If this discussion is elsewhere I apologise for repeating it. I am now at 14 months out from my husband's death.
So far everyone has been correct, in that the first year is an awful, horrible fog of shock.
Now I am finding it very extremely hard (as the magical thinking is slowing down) to "think of" my husband's remains being in the ground. I think to myself 'he is supposed to be here!', and 'this isn't right!'.
We were inseparable. I'm finding it very hard to cope with or truly understand about his body being in the ground - and feel I must be completely crazy and fragile compared to everyone else, and just wonder if anyone else has felt this. It is very intense and very very hard.
Yes I've had bereavement counselling, before you ask.
I am just a little behind you. On Tuesday April 9 it will be one year since my Charlie passed. I think I have been quite good about not hiding from my grief. I really do try to let almost every thought out into the open. I let them do what they will to me even though many of them bring me to my knees.
This thought you are having today, however, is one I have avoided. I think I can legitimatly allow my self to avoid that one thought because I know Charlie is not there. His spirit lives and is with me. Charlie and I were married for 45 years (no children). People always commented on the amount of time we spent together. They probably always wondered what would happen if one of us should die first. I can not live without him, but I don't have to. He is here, not in the ground.
Are you able to think yet of your husband as a soul and not in the body? Are you ready to explore the idea?
I don't think you are crazy, just very much in love. I hope you can find some peace in this.
Julie, thx for your words : "I don't think you are crazy, just very much in love. I hope you can find some peace in this."
Yes, he is here with me, and he is with God in Heaven. but no, I still have these thoughts. The body that embraced me, the DNA that held me and took care of me, is there, and I find it very very hard.
Thanks for your reply, at least I know someone has read my statements.
Of course, that body is still very important to you (us). We did not only fall in love with a soul. I can well imagine why you are having the thoughts. I guess they are so terrible that I can not let my mind go there.
Sorry for your grief.
I forgot to say (due to distress) that I was asking in general if any one else in my type of situation (specific with the grave and the sudden unexpected loss) has experienced the same type of thoughts, as I'm a bit concerned if it is normal or abnormal to have such.
As I hope Julie is right, it's just that I am very much in love with my late husband.
But I am a bit concerned, even with the bereavement counselling in the past, if it is normal to feel such dire depth of connection to the grave?
Thanks for writing.
Hi Petal ,,, My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your husband. My husband passed away April 27, 2011 of pancreatic cancer. He wanted to be cremated and as instructed I've kept his ashes until I pass away and then have my sister-in-law spreading our ashes over the river where my husband grew up.
Like all of us when we lose our spouses it's such a fog the first year and then by the second year the reality of it comes crashing down on us like a Tsunami wave. I have good days and bad too.
It doesn't matter what people say or what we read it doesn't feel fair that our spouses had to pass away and leave us and that will always be a mystery of life. I would like to suggest you read books on 'Near Death Experiences' where people have been clinically dead and then come back and their lives are forever changed and they've seen things on the other side. Children draw pictures of the wonders they saw.
I don't know if you have faith in God or not, but if you do please remember the body is a vessel that carries the spirit/soul of each of us. Your spouse is around you and just because you can't see him doesn't mean he isn't there. There are signs to be see eventually that they are with you and watching over when needed. Your spouse is in a beautiful place and not in the cold ground at the cemetery. People go there just to talk to their loved ones, but you can talk out loud anytime to your spouse. I do it all the time. Who cares if people think we are crazy.
Petal, you are no more fragile or crazy than anyone else on this forum and you are going through the process of grieving which is so draining as you know and it's a long process. One of the symptoms is feeling like one is going crazy or 'losing it.' Other symptoms are depression (normal also) and thinking one wished they could join their spouse.
Hang in there hon and keep posting because there are so many wonderful people on this forum that help when one is falling down and we pick that person up. You are not alone, not crazy and not fragile. If you were that fragile you wouldn't have made it this far.
Yes I have faith in God, and the bible isn't clear if our loved ones can "see" us or not. I think God left it arbitrary for His own purposes.
I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of my husband "surrounding me with his spirit", but I have to come to my own conclusions about that.
I do know that I don't believe at all in *trying* to make contact with the dead, and I believe God is very clear on that in 2 Samuel.
No I don't believe I am crazy - but I do worry and I am concerned about the pre-occupation with this element - the inability to come to terms with his remains the physical attachment I feel to the body which is buried in the ground. My thoughts feel very morbid. And as a doctor I've dissected 17 cadavers - this is different - this is very personal.
Yes I know that his body was just a vessel, but that doesn't change my attachment to it, as none of us are so super spiritual (I don't think) that we can completely detach from what we experience in this physical world this side of the grave.
Yes, I am fragile. This is the worst experience of my life, and I can't take a story book to explain my circumstances as to why the attachment was so close and significant but he meant absolutely everything to me and was my life and my world - and without going into too many details..
...the first 40 years of my life could be described as living on a junk food diet as it pertains to relationships, and then I got my dear husband. That was then like a ten year long delightful fresh turkey feast with fresh veg fresh baked bread, and fine wine (the wine of his love) and occasional dessert.
Now, as a doctor and a health care provider, I am giving and giving and giving to others on a daily basis, and there is no one for me. Now I feel like a concentration camp survivor, and it is my job to still prepare the turkey feast for everyone else (my patients) whilst I am being starved to death (him gone).
I think that about sums it up - but it still leaves me wanting for an answer as to if anyone else (not a cremation because that is completely different) but if anyone else feels this horrible frightful panicky (almost) gut wrenching repulsion at the idea of having to accept his dead body in the grave. When I look at the paved road as I cycle down it (for a bit of head peace I've taken up cycling) but so when I look at the paved road, all I can think of is "Eddie's body is under the ground like that" and "Oh NO NO NO NO NO!!!!" and then my mind blocks it out.
Most of the time, STILL, even 14 months later, I still think of him as "here" and my mind blocks out the death, as I AM fragile and don't think my psyche is coping with the death. My bereavement counsellor kept saying "oh that's normal". No matter what I said to him (bereavement counsellor) he kept on saying "oh that's normal." I'm thinking, oh... okay I'm paying him £40 a session to keep telling me everything's normal and I'm normal. Or to tell me, "I dont' know what you expect me to tell you, it's like you want me to come up with answers for you!" (he said to me) so I fired him.
p.s. I'd really like to hear from someone ***in the same circumstances*** no offense but cremation is quite different kettle of fish to this, so I think it's comparing apples to oranges, even though it's still a devastating loss - but the shock wearing off is, I'm sure, the same.
Everyone seems to cremate these days, but I need to hear from someone who has buried their spouse and come through similar feelings - so I will know if or if not it's somewhat normal. My bereavement counsellor was not much use.
**it's this "looking down at the paved road as I cycle down it (for a bit of head peace I've taken up cycling) but so when I look at the paved road, all I can think of is "Eddie's body is under the ground like that" and "Oh NO NO NO NO NO!!!!" and then my mind blocks it out. " That is very bizarre and I can't help it. I can't stand thinking about his body being in the ground. I need feedback from someone if they've experienced that, AND if their spouse is buried, not cremated.
It's just me, Julie, again.
No one seems to be answering you in the way you need and want.
I did not know you were a doctor. Do you think it is possible that it can have something to do with your feelings about the Eddie in the grave? I simply don't want to think about Charlie in that way and so I shut it out. Perhaps you can not help doing so with all your experience. As a doctor, you know the body and all that can happen to it. Your mind keeps pulling you in that direction.
Obviously, your bereavement counsellor did nothing for you, as you say. Do you need to find another or some other specialist?
I'm sorry to be the only one answering whose spouse was buried, but I do believe you are really searching for some help. I hope you can find it.
Julie yes, that fact probably doesn't help, you are correct.
I mean no disrespect to to diminish others who have had cremations, but these thoughts are so specific.
Everyone I talk to keeps assuring me I'm okay, and that it's just deep grief-stricken anguish but since I've not been through it and the literature doesn't really talk about it - I just don't know.
Thanks for all of your replies everyone,
thanks Julie xxoo
Petal ... I certainly don't take offence to you wanting to discuss the burial of your spouse with someone else who has experienced the same thing. However, buried or cremated we still grieve for the one we loved. My husband and I were extremely close (no children) and I am left with a small family now (one brother younger than I am.) Only a few friends were loyal enough to stand by me after my husband's death and this is very common for people who have spouses who are deceased.
I am a Christian and it took time for me and some more Bible reading to decide what I believe in and every grieving individual has to find their own road in what they chose to believe and find some strength from that.
I didn't know you were a doctor and I can certainly understand how much more difficult it is for you to deal with your own pain now. All of us just really want to reach out and hug our spouses physically, but we know that can never be. We certainly wouldn't be grieving if we could deal with the detachment of our spouse. We loved them unconditionally and they were not only our loving spouses, but our best friends and now we have to cope without that physical/mental support we once had.
I understand being a doctor you give and give and now you don't feel you have support. You can be a caregiver with the same experience. I looked after both parents on both sides of the family; 2 friends who were not well and had terminal illnesses and then looking after my husband and now when I need the support it doesn't always seem to be there. Until one has lost a spouse others just don't understand the pain and heartache.
I also understand about your bereavement counselor. I went to a Hospice Grief Group for 4 weeks and came away with nothing, but feeling more depressed. Then I saw a psychologist and quipped quotes I got on surviving and reinventing myself didn't fit as I was in part denial and part reality of missing my husband and no words seemed to help so I've given up seeking advice from the professionals. It's text book theory if they haven't experienced losing a spouse which is much different than losing a parent or even a friend. I have to admit I got through the other deaths in family and regarding friends, but never imagined the terrible pain I would feel losing my beloved husband.
I am so sorry I wasn't able to ease your pain in some way, but still here to offer any support I can.
Hugs (because you need one)
Yes, in my position I have to care for a multitude of people and I can't "let fly" with any one because it is not a personal relationship, which is even different from what you describe as a carer, even. As they say in America "the buck stops here", with me, there is no one for me to turn to in authority that can offer any help, from a human standpoint, and I need it.
Again. to repeat for the benefit of others who may have experienced anything like it:
**it's this "looking down at the paved road as I cycle down it (for a bit of head peace I've taken up cycling) but so when I look at the paved road, all I can think of is "Eddie's body is under the ground like that" and "Oh NO NO NO NO NO!!!!"and then my mind blocks it out. "
That is very bizarre and specific and I can't help it. I can't stand thinking about his body being in the ground. And the thoughts seem morbid, and yes the bereavement counsellor was precious little help.