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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.

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Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31. 13 Replies

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019. 12 Replies

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Comment by Barbara Sullivan on November 16, 2013 at 11:54pm

Marsha -- funny you should ask -- I had a lunch date with a friend today -- my first, since Chris died -- and she was very late -- (but for a good reason) and I was just about to leave when she arrived. For the time I was waiting for her, I felt bereft (is that a word?) -- forgotten -- foolish -- dismissed as unimportant.  Then I began to doubt myself.  Had I got the date/time wrong?  Had I misunderstood where we were to meet?  I was actually driving out of the parking lot when she arrived.  She apologized and explained -- we went on to have a very enjoyable lunch -- but as I waited, I realized I had been looking forward to this outing -- and it was in some way a "test" of my courage, my readiness to resume some sort of social life.  I know I was giving it more importance than it warranted, perhaps.  It was just lunch with a new friend -- but I felt like the new kid on the block with her first party invitation -- and being stood up (as I thought) was demoralizing. 

That was bad enough -- but, what I think is sometimes worse is when people close to me -- family -- either, treat me with kid gloves, as though I will break at any moment, or totally disregard me.  Don't get me wrong, my girls are wonderful -- but, I still have opinions, a mind of my own -- and I want to be consulted about things that concern me, my life, my habits, my preferences.  It's hard to give an example -- but it's as though they think they need to make decisions for me because I am too grief-stricken to manage my own affairs.  I may agree that I am grief-stricken, but that is exactly why I have put off making any major decisions or changes -- I know, very well, that I am not in a good place mentally or emotionally -- but I am not incompetent!  And, I resent being treated like deadwood!  Maybe I am being too hard on them -- I do believe they care and are only wanting to help.  Has anyone else felt like this?

Comment by Marsha H on November 16, 2013 at 8:55pm

Does anyone else ever get angry and frustrated at those friends who when asked if they would like to do something say they will get back to you and when they do it's too late to make other plans?  I've also come across people planning to meet with me and later phone and decided to stop to shop without even a cell call to me to let me know they were sidetracked and wouldn't be seeing me.  Thus, it has put my day behind if I choose to do something else.  It infuriates me and I grow angry because it's as if they are saying to those who have lost spouses, 'Well, what else do you have to do, but wait?'

Comment by Marsha H on November 16, 2013 at 3:49pm

Like the rest of us I feel the emptiness and loneliness of not having my dear Ernie here.  I waited so long to meet him and now I look back and feel blessed I'd known him for 5 years and married to him for almost 40 years.  Nothing will ever take the pain away, but it does dull with time to a point where one can move forward in their memory.  I believe they are close to us and want us to be happy until we meet again.  I'm trying hard and many days I succeed and some days are not so good, but, I trudge on and try to make new friends and get involved with volunteering and hopefully (praise God) I find part-time work.  I feel the worst part is the loneliness, the absence in some cases of family, perhaps not having children and often long-time friends abandon us, but I call it 'cleaning out my closet' and leave these people behind because I've gotten the message.  There are warm and loving people out there and we just have to look for them.  I also believe in miracles. 

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on November 16, 2013 at 3:30pm

Patricia   This is my fourth round of anniversary dates without Morley and the pain seems to get deeper each year.    I cannot find any purpose in my life now and feel like I am living a play where I am playing the part of the widow who has a life when in fact inside all the time I am dying with the pain of the  loss of my only love.I   was unlucky enough to have to wait until my forties to find unconditional love after a lifetime of feeling the plain Jane of the group, I feel torn between gratitude that we had 30 years together and deep pain where I feel that half my heart has been torn away.   I can't even go back to being plain Jane any more as I am too old to go back to work and that was the only place I found I had any sense of worth.   Morley gave me my confidence and sense of worth and without him I am nothing.   I pray for death to take me to him.   Each day is one day nearer but what scares me rigid is that I seem to have a strong heart and could live for years without him.    He was and is my sole reason for living and before we married I was merely going through the motions even though I did not realise it because I thought everyone felt like me.   Then along came Morley and the heavens opened and the sun came out and I realised what everyone else had been talking about when they spoke of happiness,   How can I go back to that feeling of worthlessness having experienced a great love.   I was SO lucky to have him in my life and feel his loss so suddenly and dramatically so deeply.   The loss of self is an awful feeling.   I wouldn't wish it on any one but I suppose it is the price I have had to pay for the glorious happiness Morley brought into my life.   I feel for all of us on legacy who feel like this and I know from recent posts there are many many of us.   God Bless us all.   Perhaps tonight will be my night for meeting up with Morley again but I doubt it.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on November 16, 2013 at 7:57am

Mark -- We all know, so well, what you are going through.  This pain, this grief, goes so deep.  We have lost our purpose for living.  To say we miss them doesn't even begin to describe what we feel.  It is not just loneliness, it is loneliness for one person -- it is the worst heartbreak we will ever know -- it is knowing that our life will never be the same and hating this new reality that is our life -- angry, lost, and hurting -- 

Friends and family don't know how to comfort us -- they worry about us, but avoid us because they don't know what to say.  They fear that talking about our grief will only make it worse for us.  They don't understand that we need them to remember our loved one, to cry with us, to share with us the memories they have of the person we have loved most in our lives -- they don't understand that it hurts more to  believe that the world has moved on  -- we are not ready for that.

Tell them, Mark.  Tell them it's not remembering that hurts us -- it is that others forget.  

I love to hear people talk about Chris -- I long to hear people speak his name -- I want to know that he still exists in their memories -- as he does in mine.   Tell them not to worry or be alarmed if we cry -- it is worse, much worse, to not cry.  

Tell them you can't eat or sleep. Tell them you miss Cathy with all your heart and soul.  When they ask what they can do to help -- tell them to help you keep Cathy alive by sharing their memories of her with you.  

Dear Mark, my heart goes out to you -- 

Hugs and Prayers -- Barb

Comment by Patricia on November 16, 2013 at 7:52am
Many of us seem to share a common theme of birthdays and anniversary dates within the this holiday season. It is so helpful knowing there is support here to get through these firsts.
I find it is the little things that were unique to us that trigger the emptiness and feelings of total loneliness. I think I'll send myself the yellow roses and add a white for Al.
Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on November 16, 2013 at 7:00am

I  have mentioned Victor Zammitts web site before but this week as part of one of the posts there was the song "until we're together again".   It is the most beautiful song and so appropriate for all of us.   Try and find it you will love it

Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on November 16, 2013 at 6:52am

Frank  I still buy birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards for my husband - morbid probably but he always made such a fuss if choosing the right card fir me it seems only  fitting I continue to do it for him and hope that he sees them.   Apart from that I totally agree with all your other sentiments.   When does it get easier, answer - never it seems for us.

Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on November 16, 2013 at 6:48am

Mark   I feel so very sorry for you and you exactly describe how I am feeling just now.   Morley's birthday is coming up on 6th December, then our anniversary would have been on 20th Dec. then Christmas and New Year then my birthday on 20th January..   Morley was a big one on birthdays -= all the faml;y had to go out to some fancy restaurent and he always had a cake even though he was in his 70s, going on 7).    I just cannot face this life without him.   We spent every minute together and he was my rock - we quite simply lived for one another.  I told him every day of our lives how much I loved him and how he was my life and he told me too.   It was the only time I ever had happiness in my life (with him).   Prior to that I had a good job which i en joyed) but my social life consisted of being the carer from my grandmother, father, aunt then latterly mother for 13 years.   I was the carer of the family.   Then along came Morley and with him Happiness that |I could never have envisaged,   I just do not want to wake up and pray every night I won't but so far no one seems to be  listening so I am with you Mark, there really is no place for fold like us.   My family (sister and 2 nieces) no longer even talk to me as they cannot cope with my grief.   We coped with her grief to the tune of taking her on holiday with us for 16 years.   Not much of a deal was it?   I just wish I were dead and i know that upsets people but  I have had it with the "putting on a good face" bit.   Like you say Mark if they don't really want to know the agony we are in then don't flaming well ask.

Comment by Marsha H on November 16, 2013 at 5:47am

Mark ... I am so sorry you are having a bad time of it on your birthday and can understand it makes you think of your dear Cathy all the more.  Although it doesn't help most of us feel the same way.  My husband passed away April 2011 and I turned 70 I Jan. 2012.  I did get the odd Happy Birthday and a couple of cards, but I think most people just don't believe phoning you or acknowledging your birthday was the right thing to do so soon after Cathy passing away.

I was and still am very angry at old friends who I thought would be there like my husband and I were there for them and they up and vanished.  I give them no excuses at all!  It hurts us when friends do this to us and your family should have known better and could have phoned you just to talk to you and didn't eve have to bring up your birthday.

Don't give up Mark because I am finding new friends here and there and to heck with the old ones that can't be around us.  I know it feels lonely, but honestly, if asked out for your birthday would you have gone?  I doubt it because most of us wouldn't so fresh into our grief. 

As much as your heart aches for Cathy and wanting to be with her it does get slightly easier.  There are even times now I wish I could join Ernie and be at peace as I miss him with every breath I take.  Still, something is keeping us going and I know Ernie would want me to move on so I'm giving it my best college try.

I will admit I hesitated and didn't wish you a Happy Birthday because I knew it wouldn't be a happy one for you, but honestly, you were in my thoughts Mark. 

I'm so glad you vented and I sure would like a stiff drink every so often and I don't drink!  I just may have one in the future if things don't change for me pretty soon.  I won't make it a habit of course.

I hope you realize all of us on here understand how you feel and we're always here for you so lean on us and know what is happening to you is very normal.

Big hugs (because you need one)

Marsha 

 

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