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melina

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About melina

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 06/07/1958

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  • Date of Death
    August 2010
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    NA

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    Female

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  1. Thanks for the information about the healthcare system, Kay - it was really helpful. I've been away so long I no longer know what things are like over there, apart from what my eldest son tells me. I don't know if things are different from state to state. I'm originally from Washington, but my son and his family live in New Hampshire. Thanks "Katpilot" for your reply too. We're almost on the same timeline. I guess you're right that we need to seek out things that give us purpose. I also enjoy writing and joined a writer's group several years ago, long before my husband died. Just recently I re-joined, but have found it difficult to contribute properly. Though contributing toward a grief compilation sounds like a good idea. I also smile now and then, but suddenly something will trigger a memory, and it's hard to keep it together. Anyway - I guess we just have to make our road by walking. Thank you everyone for letting me know how you are coping. It really does help to know that I'm not alone.
  2. Hi Anne, Glad to hear from you as well. I know what you mean about social interactions feeling artificial. And though it's been 5 1/2 years, some days it seems like I just lost him - that it just happened. I've realized though that I've changed a lot in that time. I don't recognize myself from 5 years ago. I'm a different person now. My dog is an Icelandic Sheepdog, and she's easy to deal with, except she has a lot of separation anxiety. I have a wonderful retired couple who watch her for me during the day when I'm at work, and who also take her when I fly over to see my kids, but it's tricky sometimes, because I can't just pick and up leave whenever I want. Still, she is a good companion and gets me out walking every day. I agree that even if I lived near my kids, I'd still feel lonely, but maybe a little less so. I would have to be very careful not to involve myself too much, and to remain independent - create my own life. But I miss having my best friend to talk things over with, and sometimes I just wish so badly I could have five minutes just to talk with him. Just five minutes, but that's not going to happen. Thanks for the reply, and the hugs! Melina
  3. Thanks Kaye, It was good to hear fro your too! Congratulations on your granddaughter! I do still have a dog that keeps me company, but she's getting old and can't walk as far or fast any longer, plus her eyesight is failing. I wonder how it will be when she passes. It would be nice to have a human to talk to - I mean have a really good conversation with, and not just chatter at each other with small talk. People exhaust me these days. But silence of living alone can be deafening. It's good to know I can get healthcare in the states, but I'm unsure of how much it costs if you have to pay for it all yourself. I'm 57 now, turning 58 in a couple of months. I'd have to work until I'm 62 over here to get early retirement - with a lot less money per month than if I'd continued until I'm 67. I don't even want to wait until 62 though. So if I were to move over before 62, I'd definitely have to work, and if I move over between 62 and 67, I would need some extra income. Maybe work part-time. Thanks for your reply. It helps just to connect with someone who understands - even online.
  4. It's been a long time since I've been here on this site. I received a lot of help when I was newly widowed 5 1/2 years ago, and actually for the first two or three years, and am very thankful for that. I gradually stepped back though because I wanted to try to focus on something other than grief, and thought that maybe reading about it too much was dragging me down instead of moving me forward. I figure that people reading posts on "Living with Loss" will have been widowed for a few years, but for those of you who are new here, I lost my husband to cancer in August 2010, and have tried to build a new life for myself - a new normal, as they say - in the years since then, though it's been a real roller coaster ride, and not the fun kind. Things have been going okay, but lately I've been struggling and feeling stuck. Part of that, I'm sure, is due to the fact that I'm very isolated. I work a lot - probably too much, and most likely as a way to fill up my life - and I don't really have a social network. My four adult sons are living in other parts of the world, and I travel to see them as much as possible, especially now that I have two grandsons. But I have no one nearby to spend time with. My friends are all still married, apart from one who's divorced and dating, and I no longer feel I can connect with them. Being social wears me out, but it's possible I just don't have friends I can feel comfortable with. I guess my entire focus has changed. I get tired of hearing about their daily lives, and they don't understand why I don't share the same interests. My husband's death was pretty traumatic for both me and our sons. They're coping fairly well. They're young and are starting families of their own. I thought I was coping well too, but now I'm not so sure. I think about my husband, his illness and his death several times a day. All kinds of things trigger memories - usually traumatic ones or guilt-laden ones. I'm okay at work, but tend to cry while I'm driving home. Life seems empty. I wonder sometimes if this is what's called "complicated grief". I was thinking of going back to my grief counselor, but who sees a grief counselor after 5 or 6 years? I should feel happy - now that I have grandsons I love, and my kids doing fine. And I do feel happy about that. But I can't seem to find my place. I feel like an alien who can't get home and who's been wandering around on this planet trying to figure out where to go and what to do. I should move back to my native United States (have been in Europe for 30 years), but that's quite a process, it's expensive to move across the world, and there's health insurance to consider, so I'd have to find a job. I'm four years away from early retirement over here. But that's four more years of this isolation. And besides, I should be building up a life of my own, and not be dependent on my children to fill my life, even if I do move over. Sorry for unloading here, but I couldn't think of where to go to talk about this. There's just no one who wants to listen. I would love to hear how other people are coping years after their loss. Maybe it will help me gain some perspective. Thanks for listening... Melina
  5. Thanks everyone, I think I just needed to ask if I would be a terrible person for not attending the funeral. I feel bad - but we'll see what I end up doing. Melina
  6. Hi Elaine, It's great to hear from you! I remember you mentioning someone in your life earlier. I'm so glad you've found happiness and love again. I know that many of us, including me, would like to find that kind of love and happiness again. It's not always a matter of making a conscious decision to merely live with our memories, it's a matter of not be able to find someone who we think could measure up to the people we've lost. It's also not that easy to find someone at all - especially later in life. It's wonderful that you've been able to find someone important in your life and make a new start. I hope that can happen for many of us as well. Melina
  7. Thanks Marty - There is no Paypal button at the bottom of my screen. I can see if the antivirus program is stopping it, but I'll have to wait for one of my sons to come home first. I'm pretty good at computer stuff in general - but I'm a little wary about my antivirus. It is possible to provide the information needed to pay by Paypal? Melina
  8. Marty, I've searched and searched, but I can't figure out how to make a donation by Paypal. Can you guide me through this? Melina
  9. Thanks Fae, I'm also glad to have three of my four sons here at Christmas - and their wives/girlfriends. It does feel good to have family around. They all live very far away. Inviting my husband's family to a meal is probably not an option. Spending time together like that - in an intimate setting - is even worse than having to attend the funeral. And I think that it would be awkward for them as well. Norway is a little different from the states. This is a far more guarded and distant people. That's one of the reasons it's been such a culturally exhausting place to live. If I could just move away from this country - I wouldn't have to deal with these people at all, but they meant something to my husband, which is why it's so hard to cut them out completely. I'm not sure though why they never really let me in. Thanks for your thoughts, Fae. It's helps to have a place to unburden myself and share my troubles... Melina
  10. I really need some advice. I was never very close to my husband's family - his mother and siblings. He was divorced when we met and I was about ten years younger than him. Not sure if that was what made it difficult to become part of his family - but I never really felt very accepted. They were never rude to me or unkind - we just never really hit it off, and I always felt uncomfortable when we were all together. When my husband was alive we would visit his family regularly - mostly his sister, her family and his mother, who all lived in the same town. We traveled as a family - my husband, our sons and me. I can't say I enjoyed these visits a lot, but I felt an obligation to go along. Now after my husband's death I haven't visited these people. His mother died just six months before he did, and we attended her funeral despite him being sick with lung cancer. After my husband's death, his sister and her husband stopped by once to visit on their way to see their daughter in the next city. They stopped by mainly to collect some old family photos from that side of the family. She's also sent a couple of e-mails to ask how I was doing - but when I wrote back that I wasn't doing great and that I was still grieving very much, she never answered. I was invited to her birthday party about 6 months after my husband's death, but I just sent some flowers and declined the invitation. I couldn't handle it all - especially being there without my husband. I would have felt uncomfortable and unhappy. My husband's brother is a doctor, and he was very helpful on one occasion when my youngest son was sick and had trouble getting in to a specialist. But apart from that I haven't heard from him during these four years. I suppose I haven't tried to seek any contact either. I found out today that my brother-in-law and his wife just lost their daughter. She was 40, had a husband, an 18 year old daughter and a 7 year old adopted son. She had had heart problems, fell into a coma after a surgery and died last night. I know this must be very hard for the whole family. My brother-in-law and his wife lost their son about 20 years ago. He just disappeared without a trace during a vacation and they never found him. Now they just have one daughter left. It must be absolutely horrible. I'm going to send flowers and my condolences to both families - brother-in-law and wife, plus husband and children. But here's the thing: I do not want to attend the funeral. I just don't think I could handle it. Just thinking about attending a funeral and meeting all these people gives me intense anxiety. I still haven't worked through the trauma of my husband's death - the hospital, the funeral we had while I was in a foggy daze of grief. It all makes me feel like crawling into a hole. I have my three sons and their wives visiting here for Christmas - and we're all still feeling our own loss - my husband/their father. Would it be horrible of me to not attend this funeral - but just send flowers and heartfelt condolences? They will probably be talking about me and why I'm not there. But at the same time, I don't know why they'd really want or need me there. I already feel like a terrible person for not being closer to his family - but I just don't feel I can do this. I'm trying to come up with some excuse - but I can't think of a good one. Had this been my family - my sister or brother - I would be there right away. But this doesn't feel like my family. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Melina
  11. Hi everyone - I just wanted to thank you all so much for replying to this post. It actually does make me feel better to feel that support from all of you - like having a proper social network, even it's online! Online friends are still friends - they're just farther away. Kay - I'm so sorry to hear about your health problems. I sincerely hope you get some answers from your doctor and that you keep us all updated. Thinking of you! Jo - You said you lived in Alaska. I live in Norway, so I do feel the darkness as it sets in around November. I hate leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark. So I do have one of those light lamps. I use it in the morning before work to wake me up. Mary - Like you, although I feel lonely, I can't see myself living with someone other than my husband. It just feels wrong. Everyone keeps urging me to start dating - but it would have to be online dating, since I don't meet men very often. And online dating feels like a chore, and a gamble. And thanks also to the rest of you for being here. I'll just have to keep plugging along... Melina
  12. Thanks Anne - it helps to know someone is out there listening and being sympathetic. I can't talk to my friends about my troubles any longer. They seem uninterested in hearing about it all. Things go in waves, and now and then I feel a little better. Lately, however, since I got back from my last trip to the states, life has been very tough. Just needed to wail a bit. It's not really the grief that feels overwhelming now, it's life in general. I'm getting tired of managing all the things that life keepings hurling at me. It's all too much to handle. I hadn't planned spending all these years alone, dealing with various issues. The world seems harsh, and people seem rude and uncaring. At times I really just want to run away, or curl up in a ball and hibernate, but I can't do that either. Oh well...Thanks again for listening! Melina
  13. I tend to pop in and out of this site when I need some support. I'd like to be of more support to others, but I suppose I'll have to be content to post subjects that might be of interest to others, in hope that the replies will help them. It's four years and three months since I lost my husband, and since my kids lost their father. Our sons are all adults - in their 20s, but they still need help and guidance. They've all grown to become good and kind young men. The problem - if you can call it a problem - is that they've all chosen wives from different countries, and have emmigrated to these countries to start families. This means that there are bound to be problems with immigration issues, and all those things that are related to these issues. Add money problems, babies on the way, housing, jobs, etc. They're stressed. And they're used to talking to their father about whatever stress they were experiencing - because that helped to calm things down. My husband was the calm one in our relationship and in our family. With just a few words, he could reduce all the stress and tension, and make everything seem okay. I am not the calm one. I have a strong bond with my children, but I'm definitely not calm. Yet now I have to be that person who tries to make people feel better. In other words, I'm being two people - myself, with all my worry and anxiety, and my husband, though I have no practice with his state of mind. After I talk to my kids, and they hopefully feel more optimistic, the problems continue for me. The problems are eating me up inside. I can't sleep. I feel sick. I'm exhausted. I know my kids aren't expecting me to figure everything out for them, but if we'd had my husband (their father) here now, this would be a team effort. Something we'd all be working to figure out. My husband and I would sit in the sofa in the evening and discuss the matters, try to create some ideas, and even laugh about it a little - lighten the mood. But as it is now, I just want to escape - sometimes even just fall asleep and not wake up. it's not just my kids either - it's everything. I have a big house I need to sell and get rid of, my job is exhausting, people in general just seem annoying, and I'm very much alone. I'm just plain wiped out.. Right now, I would love some kind words, so I don't feel so alone. Melina
  14. I just returned from a trip home - to Seattle - to visit my mother and siblings. And I got together with some old friends I hadn't seen for years and years. Somehow this trip was a turning point for me. It's helped me to release a lot of old anger and negativity. I've forgiven old hurts and mended some relationships. It felt very good. I didn't even feel like killing my mother this time. Returning home, after picking up my dog, I felt almost changed. I still felt that same loss, the same ache to talk to my husband, the same sadness, but a little more free. Hope this feeling sticks around, though now since I'm back in the same routine and it's growing darker - getting to be winter - it's going to be a challenge. Melina
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