Hi. I'm Terry and I lost my husband on January 2nd in a horrible and tragic industrial accident where he was killed instantly at the end of the work day. I'm struggling so much to try to cope and run our business and my kids and I are so lost.
But the worst thing is just knowing what my husband lost, and what I've lost without him. Our 24th wedding anniversary is on Monday, St. Patrick's Day, and I am beside myself and haven't been able to stop crying most of the day. My husband was 51, and we were just getting back to "our time" now that the kids are older and almost grown. We didn't socialize much, so we spent all our time together and always did something special for our anniversary, even if it was just a nice ride in the car along the coast or something.
The empty feeling and loss of my identity that I have is indescribable, but I'm sure some of you already know that feeling. Can anyone offer any words of wisdom on how to cope with what used to be such a happy day--celebrating our anniversary? Next year would have been the big 25 years, and I can't believe it was all cut so short. My life was perfect in its own way, and now even my house doesn't feel like a home any more without him to fill it. We planned to grow old together, and now here I am 51 and I miss my husband so much each day I can't even stand it. I just want to scream and make it all go away, and I feel like as time has evolved I've found it harder to cope and I'm so angry.
I don't know what to do. I've been seeing a therapist when I can but it doesn't make me feel any better. I can't even stop crying to see what I'm typing. Oh, I need help. I have that "which way do I run" feeling.
God I wish I knew what to tell you. I wish I could actually say something to make it better. I lost my husband seven months ago. I still want to run. I still don't know who I am anymore. I am still very angry.
I still cry everyday, but not all day long, at least.
Ben and I would have been celebrating our 24th anniversary in April and I don't know if I can face it. We always went away together, even if it was only for the weekend. We were planning a large family event for our 25th. Now he is gone. It was so sudden.. so shocking. I think I may still be in shock.
Sometimes I have that feeling, too. The idea that maybe if I run far enough and fast enough I can outrun the fear, worry, hurt and anger. But I can't. I just carry it with me. I just stand still and tell myself to 'just keep breathing'. It doesn't change how I feel, but it reminds me that time passes, whether I want it to or not, and time changes everything. I don't think it 'heals all wounds' like they say... it just changes them.
I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Just keep breathing, Terry. You will learn to cope, but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't happen soon. Take the time you need for yourself and if you can, let people help you when they offer. Don't just say 'thank you, but no, I don't need anything'. Tell them, 'Yes, I need someone to talk to. I need someone to take me to lunch. I need the gutters cleaned or the yard mowed.' Whatever you need, ask for it. It sounds like you have people that care about you. They want to help you, but you have to tell them what you need.
Take really good care of yourself.
Thanks Melissa for the encouragement. You were the same as us - #24 and looking forward to that special #25 next year. When I think about it I can't even believe it's real.
Oh, can you do that friend thing again? I was on my iphone when I read it and I tried to hit accept and the darn buttons are so small it thought I hit ignore and I can't figure out how to do that here on this site.
Monday will be a very hard day--its painful to think we'd be celebrating and now I'm crying and missing my husband. The biggest word in my vocabulary right now only has 3 letters --"why".
Such a healthy, happy, wonderful person. Hard to believe this could happen--I know I still can't believe it. I do appreciate the response and encouragement, and it sounds like you know exactly where I am. Thanks again.
Oh Terry, I don't even know what to say because I know exactly what you are feeling & can't give u much consolation, for you is harder right now because of your anniversary coming up, I will say a prayer for you and your family, I am sorry I am not much help right now but if u need to talk, you have my email, send me your telephone # or I will send u mine, one thing I can say is I feel your pain, your loss & mine were not expected, in your case, the horrible accident in my case he was suppose to live at least 2 yrs or so the doctors said & did not last even one month after the diagnosis & it wasn't even the stupid cancer that killed him but his heart, so sudden for both of us, for me I can't say that there has been any day without crying my eyes out, every one tells me to see a therapist but this feeling nobody can take away, I hear you loud & clear.
Dear Terry -- Holidays and special occasions can be very hard -- and anniversaries are probably the worst of all. I have only suffered one round of anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, so I really can't offer much advice. I lost my husband last April and am dreading the anniversary of that date next month. I was still in a terrible grief-stricken fog when our anniversary came up last June -- I can honestly say, I don't remember anything about the day. On my birthday, my daughters kept me busy and away from home. On his birthday, we planted a tree, in memory of him.
I think I have cried all year -- I still miss him terribly, but just recently it has seemed a little easier to bear. I think your loss is too new and your grief still too raw for you to believe that it really will get easier for you, too. I know it takes a long time and a lot of tears. And, it feels like the deepest, darkest pit of hell.
We all seem to start out with; WHY? Why me? Why him? Why did God do this to us? These questions really have no answers.
Then we move on to the WHAT? What will I do without him? What is it going to be like to go on alone? What do I have to live for now? What will happen to me, to the family? These are questions we each have to answer for ourselves, at some point. But, I do not think you are there, yet Terry.
If you live in a climate where it is possible, maybe you would like to plant a small garden for your husband, on your anniversary. Buying the plants, planning the placement, getting the soil ready -- it will keep you busy and your mind occupied. And, when you're finished you will have a special place where you can go, later, to meditate and feel close to him.
If you are creative, maybe you would enjoy putting together a scrapbook of photos of the two of you, together, having fun together. I did that and I thought it would make me sad, but it didn't. I helped me remember all our good times together -- and there was a healing in doing it.
You could mark the day by writing him a note telling him what is in your heart, put it in a balloon and let it go in some area that you and he enjoyed together, or someplace that has special meaning for you.
These are just some ideas I have learned from others here on the Legacy site, and none of them may be right for you -- but I hope they will help you think of some special way to mark the day. I would suggest that you NOT spend the day,alone. And, if you decide to go out, it is probably not a good idea to go to a restaurant or other place where you and he might have gone, together, on a previous anniversary.
My heart breaks for you, Terry.
Sending hugs and prayers.
Dear Terry .... I wish I could give you a big hug and take away your pain. A sudden death is very difficult and you are going through raw grief right now (many of us have.) My husband passed away April, 2011 and things do get a little better, but still, we love and miss them. We were similar to you and your husband being very close and doing things together and had a few close friends. We simply enjoyed each other's company. We didn't have children and he passed away just before our 40th wedding anniversary.
I find what helps the most is to buy a helium balloon and you and your kids print a message on it, take it to a favorite spot you and your husband liked and let it float up into the sky. I do that every single anniversary. This last August when I did it over the river he loved so much I watched it disappear into the sky and could imagine him smiling holding out both hands ready to catch it. I stood there until the balloon disappeared.
My first year I felt all the things you do ... anger, shock, fear, loneliness, my world crashing like waves on huge rocks and where did I fit in? I am still trying to reinvent myself and finding out where I belong in society. I know right now you will never believe that the deep sorrow you feel now won't be so intense as time moves on, but it does. For now cry when you want to, talk to your kids, stick to family and a few loyal friends and grief counseling is a way of healing (group counseling) so you don't feel so alone. No, it doesn't take that raw pain away, but you know that you are not alone and you certainly are not alone on this forum.
The members on this forum are angels in my eyes and when one of us is down there are many who will come to aid that person and offer comfort and they do know you feel. I don't think I could have made it without Legacy and the my extended family on here and I hope you continue to post and just vent out your anger, fears and anything else you want to discuss as we are here to help and no one judges another.
Big hugs (because you need it)
I have found that it is a good idea to have something planned for these momentous days. It is just not a good idea to leave them to chance. Barbara and Marsha offer some suggestions. For me it has just making sure that I am in the company of good friends or family, honoring my wife in someway (making and then sharing a cake that she really liked; lighting some of her favorite candles while we sit and talk) and sharing stories about my wife. That way she is still with us...maybe not physically but surely in our hearts.
You mentioned that you are seeing a therapist. Have you thought about a bereavement group? To other people on this forum this will sound like a broken record, but I have found that being able to talk and share feelings with others who have experienced a similar loss to be very helpful. There is something about knowing that what I am feeling is common to most of those who have lost a loved one and being able to learn from how they have coped that has helped me. Plus, being able to share such strong feelings gives me a sense connectedness that I miss so much since losing Molly.
After I made it through the first year, I felt a sense of relief. I was no longer replaying the "what was happening this time last year" movie in my head. I have slipped back somewhat since late December. This grief process is not linear. Lots of ups and downs as we heal from the loss.
Your comment "planned to grow old together" hits home with me. I let life and work sweep me away at times and now have strong regrets about delaying into the future those special vacations/travel. Part of my grief work is to remember that we loved each other dearly and that we found a way to share each others company in so many small ways...what we had was good and worked for us and I need to celebrate that for what it was, not regret what it was not.
Your loss is so recent. The pain of losing your husband is still so raw. Please make sure to take care of yourself. Eat well and get as much sleep as possible. As the leader of my bereavement group says very often "take care of mind, body and spirit".
Thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. I did have something planned but now it's supposed to snow (again!) and I'm hoping it doesn't. I've been looking in my area for a bereavement group and have some calls to make this week. It's comforting to read all of your kind words and the thoughts you share about your own losses. I think there's always regrets about what we didn't do with our lost loved one, and I don't think anything can change that. I'm really trying to stay focused on all that we did do, but I can't help but think about the future plans that are no more. It's hard. I love the helium balloon idea, and I hope I can do that (If this darned snow doesn't mess it up). I just can't help walking around shaking my head still in disbelief that this wonderful, gorgeous, healthy person isn't here any more and his life was taken away in a split second. Just really hard to absorb, even after 2 months. When you know it happened but it just shouldn't have and it shouldn't be this way, it's really hard to make any sense of anything.
Thank you all again for your wonderful thoughts.
Hi Terry, how are you doing, I know u say April is pretty busy month for you but I just wanted to check in on you.
Terry, I completely understand how you are feeling. I lost my husband suddenly last July while traveling abroad in a car accident. It's been 9 months and everyday I cry because I miss him so much and can't bear the thought of all that he will miss. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I'm sending you many hugs.
It's nice to hear from you. We must share such similar feelings due to the sudden tragedy. I'd love to talk to you more. I'm struggling every day and all I do is cry and ask why, what if, and how did our lives get to this? There were no goodbyes, no warnings, and no chances. My husband was 51. We were really starting to enjoy "our time" again since the kids have gotten older. He had lots of plans for his future and was a guy who never sat still. Every day I look at his picture and just cry...I can't believe I'm here without him and I'm really not sure how to go on. I'm trying everything, therapy, being with family and friends, etc. and it's just so excruciatingly painful I can't stand it. Just trying to figure out how to cope with the emptiness and somehow work and keep going on is so hard. I' m so sorry for you too. I guess I can say I know how you feel. My husband had so much to do and I too can't deal with thinking about everything he's going to miss. And I miss him so much every day I'm just not coping very well. I'll be thinking of you, please write back and share your thoughts. Terry