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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/29/2017 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    That was the day a very special little girl was born in the small town of Longview, Illinois. Population: 200. Around that time a young man of 14 from the suburbs of Baltimore had just finished 8th grade and was nervously looking forward to high school. What were the odds that these two people from different worlds would one day be soul mates, husband and wife... That little girl, Tammy, made me a very happy man. She was the best part of my life and being without her has been unimaginably hard. Tammy lived half her life dealing with horrific medical ordeals stemming from her systemic lupus. Long before I met her, doctors were telling her parents that she may not survive a particularly virile infection. An infection so bad that they thought her leg would have to be amputated. Thankfully, it didn't, but she went through a touch and go surgery where they had to "re-wire" veins in her leg. She always was a fighter. Time and time again in my life together with Tammy, we were both fighting to keep her health. But just when things seemed fine, she would collapse or hemorrhage or be in such pain that her very strong prescription meds wouldn't touch. Off to the emergency room we went. So much time spent in hospitals, doctors waiting rooms and rehab facilities. And every time we were told that Tammy might not make it. She beat sepsis and cardiac arrest and severe kidney and lung infections, cellulitis, and much more. My Tammy's will to live was strong and my love for her was unending. She had many surgical scars. She called them her "battle scars" and she didn't let them bother her. Her attitude and outlook on life was amazing and so positive. She was full of life and love. I've never had anyone love me like Tammy did. She made me feel like some sort of superhero. She was funny and sweet and I loved to make her laugh. Loved being with her. Loved being in love with her. Tammy would have been 48 tomorrow. She would have had a full "birthday week". That's how they did it in Tammy's family. Tomorrow will be hard for me. Every day is hard. Yet, I know I was blessed when Tammy came into my life and she will always reside by my side, heart and soul, forever and always. Love you Tammy! All the way to the moon and back times infinity. Mitch
  2. 12 points
    Where there was love, the walls echo. Where there was life, the walls echo. Where there was laughter and tears and a good argument that ended with making up, the walls echo. Where there were two, there is one and the walls echo. In the noise of the day... In the stillness of the night, the walls echo. Sound gives way to silence just as silence gives way to sound and the walls echo. I long for the echoes to reveal his voice and for the walls to hold his energy. Maybe I just long.... Loneliness is present and the walls echo with my broken heart. A grieving, broken heart is the price we pay for having loved deeply. What would our future have held in these walls? Perhaps walls filled with him holding giggling grandchildren one day... perhaps walls in which we would have grown old together... Perhaps... I just hold a deep desire to feel the warmth of his breath, hear his voice, feel his touch, experience his heart beating. I know I cannot have what I want, what I need. Maybe the walls must echo. Maybe the echoes are all a part of it. Maybe the echoes of loneliness and grief and pain can one day echo with hope. Grateful to have found you all. Mary Beth
  3. 12 points
    I don’t really know what I’m going to write here, I wouldn’t even dignify my ramblings with Marge’s lovely term ‘word salad’, and it’ll no doubt be a really long post so I don’t expect everyone to wade their way through it! But I do feel a need to express my thoughts, and at least folk here can relate, and I’m doing it today rather than tomorrow as I aim to spend tomorrow at work doing a 12 hour shift so I get home exhausted and stand more chance of going to sleep! I guess loneliness is the biggest issue at the moment, the two people who have been most supportive aren’t really around at the moment. I fell out with my mother over a separate issue – without going into too much detail, she keeps borrowing money which she probably wouldn’t need if my schizophrenic and often violent half brother wasn’t living with her, I got sick of it and we haven’t spoken for two months even though she lives virtually around the corner. And my best friend….he’s having severe problems in his marriage so he’s had to concentrate on that and I completely understand. I do chat to my father once or twice a week, but he tends to go over the top with worrying about me and I often end up more miserable after we’ve been chatting! And as for other people, I don’t like to bother them with my stuff anyway. I was going through a phase of contributing to this forum quite a bit but it tailed off the last couple of weeks, that was because I went through a really bad phase and almost shut off communication in any way shape or form. I had an inkling several times last year that the reality of the situation hadn’t truly sunk in yet and may do so at some time in the future. Well it did so the week before last and I couldn’t even go to work which is normally the best thing for me to do, I just sat there at home watching films and TV. Though not suicidal, I did wish that I would die of a broken heart. But you know what?....there were times where I could actually feel Jo’s ghost trying to take over me and lift me up. That probably sounds weird to some I know. But eventually it did pick me up, and oddly I’m not too bad right now. Maybe I’ve now done the majority of my ‘one year anniversary’ grieving?....much like the days leading up to her death when I pretty much knew what was going to happen and kept doing odd things like almost fainting. The silly thing is, I did feel I was getting a little better. The ‘five stages of grief’ thing did apply a bit during the first few months, though these ‘stages’ were all jumbled up. Then I was left with a combination of pain, numbness and loneliness, but because it pretty much remained the same, I was getting used to it, and even starting to accept. I was getting back into some of my old hobbies like music festivals, and I even begun to play the piano again. This was a big deal for me because I used to play a lot and music was very important in our lives, but ever since Jo died ‘something’ prevented me from playing, I’d just sit there like an idiot and often cry. Maybe it’s because playing the piano was very important to us, and I actually wrote her music on a few occasions, and the last time I’d played was when I recorded a piece of music I wrote to be played back during the funeral….something I don’t remember doing so, I must have been in such a daze! But of late I’ve found myself able to play again. And so I guess now that this terrible brief phase seems to be easing off, I can continue in the direction I was previously going in, something I guess I’d call ‘Healing Extremely Gradually’. I honestly don’t think the grief will ever really go away, but there will probably be more and more ways of dealing with it, and it will get easier to accept. And Jo’s fighting spirit, that kept on being so constantly positive [“I know there’s many people worse off than me” she’d always say] despite she being ill all her life and knowing from a very early age that she wouldn’t make it into old age [though she was told 30 years and she reached 39], will always be inside me. Her wonderful grin that she had every time she woke up and knew she’d reached another birthday. Her unconditional love that was written all over her face every moment, and which finally gave me a purpose….to try the very best to make every day she spends on this earth the very best. And now, I guess I still have a purpose….to try to live the way she did, and the way she’d want me to. It won’t always be easy, but I’ll reckon I’ll manage….kind of….just about. Thanks Jo….for choosing me, and for having existed, and for everything else. Again, apologies for the ramblings….it’s just that you lot understand!!!! Actually my post wasn't that long was it?!
  4. 10 points
  5. 10 points
    This is SO very important to remember. Ross even said it herself but it got applied to the survivors. Yes, we experience them, but so much more. Anxiety and fear is a stage that many on the outside don't understand because it doesn't fit the model. Because we are not facing an imminent end, not that that is anything small by any means, we now have so much time to with the reality of what happened. It's over for our partners. They don't have to reconstruct thier lives as we do. And we have to do it alone with the largest void we've ever known. Marty, the illustration is much more accurate a description.
  6. 8 points
    I just CANNOT believe he's gone. Today was a bad day for me. The reality of it all starts seeping in and I either hyperventilate or forget to breathe at all. I just miss him SO much. The word "heartbroken", never held such a deep meaning for me before.
  7. 8 points
    Like the proverbial bad penny, I'm back. Or Jack Nicholson in the Shining. My financial ordeal isn't over. It won't be until I win the powerball, or something else as miraculous. But it's better. For now. Until the next hiccup. I have some wonderful people in my life that are willing to perform miracles for this ole lost soul. They humble me in so many ways. And so, life goes on for this old coot. In just 7 short days I will have been without my beautiful wife for a year and a half. A year and a half ago on this day it was Christmas day, 2015. She died on New Year's Day, 2016. On her last Christmas the c dif was just beginning to ravage her poor, frail body. By the day after Christmas it had caused a bad bout of diarrhea. As I got to her bedside for the 10am one hour visit, her dayshift nurse was finishing up the cleanup after coming on duty and finding my wife laying in all that filth. As nasty and aromatic as it was, I can't help but wonder why the niteshift nurse hadn't noticed it, but I try not to dwell on those sorts of things. My Cookie and I were together for 41+ years. 2/3 of my life. She was my first and only. God broke the mold after creating her. I still consider myself the most fortunate person that ever walked this earth that she was willing to share herself with me for those 41 years. She was a front desk manager at a motel I had gone to to apply for a job. The general manager of the motel interviewed me, and then once he was willing to hire me he told me that we needed to walk across the property from his office to where the lobby and front desk was at. As soon as we walked inside the lobby and I looked across the lobby and saw her standing there behind the counter, she owned me. Those gorgeous eyes of hers sucked me in and I was hers. It truly was love at first sight. I got 2 jobs that day. She gave the okay to hire me for the motel job. And even better, she hired me to be her hubby. And oh, what a gift she was. It didn't take her long to figure me out. She understood me. She was always so wonderfully supportive. She could be so wonderfully affectionate---and not just with the bedroom sort of stuff. To say that we were soulmates would be such an understatement. We were everything for each other. We completed each other, in so many ways. Cookie was the one born with a flawed body. Her health was never really strong, even back when I first met her. And it only got worse as time went by. When our time together was just beginning she was already experiencing dangerously high blood pressure. Then, in the late 1980's she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And slowly but surely it began its slow process of destroying her body. And what it didn't outright destroy, it weakened. But it NEVER affected her love of life. She was always such a happy person. I was always awestruck by the happy sparkle that was always---always---there in her beautiful eyes. Until the last year or so when her bad health finally even destroyed that. I was the one born with good health. I used to beg God to transfer all those health problems over onto me, but He wouldn't hear of it. My last 20+ working years were spent as an over-the-road truckdriver. It was a life of being gone from home the biggest part of the time, just to earn a buck. The normal routine was to stay out for 28 or so days, then park the truck for 3-4 quick days off. Then hit the repeat button, and start the same process all over again. By the fall of 2010 the time had finally arrived for us to talk about what we were going to do to provide her with a caregiver. And to me there was only one person qualified for that job. I had no kind of caregiver training. Absolutely no kind of medical background. But I knew I had an immense amount of love for the patient I would have, and I knew that somehow that love would give me the patience and willingness to do every part of the caregiver "job". It really never was a job. It was a blessing to be able to be there for my bride. That lady that I still had a crush on, even after all those years. Heck, even today as I sit here typing this I still have a crush on her. I just got goosebumps on my arms just typing that and thinking about all those years together. So, somehow life goes on. I of course have absolutely no idea how much longer I will continue living. But I do know I will continue loving her every day until God finally allows me to be with her again. I will continue to miss her physical presence every day. She is with me in so many ways even now, but oh how I miss being able to wrap my arms around her and look into her eyes and tell her I love her. Sorry for getting so long winded here folks. I never was able to say anything in one word or less. I hope and pray that all my friends here are well---as well as can be expected at least considering what this group is all about. And I still continue to put one foot in front of the other... Darrel
  8. 8 points
    Today my mind is filled with the events that weekend and our goodbye on 6-12-16 my dear Kev.I will celebrate your memory and your life every year now. Thank you for showing me what matters. I am thankful the weekend was spent with all of your favorite things: Good food Great friends Many drinks and toasts and lots of laughter... I was not ready for goodbye so I need you to stay in my heart and beside me as I try to carry on your memories and traditions.Charting a new course with you in my heart love- Your Marie Lee 💕 Time to go push Mason on the swing 😊
  9. 8 points
    I often tell people here to be gentle with themselves. After all, this life of grief, alone, is so very hard and painful. We can't spend our time beating ourselves up for the wouldas and couldas that play on our mind. We shouldn't be hard on ourselves when we lack motivation or feel like we're not really living a full life. Truly, there are days that just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. That's the "good cop" point of view. There are other times I've started to play the "bad cop". My inner voice filled with tough love. It's the voice that says I need to get off my ass and push. The voice that tells me that laying around feeling sorry for myself isn't very productive. In recent times, I've done quite a bit of pushing. Whether it's landscaping around the house or painting the deck or building a shed, I'm trying. Sure the sense of accomplishment in my work is fleeting, but it is giving me some small sense of purpose. Is it anything close to the life I had with Tammy? Of course not. Her love made my life better in every way. She was the best part of my life and the best part of me. Tammy's no longer here physically but I know she would be proud of me and that in itself is motivating and comforting. Mitch
  10. 8 points
    Thank you Marty and Anne. I'm telling Allen and Katie that I need more of a break from caring for Caleb and Gracie so I can have me time.
  11. 8 points
    While I was outside in the garden yesterday I thought I heard a Cat.....then I looked through the fence and saw newborn Fawn(still Wet), now that is"enjoying one moment at a time"......didn't have a Camera handy as it wobbled into the tall grass.....this picture is what it looked like..so small(less than a foot high)
  12. 8 points
    For those that are familiar with the Love Languages, mine is "Acts Of Service". One of the main ways I expressed my love to Lori was by doing things for her. I wanted to make her life easier so I would do her chores(we split household work 50/50), fix things around the house, do yard work, make her dinner, grocery shop. I find myself with nobody to pamper, nobody to help, nobody to SHOW how much I love them.
  13. 8 points
    Hello All, I'm back and am starting to settle back in. The trip was better than I ever hoped for. It was a journey Deedo would not have enjoyed as it was centered around all of my interests and passions like operas, concerts, museums, history, and churches; and walking and walking and climbing and more climbing. It was wonderful for me and allowed me to put my life in a different perspective; I hope. I met many wonderful, kind and caring people everywhere I went; eleven countries, seventeen cities. Once I catch up on my sleep and doctor appointments I'll participate more. Hope all is well and know that more than once I lurked in when I couldn't sleep. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
  14. 8 points
    A gentle reminder to all of us that what we have here on this forum is indeed unique ~ we continue to have a safe place to come to express our grief and receive the support that each one of us deserves. The feedback is solid and comes from the heart. Those of us who have participated in more than one of the threads know how important it is to know that no matter what our grief is at any given moment there is a safe and secure place for us to express our deepest sorrows. This forum is unique in that it is monitored by an expert in grief counseling and continues to do so without any ads. Please remember to push that donate button and give whatever you are able to give so that we can continue to keep this forum alive. This has and will continue to be a free forum for those who come here but it is also important to know that anything worthwhile has a cost. As a member of this forum for five years, I can tell you that the journey I have been on with the loss of so many who have touched my life gives me the strength I have needed to carry on. Not only do we have the support of a certified grief counselor but we also have the unique privilege of getting to know some pretty awesome people. We may feel alone when we first come here but after awhile we learn that we are among kindred spirits. The genuine care and love here are beyond words. The people who are here are the most caring and sensitive people I know. Thank you for any monetary support you are able to give. People from across our world have found their way here and it would be nice to continue to offer them a safe and caring place to come as they grieve the loss of a loved one. Sending love, Anne
  15. 7 points
    This is terrible. I was embarrassed after I said it and of course, explained why I said it. When we were each dropping a bit of the earth on Ron's casket, I said "I finally got you back". Many years ago, we were traipsing around in the forest and got stuck in a very muddy meadow. I got out to check how badly, he gunned the engine, the truck came free and I was covered in flying mud. Ron would have laughed at the comment, but I'm sure others were horrified. My brain did not function well for the first year and even more poorly the second year after my daughter died. I hope I have a bit more sense now.
  16. 7 points
    mbbh, Talk, talk, and talk some more - to those of us here - that's one thing you can do. It will help, as much as anything can. And read what we say. You will cry, then smile, choke up, then laugh some times. Because you will see we know your suffering. Ours is different, and all of ours is unique, but yet it's the same. The loss of heart, the loss of self, the fear, the guilt, the second-guessing -- it's all here. But in the sharing there is a slight relief. In the revelations, there is found kinship. We are in one way or another all on the same path. Many of us put on a mask when we are out in public. We see that others, no matter how well meaning, often say hurtful things. They think we should "move on" or "get over it." They know not what this is, and we wouldn't wish it on any of them. But they still don't know. Until they know. My first cousin lost her husband 2 years ago, and I thought I had been empathetic. I was supportive, I offered help. I visited her once in a while. But until 6 months ago I had no idea what she went through. Now we talk pretty much weekly, and we often cry together. I started my first beard a year ago for my Dana, and my cousin loves it. She cried but smiled when she saw me with it the first time. She said it was a lot like her Bill's beard. Look at some of the links that Marty provides, and that some of the other folks have shared. Some of it won't work, but some just may help. i myself contribute in spurts, Sometimes I feel strong enough to express myself, and sometimes all I can do is see what the others say. But I come here every single day. It has been a life-saver for me. We are all alone now. But we are also all together. Dave
  17. 7 points
    Dear MBBH, We all know where you are coming from. None of us want to be here, but we are all thankful that we found each other. I lost my husband on March 3rd of this year. It's been a scary learning experience, but I'm hanging in there, one day at a time. Some days, it's one minute at a time, but I get through them. This forum has helped me through some really trying times and issues. I've opened my heart to everyone here and bared my story and soul. Never have I been chastised or judged for my questions or responses. It's comforting to know that we have each other to lean on when needed. Welcome and feel free to share, cry, scream, feel...we're all going through it too and "get it".
  18. 7 points
    I have a lot of moles, got them from my dad, very fair skin. My mom, dad, and little sister have all had Melanoma. All but me. I guess I always figured I was next. I tanned for a while when I was stupid...they told us it was safer than being out in the sun. Now we know better, you have a MUCH greater chance for skin cancer, even if you only did it for a short time. If only we could go back and redo our choices... So this one spot I've had for some time suddenly started growing, developed three dark spots in it, and was no longer symmetrical. My hairdresser called it to my attention a couple of weeks ago (my eyesight is not good for the distance to the mirror at that spot so I hadn't noticed it before...plus when I put on makeup and LOOK in the mirror, I have my glasses off). I started looking at pictures of skin cancer on the internet, saw 56 pictures, none looked exactly like mine, which was a relief, but still, it met the three qualifiers, rapid growth, asymmetrical, dark spots. I called and made an appointment with the doctor in spite of learning I'd have to pay for the biopsy and removal out of pocket. I knew I couldn't take chances, not with my life. I go in yesterday, the doctor's office had just sold, it's about 55 miles away, I had to fill out a ton of paperwork because they haven't uploaded anyone's info to their new computer system, they're basically starting from scratch except for the doctor's memory. I finally get into the room, have to have my height, weight, blood pressure, heartbeat, lungs listened to (what has all that got to do with a mole?), the doctor walks in, takes one look at it and announces, BENIGN! Music to my ears! I was skipping on clouds the rest of the day! Yay! (Can't wait for Medicare, 3 1/2 more months!)
  19. 7 points
    Got this today......totally over the top, but sure brought the Tears...
  20. 7 points
    Pat, I am saddened that you are here. We don't wish this pain on anyone. I am glad you found us though. This forum has helped me so much through this process. I lost my wife to a sudden heart attack on April 1st so I am eleven weeks in to this. Fear is a very normal feeling as are sadness, loneliness, anger, regret, doubt... they come and go and you may experience them alone or sometimes all at once. There is no rhyme or reason to how these emotions come. Sometimes I just have to ride the wave of emotions until they subside. This shock just and numbness you feel now are your body using its defense mechanisms to shield you from the pain. To me it is like a fog that I went through where days just melted into each other. Keep in mind that your friends and family mean well when they say things that may seem out of place or odd. The sad fact is that only people that have experienced the loss of a spouse can ever begin to understand what you are going through. The way I describe it to people is I ask them to think about the lowest they have ever felt emotionally in their life. Multiply that by one million and that doesn't even begin to approach how I feel. Your friends simply don't understand your pain. So if they say something that seems unhelpful or cliche just know that they are trying to help but may not know how. You will also learn that there is a mask you will wear around friends and family. The mask that makes you appear alright when the pain inside seems unbearable. I wear the mask because I fear that people will stop calling or asking me to go out if I am always down and sad. I mean who wants to be around a downer all the time. At the same time I fear that people will think that I am ok or that I didn't really love Lori if they see me acting as if I were living a life that could approach happiness. Inevitably I take the mask off when I come home to an empty house. I don't say these things to scare you but to let you know that what you are feeling is normal. I pray for you and that you will find healing.
  21. 7 points
    on Tuesday, my daughter Catherine will graduate from drexel university with a degree in film. I leave tomorrow night, steve will meet me there tuesday for the ceremony and meet Catherine for the first time. there is joy. there is pride beyond measure. but there is more that barely has words. because that pride was ron's too. he would tell everyone he saw that his daughter - what he called her despite being stepdad - was in college, in film school. he was proud of her, always. he was proud to have - at all costs - financially gotten her through college, with loans, with some of his retirement, taken early and bulk to help her and Maui Pasta. he was so excited to go to her graduation, we'd been planning it since she started college. ron had a master's degree - he fought tooth and nail to get himself through college, his family no support, to raise him out of a rough childhood... "no matter how hard it is to pay it, nobody can ever take away your education from you" he would say. she almost would not finish her last year because ron was not here to sign the loans I could not get because i had defaulted on my student loan when i had cancer 10 years ago. But she did so well there, that when I told the school the situation, she received endowment grants to cover her senior year tuition. She will be debuting her senior film, "the blank page" on monday - about a woman, on her deathbed, flashing back her life from birth. The moral - living an authentic life. the quote on her film bio reads, " we only get to be in our bodies a limited time, why not celebrate the journey instead of merely riding it until it is over? - Jen Sincero" the loss of ron has shaped her work. a key scene in this film is the loss of the woman's husband. a milestone is here. and ron is not. i'm afraid of ruining the joy with sorrow. with grief. with non-existent memories of what we had planned. don't get me wrong, i am so lucky to have steve and his love and support. but there is a gaping hole in the milestone where ron was supposed to be... how - just how - do you get through these milestones... when the unstoppable object of joy crashes into the immovable object of grief? The depths that I keep falling to between the business going down, the packing up my life, the graduation... omg. thanks for listening... please forgive me for not posting more to everyone over these last few months... patty
  22. 7 points
    Patty, I know how joyous, yet solemn, this celebration will be. Yet it is happening because of Ron's love and your daughter's hard work. We buried our Ron three days before my son graduated. My son placed his dad's invitation to the ceremony in the casket and simply said "I made it, Dad. I only wish you were here to see it." It was indeed a bittersweet moment, but we made it through with only myself and my grandson attending his celebration. You will get through Patty, as you have gotten through so many other events, with that strength we never knew we had. I'm so glad that Steve is with you.
  23. 7 points
    Now that picture should be put somewhere with the caption "Grandpa had me for the week-end, can you tell?" As many toils and trouble that that little one has had, her picture brought my first smile of the day. Life does go on, whether we are here to watch it or not. It goes on..............
  24. 7 points
    Oh, I agree with what Marty is saying, Butch. Remember those trips you took to Florida? You stepped away to give yourself a chance to breathe. I cannot imagine how your heart is aching. You need to take care of your heart. We hear so often how important it is to care for ourselves first so we are better able to care for others. We continue to be here for you. Anne
  25. 7 points
    I was 52 when George died, my family lives well into their 90s so my worry was I'd have to do another 40 years. That's why I go back to "one day at a time", I can't handle thinking about 40 years without him!
  26. 7 points
    Yesterday, day 65, I took 2 friends sailing, our favorite recreation. Susan and I were avid sailors and easily handled a good sized boat by ourselves. Was apprehensive with no idea whether I would enjoy it or just think about my absent 1st mate. My state of mind was on display as I made mistake after silly mistake in getting underway, but no harm. I actually had some enjoyable moments, possibly the first since 3/31. Then after we were back on shore and my friends left, I got a coffee and sat on the bench where we would always sit, and had a long cry.
  27. 7 points
    There can be benefit from both cops. Sometimes we do need to take it easy on ourselves as we are going through one of the toughest trials life has to offer. We have the need to rest, relax, and restore. Other times we do need that kick in the tail to motivate us to do the tasks in life that need to be done. The hard part is finding the balance between the two that leads us to a more fulfilled existence. I know that is where my struggle lies. I feel that same sense of accomplishment, however brief, when I handle the chores of the day. I also need to just do nothing periodically. I need those times to reminisce, reflect, cry as that is therapy for me. I'll keep looking for that balance.
  28. 7 points
  29. 7 points
    My heart hurts for you even as I rejoice for you and Steve, dear Patty. Your farewell letter to your Maui patrons is simply beautiful, just like you. I cannot imagine how painful this loss of Maui Pasta must be for you, but I feel certain that in the end, you are making decisions that are right for you, for Ron, for your daughter, for your partner Debbie, for our dear and precious Steve, and most certainly for Scottsdale! We will elect Anne to be our official representative in making certain that you are properly welcomed to your new home on the mainland ~ and you are always in our hearts. ♥
  30. 7 points
    Your farewell letter to Maui is beautiful yet sad, Patty. I want to be one of the first to welcome you to our Phoenix area. I will be one of the first ones to bring my friends to your new location. As you deal with the sadness of leaving Maui know that there will be those of us here who are waiting to welcome you with open arms. Anne
  31. 6 points
    Soon I will have been without my rock and my strength for a year and a half. This Friday. When this journey first started for me on New Year's Day last year, I couldn't imagine myself being able to survive this long without my Cookie. There have sure been alot of days since then when I sure didn't even want tto keep on putting one foot in front of the other. But I forced myself to keep on trudging along, and somehow some things have become easier. I have had to endure alot of adversity, but who here hasn't? Hopefully not the same kind as mine, but unto each of us a little rain has fallen. During my necessary "sabbatical" the biggest part of this month, I had a whole lot of time on my hands. I used to it re-read several of my favorite positive thinking books (including the Bible). I made a vow to God, to Cookie, and to myself that if I was able to bounce back from that hole I had sunk into that I would come back a changed person. The kind of person that people would maybe, just maybe enjoy being around, instead of running away from. For some oddball reason, all those people I sent invitations to to join me in my pitty parties never seemed to want to come. How dare them not come after I spent all that time and energy getting all down in the dumps and depressed just for them!! LOL One of my favorite positive thinking "gurus" is Orison Swett Marden. One of his quotes that I like... "Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards, but they will bluff you if they can. If they see that you're afraid of them they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink away out of sight." To that I say: Run, coward, Run. One foot in front of the other... Darrel
  32. 6 points
    This morning at 8:10 a.m., there was a knock at the door. I was in the process of going back to sleep after my champ of a brother-in-law had arrived 5 minutes earlier to take a look at my car because it is making a concerning noise. (I am so very grateful to have family with skills and willingness to handle some of these things.) Still, sleeping late is a luxury that I rarely get. I was tired and worn out really, but I got out of bed and went to the door for the second time on this day. This short, sweet face looked up at me and said, “Mary, will you come help me pick carrots?” Five-year-old G (my great nephew) stood there grinning ear to ear. Not many people can get me out of bed when I really want to stay there, but the littles in my family need only show up at the front door dressed in rain boots and pajamas and I am there. Of course, I quickly threw on some clothes and was out the door. What G hadn’t said was that they had already picked carrots and were actually at the tail end of Saturday morning gardening. Honestly, I would have been up and out picking beans had I known my sisters were out there in my dad's garden, but graciously they had let me sleep in this day. On our way up the driveway, I stopped at my car to get some books I had picked up for G & A and the other kiddos. I handed them to him and then I took off running (well, trotting). He kept dropping the books as we jogged along and we would stop and pick them up. Finally, he said, “Here. Why don’t you carry this one and I will carry this one?” “Sounds like a plan,” I said. I started to resume my snail’s pace dash. Then he looked at me and said, “I think we should just walk now. It’s hard to carry books and run.” How right he is. I have been carrying the “books” of grief of losing John for a little over 7 months now. Sometimes I try to rush through it, running if you will, and I end up dropping my “books,” or losing my balance. I have learned that it is not to be rushed. Grief is to be experienced at its own pace. In fact, it demands not to be hurried along nor swiftly torn through to find some ending point. Grief is just that – grief. Sometimes we may even grieve the fact that we must mourn. It is hard, demanding work that inflicts distress on our minds and bodies. Trying to run when one needs to walk, crawl, or even sit still is not only counterproductive, but it can put a brake on the evolution of a new self. Sometimes I feel like I may just make it through all of this and sometimes I hold onto a thread of hope. Sometimes I lose faith altogether and feel like the likelihood of surviving is slim. During those moments, I remind my independent, self-reliant, strong-willed, “do it by myself” soul to reach out to others and ask them to help me “carry my books.” Many people are not lucky enough to have a good support system. I do and I am so very thankful for it. Today, I am going to enjoy my two-year-old great niece's, birthday party and slow down. Today, I am going to take things as they come. I have no idea when another wave is coming. Honestly, I do not know if it is predictable, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to make it unsurprising nor prepare myself for a smack of grief. Today, I will simply choose hope, but mostly, today, I am grateful for the wisdom of a five-year-old dressed in rain boots and pajamas picking carrots.
  33. 6 points
    Tom, if you go and find it too overwhelming, leave. Right now, it's all about finding ways to cope. One thing you don't want to do is torture yourself with angst. You have enough on your "emotional plate" right now and "walking into a minefield" may simply be too much to bear. But, by all means see how it goes. Grief is a moment to moment world, and in part, a one day at a time learning experience.
  34. 6 points
    I am also so very grateful that my friend told me about this discussion group. The concept that other people "don't get it" is real. I am glad some of those closest to me have not experienced what we have experienced. I believe in the goodness of people. I know we all have capacity for great evil, but we also have the capacity for doing great good. I think sometimes good intentions are just that: good intentions. But unless one has lost a spouse or a child or a life partner, it is different. I lost my mom 4 years ago on March 13th. At that time I thought I understood what grief would be like with another loss. I did not know that the next big loss would be my 51 year old husband of 23 years. We had spent 26 years together as a couple and were friends prior to that. Having spent 29 years knowing and love John, over half of my life.... Well, words escape me yet again. Losing my soul mate brought with it the lesson that all loss is unique. Even among those who have lost a spouse like me, there are differences. So many factors come into play which makes everyone's experience his or her own. That doesn't mean we cannot support one another and I am grateful to have found this sacred space where I can lend and received such support.
  35. 6 points
    Great news, Kay! I went in to the doc yesterday for ski things, also. On face, around waist and on chest. AND generally itchiness. He said mine were ok, also. Switched blood pressure med and gave me ointment and pills for itch. Now we are ready for the next challenge.
  36. 6 points
    Thank goodness I have medical coverage. I am not usually getting hurt and needing a Dr but in my aloneness I have made some stupid choices: I forget that there were reasons why I wanted Gord to wait til I was here to help him with stuff. @kayc I hope that your medical situation improves and that your coverage imroves. As for the choice to evict my toxic friend for my own good I think you are right about being better off alone. Being married for so long I was spoiled with having a faithful husband. He was kind and always thoughtful of my feelings and needs. Mr. Toxic wants a friendship on his terms to fill his needs. I have been desperate for some kind of human connection that I haven't properly tried to tell him that everything can not go his way. He makes me feel stupid, he talks to me as if I was a young child. It's really hard to take but I don't want to hurt him by telling him that his behaviour doesn't work for me. He tells me that I'm the only one that understands him and that m his only real friend. Since he suffers with anxiety and depression I worry about him trying to end his life. He is the one that threatens it. I'm not used to feeling like this and I'm at a loss for having the strength to stand up for myself. A new old friend has recently contacted me and I'm both thrilled and afraid. I don't want to make the same mistake of putting his life ahead of mine. When Gord was alive I never had this problem. I always put us and our son first. I'm just so lonely for a friend. @Marg M I understand the "I required too much attention. That haunts me. I feel my useless life was saved at the expense of his.". Gord saved me from suicide more times than I want to admit. I also struggled with thinking I needed to save the 3 of us and murder/suicide was my idea of us being saved from a horrible, hurtful life. I had no idea the effect that suicide would have on the survivors. Now that I know I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel a little of things and they haunt me. The photo is my beautiful horse. Kachina de Chelly is my Cheeky horse. I love her. The best part of these past few months is that I was able to go on a 3 hour ride on Monday this week.
  37. 6 points
    Dear Pat- You are among friends that " get it"... I just passed the year mark of losing Kev... I have tried to be positive and remember the good times ... hold close to his traditions.. But mostly I wonder aimlessly around...lost still... hugs to you ... and everyone here.. Hang in there and be kind to yourself... Marie
  38. 6 points
    Thank you all so very very much. The ending was very unexpected and pretty traumatic. I honestly think I haven't fully digested the reality yet. I'm wondering if I'm still in some kind of shock. Things seem so unreal. Also the fear. I feel afraid. Is that usual as well? Talking to others that aren't going through it almost makes me feel worse. Their conversation seems kind, but so casual. So I respond as if I'm in control but I'm actually broken in half. The words are going back and forth but it sometimes feel like I'm watching a movie instead of living it.
  39. 6 points
    Pat the most important thing is to say something - anything. I lost Susan my other half 3/31 with no warning. Would have been 48 years on 6/27. Nobody can understand who has not visited this horrible landscape. Best wishes Tom🐼
  40. 6 points
    Gin, I totally know what you mean. Nothing is the same without them. That spark of pleasure is gone. Today I had another one of those out of the blue grief bursts. Tammy enjoyed watching the Netflix show Orange is the New Black. Well, today I started watching Season 5 and as the theme song came on I burst into tears. The feeling that she should be here to enjoy the show with me took over. I couldn't get it under control for a while. One day moment at a time, right?
  41. 6 points
    Thank you all so very much. Your words and caring means so much. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve kindness. Im having Gracie for the weekend. She just melts my heart. Here's a cute pic of her 😁
  42. 6 points
    Butch, I just finished reading the articles Marty shared, they are good. I like the Self Care assessment and also the one about Breaks: Avoidance vs Grief Relief (I renamed it so I could find it more easily). I liked the list of suggested things we can do. It seems you haven't been able to grieve Mary the way you wanted because you've been hit and hit and hit ever since, physical afflictions, tragedies, more losses, having to be there for your kids & grandkids, the list goes on. Maybe what you need is time to reflect, time to BE. Maybe set a time you can have your grandkids, but a period YOU can handle, allow yourself time for yourself. Coming to this realization is a healthy positive step for YOU. Love you, dear man! We're all rooting for you and praying for you.
  43. 6 points
    Great news about Kelli, Marg. What a relief! So sorry for little Bri. Dry sockets are no fun. Robert is seeing a physical therapist for his hip pain. She may have figured out what the problem is. He injured his back last year with the simple act of throwing a ball to his dog when he twisted wrong. It seems that also knocked his pelvis out of whack by an inch which is causing pressure. She had him lay flat and pulled hard 3 times on his leg until something popped. He's going for therapy twice a week and doing required exercises each day. We are almost through moving all the heavy items so he won't be doing any more heavy lifting. Just a bad time to have to move all this stuff. He's sure hoping to be able to work again. When he picked up his final paycheck today, the manager said she would hire him back in a heartbeat as soon as he is able to work, so that is a bit of good news.
  44. 6 points
    Butch, my dear, the only one who believes that you have to be the strong one and hold your family up for 29 months is you. And the only one who can say you can't do it anymore is you, too. So I hope you mean that. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from grief ~ in fact, in a situation such as yours, where you've had one significant and devastating loss after another in your immediate family, it is absolutely necessary ~ for your own physical and mental health. I realize that in your family the hits have kept on coming ~ but that is all the more reason whey it is essential that you double down on your own efforts to take better care of YOU. I'm going to point you to some articles I hope that you will read, and I pray that you will take their messages to heart: Is It Possible to Take a Break from Grief? Finding A Balance: Self-Care Quiz Ways to Take A Break from Sadness When Mourning Taking A Break from Grief Avoidance Coping vs. Grief Relief: Taking A Break from Grief
  45. 6 points
    Hadn't thought of that Eagle... I get that- no one to do stuff for... I am quite lost...too... Tom -yes, everything changed in a flash ... hugs to all- Marie
  46. 6 points
    Dr Lenera .. My thoughts lately have been similar..I keep saying in my mind: thank you Kev for choosing me- loving me - and sharing life with me - our imperfect lives fit together so perfectly.. I keep wondering: How does one go on when all they were living for has changed? I have no answers- much much love to everyone here.. Marty - an accurate portrayal of grief.. Marie
  47. 6 points
    TomPB.......my Cognetive senses only returned to 75% a short time ago and I'm pushing 2 years...There are places I just avoid, and places I am drawn to.....When I'm on my walks I always have sunglasses with me because the walking triggers are always close.......the best on your Journey
  48. 6 points
    Hi Cookie, I feel the same. Al has been gone 20 months yesterday. Some days are really hard. Yesterday, my daughter and son-in-law took me to 3 shelters looking for a dog. I have a hard time walking and got tired of looking. There were plenty of dogs that probably would have been fine, but I just could not decide. I wanted to ask Al what he thought. I will be 77 and EVERYTHING is hard,now. We just have to keep trying to give meaning to what we have left.
  49. 6 points
    Your post is very articulate and I'm glad to hear that Jo is helping you through even this difficult period. I don't believe in "The Five Stages of Grief" as such, because everyone experiences grief differently and some never go through the "stages" (which Marty has said are better termed as states, rather than stages) and there may be a couple or more than five. I guess the thing I hate about Kübler-Ross pigeon holing grief that way is some people might try to make themselves fit it or might wonder what's wrong with them if they don't. I love how you say Jo will always be inside of you, that's how I feel about my George, he alone impacted my life like no other, even though we didn't get to be in each other's lives nearly long enough, he impacted my view of myself and life in such a positive way, I will forever be his little one, as he referred to me. We were so lucky to have had them in our lives and I believe, we still do, just differently than before. Yep, we understand! And no, it wasn't that long a post.
  50. 6 points
    It is truly a heartfelt and beautiful letter, Patty. I had been thinking of you as June approached. I know how hard this is for you, but we here in Scottsdale welcome you with open arms. I am nearby if you need another shoulder.......