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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

When my wife died it felt as though my world had stopped, just completely, utterly stopped moving. Folks here at WV know far too well what that feeling is like. The loss, the quiet (it got really, really quiet for me), the deep sobbing, all of it is far too familiar to us by now. And after a time, that combination of loss, quiet & deep sorrow made me extremely tired. I can remember feeling exhausted and bone-tired, on top of all of the grief that I had been experiencing.

I realized recently that, for me, this loss was an on-going issue for many months prior to Bunny’s actual passing. I could almost say it was a year and a half long process of grieving and dreading the inevitable, unfortunate end.  It was clear that she was never going to get better, she was never going to recover, she was no longer going to be deemed “cancer free”.

The minor victories over the past 18 months (“the last PetScan showed real improvement” or “we have the bleeding under control for now”) just added to the ultimate weight of the reality that she was gone. Those small victories, so optimistically received, were always quickly dashed with a heavy dose of reality and further deterioration of Bunny’s health, and in their wake additional heaviness weighed in on my spirit.

Bunny’s ultimate passing was not any type of relief for me, with the exception of the sense of calm in knowing she no longer had any pain. But I was exhausted from trying to be the positive one, trying to be uplifting, working hard at keeping the severity of her illness from family and friends (Bunny never wanted folks to know how seriously ill she was).

A very close friend in a similar position told me that we have been grieving for much longer than the past few months since our respective spouses died. And while I hadn’t thought of it that way, it actually makes perfect sense that our married lives essentially ceased to exist in a traditional sense once the illness became prevalent. Bunny’s death was the end of the fight, the day hope for recovery disappeared, but it was not the day grief set in. My grieving had begun long before that.

Now, a bit down the road from Bunny’s passing, I feel less tired. I don’t go home at the end of the day and just crumble on the sofa anymore; I have more enthusiasm than I’ve had in the last year or so, I function better each day, I frequently have plans that I’ve made that don’t involve health care, hospitals or funeral homes. That is not to say that I don’t cry anymore … far from it, I still have many moments every day where I miss Bunny so bad that my soul aches. But I’m letting the sadness flow through me, not trapping it inside like I was while she walked her way towards death.

I’m tired of being tired, I don’t want exhaustion to be in my life any longer. I am still 100% grieving my life partner and I wish every single moment she was still here with me, but I also know that I’m powerless to control the past and I’m working on leaving the negative part of Bunny’s demise behind. I’m also letting her guide me to a new life, and the only way that is happening is by letting my exhaustion fall to the wayside. She wouldn’t want me to curl up in a ball and throw my life away, and as hard as that is to accept without guilt, I feel her strength from all of those years right beside me, letting me know it’s okay to move on.

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Comment by wicked tired on August 8, 2016 at 5:16pm
Hi all. I'm new to the site or any site for that matter. Been 5 years since lost wife 20 years married. We also battled cancer for 6 years, I too played the role of strong, positive, even funny spouse and father. She told me to live a good life, find someone nice. Not so easy as I realized she was my pick me up. I really need to start over. I'm 52 been out of work year and half, lay off after 15 years, empty nester. Just can't seem to get motivated to make a move.
Comment by Patience on July 25, 2016 at 6:04pm
I understand, having been through the "cancer journey" with my husband for 10 years.. The little victories and the big defeats...
And Yes, we are not meant to throw life away.. But live as best we can ...
Comment by lizbeth4 on July 13, 2016 at 10:58am

I remember being so tired after my Husband died.   It is hard to grieve.   After 3 years, I still have a days, here and there where my grief still feels raw and sucks the energy right out of me!   Even though I stated here recently that I think that I am ready to date, I haven't proceeded with it.   I was with my Husband for 31 years.  It is going to be harder than I thought to move forward with that.  I am going to just take my time.  When and if it feels right I will proceed. 

Comment by Callie2 on July 12, 2016 at 3:59pm
I understand being tired of being tired. Emotions can be draining but you might have to feel those feelings for a while, it helps us heal. I have heard that from others where the grieving commenced upon the diagnosis, it does make sense to me. It's not self-pity, it's the loss of the love of your life! Missing them is not self-pity, it's grief. I am glad you found someone to chat with, I remember that being the first thing that hit me. I would walk around talking to him, hoping somehow he could hear me. I would see or hear something and want to tell him-then had to remind myself that he is no longer here. Many mornings I would wake myself up talking to him in my sleep to him! We all handle grief differently, we have to find our own way. I hope you keep in mind, and you do sound like a smart man, that losing a spouse sometimes leaves us a little vulnerable. While talking to this gal might help you, still be cautious until you meet and get to know her better. I hope things go well for you and that peace finds you soon.

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