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How Do I "Live" Again?


jean44

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Damn it, I am lonely. I have been lonely for the past 17 months since I lost Thom.

He was the "other part" that made me who I was. Now I am missing that and I have to reinvent who I will be without him.

I was listening to the radio on the way to work this morning and one of the lines in a song I was listening to was "I could never live without you". That is so true.

While I am breathing and exsisting, I am not LIVING. I don't know how to get back to the point of LIVING again. I am no longer happy. I want to be happy again.

I am really having a tough time moving forward.

Just reaching out this evening to see if any of you wise folks on this board has any suggestions to offer.

This is too hard. I HATE CANCER!!!!!

Jean

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Evening Jean,

I have not lost a partner so I'm probably not much help. I always thought Thom seemed an extraordinary man. I am sorry that you are feeling incomplete without him.

I've watched a few couples transform this past few years - from amazing partnerships to single women in their early 60's. I sense that they are lonely as well, but they are staying busy (one was being groomed to take over a thriving non-profit and become a public personality by her husband in his last years), being with friends, taking on new projects and responsibilities, and getting that precious pup. Or some combination of these. They are two and three years out already - actually re-inhabiting some of their previous lives - reinstating traditional parties and events that were too hard. Going places they went as a couples.

I love being in their presence. It's hard reinventing yourself - there's a big book market in that right now (see Sunday's NY Times Magazine!) What have you been doing? What have you always wanted to do? What has anyone ever suggested you do and you thought "Me? I could never do that!" But inside, you thought, wouldn't that be fun!" Make it happen. That's all I've got. And a warm hug.

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Ah Jean........don't know what to say. I look at your avatar and see the joy in both your faces and I hurt for you. I have not lost Fred, but I weep whenever the thought of living without him enters my mind. I have no doubt, I could not move on and ever be happy again. From what I hear, it is important to keep busy ~ VERY busy. Not sure I would even want to. So I have nothing of any comfort to offer you, just wanted you to not feel so lonely tonight. Wish I could help. Hope you know there are those here to listen and who truly understand ~ some of us to some extent anyhow. Others walking in your shoes get it even more. Just feel the need to say - so sorry.

Kasey

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Jean, I'm so sorry you are feeling so lost. I saw your post on Facebook and had to come here. I lost my husband 3 years ago. It took 2 1/2 years until I could say I'm glad I'm still alive. If you want the truth, I don't know how life can ever be good again and that's why I quit coming here. I have absolutely no words of encouragement. He suffered so much the last year of life and didn't know he was sick. I see his pictures in the house and my stomach clenches. I think about selling the acreage and moving to town, it's so much to take care of and I don't even work. I'm in my middle 50's and don't believe I could get a job because my "widow's brain" does NOT work like it used to. All I care about is my dog, my fabulous children and their fiance's and my few wonderful friends, and that is why I am still alive. I wish I had

good words for you and for me. Prayers for us both.

Barbb

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Thank you so much Barbb for your honesty and for taking the time to respond to my post. I understand exactly what you are saying.

It just seems like I am missing something. Like I should KNOW how to move forward. I am so tired of being sad.

I have been to grief counseling and grief group support and I am still in this "funk".

I always knew if something ever happened to Thom I would be lost. I just didn't realize how lost I would be.

I am also having a hard time believing I will ever be happy again and that kind of thinking doesn't give me much to look forward to.

Thanks again Barbb. You may not think that you had much to offer in your response but, it is a little relief to realize I am not alone in my thoughts.

I will keep you in my prayers and hope for happier days for you.

Love,

Jean

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Kind of in a similar situation right now. have done a few dates with people but no luck. I think the best way is to be active socially. church or community volunteer groups might help. I am trying to find a good church right now in my life and dealing with repeat moving on dreams that are recurring randomly. 5 years later.

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Thank you so much sweet Barbb. I will definately put you in my address book. I appreciate you sharing your e-mail address with me.

It sounds like we have ALOT in common, may I add ,unfortunately.

You will be hearing from me, I am sure. :)

Here is my e-mail address if you ever need someone to "listen". ThomJeanH@aol.com. After 17 months, I still can't change my e-mail address (which includes Thom's name). :(

Thanks again.

Love,

Jean

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Thank you Randy for reading my post and replying.

5 years later and you are still struggling. That's what really worries me, I don't want the sadness and heartache to continue for the next serveral years. :(

I agree with you on finding a church to attend. I have been thinking alot about that as well.

I don't think I could have survived Thom's illness and his loss without my faith. It is an important part of my life.

I hope things improve for you too Randy and you are able to move on and find happiness.

Praying for us all,

Jean

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Jean, don't change anything until you know you are ready. My friend came over a month ago and we went through Rod's stuff in the basement. It was so much easier to do it together, if there was something I didn't want to keep, I had her throw it away, the stuff we kept for my son, she put away neatly in the barn. What a blessing she is.

Randy, I hope you find a woman a good as Deb to share your life.

Barb

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its not so much a heartache and struggle as it is just doing what I suggest. I need to practice what I preach more often and that is my new resolution for this year, a mental overhaul of sorts. My last 2 Deb dreams have actually been about moving on in my life now. its been about her moving on without me around and I think this is a sign of sorts. I have friends around town and fellow Employees that keep me straight and narrow in addition to my great caring parents, so....

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I'm so sorry I never posted a reply...I just didn't think I had anything to offer since I haven't lost a spouse...

But I've lost both parents rather young-ish...and I have lost many great friends...and I know what it's like to lose yourself and not know how to live...

I was so lost when my mom died...

You may not know it but I didn't get out of bed for months, don't remember my childrens first days of school or any family events or milestones...I was in such misery and sadness....

It wasn't anything a pill could fix. I was just sad at everything that was lost, and a way of life and living that I would never have again.

After a few months, out of necessity I had to move about, I had to run errands and drive the kids to school and activities and I had to work...and for a couple of YEARS I just went thru the motions.....even with my husband... Rick and I are just know learning how to talk to each other again... I really shut myself off from everyone except my beloved LCSC people who knew what I was going thru...

It's so sad but I lost those years with my kids because I was on auto-pilot...but what could I do? You can read posts from me encouraging others on here and I "sound" great...but truthfully it was just easier helping others becuase I could not be helped. I would be sad forever. Aside from bringing my parents back to life...there was nothing no one could do for me,

I was resigned to living life half-heartedly and broken.

But the most odd thing happened....I began to talk to people- Not with my fingers like here on LCSC or online with my job, but face to face.

I was actually forced into situations where I had to talk and interact with people who had no lung cancer connections.

I started going to an incredible new church and volunteered to teach the 3rd grade class......I hated every minute of it and after time those girls creeped into my heart....those other volunteers creeped into my heart and I began to look forward to it. (I've taught 2 years now!)

I went to lunch with my first new friend in decades and that whole time I kept thinking I should have been sitting there with my mom instead...I was miserable...but she asked me questions and made me laugh and for a bit I was lost in just being ME...instead of any sadness or responsibility to anyone else.

I think putting yourself socially out there is really important.

You may never "feel ready", but you have to try to be a part of the living again....meeting new people and carving out a life with what you are and what you have.

Next week will be 4 years that I lost my mom. I am still sad that she isn't a part of my life but man, I've got a life again...

and today was better than yesterday and somedays I cry when I miss her and other days I wish she were with me...but I'm doing it all on my own and I'm learning how to love life again.

That's my story and I hope some of it helps someone.

I wish all of you were closer...we'd have our own meetups and Randy could cook for us and my son would play the guitar and we'd invite the entire city and just laugh until we peed our pants and at the end of the day, amist sadness or loss, we'd know we were loved and remember the laughs.

(((hugs)))

love you guys.

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Dear Katie,

Thank you for that. You don't know how many of your statements I could be making.

While you didn't lose your spouse, you lost an important part of your life like we did and you do understand the lose.

Your post has helped more than you know. I love you and what you do to help others who has suffered a loss as great as what you suffered.

I too wish we were all closer, I would love to give you a hug, my friend.

I also NEED to start living again.

Thanks again Katie. I know you are busy and have too much going on yet you took the time to express how you feel, hoping you could help us.

That is a true friend.

Love,

Jean

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Jean, when I read your post, I was about to skip over it, because I've never lost a spouse — or a child. So how could I truly know what you're feeling, and how could I possibly say anything that could help?

But yes, there is something, and a couple of the other responses reminded me of it. In the past, I've seen it suggested mainly to people who have lost limbs or the use of some facuty central to "who they are," but it can be applied to any loss, and it's this:

Find someone whose problems and losses are greater even than your own, and help that person.

I know it sounds simplistic, and it takes a shift in your thinking to wrap your head around the idea, but it works. My Aloha,

Ned

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Thank you Ned for your reply.

I have started doing exactly what you are suggesting.

There is a woman here in my hometown that has a husband with cancer who is not doing well.

I have begun calling her, taking dinner to her and her family, sending cards and offering what support I can.

She tells me over and over how much she appreciates me, and you are right it does help.

Barbb, laughing until you pee also sounds like a good idea to me too.

Jean

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jean,

I am watching my father go through the same thing. He is only three months in, but he lost his wife of almost 56 years. I didn't really think it was as hard for him as it apparently is until he told me is going to the cemetery every day or every other day so he can talk to her.

It sounds like you got good advice from everyone. All I can offer is a hug.

((((Jean))))

Love you,

Susan

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Dear Susan,

Thank you so much for your reply. I am so sorry for your loss as well as your Dad's. I have lost my Dad and my spouse to lung cancer, and it is so hard.

I really struggled when I lost my Dad 7 years ago as I was a Daddy's girl. :)

But losing Thom, has totally devastated me and I am still working on "living" again.

Thanks for your hugs and your love. I needed it today.

Love,

Jean

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Jean,

It will be three years on April 3rd. When Bill was diagnosed he immediately went into the "make sure Laurie will be OK mode." He was the strongest man I've ever known. He was diagnosed with SCLC and believed with everything he had that his two year diagnosis was what he was given and was all he was going to get. He was thankful for time to take care of business, saying goodbyes his way and just for the time given. He wrote a poem about 6 months before he died and called it: SOME PEOPLE NEVER GET THE CHANCE TO EVER SAY GOODBYE. My nephew has since put music to it and recorded it. It's a bittersweet memory that I will treasure always.

The reason I mentioned all of this is the reason I am who I am today. I have become a very strong, determined and happy woman. I truly believe it's because I know that's how Bill wanted me to be. When he was alive, we did everything together. We played, traveled, cooked, entertained and just spent all of our time with each other. I miss those days very much but my life is so busy now I barely have time to worry about being lonely. I literally don't have time. I am very active in my church and volunteer two days a week. I have been remodeling our home and that takes so much planning and creating. It's fun and it keeps me young. I also travel whenever the funds allow.

My faith plays a huge part of who I am today too. Without God in my life I'm not sure where I would be or even who I would be. I know I'll see Bill again and he's promised to wait for me.

I wish with everything I have, that all of you who have lost their soul mates could be as happy as I am. God bless you Jean and I pray you'll soon find that life will be ok.

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Thank you so much Laurie for your beautiful, hope filled post.

It's nice to read that you are moving on and you have found it in your heart to live and be happy.

I am sure the key to alot of the grieving process is staying busy. I am trying hard to focus on that.

I am sorry that you lost your Bill but, happy to hear you have fond memories.

I too, have relied on my faith to get me through, especially during the darkest days.

I am confident that someday "it" will get easier to live without Thom. But, I am a person with very little patience. :)

Thanks again for taking the time to read my post and reply. Your words meant alot.

Love,

Jean

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Laurie,

That is interesting. No, I have never saw anyone else spell their name that way until now. :)

Thom was supposedly named after a football player that spelled his name that way. That was the story I got. :)

Have a wonderful week Laurie. I do appreciate your responses.

Love,

Jean

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Jean,

I am so sorry I didn't see this post earlier so I could reply to you my friend.

The words you wrote remind me so very much of myself. The feelings of confusion and the future. I have felt each and everyday for the past 14 months that I am slowly dying inside.

This is why I have sold my house and am moving in about two weeks to be closer to my son. This big house is too lonely and there are painful memories everywhere I look.

I don't think I will ever be truly happy again. Not like I was with Donald, but I will try to go on.....for my son.

Jean.....my email is komi0922@yahoo.com if you ever want to chat. I also have yahoo messenger and will give you my cell number privately if you want.

Lots of hugs and prayers for you dear one! I share your pain.

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