It will be a year on August 17th that my husband died of a brain anurism.No warning...12 hours later he was dead...I still can't comprehend it.I thought I was finally on the path to healing,but it seems to be getting worse,not better.Guilt returns,overwhelming sadness when I least expect it...total inability to move sometimes..no self confidence at times..I don't trust my own instincts..I go on buying binges..Thank god I don't drink any more.I am on anti-depressants,but they don't really help.I seem to be going backwards.I am short tempered,want my own way all the time..good thing I live alone.lol.No patience,Don't care if I eat[I have lost some weight]No ambition,I just don't care about anything.I cry more now.I have a job as a Graphics Designer,but I mostly work from home,so I don't get in contact with too many people.it does make me get up in the morning,though.

My husaband'e family has apparently wrtten me off after 35 years.i find that strange,but people do what they do.My ex,and father of our daughter has been the most supportive of any one.Inviting me to stay at their home at the beach[he's been re-married for 36 years.his wife is great,too]They were the ones who took me in when my Husband died.they liked him so much!

I think,if there is a God,there is a plan,but I also believe in fate,and when it's time,you go.I am trying to see how I can get my life and myself back,so that what ever time I have is well spent,but I just can't move.

I was always a strong and outgoing person,but not now.I can't do parties or gatherings..I feel so awkward,and i was always the party-girl;social.etc..Not now.I hope I get through this BIG set-back..I'm sure I will but it is HARD! and lonely and very sad.

Do others  feel this way,too?

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Replies to This Discussion

Wow, Jo...not only are our names the same but our husbands died of a brain aneursym.  It will be 2 months this Thursday since  he was suddenly taken from me. He lived for 52 hours, but most of that time was in a coma.  My mother died many years ago of the same thing. I know how you are feeling.  I am still so new to this that I am still numb most of the time but the sadness is so overwhelming. We were married for 41 years.  I'm sorry things are still so bad for you and it makes me sad that I will be the same way for a long, long time. It's so hard to function.  I also have been short tempered lately and all I want to do is go to bed.  I have resisted getting medication so far but I don't think I will be able to continue without something.  I am lucky (I guess) that I am working and have somewhere to go every day but I hide the tears in my cubicle every day.  I cry when it's time to go home because I know the emptiness that is waiting.

I have 2 grown sons and one is living with me, which helps.  I have 5 grandkids that I have to hide my sadness from.  It feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and is weighing me down.  I have been to a counselor for 3 visits but am not impressed.  All she can say is how I have to get out there and live my life.  Does she not realize you cannot do that in such a short time after 41 years of marriage?

I'm hoping that things will be better for you soon.  I know that as that year anniversary approaches it will be hard.  Hang in there.

@ Jo...It was a year for me in May. I know what you mean about it getting worse.  I thought I was getting better, too, but nope.  I sent the following email to everyone in my address book:

To All,
I have lost the one I love, the one I cherish. My lover, my best friend, my whole life.
Either you have stumbled across this because you want to find out how to help me,
or I have given this to you.

How I am Feeling
• I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally drained and exhausted.
• I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
• My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has
happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.
• I can't sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
• I can't eat. I can't stop eating.
• I can't be bothered cooking. I can't be bothered cleaning. I don't want to go shopping.
• Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming.
I just don't want to know about it right now.
• Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do.
I forget everything except that my love has gone.
• I am going through tidal waves of emotion. One minute I might be laughing, the next I may be
in tears.
• Sometimes I want to talk. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need silent company.
Sometimes I need all of these things in the space of 5 minutes.
• Some days I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. Some days I will keep myself totally
occupied in an attempt to escape.
• Sometimes I will be intense. Sometimes I will be irrational. Sometimes I will be snappy, and
often I will be totally lost.
• Often I may not have a clue as to what I want, but it only takes a moment for me to realize
what I don't want.
• I am hypersensitive and will often be offended by things you say to try and make me feel better.
• I want to wail. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to just sit.
• I have no choice how I react. This is coming from deep inside me and intelligence and self
control have no effect. It comes from the basal self.
• Sometimes it is so hard for me to respond to phone calls or letters or emails, but I truly appreciate
that you are doing it, so please don't stop.
• I will not be fully-functional at work for a long time. In fact, I may never work with the same
intensity again, as my perspective of what is important and what isn't has been changed permanently.
• I still want to laugh. I need to laugh. I may suddenly go quiet mid-laugh, when hit by a sudden
reminder, but I desperately need to continue to laugh.

Emotional Things You Can Do
• Let me talk about him. I want to talk about our love. I want to tell you how we met, our last
days, and everything in between. I want to show you his picture, tell you how wonderful he was.
• Let me cry. Your acceptance that I need to cry and your permission to allow me to is one of the
best gifts you can give me. Hand me a tissue, and do your best to sit quietly and let me cry.
• Once you have allowed me to open up or cry, please don't change the subject or try to stop me.
I know you feel uncomfortable that I am in pain. Don't. Changing the subject, trying to stop me
crying just makes me hold everything inside, and eats away at me.
• Tell me all your stories of when my love was sweet, courageous, rotten or funny. I need to hear
everything about him. If you don't know any, find out some from those who are too scared to
approach me now.
• Let me try to tell you what is going on inside me. I won't succeed, but I need to try. You don't have
to do anything. Just allowing me to do it and allowing me to feel what I need to feel means so much.
• It is really hard for me to tell other people about my loss. I'm working full time to deal with my
emotions. Trying to deal with someone else's reaction or discomfort is the last thing I need, so if
someone needs to know it would be good if you could explain it to them.

What Not To Do
• Don't tell me you understand how I feel, or that you can imagine the pain I am going through,
unless you have lost the love of your life. Trust me, you can't. If I can't, and I am going through it,
trust me, you can't – your mind will just not let you voluntarily imagine this much pain.
• Don't try to compare my loss to the loss of a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance or a pet, it's
not the same. I understand that all of these things are painful, but it is not the same.
• Don't ask how I'm doing unless you really want to know. I am assuming that as you know, and
as you have asked, you truly want to know.
• Don't try to save me from my feelings or make me feel better. I know you can't bear to see me
in so much pain, but I need to go through all of these feelings whether I want to or not.
• Once you have "given me permission" to talk or cry, please don't try and distract me with small
talk. I know it makes you feel better if I appear happy, but my pain is ever-present and it makes
me feel like you don't care.
• Don't tell me everything will be okay.
• Don't tell me "he's always with you".
• Don't tell me "he's no longer in pain".
• Don't tell me "he's looking down on you from heaven".
• Don't tell me "you're lucky that you had such love, some people don't".
• Don't tell me "he's in a better place".
• Don't be surprised however if I say these things…
• Don't ever tell me "you must be strong". If ever there's a time I should be permitted to be weak,
this is it. What's more, if I only "need to talk" to you once every few weeks, chances are I have
been strong and right now I really need you to understand that I am exhausted and need help.
• Whatever you do don't tell me "If I were you I'd…." Until you are in the same situation, you
have absolutely no idea what you will do. Your logical brain has absolutely no control.
• Never try telling me "life goes on", or "he wouldn't want you to cry", or "God will never give
you more than you can handle" or any other meaningless platitudes.
• Don't try to solve my "problem". Unless you can bring him back, it can't be "solved".
• Don't feel the need to fill in silences. I know the silences are hard for you, but if you can accept
them, you are helping me immensely.
• Please don't try and help me find "closure", or tell me I need to find "closure". Closure is an
obscene word for me right now, as is "moving on"/"move on".

Practical Things You Can Do
I understand that a lot of you find it hard to cope with my emotional pain. Hate to see me
hurting so. If you can't help me emotionally, you can help me practically.
• Don't ask me what you can do to help. I have no idea, I am overwhelmed.
• Bring me some meals that I can just put in the microwave.
• Find out what sort of bread, milk, toilet paper, etc I use and bring me them to me. I have
no idea I need them until I run out, so don't bother asking me if I need anything.
 • Get copies of photos I don't have from family and friends and put them in an album for me.
It will be one of the most precious gifts you could give me.

Practical Things I Need To Do
• I need to surround myself with beauty.
• Sit in the sun and just soak it up.
• Enjoy nature. Look at the majesty of mountains and enjoy the miracle of a blade of grass.
• Have a massage.
• Write in a journal.
• Cry when I need to. Tears are a release.

Remember
• Grief is an emotional injury that requires time to heal. Not a week, not a month, not even a year,
it takes as long as it takes. It is similar to a major physical injury. You may not be able to see the
wounds on the inside, but they are there.
• Real-life is nothing like TV.
• I will not "get over it" - I will learn to live with my loss and incorporate the lessons into my life.
• I will get better over time, but I will never forget him. The pain ebbs and flows, but never
 goes
away completely.

If you have read this far, I thank you.  That means you care and I truly appreciate it.

Love,
Linda

OMG Linda, everything you said is true.  If you don't mind, I'm going to copy and print this and give it to the counselor I've been going to.  This says it better than I can.  Also I want my sons and friends to read it.  Thank you for verbalizing what I can't.
I cannot imagine how your are so together that you could write such exacting truths.You have about said it all and would you mind if I passed this along to some people I know.I am so impressed with your ability to write all these things down.Thank you.Maybe I am not so crazy as I sometimes think I am.

Linda C said:

@ Jo...It was a year for me in May. I know what you mean about it getting worse.  I thought I was getting better, too, but nope.  I sent the following email to everyone in my address book:

 

To All,
I have lost the one I love, the one I cherish. My lover, my best friend, my whole life.
Either you have stumbled across this because you want to find out how to help me,
or I have given this to you.

How I am Feeling
• I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally drained and exhausted.
• I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
• My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has
happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.
• I can't sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
• I can't eat. I can't stop eating.
• I can't be bothered cooking. I can't be bothered cleaning. I don't want to go shopping.
• Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming.
I just don't want to know about it right now.
• Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do.
I forget everything except that my love has gone.
• I am going through tidal waves of emotion. One minute I might be laughing, the next I may be
in tears.
• Sometimes I want to talk. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need silent company.
Sometimes I need all of these things in the space of 5 minutes.
• Some days I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. Some days I will keep myself totally
occupied in an attempt to escape.
• Sometimes I will be intense. Sometimes I will be irrational. Sometimes I will be snappy, and
often I will be totally lost.
• Often I may not have a clue as to what I want, but it only takes a moment for me to realize
what I don't want.
• I am hypersensitive and will often be offended by things you say to try and make me feel better.
• I want to wail. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to just sit.
• I have no choice how I react. This is coming from deep inside me and intelligence and self
control have no effect. It comes from the basal self.
• Sometimes it is so hard for me to respond to phone calls or letters or emails, but I truly appreciate
that you are doing it, so please don't stop.
• I will not be fully-functional at work for a long time. In fact, I may never work with the same
intensity again, as my perspective of what is important and what isn't has been changed permanently.
• I still want to laugh. I need to laugh. I may suddenly go quiet mid-laugh, when hit by a sudden
reminder, but I desperately need to continue to laugh.

Emotional Things You Can Do
• Let me talk about him. I want to talk about our love. I want to tell you how we met, our last
days, and everything in between. I want to show you his picture, tell you how wonderful he was.
• Let me cry. Your acceptance that I need to cry and your permission to allow me to is one of the
best gifts you can give me. Hand me a tissue, and do your best to sit quietly and let me cry.
• Once you have allowed me to open up or cry, please don't change the subject or try to stop me.
I know you feel uncomfortable that I am in pain. Don't. Changing the subject, trying to stop me
crying just makes me hold everything inside, and eats away at me.
• Tell me all your stories of when my love was sweet, courageous, rotten or funny. I need to hear
everything about him. If you don't know any, find out some from those who are too scared to
approach me now.
• Let me try to tell you what is going on inside me. I won't succeed, but I need to try. You don't have
to do anything. Just allowing me to do it and allowing me to feel what I need to feel means so much.
• It is really hard for me to tell other people about my loss. I'm working full time to deal with my
emotions. Trying to deal with someone else's reaction or discomfort is the last thing I need, so if
someone needs to know it would be good if you could explain it to them.

What Not To Do
• Don't tell me you understand how I feel, or that you can imagine the pain I am going through,
unless you have lost the love of your life. Trust me, you can't. If I can't, and I am going through it,
trust me, you can't – your mind will just not let you voluntarily imagine this much pain.
• Don't try to compare my loss to the loss of a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance or a pet, it's
not the same. I understand that all of these things are painful, but it is not the same.
• Don't ask how I'm doing unless you really want to know. I am assuming that as you know, and
as you have asked, you truly want to know.
• Don't try to save me from my feelings or make me feel better. I know you can't bear to see me
in so much pain, but I need to go through all of these feelings whether I want to or not.
• Once you have "given me permission" to talk or cry, please don't try and distract me with small
talk. I know it makes you feel better if I appear happy, but my pain is ever-present and it makes
me feel like you don't care.
• Don't tell me everything will be okay.
• Don't tell me "he's always with you".
• Don't tell me "he's no longer in pain".
• Don't tell me "he's looking down on you from heaven".
• Don't tell me "you're lucky that you had such love, some people don't".
• Don't tell me "he's in a better place".
• Don't be surprised however if I say these things…
• Don't ever tell me "you must be strong". If ever there's a time I should be permitted to be weak,
this is it. What's more, if I only "need to talk" to you once every few weeks, chances are I have
been strong and right now I really need you to understand that I am exhausted and need help.
• Whatever you do don't tell me "If I were you I'd…." Until you are in the same situation, you
have absolutely no idea what you will do. Your logical brain has absolutely no control.
• Never try telling me "life goes on", or "he wouldn't want you to cry", or "God will never give
you more than you can handle" or any other meaningless platitudes.
• Don't try to solve my "problem". Unless you can bring him back, it can't be "solved".
• Don't feel the need to fill in silences. I know the silences are hard for you, but if you can accept
them, you are helping me immensely.
• Please don't try and help me find "closure", or tell me I need to find "closure". Closure is an
obscene word for me right now, as is "moving on"/"move on".

Practical Things You Can Do
I understand that a lot of you find it hard to cope with my emotional pain. Hate to see me
hurting so. If you can't help me emotionally, you can help me practically.
• Don't ask me what you can do to help. I have no idea, I am overwhelmed.
• Bring me some meals that I can just put in the microwave.
• Find out what sort of bread, milk, toilet paper, etc I use and bring me them to me. I have
no idea I need them until I run out, so don't bother asking me if I need anything.
 • Get copies of photos I don't have from family and friends and put them in an album for me.
It will be one of the most precious gifts you could give me.

Practical Things I Need To Do
• I need to surround myself with beauty.
• Sit in the sun and just soak it up.
• Enjoy nature. Look at the majesty of mountains and enjoy the miracle of a blade of grass.
• Have a massage.
• Write in a journal.
• Cry when I need to. Tears are a release.

Remember
• Grief is an emotional injury that requires time to heal. Not a week, not a month, not even a year,
it takes as long as it takes. It is similar to a major physical injury. You may not be able to see the
wounds on the inside, but they are there.
• Real-life is nothing like TV.
• I will not "get over it" - I will learn to live with my loss and incorporate the lessons into my life.
• I will get better over time, but I will never forget him. The pain ebbs and flows, but never
 goes
away completely.

If you have read this far, I thank you.  That means you care and I truly appreciate it.

Love,
Linda

 

I did not write the whole thing, only part of it.  I added to what another widow friend of mine sent to me.  Feel free to pass it on.

Linda, your message seems to say exactly what I am feeling.  I guess it isn't strange...you are going through the same thing.  I too would like to save it, and send it on perhaps, but to have it to re read and to remind myself that the fact that I just sit in my chair in the living room sometimes, and do nothing, is not a flaw in my personality.  And the fact that I walk out of the house to go somewhere, and by the time I get in the car, I wonder...what was it I was going to do!  Thank you for sharing.  I cringe when someone tells me they know what I am going through...they lost a pet.  I have lost many pets, and it definately is not the same.  I understand that people just want to be kind, but in my mind it is something else.

 

Maggie

OMG Linda, You nailed it.  I lost the love of my life after 36 years of marriage.  Diagnosed with a rare cancer and gone 12 weeks later. Never thought I would be a widow at 54.  But, here I am, alone, lonely, sad, missing my best friend and husband.  I am so sorry for all of your losses.  I know I have some fairly good days, and some relaly lousy ones, as I am sure you all do.  Not a day goes by that I don't miss him.  I don't know if that will ever change.  Thank you all for being here, and being honest. 
Linda C, I too would like to print and pass along sometime.  Your message says everything that I am feeling.  I like the pratical things I need to do, but I also will just sit in a chair and do nothing.  I just don't understand how people can say they know what I am going through because they lost a parent, sibling, pet or that they are going through a divorce and that is the same.  Thank you for putting all of that into words.  Linda G

Linda C you absolutely hit the nail on the head. I have been that person. It's been 2 years in May that I lost my Lover, husband, best friend, confidant of all my hopes dreams and fears. I am lost and alone without my honey. Things have improved but nothing will ever be the same. What is there in life to look forward to? My life is solitary now.... when I was always Wades wife. Who am I without him? Who am I at all? 52 too young to do nothing but too old to start a new life. Though everyone is eager to tell me what I aught to do.

 I haven't scratched the surface at going through all Wades stuff... I may just leave it for who knows how long? (more grief) The house has been in shambles with all the stuff from grown kids that can't seem to be able to take all of thier stuff they can't part with but so necessary. I have pushed myself to work on the house caught up on jobs and home repairs that were dumped on me out of necessity. 

My last Child moved out a couple weeks ago so now I am facing true empty nest but without my adventure seeker partner. The first time I am actually living alone since I was 20. He was always so happy and I feel the joy of life is so elusive. This was supposed to be "our time". We had so many plans....So much to grieve over,so many things to let go. I can cry at any given moment but for the sake of those "who are uncomfortable" I hold it in too.

I think your list should be given to every counselor. How can any human being counsel us when they haven't been through this? I will have a good day and I turn out the light and sob. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. I feel I am starting all over in my grief now that I have a chance to be alone and actually face the stuff I have suppressed while I have "acted" like everything is all O.K....It isn't as intense as it has been in the past thank God but the ache is so deep when will it go away?

I have to copy your list and share it for the sake of those in my life that do love me and want to understand. Thanks for shareing with us! Kathleen

Kathleen, How difficult it must be for you. You have been holding so much in for two years. I understand that you need to go through all of the stages of grief, and if you put any of it off, you will do it eventually.  In the grand scheme of things, two years is a very short time.  I understand the solitary life.  It isn't much fun.  I try to keep myself busy, but I just can't concentrate on anything.  Hugs to you.  Maggie  

Thanks Maggie,  You are right, I am surprised at how much I needed the freedom to deal with my loss in private. I do have a tenancy to flit from one thing to another like where do I start?  I'm from a very large family but I have kept to myself because I have not wanted to expose my grief. It makes me feel naked and vulnerable. I'm not used to being weak. I have always been very strong in my faith but have watched my church on the internet at home 3 out of 4 weeks for a long time. The reason being though people are well meaning they say insensitive things and expect progress too quickly. They just do not understand. I know they can't unless they too have had this loss which I would not wish on anyone! I have been making a bigger effort at actually dressing and going to church the last few months. If not for my foundation of faith I don't know where I would be. God is there when noone else is.

I'm actually giving a sigh of relief that my kids are finally on their own again. All three of our adult children were living with us for the 10 months Wade was sick. Our daughter graduating from college one month before the diagnosis. It was actually a blessing for all of us to be here his last few months of life and to be by his side when he left us. They then stayed here after Wade left not only out of worry and to "care for me" but then out of necessity. The boys (college graduates as well) were unemployed one for 3 years and the other 1 year. That was a huge burden to carry supporting them and worrying about them finding work. The kids left one at a time Jan, April, then the last week of June. I felt constrained for sure. I was anxious to have my space. I knew I could not start "real life" with them here. I needed to face this house and the loss of my old life alone! It has been very strange that's for sure.

Early on in the grief process I wasn't capable of hearing about others losses because my was so huge it was overwhelming. I came across this site a couple weeks after the 2 year anniversary and it has been good for me to see how far I have come and to hopefully give some insight to those just starting their journey. I still cry but they are "flash floods" and short lived. (Although some days too frequent) Everyone here is so very supportive to one another I wish I had found this site earlier. I appreciate the compleat understanding without judgment .... Hugs back to you, Kathleen

Hello Jo.  I must admit to being confused, 2 Jo's and so I am grateful the other Jo explained.  I just wanted to say my dear husband Jack will be gone 1 year on August 31st.  I think I am finally embracing all that he is to me, in every way, and has been for 39+ years.  I feel closer to him now than ever, and I am coping, albeit I do have those crying days where it just pours out of me.  I find if I start talking with my children on the phone, I usually start crying over anything at all.  I like to be home with my dog in the evenings, I don't mind it really.   It is my sharing time with my hubby.  I know that I am still loved and I don't feel all that alone.  I do agree though I am not keen on groups any more and I have become really protective of myself and the children, even though they are grown.  Don't feel that you are the only one who goes on shopping binges, I do too!  A lot of it I spend on the girls but I do go shopping quite a bit.   I am not terribly social, "with the girls" type of social, I do like to go to movies with my friends, I don't drink, but I like to travel a little.   As many of us here express, most times things were done with my husband, and we didn't need a ton of people in our lives.   It is hard to understand why families turn their backs on people, especially when needed most.  I haven't had to deal with that at all so I am sad for you Jo.   I wouldn't isolate yourself though, it is pretty easy to give up on everything, more difficult to take the steps to get you to become involved again.  None of this is easy, but God gives us the moral support we need to take the steps, that is what I believe.

 

Take care and find a little piece of joy in your day, be it a pretty flower, or someone saying something nice, or a beautiful landscape.   Pleasure can be found in the very littlest of things.

 

HUGS,

Carol

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