“But It’s Painful,” I Cried.

Are they baby steps or are they giant leaps?  I am such a bag of mixed emotions.  There are huge changes happening around me and here I am, almost paralyzed again.  I miss my life.  I miss my best friend.  I miss being loved.  I miss being “in love”.

I have to make critical decisions about my future and doing it without the guidance of my husband is brutal.  Don’t get me wrong, I am quite capable of making decisions but I second guess myself at every turn.  I’ve talked to some family and a few friends, and everything makes sense, but I can’t seem to move in the direction that I need to.

I read a lot of blogs, many of my friends write them and I generally shake my head and think, yes, thank you for articulating what my heart feels.  Most of them write from the same depth of sorrow as me.  I started this almost 18 months ago as a place of self-healing.  Boy was I wrong.  There is no healing from this.  What I mean to say is that it is survivable, but healing is for illness.  I’m not ill, but I guess you could say I’m heart-sick.  I get so frustrated with myself.  Deep wounds such as the one my husband had from his surgery that became infected, needed to heal from the inside out.  I’m afraid I’ve covered my wound with a Band-Aid and it never healed from the inside first.  Society reminds us that grief is a stage, not a place to stay.  I’d most like to say to society right now, F-CK YOU.  This hurts.  Layer by layer my soul is being eaten away by this grief.

No, I have absolutely NOT lost my faith.  I can’t wait to get to heaven – but I have to.  People move on with their lives and here I am.  What a miserable place to be.  My doctor asked me recently if I thought I was depressed.  I should have said, probably.  I don’t believe I am clinically depressed but my life without him is depressing.  It’s very difficult to look for a future when there really isn’t one that I can envision.  I’m tired.  I am tired of feeling like I am chained to a broken heart.  I’m tired of thinking about what am I going to do?  It’s exhausting.  Right after my husband died, I slept very well.  I surprised myself, even.  But the last year or so have been awful for a full night sleep.

I hope my decisions for the future are ones that he will agree with.  Because already, one of our future plans for me has changed but it’s like his death, out of my control.   I know for sure, I am beyond sad.  Many widowed bloggers talk about the second year being the most difficult.  Today I know what they mean.

I have to say that I have always felt that writing my feelings down on paper was cleansing and since starting my husband’s CaringBridge® and sharing his illness and our thoughts and fears with people, I have continued to do that.  I like reading blogs where there is hope and a realization that everything is going to be okay.  I loved writing those types of updates – they were real, honest, raw feelings filled with hope.  I don’t seem to be there at the moment though.

I want to move at a quicker pace and not stay stuck in these feelings.  Despite our conversations, I know he would want me to be happy – I just don’t know what that looks like right now.  I took a step in letting go.  I deactivated his Facebook.  It’s not like he could respond to anybody.  It hurt.  It was painful and I cried.

13 thoughts on ““But It’s Painful,” I Cried.

  1. I wish I was there to hold you and hug you. I know it wouldn’t make your pain go away, but I would at least feel like I could do something for you. But, I have ears and my heart is open to you, my dear friend!

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  2. I can understand how it hurt very deeply to remove FB. It’s a chapter closed… My heart hurts for you. And you are correct… A band aid doesn’t let a wound heal. There are many difficult days, months ahead. I’m here for you, but I can’t make the hurt go away and the decisions any less overwhelming and monumental. Know I love you and support you; I just wish I could do more. Baby steps my dear sister; one step at a time. Xoxo

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  3. Oh my dear, I so get it. The wound is soul deep, and it is healing from the inside out, but at a glacial pace. Your words have been my words, and will probably also be them again in the future. It sucks that we are on this journey, but I am grateful to share the path with you.

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  4. My dear friend – like Hope said – I wish I was there to give you a giant hug and sit & drink cups of tea/coffee together & just chat .. no words would make the pain any less but I want you to know I am here (even though an ocean separates us) … just keep writing because I believe it helps to get those feelings out & don’t ever apologise for not being upbeat in those entries. I really think by sharing those raw feelings so very honestly you would also be helping others to nod their head & shed a tear as they read & thereby not feel so alone in their own grief. ❤

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  5. Oh, my now you have to hear from your “dear old Aunt Sandy”……I am reminded that “someone” said some time ago that “We are as happy as we make up our mind to be!” I reflected on that and I see some truth to that statement. I have always been a pretty happy person generally speaking. Not that I don’t eperience sadness; I do but it is usually an empathy that I feel for others who have good reason to feel sad. With that being said, I hope you have the capability to be happy and pull yourself out of your bootstraps as “they” also say. Don’t be afraid to admit that you might need some clinical help to set you free from your sad burden. There are people, whether psychiatric or psychological in the nature of their business or a grief therapist that may be able to give you the keys to reason out your pain and help you escape from its grasp on your life. I think generally you are a happy and reasonable and sane person and I just love your thoughts and sharing and caring ways. You have hit a HUGE SNAG that is not insurmountable in and of itself. It just needs guidance to help you to shrink that mountain into a small molehill that you can handle and learn to recover that wholeness that is inside you. God will send you the help you need….be still and you will know however it comes to you. Maybe I am one of those tools. I hope I have helped you in some way. Besides being your aunt forever I will always love and admire you. And now I face a challenge of my own….moving to Texas!!! A very difficult transition for Uncle Bob and I but I am beginning to look forward to it! Cheers! Carry on! Help! Help! Help me Rhonda! Help! Help! Help me Rhonda…..to coin a phrase I recently sang…..OOOOOOXXXXXX

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  6. I lost my husband 4 years ago. For the first 6 months people would say, “You seem to be holding up well.” And I’d think, Am I? I was numb and in shock. The second six months I spent crying and sleeping. Quite often I’d panic about something and say, I can’t do this! I’m not the handy one, the organized one, the neat one… It was overwhelming much of the time. Last year I realized I was also mourning the life we had together. The dreams we had… It has been a process, trying to rebuild my life. I haven’t let go of his facebook page… I sold his boots. I haven’t sold or donated his cowboy hats. I’m redecorating. I’m getting there.

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  7. Praying for you… a widowed friend shared with me… you have never been stronger and have never been more vulnerable. Being a widow is so full of these clashes in truth. Of you ever need to chat I am a blog away… my heart echos so much of your agony.

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  8. You have a talent of putting everything your feeling into words – inspiring to us yet helpful to you?? I enjoy reading these because it brings up more memories of Keith and my parents passing.

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  9. Your friends are brilliant, and I am grateful that you have so many other people to turn to who know specifically the type of pain and grief you are experiencing. Even if I was there, I know it wouldn’t matter or help, and that things would still be painful and difficult for you. The only thing I would add to your comment about depression, is that there are different types, and “clinical depression” is not how I would describe your experience. I don’t know what type of doctor you were referring to (your PCP?) and if so, I’m not sure how qualified a family doctor is at diagnosing or treating something like that. It’s called “situational depression” in that the reasons you have this intense sadness is mainly because of an event, the loss of your husband, (and the illness leading up to it, and your GREAT LOVE for him) and as such, it is treated differently. Talk therapy does help in different ways than blogging (although I do believe the writing is therapeutic). My mom mentioned that a professional can help by giving you advice from a different perspective, perhaps simply objective rather than subjective. I have found it to be beneficial AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, has helped to minimize the time it takes to process or get thru something. A grief counselor naturally would be versed in the stages of grief, and altho I’m sure you have looked at “grief pamphlets” maybe at the hospital or doctor’s office, there really is no replacement for the sense of trust and bond that you build with a professional who cares about your well-being. There is no payoff for them aside from the insurance and copay, so the services they provide are for your benefit alone. (I mean like in a friendship, there is give-and-take, but with a therapeutic relationship, it is quite one-sided and THAT is to the benefit of the patient/client.) Also, it should be covered by insurance. And even if you’ve previously thought, “I’m not THAT BAD, I don’t need professional help,” it is the opinion of MANY practitioners that ALL HUMAN BEINGS CAN BENEFIT FROM TALK THERAPY, whether they have clinical, situational or other types of depressive illness, or even none at all, and just need life coaching. I will give you an example: I have been seeing a counselor monthly for over two years, (he has a PhD in psychology and is the former director of the battered women’s shelter here, so very qualified) and currently my sessions center around getting me to be more organized in my home and office, and the things that prevent or cause it, because it really bothers me! I/We set goals and he is sort of an accountability partner in that. He will also help me to figure out why things bother me. I do have a diagnosis, but since he is in private practice, there are no restrictions about what we are to discuss (no official treatment plan other than a general one), and yes this is covered by insurance. So since I am not there to counsel you myself, and since I am not even qualified, I would encourage you to seek help for yourself from a qualified professional. There is no shame in doing so. A pastoral counselor is one thing, and I have gone that route as well, but their method always leads in one direction, to the Bible and God (and though there is nothing wrong with that “it can’t hurt and it might help”), sometimes people need a little something more than this angle, or in addition to it. I am encouraging you because it has been a really great thing for me personally. I have been in and out of counseling for over 25 years and never regretted a moment of it or a dollar spent. Start by either googling, looking in your phone book, asking your physician or church, calling your insurance company, or looking it up on the provider finder on their company website. #encourage ❤ Love you cousin…

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