Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: yesterday
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 Patricia Huett. Last reply by Richard Gordon Jun 1.
Started by David Heggi. Last reply by David Heggi Apr 10.
Started by Legacy.com Dec 28, 2017.
How true are your words - I seem to be reminded when I least expect it that my life is not "normal" since losing Larry, and it is hard to verbalize that to people who either haven't had such a loss, or know me only recently as someone with Steve and who should be happy-go-lucky.
Yesterday I learned of the passing of an old friend's husband, and ti quite shook me up - more so than I ever would have expected it to do. I had been in their wedding, and although Larry and I hadn't seen them for quite a while, the news suddenly brought out a wave of memories and emotions for which I wasn't prepared, and which seem to be multiplying as I learn of the sad details of his passing. My friend and their children are right now being overwhelmed with all the terrible feelings of guilt, anxiety, and uncertainty that we all recognize here as accompanying fresh relentless grief. I am trying to make myself as available to her as I can from a distance, and over the next few days I pray that maybe my being brought back so abruptly to my own grieving I will find more clearly the words to help her through this dark time.
I must say, being three years along in my journey without Larry I thought I had a rather better grip on my grieving than this, but apparently one can still be ambushed when we aren't looking.
Wishing you and everyone here peace today, and thanks for listening -
Dear Mary Jane,
I just read your post from yesterday, and want to reply. First, I thought if you have a high school or college near you, you can call them and ask if they accept donations of art supplies for students - I gave mine to a friend's daughter who was studying art before my move from NJ, and it was much appreciated.
About having to scramble to get a ride for your medical appointment, let me share this with you. I was scheduled quite early for a procedure that required me to appear at the hospital by 6 AM on a weekday. After days of searching for a ride, a friend said her brother, who lived close to me and worked close to the hospital, said he would be glad to take me. We knew each other, so I accepted, and he showed up promptly and was pleasant and sympathetic to my loss of Larry. He gave me his cell number to have the recovery room call and arrange for him to pick me up later that morning.
Hours later, as I was coming out of anesthesia and sitting up, a nurse asked for another number as they couldn't reach him. I had only the one, so gave them his wife's name and said to call the place of business and have them call her, so she could call him.
It seems he worked in a lab and turned off his phone when working, so his wife called his assistant and had her interrupt him telling him to get me. I waited for hours in a chair in the recovery room, nurses passing by whispering to each other and occasionally asking if there wasn't someone else I could have them call. I just looked at them blankly and kept saying that no, I was all alone.
So my friend, I know well the feeling you describe of feeling isolated and all by yourself. It's a pretty awful feeling to be sure, and I'm so sorry you are dealing with it right now. All I can offer is the dubious comfort of knowing that you are not alone in feeling all alone.
As you recognize, your world has and will continue to change. This is unavoidable as much as we wish it were not so. All we can do is our best - no one - not even ourselves - can ask more of us than that.
Wishing you a peaceful day and hang in there - it won't be easy to believe this now, but there will be a day ahead when all this moving stress will be behind you and while it will feel strange and even empty at times, it will also be a tremendous relief - please believe me.I know whereof I speak.
dear Stephanie, it takes a long time to feel normal again, if that is even the right word. Its been 1 year this May for me and its still not sunk in yet, or maybe I wont let it, sometimes I feel like I have a grip on the reality of it but then I find myself pretending he is still coming back,I was 60 when my husband passed but a friend told me to go to the social security office to see if I could qualify for early retirement being 60 or over and yes I did to my surprise but be careful because staying at home is really hard all the time and am now looking for a part time job to get me out of the house more. My mom passed too after doing chemo and radiation, something I wish she hadn't done so maybe she could've enjoyed what time she had left more, everyone wants more time but sometimes that isn't whats best for them or us but as thye say hindsight is 20/20
Mary Jane, I am so sorry you are feeling so alone, can we help in any way, I know its so hard to figure everything out after our husbands passed but you are not alone, we are here for you and am rooting you on. Im sorry your family isn't helping more, you are very lucky to have such a kind neighbor to help you out. I am praying that your test comes out fine and will be over soon. I am here if you ever need to talk, your friend Debby
Hi kids. I am having a very hard time lately I know the cause..the upcoming colonoscopy.. it is a week from tomorrow...and my friend is going to take and stay with me etc..and, yes, I am living my life is my usual terror of everything..but last week I decided SHOULD ask my niece, who lives 40 minutes from me..so I called her, and ran it by her...to see if she would take some time from work to take me. Yes, I know it was unrealistic, but SHE’S FAMILY, and I knew she couldn,t...cuz she said she already took a day last week, and wanted to ask for another day next week..bla bla bla..and she offered that one of her 3 adult children could take me...which, for various reasons, good ones that I wont bore you with, I declined..and told her never mind, my friend said she would take me..but my point is, after I hung the phone up, I was overwhelmed with a horrible feeling of being completely and utterly ALONE.
And it hasn’t, gone away. I DIDN,t even feel this desolate after Bob died. He was always there when I needed a medical procedure, or went to the Emergency room...and after my daughter left a few weeks ago...she really purged the house ..all his books, collectibles, etc are gone......and now I have to finish and toss his stuff, including his ART supplies out...and seriously downsize etc...everything in my life has or will drastically change . Every single thing and My two major terrors are something will happen to my daughter and my beloved cat. This is the world I have created for myself.
thanks for letting me vent.
Thank you Charles for your kind words, and all who have posted to my comments! You are so blessed that Larry's on was compassionate enough to allow you to make the tough decisions. I hope he is still a part of your life.
I am so sorry that you and Larry had to fight the same indifference that Rick and I fought. I fought to get the genetic testing done to give us a chance. They came back with an OK for Keytruda ($13000.00 per infusion) The day he died, 12/20/17, we went to the cancer center for his fluid infusion.....they surely knew how bad of shape he was in, but they continued anyway. (***TMI***) Three days before he died, he was getting fluid and chemo, and he was vomiting a huge amount of brown fluid, but no one said anything to me like : HEY- your husband's organs are shutting down!'. Nothing from them. Later that same day at home, when I saw he hadn't moved in 4 hours, I said that's it- time to go the ER. He chose to go to an new hospital in another town where we never had been, but it's where his soon to be daughter in law works. He knew he was dying, but because of his tremendous love for me, and always wanting to protect me, he didn't say a word.
I've never heard a peep from the cancer center....nada.
At 6 months out, I am still going through the waves of grief. I see a private grief counselor, who lost her husband to suicide, so she really get 'us'. She is also a licensed Death Dharma and does counseling at hospice centers in my area. I am in good hands, but I still feel numb. Of course not as bad as in the first 4 months, but still I find no joy in anything. I go along, day to day, working M-F in a stressful, toxic job, but I have to work. I'm only 61, and I can't retire yet. I am getting 4 years of deferred maintenance done on our house and yard (still say OUR) and that should give me some comfort and joy, but I feel nothing. I tell the contractors and my neighbor who is helping that everything looks great, but in reality, I could care less. I am so tired of being SAD all the time. ***sigh***
I have so much to say, but this is enough for now. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my post, and most importantly, PEACE to everyone here.
Six months is such a short time for our grieving, and I hope the feeling that this is therapeutic for you continues as your journey moves forward. Please don't worry about leaving anyone's name out of your posts, as I at first had to keep a "cheat sheet" next to my computer to help me recall members names, those of their spouses, and what they had told hereabout their losses.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Larry also passed as a result of side effects from his treatment for cancer. He developed blood clots resulting from the immunotherapy as we were warned might happen. They broke free and went everywhere, with one right over his heart, another poised to travel to his brain. That last one did so and caused his stroke. His family were actually debating having him undergo brain surgery while he was unresponsive in the ICU. This was never shared with me at the time while I lay in a hospital bed just two floors above him waiting to be brought down to see him. Thank God his youngest son convinced them all that this was not what his father would want, and they let him go.
I go around in circles now wondering what those last months would have been like had Larry not partaken in the trial, and if he would have been more comfortable without the itching, rashes, nausea, and all the other discomforts that so bedeviled him. What bothers me most I guess is the way that after he passed, the " oncology team" surrounding his treatments were so matter-of-fact about his passing, and never reached out to me with condolences at all.
OK, enough of my complaining. Just know that I understand and share your feelings Steph. The less charitable side of me wonders how some of these pharmaceutical representatives would advise members of their families regarding these treatments. I see the drug that Larry was given now advertised on TV every single day. You can't imagine - no, I'm sure you can - the sudden jolt I get every time being slammed back to seeing him going through all that. The happy healthy-looking actors on the commercials give false hope to anyone expecting such miraculous responses in their loved ones, but maybe that's just my bitterness talking.
I'm glad that you have joined us in this family, and thank you for putting words to something I have trouble expressing - even to myself. You have greatly helped me in that.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend -
I am so sorry you are facing this fear of colon cancer-we all pray that the tests come back clear- maybe a polyp at the worst. And I am also alone, no family- mostly deceased. I did invest in a Life Alert system since the dogs don't seem to be able to call 911.
Deb-I pray that your skin cancer can get into remission if it's advanced, and if it's in the early stage, the doctors can stop it in it's tracks.
Chuck-I too am trying to catch up on all the postings, and everyone, please forgive me if I leave out your name. I am new here, and I sneak in reading while I'm at work- it's more therapeutic than my job!
I have mentioned this before on my 2 other grief/bereavement websites. I wish all of who now belong to this club no one wanted to join could all agree on a location somewhere, and we could all pool our monies together and build our own Grievers Village. That way we could all help each other, share in the grounds keeping, trips to doctors, etc. Sort of a Baby Boomer Griever's commune!
Peace for now - I need to get some work done!
I am so sorry about the fear you are experiencing facing the possibility of colon cancer. I am praying that the colonoscopy reveals no signs of such, and gives you the chance to relax and calm down the EBS. All the many things going on in your life right now are so stressful that it is no wonder the EBS acts up, making everything else more difficult - like a circle in a circle as the song goes. If Steve and I could be there across the street to relieve you of some of the labors of moving we would do so.
I'm fighting this week my natural tendency toward depression and anxiety, and trying to analyze what combination of factors is making me have such alarmingly scary dreams. I feel listless and unfocused by day, edgy and restless at night. Being in Texas for the start of my first hot summer here, with all the attention directed to the state surrounding what's been going on, has me feeling like I've moved to another planet. Steve and I are far north of the border, but the effects of all this are far-reaching, and Dallas/Fort Worth is very much involved it seems. I don't equate my own distress with your serious EBS issues, but it does seem to be magnifying my grief to the point that I can't stop thinking of Larry and how much I miss him. In many of my dreams I am fleeing some unseen threat, and I wonder if it is my own grief, or the possibility of ever being separated from Steve.
Anyway, I'm sending you a big hug and hope this weekend will bring you some calm peaceful moments and relief from your symptoms.
Move over dear, because I too am behind the curve playing catch-up. Addressing Patty's wondering if it is better to know of our impending losses, I can only offer my experience after Larry and I were told in late summer of 2015 that his melanoma had metastasized to his lung and was terminal. We were only offered the possibility of buying time through his enrollment in a trila study of immunotherapy drugs, not knowing if he would be in a control group with placebos. He never said it out loud, but in my heart I believe now that he agreed as a way of making his passing something useful for scientific research hoping his small part might one day save someone elses' life. That's who he was, and thinking this way allows me to get past the memories of the horrible side effects he endured.
Our last months together were not easy ones for either of us, and particularly his November birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were truly exercises for me in digging deep to put up some front while inside the ticking time bomb was tearing me apart.
Larry had to pass on doing an antique show he always sold at over Thanksgiving weekend, which alerted his many friends in the business that something was awry. Several hastily planned a huge Christmas party for the gang and their spouses, and Larry was told by the hostess that I was expected to attend and would be fetched and dragged there if I tried to skip coming. I sat on a couch between two of his dearest friends whose job was obviously to keep an eye on me in case I broke down sobbing or something equally upsetting. I made it through with constant refills of my wine glass and a few choked-down bites of the lavish spread they had arranged. Larry and I both knew in our hearts that this was their way of saying good bye to him, and he actually had a very good evening. I didn't.
So, knowing we were near the end wasn't great for me, and for reasons best left unsaid for the moment I think it made our final months much more stressful and difficult for Larry. That is what I regret more than anything else, and need to reign in my thoughts quickly when I begin down that dark path.
Thanks Sara for letting me get that out - I don't think I've told that here before, and it helps to do so now. Hope your weekend is calm and peaceful.
Hugs and much love,
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