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  1. PaulZ

    Just Trudging Forward

    Hi Steph, 19 months is still early in the healing process, although I know some days feel purposeless and seem to take forever to pass. I remember at about 2 years starting to feel like I had found my identity again, something very difficult after being one half of a whole for so many years. I can now smile and laugh when I think of my wife most of the time, although there is still the odd day when I am sad. It's been over 3 years for me. I've met someone really wonderful, but I will always have that hurt inside me.
  2. My daughter, who was 12 when my wife passed away 3 years ago, was very resistant to any change in our house for at least a year. Any suggested change in furniture, painting rooms, etc was upsetting to her. For her, I feel it made her feel we were moving on from her mother and forgetting her. It's pretty complex stuff psychologically, especially depending on the age. I've tried to show patience and understanding with these issues, trying to honour and remember my wife while still finding ways for life to progress the way it needs to. You know your child better than anyone else, My daughter also had fears for a while after my wife died of "what if you died too, what would happen to me?". I tried to explain, that the chances of something happening to me are very small, and that I have documents in place that she would be with her grandparents who love her very much if that were to ever happen. I think that helped her to know there was at least some thought and planning put into that terrifying possibility for her. I also am more risk-averse, avoiding any dangerous situations or activities, knowing I am her only living parent and being cognizant of that myself.
  3. I can remember going through some of those first events as well Cassie and dreading them. I had a hard time going to social events in public for months after my wife died. My head was in a different space then, as I'm sure yours is now. It's totally ok for you to have a cry at these functions if that's what you feel like. I had tears falling down my cheeks at the Christmas service in church (the first time I went back to church, 6 months after my wife died). All these events hurt like hell, especially the first time, it will be less painful as the years pass. It's been over 3 years for me and I can feel less sad and live in the moment better at these types of events now. My dad died last September, his birthday is tomorrow, the anniversary of his death is Sept 15, and my parents' wedding anniversary is Sept21, so I'm feeling very sad for my mom as these dates approach, knowing how she will be feeling. Hugs to you on this tough stretch. Paul
  4. While Mike may have made some assumptions and presented his opinion in a way that offended you, I do agree it is important to make sure you have reviewed all your other household expenses to see if there are ways you can cut back on anything that is not essential so the financial help provided by your in-laws is at a minimum. My in-laws help me with many things that are not financial because of the love of their granddaughter and would help financially if I need them to. Your child will have to grow up without her father, which is very unfair to her, I don't think you should feel bad for accepting help where your in-laws are willing and able. As a side note, I think it is unfair for everyone here to attack Mike for his opinion. He was honest about his view and past experience even though he made some assumptions that weren't accurate. I feel this forum would be less helpful if everyone told us what they thought we wanted to hear, instead of giving honest feedback. The internet allows us all to personally attack each other without consequences, but it doesn't make any of us better people for having done so. Treating everyone with respect when giving honest opinions and when reacting to honest opinions makes this a better forum for us all in my opinion. My wife passed away 3 years ago, so I am on a similar timeline as yourself STHOMP0291, hang in there, being a solo parent can be very tough. Take care
  5. PaulZ

    facing my inner demon....

    It will be 3 years for me on Wednesday , one of the most helpful things said was when a priest visited at the house a couple days after my wife passed. I'm not strongly religious, but he knew what would help me. Before saying "Hello", he said " Don't doubt yourself" three times in a row. I always went back to that when I would start with the "what if's". Of course we would change anything to go back and time and save our partners, but it only hurts us to think that way. We have to accept what happened and learn to live with it and remember their love, that's all we can do.
  6. PaulZ

    Went on first coffee date

    Widower40, good for you! I was about 7 months before I went on my first date. My wife passed almost 3 years ago. I haven't dated a lot in the past 2.5 years, met one lady I really liked at about a year out, but distance was too big an issue to build anything together. I met someone special in January. It did feel a lot the same as when I met my wife. She made me smile, laugh, and shake my head(in a good way). I have forced myself to take things fairly slowly, to protect my feelings and those of my daughter, who is now 15. Odds are you will date a few women before finding Mrs. Right, try to enjoy yourself along the way!
  7. I can relate as well RyanAmysMom. I've met someone really wonderful, we've been seeing each other since January. She lives about an hour's drive away. I would love to see her everyday, and she has the freedom at the moment where she could spend more time at my place. We currently see each other about 3-4 days a month, although we talk every day. My daughter is 15 and my wife passed away 3 years ago. I know my daughter needs this to be a gradual progression in my new relationship, so we are taking it slow. I have some vacation in July where my girlfriend will be able to spend more time with us, but I would love to be with her all the time. She has been sleeping in the spare bedroom when we are at my place cuz I know that would still bother my daughter at this point if she was sleeping with me in my bedroom where my wife used to sleep. Again, I'd like for her to be in my room, but I know what's best longterm is to take this one step at a time, and my girlfriend is vey understanding about this. There is a part of me that would like to be selfish and just do what I want, but I know in the end it is best this way by respecting my daughter's feelings.
  8. PaulZ

    Will it ever feel better

    Hi Melissa, it will get better in time. It did for me at least. I'm a pharmacist in a busy dispensary and have always prided myself on upgrading skills and taking on new abilities whenever the opportunity arose. I had zero interest in this after my wife passed. I was just doing my best to get through each shift. I also cut back to 4 days a week from 5-6 days a week. It was the first time in my life I ever took time to reflect and have time for myself and that was very valuable to me(and still is). I can take some enjoyment and pride from my work again, but this only started about a year ago, almost two years after my wife died. It took about that long for me to feel like myself again and feel like I'd found my identity again. You're doing well being there for your kids and working as much as you are in a challenging job. Keep your head up, you're doing great!
  9. PaulZ

    I'm engaged!

    Congratulations! LH would want you to be happy, you should feel no guilt, as I am sure you would want him to be happy if the roles were reversed! life is meant to be enjoyed
  10. Being a widow does present awkward social situations. I lost my wife about a month before you lost your husband. I have been dating a really great lady since January. When talking with her or her family, I still call my wife by that term ("wife"), which feels weird when you are dating someone. It feels like overkill to say "my deceased wife". This is when I speak to people who didn't know my wife. I simply call her by her name when talking with those that knew her. I guess I try to take the cue from other's reactions when I say "my wife", if they aren't understanding why I say I have a wife but am dating. If there is a look of confusion, I will briefly explain, if no look of confusion, just keep on with the conversation! I'd welcome other people's thoughts on this too! I don't think you need to explain why you are single to others though, none of their business unless you really want to share that with them.
  11. PaulZ

    Getting Rid of His/Her Clothes

    I waited until 3 months after my wife passed, but asked her Mom and sisters to go through it and take any souvenirs they wanted, kept a few special things for my daughter. I gave the rest (bags and bags full) to a battered women's shelter. I agree with the others that you should do this whenever you feel ready unless it's causing you harm or distress. What is the rush?! Everyone's timeline is different, listen to your instincts/heart. Hugs
  12. I found any trips or vacations my daughter and I did very strange for the first two years. It's starting to feel more normal now. There are still lots of thoughts of "Wow, LW would love this!", but I'm able to enjoy myself more as I've found my identity again with the passing of time.
  13. PaulZ

    The "L" Word

    Glad you introduced this topic Jen. I've been dating someone for almost 3 months now who I really like. I've felt those feelings for her but am hesitant to use the words, as they can't be taken back and I'm not 100% sure she's ready to say them back. I think she feels the same way. We live about an hour's drive apart and we only see each other about 2-3 days each month, as my daughter is 15 so it's hard to leave her to visit my new girlfriend, and we both have our work schedules to deal with. I wondered if I was feeling this with another lady I was seeing about 18 months ago, then she called things off out of the blue, so I'm a bit more gun shy this time around. I know we haven't spent a tonne of time physically together and it takes time to truly know someone. Life is a whole lot more complicated in my 40's than it was in my 20's, that's for sure. I'm holding back on saying the words for now, even though there have been times I've wanted to.
  14. PaulZ

    It's been 10 days

    So sorry for your loss Melissa. I lost my wife a couple months before her 40th birthday, my daughter was 12. I felt a lot of pain for several months before there was any kind of healing or understanding of my life. No one who you know will understand how you feel unless they have lost their spouse. There are lots of good people here to draw from for advice or just to share feelings or thoughts with. Take care.
  15. My brother and I hosted a 50th anniversary party for my parents last July. It had been two years since my wife passed away. I left the crowd for a few minutes at one point to have a little cry, just one of those moments that it didn't feel right that my wife wasn't there to share with us. As I was having my cry, a butterfly flew over from the nearby woodpile, circled around me 3 times and settled on a flower next to me. i definitely felt her presence at this time and feel she was trying to show me she was there with me. Others may think this was just a coincidence, but I chose to believe in what I felt.

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