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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Started by David Heggi. Last reply by David Heggi Nov 22, 2017. 2 Replies

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Comment by Sara Murphy on September 7, 2017 at 10:19pm

Chuck....What a nice find.  I'm so happy you now have Larry's voice and his mannerisms as well.  I know that I love seeing candid pictures of Ken because it captures his "being" much more than posed pictures do.  I'm glad I'm one who never deletes voice mails because I have a few from Ken and periodically listen to them to hear his voice again.  It was never my intention to keep the messages because I thought I would lose him, it just happened that way and now I'm grateful for it.   I think you found the video at the exact time you were meant to find it.  Larry kniew when you were ready for it.   Two weeks ago I was cleaning out our motorhome and came across an envelope of pictures that one of Ken's friends had left there.  These pictures were from their guys weekend to Englishtown, NJ in 2004 for the NHRA drag races and there were a few nice group photos as well as candid shots.  I posted them on Facebook and his friends really appreciated the memories of such a fun weekend for them.  I'm sure Ken had a hand in  my finding them. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on September 7, 2017 at 9:36pm

Marsha....I'm sorry you were having a bad week.  I hope you've since had a couple of good weeks.  Please know that you're very much needed.  Your words of wisdom have helped me many times.  And of course, the work you do with the shelter dogs...those little guys need you too.

Comment by Sara Murphy on September 7, 2017 at 9:30pm

Debby.....that was wonderful that you found Greg's phone and get to have his voice on it.  I absolutely believe you heard him speak to you as I heard my husband on 2 occasions.   These signs are so important as even though we know they're with us, we still need the signs to help us truly believe it.  Thank you for sharing your story.

Comment by deborah peck on September 7, 2017 at 8:47pm

Chuck, I am so happy that you ended up with not only a recording of Larrys voice but also a video you will always treasure, I too believe God and Larry knew you needed this and led you to it when they thought you were ready for it. I have shared the phone recording with my family and have it saved on facebook so it is save, if mine disappears there is other copies, I am so sorry that his family didn't want recordings of your video, they do not know how precious the hearing and seeing our loved ones are to us .I ended up giving the actual phone to my daughter since there were messages to her son on it but not me so I saved the parts I wanted and she wept when I gave it to her and I knew it had its rightful owner. Hope you have a good night. Debby

Comment by Marsha H on September 7, 2017 at 2:15pm

Dear Michael ...

I am so sorry about your wife's fight re colon cancer and she is quite the strong woman to want you to find someone else to go on in the future.  When I working at Trans Mountain Pipeline one of my coworkers John was dying from brain cancer and he had everything set up for his wife to marry his best friend.  I found this rather odd, but now that I have lost my spouse I understand much more. 

I am so happy you have found a wonderful lady to share your life with and I'm sure you know just how fortunate you are.  I pray I am as lucky finding someone to be in my life.  Humans need someone to love and move forward in life.

That song was absolutely beautiful and I have to admit I couldn't watch it all through my tears.  Thank you for sharing that with us all.

God Bless and Hugs


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 7, 2017 at 12:41pm

Hello all, the diagram of the stages of grief came out a bit small and hard to read, so I will try again slightly larger

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 7, 2017 at 12:38pm

Hello Ray,

You are most certainly well into your path of healing from the things you have said, and i am happy that this is happening for you. Your description of your therapy session, and how your feelings were all over the place reminded me of a diagram a young lady posted here over a year ago. She had just lost her husband and was raising a 1 year old son while confronting her grief - she displayed such courage and grace in such a tragic situation that she became a sort of role model for me, and probably others here as well.

I am attaching that diagram,as her sharing got so many replies from us all saying how accurate it was. You and other newer members may find it appropriate and agree it fits you also. (Hello, Gretchen -  if you are reading this I hope all is well )

As Steve wrote to you, he and I found ourselves in the completely unexpected place of growing close to one another through our efforts to support and comfort each other in our grief. Whatever comes your way, it is my belief that Ray will have a hand in it, and wants for you nothing but happiness and to love and be loved.

Keep thinking the way you do, and know that in doing so you are undoubtedly becoming a role model for others here just as Gretchen was for me.

Have a peaceful day -

Love, Chuck

Comment by Russ Macaluso on September 7, 2017 at 11:52am

Thanks for your inspiring comment Steve.  I am so happy for you and Steve and wish you both a love that will grow with each day. From what I've read of your comments here I don't think there is much I can tell you that you don't already know. The knowledge we have all acquired through our individual experiences will serve to make us stronger, but I know what I have learned since Ray passed away two years ago is that I can't sit in this house and wait for things to happen or someone to find me.  It's extremely hard but I'm making myself  live again. Sometimes I feel the things I do are contrived with the only purpose being to show others that I'm doing something not because it makes me happy.  This has to change and it will. Thankfully the Lord has made me strong and maybe a little stubborn, so I have confidence in me...Lol...and I'm going to hold Ray deep in my heart while trying to make space fr someone else.  Hugs to all

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 7, 2017 at 10:45am

Part 1

Dear Deborah,

Thank you for sharing that lovely story about finding the phone with Greg's voice on it - what a wonderful gift, and I hope you have a way to save it permanently. I agree that your hearing Greg say "honey, hun" was his letting you know that indeed he is close to you, as I believe he will remain always. I feel in my heart that our loved ones watch, protect, guide us every moment, and I derive great comfort from that. I now completely understand the stereotype depicted often of people talking to their deceased loved ones, because I now fit that profile. I do make an effort to not be obvious in certain situations, but if I forget and then catch someone looking at me with a puzzled or suspicious expression I just smile, nod and go on my way.

I want to share with you something that occurred during the first few summer after losing Larry. His family and some of our friends were running several garage sales during that summer in 2015 to help pay back property taxes and raise money to get me through the next winter, as I was left in a dire financial situation. I was still frail and ill, and emotionally couldn't bear the idea of sitting in a chair in the driveway watching strangers going through and haggling over items Larry and I had acquired together over 32 years. I stayed inside, only poking my head out occasionally to inquire if anyone wanted coffee or a sandwich. I had just done so when Larry's son pulled out his phone and told me he had saved the last message Larry had left for him, then pushed a button and suddenly I  heard Larry's voice for the first time since losing him. I felt like I had been sucker-punched in the stomach, but managed to quietly ask if he would please send it to me if possible attached to an email, or somehow record it for me. He told me he would try, but apparently was unable to find a way. I made my way to the living room before dropping into a chair and hearing a sound come out of me that was frightening - I never even suspected that a human could let out with such a howl of despair. A daughter-in-law was going to the kitchen and ran in yelling "Chuck, what's wrong?! Are you hurt?!" One look and she immediately fell to her knees and grabbed me in a tight hug, not letting go until I was quiet and breathing normally again. Then she pulled back, her face wet with both of our tears, and just said quietly "I know."

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 7, 2017 at 10:44am

Part 2

Just over a year ago something miraculous happened, similar to your experience. There is a door in our TV stand that is opened only by pressing on the hidden latch. We had stored video tapes there until out collection grew too large, eventually converting to DVD's. I had forgotten about that space completely, and while dusting I pressed on the spot that opened it - I felt like some sleuth in a mystery movie, and began taking out the tapes. One was simply labeled "Barbecue" in my deceased brother's handwriting. Bill was the family videographer, and we all complained that wherever he went he had his blasted camera on capturing us in our least flattering positions and most awkward moments! It was a running joke that mostly what he recorded were annoyed people holding up their hands shouting "Bill! Stop it!"

I put the tape into the player, and saw that he had titled it with the date and occasion, and remembered the family reunion Larry and I hosted in 1993, 9 years after moving here. Bill arrived early and recorded our preparations, family arrivals, and the events of the day complete with sound and the quiet narrative of his voice describing each scene. He was actually a good film maker, and that day he outdid himself.

I sat there unmoving for over an hour, stunned and dripping with tears, as I watched Larry and I scurry about setting out food and chairs, all the while exchanging quick questions and directions in our familiar shorthand- "Ice?" " Bag - trash can – end of table.”

Deborah, finding that video was truly a gift from God, and I know Larry guided my hand so I would discover it. I had resolved myself to never hearing his voice again, and here we were, younger, busy, and undeniably happy as we entertained in the home we had made together. There is  one especially poignant section where Bill gave the camera to a cousin and the recording showed Larry, Bill, Lucille, his wife, and myself all sitting together eating and talking, Bill and Larry teasing each other as they always did. I haven't been able to share it with his Larry’s family , although I offered to make copies for them. They seem disinterested, the reunion being of my family, and thus none of them were present - sadly our families didn't mix.

So Deborah, I thank you for reminding me of that find, and know exactly how precious such a treasure is for us - we are indeed fortunate to have these gifts.

Have a peaceful day -

Love, Chuck


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