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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."

 My husband and I were hit by a drunk driver on November 1st 2013. Brennan died instantly and by some sort of miracle there was just enough room left in the passenger seat for me to survive. Since the accident I've pushed through the worst, or so I thought. Busied myself with appointments to counselors and  psychologists, documenting my progress as confirmation that I was going to get through this. I was doing pretty good, even fooled myself.

 A friend invited me to stay with her mother in Arizona last week. The trip itself was great, filled with activities which meant minimal alone time. I only cried one night only. Amazing progress, right? Well I've been back for 3 days and have just come out the other end of the worst breakdown in my life. I had prepared myself for the "empty" house, but had no idea how it would launch me right back to the beginning, the beginning of life without Brennan. All of the anguish that shock shielded me from was no longer there. I realized I had not conquered the worst at all. It's really only beginning for me now. Memories are resurfacing and with them the reality of never making any more, at least not with him. How is this possible? Why did this happen to us? I've spent the last 3 days loosing my sanity and having whats left of my heart break over and over again.

I'm exhausted and my face is raw. I think I need another vacation...

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Comment by alwayshopeful (Jocelyn) on February 14, 2014 at 7:42pm

TracyB. Also, keep hope in your heart. The day will come when you CAN remember your husband without the anguish, but it is far too "early" in your new grief. I used to be kind of annoyed when I read that here from the "veteran" widows/widowers, but I realize now, they were right. This "relationship" with grief that none of us asked for takes time and a lot of work. We have to learn how to handle the pain in "healthy"ways. You will heal, but you have experienced a devastating loss. There is also a group here on WV for "sudden loss". If you haven't joined that one, those folks could probably be a big help to you.

Comment by alwayshopeful (Jocelyn) on February 14, 2014 at 7:36pm

Oh TracyB. Our husbands died exactly one year apart. But, I had 21 months to "prepare" for losing my love due to brain cancer. You had no time to "prepare". I can't possibly imagine the pain that sudden kind of death takes on those left behind. For you to even be able to talk just a few months after this horrendous tragedy is a testament to the love you and your husband share and your strength (a word we widows/widowers come to hate). Unfortunately, this grieving is not a straight line process. We heal a little, stumble & fall, pick ourselves up, and start over again.

I can tell you in the beginning when my husband died, I simply could not stop seeing his last few horrible days. He was bed-ridden by then, couldn't walk, talk, barely breathed, couldn't swallow anymore and was blind. I talked to my minister and brother in law who is also a minister. They couldn't answer the why. I figured if two learned men whom I really respect can't explain that, I may as well stop trying...

I still can't stand to look at photos of him the last few months of his life, as the brain cancer changed his handsome good looks. He was still gorgeous as ever to me when I was keeping him alive, but now it hurts to see how different he looked. I only look at healthy photos of him now although the photos of when he was sick are incredible to me to honor the huge fight he put up to try to stay with us.

You won't always feel as burdened by those awful memories as you do now. But, for you to have witnessed his passing, that is something that would trouble anyone.

Please accept any and all assistance from anyone who helps you. Stay away from people who bring you down or upset you. I was told in a grief group I went to early on that there is no way "around" the grief. We must go through it. If we don't and try to just shove it away, it could surface later.

Please keep talking to us here. Take extra good care of yourself, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. What you have had to endure is an unspeakable tragedy.

I'm deeply sorry and will hold you in good thoughts and prayers, as so many of us here at WV will...

Comment by TracyB on February 14, 2014 at 7:22pm

Thank you for the words of support. I wish I could skip all of this madness and find a place where I can remember him without the anguish, but I know this is impossible. I realize it is something I must go through at my own pace. It saddens me to have company on this road of grief but also gives me some comfort knowing I am not alone.

Thank you

Comment by Mariposa on February 14, 2014 at 11:33am

TracyB- your tragic loss is still  so fresh and I hope that you are able to be kind to yourself and release expectations as to "how far you should be."  (((HUGS!))  That is our "ego mind" attempting to tell us from a logical standpoint about some kind of progress we should have in our grieving process, which is similar to the expectations of society or from those who have never experienced the loss of a spouse, that we are supposed to "get over it" by some imposed timeline.  It is all rubbish.

The sudden tragic loss of a beloved spouse permeates beyond the mind, down into the very cells of our bodies, and deep into our heart and into the depths of our soul.  Part of you has been ripped away and your wound is raw and bleeding. Just like a scab on scraped skin, when the wound is fresh, the slightest touch or wrong movement can cause it to rupture and bleed, in similar fashion to your grief resurfacing by the sting of returning home to an empty house.

I am 26 months out from losing my husband to cancer and I am raising our teen son alone. I remember the anguish upon returning to our empty home after our very first trip away after my husband's death. It is a shock because returning to the house without our loved one feels very.......strange, alien, empty. While you were away, there was the distraction of the trip, the people you visited, and the different environment. Returning home means facing once again your grief on your own. The stark  emptiness of the house tore at your wound.

There are no shortcuts to healing a broken heart and a crushed spirit caused by the death of your beloved. Embrace your feelings, allow the tears to flow, give yourself permission to feel. The depth of your pain is reciprocal to the depth of your love. There is no shame in mourning your great loss.  Healing will come in its own time, but meanwhile, be kind to yourself and do not judge yourself for feeling the pain that you do. 

I wish you peace, healing, comfort and strength. ~Mariposa

Comment by laurajay on February 13, 2014 at 10:53am

dearest TracyB--Just stopping by to let you know this grief journey takes place on a long road  and there are no short  cuts.  none.  If you try a shortcut  you will reach a dead end and have to go back and start again.

Be your  own best friend and set no expectations  for some time.  Take care of you for   now  with  good diet, sleep and normal self care.  Understanding and acceptance have no time frame at  all.  Your situation

is unique and you will have to find your way to it.       Expect pain as you have never known before.  You are not alone.  We are here to support you and offer comfort because we get it.   Godspeed  laurajay

Comment by Weaxie on February 13, 2014 at 7:37am
Oh, I'm so sorry Tracy, I can't imagine your horrible accident! But, I just went through a very bad time sort of what yours is right now- it so sucks when your existence is in such (it seems) an insane turmoil and you just can't dig yourself out for anything. I'm approaching my one year anni. And yet I just through these nightmares yet again. I am finding on this site, that we aren't the only ones- and somehow that makes me feel better- I'm not crazy or a baby. Hang in there, I'm so sorry you are going through this.
Comment by eliana on February 12, 2014 at 11:21pm

TracyB, I am so very sorry.  Your story is just heartbreaking.  I am glad you've gotten the help you believed you needed -- it is so important.

There is simply no knowing what will trigger the heartbreak.  This grief is not at all linear -- it is a lot of one-step-forward, three-steps-back -- and it is a long journey.  All I truly know about grief is this:  it will not always feel this way, and you will not always hurt like this.  We all know those days -- when you think it is simply impossible for your heart to break yet one more time.  And we all know those other days -- when we are actually able to function despite the grief that still resides within us.

The best thing I ever read about grief was this (and sadly, I have no idea where I read it):  Grief does not end; it simply changes shape.  Slowly we develop what we need to manage it better.

Please be gentle with yourself.  I wish you much solace for your shattered heart.

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