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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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Started by denise. Last reply by Marsha H Oct 25, 2017. 4 Replies

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Comment by Russ Macaluso on September 13, 2017 at 8:26am

Morning Chuck; I was just sending you a reply and I hit something and my draft disappeared; I don't know if it was sent or not.  Thank you for your note to me and your kind words.  When I hear fro people like you I wish you were in my living room so I could personally share what's in my heart and listen to what's in yours.  I know crazy, but I just have such an extreme need to talk about it and listen to others. As is said on the site frequently, a lot of us find comfort in knowing what we are feeling is not atypical and is felt by a lot of people going through this rough journey.  My thoughts are with you and I wish you the best in your journey.  Thanks again for being here.  Have a great day and keep on keeping on....Hugs 

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 13, 2017 at 8:08am

Dear Russ,

I so understand the way you feel about shouting in a crowded room and not being heard. I didn't see the interview you site, but saw excerpts and applaud her for her candid baring of her soul about this subject.

The way people act uncomfortable and nervous around me as a grieving husband in turn makes me nervous and uncomfortable - a situation that results in my avoiding being around them - this probably only results in a self-imposed isolation and deepens their confusion about how to approach me. 

As a teenager I went through a very serious depression which included a suicide attempt. I was hospitalized and treated with various forms of therapy and medication that continued after my release. Nobody around me knew how to act or what to say regarding what was going on with me – their unfamiliarity and pre-formed assumptions regarding my illness prevented them from relaxing and being themselves around me. The more artificial and forced their smiles and conversation became, the more bizarre I must have seemed to them when I wouldn’t “play along” and “act normal”. It seemed after I lost Larry that I was back in that situation of being the inconvenient person that made everybody uncomfortable.   

   You would think I would by now have come to terms with the fact that not all people are sensitive or compassionate, and that not all friends are truly friends - that's the one that really gets to me.

I don't really have anything to offer except that I hear you loud and clear, and like Sara, hearing these things from my family here honestly helps me to believe that I am not alone in my questioning my sanity.

Peace to you today Russ, and I am so glad you are letting us all be a family who do hear you loud and clear.

Love, Chuck

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 13, 2017 at 6:58am

Dear Marsha,

I know you posted a song a while back, and I was distracted by other things and put off playing it, now I am not sure where the link is - but thank you anyway...maybe later i will hunt through past posts and find it.

Your quick automatic reply to people who ask the common question made me smile, as I of course was and still am asked the same thing. I get that they don't know what else to say, and maybe it is less than charitable for me to do this. but I have a very dark and sarcastic streak in me. I started answering in a very normal conversational tone things like "Oh, I decided yesterday against jumping off the roof, because if the mess it would leave for someone to clean up on the patio - and besides, I might survive and be a bigger problem for everyone to deal with than I am now." Naturally this left the questioner looking stunned and stammering for words as they tried to decide idif they should laugh at my joke or wondered if I was serious and should be under suicide watch. Their discomfort actually was what I was looking for as if I was punishing them for asking. I see that it was mean and probably some analyst could fill pages with the reasons behind my cruelty. Frankly Scarlet, I don't give a damn. I still get those knee-jerk reactions but try to take a breath before blurting such things out anymore. I usually succeed.

I know how much you wish for and deserve finding a gentleman friend to alleviate your solitude, and I pray for that for you - the person who finds you will be lucky indeed!

Have a peaceful and productive day my friend, and know I think of you every day -

Love,

Chuck

Comment by Marsha H on September 13, 2017 at 3:35am

Dear Deborah ...  Thank you for sending me love to find that right person.  It isn't easy and others that haven't lost a spouse have no idea that there isn't just heart-breaking grief, but a lot of loneliness no matter how large the family is or how many friends you have.  I detest faking it with some people, but they ask, 'How are you doing' it's out of simply something to say and they just don't want to hear anything else, but, 'I'm doing fine.'  Now I say it like it is in one short sentence and then change the subject.  We loved our spouses deeply and they will be in our hearts until the day we die.  That doesn't mean you can't love another and here is hoping.

Hugs to you my friend and may you have peaceful days ahead.

Marsha

Comment by Sara Murphy on September 12, 2017 at 10:13pm

Russ......I feel as you do about the "stupid" things people say in an attempt to help/make us feel better.  To me, I feel like they think saying these things is like waving a magic wand and poof, I'm all better.  It's becoming intolerable to me so I've begun replying back in ways that make them realize they're not helping.   For instance, I'm tired of people telling me Ken wouldn't want me to feel this way and be sad.  I'll reply back that Ken not wanting me to feel this way doesn't change the fact that I do.  People really can't understand the depth of this grief if they haven't experienced it which is why I'm grateful for my Legacy family.  It's helpful to me when I see other people type the same things that are in my head and what I'm feeling,  It makes me feel normal.  Before I found Legacy, I wondered what was wrong with me.   I'm glad you posted what you did because if reaffirms that I'm not "bat shit crazy" for feeling as I do and neither are you. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on September 12, 2017 at 9:57pm

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,

Sara

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on September 12, 2017 at 8:37pm

Dear Debbie,

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 - 

Love,

Chuck

Comment by deborah peck on September 12, 2017 at 7:02pm

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

Comment by Marsha H on September 12, 2017 at 4:46pm

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.

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Russ Macaluso on September 12, 2017 at 4:13pm

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? 

 

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