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Dealing with emptiness and idle time and low energy

Since I lost my dear husband to liver cancer, December 1, 2016, the first year went by in a haze. Now I am starting year two and it has finally hit me that I will not be seeing Gil anymore. This Christmas was pretty hard. I just went through the motions, but I could not get into the festive activities and parties. I bought a few Christmas sweaters, and a new dress. I did get to wear both of the sweaters. The dress is still sitting behind my bedroom door. 

I don't know why I bought the dress. There are plenty of things to do here in DC, but I don't have any real friends here anymore. I don't like going places by myself. This place is full of stuff to do. Sometimes I feel like that I'm just biding time to get through another day. I don't feel numb and the pain isn't as raw, but some days I just have a weird feeling I can't explain. It can appear out of nowhere and then my energy is zapped followed by a low feeling. Has anyone experienced this?

I have plenty of clothing, but I have resigned myself to wearing jeans and sweaters. That's all I have the energy for. The short and dark cold days aren't helping either. I just want to get out of this funk. 

If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to reply.


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Comment by Lev on January 18, 2018 at 12:12pm

Comment by Peach on January 18, 2018 at 11:19am

Thanks, Lev! So true. I'm so happy for you! Never a better testimony. Our husbands gave their all and their best. The last day my husband and I spent together, he had gone to work that Sunday and came back at his usual time. He wrapped up his day usually about 1:00 o'clock so that we could spend time together. I was in my car getting ready to do my usual activities. I didn't go to church that morning. Before I pulled off, he pulled up in his car and asked me if I wanted to take a drive to the mountains. I took it that he was back to his old self again and I asked if he felt up to the drive. He told me that I was the most important thing in his life. We took the drive, and when we came back that evening we ate some frozen dinners, the stuff that you heat in the oven. We were eating it and he said, "This taste awful after eating real food." Later, I was getting ready for bed and I ask if he was coming. He said no, that he was going to stay up for awhile. That was the last night I saw him conscious. 

I thank you for your comments. Good luck with your move, and working with those kids. We can do so much good as widows. I work as a Certified Nursing Assistant on weekends, and I have to admit it takes my mind off things when I'm working with elderly patients.  Some of the things they say can be a real scream. LOL

Comment by Lev on January 18, 2018 at 10:53am

hi everyone.  So I've been on a high these past few days.  February is Anniversary month so I am trying to prepare myself for February.  This year I want to feel fully present.  Last year..I don't recall much actually.  I just know that I was alone.  

So i have to move at the end of the month.  I start my packing tomorrow.   I'm on my own...

I am going to start a project..working with juveniles...first meeting next week

 So next few days have to be spent on research and networking.

 My dearest Tons, during the last six months of his life he had a sticker in our bedroom and study: "if you really want to make yourself feel better in your current state..then just make sure that you go the extra mile to do something for someone else.  It is the best medicine.  He never took medication.  He wanted to be present for me.  The only thing that has begun to ease the loneliness is to do something in his name. He has a legacy worth keeping alive.  Take care.  Lev

Comment by Peach on January 17, 2018 at 9:12am

I hear you Kaye. Death rocks our very foundation especially in marriage. For the first three months, life seemed like a haze to me. Then I had to deal with both of my husband's lying exes. I spent those next months mad as hell until I came to the realization that this stuff was not true. Some of it was true, but not in the way they were telling it. I'm glad his mother's side of the family is behind me. I do have contact with one aunt on his father's side who was a sister in-law to Gil's mother. This aunt was married to Gil's uncle, and I've known her for almost forty years.  From the way she told it. Gil's mother's side of the family was a doozy. I was just trying to put the pieces of my husband's life together and I thought the exes would be helpful since they were both in their mid and late fifties. You would have thought that I was dealing with two teenage girls with meanest on their agenda. I had to separate the truth from  fiction. My husband did lie about his family life and his life because he was very ashamed of his family and of himself. He had me fooled. I contacted these people because what he told me was not adding up especially when I began to write the obituary. I still have yet to have the memorial service and write the obituary because the things he told me about himself was not the truth. Everything was a big mess the first year. I'm into my second year; it still hurts, but not as much. I'm just focused on getting some peace in my life at this point.

Comment by KayeL on January 15, 2018 at 9:22pm


Death does change the whole ball game. On top of all the agonies and sadness that we're dealing with, lives in general do not treat us the "left behinds" very nicely. In a way, my in-laws need to keep in touch with me because their only male grand child stays with me. My in-laws are very traditional; male offspring means a lot to them. But they can't offer me much help. Long story short, I still have to deal with reality all by myself, alone.

Every day I don't seem to be able to find any hopes in my life. 2 full years, and I still think life is bleak.

Maybe I do cry less, but I have not been feeling "better." All I know is I am left behind with a broken heart, but not broken enough to make me die. It's a torture to stay alive and sometimes I don't see any reason to struggle with life anyway. 

Comment by Peach on January 12, 2018 at 2:23pm

I  had to add something else. I was wondering why the in-laws dropped me like a hot potato. I was reading on the internet about family law, and how the widows/widowers by law no longer have in-laws after the spouse dies. I barely knew my in-laws and now I can relate and look back at a lot of my grief.II not only lost my husband but I also lost an entire set of people I barely knew. The in-laws headed south and were not supporting at all. I basically told them where to go after they didn't bother to show up to the hospital when their brother was dying. I drove myself to the hospital and after he had passed.  One sister and her family showed for the viewing of his body before it went to the crematorium. I got help from his uncle in South Carolina and that was it. I haven't heard a word from anyone from that side since. The way this system is set up stinks. I could use a few choice words but I don't think such language is allowed here. It makes me wonder what is the point of marriage if after your husband dies, the family disappears with him as well. I feel for young widows who have children and even for the older ones as well to have this kind of abandonment happen to them. All of this ties into the grief process and realizing you also lost your inlaws as well if even if they haven't played a part in the process. Even if we had the worst relationship in the world with these people, it still constitutes as loss if you know what mean. However, I read that if you are a step child, and your father or mom dies and the stepparent is a surviving spouse you are still considered a stepchild. Go figure. I'm done with the laws here. What I'm learning after the fact is that a lot of the way things are set up here just doesn't make any sense.

Comment by Peach on January 11, 2018 at 6:54am


I hear you on this one. I don't miss the friends either. After the first year, people seem to move on with their lives anyway. I'm lucky if I get one call every three to six months. I know that part of the reason for me is that I just don't have the energy to deal with establishing new friendships. The few good friendships I did have either they have passed on, gotten much older or moved away. I have a long term friend and mentor who is approaching ninety in another month or so. She is starting to lose her memory on some things. I noticed a big change in her when I talked to her after New Year's day. I'm getting on in years myself. Funny thing I still feel like I did in my thirties, but when I look in the mirror, I see a matured older face looking back at me. LOL I even bought an expensive face cream to help with the jowls, and it didn't work. I've settled on plain old Nivea crème at this late stage of the game. I haven't figured what I'm going to do with this hair either. Should I do a full permanent dye job or just settle for a semi-permanent rinse.  I didn't have issues like this before my husband got really ill. Now it's taking me some time to get it together. As the old saying goes; "New level, new devil." I guess I will eventually get back there. I hope I make up my mind before my hair goes completely white, and when that happens, oh well. I'm happy for those who still have their spouses, because I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. I have a niece who is a minister, and she has never been married. I thought she would have an idea on what it's like to be widowed. Wrong again! No one knows what this is like until they are placed in this position. I hope that she doesn't counsel widows, because they will probably come away feeling more broken than before they went to her. It takes a special person to deal with death, dying and grieving. I'm to the point now that some people are not going to get it who have never been in this position. They expect us to bounce back after six months and move on to the next level. They don't place a timeline on divorces. There was a rumor some years ago that it takes five years to get over a divorce. Where did folks get this tidbit of information? Depending on the amount of emotional damage and financial upheaval caused by a divorce, it can take more than five years to get your life back on track.  However, that is a conscious choice made by one or both parties to end a marriage.

Being left as a widow, we didn't make this choice. This is a situation that happened to us. There is no rule book or manual that helps us through this or how long this is going to take. I just want to reconnect with my best friend spiritually at this point.

Comment by KayeL on January 8, 2018 at 1:53pm

Peach and all,

For me here as well. I completely alienate myself from my friends. People here in town are my hubby's church "friends" only. Since his passing, I no longer want to hang out with them. Mostly because their Christian ideals suffocated me. I am not saying I don't believe in the big G but for now I don't want to hear anything about his bigger plan and yada yada yada "lectures." I need someone who is compassionate enough to hear my pain and to feel for them. Yet, none of the people I know, young or older have lost their spouses yet. How would they understand my pain for my hubby was my best friend, my love, my flesh, and my other half. All my good friends are scattered all over the world and they can't really help much.

Being a young widow, as much as I don't want to admit, I am jealous of my friends' happiness and fullness with their spouses and kids. I lost mine, and my happy world is gone, for 2 years. I thought I lost hubby for 3 years but actually it has been 2 years only. That shows I am still living in fog. His absence seems like forever to me. 

I used to have lots of friends but since husband died, I realized I actually don't need friends for hubby was my world, my everything. No one understands me like the way he did. A lone weed is the best way to describe my social life at the moment. I no longer care to go out, to have fun. Movies, fine dining, shopping and etc mean NOTHING to me. There are days I feel bad for my son because he isn't my motivator to take him out. I hate going out seeing happy couples with their kids together. I feel like death brought out the worst person inside me. Some dark sides I didn't realize I possess. When I thought I was the most optimistic and the happiest person, in fact I am the most negative and morose human being instead. Could it be my life was so perfect and when the happy bubbles burst I hit the deepest bottom and changed me to the complete opposite person? I don't know. I half understand what is it I am doing every day and why i am still alive. Ooh dang it, I am in tears again. 

Comment by Lev on January 8, 2018 at 12:33pm

Hi Peach

I also lost my dearest friend/lover/companion in 2016 and i understand you completely.

I have yet to pluck up the courage to attend a social.  The thought of it is draining.

A childhood friend invited me to her 60th birthday party.  I bought shoes and a dress ... i returned it a 

few days later.  And i chose to stay home.

I think that without knowing it, one isolates ones self from social activity and friends while taking care of our loved one.  The time together is so intimate that it just becomes so easy to block everyone out.   

I know that even in our chat rooms i will find the need to pause and then i do breathing exercises and fall asleep/  

What i have done and that seems to have give me an energy boost is to listen to the songs that i used to sing to my husband over the years.  He was the only person who loved to hear me sing.  We used to  have music playing all the time.  All this time i could not bring myself to listen to music.  I even convinced myself that the cd player was broken.  We did not have and i still do not have a television set.

Since i have started to listen to the music again and it is so lovely to just feel the love and not the sadness.  I have more energy and i have started to take walks.  My intention is to start jogging.  

I want to start jogging so that i can join a club and get out of the house regularly.  Be with people in a way that does not require  socialising.

I feel like i need to relearn the art of socialising without feeling like i want to stop midway in a conversation and walk away.

Keeping a daily journal where you write ....just write about whatever comes to your mind. I find that it helps a lot.. I do not read

what i have written.  Let it be for now...

I think that the feeling cannot be explained because it really is about finding your place of peace and contentment and slowly ease into one told us that we would feel like happiness has left the building.  The absence of the companionship of our loved one is a humumgus adjustment.

I hope that what i have shared has been helpful.  

As for clothing.  I don't know.  I am also finding a good reason to wear a jeans every day.. So i have decided to match it with a top that is just a bit more than a second skin t shirt.

Take good care of yourself.



Comment by Peach on January 8, 2018 at 11:41am

About the friends thing, I think the ones I did have drifted away because they are still a couple. They just don't want to be reminded that one day they will be in my current position of widow.

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