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The love of my life died unexpectedly 35 days ago.  Without him I am not alive, I only exist- begrudgingly.  I am 37 years old.  How do I trudge through the rest of my days without him?

My beloved was the most exceptional human being on the face of the Earth- unpretentiously brilliant, devastatingly handsome, marvelously inspiring, the greatest lover I have or will ever know.  He knew me better than I knew myself.  He was Superman.  And he honestly cared about me, truly loved me.  He's the only person in my life who ever has.

I'd like nothing better than to just curl up and die, but I don't have the freedom to indulge in that luxury.  I am a single mother of a 14 year old boy whose father's involvement is vague and sporadic at best.  I have no family save my son (I was orphaned at 9), who refuses to tell me he loves me.  He says he's not sure he does.  I am the best mother I know how to be- have lavished him daily with love, attention, and affection; take an active interest in his education; have been careful and selective about all the influences in his life, and the only social events I've been involved in are ones that included him.  The only times we've been separated are the four times I went to see my beloved (the last time which I also interviewed for jobs there), each time for less than a week, and my son stayed with a beautiful christian family he's literally known his whole life.  The only man he's ever known me to be involved with is my deceased beloved, who lived in another state.  The day I was supposed to move to the state where my beloved resided is the day he died.

Before we found each other I believed I was damned to not know love in this life, that perhaps I was being punished for transgressions in a past life or lives, that I was in Hell.  When we found each other, it was so beautiful, so perfect, not only did it make all the horrendous abuse and neglect I'd been through worth it, I thought maybe it was the universe balancing, that he was my reward (as it were) for living through it and still striving to be a good, honest, decent person instead of the drug addict, thief, wastrel most with my background end up being.  Now I'm almost certain I am in Hell, that he was only given to be taken away- a most exquisite punishment.  

I wanted to give him everything his heart desired; wanted to wait on him hand and foot.  There's nothing he couldn't have asked or had from me.  As long as I could look in his eyes and see that I brought him joy, that to me was pure ecstasy.  He was everything I could've dreamed of having in a man and more- noble, chivalrous, generous, compassionate, strong, sensitive...  I kept telling him it was too good to be true, that I had to be in some loony bin somewhere having a delusion on Thorazine, that I was so afraid he would go away.  He'd say he wasn't going anywhere, that it was going to be okay.

Nothing will ever be okay again.  He's gone away forever, and all I can think is how wonderful it would be if there were a nuclear war, or an asteroid, some cataclysmic event that would kill both my son and myself so that maybe I could be with him again.  I've rubbed so many tears away from my eyes trying to hide my devastating sorrow from my son and coworkers that I've rubbed a good deal of my eyelashes out.  I've taken a second full-time job trying to occupy my mind.  Nothing helps.  I miss him terribly every minute of every day.  For more than two years we talked every day, countless times throughout the day.  I couldn't even go to his funeral, though with this second job I should be able to visit his grave soon.  I'm hoping that will help me stop having these crazy fantasies of how he could still be alive.

I was his, mind, body, and soul, and he loved me.  And he was mine, and I loved him so, so, so, so much.  He was my heart.  I only exist now.  Without my heart, every day is pure agony.  How do I trudge through every day of the rest of my life without him?  

Please note that I would never be so selfish as to commit suicide and rob my son of his mother.

Originally posted to Black Heart on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Grieving Room and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know you, but I am embracing you. (36+ / 0-)

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    You will come through.

    My heart is with you at this moment.

    Check out my new blog Romney the Liar right here.

    by Yosef 52 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:10:12 AM PDT

  •  I expect no words will help... (34+ / 0-)

    And I have no useful advice.  I won't burden you with platitudes.

    I wish you well.  I hope in time your pain becomes manageable and that the good memories outweigh the loss.


    If the founding fathers thought corporations were people why didn't they just say so?

    by Notthemayor on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:17:32 AM PDT

  •  For many years now (51+ / 0-)

    We have had The Grieving Room on Monday nights where we speak truth as you have spoken from the heart.  The time varies from 8:00 PM EDT to much later.

    It might help to scroll down and choose one of the diaries and read some of the comments.  Here you will find people who are following the grief journey, too.  We do not pretend that there isn't terrible pain.  We do not ask people to get over it.

    PapaChach has written some beautiful things for years, too.

    I am so sorry.  


    Your son will grow.  I always said that my three children had to become independent and they loved me so much, they had to fight hard for it.  Now, so many years later, we are friends.  It is a hard time as a teenager.  I wish you both good luck and to know that each day is a new day and a fresh start.  

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:22:09 AM PDT

  •  I will republish you to The Grieving Room (25+ / 0-)

    and add a tag so others maybe will see your diary.

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:28:36 AM PDT

  •  Speechless (23+ / 0-)

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you found your way into this community. Please continue to post and let us know how you're doing.

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:03:39 AM PDT

  •  I have no words (28+ / 0-)

    but perhaps Joe Biden may give you some hope:

    (((Hugs))) to you.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:43:15 AM PDT

  •  I am sorry for the painful time you are going (18+ / 0-)

    through right now.  

    I am glad you have your son to keep you focused on moving forward.  

    Take time to grieve.  Take good care of yourself.  

    Healing only comes with passage of time.

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:46:15 AM PDT

  •  I am sorry for your troubles. (40+ / 0-)

    But you are wrong about nothing ever being ok again. I lost the love of my life to a log truck some years ago. And his son, at 12 years of age. I was 50. Do I think about him every day? Most days. Do I miss them? Always.Will I love again? Not like that. But I can, and do love, although have not been in an intimate relationship since his death. Will I be loved like that again? Who knows. Its a high mark to hit.
     But that statement is a self limiting choice you are making. And perfectly natural a month out. Just don't cling to it as the years go by.
    I feel lucky and privileged to have been loved and loved like we did. I'm not going to doom myself to nothing ever being ok again. You shouldn't either, and I hope as time passes, you will amend the thought to something that allows for you to be happy.

    As for your son, I think most 14 year old kids, regardless of gender, have periods of hatred for the parents. Stay constant in your love, he will eventually discover the joy and wonder of it.

    Cry. Rant. Kick trees. Yell at God and the Universe.
    The heart and spirit are resilient things, when we allow them to be.

    "Authoritarians are attracted to equality because it justifies treating everyone equally shabbily." ~hannah~

    by emmasnacker on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:22:28 AM PDT

  •  I'm so sorry for your loss (17+ / 0-)

    Pain like you're in isn't about deserving. You don't deserve it. It is random and unfair. You were loved, and that you did deserve.

    I wish you better days.

  •  I can't (18+ / 0-)

    say that it gets better.  But it does turn into something much more tolerable and you find ways of staying close to the one you lost.  I don't know if you have any beliefs about the afterlife.  I talk to the love of my life who has died just as I did when they were here and I have found, in various ways, they do answer....

    Thinking of you and praying that you find comfort and peace.

  •  I am so sorry for your loss ... (18+ / 0-)

    you don't tell us the circumstances of his death but it was certainly a devastating thing to happen right before you were to go be with him.

    I, however, need to sound some alarm about your son. He, too, is feeling the loss, whether it is love for your beloved or loss of your happiness ... or even a mixed bag of sadness and jealousy.

    You say

    I was his, mind, body, and soul, and he loved me.  And he was mine, and I loved him so, so, so, so much.  He was my heart.  I only exist now.  Without my heart, every day is pure agony.  How do I trudge through every day of the rest of my life without him?  

    Please note that I would never be so selfish as to commit suicide and rob my son of his mother.

    But please note that you are robbing him of your emotional presence ... can you share any of this with him so that he does not feel left out of your life. Might he provide you with a partner in your grief?

    There are groups to help you with your grief ... the group here or through churches or the American Cancer Society has groups that welcome all people who are grieving, some hospices also have grief groups and counselors. There is life after loss, but it is different and it takes a while to come to terms with both the loss and the new life.

    A question you might consider asking yourself: How would your beloved want you to take care of yourself for the rest of your life?

    Hugs and prayers.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:09:24 AM PDT

  •  Wow - sweetie it will get better (29+ / 0-)

    I was just like you. The love of my life died in February of this year. Actually, he committed suicide. He suffered from untreated depression and bipolarism.

    I had exactly all the same thoughts that you have had. And expressed way more eloquently than I could. I thought about writing a diary about it after Patrick's death but kept waffling about it.

    The same thoughts exactly - thinking I must have been terribly awful in a past life, wanting to go back in time somehow and prevent him from doing it (I worked out very elaborate scenarios in my mind for exactly how this would happen), going over and over and over his last phone messages and texts to me, bursting into tears for no reason constantly.

    Now. Listen up. You are NOT being punished, that's not what this is. The world is a hard and unforgiving place, that's all. You have done NOTHING WRONG. This grieving is very difficult, and you are going to be doing it a long time. But please, don't lose hope. I am past the very worst of it, although to be honest, not entirely. But it DOES get better. Only time can do that.

    God these things sound like such platitudes I am offering you.

    But believe when I say it will get better eventually. I know you don't think that right now (God, how I know that) but trust me, it will.

    If you need to talk or anything, I will be happy to offer you my email address or phone # offline somewhere.

    I am SO SO sorry for your loss. I mean that in the most heartfelt way. BIG BIG huggggggs.  Love, Rose

  •  14-year old boys (24+ / 0-)

    I am very sorry about what happened to your love, and sorry that you have to deal with a surly teenager at the same time!  But have no fear, I have been through this with two boys who have come through the difficult teen years and we are very close now.  (one is 32, one is 20.)  I am now a single mom to my third boy, who just turned 15.  We are the only two in the house, and he is totally wrapped up in his own life, and has nothing to say to me.  We have long, one-sided conversations in which I get very frustrated!  The only time he is interested in what I have to say is if it is something good for him!  But I take heart, knowing that this is only a stage.  You know that your son really loves you, and maybe his behavior is just part of his reaction to grief.  Take care.

    "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." — John Muir

    by carolr51 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:14:42 AM PDT

  •  OH I'm so sorry (12+ / 0-)

    I know what it is like to have your life torn apart like that, I lost my beloved 4 years aao after 26 years together. If you need to talk, please message me through this site and I will send you my email or phone number.

  •  I lost my wife May 18th (35+ / 0-)

    So 6 weeks ago. My only daughter is 27, and she lives in NZ but has been here since May 10th and leaves next Tuesday when I will be alone.

    We loved each other very powerfully but we didn't put each other on pedestals - life is richer than that and we acknowledged that we were less than perfect and as a result the love just went deeper. We were a work in progress to the end.

    Now I have so many unfinished projects as I don't have her guidance - I had no idea life could be this hard. There are times I just have to walk out of the room - physically leave because the loss I feel is simply too hard. But at least I can do that.

    I am amazed at how much pleasure I get from giving away her clothes - she was renown for her sense of style and stunning good looks. Not all curvy - super elegant and classy. And I am a jeans and tee shirt guy that didn't care if she looked like a truck. What mattered to me was she had fun, she enjoyed dressing and damn she was good at it. I have no attachment to her stuff - that was not the basis for our bond.

    Now she is gone I am having to acknowledge that I did, in fact, have some clue to what she was about. She changed me, opened my eyes and educated me in so many ways.

    TS Eliot says We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

    We are still here. We are not supposed to live our entire life in one moment. We have so little control over our future but we must do what we can.

    Bertrand Russell said "Hell is to drift, heaven is to steer". I know when my wife died I was plunged into hell, as my steering wheel had been torn from my hands. But I also know I am not helpless, I am still alive, I can still swim.

    And there are times my wife seems to come alive inside me and encourage me and make suggestions. Next January would have been our 30th wedding anniversary. She is pretty deeply embedded inside me if I can just make the effort to let her through.

    I love the honesty of your 14 year old - what a treasure that he trusts you enough not to lie about his feelings. I do believe the truth will set us free. In the years we explored each other that was a tough mantram for us - and in the end that is what did the digging and gave our love depth. That was what allowed us to fight without hurting each other. To fight with love. But it doesn't work if you don't listen just as hard as you tell - there is no truth in just telling. Life is shared.

    Thanks for sharing.

  •  Devastating sorrow comes to many of us (16+ / 0-)

    at one time or another in our lives, and to some people it comes multiple times. That's the deal in this imperfect world; some things just cannot be fixed and you have to go on living while broken and not the person you once were.

    You have already stated that you have somebody to live for despite the devastation of your life by this death--your 14-year-old son. It's good that you have him, and it is too bad that he is at such a trying age, and possibly is not much comfort to you.

    After  devastating loss, your life cannot go back to being as it was (I know this: it happened to me too). Try to make your life about things other than your brokenness. I am not saying this will make you feel better, and I'm not saying it won't. It is simply a good thing to do.

  •  {{{Black Heart}}} (10+ / 0-)

    I'm so very sorry for your loss.

    If the formula for water is H2O, is the formula for an ice cube H2O squared? Lily Tomlin

    by Texnance on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:28:58 AM PDT

  •  I am truly sorry for your loss. (11+ / 0-)

    Perhaps you can find the will to move forward by dedicating the remainder of your days to the spirit of the affection you shared?  To move towards a love of self equal to the love you had for your dearly departed?  By embracing a more powerful and sincere love of yourself, you will attract others to your life who will help to reinforce your self-love.

    I have walked a parallel path to the one on which you are about to embark.  There may be days, especially now at the start of your trek, where each step forward feels like the weight of the world is tethered to your waist, taking every erg of energy within you to take that step.  It does start to get easier, but it takes time.

    Blessed be.

    -8.88, -7.77 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:33:49 AM PDT

  •  As a mother of two teenage sons, I can speak to (15+ / 0-)

    what you are experiencing with your son.  Unfortunately for you, at a time when you desperately need someone to validate who you are, your son needs to separate.  It is difficult at the best of times, and this certainly isn't the best of times.

    You have invested your best efforts over the years.  You have given him the strong foundation he needs, and now he needs to try his wings.  Now, the most loving thing you can do is let him try those wings and be there to provide comfort and support when he fails.  And you have to allow him to fail, and to succeed, from his own efforts.  With luck, once he feels confident in his abilities, he will be able to turn to you from a sense of strength and demonstrate love in the language that is easiest for him.  (are you familiar with the 5 love languages of teenagers"?)

    Grieving is hard work - what has worked for me has been to search for books and web sites that validate what I am experiencing.  Ignore anything that communicates that you are doing it "wrong,"  and find the ones that make you feel that you are not alone in what you are going through.

    {{{Black Heart}}}

    Please, call me "Loris."

    by s l o w loris on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:37:54 AM PDT

  •  this path (13+ / 0-)

    You wrote: "Nothing will ever be okay again." and it goes right to my heart. I know this feeling well. I have lived with it now for more than three years. I cannot tell you that it goes away, only that I have learned to live in the spaces around that grief. Be gentle with yourself and surround yourself with people who will likewise be gentle with you. The path of grieving is not an easy one but you are not on it alone and for me, that has made all the difference.

    "All politics is personal"

    by laurustina on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:01:55 AM PDT

  •  Grief sucks (11+ / 0-)

    There's no way around it. I've loved and lost too, but I won't bother with the tripe of it's better to have...
    Time is the only cure I know of. Try not to be bitter. I spent the better part of my life in drug and alcohol abuse then got clean then the best friend I ever had died.
    Was it punishment? No because everyone dies and almost all experience loss and deep pain.
    Over the years I've had wives leave, family and friends die and my last friends left on this earth are my kids I was a lousy dad to and yet they love me way more than I ever could have hoped for or even deserved, but they're grown and see I loved them. Your son will too in time. He'll  be like any teen who will someday long for his mother's love and embrace. Time will see to that and to your long overdue relief from grieving.

  •  I am so sorry for your loss. (8+ / 0-)

    There are no good words at a time like this. I have not lost a partner to death, but three and a half years ago I lost my father, and I remember that fog of "how do I go on?" My dad and I were best friends. I didn't know how I was going to understand the world when he wasn't in it any more.

    This community helped enormously. There is a blog here called the Grieving Room (I see you've been republished there already), and there are people there who are more than willing to listen, help, support, and let you cry on our shoulders.

    I tell you this from three years out from my own savage loss: It will get better. It will also take a while for it to get better. Allow yourself to grieve. It's okay to be in the slump right now.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Humanities explains why this is a bad idea.

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:23:08 AM PDT

  •  Be assured you will smile again (6+ / 0-)

    life and your son require you to carry on.  Each day is a seed of healing though you may not see that now.  You have had the gift of real love.  Work saved me.  My friends saved me and finally i saved me.  you will too.  Trust that you will endure and in the end unbelievable as it seems you will come out of this a different but stronger deeper more compassionate person.  Love.

  •  Sorry for all that you are going through (8+ / 0-)

    There were times in my life (I am over sixty) when I felt that I was in a boat breaking apart in violent. forty foot seas, in a thunderstorm with skies as dark as deep,  black coal.

    We hang on.

    And yes, we learn.  Sometimes difficult almost unbearable lessons.  Sometimes sublime lessons with epiphanies.  Do not miss out on your future epiphanies.  I have a lot of the difficult lessons going on myself right now.  Each day I find something sublime and hold onto it, if only for a moment.  Then I am able to sleep.

    My best wishes.  And, courage.

  •  Dear Black Heart (9+ / 0-)

    First, tell your son how you feel. Confide in your son - children are much smarter than we give them credit for sometimes.

    Second, it doesn't mean what you think for your son to not be able to say he loves you.

    One of my sons says he doesn't know what love means and never says he loves me.
    I love him and tell him so.
    We have a relationship that we speak truthfully to each other and he has wisdom for me (he's not 14, he's over 40)- and I've learned through pain in my life to have the walls of denial broken down, thankfully.  

    Both your son and you have clearly suffered much pain. You have each other and although the pain will always be with you from your tragedy, both you and your son would be a little better for a relationship that is one of listening and understanding and acknowledging this terrible vulnerability we all have.


    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:56:39 AM PDT

  •  Mrs. Beneldon passed away May 10th (12+ / 0-)

    Shortly after Day 40 for a brief yet definable moment, I felt the distance between her passing and Now. I realized that both, this would be the shortest time to have passed between those moments between the Passing and the Now that would ever be, but also, that there was, indeed, time passing and there would be more and that because there is more time to pass thru, there is more for me to do than to simply ruminate on the past times.

    As I said, it was brief, but it was there. I've had many leave the room moments and I still find it difficult to physically go to bed but I know that these are the most difficult times and I still go on. I go on towards a future now when the distance moment isn't so lamentable yet not nearly as brief. For the days have to get better because the days still keep coming converting all our Now into immutable Past. And I still have to keep going. I have to take the present and, in 24 hours, make a day of it.

    How I spend my time is irrelevant to the past; I've recalled enough of my days past to know what the word waste means but I also have had days that were mantel worthy. I spent nearly 5000 days with my Beloved as her husband (and over twice that before as her torch carrier) and a great deal more than half have been the best days of my life. I couldn't begrudge the future without her as she has been a part of me for decades and thus how could she be without me now? I can make my future days with her still as she has shown me ways to craft my days with meaning and purpose and construction. I can make my future days a waning crested erosion of life, or I can learn what she taught me about love and life to produce days that allow for the possibility of more best days to come.

    The Past doesn't care what I do but I think my Future does. Your son is your future and perhaps now, he is fashioning his days without Loving you but he is a boy. A boy who needs his mom anyway. That love, that wholeness that your Husband showed you could be possible in your life, is there within you still to show your son what a life with Love in it can be - and is!

    Go ahead and cry. Go ahead and leave the room if you have to. Go ahead and regret the now immutable moments ago for a few minutes. The Moment is still too Now to do otherwise, but know you still go on and that you'll go on whether your days are done or not. Your son will go on also making his days with the brick and mortar of what you showed him to do with your days - that's why the future cares about what we do!

    It's all a matter of faith but I could be wrong.

    by beneldon on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:00:12 AM PDT

  •  Peace. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:31:09 PM PDT

  •  losing the love of your life... (6+ / 0-)

    feels like the death of the entire human race. You wont ever be over him, but it does get better.

  •  Turning your love into an anchor around your neck (5+ / 0-)

    First let me say that I am so sorry for your loss. I've been through it. It does seem as if the world is suddenly a cold, gray place and that nothing matters but getting to see your love again some day.

    And you're right to admit to your feelings and try to get them out there.

    But please don't think, and don't act like, you will never have a moment's happiness again. Your love for your man was something beautiful and life affirming. If you really live the rest of your life the way you think now that you will (and I know that's how you really feel, right now) you'll turn something beautiful, your love for each other, into something that injured you irreparably by not allowing you to live a full life without him. I'm sure the man you describe wouldn't want that.

    I hope you'll be able to recover, eventually, and make the rest of your life a memorial to him. Go to places, see sights, experience feelings, and enjoy raising your son-- all the things that your love can no longer do.

  •  I am a widower and know what you are going thru (8+ / 0-)

    When my wife died I felt like the person I needed most was there the least.

    Her grand daughter helped. She was 6 years old. One time when we were driving she pointed to a cloud and said "That clouds look like angels wings." She was always seeing things in clouds.

    "It sure does.' I replied barely looking as I was driving.

    "Must be grandma looking over us, huh." she replied.

    i said, "Yes." as my eyes filled with tears.

    To this day I think of my wife as an angel on my shoulder helping me get by.

    I dived into work right away after the funeral and while it did not make me forget my sorrow it did help me get thru it. It happened in 93 and I remember her/us many times a day.

    You will get thru it but we never 'get over it'.

    Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:34:50 PM PDT

  •  I lost my first husband when I was 34 (13+ / 0-)

    You survive by taking it one day at a time,and sometimes one hour at a time.

    I left my job and my friends in NYC because our landlord decided he wouldn't rent to a single woman--yes, sure, I could have fought it but when you've just buried your love, you don't have the strength to take on a sleazeball landlord.  We had also just lost my maternal grandmother a month before--she had lived with my parents since the day I was born.  So I pulled up stakes and moved with my parents to FL, which was a disaster in many ways.

    I had expected support and sympathy, but from my Dad I got only "Don't cry and upset your mother." So every night I closed my door, pulled a pillow over my head, and sobbed in dead silence.  Eventually I made friends through sf fandom and the SCA, where I got the support I needed that I wasn't getting at home.  Your son at lest hs the excuse of being 9. My dad? Well, Mom was the center of his life, and once he realized I wasn't gonna be a clone of her, he stopped being interested.

    As I said, you do it an hour at a time. Don't make any decisions hastily.  Give yourself time to mourn. The Victorians were right about wearing mourning veils and black armbands for the first 6 months as a sign that here was a wounded, fragile heart. Today we're expected to take a brief leave, then go back to work as if nothing happened.  To smile and behave normally as if we hadn't had the core of our soul carved out.

    Eventually, it does get better. The tsunami waves that engulf eventually weaken a little so you can swim with the tide.  One day you find you're not being battered and can ride the grief like a surfer.  It never goes away completely. My first husband died in 84. I remarried 4 1/2 years later. And today, sometimes I still cry and miss him, though my second husband is someone I love every bit as much.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:57:44 PM PDT

  •  "Keep crying" (10+ / 0-)

    That's what my husband said to me when I lost my 24 year-old son 6 years ago.  I'd held myself together til after the service, the scattering of ashes and family departed.  The next morning I asked my husband, "Tell me what to do?"

    I also lost a man I loved very much 5 years before that.  I was devastated.  Then I met my husband when I was 54.

    Somehow I got from Point A to Point B and can now say that life is good, even though a piece of me will always be missing.  Always.

  •  I'm so sorry (11+ / 0-)

    for your loss, Black Heart. Everyone has already said the things that can be said. Time makes it all bearable.

    My husband died in 2009. After his death, I went through a whole lot of stuff - a foreclosure, a complete inability to find a job, homelessness, temporary housing in a terrible, isolated place, where in the winter of 2011 I spent every day wanting to die. Thinking about how I'd kill myself. The inability to decide kept me alive. Then the awful landlady threw me out of the isolated hovel, and I was homeless again - for the third time in 3 years. I moved to a more populated area, a place where I have a lot of friends, and I'm more of a part of the community.

    I'm still not right, but I'm better. I don't want to die any more, but the financial/housing stuff is a constant drain.

    I do have a 2.5 year old granddaughter though, and the knowledge that my presence is going to be important to her. Someone has to give the kid her political indoctrination, and it's going to be me. I'm working to expand my writing into a career, because that's one thing my husband desperately wanted me to do.

    I miss him every day of my life - but he is always with me. Today I smile thinking about him. He had a dreadful form of cancer, and I'm not sorry he's on the other side of the pain, but he was my soul mate - the one person on this planet who always got me. It's a big loss. There is, however, life after loss.  Your son needs you. Act as if you're okay - and eventually you will be.

    "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day." ~ Harry Truman

    by susanthe on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:25:06 PM PDT

    •  this really struck me (10+ / 0-)

      Maybe a month after Julie died I said almost the same thing to my mom, "I know that no one will ever get me the way Julie did".  I don't believe that the universe would be cruel enough to limit the amount of love we can experience in our life, so I believe that some day I might get lucky and fall in love again, but I'm sure that no one will ever get me the way she did.  I feel incredibly lucky to have felt that validation and to have been seen in that way, and sad that it is gone.

      We talk in terms of conquest. We still haven't become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. Rachel Carson

      by MoonWomyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  widower here... (15+ / 0-)

    unexpected, not quite as abrupt as your situation, but pretty sudden and shocking. our children were 8, 3, and 15 months at the time. this was in 2007.

    if you haven't already, try young widows bulletin board for commiserating, support, venting, friendship, and resources. it was a lifeline for me back in the day. their site address is

    you are right - at the moment, you are in hell. i used to tell people i didn't believe in hell until lauren died. i am so sorry for your loss, i know how excruciating the pain is, especially in the early days. it's truly unimaginable unless you've been there.

    it's far too soon for you to be able to realize it, but you won't be in hell forever. that may not do you any good to hear, but put it in the back of your mind - you don't need to believe it in your hear right now and you can't.

    some basics, which you may have heard from others: drink lots of water (yes you can come close to dehydrating from crying so much, or at least it seemed so to me), force yourself to eat even though you're not hungry and try to eat healthy. try to get some exercise. i just mention this because we all focus on the spiritual/emotional aspects of the loss but taking care of yourself physically actually matters, too: right now your bloodstream is virtually overloaded with stress and adrenaline, eating well, hydrating, and exercising will ease the physical toll. it won't help your broken heart, obviously, but it matters still.

    a day at a time...a moment at a don't ever get over it but i promise, it won't be this bad forever, and you will smile again some day.

  •  I don't know how we will get through this (16+ / 0-)

    but I know we will.  I lost my beloved wife in early April.  There are days when I barely have the energy to get out of bed, but I do.  We will do this because it is what was put in front of us.  This is our life now. I really do believe that all that joy we had with our partners still lives inside us.  I know I get little hints every now and then.

    Please add me to the list of people you can contact privately.

    We talk in terms of conquest. We still haven't become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. Rachel Carson

    by MoonWomyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:13:57 PM PDT

  •  I was widowed at age 29 and was crazy for a couple (7+ / 0-)

    of years, but I faked sanity. It worked pretty well, though it didn't alleviate pain.  

    The thing is--as I came to understand much later--is that the people who have moved on are ok.  

    "'s difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

    by Mayfly on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:04:22 PM PDT

  •  It's true (7+ / 0-)
    There is life after loss, but it is different and it takes a while to come to terms with both the loss and the new life.
    As PapaChach said, you can't hear and accept that right now, but keep it in the back of your mind for when you can.

    Eventually, one day a few weeks or months from now, there will come a moment -- a single, isolated moment -- when something beautiful will happen and you will feel a brief touch of joy. Maybe it will be a cooling breeze on a sweltering summer day, or something a friend says that makes you laugh, or suddenly noticing a particular way in which your son is growing into a strong, mature young man.

    Whatever the cause, it will happen. And when it does, you will begin the process of believing that eventually, far down the road, you just may come out of this with something that feels like a life to be lived.

    After that first moment, it may be a long time before the next one. But eventually, there will be more of them. And they will start happening more often. And then will come a day when it's not just a moment, but a few minutes, or an entire afternoon.

    Right now, it's going to be unmitigated hell for a while. There's no way around it. The only way any of us ever get past it is to go through it. And posting here was a good step to help you do that.

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:07:52 PM PDT

  •  The same thing happened to me. (8+ / 0-)

    My beloved dropped before my eyes and was gone in minutes.
    Many stages of grief and strange happenings.

    Wail in the shower.  Rinse your hair.  Step out refreshed.

    I understand you.  I know.  I know how it will be going forward.

    The shoes.  The shoes where the first thing I gave away.  It was like starting all over again with the grief.  His shoes went to the Alamo reservation.  Who knew that he had perfect Navaho feet?  He would have loved that.  I sat in the yard with that Indian and wailed.

  •  I cant really say anything of comfort (10+ / 0-)

    but maybe make one part easier. After 26 years, I still can't define love. I dont tell people I love them, because I don't want to lie. But I care about them immensely. I worry about them...feel sad when they're gone and scared when they might be hurt.

    But I don't know what "love" is, really. So I don't say it. At this point in my life i can actually explain this to people, but it took a very long time before the words came. decades literally. From what i'm told, what i feel and do is indeed love.

    So please, if nothing else, remember that a lack of those words doesnt mean a lack of emotion, or the lack of the feelings. It actually may be a sign of pretty high intelligence, if he's figured out how powerful it is.

    note: I have an autism-spectrum disorder. I have NO IDEA what to say in this situation. Ive re-written this three times already, because i want to say something. So if it seems awkward or rambling...I truly apologize. It just made me too sad, that I had to say something. anything hopeful really.

    Already, I've a kingdom in my prospects, a land to rule. What to ask for? Perhaps a frozen scone...

    by kamrom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:00:42 PM PDT

    •  Love is what you would die for (4+ / 0-)

      and if the one you love dies first you get stuck with the pain. Pain exists to draw our attention to needs. Not wants, needs. I struggle to tell the difference, even in a relationship.

      It goes both inward and outward to the same extent - the deeper it goes the more there there is to give, the more that is given the deeper it goes. If it hurts, go deeper, to go deeper give more.

      But when you lose someone to whom you have been used to giving, who is no longer there to give it back we get left in agony until we adjust to the changes. And maybe we will never have a companion in the same way - we may remain single and love that. I watched my mother go through hell after my father was killed in a car accident, but after a few years she really flowered again, all on her own. She developed a huge network of dear friends.

      I am lucky to have a network of friends, plus sharing right here helps. I am enjoying this thread for the healing through the sharing.

  •  I detest this but.. (6+ / 0-)


    Didn't even do that right.

    There's a path out of darkness.
    Follow it.
    At only 37 you have more to give.

    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:11:11 PM PDT

  •  I am indeed sorry for your loss (6+ / 0-)

    I hope with time, you will move on and be able to look back at your shared four times with your love and remember them happily.

    But I felt sad when I read about you and your son.  It sounds as if you feel he isn't reciprocating enough for all you've given him.  I too have a 14 year old son and have been a single mom from the start.  I too have given my all to raising him, providing for him, and making countless sacrifices.  I know it's so hard sometimes.  

    As I posted elsewhere in this thread - my son won't even accept a hug from me at this age, and I haven't heard the words "I love you mom" in forever.  Probably won't hear them again except perhaps in the form of x's and o's on a birthday card when he finally feels comfortable doing so in his 20's.  I figure the way he expresses his love for his mom is by taking out the garbage when I've only asked 3 times, instead of four or more.  Or telling me dinner tasted good.  Or behaving so nicely when we're around my parents.  

  •  We know nothing of your loss (6+ / 0-)

    and will never ever truely understand it the way that you do. We can offer empathy, a should to cry on without judgement, encouragement, prayers should you want them best wishes if you prefer those instead.
     I will offer you Pandora's gift. Hope. Right now you're going to have to fight for small victories. The small stupid everyday things that make you smile. Hope comes in smiles and laughter. Each one will be a small victory to build on. Live strong and make him proud. You can do it. He believed in you. Believe in yourself.

  •  {{{{{black heart}}}}} (6+ / 0-)

    It's all I've got.  :(

    Well, and this:  He would want you to get after life and live it.  You've got to do that, and you've got to do it for him, because it makes you happy.

    Not the same kind of happy as being there, but it can be happy all the same.

    Get your hugs, get as many of them as you need and keep going.  This will get better.  It won't go away, but it will get better.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:33:18 PM PDT

  •  I'm so sorry. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields, PapaChach, sockpuppet

    Not one of us has been through exactly your loss, but most of us have lost a loved one. It is Hell.

    My condolences, and I hope your pain lessens with time.

    The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

    by emidesu on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:35:15 PM PDT

  •  I am very sorry (3+ / 0-)

    I am very sorry for your loss. Please just take one day at a time for now. if you really feel down,consider calling a crisis line or seeing a grief counselor or therapist.

  •  different things tangled together (3+ / 0-)

    Black Heart, I am so sorry for your loss.

    This isn't so much about the grief as it is something that seems to be feeding on that grief. I don't know that I have the right words to communicate this stuff, but I'll try.

    One of the things I've learned to recognize in the last couple of years is what it looks and feels like when two or more different things get tangled together - how that can make even the most difficult things even more difficult to move through.

    I see two things tangled together for you:

    1. One is the loss of your beloved.

    2. The other is what you describe here:

    Before we found each other I believed I was damned to not know love in this life, that perhaps I was being punished for transgressions in a past life or lives, that I was in Hell.  When we found each other, it was so beautiful, so perfect, not only did it make all the horrendous abuse and neglect I'd been through worth it, I thought maybe it was the universe balancing, that he was my reward (as it were) for living through it and still striving to be a good, honest, decent person instead of the drug addict, thief, wastrel most with my background end up being.  Now I'm almost certain I am in Hell, that he was only given to be taken away- a most exquisite punishment.  
    To my eyes, these are two different things.

    Meaning: Your loss and grief/pain from it is one thing.

    This other thing (the beliefs you describe in the quoted piece) is something else. It is not the same as your grief.

    The way I see it, this second piece is clearly feeding off of the deep pain of your loss. And I do mean feeding. Think of it (this second thing) like an opportunistic entity that does feed on pain. Think of it like a parasite that has gotten itself deeply entangled in your grief but is not the same thing as your grief.

    I don't know if there is any way you can disentangle these things. It sounds like your love was tangled with this thing to begin with, so it has extremely easy access to your pain/grief through that initial doorway.

    But if there is any way for you to disentangle this thing from your grief, you might find ... I guess how I would put it is you might find that your grief is "cleaner." Not less painful, but possibly a cleaner pain (like a terrible wound that is not infected versus a terrible wound that is infected) and slightly less horrific for that.

    •  Lovely and insightful. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michellebird, Rosebuddear

      I'll remember this the next time I'm called to comfort someone grieving.  By listening carefully for the secondary pain/s.  

      This is valuable insight you've given to Black Heart.  I hope she can pause over it to maybe let it sink in a little bit.  Although I'm sure right now everything just seems crazy-making.

      I'm deeply touched by the outpouring of support in response to BH's effort to reach out.  I had no idea so many Kossacks have been enduring such losses and pain, even recently.   My heart goes out to all of them.  Your stories you've all written here are beautiful.  Lovely tributes to your loved ones who are gone.  

      May you all find peace and comfort in the loving memories of your beloveds who have passed on.    It will get easier, but that is hard to hear right now, I know.

      Blessings upon your houses.

      "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

      by sockpuppet on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:45:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this times a billion (0+ / 0-)

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:25:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  one other thing (6+ / 0-)

    i commented earlier but a few people here have reminded me of something else i wanted to say in hope it might help somehow.

    after lauren died people would say things to me like, oh, it must be even worse to deal with this when you have kids to raise.

    NW Terri above mentioned moments will come, out of nowhere, when you will feel a moment of joy.

    anyway, one day about six or seven months in, i had the two youngest out in congress park and we hopped on the old restored carousel there. at some point during that ride, they started laughing uncontrollably. the day was warm and sunny and i watched them laughing and for a moment, a few precious seconds, i forgot lauren was dead, i forgot about the awful pain, about how awful it was that these children no longer had their mother, and i watched them laughing and i felt genuinely happy. it didn't last long, but it happened.

    to put it impolitely, kids can be a gigantic pain in the ass under the best of circumstances. but of the many amazing gifts they have to offer is this: they really do live in the moment. and when you are around them, no matter how miserable you are, you can't help it, they eventually pull you into the moment once in a while. and they do it again and again, eventually.

  •  We all will mourn and be mourned... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, TrueBlueMajority

    I don't know how, but we (you, me, and every human being ever born) will get through our immense grief. He wouldn't want you to give up. Your son needs you (and he loves you, even if he won't say it). And you will find someone else to share your life. Someone is desperately looking for you. Please hold on long enough for them to find you.

  •  Prevail my friend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hi Angel

    I am sorry for your loss angel but believe me it isnt the end, no matter how much it seems so at the moment. I've been through similar, and so I can assure you it just isn't. Life does go on, and time eventually will heal the wounds, but the real outcome of the process is yours to choose and work towards, and yours alone. How the future pans out is down to how you play the game in the days to come. I took my granddads words to heart (eventually after sinking into the bottom of a bottle and swimming there for a while). He told me you only make steel by sticking it in a furnace then hammering the hell out of it on an anvil. He was right.

    In the weeks ahead there will be days when you just want to curl up in a ball and give up. Dont give in....once you are down get back up or you may just stay down for good. The wounds you have now will hurt like hell, and will probably carry on hurting for a good space yet....but they do heal if you cowboy up and bully on through and dont give up. When you give in thats when they dont.

    This is the time you call on your mates, and the real ones do everything they can to help out and prop you up. If they are there for you now then they are your mates....if they arent then they werent real mates in the first place, and sod to them.

    Beware of the carnival barkers and snake oil salesmen of faith, especially evangelists. They will spot your weakness and hurt, and use it to sell you more of their empty platitude filled false hope. There is no solace and salvation in what they peddle, and the mental mindf*ck they will wrap you up in can be hard to shrug off once they have their claws in. Faith and religion really are the opium of the masses.....they make the pain go away in the short term but they sure as hell screw you up in the end.

    Your son is like me at his age. Almost certainly he will come around eventually....almost always the rebellion gets old and with age comes the realisation youve been an arse and need to make up for what stupidity you inflicted on your loving parent(s). Dont loose hope angel...teenagers are all messed up but the hormones sort out eventually and the brain kicks back in.

    Keep that heart beating and open to love and hope. Theres a new day tomorrow, and who knows what it will bring along? Get back up on your feet, hold that head up high, and keep on walking, eyes wide open, brain free of religulous psycho-babble, and a smile on your face.

    My love as a fellow human


  •  I cannot express to you how sorry I am... (4+ / 0-)

    for your loss. My mother passed on the 18th of June so qucikly that I am still reeling from the suddeness of it. My heart goes out to you.

    Let me assure you that your son will one day know how much you love him and what you are doing for him. As a former 14 year old son I took everything for granted. Of course my mother loved me, she was my mother. I promise you that the indifference you perceive in your son will pass when he gets older and is more comfortable uttering those words that are an anathema to teenagers when speaking about their parents.

    May peace be with you, and know that in your time of sorrow you are loved.

    To the world you are one person. To one person, you are the world.

    by p a roberson on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:26:42 AM PDT

  •  I am so sorry (3+ / 0-)

    So sorry to hear this.  So sorry for your loss.

    You may not believe it now, but things will get better.  Your love will sustain you and you do have a future.  Life is heaven and hell -- there is so much pain but also so much joy and love.  

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:04:33 AM PDT

  •  Saw this scene last night (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, Rosebuddear

    and it sprung into my head when I read your diary:

    Many of us have been in your shoes, when our joy has suddenly been shattered, it seems permanently.  Will you get over this loss?  Probably not.  But, over time, the pain will recede to a dull ache.  And, one day, maybe, someone else will appear who is worthy of your love, and who loves you in return.

    I don't know if that will happen.  It's been eight years for me, and I haven't found another.  But I keep an open mind and an open heart.  Because the higher power I rely on knows that I am worthy of that kind of joy.  In the meantime, I find joy in small places, small moments.  There is a lot of that hidden in the crevices which we tend to pass over.  Look for it and you will find it.

    And if your current higher power would condemn you to punishment for a lack of perfection, find a new one.  Drop your current higher power in the toilet with the rest of the sewage.

    May the universe bless and heal you, dear woman.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:03:18 AM PDT

  •  So sorry (3+ / 0-)

    A staggering blow.  

    One of many possible tools: a classic book formatted into brief, simplistic, helpful chunks, which I think is helpful for  those who feel stunned by pain.    How to Survive the Loss of a Love  

    Lots of used copies available for basically the cost of shipping.  Try it --  if even one or two pages eventually strike a chord, you won't haven't wasted your $3.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:39:30 AM PDT

    •  Underscore this! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, TrueBlueMajority

      This little book is so valuable.  Took me by the hand years ago when I lost a love.  I was thinking of it while reading this diary and comments.   Glad you've included it here, lgmcp.   I heart-ily second the recommendation of this book.


      "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

      by sockpuppet on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:54:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Believe me, things become (3+ / 0-)

    less painful with time.  Thirty-five days is not nearly enough time to start feeling better, and it will be a very long time before you feel good again.  However, hang in there, take care of your son, and take each day separately.  The hole in your soul will begin to fill, slowly, and things will get easier.

    I am not going to sugar coat it and say that you will meet someone else.  You may not, but then again you may.  The only advice that I intend to give, other than what you have already said that you would and wound not do, is to pursue a new relationship.  If one is in the future for you, it will evolve on its own, when you least expect it.

    Best wishes and warmest regards,


    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:19:23 AM PDT

  •  Sometimes people pass...other times they change. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rosebuddear, churchylafemme

    I watched the love of my life slip away from me. The person she became is still alive, but the person I knew is dead and will never be again.

    I'm not sure that love like that can be found again. Maybe it can, but I think you can't be looking for it either. It's taken several years to get past many of the feelings I had, but having pushed past those feelings, I know I can never feel for the person she is what I felt for the person she was.

    Maybe you won't have the same trust issues betrayal brings, but looking for something that rare is something that will likely lead to more disappointment than success in finding something to fill the void you now have. I guess what I am saying is, don't play games when it comes to protecting your heart and your feelings, because the sacrifices you might be willing to make for the prospect of replacing that love could lead to some very ill-considered choices. Don't compromise yourself for an illusion that will never compare to the feeling you had.

    If you do find love again, it's going to be different. I will never feel the way I did about my ex (before she changed) towards anyone else. It will be different. The reasons, the intensity. Though some things may be similar, the next one will be different.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:03:37 AM PDT

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