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Sudden loss of a spouse

A Wilson

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I have just loss of my husband of 17 years to a sudden death and it's so difficult to try to understand or make since of a death without explanation or clear cause. 

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@A Wilson

I'm so sorry for your loss. I also lost my husband of 13 years (but we are together for 18 years) last month. He went so suddenly, in our bed and the last word he spoke was my name. I was, still am and will be too, so brokenhearted. I just feel cheated and unfair because there were no signs, no whatsoever that prepare me for it. (not that anyone would ever get prepare or ready to loss anyone dear to them), but losing him so suddenly shake my entire world, my entire life. If I don't have my son to take care, maybe I lose my mind more now. He's my reason to try to keep my sanity intact. 

It's so hard to understand or find answers (I don't even think there are answers to this) to what, why, how when our love one gone. And we soon begin to think what if, if only... and we face with reality that he's gone forever and nothing we can do can bring him back. Suddenly we are lost and broken. Gone are the happy days, the moments with him are now just memories. It's so painful and difficult to even think of moving forward with life. For now, I just think and try to survive one moment at time, focus on breathing now. Because thinking about tomorrow, weeks, months or years are too much. 

Hope you'll find strength for experience this, it's gonna be hard and difficult. Keep coming, talking or writing here, in this forum, the people understand. This forum help me, the members are so kind. GBU

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I lost my spouse 6 months ago.  The first few days are a blur as you focus on only the immediate things.  The funeral, the contacting people, the what do I have to do next.  

Try to eat.  I think I survived only on oatmeal and smoothies my 14 year old daughter made me drink for about 4 days.  Sleep was elusive.  I watched comedies like The Big Bang Theory, I had seen before and didn't sleep more than 2 hours a night for about a week.  

Let people help you as much as you can.  If it wasn't for my two friends who held my hand through every decision I wouldn't have made it.  There is lots about that time I still don't really remember as you enter into the "fog" state, which is likely made worse by the lack of food and sleep.

Most importantly, what ever feels right to you is right. I put my husband in clothes he would have worn around the house because I wanted my kids last image of him to be like he was sleeping on the couch.  I didn't care about what anyone else thought.  I wrote a "Thank You" letter as his eulogy, thanking him for all the wonderful things he was and did in our 27 years together.  I read it to him, while he was in his casket, alone before they closed the lid (he was cremated for the service). These things mattered to me and my kids and that is what was important.  

Grief is hard, the tears will flow (no you cannot sprain your tear ducts though it will feel like you did).  Laugh if you need to, cry if you need to, talk if you need to, wear his clothes if you need to.  The biggest thing is to give yourself permission to grieve and to mourn in the way that you need to do it.  

I am sorry for your loss, but we are here for you.

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I am so sorry for your loss...I typed a response and don't see it anywhere.  I welcome you here, but I'm sorry anyone has reason to be here.  I want to share this article I wrote in the hopes something in it helps you now...something else on down the road.  I still practice the one day at a time all these years later and still try to look for joy no matter how small, Lord knows we all need what we can get.


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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