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I have been visiting this site for a few weeks, mostly in the "grieving" forum. I lost my husband in January from NSCLC and am searching for a new path for myself, and for those who can understand the total devastation I feel. Watching him lose his hard-fought fight was heartbreaking for me, the worst experience I have ever had. I find that trying to learn to live without him is almost as difficult. I guess I'm just looking for some support from people who have been facing the same trauma.

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Tk,

I'm glad that you posted. It really does help. It's great to read other people's posts, but you do feel support when people respond to you personally. (At least I do.)

I'm so sorry for your loss. There are many of us here who understand this new path that you're on, and we're here to help each other through. Grief is so unique to each person, yet there are certain things that we all seem to experience and it helps to know that we're not alone in that.

Please let people know when something specific is really getting to you, because inevidably someone here has been there too.

I consider myself to be very early on in this process, but I do remember that the first few months were very surreal. I was completely manic for a few months; other people are the opposite -- I think both states are pretty normal.

Do you have supportive people around you?

Hugs,

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You've come to the right place for support and people who understand. You will find a pretty large sister hood here of women who for the first time in their lives find themselves alone. You just ask and someone will respond. Try to read some of the more recent posts but also go back into the archives. Many stay on after loosing their loved one but some choose not to. Still others like myself and you come when we are in desperate need for somewhere to turn.

Grief is an experience that we all handle differently. There is no wrong or right way to grieve. Just know that we care and there is bound to be someone here who has been there or I should say is still where you are now. I think the one thing you will learn here is that you don't get over the loss of someone you love. You get through it and you learn that in time that pain of loss is so much a part of you that you wouldn't know how to feel without it.

We also have some men who have lost their spouse or partner too. Grief like cancer doesn't discriminate. No one is imune. I hope that somewhere on this board you will find some of the answers you seek. I wish you God's comfort. Lillian

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Thank you for responding and making me feel welcome. I don't think anyone really "gets it" until they have been there, too.

I am in a couple of support groups which have both been very helpful to me. One is only 10 weeks long and just about over now. The other one is on-going and I am making new friends in both. One thing that has bothered me is that there is much talk about moving on to new relationships, particularly the men who have lost their wives. I find that I can't even consider another man in my life at this time in any role except as friend. I'm not sure I will ever be able to achieve the same level of love and closeness that I had with my husband - we were together so long and always very close. Some of these people have only been widowed a few months - how is it possible to move on so quickly? Sometimes I think maybe there is something wrong with me for feeling the way I do and being unable to consider someone else as a partner. But I just know it would be wrong for me now.

Teri, I also went through the manic phase in the first few weeks. I went into a cleaning frenzy, getting rid of all the medical equipment, rearranging the furniture, sorting his clothes. Now I can't seem to do anything at all. My grieving also became more intense after the first few weeks and I have been feeling my emotions just barely below the surface, very fragile.

I have been very resistant to making any decisions at all, and doubting myself when I do try to take any actions. I took a big step (for me) and adopted two dogs from the local animal shelter. I've always had dogs and we lost our last one over two years ago and I felt like I needed the company (I live alone). But I found myself wondering if I was making a mistake and maybe I wasn't stable enough to take on that responsibility.

Just last week I made another decision to have some work done on the landscaping in the yard. I really miss being able to talk these things over with my husband. We always made decisions together and he was so logical and supportive. I miss that so much. No one else can fill that role for me.

I do have other friends and family who are supportive, but I don't think they truly understand how deeply his death has affected me. I have always been considered a strong person, and I'm sure they still think of me in that way. But I don't feel strong at all anymore. I feel like a large part of me died along with him and I will never be that strong person again.

I feel like I am just rambling now and feeling sorry for myself. Thanks for listening. It is good to be where people understand.

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I just want to welcome you and let you know that you are among friends here. Many of us understand. I was married to my husband nearly 36 years and he passed away a little over two years ago. As you have said, no one really understands until they have been through it. Look forward to getting to know you.

Sue

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There is nothing wrong with you. Everyone is different. I too can't understand how someone can move on to someone else so soon. Personally I chose to never have a serious relationship with a man again. Sure there are a lot of things I miss but I am finally content with myself.

I was forturnate enough to have two good men in my life. They were very different from one another as was our relationships. One ended in divorce and I lost my Johnny to LC over 5 years ago. I miss Johnny everyday of my life. He was a part of me and I don't feel completely whole without him. My husband was a good man and when he died a little over 2 years ago I grieved for him and still do as well.

I guess my point is that I decided that a relationship with another man would be unfair to all of us, him, myself and Johnny. Another man could never be more than second best. I think a lot of people rush to find someone because they don't know how to be alone. I think to that they are trying to put off the grief and think that by having someone else they won't have to live with it for so long. I'm sure many of them would tell you now that it didn't work. They still have to grieve the loss of their loved one and get used to someone else at the same time. No one can be replaced.

Give yourself time. Your loss is very recent. You can't expect to get over losing someone who has been so much a part of you for so long that quickly. You will learn in time to trust your own judgement. You will also find that you are much stronger than you think.

As for it getting worse as time goes on you will come to reallize that too is part of the grief process. I really believe the first few months we are in shock. I know I kept feelilng like I was going to find something that was going to wake me up from the worst nightmare of my life. It felt so temporary. My mind and heart couldn't accept the finality of Johnny's death. I felt like there was a wild animal inside of me eating it's way to the outside. When I got to the first aniversary of his death that is when the reallity really hit me. I warn you it is hard but each time you go back that one step and fight yourself forward you get a little stronger.

We all agreed in another post with Rywhen she said you have to reinvent yourself from the ground up. You will go forward but the life you have will be a new life. It takes time to build that life and you will also learn that no matter how much you move forward the love and life of the past will always be at your core.

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Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, Lilyjohn. You write beautifully and make some very good points. It is good to hear that I am not alone in my thinking. Sometimes it does feel that way to me when I hear others talking about starting a new relationship. I still feel very connected to my husband in my heart. I am not ready to let go of that feeling yet, maybe never. I just miss him so much.

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I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my husband on Halloween and while the bad days don't come so close together anymore, when they come it's pretty bad. I went through the same phase of doing things like crazy, rearranging, remodeling, you name it. I think it's about trying to fill the time to think of things other than our loss. As a very wise woman on this site posted many times-- just try to keep busy.

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I think men in general move into new relationships much more quickly than women. In most of the things I've read, they really caution not to do that. It's a way to escape the lonliness, but I think it probably hinders the grief process for most people. A woman in my widows group is in another grief group, and she had the same experience -- listening to a couple men in the group talking about their new girlfriends just months after losing their wives, and it really upset her. People are just different.

About the decisions. I've come to the conclusion for myself that if I keep changing my mind about a decision, I just don't make it yet. I've come up with all sorts of things I think I should do -- from work on the house, to going back to school, to changing my car, to booking a big vacation -- on and on and on. They're all distractions at this point, and I realize that what I really need is to just focus on today. If I need to do something to my house or really know that I want to do something, then I move on it. Otherwise, I set it aside for another day.

Enjoy your new dogs! I live alone too, and wouldn't know what to do without my giant puppy beside me! They're a great source of company and comfort.

Hugs,

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