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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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Navigating Widow-hood

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Finding the new normal

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Grief so great it hurts

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Comment by Marsha H on December 22, 2013 at 2:43pm

Carol ...  I was in Sears two weeks ago and the entrance I go through is right by the men's department and of course the tears started to come.  I would always buy him clothes there, but suddenly remembered like a child at Christmas the clothes were the last thing he wanted.  LOL  I made him like them!  LOL 

I really miss small children in the family (all grown now, my 2 nephews not married so no children there.)  My Goddaughter is now 24. 

I agree Carol that during this holiday season we should keep in touch and we are extended family where we should gather together to hold up those who are dear to us on this forum when they are down.  Giving and loving each other is the best gifts we can give each other and it doesn't stop after Christmas.

Love & Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on December 22, 2013 at 2:38pm

Dear Carol ...  You are so right that simple pleasures are what we remember the most and who would have guessed while our loves were with us. Ernie and I would do what you and Jack did and take the dogs for a walk and sometimes go for dinner at a restaurant every so often.  At first the memories hurt the heart, but eventually it brings a smile to my face just knowing I was so lucky to have had those memories.

It is true (I do it often) that if it's quiet at home I close my eyes and can feel Ernie close to me.  He was such a big man and I miss his huge arms around me making me fell loved and protected and just for a few seconds I can feel that all over again.  Sometimes I think my Guardian Angels are rolling their eyes because I frustrate them!  LOL  I do believe we are watched over and given strength.  We are not alone!

It's great you are acting like a child ... all of us should do that more often ...go out and build a snowman, make angels in the snow or walk in the rain and skip through puddles. When Ernie was still here and we had our first fall of snow I would bundle up and race outside to the front lawn and collapse making angels I the snow and he would laugh his head off.  This year I just didn't seem to have that spunk, but perhaps next year.  If we give up that 'child' in us we give up a lot.  Hug Abby for me.

Have a wonderful Christmas my friend and wish your family the best.

Love & Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on December 22, 2013 at 2:31pm

Helen and Mac ...  My thoughts and prayers are with you both.  I know this holiday season is especially difficult for both of you, but throughout our many posts on this forum I do see strength coming from both of you.  The Christmas Season is very emotional for everyone ... some people are lonely, others reflect of what use to be and many others are missing a loved one. 

I hope both of you believe that your spouses are close by in spirit and giving you strength.  Grasp onto that fact and try to hold it close to your heart.  I am always here for both of you so if you need to talk just email and I'll be there through the holiday season.

Big hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on December 22, 2013 at 2:25pm

Dear Cheryl ...  how sweet of you to wish us the best through this holiday season which as we all know is a tough one for most of us.  Even for those who have spouses and family the Christmas Season can make some people feel depressed or sad and some lonely so now we have that and the grieving process on top of it.  Like you I can cry over the memories, but also can smile at how much my husband loved to get together with family and friends, the two of us decorating the tree and of course he always drooled when he heard the word 'turkey.'  LOL

I understand it sometimes feels like the harder you try the worse it gets, but I see through your posts making strides in your life and I'm so proud of you.  Just getting up in the morning to start a new day we should get a medal for.  You are going through the toughest year with all those memories and of course we go through a time when we fear the future without them.  I always told Ernie that no matter how tough things got in life we would beat it because we had each other.  Now I feel lonely, unprotected since he's gone, but I know he is with me in spirit and watching out for me and I go on in his memory.  I found the second year a little easier as the crying spells I went through weren't as frequent and I was able to tolerate getting out of my comfort zone a little, but not 100% yet.  I just had two different buffets; one for my immediate family and last night one for 4 of my close and dear friends and although everyone enjoyed themselves I found I was reflecting back to my sweetheart and realized he was probably there in spirit smiling down and eavesdropping.  LOL  It was hard on me having those buffets, but at the same time I felt a sense of moving forward in this new chapter of my life.  There will be good/bad days, but even when or spouses were with us we still had those type of days.  I too have to watch my anxiety level and eventually for you the panic attacks will cease when you are into a different phase of your grief. 

I hope you do have some joy over the holidays Cheryl.  Bless you and all on here that we all can have some peace and joy during the holidays and we are kept safe and warm.

Yes, one day at a time and one baby step at a time.  We got this far and we'll continue to improve as time does heal although our spouses will forever be in our hearts.

Hugs & God Bless

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on December 22, 2013 at 2:11pm

Dear Barbara ...  Anything our spouses loved to do on the holidays as a tradition should be kept alive because it brought such joy to our hearts and should be passed down to the family.  I believe Chris is near you enjoying those 'pops' from the crackers.  Keep up the tradition my friend.  The memory may hurt for now, but it does get better.  I still put up a Christmas tree in memory of Ernie as he loved Christmas just like I did.  I still have our private Christmas on Christmas Eve ... just my dogs and myself, but I refuse to blot out that memory and hope he is there in spirit.

Although we miss our spouses adult children and grandchildren are to be blessed and traditions handed down in family.  I only have a small immediate family and no small children to fuss over and I really miss the look of awe on little faces. 

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by cheryl holbrook on December 22, 2013 at 10:16am

hello all, just wanted to say thank you for the posts, encouragement and all the sharing.  I wish for us all the best we ca do through this season. Sad to say but I will be so glad when this is over. I too has the same as some of you, alot of Firsts' to go through. Made it thorugh our anniversary now Christmas and bday.

I try so very hard to try and continue on this long road ahead but seems like the harder I try the worse it gets. I miss my love so much and do know you all understand that feeling. I just cant get Mike out of my head, EVERYTHING reminds me of him, be it a smell, a saying, a sign, food, a picture, a sticker lol, everywhere I go or look he is all around in my memories of him. I have a peace of Mike's first Christmas with Jesus, its what he so looked forward to, I know he is in no more pain and for that I am truly grateful.

I can even now smile through the tears when I think of him, but I cant focus all my heart and thought on him to long or I get panic attacks of him not ever coming home.

Carol, Marsha, Mac, Helen, Barbara, and so many others here I just want to wish each of you a safe,warm and whatever happiness we are able to have Holiday season, God Bless. ((Hugs to all))

Frank and Charlie - Hang in there hope you are both doing ok or best you can, thinking of you.

One day at a time ... Cheryl

Comment by Carol Kayser on December 22, 2013 at 1:09am
Barbara, yes as Patricia says continue the tradition, the grandchildren have such fun and it will bring them happy memories of their grandpa.
I bought some crackers recently to take to my American family next week. I can't wait to see them try to figure it out:)
We have those pictures too. My dad loved his Christmas crackers.
Comment by Patricia on December 21, 2013 at 11:45pm
If it was a request by the little ones then it's very important to their process. It is
such a fun gentle custom they'll probably take it forward into their adult traditions. It will have a depth of meaning and history for them.
Comment by Barbara Sullivan on December 21, 2013 at 5:19pm

Today I went out to finish my Christmas shopping  -- something I loved to do with Chris -- and stopped in the one shop in town that sells Christmas crackers.  Chris had introduced our grandchildren to the English custom of pulling Christmas crackers several years ago and the girls (granddaughters) asked me, as we were decorating the tree, if we were still going to do Christmas crackers this year, now that grandpa isn't here.  I told them, "I don't know.  Would you like to?".  And they said yes.  So today, I went to buy them.  

It was a difficult moment.  Standing there in the store looking at the different boxes of Christmas crackers and thinking how glad I am that he brought this custom to our family, but how, sad that he won't be here to enjoy it with the girls -- I have photos of him, posing with the girls, wearing their funny hats and eye-patches from their crackers -- he taught them how to hold their crackers so they got the prizes inside -- and he loved the fun they had -- Now I am wondering if I can make it as much fun for them as he did.  Maybe it was a mistake to try to keep this going without him.  What do you all think?

Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on December 21, 2013 at 4:26pm

Mac  I''m with you.   Morley's birthday,  our wedding anniversary, then Christmas,  all in one month.   This is my fourth and by far the worst.   I no longer believe that it will get any easier.   I think when you marry relatively late in life as we did and then you decide to live for one another and do everything together you have no where to go when your husband dies.     I kept thinking after the second year that it would start to get better and in some ways I am stronger.    I no longer cry in public unless something triggers it off (and that can be anything, anytime) but inside the pain and the churning stomach remain exactly the same.    I know I have complicated grief (that was diagnosed at the beginning) but knowing it and finding anyone who can help you with it are two different stories.   There is no specialist in that kind of grief here so basically I am abandoned to find my way through it all and I am not succeeding.   Christmas (and his birthday had to have a cake etc, I even had a trumpeter come once to play happy  birthday for him and he loved it), Christmas he had to have a stocking so I filled so though the year I would buy odds and ends to fill it with and he was like a kid rushing through on Christmas morning to find his stocking and bring it back to bed and open all the parcels.   That is such a happy memory but, as usual, is followed by a stab of pain because it will never happen again.   So Mac, join the club of us widows who are still deep in mourning 4 years on and see no end in sight.    I hope you get through the festive season.   If you have children that will help (we had none).   I feel for you as I feel the same and no one understands unless they walk in our shoes.

 

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