How Do I Continue?

by Anonymous

My husband died almost 6 months ago. I honestly have had a few days here and there when I feel like I just might survive this. I seem to be having a problem when I go do things with old friends or go to places we used to go together. When I spend time with my children or grandchildren I am so depressed for the next few days I can barely function.

I'm trying really hard to start "a new life" without my husband but I can't avoid all of our friends and family. What am I supposed to do? Last week was my grandson's birthday party. The whole family was at the party and there was something missing. Grandpa wasn't there.
I know I have to deal with these feelings but being around familiar things without him isn't working right now. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Comments for How Do I Continue?

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Mar 19, 2011
How do WE continue?
by: M Mack

Hi there anonymous from Chicago! I'm also from Chicago (north suburb) and know exactly how you feel. You want to be around people, and want to be alone at the same time. It's normal, a part of grieving that makes you feel out of place.
I am coming up to 8 months without my sweetheart and so often I make the effort to be around family and friends then get bummed that I did.

You're right when you say that everyone moves on and they do. The kids have their lives, family has theirs and all of my friends have their spouses and families with them. It's tuff being alone and I really do not have any advice except to go through it. When you've had enough, go home. We need to experience every part of the pain associated with our loss and family gatherings without them are part of it.

I think back 12 years ago when my father lost my mom. I had to have a birthday party for my son and now that I think of it, I really never considered how he felt. It had been one month since my mother passed away and my kid was only 6 years old. He couldn't wait for this birthday and I had to have something with the family. I was also grieving mom, but grieving a parent is nothing like that of a spouse......especially when you have your own little family unit. You feel the sadness and pain but you are so busy with the kids, you lose sight of the survivors pain. The family party was consuming, and the day went on. Thinking back, my poor father was so alone. Although he loves his family and adores that son of mine until this day....he was so sad and lonely.

There's nothing I could have done to make him happy that day yet, I continued serving food, birthday cake and acted happy.

I'm sure you know you are not alone. We are all having our individual doses of pain and sadness. I know we will get through it but for now.... We must do it on our own and let families carry on as families. My prayers for all of us.

Mar 19, 2011
taking on grief one day at a time...
by: Hope

Last March. It had only been 3 months since my husband died and I had to have a "party" for my sons 12th birthday. I did not want to celebrate anything without Hubby. Especially our son getting older without him. Next week my son will be 13 a teenager. He is growing tall, going through the teenage angst years and I will raise him alone.

I am all too aware of what hubby will not be here for. We will not watch our children grow into adults. We will not grow old together. We will not argue that I left the windows down (again) as it rains through the night.

I will mow the grass. I will change the light bulbs, kill the bugs, lift the heavy stuff and be all too aware of the empty left side of the bed.

There is nothing we can do to ease the pain, just live day by day so aware of what we had and what we lost. Go to the functions that you feel you must, the others do not attend unless you want to. Torturing to your soul does not speed up grief. It merely reminds you loud and clear how alone we really are. Be good to yourself do what you want and nothing more. You can not control grief but you can control how much pain you let into your heart.

Mar 19, 2011
by: Judy

I can understand how you feel. It took me many months to realize that going to the places where Barry and I shared good times was not making me happy but was in fact making me feel more alone and sad.

I began avoiding those places and things that made me sad, and tried to exchange them for things that made me happy. Some was as simple as tossing out the old CD's in the car and replacing them with my musical favorites. Some were bigger life issues like changing churches. In your life you will come to know what is giving you a fond memory and what is making you sad. When you realize that you are being saddened consider how important this thing is in your life right now and does it contribute to your healing.

Obviously you cannot, nor would you want, to avoid your family. But recognize that they are already moving on in the new normal, which is life without their Grandpa. For you the new normal is not just life without Grandpa but life completely changed in every way.

As for friends, treasure the ones that make you happy and consider, for a while, limiting contact with the ones who do not make you feel better. You are healing from a grievous wound and need your energy for that task.

It will be better. Come and read the postings of some of us ahead of you on this path. Meanwhile, God Bless.


Mar 18, 2011
you continue on
by: Tony

Hi, nobody ever said grieving is easy, it takes time. I can`t sit in the living room where I sat with my Mom watching tv. She passed away last month. Just tell your family how your feeling, if they don`t understand, tell them you need time to grieve. Six months is not enough to put grief into some sort of perspective. If your family and friends still don`t understand, shrug your shoulders and tell them you need more time, and to understand you love them but need to take care of yourself, ask your family to hug you, and cry if you need, but take care of yourself, hugs.

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