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Born in the 50s

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Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on May 8, 2019 at 3:17am

@Ron:  I may get a little tough-love here so just be aware that I'm coming from a place of wanting to see you feeling better, or at least functional.  What you are going through is called grief.  You've lost not just half of who you are, but 2/3 -- "Sandy" and "Us".  What's left is "Ron."  And what Ron has to do now if try to expand Ron to if not fill that space, to at least be able to cope with being 1/3 of what you were.

First of all, I'm going to suggest that you either find a bereavement group, find a grief counselor, or both.  It's not unusual for men to have a harder time expressing grief, releasing it through tears, talking about it.  I don't hear a lot of mention of friends, so I'm assuming that like many men, it was you and Sandi and that's pretty much it.  I know if I had been the one who died, my husband has no one to hang out with, no one to talk to.  He would have ended smoking pot all day, going to our local dive bar and pouring out his sorrows to the female bartender, looking up old girlfriends from 30 years ago, or all of the above. If you're anything like him, the above just resonated with you.  But that's why a bereavement/grief group is important for you.  It also gives you real-world contact.

Second of all, try to stop self-medicating.  Being high or intoxicated all the time just pushes the problem down, it doesn't address it. You are in the dreaded "Year Two", which is worse than Year One.  Year Two starts around six to nine months in, when the numbness wears off and s**t becomes real.

It looks like you are not making the common mistake of rushing out to find someone else -- something that often results in bad decisions, so that's good.

When you get invited to things, GO.  It's hard and you won't want to, but GO.  The more you interact with the world, the more you become part of it.  And you MUST become part of it.  Part of the work of Year Two is the realization that this is real and it is permanent, and it's about starting to look at that blank slate that you didn't want and start figuring out what to write on it.

And finally, utilize this site and the chat room, which has people in it pretty much 24 hours a day. Now I'll be honest:  I am 5-1/2 years in and I don't come to this site that often anymore.  I have built a new life, not with someone new because I have not dated at all and don't want to.  I moved right after the two-year mark.  I joined a bunch of meetups and just went out a lot.  I joined a book club.  I made new friends and I'm always looking for venues to make more friends or even acquaintances -- single women like me who fit my new life. I wake up every morning and say "Good morning, Sweetie" just as I did for 30 years.  The rest of the day and evening are the new life.  I miss having someone right there.  I miss my traveling companion.  I miss having someone who actually cares if my flight lands safely.  I miss having someone right there to take me to medical appointments, to rub sunscreen on my back, to laugh with -- the little things that make a marriage. But this is the life I've been given and I approached it with a grim determination to NOT spend the rest of my life stuck in grief.

Yes, some of it IS a decision. You don't "get over" your loss, but you find a place for it -- room or a compartment in your life that you visit as often as you need to, but after your visit you say "I will always love you" and then you go out and LIVE.  For me there was no other viable option.  I saw my mother get stuck in grief and be miserable -- and make the few people in her life miserable too.  I vowed it would not be me.  I'm sure I overcompensated more than a bit and it's come out in other ways.   But the only way out is forward.

Comment by Melissa on May 7, 2019 at 10:18pm

Ron, just know we're here for you. Keep talking to us. 

Much love to you.

Comment by shelley on May 7, 2019 at 8:40pm

I know how fortunate I am-  my 43-year-old son has been extremely supportive.  He's taken over the family business, doing everything, actually doing many things better than I did.  He has become sweeter and more dear each day.  He has allowed me to grieve at my own pace, to be as sad as I need/want to be.  I know how valuable this is.  I am so sorry that such support is not available to us all.  I've seen the opposite- my stepdaughter was a monster.  Only showing signs of humanity when I gave her lots and lots of my husband's money.  But I choose to focus on my sweet son.  I am very grateful for him.  

Comment by Ultra2015 on May 7, 2019 at 6:17pm

I don't know what to do. It's been 15 months since Sandi died, but it's been 4 years and 5 months since this devastation started when she was diagnosed with medistatic breast disease that manifested in brain cancer. I am constantly fighting  the tears and depression.  I am on anti depressants, anxiety meds, vodka and beer and nothing helps.  I just feel lost.  I don't know what to do.  I volunteer at our homeless program twice a week, I am running the search committee for a new pastor and several acquaintances are very kind and invite me places, and I just don't want to go.  I sleep sporadically, usually up at 4, then 5, then get up at 6 and try to have breakfast and then go back to bed.  I make myself work in the yard, but it is only because I try to think about what Sandi would what it to look like, I don't care.  Then I go back to sleep for 2 hours until Happy Hour, Haha. That was our happy time.  We always had a cocktail and then dinner, watched our shows and then went to bed.  I miss her so, we had such a wonderful emotional and physical relationship.  Not just sex, but I couldn't get close enough to her when we went to bed.  I would just melt into her.  The kids would always make fun of us because we slept in a double bed for years and only got a queen because we were looking for a new bedroom set and it was on clearance.  We were actually sleeping in her double bed she had as a teenager.  I am just lost.  I don't want to live like this, but I don't want to die (song lyric).  But the house is so difficult to take care of. I just want to move to Denver and get high all day.  But that would just bring back memories of the first big trip we took after being together for a few months in the beginning.  I just don't know what to do.  I miss her so.  The last three years were awful for her.  She was so worried about me not being able to do the things I wanted and I would tell her my job was to take care of her, and it is true, there is nothing that was more important to me than caring for her.  But now I have lost my way.  I know she wanted me to move on and told me countless times not to let her dying hold me back, but how do you move on from losing the love of your life. Just a bad day I guess.  Thanks for listening. 

Bless you all

Ron

Comment by Allan_sch on May 7, 2019 at 8:47am

I’ve had my son and a family friend and her daughter living with me for the last year 

this has helped me a lot to have a busy house 

Comment by Tekwriter on May 7, 2019 at 7:59am

 I am very lucky it appears. I just bought a new house and both of my sons moved with me. My older son and his girlfriend took the upstairs and my younger son took the basement which is fitted with a bathroom and we hope to completely finish out. I live on the main floor. I thank the Lord for them every day.

Comment by Barzan on May 6, 2019 at 3:01pm

I had watched After Life and really identified with the character.  And have set Dead to Me on my list.  

I have a great son and a caring brother who try and help me out when I need them.  Their wives are princesses and don’t like the “hassle” of helping me out.  I try not to depend on them much so as to keep peace.  I have to agree that we weren’t raised this way and I instilled these values in my son.  I just don’t know what happened.

We are the “dread” call to the kids.   If someone had told me this would be my life 10 years ago, my husband and I would have made some serious preparations.  

Hugs to all.

Comment by Melissa on May 6, 2019 at 11:58am

I've been trying to figure out this whole thing with the kids.

I don't know about you, but in my family, the younger people always took care of the older people. My widowed grandmother lived with us when I was a child. My father's aunt lived next door so he could keep an eye on her. We all ate together at dinner time. The Grownups took care of the Older Grownups.

I never knew anything different. My sister and I took care of our parents without ever thinking twice. This is what love is. This is what you do. They took care of us; we took care of them.

My son tells me "That narrative no longer applies."

Family was always the most important thing in my life, and I never dreamed I would be so alone.

I suppose I feel as if I've lost the dream of being a doting grandmother, taking care of my children's children, along with the love of my life. 

Thank you all for being here.

Comment by LandL (Linda) on May 6, 2019 at 11:12am

My son and daughter were very kind and helpful in the beginning, but in the 4 years since their dad died very suddenly, they have distanced themselves.  My daughter calls every day, but I can tell she really doesn't want to.  She always makes it at a busy time for her so we can't talk long.  I know they talk about me and my lack of moving on, but some of the problems in their lives have kept me anxious and depressed.  We were a very close family. but I guess my husband was the glue that kept us together.  It hurts so much to see my family falling apart, especially at this time in my life.  I never thought my life would ever be so lonely.  I feel like a nuisance to everyone.  Thanks for letting me vent.

Comment by Ultra2015 on May 6, 2019 at 10:16am

Sara wrote on her blog about watching the Netflix series Dead to Me.  

I binged the whole season.  "Two women meet in a grief group, both widows"  Crazy twists and turns.

Her post is more about reaching out and trying to find a way to deal with the loneliness.  Being able to visit, read and write here is very helpful.  

Thank you all

Ron 

 

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