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Starting to Process Loss

Now that I'm past the shock of my ex dying I've moved on to All of the Feelings. Absolute devastation. Guilt over how we left it. Despair that we'll never set things right. Fear that everyone I'll see at the service hates me. Crying seems to be a feeling too.

I know I couldn't control his behavior and that when I broke up with him I gave up my right to dictate terms. Last time we were in touch at all was more than three years ago and he wanted nothing to do with me. I honored his desire to cut me out of his life - I wasn't horrible to him, but if it made him more comfortable to pretend I didn't exist that was his right. I suspect he talked shit about me to everyone who would listen, and then didn't talk about me at all. I hope he reached a point where he realized our breakup was for the best - that we loved each other but were headed in different directions - but I'll probably never know. He had plenty of friends and I hope he didn't think about me often, at least not in anger.

I'm flying home from a business trip to go to the service. I wanted to be okay so I left this week like usual, but I'm not okay and I feel like I'll really regret it if I don't go. It's my only chance to grieve with other people who loved him. But I'm scared that he really did hate me. I'm scared that he regarded me as a terrible person whom he couldn't wait to get out of his life (maybe he was sad when we broke up because he thought he should be the one to dump me?). I'm scared that I'm dishonoring and disrespecting him by going and sharing my pain with others. I know it's not about me and that most people won't spare a single thought for me - this is about him, not me - but I'm scared I'm being an asshole.


I feel terrible for my husband, who is being So Great. So supportive and helpful. He's giving me space when I want it, listening wen I need to talk, and he booked my travel home while I was working yesterday. I married the right man.

What I can find online about losing someone you weren't on good terms with focuses on how you might feel is someone who was destructive in your life dies. What if I was the destructive one? Is that just my guilt and confusion talking?

I think part of why I'm so upset us that I never processed the breakup or the end of that part if my life. I met my husband, got a fancy job, and got sober really quickly after the breakup. I was never sad, I was busy. A lot of my unsettled, unresolved feelings about my drinking days and the people in my life then are coming up and it's scary and it hurts.

I spoke with a friend whose first boyfriend committed suicide a few years after their breakup. She felt they had unfinished business and she says she still loves him and thinks about him often. She's happily married to someone else and ten years have passed since it happened. It helped to know that I'm not overreacting. That this is a real hurt and not just drama. That it's okay to mourn someone you loved, even if you weren't on good terms.


Thank you guys so much for your support since I posted about this on Friday. I have people I love and trust in my life but I really appreciate the opportunity to get this out of my head and into the open. The service is tonight and I'm scared.

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