Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: Nov 2
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 Julie. Last reply by DJ Dec 6, 2020.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31, 2020.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019.
Many thanks to Steve, Deborah, Mary Jane, Marsha, DJ, Chuck, and Diane for reviving the conversations we used to have on this forum.
Like so many of you, after the pandemic hit, I couldn't reach out here anymore. The grief of losing Joseph--it will be seven years on August 4th--that has never left me had to be buried in my heart because of the deaths and the pain all around. Life is completely different now with Covid, and the refuge and camaraderie we used to find on this forum have taken a toll because I think in part we don't know what to say in fear of perhaps offending someone unwittingly. So I am really glad to see that so many familiar "faces" posted recently. Great to read your posts even though the posts brought tears to my eyes.
Covid, or not, I feel my loss deeply even after almost seven years. And now that Joseph's death anniversary is coming up next week, I feel restless, anxious, lack appetite, and lacking interest in conversations with my family and friends who are totally oblivious of my ongoing struggle to find peace and solace.
Many of us on this forum know that it doesn't matter how many years have passed since we lost the love of our life. The longing, the emptiness, the restlessness, the futile search for finding peace, the regrets and the feelings of guilt just don't go away. Relentless, this suffering, and having to go around in front of others as if all is fine and dandy makes it worse; so exhausting and depleting.
On the topic of dreams, the few dreams I have with Joseph in them, I am always frantically calling him on the phone and there is no answer, or I forgot his number and cannot reach him. When I wake up after these dreams, the depression and the feeling of loss are unbearable. It's very rare that I have a dream with Joseph in it where we are happy together. As utterly depressing these dreams are, I understand them as my subconscious telling me that Joseph is lost to me forever, and no matter what I do, I will not get him back.
Oddly enough, even if in my dreams I cannot reach out to Joseph, his presence in my daily life is strong as ever. Like Mary Jane and her Bob, Joseph is always there for me, giving me moral support and guiding me through the difficulties of everyday life. I am deeply thankful for his presence in my waking hours.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if some day we could have a "reunion" type meeting some place and meet up face to face one weekend and get to spend some time in person? Well, we can dream, can't we?
Again, I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to share your thoughts and feelings during here these hard times. It takes a lot of psychic and physical energy to do it.
Sending all of you much love and wishes for courage and strength to go on as best as we can in the face of the relentless grief we continue to experience.
Thanks, everyone for all of your replies. Lately, I find myself VERY spaced out...and distracted..so if I don,t respond right away..I will get there eventually. It is 2 years, since I moved back to CA., and it is as if I have been in a coma for that time. I think Covid has a lot to do with it..as just as I was getting used to the change, everything became different. I have NO short term memory. Caused By my meds..which HOPEFULLY, a surgical procedure this Monday will eliminate the need for this medication. I feel that just as I was getting used to the change of the new place, everything turned upside down! At LEAST Bob REALLY helps me out! Yes, I know that sounds a but nutty..but he is my ROCK in a world where everything is like being in the Twilight Zone! LOL
I too am glad to see so many familiar names back, and hope others may let us know how they are (this means you Sara).
Steve has said how we are doing, so I will address Deborah's question because it struck a nerve with me. I have indeed had several dreams in which Larry was either leaving or had already left me. In one he walked into a room with someone new, and I just hung back watching how happy he was. He came over and was cordial but brief in greeting me - he looked young and energetic and was all smiles.
In another he was walking along the bank of a river with friends of ours while I was stranded on the other side waving but unnoticed. There have been more, but these two come to mind.
Both times I awoke with tears on my face and very sad thinking that Larry hadn't looked that happy with me for many years before passing. This inevitably led to a dark path of tortuous thoughts with which I have been wrestling for 6 years - had he not passed, would he have left me anyway? Ours was certainly not always a happy relationship during the last years before his diagnosis, and I place most of the blame for that on myself and my drinking.
So I can understand well how your dreams make you feel Deborah, and you are not alone having this uncomfortable question tugging at your thoughts. We both, like everyone else here, need to ride these feelings out the way one rides a wave when surfing, trying to stay on our feet, but knowing that a fall won't be fatal, just painful and disappointing.
I send so much love to my much-missed family here, and wish with all my heart for peace to surround us all no matter how perilous or lonely our days may become. Knowing I still have you all to reach out to , even when I don't do so, for me is a great source of peace and comfort.
Love and hugs to all,
Most dreams with Mark in them are more about how life could have been had he not passed away. I did experience and enormous amount of guilt for my own feelings of hurt and feelings of abandonment. This goes way back to my childhood, where I felt abandoned for several reasons. 1. my mother died when I was 5 months old, 2. my maternal grandparents raised me till I was 5 yrs old and then had to re-turn me to my father who had remarried. Lots of issues with abandonment, when my sister died in 92, we were very close and again I felt abandoned and alone. These feelings come back to haunt you until you confront them. When Mark died, he was sick for several years before he passed on. Me working full time and him at home alone took more toll on me than I realized. When he passed on the quilt and hurt was so overwhelming, I felt as if I was going to loose my mind. I had no one to talk too and no friends except at work where I did not want to discuss all of the above. My family who really did not understand me mostly because I did not conform to the normal mode that they thought I should be, offered little to no comfort. This caused me to confront these feeling head on, fortunately I had found Legacy by then and an LGBTQ local church in Dallas. I also began to keep a journal and wrote down things daily that I felt or did not understand. I also read somewhere that talking to individuals no longer with us helps, So on my drives from Dallas to Florida I would have plenty of time to discuss a lot of things on my mind. If anyone passing me noticed me, they probable thought poor old man talking to himself...lol
Oddly enough I have had dreams about my maternal grandparents involving them leaving me somewhere only to find them again and wondering where I had been. Dreams in general are strange and had to follow sometimes (for me). I gave up awhile back trying to find meaning in my dreams anymore, I find them entertaining sometimes only to forget them once I am out of bed, but having that lingering feeling of surprise, anger, entertainment, etc...
Hope this helps out a little,
So this is a question for everyone, do any of you have dreams that your deceased spouse is leaving you in real life? I keep dreaming that my hubby is leaving me and doesnt want me anymore, it always ends with me begging him to stay, I wake up so sad and upset from these dreams, makes me wonder if he really did love me although I know he did, just wondering you all thoughts
Steve, am so sorry to hear about your surgeries but very glad you are now in a good place health wise. I was surprised to hear you are moving back but it sounds like you are seeking that comfort and thats not a bad thing, I too have been seeking peace and feel like I am heading in the right direction, I feel more peaceful in my soul and finally realized I have to accept things in order to continue on sothat too is a good thing. I wish you well on your new endeaver, when are you thinking of moving?
Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. So glad to see everyone back on line here. I don't usually have much to share anymore, but I do like to keep up with the site to see what is going on in your lives. It will be 9 years for me Aug. 1 that Rich passed away. Seems like yesterday. But I am now able to put one foot in front of the other and carry on. My daughter got COVID but thankfully it was a mild case, she is doing fine now. I am in Ohio and our numbers are rising. The governor is thinking about invoking the mask mandate again. That will make a lot of people angry. I believe we only have about a 50% vaccination rate. I agree with all of you that there are a lot of changes since COVID. Good to hear from everyone again, it's been a long time. Going on vacation in a couple weeks to Mass. not sure how that will go, but hoping for a good time. Hugs to all!
Mary Jane, so happy for you that you finally feel Bob with you, that must of been hard not feeling him. I see the news about the fires and pray for everyones safety, cant believe they didnt arrest the ones with fireworks. I have started back to church after my sister passed and have been finding peace there at last, I never lost faith just the will to do anything about it., please let us know how you continue to do
Dear Steve ...
Don't forget up North it's dry so you didn't feel the cold that bad like I did once I came back to the coast (Vancouver.) Oh, memories of being younger and summertime 'when the living was easy.' LOL Those summers were also in the 90s F and didn't bother me, but the heat wave we had here one day it was 112 F! That is hot! Thankfully I have am A/C and most people just stayed inside because our bodies hadn't become accustomed to it.
I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and never had the opportunity and I also wanted Ernie and I to take a trip through the New England States during the Fall. I have seen pictures of it and it's beautiful. Loved your story about your Grand Canyon trip.
I am so happy those bad days of surgery are behind you Steve and now you both are feeling much better. So far I'm grateful for decent health as far as I know.
WOW! You have lost weight and good for you. I'm fortunate that I'm petite and slim and don't have ot worry about packing on weight.
I too find all of the angels on this site got me through my worst times and kept me glued together after Ernie passed. Of course I still miss him and can get a little teary-eyed every so often, but certainly not as bad as before. Covid was sort of hard on me as I wished he was here with me, yet I'm happy he didn't have to experience it.
I see you and Chuck are moving back to the New England States and it sounds like a wonderful change for both of you. I live in a 950 sq. ft. rancher and it's just the right size for me and I too am digging up projects to do to keep busy.
Take care my friend and give Chuck a big hug for me.
Love & Hugs
Mary Jane ...
So good to hear from you. I can imagine those fires so close would be frightening, but glad to know you have everything ready if you should have to leave on the spur of the moment and I pray you don't have too. We have over 250 fires roaring through the Interior of British Columbia and they are so bad fire crews are coming from other countries to help us. Bless their hearts! In all the years I've traveled up there I've never heard of so many fires. Thanking the coast (ouside of Vancouver) has no fires at all, but camping is not allowed in most areas even where there are no fires as it's extremely dry here.
Glad you realize Bob is with you and I knew he would be from the time you moved there.
I as thinking the same thing about no one posting on Legacy and this Covid has taken so much of our lives as far as fear factors, having to stay home more and wearing masks. In British Columbia things are easing up and restaurants, pubs, clubs and more are opening up, but still, some of us still wear our masks if in crowded areas. The world just isn't the same anymore and to me it's innocense lost. We once felt safe and secure in our Western countries.
I can't believe they allowed fireworks there and yes, it is stupid to do so.
We have noticed especially in Vancouver racism like never before (never use to have this problem before) against especially Asians. Now China Town is quiet and the elderly dare not go out to shop. It's disgusting. So many cases of abuse among spouses; separations and divorce and even violence against animals. Covid I believe has been a big cause of many of these problems and the strain financially with people. I often wonder if the world will be the same.
On a brighter note I am gardening more as I find it peaceful and I will admit I feel quite lonely because some of my friends are afraid of giving me Covid because of my age, but so far so good. I do siee my family a bit and also my sister-in-law comes over every 2nd Saturday or I go to their home. Oh yes, I still drive. LOL I do visit my friend in Maple Ridge and we talk on the phone frequently. My next door neighbors and I are close so that's nice too.
Take care my friend and stay healthy. I will be praying for you that the fires don't come any closer to you.
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