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About mbbh

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    Advanced Member

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    winston salem, nc

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  • Your relationship to the individual who died
  • Date of Death
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
  1. Yes, Gwen and Gin. Exactly. Its like my body is rejecting me. My chest feels like an elephant is sitting on it. Mary Beth
  2. I know grief causes all kinds of pain: emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. Since last November 22nd, the day half of my heart was ripped from my body, I have had aches and pains like never before. I have been to the doctor and chest pain even landed me in the hospital overnight last spring. Here's the thing. My body aches ALL THE TIME. The heaviness in my chest is overwhelming and it even hurts to breathe deeply. As November 22nd approaches, it is getting worse. I exercise and eat well most of the time. My doctor says it seems all grief-related. I want my life back. I want my husband back. I want my spirit to settle back in my body and give me the vessel that carries me around back. I am weary, you guys, so very weary. I am tired of being strong. I thought I had redefined that for myself, but I am simply tired.
  3. 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
  4. Thx Marty. I probably should. I may compile them all one day into a book of daily reflections. Thx for the tip.
  5. Dr Lenera, Thank you. Some days I feel more positive than others. This rollercoaster of a new life is simply up and down and left and right as sometimes I'm lucky enough to land in a good spot. Peace MB
  6. Kay, I am glad you like the poem. Please do feel read it and share with your grief group. You may use my name too. Hugs. Mary Beth Beck-Henderson
  7. I wonder if tolerable means peace now? Just a thought.
  8. Peace in my heart- Can it ever truly be? I long for stillness between my ears, yet such stillness sometimes brings me back to grief (as if it ever really leaves). The heaviness in my chest radiates out to every part of my body. It is as if my body fights the pain my heart has become accustomed to. Peace in my heart? I have all but forgotten what that feels like... Or have I? I have all but forgotten how to bring such a feeling into my being... Or have I? There is a strand of hope that peace will once again inhabit my heart. At times, I can peer into the future, a future without the love of my life and sometimes that future is salvageable and even promising while other times it appears bleak. Perhaps peace in my heart in my current definition is too tall of an order to expect. Perhaps peace in my heart simply means it beats on and on and on. Perhaps peace in my heart simply means a stirring in my spirit to live and breathe one moment at a time. Perhaps peace in my spirit will come so gradually that my soul changes one molecule at a time so that such peace is not a sudden, abrupt, earth-shattering change, but one that is gently noticed in passing one day. Peace in my heart? I can hold hope that it wil come and that it will stay, not without pain, but with an expansion so that my heart may hold ALL of the intricacies of a spirit of peace. May peace in our hearts be so. ©Mary Beth Beck-Henderson
  9. Tom, you said it best. "What was best now causes most pain." Absolutely. This slippery sloped, winding, crooked, rocky, hilly path we are on never ceases to amaze me yet always surprises me. I have stopped trying to hold back tears and I let them caress my cheeks, come from that deep place of wailing and generally take on any form they wish. That lump in or throats that goes to the pit of my stomach is always there. Sometimes it is more powerful than others.
  10. I have moments of insight, like today. Then there are days that I can barely move. I have heard from many that the second year has a different set of losses and I am afraid of that being true. It is a cycle and a journey none of us can escape. Peace to you, Gwen and George.
  11. In case you didn't know, I am a very tenacious person. I am persistent (sometimes to a fault) and I have even been called "stubborn." (I know, hard to to believe, right?) One thing John use to say to me when we had a disagreement (okay, an argument), was, "I don't know why I am even saying anything to you. What's the point? You're going to do it anyway." It was usually at that point in our disagreement that we would both stop, laugh, and roll our eyes at each other. He knew about my persistence. At times during this journey, I have felt anything but tenacious, but then I remember, "You're going to do it anyway," which if I take a different twist on it, it loosely translates into, "The feelings are going to come. You're going to get through it anyway." The difference now is I don't laugh when I say that to myself and I don't roll my eyes about it. I have learned a few things over the past 9 months about a topic I didn't sign up to learn about: Grief of losing one's spouse. I know this experience is limited and I am still early in this new life, so I do not pretend to know more than anyone else about this course. I realize I am in the infancy stage of this life of grief, but bear with me. As much as I would give anything and do anything to have John here, well and whole, my new reality doesn't afford me that opportunity. This is so for all of us here. One thing I have come to realize is that living into and with grief is never easy, no matter the loss. Everyone's journey is different. For me, I find that finding time for stillness and allowing the grief to come as it makes itself known lowers the episodes of overwhelming pain that take over. Allowing myself to soak in important feelings, allowing them to seep into, from and through my spirit, somehow makes a difference. It doesn't eliminate the pain of grief, but instead of taking a sprint and a diving straight into the pool of hopelessness and despair, stepping into the shallow end and slowly wading into the waters doesn't leave me drowning or banging my head on the bottom of the pool. I still take a dive in sometimes because it is as if I am being shoved off of a high dive, but when I am able to slow down, it helps me. Don't get me wrong. Some days are absolutely heart-wrenching. When a tsunami of emotions hits out of the blue, I feel fortunate just to hold on tight and eventually tread the waters of loss. Big storms hit hard and one is not always able to prepare and even when one does prepare, the unpredictability of the storm rocks our world. But the good news is this: Waters recede and the gift of resting in the warmth of the sun is revealed. It comes again, but each storm packs a lighter punch, in general, and we tap into resilience in order to survive. Grieving any loss is hard work, but it is truly a gift from a Power higher than ourselves that people find new purpose, new meaning, and new ways of being. I didn't ask for this new life and God knows, I wish it weren't so, but it is so... and while I have no idea what good will come from my experiences, I rest in the assurance that it will, indeed, come. Through struggle and pain, a person can emerge with life anew. I don't know the who, what, when, why nor how that will emerge in my life. I don't think it is necessary for me to know today or even tomorrow or the next day. I just hold tight to the threads of hope and faith that this pain will not always be this intense and that eventually, those threads will be woven into a rope of strength and resilience and maybe even a strand of stubbornness. May it be so. Peace, Mary Beth
  12. Butch, That is so much heavy loss. Blessings and peace to your grieving heaet. MB
  13. It has been my experience that things come in clumps. When I was in my late 20s, both of my grandmothers and another relative died within 3 months of each other. Clumps. My mom passed away 4 years ago just after being diagnosed with leukemia. A year and a day later, my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. Clumps. My most recent clump began last September when my husband John was diagnosed with an SMA aneurysm which ultimately took his life. He beat cancer and died of something else. Damn. Just. Damn. Yesterday, John's sweet 93-year-old mother died. She had dementia and her quality of life was poor. It still hurts. Clumps. I believe it cuts deeper because he has not been here through the roughest part of her illness and because he loved her so very much, as do I. I have taken on some of the caregiving to his parents, assisting his sister and brother who live in other states. They visit frequently. They have had around the clock care for about 9 months in their home but as a family, I still travel the hour it takes to get there and go over weekly. I love them and am glad to do it, but I feel like I haven't had time to rest since John died exactly 9 months ago today. Clump-John's death, mother-in-law's death, and anniversary. I don't know. Maybe I overthink it. All I know is her death, as merciful as it feels, hurts. It has already intensified my grief. I feel like by losing the woman who birthed and raised him, it is like losing another part of John. This loss on top of loss simply must slow down. I feel like I am drowning here and long to come up for air. I need time and I yearn for my husband. I am grateful to Ms Lillian for giving me John. I am grateful that their spirits have reunited in a different way. The image I have is of a melding of spirit and love between a mother and son. She called him her "sweet baby boy." I hold hope that there is a life after death and that Ms Lillian has her sweet baby boy back. Much Love to All! Mary Beth
  14. Gwen, I am holding you in my spirit. The "compliment s" people give us DO hurt and sometimes I am unable and unwilling to be gracious. I have even been known to just stare off into space as a response to avoid saying things I really do not want to say... Or perhaps I do want to say them, but I avoid conflict or hurting someone's feelings at all costs. I have rolled my eyes to myself so many times the past almost 9 months. I don't know what the answer is. People just do not understand. They try, but they can't.... Much Love to you. Mary Beth