Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 18 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 Corey. Last reply by Marsha H Feb 14.
Started by Tiffany Phillips. Last reply by Sara Murphy Jan 27.
Started by brenda may. Last reply by Marsha H Jan 12.
I have been taking a little of everything and have been trying to incorporate it in my life.
Deb I have been trying to slow my mind and body down also to adjust to life's new reality. Like it or not it's what I have to work with, need to find some kind of Life and happiness without Diane. Chuck your comment about stopped looking frantically for something I thought I wanted or needed to be happy, only then would I slow down and realize that often the miracles, large and small, that surrounded me were not only enough, but actually a wealth of treasures I had been overlooking all the time. That hit home with me, it's not something I do or finding someone else, but just getting my head straight so I can see the world around me as it is and know what I want and need in Life.
I think I mentioned that I joined a Gym and workout 3 times a week, I feel good and am proud of myself for doing it. I realize I have the Gift of good health and want to do what I can to keep it. This Wednesday I am taking a week's vacation and going to California to visit my son, looking forward to it. This Summer plan on doing some Camping with my Grandson, and going to visit cousins of Diane's we hit it off and enjoyed there company. He is a scuba diver and wanted someone to dive with, I haven't dove in 30 years but plan on diving with him. They live in Indiana and have a place on a lake, me and Diane always had a great time visiting them. It might feel a little weird going without her but am willing to try it this year. My New way of thinking is to try new things or even old things and see what feels comfortable and figure what I want and need as I go along.
Chuck, I LOVE your posts! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Your observation of your friend comparing the loss of her relationship via divorce to your loss strikes a cord. I've also had people make the same comment. On occasion, I offer my 2 cents as a former divorce attorney, as someone who has been divorced, and as someone whose spouse died. There is no comparison. As my sweet husband might say: it is like comparing apples to oranges! Perhaps it is a good thing that you did not have the ability to respond to your friend that day. Given time, she will know the difference. Until then, your 40 year friendship is preserved albeit with a newfound realization and understanding that she just doesn't "get it".
Happy First Day of Spring! Hopefully, your NJ temps will make Steve comfortable until the two of you decide to seek a warmer climate on a full time basis.
BTW, I am trying to intentionally slow down and give myself time to adjust to reality. I continue to dream about Bob every night. I am going through many of his work papers now. It is bittersweet and therapeutic to review years of work calendars which memorialize our work and personal schedule. I am ready to part with the work portion but am holding on to the personal history. That works for me right now.
I am feeling like you...Spring can't come soon enough, and poor Steve, who grew up in Florida and lived in the South all his life looks a bit like a caged animal, pacing around looking out the windows at the snowed-in driveway, asking himself what on earth he's doing here in the cold!!! We will address our final location once he helps me close Larry's estate and sell the house, but you can be sure it won't be in the snow belt.
Thank you for parsing our my meaning in my somewhat cryptic post - I suspect it may have been a bit confusing when I tried to explain my friend's complete lack of understanding of who we are on Legacy, and how we interact and offer support for each other. She actually said that day that she and I were in the "same boat" - me grieving for my lost love of my life Larry, and she for her failed marriage. I don't mind telling you that I it's a good thing I was so tired and emotionally drained by that moment, or I would have lit into her in a way the likes of which she had never seen over our 40+ years of friendship.
It has always been the case for me that when I stopped looking frantically for something I thought I wanted or needed to be happy, only then would I slow down and realize that often the miracles, large and small, that surrounded me were not only enough, but actually a wealth of treasures I had been overlooking all the time. Sounds a bit like Dorothy at the end of "The Wizard Of Oz" I know, but none the less true.
Be safe, my dear friend, and keep warm - soon this snow will be but a memory as we move on to another season of rebirth and renewal - I pray that it is for us all in this family also another step toward our finding peace and an equal renewal of our will to go on, even in our grieving.
Tiffany......It's so hard when our friends and family get back to their own lives, a little at a time. They have no choice but at the same time, we can't understand how the world is still turning when our worlds have stopped. Nothing makes sense anymore. I'm so sorry his mother is adding to your grief. I understand she is grieving too but she can't just assume ownership of his stuff. I don't know you're situation other than you hadn't gotten married yet but I think maybe it's time to put your foot down if she asks for anything else. You may not realize right now that you'll wish you had kept a certain something down the line. I agree with Mary Jane. This is about you and you need to do what's best for yourself.
Hi Chuck.....Yes, we got a little more than a foot of snow with this latest storm. 2 blizzards in 1 season so I'm ready for spring now.
I have to say I don't get the comparison your friend was trying to make between Legacy and a dating site. I've never used a dating site but I don't imagine there are any group conversations and connections at the level we connect here. I see dating sites as superficial such as with the unrealistic photo you mentioned. I do hope your friend finds happiness but money can't buy happiness so I do suspect she'll need you again.
I'm happy that you and Steve get to walk through your journey's with each other. To have someone who truly understands your grief I think is key. I'm no where near ready for another relationship but if the day ever came, for me it would have to be with a widower. I would need someone to understand that Ken is my end game. He is the soul I'm looking to reunite with. Only someone who's been through this could understand that feeling.
When the time is right, please tell us about your first face to face meeting. With your style of writing, I'm sure it'll be a hoot.
First, I hope everyone affected by the storm in the Northeast is doing OK – Sara, it would seem you got the brunt of it, although we got our share here.
I’ve been following the recent discussions and am always moved by how our sharing of our experiences helps each other. I hear myself frequently in the posts, especially from those who are so new here with their losses so recent.
If I have anything to contribute, it would be my experience soon after joining this family, almost 15 months ago. An old friend came for the day after learning of Larry’s passing and my hospitalization and illness. It happened to be on the date of Larry’s birthday, which is November 13. I didn’t tell her that until she had been here awhile, and we shared many tears and hugs for several hours. She intuitively let me ramble and share story after story about our 32 years together. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through that day alone.
Eventually talk turned to her life, and she revealed that she was in the early stages of divorcing her second husband, and was already considering joining an online dating site. She needed to feel loved, respected, and appreciated and felt her best way to do that was through finding a mate. We have the kind of friendship where we rely on each other for advice, so she wanted my input on the initial post about herself she was writing, as well as her “screening parameters” and her choice of photos.
Being rather protective of her feelings, I tried to push one thought only regarding the entire enterprise, which she seemed to be addressing like a job interview, complete with a dazzling resume and glamour shots of herself. This was not the woman I had known since our teen years, so said I thought that if she just wrote from the heart everything she had said to me about how she felt and what she wanted from a partner, posted with a few photos as she looked right that minute, dressed stylishly but comfortably, without tons of makeup, then anyone who responded would be more likely to suit her personality. In a nutshell, be completely candid and herself!
She appreciated my point, and promptly discarded my suggestions, going for photos that hardly resembled her, and shockingly was quite disappointed when her first few meetings didn’t go well. She also was explaining to me how she took particular note of the background details in the gentlemen’s photos - homes, cars, and clothing - to determine their financial status. I tried to keep still about my feelings, but when she kept comparing her efforts to my being on Legacy, and my developing friendship with one man in particular whose situation mirrored with mine, I finally spoke out.
Here, we are all struggling with the worst loss of our lives, and connect by offering listening ears, open arms, and no judgments or expectations – our purpose is simply to help each other survive one more day. There is nothing we desire from this family but acceptance and understanding. Sadly, my words fell on deaf ears. Since finding a well-off man and finalizing her divorce, in that order, I haven’t seen or heard from her.
So what is my point? Just that we all walk a path that will forever have an empty space beside us – at least in the physical sense. Larry has been with me every day since that awful day almost two years ago. He calms me, protects me, and guides me when I am so turned around that I can’t see straight. In my heart I believe that is so for all of us in this uncommon family – just as I believe that no matter what we feel and say now, the events ahead for us - the twists and turns our paths may take - will be right for us if we only keep true to our love for our spouses, patient with ourselves, and always honest with the world, whether they like it or not.
As for me, this way of making my way along this lonely path has brought something I never would have dreamed possible. Now when I look to one side, I am still alone, but when I turn my head and look to my other side, I find someone there, walking with me, sharing the tears and the smiles, and always understanding what I am feeling, because he himself is on the same path with those same feelings. “Why I am so blessed?” I ask every day, with only a quiet whisper in my ear answering “because you needed each other”.
I may soon write about the first face to face meeting, with all the funny and tortuous things we both went through leading up to that moment. For now, I only want to say to you all that your support, your encouragement, and especially your friendship is the only thing that has brought me through to this point, and continues to do so whenever I start to get shaky and uncertain. I wish for everyone here only that you stay strong, believe in yourself and your absolute right to grieve and eventually start healing in the way that is uniquely correct for you, and keep others from impeding or derailing that process, whomsoever they may be, or however noble their intentions.
Peace to you all today,
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