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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."

It's very early on with my loss and I realize it takes time.  I also realize I probably will feel single again at some point.  It takes time I know.

I feel very much still part of a loving couple.  Jerry's gone, but I'm not single.  I find it the most unusual feeling I've ever had.  If someone asked me right now, do you have a boyfriend?  My answer would be yes.   

Logically, I haven't had enough time.  I just wish I knew a how and a when I'll ever feel like I'm just me.  Jerry is the first time I've ever lost anyone I was extremely close too.  Perhaps that is part of my trouble.  I like clear plans, and there just isn't one.  Maybe, that's why I'm having such a hard time.  I hate not having any answers.  I have learned here that no answers exist, we are all going down different paths within the same journey.  

Maybe I just can't accept any clear-cut answer to when my emotional pain will end,  no answer to when I'll feel like a whole person.  It's driving me crazy that I feel like less than a complete person.  I'm all over the place with this blog but that's it in a nutshell.  

I feel incomplete,  I feel like my brain/heart and reality are in two different spots.  I have no clue who I am without Jerry.  I hate, HATE, loathe the feeling of being half a human being with no end to it on the horizon.   It seems to me like I can't continue to mourn/grieve or move forward onto some sort of healing until I can at least feel like a whole person and know who I am.  

So, I'm left wondering what comes first.  Healing, moving forward with living in the present or finding one's new identity?

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Comment by MartyG (ver. 2.2) on April 4, 2018 at 8:14am

      I think that the pain, like that from a searing and deep cut to one's guts, will slowly soften and the wound itself - Jerry's departure - will by itself also slowly close.  Yes, it will leave a deep scar and, yes, life simply can not be the same without him.  You were one...and now you are less than one.  When I feel as you do....and I am still bleeding profusely at times from Sharon's departure...I call to mind the last verse of John Fawcett's 1782  hymn Blest Be the Tie That Binds.  It was her favorite hymn and will played during the recessional this coming Saturday at her memorial service.  That verse has become a mantra for me and brings me  balm for my wound that I otherwise would not have. It goes like this...

When we asunder part,

it gives us inward pain;

But we shall still be joined in heart,

and hope to meet again.

   And I know that this hope is that of which Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, that is the firm assurance that you and Jerry...and I and Sharon...will once again some day in God's time be together again. God Bless you, Rainy, for your presence here in WV along with others has brought me much solace and for that I thank you.

Comment by InsideLove on February 9, 2018 at 11:10am

According to the newest book on reading, Getting to the Other Side of Grief, the moving forward causes healing and in that healing, you find who you are as the total you as you are now.

Comment by Epic on February 9, 2018 at 10:12am

When you find out please let me know. It's been almost two weeks since I lost my epic love to esophageal cancer. I can't imagine feeling anything but infinite sorrow. I try to think about what Doug would want for me and I try but then the grief overwhelmes me at times. It just hurts like hell and there's nothing to be done about it. 

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on February 5, 2018 at 8:01am

Patrick what an insight!  I think you answered a question that I wasn't sure I was asking!  Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  

Comment by Patrick on February 5, 2018 at 4:31am

The way I saw it was my love for Sharon was part of who I was, in moving on to be able to fall in love with someone else I was destroying part of myself, and that self-destruction hurt; on the other hand keeping that part of myself by preserving my love for Sharon hurt as well. Grieving for me felt like a constant stream of having to pick moment by moment what type of pain to feel, the pain of being in love with someone I had lost or the pain of losing a bit more of the love I felt for Sharon. It was like constantly having to choose what flavour of s**t did I want in my sandwiches today.

If you choose to move on (you don’t have to, it really is your choice) it’s all about finding your new identity, and if your experience is anything like mine the first stage is letting go of who you are now, dismantling the hopes and dreams that you built with Jerry; the second stage will be a second adolescence when you decide who you want to be and build new hopes and dreams; and the third stage will be another version of you enjoying her life.

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on January 31, 2018 at 2:17pm

Thanks everyone, today has been a better day.

Sam, yes, It does make me feel better to know I'm not alone but I hate for anyone else to have to experience this pain.

Comment by InsideLove on January 31, 2018 at 7:26am

Oh Rainy. I know all those feelings and more. There is no clear path, no manual, no directions, on what comes first. Not even the famously referred to "Stages of Grief" applies because Kohler's research was meant for people in their OWN dying process. Here's a graphic one of my widow friends texted to me, about the path we can expect to heal and move forward. I am learning, just 5 months into this next season of my life, it can be one baby step forward and a giant leap back at times.

Hugs and prayers.


Comment by Athena53 on January 30, 2018 at 2:30pm

I don't think it happens in neat stages- any more than anyone passes predictably through each stage of grief, in order.  You may be focused on working through grief and at the same time get some flashes of insight about how you want the rest of your life to look. There is no one right way to do this - be easy on yourself.

Comment by Sam2901 on January 30, 2018 at 2:18pm

Hi Rainy, I don’t know if it helps you to know I feel the same, and I’m guessing most in our situation have gone through or are going through this. It would be good to know that when it is six or 12 months after my husbands passing I will feel like me again and not this foggy creature who one day is a normal functioning person and the next a ball of misery. I too logically see myself 5 years from now being ok and having a good life, and I want to make steps to get there sooner but I get stuck in my present reality and it feels too hard to cope. It has only been three months since Chris passed and some days the pain of him not being here is so physical it’s scary, but he would be so annoyed at me if I waste my life feeling sorry for myself, so whilst I consumed with grief most days, or a zombie of numbness on others, when I do have moments of clarity I make the most of them and do something positive for myself.  i don’t know if anything comes first. I think it’s all kind of evolving and circular. 

Comment by Callie2 on January 30, 2018 at 12:07pm

Rainy, the feeling you describe is grief. 

Death is usually out of our control yet it is inevitable part of life. I can only look back and try to give you this opinion. We desperately try (and need) to try and regain some control over our lives. There are many questions swimming around inside our heads, and maybe if we could just have them answered, it wouldn’t be so bad. If someone could tell you exactly how long grief lasts or how we could make it less hurtful, you could bide your time. Unfortunately, it stays with us for as long as it does. It requires our patience and being good to ourselves. One thing is for certain—you are moving towards healing each day. It’s not exactly a straight line— there will be ups and downs, twists and turns but you will get there. That is at least one thing you know for sure.

Not sure what you mean by living in the present, if you mean taking one day at a time, that’s probably the best. Focus on the things that need to be done for now and in time, things will fall into place. For me, it felt like living in a fog for a long time but then the fog lifted and things became clear again.

It’s been years, yet I still feel close to my husband. I still feel that love for him, that doesn’t have to stop because he is no longer physically here. I don’t feel single either. I think losing someone in death is very different than breaking up a relationship or marriage. It’s perfectly OK to feel whatever you feel as there is no right or wrong. When two people spend years together, lives become entwined. Hate to keep repeating this but it takes time.  We eventually find this new version of ourselves. 

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