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  1. Today
  2. Darrel, I'm glad you continue to come here and post. As Jame said, your posts also touch me as it's plain to see how much you love your wife. I think those of us here, we had that special something that we were the lucky ones to get, the not so lucky ones to be missing them. Jame, The single best piece of advice I got was taking one day at a time (or hour or minute or whatever we could handle). I'm glad you found this place, it literally saved me when George died. It helps to know there's someone out there that gets it and I'm not alone in this.
  3. I hope all goes well with your dog, Gwen. I understand, Arlie will soon turn 11 and that's getting up there for such a big dog, especially with his condition, but so far he's doing well considering. I hope your dog does okay going in.
  4. Dear Madam MartyT, Thank you for your reply. I understand what you mean about the saying not taken literally. How do I explain that to a kid though?
  5. Madam KayC, Thank you for your reply Blue Captain
  6. I don’t know what I am going to do leading up to Christmas. This cold is getting the better of me and I have to keep reminding myself everyone feels awful when they are sick. This isn’t just grief and the smoking withdrawl. I sure miss being super woman, tomorrow is vet day for my dog and I am very nervous. At almost 14 I have many concerns. It’s also supposed to be very rainy and windy. She’ll be scared as always so that bleeds onto me. I nixed taking the youngin in for her vaccination as 2 scared dogs was too much. She goes Monday. I so miss Steve to wring our hands with regarding tiomorrow.. those are some of the guardrails I so miss. I could use one to lean on right now. I nice warm, tall Nd blue eyed one.
  7. Jame, I understand intimately. Stephen made his transition August 10. I have managed and struggled. This week I spent each day making little stocking ornaments for my Christmas tree out of Stephen's two favorite pair of socks. Crudely hand sewn, but with all of my love. Darrel, my heart is full reading you are able to release this. No one is guilty, but it sure is hard to make your heart feel that. I never felt guilt or anger. For me it serves no purpose and in the afterlife we are not judged. You gave Cookie the greatest gift of all. The gift of caring and loving her, and with grace, knowing when to give her back to the light. I did the same with Stephen. We will always miss our other half. It's just the road we travel, bumps and all. But we keep moving forward. As we all struggle, in our own way, to make it from one moment to the next, my heartfelt wishes to all of you is peace on your little bit of this earth. ~Shirley
  8. Hi Jame, and thank you for the kind words and thoughts. I went through almost my entire first year of loss without any kind of support. Happening upon Marty's group here has been a definite God-send for me. I encourage you to take advantage of the help and fellowship that is here for you in every way you feel comfortable with. One thing I think I can safely guarantee is that nobody is here to pass judgment or take advantage. I won't even try to speak for anyone else here, but in my case there may never be an end to my grieving over my wife no longer being with me. She was my anchor, my lifeline, and she kept me grounded and centered while we shared our beautiful life for 41+ years. I miss her terribly every day. She was an amazing woman. But we will be together again one of these days, When God decides the time is right. Everything I do now is to make sure I qualify for my ticket to get through the gate to join her there. That definitely keeps me focused. I know how you are hurting now. You have my sympathies. Getting through each hour one hour at a time is sometimes is all we can hope for. There's some wisdom in that old saying about not biting off more than we can chew. One thing we all learn as we trudge down this path is that we are stronger and tougher than we ever thought was possible. Hang in there. You can do this! One foot in front of the other... Darrel
  9. Merry Christmas to you. I do not post here often but read posts here almost every day. This is my "first" everything without my husband and I miss him. Your posts always move me as you describe your love for your wife and how you continue to "put one foot in front of the other". I am trying to take things one day at a time and, when that is too much, I just focus on getting through the next hour. I understand your feelings about the date....I have that same extreme sadness on the 17th of each month...it was July 17th when my husband died. So...thank you to you and others for your heartfelt posts. You are all helping others more than you know.
  10. Yesterday
  11. I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. I don't know if I'm a masochist at heart, or just what my problem might be. I don't even know if it really is even a problem. I'll let the brain scientists or the rocket surgeons figure all that out. All I know is every year now at about this time of this month a powerful case of melancholy comes over me that I don't seem to be able to ignore or overcome. Maybe I don't want to bad enough. I don't know the answer to that one either. I am the dull crayon after all. It was on Dec. 13, 2015 that I drove my Cookie to the hospital. She had been dealing with congestion and the sniffles for a couple of days, but we both thought that it was just another allergy-related issue that would go away. But on the 13th it was getting worse. She was on an oxygen machine leash 24/7 even at home, but on the 13th she started having a real problem breathing. So right after lunch that day off we went to the hospital. Finally about 7pm a room became available and they admitted her. And on the 15th she was moved to the hospital's critical care unit and immediately put on a ventilator. She never came home from that trip to the hospital. I have her ashes here at home with me in an urn, but she isn't here. I wonder sometimes if being on the ventilator non-stop weakened her body to the point to where she was eventually doomed to never be able to live without it. I used to have several of those "coulda-shoulda-woulda" sorts of questions I wondered about. On new year's day of 2016 I had to make that God-awful decision to turn the ventilator off and end her misery. During the first half of 2016 I had guilt issues over that decision. After all, even though my decision was legal in the eyes of the law, I did intentionally and with premeditation end the life of another human being. A human being that meant everything good and wonderful to me. Fortunately, those guilt issues don't bother me anymore. Almost the entire year of 2016 came and went without me having absolutely any kind of support. Cookie and I were not able to have children, and we had both outlived our families. So when Cookie was gone, I was literally and completely alone. When her health began to fail her I retired from long-haul trucking. She needed a full-time caregiver, so I retired from being a tough, macho trucker and came home to be her chief cook and bottle washer. Even tho I had no training or background for doing it, it was a labor of love. I would be lying if I said it wasn't stressful every now and then. But I tried to never let her see it. When I felt a stress attack coming over me I would grab the leash and take our dog for a walk. I still thank God for this little dog. After Cookie passed I probably would've done something really dumb---the kind of thing there is no coming back from. But knowing that this dog depended on me for everything kept me around. On Christmas Eve of 2016 I googled online grief help and found this wonderful place. For better or for worse ya'll are my family now. They say time heals all wounds. I know that in some good ways time has helped me. I will never stop loving Cookie, and I will continue to miss her until we reunite in heaven. Knowing that I have that to look forward to does sustain me somehow. These holidays don't mean anything to me anymore. There's no tree, or decorations, or anything else to mark the occasion. Dec. 25th is just another day on the calendar. I don't say any of this looking for pity. All things considered, I am okay. I do manage to stay as positive and upbeat as it's possible for me to be. I stay busy with a book I'm writing and other "things" that keep me busy and my mind occupied. But I sure do miss my Cookie. But I still manage to put... One foot in front of the other. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my family here.
  12. I'm sorry, Gwen, rotten timing leading up to the holidays, to be stranded in with a cold, not to mention how it makes you feel. I don't know if you like to read or not, but I'd be huddled on the couch with a quilt and a good book, maybe some hot cider.
  13. kayc

    Nightmares

    MAH, I'm so sorry for your loss, that must have been shocking! We don't expect our children to precede us in death that way. I'm sure it's left you feeling vulnerable about life as your dream seems to indicate.
  14. Absolutely! And that book is life altering as far as bringing revelation and understanding to us of those we love...so short and simple but revealing!
  15. Well, as luck would have it, I’ve caught a cold. Really concerned as that is what landed me in the hospital last summer. I’m hoping the no smoking saves me from even needing antibiotics as I usually get bronchitis. Taking my eldest dog to the vet Friday as she is having tremors and my cousin, the dog whisperer, says she thinks it’s pain. I do too because she comes and stares at me looking like she wants help. The cold made counseling a phone session and those are not very fulfilling. I won’t be able to volunteer tomorrow. I feel like a leper. Up until after New Years week, everything is out of sync. I don’t don’t do well with that. I have to get out everyday to get some perspective. Be among the living even if they annoy me. Feel a small part of the world which is easy to not if I stay holed up here. So many things I would like to do but can’t from limitations. There’s an inner anger simmering all the time. Sleep is getting worse thinking of all the changes. And as always, I come back to if he were here how these life things would be so much easier to handle if I could relax because we shared the burdens. When we were together the world was optional. Ours was just dandy. We even had a system about colds and didn’t get the other sick. Just babbling. Wish he were going to the vet with me. We miss big strong dad. He was calming for all of us. If only Santa was real.
  16. MartyT

    Nightmares

    I am not an expert in dream interpretation, my friend ~ but it doesn't take an expert to know that losing your 14-year-old son suddenly and unexpectedly this way must have been for you a most traumatic death, and your recurring dream suggests how trapped, confused and out of control you must feel in the wake of it. An event like this can shake you to the very core and turn your entire life upside down. You've been hit with a tsunami and I cannot imagine how devastated and lost you must feel. I hope you will look into some of the resources mentioned in the posts above ~ and I'd also encourage you to find a qualified grief therapist who specializes in trauma-related loss. To expect yourself to get through this without some sort of outside professional support is not realistic. Are you familiar with The Compassionate Friends? If not I hope you will pay a visit to their site to read about the abundant resources available to you as a bereaved parent ~ and of course you are most welcome to be here with us (see our Loss of an Infant, Child or Grandchild forum) for all the information, comfort and support we can offer you ~ although I am so very sorry for the reason that brought you here. My heart reaches out to you in your pain. ♥️
  17. MAH

    Nightmares

    I also have a reoccurring dream. I lost my 14 year old son to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (with no warnings) 3 months ago. My dream is driving down the road and lose control on a bridge. I go over the barrier and as my car is plunging toward the water below I am trying to figure out how to get out of the car once it hits the water? Any thoughts?
  18. Last week
  19. Gwenivere

    Solitary Grief

    That one worked. Thanks, Marty. ❤️
  20. And just like grief, how we express our love for someone differs with the individual. Just because your dad isn't skilled at demonstrating his affection does not necessarily mean that he does not love you or your brother. This saying, that actions speak louder than words, can be taken literally ~ or not. Like any saying, this one may not fit in all instances. As Gary Chapman points out in his book, The Five Love Languages, there are many different ways to express and experience love, and sometimes, if we don't speak the same language as the one who is communicating with us, the message gets lost in the translation.
  21. Try this link, Gwen: https://www.healthjourneys.com/a-meditation-to-help-you-stop-smoking When I quit smoking years ago, I filled the astray I'd always used with sticks of Juicy Fruit gum, so I could get at them instantly. For three straight weeks, instead of smoking a cigarette, I chewed a stick of gum ~ until the insides of my mouth were raw. It worked for me. May be worth a try. Believe me, I do know how hard it is to break this habit ~ especially with everything else going on in your life ~ and I am pulling for you. ♥️
  22. He's learning hard things. Perhaps in time he'll also learn to temper it with some people can love you but fall short of what you need. You're not responsible for his view of his dad, just as he isn't responsible for yours, you are both forming your opinions by what you see. You've tried to be his protector, but we can't always protect people from hard truths. You could perhaps point out to him that it is grief affecting your dad, and that everyone grieves differently, in their own time and way.
  23. I don't know that we wouldn't have lasted (I'm pretty tenacious) but it would not have been easy. Like I said, he's a good person but not husband material in my estimation...not someone who procrastinates so much they don't pay their bills in a timely manner, I couldn't handle that, don't know anyone who would like that. To handle money so irresponsibly as to put yourself in danger of becoming homeless...no, that's a serious flaw. But he's kind hearted, sweet, mellow, has a lot of good traits. Ever heard the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath (water)!", well that's kind of how I feel with him, he makes a good friend, but as a partner, that would be tough. Everyone looks for different qualities in a partner, and he has some of the qualities I was looking for, but carried to an extreme, any trait becomes a weakness rather than a strength. Balance is so important! He got to come home from the hospital last night after five days, he's pretty glad to be home and taking seriously the life changes he's going to have to make with his diet. It's going to be a challenge until he gets used to it, but I've never heard him so serious about anything before, I think this was really a wake up call!
  24. In your specific case, it seems legitimate, sorry I didn't clarify that. And absolutely, if they do it once, they'll probably do so again, especially if its to the same person. At least he recognizes that flaw in himself now and won't hurt anyone else again. It just sucks that his realization had to be at your expense, but at least you've regained your peace with it and understand you would not have lasted anyways. --Rae
  25. My brother learned the meaning of "actions speak louder than words" from a story and now he's confused about Dad's love for him. I explained that Dad is sad about Mom and he's not up to giving hugs or hanging out yet. "But you do," the little man counters. Then he tells me that his friend's Dad gives hugs, tell stories at bedtime and plays with them (during sleepovers). "And actions speak louder than words," he finishes. How do I proceed from here? From his point of view my verbal assurance that Dad loves us is not proven by Dad's actions.
  26. Gwenivere

    Solitary Grief

    Thanks, Marty. I’m right at the point where concentration is so hard to find. I’ll give it a look see. Truly appreciate the support. Hmmm....won’t load to sample. Illl keep trying.
  27. Gwen, this just came in from Health Journeys' Belleruth Naparstek, the guided imagery guru. Just sharing it with you, in case you may be interested: New studies led by Dr. Judith Gordon, using guided imagery in a smoking cessation app for women who were also struggling with weight issues, called See Me Smoke Free, got high attrition rates – 52% (not unusual, and not as high as some programs) but good success as well, in this 90 day, pre- and post comparison pilot study at the University of Arizona. Of the initial 151 participants, 73 remained, and 47% of them reported 7-day abstinence and significant increases in physical activity and fruit consumption. In other words, about a quarter of the original bunch achieved the success they were looking for.1 This is remarkably similar to the outcomes from earlier smoking cessation/guided imagery studies - Christine Wynd’s 2005 research, used our guided imagery as an add-on to standard health education materials. The other arm of the study received only the health education materials. The guided imagery arm got a 26% cessation rate, where the ‘treatment as usual’ controls got 12%. (It was later determined that those cessation rates held up over the next 24 months.2 So, given how hard it is to quit smoking, I’m thinking the guided imagery success rate of roughly a quarter of the initial subjects looks pretty darn good.
  28. Gwenivere

    Solitary Grief

    Yup, Kay, I’m alone no matter where I am. Steve was more a socializer than me, but I held my own. The thing is most of those outlets for me are gone or so changed that I just wander thru life now. It sounds weird in print, but I miss being dependent on him and vice versa. The yin/yang thing. Before I committed to him I was a whole person. I loved and trusted him so much I gave him half of me. He gave me half. The kicker is he took all of him with him when he left, plus me. I’m always going to be broken in some way. Trying to figure out living with that. 10 days smoke free and the depression from that intensifies all of this.
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