Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 22 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.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 16.
Started by Susan. Last reply by Marsha H Sep 2, 2018.
Happy holidays Steve.
It has been a while since I last posted. I read all posts that I see in my email. I know that holidays are rough for us. I continue to come back here because this site helped me the most in dealing with my own grief. As a psychotherapist I always give the url for this site to my patients who have lost a spouse. I wish everyone here the best!
Steve, I am so saddened about this anniversary that none of us want to remember...and I hope your day is filled with wonderful memories. But I am so grateful you posted your beautiful memories. In a sense, you have given me back HOPE. I came here every day for the last month, and there was nothing. NOTHING! My comfort place was GONE! I made a weak attempt at posting but DIDN,t even get my words correct. I DIDN,t know what had happenened. This was my place of solace, and it was GONE! No one was here anymore! I felt abandoned, lost and alone. I reasoned that maybe y’all were going thru what I have been...one disruption after another.
Last night I sat by my Ipad, wanting to post SOMETHING, anything wondering where everyone was...but instead I just went to bed. When I read your posts this morning I actually broke down and cried. Both for your pain, and because someone was BACK and sharing, and we were still here! Thank you, Steve..I will post more and explain later, but you couldn,t have picked a better time to share your deep pain, and wonderful memories. I was so lost...but your coming here this morning has saved me. I will explain later..I just woke up. Thank Mark for me, too.
Mark always wanted me to go on living, he knew he was dying, he knew he would not get better and he made me promise that I would go on living. We had these talks over the last year he was still alive, he always said that I was the stronger one that I could do anything I put my mind too. He was of course right, I have continued to live, I have a new life, I have the memory of him forever in my heart. So, today I give thanks for the life we shared together, Mark had a brilliant mind and a childlike outlook on life itself. His family tossed him aside long before we met. Mark always saw the positive in everyone and everything he and I went through together. For as long as I live, I will remember the 9,145 days of our life together. Today I am grateful for what and who I have in my new life, and for all those millions of memories he and I created together.
My journey since this loss has led me down a path I could not at that time even begin to imagine. For me, my life was over, all the plans we had to live out our lives together were no more than just memories. And yet, somewhere deep inside something kept me going to work, kept me searching for answers, kept me alive and in the end kept me from taking my own life. It has been 4 years since his passing, during those years I found a web site called Legacy, just for folks like me who had lost their spouses. I began to understand my loss and how my life and thoughts were being re-routed, each one of us helping each other just by venting, exchanging stories and feeling loved by total strangers. I realized that I now had a new family, even though we could not visit personally, but one of inclusiveness and one of caring for one another. I eventually made friends with one person off line and we began to email each other privately. This led me to retire, to move to a new state, to love someone again, but very differently and difficult to explain. We needed each other and we both understood each other’s loss. We helped each other to begin living again. Together we can look at our past and not only see our lost loved one, but we have each other to lean on and to share joy and sorrow as each anniversary comes and goes. We have made a lot of new friends. For me, in my quiet times I look back into that dark hole that was left in my heart when Mark died, and I see not only him, but all the faces of my lost loved ones mixed in with all the faces of my new family of friends since his death and I still feel his loss and I still grieve, but much more differently now.
I can look back over my life and see all the mistakes I have made and all of the successes I have had; to do so evokes a lot of memories, all separate from one another and yet all connected. One’s life is driven by joy and loss and how we react to each one will determine the path we take; and yet, I cannot discount all the what if’s, nor do I want to dwell on those either. Reflecting on one’s own past, for me, has brought clarity, understanding and healing into my life at a time when one should be content on the life they have lived. For me, I had too many questions, too many disappointments and too many lost loved ones to take time out to grieve for them all; until I lost the one true love in my life, my soulmate. When two people make a commitment to each other, your lives become as one, your every thought is for each other and so it was for Mark and me for 25 years. His passing brought to the surface all the pain of not taking time to grieve for the ones before him. I remember hearing or reading somewhere that if we as humans do not address our losses and problems as they occur and just side-bar them for later, later will eventually catch up with each one of us. That is what happened to me on the 30th day of November 2014, the very day I lost Mark.
Wishes fr all of you for the best.....sorry, I have to much to say but no energy to write it..but I will in a few days...miss y’all
Nice to hear from you again Chuck and Trina. Marsha....we haven't heard from you in a little bit. I hope you're doing okay.
Trina....I feel as you do when I'm with friends, socializing as if everything is okay but crying on the inside knowing Ken should be there with me. The sadness will always overshadow my days but Ken was such a bright light who loved people and loved life that I have to keep going in his honor.
In the month of November I've lost 2 co-workers. The first, Ellyn, would have been 56 on Nov 11th but passed away Nov 2nd. Then Bill passed away just a week ago at age 51. I've said this before but I've personally known way too many people passing away in their late 40's/early-mid 50's. It makes me worry and wonder about the future of the human race.
I hope everyone was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with your loved ones.
I am so glad that one of the "missing people" has resurfaced. I think it has now happened a second time when you have been absent or gone "missing," as I often do myself, and I am thinking of writing to you personally and then lo and behold you appear. You seem to know when it has been a long time and that your friends here are missing you. I also miss Marsha's posts.
One of the things that you wrote in your post stuck with me all day today. After reading it I had to go out. I made a nice dinner at friends' house (a couple that Joseph and I had been friends with for many years) and enjoyed it with their two little boys--a social event that we do a couple of times a year together. It's really nice. The thing that you said was playing in my head over and over again: "I almost lost it completely right there but didn't cry. Only inside." This is so VERY true for me. It happens several times a week, sometimes even a couple of times in one day. Just like when I was making dinner together with Joseph's friend Joe and his wife Rachel this evening. This is something we would do from when Joseph was alive. As I was cooking, I was laughing and having a good time (not pretending), yet I was crying inside. How could I not?
This Curry Night, as we call it, brought back all the happy memories from before. I was not at all envious of Joe and Rachel, their shared happiness as a couple, but I couldn't help but cry inside that I don't have Joseph by my side anymore. I am no longer whole. I have a huge hole in my heart. No matter what I do, where I go, even if I have a pleasant time like I did this evening, I am always crying inside remembering the old times, thinking of Joseph, wondering what might have been.
From the outside the others have no idea that while I seem "normal," laughing and participating in the conversation and/or social interactions, many times I am really crying inside, missing Joseph and wishing he were here.
Like everyone else here, I, too, am dreading the holidays, especially as our anniversary is in December, Winter Solstice. But we the bereaved and the widowed are like soldiers who put on a brave face and trudge through even in the hardest of situations. The holidays are almost upon us and while we are crying inside, I know many of us will have to put on our "happy mask." I know I will. For many different reasons.
For one, Joseph used to admire his older colleague--another philosopher--and used to tell me how W was always cheerful. Even in old age and infirmity and with a lot of physical pain, W was always cheerful and would spread the cheer around. Joseph would tell me that when he would be an old man like W, he, too, would be cheerful and spread it around. But of course, Joseph didn't get to turn even 50, he would never be an old man, so now for Joseph I want to be cheerful and try to spread the cheer around, in situations when I am around people during the holidays. But inside I will be crying ... because as you put it: "the "same old stuff" isn't going away - ever - so the loss, the loneliness, and the sudden pangs that overtake us unexpectedly can become so normal in our lives that we just muddle through them silently." Yes, that pretty much sums it up for me as well. The longing and the missing will never go away for as long as I live. I will have to live with this pain for the rest of my life.
On a lighter note, here's wishing everyone on this site a peaceful Thanksgiving, one that we can pass without crying too much inside.
Another "missing person" heard from. Like you Mary Jane I miss coming here and talking to friends who I know will get me and not judge my crazy ramblings. And like you Deb, I'm always reluctant to keep saying the same things repeatedly. But the truth for me, and i suspect many or most of us, is that the "same old stuff" isn't going away - ever - so the loss, the loneliness, and the sudden pangs that overtake us unexpectedly can become so normal in our lives that we just muddle through them silently anymore. Of course, Steve and I living together means that one look and it is clear where we are at any given moment. Larry's birthday was the 13th of Nov., and while sitting in the waiting room before Steve was called in for his radiation treatment Steve showed me a post on Facebook from Larry's son with a photo of all his kids and saying" Happy Birthday Dad, we miss you!" I almost lost it completely right there but didn't cry. Only inside.
Mary Jane, I don't know if we said anything last year on here about what we went through to get the closing on my house in NJ, but we definitely know exactly what you are saying. I guess taking Larry's name off the title was the day I actually truly realized that my life as it used to be was forever gone. The title agent was very patient and understanding, and bless Steve for not rushing me to take that step, but instead letting me inch up to it until I was ready. He still shows me the same patience and honestly I don't know how how manages it, because confidentially I am quite the handful when my emotions get the better of me.
Here I sit facing Thanksgiving and Christmas, feeling excitement and dread in some bizarre sort of mix, sprinkled liberally with fatigue and melancholy. Real basket of joy, huh? I imagine it's missing Larry, worrying about Steve, and still feeling somewhat out-of-place in Texas. I went to church with Steve for awhile, and we hosted Bible studies here a number of times, but I have withdrawn from them both acknowledging the fact that I just don't share their passion and enthusiasm for religion. Bad Chuck.
I look forward to the finish of Steve's treatments on Dec. 4th, and we are keeping the Holidays low key with no obligations so we can both rest as much as needed. I want to see the movie "Boy Erased" because we will both relate to the subject matter.
Enough for now - except that I send love to all of you and wish everybody a peaceful and calm Thanksgiving -
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