I can relate completely to every step in your day as if it were yesterday, its been almost 2 years now for me and I can say that I still go through many of the things as before, just as you describe them, but not as much and as frequently.  I still see a counselor but infrequently, I lay around in bed but less often, and I do sleep through the night most often and only wake up once in a while at 4.  I prefer to sleep because I often dream about my wife and i prefer that over being awake.  Im not sure that's necessarily good or not, but learning about grieving I know there is no right and wrong, just what it is. 

I will add that after 2 years of pretty much doing nothing I am beginning to take small steps towards doing somethings and sorting out some direction to go in from here - alone.  Not much is as interesting or exciting to me as life seemed to once hold, but Im beginning to believe that will change with time as well and certainly look much different than I had once believed or expected it to look like.  This reinforces what Ive heard from others, that things as we knew them once now have changed when we lose our spouse, and the question remains how will we change ourselves to adjust to that new reality. 

But the thing that caught my eye of your post the most is the birds....LOL  OMG, I remember that so vividly, my wife passed in June and I have a ton of birds outside, and Id even find myself shouting out the window, because I was so grateful when I did sleep though it wasn't often during those first months, I ll be damned if I wanted to be woken up, especially at 4 in the morning in bed without my wife.  God, talk about misery.  Well that doesn't happen as much now Im glad to say, the birds are still there, and I still wake up much earlier than I use to though not at 4, I like it now and its a good thing, which may seem strange to you know for me to add this next part, and that is I still think of her and miss her every morning, but its different now than it was then, and its ok. 
Would I prefer her to be here?  Of course, but God grants me the serentiy, and I accept.  And here is what I thought of you about the birds, and when they are singing in the morning to me outside my window then and now....it is God's way of saying I am here, dont worry my son, I have a plan and one day you will understand, until then there still remains joy and sorrow in this life and now you simply are more aware of that pain and happiness.  You wanted to know more and now you just as he allows, but with that knowledge comes pain, just as he sorrowed as his son was crucified by his own creation.  We are growing and maturing in our spiritual life to become more in his likeness, but it was never meant to be easy or pain free.  And those birds are just his way of reminding us and making it a little bit easier for us to endure.  And now to think of it, I haven't really been hearing them outside my window as often lately as I did before...mmmm I wonder. God bless and drawer nearer to him and he will reveal the truth as needed.  I love you Teresa -forever

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Comment by rachel_micele on May 19, 2015 at 10:18pm

I just want to send thanks out to Mark and Stewart.

Thank you Mark for your continued posts putting out your raw feelings. It is so hard for others to understand this road of hell and walk with us on it. This experience is just so awful. I know for me the world is still stopped from the day my love died while life has moved on for everyone else in my life. So people really engaging on this website helps me feel less alone.

And to Stewart thank you for talking more about the last 2 years. I am glad Mark asked for more details as I wanted to know myself when reading these blogs. This helps in attempts to muster up hope that maybe someday this nightmare will become livable.

Comment by stewart p on May 14, 2015 at 11:33am

Here is nuts this all is, give you an example.  I mentioned I had been going to this group for a year, and went back the other night after not going for 9 months, just to check in see whats going on.  As we're leaving in the parking lot a few of us are talking, smiling and laughing, and the we all really laughed when we realized what we were doing.  Here is a woman, who lost her son, husband and grandson inside 24 months, another lady lost her husband of 40 years and me with my wife of 20+, leaving a bereavment meeting, with a little joy in our hearts.  How wierd is that?  If I had been driving by a group like that 3 years ago before my wife died I would of wondered what the hell must be wrong with those people. 

Comment by stewart p on May 14, 2015 at 11:21am

Well first off the bad news is that magic eraser that could make it all go away doesn't exist.

As far as the "rawness" of that pain/hurt your feeling right now, nothing I tell you or say will make it better, but yes there is reason for hope.  Remember if you've ever gone running or worked out in a gym, and you begin to feel that pain and ache in your muscles?  You have 2 choices, quit or push on.  For those who push on, later afterwards in the locker room you find the pain has subsided, so the next time you go work out and feel that strain in your muscles come along you simply ignore it and finish your set.  The repetition of that process lets you be comfortable and aware whats going on so it doesn't get in your way and keep you from moving towards your final goal.

Well that first few months, year of the loss is painful indeed, but it will not kill you.  So stick with it, and in time however long that is, you realize that you can survive, you can come out on the other end empowered and stronger that you ever imagined was possible.

I miss my wife every day, think about her every day, love her more now than ever, and cry every time just like now saying this, but it also makes me smile and rejoice in this life and chance we have to suffer and endure, and still survive.

On a practical side, the first year I spent a lot of time laying around watching tv, especially the first few months, I think we go into shock and are mostly numb for a while, thank God.  And thank God for Netflix LOL  Must of watched SOA and Breaking Bad at least 3x through.  Point is you do what you need to take care of yourself those first few months and get through the initial shock.  It hurts like hell, sucks and all that and there is nothing you can do about it. 

I wouldn't recommend drugs/alcohol or relationships either.  I never did any and Im glad I didn't.  Ive seen others who have and that just opens up a whole another world of hell.

I did go to a bereavement group 2x a month for the first without fail, that helped huge.  Its one thing to post on boards like this, that helps too but you need that human connection you can find in a group.  After a year I stopped going and began one on one counseling, not so much for the grief but because with this new life I don't know what to do and I thought it might be helpful to sort things out.  What do I mean by new life?  Well, I use to call my wife, tell her when Id be home, or we'd plan together what we were doing the weekend or rest of the day, where to plant a shrub, what show to watch, what to have for dinner. 

Now I do that alone on my own, and at first I couldn't figure out for myself what I wanted, nothing seemed to matter or was important. And its not, at least not in the way I use think it was.  Life is but a glimmer of things to come, its short and brief, and having experienced loss as you have simply makes us more aware of that reality, and it takes some time to adjust.

I would recommend leaving things as much as they are that first year, you dont know what you will think or feel like in a year from now, you might surprised at yourself. I know I was.  I moved a few things out, not much during the first few months, not sure what I even got rid ofll  Now I put everything in the garage, gives me a second chance to look through things at another time in another frame of mind before separating the things to discard from those I wish to keep. 

I did finally move all her clothes from our room to another closet about 9 months later, to make "our" room more my own.  It might be 30 days for you, could be a couple of years, its ok whatever it is.  I just like the idea of putting it in the garage for now before getting rid of anything entirely, but making our room more my own at this point in time for me, helps me begin to take some of those painful/aching steps towards acceptance and creating a new life for myself. 

Journal, posting on sites like this, it all helps, bereavement group huge help, but nothing, nothing makes it go away.  The key to discovery to find out how we can adjust to make ourselves come to acceptance, and maybe even find a little joy now and then.

A remarkable speech by Joe Biden I watched on youtube the first couple of months, because you know those first few months I was reading, watching videos trying to learn/understand make myself feel better/less why this happened.  All that bs, which you know what, doesnt matter because I still have to deal with me.  But anyway, Joe Biden, and Im not a fan or anything like that but he lost his wife and child very early own, and he gave a very emotional speech and in the youtube clip he says to the audience, I promise you, there will be a day when the thought of your loved one will bring a smile before it brings a tear to your face.  He's right, it  can bring a smile and a tear both at the same time.  Weirdest thing ever and the only way you'll know it is to experience it.  Im sure Jesus suffered as any man would on the cross, and he endured.  And not anyone of us can know the pain, or the joy that may follow if we haven't been through it ourselves.  Now I dont want to suffer death on the cross, and the loss of a spouse doesn't seem far behind but somehow I have to believe there is something more being revealed to me through this whole experience, and it is though as painful as it is.

I hope some of this makes sense, it has helped me just writing to clarify for myself where I might be at and from where Ive come.  That alone is a miracle, thinking back on those first few months after the loss, I actually survived and am here able to talk about it.  Looking back from where you to seem to be at currently, I never would have thought it possible, I know it doesn't  feel that way to you either.  But it is and Im here 2 years later able to say you will survive, you will move forward, life will be different, and it will take time to adjust, allow your self the time, and have faith.  Sorry, you have to go through this.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

BTw, crying really helps, they say there is healing in those tears, so embrace it.

Comment by Mark on May 14, 2015 at 9:41am

Hi Stewart, I read your profile and saw that our wives lost their lives to the same culprit.  I am very sorry for your loss.  

It is good to see someone who has made it two years out and is posting something positive and supportive here.  I think most people ( Me included ) that are actively posting are still feeling the rawness and immediacy of the loss and are reaching out for any bit of hope and support.

I know it's different for everyone, but can you tell me when you actually began to feel things changing in a positive way?  Of all the things you have done or experienced in the last 2 years what was the most helpful and what was the least?

Sorry, for playing 20 questions, but your profile is very close to mine.  Your farther down this unpleasant road and just need some idea of how best to navigate it.

Hope you have a good day, I am glad the birds don't bother you anymore.

Mark

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