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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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Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31. 13 Replies

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

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Comment by Marsha H on November 24, 2019 at 5:48am

What a great Halloween Story.  I would have given anything to have been there and  caught you bouncing around!  A possible touchdown!  LOL  My Halloween was mellow in comparison to yours.

Poor Steve!  So all I can say you mischievous imp is:  ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vudA72hibg

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on November 24, 2019 at 2:08am

Part 1
MY SCARY HALLOWEEN

When I met Larry in 1983 I was 29 years old. As we became acquainted and our friendship grew, we revealed aspects of our personalities always hoping that the other would be accepting, or at least tolerant, of our quirks and peculiar tastes and hobbies. One of mine was my absolute obsession with Halloween.
Larry did not share my passion for things that go bump in the night but viewed it as a harmless pastime with the explicit understanding that he did not enjoy people trying to scare him with tricks, pranks, or especially by jumping out and screaming “BOO!”. I explained that I didn’t celebrate that way, and was more inclined toward placing eerie, perhaps even unsettling decorations out in somewhat subtle fashion and watching movies about hauntings and ghosts.
Now, 37 years later, I live with my partner and soul mate Steve, who also does not share my Halloween obsessions, but like Larry is tolerant with a few restrictions. Where I agreed to respect Larry’s deathly fear of snakes and exclude them from my decorations, I now limit the use of spiders for Steve’s sake, always warning him in advance if one has been used anyplace. I no more want to literally frighten Steve than I did Larry – I prefer that my use of objects and their respective cast shadows create a certain spectral or otherworldly atmosphere around the house.
This year I started my holiday projects quite early. I was determined to finish those I had in progress in 2014 when Larry was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 cancer and everything went on hold for us, including Halloween. The idea of artfully positioning skulls and the like was repugnant to me, and it still takes on a different and infinitely more personal bearing for me now. I have scaled back greatly in the scope of my decorating, and mostly was focusing on several tableau arranged in my three-shelf display cabinet and, of all places, our fireplace and hearth. Steve actually helped with his talent for faux painting to restyle a Barbie doll house into a two-story haunted house. The hearth was to showcase dolls I had modified and customized into my own version of The Addams Family, and the bottom shelf of the cabinet was where I planned to host a Halloween party with dolls in costumes, decorations, and another backdrop designed by Steve. I have been working on these projects since late summer, but even with that early start I was behind – my obsession with accurate minute detailing found me revamping or changing course on so much that Oct. 30th I was conceding defeat and settling for having the party setting finished and some of the scary dolls in place, the rest to be completed as time permitted.

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on November 24, 2019 at 2:07am

Part 2

That night, after spending all day doing finishing touches on the costumes and dressing and styling the dolls, I sat down and was told by Steve to let the rest wait until Thursday, Halloween day. I agreed, but after dinner he dozed off and I lunged at the chance to get all the nine costumed dolls arranged in their poses for the great unveiling when he awoke. Dashing to the office room to grab some double-sided tape to secure the rug on the floor of the shelf, I turned too quickly, got dizzy, tripped, and went down like a sack of very stupid potatoes. True to my nature of not doing things half-heartedly, I made quite sure I banged and bounced off every available hard surface within reach, hitting them with as many body parts as possible. Two seconds later, awake but dazed and quite alarmed, I took inventory of the places I had struck in my graceful landing, for which I sadly did not even get a “10” from the watching judgmental dolls. Head – check. Both arms – double check. Right shoulder – a big nasty check there. But the winner folks was the landing gear – my left knee. Once I determined that I could stand, I made my way somehow to the living room and woke Steve as I sat down and attempted to explain what had happened. I think it took a minute to grasp that what I was describing was pretty serious, and as we inspected my injuries I felt angry at myself, embarrassed, and very very frightened that I may have done something serious. After brief resistance on my part, we headed to the emergency room where we saw in the midnight arrival of Halloween, spending 4 hours awaiting results from multiple XRAYS and a CAT scan of my head, which found no fractures but confirmed that it was basically empty and serving as a glorified hat rack – something Steve and I have known for awhile.
With nothing broken, I was discharged and have since seen my own physician who is referring for an MRI of my still-swollen knee to better assess the damage. Steve has been a patient, understanding care giver, and I have had plenty of time just keeping everything immobile and elevated, contemplating the irony of the absurd self-inflicted disaster. Happy Halloween indeed – that will again have to wait now until sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas when I can hopefully safely get around and bend my knee enough to kneel.
I realized a few days ago how terribly frightened Steve was about this whole event and have promised to stop saying “I’m sorry”, but still feel terribly foolish and reckless. Mostly, I have been thinking of how the scariest thing in life is when there is injury or illness that threatens to, and sadly sometimes succeeds, in separating us from those we love. We who have lost spouses know this too well, but abrupt reminders still shake us to our roots when the occur.
I will with luck and God’s grace have a complete recovery and will still love my favorite holiday – but I have been given notice that as we rush about not paying attention to safety and the things that are truly important, we run the risk of losing the very thing we are pursuing. I keep telling everyone that I have learned my lesson – I just hope this empty pumpkin I call my head allows me to remember it.

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on November 24, 2019 at 2:04am

Hi Virginia,

Yes it has been quiet here for some time, and like you and DJ  I too visit more than I actually post, usually a matter of available time or trying to decide how best to add and reply to everyone's comments. I am a terrible procrastinator, so conversations move on or become dated often before I write. Sorry to you all, because I am always touched and bolstered by all the events and milestones shared.

Sara, that picture of you and Ken is lovely!!! Deborah Peck, many congratulations at returning to work, and I sincerely hope it is all going well. Trina, a belated Happy Birthday, and boy don't I know how celebrations and holidays just don't seem to hold much interest or excitement since our losses. Steve and I were invited to attend a destination wedding in another state, involving a 3-day stay at their rented house with multiple activities and meals planned for all the guests. This would have been very near the dates of my Larry's birthday, and Steve's Mark's passing in 2014 - facts we shared with the friend and hoped we wouldn't be "wet blankets" if we weren't as festive as everyone else. As it turned out, we couldn't go anyway, which will be explained in my following post of a story I wrote - it will have to be posted in two installments for space, so I hope I get them in the right order!

Mary Jane, I've been so worried when the stories or wildfires in CA hit the news, and hope you weren't too much affected by the power shut-offs or evacuations! Marsha, I just always picture you keeping busy and trying to keep up with your family, volunteer work, and Bible study - I do hope you are well and feel my love over the vast miles!

Steve and I approach these coming Holidays planning to lay low, address some health issues including pending surgery for Steve, and generally focus on keeping each other's spirits and morale up - we've gotten pretty good at that if I say so myself, and nothing makes me more happy than when Steve says I make him laugh!

So everybody, whether you post or not you're still my family in my heart, and as DJ so perfectly said, this site is a lifeline for so many of us and I truly hope any new folks find the same comfort, compassion, and support that I have and continue to find to this day! Love to you all,

Chuck 

Comment by DJ on November 24, 2019 at 12:58am

Hey Virginia;  I visit here frequently, although I don't post very often. It seems lately the quiet spells happen more often and last longer. I lost my wife 2014Feb, and stumbled onto this site a few months later. It was/is a lifeline. Not as many new folks joining / staying; but the Angels are here!

Comment by Virginia on November 23, 2019 at 1:46pm

Hi and I have to say wow, why you might wonder but I can't believe how long it has been since there has been a post on here. I haven't been on in a long time but I do come on every now and then even though it is almost 11yrs. since I lost my husband..I am so grateful for the group that was here then, I don't think I would have made it without them. To see that it has been so long since anyone has posted on here makes me sad because I know from experience I needed this site everyday if not several times a day. I wish I could come on here more often but when I do it brings back so much pain and I can't let myself go back there but sometimes it still comes back. I hope this site will always be here so people know they are not the only ones going through this and feeling like your going crazy and you can talk about your feelings with others that are feeling the same. Happy Holidays and don't beat yourself up if you don't want to join in on them, god bless.

.

Comment by deborah peck on November 8, 2019 at 7:52am

Sarah love the picture I love looking at pictures of me and Greg but it makes me sad too, it would be great if they are all together thinking of us as we talk about them

Comment by Steve G. on November 7, 2019 at 10:01am

Love the picture Sara, that photo captures all the love and happiness between you two.

Comment by Sara Murphy on November 7, 2019 at 9:25am

Thanks Trina.  Ken and I were very happy together and had an easy relationship.  His birthday is actually the 23rd, but yes he would have been 56

I hope you made it through your birthday ok.  You're right, it's really not easy.  I too am always thinking about what we should be doing together

I wonder if all of our spouses have met in Heaven and sit around talking about us as we do them.  I like to think so ☺

Comment by Trina Mamoon on November 6, 2019 at 11:56pm

Hi Sara,

What a great photo. The two of you, you and your beloved husband look so happy together. So Ken's birthday was on October 26th? And he would be 56. It's so not fair!!!

Marker days are always so hard. My birthday was on the 29th, and I am always depressed on my birthday and on Joseph's: thinking of the celebration we would/should have together...

Sending you good thoughts and thanks for sharing the great pic of you two that you accidentally came across.

 

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