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In 10 days it will be a year since I lost the love of my life. 

One. Whole. Year.

I thought by the time it reached one year I would start to feel normal-ish again. A year allows for all the firsts without your loved one - Valentines Day, your birthday, their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, New Years and so on. I thought that maybe if I could get through a year of firsts it would get easier, hurt a little less yet I'm still struggling to think of a future without him. I stil tear up at the mention of his name, or when I allow myself a moment to think of the happy memories we shared. I struggle to grasp that someone could be so present one day, and gone the next. No warning, no time to prepare, no nothing. Just gone. 

The longest we ever spent apart was a couple of days and now its nearly been a year since I heard his voice, held his hand, kissed him. It hurts beyond belief.

I guess it's true when they say "you don't get over it, you just get through it".

 

 

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Thanks for giving us an update.  It's always nice to see other members share how they are doing when they come across their milestones.     I'm quickly coming to realize that it takes a lot longer to get through it.   I've concluded that the thoughts and memory of the life we had together with our partners will always be painful.    There is no cure for that.   I've also realized that there is really no timeline for us to operate by.   Everyone and every loss is unique.  What may be a turnaround point for someone at a 1-year or 6-month mark may not be for another.    What remains true is again, the pain.... that will never go away.  It will always be painful, in one way or another.   The one takeaway I can give you on your post is that it's clear how much you love your boyfriend.  Unlike how physical body, our love never ceases.    It's very meaningful in spite of how much we've lost.

 

 

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18 hours ago, GreenL said:

In 10 days it will be a year since I lost the love of my life. 

One. Whole. Year.

I thought by the time it reached one year I would start to feel normal-ish again. A year allows for all the firsts without your loved one - Valentines Day, your birthday, their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, New Years and so on. I thought that maybe if I could get through a year of firsts it would get easier, hurt a little less yet I'm still struggling to think of a future without him. I stil tear up at the mention of his name, or when I allow myself a moment to think of the happy memories we shared. I struggle to grasp that someone could be so present one day, and gone the next. No warning, no time to prepare, no nothing. Just gone. 

The longest we ever spent apart was a couple of days and now its nearly been a year since I heard his voice, held his hand, kissed him. It hurts beyond belief.

I guess it's true when they say "you don't get over it, you just get through it".

 

 

You are so right, we don't get over it, just through it.  I've heard some say the second year was harder than the first.  I don't know that that was true for me, I felt that first year was truly horrific.  I felt I deserved a badge when I hit the one year mark, I'd survived all the "firsts without" and that was hard.  I felt if I could make it through that first year, I could survive anything.  But then I've found that lately I've missed him even more than the early years, and it's 12 1/2 years for me!  This is a "rest of my life" struggle, I know that, he was so special, maybe if our relationship hadn't been so perfect and if he hadn't been so perfectly right for me, it wouldn't be so hard.  Someone said a while back that grief is love turned inside out, I guess that describes it aptly.  I have to continually stay in the "one day at a time" mode or it is too overwhelming.

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36 minutes ago, KayC said:

You are so right, we don't get over it, just through it.  I've heard some say the second year was harder than the first.  I don't know that that was true for me, I felt that first year was truly horrific.  I felt I deserved a badge when I hit the one year mark, I'd survived all the "firsts without" and that was hard.  I felt if I could make it through that first year, I could survive anything.  But then I've found that lately I've missed him even more than the early years, and it's 12 1/2 years for me!  This is a "rest of my life" struggle, I know that, he was so special, maybe if our relationship hadn't been so perfect and if he hadn't been so perfectly right for me, it wouldn't be so hard.  Someone said a while back that grief is love turned inside out, I guess that describes it aptly.  I have to continually stay in the "one day at a time" mode or it is too overwhelming.

It's always so nice to hear from our more experienced members. This allows us to realistically get a glimpse into the future on what our journey may look like. Although we are each on our own individual journey, nevertheless having an idea of what others have gone through gives me some ideas on what to expect.  It's much better than not having any idea at all.    

It's also very scary to hear that this is a struggle that we have to cope and learn to adapt to for the rest of our lives. It's going to be a lifetime challenge.  It's scary just thinking about what we have to do to redefine our lives, redefine our identity, and learn how to put ourselves into a new set of shoes to walk in until it's time to go.   It's also scary to hear about "relapses" of the grief.

Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom.

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Realizing that, give or take, every relationship is unique, and so will be our journey.  We also all have different coping skills, are different ages, have different belief systems, differing support systems, and all of these things affect how we grieve or adjust.  Even things like financial situations can affect it as some struggle continually and others are self-sufficient.  Our relationship was extremely close, soulmates for sure, I've never even seen another couple as close as we were.  The people who make it here to this forum, I think they are the ones that felt that closeness also, hence the struggle.  Honestly, I've met some that lost their spouse and three months later were remarried!  They seemed as if it was nothing!  We are the close ones, the ones that miss them undeniably.

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2 hours ago, KayC said:

Realizing that, give or take, every relationship is unique, and so will be our journey.  We also all have different coping skills, are different ages, have different belief systems, differing support systems, and all of these things affect how we grieve or adjust.  Even things like financial situations can affect it as some struggle continually and others are self-sufficient.  Our relationship was extremely close, soulmates for sure, I've never even seen another couple as close as we were.  The people who make it here to this forum, I think they are the ones that felt that closeness also, hence the struggle.  Honestly, I've met some that lost their spouse and three months later were remarried!  They seemed as if it was nothing!  We are the close ones, the ones that miss them undeniably.

KayC, your post makes a lot of sense.  There are so many factors in our relationships that will affect how our bodies and mind will respond to grief.  The thought of people coming onto this forum and sharing due to the closeness of their relationship did not cross my mind.  But it does make sense for sure.  There are plenty of other partner-loss grievers out there .... but not all of them find their way onto this forum.    After my loss, I talked to my barber about what had happened and she mentioned that she has a client who remarried in 6-months!    In your example, the individual remarried in 3-months!   Wow.  I cannot see how that  is even possible.    I guess what they say is right ....  the martial status in itself does not mean anything.   It is the actual relationship between the two that defines their love and commitment.      I am thankful for myself, and everyone else here, that we have meaningful relationships.    The pain from our grief is a testament to our love!   

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11 hours ago, Azipod said:

KayC, your post makes a lot of sense.  There are so many factors in our relationships that will affect how our bodies and mind will respond to grief.  The thought of people coming onto this forum and sharing due to the closeness of their relationship did not cross my mind.  But it does make sense for sure.  There are plenty of other partner-loss grievers out there .... but not all of them find their way onto this forum.    After my loss, I talked to my barber about what had happened and she mentioned that she has a client who remarried in 6-months!    In your example, the individual remarried in 3-months!   Wow.  I cannot see how that  is even possible.    I guess what they say is right ....  the martial status in itself does not mean anything.   It is the actual relationship between the two that defines their love and commitment.      I am thankful for myself, and everyone else here, that we have meaningful relationships.    The pain from our grief is a testament to our love!   

KayC,Azipod, I do like what you 2 are saying: 'We are on this forum due to the closeness we had in our relationships'.On the outside Steve and I were never very touchy, feely.We would not show our love much publicly.But once it was just the two of us it was very different.

Steve has now been dead for nearly 19 months and no it does not get much easier.It feels less raw, but I am not in any less pain.I initially thought that maybe 2 years 'was enough'.I already realised soon that that is ridiculous to even consider.Now I think maybe 3 years.Also ridiculous...The thought of another relationship appeals but I am so not ready.Getting remarried within 3-6 months; who would have thought that was even possible????

Thank you KayC and Azipod.I do get a lot of help from your posts,eventhough I do not post often myself.

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I think when someone remarries so soon it's not because they didn't care about their partner...quite the opposite could be true, but out of fear and anxiety of being alone, they are desperate, they haven't given themselves the time they need to adjust and learn from their journey.  It can hit them after they remarry and then it can be even more complicated to deal with.

We need to be careful not to do something so as to avoid our grief.  It's important to allow ourselves the time and yes even the pain to feel our grief, that is part of the processing.

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1 hour ago, KayC said:

I think when someone remarries so soon it's not because they didn't care about their partner...quite the opposite could be true, but out of fear and anxiety of being alone, they are desperate, they haven't given themselves the time they need to adjust and learn from their journey.  It can hit them after they remarry and then it can be even more complicated to deal with.

We need to be careful not to do something so as to avoid our grief.  It's important to allow ourselves the time and yes even the pain to feel our grief, that is part of the processing.

Also, there could be financial reasons too. I've heard of someone who remarried after 6-months after losing their spouse. Turns out that the person had two young daughters and my guess is that it could have been related to their livelihood.  Who knows?   Interestingly though, after this person lost her 2nd husband, word has it that she revealed that she loved her 1st husband the most.   Life can remain so complicated beyond the underlying grief!   

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On 1/2/2018 at 3:40 PM, GreenL said:

In 10 days it will be a year since I lost the love of my life. 

One. Whole. Year.

I thought by the time it reached one year I would start to feel normal-ish again. A year allows for all the firsts without your loved one - Valentines Day, your birthday, their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, New Years and so on. I thought that maybe if I could get through a year of firsts it would get easier, hurt a little less yet I'm still struggling to think of a future without him. I stil tear up at the mention of his name, or when I allow myself a moment to think of the happy memories we shared. I struggle to grasp that someone could be so present one day, and gone the next. No warning, no time to prepare, no nothing. Just gone. 

The longest we ever spent apart was a couple of days and now its nearly been a year since I heard his voice, held his hand, kissed him. It hurts beyond belief.

I guess it's true when they say "you don't get over it, you just get through it".

I know what you're feeling - it was one year December 6 that my Charles left this earth and it still feels unreal; but somehow you manage to deal with it.  After my Charles passed away, I felt as if I could hardly breathe.  I became anxious, nervous and extremely depressed. I didn’t know how to stop my dive into the depths of despair, as I missed my husband and tried to make sense of the loss.  He was really gone and never coming back, period, end of story.  But I was still here, fading, more and more each day.  We do learn to "get through it" because that's the only option we have.

Every year in widowhood we are exposed to new highs and lows.  One of the worst things anyone said to me when I was a new widow was that the second year would be harder than the first.  I almost fainted on the spot. Here I was, plowing along with almost no sleep, feeling as tight as a watch spring, afraid I didn't have the strength to get through another week alone...and she says things were going to get worse instead of better after the first year? I just knew she had to be kidding!    I don't think she was.   The other day I read a message on another site  about how unfair it seems that things don't improve after the first year of widowhood. The person wrote, that

  1. "We have made it through anniversaries, birthdays and holidays for twelve months, and we may be getting more used to not having our spouse or partner around. We have learned to do a lot of new things to make up for their absence. Probate is finished, if no one has challenged the Will.  We should feel better after this, but we don't. Every widow I know told me the second year was worse than the first." 

  Another post read,

  1. "Amen, my friend...I thought that after the first year it would be better, but I found year two worse." "I thought I was so strong and handling things well, just periodically sad and teary." Now she said she was finding that "Life doesn't stand still and wait for us. There always gonna be new decisions, and responsibilities to take care of.

The more I think about it, I agree; the second year can be worse (in some ways). I'm willing to bet not one of us would wish to go back through the scary Hell of those first few weeks. But what a comeuppance, to be improving and getting stronger, and looking forward to the one-year mark, and we find...what? The Second Year Slump!   I agree we all probably expected that first anniversary to be a celebration of survival, and...the end of grief? It is a relief to know we don't have to go through all those "firsts" again, but suddenly we realize that "life alone" has just begun. I sank into depression shortly after the first anniversary. I wondered why I couldn't just get on with my life.

I finally concluded that the first year was all about "me, me, and ME." Would I make it? Would I get through all the fears and uncertainties? Would I have any friends left? Would I have any money left? The second year arrived with a big thud! "Never mind YOU," my mind said. "It is time to fully face the loss of Charles and your life together." I felt so terribly sad and lonely. It really sank in that he wasn't coming back. I realize now that I had put him on a shelf for safekeeping that first year, so I could busy myself jumping through hoops and over the hurdles of simple survival. Now it was time to pay the piper.

We, as widows need to educate our friends and relatives about this second year phenomenon, so they don't abandon us when we most need them. Widows have to do most grief work alone, it's true, but our support system needs to stand by...just in case we get in over our heads. Depression itself can be frightening, debilitating, even dangerous. So we need our friends, neighbors, family members, doctor and counselor to know what to watch for as we negotiate these new pitfalls.

I definitely miss my Charles' incredible sense of humor, his bear hugs, the comfort of his presence even if he was just watching TV. I wished I had been sweeter to him and overlooked petty differences that didn't mean diddly. What I really need is for him to hold me and comfort me now, as I began working through this life without him.  There had been some sense of success as I moved through the other stages but, I didn't want to do this one alone. I need him more than I ever had, even when he was alive.  Since his death, I felt abandoned, and I knew it wasn't likely to get better for a long, long time. But, after a few months, the sun peeked in and I knew someday I would be whole again, somehow, someday.   Until then, I'll hold on; because he would have wanted me to - sure - but because I need to.  Hugs to those of us who are going through "the second year slump!"

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Francine.  What an awesome post.  Your speaking directly from the heart is so profound.... brought tears down my eyes.   I'm not at the 2nd year yet.  But I made it through the first 6-months.  I always thought the "2nd half" of the 1st year would be easier... that I would be more acclimated to my new life and surroundings.    Not so!    As soon as you get into a new phase, there will be new challenges.   I "get" what you are saying about the 2nd year... I just don't know how it feels like, yet.   But much appreciate the heads up and some light on what's to come for the rest of us!

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On 1/4/2018 at 8:55 PM, Tineke Tjepkema said:

KayC,Azipod, I do like what you 2 are saying: 'We are on this forum due to the closeness we had in our relationships'.On the outside Steve and I were never very touchy, feely.We would not show our love much publicly.But once it was just the two of us it was very different.

Steve has now been dead for nearly 19 months and no it does not get much easier.It feels less raw, but I am not in any less pain.I initially thought that maybe 2 years 'was enough'.I already realised soon that that is ridiculous to even consider.Now I think maybe 3 years.Also ridiculous...The thought of another relationship appeals but I am so not ready.Getting remarried within 3-6 months; who would have thought that was even possible????

Thank you KayC and Azipod.I do get a lot of help from your posts,eventhough I do not post often myself.

I agree.  Things don't always work out to what we've thought it would be.   Way early in my grief, even though I was in a fog, I had informal "milestones" to tell myself where I should or would like myself to be.   Those periods came and went.   I've realized that there is no way on earth I can set a timeline ... even if it meant it wasn't concrete.   Things change.  Feelings change.  Emotions change.  They do a 180-degree turn overnight.    It's unrealistic nor healthy, for me, to tell myself to shoot to be at a certain point by a certain time.     The entire grief journey is a work in progress.   No one knows, not even us, where we will be down the road.  Where we will be down the road, I think, is defined on what we are doing and where we are at, each day of our journey.   This makes losing a partner ( as well as other important people ) so terrible.   Losing the person is only half the story.   Grieving, regaining our identity, rebuilding our life as well as many other things, are a big part of the process.... and that, is something most people out there never know or understand.

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I think that I am/was just setting myself these 'time limits' because the thought of feeling this awful for years and years was just unimaginable.Azipod, as you say : 'The grief journey is a work in progress', it is something that can not be speeded up.

What I find particularly hard in this second year is that most people think that you have already moved on.I must admit that I seem ok on the outside.I live a good adventurous life, with many friends around me.I have supportive family and everything seems ok.An outsider would have no idea that I have lost my husband 1 1/2 years ago and that I am in the middle of a painful grieving process.My friends are dear friends but they are reluctant to ask me how I am.They do not want to upset me.They do not want to see me cry.When I Skype with my sister she always digs deep and I do end up crying, but I feel so much better afterwards!

This grieving process is a lonely one.What can people really do for us?Not very much, except just being there when we need them.Most of the grieving process we have to do on our own.That is just the way it is.

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I don't like "The Five Stages of Grief" because they make it sound like a roadmap, like we "should be here about now" when nothing could be further from the truth.  We can't predict how or when it'll go a certain way.  We can realize there are commonalities in our grief, like when the shock wears off it hits us hard and that's often at about six months just as people have gone back to their lives and quit asking after us, but even then it's a unique journey for each of us.  Some have support, some don't.  Some are retired and alone, some are trying to keep their jobs in spite of lack of focus.  It stands to reason there's no "one size fits all" journey.  The one thing we can know is it doesn't end and we can adjust eventually somewhat.

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On 1/7/2018 at 1:40 AM, Tineke H said:

I think that I am/was just setting myself these 'time limits' because the thought of feeling this awful for years and years was just unimaginable.Azipod, as you say : 'The grief journey is a work in progress', it is something that can not be speeded up.

What I find particularly hard in this second year is that most people think that you have already moved on.I must admit that I seem ok on the outside.I live a good adventurous life, with many friends around me.I have supportive family and everything seems ok.An outsider would have no idea that I have lost my husband 1 1/2 years ago and that I am in the middle of a painful grieving process.My friends are dear friends but they are reluctant to ask me how I am.They do not want to upset me.They do not want to see me cry.When I Skype with my sister she always digs deep and I do end up crying, but I feel so much better afterwards!

This grieving process is a lonely one.What can people really do for us?Not very much, except just being there when we need them.Most of the grieving process we have to do on our own.That is just the way it is.

Well said, Tineke.   What you wrote reminds me of a poem by Annie Lamott:

You will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved.

But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through it.

It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly -- that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.

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Yes, we will come through it.

But if only we could speed up this grieving process, if only the process was not so painful and exhausting.

I can hear my husband saying : 'TUP',  Toughen Up Princess ! He would throw that at me occasionally...And that makes me smile, so there is hope.

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On 1/7/2018 at 11:26 AM, KayC said:

I don't like "The Five Stages of Grief" because they make it sound like a roadmap, like we "should be here about now" when nothing could be further from the truth.  We can't predict how or when it'll go a certain way.  We can realize there are commonalities in our grief, like when the shock wears off it hits us hard and that's often at about six months just as people have gone back to their lives and quit asking after us, but even then it's a unique journey for each of us.  Some have support, some don't.  Some are retired and alone, some are trying to keep their jobs in spite of lack of focus.  It stands to reason there's no "one size fits all" journey.  The one thing we can know is it doesn't end and we can adjust eventually somewhat.

Boy is this true.  Dec. 25th was one year since I lost my husband. It has not become easier - in fact I rolled backwards some around the one year mark, made far worse by the surrounding holidays.  But still I try, I'm trying to "get through".

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On 1/7/2018 at 10:26 AM, KayC said:

I don't like "The Five Stages of Grief" because they make it sound like a roadmap, like we "should be here about now" when nothing could be further from the truth.  We can't predict how or when it'll go a certain way.  We can realize there are commonalities in our grief, like when the shock wears off it hits us hard and that's often at about six months just as people have gone back to their lives and quit asking after us, but even then it's a unique journey for each of us.  Some have support, some don't.  Some are retired and alone, some are trying to keep their jobs in spite of lack of focus.  It stands to reason there's no "one size fits all" journey.  The one thing we can know is it doesn't end and we can adjust eventually somewhat.

Ditto that!   Memories are the grieving mind’s invitation to remember, rather than to forget and remembering special days and occasions puts the fact of losing someone so dear  into perspective.  We remember that it was a week ago, a one month or a year ago, and that provides a framework, a chronological context in which we can place an event that still seems unreal and unimaginable. These small milestones give us another opportunity to revisit the event in order to believe the unbelievable and accept the unacceptable a little more fully.  We dread it, realizing that tears we thought and even hoped were behind us, are still with us and will swell again, and that the loneliness of missing that very special person will rise to the surface.

I don't think we ever escape the impact of those milestone dates; they are unavoidable simply because they are reminders of the life we loved and lost.   The only choice is whether we will control the grief or whether we will allow the grief to control US. Avoidance does not work well; just when we least expect it, grief taps us on the shoulder and consumes us once again. We may even get through a day or two quiet well, but the grief attack will occur a day or so earlier, or a week or two later.  Accepting our loss and desperately trying not let it devour us will be accomplished by working at it, not by ignoring it and hoping it will go away.  Milestones in our grief serve as an opportunity to take stock; to see where the time and circumstance has led; to review some lessons and plan what is ahead. And if nothing else, they serve to remind us that we have made it thus far, and that in itself is a milestone, worth celebrating.

 

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We feel we aren't making any progress until we look back...recall that first day when you first knew they died...the gut wrenching pain, remember that first night's "sleep" (not!).  Remember walking around in a daze, anxious, crushed inside, wanting to die yourself.  I don't think anything could compare to those early days but even the early months were something we'd never want to repeat!  That we get up, brush our teeth, eat something now and then, drink some water, go to work, whether we're good at it or not, and remember to breathe...being able to function to this extent is quite a feat!  We should pat ourselves on the back, we are surviving, somehow!  Thank God for this site, for each other, without which we might truly go crazy and be hauled off...

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On 1/9/2018 at 10:02 AM, KayC said:

We should pat ourselves on the back, we are surviving, somehow!  Thank God for this site, for each other, without which we might truly go crazy and be hauled off...

You're 100% on point!  By God's grace we survive; and by HIS grace we're on this wonderful website helping one another.  HE knows exactly what we need and when we need it; and it's no accident we're here, its God grace. 

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