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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Wow, will this day ever be over??  Here it is July 4 and all I want to do is scream.  It's not that Dave & I ever did anything super special on this day, but it is a holiday and I just want it over.  I went to the store today to get a flag to put on his grave.  I try to keep one on there as he is in a national cemetery and the flag meant so much to him.  The one I had on there was gone...maybe it got faded or something.  I went into the store and all the July 4 stuff was gone and replaced by Christmas stuff!!  How shallow and materialistic are we any more?? I did have a very small one at home that I put on there.  I don't feel like I'm getting any better....I know it's still so early but I don't know how to get through the days.  I thank each of you for your comments and experiences.  It really means alot to me.

 

As far as the vacation, I have to go for my kids and the 5 grandkids.  I want them to look back on this and remember it some day when I'm gone. A couple of them are so young that they will not remember their Pa very much so I want them to have some good memories.  But I know I am going to be spending lots of time alone walking the beach and crying so they don't see.

 

Virginia, I'm glad you have found someone with whom you can share your life again.  That is very special and I know your spouse would want this for you.

I am new to this but not to the empty sick feeling that is part of my every day life. My husband of 37 years died 10 months ago at 56 years old while we were working at our business. I tried to save him but failed. I close my eyes at night and all I can see is his face and me trying to CPR. We had so much planned for our lives now that our children were grown. We had booked a cruise hours before he died. I keep busy working and trying to run his business which keeps me from falling apart. I try and look "happy" in front of my kids and my grandbabies but everyday seems to get harder. I have worked at the same University for 12 years and my boss told me it is time that I get over his death and focus on my job. Is there a formula or a time span that I will get over it. I don't think so. Thanks for listening

 

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I also try and "look" happy in front of others but it will only be 2 months for me next week.  No one but you knows the depth of your loss and no one else should say get over it.  I cry every day.  My Dave died of a brain aneurysm suddenly and I re-live that day every day. I don't understand how people think after a few weeks or months, you can just "get on with your life".  Your life has also been taken from you.  You don't know how to be just half of what was. Your loved one will always be a part of you no matter how long you live.  I am learning that there is no formula for grief.  It is a long, slow and painful experience. Sometimes I wonder if that heavy feeling in my chest will ever subside even a little.  I know that this site is very helpful because you can express your feelings without having people wonder why you can't get over it.  They have been there and understand without judgement. 

 My youngest grandaughter, who will be 4 next month, had her toy camera out yesterday and told me she took a picture of Pa today.  When I asked her about it she said she took a picture of the sky because that's where he is now.  As much as I wanted to cry, I thought that was so sweet and how a child can come up with that understanding.  Take all the time you need and don't let anyone tell you how you should feel.  So far that has not happened to me, but i pity the person who tries.  Please take care.

Jo Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Sometimes I feel so guilty for being here and seeing the grandchildren and thinking about traveling or planning a fun event. I go home and turn to tell him something that went on at work or something funny one of the grandkids said and almost forget he isn't there. Our grandchildren are 8,5,3,1 and 4 months and it makes me so sad that the littlest ones will never know him. He so loved every moment he spent with them. At the funeral the minister told a story about a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and turning into a butterfly and how that was like a person going to heaven. Every butterfly the kids see they are sure it is Poppy or one of his friends. They bought me a butterfly necklace for Christmas which helps keep him close to my heart.

 

How long were you married?



Jo Bartoszek said:

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I also try and "look" happy in front of others but it will only be 2 months for me next week.  No one but you knows the depth of your loss and no one else should say get over it.  I cry every day.  My Dave died of a brain aneurysm suddenly and I re-live that day every day. I don't understand how people think after a few weeks or months, you can just "get on with your life".  Your life has also been taken from you.  You don't know how to be just half of what was. Your loved one will always be a part of you no matter how long you live.  I am learning that there is no formula for grief.  It is a long, slow and painful experience. Sometimes I wonder if that heavy feeling in my chest will ever subside even a little.  I know that this site is very helpful because you can express your feelings without having people wonder why you can't get over it.  They have been there and understand without judgement. 

 My youngest grandaughter, who will be 4 next month, had her toy camera out yesterday and told me she took a picture of Pa today.  When I asked her about it she said she took a picture of the sky because that's where he is now.  As much as I wanted to cry, I thought that was so sweet and how a child can come up with that understanding.  Take all the time you need and don't let anyone tell you how you should feel.  So far that has not happened to me, but i pity the person who tries.  Please take care.

Deborah, I was married for 41 years.  That is such a great idea of the butterfly.  I know, it breaks my heart that some of the grandkids won't remember him.  Mine are 12, 10, 9, 7 and almost 4.  But I will do everything in my power to keep him in their memory.  The younger ones I will just have to remind them of the stories of things he did with them and keep his picture for them to see. Every day is a struggle just to get out of bed and go about this business of life.  The last few days have been real hard...don't know why some days are worse than others.

Deborah Martin said:

Jo Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Sometimes I feel so guilty for being here and seeing the grandchildren and thinking about traveling or planning a fun event. I go home and turn to tell him something that went on at work or something funny one of the grandkids said and almost forget he isn't there. Our grandchildren are 8,5,3,1 and 4 months and it makes me so sad that the littlest ones will never know him. He so loved every moment he spent with them. At the funeral the minister told a story about a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and turning into a butterfly and how that was like a person going to heaven. Every butterfly the kids see they are sure it is Poppy or one of his friends. They bought me a butterfly necklace for Christmas which helps keep him close to my heart.

 

How long were you married?



Jo Bartoszek said:

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I also try and "look" happy in front of others but it will only be 2 months for me next week.  No one but you knows the depth of your loss and no one else should say get over it.  I cry every day.  My Dave died of a brain aneurysm suddenly and I re-live that day every day. I don't understand how people think after a few weeks or months, you can just "get on with your life".  Your life has also been taken from you.  You don't know how to be just half of what was. Your loved one will always be a part of you no matter how long you live.  I am learning that there is no formula for grief.  It is a long, slow and painful experience. Sometimes I wonder if that heavy feeling in my chest will ever subside even a little.  I know that this site is very helpful because you can express your feelings without having people wonder why you can't get over it.  They have been there and understand without judgement. 

 My youngest grandaughter, who will be 4 next month, had her toy camera out yesterday and told me she took a picture of Pa today.  When I asked her about it she said she took a picture of the sky because that's where he is now.  As much as I wanted to cry, I thought that was so sweet and how a child can come up with that understanding.  Take all the time you need and don't let anyone tell you how you should feel.  So far that has not happened to me, but i pity the person who tries.  Please take care.

My Doug has been gone for 10 months. I don't even remember the first three or four months. I work full time and he had two businesses he ran and I helped out at night and the weekends with that. So besides being alone I was left with this overwhelming responsibility. Two of my three kids depend on their income from the business so although I would like to just bury my head I have to keep pushing myself to get through. One of my grandchildren had always lived with us (he is 9) until about a week before Doug died so for him it is like his surrogate Daddy died. They were extremely close. My daughter gets angry because she feels like the kids lost me to because I am so busy trying to keep all the balls in the air. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and something terrible to happen. I guess it is all normal worries when you have been through such a traumatic experience but sometimes I feel so inadequate.

Jo Bartoszek said:
Deborah, I was married for 41 years.  That is such a great idea of the butterfly.  I know, it breaks my heart that some of the grandkids won't remember him.  Mine are 12, 10, 9, 7 and almost 4.  But I will do everything in my power to keep him in their memory.  The younger ones I will just have to remind them of the stories of things he did with them and keep his picture for them to see. Every day is a struggle just to get out of bed and go about this business of life.  The last few days have been real hard...don't know why some days are worse than others.

Deborah Martin said:

Jo Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Sometimes I feel so guilty for being here and seeing the grandchildren and thinking about traveling or planning a fun event. I go home and turn to tell him something that went on at work or something funny one of the grandkids said and almost forget he isn't there. Our grandchildren are 8,5,3,1 and 4 months and it makes me so sad that the littlest ones will never know him. He so loved every moment he spent with them. At the funeral the minister told a story about a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and turning into a butterfly and how that was like a person going to heaven. Every butterfly the kids see they are sure it is Poppy or one of his friends. They bought me a butterfly necklace for Christmas which helps keep him close to my heart.

 

How long were you married?



Jo Bartoszek said:

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I also try and "look" happy in front of others but it will only be 2 months for me next week.  No one but you knows the depth of your loss and no one else should say get over it.  I cry every day.  My Dave died of a brain aneurysm suddenly and I re-live that day every day. I don't understand how people think after a few weeks or months, you can just "get on with your life".  Your life has also been taken from you.  You don't know how to be just half of what was. Your loved one will always be a part of you no matter how long you live.  I am learning that there is no formula for grief.  It is a long, slow and painful experience. Sometimes I wonder if that heavy feeling in my chest will ever subside even a little.  I know that this site is very helpful because you can express your feelings without having people wonder why you can't get over it.  They have been there and understand without judgement. 

 My youngest grandaughter, who will be 4 next month, had her toy camera out yesterday and told me she took a picture of Pa today.  When I asked her about it she said she took a picture of the sky because that's where he is now.  As much as I wanted to cry, I thought that was so sweet and how a child can come up with that understanding.  Take all the time you need and don't let anyone tell you how you should feel.  So far that has not happened to me, but i pity the person who tries.  Please take care.

I too am so glad to have found this place.  So sorry for all of you with your losses, but am going thru it myself.  Been 8  months for me.  At 6 months I thought I was  doing well, now, at 8 m onths, all of a sudden I miss my Donnie SO badly - again.  This is the first summer I have spent without him in 39 years.  We were teenagers together, then married 36 years.  This hollow spot in my heart just won't fill in, and I wonder if it ever will.  I manage to get thru work, but my heart simply aches for him the rest of the time.  He was my best friend, and I miss him. I miss "US".

 

How true about the "us" after 39 years is so hard to live without. I too did better around the six month mark but then the 4th of July came around the last holiday we had together and I have been in a funk all week. It will be one year on Labor Day weekend and then all the firsts will be over.

 

Deborah,  Neal and I also have 2 businesses and both of my sons depend on them for their income. When Neal first passed away, almost 9 months ago, I wanted nothing to do with the business.  All I could think about was all the time Neal and I spent trying to keep the business going the last 2 years because of the bad economy when we should have been traveling and having a good time doing things we wanted to do. We have a grading and paving business and that kind of work just bottomed out if you did not have your own asphalt plant.  Both of my sons, thank goodness, kept the companies going until I could at least get up and get dressed to go back to the office. (in my home).

 

It is hard to keep up the front of everyday life when half of you is gone.  My sons keep a close check on me so I try my hardest to pretend I am ok.  But the truth is I will never be ok, nor will I ever be the same person I was.

 

Neal and I were married 40 years 8 months and were together almost 24/7 because of the business.  And now it is just me in the house.  I find myself even after almost 9 months turning around to tell Neal something or wondering when he is going to come into the house so I can tell him something, then it hits me, he is not here.  I guess it is just one day at a time and try to get through each day.

Linda, I just saw where you and Neal only knew each other 2 1/2 months before you got married....the same with Dave & me.  We met in Oct and married in  January. We were married 41 years and 4 months.  It's funny when you tell people that because they can't believe you know after that short time that you were meant for each other.  Of course, like everyone we had our ups and downs but after all is said and done, we did good.  We had 2 great sons and 5 grandkids.  Next Thursday he will have been gone only 2 months.  I still start to pick up the phone to call and tell him something, then remember.  I cry every day and that hole in my heart is not getting any smaller and I don't think it ever will.  How do you ever get over a "lifetime" with someone who is no longer here?

Linda thanks so much for sharing your story. Our business Swimming Pool Construction, and a retail store has also struggled through tough times. We met in 10th grade geometry and married at 19. Everyone called us crazy but overtime we grew up together had a family, opened a business and moved to the country. Although times were often tough especially in a seasonal business we loved every minute that we worked and played together. I am fortunate that Doug didn't suffer however the way he died talking in front of our store one minute, turning to call a customer and dying while on the phone was so very hard on all of our kids and grandkids. He died just a month before your Neal passed away and maybe we are both looking for the pain to go away to soon looking ahead though I can't see where it will ever get better just different. I guess if we can learn to cope with the "different" side of life that is all that we can hope for. I too have 5 biological grandchildren 8,5,3,1 and 5 months plus a bonus of 2 step grandsons that are 13 and 14. They have helped with the overwhelming duty of the pool store, the lawn etc.



Linda Gordon said:

Deborah,  Neal and I also have 2 businesses and both of my sons depend on them for their income. When Neal first passed away, almost 9 months ago, I wanted nothing to do with the business.  All I could think about was all the time Neal and I spent trying to keep the business going the last 2 years because of the bad economy when we should have been traveling and having a good time doing things we wanted to do. We have a grading and paving business and that kind of work just bottomed out if you did not have your own asphalt plant.  Both of my sons, thank goodness, kept the companies going until I could at least get up and get dressed to go back to the office. (in my home).

 

It is hard to keep up the front of everyday life when half of you is gone.  My sons keep a close check on me so I try my hardest to pretend I am ok.  But the truth is I will never be ok, nor will I ever be the same person I was.

 

Neal and I were married 40 years 8 months and were together almost 24/7 because of the business.  And now it is just me in the house.  I find myself even after almost 9 months turning around to tell Neal something or wondering when he is going to come into the house so I can tell him something, then it hits me, he is not here.  I guess it is just one day at a time and try to get through each day.

Jo, Neal and I met the end of November, got engaged the end of December and married February 20th. Neal was 19 years old and I was 17 years old. People thought we would never make it and tried to talk me and Neal out of marring so soon. But we knew we were meant for each other and did not listen to any of those people. Like you and Dave we had our ups and downs, but the ups out weighed the downs. We had 2 wonderful sons, ages 30 and 40 and we have 3 grandsons, ages 15, 9 and 3years old.

Deborah and Jo, There is no getting over this grief, not when your lives together ended before you could do the things you wanted to do and grow old together. I have ok days and bad days. Most of them are bad. Lately I have been reliving Neal's last week. I keep thinking about what the cancer did to him. I try not to think about those things, but they keep coming up. I have things to do to keep me busy, but I just don't have the energy or the want to to do them. So I just wander around the house and think. Deborah you are lucky in a way that your Doug did not suffer. I know Neal suffered, but for me I would not give up the last 5 months we had. From the time he was diagnosed he lived 5 months. I know that Neal would have rather gone like your Doug if he had a choice. He did not like all the things he was not able to do anymore.
Thank you both for answering me. This site is the only place I can write and rewrite the same things and people don't get irritated at hearing the same thing over and over.

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