I just wonder how our mothers, fathers, grandparents and ancestors grieved when their spouse's passed without the use of the internet, and bereavement groups, Hospice, counselors, online grief groups, and medication.  All of those who have gone on before us and even those millions and millions who are in turmoil for what we all are all going through, whether they are celebrity or infamous, pain is pain.  Even with having a support network and the help that is available nowadays it is still so very difficult to bear.  How did they ever do it?  Since time began, there has been an ocean of tears.  How did they do it?  I don't have the answer, but I just think it must have been harder back then. 

 

In every aspect of life things have gotten more convenient, like pen and paper to the computer and from rubbing sticks together to electricity, kids don't even know what a 45 or 78 inch record, an 8-track tape or a cassette is, how could they know?  As time goes on we have it easier, but we don't even realize it, so how could we know?  Which makes me think that for all the sorrow each of us is going through, like it is with the M-13 gangs, and the street violence where kids have been murdered for a pair of sneakers, there are those out there in the world that have no conscience and are desensitized to the human condition.  No wonder I feel lots of people don't understand me or what we are going through.    (I guess this was my centennial minute for this century.) 

 

Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud.  I have no one else to talk to.  Everyone has their work or family issues and I have nothing better to do than analyze the entire world.  Maybe my son was right, to consider in getting a volunteer job. (Don't know if I can.)  He mentioned this soon after his Dad passed away (I hate to say the word died when it applies to him) but I just want to isolate unless I go out with family.  I don't think I should depend on my loved ones to heal me 24/7.   When I do go out I get distracted, and I feel better, but I still come home alone and the invevitable sadness returns. After all, I'm only human.  Intellectually I know Dan is with me, but I still wish he was still here with me in person.  I don't like to face this cruel world alone.  But, I wouldn't want Danny to be still suffering either.  I guess I just needed to vent what is within me, and if you read all of this, you are a Saint. 

God bless and ((Hugs)),

Suzanne

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Replies to This Discussion

I do not think that our ancestors were given time to grieve like today where our society has "evolved" or changed its approach to human crisis or emotions in a good or bad way.
What all of you said is correct; life is different now than it was before.  I lost a good friend to death; I lived with him for more than 10 years. It is extremely difficult because he is gone.  I depended on him for so many things.  He was my reason to live.  I have to look for different reasons to live.  Now, my friendships are essential, my family is all out of state.  I do not know when life will  feel "normal" again.  I have to force myself to go out of my apartment.  I know that I need more support.  Yes, it was different when families were together.  They then would share in the caregiving and the grief.  I hope that I find a place of peace again.         
I enjoyed reading your post and all of it is true I never imagined I would be spending my senior years alone it took me a lifetime to find my love and it was over too soon.I have also thought how did the women during the big wars manage after spouses were killed and no body was able to be returned home to have the final time to mourn. I also live alone now and time is spent thinking everyday I'm grateful for a place to share my feelings or I surely would go crazy.  it's been a year and a half since I kissed his face looked into his beautiful green eyes I loved him so much and I always will.

How ironic!  Earlier this week I was wondering the same thing.   In my family's case, there was usually family in the area, one had to continue working in order to survive (especially farmers and ranchers), and there were church groups.  My great grandfather died at the age of 40 and from letters and postcards I have from my great grandmother she was kept all kinds of busy with family (4 boys still at home), church socials, and tent revivals.  Not to mention keeping the farm going and the horses fed.  So I think they dealt with grief by just keeping busy.  I've been without my husband for 2 weeks now and our boys that are still at home and my job and keeping house keeps me busy enough so that I can usually sleep at night without medication.

Bless you for your rantings.  It's nice to know that there are still thinking and feeling people in the world.  Sad that one has to come to a bereaved spouse site to find them, though.

Suzanne,

I think people probably had better support in the past.  I think people got through it because families were closer.  My hobby is (was) genealogy and I have spent a lot of time learning how and where my ancestors lived.  Most of them lived on farms and never moved far from where they were born.  They had large families themselves which led to many grandchildren and great-grandchildren nearby.  They were very involved with their churches and participated in women's relief and missionary groups as well as attended quilting bees.  I think the support may not have been there for the men, but I think of the women sitting in their quilting circles and talking while their hands were busy.  The groups weren't large because they needed to be near where people lived.  And these groups would meet several times a week.  It makes me envious that they did have this support system in place.

Now we are all so busy with our own lives that we have to "make time" for others.  People are working, driving children to this and that class, volunteering.  I think of life in current times as kind of like a hamster running on a treadmill.  We just keep running and running and don't seem to be able to get off.

My grandmother grew up on a farm.  They did big chores by the day of the week so every Monday was washing day.  But once that laundry was on the line and dinner simmering on the stove, Grandma had time to walk down the road to the next farm and see how Widow Smith (what a horrible lable!) was doing.  She would also stop by with her horse and buggy on Tuesday afternoon to take her to the missionary society where they sat and talked while they crocheted and knitted.  I think there was probably pretty good support because life was slower and more personal.   

I am thankful we have the internet and these sites we can turn to for support.  I understand the desire to isolate oneself in the house and avoid going out.  I do that a lot.  It just seems to take too much energy and I am always tired and at loose ends.  If there is a volunteer organization that you've wanted to join but haven't because you we too busy caring for your loved one, join it!  But I would encourage you to find a group you really care about and can relate to and not just volunteer to create "busyness" in your life because we seem to have so much of it already.  As soon as I get my head straightened out, I'm going to take quilting classes, something I've always wanted to do, and maybe join the DAR.  These are things I've wanted to do for years but never felt I had the time for.  Now, I don't know when I'll do these things.  I've got a bit of a plan for the future but I don't know when I'll be ready to implement them.  But I think formulating the plan is at least a first step.

This grief stuff is so darned hard.  I know people have gotten through it because I see the evidence all around me but as I go through it, I don't think there is any good way.  We just have to get up every morning and put one foot in front of the other.  The one thing I try to focus on is that I was blessed to have a wonderful husband who loved me for 41 years and a lot of people never find that special one.

I will get off my soapbox now!  Hugs to all of you.

Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,

I am so sorry for your loss that has brought you to seek others for support and comfort as we have on legacy.   I am so surprised there is always someone that will read this entire thread and feel the need to share their thoughts.  I have chosen to no longer post but I do check out this site and several other grief sites.  I don't want to make others feel bad and I just needed a sounding board so-to-speak but there is always someone that I seem to unintentionally offend.  Yes, this group is like a lifeline, many a time I couldn't stop weeping and needed to vent especially sometimes at night when I couldn't sleep, but fortunately this need has dissipated somewhat.  But those that still share and those who are in need have someplace to go and I am grateful for that.  As far as what our ancestors did when they were in mourning and/or grieving, things change sometimes for the good, which is one way the computer can save us from isolating, in effect save us from ourselves.

Take care.

God bless,

Suzanne

Suzanne,

Please don't feel you offended me.  It just got me to thinking about how my ancestors got through this and I was a bit envious that they had a closer sense of community that we have lost in these modern times.  The computers have added instant access which is great for so many of us, especially in those long, lonely hours when we can't sleep.  I too go online and vent during the night.  There were and are good and bad about living in all time periods.  I love my computer but I've always been fascinated by the 1800's so I think I was born 100 years too late!  And, in just looking back to the 50's when I was young, I long for a simpler time when families were closer and life seems simpler.  But that would come with the loss of all of the medical miracles which kept George alive for over 3 years while he fought the cancer than eventually took his life.  Good and bad in all.

Hugs,

Charlotte

Suzanne I understand how you feel when I go out or am at work my mind is distracted so I do not think about my husband, however there are some days even that does not work. The hardest is when I come home to the empty house I have had several people tell me that I can come stay with them if I want but I tell them that will not solve anything eventually I will have to deal with it at my house so I might as well do it now rather than later. There is so much that I have analyze over the death of my hsband what could have been done, is there anything else that could have prevented it and it all comes back the same anything that could have been done was done and he live more because of what was done for him. I just know now that he is not suffering or hurting anymore and that is what helps me as well of the support of family, friends and the grief support through this website so my thoughts and prayers go out to you.

I've wondered the same thing.  How did they get  through such tough times?  My MIL lost her husband in June of 84 and she passed Jan. of 85.  My kids and I now can't believe we left her living  so far from us and alone.  We feel terrible.  She told us at Christmas 84 she was ready to join Dad and we tried to talk her  into a better place in her life.  When we went to her home to pack her things, after she passed, her refrigerator was empty.  We included  her in everything after Dad passed, but she just wasn't up to being out anywhere without him.  Now that I'm where she was, I totally understand how she felt and why she didn't want to be out.  I hate to face anything without my Steve.  I feel bad that she was left alone.  Thank God I have my family and I'm living with a daughter and family now.  My husband was an only child and she kept saying she didn't want to interfere in our lives.  Regarding my current situation, the only thing I can't understand now is why only one person of all our friends have sent one card and one Christmas card.  My husband had hundreds of friends, many more than me, and I am stumped as to what is going on?  I guess they are just handling it differently than I would.  We haven't had a proper public good-bye for him yet, such as a Celebration of his Life because he loved the outdoors so much and we are waiting until after the holidays and warmer weather.  He wouldn't want anything celebrated "indoors". I am thankful for FB due to friends keeping in touch there, but other than that, I've only had one phone call too!!!  Just a little confused as to what's happening.  I do know now I won't be included in a lot of couple get togethers and I understand that, but iti still hurts thinking that those good times are over too!! 

 

I often wonder if my MIL would have kept in touch if she had a computer.  I was so fortunate to have had her and my FIL as family.  They were wonderful and I still miss them.  They have their son with them now, so he is in good hands. 

Thanks Sue

Hi Susan,

I feel the same way about my own mother and my husband's mother as well.  I had no idea, no clue how it was until I walked in their shoes.  My father died in 96' and my mother lived with dimentia and alzheimer's from 2001 to her death in March of 09.  She didn't know me the last time my husband and I went to visit her in 08' but how she got along after he died is beyond me.  She didn't have the computer or Hospice or counseling so how she got through those years must have been so overwhelming and a sad tragedy for lack of understanding that we have now.  My husband's father died 2 months after my father in 96' and with my husband's mother who never drove and had anxiety and also had none of the help that I consider myself very fortunate to have, as difficult as life is, at least I can pour my heart out and get some understanding and compassion.  His mother died in 2001 so for those 5 years she just stayed at home and if I only knew what it's really like then I would try to explain it to her other adult children.  No one has no idea until it happens to them.  I feel so bad for her and the millions of others who feel so utterly and completely alone which is what prompted me to write this post.  To tell you the truth, even knowing what I know now, I still don't know what to say to people, and I would think I would know but the thing is no matter what we say it may or may not help, I guess it's what we do that is the key.  Please take care. 

God bless,

Suzanne

Yes, Suzanne it is a good question as to how they did it.  Isolation for my MIL must have been horrible.  They were from Michigan with my husband being an only child, they moved out to Sun City Hemet from Michigan to be closer to family and she just stayed out there by herself.  We were in Mission Viejo and she could have lived with us, but she didn't want to.  I just feel so bad.  My daughter I'm living with feels terrible too.  We so understand now that our Steve is gone, but it's too late for us to make it right. 

 

I'm so confused about this grieving process, but I've joined a group at a church and I'm meeting for the first time tomorrow evening so maybe I can get some answers.  I know I can't be anymore confused than I am now....I just want the pain to stop....Thank Sue

Suzanne I to thought the same thing. How did people make it through years ago. It couldn't have been as convenient to keep in touch or be helped. My family kinda drifted and the main person who has been there for me is a nephew that called everyday and still does though I didn't have friends, my wife and I did everything with family so as you said family goes on and they have their lives to live. I always heard of I have friends that were there for me and I envied them. I am still loss and I had the other losses shortly thereafter also so it compounded the problem of coping with life more so.

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