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

To start let me give a quick history. My wife Teri and I were married for a little more than 24 years. Four daughters, two granddaughters. We found out this January that she had cancer. She passed on July 3rd.
Like most everyone else here, the sense of loss is all-consuming.
The "what will I do now" question applies to us all.
I've read countless posts, and for the most part I can relate to the writer.
However, I don't want to just relate to other posts, I want a cure!
So my recent thinking is to divided and conquer. Can I take the emotional away from The Logical ?
I Am Naturally a happy person so naturally that's what I want to achieve again. Emotion has ruled the day ever since my wife passed and of course the months prior. And I don't feel any better off now then day 1. But if I can manage to take the emotion out of it and calculate on the logic I can begin to see a possible future.
From The Logical viewpoint, my goal is happiness. Logically there are steps that I have to take to achieve that. Those steps are actual, physical requirements or steps that must be taken. New steps not familiar steps.
I can't go out and eat dinner at a restaurant, or watch some old favorite TV shows. Those are things I did with my wife. So far my new steps include joining the YMCA then forcing myself to go. My emotion is constantly screaming at me to not move forward, moving forward means putting distance between me and my wife !
But what's the alternative? Turn into a lump of quivering flesh? Logic says "of course not" !
I don't want to leave my spouse behind, I don't want to be where I am now! But logic says "here you are".
I know from experience that the choices we individually make decide our future for the most part. Do I choose to be happy again? Or do I want to be shriveled up? It's easy to say I want both. But the goal here is to achieve happiness again and if my emotions rule I don't see ever achieving that happiness.
So by my calculations, logic must be the path I lay in front of me. To apply actual steps of moving in a Direction towards life. So far I have the YMCA and trying to figure out how to cook. Grocery lists aren't as easy as I assumed. Whipping up dinner isn't as easy as my wife made it look. All of the customary household chores are to some degree new events for me. But looking back at these things with logic, they are steps forward. Lonely steps? Of course! But forward steps none the less.
I'm not saying that I'm pushing emotion out of the equation all together. I'm just trying to make a conscientious choice to force some logic into my day. The emotion comes whether I want it to or not. And I allow that to run its course. But again those choices that we make will decide our future. I have known and experienced true friendship and true love with my wife and how can I live without that type of friendship and love the rest of my life? My personal answer is "I can't !" According to my emotion, I will never achieve that again! I don't want to achieve that without my wife !
Realistically, I'm 53 years old. If I have another 30 years do I want to do that alone? The answer of course is no ! My emotion says that I promised my wife forever, and as hard as it is to say much less think, I achieved HER forever ! That feels like a loophole that I'm scrounging for but logically it's the truth!
There are just so many aspects to losing a spouse that we are all unfortunately well aware of. For the past several weeks I have allowed the emotion to run its course. And maybe there have been benefits to that that I have not seen but I need to start seeing some achievements.
Achievements at this point for me require action.
8 + weeks of misery sitting at home has gotten me nowhere. I'm still as miserable today as I was on day one.
So for me the answer is to separate the emotion and logic. Is it the right answer? I don't know. But it's the only thing that makes sense to me for seeing forward movement.

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Comment by Rainy (Misty) on January 14, 2018 at 1:33pm

Mike, your post sounds a whole like what/how my love Jerry thought about losing his first wife.   He lost her suddenly without any warning, so he was in shock.  I don't know all the details but I do know after 7 yrs of struggling and dates with crazy women he found me.  We were extremely happy together.  

Now, the shoe is on my foot.  I hate it.  I want Jerry back.  Like you, I know I don't want to except I'll never find that level of love again.  It won't be the same, but I know it can be just as good.  Maybe one day, but for now I'm taking baby steps too. 

Good luck and I am so sorry for your loss.  

Comment by Steve on December 6, 2017 at 6:29pm

Hello mike.  I personally still have moments of shock, or disbelief, that im without my partner here with me.  Its less frequent, less common, doesnt happen in every day situations anymore, but, i found myself today at a very stuffy, fancy christmas reception that was held in the lobby of a large private investment firm.  My wealthy client had been invited and i took him to this event.  I have never, ever felt comfortable at these type of events, and i never have chosen to attend them, but find myself through work or some other reason having to attend.  My partner was always so wonderful in these events, we would stick to ea other like glue, take turns getting beverages or goodies for ea other, and he always made uncomfortable situations fun and easier.  Tonight, i was on my own, and missing him, so much.  Also the bing crosby and dean martin christmas music was playing, the music we always played in our home.  Im kidding, but i was looking for the nearest noose, to get me out of there.  It was hell.  Lol.  But, i got through it remembering all the events we attended together that we just got through together.  Its been almost 9 years and i find myself not in spirit this year at all, again.  I had a few good years, back in the holiday sprit, which im grateful for, but im back in the cant wait till january 2nd, way of thinking. Where i was for the first 5 yrs after he passed.  But i have come to learn these emotions come and go, ebb and flow, next year if im still here, i may love xmas again, and be right back in the spirit again.  

Comment by mls64 (Mike) on December 6, 2017 at 2:59pm

So it's been just over 5 months for me at this point. Things have finally calm down to some degree which is very relieving. Up until just a few weeks ago I was still having moments of shock that my wife was gone. But I believe it has finally sunk in. I've nailed down some routines everyday which is a big help to keep my mind off of the reality in which I really don't want to face. But I've pondered my loss these last months and I just can't do it anymore. Exhausted just doesn't seem to be a big enough word. So instead of thinking about what I've lost I think about what I had gained being my wife's husband. I can't forget who she helped me become. And I've decided that I don't need to figure out who I will become. I already know who I am and what I am. So I will stay the course. The goals that my wife and I had for retirement? Those are still my goals. My wife just isn't physically here to enjoy it with me. But as hard as I worked the past 25 years to make her proud, I think I'll continue to strive for that proud look on her face. 

Comment by Sheryls on December 6, 2017 at 1:32pm

mos64, I feel exactly what you are going through! I just lost my husband Tom 2 months ago. Hardest. Thing. Ever. He was such a great guy, and we were married 22 1/2 years. It was like losing half of my own body, my brain is still in a fog. I have to make a list of what I do every day, because I forget what I did yesterday. I joined a grief support group almost immediately because I needed to talk and listen to others going through what I was going through. It has been amazing! I have great friends, but I have already made new friends in the group. We also go to breakfast on Tuesdays. we had a thanksgiving meal and will have a lunch together right before Christmas.  My thoughts are with you. God bless!

Comment by Callie2 on September 13, 2017 at 4:17pm
I think it's important to live in the day. Find comfort where you can but try not to avoid emotion. There will be good days and bad--enjoy the good ones and "roll" with the bad. Grief is a process we have little control over and it does require a great deal of patience with ourselves. Time helps.
Comment by mls64 (Mike) on September 10, 2017 at 1:18pm
You have what you need Sandi, you can find the logic. Look for it when you are at your calmest.
Comment by sandi on September 10, 2017 at 12:26pm

Michael, you are so right on the emotional issue/aspect of grief.  I wish I had more of your logic myself, but the emotional seems to still want to rule.  I also just joined the YMCA and making attempts to reconnect with friends I haven't seen in years.  I want that joy and happiness again also.  I can't say I will "fall in love" again, but I think will be happy with closeness, friendship someone to share things with and most of all someone I can trust in.  My goal is to try and find that slice of happiness.

Good luck in your endeavors.

Comment by mls64 (Mike) on September 8, 2017 at 11:38am
I think it's easy to be overwhelmed by the loss to begin with. So much so that we forget what we've learned from our spouses. I'm finding that the calmer I keep myself the easier it is to hear what my wife would say. I for one need that very badly! And it's been a good thing for me too....
Comment by Athena53 on September 8, 2017 at 9:13am

mls64, thanks for that last observation.  My husband Ron was a font of common sense and a great calming influence when I worried about something, which I always do, imagining the worst possible outcome.  Early in the relationship, when we were planning a trip to Vienna with a connection in Paris, I started worrying months ahead of time about missing the connection.  He said, "Hwy are you worried about getting stuck in Paris overnight?"  Why, indeed. 

I'm dealing with a could of issues now which have my worry engine working overtime-  I really need to slow down and think about how Ron would view them.

Comment by mls64 (Mike) on September 8, 2017 at 6:22am
This coming Monday will be 10 weeks since my wife passed. I think the initial shock has finally taken root to a much clearer reality of my present day status. But one thing that I'm finding to be a constant and a welcome constant at that is the fact that I still have my wife's voice in my head. That Common Sense voice that for 26 years always put in the gentle, soft approach to any given situation. And I'm thankful for that! The fear has been overwhelming at many points but when I can manage to calm down enough and ask myself what my wife would do, the fear seems to slip away to some degree.
Your comments Steve about seeing the beauty around you in the life is spot-on. As if I'm seeing it through my wife's eyes. I have always personally been Point Blank, a little rough around the edges, but my wife always brought that soft perspective in. It was natural for her. And now it feels as though I have picked up her torch and carrying it for her. And I am so grateful for that!
I'm not the guy that would typically say "hugs", but my wife was. So not only on behalf of my wife but also myself, hugs to all of you !

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