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Jen H

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Hi, Jen H.  I just want to welcome you here.  You've found a really good place to be.  I'm glad you found us so early on.  I didn't "arrive" until about 6 months after my husband died when I felt lost and hopeless, even though I had and still have a small, but wonderful group of friends and family who were there for me.  You are going through it alone and feeling like you should put your daughter and brother's needs above your own.  Society in general and our own sense of self tell us we must "put on the brave face," pretend to be strong, and not bother others with our grief.  Of course you don't want to burden your daughter, but I urge you to try to find a balance in being able to grieve in her presence and just keeping up the facade.  Your needs, feelings, and grief are every bit as important as the needs of others.  It's true that no one in your life can fully understand how you feel and what this is like for you.  Not even others grieving the same type of loss can.  Plus, you have had other losses that affect you.  This is the place to talk about all those things.  To vent whenever you need to.  We are in different time zones and with different schedules, so sometimes it takes a while for responses, but we are here and we are listening.

You will find that just about every member here understands what you mean about only needing each other and having the one person in the world who put us first.  You've had a great shock.  Your heart has been shattered and your world ripped apart, and at a young age.  Your grief will no doubt feel like it's all that exists.  For now, the best thing to do is the most cliched:  Take each day as it comes, doing what must be done, breathing, and not looking too far down the road because that is usually too much to contemplate.

You're right no one should have to feel what you feel.  We all understand that all too well.  It's not fair or right or just.  It never will be.  The risk we take in giving our whole hearts and selves to our soulmates is that the loss will tear us apart.  Of course it does.  What you are describing in being scared, unable to function, and not even wanting to go on is so common as to be almost universal to the members here.  We're each unique in our experiences, but we are going through it and walking the road of grief together. 

Please come here to talk, question, rant, and "scream."  Read posts and respond if it feels right.  Tell us more about yourself and your love, if you want to and when you are able.  Here, there is comfort, understanding, and compassion.  The members here helped me; I hope we can help be there for you as well.

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Jen, I am so so sorry, my husband died on Father's Day 2005, five days after his 51st bdy, it is so hard when it's sudden/unexpected, but tremendously hard watching their cancer journey, I just went through that with my companion dog two years ago, and it's beyond description.  There is no fairness in any of this, I asked WHY the first year, never got any resounding answers so I quit asking, figured there weren't any.

We understand the pain, the shock, the regrets, missing them, all of it.  
I do hope these articles will aid you in getting through your guilt feelings...
Guilt and Regret in Grief
Grief and the Burden of Guilt

Address Guilt When Grieving
and this video is helpful as well:

I wrote this article and hope something in it helps you at some point in your journey, it's a journey that is evolving, thankfully the intensity of pain softens eventually although when I can't say, we're all unique in our timelines as well as adjusting.  I hope you will continue to come here and read/post, it helps to express yourself and know you're heard, and also helps knowing others "get it" and care.

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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