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TL:DNR

Today marks 100 days since Clive died.  I can't believe he's been gone so long - to me it feels like it all happened yesterday.  I don't feel like I'm moving on at all emotionally.  I've learned to stop crying so much in public at least.  I can actually get around the supermarket now without crying about the fact that I no longer buy his favourite cheese and that I only have to buy half the amount of everything - but the feelings inside me are still the same, I'm just learning to hide it better.

On Saturday I went around the local motorbike shops to try and get a valuation on his beloved Moto Guzzi.  It's way too big for me to ride and I know he wouldn't it just mouldering away in the garage - someone should get use out of it and love it the way he did.  He used to call it his Italian Mistress and joke that if the house caught fire he'd rescue the bike first and then come back for me!  I feel so guilty about selling his possessions.  They're his.  It's not only the bike, he has 3 cars, 2 of which are old junkers that he was going to spend his retirement doing up.  The only people who are interested in them are the scrap merchants and I feel dreadful that I'm selling them for scrap, but I can't do anything with them and they can't be driven so they have to be taken away on a low loader - the only ones willing to do that are the scrappys so I don't really have a choice.  The guilt is overwhelming, even though I know that it's only what he would do if he were still here.

On top of that, I spent the weekend in the hospital  with my aunt.  My uncle also has terminal cancer.  It's in his liver as well, like Clive's, but he was taken in with pneumonia and they've just found 2 more tumours on his lungs as well.  They're having problems treating the pneumonia because he's so weak and can't handle the drugs.  My aunt is in bits and wouldn't let me leave.  It was absolute hell for me though.  It brought everything back with a vengeance and I spent last night screaming into the carpet for hours.  But what could I do?  I couldn't leave her there when she needed me.  She has grown up children but I think she wanted me there because I completely understood how she's feeling.  She kept asking "What happens next?  "What are they doing now?"  "How long do we have?"  And I couldn't answer any of her questions because how do I know?  Bill is completely different to Clive.  All I could do was hold her hand and talk to her, tell her that she'd get through this and she has to be strong for Bill and the kids, she'll be alright, life will go on, look at me, I'm managing and she can do the same - all the rubbish you spout out when there's nothing else you can do

What an absolute bloody liar I am though.  I know full well that there's no life at all after you lose you soul mate, there's just pain, grief, misery and a longing to join them, and I'm sitting there telling her that she's strong and she'll be okay.  I'm a total hypocrite.

So, after 100 days what have I learned.  I've learned that I can breathe in and out without him.  That I can get out of bed every morning, shower and go to work.  That I can feed the cat and clean out her litter tray.  That I can go shopping and not cry.  That I can smile at people, lie through my teeth and say "Oh, you know, I'm starting to get over the shock now.  I'm sure everything will be fine in time."

I've also learned that the things I miss most about him are the things that used to drive me mad.  The way he'd always doctor up a chilli that I'd made to make it so hot I'd burn my mouth - and then he'd laugh at me for being a wuss while he made the most horrible noise eating it because it was usually too hot even for him..  The way he'd track mud across the hall carpet because he'd never take his boots off after working outside.  The tools and half built projects  that he'd leave all over the place in the garage so I couldn't even get to the washing machine.  The way he'd use every mug in the kitchen rather than swill out the one he was using.  The terrible music he used to play on a Friday night before going out for a drink.  The snoring!   The way he'd use every saucepan and spoon we possess to make soup.  Dishes piled on top of the dishwasher because he refused to put them in himself. Driving myself in my own car rather than him insisting on driving us everywhere.

I could go on for ever but if I don't stop now I'll end up in pieces again.

Sorry for going on so long.  I don't know who else to say this to.

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Skywise,

I am so very sorry about the loss of your Clive. You sound like you had an awesome relationship. You also sound like you are grieving in a healthy way and moving forward step by step. I'm sure helping your aunt has really been hard on you emotionally, mentally and probably physically. Your post wasn't too long; in fact, I enjoyed reading it. I almost laughed at the image of Clive slurping chili noisily while you were irritated. 

We will be here with you,

ModKonnie

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Skywise,

I love your post.  It is so real. so authentic.  I laughed too at all of his behaviors because that's just how it is when you are married, we all have those things that can drive another person nuts, in themselves not a big deal...and after death, the things we wish for most, so that it almost doesn't make any sense at all to the rest of the world, but to us who grieve, it makes all the sense in the world!

Right now I can't even think of any bad qualities George had.  He must have had them, we all do, I just can't remember any.  If he had any, I'd take them all just to have him back with me for even one day.  Sigh...

I hope you're able to let go of the guilt of getting rid of his possessions...they're of no earthly value to him now.  Funny how while we're in these earthly bodies things can be so important to us but everything is reduced to what's really important when we leave our bodies and all we have left is our spirit form, maybe that's why we can't take it with us.  I've been making cards for over 30 years and I have a room FULL of diecutting machines, dies, stamps, every medium and paper known to man, all the "tools for the trade".  Someday I will die and when I do, I know my son will remove the sides of the house, bulldoze it all out, put the sides back, and haul it all to the dump in his dump truck (yes, he has his own dump truck...he collects even bigger toys than I do).  And that will be okay because I will no longer have use for them.  Heaven help the person that tries to remove them a day sooner though!

 

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Thanks for that KayC.  I know the guilt about selling his things is silly.  I can almost hear him telling me "Oh just get on with it you daft bat! It's only stuff!"  It just feels so hard to let go of another piece of him.

Talking of letting go - my Uncle Bill died today.  I wasn't there but I'm told he went quite peacefully in the end.  They'd given him morphine and the same muscle relaxant and sedatives they gave to Clive so I know he didnt feel any pain, he wasn't afraid and his wife and children were with him so he wasn't  alone, which is all any of us can hope for in the end.

I'm now going to pour myself a glass of wine and drink a toast to my Clive, my Uncle Bill, you and your sister, Donna, and to all of us going through this dreadful grief.

Take Care.

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18 hours ago, Skywise said:

It just feels so hard to let go of another piece of him.

I know it does.  When my husband died, I needed to sell his car (I couldn't afford to keep it) and my coworker agreed to do it for me, he used to be a used car salesman and a good one at that.  I decided to give him George's trailer so his family could go camping in it, so I pushed myself to clean it out (I didn't have the room to keep it here)...you could hear me wailing down the street!  I never should have tried to do something like that so soon and certainly not all by myself!  But I did it.  Everything in that trailer was George, all of it.  It was a trailer we had bought for him to stay in closer to his job so he wouldn't have an accident commuting (his job was 75 miles from here), so everything in it was him.  Very hard to let go of their things.  If we don't have to for financial reasons, it doesn't hurt to let their things sit for ten years if need be until we are more used to the situation and more ready.  Gosh it's hard!

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On 2/5/2018 at 3:49 AM, Skywise said:

So, after 100 days what have I learned.  I've learned that I can breathe in and out without him.  That I can get out of bed every morning, shower and go to work.  That I can feed the cat and clean out her litter tray.  That I can go shopping and not cry.  That I can smile at people, lie through my teeth and say "Oh, you know, I'm starting to get over the shock now.  I'm sure everything will be fine in time."

I feel you.  It's been over a year and I'm still, at times, a total mess; at times, I break down and cry uncontrollably, at times, I'm fine and can face the world with a smile; at times I feel as if the world is mine and I don't have to deal with traffic or anyone's crap.  I don't have to answer calls or reply to any texts.  I don't have any responsibility; no fights, no arguments, no hate, no love, no faith, or no engagement.  I can just be - ME.

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48 minutes ago, Francine said:

I feel you.  It's been over a year and I'm still, at times, a total mess; at times, I break down and cry uncontrollably, at times, I'm fine and can face the world with a smile; at times I feel as if the world is mine and I don't have to deal with traffic or anyone's crap.  I don't have to answer calls or reply to any texts.  I don't have any responsibility; no fights, no arguments, no hate, no love, no faith, or no engagement.  I can just be - ME.

Yes.  That's exactly it.  I've lost all patience with trivia.  I'm only concerned with me now (and Chloe-the-cat) and I really don't care what other people think.  The only person's opinion I care about now is my own.  Clive is gone and, while I will always care about what he would think of what I do, I really don't care about anyone else's opinions now. No one else will ever matter to me the way Clive does so I'm just going to ignore what they say and carry on my own sweet way.  Most days are still terrible and I sit in front of the fire and scream, but I'm starting to get the odd good day when I'm functioning like a relatively normal person.  I hope those days will get more frequent.

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it's funny (odd not humorous) how it affects us...so much we learn, yes we do change.  We learn to just be. Lately I've noticed when I am reading people's grief posts, I am holding my breath and I have to remind myself to exhale and BREATHE...I guess it takes me back in time to that moment...

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On 5/2/2018 at 5:49 PM, Skywise said:

Today marks 100 days since Clive died.  I can't believe he's been gone so long - to me it feels like it all happened yesterday.  I don't feel like I'm moving on at all emotionally.  I've learned to stop crying so much in public at least.  I can actually get around the supermarket now without crying about the fact that I no longer buy his favourite cheese and that I only have to buy half the amount of everything - but the feelings inside me are still the same, I'm just learning to hide it better.

 

Hi Skywise,Yesterday marked the 20 months since Steve died.I still cry in public; it just happens.But I can go around the supermarket and walk past the Salt and Vinegar crisps with our crying.I do find that my trolley remains very empty.It is sort of sad shopping for just one person...

Just after Steve  died I used to scream and curse and swear.Occasionally I still do but compared with 20 months ago that is much less and I feel different.I am still very sad, but I do not have that horrible panicky feeling inside me anymore.It was a sort of strange nervous feeling as if you have to sit an exam.About how I feel now I also am not very honest to people.Most people do not really want to know anyway.But to some friends and to my sister I am honest and that usually means I will cry.Today I cried with a dear friend but it only lasted a minute.For me crying is good.I feel relieved afterwards.

You are very good to your aunt, but it must be hard....You are there for her and that is what we grieving people need.People who are there for us.People that listen.

I have changed since Steve died and I think for the better.His death has taught me to be more empathetic.

The good thing of this forum is that we can go on forever about our loved ones.That is what we want to do.After 100 days, after 20 months and after 12 1/2 years.The relationship with our loved one will never stop to exist.We do not 'get over it'.But the grieving and the sadness will change.

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1 hour ago, Tineke H said:

Hi Skywise,Yesterday marked the 20 months since Steve died.I still cry in public; it just happens.But I can go around the supermarket and walk past the Salt and Vinegar crisps with our crying.I do find that my trolley remains very empty.It is sort of sad shopping for just one person...

Just after Steve  died I used to scream and curse and swear.Occasionally I still do but compared with 20 months ago that is much less and I feel different.I am still very sad, but I do not have that horrible panicky feeling inside me anymore.It was a sort of strange nervous feeling as if you have to sit an exam.About how I feel now I also am not very honest to people.Most people do not really want to know anyway.But to some friends and to my sister I am honest and that usually means I will cry.Today I cried with a dear friend but it only lasted a minute.For me crying is good.I feel relieved afterwards.

You are very good to your aunt, but it must be hard....You are there for her and that is what we grieving people need.People who are there for us.People that listen.

I have changed since Steve died and I think for the better.His death has taught me to be more empathetic.

The good thing of this forum is that we can go on forever about our loved ones.That is what we want to do.After 100 days, after 20 months and after 12 1/2 years.The relationship with our loved one will never stop to exist.We do not 'get over it'.But the grieving and the sadness will change.

Yes, the shopping trolley is so very empty now.  Clive was retired so spent all day at home and I had to make sure he had lunches and snacks to keep his tummy happy when I wasn't there.  I used to spend a fortune on the deli counter buying nice snacky things for him and the fridge was always full of fruit, veg and organic meat.  Now - well, I just buy a loaf of bread and a pack of cooked meat for my sandwich in work and a pack of chicken legs for my dinners.  I used to love cooking.  He had such a hearty appetite and loved to eat. I used to spend my weekends and evenings baking bread, cakes, welshcakes (his favourites); making jam and pickles for him and every night we'd have a healthy meal cooked from scratch.   Now I can't be bothered and mostly survive on oven chips and whatever I can bung in the microwave to go with them.  There just doesn't seem to be any point in cooking just for myself when I end up giving most of it to Chloe anyway.

I used to spin, weave and knit all the time and he used to show off like mad about the things I'd made, even taking a silk lace shawl down to the pub to show his mates - as if they'd be the slightest bit interested!  He encouraged me in everything and was half way through making me a beautiful new spinning wheel when he died.  It's still there, in the garage on his workbench.  I can't bring myself to spin or weave anymore.  I tried to spin some silk last week, telling myself it was about time I picked up on my hobbies again, but I just spent the time crying.  It's all entwined with memories of us on Sunday afternoons, sitting in the garden with me spinning and him pottering and us just being happy together - I just can't do it.  Not yet anyway.  Maybe in the future I'll be able to start again, but I don't know.

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2 hours ago, Tineke H said:

I have changed since Steve died and I think for the better.His death has taught me to be more empathetic.

I've found that too.  I think it leaves us deeper, as in not superficial.  We no longer take things for granted, we know how easily everything can change in the blink of an eye.  We learn to live in the present.  We learn to sit with our pain, to be in the moment, to embrace what good there is.  We change tremendously.  I'm not as thrown by the little things that aren't so important.  We value situations differently than we used to.

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 I'm reading these and I so understand.  All the experiences and feeling shared are so real and raw.  I'm going into the 5th month so there isn't much I can offer other than I know how deeply it hurts.  Overwhelmingly so.  Those who have experienced this before us are wisely guiding us as we step into this dark season.  Feels like being in a cocoon most of the time.  Somedays we inch forward and somedays we move a mile.  From what I'm understanding is that the "key is to keep moving." There can be days that crawling back into bed with a mindless book and a heating pad may be just what we need too. I've done that and it has felt like the perfect place for that time.  Today may be a day where I grab the heating pad and hit the covers.  Before that I will accomplish one necessary need to do....pay a couple bills. 

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It's good that you listen to yourself, what you need in the moment.  

Last night my throat felt sore so I looked in it and saw red spots, so will try to get in to the doctor to find out what it is, if I need medicine, if I'm contagious, etc.  Unfortunately the doctor is 1 1/4 hours away and no one to drive me and not know what I have I don't know how I'll feel by the end of the day...also if I can't get into the doctor it'd mean sitting in Urgent Care all day, ugh.

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