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Can you enjoy?


BBB

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You might not be the one to ask for this particular question but I appreciate your feedback. It tells me that we are all different in some ways but in other ways, the same. It also helps me to understand the many times that I feel like doing absolutely nothing. The times where I don't want to see anyone, just want to be alone and reflect. Helps me to not feel like an isolated individual that family and friends don't understand why I am so sad. 

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Roxeanne
2 hours ago, Tami M said:

Don't get me wrong there is still room for the sadness even though you may smile at something or laugh.  

It's how i'm feeling! I'm trying to live my life...i keep doing the things i liked to do with him...and it's not the same! I appreciate them but there's not the same joy!

I go out with friends and i smile and laugh all the time...i really enjoy being with them! But when i return home i feel tired and empty as i played a part...

It's hard trying to live with this enormous void inside

Sometimes i'm afraid i will not longer find that joy!

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Always I've looked for joy since he died, I will continue.  Lately I'm going through a lot physically and so many stressors on me, I'm finding it all too much, esp. alone, always alone.  No one who is there for ME, you know?  I had built a social life, with Covid it's pretty much back to square one.  Without my puppy...I don't know.  He keeps me going.

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I think I'm just weird. I find it extremely difficult in finding any joy in things without my wife. I don't know. Maybe I just got 'used to' sharing the joy in things with her? Can't really figure it out or pinpoint it. 

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Canadagirl81

@BBB I don't think you are weird at all. You shared your joy with her and that's a really beautiful thing. Now that she's not physically present it makes perfect sense that it's absent. The question is, are you OKAY with the fact that you are finding it difficult to find joy? If you are, then be okay with it. If you aren't....then maybe slowly but surely start to try things that maybe you never have before, to see if you can spark some happiness. They may bring you joy or they may not. Give yourself time. I have faith that some resemblance of joy will return for you, even if it's just for 10 minutes or an entire afternoon. There is no timeline of when things should return to "normal" with grief. Are you talking to a therapist or professional? It may be beneficial if you are really struggling with these feelings. Sending you hugs. 

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GoldenRose
16 hours ago, Canadagirl81 said:

Things make me smile or even laugh momentarily but the grim truth is always there, like a computer program running in the background.

This is exactly how I feel. I am sometimes sitting with my friends, hearing them laugh and I realize I'm smiling too but I feel so empty inside. Nothing without my husband feels the same and nothing brings me actual joy or happiness... yet. I cling on to the idea that someday, when my face smiles, my heart will actually smile too. It may not be as complete as when he was here but it will be my new "complete." I don't expect a full recovery, until I can meet my wonderful, goofy, handsome husband again! However I think at some point things will slowly start to have meaning and color again. Humans are amazing, and while we are broken right now, even the worst wounds heal when treated properly.

Something that has helped me have a feeling close but not quite like joy is doing things I would have never done before. I tried pottery and clay baking! I bought new clothes that are not my style, and I have found new friends in people I didn't think I was similar too. While sometimes I feel guilty doing things I wish my husband was here to try with me, I realize that is actually a bit of a silly thought. Don't get me wrong, its valid and real and I do wish he was here, but that doesn't mean I can't and shouldn't try to find something that resembles joy in my activities. I haven't found it yet, but one day when I least expect it, maybe even years from now, I think something will feel good again.

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Canadagirl81

@GoldenRose I smiled reading about all the new things you have been trying to bring joy to you. How did you like pottery? I love the idea of trying on new clothes that are out of your comfort zone, I think I'll treat myself soon. Thanks for the idea.

I agree with all you said about us humans being amazing and our ability to heal...we will never be quite the same but I am trusting that there will be genuine joy and happiness again. It will never be all it could be until I am with him again....I'm so looking forward to that time. Glenn would want happiness for me. I want that for me too. If he's not here then I will enjoy this life for the both of us. I understand the guilty feelings too. Just today I saw that our favourite vegan restaurant near by will now be serving breakfast. I want to go but then in my mind I thought "I can't...Glenn isn't here..it wouldn't be fair because he's missing out." How silly but totally understandable why my mind would think that. I wish he was here to share everything with just like it was before. 
I have hope for us, that things will eventually feel good again somehow. 

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widower2

 

On 3/11/2022 at 7:37 AM, BBB said:

no matter how much I try to live 'normally', I cannot seem to enjoy things. I miss sharing the joy with my wife and thus the enjoyment out of things is sort of sucked out of whatever I am participating in. Do others feel that? What do you do about it?

Yes. I just generally try to get whatever I can out of life. Some days of course are better than others.

If there's one thing I'm a champion of, it's denial. This was a horrible fault of mine when she was sick (which she even warned me about), but oddly sometimes I think it serves me now. There are days I can somehow "pretend" things are normal (not something I consciously try per se) and have a normal day, have normal conversations, do normal stuff...and on the surface you'd never know I'd been through hell and back many times over. And sometimes I can enjoy movies or shows or whatever I find on youtube :) Although while I get some kind of enjoyment out of it, I notice that I almost never laugh any more, even when I find something funny. And I have to work hard on reminding myself to smile at people once in awhile. 

Basically you just do the best you can and try to get whatever you can out of life. For me it started with realizing that despite all of it, I'm allowed to have some enjoyment in life. PS you might want to check out meetup.com. It's this online thing that helps local people create social groups of all kinds...some based on age, some on a particular interest like hiking or reading or movies, and so on. They are almost always either free or extremely cheap (like $10/yr) and there is no pressure to do anything in particular, just pick and choose what might interest you. There are even widow/widower groups sometimes. 

 

On 3/11/2022 at 8:25 AM, KayC said:

mostly my life is about doing for others 

That's a life well spent with great value. I'm sure your husband is quite proud!

 

Quote

I feel like my life ended when he died.

Same. I suspect many of us do. 

 

11 hours ago, BBB said:

I think I'm just weird. I find it extremely difficult in finding any joy in things without my wife. I don't know. Maybe I just got 'used to' sharing the joy in things with her? Can't really figure it out or pinpoint it. 

? What's weird about that? Makes total sense to me.

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On 3/12/2022 at 6:25 PM, widower2 said:

If there's one thing I'm a champion of, it's denial.

There's a use for it, if nothing else to mete out the all consuming grief in doses we can handle. ;)

On 3/12/2022 at 6:25 PM, widower2 said:

I'm allowed to have some enjoyment in life.

I read an article early on (first year) that basically let me know I can give myself permission to smile. (I wish I'd saved it but will post another I found)  I don't have to prove my love to him through clinging to grief, it's there, ever evolving, like it or not, it's part of us now, but it's also okay to have good moments in life and it doesn't mean we didn't love them!

Smile Permission

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On 3/13/2022 at 1:48 AM, tlc said:

Once Terry and I formed our life together, I never ever wanted that alone time.

It was that way with us too...I always needed a measure of solitude but not with George.  We had that perfect existence.  It felt so effortless!  But maybe that was because we both made the effort because we loved each other and wanted to!

On 3/13/2022 at 1:48 AM, tlc said:

I have my old grumpy cat and when she has to leave me to...well, what then eh?

That's how I felt losing Arlie and then Kitty!  Kitty was 25 1/2 and I haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another.  She was cantankerous, but MY cantankerous cat, and I understood her.  She let me know her last night how much she loved and appreciated me.  Watching her slip away when she was euthanized was very special, she let me hold her and purred that last hour...she was never a lap cat.  But afterwards you feel so empty...their spirits are somewhere, I just need to find them, like George...

On 3/13/2022 at 1:48 AM, tlc said:

Doesn't help when we have Bush fires, pandemics, floods and wars either, all since Terry left! 

I know, it's a crazy world we live in now.

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SharedLife

Same here.

My wife was such an important part of my life and now that she's gone, it's virtually impossible to find joy.

Everywhere I look in the house I see reminders of her.and reminisce about the joy she brought to my life.

I work to distract myself---I watch a lot of Netflix and Hulu. 

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Canadagirl81

@SharedLife Yes....I lose myself in Netflix and familiar movies that bring me comfort. I know your wife is right with you...it will never feel the same but I think that's special. I see Glenn everywhere and I really have to consciously flip my perspective to thankful....thankful that I got to experience such a connection that most people don't ever get to experience. The joyful memories comfort me.  Be thankful for the joy you shared with her. You will see her again, I truly believe that. I hope you do too. Sending you hugs. 

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Jemiga70

@BBB  Its going on 11 months for me since my beautiful angel crossed, and if anything I'm angrier than ever. Perhaps I'm so tired of being sad, and it's easier to be angry? Angry at most humans, angry at this sh1tty world and the soulless perverts in positions of power, the violence, the virus and all the fallout, I could go on but I won't. My wife was too good an angel to suffer through this demented carnival ride I tell myself.

I can't remember the last time I had FUN! It's better to live life with joy and laughter and lightness in one's heart, that I do know, and it's nothing to feel guilty about if that day comes. It's just that I don't really care anymore. It's the apathy but I'm OK with it for now.

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@JEMIGA70 I still feel all of that. Apathy, anger, it's all still there, sad, cry, it just rotates. I hate living like that, my family all hate me living like that but as hard as I try to change it, I still wind up in the same place. It's silly to even say that this is the hardest thing I've ever gone through because it's not even close. When I get up in the morning I still shake my head and say to myself, this could not have happened. This just could not have happened. My life is ruined. Yet, some people want to say 'your life is not ruined, you still have your life to live'. However, without my wife to share it with, it's meaningless.

 

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@BBB i can definitely relate to all you are saying. Life as it was is now different. I also stop and say to myself "I can't believe he is gone" then i will ask "is this for real ?" The waves of grief is so painful and depressing. I find myself grieving what was,  what is and what could have been. To find someone who I had such a connection with after years of searching only for them to be taken away is a grief I can't use words to describe . It's not fair but I realize my tears will not change the fact that we won't be together here. I'm feeling the anger now at so many things. I somehow don't believe this life is the end ...it can't be...BUT its painful to go on knowing they are not physically here with us. I get it. So disappointing.  I feel your pain 

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Always waiting for something is an accurate way to put it. Obviously we are waiting for our spouses to come back while knowing that is not possible. So we wait but we wait for what? Something, something that can't really be described. This is how I feel every day. I'm waiting for something. Perhaps I'm waiting for something outstanding to happen in my life. I don't know.

There's an overused movie line but it really is accurate in terms of my life and that line is "You complete me". Nothing could be more accurate then that. My wife completed me, made me feel whole. Now I feel lost, incomplete and just floundering from one day to the next.

 

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8 hours ago, Jemiga70 said:

I can't remember the last time I had FUN!

I was just thinking that yesterday!  But I did enjoy my grandson's 5th bdy party, it'd been 4 1/2 months since I'd seen them.

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3 hours ago, BBB said:

some people want to say 'your life is not ruined, you still have your life to live'.

Wow!  People who have no clue, undoubtedly.  It changes everything.  Yes we can have good moments, positives, but oh gosh it takes so long to process this, to build our lives back, Covid pretty much destroyed what I'd built, will have to start again...it takes more effort than one would expect.

3 hours ago, BBB said:

However, without my wife to share it with, it's meaningless.

We used to go camping, on drives, hikes, I haven't since he died...life without someone to share in it with is somehow just not the same.  I do still walk with whatever dog I own at the time, I've done that for over 30 years, not quitting.  But going to enjoy the experience of new sights, etc., not the same.

 

51 minutes ago, LMR said:

Always waiting for ? .... something. This is how I have felt for so long and it's exhausting.

What sets him apart from others (religious) is he has experienced it.  He fully lived life with his wife and he fully experienced grief, he gets it.  And he has a great way of expressing things that speaks to us.  "A Grief Observed" is highly recommended.

53 minutes ago, LMR said:

We get a glimpse of a future we don't want.

They say that most of what we worry about or are anxious about does not occur, that's often been true for me, I can be a professional anxious/worrier...I've had to learn to stay in today, take life as it comes, embrace what is good and fully appreciate it, often it's those little moments that go unnoticed by many, they are what comprise my "joy" now.

 

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@LMRI don't even know what to say anymore...the only thought i have right now is disappointment. Nothing fills the emptiness.  I think I'm just existing and everything is just routine. So sad

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Jemiga70

@BBB  A curious thing happened yesterday: the anger just lifted. Went out for a walk and I noticed my anger wasn't there, and I felt much more connected to my wife than in the past week. Now, the weirdest thing is that I did nothing special, said nothing special to myself, no positive thinking cheerleading, no mantras, no special food or drink, didn't meditate, heck i havent even been sleeping well..... it's like the anger just flushed itself out of me. Today the anger is a flicker rather than a roaring fire. I thought I could predict grief and its patterns but damn it I cant. I have some small hope that maybe one day i can enjoy something again and it helps if i tell myself that she'd want that, and that I owe her that. Truly it does seem like it's one day at a time.

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16 minutes ago, Jemiga70 said:

@BBB  A curious thing happened yesterday: the anger just lifted. Went out for a walk and I noticed my anger wasn't there, and I felt much more connected to my wife than in the past week. Now, the weirdest thing is that I did nothing special, said nothing special to myself, no positive thinking cheerleading, no mantras, no special food or drink, didn't meditate, heck i havent even been sleeping well..... it's like the anger just flushed itself out of me. Today the anger is a flicker rather than a roaring fire. I thought I could predict grief and its patterns but damn it I cant. I have some small hope that maybe one day i can enjoy something again and it helps if i tell myself that she'd want that, and that I owe her that. Truly it does seem like it's one day at a time.

A weird thing like that happened to me this week. My problem has not been anger but total bewilderment. I couldn't grasp what death means, it just seemed so illogical. Then a few days ago I just had this weird state of calmness come over me and I felt like I understood something that I never had before. It only lasted the one day but it has left an impression, at least for the moment.

I do enjoy things but it isn't the same. I don't do the things we would have done together, other than tv and eating and sleeping. Oh gosh, now I think about it so many things, but I never have that same commitment to whatever I am doing. I am removed. It's like I can think and do two things at once, all the time. I am constantly thinking about him but at the same time going through the motions of another life, another person.

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6 hours ago, Jemiga70 said:

Went out for a walk and I noticed my anger wasn't there

Walking is one of the biggest stress relievers, releases seratonin, very helpful in grief!

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5 hours ago, LMR said:

I am removed. It's like I can think and do two things at once, all the time. I am constantly thinking about him but at the same time going through the motions of another life, another person.

I can relate, almost like we're operating on two different planes at once...the grief that is always there, and the going through our life at the same time, but the grief is never gone or removed.  Nothing as carefree as "before" when you didn't carry this and thought life was going to continue as it had.  It's like we lived up to that point in time, and then it was all different for us, not just them being gone and missing them and our lives altered, but how we exist/think/go through life as well.

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@widower2I went back to find your post . I believe you wrote about denial and how she warned you. This spoke to me in the sense that I was in total denial about his illness. I wasn't there from day 1 diagnosis . After we reconnected he would say " I'm ok" he was trooping on like a strong warrior. I believe there was only 1 time he told me he wasn't feeling well and that's after I didn't hear from him for an entire evening till the next day. We didn't spend a lot of time together during the week but we were always on the phone but I feel he held things from me and by the time I saw him he would put up a front . I was aways so glad to see him and be in his arms. I have so much regret it's not funny. I was at a job with no flexibility and even after his death my work environment was depressing as heck. I resigned a month and a half after his death and now I have more flexible hours where if he was alive I could spend more time with him . I'm off today and when he was alive I was never off during the week. I shake my head bc I would have made it a point to see him today.  I just don't get it. Denial got the best of me. I didn't know he was dying or close to the end. We never talked about him not being here anymore so I just continued on as if everything was regular.  So I get the denial . This is just a horrible part of life

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Finding Joy!

When I read some posts about others feeling as if there is no more joy makes me a little sad. It is my belief that we can all find joy in something. I think as much as anything the 'no joy' story is a story we can tell ourselves. When we are grieving and so terribly sad and lonely and missing our partners it is an easy story to believe. I can believe it myself. But maybe there is always some joy. Joy in tiny little accomplishments. Or little things, a sunrise or sunset. A beautiful day. We can tell ourselves that these things cannot be enjoyed without our beloved, but can they? I believe we almost have a duty to go on enjoying these things. 

Ted has been gone from my life for six weeks this Sunday. A short amount of time. I have incredibly sad days. I miss being able to share things with him. I'm sure that will always be true. Maybe a little less as time passes. I'm not sure. But one thing I am sure of for myself, my husband would not want me to spend my life feeling like it is no longer worthwhile. I can feel his presence. When I am sad he says 'it's okay, it's going to be okay'. For me, not to find some joy would be unimaginable. It would feel like I am letting him down. 

I miss my husband more than I could have imagined possible but I also think that I am blessed with my life. I feel should go forward and make him proud that I can somehow be the same woman that he loved. It is my gift to his memory. My gift to him.  

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GoldenRose
1 hour ago, RN-Nix said:

@widower2 I was at a job with no flexibility and even after his death my work environment was depressing as heck. I resigned a month and a half after his death and now I have more flexible hours where if he was alive I could spend more time with him.

@RN-Nix I can totally relate. After my husband passed, I lowered my work hours. Now I feel guilty because I never did that when he was alive. I have also changed my viewpoints on some things and I feel it is unfair to him since I was always so opinionated and stubborn in my feelings toward certain things when he was with me. I have even felt that becoming a better person in the future is unfair to him because he didn’t get the best version of me. 

Like everything though, I’m sure it’s part of the grief. I try to let go of the guilt and just realize that if it was up to me, he would still be here. Maybe I wouldn’t have become a better person as soon but I would have evolved and changed even if he was alive. This just sped up the process because I’m trying to figure out who I even am without him.

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@goldenRose that's the guilt attached with this ugly grief process. The devil knows we are vulnerable and what better way than for us to get beat over the head with guilt. I'm guilty of feeling guilty.  You were who you were when he was here.  Hind sight is 20/20 and it takes something so final like this for us to say we should have or if only we did..etc...why does it take death for us to have 20/20 vision ????that's so messed up. No matter how much I wanted our outcome to be different I'm sadly realizing that everyone has an appointment with death and nothing WE do will make us late or miss that appointment.  All I find myself doing now is hissing my teeth and shake my head in disbelief. 

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@BBBwell i need to join the weird club. I found happiness ...the happiness I searched for year in and year out.. not perfection but happy being imperfect. I used to take a shower and drench myself in my favorite perfume or lotion . He loved the way I smelled. I have not worn perfume since. I'm not a good conversationalist I just sit there and listen . I feel that I'm more task oriented and once  done I head straight to bed . I have clothes galore and I've been in black since Dec 25th. My smile was my claim to fame and thank goodness I can walk around with a face mask. It's not that I can't find happiness in things...it's just an empty lonely feeling . Even after I do something I like there is an emptiness bc the person I want to share it with is not here.  I totally get it .

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On 3/11/2022 at 6:37 AM, BBB said:

I miss sharing the joy with my wife and thus the enjoyment out of things is sort of sucked out of whatever I am participating in. Do others feel that?

BBB:  I know exactly what you are talking about. I say my "get up and go got up and went". There are many things I don't do anymore because of lack of enjoyment. I think it's pretty normal though, considering what we are going through. I hope to be able to enjoy some things again. I don't think much about it right now. I just know that my life isn't the same since I lost my husband.  

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5 hours ago, PLin said:

I miss my husband more than I could have imagined possible but I also think that I am blessed with my life. I feel should go forward and make him proud that I can somehow be the same woman that he loved. It is my gift to his memory. My gift to him.  

PLin:   I like your attitude. I want to enjoy life again and I believe I will but right now, it just feels so sad and empty. I think part of the problem is the current environment I am living in. It's not the greatest and is pretty depressing all in itself. But maybe once I get out of here and into to a place of my own, I will start to explore and try to find things to enjoy again. I have to believe that because if I don't I may turn into a pumpkin at midnite. lol

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18 hours ago, PLin said:

Joy in tiny little accomplishments. Or little things, a sunrise or sunset. A beautiful day.

Absolutely, what I call the "little joys" now that my "Big Joy" (George) is gone.  We have to look for them, recognize them, embrace them, be grateful for them.  It also helps us to learn to live in the present moment, which helps relieve anxiety, and appreciate.

It is so easy to get bogged down with struggles, sorrow, hardships, pain, etc.  All the more essential to keep our eyes peeled for our little joys that come our way!

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You may feel alone in this but we're here for you...

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Canadagirl81

@Jen H Hey...I just wanted to reply to you and say I completely feel what you feel. You are not alone. I am totally disillusioned with life and feel awful. Nothing is right anymore. Robot mode, absolutely....on auto-pilot, completely. What is the purpose? My person that made everything so happy and fun is gone. I know I can be those things for myself but life is meant to be shared and I just can't believe my reality without him and having to face day after day with this consciousness. I almost don't want it anymore. You aren't alone in the struggle at all. If I hear one more time "eventually you'll have to start moving on" I think I'll rip my own head off. Empty....yes. The quiet....deafening. What do we do? Just keep going I guess and hope it gets better? Maybe it will. Maybe one day I'll actually feel happy again but I know that it won't feel as fully happy as it could but that's just what I have to accept. It totally sucks. There's so much going on with humanity in general and it all weighs so heavy on my already shattered heart. I'm tired. I send you hugs and hope somehow that things get better...and some sort of meaning can return. 

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@Jen HI definitely feel what you are saying. You and Canadagirl81 has summed up everything I feel. I know it's probably a common feeling amongst all of us. How can it not be?  The loneliness, the depression, the despair, the sadness and the list goes on and on. I do things because I have to not because I want to or have the desire to. You are DEFINITELY NOT ALONE in your thoughts but I get it.  Your love is not physically there with you so there's an emptiness a hole that needs to be filled. The things I looked forward with him present is gone. To put on something as simple as perfume I don't do, to dress in something casual to relax next to him I don't do..I prefer to stay in my pj's. We really should be living as other folks may say but how????the things we enjoyed most was with the person we lost. I get it I totally get it !!!! I feel it and I feel your pain. Take a deep breath and continue to vent and reach out to us we hear you. We get it we understand.  I'm optimistic for all of us that someday we will find a way to go on...

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Canadagirl81

@RN-Nix Right with you sister. I just want things to return to normal with him here. I'd give ANYTHING and knowing it's not possible is an impossible pill to swallow. I can't let these jaded feelings take over, he wouldn't want that. It's just so hard.  Hugs hon, Laura

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@Canadagirl81I knowwwwww. I feel the sane way. Laura, I don't even know what to say. I know he wouldn't want me miserable but I also know that he would want to be here with me ...on Sunday ...our day to relax....I don't speak to anyone about him but this group  so that makes it even harder. People who showed support in the beginning have gone back to their routines ..and most people who have not experienced it doesn't understand ....but you do.  Sending you a big hug too!!!!

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On 3/18/2022 at 10:08 AM, KayC said:

Absolutely, what I call the "little joys" now that my "Big Joy" (George) is gone.  We have to look for them, recognize them, embrace them, be grateful for them.  It also helps us to learn to live in the present moment, which helps relieve anxiety, and appreciate.

KayC:  You are so right. There really is so much that we take for granted. But when you slow down just a little and take a look around, you find the good things. And sometimes doing this can lead to more good things. I learned this a long time ago and am heavily relying on it now more than ever. Glad to know you are one of those people who learned this, too.  

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