Life changes after mate passes?

I always envisioned myself as diving into my hobbies and passions with both feet if my mate were to pass before me. It seems the opposite is happening, I am not doing anything. I try to force myself to go out and have coffee at least once a day but I am lucky if I do that every other day. I had several writing and archery projects I was probably spending about 8 hours a day on and wishing for more, now I am lucky to put in an hour or two. I finally cleaned the house yesterday, once I got started it felt good.

I pull up my writing projects a few times a day, stare at it for 5 min or so then close it back out. 

It has been 45 days since she passed and I am getting better each day. I have longer periods of peace where I don't see her in the hospital bed with all the tubes. I can't imagine living such an uninspired life for very long and I expect i will be pulling out of it in a timely fashion. I am strongly considering the possibility of becoming celibate and eliminating the option of future relationships. If I could just get myself back to work I think I could be very happy and satisfied being alone. If I don't get back to work I don't see a good outcome.

You will. It’s still very new. Keep trying to open your writing up. Maybe this week shoot for writing one sentence or paragraph. You may go back in 3 months and delete it. But write a little, now.
Have you thought about grief counselling?

Time heals, man.

Grieving is individual and there’s no prescribed time frame for doing it. What you’re describing sounds entirely normal for losing someone so important to you. It takes time to process. Adding pressure on yourself to get through it faster seems like just piling on pain you don’t need right now. It sounds like you want to get back to activities that are important to you, so you will, but just not yet. Some days will be easier. Some days will be harder. Take it one day at a time and don’t worry about doing it right.

Peace to you.

There’s a delicate balance between allowing the grief to flow through you, as you must, and wallowing. I think you are handling it all well. You understand that you can’t deny your feelings and you’re simply allowing them to happen. That’s for the best.

As Sunny Daze rightfully points out, there’s no set timeline for grief. Things do change, but it is gradual. One day you will realize you didn’t think about her at all for an entire day. That’s a bittersweet but important day. It will come.

It is too soon to judge yourself harshly. (having said that, it will always be too soon.)
Time will change your outlook and everyday life will not be what it was when she was with you.
My spouse died and it was almost a year before I felt in any way “normal” and of course “normal” was redefined.
The desire to live a life that you control is strong. You want to have an anchor, to be in charge of yourself and your actions. You want what you anticipated but no one can be sure of a life that has been so devastated.
If you can talk to someone about how you feel I found it helps. Or write about your emotions, especially if you never intend for them to be read. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Give yourself permission to change. Don’t fight it or try to force it. I am sorry to say that nothing I have found is any substitute for time.

Thanks for all the replies. I enjoyed reading them. I think I was just a little down this morning when I posted.

I found a great help. It helped just reading other’s reactions and solutions. It sounds awful, but it helped me to see how much worse situations others were dealing with. I didn’t have to participate until I felt up to it. When I finally did write, it was cathartic for me. You might find it helpful.

My stepfather was devastated when my mother died. My brother and I weren’t prepared for how badly he was doing. We called his daughter, but she was having a work crisis (she owns her own business), and couldn’t come out (she’s also a single parent of a kid who had just started high school), so my brother and I ended up taking care of him while we tried to settle our mother’s estate, and plan a funeral.

Our mother had handled our father’s death so well 20 years earlier, that we weren’t prepared for our stepfather’s reaction. But our father had been sick a pretty long time, so it was kind of a relief when he died.

People are different, and circumstances are different. Our mother was suffering for the last couple of days, and so for us the thought that it was over helped us, but it didn’t seem to help him. I felt really bad leaving him when I had to go home, but my son was waiting for me.

He is still chugging along. He has bad moments, but he called me last spring to tell me when “my mother’s” flowers had bloomed, and it sounded like it made him happy. He also went to his Naval unit’s reunion a couple of months ago, and he was really looking forward to it.

I’m worrying about him a little less.

Thanks, I will check this out.

In my own mind I am sitting around doing nothing. It seems like this because idle time seems to drag on forever while busy time passes so quickly. A couple of hours ago I started recapping what I have actually done in the 45 days since she passed and I actually have been very busy. I had to move the apt, donate things to charity and sort through boxes after boxes of photographs, keepsakes and paperwork page by page and then making sure the right people got them. I had to sponsor a flight archery shoot in Missouri which took considerable preparation and 6 days actually there. I had to build two English Longbows to compete with for a group coming from Hungary. I had to basically disassemble and reassemble my guest house and storage shed to move back in. I got everything done and now I have time to start something new if I get inspired. For some reason idle time just drags on forever.

Well, we’re here for you.

This sounds like a state called, “anhedonia”, which means inability to feel pleasure, even in activities that you enjoy. It’s a common symptom of depression, which is a natural thing to feel while grieving. It’s normal to feel depressed as you process this event.

Be kind and patient with yourself. You will adjust in time and it will be the right time for you. Perhaps it might be worth discussing this with a grief counselor?

I found after my Daddy died people (friends) were more and more less able to listen to me gush on about him. I admit I was a bit over the top. He was just a very important person to me. I have 7 sibs so it’s not like there was no one to talk to. I am the only one left in Arkansas, though… I finally was able to shut up. I am a few years out and I still have bad days. When I do I try to do something we would do or had in common. It helps a bit.


Expectations, even your own expectations, can be a burden and a roadblock. Take all of the expectations (including any you haven’t mentioned - hunt for them, sometimes they’re hidden) with a grain of salt; for some of them, a pound of salt might be more like it.

And I remember from previous reading that recently there has been a lot of complexity and doubt; that may change or clarify over time, but what it won’t do is disappear in a puff of smoke.

Sometimes I don’t figure out how I’ve been feeling until much later. For me, that’s a common experience. Maybe for you it’s very strange, but it’s not impossible.

Be who you are. Who you are is enough.

My beloved died 9.5 years ago. A friend who had suffered a similar loss gave me this piece of advice: Whatever you are feeling, whatever you are doing - it’s ok. Are you sad? depressed? angry? relieved? happy? It’s ok. Are you keeping so busy you can’t think, rearranging your life? Do you sit alone in the dark doing nothing? It’s ok. Don’t add anxiety or guilt to the loss of your partner. Just live through it until life gets back in balance.

This was so helpful to me. I miss my husband still with great intensity. I love my life and find daily joys. It’s a puzzlement. Go easy on yourself. Many have traveled the same road, each has a different story and coped in different ways.

I did a project once called A Story A Day. You write a story every day, but it can be as short as two words, or as long as you want it to be. I found it very helpful during tough times. At the end of 3 months I had 90 stories. Maybe 4 or 5 were pretty good, so that’s a bonus too.

My sister died yesterday. I am bereft. Almost unable to write this.

I have been through death four times and every time is like new. Hug your family.

Hey, do you still have that '88 F-250?

I still got mine!

I recently had dinner with a guy who lost his wife a few years ago. He is just starting to really get on with his life. He said he spent about a year steeped in grief and loss and then made a conscious decision to put the past behind him and move forwards with his life.

No right or wrong way to do it I guess. It’s just something you have to work through as well as you can.