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. Last reply by Sara Murphy 5 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.
To all of you that are missing your beloved,I am sending thoughts of love and strength and A BIG HUG! I wish I could give you all a REAL hug though. I have just realised that have been keeping track of how many (human) hugs I have received in the last 5 months.Three! I now live alone and have no family close by and a few friends which are great but also not close by or superbusy with their lives.The last 2 hugs I received were on David's death anniversary last week. 2 in one day! I was not aware of how much I missed basic physical human contact until I got a hug recently. I was almost shocked at the sensation of warmth and 'humanness'. I felt STARVED! Of course it would pale compared to a hug from my beloved David and I would give anything just for one more. Still it really shook me and it made me realise how alone I really am. I do have a cat, Mr Pip and recently I have rescued a 7 year old dog called Nellie. They are a real comfort and I hug them. I hope you are fearing better than me in your quota of hugs, they do help a lot!
Chuck I'm so sorry for all you've been thru and so glad you've found support and acceptance on here. Aloss of a spouse is a tragic thing to experience and then to be ill yourself it must make it twice as hard, I hope your health is better now. I'm hoping this panicky thing gets done soon as it is very hard to start the day like that. I'm glad you had a friend that cared enough to get you moving again. At first my friends but mainly my family was always around, to the point I had to tell them to go get on with their lives that I had to get used to whatever my life will be like now, But now I don't see most of them very much so its very hard for me to say I need you and when they call or come over my response is I'm fine, so I need to quit trying to show everyone I am "fine" as I don't want to bother anyone.its just hard that there are no rules on how to do this. When my 1st husband passed away I was very young 31 with three little girls to look after but this time I am by myself so don't know what to do with myself anymore or what I even want to do but I guess I wull figure it out eventually
I too had the worst fears upon waking, trembling and wailing like a banshee as my mind wondered what had happened to make this all take place.
It was six months later that a close friend, who had started calling on the phone daily since I returned home, finally said that he felt I was getting worse and needed to find some support group somewhere - he lived 4 hrs away and was frustrated and helpless that he couldn't do anything except listen to my tears and ravings daily. He wouldn't hang up that day until I promised that I would go on the internet and look for an online group, since I was still not ready to go out very far from home. Also, the local groups all met in churches around here, and I couldn't face walking into a room with faces turned to me as I said I had just lost my husband. One look of disapproval or judgement and I would have gone to pieces. This site proved to be the perfect place for me, and it was actually the first and only one I visited. I too am not familiar with online groups or posting, so had to learn the ropes by reading and asking questions. Everyone here has been patient, supportive, and accepting.
I just want to say that that waking to feelings of panic and fear will indeed dispel with time, but for us all how long is individual. What has not left, and I suspect will never do so, is the sadness that weighs down my heart every time I find myself going through morning rituals and remember that once upon a time I was doing it with and for my dear Larry. Some days all it takes is a glimpse at something of his, or a song on the radio - or just hearing a blue jay call from outside...they were his favorites, along with cardinals.
I kept Larry's belongings everywhere for a long time, and would feel and smell his clothing, or put on his cologne quite often. I eventually made a CD of music that both expressed my grief and love for him, and had some of his favorite singers, like Doris Day. I play it often, and although it makes me cry, it also makes me feel close to him somehow.
I've rambled enough for now - I hope you find here that same comfort and friendship that I have, and that each day brings you some moments of peace.
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost Larry April 22, 2015 to cancer. He was diagnosed in the early fall of 2014 with melanoma that had metasticzsed to his lung. It was made clear that it was terminal, and being 78 he was not a good candidate for surgery, or even traditional chemo. We were offered a chance of prolonging his life through entering a trial for an immunotherapy drug, which we did. The side effects were pretty bad for him, so he was on and off the schedule for months, and was still very active when he wasn't feeling bad. I was trying to be the guy like in the movies who was strong, supportive, and positive for him. I don't think I pulled it off very well at all, and everyone around us saw that clearly. He had a few brief hospitalizations related to the side effects, and by late winter I was feeling exhausted and ill. On April 3rd I collapsed at home, and was admitted to the ICU with multiple organ failure, intubated, and placed in an induced coma. Larry meanwhile was taken off the drugs and told the last treatment available now was an intensive course of chemo for two weeks. He had developed blood clots that spread (side effect), and one was right over his heart, another in his neck where it would go straight to his brain if dislodged. He visited me in the ICU on the days he was strong enough, driven there by a friend. I have some vague memories of his visits, but it all is jumbled and hazy in my mind. He had a stroke on the morning of the 22nd, and passed at 7PM that night, just two floors below me in the hospital.
It was many weeks before I was released to a rehabilitation center to learn to stand and walk again, then home to this empty house. I used a walker and was confined to the first floor, sleeping on the couch in the family room all day and night when I wasn't nervously wandering from room to room sobbing. Time of day meant nothing to me - 3AM was no different than 3PM, other than the daylight trying to come through the drawn drapes and shades. Like Mary Jane, I kept the TV on night and day, and drifted in and out awakening to different overnight shows and infommercials - it was just there to kill the unbearable silence.
(Continued in part 2)
thank you all for your beautiful stories, I'm so sorry for your losses, even though you think at the time that no one can possibly be going thru this much pain I know it isn't true, my husband Greg was also a very giving person that everyone loved, he would give anyone anything they needed, he was always so afraid of something happening to me even though my health is great and his wasn't for about 5 years,I get out of bed every day as soon as I wake up to try to not let the panicky feeling get the most of me,. the 31st will be our 26th anniversary so to celebrate I bought this glider for our porch that we had seen in Tennessee but didn't buy at the time so Ive been scouring the internet to try to find one like it and had given up, then my daughter and I went to a festival in our town and there was the glider, it was like he knew how much I needed this
Deborah, I know what you mean about waking being so bad. For months I would wake up as I always have only to remember she was gone absolutely never to come back and I would freak out. Slowly that will stop and you will know immediately that he is gone. It is better not to go though the having to remind yourself.
My wife died in May, 2016 and I have not moved her clothes or things on her dresser. We had been together for 45 years and I never thought she would go before me. I have been in a wheelchair for 14 years and ill some. She was in great shape, but was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she died 5 months later. I am still devastated. Our 4 dogs give me pleasure, but little else does. We had no children and I have no family. I am some better as I have come to accept that she is gone.
I lost Mark November, 31st, 2014, he and I were together for 25 years. Mark was a very giving person, more so than I, he would always give of himself and his last dollar if someone he saw looked as if they needed it. We both loved animals and we had our dog Bella (a mix of Mastiff and Rhodesian Ridgeback) 80 lbs of pure love for us and for anyone brave enough to get past her size. She loved humans, period, other animals she saw as fair game so we kept her away from dogs her size. She wasn't aggressive and Mark could snap his fingers and she would back down. Me, instead of me walking her, it was usually the reverse. After he passed on, Bella responded daily to my moods and emotions. She would leave the room while I was crying, if I crying for too long (according to her timetable) she would come back in the room and take her big paw and place it on top of me as if to say "hey, I need to go out". So, if I had not had Bella I really do not know how I got out of bed each day, her timetable was set long before Mark passed.
One Sunday in the December of 2014, Bella and I went out for our walk, I noticed that someone was going through the dumpster in our parking lot for the Apartment complex. Bella wanted to check this out, I tugged on her collar and we went on home. As I got inside the door, something popped into my head reminding me that maybe we had something in our apartment that that person may need, something no else inside needed anylonger. So I peeked out of the window towards the dumpster, and someone had thrown away clothing and the man was collecting things and even putting some of them on, he was obviously cold. So, I started collecting things out of closets to take down, things I no longer wanted and took them to the dumpster, The man saw me coming and asked if I needed help (my hands were full and I was wobbly with my load). I said no, he said, I noticed you live upstairs and be glad to help you...you don.t need to worry, I would not come in you could just pile it up outside. I said thanks, but I need to get the exercise, I have a bad ankle and walking helps. He said ok and went back to what he was doing, and looked over at what I put down and asked if I had more stuff like that, he collects stuff and sells it to the local thrift store. By this time I could hear Mark in my head telling me to help this guy out, so I said yes, wait here I will return with another load. Going back I collected some of Mark's long sleeve shirts still lying on the closet floor that needed washing, scooped them up and headed back along with items I new he could get a good price for. He was really happy and I told him I had more. He asked if I might happen to have a jacket or coat that I no longer needed (the sun was out but it was still about 25 degrees out). I got back to the apartment and Mark's overcoat was staring at me, I hesitated, and then out of nowhere, in my mind something said what are you going to do with it, it is too big for you to wear? So I grabbed the full length wool overcoat along with all of Mark's sweaters, dug $20.00 out of our loose change jar and headed back down. The man broke into tears, I thought I was going to loose it, but, instead I felt very differently, I wasn't sad or even wanting to cry, I felt something I haven't felt for awhile, satisfaction that I was helping someone else in more need than I was. I went back to the apartment and cried, telling Mark, OK, I get it now.
This opened the door for me to move on to the task of cleaning out the closets, plus I had move coming up, moving from the upstairs apartment to the one just below our apartment come January. Bella and I saw this same man on many of our walks, but, that's another story. However we choose to handle our grief is up to us...Hugs
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