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.
I am so sorry that you are having to go through all this with your family - as Todd said, you are greatly appreciated by us all here, for your generosity of spirit, your kind support, and your wonderful wit. Indeed if we were able to all be closer in location you would be the busiest woman in Canada! Peace to you dear friend - PS: does your neighbor travel? My gutters are greatly in need of attention!
Steve......I feel for you that your family chose to walk away because they couldn't accept who you are. It was them who missed out on knowing someone as kind hearted as you seem to be. Although none of us have met (well, other than you 2), you can get a sense of who everyone is through their writing. You must be special to have two great loves in your lifetime.
Marsha......I so wish we all lived close enough that we could meet somewhere for a beverage, conversation and a real hug. It's obvious your brother thinks you're "over it" by now but that's no excuse. He knows you're living alone and have no children to help you out. Shame on him and your nephews. I think I may have asked this before but I'm not sure, have you had a conversation with your brother and sister in-law to tell them exactly how you feel? How it hurts you to be forgotten about? The hard part about this is if you do tell them how you feel, you'll likely see even less of them so it sounds like a no-win situation. Your nephews seem to be taking after your brother. I wish I had that magic wand to wave around for you but all I can do is remind you that your family here appreciates you.
Dearest Marsha, oh how I wish family knew how much suffering we all tend to each and every day of our lives. Things were different when we were all children, what happened? I think that as a society of civilized people we have forgotten how to live like children, everything we did as children had no attachments to them, we simply accepted each other as we were. Speaking for myself as a gay man, it was so painful to discover that I was different and to see how others treated those that could not blend in as it were. I had no one to discuss my feelings with and if my family had any concerns about me they never ever approached the subject. We slowly grew apart, the only times we were drawn together were at funerals and weddings, social events for me with family was during the Holidays, and even then the question was "oh are you bringing your friend". I spent my whole life as a question mark in everyone's day to day life. No one ever called to check up on me until my sister was dying with pancreatic cancer. After she died, my heart was torn apart, Mark was there for me and no one else was. When Mark died, I was alone in our apartment, no friends, no family on my side or Mark's. His family was upfront with him the day he told them he was gay, they cut him out of their lives forever. I still get angry and it still hurts so bad to think that he died with only one person that cared for him. I called my Aunt and Uncle in Jacksonville, they made me feel not so alone and it was comforting, but that too wore off very quickly, when I visited them a year after his passing, everyone was expecting me to be over with it, well I am not. I have someone new in my life that I love just as much if not more than Mark. Does anyone care? My friends that I have made here in Dallas since his death and of course my only family that I give a damn about is everyone on this site. I am packing up my belongings each one with a memory attached and moving some 2000 miles to someone who cares for me just as much as I care and love him. We both share several things, our family here and our beloved husbands that are not in the present world. We both know that had it not been for this site and for Larry and Mark pushing us along who knows what or where we would be today. I know one thing the heartbreak of loosing family that are still alive is not as bad as loosing the one love of your life. We cannot see anyone on this site or converse face to face; does not change the fact that I know where my true family is and I know that our Father is watching and helping us, each and everyone of us. God bless you Marsha, you deserve so much more than your are getting. I love you dear Marsha as much as my sister.
I feel for you. You are so appreciated here by all of us. We love you :-)
Hugs and prayers to you our dear friend!
HOW CAN FAMILY BREAK YOUR HEART WHEN THEY KNOW YOU ARE ALREADY BROKEN-HEARTED ...
I have just been beside myself over my family treating me as if I don't exist until special occasions come where gifts are given (of course.)
I have no children and as most of you know one sibling, my brother who is 68 years old. He never calls me or asks how I'm doing and yet when I do see him on those special occasions he hugs me and says he loves me, but to me, actions speak louder than words and it means nothing to me. How can a brother know his sister is all alone and could use a little help every so often or a simple phone call every so often to ask how I'm doing? I can't figure it out. His wife does come over most weekends, but it feels she just wants to get out of the house and plant herself at my house. She can be moody and treats me as if I don't have a brain in my head; never asks how I'm doing and says little about her own family. When I talk to her about the volunteering I'm doing or other things I never get 'that's great' and a glaze comes over her eyes and I know that's a sign of disinterest. I have always been encouraging with my family. I've stood fast a couple of times during the summer months and invited myself over to their house. Yes, 'I invited myself!' They seemed OK with it.
My nephews lives 1 1/2 blocks from me. One nephew has a live-in girlfriend and they have a 1 year old daughter who I adore and I've made it plain to family. I use to go for walks with her mother and been invited over just a few times. If it weren't for my nephews girlfriend I would have never seen my Great Niece. She's growing so fast. Now my nephew's girlfriend is working and he's playing 'Mr. Mom.' I told him to call me sometime and we could go for a walk or come and visit me and have a cup of coffee or, if he had problems with the baby just to call on me and I've offered baby sitting services. So far I have heard nothing from him. He rushes out to his parents all the time which is a 40 mile drive one way.
My sister-in-law has told me that my brother and I were never close which is not true. We are close is some ways, but of course he raised his family. We were close as children, he raised his family and then we became close again when my mother was in a nursing home with Dementia and it took off from there. Then she added, 'You're just the aunt!' Those words she said stung deeply and my heart is broken. When I go to their home on special occasions I don't really feel it's from love at all, but guilt 'a must do.' I have to admit her biting words made me feel like I was an orphan. What have any of them learned when they too missed Ernie and had missed 4 years out of his life through a misunderstanding on my one nephews part. I'm tired of entertaining and having people plunk their butts on my sofa not wanting to go out anywhere or not feeling wanted. I understand people's lives go on and it's not all about me, but asking to be included as family every so often or a phone call once a month isn't asking much. I've considered it's easier to walk away from family as I feel my sister-in-law would like life as it was without me included. Staying only hurts me more when you get no feedback and I'm ashamed of how my family is acting. I am a good listener and they know they can talk to me at any time as always. I am always cheerful and informative when talking and just simply get tired of the secrecy in my family and the undignified way they treat me.
Thanks for listening and I just had to vent.
Harold, I totally understand where you're coming from. I didn't realize there was such a thing as feeling normal until I lost Ken. I often say to him that I miss touching him, holding him, talking to him etc. The feeling of normal I felt with him by my side. Now nothing feels normal, nothing feels right. The guilt of living hangs on and probably always will. Ken wouldn't want me to feel guilty but he doesn't have a say here. Like you, I think what would I want for him if roles were reversed. Even though I would want him to continue doing the things he enjoys, I now know he wouldn't have been able to do that if he lost me. I guess like Chicago says, we have to hang on until we get through the worst of it.
Harold ... You seem to be in the same frame of mind as myself. I have been working hard around my home and my back is sore as well and that's when I was reminded I needed 'Ernie's tender loving care of a massage.' How I miss that. He always made me feel better, but I gave back to him in return. Our spouses made things seem just fine when we didn't feel they were. Now we are hit between the eyes we are truly alone with them and miss so many things about them. I get hugs (I'm a huggy person too) but, I can't remember the last time someone held my hand or even put their arm around me. I miss that from Ernie as you miss it from Diane. I was the strongest between the two of us in most emotional issues, but Ernie gave me wisdom and strength; a hug, kiss, hand holding after nearly 40 years of marriage or a warm arm around my wait. Those are the things I miss and I too feel extremely lonely and realized this year like you, I'm strictly on my own. I am trying to figure out what to do about it, but so far a light bulb hasn't gone on for me.
I hope you are feeling a bit better Harold and know that some of us are going through just what you are. Try to remember Diane is closer than you think as my Ernie is.
For instance, yesterday I sat and cried feeling so over-whelmed because I we've had heavy rains here in lower mainland Vancouver, B.C., and I needed my gutters cleaned, but it's costly and I also needed my A/C out of the window. I have no help and I felt useless, my dignity taken away and suddenly, my next door male neighbor that Ernie and I have known for a long while phoned me up and came over on his own and cleaned out my gutters and on Wednesday he came and took my A/C out and he is going to try to come over tomorrow and putting new weather-stripping around two doors in the house. I often wonder if Ernie in some way isn't still looking out for me and doing a little butt kicking. LOL
I can appreciate the pain, hopefulness and grief you are going through. It is especially hard when the shock wears off, I think it is cruel but necessary to go through the pain and heartache, to find some manner of peace and happiness. It will never be as good as it was but we all need to find a reason to keep moving forward and find some enjoyment out of Life. Diane's first husband passed away, I tell myself she did it I can too. Also I ask myself what would I want for Diane if I had died. There are days that nothing matters and I just want to give in to everything, I allow a short Pity party, but then just keep trying to do the right things and put one foot in front of the other. That's the only thing I have found that works for me.
I hear you. It does get overwhelming at times when we want to turn to our loved ones for the insights they would give us. For me it felt like being torn in half and that I was kind of flailing. Putting one foot in front of the other is pretty much all we can do. As you are finding out, whereas it may start getting better, it never feels like it gets good. Hang in there. You will get through this like we all have and do.
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