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fzald

Girlfriend died at age 22. Totally devastated.

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KayC   
14 hours ago, fzald said:

On the way home, a strange sense of calm was washing over me. Not happiness, not even "it's going to be OK", but just, relaxation. It didn't last too long, now I'm right back to where I was,

Even having fleeting moments like this are welcoming and encouraging, because little by little you will have them more.  

My big joy in life was George.  The moment he died, all joy seemed to go out of my world.  I have learned to look for, acknowledge, and appreciate the very small joys in my life, however fleeting they may be.  I've learned to live in the present moment, to experience and appreciate what there is, rather than merely focus on what isn't.  It's an exercise that the more you practice, the better you get at it, and I won't say it's always easy.  You are just a few days out, I was a few days out when I began this practice.  My brain was still in a fog, I still had panic attacks, I was distraught, and it took great effort to get through this, but I know if I can, you can too.

I'm sorry yesterday was so hard. :(

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fzald   

I just got back from the funeral.

Absolutely beautiful service. 

For most of it i could not even cry. I just felt the gut-wrenching feeling of despair and loss. I wanted to cry, but nothing would come out. All I could do was listen to all the wonderful stories, think of her, so full of life, so happy, so driven, and then to have it all snatched from her. To know she would never want to inflict this kind of pain on anyone, but to also know that it is...

I am at the bottom of the well again right now. I still cannot imagine even one day ahead in my life without her. I actually wanted to text her when I got home and tell her the funeral was beautiful, just like I would always text her after I had been to any sort of event to talk to her about it. Even after the funeral, I still find myself expecting to hear her text tone coming out of my phone. I still expect to hear her ringtone. I still expect to see a message from her. We always started conversations with a simple "Hey!". Even to think that I will never again see that one sweet word from her...

It's now been one week to the day of her passing. It's also been nearly two weeks since we last spoke, and two weeks since we last physically saw each other.

Everyone says it will get easier. 

I just want it to get easier now. I don't want to be paralyzed with grief and sadness and panic attacks. I want to be happy for her. I just can't find the strength to do it.

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KMB   

fzald,  I am sorry the funeral was hard for you. I'm sure your girlfriend was there in spirit, happy that everyone was there, including you.

You won't always feel the way you do at this time. The intensity of the emotions does ease off.

My husband has been gone for not quite 6 months. I miss him every second. I don't cry as much as I used to, the panic attacks don't come so often. I am sad for the most part.

You are in good company here on this forum. Hang in there.

 

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fzald   

When I was 21, I lost my closest childhood friend to cancer. He was 22 as well. I have remained friends with his wife since then. I have been speaking to her a lot, because we now sadly do share a horrible life-changing experience.

She told me that for her, the funeral was the day everything truly set in. It was the day she truly started feeling the loss. She said the week or so after the funeral was when the real torture started. Before the funeral, even if we know better, we have this false hope that, maybe somehow, this whole thing is a joke. Maybe somehow, we've been played. Maybe there was a big mistake. Stranger things have happened - deaths reported which didn't happen.

When you go to the funeral, especially if it's an open casket, you see the person there. You see their body at rest. You see their form, that person who had life eminating from every fiber of his or her being, suddenly lying lifeless, peaceful but still. That's when you realize it's not a joke, that there's no way for things to reverse themselves.

I am feeling the same way now. I'm hitting rock bottom. For most of the afternoon all I could do was curl up under my blanket and shake, tremble, cry, try to cry but not be able to, and experience stomach pains and muscle aches all over my body. It wasn't even so much a panic attack. More of a persistent ache that wouldn't go away for hours.

One thing my friend said that is probably going to make it harder for me is her sudden death. With my child hood friend, he had cancer for two years prior to passing. We had those conversations, the "what happens if I can't make it" talks. We had a chance to say goodbye, even tentatively. With my girlfriend, there was nothing. There was no chance to say anything. She was simply gone. No chance to say goodbye, no chance to say farewell, no chance to hear a final comforting word from her.

That's not to say that losing someone slowly somehow makes grieving easier. You still will have all of the lost dreams and all of that. But having those things taken suddenly, at least right now, feels so much harder than any other way of losing someone.

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fzald   

Today it is all starting to set in. She's gone, nothing can bring her back to this world, and it's true-I'll possibly spend a lifetime of years on this planet without ever seeing her, talking to her, hearing her again.

Even the fact that it was only one week and one day ago that she passed isn't tearing me up as much as it did, maybe because now I am facing the true reality. Wishing that it's a joke is no longer comforting. Wishing anything really is no comfort. I am now forced to face this head on with nobody, nothing to support me and hold me up in my moment of maximum weakness...

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KMB   

fzald, I know how hard this is. The funeral service forces us to see how final our loss is. What about your girlfriend's family? Have they been supportive of you and the relationship you had with her? I hope that you are considering grief counseling. This grieving journey is like a roller coaster and we need all the helpful support we can have access to.

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fzald   

Sadly, her family actually did not support our relationship, because I am older than her. They thought that I would just take advantage of her because she was younger. My girlfriend was very clear - it is her decision to date me and her family won't change that - but she never was able to get her family to truly accept it. This is evident now, as her family has been quite distant from me in this time.

For the past hour or so, I've felt pretty numb. Like, I've felt sad, but not paralyzingly sad. I feel like I could actually may do something without being upset. So I'm going to try to do it. I don't know how long I'll last, but I have heard our brains and our emotions know how much we can handle and never give us more than we can handle at any given time, so since I've felt so much grief and loss over the past two days with the wake and the funeral maybe this is my body's way of giving me a little relief from the pain, if only for a while...

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KayC   
21 hours ago, fzald said:

That's not to say that losing someone slowly somehow makes grieving easier. You still will have all of the lost dreams and all of that. But having those things taken suddenly, at least right now, feels so much harder than any other way of losing someone.

Losing someone slowly is just as painful but it's eked out little by little.  And being their caregiver you are hit hard with loss of purpose upon their death.  The finality of death still hits even if you expect it because quite frankly, we can never totally prepare for this.  We might think we have an idea what it'll be like, but...wrong.

Losing someone unexpectedly is a huge shock!  It's hard to take it in, hard to process it, you're just literally in shock.  No preparation, no goodbyes, all of a sudden your world is turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

Both experiences are very hard, just different, I've been through both.

It will lessen in intensity.  The grief journey is ever evolving, it does not stay the same.  One thing remains...we continue to love and miss them.

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fzald   

I was out with family for a few hours today. We talked a lot about her, and I did feel sad and cried a little, but I made it.

Now I'm back home. The thing hitting me hard now is our routine, which is broken. Normally, around this time on a Sunday evening, I'd be calling her or texting her to ask about work tomorrow. We'd be discussing plans for the week or even just the next day. We'd just talk about what happened during the weekend. We'd have our mindless but fulfilling chitchat that could easily go on for hours. 

Saying I miss her isn't anywhere near adequate to describe the empty feeling. I just wish I could still have those regular conversations with her again.

She passed out on the 23rd of January, and didn't pass on until the 28th, but ultimately in my mind and in my heart she passed on the 23rd, since she never did come back even a little from her coma. 

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fzald   

Guilt.

I was just sitting here, letting feelings happen, and thinking about my beloved. I suddenly clearly recalled a time, during the last year, in fact a few times, where she was becoming scared she might be having stroke symptoms.

She had even showed me a website listing symptoms and saying "I have this, and I think this..." She didn't ever have the most obvious ones, like loss of function in one side or slurred speech, but she did have many of the minor ones, like headaches, dizzyness, nausea, etc.

After a short time she stopped worrying about it. I think she just learned to take the pain as normal.

And what she eventually passed from was basically a form of stroke.

I am suddenly racked with guilt. I know that there's probably nothing I could have done, but maybe I could have taken her a bit more seriously those months ago? I told her if she felt she should get it looked at to go in, and she just dismissed it but said she would if it got worse. Apparently it didn't get worse enough to alarm her. 

But now I wonder if her condition has been long and coming. If it was inevitable this would happen because she never did get checked out sooner. 

God, the guilt... Also, I'm back down at the bottom. I did Ok today, but I'm back to just wishing I didn't have to face a world without her.

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KMB   

fzald, You have nothing to feel guilty for. Your girlfriend ( maybe give us her name so she has an identity here) stopped worrying about it. Her symptoms could have covered a multitude of things. You were living in the moment and could not have foreseen what was to eventually happen to her. You were taking your cues from her. She quit worrying about her symptoms, so you did too. Guilt comes with the grieving. We feel a responsibility for our loved one. We would have done anything to save them, but it was not meant to be.

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KayC   

We all feel guilt when our loved one dies.  We do all the "what ifs".  Trouble is, it doesn't help anything now so we have to learn to let go of it, it doesn't do any good to beat ourselves up over it.  In a way I think some of this is processing their death, we're trying to find a possible different outcome, a different ending to the story, but there isn't one.  My husband had been complaining of tightness of chest, sore ankles, both part of heart symptoms.  He went to his doctor who SHOULD have sent him to a cardiologist, but didn't.  The night before his heart attack, he had heartburn but attributed it to something he ate (another symptom).  After I'd left for my sister's reunion (I thought he just didn't feel well, never dreamed it was his heart) he drove himself to the doctor, who sent him by ambulance to the hospital, 50 miles from here.  He spent the whole next day in testing, told me not to come as he wouldn't be able to see me anyway.  I had to wait for my sister to drive me, so I didn't get there until the next day, by that time he had the results back, five blocked arteries, would require bypass surgery but had already sustained major heart damage.  He didn't make it to surgery, had another heart attack, they threw me out, I never got to have that "last conversation", never got to tell him how much I'd loved being his wife, or wish him well on the next phase of his journey, didn't get to hold his hand as he slipped away, nope, nothing.  

I had suggested he get a different doctor, perhaps one closer to his work, maybe ask his friends and coworkers who they see, but he didn't.  I beat myself up pretty good after he died, why hadn't I taken a strong stance with him and TOLD him to get another doctor, not merely suggested it, why hadn't I been more insistent?!  Truth is I figured he was a grown man in charge of his life, I never was a nag, I guess I assumed he'd know and do what was best for him.  But that left him dead.  As this unfolds for them, for us, we do the best we know with the knowledge we're given at the time.  We don't get the benefit of hindsight when we're making our choices.  Neither did they.  

We have to lighten up on ourselves.  Guilt only helps when we can make a different choice, but once everything is done it doesn't do us any good, in fact it can do us a lot of harm as it shames us and berates us.  We have to forgive ourselves for not knowing and move on from the guilt.  We have to learn self care, patience with ourselves, understanding of ourselves.  They love us, care about us, they would want that.  

This is all just so darn hard to work through, isn't it.

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fzald   

Hard day today.

My friend told me that for her, the days right after the funeral were some of the hardest. That's when you must absolutely face the truth. You can't harbor any more fantasies that maybe it's not real. That maybe there was a mistake. You have no choice but to face the truth now.

I feel that today. Yesterday I was pretty numb most of the day. I even was able to go out for a bit with family. Today I just want to go back to sleep and never wake up. Or at least not wake up until I feel somewhat ok...

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KMB   

fzald, We are all here with you. I still wish that I could go to sleep and wake up in Heaven seeing my husband by my side. I will always yearn for that day. Right now, we have to make it day by day, facing reality. It sucks, I know. Our bodies have a built in will of survival, which is how we will get through this journey. Prayers to you.

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fzald   

It's not fair.

My girl had a hell of a will to survive. Every day she looked forward to her future. She did not let things bring her down. She was a true fighter, a girl who would let nothing stand in the  way of her dreams.

She wanted to live. She had all the will in the world. It didn't do her any good. She still was taken from me, from the world.

We often feel we could just go be with them. Our own will to survive can be challenged or even gone for a time, but somehow we push on. It's almost cruel. 

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KMB   

fzald, Yes, it is unfair and cruel what we are going through. Maybe someday, when it is our turn, everything will make sense. God will explain why we had to suffer this loss. We have lessons to learn from our losses and other purposes to our existence. That is the only explanation I can see for this pain.

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Francine   

KMB

Ditto to your thread. I think God is always disciplining us; it doesn't mean he is punishing us. He's making us better, improving us, training us - we just don't see it.   In each bad day, I believe God has a lesson for us to learn; maybe He wants us to learn that we can trust Him to bring us through this bad day.  Often times, when I think I'm OK dealing with the lost of my husband, it gets worse.  Is God here with me - Yes, he is, the entire time.  Someday, we will get to the point where our good days will out weigh our bad days. Right now, I'm no where near that point, but I trust it will come.  With God, all is possible.    

God Bless us All!

 

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KayC   
3 hours ago, Francine said:

 Someday, we will get to the point where our good days will out weigh our bad days.

For me it's a mixed bag...I have good times but my grief is ever there partnering with me.

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fzald   

I'm back at work today.

It's a strange, surreal feeling. The office basically "memorialized" her workspace, at least for now. Nothing has been touched. Everything is exactly as it used to be. Her computer is still on even. Everything looks right. Except for the flowers on her desk, it looks like she should be walking in at any time, sitting down and working. 

Sometimes I feel like the time I had with her was a different world, a different universe. Like, the day she died, I was transported to another part of the cosmos. The life I had with her is somewhere far, far away. And yet, when I come to work and see this, it just feels like it's not so far away, like maybe she's still with us. It's the same effect when I look at any of our E-mail or text conversations, or anything like that. Like, this was her. And now she's so far away, so gone, it just feels more like I'm gone as well. Not gone as in dead, but gone as in far, far away from the life I used to live with her.

And maybe she is still with us. I have been having repeated dreams, and in each one - very vivid - she is with me and is wondering why everyone thinks she's dead. She thinks it's funny herself, she thinks it's a joke. In the dream I had last night, I even told her that I had seen her in the casket, and she said in the dream: "Wow, someone must have made a mannequin of me... I don't get why everyone is so intent on saying that I'm dead! You don't think this, do you? I mean I'm right here..." and she hugs me.

I'm not sure what I believe in terms of the afterlife. I'd like to believe that our consciousness, our memories, our free will, all of the things that make us human survive into another life after we shed our body. It's a comfort to think that somehow she, and all the other loved ones I've lost, are still out there in the ether, just waiting for me and all the rest of us to join them someday. It's a comfort to think that maybe, just maybe, my vivid dreams are not just random thoughts or yearning from my own mind, but rather are actual signs and messages from her on the other side. Maybe she is confused herself, she doesn't understand herself what happened. She wasn't ready to die, and I imagine her actually being confused to find herself suddenly dead if she were still self-aware. She would think that for some odd reason everyone is playing a prank on her, and she would not find it funny. She would wonder why the world she finds herself in isn't the same one she woke up in that fateful day. 

I'm just having a rough day again, only a bit worse because I'm here at work, where she belongs with me. At the end of the day, we're supposed to make dinner plans and hang out. We're supposed to talk about our projects. We're supposed to plan for tomorrow, the next day, and our weekend plans. We're supposed to be together. It's not supposed to be this way...

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My husband was 22 when his body succumbed to the complications of Leukemia. He passed away 10/20/16. He is younger than me and we dated two months after he turned 18. He left me two months after he turned 22. We met 10/20 of 2012 and he passed 10/20 of 2016. I think we were destined to meet for a short time and have a little girl together. God blessed us with her to have as memories of him and to love and cherish when he is gone.  I just feel that no matter what would've or could've when it someone's time to go, it's time. 

I've been through so much crap and the best advice/words of wisdom was found here right on this forum. TAKE IT DAY BY DAY, literally. I try not to think too much about the future. It hurts. Nothing can ever compare to this grief. I'm not saying my grief is stronger than his parents or siblings. It's just different. Like someone else mentioned that we don't text or call of parents or siblings all day every day. But with our husband/wife, we do. I still catch myself calling out for him when it's something he'd normally help me with. 

I'm just so sorry that you have to go through this. All I wish is for everyone on this earth to be happy. No diseases, no nothing.

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fzald   

Chasisdope,

your situation reminds me somewhat of my friend whose husband passed at age 22. Her husband was my closest childhood friend from age 10. He developed cancer at age 20, and succombed only a month after his 22nd birthday, on September 11th...

Her support of me in this time has been great, but we both agree that it's nothing anyone should be proud of having in common with a friend. She didn't have children with him but they were planning for it before he got sick.

I never ever imagined that I would live through this pain. I knew that I would have to grieve some losses in life. Parents, grandparents, pets. But my girlfriend was so lively. She is the last person I could ever have expected to pass on, especially at her age. I used to think that I would pre-decease her, because she was younger than me. I used to be so certain of everything. Life was great. Everything made sense.

Nature, God, the spirits, whatever... They all seem indifferent to what we want. It feels like the thing I wanted least turned out to be what I was given. And also what she least wanted was given to her....

As much as I wish I could hold her and hug her for my own comfort, I wish I could do it for her as well. I wish she was here so I could reassure her that the life she wanted is still here. I wish I could give her life back to her not just for me but for her. I was going to do just that had she made it through the coma. I even dreamed of it and planned it all out to a T. 

That call where I learned of her fate will forever be a nightmare for the rest of my life.

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KayC   

I read what you guys write, and it's odd that I still feel the same, after all these years.  The shock is gone, I've adjusted, I've found some measure of purpose for my life, if you can call it that, I've developed a routine, but I still miss him and I can still say with you, it wasn't supposed to be like this.  

I quit asking questions, why, long ago as there were no resounding answers and it was just upsetting to me.  I focused on "what now" instead, but oh God, I don't know how long it took me to transition to that.  The grief journey is somewhat of a blur as it started in brain fog.  I have glimpses of that in my memory, feeling frantic, scared, anxious, no one to calm me, all friends disappeared, relatives cared but couldn't begin to understand or comprehend what I was going through.  What I still go through.  They all have their husbands, while my life is alone.  I'm growing old alone and that in itself is frightening, yet people do it every day.  My kids are busy with their lives...this is how I raised them to be, happy, independent.  

Like Chasisdope says, one day at a time, really, it's all we can handle, all we can look at.

fzald, your thoughts are like our thoughts, your hopes the same...that we are reunited in our next life.  I don't think of him as dead so much as transitioned.  His physical body died, but he didn't.  Our love is as great, as strong as it ever was.  

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fzald   

Every time I see her in my dreams, I lighten up a little. It's reached a point where I welcome the night, I welcome sleep, if not only as a way to escape, for a little, the horrible reality I am in, but also because I have seen her pretty much every night in my dreams since last weekend. Since she was laid to rest.

Last night I dreamt we were sitting on a couch, in an apartment, not a place I recognize. There was music playing. I don't know the songs, I don't think they were "real" songs, by that I mean they weren't songs I'd recognize as recorded and published. But they were beautiful. And in one song, the singer serenaded with a crescendo the simple words "I love you." My girlfriend looks towards me, and says "I do love you." And she embraces and kisses me. 

It felt so real.  It felt exactly like it always did when she did this in life. 

I woke up soon after though, and cried and ached. I felt her. I yearn so much for that feeling... 

Going to sleep is a respite, a time to actually relax, but it's also torturous, when I wake without her, when I must again face another day in the harsh, cold, empty world without her.

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KMB   

fzald---You are so fortunate that you are able to sleep. To be able to escape reality for awhile. Sleep has been elusive for me, no matter the different sleep aids I have tried.

The dreams you are experiencing are your girlfriend's way of communicating to you that she is ok and still loves you. You are being blessed by your dreams. The dreams validate that there is life in a different dimension from this one. Our loved ones that we miss so much will be there when it is our turn to be reunited with them.  I've had a few dreams of my husband which woke me up to intense crying spells because we are separated, I was not allowed to stay in those dreams. Somehow, we will survive this reality world we are in and take it day by day. Prayers of comfort to you.

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