Time Frame > Shock Wears Off, Reality Sets In ( 6 to 12 months)

6 months - What to expect?

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I'll hit the 6th month mark on Monday the 11th.

Just curious if anyone noticed any significant changes on the half year mark?? Anything that you tried to do differently once you got past the initial shock?

My kids and I had to break traditions and do them all differently. We always went somewhere else for thanksgiving but instead we hosted it. We had one of my siblings host Christmas where we were the ones always hosting it. We travelled for New Year's instead of staying home. We limited our invitations. We would never decline any because we liked to be festive but we didn't have the energy so we picked and chose. We decorated the house differently. We became less materialistic and more into doing things together and having life experiences. With us being in the holiday season, these are the things that pop up in my mind.

For me I think it was reality setting in.  In the beginning I was on auto pilot and trying to keep things the same for my kids.  I soon realized there was no way it would ever be the same.  I withdrew from family and friends a lot (not something I recommend) and started thinking more about the future.  The permanence of life without him was sinking in and I made some selfish and unwise decisions trying to make myself feel better.

On a more positive side I did start to function better at work and started to get small things accomplished.

The big thing is to manage your expectations and continue to be kind to yourself.  6 months is still very early days.

Trying's post is so close to what I would have written.  It mirrors my experience very closely.  This is the time to be as easy on yourself as possible.  I, too, powered through until six months somehow believing that it was a magical date that would somehow turn the grieving clock off.  I was wrong, and I paid for it.  I, too, became extremely reclusive and paid for this, too.  Try to surround yourself with a few good friends who understand or who at least have the patience to try to understand what you're going through.  The good new is, by the time one year rolled around, things were starting to recalibrate.  Lean on people here; reach out to people in your same time frame.  That's one of the smarter decisions I made.  I spent hundreds of hours on the phone with other widows talking it through.  For a while there, they were my life-line and are still now, years later, dear friends.  Take care of yourself.  Christine

I think it can be a little different for everyone, depending on circumstances.  For example, I had to move at five months.  That move made my first year different than it otherwise would have been.  It was extremely painful, but also a bit renewing once it was over.  For me, six months wasn't too bad - I think I was just recovering from the move and liking my new spot.  But for me, eight months was nearly unbearable. 

As for doing things differently, as soon as he died, I tried to live according to a really strict routine - saw it as my only link to sanity/reality outside my head.  I got sunshine and worked out and ran.  I took long walks on weekends.  I went to synagogue weekly.  I visited his parents weekly, then every other week, then once a month.  I went to the cemetery once a month.  I wrote a lot.  I went to therapy twice a week for eight months, then once a week.  And I did all of that for a good two years.  It must've been a control thing, or I felt so crazy on the inside that I wanted my life to be really stable on the outside. 

I'm wishing you peace and comfort and solace. 


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