One, Year One.

by Ralph
(New York City)

One year.

I’ve used this site as a kind of map for this thing they call a “grief journey.” I took great comfort in the kind words offered by people I’ve never met, but who understood what it was like to suddenly lose the person you thought you’d grow old with.

I found my “grief twin” Chris on this site. We both lost our long-time partners around the same time, and the cycles of emotions we went through (and are going through) are nearly identical. I had two therapists when this all started, but I eventually stopped seeing both, because I found more value in talking to people like Chris.

This “grief journey” isn’t a journey at all. A year later, I’m where I started. I still expect him to come home. I still have the daily urges to call or sent text messages – which I’ve continued to do. I’ve narrowed my circle of friends to those who understand what I’m going through. I hate drama, and I don’t like being the center of attention, so I’ve kept a low profile the entire year. I’ve continued to work, to keep a daily routine going. I’ve done everything I can to be brave, and for the most part, I can function (with the help of medication).

But then, it would hit me. I’m alone. I’ll be alone tomorrow. And the day after that. I have to shut my eyes to force the thought out of my head. Most times, I let out a grunt, chastising myself for wallowing in self-pity. Thing is, I don’t feel sorry for myself. My problem is simple. I want him back.

Funny, I stopped going to church many years ago. I’ve gone back. To pray mostly, even though in the eyes of the church, I am a “threat to justice” (not my words). I just ask for one thing. I want him happy. That’s it.

No one knows what happens when our time ends. No one. But I know this. I will create heaven if I have to, if that is the one way we can see each other again.

I will never stop looking for you, D.

Comments for One, Year One.

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Feb 08, 2013
For Silver
by: Ralph

Thank you for sharing your story. I had the same choice to make, disconnecting the respirator. All his friends came to say goodbye, but he never woke up from the day he collapsed. We were together for 22 years, and like you, had plans. I'm still wondering what I will do next.

I understand what you're going through. I trust that you are surrounded by people who love and support you.


Feb 08, 2013
one,year one
by: silver

Dear Ralph,I know what you are going through in this. My soul mate,my darling husband, died May 2011 after 33 yrs of marriage. He spent his last 6 days in ICU on a respirator. He had emphysema and got pneumonia.There was a chance he would recover then the pneumonia became septic and killed his kidneys. The dialysis began to kill his heart.With the septic blood and no kidney function it was only a matter of days until he would die. I called our children and we said our good byes. I was so surprised at the feeling of giving him peace when I told them to turn off the respirator. I was still employed (a nurse in a nursing home)but before I could be strong enough to go back to work I retired.(I was 61). My husband and I were going to go short distance traveling to various sites when I made 62(he was already retired & on disability because of his bad emphysema).He didn't make my 62nd birthday.I,like you,went back to church.There are people there who are so good to me.I don't know who called you a "threat to justice" but they ought to be thankful it wasn't them on the side of sorrow.We don't know how long we have and we need to show love to all.If there were more love there would be less hateful people. I agree with you that there are some wonderful people on this site.Go to the poetry section.There are some wonderful poems there.They made me realize that others feel the pain and,sometimes,peace that we feel.It is GOD's job to decide who is right and who is wrong not us humans. Continue to pray for strength and peace and find a new church if they don't act like GOD's children who love unconditionally.I send you prayers for peace.

Jan 31, 2013
For Julie
by: Ralph

Dear Julie,

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry to hear about Charlie. I know how it feels.

I also thought about going to a spiritualist, but haven't mustered enough courage to do that. I've spent the last year looking up, a lot. Literally looking up, to clouds, rooftops, trees, and skyscrapers. It's almost involuntary. I know it's silly, but I keep hoping to see a face behind a window, or a figure standing on the roof. Sometimes, I open the door to his home office, hoping to catch him sitting in his chair. Somewhere in my dysfunctional mind, I have this idea that if and when I see him, it will mean it's my time to join him.

What has steadied me is my absolute belief that if there was a way, any way, he could watch over me, or be present in the every day -- he would find it. I'm sure Charlie would do the same.

My heart goes out to you.


Jan 31, 2013
by: For Ted

Ted, my email is

I'm just beginning to deal with the woulda, shoulda things. It sucks.

Jan 31, 2013
interesting statement
by: Ted

"...losing the mirror of your memories....", have you ever got that right - never heard it in that context, but so true. I guess one of the hard parts for me (and there are many) is that due to the sudden loss there are so mny unanswered questions that will haunt me forever - the why, what ifs, if only, etc... I must admit I turned away from God for awhile as I couldn't understand what I had done wrong to deserve this punishment - but, I have regained some perspective on that. I have had some "events" happen that convince me that Ron is around me or "present" at times...kind of unnerving, but also kind of re-assuring.

Yes, it would be good to contact you - thanks for the offer.

Jan 30, 2013
Thank you Ted.
by: Ralph

I know what you're going through.

Memories are tough. Until recently, I blocked them out. Now I can smile at some recollections, but for the most part, even happy memories make me sad. For me, it's losing the mirror of my memories. I can't say "remember when..." That's tough.

I wish I had more instructive insights into this thing that I could share. Thank you for your kind words, and if you ever need someone to listen, I'm willing and able.

Jan 29, 2013
9 months
by: Anonymous

I am three months behind you. I feel as you do, and I don't expect that to change in the next three months.

I do know there is life after death. My Charlie is living proof of it. I had some contact from him and finally went to a medium. I don't just believe I will be with him again someday, I know it.

I am just wondering if you have tried to make a spiritual connection. This is not for everyone, and I certainly respect your beliefs.

I don't believe it is a journey either. Actually I don't have a real clue what it is, but I wish you peace.


Jan 29, 2013
I hear ya'
by: Ted

I lost my partner Ron very suddenly almost 10 months ago and I hear my thoughts reflected in your post. I don't think it gets any easier - the what ifs, the whys, the if onlys - all still haunt me and always will. Altho the good memories also are there - one of the last ones being him giving me a hug before we left our apartment to take him to emergency and saying "I love you" with my response "Love you too babe - we'll get you through this" (thinking it was just a bad case of the flu)- and I didn't get him through it...undiagnosed ruptured blood vessels in the stomach led to a coma and disconnect from life support in 2 days... I have come to realize what we had was genuine love - we both knew it - we both were on the same page in life and that all ended. I do a lot of writing in my grief and my therapist has indicated that I should continue and look at it as an autobiography with a large part around our relationship. I am a very linear person and this re-write of my book of life is not easy...but I will continue trying

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