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My best friend, my baby, my partner, my love, my lover, and my homie. Gone.


notthis

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I lost my partner in life of 6 years this past December. He was 21, and I am 22. The cause of death is unknown, presumed to be from natural causes but completely unknown as of yet. We were supposed to go see the new Avatar movie the day he was found in the shower.

I thought I had been handling it pretty well up to this point but the past few days everything has been coming crashing down, more than usual. When I think of the situation objectively I have no idea how I have been functioning up to this point. I’ve been in school for the past 5 weeks and the people in my life seem to be taking for granted how well I'm handling things, inviting me on trips and out and about, and I've been participating, but it is wearing on me. I've been called strong more times than I can count. I cry almost every day, not uncommonly to the point of throwing up. This is the first serious loss I've ever encountered in my life and to be frank, I am still in disbelief about it. I don't know much about the grieving process other than what I've experienced through brute force. 

He was so, so funny (a class clown & friend to everyone), extremely intelligent about history, and studying to become a pilot. He was set to graduate this spring. We talked, texted and/or called every single day, and he visited me at school almost every weekend, and moved to be closer to our train station (as well as the airport). I also learned from his mother that he was considering moving into the state I currently live. This would have been so incredible. We had gone through various stages of officially dating, taking a break as we each went to college (though still talking every day in that time), and slowly getting back into calling each other life partners/best friends (with benefits. Many benefits).

I learned today that a "family member" of his went into his room and rearranged his items and ripped up some of his notebooks without telling his mom or anyone else. This is one in a lifelong series of unforgivable actions she's committed, both to my love and her own partner. My partner was cordial with her to keep the peace, and shared with extremely few the extent to which she has hurt him. Perhaps only me. This is a heavy weight to bear, and I feel guilty with the few I've shared it with (I was always on the other end of the transparency spectrum from him, I cannot keep things inside).

Talking with people is what I crave to do but there never seems to be the right words and I don't want to burden people too much or too often. But this weight is too damn much. I miss him so fucking much. So, so, so, so, so fucking much. It was such an honor to be loved so completely by him. As Amy Tan put it, he had the fall-in-love type of love for me, whereas I had the grow-in-love type of love for him. I am so grateful that he allowed me to take my time to find out how deep this love could be, and getting to know him every day was a gift that I will treasure forever.

There's a picture of us on our third date when we were both 15, and not to speak ill of the dead, but he looks like a total doofus (with love, bubba). His best friend said to me "no way you thought he was dateable looking like that". Looking back, I did recognize some things, and those things were the most important and kept getting better with time (haircuts come and go :') ).He had incredible hands, with clean fingernails, and was always trying to make people laugh. When I spoke, even mumbled something in class, he leaned over to listen. I have never met such a good listener in my life, someone who takes up any information given to them so quickly and so readily. He had great taste in movies, and gave me a DVD of my favorite as a birthday gift one month into dating after asking my friend what I would like.

I never feared bringing him around friends, old or new; in fact I looked forward to it because I knew he would lighten the mood and make everybody laugh. Of course, our relationship wasn't perfect, but the things I fretted about I now realize are miniscule. Whether he gave thoughtful enough gifts, or why he wouldn't tell me why he was in a bad mood (when I could *so clearly* tell he was!!! Why did I make such a big deal about this???). We each yelled at each other only once and they were times we both looked back on with pain and regret. All of our arguments were solved with conversations, sometimes hours long and sometimes at awkward times, but always ending with a joke, laughing together and a long hug. The good things were so fucking good too. Our road trips are some of my best memories of my whole life, as well as our quarantine Christmas and getting to fly with him. Too many to list.

Not only did I lose my partner and best friend and lover, but the world lost a true light, and for no understandable reason. Anybody who met him immediately fell for his charm, and I can't believe he's never coming back. He will be 21 in my mind forever, while I possibly keep getting older and older. I pictured us having a 10 year celebration of our love and playing All Things Must Pass at the ceremony, not playing it at his funeral. Selfishly, I'm afraid that there is nobody out there like him or as good as him, or who will love me so completely and patiently. I can't believe he's gone. I am so cold without you, Piglet, and I wish I could give you the biggest hug and your Christmas gifts. I love you!

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3 hours ago, notthis said:

I thought I had been handling it pretty well up to this point but the past few days everything has been coming crashing down, more than usual. When I think of the situation objectively I have no idea how I have been functioning up to this point.

My heart goes out to you on such a tremendous loss. I'm lost at what to say to the loss of someone so young. This is just so awful and unfair. It should have been many, many years from now before you experienced anything like this. I may be able to help you understand your current crashdown. It's quite possible that you've lived these last few weeks in a state of shock. I know it might not have felt that way...you knew it happened...but the real impact may be just hitting you now. This is something that happened to me. My partner passed away in his sleep. It was very sudden and totally unexpected. I was certainly hit hard at the beginning with his death  but I was functioning. It wasn't until about six weeks after when the true reality started to knock me to my knees in despair. I believe there was something within me that slowly and naturally prepared me for the finality of what happened...perhaps knowing full well that the stress of direct impact would hurt me physically. Our minds are simply amazing instruments. Perhaps this is how your mind is helping you cope. 

Warmest hugs to you. Six years together...learning and understanding about yourselves and each other and about life in general...that is something so special to hear. I'm not at all surprised that your friends at school aren't able to fully understand your grief. They really have no reason to right now. You're all in the sweet prime of your lives...but sadly, this sudden absence of your true love and soulmate removes you from the states of mind that they're still all enjoying. Be kind to yourself and try not to struggle at looking like you're doing well. Your partner is worth every pain and every tear you cry. It's my hope that someone in your life comes out of the shadows to give you true support and lets you know that your grief and sadness are absolutely no burden to them whatsoever. 

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I am sorry you removed your post.  You're having second thoughts about sharing with others, publicly, I get it.  Here is the place that cares, gets it, understands, wants to be here for you.  I hope you'll come back here to read/post, it helps, it really does.  It's been nearly 18 years for me...it's hard to believe how one day can just turn into another.

Grief Process

This is 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 its 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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notthis, yours is an indescribable tragedy at such a young age, I cannot find words truer and more caring than DWS and Kay have said. I am too new here but if you stay, you will find help with this group, I almost didn't join that one night because I'm a very private person but I felt so incredibly alone, I broke down and realized my world collapsed and I needed help right away and 6 weeks later I'm still here and thankful for all these members, they have held my hand through this.

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foreverhis
On 2/9/2023 at 5:08 PM, maud said:

I almost didn't join that one night because I'm a very private person

The fact that my husband and I tended to be private people, not spreading our lives on social media or oversharing anything with anyone, is actually why I decided to "thrash about online" (John's term for searching) and see if there were any support groups.  I didn't relish an in person grief support group nor did I want to go to individual therapy, not even with a grief specialist, because I realized early on that words do not exist to express how I feel or what I, our girls, our family, and our friends were and are experiencing.

I found this website at about 6 months, read for a while, and decided to take a chance.  I joined, asked my first question (about anger toward people trying to compare some other loss to mine, no matter that their intention was to connect in some way), and hoped someone would respond.  They did.  I was welcomed, given some sound and interesting responses, and went from there.

The members here understand in ways that others do not or cannot.  I don't need to explain myself or justify what I'm thinking, feeling, or doing.  Coming here has been a saving grace for me for 4 years now.  I have moved forward on my grief journey and things are not the same as in the beginning, but coming here still helps me connect and remember, and I hope that sometimes I can help others just starting this unwelcome, painful, seemingly impossible journey.

Our grief, our stories, our lives, and our loves are unique, but we are all walking the same difficult road together.

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7 hours ago, foreverhis said:

The members here understand in ways that others do not or cannot.  I don't need to explain myself or justify what I'm thinking, feeling, or doing.  Coming here has been a saving grace for me for 4 years now.  I have moved forward on my grief journey and things are not the same as in the beginning, but coming here still helps me connect and remember, and I hope that sometimes I can help others just starting this unwelcome, painful, seemingly impossible journey.

Now that is something so important that you've said, you've been here 4 years and you've made some movement forward. This group is a saving grace, I see that in Kay's journey here as well. It's good to still have those who have moved forward here to show us how and where they are 

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Thank you, Maud.  

Annie, I wish you knew my Marty...(website owner of griefhealiing.com, Retired Counselor, she is such a blessing in my life, a good friend, even though clear across the country (Florida from my Oregon)...I have learned so much from her over the years, just knowing her as a person.  I dread the day she goes...it will be the world's loss, but knowing her articles/helps live on...

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Forever his: My wife and I tended to be private people as well. I’m not as big a social media fan as many people are today. To me, social media is positive when you can learn from others; which is why this board and the members on it make for a positive, comforting and learning experience about a topic (grieving) that is difficult to deal with.

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Who you have for friends makes all the difference in the world on social media, we get to control that and thus our experience.

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I had no idea you'd filled in your post again after deleting it...until Thomas called it to my attention here...

On 2/8/2023 at 5:34 PM, notthis said:

I learned today that a "family member" of his went into his room and rearranged his items and ripped up some of his notebooks without telling his mom or anyone else. This is one in a lifelong series of unforgivable actions she's committed

What!!!  :o Unreal! I don't blame you at all for your reaction to this.  

It's funny you mentioned his hands...it brought a memory to me of George and I early in our relationship, holding hands and looking at them, the most loving feelings enveloped me just now.  Everything he did spoke of his love for me, including his looking at my hands...our hands...held together.

I am 48 years older than you...geez, makes me feel old, but hey I feel that a bit more every day..

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foreverhis
On 2/11/2023 at 4:31 AM, maud said:

Now that is something so important that you've said, you've been here 4 years and you've made some movement forward. This group is a saving grace, I see that in Kay's journey here as well. It's good to still have those who have moved forward here to show us how and where they are 

Kay is the first person who reached out to me. It made such a difference knowing that I was heard, understood, and not judged.

Over these 4 years, talking (online and recently on one Zoom get together) with members with whom I found both commonalities and differences has been almost entirely positive (as weird as that may sound, considering why we are all here). I’m thankful every day that I stumbled my way here and took a chance.

When I was just starting out, I was so often overwhelmed, hopeless even, feeling as if no one really “got it” except one extended family member who was close to John and me and who had lost her husband 2+ years before we lost John. Even then, our situations and relationships were different.

And I am one of the lucky ones. I had and still have two loyal, loving, caring circles around me. One at a few hours distance of family and dearest, adulthood-long friends; the second, local friends and neighbors who didn’t just step up while John was fighting his cancer (like bringing homemade food or keeping an eye on the house), but after when I was reeling from losing him. A number of those the casual friendships have grown deeper and stronger. I cherish them.

Even with that support, I felt alone. In a roomful of people who love or at least, like us, I still often do. And they all know that no matter how much they care, they can’t fully understand. I don’t want any of them to understand for a long time. They know I will be here for them when that time comes.

Yet I find myself here almost every day because here is where I can still talk about anything. And here is where I hope to help others from time to time as I was and am helped—even if all that is is to say, “Don’t give up” because it would have been so easy for me to do just that.

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4 hours ago, foreverhis said:

“Don’t give up” because it would have been so easy for me to do just that.

And I'm so glad you didn't!

4 hours ago, foreverhis said:

When I was just starting out, I was so often overwhelmed, hopeless even, feeling as if no one really “got it” except one extended family member who was close to John and me and who had lost her husband 2+ years before we lost John. Even then, our situations and relationships were different.

Yes, all of our situations are different, just as our relationships are, and our own individual personalities, family placement.  But there's enough commonality to understand each other...

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On 2/8/2023 at 11:52 PM, DWS said:

My heart goes out to you on such a tremendous loss. I'm lost at what to say to the loss of someone so young. This is just so awful and unfair. It should have been many, many years from now before you experienced anything like this. I may be able to help you understand your current crashdown. It's quite possible that you've lived these last few weeks in a state of shock. I know it might not have felt that way...you knew it happened...but the real impact may be just hitting you now. This is something that happened to me. My partner passed away in his sleep. It was very sudden and totally unexpected. I was certainly hit hard at the beginning with his death  but I was functioning. It wasn't until about six weeks after when the true reality started to knock me to my knees in despair. I believe there was something within me that slowly and naturally prepared me for the finality of what happened...perhaps knowing full well that the stress of direct impact would hurt me physically. Our minds are simply amazing instruments. Perhaps this is how your mind is helping you cope. 

Warmest hugs to you. Six years together...learning and understanding about yourselves and each other and about life in general...that is something so special to hear. I'm not at all surprised that your friends at school aren't able to fully understand your grief. They really have no reason to right now. You're all in the sweet prime of your lives...but sadly, this sudden absence of your true love and soulmate removes you from the states of mind that they're still all enjoying. Be kind to yourself and try not to struggle at looking like you're doing well. Your partner is worth every pain and every tear you cry. It's my hope that someone in your life comes out of the shadows to give you true support and lets you know that your grief and sadness are absolutely no burden to them whatsoever. 

These words have meant so much to me, and I've gone back to them a lot. What you said about shock as well as others not understanding rings very true, as well as that my partner is worth every tear I cry. I had to hear a professor tell me that my grief and health is so much more important that struggling along to do the most (like full classes and whatnot) to understand that I could give myself a break. I am still trying to not be hard on myself or stress about the future without him. There is also definitely some disbelief still present as well as processing our relationship and love. God, I wish it wasn't this way. 

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15 hours ago, notthis said:

These words have meant so much to me, and I've gone back to them a lot. What you said about shock as well as others not understanding rings very true, as well as that my partner is worth every tear I cry. I had to hear a professor tell me that my grief and health is so much more important that struggling along to do the most (like full classes and whatnot) to understand that I could give myself a break. I am still trying to not be hard on myself or stress about the future without him. There is also definitely some disbelief still present as well as processing our relationship and love. God, I wish it wasn't this way. 

It's so good to hear that you have an understanding professor. That's something that will certainly help. I imagine your disbelief will be around for a while after so many years of being each other's companions in life. Everyone here on this site is dealing with or has dealt with that disbelief. Their presence was so huge in our lives that just because they're physically absent now, doesn't mean they aren't still present. I'm coming up to the one year mark and I still find myself asking "how can he be gone?"

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15 hours ago, DWS said:

I'm coming up to the one year mark

Will be thinking of you tomorrow...you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Anniversary of a Loved One's Death
Anniversary of Death
Anniversary of death tips
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/05/coping-with-anniversary-reactions-in.html

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