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One Year Tomorrow - assorted ramblings


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I don’t really know what I’m going to write here, I wouldn’t even dignify my ramblings with Marge’s lovely term ‘word salad’, and it’ll no doubt be a really long post so I don’t expect everyone to wade their way through it! But I do feel a need to express my thoughts, and at least folk here can relate, and I’m doing it today rather than tomorrow as I aim to spend tomorrow at work doing a 12 hour shift so I get home exhausted and stand more chance of going to sleep!

I guess loneliness is the biggest issue at the moment, the two people who have been most supportive aren’t really around at the moment. I fell out with my mother over a separate issue – without going into too much detail, she keeps borrowing money which she probably wouldn’t need if my schizophrenic and often violent half brother wasn’t living with her, I got sick of it and we haven’t spoken for two months even though she lives virtually around the corner. And my best friend….he’s having severe problems in his marriage so he’s had to concentrate on that and I completely understand. I do chat to my father once or twice a week, but he tends to go over the top with worrying about me and I often end up more miserable after we’ve been chatting! And as for other people, I don’t like to bother them with my stuff anyway.

I was going through a phase of contributing to this forum quite a bit but it tailed off the last couple of weeks, that was because I went through a really bad phase and almost shut off communication in any way shape or form. I had an inkling several times last year that the reality of the situation hadn’t truly sunk in yet and may do so at some time in the future. Well it did so the week before last and I couldn’t even go to work which is normally the best thing for me to do, I just sat there at home watching films and TV. Though not suicidal, I did wish that I would die of a broken heart. But you know what?....there were times where I could actually feel Jo’s ghost trying to take over me and lift me up. That probably sounds weird to some I know. But eventually it did pick me up, and oddly I’m not too bad right now. Maybe I’ve now done the majority of my ‘one year anniversary’ grieving?....much like the days leading up to her death when I pretty much knew what was going to happen and kept doing odd things like almost fainting.

The silly thing is, I did feel I was getting a little better. The ‘five stages of grief’ thing did apply a bit during the first few months, though these ‘stages’ were all jumbled up. Then I was left with a combination of pain, numbness and loneliness, but because it pretty much remained the same, I was getting used to it, and even starting to accept. I was getting back into some of my old hobbies like music festivals, and I even begun to play the piano again. This was a big deal for me because I used to play a lot and music was very important in our lives, but ever since Jo died ‘something’ prevented me from playing, I’d just sit there like an idiot and often cry. Maybe it’s because playing the piano was very important to us, and I actually wrote her music on a few occasions, and the last time I’d played was when I recorded a piece of music I wrote to be played back during the funeral….something I don’t remember doing so, I must have been in such a daze! But of late I’ve found myself able to play again.

And so I guess now that this terrible brief phase seems to be easing off, I can continue in the direction I was previously going in, something I guess I’d call ‘Healing Extremely Gradually’. I honestly don’t think the grief will ever really go away, but there will probably be more and more ways of dealing with it, and it will get easier to accept. And Jo’s fighting spirit, that kept on being so constantly positive [“I know there’s many people worse off than me” she’d always say] despite she being ill all her life and knowing from a very early age that she wouldn’t make it into old age [though she was told 30 years and she reached 39], will always be inside me. Her wonderful grin that she had every time she woke up and knew she’d reached another birthday. Her unconditional love that was written all over her face every moment, and which finally gave me a purpose….to try the very best to make every day she spends on this earth the very best. And now, I guess I still have a purpose….to try to live the way she did, and the way she’d want me to. It won’t always be easy, but I’ll reckon I’ll manage….kind of….just about.

Thanks Jo….for choosing me, and for having existed, and for everything else.

Again, apologies for the ramblings….it’s just that you lot understand!!!! Actually my post wasn't that long was it?!

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Your post is very articulate and I'm glad to hear that Jo is helping you through even this difficult period.  I don't believe in "The Five Stages of Grief" as such, because everyone experiences grief differently and some never go through the "stages" (which Marty has said are better termed as states, rather than stages) and there may be a couple or more than five. :)  I guess the thing I hate about Kübler-Ross pigeon holing grief that way is some people might try to make themselves fit it or might wonder what's wrong with them if they don't.

I love how you say Jo will always be inside of you, that's how I feel about my George, he alone impacted my life like no other, even though we didn't get to be in each other's lives nearly long enough, he impacted my view of myself and life in such a positive way, I will forever be his little one, as he referred to me.

We were so lucky to have had them in our lives and I believe, we still do, just differently than before.  Yep, we understand!  And no, it wasn't that long a post. :D

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Dr Lenera

You express well what many of us go through in the first year of grief and loss.  I initially, could not listen to music, watch shows, read, or do anything that reminded me of my beloved, Rose Anne. Gradually, I began to realize i could do those things that now bring me comfort and joy.  

The Kübler-Ross  "five stages of grief" was initially supposed to apply to a person who received a "terminal illness" diagnosis.  It was for THAT person to realize the stages of their own grief.  Somehow, over time, it has been misapplied to all of us who grieve.  

On 6/4/2017 at 5:20 AM, Dr Lenera said:

And so I guess now that this terrible brief phase seems to be easing off, I can continue in the direction I was previously going in, something I guess I’d call ‘Healing Extremely Gradually’. I honestly don’t think the grief will ever really go away, but there will probably be more and more ways of dealing with it, and it will get easier to accept. And Jo’s fighting spirit, that kept on being so constantly positive [“I know there’s many people worse off than me” she’d always say] despite she being ill all her life and knowing from a very early age that she wouldn’t make it into old age [though she was told 30 years and she reached 39], will always be inside me. Her wonderful grin that she had every time she woke up and knew she’d reached another birthday. Her unconditional love that was written all over her face every moment, and which finally gave me a purpose….to try the very best to make every day she spends on this earth the very best. And now, I guess I still have a purpose….to try to live the way she did, and the way she’d want me to. It won’t always be easy, but I’ll reckon I’ll manage….kind of….just about.

Thanks Jo….for choosing me, and for having existed, and for everything else.

Your purpose is something that each of us learns how to incorporate into this "afterlife".  We are progressing even when we don't FEEL like we are.  Kudos and thanks for sharing with all of us.  It helps in ways you may not ever be aware. 

Thank you! - Shalom

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2 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

Dr Lenera

The Kübler-Ross  "five stages of grief" was initially supposed to apply to a person who received a "terminal illness" diagnosis.  It was for THAT person to realize the stages of their own grief.  Somehow, over time, it has been misapplied to all of us who grieve.  

This is SO very important to remember.  Ross even said it herself but it got applied to the survivors.  Yes, we experience them, but so much more.   Anxiety and fear is a stage that many on the outside don't understand because it doesn't fit the model.  Because we are not facing an imminent end, not that that is anything small by any means, we now have so much time to with the reality of what happened.  It's over for our partners.  They don't have to reconstruct thier lives as we do.  And we have to do it alone with the largest void we've ever known.

Marty, the illustration is much more accurate a description.

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Gwen, last year someone asked me how I felt, I said remember the worst gut wrenching feeling you have ever experienced, and multiply it by 10.........Today was busy...Sunday stuff, HorseShoes, and managed some gardening......now I'm spent......

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19 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

I initially, could listen to music, watch shows, read, or do anything that reminded me of my beloved, Rose Anne. Gradually, I began to realize i could do those things that now bring me comfort and joy.  

I could not watch t.v. the first year, couldn't read a book all the way through the first ten years, and have not gone camping since George died, something I'd always enjoyed doing.  I no longer have the camping equipment but I think if I had a canopy on my pickup I'd sleep in that (if it ran). :)

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

I could not watch t.v. the first year, couldn't read a book all the way through the first ten years, and have not gone camping since George died, something I'd always enjoyed doing.  I no longer have the camping equipment but I think if I had a canopy on my pickup I'd sleep in that (if it ran). :)

Yesterday, day 65, I took 2 friends sailing, our favorite recreation. Susan and I were avid sailors and easily handled a good sized boat by ourselves. Was apprehensive with no idea whether I would enjoy it or just think about my absent 1st mate. My state of mind was on display as I made mistake after silly mistake in getting underway, but no harm. I actually had some enjoyable moments, possibly the first since 3/31. Then after we were back on shore and my friends left, I got a coffee and sat on the bench where we would always sit, and had a long cry.

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TomPB.......my Cognetive  senses only returned to 75% a short time ago and I'm pushing 2 years...There are places I just avoid, and places I am drawn to.....When I'm on my walks I always have sunglasses with me because the walking triggers are always close.......the best on your Journey

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Thanks Kevin and best to you too. 

I'm a swimmer, which helps some. Amanda Beard was a US Olympic breaststroker. She was abused and wrote a book about it "In the water they can't see you cry". Never thought that would apply to me but does it ever! Swim practice is the one place I know I'll look normal 

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On 6/4/2017 at 7:23 PM, kevin said:

Gwen, last year someone asked me how I felt, I said remember the worst gut wrenching feeling you have ever experienced, and multiply it by 10........

Only 10 ?  I think your low balling it. :-)

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11 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Only 10 ?  I think your low balling it. :-)

You hit the nail on the head Gwen.

My go to phrase for people who ask how I am doing(I give them the easy out and ask them "Do you REALLY want to know?") is, imagine the lowest you have ever felt emotionally in your life. Multiply that by a million and it still doesn't begin approach how I feel right now. 

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Dr Lenera .. My thoughts lately have been similar..I keep saying in my mind: thank you Kev for choosing me- loving me - and sharing life with me - our imperfect lives fit together so perfectly..

I keep wondering: How does one go on when all they were living for has changed?

I have no answers- much much love to everyone here..

Marty - an accurate portrayal of grief.. 

Marie

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12 hours ago, Marie Lee said:

I keep wondering: How does one go on when all they were living for has changed?

That is my question. I was living in Susan’s amazing love, and now I’m a lonely single guy. Everything changed in a few minutes with no warning. What is the way forward after that horror? All I can see with healing is less bad, not good. 

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1 hour ago, TomPB said:

That is my question. I was living in Susan’s amazing love, and now I’m a lonely single guy. Everything changed in a few minutes with no warning. What is the way forward after that horror? All I can see with healing is less bad, not good. 

For those that are familiar with the Love Languages, mine is "Acts Of Service". One of the main ways I expressed my love to Lori was by doing things for her. I wanted to make her life easier so I would do her chores(we split household work 50/50), fix things around the house, do yard work, make her dinner, grocery shop. I find myself with nobody to pamper, nobody to help, nobody to SHOW how much I love them. 

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On 6/4/2017 at 3:03 PM, Gwenivere said:

Anxiety and fear is a stage that many on the outside don't understand because it doesn't fit the model.  

 

On 6/4/2017 at 4:20 AM, Dr Lenera said:

it’s just that you lot understand!!!! Actually my post wasn't that long was it?!

You see how much we all understand.  And, I will continue writing my word salads, my treatises to my own selfish grief, yet I cannot read any of my first posts from that October of 2015.  Yes, I think I have come a long way, but I have run into a road block I did not see coming.  The very young Billy, only 20-21, if I got angry "at him" he would not speak to me for a week.  This was mental abuse of the worse kind for me.  I was a talker, if he told me to "shut-up" if I ran out of words I would recite the encyclopedia, so this was terrible abuse to me.  But, I cannot talk to him now.  I try to and I cannot feel that he hears, even in my magical, fantastical imagination.  What have I done to make him angry?

Dr. Lenera, I don't lean on my family to discuss my grief with.  I discuss it here, because this is the place that someone, at sometime in their grieving process, we have felt all these things.   And, if they can get through one of my word salads, they understand everything.  I think sometimes my southern, redneck, country way of thinking might make them shake their head, but they sometimes answer anyhow.  Your in good company.

ADDENDUM:  Oh, Gwen, you know I understand the anxiety and fear stage, state, or whatever it is called.  I'm with you honeychile.  

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On 6/5/2017 at 3:32 PM, kevin said:

 

TomPB.......my Cognetive  senses only returned to 75% a short time ago and I'm pushing 2 years...There are places I just avoid, and places I am drawn to.....When I'm on my walks I always have sunglasses with me because the walking triggers are always close.......the best on your Journey

 

Kevin and Tom, this is headed into my 20th month and things I took for granted before, these are the triggers and I feel terrible.  I have some wonderful friends in Hot Springs, I worked with them 10 years, yet I could not bring myself to even call them.  They would be there for me if I had called, one lost her husband just before I lost Billy, one a few years before and I wish now I had had more empathy for them.  The most recent loss, she is the one that fussed at me because I would wake up and tell Billy's side of the bed I knew he was gone and would not be back and had to accept that.  She fussed and said never do that again.  You tell him that he will always be right beside you, and just that little thing helped me so much.  Yet, I could not call them.  Maybe next time.

 

2 minutes ago, Gin said:

 What have I done that he doesn't make his presence known?

Gin, I have always talked to the stars, the moon, and to the low hanging gray and white fluffy clouds.  I don't know so much that Billy heard me, (he had three old girlfriends from his past go on before he did, so I guess he was running around with them) and I am joking.......kinda.  Anyhow, the connection I felt before was just me connecting with him, not so much him connecting with me.  Now it seems like I just cannot connect period.  I'm sure it probably has to do with my mustard seed faith.

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On 6/7/2017 at 9:51 AM, Mike's Girl said:

Image result for serenity prayer

I memorized the first paragraph many years ago. I never knew the rest.  Thank you for posting.   - Shalom

 

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All you with the gift of service can move here, I have plenty to do! :D  I know, not the same...
My George loved doing things for me too.  Our main love languages were the same, but I swear to God he had them all, he did them all.  Lord I miss that man!

George, the Serenity Prayer is one of my favorite inspirations, it is beautiful in its entirety.

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