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Old 12-04-2018, 12:44 PM
4,051 posts, read 5,342,422 times
Reputation: 4675


Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of my husband. For some reason I started decorating for Christmas early, but it hasn't made life cheery. In fact, looking at the Christmas tree doesn't really give me any joy. I am trying, but no. I just feel sad and empty.

I have friends that I do things with. I will be going to a Christmas concert on Friday, and we just had the Christmas dinner at church on Sunday. I am sewing costumes for the Christmas pageant. I'm singing at a nursing home on Saturday. I work part time. My son is here in town, and I see him almost daily. To everyone else, I am doing fine. I am active and functioning. I can laugh and sing and have a good time. But when I get home, and I am by myself, it is all different. People who see me doing "fine" don't realize how much I miss my husband - all day every day.

Yes, I go out to do things, but at heart, I have always been a home-body. I like being around the house, puttering in the garden, doing projects at home. My husband was like that, too. We enjoyed people, but were not really social butterflies. We liked to sit next to each other and read. Our computers were next to each other, and we "surfed" together. We walked, we talked about whatever. We took care of our home and our family. We liked to travel together, to plan what we wanted to do next. For 43 years, we just enjoyed being next to each other.

So now, it is four years after his death. I am quite aware that grief is something that can go on for a long time and that you never completely "get over it." But I can't get past the loneliness of being without him. Christmas is hard, not only because of the it is supposed to be a joyful family time, but because my husband died in early December, his memorial service was on Dec. 23. That Christmas the extended family gave no gifts. We mourned together. We still decorated, went to church, had Christmas dinner, but no one wanted to go out shopping, and gifts somehow seemed inappropriate. We shared memories on Christmas morning.

I am thinking of getting a little grief counseling, just because I need to talk to someone. I was in a grief group early on, and it helped me a lot. But that was years ago. Has anyone out there tried grief counseling/groups this late after a loss?
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Old 12-04-2018, 01:33 PM
Location: USA
722 posts, read 262,811 times
Reputation: 1959
God bless you - I'm so sorry for the loss. I'm not sure I'd focus on the timing of additional counseling. It's clear that you're still groping with the loss of your husband and anther round of counseling will surely help you make further, additional adjustments.

My father passed away almost 8 years ago. My mom, 7 years ago. I can't hardly think about them without tearing up but I've always been a "wear my heart on my shoulder' kind of guy. My wife looks at me and she knows when I'm happy, sad, mischievous...everything. I won't change and it doesn't bother me. Loss is loss and I've give up a lot just to share more of my life with them!
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:19 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,088 posts, read 52,144,925 times
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I've been noticing your absence here, and am very glad you have decided to post again.

I'm coming up on three years, have a new friend, but I always seem to set aside a time to sit alone and talk with my late wife. One thing that has helped considerably is repeatedly acknowledging that I miss her physical presence, without making the leap that any other type of loss has to exist.

To understand that concept, it is best to understand Pascal's Wager:

I can cite unusual things that occurred related to us that are beyond random chance, I could cite various books, I could cite passages from various religions, all offering various explanations or possibilities. I don't have to have a set belief in any single path to admit that I don't know the answers to larger questions, even if I might suspect some possibilities more probable than others. There is a type of peace in admitting not being all-knowing. Keeping connection with her in a way that helps my life, grows my understanding, and gives comfort has no downside.

As to what happens next, who knows? What I do know is that I live a life consistent with the values we held and move forward. I do have an advantage over some, that both my wife and I had full lives before we met, so the loss of a childhood sweetheart spouse and all that support structure was not in the cards, and we entered our relationship fully formed. I have had advantage in knowing from the start that she would likely pre-decease me, and over the years built the mental girding that comes with that knowledge. I also knew, and she knew and accepted, that I would need a close relationship with another after she died. I additionally had enough familiarity with the grief process both personally and technically to embrace it fully and quickly, rather than get stuck trying to hold back.

Will grief counseling help you after four years? It could, but other personal growth work might be even more effective if grief is holding you back. If a part of you is missing, you want to find it in yourself and recognize that it is not lost with your late husband.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:48 PM
Location: SWFL
21,932 posts, read 18,513,665 times
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GG, my dear friend. (((HUGS)))

I am so glad your son is in town.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:32 PM
642 posts, read 406,699 times
Reputation: 1789
I haven't visted the Grief section of cd in a long time but for some reason I felt compelled to look today and I came across this post.

I remember very clearly the support I received from you Grasshopper on cd after my husband passed away in 2016 and I just wanted to say thank you so much for being there for me at the worst time in my life.

I'm very sorry that you are feeling lonely and are in so much pain. Anniversaries and holidays are brutal but as you know we get through them the best we can.

I am 2 years and 7 months into my journey and this will be my third Christmas without my husband. Because I have a 4 year old child I have no choice but to put on a happy face but inside the pain is still very real, not as raw but real and at times unbearable.

There is some joy to be had still and I'm happy that you have your son and other activities to keep you busy.

Like you I tried grief counseling early on but I stopped going after a few months. At this point I would not want to go to group counseling because I feel that it would open up all those raw emotions again and quite frankly I can't handle that. I'm still in a lot of pain but I've come a long way and I'm afraid to go back to that scary dark place. But that's just me and perhaps it could be beneficial for you.

I wish you did not have to feel this pain and I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband. Again, thank you for the help you gave me and I will truly never forget the support I received from some wonderful people here on cd.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:38 PM
Location: northern New England
1,939 posts, read 803,584 times
Reputation: 7480
I am almost at 4 years (husband) and I couldn't even consider doing anything for the holidays. Still way too painful.

" For 43 years, we just enjoyed being next to each other." -- wow, that says it all. Me too. Life without him is so quiet and lonely.

I think what you are describing is very typical of widowed folks. We put on a good face for the outside world and save our tears for when we are alone. I don't have any advice, just ((((hugs)))).
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:16 PM
Location: Polynesia
2,148 posts, read 1,138,809 times
Reputation: 3686
G Grasshopper, I wish I could reach through the screen and hug you. I want you to know that just like melovescookies, when I first lost my husband recently, you thoughtfully posted to me with so many comforting words. I have returned to this forum to read and reread all the kind posts I received from you and others here. It helped me a lot in my darkest times. Thank you for your kindness, it made a huge difference to me. I wish I knew how to return the favor.

One memorable thing that you wrote to me was "he loved you, and he would not want you to be in misery for ever." and so now perhaps it is my turn to offer you that gentle reminder. I hope that during this time you'll find glimpses of joy and light. I wish you all the best.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:00 AM
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7,690 posts, read 2,432,905 times
Reputation: 10624
The clear thinking and kind attitude towards people you have expressed in your previous posts, have helped others. I hope that you now find a way to help yourself through this part of your life. Some people go their whole lives and never have someone with whom to share their good times, as you've described having with your husband. Think about all that and cherish it, but don't cap that wonderful time, by succumbing to gloom. I don't think your husband would have wanted that for you.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:26 PM
Location: Tulare County, Ca
1,072 posts, read 641,789 times
Reputation: 1888
Hi GG, so glad to hear from you again. Don't know if you remember but our husbands passed within a couple of weeks of each other. My husband died on Christmas Day. So, I too am coming up on my fourth widowversay. You were such a great support and comfort to me then in our hour of need and I thank you for that.

I'm having the same exact feelings that you are at this time. God Bless and stay strong.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:13 AM
4,051 posts, read 5,342,422 times
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Thank you to all of you. I know that many of us have struggled together through our losses. Grief does come in waves. I know it gets more intense at times. I have a friend who told me that seven years after her husband died, she had a really sad week; she thought of him the whole week, and really grieved. But then it was gone, and she went on as before, remembering, but not so much grieving. I suppose that is how it is, and I am going through a rough time, in response to Christmas. Sometimes we don't even know what makes one of those sad periods happen.

I have to say that I was very moved by the response to my post from many of you. It has been an important part of my healing to share my experience of loss and add what little wisdom I have come up with. If it helped anyone, I am very grateful. I don't believe that these terrible things that happen to us are willed by God, but I do believe that He helps us to bring good out of our pain. So when we can share and help each other, that is, to me, some of the good that can come from suffering. Your kindness is truly a blessing.

I am going to try a grief group again, sponsored by our local hospice. But it doesn't start until the end of January. I don't know how I will be feeling at that point, but I will go the first time, and if I don't get a good feeling from it, then I won't continue.

Love and blessings to you all.
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