This forum seems to have gone fallow... is there a better online community grief support option than this?  It'd be nice to have a little interaction, not just echos into the ethers. 

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Andrew,Sorry to see you throwing in the towel on this group after only belonging to it for 2 1/2 weeks. I, too, am disappointed in the lack of any reactions and responses from anyone other than you. Will try to stick it out just a little longer. If you find any more effective group for grieving Gay widowers please let me know. I wish you the best in finding relief from your great loss.Steve

I switched over to the legacy site for bereaved spouses. The folks there are hurting just as bad, you will find a lot of compassion and help. I lost my partner of 27 years on November 30th, 2014. Once I signed on and asked for help, there are so many ready to assist. I reached out to them this week because my Mark wished to have himself donated to a teaching research center. UT Southwestern notified me this week that they were done and wanted me to decide what I wanted to do with his ashes. I freaked out, I thought it was going to take longer. Plus the options they offered were: have me or designate someone else to pick him up or they would mail them to me or my designated person, inter his ashes in the campus memorial gardens or they also offered burial at sea.
The group reached out to me in columns offering good sound advise and those that had their spouses cremated shared their own personal story of what each of them did.
So I decided that I would go and receive his ashes, because when I called them they gave me instructions on how to get there, whom to call when I arrive and where to park. They will bring him out and I do not have to leave the car.
With that decision made, I decided to take advantage of my hobby and create a special lamp for his ashes,, I also ordered cremation jewelry that fits into my plans. It is a very small cobalt blue pendant covered with e Celtic cross in pewter which I can wear as a necklace keeping a small portion of Mark always close to my heart.
The next morning I woke up sleepy instead of tired which has been with me since his passing. I relayed this to the group and was told that was my mind and body releasing all the tension. Woke up today excited about this coming Monday, that's when I go to receive his ashes. Have not decided that I will keep all of his ashes as he requested to be placed in the soil beneath a tree or flowering bush. So I will know when it is time for this because I know Mark will let me know.
Maybe sounds whacky but I live each day as comes and do not worry about tomorrow.
I honestly could not have made it this far without my online family cause we are there for each other and that is what counts.
Hope this helps each of you, hugs and know neither of you are alone.
Steve

Hi, Steve Squared -

Thank you both for your replies - I appreciate it. 

wow, I didn't know there was a site for bereaved spouses; I ended up here after my spouse of 12+ years passed away nearly 3 years ago.  It's tough to go through, it's lonely, it doesn't seem fair, it doesn't seem real.  You don't think it's going to ever get better, and you don't think you have the energy or will to change it.  Maybe I was different, but I think not.  Time is the healer. Time, and the desire to be healed.  Coming here is a first part - or any other site - it's important to be able to write down what you're going through, how you're feeling, to vent.  And know even if folks never respond, that they're in the same place.  I do have my life back now; it's good, but it's different.  It's like one chapter has finished, and another has started.  I can't have the past back, and perhaps I shouldn't want to.  I have a present and future that is once again bright.  And I didn't plan it this way.  In fact, I did throw myself back into online dating perhaps too soon - or perhaps not, we're very rusty and broken after this and trust me, it takes a while to re-learn how to court and how to love.  But if you want to, you can and will.  And your life will go on, the pain will slowly lift, the numbness will wear off, and your new life will demand your focus.  Since it looks like a year since you first posted, I hope those 12 months have seen your sorrow lessen, your life begin to take shape again, and your outlook become brighter.   It's not a joke, it does get better.

Hi, Richard -

I haven't logged onto this site since last October 2016 but for some reason decided to today and I re-found / re-read your note from last July to me.  Aside from dating I do have my life back.  It's still tough and I do still get down in the dumps but it's all as you wrote!  I just wanted to say Thank You for your insights and very kind words of support. 

As for dating... I'm in no rush to meet anyone - I'm almost enjoying being single, just me and my dogs and house projects to keep me warm and that seems to be plenty.  Maybe someday?  If I do see someone again it'll likely start as accidental. 

I have developed a long-distance pen pal friendship with Darryl Knight who had first replied to your Legacy site response to mine, he lives in Brisbane and yours truly in Seattle.  We email each other daily; I know it has helped me immensely to connect with someone as we have, suspect by some moments of levity in his correspondence it's helping him through this as well.  Thanks again for being you. 

I hope you're well and finding happiness, too!

Andrew

Hi, Andrew - I was surprised to see a Legacy post pop-up; I too haven't spent much (well, OK - any) time on this site.  It served its purpose - it gives folks like us somewhere to vent, angst, grieve aloud, and try to make sense of it all.  Time - and our ability to accept what we cannot change - is the greatest healer.  Ahh...the online dating bit (and I did throw myself back in waaaay too early, but that too helped me heal - not to mention some hilarious stories as my life evolved!) - but it did allow me to figure out, well, who IS me.  When you're in a relationship, you naturally lose - well, actually surrender - a part of yourself.  Hard to find it again.  But necessary.

Oh, and I have been dating a really nice guy for about 18 months now.  He's become a best friend, we're partners in a real sense - but it's different for me, in both good and bad ways (like I enjoy him being part of my life, but he's very different from my spouse, and I can't see myself married again) - who knows.  And our meeting was somewhat casual - we just clicked.

And as to the past life - I find it hugely important to live in the present.  First, because the world moves very quickly, and I watched my mother "give up" on the modern world and that just results in frustration.  And second, because our lives will continue to evolve, and we need to deal with the present.  The past is past; it won't change, and it grows blurrier with each month that passes.

Curious twist of fate - the three cats my spouse and I had raised all left me last year (at different times, for different reasons, and they were widely spaced in age) - I wound up saving two NYC rescues (due for euthanasia - they're great cats) and made a great new friend, this crazy old cat-lady who lives in Manhattan.  And a third cat adopted me - just showed up with Michael and I were putting up storm windows (a skinny, hungry kitten) who howled until I fed him and never left.  So the real last living vestiges of my old married life are gone - with a new member who really is part of my current life.  It was sad, seeing that transpire as I caught the deeper meaning - yet these new critters all have their own needs and their own desires and, again, pull us into the present.

It was nice to hear from you - glad you've developed a pen-pal relationship, they are always great.  Again, allows you to be you.  I find I rarely - if ever- get depressed about my past, and when it does impinge on my day, it's often more the passage of life, my folks, my spouse, old pets, etc. - almost a montage, versus the pain-point it was three and a half years ago.   Take care - let me know how your summer goes (then again it's snowing to beat the BAND today but I'm still thinking spring and summer)!

Rich

There are more active support groups on Facebook, here's one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LGBTgriefsupport/

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