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Grieved for 4 years, how do I start living again? Will it be better in 10 years? In 20?


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I don't want to write about my loss. I've been grieving for 4 years and have talked about my loss countless times. What I can say is it's the biggest loss of my life.

For the first time in my life, I stopped wanting to live. I stopped having any feelings other than grief and anger.

I've tried to numb myself as much as possible and just keep functioning. But now I just feel like a robot going through the motions.

Despite my loss, there are many "good" things left in my life, but I can't feel any of it.

I feel like I'm dead inside. Like I'm made of ice.

I feel like I lost my heart.

I don't even know who I am anymore.

After 4 years of this, I have to start feeling again, I have to start living again.

I can't go on like this. It's completely ruining my life.

How do I honour the person I lost, but still genuinely let go and move on?

How do I heal? How do I start living again?

How do I start caring about all the good things left in my life?

How do I stop isolating?

How do I start trusting again?

How do I open my heart?

Nothing touches me anymore. I see a newborn baby and feel nothing. I see newborn kittens and puppies and feel nothing. I see pain, suffering, loss and death around me and feel nothing.

Will I ever be able to reconnect to life again?

Will my soul ever care about living again?

How do you recover from losing who you loved most in the world? Who you loved more than yourself? Who you loved more than life itself?

I keep trying to tell myself he's in heaven now.

Keep trying to tell myself he'd want me to be happy.

How do I live with him in heaven and me on earth?

Life seems so pointless now.

I've lost people I've loved before, but never felt like this.

How can one person have meant so much?

Those stages of grief... I think I've been through 4 years of denial, sorrow, anger, bargaining.

I feel like I've run an emotional marathon every day of those 4 years.

I'm so exhausted.

I feel like I'm going insane with grief.

The last 4 years I've just been a tense mess of grief, loss, anger, bitterness, despair.

I haven't talked to him up in heaven at all.

But I'm thinking that maybe if I do, that might start the healing?

What if I spend the rest of my life just talking to him in heaven?

I'm in my 40s now and I don't feel like I'll ever get over this.

If I spend my days talking to him in heaven, is that insane?

Is that even a way to live?

Will that make it better, or worse?

What if I never stop grieving this and just end up grieving it differently as the years pass by?

What if talking to him in heaven is the only thing that can save me?

I feel like I've lost my heart, my soul and my mind over this.

It's been the most intense experience of my life, and I thought I'd already survived some pretty intense stuff.




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I've been thinking about this ^^ (and bawling about this) all day.

Wondering how on earth losing a loved one can make you want to stop living.

And it made me think that maybe what we assume is that by losing our loved ones, we also lose love itself.

I think love is such a rare and precious thing in this world... We don't find it to be abundant and copious.

So we associate love - at least special kinds of love - with our loved ones and if they go, we assume that kind of love is gone too.

So, for me, there's a lack of his type of love in the world now.

I think of him as unique and think of his kind of love as unique, so I assume that kind of love is gone from my life forever now.

And I life without love seems unlivable.

But I think I need to separate that out.

I have lost a loved one. I have lost the love of my life.

But I have not lost love.

The love we shared... it exists in the world. It's not exclusive to him and me.

It exists. I need to let it rest in my heart the way baby birds sit in their nest.

I need to let it fill my heart and overflow.

The love we had isn't gone. It hasn't disappeared from the world.

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I have to rebuild my life, without him.

We shared everything. Now it feels like that's all gone.

I didn't just let go of him, I let go of life too.

I've allowed life to pass me by for the last four years, but that's not working anymore.

I don't know if I have to start making decisions, or whether I just feel pressured to make decisions.

I keep thinking that I'm supposed to make my life be "like it was before" and I feel like I keep failing at that.

But maybe, my life will never be the same again. And maybe that's okay?

Maybe it's a different kind of life, from here on in.

The only kind of life I knew was what life was like "before".

So I keep thinking I have to go back to that template... somehow.

But maybe I don't?

Maybe life is genuinely different, from here on in.

Maybe I'll never be the same, and my life will never be the same, and that's okay.

I've kept feeling like a failure for not getting back to how I and how my life was "before".

But who says there's a rule that it has to be?

But what does life-after-loss look like?

I don't have a clue. I feel like I'm blind and stumbling around in a fog and might walk off a cliff any time soon.

I feel like everyone expects me to have some kind of life version of plastic surgery.

So that I can remove the unsightly scar.

But maybe our love changed my life and maybe this loss changed my life, forever.

And maybe that's okay.

Maybe I can stop trying to be "who I used to be".


I'm trying to work out what my heart and my brain "associated" and "connected" with C... Things that seem like they are lost forever.

- He's the first person I ever loved completely and utterly
- He's the first person I ever felt completely and utterly loved by
- I felt like he understood everything I said
- I felt like he didn't judge me and didn't care if I made mistakes
- I felt like I was home, for the first time in my life
- He made me feel like I was exactly right, just as I am
- I felt like I was overflowing with love an warmth and peace
- I felt at peace with the world, my life, with humanity, with the universe
- I felt like no matter what happened, it would be okay somehow, because we'd make it okay
- I felt like I finally understood the purpose of my life, my existence on earth
- I felt safe and secure in my body for the first time
- I felt playful, lighthearted, at ease, liberated
- I felt the safest I've ever felt
- I felt a sense of belonging for the first time in my life
- I felt I was bonded for the first time in my life

My heart and my brain and my soul think that all of those things are connected to C.

And now that he's gone, all of those things are gone too.

But I had those things WITH him. And they exist in the universe independently of him and of me.

Just because I discovered all of those things with him for the first time, doesn't mean they are exclusively attached to him.

Yes, I would have wished to experience these things only with him and for us both to live into our 80s and 90s and then be burried on some village cemetary plot next to each other.

But that's not what happened.

And my heart and brain and soul have convinced themselves that because he's gone, all true love is gone, I'll never feel at home gain, I'll never have a sense of belonging again, all good things will end, I have to protect myself against unbearable pain, etc etc.

It's no way to live. I can't keep being in this state. Four years is enough. It's been unbearable. I'll break if I continue in this state any longer.

I have to feel that love inside me and in the universe and have to accept that he's looking down from heaven and that's his part in that love now.

He gave all the love he could. I gave all the love I could.

It was good while it lasted.

I need to believe in good things.

I need to feel love.

I've walked around with a dead heart and a dead soul for four years.

I have to stop that cos it's killing me.

I have to start breathing again.

I have to start feeling again.

Like those tiny plants that start growing again in the cracks of the cooled down lava after a volcano has errupted and flattened and anihilated and devastated everything around it...

I have to let those tiny plants start growing in the cooled down lava in my soul and my heart.

Life finds a way. Life always finds a way, even when there seems to be no way, even when it seems unbearable.

Life is a force in the universe that just carries on no matter what.

I don't know why there's life left in me, but there is.

Maybe I'll find a new purpose, maybe time will reveal it to me.

What I have to do right now is to learn to feel again.

I have to resuscitate my heart and my soul before they're gone completely.

And I have to believe that he would've wanted me to be happy.

I would've wanted him to be happy, had it been the other way around.

I have to learn to think of our love as an unexpected blessing.

I never expected love like that in my life.

I've grieved so much about it not being in my life for longer.

But I have to stop seeing it that way. I have to be grateful that blessing existed at all.

And I have to believe that my life will be blessed again. In similar ways and in different ways.

There will be more blessings and I have to open my heart to them.

I'm ruining everything by closing my heart and pushing everything and everyone away.


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@ThereIsAField. I only lost my husband a month ago but I've had a lot of the same thoughts and feelings.  We had something good, something we treasured, and now it can live on only in my heart.   I don't want to go on and see what else life may hold, but I have no choice.  Maybe, just maybe, there's something good still out there, down the road.  It looks bleak from where I stand, but I'm 53 and presumably have many years to live so  I'm aware I can't stay in this dark place forever.  It's going to take time and courage though. I'm glad you're finding the courage to step out there and see what the future holds. I'll be praying for you and wishing you all the best.

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Having written here has helped a little. I was able to cry and grieve some and connect to myself and the world a bit better.

This has resulted in me being more able to get things done this week, with not quite such a heavy heart.

Today I'm struggling with feelings of pointlessness again. Everything feels so pointless without him and without his love.

It worries me and it bothers me. Because even if he was "the love of my life" I don't think I should be throwing away my life because he's no longer here.

It makes me wonder if I idealised him too much and he idealised me too much.

How can my brain/ heart/ soul be convinced that "life without him is not worth living" ?

It's weird, on the one hand I feel this, and on the other hand I feel that it's wrong.

I think it's okay for me to miss him, but not to miss him *like that*.

I question myself so much. I question him too. Were we really soulmates? Is there even such a thing?

Or is it just what we call people we feel incredibly close to?

I don't trust my feelings anymore. They are so all over the place. They are so extreme.

What are my feelings trying to tell me?

That life without love isn't worth living?

That sounds like more of a reasonable statement than life without him isn't worth living.

Life with true love and with a soulmate was pretty beautiful.

Life without true love and without a soulmate feels pretty meaningless in comparison.

As much as I loved him, I do not want to spend the rest of my life grieving this.

He mattered so much to me, but he wasn't my whole life.

I want to be able to reconnect to the world, to others, to myself again.

I want my life back. I don't want to walk around half-dead anymore.

I don't want him to have this much power over me.

I don't want to die too to be with him.

I gave him all I had to give. I don't want to give him the rest of my life too tho.

I want to live.

I want to feel things.

I want things to matter.

I want to be real, not numb.

I want to feel alive.

Life is so short and I'm sure I only get one life.

I don't want it to be over already.

I learned so much with him, more than I ever thought I'd learn in all my life.

I wish we'd had decades together, not just years.

But it wasn't to be.

And I don't want to feel dead for the next few decades.

What I loved was feeling so alive with him.

I want to keep feeling alive.

I want to keep feeling love.

I want to honour him.

But I want to move on.

I want life.

Complicated, messy, painful, confusing, overwhelming life.

I need to accept that having loved him and having lost him is part of my identity now.

A great big scar on my heart.

But it's still beating.

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@ThereIsAField thank you for posting these thoughts here! It's like hearing my own thoughts, I can relate so much! Although I'm still fresh in this grief process, I am also a lot more cerebral than emotional and always trying to figure things out, analyze, contemplate and dissect everything as it helps me accept it, be it love or loss or any other emotion that hits me like a wave - hit then calm, then hit again and calm, and on an on... I need to recognize that after the wave there is calm and try to learn how to face the wave so that I can get to the other side of it. Or else I will drown...

I have to accept that life will never be the same without my Love and Soulmate, that I will have to learn to live with myself only, carrying my Love in my heart. I try to focus on the good memories, try to wall off the pain and suffering as I don't want to live in pain and suffering for the rest of my life. And I know that my Barry wouldn't want me to, he told me so in his letters before his departure. As we often used to recognize that we were like Yin and Yang - two completely opposite parts of a whole, functioning by completing each other, I will now have to learn to function on my own. Try to heal that wound his passing left open, and I know there will be a scar, "a big scar on my heart" as you say, but it's still beating!

Thank you!

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Thanks @Maria_PI  :)


I don't know if I can work out the difference between "moving on" and "avoiding grieving".

I want the grieving to stop... does that mean I am healing and starting a new phase in life? Or am I just avoiding/ pushing away my grieving and therby preventing healing and making the process even longer? It's so confusing.

If I let myself sit with the grief, is that healthy, or am I wallowing in it and need to force myself to focus on life?

I can't work out what on earth to do with my life from here on in.

Previously, I've always been able to "feel" what I want from life. But now I can't, for the first time.

Because I can't feel anything, I just keep trying to make "sensible" decisions. Trying to keep options open, trying not to do anything I might regret, focussing on practical things.

But it scares me that I can't feel "a reason and a purpose".

I'm trying to (re)connect to deeper stuff atm... A spiritual journey to connect to my life purpose and what is the next stage of my life journey.

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@ThereIsAField I hear you! It's a constant back and forth, one day I feel at peace listening to his music and his voice, then today I read a message he wrote in his last days while in pain and decline, and I collapse from grief, crying on the floor, pain in the gut... It's just devastating.... I wish I had answers! I can't even think about next week, let alone next month or next year... What's the point!

I found a song by one of my all time favorite voices, Willie Nelson, he says "It's not something you get over, but it's something you get through". Beautiful song, and Willie's voice is so soothing... If you like to listen (I find listening to music helps me) 


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I'm struggling with anger today.

C wasn't perfect, our relationship wasn't perfect.

I feel like now he's dead I'm meant to remember him as some kind of saint.

He wasn't.

I'm angry today about the relationship we had.

I feel like he set me up to be emotionally dependent on him.

I've always been incredibly independent, because I had a really, really difficult childhood.

He's the first person that I let that close, he convinced me to take down my guard.

He wanted a relationship that was "just us two against the rest of the world".

I told him at the time, that I don't think it's healthy to be that emotionally dependent on each other.

I think it's healthy to have close friends and a big support network.

But he wanted it to be "just us" and I trusted him, despite my reservations.

And now I look back on it and am angry at myself - I think he got me (who was always fiercely independent) to be emotionally dependent on him, against my better judgement.

I don't think he did it "on purpose" but he wanted me to himself, so bit by bit he ended up isolating me from everyone else, so that it was just him and me.

And now he's dead, I'm so angry at my subconscious, which seems to be convinced that I can't live without him - or at least that I can't live happily without him.

I should've listened to my gut instincts, should've been more wary, should've insisted that no, it's not healthy to exclude everyone else from our lives.

I think we both truly did love each other and our love felt amazing in many ways, but I don't think it was healthy - as harsh as that sounds.

And I think that's what's complicating my grief. I can't just grieve a good thing. I have to untangle myself from the unhealthy aspects too and doing that while grieving seems like an impossible gymnastics exercise.

How on earth do I both honour the good, true love we shared, but also deal with the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship?

I feel like I could do one of those things, but trying to do both is just breaking my heart and my brain.

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