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So much loss. Need advice.


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Over the past two years my wife and I lost our three dogs. We are true animal people and the dogs were a huge part of our family. We have been devastated. All three dogs were cremated and are on my dresser where we looked at them every night and grieved for them tremendously. Almost a month ago my wife and I went to bed. It was the night of Mother’s Day. We had spent the day at our daughters college for a banquet for my daughter. My wife mentioned she was tired so she fell asleep quickly. She died unexpectedly that night in her sleep. I have no idea what happened and don’t even remember if we said goodnight to each other that day. The autopsy showed she had an enlarged heart but we did not know. She did not go to doctors so never was she told something may be wrong nor did she have any significant symptoms that caused alarm. She and I met when we were 13 years old. We married at 24 and have been together for almost 30 years. She was only 52 years old! We had an incredible marriage based on love and friendship. We were true soulmates. Somehow now grieving for my pets seems stupid. I am completely lost and lonely without her. We have three kids (24,21 and 15 years old) and I am trying to be strong for them but I have spent the last month crying trying to figure out what is next for all of us. I am so angry and confused. Why her? Why no second chances? How can this happen to someone so good? I can’t imagine going on for what could be decades alone without the love of my life. I can’t even go back to work yet. I traveled for work so now with this new situation I will need to find a new job which will not come easy at this age.I am now alone with my 15 year old. Does this pain ever end? Any advice would help.




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@psquared13  I am sorry that you find yourself having to be here and for the loss of your wife, and also the loss of your dogs. We are all here in different stages of loss of a beloved partner, I am at 8 1/2 months loss of husband.  Those first months are especially hard, we are in shock, go through so many emotions. We just try to get thru the minutes, hours, the best we can. We all understand here...please feel free to come and talk, vent, it helps to know others care and will listen.  It also may help to hear from others that are further along in this journey as they can give us hope.  Its not easy but somehow time seems to lesson the pain abit.  Thinking of you,  and hoping for peaceful moments.

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@psquared13 So sad you are here with us.
Grieving your pets is not stupid,our hearts hold more Love than we imagine.To lose your soul mate is the worst thing that can happen to us.
As you grieve with your daughters look at them and you will see your wife in some way in each of them.
Let your children see and feel your sorrow as they can bring comfort just as you give to them.
Stay here and talk about anything as we understand and truly empathize,we are in the same place though each in a different way.
One moments peace to you and your girls

Sent from my LG-TP260 using Grieving.com mobile app

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I am so sorry for all you have lost. We are all on the same journey but at different places on that road. I am at 1 year and 4 months after losing my husband of 21 years to cancer. He was diagnosed on Jan 10, 2018 and he passed away Feb 9, 2018. I found that writing was something that brought me a sense of peace at time and I have shared most of the things that I have written. I am including one of the things I wrote.


In the beginning you feel like your heart is broken in a million pieces.
Not wanting to live another moment without the one you love.
Feeling like your whole world is going to collapse in on you at any minute.
Then comes the part where others tell you that in time it will get better.
Most of us are sure that we will never breathe again without feeling the pain of being alone.
Well it does get easier to deal with somewhere down the road.
Truth be told though there is no set time table for this to happen.
Each of us has to find our own way and what works for one might not work for others.
It is a long journey and I will not try to tell you that it is an easy one.
You will never forget them, stop loving them or stop missing them.
But I will say that there is HOPE.
There will come a time where it doesn't hurt so much to remember the good times.
There also will be memories that will make you smile.
Remember this.... Grief takes its own path and we each have to find our own way.
Even if it means you can only live moment to moment for now.

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psquared13, I am so, so sorry for your heartbreak. We here on this site have all been through this agony in one way or another but the bottom line is that whatever the particular circumstances of the loss, we are suffering deeply. The depth of the love equals the depth of the pain. So, we are lucky to have had such love but now we have to deal with that loss. As I see it,  this may be our biggest lesson in this lifetime.

It is fourteen months since I lost the love of my life, my reason for living. And yet, here I am still breathing and waking up each day (so far!) and wondering why. You have your girls to keep waking up for and holding it together for. You are lucky to have them and you will get through this oh so difficult time together.

My thoughts are with you.

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On 6/10/2019 at 9:02 AM, psquared13 said:

Somehow now grieving for my pets seems stupid. I am completely lost and lonely without her.

It's not stupid.  Try not to compare because comparisons end up devaluing...each one we love is significant.  The hardest loss I've ever had to deal with in my life was the loss of my husband, he'd just turned 51...we hadn't even known he had heart trouble.  He looked the picture of health and wasn't an ounce overweight.  It sure can be misleading, can't it?!

Right now my dog has cancer and it's hitting me hard.  He's been my companion for ten years, my protector, my joy, my incentive, he's everything to me since I lost my husband 14 years ago next week.  I could no more compare losses than anything, they're both integral and real parts of me that I grieve.

What you are experiencing is on a magnitude you've never known before, it affects every aspect of your life.  I commend you for being there for your daughter and pray you'll find a job locally so you can do so.  You have found a good place here, with a lot of people who "get it" and understand.  I don't see how I could have made it if not for a place such as this.

I wrote this at about ten years out, the things I've found of value, I hope something in it will be helpful to you.  It helps to print it out and read it every few months, to see if something strikes you then because the grief journey is one that is ever evolving and changing, what strikes us now...well it will be something different altogether later on.


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
  • 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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@psquared13I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.  All grief is different, but we have some similarities...we lost our 52yr old wives/soulmates suddenly after a relationship of almost 30 years.  It's been 11 weeks now since my wife passed.  Every day is a struggle for a myriad of reasons...the heartbreak, the bullshit of dealing with her death and just life in general.  I'm probably the last person to offer advice because I'm struggling with all this, but I would say put yourself and your 15 yr old first as much as possible.  Spoil yourself.  Strive to achieve one thing each day, no matter how small.  Live one day at a time, don't think about tomorrow much less the future.  I made it through one more day today.  If I can, you can too.



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