Author Topic: Not Grieving Lost Love  (Read 2652 times)

Damiansinc

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Not Grieving Lost Love
« on: March 01, 2016, 07:40:27 AM »
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« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 09:41:09 AM by Justin »

Captains wife

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 10:37:23 AM »
I'm sorry - grief is just all around is terrible....and it stays with us for so so long. I am not quite in the same place as the situation as you describe but can relate in certain ways (given some issues with my husband and in my marriage before/when he died). A lot of my grief comes from missing my son's father - my LH was a really great dad.

fuchsiasky

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 11:47:13 AM »
It's very difficult when we have lost so much of our spouses before they even died.  There is so much grieving that happens ahead of time.  It can make it feel wrong after in a way.  I would do anything to have Rob back - the Rob before cancer.  But I lost so much of him over the past 3 years that the man who died wasn't the man who he was before he got sick.  It makes it extra hard in some ways.  So many of the recent memories are so rough.  I had to give so much of myself to caregiving that I feel like the cancer sucked me dry. 

It is ok to not feel sad for the loss of the sick spouse.  It is ok to have done that grieving already. 

And this single parent, who was never supposed to be a single parent, thing is super hard.  I am there too.  It bites. 

I am told that wherever we are and whatever we are doing is ok.  This is about survival and our minds are not right at the moment.   And that's ok.  All things will change and be what they are supposed to be in time.  (I hope!)

Hugs.
I love you, I love you, I love you!  Forever and always I love you!

sojourner

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 10:46:09 PM »
Grieving the shoulda-coulda-mighta-beens is as much a part of our loss as the "what-it-was" in the end at the time of the death of our loved one. Losing them a piece at a time is a prolonged agony. A person grieves along the way, and certain losses may be processed and "pre-grieved" if that's a word?

BUT-  with the grief roller coaster, the sum loss of all the steps of the loss can ball up and roll over you, too, as you process.  Hope that makes sense! I know what I mean but not sure if I can express it in a succinct to-the-point way.

Peace to you.

daysofelijah

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 08:50:31 AM »
My husband was sick with brain cancer for 13 months after diagnosis, but I think he was sick for a long time before that. Only we didn't know, but the changes in personality and extreme behaviors had caused problems in our relationship for years. I struggled to want to be in the marriage anymore for many years. When he got his diagnosis it all suddenly made sense. And there was and has been guilt on my part for not grieving "the love of my life" like many/most? widows. But he wasn't, I don't know if he ever was.

Don't get me wrong, I did my "duty" as his wife and was there every moment I could be in support of him until the very end. I loved him the best way I could in the situation we were in. But till death do you part is where our relationship ended for me. I grieve the loss of the his life, that he never got to see his kid's grow up, and I grieve the loss of my children's father, but I don't grieve losing a partner, a lover, or a soul mate, because it never was that way for us. It's been 3.5 years now for me and the grief wanes, but it is still always there, I did love him, but I wan't really in love with him for a long time.

So yes, ALD I know how you feel, and it is okay. It took me some grief counseling to get it through my head that it really is okay that I am grieving the way I am AND also moving on the way I am.
Amy, mom to four (14,13,10,6)

fuchsiasky

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2016, 11:46:20 AM »
I'm trying hard to really remember her. Unfortunately the picture stuck in my brain is that of her in the nursing home starving to death because her poor brain couldn't remember how to eat and any introduction of food choked her.

Give it time.  There will be a time when we can see past the memories of illness and grief to the person that we had and loved.  Still love.  But the illness can be so hard to get past.  We have to process all the emotions that come with that as well. Its not easy.  I find myself looking back on old pictures, trying to recapture the memories of the healthy man I had. I hope that in time the sad memories may fade and the good ones may resurface. 
I love you, I love you, I love you!  Forever and always I love you!

TooSoon

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2016, 12:48:23 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I did my "duty" as his wife and was there every moment I could be in support of him until the very end. I loved him the best way I could in the situation we were in. But till death do you part is where our relationship ended for me. I grieve the loss of the his life, that he never got to see his kid's grow up, and I grieve the loss of my children's father, but I don't grieve losing a partner, a lover, or a soul mate, because it never was that way for us. It's been 3.5 years now for me and the grief wanes, but it is still always there, I did love him, but I wan't really in love with him for a long time.

So yes, ALD I know how you feel, and it is okay. It took me some grief counseling to get it through my head that it really is okay that I am grieving the way I am AND also moving on the way I am.

I had to read this twice just to confirm that I hadn't written it myself.  3 + years and brain cancer here, too. 

My guilt has been in the moments when I have felt happier and more in love and more loved than I ever have before in my life but I've granted myself permission now to live, love and be happy again.   

Being a solo parent still sucks and I, too, used to wonder if there was something wrong with me for NOT grieving the end of the relationship.

Mrskro

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 12:05:13 PM »
My husband didn't have a prolonged illness but we weren't in a good place when he died and he had mentioned divorce way more often than not.  So I have mixed feelings about my grief for him specifically. 

I think we grieve the loss of the life we had imagined and planned for.   Grieve the loss of our kids other parent.  I had a conversation recently with someone who thought I should be moving on by now  (I'm a year and 5 months out), and I explained to them, I'm not just grieving for his sudden death,  I'm grieving the loss my children will experience everyday.  I'm grieving that my daughter won't have her dad to walk her down the aisle or my son won't have his dad to teach him about girls.  I'm grieving the loss of the future we had planned.  The present we were supposed to be living.   I grieve that there's no one who knows alot of my story now, that I can reminisce about the memories with.   I grief the friendships I lost when he died, when they couldn't/wouldn't/didn't know how to be here for me.

I don't think grieving is just about the person we lost unfortunately.   

luvmy2babies

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 01:01:33 PM »
I understand.  My husband was my best friend; but over the last few years especially, the meds really changed him and our relationship.  When healthy couples go through things, they hopefully have their basic bond to help them through or when one person goes through something, the other has their back. 

When one person is taken away; but still physically present, you have all of the responsibility of life, possibly parenting, possibly career and marriage but no one has your back.  Marriage is supposed to be a reciprocal relationship, except when it?s not.  And if there?s no light in sight of restoration, it?s draining.  And for the most part, all others think about is the suffering of the one with the illness.  So it can also be isolating.

I miss him.  I miss my friend, my children?s father.  Every day of the 6 y ears (in a week) he?s been gone I feel his absence in some way.  For a significant number of years before that though, I had some of those same feelings of grief, only I also had to take care of him, shoulder his anger, survive his mood swings and live through the traumas that came as a result of his illness.  I was so worn out.  It was so much pressure. 

I think the worse was when had an unexpected pregnancy the year prior and after not speaking to me for 2 days like I stole his seed, he spoke negatively of the baby.  He had his good moments, both during the pregnancy and in the 8 weeks he lived after our son was born and I try my hardest to hold on to those memories.  When he felt well enough, he was a really good father; but bottom line, he said of our son ?I love him.  He still shouldn?t be here.?

I read a lot on this board people especially my fellow solo parents say, ?If only he/she was still here??  As much as I miss him, and the children miss him, as much as parenting solo sucks, I think to myself, with where life has taken me as far as how I have had to parent the children (both have learning challenges) ?If he was still here, I don?t know how I would survive.

lcoxwell

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 08:22:29 PM »
Honestly, there are so many things I can relate to in this thread. Both in the original post and in the comments that followed, everyone had something to say that rang true, for me, in one way or another. I love my Kenneth, and I always will; however, there are a few harsh realities that I had to face in the 13 years he and I were together. For one thing, he was the single most stubborn, bull headed, obstinate man I have ever known in my entire life. First and foremost, above all else, he had that cop mentality, in which he felt the need to always be in control. He could be a bit too harsh with the children, at times (grounding them far longer than he should have, or taking away an important dance for a minor offence); and he loved nothing more than picking an argument with me over the silliest of things. On top of that, the man had a near genius IQ, so trying to convince him he was wrong in said arguments was nearly an impossible feat. I will be truthful, there were times, when that man was hard to love, and there were many times when I wondered if I had made the right decision to marry him in the first place.

Even in the early stages of his illness, he could be hard to live with. Over time, as the illness took him piece by piece, and robbed him of his strength, his "manhood", his ability to be in control, his dignity, and all those parts that made him who he was, he became harder and harder to handle. The man, who had dedicated his life to serve and protect became verbally abusive and was one step away from becoming physically abusive with me, shortly before he died. My once loving husband reached a point, where he would scream and yell curse words at me and call me such horrible names, that I am surprised the neighbors did not call the police.

And yet....In the 13 years we were together, he loved our children deeply. He stayed awake at night, worrying about how they were doing, after they moved out on their own. There were times, when he was so overcome with love for me, that he would just look deeply at me, with tears in his eyes, and hold me. He was a man who felt everything more deeply than any other man I have ever known, and he had more life in his little finger than most people have in their whole bodies. Though the last few years were some of the hardest I have ever had to endure, they were also filled with some of the sweetest, most loving, most intimate moments I will likely ever experience.

When the time came for him to die, I know that Kenneth was ready. It is what he had wanted for a very long time, and it was what he had asked for. He was able to die at home, in our bed, with me by his side. He had had the opportunity to say his goodbyes to our children the day or two before, and his final waking moments were to hug our daughter and to tell her he loved her. I watched him suffer for years, and he was able to die in peace. While none of us can truly decide when we die, it was his choice to call in hospice. It was his choice to end all life-saving medical treatments. I have always been able to take some comfort in knowing that he had some level of control in deciding when he had had enough.

As I am approaching two years, in exactly one week from today, I can look back and see that I have been on that roller coaster for so long I don't even remember when I wasn't on it. There are times, when I know I am actively grieving the loss of my Kenneth and of everything that we could have had. Over time, it has moved from active grieving to remembering and feeling that sense of loss. Not a day goes by that I do not think of him at some point, though often those thoughts are fleeting and it is just as likely to be a happy memory as a sad one.

There are other times, when I honestly just feel relief. I am relieved that I am not having to constantly worry, that I am not having to constantly go back and forth to the hospital, that I don't have to spend every waking moment as a caregiver, that I don't have to wonder from one moment to the next whether I am going to be looking into the eyes of my loving husband or whether I am going to be called some horrible name that should not be uttered in mixed company. Most of all, I am relieved that he doesn't have to suffer any more.

And then the guilt comes.....I feel guilty that I found a way to rebuild my life and to move on, even though Kenneth obsessed about that very thing and wanted more than anything for me to do just that. I feel guilty that I feel relieved, as if I didn't love him enough. I feel guilty that I am happier without him, than I was with him. Most of all, I feel guilty, because his death taught me to live life more fully and to love more deeply and to appreciate all the good things in the people around me. Knowing what I know now, I have become a much better person than I was before, and I am a much better partner. I feel guilty that I am able to love my New Guy so much more than I ever loved Kenneth, and I feel like Kenneth deserved to be loved just as much.
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.

nonesuch

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2016, 08:25:27 PM »
I get it, I think.

I wrote a friend a few weeks after my husband's death that I missed the man I married, but the man I married had started disappearing years ago.

I was married until death parted us, but my husband was an alcoholic.  I could have, maybe should have left years before.  When I was young I thought divorced people must have reached a point at which they no longer loved one another.  The older, wiser me understands one can love someone a lot, and realize that marrying that person, or staying in a marriage, may not be healthy.

I'm feeling sad.  We had a lot of fun at the beginning.  The anniversary of his death is this month, and the anniversary of the accident that took my mother's death is this month also. 

Lost35

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Re: Not Grieving Lost Love
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 10:26:05 PM »
It is totally and completely okay to feel any way at all about it;  if anyone knows the "right way", I don't know that I would trust them anyway...

Some phrases, some thoughts, and some words of wisdom from this site and from YWBB seem to stick with me throughout the years.  They play over and over in my (sub?)conscience until I can finally make sense of them.  One of those ideas was that the death of a spouse is simply the closest one can come to their own mortality, without actually dying in the process.  Which explains the extreme levels of confusion, pain, isolation and disorientation we all seem to face. 

Perhaps you are struggling with this, in addition to the rest of it?  It strikes me that all of the people who come here, do so from every extreme that can be imagined.  Yet, we all are able to connect and love and support each other, despite the differences in circumstances.  Maybe just dealing with mortality on a level of this magnitude is what allows such understanding and fellowship?

I don't know.

In the end,  it hurts.  It doesn't make any sense.  But it is the truth.  And that is all that matters...

-L.