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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Here's a spot where you can post your special July remembrances - wedding anniversaries, birthdays, anniversaries of your loss, children's weddings, etc. - and discuss the plans you have to get through those potentially hard days. 

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What a beautiful picture of you and Ron. I'm so sorry I missed wishing you a Happy Birthday on Friday ... a big birthday hug is coming when I see you at our next meet. I'm so happy you're coming to San Diego for Camp Widow; you will make some wonderful young widow connections there. See you soon.

It's been almost 6 months since my world changed. July 11th he would have been 57. Birthdays and holidays at times would be treated like any other day and other times we would celebrate with family and friends. As those who love and live with a first responder would understand - your schedule revolves around duty days. Even dealing with cancer treatments, your celebrations revolved around a schedule - so no change there, it's just the way it was. We loved to travel and July has typically been a month that we were off to somewhere. This year's trip was bittersweet since it was my first without him by my side. I was so close to backing out and not going - it was a place that had been on our bucket list forever. The friends we always traveled with were there and I had his sister with me - so I managed to push thru. It was a good trip but the 'joy' just wasn't there.

This time last year we were in Europe and had a wonderful time. I guess that trip of a lifetime, since we had no way of knowing it would be our last together. To better understand, we always tried to 'get away' to somewhere - even if it was a weekend road trip with sandwiches and drinks packed in a cooler to save money. I know this is my new norm and that life does goes on, but it sure doesn't make it any easier and as everyone else on here knows, I'd give everything to have another day with my sweetie.


   I guess you can call this an anniversary sorts. 2 years ago on July 27, Paul's first brain tumor was found, then on July 28 it was removed.  I just hated that they said, even though they got the tumor out, he still only had 12 - 18 months to live.  He lived 17 months. 



I have really been struggling since the double-whammy that I faced in July.  My husband passed on January 25 this year; so July 25 was 6 months.  On top of that, his birthday was July 22.  I feel like a wave knocked me down, dragged me to the depths, and is now holding me down there, and I am just bumping along the rocks and debris, getting torn to pieces.  I was doing fairly "OK" prior to his birthday, but I have not been able to come up for air since.  I mostly feel an intense, bone-deep longing for him, and I am just drowning in it.

This is gonna sound counter-intuitive/dumb, but just go go with what you're feeling. I know it hurts, but you can't run from the pain, since it is always there--especially now. Allow yourself to cry. We do not pass over some "magic threshold" at six months, one year, etc. where everything suddenly becomes acceptable. It's a gradual process, and each person must find his or her own way. Just keep breathing (hard as that may be at the moment), reading and posting. Doing all that will help.

I understand your pain. My wife died a month before our anniversary and her next birthday. I used to struggle between July 20th and August 26th in the early years. Nowadays, it's more like scar tissue: I know it's there and yet I can deal with it. Hugs to you from someone who's "been there".

Thank you so much, John.  It does not sound dumb at all. Actually, I have been trying to just let all of my feelings flow, the good the bad and the ugly.  It has worked well so far, but the past 2 weeks have been over-the-top brutal.  Just a few days prior to Michel's birthday, I felt pretty good.  Hopeful almost.  Or at least an urge to be hopeful.  Now, I cannot even recall what that felt like.  It is nothing now but longing and despair.  I am trying to just "feel the feels" as my 19-year old daughter says, but it's overwhelming right now.  I guess that I just have to be overwhelmed for now.  I appreciate your support and the encouragement that it will gradually be manageable. Thank you.


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