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Old 05-29-2016, 11:28 AM
Location: North Dakota
7,041 posts, read 8,195,061 times
Reputation: 9244


Originally Posted by DrewJones888 View Post
Just read a lot of threads and few I can relate to. There is the common stuff about time to grieve, when to start a relationship, how to mourn. Most here are much older and I'm finding less to connect with.

I don't need to replace her & my wedding ring will stay right where it is for now. Our love was intense in the best sense of the word and we have two perfect, respectful, and loving teenagers. I never cooked but I'm learning. I clean, do laundry, wash dishes, iron clothes, keep after the kids happenings, run my wife's dental office (now up for sale unfortunately), and hold down my 9-5.

I haven't hardly touched anything of hers and have no need to. Her purse is right where she left it the morning I found myself performing CPR trying to save her life. I'm doing as well as can be expected considering. Good days and bad of course and I'm dealing with it as best I can. I washed the last load of her laundry last Sunday and as I folded it all I recognized items and just lost it. Up until now it was a short tear here and there but folding her clothes did me in. I asked my daughter to help next time. Kids are doing better than I thank the Lord.

I'd just like to say I'm glad to have finally searched for and located this site (as well as a couple others). After some thought I think locating guys similar in age and circumstance would help me best. I know it just takes a load off to have someone relate.

Other than that, and touching on a few things I've read in here, I would think that I wouldn't actively go looking for someone else but I'm sure when the time comes it will just happen. Things may change after another 6+months, who knows but there is no way I can see it happening any sooner. Thing is you would have to have moved on emotionally to be in a place to make better decisions. This is a choice for some of us. I personally wish to hold onto her memory and chose to feel the pain out of respect for her for as long as I can. This time frame is different for all but those that had a loving respect for their spouses would do the same. Yes other lives are different but not that different. If you found someone else a month later you clearly are still grieving. I cannot image being in a relationship with someone new and find this healthy. It can be if she also lost someone as she would know exactly what you are dealing with and you could comfort each other. I think I would prefer this. I can imagine honoring her late husband occasionally and she my late wife. The only exception to this is if you are "using" this other women and as long as you keep up the communication and she understands then that's your thing. It may just be me but I married for life and if I get there again it will be the same the second time around, and if it's love (please don't' use the word loosely, too many do) then if I had to go through the process again I would.

I did say "touching on a few things" I'll just leave it there for now. After rereading that last paragraph I think I should have started another thread but...hey.

Nice to meet you all and if anyone needs someone to talk to or to bounce things off of I'm here for you.

In SoCal...
My uncle was the same age when he lost his wife. He took the time to grieve and eventually moved on. He's doing fine now ten years on. Not going to lie, it was a long road for him, but he is doing fine now. Sorry for your loss.
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:44 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,316,975 times
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Sorry for your loss.

These snippets are from an article written by professional grief counselors that was sent to me by a funeral home.

Unresolved grief is almost always about undelivered communications of an emotional nature. There are a whole host of feelings that maybe attached to those unsaid things. Happiness, sadness, love, fear, anger, relief, and compassion, are just some, of the feelings that a griever might experience. We do not need to categorize, analyze, or explain those feelings. We do need to learn how to communicate them and then say good-bye to the relationship that has ended.

Part of your self-identity comes from the relationships you have with other people. When someone with whom you have a relationship dies, your self- identity, or the way you see yourself, naturally changes. You may occasionally feel child-like as you struggle with your changing identity. You may feel a temporarily heightened dependence on others as welt as feelings of helplessness, frustration, inadequacy, and fear. Many people discover that as they work on this need, they ultimately discover some positive aspects of their changed self-identity. You may develop a renewed confidence in yourself, for example.

If her death was sudden, you may have a lot of uncompleted communication with her. I would encourage journaling or writing letters to her. There are processes in the brain that happen when you put pen to paper that can greatly help, especially if you are free and open in your writing and keep it private.

The change of identity is real and takes time. As a couple, you think for two, measure your actions to account for your spouse, and seek support from them. In some ways, you have to integrate that person into your mind.

As for relationships, seeking new friendships and just plain getting out into public can be important. If you do enter into another relationship at some point, expect the waters to be muddy and to be dealing with various issues. Take your time and try to get sorted before attempting anything more than casual friendship. It is most fair to you and others.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:34 PM
4,807 posts, read 1,355,105 times
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That's so sad, but I'm glad that you have your kids there to keep you going. And what you mentioned about cooking is sweet.

I'm also glad that you've found some online places, but you might like to investigate around your own area to see if there are any groups that get together - in person.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:14 PM
Location: San Antonio
7,625 posts, read 13,987,763 times
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I am so very sorry for your loss. It will not be easy, but you need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Thank God I have not lost my spouse (and honestly pray DAILY I go first!) so can not even begin to imagine your loss, but with the help of friends/family, you will get thru this...and know she is looking down PROUD of you every day you do!!!!!!
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:59 PM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,077 posts, read 3,772,849 times
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I was just 2 years older than you when my husband died. We knew, the last 6 months, that he would not be able to survive the cancer. I have always thought the surviving spouse who is prepared is luckier than the deceased. In your case, you have the shock to get over but your wife -- if this was unexpected -- never had to deal with the great sadness over missing future family events. Perhaps that thought can give you some comfort.

Every person finds his path and certain milestones that helped. I joined a grief support group. A lot of it was not helpful but one thing really did help me. We had a final session where we brought a picture of our deceased love and introduced him/her to the group. We told how we met and what our married life was like. But the days ahead of that exercise, we each wrote a private letter to our deceased spouse. I wrote a long thank you note for all the good things and also I wrote to my husband that I was also going to forgive him for some things. In my letter, I wrote about some negative things that had occured during our 18 years. And I forgave him. I cried a lot while I wrote the letter. It took me hours. Later that week I introduced my "Ted" to the group and told how we met. There was a lot of laughter during that meeting. At the end of each introduction, the group said "nice to meet you Ted" and clapped. I don't think I ever read my letter again and then, six years later when I remarried, I burned the letter because it was too private for anyone else's eyes.

I have now been remarried - happily - over 11 years. But there is rarely a day that I am not reminded of my late husband. I still miss him but I AM happy now, too. It may be useful for you to find a support group; but you will find your way.
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Old 05-29-2016, 05:44 PM
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,302,589 times
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Hi ... I'm very sorry for your loss. I was 52 when my husband died; we had been together only 10 years, no kids, two cats.

It has taken me a long time to deal with all his "stuff", and four and a half years later, I'm about 1/3 of the way through his belongings (he was even more of a collector than I am). It was hard at first, but now I'm at the point where I just want to get a lot of his belongings out of the house, one way or another. I'm selling some things, keeping some things, but giving away most of his things.

You're on your own timetable as far as grief is concerned. You'll reinvent yourself as a single guy, single dad, but don't feel rushed or pressured. You'll know when you're ready to date again. In the meantime, enjoy your kids, take one step at a time. You'll get there.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:36 PM
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You've been through a shock. Only you can decide what comes next, and when it will for you. You're still young, but you do have to consider the kids. They're still kids - they will be kids for a long time yet. They are your first concern right now. Chin up, shoulders up and held back. Yup. You have to do double duty (I'm sure you're not in the mood for it, but...) Time will take care of it. They'll grow up, and you'll eventually move on. But right now, the kids are first.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:29 AM
Location: Columbia SC
7,961 posts, read 6,710,786 times
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Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
You've been through a shock. Only you can decide what comes next, and when it will for you. You're still young, but you do have to consider the kids. They're still kids - they will be kids for a long time yet. They are your first concern right now. Chin up, shoulders up and held back. Yup. You have to do double duty (I'm sure you're not in the mood for it, but...) Time will take care of it. They'll grow up, and you'll eventually move on. But right now, the kids are first.
This is sound advice. You need to be strong for the kids. Hold them tight. Tell them how much their Mom loved them. Tell them how much you love. Have a good cry with them. Then assure them you will get by this by loving and helping each other and that was what she would have wanted.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:04 AM
Location: N.Anaheim SoCal
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Thanks all,

Her passing was sudden. It was a sudden death syndrome (we don't yet know which). She went to bed as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary. I discovered her at 6am, performed CPR and called 911. Paramedics took over. They brought a pulse back and she lingered for a month with severe brain damage (down too long). She was eventually moved to hospice. One night with the kids I told them I had a need to go see her again. It was maybe 5-6pm. I left the kids to visit her and her extremities were colorless, lips purple, and breathing...weak/rapid. I knew it was time. I made a few phone calls then lowered the side rail and lay next to her. I kept whispering to her how much the kids and I loved her and that it was ok to go. Maybe 15 minutes later she was gone. She clearly waited for me.

I have two years before my daughter leaves for college and in that time we'll be busy packing in as much as we can. That will help. I'm still at the "have to keep extra busy stage" and find myself cleaning everything. I am soon to make room in the garage cabinets to house all her things. I cannot get rid of anything yet and I feel it's something the kids have to participate in. I'll leave the final decisions to them especially our daughter (lots of clothes, shoes, purses-Coach to LV, and jewelry). I don't anticipate moving-it's my children's childhood home but I will complete the room addition and a few other upgrades (patio, hot tub, full landscaping, etc) sometime this summer. For now I told my daughter that this summer we'll reinvent her bedroom. Everything goes and we'll start fresh if that's what she wants. She is very excited. My boy is quiet and the only smile on his face I've seen since was when he got word he made it into a UC. We were all very excited for him. A new environment, college in general, will be a good change I think. He graduates this Fri so this week is busy.

All things considered, I'm not doing too bad. The thing that haunts me is the future loneliness. When I met my wife I lived with roommates and had never really been alone. I had many friends at the time but moved away with my wife and that almost completely disappeared. In the 23 years together she and the kids were all I had. We did everything together and were never apart. In all those years we had only taken one trip without the kids. I have maybe two or three guys I can call to meet somewhere for a drink but they have busy lives. So when my daughter leaves the roost... Not sure what will happen next. I suppose it's the typical fear of the unknown but like all things, they always work themselves out. We'll see...
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:07 AM
Location: New Mexico
5,102 posts, read 2,918,142 times
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Drew -
There were a few things I learned the first year... they might be helpful.
-- I was almost defined by my loss when around old friends...who were also grieving to some degree.
-- Many of my wife's friends stayed with me over the years and we stay in touch.
-- I could make friends on my own with new people who were not familiar or even knew my wife.
-- I could be a good single parent to my college-age daughter but I didn't exactly realize the depth of her grief while lost in my own.
-- I could live and manage on my own...I lived alone before marriage so that was a little easier for me.
-- most of the stuff in the house was our's or her's and not much was 'my' stuff. I needed to keep her presence in the house but I needed to add a few new things that were mine... I can't explain that except it was part of taking possession and reinventing myself. (I eventually moved to a different house and different town five years later)
-- some (money) decisions I made early were not the best but they weren't 'fatal' - maybe caused by not having someone to bounce ideas off of and get second opinions.
-- I was retired and working part-time...but quit working because I lost the desire to keep it up. That was a mistake as I needed the social contact.

The whole experience of loss and regaining my life was the hardest I've ever had but it can be done.
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