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.
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 am still in the what I call the raw stages of grief. I spent 6 days in the hspital for an infection in my lower left leg & upon returning home night before last, a visual reality hit me again, that he is not here. This friday marks 7 weeks since he passed and would also have been our 16th wedding anniverary. Then come the Holidays & my Christmas Eve Birthday, and all without him. At times I just want to crawl in a hole. My daughter & son-in-law brought our precious grandson to see me in the hospital, he will be 4 in January and he said "Gammie are you sick like Bumpa" I replied "no baby", he said "then can we take you home?" He just was so sad when I told him not yet. I think he feared I too would not be back. So yesterday after his mom & auntie picked him up from school & brought him next door to see me, he was yelling Gammie all the way down the hallway & jumped onto my bed. He hugged my neck so tight and just layed on my shoulder. Precious and sad all at the same time. My husband used to love to hear him run up & down the hall. I miss his smile an the way he played with the children. He would act like a tiger or bear and the babies would laugh & run. He will miss out on so much as the babies will too. My eyes burn from crying....gotta get off here, it' hard to read & type.....THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT
My heart has been so heavy today and I have not been able to stop the tears. I think it's the anticipation of tomorrow. Tomorrow is my birthday, the first one without my husband, who passed away on Sept. 11. It was also the day, 8 years ago, that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Although I have usually taken my birthday off from work, I couldn't imagine staying home alone tomorrow. This is the second of many firsts, as my 7th wedding anniversary was on Oct. 6. Thankfully my mother is coming into town on Thursday and will be here until Dec. 4. A friend invited me to spend Christmas with him and his mother so that I can get away for a while, something I have yet to do since my husband passed.
Kristen ... I am so sorry to hear that your birthday is on the same day and I know it's going to be hard for you, but you, like many of us don't always believe how strong we really are. Try keeping that same tradition and bring a family member or good friend with you to lighten the loss a little. It's OK to cry so cry! Believe it or not I still buy my husband a Christmas card and I don't care if anyone thinks I'm crazy or not. August 12th is our anniversary and I send a helium balloon into the air that has messages of love I've written on it and visualize Ernie up there holding out his big hands waiting to catch it. Some of these rituals give us peace of mind. I will be checking in on the forum close to Christmas so if you need to talk just leave a message.
You are going to be fine hon. We all miss our spouses, but as each month to a year goes by we just keep getting stronger.
Hey there Pam ... You are most welcome and we're glad to help in any way possible. Know you are not along in your grief or anxiety issues. Firstly, the shock of a spouse passing away whether suddenly or from a long-term illness is now considered by many doctors in Canada as Post Traumatic Stress which is along the lines of soldiers coming home from war. It's caused by shock no matter how prepared one feels about the impending death of their spouse. For some individuals the therapy called, Cognitive Therapy (sounds like the same as you are going through and I took that as well) can work to a degree, but what isn't considered is the fact that the shock of a spouse passing alters our brain chemistry and our hormone levels and that's why many counselors suggest a good physical as soon as possible. Often panic attacks (also referred to as anxiety attacks) can run in families like mine do and lay dormant for many years, but rear it's ugly head from a shock in that person's life. I would discuss with your doctor going on some medication for panic attacks to alleviate that pressure on top of your grief. If well monitored by your doctor it can do wonders to stop these horrific panic attacks. I am on Kolonopin (small dose and it stops the panic attacks) but your doctor may prefer to put you on something different. The bottom line is grief sucks the energy out of a person and it just isn't temporary for a few days, but can go on for several months to a year or more so it's important to get your panic attacks under control. Cognitive Therapy is great, but if one is still having panic attacks under stress they need short-term medication. The journey of grief is one roller coaster ride; we can feel not so bad for a day or two and then suddenly out of nowhere grief strikes us again and many of us have broken down in tears, not sleeping well or sleeping too much, not eating enough or too much, body shakes, hot flashes, upset tummy, aches and pains and headaches. Even dizzy spells are common. So please see your doctor and discuss this with him/her.
Hope I've helped Pam. Dealing with grief is hard enough, but dealing with panic attacks is a double whammy.
Carol and Marsha, thank you for your kind words. My birthday is Christmas Eve which just seems to add to it. Last year Rob and I were actually able to go out for my birthday ON my birthday. Something that never happened because he was choir director at his church and we usually had Christmas Eve service to attend. Last year they did on the Sunday before. I keep thinking about that evening and how special it was for him and I to have a "date" night. Just the two of us enjoying a nice evening out, which rarely ever happened. 3 short weeks later he was in the hospital with H1N1 flu and on life support. :( Thank you for your thoughts on the holidays and what did.
Kristen, that's wonderful about your dog, what a terrific accomplishment!
It's only baby steps as for the 1st's of anything. The very 1st year is difficult absolutely. I felt quite adrift. Kind of tried to overdo it on making things work and that didn't work.
Just be gentle with yourself and it is ok to cry and want to be alone but let yourself be with people who care about you.
Pam ... My condolences and I am sorry you have to be on this forum, but happy you choose to be in this wonderful family of members because they're angels ready, willing and able to help when one of us falls down and they pick us up. This forum saved me from going crazy.
I've had to fight panic attacks since the 70's as it runs in my family and medication helps. However, there are some members here that never had a panic attack until their spouse passed away. It is very common and believe it or not normal. When our spouse passes away we are left in complete shock and feeling so alone with an uncertain future whether we have a big family and lots of friends or not. We feel most people don't understand the pain we are enduring and often they don't, but some try the best they can. You are going through the normal stages of grief and talking in a grief group and being around others in the same situation you are in really helps. We can release our fears. What I eventually did was take time out one night and looked back in my future to when I was single and on my own and before I met my Ernie. I realized I survived then and I would survive now. There is always someone there to help you out no matter what the problem so feel comfort in that. We are also here to help you through any problems. Please keep posting on this forum and just say what you need to say because no one judges you.
Big hugs (because you need one)
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