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      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie
Andy

Want to share my experience.

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Andy   

I see what you mean, and perhaps I'm not very good at explaining my thoughts. I never meant to imply that our suffering somehow provides insight into how much we love, but I was suggesting that it's the intensity of our suffering that stands as testament to that love, hence the "no cost, no value" sentiment. If the love I shared and recieved from my wife was like a casual acquaintance or good friend, then no doubt this pain would be nothing like I'm experiencing now. And like you, our early years we're much more "normal", full of things that young people do, little road trips, chasing our little girl around, vacations, being in "the moment". A series of events, tied to her childhood, led to a change in her emotional and psychological well being. Without getting to specific, she suffered a psychotic break, and for the last 10 years of her life, my role changed, our marriage changed. I had actually grieved, without realizing it, the "passing" of this life and the transition of this new one. Without hesitation or a second thought, I took my place at her side, held her hand, and did what I had been appointed to do. My emotions have gone through a complex transition through these years, I'm riddled with guilt, remorse, inadequacy, self doubt, anxiety, and helplessness. The sorrow of watching my vibrant, love filled wife, devoted mother, and so enchanting with her magic, change into someone who's daily life would filled with deep, clinical, depression of a ever severe nature. It was with such anguish as I watched my beloved Tracie became something else, still my wife, no diminishing of our love for one another, but unable to express her emotions as she had before, unable (most heartbreaking) to "be" the mom she so desperately wanted to be, to not be a "good" wife (as she often told me), to regress as the years went by. I'm crying now, just thinking of her personal journey, how it must have been for her, how she suffered with her self identity. My reassurances to the contrary, I pray, got through to her, made her realize that regardless of how things were, I loved her no less, I would be there forever. I'd never leave her side, I was HAPPY to just be with her. Our marriage during those years wasn't conventional, it was at times difficult, it was hard for all of us. Mental illness is an isidious creature that has this voracious appetite that NEVER stops. It never relents, it changes form, comes at different directions, keeps assaulting you. My heart broke years before she died, because in some ways (God forgive me for saying so), part of her had already passed. My hope, my fervent desire was that eventually she would come back to me, that through our aging together, spending more time together away from parenting or work, I could help bring back the girl she was, not for me, not for our marriage, but for her. I desperately wanted her mind to be clear, free of demons. My grief started before December 31st, but now the finality of no chance for her "return", no chance for our tomorrow of rediscovery, is real. My hope is gone. I hate myself for missing her while she was here, I hate myself for thinking I had some power to heal her, convincing myself that I had a chance. These ideas I have about sorrow and love, life and death, balance of both, you see, they're feeble attempts at trying to grapple with these layers upon layers of complex feelings. Emotions that hit me a thousand different ways everyday. My wife suffered in ways I'll never understand, and she was taken away, after fighting everyday of the last 10 years, winning battle after battle, victory over a desire to give up. And she died. Not because of her long term illnesses, but something completely unexpected. What? How is this possible? What is fair about this? I. Don't. Understand. My miserable attempts at explaining my feelings and ideas are just ways for me to try and create order out of chaos. Forgive me, I'm sorry, I didn't intend to say as much about her personal fight, but I thought it would shed light on one aspect of what I'm feeling and what I'm faced with. 

Thank you and bless you    

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KayC   

Andy,

I think you've conveyed your feelings very well.  You're a very deep loving person, the love you have for your wife is very clear, very beautiful.  I love what you said, 

23 minutes ago, Andy said:

My hope, my fervent desire was that eventually she would come back to me, that through our aging together, spending more time together away from parenting or work, I could help bring back the girl she was, not for me, not for our marriage, but for her.

It is hard for the person that is ridden with illness, they feel their identity changes, I remember my MIL lamenting over that, worrying that her husband wouldn't see her as a woman, but just as a sick person, but I think he always saw her as his wife, as the beautiful bride he married, no matter what changes took place.  Your caring about your wife the way you do really touches me inside.

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KMB   

Andy,  I feel for you so very much. I feel you went through more hell than I, in watching the changes in your wife. My husband's changes were physical. I watched a strong, active man become old and frail over a matter of a few years. I kept my fears and tears to myself. Could not believe the changes that were seemingly there overnight. My husband was stoic about the changes, never complained, except once in a while he would curse at his physical limitations when I needed help that only a male and his muscles could provide. I usually had to wait on a friend to help us or for my stepson to come home from work. i can only imagine the helplessness/uselessness my husband felt at not being able to physically do what he had been used to doing for years.

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Andy   
2 hours ago, KayC said:

Andy,

I think you've conveyed your feelings very well.  You're a very deep loving person, the love you have for your wife is very clear, very beautiful.  I love what you said, 

It is hard for the person that is ridden with illness, they feel their identity changes, I remember my MIL lamenting over that, worrying that her husband wouldn't see her as a woman, but just as a sick person, but I think he always saw her as his wife, as the beautiful bride he married, no matter what changes took place.  Your caring about your wife the way you do really touches me inside.

KayC, thank you. That means so much, recognizing that I love her so much, my efforts were soley out of compassion and a reaffirmation of my vows. Thank you, you're so kind and sweet. 

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Andy   
1 hour ago, KMB said:

Andy,  I feel for you so very much. I feel you went through more hell than I, in watching the changes in your wife. My husband's changes were physical. I watched a strong, active man become old and frail over a matter of a few years. I kept my fears and tears to myself. Could not believe the changes that were seemingly there overnight. My husband was stoic about the changes, never complained, except once in a while he would curse at his physical limitations when I needed help that only a male and his muscles could provide. I usually had to wait on a friend to help us or for my stepson to come home from work. i can only imagine the helplessness/uselessness my husband felt at not being able to physically do what he had been used to doing for years.

I think we've both had our share of hell. None greater than another. My wife felt so much like your husband, feeling so useless at times. There were certain times, when the illness was especially relentless, she would say "I don't even know why I'm here", and worst of all,  "I wish I would die". That's a horrible thing to hear coming from your true love. I was saddened by what horrible things she dealt with daily, and to actually prefer the idea of dying over living? That had to have been a terrible thing for her to feel. It hurts me now, it'll hurt till I die. I will say that, she never gave into those thoughts, she remained a fighter until the very end. I miss her so much. I went to her grave today. I just talked. I can talk to her anywhere, but if I need a focus for what I need to say to her, her gravesite is where I go. Took flowers, she loves flowers. 

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Andy, I'm sorry that you, too, are dealing with such a huge loss.

"What I feel, daily, is an indescribable sensation of utter sorrow, despair and complete loneliness."

How true.  This the world of all of us who have lost the most important person in our lives.

Grief is love turned inside out.

I can't offer anything that will help, except to say that there is a great group of caring people here with firsthand knowledge of this hell who will listen to you.  Let me add that what helped skeptical me is the partial belief that this might not in fact be the end.

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Andy, time will heal.  Each day you make it through, is another day you've made it through.  After a while it becomes weeks you've made it through, then months.  I'm hoping the joy and happiness and good memories will then start coming back, without all the gut-wrenching tears.  It's a dagger to the heart, the soul.  And right now, so soon after the injury; it's still raw, painful, and open to all kinds of irritants.  And that is how I imagine my heart/grief is at this point in time.  It's been almost 4 months, and it's up and down; good and bad, every which way but loose.  I can almost see a little light ahead; but really, I think it's more like how the day begins from darkness to sunup.  It's such a gradual shift, it's hard to see.  That's my take on it; hope it helps you.  

Mike

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Stonesie   
On 1/27/2017 at 11:29 AM, Andy said:

I'm new here, never knew this site existed before yesterday. Not a "lurker", so I'm not exactly sure how or what I should say. I know I'm wanting to express my grief in a supportive atmosphere, communicate with others who belong to this terrible "club", this most bewildering of places. 

On December 31st, 2016, my wife of 24 years, 5 months, age 42, passed away unexpectedly. We have a 20 year old daughter and an adopted 23 year old daughter, but she's been largely absent from our lives for the last 8 years. I have my parents, and that's it basically as far as my family is concerned. What I feel, daily, is an indescribable sensation of utter sorrow, despair and complete loneliness. Nothing anyone here hasn't experienced, I'm sure, but knowing that doesn't lessen the pain. Seeing others go through and survive this is a comfort, and I take those "lessons" to heart. I miss her everyday, I still text her phone, I still question reality, "Is this real? Will she come back? Will I wake from this?" I know she's gone (her mortal form), I know she isn't coming back, but the truth is almost too much for me to accept. But I do. My daughter lost her mom, so her grief is every bit as accute as mine, but from a different perspective. One day, my daughter may get married, may have children, but all without her mom. As a dad, it crushes me that I can't "fix" that. I can't make that better. Everyday has presented new challenges, financial issues, emotional side effects, anxiety, worries where none existed before, and waves of despair that cover me in anguish and a flood of tears. This wasn't supposed to happen. We were supposed to grow old together, start being a "couple" again, post parent planning beginning to happen. I found out, in a very real way, that tomorrow is a lovely idea, a wish and a hope, but it doesn't exist. 

Thank you, I have more to say, and I hope I can help someone or someone can help me. Bless you all. 

Andy, first of all I am truly sorry for your loss and what you are going through.  Second I have to tell you I was startled by how amazingly similar to my own situation yours is.  I am hurting horribly right along with you.  My husband died a few days before your wife.  He had cancer so we knew eventually it would win...but he died suddenly of a massive stroke on Christmas Day.  We have two daughters, 21 and 23.  We were together 30 years but married 24...

It's amazing the similarities to what you feel, so much so that I could have written it myself.

The slight difference is I am the one who fights depression and has other health problems.  We were supposed to grow old together, that's what I was always fighting my health for....and tomorrow is gone.

I wish I had helpful advice but I am absorbing it right along side you.

Take care of yourself.

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Andy   
4 hours ago, Stonesie said:

Andy, first of all I am truly sorry for your loss and what you are going through.  Second I have to tell you I was startled by how amazingly similar to my own situation yours is.  I am hurting horribly right along with you.  My husband died a few days before your wife.  He had cancer so we knew eventually it would win...but he died suddenly of a massive stroke on Christmas Day.  We have two daughters, 21 and 23.  We were together 30 years but married 24...

It's amazing the similarities to what you feel, so much so that I could have written it myself.

The slight difference is I am the one who fights depression and has other health problems.  We were supposed to grow old together, that's what I was always fighting my health for....and tomorrow is gone.

I wish I had helpful advice but I am absorbing it right along side you.

Take care of yourself.

Thank you, and let me say that I'm truly sorry for not only your loss, but what I know has been and will be the added dimensions of the greater burden to your health and depression. Having lived along side those things, I have some understanding of what you must be suffering. I wish that I had the words that could convey a sense of comfort or peace. I'm afraid I don't. I will say that I've come to see "tomorrow" as neither gone or certain, it's just a hope. A possibility. As long as those two things exist, then there's a chance, small though it may seem, that we will find peace. A kind of harmony between grief and acceptance. With this unwanted wisdom we now have, we can hope to help others. 

Thank you for sharing with me, I know the difficulty, and you've touched me. 

And you also, please take care

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Andy   
10 hours ago, Jeff In Denver said:

Andy, I'm sorry that you, too, are dealing with such a huge loss.

"What I feel, daily, is an indescribable sensation of utter sorrow, despair and complete loneliness."

How true.  This the world of all of us who have lost the most important person in our lives.

Grief is love turned inside out.

I can't offer anything that will help, except to say that there is a great group of caring people here with firsthand knowledge of this hell who will listen to you.  Let me add that what helped skeptical me is the partial belief that this might not in fact be the end.

Thank you for your kind words, they mean a great deal. "Grief is love turned inside out", how true this is. 

A note about your skepticism, I fully and wholly believe that when people come to a point of belief, non belief, agnosticism, whatever, it's a personal journey, and I judge not. I will say, and I don't wish to get personal here, but I have had some "experiences" that I have accepted as confirmation of things I was sure of before, but now there is NO doubt. I'm not looking to make sense of this tragedy, I'm not seeking answers to questions I know I won't get an answer to, but I've have seen things that leave no room for doubt, they have come at critical moments that a minute in either direction would render them meaningless. All I'm saying is that if you have even the slightest notion or your open to the idea of "more", then I'd like to tell you that for me, the way I understand things, then yes, there is much, much more. 

Thank you and take care

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Andy   
9 hours ago, soundmankeysman1 said:

Andy, time will heal.  Each day you make it through, is another day you've made it through.  After a while it becomes weeks you've made it through, then months.  I'm hoping the joy and happiness and good memories will then start coming back, without all the gut-wrenching tears.  It's a dagger to the heart, the soul.  And right now, so soon after the injury; it's still raw, painful, and open to all kinds of irritants.  And that is how I imagine my heart/grief is at this point in time.  It's been almost 4 months, and it's up and down; good and bad, every which way but loose.  I can almost see a little light ahead; but really, I think it's more like how the day begins from darkness to sunup.  It's such a gradual shift, it's hard to see.  That's my take on it; hope it helps you.  

Mike

Mike, thank you. I dreading the days and months ahead. I still trying to sort this out, for my daughter, myself, what the rest of my life will look like. I appreciate so much you and all the others willing to extend words of encouragement, to a total stranger. It's value is truly priceless. 

Please take care and be safe

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KayC   

Mike,

I'm sorry for your loss.  I'm glad you've found this place, it seems to help just knowing someone understands what we're going through and this is a place we can have that.

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19 minutes ago, Andy said:

Mike, thank you. I dreading the days and months ahead.

Hey Andy,

Don't worry about the days and months ahead.  Just concentrate on getting through today.  Those days and months ahead can be dealt with when/if they arrive.

 

Mike

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Francine   
On 1/28/2017 at 2:20 PM, Andy said:

We decide for ourselves that I will love this person, I will honor and respect them, care for them, expose my heart and vulnerability to them, willingly and unconditionally. It's such a glorious thing, two people, complete strangers, that find each other and fall in love. I grieve for my missing half and all she represented, all the promises kept and those never to be realized. I marvel at this process of giving ourselves over so completely to another person, entrusting our innermost fears, desires, insecurities and dreams to someone NOT our family, not our blood. It's glorious, and I realize now how precious and rare that is. How truly special it is to find that, that one person who allows you to be "you", needs you as much as you need them. How do you find that, get to keep and treasure that, and then lose that? How is anything ever going to be okay after that? I've had what so many people write songs and poetry about, and now it's gone. The songs, the symmetry of life, the poetry of living, they're gone. Or I can't hear or see them anymore. How do you do this?  

Andy,

No one could have said it any better; so on point and so true.  I'm still having a hard time accepting the fact that my husband of nearly 45 years is never coming back.  After those many years together (and I am so grateful for them) we were as much, (no more) in love as we were we first fell in love.   We told each other everything; we were each other's strength and was always there for one another  -  no matter what.  He would sometimes joke around saying we needed to write a book and name it the "Good Marriage".     How do you do this, you ask?  Well, one way I do it is by never forgetting the memories.  No one and nothing can ever take them away because they are tucked away in a special place in my spirit.  Sometimes when I'm feeling at my lowest, I visit that place and am comforted by knowing what we had will always be; knowing the love we shared is forever; knowing I will see him again and when I do, we will never be apart again.  That is going to be a hell of a moment - an AMAZING moment.  Until then, I'm gonna pain, hurt, cry (as we all do) to get me through.  I know my husband would not want me to but, we are only human.

God Bless you and keep you safe

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Andy   

Thank you both, KayC and Mike. Advice from those within is so important and I take everything to heart. 

Bless you both

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KMB   

Mike, My condolences to you. I have to say, it brings me more pain when I see someone new joining on. This whole world is filled with pain of loss. I often wonder why this planet hasn't shifted from the weight of all our tears and heavy hearts.  I hope you find some measure of comfort and solace here with us. This forum has become my lifeline and I hope it becomes yours also.

Everyone else here----Thank you all for being here and all of your support. Without this forum and all of you, I truly don't know where I would be.

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42 minutes ago, KMB said:

Mike, My condolences to you. I have to say, it brings me more pain when I see someone new joining on. This whole world is filled with pain of loss. I often wonder why this planet hasn't shifted from the weight of all our tears and heavy hearts.  I hope you find some measure of comfort and solace here with us. This forum has become my lifeline and I hope it becomes yours also.

Everyone else here----Thank you all for being here and all of your support. Without this forum and all of you, I truly don't know where I would be.

Well, said, KMB.  Also, Andy, I was struck by your saying something along the lines of hating yourself because you thought you could heal her.  I hope you re-think that.  What you did was admirable and was an act of love. You did everything you could.

I lost my girlfriend to breast cancer, and was thinking that I could cure her - supplements, research, Chinese medicine, nutritionists, naturopaths, acupuncture, constant communication with her doctor, The Secret, medical marijuana (I hired a consultant), and more.  Nothing worked, and it wrecked me.  But I think I would feel a lot worse if I hadn't believed and hadn't tried.  Does that make sense?

You did the right thing.

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Andy   
1 hour ago, Francine said:

Andy,

No one could have said it any better; so on point and so true.  I'm still having a hard time accepting the fact that my husband of nearly 45 years is never coming back.  After those many years together (and I am so grateful for them) we were as much, (no more) in love as we were we first fell in love.   We told each other everything; we were each other's strength and was always there for one another  -  no matter what.  He would sometimes joke around saying we needed to write a book and name it the "Good Marriage".     How do you do this, you ask?  Well, one way I do it is by never forgetting the memories.  No one and nothing can ever take them away because they are tucked away in a special place in my spirit.  Sometimes when I'm feeling at my lowest, I visit that place and am comforted by knowing what we had will always be; knowing the love we shared is forever; knowing I will see him again and when I do, we will never be apart again.  That is going to be a hell of a moment - an AMAZING moment.  Until then, I'm gonna pain, hurt, cry (as we all do) to get me through.  I know my husband would not want me to but, we are only human.

God Bless you and keep you safe

Francine, 45 years. What an incredible journey you two must have had. The immensity of that valley you stand in must be tremendous. My 25 years has left me beaten and defeated, so my heart, all its tiny pieces, goes out to in support and shared empathy. "The Good Marriage" indeed! Cheers to you both, good and enduring.

Visiting and dwelling in days gone by will be my sanctuary, I'm sure. Words shared, feelings expressed, I'll cherish the good memories, learn from the not so good ones. I'll hold them all, good or bad, they make us who we are. 

Being human is quite a disadvantage, the idiot things I've done, the selfishness of my desires, my anger, pettiness, it's all part of my flaws. Striving to overcome them in the service of my beloved was what I think made me a better person, the man I hope my daughters believes me to be. So I accept my humanity, because like you, I know I'll be reunited with her. Experience HER again. What a lovely thought.

Thank you and God bless

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Andy   
2 hours ago, Jeff In Denver said:

Well, said, KMB.  Also, Andy, I was struck by your saying something along the lines of hating yourself because you thought you could heal her.  I hope you re-think that.  What you did was admirable and was an act of love. You did everything you could.

I lost my girlfriend to breast cancer, and was thinking that I could cure her - supplements, research, Chinese medicine, nutritionists, naturopaths, acupuncture, constant communication with her doctor, The Secret, medical marijuana (I hired a consultant), and more.  Nothing worked, and it wrecked me.  But I think I would feel a lot worse if I hadn't believed and hadn't tried.  Does that make sense?

You did the right thing.

It makes perfect sense, and I understand what you're saying. My self loathing stems from many things, but chief among them is not being able to save my daughters mom. The "Spock" side of my brain recognizes how illogical that is, I'm not a physician, not a miracle worker or some conjurer of magic, I'm just a man. BUT, the emotional side (the part that's broken) is taking blame. My job as dad is to "fix" things, to make things "okay". I failed myself, my wife, and our little girl. I know that's not correct, but I'm processing this the best I can. I've lost a lot of confidence in myself. I'm scared my daughter may lose what faith she had in me, and because I'm all she has, it tears me up that her world may be that more shaken because of that. I'm coping with this the best I can, it's easier some moments, horrible the next. 

Thank you for caring words and encouragement. I tried my best to care for my wife everyday, this is just a blow to my psyche that's got me staggered. You've helped by your words though, thank you.

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Francine   

Thanks Andy,

Such satisfaction knowing how comforting and uplifting this website has been for me and (I hope) for all.   My prayer is for all on this site to find the strength needed at this most difficult time in our lives.  Peace be with us all.

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Nads   

This website has been my only solace, my lifeline. It's the first thing l do when I wake on mornings and those sleepless nights, it's what keeps me company. I don't know where I be if I hadn't come across this site. Thanks to everyone one of you here for helping me through this.

I may not post as often because sometimes the words just don't come to me but I read as many as I can...and it helps more than you all may know or actually you might. 

Thank you all and God bless. 

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Andy   

Nads and Francine, yes, I feel exactly the way you both do. I'm a relative new comer here, but I feel so welcome and embraced. Fellow travelers indeed, we "see" in each other what others, fortunately for them, can't see. It's such a comfort. 

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KMB   

Nads, i feel the same as you and all the others here. I posted on another thread this morning and expressed my thanks to everyone. This site is also my lifeline. I have so little access to *local* support. A person sure finds out who their real friends are and that includes family unfortunately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andy   
39 minutes ago, KMB said:

Nads, i feel the same as you and all the others here. I posted on another thread this morning and expressed my thanks to everyone. This site is also my lifeline. I have so little access to *local* support. A person sure finds out who their real friends are and that includes family unfortunately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a lonely feeling after the arrangements, viewing/visitation, funeral is over. Family and friends have lives to go back to, their own concerns. People generally are sincere at the time they offer the universal "You need anything, just let me know" sentiment. I've said it. But the fact is, I don't want to burden anybody with my grief, I don't even really know how to ask, and finally, most times, I don't know WHAT I need. I've it said before, I feel diseased. People aren't sure what to say, so they say nothing. I'm not sure how to approach anyone, I'm not ready for shop talk or casual conversation. So I'm the guy who gets avoided. There are a few who used to talk to me, on a daily basis, but now won't look me in the eye. I don't hold anything against them, I can't. I was probably like them, so I'm in no position to judge them. Also, as I've stated before, my family is very small. My parents are gems, and if not for them, I'm afraid I would be in a much worse state. My daughter is a source of comfort and personal motivation, but I will not burden her with MY sorrow, she has her own. I'm dad, I'm here for her, I can cry like a baby, alone, but with her, she needs to feel free to cry and have something "solid" she can still count on. My best friend, who lost his 64 year old father suddenly and unexpectedly a mere 3 weeks before my wife passed, has been a blessing of rare quality. His insight and strength of character has helped me immeasurably. However, he's obviously still grieving for his father, helping his newly widowed mother cope, so adding to his ordeal isn't something I'm comfortable doing. And that's about it. My wife's family is a non starter for me, various reasons. So yes, true, dedicated friends are far and few between. The "isolation" is so overwhelming, it's actually shocked me how powerful that is. Loneliness is such sorrow, it intensifies my loss so much more, magnifies how much I miss my Tracie, how much I need her. 

This forum has been such an uplifting and positive thing. One of the few times I'll openly praise modern technology. You people here have been so gracious, so willing to relive and share your loss, just to help me. How amazing is that? I'd like to thank all of you, and I'll speak for her when I tell you that my wife, Tracie, thanks you all for helping her broken husband. Helping him get through just another day. 

Love to you all

 

 

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"...the idiot things I've done, the selfishness of my desires, my anger, pettiness, it's all part of my flaws.

"You need anything, just let me know" sentiment.

I could have written much of your posts.  I really get what you're saying.    

With regard to your first statement, I'm there, too.  A therapist (via Skype) told me something that stayed with me.  I was at times selfish, impatient, abrupt, etc.  Why?  I was terrified, frustrated, and really, really worried. Where did that come from?  Love.

Someone else said that when we see someone every day, we can forget the miracle that the other person is - or something like that.

ONE COUPLE was really good to me.  On the first or second night (I can't recall which), they said:  "We're coming over."  It wasn't a question. And they did.  They brought food and drinks. (No alcohol, unfortunately).  A few weeks later they took me out to a restaurant.  I started to get an anxiety attack but I hid it.  I have seen them since.  

They didn't ask the universal, meaningless question.  The person grieving doesn't know what they want (besides having the person back, of course).  I believe that most people mean well, but just don't know what to do.

 

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