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  1. Yesterday
  2. Gracie

    Anne again I can't thank you enough for this. Your heart is pure and kind. Thank everyone for loving our Gracie.
  3. Beautiful. Thanks Anne.
  4. Gracie

    Very nice and loving tribute to a beautiful little girl who sadly only had a short time on this earth.
  5. This video was created to remember a special little angel that touched so many of our lives. It was my gift to Butch and his family and he asked if I would share it with this forum family. Some of the pictures he shared on the forum and others he sent to Kay and me over the year since Gracie’s birth. We continue to mourn with Butch and his family. Thank you, Marty, for this safe place we have to come to.
  6. Cookie, we miss them so much. Reality hits you in the face. They are not here. I want to touch his high cheekbones (I loved that), he never got old to me (but we were), his soft sweet hands. I still saw the turned up nose, the beautiful blue eyes (that time was making it tough because he needed a lid lift because they were falling over his eyes), but he needed a life lift the most. I see him. I see him in the clouds. I talk to him in the sky. I beg him to help me, though I know that is futile. Both of my kids have serious health issues, too serious. My son had a certified letter from the liver clinic at the VA, and that scares me. I realize he did not leave on purpose. I realize we had 54 years together, but why do they seem like such a short time? I am sincerely trying to build up the scar tissue Rose Kennedy talked about. I am trying to get on with my living. New clinic to take my granddaughter to.. Not a huge city, but I have directions mapped out totally. It is 68 miles from my apartment. My life has been riding on roads I did not know where they went. Hated going down the same road twice. A bit of my daddy's traits in me. He would take the back road every chance he got, but when you have an appointment, you do not get to choose. This will be going through country roads (which I love), but have to make it at appointment time. My granddaughter loves going the "long way" around things so she can listen to her music list on the car radio. I have become a groupie of teenage groups. My life is such a contradiction. Addendum: The letter from the VA was not bad news, so I can delay worry for my son. Both middle aged "kids" miss Billy so much.
  7. Healing

    Wow! I had that happen when my car was new too...only I hit the deer head on, dead center! No damage! Only a slightly bent plate, no big deal. I drove it to Honda dealership and had them check it over just in case there was something I didn't see underneath the car, they said it was fine. I couldn't believe it! It hadn't occurred to me that it was my guardian angel, but perhaps! I was blown away. I'm so glad you and your car are okay!
  8. Marg: I understand why that is disturbing. I have dreams with John in them sometimes (night) and they usually leave me feeling quite sad and missing him more. I can't ever nap, as I always wake up feeling discombobulated. I think people think that would be comforting because it seems like he is really there, but even if he is, you can't hold onto him or get him back, which is what I struggle with. I guess we're supposed to get used to what we can and can't have now. Hugs, Cookie
  9. Just arrived home from work and in the mail was a renewal notice for John's driver's license. These little reminders come frequently. They are not just about renewal notices for some random thing nor just about a bill I have yet to take his name off of. Such postcards and letters and phone calls take me to a deeper realization that he is no longer here. It isn't like I don't face that reality every second of every day, but tangible, mnemonic symbols that bring me closer and closer to this new reality can bring me to my emotional knees. This is the nature of life when one's spouse dies. I am not saying this to evoke sadness (please- no sad face emojis). I say it to share a fact that many are afraid to share because they are afraid of what someone else will think. I have learned that I have no control over another person's thoughts or reactions. The simple truth is this: When someone you love dearly dies- someone who you shared a life with, a bed with, had a child with and raised that child with- when that person passes away, it takes a long time for that reality to set in permanently. Having times that awaken deep emotions is normal. Sometimes I actually forget that John has died. There have been times when I expect him to walk through the door. It isn't just about denial. The spirit is an incredible thing. The human soul has great difficulty accepting that a significant person is gone. I would dare say that it is a protection, a millisecond of a break really, from such pain. It doesn't mean I am crazy (at least not in this instance). It just means that grief is hard- really, really hard work. A piece of that work is to accept where one is at any given moment and to expect things such as renewal notices or bills to throw you once in a while. Growing, breathing, and trudging through grief is filled with opportunities to practice acceptance. Putting pressures on yourself or another grieving person to be anywhere other than one is is counterproductive. There simply are NO "shoulds" or at least there shouldn't be "shoulds." There are only moments of healing one molecule at a time, one driver's license renewal notice at a time. Just some Thursday night ramblings. ©Mary Beth Beck-Henderson
  10. My father's ashes

    Christmas is just a placeholder marking the end of the calendar year. My joy for the season left on Feb. 16, 2015. Now it is a perfunctory holiday that I have to take off from work.
  11. Last week
  12. Healing

    Clearly your Tammy is your guardian angel, Mitch! This is not the first time you've had a close call like this, either! I am grateful that you're okay! ♥
  13. Healing

    Close encounter of the worst (scary) kind... Driving home today, merging onto the highway at nearly 60 MPH, a deer decided to run full blast towards the side of my new car. I did everything in my power to avoid it. As I awaited and cringed expecting to hear the sound of crunched sheet metal, I only heard a lighter sounding bump. That was at least a little bit encouraging. Shaken, I drove the seven miles to my house expecting to see some damage. I got out of my car and prayed to the heavens. Well, there were no dents at all. The deer hit my rear driver's taillight and only caused a long gouge in the plastic lens cover. It could have been much, much worse. Special thanks to my sweet angel Tammy. She is always looking out for me.
  14. Tom, I was gone all day yesterday and am just now reading this...I hope it all went well for you and I'm glad you have people that love you and spent time with you. What a lovely idea you had! Happy Birthday! My first birthday without George was terrible, even though around people at work and then church, no one remembered my birthday or called and said Happy Birthday to me. That in itself would have probably been okay except it was such a stark change from spending them with George, who always made a big deal of them. I cried myself to sleep, missing him...
  15. No, you don't have it wrong, but where we are in our journey makes a difference as to how things affect us. In the beginning it's painful because it brings up the fact that they're gone now and we won't be building more memories...later on when we've gotten more adjusted to life as it is now, the memories comfort and sustain us even though we're alone, we console ourselves with the fact that we once had this, and that person loves us still even though out of reach.
  16. Hello New To Site

    MemyselfandI, I am so sorry for your loss. You were especially close to your dad, so it's understandable that it hits you hard. I remember after taking care of my MIL for three years when she was bedridden with cancer, feeling at a loss when she was gone...missing her, but also feeling that emptiness after having been her caregiver for so long. I had a husband and little children, but I felt a void where she had been, and that loss of purpose when something drastically changes for us. It does take time to adjust and I'm glad you're getting help with your grief counselor. Marty has given you a great article, so I hope you find it of some help, it's one I've saved.
  17. Goodbye to my fur family

    I can imagine how hard it feels, I've lost all the animals George and I had. My son was here for a couple of them but in the service when I lost the others, it's hard to face these things alone, heck, it was hard enough when we had our spouse!
  18. My father's ashes

    That's how I felt spending Christmas alone last year. I'm sorry you have no one with you.
  19. Goodbye to my fur family

  20. My father's ashes

    I bet it looked pretty cool... It is Erev Rosh Hashanah and it seems extra sad to be alone. But maybe it's not so bad. My neighbor made me brownies for a sweet new year (and she isn't even Jewish - she just knows that I am...), and of course I have my new job, which is a blessing in spite of the ups and downs. Nevertheless, I miss my dad. Even though he wasn't Jewish - I am a convert - these occasions were warmer spent with him, and they feel colder and lonelier without him.
  21. Hello New To Site

    My heart reaches out to you in your pain, my dear. I'm afraid there are no "fixes" for the grief you're feeling in the wake of your father's death. As our friend and colleague Megan Devine has often said, grief is not a problem to be solved. It's an experience to be supported, witnessed and held. We are here to do just that for one another, and we are here for you as well. I invite you to read this article, in hopes that it will speak to you in a helpful way: In Grief: After Caregiving Ends, Who Am I?
  22. Hello New To Site

    Hello Celeste, I feel your pain. My dad passed away July 28, 2017 from dementia. Although he fought it every step of the way, it was the one thing in his life he couldn't fix. Dad was my rock and best friend. I was his main caretaker and we spent many good times together after my mom passed away from cancer in 2005. We kept each other going as I also went through a divorce at that time. Life was good, Dad was healthy...until he had a stroke which he recovered from quickly. When he made up his mind to do something, it was done; yet he could no longer handle the responsibilities of a large home with a big yard, so we moved him into a beautiful apartment at an Independent/Assisted Living facility. He lived there for 5 years..paying his own bills, taking his medications like he should, etc. There came a time later when he wasn't taking his meds like he should and started having seizures. One was very severe and he spent many days in the hospital. I was there 24/7, sleeping on a cot in his room. He recovered and went back to his apartment after therapy at a local Rehab Center, although he was far from ready. I spent most nights sleeping on his couch making sure that he wouldn't get up in the middle of the night and try to use the bathroom without assistance. Got him one of those call buttons and he refused to use it. One day I went home to take a shower and he'd fallen. Didn't tell me about it, but had a huge purple bruise on his ear. We figured it would go away, but I still too him to his MD who said the same. A few weeks later I got a call from staff that he'd forgotten how to use his legs while assisting him in the bathroom. I immediately called EMT's to take him to the hospital where they found he had a subdural hematoma, which is a brain bleed outside the brain. As the blood was building up, it was pushing his brain to one side. I had to decide whether to let him die like that, or to have a very risky surgery done to fix it. Of course I chose the surgery and prayed. Thankfully he survived that also, but because I no longer trusted him in his apartment, we decided on a nursing facility. There he received therapy while learning most things all over again such as talking, using his hands, etc. Two months later he was pretty much back to his normal self and was dressing, using the bathroom, getting in and out of bed, etc., all on his own. Yes, my dad was a fighter and I felt really blessed to have him back again. We spent hours together. I'd take him out to eat, out for rides..and many times I spent the night in his room just talking; while he slept in his bed and I slept on the couch in his room. I was soo very proud of him and what he'd accomplished!! He too was proud of the fact that he could get in and out of bed on his own; oftentimes showing me how limber he was as he jumped in and out of his bed. He didn't really jump..yet HE felt like he was, as it was soo very exciting for him to be able to do the things he couldn't a few months ago. He was happy and fairly healthy even though now and then he'd have a setback from what we believed to be mini seizures. Although it took a few months, before too long he was his happu go lucky self again. As the few years rolled by though, it was obvious that he had Vascular Dementia from his stroke. Although declining slowly, he started to have his good days and bad. Time went on and he started having to have his liquids thickened. He started getting more Urinary Tract Infections..one so bad that he ended up in the hospital with sepsis. Hospital staff told him how very very sick he was and didn't think he'd survive, but I again spent every second in his room, sleeping on a cot and making sure he knew I was there. He eventually started eating again and they removed most of his IVs. A few days later he was able to go back to his room at the nursing facility. Time wore on and he started having more medical issues. He wasn't eating like he should and started losing terrible amounts of weight. Sitting in his room while the nurses changed him; I could see how badly his hips were sticking out so we tried him on Ensure. It helped some but not enough. He was down to 140# and eventually got to #120 lbs. That was when I knew that eventually his Dementia would eat him alive. In the end, he could no longer swallow and was bed bound. I spent the last four days of his life sleeping on the couch in his room; making sure that when the nurses turned him to avoid bed sores, he could see that I was there. I knew he was in the process of passing away and stayed with him every minute until he was gone. At first, I was happy that he finally went to be with my mom as this had been his wish ever since she passed away. She was the love of his life and he missed he immensely!! I really felt that I was going to be okay; as with every day of his condition worsening, I was soo afraid that I'd end up in a crying puddle. As he worsened more, my nerves were so jagged that I was actually afraid of making a fool of myself, crying so hard that I'd never stop crying. Before he left this earth though, I laid next to him and cried my eyes out on his shoulder..just as I had when I was little..and every time after that when I needed his shoulder to cry on. I didn't cry for him to stay though..I cried for him to go ahead and find heaven and Mom. I cried and told him to leave this old body behind. Told him that he'd take a piece of me with him..and I'd keep a piece of him here with me. Neither of us left nothing unsaid as he talked to me with his eyes. He went peacefully and I was happy for a bit..thinking how happy he must be to finally be with my mom. Yet now I find joy in little, even though married with a wonderful husband. He keeps me going, along with my job giving me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.. Yet I still feel so sad. Like something's missing in my life and that's my dad. No more visiting him in the nursing facility; no more late night into early morning chats with him. It's all gone and now I need to somehow fix myself. If I can explain it, it's like I find no joy in anything anymore. I used to be such a happy go lucky person, but I hate the fact that I don't even feel like talking to my husband!! I have random anxiety attacks that come out of nowhere. My heart beats a mile a minute, I feel like I'm going to pass out..etc. Best thing is to lie down for a bit and wait for it to pass. I've missed work because of these stupid things and I wish they'd just go away as I love my job!!~ My counselor told me that being the caretaker of someone for 10 years..I've been going and going. I never felt tired then as I had a purpose..Dad. Now that he's gone, I guess in my own mind I no longer have that kind of purpose anymore. Being conditioned to worry..I still worry even though he's gone. Every time my phone rings I jump since I've been soo conditioned to worry that it's Grancare..even though he's gone. I hear an ambulance and right away thing it might be for Dad. Another conditioned response. I was told that this could go on for awhile..the anxiety attacks. My husband wanted to go up North for a weekend but I told him I would rather stay home...in my safe place..our bedroom/my parent's old bedroom. We have no children living with us so to take off for a weekend together would be wonderful for our relationship..yet right now..I just can't. Again, I feel this big empty void in my life and it's taking the joy of even something simple like laughter right out of me. I've become a real "Debbie Downer" I hate walking around with this empty space inside me. It's not fair to my husband..nor is it good for our relationship. He's been more than supportive; but I fear for the time that he's tired of my being tired and decides to move on. He's loyal and faithful though..one of the best hubbies ever...it's me I need to fix. And that's a tough one!! So sorry for the "novel"..just had to share in case someone has some major great ideas on how to fix myself...
  23. Goodbye to my fur family

    We are always here for you. - Shalom
  24. My dad passing and trying to find closure

    Bless your heart and I'm so sorry you had to go through all of this. Sending many hugs and prayers to you that you finally get some peace and closure. Hold a very nice family memorial wherever you see fit; maybe one of your dad's favorite places? Have a nice meal somewhere also where you all can share memories..everyone paying for their meals. I'm sure family isn't going to mind a bit. God Bless.
  25. Goodbye to my fur family

    Thank yous Marty, Kay, and George. This loss is really huge for me as my support person is gone too 😥
  26. Healing

    On occasion, I'm a "busyaholic" too, Ana. I do projects that occupy my time and put my mind in a different place. But ultimately, when the work is done I'm still who I am... A man devastated by the loss of his wife. Struggling to understand how to live a life of meaning in a world without the person who gave it meaning.
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