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KayC

Oh yes!  And you have good cause for your feelings.  What's hard for me is that they who still have each other don't begin to appreciate it or realize what it'd be like without them!  My BIL is dying of cancer now and I can't count the times I've heard my sister complain about him...he took complete care of her (she's disabled and has dementia now) and she's about to lose him...

I am so sorry for your loss!  I wish we all had our husbands back.  And yes, we hate Covid and this whole year.  I want life to be normal again and afraid it never will be.  How can it?

I wrote this article of the things I've found helpful over the years and I hope something in it helps you either today or later on in your journey as it is ever evolving.  I hope you continue to come here, it helps to express yourself even if just venting.  It is a place such as this that saved me when I lost my husband.

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 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • 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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Missy1

I understand that, I also wonder why my life turned out like this. I thought we would grow old together and be together forever. He died at 58 I am left to spend these last years of my life alone and without the person I love more than life itself. struggling financially and emotionally destroyed. Almost 30 yrs together and I am utterly lost without him.
So yes I am also jealous and a wee bit angry, depressed and disconnected, this is my life now till I die.
More than anything my heart is broken, I love my husband so much, he was reason for living, he is gone along with my hope and my dreams. I am also stuck here living in this grey neither land, between life and death. I try to imagine what it’s like when one dies, and where he is. I want to tell those couples out there  that they should treasure every minute, they are numbered, one day there will be no more.

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Absolutely jealous. Jealous that others get to go home and talk about their day, get to go to sleep with their love by their side, wake up the same way, get to hear them snore or sleep talk. Jealous they can still make plans for the future. Jealous they can still physically touch each other, give each other their secret 'lets get out of here' look or  the 'you better reign it in' look. Jealous they don't even think about when they complain about their partner/spouse.

And finally jealous that it had to be our world that was destroyed and not theirs.

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widower2

I'm so terribly sorry. I have a friend who recently suffered a similar loss (just retired and looking to their "golden years" and then she was gone)...I don't say that to pretend I know what you're going through, which would be foolish, but hear it through him and perhaps at least have a vague idea, and clearly others have a better idea. In fact my beloved would be retiring about now if she was still here, I just realized that.......

And yes, I can appreciate being jealous of people who still have that relationship and hating the gross injustice of it!  Who the hell makes these rules I'd like to kick the #### out of them... 

I would only offer that as unlikely as it seems, this isn't necessarily or in fact even likely how your life will be from now till the end, esp the searing anguish we all feel after such a loss. It never gets easy, but it does get easiER.  I know you don't want to hear this, but you need to allow yourself time; there is no quick fix. 

 

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Anne Huber

Thank you to each one for replying to my post.

We had a wedding in our family this weekend and it has been very busy.  I had gut wrenching tears the day of the wedding.  I wasn't sure if I would even be able to make it.  My sister kept introducing me as, "this is poor Anne.  Her husband recently died."

I call it the "empty chair syndrome."  Every one at the round table had their spouse.  I had the empty chair sitting next to me.  When the music started, I wanted to leave.  My husband and I would do the jitterbug, the waltz and foxtrot.  We loved to dance!  One of the last things he even said to me was, "dancing with you was really fun."

It was then, not just the empty chair syndrome, it was the empty table syndrome with me sitting there.

I survived the wedding. Even went up to do the Chicken Dance, Line dancing etc. -- but it just wasn't the same without my husband's arms around me.

PS - do you know how some weddings have the anniversary dance, with the oldest couple being the last one on the dance floor.  We got married at 19 and were married for 48 years.  We always thought at THIS particular wedding, we would be the longest married.  I didn't know how I was going to make it when the music would start.  It was such a relief that the couple did not include that number.  They did everything else so traditional.  I will have to face that song one day, I am sure - but I was grateful it wasn't last Saturday.

I miss my best friend so very much.

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foreverhis
3 hours ago, Anne Huber said:

My sister kept introducing me as, "this is poor Anne.  Her husband recently died."

Oh my.  I'm sorry, but that was really insensitive of your sister.  She likely thought it would be helpful for people to know, but first, it's your decision what to say and not hers, and second, the way she introduced makes you sound like someone out of a Victorian novel or a black cloud of doom.

I'm so sorry that this family wedding was even harder for you than it might have been, which would likely have been nearly impossible.  My heart is breaking for you not being able to have the "longest married" dance.  It's hard to think about being "lucky" right now, but in a way you were.  To have met your soulmate at a young age and been able to basically grow up together.  You absolutely deserved to have years and years more.  No number of years, no amount of time will ever be enough when we're with the right person.

One thing I've reflected on over the past several months is that I was pretty young when I met my husband at 23.  We married when I was 25.  He was 10 years older, but we hoped to have at least 50 years together.  I'd tease him that "I expect 50 years out of you mister!" and he'd say, "That's the plan."  And yet, I know that having 35 years, while not even close to enough, was a blessing.  A wonderful imperfect man who was perfect for me, chose very imperfect me to live his life with and love always.  That's really something.  Yet, it also makes the loss that much harder.

I wish I had the perfect words to help, but I'm afraid they simply don't exist.

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KayC

Wow, I don't know how you endured that evening.  I hope you talk to your sister about her "introductions."  

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