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I'm here again. I am 81. I have long term depression, anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia, caregiving for my husband for 13 years and I am in deep mourning for my wonderful son who died suddenly on august 18. How can I cope? My other son has been with me for 3 weeks but he had to leave. I don't have any close friends left, I can't take antidepressants, counseling isnt helping. I have to pretend I'm just tired all day with my husband because he doesnt know his son is gone and when I go to bed at night all I can do is cry.

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I’m so sorry, Mythyme. The natural way to live life is for our children to outlive us, so you are coping with a situation that defies logic and nature.

You have many, many other issues from brain chemistry imbalance (depression, anxiety, insomnia) to extreme physical pain with your fibromyalgia. On top of that, you are a caregiver for your husband. You must be incredibly strong to have handled so much and still have the strength and courage to reach out for help through counseling and here online.

The fact that you can't share your grief over your son with your husband has to be like a knife to the heart. I'm sure that just intensifies your loneliness.

How to cope?

You've been around long enough to know that life can be harder than many of us ever expect, yet it can also give us moments of joy. Hard as it is to start, a "gratitude list" can eventually help us with many of our worst struggles. Sometimes, in instances like yours, there doesn't seem much to be grateful for, but you did have your son for a long time. You also have a loving son who took time from his job and family to mourn with you. That is something.

Could you try another counselor? Sometimes one counselor may be able to help when another couldn't. It’s often a matter of chemistry rather than training. Also, if you belong to a church, you may want to see if they have a Stephen Ministry. These lay ministers are trained to help people with mourning.

I’d also suggest that you go online to www.compassionatefriends.org. This is an organization for people who have lost children, and some communities have meetings. As with so many things, no one can truly understand unless they have experienced what we have experienced. These people have been where you are.

You need to cry. You need to talk to someone who will just listen, even if it's a paid counselor. Maybe this extra step of communicating with people who have lost children will help a bit more.

Eventually, to get on with life, you'll need to come to some kind of acceptance that your son was a wonderful gift for you throughout the years. If you have some
faith (which can be hard to keep in these dark times) you may find comfort knowing that your son is now beyond pain.

Your courage is evident, my friend. Please keep reaching out as you are now. The pain will not disappear – ever. But it can become bearable over time.
Carol
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I too am glad you reached out, Mythyme. I am so sorry about the loss of your son and I am also sorry that you can't share your grief with your husband. I can only imagine how alone you must feel.

I don't really have any words of wisdom. Carol had a good idea about finding another therapist that you click with more than you apparently do with this one. And therapy isn't a quick fix, it takes time and work. I would advise you to keep going, keep plugging away at it. Going to therapy is a positive step you're taking and something that you're doing for yourself. Please keep with it.

Maybe you could write another post and let us know more about being a caregiver to your husband. There are a lot of great folks on this site and it sounds like you could use the support and company.

Again, my deepest sympathies for the loss of your son.
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Solid advice has been given. One thing I want to add is how long can you really care for your husband? Were you able to discuss long term care options with your son? Do you own your home? Can your husband go into assisted living? Can you hire an in-home caregiver to give you some reprieve now?

I pray you find comfort during this season of loss and that you get the support you clearly need. Bless you.
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My truest sympathy to you. You have lived long and know that life can bring you to your knees and turn as cold as ice. The thing is you are a survivor you have prevailed a life time of pains and sufferings I am sure. You have to dig deep and find that spirit that brought you through in those tough times. You are here for a reason, you still have life and you must choose to either give up or go on, I am not your age but have endured many hardships and it really came down to this, I am on my own and realized that truly that is really all I have and I choose to hold on and ride it through. There are people out there that can really use your wisdom and strength, gratitude list, well yes, hard to do, but it is true, when you find what is right and focus on it, it does lift you up. Don't give up, you are worth it and people need you.
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Thank you for your kind words and support. I have so little strength to push forward. I cannot take good care of myself and just doing minimum care for my husband is just not enough for him. My son has been doing all the work for me to buy a condo closer to him and it will be another month before we move. The thought of moving is overwhelming. I had my husband in assisted living for a week to have a memorial for our son and I was so lonely after my son went home. I really missed my husband. He is my companion, even with dementia. When we move I will know no one at all. I will try to go to the senior center but its quite a ways away and I will have to take a cab and get a caregiver for my husband. Thank you for listening. I will start a gratitude list but I don't know what ill be able to put on it.
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Well you can put on your gratitude list: your son, your life, your husband, moving to a brand new condo, you will have help, new friends to make, your health, I always look at those who have more problems than I and thank God for what I have since it always can be worst. Hang in there.
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