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We Survived The "firsts" But What About The "seconds"?

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My children and I made it through the first of things since my husband died. We got through the holidays, the worst winter we have had in a long time, the loss of one of our pets, graduation and grad party of my oldest, and through the whole first year in general. I feel now that the second year might be tougher than the first year. I think we spent the first year going through everything in a daze (especially the holidays as they were one right after the other after he died). I have mentioned to some people how I think this year might be tougher than last year and they all act like I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. The "you made it through the firsts and that is what matters the most" is what I hear. This makes me want to scream! Is this normal to feel that the second is going to hurt more than the first?

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I am so sorry for your loss. You have had a very busy year. Often times there are so very many things to do those first months of loss. You are right in saying that we accomplish most of those things in a daze.

Comments made by people like "you made it through the firsts and that is what matters the most" do not have a clue about the grieving process. Often these things are said in good faith but they still are very hurtful especially when we do not feel that way at all.

This article written by our moderator, Marty, may help you. It did me.

grief in the second year ~ finding your way



ps - Marty just posted what I did. :)

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Dear Gracie,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I can understand how the first year, with all the "firsts" can take away from our opportunity to grieve as we need. And your year sounds as though you were very busy taking care of many things.

I am glad Marty and Anne posted the link to the article. I know you will find it helpful. Welcome here, and I know others will be along to check in with you soon.

My sincere sympathy, and I hope you find some times of peace and healing through this time of year.

Kindest Regards,


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I am sorry you lost your husband. What you wrote is what so many people have written. It is very common for people to feel the second year is harder than the first for the very reasons you described. Often in the first year we are in a fog, plus we sometimes have people around at first, but then they go back to their lives and we're left dealing with our "new life". For me the intensity was stronger the first year and it's a "year of firsts" I would never want to repeat, and I felt a sense of having survived when I made it through it, like I earned a badge or something. The second year started "the rest of my life" as I knew it. Not all feel the second year is worse, but certainly many do.

I hope you don't worry about "what others say" because those "others" are clueless, not having gone through this themselves. (It's so easy to offer advice when you know nothing of what you're talking about!) Pay them the same mind as what you paid for their advice...nothing.

You have found a very safe and healing place here, and I hope you will continue to come back and post here. This place has been my lifeline since losing my husband nine years ago. You see, this is a journey that doesn't end. There is never a time when we stop missing them, but it does continue to get better as we adjust and cope...and learn that we and our responses are indeed normal.

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Thank you for letting me know that this is okay. I have felt that when I try to talk to other people that in the back of their minds they are just thinking I need to move on. I have even been asked if I have started dating yet! Thank you for the 2nd year article~it is exactly how I have felt in this second year.

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