Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
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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Dear Family, I do not remember where I found this online, it is still my most favorite; below it is a Poem I also found that I re post from time to time. Hope everyone finds peace from reading these.
Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.
For those who believe:
I wish I could tell you of all that God has plannedBut if I were to tell you, you wouldn’t understandBut one this is for certain though my life on earth is o’reI am closer to you now than I was ever beforeAnd to my very many friends, trust God knows what is bestI’m still not far away from you, I’m just beyond the crestThere are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climbBut together we can do it taking one day at a timeIt was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you tooThat as you give unto the world so the world will give to youIf you can help somebody who is in sorrow or in painThen you can say to God at night my day was not in vainAnd now I am contented that my life was worthwhileKnowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smileSo if you meet somebody who is down and feeling lowJust lend a hand to pick him/her up as on your way you go.When you are walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind,I’m walking in your footsteps only half a step behindAnd when you feel the gentle breeze or the wind upon your faceThat’s me giving you a great big hug or just a soft embraceAnd when it’s time for you to go from that body to be freeRemember you’re not going you are coming here to me.I will always love you.
Marsha, Chuck, Charles - all of you who've come on here to help me understand this truly brings tears to my eyes. I don't even know what to say when I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I had no idea the human body could feel such pain and I don't know how all of you have gotten "through it". It breaks my heart knowing that you've all felt the same way and I don't even know you. It's so sad.
I'm going to the cemetery to visit Tommy now, my usual weekend morning thing. I drink a cup of coffee as I sit on a shower curtain liner next to him (wet grass). I always take home a handful of pebbles because the grass hasn't grown in completely. I know he's not there but I feel it's as close to him as I can get right now and I chat with him and tell him how things are going. I know that sounds crazy but again, he's "right there" and I can see his beautiful face if I close my eyes.
Deb P, I'm so very sorry for what you're going through and I will say a prayer for you. Your Greg is still alive and well in your heart and your memories and I hope that after time, like a lot of these wonderful folks say, you will find some sort of peace and smile when you recall your times with your sweetie instead of cry. I'm very glad that you have a large family that supports you; that's a true blessing.
I hope everyone here enjoys their weekend (as much as possible) and I really do wish I could hug all of you. Nothing better than a good hug, right? I'm sad that you're all feeling the way you do and wish I could make it go away but I can't. Too bad we can't set up a nice picnic somewhere and enjoy each other in person :(
A hug to all of you. xo debbie
Dear Deb P ... My heart goes out to you and I can feel your pain and sadness. I agree with Mary.Jane. I too have had experiences where I feel Ernie around me. I ask Ernie to help me drive home in the dark after visiting my brother and his wife or out visiting a friend. You bet Greg is there for you. We deeply loved our spouses and I honestly believe the love doesn't stop after death. I also believe when it's our time to leave this earth our spouses will be there waiting for us. Perhaps they'll come to us and help us cross-over.
Your Greg is right there for you and you talk to him when you feel like it. My Ernie passed in April 2011 and Christmas Eve of that year I was wrapping last minute gifts on the coffee table when I felt a peace come over me. As I looked in the direction of where my wall unit was there he was! I was not drinking, not on drugs or hallucinating. I wasn't afraid as I stared at him. He seemed to be glowing with billions of stars shining (sort of like Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Hard to explain. Ernie elbow was leaning on the wall unit and he was smiling down at myself and dogs and then he disappeared, but I sensed he was still there. It was he wanted to let me know 'just checking in on you.' So my dear friend BELIEVE! You are never alone because Greg is there. One day you will be together once again. I am very cynical about 'signs', but I have been proven wrong.
Oh Deb..u don,t need to say goodbye...as he will ALWAYS be with you! Bob is always with me..I can feel him all the time...I have been reading the posts here but haven,t responded as I am finally selling and buying a new home...and have been in California looking for a home, and now it is happening too fast...but the great thing, is LOOK FOR SIGNS that GREG is with you. I am serious they are all around you! The cat actually stares into the air at vacant spaces where no one is there for long minutes..and if I call his name, he will look at me, then refocus on what he sees that I cannot. .we get butterflies, LOTS OF THE SAME BIRDS...I will open the blinds in the morning, at different times, and there is a Robin in the yard, facing me...and staring directly at me.as if he knew I was going to open that window...or another window...special numbers keep repeating on signs or clocks...too many things to be coincidents, for over 3 years. My daughter sees the same things, so it is not just me. So, I end up talking to Bob a lot! And it is comforting to know he is watching over us.
There is a little test you can do...I am ALWAYS misplacing things..little things..and a few years ago, I said something to the universe..”If Bob was here, he could FIND this for me.” Cuz he did that all the time...he would walk into the room I thought I last had the object...and find it instantly!well, either him!or the universe heard me...and I was able to locate whatever it was right away...at first I thought it was a fluke...but not any more...I ask Bob to help me find XYZ...and there it is! Or, it will pop into my brain where I left it...words or ideas that I KNOW are from him always help me...names of people, places, etc..I know I am rambling here...but our loved nes are still here..helping us get through life. I know this as sure as I know my name. It happens to Melinda (daughter) too...and her persona is totally different from mine. She is not flighty, spacey or distracted like I am.
So to all of you who think they have gone..they are still here...Bob has also done things like direct Melinda when she is driving...i.e. a random thought like taking a different way home pops into her head..and she finds out later, there was bad traffic, or different suggestions, or ideas...it is so hard to explain....but I urge you to listen! Open your hearts and minds, and you might be surprised...
I am sitting here on the anniversary of Gregs funeral, the date your supposed to say your good-byes knowing none of us really does say goodbye, I tried last year on this date to come to peace with his passing, silly me it doesn't work like that. I get on here when Im missing him because everyone here is going thru the same thing. I noticed a theme in your post today, and it makes me sad to know how many of you didn't have anyone to lean on when your loved ones passed away I am very lucky in the fact that I have a huge family and they are all here, I feel lonely in this thing called grief simply because no one truly understands what anyone else is going thru, we all grieve for different things we miss, but I am sorry you all feel alone, if anyone ever wants to talk my email is on my page and I am here for my "family"
Dear Debbie ...
Your post brought tears to my eyes and I know exactly how you feel. I felt like a zombie (point me, tell me where to go or what to do) and I'd act on it. I am retired and have no children and just had my two little dogs who gave me great comfort and forced to get me out on walks that helped to a degree. My immediate family is very small and I don't have much support from them. Some of my long-time friends seemed to vanish after a time simply because I now was on my own without my spouse. Not working any longer I turned to volunteering and that fell through when the lady at the shelter moved to far away for me to help out. It seemed everything I tried to attain in my life turned to mud and the simplest of things were daunting to me. We have to realize that we spent many years with our spouse, loved each other and now there is a gap in our life and everyone grieves at their own pace. What you are going through is very normal and no, you are not crazy! Grief no matter how painful for us is something we must go through. The first year is the worst and then the 2nd year you start to come out of your dream-like state. Little by little you get strength and I must add that it's been all the angels on Legacy and the site itself that helped me more than any grief counselor could. I hope Debbie that you will keep coming back and posting so you get the strength from us and to make sure you know your feelings are very normal. Here is a tip: When I even go into a store or just walking I will wear my sunglasses at times for fear someone will see the tears in my eyes. I also want you to know although grief is an ugly journey that it does make us realize we are much stronger than we think.
It has been 8 years since Ernie passed and I still get teary on special occasions we use to celebrate. Believe it or not on Valentine's Day, Christmas, etc., I still buy a card for my beloved Ernie. Nothing wrong with that.
Please come and talk to us no matter the time and someone will be there for you. The members on here are like angels swooping down to give peace and verify everything will be OK and it will. There is so much more I'd love to say to you, but it would take forever. If this old bat can make it so can you! Cry when you want and never allow anyone to tell you when your grief should end.
I wish I was there to just hug you tight and verify all will be right in the time frame it takes you to move ahead of grief.
Much Love & big hugs
I have to say right from the start that I felt exactly what you are feeling at the same point after losing Larry. As the date grew nearer of the first year anniversary of Larry's passing, feeling exhausted and often mentally paralyzed and confused became my daily state - something that went unnoticed by some of the people close to me, while others appeared impatient with the fact that I hadn't "gotten over it" by now. I felt so awfully isolated and misunderstood by everyone except a few very close friends and my wonderful family here. Honestly, the acceptance and listening hearts I found here are almost certainly the only reason I managed to get through those first few unbelievably terrifying years. I was living alone, no children or surviving immediate family, and few and infrequent visitors - just myself and my fears that I was losing complete touch with the rest of the world. Most sadly perhaps, I really didn't care if I did vanish from the world. Thinking about where and how I would live became a sort of game I played with others - agreeing with almost anything they suggested until alone, then saying to myself that if I disappeared overnight they wouldn't even notice for days or weeks - if at all.
So Debbie, no - you are not alone or in any way feeling things that are abnormal for your situation, and we all here can assure you of that. I truly hesitate to offer advice or suggestions - mostly because I made some truly bizarre and regrettable choices during my early journey with grief. All I can comfortably offer is that I somehow managed to survive the multiple twists and turns on that dark path with the support and love of everyone here, and know in my heart that the same will be true for you, because the most important thing you learn here is that you are not alone.
Wishing you peace as you face the approach this first anniversary, and I send as much positive energy as I can muster your way for comfort and strength -
Thanks Steve. When I say "crazy" it's not like I'm going to go out and do something psychotic. Just want to clarify that! :)
I find myself feeling like I'll see Tommy when I get home from work (split second anticipation) and then remember just as quickly the reality. It depresses the heck out of me because I realize that this is forever. And it really stinks.
It's almost as if my mind still hasn't accepted this crap after almost an entire year. Actually, this past year was mostly just a blur and it's as if the reality is just setting in now, two weeks from his anniversary. Watching his house get renovated across the street, new people moving in, sitting on the porch laughing and having fun, realizing that yet another weekend is coming up and I won't be hanging out with my best friend AGAIN is indeed exhausting.
I can't wait for this to pass and I appreciate you trying to help me understand this because like you, I feel that family, etc. just don't want to hear about it and feel I should be over it by now. It's pretty incredible (and sad). Leaves me feeling scared to death, actually terrified, and about what I don't even know. It's a feeling I've never felt before in life. Just awful. Like you, Steve, my work has become my refuge and I'm happy that I have the job I do.
Thank you again. And I hope that you're doing well.
You are not going crazy, grief affects each of us differently with one common thread. We all feel paralized, alone, scared, depressed and exhausted from crying. So we all are convinced that we are loosing our grasp on reality, because those around us, family, co-workers and friends.
Firstly, I was convinced that everyone at work was watching me as if waiting for me to burst into tears, secondly, my family never called me to see if I was OK, I would call them and they could not talk to me or listen, they would go on about what was going on with them and then ask how are doing. I got the impression just from their tone they were ready to get off the call.
Work became my refuge, I worked harder which made me more exhausted by the time I got home. Then I would be greeted by my Bella, an older 80 lb mixed breed waiting on me wagging her tail and all excited. So we would go on long walks which were both therapeutic and exhausting.
That bundle of fur helped me thru the worst of days.
So, please consider yourself OK and not crazy, things do get better and you will to. None of is will every forget, we all learn to adapt.
Love and hugs
It's been a long time since I've shared on this thread because I was scared of sounding like a downer but after reading all your posts and seeing the love and compassion you all show each other I figured I'd update.
First, I'm so very sorry to read about the loss of your pets. Losing them is as heartbreaking as losing a human loved one and I've lost three in as many years starting in 2014 so I do know how you all feel. No more nails on the hardwood floors was the worst part for me, not to mention the greetings when I got home from work. It's incredibly sad and again, I'm sorry for you all who've gone through it.
As for my Tommy, yesterday would have been our 27th anniversary and I had an awful night. I still have his voicemail on my office phone from last year when he called to see where I wanted to have dinner and as much as I want to listen to it, I can't. I can't cry at work :(
May 31st will be one year since I found him and I have to ask you all, is it me or did any of you ever feel "paralyzed" in your first year? It's a very odd sensation, like I can't even put one foot in front of the other as I go about my errands (especially on weekends) and there are times when I feel absolutely exhausted, like I just ran a marathon.
It's hard to explain but I feel "trapped" and the more I try to untrap myself, the sadder I get and the more real this horrible horrible situation seems.
Please tell me I'm not going crazy and that one day this will be just a memory. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, with whatever advice you can give me. deb
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