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Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.

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Discussion Forum

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24. 12 Replies

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22. 12 Replies

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Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 2, 2013 at 4:11pm

Dear Vee -- Yes, I believe we have traded our innocence for a sad reality.  As long as we were part of a couple, we had hopes and dreams and plans -- now we only have the wisdom that comes when dreams end and we understand the reality of being alone in the unique grief that comes with losing our beloved partner.

There is a wisdom in all of this -- something special that we know and understand, that others don't.  

Recently, I listened to a friend criticize her husband -- you know, just for husband-type behavior -- and I thought, "Oh, my goodness, what I wouldn't give to have my husband back -- with all his husband-type flaws."  My heart broke again, thinking of all the wasted time couples spend picking on each others faults instead of treasuring each and every moment together.

When the one you love is gone forever, you think fondly of all the things that used to drive you nuts -- and would have them back in a heartbeat, if you could.  

Too late, we come to this wisdom -- that love isn't about finding the perfect person, but growing along with that person, living with and loving each other through all the good, and the bad.  

Too late, we find the wisdom that comes with a pain deeper than we ever dreamed we could endure -- the private pain that no one sees -- the wisdom that knows tears flow in our hearts, even when our eyes have run out of tears.

A wisdom that suddenly understands that life is not fair, and death takes those we love, without pity.  

And, yes, as Marsha said, wisdom makes us realize that material things were not responsible for our happiness; that it was the acquiring and sharing of those things with the one we loved that gave us such joy and zest and energy for living.

 We don't want this wisdom -- but it comes along with the loss of our innocence -- and the loss of  a beloved husband.

Comment by Marsha H on October 2, 2013 at 1:53pm

Vee .... You are not a flake! I agree we have lost the innocence of life will go on forever and we never thought about death disrupting our lives. Oh yes, we knew one day our parents would pass away, but never entertained the idea our spouse would pass. Some couples would even sometimes joke about who would pass away first and if they would get married again, but then life went on and it wasn't brought up again.  Little did most of us know that this would become a reality sooner than we thought. Life seemed to not have any age limit and we'd just keep drifting forward as a couple not giving death another thought. Was it wrong to think this way?  Absolutely not, because we were suppose to live life together or other loved ones enjoying each other and making memories together.  Now, we face the reality of death and I at least feel cheated in some ways.  It may sound odd, but the loved ones I have lost seem to be on a peaceful and pain-free holiday while I am left alone and feeling abandoned.  I get angry sometimes because of that feeling.

I feel it's a good lesson we learn that material things we use to enjoy really isn't what makes us happy.  However, it would be nice to feel that excitement for something coming up in the future in our social life or simply buying something new every so often.  Like you clothes mean nothing to me as I use to get dressed up for my husband and had a fuller social life and now there is no one to appreciate how I look or what I do.  The social scene has diminished as well since my husband passed away.  I find it difficult to laugh out loud like I use to or sit an truly enjoy something.  I miss talking to my husband, being excited over something we were both looking forward to, his kiss, cuddling and the feeling of security and safety he always gave me and all the little jokes we had together.

The word 'disillusioned' is excellent and I feel this as well.  However, I do believe with patience one day we will find ourselves laughing at someone or something and as time goes on we will get to know who we are once again and have some peace in our future.  There are so many people out there that are in the same spot we are and are lonely.  All we can do is take those baby steps forward and try our very best to make good things happen in our lives.

Comment by Carol Kayser on October 2, 2013 at 10:03am
Hi Vee. You are not a flake! I get this!! Apparently I can be a 'no fun' zone! I feel less than myself since losing my darling. Stick in the mud has lots of meaning too! I don't always want to socialize, and now I get how my sweetheart would be. Just wanting to come home and cuddle with my cat LOL...well it used to be cuddling with him and we all need someone/something to love, so I cuddle with my Marbles and then on the weekend I cuddle with my little granddaughter Abby. When my darling Jack died I lost half of my essence, half of my joy and I can't get it all back.

One step at a time Vee, thanks for sharing:)
Hugs,
Carol
Comment by Vee Herrera Michrina on October 2, 2013 at 9:34am

hello, everyone. 
Does anyone else feel that their INNOCENCE is gone? it seems to me after the death of a close person, that my sense of happiness, clarity, fun, happiness and even creativity is gone!
I was looking at a catalog online and the clothes all were boring to me and I loved clothes! I loved doing things, now Im a stick in the mud! why have cute clothes, now? Bee is gone! no one to dress up for. No where to go. And I then remember my 20s-30s-40s when life was so carefree-and I didnt even know it. It could also be just age; the veil is gone. 
I FEEL like Ive lost my innocence is gone. I suppose we are now disillusioned. 

Blessings to you all. Thank you to everyone for being there for eachother. 

Vee

(sorry im such a flake)

Comment by Marsha H on October 2, 2013 at 12:20am

My dear friend Mac ...  You make perfect sense as usual.  No, we'll never be the same without our spouses, but, the pain of grief does subside a little at a time and we all grieve differently.  There is not one person on this forum that I can say is not a fighter to live even though they may wish otherwise.  If we take the time to look way back in our life there would have been at least one incident of trouble that we thought we would never get through, but we did!  In my second year of grief I still talk to my sweetie in the house and even in the car or on a walk with the dogs if I'm alone and I have a feeling he's there giving me much of my strength to go on.  After all, when he could fight no longer to live I gave him the ultimate gift of telling him to let go and that I would be fine and I want to keep that promise to him.  I know he'd kick my skinny little butt if I didn't keep that promise to him.  So my friend, take each day at a time, lean on us and we'll get through it together. 

Big hugs & Much Love

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on October 2, 2013 at 12:13am

Vee ...  I wish I was there to give you a big bear hug, sit, talk and lean on each other.  The grieving of a spouse is so difficult for all of us and although I do not like the term 'time heals all' it is the truth.  I am almost into my 3rd year of grief and the first year was fog-like, crying all the time, terrified without my dear-heart being here with me, missing his hugs, kisses and talks we would have as well as joking around.  My second year was a reality check and things began to appear mixed in emotion; sometimes crying, sometimes I felt I was actually making head-way and I was to a degree and now it seems I go on a good roll and then 30 steps back, but something within us or, as I believe our loved one is looking out for us keeps us stronger and eventually we'll find some sort of peace in our lives and find out where we fit into life so please, hang on hon and don't give up!

Big bear hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on October 2, 2013 at 12:09am

Stacey ... I am so sorry to hear of the unsettling news regarding the breast biopsy your mom is having.  Often the cysts are just that and I will pray that is true.  I know that until you get the results all of you will worry and it's only natural.  Please keep us informed.

I can relate to you not looking forward to the first year anniversary of your husband's passing.  Our wedding anniversary was August 12th and his birthday August 30th and I got a huge helium balloon and wrote a message on it and took it to his favorite place near the river and let it sail into the skies and watch it disappear as if he was there waiting to catch it.  I hope you will consider doing this Stacey.

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on October 2, 2013 at 12:04am

Dearest Barbara ... I am so very sorry to hear of your beloved sister and yes, it does seem so cruel that God seems to be taking those you love so close together.  It's a mystery and many of us have gone through losing yet another loved one so soon after our husbands have passed away.  I also feel at times I would give up my life for another I loved,  I had two friends pass away shortly after my husband passed and now my brother is having medical issues and we are waiting for the results as to whether it's cancer and if so will he survive.  On and on it seems to go and I too wonder if I'll have the strength to help where I can.  I know now that from somewhere deep within ourselves that strength is there and you will get through helping your sister.  It's the ultimate gift of life we can give our loved ones ... to be there.  I will pray for you, your sister and her son to get you through these rough times and please, keep coming back to the forum and lean on us.

Hugs & Prayers

Marsha

Comment by Vee Herrera Michrina on October 1, 2013 at 5:43pm

Barbara- I ask for God to please give you n your sister strength and peace during this special and most difficult time. I say special because this is LOVE!!! I wish I had a sister like you! when I was ill my own sister wanted nothing to do with me or my condition...so you are so strong and yes, your nursing your own hubby has given you special insight and caring that you wouldnt have if not had been there with him. He,Im sure would want you to use this experience. You also have a special empathy n compassion for the ill. I have a family member now fighting multi myloma and it’s not easy for anyone--especially the one who is ill. BUT I SAY: LOVE LOVE LOVE and a caring ear is the most needed. I ask the Lord to please be with you all. V

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on September 30, 2013 at 6:21am

Dear Helen, Frank and Jane -- Thank you for your prayers for my sister.  I spent the day with her yesterday.  She looks, and says she feels, so well that it is hard to accept her prognosis.  We talked and hugged and cried together and I made a promise to be with her every step of the way.

She is still unsure about whether she wants to go through chemo again, knowing that it will make her so ill and that the only benefit will be to possibly give her more time.

I was surprised that my experience as Chris's care-giver during his last months was of some comfort to her.   Though my children and all our family believe that I am still too fragile to  bear this new tragedy, I personally think that God has given me a special insight, through Chris, to understand what she is facing, the medical choices she must make, and the spiritual journey she is facing.. 

Is it horrible of me to think that, in some way, Chris' death will have some purpose and meaning, if I can use that experience to help my sister through her own passage to the other side?

I don't know.

I just know that she is my sister -- i can't abandon her, no matter how much I am suffering the loss of my husband -- each life is special and precious, in its own way.

Today, my childhood friend is coming to visit me.  She will be with me for 3-4 weeks.  We have been friends since 7th grade (more than 50 years of friendship) and she is the only friend I have specifically asked for, in my grief, to be with me. She doesn't know about my sister, yet.  It's going to be difficult to tell her.  We have been together through teenage years, marriages, children, divorces, the deaths of all our parents, she came when Chris died -- and, now this.  I thank God for her, my friend, Michele.

 

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