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I am just overwhelmed by the loss of my husband. Its been three months now but nothing has got better. In the beginning there were things I had to deal with which stopped me thinking too much. I felt like he was just out and he would come back. After that I was planning on suing the hospital, easier said than done but it was a focus for a while for me and our friends.

I slept on the sofa. It was a month before I could go to bed and even then only because I told myself I might wake up to a different reality. Maybe I could go back in time and change things.

I tried writing him letters which helped for the first few days but then all I wanted to say was, I love you, come home.

I just can't believe he has gone. I can't understand it.  I look in the mirror in the morning and wonder how it is possible that I am still here and he is not. We were one. He was my whole life. Nothing else matters. Life has no point without him.

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KayC

I am so sorry for your loss.  Three months is still very early, at that time I was still in shock, in a fog.  I didn't have a clue where to start with this journey.  I got counseling, joined a grief forum and posted/read every day, cried, tried to get done what had to be done, no sleep to speak of.  I understand your feelings of loss and emptiness.  It took me years to process my grief, years more to find purpose, years more yet to build a life I could live...then COVID came along and destroyed even that.

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

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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Thank you for the words of wisdom and the prayers. They sound right. I just have to find a way.

I can't go out right now as I have vertigo. I've never had it before, I can only think its from not eating properly. Every time I look in the cupboard its his food I see. 

My husband went into hospital with a broken leg and never came home again. They had put him in a nursing facility where he got an infection. I was not allowed in because of the pandemic. I used to take him snacks and sandwiches because he didn't like their food. They returned some to me afterwards (the snacks and microwave soups) but I am still unable to unpack the bag. There was so much left I realised that he was barely eating at all. He needed help and I wasn't there. We had never been apart that long in over 40 years. He was isolated and lonely and I can't bear to think of him like that. I feel that I failed him and it hurts so much.

 

 

 

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Diane R. E.

Hi LMR; I am so sorry for your loss. My husband passed away 6 1/2 weeks ago and I can totally relate to your feelings. My husband went into the hospital for a blood clot in his femoral artery and never got out. He was expected to recover but had one complication after another, and after 4 weeks in the ICU he just couldn't fight anymore. I was able to visit him every day but I still feel bad that I didn't do more to help him. A friend told me "it was out of your hands" and I believe that to be true for your husband as well. I know you longed to see him and would have been there for him, but the facility took it out of your hands. Since I'm a newbie too I am still trying to navigate this overwhelming grief myself. I get lightheaded when I am around my husband's personal things, and cannot bring myself to eat the frozen foods we purchased together. Just please know that you did not fail him and keep coming to this site as it has helped me.  

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Gail 8588

LMR  and Diane R.E.,

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. That terrible feeling of guilt that somehow you didn't do enough, is a part of this journey that many of us experience.  I suffered a long time with feelings of guilt. 

Eventually you have to find a way to acknowledge that you are only human and that you did the best you could at the time. That if you had done things differently, there is no way to know if the result would have been any different. 

Your husbands knew you loved them, knew you wanted to be with them, and right now they don't want you to be in this pain. 

It's totally normal to be angry, frustrated, feel guilty, abandoned and 10 different things all at once.  There is just no way to make sense of how your world has been shattered. It is so unfair and tragic, but it is not your fault. 

Gail

 

 

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Diane and Gail, I am so sorry. Such deep love is always going to cause pain for the partner left behind. I really appreciate your sharing.

Our friends have mostly drifted away now. I suppose three months is a long time to them, to me he has only just gone.I am in denial, I know it, but there is nothing I can do.I miss him so much.

I did get to visit him at the end when he was moved to ICU. He was so weak then, so vulnerable. He had no fight left. There are so many 'if only's.

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KayC
19 hours ago, LMR said:

Thank you for the words of wisdom and the prayers. They sound right. I just have to find a way.

I can't go out right now as I have vertigo. I've never had it before, I can only think its from not eating properly. Every time I look in the cupboard its his food I see. 

My husband went into hospital with a broken leg and never came home again. They had put him in a nursing facility where he got an infection. I was not allowed in because of the pandemic. I used to take him snacks and sandwiches because he didn't like their food. They returned some to me afterwards (the snacks and microwave soups) but I am still unable to unpack the bag. There was so much left I realised that he was barely eating at all. He needed help and I wasn't there. We had never been apart that long in over 40 years. He was isolated and lonely and I can't bear to think of him like that. I feel that I failed him and it hurts so much.

I am so sorry, I can'tt imagine going through this in these times, it was bad enough w/o the pandemic.  My heart goes out to you...there are no words deep enough.

 

 

 

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Another crash today. Whenever I have a reasonably productive day even if it is just cleaning up the apartment it will be followed by a serious meltdown. Yesterday I cried for hours. This morning I was crying before I got out of bed. Every day I hope I will wake up to find it was a nightmare or maybe I won't wake up at all. I still can't understand, death is so alien.

Where is he? Is he somwhere else or is he nowhere? I can't decide. I don't even know which is preferable. At least if he is truly gone he cannot be thinking I let him down. Do you ever get past the guilt?

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jmmosley53

Hello LMR,

You ask if we ever get past the guilt.  I don't think we do, but...we can come to terms with it.  I felt so much guilt when my husband passed away 7 months ago because while he was in the hospital I was unable to visit him because of the COVID lock-out rules.  What I try to say to myself when my mind goes down the guilt path is....He knew I would do the best I could.  He knew how much I love him.  And, I can not change what happened.  

I believe there is an after life.  I cling to that belief.  When I die and our spirits are reunited, we will throw our arms around each other and everything will be okay again.

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KayC

I too cling to our reunion day, hope is all we have, I hang on to it with my life!

Lord knows this world is not where it's at.  Although we had our own little bit of heaven here together...

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I so want to believe there is something more and that we will be reunited. A friend recommend some books and  I've been reading Eben Alexander, Dr Brian Weiss even Todd Burpo, searching for some meaning to it all.

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I encourage anyone who does not have belief in the afterlife to watch videos of the solar system and galaxies beyond...once we see how vast and intricate it is, how amazing, it helps them to explore the possibilities of "just maybe..."  To open one's mind to possibilities helps the tiny glimmer of hope to flicker and burn.  We may not understand how everything works but that's just the point, there's so much more that we DON'T know, it helps us to understand how finite our minds are and "just maybe..."

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