Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: yesterday
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.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019.
Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019.
Thank you Trina,
We help each other in ways no other person outside of this small circle will ever understand. I am not the same person I was 6 years ago; and yet, I am very much that same person.
I had to find the scarred little Steve so wrapped up in barriers and mistrust and let him become the me I am now.
It has been and will continue to be a journey for us all.
Peace and love to everyone to my Legacy family,
Stay safe and be not alone.
Your facility with words and the way you can express the emotions and feelings that many of us continue to feel on this forum even after five, six (for me), or more years after the loss of our beloved spouse is a precious gift to us.
Your musings and contemplation on grief and how it touches us and changes us importantly and permanently, remind me of my conversations with Joseph, who you might recall, was a professor of Philosophy. The depth of your words, the philosophical foundation of your thinking moved me greatly as it reminded me of my conversations on similar topics with Joseph. Joseph was not only a beloved teacher, he was also a mentor and friend to his many students. And when once in a while, a student faced some tragic loss or even the death of a parent or friend, Joseph would console them with engaging in conversations like you engaged in here. So thank you not only for baring your soul to us so honestly and beautifully, but for also providing me with the wonderful opportunity to be transported in time, to go back down memory lane and remember my philosophical conversations with Joseph when over time I was grieving the death of my father, my mother, and my aunts.
Even though I cried buckets reading your two posts, it was therapeutic. It brought relief to be able to have a good cry.
Stay well, dear friend and come back again and share your thoughts with us again.
We heal each other here, and in so doing find that we are healing ourselves. I have found this true since the first time I posted. I am glad my words are helping to bring you some comfort my dear friend - yours have done so for me more times than I can count.
Be well, and stay safe - this goes for all our family here!
My dear Marsha, Steve, and Chuck,
I cannot thank you enough for your loving and compassionate responses to my message reaching out to you for help and sympathy. Your understanding, empathy, and kindness have helped me more than you can imagine. Your kindness told me that I am not alone in this, and nor am I crazy or self dramatizing my situation when millions of people all over the world are feeling the negative and tragic impacts of COVID. Thank you for reassuring me that it is okay to feel the anxiety and dread I have been feeling these past six months or so.
I could not speak of my current situation too openly even with my siblings for two reasons: first, I didn't want them to have to worry about me and secondly, I didn't want them to think that I am trying to get attention. So your words brought me the much needed comfort and reassurance.
I know that each of you are coping with your own set of anxiety, concerns, and worries and are doing your best to find ways and outlets to cope with the situation and bring some amount of normalcy to your life. I admire and respect your courage and resilience! It takes a great deal in this time of pandemic to stay positive and to keep your sanity intact. And yet, the three of you have reached out to me even when you have your own battles to fight in these unprecedented times. Stay well, my dear angels, and stay safe.
And to the rest of our Legacy family, I am sending positive and healing thoughts your way as well. Stay safe.
I love this Chuck, its so on point
Well said Chuck!
Thank you Steve for helping me post!
Part 2 of Chuck's post ON GRIEF
How long we grieve has no universally applicable time frame, although society has always dictated everything from the wearing of black clothing to time taken away from social gatherings and work. When pressure to get past/through/over your grief is applied it not only causes great anxiety, but also it effects a further withdrawing into ourselves as we attempt to keep our emotions hidden from the world. This is unhealthy and damaging to our lives – period. Finally, I ask myself what the toll of my grieving has been, and will it always be something that robs me of happiness or pleasure. The answer for me is that I have not been destroyed but rather changed by my grief, and that alteration is permanent. Just as we are robbed of a certain child-like innocence in our youth after learning that Santa Clause isn’t who or what we believed, so are we now made aware of the impermanence of life and daily interaction with our loved ones. This is not the loss of love, but of the physical presence of the object of our love. For that reason, I feel that in place of what was removed from my life a new awareness of the importance and preciousness of the people and things still here has been made clearer to me. Loneliness, tears, and even anger that appear from nowhere unexpectedly no longer have the intense debilitating effects they had when my grief was new and fresh. I live with them as one adapts to having a limp or losing a finger or a limb. Life isn’t as carefree or easy as it once was, but I now allow my day to be interrupted without resistance when a song plays somewhere or a trinket appears in a drawer sending me into a moment of looking back into a past filled with images and conversations shared with one no longer by my side in this world. I am not apologetic for my sadness, nor do I insist on explaining my moods or lack of enthusiasm to others who ask me, “What’s wrong?” I mostly just smile and say that I’m fine, or that I am feeling a little tired. It is easier that way, unless my companions know me well and see in my eyes what is happening. Then blessedly sometimes they ask what I’m remembering and encourage me to share my thoughts. Those precious times have been and continue to be my times of greatest healing. Healing, because I am still hurt, and bear scars that remain invisible to most people. Blessed, because not only do I get to share my love with the questioner but feel their love for me as they listen quietly. The toll then of our grief is that we are changed importantly and permanently. The gift that comes with our grief is that we are changed importantly – and permanently. Period.
The following post was penned by Chuck. His computer is acting up, so I volunteered to post it for him in two parts,..
If you want to comment please direct them to Chuck.
Part 1. ON GRIEF For some time now I have pondered the nature of grief – it’s sources, it’s progression, and particularly it’s toll. For me grieving has not been a process that has a timeline, nor does it seem to have an end. There are no stages nor are there uniform rules under which we are expected to behave according to experts. The advice and council from outside sources are the only things that seems to be universal. Everyone I know who are also grieving have told me they were instructed by someone how they were to grieve, intensity and duration always being the guideposts. Clergy, family, psychologists, and of course well-intentioned friends all feel justified and even obligated to ring in on this topic it would seem. Personally, despite their good intentions, the comments made have often done more harm than good. All their words eventually boil down to one idea – GET OVER IT ALREADY! Only those who themselves are going through the same lamentations and loneliness have truly been of help to me. Their words are always gentle, compassionate, and most importantly full of understanding of the fragility of my status, mentally and emotionally. The lack of judgement for my reactions to memories that are easily triggered by any number of stimuli allows me to believe that I am not abnormal, nor am I being self-indulgent. I am simply grieving. Period. Five years have passed since I first stepped onto this path I now tread after losing my husband, and while I still am confused and frightened occasionally by suddenly surfacing emotions, I have learned some valuable things that allow me to function. By listening to people that I know and adding their experiences to those I have witnessed throughout my life I know that grief over any loss is equally devastating and debilitating. Those who volunteer that an illness, age, or even familial closeness should or would have a bearing on the degree to which we grieve are being unkind and thoughtless. Even the suggestion that the loss of a pet isn’t on an equal footing with that of a person is at the least insensitive. We grieve for the loss of that which we love – period.
Thank you Marsha,
Like every one else, I have moments of panic and a feeling of loss that does not seem to stop. I find that writing about these moments helps, most of my stories are much to large for posting openly on any forum, so I save them to my lap top. These are my therapy moments.
Chuck and I do get out when ever we can, safely. Yesterday we opted to get our Flu Shots, which meant going to our local CVS pharmacy. Everyone there knows us by sight and are just as anxious to engage in conversation. Everyone is wearing a mask, the pharmacy folks wear gloves and 99% of the customers wear masks. We order online for everything we need. In our city of Arlington, every business has curb side delivery or shipping available. So we stopped by Michael's (a store for crafters and Artists) and picked up our items that we ordered online. Chuck has been working on his Halloween set, even though it is just for our enjoyment. Sometimes he engages my help with ideas and layout. For myself, I will begin this fall on my outdoor project of building a small deck in our small back yard.
So life goes on, albeit differently than before. We have a friend that stops by with anything from one of those complete meals you fix yourself or tin of muffins he baked.
Rings the door bell, walks to the end of our front walk, waves to us and leaves as we scoop up the goodies.
He used to stop by with his little dog for coffee and hours of chat. We miss that interaction with others the most.
Life as we know it has changed and we cannot go back, we have to go forward and adapt.
To all our Angels on this site, stay safe, be well and reach out. Hugs and love to each and everyone,
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