Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 3 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 Diamond Jan 31.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019.
Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019.
Dear Mary Jane,
I had to reply to what you said about your feelings in your new home - I know exactly how you feel, because moving from New Jersey to Texas was such a tremendous change in every way possible for me. About 4 months in I wrote to an old friend that it had been a terrible mistake, that I would NEVER be happy or content here, and I felt trapped, cornered, and imprisoned...nothing about Steve, just Texas.
My friend, you had such a turbulent time packing, sorting, moving body and soul all while dealing with your health and grief that, like me, I doubt your innermost feelings had much time or room to surface. they are now taking full advantage of the opportunity. For us, no place will be the home we had, nor the future we planned with Bob & Larry. This is most definitely not where I ever expected to live. That said, I reflect on how I felt in the first months after losing Larry. People were already asking where I would go, what I would do. My reply was usually that I had no clue while inwardly thinking that those were the stupidest questions I had ever been asked in my life. All I knew was that for whatever reason, I was still here, and what comes next isn't in my control at all - I just asked that I be put where I was supposed to be and shown what I was supposed to do, and not by well-meaning friends or relatives - by God.
Mary Jane, maybe something or someone will enter your world from unexpected places and give you a sense of home - or not. Maybe 1 year from now you'll get an offer on your home and bolt like a frightened rabbit to someplace different - still near your daughter of course. But I know in my heart that the love of people and of life you share here will draw those around you who will give you direction, purpose, and peace. Try to remain open, and when some new thing appears in your path, listen to your heart. It is there where Bob will nudge you in the right direction, as you would for him were things reversed.
Big hugs and all my love dear friend - courage!!!
Part 2 of Mary's piece from Chuck
When we got home, we tried to wake him up. We brought him outside in the wheelchair for some fresh air. He was awake and alert, but not fully himself. And his voice sounded funny. I didn’t cry again until that night when he was sleeping. It was dark and he was in the hospital bed in the living room. I came downstairs to sit next to his bed for a while. It suddenly dawned on me that he was probably never going to come back upstairs to our bedroom again. Again, I sobbed uncontrollably.
Two days later, he stopped breathing, and I don’t think I cried even once that day. I think I was too exhausted to cry. I was also relieved that he wasn’t suffering anymore. I did cry some over the next few days mostly when I saw someone else cry. But these were not outbursts. During his funeral, I read a speech that I had written, and I only started to get a lump in my throat and tear up a little at the last paragraph. But I finished reading the whole thing.
About a week after the funeral, I went to Dad’s apartment to try to clear out some of his personal possessions. I was talking with Kerry, the head nurse there. She knew that Tuan had been sick and she asked me how he was. I told her he passed away about two weeks ago. All of a sudden, without warning, I started crying again. I didn’t stop til after I got outside to my car.
Over the past few months I have cried at times when I am in bed at night. Also sometimes when I’m driving in my car. Also when I’m watching tv or at the movies. One time, I cried uncontrollably at church when I was trying to read a passage from the Bible out loud. I was standing in front of everybody when it happened. It was rather awkward. But I think people understood.
I suppose things like that are bound to happen from time to time in the future. And that’s okay too. Sometimes I like to think about what it will be like in Heaven. No more crying there. What will we do with our emotions? Sing, dance, and laugh, I guess.
This is the piece my cousin Mary wrote after losing her husband Tuan last September. Less than a week before her father, my Uncle John, passed, so she and all her family were dealt quite a blow. Mary allowed me to share this with you - I think like us she finds comfort in writing about her feelings. She has also told me of possible plans for the future, although wisely she is making no fast decisions or commitments right away.
December 11, 2019
I want to write something about crying. Why do people cry? There could be many reasons. Sadness, pain, loneliness, fear, etc. . . Pain can be physical or emotional pain. I might cry when I’m frustrated, confused, or exhausted. Everybody cries sometimes, although adults often try to hide it. As if they’re embarrassed or something. Sometimes we cry when we are filled with joy, or overwhelmed with emotion in a good way. Babies cry a lot. When they’re hungry, tired, bored, too cold or too hot, or sick. One thing is for sure —- everybody does it —- at least sometimes. I often cry when I see somebody else cry. I think they call that empathy. Even Jesus cried when Lazarus died. Actually, I think he didn’t cry until he got to the place where all the people were mourning.
Crying is something that you can’t control easily. At least I can’t control it. I can’t make myself cry, and I can’t make myself stop crying once I’ve started. Laughing is the same way for me. I think when God made us, he wired us with all kinds of complex emotions, some of them very powerful. And he knew that sometimes we would need some kind of way to release them. It’s a human thing. And it’s somewhat involuntary.
It has been three months since my husband and my father died. When Dad died, I didn’t cry when I got the news. I was fine until the day of the funeral. When we were all inside the church, we had to line up in the back and walk up to the front to sit down. I heard the organ music play, and all of a sudden I started to cry uncontrollably. I was crying while I was walking down the aisle to my seat. Gradually, I calmed down for the service. I was sitting next to Tara, and she is one of those people who cries easily. And seeing her cry makes me cry. I think I was feeling a combination of sadness about my father’s death and my husband’s near death. Tuan was not at the funeral. He stayed home with Richard so I could go to the funeral. His condition had been declining rapidly over the past couple of days, and so I wasn’t sure if I should even leave him to go to Dad’s funeral. But I decided to go. It was only for a few hours, and when I got home, Richard said Tuan had been sleeping all morning. I guess it was because we had given him some Ativan for restlessness the night before.
Oh Marsha...I am so sorry yesterday was hard for you, as well as Everyone else here, beside myself..to whom it was just another day. I used to get a bit peeved when Bob either blew it off, saying he didn,t need to give me flowers, etc, as I should KNOW he loved me, without trite gifts, or gave me flowers a day or two BEFORE VD day..but now I am a bit grateful for his actions. And, he did that the last 10 years b4 his death..probably cuz I would lie, and him it was no big deal.. he would say “you know I love you, and shouldn’t, need a day dictated by the greeting card company, to force him to show how much” *
*translation: “oh crap, I forgot, I hope she will buy this excuse” and in his defense, he would bring me flowers during the year for no reason at all..so it worked out.
I hope this makes my angels on here feel a little better. On Friday I was out and about keeping one appointment and shopping and I know many of the people who work in my town. I was amazed at how many people were alone for Valentine's Day; some had no one, other's their boyfriend or husband had to work. It was quiet for Valentine's Day. I didn't make me feel quite so bad. I hope all of you got through Valentine's with less pain and more peace.
Love & Hugs
My Dear Chuck ... You had me in tears and steamed up my sunglasses, but also made me laugh! I'll tell you a secret, I love the more glamor of Hollywood as well when they really knew how to make movies.
You have no idea how much I look forward to your posts as they often bring a smile to my face or a good chuckle. You too have helped me many times as has Steve. I am lucky to have adopted 2 wonderful brothers.
I was laughing so hard about you not putting the correct date down for Steve's appointment because I had a hairdressing appointment and on the calendar I had it was 2 PM on the Thursday, but luckily I had put the date in my Day Book and thankfully it was on the Friday. We aren't losing our minds; we just have to much on our minds. At least that's what I keep telling myself. LOL
You brought me to tears with your wonderful comments when I needed them the most. The last two weeks have not been kind to me. My halo is tarnished and as far as a Queen all I have to say about that is 'Royal Flush!' LOL I try my best.
I love you too my dear brother, I'll get an email off to you soon and some photos. I'll wear a bag over my head with my name written on it. LOL
Hugs & much Love
I hope this day was an easy one for all of you. Sometimes, when days are difficult, a phrase pops into my head: “AND THIS TOO, SHALL PASS” ..and it does..eventually. Last night was wonderful..having you all posting was like a reunion of sorts, and I thank you all from deep in my heart. It was old friends meeting again. I hope it will stay that way, and we can keep a level of communication here.
I have been having a VERY hard time since I moved here 7 months ago..with an almost HATRED of everything in this new life, except being near my daughter..The house, location, the HUGE changes in 15 years since I moved..but I digress..and I will post more tomorrow, as I would like your thoughts on something I fear is causing these emotions..for now, Have a wonderful evening, my friends.
Thank you all and prayers right back to ya!
I can't help but get a visual of you walking your doggies with your sunglasses looking every bit the image of Greta Garbo muttering is a low voice "I vant to be alone..."
Sorry, with me somehow everything ends up back in the old glamor days Hollywood. You have always been here when I need a smile or a push (or kick in the rear) to get me back on track - my trolley jumps that track more often than I care to admit.
Tuesday Steve and I rose early, dressed and rushed out the door to an early appointment with his doctor - he had been dreading this appointment all weekend, and I tried to distract him with my usual silliness and assurances that all would be well.
When we reached the check in desk the appointment was not scheduled - however there was one for next Tuesday. We were embarrassed and Steve said he must have written it on the calendar on the kitchen wall incorrectly. Once home my deepest fears were realized - there was the appointment on the wrong date - in MY handwriting. God bless him, he just laughed and said "That's OK - it could happen to anyone." Of course, the frequency with which it happens to me was left unmentioned.
I am sending you a giant bear hug, and remember to keep that Hollywood swagger in your step today - to me and everyone else here you are not only an angel - you are a Queen!
How many times you have said something that went straight to my heart - I've lost track - and hearing from you again just reminds me of how you and all the treasured family here have lifted me and carried me through some of the darkest times of my life. Travelling between here and Bangladesh can't be easy, and sadly I suspect at times downright unpleasant. This is one of the magical things that I found on Legacy - making friends with people of such varied backgrounds who can all be one family of compassion and unconditional love. I've said before that this special place is to me a model of how the world should be - facing unbearable losses and troubles by reaching out to each other and joining hands to share our burdens and thus lighten them for us all.
I send you all my love and a long tight hug from a distant friend who will always treasure you -
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