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Another milestone without my raison d'être. 
Started by Kirstie
30 May 2016, 3:04 AM

It's been a little while since I've been here, and not a whole lot has changed.  I still struggle to get through the days in one piece.  May 25th was our 25th anniversary.  A day we planned for a long time.  We were going to Akumel to renew our vows.  This would have been our first vacation since our honeymoon without the kids.  It was a very hard day.  In the afternoon a package arrived at work.  25 roses, three dozen carnations, a canvas with our names and some special sayings, a diamond eternity ring, and most precious, a four page letter.  My husband has been gone seven months.  I was floored.  He sent us gifts at christmas and flowers for my daughter's birthday, but that was only two months after he passed.

I know his intentions were pure.  But these gifts have torn the fresh scab off a very large wound, and I am in anguish again. I have only recently been able to make it through a work day without breaking down at least once.  He must have struggled so much - it must have caused a great deal of pain planning these things with the knowledge that he would not be here.  I cannot imagine what he went through.  Have his birthday coming up next Sunday, and then five days later, my birthday.  Those should be a couple of "fun" days.  I want to acknowledge his birthday, but don't know how to do that yet.

I have not yet been able to read the letter.  I want to desperatly, but since these are his last words to me, I am afraid of the finality of reading it.  Once I am done, there will be no more, and that scares me.  

This is such a hard process.  I do not think I have truly accepted that I will never see him again. When I think about the future, it totally freaks me out.  I get a hollow feeling in my stomach and get a very panicky feeling, and my hands shake.   I would give my whole world just to have another hour with him.  I miss him so very much.  I feel very incomplete without him.
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Reply by JennJilks
30 May 2016, 12:49 PM

Ah, Kirstie. You are doing fine. There is no right or wrong for grieving. Understand the gift your husband has given you, accept it graciously in the spirit it was given. Deep breath. 
I would suggest for your late husband that you create a collage in his memory. Find some magazine, and cut out photos that represented him, his spirit, and the gift of your love.

It is challenging to rise up from the well of grief, in order to celebrate his life. You may not be able to do it this year, but, in time you will again. This is a graphic created with a children's bereavement group. They had all lost a parent, and talked about how they felt. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, your shaking and tremours, the hollow feeling in your stomach, are all good symptoms, in that you are recognizing your grief. I went numb and couldn't function after caregiving for my parents. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to cocoon, do so. Do what you need to do for yourself. You are a beautiful person.

He has given you many gift, a life together. You are not incomplete, despite that which you feel (and feelings aren't wrong, they just are there), think of the ways he made you whole when he was alive, and how special you were to him.
Listen to me lecture! Sorry. But it is all in one's point of view. This is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Examine your feelings. How can you change your mindset to attune to your present situation.

You are in one peice. You are perfect just the way you are. You will not be this way forever. You will move through your grief, through mourning and bereavement. 

You can check with your local hospice, as they often will do bereavement counseling, no cost. Perhaps a counselor will help you through this. You are not alone. I don't know your belief system, but I believe that our loved ones watch over us, or are, at least, in our hearts and souls. 

You can do this. You will do this. Give yourself permission to grieve, to mourn and feel your pain. It won't be so painfull long-term, but for now it is raw.
I, personally, try not to mourn loved ones on the day they died, but on the days they lived.
When negative thoughts enter your mind (Yes, CBT again!) push them away, and take out the good memories. Look at the gifts of love with which you were blessed. I am divorced, my ex-husband died the month my 2nd husband has cancer surgery. We will never achieve 25 years as my husband's cancer was not eradicated. We live each day in the present moment. When horrible thoughts enter my mind, I push them away and list my joys, and the gift this day brings. I try to live in the present,, and not grieve the future. /two cents!  I took my M.A. in Couseling. I ended up using these things for myself.

You have such a wonderful porfolio from which to draw good memories. Can you write about some? We would love to hear them.
Hugs from Perth, Ontario.

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