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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."

Year two is worse than year one, I have heard other widows say. I thought to myself, "surely that can't be true." It probably isn't for everyone, but for me, it seems to be proving true.  

I'm amazed (not in a good way) how hard it has been lately. It seems like only now am I processing the loss a year and three months later. Maybe I didn't let myself feel everything I needed to feel in that first year. I certainly wasn't numb, because I know I was feeling a lot of pain. But now, it is different. It is deep pain. It is overwhelming at times. I'm not sure how to explain what is happening. 

My best guess is that now I have to face my personal pain in addition to grief. As long as I had Alan's unconditional love, I didn't have to face my personal pain. His love was healing to me, and it transcended life itself. But now, without his love, my soul is laid bare like an open wound.  Not only have I lost the love of my life, I have lost the healing salve that covered the deep wounds in my soul.  

So my path now is to heal, not cover up, the wound without my soulmate's presence. Without his love, I have no choice but to find a way to heal. It is a longer process, and there are no shortcuts. I'm angry and resentful that I have to walk this unwanted path. But it is mine to walk, and forward I go. May gods and angels lighten the way.  

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Comment by Susan on January 16, 2018 at 2:17pm

HI Lev,

    I'm going into my second year. I still feel lost & lonely.... And I hate the way my parents look at me. It's like they are always thinking, " O.Kl. What is she going to now? "...  And all "I" can think is " What am I SUPPOSE to do? "  

   In 2016 at Paul's funeral, I overheard Mom & Dad talking. And Dad said, " I think she'll be fine." Really? I barely remember the funeral.


Comment by Lev on January 15, 2018 at 5:38pm

I am five months into my second year.  It started with a false sense of optimism.  Then I hit a low that I am slowly emerging from.  

I am setting goals for the future but I am being realistic.  I let people know that I am working at finding my balance.  I don't pretent to be strong.  I work at being mindful about others in my company and myself.  I have also learnt the importance of self compassion.  It actually helps one to be mindful of others.  I have accepted that I cannot expect people to understand how I feel. On the other hand I steer clear of their insensitivity.  The second year is indeed more taxing.  May we all hasten very slowly through this period.  There is no rush.  We need to give ourselves hugs. 

Comment by Mike on January 14, 2018 at 4:29pm

I am only at three weeks and grieving all the time. Hearing that it gets worse the second year is almost too much to bear. I don’t know if I can do this for two years. Does it ever get easier? 

Comment by lowrsr (Sherry) on December 27, 2017 at 5:43pm

I find, too, that I am forgetting, but also not forgetting. That probably sounds weird. The freshness of my memories is fading. The memories are still there, though, and they can be difficult to bear when the longing hits. I wish I had voice recordings and more pictures, but I make due with my memories. 

Comment by lowrsr (Sherry) on December 27, 2017 at 5:40pm

Hello All, 

Thank you for all your thoughtful comments! I feel like many of us are going through similar things. The second year seems to be a year of processing the loss and trying to figure out a way to make life worth living. It is painful and difficult and cuts to the soul. We are forced to find ourselves while others can go on living their regular, (sometimes) blissfully ignorant lives. It isn't fair, but here we are. And I am so glad that we can do this together. We aren't alone. 

Comment by Susan on December 27, 2017 at 9:23am

To All Of You,

    I feel like I'm forgetting bits and pieces about Paul ... So then I listen to his recordings and remember his voice. But it just hurts to see his wonderful personality shine through on the videos. I miss him. :-( 



Comment by Jyoti on December 25, 2017 at 11:11am

I remember when people told me the 2nd year would be harder than the first, I couldn't process that thought and didn't want to hear it. I needed to focus on what was going on at the time. Now that I am 1 year and 4 months out from my husband's sudden passing in Aug 2016, I think it's true - at least for me. I find I am crying more often and really feeling the emptiness when I think about "If he were he, we would be doing this..." I'm dealing with trying to reconstruct my future and even my identity as a 'me' and not a 'we'. He was 51 and passed suddenly - I remember my last conversation with him and two hours later he was gone. Life changed in an instant, and I am still trying to find myself in all of this.

I still have the support of good friends, but everyone has pretty much moved on with their lives, and now I am feeling the grieving more intensely even though I felt a lot of pain that first year. Somehow the 2nd year milestones (birthday, holidays) are harder than the first year. I'm journaling more and just finished reading (listening to the audiobook version) of Megan Devine's book It's Okay that You're Not Okay. It helped a lot, and I will probably read/listen to it again. Just a lot of things surfacing, especially around the holidays...helps to read what everyone else has written here and to be reconnected on this site again. 

Comment by The Hungover Widow on December 25, 2017 at 9:18am

The second year was my worst. I was no longer numb. I was trying to do positive things, and trying to change made me realize I was alone.

Comment by Peach on December 22, 2017 at 4:49am

Athena53, I can definitely relate to everything you are saying. My husband was a caretaker as well. These long winter nights are hard and I find myself waking up at all odd ball hours. This was my third marriage, and it was a late marriage. We were both 56 when we tied the knot. I lived alone between marriages too. I can relate to the balance thing and the confusion of taking meds.

Comment by Athena53 on December 21, 2017 at 12:14pm

I'm starting to feel different, too.  My husband died in November, 2016 and I think that the first year there was a bit of relief.  He'd been going downhill for a long time, became less capable of doing anything around the house, towards the end it wasn't safe for him to drive.  I'd find some pill or other sitting on a desk or nightstand and he couldn't remember if that was the one he was supposed to take yesterday or today.  He was frail and his balance was bad, so falling was a constant worry.  So, I took over more and more.  He took care of people all his life and I'm glad I was there to do the same for him, but it was wearing.  So, in the past year I've traveled to some wonderful places and spent more time with family and reveled in the simple joy of being able to be out of the house for long periods of time without worrying.  I married for the first time at 31 and lived pretty much on my own between marriages, so that didn't bother me. I'm pretty independent and I love this house that Ron and I chose together.

But...these long winter nights I really feel alone.  I didn't notice it at this time last year.  Sometimes I forget what it was like when he was here and that saddens me. 

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