Not sure what to say here since I'm new to this.  My husband of 41 years died May 14 suddenly of a brain aneurysm.  He had never been sick a day in his life, excercised alot, was strong as a horse and ate healthier than anyone I know.  I came home from work and found him with slurred speech and he couldn't get up.  About 12 hours later he slipped into a coma.  52 hours after it first happened, he was gone.  I was totally unprepared for anything like this, as I imagine most people are.  I still can't believe he won't be here everyday when I come home.  I am a total wreck.  I have this feeling that an elephant is sitting on my chest.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  I had to leave work the other day in tears.  Luckily I have a very sympathetic boss.  I know the grieving that I have to go through.  I had to endure the loss of my dad when I was age 16 and my mom at age 19.  But even so, this is so different.  I don't know how to do "alone".  I have 2 grown and very supportive sons and a wonderful friend.  But even when I'm with people I feel alone.  I made an appointment today with a counselor to try and get through this.  Does anyone have any advice?

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I went to the counselor today.  She told me to go ahead and grieve but most of the time was spent telling me I would have to eventually carve out a life for myself.  She didn't tell me anything I don't know or have read.  I'm not ready to get out and get involved with activities (other than my family).  It will only be a month tomorrow!  I know I can't just sit here and dwell on the fact that I am alone and have lost my husband.  I do go to work every day, I am with my children and grandchildren so I won't become a hermit but right now I need time.  Why must I give myself an hour every day and grieve but get on with life?  You dnn't get over 41 years of your life in a month!! I don't want to join in activities and find other interests right now. Maybe someday but not now!  I'll go back next week but honestly I didn't feel any better after. My work offers 5 free visits so I guess I'll get my 5 visits in.  I did tell her about this site and she encouraged me to keep coming here and I will.  I think this will do more good than seeing her.  Thanks to all for being here.

Jo,  I also went to a counselor after Neal had been gone 1 1/2 months.  I think I went to her 3 or 4 times.  On my first visit I was almost hysterical and she told me to go through and get rid of Neal clothes.  She also told me to throw his toothbrush away because "you know he is never coming back".  I could barely breathe when I left her office that first time.  On the other visits it seem to me she just focused on my going through Neal's things.  I could not take anymore so I quit going.  It was after I left that I found this site and this site has done me more good than she could ever begin.

Neal and I were married 40 years 8 months and you are right, you just can't move on.  Neal has been gone 8 months and I still sit alot with the TV just going for noise.  I have not joined in any activities except for church.  I used to read alot, but can't concentrate enough to read now.

You take you time and go at your own pace, this is not an easy train ride we are all on.  HUGS

Thanks Linda, I told her Dave died from a brain aneurysm and she told me her sister  "dropped dead" from the same thing. Really made me feel good....Not!  Yes, I too have the tv on for the noise and can't concentrate on reading.  I went to the library and have read about 10 pages and don't know what they said.  Thanks to everyone here I will go at my own pace and not let anyone tell me how to feel.  (So far she is the only one)  I know my kids are trying to distract me and I understand that...they are grieving too but are also trying to help me.  I'm trying for their sake to keep it together when I'm around them but that doesn't always work.  Anyway, I'll keep coming here for comfort.  Thanks!
Wow, after hearing this I must say I'm glad I didn't put myself through that. This place, everyone here a long distance friend & some members from my church have been my counselors. These people have experienced the loss of loved ones & do not suggest textbook theories that disrespect the magnitude of my marital relationship. I cannot imagine having to stifle my tears for anyone's sake at work or elsewhere. Thank God I work independantly for the majority of each day & the few times people have walked in on me sobbing, I have been either able to dismiss myself to compose in the restroom or they have been understanding & patient towards me. I can honestly say I have cried at least once everyday for the past 9 months with very few exceptions. An old friend recently connected through Facebook & she reminded me that after highschool she lost a baby to SIDS. She didn't allow herself to mourn because she was to busy caring for a toddler & going through a divorce. She said years later, while facing a second divorce she nearly had a mental/emotional breakdown and to her surprise it was largely due to suppressed grief from losing her baby! She went to therapy & eventually composed herself. She said I was doing the right thing by crying & grieving now. I believe she is right. I don't know how long I will continue like this but as you said Jo, we can't just "get over it."  By the way, the elephant on your chest- I had that too & that is where the term "a heavy heart" comes from. Thankfully that has subsided. Little by little I can see I am managing better. You cannot rush this though, it takes time.

Dear Jo.  I have just read your comments around your counsellor visit.   I was married to Jack for 39 years and we met when he was 14 and I was 17!  So how do you move ahead when you have lost half of your essence, your being?  Very slowly, that is how.   The role of a counsellor is to listen to you and offer advice only if and when you ask for it.   If you sat there for an hour and cried that should be okay, it sure was with my counsellor.  She just gently said "Carol, I am so sorry you have to go through this".  Sometimes that is all you need to hear.  You take the time you need Jo, and I agree that this site is wonderful and allows us to express all of our greatest fears and emotions, and that is perfectly fine. 

 

When the time is right you will know because your heart will tell you.

 

Hugs,

Carol

OMG, it's been a month today.  I'm so tired...I just want to go to sleep and wake up and this nightmare will be over.  But I know when I wake up tomorrow, my heart will still be broken and the emptyness will be there and the tears will flow.  I don't know how to be without him.  We were together my entire adult life and in an instant he is gone. I know that it will take alot of time to heal but I don't know how I'll get to that point.

I am very sorry Jo.  This is the most difficult journey you can take.  Even more so when you don't expect it.  You must take your time, it is so important.   Surround yourself with compassionate people also.  Do what is good for you and love your children and grandchildren.  It took me a while to realize that my daughters were suffering so from losing their dad but I was so wrapped up in my grief I wasn't aware.  It is 9 months now since losing my sweetheart and we have just this last while been really able to talk about him.  It takes that long.  One of my ways of coping is to realize that our loved ones are not that far away.  When I say that I mean they are still loving and protecting us Jo, you just need to feel it and it will comfort you.  God will give you the strength you need to get up in the morning.  If it helps talking to your loved one, go ahead, I sure do!  Each of us has our own ways of coping.  My doctor said one thing to me and it was "the tears will stop when they are ready to" and in the meantime let them come.  Small steps.

 

God Bless,

Carol

Hi Jo, the first few months are the hardest for sure. I cant say it really gets any easier,even after almost a year and a half I still think about my wife more now then when she was alive,sorry to say. I am sort of lucky that I have grown children and small grandchildren that keep me busy,but when they leave here,or I come home,thats when it hits me that she is gone. I feel I was lucky to find this site, reading the posts at least lets me know that my feelings are similar to those in the same situation. The topics and replies have been very helpful. My only advice is to try and and remember the happy times and not dwell on his stroke. I know its hard,since I find my self at times thinking of my wifes final months and even reading and re reading her medical reports. I think in time I should discard these .  When we got married she was 19, we made it to 35 years and next week will have been the 40th anniverary of or first date,I plan on visting the cemetery,bringing a dozen roses and say some prayers.God bless you,stay srong and take care of yourself.

Jo, My heart breaks for you. Each of us here have our own stories but only you lost your Dave. No one can understand the extent of anothers loss. But we do understand loss. No one wants to ever face this part of life. We think it happens to other people not us. Sad to say we don't get choices.  My inner being shudders at starting over at where you are. I am so sorry! You have every right to cry, to remember, to talk to Dave. I pray that God will give you comfort. It is a rough road but everyone here has given good advice. Keep breathing, eat, sleep when you can and don't let anyone tell you to do anything that you aren't ready for. Finding tasks to do does help as time goes by.

Talking to people about Dave and being able to cry is a good thing. It's not a matter of being strong right now just strong enough to keep going, make it through each day. There are no rules on how to grieve or how long. Hang on, you are not alone. Hugs Kathleen

Jo, a lot of people on this site feel it necessary to tell you their story as they try to respond to yours, sometime that is helpful and sometimes it is not.  I won't do that, because what is important to you now, is how you are feeling, and you are just going to have to trust that I know what I am talking about.

You are going to feel very very confused.  You will have trouble focusing on even the simplest things.  You will be very forgetful about things you used to remember easily.  You will lonely, you will feel angry.  You will feel as if someone has ripped you heart out of your chest.  You will feel overwhelmed and very lost.  You will feel as if virtually no one understands what you are going though.  You will have friends and family that will support you.  You will have friends and family who desert you and disappoint you.  You will feel lost and as if you are in a never ending fog.

 

It really sucks, but it is very normal, and the only thing that is going to make it better is the passage of time.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't  seek the advice or company of friends or family, because having a support group is very important, but when those visits or sessions are over, you are the one going home to the empty house and waking up to it the next day.  It does get better with time, but you have to give time, time.  And in between, sometimes you just try to make it through that hour or that day until the next one comes along.  Find joy, love and support wherever you can and don't be afraid to ask for help.  Good luck,

Steve

 Steve,that was some of the best advice I have seen. It got right to the heart of the matter.  I am sure it will help any of of here that read it Thanks , Jerry.

Steve, what wonderful advise.  You summed up everything as to how most of us feel or have been through.  I will reread your post to confirm to myself that everything I am feeling is normal.

Thanks Steve,  Linda

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