Author Topic: How do you go on?  (Read 2468 times)


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How do you go on?
« on: September 11, 2016, 05:56:27 PM »
My Wife passed on July 20th at 11:55 PM.  Since then I don't feel like me.  At first I could not sleep, now I have a hard time waking up.  I cry uncontrollably.  Then I have a few days where I feel like maybe there is some way that I can deal with this and then I fall apart again. 

We have a wonderful daughter that I am now responsible for, but I have no idea what I am doing.  I just want her back.  I have a successful career that I now don't care about and just want to quit.  There are  so many things that I promised her like a trip to Paris and to ride the orient express that I failed to give her.  How can I do this? What is the point?  When will I stop hurting? Why do I feel so out of control and so confused and why does everyone keep telling me that I am doing fine.  I am no where near fine.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 06:11:41 PM »

I'm so sorry for your loss and that you had to find your way here. 

Unfortunately; you have to go on one day at a time.  Be gentle with yourself.  You don't have to be fine.   


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 07:30:16 PM »
Sad Confused,

Welcome to Young Widow Forum.

Of course you are feeling as your username implies. At just two months, you should not expect to feel any other way. Perhaps the best description I have read of the early weeks and months of widowhood appears in "Letter to a Friend", which begins like this:

I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally exhausted.
I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.
I can't sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
I can't eat. I can't stop eating.
I can't be bothered cooking. I can't be bothered cleaning. I don't want to go shopping.
Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming. I just don't want to know about it right now.
Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do. I forget everything except that my love has gone.

For the complete letter, here is a link:,7.0.html

But somehow we do find a way to go on. And it does slowly get better with time. Sorry for your loss.

--- WifeLess


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 11:40:36 PM »
Sad-confused - I think it safe to say each one of us here has had those thoughts and feelings to some extent.  What is the point?  Who am I?  I can't believe he/she is never coming home and what the hell am I supposed to do?  I remember in the early days lots of people would say it will get better.  I didn't want to believe it.  It felt like the loss was so tremendous I would never be able to, nor want to, move past it.  But here I am, 8 months out.  The down moments are getting less and more manageable.  Despite all my protests that I never wanted to recouple - didn't even want to think about it - my curiosities are peaked in a few situations.  2 month out me would never have believed I would be here where I am now.

I am guessing I did it much like everyone here.  Day by day.  Literally.  Get up, shower (major accomplishments for the day already done!) and do only what has to be done for you and your daughter to survive.  Tomorrow may be better; it may not be.  That is grief.  But eventually you will notice things are a little lighter and the days are more manageable.  I can't say what happens after that....not there yet myself. 

I will say this though.  I have often heard that it just takes time.  And it does.  But I also believe work needs to happen in that time.  That work can take lots of forms - journaling, reading books, attending support groups, counselling...whatever seems to fit best for you.  It sounds like you are allowing yourself to feel it all, rather than immersing yourself in work as a distraction.  Just my opinion, but I think that's important.  I still don't care all that much about work, even though I quite love my job.  A life event of this magnitude brings into focus what really matters.  Many of us find work isn't it.  (Although the bills do need to be paid still...).

For now, the point is your daughter.  Ask for help if it is not being offered.  Please remember you are very early into it, and so all that you feel, is part of it. 

Take care.  Kate.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 05:25:59 AM »
I am very sorry for your loss.  You have found a place where people understand.  I will agree with the others that these are very early days for you and while you are not "fine" you are experiencing grief in much the same way we all have.  Right now you need to focus on the basics of caring for yourself and your daughter, take whatever help is offered. I know it's hard to not think about the future but try to keep your focus on the present and congratulate your self for the small victories (getting out of bed, showering, eating, taking care of your daughter). 

Time will soften the edges, I know it seems impossible right now but it won't always feel like this.  Unfortunately there are no short cuts or ways to avoid the pain right now, you have to let yourself express your grief and also allow yourself any moments of distraction that give you a brief diversion from the pain.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 06:57:40 AM »
Since then I don't feel like me.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my love, my everything suddenly on July 15th 2016, and like you I don't feel like me anymore. And like you said some days I feel like I can handle it and then I fall apart again. Missing him more and more.... Everyday taking me further and further away from him... Maybe that doesn't make any sense but that is What it feels like.

He is everywhere and yet he is nowhere. Nothing I do will bring him back, and nothing matters anymore. I feel lost and like you I'm not fine.

Sorry this wasn't much help to you.... I guess what I wanted to say is that I understand and you are not alone in feeling what you are feeling, even though we are all alone in our own grief. 


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 08:08:17 AM »
Sad confused,

Sorry for your loss. It is hard to figure out where to start. You will definitely feel lost for quite awhile but the hurt, I don't think, will ever go away the same way for everyone. I think we all carry it always to an extent. My husband died suddenly and had no symptoms. It's been 5 months for me and I thought I was making progress but after our wedding anniversary this last weekend it was like that day all over again and the level of hurt came rushing back.

Definitely cut yourself some slack. Accept help whenever offered. Make tiny daily goals to help you function to some extent. Think about your daughter and her needs. I have 2 daughters of my own and worrying about them and making their well being my focus helped me re-divert my energy rather than using it to literally sit at home and be numb all day.

We are all in the same boat here. We didn't ask to be here but yet we are still have to be here. Talk whenever you are ready. The venting helps. Sometimes a different perspective can help or maybe something we are doing to cope, might help you too. I keep changing perspective and changing our household routines we do things around the house and that has helped the kids tremendously. I can sleep okay but I have to tire myself out in order to do so. A trick I learned when my husband would travel for long periods at a time and I'd have to figure out how to get sleep so I can watch the kids the next day. Just know we are a community prepared to support you when you feel like no one you know truly understands or comprehends how you are doing.



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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 10:11:35 AM »
Sad-confused, I'm so sorry for your loss and for your daughter's.  Everything you say makes total sense. 

I'm 5+ years out, and some of the effects appear to be permanent.  For example, my priorities have changed.  Like you, I was very career-oriented.  Now, while I don't do a bad job, it is not my priority.  I don't think I'll ever care about it like I did pre-death.  And, honestly, I don't want to. 

When will you stop hurting?  Oh gosh.  That's different for everyone, and there will likely still be moments (forever?) in which we'll hurt.  For me, I started to feel like I was coming back to life a couple or few months before two years.  I was shocked to find I had a big capacity for excitement and joy and euphoria still - and could even develop feelings for another person - all things I truly did NOT anticipate.  It takes a long time, and my opinion is that "progress" can be so gradual that you don't even notice it and feel impatient.  It is the worst.  You're doing great given the context????  Because, really, like many of us, I'm sure you just want to lie on the ground and scream, "Nooooooo!!!!!," for all of eternity.  I'm thinking of you. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 05:52:34 PM »
Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for your responses.  It is the first time that I feel like someone understands.  All of your stories help me understand that what I am going through is normal and I am not going crazy.  It just feels like it sometimes.  I am a little better today and I am focusing on my daughter and making sure that I am always there for her.  I just need to keep moving forward one day at a time.  I am glad that I am here and I am sorry for all your loses.  I hope we can all get through this together.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2016, 08:47:29 PM »
Sad-confused- so sorry for your loss.  I think we all asked the same question. I am three years out- grieving takes everything out of you- just be gentle with yourself.

I wrote this at the two year mark...I hope this helps...

My heart and prayers goes out to all you new to this group no one wants to be in...

I just passed the two year mark this weekend...but I know how hard it is the first hours/days/weeks/months/year+...and I wanted to give my support and love.

My husband of 17 years (together almost 20 years) completed suicide two years and four days ago...I recall the first weeks...and remember that unbelievable pain. I know it's hard to believe now...but since I've been thru it- I feel I can share that the pain does get manageable if you are willing to reach out and do the things it takes to manage your pain and try to heal from the sorrow.

What I found difficult was people giving their condolences the first best answer now is -Thank you- he was a wonderful man and I was blessed to be his wife. (I am sure it makes my husband smile when I say that :-D- so I think of that and it helps me not break down.)  If someone asks how he died..I say that is hard for me to talk about...I'd rather tell you how he lived....and tell them how he was a mechanical genius and could fix anything.

There will be many cycles of shock, disbelief, guilt, pain, anger, deep yearning for them and loneliness and pure anguish…and more tears than you could ever imagine. What I’ve learned from going thru the cycles many, many times, is that, really the only way to truly heal is through it – and to just ride the tides of grief and yes, many times it will feel like a roller coaster ride...and you will just want to get off. The tears seem never-ending- but if there was ever anything to cry about this is it- let them flow- they are there to wash away the pain...

This poem helped me to put grief into more perspective and understand what to expect a bit better.

A cut finger
is numb before it bleeds,
it bleeds before it hurts,
it hurts until it begins to heal,
it forms a scab and itches
until finally, the scab is gone
and a small scar is left
where once there was a wound.
Grief is the deepest wound
you ever had.
Like a cut finger,
it goes through stages,
and leaves a scar.
But how do you face each day until that happens?

What got me thru was just taking one moment at a time, remembering to eat and drink water and sleep when I could- if only in little bits. Some days you don’t want to do anything- and that’s OK! Just do what is most important even if it’s only breathing, feeding yourself and resting. Keep drinking water -(that for me, was key.)

My schedule was all out of whack the first weeks- as my life was turned upside down. Going outside- and taking deep breathes...even if it was at 3 in the morning...listening to calming music helped me a great deal. When I did not know what to do...I would pray...when I could not even pray anymore for myself...I began to pray for others- surprisingly that made my pain lessen.

If someone asks what they can do- when you have a moment of clarity- make a list and let them pick what they feel they can do for you.
(i.e, mow the grass, do laundry, tidy up the house, go grocery shopping, make a meal, go with you to run an errand if you feel you should not be driving, etc.) – people in the first weeks want to help- let them- it helps them to heal to. However, sadly they will heal and move on with their lives much more quickly then you- and the help won’t always be there- so take it when it’s offered.

There are many on-line groups- which are great- Widowed Village and of course! (honestly IMO, this is the best and has been my life-line and sanity, many, many times! God Bless all the wonderful caring supportive souls here!) There are some great ones on Facebook- Grief Unspoken first comes to mind. But I've found comfort and support in many which is great because you can get support at all times of the day and night.

When I was ready to go out and face the world, I found grief groups thru the local hospital and churches- and on "meet-up for widows(ers)" -met some nice people who truly understood my anguish. Being able to talk openly and also shed some tears with those who were going thru the same loss was very helpful and healing most days- but sometimes I just wanted to be alone with my grief.

It was hard not to dwell on him being “gone forever” but I tried to think of the positives and not let his passing destroy that is not the legacy of his memory I wanted to leave.

I've gotten into coloring and painting which has opened a new hobby and is very calming. Also I've have found some great on-line friends thru Coloring FaceBook groups.

I just came across this poem last week- and it sums up how I feel about my grief now...

"He is Gone"

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all he's left

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he's gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he'd want:
Smile…open your eyes….love… and go on.
~David Harkins (1959 - )

Please reach out, I promise it will help.
Wishing you peace....and hope...and better days....


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2016, 08:02:41 PM »
Boy can I relate to your post, except that my husband and I were never able to have children, but we do have two of the four-legged kind.

My wonderful hubbie left on July 23, so you and I have been in this leaky, pitching boat for about the same amount of time.

I feel like I'm on a teeter-totter with the biggest bully in school most step forward and five backwards. I am numb and broken. All I want is him and he is the one thing I cannot have.

My employers are showing about as much sympathy as a rock and I absolutely HATE my job, especially as it's been so hard to get motivated to drag myself out of bed and face the day.

All of this to say that I understand 110% what you're saying and you are not alone....none of us are so long as we can come here and talk about it.

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same....and I choose strong!


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2016, 07:47:34 AM »
You have experienced a terrible shock, a jolt, the unexpected loss of a spouse at an early age. What you feel is typical for those of us who share your journey. You will find your way through this period of grief. Take it one step step at a time. Be gentle with yourself. It's hard to think clearly and focus so keep it as simple as possible. Only do what you have to do. Focus on basic needs only to conserve energy. Your daughter's needs and your job will keep you going for now. Don't worry about knowing what to do for your daughter. Just give her what she needs and it will all work out. In the early days, I took pride if my kids were fed, bathed and healthy. As long as we made it through the day, we were doing ok. I kept it simple because I just couldn't do much more than the basics. I was overwhelmed, exhausted and emotionally wrecked. I too used to think what was the point. Now that I am past the physical pain and daily sadness, I can see there is a reason to keep going. My husband would want me to be happy and enjoy life. I am a better parent if I am emotionally ok. I still face life alone without a partner but I am at peace with it. My children need me more than I need someone for myself. I send you strength. May you find a moment of peace today and everyday. Always remember we are all here for you. We get it. We have been there too.

My life is better because you were in it. You encouraged me to stretch my wings. I will forever be grateful. Rest in Peace Babe. Till we meet again.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2016, 06:38:29 PM »
Why do I feel so out of control and so confused and why does everyone keep telling me that I am doing fine.  I am no where near fine.

In the early days, I couldn't understand how most people had no concept of what my life was really like.  I went to work, took care of the animals, mowed the yard and planted my garden.  I guess that looked like "OK".  Inside myself, I was crazy.  But I had to function. So I did. Friends called that “being strong” but the last thing I felt was strong.

No one that hasn’t been widowed can really understand.

The thing that helped me the most was not looking too far ahead.  I handled each day as it came. Eat, breathe, make it through another day, Looking toward a future was too much to handle. Eventually I could look a few days ahead, and then a few months.  It just takes time and one day you realize you have made progress. You have laughed, not because it seems like that is the expected response, but because something is funny. You feel bad because you are enjoying yourself. You make plans and look forward to doing whatever it is you have planned. One day your first thought is not “they are dead” and you feel bad because you forgot for a minute.  One step forward, two steps back.

The other thing that helped was realizing that I was not alone.  There was YWBB (the place before and we were all going through the same thing and people have been going through this forever and somehow (although I couldn’t figure out how) people survived so I would too. I did and so will you.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2016, 08:32:27 PM »
Well said Euf!  And that's was the beauty of YWBB, you could go back 10 yrs or more and read posts. It helped me to realize they survived and I started to believe I could too!  Hopefully we can continue that legacy!
Sad -confused, I remeber feeling just what you said.  Take care of you and your daughter one day at a time as best you can.  Hugs
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.


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Re: How do you go on?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2016, 09:01:38 PM »
Indeed Euf.

That is EXACTLY where I am right now...right down to the garden.
Thank you for allowing me to not feel so alone, at the 3 month mark.

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same....and I choose strong!