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AlvinC

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About AlvinC

  • Birthday 08/23/1951

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  • Website URL
    http://www.dwlz.com

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Male
  • Location (city, state)
    Spokane, WA
  • Interests
    Writing; YouTube Creator; Music; Philosophy; Math & Science; Retired Electronics Technician and Technical Instructor

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    Husband
  • Date of Death
    May 29, 2021
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    NA

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  1. Gwen - I have always been an introvert and Dotti accused me many times over the years of "playing dumb" because I honestly was clueless with other people, especially groups of people. I have a Pinterest page with INTJ memes on it, and one of them says, "I think we can all agree that people skills are harder than nuclear physics." There are a lot of people who would naturally agree with that statement. However, when you have been traumatized by the loss of your spouse, it can add a whole additional layer of problems, as you have said. When the government went into to full CCP emulation and locked everyone down, it was devastating for Dotti. She suffered from depression, and her health grew much worse over the past year. She was an extrovert and people were a necessary part of keeping her spirits up. Myself, I tend to avoid people anyway, so the government stupidity didn't do much to me directly. But it was a huge contributor to Dotti's death. There are a lot of things that go into good health. When that set of healthy requirements is broken or interrupted by outside forces, it can be deadly. I am sorry that your grieving has closed you in so much. I agree with you that medical visits are generally not all that helpful for curing social deprivation. And if you had been visiting with other couples, you are now the odd one in the group, and it just doesn't work right. My brother-in-law was married just a few days after Dotti and I were in 1976. He lost his wife, Cathi, in 2018, and I wondered at the time how he could stand it. He has been very sympathetic to me since Dotti passed, not only because Dotti was his sister, but because he knows what it is like to lose a wife after so many years of being happily together. I am sure that those who wish to give me sympathy are confused by my behavior, because the way I deal with pain is the way a cat does, isolating myself and licking my wounds and waiting for them to heal. (I am very much a cat person and never got on with dogs all that well. Cats are less needy and, as I said, are more like me. We get along very well usually.) The more people press in to give comfort, the more I tend to back away and create space. Until I created my YouTube channel I thought I was just a unique loner. But thousands of people have come to my channel and they understand the way I do things, and feel about things. I am not alone, as if I were a freak. (When I was in grade school that was exactly the way I felt about myself: a freak.) When you were a very social person, to have that taken from you is just horrible. I am quite sympathetic to your plight. Life is a perpetual, and ever changing puzzle and you can never get that puzzle fully solved, because it refuses to stay put when you think you have it under control. Kay- I have pretty much always been married for my adult life. I was engaged to be married my entire senior year of high school, and I got married the summer after I graduated. My ex-wife left me early in 1974, and I was unconnected until September that year, when I met Dotti, and I was with her ever since. I never really had what you would call a single life. However, I spent massive amounts of time alone. I tended to gravitate towards jobs where I could work alone. I like that type of job best. During my free time I tended to work on problems (math or science) or study chess, and later on, once computers became available, I got into coding and creating web pages, etc. That is where I am most comfortable. Dotti was super about that, and allowed me a lot of time in my office to work on things with no nagging. And she was absolutely wonderful when we spent time together having fun. We shared everything we did, even though our personal tastes were often very different about what was fun when we were working on our own. Now all that is gone, and I am not sure what to do about it. I lost my best friend, and my one source of daily human contact in the flesh. I can go days without seeing another person, and often do. It isn't loneliness for me, but the loss of the love and friendship that Dotti always gave me so freely. My purpose for living died the same day Dotti did. When the grandkids come over I feel a spark of something there that can help with creating purpose, if I can live long enough to bring it off. Time will tell.
  2. The day before yesterday was a pretty good one for me, and I got some things done. I also had the grandkids over for a couple of hours and that was golden. They are so precious. They have a magic that rejuvenates me. But yesterday was not quite as good. It was still better than last week but I have a long way to go. I had an email from one of my YouTube viewers sending me a link to a science article that suggested the cause of consciousness might be created by a room temperature quantum process with the neurons. I was able to read it and enjoy it, and even think about the ways this could jump computers ahead by a large leap if it is true. Room temperature quantum computing would be huge. This is the sort of thing I normally would do when Dotti was still here. It had been missing for weeks. It's something anyway. Other than trying to toughen myself up to the pain, my biggest challenge is to get the stuff I have to do out of the way, so I can spend more time on the things I want to do, with no pressure. Pressure is deadly right now. I want to collapse when I am faced with hard decisions and complex tasks. Grief has robbed me of my inner strength. If it weren't for my family, I could see me sinking into a complete hermit lifestyle, avoiding people completely. The stores are changing to scan-it-yourself, so I don't even interact with a cashier any longer. The two times I have shopped for groceries, I have done so with a zone of isolation around me, talking to no one. This is my natural tendency, the way I have lived my life since I was an only child with an alcoholic father. Solitude is my friend. But Dotti pulled me out of my cave, and put people into my life and showed me a more complete existence. She was a magical creature to me, with all her happy energy and people skills. She turned my world into something far greater than I had ever known, and that magic is gone, and I am back to my natural solitude. Now my anxiety is ebbing, I can live like this, and be fine with it. It was what I was doing before I met Dotti. I lived on a ship with other sailors, but other than my work days, I tended to spend my nights and weekends alone. I didn't go drinking with the guys. I was alone. And now I am alone again, and I don't even interact with others at work, because I am retired. Most of my people interactions are electronic now, with email, phone texting, YouTube comments to my videos, and this forum. I don't use Facebook or Twitter, etc. So, when the grandkids come over it is a major change to my routine and I love it. My granddaughter is so much like Dotti, filled with energy and natural people skills. My grandson is more like me, introverted and focused on what he is doing. They have helped their grandpa keep going during these troubling weeks. I am very lucky they are in my life. Another day is starting. We'll see what it brings to me.
  3. That was posted by Dotti's twins sister. She thought she was talking to me, and somehow quoted your post. I don't know what happened but it was definitely a mistake by her.
  4. Sister, you made it here. I am glad. I think about you a lot too. Losing a twin is horrible, I know that. I have been thinking about you today especially because I have been scanning pictures like crazy (pre-digital photographs are becoming like the slide-rule: obsolete), getting ready to make Dorothy's Memorial video for the service. I just did a rough count and I have over 1300 pictures pulled together already and the video may only use 150 of them. But I want to get the best 150 possible, if I can. And your folks almost never took pictures of you separately, so all the young pictures of Dotti are also pictures of you. Occasionally I get stuck trying to figure which of you I am looking at. I love you too Sister, and I am really looking forward to seeing you for the Memorial. My anxiety medicine is finally starting to work, and this morning I woke up with almost no symptoms for the first time in a long while. So, I dived right in on working on the video. Forty-six and a half years makes for a lot of memories, and lots of pictures. I hope you are okay, and moving forward with this terrible grieving. Dorothy was a very special woman and I will miss her until the day I die. I know you will too. I have the grandkids coming over today so I can watch them for a couple of hours and that should cheer me up. They are so precious.
  5. Gwenivere - My wife and I checked with the landlord before we moved in and she said that even a fish or a parakeet was not allowed. The only way they would know about a fish would be if they came in to deal with a problem with the apartment, like leaks for instance, and happened to see it. The maintenance men might not even say anything. I have watched some YouTube videos on robotic pets they are now creating. That would be no problem here. But they are way to early in the development stages. All the robots out there right now are barely out of the toy stage. Some will talk to you and do some things, but mostly they are still a novelty. They get better every year, and I imagine in another decade robots might be quite common in homes. It was shocking how fast we went from no cellphones to ubiquitous cellphones. And now they are changing so fast they are almost obsolete as soon as you get them out of the box. The computing horsepower inside a new cellphone is unbelievable. If things continue to advance exponentially, the day will come when a robot pet will be intellectually indistinguishable from a biological pet, and at some point they will get the mechanics down as well and you won't be able to tell the difference at all, except the robot won't die. Once that is done, humans will be the next target for replacement no doubt. The thing about exponential growth is that it sneaks up on you. It goes slow at first and then it hits the vertical part of the curve and it is moving like a rocket. I have told my 9-year-old granddaughter several times that she will have trouble trying to explain her life today to her children and grandchildren, because things will have changed so drastically by then. I have trouble explaining what it was like to only have an old rotary telephone that was on a party line, the way we did when I was a kid, and a couple of weeks ago I showed her my slide rule that I had to use in high school math and physics courses, and I demonstrated how to multiply two numbers together and she got a big kick out of that, like I had done a magic trick. But as drastically as things have changed during my lifetime, at the current rate of change, the change for her in 60 years, when she reaches my age, will be at least one order of magnitude greater, perhaps several orders of magnitude greater. Yes, I am dodging the issue. Dotti always laughed at me with our Alexa. Dotti said I was having an affair with her because we were so in tune with one another. If Dotti had a question she would sometimes have me ask it for her because I know how to phrase it to get the desired response. Alexa is pretty good about answering questions of fact. (I will ask her how far away the moon is today, or how far away Mars is, or Pluto. The distances are always changing and so I check every once in a while. Not that it matters really. She also does unit conversions really well, and I use that fairly often.) But she is no companion, at least not yet. Her chatbots are lame, and only a bit better than the old Eliza Basic program I typed into my computer back in the 1980s. I am sure that will change with time, and maybe one day I will have a real meaningful conversation with an A.I. bot. But that will be years in the future I fear. It would be nice though. But Dotti isn't here to laugh at Alexa and me. She isn't here. And that is the issue, the only issue for me. It is easy to think about other things, so I don't have to think about that. My normal routine now, is to handle things on my computer, email, posting, and maybe some writing, etc. until I feel tired or overwhelmed, and then I put my computer to sleep and I move out to the living room and watch YouTube videos. My afternoons are often simply wasted doing this. Sometimes I will watch debates or other learning material, but I often get lost in things that just take my mind away from my troubles. I am happy when it is bedtime and I can lie down, set my Kindle to reading and get lost in sleep. As far as I know, I haven't had any dreams since Dotti died. I don't remember my dreams as a rule anyway, but I do recall when I quit smoking in the 1990s and I had some incredibly realistic dreams where I was smoking away, and feeling guilty for failing, only to wake up relieved that I hadn't really had a cigarette. Maybe I am dreaming and just forget it when I wake up. But I think if I had a Dotti dream I would remember that. Maybe I am too deep in the mess to create a dream like that yet. Maybe I never will. Who knows? You mentioned your office being less cluttered, and I thought about mine, and I realized that it hasn't changed at all. The bedroom closet has changed some, and one thing in the living room, but if Dotti were magically to appear today, other than seeing her own urn on the shelf, she probably wouldn't know she hadn't been her all along. Here and there a few little things I guess. I have looked at my office and I know it needs work. I have a lot of things I need to change in the living room. But I can find neither the courage, nor the energy, to do it, at least not yet. Kay- Thank you. Writing is like breathing for my mind. I have always found some way to write regularly: letters, journals, email, essays, short stories, or novels, etc. I am at the point in my life where have to write to get things out of my head. Dotti used to complain that there was no good time to talk to me about things, because my head was always working on something. And when it gets filled up by working on things I have to get it out and into the real world, and writing is the best way to do that. Being cut off from that process for a time after Dotti died was very hard for me. (Just one more hard thing in a world of difficulty.) I think it is a good sign that I can finally start to let it out a bit. We'll see how it goes. Dee- I had a coworker years ago who had a web page about his Labradors, and at the top of the page for his now departed dog, CJ, he put this quote by Agnes Sligh Turnbull: "Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault really." It has been over a decade and a half since I first read that, and it has always stayed with me.
  6. I'm going through my days with little direction. I wake up and check my email and then try and find something to hold my attention. I had one little bright spot pop up, when I found that if I put on some easy listening instrumental music, I could do a bit of writing. I added a couple of chapters to a book I have been working on this year. I haven't been able to work the plotting out on paper first as I used to do, and I may have to go back and redo it all over again, but just being able to write at all felt positive. I had a followup appointment yesterday with my doctor, to see how my anti-anxiety medication was working. It definitely has helped some with the anxiety, but my body doesn't like it much, so the jury is still out whether or not I will keep using it, or will switch to something else. Time will tell. I have nowhere to hide. My father was an alcoholic and that pretty well messed up my childhood, and I swore that I would never do that to my wife and kids. So, I have done very little drinking in my life, and so I can't see me getting drunk to solve my problems. I don't do any recreational drugs, and I even gave up smoking in 1998. So, it's me and my grief going head to head, with just a little assist coming from my anti-anxiety meds. (The place where I live doesn't allow pets, not even a goldfish. No help there for me.) Every day I ask myself, "What's the point of all this?" I have no goals left me. So, I am poking around trying to find something that matters to me that I can pursue. Maybe, if I can get my focus back, I can make YouTube videos again. Maybe I can find something else that matters to me. I write because I enjoy it, and I can use it to help me sleep at night. I have no thought of selling it. And now the only reading audience that mattered to me, my wife, is gone. So, I am treading water in a river that is carrying me along, with no knowledge of what lies ahead, and no way to know when that will change, if ever. I just never really faced the fact that this day could come so soon. Deep inside, I knew it could come, but I lived in denial, until I was slapped in the face with the event itself. What a mess.
  7. Gwenivere- Your tag line, "We grieve in direct proportion to how much we love," is so on point. We had some friends years ago, who said that Dotti, with her people skills might find a way to go on after I died, but I would never make it without her. But Dotti didn't buy it. She always told me that she didn't want me leaving her all alone in this cruel world. Neither one of us wanted to be in this position. But I got the short straw. I do get some comfort in knowing that my Dotti has not been abandoned by my dying to face what I am facing. I feel like I have done something positive for her, doing this terrible thing, so she didn't have to. We talked about dying from time to time, and my novel was my attempt to find an escape clause from this agony before it came. But there is no escape clause, the contract is iron clad: you are born, therefore you die, there are no exceptions. For years I knew that I would be in trouble if anything happened to Dotti. I knew I centered everything around her. I knew that would be a huge problem if anything happened to her. But I didn't care, because I loved her so much. Now I must face the music, and see if I can find some way to go on. Our son had his 44th birthday yesterday and I was reliving the things we had to go through 44 years ago for that event. We lived on Midway Island and it had pretty lame medical facilities. So, the Navy flew her into Honolulu where she could have our son at Tripler Army Hospital. I was able to be there and we had a few days of sight seeing and many other things that were special memories for us. Being there for our son's delivery was a wonderful experience. I have loads of pictures from the time surrounding that day. He was so cute seat-belted into the plane in his little baby-carrying plastic bed, only 3 days old, making his first flight. She was adorable holding our son in the hospital and then back home. I guess my only real regret is that she isn't here any longer, but that one is huge. At this point, my greatest fear is that this pain won't ease off and this is what the rest of my life will be like. If it goes on for two long, I will start to look at Dotti's urn with more and more jealousy, hoping to shorten the wait until we are together again. For now I am biding my time and hoping for something better to come along. When my ex-wife left me, I was 22 years old, and had my whole life ahead of me. There was lots of time and lots of reason to start over and build a new life. but in a month and 2 days I will turn 70 and my life is mostly behind me, no matter how you slice it. Time is running out, and most of my energy has already evaporated. So, I am stuck living in the ruins of the castle that once was a fairy tale that should have had us living happily ever after. Happily ever after always ends badly, which the fairy tales fail to mention. They hint at it of course. Many of them start with a happy couple separated by death and then a step-parent comes in to make a mess of paradise, creating the setting for something magical to happen. Sadly this is real life, not a fairy tale; "ever after" only lasted for just over four and half decades. It was wonderful, but sadly I still want more. That want is a constant ache in my heart.
  8. KevinsLove- I'm sorry you missed getting to see Kevin to say your goodbyes. I do understand your frustration in missing him. In 1973 my 45-year-old father was in a terrible propane explosion and fire. He survived for a short time but he died just before I could get there to say goodbye. It was 49 years later, but I was thinking of that all the way on the drive to get to Mom in 2012, after I got the word that she was on her way out. I kept saying, "Not again!" But I got there in time, and I held my mother's hand for the last couple of hours of her life. Alas, she was not responsive. I talked to her and sang songs that I knew she loved. But she gave no indication that she heard anything at all. However, there was one point during that time where I was talking with a chaplain that stepped in for a bit, and I was telling him something of my Mom's history and the fun we had when I was a kid, and I turned and looked at Mom, and there was a tear running down her cheek. She didn't look at me, or give any other indication that she heard me, but I have always thought that she did, at least that one time. When she breathed her last, I just sat there holding her hand until a nurse came after awhile and the formalities took over where they had to report the death, etc. I did get to talk with Dotti before she died and I am glad for that, but if she had checked out overnight instead, without my knowing, I would still be right here in the same hole. However, even though I spent most of 47 years telling Dotti how much I loved her, so there was little that actually needed to be said, as she was leaving, and she knew how much I loved her and how much I would miss her, I would be like you and feel like I was deprived of that last goodbye if I hadn't got to be there. Five years. I can't even picture me being her five years from now. If I get there, I will feel like I have climbed Mt. Everest. Treasure those grandchildren! (I'm sure you do.) My oldest grandchild is 3 years older than I was when my first son was born. I never know when some great-grandkids will be dropping in. Thank you for your hugs and your kinds words. I wish you the best!
  9. I have a pocket Sony reader, and another small one that is a Kindle for my coat pocket that I use in the cooler months whenever I get stuck waiting somewhere. But mostly I use a large Kindle at night, that my wife handed down to me, and I have two smaller ones under my night stand, one each given to me by each son on succeeding Christmases. I use a program called Calibre to convert DOCX files I have written, or ebook files like epub, to Kindle files, and then I transfer them to my Kindle so I can use them there. With sites like Gutenberg.org, there are so many free books to download I don't have enough years left me to read them all.
  10. Depression is crushing. I haven't done any Zoom events. I was scheduled to do one as an interview for a personality YouTube channel as an INTJ, but then Dotti got sick and then she died quickly, so that was canceled; there was no way I was up for that then or maybe ever. I think maybe people, who are living their happy little lives as if nothing had changed, are a reminder of what was lost when our soulmate died. Suddenly they are living a different life, one that we have lost, and it is a reminder of that. I think the reason I look forward to going to sleep at night is that I can escape to Attis, my fictional paradise I began creating in 2016. I have many eras that I can run to and I will set my Kindle ebook reader up to read my stories to me and I am transported there, away from this dismal place, and there Cookie and Bill (metaphors for Dotti and me) are living happily together and their children are living out their lives. I have more than 100 years of Attis "history" to choose from and I can pick situations that match my mood at bedtime. It's running away, but I love it. If it weren't for that, I don't know if I could sleep at all. But then I wake up, back on Earth.
  11. Gwenivere- Serious trauma can alter your personality for sure. For myself, it only drove me deeper into my INTJ isolation. But I can see how your natural extrovert tendencies could be squashed by this. And missing "that couple," which I was part of, is something I have been wrestling with too. Going to sleep is something I look forward to. Waking up, is not a happy time at all. I always wake up anxious, and it takes me varying amounts of time to come down to feeling almost normal. I can't seem to generate any feelings of anticipation for the future. I think the long term ones on this board, who are quick to reach out to others, are certainly wired to be good caring people. I am thankful you are all here.
  12. Kay - Your post got me digging into this, and I just read this concerning INFJs (who have some profound overlap with my type, INTJ, concerning introverted intuition): Because of their ready access to subconscious or subliminal information, INFJs are commonly viewed as profound, insightful, and sometimes even psychic or prophetic. So, maybe you are an INFJ too.
  13. Kay - I haven't run into a type called "prophet" yet. But then the names can be ambiguous, which is why I use the four letter codes to identify the types usually. Possible candidates are, the "Advocate (INFJ) or maybe the Logistician (ISTJ). I am not sure. All of the rational types (INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP) tend to value truth over friendship. There are a lot of videos on YouTube where someone takes all 16 personality types, and shows how they will react to different situations. Those descriptive stories your teacher used could be very entertaining because different types will approach things differently. I made a video on how to determine your type in case the tests were coming up with results that changed for someone, taking different tests, or the same test on different days. (A lot of those tests are written poorly, unfortunately. The context of the question is not fully laid out and many times the questions end up with and answer: "It depends." One day you might feel one way and another day you might feel differently and give a different answer.) Last year, I sat down with my two brothers-in-law and watched that video with them, and they came out ESFP and ISFP. There are YouTube channels dedicated to all the different personality types. Each type has certain strengths it can lean on and certain weaknesses that it needs to either work around or work on learning how to cope with it. I went into teaching specifically for that very purpose. (I didn't know about MBTI back then but I knew I was an introvert and people were a puzzle for me.) I volunteered for instructor duty in the Navy and they sent me to school to learn how to teach and then I spent most of a decade getting up in front of classes and teaching, and doing pretty well at it. Before I took on that challenge it seemed well nigh impossible for this naturally introverted hermit to face a roomful of people and lecture them. Dotti was able to go up in front of a group like it was the easiest thing in the world, she would ad lib it and thrive. Just one more thing about my girl, who was so different from me, that I greatly admired.
  14. Kieron - that is the sad thing about pain: poignancy abounds. :-( Gwenivere - I am glad you found some MBTI sources. It appears that Advocates are very good at providing support on this forum. I guess that is not surprising, but you all have been helpful to me. My world was completely centered on Dotti. She was my source of creativity and joy in living. I made a video called "An INTJ Grieving the Loss of a Spouse" and many of my long time viewers expressed a knowledge that this was huge, earth-shattering for me, because I had spent years making videos where I sang the praises of my ESTP wife, and my love for her. Viewers often made comments that they wished they could find such a perfect mate. And now what? Where can I possibly go from here? At least my Saturday matinee is over for another week. A few days are ahead of just normal misery, instead of an intense session of misery on steroids.
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