Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 15 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.
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Dear ones - Deborah Peck, Susan Farrell, Marsha H, Mary Jane, Sara Murphy and the rest of Legacy family. I so appreciate your words of encouragement and telling my your stories of survival after your losses. This weekend was another hard one without Kevin on St. Paddy's. It's not that we went out to the bars and got drunk, we weren't like that, but Kevin would always make corn beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread for our dinner. He was a gifted cook. He loved watching the cooking channels and trying different recipes, which he could recreate and were so delicious. Me, I can't cook at all so the last 5 months I've been trying to cook for myself using all his pots and pans and talking to him that I'm trying by best to cook. I went into a deep depression on Saturday. It's that he made every holiday something special. People tell me it's the firsts that are the hardest. So I've been through Halloween, Thanksgiving, X-mas, New Years, Valentine's Day, his birthday and St. Paddy's. His birthday was the hardest. He would have have been 65. It took me over a week to get out of that depression. I'm still getting Medicare adverts in the mail for him. Sunday I went to church was hugged by my church family. Our church has a Columbarium where Kevin wanted his ashes placed (only half could fit so I have his other half at home and at sometime his brother and I will spread them at his favorite location). So I stood in front of his plaque yesterday after church and just cried and cried. Of course my friends were hugging me. The grief comes so intensely that I literally feel I could die from the pain in my heart and chest.
This site is helping me a lot and I want to thank you all. I'm also thinking about attending a local grieving group even though I'm shy. But the pain I need to work through and shyness is not going to stop me. I do like Susan's idea about writing our fond memories in a journal.
Thanks you all again!
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.
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