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Old 11-26-2018, 06:52 AM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,166,099 times
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I'm only 59. About 2-1/2 years ago, my husband - whom I dearly loved and prayed for and cherished every day - came home for lunch and put a bullet in his brain. I lost everything. EVERY SINGLE THING. The house, the car, my income, my social standing, my career, etc. Suicide will mess you up. Enough said about that.

One year ago, my sister-in-law died. She was my favorite part of the siblings. She was a bright shining light and as I told her (repeatedly), she was the epitome of God's perfect love walking on this earth.

Last week, my "second mother" died. Through a period of 20 years, she and I had formed a bond that was very close. We were supposed to take a trip this month. We'd been talking about it for some time.

Three of the most important people in my world are dead in less than three years.

Please don't suggest counseling, as I'm already seeing someone who's wonderful but we have the bare-bones fact that this is a lot of loss in a short time. I suspect it's part of getting older, but how do you navigate so much loss? I guess I want to hear real life examples and stories.

Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:12 AM
 
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I just take it as all part of life - a transition to the other side.

As for your husband - even that was his time.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,871 posts, read 1,402,350 times
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Actually I deal with it by making it my point to live as best as I can in their honor.

So my story
5 years ago lost my wonderful husband of 30 years to cancer.
4 years ago lost my smart, funny baby brother to cancer.
3 years ago lost one of my oldest bff's to a sudden heart attack.

All of these people died before 55 and before retiring. so like you I went through a period that I seriously thought I had a curse on me.

So I got of the bandwagon of working until I drop dead, I got off of the bandwagon of trying to figure out what my healthcare is going to cost when I'm 91. I surround myself with the love one's I have left.

I have had it taught to me very painfully that life is not guaranteed and when I was in my support group not one person talked about how they wished they had more money.

I miss each one of these guys more than I can say and there are days when it still hurts. I try to honor them the best that I can by living a great life.

You keep moving forward.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Texas of course
563 posts, read 266,261 times
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How do you get used to so much loss?


I don't think we ever do and I'm sorry for your loss. Whatís the hardest part of getting older for me? Itís not the aches, pains and wrinkles. Not even close, it's losing family and friends.

Grief is a natural response to loss. Itís the emotional suffering you feel when someone you love is taken away. The more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will be. It will swallow you up if you let it.
Please don't let it consume you, life is so precious, it's a gift.

My husband and I basically have nobody left and it was never easy. I lost my last remaining cousin last week, that made 3 this year. The loss of our best friends was especially hard, we'd known them since before starting school. Someone told me to sit down and write a letter to the people who died that I really missed and I did just that and I had a good long cry. What helped me? Being a Christian I know I'll see all these people again someday in heaven. I personally think death is harder on the living, we deal with the loss, I think they are in heaven rejoicing.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:54 AM
 
6,558 posts, read 1,348,237 times
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No words of comfort to add, but each of you who has posted has my greatest sympathy.

[Personally, though, I think I am now immune to feeling grief or sorrow because I had such a lot of it when I was younger. Before I was 35, death took my biological father, my adoptive father, my favorite aunt who was also my favorite person in the world, and my brother; I had a miscarriage and a resulting loss of fertility (a long story); and I was divorced twice. When my son suddenly died five years ago when he was 19, I was just numb and I still haven't really felt it or grieved for him as much as would be normal. Maybe the old saying that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger IS true. In my case, I just take each day pretty much as it comes and try to concentrate on what is GOOD in my life because I do have much to be grateful for.]
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,688 posts, read 1,867,595 times
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I can relate to your post.

When my father (my primary parent) passed, it left me with a pervasive feeling of being totally alone.

Then divorce from my son's father (he cheated).

Then my mother passed after being her primary caregiver. I was not her favorite child, but he was not interested in her life or her care, but remained her favorite and boy, did she let me know it.

Then my brother, her favorite child, passed last year

Then retirement. Work was my identity for 40 years, so I don't have that now. Not complaining but the loss is real.

I have a husband eaten up with cancer, PTSD, OCD and old-age bitterness who I am committed to (maybe I should BE committed). He is 10 years older than me so who knows who will go first. I am under lots of stress from his personality so that is eating away at me, slowly but surely. I live a compromised life.

Not to make your post about ME but it is life. You have to find new things to be passionate about, something to look forward to. Marshal on, as it were.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:25 AM
 
3,604 posts, read 1,642,138 times
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I don’t know that you get used to it, you just learn to live with. How we do that is different for everyone so what works for me may not be useful to others.

I used to work as a geriatric nurse and one dear woman gave me some advice I took to heart. She said make as many happy memories as you can because that’s what we have left. It’s the good memories that sustain us through the rough times. obviously you can’t make happy memories as you struggle through the throes of grief, but those memories are the light at the end of the tunnel.

I will face more losses and I know now what my grieving response is. I give into it at first and then I start working on a “grief survival scrapbook book” . I allow myself the right to scream and cry in the shower then I write in my book daily a simple list of things I need to do to get through the day. The list starts off basic like get dressed, put make up on but as time goes by I add other things like tell a friend a joke, watch a happy movie, try a new recipe. I collect images, recipes ,jokes and put them in my book.


I’m so sorry for your losses.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,460 posts, read 5,924,770 times
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I'm so sorry for your losses Rosemary. Like the others I too have been through this but I won't list them as I do not want this to appear like a contest. I can only say while it's true you never really get over it with time you learn to live again. You appear to be down the road a bit but still struggling, that's perfectly understandable.



My advice and not to sound too cliche is to take it one day at a time. Learn to enjoy the little things and eventually things will get better. I promise.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,506,948 times
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Most of what I might have said has already been said and more. All of us have losses, some way more than others. I personally have sustained more than my share in the last few years.

With loss of significant people and pets , I take comfort in the memories and know with certainty that we will be together again when I cross over.

I have lost homes and jobs but they are replaceable. I have created my new home and found other jobs and ways to use my creativity and to engrage in life.

Stay stuck in the past and it leads to depression. Obcess on the future and you will become a prisoner of anxiety.

Key is to live in the moment, the hour, the day. Celebrate each breath and be grateful for what you have now. Cherish the good times and set out to make some more.

Live like dogs do, in the present moment. This is how I get through and try to sustain my life. Enjoy what you have, who you are, the gifts you are given daily.

A lot of it has to do with attitude, really. How you view your life.

"Get busy living or get busy dying." (Stephen King)
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:59 AM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,259,322 times
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I've also had a lot of loss. I have said this before, but grief is more than an emotion. It is a processes. It is not about "forgetting", or "moving on", or "coming to acceptance". Grief is about learning to maintain a connection to that which we loved in whatever safe manner meets our needs All processes take time. And, really, time is the only thing that will help.

In so far as "maintaining the connection", there are as many ways to do it as there are people on the planet. Some people talk to the deceased in their heads; some people see signs of their being close; some people wear articles of their clothing or keep special keepsakes; some people do it with poetry, music, or art; some people do it with shrines. You will find your own way to maintain your connection.

I am sorry for your loss. Be gentle with yourself.
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