Really having a bad day. Was doing good, but was broad-sided by grief again just out of the blue. It seems I try so hard only to go backwards leaving me feeling depressed and exhausted.
My beloved Ernie passed away a year and a half ago; then my dear little pet; two friends; surgery (thank God I am OK there ). Through all this I managed to take steps to keep busy such as gardening; cleaning out closets and giving some things away to charity; painting inside my home, etc. It's not as if I just sit and mope around day after day, but, every so often I get broad-sided by realizing I am truly alone. I know I have a lot to be blessed for, but quite truthfully the only thing that will take this pain I feel away is having my Ernie back and that will never happen.
I have a small family (no children) and great girlfriends; have been out for dinner; a movie; Bingo, etc., and really trying to socialize. Just as I've often heard some of my friends that have spouses and that I've known for 20 - 40 years have left me out of the loop since my Ernie passed away. My world has been turned upside down. Even with the friends I am with I am in a fog; not totally there (pretend sometimes to be enjoying myself and, sometimes I do and other times it's as if I will never get out of the place I'm at.) I feel like I'm looking through a pane of glass at everyone else having fun. Of course I notice all have their spouses; most complain a little about them and then it reminds me of my Ernie and I can feel the tears come. I feel like yelling at them sometimes that they don't know how lucky they are to have their spouses.
I eat fairly well, but am not gaining any weight and I am so thin; walk my dogs every evening, but I have lost all confidence in myself. Sometimes some of my friends just have to remind me of how thin I am as if I didn't know. It's not like I'm not trying. I am seeing a nutritionist this month; then in 3 weeks working with a personal trainer, but I even wonder if that will help me put on weight.
Please don't misunderstand me when I say that I would like to meet a nice male companion just to do things with because women have so many restrictions as to where they can go in the evenings on a weekend and weekends and long weekends are the worst for many people who are in the process of grieving. I see couples together and I get angry and frustrated and remember Ernie holding my hand. Statistics prove men meet other women far quicker than women are able to meet a man. I have no idea where to start and even if I could because of my loss of weight my confidence is bull low. It's one vicious cycle. I am old fashion when it comes to meeting men and don't have much faith in Internet dating.
Sorry to all if this sounds like a whining post, but I am feeling so down (just been sleeping off and on) that I just had to get it off my chest. Loneliness has to be the worst!
Thanks for listening & God Bless you all.
Dear Marcy, Grief is the most deceptive emotion that I know off. It doesn't seem to matter to it where we think we are on the timeline, it has it own way of steamrolling over us at any time of the day or night. It sounds like you are just in the midst of a very heavy dose of it right now. Once again it is time to take a deep breath and pick yourself up with those baby steps we all talk about. To me it sounds like you have allot going on in your life that is very positive. Like you said though none of it matters you, me, all of us just want our spouses back. Even though we know it won't happen in our mind our heart refuses to listen to our brain. Some times when I feel it sneaking up on me I just say "Let go and Let God" I know that life does go on and we are a part of that. If you are loosing weight you should get a thorough medical checkup just to rule out any diseases. If grief is dealing you the weight loss buy new clothes, things that will make you look just right. Remember as I do we are not the same people we were when we said good bye to our spouses. Don't get angry with couples seeing them can bring you good memories if you let it. As for finding a man I am totally at a loss as what to tell you there as I have no interest in getting anohter man but power to you I hope you find one but I would say don't try to find one just like Ernie because that wouldn't work you aren't just like you were. Mostly feel better about yourself you've been through the worst trama there is and you are still standing. May God Bless you and give you peace..... Janice
Oh Marcy -
I hear you.Totally. Steve passed away a year and a half ago. We just passed his birthday and our anniversary would have been September 12. We were together for 32 years. 6 married. He needed to be sure, I guess. Grief sucks. I'm doing really good; until I'm not. And then it hits me—I'll never see him again. That's the hardest thing for me to comprehend. I had years to prepare myself for his passing, and I mourned long before he died, but the physical body was there next to me in bed. I was holding him when he died so I know it really happened, but reality still rears it's head every now and then, when I least expect it. It comes over me like a wave.
I'm trying to "make things mine" and I have done a great deal since he's gone. I'm running the business and starting a website for caregivers (caregiversurvivalnetwork.com). It's going to be a social network for caregivers. Any type. I'm putting myself out there and I'm willing life to come to me. I've got to believe it'll happen. I'm not a baby, but I'm attractive and healthy and smart and funny—I consider internet dating sites amusement. There's no one that can fill Steve's shoes. If and when I meet some lucky man, he's going to have to be very special.
You don't have to worry about men yet. You never HAVE to—you look like a lovely young woman. Time really is a healing force. Breathing is a healing force. Janice, in the other reply, suggested buying some new clothes. A great idea. New makeup. A new haircut. Just something for you. Ease up on the low self esteem. You will gain weight in due time. Don't fret. You're taking steps in the right direction.
Allow yourself to grieve. Let go and let God is always a good idea. The Serenity Prayer is always a good idea - God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Courage, wisdom, serenity. It's hard to accept, but it's not something we can change. (Forgive me for writing it out if you know it. I didn't want to presume - the message is important.)
I hope I've helped a little. I do understand. I'm alone too...no kids. Got a dog six weeks after Steve died because I'd wanted one for years and years. She's a life saver. As far as other couples go, if they're friends and they're fighting, if it's the woman you're friendly with, you can gently say treasure the moments - not when they're going at it, but when the time is right. Sometimes, people need to be reminded of what they have - and if it's not good - they're wasting precious time. Life is short.
Lots of hugs - Adrienne
Dear Janice ...
You are such a sweetheart for your encouragement and kind advice and I certainly appreciate it. Sometimes it just helps to touch base on this site to remind me that others are having some similar feelings and I am not alone. I like the quote 'Let go, let God.' Never thought of it that way although I have often said, 'God take this burden from my shoulders' when I feel I can't hang on and that terrible feeling of going crazy or simply making it another day.
I have had a super physical and many tests done by my GP and also an Internist and my surgery was a hysterectomy because I had a cyst on my left ovary (non cancerous thank God!) All other organs look good including lungs. They feel my weight loss is due to mourning. I am petite; 5 ' 5" tall; have lost weight (but not this much weight) throughout other stresses in my life. I am 70 years old (69 in that photo of me with Ernie) and am told I don't look my age. I had to quit work earlier than anticipated to be caregiver to not only my mother, but Ernie's parents and now at my age I doubt I could land a part-time job. I will volunteer, but that can only go so far. I've been told I am an excellent writer and should put a book out, but you know when grieving your creativity goes right out the window. I think what I miss most is caring for someone; things like cooking for Ernie; making the house look nice and socializing and now there is nothing. I am trying to make a few changes in the house, but sometimes in the middle of something I'll say 'what and who am I doing this for?' Of course the answer would be 'you are doing it for yourself' but that doesn't seem to do the trick for me. I haven't the energy to have a group of friends over to my home right now, but do have individual girlfriends come over.
I have gone out to buy clothes, but it frustrates me as I have lost so much weight and I've gone from a Canadian size 10 to a 2. I've lost about 40 lbs. That was from Ernie's long illness; mistakes the surgeon made and I hadn't noticed I was losing bits of weight at the time. Then after he passed away I was blown away as he was almost 4 years younger than me and I thought it would always be me that went first. What a shocker! It certainly is hard to realize we are not the same people and trying to find ourselves is certainly difficult.
I just want a friendship with some man who is lonely too. Just for dinners; dancing, etc. After all, we have to go on with our own lives. I will never marry again and Ernie will always hold my heart. I know I can never replace him and so I don't think I will be successful in finding anyone I would want to be with. I just don't want to end up wasting what life I have and since being a caregiver for so long I just want a little piece of life myself.
Yes, still standing and I think each and everyone of us should get a top award for that alone. The book I want to write is about 3 widows (one in her early 30s; one in her 50s and one near my age) and how each of them come together and since I generally have a good sense of humor there will be humor in the book, but I need to experience a little more before I tackle this book. I also belong to Answers.com (Sr. Supervisor) for 7 years now and am one of the top contributors along with the highest trust points (trust points are people that vote for you if they like your answer.) Answers.com answers all sorts of questions. I started a section for 'bullying' mainly for the poor kids having to go through this and have researched info in the United States and Canada so that schools can start programs and be more pro active against bullying. That is my way of volunteering as well. As I say Janice, I do keep busy and it floors me at times that this grief broad-sides me (like others) out of the blue.
How are you doing Janice? I hope things are going well for you.
Again your words of encouragement and your post brought me some peace of mind and God Bless you for that. This site is so wonderful because one can express themselves without being ridiculed.
God bless you!
janice shannon said:
Dear Adrienne, what an angel you are!
I am so sorry about Steve and it appears we are in somewhat of the same boat. Seems you had a very close relationship with Steve as I did with Ernie. I laughed about Steve not wanting to commit for a bit (like Ernie); I knew Ernie 45 years and he just missed our 40th wedding anniversary August 12 and then his birthday was August 30th. I know how you feel. I went out the first year and bought him cards anyway as strange as that may sound. I hoped his spirit was still around me. Grief sure does suck! I've lost parents; grandparents and friends, but I have never felt the grief I have been feeling over the loss of Ernie. I'm like you ... do very well for a time and then not so good. I detest that 'ol grief sneaking up when you least expect it. You brought tears to my eyes when you mentioned holding Steve and I know without you telling me that like myself, you let him know it was OK for him to go even though your mind and heart screamed silently 'NO, NO.' That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Again we have something in common ... 'making things mine.' I am trying to do that too. I am 70 years old although friends think I look much younger (I'm 69 on my profile; last picture taken of Ernie and I at New Year's 2011.) I am much thinner than that now. Do you mind if I visit your website? I volunteer for Answers.com (Sr. Supervisor with high contributions and the highest Trust Points of all. Trust Points are not easily earned and it is given to you by the people who ask the question and like your answer.) I also started the 'bullying program' for kids on there and help in that section too to motivate teachers; parents; students to start in-school programs and be proactive against bullying. I've done massive research on it.
I'm not a baby either and 70 years old so feel rather useless. Would like to make some money just to prove to myself I can be self sufficient, but I doubt that will happen at my age. Still have my brain cells in tact and considered intelligent and wise along with a good sense of humor. I think grief is a little easier when you have a job to motivate you. Volunteering is good to a point too.
Oh yes, the Internet dating scene which I dub 'the meat market.' I wonder whatz on sale? LOL I just laugh at most of them because what they are asking in a mate just isn't always realistic, but like you I scan through them (didn't join) just to see what is up. No one can begin to fill Ernie's shoes and you bet that some lucky guy is going to have to be special for me even to glance my way so I guess that means I'm hooped. Ha, ha.
Adrienne ... thanks for 'a lovely young woman', but this chick is 70! Honestly, my profile picture is the real me (less some weight) taken in 2011, January. Janice is a true sweetheart and I really appreciated her comments and encouragement. As I told Janice I have lost about 40 lbs., very boney and don't have much self confidence. I sure hope the weight comes back on soon as I have no butt either! Clothes don't look that good on me and when I go out to buy a few clothes I end up in tears. I took a size 10 Canadian and when I had Ernie's Celebration of Life at the Chapel where we were married I was into a size 6 and then after all that has happened to me I am down to a size 2 and holding my own.
Sounds like you are living like me and so happy you got a dog. I have a 9 year old Bishon Frise x Poodle female named 'Tootsie' and she is a dear, but was always Ernie's dog. 7 years ago Ernie decided he wanted a male dog to even out the household so we got a Cockapoo and named him 'Booker T' and darned if he didn't stick to me like glue! I even got to bring them up to the hospital to visit Ernie and they were so good. Now that Ernie is gone Booker T protects me like crazy and he's a real cuddler. He knows if I'm stressed on the odd day and if I have a cry he gently gets up beside me and paws me which means 'mom, it's time to lay down and rest' and he then curls up in front of my chest and will not move a muscle. I don't know what I'd have done without my two blessed little dogs. They get me off my toosh to go walking every evening.
Thank you for letting me know that I am going in the right direction because I feel like I'm zig zagging all over the place and don't know where to start my life out in the world. You certainly have helped me, Adrienne and God Bless you for that! As I told Janice it is so helpful being on this site and getting the encouragement; hope for the future and knowing I am zig zagging in a proper direction and it also reminds me that each and every one of us on here are going through many difficulties.
I have reminded some friends to enjoy what time they have with their spouses in a gentle manner. I don't expect couples to be perfect.
Big hugs back dear one
Adrienne Gruberg said:
Oh Marcy -
Lots of hugs - Adrienne
I wrote pages and pages to you that went poof! Gone. But I'll write some of it again. I would never have thought from your photo that you were anywhere near 70. Way to go! I look very young for 64. I think not having kids might have contributed to that, but that's not why I didn't have any.
By all means go to my website. It's still under construction but we have a good blog and good social media work. I'll let everyone know when the site goes live. My webmaster does a beta release this week for the techies who worked on it. After they get the bugs out, there will be a soft release so that I can have some of my friends check it out and see how easy or hard it is to use. It's going to be Facebook for caregivers.
I'm a big believer in the healing power of writing and the site will be geared to having people get their feelings out. I'm the face of the site, but the members will be contributors as well - if they care to be. There will be open and closed chats, discussion boards, communities formed by members for themselves, mail, journaling, video discussions and special appearances. It's thriling really thinking about doing good. I found this was second nature to me.
So I hope you'll visit often and create your own support group. Grief is a huge issue for caregivers because they have been attached at the hip for years sometimes and then their care receiver is gone, leaving a huge hole. I've filled it with caring for caregivers!
I look forward to following your pieces in the future. Take care.
Hugs always, Adrienne
Hi Adrienne ...
I've been having problems with the site too (it's me, not the site. LOL) Thanks for the nice compiment, but I must say since I've lost weight I feel like a dried up 'ol prune. I laughed when you said you thought not having kids might be the cause of both of us looking younger. Ha, ha. Reminds me of the good comic skits Bill Cosby did about raising his own kids. Ernie and I would go into fits of laughter at those skits.
Please let me know when you get the kinks out of your website and I'll have a boo at it then when you invite us. Sounds so interesting and you sure are putting a lot of thought and work into it and good for you! I agree with you that caregivers are left standing alone once the receiver is gone. Not having children; being caregiver to my father after his stroke in '73 and then Ernie's father in 1993; his mother in 1994 and then my own mother for several years and she passed away in 2004.
I hope you are having a good day and evening and it continues. We need all the good days we can get.
Many hugs to you Adrienne. Keep your chin up.
Adrienne Gruberg said:
I look forward to following your pieces in the future. Take care.
Hugs always, Adrienne
Jane, always wonderful to hear from you ...
We do think alike! I guess it is natural to complain with our spouses when they were here, but now with the pain all of us have gone through we would like to put the hands of time back and be much wiser. I would give anything to see dirty finger prints on door frames; the toilet seat up (the granddaddy of them all LOL) and many other things. I wish I was wiser before Ernie passed away, but like when we were in our youth we didn't know what we had back then either. It's just simply called 'life.' I know our spouses know we loved them. I also tell my Ernie how much I love him several times a day and even say goodnight. I like to think he is here in spirit watching over me (he's probably ready to kick my wee butt by now.)
Jane Favara said:
Marcy, as far as hearing the women at my job complain about their husbands I too wish I can yell at them they just don't understand . I even say to people who are get married It's not worth fighting about stupid stuff like who left the tolit seat up or where he put his dirty laundry just say I love you every day. I tell my Richie all the time now I'm sorry and hope he hears me i should of told more when he was here with me.
Sorry to hear u had a bad day the other day..., & glad to hear your
surgery went well...(just what u need huh) on top of everything else.
Well as far as yr weight, thin is always in it should boost yr confidence
I think (of course I understand if u need to gain weight) & I don't hv any
Adult children either, & I think it makes it harder...@ least for me, good that
u hv Girlfriends to do things with, I don't hv that many. And yes of course
it would be nice to have a male friend...to go out to dinner with etc... Right
now I hv a Mouse in my shed...& I can't seem to get it out!! would be nice
to hv a male friend help in that! I can't just try to bash it w/a shovel...