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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 Susan. Last reply by Marsha H Sep 2. 5 Replies

Lost my husband

Started by Mary Clough. Last reply by Marsha H Sep 2. 99 Replies

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Comment by Steve on October 19, 2018 at 7:52am

Those feelings are quite normal Mary Jane.  Anger is perhaps (for me) one of the best avenues to healing.  For me it was as my body and soul was kicking out all the garbage we store up within ourselves.  Lots of couples have/had good times and bad times.  Anger seems to take care of those memories and allows us to move on and remember the "best of times", after all that any of us have gone thru in our personal lives, bottom line we loved our dearly departed.  So, for me, anger was my way to forgive and forget.  By forgive, I am referring to me, myself and I...

We tend to forgive those we love and forget to forgive ourselves.  I think anger is important to getting better, when my father died I had so much hate stored up against him that I felt nothing for him.  It was not until 14 years later and just 2 months after losing Mark that I found myself on the side of the road crying.  Crying because I had just passed the exit for Dothan, AL, which is where my father and stepmother had retired too.  As soon as I saw the sign, all of those bad memories from my childhood to adulthood swept through my mind in a few moments, out of nowhere, something deep inside told me that I needed to forgive him and that I would also need to forgive myself for holding onto all that hate.  That is when I lost it, that is when I felt as if someone lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.  

I still remember everything, I just no longer hate him, after all he loved my mother very much and he did love my sister and me.  He made some bad choices in life, which I  am sure he regretted.  That moment, that day was a huge turning point for me.  I still have days that anger me, especially when my mind remembers those last few fleeting moments of his life slipping away right in front of me.  I guess that memory will never leave me alone, but, the anger of it is fading, especially when I look at a few of his personal items that I did decide to keep.  He loved cuff links, and had quite a collection.  I kept them all, each one has a different meaning with a good memory attached to it.

Moving is stressful enough, allow yourself some time to get it all out when necessary.  When I was packing my things, I kept a lot of stuff that I should have gone through.  Later on when I was in a better place, I started going thru all the remainder of his things that I packed up.  I kept his journals and his cuff links, they reside in my night stand drawer.

Take care of yourself Mary Jane, you are doing just fine.

Comment by Mary. Jane on October 18, 2018 at 9:14pm

Ok, kids..there is something I need to know.

Have any of you felt RAGE. Huge searing RAGE...an anger of the loss,  that nearly drops you to your knees? I felt that this evening...I had a realtor come to my house for a vague estimate, and what I should do to my house etc..later, I realized I was really stressed, that that visit made my having to move REAL and terrifying.couple that with the journal I found yesterday about a bad period in our marriage...so I was already angry...

I have also been downsizing...trying to decide what to keep, what to donate....and having difficulty with some of Bobs stuff, like Knick  knacks .I should keep THIS item,because he really liked it...bla bla bla..even if I hated it..and it will take up space...which I won,t have..and THIS HUGE ANGER came over me...He’s GONE! He left me, and now I have all this crap, and i Had forgotten what an a$$hole he could be sometimes in the past...and I got SO ANGRY!!  Like I have ever felt before...blinding anger at the unfairness of it all!  When it subsided, I shredded the bad pages of the journal..but am I alone in feeling this?  Or, did I read somewhere that anger at the person who is gone is normal?

Comment by Mary. Jane on October 18, 2018 at 8:54pm

Thank you Steve. You always make me feel better. I would like to say that I know you will b ok...but your bravery is awesome, and an inspiration. I admire you so much. There is a lot more I would like to add..but don,t know how to put it into words without sounding like a marshmallow. :-)

Comment by Steve on October 18, 2018 at 12:48pm

I too Mary Jane had/have still some of those embarrassing moments especially in groups of 4 or more.  I just refer to it as "Old Timer's Disease", especially when I lose my train of thought while speaking...makes everyone else laugh, and then I usually just get quiet and let others do the talking.

It really does not happen to me as often as it did in my first two years after Mark's passing, but it still happens.  I never drive anywhere in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area without my GPS talking to me, because I can get distracted...seems that when I am talking my brain does not remember to tell me that the exit I need is next...I have never been one of those folks that can chew gum and walk, nor can I sing, least of all sing and move at the same time...

Once when I was walking Bella just after Mark's passing, I looked down and saw my shadow.  I suddenly did not recognize it, and I thought, have I finally become just a shadow of whom I used to be?  As we continued the thought lingered as tears welled up, then this song popped into my brain "Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are", one of Mark's favorite by Meatloaf.  It made me smile and forget what I was thinking about.  He would play it over and over again...was not one of my favorites.

Nice to hear we have name for our grief conditioning that we must all deal with.  Thank you Mary Jane, hugs to all...

Time for me to head out for my next radiation treatment...

Over all, I am feeling good and very positive about beating this cancer once and for all...

Love

Steve

Comment by deborah peck on October 18, 2018 at 12:23pm

Mary Jane, thank you for posting the link, copied it to my facebook page, I learned this at a grief seminar but had forgotten and was starting to think Im getting dementia so reading this and confirming that Im not the only one is a big relief.

Comment by Sara Murphy on October 18, 2018 at 11:18am

Mary Jane....those journals are really a double edge sword--nice to re-read the pleasant memories but not so nice for the unpleasant ones.  I hope as you read through them you'll find more happy memories and smile.

Comment by Sara Murphy on October 18, 2018 at 11:09am

Deb,Yes, that says it all.  In fact, I'm going to copy it and post it on Ken's Facebook page on the anniversary of his passing in January.

Steve.....I also find your post to be so true.  One of my frustrations is with people dismissing my feelings in an effort to be helpful by saying "don't feel that way/Ken wouldn't want you to feel that way".  I think I'll post that one on my Facebook page.

Comment by Trina Mamoon on October 17, 2018 at 8:50pm

Dear Steve and Deborah,

Thank you so very much for sharing the words and the sentiments that describe grief, loss, and bereaved folks like us. Beautifully said and very heartfelt. 

I have copied both these posts and will share with my family in hopes that they get some idea about what it is like to survive the love of your life. 

Be well, all of you here.

Hugs, Trina

Comment by Mary. Jane on October 17, 2018 at 3:57pm

One last thing...I have always kept a sort of journal,many books, different  places,and years..but in every relationship..there are some rough patches..and I found a journal I wrote a bit in the mid 90,s...which wasn’t always the best time in our marriage. I was angry and in menopause, andBob was drinking...and I wrote about some of it.

i had forgotten some of this stuff, and was shocked when I read it. It was like a glass of cold water tossed in my face...when I read some of it,I remembered the anger, actions..I DIDN,t want to remember...it had turned out so well...but I was shocked, then angry, and I wish I had never found it, or read it. It was only a few pages, and I will be destroying those pages, but I don,t want to read  them again...but I have to go through to find and destroy the bad parts.cuz some of the journal are things I do NOT want to forget. What a quandary. 

Comment by Mary. Jane on October 17, 2018 at 3:47pm

Thank you Deb. Yes it does. Pleas, everyone, I posted a link just now, to a place I found that decsribes Widow/widower Brain...a phrase I had heard much earlier..but never had the courage to look up. When I finally found the link  below, and read it..it was like someone was inside my head. They were describing ME to a tee! I urge u all to read it.

I WASN’T CRAZY! I am going to get my brain back! Last week was a grueling, busy horrible yet wonderful week..I noticed that few posted then...we havealmost purged 3/4 of the stuff inside the house! My daughter, Melinda did it all. I still have many things to go thru...but finding that article, having so much cleaned up...and one other thing which I will mention, has given me hope, lelssened my FEAR...and I know I can do this now.

the other thing that happend: in the late 90,s my mother, who never really liked me, had to be put in a home. My brother took all this on alone. I was so full of anger, that I wan,t there for her or him.she died in 2001, and I DID plan her memorial, but .for over 26 years, I have been riddled with this HUGE amount of guilt. He is a wonderful human being, was always  a great brother, but I had a HUGE amount of guilt for rarely visiting, not measring up, etc..so we were speaking on the phone a few days ago..he lives in CA, and I started in again, on I AM SO SORRY etc that I was never there for him while mom, who always adored him, (but me? Not so muc..at all) I kinda dumped my whining, broken record saying  it all again.I was sorry.bla bla blaa..and he started laughing! 

So i guessed what he was going to say “GET OVER IT?” I said. He replied: “YEP” and laughed some more..he wasn’t angry at all, that I wasn,t there to help...He had forgiven me long ago, and DIDN,t even think I NEEDED forgiveness!!!! 

 I was stunned. I had carried this weight of guilt for so long..thinking I was a horrible person to my brother, one of the most decent people I have ever met, let alone be a sister to! This was HUGE! I felt the albatross*.  being lifted off my neck...and that night,  I started to remember things..where I put something, someone’s name, etc. That small act of forgiveness, which I had thought of every day, and he had let it go at the onslaught, was a ticket to retrieving my sanity...

* Albatross...a large bird considered good luck by ancient seamen..and the subject of a poem The Mariners Tale..or something like that..good poem.

 

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