How long?

JoAnn_Fla

How long does it take to feel normal again? Its been almost 5 years for me and its still so very hard being without him. I do okay but its not like it used to be. I know it never will be but what is the secret to moving on after so many years have already passed?

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sylviatexas1

I'm so sorry.

I don't know the answer to "how long", don't know that anyone does know.

For me, it seems that getting "outside myself" helps more than anything else, ie, my brain can only hold one thought at a time, so when I'm absorbed with someone else or some group of people, I can't think about myself.

& our brains & bodies do better when we get oxygenated blood to our brains & muscles; this is why exercise is so good for people with depression.

I think this is the reason that, even when I'm doing some physical activity by myself, with no other person to distract me, my thoughts & feelings are sunnier.

When my mind turns to the person I lost, my own sadness seems to not come into it so much; I can think of the person with peace, with reflection, with gratitude for having had that person in my life.

so throw out all the chairs & sofas so you won't sit down (sitting leads to brooding), sign up for jazzercise or square dancing, & find someone who needs her cabinets scrubbed & organized or her floors waxed & who cannot do these things herself, & do it.

I wish you the very best.

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Miz_G

I am over 6 years out, and have accepted that some parts of me will never feel normal again; I'm a different person now, in many ways. The trauma was just too much. I've learned to live with a new normal.

But my life is still good in many ways, and I feel hope for the future again. Sylvia's suggestions are great ones .... just getting out there, doing things you enjoy, being around others. I know the alone times can be tough, and agree that exercise, hobbies, etc, can help.

There will always be hard times for me--anniversaries, our daughter's accomplishments, reminders--but as Sylvia said, I try hard to just be grateful I knew him and got to share a life with him. He was an amazing man. I grieve most for what he's missing, for having his life cut too short. I want to live a happy life, to honor his.

Keep on keeping on, you're amazing. I feel like even though they aren't here in person, they'll live on in our hearts forever, and that comforts me. :)

(((Big hugs to my fellow widows and widowers)))

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Ninapearl

i am coming up on 8 years and not a single minute of any day goes by that i am not thinking about him. used to be sad thoughts, reliving his death, funeral, etc. now, for the most part, they are thoughts of happy times we shared over 12 wonderful years. it's still hard, i think it always will be. i have yet to reach "acceptance" in the true sense, doubt i ever will.

grief has no timeline. i wish you the best!

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

JoAnn, I lost my husband 5½ years ago, and I still miss him every minute of the day. I miss my old life, and it might sound selfish, but I miss knowing that I was the most important person in the world to someone. Normal will never be what it was before, but I accept my life today because of the 35½ wonderful years we shared. Hugs to all who have lost their loved ones.

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JoAnn_Fla

I feel exactly the same mama goose. The pain never goes away. I just want my old life back too.

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JoAnn_Fla

Anyone else can't wait for Fall? I know its just about spring a wonderful time of the year but it seems like my heart breaks even more when its nice out. The memories come flooding back.

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l pinkmountain

If you keep pressuring yourself to "get over" your loss or keep pining away for the good old days when your loved one was with you, you're setting yourself up for additional unhappiness, apart from the grief. You're adjusting to a "new normal" and part of that adjustment is accepting the loss, which is extremely hard. I'm not there yet, 1.5 years out from my mom's sudden death, but I know that I can get there step by step. For me the key is finding ways to incorporate my mom into my life so that something of her lives on. But even that has its limits. My dad is inconsolable, because he feels so guilty (should have known something was wrong, etc.) and he won't give himself permission to be happy or enjoy life or move on. I think it is a delicate balance between allowing ourselves to move among the living and create a life for ourselves, and pining for a past that can never be again. I don't think we should feel guilty about wanting not to lose our loved ones, but we shouldn't let the two feelings get out of balance so that the pining totally consumes us. That won't help us or our lost loves or anyone else. I'm not saying don't feel bad, just allow some balance of good to come into your life and let that too into your consciousness. Even if you have to force it in! Not all the time, just some of the time. A balance.

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sylviatexas1

Does anyone remember an old PBS/public tv show called "The Day The Universe Changed"?

It was about the changes brought by science, but the idea was that, one day everything was one way, & then, when something new came to light, everything was different.

things like the discovery of germs, the realization that the earth orbited the sun, etc.

Everybody *knew* that sickness was caused by fog or too much blood or evil beings (like Jack Frost "nipping at your nose"), & then everything changed.

I think loss is like that;

We're still ourselves, yet we're not the same as we were;

our tv show would be "The Day *Our* Universe Changed" or maybe "The Day The Universe Changed Us".

.

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Miz_G

So true, Sylvia. That's a good analogy of it.

Today I had to make a copy of his death certificate. Still a gut punch, seeing it. Very hard and surreal, even all these years later ... but my coping mechanisms are stronger, at least.


__________

"Anyone else can't wait for Fall? I know its just about spring a wonderful time of the year but it seems like my heart breaks even more when its nice out. The memories come flooding back."

The seasons affect me, too. In my case, it was at Thanksgiving, so it's always going to be a very difficult holiday.

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JoAnn_Fla

How long has it been Miz_G? I've been having a hard week for some reason, maybe I am just thinking too much. I can't help missing him everyday.

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Ninapearl

joann, i miss gary every day, too. i always will. it seems like this is the time of year that is the worst for me. gary died on november 30, 2007. as i get closer and closer to that date, i get more and more morose.

this year will be especially hard. my son and his wife are adopting a newborn baby boy in just a few weeks, their first child. my daugher-in-law and i will be making a trip to guam to get him. i keep thinking that gary should be here to share in the happiness that we have waited so many years for. but he isn't here and that makes me so, so sad when i should be embracing the happiness. all i can think about is what a wonderful grandad he would have made!

do you ever get angry about his death? i have occasionally gotten so angry that he is gone because he should be here to help me do things or do the things he always did that are now left to me. things like shoveling snow or mowing or fixing fence. or holding my hand while we watch mindless t.v. today i had to lay one of my pet pot bellied pigs to rest. i took the tractor out and dug a big hole yesterday. after the vet was done, we rolled her into the tractor bucket and i buried her, by myself. crying because i had to do this but also crying because i know gary would have helped any way he could, especially by just holding me tight and telling me it'll be ok. *sigh*

wishing you peace as you plow through the grief we share. (((hugs)))

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Ninapearl, it's been six years for me, and I feel just as you do. There have been times I've cried, not just in grief, but in frustration. We have a new grandson, and I so wish my husband was here to share the joy. We keep his memories alive for the older GS, but it hurts that this new little one will never know his wonderful grandpa.

I was cleaning the bathroom last night, and decided to finally throw away my husband's used tube of toothpaste. I kept the deodorant, because it still smells like him. I recently found a tube of his lip balm in the cabinet where he stowed his pocket junk--I put some on my lips, comforted by the thought that his lips had touched it last. I kissed my DD's cheek, and told her it was a kiss from her dad. :')

Congratulations on your new grandson! Children and grandchildren help make life worth living.

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JoAnn_Fla

Holiday times are so hard, but really not much more then every day. It seems like the more time passes the harder its getting. Like he's moving farther away. My memory had got so bad or I have put it on hold somewhere because it hurts to think about it. I just feel like there has to be some sort of "key" or whatever that helps deal with this. It still seems unreal even after 5 1/2 yrs.

No, I have never been angry, maybe very upset since hes not here, but never angry at God. It was his time and he was ready. I just think this isn't the way life should be. I almost can't remember even being married, it feels like its been this way forever!

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Ninapearl

until i read a detailed article about grief and the stages, i thought i was being unreasonable or even hateful. i didn't know who i was at that time. i was angry with God and i even had fleeting thoughts where i was angry at Gary for leaving me. how screwed up is that?? but then, i see that it's a normal reaction. those times were during the weeks after his death. i haven't felt that way in a very long time. while i have been used to my "new normal" for years now, i still can't accept gary's death.

the day before my daughter-in-law and i were departing guam to bring my new, sweet grandson home, i was feeling weepy about gary not being here to enjoy this time. before he died, he told me that any time i saw a rainbow, it meant he was thinking about me. as i flung open the draperies that morning, this is what greeted me...

so, gary was really there, he knew what was happening and he wanted me to know how happy he was for all of us. <3

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JoAnn_Fla

How are you doing now Ninapearl? Have you been able to deal with it and make a new life? I think I am still clinging on to my old one since this new one isn't going anywhere. Believe me I have tried all I know how to do.

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Ninapearl

joann, i'm doing ok now. i don't know if i can really say i'm doing "fine" because i simply cannot let go. it's been 9 years, 3 months since gary died and not a single minute of any day goes by that i'm not thinking about him. he is first on my mind when i wake and he is the last thing i think about as i drift off to sleep. he (as he would say) "left a trail". everywhere i look out here, i see him. all of the things he built, all of the home improvements he made before he got sick. i have 12 years of these memories both inside my house and out around the farm. i like to think he is looking down and marveling at how well i have done, me and my john deere tractor. but in reality, he's probably looking down and laughing at me when i try to duplicate some of the things he did. i promised him i wouldn't use his power tools since i'd probably cut my hand off but i've had to fudge on that promise a few times. ;)

lots of people think the first year is the worst. for me, it hit me at about the 3 year mark. the first year, i was simply numb. the second year i spent in absolute denial that it was real, he was truly gone. the third year, i realized that after all, it was real, i would not see him again until it's my time, i will never feel his touch, hear his laugh, have my heart skip a beat each and every time he walked through the door. i miss all of those things SO much. i miss being the most important thing in one person's life. i miss his laughter, i miss his scent, i miss everything about him. i so miss his compassion each time i have had to lay a pet to rest. i have lost several beloved pets, everything from dogs to horses to pot bellied pigs, since he has been gone and strangely, when i am i the process of laying a pet to rest, i cannot help but think how nice it would be to be hugged and comforted by him. he always had a way to make me feel that everything would be ok even in my darkest moments.

i am flooded with happiness and joy now that my son and his lovely wife finally have a baby to love after trying for so many years. the first few weeks back from guam, i walked around with a big smile on my face and couldn't wait to get pictures from them or make the hour drive to go see my little punkin but now, i seem to be back to (although i am still giddy with happiness), thinking how much gary is missing, not being able to see gabriel smile and hear him coo.

joann, i don't know how old you are...i will soon be 66. over the years, i've had people tell me i should get out and socialize, maybe meet someone and start dating. just the thought gives me the heebie jeebies. i have no interest whatsoever in finding another partner. if paul newman knocked on my door, i would give him a cup of coffee and send him on his way. i can't even begin to imagine any man could possibly even come close to filling gary's shoes (well, work boots) and i will be content with and thankful for the years of memories i have and the knowledge that he loved me more than life itself.

you will get there, honey. it just takes time. some take more time than others to get to a point where they can accept their "new normal", even though it may mean, as in my case, you may never accept his death. i don't see anything wrong with that. i mean, really, i LIVED for this man, 24/7/365. he was my whole world, he took my breath away and when he died, he took my heart away.

i don't know if you've even got this far in the **great american novel** but if you did, i hope something i said resonated with you. just know, i understand your grief. nobody can possibly understand unless they have gone through it. and that reminds me of something someone said to me after gary died...you have to go through grief, you can't go around it.

thinking of you with love and i hope you will soon find some peace. <3

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JoAnn_Fla

A pet is not the same as a spouse

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Ninapearl

oh, that isn't at ALL what i meant to convey! of course a pet isn't the same. to be totally honest, nothing is the same as losing a spouse. i have lost close friends and i have lost both of my parents. even though i grieve the loss of my parents still, that grief is not the same and never was nor will it ever be the same as the grief of losing gary.

i'm sorry if i made that sound like pets are as important. i simply meant that not having him here to hold my hand made losing my pets more painful. i don't even know if that makes sense. *sigh*

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JoAnn_Fla

The post about the pet is gone, I don't think you wrote it Nitapearl. She started it with something like this....... let me tell you what worked for me. I deleted the letter but I am positive you didn't write it. Sorry for the confusion.

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yeonassky

I wrote it and deleted it!

I regretted it after seeing your response. I was hoping that you would be able to use a technique normally used on humans which I used for my pets. It wasn't to heal your loss but to possibly cement your memories. That's what struck me was lost memories.

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joann_fl

It's now nine years for me and it still hurts everyday. I am having one of those days again.


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Ninapearl

joann, i'm coming up on 13 years. while the world around me has changed, nothing much has changed for me. i still grieve, and every moment of every day, i still wish he was here.


my grandson will be 4 in november and he brings me so much joy. he is at that age where everything is why? when? who? what or who is that? i have photos of gary around the house and gabriel recently asked me who that man is. i tried to keep it simple so i explained in "child terms" who that man is. after my explanation, gabe said to me, "oh. that's my other granddad?". it reduced me to tears.


i'm sorry you are having a day but i totally understand. i have them, too. i always will. sending comforting hugs to you!

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joann_fl

Thanks for letting me know I am not alone in this. I would think at 9 years I would be better but I guess not. It keeps hitting me at odd times like when I am watching a tv show and miss those family times, or if someone is getting married, or dying and I remember those feelings. It feels like 100 years ago that he was here, and yesterday at the same time. Not much has changed for me either....except our world. Hugs to you also

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Ninapearl

it's a pretty exclusive club we're in. i completely understand how you feel. i recently watched the dvd that one of gary's nephews made for his funeral. i laughed and i cried. so so many emotions!


gary has been gone now for more years than we were together. that thought makes me profoundly sad. but again, i always look at it like this...every day i am alive is one more day gone before i see him again. <3


wishing you peace and better days ahead!

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joann_fl

I was with my husband 40 years. Thank you.

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