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restless in a darkness I never knew existed


her_chrissy

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You have managed to articulate very beautifuly the way you are feeling, I also feel all the same things you've written. 

My writing skills just won't allow me to put my true feelings into words. I do however feel your hurt and loss at this saddest point in both our lives, I must believe though that time can heal part of what we feel. 

We will remember, never forget the beautiful, loving and very special people that are now with the angles above.

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her_chrissy
1 hour ago, P Bowen said:

My writing skills just won't allow me to put my true feelings into words.

Thank you Bowen for your gentle words and for being here with me. We all find our own ways to express ourselves, and fight to keep alive in our hearts our loves lost. My writing could never begin to articulate the intensity of the love I felt for my wife, nor the relentless turmoil I am in now. As I find myself at present able to do little else with my life, I owe it to her and myself to try.

Only you and your partner, Bowen, knew and experienced the love you had for each other. There are no words that come close to those feelings, and we can and may spend our lifetimes trying, by any and all means of expression. Somewhere out there, perhaps, both our angels have crossed paths. My best to you. -c 

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her_chrissy
1 hour ago, foreverhis said:

I still have John's hairbrush.  I can't bear to throw it away because some of his hair is in it.  It will be 4 years in July and I don't imagine I will ever decide to let it go.

Of course, eventually you will need to dust, but don't do it until you're ready.  So what if some dust collects?  It's your choice entirely.

Absolutely you do, as do I have my wife's hairbrush. The funeral home gave me a lock of Annie's hair. I have yet to open the velvet bag it came in. I'm too scared to see something that is a mere relic. I see her hairbrush and feel for a moment she's still here with me, getting herself beautiful for a date, or even just her morning routine. I fear most when enough time has passed that her clothes no longer smell like her. Thank you for sharing this, and a part of John with me here. 

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her_chrissy
1 hour ago, foreverhis said:

The crushing silence is so hard to explain to anyone who hasn't been where we are.  I do not believe words exist that would allow them to understand because they are in the silent screams and the shattering of hearts.  We're left with shards and fragments that can never be put together again.

So incredibly true and eloquently put. I only today found myself pushing through barely-contained anger when somebody told me of how they tire of being isolated with their partner. There is nothing I wouldn't do to have that again. I wouldn't waste a single moment together. For every extra moment I'd get, I'd make it worth two. Shards and fragments is all there is now. Thank you. 

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1 hour ago, foreverhis said:

When I'd say, "Please don't leave me, love," he'd reply, "I don't plan to" and later "I don't want to" and finally, "I'm sorry."

I cried deeply at these words, so I thank you for that gift. I wonder too what it would have been like to watch my wife leave this earth gradually, in the way that John did, instead of suddenly and unexpectedly. I don't know how I would have found the strength for that, to be able to say everything I need to say and help her to have peace before she left. I admire you deeply for this, and thank you for being here with me. -c

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5 hours ago, her_chrissy said:

I sit now everyday in unsettling stillness, surrounded by reminders that belie the end of her existence.

That was absolutely beautiful! You helped me a few days ago. I remember you said that working at hone is a mixed blessing. I know we all have to do what we have to do to get through this..... please don’t stay in that house all the time. Please make yourself get out from time to time. I’m here just like many others if you need a human to talk to. No, none of us are her. We’re all here alive trying to make sense out of this mess. Keep your chin up! 

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7 minutes ago, IL2 said:

That was absolutely beautiful! You helped me a few days ago. I remember you said that working at hone is a mixed blessing. I know we all have to do what we have to do to get through this..... please don’t stay in that house all the time. Please make yourself get out from time to time. I’m here just like many others if you need a human to talk to. No, none of us are her. We’re all here alive trying to make sense out of this mess. Keep your chin up! 

Thank you. I just posted to your thread at the same time! I'm going to do my best to do that. I have seen a couple of old friends when I've been able to. I'm going to try to do some walking and exercise when I can. It's tough with the virus and living in rural Canada with -30C temps, but we're having some warmer days next week and I'm hoping to do a few things we loved to do together in the winter, like snowshoe perhaps. It was good to hear from you. -c

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15 minutes ago, her_chrissy said:

Thank you. I just posted to your thread at the same time! I'm going to do my best to do that. I have seen a couple of old friends when I've been able to. I'm going to try to do some walking and exercise when I can. It's tough with the virus and living in rural Canada with -30C temps, but we're having some warmer days next week and I'm hoping to do a few things we loved to do together in the winter, like snowshoe perhaps. It was good to hear from you. -c

That’s great you gave plans to get out! That is definitely cold temps! I don’t know how you are doing as far as eating goes..... maybe you could treat yourself to a nice meal. Good to hear from you too!

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12 hours ago, P Bowen said:

also feel all the same things you've written. 

That is the neat thing about this place, other articulate what we are feeling when we're at a loss to describe it.  

Welcome here, your new grief family (if you so choose), where others who've been through similar things get it and understand.  It helps to read/write here, processes our grief and helps us know we're not alone in how we feel.

I am so sorry for your loss!  No one should have to go through this...but here we are.  My husband was barely 51, just five days after his bdy, sudden/unexpected.  I didn't know how to do a week without him!  I didn't see how the sun could shine without him in it, seriously!  That was 16 1/2 years ao (Father's Day 2005),  II couldn't face 40 years without him, it was too much, I learned to do one day at a time, stay in today, I do that still.  It's all I can handle.

Some say it gets easier...that's a relative term, maybe easier compared to the shock of day/month one...but never "easy" by any means...yet miraculously we begin to adjust and learn to cope/survive, although it is NEVER "easy" or what we wanted for our lives.  I try hard to focus on positives, but it can also be challenging...

Not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

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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