Alone for the first time in 41 years.

by Gary Brooks
(Rutledge, Tennessee)

My wife and I had been married for 41 ½ years when she died 42 days ago. I look at the pictures of us, and I still find it hard to believe she is gone. We fit well together like a hand and glove. Our strengths matched each other’s needs. I am a better person because of her. There are times when I feel her absence so acutely, my heart aches, and I want to cry copious tears, and my eyes tear up, but the tears do not fall. I cried often during the days leading up to her death, and the days succeeding. I have the support of family, and they grieve along with me. But she was my partner, and I feel as if a part of me is gone. I imagine life without her, and I feel such distress. I am adjusting to life alone, but it is so hard.

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Oct 07, 2013
Alone for the first time in 41 years
by: Cathy

Losing a spouse is the most horrendous death one will ever face in life. It is as though your heart has been torn in two and your soul has been crushed. I wish you strength and peace of mind in your sorrow. My husband and I were together for over 33 years. He died in his sleep one night 14 months ago of a massive heart attack. I was in massive shock when I found him. I couldn't stop screaming and pacing around the room. I'd wake up in the middle of the night in a panic attack for months after, thinking I was going to die too of a heart attack. Apparently this was part of my grieving. If I had to suffer through all that early intense grief for much longer than I did, it felt as though I might have been heading for death too. I miss him so much that I pray to God to try to forget him to a point because when I think of him sometimes, the memory of him and his death still devastates me and I cry so intensely and deeply that I sometimes wish I could die. But things really are not nearly as bad as when he first died. It truly does get better and to the point where you can cope with everything at a more sane level. Hang in there. It's going to be rocky for a while, but time does make it diminish a little at a time. My condolences to you.

Sep 23, 2013
Alone for the first time in 41 years.
by: Doreen

Gary I am sorry for your loss of your beloved wife. It is hard adjusting to life after a loss of over 40yrs. together. I took to the couch and bathed my sorrow with watching TV. I watched the God channel a lot and got a lot of encouragement. I only did what I could and left the rest. I then felt stronger and started doing one or two jobs a day. I scaled back when I needed to and I paced myself. I also TOOK ONE DAY AT A TIME. I didn't look too far ahead. If my mind wandered too far ahead I felt the distress of those years without my husband. I brought my thinking back to ONE DAY AT A TIME. This has gotten me through 16 months of grief. I do feel stronger. But as triggers take place in us we can find ourselves crying all over again. But then it feels good to have a good cry. My worst days are Saturdays. The day of the week he died. I always cry on Saturday's. I wait patiently for this to stop. Then I will know Healing has taken place. Doing things this way was my way of NURTURING myself through GRIEF. It worked for me and we will each find our own way through grief. But NURTURING one's self is so important. Start by doing some special things for yourself, and then build on this each day. Till it becomes a Habit. You will be amazed at how quickly you will start the healing process. Best wishes.

Sep 23, 2013
Alone for the first time in 41 years
by: Doreen

Gary I am sorry for your loss of your beloved wife of 41 1/2 years. This loss is the worst pain anyone can ever go through. As you say it does feel as if half of you is missing. Because in marriage we become one. The connection is so strong it hurts.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. 16 months ago to lung cancer caused by working with Asbestos. It was my worst loss of a loved one. How can you recover anytime soon from being with someone for so long and having a strong connection. Two hearts that beat as one and now ours beats alone. It is early days for you. The secret is taking ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is how we are all able to carry on each day. It is tempting to look too far ahead and wonder how we will get through our remaining years of life. I trained myself to not do it, but every now and then those feelings come back and I feel the years of living without my beloved husband and wonder how much longer will this loneliness and emptiness be felt so strongly. But I observe others and know that I too will survive this loss.
Cry all you need to as this is the largest part of grief and where Healing comes from.

Sep 20, 2013
For: Gary, Lawrence and Silver...
by: VJ

I read your Posts and found them all very moving. I haven't lost a spouse but have had
my own loss,my grown daughter. I was touched by how much love and respect you all have for your beloved partners. I admire each and every one of you for your commitment to your marriages. I think you all have been blessed and as hard as it is now-you had what so many peolpe dream of. I know the years were not all easy and fun but how many wonderful memories you must have. I realize the heartache and the sadness that you carry with you can be overwhelming. I try and think of the years I had with my daughter and not about the ones I lost. It is a very difficult road and like all of you I am so very grateful to be able to come here and share my thoughts with others. Your stories are filled with love and in todays world we all could use more of that.

Thank you for sharing. I hope that you all keep talking and opening your hearts up as you have already. I know the loneliness that can come over you and how it can envelop you. As one of you said-get out and do something, anything, it helps. I was blessed to have met another friend here. We email and visit as much as possible. It has been a lifeline through all the darkness. Knowing that you aren't alone when you find yourself feeling you are. I will pray for God to continue to bring you strength.

God bless you all,

Vickie p.s. Lawrence-I am not a writer but have a passion for it. Have you ever thought of sharing any of your novels? I would love to read one. If I am invading your privacy-I apologize.

Sep 20, 2013
Alone for the first time in 41 yrs
by: silver-north alabama

How well some of us know your pain and grief.My husband and I were dear friends for 4 yrs then married for 33 yrs. He died May 29,2011.I know it's been over 2 yrs but I still miss him so very much.I went to 5 funerals in 17 months:my father,my mother,my friend of 28 yrs,my sisters mother in law and my husband.I tried to explain to others that all those together didn't begin to hurt me as much as sending on my husband.Until you've been there you just don't understand. Believe me I know because my mother died 7 months after my dad.She just quit living.I didn't understand why she didn't go out with her many friends then 11 months later I did understand.The peak(or lowest spot-depending on how you wish to say it) for me was the 15 month mark.My birthday came around and all of a sudden it hit me that he really wasn't coming back.That point is reached by everyone at different times.Some reach it early on others later.Your grief is normal and,I think, required for our sanity throughout the worst part of our lives.Like you I felt as if a part of me had been ripped out. I still find myself,on occasion,looking up and for a split second, expecting him to be there.The bed is so big now.I sleep in the middle.I still haven't given away most of his things.A little at a time.One day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time is how we cope.Just keep moving.Do something,anything,that will take your mind away even for a few minutes rest.I write poetry and I have begun writing about our life together.It helps.This site has been a life saver for me.I live on Soc.Sec.widow's pension and can't afford to go to counseling.But for the loving,supportive people here and my faith in GOD,I would have lost the battle.Time does make it better.I don't cry as often,as hard,or as much as I used to.Yes there are still triggers that cause tears to run down my cheeks but I am able to hold it together better now.I know some people say,"I'm fine"but I don't.I say,"I'm better."GOD bless you and send you strength and peace.I keep all of us in my prayers..

Sep 17, 2013
I feel your pain
by: Lawrence

You are expressing the feelings of us all when we lose our beloved partners, life become a living hell and the future seems impossible to face, but the realization will come much later when your brain will finally accept she has gone, although it will take your heart much longer if ever.
I am nearly nine months into the nightmare of my beautiful and cherished wife dying in front of my eyes after being together seventy years, whereas you are in the very early days of your devastating loss and all I can tell you, and I know you won’t believe it at present, that the pain and anguish gradually will lessen but I don’t think it will ever go away completely.
I can only go by my own experience; I was totally heartbroken when I saw my lovely wife lifeless on her deathbed. I closed her eyes, thanked he for the wonderful seventy years we had together, kissed her and went away to die myself, but it didn’t happen, now I am doing what she would have wanted me to do, getting on with my life, sad and lonely as it is.
I guess the secret is to keep yourself busy and get out of your house; I won’t call it a home because without your wife there it just becomes bricks and mortar, go to the local library and read the newspapers, obviously you have a computer so write your life story so your children will know what an interesting and loving life you had together. It doesn’t matter how badly they are written, I have been writing for thirty years, all total rubbish and I have a cupboard full of novels which nobody ever read except my lovely wife and my children, but you have to keep busy, the house will still be there when you return, the nights will be so desolate and lonely and if like me you stretch your hand out in the bed hoping she will still be there and it’s all been a bad dream only to find an empty space, it’s all part of the trauma of bereavement.
I keep repeating time after time “GRIEF IS THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR HAPPINESS” and you have to grateful to the Good Lord for the 43 years you had together and for your children.
I found this on the internet by another heartbroken husband, it says it all, I know the author won’t mind me repeating it.

I miss you I miss you, I miss you.
I miss holding you.
I miss seeing you.
I miss kissing you.
I miss the warmth of you next to me in bed at night.
I miss your kindness.
I miss your love.
I miss the feel of your skin.
I miss seeing you first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
I miss telling you about the day.
I miss hearing about your day.
I miss your guidance.
I miss your approval.
I miss your presence.
I miss hearing your voice.
I miss joking with you.
I miss you taking the mickey out of me.
I miss your laughing
I miss your crying.
I miss your comfort.
I miss comforting you.
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.

Take care of yourself, this nightmare will pass.

Sep 16, 2013
by: Anonymous---MI

Please know that I am very sorry for the loss of your dear wife. This is such a heartbreaking and difficult time in your grief. My husband and I were married for 43 wonderful yrs and he died 10 months ago. I am still on the roller coaster ride of grief that has pulled me to the bottom and if I do go up it is not very far and not very joyful. But, I know that it is still early days in 'grief time' for me and very very early for you. The past 10 months have taught me that leaning on God is the only hope I have in getting to a place of some peace. I miss my husband with every breath I take; he is always in my thoughts and I have to give in to the sorrow and I cry often. I have 2 grown children and 4 grkids that I love dearly and I am fighting hard to be strong for them as their grief is also huge. I have tried to keep busy keeping up my home as my husband always did---and this helps me to have a purpose in my day. I hope that in time I will be able to help others in their grief and I hope all we who have lost loved ones can find a place of new happiness and sweet memories. No one can ever take the place of my husband and I'm sure many on this site feel the same about their loves. I hope that you can get through these days by crying when you have to and let the days carry you along but do not deny your grief. We must accept it as part of our world now but with hope and help from God that it will not always be so brutal. May God bless you and help you in your grief.

Sep 16, 2013
Been there

I too lost my husband of 41 years in July. He had cancer & was in the hospital for a long time & I stayed right by his side all the time. The first few weeks after the funeral I did fine but now I feel I am falling apart. I feel scattered in my thinking and work. I have a lot of grief support but, as you know, I feel like 1/2 of me has gone. Did you ever feel this way?

Sep 16, 2013
by: Judith in California

Dear Gary, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so difficult to read of a loss such as this. When you are married for a long time you becme one but separate. The emptiness we feels when they pass is so hard to deal with. Somehow we learn to cope but it's not by paln it's by just tking it one minute, one hour, one day at a time and before we know it time has slipped into the future. We accept we will always have a grief corner and a void no one can fill. And all the words of condolences do not help us in any way. It's been 3 years since my other half died. We had 35 1/2 years together and I wish it had been 40.
I pray for you to get to the peaceful aceptnce side of this horribel grief jurney.

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