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Girlfriend passed away after stroke!


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My dear girlfriend of eight years had a stroke on nov 24th and passed away on dec 21st. I'm a 56 year old male and my girlfriend was 57 years of age when she passed. I was with her at home when she had her stroke. She had been having dizzy spells and headaches and I found her holding onto the wall in the hallway trying to get to the couch. I could tell something wasn't right when her speech was slurred and she lost feeling in her left side. She was stubborn and wouldn't admit she was having problems but it was so very hard to call the ambulence. She was in the university of utah medical center for a few weeks then moved to a care center where her family thought would be the best place to get better. She was improving a little but on dec 21st her sister called and told me she had passed in the early morning. I talked to her the night before but could hardly understand her and she said her back was hurting so I told her to call me later that night. The last thing I said to her was I love you and she told me she loved me to. Now I miss her so mush! I have all her belongings like her cloths and personal items. When I get home from work every night I sit on the couch where she sat most of the time and catch a smell of her perfume and open the closet and smell her cloths and it brings me to tears at least once a day or more. When she was on the couch wating for the ambulence she reached out with her right arm and looked at me with her big beautiful eyes and smiled. She had been living with me for eight years and about two years ago we had a fight and she moved in with her sister. After a year she lost her job and I let her move back in with me until she could get back on her feet. I did every thing I could to take care of her but she didn't have any insurance and she was a smoker for forty years which was the contributing factor for her stroke. When I had my last visit with her while she was in the hospital bed she reached up with her right finger and played with the zipper of my sweater. Her left side was totally paralized but by her touch I could tell she was telling me it was ok. I never saw her again but I'm always thinking about her tiny finger playing with the zipper. Her two sisters and her only daughter came over and picked up some of her belongings and it was very hard to let then take then away. I was thinking she lived her whole life collecting personal items and now most of them are meaningless. I have a lava lamp she liked to watch and whenever I'm home I turn it on thinking It might make me feel like she's there in spirit. I listen to music quite often but lately the things you remember about when you here them makes me very sad. I can't watch tv shows about hospitals and anything that deals with death but living and death are everywhere in tv and society. I'm learning to cope with her death very slowly but being able to type this message seems to help.

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Dear Lane - I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your girlfriend. It is extremely hard to lose one that you

love, and my heart goes out to you. Our losses are different in that I lost my 29 year old daughter to

leukemia, but what drew me to your post is that she left a husband of only 7 months, who is struggling

like you are. I hope you can keep some of your girlfriend's effects around, as I believe it helps to feel

close to the one you love. You are in my prayers, Lane.

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Dear Lane,

Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your beloved girlfriend. You are going through one of the most devastating experiences a human can face. At times, the loss may seem unbearable. In fact, loneliness may be one of the greatest challenges you will have to face, and understandably so. But please be assured Lane that you are not alone in your grief, we are here to help, to listen, and to share what has helped us. This all will be of a good source of comfort to you I'm sure.

You might be confronted with a number of overwhelming emotions, including shock, numbness, sadness, and perhaps (as you mentioned) even guilt or anger. But not everyone grieves in the same way and what works for some may not work for you but you will definitely find relief in sharing your experience. Lane, take care of yourself, get proper rest and eat nutritious foods, if you fall ill it will only aggravate your distress. Exercising, even if it's just walking, also triggers the release of endorphins that will make you feel better.

One thing that is especially helpful to me is to recall happy memories, by perhaps looking at photos. Although, as you may have done with the clothes or the lava lamp, it might be painful at first but in time these memories will help you to heal. I noticed also that you mentioned that writing made you feel better. Keep doing so. Try keeping a journal and write about the pleasant memories and even include things that you wish you could have said to your beloved girlfriend while she was still alive. It might be easier for you to put your feelings into perspective when you see them on paper and writing may provide you with a healthful outlet for your emotions.

Another thing, that has helped me the most, is to rely on the "God of all comfort". I don't know if you are much of a Bible reader but in it we are told to "throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, and he himself will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22) Prayer to God is not some sort of emotional crutch, it is a real and vital avenue of communication. We are given a Bible-based hope of resurrection that can be the greatest source of comfort during our grieving.

As challenging as it appears now, working through your grief will help you move on with your life it is a necessary part of the healing process and of learning to adapt to a new situation. There is an empty space where our loved one used to be and we need to adjust to living life without that person and this is challenging to say the least. It takes patience because sometimes you will feel that you are on an emotional roller coaster but you are already on the road to coping with your loss. Please keep coming back and sharing your thoughts, we all here are just one post away and you will find it to be a release for when you need it too.

Much love,

Ada

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