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My husband died just over three weeks ago. We had been married for 29 years and have two kids eho are 12 and 10. 14 years ago we emigrated to Australia, but my family are still in the UK. I have been posting my feelings and thoughts on facebook (I have carefully selected friends) in order to get the feelings out so that I can be stronger for the kids, but every time I post, I get quite a few worried messages.

Also, different subject, even though I was with Andrew when he died, it still feels as though he is going to walk into the house any minute. Is this normal? When does it end? He died quickly and unexpectedly, so I dont know if that makes a difference too.

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Portpom, I'm sorry for your loss.  Three weeks is so very soon, you really haven't had time to process anything yet.  Yes, it's normal to think he'll walk in the door.  Mine has been gone for 15 months and sometimes I still feel that way.  I pass a truck on the road that looks like him and my heart skips a beat.  It's all normal.

I don't think you can post messages on facebook or talk to friends and family without them being worried.  After all, they love you.  They have no idea (unless they've been through this) the extent of emotions you'll go through.  Always know we are here for you if/when you want to rant, scream, cry or just tell us about your love.  Hugs.

Portpom, I came to this site so I could release emotions without stressing family with worry. I don't do facebook, so this site has been helpful for me. Everyone here has experienced loss of their love, but realize that grief is like fingerprints, it's different for everyone. 

I, too, lost my husband suddenly. It will be a year this month and I'm numb, but still feel the pain. Yes, I sometimes feel his touch, and hear his voice. I have had a few dreams and hold on to them. Sometimes I feel as though I'm emotionally bipolar, because I'm all over the place. It seems this is all normal and noone can tell you when it will end. Just know you can come here and release the emotions as you need. God Bless

I truly understand how you feel. It will be a year for me on April 29 and my emotions have been all over the place. I seem to be crying more the closer I get to the one year mark. I said something to my youngest son about my mental state and the look on his face told me to stop talking. I could tell it was worrying him and that's the last thing I wanted to do. I have one long time church friend who has been great but outside of her I dare not share the extent of the pain and sorrow I feel. Frankly, I don't believe I'll ever feel "whole" again. Sometimes I look at the bedroom door and I can imagine him sticking his head in the door and lovingly asking me if I wanted to share a cup of coffee. So, I find refuge and solace in coming to this site. I hope you do too.

I am so sorry for your loss PortPom

My husband died 3 months ago and whenever I tell people how devastated I am they look worried and some avoid me completely as I think it's awkward for them.

I joined this site so I can post how I truly feel. I hope this site helps you as well 

Hi Portmom,

When we are struck with this tragedy, our lives are shattered, and we fall to pieces.  It is as if a bomb went off and we are stunned.  We scream, cry, some rage, others just fall to emotional pieces.  One of our members spoke of an aura that seems to surround and envelop us.  Folks pick up on this and for most, their primal urge is to try to "fix" or "help" us.  The problem is that they have no training, and generally no background on how to put that urge to use to aid us.

This leads to all kinds of things.  Generally they are always asking us "How are you doing?"  (please do NOT turn around and say "I just lost my xxx yyy How the Hell do you think I'm doing?"  Just accept that they really don't mean any harm and are mostly trying to help.  If you feel you can talk with them start out slowly, and gauge their reactions to your words.  You may overload them and they will be out of their element and retreat.  Others try to show a kinship to us by saying something like I had one person tell me..."Oh I know exactly how you feel... I lost my dog last week."  Dude, I lost my wife! Yah I know, I lost my dog."  I turned around stuck my hands in my pockets and walked, rapidly, away. Yah, its a loss.. but a dog vs my wife???

We many of us find is that the people we would rely on (In-laws, or kin) are the ones who tell us to just call that they will be there for us, and then disappear, rapidly.  I believe that their hearts for the most part are in their offers, but when they are confronted by what is left of us it scares the heck out of them.  We all have self protection built into us.  For instance the automatic jerk reflex to distance a finger from a hot pot.  It's built into our emotions as well.  We are in such bad shape that they shrink from us, unsure how to help, unsure what to say, unsure how to cope.  If they are on emotional edges, then they are afraid that they will crumble too because of the additional stress.  They self protect, by distancing themselves from us.  Sometimes aggressively, and sometimes by withdrawing over a period of time.  The one thing most of them have is no concept of how long it will take us to become our "old selves" again.

In the end, we can be our best aides.  Talking to the folks at WV and if possible a Grief Group or Counselor will help us get our heads together.  Just keep in mind that we each have different backgrounds and experiences and personalities... other words each of us moves through this at a different pace. We all will take a step or two forward and sometimes several back.  Don't judge yourself or try to judge "progress" by looking at someone else who is about the same time removed from their tragedy.  "It's been xxx amount of time, why am I still... or why am I behind so and so."  That in itself is self destructive.

People will be people. Most want to help and even fewer know how.

HUGS
Frank

Frank, truer words were never spoken than the ones you wrote: "most people want to help and even fewer know how".

When Gary was in Hospice (the last 13 months of his life), one of the nurses mentioned to me that when someone says they would like to help, tell them what would help. She suggested I keep a list posted on the refrigerator door of ideas. I could direct visitors to the frig and ask if there was something there they could do and they could choose. If someone phoned, I could look at the list and make a couple suggestions. Some of the things I put on the list took almost no time or effort and neighbors would gladly help -- like pick up some stamps at the PO or check the pressure in my car's tires. Other things my grandsons were delighted to do -- like take a truckload to the city dump or prune a bush back. The list was what I needed to do and was too exhausted to complete. With someone else taking just one little thing off the list, it really lightened my load. And they were always happy to know they were doing something that really mattered. Unlike bringing flowers; which was nice, but meant I needed to find a vase and then remember to water the dang things. Instead of vague generalities, something specific was mentioned and it really was a win-win for us all. 

Maybe writing this will help someone else who is feeling overwhelmed. It could work not just for the grieving, but those who might be sick or are getting along in years and unable to easily do things we used to do. Blessings to all!

My husband passed unexpectedly less than a month ago. I’m still waiting for my phone to ring or for him to walk in the door. 

Hi Pooh

You are going through a truly terrible time, way more than any one person should endure.  The first year many folks get through by putting one foot in front of the other, day in and day out.  We are stunned by the tragedy that has befallen us, and as a sort of self defense our minds kind of go numb.  Some how we make it through the funeral, and the rest of the year.  Some say the second year is even worse than the first because our minds start to come out of the fog that we've been living  for the first year. Reality starts to set in, and we begin to worry about how to survive and wonder about the rest of our lives. 

Susan and I were married 35 years when she passed.  We'd move into our home in the mountains permanently in September of 2012. Celebrated our 35 anniversary in October. On Thanksgiving Day we flew her out on Flight-for-Life and two weeks later in December of 2012 she went to sleep Sunday night and did not wake up Monday Morning. She'd had a silent heart attack.  No warning, no final good bye.

My kids made me change my voice mail from "Hi you have reached Frank and Susan please leave your name and number and we will call you back as soon as we can."  I resisted the change, the kids told me it hurt them to hear that greeting when ever they called and had to leave me a message.  After a couple of years, I found I could change it and I did. "Hi this is Frank" Please leave your name and number and I'll call you right back."

When Susan died, I printed a picture of her and set it on the passenger seat of my truck.  As I drove down the road, I'd talk to her, and sometimes cry.  One day I picked up my youngest son and he jumped up into the seat and landed on her picture.  I said, "you are sitting on Mom."  He looked at me and said "no I'm not,"  I said  "Yes you are" before I could say anything further he said "OK I'll sit in the back" and started to get out of the truck.  I said wait a minute, I meant to say that you are sitting on Mom's picture.  He looked down and saw the picture, picked it up, looked at it a minute and set it down on the floor between the two seats.  He said "That's neat Dad" do you talk to her? And I said yes.

We all have been where you are, and some of us are right there with you. 
Keep writing, questioning, raging, and crying.  Tell us about him, about your love and your life with him.  As you do that you will improve, and we will get to know you better.

HUGS,

Frank

Frank:

I get the talking thing. Janet's birthday was 5/11 so I set my phone alarm to 5:11 pm. Everyday where ever I am I pick it up when it rings and give her an update of my day. If someone is with me they just think it's a friend or relative calling. 

Not crazy just coping.

Rich

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