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First Post .... Learning To Deal...

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I lost my father to cancer in 2008. My first child Erik died in utero at 20+ weeks on Jan 22nd 2010. Mother, cancer again, Easter Day 2013. My second child a daughter Lydia, premature birth, lived 3 days; died Aug 23rd 2014. Sister, cancer, November 2014. Wife left me 2 months ago after she attempted suicide twice, once on my birthday and the second time on Christmas day both 2014.

I...had to be strong for the family during my fathers death. Then strong for my wife for our son. Strong again for family with mothers death. Strong for the wife again for our daughter. Then for the family once more after my sisters passing. I have never cried for any of them. Have to be strong. Be the rock for everyone, the shoulder to cry on. The anchor.

Now it seems, as I sit in this empty house, that my armor was an illusion. It's tarnished, or worse yet is made of aluminum foil instead of the steel I imagined it to be. If it ever truly existed at all.

I have slowly became more and more distant. Less emotionally present. Effectively driving a wedge in the relationship with my wife. In all of my relationships as a matter of fact; truth be told.

Now....The world is gray and flat. The things I used to enjoy bring no pleasure any longer. Books and movies have no meaning. People are things I avoid...family and friends....I have no contact any longer. I have to deal with people out of necessity now. Work....I sit and eat alone, head down throughout the workday not speaking unless necessary. I have to eat, so I have to go to the store, in and out as quickly as possible. I vomit anytime I have to leave the house, because I know I will have to deal with people.

Eat, sleep and repeat. Day in, day out, no purpose. I don't believe in suicide, not a religious reason....personal ones. It is a chore to live, painful, but it seems that that is what life is. Pain, again and again, with very brief moments of ....peace maybe.

I have no support system. I was the support system. I simply need to get these words...feelings...out in some form or another. For any who may read this, thank you for letting me get this out of my system.



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I am so sorry for all of the losses you have sustained. You have been living in trauma for so long it undoubtedly feels like normal to you. I hope you will come to view this website as a support system, it has been that for me and I honestly don't know how I'd have fared without it. More people will come on here later, it's sometimes a little slow on holiday weekends (just when you most need it, right?).

What you talk about seems normal in grief (no interest in things that once brought you interest and pleasure). It's also common to either avoid being around people or to avoid being alone. It takes a while to learn balance and come out of our comfort zone to bring harmony to our lives once again.

It is my hope for you that you will once again learn to be YOUR greatest support and learn to live not only with peace and harmony, but find some degree of joy in living.

I'm sorry your wife left too. I hope you don't feel you have to continue to "be strong" amid such losses, but it's okay to let down and cry or feel all kinds of emotions at once. We do somehow put one foot in front of the other, because we have to work, have to eat, have to pay bills. But it's okay to allow ourselves times to feel all of the emotion we have. If you are vomiting when you leave the house, it sounds like an extreme anxiety issue, have you seen a doctor for it? I got help for my anxiety once I learned I have GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and it's not temporary but something I've had all my life...it really presented when I went through some very hard places. I've accepted that it is something I'll need the rest of my life and I'm okay with that, esp. since I found treatment that is mild and works well for me. It's something to check into. I hate to see you feeling you need to vomit all the time, that's hard!

You might want to consider grief counseling too, they're trained to guide us through the muddle of grief and help us find direction that we have a hard time seeing on our own.

I'm sure you have been strong but enough is enough for anyone and we all have what feels like our breaking point. Someone pointed out recently that courage is not the absence of fear but proceeding in the face of it...I think all of us here are courageous in our own right.

You have just found one of the best places in the world to be...here on this website. We will be here for you on your journey if you want us to.

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My dear Jon, I am so very sorry for all the losses you've endured, along with all the secondary losses that accompany them. Clearly you are in dire need of the support system you say you do not have. If ever there were a reason to seek professional support, this is it, and now is the time. I urge you to get yourself to a qualified therapist or counselor (one who specializes in grief and loss) as soon as possible. You've been trying to be "the strong one" for far too long, you are bearing way too much all by yourself, and it is not necessary. You need and deserve to have someone who will listen to those words and feelings that you need to get out. Please don't wait any longer. You are worth it, and you deserve it. To get started, please see Finding Grief Support That Is Right For You and Coping With Cumulative Losses

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Jon, I am stunned just reading about all of the loss, pain and sorrow in your life. As men we are taught to be strong and "man up". I pray that you will allow yourself to just feel, express and let out all of this. Writing to my wife regularly has helped me to get these thoughts out of my head. I've experienced deep loss and by God's grace I found this place to share and let out what I'm feeling even when I'm not quite sure what it is i am feeling.

Grief is a process and each one of us deals with it in our own unique way and yet in this group there is a common bond. I don't have answers. I usually just read the new posts each day and pray accordingly. It also helps me to read about others. But your post touched my heart. People here do care about you and will listen. My wife died 138 days ago. We were married for over 25 years. Keep coming back and share, listen, learn and take care of yourself. Many people in this group cared for me in my darkest hours. I have learned that grief is a process that helps me to deal with the loss of my wife. I am still in Shock and Awe. Only beginning to learn how to live each day without my wife's physical presence. Take care of yourself; eat, sleep, rest, learn, seek help, grow, live a day at a time. Shalom

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Jon, I am so very sorry for all your losses, and especially for the loss of your ability to feel your feelings because of all the other losses. You have endured a great deal in only a short while, and I imagine emotional shock as well as emotional trauma have left you numb and removed from your own sense of life.

That you have come here and shared some of your grief and pain with us is a very healthy sign that you are ready to begin healing. And I imagine you will hear the same suggestions from many of us: take care of your physical health; find a grief counselor as soon as you can; find a grief support group; reach out to others who will understand that your "stoic self" served you well but now it is time to heal and to be as compassionate and loving to your tender, hurting heart as you can be.

I am glad you have found this place where people will understand your losses. I lost my husband Doug some time ago, and being here with others who have suffered losses and who understand the grieving journey has been a huge blessing for me.

We will be here for you, and we will be a support system for you. As you move through this time of honoring your own grief and pain, you will find caring people around you here.

I am holding you in my heart and sending healing prayers for you. Blessings and

Peace to Your Heart,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Jon, I'm so very sorry with all your pain and suffering that you had to endure. I understand as men we are to be strong and show no emotions, I was always told that I wasn't strong by my ex-wife when my daughter passed away, She had to be the strong one. I had tried myself to end it all but couldn't go through with it. 8 years later she left me and the kids just walked out of our life. I didn't handle my grief the best way that I could have for many years.

I agree with everyone's advice here wish I wish had this kind of support system in 1993, I will say that I'm very happy and my wife now understands me. I had turned it all around when I went to a professional counselor not 1 but 3 different ones over 3 years

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Thank you so much, rick7389, for sharing your personal experience with seeking professional support. As a counselor myself, I believe such support can change a person's life ~ for the better. I know it takes courage to reach out for such support, but it can make all the difference. I so appreciate your comments, and I hope that Jon will take them to heart.

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Amen to what Marty said. ^

A good counselor definitely changed my life for the better and helped me to find a better perspective when Doug left.

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