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DazedNConfused

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DazedNConfused

Hello,

I am new both to this website and grief. My fiance and I moved to Colorado in 2019 to get out of California and to start the next chapter of our lives together.  I planned a wedding and we built a life based on our routines.  We were each other's rock.  We were in a new place with no friends and family and we faced that together. Less than a year later he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. About six months after that (through much suffering) he passed away in my arms a  nearby hospital. 

 

I am full of anxiety, dread, anguish, profound sadness, as well as deep depression.  I am barely functioning and I am terrified of a complete mental breakdown. I am flooded with memories and thoughts of my fiance.  He is very present but in a very painful way.  I had my first dream of him last night.  I dreamed we all got one more day with him.  We all knew it was a gift and that the end result would be the same but I felt comforted in seeing his smile and being able to say good bye. 

I took care of him for six months alone.  He didn't want to tell his family how sick h was.  He passed in my arms struggling to breath. I think all the stress has caught up to me and mixed with grief I am a complete mess. 

I miss his hands, the sound of my voice when he called o me, his laugh (oh gawd his laugh!). I miss his smile, the way he comforted me, the way he had sound advice and made me feel confident. I am not sure what to do...move back to my home state, stay right where I am, or to move somewhere entirely new. I feel stuck...I feel like at my age (I am only 38) I have a long life ahead of me to live in my own personal hell. 

Life without him is bland. It's a blur of inadequate conversations.  His absence is an ache ringing in my body. It's agony to be without him. How do people do this? How do people feel any sense of well being after this kind of loss?

 

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KayC

I am so sorry for your loss.  I just posted this in another thread, but want to call your attention to it as well.

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/07/anxiety-attacks-in-grief-tools-for.html

When I first lost my husband, my anxiety was through the roof!  Eventually I got put on Buspirone and stopped having anxiety attacks, although I've been diagnosed with GAD, which I think I had even as a child, even though not treated then.  Grief has a way of bringing out all kinds of stuff in us!

I want to post this article I wrote of the things I'd found helpful in those early years, hopefully something will stand out at you today (One day at a time really helped me, I practice that still) and something else down the road as your journey begins to evolve.  If you can hold off making major decisions for now, they say wait a year, I'd say maybe three if you can.

Sense of well-being...well I know my worth is not dependent on another, yet we were so interrelated, it was hard to see myself as separate and whole, we were each other's world!  It's been 15 years for me now and I've been on my own so long, it's not my preference but it is what it is.  Grief does seem to change us, it has me, I've built my confidence as I've had to deal with so many things on my own, but I still love and miss him each and every day of my life!

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.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • 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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DazedNConfused

Thank you for posting.  I means a lot.  We were friends for many many years before we became a couple.  I feel that although we were together for 7 years we had a lot more years of attachment under our belts. I think the sense of well being for me is compromised because I am in a new state with very little support.  I don't feel safe or comfortable. 

Like you I have been given medications to use as tools to help me get through this to whatever my life will become since my fiance passed. I am scared of everything and raw. I also keep having moments where I feel dissociated or in shock.

I understand what you mean about your worth. I am doing things I have never done before out of necessity like mowing the lawn. I am very self reliant and am becoming even moreso without my rock or anchor. I think he would be proud of me for those things but I still feel lost without him. 

 

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KayC

I know he would be proud of you, just as I know George is so proud of me!  But then he always was my biggest fan and admirer, he thought I could rule the world if need be!  Haha, not so, but I didn't want to burst his bubble.  ;)

Of course you feel lost, we all do when we lose them.  It is the single biggest adjustment I've ever had to make in my life and that says a lot...I've been through a lot.  

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DazedNConfused

It is the single biggest moment of my life...by far the most painful. I want to adjust and live a life he would be proud of. I know he will never be replaced adn that he can be as present in my life as possible but the tangible stuff is what I am missing right now...and the fact that he got sick and we were not able to make our move to antoher state what it should have been  happy.

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Gail 8588

Dazed and confused,

I am so sorry for your loss. Many of us relate to your feelings, including fear of a mental breakdown. I had those very thoughts many times. This is a life shattering experience.

As far as whether to stay in Colorado or move, I think it largely depends on your financial situation.  If you can afford to stay put,  I would recommend you stay where you are for at least a year.  As it is very difficult to make decisions while you are in the level of dispair a loss of a soulmate generates.   

I could not financially stay in the home my husband and I had lived in for 14 years.  I had to move.  It was extremely difficult, but I had no choice. In my new living quarters my despair was somehow even greater. I felt even more untethered to this world. 

I am no expert, just a person on this sad journey.  I do think the fewer life changes you make during at least the first year of grief allows your mind and body to process your loss better.  Don't burden yourself with additional major life changes such as moving, changing jobs, etc  while you are already dealing with the enormous task of grieving this loss. 

Again I am so sorry you have joined us in the abyss of grief.  We understand how very hard this is. 

Hugs, 

Gail

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Yoli

DazedN Confused

As a relative newbie here too please know how sorry I am for your loss. I am two weeks away from it being three months since my partner passed. We live in a city where we have only one other family member and a smattering of friends. I have been asked a few times if I am going to move back to where my family is but - pros and cons for each. But I am trying not to make any big decisions as Gail said. At the moment I cling to any sort of normality of our life before, that being our home, going to work, being around the same people. It sucks that we have to face these decisions and face them alone now.

I have felt a whole range of emotions too including thinking I cannot mentally hold on but I am still here. I wake up each morning and face the day no matter how much I would like to just curl up in a ball. I don't really know how I am doing it but I am. 

This is a good place to feel not quite so alone in your grief. People in my life and maybe yours will/have tried to compare your grief with that of a brother or father but it is most definitely not the same. 

Take Care

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DazedNConfused

Thank you to everyone who responded.  I am glad I found this site. It does help to be able to relate to others. Losing a partner is so difficult.  It is beyond words.  It seems as though everyone has an opinion on what my grief should look like (friends and family). I think I am doing what I am supposed which is to lean into the feelings and ask for help when needed. I am on medication and seeing a grief counselor. I am reaching out to friends and family and being honest about where I am and it seems to worry almost everyone.  

I think a great gift is finding this site and not having you all tell me I will "love again"

 

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KayC

Yes, as pointed out, two exceptions that I see besides waiting a year or more to move would be if you need to financially, and if you have support/family elsewhere and none there.

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jwahlquist
On 7/31/2020 at 8:15 PM, DazedNConfused said:

I think a great gift is finding this site and not having you all tell me I will "love again"

First of all I am sorry that you lost your fiancé.  This is not the journey any of us would have chosen.  6 months into it and I would still give anything to have one more day with my husband.  He was my best friend, my rock, my port in a storm.......he was home.  We had been together for 23 years and married 22.  That is pretty much my whole adult life as we got married the weekend after I turned 20.  He refused to marry a teenager LOL!   I wish I could say that it has gotten easier but he is still my first and last thought every day.  Keep coming back here as it helps to some degree.  At least we all understand how it feels to lose a partner/spouse.  

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