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Struggling with feeling Nostalgic

Old 05-01-2017, 09:18 AM
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Struggling with feeling Nostalgic

Hey all,

For those that are no longer with their A or their has passed away, how do you deal with increased feelings of nostalgia?

I know that my mind is playing tricks on me and I'm romanticizing our relationship.

As the time passes (2 weeks tomorrow that I found out she passed away.), I am left thinking of the good times and have no new quacks to snap me back to reality.

How have you dealt with this?

I know that nothing will bring her back and even if she was back she'd still be sick. I can't seem to shake my mind out of fantasizing about what might have been.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:49 AM
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HBG, it's all part of the grief process....a process you are barely IN yet. it's normal and it's natural. when you recall the good times, be thankful you had them, but don't try to hold them so tight you lose perspective.

grief counseling would be an excellent idea. when my mom died of alcoholism (i was 32, only child, executor of her estate) i didn't slow down long enough to consider that perhaps i had some stuff to work through. i just soldiered on. that was 25 years ago and it's still a process.

We all wonder WHAT IF sometimes. and not just about the loss of loved one. what IF i'd gone on that trip to France back when i was in cooking school. what IF my mom had allowed my dad visitation, or IF he'd "wanted me enough" to have me live with his family. what IF i'd gone to the true college of my choice, Whitworth, the lovely little liberal arts college nestled in the trees on the eastern side of the state.

makes me think of the movie Sliding Doors, where a woman's life trajectory splits in two. neither is without pain or sadness, neither is perfect, both have flaws and heartache.

allow yourself to feel what you feel. if you are concerned about going too far over the edge, set a timer....allow yourself 30 minutes at a time. then go furiously scrub the grout, or bathe the cat or talk a walk. baby steps.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:09 AM
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Kaleidoscopes

Letters strewn within a desk drawer
And a coin within a ring
Are they figments of a memory
Or are they fragments of a dream.
Dreams that drift among the nighttime
Visions clear in light of day
Confusion lost in fantasy
Forms illusions’ disarray.

Like the rhythm of a heartbeat
That belies its sense of woe
The earth is spinning on its axis
But it’s all a puppet show.
Smiles and laughter mask true countenance
Betray the feelings deep within
Wild menageries of players
Hide the masquerade therein.

Time that drifts upon the ocean
Winds that shift the sands of shore
Find the time adrift the ocean
But its pleadings it ignores.
Seconds swept right into decades
Decades held within a void
Will a light year free the memories
Or will moments be destroyed.



Like a scene that keeps replaying
Through the universe of time
At the moment that you parted
Did you know it was goodbye
Like a kaleidoscope of color
Forming snapshots caught in time
Does its movement blur the image
Or change the image of the mind.

As an errant star among the Heavens
Finds a pathway all its own
Voices raised in soulful mourning
Into the wind their songs are blown
On a dark and lonely roadway
Or a sunny windswept lane
Moving swiftly on its journey
Is the echo of your name.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:37 PM
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SoberLeigh....just WOW!
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:48 PM
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HBG.....I went through this when my husband died. quite suddenly.....

I think there is a feeling that the pain is so big and encompassing , that, it is like a black hole that we fear will sweep us into the vortex....that is the fear. but it doesn't happen.
It helps to visualize the pain coming in for covering the top of a mountain, pausing, and then passing, on it's way. Or, like the tide coming onto the shore, pausing, briefly, then receding back to a calm water.....
While in the midst of the tide or the fog, feel the emotion...and cry or sob or call out to the Universe....whatever comes, spontaneously...because, it will last, momentarily, and then recede.....It will not swallow you up...

In general, nostalgic feelings can take a back seat in our memories, after a while.....but they never go away. completely...When I look at pictures of when I was in highschool...I still get some waves of nostalgia.....but, they pass, as soon as I turn my mind to something else.....

HBG.....this is not a sprint. Think in terms of a marathon....you have to pace yourself.....think in terms of weeks to months....with some days better than others....until it all settles into your heart with the peace that comes with final acceptance.....
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:27 PM
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Greif plays memory re-runs with steroids. We try to make sense of that which has NO sense. Kind of an expert on that. Just accept- you cannot unthank or unfeel- but accept, breathe and process with time.
My sincere empathy and support to you.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
SoberLeigh....just WOW!
Thanks, dandylion. Of everything I have written, that is my favorite.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
HBG.....I went through this when my husband died. quite suddenly.....

I think there is a feeling that the pain is so big and encompassing , that, it is like a black hole that we fear will sweep us into the vortex....that is the fear. but it doesn't happen.
It helps to visualize the pain coming in for covering the top of a mountain, pausing, and then passing, on it's way. Or, like the tide coming onto the shore, pausing, briefly, then receding back to a calm water.....
While in the midst of the tide or the fog, feel the emotion...and cry or sob or call out to the Universe....whatever comes, spontaneously...because, it will last, momentarily, and then recede.....It will not swallow you up...

In general, nostalgic feelings can take a back seat in our memories, after a while.....but they never go away. completely...When I look at pictures of when I was in highschool...I still get some waves of nostalgia.....but, they pass, as soon as I turn my mind to something else.....

HBG.....this is not a sprint. Think in terms of a marathon....you have to pace yourself.....think in terms of weeks to months....with some days better than others....until it all settles into your heart with the peace that comes with final acceptance.....
I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, dandylion.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:35 PM
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I think part of the problem might be that you're trying to somehow compartmentalize the relationship--you know there were some truly awful parts of it, but you remember happy/good times and it's creating this dissonance in your head.

Alcoholics are not evil people. Nor are they wonderful, but deeply tragic figures. They are complicated people (as we all are), with some great qualities and some qualities that were distorted by their addiction. They are flawed human beings, like the rest of us. The drinking or drug amplifies any character defects to the point where they overshadow any good qualities.

Eventually, my bet is that when you've had some time to grieve and to heal, you'll be able to think back fondly on some of the good times you had without having to counterbalance it with negative memories. I have a lot of fond memories of having fun with my second husband (the one I had to leave after he went back to drinking after almost dying of it). My kids do, too--he was a fun person, very full of life and imagination. The drinking made him impossible to live with. I have no regrets about leaving, and I hate some of the things that drinking did to him, but I don't hate him. I would love to hear that he found sobriety and was living a happy life. I don't think that will ever happen, but for his sake I hope that it does.

So I'd say right now that I have a pretty balanced picture of what our life once was, and can smile at the good parts and feel a touch of sadness about the bad parts, but it doesn't consume me either way.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:40 PM
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Thank you all.

I guess today is just one of the terrible days on the road to recovery.

I have cried and missed her for most of the day.

Hopefully tomorrow is better.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:39 AM
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Thank you Lexi, Dandylion, Leigh!
I agree that we can balance the memories of sweetness & closeness with those of hurt & mistrust inside the lost relationship...
We loved them. We knew them. We shared experiences.
In some ways, you can take an even deeper breath in claiming the balanced & contrary memories of someone lost to death. If you lose a love to divorce/separation, you almost have to shut out nostalgia or loving memory for fear you might get confused & soften towards them. Death allows you to be the sculptor & the holder of memory, without that outside force.
I lost my mother 2 years ago. She was very complex & hard for me - a cruel alcoholic. While she was alive, & while she was dying, the hurt and angry memories were strongest. I couldn't include any positive ones, because it was anger that protected me, they kept my heart safe.
It has been interesting - in the last few months, she has appeared in my sleep dreams & she is kind. I feel closer to her. I see vulnerable bits that I couldn't let myself see while I was self protecting.
I woke up the other day, after a dream like that & I suddenly missed her & felt an utterly new compassion for her.
It was so unexpected that I didn't want to feel it! It felt alien.
I am realizing that I can allow that now. She is no longer a threat. I can see her more fully, feel sadness & empathy toward her, even allow myself to love her without being afraid that such love makes me vulnerable to her.
It's like she's turning 3 dimensional, from a flat, scrawled memory,
It's ok. I think it will thicken my experience.
It's like I get to keep healing after her death.
And it is safe to do so!
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:05 AM
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heartcore....thanks for this insightful post....
And....I am glad to hear of you coming to a healing place.....
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:03 AM
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Dear Heartbroken
My faith has been everything to me during this entire process. When I am feeling scared or wanting to reach back into the past, I try to commit the issues or people to God, believing in his loving care for them and me.

The Border Collie my ex and I shared passed away almost 2 weeks ago. Ever since then when I go to mass, I see her at the foot of the Crucifix. Last weekend she was growling playfully at Jesus. I believe she is his dog now. Whether or not all this is really happening I can't say for sure, but images like this give me a great deal of comfort.
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