Author Topic: Thoughts from almost five months out  (Read 1130 times)

Blue green

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Thoughts from almost five months out
« on: January 03, 2017, 08:37:29 PM »
I feel like my husband is becoming more of a memory. I am scared that I'll forget so many things. I feel like I already have. Five months feels like nothing and forever at the same time. What do you do to hang on to memories? And not just memories, things like how he felt, sounded, his presence? There is a part of me that wants to let go and a part of me that wants to hang on.

Wheelerswife

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 09:09:37 PM »
Pictures do a lot for me.  I also spent a lot of time talking with my second husband...2-3 hours of real conversation every day.  I try not to avoid things that remind me of him.  Sometimes that means I get sad and I miss him terribly, but it is better for me to remember him. 

My memories of my second husband are stronger than those of my first husband.  I think that is because we were both widowed and realized how important little things are.  We filled our lives to the brim with many experiences - great and small.  We savored every moment - every kiss, every meal together, every new adventure  He captured much of our life in photographs and I can recall the feelings I had in those moments.

I also know that some memories get triggered - for instance - if I eat in a restaurant that we liked, or when I hear that someone traveled to a place we enjoyed.  I don't think we can keep everything in the forefront of our minds, but you would be surprised at what you might remember. 

Some people keep a journal of their memories so they can go back and read them.  Perhaps you can start writing things down now?

Hugs,

Maureen

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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Julester3

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2017, 10:55:28 PM »
I honestly can't let go. I feel the need to hang on and I'm at 9 months.

I've been gathering pictures so I can make scrapbook of just him. I plan to reprint pictures that are in other scrapbooks I've made to make his more well rounded and inclusive of everything. I look at pictures of him on my cell phone all the time and I have pictures all over the house and in my office at work. I saved 4 t-shirts from the laundry after he died and I put them in ziplock bags to preserve his smell. It was harder to do than you'd think. He played tennis regularly so I didn't want anything that smelled sweaty gross but his general smell as I remember it. I keep his deodorant and shaving cream in the bathroom because the smell combo reminds me of him as well. Other than our wedding video, I don't have much recordings of his voice sadly. I don't have any saved voicemails or anything but the other day I pulled out older DVD discs we took on our camcorder of our kids at various concerts, events, etc. and funny enough you can hear some of his commentary while he was recording. It was surprising and wonderful to hear. It made me smile.

I started a journal where I can talk to him and can vent or work things out. I also started a different journal to chronicle our love story. I am stuck in the college years. It's sketchy since we had a long distance relationship. I am thinking of skipping around and then trying to fill in. I talked to a college buddy of his and he might be able to help me fill in gaps. He had a pretty decent memory.

Portside

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 05:19:04 AM »
There is a part of me that wants to let go and a part of me that wants to hang on.

I think that is part and parcel of our human experience. It's a balance we have to strike as we go on and begin to build a new life.

I'm about ten years out - some things I remember easily. Others are long since lost to the mists of time. It's okay - I needed for that to happen to keep move forward.

You'll find what works for you and your family as time goes on.

Best wishes - Mike   
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 07:57:31 AM by Portside »
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

beth_krkswidow

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 07:39:18 AM »
I struggle with memories too, BlueGreen.  I know they are there but it is difficult to bring them up.  People always tell me to remember the good times.  But I find it difficult to bring up specific memories.  Not that they have faded, per se, it's like my mind has a mental block against bringing them back.  It's hard to explain.  I wasn't as wise as Julester and didn't put his shirts in plastic bags.  Didn't think of that.  But I do still have all of his toiletries in the bathroom.  Sometimes I use his soap just to smell him.  And sometimes I just smell his deodorant or whatever.  I have his hair brush and when I pull that out to smell, it brings back a warmth.  Not specific memories, just a warmth and usually tears.
Hugs,  Beth
"Until my last breath, I loved you more than life itself." ~Kirk, in his envelope to be opened only upon his death.  And now I to you, My Love, until my last breath...

geminigirl

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 07:56:43 AM »
I write, I write and I write some more. Shortly after he died I wrote down a list of all the things he loved and hated. I also write down random memories I have in no particular order. Sometimes I write letters to him and sometimes I just write about our life together.

I honestly find it too painful to look at pictures of him and don't have any up in the house. From time to time I'll look at the pictures and videos of him on my phone but it always leaves me feeling horrible. I hope someday I can look at them and feel joy but I'm not there yet.

I know this is kind of gross but I also took a few items of his dirty clothes out of the laundry right after he died and put them in in a closed storage bin to save his smell. Once in awhile I'll take a shirt out and smell it just to remember what he smelled like. I also put his pillow in a plastic bag and it smells just like him. It sounds crazy now that I'm typing it.

The thing that really helps me remember him most though is reading the texts between us. I had over 4000 texts saved in my phone and I feel like he's back with me when I read them. I have 2 years worth of conversations between us and those mean so much to me. I love reading his words to me when he tells me he loves me or even just to pick milk up on the way home. I printed all of them out and will give them to my daughter one day when she's older.

I understand the need to let go and hang on at the same time. I'm struggling with this also. In some ways it feels like a betrayal to let go but I know I need to in order to rebuild my life. I'm slowly getting there but not today. You'll get there when it's right for you. ((Hugs))

Jess

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 10:48:45 AM »
I remember being terrified of forgetting Joe. There were so many little things I couldn't quite remember, like my brain was shielding me from being immersed in what I had lost because if I really, truly let myself remember I'd suffer irreversible damage. I felt completely insane. How could I be crying constantly and losing my mind when I couldn't even really remember him at all? As time goes by, the memories have come back and continue to with vivid detail, sometimes completely out of nowhere. There is no way you will forget him. I promise.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

kimclerner

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 09:50:53 PM »
Hello Blue Green,

I know exactly how you're feeling. I lost my husband, Matthew, suddenly and unexpectedly almost 5 months ago. Until recently, I was so traumatized by suddenly losing him that I couldn't summon up any good memories - I could only think about seeing him when he died and the tragedy that had occurred.   I also obsessed about all the things I thought I did wrong and things that I didn't do, but should have.  Only now is the shock beginning to wear off. I am now having flashes of memories about him and our life together - seeing people that look like him, etc.  I am planning on starting a journal to record our relationship from the beginning, so that I don't forget anything.

HCE

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 04:08:15 AM »
Eight years ago, when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my wife started a detailed journal to record her experiences and to say all the things she wanted to say to her family and me before she died. She also wrote more personal things for me to read after her death. When she died in November last year her writings became a life raft: she had foreseen my misery and was effectively speaking to me and consoling me from the beyond the grave. It was the sweetest thing she could have done.

Every evening I write a page 'back' to her. It really, really helps to do that: it feels like she started a posthumous dialogue and invited me to join in. I also have a notebook to record memories of our life together as they occur to me. I find I've developed an obsessive interest not only in capturing the magic details of our life together, but also in establishing an exact chronology of everything we did. I find myself saying ridiculous things like, "When we first visited x, in the third week of October 2004,...." I guess I'm so stunned in retrospect at how happy we were that I want our life together to be captured down to the smallest detail.

I find photos incredibly powerful, but often they leave me distraught. When I read my wife's words I can hear her talking to me and making me feel better, whereas photos seem to cruelly taunt me with past joys that can never be recaptured. Personal effects - clothing etc. - are the hardest of all.

This is my first post here. It's become clear to me that only those who have been through this kind of trauma really understand how it feels. It also seems that it gets harder as time goes by and the reality of what has happened sinks in. I just miss her so much. So here I am.
They lived and laughed and loved and left.

MACC

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 04:24:43 AM »
Hugs HCE. What a beautiful gift she gave you with her journal. I have a horrible memory, my husband was so much better at that. He would also save ticket stubs or receipts to places we had gone. When he was alive I didn't understand or appreciate the sweetness of it. Writing a page back to her daily, inspires me to try to capture my memories before it is to late and my memories fade even more. What a great gift it would be for my kids who only had him in their lives for such a short time. Thanks for sharing!
We love you to the moon and back!

beth_krkswidow

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 05:57:35 AM »
HCE, Welcome, and as MACC said, Hugs.
That truly was a rare and most special gift she gave you.  How wonderful.

You said, " It's become clear to me that only those who have been through this kind of trauma really understand how it feels. It also seems that it gets harder as time goes by and the reality of what has happened sinks in. I just miss her so much. So here I am."
Yup.  Nobody else gets it.  Not even close.  Sometimes I think they are all idiots.
So sorry you had to join us here, but welcome. 
"Until my last breath, I loved you more than life itself." ~Kirk, in his envelope to be opened only upon his death.  And now I to you, My Love, until my last breath...

HCE

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Re: Thoughts from almost five months out
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2017, 05:40:24 AM »
Thanks very much, MACC and beth, for your kind words.

beth said: "Nobody else gets it.  Not even close.  Sometimes I think they are all idiots."

Well, last week I went back to work and (aside from several close friends who've been very supportive) nearly everyone has been treating me like a leper. To some people I seem to have become literally invisible. Others pretend I've been on holiday for a few months and want to pick up where we left off as if nothing has happened. I'm sorry, but if you can't even mention the fact that I've just lost the love of my life and say you're sorry, I don't want to have a beer with you! Idiots.

I know people mean well, but it's not helping.
They lived and laughed and loved and left.