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So I really thought that since I went through the grief thing nine years ago, I would be able to understand the feelings I'm having now.How different they are 

In both losses I made myself so busy the first two months, I was so exhausted  from getting rid of stuff, moving this time, I was too tired to grieve. Once I slowed down a bit, all I wanted to do was sleep the first around. This time sleeping scares me, I might dream about him and then I'll wake up crying.

Is it because Lars ' death was slow...cancer...I was caregiver and watched him suffer through the pain and drugs that did nothing? His death was imminent and as sad as it was, the family was thankful that the terrible suffering was over for Lars. After being with him for forty two years it was like a piece of me left.

I was so lucky to meet another wonderful man four years later. Because we were older, kids grown, not alot of money worries, we did the things that we both had planned to do with our first spouses.We had no idea that his heart was so bad, he was living on borrowed time.

Tom's death was sudden... we were teasing each other and he lurched out of his chair clutching his chest, then fell back into his chair. I did chest compressions to keep him breathing until the EMT's got there. Once in the hospital, heart surgery was done and it just got worse. I watched the nurses  stop the life supports and he passed minutes later.

Kissing two men goodbye because of death is hard. I have lost so much of my silliness, my spunk, my sassiness, because a huge void is in my heart. I know from experience that this pain lessens slowly and we begin to feel like becoming human again. It takes time and many, many hours of work and counselling.Right now I truly don't think i could do this again . Who knows..

The sadness that I carry right now is heavy... it bends me over with the heaviness and heart pain. I am not interested in meeting people ..old friends or making new ones. I don't want to do my scrapbooking, I don't want to go to the gym..my only solace is my two young granddaughters . Their little arms hugging me and kisses from them are what keeps me going. I have older granddaughters that i see also , they are wonderful but don't offer the hugs and kisses that the babies do. My children are wonderful also... but they can't replace the love between spouses. 

Thanks for letting me try to explain how I am feeling.

 

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You must be going through a lot of pain right now.  I can understand losing two individuals that you have loved in one lifetime. I too believed that losing one would help me prepare for what to expect when losing another. In my case, they were both very different. I now have lost my father.  The funeral was last week. Again, I believed that the grief I feel would be similar.  Surprise! Very different!  It' almost as though each death is a different experience.  I wonder, can the human spirit within us take that much grief?  The only thing I know to do is right now take one day at a time. For me that is so hard!  Right now I sleep most of the day and am up all night. I don't want to do anything either. It is wonderful that you have your grandchildren to give you hugs. You also have your children and I know, nothing can replace the love between spouses, or with me the love between a father and daughter. After reading your post, I am beginning to think that every love is unique and maybe our mourning is unique to that individual as well, even  though we have experienced grief before. Take care and know others are thinking of you.

Edited by mik
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I think every loss we suffer is unique, even though there might also be some similarities.  Loss of a parent and loss of a spouse differ greatly.  Two such loss of partners will also be unique in that your relationship was unique.  The manner of death is different, one might be sudden death, one might be caregiving (anticipatory).  And how you deal with it might also vary.  It IS painful, and I'm sorry you're experiencing this twice, sometimes the risk we take in loving someone and enjoying that relationship seems to come with a high price, the price of loss at some point down the road.  Having gone through it before might give you some experience in grief, but you might also feel ill prepared to deal with it in some respects.  Just let yourself feel and experience it, painful as it is, it's all part of the process...we're here for you, listening, and we care.  Sending you hugs.

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You are so right in what you're saying, Kay. I really did think that because going through the experience once would give me the knowledge to know what I needed to do. 

I knew Lars had cancer and a short time to live and I prepared  by going to the funeral home, doing what needed to be done there... had the obit prepared....flowers picked out. I was mourning before he passed.

Tom passed with no warning, you know the heart is not in the best shape , but we tend not to think of the possibility of death. And in the blink of an eye they are gone and we are in shock.Our situation was different in that his daughter had no use for me . We had made plans for each others funeral, but never got around to writing them down.Never wait with things like that, they are important to have in writing  with signatures and witnesses.

Because of this , she took control , even though her brother was the executor, and had final say.  So not only did I have nothing to do  with the planning, but the obit mentioned my name in passing and my kids weren't mentioned or asked to speak. 

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Clearly your grief following Tom's death was disenfranchised by your step-children, Lainey, which is yet another big difference from the grief you've experienced with Lars. That adds yet another layer that makes this time seem even more difficult. Disenfranchised Grief is what grief expert Ken Doka describes as Hidden Sorrow. Because your role in Tom's life was unacknowledged and/or minimized by his children, you were left out of any funeral planning, barely mentioned in his obituary, and left in isolation because you cannot share your pain with them. I hope you have friends and family members of your own who will be there for you in ways you need and deserve. At the very least, give yourself time to mourn this heavy loss, without comparing it to any other ~ and give yourself credit for reaching out to us again. We will walk with you just as long as you need and want us to be here for you. 

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And whether his kids choose to acknowledge your importance in his life...YOU know your value to him and his to you and we all acknowledge that here.(((hugs)))

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lainey, I am so sorry that you have had to go through this twice. I can't even begin to imagine.

Like you said, you got through it once and you WILL get through it again.  Just give yourself time.  Small children especially can help us through many a day. Do you have a pet or would you consider getting one.  That is one thing that has gotten me through many a day. that unconditional love just can't be beat. I can understand in a way some of the things you are saying about your step children.  Just don't expect too much from yourself.  Take it slow and easy

MLG

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mary Linda... yes, I will get through this again, but it feels so different this time.. my grief has turned into a deep desperate hurt that won't go away. Everywhere I  go.... he's there. I can't seem to get the memories out my mind . Summer is coming and we always went on an extended holiday. He should be sitting in front of the computer finding camping spots and thing for us to do, but the chair is empty. I don't want summer to come.

I have six grandgirls and they are all helping me. The youngest two are four and two, their hugs and kisses help keep me going. I look after them two days a week, but in my emotional state, am cutting back to one day a week or my older granddaughter will come and help me. I am so tired and they can play a twenty year old out.

No animals for me, had a cat and a few dogs and if i can't look after myself right now, i don't think I'd be much good to them.

My biggest problem is that i do expect more than i can give.Something i must work on.

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8 hours ago, Lainey said:

No animals for me, had a cat and a few dogs and if i can't look after myself right now, i don't think I'd be much good to them.

HAVING my animals has been what's kept being going, I HAVE to do it for them!  One smile from my dog brings me more that I can say.

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