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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. PaulZ

    Emotions always so close to the edge...

    I've noticed this for myself as well.
  6. PaulZ

    How to handle triggers?

    It's good to let out these emotions in my opinion. I certainly did, especially in the first 6 months. It can feel really good to have a cry sometimes. I'm 2.5 years out now. I only get really sad now when I think of my wife's funeral or the day she died. Of course we all wish this never happened to us, but we can't change it. I can smile and laugh now when I think of her, instead of being sad. I think all of us like to look at pictures and videos and cherish our memories, hopefully as time passes, this will bring smiles and laughs, but it takes time to get to that point. Take care, Paul
  7. PaulZ

    Frozen in Time

    Hang in there Christina. A good cry can feel very liberating at times, certainly nothing to be ashamed of, nor should you feel you have to hold back. I cried daily for 3 months after my wife passed and still quite often for another 3 months after that. It's been 2.5 years for me and it still hits me occasionally. It hurts because we loved them so much, which is a great thing, not a bad thing. Try to talk of him often and live the best life you can, knowing he would want you to be happy, even if it takes a long time before you can feel happy on a regular basis.
  8. PaulZ

    Widowed on Dec 29, 2018

    So sorry for your loss Widower40. I was 42, my daughter was 12 when my wife died at the age of 39, unexpectedly, although she had been sick many years. I cried a lot for the first 3 months. My first day of not crying came at about 3 months. At 6 months, i could string together a couple days of not crying. Please use all the supports that are offered to you, you will need them. I am not overly religious, so I used meditation on a daily basis to try to slow my brain down, as it felt completely fried. It took me almost 2 years to really feel like myself again, took me a long time to find who I was as a single person, no longer a half of a whole. This board has some really wise people who have been through some similar things, I found some good advice here, it also helps you to realize that although you feel like you are losing your mind at times, this is pretty normal for the trauma we have all been through. I hope this forum provides another avenue of support for you.
  9. PaulZ

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    I guess this post belongs under the "laughs" part of the topic...I met someone through online dating about a year ago. We chatted a little, but I was in the midst of breaking up with someone I had been on a few dates with and had lived a 3 hour drive from. I told this new lady (Norma Jean) that I wasn't really ready to date right away again, so we chatted a little anyway. I did contact her through Facebook about a month ago, as I felt ready to dip my toes into the dating pool again and really enjoyed our online conversation. We've been on 3 dates now and everything seems to fit so well. She told me when she looked at my dating profile, she showed it to her sister and said " Well, this guy doesn't look like he'd kill me in my sleep!". Yes, us males have set the bar pretty high...Her sister answered her, "I know him, I went on a couple of dates with him in University!". Small world! Norma Jean is a really wonderful person who has lived through grief as well, losing a different sister to a car accident when she was in her early 20's. She has also lost several other close friends before they turned 30 or 40. She also beat leukaemia at the age of 14. While I don't think grief can be the basis of a relationship for a widow/widower, I think it helps you understand the other person a little better. We have only been seeing each other a short time, but I'm quite optimistic that I've found someone very special here, and look forward to seeing where life can take us together. Just wanted to share that it's not all horror stories out there with online dating!
  10. Hey Mc5, my loss followed a similar time frame as your own. I was 42 when I lost my wife in 2016, my daughter was 12. We couldn't have more kids because my wife became sick when my daughter was 5 months old. Teenagers have their own challenges even when they haven't lost a parent, which would sometimes leave me wondering whether issues were related to losing her Mom, or just being a teenager, getting her period, etc (told me last year she is gay too). It sounds like you are doing all the right things buddy, hang in there, I hope you have some supports, I had lots of help from my family, in-laws and neighbours, it helps keep you sane. There are lots of people who have travelled this road of grief before us and this forum allows us to learn from them. It has helped me many days with different thoughts and situations. Hope you find some help here. It is a tough balance, but you are doing great, you are right to ask them to help with the things they can do around the house. Take care, Paul
  11. I think most of us here can relate to the lethargy, no desire to or ability to do anything more than what was absolutely necessary at that point. Being at work and taking care of your kids is a lot. Your mind and body likely can't handle more than this at this point, I know mine couldn't. I had a lot of feelings of "what is the point of my life without her" for a number of months, feeling quite lost as it felt nothing in life could ever bring me happiness again. It does get better in time. These are life-long scars, but you will find yourself again, it just hurts for a long time. My advice is to listen to your body and mind when they tell you you can't handle anymore that day. It's your survival instincts kicking in, you will get stronger, but don't rush yourself. Hope we can be of some support here for you, sorry you had to join this club
  12. I agree it is much more complicated blending families and households than meeting someone in your 20's or 30's and starting a family together. I haven't dated much since the 2.5 years my wife passed, but I recently started dating a really wonderful woman. Every part of me wants to spend more time with her, but we live about a 1.5 hour drive apart. The bigger issue is taking my time to help my daughter's comfort level with me dating again. I really like this woman, and she does not bring a lot of baggage to the relationship (never married, no kids, had lived with a guy for 5 years who had 3 kids of his own), especially compared to how a widow is affected psychologically for future relationships. She understands grief in a real way, as she lost her sister and good friend in a car accident when she was about 25 (15 years ago). While I don't think experience with grief can be the basis of a good relationship, sometimes it helps to understand each other better and why you may respond certain ways in situations. Anywho, she is fun, funny, smart, interesting and kind. Just a good person who I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. I think she has similar feelings toward me. i know we have lots of more time before we really know each other, but it is frustrating to have to take it slowly out of consideration for my daughter's feelings. I feel I need to do this though, as her only parent (she is 15 years old). I think NG and my daughter could really hit it off well if my daughter gives her a chance, which is my biggest hope right now. Sorry for rambling and not passing along much insight to you KLim, just re-iterating that these new relationships aren't as simple as the first time around!
  13. In my opinion, you are handling this really well Tybec, making him aware of how he made you feel by concealing the communication, whether or not there was any bad intentions to it. If you really care for him and do trust him, you are giving him a chance to show you how much he cares and that he deserves your trust. Good on you for not being over-reactive, but not being too soft at the same time.
  14. PaulZ

    Widowed Jan 16, 2019.

    Besides being a widower, I am a pharmacist, so I feel qualified to offer a little guidance on the medication discussion going on here. Grief is an entirely different animal than depression. I get seasonal affective disorder and end up taking an antidepressant for several weeks each year in late fall/early winter. This helps with the sleep disturbance and apathy I get from seasonal affective disorder. I also went through depression a couple years after my wife originally got (and stayed) sick, as I had constant stress and worry over many years trying to help her and adjusting to my life having changed forever. Not everyone with depression needs to take medication for the rest of their life. Some do, some don't. Sometimes depression is caused by short term issues (relationship problems, hating your job, illness etc) that get better, and the depression starts to lift after these situations improve. Antidepressants are not addictive (I know no one here said that, just throwing it out there as it is a common misconception). They should, however, be tapered off over a period of a few weeks when you feel you are ready to stop them. Sometimes it takes trying a few antidepressants before finding the right fit in terms of efficacy and side effects. No antidepressant is going to take away your grief, nor should it. Grief is a normal thing for everyone who has to go through the hell we have all gone through, it shouldn't be "fixed" with a pill and won't be fixed by a pill. That being said, we all need to function in life. Some of us may need medication occasionally to help with sleep, but sleeping pills should not be taken every night (but are probably better for you than having 5-6 drinks to be able to fall asleep). Things like meditation and exercise can be helpful both for stress relief and improving mood and sleep. Where you have pre-existing depression, powbesh, I'm not saying you should stop taking our antidepressant, just suggesting you evaluate the expectations of what the medication can do to help you, as the effect of losing a partner is bound to cause sleepless nights and feeling like "Life is pointless without this person". I still occasionally feel this way, 2.5 years since my wife died. Hopefully as time passes, these feelings will become less intense and less frequent for you, more bearable, even if they never completely disappear. I'm not trying to be judgemental here with anyone, as we all struggle to figure out our lives again after losing our closest relationship. Just hoping my background as both a widow and pharmacist can be helpful in this discussion. I'm happy to help with any other med-related questions/opinions anyone may have on this topic. Hugs, Paul
  15. PaulZ

    We are on this board because.......

    I am here because I can learn from those that were through this before me. I want to know how to be the best solo dad I can be to my daughter, how to move my life forward as best I can. I hope what I have been through the past 2.5 years can help others in earlier stages in need of help and experience.

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