All the long years

I know the mantra. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. But it’s so incredibly hard to stop thinking about all the years ahead without the person you’ve lost (in my case, my dearly beloved father). Today I’m just stuck with that anxiety, counting back and forth in a very unhelpful way. Like, if I live to so and so, it will be 30 years - 30 years :flushed: - and the panic is monumental, unimaginable. I can’t even. I don’t want to. I don’t have any answers, just needed to vent and hopefully someone can relate.

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Yep, i do that as well , think “i could have another 20/30 years trying to live with this pain” and it fills me with horror. But then i remember someone in my family who lost her mum just a few months before me, and then shortly after discovered she has cancer and is now having to face treatment on top of her grief :broken_heart: i think we assume we’ll have all this empty time stretching ahead, but its not guaranteed. I know my mum said her 50s were the best years of her life, so now as i enter my 50s i almost feel duty bound not to waste these years. Whilst i cant imagine ever feeling happy again, i also dont want to look back in 20 years and have regrets for not really living. Mum would be so cross with me! Its a contradiction that i haven’t worked out the answer to yet!


Just to add to my last comment, i also look to my mum as an example of how she handled grief. She lost her husband aged just 65 and i can recall her saying that she didnt want to carry on. But we had another 22 years together before she passed. When i think of her last 22 years, was it completely devoid of happiness? Not at all. Of course she grieved and missed Dad, and then she lost her sister and other close friends along the way. But she moved house and built herself a new home with our support, and i have lots of happy memories of our times together. I just wish i felt as strong as my Mum. :heart:.


Yes, it’s a genuine feeling of horror. But you’re right, we can’t know what will happen or how long we will have. How awful for that person in your family, blow after blow. :pensive:

I understand you feel almost duty-bound when she said it like that and I’m with you on not wanting to regret things. But it’s, as you say, a contradiction and I haven’t solved it either! It feels wrong to think of enjoying life too, a kind of survivor’s guilt, why should I when they can’t?

In a way the older generations were more stoic. You were expected to pick yourself up and just get on with it. I have no idea how they do/did it. Mum always said I was stronger than I think, but I don’t know about that. I certainly don’t feel strong. I guess it’s a matter of will also and my will is lacking right now. There can be happiness for sure, but that deep sorrow that haunts you afterwards, at least with me, is hard to bear and now it’s doubled in size and depth. :broken_heart::heart:

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Yes I have so many contradictions about the deaths I have had to face.
Someone said to me that my grief wasn’t as bad as someone else’s because they really did love their lost one. That really stung me. I wish I had not told this person the bad bits as if having those means you don’t love them so much.
When in truth love isn’t that it was always perfect. It is realizing you loved them warts and all.

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That was insensitive, of course we love the people we love warts and all! No one is perfect and there are always less positive things in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean our love or our grief is less. So sorry you had that experience. :heart: