And the Pain Goes On....

Well, here I am at 15 months out from the death of my husband, and feeling "in limbo".  I made it through the dreaded 1sts of the first year, felt like when I completed the one year anniversary that someone should have handed me a diploma and congratulated me on "completing" the grieving process.  The trouble is nobody told me about the 2nd year.  I knew I would still have periods of sadness and loneliness, but I did not expect to go days on end where I would cry at everything, no matter how trivial - that was supposed to "first year" stuff! 
I have so much time on my hands now as I continue to go through the motions of job searches each week in order to keep my unemployment coming in.  I almost feel as if I am cheating because there are so few real jobs out there - I mostly just keep sending out random letters & resumes to companies I already sent to 6 months ago, just in case there might be a small chance that a job might actually open up.  Although financially my situation would certainly be better working at least part time, mentally I don't think I really want to work again.  All that stess, all the difficulty with getting to work in all kinds of weather, having to hike through the snow, the rain, etc. because I do not (and cannot) drive.  Never having enough time to get things done, missing sleep, etc.  Why would I want to do that again?
I have never had trouble keeping busy - I have lots of hobbies and love to read.  I make it a point to get out several times a week and mix with people, even if it is just to go to the grocery store.  The problem of course is having no one to talk to - no make that not having Stan to talk to.  I have not had a meaningful conversation with anyone since he died.  I don't even seem to dream of him much anymore.
All this extra time of waiting, trying to figure out what I am supposed to do next is hard.  I find myself reviewing the past and asking myself what I could have done differently while Stan was still here.  I was always the "weak link" in my family of strong, independent women.  I was the one who cried easily, became confused, could not think on my feet, "lost it".  When I was forced to go through all the emergencies, etc. involving my husband's illness and death, I definitely had stronger people there helping me with the decisions.  I couldn't even move to a smaller apartment last fall without a lot of help and moral support!  I don't cope well with life - I just sort of stumble on, feeling like a weak and incompetent person. 
What does not upset me these days annoys me instead.  Any discussions about nursing homes and assisted living facilities bring back feelings of guilt and sadness as I think of Stan the last 5 years of his life, and how often I was put on the defensive for "putting" him there.  Comments about how "easy" divorce is always make me angry too, thinking of my own and several friends very difficult divorces.  And what is it with all these discussions constantly about getting another man?  Why is that supposed to be the answer to everything?  The recent one about whether or not to keep pictures of your spouse out if you are dating again made me laugh, as I can count 10 pictures of Stan in my bedroom plus a couple in the living room.  Guess that means I am not ready to date anybody, huh? 
I feel as if my whole life is on "hold" and I am not sure what it is that I am waiting for exactly.  Am I waiting for some big new "purpose" in my life to appear?  Or am I failing to see that what I am now doing has purpose, and just concentrate on doing it?  One day I feel free, the next day I feel overwhelmed.  Maybe there is a reason why nobody tells us about that 2nd year.......
 

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

I believe there\'s no real timeline when it comes to grief. In some way, I\'m sure we grieve for our lost spouse every day for the rest of our lives. But we also find ways to keep going. It seems to me that you\'ve accomplished a lot in that first year, and you\'re not giving yourself credit for just surviving all of that. We all have low energy reserves after all we\'ve been through. We all need support and help. We all cry. We all find decisions difficult. And we all certainly wonder what our real purpose is and how to find it. I\'m learning to simply take each day as it comes. I decide what to do that day and that\'s enough. That\'s your purpose...to make it through each day and let the long-term take care of itself. Grief is certainly a journey without a road map, and it sounds to me like you\'re doing a really great job of it. A friend told me that the best advice she got when her husband died was to \"look for the light.\" When all seems dark or overwhelming or even on those rare good days, always look for the light...something that\'s leading you forward. It will be there, and you\'ll find your way. I\'m praying for you. Jane
deleted_user
deleted_user

I\'m so sorry that it goes on and on. It does sound like you have a lot of balls in the air, though.
Hugs, Gail
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Laura: I too feel like I am in limbo. It has just past the 10mth mark for me. My job is in limbo too as my company decides just what to do with me. I need the structure of a \"daily routine\" to get me back into some sort of normalcy. I have worked all my life and I think I need to go back to that again soon. If not and I take early retirement then that\'s OK too. I will find a part time job, volunteer or just take up some new activities that I can look forward to and plan my days around. I hear ya and I hope things get better for you very soon. Cindy xxoo
laurabp
laurabp

Thank you everyone, for just \"listening\". laurabp