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Marcel

Logic vs emotion

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Marcel   

I've never been an emotional person. Well, maybe I actually was but I buried it long ago. My parents were not the emotional type either, probably due to their upbringing. My mother's dad was born 1896, he served in WW I and WW II and he raised her in a 19th century spirit. I remember when my wife was so angry about an unempathetic comment from my mum that she didn't want to meet her again. When I told my mum, she was devestated, because she really didn't want to hurt her. We talked about how it seemed so weird to my wife that she wouldn't even hug her son. Eventually my mum broke down and cried saying "I've never learned how to hug someone". It was the first time I held her in my arms since I was a child.
My father is also very unemotional. His father died in WW II. His grandparents committed suicide when his dad was only 14. His mother had to flee from the russians with two little kids (dad was just 4 years old) always just a few miles from the frontline. She had to start a new life far from home, doing everything by herself to raise her kids. She never had another man at her side. I guess that's the reason she was a very stiff person.
I do remember crawling into my parents' bed when I was a small kid and couldn't sleep but though my parents have always been there for me, our relationship wasn't as warm and cozy as my wife was with her mother.
So piece by piece I built a wall around me. That was until I met my wife and she started scratching on that wall until it came down with a vengeance. I'm still a rational person but I have reconnected with my emotions. Sometimes I wonder if that's a good thing.
My emotions run amok now, like everyone here can understand. My rational side tells me I should find a way out of this. My wife always told me I should start a new life, learn to be happy, do what I always wanted to do, live to the fullest until my time will come. She wouldn't want me to just get by every day. And I know she's right. What good is it for anyone if I stay in this vegetative state. But somehow it feels if I would betray her if I would try to be happy again. Maybe I'm afraid our time together would lose its meaning if I could ever have a happy moment without her. I want to try to move on but I'm also afraid of the first step.

 

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Francine   

 

Marcel,

I can relate about your parents and grandparents and how unemotional they might have seemed to you,  My mother didn't show much emotions nor verbally expressed them.  I knew she loved me by the sacrifices she made for us.  She and her other 3 sisters were raised by their aunt who never had children and who was a strict disciplinarian.  Their mother (my grandmother) drop dead of a massive heart attack at the age of 32 when my mom was only 3.  I guess back then, showing emotions meant you were not strong. 

2 hours ago, Marcel said:

y rational side tells me I should find a way out of this. My wife always told me I should start a new life, learn to be happy, do what I always wanted to do, live to the fullest until my time will come. She wouldn't want me to just get by every day. And I know she's right. What good is it for anyone if I stay in this vegetative state. But somehow it feels if I would betray her if I would try to be happy again. Maybe I'm afraid our time together would lose its meaning if I could ever have a happy moment without her. I want to try to move on but I'm also afraid of the first step.

I believe your rational side maybe just what the doctor ordered for you.  If that's what you are comfortable with, by all means, do it.  I'm genuinely happy for you.  Know that you don't have to see the entire staircase before taking that first step.  Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.  Tip toe if your must, but take that step. 

For me, happy is no longer a word in my vocabulary; I now entertain words such as depressed, disappointed; sad; miserable; sorrowful; troubled, etc.   :( oh, I'll get by, I'll cope; live for lack of a better word, I'll exist; I'll endure; I'll survive; I'll accept what has happen; But never will I be "Happy" again.   They say happiness is not out there; it's within each of us; - not in me - not anymore  Some would say  we have to let go of whats killing us, even if it's killing us to let go.   I'm falling apart, and I can feel every little piece hitting the ground, and it's killing me.

 

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Zara19   

Merc - Your observations and comments really struck a chord.

Francine - I'm with you, falling apart.  Like the jigsaw of my life has been broken up and the pieces in a pile that I can't put back together.  

Love to you both.

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KMB   

Francine---You have a way of saying what we feel. Thank you.  That cliche---happiness comes from within. My *within* left with my husband. My happiness was being with my husband and living our life. Professionals and do-gooders would disagree. I cannot imagine where I am going to be emotionally, 5 months from now when I get to that 1st year mark. People that I have talked to, say the 2nd year is worse. I cannot fathom feeling worse than I have been.I feel like I am slowly dying inside. My husband and I were so close, so dependent on each other, that all I can think of is for the time to go quickly when I can join him. Shame on me for thinking that way, but hey, it is my life.

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KayC   

I don't know about happiness coming from within...I think peace does.  They say happiness is a choice.  Maybe, but I'm not sure anyone who ever penned that had lost the closest person to them.  If it IS a choice, and maybe it is, it's the hardest thing in the world to work on when you're grieving!  I don't think it's possible in the early months.  Maybe I just wasn't good at it but I don't think I'm abnormal when it comes to grief.  Even though I can have "happy moments" the grief is always there, lurking just under the surface, sometimes about to do me in.

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Francine   
14 hours ago, KMB said:

 My happiness was being with my husband and living our life.

Ditto that.  Charles was my life, my world, my everything.  I'm so lost without  him and just trying to get through this year is unbearable.  If what they about the second year being worst, than I'm out.  Don't know how I'm getting through this year.  I know I'm always telling people to not quit; not to give up and it's always good to practice what you preach; sometimes the advice we tell others is the advice we need to follow.  I don't know, no I'm quite sure I couldn't go through another year of this.  Pray for me, pray for us all.

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KayC   

Francine, you're so right.  We can't give up, we have to keep working at it.  I think the reason so many people feel the second year is worse is because all shock has worn off, everyone has gone back to their lives and left us on our own, they expect us to be over it by then.  Not so.  I don't think the second year felt worse than the first for myself.  To me, nothing was worse than the shock of finding out he was dead and trying to figure out how to live through it.

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Marcel   
7 hours ago, KayC said:

They say happiness is a choice.  Maybe, but I'm not sure anyone who ever penned that had lost the closest person to them.  If it IS a choice, and maybe it is, it's the hardest thing in the world to work on when you're grieving!

Yes, happiness is a choice. It's a choice about how much weight you grant your positive emotions and how much weight your grant those negative ones. I was lucky to spent some years with the most wonderful person in the world and I should be grateful for every second of it. Instead I feel miserable because I want more. Maybe I'm just selfish and greedy. Besides my wife wanted me to be happy. She never intended to cause me any pain. She just didn't want to experience pain for herself any longer. So it's definitely a choice, but it's the hardest choice of all.

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Herc   

For me happiness and grief are separate concepts.  I can be happy, but also feel the loss.  My grief is often triggered by the happiness, because so many of the happy moments are tied to Christine, but the happiness is still there.  I can enjoy a song, and think happily to when Christine sang along with it.  That will start tears and the ache in my heart, but it will also make me smile.  I push myself down that road frequently, intentionally recalling the happiest moments of our life together.  The pain is intensified by knowing I will almost certainly never be that happy again, but it allows me to embrace the grief as well.

I've written a couple of the stories down, so that I won't ever forget them, and so I can share them with my daughters when it is appropriate.  Each time I read them, the happiness gets a little brighter, and the grief a little less.  As I encounter new moments of happiness, as opposed to happy memories, I still feel the pain that I can't share the new experiences with her.  At the same point, I can appreciate the moments for what they are, and hope that I will be able to share them with her if we are reunited in the afterlife.  I don't think I will ever be carefree again, but I can be happy and hopeful, even while being distraught.

I also don't think it is a choice I made, so much as how my mind is working through the grief.  I am identifying the feelings of grief, and am not only accepting them, but embracing them.  It is right that I should feel lonely, empty, and pained.  I have good reason to feel these emotions, because I lost half my heart.  I can also feel anger, fear, and uncertainty.  While I acknowledge and accept those emotions, I am not embracing them.  They are a by product of the grief, and do very little to improve my situation, or the situation of those around me.  Further I have very little actual reason to be afraid, angry, or uncertain, they are an instinctual reaction to the unknown situation we all find ourselves in.  Hoping everyone finds comfort and peace,

Herc

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Marcel   

Beautifully written Herc,

everytime I look at her picture I can't help but smile because I realize how lucky I was to have her in my life. At the same time grief hits me and tears might be rolling.

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KayC   
40 minutes ago, Herc said:

I can be happy, but also feel the loss. 

That is true for all of us.  That's why I say I coexist with my grief.

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BSL   

Marcel,

The description of your emotional and rational sides and your history resonates with my life as well. When my wife first met my parents, ( I was about 28 at the time), she found it so weird and sad that I didn't hug my mother. She said, "you fly home for Christmas and you don't even hug". My response was "we just didn't do that". She compelled me to initiate the new standard the next time home and although I was very uncomfortable, I did it. Of course my wife was right, my mother was ecstatic. Eventually, I started hugging my father too not right away...baby steps 1st)

I am logical to a fault, scientific method etc, but grief is not a rational state of mind. You can't really think your way out of it. I have read a lot and it does help to understand what I'm going through, but, of course it does not diminish the pain. I have irrational fears that I will forget her, especially when I have a particularly busy day and I'm temporarily  not thinking about my wife

It has been a year and 4 months now, yet, I'm in a holding pattern. To me, it doesn't matter. I don't care if I'm moving forward, that's a construct created by people who have not been through loss like this. 

I had a mini-epiphany yesterday and it was what and when acceptance occurs. All this time, so far, every day that passes feels like my wife is further away, like, I'm on a ship, travelling away and i have left her behind. All I have left are memories, happy, sad, painful; all are precious, even those incredibly dark painful days at the end, because they are all I have now. I am not religious, I don't believe in an afterlife ( I so wish that I did)

So, for me, acceptance is the moment I emotionally accept that my wife is not coming back, that, there is no sense in waiting for "something" to happen that isn't happening, that, this is simply an event in the lifecycle of our world, everyone dies......you just have to keep going.

AND I'M  NOT THERE YET

 

( I apologize if what I wrote offends anyone, sometimes I write just because I need to)

 

 

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