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About mbbh

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  • Your relationship to the individual who died
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    winston salem, nc
  1. I am hopeful that it is temporary. I must hold on to hope that our brains will recircuit themselves and memory may return, though I think timing and grief are so very individualized.
  2. Oh how well you have described it kevin. Especially, "when life was normal." I suspect that none of us like this different life. The new normal feels too hard sometimes.
  3. Marg M, I go to Planet Fitness and take certain classes, when I can remember. I wish I had a personal trainer, but having the funds to do that went out the door when John died (not that the funds were there to start with). I don't particularly like lists either, but I do find that between that and my calendar, I am slightly less likely to forget where I need to be and what I need to do... slightly being the operative word. I wish I could get to the point you are at with not worrying so much about the forgetting. Maybe one day.
  4. I wish I didn't understand at a deep, deep level, TomPB, but I do. I forgot last week that I was allergic to strawberries... No major reaction, but dang!
  5. Time stands still when one's spouse dies. Just because time stands still and everything appears to be in slow motion, it doesn't stop our brains from running 100 mph. Our minds and bodies may simply go into overload. In the wake of sadness and grief, I have developed a keen ability to forget. I forget on a daily basis- tasks that are clearly written on my multiple lists, what is on my schedule, even what day it is. It feels as if the simplest of things require too much thought and effort. It is like "forgetting to remember." I have to wonder if this forgetfulness is an innate human instinct to remind us to stop and take a breath so our brains and our bodies can refocus it's energy. Isn't it ironic that through forgetting we can be reminded to pave a pathway towards remembering? It absolutely drives me crazy to forget. I usually end up thinking of my forgetfulness as a failure, which it is- Except it isn't. I am on a quest to reframe how I think in order to positively affect how I feel. I fail miserably at this each day, in part because my brain is overloaded, but sometimes I am able to give myself a break and simply allow myself to drop the ball without being so tough on myself. During a workout last week, the trainer was pushing me harder than my body and mind wanted to go, but I asked for a challenge. I was holding a plank on a balance ball and I simply fell flat on my face after a shorter period of time than I had hoped. The trainer tried to redirect me and do something different, but I was deyermined to accomplish that task. I got back on the ball and held the plank for a PR. Messing up is just an opportunity to meet a goal. Remembering that it is okay to forget is a gift of grace. Forgetting is okay. Having to remind oneself to reframe thoughts is okay. Giving ourselves permission to screw up is okay. Hell, it is even okay to make a royally big ass mistake as long as we get back up and keep going. Just some Sunday night ramblings from an imperfect person whose brain occasionally gives her a break, affording her a moment of insight. ❤ Mary Beth
  6. 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.
  7. I long for the day when I don't remember on the 22nd of each month. In the beginning, it was every Tuesday... 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and so on. then it was suddenly 20 weeks... then it went into months. I think it is a natural progression. I think the "lunges" that come on those big days will always be there. How could they not? They have woven their way into the tapestry we call our lives. Peace to you, kayc.
  8. 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
  9. I will take a look. I have done some tapping in the past... If it is the same kind I used- hands, upper lip, below eyes, forehead- while using a positive affirmation.thank you.
  10. The images come unbidden, TomPB. I believe our bodies and minds try their best to make sense of them, but when they are overwhelming... they are overwhelming... Literally sprinting from the adjoining hotel to John's ICU room because he had the arterial bleed that took his life and pushing people out of my way until I could lock eyes with him.... the fear I am sure he felt was written all over his face. This and other images just do not go away. I think they will fade over time. I hope so. I am so very sorry for your trauma in both Susan's passing and in finding her in the bathtub. That must have been horrifying for you. You have my empathy. MartyT, I have used guided imagery in the past and will take a look at the resources you suggested. Thank you! <3
  11. I don't know if it is because this is so fresh that I can't help but remember the trauma. It won't leave my head nor my body. I meditate, which helps and I exercise... A lot. I distract, but trying to balance between distraction and facing/leaning into the grief is tricky. It has become or is becoming an important part of me.
  12. I feel like this whole complex , complicated grief concept is too much to take sometimes. I had PTSD and depression long before John died in November, almost 7 months ago. His sudden illness took us from our home in NC to Houston for a month that ended in his death there just four weeks later. Too much to delve into, but John's body and mind underwent 7 tortuous surgeries before they could do no more. Two days before Thanksgiving, he drifted away. Besides my sister who flew out to be with me and our son who we flew out three times, all of our family and close friends were in NC. We were able to connect with a couple of friends in TX while there, but our community of faith, best friends, everyone was back home. The month away was traumatic. So much about it... ICU, hospital sounds and smells... Just so much. I have had nightmares of Houston since coming home. They are lessening now with a good therapist. Sometimes I don't feel like I can go on, but I have a 20-year-old son who John and I adored. He was and is his father's pride and pure joy. I thought that Houston was what alone looked like. Now I realize that alone is an internal battle. I simply am lost. Now that the shock and denial have worn away, I am left with a reality I simply hate. I am looking for hope at every corner and I find it most of the time. But I miss my husband. I even miss the things that drove me nuts about him. I would give anything to hear him snore again. I am told that this is complicated grief due to PTSD from Houston and before. I think all grief is complex and complicated. I am overwhelmed mostly. I work full time and work a part time job as well. I help care for John's parents some weekends. I grieve. I don't know what to do with all of this.
  13. 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.