Wednesday, March 20, 2013

For The Times That You Want To Stop ......

...... going on.

I received an email last night from a woman who found my blog.
Her husband died 5 1/2 months ago.
She had a question for me.
And I knew what it was before she asked it.

"Hi Janine... still reading your blog.. and am so happy you are doing so much better.  However.. I am no where near that point. I have a question for you.  Did you ever want to stop... to not go on... even though you had children and parents who needed and depended on you?"

My heart immediately hurt for her.
So much.
And my mind immediately went back to that cold, lonely, inky black place where she is now.
I remember every detail of that place.
Even though I'd like to forget ...... as I've forgotten so many other things.

And I know that she is not the only one out there who feels this way.
Who hurts this way and wonders if she/he is alone in that wondering.
Has anyone else ever wanted to just ...... stop?

Very much so.
I did more than just want it to stop.
I attempted to stop.
But I couldn't go all the way.
Someone intervened ...... and here I am today.
I'm not sure if I would've gone all the way ...... had they not intervened.
Sometimes I think no.
Most times I think no.
But sometimes ...... I wonder.

For all of you who've been there ......
For all of you who are there right now ......
And for those of you yet to go there ......
You are not alone.

Many of us have been there.
And are still here.

No, not everyone goes there.
It's not a requirement or anything ...... for grieving.
Thank God.

But it's not all that unique, either.
Or abnormal.
Or wrong.

You feel what you feel.
And sometimes ...... you think that you cannot feel like that for one more moment ...... let alone for the next 40 years or so.
You want the pain to stop.
And it doesn't matter who might be left behind.
Or how it might affect them.
Because you think that they'll be better off to be done with you.
With you and your grief.

I get that.
I understand that like I never, ever did ...... or could ...... "before".

So I will tell you what you don't ...... can't ...... believe.
You matter.
Your existence matters.
No matter how negative you think it may be.
No matter how much you are grieving each and every day.

And the emptiness you will leave behind will shatter someone ...... several someones ...... into a million tiny pieces that cannot be put together again.
They have already lost one of the most important people in their life.
They cannot lose another.

You can't believe that.
But try to believe me.
I have been there.
I was there for a long time.
But I've made it to here.
And I worked damn hard to get here.

So try to believe me.
And if you can't ...... let me believe it for you.
You matter.

And ...... this is the most important thing I can tell you ......

I promise.
That's all I have.
My word.
I hope that you can trust me.
Or ...... let me believe it while you can't.

Your days will not always be this dark.
His death will not always be the first thought you have when you open your eyes in the morning.
Her absence will not always be the last thought you have before you fall asleep at night.

The pain will not always be this intense, this suffocating, this soul-killing.
It will not always be this heart-shattering.

My existence here is proof of that.
And your presence here is my reason for that.
I've made it to this point so that I can help others make it.
And I will do whatever I can ...... whatever it takes ...... to help you keep believing.

To help you ...... keep breathing.
And to keep coming back here.

One breath at a time.
That's all.
Just one breath.

You are not alone.


  1. OH Janine...thank you with all my heart! I too was in this place for a long time and still visit it, briefly, from time to time. I know though, that my husband would kick my a** for not living the life he wanted to. Its been 16 1/2 months and still have days where putting one foot in front of the other takes effort; other days where life is hopeful. I know someday it won't feel so dark so thank you for the reminder to breathe!

    1. Kim,
      You so very welcome. I'm glad that you've made it through that place ...... more than once. It does get easier to recognize that you're there ...... and to back out of that darkness.
      Not that it's every "easy", but you're growing stronger, which makes it easier for you to see it, and to not stay there. No matter how many times it brings you back for a visit.
      Keep breathing. :)

  2. Janine,
    So well and powerfully written. Charlie has been gone for almost a year and I went "there" very early on. I did not make an attempt, but I had the means and a plan. As you say the pain is so bad you feel you have to escape it. I did make it through, but I want to say that some of us go "there" again a little later in our grieving and for another reason. By then I had come to know that I would be with Charlie again some day and I wanted that some day to be now.

    I made it through again. I can't let people who love me feel as I do now.


    1. Julie,
      I'm glad that you made it through, too. Every time.
      Yes, we do tend to go there again and again. I went there and stayed there twice. For a while. It took a lot to leave it. It was a bit easier the second time, but still ...... it sucked.
      I haven't been there in quite a while now. But I know that it's really not that far away. And I know what it looks like now ...... so I'm better prepared to leave it.
      As are you.
      I'm glad. :)

  3. "You will not always feel this way" was one of the most helpful things I heard in the early days of grief. It was hard to believe at times, but very true.

    1. GG - Yes. I really needed to know that back then. I always looked to people who were further along than I was ...... and held on to the hope that, if they could make it, maybe I could, too.
      And so far, I have.

  4. I also went there. I researched a way out and once I knew that I could escape it was if I could fight a little harder to stay. It was my little safety net that I told no one about. It's been 3 1/2 yrs now and I am happy! Life has purpose again! I am so greatful that I never gave up. The pain does soften and life does get better and you will survive. Perseverence and time is the answer.

    1. Anon,
      You're so right. Perseverance and time really make a difference. Not that time "heals" everything. But the longer we're here, the stronger we become. And the easier it becomes to stay.
      I also had my safety net. I like how you describe it.
      Because it certainly could make me feel "safe", as much as it made me feel alone.
      Thanks for your input about your experience. It helps to know there are others who experienced the same things.

    2. Been at that door many times - but always chose to not go through it. A couple of things held me back; two instances where very close relatives took that route demonstrated quite clearly to me how it affected/devastated those left behind. The second thing that pulled me back was the fact that I have always been able to take comfort in that my partner did not die unloved (he knew how complete and unconditional my love for him was - as was his love for me) and he did not die alone - I was there at his bedside to hold his hand and comfort him after the disconnect was done and his passing within 10 minutes...he did not die alone nor unloved - that's all anyone wants out of this life here on earth! At the time, I was devastated to have to make the decision to disonnect, but in the final analysis, I was blessed that Ron entrusted me that way with his life, and I was able to be with him at the very end - my heart goes out to those that were not able to be with their companion at the moment of their death...


    3. What would he say...
      ...... if he were to come back for a moment or two ...... after all these months?

      What would he think of how I've handled his death ...... and my "after"?

      It's interesting that just typing those two sentences brings tears to my eyes...tears that run down my cheeks as I type. I think part of that is because I know that he will never come back, not even for a moment or two, and it breaks my heart to even ponder that.

      And I think the tears also come because I know that his heart would be how broken my heart became...and how dark and lonely my world has become.

      But what would he say?

      I think the first thing he would say is, "I'm sorry." Not that he could've stopped death from taking him. Ron would not have chosen death over us. Ever. But the choice was not his. And he'd still say he was sorry.

      He'd say that he knew how much I hurt when he left, and how alone and cold and dead I felt. And then he'd say that he never doubted for a second that I would keep breathing, that I would survive his death...and the grief that would move into my soul.

      He’d also say “You have some wonderful friends Ted...we had some wonderful friends, that were always there for me, then us...and now they are there for you.” He’d be so proud and happy that I have that support and that we have developed such a strong friendship...he’d be so content in knowing how wonderful those friends were all through his life...he would pat himself on the back that he had chosen his friends well...and he was blessed and fortunate in that they chose him as a friend...

      He'd tell me that he always knew how strong I was...and that even when I doubted if I'd live to see another day, or wanted to live to see another day, he knew better.

      He'd say that he's proud of me...and that I should be proud of me, too, even though he knows I'm not.

      He'd tell me that of course I am grieving hard and deeply...because our love was so deep and intense...and he knew how much I loved him, as I often told him that I loved him so much that it sometimes scared me. He didn't expect less. He'd also say that he knew that I did the best I could...and perhaps even that my best was pretty damn good.

      He’d then look at me with that twinkle in his eyes, which I would always get lost in, smile that smile I loved....and have a puff on his cigarette...

      He'd say that he's proud of what we had...the choices we had made...where we were headed in our life together.

      He'd tell me to stop blaming myself. He might even wipe away a tear or two as he tells me he's glad that I used his death, and my grief, to try to be a positive force in the lives of others. And......he’d say that I always had made a difference in the least to his.

      And when it was time for him to leave, he'd hold me and hug me (oh, how I miss that)......and tell me that he's never stopped loving me ......and that he never will. And that means that he wants me to be happy......and to grab onto love if it ever comes my way again.

      I can almost hear his words now...the last words he said to me so many months ago when we were leaving our apartment (for what turned out to be the last time) to take him to emergency.....the last words he'd say again if he had the chance..."I love you.” And I'd have no doubt, just as before, that they were true...

      He might even add on “Thanks for being there for me...I'm proud of you, us and what we had...we did ‘have it all’...and I'll see you soon."...that’s what I think he might say...

    4. Ted,
      Thank you for your lovely and very touching words. I can relate to them so well. I think Jim's words would be very much like Ron's.
      Thank you for sharing a part of your heart with us.

  5. Thank you Janine for giving me hope and holding out that lifeline.


    1. Maria,
      You very welcome. I'm glad that you came here today.
      And that you took the time to comment.
      It means a lot.
      Thank you. :)

  6. Still waiting for the day I do not feel this way. Feeling does NOT mean I will take action, but just that I am ready to move on from this life. I often think he was the lucky one to go first, didn't have to deal with all left behind in disarray. It's taken me years to sort it all out, and I'm still not done.

    Life will take it's course, agree with anon above that I don't want to cause any unnecessary pain for people who love me. We all have suffered enough. Breath by breath I am hopeful. Thank you for the encouragement, Janine, much needed.

    1. Anon,
      I'm glad that you're here ...... and that you came here today. Keep breathing ...... I promise that you'll get here. In your own time.
      And yes, you're right. He was the lucky one. Absolutely.
      For now.
      But not forever.
      Keep breathing.

    2. MY name is Linda I losted my husband Gary 4 years ago.I still feel like I don't want to be here anymore.He made my life have meaning.My anniversary is Friday April 5.And he isn't here to sare it with me.Life is so hard now.Everyone thinks I should move on.I try but I don't know how to do it.Gary was my whole world.Take care

  7. Janine, so perfectly worded and the encouragement you offer up is significant. Early on, I heard many times you are much needed by your children. I didn't want to hear it and thought they would be much better off without a very sad and weepy mother. But I could never do it and now 3 years out, am glad I never made the attempt. Yes, I still have dark days and want to run from the grief, but fortunately most days are bright.

    Thanks for you for your honesty and inspiration.

    1. Anon,
      Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad that you were encouraged today.
      Sometimes that's all it takes to get through one more day, isn't it?
      I'm glad you're here ...... and glad that you shared your heart here.
      Thank you. :)

  8. Janine, thank you for your encouragement. I read this blog nearly every day but have been in so much pain the past few days that I almost couldn't face reading it this morning. I'm so glad I did. My husband died almost a year ago and I have two young children and yesterday was one of those days when the grief, along with single parenting, were completely overwhelming. Knowing someone else has made it through helps tremendously.

    1. Anon,
      I'm so glad that you came here this morning ...... and that it was just what you needed.
      That's pretty much all we get ...... enough to get through the next breath. And then the next. But they start to add up.
      Before you know it, you'll be breathing easier.
      And you're not really a "single" parent.
      You're an "only" parent. Very different. And very sucky.
      Some days.
      As hard as it is to sometimes be there for your children, they are also what pulls you through most days.
      I know that you know that.
      Keep breathing.
      One at a time.
      And thanks for coming, and commenting. :)

  9. This is such an important message, Janine, and I thank you for sharing it. I've added a link to your piece on Twitter and at the base of my own blog post, "Thoughts of Suicide in Grief," here:

    1. Marty,
      Thank you. And thanks for sharing this. So many people need to hear this message. And they need to know that they're normal. Very, very normal.
      And not alone.
      Thanks again. :)

  10. Janine - thank you so much for your beautiful and honest post. I never had a specific plan, or made an attempt. But I spent most of the first year wishing I would die. I really was convinced it would be so much better. For everyone. Those feelings lessened over the next year. And pretty much have been gone since the end of the 2nd year. That's not to say that it is all good all the time. Still have those "waves" of darkness - but not as bad as initially and no where near as often. You are right. It DOES get better. You DO get to the point where he/she isn't your first last and only thought. No one can say "when" that will happen. It is different for everyone as we all know. But it does. Thank you, as always, for sharing.

    1. Beth,
      Thanks for encouraging everyone here. And offering your thoughts and experience. It means so much.
      I love you, my friend.

  11. I needed to hear these words today, at this moment. My husband has been gone for 2.5 months. We have two young girls and it is taking all I have right now. It helps to know that people survive this.

    1. staciegirl,
      I'm glad that you came here today. At that moment.
      Keep breathing. Just one at a time. That's all. Try not to think too far ahead. Just get through the next few seconds.
      You can do it.

  12. Thanks Janine, great post!

    I think what saved me was my faith in God and believing that if I did the unthinkable not only would I be leaving behind (and hurting the most) the ones who cared and mattered the most, but also the fact that I would likely never see my beloved wife again for fear I'd be condemned to an eternity in hell.

    1. Hi Anon,
      Thanks so much for your thoughts. I'm glad that you're still here to share your experience. I know that my faith has helped me to stay here, too. Not so much any fear for recrimination, but the sure knowledge that I will indeed see Jim again one day ...... that has helped me more than words can say.
      We all need to hang on to whatever it takes to get us through the next breath.
      Thank you again for sharing with us. And letting all of us know that we're not alone. :)

  13. Thanks for your words - I need to read this often. 9 months out and feel like I will never be OK, but see others who made it and think ... maybe.

    1. Hello Anon,
      I'm glad you're here. Nine months ...... of course you feel like you will never be OK. You still look ahead of you and see no future. I remember that ...... will always remember that darkness that was in front of me, behind me, beside me, and pressing in on me from everywhere. I didn't think, didn't believe, that I would ever be OK, either.
      Until I saw someone ahead of me. I can't remember when that first happened, when I first felt that very faint flicker of hope within me. But I do remember looking at the people in front of me ...... and hoping that I, too, could make it that far.
      Keep coming back. Keep reading.
      And please keep believing.
      But above all ...... keep breathing.
      You WILL make it.

  14. I was surprised at the feelings I had of wanting to die, of not wanting to go on, not that I was contemplating suicide, but did entertain many "what if's - like "what if this car didn't stop as I was crossing the street? what if I got hit while riding my bike? what if I got stunk by a hornet (there was a hornets nest in my yard the summer my Marty died) and was allergic and went into anaphylactic shock and died and my daughter who was due to come over found me?" My pain was so terribly deep, deeper than anything I had ever experienced in my life, that truly I wanted to die and if I did, that would've been okay with me.
    The "comfort" from others that "don't despair, you will be reunited in heaven one day" were not at all comforting, but rather quite suggestive - almost as if my brain would unconsciously say, "How about today then?"
    I do have adult children and small grand children who "need me" but when my hope seemed less than hanging on by a thread, they didn't matter either.
    What did matter to me was the sweet sound of my husband whispering in my ear, "Mar, God is not finished with you yet; stay the course; I'm so sorry for the pain my love; don't give up; hang on one more minute." THAT made a difference for me. And even now I still hear his voice and sometimes I get frustrated and say back to him in heaven, 'Well, that's great for you my love, but you're in glory, you're not the one left here to feel and manage all this, without the half that made each of us whole....." I also know in my heart of hearts, if God had asked Marty who should go first, Marty would have said to take me, his wife, so that I would not have to know the pain of living "without". We were one, always and forever.
    Now it is 25 months since he has died; I still struggle; most days are not as painful as before, but I've slumped that bad (wanting to die), probably a half dozen times for weeks at a time.
    But, I "stayed the course" and still am, but right now, only because my Marty would want it that way. I long for the day, when I can stay the course because it is what I want. Not there yet, but hopefully someday.

    1. Hi Mjay,
      Thank you so much for being a constant here ...... for always being ready with a comment, a thought, and several encouraging words.
      I'm thankful that you have stayed the course. Especially through days when you knew that you couldn't.
      Somehow, you did.
      Somehow, you are.
      No matter why.
      And yes, one day you WILL do it for you.
      That day is closer than you think.

    2. Thank you Janine, for that encouragement. I do hope "that day is closer than you think" is true for me. And you're right - "somehow" I did the next thing, whatever that was to keep me going. I am thankful I did not slip away. I really, really want to do more than "just survive" this rotten grief journey - I want to THRIVE; while I can't imagine that even still, two years later. It is something I desire with my heart.
      I really like this blog and have found it helpful throughout my journey. I have thought about Camp Widow, but April didn't work for me. And not sure about being with so many people in the same situation as me for so many days.......but maybe California?!
      Again, thanks for the encouragement to stay the course.

    3. Mjay,
      I really do hope to meet you at Camp West. And give you a very strong hug.

  15. Hi Janine,
    I haven't been to Widows Voice in a few days. Which is really weird because for 2 and a half years I was here everyday. But I am getting a bit better lately. Something I would have swore would never happen.
    It doesn't mean I am not sad. Most days have some sadness in them. Tonight I was lonely, driving home and crying. Not the sobbing I have done in the past, just the tears in the eye - how long can I keep living like this. But I remembered the things my husband said to me about the life after, he was gone. And I am trying.
    To that new widow - I want to say - I was where you are. Where Janine was before me. I almost didn't make it. In truth this blog and Janine in particular are the reasons that I managed to make it through that darkest of nights. In desperation I looked up "suicide" on the internet. I came to this blog and poured out my heart and like a miracle someone answered me.
    I know - we know the desperation and the pain of your grief. But please hang on. You may be the one that someday saves another widows life. You may be the person that they will need to answer their call for help. Don't give up.
    I recreate my life everyday. It is taking a new shape. One that I could never have predicted when he died. But it is my life and I want to be an example for my children that life can not take from you the essential and important thing - the reason we are here, to help one another.
    Someone needs you, they really do.
    Take hold of life and find out who they are.

    Thanks Janine. You will forever be remembered by me.

    1. Hello Anon,
      Thank you, as always, for continuing to bless me with your words and thoughts. I am so grateful that I was able to be where you needed me to be. And thankful that you're still here.
      Thank you for being willing to share with those who are new.
      Those who are struggling with each and every breath.
      Thank you for remembering how you felt then, and how you made it to here in spite of that.
      Those who are new need to hear from as many of us as possible. They need to know that we, too, felt like stopping. But, for whatever reason, did not.
      They need to know that we believe in them ...... and in their ability to put one foot in front of the other.
      We need to believe it for them.
      Until they can.
      So thank you for being one who believes they can.
      You are so special to me.
      Your words always come at just the right time for me.
      So thank you.
      For me ...... and for them.

  16. Janine, Thank you for the hope and for all of those that have responded they offer hope also. It has been 2 months since Jon passed and almost everyday has its struggles, I also go to that dark place frequently and want everything to just STOP but I know that I must go on.It is hard to figure out this life that has changed so much and become unbearable at times. One moment at a time is the only road.

    1. Anon,
      I'm so glad that you've found us here, especially at only 2 months. I wish I'd known how to find hope at this point.
      I know that the dark place is close by, tempting you to go in ...... and stay. Every time it does, please come here. And maybe you'll find just the right amount of hope you'll need for that day.
      Thanks so much for commenting.
      Keep breathing.

  17. Janine....thank you for this. I've been slipping dangerously close back to that precipice again the last few weeks and I really needed to read this right now. camp is coming at the perfect time, too. I don't know what I would do without all of you.

    1. carolynne,
      I'm so glad that you came here and read that day. I hope you continue to come here for support and encouragement.
      And hope.
      I look forward to seeing you at camp!

  18. Thank you for sending this message to the many people who need to hear it. It's so true.

    Also, most times, when we want to stop it's not because we want to stop. It's because we want to stop the pain. It's not the same as wanting to stop living. Even if we think it is.

    Often times, the door to freedom, joy and peace is right at the edge of the greatest pain. Mostly, it takes longer to find it than we think we can stand. Once you've found it you will never be in doubt: it's all worth it.

    Don't give up!

    My warmest greetings -


    1. Halina,
      Thank you for offering your support here, too. It means so much to so many.
      I'm glad you took the time to comment.

  19. To all that have replied... Thank you. The email Janine referred to was from me. I was in a hole so deep I did not see a way out. It didn't matter that my daughter needs me, or my granddaughters who I love more than life itself need me, or that my father needs me too. I needed HIM right that minute more than I needed anything else in the world. After a week on vacation with my girls, I came home and it finally hit me... HE IS NEVER EVER EVER COMING HOME!! My heart had finally caught up with my head, and my soul broke. Honestly, I had had several drinks that night, and between that and the realization that the games I played with myself were over, a bottle of pills looked very good! I'm hoping my faith kept me from taking them.. and will keep me from taking them another time, because I'm sure there will be other times those thoughts come creeping in.. but encouraging words from people who have "come through it", are helping. T.A.N.W. to thank Janine enough. Just knowing I could email her and she would answer helped more than she will ever know. Today, I won't give up!!! Thank you all!

    1. Debbie,
      So glad you're here. In more ways than one.

  20. My tears were flowing as I read your post. My thoughts in those early days were "they would be better off without me" and sometimes I still go there. When I told my mother in the early days(he died 14 months ago) what I was thinking she said, you are my baby and I don't want to lose my baby. She also said that your kids have lost one parent. Do you want to leave them alone? I know I do not ever want to do that to my children and even though I sometimes want to leave this earth I couldn't do this to my children. My husband has lost seeing his children grow up and that part hurts me everyday because I know he would want to be here to see that. It is good to know that people who have been through this have learned to enjoy life again. I wish for that day with all my heart.

    1. Yvette,
      I'm so glad that you've found us and can relate ...... and find hope. Many times all we have to give each other is hope. But most times, that's enough for that day.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  21. P.S. I have printed this post and all the comments so that if I ever get to "that place" again, I will have these words to get me though it. Thanks again!

  22. Wonderful post. So beautifully written and it is as though you were writing my exact thoughts and emotions. I lost Brian almost 9 years ago, and have gone to that place numerous times. For me, it won't ever go away but it is just lurking.....waiting for me to break.....but it gets easier everytime to recover from the break.

    Knowing we are not alone in this certainly makes it so much easier! Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts with all of us.

    1. Thank you, Barbara. Thank you for writing and giving your support to everyone. :)

  23. Janine, so eloquently written and expressed. All so true. Even in our darkest moments we each hard to remember when it feels like all options are gone. I too am proof that this is survivable. I applaud the person who reached out through desperation and brokenness. It is so courageous.
    Thank you for your courage too, Janine, in sharing your story. I think it is in this very raw and honest truth that we find hope. I know early in my journey all those years ago, it was Widow's Voice that so often helped me feel less isolated, less alone.
    What a gift you and your writing have been in my life! What a gift Soaring Spirits has been...a life line really...because as you wrote...YOU MATTER!

    1. Thank you, Chris. I needed to hear/read those words today. I appreciate you.

  24. Janine, this is the most helpful post i have read. I am very much THERE right now: 4.5 months since i lost my husband of 11 years. Only our 2 little angels hold me in this world and make me move forward. I know I cannot stop because of them. It is important to hear all this from someone who has been THERE, and not just a co-worker with casual "you will be fine". I do take your promise. And even though I higly doubt I will ever be as happy as i used to be with him, I will be moving forward: i have 2 hearts to do it for!!!

    1. Anon,
      Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad that you're here, especially since you're such a new member to this "club". The club no one wants to join. I'm also glad that you have 2 such wonderful angels to help you each day. In spite of all of the crap that you've been dealt, you are blessed. And you know it.
      Thank you for commenting.

  25. Thank god for this blog and your post. I've thought about it myself.

    But as you said, I can't help but to think of the million shattered pieces I'd leave behind. I also feel my late husband would be very upset.

    At the same time, we can't live for others. It's the pain we, ourselves, are feeling. I'm almost 7 months from losing my husband. Somedays I don't know who I am or where I am. What has worked so far in the roughest of moments is to try, try, try to quiet my mind. Sometimes I am successful. Sometimes not. But one thing is for sure, someone inside of me, who I can't even recognize, is emerging.

    1. Hi al,
      Yes, you're right ...... we can't live for others. Not all of the time. But if, in the beginning, that's all that keeps you alive, it's good enough. And maybe it's the start we need, before we can manage to do it for ourselves.
      I'm glad you're here, but sorry you need to be. Seven months is still so early. I'm impressed with your thoughts and the ability to communicate them at this point. :)
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It helps me feel better when people can relate to my words.

  26. I just read all the posts, which are all really helpful. I lost my husband 2 months ago of 17 years. I have an 12 and 17 year old girl. All the posts have helped me understand that at some point i may feel better. Right now it is so hard to get up and get going. The kids are what make me go on.Life is truly very difficult right now .It does help hearing that there are many others that do finally feel better after time. Life does go on!


    1. Hi Lynn,
      I'm glad that found the comments helpful. And I'm glad that you took the time to write and say that. We all feel somewhat better when we know we've helped another widowed person to feel a little bit positive.
      I'm so sorry that you and your children are having to endure this. And that's really what it is ...... an endurance trip. A very, very long one. Everyone goes through it at their own pace, and at their own timing.
      I'm glad that you're able to get up each morning, for whatever reason.
      But just so you know ...... it's perfectly acceptable to stay in bed all day long every so often. And it's good for you (every so often).
      I'm glad you're here, even though it sucks that you have a reason to be.

  27. I am 8 weeks out from losing my husband today. I have felt this way most of the time since he passed. I've never wanted to hurt myself, but I have thought many times that it would be easier- a relief- for everything to just...(like you said) STOP. I've felt guilt and frustration over the fact that I continue to go on out of obligation for other people (we have 4 young children) and not because my life feels like its anything that anyone would want to experience, let alone live on a daily basis. Its hard, and its miserable, and...I just want back my husband. I want back my life. Its almost too much to believe that those things cant and wont ever happen. My therapist said the same thing last week- that I wont always feel this way. Thank you for sharing and thank you for this post. I still wonder if it will happen, but I wait and hope that one day I wont constantly feel like I am being crushed emotionally. I know things wont ever be the same, or really be "ok", and that I will not only grieve for myself but also I grieve for my children and what they have lost as well. But somewhere in me is the tiniest bit of hope that one day every day will not feel like this.

    1. CK,
      I am so very sorry for what has happened to you and to your children. This all sucks so much ...... on so many levels. And yes, it does seem that we are sometimes (most times early on) staying on this earth because of an obligation(s) for someone else. And it's easy to resent that. Above all, it's normal.
      I know you are hurting beyond any hurt you've ever felt before ...... emotionally as well as physically. And I'm sorry. No one should ever have to go through this. No one.
      But, as we all know too well ...... people do. Every day. Which is horrific.
      But, since this has happened to you, and so very recently, I'm glad that you have found us. You will read every day how perfectly normal you are. And how much we care for each other and don't want anyone to feel alone.
      But more than anything, we want to keep giving you those tiny slivers of hope, which slowly become bigger. Keep coming back here.
      And keep breathing.

  28. You've no idea how much I needed to read this today. It's been a little over 5 years, and there are days I am still struggling to not give up and give in to my desire to simply stop being. The closest I've come to giving in was when I was in San Diego a couple of years ago, and only the knowledge of how much damage I could end up doing to others kept me going on. So often I resent having to stay here for others, when the one who was always here for me isn't anymore. I know things are better now than they were 5 years ago, but I really needed to hear that they'll get better than this, and to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    1. Maya,
      I'm so glad that you read our blog today. And I'm glad that it struck a chord with you, and helped.
      That's all I can hope for. For anyone who comes here.
      To be able to help them get through the next few breaths.
      And give them hope.
      Thank you for commenting.

  29. You have an amazing way with putting every thought I've had into written words. I relate so easily to your posts. I've been reading this blog for the past 5 years since my husband passed away unexpectedly when I was 4 months pregnant. I have been there, many times and for long periods of time, just wanting it to end. I truly thought my son would be better off without me because I was so full of grief. Reading this post now has brought back so many memories of that time, a time that thankfully I haven't gone back to in a while now. Thank you for still being here and continuing to write every week and continuing to give hope to so many!

    1. Kim,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Five years ...... it seems more like 5,000, doesn't it? And then sometimes, it seems like 5 seconds.
      You've been through so much in all this time ...... I'm glad that those dark times are more of a memory for you now, rather than a fresh experience.
      Thank you for commenting ...... and giving others hope.

  30. Wow, I really needed to read this today! It has been 20 months for me that my Ralph was tragically and suddenly taken from me by a distracted driver! Ralph was an avid bicyclist and was hit from behind. He died at the hospital and I never got to see him! Some days, I just don't want to go on anymore! It has gotten so much better and still days come when putting that one foot in front of the other is so difficult! I am so glad you understand. Thank You!

    1. Dear RFD,
      Thanks so much for commenting. I'm glad that you were able to read this today, and that it helped you know you're not alone.
      At 20 months you're still pretty fresh on this road, but you've still come a long way from where you started.
      Hang in there ...... and keep breathing.

  31. Thank you Janine for this blog. Although my husband has been gone 14 years, I never allowed myself to grieve. I was too busy dealing w/my two small children, my mentally ill mother who claimed "her" husband died & my husband's adult, drug addict son (and his lawyers) who have terrorized me for 14 years to get money.
    I have been committed 3 times, 2 involuntary for suicidal tendencies. While in treatment, they delve into my "childhood" which was wrought w/abuse. I can't get past secular counselors making me go back through all the abuse of my childhood or Christian counselors who say, God will get me through this.
    I have had a mysterious intestinal ailment for two & 1/2 years now & they keep sending me to doctors, counselors, etc. I am on my third opinions as to whether I need 3 surgeries, all the while seeing a counselor once a week, convincing her (and my daughter) that I will not kill myself. But every day I want to be my last.
    My son, who works for a church and plans on going to seminary has turned his back on me. He married into what he finally thinks is "the perfect family" and since he was only 8 when his dad, who had been ill most of his life died, he is finally rid of the defective family.
    I was an attorney who helped many abused women & children and felt like I went through my childhood for that reason--to help women and children and tell them they have a future & hope. But now, after four lawsuits, judges & my own lawyers being paid off, and a judgment against me, I don't see a future for myself. I just want to check out. This pain is unbearable, our legal system is so crooked and I just don't see a future. I am actually praying I do have to have surgery and that I don't survive it so that my daughter does not have to live with me giving up on life.

    1. Oh, Anon ......
      There are no words for how much my heart hurts for you and all you've been through. It totally sucks. Those are the only words that seem to fit even a tiny bit.
      I'm glad that you're reading, and I hope that you continue to come here and read. And I pray that we continue to speak to your heart and help you feel less alone, and very, very sane. Through very insane circumstances.
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. You are special. And very needed.
      Please, keep breathing.

    2. Thanks Janine for your kind words. I had a very intense session w/my counselor then came home to have another threatening letter from my stepson's lawyer. I continue to feel like I take one step forward & two back. If I could just find an advocate for me until I can regain my strength but my counselor says that even with solid proof about being terrorized & abused by these lawyers, I just sound crazy. She says she knows I am not but it is like a John Grissom novel and lay people just don't understand. The lawyers say I am being taken but no one will represent me b/c of the good ole boy system. My dream was to go to work in the mission field dealing w/slave traffickers but I can't get healthy enough to get to that point. I even moved (left the home I raised my children in) to another town to start over but the lawyers keep dragging me back to Court back in my hometown. It is sad that people will help women who are abused, girls who are sold into slave trafficking and widows in Africa who property is stolen by male relatives but there is no hope for an American widow who worked alongside of her husband, built a life together for themselves and their children and have it all lost to unscrupulous lawyers. It's bad enough to lose your husband, have their children lose their father but to continually being taken advantage of by unscrupulous lawyers, greedy relatives and a corrupt legal system is more than I can bare.

    3. I'm definitely keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. And wishing I could do more. Just keep breathing. I have to believe that, "this, too, shall pass." And you'll come out on the other side, stronger and braver than you ever thought possible.
      That's my hope for you.

  32. Janine,

    You are amazing. You have made a big difference in my life. You see, I was at that dark, scary, intense place too. You have made me understand, that if I am ever there again, I will get through it.