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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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Started by denise. Last reply by Sara Murphy Oct 10. 3 Replies

Need Advice:Grief and Chronic Fatigue

Started by Kaela Roster Federle. Last reply by Kaela Roster Federle Sep 25. 27 Replies

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Comment by Kaela Roster Federle on Thursday

Hi Deborah,

Thank you so much for that recommendation. I actually ended up getting that today on the kindle and I also got the journal that goes  along with it! This seems like it will be really helpful. Thanks!

Comment by deborah peck on Thursday

Kaela you need to get the book Understanding Your grief by Alan Wolfelt, its so good and verifys all of these feelings that we all have , hes a grief counselor and has written multiple books 

Comment by Kaela Roster Federle on October 17, 2017 at 1:23am

Thank you Sara. You made me laugh when you talk about yelling at your friends and family in your head so you don't tell them to F off. Luckily, my close family and friends seem to really understand except for the occasional moments (and I feel cranky at them). I have had a few acquaintances from work ask me how I am doing, and when I tell them they go, "Why?" Its like "UMMMM..." I had another woman, who I used to really like, message me, "I'm sure Brian wouldn't want you to feel so sad" and "I hope you can get back to approaching life with enthusiasm and zest!" I know she meant well, but I wanted to throw my laptop across the room at that point lol.

It is me who is the hardest on myself. I beat myself up like, "Why are you still so tired?" "You shouldn't be doing this" "you shouldn't be doing that," freaking out and trying to resist my anxieties rather than just accepting it, beating myself up for not being normal. Trying to force myself to be an act normal when there is no way I can be. Starting today I have made an effort to fight those feelings. I caught myself several times and told myself to stop. I have to be kinder to myself. I also have some friends who have been trying to pressure me to drive 3 hours to their town to visit and I just can't. Its so hard for me to socialize right now and people are just going to have to understand or its bye bye. 

I LOVE that response of "We can continue this conversation when your spouse dies" to people who are being extra insensitive or don't get it. I may just use that. 

Today was much better and tolerable. I hope your day was okay as well. :-)

Comment by Sara Murphy on October 16, 2017 at 9:32pm

Kaela.......Don't worry about the language.   We all get very frustrated and have to let it out.   You make a valid point.  I think we spend so much time worrying about other people and trying to act/feel normal for their sake.  You're absolutely correct.......it's not normal for a 30 year old to go on vacation and die in bed.   You shouldn't be expected to pretend otherwise.  You may need to start reminding people of this for the sake of your sanity.

I feel like I spend so much time angry and yelling at people in my head so that I won't tell all my family, friends and acquaintances to F off when they say stupid things.  This leads to my previous comment about educating people.  For my  own sanity, I need for people to know why what they said isn't helpful.  For those I know won't even try to get it, I'll just say we can continue the conversation when their spouse dies. 

I hope today was a tolerable day for you. 

Comment by Kaela Roster Federle on October 15, 2017 at 10:52pm

Hello everyone,

I was just reflecting tonight after a really hard, anxious day. My husband's aunt was saying how the first year after losing her husband was complete insanity. And it continues of course past the first year. I was reflecting on what she said and it occurred to me: I waste so much time and energy trying to be "normal." I put so much effort into trying to be stable and normal. And why should I? What happened to be wasn't normal. It's not normal to be 30, and go on vacation and walk in and find your 31 year old husband dead on the bed. Its not normal to have to do CPR on your husband and call 911 and deal with all the king's horses and all the king's men. Its not normal to have to cremate your husband's body 8 months after you finally got married after 10 years of being together. Its not FUCKING normal so why should I have to devote all this time and energy in trying to be normal and stable and put pressure on myself to do so? I am tired of trying to push my crazy away and I just want to embrace the fact that I am going to be really screwed up and angry for a really, really long time and those that don't understand don't need to be in my life. 

PS- I am sorry for the language and the rant. Its been a "day."

Comment by Sara Murphy on October 15, 2017 at 2:20pm

Steve.....that's a great poem.  I never thought of it that way, that we can say we're doing well because we allow ourselves to grieve.   That certainly has to be healthier than holding it in and pretending we don't feel anything.  Society looks at grieving as our not doing well and getting over it.  We all need to change that thought process one person at a time.  I try to be brutally honest when someone asks me about how I'm doing, not because I want to cause them discomfort but because I want them to carry the knowledge forward.  It can only help for the next family/friend they have who suffers a devastating loss.

My friends' father entered hospice a week ago.  He has about a month left if that.  When I was talking to her last week, she had a different understanding of what Ken and I went through.  Even though she was there for us, visited Ken in the hospital etc she didn't truly understand what I was going through.  Now that she's facing the loss of her father, she realizes that as hard as this is, if she were to lose her husband it would be much more devastating.  It's unfortunate that we have to endure these losses in order to understand.

Comment by Chicago Beard on October 15, 2017 at 11:24am

Deborah

Well said!

Comment by Chicago Beard on October 15, 2017 at 11:23am

Steve

Love the poem! It sums things up so well!

Comment by deborah peck on October 13, 2017 at 4:45pm

Steve I love the poem it should be posted everywhere so everyone can read it. I learned a long time aga after my 1st husband passed away that you don't ever get over someone you love passing away, you just go on and eventually it gets easier but its never gone, My nephew had a son pass 2 years ago and looked to me for assurance that it would be "better" soon, I was honest and told him it would be a long time but it never truly goes away he  looked at me and said "that sucks", I said yes it does.People that haven't been thru it don't understand that as long as we continue to love the person that passed away we will always grieve for them, for what could of been if they were still here,   Debbie P

Comment by Steve on October 13, 2017 at 4:17pm

On one of my trips home after Mark’s death, I was out with my family and during our conversations someone asked me “are you better now”… I hesitated and responded yes.  Later on when I was alone in my hotel room, the question resonated through my thoughts and I wondered why I said yes when inside I did not really feel as if I was doing any better.  It was just my way of not rocking the boat, still trying to blend in as if everything was OK in my life, and not wanting to change the mood at the table.

 

Months later back in Dallas, I still could not get that question out of my thoughts as it would pop up from time to time.  People say time heals all wounds and I still wondered, does it really or do we just move along down our path through this life and become numb to the losses in our lives.

 

Each one of us on this site at one time or another have had to field questions or statements from friends or family expecting us to be done with or over our grief and as I read through these posts it always brings back the above memory that I had pushed aside, so I decided to Google grief as I often do to look for poems, I found this one and as I read it, I realized I had indeed given a true and honest answer to my family:

 

 

The other day I thought of you

And tears slid down my face

The friend I was with, looked disappointed…

“I thought you doing better” she said

I thought about this and replied…

When someone has died it is okay to hurt

When you hurt it is okay to cry

When you cry it is okay

Doing “well” is honestly expressing true emotions

Wherever and whenever they happen

Grief is the natural response to loss

Crying is a natural response to grief

 

I am grieving, I am doing well

 

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