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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Hi Liz ...


As you know my husband Ernie passed away April, 2011 of pancreatic cancer.  We were married almost 39 years.  I understand that you feel because you were married 4.5 years that some people don't think it counts, but it is not true.  Your family and friends just worry about you and are hoping one day you will meet someone else (they are not expecting this other person that could be in your life in the future taking the place of your Shawn) but you are alive and you need to get on with your life for yourself and for your children.

I will NEVER forget my husband and often when someone mentions something it can trigger a memory regarding my husband and casually I say so and so far I haven't got any flack back from family or friends.  Of course it is normal to pull on the loving memories you had with your husband Shawn because it was a large part of your life and also you have the bond of your children with him.  When we are grieving we can often be touchy or not think straight and perhaps guess at what other people are thinking.  What you are feeling now is normal! I was shocked to realize from my grief counselor that 'finding me' was not an easy task as I had looked after ailing parents on both sides of the family; had my life with my husband, family and friends and then looking after my Ernie for 5 years when he was so ill and forgot all about me.  I just turned 70 in January and I have no idea what lays ahead in the short future I have and I sure don't know who 'me' is.


You are busy raising your children and everywhere and everything you think is around Shawn and that is normal.  In your own good time you will be able to go out and meet new people and very possibly have another relationship with a good man and no, he won't be as close to you as your Shawn and no, it is not cheating or forgetting Shawn, but you will have a good life for you and your children.  Ask yourself what Shawn would tell you to do if he could be there with you right this minute.  I doubt he would want you to stop living life with no future ahead of you with someone else.  Choose a couple of good friends you feel comfortable talking too about Shawn and of course we are all here for you too.


I know I will never remarry and I'm not ready to think of dating another man (if the opportunity ever came up) but I am hoping I will meet someone I can have a good relationship with and enjoy life again as I'm alive and life is too short as all of us have found out here.


Hugs (because you need it)


Hi Patricia ...


I couldn't help but reply to what you wrote re not being able to talk to neighbors.  Oddly enough I feel the same.  I am blessed to have 4 good girlfriends who stick close to me and also my brother, his wife and my 2 nephews, but other than that I can't bring myself to meet new people or talk too often to my neighbors even though two male neighbors have been so kind to me by cutting my lawn; taking out garbage bins, etc.  Sometimes I don't open my blinds during the day (depending on my mood) so I can have privacy and not have to deal with reality for awhile as grieving seems to take so much energy out of all of us.  I am taking baby steps right now.  I am sure you will gradually be able to talk to the neighbors and to friends.


Hang in there


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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