Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 24 minutes 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 Brianna Owen Jan 23.
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Dear Susan F. ....
I am so sorry to hear you are having some very tough days and I do know how you feel. I too was once married before, divorced and finally met my loving Ernie only to have him take away nearly 40 years later. I am blessed to have had him that long, but I too was angry at God for taking him at age 65 and my ex is still alive. We had so many plans together.
You should never feel guilty. John gave you things you needed such as loving to talk, loving you and many other good memories. When someone doesn't give you those things then one is unhappy.
Feeling guilty for some things is very normal in raw grief Susan. It's normal. I have suffered from panic attacks for years and on medication. May I suggest you go to grief counseling if you haven't started already. You will be around people in person that are going through what you are. Each story is unique and it's like having a second family just like Legacy here. Legacy saved my life! The members on here are like angels all flocking around to help where they can. It is also not normal to count your blessing during raw grief. Scream, yell, cry, sleep and go for walks which do help. Just let the anger, heartache flow when it needs to. After 7 years of Ernie's passing I can tell you that once I was where you were not wanting to live and giving up, yet each day got a bit stronger and you are stronger than you think. You will have good years ahead of you even if you don't think so now.
Although this is a forum we don't wish anyone to be on you are now part of this family and we're here to help and even your posts will help others. I am so happy to did come to Legacy because there is always someone on here to answer your posts when you need some consoling.
I hope you will trust me in the fact that you are getting strong a little at a time and the guilt will eventually fade away and you will be left with fond memories of John.
My dear John has been gone for 27 days now. Each hour goes slowly. My life is sad and lonely. Bitterness has set in. I am mad at God for allowing this to happen. Why did He send John to me only to take him after a year? John was so nice and loving and affectionate and loved to talk. I have never had that with a man in my whole life even though I was married for 38 years. My husband died and omg that was not as hard as losing John. That makes me feel guilty. I feel guilt in so many areas. I know I have to stop it because I am sinking into a depression that I am not sure I will live through. I have have had clinical depression for nearly 30 years. I do not know how to deal with this pain. There's no relief. I still pray for strength and I count my blessings, but it feels insincere. I so appreciate being part of this group and I thank all of you for being here. I am not alone. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to write to me. It gives me a glimpse of hope. Sue
Anthony, I started a journal. I started writing about the memories I have with John. It's almost like I am writing to him, so it seems I am sharing with him our good memories. I gently suggest you try it. Sue
Dear Anthony ... My husband Ernie suffered a great deal with pancreatic cancer and I was led to believe by his specialist he would be coming home with Hospice care and I would also be able to look after him. Ernie wanted to come home so badly, but what many of our feelings really are is when our loved one is so ill and close to death we can't control one thing about it. Sadly, I wasn't able to bring him home and he was sent to Hospice where I met met him and explained where he was. I stayed for hours and wanted to stay the night, but even though his breathing was labored and I told him I wanted to give him oxygen he refused. I asked him 3 times to be sure. He also didn't want me to stay and held my hand, a wane smile and I asked if I could come the next morning and stay that night. He agreed. Somewhere deep inside of me when I came home that night (never slept) I knew that Ernie wanted to save me the sorrow of seeing him die and for a long while after he did die I was angry at him. We always covered each other's backs and I wanted to be there for him. Once I went into my second year of grief I realized that I had done everything I could for him and we had many words of conversation. When in hospital and I saw him in pain, yet he was worried as to how I would get along without him I gave him the greatest gift of all, 'It's alright to let go hon, I'll be fine.' The words choked in my throat. So his freedom to pass actually started in the hospital before he reached Hospice.
Guilt of not doing enough, or, you can't remember happy times and why can't you is something many of us go through, but please realize you are in raw grief and on a roller coaster ride. You miss him, you want him back, but know it's impossible. I promise you in time that you will gradually start to remember the beautiful memories you had together. I do now and it brings a smile to my face and I feel so lucky to have been part of his life and hold those memories so close to my heart. Never fear Anthony, those good memories will come back to you when you least expect them.
Anthony....I meant to respond sooner...but Sara’s post reminded me I hadn’t..so here ya go. My husband of 49 years, Bob came home from the hospital, and these hospice people with him were setting up equipment, etc..that they told ME I would be feeding him through a machine...and a truckload of meds I had to crush up and add to the feeding tube...cuz he has brain cancer, a stomach tumor and more...and I was terrified that I couldn,t DO that sort of thing..so I TOOK VIDEOS of how I was supposed to feed and medicate him..and they left.i had TONS of medication to give him at different times... He was expected to live another month...so I had cases of liquid nutrients to feed him, and plastic tubes, and syringes..it was overwhelming..but the videos I took were really a help...BUT...I started taking videos of BOb...his laughing, and talking..his spirits were good..but as I took these very short videos it occurred to me, that they would be good to have so I could look back at them, and know I had done everything I could have..
and I think that is what you might be dwelling on..I DIDN,t want to feel there might have been something else I could have done for him...cuz he gave up after 4 days...came home n a Friday night, and died the next Tuesday...and instead of beating myself up thinking there must have been something else I could have done..the videos showed I did everything I could have.
Maybe you are beating yourself up in the same way..feeling guilty that you DIDN,t do enough? But you DID!! As it turned out, BOb decided not to try...and gave in. He could eat stuff like ice cream, and jello and soup...but he realized after a day or two he would rather just let go. And he told me “THankyou “the night b4 he died, took my hand and kissed it..and at 2pm the next day, slipped away. It took me a long time to look at the videos, just the first picture b4 each video started was all I was able to look at for almost a year, but in 4 days he had plummeted.
So Anthony, don,t worry..the happy memories will come..but in a sense, they might b worse than the ones you now can’t get out of your head...because the memories of the wonderful ness you shared is might be heart wrenching.
I wish you all things wonderful, and I am sorry u r having to go thru this. A few pages back on this site, someone posted a wonderful thing about how loosing a partner is the most difficult loss ever.and how your life changes in so many ways.if you haven,t read it, try to find it. It is a C &P in a sort of beige color..and it is the best thing I have ever read. Sorry this is such a long post...but I wanted to assure u the good memories return soon..which is sort of a double edge sword..as u will discover.
Susan, I feel for you having had so much loss in your life. That really is a lot for one person to bear. I too think about finances all the time. It's so scary to be solely responsible for everything. This is one of the aspects I don't think family and friends even think about, or at least no one has ever asked me if I'm okay money wise. In fact, like Deb says, everyone thinks I'm "good" because I had to learn to fake my way through the day.
I hope you'll keep posting. You're not feeling sorry for yourself. You just need a safe place where you can openly and honestly express your feelings and you found it.
Anthony, I'm catching up on reading the posts so I haven't gotten through them all. I just read your post about being haunted by the memory of your last days with Kevin. I can tell you what you're experiencing is normal. My husband, Ken, had been in the hospital for a month when he passed away. The short version is he was getting back into bed and as he was doing so, I turned to move a chair out of the way. I heard him make a sound and when I turned back around, he looked as if he may be having a seizure but he actually went into cardiac arrest. Although the doctors were there within seconds and worked on him for over an hour, they couldn't save him. The events of this night played like an automatic loop in my brain every night for about 13-14 months. My brain couldn't bring up the nearly 30 years of memories, it was stuck firmly on those few hours. I'm now at a point where I can force the good happy memories to overtake the worst night of my life (although I never want to forget a singe detail). As Chuck says, there is no timetable so please don't pressure yourself to feel or not feel anything at any particular time. Also, although our family and friends mean well, they may not realize they put pressure on us to heal faster than humanly possible. You are part of our family now so please lean on us.
Hugs to you,
Oh, Debora, I know exactly how you are feeling..finding the cards, and momentos of your life with Greg. Actually you were sort of fortunate they were mostly in one place...sine I have been going through all my stuff for months, I am always discovering cards. ,notes, poems, when I least expect them..including stuff from my mother, who died n 2001, and things my daughter wrote when she was a little girl. If I had a SHRED of organization, they would have all been in one or two places..but I wasn,t so they pop up everywhere...and the ones from Bob especially the poetry are so agonizing...I wish you all things good as you discover more unforeseen memories of Greg...and the life you had together.
Today I was cleaning out the closet in my craft room and came across a tote of cards and mementoes from what seems like a lifetime ago, cards and things that Greg had given me plus our wedding announcement and even items from my parents, I read through a lot but finally had to put away for another day, just too much to go through and keep my sanity. As many of you know my brother is staying with me temporarily until his place gets ready the middle ogf April, my girls keep trying to get him to stay here with me for good so I wont be "LONELY", I don't think they understand that I'm only lonely for Greg, even when they are all here I am still lonely and no one can fix that, I don't think unless you've lost a spouse you could understand that. People think I am doing GOOD, that's because they cant see me inside me head and heart, when actually I'm falling apart inside, I put on a good act as I'm sure many of you do but were still in so much pain, sorry so depressing, just my mind frame tonight
Dear Sue ... You are not feeling sorry for yourself at all and never believe that. You have certainly had more than your share of grief and please remember that getting through that was enough, but you're still standing and you always will.
I have happy to hear that your grief counseling is going well. It helped me too, but Legacy really did save my life from all the angels that use to be on here and even the new members.
All the symptoms and feelings you are going through are very normal (I've been there) and, in fact, still have my beloved Ernie's work jacket hanging off a hook in the hallway. It's been there since 2011. Ernie and I were like you and John, so close and shared so much and yes, the evenings are the worst, but after 7 years I've grown accustomed to not having those conversation any longer and try to put my mind on other things and yes, I even talk to my two dogs (couldn't have children.)
I will certainly say a prayer tonight and hope your dad comes through it all. I can understand your fears.
Susan, what I did after Ernie passed away even though I was not thinking straight, I took his death certificate with me to the bank I dealt with, explained the situation and they did the rest. I hope you will do the same as there are many ways to save your house and have money in the bank. Take a friend or family member with you when you go.
I will be honest in saying when I have some tough days I get angry at God too for letting Ernie pass away. At other times I actually get angry at Ernie and this was bad at the beginning of my grief, but not so much now. Very normal emotion.
Keep going to grief counseling and please keep coming here as the angels on here will be right here for you.
You will not lose control or go crazy although you may feel that now. Every single day you get up makes you stronger and yes, you will get some breaks in life to help you through your grief. Cry when you want to, sleep as much as you can and if by chance you just don't want to go out and just be alone do so. I found walking was a good help for me when I wanted to be alone with my own thoughts. One day down the road I can promise you without even realizing it at first you will laugh out loud. I did and others have and it sure shocked me.
Big hug (because you need it.)
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