Author Topic: Lonely doesn't begin to describe it  (Read 904 times)

UnacknowledgedWiddow

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Lonely doesn't begin to describe it
« on: August 07, 2016, 04:25:32 PM »
I have been a widow for 13 months now.  My user name you might see says that I am "unacknowledged" and that I am a Widdow.  Yes,  I spelled Widdow wrong because....we were just 6 weeks away from our wedding when M died so suddenly and unexpectedly.  He had been in the hospital for a separate issue and the night before he was going to come home,  out of the blue and without any warning,  he had a massive widow maker type heart attack.  He was removed from life support 5 days later and died 24 hours later.

His family decided during the chaos immediately after his heart attack that I wasn't to be given any respect or say in the life and death of my beloved.  "They're not married....." they said to the doctors,  yet we had been together for 15 years,  both of us getting out of two lonely marriages and finally ready to make our relationship a marriage.  We had been living together for the last 4 years of M's life.

The adult children who are just 3 - 6 years younger than me,  saw to it to make sure I was "disconnected" from life too.  All of the social relationships that M and I had were destroyed by his children.

I was alone during the heart attack,   I was alone during his death - his children were mad that it took him 24 hours to die,  that large amount of time was inconvenient for them.

I was alone for the funeral,  they wouldn't acknowledge our relationship in the obituary.

I was alone for the Shiva - I wasn't allowed at the family Shiva...but then again,  I wasn't real family.

I have grieved alone.  I remain alone....

People say to me even now two very hurtful things.  "you weren't married so you can just move on" and my favorite,  "you are still young and G-d has other plans for you".

I am so alone.

We owned a home together,  it is so lonely to go there,  I need to go and move out my things,  but the mental energy and the mental stamina it takes,  leave such a cloud of exhaustion and sadness.  I need to sell that house and just live in my home which I owned before our life together.  But neither place feels great,  but "my" house is where my bed is,  which due to the toll this all has taken,  is the place I spend so much time.  The death of M has effected my health,  much of my hair has fallen out,  my doctor is looking for cancer as I show so many signs of being ill with some cancer of some sort.

Maybe it would be easier,  I am so alone,  no one would notice,  no one would care,  the big part of me that died when he died,  would finally find peace??

I see my therapist every week,  who tells me how well I am doing despite my health changes.  Often seeing my therapist is the highlight of my week.  I don't feel like I am doing so well,  Yes,  I can fake the smile,   I can reply with "just great" when asked how I feel.  I take the antidepressants as prescribed,  but they don't erase the crumbling feelings left from the lost love, the loss of my best friend,  the loss of the plans for the rest of my life.

I truly feel lonely,  unacknowledged in my loss and heart break,  I feel discarded by life,  I am lost,  I am a drift in a sea of lost love, grief and despair.

 
Has anyone else had a situation similar to this and survived through all of the feelings, emotion and loss?  If so ,  how did you do it,  what helped you?  When did you feel any chance of hope for a brighter tomorrow?

Needytoo

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Re: Lonely doesn't begin to describe it
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 07:48:59 AM »
I am so sorry UnacknowledgeWiddow that you are going through this.  I too didn't receive support from family and all my friends disappeared.  This caused me so much pain, anger and suffering.  I am a firm believer that we need to grieve and this process isn't pretty.  By allowing ourselves to do this we can learn so much about ourselves. It took me over a year to finally find help.  I remember the therapist told me about taking care of myself and putting myself first.  I had no clue what she was talking about.  I even remember thinking "wasn't she listening to me, no one cares about me". 

I too also faked it and told people I was doing well.  I finally found a support group and this former support site.  I then started art classes and exercise classes.  I then found I accepted my life which was one huge step for me.  The next step was forgiveness to those people that made me so angry.  Soon after this I was able to give gratitude .  Sure I still have my "days" but that anger is mostly gone and I am able to see things so much different than I did before.  Remember we can't control these people they are responsible for there own thoughts.  I find now if I have issues with people I am starting to talk calmly about the issues or am able to let it all go.    Hope I made some sense. 

Sending you a big hug. 

Mizpah

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Re: Lonely doesn't begin to describe it
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 09:10:16 AM »
Oh love, I'm so very sorry.  Losing your love is unbearable, let alone going through all of that on top of it.  You asked if anyone went through something similar, and I did - though of course there are differences, too.  I'll you my story in the hopes that it will give you comfort/solidarity.

DH and I met and were instantly obsessed and committed.  Within a couple months, we were calling each other husband and wife.  We wore wedding bands.  I changed my name legally.  Etc., etc.  I didn't really care about "making it official," because we had all the love and commitment I needed or wanted - much more than I ever thought a relationship could be.  A few times we almost did, but one time we decided not to go down to city hall because we thought it might be depressing to go get married, then go home and do nothing (idiots!!!).  Another time we decided to do it and scheduled a dinner with his parents and mine and our siblings, but his father had to go away for business last minute so we postponed.  We decided to do it on our next vacation, alone on a beach with a rabbi in Kauai.  But then he got hit by a car while he was standing on a sidewalk.

At the hospital, at first, everyone called me his wife.  His family, the doctors.  We were actually legally registered as domestic partners (so he could be on my health insurance), so I *did* have *some* legal relationship to him.  I made medical decisions (at first).  Everyone deferred to me.  Once it became clear, though, that he wasn't going to recover, that his brain injuries were so severe that he was basically gone and soon would be completely gone, they began calling me his girlfriend.  They asked his boss for his paycheck.  They asked me to bring his (very expensive) watch to the hospital the next time I went home to shower.  When the time came, they refused to allow him to go, and they prolonged his body's death for days (it was so sick - I considered it a desecration and never returned to the hospital - he was gone).  When I arrived (at his brother's house!  even though he lived with me in our apartment) for shiva, they rushed to tell me I was not permitted to sit with them on the floor and gave me a chair.  (I went a couple times, but mostly sat by myself on a bench on the river near our apartment, in the park where we used to run and read.  I'd sit there all day, crying and writing and staring and thinking.  People would hold my hand sometimes.  I didn't always notice.  In retrospect, it was the most fitting kind of shiva, the most real, the most true to him and us.)  When shiva was over, they came to our apartment and ransacked it looking for money that they kept telling me he'd want them to have because he took care of them, they said.  They took his clothes.  They cut up and threw away his shoes.  They put his headstone entirely in Hebrew without even asking my opinion, though he couldn't read Hebrew and would not have wanted that.  They put his relationships to everyone on his headstone except me.  (Not only did this hurt me personally, but even more: our love was the best thing in his life, according to him - he'd been seeking this his whole life, so it took something from HIM as well to have his headstone not reflect how loved he was by me and vice versa, that he will forever be carved in stone as having died "alone" when he was not.)  When the day of the unveiling came, I was stuck in horrible traffic and delayed and crying on the phone with his brother, begging them to wait.  They started without me.  I bought the burial plot next to him; they told me they were thinking about moving his remains to Israel.  It just went on and on.  There is more, but I rarely tell it because some of it is just too upsetting. 

My point: I wanted desperately to be close with them, to be part of them, at that time.  I cared more about his family than even my own because he was of them.  I was desperate to be close to any remnant of him.  And I was beyond distraught of course, vulnerable, not in my right mind.  I took treatment I never should have.  I deferred to their wishes when maybe I should not have (though I told myself that he was, above all, a good son and a kind man, and I would NOT dishonor him by fighting with his grieving parents).  Also, I tried to understand them for them, according to their standards, not mine.  I went to their apartment every shabbat and had lunch and tea with them for over a year.  I eventually spaced it out to once every two weeks, once a month.  After the first 30 days, I told myself: they have hurt me so much and I have not stood up to them - I'm drawing the line now, and if they cross it again, I will no longer remain in touch with them.  And it worked for me.  (Eventually, after a couple years, I entered a relationship with a widower.  I became pregnant and moved a couple hundred miles away.  They were very happy for me.  But they are self-involved and didn't keep up contact (I was ALWAYS the one initiating contact.  When I went to visit, at the last minute, his mother told me she was too depressed to see me (she has mental health issues and always has).  It hurt so much and brought it all back.  I realized the relationship was just hurting me and no longer am in touch with them.  I think about resuming contact ALL the time and miss them, but I know this is better for me.)

Ok, so: you asked what helped me.  Several things, and I don't know if any can work for you, but I'll tell you all I can remember (I'm more than 5 years out now and A LOT of the first few months, etc., are lost in a fog - thank Gd, because it was so horrifically painful).  Like you, I did therapy.  I went twice a week for 8 months or so, then did once a week until I moved.  I tried to get outside as much as possible.  I needed sunshine/vitamin D, and I needed to be out among the living, among people, even though I didn't feel part of the world.  I worked out a lot.  I ran a lot.  I needed endorphins to counteract the black hole of misery and hopelessness inside me.  I learned Hebrew to try to feel closer to him (he was Israeli) - I studied with my rabbi and also took a secular language class.  I went to synagogue every Friday and I said kaddish.  I went to the cemetery once a month.  I took long, long walks.  I ate as healthy as I could.  I did things to honor him that made me feel like I was doing something - I planted a garden in my father's backyard that was shaped like a heart with plants whose names were meaningful and put a bench in it with a little plaque for him.  I had a bench in our park dedicated to him - it says, among other things: my husband my heart my king my soul.  (Yes, my husband!  And F everyone who says he wasn't, but that's what he called us when he was alive, and I will not demote him in death, even if it's not technically accurate.)  I read the books he read. 

And finally - I traveled alone to Israel, to the land that birthed him (this was about 2 years after he died).  And it was there that I came alive again, that I began to feel like myself again.  It wasn't just the vacation fling, hahahaha.  As soon as I saw the land out of the plane window, I felt like I was coming home, like I belonged there.  I wanted to kiss the ground.  But here's what: I went there seeking him, but I was shocked by NOT feeling closer to him there, not at all.  At first I was disappointed - my pilgrimage was a failure.  But it was a lesson to me.  I didn't need to seek him.  He loved ME.  I needed to just be me.  He wasn't in any of the places I was looking for him - not in his family, not in his birthplace, not in his headstone.  In the person he chose, in the person he chose to make his life and make his life with.  I couldn't honor him by effacing me.  (I was also surprised to find I still had emotions.  I'm religious but not spiritual if that makes sense - I love ritual but am an atheist.  I went to the Western Wall for him, because he'd have loved it.  But I wrote a note to him, not to Gd.  I went there expecting nothing, but as I approached the wall, I broke down into sobs.  I didn't understand it.  I was completely overcome by the power of the place.  Or maybe by what had occurred in my life, what had happened to DH, that he would have been so moved, I don't know.  But I had emotions.)  I began to cultivate myself again, rather than just the parts of me I had created to be just like him. 

Now, I had a lot of support - I made friends on my same timeline on the old board and we leaned VERY heavily on each other (and still do, half a decade later).  My family was amazing (they bought me to the ticket to Israel).  My friends were amazing.  My therapist was amazing.  And I had my health.  (Also, I was financially forced to leave our home at 5 months out - it was incredibly painful at the time, but I think very, very good for me.)  So I don't mean to say any of it is easy. 

So, yes, I dealt with something similar, though vastly different (I should have mentioned up front that we were together "only" three years - though it was the most intense and meaningful and HEALTHY relationship I believe I will ever have.)  Feel free to PM me.  There was a voice in me that always kept urging me, even when I didn't know what it meant: "Turn toward the light."  I tried to do that with every decision I made in the early years.  I'm thinking of you and wishing you solace.  I'm so sorry for what you've gone through. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)