Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 5 hours ago
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.
Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Sheri Dettman 9 hours ago.
Started by Chris Sky. Last reply by Sara Murphy May 15.
Started by Corey. Last reply by Brad Block Apr 30.
Harold ... I am relieved and happy you have come to terms with your decision regarding Diane. It seems we are caught between the lesser of two horrific problems; let them stay with us or let them go. Although letting them go and having to make that decision is so heart-breaking we should be feeling better we had that control, but of course it's hardest decision we've had to make in our lives. Like Diane, Ernie was soul weary and they had been through so much. I know we all miss our spouses so much and I still do. I look back and wish I had said many more things to Ernie than I did and that haunted me, but I came to terms with that as well as I was fighting doctors and basically the medical system to get him the best care possible and as you know watching over our spouses while in hospital takes a lot out of us so now I've come to the conclusion and comfortable with it that I did all I could.
I hope you have a good weekend Harold and good things happen for you to brighten your days ahead.
Thanks for the comments and support. I have pretty much come to terms with my decision, and don't feel guilt over turning off the ventilator like I used too. Diane's body had been through too much and just gave up. She wasn't going to get better, she had six weeks and her lungs weren't improving much. The hardest thing and and the best thing I have ever done was to let her go when it was time. It feels strange to know that the best thing I could do for her can hurt so bad, not the decision but letting her go.
Dear Sara ... Your post of your life ending as it once was and nothing feels the same is very normal. I went through that as well. I had to drag myself out of bed and wondered why I wasn't taken instead of Ernie for I would have given up my life for him. The first year I was in shock and felt I'd been picked up and left on a completely different planet. My faith went out the door (I still struggle with that one even though I go to Bible Study) and in the 2nd year I had a bit of a routine going and began to surround myself with family and friends which was difficult at first, but that too became routine. Oh yes, I still have rough days and can be very lonely at times, but then out of the blue when I least expect it I have a good day. Grief is a necessity whether we like or not unfortunately and I suppose it humbles us and for me, I hold those I love and are living closer to me. Sometimes they don't get it and doubt they ever will until they lose a spouse.
I believe our spouses never really leave us. Part of them stays with us. As all of us say just take small steps and we grow stronger with each step.
Harold ... I know just how you feel about terminating your Diane's life (so you think) but not true. I hope this helps when I tell you that Ernie begged me not to let him linger on life support and I kept that promise. We still feel some guilt and 'what ifs' to 'why', but I try to put myself in their place and wouldn't want to be on life support for possibly months and we owe our loved ones dignity and final peace. They all went through so much. You were a fantastic husband and were there for Diane and each of you knew how much you loved the other. The biggest gift we could ever give someone we love is to not let them suffer if there is no hope.
Everything you have said and are now doing is normal and every time I read a post such as yours or someone else's it takes me back to the decisions I had to make for my beloved Ernie. I no longer have the guilt and feel I gave him the greatest gift of all; saying goodbye and letting him go so he'd be at peace.
Believe it or not no matter how much grief gives us pain and how many tears we shed if we get up every day whether it's good or bad is a big step forward and I'm sure our spouses would be happy we are getting on with our lives the best we can.
Todd ... We're all here for you and Sheri and all the rest. Odd how we count the days and remember them without hesitation and even the time. I still do after 5 1/2 years. I am doing much better now, but do have my days. Claudia is always close to you and I truly believe that because we are intricate creations and thus, death is not the end. I am praying for you to have strength and try to member the good times.
Sheri ... so sorry to miss your 7 week anniversary and I know it made it harder having the official ribbon cutting on the grand opening of your business. Some good blessings are coming your way with others helping you establish your business. I am sure Bill is right there beside you smiling away. In the 5 1/2 years since Ernie passed away I have been beside myself wondering how I'll cope with certain situations and it's as if Ernie is right there; the phone rings or a knock on the door and there is help for me most of the time.
Even through the darkest hours of grief it's good to keep busy and it appears you are doing just that. So proud of you Sheri.
Thanks Chuck. You're a better person than I if you can bite you tongue and not say anything. I find it harder to do and honestly have stopped trying. My anger at the "stupid" things people say to me has grown to the point that I feel it's better to educate them so they won't say such things to the next widow they encounter. I'll say something to the effect of they'll only understand this level of grief when they lose their spouse or until they have personal experience with losing a spouse, they have no valid advice to offer so I'm not open to hearing any. It may be cruel, but I'm Italian and am my Father's daughter.
I hope you have a nice, peaceful weekend
Yesterday was 7 weeks for me and it was difficult not only obviously for that reason but because we had the official ribbon cutting and grand opening of my business even though we've been in this location for over two years. When Bill was alive we were always too busy to do it. I have a new team member that suggested we join the chamber and do it and I let him organize it. I'm glad that we did as everyone was so supportive and helpful. But it was bittersweet not having Bill by my side since we built the business together. One of the things that Bill was most proud about was helping others on their path to success and he would have been so glad to see our team doing so well and continuing what he started. Doesn't help my pain any but I've got to think that he's by our side, watching over us. My team has a saying of "What would Bill do", if ever there is a question and the answer is always the right thing.
Dear Sara And Todd,
My heart goes out to you both as you grapple with your sad anniversaries - I am sending all the strength and prayers I can to you both, and to all here in our family. I seem to be wrestling with lots of emotions and questions today - maybe it's the full moon, or the leaves falling and the darkness coming earlier. Indeed, people "outside" our experience will never understand, no matter how sympathetic and loving they may be. I for the most part keep feelings of resentment (or worse) at bay, but sometimes it's still all I can do to avoid snapping and saying something cruel just to point out their inability to show some effort of even trying to be here for me, like it's just something I was expected to "get over" by now. I say inside "Just wait... you'll have your turn on this dark merry-go-round one day, and then you'll know ...", and immediately feel ashamed for being so uncharitable toward them in my heart.
I will be keeping you both close in my heart for these difficult days, and am so proud of you both, and every one of us to numerous to name, who somehow manage to get through the days one at a time and with each others support. Time may lessen some of the severity and frequency of our darkest times as we grieve, but I suspect this is just who we are now - brothers and sisters of a family that have a deep and special bond forged from our shared pain , and our shared willingness to reach out to each other with compassion and understanding. I honestly don't know where I'd be if I hadn't found this site, but I do know that I would never be doing and feeling the positive things I do now without it. God bless everyone, and I wish us all peace for the coming weekend -
Thanks Deb. I know Ken's still by my side. He lets me know it too. I just want him here physically though so I can see him and touch him. I still have some voice mails from him so I listen to them every so often. Funny, I asked Ken just yesterday why he had to leave. I don't blame him, the infection was taking over his body and he was suffering so much from it. If he was given a choice to come back (the docs worked on him for over an hour before calling it), I don't blame him for choosing not to. I can imagine the pain in his soul for making that decision because he never wanted to leave me but how could he come back to that body.
I'm glad you had a nice visit with your daughter and granddaughter. I hope you enjoy your weekend also.
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