How will I cope?

by Jan
(New Zealand)

I lost my husband 7 months ago and wonder how I will cope with everything myself. Noel went to hospital with a sore back and within hours was ready to go home feeling good with painkillers. Minutes later he had a stroke in my arms. My handsome vibrant husband took three days to die. Now it is all me. I have to be there for my kids to grief for their dad. I am the one to pick up the pieces when my teenage boy gets hooked on drugs to ease his pain. I am the one who is the bread winner and has to pay the bills. Sometimes it just gets too much and the panic over comes me. Time goes by and people forget, but I feel I have a life sentence. Where are those people who said they would support me? How do I stop feeling bitterness towards them? I just want to feel some happiness in my life. I know that with faith it will get better, but it is so hard.


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Sep 20, 2012
How will I cope?
by: Doreen U.K.

Jan I am so sorry for your loss of your husband. You are in a deep pit of despair because of all the difficulties you are facing. I just wish I could be there in person to support you. I feel so helpless that I have the ability to support many on this grief site but I am so far away. I feel so helpless. I can support you emotionally and encourage you, but often it is people like you who need that little bit more of PERSONAL SUPPORT. It is not easy coping with the loss of the breadwinner and then having to take on this role as well are caring for children and a home and all the other stuff in life that gets too much with paying bills and all this type of paperwork. It isn't easy even going on one day at a time because each new day you have to do it all over again and you will often lose HOPE that the next day will be better than than the last. There is no guarantee. If I didn't have God in my life I would despair. Even people who do know God will still have moments of despair when it all gets too much. Often my experience has been that God will stretch me to breaking point so that I call out to Him and Lean on him more. When I was growing up we were 6 children in the family and very poor. It was Church folks who put clothes on our backs and would stitch clothes. Parcels would come and we knew we would be O.K. These are my childhood memories that I feed on when times are tough. I am a widow now 4 1/2 months and I dread the future. But I know who holds the future. I lean on HIM. When times are tough we will lose our faith a bit. Ask God to throw you a lifeline. HE WILL. If you belong to a church get their support. You can't do it all alone. My husband worked all over the world and I had to bring up 3 childen all alone whilst his working life took him all over the world for over 47yrs. It was tough. I just got on with it. But God was at the helm leading and guiding me. He brought me through much. He is not going to desert me now. I HAVE TO BUILD ON THIS HOPE. When we are in a hopeless situation we do lose HOPE. Often you need others around you to HOPE for you. to just come and pick you up and give you assurance that all is going to be O.K. when you have a son on drugs and having to support him it becomes too much. We Adults have our limitations. We can only do our best and leave the rest up to GOD. You need practical support. Our governments are taking back benefits from us here in England and many people are even losing the roof over their heads. It is then I cry out to Jesus to come back quickly to earth and rescue us. Our pain can become too much to bear. But God says that he will not let us suffer more than we can bear. God just may be stretching you before He Blesses you. Lean on God and even your Social Services. Don't carry the burden alone. Cast this on God and wait on Him to Rescue You.

Sep 20, 2012
7 months is just not enough time
by: Nancy

It is hard to pick up the pieces of your life when you feel like the rug has been pulled up from under neath you. I cannot say that I know what you are going through I did not loose a spouse ..I was however a single parent...and it would not even be fair to compare the two.
Grief however has been knocking at my door for a long time..I have lost many significant people in my life. Grief does not care who it claims. The journey is different for each of us. It must be more challenging for you since you said that you have teenage children. If I can offer one suggestion - it would be to take care of yourself - first. You can not pour into others when your own resource tank is empty. I have found that out by experience. I tried to be strong for others and turned out to be a basket case. In your circle of friends, family, church or community group are there people that can support during this time...and in the future ..because there will be a lot of first's....birthday's, Christmas's and other special occasions. when you may feel abandoned and really feel the need to have your husband's support. It would be good for you to continue using this site just to let out your emotions and say what you may be afraid to say to others. I have found this is a place where I can just be me and bare it all - the good the bad and yes even the ugly. Grief has it's own timetable... no two people finish their grief at the same time and in the same way. I will pray for you that you have a camp of angels in blue jeans to come alongside you and walk with you for as long as you need them...Your friend Nancy

Sep 20, 2012
Where are those people who said they would support me?
by: jennifer

Hi Jan,

In moments of great tragedy people often feel overcome, and at a loss for words. Like you, I have learned this the hard way.

My advice, for what it's worth, is expect nothing. And, if something is offered, take it and cherish it for the moment.

Grieving is essentially a solitary act. Much as people say they want to help, they may be embarrassed or not sure what to do for you. They may make promises they are in no position to keep. They may feel uncomfortable in the presence of someone who is obviously so sad.

Then there are the few, very few, in my experience, who actually hang in there with them. They are your true friends. You can safely cry with them, and even venture a few laughs! They may not be around all the time. After all they have their own lives and responsibilities.

This is what I have learned through my own loss, which is very different toy yours. I don't expect
you to enjoy it. But sometimes a little realism, tempered with empathy helps.

Hug your children, and be very, very grateful for and to them.


Sep 20, 2012
you will survive
by: Ted

Jan - I feel your pain and feeling of helplessness, lonliness and despair! The tremendous weight put on the shoulders of those left behind sometimes feels unbearable and unfair. Just know that you do have friends that will be watccing out for you, either on here or somewhere around the well as your husband standing silently by you...know that he has full confidence in your ability to cope and while he is not there physcially, he is "there" guiding you forward. There is no magic answer or silver bullet of resolution. This is a long tough road you are going down and at times it feels like a dark tunnel without a light at the end - you will have to learn to walk on your own again and find yourself - that is sometimes the hardest part - the fact that it is no longer "us" or "we" it is now just "you". The shock and grief you are currently experiencing will slowly fade over time, and those sad moments will gradually be replaced by treasured memories. The love for your companion never will be lost - in fact, it will turn into what I have found as testimony to the fact that the deep, intense and unconditional love in fact was that rare thing called "authentic love"!

Take care my friend in dealing with your ongoing grief and sorrow and take comfort in knowing you will manage...somehow. Take a look at my partner's memorial page (Ron Serediuk)on "theirspace" on this site for perhaps more comfort and understanding.

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