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Grieving for the second time around!

I just lost my husband 6 weeks ago, suddenly. We had just retired and moved out to a beautiful home in the desert. We were just starting to enjoy our lives after 6 months getting acclimated.  My husband had a massive heart attack in the middle of the night and I found him on the floor. I tried to save him but it was too late. I am trying so hard to pick up the pieces and find myself, once again, trying to deal with the grief and the loneliness. 

I lost my first husband when I was 24 years old. He was 25 and I had a 22 month old baby girl. He also died suddenly but not in the same way. He was killed in a truck accident. At that time I was young, had the responsibility of taking care of my baby and lived closer to my family.

Now I live far away from family and have just moved to a new area, not knowing many people. I have a few friends close by that have been so supportive but have not gone through what I have. 

I am grateful for the love and support that I have gotten thus far but find it so difficult to deal with the present situation. 

It was suggested that I seek out a bereavement group but I am not into sharing my life with strangers face to face. Is there a website or blog that others participate in that may be going through similar situations? If so, would someone please reach out to me with this information. Thank you for your help.

Heart

 

 

 

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JaneCares has already provided many excellent suggestions. I would just add that there are several widow support groups on Facebook and through various apps. They will provide you with the chance to converse with others in similar situations without sharing any more personal info than you want to. This AARP online community, too--while more general in focus--would be a good place for you to find kindred spirits.

 

As I tell clients in your unfortunate situation, the next 1-2 years are likely to be emotionally challenging. Please resist the impulse to pull back from the world. Take care, Barry Jacobs, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

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Oh my goodness. I am so so sorry. I just moved to the desert, too, to be with my (previously long distance) partner, and if she suddenly passed away, I'd be in your exact boat. All my beloveds are 2700 miles away. I live in the high desert of eastern Oregon. There are only 7500 souls in the entire county.

 

A bereavement group may not sound like the ideal, but there is NOTHING like listening to someone who has the exact same experience: a catastrophic loss and subsequent profound grief. It's not exhibitionist to share how you feel each day, which is to say, you feel overcome and frozen, dissembled and exhausted, deep in a well of echoing silence. Try it once?  And before you try a group like that, there is likely to be a bereavement coordinator who'd meet with you to see if you're a good fit. She or he may be able to meet with you individually. And maybe that will be enough. You're in an extraordinarily painful situation. Staying afloat may mean extraordinary steps toward healing.

 

Can you make a phone call date with your bestest friend, or your closest sibling, for every week? They may be miles away but they know you well and love you. Even if you just watch "Ellen" on tv together in silence, you are not alone.

 

Do you have a pet?  How about a kitten if you have no pets?

 

I am so so so sorry this has happened to you.

 

I've heard many people say not to make big decisions for a year after the death of a spouse. One of my thoughts is you might want to consider moving back 'home'. On the other hand, establishing yourself in your new home may give you new life, eventually.

 

As a newly relocated person myself, i offer what i've learned. I live in a small town. I started hanging out at the library, which is open only 2 days a week. But in addition to free wifi, I learned that everyone knows the librarian. And she and I got to chatting, and once she knew me, I was cool. She's one of the informal 'mayors' of my tiny town. (Population 250 when everyone's home.)  I also quickly joined the least conservative church in town. Even though it wasn't my denomination or usual way of worshipping, i felt warmly welcomed, and i figured at least people would see me in town and know i wasn't just passing through. I also became a regular at the local diner. I tip generously. Sometimes i'd just come in for coffee and a salad, but i got to know the waitress and she me. I'm a knitter, so i went into the quilting store, and we talked 'craft.'  I learned about the regular craft shows and holiday bazaars. I've gotten to know a few people this way, by name, over the 10 months i've been here in what is called the Oregon Outback. 

 

This advice may feel very strange, not the way you'd do things, but since i can relate to your being far from the familiar, i thought i'd share just in case anything feels like a good idea.

 

Have you read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking about the loss of her husband?

 

One more idea. There's a hospice bereavement group meeting this summer in my town, and the book they are giving out is Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart by Alan Wolfelt. It has a workbook that goes with it. If you feel as though solitary grief work would help you, it might be worth the cost. Thank goodness Amazon delivers to the boondocks.

 

I hope some of this makes some sense. Please know that losing 2 husbands is too much loss for one life time, and yet, you survive enough to write to this group. That is enormous: you are here and you are still living. You will survive this even if it doesn't seem clear as to how. I'm so glad you've written. Please write more?

 

Jane

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I will right more. Thank you for your insight.
Community Concierge


@sm30216191 wrote:

I just lost my husband 6 weeks ago, suddenly. We had just retired and moved out to a beautiful home in the desert. We were just starting to enjoy our lives after 6 months getting acclimated.  My husband had a massive heart attack in the middle of the night and I found him on the floor. I tried to save him but it was too late. I am trying so hard to pick up the pieces and find myself, once again, trying to deal with the grief and the loneliness. 

I lost my first husband when I was 24 years old. He was 25 and I had a 22 month old baby girl. He also died suddenly but not in the same way. He was killed in a truck accident. At that time I was young, had the responsibility of taking care of my baby and lived closer to my family.

Now I live far away from family and have just moved to a new area, not knowing many people. I have a few friends close by that have been so supportive but have not gone through what I have. 

I am grateful for the love and support that I have gotten thus far but find it so difficult to deal with the present situation. 

It was suggested that I seek out a bereavement group but I am not into sharing my life with strangers face to face. Is there a website or blog that others participate in that may be going through similar situations? If so, would someone please reach out to me with this information. Thank you for your help.

Heart

 

 

 sm30216191,

I am so deeply sorry for the losses you have suffered. I can only imagine how difficult it is now for you to be in this city alone. We absolutely welcome you to this community here. I am also going to ask our experts to weigh in. Where in the desert are you? 

Jen


 

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