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Serial Losses

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Dear Ones,

As many of you know by now, Steve G and I have been working diligently today to rid this site of hackers and their inappropriate messages. In my own zeal, I inadvertently succeeded in having lost much of the thread that "Novice," aka "Bill," started here. (Don't ask -- it's a long story :blush:) I am able to reconstruct only a portion of Bill's thread, and I sincerely apologize for having gotten the remainder of it deleted, because it contained some very valuable and helpful exchanges between Bill and Doublejo. I have e-mailed Bill to let him know what happened, and I hope that he will return to this forum as an active participant. I also want to apologize to Doublejo, and I hope you will continue offering your wise counsel here. Please forgive! :wub:

Posted by: Novice Sunday, April 23 2006, @ 01:00 AM in Loss of a Spouse, Partner, or Significant Other _ Serial Losses

Good Morning,

I'm new to this; please bear with me and guide me.

In Oct 2004 my companion of 30 years died from the longterm effects of a paralytic stroke. I cared for her in our home for nearly eight years.

In Nov 2005 my best friend died of a massive stroke (after suffering horribly for about ten days).

A couple of months prior to his passing I had begun a new, quickly intense romantic relationship, full of hope and plans for a future together. That ended, bitterly and angrily, in Mar 2006. It ended because I screwed up one of my otherwise benign medications.

So, now where do I/we go from here? Obviously I would benefit from wise words from the experienced among you.

Posted by: DoubleJo Apr 23 2006, 10:43 PM

You have joined the "club of many losses". My first husband died 4 years ago after 27 years of marriage. My dad died 1 1/2 years ago. My new spouse of one month died 2 months ago. Two weeks ago my mom died. I am only 56. I have run out of people to die. Sometimes things go really weird for awhile. I have learned through all this that as much as I want to both grieve and also find someone to share some of my life's path again, the best thing is to go slow. Let your feelings come out and all that has happen to sink in. You will figure out what to let go and what to keep to help you with your adventures. And there can be new ones. But running around, looking for lots of answers when your mind and circumstances aren't too clear yet will cause you to make mistakes, do or say things perhaps not understood by many others. Go slow for awhile and let things settle within yourself. Do things, face life, but try to keep things from being too intense. In other words, give yourself a break. If the relationship was meant to be perhaps this other party would have better understood what happened to you and helped you through it. After all, we all have times of distress and do things. That's what builds a good relationship. Perhaps it was better to see how this person dealt with this instance( assuming you explained it to her)earlier on than later when it would have been more complicated. My best


Posted by: Novice Sunday, Apr 23 2006, 11:37 PM

Dear DoubleJo--

Thank you for responding. Your pain must seem unbearable. And certainly the confusion and uncertainty must be truly frightening. You offered me some wise thoughts and words. I've similar experiences with family and friends distancing themselves. Candidly, I made a strong point when Jan died that I wanted to live a quiet, simple life. I think they took me at my word. When Bob died 13 months later I felt I had lost my other true anchor. I'm not ready yet to talk, in detail, about about the breakup w/Nancy. I will

say by the time she/we understood my medicine misuse long-term effects we had already become pretty toxic one to the other.

Of the suggestions you offered me for coping during this time, have any worked better for you than others? Would you decribe your successes for me, please? Also, would you let me know what hasn't worked as well? In return, I'll share what I can from a grief counseling workshop series that begins 1 May here at the University. Thank you again for writing!


Posted by: kayc Monday, April 24, 2006 @ 01:41 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with DoubleJo's reply, I felt his/her words were very wise. Sometimes it's hard to understand what we can't make sense of or there are no answers for. But it is true that while we are in the intense pain of our loss, it is difficult to see or think clearly, hence the "go slow". It is good that you are willing to try and rebuild a future, that shows a positive outlook...in time, that can happen. But I have to agree that if Nancy was meant to be, she would try to understand all that you are going through with both your losses and the medication's affects. It doesn't mean she isn't a good person, but not everyone is capable of giving what we have need of right now. Good luck on your journey...

Posted by: Novice Monday, April 24, 2006 10:29 PM

Thank you, kayc, for your thoughts. Perhaps you and doublejo are correct in your views, i.e., that Nancy and I simply weren't meant to be. A major irony in it all is that neither she nor I were looking for anything or anyone when we kind of backed into each other. That doesn't lessen the pain; it's just an irony that I'm certain I'll never understand. This may be a moment to begin change and growth; I'm just finding it nearly impossible to do much of anything--housekeeping, seeing friends, former inrterests & activites. That sounds self-pitying doesn't it? How have you coped? What has worked for you? I truly feel the need for advice and counsel.

Posted by: MartyT Tuesday, April 25 @ 12:12 PM

Hi Bill,

I'm so sorry to learn of all the significant losses you've endured. The death of a relationship can be just as painful as any other loss, and I think you've come to the right place to get your concerns addressed and validated. You may be interested in reading Matt's story, which appeared in our General Grief and Loss forum in October, 2003, under the topic, "Two Months and I Am Still Weeping." I'd like to share with you what I said to Matt at that time, including the books and online resources I suggested to him, as I think you may find them helpful as well. Click on this link and you'll go directly to it:


Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Marty, Marty, Marty. What did you do? (only kidding) I am pleased that you maintain your site with a keen eye. As you saw I was not at a loss for words, so I'll try to remember todays' reply to Novice.

You wondered if you were wrong in trying to find or maintain some grieving order. If you should do something specific. My reply;

You ARE doing something. Your feelings and thought cannot be stopped, just managed. I too work in my garden. I am finishing the patio myself that Curt was laying for me. Putting in plants that we would have together. He knew how long I waited to get it done, he wanted to make me happy. I feel productive. I AM productive. I try to be busy for a few hours each day. It gives me respite and a normalcy,a recognizable pattern. I also go on day trips to nature areas in Arizona with little groups that can pick me up as I barely drive. I cry alot on those, even tho I am used to traveling far away by myself. It's the contrast I suppose, I am not sure why. Perhaps

i'm more exposed. At times the grief and realization of my loss hits me and I feel overwhelmed . But when I get out of the tornado I feel whirling around me and blocking all light, I have found myself to be stronger and relieved. Letting the reality hit full force is too much, too big. Letting it appear for awhile and letting out all the pain is a torment, but one I try to control. It lasts maybe 2 days, 3 or only one, and may not come for weeks. But I have built upon each one and grow, change for the better. What I mean to say is it is there. No matter what you do it is behind and sometimes in front of you. We feel we must do something because something wrong happened. We want to rectify it.I welcome your sharing from your grief sessions. All help is always appreciated. My very best yo you- Doublejo

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Good Evening, Doublejo, MartyT et al--

First, I want to thank MartyT on this board for the courteous & informative email she sent me [Novice/Bill] earlier today. I appreciate and applaud her (& others') efforts to keep all our posts secure. Accidental deletions happen. I've had my own bitter experiences with such.

Thank you, Doublejo, for your effort to re-create an earlier post. What I read struck me in several ways, e.g., the weeping (in public & private), the distracting (& distracted) behaviors, and so on. I find my mind glancing tangentially from one memory to another in no discernible pattern, e.g., Jan always insisted on having the first tomato directly from the vine to her mouth; Bob delighted in making the offbeat, slightly risque comment in the most inopportune moments; Nancy & I had such plans for our gardens and for sharing some redecorating at both her house and here. Perhaps we are fortunate in having happy memories--esp.unbidden--come to us.

And yes, I agree with your final comment. I'm sure my apparent need to do something right, correctly, is, as you say, because something went wrong. That's a marvelous insight.

Yes, I'll share what I can from the closed grief workshop series beginning on Monday. I'll NOT breach confidentiality or anonymity; I've already agreed to that condition. I WILL share approaches to coping with the grief, generic incidents, etc.

My best to all of you!

WCS (aka Novice)

[bill, I took the liberty of editing your post just a touch, to reflect the fact that I'm a "she," not a "he." :wub: ]

Edited by MartyT
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I am so numb today , IS IT numb ....i dont know . i am just not able to focus on anything. all iwant to do is sleep . I ahev become very sensitve to sad stories anything to do with death , which is constant and funny i never noticed before how much is constant , the news is full of it . i always felt it before , but now its really hard on me, i get really upset . everything is a reminder. i never have had such strong grief. i am drowning. and it feels all wrong /. everything is wrong . i am not well i think. too many losses . i mean I know loss is normal, but i am not sure why then it feels too much .

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Dear grieving tara 12,

Your pain is almost palpable to me. Please stay with this board for a while. There are other, wiser, more experienced folks who may be willing to hear you, talk with you, and share your anguish. I know this because they're doing it for me.


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thanks for your words and support , Yes I am struggling , normal I think . I am also learning a lot through this , I will get through this with a lot of breathing and taking steps even when it feels scarey.

I am finding being able to talk to people on here helpful .,otherwise I would feel even more alone and i think it could be too much .

thanks heaps for your response and encouragement . I hope we all can help each other.

be well

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