I live in El Paso and there really is no support group for lesbians and gay men who are older and who have lost their partners. I post on here once. I know it is very difficult for everyone who has posted here. The loss is so overwhelming. For Jackie and me, we lost everyone of our friends when the going got tough. I am so proud of Jackie. She was a very sweet woman, a beautiful, gentle soul, who always smiled. Now, after 2 years and almost 4 months, I am still here trying to pick up the pieces. I am still going through her things, wondering what I should keep, what to give away, how best I can honor her. I dread the holidays. I do not mind being alone so much, but I am so overwhelmingly lonely with her. She was my life and I have such ups and downs.
It is not easy to rebuild. The few "friends" I have made have told me to go on, live my life, date, as if that 30 years with Jackie meant nothing. They did not know us. We were two people who made each other whole, who made each other laugh.
I do not want to prattle on. However, I know that each of you have experienced this and we live on. But it is not easy. My question is how do you handle the grief and the being so lonely.
Thank you Joy. I am so sorry for your loss. I am already dreading Valentine's Day and have such a hard time with reminders of love all around me. I know exactly what you mean about "not minding being alone, but overwhelmingly lonely without her." I find myself crying in the shower, in the car, ect. You two sound like you had a wonderful relationship. Jules was also my world. I talk to her so much. Before she died, I asked her "what will I do without you?" She responded that she would always be with me...When I asked her "who would I talk to when I needed help?" Again, she responded, you will talk to me....I could" talk" about her forever, but I am just so glad to have a place to turn to with others who are going through what I am. Thanks for responding to my initial post. I am with you in spirit.
Joy, I am sorry to hear about your loss. I completely agree with you and everyone I read on this board....it is simply not a snap of the fingers to put everything right again. I have learned since my Donald died a few months ago that nobody can understand how we are feeling until this happens to them. And I am sick and tired of hearing people say "you need professional help", even from my own sister, who tells me that in an email.
I often refer to my emotional up's and down's as my own Jekyll & Hyde complex (my counsellor really likes the name). This is totally part of the grief experience. One of jobs I have is delivering pizza; it is not uncommon for a song to come on the radio while I'm driving to a delivery, that turns me into a sobbing mess. This is totally natural.
Each of us who are on this board are experiencing grief. However, each of our paths is different and unique to only us. No one can tell you how to grieve or what to feel. You do what feels right for you. If talking to Jackie feels right, go for it. I often talk to Barry. And be totally honest with your feelings! If someone makes you feel uncomfortable with statements they make (get out and date, etc.), tell them! I never knew how much I kept locked up inside until Barry died. After his death, it was like a switch had been hit and suddenly that little filter had been shut off. It's actually quite empowering to be that truthful.
After Barry died, I too lost a great majority of our friends. I think most of this is due to the fact that they just don't know what to say, so rather than have to come up with something or think about it at all, they just don't say anything. I actually feel bad for them, because they are obviously unable to vocalize their own grief at his passing. When our first anniversary apart came up, I didn't want to spend the day in, what I felt, was "negative" grief. I wanted to celebrate as we always had. So I called up a bunch of "new" friends, and we all went to the restaurant Barry and I always went to on our anniversary, and had a wonderful time. I had saved a place at the table for Barry. The waiter kept trying to remove the setting. After the 3rd attempt, I told him I would stab him with my fork if he touched it again. LOL We shared stories, had amazing food, told jokes and not a tear was shed. For me, that was the most wonderful way to recognize our 10th anniversary; if I couldn't share it with Barry in the flesh.
Your time with Jackie is yours and yours alone. No one can take that from you! Revel in the memories, dance to the music you shared and above all, take the love that you have for her and share it with the world!
I read your post and it struck a very strong cord with me. I, too, lost my beloved of 35 years to cancer just shy of 3 years ago. I feel stuck in grief mode and cannot seem to get on with my life. I keep asking myself, what life do I have without her? She was my other half, too, and I feel incomplete without her. I find myself forgetting things when traveling because she would have normally had those forgotten things. When my beloved BJ died, her large family disinherited me. I have not spoken to any of them in over 2 years now--not even her daughter that we raised together, nor her son who had been adopted by her sister and brother-in-law, but we tried to have with us as much as possible. Then there are the 6 nieces and nephews--BJ's sister's kids--and their families, all of whom I watched from very young until Bj died. So, I suffered a double loss. In addition to this, the sister closest in age to me died just 3 months before BJ did. She was diagnosed with cancer in September and was gone in December, 2008. 3 huge losses. Then, this last fall, my house--our home of 25 years--was auctioned off after being foreclosed on. I now live between staying at another sister's house and my father's house, but have no home of my own (which is a first in my adult life). I feel so alone and lonely most of the time. What friends I had are mostly gone because I was involved in taking care of my ailing mother at my home where she died in 2005. BJ became sick in late 2006, so my caregiving extended to her. She also died in our home--which made it even more difficult to leave because I feel like I left them both. So, yes, Joy, I know where you're at and pray life will be gentle for you. Every day when I wake up, I wonder why I do. Most of my dreams are of my BJ and I frolicking around doing whatever it is my mind comes up with! The one (er, three) thing (s) that keep me going at all are our 3 dogs--a schnauzer, a shitzu, and a chihuahua. Without these three, I know I would not be here today. I miss her so much each and every day.