hospital 1 1/2 hours from our home, having had a total knee replacement two days before, when he died of a massive coronary, alone, with our dogs surrounding him. They tell me it was over in a second, but he lay alone for hours before our daughter found him. I think I was in such total shock for the first few months, on medication, that it really did not hit me until later. I miss him every day.

Does it get better? It does get easier, now after over two years, I am starting to find my way again. I will never be the same person, nor will you be. We all have to find a new normal, whatever that is. The people on this site have been wonderful. We have all been where you are, and still are there, in varying stages. Many people here have such wisdom, and compassion. They have helped me through many ups and downs of this journey. I hope you keep coming here, it has been a lifeline for me.

Be good to yourself, eat well, and try to get lots of sleep, you need all the strength you can get right now. The physical problems you face right now, make it worse. I was on pain meds., therapy for months after Mike died. I could not drive for months, but was fortunate that my daughter was able to just move in with me for a few months. She made me do my therapy at home, drove me to the hospital for therapy, made me eat, I am not sure I would have made it without her. Just know you are not alone, and you can rant, rave, rage on this site, and we understand.

Take care

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Thank you all for your helpful and understanding replies. When I got up this morning I suddenly realised that Steve won't be coming home anymore. Of course floods of tears followed that revelation but I know now that I have to somehow just get on with it - it being life of some sort. I doubt the pain will ever leave or the constant missing him. I used to keep a journal and everything we did and everywhere we went was recorded. I stopped when we wer in the hospital for the last 3 days of his life. One day I hope to continue but first I will have to have the courage and mood (?) to record the past few months. I had thought that my back problems were muscle related and had continued to help Steve, pushing the wheelchair and doing the daily jobs. It wasn't until I had spasms (which the hospital doctors said were like the ones in the film The Exorcist) that I went to the hospital. After MRI and X rays I was told I had been walking around continuing with all I had to do with a broken vertebrae. I was operated on the nexst day wilst my husband lay in the morgue of the same hospital. It was an awful experience as I had to have only local anaesthetic to ensure I could move my legs and feet whilst they operated. thank goodness it went well because 2 days after leaving the hospital I went to Steve's funeral. Now with moving on Wednesday and packing every day being careful not to damage my back I sometimes wonder what else life has in store - or if I even want it at all. my husband was the only person that I could love like I do, we were friends and then a couple and could practically read each others mind. So I suppose I must resign myself to being alone now. IEveryone says it gets better but I can't imagine the pain and wanting going away. Of course I know have to content with so many forms for insurance etc that it is mind boggling. I wish you all well and thank you for your replies.

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Dear Alone Now,

You have been through so so much including surgery at a critical time. I think when people, including me, say it gets better we mean that we learn somehow to live with it and it feels different. I will miss Bill as long as I live. I will grieve his death forever. At the same time, I now know I will survive...I find grief coming in waves I call tsunamis. But every time I go through one, I realize it will not destroy me. I cry whenever I need to, I listen to what I need to do and most, not all, times I honor that. My exhaustion is still with me after 4 years of caregiving and almost two years of grieving. It is exhausting to walk in two worlds and feel like two people. I urge you to take it slowly as others have said. Listen to YOUR needs and don't worry about what others think is best for you. you know what you need. It is a painful lonely journey and we are all here for you.

Peace...at least a glimpse of it today

Mary

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Alone,

I think for the most part the pain gradually lessens until you don't notice it any more, but the missing them, the loving them, that is with us always, we learn to carry it inside our hearts. I reach inside for my husband's encouragement and comfort whenever I need it, but it took me a long time to learn to do that.

I started a "letters to George" file in my computer after he died, and when I need to talk to him (we told each other everything), I write it out there. It helps.

Do you have someone with you or nearby, a child or friend perhaps? My daughter came and stayed with me but after 2-3 weeks I was on my own most of the time, I didn't feel ready to be but my son was in the Air Force so just had a short leave and had to go back.

It helps tremendously, coming here, as here you will find people who understand, who have walked where you walk. A lot of people get help through hospice, grief counselors, meetings but I live in the country so there's nothing nearby. I did see a grief counselor briefly but didn't feel he was a good selection because he hadn't been through it and his advice seemed inappropriate. Most have had better luck with theirs. This is the place that really saved me.

Just know that everything you feel is normal, and many of the feelings can be conflicting yet you experience all kinds at once. That too is normal. Try not to do too much at once. It's really regrettable that in our society so much seems required when we seem least able to give it (going back to work, planning a service, dealing with bills, cleaning out things, etc.) It helps to put off what you can until you're more ready and then enlist a friend or someone's help when you decide to tackle it. I took on too much alone, too soon.

(((hugs)))

Kay

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Thank you Kay, it is better knowing that other people have gone through, or are going through the same thing. I have put off dealing with the closure of our business. I can't do it alone and the Turkish law means I can't sell it as my husband's signature is needed!!!! I will see about all that after I have settled a bit in the new apartment. The accountant lives a 4 hour drive away so it means I have to hire a car that a friend can drive and it is along day. I am hoping the paperwork can be sorted in a day but knowing this country I doubt it. We did so love living here and I am not sure whether I will stay or go back to England. Of course the family want me to go back but |I can't decide on that yet, one day my mind is one way and the next the other. All very confusing but that seems to be life at the moment. I think the letters are a wonderful idea and one I might poach from you in due course. I talk to Steve a lot and sometimes hear in my mind his voice. It takes ages typing this as I have to keep stopping to wipe eyes/nose! I am sure you have done the same. Emails to friends, especially those abroad that haven't heard and send asking how we both are, are very difficult and takes me a long time to reply. I suppose it is a good job I can't go back to England on a whim - the business and inheritance legalities will keep me here for at least a year. I can't afford to fly there and back to keep signing papers and seeing lawyers etc.

I will never stop loving and needing Steve and as you say the crying will calm down with time I suppose. We had a good life together and were obviously meant to be together, as time proved. I just so wish he was still here with me to enjoy many more years. Life is so cruel at times isn't it? Thank you again, Sandra

Thank you all for your support, I appreciate being able to 'talk' to you all. I hope you all get through this and with the help of each other I am think we may.

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Dear Alone,

Saturday will be 14 months out from wife's death--and I remember too clearly the pain you are feeling right now. I am so sorry for your loss and wish there were some way you did not have to experience it.

The others have given you really good advice. I will only add that you need to take care of yourself physically as well as emotionally. That means eating regularly and healthily. It means getting some bit of physical exercise every day. And it means keeping yourself hydrated--drink lots of liquids. Sleep is also important--though particularly hard to get in the time you are in just now. When we take care of the body the mind tends to follow. If I ignore any one of those things for more than a day or two my mind goes south for a few days. Grief is nasty enough without compounding it with physical problems that can make the grief worse.

This is a good place that will help you heal. The people are kind and know where you have been--or are experiencing it now. When you cry, we will hear you. When you need comforting we will comfort you.

Stay safe and stay well.

Peace,

Harry

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Yes I say amen to that! When I lost George, I didn't care if I ate or not, and sleep seemed out of the question, but I soon realized that taking care of myself was one thing I could control, so it felt good to have some degree of power restored to me at a time when I felt all power had been stripped from me. No one asked if I wanted to lose my husband, no one asked if I wanted my life turned upsidedown, my income cut in half, my best friend a soulmate gone, so I learned to take care of myself as best as I could, walking twice a day, eating healthy, whether I felt like it or not, drinking plenty of water. I didn't take any sleeping aids but in looking back, I think it would have helped if I had, there are some that are safe and non-addictive, I wish I would have considered it because it's hard for your mind to think straight at a time like this and even less so without sleep.

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Thank you Harry, I know that the people who post on here are kind and have experienced or still are doing so,what I am going through. I did loss 28lb in 2 months but I have learnt that I have to eat properly as I have diabeties and during the time at the hospital with my Husband I experienced my first 'hypo', not pleasant at all and dangerous if not treated. I have not been walking lately due to packing ready to move tomorrow. Unfortunately I may be offline for up to a month, but hope to catch up with you all when I can. If I go to a friends I can use their internet so maybe I will have time to read your posts.

It does help to be able to post whatever I want to you all. Iknow that everything I say is understood and it is helping me. I wish you all peace and take care of yourselves.

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I don't envy you your moving, I hope you have plenty of help. I do hope you don't have to wait a month before checking in here, a library should have a computer too. Our thoughts are with you!

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Well I am up so early, didn't sleep well as the move was on my mind. Thank you all for your surrport and I hope to be able to get online sometimes soon. I feel in a way that I am leaving my husband as he won't have set foot in the apartment I have rented. It is good that I am moving as the memories of him when he was so ill won't be haunting me every time I go into the bathroom or bedroom. I am hoping that one day the good memories will come to the fore and the bad ones receded. I doubt I will ever forget them but if only the good memories wer 'up front' I would have those to see in my mind. I spoke with one the our daughters last night and we were both crying at the same time. She asked if I minded talking of Steve and I said that I wold rather really talk about him than not. She had been avoiding it but now won't. I had thought she was back to her normal life but she isn't, she is having conselling one to one as I am having counselling with you all. She apparently spent the first 2 sessions just crying which is probably good as it gets it all out. I do wish she wasn't suffering so much but at the same time I am glad that I can talk to her so freely. So now I wait for the removal men and put the computer away. Hopefully I will not be cut off from everyone for too long. Kay there is no library for miles and miles but perhaps I can get to an internet cafe. Good luck to you all.

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I am aware that it may be some time before you can log back on and find this and other posts here. Moving right now has to be such a huge challenge for you. I hope it went as smoothly as a move can go and that being in a new place is calming some.

How blessed you are to have a daughter to share your loss with and that she is getting some assistance. We will all continue to be here for you.

Peace in the storm,

Mary

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I am sorry your daughter is suffering but I know it'll strengthen the bond between you. My son deeply grieved George, even though he was his stepfather and entered his life when he was 17, they were very close. It was hard for him because he was in the Air Force when he died, but thankfully out of boot camp and tech school. Those in his office understood. I'm glad your daughter is seeing a counselor. Good luck with your move!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I am glad to be able to communicate with you all again. I am of course still unpacking and things are still going wrong - paperwork for phone, internet, water, electric etc - all things that Steve used to deal with bless him and I hadn't a clue! My back was really bad on moving day and I had to wear my brace all day, but it isn't too bad now. It tells me when I am overdoing things so that I have to rest it. I am going to go to the doctor's for some anti-depressants as I feel so low in the evenings especially, that I feel I can't really cope with all this. Ialso have the accountant for the business on the phone asking me to go and see him, which I can't do yet. It appears that if I don't sell the stock we have and the company closes I loose it all. So I am trying to sell it at a knock down price - just to get back what we paid really. The paperwork seems to go on and on and doesn't help with daily life at all. I am still crying every night and day, I just can't stand the thought of not ever seeing him again for years. It all hurts so much. At least now I don't feel so cut off from the world and I can talk to family in the UK. But I can't say all I feel as I know they would worry too much and keep on at me to go back there to live. That is something I can't do yet even if I wanted due to all the legal 'problems'. My apartment is nice, will be better when all is sorted of course. I havelovely views of mountains and citrus fields and friends close by. I just can't imagine anything getting that much better or feeling any better. This Sunday I am going to cross the river to the graveyard to visit Steve - on the one hand it feels awful and on the other I feelglad that Ican do so. I am going with some friends that I feel very comfortable with as they will be good support. Idon't really relish looking at a mound of earth and knowing that he is there and not with me. Does it help to go? I feel I need to but am not sure how I will be when there.

I hope you are all getting on with your new lives but know you will be struggling at times. Good to be backwith you.

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It's good to hear from you and that you're surviving. Maybe you could take some Ibuprofen when you anticipate a physically taxing day? That's what I do when I'm going to have to shovel snow or stack a lot of wood.

I'm glad you have support with you when you go visit the grave. I had my husband cremated and his ashes are in my back yard, but I like to "visit him" in private. It's whatever you feel most comfortable with that's important.

Dealing with all of that paperwork can be overwhelming when things are going well...to have to do it when you're going through so much is way harder. It will be a relief when it's behind you, won't it? I hope you do recover the money you and your husband put into the business, at least!

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I go to visit my husband's grave this morning, I am have a feeling of dread on the one hand and relief on the other. It is something I want to do and don't want to do. I haven't been able to visit before due to health problems and the weather. To get there I have to go in a row boat across the river. It is alovely graveyard below the King's Tombs and we always said what a lovely resting place that would be.

I think taking a pill when having a hard day is a good idea and my back does let me know when I have done enough, so I have to rest it. I am looking forward to a good result when I have my check up in May and being allowed to use my scooter and perhaps go to yoga etc. Yoga was always a great help tome mentally and physically.

I wish you all a good day.

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I wish you the same. Due to cremation I won't always have that place to go to mourn my loved one (long story). I know it's their remains and not totally them exactly, but still, it still is important in various ways and at the very least gives you a "focal point" for them. I also needed to move so can appreciate the mixed feelings about that and how hard it is in so many ways - I felt guilty as if I was "abandoning her" in some way even though I know it wasn't true. And starting over in so many ways esp as you get older is another hurdle. Jumping all these hurdles you'd think we would be ready for the olympics. Anyway best to you!

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I found visiting the grave a most harrowing emotional experience and am glad that I had two dear friends with me for support. I am glad I have been and I am sure the first time must be the worst so hope to go regularly now. It is not something I had ever thought of = to go and visit my husband's grave. I don't think many people ever wonder what it will be like as you are too happy together to comtemplate such an awful time.

Yes I know exactly how you feel. I have in my will no cremation but as I want to be with my husband when I 'go' and I don'tknow whether I will be in Turkey or the UK when it happens I have decided to change my will to read that if in Turkey I will be buried but if in England then cremation, so that the family can take my ashes and bury them with Steve. At least I know I will be with him eventually. Also my family will have the opportunity to bisit when they go to Turkey. I am sorry you have no 'focal point' but perhaps you could make a sort of shrine in your garden or somewhere which would help you.

Life is odd starting to live alone after so many years as you say. For some reason the thought comes into my mind that I will phone him or he is coming home soon - minds play funny tricks. Iwish you all the best and it does help to post on here I find.

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Till death do us part.pretty haunting words for a wedding day. I never really thought this out.29 yrs.and now what? My dear Kathy was cremated, and I wear a Celtic Cross which contains 1 ounce of her cremains.Makes me feel close. I will spread some in her most memorable spots, and the majority to be mixed with mine and our kids can do whatever they see fit.

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