The realisation that this is forever

It is nine weeks tomorrow that I lost Gary. I know a lot of people do not like that word - but the other words people use are still too harsh for me. By using the word lost - I think it helps me believe I will find him again one day, so it works in my case. I find myself pretending that he is in the sitting room when I am in the kitchen, and when I go to the sitting room he is then in his music room. When I go to bed I tell myself he is staying downstairs for some late night tv. All these things were once true of course - but now it is the pretence of it that keeps me going.

Some days I cope reasonably well. If I am chatting with people, either face to face or on the phone or if I have a lot of things on my list for the day and keep myself too busy to think. But in those quiet moments the thought that is so painful is that this is my new forever. I don’t want this forever though - I want the one where we were together. I want the one where he was always there, teasing me, joking with the children, playing music, talking to me, loving me and just being him. I have one photo of him taken just a few months ago of him looking straight at the camera and that is the one that really makes me cry. I can look at old photos of when we were young but the recent ones just seem to be so painful it is like a cut. The word heartbroken is so apt - the pain centres around the heart in the centre of the chest and it really feels like something inside has broken.
I know I need to make a new future without him, but how I have no idea. I look at others, in the street, in the shops - anywhere really and I know that none of us have any real idea of what is going in these people’s lives. Are they happy? Are they grieving? How are they coping if they too have lost someone? It is not until you suffer the grief of losing someone you love that you have any comprehension. It does also seem to still be the last taboo subject that people avoid. We do not really address grief in society. We now talk a lot about mental health and it is on the agenda in work, schools, tv, where for years it was avoided. Children are being taught in school about almost everything, but the subject of death and grieving is still not addressed. Realistically in every partnership there will always be one that is left as very few die together - but when it does happen we have had no guidance on how to deal with it, nor have others had guidance on how to deal with us. Surely this is something that should be added to the learning agenda. I know until I suffered this all encompassing grief I would not have been able to imagine how to deal with people like me - nor any guidance on how we face it. I have always been an ostrich - head in the sand - and the worst will not happen. Now it has happened I do not know how to really deal with it and life going forward. I love my children but I do not want to rely on them - I want them to see me when they want to see me rather than through duty. I experienced the duty guilt with my own mother for a number of years - it made for difficult times with me digging my heels in over things - behaving like a stroppy teenager. I love them and I know they love me - but they need to live their own lives and sadly I need to live mine alone now. I miss him dreadfully and I know I will continue to do so. We were, and are, part of each other and only those that have lost the other half of them understand this bewilderment, this feeling of what next? I do not want to, nor will I ever stop missing him or loving him, but somehow and I don’t yet know how, I need to learn to live a life in which I can find happiness and contentment. I will make myself get there. I was a strong person before this and I hope I will be strong again one day - I just don’t know when or, more the point, how? Maybe if I can give back to others that is the way forward - after all it is always better to give than receive.

Apologies for the extremely long ramble - but I am finding today a difficult day and it really helps to let it all out here. So thank you for ‘listening’. I know you all face daily the struggle of grief and coping and I hope what I have written does not upset anyone more than they are already upset.
Take care all xx

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Such a beautiful post which says it all.
You sound like a very special lady…but then everyone on here is special… and we all have our own unique ways of coping with all that we have lost. Sometimes we are unaware of how we go on…of what it is that somehow gets us through each hour, then each day, each month, each year. I like to think that my time now is just an extension of the time once shared…for as long as I breathe and remember, then Barry lives on too.
I hope that the days ahead will be kind to you…please keep posting and let us know how you are. God bless x

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Oh wow Trisha, what a lovely post! I like the word ‘lost’ too. You know it’s odd how the mind works in grief. I woke up the other morning with a cough and my immediate thought was ‘I must be quiet or I will wake her up’. Then it hit me and it’s like a blow. That is when coping becomes so difficult.
You cope how you want to cope, and it sounds to me that you have developed a method of finding a little comfort. You are so right about looking at others and not knowing what is going on in their minds. It all looks good out there to us in grief, but anyone looking at you and I would think we were fine.
I couldn’t agree more about lack of education on such important matters as grief and emotions. The maxim today with kids seems to be ‘If it’s not FUN don’t do it’. Now fun is fine in it’s place, but everything has its opposite. Kids are brought up to be good little citizens and workers. But very little if anything about dealing with emotions and fear. Not very young kids of course, but older ones.
I too had that guilt trip with my parents. As a child my home was what they now call a ‘dysfunctional household’. I was brought up in a fearful atmosphere. Constant rows and upsets. But I was still plagued by the sense of guilt it I didn’t visit my parents regularly. Guilt can be such a burden and most of the time is unnecessary.
You are so right. Making a new life, if at all possible, is what we need do. In the early stages of grief this is an impossible thought. But as times passes and the world goes on we realise there is a hereafter, not just in a religious sense, but here too.
You sound a very sensible and a strong lady. May I wish you every bit of relief and contentment you can find. I’m looking too, so perhaps we can stay on this wonderful site and seek it together. We all want that don’t we? Some little peace of mind. Ah, peace, ‘The peace that passeth all understanding’.
Yes, in giving we do receive, and that applies to love more than anything.
Good luck Trisha. See you later on site I hope. Blessings.

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Trisha you echo every single sentiment how we are all feeling, I too didn’t realise how painful it was going to be without my David. But like you I do now look around and look at people and think the same as you, are they happy in their lives. I can’t get my head around this death business. I too keep busy, then it’s not too bad, I talk to him ask if I’ve done a good job. But I sit and have a quiet moment, it all keeps coming back he’s gone now, not coming back. I’ve had a meltdown today. Your post was lovely to read.

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Afternoon Trisha

A very powerful post, you’ve put into words what most if not all of us on here is feeling, thinking and experiencing.

I know this had come straight from the heart and you are one formidable lady. There are words I still cannot use where Alan is concerned, doubt I ever will.

Can resonate with so much of what you have written, and it’s true, none of us were ever prepared to travel in this new direction and certainly not prepared to travel it alone without our respective husbands/wives/partners.

Thank you so much for taking the time to post such an eloquent and appropriate passage.

Blessings
Jen☆

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Trisha you are so right in everything you say. We are never prepared for the pain of grief and it is the worst feeling in the world. Reading your post is like reading my life just now. I stay in bed longer so my days without my Ed will be shorter. I do try to do “normal” things but I still remember Ed doing them with me and I cry. I speak to him in my head and ask him to let me know he is happy and safe and forgives me for anything I ever did to hurt him. Guilt is a terrible burden during grief. It overrides the love we enjoyed . So yes we should be educating people more about the trauma of grief. When I see other cultures screaming and crying out when their loved ones are lost it makes sense. Let it out ! We are ok to laugh out loud so why not scream ? I am hoping that joining a support group and talking and sharing thoughts will be helpful as has this forum . Life has to go on everyone says. I don’t doubt that and I am sure we all want that but grief is not an illness that can be “cured” . As you said Trisha we will all suffer this pain at some point in our lives so it would be more helpful if it was something we were more emotionally aware of. Thank you for your post Trisha. It has certainly helped me today.
Liz x

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Trisha…
…yes this is what we now have to do, we would rather not be having to do it, " make a new future " we just want our old " future " back…I too have been going through some emotions and crying today just thinking of the times I perhaps would have moaned to Richard about how long he walked our - his dog, or " what going shopping again, I dont know why you need to do a trice a week shop, after all it is only the two of us here…" but Richard kept to his routine…Now of course I would give anything to see him come through that back door carrying his bags of shopping, no matter how many supermarket shops a week, or no matter how long he takes doing his shop, or no matter how long he walks the dog, just that he walks in the door would be a blessing. to me…I have several times told him I will never ever moan nor complain to him again…I will promise to be a better person and stop moaning or complaining if he would only just come back to me…

Trisha, like you, I am not prepared for " my new forever…" but what choice do we have?..today has also been a bad day for me too…

You are so right, we never know what others peoples lives are about, some people hide it well on the outside but what is going on inside is another matter that only they will know…

Jackie…

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Trish you summed it up… you are not rambling. It has been 8 weeks for me today…

Hi TrishF, once again all you said l feel too. It is just over 7 weeks since l lost my lovely hubby Peter, l like you can only say lost. You are also so right about how society does not address grief. It is only when you lose someone so close that you realise the actual impact it has on you. I find this forum a lifeline, and read all the posts for the day. This helps me get some peace of mind that l am not alone on this journey that none of us chose to be on. Take care, SandraF

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Trisha your beautiful post just echoes what must be the feelings of everyone on this site.
My wonderful husband of 38 years passed 6 weeks ago tomorrow and I have just lived in a blur since then, keeping busy with amazing support from family and friends, but despite that totally bereft. I went to a party at the weekend where I knew a lot of people and was supported by family but kept getting that lingering ‘look’ that people give you that makes you die inside. I met someone who said that I was still young and attractive and would soon meet someone else!!! You are so right about education Trisha, I know people don’t know what to say but sometimes their insensitivity is beyond belief. I felt that going to the party which was so desperately hard to do has put me back 6 weeks. Do people think that because you aren’t sitting at home all day or crying in a corner when you do pluck up the courage to go out that you aren’t ripped apart inside? How many of those who don’t understand would come to talk if we really showed our feelings!

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Thank you Amelie’sgran. After my post yesterday I just threw myself into the gardening - which actually wore me out. And this morning -have just started compiling my list! I certainly talk to Gary all the time - just like he is still physically here. And yes I will keep posting. Thanks to all that respond - it is so nice to have back up from those that truly understand.

Take care
Trisha xx

Dear Jonathan

Thank you for your reply. I so appreciate it when the members of the forum ‘speak’ back that I too make sure I always respond to comments or messages. To know that people who understand are there and are feeling the same is such a comfort.
You say your first thought is that I must not wake her. That is just showing your love and consideration continues - and why not think like that.
I find myself calling out to Gary when I get home to the empty house - just as I always did. Hello Love - I am home !For some reason it makes me feel that he is in the house.

I spoke about parental guilt. Unlike you I was lucky in that my parents had a wonderful marriage and were really good parents. I was a real daddy’s girl and I was actually good friends with my mother (most of the time) but we did spark off each other. Too alike perhaps! I could certainly never have lived with her - which I knew upset her but we would it would have ended in tears. But she had never gone out to work so did not understand about long days out of the house (I continued to work full time) - ferrying children to football and dance and the suchlike and then tackling housework, gardens and all other things at the weekend. So a visit every week was just not possible - so the guilt came with that. As a child I was always taught not to answer back. I always railed against this as I thought it so unfair I was not allowed to even voice ‘my side of the story’ - that I vowed it was a phrase I would never use with my children. So I didn’t and always told them to give their side to which I would then reply. Likewise I have vowed never to make them feel guilty if they are busy and cannot find the time for mum. So far though they have always chosen to spend time with us. My daughter tells me I am her best friend and my son told me that when he lost his dad he lost his best friend too. I consider that such an accolade and Gary and I said that if we never achieved anything else in this life - we had raised two charming, polite (and clever) children. Nothing else to add to that really. I know I am truly blessed with them.

Jonathan you usually write beautifully and wisely - so I hope you too stay on the site so that we can all continue to give each other comfort.

Take care

Trisha xx

Dear Davidmybeloved

Thank you for your message. I think meltdowns are part of this situation we are living in now - it is the smallest things that start them off isn’t it? My husband was a great one for writing notes - quite often funny shopping lists made up of drawings or silly words - sometimes I had no idea what I was supposed to be buying. But they always made me laugh - then when I found one the other day it bought on a meltdown from me as the feeling of missing him was just overwhelming. I suppose one day we will learn to live with this. Like you I am finding it hard to come to terms with the pain and try to avoid the memory of losing him by keeping busy. I will need to go back to work soon - I am dreading it and hoping I can cope - but it might just be what I need. Like everyone on here I rely so much on this forum. I told my Dr about it as it really is the thing that has helped me more than anything during the last few weeks. I have joined Wayup too - but I am not brave enough yet to go to one of their meet ups. I am quite a shy person - so would have to put my ‘work’ head on in order to do it too ! But we will see- maybe in a few more weeks.
Take care.

Trisha xx

Dearest Jen

As ever thank you for your support. Need say no more (which for us makes a change!).

Trisha xx

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Dear Liz

Thank you for your reply - as I said to Jonathan it is lovely to get a response and I am always very grateful to hear back from the forum members. I am glad my ramblings resonated with you - sometimes I just need to write in order to get it all out. I have two wonderful children who ask constantly if I am ok and of course I say to them I am fine. They have their own grief to contend with and I am still ‘Mum’ so I do not want to burden them with these feelings.
Like you I find the everyday things are the things I miss - even the annoying ones - probably especially the ones that used to drive me mad but that I miss so desperately now. And like us all on here- we would give up everything to go back in time a bit. I would even happily watch snooker!

Unlike you I cannot stay in bed - so am up early and start the list - if I am occupied I think less. I look for the signs that he is still with me and interpret them in a way that tells me he is. Odd things like a photo of him I did not even know I had- just popping up on my phone. Do not know what I pressed but there he was smiling into the camera on our last cruise - or the old birthday card found in the middle of the household instruction manuals that told me how much he loved me. I know I was truly blessed to have had him for as long as I did - I try to console myself with that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it highlights what is now missing.
Take care

Trisha xx

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Dear Jackie

I know how hard it is for you. And I am happy to offer what support I can to you - you know that. It is still early days for us and the future for all of us - no matter what our circumstances - is scary. It is fear of the unknown and everyone is scared of that to some degree or another. I think you are doing well under the circumstances and think you have come further than you realise already. Keep posting on here and take care.
Trisha xx

Thank you Lucy it is so hard isn’t it? I do not know where the last 9 weeks have gone for me - time really does not have any meaning now. Sometimes it seems like is has been only a couple of days and sometimes it feels like I have been feeling like this forever.
Take care
Trisha xx

Dear Sandra

I find so much comfort from this forum. Grief is a lonely state - no matter whom you have around you. It is something that is alien, and frightening and none of us know how to really cope but at least everyone here does understand.
Take care
Trisha xx

Dear She
I hope everyone will forgive the amount of posts I have put up this morning, but I like people replying to me so I do like to respond to everyone that replies to me. So thank you for your message.
Yes we do keep a brave face on it for most of the time - but surely we do that to spare others our emotion. Sometimes if people are nice it is very hard to hold back the tears - especially when they too give way to emotion. I never knew how much people thought of Gary until I lost him and have been overwhelmed by the lovely things people have said to me - and of course that is when the tears start. I think you were very brave to go to the party in the first place - I am not sure I could have done it. But as for that comment - how insensitive. But people really do not think do they and until they lose their life partners they really do not have any idea of what it is like. Of course we cannot sit in a corner crying all day - but I sometimes wonder if that is what they expect of me. But we have to continue to smile and most of us save our tears for the quiet of home and they come on when they dictate - which is completely out of our control.
Take care
Trisha xx

You are a very brave lady. Six weeks is such a short time to begin ‘testing’ yourself. You must still be raw inside. I know about remarks people make. It’s the same in anxiety. ‘Pull yourself together’. It’s like that in bereavement although the words may not be so forthright.
I heard someone say, not about me but a friend who had lost his wife, 'six months, he should be over that by now. Honest!! I have to confess it does make me a bit angry when I hear such remarks, but then I put it down to sheer ignorance. I doubt those who make such remarks have ever loved anyone. Perhaps I am be judgemental. But even before I suffered bereavement I would never have said that to anyone.
Of course it has put you back. It hurts so much when you meet this indifference.
But it’s the old story. Unless you have been there how can you ever know. Take care and come back and talk. We are all here and we do listen and know. Blessings.

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