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  1. PaulZ

    Belief and Grief

    I no longer believe in organized religion, but fully believe in a spirit world. I have felt first hand and heard too many stories from people I trust about the presence of spirits to not believe. I do, however, believe organized religion causes as much hurt and conflict as it brings peace and harmony. I was going to church only a handful of times a year the last couple years before my wife died, and don't go at all anymore. I believe in being kind and treating others with respect whenever possible in place of preaching the bible or any other religious text.
  2. PaulZ

    Reliving events

    Hi Tigerlilly, I did some reliving of the events of my wife's death as well (I did CPR on her). I think that is normal. I have on occasion felt signs she is still around me and believe in spirits. While it is easy to turn to anger and bitterness, this will never let you find happiness again. It took me many months before I could feel happy again about anything. I'm sure your husband would want you to find happiness. Eventually, hopefully there will be some smiles when you think of him, instead of tears. This takes time. Feeling grateful for the time we had with them can help you on the path to happiness again. Unfortunately, life is not about fairness. Life doesn't care if you were a kind, good person, or how you took care of your health. Bad things happen to good people every day. All we can do is live in a way that brings us peace and joy and let the chips fall where they may. Please be easy on yourself and know the intensity of your pain will lessen in time.
  3. PaulZ


    Hi Tigerlilly, I'm very sorry for your loss and pain. This is a good place to share thoughts and ask for help and experiences from others who have gone though something very similar. I's been 4 years since I lost my wife when she was 39 years old.
  4. I'd agree with Mike that you can offer some information about your past without sharing everything on the first few dates/conversations. When you meet the right person for you, they will have the response you need from them. There will be a guy out there with the right mix of kindness and empathy for your loss and experience who wants to know you for the person you are, and looks forward to creating good memories with you in the future.
  5. PaulZ

    Powerful article about extreme caregiving

    My sadiversary is tomorrow, it will be 4 years since my wife Laurie died. She got encephalitis 16 years ago, which left her with severe epilepsy and extreme short term memory impairment as well as other cognitive deficits. She was still the same person in her personality, although it took her about a year to accept what had happened to her and how her life would be forever different. She lost her ability to work as a nurse and drive. She would take anywhere from 2 - 10 seizures a month. My daughter, as she was 5 months old when Laurie got sick, never knew her mother as I did before her encephalitis changed all our lives forever. My in-laws live next door to me and lived with us a few months after Laurie came home from hospital to help take care of my wife as she recovered, and my daughter while I was at work. It was not a physical condition, and people could not tell by looking at her how sick she was. I lived on high-alert all the time, always waiting for the next seizure , some of which caused hospitalizations if they were hard to stop. We tried every medication combination possible (I am a pharmacist), tried brain surgery and an implanted medical device to try and stop the seizures, but the damage to her brain in certain areas was too severe. I never fully relaxed. When at work, I would worry that she was ok at home, worry about her taking a seizure while walking down the stairs. My care-giving was not a constant as some others here have experienced in terms of being physically next to their partner every moment, but I was mentally beside her every moment. It was strange to have our relationship shift from fun and romance to often a caregiver/patient relationship, as Laurie was 27 and I was 30 when she got sick. I have been dating a wonderful woman for 1.5 years now, and feel that marriage is in our future. She lost a sister in a car accident 15 years ago and a few other close friends at a young age and has a solid understanding of what grief is like. It took me awhile after Laurie died to be able to fully relax and not have to be on alert at all times. That aspect of caregiving takes a toll on people. I developed palpitations due to lack of sleep and stress. Tomorrow is going to be one of those tough days. Laurie died at home, after a seizure stopped her heart and I performed CPR on her until the paramedics arrived. As we approach her sadiversary, I sometimes have moments where my mind relives the day she died, having to tell her parents, my parents and my brother. I get very sad when I replay her funeral in my mind. Thankfully I am now able to smile when I think of her and who she was and all the laughs and fun we had together, both before and after she became sick. The first several months I could not do that, just pure loss and sadness. I know Laurie wants me to be happy and enjoy my life, my daughter, now 16, and I will bring flowers to her grave in a couple hours. When people would ask me how I dealt with becoming caregiver, my first response was always "If it was me who had gotten sick, I know she would do the same for me." The essence of true love in my opinion is that nothing brings you greater happiness than seeing or making your partner happy. Cheers to all you caregivers out there for sacrificing your own wants and needs out of love.
  6. PaulZ

    Teenager vs. Mom vs. Covid

    If he's watching a lot of media/social media coverage. it can get overwhelming and obsessive. There is very little in the news these days that brings joy to a person. If you can suggest limiting his online time for his own happiness (I know not easy), there may be a benefit to the results. Spending time together doing things inside (board games, exercising, etc) may allow you both to share some positive time together without compromising his fear of going outside. These could be baby steps to him getting the happy chemicals moving in his brain again. You may have already tried these things, just thoughts of things I might try! Good luck
  7. The first anniversary was the worst for me. I'm approaching the 4th anniversary now. It is the worst of the "special" days on the calendar to me. I can think of the good times on Mother's Day, her birthday, Xmas, our wedding anniversary etc, but all I can think about on the sadiversary(the day my wife died) is the pain of my loss. For me, I don't feel it's a bad thing for my daughter to see me upset, I feel it allows her to see how much I loved her Mom, but I guess it depends on each person's situation and the ages of those involved and sensitivity to these feelings. I do believe a good cry once in a while is healing and therapeutic and is harmful to suppress, and I certainly cried a lot more the first year than I do now. My advice would be to do what feels right to you, the social distancing sure makes grieving a more solitary experience unfortunately. Hopefully, some of our shared experiences can help you feel some form of community and support here. Take care
  8. Hi Katrina, I found it took me almost 2 years before I truly found who I was again. My wife was 39 when she died almost 4 years ago. I always felt like one half of a whole and it took some time to find who I was before I became a husband. I am working with the public daily too. Stay safe and I hope this online community can help you in some ways.
  9. PaulZ

    Widow since January

    Hang in there Debra, losing your wife unexpectedly like that leaves quite a shock. Glad you found our group for support and advice.
  10. PaulZ

    I don’t know what to do.

    It is such an intense pain, all you need to do is get through today. There are going to be a lot of painful days. Eventually, the intensity and frequency of the pain will lessen. Don't be ashamed to have a smile or laugh when you can. We have been through this, you will get through this too. A great quote I saw on this site (I think it came from Churchill) is "When you're going through hell, just keep on going."
  11. PaulZ

    A Return To Car Crying

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're having to fight cancer again with a loved one, Bunny. While my wife died from epilepsy, I am a pharmacist and see people I know well getting diagnosed far too often. My father passed away suddenly about 2 years after my wife, and I can relate to your fatalistic view as well. I have been dating a wonderful woman for the past year, but no longer have the expectation of growing old together into our 80's. I hope to retire at an age where I am healthy enough that we can travel together without the restrictions of work. The tears can be a really healing thing, it still hits me once in a while and I always feel better afterwards. I hope your boyfriend is on the better side of that 50% you mentioned. Take care.
  12. PaulZ

    Weddings as a Young Widow

    This person isn't a good friend. I'm sorry your day was harder because of her selfishness and insecurities.
  13. PaulZ

    Only 28, what now?

    So sorry for your loss and that your life has turned upside down. It's impossible to wrap your brain around it for a while. I felt the same as far as not being able to relate to anyone for a while, there is an overwhelming pain that takes time to become less intense. Hang in there. There are people here who have been through similar painful loss and have good advice and can share their experiences. Take care
  14. PaulZ

    Celebrating his birthday

    We eat cheesecake, it used to get my wife so excited, makes me think of what a fun person she was.
  15. A lot of your experience resonates with me. I lost my wife a few months before you lost yours, Steve. I was 42 at the time. I don't think of it as letting go of the person. I think of it as learning to live life as an individual again, learning to live in the moment again, no longer living in the past when your partner was alive (I believe they are still around us as spirits).

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