Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 17 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 Kaela Roster Federle. Last reply by Mary. Jane 17 hours ago.
Started by Chris Sky. Last reply by deborah peck Sep 12.
Started by Andrew Berenyi Jr.. Last reply by deborah peck Aug 22.
Sara, You are right. It is bittersweet. I want him physically by my side at all times. If only wishes could come true . . . Debbie
Debbie.....I'm glad to hear you're maintaining your smoke free status. I hope you're feeling better because of it. I can imagine the weight being lifted after selling this last property but it must be bittersweet as well.
Beard....You've validated my feelings about never seeking professional therapy for this grief. I wouldn't ever consider it unless I knew the therapist had the personal first hand experience of losing a spouse. Without that experience, you can't counsel someone.
Mary Jane....In regards to saying goodbye, my husband and I did not have that chance despite his illness. He had been sick since 2008 with various serious medical issues that I won't get into right now. He had always managed to bounce back so we had the same expectation this time. He had been in the hospital for a month when he passed but it was only those last 3 days that I was really concerned that it wasn't going to end well. Prior to that, I really thought he'd be coming home so we never talked about him not or said goodbye. I will forever regret that we were not given the chance. We were the couple who said I Love You to each other every day several times a day for the 30 years we were together so there's no doubt in my mind that he knew how loved he was but even still, I wanted an actual goodbye. I always thought I'd be able to hold him in my arms as he passed so I feel cheated. Unfortunately, nothing will ever take that feeling away.
Good night all. Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover or Trina....the Bengali New Year, I hope your celebrations were peaceful and joyous.
I've read with particular interest recent posts about dreams and signs. I dream about my husband every night. It brings me great comfort. I believe that I dream of him so my subconscious can help my conscious self deal with the reality of his death. At the moment I wake, when I am still between dream-state and wakefulness, my mind has an internal debate. I briefly think that he is still with me only to immediately accept that he is gone.
Mary Jane asked if my husband's death was sudden or if we had time to say goodbyes. It was sudden. He was hospitalized for a seizure and released to rehab for what was to be a few days. We were joking and having fun on Saturday. I asked if I should spend the night with him that night. He told me to go home. When I returned the next morning he was unresponsive. Despite heroic medical intervention, he passed away 89 hours without recovering consciousness. I stayed by his side and talked to him and felt him talking to me even though he was not awake and did not say any words.
I hope sharing helps those of you who have questions concerning dreams or signals. I have signals too but will save those for a later post.
I hope everyone has a better day today than yesterday. HUGS! Debbie
Sweet - that worked!
Please know that each of you remain in my heart and prayers. I agree with everyone who credits this group as being a Godsend. Like others, I stumbled upon this group late one night when searching for a lifeline. I joined and began to read posts. I quickly discovered that every member "gets it". I found a group of caring and loving friends who soon became family . . . how miraculous is this?
I remain smoke free at 7 weeks. I took Chantix and utilized a mentor provided by the American Cancer Society. My personality is the type where I need to maintain focus and choose not to smoke. The cravings are gone. I'm just sharing this for anyone considering quitting. You can do it too if you desire . . . I promise!
I've been a bit absorbed over the past few weeks dealing with the sale of my last remaining rental property. My son is an awesome realtor and sold it quickly. He has been dealing with the details and insuring that everything proceeds smoothly. We settle on the 28th of this month. Meanwhile, I've contracted with an estate sale company to hold a sale at the house starting Thursday of this week. Bob and I had what I refer to as a purposely complicated life. 5 years ago we owned 6 properties including turn key rentals. Selling this last rental is so freeing. Deciding to sell many of the furnishings, artwork, lamps, etc. is also significantly freeing. At the same time, it is often emotionally draining to actually make this happen. You know I will be happy dancing, big time, 2 weeks from today. Debbie
Good morning friends, I am sorry that I have been MIA. I tried to post again and again it went into cyberspace. I just read Mary Jane's note that posts seem to disappear when not posted on page 1. I'm going to try this now and see what happens. Debbie
Mary.Jane ... Ernie had pancreatic cancer and I was so busy researching, finding a good specialist, Ernie and I honestly talked about it, but death was never in one sentence, but just hope even though I knew down deep pancreatic cancer is fatal. We had some time at home and we were both stressed to the max and both of us slept a lot. I tried to keep a our usual routine up until he was too much into a weakened state. When he finally went into hospital hopefully having Whipple surgery to remove the tip of his pancreas (giving him 5 years more of life hopefully) the doctors found the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. Ernie was full of painkillers and seeing things and I did tell every day, 3 times a day how much I loved him and he would parrot the same back to me, but not sure he understood what I was saying. Then he got so bad he was transferred to Hospice and I met him there explaining where he was because he was so disorientated. I was going to sleep over-night as they had a cot there and his breathing was labored, but he refused oxygen and didn't want me to stay that night. I asked if I could come back in the morning and stay the whole day and sleep over-night with him and he weakly smiled and said yes. I came home and sat up all night having this dreaded feeling he wasn't going to make it much longer and sure enough I got a phone call from Hospice telling me to hurry as Ernie was dying. I was in shock and it took me a good 15 minutes to let my brain process what I'd heard. I then phoned my girlfriend to drive me because I was in no shape to drive and just as we were leaving the house Hospice phoned and said Ernie had passed away. I laid with him for awhile and when the doctor came in I held Ernie's hand. I felt it was all a nasty joke and Ernie was a tease and I expected him to open his eyes and laugh, but he never did. Did I feel I had said everything I wanted to say to him? No! Between heavy painkillers and his weakened state along with hallucinations I'm not sure he heard me, but one thing I know that he's around and he knows how much I loved him as I always had his best interests at heart. For those that sadly didn't have a chance to say goodbye because of a sudden death far too quickly, they too know how much their wife or husband loved them because they were there!
Chuck, you so eloquently describe this time of year to be a time of renewal, rebirth, and reawakening, so may peace visit us all during this special time.
Steve, thank you for posting the beautiful poem, very touching.
Marsha, so glad to hear that your fur baby is better now and has a new lease on life. What a relief it must be for you!
Mary Jane, like you, I consider myself blessed that Joseph and I had nine months to process, talk, and share our thoughts and feelings with each other after we got Joseph's "death sentence," his terminal lung cancer diagnosis. Even though the nine months sped by in the blink of an eye, I feel grateful that we had time to say what we wanted to say to each other. We held hands and said good-bye as Joseph took his last breath. He was only 49 years old. I realize that even in the darkest of circumstances, even in tragic circumstances, there is room for feeling grateful...
Wishing everyone here peace at Easter and Passover, especially to those who observe. On a side note, 14th April is Bengali New Year (1424); I am of Bangladeshi origin. So this indeed is a special time of year for many religions and cultures. May all the good in the universe converge and bring us all peace and healing also to the rest of suffering humanity all over the world.
Mary.Jane ... Dreams of our spouses good or bad is part of grief. It's a shock to realize we are alone without our beloved spouse.
When Ernie first passed away I had one terrible dream where I was my age and he was 23 years old, the same age when I met him. We were in a Hippy shop and I was looking in a back room at some things and when I came out he had his arm around a very pretty girl dressed Hippie-Style. I asked what was going on and he looked me directly into my eyes and said, 'I don't love you anymore.' I woke up with a start and felt nauseated and began to doubt if he ever loved me, but as time went on I knew he did and it was just the shock of losing him. We dream every 1/2 hour and if we didn't we'd virtually go insane (I studied the brain and dreams) several years ago. Our nightmares are within seconds of us just wakening from REM sleep and that's why we can remember most nightmares or, at time some pleasant dreams as if they were right there with you. I had a few more dreams of Ernie and one I had my head on his lap (a habit we had together) and his hands were cupping my face, but when I started to look up at his face he disappeared. I've never had a dream where I've actually seen his face. I wouldn't get too upset over your dream and I myself believe it's caused by a feeling of being abandoned from someone we loved for years or in some cases just a short time.
Mary.Jane ... Time does slowly take away the gut-wrenching feeling we went through, but, the first year is the toughest and slowly we get our own routine going, but, we never forget our spouses. The brain helps in dealing with intense grief; often making us sleep more, crying more after the recent loss until everything seems to flow right out of us leaving us exhausted and no place to go, but acceptance. However, we must be careful too because grief can be a sneaky thing; it leads us to believe at times we are swiftly moving forward and we are moving forward as each day passes, but, not as fast as we think. Our brain sends out chemicals (if you want to get scientific) to help us through the intensity of that grief. I personally felt I had been sleeping for just over a year. I walked around like a zombie, not my usual out-going self and felt dead inside. I detested having to talk to people to a degree (not like me at all) and I had learned the inability of not laughing or enjoying myself as family and friends did. This is not a setback at all and it is good to accept the fact we have to recreate ourselves. It's not an easy journey by far.
Some people who have lost their spouse can pass away fairly quickly as well; others just go through life waiting to pass away to join their loved one. We are all different. I feel if we have a soul mate that life isn't correct in our minds and nothing appeases some people. It's 'the waiting game' to join them, but some live robotic in nature until their time comes. Others can forge forward rather quicker and others can find another spouse (not replacing their true loves) while yet others don't want to have another relationship. It just depends on the person.
I would say (and this is my opinion) you have accepted the fact Bob is deceased and not coming home. You are tired because you've run the gauntlet of intense grief and felt so alone without him and well as missing him. Now, you know you have to strive for a new life for yourself. I wish you luck my friend.
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