Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 1 hour 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 8 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.
Mark had become ill with a genetic neurological disease present in the males of his family. His symptoms were similar to someone with Parkinson's and these started showing up around 2004 while we were living in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
As time passed, Mark became more dependent on me and I became his caregiver, he could not work and to keep us afloat I had to leave him home each day. He could care for himself with limitations, these limitations arrived in the form of seizures that would last 30 seconds, but afterwards, he was weak, scared and it drew him down into depression. This had the residual affect of him not wanting to leave the house. His last two years were perhaps his worst and as each work day would arrive so would my dread of leaving him alone not knowing if he would suffer one of these seizures or not and if he did he would not tell me, but I could tell once I got home.
So as protection for myself and for him, he and I went out very rarely, he always was happiest when the weekends, holidays or when I took time off from work. We spent those times becoming closer and closer, just by spending hours talking, watching movies, he liked his electronics so he was always sharing what he found online, the music he liked and downloaded and the many discussion groups he joined. On the times he felt like getting out we would go to one of the electronic stores and spend hours as he reviewed all the latest technology, sometime we would grab a table in one of the malls and sit watching the crowds go by while he played with his tablet, listened to his music and we both would be sipping on coffee or specialty teas (his favorite shop for tea was Teavana). Then he would be ready to head home so we could watch movies and just be together.
The day he passed he had had one of his worst seizures the night before and afterwards he had trouble walking or standing up, when I finally got him in bed he fell asleep, I sat up all night (or tried too) keeping watch over him. I did fall asleep eventually and when I woke up there he was standing in the bathroom brushing his teeth and rubbing his head. He looked as if he was completely exhausted, as we talked about what had happened, he did not want to got to the emergency room he just wanted to go back to bed and rest and said I should do the same as I looked worse than he felt. So we went back to bed and I waited until he was asleep before I drifted off. I woke up because his breathing was very labored and loud. It was then I realized he was in trouble as I was trying to wake up I watched him take his last breath, the room was suddenly quiet, he was gone, he was free and I was screaming and crying loudly. This is when all the emotions hit, anger, shock, guilt, loss, loneliness, disbelief and more and more all circling back to recycle again and again. this is why this site is so important to me, hugs for now, take care Russ and Joanna, come back as you feel comfortable and as needed.
Hugs to all
I too felt as if I was imposing my emotions on friends at work and family members and tried to internalize these thoughts within myself. I think that is what drove me to find an outlet and so began my search online for grief counseling, support groups or anything I could google about grief. I literally felt as if I was drowning and loosing my mind at the same time. At first friends at work listened and even my family listened, but no one was really hearing me or I wasn't communicating my emotions fully. At the time of Mark's passing we lived in Dallas, TX and my family lives in Jacksonville, FL. I made a trip home and was expecting everyone to understand the pain of my loss, sadly they did not, they really wanted too but could not. No one really understands until it happens to you. My reaction was to pull myself inward and put up walls of protection, this worked for a very short time for me. I had spent my whole life pushing my emotions down and so isolating myself seemed to be the right choice. I could not have been more wrong in my life, thank God I found this site. As I shared my status with everyone I discovered that I was not alone and there were others experiencing what I was struggling with. Little by little as I opened up, some of the pressure was being released, as I stripped away the layers I found someone I had lost along the way through this life, it was me.
Believe me, we all understand your need to verbalize your feelings, and you reluctance to burden those around you with your grieving. This I think is common to many, if not all of us. It certainly holds true for me. Unfortunately there is much lack of understanding by those who have never experienced a loss of their spouse, with expectations that by now we should have moved on or gotten over it. I want to ask those people if they think my loss is like having the flu - wait it out and you'll be all better. Larry is gone - he won't be coming back. I will never be the man I was before he passed, and that makes some people around me possibly feel confused about what to say or do to "make me feel better". If only they would just realize that all I truly want or need now is for them to let me be who I am now, and go through what I have to in my grief, without getting upset or impatient with me.
I have learned something very special from this family - that once I began sharing and listening to others in their grief, my desire to give them the comfort and support they so needed was doing for me what no other aspect of my life was...I was beginning to heal. Slowly and painfully to be sure, but as I felt the warm sensation that I was actually doing something for someone else again, I stopped thinking that my own life was going to be just a long stretch of tears and loneliness until I joined Larry.
My hope for you right now is that you will allow yourself to share as openly and frequently as you wish, knowing that you are not in any way only "taking" - your story will resonate with us here, different parts with different people - and blessedly with some like yourself, Joanne, and others new to this site. Some will be very fresh in their grief, having lost their loved ones only weeks or months before. They, like I did one night two years ago, may read something you write and say to themselves that this is where they will find someone who understands. In short, you have already contributed to us by just being here. Bless you, and wishing you a peaceful day -
Good morning and thanks to everyone who have welcomed me to the group. I hope you don't regret it because at this stage in my grief one of the most prevalent things is the chronic need to talk about it. Ever since Ray passed away I have wanted to talk about his passing and I internalized these feelings because I felt guilty for imposing my emotions on family and friends. I look forward to meeting new friends here and hopefully I will not be only a taker here but also a giver, Good bless and hugs...Russ
Hi Russ. I am a newbie here too. Welcome.
My name is Steve, I lost the love of my life, Mark, on November 31st, 2014, at the young age of 50, I was 67 and our life together measured 25 years. February of 2015 is when I stumbled onto Legacy, and as Marsha stated, this is truly a site of angels. All members usually have their email accounts set so they get notifications when someone posts, so no matter what you want to say or need help with, or just need to vent, you have found the right place for help and understanding. Below is a poem I found in my first year with Legacy and I like to share it from time to time, especially when someone new joins. My prayer is that you will find some comfort from this anonymous poem,
For those who believe:I wish I could tell you of all that God has plannedBut if I were to tell you, you wouldn’t understandBut one this is for certain though my life on earth is o’reI am closer to you now than I was ever beforeAnd to my very many friends, trust God knows what is bestI’m still not far away from you, I’m just beyond the crestThere are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climbBut together we can do it taking one day at a timeIt was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you tooThat as you give unto the world so the world will give to youIf you can help somebody who is in sorrow or in painThen you can say to God at night my day was not in vainAnd now I am contented that my life was worthwhileKnowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smileSo if you meet somebody who is down and feeling lowJust lend a hand to pick him/her up as on your way you go.When you are walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind,I’m walking in your footsteps only half a step behindAnd when you feel the gentle breeze or the wind upon your faceThat’s me giving you a great big hug or just a soft embraceAnd when it’s time for you to go from that body to be freeRemember you’re not going you are coming here to me.I will always love you.Anonymous
Please come back and post, we are here with you and we will all keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
Sending hugs your way tonight, cause you need some...
Allow me to add my welcome, as well as to share with Marsha my sorrow that your loss has led you here. I lost my husband Larry in April of 2015, so understand completely when you say it feels like yesterday. Marsh is right - there are angels here, or at least i think of the many accepting and compassionate people I have met here as such. There are things I say here that i know the "outside" world would never understand. Instead, my Legacy family as I call them listen without judgement, offering only support and immeasurable outpourings of comfort and love. I would not have made it this far without this place, and still lean on everyone here when I find myself down and feeling lost and confused, Even two years + later this can happen easily and unexpectedly, but I don't need to tell you that - you are living it just like I am. On August 27th Larry and I would have been celebrating our 34th anniversary of the day I proposed to him. It will mot be any easier this year than last or the one before I fear to approach that day and the memories it is already awakening. But I do know that my family will be here to listen and hold me up if it gets to be too much. no one can or should have to go through our grieving alone and feeling isolated and misunderstood. Thanks to this blessed site, no one ever has to - including you Russ, our new friend. So again, I welcome you to our family, and as Marsha so beautifully said, there is always someone here to listen and help however we can.
Love, (don't freak out - I sign all my posts that way to everybody)
Welcome Russ .... I am so sorry you have to join this grief forum, but thank heavens it's here. You are on a special bereaved forum right now when you posted. I have been on this forum since my husband passed in 2011 of pancreatic cancer and it really helped me get through the worst part of my grief. The members here are terrific (angels) and you can say anything on a post that you feel without fear of judgment. We basically are all in the same boat. There are several men who also come onto the site.
This is the forum you should be on to connect with many members and if you want particular friends on a private section of the forum look at the top of the page (in blue) and click onto 'Friends - invite.' This will go to anyone you click on to ask if they want to be friends with you and no one thus far has declined. If you click onto the name above a post it will take you to their private postings after you have been given permission to become friends. This way if you connect with someone that you feel would understand your situation better you can exchange email address' or simply speak privately.
You will learn much from the members here. Some have a lot of red tape to go through after a spouse has passed away and all of will offer help as well as get you through the rough spots as far as how difficult this may be for you. Some have difficulties with family or friends understand our grief while others find special holidays or long weeks difficult to get through. Many of us just release our tensions by leaving posts about what we are feeling on a given day. I have learned many things here to help me in my grief.
Hope you keep posting and if you need further help just leave a post again and someone will answer you. Generally there is always someone here to help. I live in British Columbia, Canada so the time zone is different from the U.S.
I have just found out about the Bereaved Spouses group. Is it just a matter, to participate, to sign on to "Legacy Connect"? ...and then click on Bereaved Spouse? Are there any personal meeting groups for bereaved spouses? Thanks for any direction...
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