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Death and Grieving Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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Vynloria Offline
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Dealing with the loss of a partner - September 10th 2017, 06:49 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of death or grieving, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I'd like to start this off by saying how glad I was when I found out this place still existed and is still thriving. It's been a while since I've logged on here (close to nearly 6 years now I think). I'm posting this to share my experiences and maybe even get some advice.

Just over three years ago I lost my best friend, partner and lover of nearly 6 years to a pulmonary embolism (blockage of the pulmonary artery via blood clotting). At the time she was 21 and led an active lifestyle with an excellent diet so the least likely candidate for something like that to happen but unfortunately it did.

The first 6 months I think were the 'worst' - I say that in quotations because when there are bad days they are just as painful as the day it happened, the only difference now is that generally speaking there are less of them. I was rather suicidal and had attempted seriously twice in that first 6 months. I think if it wasn't for the support of my family, her family, my friends and a stack of professional help I wouldn't be here right now.

I found for me personally that attempting to be competitive at sport (having goals and being too tired to think basically, I just didn't want to feel anything, sometimes I'm still like that) got me through to a point where I could start to contemplate and slowly recognise/accept and ultimately learn to live with the whole idea. Being myself was a difficult one - we had started dating when we were 16 and had for years been recognised as a couple/collective. When she died half of me died as well. My ability to deal with difficult situations or unknowns went out the window overnight as we'd often use each other as sounding boards to work out our problems. We'd discuss anything and everything, there was no subject too taboo or problematic, or that would cause grief. Learning to do that on my own has to date I think been the hardest skill I've had to pick up.

I still love her and miss her everyday which has caused quite a lot of tension when trying to date/enter relationships. At the start I feel into a string of relationships not realising that I was effectively trying to replace her and as a result ended up hurting a lot of people. I've finally managed to get to a place where I can recognise that what I had with her cannot be replaced and that anything started with someone else is it's own beautiful thing/journey but I'm still quite timid in taking anything further than just casual dating/sex because part of me has locked off deep emotions/feelings and the ability to express them (I've been told it's probably from the trauma experienced from the whole thing that my mind just shut as much down as possible to cope at the time and hasn't managed to start everything back up). So I mainly keep to myself which can be problematic as I know I function better in a deep loving relationship than I do alone. That being said, I've managed to at least tolerate being alone now where as before I'd be crying myself to sleep most nights about it.

Feel free to ask anything and everything. If this somehow helps at least one person then I'll be content.
   
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Re: Dealing with the loss of a partner - September 10th 2017, 08:21 PM

Thank you for sharing this with us. You have been through a lot but it also seems like you have done a lot of work towards getting to a better place in your life. Your experience will probably help other people as well.

Given what you have gone through it is understandable to struggle to form deeper relationships. Perhaps that will become easier in time. There's a positive quote along the lines of "It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." It is amazing that you had your partner, and like you've said, dating someone else is part of your journey but know that moving forward definitely does not mean that you have to leave this part of you behind. She will always be a significant part of your journey.

When you are ready, you will be able to form a deeper relationship with someone and feel comfortable with that. Though death is unavoidable for everyone, it is unlikely that the next person you're in a serious relationship with will suddenly leave you in a way that doesn't give you much closure. It can be hard when you know that because your feelings may make you feel otherwise but in time you will be able to have a serious relationship again.

It is awesome that you've had support from your family, her family, and friends along the way. Is professional help an option to you? If it is and you're comfortable with it, it's definitely something to consider. A professional could help you work towards the goal of being able to get into another relationship.


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Re: Dealing with the loss of a partner - September 11th 2017, 12:07 PM

Thanks for the kind words You're right, she's always a part of the journey - she has been an extremely influential person on me outside of what we had together, she helped me study hard so I could attend university for example. There's a lot of my lifestyle and ways of thinking that are attributed to her influence over the years.

I've been receiving professional help on and off as needed. Sometimes it's for a full mental crisis, others it's just me checking myself in even if I'm feeling 100% at the time just to give myself a checkup. I've found it's quite helpful for whatever form of professional help I'm seeing can see me when I'm in a healthy state of mind so that then they themselves have a reference point to go off of when things are extremely difficult.

All that being said, I've never contemplated seeking professional advice regarding relationships, it's all been focused on being just able to function, continue functioning and then enjoying life as is on my own. I'm tempted to pursue it, but I'm also highly conscious that I'm not really ready for a relationship at this point in life. I'm under the impression that one day a switch will just flick and I'll be okay with the idea, then I'll start working on how to actually date/be in a relationship again (or at least that's the plan!)
   
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Re: Dealing with the loss of a partner - September 12th 2017, 03:13 AM

Hey Steven,

I cannot personally relate to your story. However, I have a family member who recently lost their partner (last October). They had been together for 12 years. I know that family member is still struggling quite a bit. They have sought out counseling as well. I think that counseling has helped them to a certain extent but as you have said, things like this take time.

I do worry about my family member because at this point in time they are under the impression that they will never be the same. While I do get that and I do think that once a person loses someone that they considered the love of their life or their teammate that they do change. The worry I have is that they will never get to a place where they feel open to dating and will 'miss' out on opportunities. I know, that their partner would not want that for them. Their partner was constantly worried about them and would want them to move forward but only when they felt ready.

Anyway, I am glad you felt willing to share your story. One thing, when you feel like you might be open to pursuing a relationship, it might help to get a bit of counseling to deal with any issues that might arrive.

If you ever want to chat please feel free to message me.


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