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Karl

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Karl   

I thought I would introduce myself, I'm Karl and I lost my wife (Helen aged 47) of 23 years in Jan 2015, so its a little over two and a half years since my world changed forever!

She was everything to me, she was my best friend and confidante and a fantastic mother to our two children (now 24 and 20). In 2012, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had all the therapies, which she didn't react well to, but was given the all clear, however in May 2014, found a lump in her neck, diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, then fairly quickly told it was terminal. She decided that she didn't want to live her remaining time, back and forth to hospital, getting treatment that would not help or would even make her feel worse, she wanted to go out on her terms with dignity. That is exactly what she did, she carried on doing what she always did, being there for others, not wanting to let her illness define her. We had our last holiday together in the November (Fort William in Scotland) before it was too difficult to go out, she stayed at home right up till a week before she died. I'm glad that she did as I know what it is like to watch someone fade away, I watched my father suffer with 6 months of the therapies and still die, which is just coming up to 15 years ago, wow that crept up without me realizing.

It might be over two years but the pain is still so raw, as I've read with so many that it never goes away, it's just gets easier to control the emotions! I've also read with interest what others have said about how others are with you, I've had discussions with friends and I've told them that their lives go back to normal within a short time, but my life will never be normal again. We in a sense have to find a new normal, but don't expect in to come easily or quickly. I took redundancy and able to be at home with her before she died, and didn't rush to get back to work which I think was right for me, but that also meant I had a lot of time with my grief. The kids were great and handled it well, but I also know that they didn't want to talk about it with me because they knew it would upset me, so they supported each other, it was only recently that I have had a talk with my daughter, this was due to the funeral of my grandmother, which meant she broke down as we walked into same chapel as her mum. Additionally she had not been able to talk to her older brother as he moved out of town a few months earlier.

So the reason I am now here is to be able to talk with like minded ones, who know what its like to be in the pit. I've not gone for counseling etc, though have thought about it a little recently, but I will admit I have drank more than is healthy, which I am dealing with.

Sorry if went on a bit, but this is what its all about isn't it, being able to talk.

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Sorry you have reason to find us here. That said, this is as good a place as I've found for people to understand what you have and are going through. 

My wife passed 12 weeks ago but it was sudden and I'm dealing with it poorly. At least I think so. I've often wished I was the type of person that could drink to help dull the pain but unfortunately I know that it would take me to an even darker place. One of the reasons I pulled away from my wife's family was that they're crazy heavy drinkers and it made me uncomfortable. After my wife passed, I had a burger at a tiny little shop down a back alley. On the picnic table I sat at someone had painted the following: I drank to drown my sorrows but the bastards learned to swim. For some reason, that stuck with me.

In any case, there are no judgements here. Whatever you have to do to get through the next day. Welcome to the community that we all wish we weren't a part of.

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Francine   
2 hours ago, Karl said:

but this is what its all about isn't it, being able to talk.

It certainly is and I'm glad that after two years, you feel comfortable in sharing your story.  From your post, she sounds like a truly amazing person and evident the loved you shared together.

 

2 hours ago, Karl said:

over two years but the pain is still so raw, as I've read with so many that it never goes away, it's just gets easier to control the emotions! I've also read with interest what others have said about how others are with you, I've had discussions with friends and I've told them that their lives go back to normal within a short time, but my life will never be normal again. We in a sense have to find a new normal, but don't expect in to come easily or quickly. I took redundancy and able to be at home with her before she died, and didn't rush to get back to work which I think was right for me, but that also meant I had a lot of time with my grief. The kids were great and handled it well, but I also know that they didn't want to talk about it with me because they knew it would upset me, so they supported each other, it was only recently that I have had a talk with my daughter, this was due to the funeral of my grandmother, which meant she broke down as we walked into same chapel as her mum. Additionally she had not been able to talk to her older brother as he moved out of town a few months earlier.

Like your wife, my Charles was my everything and my entire being still ache for him.  They are right, the pain NEVER ever goes away and what people need to understand is that no amount of time is going to ever change what we feel.  Our loss will be our loss forever.  Grieving never stops; yes, in time we may not express our feelings outwardly as much, but we still continue to grieve for our loved ones. 

I've learned that although family and friends mean well, until they are there personally, they will never truly understand it.    I agree, we must find a new *normal* for ourselves and for one, I hate it.  I didn't cause my new normal, I can't cure it; I can't avoid it; I can't ignore it; I can't outsmart it; I can't control it;  I don't like it.  The only thing I can do is manage it and learn to live with it.

I happy to learn your children are handling it well and admire them for not wanting to upset you; however, I think it's important that you are there for one another. Sometimes we just need people to simply be there; not to fix anything or to do anything in particular but just to let us feel that we are loved, supported and cared for. The love of a family is life's greatest blessing and can get through anything and everything - together!

 

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Dian   

I'm sorry for your loss. My husband passed suddenly from a heart attack at the age of fifty three months ago. I struggle every day to just breathe. I miss him terribly and wonder if this agony will subside a bit. I too wish I was the type who could drink but i dont think anything could numb the pain we are feeling. I have children as well but I try not to bring up what i am feeling so i don't add to their grief and cause them to worry. I never knew pain like this before. This group has helped me feel not so alone and I can say how i feel with no judgement. My heart goes out to everyone here. 

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Karl   

Thank you for your lovely replies and comments.

39 minutes ago, Dian said:

I never knew pain like this before.

Even though I have suffered loss with my father, I never expected to suffer so much, even though I knew it was coming. That's not to say that I didn't think I would be bad, but not the level at which it hit me. 

I'm not saying drinking is ok, but I grew up with a father and mother who both worked in the beer and bar industry, so I saw alcohol used frequently and it was seen as normal, plus he was Scottish and knew how to drink, so it became something normal to do even from an early age. 

I had a wife to keep an eye on me which she did very well, but not now! I've been controlling it a lot better now, because as someone pointed out earlier, drinking doesn't take the problems away, sometimes it brings more.

Oh and it costs a bloody fortune, I dare not think of how much I've spent over the past two years or so. 

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Dian   

I'm Irish and we tend to like a drink or two or three. I just know it will make me more depressed so i don't even attempt it. I lost both my parents by the time I was 19 and it was devastating but not even close to what I am feeling now. I just feel like the pain will never end, how can I live the rest of my life this way. I just wish I could turn it off. 

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Karl   
1 minute ago, Dian said:

I'm Irish and we tend to like a drink or two or three. I just know it will make me more depressed so i don't even attempt it. I lost both my parents by the time I was 19 and it was devastating but not even close to what I am feeling now. I just feel like the pain will never end, how can I live the rest of my life this way. I just wish I could turn it off. 

I suppose we each deal on our own way, I'm fortunate that when I've had a drink I don't get depressed.  

As to living, I see that at times we only exist, we don't live. Early on I was like everyone else numb, but we each have to go through the pain, otherwise we lock it in and end up suffering even worse. Whether you do it alone or with someone else is up to you, but it does need to come out! I still break down regularly, but it's now not everyday, small improvements will come, but it's different with each individual, and there will be massive ups and down, for instance I had a good few days week before last, but over the weekend my daughter was away and I was in the house all alone, I didn't have a good weekend. So prepare for these things to come along!

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KayC   

Welcome, Karl, although I'm very sorry for the reason being you lost your wife, we wouldn't wish that on anyone.  I'm at 12 years out and I would say the intensity lessens greatly and I wouldn't call it painful anymore, although I miss him each and every day and think about him constantly.  May be I've just gotten more used to it.  I've worked hard at my adjustment, grief takes a lot of work and can be exhausting.

Living alone can get old, but my kids were grown when George died, so it's been a long lonely journey.  I get involved in activities so I get out a bit each day, that helps.  But still, nights are alone since I can't drive at night anymore.

This is a good place to express yourself as those of us here get it.  I hope you'll continue to come here to read and post, perhaps you can tell us a little about your wife.

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