Since my husband died 14 weeks ago, I now take 6 pills a day for anxiety and insomnia. I still don't sleep.
I hate eating alone. I can't even figure out what to shop for or what to make. When I do figure out what to make, I sit at the table and cry while eating. Sometimes my t loss is so overwhelming, it makes me sick to my stomach, and I end up not eating anyway.
I hate not having him to turn to for advice, or to show me how to do something, or where something is.
Every time I think reality is setting in, it sets in even harder and deeper a few days later.
I've aged so much in the past 14 weeks. I look much older than 56. I think the bags under my eyes are permanent. I lost a lot of weight. I have no rear end to hold my pants up.
When I'm home alone, I often walk in circles not knowing what to do with myself. It's too early for bed, there's nothing on TV, everyone else has their own lives. I don't have the luxury of going to get a manicure or do other kind of shopping. I have to watch my finances.
The weather has turned chilly, and I make a fire in the fireplace, and it just makes me so sad. It reminds of the times I'd be taking a hot bath, and Don would bring me a glass of wine. He'd set it on the edge of the tub, not saying a word. Then I'd come downstairs and there would be a warm fire in the fireplace. He was so kind and thoughtful to me. I took that for granted.
There is before, and there is after. As the after grows longer and longer, and more things are accumulated in the after, and I'm reminded of more "after" times, it just makes me sadder and sadder.
I keep waiting for him to somehow reach out to me, to communicate in a way that I would undoubtedly know it was him. Today my TV went off randomly for about 15 seconds, then came back on. Probably wasn't him, but one can hope. I always thought that we had something special in our 38 years of marriage. I thought that when one of us died, we would be able to somehow get a message to the other. I mean we read each others minds when we were both alive. I would text him a suggestion for dinner and he'd text back, "I was just thinking about that!"
I often wonder if when I dream about him, is he communicating with me through dreams?
I have a part of my Spotify playlist that I have to avoid. Unless I'm in the mood to torture myself, then I play it.
Speaking of torturing myself, I watched PS l Love You last night.
I usually cry on my way home from work, knowing he's not here.
I don't know what else to say, except I miss him terribly, and reality is really digging in.
Crabby...so much of what you write reminds me of what I went through. I cried all the way to and from work each day in the car, during my 45 minute commute. I finally realized I could no longer listen to music on the radio when I drove (or...most any other time).
People here will understand what you are going through. Feel free to post in other groups, as not everyone will see this post.
Crabby, I do understand what you are going through. My husband of 38 years unexpectedly died 10 weeks ago. No kids just always us. So
i hope some of the things I’ve tried can help. I eat mostly easy sandwiches like cheese. Sometimes just French bread and butter. I’m not cooking
so I need easy. Cereal, yogurt, box Mac and cheese. First month or so I only ate sitting on couch. I made a goal for myself a few weeks ago, To eat my “dinner” in his chair at the table. I DO BELEIVE YOUR HUSBAND TURNED OFF THE TV. A lot of strange,mostly electrical, things have happened in my home and I know it’s him. Watch the TED talks called “More to dying than meets the eye: Martha Atkins at TEDxSanAntonio 2013. It is amazing
and shows there is more out there if you beleive. I still don’t sleep, I don’t have any advice on that. You need to love and take care of you..
get the book “ It’s ok that you’re not ok” by Megan Devine. Her book validated so much of what I felt or experienced so far. Yes this sucks,
i never expected to be a widow and neither did you. In the afternoon I try to take a short walk. It helps. My 61 birthday is this week, but I’m not celebrating it this year.
My grief counselor wants me to contact any friend everyday for just a short talk about him. It’s hard, and somedays i just cannot do it, but she says the more you talk about your loved one the more it helps. Anything good, bad, something that makes you happy or sad. Today I watched the movie “ The Holiday” as we watched it every holiday season. Today I cried through most of the movie, but that’s ok as we need to cry. Don’t keep it bottled up. Take a baby step and set yourself 1 goal every week. Make it easy. Eat dinner etc. I know they say it takes time, we are just at the start of this long train. In Dr. Phil’s book, Real Life,on loss he says a few key things.
“When someone you love dies, you don’t get a vote. You can love, lose, and survive. Unless you die very young, you cannot escape the day your heart is shattered.
You must be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to accept what has happened. Choose to stand up for you and the rest of your life. Sometimes we just have to get through now.” These all really stuck with me, and the first month after his death I reread them everyday. I journal some, but more now on this site and to pen pals
I actually have the book by Megan Devine, and it has helped in that it lets me know I am not crazy and I am not losing my mind. What I am experiencing is normal in such a great loss. I think I have some PTSD issues due to the way it happened, and some guilt thrown in there. I don't know if you saw my original post, but Don died when I was not at home. I was out getting pizza for what was supposed to be a family cook out. My adult children were there, but were outside. Don had said he wasn't feeling well, but I didn't grasp the full aspect of how sick he felt. I left to get pizza, the kids were outside, and he died. I found him on the bedroom floor. The love of my love, not breathing, eyes half open, skin discolored. It was horrific. I did CPR, everything I could until the paramedic arrived, but it was too late.
It's strange, because my daughter and son seem to be on the same pattern, the same wavelength as me. I have good days, and waves of bad days, and theirs seem to coincide with mine. My son texted me earlier that reality is hitting him hard. My daughter texted that music and certain songs are making her so sad. Don was such a presence, such a force in our lives. His was our rock.
I am also seeing a therapist, although I can't say it helps that much. She worked on the guilt for awhile, and she said that if I had known that what he was feeling was very serious, I would have called an ambulance. Yes, true, but deep inside I know that I should have recognized that what he was feeling was serious. I didn't get it. He was my husband for 38 years, and I know when something's wrong, but this time, I didn't get it. Why?
I love what you said - sometimes we just have to get through now. I work on that a lot, especially when I am at work. Trying not to get emotional, trying not to cry. I think about what to make for dinner, or get a text and for a split second think it's him, or look at his picture on my desk. Sometimes I end up hiding n the bathroom sobbing.
Thank you for all of your kind words. Just reading them helps to know that support is out there. And I hope it was him turning the TV off then on.
Crabby, my experience was very similar to yours, so I really do understand. I left for an errand at 9:45 am. He waved goodbye to me in garage. I came home at 10:20. I found him on our bathroom floor, also blue with his eyes open pupils fixed and dilated. Yes, I also did CPR until help arrived. I knew he was gone, BUT I tried. Yes, I have guilt about being gone. He told me to go and do my thing. Heart attack. So, now since this happened I know it could have happened when we were in bed. I could have found him gone one morning, or when he was driving either with me or without me. I could have been out in the yard working or pool, and I would be out there for hours before he would wander out to see what I was doing. I think that would give me more guilt. He had his phone with him. He never phoned for help. I checked. I think like your husband sometimes it just happens so fast they don’t try to reach out for help. They don’t know what is happening to them until it’s to late. That is not on us. My husband stripped all his cloths off and it looked like he just laid down. The police, and fire kept asking me “was he going to take a shower. No I said I think he felt pressured in his chest. He would strip and lay on the cold tile if he did not feel good. Now it doesn’t matter because they are gone. You and your family cannot let guilt win.
Like I said it’s baby steps. Some days I feel it’s one forward, then 2 back. But the next day might be 2 forward and none back. We are all on our own journey. We only moved to this state 6 months before he died. So I’m trying to find my way with people I really don’t know. It is all so,hard. My friends In Ca say they are so proud of how many new things I’ve accomplished, like putting up 2 shelves. Never used a drill in my life. Well it’s me now or no one. My sister is here and helps some but her job is one week on next week off. So week she works I don’t talk to,or see her at all. Her husband is one Who just does not understand my loss. I try to stay away. Let the sun shine on you, it helps.
I too struggle with people who just don't understand the depth of the pain and the severity of the loss. One of them is my adult daughter. Immediately after Don died, she and her husband and my two granddaughters stayed with me for about a month. They live about 1/2 a mile from me, so it was convenient for them to go home, get clothes or whatever else they needed, from time to time. They cooked dinner each day, and my granddaughters were a nice distraction, when I could stop crying long enough to play with them. Of course, they are back home now.
However, as much as I love my daughter, she doesn't get it. With turning the clocks back, I mentioned yesterday that I was worried that this would be a terrible winter season for me, and turning the clocks back and getting dark earlier makes it even worse. I love to be outside gardening, weeding, doing yard work. It's my therapy. Her response was, "You need to immerse yourself in something that you love." Really? A hobby will make it all better? Why didn't I think of that: Today I told her that my sleep struggles continue despite medication, and that I was up from 1 am to 4 am last night. Her response was, "You just need to lay there and clear your mind." I don't think I have to comment on that one. I get that she lost her father and not her spouse, but can't someone imagine what life would be like for an empty nester who suddenly lost her husband? Both times it took a lot of strength for me to hold my tongue.
Hello Crabby, I know all to well the holding my tongue when someone says something. But you know what I stopped. I now reply with “you never ever say that to a widow. Some just do that strange look, others say I did not know that. What should I say. I’m done being so nice. I even said it to my mom. Boy did she backup in her comment when I said that. My counselor has really stated to me multiple times to stand up for myself. Right now we are very vulnerable to other people trying to tell us how we should grief, think, react. I told my sister I was done with her husband running over me. She said she understood. The day Tom died, I only was able to call a few people. My dad being one. I did not hear 1 word from him for 3 weeks. Then he calls and said he would be here for the service. He lives in another state. Our conversation was a whole 2 minutes. It was I totally understand and I’ve gone through this. LIKE WHEN HAVE YOU HAD A SPOUSE DIE. ...NOT Then he said I loved him like a son, I’m hurting so I have to go if you need me call. Like I’m not hurting. The service was 6 weeks after the death, so 2 weeks before he calls again, not how are you it’s all about his trip on the memorial flight to DC.(Korean vet) That’s it. So I told my sister to,keep dad away from me at the service. I did not say much to him, I was barely holding it together. When he was leaving to go to his hotel He says I plan to call you every week. Ok, so he calls and says how are you then rest of conversation is all about him. So Sunday I did not answer, and he said if I’m calling to often let me know. So I emailed. yep, not helping so how about every 4 weeks. I have parents who divorced when I was 17, I’m third of 5 kids. Both my parents were only children and omg for both it’s all about me. I sent you a friend request.
I hope to chat more privately if you need that
I so hope you have a night where you sleep. Mine come and go
My therapist told me the same thing - speak up when someone says something insensitive. I'm working on that. If only the things people say were that simple.
I also have issues with my father. I wasn't the one who told him that Don died. My brothers went to his house the next morning to tell him in person. He lives about 1/2 hour from me. My father did call me after he found out. I just sat there and cried - it wasn't a long conversation. He called me again the next day, and I told him about the funeral services. He told me he wouldn't be going due to his incontinence issues. He refuses to wear Depends or some other kind of protective adult diaper. I'm sitting there thinking, all he has done for you, this man has done so much for you, and you can't put on a Depends to pay your respects to him?? Your son-in-law of 38 years??? I decided that it was probably for the best anyway. My father can be kind of a distraction and needy. The next day he calls me again, and this time, wants to know who is going to do his taxes? (Don was not an accountant) Who is going to fix his typewriter? Who's going to do this, who is going to do that? The whole entire conversation was like that. I just answered "I don't know Dad" to each question. Before Don died, my father used to call at least twice a week. He rarely calls now. When he does, he says, "How ya doing kid? You okay?" I tell him no, I'm not okay. Then he continues to talk all about himself, all the way down to how much cheese is going for at Walmart. I am also the third of 5 kids, but I am the oldest now.
I actually slept pretty good last night, but I'm still so tired today. Guess I have catching up to do.
Hello crabby, I don’t know if on your page my reply is present, I certainly cannot find it now. I don’t always understand the workings of this site. I’m glad you slept last night. I hope you have watched the TED talks YouTube video I mentioned. I found it amazing, and for me it solidifies that his soul is here with me. Marie, my grief counselor said “wow” when she watched it. I see her 3 more times until the end of the year. I’m then joining her group sessions for death of a spouse next year. She told me yesterday that she would show it at the group session. I asked her yesterday when the random crying would stop. She replied basically never, but it lessens a lot. At least I not longer have a hysterical sob session every night in the tub. I hope you have my original reply, if not we will talk again. Every week I have dinner 1 night at my neighbors. 2 sympathetic, empathetic Gay men who really get what I’m going through. Tonight is the night. I hope you sleep tonight too
Hugs coming your way
Hi Crabby. I am so very sorry that you lost your husband. It is so very hard when we lose our spouses suddenly - they are here one moment and gone the next. There is no preparation, no transition.
I don't have a lot of sage advice to give you, other than eat donuts if that's one thing you can stomach. The ideal is to eat well, but that doesn't happen to us when we are merely surviving. Eat whatever will keep/put calories on you.
Finances are the one thing that is left unsaid. One income is lost with your spouse, but a lot of times people assume you have money to "treat" yourself, and I use that term loosely as life certainly doesn't feel like a treat.
Try to be as good to yourself as you can. I know how hard it is, because my husband pampered me as I see that your husband did for you. And that TV off episode I believe was him. That type of thing has happened to me as well. I can't choose when I hear from my husband, but I think he randomly sends me messages. At least I would like to think that.
Many hugs to you and visit back often.
Thank you Tess. I really hope that was him. I really do. I'm a natural born skeptic who believes there is a logical answer to everything, but I am trying hard to believe he is sending messages.
I mentioned earlier that he may be communicating via dreams. A few days after he died, my daughter had a dream that she was planting garlic with him. She told me about the dream, and asked me what it could mean. I laughed and told her that her father was definitely sending her a message, because I used to tell him that I was pretty sure heaven smelled like garlic (I love the smell of garlic cooking).
I have had quite a few dreams about him since he died, but none of the dreams are set in the "before." They are all set in the "after."
Oh, Crabby. It's so hard, especially when we were blessed with husbands who pampered us and adored us the way ours did.
I lost thirty pounds in the three months after my husband died. I literally could not swallow food. I tried to tell myself that I was recovering from a horrible trauma, like an accident or terrible illness. I needed to stay healthy. My doctor put me on Ensure, but I couldn't drink that because it was all my mother could "eat" before she died. Ensure reminded me of death. I decided to try chocolate flavored Slim Fast because I already had some in the house. My friend's daughter-in-law sent me a box of Ginger Snaps because that was all she could eat after she lost her parents. She said the ginger helped settle her stomach. I read somewhere that grief causes dehydration, so I thought Gatorade might be a good choice.
The menu at my house for months was Ginger Snaps, Gatorade, Slim Fast, canned frosting and vitamins. I never ate at mealtimes and I never sat at the table. Why bother? Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my husband's death, although he had the stroke on October 24. That feels like the day he really died. Anyway, dinner last night was a bagel and cream cheese, with chocolate chips for dessert. I still eat like a crazy person. I get very anxious when I try to make a real meal, and cry all the way through it. Dinner time and the time after was the most wonderful part of our day. So much to talk about, friends to see, local events to check out. Now I'm in bed at 7:00 most nights. Good thing I'm a reader.
My husband did not believe in an afterlife, but I do. Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid it was as real as a waking experience? I think when we have those dreams about our friends and loved ones who have died, that's their way of communicating. I had a dream like that about my father, shortly after he died. I had one about my mother that was so real that when she laughed, I could see her gold crown on one of her back teeth.
I asked her if it hurt to die. She said, "No. It was very relaxing. Like slipping into a warm bath. The only part that might be called painful is that the light is so bright at first it hurt my eyes."
I thought that was very specific and calming.
I haven't had any contact from Gilbert, but I hope I will.
I haven't listened to music since he died. Music was so important to him, and it just makes me sad now.
Everything you're saying resonates with me, Crabby. You're not alone in your grief. In fact, I'm amazed at how many people are going through this and somehow manage to keep going.
It does get easier, but obviously, it's never the same. Widowed Village has really been a life saver for me. Knowing we have this refuge is tremendously comforting. Keep posting; we're walking right beside you.
Sending you love and strength.
Hey Melissa, So much I could say but so tired after a long day at work. I too had a hard time eating, lost 26 lbs. Unfortunately, I've gained most of it back as I soothe myself with food. I love, love, love your description of your dream about your Mom. I choose to believe in dreams. And yes, I also cannot listen to music. My husband was anti-television so we listened to music a lot. Can't do it now. Thank goodness I discovered podcasts because I sometimes need the distraction. Listening to podcasts with my wireless earphones lets me take a break from the constant thinking about my dear, sweet John. Take care, Melissa.