I lost my boyfriend of 8 years on october 31 (halloween) of this year from complications related to type 1 diabetes. Since it seemed his disease was under control, his death was a total shock to everyone. I understand how you feel as "just the girlfriend". I know that my pain is real and i do not question the level of my feelings for him or his for me, but I do feel like everyone expects me to get over it and move on like i lost my puppy and can just go to the pound to get another one. Its interesting how labels play a role in what others think you should feel or do. Since this happend less than two months ago, my emotions are still all over the place, so I am sorry if there is bitterness in my message. I just wanted to say i know how you feel. Remember you were not just a girlfriend to him and he was not just a boyfriend to you. Does not matter what everyone else thinks.