It is been four months since my husband passed, and I find I still can’t quite believe it has happened. It’s like being in the twilight zone where nothing is exactly as it appears to be. Intellectually, I understand that he is gone, but emotionally I find myself wanting to call him or something happens and I immediately say to myself I have to let Jim know. I take it one day at a time and I have no idea how long this state of nonbeing will last.  I am not entirely paralyzed by grief.  But my new normal  is anything but normal. I get up at my regular time each morning and I have farm chores to do because the animals don’t understand that I am not functioning well. I guess that’s a blessing. But once I come inside that’s when the trouble starts. There are many things that I know I need to get done but I find myself glued to the couch checking emails or  Facebook, or even worse playing solitaire. Once I force myself to start doing something I can usually complete it but it takes a lot to get me moving. I am hoping to gain some strength from this group and some ideas for how to find that functional new normal. 

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Sharon, i am so sorry for your grief.  My husband passed on January 18.  So, in that similar situation myself.  I have a busy new normal, that fits like a bad pair of shoes.  I get up early, work hard and after my - time before bed - talking to my husband - yep, when I get to sleep, I stay asleep.  I am not remembering dreaming about him, but will welcome those dreams.  I have some fears, like opening the mail, I wish I did not have.  I do journalize or write some of my thoughts, and that helps.  I go by a plan each day.  When I get something done, I congratulate myself, and if I want to fb ro whatever, I do.  I have made it a goal to smile at people, and I make myself shop for something each week.  I do teach a few hours a day - thank God, and have some grandkids with me for a while.  But, I sure do miss my other half.  I am able to function and enjoy some things, but still surprised that I still have so many crying sessions.  I know they will get less.  I feel cheated that he will not grow old with me.  :\  He promised he would.  Anyway, you hang in there.  I have been a widow before, and life is to live.  We never forget, or get over our loved one, but we learn to manage the emotions.  I will read as share as often as you would like.  God bless.  Frankie

 Frankie, thank you for reaching out to me. I guess I should’ve been ready for this in someway because my husband was 10 years older than me and so the likelihood that he would outlive me was not great. I admire that you are able to actually get real work done like teaching. Are used to go to the nursing homes with my therapy dogs each week but find I cannot do that anymore . I do like you do, congratulate myself when I get one thing done. I just hate that I spent so much time wasting time. This is definitely not my normal way of life. I am a retired attorney and also have a masters in education. But all I do to show how much education I have is sit and play solitaire.  Today will be a better day because I actually have to clean the house myself. Don’t laugh. When I married my husband it was not with one condition, that I never had to clean house. My mother used to let me work off my punishments by cleaning the house because she hated cleaning house. So needless to say I grew up with a real aversion to cleaning. My housekeeper is off this week and someone’s coming to look at the farm tomorrow.  So I have to clean house. I think I remember how to vacuum. I found that there is a grief support group in my area I’m sponsored by a local church. I am planning to attend one of those sessions on Monday and see how that goes. I find that I cannot talk about or rather don’t want to keep talking about how I feel with my daughter and my friends because I think it gets old. My daughter is going through enough of her own  having lost her father and she was the quintessential daddy’s girl. Sunday is Father’s Day and that will be as difficult for her as my anniversary date will be for me. So I plan to surprise her by flying to where she is Saturday and spending Father’s Day with her. I also tried to force myself out of the house at least once a week. Usually that means going to the grocery store or dropping  stuff off to Goodwill. But I am unable to attend social functions. Especially those functions that are held at our church. My husband was involved in all of them because he was part of brotherhood and usually was in on the planning part and execution of these events. People at church asked me why I can’t come and spend some time. I tell them that it’s a miracle that I can come to church on Sundays .  Thank you again for reaching out.

Sorry Sharon.  I did laugh!!!!  Well, I understand the hard to go to church etc.  All normal.  I actually have gone to a church he and I did not attend together.  Warning.  The first times, you will cry.  We are designed to cry.  It flushes the hurt out.

We are never ready for our loved ones to go.  I could see my husband's body breaking down, but I just believed he was tired.  It is still hard to believe it, but I do widow-crazy things to remind me, at least for me, he is here.

You are doing the right thing visiting your daughter.  Love and prayers from your sister in the widow hood.

Sharon,  am just thinking about you and hope you are  more able and feel better each day.  I do myself, but still not in complete control of the crying.  I was told to think of crying as liquid love.

I still discover new things each day, some spiritual.      Remember me in your prayers too.  Frankie

Good morning Francis.  Thank you for the kind thoughts.  My problems right now concern a complete lack of motivation.  I assume this is due to depression.  I would just as soon stay in bed than anything else.  I do get up each morning to take care of farm chores  but after that I am lost.  Crying is intermittent now.  For example, last night I fixed myself a gin and tonic and with the first sip was immediately transported to a sailboat in the Virgin Islands where Jim and I spent several magical vacations.  That hurt.  I also have to keep myself from mindless eating.  Also, I need to manage my alcohol intake.  I used to be content with one light beer a night.  Now I find myself opening a bottle of wine for a couple of glasses.  Not terrible, but bad for the waistline.  Would love to know what you do to keep your mind active and productive.  You are absolutely in my prayers.

Hey Sharon,

Vaughn was the second husband that passed on, and I do grieve hard.  My first deceased husband was killed 16 years ago - and I pretty much broke down.  I do remember in the 7th month, I actually felt better.  I would say I had a complete emotional break down.  I recovered, and know I got through the first time, so know I will get through this.  I know where you are in your grief, but you are crying less.  The first time for me, I had to be put on medication to stop crying.

What was different was I was the first one in our family to loose a husband.  It was a car accident - so sudden.  I had no one to lead me through this dark valley.  I was alone - way too much.  I had crazy ideas.  I was still not so old, and did risk online dating  connections.  I boldly went out, letting my daughters know where I was - ALWAYS.  I met a wonderful man who had cared for his wife 5 years before she died.  

Now I am in my sixties, still work just a few hours a day, and have temporary custody of 2 boys.  I also have an 18 year old grandson living with me.  At first, I could not handle them after Grandpa died, but bit by bit, we have meshed as a family.

I do sometimes have a beverage to help me relax, but only one due to kids being here.  I read with an opened mind.  I wanted the boys in Sunday School but found their church a bit stifling.  I am non-denominational for a reason.  At first I dropped them off and waited for them in the parking lot.  I decided I needed to at least give being with people a shot.  Last Sunday, I met a widow and felt someone else knew what it was like.  

I talk to my Vaughn everyday.  We loved to read together, so I go to my safe place - bathroom lol, and discuss everything!!!  At the risk of sounding crazy, I do feel a connection.  There are some things going on that I can't find a logical answer for, and I am sooooooooooooooooooooo logical!  Do I think he communicates with me, I really don't know.  But it gives me comfort.

I write.  I always have.  After his death I stopped reading and writing, bit by bit this last month, I do both.  He was my encourager.

I sing!!!  For about 2 weeks.  I started doing that while I was sad.  Now, I actually just enjoy it.  If a religious song don't getch ya, put on Janice Joplin!

Shortly after his death, I would go to my grandson's work and whistle to the parrot they had.  If I could afford it, and the beast s around here would let me, I would get a talking bird.  This week, I did the T chart where you list what is good, and what is bad about your situation.  I listed several good things.  My husband is not in pain.  I get to really stretch out on the bed.  I don't worry about his health anymore.  I also have less fear of death.

I was scared to spend money for something we did not need.  But I did indeed.  My gift to myself was a lounge chair and a couch.  Sometimes I want to move his stuff, and somethings I don't want anyone to touch.  I did donate some items to places that meant a lot to him - but all that took time.  

My goal for this weekend is to stay home.  The days are way too long, and I tend to want to be on the road. Anyway, it does suck.  I don't know if I will be happy ever again, but I don't know if I won't.  You have to find some little treasure for yourself.  You have to get up at a regular time.  Find a way to help someone in need, even if it is a small way.  Honestly, you will be able to walk into the same places and shop.  You might cry the first and second time.  I still can't go ionto the place we loved to eat - and I might not ever - but I don't care.  Talk to the birds, chat with the squirrels.  Grief will depress you and tire you out.  Depression makes you give up.  Grief is hard and takes time.  Record the good feelings and see if you start to feel better each day.  If not, if it is depression, go and get help.  Sharon, I am so sorry we have to go through thid process.

Maybe soon, you can tell me about him.  Cyber hug  {{{}}}  Frankie

Sharon.....It's been a little over 3 years since I lost my husband Ken and I still cannot believe he's not here. He was only 52 yrs old. Prior to losing Ken, I didn't quite grasp the concept of "new normal". I didn't even realize I felt normal until I lost him. That's another phrase I hate....I didn't actually lose him, I know exactly where he is. I just can't get to him. Since he passed away, nothing feels the same, sounds the same or looks the same. Nothing feels normal. Even if I can't remember my dreams of him, I always know when I did dream of him because I feel him and that sense of normal for just a brief moment but it's a beautiful and welcome feeling.
You're in the VERY early stages of the grief process so please don't put too much pressure on yourself. I wouldn't have been able to get through my first year without my family here at Legacy. I hope we can provide the strength and support you'll need.
Hugs,
Sara

Sarah, thank you very much  for reaching out to me. I know that it hasn’t been that long and I keep reminding myself that it will take time and I guess for everybody that time is different. The reason I took a break from my graduate studies was because I kept telling myself that I could do it I could finish, when the truth was I was just staring at the computer screen. I guess for me I feel a bit lost and I don’t know what to do. My old friends meaning friends when Jim was alive,  don’t connect with me anymore and I don’t blame them I guess because I’m no longer a couple. I don’t particularly care for going out by myself right now although in the past I’ve had no problem with that. If my daughter were closer it would be so much easier but she and her husband are on the road in their RV. I don’t have dreams of Jim but the memories just flood me all the time. It seems like every place I go it’s a memory of him. It’s why I need to get out of not only our farm but also the area. As crazy as it might sound I’m planning to move to Mexico, to an area where a lot of other Americans have settled and is a very pretty place. I just think I need a change of scenery in order to MoveOn. Where I live it’s a very small town and everybody knows everybody.  So when I see people either at church or at the store you know they always give me this sad look and ask “how are you doing“ I’m never quite sure how to answer that. Mostly I just say I take it one day at a time. I can’t lie to them and say oh I’m doing great which is I know what they wanna hear. Anyway the new normal looks like it’s going to be elusive. And I had to laugh when you talked about the term “losing him”.  I couldn’t agree more, he’s not lost I know exactly where he is. I do talk to him or rather to his ashes. All I want to know is is there hope for some normalcy in the not-too-distant future.  Thank you for your support. Sharon.

My self I have lost track of reason, time, and anything pertaining to normal.  I was dealing with a disaster when my wife became ill and I had to postpone dealing with the problem until her funeral was over and everyone went back to their lives.  Dealing with what I had to do was my way of avoiding my real problem "GRIEF".  When I am about to do something that my wife would disapprove of, I always look over my shoulder to make sure she was not looking. I know I buried her but I just get that certain feeling.  I will be cleaning the basement up for the next two years.  My Church has come to rescue me by giving me jobs.  I know that I am not the only one dealing with grief and that sometimes helps sometimes not.

Thomas, I am sorry about your grief.  It does have to be faced.  It won't just go away.   My husband died 5 months ago.  I am managing it.  I am glad he did not have to grieve my death.  He and I were both widows when we met.  It is tough, for sure.

I don't have any idea where your farm is but when I was 9 or 10 I would visit with a family of 12 with my sister-in-law being one of them. My Brother was overseas during WW II and there was a boy my age that no one his age to play with.  one of the things he did to entertain me was to cube jello and toss it to the chickens which drove them nuts trying to peck at it.  All they could do was to chase it around till they quit.  With that in mind, a group of widows was offered a trip to visit a Winery in Virginia countryside.  I went and had a great time. The smell of Country air brought back good memories of a time in my past.  Setting at a table of 12 kids was a riot, being a farm they plenty of fresh veggies and meat.  The Milk was a bit different from the city milk in a glass jug.  When you talk about your loss I think of the rendition of the Queen Of England said about losing her mother.  I like her could see my wife in the faces of all the people that my wife came in contact with.  Some times I didn't know why she did what she did for others but now I find my self trying to be more like her in some ways.  As for yourself take as much time as you need to find your new life without him.  Some need a month and some need a couple of years.

Thomas, not sure why I keep coming here.  At least I am starting to remember some names.  I hope your week goes well and you discover something new to enjoy.  Prayers.  Frankie  :]

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