Grieving in the Second Year After a Loss

 

GrievingThere is a pretty well-accepted theory on grieving that the first year is the hardest. The loss is so new, the first months can be spent in a blur of shock and disbelief.

This can be especially true for a sudden loss, but can surprise people when they are in “shock” even after a loved one has died following a long and drawn out illness.

I’ve said it many times: nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can prepare us for the finality of death.

Navigating that first year, through anniversaries, birthdays and holidays can feel endless. But the assumption for most is that as long as they can get through that, it should be smoother sailing in the days ahead.

And then year 2 happens.

The second Mother’s Day without a mom. The second wedding anniversary without a spouse. A second Christmas without a child. And the griever may find themselves thinking, “this isn’t any easier”.

Some people have told me that the second year was actually more of a challenge. Perhaps because of expectation – expecting to feel better and then feeling even more disappointed and sad when they didn’t. Or maybe it’s because the more time passes, the longer we’ve had to live without that person. The longer it’s been since we’ve seen them or heard their voice.

This is a terrifying thought for the newly bereaved, to think that it’s not going to be a steady climb upwards in grieving and healing, and I don’t share this to scare those who are in their very early days.

But expectations are a big part of our mindset, even when we’re not in the stages of grief. How much more do we enjoy the movie or party that we thought was going to be terrible? How disappointed are we when a long planned vacation-of-a-lifetime turns out to be not all what we would have hoped?

If ever there was a time when we need to be setting realistic expectations for ourselves, then certainly our time of grieving is one of them.

Throw away the timelines.

Don’t compare yourself with those whom you know have had a loss. The coworker who was back to work smiling only a few days after her Dad died? She was crying every day on the way to and from work. The family member who thinks that 18 months after your husband died you should be dating again? She has no idea what this loss feels like, what your love felt like, or what is right for you.

Be patient with yourself. Be patient with those who don’t understand. Don’t expect today to be hard and tomorrow to be easy. Honor wherever you are right in this moment and know that even if it feels uncomfortable, unsettling and uneasy, that it’s probably exactly where you need to be.

Stay open to the idea of hope and optimism – but don’t set a timeline for its arrival.


 

For many, the challenge in grief is trying to figure out what’s next and how to move forward. Our “See and Share Stories” is a place to find ongoing support and encouragement for this struggle and for any other concerns related to grieving as well.

160 thoughts on “Grieving in the Second Year After a Loss”

  1. Year two can be very difficult, in some very unexpected ways. In that, certain things will trigger moments of grief that did not occur in year one. Many have said that year one is the ‘numb’ year, and maybe that’s right. However, in my experience, I did not want to live after I lost my wife..for most of the year. Once the anniversary of her death rolled around, I felt like the clouds lifted a little, and I wanted to be social, learn some new stuff, and even date. I got a small wave around what would have been our wedding anniversary, but they keep coming as Thanksgiving gets nearer, and they’re a little more frequent, and severe. Theses waves of grief don’t last all day, as they did last year, but they are intense when they do happen, yet short. This year, it seems as if my thoughts revolve around all the treatment my deceased wife got that didn’t help, treatments she could have received, and a yearning for ‘one more.’ One more smile, a hug, a kiss, a conversation, a meal together. In my mind, it feels like if I had that ‘one more’, then I would be satisfied. Maybe.

    1. I too am n my 2nd year of losing my spouse. My husband was a juvenile diabetic since his teen yrs. I find that rem9feling our home has opened a myriad of emotions that sent me reeling. I know it’s partly because we discussed these remodels b4 he passed & I find myself turning 2 ask his opinion & he’s not there. I broke down n a Lowes store, felt ridiculous, & left. I recently went out 2 eat w/some friends, shared some laughs, but found myself missing my best friend who I had shared so many laughs with over 30 yrs. It left me very melancholy.

      1. Just into the 2nd year since the passing of my husband. Everyday is a battle, i lost many months that is unaccountable for and emotionally not coping. We lived for each other and daily decisions are made with what he would have done. He appears whenever I need him and this brings comfort.

        1. Dear Charaine
          I know what you are going through. God the pain is excruciating , even to bring my mind back, which I don’t do, I feel like I am looking in a glass window at myself, doing all the things I have to do and only those things.

          Two years now, I cannot believe it, one moment smiling and kissing me and the next lying at my feet, gone, no return, New Years Eve, it is like a nightmare that never ends. A whole lifetime of wonderment , joy and happiness wiped out, all our tomorrows gone, all our yesterdays so painful to remember without him, it seems like so cannot cry any more, like a numbness has descended into my soul, no laughter no joy.
          Maybe one should not love so deeply, then maybe it would not hurt so much to lose them.
          The one who had a special smile only for you, who knew your heart and soul, who really cared, and then you are alone.
          I am so sooty for all the people who is suffering such pain, maybe they are just waiting on us .

          1. Patricia, your comments hit home. Even though my love struggled with Parkinsons Disease for more than 25 years. I did not understand that we had such a deeper connection than others may have. I am at the 16 month mark and it seems to be getting harder. I have actual pain when the tears come and my grief is not abating. I miss him so much . I am not suicidal but if i knew my life would end soon, I would be ok with it . I wish you better days and be glad you experienced a great love. I am grateful.

          2. Plis…my husband passed away at the beginning of this year from brain tumor after being together for almost one mnth …now his gone and its the second mnth…its just hurts and a headache and making me cry all nite…i dnt know wat to do ..i need advice..

          3. I lost my husband 5 months ago we were married r5 yrs. I am in a grievance class hoping it will help. One thing is I have to learn to live with is the new normal. I do what I have to do in the house the rest of the time I lay in my bed. At 71 I am sure it will be a hard until I leave this world. I pray all of you that God will wrap his arms around you

          4. Yes, my husband just dropped dead at the gym nearly one year ago to the day. Where did that year go? I can’t get my head around the anniversary already being here when it all seemed to happen only yesterday.
            I sometimes want him to come into the room so badly that I almost believe he will, but then the futility of this hoping hits me and the excruciating desolation that I then feel has me screaming and screaming although no sound is coming out – it’s all internalized. And then I start crying uncontrollably. and still he doesn’t appear. I’ll NEVER see him again.

        2. I lost my husband 12/16/2016. 22 years together. He was 45 when he passed I was 43. We were married for 13 years. But tied together since day one.And that was how it really was. I’m bipolar, which does not help. I have maintained same treatment for 1 year longer than we were together. However, I’ve lost my father, mother, cousin whom in my heart was my brother. Then my husband., He was my best friend. I can barely cope. He was diagnosed with GBS syndrome. But was suppose to be ok. He spent 2 months in hospitals. I watched him wither away. But Istill had hope. However he ended up with 3 stage ulcers . Hospital’s wouldn’t admit. Told us he had stage 4 lung cancer. I left the day they told me my husband was dying g to get my two young adult children. On the way to get my daughter and son. I can’t finish these details. My husband died after autopsy report. After I took him off life support. Of a UTI infection. So in my head all I know is they were wrong. And I took him of life support. I can’t function with this .

          1. I totally understand, I also had to make this decision 2 years ago for my baby sister who I was caregiver of. I loved her so very much and nothing in life has hurt as bad as losing her and the feelings of guilt and believing I murdered her no matter what anyone says. And now guilt because of some things I am doing. Such as giving a lot of her things away, doing things I enjoy and now because I have decided to move to Washington, which I currently live in Ft Worth Texas. So it is a major move, but I am waiting until the end of the year or beginning 01-01-19 to make sure it is for the right reasons.

            So I hope and pray you find comfort and some measurable amount of peace.

      2. June 24th will be 2 yrs sine my husband died. After being with him for over half my life. I dont have no desire to date. And i can relate with you. It still hurts and i wish it didnt. This is by far the worse loss i have experienced. My heart goes out to all of you.

    2. That’s exactly how I have felt! This is my second year and I am having the same thoughts. My mind keeps going over all of the treatments and hospital stays and all the hopes we had of him getting better of no avail. But the grieving does not last all day but while it going on its intense. I’m sorry for your loss. I truly am because we as grievers know that loss is not the complete word. Take care of yourself.

      1. Thanks to all that spoke about their feelings of a great loss. Very first time I laid my eyes on my bf I was in love. Sounds crazy right.
        We were together for 3 years every day n night.
        In 2016 diagnosed stage 4 cancer in July Dr said aggressive cancer and he won’t see Christmas, I couldn’t breathe or talk I felt numb. Imagine how he felt.
        Dr was right December 10, 2016 he passed. One year I cried n cried. Now I’m in second year and miss him more n more. I’m in a slump don’t won’t go out or visit. How do I pick myself up.

        1. Just do what u are comfortable with and don’t use this time to begin new friendships/ activities unless you want to. I find that if I force myself, my anxiety goes way up.

          I finally am getting some grief counseling and it helps me to know that I’m doing pretty well on the widowhood scale.

          Previously I had had several sessions with myofascial therapy and that REALLY helped me release the anger and sorrow.

          I also did acupuncture in the ears to help with the grief. That was a good process because it helped me to HOPE that my grief would abate. After all, without hope and faith, what do we have?

      2. Ann Marie it gets better slowly. Remember the good times and know he would want you to live on and be happy. Plant a tree a Leland cypress and watch your love grow and remember him in nature.

    3. The stories I’ve read on this site are more in line with my experiences. My 21 year old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and died 14 days later from a brain hemorrhage resulting from the chemo treatment. That was September 2013. I became numb, I spent the next 2 years struggling with the loss.
      In 2015 something started to affect my wife of 32 years. We struggled to get answers until she was diagnosed with an extremely rare brain disease. She forgot who I was on Christmas Day 2015. She steadily lost the ability control her body, then the ability to speak. One day in a moment of clarity she told me how her mind was working, well kind of. Told me of the hallucinations and her mind was telling her I was cheating, so far from the truth. She lost her battle in May 2016. I was her care
      giver had to subdue all my feelings of pain. Now in year two I’m dealing with unresolved grief for my daughter and the emotions I pushed so far down are now bubbling to the surface.
      My Wife, best friend, confidant, solemate is gone.
      I’m remember things I wish I would have done and several moments I wish I could have done better.
      I used to wake to a tear soaked pillow but that hasn’t happened in a while. I don’t weep all the time now but I can hit all at once, mostly at inappropriate times.
      I share everyone’s pain expressed here. While we may be by ourselves we are never truly alone, I feel your pain and now you know mine. -R

      1. I feel so sad reading your story.
        I hope you learn to cope with this terrible grief, I hope you have people who are kind and stay around you

        1. It’s impossible for other people to understand if they haven’t experienced this loss. My husband died in Feb 18 after 3 years struggle with multiple system atrophy. I feel totally broken, and none of my friends understand, they just get in with their lives in a way I can never do again. Getting in touch with other widows/ widowers has helped, though. But those grief waves keep on coming when you don’t expect them.

          1. I’m grateful to have found a place to share our stories and grieve together. I lost my Dad in February of 2016. He had pancreatic cancer, and had 9 months to live after his diagnosis. The cancer was already in his liver when they found it, so all that could be done is chemo to give him a little more time. He isn’t hero, my best friend, and the man I wish I could be more like. My wife and I divorced about a year after he passed. I feel so alone and just want to go home to him. I’m staying alive for my daughter but I miss him so much, I don’t know how I’m going to live the rest of my life without him. He was only 53 when he passed. God bless you all

      2. Hello Robert. I have just come across your letter and I am sorry for your lost as well. I lost my wife on December 2017 to cancer. I was her carer at home till she passed away and now I am broken hearted and don’t know what to do. Wish I was with my wife really. People say to me it’s early days but you should start going out and meeting folk, however, I don’t want to. I feel so sorry that my wife had so much pain to go though and nothing could save her life. Everything seems pointless now after being married for 44 years and now sitting alone.

        1. I feel the same. I want to be with my Harry. He passed on January 28, 2018. ENSRD. He was 84 & I am 65. I cry everyday. We lived together 47 years and were married for 43. I hurt in my heart so deep I can’t breathe. We talked about everything. We got so close over the years, I can’t bear being without him. I really don’t like others to judge. It’s my grief, not theirs. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone.

          1. I’m so sorry I cried reading that ,,,my dads nane was Harry and my mom is still broken hearted two years later ,they were married 72 years ,,,I lost my husband to cancer two years ago I know how you feel ,,I’m convinced a piece of my heart is broke

          2. Denise my mom passed away 2nd Feb 2018 she was 81 I lived with my mom I’m 50 we talked about everything as well she was so easy to talk to I loved her so much losing mom has broke my heart I’m in the house alone now mom had lived there 48 years

          3. I feel the same. My husband passed away two years ago Sat. He died in his sleep. He was my life. After being married 53 years I just have no idea what to do without him. What am I suppose to do now?

            The “what it’s” are going to kill me. What did the doctors miss? What signs did I miss that I should have picked up on?
            What if he knew he was sick and just didn’t want me to know?
            I did not dwell on these thoughts the first year but now my mind won’t stop wondering!

      3. I lost my bf jan-21-14. After four years later I am now dealing with unresolved grief as well. The first year was the hardest woke up crying and fell asleep crying. 2nd year I didn’t know how to cope with the pain so i was in a unlovable/toxic situation with someone plus I lost myself with drugs and alcohol. The third year I thought everything was fine. I hid from my emotions, thought I was in love again. Was just trying to forget my past and start over again a fresh start but all that came down hill when I was in college and had a panic attacked in one class realizing that it was time for me to deal with the truth. The truth that I was hurt and have been hurt for a while. I’m currently in the process of dealing with all the emotions that come from grief. Similar to your situation I bottle all my emotions inside of me, deep deep down because I didn’t know how to cope with his loss. All this time I felt hopeless, guilty, sad, mad, upset, confused, tired, but more than anything miserable. I was only 19 when he passed away. I am now 23 and I can assure you that the pain never goes away. Sometimes I think I’m to young to be dealing with all this pain but the love I had for him only means my pain is real. I miss him everyday and I just pray to God that he gives me the strength I need to move forward in life because I’m not only living for me. I’m living for him as well. Much love everyone.

      4. I definitely understand more then words can express.
        Next month is a two year mark that I lossed my only child, my little girl. I was ok for awhile but all the sudden its hitting me like a brick wall. I feel like time has stopped as I am in a complete never ending story of several emotions at one time. But mostly hurt and emptyness. Doctors once said I would never be able to conceive. Then she was born. She died at the age of six from a 1 in a million chance disorder called fires. No warning no leading up to illness. She fought for her life for thirty days. I left the hospital without my child and a shirt with all her blood on it. It was a rough year. 6 more people passed including my father. It’s so much to deal with even with a grievance counselor. I would do anything to hear the words mommy. I wish the pain would just be more kind

      5. My mom passed away July 2017, 6 months later my boyfriend passed in January 2018. I’m beyond lost. I hate my life and wish to die daily. It’s too hard to live without them. My days run together, it’s the absolute worst heartache I’ve ever experienced. 💔

    4. I feel your pain .. I cry everyday for my friend .. we were kindred spirits .. there’s a song called ‘One more day ‘ by Diamond Rio .. pretty much sums up how I’m feeling .. good luck to you x

  2. I am about 17 months out. I wish I had that ‘one more’ everyday. It is different now, but not easier. I am still hoping beyond hope and beyond reality, that Jill will magically be real again, here, in the whole, in my arms, and next to me in bed at night and in the morning.

    1. I feel the same way about Clay. He has been gone for 15 months. I keep thinking if I pray hard enough, wish hard enough and love hard enough, he will come back to me. The reality of knowing that isn’t going to happen is so heartbreaking. I want to hear the sound of his voice, feel his arms around me, kiss me and tell me he loves me. I don’t think this grief will ever get better.

  3. I’m now starting the 2nd year after the sudden loss of the love of my life. Opened the door and he had passed during the night of a pulmonary embolism. One day we are shopping, and the next day I’m dealing with his death. I did the grief therapy, grief counseling, etc., that I was to do during the 1st year. People who have not been through the sudden death of a spouse have no idea. That magic one year mark does not cure your hurt. It’s still there. I think there is an “acceptance” that your loved one will not be back, but the hurt does not stop. I’ve come to realize that it never will. I have trips planned, do volunteer work, try to be active in my church, but I realize the hole in my heart will never heal. I’ve been bombarded by e-harmony and match.com. I could care less. I’ve had the best and no one can take his place. It’s an ongoing struggle every day. One day at a time.

    1. I’m in the 3rd yrs of losing my brother and it’s been so hard then four weeks ago my other brother died! This ache in my heart is unbearable I just want to wake up and feel normal not this horrendous heart ache! The thought of living 20-30yrs without them is so very hard

    2. I know exactly what u mean there’s that one love and no body & I mean no body will ever take his place I’ll never love again the way I loved him 35 years I was w this man & his gone I’m still in a river of tears every oldie comes on the water starts to over flow I don’t believe it gets easier I loved him my heart continues to hurt..nothing helps

      1. TERRI..It is 13 months and 20 days since my soul mate died..yesterday in work I felt truly happy for the first time since he died..it is 10pm today and the whole day has bee one of the worst..I have two dogs so I hide away ..put my head down on my arms and cry so they cant hear me….I work full time so am OK in work but I am so lonely without him..my children are interstate..along with my bestie of 50 years….I have no close friends outside of work..I make an effort to go out and socialize but am surrounded by couples..so come home as I miss him even more..if it werent for my two dogs I wouldnt be here…I dont know how much longer I can live live this…I have told no ome else how close I am to ending my own life..this lasses but right now the urge is overwhelming me..thanks for reading..if you do……I am writing to you as you have the most recent post…..

        1. Ann.. I lost the love of my life 13 months ago, suddenly of lung fibrosis. We were married 47 years and he was my best friend. The one I turned too for deep discussions, uplifting when I was upset over something and just encouragement when needed.
          I got through the first year because of being the only one that could handle all of the problems and stuff that takes place after the bread winner passes suddenly. My kids live in a different state and don’t even keep in contact with me. Thank God for His presents in my life along with my Two Dogs that my husband loved so much. They have kept me going.
          I have recently started a new job and have found that at my age, it is so much more of a challenge than it was just 10 years ago.
          I do not socialize, even at church. I just come home and enjoy the dogs and just survive the day.
          Now that I am starting the second year, I am finding it is much harder to be that strong person that everyone thinks I am. I hate crying and find myself doing it more and more lately.
          The holidays are going to be a struggle this year I am finding out. I miss my best friend so much and really feel I can’t talk with anyone about what I feel going into this 2nd year.

          1. I know how you feel. I don’t have any desire to socialize and I also have my dogs and the one that my husband lived so much just lies on the couch and looks out the door like he is expecting to see him come home. It’s been twenty months and it breaks my heart. I will be praying for both of us. God Bless

          2. I understand where you’re coming from Sharon. I also lost my husband to pulmonary fibrosis although he also developed two tumours on his lung. He battled his fibrosis for around eleven years, never giving up and walking the dog faithfully every day until this horrible illness got a final grip on him. What hurts me the most is that I wasn’t with him when he died. I find this second year a lot worse than the first. I have been crying for him now for two days solid, praying every night that he will come for me. Unfortunately I don’t have a circle of friends and people I meet seem to think that I’m fine as I wear ‘that face’ which says I’m getting on with things ok. I just feel as if I have been abandoned and lonely. Some days I just find it impossible to even tackle housework having that can’t be bothered feeling and only going out to do the weekly shop. I pray that these feelings will pass soon as I am so fed up crying. I just loved my husband so much as we were together 49 years and never spent any time apart. We had planned to do so much during his retirement which never materialised. I think I will only be content whenever he comes for me but I’m even now having doubts about where he is and is there really ‘life after death’

          3. It’s been 2yrs &2 months since my husband suddenly pasted away. We were together for 27yrs married 19 yrs. The first year was so very painful that I couldn’t even bare having the dog around that he loved so much, that I gave him away. I now regret it because little did I know he was grieving also, but I never knew because he was being strong for me. If only I could go back and do things differently but it still wouldn’t change the outcome

          4. Sounds like me. I lost my son and then his father 150 days later. He left me 2 dogs, one pregnant one. I kept two puppies and suddenly have 4 dogs that I enjoy, more than church more than people. Most shy away from me because?? I don’t know exactly. Most I am more alone in Han ever except for me little gang of adorable dogs.

          5. Im just so heavy hearted hearing everyones stories. I lost my husband of 34 yrs to a brain tumor 7 weeks after diagnosis. It has been 14 mths now and it doesnt get any easier, if anything harder as it becomes more real. I am so sorry we are are all hurting people,i have found society is not real good at knowing how to help or react to us. Love to all i feel your pain.
            Ann

        2. Ann! I understand your grief. I too have felt the way you feel. I lost my sister over 2 years ago and as you can see, I’m up at 12 AM on a workday looking for some words of encouragement. She and I would go Black Friday shopping. :-(. I can tell you the only thing that keeps me going day to day is not wanting my children or loved ones left behind to feel how I feel right now. Your children would feel the pain you feel if something happened to you! I know it’s difficult. We have good days and bad days but the longing is always there. I read a lot about near death experiences and it has helped a little bit. We are still here because our mission here on earth is not complete. There are still things in life you must accomplish. I too try to get back to normal but I realize this is my new normal. I’m not as outgoing as I used to be but I find things that I enjoy and that’s what I do. I have found that not everyone can understand and that’s ok. Shopping and movies are the only things that can take me away from an episode of grief.

        3. I’m sorry. My husband was murdered and four months later my beloved dog died. I feel just like you have expressed. Don’t know how to be happy. It’s been A year and I cry every day and can’t enjoy anything. Thanks for your wirds

        4. Ann
          I know your pain I loss our Stepdaughter in January 1992 and My Mr. Lee in July 2016. This is my second Christmas without him and I promise the nights for me are the worst. I have a t-shirt on his pillow from his memorial that I have been sleeping with for over a year and I really don’t care what anybody thinks it helps me. I just want to say this to you and I know you won’t like but I know you know I’m right! Killing yourself is not going to bring your husband back nor is it going to help the ones you leave behind, we all have to travel this route that is a fact. All I’m asking is live for the love of your husband his memory lives on in you and your children, I don’t really think your husband would want you to do this to your children. Please believe me I feel your pain but my husband and I have a legacy and I am responsible to carry is on until it’s my time and I plan to do exactly that. Please think about your children and their pain and reconsider your actions. God bless

        5. This breaks my heart to read. My dad died 20 months ago. I found him passed away from a heart attack on my 27th birthday. I still feel completely ruined. But more so I feel awful for my mom. I moved back in with her and now I’m scared to leave her alone. I know she feels depressed. If I could take all of her hurt and put it on my own heart I would. I wish that I could help.

          It makes me cry to think that you feel so badly that you don’t want to live anymore. If I could take your hurt away I would. They always say it will get better. I haven’t decided if that’s true or not yet. Hang in there.

        6. I hope you have survived you thoughts of taking you life. Please do not do that. My Husband of 53 Years had a stroke in July of 2016. He recovered well, but took his life in January 2018. I am in Year #2 and do know how these thoughts can creep in..But sucuide leaves so much suffering for those that remain. Hang in there for you and family. I hope we both gain some life of normalcy..

          1. Please don’t do that. My husband became an alcoholic 8 months before he took his life. We were married 28 years and I miss him so much and we have 2 grown boys. He did this June 2017 so all 1st have passed but now is the hardest part for me. I just found a counselor that I will see the end of July. Cry daily cannot stop crying. Worst thing I’ve ever gone through. Very hard for us left behind.

        7. Hi Sharon
          I have just been reading through this site and found your response to mine…like you..I don’t want to socialise..I go to work..come home to the whirlpool of love from my two puppies..you and I are so blessed to have our furries…I know I will never have another soul mate and am so thankful to have been so loved and accepted for who I am ..may our boys rest in peace until we are together again…..hope you have settled into your job….work will help keep us both going..hugs..ann

    3. I feel exactly the way you do. It’s been 1 year since the love of my life died of a heart attack. Finding him was torture. I’ve thrown myself into work & remodeling the house, just to try & function & portray that I’m normal. Crying every day is my normal now. I’ve always been in control of my life & now I’m not. I pray that there is a heaven & I will see him again. I’ve had cancer & this is far more painful on a daily basis.

      1. Linda and Ann…don’t you wish people like ourselves could do things with each other when we are going through a difficult time? I don’t really tell anyone how I feel and about my pain because no one really wants to hear it anymore. Only people who’ve dealt with a difficult loss can truly be empathetic and understanding. I will say all the craziness going on in the world and especially in the U.S. where the nightmares and fear continues with daily presidential tweets…a distraction I wish I didn’t have…but a distraction from grief none the less. :-(

    4. Oh Jennifer I read your words and it’s like me talking, I feel with you. My story is like yours, the most sudden pulmonary embolism of the love of my life. Being s mum of our two little girls takes up everything I have to give, the major part to this aching missing, remembering. It’s been nine months and not getting easier, why I was trying to see what’s coming, when this pain will stop, it’s so exhausting.

    5. My spouse died suddenly also. I felt like it was me who died the first year and I was a ghost in my own life. Come home, turn on the lights, walk through an empty house, empty life. I kept going to work, serving at church, most of the things I had formerly done. Now, I’m in year two and I feel like I’ve awoke from a coma. Things are familiar, but not clear, not altogether solid. Sometimes I feel so angry and out of control. It’s familiar, but different. I lost the only person who ever understood me and this is what that feels like. I know exactly what you mean.

  4. I am in the second year, 20 months ago I lost my husband,my sole mate after 31years&8 months of doing everything together,always by each other’s side,this is the hardest thing I have ever had to face! It seams harder now than the first year.I am always wondering will it ever be better or will life just be like this,just go through the motions.I lost a son 16 years ago my mother passed 5weeks before he did,I made it threw that but this so different,no (one can understand that),this hurt goes beyond that for me,does it ever get any better?

    1. Allie: your situation is so like mine. My husband of 54 yrs. & loving companion passed 18 months ago. I too keep wondering if it will get any better. I lost my parents, & two sisters and the pain could not compare with this. He & I were always together & even had the same thoughts many times surprising ourselves when we spoke of them. This second year is as hard as the first. The emotions ambush when I least expect it. I try to filter the thoughts in my mind so as not to feel the pain. I pray that time will heal.

    2. I also have been through hell.Losing brother niece nephew going through breast cancer and my husband of lung cancer.This is now the third year and reality is now is hitting me,but I have to care for my mother ,and to ensure that my children and grandchildren who loved their grandfather so much to give them some stability.

  5. Christmas is upon us. The second Christmas. I am hosting the in-laws. I don’t know at the moment what the day will provide. Twenty people. Lots of noise. I know Dan will offer a prayer for all our lost loved ones. All the best to all of you. I am interested in hearing how it went for y’all.

  6. Allie, it has to get better. I look back and I see I am better, but not altogether well. I cry and curse yet, but I am not debilitated on the floor for an afternoon. I am taking that as progress through the storm. It is still painful, sorrowful, and lonely. I move from day to day and find some confidence that I have made it this far (although I don’t really care) and other people have too. Feel it and carry it as far as you can.

  7. Its been a year 18 months since I lost my son and it feels as though the pain has grown. It starts like a small fire being ignited in the pit of my stomach that begins to swell and push upward. I feel as though I can’t breathe, like it smothering me. My heart seems too heavy to carry inside this body. My head seems out of sorts most days and I just don’t know how to pull ahead. I pray, I go to church and lay in my husband’s arms but still no relief. I just want to hold my son, tell him I love him, see his beautiful smile not just one more day but forever

  8. Losing a Brother I hear very little about. Sibling loss! It is not a accounted for grief. . As if you couldn’t have loved him or her as less than a mother or father or a wife. Not so. Even though my brother was in the military for twenty four years and had been gone most of the time from the family. I was about fifteen when he went into the service he was three years my elder. His father had heart disease and We knew he had probably inherited his fathers genes for heart disease who passed at forty six and his father before him passed at forty two. It never sets you up for well we knew it was going to happen. And then it did happen. He was forty four the first heart attack. With By pass surgery. We got to have him with us another fourteen years or so. A battle every day to overcome his heart disease with swollen limbs from heart failure. I am now one year eight months and seventeen days from the last day I saw him laying in the hospital bed dying. The last time I rubbed his arm and told him mom and I are here. He never opened his eyes. I Sang to him while he was there passing. The grief is unbearable today as last week, last month, last year. I feel isolated. I cry when no one is home. I miss him so much and loved him so dearly. My older brother my only sibling. He looked after me when I was young and we had such conflict too. He came home after his wife treated him terrible and would not look after him. Mom now 80 and I looked after him. He was told he had six month and he lived shy two days of six months. I beg for him to come home every day. Death is so final. I miss him so much.

  9. It’s definitely tough every year and I’m on year 4. Most of the time things are ok but every now and then I’ll have a day that’s just a throwback to the original date.

    1. I’m on year four already and dealing with grieve again. I made the decision to bottle all my emotions inside of me and sooner or later they had to come out which they did about a month ago. Ever since my love passed away I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain…. I just miss him so much. You know ever since he passed away. I’ve felt lonely and sometimes I don’t know how to cope with the loss and pain. People always tell me to move on and I’ve tried but it hasn’t been the same. Idk what to do anymore. I feel so hopeless and I’m just tired of feeling like this.

  10. It seems I put so much of me into trying to get through the first year for our adult children, somehow the pain of the second year is catching me off guard. There’s little relief and not having my husband of 41 yrs here with me is suffocating. I feel I’m constantly stumbling through life on the edge of what’s real and what’s not. After 1.5 years, I have yet to accept the finality of his death and keep expecting him to come back. I thank the Lord for giving me life but living is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I often feel isolated and on the edge of all that’s real. I feel like I’m struggling with no sense of purpose and going no where. I see little progress in me from when he first passed. No matter how my day is going, I’m constantly knocked off guard with just one person, me, doing things that we used to do and not two. I keep thinking if I try and do things like he used to, he will be happy when he comes back and then I remember. Its as if I’m forced to relieve him not ever coming back all the time… exhausting, painful and heart wretching.

    1. Jackie you expressed much of what I feel for the most part.
      I would add that while I have totally accepted the finality of my husband’s death I have yet to decide or define my own life now.
      I am very active in my church have lovely friends and family but they are busy caring for their own lives.
      My deep faith in God has sustained me and believe me this is a work in progress.
      When we are adjusting to oneness each day is a learning experience.
      I have always been a sensitive person and now I am finding I take things too personally and feel hurt or angry.
      Year 2.5 has made me more vulnerable to thoughtless remarks. My new challenge going forward.

    2. Jackie, you spoke the words of my heart. I lost the love of my life 11 months ago. (His name was Jackie) I have not had one good day. Some are just better than others. But they are all difficult to get through without him. We had been married 49 years, and I still have no idea how to live without him.

    3. Jackie, your words hit the mark, I lost my husband 18 months ago, no warning just woke up to finding him taking his last breath, I called 911, started CPR after 20 min. They were able to get a heartbeat, he was on ventilator and all tests everything came back to normal. They only thing was he was not responding to any stimuli, he just so happened to have a little brain damage in the best place possible, but after a week, we decided to let him go, the neurologist gave us no possible hope and his numbers were not getting better. I pushed my way through year one, just knowing that if I could make it through that then all would be better. Year two, is called the wake up year. I am at peace with him being gone, I just miss him like none other. He was my soul mate, we did evrything together except our jobs. My heart still beats, but my mind is not into anything. Not sure what God has in mind for me yet, so I just wait and wait. Going to church hurts, even though it is suppose to be a healing place, we spent a lot of time together up there. I thought I was going crazy, until I came to this post. I now know I am normal again with just a different heart. I just want to be happy again here in Wichita ks. My friends are the best and try to understand, but until you go through it, you can never truly understand the depth of this kind of loss.

  11. I lost my forever unexpectedly 19 month ago, after 32 years of marriage. I am just pretending I’m ok, so my family does not worry about me, as I know I got to be strong for them. I still think about him every day and cry every night. I just so miss him by my side and our endless hours of talks. I know I’ll survive, but my life never is going to be the same.

  12. I lost my wife to cancer 22 months ago. I thought, in some detached way, that things were getting better. That I was doing the things one does to deal with grief.
    But lately I find myself overwhelmed with sadness as weeping.
    I went online to read up on it.

    Guess what? I’m human and nothing is odd about what I am going through.
    Reading others’ comments soothes me some and I thank you all.

    1. I understand perfectly. I am at the beginning of the second year since John passed. We had 36 wonderful yeayears. I can’t even remember the first few months. I thought they were going lock me up.

  13. I’m in 18 months of losing my mother/best friend to sudden loss. People told me after the first year it would get better. It has not. We did everything together. I feel so empty and lost without her. Nothing feels right anymore. The pain is awful.

    1. I lost my dad n 2009, my mom 2011, & most recently my husband 2016 after 35 yrs of marriage. We were very close. His death has opened wounds of the loss of my parents. No shoulders left 2 lean on. I hv a beautiful daughter, but I want her 2 live, not burdened w/my emotions.

    2. Wendy, i lost my mother/best friend 16 months ago and feel the same, nothing will ever be the same again and we are all just a little spot in time. i struggle to find the meaning in life and wonder what the point is in trying to care about anything… I feel as if nothing i do is ever going to matter to anyone and that nothing will ever be the ok again.
      This loss has left me feeling like i have lost all ability to find any happiness.
      Most people think i am handling everything well and going on with my life but behind what people see is a much differant person than what is on the outside.. there are a few people closest to me that i know see behind the curtains of my soul.

      1. Tracy. I feel like you do after my husband was murdered a year ago and then my beloved dog died. People don’t understand the loss. They don’t want to hear about it anymore. So I stay home crying and don’t know where my life is going. I just want to isolate myself so people won’t try to tell me to feel better when I can’t. Hearing your story makes me not feel alone. Thank you

      2. Kathy..I am so sorry your husbands life ended so needlessly….I would like to think your hubby’s buddy is resting with him….my Katie ..my beautiful hound died 7 months after my hubby died and I KNOW she went to be with him..my 17 year old cat died one month before my hubby….so I do imagine them all together…..keep strong…thinking of you..hugs

    3. Wendy – I lost my mother two yrs ago this December 22, 2017. I’ve missed her terribly for two years. She was my momma & my best friend. I lived with her the last 8 yrs of her life & cared for her for the last 3 yrs. it’s really not any easier especially here at the holidays. We have to keep going & move forward & grieve whenever we feel like it. Best to you.

  14. I lost mom 14 months ago. I came home to be with her after my brother died 2-1/2 years before. I was her care taker 24/7, she was also my best friend and constant companion. I feel so alone and lost. I gave up everything of my old life when I came home and I don’t regret a minute of it but now I feel so lost. Can’t find any purpose for my life. How do I move on.

  15. I lost my mom nearly 10 months ago. Like Wendy D. and LB, my mom was my best friend and my constant companion (I cared for during a progressive illness that lasted several years). Some days, I think I’m going to be “ok” (not the same kind of “OK!” that maybe I would have been before all this happened, but an “ok” relative to my new life), and other days I’m in a deep, dark, scary place that I don’t think I can survive. Screaming, crying, cursing God, cursing everybody and everything. How could you do this to me? What did I do wrong? How could you leave me alone? Why are you tormenting me like this?! Unfortunately, I’m taking anti-anxiety meds on occasion to quell the freak-outs (which I don’t like doing and had NEVER done before), but I seem to need them right now. I must have made my mom thousands of cups of tea over the years…how I wish I could sit with her and have one more.

  16. It will be three years in three months that I lost my husband. I was 32 and I feel like I went to sleep and woke up to find that I’m about to be 35. I understand now that he is gone but the yearning has been unbearable lately. It’s as though this process is starting all over again after what I thought was some serious progress. It did get easier and the positivity was flowing for about 3 solid weeks but then the awareness that I am alone hit even harder.
    He was my other half and I know this. I’m in a stage where I’m desperatly trying to remember everything about the time we had together.

    1. I’m so sorry J. I know that feeling of panic that you might forget something and lose it forever. Like trying to collect hundreds of acorns in your arms and they keep falling while you desperately try to hang on to each and every one. I hope we both find peace somehow, someday.

      1. Wow. Hundreds of acorns…resonates with me. I lost my sister 19 months ago and I find myself thinking ok…quick remember as much as you can so you don’t forget…it’s the acorns. :)

    2. I am 41 and lost my husband suddenly 13 months ago.
      The pain comes in waves. This helped me a lot. I wish you peace.

      He Was Grieving Over The Death Of His Best Friend

      From the depths of old internet comments comes another incredible gem of a story. One user wrote the following heartfelt plea online:

      “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

      The rest of the post has been deleted, only the title remains. However, the helpful responses live on, and one of them was absolutely incredible. The reply by this self-titled “old guy” might just change the way you approach life and death.

      I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not.

      I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents…

      I wish I could say you get used to people dying. But I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it.

      Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

      As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

      In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

      Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

      Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too.

      If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

    3. I lost my bf 4 years ago and I thought I was doing well. Just trying to move forward in life but the pain came back again and it hurts so much. I don’t know what to think. I feel like I’m back at stage 1. I just wish I could see him, kiss him and hug him one last time but most importantly tell him how much he means to me and how much I love him.

  17. I thought that by this time (14 months) it would hurt less. I feel guilty that it doesn’t; as if I am hanging on to the grief. The few times I try to talk to friends they are uncomfortable and I can tell they want me to “move on.” I don’t want to move on away from him. I guess I will have to find a way to go forward, but I still miss him so much.

    I have a thousand other feelings: guilt about all the “I should haves”, missing the tender times, missing the humor only we shared, gratitude for the wonderful man he was, etc.

    I read “The Year of Magical Thinking” and at the end she says that eventually your loved one will become just a photo on the dresser. I hate her for that sentence.

  18. It’s just over twelve months since my beautiful wife died of cancer.It was only three months from diagnosis to passing in that time my mother was also coming to the of her battle with cancer.So i lost the two most important people in my life in the same month words cannot describe hurt I felt. I had thirty years of marriage she was everything to me all I had known since eighteen.I had counselling through myself back into work and seemed to be coping acknowledging every milestone with great sadness. The twelve month anniversary of my wife’s passing came and I thought I would cope but I totally lost it. I returned to those dark days and the grief now is unbearable l need her to comfort me it’s l like l finally realised that she is gone. I have been off work for a month and finding hard to cope the thing that keeps me here is my grandkids.So for me the second year is worse maybe cause l was numb because l lost so much in one month all l do at the moment is live each day hoping tomorrow will be better.

  19. I lost my mum 13 months ago. She, or rather we , battled cancer for about 4 years and it was a roller coaster . Trying anything and everything. All the time still being a mum myself to 2 young children who were close to her . then finally she got the all clear and told she was a survivor. So happy . Then a few months later it came back with a vengeance.. everywhere. I took time off work teaching to nurse her at home to the end. This was without doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done. What followed her death was aweful . The first 6 months I lost my faith and was very angry , then veering to ‘it’s all pontless’. I saw a counsellor after that which helped- I was numb after that. Not up and down but flat and down.
    I HAVE TO PUT ON A BRAVE FACE for my kids. I can’t believe I’ll never see her again or discuss personal issues, deep and meaningful comvos or lighthearted banter…Just get through the day..It has helped reading your experiences. Thank you

  20. My dad passed away Mar2016. This is the second year, and as it got near to his birthdate, it hurts just as badly as last year, if not worse. I miss him more than last year..the memories, both happy and sad, ate more vivid than ever. My siblings grieve with me, maybe they handle their emotions better. I sometimes wonder why I can’t let go. Maybe I am afraid that I would one day forget the sound of my dad’s voice, his smiles and stories.

  21. Today is the one year mark of my father’s passing and i can honestly say im no closer today than a year ago to finding any relief from the heartache i have felt since he left us. My father had COPD/Hypertension/High Blood Pressure and went into cardiac arrest at the Orlando Airport in Florida while waiting outside to pick me up with my mother. I will never get that scene out my head for as long as i live as i froze completely instead of performing CPR like i shouldve (nothing anyone can say to me can change my mind that had i started the CPR 12 minutes before he might have at least had a chance of not being braindead, especially considering that I am CPR certified). My baby girl passed away 6 months later. Im basically still just going through the motions, something in my soul cracked this year when i lost them. I feel like i literally have a hole in my chest and it makes me unable to breathe. Its almost like drowning

    1. Don’t blame yourself please. When I was 14/15 I met my bf we were friends good friends. I was 18 when we got together. He was my first love. We were together for a year. He was honestly the best thing that ever happened to me life was finally good. Well when we were together for about a year I decided to leave him because we argue a lot, jealousy and thoughts of cheating. Well a couple months after he was killed. The month I found out he passed I almost lost it. Never would I have thought that things were going to happen the way they did. I blame myself a lot because I tell myself what if what if. Specially because many times he said to me if I didn’t get back with him he didn’t want to be here anymore. Life is so unfair. Now I’m at Year 4. And it still hurts. But you know what just like people say there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I try to keep positive and remember that the love I have for him is stronger than anything in this world. The advice I can give you is stay strong. Things will get better and you are not alone. A lot of us are going through the same exact thing you are going through. What has kept me going through this time is remembering that he would want me to be strong and keep going for him. I owe him everything and I decided that I’ll be living a life dedicated to love in memory of him. He lives through me and I am blessed and honor to say that I love him the way I did. Much love. Please stay strong.

  22. Amber whatever you do.dont blame yourself no one knows how they would respond in a traumatic situation. I lost my father 18th month ago sudden stoke he was with me I thought he was suffering from a low and I was treating him for that as he was type 1 diabetic. I felt Helpless blamed myself. My mother passed 9 months after daddy after years of suffering from Alzheimer’s. I still grieving my life totally revoved around them especially when mum got sick. I feel I no purpose and all alone. All my siblings have their own families and I’m just alone and only wish is to just see them both well again in each other arms to give them a big hug x

  23. I too have just entered the 2nd year after losing my beloved husband of almost 30 years. He passed suddenly 7-18-16, and I still can’t believe he is gone. It was supposed to be just an ordinary weekend, and the day before he was feeling great, and the next evening I am driving him to ED. He died from septic shock brought on from diverticulitis in a little over 30 hours. I identify with the fear of more & more time passing since he was here. It seem he’s moving farther & farther away – I wish I could say I was moving closer to the time I will see him again, but his absence is absolutely crushing, and all I can see is that he is not here anymore – my beloved guy. We did not have any children – it’s just me & my 4 dogs & other pets that we both adored. I might not cry several times a day like before, there is just a constant state of sadness & loss, wanting & longing to share what we had together as loving soul mates. I know that I will remain his widow, no other man will ever be considered. I watch other couples even older than us, and wonder WHY? Why did he have to be taken away from me? We loved each other so much, and we finally found each other after earlier years of misery from other relationships. But – I get no answers – God doesn’t tell me why – just to trust Him…

  24. I lost my husband 4 years this September and I feel as
    though I am on a constant roller coaster ride. We were
    married for nearly 35 years and even though I have a
    very strong family and friend network I feel so alone.
    I don’t like telling anyone how I feel because I think they
    would be thinking I should be over my grief by now.
    I feel very teary of late and missing him so.
    I just feel this big void in my life and I just I will be never
    happy again.
    Most of the time I cover my feelings up so people don’t know how I really feel.
    I too see couples similar age to me together and think how lucky they are to have each other.
    Hopefully as more time passes it will get easier.

    1. Dear Kim; I know exactly how you feel, and what you’re going through… I lost my husband almost 5 years ago, the anniversary of his passing is coming up next week :,( as time passes by it has not become easier for me, I still have terrible meltdowns, and I too hide my pain from my grown-up children, friends, family and co-workers, I don’t want them to worry about me or feel sorry for me…. It is very hard to look at all these people in the face and lie with a smile on your face, telling them that you’re okay….. I crie often even in my sleep, I don’t think it will ever stop been this way for me…. I just want to let you know that, you’re not the only one that feels this way, and that you’re not alone.

  25. This week I will be starting the second year after my husband’s death. He died suddenly in war. I miss him every day. There is a heaviness that is constantly on my chest. I’ve had only two positive dreams about him since my passing and each were overwhelming in the realization that the weight of the grief had been temporarily lifted. No other moments were devoid of the heaviness on my heart. There is an acceptance of his loss that has begun to take root. My brain is no longer frantic to “fix it”, as it was during the entirety of the first year. I would fix it if I could but I now know deep down that I can’t. My health has been severely affected with a flare up of an autoimmune disease which ironically and surprisingly has helped teach me to live more in the moment and not have too much anxiety about the future. What is more suffering compared to what I have lost? I have less control in things than I thought I did. It is almost relieving to have a physical representation of what is occurring on the inside. The medications are harsh but necessary. I have found that others are more concerned about the death anniversary and the month surrounding it than I am. It was almost like they are just now remembering or being affected again. They got to return to their life. For me, Everyday is a shocking reminder that my husband is not with me. It presents itself in a million little ways throughout the day and night. Life is not stagnant. Maybe I am just waking up to the reality that suffering is unavoidable and that pretending away death does a disservice to everyone including myself as it makes me bitter and more resentful. It can be so isolating. My life feels now like I am walking on a tightrope carrying a boulder in my arms. I can’t turn back and I can’t just drop the boulder. I have to keep tip toeing forward. Over time I get stronger and the boulder doesn’t always feel so impossible. But the slightest wind comes up or I lose focus and the boulder threatens to plummet me downward. It’s miraculous I’m still up on that tight rope. Thank you Jesus for steadying my arms. You are with me. This pain is not forever. But I’m thankful I have had someone in my life that has meant so much that I’m devasted not to be with him right now. I hope everyone gets to love and be loved that much. The pain is worth it and no one is spared. It isn’t any easier if it happens early or later than anticipated. What to do now with the time I’m given and the people before me? I’ll keep tip toeing forward and maybe attempt to wave at someone carrying their boulder on the tight rope next to me. Just to let them know that they aren’t up here alone.

    1. Thank you Rachel. It’s somehow soothing to see some of my blurry thoughts in writing. I can’t write it but feel it and I feel it with you.

  26. 14 months ago we were enjoying lunch together at home as we had for years. When we finished, I went to my studio to work for a couple hours. When I came out, I went looking for him. There he was, motionless, in the bottom of our pool. Unbeknownst to either of us he had a very enlarged heart. The medical examiner assumes this caused an arrhythmia which in turn caused him to pass out. As a result, he drowned.

    We loved nothing more than simply being together. Our bond of love was so deep and our lives so inextricably intertwined that a part of me died that day too. Nothing, and I mean nothing could have prepared me for the grief-slog of these past 14 months. I had always been an optimistic, happy person. As much as I hate to admit it (because it wasn’t in my nature to even think this way), more often than not I think to myself: “What’s the point?”

    I don’t mean I’m suicidal, but I feel like a rudderless ship being blown aimlessly about on an endless ocean. If only I could land in some port, any port, perhaps I could find my footing again. But for now, that seems unlikely because when I dare to look out, all I see is the hazy, drab-blue sameness an endless ocean.

    For me, the first year was difficult, of course, but the grief was so intense that in the strangest way there was purpose in it. As painful and intense as the mourning was, it was when I felt closest to him and the best way I could find to say, “I love you.” And so, when grief came knocking I answered.

    Just like so many of you who have graciously shared your journey here, when grief came, I too found myself unable to stand, lying on the floor and calling out his name, over and over again. Often I would repeat “No, No, No…” to the point where it began to be so compulsive that it worried me. Nothing has ever hurt so much and felt so hopeless. On top of it all, the flashbacks of seeing him in the pool came often and took me to my knees every time. Only after EMDR therapy was I able to move past its hold on me.

    As many of you have attested, over time, episodes of intense grief begin to happen less often yet they still wallop the same punch when they come. And amid the “lessening,” there are still periods where you feel as though it’s the 2nd month all over again. I am now in month 14 and the feeling that I mentioned earlier, that in some way my purpose in life was to grieve, has begun to abate. Strange as this may sound, I am now finding life even more difficult. Before, at least I had some role to play in this horrific scene, but now it feels as though there is an even duller grayness about everything.

    I know I’m supposed to live one day at a time, etc, etc., to get through this, but quite frankly I am sick of doing that. I also know that I don’t really have a choice. All this frustrates me on top of everything else. I am trying to live in hope that things will get better. I keep telling myself that he would want nothing more than for me to live out my life in a way that is rich and full. Truth is, he would be angry if I didn’t try, and try hard. If I were writing a book for mourners, that’s how I’d likely end it: “Your dearly departed would want nothing less for you!” So far, however, figuring out how to even begin thinking like that just seems way too hard and complicated. (Yes, I know, 14 months is not enough time, but this griever’s-purgatory, if you will, is mentally exhausting.)

    Finally I want to say thank you to the lady whose post mentioned being in Lowes and becoming so frustrated that she left. I laughed hard at that. Not at you, but with you. I’m sure that everyone on here can relate to that moment. Just last night I was in the grocery store and they had a “Buy one/get one” sale on an item that we both loved. Every part of me wanted to share that news with him. For me, it is in those tiny slivers of time when I feel most alone and heartbroken. Those kinds of moments are among the hardest because they bring us face-to-face with our new reality by reminding us of how much we miss the profound bond of love that we experienced in doing the simplest things together.

    My heart goes out to you all!

  27. Thank you all for sharing your stories of grief. I have been plotting along now for 2 years 4 months. It is better than it was but there are days when the grayness and depression covers me like fog on a cloudy day. I am functioning okay–taking care of my responsibilities. I have wonderful children and grandchildren but as others have stated they are busy with their own lives. I struggle to find ways to fill the time and have struggled to find friends who get it. Most are still married and although sympathetic really have no clue. I have joined some new groups mostly for the socialization but it does not fill the void. God bless you all and I wish the very bestnformyou

  28. I lost my husband 2.1/2 years ago to a vile terminal horrendous disease called MSA (Multiple System Atrophy). We lived with this prognosis over our heads for 8years…whilst I watched it take my lovely able bodied husband to a man who could do nothing for himself. The 1st year of grief …my heart physically ached that I thought it would break. This 2nd year is unbelievably hard. I weep and wail and feel as though it happened yesterday. We both had been married before and had children. Now no one mentions my husband…only me … I want to say his name and share our memories….but other people’s lives carry on…….and I am left with mine blown apart. I try to do things volunteering etc….but I feel numb to everything.

    1. I know the feeling Angie I myself am constantly weeping and unbearably sad. It has to get better it can’t stay this hard always:-(.

  29. Just coming up for the first anniversary in mid November, I am feeling wretched and exhausted. I am doing new and different things to try and have a “life”, i enjoy these pursuits for a while, but everything seems so pointless when i return to our empty home, and the indescribable loneliness. I have good friends and a lovely daughter, but she is in a bad place with it all too. So I don’t open to her, she has a lot of anger, which doesn’t help me at all. It is definitely worse now than at the beginning, I was numb for a long time, but now i am exposed and raw, and I can cry for England. I look forward to a time when it may ease, but for now i am grateful to read others experiences.

  30. Hello, I lost my husband May 2015 suddenly and we have a small child who is now 5. The first year was a whirlwind of emotions and things that needed to get done. Year 2 started and reality set in and the pain and heartache is unbearable. I know now that he is not coming back I will not be able to hug him again or have our nightly conversations before bed. I am really hoping as time goes by it gets better. Many days it’s a struggle to just get out of bed. I wish you all peace.

  31. Hi everyone!
    We’re in the club that no one wants to join. I lost my husband of 43 years on June 2016, on our son’s 24th birthday. He lived with leukaemia for 7 years and it was being managed and seemed to be doing well. Then put off the blue, he had a seizure that led to the diagnosis of a brain tumour, which we were later told was inoperable and high grade. In other words, there was nothing they could do. In fact, a week after diagnosis (and at that time we didn’t know the prognosis) the tumour haemorrhaged and 2 weeks after diagnosis, he died. We were and still are devastated. I have 4 grown-up children and 3 grandchildren and we are close but as others have said, there is a vast hole where he belongs. I still cry most days and miss him more than words can say. I keep busy and that helps but I only have to look at his photo and that starts me off! He was a wonderful man, husband, father, gaga and he was my very best friend. He looked after us all and I want him back so I can look after him! I know that’s not possible and I told myself early on that my life had changed forever and I am still trying to get used to the new ‘normal’ That doesn’t stop the pain, though! Even now, I can’t believe he’s not here! We’ve held 2 Motown and Northern Soul Charity Nights in his memory to raise money for Brain Tumour Research and Bloodwise (blood cancer charity. It helps by turning a negative into a positive but it also stirs up emotions afterwards. There are no winners, are there? We have to carry on, remember them (I still find it difficult to use memories as a crutch, as they’re a reminder that he’s not here!) and hope that tomorrow will be kinder to us! Sending love and hugs to you all put there. We have to keep going and keep strong! xx

  32. I lost my husband of 44 years 14 months. Sudden death is what they called it, his kind and gentle heart just stopped beating. He thought he had a muscle spasm under his shoulder blade, I ask him are you sure your chest doesn’t hurt, your arm. No he said and as he sat on the chair with his head on my chest and me rubbing his back he looked up at me and said well maybe it is my heart and took his last breath. I started CPR and called 911 I thought they never get there, but I think now I knew he was gone, I was begging him not to leave me. I told him I didn’t think I could go on without him. I had been married to him since I was 16 years old. He was the love of my life and like others above, no one could ever take his place. I miss him everyday and yes I am like the rest of everyone above the second year does seem worse. Maybe it is because we all thought if we made it to the first anniversary how could the pain not ease up. But it doesn’t oh yes maybe the tears don’t flow as much. But they still flow and the empty lonely feeling is so much worse. I too have some wonderful children and grandchildren but they have their own life and like Norma said until you are in the spouse club you really can’t understand this lose. I think the only thing worse would be the lose of a child that is the club I never want to be a part of. I want to thank everyone that has posted above, it makes you realize that it isn’t just you and the people that says you have to move on, find a purpose just flat out don’t understand. I hope that all of us find a peace and it may not be till we cross to the other side and find the loves of our lives waiting there on us.

  33. I have read most of the posts..we are all in pain..it has been 1 year 1 month and 6 days since I lost my ‘best friend’ my anchor..I live interstate away from my two children..I work full time and have lots lf work colleagues..my lifelong friend lives interstate..I have two dogs and no close friends outside of work….suddenly my pain and lonliness seems to be more devastating that in the first 12 months..people think I am tough and have done really well and appear happy again….how wrong they all are..underneath this fascade is a really sad person whose heart has broken wide open….right now I seriously feel being dead would be easier..I am ’empty inside with no future to look forward to….even my sense of humour which I am renowned for has died with my hubby……I do motivate muself to go oit and am surrounded by couples only enforcing on how lonely I am…a person who used to be extra energetic, happy, always laughing..this person is now dead inside with no wish to carry on with my life…….not sure how long I can go on for..if it werent for my dogs I would have left this life months ago…dont care any more..sorry..but there is no way I can ‘tell’ anyone how I feel..not even my Grief Counsellor..I know I am not the only one of us who feels like this so whoever you are you will know exactly how I am feeling…and no..I will not use antidepressants..I am not ‘depressed’ there ks no medication for ‘heartbreak’…

    1. You really put into words my exact feelings. At least in reading others words I feel that we’re not alone. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  34. I lost my mother, almost two years ago. The day before my birthday. I sat with her for a week in palliative care, with my dad.
    Everyone feels like I’m negative, and depressing, and really I just want to see my mum. My fathers started dating someone who slanders her and her opinion of me, and even though I know she’s wrong and never met her it hurts so badly. I feel like I’m going insane. There’s no point to anything and I’m not the mum I used to be. I have no fuse left, everything makes me mad and I’m forever yelling at everyone and sometimes I even throw things. I was never like this. I had cranky moments like everyone but now I’m on a roller coaster I can’t get off. I don’t want medication. I don’t want my dad back. I just want five minutes with my mum. I don’t know whether to clarify dad’s gf is wrong or just to hold her. She was my best and only friend. I feel like I’m never going to have a good day again.

  35. In February of last year, my Father passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was 53 years old, and in excellent physical condition prior to his diagnosis. I watched his body deteriorate over the next 8 months, and I was at his bedside when he passed. In February he will have been gone for two years, and while I have accepted the fact that he is gone, I feel so hollowed out. I still find myself breaking down behind closed doors, and hate going through the motions of life pretending like everything is fine. Life has lost it’s luster. He was my closest friend and confidant. I could come to him with anything, and he was always there for me. Trying to picture myself living another 30 to 40 years without him feels impossible. God bless you all.

  36. -I am also 16 months on from losing the love of my life,knew her when we were 12 years old,but never got together until we were 31 years old ,god i miss her terribly she was my rock,I can actually say that time does heal a little bit,but as someone says to hold to kiss to hug one last time,we know also that wouldnt be enough dont we,i long to see her again hopefully i will,I think time does heal but i do not want to forget my wife , who knows what the future holds,but will never be the same,sory for my ramblings just found this site and every comment hits home god bless people xx

  37. My husband of 45 years died 13 months ago. I’m not sure if I feel better or worse, reading these stories! But oh, the silence, the noisy silence….some might think it a relief after the long worry and caring and initially I think there was some small relief, but now I know he has really gone and I cannot escape the tormenting thoughts. We had an age gap of 14 years and he was like a father to me. As I saw him as a father, I now, looking back, think I was rather selfish and am full of remorse. I have forgotten all his faults which irritated me and as others say, would love to put my arms around him, welcome him home, massage his feet etc. I never knew I could cry so much and as someone says above, I don’t want my anti depressants, it’s a different mind frame. I have been travelling a lot, which helps, have lovely, helpful children and friends, so many blessings, but this is like being punished and in many ways I feel I deserve it, I would like a cat or dog, something living around the house, but I go away so much. Sleep offers solace, music can be painful, but books are my refuge. “May his memory be a blessing”

  38. My wife passed on 03/13/15. 4 days after my 55th birthday after 25 years of marriage, 2 years and 8 months ago. Recovery is slow for me. I dated soon after her death as someone that i would not have pursued asked me out. It didnt end up good as i hadnt even started to grieve yet. since than i have been alone and find that i need to find out who i am without her. almost 3 years later and i am still wondering. I have done some traveling and there have been some good times but the memories always come back. Anyway it felt good to post this here

  39. First, i must say i am so sorry for all the losses of those posted here. I feel so selfish posting after reading these. I am just hoping, somehow it will help to get it out. I lost my husband of 46 years , on our anniversary, just wam, bam out of the blue in summer of 2016. Granted, it was the best way for him, but he was not sick, i had no warning. He let me sleep late as part of my anniversary gift, and so that day i never told him Good Morning, nor have a good day, nor Goodbye. The first year was filled with a kind of silliness, overall weirdness…i guess from shock..i was busy with the estate stuff and running around getting the legal things done i had to do. i even patted myself on the back when i got thru that first year. well lo and behold, who knew the second year would be a living nightmare. i am finding it more difficult with each passing day . i find it hard to function, to get back to church, to get back to anything. i feel like i am stronger than this, i know what i should be doing, but i find myself communicating by email, and everyone has gone back to living their life— as they should. i can sit in front of tv for hours and not watch a single thing. i can stare at the bookwork i need to do and its as far as i get. not only was he the love of my life he was my best friend— he is the one i would have turned to to ask ‘ok, what do i do now’…..i dont know where i fit in the world now. ….it was always he and i. As far as these holidays coming up, i dont know how to get thru these,,,i feel time flying by as far as missing out, and yet its also dragging when it comes to healing. i have faith it will get easier somehow….but in that each of our circumstances are different, i just felt the need to “ feel sori for myself” a minute. Tho we were not blessed with children, i have a loving family, church, and friends. This year, however, i really noticed how each are busy with their own lives now…tho i am sure would come if i called, theres nothing they can do. i want them to be living their lives- its how it should be. We stay in touch quite well.I just want my life back, but it was my husband that made me whole. He used to say i was the wind beneath his wings— oh, he had that so wrong, as i am stuck on the ground with not even a breeze under my wings…I do know how blessed i was to have had the 46 years with the love of my life. i guess thats it for my self pity party. i wish all of you well, and know i ache for you and your losses.

  40. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. I came on here hoping for good news for year two. What should be our 17th wedding anniversary is in two days. I will spend it alone. The love of my life died almost 10 months ago, and I hardly remember a day. We were blessed with 4 children, who still desperately need me at ages 11, 9, 8, and 7. I cook dinners, I help with homework, I give hugs. I function. I do not want to do any of these things. I despise being a single parent. I was a person with very strong faith, but this life changing event has caused me to question all I’ve ever believed. So many comments I’ve read hit so close to home. It helps me to know that although I feel alone, I am not alone in my emotions. I want to stop feeling sad…I am a practical person who understands all people die, the world keeps spinning. But that sadness seems like my last connection, and I don’t want to lose that. I am 39, I could live a long time yet. I cannot fathom spending the rest of my days balanced on this double edged sword! As for dealing with the every day pain, I will share a story from my life that gets me through it: I have a very low pain threshold. Okay, I am a big baby when it comes to being in pain. (Still not sure how I managed to give birth to 4 children!). Anyway, I had strep throat one winter. My husband was a Paramedic, and worked in the emergency department at a hospital. He, of course, was very good at taking care of us all when we were sick. He kept reminding me I needed to keep drinking fluids. My throat hurt so bad, I could hardly talk. I told him, “I can’t drink, because I can’t even swallow!” His response was, “of course you can swallow, it just hurts.”
    I think of that all the time, when I feel like I can’t go on. Of course I can, it just hurts.

  41. Margaret, your husband died after 46 years of marriage last year and mine round the same time after 45 years. I can’t say “I know how you feel” for every bereavement is utterly personal, but when I mentioned to my brother that I was crying so much and surprised at myself (not being a great crier) he said ‘Well you can’t just shrug off 45 years of togetherness can you? It would be rather strange if you did” and I think that is so true. I too had the months of legal stuff and find things he used to do and now my responsibility rather hard. Yes, the lack of interest in things, the TV watching, but you do say you have faith it will get easier. That is a revealing statement and I think your church, which is a family, will prove to be a lifesaver. For now, I think we should go with the flow and if we feel sad and listless, it is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of, we are grieving, we are mourning, we are entitled to a self pity party, our landscape has completely changed,
    I don’t really like the person I am at the moment, but am hopeful Ibwill feel more complete, When my husband was ill and I spent a lot of time stressed and worried, I told a friend that previously my life had been like a bracelet of pearls, but now the pearls were interspersed with pebbles, no more complete happiness. Now, the black pebbles outweigh the pearls, but there are shining days and I pray and am sure for you, and for me, the beautiful pearls will return, one by one. They may not even be pearls, but something beautiful and shining, lovely days to counteract the darkness,

  42. Margaret, your husband died after 46 years of marriage last year and mine round the same time after 45 years. I can’t say “I know how you feel” for every bereavement is utterly personal, but when I mentioned to my brother that I was crying so much and surprised at myself (not being a great crier) he said ‘Well you can’t just shrug off 45 years of togetherness can you? It would be rather strange if you did” and I think that is so true. I too had the months of legal stuff and find things he used to do and now my responsibility rather hard. Yes, the lack of interest in things, the TV watching, but you do say you have faith it will get easier. That is a revealing statement and I think your church, which is a family, will prove to be a lifesaver. For now, I think we should go with the flow and if we feel sad and listless, it is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of, we are grieving, we are mourning, we are entitled to a self pity party, our landscape has completely changed,
    I don’t really like the person I am at the moment, but am hopeful I will feel more complete, When my husband was ill and I spent a lot of time stressed and worried, I told a friend that previously my life had been like a bracelet of pearls, but now the pearls were interspersed with pebbles, no more complete happiness. Now, the black pebbles outweigh the pearls, but there are shining days and I pray and am sure for you, and for me, the beautiful pearls will return, one by one. They may not even be pearls, but something beautiful and shining, lovely days to counteract the darkness,

  43. I lost my brother five years ago at the age of 43. He was like a Dad to me since my own wasn’t he stepped up and took very good care of me. When he died the entire family was crushed especially our Mama. There are no words to describe the pain! Then Mama died 14 months ago pancreatic cancer. She lived with me & my husband after my brother passed & I had to watch her suffer & die. Four months after her death my 32 year old nephew died of a drug over dose. He was so close to me just like a little brother. I grieve everyday for all three of them. I cry my eyes out almost everyday. It seem to get relief then it always comes back around. I guess I will always feel this way.

  44. I lost my only child june3rd 2017 she was 22 from heroin I found her I do not want to live she was my only reason for living she was my life. I will never be a grandmother she worked at pet smart. All the talk about heroin overdoses and pet smart commercials is too much. Also her name was Holly and now with Christmas coming. I am 55 I just can’t go on therapy does not help I pray to God to take me and let someone else live. I want everyone reading this post to pray to God to take me. Please nothing matters anymore. This will never get better or easier I can’t go outside. I do not belong in this world anymore

    1. I lost my only child Rob on Thanksgiving 2016 to a heroin overdose. I don’t have to write anymore. You said it for me.

  45. Early in 2011, I lost my little brother(31), and a beloved co-worker/friend, and my mother-in-law within 1 1/2 months. I shed MANY tears. But, by the end of the year, I felt like I survived. I made it through. I was unaware that I had been in “Survival Mode”. The next year was so hard. I was no longer surviving it, I was Feeling it.

  46. i am approaching the second year since my wife died unexpected she went to visit our son and died of a brain aneurysm non his front lawn- Married 36 years- every day is a struggle and as busy as i try to be having two children in their thirties i still feel so lonely when i am alone at bedtime, it is inconceivable that i can be happy again

  47. To Everyone, I feel your pain. I lost my husband, my best friend in 2016. I can’t remember last Thanksgiving or Christmas but I made it. I thought the second year would be easier. But this Thanksgiving and Christmas is much harder without him. I miss him so much and find myself crying lots….I want him back and I know that its impossible. We were together and married for almost 42 years. I seem to be crying much more during the holidays. I thought I was moving forward but the holidays have definitely set me back. I have grown children but they have their lives and are busy with their kids activities. I find myself not wanting to be around them because they get frustrated that I can not move forward. They tell me they are mourning too but are moving forward. I just can not move forward as fast as they can.

    Thank you for all your comments and thoughts you are sharing. I am learning from many of you on how to survive.

  48. Anne, and others, so sorry for your losses as well. I have had it with the insensitivity of some “friends” – one in particular… This is my 2nd Christmas without my beloved husband of 30 yrs. I am tired all the time, can’t get rid of this upper respiratory infection, and have gained back most of the
    weight I lost prior to his death. I am just miserable, with no future in sight. This ‘friend’ just had to rub salt in the wounds when she observed ‘you worked so hard to lose all that weight, and now it’s all come back’. Well – grieving does affect your metabolism, and hormones, and you are tired all the time, and often overeat. She never loved anyone like I did my husband, and cannot fathom why I am still grieving – after all ‘he was a very sick man’ and he just couldn’t have lasted longer. So I guess according to her, I should be done with it. with friends like that, who needs enemies. Wondering if others of you who are still grieving the loss of someone you loved very much, have been attacked like this, by so called friends, or family. They sure can kick you when you’re down. I do not just sit home, I try to be active my church, and also am going for grief counseling, and get together with others. Bit – it is difficult – if not impossible journey to take by yourself, after suddenly losing someone you have loved & been with for over 30 years. I don’t have any children or grandchildren either, just my 4 dogs.

  49. Thank you to everyone who has posted. Grief and death is so hard and it is nice to have a community of supporters.
    My mom died of cancer in January 2017 so I am approaching the one year anniversary mark. I was her caregiver for her last six months. (My sister and my dad helped, too.) I had no idea how intense caregiving was until I went through it. It was an honor to be there for her and care for her, but those memories of the last six months are so strong. Her death is still the first thing I think of when I wake and the last thing I think of when I go to bed. It was such an intense time – I was caring for her at nights and weekends and working full time during the day. Even though we had hospice care, there was so much confusion about what was happening to her and if she was getting the right treatment; there was so much decision-making which is fatiguing; the living room where she slept for the last three months became cluttered with medical supplies and bottles of pills. I’m happy that I was able to be there to take care of her (I can’t imagine losing someone suddenly, for example – I was fortunate to have the chance to care for my mom and show her love when she was most vulnerable), but the intensity of it all made it a life-changing experience. So in addition to trying to process her death, I still find myself saying to myself “What happened? ”
    I am grateful to read all of these posts because I don’t think I’m over my grief, yet I have always heard that at one-year I would feel better and grieving will be over. In an odd way, I don’t want to be done because I feel like if I stop thinking about her then that means I have stopped loving her (which I know isn’t true, but that’s how it feels).
    It helps a great deal to know that grieving beyond one year is normal.

  50. This is my first time reading all the posts. I lost my husband 15 months ago. On the anniversary of his funeral, I lost it. I took a lot of pills with the intent to never wake up. The pain was so great. I miss him so very much. The numbness is gone and reality is now setting in. It’s worse now that I’m no longer numb.

    Everyone talks about how difficult it is to talk about your feelings, due to know wanting to hear it or they think it’s time to move on. There is no way to just move on. The loss will always be in my shattered heart. I walk around with a smile and hide my pain from family and coworkers.

    All My family lives out of town. After I woke up from my overdose, I went through intense counseling. The one thing I asked my counselor was “why, why would I do that? It’s not in my character, it’s not who I am”. He said “any kind of self harm is your bodies way of protecting itself from the great, immeasurable pain. That I went into flight mode and tried to protect myself from anymore pain, from the hurt”. I don’t agree with suicide and ending ones life, I at least understand why I did what I did. The lord said it was not my time. With what I took, it should have been my time. The lord has a better plan for me.

    My loss is just as great as it was the day he passed. I love him and miss him so very much. Not only am I different from lossing my best friend, I am also different after taking all those pills. Life is not always what we want it to be and it is hard to comprehend and put into words just how you feel. When I say I miss my husband; the words I miss him, mean so much more than what those 3 words are portraying. I try and fill my time, but would rather be hold up in my house and not face the world.

    I do have friends and church family that will not allow me to stay inside for very long. I am so grateful for them. They are my life line; especially since I live in town without my daughter and grandchildren, or for that matter without my parents, brothers sisters and extended family.

    My faith keeps me standing, keeps me from losing it again. I live each day knowing it’s going to be according to the lords plan. Not my own plan.

    My prayers go out for all the ones who have lost a loved one.

    My friend says we are misfits. We don’t fit into our regular lives anymore. I am just that “a misfit”. Never to be the same, never to fit into normal again.

    I hope my jumbled messy comments can help any who think about self harm. It’s not worth the pain and the change to your self and those around you. But, know that those thoughts are self protection thoughts from the pain and hurting you are going through. It may seem hard but try to change the flight response to fight. Fight for your life. That’s is where those of us who have lost are doing each and everyday. Fighting for our lives, our very existence. Fighting for Surviving life minute by minute.

    It’s the hardest thing to go through. Lean on the lord. He is the best person to talk to. He listens. Doesn’t judge and helps hold us up.

  51. I lost my son 19 months ago and I don’t believe I will ever get on with my life. He was the most funny outgoing person in my life and I miss everything about him. I lost my mother Nov. 2013, my father march 2015, my stepmother feb 2016, my mother in law march 2016, my son may 2016 and his father july 2016 This is one year I will never get over. we lost most of our family. We were short 5 people for holiday dinner in one year. People tell me i have to move on. I don’t want to hear it so I don’t go out anymore. I used to be the life of the party but that person is gone. I too have to act for my 2 remaining children because they were so worried about me. They had a great loss as well My son was larger than life and is missed by everyone who ever crossed paths with him. It does help to know that I’m not some crazy women who doesn’t know how to move on. This is normal feelings. People are cruel regarding mourning time. I do have 3 friends that lost their sons the same summer as mine. I can talk to them. but it ends in a big cry fest. Thank you for sharing your stories it makes me feel kind of normal.

  52. We lost our 16yo child to suicide four months ago. We had no idea our child was depressed or suicidal. Perfect grades and many friends. We are devastated.

    We have another child to care for, but It is so hard to simply function at even a basic level now. Nothing seems to bring us any comfort or happiness. We never thought this type of loss could happen to us.

  53. Emma, nobody can know what it feels like until they go through it themselves. There is no comfort or happiness for awhile and then the first time you find your self laugh at something you feel guilty. The sadness and loneliness gets better but I personally don’t think I will ever get back to where I was before my sons death. They call that your new normal. My other children are adults but they thought they lost their mom along with their brother because I was not there emotionally. Try not to do that to your other child. Fake it for that child’s sake.Cry when your alone. talk about your feelings with out your child hearing but talk to your child about their feelings because that child is hurting real bad too.

  54. I lost my wife almost 5 years ago.
    Breast cancer took her from me and my three little babies (now 13 and 9 y/o).
    We were together for 22 years.
    It was a 16 months battle that we knew she was going to lose.
    Ironically, she was a renown scientist and she did cancer research.
    The first year after her passing was very painful, yet it was what some people called the numbing year.
    Year two was when reality “somehow” knocked on the door; it was terrible.
    I thought or believed that the following year it would have been easier, but I was wrong.
    Year four has gone by and I cry so many times during the day that I feel like it will never end.
    The first 2 years every single memory of every single moment of happiness we had were the worst part.
    From year 2 until now, it’s not the memories anymore…; it’s the loneliness…, the silence…, the emptiness…
    What helped me a little was to think that she was traveling and that she was coming back home in a few days…
    By doing that, I cheated myself a little… but it wouldn’t last much.
    I’m alone for everything…, no friends…, no family…, just me and my little babies.
    Many people have said to me (and they still do)…, “you have your kids and she is in them”…
    Though true, it doesn’t help.
    I’m still trying to somehow soothe their pain…, their need and it’s getting harder by the day.
    Though I never lied to them about all of this, they’ve never seen me down.
    But now I’m starting to feel tired. I feel ache all over my body. I pray every single day and ask God to help me…, not for me but for them.
    People say that when a door closes, God gives us a window.
    I’m still waiting for that window…

  55. Glad to find this article, I was married 55 plus years to a wonderful man. He had a rare form of cancer for
    17 years, but only suffered the last 2 years as life drained away from him. The first few months of the second have been harder for me than any of the FIRSTS of the first year, Miss him everyday

  56. My mom passed last May of 2017 and it will barely be a year this May and I don’t know why but I am having a hard time, harder then when she first passed. I can’t explain why but I find my self at work looking out the window, seeing the rain and my heart hurts as if it just happened. I have lost my dad and two brothers and for some reason right now I feel more pain then I have in a long time :(

  57. I lost my younger sister to sepsis January this year. She had brain hematoma initially, she got sepsis after a month being in a coma. 5th Nov 2017 was the most horrible night when we were called to the hospital and she was just lying there unconscious. We were told of the poor prognosis but we soldiered on and thought she would somehow wake up and get better. Christmas, new year and my birthday went and she was still in coma. 2 and half months without seeing her smile and hearing her voice pains me a lot and now the thought of not growing up with her kills me 1 minute at a time. My younger brother spent his birthday on our sister’s funeral. It is very hard, being the eldest, the expectations and the norm of just dealing with parents grief is heart breaking. I have panic attacks. I wanted so much to go back to that day and be with her the whole time. Its bittersweet reading all the comments thinking Im only on my 2nd month and some took forever to move on. I keep her teddy in my passenger seat, her picture on my dashboard. Im dying inside. Its true, I feel relief reading similar experiences.

  58. I can hardly read through all my tears for me and for everyone’s post – we’re not alone. I wish peace for all our hearts. I thank you so much for sharing. Peace be with you!

  59. My boyfriend Michael passed away suddenly two years ago. I thought getting through the first year would be the hardest but as it turns out year two is just as bad. There is always an emptyness in my heart. I just miss him so much words cannot describe. Michael was a gifted guitar player. We use to play and sing together all the time. Everytime I hear the songs we use to play it’s like a piece of me dies inside. Watching all my friends with their husbands makes me so sad. I feel so cheated. My heart is breaking. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. I pray for all of us that someday we will find true joy again.

  60. We all know that with life there is death. What we never knew was how devastating being left behind could be and continues to be. I am so sorry that we are all here. But it does help to know that I am not alone and unfortunately, there are others struggling as much as I am. The waves, as mentioned still come but now we feel the need to hide them which isolates us more. We are more aware of those around us and of what we no longer have – like pouring salt into an open wound. The little things that you wished you would have done more often, the I love you’s you didn’t say enough, even the I’m sorry, just being able to hold them again, to have them come home. I’m at 15 months 8 days and I’ve become a day counter, as if there’s some magic milestone I need to reach. I need one that tells me when we will be together again. If God gives us a window, I too am waiting….

    1. Yes Tania. I keep asking myself inside and out ‘how can this be’. Looking for an answer. As you say if God gives us a window, along with you- I am waiting. The pain is immense, there is no recipe or road map for this and most of no quick fix.

  61. I appreciate being able to write my feelings down and my heart goes out to you all. I feel guilty that I am still mourning the loss after two years of my brother`s passing. The reason I say this is that he was 80 years old had a good life and I am not on my own as I have a wonderful husband and yet the tears still flow. There was just my brother and I and he was a great guy, down to earth, great sense of humour, a very kind man and I loved him very much and miss him a lot and yet as mentioned I am not on my own. He was also my husband`s best friend but he seems to be coping better than I. I do not like to talk about my grief very much to other members of the family as I feel they will think I should be moving forward. My husband listens and understands and yet I continue to be sad. They say time is a great healer but somehow it does not seem to be.

    1. @@i lost my daughter May 2, 2018. I’m so incredibly sad all day, everyday. I’ve been through Mother’s Day, her birthday, funeral, favorite holiday 4th of July, and a her wedding anniversary, which would have been 11 years. I can’t imagine going through thanksgiving, Christmas and the new year without her sweet smile. If the second year is worst than the first I do t know if I’ll survive.

  62. I lost my son in June 2017. I am finding this second year incredibly hard to deal with. I don’t know why the first year I felt it was all a dream and my son wasn’t really gone. Now, though, it is hitting me that he is never coming back. I cannot deal with that thought. I am so overcome with sadness. I feel like I want to lay in bed all day and would be perfectly content doing just that. I miss him so much.

  63. Dad has passed 18 mths now. He and mum lived in Ireland and me and my two brothers visited them regularly. I was daddy’s girl always was. When dad started to become frailer we asked them to move back to England so we could help take care of dad if he became more frail. But they didn’t get chance to sell it before dad just suddenly fell and passed away. Obviously the first year is hard – everyday life is like a punch in the stomach and the air is sucked so ferociously out of your lungs by the thieving grief, you almost pass out, but because I was used to not seeing him for a couple of months I kept thinking I’ll see him soon. But now 18 mths on it’s too much to bear, I wake up crying from such real dreams. it has suddenly hit home I will never get on that plane to see him, I’ll never be able to bring him home and look after him like he looked out for me. I’m so angry about that now, I could have took better care of him here with us. How I just want 5 minutes with him to tell him he was the kindest most gentlest man I ever knew. Everyone he met loved him, he never raised his voice and was so caring. I took for granted that everyone’s dad was like this, but seeing how my partners dad is, he doesn’t even come close, he doesn’t come to see our little girl despite living not far, my dad lived for my little girl always asking for her on his almost daily calls and despite his bad knees would be on the floor with her making her laugh. She was 2 when he went and she is robbed of her loving gramps. I am not the same person I was. I’m more insular now and dad wouldn’t want that I know but I’ve slways been a bit one bitten twice shy. I’ve hardened, refusing to be let hurt again. Which I fear for my partner as he is so lovely and loves me dearly but I can’t let him in too much. What if lose him too?

  64. Reading these posts have made me realize I am not alone, but do not help ease the unending pain I feel. I am 76 and my husband of 54 years died unexpectedly 3 months before our 55th anniversary.
    It is now over a year, I have dear friends, do many things like tennis and bridge, but cooking, eating and sleeping alone is torture. The silence of my house is unbearable. I wonder if it will ever get better.

    1. 17 months since I lost my beloved Father. I am an adult ‘orphan’ now. Having lost my Mother when I was young @ 29. Nursed and cared for him at home right to the very end. Feeling lost and lonely, my upbringing makes me believe religiously, however I do have doubts, mainly feeling as if I was robbed (which I think is me being selfish). He was my best friend as well as my Father. Both of my parents died on Valentine’s Day – only difference is my Mother passed 28 years earlier – this is tough for me, maybe divine intervention. I shall not know in this lifetime. I wish the pain would subside more on some days than others. Reality for me says it will never completely subside. Love and thoughts to everyone who have spoken of the pain, we sadly have to suffer.

  65. Lost my wife of 35 years on 01/16/17 from early onset dementia. Caregiver for close to 8 years. I’m completely broken. Trying to figure out how I’ll ever move on and know I have to.

  66. My husband died on June 4th 2016 .He was fine ,ran 8 miles a day. He was watching Sport Center I told him I was taking a quick shower and then I’d join him. Our 21 year old twin daughters just got back from a movie and ran in to get me. He was sitting straight up holding his soda and gone.The “widow Maker”., 58 years old we were together as freshman/sophmore since 1977 he was my soul mate confident best friend and lover. I find that even my closest friends don’t want to hear how I’m really feeling anymore. I’ve been told several times that “I should be over it by now”

  67. It has been 18 months since my wife was told that she has brain cancer. On that day I broke down in tears. She passed after 8 months. I have not had a single day without tears since she was diagnosed.Yes, just over 18 months. My crying break downs are now short and fewer, but any little memory can set me off.

  68. Thank you for sharing, It’s been 2 years and tomorrow 1 month. Since the Love of my life of 41 years..went to Heaven. July 9,2016, As a Result Colon cancer.We were married for 31. I met him when I was 11 and he was 13. He came into my life defending me from a bully. I am 54 now. He was my hero,💕Everything reminds me of him, Memories of our 8 year 28 day travel schedule, I was his caregiver, I been so hard to believe.. my superman is no longer here to talk to run ideas by, dinner movies, what our favorite shows like shark Tank, Love dtorties with, Exercise with,fuss with,getaways,dance with, hugs.. alll the above. Each day.. I try to take steeps forward. I have good, great days, then.. ___days.I thank Gid fot the precious memories.. But.. Wew!!!My best friends leaving.. really Knocked the Wind out of me. I keep trying becasuse I know he would want to ,my grown kids need me and my two little grand children need me. Please keep me in prayer as I figure out what my nect steps are.

    1. I can relate to everything you all are saying
      and I know now I am not going crazy.
      I lost my wife 14 months ago, we
      were married 34 years.
      Glenna had a massive stroke right after
      brain tumor surgery.
      She went to hospice, but at least I was
      able to spend every minute with her.
      Your right the first year you are numb.
      The second year I think in some ways
      is worse the waves of gut wrenching
      grief come anytime.
      We have two adult children and want
      to be strong for them, but some days
      I just can’t.
      I am so lonely, but not for another, but
      what I had with Glenna.
      I do have my faith and helps sustain me
      and of course my rat terrier Polly.
      This has to get better and I know in
      tiny ways is has, just very hard to move
      foward with the huge hole in my
      heart.

  69. its been around 17 months since I lost my husband, we were married for 34 Years, he was almost 62 when he died suddenly in his sleep of heart failure. my life has not been the same since I lost him, that’s what I am lost without him and i feel everyone thinks i should have made more progess than i have. I’m very depressed and have terrible anxiety which makes my grieving even worse, I’ve read through everyone’s posts and i can see i am not alone but in my world I am. I don’t know many widows that are my age, I’m 60. every day is a challenger i hate waking up in the morning, I do try to go out and see friends but it really doesn’t help, I’m not sure how much longer I can continue like this, it has to get a little better I can only hope.

  70. It’s been two years next month since my husband died we were together 52 years we knew each other 56 years. He was my first love my only love. He was losing weight so we went to the doctor on Friday they did a CAT scan the doctor came back in with the results said he was full of cancer and all of his organs all of his main organs . There’s nothing that the doctor could do for him he live nine days I think the when the doctor told her what was wrong it killed him knowing he was so bad and nothing that could be done. It’s been very hard the first year it was like living in a blur I manage but it was hard. Now I’m on my second year this is August 2018. He died September 2016. To fast forward I have met a wonderful person. I know there’s no perfect people in this world and I understand that. But he makes me so happy he loves me he so generous so kind he’s just everything I want. But I have three grown Kids. They absolutely do not like him I’ve just heard rumors about him and they give me total hard ache all the time. I’m 72 years old I feel like I have to sneak around and hide out just to be with him it causes so much trouble so much stress we can’t hardly enjoy being with each other because of my three grown kids. They are 53 years old 50 years old and 47. I got on to all three of them cinema text message . Just stay out of my life I’m going to do what I want to do I am in love I am happy he loves me just leave me alone and let me have a life. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But my kids have pretty much disowned me wrote me off at showed no respect for me at all and I believe that our relationship together that’s my kids is damage forever until I die. They say I have chose him over them so they’re pretty much through with me what I need help don’t know which way to turn. Yes I pray I give it to my Lord because he is in charge of all of my life and I do trust in him I always have and I always will. But life sure is hard at times and not having my kids to support me and love me and just be there for me it’s hard but I am a survivor always have been and I always will be.

  71. I lost my amazing husband to colon cancer 2 years ago. We only had 4 weeks from his diagnosis to his death, so it was all terribly fast. He was 45, and had suffered no symptoms until is was far too late. The shock and numbness in the first year was dreadful, but it did protect me from the sharpness of the pain I now feel. The first year was like being shipwrecked – and all I could do was hang on to the wreckage and try to stay afloat as the storm raged around me. The second year was different – clearer, with more good days. But there was a need to accept at a deeper level, and it was very very hard. When you loose a spouse the sad fact is nobody else on the planet has lost them like you have. There is nobody you can really share the loss with, because the only other person with an equal stake in your life has gone – along with all your plans and dreams. I have found the experience to be brutal, stripping, sapping, and completely devastating. Nothing in life has prepared me for this and I’ve been forever altered by it. The pain is physical – even as I start into year 3 without him. There’s a spot right around where my heart is that just aches and aches and aches. It NEVER stops hurting. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, that pain makes it hard to breathe. Occassionally it makes me actually sick. But I think this is probably normal, and it’s certainly normal for me. I know I will have to carry this pain around until I die too, because it will never ease. The only approach is to get STRONGER, so I can carry it more easily and for as long as I have to. The pain won’t shrink, so I have to grow. I’m at the stage now where I’ve accepted this, and I’m finding all sorts of ways to help myself – exercise, meditation, good food, hobbies, time with friends, whatever helps. And I don’t apologise for these indulgences – they are my medicine, my vitamins, my support. To those who are grieving too, I’m sorry for your loss. And especially to those who’ve lost a spouse, I’m so sorry you are in this rotten club with me – the one nobody wants to join. I hope you find what works for you, what helps get you through, what makes it bearable to be alive. Take one day at a time, keep your own pace, and take care of yourself the way your spouse would if only they were here – that’s a great way to honour them.

  72. i should have died not him he was extremely known birdwatcher with so much energy went all over the world I let him go I said be happy do what you want to be happy had more energy than I did walked dogs twice a daytil he died all organs died thar weekend toxic shock pneumonia was in all organs toxic shock syndrome pneumonia was throughout all his body got cancer from 1996 toxic water from crestwood ill water by mayor to make money let water combine with waste from the dry cleaners there had cancer 17 years of cancer

  73. I have not hit 2 years yet. but it is quickly approaching. I long everyday for my husband. I try to live life as if I am ok, but I am not. Everything reminds me of him and I find myself distancing myself from people and things that were familiar to us both. I yearn so badly just to be with him. Moving forward just doesn’t seem possible. Dating isn’t an option because in my heart I am still married. How do I start to heal? it feels like there is no end.

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