Today marks the 9th month that my husband died. It seems that every month since he passed on the 13th day, all the memories of his death come flooding back. Is this the pattern that will be with me forever? The sadness doesn't last all day, but it is a reminder that I am alone; and I will never have someone look at me with the same connection to life and love. Just wondering if this is unique to me because I am a "date/time" nut or is this normal.
Hi Former Yooper,
I'm sorry that you are here but here is the best place to be. Here you can ask questions, cry, vent, rage, laugh, and interact with folks who are either going through or have been where you are now. You will find we all use much the same words, pain, agony, loss, hopelessness, adrift and so on.
As Callie said, while our paths are parallel, we all travel along them in different ways and speeds. Susan and I retired in September of 2012 and we moved into the home that we'd built back in 1992. Up until then we used it as a mountain get a way and vacation home. In that September we moved in permanently Three days later Susan told me the house was "too small" and we started an addition that would double the size of our home with an attached garage. In October we celebrated our 35th anniversary, on Thanksgiving Day that November I flew Susan out on Flight-for-Life, and in December of 2012 without any warning, she passed in her sleep of a silent heart attack. My world imploded, half of me was gone - instantly, My purpose in life disappeared, I was afraid to make decisions, I was alone, I lost my best friend, my confidant, my life. All in one phone call. "Is this Frank, yes, this is nurse xxx I'm sorry to tell you that we found Susan at 6:30 this morning not breathing. We called the paramedics and they are administering CPR and trying to resuscitate her. How long have they been working on her? For nearly an hour now, How long has she been with out Oxygen? Longer than an hour. I think you should tell them to cease their efforts and let Susan be.
Everything collapsed at that time.
I honestly don't remember much of that first year. I think it was a kind of self preservation setting in. I managed my way through all the legal stuff. My two boys wanted to know when I was going to sell the house, I had financial stuff to take care of, and with the loss of Susan and her SS check each month, I was afraid my two retirements would not cover the mortgage and food and gas and propane, and, and... I was able to refinance the home for 15 instead of 30 years and saved a tad over $600/month. That put me into the black and lifted that weight off of my shoulders. Here, we pay our land taxes twice a year. In January, we pay the first half, and in June we pay the second half. In August I walked into the Treasurer's office and said I wanted to pay the second half of my taxes. She looked us up and said You did not pay in January, so you owe the entire amount. I was stunned. We owned the land for 20 years and always paid twice. How could I have forgotten? The first year can be a fog.
Some say the second year is in some ways more painful than the first in that the protective fog is starting to lift and the painful part of the memories seem to come back. I don't remember. The fog I guess.
The third year I realized from my reading, participation on WV, and attendance with a Grief Group, that folks were talking about Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, and each other's birthdays, the day of their death. To me, it seemed like just as things were calming down, another occasion came up and sort of pulled the scab off the wound. I decided that I was done with the pain and the loss and would celebrate our love and our happiness. I decided I would celebrate our anniversary. Each year after that on our anniversary I open our wedding album and page through the pictures. I sit on the couch and as if she were sitting beside me, I talk out loud about the story behind each picture and tease her as I would if she were there. By concentrating on our love, and joy, and happiness, and not giving into the pain of loss, I managed to turn the corner that third year, and over time my loss, my pain has gotten softer. I have gotten out more, done things for myself, and am feeling much more confident and actually am getting excited about living.
There is no easy way, no detour, we each have to "go through it" alone, and at our own pace. When the tears occur, cry, don't try to stifle them. While they flow go through the cause, and as they ease up remember your love.
Join in WV. Participate, first by reading, then as you are now, writing. Ask questions, comment on others writings. Look at the Chat Room. Some times the room is filled with folks talking about virtually anything and everything under the sun, and sometimes, folks are talking about their pain or asking questions. When you feel up to it, join in it will really help you. Talk about your loss in Chat or in your questions. Include details. The more you put into words what has happened with more and more detail and love, the stronger you will become.
What you are going through we all are or have gone through.
Welcome, and ((((HUGS))))
Nope, it won't be w/you forever - its just best to adjust to it being w/you in knowing your limits as well as setting aside time to grieve in & out ...
The grief process is for healing resolution to move you forward w/life one step at a time ...
Grief changes ...
The sadness may always be there. Some years it would come prior to the anniversary date and end with a crescendo on that day. This year the days before it seemed relatively mild with the emotions flooding into me on the day of or after. September, October, November, and December have been particularly hard for me this year. September is his birthday, October is my birthday and our 39th anniversary, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are filled with our children and grandchildren. I don't know if time has set aside the numbness of the early pain and allowed new wounds to open but there seems to be memories that now are coming back and flooding in allowing for fresh tears. New challenges in my life (the purchasing of my very first "me only" home), my children going through divorces, my grandchildren facing their own challenges has added to my missing my husband more at this time. I also find that I am more accepting of his being gone. Willing to live my own life now as a single person. Alternating between counting the time we will be together again with the I am enjoying my life as it is. There are days that I do wonder if the tears will ever end. Perhaps, with spring, there will be new clarity in my life...
Normal doesn’t apply here. Grief and loss affect everyone in a different way. I’m on year 4 and take certain days off from work. Change things around so I can make it through another holiday season without him.
I think it's normal because I just lost my best friend fiance and daughter's father a little over 3 months ago and there 18ths are extremely hard for me even Fridays make me think of him... He was truly my best friend and partner and I'm so lost without him daily...
I just read an article on the Option B page that shared quick self-assessments you can take to see just where you are in your grief. I'll admit I was rather skeptical when I saw the article's title, but they seem pretty straight forward and gave me the results I expected. (I answered once for where I am right now at 7 years post-loss, but also took a couple answering how I was during that first year.)
Here's a link to the article, which includes links to several self-assessments:
Will go over to try this out. Thanks Dianne in Nevada.
My husband passed on the 6th of July. On the 6th of every month I'll be in tears before I'm even fully awake. It's like my body knows it's been another month. I'll mentally go through the events of the day he died over and over and wonder how this is even real. At 9:30, I'll think, this is the time I got the call. So if there is such a thing as normal in these circumstances, this yes, it's normal.
Between, sorry for your recent loss. Those flashbacks. We mentally go back in time, hoping there may be a way we can change the outcome. I remember thinking if I would have done this or that, he'd still be here. The truth is, we can't change anything and we cannot control it. That's kind of like the first hurdle that I recall. I even blamed myself for a while. Then I realized all of that was irrational and nonproductive. If we could see into the future, maybe then sometimes death could be avoided but I couldn't foresee the unwinding of events that took his life.
The subconscious mind takes over our lives for a while. We may not intentionally try to think of something but even in a sleep state, those thoughts pop up. It doesn't go on forever but it sure is hard to deal with in the early days. Grief is a process that takes but always remember that you are still moving towards healing, one day at a time.
Tonight I am reflecting on the eve of my husband's 1st anniversary of his death. The mind is the most amazing camera that I know. It makes the X-phone look like a child's toy. I so recall/seeing tubes everywhere, respirator breathing for him, I can even smell the hospital; and then the Phy. Asst. telling me that his body was shutting down. I held hope for the 5 weeks in ICU that he was going to get better and come home with me. I wanted another 43 years with him. I had decided that I would spend the night with him, holding his hand, stroking his arm, putting cool cloths on temples, trying to comfort him as best as I could. He was heavily sedated, and I hoped to God that he was spared any of the pain that he had been experiencing. Around 11:30, the staff convinced me that he would be fine during the night and that I needed to go home and get some rest myself. I didn't want to leave. At around 12:30 after numerous attempts to leave, I finally did walk out of the room and drove home.
I crawled into bed, hoping to sleep, but there was no shutting off my brain. At 1:30, I got out of bed, showered, and drove the 10 minute commute to the hospital so that I could be with him. I did fall asleep holding his hand until about 6:30 when the staff changed. His vital signs were still the same as the day before. I had so hoped that the doctors were wrong.
At 7:15, I kissed him on the check and whispered that I was going to just go to the cafeteria and buy a cup of coffee and I would be right back. I arrived back to his room at 7:30. The curtain to his room was pulled, the crash cart was outside, and there was a flurry of activity around him. He had waited until I left to begin shutting down. I was the one who told the staff/drs to stop the heroic measures of trying to start his heart. I didn't want them to hurt him any more. I asked if they would remove tubes/wires so that I could hold him. He left this world in my arms, and at the very end he opened his beautiful blue eyes and looked at me as if to say, "thank you" for letting him go.
The one phrase that keeps coming back to me is that the hurt/loss/emptiness I was feeling was the price I paid for loving. If that is the case, I loved him more than words can ever express.
So here I am a year later. Yes, life go on. I still cry--not all day long, but I do tear up on a daily basis. It doesn't make any difference whether it is morning, noon, night. It happens, and I can't even give you triggers that cause the tears. I don't cry in front of others, it is usually when I am alone.
December 13 will always mark the day that my life changed. I am sad, but I am one of the lucky ones. I have experienced a love that cannot be measured. If it is true that everyone has "The One" then I had "My One" for 43 years. Rest in Peace, My Love