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stephenpaul - i really hope the days when men are expected to not show emotion are behind us. :hug:
In a sense your cats are looking after you, If i hadnt had my dog i wouldnt have had the will or the energy to get up or do anything even feed myself, but when we have a dependant, human or animal then we have too,so they dont just offer comfort but also incentive.

The cats are the invaluable. I did have a border collie puppy, but my wife took care of her and my walking is severely limited because of arthritis. So with a great deal of regret I had to rehouse our puppy, and I miss her too.

Hi Noelle -  :hug: Even when some-one is really ill it is still a huge shock to lose them, and even while others are around, you still feel alone.Its a wretched roller coaster of a journey and all of us are on it at different stages. I lost my husband 7 years ago, and even though i have found some peace with that,he is still part of my life everyday, and sometimes the lonliness still prevails, but finding this place back then was a lifeline. I think we learn to live with grief so it becomes much less overwhelming but always carry them with us. In the early days all we can really do is get through each hour and each day as it comes and be kind too yourself.
As well as talking about our grief here we do have an everyday chat section, and sometimes thats what we really need too, just to share that ordinary stuff -it helps with the lonliness, and along the way we do often find we have things other than our grief in common and so real friendships develop.
stephenpaul - i really hope the days when men are expected to not show emotion are behind us. :hug:
In a sense your cats are looking after you, If i hadnt had my dog i wouldnt have had the will or the energy to get up or do anything even feed myself, but when we have a dependant, human or animal then we have too,so they dont just offer comfort but also incentive.
I lost my husband of 11 years to metastatic gall bladder cancer. I was his caregiver the last three months and witnessed his passing. I have never felt this alone. I am overwhelmed by all I have to do but am also at a loss from all of the things I no longer have to do. I am hopeful that talking with all of you will help me to heal from my grief. I look forward to getting to know everyone. Noelle
I suppose this is a bit of a vent for want of a better word, because I need an outlet.

We have just arrived home after a long weekend with the in-laws. Now it is no secret that my in-laws are not particularly emotionally intelligent people, certainly would never dare to address the elephant in the room and I have long since decided that the way to move forward is to simply not allow the subject of my Dad be any of their business. It has been working well, the subject is simply off the table. But if you ask me a direct question, I’ll give you a direct answer. My father-in-law asked me how my Mum is doing, and so I answered, honestly. I explained that she’s ok, but she’s also not ok. That eight months in reality has started to settle, and it hurts. She is no longer walking through a waking dream, this is life, he is not coming back and so in many ways, some things she is finding harder now, half a year later, than she found in the first few weeks and months after he died. There was no follow up question as to how I am. He looked utterly miffed at my answer. I decided next time to simply say that she’s fine.

He didn’t ask me how I am, nor did I expect him to. I would not have welcomed the question. I was quite quiet all weekend. I didn’t mean to be antisocial, but I often find that being there and experiencing a “complete family unit” quite difficult. And it was in my resigned state that I got to thinking. I might look back at this post in a few months and read it with a different perspective, even if I can see where I was coming from emotionally when I wrote it. That gives me comfort.

It seems to me that there is the Before and the After. Before is before grief, before the worst happens. Life is normal, we live as if we are invincible and we belong to the group who live life in blissful ignorance.

Then the earthquake happens, our core is shaken and we live in the After. Rose-tinted spectacles turn to grey, cynicism creeps in and a blanket of melancholy seems to cloak our world. We are all going to die. So we should seize the day, right? I just can’t seize the day yet and everything leaves a bitter taste. I know I can live life to the fullest, I can make new memories, have new experiences and go on new adventures, but in the back of my mind looms the inescapable sense that life will simply never be quite the same again. Now I move through the world with grief as a new companion and I don’t know how to open up and let everything in, when I feel only that my life will never be the same again without my father in it. One of the great pillars that held me up.

It has been eight months. Enough now, come back.

I lost my wife, but I understand completely how you feel.

I go on on a day by day basis, sometimes coping, sometimes bursting into tears just thinking of all the things we used to do together, and as my wife was also my carer, as I am disabled, it merely magnified just how much she did for me, and I never always appreciated it, which now makes me feel quite selfish.

I know that men aren't supposed to show the emotions, but I have learned to do that, and the people I know, friends, family , etc., have been very understanding. It doesn't though mask the feelings of loneliness I feel every day. I do have two cats to look after, though it feels at the moment they are looking after me, and giving me comfort in my grief.
Thank you both for your thoughtful and, as ever, sincere replies. I think many people think I need a cheerleader to tell me that I'll get back on my feet, but I don't agree, I think I need a realist and you two to me are realists, who look at my feelings with such regard and are honest in saying that no, it's not going to be the same, that is the way it is (in the best possible way)

I think I have started to take him with me subconsciously. On my birthday I purposefully wore a heart-shaped necklace he wittled for me from a piece of wood we found together. Every time I looked in the mirror I saw it and every time my hand when to my neck and found it, it did make me feel stronger.

I also don't think grief can be cured, it's like a shadow that walks with you.

Thank you again for your replies, you've given me a lot to think about :)
Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: Leaning to live with loss
« Last post by Karena on May 22, 2018, 11:23:55 AM »
 :hug: whenever you are ready Liz.- The idea of the forum is to express grief and the things around it,so dont worry about saying how you feel whatever that is, including having a rant if you want too (obviousely within the bounds of not potentially being offensive to others here).
When i first found this site i struggled to see the point of the laughing emojie i even briefly thought it was inaapropriate certainly not something i would use - but soon discovered that its not just about our grief and the big things created by it, but the little things too - just to chat, to tell something funny or stupid that that happened today, something interesting or boring we are doing, what to cook for tea -just that everyday general stuff that is also often missing from our lives at this time. 
Maybe your father in laws silence or apparent disaproval of your answer is because of his one fear -he wants your mum to be absolutely fine because all of us will face this at some time,he doesnt want to face reality, so he wants a different answer even if it isnt the truth.

Emz is right i dont think life ever does go back to "normal" how can it when the person we lost was such a large part of that "normal" But be wary also of what we consider normal is -because society and even some forms of psych theory sees normal as "cured" the theory is you follow a linear pattern of grief, and indeed some of those stages are recognisable - shock guilt anger etc and you follow it then break the bond that ties you, then youre "cured"  i think the official word is detachment - it seems to me such twaddle like the year of mourning thing - grief doesnt have a sell by date. - but we go along with it because we,re expected too we say we,re ok when we are not, we go back to our life as it was before, pretend to be the life and soul of the party if thats what we were before - because that was "normal," maybe we even believe ourselves "cured" - until something knocks us sideways and we,re in a heap crying again.
There is another theory though called continuing bonds and to me this is more realistic.Our culture, history belief system will dictate too a degree which direction this takes, it could be religion, heaven, reincarnation,etc so we think of them as looking down from heaven,we see them in an animal we suddenly see regually or a new borm baby in the familly,we take part in a ritual.of some kind, perhaps we lose faith and explore other ideas . Even if we believe in none of those things it doesnt prevent us from doing this,we seek closure but how can there be closure and actually do we really want that -maybe we think we do, so we can go back to being ourselves -but being ourself without the people who shaped us isnt being ourself either.

So i think the key is to do those things, live our life and have those adventures,but stop thinking in terms of trying to do that without them, which is what makes them empty -and find a way to take them with us.It could be simply taking something of theirs everywhere with us, writing about our advetures in diary form adressed too them, think about them in our decision making as though we were talking too them, what would they say what would they advise, maybe make some of those adventures all about them,go somewhere or do something they wanted to do, continue an interest they had so that in a way we may actually come to understand them better and carry their legacy forward that way. Also dont be afraid to go back somewhere because its going to evoke memorys and make us sad, go back because, even though that happens, it also focuses on the happy memories.
We used to go somewhere we both loved for holidays whenever we could get away, and although in the first year i thought it would be too painful so didnt go, and i,m now restricted to once a year, i feel closer too him there than anywhere, i had to slay some dragons on the way to going back, but i,m glad i did now.
Your description sounds so familiar  :hug:  We do walk life with grief as a companion,  in my experience it isn't fully healed or disappears, but the pain does ease as the years pass. I have noticed it subtly changes over the years, I think of my dad all the time and miss him but it is a different feeling to the first year  :hearts: xx
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