Recover from grief? Why do we have to?

by Alassia
(Greece)

Why do we have to face each day without our soulmates?

My perfect husband died - suddenly - 12 weeks ago. He was 56, had never been ill, was diagnosed with pneumonia and within two weeks he was dead. I feel as if I ‘died’ then, too.


But every morning I wake up without him! Why? Why? Why?


I’ve found that well-meaning people freely give opinions:

1. “You must move on.”
2. “It’s not good to stay at home, alone.”

And the ‘big one’:
3. “Time is a great healer” (?)

or

4. “What would he want you to do? What would he be saying to you now?”


I know the ‘right’ answers to these statements and questions and have answered ‘correctly’ to make the other person feel better. But I believe none of it.

My heartfelt answers would be:

1. Why should I move one? I don’t want to 'move on' since it means I have to ‘live’ without him!

2. When I go out, I’m in a daze/ sobbing in my car/ a danger to other road users... I’d rather stay home.

3. As more time passes, I realise I will never see him again and the pain is overwhelming...I wish I could die. Now. Not just for today, but forever.

And in response to the last question:
4. I would hope that my love, my soulmate and my greatest friend would want me with him instead of suffering in this life?

I’ve lost faith in any ‘afterlife’ although I always used to believe in an ongoing spiritual existence. I feel that if I just go to sleep then that’s got to be better than living without him.

Comments for Recover from grief? Why do we have to?

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Jan 12, 2013
to Alassia
by: Kristina

Alassia, thank you for your response. I so hope you are right about there being an afterlife. For me, it is SO important that there be an afterlife and that my husband is there and is himself, and is happy & ok, and that we will be together again. Because it is so important to me (literally nothing is more important to me), I am afraid to believe it without proof. I just can't live the rest of my life not knowing, and I think it's cruel of God or whatever not to let us know for sure that our loved ones are ok in an afterlife and that we will be together again.

Church is definitely not for me. I am agnostic, and before my husband died I considered myself a "hopeful agnostic", in that I hoped there was a kind, loving, sentient God. Now that really doesn't matter to me, it only matters insofar as it might indicate an afterlife. I don't care if God exists, I only care if my husband exists and is ok.

My husband is SUCH a wonderful person. Not a perfect person, but a good person, with a good heart and soul. SO many people told wonderful stories about how he had helped them, some of which I didn't even know. Everyone commented about how he is the guy who would literally give you the shirt off his back, even if he didn't know you. He was always helping people, and he is the best person I have ever known. Someone I know on another forum (unrelated to the afterlife or grief or death) says she is a medium (not professionally), and has told me a number of things about my husband. Most recently she has said that he has taken a "job" in the afterlife, as a sort of fireman, in which he goes to fires and does what he can to help the people (and, knowing him, the pets) involved to get out, to minimize damage, etc. I don't know if this person is legitimately a medium, and I don't know if she's right, but it doesn't surprise me that he might be doing that, because it's very much in tune with the kind of person he is.

You said "I believe we are still connected and I will meet him again one day. I don’t know how, or why. I just feel it." I hope you are right. I still feel connected to my husband -- we have always been so close and so in love that I can't imagine it any other way -- but I don't know if it is real or just wishful thinking on my part, and that terrifies me. I really just need him to visit me, at least once, to let me see him and hear him and speak with him.

Jan 11, 2013
For Kristina - and Doreen
by: Alassia

Kristina

I’m sorry I haven’t responded before now: I didn’t know what to say – and still don’t but I didn’t want to let even more time pass without saying anything to you because I know exactly what you’re going through!

I did go running back to church in an attempt to give some sense to life and loss. (I gave up on religion as a teenager, many moons ago). But I find I’m still too critical of the ‘Church’ as an institution. I have found some lovely, supportive people there but, unfortunately, they’re outnumbered by the bigoted, and often racist, ‘stalwarts’!

However, my old belief in an afterlife is returning. When I consider how different everyone is, and especially how we ‘connect’ with one person totally, I strongly believe that it’s our spirits or souls (I don’t know what to call it) which make that connection; it’s not just our bodies. This struck me when my Dad died and we went to the Funeral parlour. His body was there but his spirit had gone...

I had the same feeling holding my husband in my arms as he died.

At that time- and again now- I feel our bodies are just vessels, for a limited time.

My husband loved people. I remember making that observation to my closest friend years ago and she agreed and said how wonderful it would be if that’s how people remembered you. Even when he was ill, my husband continued to answer his phone to assist anyone who called – and most were wanting his help or advice – which he always gave willingly.

I have always been more selfish. Now, I find I look at the world differently. I feel I have learned so much from my husband but I’m only beginning to put it into practice. More and more, I’m aware of how he would respond to situations and it’s influencing my behaviour now in a much more positive way. I always stop and ask how he would have responded, instead of giving my limited and restricted response.

At long last, I think I’m becoming more sensitive to others because of the lessons he has taught me! My only hope is that I become a better person in order to meet him again.

I believe we are still connected and I will meet him again one day. I don’t know how, or why. I just feel it.

I hope you will be able to feel that way too.It’s possibly too soon for you?

As Doreen says, we are living in hope...

Since we have to go on living,although it feels so cruel and painful, the only thing that keeps me going is hope!

Love and hugs

Alassia

Jan 08, 2013
Hope in the midst of our loss for Kristina!
by: Doreen U.K.

Kristina Thank you for your reply. I sincerely Hope that you do feel better in the days and weeks ahead and that you don't feel like dying. You see I felt that way all my life. Desperate enough to die. I saw no joy in life even though brought up in a Christian way. I went into counselling in my 40's and got my life back. But the hand of God was on me all though my life with many miracles. That is the only reason that I can speak with such authority. I realise that not everyone has the same experience and I RESPECT THIS. But whenever I express such thoughts I don't want anyone on this site to think I am being dogmatic. This is my experience. This is my testimony. I share it because God says. If you have a light will you hide it under a bushel or will you put it where others can get the light as well. If someone is questioning whether there is an afterlife? I therefore have a responsibility to share what I know without forcing others to believe what I believe. But to merely Offer this Light of HOPE. For others to be warmed by it. This is just my way from a distance of pulling you up and giving you a hug and saying. Kristina I don't want you to die even if you feel like it. Because I know how you feel. I want you to Live and I want you to be happy again. I just hope that other's can have an experience that will be meaningful and change their life for the better and give them HOPE. The Hope that does make life worth living NOW after our LOSS. Best wishes Doreen

Jan 06, 2013
Reply to Doreen
by: Kristina

Doreen, thank you very much for your post. You said a lot of things that reflect the way I am feeling too. Except you have a faith that there is a God and an afterlife, whereas I don't have that faith. At least you are sure that your husband still exists; you are sure that when you do die, whenever that may be, you will be with your husband again. I don't have that faith. I hope that is how it will be, but I don't know.

Jan 06, 2013
Recover from grief? Why do we have to?
by: Doreen U.K.

Kristina, I received your post today and felt very sad for you. I lost my husband of 44yrs. marriage 8 months ago to cancer. I nursed him through over 3yrs. with a horrible painful death. I TOO wanted to die. I have good days and bad days. I feel also I don't want to be HERE. One day I got to wondering about death and saying to myself. My husband will probably live into his 80's as his parents died in their late 80's and both his brothers are approaching their 80's with only one younger sister 62yrs. My husband died at 65yrs. I prayed for Healing. But my husband died. I just EXIST each day to DIE. I was so angry I told God I am not taking my heart medication. I am not going to look after my Health. What is the point. Everything I lived for is now GONE. I continue to live each day but all JOY has gone out of life. My only HOPE is that there is an afterlife. God promised this in the Bible. This is what keeps me ALIVE my belief in the afterlife and being reunited with my husband. Otherwise life has no purpose and no meaning. But I sincerely hope that You Kristina, Alassia, and Myself and anyone else who wants to die will be looked upon by the Mercy and Compassion of God and that He will administer a SPEEDY HEALING from where we are in our Grief. It is too long. It is too painful. and it feels as if it will last forever. DEATH. Well it will come eventually to all of us. If I ask God to kill me He will probably give me a longer life I can't appreciate now. So I don't ask for anything. I don't have the energy or the strength. I just try to live each day to be useful to others. This is the only thing that gives me meaning and purpose to my life. Supporting others. I hope that God will look upon you and all of us WITH HIS MERCY and come and pick us up from where we are in our PIT OF MISERY, and put our broken pieces back together again so we can get to the END OF OUR LIFE.

Jan 05, 2013
waiting to die
by: Kristina

Exactly, Alassia. As far as I'm concerned, my life is now nothing more than waiting to die so that I can either be with my husband (if there is an afterlife) or at lease have a surcease from this unbearable pain (if there is no afterlife). I am only 44, and the people in my family tend to have long lives, especially the women. I used to hope I would have a long life too, so that I could spend it with my husband. But now I hope for exactly the opposite.

I have not yet had a "visitation dream" from/with my husband, where it was really him visiting me. I haven't even had a good regular dream with him in it -- so far all of the dreams that I've had with him in it are all about loss, in that he dies or he cheats on me or I leave him or some such crap. It's horrible.

Everyone says that time does not have the same meaning in the spirit world, and that for our loved ones who have died it will be as though no time has passed between their dying and us joining them there. Which is great for them, if true, but meanwhile those of us left behind have to suffer for however many years until we are allowed to die and be with our loved ones.

You said "Now, I’m just waiting and hoping for an early release from all this misery..." Yep, same here.

Jan 01, 2013
How to face each day?
by: Alassia

Kristina, I empathise totally with you! I seem to be ‘surviving’ - but only with the hope that our loved ones are waiting for us to join them.

That’s how I get through each day.
I tick off each morning in a ‘nearer to you’ calendar...

I had my first, and only, dream of my husband two months ago. In my dream he said we would be together in two years – and part of the time had already gone!

This hope has kept me going – but my darling always loved to joke... And, I wonder, does time have the same meaning in the spirit world? Whatever the meaning, it has spurred me to get my own affairs in order so no-one has financial problems when I die. It gave me an impetus to get up and sort things out.

Now, I’m just waiting and hoping for an early release from all this misery...

Pat J.Green Bay, you are an inspiration. I don’t feel I will ever get to where you are. To me, your friend was right: the longer they’re gone: the more you miss them.

Dec 21, 2012
Recover from grief? Why do we have to?
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Alassia,
It has been awhile since I have relpied to any posts. I read them everyday, as I come to this site still, everyday.
December 27th it will be 18 months that my husband, Red, died. My second Christmas without him. I did decorate the tree myself this year and was proud of myself, as last year my oldest daughter and her two children decorated it for me. I didn't even want a tree. I did shed tears, but know I always will.
This is my new life; acceptance is the hardest. I will always love and miss Red. As my children tell me, he was my life. I am now learning to live for me. I still want my old life back. It wasn't a perfect life; yet I often felt my life was perfect. I thought I had everything I wanted. Now, the one thing I want, I will never have again.
Material things are not important; family and friends are important. This is suppose to be a joyous season. I still don't feel the joy in my life, but I realize I have children and grandchildren. I am so grateful for them. I still feel alone; yet my oldest daughter reminded me, I will never be alone; my family is always here for me. I know my God is always with me or I never would have survived the loss of my husband.
I have many widow friends and one of them told us; the longer they are gone the more we miss them. Her husband is gone 21 years. I look at her and know I will go on. No our lives are forever changed; but as a widow friend said to me, " Do I want to be a survivor or a statistic? I want to be a survivor, we all do really.
Our grief is awful, but we can't let it own us, we own it. We grieve because we have lost something precious to us and death reminds us just how precious life really is.
I cherish everyday and everyone whom I have in myr life. We sometimes get so caught up in our lives, we forget what is imprtant. To me, GOD AND MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE IMPORTANT.
I wish everyone "Merry Christmas!" I had a hard time saying that last year. I can say that this year and really mean it.

Dec 20, 2012
i understand
by: Kristina

i understand what you mean. none of those cliches that people spout are helpful at all. but then nothing could possibly be helpful, when you lose the one you love most in the world. my husband died one week after our wedding. we had been together for nearly 13 years. he was only 40 years old -- he died a few days before his 41st birthday.

i won't "move on". basically i am just waiting to die, and i pray every day that god will kill me, as he killed my husband (or allowed him to die, whatever). if i hadn't promised my family otherwise, i would kill myself. i have absolutely no desire to live anymore, and i never will. i don't know if there's an afterlife, but i hope there is, because the idea of my love no longer existing is complete hell.

Jul 25, 2012
I lost my love of my life
by: Anonymous

I KNOW HOW IT FEELS I LOST MY HUSBAND OF 34 YRS OF MARRIAGE AND NOTHING PEOPLE SAY MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER HOW CAN THEY UNDERSTAND ONLY THE PERSONS THAT ARE THROUGH THIS KNOW THE PAIN.

Jul 08, 2012
Thank you ,everyone,
by: Alassia

I am so sorry that I haven’t come back before now to thank you all for your responses and comforting messages. I haven’t been motivated to do anything. Some days, I don’t even get myself in the shower which I know is disgusting but what the heck.
At times I ‘shut down’ and I seem to pretend it hasn’t happened. When I let reality sink in, it’s too much to bear. My soul is silently screaming.
Doreen, it seems so unfair, so impossible even, that we have to go on without them...?
How did you learn to accept it, Pat? I, too, was Catholic. After 35 years, I ran back to the Church in desperation. I do so much want to believe that my wonderful husband is waiting for me but I can’t make that leap of faith...
If I die (and I wish I could), then if there’s nothing, that’s OK- It can’t be worse than this life! If my darling husband is waiting to greet me...absolute bliss!
Julie, I got myself to Church a few hours ago and, although my faith is weak, I lit a candle there for you too before the service so it would burn throughout; I think our paths are reflecting each other... I started to cry in Church, quietly at first, but then I started ‘heaving’. That’s horrible when you’re a private person. I managed to get myself under control, thankfully, and not make a total spectacle of myself. But I did think, at one point, I would have to leave.
Syl, thank you for posting. I, too, am an immigrant. What you said about trying to live in honour of the person makes a lot of sense. For now, that seems so hard to do.
Trish, I do hope I can follow in your footsteps and have some hope.
Much love,
Alassia

Jul 02, 2012
Recover from grief? Why do we have to?
by: Doreen U.K.

Alassia I am sorry for the loss of your husband.
You are in deep grief just now and nothing makes sense when we are feeling this way. No one can tell you to move on, You must go out and not stay indoors so much. What would your husband want you to do? Time is a healer? These are all statements people use when they don't know what to say. If only people know that to actually just sit with you and let you express how you feel and just shut up. Would do you more good. People feel they have to say something. Then they say the wrong thing.
We have all been in the same place as you are in right now and some of us will have days like this to come. Because Grief behaves like this. We can cry and cry in the most public places and not be able to control this. This is O.K. Alassia.
Alassia don't give up!!! You are in depression. Try and go see a bereavement counsellor who can support you. Honestly the pain is so horrible it is unbearable. you feel as if you are hemoraghing inside and the bleeding won't stop. You are right. Why do we have to go on when we don't want to? Why do we have to go out when we don't feel like it? I don't want time to be a healer, because I don't want time? Time is all we have too much of and nothing to do with our time now. I don't do anything if I don't want to. No one tells me when to go out. When to eat. To look after myself. Time is a healer. I have to go on? When I am screaming inside. SHUT UP. Who says I have to go on. You stand in my shoes and say that. I avoid these insensitive people. I found this website and I have posted over 80 postings and this is what has helped me. It isn't the answer to avoid grief. It is creative grieving with others in the same place as me. Someone will always epress how they feel. And I say that is how I feel but I can't express it like they did. This is healing. Expressing sorrow. My sisters are very supportive and they keep saying. IT WILL GET BETTER. And I scream inside. I know it will but I don't care. I still have to live without my husband Steve. I was married 44years. How does one end 44years together. One deep breath and he is gone. Dead. Never coming back. It isn't fair I scream inside. It isn't fair. I can't bear it. The only good thing is that I am in my 60's so I am nearer the grave. MY Steve wanted to live and God took his life away. Oh how I hurt to see Steve's face so sad. as if he was saying I don't want to die. I want to live. I don't have a CHOICE. And so it goes on like this Alassi. I don't want to live without my husband. But I have to. It hurts. and it will hurt for a very long time. I wish you Peace in the days ahead and may we all walk this path with you and support you. Write again if you have to. Best wishes

Jul 02, 2012
Recover from Grief
by: Pat J.

Alassia,
12 weeks is such a short time, you're still in shock.
It was one year on the 27th of June, that my husband died from a massive heart attack. Our wedding anniversary is the 26th of June. We would have been married 47 years this year.
After one year, I still can't believe I will never see him again in this life. What keeps me going is my faith and my family and friends.
I really don't like my new life. I am learning to accept it though. Like it or not, this is my life now. I can't crawl in a hole and bury my head, which is what I wanted to do a year ago. I too feel a part of me died with him. I will never feel complete again. Something, someone, the love of my life is missing from my life. My adult children tell me I have to live my life now; my husband was my life. I was with him from the age of 15, married at 18, widowed at 64. Crazy is all I can say about that.
Our GRIEF is an awful journey. We all do make it, just one day at a time, sometimes, just moments at a time.
I talk to my husband everyday. I start each day with "Good morning Sweetheart, I love you" and I end each night with "Good night Sweetheart, God Bless you and I love you". He does not answer me, but it makes me feel closer to him. I don't feel alone so much. I feel he is always with me. He died here at home in our bedroom and I feel he is spiritually with me.
Cry, scream, punch pillows, whatever helps. I prayed an awful lot. I am Catholic and I don't think I have prayed as many rosaries in my whole life as I have this past year. That helped me alot. I still fall asleep everynight praying.
Come to this site as often as you can.

Jul 02, 2012
One more comment
by: Julie

Alassia:
I was so wrapped up in the commonality of our grief, that I forgot to comment on your last paragraph. I just want to say that I do believe Charlie is waiting for me and that we will be together. It is the ONLY comfort I have. You might want to at least examine the possibility.
Julie

Jul 02, 2012
So much in common
by: Julie

Alassia:
I have never read anything that so perfectly describes exactly how I feel.
My Charlie died 12 weeks ago today. He was 66. I really have no desire to go on either.
Maybe we are just at the same stage in our grief.
I can not offer you much comfort becuse I feel as you do, but I will pray for you.
Julie


Jul 02, 2012
with understanding
by: Syl

Hi Alassia,

I lost my mom four months ago to lung cancer. She was 57 years old. I am an only child and I was extremely close with my mom. My parents were immigrants and they didn't have many friends in the country in which we resided. My mom lost all her family back home and she was the last to pass away at such a young age. Given the circumstances I was very close with my mom.
I feel what you are feeling and I get angry even when people ask me these questions, especially if they have never lost anyone so close to them. The problem is that language is not specific enough to really express what we feel. "Moving on" sounds so rough as if we have to go on in life and forget about those people that passed on.
Everyday for me has been a challenge. I have to fake my happiness for some people who do not understand. When my mom was dying, and was laying unconscious in the hospital, I promised her that I would try to live my life in the way that she had wanted. I didn't promise her that I would move on, but rather that I would try to live for her. This is proving a lot harder than what I thought at the time, but I remember this promise and I cannot break it. This is actually what is keeping me connected with her. I'm trying to live in honour of her. She gave me love and that is what I have to do for others even when they don't understand.
Thank you for sharing and even though our situations are not the same I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
Sending understanding and love your way.

Jul 02, 2012
Looking For Some Sunshine
by: TrishJ

I'm stunned at your post. I have been keeping a journal for the past 19 months. Tomorrow will mark the 19th month anniversary of my husband's death. My writings for the past few weeks have been exactly what you posted.
Why do I want to move on? I want my old life back and nothing I have done in 19 months makes me even remotely happy. My life is a mess without my husband and I don't look to the future.
Time does NOT heal the pain. I think some days it makes things worse. I realize how empty my life is without him. I anticipated much needed and welcome relief to my grief but thus far...it just hasn't happened and I'm getting so sick of being a widow. Everyone says that my future is up to me. I find that to be so ridiculous. My past wasn't really up to me was it? His dying wasn't up to me. Why would my future be up to me? I should go have a relationship with another man so I can go through this grief again in another 20 years?
As negative as I get ~ still.....I cling to hope. I do know that my husband would want me to be happy but I also know he well realizes that happiness without him is next to impossible.
Don't give up dear girl. Just when things seem to be darkest I hope that the light will shine again. I too doubted my faith for the first year after Joe's death but am slowly finding my way back. I do believe they are waiting for us and know what we are going through. I too, am tired of being patient but as long as our hearts are beating ~ there is hope.
God bless.

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