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This is so hard to face the first Valentine’s Day without my Jordan instead of getting ready for dinner. We always had dinner on the 13th because restaurants are always less crowded. I got rid of some of his things it was so hard not to just put them all back . He would show up with roses and chocolate and a cute card . Here I am in bed at 5 pm sad and missing him . This is so so hard . I am fine one minute and a mess the next . Sometimes I just don’t think I can go on without him . But I know I have to . There are people who need me and count on me . He always said if he lost me he would be bereft. Well I guess that’s what I am now bereft 🙁

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Valentine's Day is a hard day. I just don't go anywhere that have couples, so basically I stay home. We went out the 13th also and we always had Chinese . Another thing to stay away from.

I made my family a Valentine supper on Sunday, roast beef and all the trimming The only thing reminding me of Valentines was the hearts my 4 yr old grandgirl put on the patio windows.

For me this is my second time and I can tell you that it does get better as time passes. Join grief groups like this one and you could go to grief share, I think it's in most cities in North America. Lean into your grief, feel the waves of grief pass over you.

Hugs to you 

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I'm dreading this first Valentine's day without Susan. One year ago she gave me the Heart that she knitted for me, and the loss of the sweet Susan who would make the effort to do that breaks my own heart. She had 6 weeks to live and we thought she was in perfect health.  I posted this before but here it is again. 

IMG_3195.JPG.jpeg

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Oh Tom , that is so beautiful. What a wonderful memory to have forever. Your wedding picture is also beautiful.

You may not appreciate it this year, but I'm sure that as time passes and you begin to feel a bit better, you will be thankful to have it. In fact my advice to anyone that has just lost a loved one is to not rush to get personal items removed  too quickly. What we think won't be important may end up to be the most precious gift you will have. Luckily some of the things I gave away were to my kids so I was able to borrow them.

Hugs to you

  

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Tom, that is so special and it looks good right where you have it displayed, it goes with it.  I have so many items around my home that have special meaning, surrounding myself with these things is comforting to me as I treasure the love we were so lucky to have and share.

I was up 1 1/2 hours this morning before realizing it is Valentine's Day.  That's good.  It's kind of a hard day for those of us alone to struggle through.  George always made a big day of it.  

I'm praying for George (IpraiseHim) today, this is a tough time of year for him and especially today and Friday.

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I'm sorry if this day brings pain to many of you, to all of you.  Actually, the physical act of taking one step without our loved ones brings pain also.  Thank you to this forum from me.

valentine.jpg

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Yesterday my husband has been dead for one year and two months. Right before Valentine's day last year, my daughter and I were putting flowers on his grave and I was raking it. The ground where he is buried had a lot of rocks in it and his grave is covered with small rocks.  As I raked, a rock turned up and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was in nearly a perfect shape of a heart. I showed it to my daughter and she made a picture of it in my hand.  Could that have been a message to me from him? I don't know, I try to believe that he passed from death into eternal life. I want to believe that he is happier now than he has ever been in his whole life. I want to believe that he is back young and strong with his brown curly hair and laughing blue eyes. I want to believe that he no longer remembers the times I hurt his feelings, the times I was so impatient with him in his sickness, the times that I wasn't as sympathetic  as I could have been, the times I resented him because our lives had changed so much.  I want him to be sailing on a boat like we used to do,  smiling  and enjoying the ocean breezes and the sound of the water passing beneath the bow, like silk swishing. I hope that he is somewhere swinging his hammer, putting a nail in with two strokes of his hammer like he used to do and the kids thought it was so great that he could do that. I hope he is surrounded by the smell of fresh cut boards and sawdust, the roar of a table saw. I hope he is measuring lengths and marking the place to cut with a line and an arrow on the end, something I had never seen anyone use before, especially my daddy who never measured and never actually got anything level or plumb. I couldn 't believe that someone would be so very careful when they measured and cut and sawed and nailed.  I hope that he is in charge of building big buildings like he did for American Airlines and the federal government in Denver Colorado.  He never even blinked when he was put in charge of 30 million plus buildings and over all the sub- contractors, the workers and meetings. My husband was such a smart man, smarter than I ever gave him credit for , smart about all things not just building.  Now I have to make all the decisions,  what repairs should I do to the house , what about his truck? I want to move, I don't want to move, I want to go some place , I don't want to go anywhere.  People I thought I could count on have gone away. Other people, some surprising ones have moved closer.  But he is dead, the man I married and had such fun with,  who loved our children,  mine and his parents, our families is gone.  I wish I could tell my mama that he is gone away, the young man that she loved so well and was willing to do things for her like spending one Thanksgiving day building her a sink cabinet and one day building a platform outside her kitchen window so her cat could climb up and see in.  Now it is just me, here in the house with my cat. The house he didn't want to buy but later would stand outside and look around and say " All this and heaven too." But the last few years he didn't do that, he hardly went outside. He couldn't build anything, forgot how to turn his saw on once.  I stand at the back door and look across the yard like he used to do when I would be outside watching over my two chickens and he would wonder where I was. Sometimes it would irritate me.  Why was I such a bad person to him? I could be kind and over look everyone else and the things they did but not him. And he was sick, sicker than I  ever realized.  I feel guilt, I feel lonely, I feel deserted, I feel scared, I feel unloved, and I feel I deserve the life I have now.  I don't deserve a nice Valentine day today.  If I could only turn back time to the days when sickness didn't make us both scared and angry, When we camped by the river and hiked through the woods, we walked in the snow and climbed the mountains of Colorado, sailed and swam in the waters of Pensacola Bay,  moved where ever his jobs were, dragged the kids from place to place and we all enjoyed every moment of the moves. It was like one long vacation.  And I didn't really realize or appreciate the good life we had together for 57 years. And on the anniversary of our 57th year they put him on hospice and he never spoke again, hardly moved and lived for 15 days with no water or food.  Just because he got a kidney infection and developed sepsis and was not taken care of by the doctors like he should have been. I stood by his bed and saw him take his very last breath and we never said goodby. Will I ever get over it?

Where ever you are I send you my love. Do you remember the Valentine I made you the first year we were married? A red heart cut from construction paper and real lace pasted around the edges?  If only I could see you and give it to you again.

 

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That really touched me Martha Jane. Sailing was our primary recreation and Susan was my perfect sailing partner. We had a system for every sailing operation so we could handle any situation with hardly a word. The memories are endless. I watched "Godfather2" where young Vito is stealing a rug and rolling it up carefully, and it took me to a memory of how perfectly Susan would fold our inflatable dingy before we rolled it up to put it away. A lot of my best memories are simply sitting on a mooring reading together or watching a sunset. Most adorable, when Susan would bring the boathook up from the cabin as we got ready to pick up a mooring, she would always pretend to hit me with it by mistake. Then if we were in Boston, I'd tell her to be sure not to get any of that dirty Boston Harbor water on her hands, which of course was impossible. Sometimes I think we mainly communicated by silly jokes. When we were done there would be a kiss, just like when we finished anything.

Now I'm supposed to get up every morning and live without that.

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1 hour ago, martha jane said:

he never spoke again, hardly moved and lived for 15 days with no water or food. 

Martha Jane, how much all of this brings up memories.  My Billy was slow moving and I knew he would exit this world slow, he did not get excited or in a hurry for anything.  I was Type A, worry, worry, worry.  He used to get angry/not really angry, just peeved because I worried all the time.  He was ill such a short time.  The only time that man ever got in a hurry.  He had about three really bad days and if I saw a furrow in his brow I was poking a morphine pill down him.  I still  had 50 left, he left in such a hurry.  I knew what I would do with them, I would follow him.  I would go off in the woods and no one would ever find me.  I would leave notes and my family would understand.  Fifty-four years were not enough.  I was selfish.  

But, I did not have to go through watching him leave in the way you did.  My slow moving Billy left me fast.  My dad left like your husband.  He hurt so bad he would have decubitus ulcers form on the bottom of his heels from digging into that egg crate mattress from the pain.  He was out of it.  He would have Cheyne-Stokes breathing and wait so long between breaths that we would pray it was the last, he hurt so bad.  Billy's dad did the same.  Billy would pick him up to bathe him and his bones would break and my dad and his dad went into that long period with no water, no nourishment, to me, it was the most cruel thing humans and their loved ones had to go through.  They even were more kind to our pets than our loved ones, the humans.  

My slow moving Billy left me fast.  I understand Martha Jane, because I have been through it with my dad and Billy's dad, but Billy did not hang around.  And my last emotion to him was anger for giving up.  I realize I should not blame myself now, I just hope Billy realized I was not going to let him go.  He didn't listen to me this time.  

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Seems wrong that us worriers get left behind with grief when the other partner could handle it so much better. Susan would constantly tell me "Don't worry about it" and "It's not the end of the world". When I told her about a problem that I thought was a big deal she's say "But you have me!" and that was the 100% answer but I didn't fully appreciate it. I used to joke that if I dropped dead Susan would pick up her knitting and start an ebook and be fine. Didn't think that really of course but we communicated by joke. Yeah, Susan moved much slower than me, but she left this world like lightning, in about 10 minutes, no diagnosis, no hospital, no warning. I know it's good that I never saw her anything but beautiful and vibrant, but that doesn't help a whole lot.

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6 minutes ago, TomPB said:

Seems wrong that us worriers get left behind with grief when the other partner could handle it so much better. 

I wonder that many times, and my counselor asked me once. I think my bf would have handled better, but he was very sick. His sister told me that I've been the reason why he endured so much medical ordeal to heal, that I was the reason for his fighting. Without me, would he have kept fighting?

I don't know. 

1 hour ago, TomPB said:

Now I'm supposed to get up every morning and live without that.

I echo you. 

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18 hours ago, martha jane said:

I want to believe that he no longer remembers the times I hurt his feelings, the times I was so impatient with him in his sickness, the times that I wasn't as sympathetic  as I could have been, the times I resented him because our lives had changed so much. 

I think they have their memories but their perspectives have changed so that these irritant times in their lives are nothing, they're almost amusing in looking back, they know we love them with all our hearts.  They also know we grew through these times, we learned something and we did it together.  

Hold onto the heart stone and let it bring you comfort...

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18 hours ago, martha jane said:

Why was I such a bad person to him? I could be kind and over look everyone else and the things they did but not him. And he was sick, sicker than I  ever realized.  I feel guilt, I feel lonely, I feel deserted, I feel scared, I feel unloved, and I feel I deserve the life I have now. 

You weren't a bad person, you were hit with a lot of stress and sometimes those we are closest to we are most able to show our feelings to and right then in your life your feelings were not about giddy love, they were bone weary and tired and stressed and undoubtedly scared.  The man you fell in love with would know that and would hold you...let him (figuratively) hold you now, hear him telling you how much he loves you.  

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Made it thru is right.  It was never a holiday for us, but yesterday all I saw were Mylar balloons and people carrying chocolates and flowers.  It was the reminder they had someone I never was affected by before.

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Made it thru better than I'd expected, but really grief-slammed today. I'm now familiar with that pattern, a better day leads to a worse day.

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It truly can.  I’m so weary never knowing.  There’s just no consistency anymore.

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To Tom PB, 

I don't know how to put a song on here but if you go to you tube and look for " The Anchor Holds" by Roy Boltz  it is a song you might like and relate to since you are a sailor.

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Mary Jane, is this the song?  It is beautiful.

 

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Thank you Martha Jane for the suggestion and Anne for posting it.  I love that song, I needed it's reminder this morning as I feel bone weary.

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23 hours ago, martha jane said:

To Tom PB, 

I don't know how to put a song on here but if you go to you tube and look for " The Anchor Holds" by Roy Boltz  it is a song you might like and relate to since you are a sailor.

Thanks Martha Jane, works for me if I think of Susan watching over me. Can't believe it's almost a year and a half since I was sailing with Susan. Still seems like yesterday.

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Tom,. Isn't it strange how it seems like yesterday and yet it feels like forever since we saw our loved ones.

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Exactly Gin, both yesterday and forever. Our last sailing would have been a day sail out of Boston in 9/16. I carefully logged all our cruising but did not log the day sails and I can't remember, so I can't reconstruct our last time doing our favorite recreation.

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Tom,

Al and I went to many, many plays.  In the 16 years we were together, we went to over 600 plays.  We lived in a great area for theater.  I always logged every play we attended, with author, theater, synopsis, etc.. The last months were so hard on Al.  I did not log the last few plays and now I am sorry.

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WOW Gin what a wonderful thing to do. I hope you can enjoy the memories more than feel the loss, unlike me. My sailing log had sea conditions, wind, waypoints, harbors etc but also the non-sailing activities, social, beach, dingy trips, restaurants...now I'm going to read it for our last cruise.

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