Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: yesterday
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 Monica. Last reply by Claretha Rice on Sunday.
Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H Jun 6.
Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H May 31.
OK, making progress. Please know that each of you remain in my thoughts and prayers 24/7. I honestly don't know where I would be if not for the friends I have met here and the unwavering support and love that happens here.
I've made a couple of happy strides recently. I may have mentioned that I decided to quit smoking. I have been a smoker for periods of my life. There was the high school into college stage, the stressful marriage stage, and the last stage. When it was clear that Bob was not going to recover, I bummed a cigarette or two or three from my dearest friend who came to be with me at the hospital. I told myself I would only smoke until I "got through this". 18 months later and I was still at it.
I not only told myself but I promised my children that this would be a quick crutch. It lasted a lot longer than I imagined.
I've been smoke free for 5 weeks. The cravings are gone. Being around smoke now produces a super sensitivity. I have to get out of the area asap.
More to come . . . Debbie
Dear friends, I've recently typed a lot of long posts. When I hit send nothing happens. The posts are all amazing (I can say this because nothing ever came through) . . . LOL. Honestly, they were posts responding to others in our group. Sometimes, depending upon the day, it takes all I have to write a post so reposting is difficult. When the attempted repost doesn't go through either . . . I give up. More to follow . . . Debbie
Mary Jane, I'm sending a test note because the last long note I tried to write would not post. Here goes . . . Debbie
Hi Everyone, I'm back to catching up on reading posts. I see a lot of replies to Mary's post but cannot see that post.
Mary....If I recall, you live in Malden Ma. I live in Tewksbury Ma and am available if you ever need to talk in person.
There have been conversations about what to do with personal possessions and timeframes. For me, I'm not ready to let anything go and for the reasons I've seen referenced. I feel like discarding his "stuff" is like throwing him away and pretending he never walked this earth. It's something I just won't do. Some of the big things I had to let go of for financial reasons such as selling his boat. I however don't have the worry about moving which I think would weigh me down. Gretchen, I can only imagine what you're feeling with this decision. I believe Mary Jane suggested packing his stuff and moving it with you. To some degree, I agree as long as it's not big bulky stuff. You can always decide later on to donate or discard but you can never get it back if you make the decision too quickly to let it go. It's a regret you don't want to have.
Wishing you all some measure of peace today.
I liked your comment about being a grieving widow or widower doesn't have to define our total existence. I have of course heard that before but never really stopped to think about it. Sometimes it's easy to fall into that rut, it's one of the few things that seem real anymore our pain. Diane's dying has taught me a lot of things, mostly bad but also that Life is fragile and death can happen when you least expect it. I hate being alone without Diane but it's the reality I face. I have two Step Daughters that have lost both of their parents, two Grandsons that their Fathers aren't in their life much, and a Father in Law that is 92 and misses his Daughter. At times when I find it hard to go on for myself I go on for them, by trying to be there for them it has helped heal myself too. Everybody has there own things to help heal, the trick is you have to be willing to acknowledge the thought of healing and finding a Life without your Loved one. I recently went to San Francisco to visit my son. It felt weird and sometimes wrong without Diane. I had a talk with myself and when I saw something I knew Diane would like I would think to myself, you would Love this I hope you can experience it through me Dear. It made it feel a little bit more okay.
Dear Mary Clough,
Like everyone else here, I relate to your feelings of depression, and has been said several times already, no apologies necessary ever here with this family - we all know this pain as Roland so well expressed.
Yesterday Steve and I entered a garage where Larry stored so much of the inventory for his antique/collectible business - facing the overwhelmingly daunting (at least for me until now) task of disposing of the contents before listing the home for sale. Within minutes I knew I just couldn't stay in there one more second - everywhere I looked brought back such a flood of feelings that I physically felt the weight bearing down on me.
I walked out, and sat on a bench facing the woods trying to analyze why I was still so affected by seeing "a bunch of junk" as I usually referred to it. I came to the understanding that those were things Larry had planned to repair/restore and take to shows or put into shops - plans that were not to be, and here sat before me the concrete evidence of his absence. So many unfulfilled dreams...so much unrealized potential. So much pain.
Mary, this will be with me, and with us all, for the rest of our lives, but it need not be the defining characteristic of ourselves forever - a grieving widow/widower.
Allow the sadness, the tears, and sometimes the anger to be, and when you want to share with us those feelings, we are always here, and as Marsha says - without any judgement ever.
Wishing you peace today -
It is quite normal for us to fall into depression no matter how long we have dealt with our loss. As we face each new tomorrow the weight of our loss comes and goes just like the tides of the ocean. Sometimes I find myself so far removed from where I was 2 and a half years ago to waking up feeling exhausted and alone such as today. Last night I dreamed of having a memorial service for my Mark, something I didn't do after he had passed. It was his request that I donate his body to science, which I did. The program takes care of the details and they can keep your loved one for up to one year before they are finished. Mark was kept for 4 months; I was still reeling from deep depression and loneliness. Fortunately for me I had found Legacy and received plenty of support. Mark and I had no close friends at the time of his passing and I was at a loss as to what to do with his cremains. With the help I found here and with the help of a very close friend of mine from work I settled on placing his cremains in a lamp that I found. (one of my hobbies is finding discarded lamps and re-purposing them into something better).
Since then a lot of changes have happened to my life and more changes are going to happen which involves moving back to Dallas which is where I was when Mark passed. When I left Dallas, I had found a church and made new friends, plus I had also made a very special and new friend and I found myself moving to New Jersey. Talking and making plans for our future I now feel it necessary to plan a small memorial service and complete Mark's last request. He wanted to be returned to the earth and a tree planted over his cremains. Just seems the natural thing to do once we get settled into our new home in Dallas. I was not expecting this to weigh in on me as did last night, my mind was playing out each and every word, detail and events leading up to it. So today I feel exhausted in a good way, as if another weight has been lifted. The urgency, guilt and overwhelming feeling of sadness and apprehension (for today at least) has subsided. Not sure when I will follow thru with the plans of Mark's memorial, I just know that it will take place and that I will be ok because I have so many brothers and sisters on this site supporting me in ways that still amaze me.
So please come back here often and post, when you do you help yourself and your post will help someone else, this I know for sure. Thank you Mary I am sending you hugs, cause you need them, take care dear sister.
Dear Trina ... Thank you for the lovely things you said about me. It honestly hurts my heart when I see members of my extended family suffer so through such painful grief. I know so well how hurtful it can be and how sneaky grief can be; we can be doing fairly well for a day or more and suddenly out of nowhere the grief blind-sides us and I still can get that way, but not as often. I believe in time we simply get tired of grief dragging us down, turn to our deceased loved one and also for some, religion and decide to carry the torch for our beloved spouses and pass on their wisdom which we learned from them with a mixture of who we are. That's quite a gift they left behind for us so as miserable as I can feel at times I think of that and want to do the best I can to honor Ernie. It takes time and it doesn't come easy, but I'm so proud of each and every person on here because grief is the toughest journey we will ever take, but it's not the end of a beautiful life in the future.
Sending hugs your way
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