Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: Feb 17
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 Bonny Jones Jan 22.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 16.
Started by Susan. Last reply by Marsha H Sep 2, 2018.
You are always so generous with your time, praise, encouragement, and goodwill. I, for one, have hugely benefitted from your generosity of spirit. Every time I post something, you immediately have something positive and affirming to say. Thank you so much!
What you say about material objects--clothes, houses, other possessions--is so true. Words of wisdom. After Joseph's passing when I looked around and saw all the hundreds of big and little things he left behind, I couldn't but think what the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said in his tale "How much Land does a Man Need?"--only six feet. Yes, when we leave this world, we can't take our possessions with us, so what we make here, the good we do here, the memories we make is what matters, what counts. Yes, a house is only a home because of the memories and the person/people living in it. Thank you again, dear friend. Hope your day is a little better too. Sending hugs your way, Trina
Just quickly want to say I am having computer trouble, so my lack of posting, while frustrating, doesn't mean I don't want to say something to each post I've seen - those who know me I am not at a lack for words usually!
Love to all,
Trina ... What wonderful things you have done in Joseph's name and he knows and is proud of you. I often wonder how they must feel seeing us struggle in our grief, but taking steps to keep going and I truly believe they too give us strength and their spirit is always with us.
I know it must have been so painful to give away many of Joseph's belongings, but it was a good thing you did. I was thinking (almost hurt my brain LOL) that we collect 'material things' that seem to fill something in us, but what it boils down to when we lose the love of our life they are simply 'things' which the exception of something of our loved one that they treasured. I suppose we are learning material things are nothing without that person being there to share it with us.
I forgot to tell you that after Ernie's parent's passed away he and his sister put up the house for sale and sold it. They tore it down (all those loving memories Ernie had in that old house growing up with 4 other siblings and also the memories I had) and now we were looking at a row of townhouses where the house use to be. I realize then and told Ernie, 'A house does not make a home, it's the people in it that make it a home.' He felt peaceful after I told him that and so did I. We were just thankful for the memories.
Hope you are having a better day my dear friend.
Steve ... that was a beautiful play on words and I printed it out just to remind myself. Thank you for posting that.
Thank you, Marsha and Sara for reaching out to me and offering words of comfort. This site is wonderful: when one of us needs some words of kindness and empathy, we can come to this family of ours and find that comfort and support. Nowhere else have i found this kind of understanding and kindness, not from my family members or friends. It's because they have no idea of what it feels like to walk in our shoes.
I will affirm what Marsha and Steve said about "spreading it around" (Joseph's phrase). One of the few gratifying experiences that I enjoyed on this journey of grief is when I shared something (money or Joseph's clothes and other belongings) with others who are less fortunate. Joseph always lived the principle that "spreading it around," whether it be show of love, kindness, compassion, money, or other forms of material support, is life affirming and meaningful (he was a Philosophy professor).
The night before Joseph passed--the doctor had just told us that he had only days left--I asked Joseph how would I go on living without him. He told me "live for your family, and do the good works."
Early on after Joseph's passing, as gut-wrenching and terribly hard it was, I passed time by dividing up his clothes, shoes, and music books to be donated to different charitable organizations in town. I found this exercise to be calming and satisfying as well as painful, as I knew that Joseph was continuing to help others from beyond the grave and I was fulfilling his wishes. I helped establish an endowed scholarship in his name for our university students in Alaska. Sharing and giving in the memory of our loved one is a gift that keeps on giving. It helps those in need, and it also helps us find some kind of meaning and comfort in our grief.
Good job, you both for reaching out to those less fortunate (from a material-resources point of view) than us. Keep up the good work!
I found this today while reading posts on Facebook, a very dear friend of mine posted this. My friend Gabby lives in San Antonio, TX and spent many hours on the phone with me right after Mark passed, just listening and crying with me. I do not know what I would have done with out friends like her. So I hope that in some small way I can honor her help others by passing this along.
Just a thought on my part because Steve had mentioned giving clothing away to a man less fortunate.
I went to 'Chapter's Book Store' a few days ago and as I was entering there was a young woman (not in rags) but sitting there not begging and she had a little dog curled up under her jacket. I was going to pass her by and decided to stop and talk to her. She told me she had gone to a shelter, but here in British Columbia you can only stay a certain amount of time and then have to move on to make room for others. Our Shelters are over-flowing. This had happened to her and she had nowhere to go. She was not complaining in the least. For some reason I gave her money to get a motel room for the night and told her to get out of the cold, have a hot shower and buy some food for herself and her dog. It's always a risk of course to do so, but something was pushing me to help this young woman. No matter how bad I feel I have it I realize that there is always someone out there that has it worse than me. I know I could have chucked the money into the 4 winds, but so be it. Better to give and hope for the best than not do anything.
Steve ... Thank you for sharing your wonderful post and what a fantastic read. If you are ever in doubt of the your courage to move forward all you have to do is reflect on what you've just written. I am so proud of you big brother!
What a wonderful thing to do giving the clothes to that poor man and I'm sure he appreciated it. Too often people just walk by the less fortunate without regard to the fact they once had a life too and sometimes circumstances land many people on the streets. I have given most of Ernie's clothing to Good Will because there are far too many people out there with little life or hope and you gave that man some hope with your kindness.
Life certainly is many roads of adventures and we never know what to expect and hopefully the end of it will lead to much happiness and you and Chuck have found. I am so happy for both of you.
Steve.....thank you for sharing your journey with us. So many changes in such a short time. In reading your post, I can envision Mark being the catalyst to these changes such as the homeless man at the dumpster and the timing of your finding Legacy which lead you to meeting Chuck. I like to think at some point in time something inside me will push me to a place or do to something and that I'll feel it's coming from Ken. I hope these plans you've made with Chuck go smoothly. Your next destination will certainly be warmer and snow free.
Love and hugs,
Gail ... My deepest condolences on the loss of your husband Ken. I am so sorry you have had to join Legacy, but you couldn't have come to a better place. The people here become each other's extended family because we know others who have not had a spouse pass away can never understand the grief we go through, but we all understand and keep ourselves grounded.
As you may have read on other posts I lost my husband of almost 40 years of marriage (knew him 45 years) passed away from pancreatic cancer on April 27, 2011. He was 65 years old and we too were looking forward to our Golden Years. It made matters worse as he was so healthy all his life and I always thought it would be myself that would go first. When he was gone I was in shock as everyone is at first and didn't know what to do with myself and it's odd you said, 'I feel like an alien in another world' because I expressed those very same words many times and still can. Now I can still look at the world as strange and society even stranger at times. As a year or so later after our spouses passing, at least for me, family and friends got on with their own lives and I had to try and reinvent myself.
I first started out going over who I was before I met my beloved Ernie and he fell in love with me for my personality and that was 'me!' I try to reach back and pull some of who I was then into the future. I went through my old photo albums and traced back to many younger years up until I met my dear Ernie and began to see what my personality was like. I also kept a journal of my thoughts and experiences since Ernie passed. I volunteer for a dog shelter, go to Bible Study once a week and they are like an extended family, lucky to have a couple of girlfriends to do a few things with. I have been told for years I'm very good at writing so writing a book right now and if it's published or not at least I tried. I just turned 75 in January of this year and I do find it difficult to find someone to go on a holiday with me as most still have their spouses. Somehow, I'll figure something out. The things that does bother me the most is that I d many things alone at times and I find that the hardest hurdle to get over. It's wonderful that you volunteer, but some how it doesn't always fill that void in us and although many don't like the word 'time' it does take time to get to know who you are once again and reinvent your life. I am always amazed at some miracles that head my way and find I'm able to laugh and joke around with family and friends.
Gail, you are normal in your grief and seem to be doing everything right and it just takes time to get use to being on our own, but if we think about it we once were before we met our spouses so go back and reflect on that. People come into our lives and it's another journey and on and on it goes and without realizing it we begin to reinvent our lives. Believe in miracles as they do come and everything will be OK.
Hugs because you need one
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