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.
I'm sorry I dropped off for a while. I'll have to catch up on reading the posts.
The past few months have been crazy. My mother's been sick since March and just got home from her third hospital stay since then but still with no answers. The doctor's have never seen her issue before and all tests have come back negative so they basically keep passing her around.
My father in-law passed away in May. I'm sure he's happy to be reunited with Ken.
The most scary thing is my niece just spent a week in a Boston hospital. It's never good when a local hospital sends a patient to a Boston hospital because the issue is too big for them. How it is that a healthy 17 year old's life can be in jeopardy from one spin box class blows my mind. She was released a week ago on her 18th birthday only because she wore the doctors down. She'll still be under a doctor's care for a bit longer.
It's not all bad though. I'm grateful to have my health, to still be employed through the pandemic, to be able to get out and see friends more etc. I've been thinking about you all frequently and apologize again for not checking in sooner.
Love you all,
I'm sorry yesterday got by me without posting this to you - I had a note by my desktop but it got shuffled under other papers.
7 years without Joseph must seem like an eternity. I lost Larry 6 years ago last April and that seemed unfathomable to me on that day.
I hope that you felt Joseph near you in your heart and continue to do so always, because I still believe that from someplace we can only imagine our loved ones continue to watch over us , even though we may not feel their presence always.
A line from the musical play "Evita" always comes to mind when I ponder these type of thoughts... something along the lines of "I have not left you, although it may be harder for you to see me."
I send a hug to you and much love -
DJ, thank you so very much for remembering me on Joseph's anniversary of death. It really means a great deal to me! I looked at our happy photos from over the years with friends and family, and it helped to fight the sadness some. Doesn't get easier with the passing of years but remembering the happy times helps.
Thanks again and hope all is well you. Sending warm wishes your way.
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,
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