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I year ago today my husband of 38 years, Tom, died suddenly from a sudden heart attack. I had 2 intense dreams last night that he was here, alive again. Both woke me up, I think it was him saying "yes I'm here". Hard to fathom that 1 year has gone by. The first 6 months my life contained dark, turbulent, stormy days of anger, weeping and despair. Lost, alone, lonely, frightened, and tired. Grief is messy, untidy and unpredictable. You can't fast forward to the part where you feel better. You have to go through the pain to help yourself heal. My happy, comfortable, familiar life imploded in a second. I was thrust into a unfamiliar, uncomfortable, unhappy place, I call widowland. Tom was my soulmate, my love, my cheerleader, best friend.    My life.

You always think there is plenty of time for things... LATER

Things you meant to say...LATER

Do certain things...LATER

BUT then LATER is gone.

You think-ok the worst of grief has finally passed, only to be hit in the face by a trigger. Bam... Those dark stormy days of grief are back. So this is my widowland. I never expected to experience so many things in just 1 year that were  absolutely the worst days in my life. His death, planning and attending his memorial service, and all the difficult days through the year to culminate with the death day today-- 1 year. So, tomorrow starts year 2. You don't see any articles about year 2 just year 1. 

All the "firsts" of year one. So, tomorrow for me its "firsts" year 2. I still experience triggers, I still have "first" things I have just not been able to do. It's all just baby steps. 

Eventually, in the end, love for Tom is the only thing I can carry with me now, and when I go. Someday I'll see him again.

hugs,

jlsrdh

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Replies to This Discussion

My thoughts are with you on this meaningful day. Your words so echo my experience, and I too refer to my life imploding in a second. It has now been five years since my husband of 35 years died of sudden cardiac arrest. The agony of those early months has subsided, but today is Gary’s 71st birthday (I choose to continue to use present tense when possible) and I am finding it very difficult. It was comforting, somehow, to read your words validating my own experience. Thank you for that. I wish you much comfort in the months ahead, an enduring ongoing relationship with your beloved, and a joyous reunion when that time comes. 

Anne

Anne,  thank you for your kind words. I want to share something my grief counselor said to me.October is my anniversary month. I had a session on that day, was so sorrowful, crying saying we will never have another anniversary. She said “ stop right there, you will always still celebrate these important days. It’s just you are in this realm, and he is in another. Celebrate and honor him”. That was so comforting and that’s what I do.  So happy birthday Gary.

hugs

jlsrdh

Julie

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes for Gary, Julie. You have a very wise counselor! So glad to hear you are continuing to celebrate your special days. I have a special dinner complete with chocolate cake planned for us tonight. I know this is a much different kind of day for you and will continue to think of you through the day. Thanks again for posting such meaningful words.

Anne

Your message deeply resonated with me. It has been 1 year 1 month for me and I see myself reflected in your words. These also validate my emotions during the past months. Your words are beautiful. May we find solance and some joy in this second year. Sending you love. 

It's been 7.5 years that my husband died suddenly, he was 35. Your words resonate with me and so many others. I had a dream 3-6 months after he pasted that he was there in our room watching over me in my sleep, and then again when the pain was to hard to stay where we lived, I moved the kids & I closer to my mother. I had a dream those first nights in the new house, the sun was coming thru the front door and he was standing in the light smiling at me. Those dreams gave me peace and were a gift during my hardest times. I can say that the years don't make it easier, just more manageable. I still miss him as much today as I did in 2012.  

Some wonderful words of advise I received during my first years were to celebrate the special moments/days, take care of yourself during those times and when your feeling low.

Dear Jlsrdh, What a perfect description you've offered us.  I'm now into my 10th month since I lost my precious love and that is exactly how it has been for me.  Now I'm working on getting the last billing from his business completed and have to start cleaning out his office/art room to put a place to sleep in it.  Sooooo grim.  I could hold onto his things for eternity.  One step at a time as you said.  I have no doubt I will carry my love for Greg for ever, as long as I live, even if I end up loving someone else before I'm all over.

And let me add too:  may this next year offer us more joy, more peace, more hope, less despair, more love wherever we have it or find it, and more laughs too.  I see my photos from the last year and my eyes are swollen & puffy in all of them.   What a year!  

jlsrdh, Thank you for sharing.  It's hard for me to imagine being at 1 year so it's helpful to hear how you are doing.  The sneaker waves continue to come...Those BAM moments are incapacitating sometimes... And those reminders of "LATERs" continue to wreak havoc on our hearts. 

I often am haunted by the "I wish I would have..." or "I wish we had..." And now the opportunity is gone... I realize it doesn't do any good to live in the "I wish..." moments, but sometimes when the pain and sadness are so great, it's hard to not go there...

What I'd give for your dreams to be true, that Tom was alive again... I'm so sorry they had to be dreams... It was a nightmare for you when you had to realize they were dreams...

I'm so appreciative for this group and the helpful conversations.  It means so much to not feel alone in this journey... We're in this together, jlsrdh.

We are in this together indeed

You are wise to see that triggers will always be there. 

Year I is "survival". Year II begins the "Now what?" phase--which is the rest of your life. It may be "baby steps", but you can now look back and see how far you've come. Don't be hard on yourself. Being able to move forward (and not give up) takes grit and courage. People who haven't gone through this rarely see that.

Hugs to you, jlsrdh.

chef (John),

Your identifying Year 1 as "survival" and Year 2 as the "Now what?!" phase gave me so much peace and permission.  It's easy sometimes to think that I have to hurry to get to the "Now What?" phase, when I just truly need to be working through my emotions and taking care of myself so that I CAN get to the "Now what?"  It's hard to imagine getting there... And even WANTING to get there... I just want what was...
Thank you.

BA7.5

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