I meant to put this in here instead it was sent out as a message I apologize:
Hi. My name is Justin I live in New York City. I have never been to a place like this before so I don't know exactly what kind of support you guys can offer to me. I guess the best way to start things off is why I joined the group other than obvious reasons of having lost a partner. I guess it really comes down to a question that I have for the community. Does the pain ever stop? Does that emptiness and feeling alone every change? If so, is there a time line to this? When will I start to feel less like an empty vessel and more like a person again?
I met Billy (his name) from okcupid.com we both talked for a while before we met in person mostly because of time constraints from the two of us but i think mostly because i was afraid to meet him at first. I knew from our short conversations online and through text messages that something special was out there about him and i couldn't put my finger on it. Eventually we had our glorious first date, we met at my place and I made dinner for the two of us. It was my small token I gave to him because his birthday was coming up and we had met just a week before so because I didn't know really what to do I impressed him with my cooking and he was hooked. From that moment on it was kismet. We spent every second we could together, it was like I was floating on cloud 9 and there was nothing that could stop us.
Days and months passed by and then we started to see the true sides of one another. I learned of his illness quickly, he had suffered since a kid from Seizure disorder but claimed to me on medication for it. He told me the stories of what happens to him when he has his attacks and how much it destroys him slowly. I listened for hours of him telling me stories of his past and how he longed for a better life and how he found that better life with me, and I, with him.
As the months dragged on I started to notice his health decline and his seizures getting worse and happening more frequently. 3 Seizures I witnessed myself and nursed him back to consciousness. As the next weeks rolled by things seemed to be getting better the holidays were drawing closer and we were getting ready and making plans to meet each others families.
I remember clearly on December 16, 2013 how the day played out. We were out the day before getting our Xmas tree and decorating it, after which we had some wine and played monopoly; I remember how angry he was that I was beating him so badly but he was happy because he was with me. We went to bed and at 5am I woke up to hear a thud in my bathroom immediately I woke up to find my bathroom door to be locked, banging on the door I tried to wake him but could hear the gurgling sounds coming from the bathroom. I called 911 and got the EMTs here as fast as they could, by the time that they arrived I had broken my door down and got to him to get him out of the bathroom. He was awake when the medics arrived and I forced him to go to the hospital. That was 545am, that was the last time I would see my Billy alive. I went to work as I always did but this time with a heavier heart knowing that Billy wasn't feeling well, I asked my mother to visit him at the hospital for me and to my surprise by 1015am he was being released from the hospitals care. I spoke to him on the phone and he expressed to me how sorry he was for this happening and he promised to go to the doctor on Wednesday. That was the last time I spoke to him. I returned home from work that night at 10:30pm after not hearing from him all day and not receiving any text messages. I found Billy on the floor of our bedroom faced down in full Rigor Mortis. I tried with all of my might to CPR and when the medics arrived they declared him DOA. It will be 7 months next week and I feel the same way I did in december.
I have visited a dark dark place inside and i still feel that part of me is alive, i have no happiness inside of me any more and I feel this is where I belong. I was robbed of my partner, robbed of my time with him, robbed of the years we should be spending together. There was no reason that GOD should have taken him from me at 26 years old. Why at 30 i should have read his eulogy and watched him be buried in the ground.
That is my story as sad and true as it is.
This site helps. A friend of mine, who's a therapist, commented that "grief needs a witness" and this site can be that for you.
Everyone who's responded to you has had the same indescribable situation - until you go through it, nobody can understand. After the funerals and memorials your friends drift back into their lives yet there you are, still stuck in the moment. When I lost my spouse nearly a year ago, the first few months were a void. Then Christmas was coming and I determined myself to have a memorable one - probably a good thing.
I realized then that what Drew had loved in me hadn't changed - I was the same person, had those same qualities. The problem was that I couldn't imagine life without him, even though I was going through the motions. Every day, every thing, reminded me in some way. Yes, I can still remember his touch, his smell, his favorite things - inescapable. And each memory brought back the melancholy.
But then - and it happens on a day, and you know what it means - you remember something, him, a memory shared, and you don't feel the melancholy - you just appreciate the memory. This is the point where you are allowing him to be a memory, your past, because that is what he now is.
And then - gosh, I wish there were a timetable, but I've lost both my parents so this is the third time and darned if it isn't the same except no specific time - you have a day where you simply don't think about him and the past - and you don't feel guilty.
In the end, you have to choose death or life. I'm thinking you're struggling to choose life - it is the better choice. Will you find another Billy? Probably not. Will you have another great love in your life? Probably yes, as you clearly have the compassion and the strength to love - it's all too clear in that you have the strength to grieve (we can't know love unless we know pain). Will he be different - likely, yes. My dear partner in the UK (which was my first real "partnership" and ended decades ago), who has also since passed, was as much unlike my spouse as they shared some of the same qualities.
Life goes on and we are all temporary passengers. Life can be very wonderful - the world is an amazing place. You have wonderful memories of a bright light which will never go out - or grow old, or suffer more, or drift apart from you. Yes, lousy that you had such a short time, and he died so young - but worse if you'd never loved at all. Now that you have, you know how wonderful it can all be.
I hope I don't sound trite - this has been awful for me, a true annus horribilus, yet when I started dating again I realized there were reasons, values, qualities other guys saw in me, that were probably the same things that Drew saw. I am not changed - wiser, perhaps a bit blunted - and in many ways so much more aware than they of life and love and how temporal it is.
You have a lot to give - and so many who need that, who want it, who may never have that same happiness. Billy is yours now - he is your past, part of your fiber, and he will be there forever - but no longer part of your life. The human heart is an amazing vessel: it can fill to the brim, it can break, yet it can also heal and hold yet another love. I hope you do find the light and path again: after all, it is nobody else's journey but yours, though the company who walk along with you on that journey do make all the difference.
Stay strong. Rich
Justin, I'm glad it helped. Just hang in there, it does get easier, especially because you want it to get easier. Do you watch Downton Abbey? There is this one scene in Season 3, where Lady Mary is still grieving over Matthew and Grannie Grantham (aka Violet, i.e. the Maggie Smith character), tells her that she needs to choose: she needs to choose death, or she needs to choose life, and that frankly the latter choice is the better one.
You're there, too, and I think you've chosen life - it's you just don't see how that's possible yet. It is. You need to let go, as hard as it may be. Even the little things - you need to think about Justin, it needs to be the Year of You. Here's an example: in my guest room (we had a pretty nice life, a place in Boston and a place in the suburbs, which is where I now live), we had a set of pictures - enlargements of neat old postcards from travel destinations. We had three in a row (among both of us, we'd been to all three) and then the Paris picture over to the side since it was our favorite city. Now that he's gone, I have rearranged them: the three cities that I've been to, and the one (Venice) which he had visited but I haven't. Little change? Yes. Kind-of dumb? No - the future isn't about us, it's about me.
Good luck, and stay in touch. I think you'll have a great life, and probably meet another great guy. So sorry any of us have to go through this, but it's nobody's fault (not even God).
Take care rich
Well, I lost everything I typed, so Justin, I will try again. First off, I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my partner of 20 years a little over 2 1/2 years ago. It was from an accidental pain meds overdose. She had suffered from chronic pain and was physically addicted to Oxycontin. When she died, it was truly an awful memory. So many sirens and then they ripped off her nightgown and put the defibrillator on her. I vividly remember her breasts violently rising and falling. To me, it felt like an assault on her body. Afterwards, I had to move out of our house just to get away from the memories. In addition, I use a cane and I had already fallen down the stairs once and gotten a concussion, so I had to move into a single story place. I rented an apartment in a sage neighborhood. My big mistake was that it was next to a hospital and I could always hear sirens which would trigger bad memories and crying jags. After a couple of years of slowly feeling better, the apartments where I was living were going to raise my rent by $100/month so I found a new place which was cheaper and nowhere near a hospital. It has helped tremendously. I still cry sometimes, but it's not very often now and it doesn't last long. So, my message to you is that it gets better slowly. There's a classic book by Therese Rando "How To Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies." It's not specifically geared to LGBT, but it's a wonderful book and I found it to be very helpful. The link for it at Amazon is http://www.amazon.com/Living-When-Someone-Love-Dies/dp/0553352695 I hope this hekps.