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Seventeen months


gone4evr

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It has been 17 months since my husband died.  While I thought I was doing very well, suddenly I am struggling once again.  Unfortunately the timing is just horrible for this to be happening.  I started seeing a counselor about a month ago, because I was having difficulty sleeping, anxiety attacks and back in that fog once again.  I just couldn't focus on anything.  I'm in grad school, so this isn't the best of time for this to be happening.  I need my brain back.   I only have 4 more classes left to take and it will be one less stressor in my life.   Needless to say, I wouldn't recommend going to school after losing a spouse, it wasn't easy.    I was in the situation where I started the program a week before my husband suddenly died and I promised him the day before he died that no matter what I would finish.   (I still to this day wonder if he knew something was wrong with his heart.) 

While I have been pushing myself a lot and admit to having a lot of stress in my life, especially from my late husband's parents.  They couldn't stand me when I was married to their son  now they want me to think of them as "Mom and Dad".  It's nauseating.  They are absolutely driving me up the wall!  I keep wondering if all of my issues  is because of stress or if it's just a part of the grieving process. 

Is there anything that has helped any of you get through this period of time.  I am so tired of the roller coaster of emotions.  I just want a normal life or at least as normal of a life as I can get.  I'm tired of being a "grieving widow."    While I miss my husband, I have accepted that he is gone and not coming back.  The irony, my 6 year old is doing much better than I am! 

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Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any shortcuts through grief.   If you have been pushing down the grief in order to deal with school and other stuff, it won't always be pushed down and sometimes demands to be dealt with.   That makes it tough when you are trying to finish school.  Perhaps your counselor will be able to get you through enough to finish school, then you will probably have to complete the grieving process.  17 months is not a lot of time - it has been more than 3 years for me and I have some bad days still.  

When my husband died, our grandson was only 7.  He and his grandpa were inseparable and we lived with them for most of his life.  His grandpas death hit him hard - especially since we had just gone through Katrina 4 months earlier and both of our families lost everything except the cars we drove away with.   When a 7 year old loses ALL of his toys, except one, it is devastating.   Since then he has also lost his step mom and his dad (they died of MRSA a few months apart) - he was very close to them both.  He is doing well, at least for all outside appearances.  He was in counseling for a few times, but they are confident that he has finished the grieving process and is doing fine.  Kids don't seem to need as long to grieve, and they don't seem to do it as deeply - at least when left to feel what they need to feel and not told to stop crying or smile or act grown.  

My daughter is still having a hard time - they were married for 17 years and she still feels a lot of guilt. 

Be patient with yourself....

Linda

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Thank you.  Reading your story makes me feel like my problems are so miniscule.  I'm feeling  better today.  I am hoping I'm on a slow climb upwards for a while.  Maybe it will last long enough to get me through these last few courses.  After March 21 I can fall apart all I want, but right now it's so difficult.

What frustrates me the most is the fact that no one in my family understands this crazy emotional rollercoaster.  My dad, who is ex military keeps telling me it's time to move on, buck it up, its over and done with, there's no turning back, so let it go and get on with your life.  My mom is just plain insensitive at times, not thinking about what she is saying and then shocking me with her comments. 

I just don't feel like anyone understands what we are all going through unless they are going through it themselves. 

I truly am sorry for your family's losses, my prayers will be with you.

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Actually, I didn't tell you the half of it, but almost everyone has troubles that we don't know about.    I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 19 months after Terry died.   My sister invited me to stay with her for awhile until I could figure out what to do because I had no place to live.   Within a couple of months after I got here, I found the lump.   I will be staying here for the next 4 years until I finsh treatment, but after the surgery and during the chemo and radiation, I had to make the decision to fight and live.  Until then I was pretty sure that I didn't want to live.  When I made the decision to look forward and live in the present instead of in the past - everything got a lot better.   My sister is the only one that understands what I was going through.  Her husband died on their 31st anniversary while they were celebrating in Las Vegas.   Another long story, but she is happily remarried to a wonderful guy and they have made me feel very welcome in their home for almost 2 years.   My point is that NOBODY will understand unless they have been through it.  My mother doesn't get it either - it isn't her fault, they just have no comprehension.  My daughter now knows and she realizes that I had a harder time than she imagined.  Even though it was her exhusband,  it is almost the same - very difficult.   Try to be patient with them - when one of them passes, the other will understand what you have gone through, finally - unfortunately, it isn't a good time to say I told you so.  You will be okay, it just takes time.  It has been 11 years since my sister's first husband passed and she still has sad days sometimes.  I think it is normal - we never want to forget them.

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Linda,

   Don't you sometimes think "Ok you've picked on me enough, find someone else to pick on for a change??"  It sounds like you have had more than your share!  I think it's time you get left alone to heal.  I guess at times I think all the bad things that happen is suppose to make us stronger.  You should be Wonder Woman with all that you have had to endure!

   My mom had her first heart attack 4 months after my husband died.  While she is doing well, I constantly worry that she is going to be next.  I see my brothers and their wives and my cousins and their spouses and I constantly wonder "Why can't they have some of these problems, why do they get to be so lucky!"  "Why couldn't I have been so lucky?"

   My mom seems to think that my husband wasn't the right one for me and this was God's way of pointing me "in the right direction"  The irony, even though I am sad that my husband is gone and my child has lost its father, our life is truthfully better.   My child has had opportunities that they never would have had if my husband were alive.  My husband wasn't interested in scouting, or going on camping trips, and to the zoo.  He was a homebody, that loved sports and probably would have pushed our child into sports instead of making sure they were well rounded and receiving other opportunities. 

As sad as this sounds, if he were alive I don't think I would have been able to get as far as I have in school, because I would have had to work more than one job just to keep the house and our heads above water with the economy the way it is.  I'm sure he would have been laid off and unfortunately he wasn't very ambitious when it came to looking for work.  While I miss him terribly, if I were to ever marry again, I don't want someone like him.  I wouldn't mind some of his more positive traits, but I don't want to support someone again.  I guess that's why I keep pushing myself so hard to finish college.  It has almost become an obsession, until of course I suffer from burn out and crash emotionally.  I have only 3 more classes to survive after this summer and I can sit back and sort out the past few years.   I agree though that you have to live in the present, because when I do slip into remembering the past, that seems to be where I struggle.

Well, I need to pick my child up at the tutors house.  Thank you so much.  I hope all is going well with you.  Hang in there, I'll keep you in my prayers.

 

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Actually, after Katrina hit it all seemed to happen so fast that I couldn't really think about it.   We had 4 months in FL in a beach house that we never could have afforded - it belonged to his cousin and they didn't have it rented until Feb.   Terry died on Jan. 17th - I had been bugging him to pack our stuff, but he didn't want to leave there.   I packed and left less than 2 weeks after he passed away.   I went back to MS and stayed with my daughter and her family in the FEMA trailer, but there were 2 grandmas - mom and dad and 3 kids in a very small space.   We were sleeping in shifts.  I left after a month or so and drove to San Diego, CA where I stayed with my mom - who pretended I was on vacation with no worries.  Terry's name never came up.  I stayed until summer when I drove from CA to MI to stay with my sister.   I left after a few months when I felt stronger and drove back to MS - still couldn't stay, so drove back to CA where I stayed for almost a year.    Then back here to MI for a visit, but then all the drama of the last year.   All across the country, I met people with so many issues and troubles that I realized then that I was one of the lucky ones.  There is always someone worse off if we look around.  There is also much good that goes with the bad, once again, we have to look for it sometimes.   Coming to MI - even though I hate snow - turned out to be wonderful - my drs. are awesome and I am covered by medicaid.  My bills would have been over a million $, so that is a very lucky break.  MI has a program called No Worker Left Behind and I will be starting college in Sept to become a computer programmer, and it is paid for.   My life is totally different, but I have many blessings and I know that Terry would be very proud of me.

By the way, Terry was an amazing cook and did all the cooking.  Unfortunately, I gained a lot of weight over the years because of it.   I lost 30 pounds in the first couple of months after he died and then 60 more by walking 5 miles every day.   The walking seemed to help my emotions and losing the weight was a good thing too.  If he had lived, it is likely that I would not have found the lump in time and since it was a very agressive cancer, it is likely that I would not be alive today.   There are many things that I wish I had done or said that would have changed our lifestyle and maybe both of us would be here, but it does no good to beat myself up over it.   There is only today, we need to live it the best that we can - that is what they would want for us.

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I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS--IT'S BEYOND HORRIBLE WHAT  WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH--I WONDER WHEN I GET THE CHANCE TO JUST HAVE SOME PEACE AND NOT HAVE TO BE STRONG AS SO MANY INSENSITIVE PEOPLE KEEP SAYING.  I WOUND UP IN A NURSING HOME AT AGE 55 DUE TO MS.  WHILE IT IS VERY DIFICULT AND CHALLENGING TO BE IN THIS CRAZY ENVIORNMENT, JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I AM THRU WITH MEN AND RELATIONSHIPS I MET A WONDERFUL MAN WHO HAD ARTHRITIS AND DIABETIS.

I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CERVICAL CANCER AND HAD 4 SURGERIES TO REMOVE KIDNEY STONES.  WITHOUT THE HELP OF JAMES I COULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN THRU WITH ALL THESE HEALTH ISSUES.  HE WAS THE BEST MAN I EVER KNEW AND HE DIED SUDDENLY OF A HEART ATTACK AT 51YR S OLD, WHILE VISITING HIS MOTHER IN FLORIDA.  HE LOVED FISHING AS WAS THERE TO BE ABLE TO FISH AND NEVER GOT THE CHANCE AS HE WAS TO SICK.  WE WERE TO BE MARRIED THIS SUMMER.  I DIDNT NEED A PIECE OF PAPER TO BE CONNECTED TO HIM, BUT IT WAS SOMETHING WE WERE GOING TO DO.  I FEEL AS IF MY WORLD HAS ENDED, AND I DONT THINK HIS FAMILY REALLY KNOWS WHAT I AM GOING THRU.  LIKE ANYTHING ELSE IN LIFE YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE IT YOURSELF.  MAY YOU FIND PEACE!!   LAUREN

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HI LAUREN,

  SO sorry to read your post, life has so many twists and turns, I got married last September. We where so happy, You see I am from England and have been coming back and fowards  from England to USA  to look after Barb  for last 7yrs

, Then 3 yrs ago I asked her to marry me and took 2 yrs to sort out immigration papers and at last we got married. but 11 months on she went to be with her Jesus, so I am devastated, as life does not prepare  you for any of this, now I am in small town in Ohio, just broken hearted.

Life is hard but some how we have to keep going and I really wish you well and hope each day you get stronger...

    The only comfort really is that life is short and if we can help another person on this journey it is worth it and we will be with our loved ones again one day.

                                               My Best Wishes  To You ..

                                                         Rob

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