Author Topic: Day 8...  (Read 1040 times)


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Day 8...
« on: July 20, 2017, 08:56:01 AM »
Just lost my wife of 13 years to breast cancer, she was only 37.

I'mm still in shock, the finality of the event is still so hard to grasp. Having a hard time just getting out of bed...

Any advice? Are support groups helpful? 1:1 counseling?

I'm in Phoenix (east valley), would welcome any suggestions on coping.


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 09:42:39 AM »
Hey AZ, my condolences on the loss of your wife. I lost my wife due to suicide.

At the beginning, I forced myself to get up and do the normal things I needed to do. Go to the store, get the kids ready for school, go to work - you know that kind of thing. 

I got the kids into counseling right away and while it really wasn't geared for me, it turned into individual counseling as well. I found it very helpful.

As time when on, I forced myself to do social things - by myself when necessary. It was hard but, for me at least, those activities contributed greatly to my healing.

Hang in there, it's hard to fathom right now, but you will, over time, process this tragedy and eventually learn to life with it and all that goes with it.

Good luck - Mike

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2017, 09:46:30 AM »
From 6+ years out (he was 28, I was 32), I would definitely recommend one-on-one therapy as soon as possible.  It's a place and time of freedom to totally fall apart, to express your hopelessness or devastation or whatever aspect you need to digest, in a healthy and safe situation.  For me, it really helped to spend time in the sunshine, and to work out/run - I think the vitamin D and endorphins kept me from spiraling into an even darker place than I already felt inside me.  I clung to very simple things: staring at leaves in breeze, watching a river from a bench, etc., etc.  (If I hadn't lived in a City at the time, I think hiking probably would've been a good idea.)  I tried to keep my apartment tidy and clean (imposing order/control in a situation in which I felt totally out of control and chaotic inside, maintaining my home as a sanctuary/haven).  Jotting down memories and stories about him/us really helped me - I didn't want to lose them, and the process helped me I think.  Hydrate and get nutrition.  Keep it simple.  Allow your grief.  But also allow moments of comfort or even smiles when they come.  I tried not to get too socially isolated but engaged according to my needs/comfort level: for me personally it meant making plans with friends one-on-one every now and then, and avoiding large groups, but staying connected.  Don't pressure yourself and don't worry that you're not normal - the situation is abnormal and the worst, whatever emotions you're feeling are normal.  I say it like this: What happened will never be ok, but one day you will be.  (In the beginning, that made me angry - I didn't WANT to be ok if he couldn't, but it still is true.)  I'm thinking of you and wishing you solace.  We're all with you on the path. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 03:50:20 AM »
Hey AZ, I'm sorry about your wife. I myself lost my 31 yr old wife on May 31st. I'm only 52 days out. Hers wasn't cancer. To be honest, I still don't know why my wife isn't here anymore.

I've been going to a grief counselor. And for me, it's not really helping. I either need to find a new grief counselor or it's just not working for me. But, what has helped me is something called griefshare. I don't know what your opinion is on religion, but it's held at a church. You watch a video. Then the men go over here and talk and the women go over there and talk. You get to hear everyone's story. It's not specific to just being a widow/widower. You have people there that have lost children, brothers, sisters, parents, and spouses.

Even though I'm done with religion, this has really helped me the best. I wasn't even there for 5 minutes my first night and I got like 20 minutes worth of hugs. Which was very comforting to be honest with you. I've told them in the men's group how I feel about religion and being done with it. And they all understand. Everyone has given me advice. After my first night I said I wasn't ever going back, but a few days later I couldn't wait to go back and see what the next lesson was the following week. I personally feel like talking amongst a group of people who have lost someone does help.

I'm deeply sorry you're in this club that no one wants to be in.

As far as other things to do to help you grieve, I have no advice for you. I find myself in the local bar every day that I'm off. Amongst other things. Every day you take a shower and brush your teeth is a victory. If you can shave, that is a huge one. I didn't shave for a month.

Let yourself feel your grief. Cry. I still cry every day. When I got off of work yesterday, I cried the entire way home and even sat in my truck and cried some more when I got home. Be selfish. If you have a good support system. Lean on them. Today my sister went and got some stuff for me out of the storage unit where all of my wife's and my belongings are.

Also, if you're on Facebook, look for the young widow/ers fb group. I'm on there and that too has helped me.

Don't make any decisions yet as to what to do with her belongings. The only thing I have done is donate my wife's make up and nail polish to the local women's shelter.

I'm not going to tel you to eat. I didn't eat for a long time. Lost 25lbs and am currently holding that. I eat once a day for sure now. Some times twice a day. Do what you can.


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Regarding Day 8...
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 09:29:25 PM »
I too just lost my wife of 18+ years to Metastatic Lung Cancer (MLC).
Today is a month since she passed and it seems like I’m just now crawling out of the hole…
I’ve been a functioning zombie or so it seems.
I’m going into work only because I can’t stand being home by myself anymore, I’m crying every day,
and eventhough I’m sort of back to being a musician I’m still not quite myself. 
Last week was my 1st real session with a therapist and
I’m starting to run into issues with insurance telling me this and that or stuff like “I should have contacted them sooner”.
Not sure if this is normal... is there any real protocol for grieving or moving ahead or with getting things done?


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 08:55:54 PM »
I am so sorry you are experiencing this pain too AZ. I guess I can say welcome to the site Drafter. I am pretty new here too. I have been lurking and reading for the past three months. I Lost my DH 5 months ago to primary liver cancer that metastasized to the lungs. We have two children ages 7 and 4. It has not been easy but we are taking it one day at a time. I haven't been able to do a one on one counseling either, partly because I am a therapist myself and so a bit picky, and partly due to insurance difficulties. I found others here have gone through some of my issues as well and so many of my questions have been answered on this board by reading what others have asked. Its been so comforting reading the messages here and I hope you find some comfort as well.


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 02:06:49 PM »
AZ and all here, I'm very sorry for your losses. I am also a member of this unappealing club, my husband died of brain cancer two weeks ago. It is hard to get up some days, hard to put one foot in front of the other, but you must keep trying while also being kind to yourself.

I definitely benefit from 1:1 counseling but finding the right counselor is key. I think you should try it. Also grief support groups, posting here and other places -- any place that gives you an understanding place to express yourself. Do you have friends you can lean on? People who will help you get out into the world a little bit? Even if it's just to the mailbox and back? This is a time to reach out for support. The days will get better.


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 03:55:15 PM »
I'm sorry that you're here with us.  I've found tremendous comfort here over these last four and a half years and have made some friends for life throughout this journey who have talked me back from many ledges and helped me learn to laugh again.  There are widows on this board in Phoenix; when you're ready, post in the section for "Widobago" meetings and ask if anyone would like to meet up.  I was not ready for this until about 8 months but it might be one of the most important things I ever did was to set up a lunch in Atlantic City where I met 3 other young widowed women and then went on to meet lots of others at other events. 

1:1 counseling helped me for a long time.  It was a place that I could go and say the things I couldn't say in my actual life but that were tormenting me in my head.  Its been four and a half years and I am still struggling with the fallout of being a caregiver in an intense situation for 2 years.  I never walked out of my counselor's office feeling worse than I did going in. On the contrary, while sometimes emotionally difficult while in her office, I always felt lighter after letting go of some of my "stuff."

I tried to do too much, too fast (have small child and career).  In looking back, it exhausted me quickly and there was a price to pay for that.  I was already exhausted from being a caregiver for two years but life wasn't orchestrated for me to have a break and so I just powered on.  That was a mistake I didn't know I was making.  Be kind to yourself.  Grief comes in waves and it also cannot be outrun.  That was another lesson I learned - I couldn't overpower it, circumvent it or otherwise multitask my way through it.  I had to live it.  Take help when it is offered; forgive yourself for bad days and mistakes; lean on people here and know you can say here whatever is on your mind.  Trust that with time and effort it does get better.  Sending you solidarity and support.


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Re: Day 8...
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2017, 03:20:27 PM »
Community is your friend, when they aren't being condescending jackasses with no compassion. You need to reconnect with the folks still here and remember that your beloved is waiting for you in the next place. You'll get there in due time but for now, you're here for the other folks that are still here.

The road is tough and you walk it alone. Folks can help you along the way but it is your road and you walk it. Don't get into a relationship too soon (for me it was 2 years. I had 2 relationships in that time where I tried for a wife but found that the woman was just no good). If folks are bad news, simply cut them out of your life. Don't waste your time. Spend what time you do have on the folks who do care. People might ask why you are being callous or whatever but you have an answer: "I am in too much pain to put up with their <bleep>. I need only good company right now. Nothing less."

I found that TheRapists just cost money and don't help much. Being out in nature is really the best medicine for feeling down. Going to talk to someone out of the loop doesn't help but talking to someone that knows what you're going through from a perspective greater than "I read about it in a lot of books for my degree" will be very helpful in most cases.

Best of luck to you going forward and may God guide your steps.

My wife died suddenly of aortic dissection as a complication of Marfan syndrome. I married my best friend from church group volunteering. It just kind of happened... suddenly (both things).