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How has your loss changed you?

Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

I was thinking about how the loss of my first wife has changed me, if it has at all. I believe so.

Life is different today, certainly than 4 years ago when she died July 29th. I realize many of you have recently lost a loved one and perspectives are subjective, we each have our own way of trying to deal with losses in life. I went through a period of extreme lonliness and anger after she died. Restablishing my identity was very difficult but absolutely necessary for me.

I guess the biggest change I have noticed in myself is not so much an alteration in personality but more insight. I'm aware of when I'm judging others, and when I'm sweating the "Small stuff" that in the big picture aren't that important. Somedays I'm successful and others not as much as I would like, but its okay.

I stop and take notice. I still laugh, show my wicked sense of humor, embarass my family with it,  but as I said, I believe its more of an inner change.

At the risk of sounding blunt and forgive me if I am, I will address this in the first person. I had to realize painfully, that I did not die. I am still alive. Rather than feel survivors guilt (went through that too) I have a gift. A gift of honoring my departed one by giving to others, to be the complete person God intended me to be. Its on ongoing journey to be sure. But life is good, painful, mysterious and I am living it, today.

Thanks for letting me share.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I read this several days ago but wanted to think about my answer. I have often said that if I live as well as he died, I will be a better person. Doug lived for 6  years after his dx. During that time he endured several surgeries, chemo, and radiation. He never asked, "Why me?" He tried to live in the now, and, "Let it go, dear" was a phrase he often said to me. I was his primary caregiver. We called hospice toward the end, and he died at home. Nothing was left unsaid. We shared. We talked about my future without him. I assured him that I was a strong, independent woman and would be ok. 

So, how have I changed? Like you I have become more compassionate and giving. I do try to let the little things go. I am also more forgiving of others, and more importantly, of myself. Am I perfect? No! I am still a work in progress. Perhaps, the most important thing I learned was that when we are gone, what is left here are the memories. I have great memories of my husband and our lives together. One of my goals now is to continue to make memories for and with my children, grandchildren and friends. Life is too short, no matter how long it is. I have my bucket list which seems to grow bigger rather than shorter as I check things off. I am continually trying to be that strong, independent woman I told him I was. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't. Life is different. I'm not looking for a man to share my life, but I am open to that. I would love to have the companionship, sharing and love of a partner. I don't need it, though. I am content with my life  Sometimes, I am aware that, even after almost five years, I am still grieving. I think I will always feel the loss. 42 years of marriage, complete with all it's ups and downs, will always be a part of me. He will always be a part of me. 

Ok, i could go on, but I'm not going to do so. You get the idea. Life changes. We change. In the scheme of things, our lives here on earth are short. We need to just do our best and strive to be the best people we can. Blessing everyone, Fay

Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2010

It turned me into a robot.

I get up,  eat a light breakfast and do some chores(indoors).  Eat lunch, do  some outdoor chores.  These chores are those of the mandatory type.

I take a shower, listen to news as I fix dinner.  I read the paper / watch tv for about an hour and it's lights out.


.....and so it goes.


sharpy102's picture
Posts: 370
Joined: Apr 2009

Apart from the first two years of depressing and madness, I have changed as well, and inside. I care less about the negative thoughts/opinions people have about me. I did become more selfish and instead of trying to be who people want me to be, I am who I am and what makes me happy. I show more support, and understanding towards people instead of judging them. I want to show them that if no one else, I care and willing to listen if they need to cry to someone. I also learned what my responsiblity in this world is. Go to college one day, then graduate school and find myself doing cancer research. Everything I do is around this goal. This is my job, this is my duty. Getting there! :)

Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

Thank you for your honest answers to a rather tough question!

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