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Old 10-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
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AmorePassato HB User
Mourning a Past Love

I've been happily married for 23 years to a wonderful man. Before I met him, I was engaged to someone else whom I loved dearly, but our relationship was troubled because he was an alcoholic. We tried to make it work, but he refused to get help and always thought I was over-reacting. I gave him an ultimatum one night - the drink or me - and he said, "There's the door." I left and never looked back.

Over the years, I was angry when I thought of him dismissing me like that. In my mind, he didn't love me enough and it hurt. However, I now had a wonderful husband and child to take care of, so thoughts of him were few and far in between. I kept up with how he was doing from time to time through a mutual friend and two years ago I saw that he was on Facebook. It was around Christmastime, so I sent him a private message, wishing him and his family a joyous holiday season. He replied and said that if I ever got down to my hometown to see our mutual friend, to let him know so he could come see me. I toyed with the idea and then dropped it. I never talked to or heard from him again.

Last Tuesday he died of liver cancer. Apparently he had been ill for several years and didn't share it with many people. His death has hit me like a blow to the head. I am reeling from it. My husband has been wonderful about it and says that it is understandable for me to be upset after someone you once loved dies, but I think it's more than that. I've been trying to pin point what exactly is haunting me - do I feel guilty about leaving him all those years ago? Guilty for not going and seeing him one last time two years ago? Is that why he wanted to see me? To tell me that he was ill? To tell me he was sorry for hurting me? All these things are going through my mind all at the same time. If only I had known he was ill, I would've gone to see him to reassure him that I cared and to tell him how sorry I was that our relationship never worked out.

My mind races uncontrollably with thoughts of 'Did he die thinking I hated him?' and then jumps to 'Did I ever really matter to him at all?' Then I get mad at myself because I feel that it's selfish to only think about ME at a time like this. Is it just my ego looking for affirmation?

I guess I am looking for support from someone who has been through the death of a past love who was not your spouse. Is this normal to feel this way about someone who you haven't been with for over two decades? What can I do to ease my mind and my heart?

Last edited by AmorePassato; 10-21-2012 at 01:34 PM.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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maelstrom143 HB User
Re: Mourning a Past Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmorePassato View Post
I've been happily married for 23 years to a wonderful man. Before I met him, I was engaged to someone else whom I loved dearly, but our relationship was troubled because he was an alcoholic. We tried to make it work, but he refused to get help and always thought I was over-reacting. I gave him an ultimatum one night - the drink or me - and he said, "There's the door." I left and never looked back.

Over the years, I was angry when I thought of him dismissing me like that. In my mind, he didn't love me enough and it hurt. However, I now had a wonderful husband and child to take care of, so thoughts of him were few and far in between. I kept up with how he was doing from time to time through a mutual friend and two years ago I saw that he was on Facebook. It was around Christmastime, so I sent him a private message, wishing him and his family a joyous holiday season. He replied and said that if I ever got down to my hometown to see our mutual friend, to let him know so he could come see me. I toyed with the idea and then dropped it. I never talked to or heard from him again.

Last Tuesday he died of liver cancer. Apparently he had been ill for several years and didn't share it with many people. His death has hit me like a blow to the head. I am reeling from it. My husband has been wonderful about it and says that it is understandable for me to be upset after someone you once loved dies, but I think it's more than that. I've been trying to pin point what exactly is haunting me - do I feel guilty about leaving him all those years ago? Guilty for not going and seeing him one last time two years ago? Is that why he wanted to see me? To tell me that he was ill? To tell me he was sorry for hurting me? All these things are going through my mind all at the same time. If only I had known he was ill, I would've gone to see him to reassure him that I cared and to tell him how sorry I was that our relationship never worked out.

My mind races uncontrollably with thoughts of 'Did he die thinking I hated him?' and then jumps to 'Did I ever really matter to him at all?' Then I get mad at myself because I feel that it's selfish to only think about ME at a time like this. Is it just my ego looking for affirmation?

I guess I am looking for support from someone who has been through the death of a past love who was not your spouse. Is this normal to feel this way about someone who you haven't been with for over two decades? What can I do to ease my mind and my heart?
Dear Amore,
My condolences. I do not think there is anything wrong w/grieving for an old love. He was an integral part of your life and part of the reason why you are who you are today. If you love truly and deeply, that love never truly dies. It may change due to circumstances beyond your control, but it never truly ends. Grieve, but do not think that you are at fault for not responding to his friendly overtures. You did what felt right at the time and should not second guess yourself. You loved him and that is enough. You will go on, live your life, grow old with your husband and enjoy what comes your way. There will be moments when for no reason at all, your lost love will come to mind and you will wish he was still around. Enjoy the memories. One can never go home again.

 
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AmorePassato (11-30-2012)
Old 11-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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AmorePassato HB User
Re: Mourning a Past Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by maelstrom143 View Post
Dear Amore,
My condolences. I do not think there is anything wrong w/grieving for an old love. He was an integral part of your life and part of the reason why you are who you are today. If you love truly and deeply, that love never truly dies. It may change due to circumstances beyond your control, but it never truly ends. Grieve, but do not think that you are at fault for not responding to his friendly overtures. You did what felt right at the time and should not second guess yourself. You loved him and that is enough. You will go on, live your life, grow old with your husband and enjoy what comes your way. There will be moments when for no reason at all, your lost love will come to mind and you will wish he was still around. Enjoy the memories. One can never go home again.
Thank you for taking the time to respond. It's been awhile since my original post and things have definitely gotten easier.

I did go back to my hometown for the services, which gave me some comfort and closure. I reconnected with some members of his family and our old friends and they all greeted me warmly and were happy that I was there. I had been the 'photographer' for our group when we were dating, so there were very few pictures of him after we broke up. They had one recent picture of him that they used on the memorial cards, so my husband and I put together a memorial album to bring to the service. Even though the pictures are 26 years old, the album was a huge hit at the service and so many people were greatly appreciative to have it. I guess it was like therapy for me to be able to do that for them.

I still think of him often - it's only been a month and a half since his passing - and I 'talk' to him alot when I'm on my daily commute to and from work, but I know I made the right decision for myself at the time.

Thank you again. You warmed my heart.

 
The following user gives a hug of support to AmorePassato:
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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maelstrom143 HB User
Re: Mourning a Past Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmorePassato View Post
Thank you for taking the time to respond. It's been awhile since my original post and things have definitely gotten easier.

I did go back to my hometown for the services, which gave me some comfort and closure. I reconnected with some members of his family and our old friends and they all greeted me warmly and were happy that I was there. I had been the 'photographer' for our group when we were dating, so there were very few pictures of him after we broke up. They had one recent picture of him that they used on the memorial cards, so my husband and I put together a memorial album to bring to the service. Even though the pictures are 26 years old, the album was a huge hit at the service and so many people were greatly appreciative to have it. I guess it was like therapy for me to be able to do that for them.

I still think of him often - it's only been a month and a half since his passing - and I 'talk' to him alot when I'm on my daily commute to and from work, but I know I made the right decision for myself at the time.

Thank you again. You warmed my heart.
Real love never dies. It enriches you and makes you more than you were before, even if it does not work out. I am so glad you were able to find peace and contentment amidst the loss and heartache.

 
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