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.
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All I can say is that I agree with Marsha and assure you that you haven't offended any of us. I, at this point in my own journey, have noticed some things about myself that have evolved quietly in the background while I was struggling to rejoin the living world and find some shred of meaning and hope for the future.
It seems I have let go of so many meaningless and yet burdensome petty grievances I lugged around with me in my heart before I lost Larry. Nobody close to me ever had to wonder about my opinions concerning bigots, racists, politicians, religious hypocrites, etc. Looking back, I must have been very tiresome with my "witty" insults and slurs hurled unthinkingly around people, some of whom were quite offended I'm sure.
Sadly, one of those was Larry's sister. She is Catholic, and I took perverse pleasure when with her in dredging up any of the public struggles the church was dealing with. I used the child abuse issues being investigated as a weapon to attack the attitude and teaching of the church regarding homosexuality. Larry would privately ask me to not do this, but fueled with a few (few?) glasses of wine and my inflated sense of moral superiority, I would stealthily turn any conversation back to the way her brother and myself were maligned and misunderstood by her precious church.What a sad memory that is for me now - what possessed me, besides drink, to do that when all Larry wanted was a pleasant visit with his sister?
When you mention that your time is coming - the time when your beloved Basil passed, I again think of how so many of us know the exact time and circumstances of our loss of our spouses, and remember how for myself, 7:00 PM was a time of day I dreaded for many many months. If I happen to be someplace around people even today, and notice that time on my watch of a clock across the room, I lose the thread of the conversation as my mind instantly transports me back to that moment. It is less dramatic for me 3 years out, but will never go away. Nor would I want it to - I grasp and hold tightly all things that keep my cherished memories of Larry fresh and vivid in my mind and heart. One thing I do fear is ever forgetting some of the simple small moments we shared, so I talk about them at every opportunity.
Patricia, every person who shares with us their feelings and story adds to the collective loving environment here their own measure of loving compassion, just as you are already doing with your posts. Thank you for that, and my prayers for a peaceful day ahead -
God Bless You!
Sometimes I am reading your posts to a new family member who is going through such heartache, and your replies to me when I first joined come back to me. I was so worried that I would be either ignored or told this was not a place for me. I wrote some time ago how, when I had referred to the fact that i had lost my husband, my hand hung suspended in mid-air trembling for what felt like an eternity. Then I closed my eyes and hit the "Add Comment" button and thought I would know soon enough. The outpouring of understanding, compassion, and especially acceptance from everyone who replied made me weep. Since that moment this has been the place I return when I need a booster shot of strength, or more importantly, when I wish to share something that hopefully will resonate with someone just embarking on the long arduous journey through their grief.
So, for all you have done and continue to do for me, and all the family members and friends here, thank you, and God Bless You!
Hope you have a peaceful day -
Patricia ... You don't realize it, but telling your story about your life, grieving for your loved ones also encourages more compassion by all of us as we are family and you are one of us in this group of angels. You have helped more than you will ever know even as you post. Many of us have tears for you and those you loved so much lost far to early and it helps us to help you heal. I am so very proud of you for the strength and honesty you have shared with us here and I know it has taken a lot out of you mentally and physically, yet you keep coming back posting and just letting your hurt out on Legacy and we thank you for that.
This site saved my life. I was like you alone, frightened, missing Ernie so much, feeling I wanted to die to be with him and the loneliness with fear of the future. The angels on here got me through some rough times and I keep coming back to share that yes, little by little we become stronger and yes, I do believe not only your beloved Basil, but also your brother are right there with you helping you through this. I had experiences with that several times. Counselors to Psychiatrists will tell you that it's false hope you experience these things, but not true and after all, what do they know what happens after death. When you are up to it I will share some of the experiences I had with knowing my Ernie was around and also witness'.
Oh my, I cried for your brother and sad to say there are bigots, madmen with no conscience, but they will pay a dear price for what they did to your brother and those other poor souls. I can't even imagine the pain you must have felt hearing the details of those two deviates and listening to them boast about it.
I really do understand that you put your life on the back burner for Basil as I did Ernie and it wasn't until after his death that I went to my doctor. I hope you do go and get something to take the edge off your anxiety on only a short-term basis. Also hon, forgot to mention that sleep, even eating a little and very important you drink lots of water (crying so much dehydrates our bodies). Just a few tips to help you out. If you want to sleep for hours or not talk to anyone on the phone then don't feel guilty one bit. Take your time and I do know you must keep in touch with your daughter (I have not forgotten her grief either.) There is a section on this forum for parents who have lost children and I hope in time your daughter may join. Just knowing others have been through something similar will make her feel less guilty and ease her pain to a degree.
Oh no, Patricia, you haven't offended anyone here and as we said just let your emotions flow onto your posts. I am 76 years old and there isn't much I haven't seen, heard or experienced. I also forgot to tell you that my sister-in-law's brother was gay and unfortunately he passed away 16 years ago from AIDS, Both sides of the family stuck together visiting him and what astounded me the most was even though he was in pain and dying he was giving wise advice to others in the hospital and was much loved. We learned a lot from him and I do think of him often to this day.
Of course Basil was significant to you and such a good and sweet man like my Ernie. We were very lucky to have had them in our lives, but they were also lucky to have loyal and loving women like us in their lives as well. Relationships are about loving, kindness, loyalty, strength, laughter and on it goes and we were so fortunate to have had that.
Know my dear friend I pray for you and all members on here that each day because less stressful and full of pain. It's a privilege to know you Patricia and your strength amazes me.
Thank you Marsha, like I was telling Charles I hope I get to the point where I can give such wise advise on this site someday. Im just not at that point yet.
I am so thankful I found this site to be able to vent my emotions without being judged!! For some reason I do feel safer sharing here then I even do with my family and physcitrist. I think it is because you all can think back to where I am right now and know how it feels.
I've never understand bigiots, regardless of what or why. My brother of all them was the most peaceful and ppl. pleasing person there was. He would be the one to always try to keep the peace with all the brother and sisters. The murderers (father&son) bragged about how many they had killed apiece while they were in jail, they had it all on tape through a wired informant. They went to the fathers farm in Miami OH and unearthed many bodies. The son wanted my very sweet baby brother to himself (he was beautiful with the most crystal blue eyes) and my brother did not want him. They could of probably saved his life by the time they found him, he ran out of house and across street and collapsed. They decided not to call for help, instead bring him in house and let him bleed to death.
I don't have a doctor, I had always been the person taking Basil to doctor and making sure he went to the right specialist, I always have put myself on the back burner. I do need to find one and will take her advice on that Marsha. I sincerely hope I'm not saying too much here to offend anyone. I am just feeling like I need to let you know why my soul mate was so significant to me, as I know your Ernie was to you!!!
My time will be approaching soon, he passed at 10:21pm and I'm replaying and reliving all that time that lead up to that time!
Again, Thank you all for listening. Please dear Lord, give me strength!
Dearest Steve ... What profound words and thank you for posting it. It brightened my day. How true it is we can accept our own demise, but not those of others. What keeps me glued together is they are at peace and loved and one day we will see each other once again.
Dearest Patricia ... Again, in tears because you have been through so very much and I understand your rock now is gone and you feel so alone, BUT, you are not! As Charles said even though you don't know us we are here for you ALWAYS! I am so very proud of you for telling us so much about the hurting you have suffered so many times. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything right for you once again.
I can't even imagine being in the same court house with that monster who took your brother's life only because he was gay. In British Columbia Canada during the 1990's we had so many seriously injured gay people and our laws came down swift and hard. What makes some people fear gays; it's just not gays, but anything that is different from themselves and they cower in fear. I do believe God deals with things in his own way and believe me the young man who took your brother's life will wish he never had as prison isn't a good place to be. He will pay! I know this does bring your brother back and even if the murderer died it still would not give you the peace you would expect to feel. I know your sweetheart was there to comfort you and now, he too is gone and we do understand how this feels. Even today I crave to have my Ernie here when things get a little to tough for me to handle, but I almost feel him around me and eventually things do turn out and I can breath a sigh of relief.
You are in raw grief right now Patricia and all the things you are going through is normal. Grief seems like such an ugly journey that all of us have to go through, but grief also makes us stronger and makes us realize we can still live on and hold close to our hearts the memories of those we love. Eventually as your life moves on those memories will get you through your life where you will find some peace and joy. I know these words sound empty now, but please trust in us as we've been there. We can sort out what is normal every day upsets, some depression because of what life throws everyone and realize it's just not centered on grief alone.
I hope my dear friend that you see your doctor and if possible seek out a grief psychologist to speak to. It does help. We are also here to offer help and please realize that by you just coming on here and expressing what you have took courage and that is 'strength!'
Your beloved is there with you and never forget that. He will get you over the bumps of grief, he'll be there when you cry or don't feel you can make another day. I have experienced this many times throughout these 7 years since Ernie passed away. He is in my heart every single day and yes, I talk to him every single day in the car or the privacy of my home.
Just keep posting hon and letting your emotions out and we'll be there for you. We'll see you through this darkened journey of grief.
Many hugs flying your way
Charles, you are such a blessing to me right now. I hope I can get to the place you are to give such wise advice, I'm just not there right now. You are so right in saying that my ROCK that comforted me through all these tragic events is gone!!!
It has been 1 month to the day that I loss Basil. It is a very bad day for me just thinking about counting down the hours when he left and I died with him!! I had never felt love till I met this man. He was a true Southern Gentlemen. Keep in mind, I was only 25 and he swept me off my feet. He was Greyhound Bus driver through Miami, Fl and I was a ticket agent in the Naples, Fl station. He never once in all our years together disrespected me and always stood up to anyone that dare disrespect a woman or curse around children. Very family oriented.
I raised my brother and sisters. I was oldest of 7 and was forced to quit school at 14 to help provide for family. I'm just saying this cause when my brother was being unearthed on the news, I felt like I loss a child. I had to listen in court to a thing say : Yeah I stabbed him to death, but don't know how many times!!! I had to listen to his Father (66) say: Your Honor I can't stay in this jail cause the cot hurts my back...OMG, I wanted to run down there and honestly at time show him hurt. A 25 yr old witness mysteriously was found dead when they went to interview him! I swear this was something from a TV movie.
I too have never understood how ppl can HATE on anyone. I loved my brother and knew from an early age he was gay and that did not change how much I loved him and supported through his life.
I so hope you and Marsha are right in saying I will get through this, cause right now it don't feel like I will.
Charles and everyone Thank You for listening. R.I.H. Basil Huett
Dear Legacy Family,
It has been awhile since I have posted, however, I do read each and every post. Today I was looking for something to add to my blog on Facebook and found the following quote and it seems today is a good day to repost it:
“When I think of death, and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in the valley of strange humors.I can accept the idea of my own demise but I am unable to accept the death of anyone else. I find it impossible to let a friend or relative go into that country of no return.Disbelief becomes my close companion, and anger follows in its wake. I answer the heroic question ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ with ‘it is here in my heart and mind and memories’.”
By Maya Angelou
Your Legacy brother,
Reading your posts about your losses of your brother and granddaughter truly leaves me shaken. Having to endure all that sadness, and then lose your rock to whom you clung when doing so would surely leave you feeling terribly lost.
Try to think this way if you can - you can't be completely lost, because we have found you, and you us. It may not sound like much - having "invisible" distant voices trying to offer our support when you feel frightened and more alone than you ever knew was possible in this world. For myself, such voices and listening ears, quite bluntly put, saved my sanity.
I have never known the blessing of having a child or grandchild, so can only imagine the depth of grief such a loss as yours creates. My heart goes out to you and your daughter.
The tragic violent way your brother was murdered leaves my hands shaking with shock and outrage. Your feelings of hatred toward those responsible for this horrific hate crime is not ill-suited considering the circumstances of your loss. As a gay man this struck a nerve head-on with me, bringing me back to a question I have pondered my entire life. What is the reason so many people are afraid of gay people? It's only love after all, and nothing to be afraid of.
I met Larry in June of 1983, then in July my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She passed September 1st. Larry became my rock that summer, as well as someone upon whom my father and brother could lean and depend during my family's emotional ordeal.
^ years later we went through another loss to cancer of my father, and again Larry was more than my rock - he was an angel for helping me through my dealings with hospice, a frightened loving aunt, and an alcoholic brother who was unraveling before our eyes.
10 years later a dearly loved friend committed suicide, and I was in total shock for months - Larry somehow knew just what to say - and perhaps more importantly, not to say - to allow me to process and navigate my feelings of guilt and grief.
10 more years, and we lost my brother to liver cancer - he was alone in his life then, so it fell to me to handle his arrangements and meager estate. Larry kept me focused and grounded, again the steady constant support upon whom I leaned without hesitation when i would be suddenly exhausted and overwhelmed by loss.
When I lost Larry 3 years ago, I looked around me and saw many willing people wanting to get me through this fresh hell I was dropped into, but they weren't Larry.
That was all I could think again and again - where was my rock? how could I do this without my hero, my strength - my love.
Patricia, you don't know me, but believe me that nobody ever considered me a "tower of emotional strength", nor was I ever accused of being incredibly confident and stable. Yet, with the help of this family, the unseen presence of Larry and all those I had lost, and especially the mercy of God, I made it through the darkness and terror that was my early grief.
You are just now where I was - my heart breaks knowing exactly how you are feeling right now - but you will get through this, and as Marsha says, we all are here to help you do so. You are most definitely not alone.
I wish you peace today, and send my strength your way along with a hug, because, to borrow a phrase from Marsha, you need it.
Patricia, and others,,I just don’t know what to say...about multiple losses like I have read about here. I have heard stories here, that have dropped me to my knees.
Some day I will share my story about the loss of a 13 year old girl..but not yet. Ironically, the parents are my daughters husbands sister and her husband..and the mom was pretty close to BOb. When he died, she wrote me the most beautiful letter...and said she knew they were together in heaven. I still haven,t seen her, .as she chose not to come to Christmas dinner in 2016..and I knew it was because we both would have broke down...
anyway I digress ...I am not afraid to die either, I don,t want to die violently..but I am older..and, in a sense..it is the “circle of life”. I understand that I no longer have time on my side.
however, I am TERRIFIED my daughter and my cat Rudy will die. I follow my kitty around, checking on his welfare, and examine him. If I don,t get a call from my daughter I go to pieces imagining the worst. Basically my world is one big ball of terror..of loosing the people I care about, and that includes everyone here.
I have been considering telling the story of story of the death of the 13 year old..as it was so strange and out of the blue...it was not a violent death...but it was the perfect family...they worked hard and had an absolutely perfect life..then travesty struck. How they handled it was an inspiration..but it’s been 4 years, and their perfect life will never be the same. They are good people, and the girls death was completely senseless. After all this time I still can’t believe it happened. Ok it is time for bed. Rudy is in the garage looking for bugs and small snakes. I am ok with the snakes, but not the spiders..terrified he will get hurt. Welcome to summer in Oklahoma. I hope everyone sleep is peaceful tonight.
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