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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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Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31. 13 Replies

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

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Comment by Charles E. Nelson on May 16, 2019 at 1:35pm

Dear Debbie,

I have to say right from the start that I felt exactly what you are feeling at the same point after losing Larry. As the date grew nearer of the first year anniversary of Larry's passing, feeling exhausted and often mentally paralyzed and confused became my daily state - something that went unnoticed by some of the people close to me, while others appeared impatient with the fact that I hadn't "gotten over it" by now. I felt so awfully isolated and misunderstood by everyone except a few very close friends and my wonderful family here. Honestly, the acceptance and listening hearts I found here are almost certainly the only reason I managed to get through those first few unbelievably terrifying years. I was living alone, no children or surviving immediate family, and few and infrequent visitors - just myself and my fears that I was losing complete touch with the rest of the world. Most sadly perhaps, I really didn't care if I did vanish from the world. Thinking about where and how I would live became a sort of game I played with others - agreeing with almost anything they suggested until alone, then saying to myself that if I disappeared overnight they wouldn't even notice for days or weeks - if at all.

So Debbie, no - you are not alone or in any way feeling things that are abnormal for your situation, and we all here can assure you of that. I truly hesitate to offer advice or suggestions - mostly because I made some truly bizarre and regrettable choices during my early journey with grief. All I can comfortably offer is that I somehow managed to survive the multiple twists and turns on that dark path with the support and love of everyone here, and know in my heart that the same will be true for you, because the most important thing you learn here is that you are not alone.

Wishing you peace as you face the approach  this first anniversary, and I send as much positive energy as I can muster your way for comfort and strength -

Much Love,

Chuck 

Comment by Debbie R on May 16, 2019 at 11:19am

Thanks Steve.  When I say "crazy" it's not like I'm going to go out and do something psychotic.  Just want to clarify that! :)

I find myself feeling like I'll see Tommy when I get home from work (split second anticipation) and then remember just as quickly the reality.  It depresses the heck out of me because I realize that this is forever.  And it really stinks.

It's almost as if my mind still hasn't accepted this crap after almost an entire year.  Actually, this past year was mostly  just a blur and it's as if the reality is just setting in now, two weeks from his anniversary.  Watching his house get renovated across the street, new people moving in, sitting on the porch laughing and having fun, realizing that yet another weekend is coming up and I won't be hanging out with my best friend AGAIN is indeed exhausting.

I can't wait for this to pass and I appreciate you trying to help me understand this because like you, I feel that family, etc. just don't want to hear about it and feel I should be over it by now.  It's pretty incredible (and sad). Leaves me feeling scared to death, actually terrified, and about what I don't even know.  It's a feeling I've never felt before in life.  Just awful.   Like you, Steve, my work has become my refuge and I'm happy that I have the job I do.

Thank you again.  And I hope that you're doing well. 

Comment by Steve G. on May 16, 2019 at 8:28am

Debbie,

You are not going crazy, grief affects each of us differently with one common thread.  We all feel paralized, alone, scared, depressed and exhausted from crying.  So we all are convinced that we are loosing our grasp on reality, because those around us, family, co-workers and friends.

Firstly, I was convinced that everyone at work was watching me as if waiting for me to burst into tears, secondly, my family never called me to see if I was OK, I would call them and they could not talk to me or listen, they would go on about what was going on with them and then ask how are doing.  I got the impression just from their tone they were ready to get off the call.

Work became my refuge, I worked harder which made me more exhausted by the time I got home.  Then I would be greeted by my Bella, an older 80 lb mixed breed waiting on me wagging her tail and all excited.  So we would go on long walks which were both therapeutic and exhausting.

That bundle of fur helped me thru the worst of days.

So, please consider yourself OK and not crazy, things do get better and you will to.  None of is will every forget, we all learn to adapt.

Love and hugs

Comment by Debbie R on May 16, 2019 at 7:42am

It's been a long time since I've shared on this thread because I was scared of sounding like a downer but after reading all your posts and seeing the love and compassion you all show each other I figured I'd update. 

First, I'm so very sorry to read about the loss of your pets.  Losing them is as heartbreaking as losing a human loved one and I've lost three in as many years starting in 2014 so I do know how you all feel.  No more nails on the hardwood floors was the worst part for me, not to mention the greetings when I got home from work.  It's incredibly sad and again, I'm sorry for you all who've gone through it.

As for my Tommy, yesterday would have been our 27th anniversary and I had an awful night.  I still have his voicemail on my office phone from last year when he called to see where I wanted to have dinner and as much as I want to listen to it, I can't.  I can't cry at work :(

May 31st will be one year since I found him and I have to ask you all, is it me or did any of you ever feel "paralyzed" in your first year?  It's a very odd sensation, like I can't even put one foot in front of the other as I go about my errands (especially on weekends) and there are times when I feel absolutely exhausted, like I just ran a marathon.

It's hard to explain but I feel "trapped" and the  more I try to untrap myself, the sadder I get and the more real this horrible horrible situation seems.

Please tell me I'm not going crazy and that one day this will be just a memory.  Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, with whatever advice you can give me.  deb

Comment by Marsha H on May 15, 2019 at 4:34pm

Steve ... I loved your post and what you said is true, people really don't want to know how you really feel.  I think we all go through that and I had a good laugh at how you are handling it.  I may take that to mind and do the same thing.

Much Love

Your sis

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on May 15, 2019 at 4:33pm

Diane C ...  Your yard sounds lovely with all the ponds.  I know what you mean about the trees.  I have 5, 350 foot Cedar trees in the back and the 3rd year after Ernie passed away I had a pro come in and hack off just the bottom branches and it cost me $2,000 so not going there again as I just can't afford it.  I am also having difficulty finding a gardener to just keep up the rockery garden which was Ernie's hobby and because we've had mixed weather and our share of rain the weeds are doing well and the garden rockery is a mess.  It's just too much for me so don't know what I'm going to do.  

I have applied for a little dog in foster care in the States not that far from me and she's 6 years old.  I didn't want a pup or too young a dog.  This little female dog is so sweet and everything I would hope for.  Unfortunatly these shelters are way out of control and they put you through a lot of red tape and I just found out that sometimes they will take your age into consideration and won't even let you have a 6 year old dog.  What the hell!  My vet backs me 100% as well as family and friends and I have proof I'm an excellent 'dog mom.'  So now I'm not sure if I am getting this sweet little dog.  Often the shelters don't even provide you with an answer as to why they didn't consider your application.  I am so frustrated because with new technology and the way they are changing things it's not making it easier, but harder.  I am beside myself and so angry about being deemed 'too old.'  That's discrimination and if I find out that's the reason all hell is going to break loose and I'll go to the media about it.  I am energetic and people don't believe the age I am.  I see 50 year olds with less get up and go as myself.  How can they judge me when they haven't even met me.  Go figure.

Sorry for rambling on, but just frustrated and fear I won't get this little dog.  I still miss my little Tootsie, but know she is in a better place.  She was 16 and I do believe she struggled to hang on a bit longer for me and I love her even more for that, but then there comes a time you know your loving companion has to go and it's the best gift you can give them.

Thank you for the lovely compliment and I do care about my friends and give 110%. I am happy to be there for them and hope I ease their pain or keep their courage up.

I am happy to hear from other posts you are doing much better.  I agree that our spouses are always in our hearts and that the deep grief we once had has become more silent not that we forget our spouses, but we can at least laugh or even cry sometimes at the memories they left us.  It's a different leg of a journey for all of us and we all eventually get into a routine.  It's surprising how tough we really are and that is a gift we learned about from grief.

Hope you get those trees cut so you don't have to worry about having one fall on you again.

Love & Hugs as always

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on May 15, 2019 at 4:16pm

Dear Deborah P...  I had to giggle with you and your wine at your grandson's b/d.  Did you have it in a bag!  LOL  I can understand exactly how you feel and even after 8 years of Ernie's passing I can feel the loss, wishing he was with me and don't totally enjoy all events with family or friends, but I manage to find something to enjoy as life is so precious.  How wonderful and kind of your daughter and you to have the b/d party to your grandson and try to keep things as normal as possible for him.  Children grieve as well, but much quieter about it.  You both made his day and I sure hope you did't dance on the table top after that wine!  LOL

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on May 15, 2019 at 4:13pm

Dear Sara ...  Thank you so much for the lovely post and the encouragement you gave me.  2019 has not been a kind year for me and I'm so sick of either hearing about death or experiencing a friend or dear pet passing away.  I try to do the best I can.  Right now trying to find a shelter dog for Booker my other dog and here is hoping.  Shelters make it very difficult to adopt and a lot of red tape.  

I hope you are doing well and have some peace and happiness in your life Sara.  As always when I post you are right there for me and I really appreciate it.

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on May 15, 2019 at 4:08pm

Deb P ...  Praying must work and so happy to hear that your home and the property are still dry.  I have left you a post about whether the 2nd year of Greg's passing is worse and I'd like to add that without us realizing it there are a few less tears.  They will always be in our hearts and the back of our minds.  I have my days, but most of the time I try to keep busy and it helps.  Keep as active as you can and surround yourself with family and friends every so often and don't be afraid to treat yourself every so often such possibly going to spa or going out for dinner or movie or both for that matter with a good friend.  Keep getting out in society as it really helps.  It's now been 8 years since Ernie passed and yes, I shed some tears, but the deep ache isn't so bad now.  

Hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on May 15, 2019 at 4:02pm

Dear Deborah ,,,  The first year I now know I was in shock and almost zombie-like, but had the sense to have a friend come with me to do all the red tape needed to be done.  The 2nd year all I can say was a mixed bag of emotions.  I knew my Ernie was gone and nothing I could do about it, but I missed him so much.  The good news is that I realized how much stronger I had become and doing things I had to do that Ernie use to do.  The grief does go down to a dull roar and I found keeping busy and yes, even volunteering helps a lot and keeps you in the real world.  

You're going to make it girl and what you are going through is very normal.  It takes time and you are doing just fine.

Love & Hugs

Marsha

 

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