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enna

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  1. enna

    Time

    Kay, You are so sweet. I am glad I know you also. We have been on this journey for many years. Thank you for your kindness. Anne
  2. enna

    Time

    Thank you for your kind words, Kay. We have been on this journey for a long time. I am entering my tenth year. I have only had a few friends who have stayed with me. My family not so much. I too would like Jim to be here with me. Anne
  3. enna

    Time

    5/23/2021 Time I have heard many times that we don’t understand unless we have gone through the same thing. I do not believe this … I have many friends who DO understand, and they have not gone through similar situations. If someone has lost a spouse to death one does not have to experience a similar loss. Even those who have lost a spouse have their own sense of loss. One may have had a long loving relationship, and another may have had a long relationship, but the love was not as intense. I believe that there can be no comparisons made in grief. Grief is grief. Loss is loss. It seems like such simple statements, but they are full of so many different meanings. On the 25th of this month I will have spent nine years without the love of my life. I am not where I was back then. I hope I have grown from this experience. The early days of my grief are clouded in pain and sorrow from having lost my husband. We were married for forty years. We have an amazing daughter who gave us three beautiful grandkids. I am learning how to move through each day on my own. There are ups and downs. One thing I have learned is that this journey is mine and only mine. Others can and have walked with me, but the journey is mine to navigate. I am grateful for those who have not let me take this journey alone. I have friends who have encouraged me when I wanted to give up. Friends who have allowed me to be sad without trying to cheer me up. Friends who have sat with me in my darkness. Friends who have been with me these ten years. Friends not afraid of saying his name for fear of making me sad. How could I be sad when I hear his name? Jim. I thank them for their friendship. Time does not fix anything. Grief is work. I have found that I had to allow the pain and sadness. I am a crier, so I cried. I remember the screams in the shower or in the car or at night before I went to bed. I sought help since this was new territory for me. I had experienced loss before but not like this loss. I read and reread about grief. I bought books to read and later bought the same book not even remembering that I had read it before. I tried to understand why this loss was so devastating to me. It was because of how Jim made me feel. Loved. I am in a very different place today. I will always miss my Jim. I find joy in watching my grandkids grow up. I am grateful for each day. I take pleasure in small things. I am at peace with my life as it is today…more often than not. Anne
  4. Another Request March 14, 2021 WOW! This month we have climbed to over 11,000 members. This grief site is the only place on the Internet that has no ads to plow through and it also has an expert certified grief counselor who reads every post and responds to the ones who are requesting help during the grieving process. It is the members site and we read and get comfort from what we post being assured that whatever is posted is kind and nonjudgmental. Knowledge is what helps us get through hard times and the information provided by Marty is spot on. I have been a member since 2012 after my husband of forty years, Jim, died. I don't come here as often as I used to but I like to check in especially to read what's new on the grief healing blog. When Marty was working at Hospice of the Valley this site was a part of HOV. Due to cuts HOV was going to drop the online site so Marty decided to buy the rights since it was her work. You can read about it in her grief healing blog at the top of the main page. A donation button went up a few years ago to help with the cost of keeping the site free from annoying ads. It is costly to keep a site active without ads. The owner, Marty Tousley, wants it that way. I know we all have issues that we are dealing with and it has not been easy during the last year to come up with money when jobs have been cut, businesses are shut down, many kids are still doing online learning. Parents with school age kids have to make hard choices about staying home with the kids or going to work, and the list goes on and on. I am asking you to donate if you are able any amount to help with the cost of keeping this site open. If you’re like me, I don’t even see the donate button nor do I think about the cost and time our moderator puts into keeping this site up and running. So, if you are able and are a member, please consider making a donation, any amount is helpful, to keep this valuable grief site open. I voice my opinion because I know that having a site like this one is important to those of us who are grieving. There is something in these forums for us no matter what our grief is at any time. Anne
  5. enna

    Progress

    I find it very calming and comforting, razorclam. Thank you for taking the time to post. Kay, I have always been amazed by the colors of birds. The colors are so vibrant. Thank you for liking my Bluebird. Anne
  6. enna

    Progress

    Your kind words, Marty, warmed my heart. I think it is important to remember that we will always grieve the loss of a loved one. I have found that our grief changes over time. Grief requires work and it helps to have a safe place to come to because those who are here understand the need to revisit. It has been over eight years since Jim died. I continue to come here because I have always felt accepted as I progress through this journey of loss. You introduced me to Pinterest and coloring as outlets to my grief. Today both of these activities are still important to me. My coloring is a form of meditation and Pinterest continues to keep me entertained during the long days of solitude. Thank you for adding the links to my articles. I sometimes read them over just to see if I’ve grown a bit on my grief journey. Journaling remains an important part of my life. Anne Hi Kay, We have been together now since my time here on the forum. You have blessed me with some good advice and much love. Thank you for all you do. And thank you for your compliments about my coloring. I have no training in art, but I have come to like it. I keep the desk in my den covered with my supplies now and when I get tired of reading, I go there to listen to music and color. Sometimes I’m working on two or three pieces at one time. I love your handmade cards. I am so sorry you are having some trouble with your hands. When I write notes today, which isn’t very often, I always get compliments about your cards. I am old fashion because I love getting a handwritten note from a friend. Anne
  7. enna

    Progress

    I have found coloring to be helpful as I continue to grieve my beloved husband, Jim. It has also helped me with isolation during the pandemic. We each find our own way to continue living. I have been coloring since 2013 and most years I find different items to focus on as I adjust to my new way of living. I share with you my bluebird of happiness, holiday times, and my dragonfly. My bluebird expresses a change in my overall disposition today. Holiday times remind me of how good it is to share with those I love. And my dragonfly is a reminder that joy, and happiness can happen even after the most tragic time of one’s life.
  8. A few years after the death of my husband, I decided to get a dog. We had a granddog that spent many days with us. I had many dogs in my life. Benji was different. This is my rescue dog, Benji, before his haircut. He was a Schipperke /Poodle mix and very smart. I did not know about his health condition because there were no papers on him. In less than a year he started to have seizures and over the months his heart just became too weak. I had already been to three different rescue places before this one and it was going to be my last one. It was love at first sight and he came right up to me and that was it. He had only been at the rescue for three days, but his lack of a haircut looked like he had been neglected for a time. The name on his bin said Gunner. I changed it to Benji as soon as I got him in the car. He was energetic and playful. A great little companion. I had him for less than a year. The first time he had seizures it frightened me. My Vet said it sometimes happens but when the seizures became too often my Vet said that it was affecting his heart. I loved him for the short time I had him in my life. The second picture was taken after his first haircut. He loved swimming and going for walks. I always smile when I look at his before the haircut picture. Some days remembering hurts more than other days. Anne
  9. Loss of a Spouse My heart aches for all of you who come here and share your pain. How fortunate we all are to have this safe place. I have no answers for you. I come from where you are now. The love of my life for forty years died in 2012 and I thought my life was over. It was not. It was a new beginning for me. Because of my age (78 years young) I have suffered many losses during these years. I have lost both grandparents, aunts and uncles, my parents, my siblings (all five are now with my parents) many friends and animals, but the most painful for me still is the loss of my husband. Each loss is unique whether we knew someone for a week or many years. As someone who has come here since 2012, I can assure you that sharing is not only healing but allows one to know that he/she is not alone. When we come here, we can be assured that we are safe. I do not post anymore, but I still find comfort in reading what others have posted. My heart hurts when I read what others are going through. I hope you can be comforted by knowing you are not alone. This forum provides a safe place for any loss. And it is good to venture down to the Loss and Grief section on the main page when and if you are of the mind to see how others are working through their different losses. This section is not for the newly grieved. Nothing happens if we don’t work through our grief. It does not “go away” it will be there until we begin to work on it. Coming here and sharing our losses is a beginning. No one can tell you what to do with your grief, but we can say over and over again “you are not alone.” We are not alone. Early grief is crippling. It stops us from doing what was easy before. We get “brain fog” and can’t focus on things. We might spend days in bed. We become numb to things around us. We don’t see how we can go on. This will change over time. We are left here to live the best lives we are able to. I believe that is what our spouses would want. I believe that it will happen, and we will start to focus on the good things when we were together. This has been so for me. Be patient. We all need the support of one another. Sending virtual hugs to those who like hugs. Anne
  10. Thank you Marty, Dee, and Kay for your support. It has always been there for me. Kay, I remember our walk through your mom's last days and I was so glad she became softer and more appreciative during her last years. You are one special person and I have been blessed to have so many people on the forum who have been supportive to me. I am grateful to all those who mention my Jim's name.
  11. Time with my Alzheimer’s Husband As I look back now, I can remember funny and not so funny times. In the beginning I could not have talked about this, but it has been over eight years and today I can write about my life living with and caring for my husband (after forty years of marriage) for the last five years of his life. Way before Jim became ill, we had some serious discussions. Both of us prepared our papers that spelled out what our wishes would be at the end of our life. If it were possible, we wanted to die at home. And we both pledged to see that it would be done. We both wanted to have our bodies used for tissue research, so we took care to finish the paperwork to have our bodies willed to science. We wanted to have a celebration of our lives but no funeral service. We did not mind talking about this because we both wanted to have our wishes known. After filling out papers, we went on with our lives and didn’t give that part of our lives much thought. We watched our daughter gift us with grandchildren, in 1999 we moved to a place where we expected to enjoy our senior years. We spent the first seven years enjoying life in our newly built retirement home. I did go back to work in the fall of 1999 but had to retire in 2007 because Jim needed me at home. His illness began to manifest itself to the degree that I knew it was time for me to stop teaching and spend the time with him. The first few years were easy. Nothing major occurred. Doctor visits and diagnoses took up a lot of our free time. When it was time for Jim to give up driving, I was scared to bring the subject up. I talked with my daughter and filled her in on what was going on. When her dad would go out without me, he would get lost and when I was with him, he forgot where he was going even though he had been to all the places so many times. Jim was so cool when we talked with him about his driving. A few weeks after our talk he walked through the house and handed me the keys to our car. That was it. No arguing, no fighting. I knew how hard this was for him, but he did it knowing it was time. His comment to me was I do not want to hurt anyone. The last three years of Jim’s life were filled with surprises. He remained his calm, gentle self. Even in his most difficult time he did not lose his temper. I was the lucky one. Laughing occurred at different times. One time we were eating, and he made the comment that the broccoli looked like bushes and asked why we were eating bushes. I told him I would never serve bushes. Another time I was helping him to the bathroom and before we were settled, he peed on my head. I started to laugh, and he asked me why I was laughing so I told him that he missed the toilet. I still laugh today when I think about it. I could have yelled but I didn’t and we both laughed. He said later that he was sorry for baptizing me with his pee. Never did I think that one day my husband would pee on my head. When he was no longer able to walk or get around, we spent hours listening to his music. He really liked it when I massaged his feet. I had the den turned into his place during those last months. We needed a hospital bed and other things to make it easier for me and the helpers who came in to assist me in his care. I had a TV mounted on the wall so he could watch a few of his favorite shows. He wanted the golf channel on most of the time. He loved golf and played almost daily during his adult life. Near the end he didn’t talk or watch anything on the TV. Eating and drinking stopped as he slowly began to leave his body. One of the most important things I did was to call for Hospice help. HOV in AZ is the best. I felt supported and had an excellent team. They were wonderful with Jim. They all loved him and loved his gentle nature. I remember that he would smile whenever the nurse came. She would get up close and smile at him and ask him if he was being treated good. I think he loved her. After spending time with Jim and while he was being bathed the nurse would use the time to talk with me and ask how I was doing. She is also the one who suggested that we use the den so Jim could have quiet time but mostly so that I could have some time for myself. During those last months I also hired a nurse to help me when HOV was not here. It helped me a lot so I could spend quality time with Jim as his wife and not just his caregiver. This was very important to me. Jim’s death was peaceful. He did not have pain because he did not have underlying conditions that would cause pain. He had Alzheimer’s disease and his body simply shut down. He was not angry, nor did he shout out. He simply became quiet, had not taken in food or water for several weeks, and when it was time, he passed away peacefully. Over those last few years I was so focused on Jim’s comfort that I forgot to care for myself. I took breaks but I did not sleep much during the last months and I was always tired. After Jim died and upon the recommendation of our HOV nurse, I chose to see an HOV grief counselor to help me process what I had gone through. She was wonderful. I would tell her that I was doing fine, and she would let me know that it would take time to get my heart and mind on a more even scale. I found out that I had been ignoring a serious health condition during those last years. When I finally went to my doctor, he told me that I needed to see a cardiac doctor. I was experiencing extreme tiredness. I had congestive heart failure and did not even know it. My journey began to get myself healthy and deal with the death of Jim. My cardiac doctor took care of my health and my HOV grief counselor helped me with the loss of Jim. I still have heart failure, there is no cure for diastolic heart failure, but it can be managed. I have good and not so good days living my “new” normal, but I think I’m doing as best I can without Jim. Today I still keep in touch with my HOV grief counselor. Jim would love playing with our third grandchild. She was born after Jim died. Our three grandchildren are growing up so quickly and I’m so proud of our daughter. She is a wonderful mother. The downside for me is that we are in different states. Thank goodness for FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. It makes it easy to watch them grow. It is important to know that the ache of losing a loved one will always be with us. The intense pain will not be so debilitating though. Memories will always be with us and I now know that the good memories show up more often now than those last years of Jim’s illness. Grief is hard work. It needs to be attended to. If you cry, crying is good. If you are not a crier that is OK too. For me, the important thing is to allow whatever you are feeling. We are all different and that is what makes us so special. No two people grieve in the same way. The “triggers” come and go. Nothing happens without hard work. We are very fortunate to have a safe place like this forum to share our grief. No one judges. Anne
  12. This is a beautiful film, Kieron. Thank you for sharing it. Anne
  13. I don't know if it is my laptop or not but at the top of the index page I'm seeing only a part of the picture. This is different and has only showed up a few days ago. If others are seeing this let Marty know and if it is only on my laptop I'll have to what's wrong. I'm putting this here in case I'm not the only one. enna
  14. May 25, 2012 ~ 8 years Ago ~ I lost my spouse, the love of my life, after forty years of marriage. enna
  15. Once again this site continues to be recognized as one of the BEST. We continue to be so fortunate to have this site. https://www.verywellmind.com/best-online-grief-support-groups-4842333 Anne
  16. Oh Robert, I am so sorry to hear that you had to 'put down' your precious Chloe. I am sure you did all you could do for her and that your love for her shows in your note. I am so glad she was not in any pain. I think when we lose a special pet it cracks part of our heart. And it hurts so much. We never really know when the time is right but as you said it was the right thing to do and for your Chloe I know it was. To love so deeply hurts. And having lost a few very special pets I understand that saying goodbye is so hard. Do you have a picture that you would want to share? Sending hugs to you. Anne
  17. What a beautiful thought, Kay. Thank you for it. Anne
  18. This continues to be the best "grief sanctuary" Steve. You and Patty are always in my thoughts and prayers. Life does keep all of us very busy. Know that I keep you and Patty forever in my heart. 💜How fortunate we are to have forever friends. Anne
  19. I have three recommendations to perhaps add to our grief bibliography page: Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott ~ she is so down to earth and this book is one to pick up and read more than once. Living Beautifully by Pema Chödrön is a wonderful book ~ she writes from the heart. And last ~ Gary Roe just wrote another book called: Comfort for the Grieving Adult Child's Heart - Hope and Healing After Losing Your Parent This book is available now and a few of us received copies earlier and read and wrote recommendations on Good Reads and Amazon. This is one book that will help the grieving heart of those who have lost a parent. In my opinion, reading and listening to music helps us to move through our grief.
  20. TED talks worth listening to... https://3dsuccess.org/best-ted-talks-for-anxiety/ The importance of slowing down.
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