It’s been 3.5 years since my first husband died. It was brutal and devastating and by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through, even though we had been expecting his death for years. You don’t really ever manage to expect it, even when it’s right there.
I read a lot. I moved the bed and would stay up at night reading and trying very hard to lose myself. I went to work every day and created a new habit of visiting my brother nearly every night and we’d watch goofy things from Netflix and I got to be surrounded by all of his children.
I joined a grief support group the same week that Steve died and it helped me a lot. I also very briefly participated on a message board for widows and widowers, but I found that there was an atmosphere there that I didn’t care for after the first little while. I remember a poster saying that she was doing well and a number of other people actually came in to tell her that it was just a matter of time before grief handicapped her again. Infuriating.
Anyway, there are so many ways of grieving, as many as there are people, so try not to let anyone put you in a box and insist you feel a certain way. If you read a lot on the subject, you’ll probably think “Oh, this person knows exactly what I’m thinking” on one page and then “Who is this person talking about? This is bullshit!” on the next.
I decided to challenge myself after Steve’s death and do some things I couldn’t do while he was alive. Eventually, I decided to go back to school, so I sold the house, packed what I wanted to keep into my Jeep, then moved across country to start school and get remarried.
I still cry. It will still hit me at times how incredibly unfair Steve’s life and death were. It will just hit me randomly. But I also know that he would have been incredibly proud, and that makes everything better.
I’m so sorry to hear about your boyfriend. It’s unfair for you because “boyfriend” so often doesn’t convey enough. Just try to hang on and survive. I know that it hurts so much that you can’t even imagine it not hurting this much, but you will probably have good days mixed with the bad, even early on, or at least good hours or good minutes. Try to recognize and celebrate them.
And lean on people when you can.
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.