Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 3 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 David Heggi. Last reply by David Heggi yesterday.
Started by denise. Last reply by Marsha H Oct 25.
Started by Kaela Roster Federle. Last reply by Kaela Roster Federle Sep 25.
Corey, I'm keeping this short as I'm at work and am so far behind it's not even funny. I lost my husband in August after a less than 10 week battle with brain cancer so I'm pretty new as well. I still feel that I'm in a nightmare that I never can wake up from and it really doesn't seem real although we all know, unfortunately, know how real it is. I just want to say that everyone here is so incredibly supportive and helpful and everything that they are sharing with you will be helpful in some small way. I would suggest reading Widow to Widow as about a month after Bill died, a friend suggested it and it was helpful. There are things you'd never even think about unless someone who has been down this road warns you about. We all feel for you and ourselves.
Just a simple wish from a very grateful friend to my special Arch Angel - I hope your birthday tomorrow finds you well, at peace, and that no matter how much or little is planned, that you pause and think of myself and Steve sending you very big hugs and all our love - Happy Birthday dear Marsha, and many more.
Thank you for your kind words. You must believe me when I say that I felt absolutely 100% about Larry the way you do about Ken. I actually got very upset when some friends even vaguely suggested that I might not spend the rest of my life alone, at least relationship-wise. I guess that's why I keep coming here trying to share the fact that as lonely and beaten as I was, I somehow made it through the early part of this awful journey of grieving. This week will be something you would never have envisioned having to endure, and my heart goes out to you knowing all too well what the 1 year anniversary of Larry's passing did to me.
That morning I only made one phone call, to someone who I thought of as Larry's and my closest friend for many years. The strain in her voice was either from the emotions summoned by memories of that day, because she was the person shuttling between floors in the hospital trying to find me and tell me what was happening in ICU with Larry. She also was the face in the hospital room doorway I saw and knew Larry was gone. She was anxious to terminate the call, and I was left sitting staring out the window and crying harder than I had ever done. Suddenly the phone rang, and it was Larry's youngest son asking how I was managing and if I could meet him at the cemetery where he was going to place a flower arrangement from the 5 children - no one else was going. I regretfully told him I couldn't drive there due to my illness, and doubted I could see the road through my tears anyway, but wished I could be there for him so he wouldn't be alone. He said he understood, and that I could call him if I needed to any time that day. A few hours he called and described the arrangement...5 yellow mums and 1 red rose in the center, which was to represent me. He remembered that I had requested that 1 perfect red rose be the only flower from me at his memorial, placed on the box containing his ashes. Later I looked at a photo he had sent by email, and again cried, but felt some warm connection form permanently with him that day - as remains the case still.
I pray for you, dear friend, that in your sadness and tears, someone will do or say something to you that gives you the same sense of connection and peace, and that it will relieve some of your loneliness for a time. You remain always in my thoughts and prayers Sara, and I will be holding out my hand for you to grasp as I did many months ago when we first crossed paths here.
God Bless you -
PS - the photo attached sideways...sorry, I can't figure out how to fix it
Harold, It be a year on Friday if I go by the date (the 13th) or Wednesday if I go by day of week he passed. I can't believe it's been that long since I've heard his voice, touched him or just looked at him as he watched TV. I still cry for him every day. And yes, I do have anger as well. My anger tends to not only just be why me and why us, but why are the good people taken so young and terrible people get to live into old age. The only thing saving me from falling into complete despair is that I have to get up and go to work every day. It gives me something to focus on but even still, I think about him all day anyway. I know I have to get used to being alone but I'll never be okay with it. I really hope it's true that we get all our answers once we make it to Heaven.
I know your 2 weeks before me as far as the death of Ken. I don't know how you are handling it. As for me I find myself getting angrier and more emotional the closer it gets to Diane's death the 29th. I haven't felt anger like this in a long while, not sure why it is surfacing now. Time for a Xanax I guess
Chuck.....You have such a way with words. It can be inspiring when you talk about how your life has moved on once you connected with Steve. At the same time, I don't understand it. I can't see the day when the sun breaks through the clouds. I can't imagine ever doing anything I did with Ken with another human being. My brain won't go there. Ken is still my future.....just in a different way now.
I'm glad for the happiness you and Steve have now. Maybe if you keep inspiring me, things will look differently someday.
I know the feeling of the Pain and Loneliness and thinking it will not get better. I found that when I was early on in my Grief Journey, the hardest thing to do but the most important was not to look too far ahead. To go from having the Love of Your Life, someone to share your Life good and bad, to being alone would send me into depression. At first I could only look at today, then later on a few days ahead, now what I want to do this summer. I have a nine year old Grandson I want to go Camping with, Diane loved camping and it will be bittersweet going without her. We always enjoyed spending time with him and his father isn't in the picture much. It will be a year the 29th, I still Hate the idea of being alone, planing my Life without her in it, but it is what it is, I can't change it no matter what, or how unfair it is. Diane's dying has brought me unimaginable pain but it has also shown me how short and unexpected life can be. My Parents are getting up there in age, along with my Father in Law, my Dogs and even me. I want to enjoy the time I have with them, the best I can. I'm far from okay, Crying while typing this but doing the best I can. When my life is over I want to be proud of what I did with it and want Diane to be proud of me too. Hang in there Corey we have all felt what you are feeling.
Corey ... At the best of times after the Christmas holidays and New Year's Eve one is very tired and in some ways it's sad it's over on a normal basis. Back to the old grind so to speak.
What you are going through is normal and no, it's not a stupid thing finding it difficult to put up streamers for your son's birthday and I'm so proud of you for finding the energy to do it. All the things your husband helped you with will only be magnified for awhile and bring back sad memories and realizing he's not there to help you, but he is near you and you have to believe that. You have suddenly been thrust into too many holidays after your husband's passing and I feel so badly for you and can only offer that you come here as you are doing and just type out your frustrations and fears. We all do honestly understand how you feel. It is normal as well not to be able to concentrate so if you have any business to contend with regarding banking (taking your husband's name off accounts ... another difficult thing to do) please take a trusted friend or family member with you because two pairs of ears are better than one.
I hope you take my suggestion and go to a counseling group or a psychologist who deals with grief as it does help and then you have all of us here for support at any given time. Please let your family know if you choose to go to grief counseling and let someone babysit your children while you go (once a week.) Everyone in that group understands the grief and heartbreak you are going through. You will get through this hon and you are stronger than you think. Each day you get up to face another trying day and cover-up your feelings around your children is another day stronger you'll be. It does get better in time, but the full heartbreak will never go away, but just not be as strong a presence.
Grief is suppose to bring the one grieving over the loss and their family closer together so choose someone in the family to talk to and let it all out. They can handle it. The more you depress your feelings the less they will understand what you are going through. No, they won't understand 100%, but they will have empathy and do what they can.
There is weak sunlight filtering through the bare trees on the hill to your back, and your indistinct shadow stretches before you on the ground - one shadow hand resting on a snow shovel while you pause listening to sounds that are simultaneously familiar and strange.
For 32 years you have experienced this shared ritual of clearing the long steep driveway and parking area at the top, your section being the upper portion and his the curve and lower part. Confronting light powder or wet heavy slush, you both bundled against the cold and went to your places to perform this necessary task with an almost military-like strategy, dividing the space into quadrants and tackling areas by carving out patterns that facilitated removal efficiently and quickly.
When you would pause the sound of his shovel on the driveway carried to you, the top of his coat and hood just visible above the snow bank indicating how much he had yet to finish. That sound and the sight of him working became part of the tapestry of your lives together – a winter ritual as soothing as it was tiring. Over the years it took you both longer to complete your work, and there were more frequent rests needed, but together you met the challenge feeling proud of your teamwork.
Now you stand here again hearing that same sound, seeing that same coat and hood now being worn by another, and your thoughts turn to the unbelievable and almost frightening unpredictability of life. Last winter you wondered if you would ever make it to spring, feeling something inside you disappearing – dissipating like morning fog - more rapidly with each new lonely tear-filled day. Then you had trouble standing for very long, walking was still a challenge, and the idea of having the strength to even hold and lift a shovel seemed preposterous.
You watch the hooded shape move in the same patterns that you have seen countless times before – but the dance is now being performed by a new partner who has found his way to you. The birds watch you both from the trees loudly calling for more seed, no doubt thinking that the only logical reason for you being out in the cold is to feed them. The sun silently moves west as the shadows shift forming new patterns in those places yet to be cleared of last night’s snow, and you bend again to your work silently thanking God for this quiet moment, for this simple day and this familiar ritual – but mostly for letting you get to this place of calm and healing after the seemingly endless hours and days of sadness and pain. You never thought you could feel good again, and now you pray that others who are grieving will find their ways through the dark times to someday also see the amazing beauty and rightness in the unsuspected patterns that make up their lives. Suddenly the sun breaks through a cloud throwing one brilliant beam on the snow in front of you before fading away as quickly as it appeared, and it occurs to you that the sunbeam is like our time with our loved ones – here for too brief a time, but blinding in its purity and leaving behind the echo of one simple word – hope.
I join all the family here in saying how sorry I am for the loss of your husband. I lost my husband Larry in April of 2015, and it was 7 months before I found Legacy after being urged by a close friend to connect somehow with people who would be able to understand my feelings. I truly believe coming here saved my sanity, and possibly my life.
Everything you have said about the feelings of loneliness and pain resonate deeply with me, and I was also unable to focus on even the simplest of routines. My energy was completely drained, and friends around me felt helpless seeing no way to grasp the totality of my despair. You have said you are now facing the after-holiday void wondering how to survive this early part of your journey along a new path - one I wish you didn't have to follow. I can only say that having this safe accepting place where we can say those things we withhold from friends and family, for whatever reasons, got me through some hours and days that were unbearable. I'm afraid that there will be events, holidays, and just small unexpected reminders that will seem to be traps ready to undo you ( watch out for Valentine's Day - that one really threw me as I wasn't ready to turn a corner in the store and be faced with row after row of hearts and love messages). Those are times you need to know you can come here and share your thoughts and find support and the most sincere compassionate souls I have ever known in my life.
I send my prayers that you find some peace this weekend and come back to this caring family as often as you need - there will always be ready hands reaching out to help you navigate your path and steady you should you stumble.
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