Author Topic: 3 years  (Read 1226 times)


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3 years
« on: May 08, 2016, 02:38:38 PM »
Hi. I have been a long-term reader who moved over from the previous board but I have never posted. Now I feel I owe it to you all to contribute a perspective at almost 3 years out – there seems to be quite a few of us on the board on this timescale.

My DH and partner of more than 25 years died mid-May 3 years ago very suddenly and unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage leaving me and 3 kids - who are now all teenagers and still in high school. He was my best friend and, although not perfect, our lives were just so intertwined on a daily basis – even after 25 years he could still make me laugh every single day. I think my processing may have taken longer than many – I was numb for about 4 months and then in a very dark place until 2-2.5 years. In the last year I have gradually felt a shift and more and more frequently I’ve had times where I am absorbed and happy in the present. The low level anxiety seems to be gradually fading.

I have had to completely rebuild my life – and I mean just about every single thing - amidst the grief waves and the general day to day living of raising a family solo (and without close family living locally).  I am very fortunate to have a small circle of wonderful friends and family who have stood by and supported me, but there have been others who have drifted and others still who I have let drift because there is a lack of understanding and we have little in common any more (and maybe never really did). I’m not really upset about this – I think it is just part of life. I also learned fairly quickly not to expect too much of people and to be grateful for any help offered, because if they have not experienced loss of this magnitude then they will not understand (I certainly didn’t before DH died). Basically people will give what they want to give and what they think you need and that is absolutely not the same as what is actually needed or wanted. And often it is difficult to articulate what is needed.

Still I never signed up for this solo parenting and although from the outside looking in I think it appears that we are coping well (and I suppose we are) it is just exhausting doing or being responsible for every single thing. If I don’t do it myself or delegate it it just doesn’t get done. It is tough being a single working parent in a sea of couples, where coupledom is the “social norm”. Yes I realise not every marriage is a happy one and there are some divorced parents but that doesn’t really make it any easier. I fight against the mantra that I am “less” of a person if I have no husband/partner – I know this is not the case - but I fear that even in this day and age many (in particular couples) still believe it to be true. It is also tough when everyone knows your back story – with the best will in the world people treat you differently and that in itself is often hard to deal with. But I cannot move from this area for a few years yet as the kids still need to complete their education, otherwise I would have definitely moved already and started afresh. 

At coming up to 3 years I miss the “us” more than DH himself – I miss the life we had. But a new life is forming. Gradually I am becoming more confident and stronger and coping has become easier as the children get older. I need to make the most of the “now” and try not to worry about/plan the future. It’s strange but I feel I have been at 3 years for the last few months – it seems a huge milestone for me – more so than 1 or 2 years. When DH died I thought 3 years was a very long time and that I would feel better by then. As so many have said before, I’m not better but I am different, forever changed, in many ways for the better. But life does look brighter now. Although I feel the sadness descend as the week preceding his death approaches and I remember all the little last things we did together, I do finally feel that I am moving closer towards BAG. What a long journey this is.

I have read the posts of many of you from around 3 years and they really do resonate. I too, often think, what have I been doing for 3 years? An amazing amount actually – we just do not give ourselves credit for everything we do on a daily basis. Oh how I crave for just a few days when I have no work, no chores, no responsibilities and nothing planned and think “what shall I do today?” Until then I just keep running through the daily/weekly to-do lists……

So I must thank everyone who regularly posts here – you have no idea how it has saved me in my darkest moments just to know that there are (unfortunately) others out there who feel the same and others still who have survived it all and are thriving. I send you all my very best wishes. Be kind to yourselves.


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Re: 3 years
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 12:10:51 AM »
Nog1, thank you for posting. I am one of those 3 year folks. I totally understand the solo parenting exhaustion factor. I'm glad you decided to post. It gives encouragement to those, like me, who are a little more delayed finding their way moving forward.

Hugs to you...
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.


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Re: 3 years
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 08:50:29 AM »
Thank you for sharing.  I have found that to re-purpose my life makes sense to me after 3 years.  At first I thought I would reinvent, then it was change my normal, and now I realize for me I am the same person in my core but I've just had to re-purpose my direction. 


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Re: 3 years
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 01:37:00 PM »
Nog1, thank you for sharing...very poignant.  I'm also at 3 years and I find the feelings at this time so strange. I thought I'd be able to focus on me and begin to look ahead, but instead I find myself just "stuck" and feeling totally exhausted.  Thankfully my son is an adult and on his own because I find it so hard some days (like today) just to function and just wish the world would swallow me up so I can just escape the pure exhaustion of life.  And I only need to worry about myself! So for those of you with kids at home, I give a ton of credit and realize I can't complain!  You have such a positive attitude; I hope to learn from that. Thanks again for taking the time to post!!
I miss how happy I was with you.


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Re: 3 years
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2016, 09:27:28 AM »
At coming up to 3 years I miss the “us” more than DH himself – I miss the life we had. But a new life is forming.

In the very beginning, I would get so angry whenever anyone tried to relate to me.  This wasn't about loss and grief as ideas, it wasn't about MY experience.  It was about HIM, unique.  As time went on, like you, I missed the life we shared, what we shared, the "us." 

Three years is a strange time, it's a strange in-between in a way.  I loved reading this post.  I love the way you write and what you said.  I'm thinking of you. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: 3 years
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 05:28:17 PM »
I really appreciated your post Nog1 - needed to read this today.  From another in the army of the exhausted solo parents- solidarity.