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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."

Thirteen months and 17 days I still ask, what's the point of me being here? God took the wrong one.

Faith is strong, mind and body not. Everyday a knot in my stomach, tears in my eyes, no direction and too much of a coward to do anything about it.

I'm not committing the ultimate sin but I can't wait for this torment to end.

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Rich--

One thing my grief counselor shared with me was that in her experience, "Year 2" was harder than "Year 1." She said it was because the numbness begins to wear off, people go back to their lives--their "normal" lives--and we are left with this awful "new normal" that we never signed up for. The loss begins to sink in and we realize it's real and it's final and it sucks. (Pardon my language, but that's the best word I can find for it.)  I found her experience to be true for me as well--the second year after I lost my husband was so much harder to get through than the first, but I did it--because I have kids to parent. "By Year 3," she said, "you can finally breathe again. It gets easier." I found that to be true as well.

I understand what you mean about "just going through the motions."  Most of the time, I am just going through the motions--feed the kids, do my job, plant the garden--because it was Gary's garden, and it was part of who we were as a family. Sometimes, though, I find that I can experience something and actually feel it, not just go through the motions. It doesn't happen often, but the glimpses I see make me believe "I can do this."

I believe you can do this, too. You will just have to find what works for you. In planting and caring for Gary's garden (he grew a lot of the food we would put in our freezer), I learned things about my husband I didn't realize before. I also discovered I really like gardening. I am now taking over leadership of the community garden at church that raises vegetables for our local food pantry, and am enjoying interacting with the other "gardeners." While tending the garden has been painful for my youngest child who used to spend most of the summer helping Dad with the garden, it has become healing for me.

You will find what heals you. It may be in a project Janet left for you, or maybe in something else. But it's okay to go through the motions for a while. I have a good friend who uses this saying (and I think I've used it a lot since Gary died): she tells me to "Fake it 'til you make it." It's overly simplistic, but surprisingly accurate.

I wish you peace. I'm so sorry you have to do this.

I am so sorry you (and we) have to go through this.

If you had had a choice, would you have given up the wonderful depth of loving and being loved that you experienced in order not to have this pain? Or, like that science fiction movie, would you go have your memories erased and so obliterate the pain?  Maybe in an alternate universe, there is an evil anti-Rich who only feels "Hmmm, wife's dead, now I can -- go after that hot younger women -- or -- [fill in the blank]. Who would want to be that lousy shallow Rich?  

I am three years out, and have, through the grace of the universe (don't give me any credit!) begun to understand that you don't have one without the other. Hang in there. One thing that helped me a tiny bit was to go help someone else, even if I had to drag myself. Also try to eat, sleep and not drink too much. Your body as well as your mind and soul are under tremendous stress.

Widow85;

I think someone on this board said the "pain is the price we pay for love" I actually am comforted by the pain since it keeps me close to Janet. However, most of the "pain" I have is on her behalf and the life she could have had. I would gladly have traded place, problem is she would have traded with me.

I'm not looking for clear skies, sunny days and a wonderful future. The best I ever could have experienced is behind me, thank God at 62 the time ahead is limited.

Hi Rich,

I'm Frank, and when Susan died, I too felt the same way.  Men die first, WHY HER???   As I watched the helicopter carrying Susan lift off from our front yard and it soared over our home on the way into Denver,  I continued to look at the spot where it disappeared into the distance and prayed.  "Lord, don't ya think she deserves a break?"  My full intent and power in that prayer was to beg him to "Pick on someone else" and leave her and I alone.  Just two short months earlier we'd retired and moved to what had been our vacation home.   When she suddenly passed in her sleep, a month later, I felt as if some huge heavy weight boxer had landed one right in my solar plexus.  I screamed, cried, could not catch my breath. I was doubled over in gut wrenching agony and pain.  In my grief group, I found I was not alone, the others were using similar words to describe their trip through grief.  It was several months later that the topic of Anger came up and the group had someone in specially trained to help them through their rage.   Unfortunately the snow had closed the pass and I was unable to get into town for that meeting.  I wondered why I was not feeling any anger over Susan's passing.  Was I still numb?  I had gotten to thinking about Susan's life.  Before she met me, she'd been a single parent for 11 years raising a son with virtually no support.  She was a diabetic from 18 years old.  After we were married we found that she'd been beaten so badly by an ex that she could not have children.  She suffered most of the possibilities that diabetes brings.  She nearly lost her sight. She lost her kidneys.  She had a double heart bypass.  She under went year long sessions of hemodialysis, and later peritoneal dialysis.  She under went 5 spine surgeries. This last time, her second transplanted kidney was failing.  That was why I prayed as I did.  Susan had been through her own personal hell on earth.  I loved and supported her through it all.  I suspect that she finally said enough.  Possibly together, we made the case and the Lord took her home.  Had she lived, her life would have been even more pain, emotional ups and downs, and deteriorating health with more hospitalizations.  I came to the realization that He'd done the right thing at the right time.  I've never felt rage nor anger that He called her home before me.  I'm glad that her pain has ended.  I wanted more time, but not at her expense.  Along with that gladness, is fear. The fear that He actually listened to me that day!  I'm very careful what I wish for these days! lol

This is our story and why I never felt rage or anger at my loss.  It's different for us all.

I'm now 4 years out, and I can echo others when I tell you that you will never forget but, It will get "softer" less intense, and no longer be a crippling pain.  I struggle now to find purpose, goals, aims, and, I am lonely.  I want to share the remainder of my life with someone.  Someone to talk to, to walk with, to eat with, to cuddle with, someone to kiss and hug.  When Susan was in the hospital one time, we had a conversation in which she told me that while I could mourn her loss (she was really sick) I should pick up, meet someone, and get on with the rest of my life.  I've found that it is easier said than done.  Apparently I've got lots of time ahead of me, my doctor tells me I'm the healthiest 70 year old he's ever treated.  Only time will tell...

Go through the pain Rich.  Don't evade it.  Hit it head on.  You will grow and come out the other side of its worst.

((((HUGS))))

Frank

Rich,  It has been almost a year for me since Bob died.  We had no children and even though there are living siblings...it was (and was supposed to be) the two of us.  We were each others life.  All  plans/ all future plans involved the both of us.  I understand.  I would never contemplate suicide mainly because Bob would KICK MY ASSETS...but  I too am having difficulties finding things to bring me joy.  The big things that we  enjoyed I haven't found the courage to attempt solo...traveling, camping, concerts.  Some things I still do..hosting neighborhood cookouts and  small dinner parties... but it really isn't the same.  It is a weird feeling.  I still am working at my dental practice but even that has lost some of its fun since I no longer have my silent partner to discuss business.  I don't have an answer.  I have to believe that it will get easier.  Bob was a 2 year widower when I met him in 1985...Jess was the love of his life and somehow he managed  to live and thrive after his devastating loss.  He taught me many things....he taught me that we >> chose  happiness daily!

Sending you ((hugs))

Michele

Frank,
It's coming upon 5 years since my husband lost his battle.
I spent a lot of time in the chapel. Praying for strength and courage for us, and for Wisdom and Guidance for the doctors...
The chapel is where I would let loose and cry... And pray...
One day, about 2 weeks after his diagnosis, while praying in the chapel, I experienced and incredible, yet overwhelming sense of calmness. I could finally exhale...
The words "Let Go and Let God" hit me like a ton of bricks.
So I did. I put it all in God's Hands.
We were given 7 glorious months. It was an incredible journey we took as a family... Experiencing a closeness as a family most never get to experience...
My husband never, ever, complained...
Not once. I quit working the day he was diagnosed and cared for him at home. I'm an Occupational Therapist. It was tough, some nights we were lucky to get 3 hours of sleep... Straight... The kids adjusted their schedules... We were all a team...
He was a Vietnam vet. Volunteered over 20,000 volunteer hours at the Mpls. VA, drove the county veterans service van for 18 years, transporting veterans to their appointments... 100 miles from our home...
There were 36 Honor Guard at his funeral... From all branches.
Frank, he's all I've known. I went from my parents home to him. I'm so grateful to have experienced the love story we did...
I dont know that we ever 'Move On'...
At least I hope not!
For me, mourning is not a process you go through... Steps you go through...
For me, mourning is always part of you, you just learn to make room for it.

Rich, I understand where you are. Keep talking about it. I went to see a priest at my parish, then I found a counselor to see over the next few months. There's no thought-crime, and I agree with vintage66 that there's a reason we're all still here. I am wishing you peace and hope today, and in the days ahead, 

I understand.  It will be 4 years alone for me May 2017.  I still think what's the point?  My husband was the one with hobbies, golf, curled, sang had friends,  I am the introvert who prefers  to to a road trip with my dogs.  God so took the wrong one.  

The first 18 months I was so busy doing all that had to be done, working full time.  Then I just crashed, into the "what's the point".  Mostly my live is the same, I always did everything around the house, all that was added to my work load was mowing.  It's just so lonely in the evenings.  Next day get up same crap.

Like you I won't kill myself as I am a christian.  But I do wonder why, & how long do I have to drag on for?

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