This Seemingly Never-ending Road~

Is it just me?  I wonder, even as I know it isn’t just me.  Logically and because I literally know otherwise, it isn’t just me.  

There’s a boat load of men and women through time immemorial who have lived this shit that I'm living, that we're all living.

And yet, my brain doesn’t let up about it.

Why are you still so traumatized, Alison? Why can’t you let it go and just remember the love, Alison? Why can’t you just know...really and truly know, and fully accept, that life happens, cancer happens and death happens? Not just death, but Chuck’s death? Why do you struggle so much? Why does it still hurt so much?

And...on and on and on...

I need to make a trauma list, so to speak, for next week as I continue my EMDR sessions, so that we can get hard-line specific with it, get at the meat of the matter, and see what relief I can get from all devastation I carry around in me.

It isn’t just Chuck’s dying that was traumatic (as if that wasn’t enough). It was what went on around it, while he was in hospice, and what went on between me and my step-daughter on the way to the crematorium.

In the midst of nothing normal, kind of normal shit, really, in that a high percentage of families have stupid shit happen when a loved one dies.

But what do you do when the very act of living without your loved one is traumatic?

I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this, so I guess this is my question for you, in a more or less rhetorical, philosophical way..

Do you just zone out, so to speak, to get through a day?  Do you keep busy distracting yourself but at the end of the day it’s there and you just deal with it?  Do you feel genuine happiness as you go through your day, and, if so, what is it that brings that happiness to you?  Does that sense of loneliness really and honestly recede only when we begin a chapter 2, even though we remain always widowed?  Does it take having a chapter 2 person in our lives, making us feel special, being hugged on a regular basis by someone who loves you, to make the heaviness disappear?

This is the kind of shit I think about when I’m not thinking specifically about Chuck.  I can picture him, if I were to tell him all of this, lightly smacking me on the side of the head and saying to me Stop thinking so much, Miller and then kissing me til I couldn’t think anyways, and I'd end up feeling completely reassured.  But, since he isn’t here, I think of these things, and I feel the trauma of his death and the trauma, not of my life, but of my life without him.


So, I sit myself on a sofa every Tuesday and I do various exercises to shift the perception, to manage the grief, to release the stress of grief..thank god for a therapist who is cutting edge in approaching this.

But,seriously, this grief shit is for the birds~

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  • commented 2016-06-04 20:05:12 -0700
    I am going through much of the same thought processes, I lost my husband to a heart attack May 2nd of this year. He was only 49, and I am 47. I wonder if things will get any better on a daily, hourly, even by the minute, basis. I feel so lost and, well debilitated. I am functioning—working, eating (Kind of), taking care of business. I just wonder why sometimes. What is the point of doing any of this when I can’t share it with David? But, I have family, and children who need me. I nearly thought I was going to die of grief. Sometimes I still do. It’s nearly impossible for me to believe he’s even gone. Yet, it’s only been a month, and I’ve come a long way. I have to live because I have no other option, and I truly hope there is some sort of reason for all this. Trauma is a good word for it, when you watch it happen, when you had NO CLUE there was anything seriously wrong. It’s devastating. I have the most trouble at work, where my mind has nothing to occupy itself except thinking about that night, the weeks previous, every minute. I find distractions, but they don’t work for long. I sometimes dread coming home, and especially going to bed. I’m grateful for this group, because I can’t really talk to my kids about how I’m feeling, they are hurting enough. Thank you for sharing. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, I was hoping I wasn’t going crazy.
  • commented 2016-03-11 22:39:31 -0800
    Allison, I don’t believe it’s just you, anymore than its just me.

    At three years plus I have never questioned my intellectual capacity to understand what happened to me. I tell others" grief didn’t make me stupid". What it did was amputate my arms and my legs, made me blind and then told me to go to the supermarket. I am torn asunder and there is nothing, I mean nothing, that has relieved the pain of losing those parts of me…….him.

    Many of the questions and struggles you mention have been the same ones I grapple with daily. Why is this still like this? Why with such deep love am I so unable to be grateful for what I had that many never get? Why can I now function and do things better than in the early years but find as time passes that I am more determined than ever not to want to live another day? If time heals all wounds its looking like its going to take light years for me and even then I am just not willing to stick it out.

    In answer to your questions. Yes, I guess you could call it zoning out but the word “distract” is the one I have always used myself and seems to be the most operative. To say I’ve gotten more agile in distracting myself I would say I have actually gotten better at forcing myself because all of this is forced. I don’t have a happy bone in my body and days are just groundhogs. I can’t stand the fact that I’ve made it through another night and have to wake up and face the same pain of living. It’s the reverse at night but having to crawl into emptiness cracks my daytime veneer and I dread bedtime now so I am up all hours. And no, sofas aren’t any better. And all of this is not because I can’t DO most things because I have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt I can (I could list many) I just don’t want to anymore.

    You see, I don’t want a Chapter 2. I’m no longer striving to try to be fulfilled. I’m tired of trying to figure it all out. No matter that others feel I have so much to contribute, or that I should honor his legacy or whatever other posits to make me want to feel loved……..that book has closed. I was loved. More than I ever thought possible. I was loved for me. Not as a daughter for whom my parents had dreams, not as a sister for whom I was a an agreeable playmate in my childhood but for me. For the me that was deep down inside so much a part of him. For he was the one who made me blossom. Made me know that joy was felt into the deepest recesses of my soul’s journey.

    Now I am a spectator. I don’t expect it to get much better than where i am now now matter how hard I fight to gain ground. I have come to understand for me this is as good as it gets. I can function, yes. I stay clear of most things and people who might intrude or upset the fragile state of my precariously balanced facade which means pretty much everything and everyone. But that is ok, it’s one of my coping mechanisms to stay out of the hole. If I have to live, for as long as I do, I have to try not to continue to feel the pain of 35 years of remembrance too much, too often as the toll it is taking on me is just so debilitating. Physically painful. And I am coming more around to determining that this pain is only worth so much.

    I am always glad to hear when someone else is doing better than me carrying this burden or pushing harder and able to attain greater heights. I wouldn’t wish this brain war on my worst enemy (which I don’t think I have but if I did) I would not want anyone to have to tackle this kind of suffering. It’s really more than I feel the universe should inflict on anyone and I don’t think I ever did anything so bad to incur its wrath but obviously we have no say.

    I don’t know what I truly believe about life after and what if and all the questions that remain unanswered I just know your post made me write and wax my two cents worth. I will also echo the last thing Rebecca said, only I will say it with more assurance for my own situation…….. Im not up for a reboot, and you know what, that’s ok. I’m not sure I need to prove anything more to myself or others about how love affected me and what the results of that have come to be.
  • commented 2016-03-09 23:15:42 -0800
    Hi- I also had EMDR, and my/our 2 adult kids were all dx with Type II Trauma (chronic over extended period of time). Bill died almost 6yrs ago, and we 3 are still struggling. We’ve lost all of his fam and friends, and mine is barely attentive. I had my 4th recon surgery in 17 months, and have yet to hear from my only sister. Maybe she’ll call in May when I have my 5th op and it’s bilateral for new implants. So… I think a return to my former level of happiness may not occur, but I am ok with contentment and peace. I make lists to push me thru most days, I no longer feel lonely; I feel unfulfilled. My life is too empty. I want and need a better, more exciting life. It’s as tho the loneliness of grief has been replaced by the dissatisfaction of living my current life. I’ve yet to transform; and I’m so damn tired of this transition phase and restless as Hell. I think I should be doing so much better by now, and fear I will never fully recover and move beyond the loss of my husband. We were together for 34 years, or since I was 19. Now the time is passing by so insignificantly, which is criminal as I’m a 10yr BC survivor. I just can’t seem to get into gear for a reboot.