I don't really know how to begin this, so I suppose I'll just dive right in. Last Sunday I received a phone call from a friend of my girlfriend's mother informing me that she had been found dead in her home. At points I feel like I'm still processing this. It's still such a shock. I was with her the night before. She didn't seem fine but she certainly didn't seem like she was going to die either. Her official cause of death is still unknown but her mother and I both suspect an unintentional overdose. Her mother was with her during the day before she died and her best friend was on the phone with her late into the night - probably right before it happened. So it must have happened suddenly.

I'm sorry if I've given too much description regarding the facts. The questions left bother me and the facts seem easier to focus on than my reaction. I had only been with my girlfriend, Tina, for a year but we had made plans to move in together. Short term and long term plans. Last Tuesday I was supposed to attempt a romantic dinner to recreate Thanksgiving for her - She had to work on the actual holiday. We had planned a romantic get away in Feb. I had already bought her Christmas gifts and was so anticipating Christmas together. In short, I feel that she was ripped from the life we were supposed to have together and I don't know how to mend the tear.

Last week was a roller coaster ride of planning for the funeral, the wake, and rehoming her pets. I met friends and family members of hers that I never had before. I spoke at her memorial but could not make it through, or even remember, what I wanted to say. I find that I have a very difficult time concentrating and remembering even simple things right now. Despite the difficulty of last week, I already yearn for it because being around her family and friends made me feel closer to her.

I went back to work today. I work in a very high stress position in mental health. Despite its difficulties, working in mental health does have advantages. For one my co-workers are very supportive - they all keep asking me what I need. I want to be able to answer them but the honest truth is that I don't know what I need. I feel like my emotions are so out of control right now. I feel overwhelmed even when I'm not doing anything.

I keep thinking about everything I do and about how much I want to tell Tina about it.

Just like I didn't know how to begin this, I also don't know how to end it, but I will here because I fear I'd go on forever. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Katie

Thank you for telling a bit of your story.  A loss is hard, more than hard, indescribable. If you have never had a major loss in your life, there are no words one can offer to really ease the pain.  I know that's not what you want to hear right now, but please know and understand that the people here are so aware of what you are feeling.  Please allow yourself to feel every emotion, every pain. Let your tears come when they need to come.  That is the beginning of letting go of the pain, in little bits and increments.

I just finished my Grief Support Classes, and while I initially balked at the idea, I'm so glad friends signed me up, made me go, and  came with me, to offer support.  It does make a difference when you are in a room with your peers and sharing your experience.   I lost my partner Mike after a series of strokes. He and I had been together for 23 years, and I give thanks every day to God for allowing this man to come into my life.  I'm not going to lie.  Its hard and at times the pain seems never ending. Surround yourself with friends or people who will simply listen. Cry if you need to.  There are no set rules. Take your time.

I understand you and feel your pain.  Its never easy.  I feel you never truly get over it, but in time learn to accept that the person you loved is no longer here physically with you on this earth.  The good news is that her spirit is with you, and you will find that perfect place in your heart, meant specifically for her.

I am here to listen. Call on me anytime.  I lost Mike in September, but I find that helping others does my heart a world of good.  Let me know what you need.  I will do my best to help you.

Paul

Thanks for the support and kind words, Paul. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss as well. Grief classes sound like a good idea. I'm glad that they've been helpful for you. I've started counseling myself but the verdict is still out regarding whether or not its helping. I think the hardest part right now is that I'm feeling overwhelmed by things that would not normally overwhelm me & I'm having crying spells that I can't seem to control. Having the support of others is so important right now. I'm glad that this website exists.

Best,

Katie
You are doing the right things, and it is perfectly normal to feel as you do. I still find most of my days are spent doing as little as possible and not wanting to interact with the rest of the world. You will meet people and friends who in trying to be kind, will say something totally inappropriate. You will see people going on with their lives while you feel stuck in quicksand. This is a dark and sad place right now. It still is for me. One thing that has honestly helped me is to reach out to others a little bit. Acknowledge a kindness you witness, do something for someone else with no need for recognition. Donate a little time or money to an organization in honor of your loved one. It really helps. Above all else, let your body and spirit heal at its own pace. There are no guidelines. The Holidays are hard. I light a candle for Mike on the holidays, or any time I want to connect with him. Don't forget your prayers either. God hears you. Talk to your loved one. She hears you and is with you. Wishing you as much peace and healing as I can during your loss. Call on me anytime.

Paul

Katie said:
Thanks for the support and kind words, Paul. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss as well. Grief classes sound like a good idea. I'm glad that they've been helpful for you. I've started counseling myself but the verdict is still out regarding whether or not its helping. I think the hardest part right now is that I'm feeling overwhelmed by things that would not normally overwhelm me & I'm having crying spells that I can't seem to control. Having the support of others is so important right now. I'm glad that this website exists.

Best,

Katie

Katie:

Like Paul said, a loss is difficult whenever and wherever it may occur. While I'm now retired, my field is also mental health, which, as you said, has its advantages of usually being a supportive environment.

 

My partner, also Tina, passed in March of aortic dissection, Type III; a very serious heart condition which had been diagnosed several years before. We were together over 28 years. We had just bought our retirement house. As I also have two elderly parents with dementia, I don't feel that I've had a lot of time to grieve although I see my psychiatrist once a month. I also have 33 years of recovery from alcoholism &, living one day at a time, has helped me cope with the worst tragedy of my life, despite knowing the severity of her heart problem.

 

There's a wonderful statement about "Death" that a friend gave me that has comforted me throughout the months and days. It was written a long time ago but it's so relevant. If you're interested, search for Conan Henry Scott-Holland & print it out. I carry it with me everywhere I go.

 

We're all on this site as we're linked together in our journey!

 

Peace to you!

 

Nanc

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