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Dawn G

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About Dawn G

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    Member

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    wife
  • Date of Death
    January 2006
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    NA

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Female
  • Location (city, state)
    Asheville, NC

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  1. Gwenivere, I'm so sorry that you feel that way. My heart goes out to you and I wish I could give you a great big hug. I have a very large family (12 kids, 20 grandchildren with 2 more on the way). My family is great now and they were awesome before my husband died, but grief split us apart as we were each finding our new normal; and there was quite alot of strife for about a decade. It was a really rough patch. I'm so thankful that it seems to be over now and we can all just enjoy each other again. The drama was killing me. All that to say that having a family didn't exactly help me get through grief most of the time. Sometimes, yes, but many times, it was really stressful!! Through all of those really rough times, I was on my face, in my room, crying out to God. I thanked Him for the life He had given me with my wonderful husband, and I thanked Him for His presence with me in the tough times I was going through. And as I did, I felt God SO close to me. I can hardly describe it. I think you know what I mean when I tell you that there were so many days, especially in the first year, where I just paced the floor not knowing what to do with myself. I felt like my body needed to explode or something because the pressure of my sorrow was so big, it felt like something had to give somewhere. I remember one day that was just like that. I was hurting to deeply and couldn't find relief. I was asking God to show me something, to talk to me, to help me get through it. I went over to my Bible, which I read almost every day, but that day, I just let it fall open and it was at Isaiah 43: 1-5 which said, " But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. “Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you,I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west." As I read that, I though, Well, that sounds really nice, but I don't know if that's about me. I decided that I would go into my bedroom, shut the door and worship Jesus. I knew that if I was in His presence, I would feel some peace because it's always happened that way before. And thanking Him and telling Him how much I love Him is how to enter into God's presence. So, I went in my room, but the phone rang and I was annoyed. I really needed some relief here! A friend was calling to see how I was doing. I started complaining about how bad it was. She listened patiently for a few minutes and then she said, "Well, dear, you know you're going through the fire, but you won't be burned. You're in the deep water, but you're not going to drown." Without knowing what I had just read, she was quoting it to me. That made me feel better enough to function that day. I was able to teach my children and do a few chores. Later in the afternoon, I checked my email and there was a message from my husband's cousin. She said, "I was thinking of you and praying for you today, and the Lord told me to share this scripture with you......(and she quoted Isaiah 43: 1-5)! That gave me so much joy, and enough peace to go on for quite awhile. Another day, I was feeling really awful again, and I thought that working in my garden might help; but when I went outside, I had NO energy. I just couldn't lift anything. It was really discouraging and I said, "Lord, would you send someone to me that I can minister to?" As soon as I said it, I saw a car come past our house, stop, back up, and pull into our driveway. A woman I didn't know jumped out and exclaimed, "I thought you guys lived here!!" She started pouring out her heart to me, sharing something very personal and painful. She wanted my advice!! I told her what I knew would help. We hugged and cried and she left. I was amazed at how specifically God led me in that. Another time, that same summer, I stood at the front of my yard, watching my broken-hearted children play. We had only lived in that house for two years when my husband died, so we didn't have much for the kids to do yet. I prayed, "Father, I don't understand why you have us here in this house. At our old house, the kids had swings and a pool. We don't even have a pool for them to play in." Immediately, a car pulled up behind me and stopped next to me. A woman rolled down the window and introduced herself as my neighbor across the street (the one living in a mansion). She said, "I have an in-ground pool at my house. If you and your children would like to swim, you can come over anytime." Again, God was looking out for us. I could tell you tons more stories like those, where God specifically showed me how much He cared/cares about what we're going through. There was that one day that was so painful, again, I didn't know what to do with myself. I went out on my front porch to soak in some sunshine and boost my mood. There was a breeze, but I hardly noticed it. As I sat there, I felt waves of love coming over me. It was incredible. Just wave after wave of God's love pouring over me. This is what has sustained me, especially in the worst times. I know that my Redeemer lives. He proves it all the time. I feel your pain when you say you miss that exclusive relationship with your husband. I miss mine in the same way. There is NO other relationship like it. It gave me no comfort when well-meaning friends would say "You'll see him again in heaven" because there is no marriage in heaven. I will not have an exclusive relationship with him. But then, the Lord reminds me that heaven is so wonderful, so blissful, it won't matter. Love will be greater than the love we have in marriage. We won't even care about our losses. I'm sorry this is long, Gwenivere. I will pray for your body and heart to heal, for your spirit and soul to find peace and purpose again. You are a precious lady. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your heart.
  2. Amy, I'm so sorry. I miss all of that with my husband too. Death has to be the biggest insult to all of creation. It cuts so deeply. What do you do on your best days? Is there something that you can do that is new, something that doesn't remind you of your love and your loss? Something that you find fulfilling or adventurous enough to try? For me, the new things I'm experiencing that don't include thoughts of my husband are helping.
  3. I'm so sorry! I've been there. The finality of it all is so cruel and black and frustrating. Death has got to be the biggest insult in the world. Do you have close friends you can talk with, a trusted person who will patiently listen as you process your thoughts and fears? It really helps. I had a friend who did that for me, and the comfort I felt from that was palatable. When my husband died, I leaned into God more than ever before. I thought we were close up to that point, but I found Him and His love to be more intimate and deep than ever before when I needed Him most. I wondered aloud so many times, "I don't know how anyone gets through this with Jesus!" It didn't take away my loss. I had to walk through that unwanted valley; but I wasn't alone in it.
  4. I'm so sorry that you have that image pressed into your mind. The only solution I can think of for that would be to keep remembering every look on his face that you loved. Keep repeating those images in your head and hopefully, they will take over your thoughts. Losing the one you love is horrible no matter how long you have loved them. I was widowed almost 14 years ago. I still miss my husband whenever I feel stressed or lonely or afraid. But God has been so good to carry all of my burdens with me as I walk out this life. He is my comfort. I hope that you'll experience some joy today.
  5. Yes, the way you are feeling is very normal. You have been devastated by a sudden and deep loss. I was the same way when my husband died suddenly. I felt like a zombie, barely functioning every day. In retrospect, I was just going through the motions. I will pray for you as you walk through this awful valley, that God will reveal His great love for you, showing you how near He is to the broken-hearted.
  6. I'm happy for you that your dog is doing better. Change is so hard! Are you making new friends? Someone you can call when you're feeling low?
  7. The book analogy is a good one. Maybe that's why they used a scrapbook in the movie "Up" to show the life that Carl and Ellie Fredrickson shared together. After Carl had tried everything within his grasp to feel like Ellie was still there (taking his house to Paradise Falls where she had dreamed of them retiring) and after he had come to the end of his dreams, Carl found a note at the end of the scrapbook. It was from Ellie and it said, "Thanks for the memories. Now go enjoy your new adventures". As a widow of over 13 years, I found that so invigorating. It's true. We HAVE to start that new book that has new characters and plots in it. We can't have our loved one anymore. We grieve and that is good, but we also have to face the ending of one story and move on at some point. Have you ever had those dreams where you keep doing the same thing over and over and over and you just want to wake up and stop it? That's what it can be like when we never let ourselves accept that someone we love is really disconnected from us for the rest of our life on this earth. I know I will see my husband again (though he won't be my husband); but not here on earth. I have to move on---for my sake, for my children's sake, and because God wants me to. He knows what is best for us. An excellent psychologist, Henry Cloud, wrote a book called "Necessary Endings". His premise is that often the thing or things that keep us from reaching our goals is that we are hanging on to things that will KEEP US from reaching them. Sometimes, there are things we have to let go of in order to get where we want to be. The first year of grief is horrible. It's a nightmare. The only thing that got me through it was God, coming to me in multiple ways to bring me comfort and to tell me how much He loves me. Each year got a little better, but in circular ways. I would still have many rough days and weeks and they came unpredictably. In the past few years, though, God has been showing me that my happiness is not all in the past. He has important things for me here in the present and in the future. I hope that all of you will see glimpses of that too, that you still have great purpose in your life, no matter what part of that journey you're on.
  8. I am so sorry for your loss. You are among people who know what it feels like to lose the love of your life. The first years are the hardest. Hopefully, you are seeing that each year gets a little easier, though you'll never be the same again. My husband died over ten years ago and it is just in the past few years that I am finding my new place in the world and seeing new and wonderful things that God has for me to do without my husband. What do you do to find joy every day?
  9. Isn't it awful? Even after the years go by, we never stop missing them and the things we did with them. Your beloved spouse is irreplaceable. No other human being and nothing can fill their space in your life. I find that it helps to be distracted in those times that I feel my husband's absence, with something simple I enjoy, something to take my mind off of the void. But what helps me the most is to thank God for the wonderful man that He gave me to have all to myself for all those years. When I do that, I'm usually filled with joy and happy memories, and God lets me know that He is near to fill in all my empty places with Himself.
  10. I'm so, so sorry, Gwenivere. You are going through a really rough time. And trying to quit smoking at the same time makes it really tough! You have a lot on your plate. Please don't despair. Hold on for the sake of everyone who loves you and needs you---even your pets. What if you didn't do any of the things you used to do with your husband? What if you did something completely different? And met new friends? Or went out for coffee or lunch regularly (maybe once a month or so?) with a trusted friend? Have you ever thought of selling your house so you have a completely different atmosphere? After my husband died, I and my children stayed in the house for another 7 years; then finances forced me to sell it and buy something smaller. I was surprised at how good it felt to have new space where there were no memories to jar the pain. Somehow, that filtered them out so most of my memories are good ones, of health and joy. I will pray for your victory over the cigarette addiction and for your lungs too!
  11. Gin, I know what you mean and I'm sorry for your huge loss. Becoming a widow can reveal how much you have become entwined in the life of your spouse, how lost you feel without him. When my husband died, I felt like I'd been placed on an alien planet---everything was the same but NOTHING was the same. Grief as big as yours takes quite awhile to subside, but I think you will start to find a new normal that you can live with and even enjoy. You have a strong need to be needed. In what other way can you make use of that virtue? Are you good at nurturing children? Do you like to teach? Is there something you're really good at or have a strong interest in that you could teach to others? Nothing can replace your husband of course, but a productive occupation might be a good diversion and you might find it brings you a lot of joy!
  12. I really can't add anything to what has already been said here so well. You have expressed grief the way it is. We want it to change, but it will not change. Our losses are real and aren't going to go away. Yet, there IS life after our spouse's death. Carrie, you are riding the wave of shock that follows the thing you never wanted to happen. You will have many hard days, but you will have good ones too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please keep sharing them. When I feel overwhelmed with grief, it helps me to remember all that I HAD and all that I still have, even what I have that I did NOT have with my husband. I take inventory of all the blessings I enjoy, big and small, that I can think of; and I thank God for them. That's when peace and even joy fill my heart.
  13. That's a beautiful letter and lovely memories! It brought back so many of my own! I hope it helps you to write them out. I have often thought of doing the same. I know that I cannot actually connect with my husband anymore, but it's nice to remember the wonderful little things, which you've done so well here. C.S. Lewis described it this way, in "Out of the Silent Planet": "A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hman, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing. … What you call remembering is the last part of the pleasure… When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then – that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it."
  14. Darrel, It must have been so difficult to have to make that decision to let your wife's body go when you just wanted to hope for more time. Yes---holidays, birthdays, anniversaries can all be triggers. And sometimes we don't need any triggers. It can just be fatigue that makes it all come back again. I'm sorry for your loss. It seems like you look ahead of time at the dates you think are going to feel bad. I wonder if you could help it NOT be so bad if you planned ahead and set a date to do something with friends on those upcoming trigger dates? Maybe bowling with some guys or breakfast with a trusted friend or whatever activity you like to do with friends.
  15. Dear April, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The loss of your husband, your other half, the love of your life is absolutely devastating. You have suffered a severe hit. I'm so sorry. My husband died suddenly several years ago. Your friends and family are right in that you will be okay again, though not for awhile. But no, you will never be the same again. You will find a new "normal" but it will never be the way it was. That said, I can tell you that life won't always feel as awful as it does now. The first year is the hardest and it will get gradually better. I'll be praying for your healing. Please get rest. Grief is exhausting.
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