Author Topic: Progress...  (Read 1209 times)


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« on: March 17, 2015, 11:22:16 PM »
4 months ago...this was my post on YWBB:

Ramblings?. at 10 months out. I still have feelings of intense anger at times. Anger is something I never had after my first husband?s death over 5 years ago. Perhaps there was some level of acceptance of the inevitable with his death, and the anger played out in bits and pieces throughout the 18+ years we had together. Barry?s condition was genetic and he?d never lived a day without it, but he?d had to fight discrimination in such areas as accessibility all of his life and we fought back in constructive ways together throughout our marriage. We both knew the prognosis for his disease, which he long outlived. We were able to have a pretty darned good life in spite of all he faced. We?d watched others die of complications of his disease at younger ages. We knew what was coming. Life had always been unfair, really. But when he died, he had squeaked out every bit that he could from the hand of cards he had been dealt. When he died, I dropped into a pit of sadness immediately. He was really gone.

John entered my life months later, also saddened by the loss of his wife Cheryl. He wasn?t harboring anger, either. We brought each other along the path of grief over the time we were together. One thing we did shortly after I moved here was to renovate the 2 bedrooms in this little house. We bought a print of an autumn forest scene in with a dirt road that curved into the distance. In the foreground, tall trees shadow the road, but the road opens up to what looks like a clearing down past the bend, where the trees don?t mask the sunlight. We put this print on the bedroom wall across from our bed. It symbolized to us the path out of grief that we walked together. We never did reach that clearing, though, because we walked that road slowly and stopped along the way to observe all the trees and plantings and to reminisce about all that we had encountered along the roadways in our lives up until that point, which we now walked together. That print is still on the wall, although I have it obscured by a large photo of John that sits in front of it. We probably never would have reached that clearing, though, because we never stopped grieving, even though the road was lit more clearly by the sunlight overhead.

My walk along the road has changed remarkably since John died. He is no longer here, holding my hand, holding me and keeping me warm when the seasons change and the stiff Kansas winds pick up like they did last night. He isn?t here to revel in the dusting of snow we got last night, signaling his favorite season of winter that isn?t far away. There have been landslides that have rumbled down from the outcrops along the sides of the road that have blocked my path and have at times just piled at my feet. I have shouted out in anger because my best laid plans for life along this road have been washed out. We forged this road together, chose it after consideration of other options, and I, in particular, made tremendous changes in my life to come and walk this really beautiful road with him.

Now, I find myself walking it alone, without the partner who supported me in making a big transition in my life. Fortunately, I?ve had some really wonderful friends who have helped me try to find some footing. They were there when I decided to take a break from this road and travel to some distant lands to regroup and gain some strength so that I could return and try to figure out how to keep walking my path without John. I?ve spent a few months back on my path now, but the reality is that my path has become darker still, and although I return to town for provisions on a regular basis, I tend to keep my head up and tell people that I?m pulling this off fairly well?. but I?m not. I hurt like hell. I cry for John in my little house, where I can barely stand to walk into his basement shop where he spent time working when he was home. Yes, I get angry sometimes, but sadness has really overtaken me, even though I tend to express it alone. I want to hope for a happy future, and to some day find another great love in my life, but for right now, I can only think of John and the great love that we shared and how much that loss has broken me. I reach out to friends and I want to share in their stories and their joys as well, because they give me hope and moments of happiness where I can escape the sadness that is sometimes incredibly oppressive. I?m not good at reaching out for what it is that I need. I?ve always been the strong one and that is the skin I am most comfortable living within. Last night a good friend helped me with a bit of a breakthrough in expressing my true state of mind. I hurt. I?m broken. I need support. I need friendship. I need you guys in ways I never have. I?m going to get a short break from this road soon, as I travel back to my old stomping grounds. I need to refuel. I?m tired.


I have to say that four months later, I am not in as bad a place as I was in on November 11, 2014.  Am I in a good place?  Well, not really good, but better, and the weight isn't as heavy as it was.  What has changed?  For one, acknowledging my pain has helped.  I've found alternatives to coping with my anxiety.  Obtaining my precious dog Rosie has made a considerable improvement in my anxiety.  She is with me 24/7 and I know I can depend on her.  I've started full time grad school and I am a graduate assistant and I am busier and there is less time to dwell on unproductive thoughts.  I'm half-way through the semester and I won't pull off all "A's" this time, but that's okay.  This summer, I'm planning another road trip, this time with my 14 year old niece and we are going west this time.  I don't know as many people out that way, but I'm going anyway!  I'm able to look ahead some.  I have to believe I can be actually happy again.  I'm a realist, but some optimism might be peeking out.  I hope so.

Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Re: Progress...
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2015, 08:31:43 PM »
I am glad things are beginning to look up(?). Is that the right word? Perhaps not. But you know what I mean. The lightening. The lessening.

I remember back on the old board there were two widows that I can recall (though not there aka's) who were second time widowed. And they spoke about the differences. How circumstances mattered. The first time didn't really prepare them for the second though at least they know the second time that they weren't going crazy.

Enjoy your planning for your trip. And good luck with the rest of the semester.
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Re: Progress...
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 08:55:41 PM »
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 07:26:44 AM by Kamcho »


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Re: Progress...
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 09:10:23 PM »
thank you so much for your story.  I'm very new to this and as you know it is very difficult.  I don't hurt per say but I feel like my heart has been ripped out, gutted with a jagged spoon and put back in my chest. I feel empty and raw.  When others see me they say I give them hope, courage, and strength because they see the strength that I have.  They never get to see me at home.  I'm very lonely and it hurts more than anything I have ever experienced or feel I ever will. Sue is everything to me and I just don't see ever being whole again. I'm studying to become a Grief Educator and Counselor which helps me feel closer to Sue, but I still just want to hold her again.
Life is too short, enjoy every moment you have as if its your last!