Hi. My name is Cristal. I lost the love of my life on July 2nd. He had leukemia and had no idea. I begged him to see a doctor in the months prior to his death but he would not do it. He also suffered from poorly controlled diabetes. I am struggling to get through the pain of losing him. His name was John.

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Hi Cristal.

Welcome to the hardest part of your life. This is the worst it will ever get, which is both bad and good at the same time. You're going to become a new woman after you make it through this journey.

There are no short cuts. Take this in baby steps, one day at a time. Friends help but rebounds are disastrous (I know from experience) so mind yourself. You're not ok to "move on to another man" until you're certain that you're ready and there's no mental or emotional Fog Of War anymore. You might receive many encouragements to do so but without a Widower to be with, you'll be diving into the arms of a man that will have no clue what you are going through and that's just asking for misunderstanding.

Your friends and family will not understand why sometimes you just can't [whatever it is] today. It's not that you don't want to, it's just that something inside doesn't work anymore right now. You have no idea how long it won't work for but right now it "doesn't even anything" despite your best efforts.

What helped me most was tossing out all the bad memories and holding on to the good ones. What helped me most when I needed some time and space alone (I needed a lot of that) was a walk in the woods or on a hillside with no pavement nearby. Bring binoculars with you if you intend to go a long distance, you might forget where your car is (I did) because of the trauma messing with your head.

Most of what I typed you won't be able to process yet. You'll get maybe a slight impression of it but right now the pain is probably so intense that you can barely feel the world, let alone register that someone took the time to counsel you based on their own lonely agonizing trudge through this mess. I got through to the other side and am ready for a wife in all ways but financial. I hope I can help folks.

Remember to eat.

Remember to bathe.

Remember to just breathe.

Cry when you need to. That need comes a lot at first and lessens over time.

Don't pay the non-widows any mind when they try to demean you for being broken. They just don't understand. They can't know. They are still unbroken. They ask too much of you. You'll get better, but it will take years. It comes back in stages and when whatever part comes back arrives it feels like an epiphany.

I was not ok to go back to work for 2 years. SSI made sure I didn't die in that time. I did try, but I just couldn't. I couldn't even any of it and I kept forgetting or becoming too emotional and closing off (I'm the Implosive type, we shut down when emotions get too strong instead of exploding). You might lean on SSI as well.

We can be here for you in text or you can make an effort to meet with some of us face to face. I find the face to face to be far more therapeutic than letters on a screen made up of blinking lights on a flat surface. Do what you can, when you can. For right now, that's taking care of yourself for the sake of your next beloved and anyone else that is dearly attached to you (e.g. kids, relatives).

Remember to breathe. Sometimes you need to shut everything off and just breathe.

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I am trying to take things slowly and focus on myself. I am planning on going back to work this weekend. I work with an amazing group of people and I think it will help me right now. Some of them are dealing with recent losses as well (a baby, a grown child, and a husband). My boyfriend had a hard life and he had served some time in prison. He was only out 9 months before he died. He was weary from his struggles and had told one of his friends that he was ready to die. I have to believe that he has found peace and is free from the chronic pain, addiction, and depression that plagued him for so long. I guess I am also mourning the fact that he didn't live long enough to get to really enjoy life.

I have some good support from the man who married my best friend from high school. She passed away unexpectedly last January. He understands and his friendship right now has been a blessing.

Right now I can't imagine ever entering into another relationship. I need to be alone for awhile and allow myself time to heal. I need my life to be as uncomplicated as possible.

I want to thank you again for responding and your words of encouragement. It does help.

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