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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OK, I've managed to upset both my sons today. I am feeling overwhelmed today.  We're supposed to leave for vacation on Monday and I totally lost it today. We were trying to coordinate things and I couldn't handle it.  They want to know why mom freaked out today.  I let them know that even though they are grieving, they can't possibly know what I'm going through.  I feel bad for sort of unloading but I think I couldn't take the charade of "I'm ok" anymore.  I've been through the pain of losing parents and as bad as that is, losing my husband of 41 years is worse.  This vacation was their idea, not mine but I went along because we had never had a "family" vacation with all of my grandkids.  They then proceded to invite their friends and their kids too so now I have to deal with them also.  Normally I wouldn't mind but it will only be 2 months since I lost Dave next week. I'll deal with it and make it a vacation that my grandkids will remember, but right now all I want to do is go to bed and never wake up.

Jo,  If you can go on vacation and be with all of family and friends, you are a strong woman.  When Neal first passed away, I could not stand crowds.  I would have panic attacks.  After Neals funeral when there were so many people in my house, I would have to go to our bedroom and shut the door. (I kept it shut anyway as that was my santuary.)  About 2 weeks after Neal passed friends invited me to a chicken stew.  My sister was with me at the time so we went to the chicken stew.  I was there about 30 minutes and started to panic. I am glad my sister was with me because there was no way I could have driven home.  Next Friday will be 9 months since Neal has been gone and I still have a hard time with crowds and noise.

 

So my hat is off to you with your possitive attitude about making it a vacation to remember for your grandkids.

That's the problem....I don't think I can do this.  I also can't stand to be around people.  I just want to run and hide.  I only said I would do this for my kids.  No, I am not strong.  I have cried all day long and snapped at my grandaughter.  I feel it is wrong for me to go away now.  I really don't want to go but have paid up front to go to the beach.  Dave loved the beach but we had not been in years.  My best friend in the whole world is going but I don't even want to be around her.  I know they are trying to do this for me but they truly don't understand.

Jo, I am so sorry for your pain, if you can go on that vacation, I am sure, it is going to take your mind off your grief, at different times during your vacation. It is just 12months since I lost my husband of 49 years, 3months less of our 50th anniversary,  we were like 2 peas in a pod, I was only 16, people said it would never work.  I still walk around like a half a person, I did go away for 4 weeks,  five months after he passed away, to be with family, it was so good, as I live alone, I wished it could have been longer, once I got there, but like you, I thought I was going to handle things. I did get through it.  But when I got back home it was back to reality, oh I was a wreck, I will never forget, those first 8 months, then my mom passed away in January, so I just could not handle things anymore, with the help of medication, and therapy, I am getting there.  I do find going to church has helped me alot, I dont cry anymore, as I was crying everyday in the shower, in the shops, driving my car, talking to people. It is the worst experience this pain of death.  I like you still find solace in my room, I cant wait for night time.  I dont really like to be alone, but cant handle  visitors, eventhough I want their company, I cant even think of how to entertain or make cups of tea, I get these panic attacks, it is so hard to explain.  I have found that family DO NOT understand, when you tell them you are having a bad day, it is different, losing a spouse, to a parent.  I think it is because we lived together for so long, half of you is gone.  I feel your emotions, it is like a merry-go-round.  That is the price we pay for Love.

Please go, if you can and I am sure you will be ok.  Prayers and hugs to you.

Jo,  I completely understand what you are going through.  Neal and I have a place at the beach and Neal loved it there.  We even talked about moving there once we retired.  I have not been able to go there yet.  My oldest son went last week with his boys to make sure everything was ok at our place as the last time Neal and I went was last June.  I know now there is no excuse for me not to go. In a way I think about it might be good to go because I would be by myself with no one around for me to pretend that I am ok.  I get so tired of people not understanding why I have a bad day, so I try my best to pretend I am ok so I don't get all the advise as to what I should and should not do.

 

Maybe if you could tell your family that sometimes you are going to need your space whether they understand or not.  Even if you have to go to the bathroom and shut the door just to be by yourself. 

 

I will be thinking about you and hoping you do have a nice time with your grandchildren.  HUGS

Oh so true about writing and rewriting especially with the kids. They look at you like oh here she goes again. I hadn't touched any of his things since the day he died and this weekend after much thought and pushing myself I started on our bedroom. I cleaned out the sock drawer and moved the bedroom furniture around. Cleaned out some of my old clothes with hopes that maybe next free time I will have the energy to do a little more. I took my wedding ring off Saturday night not because I want to move on but I thought maybe by removing it even for a few hours I could convince myself that he isn't coming back today or ever. I keep holding onto that perhaps this is all a bad dream and I will wake up and his smiling face will be there. I miss his hugs so much.

Linda Gordon said:
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.

Hi Linda, I did read a book a while ago by Dr. Joyce Brothers entitled "Widowhood" (I think).  In the book she goes through her loss of her husband.  I found it to be an excellent book, really short too, which helped.  Anyway, the reason I mention it is because she and her husband had a summer place too.  She describes feeling a lot like you do.  She especially had built up in her mind what it would be like to go back there.  She even tried to take a friend and that turned out to be not great!  The she realized through a process that it just wasn't the same at all, without sharing with her husband.  That the things she loved about the place weren't nearly as special without him.  So you are not alone in feeling that way, for sure.   It will be very hard for you to go there Linda and go through that experience.

 

As for meeting your Neal when you were so young, me too with Jack!!!  He was 14 and I was 17 at the time.  Although he lived in California and I in Canada.  But where there is a "will there is a way"!  We were married when he was 19 and I was just 21.   I too feel the exact same way, as Floss and Deb and Jo - losing the other half of you, your essence, your reason for existing really, what is left?  Sometimes we want to hide, to go away, to shrink from life.  As often as my children tell me "mom, you are not alone, we all love you" at the end of the day I am very much alone, alone to experience once again the loss, and the pain, all over again.   I do try very hard to not "go there" as often as I did, because it upsets them (we all know that).  So the alone time becomes the time when I get to "just be" with Jack and that is ok, because that is when I feel so close to him.

 

Hugs,

Carol

Linda Gordon said:

Jo,  I completely understand what you are going through.  Neal and I have a place at the beach and Neal loved it there.  We even talked about moving there once we retired.  I have not been able to go there yet.  My oldest son went last week with his boys to make sure everything was ok at our place as the last time Neal and I went was last June.  I know now there is no excuse for me not to go. In a way I think about it might be good to go because I would be by myself with no one around for me to pretend that I am ok.  I get so tired of people not understanding why I have a bad day, so I try my best to pretend I am ok so I don't get all the advise as to what I should and should not do.

 

Maybe if you could tell your family that sometimes you are going to need your space whether they understand or not.  Even if you have to go to the bathroom and shut the door just to be by yourself. 

 

I will be thinking about you and hoping you do have a nice time with your grandchildren.  HUGS

Wow yesterday was a rough day. My daughter and grandchildren came by our business to tell me they liked the stone. What stone I said (it was on order for a few months and they didn't call to tell me it was ready). At first I was disapointed because I wanted to be the first to see it. I went to the cemetery alone a little while later and had a complete breakdown. What a reality seeing our names there together for all eternity. I guess in the back of my mind the past ten months I kept thinking that he would come back which in my mind I know isn't a reality. Then my son called from out of state by then I was frustrated, upset, lonely, needing a hug and all he wants to hear is how everything is great and that I am not in a pissy mood. I sat in the cemetery for a long time just talking to that stone and today I am back into the funk that I thought I was out of last week. Will this pain ever ease? I managed to pull myself together and go to my grandson's baseball came because we are the sponser of the team and it was the last game but I could hardly concentrate on what should be a happy time for an eight year old. The stone by the way turned out lovely. It is black marble with a beach scene, palm trees, a shell alone on the beach. At the bottom it says "some beach, somewhere" and of course our names. It is just like I pictured but wasn't expecting such a blow seeing it the first time.



Carol Kayser said:

Hi Linda, I did read a book a while ago by Dr. Joyce Brothers entitled "Widowhood" (I think).  In the book she goes through her loss of her husband.  I found it to be an excellent book, really short too, which helped.  Anyway, the reason I mention it is because she and her husband had a summer place too.  She describes feeling a lot like you do.  She especially had built up in her mind what it would be like to go back there.  She even tried to take a friend and that turned out to be not great!  The she realized through a process that it just wasn't the same at all, without sharing with her husband.  That the things she loved about the place weren't nearly as special without him.  So you are not alone in feeling that way, for sure.   It will be very hard for you to go there Linda and go through that experience.

 

As for meeting your Neal when you were so young, me too with Jack!!!  He was 14 and I was 17 at the time.  Although he lived in California and I in Canada.  But where there is a "will there is a way"!  We were married when he was 19 and I was just 21.   I too feel the exact same way, as Floss and Deb and Jo - losing the other half of you, your essence, your reason for existing really, what is left?  Sometimes we want to hide, to go away, to shrink from life.  As often as my children tell me "mom, you are not alone, we all love you" at the end of the day I am very much alone, alone to experience once again the loss, and the pain, all over again.   I do try very hard to not "go there" as often as I did, because it upsets them (we all know that).  So the alone time becomes the time when I get to "just be" with Jack and that is ok, because that is when I feel so close to him.

 

Hugs,

Carol

Linda Gordon said:

Jo,  I completely understand what you are going through.  Neal and I have a place at the beach and Neal loved it there.  We even talked about moving there once we retired.  I have not been able to go there yet.  My oldest son went last week with his boys to make sure everything was ok at our place as the last time Neal and I went was last June.  I know now there is no excuse for me not to go. In a way I think about it might be good to go because I would be by myself with no one around for me to pretend that I am ok.  I get so tired of people not understanding why I have a bad day, so I try my best to pretend I am ok so I don't get all the advise as to what I should and should not do.

 

Maybe if you could tell your family that sometimes you are going to need your space whether they understand or not.  Even if you have to go to the bathroom and shut the door just to be by yourself. 

 

I will be thinking about you and hoping you do have a nice time with your grandchildren.  HUGS

So sorry for your loss. Try to be good to yourself, eat even though you don`t want to, try to get some good sleep. And know that everything you are feeling now is o.k. At first I thought I was going crazy. This is a good site to come here and just let it all hang out, there are a lot of nice and understanding people here and it does help just to talk. Coming here will make you feel less alone because we all have been there and still are.
So sorry for your loss. Try to be good to yourself, eat even though you don`t want to, try to get some good sleep. And know that everything you are feeling now is o.k. At first I thought I was going crazy. This is a good site to come here and just let it all hang out, there are a lot of nice and understanding people here and it does help just to talk. Coming here will make you feel less alone because we all have been there and still are.
Well, I got through the vacation.  I really enjoyed being with the grandchildren.  Unfortunately, I guess my daughter in law thinks I should be ok by now.  I guess she wanted me there to pay for the beach house and do the cooking etc.  She has been my daugher in law for almost 15 years and has not changed much.  She's a wonderful mother to my 3 grandchildren but can be really insensitive to me and my family.  Even so, at least I got to spend a week with my 5 grandkids and no matter how much  she annoyed me or how much I cried in private about the 2 month anniversary of Dave's death, I love the memories I have created with the kids.  I tried to have some time alone especially on the 14th, but no one seemed to remember but me.  I was without internet access for that time so am so glad to be back where people understand.
Jo so Glad you had a good time with your grandchildren.  It is a shame you had to do all the cooking.  I hardly ever cook, or lets put it this way since my soulmate, died.  I did go away for 4weeks, but they didnt want me to do a thing, we eat out a lot, or I was invited out. And I felt so good to be with people that had empathy. I know I must have looked pathetic, just looking at the photos they had taken. Well when I came back home it was back to reality, all alone.  I am learning to live with being alone, somedays, I just stay indoors,  lock the house, and do nothing, I suppose it takes time, keep well.

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