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  1. Toosoon2.0

    Will it ever feel better

    I am sorry you are struggling. I am a college professor, and my husband died in February 2013 one week after spring semester started. Somehow I managed to get through spring semester but I found the end of the school year to be the world's most horrifying prospect - all of those events you cite, all of that time to confront reality, having to go out in public with my then 6 year old daughter (to the pool, for instance). It was not the lowest of my lows but it was a difficult time of year for me and remained that way for the first couple of years. Its great that you have realized that you need to work part time. I tried to do too much, too fast, and I paid for it dearly later on. Take this time to grieve. Grieving takes both time and energy. It took me longer to get to the realization that I couldn't just "power through," but once I got to that point, I started to treat grieving like a job. Something that required my attention and intention, but like I said, I didn't get there until about 6 or 7 months. I second what RyanAmysMom said above - the first year I went into Thanksgiving without a plan and it was a disaster. After that, I decided to skip Christmas entirely by taking my daughter away on vacation. With time, you will find your way through this. From the vantage point of six and a half years now, looking back there is no way I ever could have imagined the course my life would take. It does change and it does get better. But as I have said before and will surely say again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Above all else, be kind to yourself, be forgiving of yourself, and try to remember that there is no timeline; there is no "proper" way to grieve - we all have similar but unique paths through this. Also, I made a lot of friends on the former iteration of this site, mostly people along the same timeline as me. We clocked hundreds of hours on the telephone, sometimes met up in person and many of those people I still count as trusted confidants to this day. I cannot stress enough how important those relationships were early on when I felt like no one in my "real life" could relate. If you feel comfortable reaching out to others here, I encourage you to do it. The people I connected with here have saved me and my sanity countless times. Sending support.
  2. Toosoon2.0

    I am so inexperienced at communication....

    I understand what you're saying. I met my now husband about 5 years ago, just under a year and a half after my husband died. It was long distance for two years and then he moved here but still traveled a lot for work and job interviews and trips back to the UK for family stuff. it took me a while to figure out that I (and my daughter) still re-experience some trauma related to people leaving, even just for the day (all people, not just my now husband). My late husband was in and out of hospitals and hospice so many times I lost count. Every night that he was in the hospital or in hospice, we'd go to bed not ever knowing if he would ever come back. That got deeply ingrained in our psyches and even physiologically. At first when my now husband would leave, I held that in. I tried to act like I was fine and cool as a cucumber but I eventually broke down - I will never forget it - it was the day after the 2016 election and we'd been up most of the night and I had an 8:30 am meeting and he had to go to a job interview for a few days in another state - and I just folded. Completely melted down in the driveway. It was like a scene from a movie. Since then, we have gotten much, much better at communicating and managing these moments when he goes away. He also became much more attentive to communicating with me while he is away. Its made a big difference. But he didn't know I was experiencing any of that because I didn't tell him until I finally hit my breaking point and let it out. I must sound like the world's most codependent human being and maybe I am but it was an aspect of my grief that I didn't know I had until our relationship started. He didn't know it because I hid it until I couldn't any longer. Telling him gently and in a non- defensive way how you feel in those moments could go a long way in resolving or improving that dynamic. Its not trivial if it doesn't feel trivial to you.
  3. Even though I do not consider myself a "young hot widow" (the name of the group she created), I feel a kinship with her as my husband died from the same horrific form of brain cancer. I also agree wholeheartedly that I would not be the person that I am today had it not been for my years with Scott and the child we brought into the world together. Also, I think every single person I know sent me this video in the last week or so.....
  4. Before we worked out our trans-continental arrangement two and a half years ago so we could be together full-time and permanently, whenever we could get together it was either "our time" exclusively, especially at the beginning or we were doing something as a family. One or the other, and we made sure the children understood that. That way, the expectations of five different people of vastly different ages with vastly different interests did not get all tangled up. Once we tried to blend it all together permanently, it became a much more complex organism, one that has challenged the strength of our relationship more than once. There was a lot of guess work involved and we missed the mark a couple of times (and we inevitably will again) because we were both doing it for the first time. Even though his children are older and in the UK (and we are here in the States), there have been some tough times (jealousies, miscommunications, disappointments, etc.). It takes a lot of patience and energy and forgiveness and commitment to blend families, in my experience.
  5. Hi SB - you know my story so I won't retell it again BUT I wanted to say that although I spent a good deal of time with Andy's parents and his sister at Christmases and visits in the summer, when they died, I chose not to go. I felt that, as someone relatively new to the family, it was my place to leave them to grieve with memories that had nothing to do with me and to make decisions without my distracting presence. Andy understood and agreed. Now, when his daughter graduates from college in two years, I will want to be there. Though it is not always smooth sailing between us, I have been a part of this whole process and feel like I should be there, unless she says she doesn't want me there. I think you need to do what makes you comfortable; each situation is different; if it was me, in the situation you describe, I would be supportive but I would not go. Hugs.
  6. Toosoon2.0

    It has been a whole week

    Hi there. I am sorry for your loss and sorry you had to join us here but I am glad you found us. It has been six years for me and I have three bits of advice that I wish had had or had taken then. 1) when people offer to help, let them. I should have done this but didn't. 2) If you can take time off of work, do it. I didn't do this either, which in retrospect, was a crazy thing for me to do (ie. go straight back to work) and 3) Don't be to hard on yourself and don't try to do too much, too fast. This is a process that takes both time and energy. I ran so fast and so hard (telling myself it was all of the things I was suddenly responsible for on my own, and I wore myself out and eventually hit a massive, painful, ugly grief wall (ie. nervous breakdown) that nearly lost me my career. I see now looking back that it didn't have to play out that way. Lean on people here; I know this board saved me many times from madness and I have made lifelong friends here both in real life and virtually. As others will most certainly say, above all, be good to yourself. This truly is marathon, not a sprint. Sending you so much love and empathy.
  7. Toosoon2.0

    Getting Rid of His/Her Clothes

    Hi there, that therapist doesn't know what he's talking about. My husband was in a coma in hospice for five weeks. I was working full time and had a 6 year old so was splitting my time pretty much 24/7 between those three things. My husband had been bedridden for weeks before hospice and the coma and the bedroom and everything in it felt like it was no longer a comfortable space (I had also been sleeping with our daughter for months at that point). I no longer remember what prompted me to do this (insomnia, perhaps) but I just felt I needed to give his things away. I actually did it before he died. I got everything together and asked some friends to take it all the men's shelter. I was so helpless at the time and felt a strong need for his things to be distributed to those in need. I also knew I couldn't bear to come home once he died and have it all there. However, it took me a full year to clear out his basement studio - to even go in it for that matter (he was an artist). And even then, I called the young man who got his teaching job at our district's high school and asked him to help me. He took pretty much everything for the school or his own art practice and then called a friend and they hauled away the things no one wanted. I definitely needed the presence and support of others to accomplish these tasks. After that I took to Facebook and gave away major items like his bicycle and power tools. I wanted them to go to people who could use them and would appreciate the connection to Scott. This took me even longer for some reason. I also kept a lot because I do have space and I wanted some things for my daughter who is now 12. Thus far she's expressed little to no interest in them but I have a feeling that will change. Anyway, your grief, your timeline. Don't let anyone tell you there is a right or wrong. Sending support your way.
  8. Toosoon2.0

    There are worse things than death

    There but for the grace of god go I. Words absolutely fail. Unimaginable, incomprehensible. Portside, if Andy and I can do anything, please just let us know.
  9. Toosoon2.0

    Memory blanket

    I know lots of people from the old board did this. Check on Pintrest? Try a google search if you're looking for someone to make it for you. I'm pretty sure there are people who do this kind of thing. A friend of mine made my daughter a small quilt; she downloaded pictures of her with her Dad from Facebook and had them printed on squares and she quilted them together. I have never been so touched in my life. Of course, I have hidden it away from my messy, disorganized child so that I can give it to her in a moment when I feel like she really needs it. Anyway, I ramble. You might get some more responses over the next few days from people who have better suggestions or who have done this themselves.
  10. Toosoon2.0

    Life after life

    My husband firmly believed in reincarnation, that people die to live an earthly live again and again, many times over. I am not a believer of any kind and do not believe there's anything after this life. But it gave him great comfort, especially as he was dying (and I will admit, every now and then, I, too find comfort in the possibility that he might have been right and he's around here somewhere in some form as he so vehemently believed and wished for himself). Either way, I think the most important thing is where you find comfort, however you define it; that is what matters most.
  11. Sorry. You're right. I suppose these long threads sometimes get off track. Mea culpa. ❤️
  12. I would not trade my choices for the world but it has been a complicated process to blend our families - or at least make sure everyone is getting what they need. It has taken a level of commitment and patience and investment and willingness to forgive that I do not think a lot of relationships could withstand. Everyone has had to compromise and sacrifice in ways none of us anticipated. I can understand why you might choose not to go down this road. Being a "girlfriend" was definitely more fun and much easier! Lol. We are making it work but it has definitely been and still is work. Lots of hard work. ❤️
  13. Toosoon2.0

    It's been 10 days

    Hi Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad you found the site. In my experience, this is a marathon, not a sprint so take help when it is offered and lean on the people you can count on. This site is a great place to find solidarity among people who understand and who have been there themselves. Much love, Christine
  14. Toosoon2.0

    widda.org website

    I wasn't able to make the link work for some reason (probably that I am old and technologically incompetent). Is there another way I can send a donation? Thanks for the work you do for the site. Christine
  15. FWIW, I was an extreme caregiver with a career and a small child. By the time we accepted that my husband was going to die (as in imminently), I was so exhausted and on auto-pilot and with laser focus on what needed to get done that I think a site like this would have disrupted the fragile equilibrium I'd established for myself over time just to get through it. I think I found the former iteration of this site at about 2-3 months after Scott died when I was in a panic about some parenting decision I had to make on my own - by then I was ready for it and needed it. I think Tybec's recommendation of a support group for now is a good one - we went to a brain cancer support group for a few years and while all it did was traumatize me further, I think it helped my husband and it did - at least temporarily - take some of the pressure off of me and give him a kind of support that in some ways I could not. Wishing you all all the best. I'm sorry your sister and your family is going through this.

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