Anyone else out there that are years out of losing their spouse- I lost my husband 3 yrs ago this January- feel like everyone else around you is trying to forget the spouse... while you are clinging to the memories to make him (or her) feel like they were real...

As I said, I am almost 3 yrs in to this- and at times I feel "normal"... i say it that way bc I dont remember what the old Liz was like... I just know this other one that has formed to cope... But other times, I feel like I am fighting an endless battle to keep my Shawn present in my life and keep his memory alive with our children.  I feel like I am angering friends and family when I say Shawn used to like that( I truly dont say it often- I maybe bring it up a handful of times in a week)... I didn't have 20-30- 40-50 yrs that some people are blessed with... I had 4.5 yrs of marriage and 8 yrs together... and I think bc he was so young and died so quickly in our relationship people think its easier for me... its not.. I hurt. And I don't know whats normal and not normal to feel....

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 Elaine,

My grandmother lost my grandfather at the age of 61( he was 60)... they were together since they were in high school... knew each other since they were in grade school... and had been married 40 yrs... I remember asking her about 1-2 weeks after Shawn died... when does it stop hurting to breathe... bc quite literally it hurt for me to breathe.. and she said never... at that point she was 11 yrs into being a widow... shes right... it still hurts to breathe without him... I am functioning.. I am living.. and by all means- for any outsider it would appear I have moved on... BUT it hurts to breathe without him... every first i do with those kids that he is not here for- kills me a little more...
 Elaine Richmond said:

Dear Liz,

My husband passed away 3/3/10 and I still cry every day and miss him like I did the first day he left. I will tell you what my sister told me, her husband passed away also, she said, "You will NEVER GET OVER IT, YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET THROUGH IT" So far she is so right, I will miss him until the day I am with him again, he was my heart and my other half. So what you should all realize is that we have a whole lot of people walking around like they are really WHOLE people and not just the part of one that is left.

I lost my husband three and half years ago.  Your grandmother is right.  I am going through the motions.  We were married 33 years.  I am going through the motions.  I do not talk about it, because I do not thing people want to hear it.  My close friends know that I am not right.  I thought that I would be over it by now. The loneliness and emptiness is at times overwhelming.  The friends we shared do not come around.  You feel like the forgotten.

I feel as you do.  My husband died three years ago.  Sometimes, I feel normal what ever that is.  I look normal, but I know that I am not.  I do not think that they are trying to forget him, they just do not know what to do or say so they just do not say anything.  The friends that we shared don't come around anymore. So you feel so alone.

I know what you mean, Liz, about people not mentioning your spouse. I have been feeling that a lot and it's only been 9 months! At first, everyone would bring up Glenn's name and mention things they remembered about him or how he might have reacted to something funny someone said, etc. Now, that is a rarity. I think that people who have not experienced this kind of grief are worried that bringing him up in conversation will dredge up difficult emotions in me. What they don't realize is that everything that happens every minute of every day reminds me of Glenn and pulls up those emotions. And, like you said, not mentioning him is like saying he didn't exist. And he does exist. I just can't see him or be with him right now. I don't know what it's like to have only had your spouse for a few short years before they were taken. But I do know what it's like to lose my best friend after 38 years. It stinks and I will never be the same. 

Linda G, I haven't written on here for a long, time.  But when you mentioned going to Grief Share I had to let you know that I just finished the course.  I would recommend it to anybody and have many times.  I know it has helped me a lot.  This will be my second Christmas without Jim. The last two weeks have really been hard and I am looking forward to "getting through" this holiday.

 

To Cathy, I have also had dreams like yours, in fact I had one about three weeks ago.  I know that feeling of being punched when I woke up and found Jim not there.  That brought me crashing down for almost a whole week.  I have learned that some people dream about their loved ones a lot and others never do.  A lot of times I'm just trying to find him and can't, but the ones where I actually talk to him and can feel his body as I hug him are so painful. I really can't say which is better.

Linda G. said:

I have been going to GriefShare.  I know it has been said before in our class, but I must not have heard it.  You never "get over", you get through it.  For some reason that gave me comfort and another reason to just ignore the people who think I should be "over it" and moving on.  Also Grief has no time line and I have learned to also follow my heart and whatever feels right for me is what I do.

Hugs to us all!

This will be the second Chistmas since my Karen passed away. I feel that this is the time of year that the loss hits us the hardest. We remember they way it used to be and now know it is gone. I am so glad I found this site,it lets me know my feelings are similar to otheres in this situation. I hve found that unless a person has goom through the loss of a loved spouse,they dont understand how we feel. Hugs to all,Jerry.

It takes every bit of 5 yrs to begin to feel normal again.. often year 2, and 3 are painfull.. The road is a long one, but you do  recover.. How do I know.. i have lost two husbands. And I do know that you will recover. Not at first, but slowley, one step at a time.



Jerry said:

This will be the second Chistmas since my Karen passed away. I feel that this is the time of year that the loss hits us the hardest. We remember they way it used to be and now know it is gone. I am so glad I found this site,it lets me know my feelings are similar to otheres in this situation. I hve found that unless a person has goom through the loss of a loved spouse,they dont understand how we feel. Hugs to all,Jerry.

 

Dear Jerry ...

 

You are so correct when you say Christmas is a difficult time for all of us.  This is my first Christmas without my Ernie (no children) and it has hit me hard.  I don't think I've cried my entire lifetime as much as I have cried since Ernie passed away and now the holidays.  I knew he would want me to continue on so I decorated a tree and have my two dogs; a small family (my brother's family); good friends and people such as yourself on this forum.  As crazy as it sounds I even gave my Ernie a card and put it on the top of the box where his ashes are.  Sometimes I can feel him close by and a short spell of a peaceful lull comes over me.  I am going to my brothers for Christmas, but without my Ernie with me it will take every bit of energy to try to fit in with family and not break down.  Right now I am just going through the motions of life and hope it gets better as time goes on.  I keep telling myself Ernie wouldn't want me to go on like this and to live life.  I honestly believe they are in a better place and one day we will be reunited yet once again.

 

Big hugs to everyone

Marcy 

Hi Liz

 

Although it has only been 8 months since my Ernie died I do know how you feel.  Even now a few friends feel I should be over my grieving, but I tell them vocally until they walk a mile in my shoes they can go take a hike!'  Remember Liz, we don't owe anyone an explanation for how long it takes to stop grieving and for some of us we will never stop, but time does make the pain lessen. 

 

In grief counseling that I went too they said, 'you have to find the new you' and I never realized how difficult that would be.  I haven't a clue who I am or where I expect to be in the years I have left.  I grieve when I feel like it.  Without anger let your family and friends know that you can't love someone as intensely as you loved Shawn and have your children and just stop remembering them and grief counselors say it's healthy to speak of a few memories of your loved one. It doesn't matter if you were married 6 months; 16 years, etc., it still hurts the heart.  It is not easier only being married a short time because most individuals would feel cheated of many more years with their loved one that should have been.  I was so lucky to have had a total of 45 years of knowing my Ernie and 39 years of marriage, but unfortunately, no children.  Pain is pain.  What you are going through is very normal and whatever feelings you can choose one or two good people you can express yourself with.  Our memories of our spouses who have passed away are to be kept going like the flame of a candle and no one has the right to tell us when we should snuff that candle out ... it will never happen!  One day you will feel better about things and life will be clearer, but until then go with your own instincts.

 

Big hug

Marcy

 

 

For me the tenth anniversary is this week. 

I have found some healing by writing my stories.  I maintain a blog at www.TheGriefExperience.wordpress.com.  It helps to say your grief out loud.  Never forget any detail you can hold on to, Liz. 

 I Was a young widow also. So I relate.. At 3 yrs your still trying to cope with the loss, it takes a good 5 yrs to heal. I remember when I did heal , The first day I woke up and did not feel like crying I felt quilty... But I had to  realize that My kids needed me to be A Living Mom, And I knew My husband would want me to give them the best life I was able to. So After 5 yrs.. for me.. I began to live again. The sun will shine. He has been gone for 31  yrs. I Still think of him, I have his pictures out for all to see. His name is mentioned to the grandkids all the time, and storys are told.. but not in a sad way.. You have heard the saying Dont cry because its over, Smile because it happend.. That is what we do.

I am struggling with talking to friends and neighbors now.  I just want to hide and it'll be two years in March since my husband passed.  I think what you are feeling is because you loved him so much and want your old life back.  I would continue to talk about what he would like becuase that is a part of you that you want to talk about and feel safe with.  Your grief and moving on with life can only be dictated by you.  I wish you the best and hang in there!

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