Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 2 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 Marsha H 2 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.
Sandfly....I just read your post and my heart breaks for you even though I feel the same way. One of the things I found most helpful when I first found this site was when someone else took the words and thoughts from my head and typed them here. At that point I knew I found "my people"....people who actually understood. Until then, I thought something was wrong with me. I didn't understand the depths of this grief until I lost Ken and so I thought I was wrong for feeling the way I was feeling. Even now at 17 months out, I want nothing more than to be with him. I tell him all the time that I don't know how much longer I can do this. My end game is still what it's always been, to spend eternity with my soul mate, my one true love. Unfortunately for me, it's something that's going to have to wait for now. I have 4 beautiful nieces that I want to watch grow up, I have a couple of nephews that are just about there (18 & 21) and Ken would be SO MAD at me if I did anything to hurt myself so I'll stay put until the good Lord calls me home Himself. The good thing is time doesn't exist in Heaven so for him, it'll be the blink of an eye and I'll be there. I too have Ken's ashes here in my bedroom. It makes me feel better to have him close even though I know he's with me wherever I go.
You have found your people too......those of us who understand in a way that others who have not experienced this profound loss could. Please reach out to us anytime. Many times I've wished we all lived close enough that I could give you a hug in person but I'll have to send you this cyber hug instead.
Michael......I'm still trying to catch up on the posts so I just read yours now. I lost my husband Ken on 1/13/16 which I also note as the day my life ended as well. I still cry for him most days so what you're feeling is normal, even having trouble with going into your living room. I too have difficulty being around family when it's a family gathering. I'm fine if I see someone individually but with family gatherings, such as today at my brother's house for a Father's Day cookout, I notice the family is incomplete because Ken is not there. Last weekend I went to Ken's brothers' house to visit my father in-law. It was nice to see them and I know Ken would want me to but if I don't initiate the contact, it would never happen. I hope coming here helps you realize you're not alone and what you feel is normal........even if it doesn't feel normal.
Sending a hug your way.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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