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Almost Keep Saying It


tnd

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foreverhis

To this day, I often forget to get out my house key when I come home.  I walk in and say, "I'm home."  Then I remember he's not there waiting to say, "How was it?  Want some help bringing things in?"  Then we would smile at each other as we put things away.  Or if we'd been to the farmers market together, especially in peak seasons.  We'd bring everything in, lay it out on the counters to sort, wash, put away, or leave out for that day.  He'd smile his big smile and say, "It's so colorful!"  Now I lay out the smaller portions I bring home and hear his voice in my head.

There are countless small things that sometimes hurt so much more than what might seem like the big stuff.  I've had to change daily routines because of it.  Even something as simple as our morning coffee.  See, he'd wash everything and then I'd set up the first cup before bed.  We have a single cup maker called "The Scoop" (not a Keurig or pod; you grind coffee fresh and then measure it into a stainless steel filtered basket).  John was almost always up first, so he just had to add sugar and milk to his cup and press the button.  Then he'd rinse out his scoop and get mine set up (we have four total so he would wash them all at the end of the day).  I'd come downstairs, say good morning, get my coffee going, and then go over for a morning kiss.  I don't set up my coffee at night now because it was just too painful to come downstairs, push the button (sugar and milk for me too), and see his empty chair.  Some might think it silly that after more than 3 years the very thought brings tears to my eyes, but it does.

What wouldn't we give to have one more kiss and hug, hear and say, "I love you," one more time?  It's not as crushing as it was at first, but I don't believe these things ever become easy to bear.

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foreverhis
1 hour ago, Gail 8588 said:

I very much feel like my love hears my conversations with him.   I feel he is still present in my life. 

Same for me.  John will always be present for me.

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Mllewhimsy

We were in a long distance relationship so i always had my phone with me in case he'd call. Unless i was doing something urgent, i'd drop everything if he did.

Now i'm okay to leave my phone away sometimes because... what's the point?

Initially it was hard to say i love you to friends (after he passed) but i'm getting used to it now.

We had a phrase though. "Did you forget?" And that usually meant did you forget that i love you. Sometimes we'd joke and say, no- we didnt forget that cats are not a good source of protein or something like that 

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widower2
3 hours ago, tnd said:

Gail 8588:  I'm so sorry, Gail. You are right, I too feel like my husband is with me if I talk to him. But then I will find myself on auto pilot wanting to say something I've always told him every day/nite and he's not physically here. Guess it's hard to break old habits. Wish there was a little switch in our brains to turn it off. 

pfft. I say why break that habit? I still talk to my beloved too. Maybe she hears it, maybe not. But if it helps me in some way and obviously doesn't hurt anyone, why not?

I don't do it in public though. Don't need the guys in white suits coming after me.  ;)  

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Mllewhimsy
3 minutes ago, widower2 said:

pfft. I say why break that habit? I still talk to my beloved too. Maybe she hears it, maybe not. But if it helps me in some way and obviously doesn't hurt anyone, why not?

I don't do it in public though. Don't need the guys in white suits coming after me.  ;)  

I still do this too, also not in public lol

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After 16+ years I am good and aware he is gone,  I don't know which is worse, the thought that these thoughts are no longer part of my existence or having gone through the rude awakenings in my earlier grief, but in a way I'm relieved I no longer go through them.

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20 hours ago, foreverhis said:

Some might think it silly that after more than 3 years the very thought brings tears to my eyes, but it does.

What wouldn't we give to have one more kiss and hug, hear and say, "I love you," one more time?  It's not as crushing as it was at first, but I don't believe these things ever become easy to bear.

foreverhis:  I can sit and have coffee by myself but I can't keep the same routine I had or even sit where I use to sit. His absence is painful and it seems to have become more painful over the last few days. Maybe as my stress rises ???   Maybe if I knew everything else in my life would be okay and things would calm down I could "mourn in peace" and not hurt so physically (or emotionally). 

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18 hours ago, widower2 said:

I don't do it in public though. Don't need the guys in white suits coming after me. 

With the Covid surge going on and hospitals at capacity and a shortage of nurses, I doubt anyone would come. Keep talking to your wife. 

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widower2

She wasn't my wife, but thanks :) And I was of course kidding.......the way this world is going, despite whatever issues I may have, I'm convinced I'm far far from the nuttiest person around lol  

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32 minutes ago, widower2 said:

She wasn't my wife, but thanks :) And I was of course kidding

Now, who needs humor at a time like this!   Jusss kidding. And speaking of nutty people...I use to work with a woman who wanted to know if New England was a state. She was the same one who use to come to work early and crouch under her desk to brush her teeth with a cup of water. Scared the crap out of me because I didn't seen anyone else there but heard a strange sound. Then I looked and wish I hadn't. 

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On 8/12/2021 at 9:50 PM, foreverhis said:

I don't set up my coffee at night now because it was just too painful to come downstairs, push the button (sugar and milk for me too), and see his empty chair.  Some might think it silly that after more than 3 years the very thought brings tears to my eyes, but it does.

foreverhis:  I don't think it silly at all. It seems it's the little things that invoke the most emotions from us. Especially things we did together every day. And when I read "see his empty chair" I immediately thought of my husband's recliner. I can barely look at it. It looks so empty without him, much how I feel. I guess we can change up our routines but I still think we are going to feel a void. 

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I don't think it silly at all either, it's the same reason I don't sleep in our bed, but neither could I ever get rid of it.

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foreverhis
13 hours ago, tnd said:

foreverhis:  I don't think it silly at all. It seems it's the little things that invoke the most emotions from us. Especially things we did together every day. And when I read "see his empty chair" I immediately thought of my husband's recliner. I can barely look at it. It looks so empty without him, much how I feel. I guess we can change up our routines but I still think we are going to feel a void. 

Indeed.  Sometimes it's really hard to see his big "tall man" recliner.  But I will never let it go, for our granddaughter's sake if nothing else.  I was talking to her once about 6 months after John died.  She asked, "Grannie, is grandpa's chair still there?"  I told her it was and it always would be.  She said, "Good.  I need it."  And she does because she used to bundle onto his lap as he cuddled and talked to and sometimes tickled her while she laughed and laughed.  Last time she was here, she rooted herself into that chair and barely budged from it the first day.  From then on, she would "claim" it so she could feel him there with her.  No, that chair will never leave, no matter what.

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3 hours ago, foreverhis said:

From then on, she would "claim" it so she could feel him there with her.  No, that chair will never leave, no matter what.

foreverhis:  Good idea you had. Not just for your sake but for your granddaughter's. I hope in some way it makes you feel good seeing her curl up in it when she visits. It means she loved her grandfather. Maybe a picture of her curled up in his chair and then giving it to her later on when she's older might comfort her. I have one small and very old tattered picture of my grandmother and I together when I was a child. I'm looking at it while I type this. I always kept it in my top dresser drawer because I was afraid if I had put it in a glass frame, the picture might end up sticking to the glass if it were ever broke. Well, the dresser has been emptied out now. I saw the picture and will keep it with me on my person now. 

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widower2
On 8/13/2021 at 11:15 PM, tnd said:

Now, who needs humor at a time like this!   Jusss kidding. And speaking of nutty people...I use to work with a woman who wanted to know if New England was a state. She was the same one who use to come to work early and crouch under her desk to brush her teeth with a cup of water. Scared the crap out of me because I didn't seen anyone else there but heard a strange sound. Then I looked and wish I hadn't. 

Let me guess she was civil service ;) 

 

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foreverhis
On 8/15/2021 at 2:46 PM, tnd said:

I hope in some way it makes you feel good seeing her curl up in it when she visits. It means she loved her grandfather. Maybe a picture of her curled up in his chair and then giving it to her later on when she's older might comfort her.

It does help both of us.  She and her grandpa positively adored each other.  Some of my favorite pictures ever are of the two of them, as are some of my favorite memories.  He was an amazing father and grandfather.  I told him that he was the kind of dad most girls wish they had, but didn't--I didn't.  My dad was a good man, a good provider, and set good examples like John did, but my dad wasn't nurturing like John was.  My dad was more like that with my baby sister, who was born when I was a teenager.  John was quite simply filled with joy to be a dad and grandpa.  One time our daughter said, "I don't think I'm ever going to find a man as great as daddy."  I told her the truth:  It would be hard, but not impossible.  We had hopes that her fiance was such a man.  Unfortunately, he wasn't, so it's even more important to keep that connection for our granddaughter.  John is the example of a good man and she needs to know that when she grows up, she should never settle for less.

I love the idea of taking a picture of her all curled up and sleeping in his chair.  Of course, she's growing like a weed and comes from tall families (except me, at 5'3" I'm the anomaly).  She'll be 13 this winter and is already taller than I am! 

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I thought that was so sweet, we find comfort where we do, and I understand her finding comfort in his chair.  I wish I had a place of comfort right now.  I have Kodie.

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17 hours ago, widower2 said:

Let me guess she was civil service ;) 

 

widower2:  No wonder the mail service is lousy. 

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14 hours ago, foreverhis said:

Unfortunately, he wasn't, so it's even more important to keep that connection for our granddaughter.  He is the example of a good man and she needs to know that when she grows up, she should never settle for less.

foreverhis:  As your granddaughter grows up, telling her about your husband (her grandfather) would be a good way to honor his memory and keep his spirit alive. I don't have many memories if any of my grandparents and that has kind of bothered me. There was a lot of separation and anger on both sides of the family and people didn't talk or visit. But fortunately, I do have fond memories of a great-grandfather...he use to sit me on his lap and tell me stories about the days of when Bonnie and Clyde would come through town. It would make my great-grandmother mad that he was telling such horrible stories to a little girl. But back then, I didn't even know who Bonnie and Clyde were, it was the way he told the stories that were interesting. And it made me feel special. Months before he passed he wrote a letter to me. Apparently I was the only one to have received a letter from him. Ever. So please tell your granddaughter all you can about her grandfather. She'll appreciate it some day.  

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Linda Hyland

Yes I do still talk with my husband, I just tell him that I love and miss him. I pray on his urn before I go to bed. I always wish he was sitting in his chair when I get up in the morning, to have coffee with him. He had COPD and had to sleep sitting up in his chair in the living room. I cared for him for about 3 years at home, I am glad that he is not suffering anymore. But I miss talking to him so much, we were married for 38 years.

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Gail 8588
32 minutes ago, Linda Hyland said:

Yes I do still talk with my husband, I just tell him that I love and miss him. . . . 

Welcome Linda, 

I was married for 38 years also.  My husband died from a hemorrhagic stroke in March of 2017, so I am in my fifth year.  It has been a long difficult journey to find a way to exist without the other half of my mind, body and soul. 

I am so very sorry for your loss. It is hard for people who have never lost their soulmate to understand the enormity of the loss we experience.  Sadly, all of us on this site understand, as our lives have been shattered too. 

We each have unique life stories, but whether we lost our love through an accident, illness, violence, whether we had years of preparation or were caught completely off guard, there is an extraordinary amount of commonality to our grief. Whether you spent one year, 10, 38 or 60 years together, when you lose that one person that made you complete, it is devastating. 

I am so sorry you have reason to join us here, but I hope you will come here to vent, share, question or cry as you feel the need. Just reading the threads of others can actually provide some comfort as you realize you are not alone in what you are experiencing. 

It is 4 and a half years since my husband died and I still talk with him every day.  He is still a part of my life and I believe he always will be.  But what works for me, may not work for someone else. We each have to find our way to exist in this new reality where the one person we need the most is gone.

None of us chose to be on this grief journey, but at least we have found others who understand our pain. We can help each other to at least feel less alone. 

Gail

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Linda Hyland

Hello Gail 

It does feel like I lost half of myself, He died May 14th this year. I still do my same routine, I have my daughter close by. But it is very painful, the numbness went away. But I am very thankful that we had such a good life together. Good and bad of course like any marriage, but more good. I am sorry for your loss Gail.

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15 hours ago, Linda Hyland said:

Yes I do still talk with my husband, I just tell him that I love and miss him. I pray on his urn before I go to bed. I always wish he was sitting in his chair when I get up in the morning, to have coffee with him. He had COPD and had to sleep sitting up in his chair in the living room. I cared for him for about 3 years at home, I am glad that he is not suffering anymore. But I miss talking to him so much, we were married for 38 years.

Linda, I want to say how sorry I am that you also have been going through this, it's been 16 years for me...we never get over it but eventually get better at coping/adjusting, I guess that's all we can hope for.  I do look for good in every day, in that sense I've learned to live in the present more and not take anything for granted.

I am glad you found this place, it helps to express yourself  to others that get it as family/friends do not always (our friends disappeared overnight).

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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17 hours ago, Linda Hyland said:

But I miss talking to him so much, we were married for 38 years.

Linda Hyland:  That is perhaps the hardest part. Not being able to talk to my husband. We talked about anything and everything and confided in each other so much. And if we needed to share a laugh, they were there. If we needed to cry they were there. I was married for 14 years. You were married for 38 years. I think it's going to take a long time to get use to not having our husbands here to talk to. Oh, we can still talk to them, just not in-person. It's hard to get use to that. It's not something that can be achieved overnite. 

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16 hours ago, Gail 8588 said:

It is 4 and a half years since my husband died and I still talk with him every day.  He is still a part of my life and I believe he always will be.  But what works for me, may not work for someone else. We each have to find our way to exist in this new reality where the one person we need the most is gone.

Gail 8588:  Thank you for sharing that. If I live long enough I hope I will reach a point where I am more comfortable or rather, accepting of the fact that I can still talk to my husband, just not in-person. Right now I start to tell him things but then stop because I don't think it can help me. At least not with my latest situation. So I don't bother. 

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foreverhis
22 hours ago, tnd said:

foreverhis:  As your granddaughter grows up, telling her about your husband (her grandfather) would be a good way to honor his memory and keep his spirit alive. I don't have many memories if any of my grandparents and that has kind of bothered me. There was a lot of separation and anger on both sides of the family and people didn't talk or visit. But fortunately, I do have fond memories of a great-grandfather...he use to sit me on his lap and tell me stories about the days of when Bonnie and Clyde would come through town. It would make my great-grandmother mad that he was telling such horrible stories to a little girl. But back then, I didn't even know who Bonnie and Clyde were, it was the way he told the stories that were interesting. And it made me feel special. Months before he passed he wrote a letter to me. Apparently I was the only one to have received a letter from him. Ever. So please tell your granddaughter all you can about her grandfather. She'll appreciate it some day.  

Absolutely.  To be honest, sometimes the only thing that kept me going for at least the first year and longer was thinking, "I really don't want to be here anymore, but our daughter deserves to have her mom around a while longer.  Our granddaughter needs me to tell her her wonderful grandpa's (and our) stories.  She needs to finish growing up feeling like he's still by her side and always will be.  She needs to remember that he would never have left us on purpose and that he adored her as she adored him."

When I talk to her, we bring her grandpa into the conversations and she talks about him too.  Sometimes when she's done something particularly excellent (as a person or in school), I'll praise her and then say how her grandpa would have felt and remind her how proud he would be of her.  Then she'll say, "He would.  He'd be proud of me." and I can hear the sweet, yet sad, emotion in her voice.

My paternal grandpa died when I was 2, so I never knew him, but my grandma told me stories about him sometimes.  My maternal grandparents lived in our area and were around us until I was in my 20s (grandpa) and late 30s (grandma, who adored John).  My grandma in particular was so interesting and told us such great memories, even difficult ones, from WWII and beyond.  She was considered the "black sheep" as the youngest of a Southern family with 13 children.  She went to college for a BS and teaching credential, moved out of the family home, taught science at a boys' high school, was an honest-to-goodness flapper, and didn't marry until she was nearly 30!  All this in a 5' petite fireball, who was also a devout Methodist who did charitable works.  Really amazing.  I know we were lucky to have grandparents around us, even though my one grandma lived in on the Oregon coast.

I'm doing everything I can to keep John alive and present in our granddaughter's life.  You're right that it is a precious thing to have those memories and stories.

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4 minutes ago, foreverhis said:

My grandma in particular was so interesting and told us such great memories, even difficult ones, from WWII and beyond.

foreverhis:  That is such a fascinating story about your grandmother! I love stories like that. And I've always looked at people of a certain age as being  "walking history books". I think because they have endured and lived through so much that older people can teach us things, including life lessons. You were lucky to have your grandmother. Perhaps that is where you draw some of your strength from with dealing with the loss of your husband. And now you are a grandmother...teaching your own grandchild.    

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foreverhis
17 hours ago, Gail 8588 said:

It is 4 and a half years since my husband died and I still talk with him every day.  He is still a part of my life and I believe he always will be.  But what works for me, may not work for someone else. We each have to find our way to exist in this new reality where the one person we need the most is gone.

None of us chose to be on this grief journey, but at least we have found others who understand our pain. We can help each other to at least feel less alone. 

I have just passed 3 years and still talk to John every day.  Not as much as at first, of course, but I still do it.  I think I always will.

I was sitting outside last night just kind of taking in the fact that the sky was clear (it's been marine layer/foggy during the day nearly every day for more than a month).  I was staring at this beautiful fence John designed and that we had built about 15 years ago.  It occurred to me that I still do not think of it as my house or my yard or my world, but still ours.  I don't know if or when I'll ever feel differently and I'm not sure why I should.

Being here has been enormously helpful for me in just getting through the days when I want to give up and "chuck it all" to go be with John again (assuming that's where I end up).  The benefit of it cannot be overstated.

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Linda Hyland
10 hours ago, KayC said:

Linda, I want to say how sorry I am that you also have been going through this, it's been 16 years for me...we never get over it but eventually get better at coping/adjusting, I guess that's all we can hope for.  I do look for good in every day, in that sense I've learned to live in the present more and not take anything for granted.

I am glad you found this place, it helps to express yourself  to others that get it as family/friends do not always (our friends disappeared overnight).

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.l

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

10 hours ago, KayC said:

Linda, I want to say how sorry I am that you also have been going through this, it's been 16 years for me...we never get over it but eventually get better at coping/adjusting, I guess that's all we can hope for.  I do look for good in every day, in that sense I've learned to live in the present more and not take anything for granted.

I am glad you found this place, it helps to express yourself  to others that get it as family/friends do not always (our friends disappeared overnight).

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.Thank you KayC

 

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foreverhis
11 hours ago, tnd said:

foreverhis:  That is such a fascinating story about your grandmother! I love stories like that. And I've always looked at people of a certain age as being  "walking history books". I think because they have endured and lived through so much that older people can teach us things, including life lessons. You were lucky to have your grandmother. Perhaps that is where you draw some of your strength from with dealing with the loss of your husband. And now you are a grandmother...teaching your own grandchild.    

She really was amazing.  When we'd go traveling with them, she would make up songs, both lyrics and music, on the spot.  She was always a lady, but kind of a "dame" too.

In her 90s, she developed dementia and ultimately had to go to a good care facility.  When John was playing in a show that I wasn't involved with, like Savoyard at Stanford, he'd have tickets for opening night.  So we'd go pick her up, take her out to dinner and to the show, and then visit for a little bit after.  At first he was still "John," then "that nice young man," and finally, "my nice young man."  The last couple of times we did that, her caregivers told us that she had spent 2 hours getting ready for her "date with my nice young man."  John would go in to pick her up, take her arm as she smiled up at him, and escort her to the car.  I have no idea how much she remembered, but during those times with us, she was incredibly happy and I was so proud of my sweet husband for helping make that happen.

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Early this morning, twice, I thought I heard a familiar voice asking for me from the living room (I was in bed). And both times, without even thinking about it, I answered or rather, replied "What?"  This is exactly how I would have replied if my husband were here and he had called for me. He's been gone 2 months but it was if he was still here. Feels like I am starting to lose it. 

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Linda, I am glad you have things to look forward to, many do not and it's so important for our well being.

tnd, I know I won't hear my husband's voice again until heaven, but in my mind's ear I can hear him call me, "Hon..."

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Linda Hyland

Yes I will see and hear him in heaven, and I do think that they do communicate with us if they can. I know if he were alive now, with COVID rebounding, you can’t visit your loved ones in the hospital. I know he loved being here with us, for his last days.

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13 hours ago, Linda Hyland said:

He was the best part of my life, but I still have things to look forward to. 

Linda Hyland:  That's good that you have things to look forward to. I hope I am not being off base here or sound flippant, but hopefully that will continue giving you strength. I think I'd do better if I didn't have quite so much going on and majorly stressing me out. I miss my husband something awful and yet, feel like I can't even properly or fully grieve because of all my other troubles. But I do think that if I had something to look forward to, just a little something, I could begin the healing process. Glad your husband was the best part of your life, sorry for your loss.  

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21 hours ago, tnd said:

I think I'd do better if I didn't have quite so much going on and majorly stressing me out.

Of course, the major life stresses hitting on top of loss feel like the straw that broke the camel's back.

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4 hours ago, KayC said:

the straw that broke the camel's back.

KayC:  That is what I told my brother and that I wanted to avoid that. Didn't help. He only cut me off. I guess if I never have to deal with him or my SIL ever again that will be one less stress factor in my life.  

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foreverhis
On 8/23/2021 at 7:55 AM, Linda Hyland said:

I do think that they do communicate with us if they can.

Just my opinion, of course, but I believe it is difficult for them to "reach through" and that it takes a lot of effort.  I've found that the times I feel John is with me or sending me a sign are when I am most distraught or upset or afraid.  I don't know; I simply have faith that it is true.

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I don't talk about this because I'm afraid people will think I'm crazy or lying but I have had some "unusual" experiences. Not concerning my husband but rather, people that were important to me that had passed away. 

Many years ago when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Polymyositis, I was having a bad day getting up the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment. I would climb a few steps and then have to sit down and rest. It was agonizing, exhausting and painful. I really did not think I was going to make it all the way up those stairs. Then, as I was resting, I heard a close friend of the family as clear as a bell. He said "Just do it". He said it twice. I was so shocked hearing his voice that I got up and RAN the rest of the way up those stairs! I rushed inside and slammed the door. I was actually a little angry. I was still married to my first husband back then and he gave me this look of "What the heck got into YOU?". Well, the reason why I was a little angry was because this old "close friend of the family" also happened to have been my track coach in high school. And he was always very hard on me. (I use to be a national and state track champion in sprints). So when I had heard his voice in my ear telling me to "Just do it", I got a little angry, saying "Gee whiz! Even from beyond the grave you are still pushing me!" 

Another time I heard someone...Was in the middle of the night and I woke up to a kind of muffled buzzing noise. Then I heard a voice I recognized. It was a man's voice. He sounded frantic and telling me to "Get up, get out! Get up, get out!" Well, there was no fire but the fire alarms on the outside of the apartment building were sounding. I called 911 and firetrucks came and they checked the building out. They found a faulty alarm. The apartment manager had it fixed by the next day. And the voice that told me to "get up and get out"? It was the voice of a close friend of the family who was a firefighter that had passed the year before. 

I have had other very bizarre experiences but will tell of those another time.  

 

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On 8/12/2021 at 8:29 PM, Gail 8588 said:

I talk to my husband all the time.  I have a 5 x 7 framed photo of him next to my bed, and I often give it a quick kiss.  I wear a locket with his photo nearly every day.

I have my favorite picture of my husband as my picture on my cell phone. Like you I can't "see" him when I close my eyes. But I keep pictures of him all over. I talk to therm, just because he's not here physically doesn't mean he's not here in my heart. Why shouldn't I talk to him. I don't know if he hears me, but its not just about him. Its about me too. And talking to him makes me feel good.

I talk to his picture, ask him questions, complain to him, tell him about my day and what's going on, etc. Its okay for me to miss him, to want him to be here. Really, that's okay. Yes, I've had times I've "heard" his voice. Is it my mind playing tricks, that's okay. Its not like I'm waiting for his answers, I know there are not coming. But in my heart I love him, and I'm still glad for the time I had with him. So if I talk to him, what is the harm. It makes me feel good, and its not like I'm unsure of what real and what's not. Its just comfort for me, and that okay.

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13 hours ago, CatL said:

Its okay for me to miss him, to want him to be here. Really, that's okay. Yes, I've had times I've "heard" his voice. Is it my mind playing tricks, that's okay. Its not like I'm waiting for his answers, I know there are not coming. But in my heart I love him, and I'm still glad for the time I had with him. So if I talk to him, what is the harm. It makes me feel good, and its not like I'm unsure of what real and what's not. Its just comfort for me, and that okay.

I agree with you 100% and do the same!  Whatever brings us comfort, helps us through this.  Beats Jack Daniels.  ;)

 

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Ha. Talked a lot to my husband last night. Told him about some of the crappola I am going through. I figure talking to him is better than being angry. Then I had to make some phone calls today and was put through some more crappola. It is never ending. Found out my Widows Benefits aren't anywhere near being approved. There will be more talking tonight. I can hear him say "I'm sorry". I can even picture his face saying it. He was the one who always comforted me. My confidante. Well, I don't really hear him any more but I know what he'd say if he could speak to me. Right now I feel like saying "Honey, I've been left with a real mess to deal with". And when I'm done talking to him tonight, I will still tell him that I love him.  

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foreverhis
8 hours ago, tnd said:

Right now I feel like saying "Honey, I've been left with a real mess to deal with". And when I'm done talking to him tonight, I will still tell him that I love him. 

Of course you will.  Just like when they were here with us on earth, no matter what else, we will always tell them we love them because we do.  The fact is that you have been left with a mess and you love him.

I talk to John still.  It was more often throughout the day at first, but I still talk to him in the morning when I look out at the day, when I come downstairs to say good morning, when I come back from wherever and say, "I'm home."  I ask him to help me figure out things; I ask him to help me do better with getting things done and making decisions; I talk to him about our girls.  I hope he can hear me, but even if he can't, it helps me and that's important too.

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I still talk to George.  No I don't hear his voice back but just like you, I know what he'd say and do.  I so love him, even more than the day he died if that is earthly possible.  I have such an appreciation of him.  My sister says not to saint him, I don't saint him, I know every bit of him, but he was the best man I ever knew and the ONLY one who truly loved me, the one who was right for me!  My soulmate and best friend.

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