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Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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Just a reminder to all of you over these next few days. The weather reports all over are talking extreme heat. Those of you out West have even warmer temperatures than here in the Midwest or East. Please keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Hopefully all of you have air in your homes. If not, please find a friend or relative that has air and see if you can go there. Otherwise, find out where the cooling centers in your neighborhood or town are and use them. Please take care not to over exert yourself and check in here.

Discussion Forum

Faking...

Started by Michelle. Last reply by John Rood Feb 13. 35 Replies

Survivor Guilt?

Started by Vickie. Last reply by Vickie Jan 22. 12 Replies

I feel lost

Started by Kim Henry. Last reply by Kim Henry Jan 6. 11 Replies

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Comment by Trina Mamoon yesterday

Elizabeth,

Sorry that you are in so much pain. Sending you healing vibes and prayers.

Marsha, thank you so much for your post. It's been extremely hard these past few weeks; I, too, have been crying a lot lately. It gives me some hope hearing that a few years down the line the pain won't be as intense. Because right now the kind of sorrow and despair I am feeling, I don't think I go on like this too much longer without breakage down. Thank you for looking out for us folks who are on this site and writing to lift our spirits when we feel down. You have a lot of good karma, my friend.

Comment by Elizabeth C yesterday
Thank you Marsha, Spent a lot of time in church today and did my heavy duty crying as I don't at home due to the businesses of a three year old. It's good to grieve instead of not at all, at least it feels more normal. I just keep going back to...ok I've done it this far...this is no fun...I would like to get back to my life before....then to think there is no going back, it's mortifying.
My three year old is my compass, when I am away from her I feel lost. She is my biggest source of comfort. I think God gave me her because he knew and I would be a thousand times more a wreck without her.
May God bless you and may you find joy and peace everyday.
Comment by Marsha H on Sunday

Elizabeth C ... I remember wishing for death in the first year after Ernie passed away as I felt I had nothing to live for.  Slowly I began to remember I promised him to 'let go' as I would be OK so I have to keep going through the good, bad and ugly, but there is also pleasurable things we'll experience in time.

You have your little 3 year old and that's one good reason to grab life by the throat and keep moving.  Look at her and see your husband.  Heart of hearts, spirit of spirit.  He's close!

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on Sunday

Elizabeth C ...  I do feel so badly for you going through all the spring and summer memories especially with your husband playing with your 3 year old.  I know it's going to be so hard on you, but please remember your little one is also part of your husband (his spirit, his heart.)  I remember the first year I could stand going out into the backyard with the BBQ or even looking down at the rock garden where my husband would putter for hours on the weekend.  Everything seemed so empty, but please believe me when I say that as time goes forward this aching will not be as intense. 

I think our husbands knew something was going on with their health if they didn't know already, but often men just cover it up by working and don't want to worry the other partner.  I saw my husband become a shadow of his former self and believe it or not Elizabeth, I refused to see him in that way and in my mind pretended everything was OK.  Now when I look at pictures of us at a party or out with friends just before he went into hospital I could see how gaunt and haunted he looked, but a forced smile on his face and I also noticed in many pictures he was getting further and further away from the crowd when he once use to be right in the middle making people laugh and listening to people's conversations.  Odd how our brains work.

I still have the odd punk day myself, but not as often as I use to be.  I guess the best thing to do is get up and get moving and keep busy. 

You hang in there hon as we're here to see you and others through this thing called 'grief.'

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Elizabeth C on Sunday
I feel like I am living half in the live world and half in the next, like death is close. It seems comforting in ways, knowing I will be with my loved ones again and not having to suffer this loss for eternity, it's a matter of time in the big picture. Life is short. So I'm doing my best to live for today, and to live, not just survive.
Comment by Elizabeth C on Sunday
Thank you Marsha, I know what you mean and are going through when you talk about couples holding hands or spring and summer seasons now are not something to look forward to but just a reminder of what we lost. I too look out at my big back yard on these sunny winter days looking and feeling like spring and think, my husband was just there kicking the ball around with our three year old, and he in not here to mow the huge lawn we got for her or cook on his brand new barbecue he had just put together last summer.
One of the thoughts going through my mind today is a comment he made a few times "I feel like I'm being punked". And that is how I have been feeling today and all the days before, punked.
Comment by Marsha H on Saturday

Elizabeth ...  Your feelings of anger are very normal during the grieving process.  I have been going through anger off and on for almost 4 years.  At first I was angry that Ernie was taken from me and thought it was so unfair as he was such a good and kind man and not a bad word against anyone.  I blamed God, blamed those who looked after him in hospital and yes, even blamed myself over and over again.  As I began to go through grief I came to acceptance (unfair they died for sure) but people die every day and we will never understand the reasoning of it all.  Now after almost 4 years I still can get frustrated off and on.  I can feel over-whelmed having to do things my husband did around the house or having to hire someone and sometimes I sit and cry, get angry and detest losing my dignity or feelings of the loss of independence.  Yet, I know I am still independent if I want to be because I was before I met my husband and I resolved some of the problems of help around my home by opening asking for help from family, friends or my neighbor (doesn't always work out) but not the end of the world.  I've learned humility and I'm humbled and try not to sweat the small things in life so, even though you are still hurting in the early grief stages we do learn from the process of grief.

Comment by Marsha H on Saturday

Elizabeth C ... 

I do know how you feel hon and I had regrets and some guilt after my husband passed away because I saw him give up 'soul weary.'  To them it's not about 'us', but how they have battled bravely and finally their bodies just give up and we have no control of that.  Most patients who are terminally ill are on medications to relax them or control pain and are in and out of consciousness so your beloved knew you were there and that's all that counted.  There is no right or wrong way to help our loved ones near death because it's out of our control.  We are so use to being in control it's difficult for us to let go and realize we just can't control certain things in life.  I am so sorry you were ill yourself and don't blame yourself.  You couldn't control that either.  Remember, although you were bedridden and couldn't talk it was not the same journey your spouse went through.  Dying is a process and the brain does respond to cope with that dying process. 

Regret, guilt or both is part of grieving.  Like everything in life we can look back on both of those emotions, but we're not mind-readers and we do the best we can with what we have.  When we can't help ourselves with our health we go to professionals and hope for the best because we simply don't have that knowledge so don't beat yourself up over regrets or guilt; this too shall pass in time and your loved one knows you did the very best you could.

I know I don't like anyone asking how I'm doing (few do ask me now since it's been almost 4 years since Ernie passed) because I am sure they feel I should be over grieving, but it's hard to forget the great love you had for your spouse and you will always miss them.  Now when someone asks how I am doing I simply say 'fine' because truthfully I think it's a formality on their part for something to say, but don't really want to know how you are doing.  They move forward in life and we cope.

Hang in there hon and lean on us.

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by janeo on Saturday
Thanks Marsha
Comment by Elizabeth C on Saturday
Kristen Marsha and Rolland, I have regrets as well, as my husband was dying ( day 47 in hospital, by his side 99% of the time but he still commented " I thought you had left, I guess because i was sitting quietly by the window while he slept those last days) his sisters, two pastors and I chatted above him for a few hours before he went into his last hour and his breathing changed yet again. I think I was so selfish to not give him a peaceful time, I am sure he could hear us, talking. In his final hour I just prayed and whispered in his ear till the end. I'm just mad at myself because I was very very sick right after I had my baby and I was bed ridden, couldn't even talk for a time, and people talking around me really agitated me, it gave me anxiety that took years to alleviate. Anyway I believe they can hear you and if you weren't there at least they went in peaceful quiet...but still no words can remove our regret. Just being here to listen is helpful...letting me vent. You guys know more than anyone, I don't even want to talk to people when they say how are you doing? It just brings up floods of emotions. Thats all they can do, no one can fix it. We are our own best helpers. And for me my faith in Jesus is my rock and true comfort.
Today I was living on the...one day at a time motto. Sometimes one minute or one second at a time.
 

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