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Bereaved Spouses

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

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Grief so great it hurts

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Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on October 3, 2013 at 3:22pm

Hi all   Just checking in to tell all of you who have encouraged me that I had my second session with the medical students about grief this week.   I took a slight;y different approach and challenged them to see if any of them had suffered bereavement and how there is no rule book etc and that I still feel that someone reached in and dragged half my heart out when my Morley died leaving me with a bloody sore that will never heal.   I also told them that different circumstances (whether there is a support network, whether it is a young man or women with children who have to get up and go on whereas with an old woman like me, her whole reason for living had been snatched away and I feel no desire to go on living without him) all affect the grieving process, both the depth of pain and also the length,    I had to ask for more time with them as I even got on to telling them about Morley's break down in the mental hospital and that he nearly died through malnutrition and that I had actually told the psychiatrist that she would have buried her mistake if he had died).   That led to more questions and when the Dr who asked me to speak came out with me he said the feedback had been very positive.   For the first time since Morley died I actually felt had contributed something useful and said if he could find me more along those lines I would be keen to do it then I can tell all of those horrible people who keep telling me to "volunteer" that I was doing just that and shut them up,   The euphoria lasted all of one day and I am now back to despair because he is gone and i cannot face life without him.   Thank you for the support.   I took the advice of taking a picture of Morley with me and showed it to the students so they saw just who I was talking about.    I have not been posting recently because I was so nervous of this task and I also feel that I may cause despair in new members when I tell them I am nearly 4 years in and the pain remains the same.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 2, 2013 at 10:17pm

Diane C -- So good to see you on here again -- glad you are keeping busy and that work is finally happening on your house.  

Thank you for thinking of me and my sister.

Today she and I and my two daughters went to a beautiful spot along a creek near my home.  She went off to sit by herself on a big rock, with her back to the water, and I could see that she was angry and hurting -- I wanted so much to find words to comfort her, but nothing came -- instead I wondered if my Chris had ever visited this spot along the creek -- and as I watched the leaves falling into the water and being swept by the current, I thought that life is like the current, sweeping us along  -- that's how I feel, swept along in a fast current.  

I need time to grieve my husband -- and yet, I have been caught up, midstream, snagged on the rocks of what is happening to my sister.  

And, I feel so helpless and inept.  Your encouragement means a lot.

Thanks

Barbara

Comment by MikeF on October 2, 2013 at 10:06pm

Barbara,

I enjoyed and appreciated your insights into the wisdom that we have gained through our grieving.  This is something that I have thought about but have not been able to articulate it so well.  This is a post that I feel like sharing with my bereavement group.

Mike

Comment by Diane C on October 2, 2013 at 7:03pm

Checking in to say Hi, to all my family and friends here. I have been very busy at work and with the new contractors. Work is finally happening here at the house and expected to be a flurry of activity next week. I hope this finds you all coping as best you can. I will try to get back on in the next few days. Take care everyone!!
I miss chatting with all of you!

Hugs to all!!!

Comment by Diane C on October 2, 2013 at 6:45pm

Hi Barbara, 

I have been reading the posts, but have not had time to log on and leave messages. I am so sorry to hear about your sisters cancer discovery. It sounds like you both have been through so much in your lives. It will never be understood why some people are given more grief and worries than others. I agree with the others that you are meant to be by your sisters side during this horrible journey. She is very lucky to have you! We are all here to help you get through this.

I lost my husband a year ago Aug. 1st. , which was also our 25th wedding anniversary. We both had been married before, but we really got it right this time. I really loved your last post about "too late".  That is exactly what people should really read and understand before they are walking in our shoes.

You give some great advice and encouragement, and I enjoy reading your posts. Hang in there Barbara, and just remember we are here for you.

Diane

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

 

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