Tomorrow is the 4 1/2 month mark that my Rick left his 'earth-suit' , and it's just really hitting me hard that my Rick won't ever be back. Ever. I tried to get that through my mind and accept it before, but somewhere the denial kept me from REALLY believing he won't ever smile at me again, or tell me his corny jokes, or kiss me, ect etc.......well, you know what I mean.
I know we'll see each other again, and I remind myself that no one knows how long we have on this planet, so maybe I'll see him sooner rather than later. Rick's 65th birthday would have been 4/19, and my 61st birthday is 4/25. He never even made it to Medicare. I don't know why this is hitting me so hard this week, but the blues started Sunday. I had done some yard work the day before, but I kept getting so overwhelmed with the enormity of it all (one acre- not huge, but it is now since it's just me). Sunday I did the worst thing possible. I gave myself permission to wallow in my self-pity. I had 2 Bloody Marys , and then later, had 2 more. All it did was make me feel even worse than I already did- what a stupid thing to do. Douse myself in a depressant when I'm already depressed. Once we moved here from the UK, we always had a mutual birthday celebration, usually around the 22 or 23. This Saturday I have a bird of prey rehab and rescue training, which is in the town Rick and I always went to for our celebrations. I was thinking that maybe after the rehab, I should go to our favorite restaurant. Then that made me think, uh, no, not with how I've been feeling. I'll just get a rib eye to-go and slink home to be with the dogs.
I know we are all rowing the same boat on the same waves, but like all of you, I am so worn out from the ups and downs. I told my sister, who won't be back from Palm Springs until the middle of next month, what is the point of doing all the yardwork, housework, etc, when it's just me and the dogs? I got a scolding for that. Only one good thing so far this week....my new Life Alert will be there when I get home from work tonight. Maybe that will help me feel less vulnerable. Living in the boonies is great when you're younger, but a bit intimidating when the 'snow is on the roof' as Rick used to say (meaning gray hair). Then I think that maybe I should sell the house and move closer to my work, which is only a 30 minute commute, but where would I go? I have no children, and the only family left is my sister and niece. My stepson, who lives an hour away, only calls me when he wants something. My stepdaughter is still in the UK. I know we aren't supposed to make any major decisions in the first year, so all that wasted thought and anxiety was for nothing, and all it did was upset me further. Last week was so much better......this week sucks.
Like Tony said, routine makes it easier, but then it makes it harder, too. There's no easy way to get through this grief crap....it's like a war zone, in the trenches, each and every day, hoping for some elusive truce.
Thanks for listening- sorry it's a bit of a downer today.
Peace to all
Its not denial preventing acceptance - it takes time - years for your entire being - heart, body & soul to adjust to the fact of your loved one's death. Even telling yourself the two of you will be together again takes time to fully resonate. It took quite a while for me to believe Bob & I will be united again. I just hope when I die my forever young Bob won't run when he sees how much I've aged - even now a decade later ...
Grief cycles over & over again till its done. You'll find venting is far more helpful when not beating up on yourself - it relieves stress & can help w/sleep when you get it all out there - repeatedly. Be gentle w/yourself ...
Steph, I totally get it. I'm at 6 1/2 months since I lost Chris. At about 5 months I noticed that I was getting worse instead of better, so I started counseling through Hospice. It's helped but you're right grief is like a war zone. I'm fortunate to have children. My daughter and 3 yr old granddaughter live very close. But I try not to burden them with the harsh realities of my new life. It's funny you mention the life alert, I'm only 57 but now that I live alone I've given it some thought. I don't live in the boonies, but if I fall in the shower or backyard it could be the next day before somebody finds me. Vent away when you need to, we understand and sometimes knowing I'm not the only one in the world having a bad day helps a little. Sorry for the rambling, but some days it's difficult to even put a coherent thought together.
Dearest Denise and Sweet Melissa
Thank you so much for your kindness and support. It means more than anyone on this site could know. I am now totally alone, for the next 6 weeks until my sister returns from Palm Springs, apart from my Rick's spirit. My best friend of 15 years, who just lost he mom 2 months ago, has disappeared from my life. Her husband was my Rick's best friend in the US, and I've haven't hear a peep.Before she left to deal with her mom's illness, we had a lunch. It was only 2 months after Rick passed, and of course I broke down. She looked at me, with pain in her eyes, not just for me, as I would shortly find out. She had a miserable 1st marriage, but the second and current one, I thought, was a happy one. She then told me " you have NO idea of how lucky you are. I would give anything, just anything, to have had just a few weeks of what your and Rick had. I've never, in my life, had that kind of unconditional love and acceptance and true bonding that you and Rick had. It was obvious to anyone who met the two of you".
Since she returned from her mother's funeral, I have emailed her 3 times for a luncheon get together, and called her twice. Crickets.....that's all I hear are crickets. This is another cruel blow. I take great solace from talking to all of you here, many who have gone through this too, besides the horrid loss of our spouse, we have do deal with yet another loss. Crap.
It amazes me how much the stories i read here hit home. Its like we are all living the same life. I am at 4.5 months also and i too feel the reality of this new normal creeping in on me. I am supposed to be getting my house in order to sell and move closer to our daughter and her family. Financially i am a mess..i worked with my husband in our business for the past 25 years..without him the business is gone..i havent even been able to bill out the last few months of our work..i just cant sit in our office and do it..eventho i desperately need money..i haven't been able to clean up his clothes he had been cleaning out his closet and drawers so he left stuff piled across a couple of rooms. I just touch them and break down again. 17 years in this house and nearly 31 years together...so much stuff...all with his fingerprints on them. My parents are angry with me for not getting the repairs and cleaning done. Its only me here in a huge house and i hide in our little guest house my husband finished for us for our 23rd anniversary. Its my safe space..where i sleep, eat, read and watch tv. My folks hold our mortgage it was mutually beneficial for years but now they just want me out to sell and get their money back. My father has said some cruel things to me " you are playing the victim" and other stuff. I havent spoken to them much in the past few weeks. My daughter seems to be the go between. I read all this about no big decisions and changes...and i am supposed to box up my life sell my house find a new place in a new state and a new job/career to support myself. I just wanna scream sometimes. My only emotional support comes from my neighbors that are like family. My daughter tries but she is 10 hrs away with her 1.5 yr old son and hubby. My dogs are great too, they are so intuitive. I have rambled on twice today on this site. I think that is a good sign for me. Ton of bricks for sure. May we all dig our ways out! Thanks to all who write here for sharing, it really helps me.
Steph, I could say snap, snap, snap, snap to everything that you said. Its now nearly 10 months since I lost Helen and its just so hard. I have this routine where at night I take Helen's photo to bed and in the morning I take it downstairs with me. At one time it gave me some comfort but its now getting more difficult. When I forget her photo (73 in 6 weeks time so I forget things!!) I just feel so bad and beat myself up.
Like a lot here I think I am more clinging onto Helen rather than just remembering her, but after 50 years it shouldn't be different should it?. But that clinging on takes its toll. In fact the other evening I said to Helen, I have to let you go my love, but then thought how do I do that, then felt ashamed I even thought it!
As I write that ton of bricks drops on me and the tears come.
I am very very fortunate that I have good family and very good friends, in fact my friends more than my family seem to sense when I am having a bad day and I do get hugged constantly.
This road we are travelling is difficult enough but with those bricks on you back its just so much harder.
Hi Shoosie, just wondering how you're doing?
thanks for asking. Some things are a tiny bit better, some things are the same, and some things still suck.
Better things: I was able to finally get Rick's truck to pass smog after putting in another $700 for a new catalytic converter, muffler and water pump. The guy who agreed to buy it was fine with splitting the cost with me, so he will be coming tomorrow to get it. Another reminder of Rick being gone- his favorite truck leaving for good. Just as well, I never used it since we sold the boat. We only used it to haul trash twice a year to the dump. I've made a decision to no longer do the planned Christmas market to sell our remaining artisan jams, marmalades and British Christmas cakes. Too much stress with getting products made, setting up the booth, selling and still working full time. I can't do the work of 2 people on my own. Not to mention coping and not crying when people say 'hey, you don't sound British- where did the Hughes English Heritage Preserves come from'? I will then have to tell them about Rick, which is hard enough, but December 20 will be the one year anniversary, and frankly I know I'll be a mess. Dunno. I keep telling myself that making it to the 1st anniversary will be a huge accomplishment. The farmer's markets and specialty fairs were OUR thing....not just me. There is no our anymore. I have no heart for it. Making that decision, though months away, has eased the burden of trying to carrying on the business that I no longer want to do without my partner.
I had my first in-person grief counseling session last night with 2 other widows- both further down the road than I. It was good, and my homework for the week is to write a letter to the doctors who missed his cancer for 9 months- I'm angry about them. No, it won't ever be sent, but it's a way of letting go of negative emotions. I also have to get a small altar made with his photo, his wedding ring and candles so that I can say 'good morning' and good night' daily to him, like I don't do that already. When we were in session, she looked straight into my eyes and said 'he knows you're here'. Then when leaving, she gently pulled me aside and said 'your husband is absolutely charming...and British too!'. I hadn't told her a thing about him, just about his passing. Then when I got home and turned on the telly, it was again auto- tuned to the car program he used to watch.
I am getting the yard slowly whipped into shape, and planted some new flowers and getting the gazebo cleaned, the fountain going and make a sanctuary for myself. It had been OUR sanctuary, but it will be good for me to be outside for awhile and remember the good time we had there. I know it's going to be bittersweet to be out there on my own.
I got an invite from our closest friends in the UK to go over and stay for a few weeks. I may do that after the first of the year. It would be a welcome change to mark my second year Rick-less.
Things the same: I have to say I am still swimming in the grief waves, trying to reach shore, but it's still a long way off in the horizon. I know I need to be gentle with myself, and today I feel anxious- I don' t know why, and it needs to subside. Almost a tightening in the chest. Not a panic attack, just a wee bit anxious and sad.
Things that still suck: I still am trying to piece together some kind of life, and while I didn't expect miracles, I didn't think I would get so bogged down with inertia. On the weekends, I have to force myself to get anything done, and even when it's completed, I have no joy, no sense of accomplishment. I just am returning to numb again.
So with all of that said, I hope that everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and that we can find a tiny bit of joy.
Steph AKA Shoosie