Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: Jan 20
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 Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019.
Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22, 2019.
This Christmas, Thanksgiving, my husband's birthfday are all a first for me and I am not doing well. I already gave the Christmas tree to t he Goodwill, gave some ornaments away but there were so many personal ones I could not give those away. I bought a 12' garland to go around my mirror and that will be the extent of it. This was my husband's favorite time of year with all the decorations, and all the wonderful food. I just want to go away.
I am so happy to have found this site as it is so appropriate in my situation and people always say "Oh I know how you feel." They do not. This group of people "get it" and that is so important. Keep posting, it is very helpful. Lois Leonard
Marsha H -- You are such a wise and wonderful friend! Ernie was blessed to have you. Thank you for your words of encouragement. You will probably never guess how much you have helped.
Stacey -- So glad your mother's biopsy was negative -- wonderful news!
Patricia -- I agree so whole-heartedly! I thought I was losing my sanity until I found this forum and so many friends here who reassure me.
Jan -- I think it is wonderful that you are planning a Christmas trip with your son and daughter. I think,sometimes, when we have lost a spouse, we need to strengthen those bonds with other members of the family -- and your Christmas trip is such a good way to do that.
Jan ... You certainly are not a coward. Even though we all have some things in common each person deals with their grief in their own way and you aren't the first one on here that has gone on a trip either because they intended to go with their spouse not knowing they would pass away or, to just go away for some rest and relaxation if possible. Christmas is always extremely emotional even for people with spouses and family so you aren't running away from anything. Perhaps next year you may be able t handle Christmas, but for now go away and try your best to enjoy your trip and new surroundings with your daughters.
Stacey ... I am so happy for your mother and you! I just had a feeling she would be fine. What a wonderful early Christmas present! There is strength in prayer for those who choose to believe.
Big hugs (one for your mom)
Patricia ... It is so nice to hear from you and this forum and the members have helped me so much through the pain of grieving. It makes us realize we are all normal in our grieving and helps us down this unknown road of grief. Losing a spouse is much different than losing a parent and there is no book of instructions as to how we handle our grief. It's baby steps and we are here to help you all we can.
Dear Barbara ... I know just how you are feeling having Christmas without Chris. Please take some time alone and think of this my friend, 'What would Chris want me to do.' From how you describe this wonderful, loving and caring man I think he would want you to continue tradition because he's put so much effort into making beautiful hand-crafted gifts for the family. He wouldn't have taken that pains-taking time to do so if he didn't love to see the smiles on members of the family's faces when they opened his gift. Now that this will be your sisters last Christmas, personally, I feel you should try your best to have one last traditional Christmas for her and her son. Our spouses loved and taught us so much about giving and as hard as it is for us we should take what we've learned and give to others in time of need. Here is a little story that happened to me:
On Christmas Day 2003 my mother was in a nursing home slowly dying and she had dementia so was in and out of either recognizing or not recognizing us. I decided to give her one more last Christmas and invited my brother, wife and my mother's two grandsons. My brother picked her up at the nursing home and my mother's eyes lit up at the tree and decorations and a little normalcy came back for just a wee bit. She had a good time, but it was so difficult for all of us at the time. I went into the washroom on a couple of occasions to have a cry and then get myself together again. When my mother was leaving to go back to the nursing home she came up to Ernie and I and said 'thank you so much for having me into your lovely home. I had a good time.' I could hardly contain myself from bawling right there ... I was a stranger to my own mother, but, I was so glad I did give her some joy in her life and one last chance to have all the family together away from that nursing home. The end result from giving of ourselves through our own pain is the look on the faces of those around us.
I decorate inside, but like you Barbara, Ernie use to put the outdoor lights up and I haven't bothered because I can't do it myself so I just put a wreath on the door. That's just fine. The magic happens inside the home close to loved ones caring, loving and giving the biggest gift of all at Christmas ... time for each other and seeing smiles on the faces of those we love.
I also give to the food bank instead of buying gifts for family although we buy some small gift to open. I still have my two little dogs and myself and on Christmas Eve I go through the same tradition as if Ernie were with us still (perhaps he is. Who knows.) Although I don't feel up to it and my emotions are all over the place I am going to force myself to have my brother and his family over a couple of weeks before Christmas as well as best friends of mine and another couple. I'm doing it not just for myself, but in the memory of Ernie.
Your husband was a wonderful man and in your heart he still is and I feel the same about Ernie. I see his tools as well in the garage where he put them. I still have his work jacket on the hook in the hall and I don't know if I'll ever move it. Who says I have to. To me right now and if it were possible the best gift I would want is to have my beloved Ernie sitting with me smiling and hugging me and opening our Christmas gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, but this is the best I can do. So my dear friend, have the tree and decorations and brings smiles to the children and hopefully your sister and perhaps consider going on a trip in January which is generally a downer of a month for most and you'd probably enjoy the trip more then.
I hope I have helped you Barbara. You can do it girl! I will say prayers for you to give you strength.
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