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Leadfeather

The second year seems harder.

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It has been a year and 7 months since Christine died. The first year was about the survival of me and my sons. Then I was distracted by a short lived relationship. Now I am faced with the desolation of looking toward to a future that stretches out day after day year after year without her. Little things like going to the grocery store or shopping for a new ottoman are occasions to fight back tears as a painful lump forms in the back of my throat. I so want to share with her the excitement we would have together at moving to a new place but I can't because it is just me. Even while typing this I had to take a break and put myself back together not wanting to cry again at work.

 

I know it does get better. I am just tired of waiting.

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It has often been said that the second year is the hardest. Subjective, I know. But generally speaking, it is the point that time starts taking its toll.

 

Truthfully, I have no advice or wisdom. I just wanted to say that I hear you. I have been in quite an emotional rut myself lately and your words really hit home. I think your line of, "Now I am faced with the desolation of looking forward to a future that stretches out day after day, year after year without her" pretty much sums up my thought process today. As well as the last couple of weeks. It's almost as if every so often I have to re-acclimate myself to the true length and magnitude of this process. Amazingly, I still find it just as shocking, sad and awe inspiring as the time before. No matter how many years go by, there are still days that take me down.

 

I completely understand also the crying at inopportune times. I had one of those just this past weekend at church. Something just hit me at the end and I just couldn't make it out before the tears started to fall. Congratulations on moving though. That is a big accomplishment and understandable that it is stirring up a lot of emotion. I wish for you a peaceful week ahead!

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3 year mark is coming up for me within a few weeks....  I agree - year 2 was rough....  Year 1 was rough because I was in shock and just completely unable to function, but I expected that.... By year 2, I thought I'd be able to pull it together and function, and the disappointment of still being "broken" was so frustrating.  I'm surprised at how many "milestones" we have in life - I didn't realize there were so many until I didn't have him here to share them.....  

 

But for them, and for us, and for our kids, we just keep going.........  and we somehow seem to keep hoping.....  

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Yes, the 2nd yr was very hard.  You survive the first, and it is kinda like, “I did it!  What’s my reward?  Do I wake up, and it was a dream?”  

And all the support drops considerably.  It’s been a yr., still not over it?   And you have to face that your life as planned is shattered and somehow you have to take this broken picture and make something from it but there is no picture to go off of to even start. No puzzle picture to start the borders even.  

 

Yes, hard.  I understand.  It gets better .......  slowly but it is hard to wait.  Keep swimming, LF.  

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I remember being in a daze the first year. The second year was a rude awakening that it was not a dream. I seemed to feel the pain more. Rather than be in shock I was more aware of his absence and all the things I missed about him. It got better as time went on but I can be reduced to tears and sadness given the right circumstances. 

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I remember at year 2 crying at my grief therapist's office and asking why I wasn't feeling better (since it had been 2 years), why my moods were still up and down, why seemingly little things would have me in a flood of tears. She gently reminded me that grieving takes time and I couldn't rush trying to feel "normal" again. Just take it day by day she said....wishing you all the best through what is still a very hard time. 

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Thank you. Although I would not wish this on anyone, it helps to know others have gone through this and moved forward.

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Year two was difficult for me too. To me year two drove home that this is endless. I knew it prior on an intellectual level. It was visceral in the second year. Each year or period of time seems to have it's own characteristics. I'm a few months from eleven years. A memory or a song still brings a smile and a tear. Some days are sad. It's just the way it is. 

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Year two - the time when the day to day reality sets in.  It was the toughest time for me too.  The time when your subconscious reaches the conscious knowledge and you now know fully that you'll never see your beloved again.  It does get better.  At almost five years, there are still some sad days but just as often smiles and laughs at the memories of him.  

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For me, the second year was by far the worst. It was when I realized just how long dead is.

 

I can't tell you exactly when things changed as it was a gradual shift for me, but eventually I got to a place where grief didn't bite me as hard as often. I will never be okay with my husband dying so young, but I am at peace with it.

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7 minutes ago, Abitlost said:

It was when I realized just how long dead is.

 

This perfectly sums up what I had been feeling.

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August end will mark 2 years and last one month has been so tough that i don't know how will I survive next month. 

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Year two was very, very difficult and very, very lonely and confusing for me.  I read a lot of books and I drank a lot of wine.  I knew I was still in no shape to make any major decisions (and wouldn't have known what to make decisions about in the first place) but I felt irritated that it all just kept being so difficult and nothing seemed like it was getting better so I just slogged through it in a daze.  This was when I started taking myself on "dates."  My parents would take my daughter over night and I'd go down to Philly to have a nice meal, get lost in the anonymity of a gig, stay overnight in an AirBnB, have breakfast in a nice cafe - I swear, every single time I came back so refreshed and feeling like I'd been gone a week.  Doing that - getting out of that daze I mentioned above - and away from everyone who knew our story or had an opinion about our situation - helped a lot, even just for one night.  

 

It always helped me to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint and that there are no quick fixes.  The only way out is through, etc.  Platitudes, I know, but in my experience, they all turned out to be true.  Wishing you all the best.  

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I heard this quote on a podcast last weekend. Thought you all in this thread might also appreciate it: 

 

“ESTRAGON: I can't go on like this.
VLADIMIR: That's what you think.”


― Samuel BeckettWaiting for Godot

 

i laughed so hard. 

Edited by Bunny
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I've not posted for a while, but I felt it necessary to add to this thread as I, too, endeavor to find my way in Year 2.  My wife died exactly 20 months ago today, and tomorrow (Aug. 13th) would have been her 51st birthday...

 

We did not have children, so I am alone in our home.  I've gotten more accustomed in Year 2 to the empty house, and being on my own.  What I've found hard to accept now in Year 2 is that many of the people we shared our lives with have moved on.  For me, it's no less difficult in Year 2 grieving alone on important days like her birthday.  All I wish for is to know that these same people are also remembering her -- even if they're not remembering me.  That simple knowing would give me a real sense of comfort -- and, even more so, to be told that she is not forgotten and that others are keeping her memory alive in their own ways.  But I realize this is less likely to happen in Year 2, and probably less so in Year 3 and beyond.  Dare I say, such is the distinctiveness of the experience of losing a spouse:  no one's day-to-day life is impacted and altered (hell, shattered) more than ours.  In the end, we're largely left to our own devices.

 

I pray every day that I can discover that balance between moving forward and not forgetting.  Must they be mutually exclusive?  It's only in Year 2, that the realization I shared in an earlier post has become easier to accept:

 

"Until very recently, almost all my energies were spent desperately clinging to everything that I loved about her - about us.  In my mind, no thing is too small.  The most simple mannerisms or subtle nuances of expression are what I miss most commonly -  things that are rarely captured adequately in a picture or satisfactorily recalled in a memory.  But as I have come to understand, and am only now beginning to accept, it is impossible to hold on to them all.  I believe, fatalistically, that the only reason we can move forward with life and not feel the pain and sorrow so profoundly is that we simply and inevitably forget - or, perhaps more accurately, are no longer able to recall."

 

- Steve

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I needed to read all of this soooo much right now, I swear, I’m starting to feel like I’m loosing it... it’s been 1,5 years now since I lost my boyfriend, and last month he was supposed to have his birthday, ever since the past 2-3 months I’m a complete wreck. It feels like I’m back to the very beginning, constantly having fight back my tears when I’m in public, uncontrollable emotions catching me off guard at any time and place. 

I’m back to the start avoiding so many situations that can throw me off balance, I feel like I’m not able to function like a normal person at all and it’s getting worse instead of better. Mostly I was (thanx to reading all of ur messages I can say “I was” and not “I am”) feeling like I’m broken forever, and that I should really be getting better and not worse by now, angry at myself for still “failing” and ashamed of having to keep telling people around me “I CAN’T” to so many things (anyone else also tired of getting this reply: “I know it’s hard, but you really just HAVE to...?) 

 

Anyway, sorry for my rambling, have wanted to reply so many times already but keep putting it of till I have a more structured story, but that’s never happening, and I needed to let it out now. Thnx!

 

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Year two can be harder than year one in lots of ways. It's so true that year one is confusion, survival and numbness is many ways. You're hurting but your brain protects you from just how much you are hurting because the full blown reality would probably kill you.

 

Year two your gaining strength and so the brain goes "okay... time to deal with this". So you get to run the track all over again but this time with greater awareness, more sensation and more responsibility because the supports are dropping off and life is forcing you to continue. No more stalling. No more sitting. Year one was the broken leg with bed rest. Now you have to start walking on it and it hurts like hell.

 

I do truly believe it does get easier. I feel different as the years pass but it is different or the 'new normal' that people constantly talk about. I get the impatience of wanting it to stop hurting because let's face it we've been through enough and deserve a break. I honestly wish there was a solution.

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Unfortunately, there is no solution.  Just time.  And lots of it.  I remember hitting a huge grief wave at 2.5 years and feeling like I was never going to feel better.  But I did.  Slowly but surely.  But when you're in it....oh man is it hard and feels endless.  You won't feel like this forever and now with 10 years creeping up on me, I'm happy.  No relationship.  Just happy with my life, friends, family and job.  And I had some knocks in the last couple of years.  So when  you feel like you're slipping down, tie a knot in that rope and hang on some more.  It will get easier.

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