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Mother/daughter Mourning Husband/father

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When your only child wants to mourn her father you stop what you are doing, sit down and open your heart and listen hard. Our daughter’s visit this weekend was two-fold. She came out to be with me because of the recent health scare I am having and she wanted to be with me as I sorted through some of her father’s things that were still in the same place they were in before Jim died. It was heartbreaking and yet an honor to listen to her remembrances of her daddy.

It tickled me when our thirty-eight year old, mature, sensitive, loving mother of two beautiful children told me that she wished she had had more time with her daddy. During her early years she was always arguing with him about something! She was her daddy’s girl – opinionated and oh so stubborn. She cried when remembering him helping her roller skate. She was so proud to have her daddy go with her to Bozo’s Circus when she was five. We had to get tickets when she was born because that was a very popular show then. She loved the daughter/father dances Jim always took her to no matter how busy he was or how tired he was. There were so many good memories of her graduations, honors, marriage, birth of two babies, baptisms, and school days for the grandkids. She was so happy that her daddy was able to share her joys of motherhood. This was her weekend to actively mourn her father’s death. I felt honored to join her as she remembered her daddy. I felt proud as I listened to her talk about her daddy. I was comforted to see that she was taking this grief journey with dignity and grace. Her empathy for me was touching. She asked me how it was now that a part of me was gone. I was touched by her deep concern and felt that her daddy would be so proud of her to take on such a caring role.

The sorting of Jim’s things did not happen. Not yet. I am not ready. And that is ok with me.

We bonded again as we both visited the nail/pedicure spa and ate lunch laughing and talking about my grandchildren. Her eyes lit up when mentioning her children. She thanked me for teaching her how to be a good mommy. That surprised me for a minute since the two of us did not seem to agree on anything when she was in her teen years! More often than not I heard “you are the worst mom” over and over again. Oh, the joys of motherhood.

Her parting words to me as she left for the airport were “do you want me to call your cardiologist, I know how to talk to doctors, I deal with Kevin (her hubby, an OBGYN surgeon) all the time?” I smiled and told her that I am a big girl and I can take care of this but thank you anyway. It was a good visit. Now we’ll go back to our Skype visits until later in the spring and I shall try to continue my mourning for Jim, the love of my life. It will be a while (if ever) before I can figure out how I’m going to live without him being physically with me. I miss Jim’s presence so deeply that I catch myself holding my breath and have to remind myself to breathe! I sometimes think that my heart does stop just out of sheer pain when I realize that this is my new reality now. I am glad that we are not prepared for this kind of pain because I would not be able to bare it.

Almost ten months without Jim and it seems like only yesterday some days and like an eternity other days. How do we adjust to this new and different way of life? Will our search of who we are now ever be discovered or are we doomed to a life of only half selves? Would we all be better off if our loved ones came back to us for just a while to tell us that all is well, live life because we are ok, enjoy this part of your life because there are far greater times ahead? We are different. We are not the same. I have to believe that it will be better than it is right now. This grief is so cruel and heartless. Will I come out of this a more caring, sensitive person? Can I truly say in my heart and believe it ‘Your Will Be Done” as I have believed all these years? I choose to but it is a struggle. I am trying to take ownership of my pain. I am trying to walk this journey with dignity and grace. Perhaps I can learn from my daughter and choose to be grateful for all that we have. Anne

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Dear Anne, I read this quickly earlier and just re read it with more thought. I am so glad that your visit was so supportive and warm for both of you. What a lovely gift. i know you miss her already...understandable. I do not know what it feels like to have adult children, or any for that matter, but I am sure the connection is powerful and her absence is felt. Peace to your heart, Mary

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You are so kind Mary. Thank you for acknowledging my happiness in my daughter. It was a good visit. A time for growth for both of us. You are in my thoughts as you make your journey closer to the third anniversary of Bill's death. Your depth of spirituality is so inspiring to me. In your quiet way you are helping me on this grief journey. Thank you for that. Don't forget to rest. Yes, you are doing good. :)

I have so many books on my 'list to read' that I don't dare put another one on just yet! Right now, I am caught up in some of your meditation links. Now, if anyone could teach me patience I might have a chance at this being still stuff!! Anne

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Anne, thank you for your message. You might try walking meditation. As Americans we do not like sitting still or being still. When I spent 8 weeks at Kripalu in 1980 we did a lot of walking meditation and yoga flows (where you keep moving) and the fall of 2011 when I did a 3 day silent retreat in mindfulness we did the same...walking the halls for 45 min in our stocking feet, silence and with our minds on lifting our heel, lifting the leg, putting the heel down, putting the toes down, mind on each piece of that...over and over. This might help but start with 2 minutes and slowly, day after day, work your way up. Patience is, for me, a tough lesson. I want to arrive yesterday but grief has taught me a lot about patience because it will NOT be rushed...you can't push the river of grief..no way. You follow it in a sense, at least that is what is working for me now...sort of like the song: row row row your boat, GENTLY down the street, merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream. Mary sent with love. You WILL get there...just be patient :) Remember I started meditating in 1960 in the convent...that is 53 years ago with a falling off when I was caregiving Bill...when I needed it most, of course, but am back on track. When I ever get to writing that piece, I address that issue.

(video demo)

http://www.meditatio...ing-meditation/

http://www.insightme...ing-meditation/

http://taoism.about..../ht/walking.htm

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Anne I am so so glad that you had a good visit from your daughter. My son came over for Mother's Day but ..... He doesn't really do empathy and as I've said before our daughter is just too busy for us to talk about her Dad properly. I know she thinks of him all the time. I think it's up to me at the moment. Yes the parting seems to have been an eternity ago and yesterday. I'm glad you didn't sort out Jim's stuff. I'm not touching Pete's and don't know when I ever will. But I have just found a buyer for a generator we used whilst running a moth trap in the countryside so that is good. It's just a thing but his papers and his files on the computer are different. I can't go onto his computer. It's just too much for me. Snowing yet again here. This is the longest winter I have ever endured, and endured is so much the word. Ooh

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Dear Anne,

How wonderfully warming and healing to read of your beautiful visit with your daughter! Your words make visible the love that flows between the two of you and with Jim. The memories you shared of your visit together lifted my heart, as I know those memories lifted both of your hearts.

There is a time for everything, and when it is time to sort things, you will know.

Jan, I understand about Jim's computer. I tried for a couple of days with Doug's, and felt as though someone was tearing out my heart, so I just stopped and will go back to that task some day in the future. For all of us, I think that the most kind gesture we can give to ourselves is patience to let things happen when out hearts are truly ready. My impatience is a challenge for me, but, with the help and support of everyone here, I am learning to walk in this path rather than trying to see over the next hill. Not easy for me, probably not for many of us here.

I send lots of get well wishes and hopes for a warmer Spring day for you very soon. We endure, but I promise you, there will be a Spring.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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Dear Mary, thank you for the links on walking meditation. I have tried to do this and I need to continue to be patient. I found Donald Rothberg's lecture on Mindfulness and Papanca to be enjoyable. I liked his definition of papanca as being a tendency of the mind to spin off. I can so relate to that idea. My mind goes off all the time.

Jan, you and I know about our love for our children. I am always in awe when I see my daughter growing in thoughtfulness. I learn from her.

My dear Fae - your words are inspiring. I often need to go back and reread what you express on this forum. We all are learning on this grief journey and I find myself soaking up so much of what others have to say. How blessed we are to have this place to share and experience the love that is here. I find that my journey is progressing very slowly toward healing. I see myself different from ten months ago. Different in a good way. There is peace within all the sadness. Spring is indeed coming and I am so ready to plant flowers and watch things burst into bloom. Anne

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Anne,

I'm so glad you had that time with your daughter. And to hear affirmation from your adult child about what good parents you've been, that's icing on the cake! (Sorry, didn't mean to get you started thinking about chocolate...)

It's good to know you have a daughter than knows how to talk to doctors. :) Someday that might come in handy!

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Dear Mary, thank you for the links on walking meditation. I have tried to do this and I need to continue to be patient. I found Donald Rothberg's lecture on Mindfulness and Papanca to be enjoyable. I liked his definition of papanca as being a tendency of the mind to spin off. I can so relate to that idea. My mind goes off all the time.

Anne, I think patience is the name of the game. Our minds are monkey minds...they roam everywhere given any opportunity...chatter chatter chatter....our brains are conduits (in my opinion) for billions of thoughts over time. 98% of the thoughts we have today we also had yesterday...amazing isn't it. We think somewhere between 20,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day so be patience while you reign in that mind...it takes years but every time you sit (or walk) you get closer to being in charge of it. I will check out the lecture you mentioned.

Today is my day at the food pantry and I was just asked to pick up dozens of eggs on the way as someone who was supposed to do that is not coming....and to come early...which means some volunteers are not coming...waiting to see when I have to leave. This woman who started this pantry in the next town gives of her entire being to those in need...I am only too happy to help. Snow has stopped...who knows what is next. Freezing rain?

Peace

Mary

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Mary, I hope you have a truly blessed day today. Someday if/when I retire and still have some life/energy left in me, I'd like to volunteer at an animal shelter and if that's too far too drive at that age, at least the Food Pantry. A Soup Kitchen would be good too. So if I ever have to leave my beautiful town that I love, I will try to not focus on my beloved nature being replaced with cement and high rises and instead look at what I can do. Phases...there's always phases in life. I have been blessed being here these past 36 years but there is more for me in life, just not sure what/when yet.

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The most important lesson I have learnt from this site is we have our own time agenda and we shouldn't push ourselves to do anything we don't have to do. I've always tended to be a 'should' sort of person and I am trying to change. In any case I know that there are things like going into Pete's computer when I don't have to that I just don't need to do. The problem is that the stroke came suddenly and it's like a desk from which he has just got up, leaving his papers waiting for him to return, and this is so poignant and painful for me. But I know I don't need to got here. I have my own computer which is older and isn't linked to printer and scanner.sometimes I have too open Pete's but mostly I can leave it. He would understand totally.

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Jan, You could have your computer linked to his so the printer and scanner could be used from either. Just a thought.

Mary, I hope I don't live to 109, I can't imagine hanging out here that long! I used to be involved in a soup kitchen, oh so long ago. And a Food Pantry, funny, I'd forgotten about that, the kids used to help me check exp. dates. :)

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Kay, I do NOT want to see 109. My mom died just short of her 100 birthday, my grandmother was 93....Mom was basically healthy, on no meds at all but her hip broke and she fell...the surgery which was really our only option went well, she walked but the drugs and the stress led to her death. I do not want to live to be 100 either.

Jan, you are right...there are many things that can just be done when we are ready. The bills have to be paid, etc. but cleaning out closets, computers etc are optional. Take your time...there is no hurry.

Peace

Mary

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Anne, I am so happy that you had such a wonderful visit with your daughter, and that she was able to share so much with you about her father. I feel very blessed to have such a daughter also. My daughter's father (my first husband) died in 2003, and she was very close to my husband Mike, who died in 2010. She was the one who found his body after he had suffered a massive coronary while I was in the hospital having just had a total knee replacement. She and her husband came to the hospital that night and stayed with me, and then brought me back to Harrison the next day (1 1/2 hour trip). She moved in with me, and stayed with me for a month. She took a leave from her job. She made me eat, do my therapy, drove me places, I do not know what I would have done without her. I am so fortunate to have her, and so fortunate that she lives so close. She has gone through the experience of losing her own father, and her step-father Mike, with whom she was very close. She is a very positive person, and I am very blessed to have her.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Dear Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas,

We are blessed, aren't we? How is your knee today? I know many people who have had both knee and hip replacements. Modern medicine is something else. I hope your Sassy and Faith are good corgis. Benji would love them. He is such a sweet boy. My heart feels good when I see him and when he looks at me with those eyes - usually for a treat! Anne

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