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When Will I Stop Feeling Sad? Or, Another Widow Temper Tantrum

It has been six months since Alan died. I’m wondering when do I get to be happy again? When does life regain its color and meaning?  I’m doing the little things and checking things off my do-do list every day, which has its degree of satisfaction. Sometimes I even do something fun. But even the fun activities don’t mean the same to me anymore. I can’t share them with Alan. I take him with me in my heart but it’s not the same.  It still hurts terribly that I can’t share the fun times with him.

All of life looks different to me. The coming of spring doesn’t have the joy it used to. All is hollow, black and white. Memories are everywhere I look, and they bring such pain.  Does the loss of a single person turn life from one of meaning and joy to one of emptiness?

I am tired of hurting and I want this grieving thing to be over. If I have to live the rest of my life without Alan, I want it to somehow be meaningful and joyful, but I don’t know how to do that with my reason for living gone. What do I do now?

I want a magic prescription pad so I can get the magical pill that makes all this pain go away. I want someone to tell me that if I do X, Y and Z, in a certain known amount of time, I will feel normal.  I want all of this to go away.  I keep searching for the answer, and I’m not finding it. The only answer I’m getting is the same thing: time will pass and it will get better. But I’m tired of time passing and it’s NOT better.

So I keep waiting, because that’s all I can do. I check things off my to-do list, I take some time to do something fun every now and then, and call it a life.  And wait.

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Comment by AEDforever (Ali) on May 10, 2017 at 6:34pm

Sherry, I am so sorry for your loss. Damn, I wish I had an X, Y, and Z for you. Six months is still very fresh for such a loss, and while I wish I could tell you that on X date you will feel better and life will have color and meaning again, it just doesn't work that way.  Grief is as individual as we are. For myself, I went through 4 years of varying degrees of grief from melancholy to hopelessness. But the hope is this: I just kept waiting. I just kept breathing. I just kept living even when I did not want to. And, little by little, the deep lows began to be less deep, and the colors of the world began to get a little bit brighter. Today, 5 years, 3 months later I actually have a pretty good life. The sadness still visits me from time to time, but I have learned how to live again, laugh again, and love again.  It may only take you a year, or maybe two...we are all different. Just keep being kind to yourself, and allow yourself to be sad when you are sad, lonely when you are lonely, and for certain keep trying to do "fun things" even if they don't bring you joy.  Wishing you peace, healing, and color.   Ali.

Comment by kln82 on April 10, 2017 at 5:28pm

Hi Sherry. We all have felt those feelings. I don't know if I would say it gets easier but I think you learn to cope. It does take time. I wish there was something magical to take away pain. I feel like my grief is like a painting. The first year my painting was full of blacks,grays and dark somber colors. The second year some other colors started peaking through. Thie third year the dark colors are fading into the background.I am starting to enjoy life again. I miss my husband everyday but I am starting to feel joy and hope.Everyone grieves differetnly and that is okay.Be kind to yourself.These forums are good so you know you are not alone in all these mixed up feelings. 

Comment by Anna on March 20, 2017 at 12:17pm

Hi Sherry. I feel the same at 9 months. I especially relate to the part about doing something fun and it's not as fun as it used to be. It *is* fun, but not the same as before. And then I go home and I'm sad again.

However, I do see a change. 9 is different from 6 which was different from 3 months. My mental state is improving, although not as quickly as I would like. Are you seeing any changes at all or are you just as you were at 3 months?

I have found that the restlessness of wanting this to move more quickly is actually adding to my distress. It makes my brain think there is an action to take or problem to solve, when in fact I need to just be.

Comment by Lostmyeverything on March 20, 2017 at 5:13am

Sherry and Witty, you summed up my feelings and experiences to the tee. I keep trying to live, just the necessities to keep me and my children moving ....I keep seeing him open his eyes and stare at me the night before he passed. He had not opened his eyes for anyone the whole week. And there he turned his head toward me, opened his eyes, looked right at me, then closed them as I read a long list to him -of everything I loved about him, a detailed list of everything he loved, and everything I could think of that he did for me and the children. Replays over and over, he was scared - he did not want to leave. And, this memory keeps replaying over and over.

Comment by WittyBlondeWolverine on March 19, 2017 at 6:31pm
I feel the same way, Sherry. I just want it to get better. Or at least easier. I keep trying one thing after another and it might help for a bit. But then some random thing brings me back to the day he died. Him taking his last breath. How scared he must have been. How scared we were. It's just awful. I suppose there is not mathematical equation or magical medication to cure our sorrow. I'm dreading this Spring Break. We always went on vacation this time of year... usually to St. John USVI. In 2015 we had to leave early because he was getting paralysis on the left side. In 2016 we went on a cruise (total nightmare... he was so ill). I'm going to FL to visit my sister, but I just feel like this next 2 months will be so difficult.
Comment by Callie2 on March 19, 2017 at 6:08pm
Sherry, your feelings are shared by many. I wished too there was something to stop the pain. We know realistically, time is the only thing that can dull that terrible ache. The length of time varies for each of us but each day is a day closer, always remember that. Be patient, peace comes to us eventually. Hugs to you.

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