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How long does it take???

Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Just wondering, how long does it take before the tears stop? It's been 18 months since I lost my hubby, Tom. Now here it is, getting near to the holiday season again & I'm getting that empty feeling again. Just came back from Kohl's & when I saw they had Christmas decorations up, the tears started again & I had to get out of the store. This will be the second Christmas without him & yet I can't wait till it's over. I try to be strong for my kids & grandkids, but it's so hard not to cry when tears are filling up in my eyes. Both my mom & dad died in Dec., one before Christmas & one after so it's been hard ever since. But always had Tom to pull me through when he put his arms around me & said "honey, it'll be okay". Now he's not here and I am having a hard time going on without his support.
Do any of you feel the same way & what the heck can we do to get past this???

lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

that you're going through all this. Life just sucks sometimes, doesn't it? I wish I could tell you that there was some 'defined timeline' when you'll feel better - or something you can do to feel better. I call it a roller coaster ride with no brakes! Some days you seem to make it through pretty well - then the next, you're hurtling toward the bottom again. I lost my two brothers to cancer - both within 10 months (while I had just gotten my own cancer diagnosis). It's been 3 years and I still have moments.

Have you thought of (or been to) any support groups? Or some professional grief counseling? I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you with children you need (or feel you need) to be strong for.

Please know that you're not alone. And I'm glad you posted here. It's a safe place to vent.

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Carole,

I don't think there is such a thing as a "correct" amount of time for
someone to process grief - it's very individual. Special occasions
can realy be tough to deal with.

I found this really good video which I hope will be helpful.
I think you'll recognize some of yourself in the presentation
and realize you have probably made more progress through
this than you think.


It covers these topics:

How do I move past my grief in a healthy way?
What is 'journaling' and how can it help me grieve?
What are some common 'triggers' of grief?
How do I get through the holidays without my loved one?
Is it healthy to hang on to my loved one's belongings?
How do I fill the gap my loved one has left in my life?
How long is considered 'too long' to grieve?

Just remember you are human and what you are experiencing is normal.
You are always welcome here.

Big hugs,


bluerose's picture
Posts: 1102
Joined: Jul 2009

I wish I had a short fix for what your going through but unfortunately no one does. Big celebration times on the calendars are extra hard when dealing with loss, Christmases, birthdays, Thanksgivings - all the good times we used to share with our loved ones who might have passed on. So if it is any comfort to you you are certainly not alone in feeling down especially around Xmas when it's all around you for so long, so many reminders.

I am a cancer survivor but know loss in many ways for myself and others on these boards and I know how hard it is. For me I found a good counsellor who specialized in grief counselling and that got me through the first few Christmases and other holidays. You might try finding a good counsellor through your family doctor.

You said that your husband always got you through the tough times but now perhaps you can turn yourself around a little in a positive way by being there for your kids. I know that my kids were the reasons I continued surviving, they needed me and by helping them it helped me too. Sometimes we get lost in our grief and don't see the answers that could be right in front of us.

Other than those things I guess it's just about time. It's a cliche but it's true, time does heal. It has for many of us on these boards.

Keep us posted and keep writing, that is good therapy too.



AnneBehymer's picture
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

I think in some way there will always be tears he was the love of your life taken way to soon. I am sorry for you loss and will be praying for you.


Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

Dear Carole, I lost my husband to cancer 20yrs ago. He was 48 and I was 45. I still miss him very much and cry during the holidays. The unbearable pain is now a deep aching feeling. For my 3 kids and myself, we needed to find something positive. So, we decided to always talk about him.....try to enjoy the happy times we had, things we did, and Dad's funny sayings. There isn't a get together that he isn't included. Now that I have cancer, I know that when I am gone, my kids will be able to get through the tuff days ok. Dealing with the loss of a loved one and being able to move on is different for everyone. I just wanted to share with you how we chose to do this. You will make it through this, God is with you.

Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I just read your post today.I'm so sorry to hear that you're now dealing with cancer yourself. That made me think and I promise that from this day on I will try to be strong and move on. Somedays I do really good, then it seems to fall apart on other days. Tom & I were married for 46 years. We had gone together 4 years before we got married. And we also knew each other since 1st grade, can you believe that???
I guess if we had a good marriage, we'll never forget our guys, right? But have to remember all the happy times we had together & try to move on.
Thanks again for your comment. Good luck to you with your illness. "Carole"

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