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Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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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.

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My love is gone...

Started by Chris Sky. Last reply by Mary. Jane on Sunday. 15 Replies

I used to love long week ends.

Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H Jun 6. 2 Replies

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Comment by Steve on June 18, 2017 at 7:24am

Comment by Steve on June 18, 2017 at 7:23am

Sandfly and All my Legacy family,

Mark and I, long before his passing, had discussed each other’s final wishes should the unthinkable happen.  For Mark, his choice was simplistic and yet thoughtful; he wanted his body donated to research and his cremains spread somewhere of my choosing or placed in an urn until I passed and then have our ashes added together before releasing.  In either scenario, it would be my choice, Mark knew he had a neurological disorder of the genetic kind that was still not understood or researched to the extent of other disorders.  Anyone born with this disease was given the same treatments for Parkinson’s as this was the closest thing and it was easier for those with it to just say they have Parkinson’s.

I followed his request and arranged for Southwestern University Medical to pick him up from the coroner.  Then in turn notified me when they were finished with details of where and how I could arrange for pickup of his cremains.  His cremains were in a black box which was placed in a beautiful velvet bag, the color was the darkest navy blue I have ever seen, it looked black until the light would hit it and then you could see the navy blue.  Just so happens that Mark’s favorites colors were all the royal colors of red, blue, green and gold.  I decided to place his cremains into a lamp, so off I went looking in second hand stores hoping to find the right lamp, nothing really in my mind, but I would know when I saw it.  And find it indeed, first trip out with all the colors he loved.  The lamp needed some repair, but not too much and this is something I enjoyed anyway, finding discarded lamps and repurposing them.

I also went online and found a small cobalt container with a Celtic cross that one could place a small amount of cremains inside, it is attached to a leather necklace and can be worn if so inclined.

This all seemed to follow Mark’s wishes and so to this very day, each time I turn on the lamp I think of Mark and yes, most days I am saying good morning or good night to him, the smaller container is loosely draped around the neck of the lamp and hangs to the side, while going thru my first year without Mark I wore it 27/7, now I know where it is and can choose the occasion to bring Mark along with me.

I took a picture this morning of the lamp and will attempt to post it, might have to separate it separately, hope this helps others who may be struggling with similar decisions and also let them know that you are not crazy, spooky or otherwise; there is no right or wrong way to dealing with cremains or grief.  Just do what you feel is right, that is the correct choice for all.

Steve

Comment by Mary. Jane on June 17, 2017 at 10:01pm
Well, this day wasn,t bad at all! I spent it quietly, doing nothing...I dunno what I expected..I had my two bourbons and ginger ales, then ate 2 cookies..Cheryl's from online...watched The Golden Girls all day, I have a slight headache and feel a little sick from the sugary cookies..actually think the Nyasia was stress related from being afraid of how I MIGHT feel..but it was actually a better day than I have had in two weeks. Thanks to all who were concerned for me..I think that concern really helped.
You see, today would have been Bobs and mine 50th wedding anniversary. Yup, the big GOLDEN one. We never really celebrated anniversaries that much...and I know if he.d lived another year and a half he wouldn,t have wanted a big party or any fuss, which would have made me angry, and we would probably had a fight and I would have spent the day pouting. LOL
So, bye for now, Bob...it.s time to get on with my new life..I will love you forever and ever. Ironically, they said it wouldn,t last the first year...we got married 8 months after we met. We just knew we were meant to be together. We were the fortunate ones...everyone here is..because we had love...and there are so many people in this world who NEVER find what all of us here had, and live their entire lives lonely. Salute my friends...and goodnight to all.
Comment by Mary. Jane on June 17, 2017 at 9:17pm
Sandfly, I read your post this morning, and I have been thinking about it all day. Your words were as if I had written them...you said a lot of was is in my heart right now. My heartfelt advice to you, is to slow down...take tiny baby steps...get through one hour at a time...or one minute...that is what I try to do..because if I even THINK of accomplishing anything more, I become frozen...and overwhelmed. Your husband died one month to the exact DAY that mine did...the 23rd of Feb...and I am just now "waking up". I too have my husbands ashes sitting right next to me. I have plans to scatter them in time, but I find comfort in the fact they are right next to me. No, I don,t have an urn,,they are in the same plastic box from the mortuary...but I put them in a cloth bag, which has a print of paint splatters on the fabric, that my daughter and I found at the Dollar Tree...it is perfect...he was an artist, and it hides the name of the mortuary that handled his cremation. It will b awhile b 4 I scatter them, but that's ok. We have to wait until WE are ready...I have heard that we will know when the time is right, and I believe that.
I too, have thought of suicide..and also have the means to do it, but I don,t. I think there is a plan for those of us who are 'left behind', and I would like to see what it is. I think you would, too. At least for a few years...I also have a cat, and he gives my life purpose. We all need a purpose. I think it will be wonderful if you decide to finish your husbands book...but now is not the time. Just the THOUGHT of accomplishing something so major is going to be overwhelming, and cause you major stress..so I would put that on the back burner for awhile. What I WOULD do, is keep a journal..and write down thoughts or ideas for his book..when you think of them...I have a terrible memory since Bob died..so I try to write down everything I think I might want to remember.
Also, I TALK to Bob all day. I dunno if he is listening, but it gives me comfort..ok, I KNOW he is listening...Sandfly, hope is what keeps us going. And I know you have hope, as I do, otherwise we wouldn,t be here on this site.
I feel it is ok to be ANGRY! And GUILTY! We beat ourselfs up..by things like DIDN,t I do enough, or would he still be alive if I was there? I had left the room for a minute when Bob died..he wasn,t expected to die for months..but he died..we can,t keep beating ourselves up, we are not responsible for their death! It is ok to get angry...I too, imagine Bob flying through the stars, happy and at peace...then I look around at what is left of my life, and I get mad cuz I am left to pick up the pieces..as we all are here. They are free, and we are not..but I figure that life has other plans for us..so we go on one day at a time..as hard as that is, we do it. When Bob was sick, I wondered out loud if he wanted to en dit early..and he said NO..he wanted to "see this thing throug"? I thought that was very very brave. As for your pill attempt...it was NOT a FAILURE...it was a gift. You are pretty young yet, and maybe when all this pain gets better, some wonderful things will happen to you. I hope so.
.
Comment by DJ on June 17, 2017 at 4:21pm
Sandfly... so sorry for your loss. This site has been a lifeline for me. I was dazed for months, and in a fog for a couple years; perhaps I still am - I keep discovering odd things that I've done, failed to do, or just cannot seem to bring myself to do. All in good time I guess, and that time is different for each of us. The Angels on this site are each somewhere along the grief path, as reflected in their profound empathy.
My wife's ashes are beside me on the bed also: I placed them in a velvet pillow. I talk to her all the time, so I figured why not keep her ashes with me too?
Comment by Marsha H on June 17, 2017 at 4:02pm

Sandfly ...  It is very normal to have sleepless night in raw grief and every so often when you are more settled in life.  Thanks heavens for our pets as they too feel our grief and miss our other half.  I have a lovely Mahogany Box with my husband's ashes in them and also ashes of our past beloved pets and when I pass away my family will set the ashes free altogether.  You could also look at Urns if you prefer that.

I too had pains in my chest and was checked out, but it's a broken heart that causes that and will not cause a heart attack.  I know it's so easy to want to have the odd drink of alcohol and I could of, but stayed away from it as there is a lot of alcoholism in my family.  If you can't sleep night after night then please see your doctor.  Sleep and eating as best you can is essential to get through the grieving process and going for walks is also very important.  Thankfully my dogs got me up and walking and I've been doing it every since.

With your raw grief of course it's normal to feel as if your very soul has been torn out of your body; your heart aches and you feel alone (you can feel alone in a roomful of people) and feelings of no future, but there is a future for you and it's called, 'reinventing yourself.'  You will get stronger and better Sandfly so keep on moving and doing what you can manage.  Come here often and just vent.  If you can find the energy to do it try volunteering for a few hours because it does help.  I will admit that when my beautiful husband passed away in Hospice I just wished I could have done something to go with him, but it was not to be and that is quite normal as well.  I never did try to end my life for some strange reason.  Even all the heartache I went through and can still go through it's my dogs that keep me going as they too are getting older and need me.  Right now I find the loneliness the worse of grief. 

Don't push you yourself or be too hard on yourself trying to finish off your husband's book.  When in raw grief it is such a shock that one can't concentrate so wait until you have had time to heal where you can think clearly.  I too am writing a book about grief in hopes of helping others who are grieving, but there it sits in my computer as I go up/down with my emotions.  I know I will finish it eventually and so will you.

Your husband sounds much like mine and he was also very patient, kind, loved all animals, bird (Robins were his favorite) and I just noticed early in the evening last night that Humming Birds have started to come around and they never did before.  I take that as a sign from my beloved.

Sandfly, rest, try to eat as best you can, see your doctor so you can have a better sleep.  Although right now you feel as if the world has collapsed around you and everything you were use to and sharing with your spouse is gone you WILL get through this and you are stronger than you think.  To come here and read posts is concrete evidence you are not alone with you pain going through the journey of grief and we're here to help in any way possible. 

Big hugs

Marsha 

Comment by Sandfly on June 17, 2017 at 8:04am

Hello everyone, I am so tired but can't sleep.Sitting in bed with my cat purring away and my husband's ashes next to me.Must get him a proper box, I just want something really special  for him.

I have been having pains in my chest and palpitations and ended up going to the cardiologist. The good news is that I m not sick , my heart is just broken. I am quite proud of myself because I used to drink wine every night but I have stopped completely 2 months ago because it made me depressed afterwards.I am really missing it right now though.There is no respite to this pain,no hope for tomorrow. I don't see the point in being here at all. I try so hard to be grateful for what I have, and for what I have had. I pray for inspiration, to find a reason to live, to be compassionate and help others. I am still here because checking out is too selfish. I actually tried it the night they told me on the phone my husband died, while I was on the other side of the world. I failed. Just took a bunch of pills but got discovered quite quickly. I was in shock really. It just complicated things and I felt quite stupid afterwards. For failing, for actually trying to do it and I know I would never do it again. I have a goal which is to complete and publish my husband's book which was 3/4 finished when he died.  I gave myself till the end of this year but  every time I started looking I broke down so I gave myself more time. There is so much to do. It is a huge learning curve. He was so talented and clever. He was so kind. In the middle of winter he would get up before dawn and prepare warm sugar water for the birds. He loved birds. He used to say  he envied them soaring in the sky and he was sure they sometimes flew just for pure pleasure. I imagine his spirit to be  a beautiful energy of sparkles and light, whizzing around the universe just for fun. Free.

Comment by Marsha H on June 16, 2017 at 3:01pm

Michael ...  I am so sorry of the passing of your wife.  My husband passed away in 2011 of pancreatic cancer and was far too ill to receive chemo.  I can understand how difficult it was for you.  It is very normal in grief to feel as you do and even now after 6 1/2 years I still talk to my dear husband in our home or car and miss him like crazy, but, I find time going by and being on this site really helped me over the rough spots and now I remember my husband with fond memories and can get on with my life because I realized I was stronger than I thought I was.  Oh yes, I think of him often and still can get teary-eyed every so often.

Yes, I had difficulties being around not only my own small immediate family because I knew they didn't understand the great loss I had suffered and they tried to act as normal as possible for my sake, but I'd look at that empty chair at their dinner table and tear-up and it's been just the past 3 years I've been able to keep in contact with my husband's family.  I have to admit seeing his sister who resembles him  a lot difficult even though I was welcomed with open arms.  It just wasn't the same of course.  When you are ready reach out to her family as her parents lost a daughter and if she had siblings they lost a sister.  Each person grieves in their own way.  It could be for you the fear of crying in front of them or not knowing what to say, but please remember her family also misses her and you were part of her life and looking after her lovingly and they would certainly understand that.  Like it or not 'time' sets the course and you may become close with her family or, you may distance yourself as the years go by, but please give it a try.  Don't be afraid to express your absence.

Please keep coming here as we all completely understand how you feel and the problems grief can cause anyone of us.

A big hug (because you need it)

Marsha 

Comment by Sara Murphy on June 16, 2017 at 2:14pm

Chuck......I just read that today is the anniversary of your first meeting Larry and of your civil union.   I'm glad this year will be easier for you with Steve by your side.  I'm glad you're a "we" again, something I can't ever imagine for myself.  My brain won't allow it.

Oh, and ps........when you move to the Dallas area, you WILL need air conditioning.  No more drowned rat.

Comment by Sara Murphy on June 16, 2017 at 11:27am

Steve.......I just finished reading your story of finding your feathers and of how your friendship with Chuck developed into something more.  Thank you so much for sharing it.  I feel a deeper connection to you both just from reading what transpired over those months.  And there is certainly no doubt now that Mark and Larry pushed you both along to the path you are now on together. 

Love you both and wish you loads of happiness.

Sara

 

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