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kayc

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About kayc

  • Rank
    KayC
  • Birthday October 7

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    spouse
  • Date of Death
    June 19, 2005
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    Eugene OR

Profile Information

  • Your gender
    Female
  • Location (city, state)
    Oakridge Oregon
  • Interests
    I lead a grief support group and I enjoy volunteering in my church (Treasurer & on Praise Team, choir) and the senior site, where I do the bingo prizes. I love stamping, hiking, nature, singing. I am a retired Office Mgr./Bkpr.

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  1. Kevin, I don't know how you do it, but then the weather here is sometimes harsh too and about to start. You seem much too young for a seniors complex but maybe you mean one of those over 50 communities?
  2. kayc

    Living with Loss

    Years ago Arlie chewed the trim around the window in his pen, it involved seven boards, some which had some notching. I just had them replaced today and painted them. Arlie, you can come back and chew on them if you want!
  3. Katie, I responded to you in your other thread so I hope you'll read it. It's very hard to assimilate all of this, it can take quite a while, I think it took me a good three years to process it, so many changes it means for our lives. In the beginning I couldn't imagine a week without George, now it's been 14 1/2 years. Sometimes I can't believe I survived this long, I don't know how except taking one day at a time...and a lot of effort. Reading about grief, making effort to get out of my comfort zone, journaling, coming here, building a new network of friends, mostly widows, starting a grief support group in my little town as there was none. Everyone gets through this differently, I try to find balance, time with others, time alone at home. You will find your way through this, little by little. Feel your pain, sit with it, it won't always hurt this bad, our grief evolves as we make our way through it. (((hugs)))
  4. Katie, I am so sorry this didn't show up in my "unread posts" sooner but I'm glad to have found you now. I hope you will print out my "Tips" article above, they're all the things that helped me when I lost my husband and the years since. I feel your pain and anguish, it mirrors what I felt when I lost my George. I really hope you'll consider seeing a grief counselor. And keep coming here, we want to be here for you. It does help to express yourself like you have here rather than keeping it all inside. Is your daughter grown?
  5. Gwen, do you know what caused the damage to your nerves? My sister's journey following her fall and subsequent crushed vertebrae (three in all, very severe damage) took a full year of recovery, hospitalization, rehab facility, and her husband there to take care of her the whole time. I don't know what they expect us without husbands to do. But perhaps like Mary Linda suggested, a pain pump might bring you some much needed relief? I read your list of foods, gosh I'd be even blimpier than I am if I ate that...for in spite of what they say, it's not just calories, it's the types of food, I have to eat low carb, being Diabetic, and even then would not say it's under control. The future can seem frightening, so much out of our control. Including the threat of snow in the imminent future...starting Monday. Ugh. This is the time of year I wish I could go to AZ for the winter! But I'd be worried about what's going on here with my home I'm afraid. The storm last year made quite an impression. Johnny, unfortunately the sleep is too brief, I've been waking up at 3 am all week, can't go back to sleep.
  6. I am so sorry for your loss and for the following estrangement. That is particularly hurtful to you. Have you tried reaching out to your kids? Who do you think they are angry at? Would they consider grief counseling? It might be good for all of you if you haven't already. What help do you think your kids need? Not sure if you mean emotionally or financially or what.
  7. Wow, this reminds me of another thread I read, very similar. My advice to that person and also to you is, not to give up your career plans that you've worked so hard for. If it's meant to be, it will be. It sounds like you had a good connection and I know that's hard to find but perhaps once she's done traveling she'll consider meeting up with you...six months, even two years, may seem like a long time but it isn't in the grand scheme of things. It could be this is just somethingshe feels the need to do so I wouldn't try to hold her back from it. I'm sorry the thought of losing her just when you'd found her, hurts so much. You'll get through this. It also could be that the absence will clarify to her how she feels about you. You can't know unless she goes through with it. Do not beat yourself up about "bringing it up too early." You felt what you felt, you shouldn't be faulted for that. It's not like you're pressuring her into anything. You can't know her mind unless you talk with her about things, so she can't fault you for discussing what's on your mind. It could be the two of you are looking for different things or the timing isn't the same for both of you. Give it time, see what happens. Meanwhile, do not put your life on hold, continue your life even as she is hers. Wishing you the best.
  8. kayc

    Living with Loss

    Yesterday I drove the truck for the first time since Arlie's death. It was hard, I always called it "Arlie's truck" since he loved to go for rides in it. I gave him rides to the park until the last 1 1/2 weeks when he had no energy and wouldn't have been able to jump up into it. (One of the rocks I painted for him was of that truck with him in the back end.) My son mentioned to me that it's not good for it to sit too long and the gas would be going bad, so I finally made myself do it. I found myself talking to the truck/Arlie as I drove and got pretty choked up. Checked the oil, washer fluid, filled up on gas, washed the window & mirrors. It's ready for winter, which I see in the forecast we're getting snow this Monday. Why does everything have to hurt? It seems my whole life is affected by Arlie being gone.
  9. @Maylissa ??? I haven't done this because of my beliefs but I think others have talked about it here in the past. I'm sorry for your loss...my dog died August 16 and my neighbor's the day after. I'm still having a very hard time without him here, I miss him wholeheartedly.
  10. Marty should be along soon to address this...personally I think it might help your mom to see that you also miss him and that she's not alone in her grief of him. One caution, it helps to recognize that although you're grieving the same person, your loss is different from hers. (When people compare losses sometimes it can feel like it's being devalued.) It might help you both to see grief counselors. It's hard to navigate our grief without a roadmap and grief counselors can help up navigate our grief journey/ Feeling no motivation, loss of desire to work, enjoy hobbies, etc. is part of grief. http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/02/parent-loss-continuing-their-song.html Six months is still fairly fresh in the scheme of things with grief...it took me probably three years to process the sudden death of my husband, he was barely 51! Everyone's timeline is different and affected by things such as suddenness of death, our own coping skills and resilience, how much we help ourselves by getting grief counseling, journaling, posting/reading on grief sites, reading books and articles, and even attending grief support groups. There is a lot you can do to help process your grief, I even did art therapy. Letting yourself cry and feel your pain is part of the processing. The more we learn about this, the more we realize that death is a natural event and what we are feeling is normal. Unfortunately in our society we don't seem to get that message. Grief can affect us similarly or uniquely, we learn there is no right/wrong way to grieve, only OUR way. I guess if there is a wrong way, it is shoving it aside for years...it doesn't go away and has a tendency to find us even if we try to avoid it. Since most of us need to work and function, some have found a way to mete out their grief, try to turn it off during work hours and resume it when we're home. Balance, if possible, is helpful. In the beginning that may not be possible, however. I read an article in What's your Grief about assimilating our relationship in a new way with them, I found that helpful. I'm listing the article with my two cents at the bottom: What it Means to ‘Change Your Relationship With Grief’ There are things that you get over in life. For example a cold, your first breakup, or an argument with a good friend. More often than not, these things happen, they cause temporary misery, maybe you learn from it, and then you let bygones be bygones. Many experiences follow a similar pattern and with good reason. There are things we can and should leave in the past for the benefit of everyone, just imagine how much pain and negativity we’d all carry around if we could never forget and move on. That said, it is a mistake to think that all painful experiences can and should be gotten over. There are times when such a shift simply isn’t possible – people can’t always change the way they think, feel, and behave simply because they want to. It’s common to think that, in these instances, one can go to therapy or take medication and be cured of these problems, but many people who’ve experienced things like serious hardship, trauma, addiction, and psychological disorder will tell you that healing isn’t about putting these experiences in the past, rather it’s about changing their relationship to the related thoughts, memories, behaviors, and emotions that exist in the present. There are also times when ‘getting over’ something or ‘forgetting’ isn’t even desirable, such as getting over or forgetting about a deceased loved one and their ongoing absence. Still, many people mistakenly think that grief is something that can and should end at some point. Those who understand grief in hindsight may think this is a foolish mistake, but I would argue it’s common and understandable considering how little people know about grief before experiencing it. Especially those who live in societies where people are quick to believe that grief runs a linear and finite course and, as a consequence, encourage grieving people to push forward and let the woes of the past disappear like water under the bridge. The reality of grief is that it often stays with you until the day you, yourself, die. For those who think of grief as being all negative emotion, I can see where this may seem unmanageable, but rest assured the impact of grief changes over time. As you change your relationship with grief – by changing how you respond to, cope with, and conceptualize grief – you will likely also find hope and healing. If you think about it, grief is one instance where there is a strong benefit to accepting its ongoing presence in your life because doing so creates more room for comfort, positive memories, and an ongoing connection with the person who died. I understand this progression because I’ve experienced it, but I’m sure it can be difficult to believe if you haven’t. Initially, I thought about writing a post titled something like ‘5 Ways Your Relationship With Grief Changes Overtime’, but then I changed my mind. Grief is unique, relationships are unique and so your relationship with grief and with the person who died will evolve in a complex and nuanced way. So, instead of generalizing and categorizing, I’m going to share how my relationship with grief changed over time. At the end, please share your own insights about how your relationship with grief has or has not changed in the comment’s section. At first I tried to outrun, wait out, hide from, and ignore grief. Eventually, I realized my grief wasn’t going anywhere so I could either run from it forever or give in and experience it. Once the cloud of grief consumed me, it was hard to see or feel anything else. This sucked but only slightly more than the running. In the early days of grief, it felt like all the light had been drained from the world and everything was dark. But as the fog of acute grief thinned, a little bit of light crept in and things started to look a little less scary and a little more manageable. I grew less intimidated by my grief and increasingly confident in my ability to handle its ups and downs, twists, and turns. Once I was able to look grief head on, I realized it’s made up of both good things and bad. Grief grows from the same seeds as love so after someone dies, one seldom exists without the other. Over time my relationship with grief has changed. I see it now as something as nuanced, complex, and beautiful as my relationships with those who have died. Though its ongoing presence is sometimes challenging, I embrace it because it’s a source of love and connection with those who have died. ---What’s Your Grief https://whatsyourgrief.com/changing-your-relationship-with-grief/ My Footnote: At first I was in shock, terrified, anxious. Friends disappeared, adding to the hurt and confusion. I felt alone, abandoned and didn’t know a roadmap through this. I tried rebuilding my life but was thick in grief fog, no clarity of thought and everything I tried was disastrous. It took much time to process my grief, but I did, through allowing myself to feel the emotions, pain and all, and not trying to cover them up or rush through this. I found that grief is not 100% negative, but there’s benefits to having gone through this. I began to look at life and death differently. Rather than hating my loss and grief, I began to see the benefits of having experienced this. I became more empathetic, more able to help someone else going through it (comforting with the same comfort God has comforted us), I began to appreciate each day and value life as a gift and live in the present moment. I found purpose again. I’ve discovered that grief isn’t for a set period of time, but is with me for life, although it evolves throughout my journey and changes form. I’m no longer afraid of it, it has become my constant companion as I’ve learned to coexist with grief. Little by little I’ve built a life I can live. Finding balance, interaction with others, and solitude, time with my furry family. Activities, not to crowd out the pain, but to experience life even with its changes. One of the benefits as I’ve had to tackle life and its decisions on my own is the confidence its built. I’ve given myself permission to smile and realized that it is not my grief that binds me to him, but our love, and that continues still. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I know this is lengthy but I wrote this article at about ten years out of the things that I've found helpful...I'm hoping you and/or your mom might find something helpful in this as well, if not now, on down the road. I don't want you to feel on your own in this, you're welcome to come as often as you want to this site. TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this. I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey. Take one day at a time. The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew. It can be challenging enough just to tackle today. I tell myself, I only have to get through today. Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again. To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety. Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves. The intensity lessens eventually. Visit your doctor. Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks. They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief. Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief. If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline. I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived. Back to taking a day at a time. Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 Give yourself permission to smile. It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still. Try not to isolate too much. There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself. We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it! Some people set aside time every day to grieve. I didn't have to, it searched and found me! Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever. That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care. You'll need it more than ever. Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is. We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc. They have not only the knowledge, but the resources. In time, consider a grief support group. If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". Be patient, give yourself time. There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc. They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it. It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters. Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time. That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse. Finally, they were up to stay. Consider a pet. Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely. It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him. Besides, they're known to relieve stress. Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage. Make yourself get out now and then. You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now. That's normal. Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then. Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first. You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it. If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot. Keep coming here. We've been through it and we're all going through this together. Look for joy in every day. It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T. It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully. You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it. It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it. Eventually consider volunteering. It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win. (((hugs))) Praying for you today.
  11. They had an article about it in today's newspaper, it's good to have it being an approachable subject. Also yesterday had an article about people doing their own burials: https://www.oregonfuneral.org/
  12. I love the picture of you with him. I'm sorry, indeed it isn't fair, you'd be a great mother.
  13. kayc

    Memories of Arlie

    My son invited us up to his place, it was 2 ½ hours away so Arlie rode in the back seat of my Civic. My DIL had a book on places to hike in their vicinity so we set out, the dogs in the back of the truck, grandkids in tote. We got to the beginning of the trail, my son and DIL following behind, Arlie and I in the lead. We’re near the top of the mountain when the trail began to narrow. We reached an area where half of it had washed away and I don’t know how he did it, but Arlie was turned around on the trail. There was no room and I was trying to help him but he was in panic mode and when he gets like that, he doesn’t even hear what I’m saying. All of a sudden his hind feet slipped off the trail, dangling and without even thinking, the mother in me swooped out and brought his hind end back in on the trail. My son was watching this from several feet behind me and turned every shade of white. He said, “Next time, cut the dog loose.” I replied, “Not on your life! I’d go with him first!” I was horrified to think how close a call it had been and I knew I meant it…I’d risk my own life for him…indeed I HAD! I never wanted to take him on a trail I didn’t know from then on.
  14. What helpline? I'm glad you got your favorite therapist.
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