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enna

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About enna

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 12/05/1942

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    wife
  • Date of Death
    May 25, 2012
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    Hospice of the Valley - Phoenix

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Female
  • Location (city, state)
    Goodyear, AZ
  • Interests
    Spending time with family and friends and reading.

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  1. How true what you say is to those points you have made, Mary Linda. We have heard that not all hospices are the same. It sounds like you did not have a good experience with the hospice for you and your husband. This is tragic for a family who needs the care and concern from others at a time like this. My experience with hospice was the opposite. The Hospice Team who worked with us was excellent. I still remember each one of them as if it were yesterday (my husband passed in 2012). My only regret is that we did not know to call them earlier. The coordination of the Team was evident from day one. Once the social worker visited and put things in motion our lives became easier. We chose to have the Hospice doctor seeing to my husband’s care because she would be available 24/7 as our Primary doctor could not be. Our nurse came weekly and near the end daily, the CNA person was perfect and did her job with tenderness and love, we had access to a chaplain and a volunteer. A hospice volunteer veteran visited a few times and this was a comfort to my husband who was a fighter pilot during WW11. When my husband was no longer able to be up and about our den became his special place. We had all the necessary items provided by our nurse like a hospital bed for not only his comfort but to make it easier for us to care for him. Our nurse made sure that my husband was as comfortable with medication as possible. She spent time talking with me about what was going on whenever there was a change. This Hospice Team was here for our family and a grief counselor was available to my family and me for a year after my husband died. Having the Team working with us freed me up to be a wife and not only his caregiver. I could tell so many stories and without hospice, we would never have been able to keep my husband at home where he wanted to be. I know not every family can have their family member remain at home. When it is possible having a good hospice team available is a must. I am so glad you have had good experiences with hospice and so sorry that the one that counted most for you was not.
  2. Wednesday, February 27, 2019 The Longing of Saudade Nine years after Evelyn’s death, I stood on the coast of Maine at dusk looking over the Atlantic Ocean, feeling what I have come to know as saudade, a Portuguese word for profound melancholic longing. I desperately yearned to see Ev again, knowing that I never would. She died suddenly, and I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye. My love for her did not end with her death. Nor had I ceased hoping that she would walk into the room and I would feel my heart skip a beat. I wanted to see her smile again and hear her laugh. I wanted to hug her and ask all the questions that had piled up in her absence. I wanted her to tease me for some of the stupid things I’d done trying to cope, in ways that only she could do. She made ordinary days feel special. So much had changed over the years. I’d remarried and was happy again. Yet, in my eyes, you could see a certainty, a hardness, perhaps, from my close acquaintance with death. I share more of my emotions than I did before, and I was thankful for this. Hopefully, I was also more compassionate for the suffering of others because people had set their lives aside to help me when I didn’t have the energy to ask. Anyone who loses someone close, whether it’s a spouse, parent, child, or friend, feels an edge to their lives that don’t leave, along with residual anger, frustration, and despair. And if someone died young, and unfairly in our eyes, our new awareness of the depth of life can open into darkness that worries us. Our lives are constantly being reshaped by changes, with moments of grace, clarity, and unexpected encounters. If we are brave and face them openly, they can nudge our lives in the direction we want to go. Because of grief, we tend to speak directly now, and we’ve developed a b. s. meter because many people who said they cared and wanted to help, didn’t. They told us what we wanted to hear. But words without actions are worse than useless. They build up expectations and hope where none exist. It would have been better if they had said they couldn’t deal with grief because then we would still trust them to be honest. As the years go on, our lives will fill with people we’ve loved who are gone. Even when new people enter, no one replaces the ones we lost. They remain nestled in our hearts. That night, standing on the shore with the ocean stretched out before me, rather than move on to my next task, I let the feeling of saudade deepen. I lingered and let myself feel the complexity of the moment—both joy and sorrow—as I watched the graceful beauty of seagulls flying low over the water. The ocean was calm because of an offshore breeze, and the lighthouse was sending beams of light from the rocky coast into the gathering dusk, guiding people into harbors of safety. In the midst of my gratitude for the present, there was also sadness when I thought about what might have been and the dreams we had that will not be. As love once changed me, so now does grief. Posted by Mark Liebenow
  3. Wednesday, January 30, 2019 Widowers Grief An Honest Journey Through Grief What we want from a memoir when matters of life and death are involved is honesty. We don’t want sugar. Sugar doesn’t give us real hope. Sugar melts away when tears begin to fall. We want truth because we know that one day we will face what they have gone through, and we want to know how to survive. Elaine Mansfield’s book, Leaning Into Love, is honest about her husband’s struggles with cancer and chemotherapy, and honest about her struggle with grief and beginning a new life alone. Even with people who have as strong a faith and are as determined as Elaine and Vic, death still wins the physical battle. Elaine writes of her battle to hold on and the longing to let go because it was so hard to live without him until she had no choice. “His gentle passage opens my heart and stills my mind,” she writes after Vic dies. She bends but does not break: “The downward pull of grief persists, but I often touch the slippery edge and rise above instead of being sucked under.” The book is divided into Before and After, with death as the turning point. There are no magic words here that will erase death’s sorrow, but she offers insights — stay attentive to grief, do not give up when grief goes on for longer than you expect, screw up your courage and do what needs to be done, even if it scares you. After Vic’s death, Elaine begins writing as a way for understanding her grief, guided by friends and teachers. She writes about how lost she felt in the first months, the slow movement out of constant sorrow, and how grief still periodically returns three years later, brought back by a stray memory or seeing one of Vic’s possessions. “Grief doesn’t end for me, or anyone,” Elaine writes, “If we dare to love, then we will grieve. Mortality is the shadow that falls when the sun shines.” Sprinkled through the narrative are the words of Elaine and Vic’s spiritual mentors — Anthony Damiani, Marion Woodman, and the Dalai Lama, as well as words from the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke and Naomi Shihab Nye, including Nye’s astounding “Kindness” poem. There is much that I admire and treasure about Elaine’s book. I underlined over 150 passages that surprised, challenged, or delighted me. What I did not realize, until I closed the book and reflected on its words, was its balance. Elaine often returns to the land as a nurturing place, and writes of her desire for daily exercise and cooking healthy food, even though, on some days, these are the last things she wants to do. This is the Physical dimension of being. She writes of her ongoing practice of meditation, worship, and of spending time in solitude. This is the Spiritual dimension. And she speaks of her volunteering to help with a hospice group, and of the support she received from her community of friends, both during Vic’s illness and their presence after his death. This is the Heart dimension. All three are needed. Death changes our lives, not for better or worse. It simply sends us off in a different direction. Six weeks after Vic died, Marion Woodman wrote to Elaine: “Something is emerging that could not have happened in your old life.” Each year Elaine raises Monarch butterflies and watches their transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. She felt her own life undergoing a similar transformation. Everyone’s experience of grief will differ, but this book is a testament to holding on when a large part of your life is taken away. Elaine writes, “Vic’s death taught me that only kindness and love matter in the end. When we fall, and we all will fall, we can rise up if we lean into each other and the sacred gift of life.” Elaine’s words move with the flow of a powerful river that picks us up and carries us into a deeper understanding of life. Posted by Mark Liebenow
  4. You are always in my thoughts and prayers, Katie. 💜
  5. Oh, Kay, I am so sorry to hear that Jim is having such a hard time. He has had an up and down time of it. The last thing any of us should have to even think of is not being able to get the medicine we need for our health. I think Insurance companies and big pharma have ruined our country. Our doctors used to be able to oversee our health and now they have to go through insurance companies. I hope that Jim will be able to get any medicine he needs to help him. And I pray that you will be able to see him soon.💜
  6. Thank you, George, for this positive reflection. As you say, the timeline is different for each one of us. Tools for Healing are what we need as we go through our individual journeys. For some of us, we have moved beyond our early grief and are beginning to "Get busy living." Again, thank you. Anne
  7. Wednesday, January 9, 2019 Breadcrumbs As you start to walk on the way, the way appears. Rumi We don’t get through grief by sitting on our butt. Well, okay, sitting is fine for a time, but grief is not going to leave on its own. We have to pay attention to what it is doing inside us. We have to walk with grief and listen to what it is saying. When death hits, a list starts in our heads of everything we’ve lost, and the list becomes lengthy. The journey of grief involves accepting what has happened. This doesn’t mean that we agree or like what’s happened. And it involves letting go of a bunch of our dreams and expectations. This is anguishing because we don’t want to risk losing anything that we have left, and it tears us apart to think of doing so. We also have to let go of death if we are to feel the warmth of life again and turn back towards life. So where does that leave us? Letting go in grief is like Inanna’s descent into the Underworld in Mesopotamian mythology to find her sister. In order to pass through each gate on her way down, Inanna has to give up something valuable she possesses. At the end, even her clothes are taken away and she is naked, with no power or prestige left. It is only then, when she has nowhere to turn, that she looks inside herself and finds the strength to continue. When we have given up everything, when the light has faded and darkness has replaced its last glimmer with loneliness and despair, and we take that first step into the unknown, it is then that we notice a trail of breadcrumbs left by those who have traveled through grief’s wilderness before us. We could not see this trail until we faced our fears, gathered our courage, and took that step, trusting the wilderness before us. The breadcrumbs and trail ducks lead us through the Forest of Uncertainty and over the Mountains of Dark Silence to a place we’ve never been. What are these breadcrumbs? They are the words of others who have dipped their pens into their hearts and written the raw truth of their grief. They are the voices of those who stop to talk with us on the street and share words of support. They are the open arms of people who hug us long and hard. They are those who show up on our doorstep with freshly baked bread and listen to us share the wilderness of our hearts. Posted by Mark Liebenow
  8. Thank you, Maryann, for your kind words. Yes, we have found a way to move through our losses and that is why I find this forum to be so important to keep open. I am so happy that you are finding new ways to live your life as you always keep your Mark close to your heart. I believe that there is a way to find happiness after a great loss because our hearts expand to allow for this. 💜
  9. I so agree with you, Kay, about food. I still love to cook and I always make something that I like. This holiday I made my lasagna because it is one of the dishes that I particularly like. Thank goodness I had a few people to help me share it because I always make too much. I also make a pistachio bundt cake that is to die for. If you like pound cake you would like my cake. I'm glad you have your own style of dress, Kay. I have my own comfortable clothes when I'm staying in. I never wear shoes in the house unless I go into the garage! 🙂
  10. Thank you, Marita. I can only imagine how much you miss your Gord. You are still very early in your grief. One day without even thinking about it a splash of color will appear even for a moment and your heart will feel a little bit lighter. You will always miss Gord. 💜
  11. Yes, Marty. My thinking about this is if it helps one person that is enough.
  12. January 5, 2019 As a caregiver for my beloved Jim for five years, one important thing I learned during that time was the importance of caring for self. I think that part of healing has to do with self-care and this is what I'm doing for the New Year. I just came off of a stay at home Retreat and decided to prepare a Self-Care basket that I can go to when I need a day to focus on myself. This did not happen to me in my first years of loss but we change and for me, today I like to focus on doing something for myself. My Self-Care Basket for 2019 Gifting myself a day of self-care ~ suggestions for my basket (items can be changed) ***Drink more lemon water that day, or buy fresh flowers for the day, schedule naptime, have a self-love affirmations list to recite throughout the day: I accept all compliments, I let go of all negative talk, I accept myself for who I am, I will treat myself with kindness, I will stop apologizing for who I am… Something Physical Massage oils (I like eucalyptus oil and tea extract), a yoga DVD, facial mask supplies, Epsom salts for a bath, take a walk in nature, spend time in your garden, go for a swim, treat self to a manicure/pedicure, find a reason to laugh Something Emotional Journal/pen, tissues, add a movie you’ve already seen or one you want to watch to your basket, listen to music from a playlist you created, create an art piece to express your emotion Something Spiritual Meditations or articles from my Pinterest boards, do a random act of kindness, read a favorite book, listen to inspirational talks, listen to music, breathe, listen to a podcast or TED talks: ‘Body Language’ by Amy Cuddy and ‘The Power of Introverts’ by Susan Cain are two talks I listened to on my stay at home Retreat (the Internet has many TED talks that inspire) Something Sensory Stress ball, scented candle, soft blanket or fuzzy socks, a pleasure reading book (I like Mary Oliver’s book Dog Songs), drink herbal tea, listen to music, and eat chocolate Something Social Send a card to a special person, write a letter to someone you haven’t heard from for a while, call or text a friend, spend time with an animal and if you do not have a pet perhaps you could visit a shelter, write a letter to yourself complimenting yourself for something you did, go to lunch with friends, be proactive, not reactive to situations Notes to self: In the evening make a plan for the next day · Have a routine – streamlines daily processes · Have a style of dress (I like scarves and add them to my wardrobe) · Check your emails or texts and respond sooner rather than later · Keep your space neat – less clutter · List things that you are grateful for that day · Define what gives you stress
  13. Tools for Healing is a good place to start...it's never a straight line
  14. Dealing With Grief During the Holidays... https://www.refugeingrief.com/2018/12/11/dealing-with-grief-during-the-holidays/
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