Grief and The Fear of Letting Go

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Litsa Williams


In the beginning, grief is a fog—a thick, dense, and never-ending barrier between you and the world as you once knew it. You figured it would lift, as fog tends to do, but after days and then weeks spent under its heavy cloak, you begin to wonder if it’s become a part of your everyday life. In those moments, you might have thought, “All I want is to feel better,”  because you want to feel normal, whatever that may mean to you. Yet the simplicity of a ‘normal’ existence seems unfathomable. Impossible even.

Then, one day, you look around and realize you can see a little further in front of you. Things are more colorful and they’re coming into clarity. The days start getting a little bit easier, the nights a little more restful. The tears come a little less and things like laughter, joy, and gratitude are once again a part of your emotional repertoire. The smallest sliver of light cuts into the dark and you realize that this must be what ‘healing from grief’ looks like. You also realize, that progress doesn’t feel as sweet as you imagined.

“Something feels off,”  you say to yourself. “I should feel better about feeling better.”  

Grief is funny, you know? You desperately want it to go away, except for sometimes when you don’t want it to go away.

Over the course of time, it seems, love has gotten all mixed up with pain and grief. You realize your pain has become the expression of love lost—the way you honor your loved one, the one consistent link between life with them and life without them, and an element of proof that their life left an indelible mark on those they leave behind.

Apparently, while you were wishing the pain of grief away, it turned into something else entirely. Maybe, in some ways, grief has even come to define you in the context of life after loss. Who are you if you are not someone grieving the loss of someone very special? And who are they if you are not here, in life, holding vigil for them?

If you are grappling with any of these thoughts or concerns, you are not the only one. These sorts of feelings come over many people and they might look a little something like this:

I feel okay today, this must mean I am forgetting my loved one!

My suffering is a sign of how much my loved one meant to me. If I’m not suffering my love for them must be diminishing!  

If I stop feeling the deep pain of grief, it is a sign life can move on without my loved one and I just won’t let that be true.

I knew how to be a wife and I know how to be a grieving widow, but I don’t know how to be a widow who has good days and is moving forward. 

The only thing that keeps me connected to my loved one and keeps their memory alive is the deep pain of my grief. Any little piece of that grief that disappears is another piece of my loved one disappearing.

These feelings are oh-so-common, I promise. It is common to feel extremely conflicted about feeling better and, although it may not seem rational, it is also common to gravitate towards the pain. When it feels like the alternative to feeling pain is losing connection to your loved one, what other choice do you have?

So, what to do? I suspect that the answer to that question will be personal and specific to you, but here is what I suggest:

Step One: The Biggest Step

Remember, your loved one’s memory does not live in the pain of your grief.

Say it with me: My loved one’s memory does not live in the pain of my grief.

Then where does your loved one’s memory live? As cheesy as it sounds, your loved one’s memory lives in YOU.

It lives in the stories that you tell people about your loved one. It lives in the memories you share together with friends and family. It lives in the things you do that your loved one taught you. It lives in the things you do in their honor and memory. It lives in every silly little thing you do to stay connected to them—from taking photographs, to listening to music they loved, to baking their favorite cake, to whatever other thing you do to continue bonds.

Now, it’s easy to see why this reality might be confusing, because in the beginning many of the above things used to bring you a lot of pain. Things like music, photographs, and other reminders could easily spur an uncontrollable crying spell and endless hours on the couch eating Ben and Jerry’s. Reminders once equalled sad… So it isn’t a far leap to think that, if the pain starts to go away, these things mean less to you… Which means your loved one’s memory is disappearing… Which means your love for them is diminishing.

But this is not what is happening, I promise.

We as humans are capable of some amazing things, like resilience and adaptability. As time passes, your brain learns to manage the emotional pain and, slowly but surely, you get a little more control over the memory. As you get further from your loss, the pain starts to ease just a bit. What you must realize your loved one is not disappearing as your pain diminishes; rather, you are learning to live with the memory of your loved one in a different way.


Step Two

Embrace the idea that as pain diminishes, you may actually find more space to continue bonds and to keep your loved one’s memory alive.

Example: Right after my dad died, if a Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) song came on the radio in the car, I had to change the station immediately. It was too much, I was immediately crying hysterically and a safety hazard to myself and other drivers. Now, when as CCR song comes on the radio, chances are I will sing along, do a ridiculous car-dance, and tell whoever is around how much the song reminds me of my dad.


Step Three

Make a conscious decision to continue bonds.

Your connection to your loved one can be part of your daily life, even as you move forward and find a ‘new normal’ (I know some of you hate that term!). So, figure out what that looks like for you. Don’t know where to start? Check out our article, 16 Tips for Continuing Bonds with People We’ve Lost. You may be surprised to see that, as you find positive ways to continue bonds with the person you have lost, you can let go of more and more of the pain without fear that you are letting go of the person you love.


Struggled with the fear of “moving on”?  Leave a comment to let us know. And don’t forget to subscribe to get 2 new posts about grief sent straight to your inbox each week!

Let’s be grief friends.

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143 Comments on "Grief and The Fear of Letting Go"

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  1. Tara  July 22, 2021 at 4:58 pm Reply

    Its been a year since his suicide. I feel guilty after 30 yrs asked for divorce. Now i would turn clock around and wish he was here. The good bad and ugly times. Alot happen in year. For me new job. New place new partner but yet i hurt and am lost. Who am i what is my purpose. Why i am a empty shell going with the flow. Have good days and days i cry feel like im forgetting him and our life. While trying to move on. And sometimes i dont want to.

  2. Pat  June 5, 2021 at 9:21 pm Reply

    Thank you for this article. My son sent it to me. I lost my husband almost 2 years ago. He has been one of the few things that has kept me going. This article was like it was written for me. The stories from other grieving people make me want to say: I’m sorry you feel like me. I have felt so alone and didn’t know about all of you! I wish you all the same peace and healing I am looking for.

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  3. Kanika  May 17, 2021 at 1:05 am Reply

    I lost my boyfriend on 14 may 2021 who was just 26 years old in a road accident on 13th may we did talked to each other and he was happy that day When i heard the news on 14th may i was in a shock and unable to believe that i didn’t cried that day because it was so shocking for me to believe that i love him more than my life from 15th may i started believing that he is no more he used to talk to me daily i can’t live without him and i never imagined that i will ever have to live without him for me it’s too tough to live my life without him i don’t want to forget that pain ever moving on is not easy for me i can’t forget him we used to talk daily and i used to talk to him only not anyone else he was my everything i even was not able to meet him last time due to the lockdown and i feel so guilty why i fought with him that day when we last talked to each other he was such a perfect guy for me i ever met in my life still i use to fight him so much but still he never felt bad for that i used to msg him daily still i know he will never be able to reply me again i still don’t want to talk to anyone else accept him and u knew that he will never talk me again i’m unable to sleep and eat i never want my love for him decrease ever because i always promised him i will love him always no matter what and i will always be with him

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    • Christine  June 28, 2021 at 7:34 pm Reply

      Yes I lost my boyfriend he was
      Murdered on May 1 2020 I’m still lost it’s like what happened it was like 48 hours type stuff you don’t see and I’m so crushed I most definitely feel your pain.

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    • Lin  July 18, 2021 at 4:27 am Reply

      This is me right now 😭 i feel exactly the same way about my late bf, and yes i didnt get to see or talk to him on his last days because of the pandemic. He even died suddenly from the virus 😭 he’s only 24.
      Cant imagine moving on with life without him… He is literally everything to me. We had sooo much dreams together and it’s instantly gone….

  4. Rose  April 6, 2021 at 12:50 pm Reply

    Thank you for this article. I didn’t know that what I am feeling right now is entirely common (and normal). I have been dwelling on my pain because I thought that my loved one deserves my tears, every single day.

    However, unlike the other grief stories remembering their loved ones whom they had made many memories with, my grief centers on the passing of my second born. She was just 2 days old. It was an unexpected loss, following her birth. My dreams, and all that I imagined I would do for her and our family, came crashing down. I am a mess. I am broken. I am afraid.

    How should I deal with this type of loss? What memories of her would bring me joy? The thought of what could have been is killing me to pieces. I miss my baby.

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  5. Janey  April 6, 2021 at 10:42 am Reply

    Thanks so much for the post on Grief and the Fear of Letting Go. Once or twice I have felt that (my husband has been gone almost a year and a half). Like not grieving as hard means forgetting him or breaking the bond. I cried as I read the post, it is so true. I am still grieving deeply and it will be a while until I see truly sunny days (right now they’re minutes, here and there), but your post has hit one puzzling nail on the head and been a huge help in my process. Many thanks.

  6. Meri lee Testa  March 24, 2021 at 8:48 pm Reply

    Hi – I lost my husband of 33 years to liver cancer sept 2019 , am fearing letting go of my grief in fear that he will b forgotten , I guess I didn’t realize I was doing this until I thought about it .

  7. Deidre  March 2, 2021 at 11:43 am Reply

    I was married for 56 years.my love died Jan 6 2021. The last 12 my husband was in and out of hospitals starting in 2008 with pancreatitis, tube feeding,surgeries, bladder cancer,kidney cancer,kidney removal,other kidney failure,3 years of dialysis and finally mouth and neck cancer. I was his caretaker.Nothing was too much for me to do because I loved him. Finally losing so much weight because he could not eat with the help of hospice and his decision to stop dialysis I had to administer his medication so that he would not suffer the pain of cancer and his body shutting down because he was no longer on dialysis. I thought I was prepared for his death because I watched him die a little more every day for a week. I prayed he would keep sleeping as he wished. He did. I was not prepared. I am devastated and cry at least half a day every day. I wonder did he love me? Did he know how much I loved him? I think of our early life and the beautiful couple we used to be. My mind wont shut down and I feel as if I want to die the pain is so physical and emotional that it takes my breath away. Yesterday I went through cards he sent me that I saved since the 90s just so that I could read his words of love. Am I losing it? I am normally a strong person. I had to be to care for him with all the love and patience I could muster.I am lost,I feel guilty,I feel as if I have lost a leg and an arm. Sometimes I can barely get out of bed. All of a sudden he is not there for my constant care and I feel as if I have fallen into a black hole. Has anyone else had this kind of experience? I feel so alone in my grief. Deidre

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    • amy knapp  March 16, 2021 at 8:29 pm Reply

      Deidre — My beloved husband passed away 6 months ago, and I think you are experiencing grief, period. Several months after losing Larry, I felt like it hurt to breath, which scared me. I felt crazy — some evenings it was all I could do not to run down to the cemetery and claw him out of the ground and bring him home. I still struggle with that. And yet, it is better. sometimes I am almost happy. And that makes me cry. I don’t want to have new experiences, because then he won’t have shared them and I will be leaving him behind. I think what you and I are experiencing is grief. And I think it gets better. And I think the ‘getting better’ is painful in and of itself. hang in there and go thru it. love, amy

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    • Janey  April 6, 2021 at 11:06 am Reply

      A thing you said in your post caught my attention: you wonder if your husband loved you. I found myself wondering the same thing. In retrospect, it seems foolish. I too went through cards I had saved over the years, and he did love me, so much. I think when it first happens, you doubt everything. Sometimes nothing feels real. But I can assure you: you were beloved. No matter how sick he was, he knew you were there.

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    • Pat  June 5, 2021 at 9:24 pm Reply

      Deirdre your courage and caring for your husband amazes me. I am praying for you and hope you feel a little bit of healing every day.

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  8. Sunshine Haven  February 8, 2021 at 6:56 pm Reply

    My husband died unexpectedly three weeks ago. He is only 41. The grief and pain comes in waves. I feel as though I will die and then suddenly I feel empty and nothing. Then I remember he died without my being able to give him one more hug. To tell him how proud I am of him. How thankful I am for the time we had together. To tell him how much I love him. Pain, emptiness, pain, emptiness. It comes and goes. It is all so unbelievable.

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    • Brett Coleman  February 9, 2021 at 10:36 am Reply

      So sorry for your loss, I felt almost the same way, I couldn’t think because I didn’t know what to think or what I was thinking either, I was just left with to sleep and I couldn’t do a thing correctly but with the help of whatsyourgrief.com I was able to get through it and now I’m now having to know that nothing stays forever, we just have to get used to it, I just want to wish you good luck learning through and quick recovery from grieving 💜 you can write to me if you’d liked to be friends and more from me it’s my Gmail ([EMAILED REMOVED]) ✨

    • Amie  February 27, 2021 at 10:54 pm Reply

      I lost my 8 yr old in Dec. After a 27 month cancer fight….I held him and spoke with him as he slipped away and I totally relate to the waves of numb followed by excruciating pain. I was somewhat prepared for his passing…..so I thought …but it still feels shocking that he’s gone and I question everything.

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      • Pat  June 5, 2021 at 9:27 pm

        I am so sorry for your loss. I have been so wrapped up in my grief I never thought about other grief stricken people. I will keep you in my prayers I hope the gentle wind will touch your face and that you will know your son is still with you.

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  9. Andres Dadisman  January 17, 2021 at 11:35 pm Reply

    Wow, what an eye opener!! Reading the list strikes me cold. I’m nearly 53 and my ‘mother’ is 79 and she has reigned her terror on me since childhood. I was afraid of her up until a few years ago but she has meddled in my life again and again. She is selfish to the core and puts no-one ahead of herself, even my father (82) who has been battling cancer for over 5 years, going out most days enjoying her ‘social life’ leaving him at home alone, she even turns the heating off when she leaves the house! She has meddled in my relationship with my eldest son (27) and has caused me to have a long period without seeing my grandchildren. I am repairing my relationship with my son and have been seeing my grandchildren again recently (they are 6 and 4). My son’s relationship has just ended and he has moved in lodging with my parents so she has her claws into him again! We will see how that one pans out but I have to distance myself for my own sanity. I have been in counselling for over a year now and have come to realise that most of my problems are linked to her in some way and her toxicity. I visited my parents recently and behind my back she bad-mouthed me to my father saying that I had made a good effort to lose a lot of weight but am obviously now gaining it again (I have lost almost 2 stone, and still losing!) I have decided for my own self-worth it is best I see her as little as possible and have explained to Dad that I want to visit him wherever possible when she is out as I don’t want to spend any time with her which he understands. He says she is living like a widow already and she is just waiting for him to die so she can ‘get on with her life!’ Nice after 60 years of marriage!! She will never see any wrong in herself but loves to run others down. She hates my fiancé and is ‘waspy’ when we visit because of it, hence another reason to distance myself from her. She also hated my best friend who passed away just over a year ago, come to think of it there isn’t a lot about me that she ever approved of. Now is the time for me to move on, leave her and her toxic personality behind and really start to heal myself. Today is the first day of the rest of my life and its about time I was happy doing what I want without her having an opinion about it!!

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  10. Kenzie  January 10, 2021 at 9:32 pm Reply

    I lost my teenage nephew a couple of months ago. He was murdered. He was like my son and I miss him terribly. I have a hard time eating and sleeping. I’ve dealt with everything that was stated in this article. I cry every day. The pain is so unbearable. If I’m having a decent day or even laughing at something I feel like I’m moving on without him. I tell myself that I don’t want to grieve anymore. I’m tired of crying, not sleeping, feeling like I need to throw up. But as much as I’m tired of grieving I find myself back in the same state…grieving. I’m trying to be kinder to myself and allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel. Some days I can look at his pictures and other days it’s to painful. Some days I’m still in disbelief and hope that I’m dreaming. It’s a daily struggle but I know I’ll get through this.

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    • IsabelleS  January 11, 2021 at 11:08 am Reply

      Kenzie, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you’re experiencing. You’re right: You will get through this! I hear that you want to stop grieving. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you need to feel, and know that sometimes grief never “ends.” It’s okay to have good and bad days. You may want to check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-recovery-is-not-a-thing/ I hope this website has shown you that, no matter what, you’re not alone. All the best to you.

  11. Autumn  January 1, 2021 at 7:28 am Reply

    I lost my dog three months ago and every day since has been excruciating agony. My physical health has disappeared and I’m like an old woman, I have brain fog and struggle to even get dressed most days. I truly believe that what you love is the soul and not the physical person. The soul I love happed to be in the form of a small dog but when she passed my reason for existing went too. No one who knows me has dared say ‘get another one, she was just a dog’ but I can see the confusion and not understanding in their eyes. I pity them in return and go back to my shell of a life. I knew the day I adopted her that she would have many years less than me on this earth but I did it anyway. We had many years together and we were the centre of each other’s world. When she became sick and old I cared for her and she repaid me by getting me through some dreadful years. I know everyone says this about a beloved dog but she was one in a million, I swear she was not just a regular dog. Her eyes showed that, she saw things and absorbed knowledge and she was wise. And now I must go onwards into this new terrifying world without her, the safe haven she provided is gone and every night when I lay down to sleep I pray for a miracle that she will be there in the morning. But miracles don’t exist. I can feel death near to me, not in the sense that I want to die but that part of me is gone, dead for ever. I struggle so much with the fact that I will never see her again, never cuddle her again. Rebuilding my life is so hard and I have so little motivation.

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    • IsabelleS  January 1, 2021 at 1:30 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear that you’re going through this. I know firsthand how devastating it is to lose a dog… It truly is like losing a best friend. What you’re experiencing is so normal and valid during grief. I understand how difficult it must be to have other people not “get it.” You may find this article somewhat helpful: https://whatsyourgrief.com/mans-best-friend-6-considerations-for-grieving-the-loss-of-a-pet/#:~:text=Your%20grief%20is%20normal.&text=Because%20pet%20loss%20isn't,pet%20loss%20is%20so%20difficult%3A&text=People%20feel%20protective%20of%20their%20pets. Perhaps you should seek out the support of a therapist trained in handling grief and bereavement, which you can find here: https://grief.com/grief-counselor-directory/. If you are ever thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ All the best to you.

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      • Kathyn N Mahlin  January 30, 2021 at 4:00 pm

        I lost part of my self when my Mother,went to haven the pain never go,s Mother I am Happy I know I will see and talk to u when I am n Haven Love Kathyn.

    • Cee  January 1, 2021 at 3:06 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry you lost your fur baby.
      I have lost many pets over the years and each one hurts so much. Dogs and cats have a special place in our hearts. They are so loving and supportive and empathetic in such a wonderful way.
      It sounds like you gave your doggie such a beautiful life. Thank you for being such a wonderful pet parent and for loving her so much, with all your heart, right to the end.
      The world is scary and difficult, but maybe thoughts of your beloved dog can help you be strong, like she was strong. When the time is right, another soul-in-dog-form will come into your life. It has happened to me! I lost my cat, Noodles, two years ago and I was so heartbroken. Then one day I was walking down a dirt road and found 3 tiny kittens abandoned in a cardboard box. I rescued them and they are my world now.
      Be kind to yourself and seek help if you can. Visit an animal shelter to cuddle with homeless doggies. Donate to a dog rescue charity. Volunteer with a group focused on animal welfare. Your heart will never be the same but it will feel better in time.
      Much love to you from another dog mom. 🤍

    • Shannon  January 4, 2021 at 8:42 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry for you loss of your baby. I know exactly how you feel. When my Gunner left my whole world stopped. I always knew that we had a special bond. He was wise beyond his years. We had lost dogs before but this was very different. I would cry from the time I woke up until I went to bed. I walked around in a thick fog that I couldn’t shake. I would just sit starting into space begging God to let me go back. My heart was shattered in a million pieces. I could understand how someone could die from a broken heart. I couldn’t eat and couldn’t sleep. If I did fall asleep I would wake up with terrible anxiety. Just be kind to yourself. Everyone grieves differently. There is no timetable. Grief is like riding a roller coaster with all its ups and downs. Or it’s like the waves in the ocean. Sometimes it’s calm and sometimes it comes in with a fury and just flattens you. Somedays you will be able to hold it together for a minute, a hour or a day. Every day will be different. What helped me was that I contacted an animal communicator. It let me tell him everything that I didn’t get to say. It brought me much comfort. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.

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    • kath  January 22, 2021 at 6:03 pm Reply

      Autumn, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet dog! I lost my little pup almost 3 years ago and I still grieve. I’m glad you had such a special relationship with her, even though it means more grief now. Not everyone gets that. God bless you as you continue to struggle with your grief.

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    • Grieving  January 28, 2021 at 12:21 am Reply

      I’m so sorry about your loss. That’s what brought me here, myself. My very best friend in the world, my soul mate, passed 5 days ago. I, too, dreaded this day from the beginning but even still, it happened years before I would have expected.

      To say I feel broken inside is an understatement. I have never faced grief so strong. My Stanley could see inside my soul. I don’t want to go on without him.

      Tonight when I was getting my other dog ready for bed, I didn’t look for Stanley. That hurt me more than the past 4 nights because I don’t want this to be normal. Making it normal and accepting it hurts me inconsolably.

      I am completely beside myself with devastation.

      Just know that I know what you’re feeling. I’ve mourned friends, family, pets and even amazing, more-than-a-dog dogs and never have I felt like this because he truly was the very best friend I’ve ever had. So, know you’re not alone, unfortunately.

      I will keep you both in my heart and prayers. 🙏💔

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  12. Cee  December 27, 2020 at 4:23 pm Reply

    My sister died suddenly and unexpectedly in October. She was my best friend and the most wonderful person I ever knew.
    Because of the stupid virus, I couldn’t go home for Christmas. Instead, I did video calls with my parents, my other sister, and my deceased sister’s family — her husband and three preteen girls.
    To me, everyone seemed so normal. They laughed and talked and moved like they weren’t in agony every moment. I don’t feel normal at all. I feel like I’ve aged 100 years and I cry every day.
    Why have they moved on? Were they just pretending to be happy because it was Christmas? I could barely smile at the video camera as I talked, and yet they were all acting like everything was fine. Are they forgetting her already? Why would they do that? They’re just going to forget her — the most wonderful person, the brightest light, the most joyful person I knew. She’s just going to disappear and eventually her kids won’t remember her at all and they won’t know that they look like her and laugh like her and everything good about them is because of her.

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    • IsabelleS  December 28, 2020 at 11:38 am Reply

      Cee, I’m so sorry for your loss and for the pain you are experiencing. I cannot begin to understand how difficult it must have been to feel as though others have moved on and forgotten your sister. Please take comfort in the fact that everyone grieves differently, and that your loved ones are likely all grieving in their own unique ways. You may want to check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/whats-grief-style-aka-coping-kind-crazy/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/types-of-grief/ Please be gentle with yourself as you navigate this. All the best to you.

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  13. Linda Davis  December 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm Reply

    Grief and immortality. Recently a woman suffering with cancer in our building died. My concern centered around her cat. I knew this woman only slightly. Her cat on the other hand had caught my attention many times, as he wandered about at night. I would feed him sometimes. Never knew his name! When this lady passed away, I was grateful that her pain was now gone. Her cat was left for a week in this dark, empty unit. Someone would go and give it food and water, but he was left to deal with his loneliness and possible grief, all alone. As family came to remove her belongings, I sat watching from a nearby vantage point, where I could hear and see the activity going on. I felt such a deep sadness for this woman and her cat. As they packed up the last of her stuff, and made plans for whatever the next day would bring them. I sat there thinking. That’s all there is! One day she was here, and now she’s gone! I never saw the cat, so I hoped he would be fine and not dropped at a shelter, to also disappear from memory! Where this story was taking me, was the thought of how quickly you can fade from ever having been here! Is that the part of letting go that is so difficult or sad? Will you only be remembered briefly? Watching people move on, or appearing to move on, brings me such anxiety! I think this feeling is only connected to the loss of my children. At least, for the most part. But, I find myself thinking, will it be the same when I die? Will I be missed, in the same way I miss my children, or will I be like this woman, here today, gone tomorrow, now let’s move on! It just feels so pointless. Am I grieving my own loss, before it even happens? Sorry, I start writing with a thought in mind, and end up down a road I wasn’t expecting!

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  14. George  December 5, 2020 at 11:35 am Reply

    I lost my beloved dog in August. I never loved anyone more. I have lost family and friends before but this is worse, as odd as some folks may think that sounds.
    The thing, as described above, I do not want the grief to end. To me it IS the symbol of my love for him. I can’t find any resources that permits for my view. Everyone wants you to go through the “stages” And “heal.” I don’t want to. I would just like some validation. But I am truly alone in my view. I’m 62 and don’t have a lot left to do in this world.

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    • IsabelleS  December 7, 2020 at 10:47 am Reply

      George, I’m so sorry for your loss. I completely understand how difficult it is to lose a pet… It’s like losing a best friend. I recommend you check out these articles: https://whatsyourgrief.com/mans-best-friend-6-considerations-for-grieving-the-loss-of-a-pet/ and https://whatsyourgrief.com/disenfranchised-grief/ I completely understand wanting to hold onto your grief. You’re actually not alone in this view… It’s so normal and valid to think that holding on to grief is a way to honor those who have passed. Please be gentle with yourself.

    • Linda Davis  December 11, 2020 at 3:52 pm Reply

      Dear George, You are not alone in your feelings over the loss of your dog. Our attachment to our pet or pets, certainly comes with a lot of opinions from others, but my animals are as important to me as my children are. I have loved each pet with all of my heart, but there have been a few that held a special place, for various reasons, but one reason was not more important than another. They were essential at that time. I had three children, but two have passed away and their deaths have been devastating to me. But, my grief for these two children, were both extremely deep and different. Trying to explain that, just doesn’t come easily, because grief comes differently each and every time! I have grieved as hard over the loss of one of my pets, as I have over my children, because love is love, and losing what you love, hurts! It’s not a competition, it’s an emotion from within. We like people to understand, but it’s not the end all, if they don’t. When it’s so hard to express our own feelings to our own selves, it’s no wonder it is hard for others to understand. What I do know, grief is personal, and all grief is valid, even though I still have many areas that I wrestle with, of this I am certain! I am so sorry for the loss of your dog and best friend. I hope you will find some peace and comfort, unexpected as it may be! <3

  15. Vera  November 9, 2020 at 6:27 pm Reply

    I lost my husband of 36 years to a self inflicted gunshot wound on January 25 2020. Right after his memorial service, our world turned upside down with the Corona virus. My life can never return to what I’ve always known as “normal”. I live very much away from people. It was always great for us as a couple but now I’m alone and can’t even go out to be with people anymore. I’m left feeling abandoned even by my country.

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  16. Sonia mendez  October 21, 2020 at 3:59 pm Reply

    I lost my husband mach 29 2019 36 years of gbeing together and I still have hard time

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  17. May  October 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm Reply

    I Lost my dad to cancer at the age of 11, it was extremely painful but i feel because i was young i didnt really understand the true meaning of death(that i would never see him again),i am now 30 and cant remember his face unless i look at pictures.Last year November i lost my Mum to cancer and im struggling to let her go because i fear if i let go i wont be able to picture her face or smile..My mums death has broken me inside,she was my best friend.I feel empty and angry because she was only 57. Most days i cant believe she is gone and i get angry when people expect me to let her go..i look at daughter who are my age or older that have their mothers and i envy them. I keep replaying her last 2months of her life from the day we found out she had cancer,even though this causes me pain its the only memories that i think about..WHY did she have to die so soon..I honestly hate life and feel those who die are lucky..

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  18. James Dickinson  October 10, 2020 at 7:58 am Reply

    I lost my father at a very young age. As a growing boy, it really leaves you with a sick feeling that you’ll never be a man or even an adult because aren’t taught the kinds of things a man should teach their child. I always felt left out, with the growing need to be included in something like fishing, hunting, auto repair. Even basic fundamentals to being an adult that anyone should know. I still haven’t overcome that feeling and I’m 23. It hurts to see others thriving so easily to move forward in their lives. Seeing them build careers, be involved in communities, and just plain be happy. I have a huge hole in my heart that can never be filled. I don’t just miss my dad, I long for the person I could have been so much sooner. It’s not as simple as “I miss them” it’s more like “how could I possibly function without the impact they could’ve continued to make on me if they could still be here?”. It’s crippling.

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  19. l.  September 24, 2020 at 2:40 pm Reply

    Plenty to read in the comments so I keep mine short and to the point and directly about this article. I find it very offensive and dismissive when anyone keeps saying “oh get another one! oh you will have plenty more people in your life. oh now you can direct your attention to others.” WELL EXCUSE ME BUT DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT BEING IN LOVE WITH A LIVING SOUL EVEN MEANS?! At least at the level I’m talking about, the human population of this world could literlly vanish and as long as I had her I would live happily. She’s the center of my being. There is NO replacing, NO distracting, NO new bluh bluh when you love that purely and hard, when we’re talking about TRUE and REAL LOVE. They’re the one and only. There is a reason why we use the phrase “love of my life” meaning only one being and that can be anyone, I’m not referring only to romantic relationships, as this kind of deep and pure love where the other being becomes the center of your existence can literally happen between ANY two living beings even among siblings, even among humans and animals and among animals themselves. “You’ll forget about her soon” or “get new ones to ease the pain” are pretty much among the worse ‘consolements’ you could give to a grieved person and I wouldn’t be surprised if they like myself become enraged by such ignorant suggestions. Other people might not like it but within that true love you WANT all your attention and time and everything else to go to one being aka your love. Your argument of “feeling like you now have time for more people or more activities” sounds more true to horrible marriages where they’re secretly wishing eachother dead NOT any relationship that’s based on read and true love between the two. My deepest condolences and empathy to those who like myself are aching souls, grieving the departure of their loved ones.

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  20. Zoe Campos  June 29, 2020 at 1:56 am Reply

    Thank you for assuring me that the memories I shared with the deceased will always live in me and they’ll never be lost and forgotten in time. My childhood friend got involved in a car accident and although it has been a year, I can’t help but feel bad for her and what she could have been today if she survived. It might be better for me to seek grief counseling services so I can let go of this feeling that has been weighing me down for a while now.

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  21. Zuzu  May 28, 2020 at 6:10 am Reply

    I have been struggling to deal with the loss of my brother, it seems so unfair, he was 54 years old, he was arrested by police and tortured, i was working on human rights but did not dare to support his case he filed against torture out of the fear for other family members. He died in prison, never having the chance to come out. And i am sitting here and blaming myself for everything, not being able to help him, not having the chance to tell him how much i love him, due to covid not having the chance to travel to his funeral and say goodbye, not being there with my parents who suffer the loss of their son dearly. I feel such a failure to have let him down, i have to live with a guilt, but i am still alive, whereas he is gone, gone forever. I don’t seem to be able to go on but somehow believe if i manage to travel to visit my parents maybe grieving together will help both of us, i don’t know. For the moment, life seems dark and unfair, lost all beliefs and faith, not sure where to find reconciliation.

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  22. Geralind Garcia  May 22, 2020 at 3:31 am Reply

    I can’t find the right words to say HOW BADLY RUINED I AM without him in my Life right now. I lost my long term boyfriend, My Live in partner UNEXPECTEDLY last June 17,2019. I was with him when it happen to him, i hate the fact that people can really take someone’s life. I LOVE HIM SO MUCh, he was my everything!! HE’S ALL I EVER NEED. I know he was not ready to go because we never knew that will happen to him, We have a lots of plans for our future together. I FEEL LIKE I CAN’T REPLACE HIM Something like NO ONE CAN REPLACE HIM in my life. I know i have to let him go for him to have peace BUT i just can’t i’m sorry 🙁 Since that day, The day he left this world i feel so HOPELESS, SHATTERED, MISERABLE 🙁 The way he died was unacceptable for me. I don’t know what he did wrong, i don’t have any idea what was the real reason for them to do that to him 🙁 I DON’T know where to start, i want him to make me feel that he is still with me. i need him to do that for me.
    THE FEELING THAT i have to make people believe that i am okay BUT I AM NOT OKAY! and i guess i will never be okay!! Until now i still grief, i am trying to help myself, people always say to let him go BUT THEY DON’T know IT’S NOT THAT EASY 🙁 I AM NOT MAKING THIS COMMENT TO pity myself to anyone BUT I Am doing this just to express how i feel.
    TO HIM — ( mine i just wanna say sorry for how i feel, you knew how i love you and how much you mean to me, MINE Please be in my dreams, PLEASEEE .. FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I WILL SEARCH FOR MOMENTS FULL OF YOU. I LOVE YOU MINE I WILL ALWAYS DO.

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  23. prab  May 14, 2020 at 4:33 pm Reply

    every one here is talking about there husband or bf/gf or kid but i lost my younger sister …nobody understands grief of losing your sibling… she was my best friend..my little kid..my world.. it was so sudden.. i feel guilty whenever for fraction of second my minds goes off from her memories.. i feel i am betraying her my love for her… i don’t want to live …

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  24. Hollie Porter  May 13, 2020 at 12:29 am Reply

    It will be three years since my husband passed away May 17th. I have sabotaged every single possible relationship with any good man. I just did it again this week. Pushing him away before I get pushed away because I’m afraid to let my late husband go. I don’t know how to make room for someone else in my broken heart, yet I yearn to. It sounds really crazy to me, if I’m being honest. I don’t know how to do this.

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    • Heather  August 30, 2020 at 10:44 pm Reply

      Hi Holly. I feel your pain. I’m doing the exact same thing. I lost the love of my life five years ago to ALS and have had two relationships since then…I’m in the second and I miss my deceased husband so very much that I just want to toss this relationship away also to be alone. The man I’m with is such a good man…I don’t want to break his heart…he has had so much bad luck with women and he tells me I’m the love of his life. His daughter tells me that if I would ever leave it would kill him. I’m 67 years old and he’s 72.

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  25. Chris  April 12, 2020 at 11:00 pm Reply

    I lost closer 10 years ago my first girlfriend, trough things I couldn’t effect. I was not able to deal with her loss, it caused me amnesia that only later slowly eased off, letting me remember last time with her. Many years I blamed myself that it was my fault, she died, because had promised to protect her.
    I few days ago took candle to cemetery, almost broke down to tears when remembered all those good moments with her, realizing I deep within still am missing her, wish she would be here. I have after her, had two girlfriends but both have left me/broke with me in peaceful manner. I have more started to doubt am I ever able to truly have someone as unique as my first one was? to me she was my life, that light in the darkness. If could say something to her, it would be: “I love you..and I never will forget you..”
    If only could turn time back and have that one last moment of happiness with her again, I would take it.

  26. Shonnie  March 8, 2020 at 9:43 pm Reply

    I lost my parents both in 2018 and i didnt cry and now i feel angry realising they not coming bsck

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  27. June  March 6, 2020 at 7:58 pm Reply

    Thanks for this article – this is how I feel exactly – I am afraid if the pain goes away I will lose my connection to my husband. I met him when I was 19 – we were best friends for 40 years, best marriage, we made it thru life’s ups and downs together, I don’t know how I can move on without him, I have lost my ambition and my lust for life which was so strong. If the shoe was on the other foot I would be so upset with him for not moving on, he would not want me to be miserable. I need to be thankful for the time we had, I was the luckiest wife alive for all that time. I would do it all again if I could, the pain is a small price to pay for the good times we had. I plan to pray for strength and expect time to help me move on but I will plan to do something everyday that I learned from him, a recipe, frame his picture, talk to him and perhaps someday I can listen to his favorite music again.

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    • Aiden Tobon  April 10, 2020 at 8:09 pm Reply

      First and foremost my most sincere condolences I am really sorry for your loss it was a lifetime you shared with him. I totally understand your pain. My partner of 5 years passed away on Dec 2nd 2019 its been 4 months and I can’t stop crying he was my everything I lost my friend my lover my partner in crime my baby I lost my boyfriend we were gonna get married last month but that never happened. In the end his family took his body away from me and violated any legal documents I had from him and signed by him giving me the legal rights as to what his last wishes were . I can’t let go its so hard to let go specially when at the end I couldn’t make his last wishes possible nor I know where his body ended. And they caused all this pain to me all because I was his partner and we were a gay couple happily in love and they didn’t approve of us. Now I am struggling so bad in letting go I just can’t let go I miss my baby so much

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  28. Donna  January 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm Reply

    The pain never goes away. My job is to learn to carry it.

  29. Viv  January 24, 2020 at 10:27 am Reply

    I lost my dad five years ago tomorrow actually (25th January) and I’m definitely struggling with this. I spent the first few months going “it’s been ______ months I should be fine by now” and beating myself up. But I fear losing him again if I begin to feel better about it. I was a proper daddy’s girl and I know he’d tell me to get a shift on and stop being silly. Honestly it scares me. I lost a huge part of my identity when he died. Looking after him took up a huge part of the last 4 years of his life. Then he went and I had a massive identity gap. I’m scared to lose the identity he gave me as his daughter. Not that that makes any sense what so ever.

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  30. Carolyn Collins  January 21, 2020 at 8:29 pm Reply

    I lost my 24yr old daughter 09.24.19
    I’ve been thinking I was crazy for wanting to live in the pain. When the days have come where I’m not sadi wonder what’s wrong with me? Am I forgetting about her? I don’t want to forget! I don’t ever want to forget just how much pain I felt in those first few months. I don’t want to forget anything. I wish I had pictures of the morbid moments I spent with her. I sound like a psycho. Writing about her and how I felt, how I feel makes me sad. It makes it all so real. I want to hate life. I want to hate myself. I don’t want to be here but I have children, a husband, and a granddaughter to fight for. I hate grief.

  31. Brent Hopkins  January 13, 2020 at 12:47 am Reply

    I lost my dad may 9 2019still struggle with it
    Why is it so hard thought couse of my job being medical responder I could handle loss of my dad can’t hard what do I do help get over this

  32. Maggie  January 1, 2020 at 9:28 pm Reply

    So good to read comments…I lost my husband of 51 years back in November 2016…he was quite quickly taken by cancer…I was not expecting him to die until a day before hand…he was active,. I was devastated…such a loss to bear. Then 18mths later our adult son choked and later died..I grief daily for them both…it is terrible…I try so hard…to change. my thoughts to gratitude and appreciation to have had them in my life…but grief always returns and many days I find it hard to get out of bed….I miss their presence, their vitality…the banta. So much is no longer the same. The Dynamics of our family has changed. I miss family. As others say if days do improve I feel guilty..life has changed so much ..motivation is very difficult. God bless

  33. Vincent  December 22, 2019 at 12:10 am Reply

    I Lost My Dog about 3 Years Ago. he was the sweetest guy ever he died from heart complications at the age of 16. to this day I am still struggling, sometimes I think I see him in the next room, I had just came home from school and found him laying their and I just collapsed it was the worst pain I had ever experienced, I thought about ending my life because it felt like my whole world had just fallen apart. a lot of people told me to get over it that it was only a dog I am glad that I had people who understood what I was going through. I am still struggling but I am getting better we got another dog that looks a lot like him, my only wish is that I could have been their for his final moments

  34. Nadia Parker-Johnson  December 17, 2019 at 9:55 am Reply

    I lost my husband Richard in August, one month of pneumonia and complications that finally took his life. We were married for a brief time, 15 months. I am devastated and lost without him. Please help

    • Carrie Cardwell  January 1, 2020 at 1:19 pm Reply

      I just saw your comment and felt compelled to reach out to you….I lost my absolute best friend in the world, whom I lived with for nearly 7yrs, suddenly in May 2019…I’ve really been struggling and that’s what brought me to this site… But the main reason I’m messaging you is because I lost my husband suddenly in July 2010. He was the absolute love of my life and soulmate…we also have a son together who was only 21 months old when my husband passed…It hurt so badly I honestly didn’t think I would survive…I thought my heart would literally just stop beating from all the pain… Anyway, I did survive. If you’d like to chat, you’re more than welcome to e-mail me. Thanks for reading (part of) my story…

      • Mgslc  January 24, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        Hello Carrie,
        It’s been three years and seems like too many that my Husband, love of my life and soul mate was killed. I always Look for comfort in others that have gone through what I have To know I am Not alone and I will Be ok. I would like to be able to connect with you if you can. It’s difficult to move forward in life when everyone around tells you to get over it or has left our lives since his death. Thank you

  35. Marcia Stumpf  December 9, 2019 at 1:06 pm Reply

    This morning I had to Google “how to let go of of your grief without forgetting your loved one” and came across this site. This article was very helpful to me. I lost my mom 3 months ago after she experienced a 3-month downhill spiral from a severe stroke. She was 90 years old, almost 91, and besides the stroke had about every single thing wrong with her that a person could have go on in their body. She also had pretty progressed dementia. It was all very overwhelming and I hated seeing her suffer. She was the most wonderful, sweetest and warmest lady and never complained about her ailments. I was her main caretaker aside from those that took care of her where she lived. She was my best friend and it hurts so bad that sometimes I don’t know how I can function. I think I am on the right track as I am carrying out a lot of the suggestions on how to honor and keep someone alive and close without going through this horrible grief. I have these crying jags sometimes that about lay me on the floor. The thing is, I know she would hate, hate, hate for me to be this way. She lost two daughters and two husbands before she passed away herself. My sisters both died of cancer at a young age and it was very traumatic. My mom handled it with such grace and common sense. Of course she was very upset and mourned but she knew she had to move on. Lots of life left to live, she would say, and I will see them again and they are in my heart. . This is how she would want me to be so I’m trying hard to live by her example. It’s not easy but I am confident that I will get to that point and she will be proud of me from up in heaven.

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  36. Latrice Littlefield  September 29, 2019 at 2:13 pm Reply

    I lost my the love of my life..my best friend a few months ago from ALS..some days I’m great..others I’m horrible crying g off and on..I guess that is normal..Its very hard for others to understand what I am going through. Watching someone you love die, taking care of them, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done so its difficult to talk to my friends and family. They just do not understand. It’s not something I can just forget. So some days I shut down and I do not want to talk to anyone. Other days I’m so busy I cant really think straight, I dont know if that is good or bad. I just want my grief to be over, some days I feel like its starting all over from the day he passed.

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  37. Katrina  August 30, 2019 at 6:12 pm Reply

    My dad took his own life 20 years ago when I was 16 years old and it has been a roller-coaster ever since. He was my best friend, the person I could talk to about everything, the person who understood me in a way no one else did or does. We had a special bond that I think even he was surprised by. He often told me that my childhood was the happiest time of his life and that I was the best thing that ever happened to him. We were (are?) very very similar and both felt misunderstood at times. Losing him was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me. Especially because of the complicated emotions around suicide. All that being said, I want those of you who are in the earlier days of grief to know that you will feel happiness again. I don’t believe that “time heals all” because in some ways, time takes us further away from our loved one. But, those waves of unbearable pain do get further apart and you learn how to stop fighting the drowning feeling and instead just float. Letting go of the pain is still a struggle for me (this article explains it so well and has really helped), but I’ve come a long way. As someone who has never been religious, I resisted the signs that his energy was still present for almost 18 years. In the past two years, I’ve finally accepted that those dreams, those strange things that happen, the feelings and messages, the help when I ask for it – it’s him. There have been too many coincidences for it not to be. In that way, I believe that he is still there, guiding me. When you miss your loved one, speak to them and trust that the answer you hear deep inside – it’s real.

  38. JSenft  July 23, 2019 at 9:29 pm Reply

    I have two sons. The older of the two passed away in 2006. Devastated, but I had my husband and my youngest son to focus on, so, I kept getting up. That first year was brutal. My baby graduated HS and went off to the Air Force. Now what? Did his tour and came home. In 2017, he said he was ‘in a good place’ and ‘the happiest he’d been in years’. In 2018, he took his own life. I cannot let him go. Every day I struggle with getting up, but I have to because I am the sole bread-winner. I go to work (which I really do love), come home, go to bed. Every day. I check his fb page to see if any of his friends just randomly post things. Mostly, my sisters will share something that reminds them of him. I have conversations with him almost daily. I live in a constant state of exhaustion, and yet, when I go to bed at night, I stare at the ceiling, unable to sleep.

  39. Brian C.  July 21, 2019 at 10:52 pm Reply

    I came across this today…very timely on this day, “D + 29 months” of my mom’s passing (in other words, it happened exactly 29 months ago today)…in 3 weeks I reach a big milestone birthday and am saddened that my mom will not be here physically to help celebrate.

  40. Joel  July 16, 2019 at 10:15 am Reply

    We’re all in the same boat. We must be strong as the loved ones would be wanting that. They are looking down and protecting us, and still love us. God bless.

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  41. Jason Madrigale  June 23, 2019 at 10:39 pm Reply

    My wife Maria passed away from ACC Cancer on the day of our 4yr Anniversary!

  42. Jenny  May 17, 2019 at 5:04 am Reply

    Robinson.buckler@ yahoo. com helped me get my lover back,

  43. Alicia Arias  May 6, 2019 at 2:52 pm Reply

    I lost my only son at 27 it so hard for me to let go his death like stop me in my tracks .it so hard for me to move on to the next step

  44. Kirsten  April 11, 2019 at 7:02 pm Reply

    I don’t live with my parents because they do drugs and my dog died 24 day before my birthday and days I just think about him just makes the pain hit over again. I hate how my grieving can take over my life. I feel depressed all the time and I just don’t see the point in life any more but i’m glad I read your stories and I thank everyone for this support.

  45. colleen  November 18, 2018 at 3:31 am Reply

    Hi, this is very timely and relevant to me right now. My darling husband died from cancer 5 months agoago, then my dad 3 months ago then my dog. I have no children. I gave up work to look after my husband 4 years ago. So really it feels like everything has gone. Like a lot of you I tell myself I must try to be happy to honor him and because he would want that. But in truth I do not want to move on into this new reality. Not least because its not one I want at all but why build up new things and bonds I will just lose all over again. I know I must but it seems an impossible thing for me to WANT right now. Life just seems so bleak and hopeless. I do things and say all the right things, try to get out. But if I’m honest I don’t actually enjoy anything, I just feel its what I should do. Hopefully this will improve but im accepting it might not and that maybe I can just make others feel better. Much love. Colleen

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    • Alanna Baker  November 16, 2019 at 5:07 pm Reply

      Hi Colleen.
      Your story is nearly identical to mine, so I understand and relate to everything you are saying. I would love to support you through this, as it really does help to have someone that can relate. I was very blessed to have had a lady in England who reached out, who’s husband was going through the exact same experience at the time. We were able to give each other fabulous suport and advice, especially understanding. We still are there for each other after 4 years, even though we have never met. If you are open to the idea hopefully we can be connected through this site. It doesn’t get easier, (the missing him part), just different. Eventually the triggers will become a smile and it is OK to laugh without guilt.
      All my love and hugs to you.
      Alanna.

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  46. Diane  October 26, 2018 at 4:16 pm Reply

    My husband of over 53 years died on August 9, 2018 suddenly from a carjack failing allowing the car to violently fall on him and kill him instantly. I am ambushed by overwhelming grief at some point every single day. I pray, read the Bible, go to Griefshare, talk with friends and family, go out to lunch with friends occasionally and still – I miss him so much that the pain is just about more than I can bear. I knew him all my life – married the boy across the street. I want to hold him, see him smile, ask him a question, ride to the mountains, watch him work on old cars – too many things to list. I am not lonely – I am lonely for him. I wrestle with knowing that God will strengthen me in my suffering and that He has a plan that will give me hope and joy when He decides to let me know what that plan is. I know God hears my prayers so I pray constantly that He will forgive me for being so sad all the time instead of having faith and trust that the days will get better. Such a viscous cycle of trying to stop the pain that is with me constantly, apologizing for what seems to me to be my failure to believe that the days will get better, and then putting up a false front that I making progress. Anyone else struggle with these kind of feelings?

    • Tori  June 20, 2019 at 4:37 pm Reply

      Diane, i lost my husband of 41 years suddenly 6 1/2 years ago. I have made tremendous strides but not where it involves interpersonal connections. It was so shocking to suddenly lose my title of spouse and wife over night to become a widow. I continue to wear my wedding bands and cling to memories of my life partner. Now believe i must really begin letting go or risk the next 15 or 20 years alone.

  47. Marcie  October 22, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply

    I loss my husband 6 months ago, I was having a really hard time of letting go. I felt if I wasn’t greiving
    I wasn’t loving him. Your article has really helped me I knowing that I could still love him and not be in pain.

    • Lydia jackson  May 17, 2019 at 4:53 am Reply

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  48. Shane Beightol  June 17, 2018 at 10:38 am Reply

    May 4, 2018… Hilo, HI… volcanic activity and earthquakes, about 20 miles away… that same day, decision was made (thankfully I wasn’t alone on that decision, but no less painful) to stop machines keeping my Tracie alive… her pain and suffering is gone, that is the ONLY peace I have in her passing (and knowing I will be with her again, when my EXPIRATION DATE comes)… and I WILL FULLY choose, to live with pain and the massive void that my physical life…. as it can and will only be filled by her!!! I love and miss you so much Tracie!!! … our ALWAYS and FOREVER/NOW and FOREVER, still holds and will FOREVER be!!!

  49. Jeanne  June 11, 2018 at 10:09 pm Reply

    My 31 year old daughter died 539 days ago. She was disabled. I cared for her all her life. Ever since she left for Heaven, I have been lost and in almost constant grief.

    Six months ago God sent a wonderful man into my life. He is understanding and supportive of my grief. We are crazy about each other and can see a future together but I feel like I live in two worlds. The problem is that I am tethered to my grief and to my past with my daughter. I have been trying to go through her belongings but I feel like I am throwing my daughter away. Also, to let go of the grief feels like a betrayal of my daughter and what she means to me.

    How do you move forward when I can’t seem to let go of my grip on my past life with my daughter?

  50. Wendy  May 1, 2018 at 3:28 am Reply

    This article really hits home for me, I lost my husband 3 and half years ago, which was a very tough time. We had lost a friend of the family in October 2013, lost our beloved dog in January 2014, I lost my husband in October 2014, I lost my horse in March 2015, and my niece in December 2015. It has been very tough, however I have jumped into my job and not performing as I should 100% of the time. I get in a depressed mode and don’t want to move, I then go back into work and get caught up to just go back into the depressed mode. I have not grieved for my husband or niece or my animals. I am just existing! How do I get out of this funk.

  51. Wendy  May 1, 2018 at 3:28 am Reply

    This article really hits home for me, I lost my husband 3 and half years ago, which was a very tough time. We had lost a friend of the family in October 2013, lost our beloved dog in January 2014, I lost my husband in October 2014, I lost my horse in March 2015, and my niece in December 2015. It has been very tough, however I have jumped into my job and not performing as I should 100% of the time. I get in a depressed mode and don’t want to move, I then go back into work and get caught up to just go back into the depressed mode. I have not grieved for my husband or niece or my animals. I am just existing! How do I get out of this funk.

  52. Tracy  April 27, 2018 at 2:07 am Reply

    Loss my dad to cancer which we tried to fight together. I took care of him and he took care of me during this time. I miss him dearly and want him back so much but I don’t want him back with pain. He wanted to beat cancer and live. My ex husband passed five weeks after my dad which I took care of him too. He passed from heart failure. The worst part I am struggling with is I love them with all of being spend everyday with them and my love for them couldn’t keep them alive. Another struggle is I feel guilty because I am feeling angery that they left me behind. Some days I can speak of there names and smile in their memory or something they did but other days that memory makes me cry. I decided I was taking there memory with me.

  53. Tracy  April 27, 2018 at 2:07 am Reply

    Loss my dad to cancer which we tried to fight together. I took care of him and he took care of me during this time. I miss him dearly and want him back so much but I don’t want him back with pain. He wanted to beat cancer and live. My ex husband passed five weeks after my dad which I took care of him too. He passed from heart failure. The worst part I am struggling with is I love them with all of being spend everyday with them and my love for them couldn’t keep them alive. Another struggle is I feel guilty because I am feeling angery that they left me behind. Some days I can speak of there names and smile in their memory or something they did but other days that memory makes me cry. I decided I was taking there memory with me.

  54. Linda williams  April 21, 2018 at 7:08 pm Reply

    We had to turn my sons life support off after a brain injury 3 years later I had a brain anurism Joseph was 23 and I just can’t grieve I’d rather sit with a friend and s bottle of vodka as I will talk and cry then I find it difficult talking to a stranger feel like I’m going mad with this pain

  55. Linda williams  April 21, 2018 at 7:08 pm Reply

    We had to turn my sons life support off after a brain injury 3 years later I had a brain anurism Joseph was 23 and I just can’t grieve I’d rather sit with a friend and s bottle of vodka as I will talk and cry then I find it difficult talking to a stranger feel like I’m going mad with this pain

  56. MK  April 7, 2018 at 6:53 am Reply

    Starting to grieve as ex committed suicide nearly 4 years ago. Complex journey but slowly letting go is also freeing. Glad to have supportive friends and great therapist.

  57. MK  April 7, 2018 at 6:53 am Reply

    Starting to grieve as ex committed suicide nearly 4 years ago. Complex journey but slowly letting go is also freeing. Glad to have supportive friends and great therapist.

  58. Chris  March 7, 2018 at 7:52 am Reply

    I lost my darling boyfriend in September of 2016. He was alive for two short months after a diagnosis of Melanoma. I took a leave and was able to care for him at home. We were happy, deeply in love, and had lived together for 8 wonderful years. He was 62 when he died.

    I was shocked at how dark the grief felt after the numbness wore off. This happened after about 3 months. I didn’t know what to do, and I had a period of panic and anxiety. I started drinking at night and lighting candles, listening to music and crying. I guess I was trying to get back to a kind of grief that felt sweet, not black and vacuous.

    16 months later, I feel I am doing much better. I was able to see that I was holding feelings of loss as a way of keeping him near me. I still cry, but not as much. I can hear music that we loved and danced to without falling apart.

    I definitely did some bargaining. I convinced myself that if I could be peaceful enough, if I meditated enough, he would come to me. I know that this is not true. I do things that bring me peace now, and I do it for myself, not as a means to get him back.

    It is funny what we tell ourselves while grieving.

    I am getting along, learning as I go. I definitely did not want this lesson, and did not want to have to grow this way. I know intellectually that people die, but I think, yeah, but not him…not us. And then I realize, yes him, too.

    I loved reading these posts. Reaching out to friends, family and definitely on sites like this help me to feel less lonely. It helps me to know that I am not the only one who needs to separate the sadness from the wonderful person that I got to love for awhile. Thank you so much.

  59. Chris  March 7, 2018 at 7:52 am Reply

    I lost my darling boyfriend in September of 2016. He was alive for two short months after a diagnosis of Melanoma. I took a leave and was able to care for him at home. We were happy, deeply in love, and had lived together for 8 wonderful years. He was 62 when he died.

    I was shocked at how dark the grief felt after the numbness wore off. This happened after about 3 months. I didn’t know what to do, and I had a period of panic and anxiety. I started drinking at night and lighting candles, listening to music and crying. I guess I was trying to get back to a kind of grief that felt sweet, not black and vacuous.

    16 months later, I feel I am doing much better. I was able to see that I was holding feelings of loss as a way of keeping him near me. I still cry, but not as much. I can hear music that we loved and danced to without falling apart.

    I definitely did some bargaining. I convinced myself that if I could be peaceful enough, if I meditated enough, he would come to me. I know that this is not true. I do things that bring me peace now, and I do it for myself, not as a means to get him back.

    It is funny what we tell ourselves while grieving.

    I am getting along, learning as I go. I definitely did not want this lesson, and did not want to have to grow this way. I know intellectually that people die, but I think, yeah, but not him…not us. And then I realize, yes him, too.

    I loved reading these posts. Reaching out to friends, family and definitely on sites like this help me to feel less lonely. It helps me to know that I am not the only one who needs to separate the sadness from the wonderful person that I got to love for awhile. Thank you so much.

  60. Bibi  January 22, 2018 at 12:57 am Reply

    I lost my 4 year old niece to meningitis very suddenlt 19 months ago. I know my grief is hard I can’t imagine my sisters pain as a mother. My family has aged a decade over the past 19 months. None of us look the same anymore we are tired, emotionally and spiritually drained and just move one because the days are like walls behind you, you cannot stop from pushing you into the next day. I look at photos of my niece and some times I am shocked! I’m like gosh she’s gone! Because all the photos and memories could very easily make you think ah she is just at school or in the next room. Some times I remember something she did so very clearly! Other times I look at her pic like she is someone I don’t know. That scares me! Other times I look at her face and say it cannot be this is a whole force in a little person she cannot be gone! She was larger than life! She was the positive energy and always the happy one in the family! I could write a book on what we all endured at her passing! The press, the pointing fingers, the support, the doctors that got it wrong, the Bible badgers trying to raise her from the dead, the health department, the churches around the globe praying for her, the donations… like I said a book!
    Another thing that scares me is she is always going to be that little four year old girl! She never changes. When I see her friends after a few months at how they have grown it shocks me… they are no longer little like her!

    She loved all things pretty and pink and purple and sparkly! I still walk through the girls department at stores and think oh she would have loved that. I always loved buying her things.

    Her passing has made us all ill. My mother has aches and pains all over her body she can’t get rid of, my dad has heart problems, I am on beta blockers and “happy pills” we have all suffered Health issues since that fateful day!

    Some say abscence makes the heart grow fonder, some say forgetful! I hope it’s fonder! I never want to forget her in the sense of her little ways, a special memory to event. A time we were together, or a thing only she would do! Of course I’ll bever forget I have a niece. But her essence is what I want to treasure in every way I can. I love you so much my sweet sweet girl ❤️? #butterflychild

  61. Bibi  January 22, 2018 at 12:57 am Reply

    I lost my 4 year old niece to meningitis very suddenlt 19 months ago. I know my grief is hard I can’t imagine my sisters pain as a mother. My family has aged a decade over the past 19 months. None of us look the same anymore we are tired, emotionally and spiritually drained and just move one because the days are like walls behind you, you cannot stop from pushing you into the next day. I look at photos of my niece and some times I am shocked! I’m like gosh she’s gone! Because all the photos and memories could very easily make you think ah she is just at school or in the next room. Some times I remember something she did so very clearly! Other times I look at her pic like she is someone I don’t know. That scares me! Other times I look at her face and say it cannot be this is a whole force in a little person she cannot be gone! She was larger than life! She was the positive energy and always the happy one in the family! I could write a book on what we all endured at her passing! The press, the pointing fingers, the support, the doctors that got it wrong, the Bible badgers trying to raise her from the dead, the health department, the churches around the globe praying for her, the donations… like I said a book!
    Another thing that scares me is she is always going to be that little four year old girl! She never changes. When I see her friends after a few months at how they have grown it shocks me… they are no longer little like her!

    She loved all things pretty and pink and purple and sparkly! I still walk through the girls department at stores and think oh she would have loved that. I always loved buying her things.

    Her passing has made us all ill. My mother has aches and pains all over her body she can’t get rid of, my dad has heart problems, I am on beta blockers and “happy pills” we have all suffered Health issues since that fateful day!

    Some say abscence makes the heart grow fonder, some say forgetful! I hope it’s fonder! I never want to forget her in the sense of her little ways, a special memory to event. A time we were together, or a thing only she would do! Of course I’ll bever forget I have a niece. But her essence is what I want to treasure in every way I can. I love you so much my sweet sweet girl ❤️? #butterflychild

  62. Leah Harris  January 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm Reply

    In 2014, I lost my 42 year old husband to cancer, and 3 months later (to the day, actually), I lost my 10 yr old son to cancer as well. (My son was diagnosed with a brain tumour 1 month after my husband’s death). The pain was unbearable and I wanted to die; a couple times I seriously considered it (not to worry, I have had lots of counselling and have left those thoughts long behind me). My surviving son (he was 11 at the time) and I felt like our lives just stopped. But we got through it. I have never done anything as hard as surviving this, but 4 years on, I can honestly say I am happy in my new life. I still have those moments that hit unexpectedly and hurt, but the hurt isn’t so intense anymore. We are rebuilding our life as best we can, and we share memories and laugh together. So to all I want to say I am genuinely sorry for your losses. I hope by telling my story, it will help you to see that you CAN get through this, but you don’t have to rush!

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  63. Leah Harris  January 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm Reply

    In 2014, I lost my 42 year old husband to cancer, and 3 months later (to the day, actually), I lost my 10 yr old son to cancer as well. (My son was diagnosed with a brain tumour 1 month after my husband’s death). The pain was unbearable and I wanted to die; a couple times I seriously considered it (not to worry, I have had lots of counselling and have left those thoughts long behind me). My surviving son (he was 11 at the time) and I felt like our lives just stopped. But we got through it. I have never done anything as hard as surviving this, but 4 years on, I can honestly say I am happy in my new life. I still have those moments that hit unexpectedly and hurt, but the hurt isn’t so intense anymore. We are rebuilding our life as best we can, and we share memories and laugh together. So to all I want to say I am genuinely sorry for your losses. I hope by telling my story, it will help you to see that you CAN get through this, but you don’t have to rush!

    1
    • sonja ponjevic  April 7, 2019 at 8:51 pm Reply

      Your story is inspiration for many I am sure. You are very strong people. You gave me a hope !

  64. Stacy  January 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm Reply

    I think I needed to hear this, I am feeling so broken, I do have “good days” but I feel guilty when I do, I keep thinking, ” I can’t be happy, for God sakes, I lost my son!!!” Our son passed away on January 30, 2017 at 30 years old.

    • Lisa  January 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm Reply

      Stacy, I am so sorry. I know EXACTLY how you feel! I lost my 33 year old son on January 5th, 2017. It was the worst day of my life and we just had a rememberence of his passing.

  65. Stacy  January 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm Reply

    I think I needed to hear this, I am feeling so broken, I do have “good days” but I feel guilty when I do, I keep thinking, ” I can’t be happy, for God sakes, I lost my son!!!” Our son passed away on January 30, 2017 at 30 years old.

    • Lisa  January 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm Reply

      Stacy, I am so sorry. I know EXACTLY how you feel! I lost my 33 year old son on January 5th, 2017. It was the worst day of my life and we just had a rememberence of his passing.

    • Joanna Nicola  May 17, 2019 at 4:52 am Reply

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  66. Melissa  December 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm Reply

    I lost my mom August 23rd 2017. This article expresses where I’m at now. I can’t begin to let go of the grief because if I learn to deal or get over grieving it will signal the start of my life ” after mom”. I don’t want there to be an after.

  67. Melissa  December 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm Reply

    I lost my mom August 23rd 2017. This article expresses where I’m at now. I can’t begin to let go of the grief because if I learn to deal or get over grieving it will signal the start of my life ” after mom”. I don’t want there to be an after.

  68. Chrissy  August 18, 2017 at 9:18 am Reply

    I hope that my comment doesn’t come across disrespectful to those who have quite clearly gone through immense grief due to death of loved ones gone long before their time. But I just wanted to say that this article still resonated hugely with me as someone that has been mourning the end of my first relationship and true love at 26. I’m a year on now , a year of immense depression, anxiety and pain. A year spent crying myself to sleep, crying in the toilets at work, faking smiles and doing anything I can to self soothe & something strange has happened in the last few weeks, I was doing ok, he was still on my mind all the time but I was trying so hard to keep myself up beat, I got a new job, I was proud of myself, I started to feel the pain dissipating slightly. Recently I found myself so anxious, waking up at 5am in panic, desperately clinging to memories of us, forcing tears out and willing myself to cry for hours. I’ve spent a year willing this grief to get out of my body and now it’s going I want it back. I thought I was pathetic and weak for feeling these feelings until I found this page.

    He is fading, it’s all I have wished for, but in my grief ending its like finally letting go of the person I love and deciding to fight for my life without him. I only know me in grief, I can’t remember what it is like to not be obsessed with him, crying over him, feeling sad, anxious….I’ve got comfortable in grief. I’m terrified of taking the next step and accepting that he is gone, it’s over. Who knew that the final stage of grieving a relationship might feel like the biggest challenge of all……Letting go of grieving is now becoming a huge feat in itself. Now I have to find the strength to be happy and let go of my routine of panic attacks and crying. The temptation to remain where I am is so great, weirdly a huge portion of me wants to stay here and be unhappy forever, for fear of moving on is so huge. But I know I can’t stay here…..and I certainly can’t go back. How do you practice letting go of all the sadness and taking those first steps and accepting “it’s over. it’s done. life begins again”,.

    • Tori  June 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm Reply

      Chrissy, i can so identify with what you wrote. Don’t know if i have the courage to let go of my grief status. My “excuse” has been too much time was spent together to be anything but his wife/widow. If i dont move on my remaining years will be very lonely.

      1
  69. Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm Reply

    When I lost my Ken to cancer last November, the thought of moving forward (I intensely dislike the term “moving on”) in any way terrified me – in a truly dire, menacing way. I felt that it was disloyal to Ken to even think about happiness. And then once day the penny dropped for me, that seeking what happiness I can is the purest way to show him loyalty – that’s what he wants for me, I know it. My grief is still horrible a lot of the time – he was my world for 30 years and his loss has been catastrophic. But I truly do know that relinquishing the grief as I am ready to do so is in NO way the same as letting Ken go. I’m not sure I will ever again be as happy as I was when he was here physically, but, because I know he wants it, I will strive to be as happy as I can be.

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    • Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 10:05 pm Reply

      I just wanted to add to my reply above that, when I say seeking happiness is what I know my husband wants for me, that is not at all the same as the tiresome platitude we cop – you know, “Tsk tsk dearie, he wouldn’t want you to cry.” Of COURSE we feel deep pain, and we cry, and hello – we’re the ones still here dealing with it. To clarify my meaning, all of that is true, but denying ourselves any happiness isn’t necessarily the greatest demonstration of our loyalty to our loved one.

      1
  70. Tina  June 2, 2017 at 7:57 pm Reply

    I love this post and was trying to explain to my counselor today ( not a grief counselor ) but I don’t think she got it really. I tried to explain that I saw my Husband as a beautiful ice sculpture but every time I looked back at it over my shoulder a bit more of it had melted. Then the next time I looked, a bit more will have melted and I was so worried that the next time I looked that the ice sculpture will have totally melted away and there’d be nothing there anymore. This terrifies me as I too hold onto the grief as a connection but now I know I’m not the only one to do this – but it doesn’t make stopping any easier just yet.

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    • Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 8:58 pm Reply

      Tina, I get your analogy, and I love it. And I believe that you will find that at the core of that ice-sculpture, the essence of your beautiful husband remains right here with you – it ain’t going anywhere. I lost my darling man to cancer 7 months ago, and have tried to relax my frantic efforts to memorialize him. I had felt that if I didn’t bring him into my world somehow, I have nothing. I’ve found that this isn’t true. Your bond with that man is deathless, hon, and you will know this is your own sweet time. Look up the terrific article on Continuing Bonds on this site xo

      1
      • Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        Also, Tina, I don’t know if this will fit in any way for you, love, but what if the warm, glowing, eternal thing at the core of that ice-sculpture is what is melting it?

        1
  71. John J Morelli  May 11, 2017 at 1:47 pm Reply

    We lost our Mother 10 months ago to cancer. She was not ill prior 3 months before, but they did not diagnose her with stage 4 Lymphoma cancer through body and CNS till May 31. She had no pain and came home to be with children and loved ones. I the eldest of 3 was the one who knew what would happen and had to be strong for Mom, brother and sister. I was with her 24/7 till July 8 when she passed away.
    I know I need to accept her passing, grieve, but I will not allow myself to go there. When she had started to transition I was with my brother in her room playing music for her Michael was crying and I for a second let my pain into my heart, I felt such an uncontrollable moment and heart breaking pain, that I stopped and blocked that from happening. I had to be strong then, I need to accept and allow this into my heart, I am so afraid I will break and no mending anymore. I have had many moments where my heart has broken and the pain is so hard to recover from, now especially without the one who always fixed it. And I know that when I do it does acknowledge that she is gone, it confirms it. I feel it coming and know I can’t ignore it, I know.

    • Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 10:00 pm Reply

      Hi John,

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your mum, and I can promise you, as somebody who has cried my eyes out almost ceaselessly for months, that you will be okay if you give expression to your pain – just be sure yo have all the support that you can xo

  72. Pete  December 19, 2016 at 10:39 am Reply

    Hello Heather,
    Im just so sorry reading your posting and feel too the pain that you are experiencing just now. My daughter battled with heroin addiction.. While attempting to reduce on methadone ,started drinking Vodka had a fit and ended up in a coma for 7 months. After living this hell for 15 + years she has miraculously come off all addictions, though sad to say very few ever do.She now goes telling her story to those on the streets and other parents of children in the same situation. Ive just lost my wife after caring for her 7yrs is why i can identify what you are saying. Though i have a faith too (christian)it has,nt stopped me from saying i wish it was me…I knew what id have to go through.when she died in my arms. I hope we can in time learn to separate the pain we are feeling. Laying the pain to rest feels like a betrayal of our love for them. Though its certainly not the way one should be thinking.i know. Especially through the solid foundation of Gods word that tells me. He bore our sorrows & griefs–He might not take the pain away but certainly walks with us through it.Simply because when we see him we shall be like him! God bless

  73. Jenny Hayes  December 16, 2016 at 10:13 am Reply

    Please add me to the email list

  74. Beverly Winters  September 19, 2016 at 10:19 am Reply

    Have been grieving for over 15 years…I’m sure I have heart problems cuz of it. Would like to be on your newsletter list. TY

    • Litsa  September 20, 2016 at 8:57 pm Reply

      Hi Beverly, we will add you. You will need to confirm when you receive the email. Take care and I hope you find some support on our site.

  75. kj anderson  September 6, 2016 at 7:29 pm Reply

    Twenty-three months after losing my son, I’ve come to the conclusion that we should all respect and try to understand each grief. All of us will not, heal because we have different stories and different lives. I’ve kept busy each and every day, prayed and listened to sermons. As I began to prepare for my son’s birthday four months ago by going through videos and photos it was too much. So, for four months I kept the thoughts at bay and was able to get by, even spent 2 minutes here and there throught the day not thinking about him. But, as soon as I came back to the photos and videos, my world crashed and it’s just like he just died. I believe thoroughly, that we don’t eve heal at all, we just learn to think about other things. I had a lady tell my her daughter was killed 34 years ago. She was driving down the road on her birthday and a song came on and she was weeping uncontrollably. For me, I can’t ever see feeling real joy again until until I get to heaven. I feel something special when I’m with my children and my grandchildren, but that ache doesn’t leave.

  76. Mary draper  August 3, 2016 at 4:33 pm Reply

    My son Arran was killed on the road by a Lorry on the 31may he was just 18 years old he was an accounting apprentice and was a caring kind boy with a great love to enjoy friends and family he had future plans. Now our world is shattered and uncertain his two sisters are in shock and denial and mis their big protective brother. How we do it I do not have an idea I can see people fade away the bills mount up and you lose your job your will to carry on and your purpose gets lost and one day your fighting the next day you stay in bed to weak to talk

  77. Frank  July 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm Reply

    This is really good. My granddad died in October (bizarrely a few days after this was posted, it seems). It was the first loss I’ve ever really experienced and I always felt we were close. I wanted the world to stop for some weeks and months – but then after I came out of that initial shock I was really rather glad that it hadn’t.

    It’s been good days and bad days. I don’t imagine the bad days ever stop – they just become far less frequent. Today was the first really bad one in about 3 months. In a way, it’s comforting to know that it still hurts like hell, but I know this can’t continue. Some of the other stories here have been deeply enlightening, too. I need to let his memory thrive, I just don’t always know how to do that.

  78. Heather  May 31, 2016 at 3:40 pm Reply

    My son died on March 17 of this year of a heroin overdose. I have very bad days and not so very bad days. I can’t look at pictures of Jesse yet. I know that I will be able to one day. At first I just begged God to take me out of this life. I still do sometimes, but not as much. I know the Jesse would not want me grieving so and my faith helps me so much. But while I know he is just in the next world, I still want him here with me. I sometimes actively pull myself back into the grief when I feel like I’m letting go of any grief. I does feel like if I let go of the grief, I am also letting go of him. While I know that’s not true, it’s how it feels and right now, how it feels is all that matters. It’s all so overwhelming.

    • Litsa  June 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm Reply

      Heather, I am so sorry and I think so many people can relate to what you describe – knowing it isn’t letting go of him, but still feeling that way. Part of grief (and so many other things, like anxiety and depression) is remembering that sometimes the things we think and feel are not true and figuring out what to do with that!! No easy answers to that. There is figuring out how we comfort ourselves and how we can push ourselves, but it takes time and self-reflection and it isn’t easy. Your son’s death was so incredibly recent and it is okay, especially in the early days, to keep holding on as long as it doesn’t keep us from living the life we need to live.

  79. Bob  February 10, 2016 at 7:27 am Reply

    This posting has made me realise I’m not going crazy. I struggle with grief 18 months on and only now do I allow myself to feel ok some of the time. I know she’d want me to be ok but I still hate the thought of losing her.

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    • Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 9:45 pm Reply

      Hey Bob, I hope you will come to know, and trust, that you CANNOT lose her – not ever. We already went through that horror once, didn’t we? Seven months into my own journey, I don’t know for sure but I think it’s a real possibility that allowing ourselves to feel whatever happiness we can, actually brings them closer to us xo

  80. Jay  October 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm Reply

    I’m a process person by trade. I find grief to be an individual thing. Appreciate those who like to study it , want to make a process or steps. But that doesn’t really fit for me when talking about people. People should think of themselves as individuals. Comparing experiences can be healthy and helpful. hoping you don’t feel too along. keep trying.

  81. gloria  October 13, 2015 at 9:16 pm Reply

    This post, like so many, really hit home. Everything I read says, grieve at your own pace, everyone is different. Yet at the 3 1/2 month (113 days…) point, I surely feel like most figure “I am over it and am fine now, why because I smile and laugh”.. HA! So far from it. I put on the happy face and am dying inside. Losing my 28 year daughter, best friend, roommate suddenly, after we both struggled so hard to make it work, how could I ever be ‘over it’??? This post gave me lots to think about. Maybe not for today but for the future. Right now to honor my dear Laura, I feel I need to suffer. Maybe that is why some cultures mourn for a year. I am grateful to have come across WYG.

    Was searching for podcasts on grief while walking our dogs, and WYG came up. At first I felt Litsa & Eleanor were too “flippant” for a “grief” podcast, but then I really liked what they were saying so I stayed with it, and looked up the website & FaceBook page. :& I liked what I found, and am very glad I did.

    • Eleanor  October 14, 2015 at 10:10 am Reply

      Hey Gloria,

      I am so glad you found us. I’m sorry about the death of your daughter who was your best friend and so many other things. In the grand scheme of things, 3 months is such a short amount of time. Keep going at your own pace, even though others might not continue to recognize your pain. I think you are absolutely right about others cultures observing a year long mourning period, I had the same thought when reading Litsa’s post.

      I’m glad you stuck with the podcast. If you don’t already know us from the site, I can see where our style may seem a little flippant. We know we’re not for everyone…and that’s…okay. 🙂

      Eleanor

      • Gloria  December 15, 2016 at 8:53 am

        One year later, I feel like you’re both my best friends! ? Grateful for you!

      • Litsa  December 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

        Aww, thanks Gloria!!! So glad you found us and have stuck around! Sending good thoughts for peace and comfort this holiday season.

  82. Jolene Boyd  October 11, 2015 at 11:49 am Reply

    Funny, isn’t it (in the interesting, unique sort of way), How individual and unique each of our loss experiences are, and yet how similar our experiences have been and seem to continue to be, at least at some level. Thanks for this great post (and the many, many others), and the link back to the tips for continuing bonds…such a useful and meaningful list.

  83. Patti  October 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm Reply

    I feel all of this. I’m afraid to relax and what happens when I finish packing up my dads house? Or sell his truck? It seems so final then. I don’t want it to be final. Does that make sense?

  84. Susan  October 8, 2015 at 2:50 am Reply

    This article is very helpful for me. We are approaching the one year mark in less than two weeks. My son was only 26, the youngest of six. He was still part of my every day life, around all the time. And it’s been devastating.

    There have been very few “good” days this year, but on the days that a glimmer of light comes through, I feel guilty for feeling better. And then, of course, I fall apart again. In reality, it’s very hard for Ian’s siblings and my husband, because they miss him too, and have lost “me.” I’m trying very hard for all of them, and this article is helping me to see that it’s all “normal” and that I can find a way back.

    Thank you so much.

    • cindy  December 17, 2016 at 12:21 am Reply

      Exactly the same feelings as you. My son was also 26. It has been 10 months today, and the guilt I feel is overwhelming some days. I can’t imagine ever being truly happy again. I seem to only remember the struggles. the tears we shared the pain and hopelessness he felt.

      • Kelli  December 27, 2016 at 11:36 am

        My son was also 26…approaching the 1-year mark on January 5. Struggling with so much right now, so I do understand how you feel! I am so very sorry for your loss!

  85. Chelsea  October 8, 2015 at 2:19 am Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!

    I have to say… this is something that I still struggle with every now and then, even 12 years later.

    What used to be endless crying and pain at the loss of my best friend, has become a desire to live the life I know inside he’d want me to have, and live it by taking and learning from the best of him and everything we faced together.

    But every once in awhile, the idea that I should be sad, because sad = remembering and remembering = love, and therefore, if I’m not, I must love/remember him less… and that must make me a terrible friend because he deserves a lot better than being forgotten… most of the time I know how illogical and self-destructive that is but… sometimes it’s a hard mindset to shake.

    Then other times I am sad and there is no issue, like when I hear a song that reminds me of him and I have to pull over because I can’t see the road through the tears.

  86. Janet  October 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm Reply

    I thank you so much for this article. Every thought and every emotion you speak of is very much how I feel. I lost one of my sons last June at the age of 32. Just two weeks ago I also lost my husband. I struggled and still do with thinking that if I don’t revisit the pain in losing my son my love for him could not have been very deep. Now, with the loss of my husband the feelings are very different and I have become to question my love for him also. I am not sure I am quite ready to move on with my feelings just yet, but I will definitely refer back to this article for help along my journey.

  87. Andrea  October 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm Reply

    Thank You so much for sharing your insight. I so need to hear this now after losing my only child a son Sept. 20, 2014. The pain begins to thrive in your soul if one is not careful. Thank you for helping me see that healing is ok, healthy and joy is still to be found. I read somewhere that joy and pain can share the same heart. If I become as strong as my pain I can accomplish anything.

  88. Louisa  October 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm Reply

    Thank you for such a great article. I’m discovering that this is true. There were certain songs I couldn’t bear to listen to. Now, I sing the songs to my Love and remember him with joy. Something new is definitely happening.

  89. Maggie Caudell  October 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm Reply

    Ten months ago my beloved son died, aged 30. Prior to his death we had many years of stress, helping him to cope with drug addiction. Recently I have found that, instead of the anguish and unhappiness that he suffered, I can remember how he was many years ago, or during good phases of his life. I can remember his mischievousness as a child, his caring and fun personality and his love and smiles. He was also a very good table tennis player. We have bought a table to play, in memory of him. I want to include him in my life in this way.

    • Laura Shea  December 16, 2016 at 4:33 pm Reply

      The last 18 or so months before my brothers death were the same. The ugly struggle of alcoholism. He has been gone almost 19 months and I’m stuck. That he was lost and struggling for that time. That he relapsed after 24 wonderful years of sobriety. That he and I had such a close relationship through life. That I couldn’t save him. Pain seems the option I am more comfortable with. If I start to feel less pain does that make his death less tragic? I know he wouldn’t want me to live like this.

  90. Sharon Rossy  October 7, 2015 at 11:50 am Reply

    Letting go is one of the hardest parts of grieving. I lost my eldest son, 27 years old, nine years ago, and run grief support groups and work as a psychotherapist, with grief and mourning. Letting go means giving ourselves permission to live. And of course, if we decide that it’s okay to live, it feels like a betrayal of our loved one. Will we forget? What does it mean that we continue our relationship with our deceased loved one?
    This is very difficult for those who mourn to conceive or formulate. It’s true that they live not in our pain, but in our love and our memories. They don’t want their legacy to be that of pain or suffering but of who they were and are and how they lived. Of course, there will always be moments of tears and sadness, but reconciling the loss and acceptance of the loss are early steps in letting go and starting to move forward.
    I do not like the expression “move on” because personally it sounds cold. And what are we moving on to and from. I believe that we do live a “new normal” but rather a new “reality” and that we take steps to move forward with this new reality.
    We decide at some point how to renegotiate the relationship, and that is different for each person. But hanging on to the pain does not mean we remember them more, in fact, we probably remember less because we have given the pain so much room.
    The grief journey is always a work in progress.
    Sharon

    • May  January 16, 2021 at 3:09 am Reply

      I lost my 27 years old husband.
      I feel really confused. I’m not only trying to hold on to that pain, but I’m so desperately trying to hold on to everything I remember.. trying to remember the feel of his hugs and kisses.. trying to remember how it felt when he was sleeping next to me, trying to hold on to the feeling of holding his hand. But I can’t.. I’m forgetting. I need to remember to love, but as time is moving on I feel it is taking the reality of my husband from me too. I’d rather feel sad and cry all day than forget the things that I so care about. I know I will never forget him, but I feel like some so dear feelings and memories are slipping away and I feel less connected to him and his memories
      I don’t want to feel “okay” If that means forgetting.

      1
  91. Anne  October 7, 2015 at 11:40 am Reply

    I have to say that this is something I’ve been struggling with for a very, very long time. I have convinced myself that letting go of the pain means letting go of Daddy, and clearly letting go of someone you love so much isn’t a good idea, so that means hanging onto the pain. I know it’s irrational, but it’s a roadblock that I’m still struggling to get past. I lost my dad when I was 19 and have come up with thousands of reasons why I still need him in my life in the 5 years since then. Somehow though, even the place I’m in sucks and hurts, I know how to handle it…I know what to expect…so moving on seems too hard. I know rationally that letting go of the pain is good for me and will allow good memories to take it’s place, but the process terrifies me. Reading this post reminds me that I’m not alone in this struggle, so thank you!

    • Louise McOrmond-Plummer  June 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm Reply

      Anne, it’s perfectly okay that you still need daddy in your life, hon. Not a thing wrong with that at all – and I hope you find that you’ll always have a relationship with him – just in altered form form, regardless of where you’re at. Have you read the article on continuing bonds on this site? It’s excellent stuff. Please don’t pressure yourself about “moving on” xo

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