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IMO busy-ness helps. I took on volunteering for a couple of places even while I was taking care of Dad. That's my "me" time. I do volunteer tutoring/classroom assistant at a local elementary school an hour a week and assist with cleaning at a women's shelter for about 2 hours once a month. I love kids and the elderly, so now that Dad is gone, I'm considering volunteering at a nearby nursing home or the local VA. Before Dad got sick, my hubby and I used to play bingo weekly with residents at a nursing home, and I think we had more fun than they did. I just think helping others can make you feel better.
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carerick, please follow suggestions like this, get out, and share yourself with the world. We’re here for you, behind our computer screens :) too. If you don’t have any pets, I’d go to a shelter or rescue group and look for a great new friend as well!
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That must be so hard - losing your wife and losing the focus of all your energy while caring for you. Have you seen your doctor - just to check everything out physically and discuss the possibility of meds? I have found therapy extremely helpful during difficult times in my life so that might be worth trying. And I know there are grief support groups that many people find helpful.

Good luck, and take care of yourself. Go on walks, get some sunshine, spend time with friends or family.
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Was your Wife on Hospice? If so they have bereavement counselors, support groups and Social Workers that can help you through the first year.
Are you or were you a member of a church or other religious group? They may have support groups as well.
Call the Alzheimer's Association they have counselors as well and may be able to offer suggestions.
Talk to your Doctor, tell the doctor that you are having problems, are a bit depressed. They will refer you to a counselor or therapist that will help.

Now for the other stuff...
Keep busy
Volunteer, I volunteer at the Hospice that helped me care for my Husband. I feel it is a way for me to "pay back" the help and support that they gave me. It is even better that the Hospice is a Not for Profit so I KNOW what I am doing matters.
Do you have a hobby that you used to love doing? Start it up again.
If you like kids...Contact a local school and see how you can help there. Tutoring, room helper...there are so many places schools need help.
Travel. If you do not have anyone to go with and don't want to go alone check out your local senior group or Park District and see if they have any trips scheduled.
If you are good with little repairs check your local Senior Center many have programs that will help other seniors that are impoverished make light repairs that will enable them to remain in their homes.
If your are real handy think about volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. (Or you can come build me a deck) {kidding}
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When my Ray went through this (my DH) he was advised to find another "help-mate" and it turned out to be me. We met at a "Church-held Pot-Luck for Singles" and we were the only couple to come out of it. We've been together now for 32 years.

This might not be right for you - but it was right for my Ray who had also tended a bed-ridden wife for many years. Diabetes complications with Dialysis. He started doing the Parents Without Partners trying to find someone to be with.

I am 30 years his junior but God knew what he was doing. Ray gave me stability and now I am giving him care. I call this "the flip-side of my wedding vows" and I am just thankful he is still here with me.

I am praying for you. I am praying that God show you what is best for you. We are all different. I have no idea what I will do after Ray passes, he's 96 now.
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Carerick, I don’t know if you love animals but I couldn’t agree more with Zdarov. A pet is a constant loving companion and a constant project, in a good way. If you don’t want the commitment of having one in your home, you can volunteer at the shelter or foster short-term. You are obviously a helper and an incredibly caring person; if you share that with others who need it, both you and they will find healing. Peace and hugs.
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Volunteering or finding a new activity is a good way to move the energy forward, but you still need to go through the shifts. Its normal.

For me, acceptance of our humanity is the key. This period of feeling your emotions is normal and should not be repressed, as it will return with a vengeance. Know that you will have to go through a normal roller coaster of emotions, as we all do when there are huge changes to our lives. Go through them. But do not meander within them. Do not get stuck in them.

There is a saying that I love: If you are going through hell, don't stop, keep going!
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Keep in mind that all the suggestions are great but grief and healing from that grief are not set in stone, they do not go by a calendar.
Just as love starts with a bang and a bonfire then mellows to a wonderful warmth so will the grief.
There are times when I hear a song and it rips me apart, a day or two later I can hear the same song and I find myself smiling and a week later I am in tears again. (not that you can relate..but it is sort of like a menopause hot flash ya just never know what is gonna happen!)
So rely on family and friends. They may not want to bring up your wife's name thinking they don't want to make you feel bad but sometimes talking about her and the great time you had when you did....or you had the worst vacation when...this happened and you can laugh about it now. You need to validate her and the life you had. Doing this will help the hard, raw pain become that warm glow.
It is hard but anything in life that is worth doing should be a challenge, you become a better person when you overcome.
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This is a quote that I keep by my computer and I have it on my phone as well...
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal...
Love leaves a memory that no one can steal....

I also have this one

Grief is the Price of Love
Grief never ends...but it changes!
It's a passage, not a place to stay
Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of Faith
It is the price of Love....

We all go through grief all through our lives sometimes it is a deep hurting grief, other times it is not so deep.
While I do not like the pain I experience It validates the love that I experienced. If there was not the love I had for my Husband there would be no grief. And I certainly would not have wanted to miss the love I had!!!
Helpful Answer (7)

I am so very sorry for your loss. May you receive grieving Mercies. Your dear wife was truly fortunate to have you, obviously a caring, compassionate and loving husband. Grief takes time and I personally think that for devoted caregivers it is a different journey, lost loved one and lost job, please seek out grief groups of people that can understand what you have and are going through. Local area on aging can give you a list of support groups. I agree with all of the above posts, find something to keep you busy, I know sometimes it is hard just getting up and dressed, so be loving and kind and patient with yourself as you move forward on this journey. Please use this forum as well, so many loving, understanding and helpful people to listen, advise and love you through. Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. Remember- YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS👍
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