A Memorial to My Husband

Saturday, February 14, 2009

There Is No Time Table for Grieving

There is no set time limit to your grief. Some people may start to recover in as little as three months or six months and some may still be grieving a year after or even longer. Don’t let anyone tell you “It’s time to move on”.

Your grief and loss is your own and no one else’s. Just because their lives have continued on as if nothing has happened, yours hasn’t. Something major and life changing has happened to you and your total way of life as you know it.

Maybe you are a younger person whose life was just starting with that special someone. You both had so many plans, hopes and dreams for the future that will no longer be. Maybe you find yourself now as a single parent wondering, "What do I do now and how can I go on?". Or you may be like myself, a little older and finally found love again and it has been taken away from you.

The shock and the "fog" you are living in right now is nature’s way of protecting you from the harsh reality of what has happened. As you begin to heal some of the reality of the event and the impact it is having on your life seeps in a little at a time as you are able to deal with it.

There will be days of non-stop crying and days where you will not cry at all and think that you are all "cried out" but then something will happen to trigger those emotions all over again. Don’t suppress the need to cry. Even though it is exhausting, it is also a part of the healing process to "get it all out".

Many times I have wanted to scream, cry and break everything in the house but then I would hear my husband’s voice telling me, "You will have to clean it up" and I stop thinking about breaking things. I sometimes wonder if I could have dealt with things better if I had broken a few dishes to vent my anger and frustration of being left alone.

To quote from another website on grief:

Time does not heal in itself

"It is what you do with it, and it is important to remember that the length of the course of grief is not a sign of weakness. Each person will be unique in their time of grieving." Reflections on Death

Remember, take some time for yourself. If you need to:
1. Sleep.
2. Cry.
3. Break things, unless you hate cleaning it up afterward.
4. Talk a walk,
5. Listen to music.
6. Talk with a friend.
7. Find a support group either locally or online.


You need to take the time YOU need to heal without anyone putting any "time limits" on your grieving.

Take care.

As always, I am here for support. You can email me at: Grief - Life During and After

February 14, 2009 – First Valentine’s Day Alone

As I sit here on this Valentine’s Day of February 14, 2009, this is my first Valentine’s Day alone without my husband. He has been gone now six months on the 17th. I still bought him a Valentine’s Day card and a rose and lit a candle in his honor which I will continue to do on “our special days”.

I started this blog for my own healing process and hopefully I can help someone else along the way. If you have found my blog and continue reading, you are here for a reason – the loss of a loved one; spouse, mother, father, child and unfortunately the list can go on.

I am deeply sorry for your loss. This is coming from my heart as I am dealing with a loss myself.

Grief is a heart wrenching and deep in your gut emotion to go through. I believe that the grief process affects each of us in different ways depending upon who the loved one is.

They say there are 7 stages of grief that each one of us will go through but not necessarily in the order listed.

1. Shock and Denial.
2. Pain, Regret and Guilt.
3. Anger; Lashing Out on Someone Else and Bargaining.
4. Loneliness, Depression, Emptiness and Despair.
5. Adjusting to Life Without Your “Loved One”
6. Moving Forward versus Moving On.
7. Acknowledgment and Hope (I believe there is never total acceptance).

In the wee early morning hours of Sunday, August 17, 2008 as I left my husband’s hospital room with his belongings in hand, I took my first "Widow’s Walk" to the car. It was the longest walk of my life and I still only remember parts of it. I remember dropping some things and wanted to just sit in the parking lot and scream and cry but I also knew if I did that I would probably never get back up for hours. I picked up what I had dropped and continued on to the car. I sat there in the car for what seemed like a few more hours before driving home to our empty apartment. I don’t remember driving home but for some strange reason I remember sitting at one traffic light. Why I remember that one traffic light, I have no idea.

In addition to the shock and disbelief that I was feeling, I was also a new bride of two days. I thought to myself, “How can I be so happy and so sad at the same time?” We were married in his hospital room on Friday, August 15, 2008. We both believed and hoped we had many more years together and we “just knew” he was going to pull through this crisis; however, it was not to be.

If you are in the stages of grief, I hope you will follow along with me as I go through my healing process and share in my goal to help someone else through their own trying time.

I have learned a lot through these last six months and I hope to share my experiences with you, as well as become support for those of you who need it. Maybe you have friends and family who are there for you or maybe you have no one but yourself to deal with your loss. Sometimes other people just do not "get it" especially when it comes to losing a spouse. We feel as if part of us died at the same time our loved one did. We are no longer whole. We have to learn to live life as "one" again and exist as a completely different person.

I plan to discuss many topics concerning Grief – Life During and After; some of which will be…

1. Self-help: Support Groups locally and online and books.
2. Dealing with funeral arrangements.
3. Taking care of yourself during this major ordeal in your life.
4. Dealing with children and their loss – now that you are a single parent.

and many more topics I have had to deal with.

I am just one person going through my own process but I would like to be there to discuss any feelings, issues or problems you are going through. I am not a professional in any sense of the word, no degrees or titles, just a grieving widow trying to find my way in the world again.

Let’s help each other. You can email me at: Grief - Life During and After