The anniversary of my partner's death

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    Oct 13, 2007 3:31 PM GMT
    It's almost a year to the day that my partner died in a house fire. In the past few days I've felt almost overwhelming sadness. I never had the change to say goodbye or tell him how much I loved him.

    This weekend has left me wondering whether I'll ever get over it. If only I could see him one more time. If only I could hear his voice. But it's like he never existed except in my mind. What were the 12 years we spent together all about?

    Do we recover from grief or do we just learn to live with it?
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    Oct 13, 2007 3:44 PM GMT
    Im sorry to hear that redhead.

    losing someone to a tragedy is never easy to deal with, in a way long term illness gives yuo chance to say fairwells and start the grieving process (not saying its easier as it isnt)

    But I can totally relate to you as its been 13 years since my brother, my best friend, died in a car crash on the way to work.

    You never forget, but what you do do is remember the happier times, those around yuo will forget that person its inevitable or may not even want to talk about him as they are not sure how to deal with the situation. every year on the anniversary of my brothers death I write a letter or an epitath on one of these boards. I remind him of the fun times, and indeed sometimes the crap times we had and the things that I have done since. I dont belive in life after death but it helps me channel out those thoughts and to remember the happy memories we shared.

    As for grieving you will go through various stages and in varying order, one day it will get easier and one day you are bound to meet Mr right and then yuo will no doubt face a dilemma of feelings of betrayal, but you now as well as anyone your love of your life would want you to enjoy your life and if anything make up for them not being able to see theirs through with longevity.

    Wishing you love and thoughts on what must be a sad day for you, and a very very very big e hug

  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Oct 13, 2007 3:47 PM GMT
    I'm sorry for your loss. If it's any comfort, think about how lucky you guys were to have what you did. 12 years is longer than many marriages last today.

    Honor him, love him, but don't feel you need to get over him and the tragic way he passed. Try to think about the kind of life he'd want you to have.
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    Oct 13, 2007 4:07 PM GMT

    I think you've done very well this year and I'm very proud of how you've coped with your loss.

    It's natural that this anniversary will bring up lots of memories and regrets.

    I am under no doubt that he knew how much you loved him as you could see it in your eyes whenever you were together. It is a shame that you never got to say goodbye or all those things you meant to say, though I'm sure he knew already.

    The next year will be easier than the last one and it will get easier as time passes, though I am sure you'll never forget, or want to for that matter.

    You were lucky to have each other for such a long and happy time and he was lucky that when he did die that he was loved so much by a great man like yourself.

    Lotsaluv Lozx
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    Oct 13, 2007 4:23 PM GMT
    Red, my deepest sympathy. Losing someone you love so deeply is never easy. And that must be compounded by the fact that he died in the way he did, and you didn't have a chance to say good-bye.

    I lost my partner of 9 years over six years ago, and while it does get easier with the passage of time, you never really forget. After all, when you let someone into your heart, and you are a part of his heart, how could you forget?

    I was so blessed to have had the chance to be with Chuck from the time of his diagnosis (cancer) to the moment of his passing (not even two months), and it was such a privilege. I will never forget him or the whole experience. Nor would I want to.

    Your presence on these boards is such an affirming one that I know you will move through the "grief process" (god, I hate that term--sounds too clinical) and continue to grow. Hang in there and know that you have so many friends here.

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    Oct 13, 2007 4:46 PM GMT
    I find that that grief of losing a loved one evolves into a warm feeling. When I think of them, I dont grieve the loss, I feel a warm, melancholy-ish feeling. As the decades have gone by, they even come more into my life as things remind me of them and I mention them in conversation. But none of them left me in the terror of a house fire. They were all natural deaths and expected.

    I offer my sympathy to you. As I read of your tragedy, I closed my eyes, held my face, and couldnt even imagine it. But my heart filled with sympathy for you.
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    Oct 13, 2007 5:54 PM GMT

    I am so sorry about the loss of your lover, red. I can only imagine how hard that is. One of my best friends in Chicago has lost two lovers suddenly. He met his current partner a few years ago and they just moved into their new condo together. (I'm not saying new love replaces old, I am just saying that after unspeakable hurt, love can return).

    I lost my father nine years ago and it doesn't seem like it has been so long ago. I now have dreams about him and they usually involve my family's happiest times, like going on vacation.

    You will always love your partner. That will never fade. But the joy of your times together will replace the hurt.

    I wish you all kinds of happiness.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 17117

    Oct 13, 2007 5:57 PM GMT
    Hey Red, really sorry for the loss of your partner.

    I kind of agree with Caslon, but for me its just emptiness for a long time. I think there would always be emptiness, except its really a choice on how you are going to feel about a person.. Are you going to remember him (or her) and the wonderful things they meant... or just the fact they aren't physically with you now? I vote for the former. What would your partner say if he were here today? How would he want you to live your life if you had a chance to talk to him again. For me that kind of thinking always helps.
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    Oct 13, 2007 6:28 PM GMT
    I'm sure your wit, which is conspicuous here, has helped you through the last year, Red. It's impressive that you maintain such levity in your grief.

    Psychology has a name for everything, and the "anniversary reaction" intensifies grief. Some argue that the annual experience helps discharge the accumulated pain. I dunno. My first partner died on Mother's Day -- something horrible for his mother -- from AIDS and it's still a painful memory every year. And that was 20 years ago and we were no longer partners but best friends by then. I did get a chance to say goodbye and I think that does make a big difference. There are ways to accomplish that after-the-fact, but none as satisfying as the "real" thing.

    My mother died about 15 months ago and the following year was nightmarish. Because she'd been a stroke patient for 14 years--unable to talk, walk, read or write the entire time--I did not expect to have such a powerful reaction. Further, we had been estranged most of my life.

    I did spend a lot of time with her in the last year of her life and that helped resolve a lot of conflict, but her death did produce a flood of painful memories of her treatment of me. It also, not surprisingly, brought me face-to-face in new way with my own mortality. Suddenly I was a motherless child -- the orphan we all eventually become.

    I spent a couple weeks revisiting the places I had lived in the years from infancy to 10. People let me into the houses, the elementary school let me go to my classrooms and the library. I also visited the places my mother grew up. Slowly, I got a better picture of who I was apart from my mother's estimation of me.

    But the grief in the last year, even more than with my partner's death 20 years ago, really taught me who my friends are and aren't. I was emotional much of the time, getting unpredictably angry or sad now and then. For years, I've heard clients in grief complain about their friends' responses, and it was kind of a shock to see it for myself. Some people just cannnot handle another person's grief.

    Sorry to go on. The grief is always there but, yes, it becomes easier to live with. For me, maybe counter-intuitively, it was important to delve as deeply as possible into my history with my mother and my first love. It's as if the only way to "forget" is to remember.
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    Oct 13, 2007 7:54 PM GMT
    My father died six years ago very suddenly when I was studying abroad in the US. I had not seen him for six months. At the time I responded with especially wild partying, an intense fear of being alone, a total inability to study, etc. I had and still have many regrets which at the time seemed to overwhelm me: I never told him I was gay (I was still confused at the time) and alas our relationship was stormy to say the least. I am a very strongly independent person, and I repressed my grief when dealing with others, and did not seek help in a way that I should have done.

    Bereavement it seems is a process: You should accept that your behaviour will be strongly modified from normal. Allow your friends to support you. Just as in the middle of the night, all of your worries and fears make you seem as if you are trapped in a chasm whose walls tower above you, so in the daylight you recognise the true magnitude of your problems and what seeemed an abyss you see is a mere ditch.

    Such is how things change with time. At first there were many things, many signs and images that could stop me in my tracks and reduce me to tears: the song "Begin the Beguine" which he used to sing all the time, a certain coat like his hanging on a peg, a photograph, standing on the beach in the bay just north of Weston-Super-Mare, and many others. Certain dates -- Christmas and his birthday on July the 8th -- were days full of dark memories.

    Now, such things move me only enough to reawaken some fleeting memory. And now I smile as much as I feel sad when I think of him. I have tried to learn more about him and his life (he fought in the war in the RAF, and never spoke of the war much) and this has helped to fill the hole in me that left by my loss. I have tried to remember some of the wonderful christmases, holidays in Cornwall, trips to the sea,visits to castles (Kenilworth castle strikes a particular chord) and most of all the last time I saw him, smiling and waving me goodbye as I went up the escalator to the departure lounge as I left for the US.

    Alas that we seem to find it so hard to speak of grief in society! After all our grief is merely the shadow of our love, and what is there to be ashamed of in love? And how hollow and insufficient all the "I'm sorry"s sound.... though they are well meant.

    Our thoughts, and our love are with you.
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    Oct 13, 2007 7:59 PM GMT
    Geez, man. There is nothing I can say that can make you feel better. Just know that people think about you and hope that you can use your grief for something positive, as you already seemingly have.

    Warm wishes.
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    Oct 13, 2007 8:06 PM GMT
    Dear redheadguy: The words that you have posted proves that your partner knew how much you loved him - Always easier said then done, BUT celebrate your positive memories of your partner, and do that with those SPECIAL people around today.

    The most important suggestion redhead, is BE GOOD/GENTLE TO YOURSELF TODAY - DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF.

    I'm sorry for your loss, please find strength in those positive memories - to LIVE TODAY, and find a greater tomorrow! HUGS my friendicon_smile.gif
  • cacti

    Posts: 273

    Oct 13, 2007 8:15 PM GMT
    Much love...
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    Oct 13, 2007 8:24 PM GMT
    I'm very sorry for your loss Red. We are all here for you. Time does heal.

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    Oct 14, 2007 4:47 AM GMT

    First off, much love and many, many hugs to you.

    I can tell you that it gets easier and the anniversaries get less painful as time passes. I can also tell you that you don't forget them, because they stay tucked away in that place in your heart reserved only for them. As to whether we actually recover from grief or just learn to live with it... I think maybe a little of both.

    My lover died 11 years ago of AIDS-related pneumonia. Up until a few months prior, he was relatively healthy. Once he got pneumonia, it was only a matter of a week or so before he was gone. We did have literally a moment or two to say goodbye, which I think made it a little easier.

    The anniversary of his death, once I got past the first one, became less and less painful. It still hurts and I still find myself grieving to an extent, but it has become more about remembering the good times we had than feeling the pain of loss.

    You will move through this... Just remember we're all here when you need support.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Oct 14, 2007 7:45 AM GMT
    I don't think "missing someone" ever goes away...there are spans of time where it may be less or not as prevalent, but I don't think it goes away...

    I am sorry for such a sudden loss...those are the hardest in my opinion...

    my thoughts are with you that you are able to find some peace of mind...and heart...

    - David
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    Oct 14, 2007 9:33 AM GMT
    Hey guys

    Thanks for all the kind words on here, it's really helped me. This site is great.

    Malc icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 14, 2007 6:33 PM GMT
    Hey thoughts aare with you man.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Oct 14, 2007 11:02 PM GMT
    Hey redheadguy,

    I really don't know what to say, other than my thoughts and prayers are with you.