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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."

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 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 !
Comment by Steve on September 8, 2017 at 5:59am
Hello everyone, thank you for your post, mis64. There is no wrong way to grieve, so I have heard and agree with 100%.
If you want to separate emotion and logic, it makes sense to me. I certainly do that myself, in certain circumstances, to get through certain difficult challenges for me. Look at the character "Spock" in the tv series Star Trek". He was always teasing the other characters for their illogical emotions.
I say whatever works for you, is what you need to do, or try, and see how it works for you.
In my own experience, I am over 8 years into my widower journey, I personally have mostly stayed in my emotions, allowing them to consume me when they did, them other days being able to take steps forward. But I'm going through another big challenge in my life right now, so it's really made me miss the tremendous love and support I used to receive in my former life. But in a way, maybe I'm using logic also, in that, I realize these challenges are helping me grow, helping me be a stronger, more independent person, I think, I hope, these are positive lessons in my growth as a human being. My life is much different, but I have noticed that, I am such more a caring, loving, empathetic person now, since going through this tremendous loss and change. Im so much more connected to the human experience, then I ever was before. I can also see how strong I have become, in certain areas, that I'm proud of. Im only still here because of the individual choices I made that were best for me, at the time, sometimes counter to the advise of loved ones, that had never been through this particular journey. I also have noticed I appreciate the beauty around me so much more, than I ever did. I have lived most of my life so far, on or near the beach in Southern California, and, only in past 6 yrs or so, have I truly noticed, woke up to the tremendous beauty I live in. Im so grateful.
Anyway, good luck to you and hugs, steve
Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on September 2, 2017 at 6:56pm

Grief defies logic, but not reason ...

We are naturally driven to try to make sense of death - to explain why there was no control in the uncontrollable ...

One part I had grave difficulty with was survivor's guilt - blaming myself for his death in thinking that had I done just one thing differently Bob would not have been killed in a car collision as if I had done something wrong or contributed to his death in some fantastical way ...

For me, the crazy making came & went, however, the grieving relieved much of it in releasing the frustration of processing his death ...

Grief is alot of work & takes alot of time to fully process - multi tasking is something you'll learn to do as well as taking one step forward, two steps back ...

Do what you can, when you can & be gentle w/yourself ...

Blessings ...

Comment by CLT1965 (Cindy) on August 30, 2017 at 1:04pm

Laurajay, Thank you for how you put it.  It is has been six months for me and it has gotten better.  Those first couple of months was like time stood still.  I found myself than and even now just not as just as before wanting time to move faster.  I wanted this pain to end.  Well of course it didn't happen and I wanted to run for the pain too but I knew I couldn't I knew if I did that it would just prolong my healing.  Someone suggested that I read the book Permission to Mourn, and I did.  I found it helpful.  The author of the book not only lost his spouse after 13 years of marriage but also a child when she was 18 months old and a son later on to cancer.  I thought if this guy can find joy again with so much lose than so can I.  But he did say you have to give yourself time to mourn and go to that deep dark place.  I can tell you that one of my doctors asked me do you feel better than you did 3 months ago and I had to agree I did feel better.  So, I do see hope that things will continue to get better as time goes by and I do understand the pain and that it seems so unbearable at times.  I know at times you don't even feel like you can breathe at first I had a lot of those moments and it really found it scary I still have those time but it get less and less as time goes by.  But I know I still know that I am grieving and will probably be for a while.  I do think it is important that we do put ourselves out in the world to deal with thing eventually but with each person it is different.  For me I knew if I stayed home I would I knew I would lay down and not get back up, because I already had issues with depression, so I made myself go to work.  I find it helpful for me to be around other people, but that doesn't mean that I hide from the pain even thou I would like too.   

Comment by CLT1965 (Cindy) on August 30, 2017 at 7:48am

Hello Mis64, I was reading your post and was thinking on what you said.  I lost my husband Feb 17th and it was very unexpected. It took a while to get over the shock.  It seems you are first kind of numb and than after that it seems nothing but pain.  But it does get better.  I am 52 my husband was younger than me so I didn't think I would go first.  But what we think and what happens is a whole different story.  I have pushed myself also to move forward and made myself to go back to work quickly.  I handled things I needed to handle and I have had people say you are doing so good.  But I still have my breakdowns and I know that as much as I want to run for the pain if I do that it will come out in some other way.  I do think we have to carry on and that our loved ones would want that also.  To find happiness again.  I know there will be joy again.  I am not saying I will ever get over missing my husband but it is alright to move forward and enjoy life again.  

Take Care

Cindy 

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