Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 11 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.
I feel as you do most of the time but some days are bearable. It still feels like a weight is on my chest at times and difficult to breathe. I was prescribed Xanax which seems to help. The children will be proud of you as well as your beloved for holding it together and going on as best you can. I am sure they will enjoy the island holiday.
Helen, I know how friends do not want to be around for various reasons but I think it inexcusable for your sister and nieces to act the way they are. I hope you can at least try to communicate with the nieces and maintain a family relationship. I can see why you have suffered such a setback in your grief. I have family around but none realize what I am really going through...the good people on this forum understand and can help get through some dark days.
I also have been so sad lately that I am unable to even get out of bed and do not sleep more than 3 hours at a time. Out thoughts just will not shut down at times and that is when I grieve the most because of guilt I feel. I have been attending mass (Catholic) on Sundays but I really have not gotten any comfort or feeling of peace as others have. I wonder if I will ever get my faith back after what happened.
To all my friends, I hope your health problems are quickly behind you and that some peaceful days...and nights are quick to come. I try to read the posts daily and do not answer sometimes because as Marsha puts it "I am in a fog" and just have no energy nor good answers at this time. Hugs to all.
Dixie ... It is so easy to 'hole up' instead of facing the outside world. I think instinctively we know how difficult it is going to be for us. I also unplugged my phone for a bit, but left my cell phone on just in case my brother and sister-in-law tried to get me or my girlfriend or they would have been rushing over to see how I was. I can see why some people wouldn't want to shower because staying in bed or laying on the sofa is about all the energy some of us have. I did have fairly hot showers in hopes of washing away the grief. Odd how our minds go when we lose a spouse. Lost parents on both sides; friends died far too young, but I have never felt such stabbing pain as losing my spouse.
Like you it was difficult for people to get me out and if I did venture out I didn't want to stay long. I would just sit there not knowing what to say. What is there to say? Our hearts are breaking! I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you saying you lost weight gives me some hope. I am very thin (far too thin) and eat like a horse. Had tests and all came back fine, but on Feb. 28th I go for an Endoscopy to see what is going on. Caregivers give their all and when it's over they are faced often with poor health issues.
I am so sorry you are dealing with fibromyalgia. I have two girlfriends with the same thing and it's not pleasant. I have to say it was lucky your grandson found you on the floor and after going through a heart attack and luckily you survived then God has things for you to do before you go home to be with your spouse. I can understand your anger of surviving because I would feel the same. In my Will I have put 'DNR' and also on my driver's license. I wished I could have gone with my husband, but it was not to be. I miss him more every single day and wonder when this heart crushing grief will ever let up. I am doing a little better and can I'm improving, but feel over-whelmed at times and feel so very lonely. As you said, friends come and go and our families get on with their lives too.
To be honest I wouldn't mind a companion just to open up my social life. Being friends and sharing memories of each other's spouses without worry of ridicule. Of course the person could never replace my sweetheart, but, I'm alive so I have to face the fact I have to make the best of what life I have (not a spring chicken anymore. LOL
Yes, everyone has to hang on. I left a post from that movie that made clear sense to me. Our spouses gave us their love and we should embrace that extra love; be thankful for the memories and pass it on to either adult children; grandchildren or family and friends.
I wish you peace and a fulfilled life Dixie. I know it's not easy especially when you aren't well.
God bless all & hugs
Jen S ... I see, I must have misunderstood. I am so thankful you are going there for a holiday and perhaps you can manage to do that every year or two. You are a wonderful mother to think of your children first while you are so raw into your grieving and I know Gerald is around you with all smiles and saying 'that's my girl ... I knew you could do it!' I have had the same experience (almost like mental telepathy) where I almost hear my husband's voice say 'go girl ... you were always the strong one.' I sure don't feel that strong now that my love has passed away.
Those were not friends to say such cruel things (and they will pay for those cruel words believe me) and you don't need them. You knew who you and Gerald were and how loving and kind you were and that's all you need to know. In my 2nd year of grief reality has struck me in the face and I too have had friends fade away, but slowly making new ones and also now I'm reaching out to old friends and some are coming back into my life. It's simply because they didn't know how I was feeling and didn't know what to do or say. I call it 'cleaning out my closet' and last year I gauged who were my true friends and keep them close to me (not a whole lot of them mind you) and cast the others aside because they took up too much energy and they were toxic relationships. Thankfully I have not had one person say a cruel thing to me about not like my husband or I, but those that knew me for so long realized if they even thought that and had the nerve to say it I would have ripped off their lips!
I too felt like I was hollow inside; wondered why my heart was even pumping or my legs carried me here and there; had nightmares for months after my husband's death and still can have them. I felt like my chest would explode. I didn't open my blinds; didn't answer phone calls with the exception of my brother and his wife and my one loyal girlfriend for fear they would worry about me. I couldn't stop crying and would lay on the sofa with a blanket over me. I ate to stay alive and was zombie-like. I felt tense being around people I didn't know that well or even someone knocking on my door. If a male came around I would start to shake. Go figure! I walked my dogs every day and my feet felt like lead and sure enough I would see couples walking hand in hand and I would burst out bawling. I started to wear sunglasses to cover it up. I aged over 10 years through this grief and lost a lot of weight (stabalized) even though I eat like a horse. I lost my confidence when I use to be a vibrant; joking and loving person and wonder where my emotions went after I lost my husband. I wondered why God even left me behind.
Things do get better Jen. This year I have decided to volunteer and get back out into society more. I am lucky to have my loyal girlfriend to do things with and that helps. I am painting the inside of the house and then some days grief blind-sides me and I just take it easy on myself. I try to go with the flow. I don't feel the guilt I once did of some unkind words I said to my husband as I was trying to fight the medical system; his specialists to keep him alive and get him home and the stress was horrific. My husband told me he knew I was doing everything possible. I know he's around me (like your Gerald) because I try to do a man's work around here and of course can't and end up sitting on the floor crying and suddenly a phone call comes in from my husband's best friend and he offered to help out. So, I do believe your Gerald and my Ernie are watching over us.
You're doing a great job Jen and don't let anyone take that from you! If you want to email me let me know. I'm up late.
Big hugs to you hon (we love ya on here!)
My husband, Rich, passed away 5 months ago, (8-1-12) of pancreatic cancer. I joined this forum on 11-22-12, and you were one of the first people to greet me.
Thanks for the kind words, |My situation w/is complicated as my only family ( 2 nieces and a sister) turned their backs on me I guess I had too happy a marriage for them (my sisters husband left her, though he did go back). She spent 16 years with me and my husband for holidays so saw what a happy marriage was) It started soon after his death when she criticised everything from his memorial service to where I was putting his grave stone and worse. So I have lost not only a soul mater but also a family and the two together has sent me spiralling back to the beginnings of the grief. My only wish is that I join him soon.Helen
Jen S ... What you are going through is very normal. When most of us first came on Legacy we were grieving (still are at different levels) we felt alone and afraid because the strongest and most loveable part of our life was gone ... our spouses. We were thrust into another world that felt desolate while we tried to fit in, but didn't quite make it. Family and friends came and went not realizing what grieving of a spouse meant. I, myself really didn't want to go on living and would have gladly gone with my spouse if it was legal. We unfortunately weren't able to have children; all the kids in the family were adults now and after my husband passed away in April, 2011 I felt so alone as we were so close and did so many things together. I was left with my small family of my brother; his wife and 2 nephews who made the odd phone call; my sister-in-law would come most Fridays and one loyal girlfriend who is a big part of my life and between that and Legacy and the angels on Legacy I was able to take baby steps into the future. Yes, going through grief is bleak, but each day; week; month and year we can get through it brings us closer to rebuilding our lives although we will never forget our spouse and the fond memories we had. I always remember the phrase 'tis better to have loved than to never have loved at all.' I began to feel so blessed I had my husband in my life for 45 years (married 39) and all those memories. He has left me with his wisdom; his love; strengths and laughter and I try to go on for him. I don't want his memory ever forgotten.
Like you I am try to get a future going for me and it's not easy because of my age (retired) but it can be done. I think it's wonderful you are going to move back to the town where your husband passed away and start a new life. Children are such a blessing. Routine is the key for us grievers because we had our routine with our loved one and we miss it so now we have to start all over again, but many manage to do it and so will we all. You are getting stronger! Keep a journal of every day and what you feel and then look back on it a few months later and you will see all those baby steps you took to stay strong for your children even though it's exhausting. Soon all that will go away and your strength will come back and you'll surprise yourself that you begin to see the light at the end of tunnel and begin to laugh again.
Helen D ... I know it feels like our husbands were the center of attraction, but in my second year of grieving I am beginning to realize that is simply not true. When my husband died in April 2011 I was angry because friends of 20 - 40 years seemed to drop away and I was left only with a little support from family which consisted of my brother; his wife and my 2 nephews (my husband and I had no children) and one true girlfriend. I was heart-broken and felt I was cast aside. What I didn't realize was that many of those friends were grieving too and that losing my husband made them face their own mortality. They simply were waiting for me to reach out, but how was I suppose to know that because I had never experienced a spouse passing away on me and I was in a complete fog the first year (2nd year it's facing reality.) So now I have started to reach out and getting a little more action from my friends, while there is still a few that are out of my life, but, it could be a good thing as I call it 'cleaning out my closet' to see who is loyal to the friendship they had with my husband and I and who is not. When you start to feel better (and you will) you will make new friends as well which is a healthy thing. Please don't think you are alone because you are not! For now counseling and this extended family on Legacy will help get you through the dark days and nights and many on here have gotten me through bad times when I had no one else to talk too. I've made many friends off this forum as well and for that I feel truly blessed.
Your grief is raw right now hon, so take those baby steps and when you feel stronger start reaching out to old friends and you'll be very surprised at good reactions you will receive from most. Clean out your closet! Keep the gems of friends and cast aside the disloyal.
Chicago Beard ... always nice to see you pop in and let us know how you are doing. I am so happy you're happy with your the lady in your life. I hope I am as lucky as you and have a companion in my future. Someone to share things with.
Boy, retiring in December and surgery in January; that's quite a mix for your and I'll be saying prayers that you get through your surgery and recover quickly. Please keep us informed.
Dixie ... you speaking of birds reminds me of my girlfriend who has Humming birds still coming to feast. I always thought Humming birds came in the spring and summer, but found out there is a breed that still feed through window. They are so beautiful to watch as the males come in such gorgeous colors (blast ... the females are a dull color. LOL) I bought my girlfriend 2 beautiful ornamental be-jeweled Humming birds for Christmas and she loves them and has each of them of different lamp shades. We get Starlings here (pests) as are the crows. Before we know it Robins will be chirping away pecking at the grass for grubs.
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