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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

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 Marsha H on February 17, 2014 at 3:07pm

Richard ...  I'm so proud of you for going to work even though it was tough for you.  I find that the reason for feeling so bad about doing something was routine when your loved one was with you and now you are doing something in that routine of the day without them, but you did it!  It will get easier.  I'm retired and am hoping to get a part-time job just to get me out of the house as it can be a very long day and housekeeping, gardening and volunteering just doesn't always cut it.  I want to get back into society a little more, but it's sure difficult.

Take care my friend.

Hugs

Marcy

Comment by RICHARD GRATTON on February 17, 2014 at 3:05pm

Hello everyone...First I want to thank all of you for your kind words and insights to what I am feeling...It is so wonderful to have people who understand what I am going through...You are all angels..I hope that one day I'll be able to pay forward and maybe help someone get through their difficult times but at the moment I'm an emotional wreck and feel so useless...Last night was not a good night for me but I managed to still get out of bed and made myself go to work...I still have a very difficult time concentrating but I still managed to get through most of the day without shedding tears....I hope that tomorrow will be a little better. I did make it to counseling this morning and we talked about my feelings of guilt.I feel guilt when I think that I wish I could have done more for my beautiful Pam . I also feel guilt whenever I think of trying to move on because then I feel like I'm putting my life with her behind me. I told that's no so but my heart tells me otherwise and the thought is unbearable.At times, I feel like I'm adrift in a dark stormy sea and I can't find my way back.Marsha, I  understand your loneliness .Coming home to an empty house was very difficult for me today.You sound like such a wonderful person and can't believe that you can never find happiness again. I hope that can be as strong as all of you. I know that my posts are sometimes rambling but my  mind is racing a thousand miles an hour and at the moment trying to keep a clear thought is almost impossible. I hope you all forgive me for babbling. It's been a long day.

Comment by Marsha H on February 17, 2014 at 5:17am

Mike F ...  Thank you so much for your encouraging words and it's much appreciated.  I think at the beginning I was inundated with so much red tape by government and banking institutions and trying to deal with the shock of my dear Ernie that I couldn't concentrate.  Now I am at a precipice where I have more energy, my mind is growing clearer all the time, but loneliness is horrific for me and although I will never forget Ernie, I would enjoy meeting a companion.  It could be a simple friendship, but for widows we don't have the freedom to go out nights alone and at my age all my friends are married with grandchildren and I have no single friends.  I have all this energy and no place to go.  LOL  I just want to feel needed again, feel a big bear hug every so often. 

I do find I am getting more out of this grief group and we even manage to have a few laughs to lighten the strain and I've met some wonderful people.  In fact, there is a Pastor there whose wife passed away not that long ago and they'd been married 60 years.  He is a wonderful man and even admitted at times his faith has faltered, but he's strong and will never let go of his belief in God.  However, he needs the group because he says he feels useless in helping others at his church because he misses his wife so much.  Little by little we can see a good change in each other no matter how small it is.

I hope things are going well for you Mike and it's nice to see you post again.  I think of you often as I do Frank, Chicago Beard and Jerry.  We are all warriors and we're all going to make it!

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on February 17, 2014 at 5:03am

Richard ..  What a beautiful way you described 'the breeze' and believe it or not I do believe a touch of a breeze, a warmth on your cheek is your loved one's spirit.  Yes, I do believe their spirits are with us to watch over us and help us through our grief if only for a little while.  The day my husband passed away I was in shock and my girlfriend brought me home and wanted to stay the night with me.  I heard myself saying that I was OK and appreciated it, but wanted to be alone.  It was late morning by then and after she left I walked out to the gardens (don't even remember walking there I was in such a fog-like state) and suddenly a Blue Jay came out of nowhere, swooped down, dipped and shed a feather which fell to the ground.  For some reason I picked it up and I still have it to this day.  I believe it was a message from Ernie and no, I don't think it's wishful thinking.  I've had many other experiences that have been witnessed and can't be explained away.  So my dear friend believe!  Pamela is with you even if you can't see her. 

Now that I know your line of work I say 'go to work!'  You work in a beautiful area and how close can you get to God or your Pamela than in the beauty of gardens.  I'm a nature lover and I take my dogs to the dykes along two different rivers where Ernie and I have walked for years and it gives me peace, joy and makes me feel closer to him.  As Mike said, just take it a little at a time when you go back to work.  It's more difficult if you work in an office orientated job. 

Yes, we are certainly here for you, but Richard you are also helping yourself whether you realize it or not.  Your mind is mixed ... thinking of Pamela constantly, yet wanting to get back to work; anything to help you get through a given day and that's healthy.  You deserve a pat on the back as well Richard for being the strong individual you are.  You and Pamela, like the rest of us with our spouses learned so much from each other and now it's time to go on in their memory and when the deep hurting ceases to remembering the good memories then it's 'paying it forward' to others who are hurting in the memory of our loved ones.

As far as myself I grew strong because I came on this forum surrounded by wonderful people (my angels) who saw me through so many down times going through the grief process and I'm still going through it somewhat, but much better than I was before. Time does heal Richard and I'm so glad you post on this forum and find some peace of mind and don't feel so lonely by reading posts on this forum.

Big hugs

Marsha

Comment by MikeF on February 16, 2014 at 10:09pm

Marsha:

I am glad to hear that you have found a grief group that you can connect with.  You know from my previous posts that I have had some very positive experiences in the bereavement group that I found.  For me it is the sense of connecting with the members of the group through shared experiences and feelings that helps reduce my feeling of loneliness.  To be able to share my feelings, to empathize with their feelings, to learn from their experiences and to feel a sense of strength from seeing them work through tough times (if they can do it  I can too!) makes me feel human again.

Comment by MikeF on February 16, 2014 at 9:52pm

Richard:

"It has only been twelve days since losing my soul mate and the love of my life and the pain is sometimes unbearable."

It is so soon for you and the pain of losing Pamela is so front and center.  My memory of the first month after Molly died is pretty foggy.  Lots of crying, lots of doing stuff just for the sake of doing it and lots of searching for clues on how to deal with grief.  Time has helped.  The pain is less sharp and I am much less in the fog. 

I like your comment about whispering in the breeze.  I believe that finding our own way of staying connected with our loved one's spirit/energy is so important.  They will always be with us.  We will have a relationship with them for the rest of our lives.  It will be different than when they were here but the love we shared will be in our hearts forever.  I know that the life lessons that I learned from Molly in the 35 years that we were friends/spouses have made me a better person.  Some days it is like she is whispering in the breeze reminding me that I am loved, encouraging me to stay calm and continuing to help me be that good person.

I agree that going back to work is a good idea.  I suggest being upfront with your supervisor and starting slowly.  If you can't make it through the whole day, then do what you can and come back the next day.  Eventually, you'll find a rhythm.  Like I said in my previous post, don't let work be a source of stress for you.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on February 16, 2014 at 4:40pm

Richard -- loved that you said, Pamela is in the breeze whispering through the longleaf pines and in the sun on your face  -- she is!  Go back to work and find her there!

Barb

Comment by RICHARD GRATTON on February 16, 2014 at 2:51pm

Barb and Marsha....It is so reasuring to know that someone cares and understands what I am feeling...I am a horticulturist and grounds superintendent at a private country club and my work keeps me outdoors most of the time so working at home is not an option....I'm hoping that being in the woods and gardens  might bring me some comfort . I 'd like to believe Pam is  in the breeze whispering through the longleaf pines and in the sun on my face. I hope it can bring me some comfort but I don't know....Everything you both wrote resonates so much with me and I hope I can be as strong as both of you...You are all such wonderful human beings and feel blessed to be able to confide in you ....It helps me get through the day....God bless all of you.

Comment by Marsha H on February 16, 2014 at 2:26pm

Richard ...  We all know how you feel facing each day without your Pamela.  Your whole world is turned upside down.

As far as going back to work Richard, perhaps as I suggested before if possible and depending on the type of work you do you could possibly work from home for the next couple of months.  From the way you are describing your pain and being anxious which is very normal it may be too early to go back to work. So phone your employer and see what you can work out.  You are lucky to be working for a very understanding company.  Keeping in contact with your employer ever so often is a given for you. 

I am so happy you are going to see a counselor.  Don't be afraid to ask the counselor if they have had a spouse pass away or at the very least someone very close to them.  As Barbara said some people find relief in seeing a one-on-one counselor while others don't.  I had gone to the hospice grief group soon after my husband passed away and I was in such a foggy state nothing seemed to take the pain away and I didn't find it helped (group counseling.)  I stopped going, then went and saw a psychologist and that didn't help.  Now I have joined a grief group at our local church and I'm finding I'm retaining more information, feel the pain of the other members at the meeting and we are growing close to each other and it gives me a sense of peace.  It's been almost 3 years for me and the only way I can explain it is I was where you were once and struggled through and now in my 3rd year I need the support once again mainly because most of my close friends have deserted me (can't handle not seeing my husband with me) and I have a small immediate family) so the group on here and the group at the church is my extended family and it helps.  I have faced the reality my husband has passed away, but the loneliness in sometimes unbearable for me as we couldn't have children and I know instinctively I need the group support.  I can't put it any other way than saying it is about tying up loose ends ...  the loneliness without my husband, the hurtful things people can say without realizing it and more importantly that I deserve to have a peaceful and content lifestyle. 

I know many things we say to you now just doesn't seem possible for you to feel the same, but time is the factor and you are stronger than you think because you have made it this far.  Whether we like it or not we all struggle to live no matter what pain we endure missing our spouses and they would want us to go on in their memory and try to be happy and in peace.

We're here for you Richard and, as Barbara said we will reach back to our own experiences into the dark recesses of the pain of grief, hold your hand and guide you to a better place.

Big hugs and Prayers coming your way

Marsha

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on February 16, 2014 at 1:58pm

Richard -- it is so good that you are planning to see a grief counselor -- I hope it is someone who understands the loss of a partner is not like any other loss -- some do, some don't.  I hope you will share your counseling experience, here, on Legacy.  It may help someone else make that decision for themselves.

We all know what you are going through and our hearts hurt for you -- it is small comfort to assure you that it will get better -- when people told me that it would get better, I wanted to shout, "WHEN?" and "HOW?"  The answers, seem to be, (at least, for me), "It will take as long as it takes -- and, I don't know how, but it does?"

It has been 10 months for me - and I know that my family and friends still think I am "quirky", but the people on this website know that I am making progress -- and they keep me encouraged and hopeful that I will find peace, eventually.  

I know "eventually" doesn't sound very encouraging, but, as I said, it takes as long as it takes -- there is no timetable for grieving the loss of a beloved partner.

You are NOT going crazy -- you are NOT alone -- you are suffering terribly, but you WILL get through this.  We are all here with you, remembering our own pain, and feeling it with you, walking that dark , desperate path with you, and sending you --

Love, Hugs and Prayers

Barb 

   

 

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