Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
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Latest Conversations: on Wednesday
Started by Tony Matera. Last reply by Don Fournier on Wednesday.
Started by Neil Do. Last reply by Neil Do Sep 13, 2016.
I've started an LGBT Facebook grief group to make it easier to post, share & support one another.…Continue
Tags: loss, support, grief, queer, lesbian
Started by Andrew McCullough. Last reply by Neil Do Sep 13, 2016.
This forum seems to have gone fallow... is there a better online community grief support option than this? It'd be nice to have a little interaction, not just echos into the ethers. Continue
Started by Brian Brown. Last reply by Shane Clements Jul 18, 2016.
Hello. My name is Brian Brown.. I am only 33 and just lost my husband of only a little over 2 years on April 11.. He had HIV.. We were living in Jersey city to be closer to his mother.. We had done…Continue
I've started an LGBT Facebook grief group to make it easier to post, share & support one another.
I am glad you are continuing to post here, and I sincerely hope we will be a source of comfort and community through your most difficult journey.
I was in the hospital, two floors above Larry, who was downstairs unresponsive in the ICU when he passed. I had been admitted two weeks earlier, and there was some debate whether I would survive my critical liver failure that had been progressing rapidly during the last months of Larry's battle. He had been begging me to go the the doctor because it was obvious something was very wrong, but I stubbornly refused, saying we had quite enough doctors in our life, thank you, and we'd worry about my health after his last round of chemo.
We also had prior directives in place, and when I was informed that he had been brought in that morning, I was facing a day fully scheduled with tests and procedures for which I had been thoroughly prepped. The nurses kept telling me they would keep me informed of his condition, but I never got to see him before 7:00 that evening when he passed.
So I am familiar with how easy it is to beat yourself up over decisions made, actions not taken, and questions of how I might have handled everything differently. Would I somehow have been able to get my own health under better control and then have been there for Larry when he needed me most? Why did he have to spend his final weeks worrying about me, when it should have been the other way around? Michael, I'm sorry to tell you something you already know in your heart...those questions will be with us for the rest of our days.
But please believe me when I tell you this - as trite as it always sounds, time does allow for healing - there is no timetable for everyone, and our paths vary from person to person - but my experience here has been, and continues to be, that sharing our grief, our fears, and especially our tears, brings a relief from the loneliness that seems suffocating for us sometimes.
I pray that you will find each day a small moment of calm to allow that healing to continue - my friend, it has already begun - it started with your first post here.
Wishing everyone here a peaceful day, and sending to all a hug -
Hello again ! Thank you charles and thank you don for the words of encouragement. It means alot. Monday was a very difficult day . it was 4 months to the day that I lost Keith. He was in CCU for 10 days, for a few days , I was hopeful cause he was responding to my voice and I was thinking to myself, everything will be okay. We will get thru this together , like we always do. but half way thru the 10 days , he took a turn for the worse and stopped responding. On the 9th day , I had to make the hardest decision that I thought I would never have to make. I knew what he wanted , cause we had talked about it years before. telling each other that we both didn't want to live on a machine. But even with talking about it , it still doesn't prepare you to make that decision. After the burial , I beat myself up trying to figure out what I could have done different , see I'm in the medical field and I was thinking that there had to be something that I could have done different or sooner and Keith would still be by my side. But I couldn't . So now life doesn't seem worth going thru. It is like all the enjoyment of living life died with him, and I am left adrift in a boat on an ocean that has no end. But I am just taking it day by day and most times minute by minute. Well I better close for now. Just got home from work. Take care. Michael
I 'm very sorry for the loss of Keith in March. I lost my husband of 32 years, Larry, in April of 2015. I know how you are feeling this new to your grief, and wish to say that this site has been wonderfully supportive for me in getting through the roughest times. I mostly post on another group, and write many pieces that are attempts to express my feelings in a way that may be interpreted by anyone in light of their own personal journey. I offer this one from a while ago for you, and everyone here, to describe my attempts to keep going through the grief and tears, and how Legacy, and the caring friends I have made here, have become the safe place I turn to when I'm in trouble...
HIGH WIRE ACT
You can feel their eyes on you – from the darkness that surrounds you their whispers sound like wind blowing through dry leaves.
“Will he fall? Look! He’s leaning…oh surely he’s going to fall!”
You carefully place one foot in front of you, feeling the subtle shift of weight as you tell yourself to stay calm, to keep breathing, to avoid sudden moves.
There is a sharp intake of breath from the watchers as you sense your delicate balance start slipping. You freeze, and you wait…until you find your center of gravity delineating the difference between this world and the next.
“How does he stay up there? He must have years of practice!”
No, there is no practicing – no rehearsal – not for this unplanned walk that you perform cold.
“How can he see that tiny wire in this blackness? He must have night vision!”
No, you’re completely blind – you have no idea where you are, or what stretches before you.
“He’s so brave, doing this without a safety net!”
But they’re wrong – there is a safety net – they just can’t see it .You could never do this walk without it – your fear would be paralyzing…you would be stuck here alone in this dark void, powerless to move forward.
So you get ready to take another tentative step, ignoring their skeptical eyes and whispered doubts that you’ll survive this perilous journey.
You place one foot in front of you, then the other – knowing that when the balance starts to shift you have your safety net…you can type the words “Hello dear friends…”
I hope this helps you, and maybe others here, to fell less alone in the struggle to get through our days -
Wishing a peaceful day to all,
I'm very sorry for your loss. Losing your partner so quickly is so devastating and brutal. I feel your struggle. As much as I hate to say this it will get better. I lost my partner of 17 years almost 3 years ago and I now can look back and see how much stronger I've become. This will happen to you. I'm glad to hear you had all your paperwork together because that does make the process much easier. Take comfort in your dogs - they need you. We had 4 corgis and every day they love to see me come home from work. They have been my hope to keep pushing on knowing they needed me to take care of them.
Treasure the memories and know that he will always be with you. I know it sounds cliche but they do come in and out of your life when you least expect it. The love you have with your partner is very special and it will get your through those rough times.
Crying is part of the process. I still do it from time to time. Be kind to yourself. What you're going through is one of the hardest things you'll experience. Some days I still wake up and ask God why do I have to go through this. There is a reason - heck there are many reasons but you'll figure that out in time.
One thing I have realized about myself.... I'm a hell of lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. And hopefully you will say the same to yourself. Give yourself all the time you need. It does get better.
Hang in there - this is a great place to get support. Stay in touch. Don
Good Morning. My name is Michael and I am new here. I lost my partner Keith in march of this year after 16 of the most wonderful years of my life. He suffered a massive stroke on March 8 , while we were getting ready to go to work and my life would never be the same. We had prepared for something like this , had our will's made and power of attorney's for each other. Taking care of his parents in their last days helped us prepare(paperwork wise). But nothing prepares you for losing your soul mate and best friend. I have struggled with his passing . going back to work has helped some but it hurts everytime I come home to a empty house. It has been hard with everyday things. I catch myself waiting on him to come home from work, to hear his voice or to feel his touch but it never happens. I'm crying as I type this , so forgive me if i misspell something. I feel so lost without him. I have no family near me, except his sister and niece , who have been wonderful and who I consider family. But my blood family all live 6 hours away. Our friends where thru him , he never met a stranger. LOL ! We have 3 wonderful dogs and they have kept me going . If it was not for them , I don't know where I would be. I feel like I'm on automatic, some days I have to force myself to do something. I'm just so lost without him. Well I better close for now , I cant stop crying . Thanks for letting me voice somethings here. hoping this site helps, since there are no other groups that I know off.
Thanks for your thoughts Janet. That is a nice pic of you two Which are you? I am still crying daily (mostly at work). Today, Joe has actually been in heaven for 1 month. I don't know how I should feel. Happy that he has been in heaven for a whole month now or sad because its already been a whole month and I don't feel that its been that long. I'm feeling the latter now. Crying now as I type. I have been attending grief support groups , but have not been to a LGBT one yet. I think it may be beneficial, but I will see. They are not held as frequent as the regular ones. I have finally found a 1:1 grief counselor, but wont see him until June 20th. They are fully booked around here. I am still trying to find "my way". Its been an emotional roller coater to say the least. I've been feeling really down since this past Memorial day holiday.It was then I realized how Joe isn't coming home. It was a long weekend for me and I dread other weekends alone. His birthday is coming up on July 4 and I don't know what I will do alone. When I pull into the garage after a work day, the first thing I see is Joe's car and I am used to thinking "Oh good, Joe's home". Then a get hit and recall that isn't the case. I just miss him so much and it still hurts so bad. One or two of our friends want to take me out "for drinks", but I don't want to do that . I feel it will depress me further. Joe was the fun guy and he did most of the talking when we did socialize. Most of our friends were through Joe. I have been meaning to write you back earlier Janet and sorry for not doing so. Love and peace to you.
I am so sorry for your loss! I know it won't really help any but, I experienced the exact same feelings you are! I really believed I was going to jump out of my skin. That is how anxious, depressed and overwhelmed I was when I lost Judy (21 years) in October (also to cancer). Just like you, I only have a few close friends but, relationships with others change from the loss of a loved one. It has now been almost 6 months and I can actually live with myself. Do I like it? No, not at all. I found a need to go to counseling (which I still do) and ended up joining a grief share support group. The support group has shown me that however I chose to grieve, I am really 'normal'. Besides being a support group, you also get faith based guidance to set you on a wellness path. How I got through the first few months, was to make a list of 3 or 4 things I could get done that day. And, I made myself get those things done. Just small tasks in the beginning. For you, I hope some of this helps you! You really will find your way!
In AZ too Rad and Arvin. It’s been a little over 3 weeks (May 8, 2016) since I lost Joe to cancer and it really, really hurts. My heart/chest ache constantly and I feel nervous all the time. I am on Zoloft, but I can’t tell if that is helping me or not. His cremains are in my living room next to his picture and I talk to him in that way daily. I miss him so much. We went through the hospice home care for the last 2 weeks of his life and I saw him slowly and then quickly decline in health in our home. I know from him and others that he did not want me to hurt. He told me before that he was worried about me and wondered who would take care of me. I thought I could handle it and I told him that I would be okay. I’m not. The only comfort I get is when I think that he is no longer always tired, or sick, or in pain. He is now with God and his passed relatives. I now live alone in a house that was already too big for us and it feels so empty. He used to cook meals for me while I worked. Now, I don’t even cook for myself and have problems keeping up with chores and daily life. We really didn’t establish a friendship network, so I don’t have many close friends to confide in and my siblings all live far away. I did have friends over this weekend to keep me company and it just was not the same. I have lost my parents and others, but this far outweighs the sadness, loneliness, and desperation I am feeling now. I am used to calling Joe every day for whatever reason, just to hear his voice. I now cry a lot when I want to do just that. There’s no one at the other end now. Please someone, tell me what you may have done to lessen the pain. I do still work, but it only preoccupies part of my days and I find I don’t talk as much at work because I am not “out” at work. Bless you all.
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