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Even now I'm not really sure I understand that Gunnar's gone. I guess I need to, because his death seemed to hasten my parents' decline and there's no one left to help care for them but me. I spend every day feeling like I'm failing them, wondering how we're going to get through tomorrow, the day after, with no resources to pay for home health-care or a place in assisted living.

My mom, who is 79, has emphysema and a spine that is slowly disintegrating—conditions that keep her almost entirely bedridden.

Instead of spending time being stuck in a rut (that remind you of what you’re trying to forget), get creative and do something new!

Also, remember what made you happy before the relationship.

Wayne came home one afternoon from the part-time security guard job he'd taken to supplement what he earned as a freelance journalist, walked into the small bedroom we shared in my parents' house, where I was working on an article, and, instead of kissing me hello like he always did, sat stiffly at the end of the bed, as far away from me as possible. I knew in that minute what was going to happen, though I couldn't believe it."Jill," he said, sighing a little, the way he did when I'd frustrated him. But when I think about that day my stomach still flutters and flip-flops, an approximation of the butterflies I used to feel seeing him, only far less pleasant. The moment Wayne ended our relationship was one of the most painful of my life, made only worse because it came at the tail end of a run of years filled with such moments.

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My life was coming apart, unspooling with great speed, like kite string on a gusty day.

Just a few days earlier he had graduated from the University of Colorado with a philosophy degree.

Until he died I'd never lost a member of my immediate family; I now understand the adage that you never really get over the death of someone you loved deeply, the way I loved my brother. You endure it as best you can, hoping it becomes a little less sharp over time.

Looks like the single life might not be so bad after all.

Six weeks before my 50th birthday, my longtime, live-in boyfriend dumped me.

Another possibility is that you want to break up, but you may not be ready or it may not be possible to safely leave your abusive relationship.

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