Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 9 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 Mary. Jane 10 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.
Debby.......Thank you for sharing your story. My heart breaks for you and for Greg. My husband, Ken, had a long complicated medical history. I won't type it all out now but I can relate to the pain and anxiety you felt watching him decline. One of the worst things in the world is watching the person you love most suffer and not be able to do a thing about it. I am happy you got to lay in bed with him when he passed. I always thought I would be laying next to Ken, holding him when he took his last breath but it didn't work out that way. He literally died in a second. He had been in the hospital for a month by this time and I turned to move a chair as he got back into bed. We were having a conversation and in the second it took me to move that chair, he went into cardiac arrest. I'll forever feel cheated that I didn't get to hold him.
It makes sense that your grief is different this time around because both husbands were very different people at different stages of life. You had different experiences with each so your grief would be different. The pain of loss is not easier the second time so please don't put pressure on yourself or feel like you should "deal with it" better.
Sending you a hug,
There is so much I want to say to you that I don't know how to start - and I don't want to overwhelm you either with a lot of my own "stuff", because I don't think that would help. Your choosing this time, at 4 months into your loss of Greg, to open up to us all is courageous, generous, and a remarkable showing of how you feel safe here. Is it any wonder I consider this a family?
Your experiences with both your husbands leaves me without words to say how sorry I am that you have had such sorrow in your life. Through all that, you have already reached out to myself and others here who have expressed our grief with love and understanding. Thank you so much for that.
What you said to your niece and nephew after they lost their child is so true - our grief has no end, but does go through cycles and changes that don't necessarily conform to any charts or studies. Shortly after losing Larry someone urged me to look up and study the stages I would go through, and when I reached a certain stage they would be available to step in and aid with practical matters and decisions. I remember sitting there looking at them as is if I had never seen them before - I didn't reply because I was somewhere between thinking they were surely joking, and wanting to slap them silly.
I am a movie buff, and a line in one of my favorites comes from a scene where a mother councils her freshly bereaved son on grief. She says her grief for his father is like a stone - at first it is large and heavy and she can't put it down so carries it all day every day, and that it is exhausting. Eventually it gets a bit smaller and smaller, until it is something she can put in her pocket. Every day she puts it there and carries it around and nobody knows it's there but her. Each night she puts it on the table next to the bed, and every morning she picks it up again. She said eventually you get used to it, it becomes a part of you. But, she cautions him...it never goes away.
Debbie, I fear you are carrying two rocks around, and I'm sure the weight gets very draining to the point of being debilitating some days. I hope you will always feel the love we have for you here, and find strength in sharing, just as you have offered strength to me and everyone.
Wishing you peace tonight, and that tomorrow is a little better and easier for you -
I am so sorry Russ that you cant go to your family with your feelings, after my 1st husband died until this husband died I still had my cries for mainly what could of been even though I loved Greg I always questioned what could of been. There is no time limit on your pain, this person will forever have a part of you, Marsha I wish you much love on finding someone in your future, but you are right, I have friends I can tell how I'm feeling and some that I have to pretend with , this is the only place I can say what I feel, love to all and wish you much future happiness and love...... Debbie
Russ ... I feel the same as you do. We still hurt and there is no time limit to grieve for one's spouse. I have finally figured it out that we live in a world of technology and so many people are so busy texting often idiotic (of no important) things to each other; some sitting side by side and few seem to want to talk face to face. I finally just wedged my memories of Ernie in conversation with family and friends, but good memories. I have one good friend I met on here where I can let it all hang out and so can she. It helps. As far as the rest life goes on for them and they expect us to do the same. Emotions often don't seem to be in the equation of life with this technology.
Sometimes when in a group I will offer a comment or an idea and it's as if I'm a ghost just sitting there and one time I pinched myself to be sure I was still alive! My close friends would rather not invite me over every so often because I'm single and one friend bluntly told me that. Needless to say they are no longer my friend. I still have my cries at it's been almost 7 years since Ernie passed. Mainly it's loneliness that gets to me, but I hope to change that in the coming future.
As far as your family try to sit down with them and ask them to just listen to what you have to say. Then say what your heart tells you. If anyone has an issue or tells you that you should be over it then tell them to come talk to you when they go through the same experience. I went on the web after Ernie passed away and came across a great link as to what family and friends could expect from the person in their lives who lost a loved one and I gave my family and friends each a copy. Some complied and some I doubt even read it. It suddenly dawned on me that they weren't afraid to hear what I had to say, but were afraid of their own mortality.
You're doing just fine Russ and it's normal what you are feeling. As time goes by things will not seem to heartbreaking for you even though you will never forget your loved one.
Want to share this with you guys...I was just watching Dr. Phil who was interviewing Sinead O' Connor who from watching the show has had a very traumatic life and is in the throws of mental illness. It was very sad and at the same time very informative because even though on a totally different subject she related a lot of feelings that she has felt that I could relate to. At one point she said something that was like someone hit me in the back of the head with a sledge hammer because it rang so true for me. In trying to explain how her mental illness has made her feel she said, "As soon as my eyes open in the morning and my feet hit the floor, it feels like I'm walking into a room of thousands of people and I'm screaming as loud as I have ever screamed, and not a single person hears me". Wow...this is me and I don't feel like I'm screaming the same thing; I guess it depends where my thoughts are on any given day. But I think in a nutshell what I'm trying to scream is, " Will anyone listen to me; instead of playing like you don't want to hear it or changing the subject because you feel I'm being ridiculous after 2 years still dwelling on my partners death". I think I may know what is going to be the topic of my next therapy session...LOL...Isn't it strange how God works...Watching Dr. Phil and without any expectation of such, get thrown at you something that was really bothering you, but you never wanted to allow yourself to dwell on. How in the world do you let the family and friends who love you hear what you are screaming?
Michael ... We all fear if we are lucky enough to have someone once again in our life that we have many happy years and after the experience of already losing a beloved spouse it's normal to worry for awhile about the 'what if's' and you already realize we never know what will happen, but it's a chance one should take if they get the opportunity. Live life, grab it by throat, laugh, have fun, love each other and eventually these fears will subside. I am so very happy for you that you have found another to be in your life. You deserve it.
Deborah ... Volunteering at the dog shelter has given me purpose in life. It's just the fact one is making a difference. We can't save the world, but we can choose something and make a huge difference. I live in a town where it seems almost everyone has a dog and you meet many nice people this way while walking your own dogs. Last Sunday when we were adopting out dogs the lady who owns the shelter is having a video done of all of us volunteers doing what we do and it's going to be on Facebook so will let you know when it is.
I hope your days are more peaceful my dear friend.
Mary.Jane ... Thank you for the compliment. The photo was taken in 1976. Oh boy, can't believe how the years have passed. Now that I'm older the time passes even more quickly.
Dear Deborah ... you brought me to tears. I won't even say I can begin to imagine having two spouses passing away on you. You are so right in saying that each illness that ends in death is so different. Life just doesn't seem to be fair to many.
I've told the story of Ernie who was in hospice for 24 hours and the nurses didn't alert me long before they should of that he was dying and by the time they phoned me and I rushed to hospice he had passed away which broke my heart as we always were there for each other. Like you I laid with him on the bed and when the doctor came in held Ernie's hand. I was in shock and I realize you know that feeling only too well. It seems our brain just goes to another place. I was angry for quite sometime after that as I had wanted Ernie home so I could look after him along with nursing help and that he was surrounded by family and friends that wanted to be here. He never got that chance because of the surgeon refusing to release him until I fought the fight and by then it was too late.
I admire you for being so very candid with your life's story and I wish I was there to give you a huge hug.
Michael you touched on the one major reason why , even though I feel I want to love again, I may not allow that to happen. How in God's scheme of things can one even think about having to go through this again by losing another person who filled the chasm but in turns ends up leaving you with a larger chasm. While I say this I think I've already made this decision. God has blessed me with a heart that needs to love and while maintaining a place for Ray in my heart that will never leave, I know there is still more room for someone special to bring me purpose, direction and happiness and simply instill in me the will to get up in the morning and live again.
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