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MartyT

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About MartyT

  • Rank
    Grief Counselor
  • Birthday 02/10/1943

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    mother, daughter, friend, pet parent
  • Date of Death
    5/26/67, 9/3078,10/06/93
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    NA

Contact Methods

  • AIM
    tousleym
  • Website URL
    http://www.griefhealingblog.com
  • Yahoo
    martytousley

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Female
  • Location (city, state)
    Sarasota, Florida

Recent Profile Visitors

9,298 profile views
  1. Michael's Garden is beautiful ~ and makes me think of this:
  2. Blessings to you from all of us on your special day, dear George. ♥
  3. Some useful resources here: In Grief: Finding New Love After The Death of A Spouse
  4. My dear David, it warms my heart to learn that you are finding our site to be of benefit to you in your grief journey, and I thank you for sharing those comments. It's good to know that your daughter is doing well, and I want to leave you with something I've learned in my many years of companioning the bereaved: As a parent, the best way you can take care of your daughter in her grief is to take care of your own grief first. From what you've just said, it would seem to me that you are doing just that. Good for you. I don't know the age of your daughter, but you may find one or more of the articles listed on this page to be helpful: Children, Teens & Grief ♥
  5. From Pat Kriesel, Office Administrator, HOPE For Bereaved, Inc.: Below is the link to the June 2019 HOPEline newsletter. https://hopeforbereaved.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/HOPElineJune2019.pdf
  6. Does this ever get easier? POSTED BY STACI SULIN 730CI ON MAY 20, 2019 I had these exact same thoughts a year ago; and, tonight I wonder if any of this ever gets easier. Am I a lousy widow? Am I doing this wrong? What the hell am I supposed to do? What can I do to make any of this better? Is this even possible. Is it fair to assume that I will recover from Mike's death? Still, 2.5 years later almost every thought still begins with him. I am still unable to live in the moment because part of me lives in the past. I struggle to be present because in my mind I am endlessly travelling to a better place in time. Again and again I return to this place where he existed once upon a time. Time has gone on without him and I am left here living in limbo... When his heart stopped, the hands of time were unaffected. I thought I felt time stand still when I saw his lifeless body; but, time itself callously marched on when he died. Time did not stop. Not even for a moment - in spite of my circumstance. The world just carried on without Mike. But, my world was left in ruin when the life I knew ended. However, from the wreckage, something bigger than me, dragged me out from the rubble created by my shattered Soul. I was rescued because my heart is still beating. My life didn't end when Mike's did. Life is for the living; and, now, I'm left to figure out how to do just that. Almost immediately after his death, life demanded things of me. On a surface level, I was forced to participate in life because children need raising. Work needs to be completed. Bills need to be paid. Dishes need doing. Laundry needs folding. Lawns need mowing. Things need to be said. I need to show up. There are people to meet and obligations to attend to. Life has not stopped because Mike no longer exists here in this dimension. Time has gone on and I've carried along with it. Life demands participation - even after your person dies. Life is unavoidable. And, in truth, this is a good thing. At this point, there is no part of me that intentionally wishes to escape living. I think this is why my heart feels so heavy. I want to breathe life in again. I absolutely want to feel alive again; but, re-entering life is much more difficult than I imagined it would be. I want to wholly participate in life. I want to radiate happiness. I want to see real joy in my eyes again. I want to laugh until I am out of breath. I desperately want to feel alive. And, wouldn't you know it, all of this is in my power. It's in yours too. With this power comes responsibility. As human beings, we are responsible for our own happiness. At the end of the day, happiness is not dependent on anyone but ourselves. I am responsible for the quality of my own life. And, you are too. But, it's hard. I know. I'm tired too. Sometimes I want someone to come along and take me by the hand. Sometimes I want someone to help me re-enter life because it is so difficult to become engaged in a full life when you are sad and physically and emotionally exhausted. But, this is not how life works. It is no one's job to rescue me. It is not up to someone to help me out of this conundrum. I have to do this on my own. Thankfully, it's not impossible to re-enter life. And, I know, eventually, this will happen for me because I am not satisfied skimming the surface of a fulfilling life. Nope, I am not content just existing well. I want to dig into life again. I am here. I want my hands to be dirty from the work of a life well lived. I want to jump back into life with both feet. Actually, I want to run straight into the unknown. I want to pause with confidence as I stand on the edge, I want to look towards the sky and blow him a kiss, And, then I will leap. Knowing full well that I will be okay as I free fall... Right now, I can close my eyes and I can feel this happening. This life is mine. For the taking. It is all unfolding somewhere in a parallel universe. Waiting for me to catch up to it. Waiting for me to reach out and grab- what is rightly mine. I can and I will take this much needed leap of faith because I know full well he is there, And, like always he will break my fall. Love never goes away. He is everywhere, Mike is here. Beside me, Like he always was. He will never leave me. I feel him. It is only me standing in my way. I don't just want to reengage in life, I need to. My Soul needs to live boldly again. I don't want to live life any other way. I want to live like he showed me... And, in time, I am certain that I will feel alive and I will live again like I did once upon a time... ~Staci [Source: Soaring Spirits International Blog]
  7. My dear, I urge you to have a visit with the veterinarian who administered the drugs that helped your dog cross over the Rainbow Bridge, as I think that is the person who can reassure you that once those drugs were given, your baby was no longer conscious and therefore no longer aware of your presence ~ or absence ~ when you left the room. That said, we humans almost always find a way to feel guilty when we choose to euthanize our beloved animal companions. One way or another, we find something about the process that feeds our guilt for making the decision in the first place. I think it's because this decision is such an awesome one, and taking responsibility for it engenders a truckload of guilt. Remember that guilt is a FEELING, and feelings aren't always rational, logical or justified. See Guilt in The Wake of The Euthanasia Decision.
  8. Sharon, my dear, it's a myth that "time heals all wounds," most especially when it comes to grief. Grief has no time frame, and asking how long it lasts is like asking how high is up. It takes as long as it takes, and what matters is not how much time has passed. What matters is what we DO with the time that passes. Grief is best managed when we do the work that helps us to heal, and that is different for each of us. You'll find lots of ideas and suggestions here: Bereavement: Doing the Work of Grief
  9. I don't think there is anything "wrong" with you, Kim ~ I think this is your unconscious mind processing in your sleep whatever you may be struggling with in your waking hours. See if this article may help to shed some light: Nightmares and Bad Dreams in Grief
  10. Good to know that this surgery is behind you, Kay. I'm so sorry that your car kept cutting out on you. You are one determined lady, and an inspiration for us all. ♥
  11. It's not the same by a long shot, dear Mitch, but we're all thinking of you and sending birthday blessings to you today. ♥
  12. Seventeen years is a very long time, and it's no wonder that your home and everything in it serves as a reminder of your Baxter's absence. I would imagine that when you were home, the two of you were never separated. You cannot adjust to such a significant change as if turning off a light switch. This adjustment takes time and conscious effort on your part. I wonder what you've done to memorialize your beloved boy. Is there a table or shelf in a bookcase where you can place some objects that remind you of him? A photo, a collar, a favorite toy, for example? Perhaps an LED votive candle you can keep lit? The key to moving through grief is to find ways to carry the memory of your beloved in your heart and to remember the love that you shared with each other. Death ends a life, and unfortunately for us, the lifespan of our beloved animal companions is so much shorter than our own. But the love we have for them never dies. Love is forever. You'll find some other ideas for remembering your Baxter here: Memorializing Pets We Have Lost ♥
  13. Lots of resources on this topic can be found here, if you are interested: After-Death Communication: A List of Resources See also Animal Communicators ♥
  14. Excellent suggestions, Kay ~ thank you. See also Finding Grief Support That Is Right for You
  15. Call Me Anytime POSTED BY SARAH TREANOR 750CI ON MAY 05, 2019 · FLAG I watched the first episode of a new show on Netflix this morning called Dead to Me. In the episode, two women meet at a grief group, both widows. They end up building a new friendship as late night phone buddies since neither of them are able to sleep. The show goes on to take a lot of unexpected twists and turns (and believe me you should so watch it!), but that one aspect had me remembering the early days of my widowhood… of building friendships with fellow widows in the wee hours of the night. When I first connected with other widowed people, it was through a private Facebook group. Many of us ended up fairly often online, in the middle of the night. Effectively being late-night “phone” buddies for each other when we could not sleep. There was almost always someone there ready to listen, in the middle of the night or any other time of day that we just needed to feel heard and lay down our guard. And because we got each other, there was just this ease. A kind of comfort no one else could really provide. I ended up making a few of my closest friends from that initial group, people I now travel to see and talk on the phone with often. I was fortunate to have found groups like that online, and to have since built friendships with people who will actually fulfill the words “Call me ANYTIME”. I have used that lifeline even now, seven years after my fiance died. Because new things do come up. You start dating again. You move in with someone new. You get engaged to someone new. You hit the 5 year mark or the 10 year mark from your person’s death. New stuff always comes. So yes, I have been very fortunate to find places to spill out all my shit no matter the time of day. But I do remember for about the first 6 months, I didn’t have that. For those first 6 months, I didn’t know a bunch of other widowed people. I didn’t feel like I belonged to a group of awesome, strong, brave, hurting, totally unconditionally supportive people like me. And even though I had a lot of amazing friends, they weren’t widowed. I felt alone, and weird, and like the only widow under the age of 30 in the whole world. I felt like everywhere I went there was a shining beacon that everyone could see… a beacon that told them there was something different about me. That I was now abnormal. How I couldn’t even remember to buy dental floss, much less floss my actual teeth. For like, a LOT of months. Or how I just quit my job and left my entire life because of how broken I was. Or how, even though I had the money, I had not paid any of my credit card bills in 6 months because I just didn’t give a shit anymore. Or how I refused to buy cherries for the rest of my life (he died in a helicopter crash in a cherry orchard, long story). It isn’t their fault really. All of this strangeness scares the shit out of people who aren’t grieving. Because they know, eventually, they WILL be grieving, and they’re so terrified to end up like YOU. They’re scared of your pain and their scared that when death comes knocking they won’t be able to handle it even halfway as well as you are. I picked up on this pretty quickly… essentially, for a lot of people, I had become a beacon of death. A walking reminder of all of the most unthinkable things that will one day happen to them. How awesome. And so, until I found other widows, I would lay awake at night, alone. Alone in my pain. Well, not entirely alone since I still had my two cats and endless reruns of Drop Dead Diva, which was the only show that seemed to be able to take my mind off of my own grief for more than two seconds. But otherwise… alone. Despite having amazing non-grieving friends and a wonderful best friend, there are just those times when none of that is enough. Having other widows, having late night buddies, can be so life-changing. I remember finally being able to laugh for the first time with people who were not weirded out by all of the strange darkly humorous things about widowhood. People who did not cringe when I made jokes like “if the world ends tomorrow I’d be completely fine with that, really!” I remember I started to sleep better, just knowing they were there. I remember feeling, finally, for the first time, less like an insane person, and less like a walking beacon of death. And eventually, when I met those people in person, I remember that they helped to transform this feeling of embarrassment I had about being widowed into a feeling of pride. Which was a really huge turning point for me. And those late night buddies, and those fellow widowed comrades were the ones who did it for me. I remember feeling like these people actually saw me, not just the death that happened to me. And, they saw my person, and wanted to know about him and his life and the life we shared… which was so, so healing. Most of all, I remember feeling that here, with these people, I’m normal again. I know that not everyone actually finds that at the time they need it. Hell some of us aren’t even capable of mustering the energy to get out of bed, much less try and find a group of other widows. And sometimes it takes us years, for all sorts of reasons. In part, that’s why I write here. I mean, it’s also for selfish reasons of being able to blab out all my own shit to you. But honestly, I know what it’s like to feel completely alone at 3am and not feel like there is anyone on the planet you can reach out to - or want to reach out to. I know how sometimes just reading someone else’s story helps you feel less alone too. I did a lot of that before I ever actually talked to another widowed person. I also know how vulnerable and scary it is to take the steps to talk to anyone new when you’re widowed, because you don’t want to accept that you have to introduce yourself as a “widowed person”. That this is now your life. I totally get it. I think that’s why blogs like this and many others are so important. Why it’s important for anyone who feels the desire to put down their feelings in words and put it out into the world. Because there are a ton of people who don’t yet have the energy to interact with others about this new world they were dropped into. Many who silently read our words, at 3am, needing desperately to feel a little bit less alone, but feeling too fragile to reach out. That’s a very real place. I hope this actually finds at least one of you, in fact, at precisely that time of night when you need it most. At a time when maybe you don’t yet have those late night buddies and you need to feel less alone. I hope this also encourages you that if you are in need of late-night widowed buddies - your “call me anytime” widowed peeps - you will find them. Maybe in the Soaring Spirits forums here. Maybe in a private Facebook group. Maybe in a local grief group or at Camp Widow if you’re feeling especially brave. Maybe in a totally random and unexpected way even. But you’ll find them. And if you have already, maybe this post for you is more about just taking a moment to be so glad for those incredible people that have made this chapter of your life so much more full of understanding, love, and laughter. Maybe this is just a reminder someone out there who is nowhere near ready for any of this widowed community crap - to just know that we’ll be here, writing every day, just in case. Just in case you’d like company at 3pm or 3am, with no pressure to share your feelings or ever write us back. Because that’s the sort of thing that real “call anytime” friends do. [Source: Soaring Spirits International Blog]
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