Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: on Saturday
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 Julie. Last reply by DJ Dec 6, 2020.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31, 2020.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019.
Yes DJ, it is great! I had often wanted to share something but Trina described my feelings to a "T" - I was afraid of offending someone unwittingly. Also on the nose is Trina's description of walking around in the world trying to appear fine when just seeing or hearing something randomly can feel like a jolt of electricity awakening my sadness and grief instantly. More than once someone present would notice and ask if I was alright or what's wrong. How do you answer honestly? It is worse when it's someone aware of my loss of Larry but they consider that "my past" and encourage me to live for the future. Of course Steve knows exactly what I'm feeling and always gracefully and tactfully deflects questions while letting me know with his eyes that he is with me and gets it.
Recently a couple we know had a fight the night before one was to leave for a two-week business trip. His partner dropped him at work with his bags then drove off without saying goodbye. He was visiting us describing the situation when the guy leaving showed up at our house and stormed in unleashing a rant about not answering his texts or saying goodbye. Steve and I were caught silently in the crossfire until the traveler left and we remaining three caught our breath. I could only think of one thing to say, them being married for only one year but partners for ten.
I said I wished all couples would try to realize that when they part angry or in silence they face the risk of something happening that would make that their last meeting, at least in this world. One getting on a plane, or the other driving home, could be lost and the remaining spouse would have to confront that last parting for the remainder of their life.
It may or may not have gotten through to him, but Steve got it and just looked at me knowing that I never had the chance to say goodbye to Larry.
So while I still can be knocked off my emotional balance by the slightest trivial thing, I hope that somehow I can be of some use or comfort, if not counsel and guidance, to other people who are now or will some day be dealing with grief. Marsha, Deborah, Trina, Mary Jane, DJ, and too many to name have gotten me this far and I'm so grateful that we can still be here for each other - what a lovely happy thought to actually be together as Trina said - an image to surely lead to some happy dreams for us all!
Wow, it’s great to see you guys posting! I’ve been off the grid for a couple weeks, but I’m caught up now. As you know: I don’t post much, but I do keep a fairly close eye on this site and read every entry.
I have mixed dreams of Ernie although not much anymore and I miss some of those dreams. Yes, I've had a couple of dreams of Ernie dumping me for someone else. Example: I had a dream where we were in this shop run by hippies. I always love to snoop in unique shops so I went into a back room to look around and Ernie was at the front of the store. Also we both had fun during the hippie era I was as old as I was when I had this dream, but he looked younger. When I came to the front of the store he was standing there with his arm around this very attractive looking hippie girl. He looked me right in the eyes and said he didn't love me anymore. I woke up dazed, confused, hurt and angry. It felt so real at the time and I wondered why I even dreamt it as he was very loyal and loving. The other dreams I've had he has his hand on my face, but when i turn to look at him I can't see him. To this day my mind plays games on me and it's been 10 years since he passed and I get angry out of nowhere thinking he never loved me and then I realize it was just a dream.
I went for a peaceful walk one day to try and sort out why I thought Ernie didn't love me anymore. Then it hit me like a brick. When Ernie was home and not well he wasn't the best patient and both of us were strained over the fact he had pancreatic cancer and his surgery was coming up soon. I already knew the odds weren't very good and I think Ernie knew the same thing even though he refused to be on the computer. I was as strong as could be and at first I would hold him tight and tell him we had beaten many things throughout our married life and we'd beat this. It worked sometimes and sometimes not. When he would go to bed I was always on the alert and slept little so I was a mess. I would have 'shower cries' so he wouldn't hear me. He became extremely withdrawn even to me and I would get angry at him and sometimes would get very stern with him and say things I didn't mean. It was because of that I wondered if he thought I didn't have any feelings towards him, but he had said many times that I was always there for him. Still, I was tough sometimes on him and I realize it was because I couldn't face him dying. So, the bottom line for me anyway was the fact I felt a lot of guilt over that and thus, in my dreams he was leaving me. It's a dream and only a dream and they loved us.
Thanks for the opportunity Deborah to express dreams about the one we loved so much.
Love & Hugs
Many thanks to Steve, Deborah, Mary Jane, Marsha, DJ, Chuck, and Diane for reviving the conversations we used to have on this forum.
Like so many of you, after the pandemic hit, I couldn't reach out here anymore. The grief of losing Joseph--it will be seven years on August 4th--that has never left me had to be buried in my heart because of the deaths and the pain all around. Life is completely different now with Covid, and the refuge and camaraderie we used to find on this forum have taken a toll because I think in part we don't know what to say in fear of perhaps offending someone unwittingly. So I am really glad to see that so many familiar "faces" posted recently. Great to read your posts even though the posts brought tears to my eyes.
Covid, or not, I feel my loss deeply even after almost seven years. And now that Joseph's death anniversary is coming up next week, I feel restless, anxious, lack appetite, and lacking interest in conversations with my family and friends who are totally oblivious of my ongoing struggle to find peace and solace.
Many of us on this forum know that it doesn't matter how many years have passed since we lost the love of our life. The longing, the emptiness, the restlessness, the futile search for finding peace, the regrets and the feelings of guilt just don't go away. Relentless, this suffering, and having to go around in front of others as if all is fine and dandy makes it worse; so exhausting and depleting.
On the topic of dreams, the few dreams I have with Joseph in them, I am always frantically calling him on the phone and there is no answer, or I forgot his number and cannot reach him. When I wake up after these dreams, the depression and the feeling of loss are unbearable. It's very rare that I have a dream with Joseph in it where we are happy together. As utterly depressing these dreams are, I understand them as my subconscious telling me that Joseph is lost to me forever, and no matter what I do, I will not get him back.
Oddly enough, even if in my dreams I cannot reach out to Joseph, his presence in my daily life is strong as ever. Like Mary Jane and her Bob, Joseph is always there for me, giving me moral support and guiding me through the difficulties of everyday life. I am deeply thankful for his presence in my waking hours.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if some day we could have a "reunion" type meeting some place and meet up face to face one weekend and get to spend some time in person? Well, we can dream, can't we?
Again, I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to share your thoughts and feelings during here these hard times. It takes a lot of psychic and physical energy to do it.
Sending all of you much love and wishes for courage and strength to go on as best as we can in the face of the relentless grief we continue to experience.
Thanks, everyone for all of your replies. Lately, I find myself VERY spaced out...and distracted..so if I don,t respond right away..I will get there eventually. It is 2 years, since I moved back to CA., and it is as if I have been in a coma for that time. I think Covid has a lot to do with it..as just as I was getting used to the change, everything became different. I have NO short term memory. Caused By my meds..which HOPEFULLY, a surgical procedure this Monday will eliminate the need for this medication. I feel that just as I was getting used to the change of the new place, everything turned upside down! At LEAST Bob REALLY helps me out! Yes, I know that sounds a but nutty..but he is my ROCK in a world where everything is like being in the Twilight Zone! LOL
I too am glad to see so many familiar names back, and hope others may let us know how they are (this means you Sara).
Steve has said how we are doing, so I will address Deborah's question because it struck a nerve with me. I have indeed had several dreams in which Larry was either leaving or had already left me. In one he walked into a room with someone new, and I just hung back watching how happy he was. He came over and was cordial but brief in greeting me - he looked young and energetic and was all smiles.
In another he was walking along the bank of a river with friends of ours while I was stranded on the other side waving but unnoticed. There have been more, but these two come to mind.
Both times I awoke with tears on my face and very sad thinking that Larry hadn't looked that happy with me for many years before passing. This inevitably led to a dark path of tortuous thoughts with which I have been wrestling for 6 years - had he not passed, would he have left me anyway? Ours was certainly not always a happy relationship during the last years before his diagnosis, and I place most of the blame for that on myself and my drinking.
So I can understand well how your dreams make you feel Deborah, and you are not alone having this uncomfortable question tugging at your thoughts. We both, like everyone else here, need to ride these feelings out the way one rides a wave when surfing, trying to stay on our feet, but knowing that a fall won't be fatal, just painful and disappointing.
I send so much love to my much-missed family here, and wish with all my heart for peace to surround us all no matter how perilous or lonely our days may become. Knowing I still have you all to reach out to , even when I don't do so, for me is a great source of peace and comfort.
Love and hugs to all,
Most dreams with Mark in them are more about how life could have been had he not passed away. I did experience and enormous amount of guilt for my own feelings of hurt and feelings of abandonment. This goes way back to my childhood, where I felt abandoned for several reasons. 1. my mother died when I was 5 months old, 2. my maternal grandparents raised me till I was 5 yrs old and then had to re-turn me to my father who had remarried. Lots of issues with abandonment, when my sister died in 92, we were very close and again I felt abandoned and alone. These feelings come back to haunt you until you confront them. When Mark died, he was sick for several years before he passed on. Me working full time and him at home alone took more toll on me than I realized. When he passed on the quilt and hurt was so overwhelming, I felt as if I was going to loose my mind. I had no one to talk too and no friends except at work where I did not want to discuss all of the above. My family who really did not understand me mostly because I did not conform to the normal mode that they thought I should be, offered little to no comfort. This caused me to confront these feeling head on, fortunately I had found Legacy by then and an LGBTQ local church in Dallas. I also began to keep a journal and wrote down things daily that I felt or did not understand. I also read somewhere that talking to individuals no longer with us helps, So on my drives from Dallas to Florida I would have plenty of time to discuss a lot of things on my mind. If anyone passing me noticed me, they probable thought poor old man talking to himself...lol
Oddly enough I have had dreams about my maternal grandparents involving them leaving me somewhere only to find them again and wondering where I had been. Dreams in general are strange and had to follow sometimes (for me). I gave up awhile back trying to find meaning in my dreams anymore, I find them entertaining sometimes only to forget them once I am out of bed, but having that lingering feeling of surprise, anger, entertainment, etc...
Hope this helps out a little,
So this is a question for everyone, do any of you have dreams that your deceased spouse is leaving you in real life? I keep dreaming that my hubby is leaving me and doesnt want me anymore, it always ends with me begging him to stay, I wake up so sad and upset from these dreams, makes me wonder if he really did love me although I know he did, just wondering you all thoughts
Steve, am so sorry to hear about your surgeries but very glad you are now in a good place health wise. I was surprised to hear you are moving back but it sounds like you are seeking that comfort and thats not a bad thing, I too have been seeking peace and feel like I am heading in the right direction, I feel more peaceful in my soul and finally realized I have to accept things in order to continue on sothat too is a good thing. I wish you well on your new endeaver, when are you thinking of moving?
Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. So glad to see everyone back on line here. I don't usually have much to share anymore, but I do like to keep up with the site to see what is going on in your lives. It will be 9 years for me Aug. 1 that Rich passed away. Seems like yesterday. But I am now able to put one foot in front of the other and carry on. My daughter got COVID but thankfully it was a mild case, she is doing fine now. I am in Ohio and our numbers are rising. The governor is thinking about invoking the mask mandate again. That will make a lot of people angry. I believe we only have about a 50% vaccination rate. I agree with all of you that there are a lot of changes since COVID. Good to hear from everyone again, it's been a long time. Going on vacation in a couple weeks to Mass. not sure how that will go, but hoping for a good time. Hugs to all!
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