Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: Jul 17
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 Hesitate to welcome Nicole and Lisa because it means you have joined the elite group of those who have lost the person they love most in the World. You are both so young it is doubly cruel you have lost out on happiness. I had 31 gloriously happy years with Morley (my husband) but because of the way he died I have been diagnosed with Post traumatic stress and hence relive his death daily and my part in trying to save him so I cry daily for him. I only wish to be with him and pray nightly to waken in his arms but I am 74 and you are both so young. Please do not let anyone tell you how long or how deeply you will grieve. Everyone is different. I have been told by so many to volunteer, join a group etc (on Christmas day one of my closest friends whom I thought understood my feeling on "joining" wants me to join a choir, I never felt less like singing in my life). Many people also tell me about all these wonderful widows they know that are doing so much better than me but they forget, they all have children, grandchildren etc who come around nearly every day. We had no children and my sister and two nieces decided very soon after Morley's death that they could not cope with my grief so I have not seen them for more than 2 years (they send me Christmas and birthday card, how hypocritical is that). Mind you I am just as bad as I also send them cards because one of friends told me I should be the bigger woman (whatever that means) but I rather think my New Years resolution is to stop doing that. Do you know on Christmas Day when I came home I rushed straight for the answer machine. It was blinking with a lovely message from a close friend who is now my next of kin but nothing from my family. How pathetic am I to still hope after all this time. My true friends tell me I was coming to terms with Morley's death until the family thing threw me right back to the beginning of the grieving and there I have stayed. I should be trying to give you hope and not go on about my problems and I can honestly say you have come to right place for help. No one will ever criticise anything you say and there will always be a willing ear. I have this theory that only those people who had met their soul mate ever find legacy so you are in the right place, I am so sorry that you have to go through this at such a young age.
I do hope everyone survived the Christmas blahs.
Diane C - Im so glad you made it through alright, and the time you got to spend with Rich. So sorry your having a rough go of it , understandable, but you still took time out to post for us. Its always nice to know when you have not seen one for a bit and then do, that they are at least ok. Hoping that this upcoming year is better for you and the rest of us.
Mike F - sorry to hear the week was so rough for you. I can relate just a bit with the years and bdays . I would have just had 34 myself and my bday is tom, never been one without my Mike. Hang in there, this too shall pass.
Barbara - i hear you there. Sometimes I feel the same way, like really we have not been decapitated just because we lost a mate. We can make some pretty good decisions(at times lol). I agree with Marsha too they just care for us so they want to try doing something even if its not for us. Makes them feel like they are helping us I suppose. Love the poor feeble mom, too cute. Reminds me of my oldest son mom your back is bad,and your 50 !!! like thats ancient, you should not do that or this, yet same here its fine to do all the rest though alone. Have to love em for trying, right? hehe
Nicole - hate to welcome you to this forum but Im so sorry for your loss. There are alot of wonderful people here with lots of help along the way. There are many at different stages here that really understand. ((hugs dear))
Helen - sorry your struggling so hard. I dont think it is a matter of others getting over their mates, so much as everyone is different in how they react to something, just with grief. Some will move right on, others will take more time and some just never get past it. My grandmother was that way, she never did remarry but she did not move on. For me, Mike was my live since 16. together all the time, everywhere we went it was together, I love that man more than the air I breathe, but When I take the time just to think of Mike, I come to the realization that he is gone, its been 9 months, I layed by his side, held him and watched him pass away. So there is nothing in this world I can do to bring him back. I can never replace him either. I dont know what the future holds but Id like a friend to be able to do things with too. I wish for you Helen all the happiness I can, I pray you have some peace and happiness this coming year, somehow, someway. (((Marsh)))
Susan- I agree one foor in front of the other :)
Marsha- your just amazing!
To the others i didnt mention, Frank,Janice, Carol, Charlie, Mark, Mac and others hang in there.
One day at a time .... Cheryl
Christmas has been even worse this year nearly 4 years in. I went to a friend on Christmas day and yes I was able to put a face on for the duration I was there but have cried off and on the whole holiday. Morley loved Christmas so (even had to have a stocking which I would fill). What I want to know is why all these other widows are doing so much better than me. I go out to concerts when asked , I meet friends for coffee yet I keep getting told about all these other widows (widowed way after me) and they are all doling so much better apparently. It is coincidence that they also all have family of one sort of another and I have no one. I really am doing my best but on Christmas day one of the friends who has really supported me joined in with the suggestion she thinks I should join a choir (the last thing I feel like doing at the moment though of course it night be a blessing. I guess these other widows don't talk about their grief as much as me., so everyone thinks they are doing better and maybe they are. I doubt any of them have the post traumatic stress diagnosis I have because of the way Morley died. I feel I have definately moved way back in my grieving this Christmas and cannot get his death out of my mind and just pray for the day I will join him. I think it was Mark who said he counts off the days until he can be with his love - same here. What worries me greatly is how many more days.. I wish I could be like all these other widows who much me so much stronger than me when they can do all they do and they have been widowed after me. God help me. because I don't know how to stop this crying for my Morley. I miss him and love more if possible since he died. He was quite simply my whole life and really I don't want to do anything without him (we did everything together for the last 10 years of his retirement). I just wish someone would tell me the secret of getting on with life without him. I feel there is no place for me. I am so sad (i don't mean sad in grief but sad as in pathetic) because my family sent me cards first contact in a year) and when I came home in Christmas my first port of call was the answering machine and sure enough it was blinking with a message from my best friend and next of kin now but I still was hoping one of the family would leave me a message - how pathetic is that. I now have the big decision as to whether or not to send my sister a birthday card (it is on 17th Jan). My instinct is to accept the inevitable,, that they don't want to know me any more and not send a card but what do all my friend on Legacy think? I am so uncertain of anything now (and used to be so self confident when Morley was here). I just am a lost soul at the moment and my only friend is the bitter tears I cry all the time.
I'm so sorry for your loss. No understanding the senseless nature of the universe. It just isn't fair. I feel your pain. Yes you were robbed- just remarkable how all the plans driven by love and mutual hopes for the future disappear in a moment. How do you cope with the loss of Tim - one moment at a time. It's a slow emotional struggle. It's torturous for many of us. Seek support where ever you can. It's awful to hear how you lost Tim. I'm so saddened for you. Barry
Thanks Marsha, for confirming my belief in my abilities to make decisions for myself.
Like you, I intend to stay in my home. My husband built this house for us and I would not leave it under any circumstances -- they would have to carry me out -- but it is a large house and I won't deny that I need help with certain maintenance and upkeep -- and family members have helped.
And, it's not really about finances, either. I have a budget. I do my best to stick to it. There aren't a lot of extras, but I have everything I need and want. Occasionally, I help out various family members with small amounts, when they need help, but, I am acutely aware that I live on a fixed income and any savings must last me the rest of my life, so I am very careful.
The differences are more about life-styles. People keep trying to force me into what they believe would be "good" for me -- or -- into activities and circumstances that never would have been a part of my life when Chris was alive. And it feels like manipulation, because, although they tell me its for my own good -- it always has an element of their own interests or convenience. Am I making myself clear without being too specific?
And, oh yes -- all of a sudden, I need help down the stairs or driveway, as you mentioned -- while I somehow manage to do all my own housecleaning, laundry, baking, cooking, sewing and care of my pets, as well as doing some of that for my daughter, as well!!! But, poor, feeble Mom!!!
I know, I know! I am worn out and tired from the effort of keeping Christmas -- and a bit short-tempered. But, I have always reserved the right to live my life as I choose and I don't enjoy being steam-rolled into activities, practices and circumstances that basically serve the interests of others and which I never would have participated in when Chris was with me.
I reserve the right to say who, how and when, I will entertain people in my home. I reserve the right to refuse access to certain parts of my home (specifically, Chris's workshop). I reserve the right to accept or decline invitations, as the mood strikes me. I reserve the right to run my household and maintain my home in the manner that Chris and I have always enjoyed. And, I particularly refuse to allow others to guilt me into taking on issues, concerns, problems that are not my own. I don't have the energy or strength -- and am a firm believer that people need to find their own solutions!
There -- I guess I have been on my soapbox long enough!
Marsha -- I just hope you know what a treasure you are to me!
I cried more over this holiday than at any single given time in the past 8 months. I had to leave the room so many times to go and be alone. And, I have talked to Chris, so much more often, during this time, too. But, I know that crying doesn't mean I am weak -- and talking to Chris doesn't mean I'm crazy. I am sad -- but NOT depressed. I am engaged in my life -- and I have enough fight left in me to want my life on MY terms. Actually, I think that's rather healthy, of me.
Love and hugs -- and so much gratitude
Mike ... I am so sorry you had such a rough time through Christmas, but be assured you have NOT regressed at all. Even to those who have not grieved over the death of a spouse can get melancholy during the holiday season. The first 2 Christmas' I went to at my brother's home I felt just like you. When I got home it really hit me and I felt so alone as if I was on a desert island all alone and knew no one could possibly understand how I felt. This year was a better year for me. I have been getting out of my comfort zone (that's what you are doing by being out at Christmas along with family and missing your Molly.) Yes, it cuts deep into our hearts, but the more you do get out into society and are active with others the easier it does get. Leaving our quiet space (comfort zone) is difficult, but it can be done.
After the holidays you'll get your balance back and grow stronger as time goes on. Of course like the rest of us our spouses will be on our minds and in our hearts often, but the hurt begins to get a little softer and more tolerable where we can move ahead.
Hang on my friend, you'll be fine and what you are feeling is very normal.
Dear Barbara ... I know where you are going with this as I too often have to remind family or some friends just because Ernie passed away I am still able to think for myself and have the smarts to know if I don't know something to go to a professional or ask someone who has been in a similar situation. I was tired of being treated like a mindless twit, helped down stairs or driveways. Nothing has changed physically with me and although mentally going through grief reality has smacked me so hard in the face it was a wake-up call of reality and I'm quite capable of making my own decisions although others have been tempted to interfere in a couple of my decisions. I stand fast and sure-footed and I suddenly haven't become 90 years old where I need help getting down the stairs or driveway. Ticks me off!
I do think family is trying to keep you safe as possible until they feel you have grieved for a year or more. As we all know the first year of even possibly two years we shouldn't make any rash decisions as far as selling our homes unless absolutely necessary or spending too much money too fast. It's good to have a Financial Advisor go over options with the griever and invest wisely for them as well. Barbara, they can't over-rule your decisions and make it good and clear to them! I have had to have some blunt conversations with family and friends who wanted me to consider selling my home and moving into a condo or townhouse, but since my small rancher is just that, small, I intend on staying here and they won't get me out unless it's feet first with my snow boots on! They got the message! I am agile and can do a lot for myself when I need to and prefer to remain as independent as possible and asked them to respect that and if I need help I'd appreciate any help they could give me. So far so good.
Keep your chin up girl, hold your own and keep your dignity and independence, but don't rule out the odd opinion from family or friends as sometimes it can help.
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