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Not Getting Better


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BREYER18

It will be 7 months on the 16th of October that my fiancé passed away. I just don't seem to be getting any better. I have done some counseling and at first it seemed to be helping but now I seem to be slipping back into a place that I feel I will never get out of. Besides missing her so much ,does anyone ever begin to question the love that they had for you because you don't hear those words " I LOVE YOU" anymore. I know that it may seem crazy but I don't understand why I'm questioning her love for me now that she is gone but I never did when she was alive. I just don't understand the doubt that has risen in my mind. Claribel, my fiancé always seemed madly in love with me, always doing everything possible to make me happy. For Example; I travel for work and every time I would return she would have some kind of decorations to surprise me. She was always so loving and affectionate, she was happy with the simplest things as long as she was with me, that was all that was important to her she would tell me. I miss her so much and and feel that I will never be able to love again the same way that I love her. People tell me you need to take the memories from your mind and carry them in your heart but Im just not ready for that. I cry every day. I messages and conversations that we had. I just don't know how to continue living without her. When does it get better??

 

 

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Perro J

Today is three months for me. The silence is deafening.

I am speculating here - I don't know if this is a correct answer to your question or not. I think that maybe our minds try to put together an explanation that satisfies us for any given dissonance in our lives. In our case, the wellspring of love seems to have gone dry. We wait around a little bit hoping with a little rain or just more time that flow will resume and when it doesn't we have to find some reason to explain the aridity. Our minds seem geared to accept something that makes sense to us, and whether or not the explanation is true seems to fall into the category of non-essential.

It sounds to me like she loved you intensely. Mine did too.

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jmmosley53

Hi Bryer18,

I am sorry for your loss.  When I read your post the thought that came to my mind was 'boy would she be mad at him for questioning her love'.  About ever loving again, I believe that when you have a new person to love your heart grows another place.  It does not divide an old place.

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Perro J
21 minutes ago, jmmosley53 said:

'boy would she be mad at him for questioning her love'

Once, when she was still here, I said something that made her feel I doubted her love. Let's just say that that was quickly set straight.

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KayC
9 hours ago, BREYER18 said:

does anyone ever begin to question the love that they had for you because you don't hear those words " I LOVE YOU" anymore.

I don't question his love for me but we all handle this differently, so many factors play into it.  I'd say pretty much anything you can "feel" in grief seems a normal reaction.  I know it's harder because we're going by faith in our love for each other and being together again (although some don't ascribe to that belief) whereas it was easier when they were here in the flesh.  It's like they're away on the longest trip we've ever endured, with no ending date.  That's tough.  Some continually search for signs, I think I did in the beginning but have since adjusted more to the changes it's meant for my life.  Although there have been specific times I really needed that!  And he's come through.

9 hours ago, BREYER18 said:

When does it get better??

No one can answer that as again, it's very individual.  I will say it's around the six month mark, give or take a month or two, that it seems the hardest because reality has set in and support seems to have dried up.  "Better" is a relative term, and it doesn't get better as in well or gone but it improves or better put, we improve at our adjusting/coping.  But this is a long process, one that lasts us for life, so I try not to concern myself with when it will be better so much as getting through today.  Then tomorrow I do it all over again.  I've lived that way for over 15 years now.  In the beginning it was so horrific, such a complete and utter shock, I couldn't imagine surviving a week without him!  I only know that we do it.  We put one foot in front of the other and keep going.  Not like we have a choice.  And yes I've seen some who have commit suicide, not like the thought hasn't occurred to most of us at some point or another but hopefully we get through this, we would not want to cause our loved ones to go through what we're bearing now.  And then there's the nagging thought about what if it prevented us from being with them for eternity???  So I don't go there.  I try, instead, to make the best with the life that I have.  One day at a time.

I don't know if you've seen this article I wrote on what I've found helpful over the years, but here it is...no particular order, some things may speak to you now, some not so much, but they may later on down the road.

I'm glad you came here and posted, though, because it helps to express ourselves among others that "get it."

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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BREYER18

I appreciate the responses and yes I am sure that she would not be happy that I was doubting how much she loved me. I sometimes feel that its a coping mechanism of some sort. I just thought that after 6 months I would start to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. By no means you wake up one day and your grief is gone I realize that however, I feel almost like I did in the beginning. For example as I lay in bed with my eyes closed I feel as though I am startled and the thought and realization of her being gone is remembered. I hate this life I live at this point, I feel so empty inside without her here. I miss her smile and her sweet laughter and her sweet messages she would write to me. For Example, she wrote this to me a week before she passed away. IT SAID : Good morning how did you wake up my love. I want to tell you that I love you and carry you inside my heart, this is the only reason to justify this crazy dream with you. The one that being awake makes mr feel that I am the happiest person in the world. I feel so happy knowing that you love me, miss me and wish to be with you sharing the simplest things in life. You are the most beautiful thing that has happened to me, I can assure you. I ask God that your arrival in my life be eternal and that beyond eternity, you continue to love me as I love you.) I miss her so much it sometimes takes my breath away. I often feel that I am less of a man because I break down and cry mostly every day still. 

 

 

 

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KayC
6 hours ago, BREYER18 said:

I break down and cry mostly every day still.

I think that is normal for your timeline.  Again, it varies from person to person as some are hit much harder by their loss than others, depending on the relationship they had.  I think foreverhis covered very well some of the reasons for the six month period being so hard for many.

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Breyer18

The words your love wrote are absolutely beautiful and prove without a doubt just how deep her love for you is. 

Don't think you are "less of a man" for crying. You are expressing your genuine feelings and grief which reflect your love your fiance. Please don't judge yourself for being human.

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BREYER18
9 hours ago, Yoli said:

The words your love wrote are absolutely beautiful and prove without a doubt just how deep her love for you is. 

Yoli

That is why the struggle is so intense. I can't seem to get out of living in he past, I read old conversations that we had because there are no new ones to be had. The more I read our previous conversations the more it hurts but I can't help it. I miss talking to her. I think to myself I must not be normal and will never heal if I continue to live in the past instead of the present but it's so difficult.

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I can relate to "Not Getting Better" 100%. It will soon be 6 months since he died and I'm feeling despondent and panicked like I did 6 weeks after. I'm back to wandering restlessly around the house. It feels near impossible to live while being totally ungrounded and discombobulated. I have no advice as I'm in the muck too--just letting you know you aren't alone in how you feel. 

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I'm thankful that you have come to this site with so many good folks to listen and give to you. I'm just one. 

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KayC
12 hours ago, BREYER18 said:

Yoli

That is why the struggle is so intense. I can't seem to get out of living in he past, I read old conversations that we had because there are no new ones to be had. The more I read our previous conversations the more it hurts but I can't help it. I miss talking to her. I think to myself I must not be normal and will never heal if I continue to live in the past instead of the present but it's so difficult.

It's not uncommon in early grief, don't worry about normal, you will make your way through this in your own time and way.  There is no "wrong way" to do this.  I did everything I could to connect with George in those early months, THAT is normal!  I cried buckets of tears.

This is a process and you're still in the early part of it.  I've heard it said, "It takes what it takes."  

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Breyer

How can we help but live in the past when our future with our One has been taken? There is no right or wrong way for you to grieve. Your journey is yours, no one else's. I gave up on 'normal' and I don't really care what anyone else thinks regards how far through my grief I should be - I am not yet at 6 months. I miss our conversations too, advice, comfort, that sense of belonging.

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foreverhis
15 hours ago, BREYER18 said:

I think to myself I must not be normal and will never heal if I continue to live in the past instead of the present but it's so difficult.

Oh no, please try not to think that way.  You are incredibly normal (if such a word can used for this).  At 7 months, I'd be shocked if you weren't still crying at some point every day and if you didn't want to remain in the past because that is where your heart lives.  I still cry pretty much every day, but it's not all day now.  Sometimes it's big sobs that go on for a while and other times it's small, quiet tears.  Our hearts are shattered and so we cry.  There's nothing unmanly about that.  My husband was not a big crier, but when he did, he just let 'em rip.  The times he did were also generally when we lost someone dear or a treasured family pet.  I will never forget how he paced around the vets office while she tried to save our beloved Keeshond Charlie (a pulmonary embolism at age 15).  He didn't care that some might think it foolish or silly.  His heart was breaking and so was mine.  Crying is a way for our hearts and minds to start to get in sync with what we have lost and to let out some of the pain.

It's natural that you'd want to keep her memory, life, and love with you in the here and now.  Doing that with my husband helped me start to accept the reality that he was gone from this world.  Though I will never accept that it was fair, right, or just.  Keeping some of his things near helps too.  Even now, his second favorite hoodie (I gave our daughter his favorite) and day pack hang by the front door along with one of his hats.  I wear his ancient flannel shirts on cold winter days.  Some of his things remain right where he left them.  He is indelible in my life, so I see no reason to shut him away and lock the door, so to speak.  There is no reason you should feel a need to do that either.  You are still so early into your grief journey that surrounding yourself with her is a necessary coping mechanism.

I've got to be honest (you'll find I generally am, but like to buffer it sometimes):  The concept of "healing" is one that bothers me greatly.  I don't think it is possible to fully recover from losing the loves of our lives.  It's just not.  What we can do with a lot of time, help, and "work" is pick up our grief and love and start to carry it forward into a life we might be able to live.  We can let the edges soften, let the weight of our pain lighten, and figure out how to keep our partners in the present without living in the past.  I still revert back and forth between talking about him in the past and present.  I still go back and forth from "we" "our" and "us" to "I" "my" and "me."  It's easier now, more than 2 years on, to use the singular, but I was married to him for well over half my life and so I feel married to him now.

And the answer to "When does it get better?" may not be what you want to hear:  There is no set time and no set way.  Your grief will be yours alone and the path you walk will be unique.  But you are no longer walking it alone.  We are on our own paths, but we walk the road together.  Try to allow yourself to ignore (or admonish, if necessary) those who tell you to put your love in the past or shut the door on that part of your life.  They're quite simply wrong--and part of the reason is they have not the vaguest clue what this loss and grief are like.  They may be well intentioned.  They are likely also uncomfortable with the fact that you are no longer who you were before.  You and your love are a tangible reminder that "This could and likely will happen to you."  That is very upsetting to many people.

This is a link to one of Nora McInerny's TED Talks that another member posted last year.  She speaks from personal experience with a great deal of heart and a little bit of humor.  I hope you find some comfort from it.

Nora McInerny TED Talk

 

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BREYER18

I never thought i would ever be in this situation. I tell people that it is an unexplainable feeling and I would not wish this even on anyone. I failed to mention that the people that have helped me the most is clari's family and 11 year old son. Even though we were not married its like they are my family, I feel so sad for her parents because this is their second child that has been killed in a vehicle accident. Clari's brother was killed at the age of 15 years old 8 years ago and now her family is dealing with another loss. We cry together and her son is basically like my son because I have been a part of his life for nearly half his life. Unfortunately his father does not have much to do with him and I feel that every child deserves a good opportunity and upbringing. That was all Clari ever wanted was the 3 of us to be a family but now all that is gone. I sometimes hate tis life that I am living right now because all that the future holds is gone. I look for signs from her but Im not even sure that any of that exists. Sometimes I get chills on certain occasions but I dont know if that is anything or not. I only hope that some day I will be able to see her again. I miss her so much.

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foreverhis
On 10/18/2020 at 1:50 AM, BREYER18 said:

I failed to mention that the people that have helped me the most is clari's family and 11 year old son. Even though we were not married its like they are my family, I feel so sad for her parents because this is their second child that has been killed in a vehicle accident. Clari's brother was killed at the age of 15 years old 8 years ago and now her family is dealing with another loss. We cry together and her son is basically like my son because I have been a part of his life for nearly half his life. Unfortunately his father does not have much to do with him and I feel that every child deserves a good opportunity and upbringing. That was all Clari ever wanted was the 3 of us to be a family but now all that is gone.

I am glad to hear that you and her family have become family to each other.  Family is not always defined by blood.  We, that is I, have a very small family and a small circle of friends.  We had been estranged from certain members of both sides of our birth families; I am estranged from them still, and I'm okay with that.  We only had the energy and time to share our lives with people who brought love and kindness and happiness to it, as we tried to give the same to them.  It is even more so now that my love is gone from me. 

When I tell people I have three sisters, I often will explain that it's like this:  One by birth, one in-law, and one by choice.  I am extremely close with all three of them and they are equal in my heart.  Because my sister by birth is much younger than I (she was a mid-life "oops" for my parents), she is actually closer in age to our daughter than to me.  They consider themselves to be sisters too, rather than aunt and niece.  And so our family ties are perhaps not traditional, but that is who we are for each other.  It was a little confusing for our granddaughter to understand that her mom's sister, her aunt, was technically her great aunt and my sister.  Being the smart girl she is, she decided that only love matters, especially because her birth father abandoned them when he decided he didn't "want to be a father after all."  (He does pay child support.  My husband helped our daughter make sure of that.)

It doesn't matter that you and Clari weren't legally married.  Clearly, you had a marriage of the heart and soul already.  Yes, the legal paper is good, but it does not define who you are to each other.  It's good that her family believes that too.  I can barely imagine how hard it is for them to have lost two children and in virtually the same way.  The love, comfort, and support you give must be invaluable in helping them through this grief too.

And absolutely you should continue to be a positive influence in her son's life.  You both deserve to keep a bond that is father and son, especially because his birth father is not much in his life.  I have a hunch that your Clari would want it that way too.  Children do need loving support, structure, and opportunities to grow.  Our granddaughter is beginning to question why her birth father is not in her life and our daughter is honest about it in a way appropriate for her age.  It saddens them both.  Yet I have a picture of my husband holding our granddaughter the day she was born.  The look on his face is every bit as happy, loving, and proud as the day he first held our daughter.  Love makes a family, not just legalities and specific relationships.

As far as I can tell, Clari's and your dream of the three of you being a family was already true.  It's heartbreaking that she is not here with both of you.  Nothing will change how devastating that reality is.  What you can do now is keep the bonds you share with her family and her--your--son.  You will be family in every way but birth.

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BREYER18

I always called Clari my baby girl, because she was just that. The nickname does have a meaning and it goes like this. A baby girl is someone that is there for you when nobody else is. She will stay on the phone for countless hours or until she falls asleep. As your relationship grows you will notice just how cute her laugh and smile really are. They will be something that even if your day is horrible, they can brighten it up. Along the journey you may have some rough patches but when you really think about what is going on you will call and apologize to her and tell her that you love her. There are many qualities associated with a baby girl. for instance, they are funny, sweet, outgoing, proud, sexy, spontaneous, adorable, trustworthy, honest, sincere, loving, wifey-type, giggley, soulmate, attractive, wonderful, beautiful, and amazing. Just to name a few. she will make your heart beat fast and cause you to get tongue tied. Lastly, she means more than anything in the entire world.

 

 

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KayC
22 hours ago, foreverhis said:

We only had the energy and time to share our lives with people who brought love and kindness and happiness to it, as we tried to give the same to them.

So true and positive!  I had to cut out a long time friend (45 years) when Arlie was dying...I had always known how he was and overlooked WAY TOO MUCH but when I was fragile emotionally, I could NOT continue to overlook and decided he was way too toxic to put up with.  His response since has only greatly confirmed that.  We never need to put up with people who are drains and non-supportive.  Grief has affected me in so many ways and one is rewriting my address book!

@BREYER18  I love this post of yours, your love is so evident, as is this picture, just beautiful!  I'm so glad you lost her, so young.  :(

 

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