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Widowed in 2015

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Comment by Terry on April 12, 2015 at 8:00am

Mary H, you are so right.  The past few days I was thinking to myself "what if I go back to the way I was before I met Anne?"  I used to be very introverted and my life consisted of going to work and then coming home until it was time to go to work again.  Anne taught me that life was so much more than that!  Thank you for bringing it to my attention that that is not the person I am anymore!  I will not go back to being that person, the person that she encouraged me to be is the new me.  I know I have been so lucky to have her as a part of my life.  There was a 18 year age difference between us (she was older) and many people thought that it would probably not last.  We would have celebrated our 27th anniversary on June 17th.  I am still going to find a way to mark that day.  I read last week that "death ends a life, it does not end a relationship".  I took great comfort in that because it matches my belief.  When Anne passed, I knew that our love was eternal and I was okay with never finding that kind of love again, the kind that some people never find. 

Comment by Mary H on April 12, 2015 at 6:50am

When my husband died, I knew even in my early grief, that I was losing something not everyone has had in life.  People would try to say that to me, and I knew they were right, but it didn't help the pain.  It was a perspective I knew I would come to eventually, on the other side of this terrible sorrow, but I wasn't able to be there yet.  Still, a little bit has been creeping in here and there.  It struck me yesterday, how lucky I was to have been so loved in my life, and I could feel the love.  When this happens to us, we struggle so much with what is our world now and what can it mean, and it feels so empty, and it feels as if the empty past before we met our loved one is going to resurge and be our new future, but that is not exactly the case.  Some things, the love, will always remain.  In the meantime, I have been watching the comments come and go filled with such tremendous pain, and all I can think is, how beautiful, what we can mean to each other in our lives.  A long marriage can be such a beautiful thing.

Comment by barbee on April 12, 2015 at 6:18am

Terry (and anyone else dealing with anger),

I found a helpful way to get rid of the anger. Do you have on your house an outside wall that's fairly private and doesn't have a window? Maybe even the garage. Make lots and lots of ice cubes. Hundreds even. Put them all into a large bowl and go to that wall. Throw. Smash. Yell. And get it out. There is something healing about hearing all that crashing and breaking, yet all the dishes are still intact in the kitchen and no windows got broken. It's just water so you don't even need to clean up the mess.

Another way to release anger is to grab an old pillow and a wooden spoon and just beat on it until you are spent.

Crying should be part of the process, too. There are some emotions held in a body that can only be released with tears. It is very OK to cry.

It is not healthy to bury that anger, so release it and get it out of your body. You might need to do these things more than once. Try it and see how you feel afterwards.

Comment by Terry on April 12, 2015 at 1:49am

I thought I was going to be one of the 'lucky' ones who managed to escape dealing with anger at this time.  I didn't sleep well last night and this morning I am finding myself angry at just about every situation that comes to mind.  So much so, that I have to fight the urge to throw things through the window!!  I am not angry with my wife other than feeling anger for her that she fought so hard to stay but didn't get to.  I knew that anger was part of the process but it has caught me completely off guard.  My wife's sign is coming for a visit today and I already suspect he is going to be asking for money to help with his car repairs, her daughter allowed me to foot all the bills for eating out when I went to visit her in Michigan 2 weeks ago even though before I went I stated that we would each be paying for our own.  I know it is ultimately up to me to say yes or no but I resent being put into the position.  I am not destitute by any means but like many of us, my financial position changed with my wife's passing.  I have mailed out a couple of angry letters to pensions etc., who paid after my wife's passing even though they had plenty of notice to stop the payments.  It just seems right now that emotions are running very high and I can't be bothered with things that aren't going my way.  Normally very patient and understanding, this is very hard to deal with.

Comment by catlady on April 11, 2015 at 5:06pm

you put it perfectly. I am very independent by Bill was the wind beneath my wings, and I did depend on his feedback even if I didn't agree. It is lonely making these decisions by myself. and I doubt myself often just have to get used to it.

Comment by mixelated on April 11, 2015 at 4:08pm

I think that has been one of the hardest things - I'm pretty self-assertive and I didn't realize how I checked with my husband on everything in our partnership, and how I counted on his opinion and his point of view to balance my own. I miss his analysis of every situation, and his assessment of people. Losing not only his perspective but our shared perspective of the world is so disorienting.

Comment by catlady on April 11, 2015 at 3:52pm

thanks for all of the good advice. I already have gone up to the hospital a few times , I think I will go up to the floor he was on so I can see all of the staff before I get back to work. do all of you feel , like the object of pity.i don't want anyone's pity. Terry I know what you mean. I have those moments, when I think " I'll ask Bill" and then I realize I he is not here to ask. i doubt my decisions,

Comment by Terry on April 11, 2015 at 12:04pm

Had one of those moments today that people cautioned me about.  I decided to go to the library this afternoon to get some books.  I am not a huge reader but I figured doing some reading to pass the time won't hurt and it will get me out of the house.  Normally I would have taken my wife to the library so that she could get audio books as she found them easier to deal with than trying to read.  Normally I would leave her to look in that section while I would go off on my own to give her some time to peruse.  Automatically today when I was finished I headed over to the audio book section to see how she was making out and realized immediately that I would never find her there again.  A very painful moment.  I was happy to get out of the library to hide the tears running down my face as well as the pain of the scab being ripped off my broken heart.

Comment by Meme908 on April 11, 2015 at 8:30am
I think whether it is going back to work or going places by oneself when previously you were a couple is one of the many hundreds of hardest things...Mary H has advice that also worked for me...that was to "rehearse" the experience by doing it in small doses....the other thing that has worked for me, is to just carry a lot of Kleenex for those times that the tears come...I have found for me that trying to hold back tears only results in a larger outburst. I have also found that people are not upset by my tears (as long as I am not upset by my tears) when they express condolences or talk about my husband...For some, this may help them see that their condolences and talk about my husband is appreciated
Comment by Terry on April 11, 2015 at 8:01am

catlady, going back to work was definitely a tough one!  As I was heading to work my first day, I was asking myself why I didn't think of asking for a couple of short shifts to start so that I knew I could retreat to my house after 4 hours.  They weren't able to accomodate me the first day due to coverage needs but the 2nd day I left after 4 hours.  I have been able to handle the regular shifts since then.  People coming up to me to offer their condolences and the hugs were really difficult at first.  The comments that really got me though were the "at least your wife isn't suffering anymore".  It is going to be a challenge especially with you working in the place that he spent so much time in.  I purposely had to take an alternate route to work to avoid driving by the hospital for the first 4 weeks as I would always look up at the window of the room she passed in on the hope that she would be looking out to me and it would have all just been a dream.  I can now drive by but still find my legs get weak when I am doing it.  Just remember, we have had that first day back as well so please know that we know how you will be feeling that day and our thoughts will be with you.


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