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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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Bad and even worse days

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Comment by Julie Stearns on May 29, 2012 at 10:35pm

Hello friends in grief,  sorry I have been away so long had an emergency, first my FIL passed away and then the day of his memorial I ended up in the ER and they transported me to a larger facility. I have a huge kidney stone that required having a nephrostomy tube put through my back and into my kidney to allow it to rest, They though it my might die   from be enlarged too long or that it may split in half leaving me full of infection. so as it is turns out it is ok but I hve to carry a urine bag around until it is ready for a lithrotripsy procedure to break up the 1 cm stone in the urethra...Scarey crap let me tell you I scared me, Misty and the pain was out of this world.  Nancy, I take my hat off to you for going through so much without your spouse, I was just so scared, but lived through it and now I am one step closer  to knowing I can do bout anything on my own.  Hate it!!! but it is what it is.. Hope everyone is doing as well as can be. sending you all much love Julie S.

Comment by Julie Larsen on May 29, 2012 at 10:32pm

Nancy:

Thanks for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2000. Charlie was in very bad shape at that time and waiting for his lung transplant. I just told the doctors and everyone else that I didn't have time to be sick I had to take care of Charlie. I guess that's why I got through surgery and chemo. Charlie got his lung and we had almost 9 pretty good years. I lost him April 9. He was 66 and we had been married for 45 years. Like all of you, I am definitely having a hard time of it. Right now at almost 2 months it just seems to be getting worse. I don't know what I would do without this site.

Nancy I have a good friend who had reconstructive surgery and is doing great. You will, too.

Comment by nancy on May 29, 2012 at 10:04pm

Thanks Vee. Good to hear from you. Who knows..maybe that's what we're all about. We're still here because we're meant to be blessings to others that need our strength. It sounds like we;re headed in a similar direction doesn't it? I like it! Good for us! We can do this girls. Remember..big girl pants!

Comment by nancy on May 29, 2012 at 9:57pm

Julie, that's awesome how you are able to give things away. I have given only a few things away but with much thought and yes I feel like John is giving me all the ideas; more often than not.When I can make a big decision with such peace I know it's from him!

My husband passed suddenly Sept. 7 at 55 from a heart attack while riding his bike. We were together 12 years and married 3. He was my best friend, soul mate and biggest fan...we all have that in common here! My dad died from small cell lung cancer 13 months before that. I was diagnosed with breast cancer Jan. 3 after finding the lump at Thanksgiving but just trying to get through the first holidays without John and not really caring I guess. I had a dbl mast. by choice Feb. 1 and chemo. started in March. Thankfully I only needed chemo. once every 3 weeks for 4 times...no radiation. They didn't start recon. at that time because they thought I would need radiation but again was lucky not to. So now I start recon. and am praying that goes well. I've learned that anything you hear from the dr. is not carved in stone! I've heard some bad things about recon. but I am doing it and as I've said here before, I look like a 6 year old right now but will be looking like a 26 year old soon enough and proudly. I have a shirt that says, Heck yeah they're fake! The other ones tried to kill me! I'm sure John loves it. I hate wigs so have picked up some cute hats and started wearing makeup again. I've put on 20 pounds since my first chemo. and have been on a good amount of steroids so I have that "healthy glow" so I've been told. I have recently also been told that I've never looked more beautiful. What the heck??? I have certainly gained more confidence with myself. Having so many things stripped from you changes your perspective. I have gotten involved with the Hope Club here in ny by the Cancer Society. I love it. My 19 year old son told me he's shocked by me. I have this inner strength that comes out that he can't understand. I know it's from my strong faith and that came from loving John. So anyway, this cancer has changed me in a most remarkable way and has been a huge distraction in my grief but a welcome one as crazy as that sounds. I know I'm gonna be ok. I am at peace knowing that I will have eternity with my best friend and obviously I'm still needed here.

We really all are so very strong. Just think about the first day, first week, first 2 weeks and compare to where we are now. Sure we go backwards sometimes but we're still ahead..not losing too much ground. Baby steps are better then no steps. No sense in comparing yesterday to today. They are all new and it's different for us. We have to learn a whole new life and it takes time. It's about getting comfortable in your skin.

Sorry so long winded. I talk more then ever all juiced up!!

Take care and keep up the good work. Prayers and hugs to you.

Comment by Vee on May 29, 2012 at 9:48pm

Nancy, I'm praying for you.  It's so good to read all of your progress, physically and mentally.  You have my vote for lady survivor of the year!

 

Julie, thank you for the kudos.  You have a farm?  I once had a business associate who had an emu ranch.  She would let kids and their parents come to visit.  She had lost a husband, too, and found this therapeutic, watching the kids enjoyment of her birds.  Find something that gives you some new memories.  I do understand triggers.  Some days it seems that everything is a trigger. 

 

I don't know, folks, maybe bringing joy to others will help me find my own joy once again.  It's early days still, and I have a long road ahead.  Pray for me!

 

All the best to everyone.  This forum is very healing for me.  I feel blessed to have this venue to gain strength and courage to face an uncertain future.  God bless for a peaceful evening!

Comment by Julie Larsen on May 29, 2012 at 2:04pm

Nancy:What you are doing for you and your grandkids and John is a great thing. I hope it brings you much joy. I've found that doing something that just strikes me as right makes me feel better. I like to think Charlie is giving me the ideas. Usually the best feeling comes from giving something away. So far I've given away two pickups, a tractor, a plow and an antique clock. I want to make sure the things Charlie loved will go to someone who will value them and think of him every time they see them.

I have not been here long enough to know your story, but I am a cancer survivor and I know you are, too.

Comment by nancy on May 29, 2012 at 1:51pm

Hi all. Just checking in. I think I'm still headed in the right direction. I was a little weepy this weekend. I spent the weekend at the lake with some of John's family. It was/is beautiful there. Nice private family community. Love it so much that I bought a camp. It's really just a camper with a room added but it's a mansion to  me. We've been using a pop up for years now.Our grandaughters have always gone with us for at least a week plus and I've been very anxious about me and my oldest granddaughter (13) being able to set. I actually know we CAN but how much time of the day left when we're done, etc. John and I had discussed many times hoping to get something on a lake for the grandkids to grow up on in the summers. I decided that this was my retirement investment for me and my family and I made the split decision to do it. Now I have to get the blood sweat and tears in action to clean this place up. I can kinda take it slow as I'm not back to work yet but also I have to remember that I'm not back to work yet because I'm supposed to be healing.

I didn't have even a second of second thoughts. I felt such a peace when I made the decision and once again when I turned on the radio John's song came on. That does it for me. He's with me all the time and it makes me cry but a good secure feeling comes with it. I think I've been letting the tears come and turning the memory that's making me cry into a smile before I end it. I've cried because he isn't here doing this with me and he would have been so excited for this opportunity..I really am lucky to have gotten in. I found his camping coffee pot and mug and will put it on a shelf in the new camp. I'm sure you all understand about crying over a mug! But I'm blessed that I can feel him cheering me on. Anyway, I'm crying now but they really are mixed with tears of joy.

Anyone that has been following my story knows how blessed I am. I have received my last chemo. and just getting through the end of side effects and steroids. Petscan next month for the official callof what I''m sure will be no cancer!! Remember, this is a success story here. I plan to enjoy my summer with a huge fixer upper project and surprising my grandkids this weekend.The second half of this year is going in one direction...up. I'm starting my day on my knees so I can't get any lower! Our wedding anniversary is July 5 and I hadn't even thought about it until my sil brought it up. John was such a firework crazed man that I'm hoping to actually watch them at the lake that night.He was the one that used to buy them and light them off...always the best!!

Vee and Julie, great to hear from you ladies. Chins up. Our men are proud of us...we have to be proud of us. Laugh hard today or make someone else laugh hard. It feels so good!! Thinking of one funny/crazy memory before the end of the day for a laugh is working for me. Sometime it might have to be the same memory..doesn't matter. It's all good. We're getting stronger every day. Just because we stat crying again doesn't mean we're not gaining strength. Sometimes strength comes through tears! 

Prayers and hugs to all. Peace and joyful expectations my friends!

Comment by Julie Larsen on May 29, 2012 at 10:45am

Vee:

I would like to find something to do for others like you are doing (can't cook worth a darn, though). I haven't really explored it yet, but I will. My house and farm are filled with memory triggers. A cap can make me cry. So far most everything is still where Charlie left it before we went to the hospital. Yesterday, I was able to pick up the pliers he used through 45 years of farming. They were on the garage floor where he left them that day. I used them (clumsily) and put them away where they belong - not back on the floor. Is that progress? Maybe all the memory triggers are what make people finally able to get rid of some things. I don't think I want to do that. The memories might make me cry but I want them anyway.

Your toothpick and shovel analogy is great. At least you are digging and I admire you.

We sang "On Eagles Wings" at Charlie's funeral and it goes through my head constantly. It is a most inspiring hymn.

Comment by Vee on May 29, 2012 at 9:06am

Maggie and Jerry, we have such good role models for how to get through this.  Jerry, your mom, 50 years?  Wow!  Maggie, I pray to get to the day when I can think of Lawrence and smile or laugh.  Right now, the memories are drowning me.  They seem to come back to me in a flood in almost every situation.  I never knew what had been so good, could feel so bad now.  I look forward to the day when I can smile when I think of Lawrence.  I know that day will come.  Thank you!

 

Julie, there is a purpose for you and all of us who have been left behind.  I don't know what it is right now, but I'm sure it will be revealed.  I have been preparing some of what were our favorite dishes for some elderly people.  They say they've never tasted anything like them in their lives.  Watching their eyes light up and their enjoyment has brought joy to me.  I really don't know what path I'm going to take now.  I just don't have the same bite or passion for what I've done for so many years as a profession, but I'm taking baby steps in trying to build a new life.

 

I'm exploring new avenues.  I think I might even go on a treasure hunt in the Carolinas.  I saw it on the Travel Channel.  I'm using a toothpick right now to dig my way out of this grief.  Hopefully, one day I'll get a shovel.  I'm just hoping.  I hope that today is a better day for all of us.  Yesterday was a hard day for me, too.  I knew it would be, so I went to the cemetery on last Thursday.  It was painful.  I know the big guy is pulling for me to make it through.

 

To all who are struggling as I am, may God's love be the wind beneath our wings today

Comment by Julie Larsen on May 28, 2012 at 9:57pm

This morning I attended an outdoor memorial service at the small County Church where Charlie is buried. It was something we did together every year as it is only three miles from our farm. I have been trying not to do anything that we did together, but since he was there I thought it might work. It was very hard but I got through it. I even had a plan for when I got home. I had purchased new plants for the memory garden I'm making so I went right out and started working. It was a good plan but it only lasted for two hours. Back in the house, I fell apart again. I can't stand to be very far from my home, but it seems better when I'm working outsid.e I'm beginning to think that's because I'm imagining him here in the house waiting for me. At any rate I spent most of the afternoon on the internet just reading and reading about others in my situation - it seemed like it would be a long night. Then about 5 pm some good friends just showed up. We have known them forever. Actually Charles and Kenny were childhood friends and were best men for each other. When we spent the last month of Charlie's life in a hospital 2 hours from here, they showed up every Sunday. We looked at pictures for a while and then they asked me to go out to supper with them. It was the first time I had gone somewhere with anyone except my Mom. I really couldn't say no so I went. They are willing to talk about him and the evening passed. I won't say I enjoyed it, but it filled an evening that otherwise would have been a disaster. They have been a help to me in many ways already and I know Charlie would have done the same had Kenny died.

So I got through Memorial Day and I am one day closer to being with Charlie.

Janice I am angry, too. I am unable to see one good reason why Charlie is gone and I have to stay here. When we were married 45 years ago we thought it was forever. Every marriage had it's rough spots but we worked hard at staying together. I believe that is what God wants. My anger is that after all that hard work and love we should have to be apart. If God needed Charlie why can't he take me too. I can't bear to think about being here alone for 5 or 10 years, much less 20.

Thank you all for being willing to listen to my ramblings. I so want to get to the point where I might be of some help to some of you.

 

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