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How are you doing? (Head tilt). I'm doing fine...I lied

What changes relationships when you loose your spouse? Couples, singles and family that have been in our lives for decades or since birth seem to think Frankie's death ended my long time relationship with them. I don't get it. When I call them or pass them in an aisle at the market they simply say "how are you doing?". Why do they ask? If they wanted to know they would call me or have invited me to that lunch where the topic was "I wonder how Annie's doing". It is by chance that we meet face to face and they use that saddened head tilt and ask how I'm doing. Knowing that it would cause them discomfort I lie and say I'm doing fine. I'm six months out and it isn't getting better and I'm not doing fine.

I was crying less four months out but I was faced with making a life change by deciding to downsize my life and move. That was not one of my best decisions but one that was required. It's been a difficult process. Moving from 1900sf to a tiny 900sf townhouse makes it more difficult. Last week I was forced to tackle the dreaded job of packing up Frankie's closet. I managed to get through 75% of his clothing and immediately dropped them off at my favorite second hand store. I felt good, I was making progress. Today I finished the remaining clothing, hats, personal stuff, throw out greeting cards...you know the drill. I'm a mess. I called my youngest daughter for support. Her response was, "you will feel better in your new place". Really? How does she know when I will feel better? Does she have a crystal ball or a magical calendar that says when mom will be okay? Oh my, it's daunting. Two of the other kids haven't spoke to me in months. I Skype with my daughter in Amsterdam on Sunday's and she gets it...but she's not here.

I do want to adjust to this empty feeling. I want to cry less. I want to become social again. Most of all I want to feel normal.

I love you Frankie baby and wherever I go you will follow. You are my love, my rock, my soulmate and my best friend xoxoxoxo! Until we meet again......

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Comment by FearlessJulio on August 24, 2015 at 10:53am

Hi Annie,

Many times I have often fell like you do. Relationships with other people have slipped away and it creates a lonely existence. I have met some new people that actually do understand this path.

I still miss my husband everyday and think about him constantly. He was my best friend and now there's no one. 

They say it gets easier with time and the meantime we are still waiting here.

Thank you for sharing, it helps to know that someone understands.

(((Big Hug)))

Comment by Bonnie on August 15, 2015 at 5:54am
You have said exactly what I have been feeling. I know the people I see think I am doing well, but they can't know how much time I spend sitting alone and often crying. I just wonder when I will ever get to the point where I want to do thngs again. I have to make myself get up, get dressed, get out. I am trying all sorts of things to try to push through it. Last week I bought a bicycle thinking that riding it every day or so will be one way of at least moving and being out of the house. It has been way to hot to actually ride it until yesterday but I took it out for the first time last evening and it was nice, it felt good, and I felt that at least I was doing something. I will always always miss my husband, always feel like a part of me is gone, but I do hope that sometime I will become involved again in a normal life. There have been moments here and there when I forgot everything and was enjoying the time I was in, but only some. I want to be normal. I want to cry less. I want to remember Ed happily and not with a hurricane of tears.
Comment by Hope on August 11, 2015 at 9:24pm

Hi Annie:  

For months I had such a hard time going to the grocery store in our small town for exactly the same reason.  I finally found that if I just swallowed my pride and make myself say "it isn't easy, but we're adjusting," people would be forthcoming with invitations to walk, meals for the family, playdates for the kids.  Their momentary discomfort generated the response I needed.  If you don't let them know, they can't help.  Some will, some won't, and the number of people who lost a loved one and know how you feel might surprise you. I've made close friends out of 4 mere acquaintances simply because they lost a father as teens and really feel for my sons.  It's kind of like meeting a whole new group of people when you first take your dog for a walk, but in a lot sadder way.

Don't go it alone--you don't have to.

Good luck.

Comment by Callie2 on August 10, 2015 at 11:01pm
I feel your pain, the truth is, this happens to a lot of us. We feel many losses, not just the loss of our spouses but the loss of friends and family (in-laws) that we have known an interacted with for years. I don't really understand why either. What I do know is that if that is the way it is, then maybe we need to prepare ourselves for letting go. In time, we have to work on creating new friendships and involving ourselves with other activities and even going places alone. If your female friends do lunch together and you feel you are being excluded, you could maybe try saying something like " I miss getting together with all of you, why don't you call me next time?" If you don't hear from them, you'll have your answer.

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