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MartyT

Whose Forum Is This, Anyway?

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Dear Ones,

For the second time this month, I've been contacted via our Personal Message feature, asking whether a particular post "belongs" in a particular topic, or whether a member should be posting in a particular forum. 

As I've stated elsewhere, on a message board such as this one, topics under discussion go off in many different directions all the time, just as they would in a conversation involving lots of different people with different points of view. It isn't that anyone is deliberately intending to "highjack" someone else's topic. No one "owns" a thread, and topics can and do get side-tracked. That is just the nature of these Discussion Groups.

I've also been asked if it's okay for an individual to be posting in the Loss of a Spouse, Partner or Significant Other forum rather than in another "more appropriate" forum.

I invite everyone to read the description of this forum, and note the inclusion of "Significant Other." Here I am using the term Significant Other as defined on Wikipedia: "a gender-neutral term for a person's partner in an intimate relationship without disclosing or presuming anything about marital status, relationship status, or sexual orientation . . . In psychology, a significant other is any person who has great importance to an individual's life or well-being . . . In social psychology, a significant other is a parent, uncle/aunt, grandparent, or teacher—the person that guides and takes care of a child during primary socialization." 

As I said in my post earlier this month:

Any member is free to post in any forum in which he or she sees fit. Posting in the forums I mentioned in my earlier post is OPTIONAL. Continuing to post in this forum ~ or not ~ is also OPTIONAL. There is no rule that says otherwise.

. . . Everyone here is DIFFERENT, so it's impossible to know when something we say might bring one of us comfort and another only more pain. We need to look at our intention ~ and I know for sure that no one on this site is intending to hurt anyone else or to add to anyone else's pain.

And in another post:

I think we all need to step back, take some deep breaths, and remember the reasons that brought all of us together in the first place. We must strive to be more patient with and more tolerant of one another, always bearing in mind that this road is long and hard, we're all at different places along the way, and we're doing the best we can with what we have at this point in time.

If we encounter a post or a thread or a topic that grinds us the wrong way, we always have the option of not reading any further, or of going to another topic or forum, or of starting a new topic to say whatever we need to say ~ or we can choose to say nothing at all. But let us always, always be kind to one another.  

 

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I know I've wondered if updated on Gracie in the loss of spouse forum was appropriate but it's being done in a post I started.  

Thank you for posting Marty.  To clarify things.  Sometimes it needs to be done.  

:)

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Butch,. It is like we are all a family here.  What happens to anyone affects us all.  We are all interested in how Gracie is doing, since we were praying for her.

Gin

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The way I look at it there are two factors that bind us together: we are human and we have lost someone incredibly dear to us.  For some of us the loss is recent while for others it has been several months or years.  When I first came here I was rather inarticulate, lacking focus and only seeing the world and this forum as it impacted me.  At that time there were many willing to tolerate my innocence and ignorance and embrace me with warm welcoming words.  And here I found a voice.  Now I am not so naive as to believe that many, if any, of you would be my best buddy outside of this forum simply because here we focus on our grief and our pain only.  If we were to focus on religion, politics, world affairs, economics, music, art, food, recreation, sports, etc then the fireworks would start.  

I wish to express my gratitude to those of you who accept me inspite of my many flaws.  From you I am learning to be more accepting as well.  I understand what draws people to this forum, it is active and it is replete with loving, caring and compassionate people.  Because we are all hurting, sometimes it is easy for us to forget that everyone who joins us is hurting as well whether they've lost a spouse, a boyfriend/girlfriend, mother/father/sister/brother, childhood pet, close friend, etc.  Grief is grief and pain is pain and I hope to reflect my acceptance for all who feel the need to post.  Granted it is not always easy when one is deep into a discussion dealing with effective distractors and someone chooses at that point to post about their frustration with people who hang toilet paper with the loose end toward the wall.  But then I'm certain if I were to look back I would see my share of digressions from topic.

 

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I'm the worlds worse for getting off topic.  In my mind the topic is grief, no matter where we post it.  And, sometimes I might post something that is not about grief.  In fact, if I can read something from someone that has been on here 10-5-4-3-2-1 years, if I can have a civil conversation about growing roses (which I would never do because next to housework I hate growing things), but I do have run-on fingers and get totally off course.  And, I don't know Brad, I think just about any one of us might become very good friends.  It is nice to branch out every once in awhile and find out someone likes classical music, even if they are a country redneck. I miss Debbi from Brussels.  We had someone from South Africa on here too, and that is one thing we can share with every culture, we all grieve.  I like to hear your stories of when you were teaching, or Steve's stories of being a pilot and liking art, Kevin's of living in Canada, Mitch's of his survival instincts and his love for his wife, George for his family, and loving his dad, BillT, for his new grief and helping him, Butch, to follow along with new grandbaby, Joyce, Cookie, Kay, Gwen, Laura, Maryann, Enna, Annew, Polly, Patty, and I have probably spelled half wrong. Have left out people too, but my mind does not remember much at once, even though I type it.  But the thing is, we all have something in common and if we can find something besides grief in common, then that is a little help also.  I find very many of you interesting people and I am afraid I have become addicted to this when I should be reading my books, or cleaning out another cabinet.  

Billy hated to wear something new because he was afraid he would wear it out.  I just found three pair of leather work gloves I bought him a couple of years ago, he never wore them, he never will. I will quit with my run-on fingers now.  

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As I have settled in here, I find it comforting  to post under a topic that is in the general arena of how I am feeling.  For example, "reflections and musings" or "it hurts so bad".  It is definitely less intimidating than posting a brand new thread, and I have found it is easier to post than shy away.  It is a conversation that is restarted over and over again with the same theme, and I think that makes sense.  It is very helpful, too, for those of us who want to "hide" a little under a thread already started, just to have a place to write.

Patty

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I don't know, my sister says there's a reason I don't have friends (I speak my mind), but hey, I have the furry kind, so what does it matter?!  They love you as long as you have a treat so it's easy. :)

Margaret, I feel the same, I think I could be friends-in-real-life with just about anyone I've met on this board.  I think this place has the cream of the crop because they're all people who fully loved the one they lost...or they wouldn't be here.  The ones that didn't love so much, well, they never made it here.  JMHO. :D

Marge, can you give the gloves to your son or something?  When I cleaned out my MIL's house after she died, I found all kinds of things I'd given her that she hadn't used.  It wasn't because she didn't like them or need them, but because she treasured them so much she wanted to save them for posterity. :)  But then I also found 20 year old Avon products from when she'd been selling Avon.  And newspapers, and 10 years' worth church bulletins, cool whip containers, etc.  You get the picture.

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Well, if I felt bad about hijacking Marty's topic, I guess I would feel bad now.  (I don't feel bad, I don't think she cares).  Anyhow, I bought myself a new tool box this morning and I put them in the tool box.  I don't know why.  I don't plan on even using the tools but it makes me feel more like a Ms. Fix-It to have them.  Like maybe Billy is in the tool box too.  

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I really appreciate Marty's post and all the information that was in it, particularly the clarification about "significant other". The loss that has left me staggering, feeling like I am in free fall, anguishing over my purpose in life, and feeling overall lost and totally isolated was the loss of my dad, for whom I had cared for ten years at an increasing level. My sisters have deserted me-aside from some criticism, and the entire burden of dealing with his estate and his possessions falls upon me, just like his care fell upon me when he was alive. I live alone with a cat.

The person who loved me unconditionally and had my back no matter what happened is gone. The person with whom I processed everything with at the end of the day, consulted with, planned with, dined with, called for in my emergencies, was called on to help in his emergencies, my ever ready companion, the person with whom I did practically everything with except work and music rehearsals, my biggest fan, my safety net, and my best friend to whom I could and did tell everything--he's gone. I think that's rather significant, and the loss has been devastating. When my father moved out west ten years ago to live near me, he was "just my dad" but in the course of ten years things changed as we became more interdependent. He liked to buy stuff he saw on TV and he always bought two-one for him and one for me. We went on two cruises and shared a cabin with two beds. What else would we have done? We were partners through a phase in our lives-a pair...people expected to see us together. More and more toward the end he deferred to me on all kinds of things. If he had a new prescription or had come up with some new supplement, he wanted to know what I thought about it. If I had strong feelings against it, he wouldn't take it.

He always talked about "we" and what we should do, even when he was really referring to himself. He would talk about whether "we" should help my sister, even though it was really his money. At the very end he spent several days in the hospital and was rather confused in the last day or two-he thought I was staying upstairs. On his last afternoon I tried desperately to get hold of my sister, calling her over and over with no response or return. I finally decided he should leave her a message, got her voicemail and held the phone in front of him. He started talking about how "we"were going on a journey. I really think he was talking about his final journey, and he thought I was going with him!

His loss has left a huge hole in my life and I am alone. I think this is something that is familiar to all of you here and I hear similar things when you write about what you have and are now experiencing. I have felt enormously less crazy and much less alone since I have been on the site. I feel like I have some company on this path that I never chose. My loss is not exactly the same as anyone else's, and I doubt there are any two people - even here - who have exactly the same loss. But there sure are a lot of common threads in deep grieving, and the companionship is soothing... I really LOVE this place!

 

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I apologize for the length of my last post, and if it seems somewhat defensive, it is. I was queried in a pm by a member as to why I was posting in the "Loss of a Spouse" forum since I lost my dad and not my spouse. I had felt there was actually a lot of commonality between myself and others in this forum, and it seemed that people were genuinely supportive of me and my loss-from their hearts. This has been a healing presence to me and a big part in why I no longer feel AloneAndLost.

I felt hurt, shocked, and humiliated to receive this query by pm, and it made me wonder if maybe other people wished me to not post in this forum. I was afraid that maybe I was bothering and upsetting a lot of people by posting in a forum that was not for me. I wasn't sure what to do about it, bit I don't feel that the purpose of the site is to reject people who are already grieving, send them packing, and/or make them feel horribly. And so I was confused and I asked Marty what to do, She responded most eloquently at the start of this topic, and among other things explained what is meant here by "significant other", which is very broad and inclusive.

I certainly don't wish to be a problem to anyone, diminish anyone's feelings or situation by making comparisons or making even implicit false claims. My only desire is to accept the love and support that has - rather amazingly - been offered to me, and to reciprocate by doing anything I can, anywhere I can to ease the suffering of others by contributing what I can.

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For me, it is cathartic to sometimes post off topic as we sometimes do re: art,actors, movies, financial woes, health, etc. I cannot grieve constantly 24/7 or I would be crazier than I am. This does not mean that I loved my husband or child any less anyone else. It is a means for survival. I do not feel it necessary to post on the Loss of Child Forum as most here are familiar with my double loss.

We are all here to give and receive compassion and comfort, no matter who we lost.

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I think we post where we are comfortable to do so. The different threads in this forum have always been a guide and for many of us who have been here for a while, we become comfortable to post wherever. Our conversations go in many directions as conversations go. I have never felt in the four years I have been coming here that I must post only in one place. If I felt that because my grief is “old” I “should” be only in one place I would be long gone. As some have said, we have many losses during our lifetime and because they are a part of us we move through each one at different times. Our forum is like sitting around a crackling fire on a cold night. We gather and open up to one another what is in our hearts. We are listeners to one another in our grief. We support one another by allowing the conversation to go where it will. I need to know that I have been heard for that is what helps me along the new path I am heading. I don’t want or need advice just someone hearing what I have to say with an open heart. Our like button is one way to let others know that they have been heard. When someone does respond to a post it is with love and understanding. An understanding that says, “I do not know what you are feeling but I am here for you. Talk about what you are thinking and know I will listen and not try to “fix” you.

Anne

 

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What each of us have had to go through, and still hang into try to do it again is very commendable.....We share the same challenges and are experiencing the World through new eyes again.....The Widow/Widower life gets a little better once you open the windows and get some fresh air........We are all different and are stumbling through this, making it up as we go, with each others council or learnings, it does make life easier.........I find everyday gets better as long as there are no surprises from the past.... I have decided to relocate, but my time frame is a couple of years out......

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(I wrote this last night about midnight.  I was so sleepy, tired of wrestling with Billy's memories in mental and physical form with the moving, that I did not send it.  I left it in this little box thing.  I see Kevin has decided to relocate.  Once before, George decided to relocate (thank goodness he reconsidered).  I hate for any of you to relocate because in these six months I have made strides just watching you.  Kevin, I have seen you grow/expand your life, and I think there might be hope for me.  I have admitted to being selfish, but I don't want to see anyone go and feel "let down" that someone would be allowed to run off, so to speak, any one of us.  I  would feel more vulnerable than ever if Kay were to leave just because she has more years grieving, Steve, or Kevin.  We are all dealing with losses, like Marty said, and it does not matter what or who that loss was from, it is still grief.  Sure, there are other forums, but why in the world would someone want to break up this one or send other people, people who are grieving to their "proper forums."  I felt this was a proper forum.  I always thought of the John Donne poem when I thought of death, and I think of it even more now.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

 

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Laura - I for one am glad you are posting here.  We have HH who lost a sister, not a spouse posting here and she is fully welcome.  You need to be here because it is here where you feel most comfortable and until lately accepted.  While you haven't lost a spouse for some losing a parent can be just as devastating.  Both Deedo's folks and my parents are gone and life went on.  I rarely wish they were here but then they we never real significant people in my life since adulthood.  We got along, no trauma, just meant fewer phone calls to make.  I am happy to see adult children can have an endearing relationship with a parent.

It saddens me that people would try to limit those participating here.  One of the problems with grief is we frequently misplace our pain and direct it inappropriately at others,  I yell at dog walkers who refuse to leash their dogs in the park. (actually through effort I am getting better).  I would never have done this before nor would it have bothered me before.

You contribute and do not diminish by any means. Laura I am so sorry this has happened and I do not see you as a problem but as someone, who with your background, has a unique and informative perspective to share.

I feel very badly this happened to you.

Brad

 

8 hours ago, Clematis said:

I apologize for the length of my last post, and if it seems somewhat defensive, it is. I was queried in a pm by a member as to why I was posting in the "Loss of a Spouse" forum since I lost my dad and not my spouse. I had felt there was actually a lot of commonality between myself and others in this forum, and it seemed that people were genuinely supportive of me and my loss-from their hearts. This has been a healing presence to me and a big part in why I no longer feel AloneAndLost.

I felt hurt, shocked, and humiliated to receive this query by pm, and it made me wonder if maybe other people wished me to not post in this forum. I was afraid that maybe I was bothering and upsetting a lot of people by posting in a forum that was not for me. I wasn't sure what to do about it, bit I don't feel that the purpose of the site is to reject people who are already grieving, send them packing, and/or make them feel horribly. And so I was confused and I asked Marty what to do, She responded most eloquently at the start of this topic, and among other things explained what is meant here by "significant other", which is very broad and inclusive.

I certainly don't wish to be a problem to anyone, diminish anyone's feelings or situation by making comparisons or making even implicit false claims. My only desire is to accept the love and support that has - rather amazingly - been offered to me, and to reciprocate by doing anything I can, anywhere I can to ease the suffering of others by contributing what I can.

 

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I have gotten into a discussion on another arm of this grief forum (I am sure there is a better word than arm), and I felt out of place.  Perhaps that is good.  Right now I felt I had left my cocoon.  Okay, it has been six months, maybe I ought to branch out and see what the other "arms" of this one big forum on grief offer.  Maybe that is growing in the grief, I definitely feel the grief is growing, often.  Maybe I will meet new people and not become so dependent on the wonderful people here.  I guess there are still possibilities for old people.  Maybe there is a geriatrics forum.  Maybe there should be one for people married 50 years or longer.  I will look.  No one has personal messaged me that I am too old yet.  Possibly I could be though.

I have missed members that introduced themselves and I thought that grief is the same the world over.  We had Brussels, I think someone from Ireland, South Africa, England, and I don't see them anymore.  Maybe there is an "international" wing, or "arm" to the forums.  I will explore.

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My thanks and appreciation to all of you for your responses to my posts last night. The support really warms my heart. Someone had sent me a pm asking me why I was posting on this forum when I had not lost a spouse. I answered with an explanation (probably somewhat defensive) and the response was, "It was just a simple question". Well, I don't think taking someone off alone and essentially challenging them is not a simple question.

I think the pm is a fabulous feature. It allows someone who doesn't feel comfortable sharing in the forum to still be able to find support by chatting alone. It is also good for a bit of something private to be shared between people who trust each other. It shouldn't be used to challenge someone and maybe chase them off, and no one will see. It's not nice, but it's not a big deal either.

Marty asked me to take it to the forum-if I felt comfortable with this-so that it could be discussed in the open. I think she's right. Secrets can fester under shelter that would evaporate out in the open. Also, I believe in working things out. It's what I do. I believe that unconditional positive regard is the bedrock upon which a site like this rests. You accept and support the person for who they are, regardless of what they do or say. Marty urges us to do this-and if we do not like what someone does or says, ignore it. I totally agree.

Also, I'm very happy to hear that people like having me here!

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Laura, in the whole scheme of things, I guess it really does not matter if someone feels we are in the wrong place.  It made me get out of this hole I had dug and I found people I knew from this forum on other branches too.  I did not see a geriatrics forum, so I guess that means I can roam all over.  I will try this.  It did not hurt me to look and although I had a fear of venturing out of my freshly dug hole, it felt good and bad to climb out.  Good, because I saw "friends."  Bad because I don't know if I am ready to leave my cozy cocoon, yet I know I must eventually.  Maybe.  Who knows?  Anyhow, it is nice to make your's and Lena's acquaintance.  Makes me wonder, why do we always think of dogs as "he, him" and cats as "she, her"?  And that is my word salad for today.

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We are all free to roam all over-it says so right in the Guidelines! I have been roaming all over since I started, and there others who do the same. Seems like a lot of the roamers are offering support all over more than talking primarily about their own issues. And some people stay put in one spot. There is not a specific spot for "geriatrics", but you could start a topic...Do people over 80, (or over 70, or whatever) grieve differently than others? I bet you would get a lot of answers. Maybe people do grieve differently at different ages...

I think children grieve differently but I don't know. I have talked to a lot of kids about this since my dad died and I have no conclusions. It seems different, but maybe what I am looking at is partly is grief for a very isolated person who has lost a parent vs. a person (who happens to be a child) who has lost a parent, but who is still living in a close-knit tribe and shares a room with 3 to 5 other people? I started that topic about Voices From The Beyond, and got a lot of responses. And another one about how I miss sharing my art with my dad...that's rather specific, but several people have looked at it and said nice things about my art, and that made me feel good.

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The only thing I have an opinion on right now is grief, so I am getting rid of any judgement, no one asked me. 

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Hurting people hurt people.  Forgive them. They know not what they do.  They are trying to make order out of chaos (grief) and to control what they cannot.  Shalom - George

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I love both of your smiling mates.  What a beautiful picture of your two loves.  Your ladies are beautiful.

When I was a teenager I would forego a date on some Saturday nights just so I could watch Steve McQueen on TV.. At a Christmas party at our college after high school, (just a matter of months) my girlfriend wanted me to meet her boyfriend's best friend.  They called him on the phone.  I was reluctant.  And in walked a real-life version of Steve McQueen, only taller.  He grew a beard in the 1970's to cover that beautiful baby face of his.  Never shaved it (except to trim), but I did not miss any other Saturday night dates to watch Steve McQueen on TV. A long time ago.  Seems like only yesterday.   

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4 hours ago, Clematis said:

My thanks and appreciation to all of you for your responses to my posts last night. The support really warms my heart. Someone had sent me a pm asking me why I was posting on this forum when I had not lost a spouse. I answered with an explanation (probably somewhat defensive) and the response was, "It was just a simple question". Well, I don't think taking someone off alone and essentially challenging them is not a simple question.

I think the pm is a fabulous feature. It allows someone who doesn't feel comfortable sharing in the forum to still be able to find support by chatting alone. It is also good for a bit of something private to be shared between people who trust each other. It shouldn't be used to challenge someone and maybe chase them off, and no one will see. It's not nice, but it's not a big deal either.

Marty asked me to take it to the forum-if I felt comfortable with this-so that it could be discussed in the open. I think she's right. Secrets can fester under shelter that would evaporate out in the open. Also, I believe in working things out. It's what I do. I believe that unconditional positive regard is the bedrock upon which a site like this rests. You accept and support the person for who they are, regardless of what they do or say. Marty urges us to do this-and if we do not like what someone does or says, ignore it. I totally agree.

Also, I'm very happy to hear that people like having me here!

I am the perpetrator.  I did indeed write Laura and say all grief is valid and I was curious as to her choice of forums.   2 sentences.   She answered me that she felt many of the lost feelings we do.  I totally understood that.  I did not have the chance to say that because of interpretation I was attacking her.   I did not challenge her nor imply she should leave.  I told her that was not my place or right.  That was the extent of it. 

After reading all these replies to a one sided story, I am a bit dismayed.  There are no secrets or hidden agendas.  Just a choice I made to contact her privately which made more sense than publically.  

Marty said this could be taken public and if I am to be crucified, I'm willing to take it by name.  We come to know each other personally and by how we represent ourselves here.  if your view of me has been changed, so be it.  But I will not defend myself to any further exaggerations.  

Marty, no need to worry I will keep this alive publically.  But I feel if one member is told they can do so, the other has a right to reply.

 

 

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I don't think there needs to be any crucifixion, that's not what any of us are here for.  And I'm sorry this is all aired here because I can't help but feel how a "guest" might feel coming here and seeing discord when they're looking for comfort, encouragement, understanding...a safe place to be.

There is an "ignore user" section if someone can't handle someone else posting, just saying.  I've had to use it a time or two when someone was being particularly nasty to me.  I thought it preferable to responding.

I'm outta here, going to go try to enjoy this sunshiny day.

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