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Loss of My Husband & the Light in My Life

Lost my husband of 30 years on our 30th wedding anniversary on June 15, 2021.  It was so unexpected....nobody saw it coming.

 

Like all the rest of the posts, I miss him more than words can even say.  He was the light of the family...friendly, made friends everywhere and he was by far the most intelligent man I have ever met.  His personality was incredible, he was always happy, willing to do anything anybody wanted to do, and do it with a happy heart. He was witty and always just kept everybody laughing.  He was just one of those people everybody wanted to be around. I know that everyone here knows this feeling....since he died I have felt that my entire world went dark.  I have no children, my Mom died 2 yrs. ago and I just feel he was my whole purpose for being on this earth.  We really were each others person.  We "got" each other in every way and we had fun in life.  He had such a zest for life that it was contagious and he made me a better, nicer person because of it.  Life looks bleak now and it is a struggle to just get out of bed  which I probably wouldn't do if I didn't have to feed and walk our dogs.  I dont know, but I feel like I am in hell on earth...what could be more painful than this?? I do believe that his soul is in Heaven and I will be with him again, so I am looking forward to leaving this earth to rejoin the love of my life.  

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My "big" experience with grief and loss left me feeling I had a new life now and the new life was hell on earth. That was and is a huge adjustment to loss for some and many people. We lost what we had but what we are left with sucks! That's where building a new life comes in and it is very hard to do when you are brokenhearted and have no energy or strength. I don't think this is much help but at least you can take comfort in knowing someone understands.

AARP Expert

I love what you have written. Thank you. Yes, huge adjustment. Building a new life is very hard to do. And it is very comforting that you understand and shared your experience. Exactly. Thank you.

AARP Expert

Hello, Karla. What Amy wrote is excellent advice. I have a few thoughts, too.

 

Your husband loved you deeply, that is clear. Perhaps, one thing you can try, after you've gotten on your clothes and shoes and walked the dogs you shared with him, is sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, and write him. Use a journal, or printer paper, or whatever is handy, and a favorite pen. And do not 'edit', just write. Anything! Such as, "Beloved man, our dog did this silly thing on our walk... I have no idea what to do today, and i don't want to do any of it without you. ... Give me an idea of what i should do about ___.... I can hear your voice in my head and heart, saying ",,,"  

 

He is still with you, in 30 plus years of memories, in spirit. He lives on in who you are now after 30 years of being with him. Amy has great suggestions. I also wonder, what did he encourage you to do that was yours? Something you didn't get around to because you were doing the things you did together, or you were doing things he loved? You don't have the energy right now to do much of anything. But perhaps a little bit of journaling, to him, would stir your imagination. Then go back to bed! And when you get up again, sit in your favorite spot, and listen to his voice inside your head.

 

The loss is HUGE, the healing is LONG. His love for you remains strong and enduring. What would he say if he were there, in loving spirit form? "Hey Karla, don't forget to take out the trash: its trash day." and "Karla, Karla. I wish i were still with you. I can enjoy what you are enjoying, if only there was any joy. But there will be. The dogs need grooming. Call up the groomer and make an appointment. Then do a little paperwork. Watch our favorite movie again. You are alive and I am with you."

 

If you don't feel up to a group of other grieving people, you might want to find a book written by a widow. You can search on Amazon for 5 star memoirs on grief, and then go to the library and see if they have it or can get it for you. "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion comes to my mind. When I searched for 'widow memoir' there were many. Getting into a book can be a relief... someone else's story can be refreshing.

 

Be patient with yourself, what else can you be, but know that your beloved husband would want you to keep taking care of the dogs, and yourself. I would wager he doesn't want you to join him, not any time soon, in the great hereafter. He wants to comfort you, and help you heal, and watch you come out of the winter of grief into spring, never forgetting him, but living forward. Its okay to take your time with this. By Spring 2022, you will feel the stirrings of hope for a life that has joy in it. Right now, its the beginning of a long winter. But winter is preparation.

 

thank you for sharing your story of love. Please keep writing, here or anywhere.  Like Maude told Harold at the end of "Harold and Maude", go and love some more.

 

Jane

 

AARP Expert

@karlasida I’m so sorry to hear of your terrible loss. I’m sure you are still in shock. He sounds like an incredible human being and a wonderful partner to you. What a joy to have known such a love! 

of course some say the magnitude of the grief is in proportion to the love, so I know your grief is extremely intense. It is a very fresh loss for you, so I urge you to remember that this is the most intense and difficult time. Have you received any grief counseling? It sounds like it could be very helpful to help you through these difficult days. 

1:1 grief counseling might be good for you - especially if you are feeling like you want to join your husband. You need and deserve someone to talk things through and support you. You can look for a counselor who has experience with grief support. 

A grief support group, especially one whose focus is spouses or partners who are grieving, could also be very helpful. Sometimes connecting with others who “get” what you are going through is such a relief. 

you can find grief support groups by searching online, calling your local hospice organization (even if you didn’t use their devices, they still share info and generally accept everyone), checking with your faith community, or calling the social work Dept at your local hospital. 

 

You still have a life to live, and yes it will never be the same. But there is still joy to be felt and people to meet and connect with, perhaps volunteer work for you and other ways to contribute. I know that’s hard to imagine right now. Just take it one moment at a time right now. 

 

It has always helped me with grieving if I do something to honor my loved ones who have passed on. What were his hobbies? Causes he cared about? Things he loved? Think about ways you can do things or contribute in some way to something that honors him. Somehow it helps me feel like I’m still connected and they are still in my life, just in a different way. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts or ideation, I urge you to call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline right away at 1-800-273-8255. You do not have to go through this alone. 

Sending you warm hugs and healing. Remember, one moment at a time. Deep breaths, just do the next thing.  ❤️

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert 

 

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