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My heart is shattered


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My name is Janice and I'm 53 years old. I suddenly lost my fiance just shy of 8 weeks ago. As I assume like the rest of you, my heart is shattered in a million pieces. Some days it's a challenge just to get out of bed. When I think i'm having a better day, I'll hear a song, see something on TV or look at a picture and I crumble. I cannot see my future without him. He WAS my future. Everyone I know offers their condolences but it makes me feel worse. I appreciate it but get so tired of hearing "I'm so sorry for your loss" after a while it just seems like empty words. I know they mean well but they have NO idea what I am going through. How have you all dealt with your loss and how did or do you come to terms with it? Every bit of happiness that I've had, has been stripped from me....

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I am so sorry, it's the hardest thing in the world to make your way through this, but I want you to know it can be done because we're doing it.  What you are talking about is people giving you platitudes, it's what they've been taught to do, of course they have no idea if they haven't been through it.  

It takes much time, it took me probably three years to process my grief, even longer to find purpose and built a life I can live...it's been almost 13 years for me.  I wrote this based on the first 12 years of my journey, I hope something here is of help.  You can't absorb all this at once, print it out and read it every few months to see what stands out at you at that time.


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.
  • 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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Yes, I know about the songs bringing back strong memories. At first I avoided them, now at 6 months I kinda listen sporadically for short periods of time. Also, it is still hard to see my future without my husband of 25 years but I try not to look far ahead up the road and that helps. I try to avoid his favorite restaurants and stores but it is getting a little easier to go to one a week without feeling sad. 

Yes condolences feel so general and reminds us of our loss, brings us back into reality I guess. Ummm, yes it's a sudden new identity that we want no part of. Well for me, my husband was only 57 but I see younger widows and I try not to feel bad toward the older widows/widowers. But,..it's still very, very individual for us all on how we felt they meant to us and our future. Some things are not in our control. I used to read the bible verses that said we should be good with "there's a time to get and a time to lose", and I never pictured this, a human to lose but rather things that can maybe be replaced. So, it is difficult to accept a Great, Big change overnight, it can't be done I don't think. It took me 2 years to know this man and I won't forget him ever but maybe a few years down the road it will be lighter, a light burden to bear like when my father passed in 2010. Blessings to you.

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