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.


Discussion Forum

Grief so great it hurts

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Comment by Renae McKee on November 26, 2014 at 4:27pm

Marsha and Jan thank you for letting me know that it is ok to feel this way & to do it MY way. What I feel is that people keep want to cheer me up!!??!! WHAT????? How can you be done gieving anyone, let alone your spouse in 7 1/2 weeks?? The worst part is we are a big family I have 4 siblings, my brother did not come for the funeral as he lives out of state, as well as one of my older sister's(who is here with me now) but my parents, oldest sister, my identical twin & her family (they live one town from me) all promised to be there for me. I have heard from my Dad twice, my mom twice, not heard from my brother or oldest sister & as for my identical twin once, even when I was recently in the hospital my twin nor her family came to see me!! What kind of family does this????????????? I feel abandned, except for my sister that is here!! She is wonderful, she makes sure I eat, even when I do not feel I can, due to being diabetic she insists on it & thank God she is a marvelous cook. Again thank you for being here for me!!

Comment by Marsha H on November 26, 2014 at 2:59pm

Chicago Beard ...  So sorry that happened to your wife.  My husband Ernie also contracted c-dif, but got through it.  It plagues the hospitals here for some reason.  I've heard so much about it and they don't seem to be doing much to prevent it.

I wish you a good Thanksgiving with peace and joy.



Comment by Marsha H on November 26, 2014 at 2:57pm

Ranae ...  I do know how you feel as I was once where you were when first grieving.  After Ernie died I actually thought he was playing a joke on me and he'd come home.  I went around in a daze and I did go to my brothers for Thanksgiving, but wasn't really there.  I remember as we sat down at the dinner table I looked to the right of me and saw the empty chair where Ernie use to sit and I don't know how I got through it without falling apart.  By the time I got home I was totally exhausted.

Oh boy, do I know what you mean by so-called friends not being there.  They are hypocritical at the Memorial Service by saying they will be there if you need them, but that isn't how it turns out.  Even at grief counseling they warn members that some friends just won't be there for you.  Ernie and I were there for these friends many times (they have short memories) and they were friends of ours for 20 - 45 years.  Oh yes, a few phone calls when the moon turns blue (guilty conscience I suppose) and I'm left with a handful of loyal friends which I feel blessed to have.  I have a small immediate family and no children and live alone (have 2 dogs.)  I went to my brothers for the Canadian Thanksgiving which is in October.  I know your heart feels like it's wrenched from your chest and that part of you went with your spouse, but I am here to attest it does get a little better as time goes by hon.  It's never the same, but it's livable.

All that you are experiencing is very normal and I often ask myself to this day why this terrible pain of losing a loved one and the emptiness and loneliness persists to different degrees and I know I'll never get an answer.

For now just stay home or possibly invite a girlfriend over even if you have to order in Pizza or Chinese food and crack open a bottle of wine.  In the 2nd year of my Ernie being gone I had the 2 Christmas buffets and forced myself (I was so exhausted) but, it let many people know I was reaching out and things got a little better.  Don't be hard on yourself hon and do what you think you should be doing as there is no wrong way.  I'll be on the forum throughout the week so if you need to talk just leave a post.  You are not alone and many of us feel like you do.



Comment by Jan on November 26, 2014 at 9:34am
Renae, I know exactly how you feel. When my husband died suddenly in the hospital I just wanted to bring him home with me. I knew he was gone but I just wanted him to come hone with me. Crazy thoughts. I have family in the town I live in both sides his and mine extended invitations for thanksgiving and Christmas. I just can't do it. Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in and not go anywhere and for christmas I'm taking the kids and going somewhere away from home and family. Running away. We did the same last year and actually had a nice time.
Comment by Renae McKee on November 26, 2014 at 8:19am

I am so numb right now!! I wish I could just crawl in a hole until after the Holidays. I really do not want to be here anymore. My heart is so destroyed. I wish I could open his Mahogany Urn and put him back together!! I know that sounds crazy, but you really find out who stands by you during your time of grieving & for me it is very few. It makes me ill everyday that I am alone. 

Comment by Marsha H on November 24, 2014 at 2:16pm

Hi again Pam ... 

As promised I'm sending you a good link as to what to expect in grief and what feelings are normal.  Not everyone gets all these symptoms.

Print this out and give it to family and even your doctor.  If your doctor doesn't look interested be nice, but firm because they should be reading it as they have many patients going through grieving.  If you don't have a printer then send the link to your son and have him print off 2 - 3 copies.  Keep reading it so you know what feelings you have are very normal during grief.

God Bless

Marsha H.

Comment by Marsha H on November 24, 2014 at 2:11pm

Hi Pam ...  No problem at all and I do know how you feel because I sure have had those feelings when I was in raw grief.  Most grief counselors will tell you to get a physical because grieving takes a lot out of our bodies.  It doesn't mean we are going to die, but some people can just 'feel sick', nauseated, can't eat or sleep or eat too much and have insomnia not to mention aches, pains, strange mental thoughts.  It is very normal the thoughts you are having and most go through it.  It's the shock of knowing you cannot turn to your spouse to talk about every day things or if there is a problem to be resolved and we instantly feel alone.  It's not true we really are alone and there is either a family member or a friend who can help you stay calm when you have these thoughts.  Describe your feelings to your doctor 'I feel like I've been ripped up by a tornado and suddenly dropped down in an unfamiliar world.'  If he/she doesn't get it then explain that since your spouse is gone you are not only grieving, but having to do some things on your own that your spouse use to do for you and the red tape of taking your spouse's name off legal papers is devastating.  When I use to get scary thoughts I'd ask myself what was the worst that could happen; put in the hospital, die in my sleep, but one thing I knew it was all part of the grieving process and no, you aren't going crazy.  It is more common than you think for people grieving to experience panic attacks and as time goes by these should disappear.  Please don't be angry at yourself because it's quite normal being fearful.  I am going to go into my file on my desk top and will leave you a link to go to and it will explain what symptoms some individuals can have during the grieving process and it wouldn't hurt to give your family a copy and your doctor.  Grief is the most misunderstood normal human emotion because in past years people suffering from grief hid it, but no more! 

When I start going to scary thoughts I pray to God and I can't tell you how much strength I get from that and those scary thoughts are lifted from me.  I also still talk out loud to my husband Ernie which gives me some peace.  Each day you get through Pam, you are getting stronger and eventually you will realize that you are also getting stronger.  Just ride those scary thoughts out by praying, talking to your spouse or a family member or good friend.  You are in more control than you think.

God Bless you too Pam

Marsha H.

Comment by Pam Wetzel on November 24, 2014 at 7:23am
Marsha H. Thanks for answering my post. When I get very anxious I think negative thoughts. I have one now that I think I need to be in the hospital. I know that's not true. I was in the hospital in August and they don't do any more than my therapist does one on one. Also it just gave me a bill to pay. With dbt therapy I can calm it down and then I'm thinking ok again. How do you stop scaring yourself with these thoughts? That's all they are is scary thoughts and I know that. It makes me so angry that I do this to myself. God bless you! Pam Wetzel
Comment by Marsha H on November 24, 2014 at 5:46am

Dear Pam ... I guess it's the Scottish/Irish streak in me.  Ha, ha.  Seriously it just takes time hon and each day to each month you manage to get through you are getting stronger even if you feel you aren't.  It common in raw grief to have a good day(s) and the suddenly the bottom falls out and the grief over-shadows you, but this is also common and eventually these times will fade further and further apart.

I was glad to hear you and your son had a good cry together as it's the crying that releases all the tension.  Your son lost a father and you lost a husband and I am sure your son feels sad for you.  Never let anyone tell you how to grief or you 'you should be over it by now.'  Grieving is a part of life and tends to make us much wiser and stronger individuals giving us the wisdom of empathy for others around us.

I sympathize with you in the fact you have never been alone before, but you really aren't as you have your son and also have all of us on this forum.  It is very common to promise yourself that the next day you will practice the dbt skills or do other things, but that too is common to break such promises because grief drains the energy right out of an individual.  Rest when you need to, eat as best you can, drink lots of water and go for walks if you can.  by going for even short walks it helps the brain chemistry and the adrenal gland slow down and you will feel somewhat better.  I try to get my dogs out for a walk every day weather permitting.

I still feel it's possible your doctor is lowering the dose of your medications for panic spells too fast and I would have a good talk to him/her as to how you are feeling.  It's important you can go through a day without a panic attack because you need all the energy you have to conquer grief.  You don't have to be on these medications forever.

How do I do it?  If I didn't take Kolonopin I would have severe panic attacks as it runs in my family.  Mostly, I started out with baby steps in my grief until they reached stride level and I was able to be around family and friends without crying as much and I invite my friends and family over.  I start with 'I don't care attitude' meaning that if I have people over or go out with a friend or to a family dinner and get teary-eyed I just cry and get it out of my system at that time.  If they don't like it too bad.  Oh boy, you are going to be so surprised at just how sassy you can be when you are going through that tunnel of grief to the light at the end of the tunnel.  Crying is a good thing so don't let anyone tell you not to cry or 'get a grip on your grief.'  So far Pam, you are going through normal feelings of fresh grief.  I am proud of you for what you are doing and it's going to get better hon.

Hugs (because you need one)

Marsha H.

Comment by Pam Wetzel on November 23, 2014 at 8:48am
Marsha H. You sound like a very strong person. I would like to get that kind of strength. Yesterday was an awful day for me. I cried most of the day over my husband. My son came over and we talked and cried together. After he left the anxiety started. I know what I need to do to calm it down but I let it scare me. I have never been alone in my life until now. I don't seem to be very good at forcing myself to get through things. Every night I tell myself that tomorrow I'm going to do better and really practice the dbt skills even better and when morning comes I'm back to my anxious feelings. When I am positive I can really do well. How do you do it? Thanks!

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