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I have been feeling so torn after my Joe's death . Its been 18 months, this year, especially the past few weeks, even more agonizing then ever. His birthday is this upcoming thursday. I struggle because i feel like if i let go of this pain in any way, i am letting him go somehow. I am in self imposed hell but how can i not be. He would be 43 on thursday. We were married almost 12 years. I feel so like i missed out on my life with him and all of a sudden this is what defines me. But its emotionally and physically crippling me, and i am aware of it, trying on the surface to work thru it, started seeing a counselor again, but i am terrified that without this pain, what else?my life was Joe so how do i walk away from that?thank you for listening, letting me talk. 


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I'm sorry that I can't help you with this. I'm in my first year and it still feels very raw. I've decided to just try to get through one hour at a time. I know my husband wouldn't / doesn't want me with this pain, but I'm not sure how or when I'll be able to release it. I just wanted you to know someone is hearing your pain. God bless.

Thank you for hearing me, that was huge, as i know you are hurting as well. I hear you and pray that with every hour it gets a little less raw. Just keep breathing, i am here if you need leave a message.

Hi Monkey,

What you are asking simply cannot be done with the "Flick of a switch."  It takes months and years and at some point you will accept that Joe has passed.  Your mind will accept it, and with that acceptance comes a calming and lessening of the pain and you will move forward.  Until that happens you will be mired in the jumble of push and pull as you work your way through the pain of loss.  At some time in the future you will be able to breathe and the pain will lessen.  Be it for a hour or for several hours, the pain of loss, fear of the future without Joe, the indecision, will lessen, and you will be able to make decisions and think logically.  Then, the pain of loss will again overwhelm you.  But, the calmer times will increase, and lengthen.  You are not necessarily leaving him behind. None of us "forget our spouse." They simply become our memories filled with love, joy and good times. It's as if we close the cover of the book, and set it on the book shelf or coffee table where we can reach over grab it, at anytime, and begin to read and then set it down.  

Sometimes it is all we can do to exist, live through a minute to the next. Sometimes just getting from one hour to the next seems more than impossible, and to think of making it from day to day seems an eternity.  If nothing else, we get  up in the morning dress, eat do whatever, and go back to bed to rise the next day and wade through it.  Don't give up. Don't try to jump over or through the pain.  It is normal, and impossible try it.  Instead, wade through it. Go through the pain and also start to remember the good times, the joyful times.  Write about your spouse and your times together, include details and put the thoughts in sequence.  Over time the pain will subside to where you can breathe, and you actually will make it through the hours, and then the days.  

Each of us have been or are going through this pain, agony, belief that we cannot make it without the support of our spouse, the insecurity. But, we do eventually go through it to what I call "Acceptance." Once we hit that point we can breathe, and plan for the future.

We just cannot say that it will take 3 months for this, a year for that and 3 years for something else.  We are all different, and while we all seem to walk similar paths it takes each of us different times with different obstacles.  Eventually, we will all wind up with Acceptance.

Please keep writing, asking, reading, and chatting.  You will move through the mess, and you will find support from those of us who have gone through it or are going through it, or are in the middle of it.  We are all here to scream defiantly, rant, and cry rivers, wonder why, support and offer suggestions, and to learn.



Frank thank you. I havent reached acceptance but i do get up every day, go to work, come home, go to sleep and repeat and if thats all it is right now, its ok. Cause I have this to and this i need. Truly thank you. 

I want to thank you, too, Frank. Sometimes just reading responses to other's questions can help provide some clarity, and that is what your response to Monkey did for me. My mind knows this, but seeing it in words helps to make a little sense out of it, the heart only knows the pain it's in and the state of confusion that totally takes over.  God Bless 

Hi Guys,

Yes, you are just starting on the journey and no one would expect either of you to be anywhere near that point.  I'd intended my letter to acknowledge your pain and it's intensity, and to support you by giving you things to do (write, read, vent) and to stick it out with WV.  I also added "my take" on what worked for me to reach the end game, what I call Acceptance. 

When I suddenly lost Susan (she went to sleep Sunday night and did not wake up Monday morning) it was a terrifying time for me.  She passed away on December 16 and died that night, near as I can figure sometime around 4-6:30 in the morning on the 17th. This month I'm 6 years out and can look back and see,  feel, and sense, the difference in me from that morning.  You too will reach that point, but as I said you will have to go through the mess in your own way. We here in WV can support you, we can offer suggestions and above all, we can listen. 

I made this far with the help of the folks here in WV and with twice monthly Grief Group meetings down in Denver. The group was not a 12 step meeting, it was open ended.  A person could attend, and they do, for years.  When I first joined they asked me to tell them what brought me there.  I told them of my loss, and discovered they were using words that I was to describe how I felt.  As each person in the circle relayed their story, most were within a few months to 3 or 4 years of their spouses death.  Being of a Science and Philosophy background I wanted to have a deadline, a marker somewhere out there that said I should be through the agony in say, 3 years.  Then, the gal sitting across from me gave her name and story and said she'd been coming for 10 years!  I nearly fell out of the chair into the person sitting next to me sobbing.  Later, after the meeting she came up to me and explained where she was and that she came to the meetings to support the new members and give them encouragement and hope.

I thanked her for telling me that, got a hug,and an apology saying that she did not mean to scare me.

HUGS to you both..



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