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Does this happen to you?  While it has been 8 months since my husband passed away of Multiple Myeloma and my crying is not lie it was in the first weeks, there are days that the sadness lays heavy on me.  I still am not all comfortable with the alone-ness and the long evenings.  I met my  husband when I was 20 and we were married for 42 years.  I always had someone to count on, be with, and  love. We have two grown sons and one little granddaughter. One son is very loving and invites me to come over and participate in family things, etc. The other has changed a lot since his dad died. He has become distant. My husband and sons were always very close: lie three peas in a pod.

I still look over at Dan's easy chair and can almost envision him sitting there.  I miss the things he liked to cook for us sometimes.  I always knew he had my back. When my car broke down last week, I had to reach out to a cousin; I really could not think of a friend I wanted to ask for help. It is not easy to keep up with my yard work that I never liked and my husband did.  I have to hire people for all sorts of things all the time and so many things seem to have needed to be repaired or replaced this year. 

I think I took for granted in a way that I always had someone to be with, to go to a movie with, to go out to dinner with, to take a trip with, to pick me up at the airport when I went solo to visit some family, someone to call when my car broke down, someone to spend the weekends and evenings with, etc...

I am alone in a house that was a home for a family! I miss my family so much.

I am starting a program for women this week.  My husband and I started many such things together and as I got out supplies, there was his handwriting and it brought tears to my eyes.  I know so many people have it so much worse.  Some lose their spouse young and have to raise children by themselves for example. Or some have a spouse leave them and that is a crushing hurt.  I was so fortunate to have had decades with Dan. But I miss him so.  I never really considered growing old alone. Did you?

Some days I can stay busy all day and other days I am sad all day.  Weekends seems hardest when I face a day without too many plans. How is it for you?

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Hi Cynthia,
What I do know for certain is the grief process does end from gauging myself as well as former grief buddies & acquaintances in my timeframe. There are some who are clinically depressed & attribute it to grief, however, they have no other symptoms of grief, most notably, widowbrain. Otherwise, I know of no other reason for prolonged grief other than PTSD. Aside from them, sadly, are those who give all widowed a bad name in choosing to play the widow card to manipulate others to do for them &/or think like them. Immediately, identify them to keep your distance, they are unsupportive as well as can influence the bereaved into believing they will never heal & will always grieve ...
Maintaining good mental & physical health are important throughout grief as well as afterward. I, often, reflected on my youth - a time when it was easy to find joy in anything & nothing in particular ...
I've heard it said that finding a purpose is the key, however, I focused on the "purpose of the grief process is for healing" instead to work at it in maximizing its benefits ...
For me, everything had to do w/the choices I made to improve my attitude, health & well being to promote acceptance of my new life while shedding the old. Unwelcome challenges were the impetus for healing, however, they are now choosen in challenging myself to do whatever keeps me interested & engaged in life ...
Make good choices for yourself as well as challenge yourself to do better ...
Hope this helps ... ;-)

CYNTHIA ...
I sincerely apologize if I left you in a lurch. I forgot to mention grief averages between 8-10 years; a spot on estimate for me, my grief buddies & acquaintances in my timeframe. After 10 years, therapy is strongly suggested. This was common information back in 2007 when my grief journey began. Later in the years, I noticed it quickly began to be removed from websites soliciting mental health services ...
Hope this helps ...

You didn't leave me in the lurch.  As a psychotherapist myself, I know there are no stages to grief, and it takes as long as it takes.  Thanks. 

Sounds like I uncovered something that maybe an indicator of prolonged grief ...

If you are familiar w/the reasearch & publishings on grief how are you able to dismiss the stages? Grief is not linear nor are the stages in a chronological order. What I do know is from my own experience as well as the modalities a psychologist such as yourself might suggest ...

Take care of yourself ...

I was referring to the grief stages that were written by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, who wrote those stages for those who had a terminal illness.  The problem is when a grieving person expects there to be stages that will grow less and less intense.  In my experience, just when I'd think things were getting "better" or easier, another wave would hit me and drag me back out to that deep sea of grief.  I'm glad you are doing so well, and are over your grief.  My psychiatrist tried to tell me I had complicated grief only 4 years after Don died.  I wasn't ready to accept that.  I miss him every minute of every day, and I always will.  That's something I've come to accept.  I'm not having meltdowns anymore and about the only time I cry is when I talk about him to my shrink.  Which isn't all that often.  I only see her for medication, about every 3 months.  Yes, I suffer from depression, but that started long before Don got sick.  Now I think it's more my situation than my biochemistry in my brain.  You sound very educated.  Do you have a career?  Or did you? 

Yes, as a psychologist you then understand Kubler-Ross' findings are also used as a model for survivors experiencing the first few years of grief when it is raw & overwhelming. Those stages are common & will end to become all about you; they can be categorized as phases in relating to others ... 

Your circumstances sound more the problem, than grief ... 

Its also quite common for the widowed to miss their loved one more during stressful times; courage & coping skills are a must ...

Seek & you will find - "only you" can find your answers ...

I had an interesting grief response yesterday.  I was driving to the grocery store, and a small funeral procession passed by me.  It happened to be the funeral home that did Stephen's cremation and gathering of family and friends.  I immediately teared up.  Then I whispered a good journey to the soul of the departed, and I was okay.  Boy you never know what triggers are tossed your way.  But we get through them, then walk forward.

Hugs ~Shirley

That's true.  When we least expect, something happens that throws us for a loop.

I was at the church on Friday and a wedding was going on. And just for a moment I was back to the place of my own wedding. Its like I was there again!  I have not ever had that happen before.

Yes, I battle with the same things and it is 17 months since I lost my husband. I feel it is actually getting worse, but I am handling it better. I have a couple of acres that he always took care of. I don't even know how to turn on the riding mower or use the different tools around here. My son's help as much as they can, but one works two jobs and the other lives an hour away. I've gotten some things that were stressing me taken care of by others and doing the best I can with other things. I, also, visualize my husband sitting where he always sat and sometimes I hear him come down the hall. The tears fall, but at the same time it makes me smile. There are memories in every room of our home and I'm so thankful for that. 

I, too, get upset when something breaks. I would just tell him what wasn't working right and he would have it going for me before the day was over. He saved every little part from items so he could find replacements for what ever had worn out. He was an engineer so his brain was wired for things like that. My brain doesn't go anywhere near there! Some days are better than others, but I miss him every day.  You are not alone! God Bless, Sis

Yes, we are in the same place. Had the sprinkler guy out again today and I think, hope, for the last time. I even gave him the boxes of sprinkler repair items that my husband had collected and he took off part of my bill.

Yesterday I attended an information meeting on an upcoming program at my church. My husband I participated in a number of programs and also hosted many of them over the years. It felt terrible to be there without him!  It really brought on a sadness that is still with me today.  I am not going to do the program, I don't think, as I have other things going and am hosting two ladies groups right now already. But Dan and I used to enjoy those programs and studied and presented together.  Yes, I miss him every day. And I still am not sleeping in our bedroom and the king sized bed. I am in the smaller guest room. Also, today, they finally placed the headstone at the cemetery.

My son fixed the string trimmer today. And next month, at season's end, I hope to shop for a lawn mower that I can handle because my husband has this big heavy clunky rigged up thing that I do not like one bit.  I hope that after all the repairs and learning of this first summer, this first year, that things will be easier for me to manage on my own next year.  I did learn to mow the lawn during my husband's illness but I cannot repair much of anything at all.

It has been 19 months for me since I lost my husband. I felt the same way. I met my husband when I was 15 and married him when I was 17 so I went from my parents house to living with my husband. I was with him for 36 years and I felt so lost when he died. I have had to ask for help and advice on purchasing big items for my house, where to get my oil changed, what I should do with the IRA account and more. I am 55 years old and I have never had to make decisions without another “grownup” . I relied on my husband for all the big decisions. You are still in the early stages of grief and everything will be overwhelming. You still have to go through all your “firsts”. The first time you go through a holiday or drive to a place or go through something that your husband would normally be there to comfort you through. It will get less overwhelming for you as the days pass. We have to learn how to live without them and it really hurts and I felt like pitching a temper tantrum on the inside most days in the beginning. I don’t have as many days like that now. I still have days if I think too much about it that I can’t believe this happened and I have to grow old alone. I start to get angry but then I just push it away and remember that this is normal, people die and I am not exempt from losing someone. It’s ok to let yourself have those sad days and not to fight it. I learned the more I tried to fight it and just act normal the worse it made me feel. It helps to let yourself go through it and the days to follow will be a little better. You’ll have days when you feel like you are getting better and then have the sad days come back but that will get less and less as the days and months pass. 

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