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Most days I just feel anxious now. I have a constant ache in my stomach. The feeling sad is just sort of normal now so I can't imagine it going away anytime soon. Sometimes it surprises me what will make me cry, or have that intense wave of loneliness. Sometimes I just feel cold, like I'm going through the motions but not really present. Then I feel bad. I have four children to care for who need me to be present. I'm thankful to have that purpose because I think if it were just me I wouldn't even get out of bed.

Last night I was up half the night with either the baby or one of our dogs. It wasn't a great night. I don't sleep well to begin with but this obviously prevented any rest from happening. And then I just felt angry. Not angry with Brian because I know he wouldn't have left if he didn't have to. But angry this is my life now. Angry that I so badly want to go back in time, angry my today is so horrible and painful, and angry that my future seems so dark and lonely. Part of me keeps hearing Brian tell me how strong he thinks I am. How smart and wonderful and strong. So I push on. And I relive the night he went into the hospital over and over and over. I remember telling him he was going to be okay. I remember kissing him and telling him I love him and we will get through this just like we get through everything. But we didn't get through it. He isn't okay. I'm not okay. Our family is not okay. I'm glad I was there to be strong for him, to reassure him things would be alright, but I relive it over and over. Now I tell my kids the same thing. We'll be okay, we'll get through this. But will we? We'll never be the same, I get that. But will we ever be okay? We're three weeks in to our loss. It's still new, and I know we need time. But will we ever be okay?  

I am a 39 year old widow. I am now a single mom. I am now grieving the loss of my best friend, partner, lover, support, my favorite person. And somehow in all of this I have to raise my children. I have to provide for their needs today and tomorrow and into the future. I need to be responsible and practical, all while trying to manage the crushing sadness that has become our every day. 

I have to make a constant effort to be kind to myself, to allow myself these moments. To all those going through this, love to you. Be kind. And hopefully we'll all be okay.

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Comment by lowrsr (Sherry) on March 29, 2017 at 5:02pm

My heart goes out to you. My husband passed away suddenly 6 months ago, leaving me with 3 kids (2 with autism) to parent solo. I was 46, too young to be a widow. So is 39. It isn't right. I am still not able to fathom that I will have to live the rest of my life without my soulmate and best friend. But I have at least emerged from that fog that I was in the first month or so. But coming out of the fog isn't necessarily better. Now I have to feel everything I couldn't feel before. I can only hope it gets better. 

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on March 29, 2017 at 1:37pm

At 3 weeks out, the cold feeling is shock. Going through the motions while not feeling present is called dissociation. Both of these mean your mind & body are simultaneously reacting to this highly stressful situation by automatically going into a protective state called survival mode. It's the most intense time of grief. You might also experience times of surrealism. Grief gradually changes the more you release it even though you might think it a waste of time or will never end. It does end after the grief process has completed many many cycles.

For the past couple of months I was experiencing moments of feeling if I had forgotten something or not being able able to put my finger on the problem. As my daughter was paying tribute to her Daddy, before blowing out her b-day candles, she mentioned she was only 13yrs old when he was killed. That's when I realized the significance of 2017, it meat it would soon be a full decade since Bob's death. No sadness, crying or longing - just sweet memories that make us smile. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of Bob - as each one slowly got better & better. This particular anniversary is a big milestone that I once thought I would not to be a part of w/out great sadness - we've all moved forward in our lives w/peace in ourl hearts, minds & souls. That time will come for you, too.

Comment by Boniblu1977 on March 1, 2017 at 8:02am

Hi Maddie,

We have a lot of similarities. My husband Brian passed away suddenly 7 months ago leaving me a 39 year old widow with two children to raise along with 2 dogs to care for. The first couple of months feel like you're in a black hole that you can't crawl out of. I lived in a fog just going through the motions of living. It gets better a little every day. My emotions aren't constant sadness now rather the sadness comes in waves. I'll be fine for a few days and then it hits me like a ton of bricks that this is my NEW reality and to be honest some days I'm just plain angry. But my kids keep me going. You and your children will find your new normal.

The best advice someone gave me was, You deserve a chapter 2, you deserve to be happy. This won't make sense right now but in a few months or years it will. Stay strong

Comment by Anna on February 28, 2017 at 6:02pm

Hi Maddie, you are only three weeks out. I'm not gonna lie, that stage is excruciating. I'm 8 months out. The first 2-3 months for me were almost unbearable. I did bear it. I don't know how. It wasn't one day at a time; it was one hour at a time.

At 8 months I am doing better. Not great. Not normal. But very gradually improving. I have moments of genuine joy and happiness. I also still cry a lot. I don't know if this helps you, but 8 months out is better than 3 weeks out. I know I will be okay-- maybe next year? I'm 47. I predict I might always have a tendency to be sad, but I will have another chapter in my life and continue to do things I love and hopefully, help other people.  

Comment by Callie2 on February 28, 2017 at 2:33pm
Grieving is hard work and it is draining. Be patient, it takes as long as it takes. Understand you will be okay one day so always keep that in the back of your mind. This experience becomes part of you but one day, the good memories will surface and you won't feel the intense sadness as you do right now. You never forget but there is a sort of acceptance that gives us the strength to move forward with our lives. You will be okay one day, believe it. Hugs to you and your family.
Comment by Orb101214 on February 28, 2017 at 12:15pm

I think you will be okay.  I tell people I am not okay now, but I know I will be some day.  I have seen people who are okay after losing their spouse.  I have an Aunt who lost her husband when she was a little older than me with children a little older than mine.  She is okay and her children are two of the most amazing people I have ever meant.  I am two and a half months into my grief.  Some days I feel anxious, some days I feel like I can't breath and some days I feel like there is a little bit of hope under the huge stone of sadness I feel in my stomach.  When I am in Mom mode I feel good.  It took a while, a few weeks, but then I went full on in to 'I am going to make my husband proud' mode.  I read people saying that it gets better over time, you always miss them, but it gets a little better.  I have heard people say that the second year is worse.  I can't really brace for worse coming.  So I decided on days I am sad and I want to cry, I embrace it and I cry (unless I have a lot of meetings at work, then I sneak in to the bathroom and cry when they are done).  On days when I am having fun with my kids and I just envelope myself in that fun and I stop reminding myself how sad I am and how much more fun it would be if Dad was there. The truth is everything sucks more without him, but all I can right now is take each day as it comes with as much hope as i can muster.  I know you will be okay, you have four children that will make sure of it.

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