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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."

So, I have to admit, this isn't something I thought I'd be dealing with. I foolishly thought, well, I'm not quite your "average" widowed person- though I know now that such a thing doesn't really exist.

But my partner was like no one else. We were closest to each other, our relationship was most like spouses. There are a million small things, ways he looked at me and touched me, little in-jokes, our private language, that I miss terribly. That space in my life isn't designed for anyone or anything else. No amount of friends or lovers keeps me from feeling lonely. I spend part of most evenings talking to his picture. And I spend chunks of my times with others talking about him or about grief. Others are good to me, but I'm not first with them. Not their top priority. It doesn't help that I'm struggling to find a roommate. It's just so lonely coming home to an empty house.

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Hi - I know what you mean - at least as much as another person can know...

My son lives about 3 hours away with his (very serious) GF, and daughter is going back to her last year of college (about 2 hrs away)...I also just moved about 3 months ago out of the house where we lived for 22 years...

Every time she goes back to school, it's like reliving the...death all over again.

I too dread the quiet - and honestly except when I'm sleeping, i have the TV on.  I cannot stand the quiet.  I have shows that I watch and - I know it sounds pathetic - but those characters are "family."  I dread the loneliness.  Each year - even with college - it was like there will be the breaks from school, but now...next year - that will likely be it. 

And then what.

I too talk to my spouse, but mostly I just don't want to think, about how in the world I ended up here.  I feel emptier every day, and all I think about is buying a little place in a couple of years and making it look as much like where I'd been with her as possible.

So you're right - no such thing as average!  And do whatever it is that makes you feel better.  Honestly, the fact that you're looking for a roomate puts you way ahead.  As much as I don't want to be alone I also cannot see myself being able to have (besides anything else) patience for someone else.

Basically what I want to say - is I understand.

A time I hated was coming home to a silent house after being gone all day.  I started leaving a radio on so there was a bit of noise. Then I rescued a cat

from the shelter. She'd run to the door and meow and wow! What a difference that made! I started looking forward to coming home. It wasn't as wonderful as with a human, but it did help a great deal.

I get it, it's lonely -- how long has it been since your partner passed?  Mine, over 4 years ago, and still lonely. I have no magic wand to wave ... wish I did. I do have a dog and cat, so not an empty house, and that does help....of course they are not my husband, but they keep me on my toes and no empty house here, they are a comfort to me...  But I still get lonely for people to talk too, do things with, etc.

You need to grieve and give yourself time to heal, and forget about other people who don't understand. Have you tried a grief group? or grief therapy?

Or get a dog or cat,  so many at shelters who are just as lonely as you --- just my thoughts... 

Hang in there,

D.

I miss the conversations, glances and doing things together--even the mundane daily tasks like food prep/cooking and yard work. I miss the mental stimulation of conversation and the sense of humor we shared. Memory can be a blessing or a curse, depending upon my mood. Being an introvert, I have grown accustomed to being alone and doing things on my own. Eight years down, and how many remain is the million-dollar question. :-)

It may not be the best thing, but it sure beats the early days of worrying how I was going to face the rest of my life alone. I have learned to travel by myself, I am now working at improving my photographic and computer-related skills, and go to the gym several days per week, where I have some social outlet--in addition to the social outlet I have at work. I have given up on dancing, because no woman moves as well as Judith did whenever we were on a dance floor together. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night and wish for my "old life", but that ain't happening.

A roommate or not isn't really a choice for me- we don't own this home, so my choices are get a roommate to help with finances or move. Most likely, that would be move AND have to find a roommate. I work M-F, and can't really imagine having the energy to put toward a dog, if the landlord even allowed it. Sadly allergic to cats. And, well, it hasn't even been six months yet for me... The regional Soaring Spirits group meets at a time that clashes with my work schedule. I wish I could go, it sounds nice. Maybe I'll see if there's another grief group of some sort that I could get to... I keep hearing, for how little time has passed, that I'm doing really well. I don't quite know what to say to that. Uh, great? Thanks? Am I going to fall apart harder at some later point? I know objectively that it's true things could be worse, but it just feels like such a strange thing to say. It makes me feel weird, kinda guilty, too. I know, I KNOW that Skip wants me to be happy, and absolutely would be pleased I'm getting by at the least. (Tenses are weird, especially when trying to talk about someone you experience as dead but still present in your life.) Something about people drawing attention to it makes me defensive, like... you know I'm not actually OK, right? I haven't somehow "gotten over it" or "gotten back to my real life" or anything.

Wow, apparently I have a lot to say tonight. Thanks for listening, and for writing me back, everyone.

Wow, Melissa, you did say it all! And good for you, get it out! 

You are not nuts, just going through grief -- and it's only been six months.

Geez-us -- at six months, I could barely get out bed.... the only people who understand are people who have gone through it --- believe me, going crazy is natural, and grief is hard and sucks, Big Time, so sorry you are dealing with it, but F the people who tell you to "get over it"  and "he would want you to be happy" etc. I hate that one, especially when they say to me "wouldn't you want Bob (my dead husband) to be happy if you died?" and I want yell, "Hell No! he better be grieving and crying and missing me like hell!" Cause that's what I'm doing. They don't know, grief is a journey: you cry, scream, hide, pull the shades down, stay in bed, somedays are okay, some days are fine --  and then you scream, cry, and can't believe it's happened to you --- esp. when others you know are "well and fine" --- it's a journey, all we can hope is to get through it, somehow. You found this site to vent, and that's a start. And as the journey continues, you'll find better days ahead, but you certainly never "get over it".

I found grief counseling a great help. They have it at our local hospice. Both groups and individual counseling. 

Take care, I understand,

Big hugs to you,

Dee

Melissa,

There is a song by Shenandoah called Ghost in this house. I very much fit these lyrics for a year. Sadly, sometimes I sink back into it for periods of time and it’s been 2 and a half years now.

I don't pick up the mail
I don't pick up the phone
I don't answer the door
I'd just as soon be alone
I don't keep this place up
I just keep the lights down
I don't live in these rooms
I just rattle around
I'm just a ghost in this house
I'm just a shadow upon these walls
As quietly as a mouse I haunt these halls
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
You took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house

Beautiful, sad, and exactly how I feel. Thanks for sharing.

Its to be expected ...

Grief often is two steps forward (into the future), one step (looking) back ...

It takes many years for the heart & soul to heal from the loss of a very special person who meant the world to you ...

Patience & gentleness w/yourself ...

You're allowed to feel this way Etchtech 21--even two and a half years out. I had many fits-and-starts experiences during Year II...and then I had a marvelous crash-and-burn day the year I hit my three-year mark. (I just started Year IX last month.) Things change as one moves further out, and it becomes more bearable. You're still moving along this path, so please be patient with yourself--yes, even at 2 1/2 years. Bro hugs from Cleveland.

Thanks John, back at ya from Phoenix.

My biggest problem is I can help others but the problems start when I focus on myself. I took care of her for so long I neglected myself. I took care of a lot of issue I thought I’d never get through. I lost her anyway and now I really don’t know how to do it for myself. I spend a lot of my free time at the gym because I don’t know what else to do. Turns out I’m now in the best shape of my entire life. That and work are my only motivation right now. Oh and my two little brat cats. Its just hard getting out of this funk.

Mark

Good that you're at the gym lifting weights, Mark, instead of at a bar lifting beers or shots. I work out several times each week as well, and have found it to be a great stress reliever. I'm not exactly a "gym rat", but I tend to do my lifts in the morning before work and my cardio in the afternoons on the way home from work--a schedule that I'll probably continue once I retire in a few years. I hope that you are keeping a log of your progress.

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