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Time is not helping.

Dawn Wms

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I’ve been worrying lately that something is wrong because after four and a half months, it still hurts so much. It’s like, now that the shock and terror are ramping down, the deep loss and lonliness seem as strong as ever.

I want to tell people, “when I tell you I’m doing ok… I’m lying.” I’m not ok. I’m broken. I had a sad moment a few days ago, and the words charged in as an unexpected thought: No! I’m not ready to give up on her! Like my brain still won’t accept that she’s never coming back.

I don’t have kids. I go to work. I do things with other people sometimes, but I wish I had somebody to go to the grocery with, or keep me company while I’m folding clothes. I still cry so much. I still call out in pain sometimes when I’m alone.

It’s like grief has become my new lifestyle, my new daily routine. Get up. Get dressed. Steel myself to carry anxiety and disorientation and to keep it to myself.

I know I will need to exert a force of will to push myself to accept my new life and find a new way through the days. But in the back of my mind, I am still waiting for her to come back to me, and as irrational and delusional as I know that is, it seems to still keep me from going all in with a new life on my own.

I’m working on it, though.

Dawn, thank you for your story. I’m sorry for how awful it is for you. I hope you have someone to go with you to the grocery store.  

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@MichiganDaniel you have just told my story.  I'm only  2.5 months into this but our story is the same.  I smile but I am not OK and don't think I will ever be.  I'm trying but darn.... it's so hard to keep up this façade.  I thought I would have run out of tears by now.  I don't have children or much family so I am traveling this road pretty much alone.  Coming here has helped.  Life sux now.

@DawnWMS I'm so sorry you are still suffering so much.  I don't have any "tips" except to keep trying.  Widower2 suggested a few that are helpful & I have been trying those out as well.  But the pain & sorrow that this journey entails is exhausting & something none of us wanted.  But here we are.  Reading the posts here have helped me also.  We're all in this together.  


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This can continue for years, it did for quite a while for me...all the tips I've gathered I've already posted for each of you but in case you no longer have it...

(No order, everyone is different, so is our timeline)

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.


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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No, no magical answers and the pain continues for a long while.  If it's any consolation though, it's been 18 years for me and I can't remember at what point it quit hurting but maybe around five years or so I began to feel peace within.  Not sure, everyone's timeline is different, but I hope that lends you hope, I know it has with Gail as well. ;)


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On 9/24/2023 at 8:20 PM, Dawn Wms said:

It is just an impossible situation.  I carry on because I have to but I haven't found any magical answer.  It just plain hurts.  I hear you.

As Kay said, there aren't any magical answers, but there are things that might help, such as Kay's "Tips" post above. If you're living alone, now, getting out as you're able I think could definitely help...get together with family, friends, some other social groups of some kind....the walls can close in rather easily when you're alone. I hope you find something. 

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