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I am not very good at this grieving business

onlyhuman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

Today is 8months since I lost my husband and I am beginning to fall apart. I have spent the last 8 months getting my girls and me a roof over our heads and getting us some financial security. We have moved into a new home and my new job is going well. Maybe its because I am not running around trying to fix things that I am beginning to process it all. I watched him die and was there for his last hours and minutes yet I find some part of me thinks he'll walk through the door one day. At this time last year we started what I call the beginning of the end and maybe that's why I am a little emotional at the moment. It just hurts so much. I have held on tightly to his memory and that has got me through the last 8 months but I know that I will have to let him go emotionally so we can all heal.
Increasingly I have been thinking about the future and at the moment it seems to be filled with more monotony. Days and years of dropping the girls at school, rushing to work, finishing the work day, rushing to pick them up and then spending weekends getting ready for the week. Yes i know thats most people's life. It just seems very colourless at the moment because I nolonger have my soulmate to come home to.
I dont know if I am brave enough to face my grief. I seem very good at keeping it at bay.
I dont want to hurt anymore. I dont want to be tired anymore.
I want it all to make sense again.
sigh.

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

People tell me I'm doing well. And maybe it looks like that. And sometimes I may actually be getting thru things all right, but sometimes it feels sad if I am. Because the years we had together were the best of my life.

I tell the oldest (42) that things will get to be normal again, but that it won't be the same normal. I am working on getting the house settled and it looks fine, but it doesn't look like it did when he was with me. Occasionally I wonder if I'll finish the house and wander around in it like a restless ghost.

I tell people that if you have a huge hole in your life, sometimes you're going to fall in. Unfortunately someone I have been friendly with for years just told me she was glad I don't sound like a raving maniac anymore. Well, I guess some people don't understand how desperately sad I get from time to time.

The oldest asked the other day how I could be so strong. I said I wasn't. What I didn't tell her was that even though she's an adult, she's still Don's child and I grew up understanding that adults didn't lean on their kids; their job was to be supportive and encouraging. And, in truth, although she asks briefly how I am, one sentence later it's how she is.

I think that you don't have to be brave. YOu just have to endure the best you can. Some days will be better than others. Some days you'll say, "The only way this could have been better is if he were here with me." Other days the best you can do is weather thru, make cookies for the girls and remember that he still loves you. He may not be there to talk to or hug or hold hands or laugh with, but his love will never die.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

Again?

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

I have been told by friends who have lost spouses that the hardest time is several months after the loss. Others are moving on, life happens and some think we are all better now. Well, we're not. Somedays will be better than others, but our loss is still there and still very real. I am glad that you are posting again and expressing some of your grief. You have been so busy with the move and everything that you really haven't been able to take some time for yourself. I don't think we ever let our loved one go. We do learn to move forward with our memories. Doug will always be a part of my life. My time with him is a part of who I am. You will eventually find a new rhythm for your life and your girls. Being a single mother is a really tough job, but I am sure that you are doing an amazing job. The move alone had to be really hard, but you did it. I think it is important for us to celebrate our small achievements as well as our big ones. Making a decision by ourselves, buying big ticket items without consultation, going to dinner or lunch out by ourselves or with our children. Each time we do these things we are moving forward. Not being able to share our lives with our spouse is for me the hardest thing to get used to. That was a big part of our relationship, the sharing of jokes, achievements, problems with the kids, ideas, pain, etc. So many times, I think wouldn't Doug have enjoyed this, wouldn't he have been proud of something a grandchild does, or he would have laughed so hard. Memories and love do not go away ever. We take them with us forward and you are moving forward. Don't worry too much about the future right now. Try to set some time aside each weekend to do something fun like cooking with your girls, going for ice cream or pizza, taking a walk, or gardening if you like that. Just make the time to be with those girls. They will grow up faster than you can imagine. Take care, Fay

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grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

I have no idea why this did this

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grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

What I said was not really good enough to be repeated!

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grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

Double post!

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angelsbaby
Posts: 1161
Joined: May 2008

been 16 months since my husband died and i cry everyday I go to work pay my bills clean my house but i still cry and i miss him so much . there is no time table as to when things get better.It is hard to go on but i must for myself and my kids and grandkids and angel would want me to.I hope someday we will all find peace.

michelle

david54
Posts: 115
Joined: Apr 2009

I guess its time for me to seek solace on this part of the support network. My wife died July 29th-it's harder to adjust to being without her than I had anticipated. I had a role, a purpose when she was being treated for cancer, now I go home to an empty house and her footprints are all over the place. Lives (My emotions) were traveling at 100 mph a few weeks ago and now everything seems to have come to a crawl. I feel a bit like a piece of driftwood after a huge storm, trying to find my compass. This August 26th would have been 32 years of marriage. I miss her a lot. I miss her telling me not to wear my shoes in the house, to empty the garbage, not to leave my toothpaste on the sink. I miss when we went out to eat and she would eyeball my meal and taste it, then bat her eyes and ask to trade meals while I feigned annoyance. I thought the process of her cancer was hard, yet now I have to deal with the added pain of her absence.

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

I am right there with all of you...life does go on and there are things that need doing...but running in the background of all of that is the basic fact that no matter how we try to normalize ourselves...life will just never be as it was before.
I think back on our marriage which had it hills and valleys...its all of the moments that we shared that are ringing in my head...I miss him !
There is no where I can go that there is not something that brings Bill into my head... but I am finding comfort in those moments now.
There are still channels on the TV that I cannot watch...there are still grocery items I cannot buy....and on occasion when I am quiet..I can still hear him.
Your so right David...dealing with the cancer has now taken a backseat to living without him and for me thats proving to be more difficult...I knew the cancer...knew what was around the corner...knew each step along the path... but this grieving process is foriegn and painful...its a whole new process.

closs86
Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2010

So sorry for your loss david, I think you are still in the fog, that seems to be a protection for our emotions, and it lasts for a while, and thank goodness for it, I also lost my husband April 6, to cancer, and even though it was a whirlwind and I knew what they were saying, I don't think I really heard them. I miss him every minute of every day, I think he will be home any time now, but I know that it is not really going to happen. I dream of him, I feel his presence, and I know that he is with me every second, and guides me in my decisions, and helps me do things that i never had to do before, I wish all the time that this is a nightmare, and that I will wake up soon, I guess when it is my time to go it will be the end of the nightmare, when we can be together again.
It is not an easy road, it is very difficult, it is like a roller coaster, I wish you peace.
Take care
Karen

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grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

I am sorry for your loss and had followed your story on some of the other threads. I would say welcome, but none of us really want or ever wanted to be here. These first few weeks do seem to pass in somewhat a fog. One book I read called it the "fog of grief." it is helpful, but it can also be frustrating at times. The number of times I walked into a room and couldn't remember why I was there was very frustrating. Moving forward is difficult and most of us find that taking one step at a time is the best we can do. Those of us in long time marriages expected to spend our old ages together. Now our plans for the future are murky at best. We need to adjust to very different new normals. Take care of yourself now. Cut yourself some slack over the next few weeks and months. Crying seems to come easier for many of us and we never know what might set it off. Holding you in my prayers, Fay
P.S. I see from another thread that you are from CA, too. Chico is a nice area.q

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filimu
Posts: 74
Joined: Aug 2010

I lost my husband 5 years ago, and I remember those first months...my life, as has yours, had just ended. How could all the other people in the world keep acting like nothing had happened? Like things were totally normal? I wanted to scream at everyone in the grocery store, or at the gas station, or wherever I had to go, and I didn't WANT to go anywhere. I just wanted to pull a blanket over my head and never get up again. But there are so many things that will keep you busy those first few months, that your are almost distracted from the total impact of your situation, except when your are at home, alone in the evening. All the tawdry details of wrapping up the paperwork of someone's existance, notifying everyone, arranging everything...it carrys you for a while. Then, suddenly, it's all done, and you realize, it's just you. And that's when it hit me like a brick.

The funeral home I used had a grief counseling group that I joined, and that helped some, but mostly, it was just time. Time to realize that I needed to remember the good memories, not the bad ones. That he would always be with me as long as I did. That he wanted me to be well, to be able to go on, to survive and eventually be happy again.

Four years after his death, I met a man I found I could love again. And 2 months after I met him, I had a bad mammogram result. Two months after that, it was diagnosed as cancer, and this whole year has been a whirlwind of several surgeries and doctor visits, but for now, they tell me I'm fine, they got it all. And this man, as new as he was in my life, never left my side. We're engaged now. (He's a cancer survivor as well!)

I like to think my late husband was watching out for me, and sent me somebody to help me and love me when he knew I'd need it most. I do believe in angels.

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

It was four months last Friday. I've just been told by a frank friend that my exhaustion is my own fault because I get in the car and go somewhere on Saturdays instead of resting (well, Saturdays turn into very bad days unless I see something different than the house.). She said I was avoiding grieving. I don't know how you do that.

But what she said did hurt.

From her point of view I just need to have one great crying, screaming session and get it over with. I wish I could. She doesn't seem to understand that I have done several of those and they didn't get it over with.

She says she thinks I don't know how to enjoy life. I should be more happy now. I haven't given him over to God. Etc.

Welllllll, I am having a rough time in some ways. Eating and sleeping aren't my best things. But I'm fixing the house up and getting up every day and going to work and planning a new painting. The house is lonely with just me to rattle around and there aren't any friends calling or coming over, but I do visit people occasionally with little flower arrangements or muffins. I do laugh over things from time to time.

I guess I don't expect to "get over" this as quickly as she thinks I should. And if I did get over it quickly, I would be surprised.

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grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

If frank means without a clue, then it might apply to this friend. There is no time limit for grief or any right way to grieve. I had one friend who just finished a masters in counseling tell me that it would be really sad if we lost our soul mates and didn't feel sad for a long time. I know that a part of me will always miss Doug. He was the most important person in my life for over40 years. You don't just get over that. I too find the house very lonely at times. Your friend is not the one who has to come home to that empty house. I often leave the tv on just for the noise. I have never done that before. Our lives have changed dramatically. Another friend who lost his spouse to cancer told me that everyone else goes back to their own lives. We are the ones who feel like we were run over by a Mac truck. Half of us is gone. We will learn how to live with that. You are moving forward. I know your husband would understand your grief and would be very proud of you. Take care, Fay

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Thank you for saying what I didn't -- that if I got over this right away, I'd not only be surprised, I'd be sad that the best thing in my life meant so little that I got right back to "normal" quickly.

When my sister's husband died, she told me a lot more about herself than she realized. She told the minister that it would be a very small funeral and he replied, no, it's going to be a huge funeral. And she said, no, it will be very small. Well, it was huge and -- she tells me this -- people came up to her and said they'd miss him because he had always done this and been that. It was allllll news to her. She had lived with him for almost 50 years and didn't know him at all. A few months later people who knew her said that it was a good thing to get on with her life, but maybe not as quickly as she was.

Don will always be a part of my life. My friend pointed out critically that I still speak of him a lot in the present tense. That doesn't seem odd to me. He is still very much with me and always will be. I don't see how it could be any other way.

It's a blessing to know there are other people who do understand. I never realized how many people don't.

onlyhuman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

Ruthelizabeth I agree with Fay, your friend sounds more clueless than frank. I can relate to what you are saying. One of my close friends keeps trying to give me grief advice but doesn't realise how hollow her words sound.
I too refer to my husband as if he were still around but I dont see how it would make things any different if instead I started referring to him as my late husband.
I still wear my wedding ring because that feels right for me but I know it has some of my friends concerned.
Now that its 8 months since hubby's passing some of my girlfriends think its ok to grumble about their husbands to me. Its become - lets move on to their problems - because apparently mine ended when hubby died.
Clueless does not even begin to describe it!

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

I recently ended a long time friendship with a gal..who thought it was ok for her to moan and groan about her husband not spending enough time with her..not caring about her..blah..blah..blah...she did this way too often and it made me uncomfortable.
I finally told her flat out that at least her husband still has a pulse and she does not go to bed alone....she didn't like my calling her out on her behavior...and basically I told her to contact me when she can show both me and my late husband respect.
She has yet to speak to me and I see her everyday at work...oh well...maybe it was not a real friendship to begin with.
People just don't get it...my grief has no beginning or end....its just my day to day....I function well and I think thats what throws them off...I am not cowered in a corner...I am functioning and darn well if I do say so myself....and this is because of Bill and the relationship we had.
People need to get a grip...

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Bingles, have you ever seen "Calendar Girls"? It's about British women who make a calendar to benefit the local cancer center where one's husband died. At the end one of the two main characters is enthusing about all the money they made and the widow says that she would give every last cent of it for one more hour with her husband and adds, "YOu have a wonderful husband. What are you doing here when you could be with him?"

That comment said it all to me. I too have friends who complain about their husbands and it amazes me.

And it amazes me, too, when people assume I'll be available for someone else soon (not to mention the man whom I barely knew who offered me his sympathy on Don's death -- it had been two months and he knew that -- and then asked me out!). It's as if husbands are interchangeable.

Yes, it's terribly lonely, but people seem to think that anyone can fill the emptiness and as soon as possible.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

I read these posts and have decided that we are all awesome. We are moving on with our lives and doing what needs to be done even with our grief. I, too, still wear my rings. It is what seems right for now. I, too, sometimes want to point out to those negative people who want to complain about their husbands that they still have husbands. Then I remember I used to complain occasionally about the little things as well. I am trying to live Doug's just let it go, dear philosophy now. Most of the time I am succeeding, too. I am building my new normal, and that is what I hear all of you saying. That normal includes grief. I don't think we will ever just get over it, but we will learn to live with it. Someday we may find someone new, right now I can't imagine that but it does happen. I have two friends who both lost their spouses to cancer and met in the cemetery (long story). That won't change the love we have or the pain we have felt for our spouses. It will always be a part of us. Yet we go forward. We really are awesome! Fay

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Don loved his kids so much that dinners for two became dinners for three and four. The youngest came on the honeymoon with us. (Hey, I loved him and I thought it would work. How was I to know she'd beat me up the morning we were leaving? It was an amazing trip.) I cried a whole lot sometimes. I did understand that he loved his kids and I tried my darndest to view it in a good light. And, no, he didn't really understand how I felt. It took a couple of years before he began to spend more time alone with me.

But I was always available for him and I always loved him. I never criticized little things because he was really so good to me. It continues to floor me when I hear women complaining that their husbands do the laundry the wrong way. I have a friend whose husband is not supposed to touch alchohol for serious medical reasons; her comment: I hate to lose a partner for my evening cocktail, but in a week or so he'll have one with me. Her desire for someone to drink with is more important than his health.

For some people there's a distinct lack of respect or cherishing that makes me wonder if marriage means the same thing to them as it does to me. And often there's a genuine tone of dislike or antagonism or sarcasm that is really painful to hear.

And for four months I've been wearing Don's ring with my wedding and engagement rings. It's a little loose, but it fits just fine.

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

We have all come a long ways in a little time....if anyone had told me almost four months ago that I would be back working and being productive I never would have believed it....I just knew I was going to crawl into the fetal position and grieve the loss of the better part of myself...but I found out that I am strong...and I will move forward.
About that meeting someone thing....nah...not likely...Bill was my one and only and even now I don't mind doing things alone...I have him with me anyways....and no guy will ever measure up to him...now were he here he would totally deny that...humble was his middle name....
But Fay love the story about the couple meeting in a cemetary..thats unique to say the least....but there is a couple in my berevement group that met there and are dating...each to their own.
But yes we are all totally awesome...this site really helped me to connect with others in my same boat.
Pat

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

Ok, I did not mean that we were going to go right out and find a new man ( or woman in David's case), I certainly can't imagine doing that. I just meant that I am not going to close out any possibilities. I also don't think we can ever replace the people we had in our lives. In my case, Doug and I were married for 42 years and knew each other 3 years before that. We married when we were 21, grew up together and raised two wonderful boys. Our marriage and life together is part of me. In many ways it defines who I am today. That will never change, but life throws us many curves. I never expected to be a widow at 63 either. At 40 I went back to school and got my teaching credential. A friend of mine who is actually a bit older is now attending seminary. She hadn't expected the call to ministry at this age. I plan to take life one step at a time and stay open to all the possibilities it has to offer. That is how Doug would have wanted me to live. He was my strongest cheerleader when I went back to school. He wanted me to push beyond my comfort zone. I am doing that in so many ways because much of my comfort zone included him. Now I am on my own. We are indeed awesome and strong. We didn't plan to be, but we are. Fay

onlyhuman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

Fay
I agree with you on the matter of new opportunities.

My husband was also my only boyfriend. I thought we would grow old together. I never expected to lose him after only 11 years of marriage. I definitely never thought I'd be a widow at 36. He used to joke about me moving on and that hurt me a lot because I always thought of myself as a one man woman. After he passed, I was convinced I would spend the rest of my life focussed on my girls and my interests. Over the last month or so I have come to realise that that may not be the case. I can't know what will come my way. I may fall in love again or at the very least find another best friend. I am not currently looking but some day I might be found.
I have done things this year I never thought I'd be able to and like you I celebrate these little accomplishments. Who knows what other amazing things I will get to do.

Hubby will always be a part of me but I am going to let that be the part of me that spurs me into action and gets me to live life.

Sangeeta

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

You are a real inspiration to me. I think being a single parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. I love your last line. Fay

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