Hi everyone, I thought I was starting to be more positive after 14 months but the past few days have been "meltdown" days again. After reading more about the grieving "process" I've found out that I'm in what they cal the 12-18 month grief step. How many more steps do we need to go through? I'm trying so hard and with the help and support of all of you, I thought I was doing better, but now I've been hit again in the stomach of the reality of this life I have to lead. My job helps me but I always come home to the place we always were together and it hurts not to have Brad here. I don't think this will ever end. I know "they" say it never goes away but it gets easier to handle, right now its not that easy to handle. Then I go into the stores and see Christmas all over. I don't want the holidays to come, I don't want to go through another Christmas season without Brad here to enjoy it with me.

I guess I just needed to get this out, how many more steps do we have to go through to feel somewhat normal again?? Thanks for listening everyone and I hope you all are doing okay.

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I know this holiday season is going to be a rough one for me, the first since my dear wife Karen has been gone. Last year was a sad holiday season as this is when she was in the worst condition due to her illness. From OCT ot JAN she was in bed, blind and just getting weaker.I have had a bad few months, since I look at the calender and keep remembering what happened a year ago. She loved to decorate the house for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I have no desire to do so anymore. I have though about it to keep her memory alive, but I will have to wait until next year and see how it goes.
Randolph first I am very sorry for your further heart break, you already know how much we all care. My prayers to you.
Margarita, My Joe has been gone for almost 10 weeks now and just before he couldn't speak to me anymore he said he wanted to go home. Well the only way to do that was to have his ashes with me. The day the creamatory called to say I could pick him up, it was like he was getting home from a long trip that's how excited I was. Now he has a place on the family picture table, I asked my brother-in-law to make a nice wooden box for him to rest in. Joe was a master wood worker. I picked out a nice photo of him and he smiles at me with that twinkle he had. In Sept. of 2011 my daughters and some friends are taking Joe scuba diving, (his second love) to the place where we were going to live when we retired. But part of him will always be here with me.

Randolph L. Schrader said:
Margarita, its been 18 months for me. Yes, we will have ups and down days. We are all here for each other. I have LouAnns ashes in a box on the computer and it doesnt bother me or anyone else. I am saving up money to spread her ashes in Colorado where we lived for ten years.Wont happen for a while but that was her wish.Hugs to you and to everyone. Hugs are good.
i lost my husband gerald 2 weeks ago.i dont hoildays come either i wont enjoy the hoildays because he loved buying gifts
I'm very sorry Brenda, I remember what two weeks was like., hang in there and remember don't expect to much from yourself. Take it one step at a time, it's a lot easier if you set yourself one goal per day. It can be very tiring just getting thru the day. Stay in touch with us, even if you just read the discussions it does help. May peace surround you, knowing the love you shared.

brenda miller said:
i lost my husband gerald 2 weeks ago.i dont hoildays come either i wont enjoy the hoildays because he loved buying gifts
Hi Barb,

I remember being where you are. I remember feeling like I was on a roller coast...ok, I really still am on the rollercoaster, but we all know how that is. I had a really hard time around the 9th month, and I never knew whether to blame it on the holidays because Christmas was 9 1/2 mos. or if it was what I had read, that the 9 month is statistically reported as the most difficult month in the first year. I guess because reality has really set in by then. I had a really hard time for a good six months. I went from Christmas in December, Tom's birthday in January, Valentine's Day in February (which normally we never made a huge deal of just little gifts and dinner out, but the Valentine's Day before his accident we actually took a trip and went away for Vday. It was the first time ever and the best Vday ever for us..just a perfect weekend) anyway my first Vday alone I really wanted to go back to the cottage we stayed at by myself, but I chickened out, then March was his one year anniversary of being gone, my oldest daughter broke her ankle and my granddaughter Lilyanna Tommi was born in April and it still took me until my 15th or 16th month at this life to begin to feel like I wasn't crumbling anymore. My poor kids; I probably wasn't there for them as much as I should have been during that time...I was just so lost. I was excited that Lilyanna was here, but at the same time I felt somewhat detached and it took me a while to feel what I should have felt for her...I loved her and was excited to have her here, but I dont' know, it's really hard to explain. I guess maybe that was the first time I felt like I was in a depression, I've never used that word with myself before. I'm not sure how I got out of my slump, but eventually things became clearer to me and I was able to break free of the heaviness that was weighing me down. Don't get me wrong my days are never perfect; I never expect them to be again, but they are manageable and I do the things that need to be done.

I am begining to believe that the steps are constantly moving and shifting...there is no magic order and they keep changing the rules on us. We go along and just never know when one of those steps are going to trip us up.

You really do have a great outlook on life and thankfully, you now have your new job to distract you. I don't believe this life gets easier but more bearable and manageable. I hope things are going better for you this week. If only we could get this rollercoast to stop so we could get off...

I am sure Brad is shining down on you and so very proud of all you've done to keep moving forward.

We're all here for those meltdown days.

Hugs and comfort to you.
Thanks Marlena for the encouragement. Yes, I've had a few "good days" since my post, and some "not so good days", but that's part of the roller coaster ride. My new job does allow me to focus on other things, but now it doesn't allow me to go to the cemetary every day like I did before and that sometimes makes me feel bad. I went every day and would trim the grass and in the winter shovel a path to Brads grave and clean all of the snow off of it. People told me I shouldn't do that every day, but why not?? Now if I can't get there during the day, I'll sometimes go at night (but I don't dare tell anyone, no one wants me to go alone at night) but I do find peace sometimes and sometimes I do get upset. I'll just keep going on as I don't have any choice but thank you!


Marlena said:
Hi Barb,

I remember being where you are. I remember feeling like I was on a roller coast...ok, I really still am on the rollercoaster, but we all know how that is. I had a really hard time around the 9th month, and I never knew whether to blame it on the holidays because Christmas was 9 1/2 mos. or if it was what I had read, that the 9 month is statistically reported as the most difficult month in the first year. I guess because reality has really set in by then. I had a really hard time for a good six months. I went from Christmas in December, Tom's birthday in January, Valentine's Day in February (which normally we never made a huge deal of just little gifts and dinner out, but the Valentine's Day before his accident we actually took a trip and went away for Vday. It was the first time ever and the best Vday ever for us..just a perfect weekend) anyway my first Vday alone I really wanted to go back to the cottage we stayed at by myself, but I chickened out, then March was his one year anniversary of being gone, my oldest daughter broke her ankle and my granddaughter Lilyanna Tommi was born in April and it still took me until my 15th or 16th month at this life to begin to feel like I wasn't crumbling anymore. My poor kids; I probably wasn't there for them as much as I should have been during that time...I was just so lost. I was excited that Lilyanna was here, but at the same time I felt somewhat detached and it took me a while to feel what I should have felt for her...I loved her and was excited to have her here, but I dont' know, it's really hard to explain. I guess maybe that was the first time I felt like I was in a depression, I've never used that word with myself before. I'm not sure how I got out of my slump, but eventually things became clearer to me and I was able to break free of the heaviness that was weighing me down. Don't get me wrong my days are never perfect; I never expect them to be again, but they are manageable and I do the things that need to be done.

I am begining to believe that the steps are constantly moving and shifting...there is no magic order and they keep changing the rules on us. We go along and just never know when one of those steps are going to trip us up.

You really do have a great outlook on life and thankfully, you now have your new job to distract you. I don't believe this life gets easier but more bearable and manageable. I hope things are going better for you this week. If only we could get this rollercoast to stop so we could get off...

I am sure Brad is shining down on you and so very proud of all you've done to keep moving forward.

We're all here for those meltdown days.

Hugs and comfort to you.
It has been 22 months since I lost my husband. He passed away, suddenly, the night before Christmas Eve.
Last year was really hard. I didn't want to see a christmas decoration, tree or anything. But I have 2 young children and have decided that I have to go forward. I am creating new tranditions and remember the old ones fondly. I always feel a little sad at Christmas anyway. I keep thinking why Christmas time, but then I guess no time is a good time. It does get better, but there are days that I still can't believe that this is my life. But the reality is starting to sink in. One Day at A Time is a cliche but so true. You can't skip any of the stages of grief either. You will keep going back till you get it. A wonderful book is Tear Soup, a recipe for Loss. It was helpful and definitely, crying and talking. You just somehow learn to live with it.
Thanks for this, Anita. It's been only 7 weeks since I lost my husband, also suddenly, and it helps to hear from those who've gone through this loss and have found ways to cope.

Anita Ippolito said:
It has been 22 months since I lost my husband. He passed away, suddenly, the night before Christmas Eve.
Last year was really hard. I didn't want to see a christmas decoration, tree or anything. But I have 2 young children and have decided that I have to go forward. I am creating new tranditions and remember the old ones fondly. I always feel a little sad at Christmas anyway. I keep thinking why Christmas time, but then I guess no time is a good time. It does get better, but there are days that I still can't believe that this is my life. But the reality is starting to sink in. One Day at A Time is a cliche but so true. You can't skip any of the stages of grief either. You will keep going back till you get it. A wonderful book is Tear Soup, a recipe for Loss. It was helpful and definitely, crying and talking. You just somehow learn to live with it.
I am just beginning this "process " my sweet Ron passed away 28 days after a 2 month hospitalization. He died suddenly without warning, the doctor was in just to see him and Ron spoke to him about the upcoming transfer to a rehab facility in 3 days. The doctor walked out and stopped at a station to enter orders and suddenly alarms went off and Ron stopped breathing. I was just arriving for my daily visit, and was begging Ron to come back. The staff worked on Ron for almost and hour and he
never came back.??? Why did he leave me????? I cant stand these days without him. He was my knight in shining armour, my love, my life and my best friend. It took many years to find one another ,we both were married previously and were both single for many years. God Blessed Us with each other and we were together 11 years and married just 8 years. I dont want to live without him, he was my everything. He brought sunshine to my dark days and happiness every day. He was known to everyone as the "Smiley Guy" always positive ,always giving. How do I do this. My familys tells me Ron would not want you to be upset always, he would want you to be happy. I can I be without him.????
I, too, am just beginning the grief process. I lost my Steve this past September; it was sudden. Since he died, I've spoken with others who've lost spouses or life partners, and they all say variations on the same thing: You never stop missing the person, but the pain softens or lessens with time. (How much time? It varies.) Still, there will be bad days, they say. "Meltdown" seems like exactly the right word.

I imagine that the holidays will be among those bad days, and here we are, about to enter the overly-long holiday "merry making" season. I dread it, too. And I dread the "steps" in front of me, but suspect the process isn't linear - it loops back through stages we thought we were done with. Or so I've been told. Like I said, I'm just starting out.

But I can say that, as you put it, being "hit again... with the reality of this life I have to lead" is what puts me in the tank fast. But that's the hard, central task, isn't it? Figuring out how to go on. It sounds like, all your pain notwithstanding, that you at least are grappling with the heart of the matter. You're right to get it out; no good comes of bottling up your feelings. Keep expressing them to those who will listen.

Hugs to you. Hang in there.
Look into a good grief support group. It took about 4 months for me to get there, but it was a big help. You are definitely right; there is now straight shot to this you go back and forth on the stages continually. Sometimes even hour to hour, but then the day will come when you reach the acceptance stage. Life won't hurt so bad. Take care of yourself
Elizabeth you are not without him, he is there, he is just in a different place. My Joe left me 10 weeks ago today and I still wish I could go with him, we loved doing things together. But I can't because they are not ready for me yet. So what we need to do is remember what we had, and try to start a new chapter one where they just aren't physically with us, but their spirit and love will show us the way. I still have those days when I can't understand why he left me here to be alone without him he is my best friend, but I know he is OK and that he loves me more than the world and that if he could he would be here with me.
This whole process is long and pretty much stinks big time. I am sorry you have to be here with us, but I wish you peace knowing that he is with you watching out for you and loving you.

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