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Dpettet

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My husband died after a long illness. He died at home and my daughters and I cared for him in his last 5 days after he decided to not fight any longer. I have all his things to go through but just cannot do it yet. So hard to move on after 41 years of marriage.

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Hi Lady Di. I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my husband to brain cancer in April after 32 years of marriage. I had to go through a lot of my husbands things after he died because I moved away from our house, but I asked my grandson to pack his grandfather's clothes in a box for me because I couldn't bear to. It is so painful to deal with such a devastating loss. We are all struggling with the wreckage of our lives after losing our loved one. I think it is helpful to come to this site and learn that we are not alone in our suffering. Wishing you peace and healing. Linda

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Guest KackleDackle

Hi Lady Di

I am also new to the site (3 days). I am sorry to hear about your husband firstlly. This site has so far bought me great assistance as people are in similar boats and understand the different stages we are all feeling. I am at week 3 today of my husband passing away. He was 48 years old and we were together 31 years. Having friends and family dont seem to help too much as they dont know how i feel nor do they know what to say. I also nursed my husband for 3 months until a week before he died he decided he was no longer going to take his meds. My husband is Ray and I am happy to use his name. Ray died of a mixture of things but no firm diagnosis yet. I am confident it was his brain as he had lesions on it but as they would not operate we never knew exactly. My daughter helped me look after Ray and allow him his final wish to be at home. Ray would have celebrated his birthday next week. Its so hard.

I started a journal and each day write to Ray. It is helping me cope before I try to sleep. I have had no sleep last night but will try to get some today. This weekend is the first I will be alone without the children. I am scared and so sad not because the kids have to do things but just that I am alone.

As for clothes and packing up things I have not touched anything but meds. They needed to be returned. Everything else can wait until I am ready which is not yet. I sleep with Rays PJ's and dressing gown each night and my room is filled with photos so when I wake I see him.

I hope you are ok Lady Di and will be around if you every need to chat

KD x

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1344554696' post='89726']

Hi Lady Di

I am also new to the site (3 days). I am sorry to hear about your husband firstlly. This site has so far bought me great assistance as people are in similar boats and understand the different stages we are all feeling. I am at week 3 today of my husband passing away. He was 48 years old and we were together 31 years. Having friends and family dont seem to help too much as they dont know how i feel nor do they know what to say. I also nursed my husband for 3 months until a week before he died he decided he was no longer going to take his meds. My husband is Ray and I am happy to use his name. Ray died of a mixture of things but no firm diagnosis yet. I am confident it was his brain as he had lesions on it but as they would not operate we never knew exactly. My daughter helped me look after Ray and allow him his final wish to be at home. Ray would have celebrated his birthday next week. Its so hard.

I started a journal and each day write to Ray. It is helping me cope before I try to sleep. I have had no sleep last night but will try to get some today. This weekend is the first I will be alone without the children. I am scared and so sad not because the kids have to do things but just that I am alone.

As for clothes and packing up things I have not touched anything but meds. They needed to be returned. Everything else can wait until I am ready which is not yet. I sleep with Rays PJ's and dressing gown each night and my room is filled with photos so when I wake I see him.

I hope you are ok Lady Di and will be around if you every need to chat

KD x

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Hello to new to Chat room. I remember the first days alone. I left lots of lights on and Ininstalled securitybrightbaway. It gives me piece of mind. My husband also decided to stop meds but I was in such a daze taking care of him. No one knows what we go through as woidows. I went to a support group two weeks after he died. It helped so much to just keep telling my story. It was so therapeutic. The best to you.

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hello lady di - my husband died suddenly in his sleep, on july 5. his name is jerry. i am in the chat room a lot, whenever i can find others there. do not worry about going through his things yet , i have not touched a thing here of his, i sleep with his bathrobe and favorite shirt and his ashes. i have found a lot of support at this site and hopefully we will meet up in chat room soon. my prayers and thoughts are with you dear. take it very easy on yourself, try to sleep; eat something nourishing. just try. i know how very hard it is to lose someone you are so close to. until later, val

My husband died after a long illness. He died at home and my daughters and I cared for him in his last 5 days after he decided to not fight any longer. I have all his things to go through but just cannot do it yet. So hard to move on after 41 years of marriage.

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Hi all, sorry to have to meet you all this way. I am new here. My husband passed away three months ago. The quiet in the house is just awful. I keep the tv on constantly. We had planned a trip to Europe for last October and on the way to new York to catch the plane we mailed out wedding invitations. He acted funny on the trip and when we returned he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. I took care of him till he passed. I lost my job and last month was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am just not sure how much more I can take. How does everyone deal with what has happened?

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Hi all, sorry to have to meet you all this way. I am new here. My husband passed away three months ago. The quiet in the house is just awful. I keep the tv on constantly. We had planned a trip to Europe for last October and on the way to new York to catch the plane we mailed out wedding invitations. He acted funny on the trip and when we returned he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. I took care of him till he passed. I lost my job and last month was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am just not sure how much more I can take. How does everyone deal with what has happened?

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Dear Jan, what a tremendous load you've been given. I lost my husband on July 5 2012, suddenlly, in his sleep. I've been using the forums and chat room for about four weeks now and they help me immensely, You have a lot to deal with. i am sincerely sorry for your loss. Keep coming back here and posting and chatting. I am seeing a therapist too as this is the first grieving i've had to do. Jerry was only 58. I am 52. At any rate, keep coming back dear and talking about it all. Keeping you in my prayers, Val

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I found my husband in bed June 21st. I went to bed before him like i always did when he didn't come out to get his coffee or get on the computer i went to check on him and he was gone. I never did sleep i have a sleep disorde so i would wake up and make sure he was o.k. but do not remember a thing about that night. We would be married 32 years ib september. He had copd for a few years from working in a mill all his life. It is so sad, i don't sleep much and can't eat much, I got rid of most of his clothes right away we live in a small town and i work in the deli of the store and see many people so did not want to give his clothes to any place like the good will around hereincase i would see somerone wearing them.so i gave them to my pastor to take to a city she lives in. i miss him so much and cry so much. my solution that has helped some was i talk to someone in the sme boat as i am he misses his wife so, i feel as though that has helped me and i hope it has helped him.

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I found my husband in bed June 21st. I went to bed before him like i always did when he didn't come out to get his coffee or get on the computer i went to check on him and he was gone. I never did sleep good i have a sleep disorder so i would wake up and make sure he was o.k. but do not remember a thing about that night. We would be married 32 years in september. He had copd for a few years from working in a mill all his life. It is so sad, i don't sleep much and can't eat much, I got rid of most of his clothes right away we live in a small town and i work in the deli of the store and see many people so did not want to give his clothes to any place like the good will around here incase i would see someone wearing them.so i gave them to my pastor to take to a city she lives in. i miss him so much and cry so much. my solution that has helped some was i talk to someone in the same boat as i am he misses his wife so, i feel as though that has helped me and i hope it has helped him.

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Thanks Val for your reply. Gary turned 55 two days before he passed away. We were together for 13 years and happier than most of the married people I know. He loved me unconditionally. I can't believe how much I miss him. I have beautiful pictures of him smiling all over the house and at first they were hard to look at. Now they make me smile. I was so lucky to have met such a wonderful guy. We married a day before his biopsy but already knowing what he had. He wanted to do what would be best for me. My therapist has been teaching me relaxation techniques which I think help a little. Hope you and everyone here has a good and tolerable day.

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On Thursday, August 09, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Dpettet said:

My husband died after a long illness. He died at home and my daughters and I cared for him in his last 5 days after he decided to not fight any longer. I have all his things to go through but just cannot do it yet. So hard to move on after 41 years of 

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Clare,

I've seen you've resurrected old posts from years ago but haven't written a response.  Could you start by telling us your story?

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On 8/9/2012 at 5:03 AM, Dpettet said:

My husband died after a long illness. He died at home and my daughters and I cared for him in his last 5 days after he decided to not fight any longer. I have all his things to go through but just cannot do it yet. So hard to move on after 41 years of marriage.

I am so sorry for your loss.  I too lost the love of my life of nearly 45 years 3 months ago and I'm still numb and dazed.  It's really difficult to accept this 'new' reality.  I still feel like I'm in a nightmare and can't wake up.  I have not yet gone through my husband's items; like you, I can't bring myself to it; I feel like if I got rid of his things, I'd be getting rid of him in a way.  I'm sorry your husband gave up his fight, but I imagine he must have been tired and drained.  I am glad you and your daughters were with him at the end.  

God did not promise days without pain; laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain, but HE did promise strength for the day, comfort for your tears, and light for the way. At the end of the day, all you need is Hope and Strength.  Hope that it will get better, and strength to hold on until it does.  Give God your weakness and he'll give you HIS strength.  God's word is truth.  In Psalm 119:28, it states, My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word".   After the rain comes  the rainbow, after the storm, comes the calm; after the night comes the morning and after an ending, come a new beginning.  Stay Strong.  

I hope you continue to post.  We are all on this painful journey together uplifting and encouraging one another.  May God give you the strength you need during this difficult time. HE will, all you need do is open your heart; he'll do the rest.

 

 

 

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Francine,

Dpettet posted five years ago.  It doesn't look like they'll be back to read your post, but thank you for the nice things you shared here.

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Oops,  didn't look at the date; thanks for the update.  I do hope they are finding some comfort in their loss and will keep them in my prayers.

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My wife passed away suddenly on the 1/12/20 and I'm finding it really difficult sorting through her things I get so far and I have to leave them.

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Valerie Rose

Hello Alan.  My husband died at the end of November. It was sudden too. I haven't sorted out his things. i don't think I will do for some time. Perhaps if you don't feel up to it, just leave it... unless it does have to be done...? We have a lot on with our grief and our sadness. it will take time.... Do take care. We are going through a very hard time. 

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Alan, my heart goes out to you in your loss.  My husband died suddenly on 7 Nov. 2020.  I cleared his closet a month ago, only because I was using the room for a housemate.  I put all of his clothes/belongings in boxes in the garage.  I do not plan on going through those for a long time —it is just too soon now.  Can you get help from someone close to you?  If there is any way you can, put her things aside, and not go through them now, it could really help save you this pain for now.   

Give yourself time to heal. Come here often to this site —there is much comfort and good advice here, from folks who really understand what we are going through.  

 

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22 hours ago, Alan t said:

My wife passed away suddenly on the 1/12/20 and I'm finding it really difficult sorting through her things I get so far and I have to leave them.

I am so sorry for your loss, sudden loss can be very hard to assimilate, my husband also died unexpectedly.  It's been over 15 years and I remember those early days/months well.  I didn't see how I could live a week w/o him but here I am.  I've learned to do one day at a time.
I am glad you found your way here, it helps to share, read/post, we want to be here for you.

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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Thank you for your reply I've found it difficult reaching out to someone, I find it hard accepting the fact she's gone she's always in my thoughts 24 hours a day ,I can feel that she's here which is so comforting but it's not the same.

I do all the jobs she used to do I look after her disabled son which I always promised I would but the hardest is going in the garden she was always in there, she loved it so much, but I try and keep it how she would but it's just not the same.

I just think does it get any easier because I've never felt so much pain in my life, I've gone through the process of is it worth carrying on her son is the only thing that keeps me going he gives me a purpose in life.

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Valerie Rose

I understand completely. I have our daughter to look after, and I feel I can't let her down. She has suffered enough.  Of course, we suffer too, and sometimes, we feel it's endless. Every so often, the terrible feeling of sadness and the other feelings to do with bereavement (anger, guilt, regrets, fear, distress, hopelessness) seem to subside a bit, only to come back the following day, the following moment. I have read somewhere that there are 4 stages in bereavement, which overlap.  The first 2 stages are between 6  months and a year, and the third stage is the longest.  We feel a bit better at times, but then we seem to get worse and it's very much like a roller coaster of emotions.  I think I'm still in the second stage... but then, we all grieve differently. Just know that you are not alone, and that your loved one wants you to live, even though she or he does know there is not shortcut. Things WILL get  better.. even though we will never forget them.  Love will be there, and we will join them later, when the times comes for us. Do take care and look after yourself. Take time for yourself. 

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22 hours ago, AnnRA said:

Alan, my heart goes out to you in your loss.  My husband died suddenly on 7 Nov. 2020.  I cleared his closet a month ago, only because I was using the room for a housemate.  I put all of his clothes/belongings in boxes in the garage.  I do not plan on going through those for a long time —it is just too soon now.  Can you get help from someone close to you?  If there is any way you can, put her things aside, and not go through them now, it could really help save you this pain for now.   

Give yourself time to heal. Come here often to this site —there is much comfort and good advice here, from folks who really understand what we are going through.  

 

My wife's daughter kept asking for clothes, eventually I gave in and let her have some but I kept saying whilst there here she's still here it does give me some comfort seeing them but upsetting at the same time if that makes sense.

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1 hour ago, Alan t said:

I just think does it get any easier because I've never felt so much pain in my life, I've gone through the process of is it worth carrying on her son is the only thing that keeps me going he gives me a purpose in life.

Hi Alan.  I too want to welcome you here and say that I wish you didn't have a reason to find us. 

It took months before I was able to sort through some of my husband's things like clothes.  Still more before I managed to tackle some of his workshop.  And I only did that section because I couldn't find things I needed and our late spring garbage company "clean up" week was coming up.  I have yet to do the rest of it or sell any of his tools, even though I know he'd want me to because the money will come in handy as I need a new(er) car than our 1981 Rabbit convertible and 1986 Acura and because he'd want another woodworker to be using his beloved tools. 

Some of his things in the house are right where he left them and they may always stay that way.  His hoodie and hat hang by the door; two of his jackets (favorites) are in the closet; I've kept a small selection of his favorite polo shirts in our closet; his hair brush and other personal items are in the bathroom drawer and cabinet.  I'm slowly going through his woodworking and other books to find buyers for the good stuff and donation locations for the rest, but at least a few will remain with me always.  If this makes me seem strange or crazy to others, I really don't care. 

Our daughter, granddaughter, and I all have flannels, hoodies, or sweaters of his that we wear, regardless of the fact that I'm petite-ish and 5'3" and he was broad shouldered and 6' and I might look silly in them.

If you feel a need to put her things away, then keep doing it a little at a time.  Stop when your heart and mind say, "Enough!"  Do store them where you can find them, but won't have to see them because how you feel about a specific item now may not be the way you feel in 3 months or next year or even further down the road.

But to answer your question above, at least a little.  I dislike the words easier, better, and normal now because I simply can't relate them to the life I'm having to live.  Instead I'll say that for me, it has become more manageable.  At first, for more than a year at least, it didn't seem as if I'd ever really learn to cope with losing the love of my life, my best friend, my everything.  Slowly, so slowly that I couldn't even give you a time line, my grief is evolving as I learn to carry it as part of my life, rather than having it crush me under its weight as it did for a good long while.  I have days now where I can smile and even laugh, where I can enjoy being with people who care about me/us (even though it is mostly virtual now and even "in person" is distanced and outside), and where all the decades of memories and images, the wonderful, the sweet, the funny, and even the boring day-to-day life are coming forward and mixing right in there with the devastatingly horrible memories and images of the months he was fighting his cancer and right up to his last breath with me by his side.  Those images aren't any less sharp or painful, they'll be with me always, but they are no longer all I see and feel.

For most of us, it seems that our grief doesn't stay the same, but it never leaves us.  How can it?  It's as much a part of me as all that was joyful and wonderful when I realized that my husband saw me, flaws and foibles and all, and accepted and loved me anyway.  But it also doesn't remain the all-and-everything it is when our losses are fresh and raw.  Contrary to what our society stupidly thinks, the evolution of our grief, the process of moving forward (not moving on or getting over it!), takes a long time.  It's measured in months and years, not days and weeks.  We get through each day as best we can, and for me, that is enough for now.  Some days are brighter with more happy moments and others, the waves of grief hit like a winter ocean storm and knock me flat.  But those waves don't come as often, last as long, or feel as deep (usually) as during the first 2 years.

Please keep coming here to talk, rant, question, or "scream."  The members here in this caring community full of people who "get it" in ways no one else can have been a real grace in my life, especially because I tend to be a private person IRL and don't like in-person group therapy, etc.  It's not that it's bad, in fact it's so helpful for many, but it's just not for me.  I hope I didn't ramble too much; I tend to do that, especially because I'm a writer IRL and we are usually wordy creatures.

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On 3/3/2021 at 10:06 AM, Alan t said:

her son is the only thing that keeps me going he gives me a purpose in life.

It's so important to have incentive, I'm so glad you have him.  I've had my animals to live for, I can't be without one.  I also have to be here for my disabled sister, whose husband of 50 years passed 5 months ago, If not for me and her best friend, she'd have to be in assisted living.  As it is, she barely functions.

I am glad you're here, I hope you'll keep coming, it's a safe place and no matter what you feel, most of us get it here.  It's a club no one wanted to be in, but we're thankful we have it to turn to.

On 3/3/2021 at 10:16 AM, Valerie Rose said:

I have read somewhere that there are 4 stages in bereavement, which overlap.  The first 2 stages are between 6  months and a year, and the third stage is the longest.

Read here:

The 5 Stages of Grief debunked

On 3/3/2021 at 11:14 AM, Alan t said:

whilst there here she's still here it does give me some comfort seeing them but upsetting at the same time if that makes sense.

Yes, that does make sense!  We can have conflicting feelings at the same time, all of them valid.

 

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On 3/3/2021 at 10:16 AM, Valerie Rose said:

I have read somewhere that there are 4 stages in bereavement, which overlap.  The first 2 stages are between 6  months and a year, and the third stage is the longest.  We feel a bit better at times, but then we seem to get worse and it's very much like a roller coaster of emotions.  I think I'm still in the second stage... but then, we all grieve differently. Just know that you are not alone, and that your loved one wants you to live, even though she or he does know there is not shortcut.

That has not been my experience nor does it match most of what I've read.  In most cases, the people writing about "X number of stages of grief" have not experienced this kind of loss.  Their research is primarily observational and extracted from that.  I'll be really blunt (I often am):  No one, no one at all, can say any sort of a stage of grief has a time line.  Period.  In so many cases, the expectation seems to be that we're supposed to go/work through these set stages and come out the other side "healed" or "better" or "finished."  Not only does that place an unrealistic burden on us, it absolves others of dealing with the very uncomfortable fact that our grief will be part of our lives forever and that we will never be the same again.  Not that we'll always feel or be how we are at first because grief does evolve as we learn our personal ways to cope with it, to carry it forward with us, and to forge a life for ourselves that we can live without our one essential love (at least in this world).

Grief has innumerable stages that are unique to each of us.  There are some commonalities to be sure and many ways that we go through this in similar phases.  It's definitely true that our grief cycles up and down, around with twists and turns and steep hills to climb.  Sometimes we slide back down or take a detour.  A roller coaster is an excellent analogy of how our thoughts, emotions, and even actions can evolve.

Please, I urge you not to think of yourself in someone else's definition of a stage unless it truly benefits you.  Your journey, your stages so to speak, will be yours alone.  We will be here for you in whatever way you walk your path.  As you already know, our paths are unique, but the difference in being here now is that we are all walking the same road with each other.  I believe it is detrimental for us to try to live within the confines of anyone else's thoughts or expectations--so take my thoughts with a grain of salt too--because only you will be able to decide what helps and what hurts as you make your way along.  And we will be here for you in whatever way brings you comfort and support.

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Valerie Rose

I'm sure we all have our own journey in grief, whether in 4 stages or in a hundred.  Thank you for your thoughts, and the support they give to people like me who have just lost the love of their life.  So good to know we're not alone in what seems like a very dark tunnel at times. 

I lost my father to suicide when I was 22. Now I'm 58 and I have just lost my  husband to a heart attack after 36 years of harmony with him. We were both injured birds, and we looked after eachother. I am sure he's looking after our daughter and me now.  

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I'm so terribly sorry. I wasn't lucky enough to be with my beloved nearly that long so I can't pretend to know how hard it must be. But this is a great group of people here who "get it," so feel free to vent however you feel it might help. 

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18 hours ago, Ashley woolman said:

Hello everyone. Im new here. I just lost my wife of 48 years on new years eve. 

I am so sorry for your loss.  I can imagine that in addition to missing your spouse you're also feeling a huge adjustment as you worked as a team for so long.  We have others here right about two months out, you're not alone.  I hope you'll continue to come here and read/post, it helps.
 

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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Ashley woolman
18 hours ago, Ashley woolman said:

Hello everyone. Im new here. I just lost my wife of 48 years on new years eve. 

 

Just now, Ashley woolman said:

 

I hope to find friends here who understand what we all are going through 

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