Hello everyone - I'm Chuck, a new member who wishes to thank the Legacy Connect Team for accepting me into your community. I'm not sure where or how to start, so I'll just say I lost my husband of 32 years, Larry, on April 22nd to cancer. He was diagnosed early last fall, and after Christmas things started to get bad for him due to reactions to treatment and agressive progress of the cancer. I was trying to be strong and positive for him but was neglecting my own health issues which camne to a head in early April. Larry had to admit me to the ICU and I was still in the hospital waiting for a friend to bring Larry to see me on the 22nd when I learned he had been admitted to the ICU that morning. At 7:00 that night he was gone - I never got to say goodbye or see him - something that hauntss me daily. I was supposed to be taking care of him, and couldn't be there for him at the end. Larry's birthday is this coming Friday, and I suppose I'm hoping someone may be able to offer comments about how I can face this and the approaching holidays without him when he was my rock - the strong one who was always there in my times of despair. I have loving friends and family who are trying so hard to help, but a dear old friend finally said he thought I needed to find people who would better understand where I am now in ways that none of them could. That's why I'm here. I posted a photo of us - I'm standing behind Larry - but the photo posted sideways and I'm not sure how to turn it upright, so again any help is appreciated. Thank you for listening.

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Replies to This Discussion

Chuck
Mark and I had 27 years together, we were planning to marry once it was legal in Texas, Mark passed away November 30, 2014 making that a mute point.
I know exactly what you are going thru and my heart and soul are as broken over your loss as if it were my own.

When I found this site I was to the point where I knew I needed help and fast. The most astonishing thing happened, one of the 'Angels' from this site referred to Mark as my husband, that alone made me know without any doubts that being gay does not matter. What matters is we are all here to help each other.
I feel as if I am speaking to a best friend, someone I have known forever.
Mark was being treated for Parkinson's (the doctors never identified his illness as such)but some of the medications he took had a side effect of causing seizures. He passed away next to me while napping on a lazy Sunday afternoon...having to deal with first the paramedics, then the police, then the silence and being alone was more than I handle.
Thank God for leading me here.
This month I find myself more upset as each day draws closer to the 30th and some days I am ok and others I am not, not sure how I really feel today. I do know that Mark is nearby just something I feel from time to time.
Please know that you can vent anything here, there are a lot of folks here that care.
Sending you lots of hugs your way and know that you are in my prayers daily.
Steve Goodwin
Dear chuck, my deepest condolences,it is so beautiful that Larry visits you.
I live and wait for signs from my Louie, he visit often. I enjoyed reading about the feathers. It is so beautiful .
Like Jane said, if people have not been through it ,they think we are nuts when we speak of spiritual visits, so I only talk about it only with one other person and my children who also have had visits from their dad.
With understanding,
Georgia.

Hello Steve, I can't find words to say how sad I am for your loss - I do feel your pain and I will be thinking of you and trying to channel whatever strength I can muster your way. We are so fortunate, you and I , to find such caring friends without judgement when we are so vulnerable because of our loss. I'm sure I don't need to say that with or without a piece of paper you and Mark are married in your hearts, in the eyes of all who know and love you - and most importantly in the eyes of God.

Larry and I met in June 1983, and on August 27 I asked him to do me the honor of spending the rest of his life with me. I didn't even know I was going to do it, but I knew I would never meet a sweeter, more generous , kinder soul if I lived to be 100. He looked at me with the most beautiful smile I had ever seen and as a single tear rolled down his cheek, he said yes. In 2006 we got a "domestic partnership" and made out wills, powers of attourney, and living wills. The lawyer said as we signed all the documents "You have to be aware that all this is no guarantee that either of your families won't challenge your status in court but it's the best we can do for now." Sadly that is exactly what I am dealing with now on top of my grief, and sometimes I fear I'll just start screaming and won't be able to stop. The only good thing to happen to me is finding this safe place where I don't feel afraid. The following year NJ changed the law allowing civil unions and tha's when we had our small ceremony. 

Last year I took Larry out for lunch on his birthday, which is this coming Friday. He had just started the immunotherapy for his cancer, and we had been warned to watch for side effects as the drugs were still in trials and only available to those like Larry who had no other options for treatment. Larry reached across the table for my hand and, with that same sweet smile and so much love in his eyes, asked me to marry him. Marriage was to become legal very soon in NJ, and civil unions would automatically be recognized as marriages. Steve, I was so concerned with what we were facing and afraid of the path ahead that , God forgive me, I said "Why don't we wait and see how you're feeling after this first round of treatments. We have our civil union and all the rest, and maybe now isn't the best time to get involved in planning a wedding - let's concentrate on getting you well." Larry said "I guess you're right - I just wanted so much to have all our family and friends watch us take our vows again." I would give everything - anything - to go back to that day and just say yes. I didn't realize how brief the time ahead would be for us, and on Friday when I release a baloon to the sky with a message to Larry, it will read "1-4-3" which was our code for saying "I Love You" around other people. It will also bear the single word "Yes". And of course a feather.

Please check in often over the coming weeks and feel our love and support pouring out to you - I promise that on the 30th you will not be alone, and with we angels, and God, and Mark holding you in our arms you will get through the day. Many warm hugs and much love to you andyou are in my  prayers every minute. Chuck

Steve said:

Chuck
Mark and I had 27 years together, we were planning to marry once it was legal in Texas, Mark passed away November 30, 2014 making that a mute point.
I know exactly what you are going thru and my heart and soul are as broken over your loss as if it were my own.

When I found this site I was to the point where I knew I needed help and fast. The most astonishing thing happened, one of the 'Angels' from this site referred to Mark as my husband, that alone made me know without any doubts that being gay does not matter. What matters is we are all here to help each other.
I feel as if I am speaking to a best friend, someone I have known forever.
Mark was being treated for Parkinson's (the doctors never identified his illness as such)but some of the medications he took had a side effect of causing seizures. He passed away next to me while napping on a lazy Sunday afternoon...having to deal with first the paramedics, then the police, then the silence and being alone was more than I handle.
Thank God for leading me here.
This month I find myself more upset as each day draws closer to the 30th and some days I am ok and others I am not, not sure how I really feel today. I do know that Mark is nearby just something I feel from time to time.
Please know that you can vent anything here, there are a lot of folks here that care.
Sending you lots of hugs your way and know that you are in my prayers daily.
Steve Goodwin
Hello to everyone, yesterday was harder than even I could have imagined but now I'm beginning to calm a bit. I did send Larry a balloon with my love (and a bluejay feather attached). A long-time friend came with soup and stayed for several hours - it's the first we've seen of each other for years - and I think I rambled on about Larry like a madman, but she sat and listened with patience and love. I told her about finding this site, and the understanding and support I have felt from you all. She told me to thank you from someone who can't help me through this the way she thinks you can. Today I read the papers, watched the news, and am torn by the evil and cruelty in the world. All I kept asking was "Isn't there enough pain and loss in this life without purposely and viciously causing more?" When I contemplate the enormous number of grieving spouses, siblings, children, parents - everyone whose lives will be forever damaged by such hate -I feel horribly guilty thinking of myself. My prayers and tears are with them all, and with all of you here. May God grant that with time, and gentle words of comfort and encouragement, we may all find the strenght to live through the days, and especially the endless sleepless lonely nights.
Dear Chuck I just read your posts and I'd like to send my condolences on the loss of your beloved Larry. I loved your story of the blue feather as I really believe in signs from our loved ones. I have had my own signs and they do mean the world. Feathers in particular are definitely a sign of love.
Special occasions are hard, yes and especially the first but the buildup to these days is usually more intense than the actual day. Cards, quiet places of reflection, a favorite meal will all help.

Wishing you peace during this time Chuck and do continue to come back to the site. We are all here to support.

Carol
Hello all,
Thank you Chuck for sharing your story and your words of encouragement , you truly are a gifted writer.
My days are lighter and I am sure that when the 30th arrives I have a beautiful love story to remind me of how wonderful and blessed I am to have had my Mark in my life.
We all keep our loved ones close by because of a lifetime of memories we shared and the times we just sat and held each other.
The last 2 years before he passed I could see his illness taking him down, he could read me like a book, and he would always say why the sad face, I am the baby, gotta love me!
I think all on this site for your caring and support...will stop for now

Dear Chuck ...  What a wonderful friend you have that they came to visit you.  She is amazing and seemed to know what to say and what not to say and the most important thing of all, just letting to talk about your feelings.

I was also intrigued regarding your comments about the unrest and cruelty in this world.  I often lingered on 'why can't people just get along', but I remember one thing my beloved Ernie said, 'Man has free will to be good or bad and power and money rule the world and always will.  We can't save the world, but we can take a little piece of it and make life better for some and that's a start.'  I have always realized when we touch one or more lives with kindness and tenderness we leave imprints on that person and those that help us also do the same.  There are many wonderful and caring people in this world that do make a difference and that old saying, 'bad news travels fast' is so true so start reading more about the good so many people are doing even if it is in a small way for it makes a big difference. 

I hope your day is a good one my friend and you have some peace and enlightenment. 

Hugs

Marsha 

Hello everyone - thank you for listening and understanding my feelings. Carol, your statement that feathers are a sign of love really touched me, and today as I swept the porch a small white feather drifted down right in front of me. I looked up and with a smile (and a tear) said "I love you too Larry". Thank you Marsha for sharing the words of your dear husband Ernie, who was clearly a very wise and compassionate man - I promise to keep him and his words in my heart and to listen to your advice to keep focused on the good in people and the beauty in this world. Know that you have made a difference in my life today. And Steve, I truly appreciate your kind words and sharing about Mark reading you like a book - I completely get that since I too was an open book to Larry. Hoping you are safe with what we're hearing about the severe weather your way. Wishing all of you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful night, Chuck

Dear Chuck ...  I am so thrilled you had another sign from Larry.  There are thankfully more good people in this world than the evil and depraved.  All we have to do is look at this forum ourselves and thanks to Steve who started it all of us found it and not by accident.  We've met each other and told each other our fears, tears and heart-wrenching grief experiences and now we are a family.  The heart knows no distance.  When we each reach out whether it's to express our sadness or some joy we make a difference to each other and we know we aren't alone.  Although I curse some technology thank heavens for the Internet that takes us to good places like this forum. 

I hope you are having a good day and know Larry is right by your side to see you through another day.

Hugs

Marsha

Hi Carol ...

Just to let you know I got your email.  I have no idea what my Internet server Shaw is doing, but some messages are going into my Junk box.  I keep a keen eye on it.  I will resent that picture of my great niece.

Hugs

Marsha

The holidays are coming and plans are being made. It's been five years since the loss of my beloved husband Jack. Christmases are the absolute hardest to deal with. Funny but all the things that make up a family around the table just seem to disappear. One person lost and the rest of us lost too. There is no cohesiveness left, people seem to splinter.  I am kind of sad as I write this as I had a phone call with one of my daughters today and it was a difficult one to listen to.  Both of my girls won't talk with me about grief, about their loss of their dad.  So I am kind of left to just take care of it myself.  So my daughter told me today that she and her boyfriend are going to my sister's for Christmas.  She said how hard it has been since dad died and they are trying to find their own footing, I understand but it still makes me sad.  The nucleus of the family is gone, or that's how I feel at least.  I read an article here on the board some time ago and it was called "who will make the gravy"?  Pretty simple statement yet profound.,  Who replaces the missing loved one, pretty much no one.  So yet again this will be a different Christmas dynamic but one which will center around a 4 year old little girl who is God's gift to us.

Well I do have one spectacular light in my life and it is our granddaughter Abby!  Today I had to pick her up from school as she wasn't feeling well.  Of course that always changes when they get home and find their energy again!  So while I am writing this actually she comes to the doorway of the kitchen and in a deep voice she says "Carol, it's Poppa Jack, I've come to see you"!  All on her own.  Then she told me there is snow in heaven, and she/Poppa Jack love me.....she is my joy! 

So we will celebrate this little life and how happy she makes us and while we do we will think of her grandpa and know he is smiling from heaven.

I am so grateful I can just express my feelings here, it's a blessing to be able to breath and write and be amongst people who understand. 

Chuck, it's wonderful you got a sign from Larry!!  xo

My dear friend Carol ...  I know exactly what you mean, but you're not alone and only a phone call away. 

I understand completely what you mean about Christmas without our spouses. I go to my brother home for Christmas, but there is always that empty chair at the table that brings a tear or two.  I just came to realize that when Ernie passed away he must have taken half of my spirit with him.  Of course I put on a happy face and there is parts of Christmas I do enjoy.  Now I have a Great-Niece our little Sydney and she's such a dear little one.  Born on Halloween so she's my pumpkin.  LOL  Still, I don't get to see her as often as I would like and as you know they grow like weeds.  It will bring extra joy at Christmas, but I know deep within me it only makes me feel older and lonelier as others either have their spouse or their lives are just beginning.  I often feel like I'm on the other side of the window looking in and I'm really not there.

I am so saddened that your daughters can't accept the fact their father is gone and refuse to talk about him.  Little do they know that by not talking on occasion about good memories they had with their father they will truly never heal.  Are you going to your other daughter's for Christmas?  I certainly hope so my dear friend.  The nucleus of the family for many has gone and seldom do they sit down for Sunday dinners or even sit down long enough for special occasions.  I've managed to keep up that tradition as far as birthdays in the family by having BBQ's or dinners.  I refuse to let that tradition go away.  Don't feel too badly Carol as all my girlfriend are complaining they've had years of cooking Christmas dinner and not one of either their daughters or daughters'-in-law has taken over that tradition and on top of that either one member of the family isn't talking to one of the other members or, some go off to have Christmas elsewhere.  I have no idea what is going on with this generation because when my widowed mother and mother-in-law were alive as a family we all gathered together and kept the tradition up.  It's a 'me generation' unfortunately and a weak one at that where they can't seem to face the reality of life.  I love that 'who will make the gravy' and it hits the nail on the head. 

Remember the first time you sent a picture of little Abby to me and I told you she was an 'old soul?'  Now I think you know what I mean.  Jack is there for you and little Abby and that's the best gift of all. 

I also realize for many of us that holidays aren't high on our list and I find for myself not having had children I feel anxious as to whether I will be involved in special occasions.  I just smack myself silly and make the best of it I can as I know something good will happen. 

You hang in there girl and I'm here always for you. 

Big hugs (because you need it)

Marsha

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