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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Need Advice:Grief and Chronic Fatigue

Started by Kaela Roster Federle. Last reply by Kaela Roster Federle Sep 25. 27 Replies

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Comment by Deb S on March 21, 2017 at 4:15pm

Mary Jane, How frustrating for your post to disappear into cyberspace. That happens to me here sometimes too. There is no rhyme or reason. I type a post and then it is gone. I FEEL your pain. Please do not get frustrated and give up on us. Most of the time the posts do go through. I promise.  HUGS!  Debbie

Comment by Deb S on March 21, 2017 at 4:14pm

Mary Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for jumping in and sharing a bit about yourself.

You do have what might be a unique challenge. Does the lack of driving ability leave you feeling even more isolated?

I do not know your circumstances but wonder whether you might consider learning how to drive. You will never have better mentors or cheerleaders than the amazing people on this site.

As to your question about spending habits?  YES! My husband passed away on 7/22/15. As I mentioned in my post to Chuck, I would like to donate his clothing and personal effects to others. The blessings would be incredible. Yet, I haven't been able to follow through. At the same time, I can and do go on spending frenzies. These items do not add to my enjoyment of life. Perhaps they are an ill intentioned avenue at trying to recapture the joy of having my husband by my side. Presently, I am on a self-imposed spending respite. Please know that you are not alone and thanks for sharing that you are going through this too.

Prayers and hugs are with you. Debbie

Comment by Deb S on March 21, 2017 at 4:03pm

Chuck, Yikes about your driveway! What is your forecast? Will you be able to decamp soon?

Slowing down is imperative right now. Although I am able to find joy I am still battling the reality of feeling like a lost soul. Since my husband passed away, I have simplified. Recently, I have become a Zillow addict. What if I bought a second house somewhere? What if I bought one near my daughter or near a beach? How would that feel? Would that fill the emptiness I feel? . . . REALLY?  I do not need a second house. Instead, I need to feel comfortable and happy with my present reality - in my house, the house Bob and I built just 5 years ago.

I cannot offer any insight into the triggering of your recent dreams of Larry. During my dreams, Bob is omnipresent in the beginning and missing by the end. I wake up and am reminded that he is missing by the end because he is no longer physically by my side.

BTW, I sorted through Bob's clothes with the intent of donating them and blessing others. I got as far as moving them from his closet to the living room. They are still not blessing others and they do not enhance the living room. Geez. It is what it is and it isn't necessarily pretty.

Thanks for reminding me that the sadness does dissipate at times. You are amazing!!!  Love, Debbie

Comment by Mary. Jane on March 21, 2017 at 3:52pm

I am going to b a terrible poster...I had just typed a rather lengthy response to you, Charles, and now its gone...and I hadn,t finished it...and now I don't have the energy to rewrite it. I will do it's all about soothing ourselves with buying little objects. Be back later

Comment by Deb S on March 21, 2017 at 3:47pm

Harold, Thanks for your post. I love that you joined a gym and made fitness a priority. I think about it now and then but haven't committed. You, on the other hand, are making it happen. You rock!

Slowing down is not natural for me. It seems like I have lived a 24/7 schedule since the age of 5 (if not before). I hope that slowing down will allow me to determine my life purpose from here forward. Presently, I am lacking a focus. I hope to gain that back.

Your travel plans sound awesome! Enjoy!!!!


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 21, 2017 at 2:12pm

Hello Mary Jane,

I just read your post - it appeared in it's entirety in my email notification received when someone joins or posts here. I don't know if all the members of the family get the same notifications, so if you reply to me by writing in the box at the top of this page then click on "add comment" everyone will be more easily able to converse with you. I was completely uneducated in the ways of online group communication until joining Legacy, but it is designed to be easy to post...if you have any trouble and anyone, including myself, will try to help.

First, let me say how sorry I am for your loss of your beloved husband. Cancer is also what took my Larry from me, after 32 years. I had a health crisis one month before losing him, and was in the hospital two floors above him when he passed in the ICU. It took 2 months for me to "stabilize, and another 3 before I was able to drive once I was home. I know what you mean about relying on everybody to drive me everywhere - doctors appointments, grocery shopping(which took forever because of my slow paced walking - I was so dependent and felt such a burden. Not driving at all, you must have found yourself faced with so many more obstacles to deal with, all on top of your grief! You have my utmost sympathy and respect for confronting your challenges. Hopefully your move to be with your daughter will give you some respite from this aspect at least. 

I completely understand your comments about downsizing and wanting to keep as much as you can...if it were at all possible I would have kept everything just as it was the last day Larry left our home, but now two years into my journey without him I wonder if that would have been healthy for me - I'm a bit of a pack rat, or "hoarder" as it is referred to now. Not like the ones I hear about from TV shows, but finding sentimental value in even the simplest of things. I hope you find the way to do this cleaning out that works best for you... I declined many offers of assistance because the most personal of things - Larry's clothes, books, papers - all meant doing only as much as I could manage before breaking down completely. Sometimes I could go for an hour, sometimes 10 minutes tops. Pace yourself, and try to allow the feelings to happen naturally, as I believe  they are healthy and nothing to be afraid of - I have never been afraid to cry, and now I see tears as just another part of my days, like brushing my teeth. if they upset someone else, that's their problem.

Your comment about buying small things even as you know you need to eliminate possessions is what truly struck a major nerve with me! I am doing the exact same thing right now, and each time I do I wonder why - now you have opened the possibility that this is a way of my coping with letting go of all the other things Larry and I bought together. Thank you for giving me something to think about there - I had never even considered that.

Please continue to post with us, as we are an uncommon family with as many different backgrounds and approaches as in any "real" family. Our common bond is our unconditional acceptance and understanding of what it's like to face the unthinkable - living on without our loved ones. Somehow we have to do it, and this place is certainly a most safe and supportive aid in doing just that. The friends you will find here are some of the kindest souls you will ever encounter, so Mary Jane, welcome to the family.

Have a peaceful day,



Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 21, 2017 at 9:03am

Dear Harold,

You can't imagine how happy I am when I read your posts and hear in your words the tremendous strides you have made since losing your beautiful Diane. My friend, I wish you a very safe and pleasant vacation in CA, and just know that all your efforts and plans make Diane so very proud of you. As you have mentioned here before, you are finding strength unsuspected in yourself, as do we all in this family through our sharing and accepting each other, each struggling to find our way through this nightmare into which we have been plunged.

I pray that our experiences and posts are helping those just starting out in this journey, and comfort them with the knowledge that their fears and feelings are shared by all of us who have lost our loved ones, and we are here with open arms and understanding and support whenever they need to reach out to us. The caring angels in this family were here for me when I first joined, and continue to be here as I approach the two year anniversary of Larry's passing. Now it's our turn to do what we can, and watching the evolution of this miracle occur time and again, I am again convinced that there is something very sacred about this special place, and all the people who find it.

Enjoy your trip!



Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 21, 2017 at 8:44am
Dear Debbie,

Thank you for your support - as always you make me feel understood and that I am not crazy for feeling the way I do sometimes.

Yes, Spring has arrived - everywhere but in our driveway, which is still ice-covered having not been plowed or shoveled out. I am still restricted from exertion and lifting by the doctors orders after my surgery, and it's way too much for Steve to do alone. We're into the start of our second week of "Stranded...The Movie" starring two older gentlemen showing definite signs of cabin fever!!!You'll laugh, you'll cry! Which one will crack-up first?!

I applaud your slowing down - it's so difficult to do, especially if you have obligations to family, job, etc. - but our healing and adjusting is benefited by any times we can "unplug".
I too have been having many dreams of Larry, and this is a bit surreal for me because I actually didn't have many at all during the first year and a half. Perhaps it's being triggered by the fact that I am also sorting through things trying to let go of the many years of stuff with which we had managed to fill the house. Much of it is easy to donate, but every now and then some small insignificant object threatens to derail my equilibrium,sending me reaching for the tissues again and spending the rest of the day on the couch. I accept that this will always be so, because my love for Larry will always be here in my heart. At least I have learned that these intensely sad times are not going to last forever the way I feared they would when I was so fresh in my grieving and anguish.
Happy Spring back to you my friend, and please continue to do what's working for you are a comfort and an inspiration to us all Debbie.


Comment by Harold McKinstry on March 20, 2017 at 6:05pm

Hi All

I have been taking a little of everything and have been trying to incorporate it in my life.

Deb I have been trying to slow my mind and body down also to adjust to life's new reality. Like it or not it's what I have to work with, need to find some kind of Life and happiness without Diane.    Chuck your comment about stopped looking frantically for something I thought I wanted or needed to be happy, only then would I slow down and realize that often the miracles, large and small, that surrounded me were not only enough, but actually a wealth of treasures I had been overlooking all the time. That hit home with me, it's not something I do or finding someone else, but just getting my head straight so I can see the world around me as it is and know what I want and need in Life.

I think I mentioned that I joined a Gym and workout 3 times a week, I feel good and am proud of myself for doing it. I realize I have the Gift of good health and want to do what I can to keep it. This Wednesday I am taking a week's vacation and going to California to visit my son, looking forward to it. This Summer plan on doing some Camping with my Grandson, and going to visit cousins of Diane's we hit it off and enjoyed there company. He is a scuba diver and wanted someone to dive with, I haven't dove in 30 years but plan on diving with him. They live in Indiana and have a place on a lake, me and Diane always had a great time visiting them. It might feel a little weird going without her but am willing to try it this year. My New way of thinking is to try new things or even old things and see what feels comfortable and figure what I want and need as I go along.  

Comment by Deb S on March 20, 2017 at 3:42pm

Chuck, I LOVE your posts! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Your observation of your friend comparing the loss of her relationship via divorce to your loss strikes a cord. I've also had people make the same comment. On occasion, I offer my 2 cents as a former divorce attorney, as someone who has been divorced, and as someone whose spouse died. There is no comparison. As my sweet husband might say: it is like comparing apples to oranges!  Perhaps it is a good thing that you did not have the ability to respond to your friend that day. Given time, she will know the difference. Until then, your 40 year friendship is preserved albeit with a newfound realization and understanding that she just doesn't "get it".

Happy First Day of Spring! Hopefully, your NJ temps will make Steve comfortable until the two of you decide to seek a warmer climate on a full time basis.

BTW, I am trying to intentionally slow down and give myself time to adjust to reality. I continue to dream about Bob every night. I am going through many of his work papers now. It is bittersweet and therapeutic to review years of work calendars which memorialize our work and personal schedule. I am ready to part with the work portion but am holding on to the personal history. That works for me right now. 

Love, Debbie


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