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I have not posted here enough to have developed any forum friendships, but I have appreciated the openness of everyone's suggestions.

Two weeks ago, my wife of 39 years passed way.  Ours was a love-hate relationship for a good 2/3rds of our married life, but I loved her dearly.  I am now faced with abject grief over such a loss and debilitating guilt over the things I did or did not do that made her life worse.  I can not fall back on faith as I am an atheist and will remain so.  I believe in the high moral road of religion but none of the mythology.

I don't honestly know if I will write again.  I sold very little so it may not matter.  It is odd that the book I published about a month before her passing was titled, Grief Begets and was about a man who lost the one he loved.  It strikes me strange.  I am in that black hole now and I hope I recover.  Adding insult to injury, my wife's social security has now disappeared, leaving me in questionable financial shape for the rest of my life. We weren't doing particularly well in the first place.

So I tell you fine people out there my horrendous news not to elicit sympathy or platitudes.  I just wanted to share and I have no social site presence out there.  This is the only social interaction I ever have and I live in a rural area with no friends nor family still living.

Thank you for everything and bye for now.

David Mayo, East Texas, 2020
 

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David, I'm so sorry.

I won't offer platitudes - and you don't know me half a world away in England - but if you want, need, to talk (really talk, I mean, rather than just typing and talking to a screen) then perhaps you have a local branch of the Samaritans that you could call.  Just a thought.

 

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Another stranger wishing you well from Blighty. Very sorry to hear what's happened.

If you need someone to vent to, I'm only a PM away. I can't offer much by way of advice, but I can offer a sympathetic ear if that means anything.
 

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David,

Echoing other sentiments. I wish you the very best, and I hope you emerge from these difficult days. Cherish the good memories. Please find someone to talk to. Keep going.
 

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I mostly just wanted to say thanks for posting.  It can be hard to ever say anything after a trauma, and especially hard to put yourself out there in a way like you have.  So, I'm glad that you have the strength to say something here.  I don't know if I would in your shoes.  I come from a long line of bottle-it-up-ers, and I've seen just how bad that can be.  You being here, saying something, that really is something I'm thankful for, even if I'm so sorry for your loss.  Because it's a way to let everyone who's ever felt alone see that, yeah, there are people here.  Even if we are all plucky writer folk  :D

And, I don't know, there really isn't anything good to say, but times like this are always the hardest right after it happens.  Things only get better with time.  And the future is impossible to even guess at.  Years from now, who knows where your writing will be at.  Will it still be the same?  Is there a really great book that you still have to write?  Will self-published books crash?  Or will people discover and love those ones that you've already written?  Only time will tell, really.  So, it's not like you have to decide the future of your writing right now.  What will happen, will happen.  Heh, or at least that's what I've always thought.

Deepest condolences.  Really.

Also, feel free to PM me if you ever want to chat about anything.  All I can ever do is give the words of a Virginia farmer, but if that doesn't sound too terrible, then feel free to let me know, anytime.
 

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David,

There's nothing I can write that will take away or even ease your pain. The truth is, you've got a long road ahead of you.

The best I can offer is this: Try to be strong in the long run, but allow yourself those moments of weakness when they wash over you. For what it's worth, I've been there to a certain extent. Lost my wife 6 years ago, and I, too, live in a remote rural area with no other living family. Good things can come, but they might take a long while. Each widow or widower deals with grief in their own way, and let no one else put a timeline on your suffering.

I don't want this to sound cliche, and I can't tell you how to deal with these things, but please try to keep in mind that the world is going to feel strange for a long time. Even 6 years later, I still sometimes don't recognize my own life, but I have to say, I'm as happy now as I've ever been. I continue to miss my wife every day, but my memories are mostly good ones, for we had our own rough times.

As for writing, you might not feel like doing it for a long while, and maybe you'll never want to write again. But you know what? That's okay. If and when you do decide to write again, you'll know.

Be kind to yourself.
 

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I’ve tried to respond with numerous messages that for some reason are not worthy of the pain you are feeling.

I am begging you to keep writing your story. It’s not over.  ;D
 

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Our deepest condolences, David.
 

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I am so sorry.

Grief is a journey. It takes time to heal. By reaching out, you are off to a start.

Wishing you the best.
 

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Condolences.  I'll echo "A past poster," who points out that "grief is a journey."  And there is no one single way to deal with it, so whatever you're feeling, its perfectly OK.  Things do eventually get brighter.

As for getting back to writing... whether it's a book or fiction or whatever, sometimes putting thoughts & feelings on paper (so to speak) helps.  Especially if you don't feel like expressing those things to another person. 

ETA:  and remember, the internet is always open, 24/7, and this writers community is here for moral support.
 

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My condolences David, as a fellow writer. It's a particularly hard time to lose someone right now. Especially your partner.

It seems to me your wife would not have wanted you to dwell over any regrets, though they are always a part of life to move on from. All I can offer is to tell you what I find consoling, and that is knowing the future is yet unmade and this time of inconsolable pain may yet turn out to be a turning point in your life when you enter a period of much growth, and eventually happiness. Easier seen looking back, than seen looking ahead from this dark point. Go for walks as often as possible. Be with old friends.

All the best and stay well.
 

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I offer heartfelt condolences but haven't been where you are so I have no advice.

Please be kind to yourself.

Sheri
 

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You said you are an atheist so you function in a metaphysical world. We are born, we pass whatever years we may have, and we die. Life goes on even though we aren't there. But it's not that simple. The lives she touched carry a little bit of that relationship within themselves. Their lives go on, and the lives they touch carry a bit of that influence. So, in some ways, your wife's life goes on. Your life goes on. The pain eventually eases even if it never totally fades away. You say you're alone without friends and family. Guess what? There are many others in the same boat. Start saying 'good morning' or 'hello' to those you do meet...the grocer, mailman, the policeman on the corner, anyone. Try to include a brief smile. Believe it or not, that smile works like a light anesthetic. You wonder if you'll ever write again. Don't worry about it. Instead, maybe keep a journal. Write your thoughts just as you did in your post here today. The journal is just for you, not for anyone else's consumption, so you can say anything you want without reservation. On the financial front, do you have any handyman skills that might allow you to pick up a few dollars? Is there a local business that needs someone to work the late shift, cover the lunch hour, or maybe come in on weekends? Keep looking and asking. Something will pop up if you don't give up.
 

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I'm so sorry. As a fellow atheist, let me assure you that religion or faith is not needed to get through this. You must understand that grief is a process, it has been researched and expounded upon for many centuries. From my research, it can take more than a year to fully work through the process. You will get through it, your feelings are normal and will probably change from day to day, even sooner.

Money and sales aren't the only reason many of us write, so don't worry about that. Don't worry about whether you write today, or tomorrow, just know that eventually you'll get back to it. I'm in a similar position, grieving the loss of my brother, who also was a writer, almost three months ago. It's been less than two years since our father died. It's tough, and sometimes I wonder if the words will return, but I know to be patient and to keep moving forward.

As others have said, you have people here to converse with. There are support groups, if you find yourself in need locally, just a phone call away.
 

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Are you sure you can't draw her Social Security as a survivor?  Check with them.

Hold on.  That's all you can do.  Get something of hers and keep it with you.  Let yourself cry, it's okay.  Keep busy.  Condolences to you.

2020 sucks.
 
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