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 Chris Sky. Last reply by Mary. Jane on Sunday.
Started by Andrew Berenyi Jr.. Last reply by Steve Jul 14.
Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H Jun 6.
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.
Thank you everyone for the welcome to this horrible group. I have family around who are wonderful and they try to help but no one knows this hell unless you've lived it. Today was my sons 9th bday and it was so incredibly hard (my husband has only been gone for about two months so all of these firsts so close to his death are killing me). All the stupid things like putting up the streamers for my son, are killing me. I think the first few weeks, I was in shock and numb and then the holiday came and I had to just push through it for my kids (5 and 9) but now with everything slowing down, I'm finding all the day to day activities nearly impossible. My kids goto bed and I try and do stuff around the house or read or watch tv but I can't seem to focus on anything. The pain and loneliness is absolutely unbearable and I just can't ever see it getting better. We had so many plans for our family and my dreams are shattered. I can't talk to my family like this bc I don't want to upset them, as they are hurting as well. I know it will get better in time but I just don't know how to make it in the meantime.
Virginia ... HAPPY NEW YEAR and I pray you have a great 2017 and grief takes a holiday. I have also recommended this site to others who have had loved ones pass away and pray they do come here. While on this subject I was just 'out of it' when Ernie passed away and although I had family and friends around me at the beginning they were beginning to get on with their lives and I felt so very weary and alone. One night on the computer while answering emails from far away friends I decided to Google grief and I know I was guided to Legacy and made many friends. It made me feel not so alone and I could just pour my heart out. Chicago Beard was the first to answer my post and it lifted my spirits knowing someone cared and then I began to make some friends on the site. I admire each and every member on here and know the journey of grief is difficult. This site Steve has provided is the best on the website as I've looked out of curiosity. I hope and pray the newcomers will keep coming here so we can all help them through the rough days.
Take care my friend and so glad you popped in as you gave much of yourself to help others on here.
Harold ... Thank you so much. Sometimes I'm wondering if I'm just rambling on. LOL I was thinking of you at Christmas (it's the truth) and Diane's death. How I know how that tears your heart out. For the first time since Ernie's death 5 1/2 years ago the snowy weather caused many to cancel events and I found it a more difficult Christmas in 2016, but I just kept moving, had a good cry, got angry at myself and just got busy around the house. I have been getting better at realizing that although grief is tough there are others out there that are lonely, heart-broken and fearful of what the future holds and things could be much worse for me. Legacy has saved me so many times. I feel I have true family that knows how I feel.
What you are going through Harold is very normal. I found writing down in a notebook my feelings really helped. It made me come to the realization that it just didn't happen I met Ernie, but was meant to be and that goes for all of us. I realized that I had been blessed many times over being married to Ernie and as they say, 'it's better to have loved than never loved at all.' You bet it hurts missing our spouses, but just think what our past would have been like without them. I now realize how much Ernie left behind and taught me; strength, wisdom, selflessness, being loved unconditionally and I take what I've learned from him and pay it forward. I also tell those I care about how much I love them more than I once did. I hold onto the hope I will one day see Ernie once again. I know Diane is around you and I know from what you tell all of us about her that she wouldn't like to see you unhappy. So my friend, cry when you want to, but reach out to something you are interested in and volunteer or teach a program of sorts to help others. I am helping at a dog shelter placing dogs in new homes and I'm also thinking of volunteering to help those in either hospital or hospice without family members around or no family members to pass away with someone there instead of passing away alone. If there is a good thing about grief it makes us take stock of ourselves and think of others around us or some we may meet while out that others have problems too. This makes one feel less lonely and each time we help someone the heart stays stronger and the spirit soars. Just keep taking those baby steps Harold and when it's time you will get to this point and find where you fit into life again.
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