As I read everyone's posts I can feel your pain and anguish...I guess I am still living it too.  For those who have had multiple losses, my heart breaks for you and all of your losses.  You are all so strong for continuing on.  It has been 26 months for me and so much of what everyone mentions I am still feeling.  I have a hard time with people trying to compare my loss to their trivial drama.  One person in particular has one self-pity party after another and is constantly whining to me about how horrible his life is.  At first, I tried to be sympathetic, now I simply tell him everyone has issues, it's all in how you handle it.  I had one of the moms of one of my daycare kids try to compare my loss to a divorce (and she has never been divorced either), needless to say I wasn't very pleasant in my response...there is NO comparison.  I have had people say things to me that were so far off the mark and I would just try to remind myself that they really have no clue as to what they are talking about...they have not lived this life.  What these comments do for me, is to make me very aware of what I say to others who have lost loved ones...I try not to say things that are insensitive.  I suppose I probably do without realizing it, only because I sometimes speak (or type) without thinking...things just come out.  So, if I have offended anyone at any time, I do apologize. 

There are so many things that still get to me.  I am so jealous of couples holding hands, especially older couples, because we were to be that older couple one day.  I feel so cheated and our kids have been so cheated, especially our son who was 13 when Tom died.  There were so many things that he had yet to learn from dad and it really stinks that he will never have the special time that every teenage boy needs from their dad.  I did have someone tell me today the Nick (our son) is a really good boy...and that I have done a really good job raising him.  I really didn't do it alone, after all he did have Tom for those 13 years, so something must have rubbed off, but I have really tried hard to keep life in perspective and keep Nick moving forward in a positive way.  It was really nice to hear that Nick is the boy I always hoped he would be.  We are grandparents to a one year old baby girl and she is being cheated out of having her grandpa to love and spoil her...and I feel cheated out of playing Grandma and Grandpa as a team, but Lily will know who her Grandpa is through pictures and stories.  I think of all the future plans we had and how they will never be...sometimes it is hard to envision the future when my whole future was filled with Tom.

I am like so many of you, I still have all of Tom's things.  I haven't moved them and have no intention to do so any time soon (even his toothbrush is still in the holder).  Even though he is no longer here, he is such a part of my life and this house I cannot eliminate him from it...I know he is not coming home, but I think I still live our life like he is just away at work.  He worked for the railroad and spent a lot of time away from home.  I now realize that his working away from home was getting me ready for this new life; it has taught me a certain amount of independence.  No matter how long Tom is gone I still feel very married.  I still wear my rings and probably always will.

I have just realized that in the past 26 months I have not stayed away from my house for more than a few hours at a time and I am about to take a big step for me.  I know that in the beginning I intentionally stayed home.  Even when I was invited to go places, I couldn't bring myself to be away from our home, but as time went on I was doing it subconsciously, not realizing I was staying here because it was comfortable and easier than having to do something without Tom.  Well, this weekend will be the first time I have actually stayed somewhere besides my own bed...I know how silly that must sound, but it feels like a huge thing right now. 

After losing Tom I decided I had to do something to become financially independent (something I have never been, I was always well taken care of by Tom)...I had been an in-home daycare provider and stay at home mom for the past 10 years, before that we owned our own meat/grocery/deli store...I haven't been in the real workforce since 1997.  After Tom, I decided to go to college and earn a degree in Medical Administration.  This weekend I will graduate with a true degree, something I never thought I wanted or needed until this new life.  I have been so blessed (I know, how can I say that when I have lost my Tom) I not only made the decision to go to college, but I was lucky enough to earn a full scholarship by sharing our story, I held a 4.0 and was on the dean's list each semester, and then, I was also featured in the LA Times, again because of our story.  I do feel blessed for being able to get through school, it wasn't always easy, but it was a great distraction sometimes from the pain I was going through.  Taking classes gave me something to focus on besides myself.  Now that it is time to graduate, I am taking a BIG STEP and going to my graduation where I will actually spend two nights away from home (our kids will be there for moral support).  As pathetic as that sounds, it feels huge to me...like it is one step toward my newfound independence and maybe a small part of moving forward.   

 

I wish everyone here peace and comfort to ease the hurt...hugs to all!!

 

I thought I'd share the links to my essay and the LA TIMES article: 

 

http://www.elearners.com/careerstimuluspackage/scholarship-recipien...

 

http://onlineblog.bryantstratton.edu/following-tragedy-one-mother-f...

 

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Replies to This Discussion

For some reason the links wouldn't work...here they are again...I think they should work, I hope!

 

http://onlineblog.bryantstratton.edu/following-tragedy-one-mother-f...

 

http://www.elearners.com/careerstimuluspackage/scholarship-recipien...

Marlena. Congratulations on your success. I work at a community college ib northern Michigan, and have watched people coming back to school. It is work! To do it online takes even more commitment. You can do it from your home at a time convenient to you, but it is too easy to put off.

It is wonderful that your children will be with you for moral suport. Your familiar surroundings will welcome you home when you return. Support of family is so wonderful. Like warm Fuzzy.

Emily Dickinson wrote "i measure every grief I meet “. That is all I can remember right now. That is what people do. I sometimes recite this line to them. Sometimes, I tell them that I hope they never have to go through this. br /> What you said to the person about we all have issues was
a good response. How could they know?

Marlene:

 

Congragulations.  You had the courage to take that step.  Keep stepping.

Margarita,

Thank you so much.  I have no idea where this life is leading me, but I'm along for the ride and will follow it where ever it takes me.

Hugs

margarita chacon said:

Marlena Im So Happy For You You Are Avery Special Person I Wish You The Best In Your Life. Lots Of Hugsssss.
Marlena, thats a very big step and we are all so very proud of you. Good for you. You need to walk that graduation walk and know that your dear one is right beside you cheering you on. I just graduated myself in 2005 from college and it felt so good. I still haven't used the degree for anything but I know its there and just earning it was a triumph. I made sure I walked too just because I needed to recognize myself and what I did for me. My children were very supportive and I'm glad yours are too. We will be waiting to hear all about it..

For some reason, I felt the need to find other bereaved spouses. I have joined groups of bereaved parents, suicide survivors, etc. but never a group for missing my husband something awful. It is comforting to read the comments. Because I grieve for my children, I haven't really knew I was grieving for my husband as well. I too get jealous when I see couples my age, still together. With their husbands. I just know I took for granted the things that we did together. And wondered how many times did bereaved spouses see us together and have the empty in the heart feeling? How often I would walk ahead of him, only to wish now, I would never do that again. It would be by his side....and holding his hand. Of all the times I got mad at over the dumbest reasons....of how I wish I could tell him I was sorry......but I can't. He is gone.  And with him is my 3 kids I lost too.

The loneliness is the killer. Even though there is other family members around, when I go to any family outings. I still feel alone. They all have partners.......someone to go home with. After almost 45 yrs. of having a partner, this last 2 yrs. has been hard. To many losses to go to......but life goes on right? and go on it does. Miss you Mike.....wish you was still here with me.

Maggie,

Thank you!  It hasn't been an easy road, but the challenge was well worth it.  I am really excited that I made it through...in the beginning I wasn't sure I would be able to.

I looked up the Emily Dickinson poem...they are very true words.  Thank you for sharing it.

Hugs

Maggie Poxson said:

Marlena. Congratulations on your success. I work at a community college ib northern Michigan, and have watched people coming back to school. It is work! To do it online takes even more commitment. You can do it from your home at a time convenient to you, but it is too easy to put off.

It is wonderful that your children will be with you for moral suport. Your familiar surroundings will welcome you home when you return. Support of family is so wonderful. Like warm Fuzzy.

Emily Dickinson wrote "i measure every grief I meet “. That is all I can remember right now. That is what people do. I sometimes recite this line to them. Sometimes, I tell them that I hope they never have to go through this. br /> What you said to the person about we all have issues was
a good response. How could they know?


Thank you, Patricia!  I am going to keep stepping...one step at a time! :)

Hugs


Patricia A. VonBenken said:

Marlene:

 

Congragulations.  You had the courage to take that step.  Keep stepping.


Kathy,

Thank you...and congratulations to you on yours a few years ago.  It will be exciting to walk, it is something I never thought I would do.  I laughed when you said you still haven't used your degree because everyone keeps asking me when I am going out to get a job.  I laugh at them and tell them that telling me to find a job is like swearing at me, they better wash their mouths out with soap, hehe.  I might look for part time (a day or two a week), but I really don't want full-time until Nick goes off to college.  I feel like I need to be here for him as much as possible right now.

I'll give you updates when I get back.

Thanks again...Hugs to you!


Kathy King said:

Marlena, thats a very big step and we are all so very proud of you. Good for you. You need to walk that graduation walk and know that your dear one is right beside you cheering you on. I just graduated myself in 2005 from college and it felt so good. I still haven't used the degree for anything but I know its there and just earning it was a triumph. I made sure I walked too just because I needed to recognize myself and what I did for me. My children were very supportive and I'm glad yours are too. We will be waiting to hear all about it..

Sherilyn,

You are an amazing person.  You have been through so much...I am in awe at your strength to carry on. 

I am glad you found us here and I hope we are able to give you the support you need.  I think many of us took our life with our loves for granted and never imagined that we would be finishing this life alone.  That makes it so hard.  I'm sure there are no reasons for "I'm sorry"...your husband knows where you heart is.

Welcome to our group.

Peace and comfort for today and always.

 

 Sherilyn Sowell said:

For some reason, I felt the need to find other bereaved spouses. I have joined groups of bereaved parents, suicide survivors, etc. but never a group for missing my husband something awful. It is comforting to read the comments. Because I grieve for my children, I haven't really knew I was grieving for my husband as well. I too get jealous when I see couples my age, still together. With their husbands. I just know I took for granted the things that we did together. And wondered how many times did bereaved spouses see us together and have the empty in the heart feeling? How often I would walk ahead of him, only to wish now, I would never do that again. It would be by his side....and holding his hand. Of all the times I got mad at over the dumbest reasons....of how I wish I could tell him I was sorry......but I can't. He is gone.  And with him is my 3 kids I lost too.

The loneliness is the killer. Even though there is other family members around, when I go to any family outings. I still feel alone. They all have partners.......someone to go home with. After almost 45 yrs. of having a partner, this last 2 yrs. has been hard. To many losses to go to......but life goes on right? and go on it does. Miss you Mike.....wish you was still here with me.

I wanted to share a funny. At my graduation there was an 82 year old graduate they honored for being the oldest and she was getting her MASTERS. Keep on keeping on was her motto. I felt old at 56 til she walked. We all gave her a standing ovation. I graduated in May of 2005, met my dear Bill in June and we were married in September and never stopped. It was a busy life but I knew I was ready for Bill because I had found myself through all those classes and all the friends I made. I had been divorced and knew I needed get my life on track so school helped me get out and about. It was wonderful. Bill liked to tease about his college graduate wife..Do good girl and know that we are with you. What is the exact day and hour so we can be thinking of you?? Hugs friend

Marlena said:


Kathy,

Thank you...and congratulations to you on yours a few years ago.  It will be exciting to walk, it is something I never thought I would do.  I laughed when you said you still haven't used your degree because everyone keeps asking me when I am going out to get a job.  I laugh at them and tell them that telling me to find a job is like swearing at me, they better wash their mouths out with soap, hehe.  I might look for part time (a day or two a week), but I really don't want full-time until Nick goes off to college.  I feel like I need to be here for him as much as possible right now.

I'll give you updates when I get back.

Thanks again...Hugs to you!


Kathy King said:

Marlena, thats a very big step and we are all so very proud of you. Good for you. You need to walk that graduation walk and know that your dear one is right beside you cheering you on. I just graduated myself in 2005 from college and it felt so good. I still haven't used the degree for anything but I know its there and just earning it was a triumph. I made sure I walked too just because I needed to recognize myself and what I did for me. My children were very supportive and I'm glad yours are too. We will be waiting to hear all about it..

Just read your essay. It brought tears to my eyes and scared my daughter til I shared your story and we both say YES, So so proud of you. My daughter reminded me how proud she was watching me walk just 6 years ago this month.. It is an amazing feeling.. Good for you..



Marlena said:

For some reason the links wouldn't work...here they are again...I think they should work, I hope!

 

http://onlineblog.bryantstratton.edu/following-tragedy-one-mother-f...

 

http://www.elearners.com/careerstimuluspackage/scholarship-recipien...

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