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lovingstill

The one month mark - losing the love of my life

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I'm back! I received a referral to a phenomenal specialist in my city who should be able to take it from here -- who I'll see in the first week of January, in part because that's when my insurance for my new state goes into effect. And out just in time for the holidays... I was nervous I might still be there for his services which haven't happened yet and are nowhere near my house.

Today, I received a really beautiful email from a friend of a friend, who I've gotten to know over the years, but I haven't seen in about a year. Her boyfriend of 12 years died just before she turned 30, and she was a complete wreck.

I wanted to share it with all of you because it was really quite beautiful and probably the most "raw" thing I've heard from people I know "IRL" since his passing. Most people talk about God's plan, God's will, it being his time, etc...I don't believe any of that. Anyway, here it is-- her words really touched me. I was just getting home and saw this on my phone and the first thing I did was turn on my computer to respond to her.

Quote
I know you are going through a difficult time right now. (That is an understatement if there ever was one.) I just wanted to send you a quick note that I am deeply sorry for your loss (also a crude understatement) and that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
 
Not many people know this but when I was 28, my boyfriend of 12 years died unexpectedly in a plane crash. I still have nightmares. I dream of him so much--- that I could have warned him, that I could have saved him, that he's still alive somewhere. He's still in my heart and mind, and though that doesn't take away the pain, I can tell you it gets better. Over time it gets less sharp somehow.
 
That's really the only way I know how to explain it, but I wish I could say something more comforting. Grief is messy and nonlinear, and though it never becomes less profound, it does change. I know we are not close, but I am here if you ever want to talk or if you just want to be on the phone with someone in complete silence to know there is someone there. This is a sincere offer and I would never think you were weak or needy for taking me up on it. I keep my phone on vibrate next to my bed and the number is in my signature line.
 
Once again, I am so sorry that your love, that this amazing person was taken away from you and the world so soon and so unexpectedly, and I'm so sorry for what you are going through and living with/without everyday. 
 

 

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Your friend gets it, she's been there.  She is absolutely correct.  The intensity of the pain lessens to something a little more bearable, and our grief evolves as our bodies begin to adjust to the changes this means for us.  We continue missing them no matter how much time passes.  And your friend is offering you the one thing that seems to be of comfort, sitting with you in your pain.  No platitudes, no cliches. 

I agree with you, I don't see this as being something God willed for us or did to us, I know life happens, death happens, it's unfair, there's no explaining it, why some people get to spend their whole lives together and others are cut short, I don't see this as something planned, that would be too cruel, it's something we have to learn to live with and bear, that doesn't mean it's ever easy, it's not.

(((hugs)))  I'm glad you have at least one person that understands.  If I see any purpose in having gone through this it is this" "who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Cor. 1:4

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On 12/22/2017 at 5:39 PM, lovingstill said:

I'm back! I received a referral to a phenomenal specialist in my city who should be able to take it from here -- who I'll see in the first week of January, in part because that's when my insurance for my new state goes into effect. And out just in time for the holidays... I was nervous I might still be there for his services which haven't happened yet and are nowhere near my house.

Today, I received a really beautiful email from a friend of a friend, who I've gotten to know over the years, but I haven't seen in about a year. Her boyfriend of 12 years died just before she turned 30, and she was a complete wreck.

I wanted to share it with all of you because it was really quite beautiful and probably the most "raw" thing I've heard from people I know "IRL" since his passing. Most people talk about God's plan, God's will, it being his time, etc...I don't believe any of that. Anyway, here it is-- her words really touched me. I was just getting home and saw this on my phone and the first thing I did was turn on my computer to respond to her.

 

It's so nice of her to reach out to you.  She knows this journey as she has experienced it first-hand herself.  We should all keep these kind gestures in mind.  Down the line, we will all have our own opportunity to sprinkle some healing/comfort to others who are in need.   We will have more members in our terrible club.... that's for sure.

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1 hour ago, Azipod said:

It's so nice of her to reach out to you.  She knows this journey as she has experienced it first-hand herself.  We should all keep these kind gestures in mind.  Down the line, we will all have our own opportunity to sprinkle some healing/comfort to others who are in need.   We will have more members in our terrible club.... that's for sure.

With our luck, we'll be sending similar emails for 80 years to come...

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On 12/24/2017 at 6:09 PM, lovingstill said:

With our luck, we'll be sending similar emails for 80 years to come...

The thought of that is really scary.   Usually when we talk about grief, people envision sadness, sorrow, loneliness..... but not fear.   There is some true fear that comes with grief.  I've gotten to a point where I can make it through each day.  But the thought of continuing on for any prolonged period of time without my wife is so scary and daunting.  I've lost her for 6-months.  OK.  But how do I live another 6-months without her?   How about the next 6-years?  It's crazy scary and there's no easier way to put it.

When I am old with white hair, how do I go to the cemetery and look at her, and still see her as she was in her 30s?   I know I'm not suppose to think about the future and just concentrate on the present... I am.  But the thought does bother me.

I really hope I don't last another 80 years... or 8 for that matter.

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4 hours ago, Azipod said:

The thought of that is really scary.   Usually when we talk about grief, people envision sadness, sorrow, loneliness..... but not fear.   There is some true fear that comes with grief.  I've gotten to a point where I can make it through each day.  But the thought of continuing on for any prolonged period of time without my wife is so scary and daunting.  I've lost her for 6-months.  OK.  But how do I live another 6-months without her?   How about the next 6-years?  It's crazy scary and there's no easier way to put it.

When I am old with white hair, how do I go to the cemetery and look at her, and still see her as she was in her 30s?   I know I'm not suppose to think about the future and just concentrate on the present... I am.  But the thought does bother me.

I really hope I don't last another 80 years... or 8 for that matter.

Man, I also don’t want another eight or eighth. I had an internal bleed and widespread organ dysfunction and for whatever reason I AM STILL HERE. I did nothing to cause it but I spent that week so grateful that it was last looking so dire. Just my luck, I’m still here. I was just thinking today about visiting him and being old and frail. I would rather die young to be reunited sooner and not have to suffer another day. I used to be scared of death. Since he died, I’m scared of my own life. My father’s family doesn’t have longevity in their genes but my mother’s died and even if I die somewhere in the middle I’d be sixty! 

 

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11 minutes ago, lovingstill said:

Man, I also don’t want another eight or eighth. I had an internal bleed and widespread organ dysfunction and for whatever reason I AM STILL HERE. I did nothing to cause it but I spent that week so grateful that it was last looking so dire. Just my luck, I’m still here. I was just thinking today about visiting him and being old and frail. I would rather die young to be reunited sooner and not have to suffer another day. I used to be scared of death. Since he died, I’m scared of my own life. My father’s family doesn’t have longevity in their genes but my mother’s died and even if I die somewhere in the middle I’d be sixty! 

I'm wishing everyday to get admitted to the hospital... so I can understand how disappointed you got when they told you that "everything was fine" and that it was time to go home.   I too was afraid of death in the past.  Now, I welcome it.  I welcome it with open arms because the love of my life has already gone that direction. There is no reason for me to be afraid anymore....   why in the world would I be afraid to join my wife?    I hope I don't make it to where I am old and frail.  That's the one thing that people don't get for us.  Being young simply means that we're going to be spending one heck long of a ride without our loved one. 

People tell me that that overtime, with proper healing, I would be happy again.  Well.  I don't want to be happy again, not without my wife here.   I suppose this "thought and desire" is what i need to work on.   Life is so painful.

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My dad died at 62 and I'm now 65...my mom's family however lives way into their 90s, I figure with my luck I took after them.  I hope I only make it to 80s not 90s though, I think, I can do another 15 years but the thought of another 30 sounds daunting.  Yep, back to a day at a time!  Stay in this present moment, no borrowing trouble.

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I've been going through his emails and his phone - finally got to spend some time with his parents and siblings. Anyway, today I found out he was a Mensa member -- he had never told me that! Little things bring me joy.

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That is so cool!  My son is a genius too, I don't know where he got it.  :)  I'm glad you've gotten to spend some time with his parents and siblings!

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I am new here, trying to find forums that are current. My husband of 11 1/2 years suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. (Airlifted--we live in a remote area). I was at a conference in SF but left immediately and met him at the hospital. He had been given a stent for a blocked artery, but had damage to his heart so he remained in the hospital for a few days. He was discharged 4 days later and 3 hours afterwards had to be readmitted due to fainting from dehydration. He overnighted again in the hospital and they adjusted his medication. He was/is 47 almost 48. So he was discharged again, and we were strict about the walking routine, breathing, correct diet, meds, etc. We were waiting around for his stress test monday. Monday morning I bolted awake at 5:48 am because he was gasping for air. I called 911 immediately but his heart stopped. I dragged him onto the floor and began cpr but it was not good--the emts never got a pulse back although they worked on him for an hour. I was all alone in a strange city. I have a horror of myself because I could not save him. I keep thinking what if we had done this, what if I had done that, why didn't i do this?  I keep remembering the whole scenario. I miss him so much--we had so much we wanted to do together and talk about. If this is a test from god, why did he test me when he knew I would fail? Counselors tell me I am trying to make sense out of something that doesn't make sense, that I am trying to find some control and I can see that but it still hurts and i feel pithed--like something vital has been ripped out of my being-- and empty and scared all the time. 

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I’m so sorry for your loss, Michelene.  There are quite a few members here who have suffered a sudden, traumatic death. I do hope you will find the compassion, understanding and support you will need, among us.  We understand your fears as we all have them too. 

Sadly, the what if’s and if only’s, seem to be a part of early grief as even those of us who weren’t with our beloveds when they died, torture ourselves with similar thoughts when we learn of the details of their death.  There seems to be no way to stop those thoughts coming.  Same also applies to reliving our soulmate’s death over and over.  In time, we find it necessary to learn ways to give our minds a break from these thoughts. Our minds are so battered from the trauma, as are our bodies and souls.  

We’d become so like one with our soulmates that it really does feel as though a large part of us has been ripped from our body.  The grief we suffer is overwhelming and very demanding and there’s no way round it- no shortcuts, I’m afraid.  We survive by living just one minute, one hour or one day at a time. 

Taking care of our personal, health and nutritional needs is also hard work, but necessary.  

Again, I’m sorry for your loss.  Know my thoughts are with you, Michelene. 

Sending strength, love and hugs XX 

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Michelene,

Your counselors are right...this isn't a test and you didn't fail.  All of the "what ifs" and guilt feelings, they're a way of trying to come up with a different outcome, but there is no other outcome, only this.  It's part of grief and part of our grief response.  We are haunted by that last day, those last moments and everything leading up to it, but in time we can learn to put that to rest...somewhat.  I'm glad you're getting counseling, I hope your counselor is trained in grief, preferably with a degree in thanatology.

My husband also died of a heart attack, we hadn't known until that weekend he even had heart problems, but we found out he had a severely damaged heart from a heart attack six months before. (His doctor had never investigated heart problems, thinking his blacking out was his Diabetes.)  It leaves you in shock, utter and complete shock as your whole world has just been turned upside down.

This is what I've learned in my 12 year journey and I hope even one thing from it will be of help to you as you are embarking on this uncharted territory.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.]
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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12 hours ago, Michelene said:

I am new here, trying to find forums that are current. My husband of 11 1/2 years suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. (Airlifted--we live in a remote area). I was at a conference in SF but left immediately and met him at the hospital. He had been given a stent for a blocked artery, but had damage to his heart so he remained in the hospital for a few days. He was discharged 4 days later and 3 hours afterwards had to be readmitted due to fainting from dehydration. He overnighted again in the hospital and they adjusted his medication. He was/is 47 almost 48. So he was discharged again, and we were strict about the walking routine, breathing, correct diet, meds, etc. We were waiting around for his stress test monday. Monday morning I bolted awake at 5:48 am because he was gasping for air. I called 911 immediately but his heart stopped. I dragged him onto the floor and began cpr but it was not good--the emts never got a pulse back although they worked on him for an hour. I was all alone in a strange city. I have a horror of myself because I could not save him. I keep thinking what if we had done this, what if I had done that, why didn't i do this?  I keep remembering the whole scenario. I miss him so much--we had so much we wanted to do together and talk about. If this is a test from god, why did he test me when he knew I would fail? Counselors tell me I am trying to make sense out of something that doesn't make sense, that I am trying to find some control and I can see that but it still hurts and i feel pithed--like something vital has been ripped out of my being-- and empty and scared all the time. 

Michelene, I am so sorry to hear about your loss.  Losing your spouse around the time of the holidays makes this season especially hard -- and it's already hard for us already!

Over the next few weeks and months, you will go through a wave of emotions and experiences that you never have ever dreamt of. At times, the emotions and overwhelming feelings will be intense and it will be difficult to see how you can make it through.   Just know that the difficulties are not unique, we all will go through it.   Make sure you make use of your social support system back at home and come here to share what you feel comfortable with sharing.

You are right.  I don't know about test or lessons here.  These learnings, so to speak, is very severe.   You asked about how to make sense out of this.    There is no sense at all.  Things involving life or death has no sense.  There is no rhyme or reason for anything.   Death will take us all.  It doesn't matter if you are young, old, the color of your skin, career, or your financial setting.   Death takes us all, sometimes early, sometimes late.... and for what seems like most of us... it takes us in the form of a tragedy.

In my earlier months, I thought about how we were taught as your kids, that we should never give up and that there's a solution to everything.  Well, there is no solution to grief because someone left that out in the books!   But then I came to realize over some time that taking on and processing grief does not involve using the brain.  It involves using the heart.  We need to cherish the memories of those who have passed, those who have marked our lives in a positive manner, and to those who love us.  Cherishing them means different things to different people.  We need to find out what works for us, and how we can cherish them, thinkg about them, and incorporate them into our daily life.   Part of the grief process is learning how to do that.

They say when you lose a partner, the pain never goes away (I can tell you that's true!).   The pain will always be there.  However, when we love ourselves, be kind to ourselves, and process this grief, we become bigger as an individual.  Our life that encompasses our body becomes bigger, and richer.    And over time, even though the grief and the pain remains, our life becomes more meaningful, more colorful, and more powerful and thus, it will overshadow the grief and the pain.

I hope this little bit helps to start your journey.   We are here for you.  Take good care of yourself.

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My dearly beloved's memorial service was today, and it was more beautiful than I could have expected. There were tears, but there was a lot of laughter and smiles -- and we really spent a lot of time reflecting on the full life he lived in his short 30 years rather than in the life he had left to live. I felt really close to him all day today, which was special, and my heart is broken over the loss but I'm glad we were able to spend time focusing on his beautiful life.

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lovingstill,

I'm so glad the service was beautiful.  The whole point of them is to honor them for their life and it's good to find comfort in doing that with others that also love him.

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On 12/30/2017 at 7:22 PM, lovingstill said:

My dearly beloved's memorial service was today, and it was more beautiful than I could have expected. There were tears, but there was a lot of laughter and smiles -- and we really spent a lot of time reflecting on the full life he lived in his short 30 years rather than in the life he had left to live. I felt really close to him all day today, which was special, and my heart is broken over the loss but I'm glad we were able to spend time focusing on his beautiful life.

That's so great to hear.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to pull through that day.  The service for my wife was exactly 2-weeks after.  I got through it, surprisingly without any issues at all, partly because I was in a complete fog and I was going through just the motions for the most part.  I'm not sure if I could have done it had I been farther down the line when I've totally grasp what has happened.

Either way, our special loved ones attend their funeral in spirit.  I'm sure he was very happy for what you have done and have provided you love and comfort to help you make it through that day.

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We are in the estate division phase now. We weren't married but we were careful and listed each other as beneficiaries on as much as possible. Anyway, through this process, his parents have found out how wealthy he was; they asked, I told them -- and it has been an unnecessary added stressor because the mom now seems to be fighting to make sure she keeps everything that was his. I don't care about any of it because it means nothing to me without having him here, but I don't want my relationship with his family ruined as a result.

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Lovingstill, I am sorry your beloved’s Mother is taking this attitude.  Behaviour such as this is not uncommon.  I’ve been through it, and the damage done is beyond repair. .   

From my own experiences and others I’ve read of, stake claiming, greed, more often than not  leads to the breakdown of what we thought was once healthy, stable relationships with our late partners family of origin.. You are still very fresh in your grief and it’s understandable you don’t care about finances and possessions now, but as time wears on and shock wears off, you realise the importance of keeping what was worked for and accumulated by you both. You may need that money in the future.  

Even if your beloved left specific instructions in his Will, ignore any pressure from stake claim and ‘BE IN NO RUSH to part with his belongings. Gifting items to others is part of processing our grief and is best left till when ‘you’ are ready.  In my country the law allows 2 or 3 years. 

Strength n hugs Xx

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lovingstill,

It would help if you and "mom" could get together with a third party, an unbiased mediator to settle his estate, because you may not care about having his things right now, you're still early in your grief and we prone to "grief fog" then...but later on you may feel differently.  It's good to settle on something fair to all.  You both love him, you both should have something.  He obviously wanted you taken care of so you wouldn't have to worry about anything financially if you lost him, otherwise he wouldn't have put you on a beneficiary.  I hope your relationship with his family can survive intact but you do need to look after you, no one else will.

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