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Losing my wife of 45 years


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17 hours ago, widow'15 said:

Mel's diet is very interesting.  I would think green beans, carrots and canned chicken must keep her nice and trim.  How did you discover she liked oyster crackers for treats? 

Ya know, so much of what I give and gave the dogs happened from all different sources.  Green beans came from a suggestion when I had a dog that needed to slim down.  Carrots were mentioned that dogs liked sometimes and mine did.  Chicken became the usual when I stopped cooking so no leftovers.  Vet OK'd it all. The oyster crackers were interesting.  I have all kinds of jars of snacks in the kitchen.  Steve had to have lots of options.  Don’t know why we had those, but we did.  One day something edible got dropped in a statue of Sylvester and Tweety holding a bowl.  It was meant for outside, but I wanted it in the living room.  One dog found it and started checking the bowl several times a day.  So now and then I’d put something in it.  Her sister then discovered it.  Then it became an after breakfast thing to put a handful for each kid with their vitamins.  This was our first pair of dogs.  With Belle and Ally I just gave them to them from the couch.  Melody got the same.  
 

I used to have to give Ally meds after dinner and that started the PB glob.  Mel still gets it as it is routine.
 

Ally’s eyes always looking like she was wearing eyeliner.  It was really pronounced especially with her being a white dog.  
 

I’m glad you kept Maddie's throne.  To have a piece of her of priceless.  Ally’s stuffed toy still lives in my car.

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6 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I’m glad you kept Maddie's throne.  To have a piece of her of priceless.  Ally’s stuffed toy still lives in my car.

Gwen:  I have also kept Maddie's toys.  Her favorite was a jointed multi colored caterpillar that had a squeeker in it.  She would use her nose to make it squeek to persuade me to play with her.  She loved playing "chase me"  around the living room.  I miss my silly, sweet girl so much as I know you miss your beautiful girl, Ally.  Like Alvin said, "Dogs' lives are too short.  Their only fault really." Hugs, Dee

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I hope I die shortly after Kodie, I've lost 24 dogs and cats, it's very painful with each one, Arlie was the hardest.

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On 7/18/2021 at 7:49 PM, Gwenivere said:

I even find going to sleep a bit dreaded as I know I’ll have to wake and get up.  Definitely hate it.  I’m wondering if I’m becoming antisocial as I got more depressed meeting with some people I see every Sunday.  Just w sited to leave and be home even tho I’m so lonely.  Definitely going to be a topic for my counseling this week.  Have 2 Zoom meetings Monday and I find them more comfortable.  A few months ago I disliked them for lack of real contact.  I really have no idea what is happening to me.  All I want to do is cry.  I can’t stand the pain and my options.  

I'm so sorry brother, wish I could take your pain away.. I do my share of crying also, usually every night when I lay down to go to sleep. I am the opposite of you, sleep is very hard for me, that is when I think about her more and see her in my dreams, different times we had so much fun together.. I love you brother, and praying time will bring you a little peace.

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On 7/23/2021 at 1:00 PM, AlvinC said:

I'm going through my days with little direction. I wake up and check my email and then try and find something to hold my attention. I had one little bright spot pop up, when I found that if I put on some easy listening instrumental music, I could do a bit of writing. I added a couple of chapters to a book I have been working on this year. I haven't been able to work the plotting out on paper first as I used to do, and I may have to go back and redo it all over again, but just being able to write at all felt positive. I had a followup appointment yesterday with my doctor, to see how my anti-anxiety medication was working. It definitely has helped some with the anxiety, but my body doesn't like it much, so the jury is still out whether or not I will keep using it, or will switch to something else. Time will tell. 

I have nowhere to hide. My father was an alcoholic and that pretty well messed up my childhood, and I swore that I would never do that to my wife and kids. So, I have done very little drinking in my life, and so I can't see me getting drunk to solve my problems. I don't do any recreational drugs, and I even gave up smoking in 1998. So, it's me and my grief going head to head, with just a little assist coming from my anti-anxiety meds. (The place where I live doesn't allow pets, not even a goldfish. No help there for me.)

Every day I ask myself, "What's the point of all this?" I have no goals left me. So, I am poking around trying to find something that matters to me that I can pursue. Maybe, if I can get my focus back, I can make YouTube videos again. Maybe I can find something else that matters to me. I write because I enjoy it, and I can use it to help me sleep at night. I have no thought of selling it. And now the only reading audience that mattered to me, my wife, is gone. 

So, I am treading water in a river that is carrying me along, with no knowledge of what lies ahead, and no way to know when that will change, if ever. I just never really faced the fact that this day could come so soon. Deep inside, I knew it could come, but I lived in denial, until I was slapped in the face with the event itself. What a mess. 

I am so very sorry brother, I think about you as much as I think about Dorothy.  I can only imagine how hard it is for you now that she is gone.  She was your everything and you were her everything.  I love and care you you brother.

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Sister, you made it here. I am glad. I think about you a lot too. Losing a twin is horrible, I know that. I have been thinking about you today especially because I have been scanning pictures  like crazy (pre-digital photographs are becoming like the slide-rule: obsolete), getting ready to make Dorothy's Memorial video for the service. I just did a rough count and I have over 1300 pictures pulled together already and the video may only use 150 of them. But I want to get the best 150 possible, if I can. And your folks almost never took pictures of you separately, so all the young pictures of Dotti are also pictures of you. Occasionally I get stuck trying to figure which of you I am looking at. 

I love you too Sister, and I am really looking forward to seeing you for the Memorial. 

My anxiety medicine is finally starting to work, and this morning I woke up with almost no symptoms for the first time in a long while. So, I dived right in on working on the video. Forty-six and a half years makes for a lot of memories, and lots of pictures. 

I hope you are okay, and moving forward with this terrible grieving. Dorothy was a very special woman and I will miss her until the day I die. I know you will too. 

I have the grandkids coming over today so I can watch them for a couple of hours and that should cheer me up. They are so precious. 

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16 hours ago, widow'15 said:

I miss my silly, sweet girl so much as I know you miss your beautiful girl, Ally.  Like Alvin said, "Dogs' lives are too short.  Their only fault really."

Ally used to do things to get attention too.  Never had such an outgoing kid.  If I had half her zest for life it would have been awesome.  I think there is that once in a lifetime dog that just shines so brightly.  We love them all, of course.  It’s different going from that to just Mel now who is so shy and skittish.  She has her moments, but nothing close to the exuberance except for food.  Ally loved it too, but it wasn’t her driving force.  I am being summoned to throw the ball.  Always wonder if she will hear something making her run inside and if she’ll come back.  But she’s my baby.  A friend was by yesterday and she wanted to see him but she took so much coaxing.  I know this is from being raised without more social experiences after my back got bad.  She was much better when I could take her on outings with other kids and being with Ally.  
 

I have a big basket of toys of which so few are used anymore.  A puppy would would have a field day!  Wish I could do that, or an adoption.  More people  in my life would be nice, but dogs are becoming more appealing as I get older.  Unfortunately can’t have a rousing discussion or debate with them.  
 

love you kept Maddie's caterpillar.  

8 hours ago, kayc said:

I hope I die shortly after Kodie, I've lost 24 dogs and cats, it's very painful with each one, Arlie was the hardest.

I’m in agreement with you on this.

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1 hour ago, Gwenivere said:

Thank you.  Just to keep the record straight, I’m not a brother.  I’m a woman.  I’m sorry about your sister. 

That was posted by Dotti's twins sister. She thought she was talking to me, and somehow quoted your post. I don't know what happened but it was definitely a mistake by her. 

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32 minutes ago, AlvinC said:

That was posted by Dotti's twins sister. She thought she was talking to me, and somehow quoted your post. I don't know what happened but it was definitely a mistake by her. 

I am so sorry I thought I was posting on Al's post....very sorry. 

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1 hour ago, AlvinC said:

Sister, you made it here. I am glad. I think about you a lot too. Losing a twin is horrible, I know that. I have been thinking about you today especially because I have been scanning pictures  like crazy (pre-digital photographs are becoming like the slide-rule: obsolete), getting ready to make Dorothy's Memorial video for the service. I just did a rough count and I have over 1300 pictures pulled together already and the video may only use 150 of them. But I want to get the best 150 possible, if I can. And your folks almost never took pictures of you separately, so all the young pictures of Dotti are also pictures of you. Occasionally I get stuck trying to figure which of you I am looking at. 

I love you too Sister, and I am really looking forward to seeing you for the Memorial. 

My anxiety medicine is finally to work, and this morning I woke up with almost no symptoms for the first time in a long while. So, I dived right in on working on the video. Forty-six and a half years makes for a lot of memories, and lots of pictures. 

I hope you are okay, and moving forward with this terrible grieving. Dorothy was a very special woman and I will miss her until the day I die. I know you will too. 

I have the grandkids coming over today so I can watch them for a couple of hours and that should cheer me up. They are so precious. 

Yes I finally decided to do this, it does help for sure, and I am so glad the meds are finally working, mine are also, I had to add one to my current one to get through this grief.. they do help, plus I have been on the treadmill everyday since she passed except maybe a few Sundays..It helps me to think of something else, and her picture is on the wall by the treadmill and I smile at her...  the grandkids will cheer you up  for sure.. they always do, take care, I will see you at the memorial.

 

I am not as proficient as you on the computer, so sorry I posted on the wrong one...oops

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Wow, didn't know when I responded to your post that you were related to Al...so you lost your twin and he lost his wife.  Too much in one family.  :(

The confusion probably came from this being his thread but you quoted Gwen's post in it. ;)  

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

Wow, didn't know when I responded to your post that you were related to Al...so you lost your twin and he lost his wife.  Too much in one family.  :(

CathyG is my sister-in-law and she is Dotti's twin. 

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The day before yesterday was a pretty good one for me, and I got some things done. I also had the grandkids over for a couple of hours and that was golden. They are so precious. They have a magic that rejuvenates me. But yesterday was not quite as good. It was still better than last week but I have a long way to go. 

I had an email from one of my YouTube viewers sending me a link to a science article that suggested the cause of consciousness might be created by a room temperature quantum process with the neurons. I was able to read it and enjoy it, and even think about the ways this could jump computers ahead by a large leap if it is true. Room temperature quantum computing would be huge. This is the sort of thing I normally would do when Dotti was still here. It had been missing for weeks. It's something anyway. 

Other than trying to toughen myself up to the pain, my biggest challenge is to get the stuff I have to do out of the way, so I can spend more time on the things I want to do, with no pressure. Pressure is deadly right now. I want to collapse when I am faced with hard decisions and complex tasks. Grief has robbed me of my inner strength. If it weren't for my family, I could see me sinking into a complete hermit lifestyle, avoiding people completely. The stores are changing to scan-it-yourself, so I don't even interact with a cashier any longer. The two times I have shopped for groceries, I have done so with a zone of isolation around me, talking to no one. This is my natural tendency, the way I have lived my life since I was an only child with an alcoholic father. Solitude is my friend. But Dotti pulled me out of my cave, and put people into my life and showed me a more complete existence. She was a magical creature to me, with all her happy energy and people skills. She turned my world into something far greater than I had ever known, and that magic is gone, and I am back to my natural solitude. 

Now my anxiety is ebbing, I can live like this, and be fine with it. It was what I was doing before I met Dotti. I lived on a ship with other sailors, but other than my work days, I tended to spend my nights and weekends alone. I didn't go drinking with the guys. I was alone. And now I am alone again, and I don't even interact with others at work, because I am retired. Most of my people interactions are electronic now, with email, phone texting, YouTube comments to my videos, and this forum. I don't use Facebook or Twitter, etc. So, when the grandkids come over it is a major change to my routine and I love it. My granddaughter is so much like Dotti, filled with energy and natural people skills. My grandson is more like me, introverted and focused on what he is doing. They have helped their grandpa keep going during these troubling weeks. I am very lucky they are in my life. 

Another day is starting. We'll see what it brings to me. 

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Yes, you can do this, I do it one day at a time.  I was someone who always thought I needed someone in my life, it was never my preference to be alone, but I have been for 16 years now.  I'm doing it.  And I realize a person can be married and yet very alone, I always was in my other relationships except when I was with George.

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I’m doing it too but it is so alien to me, even after all this time.  7 years almost.  I’m also seeing I am avoiding people now too, and that was never me.  I know it’s because they remind me of a happier life.  The interactions I can’t avoid are medical and never a plus.  I have to force myself to call people I know.  Used to visit, but so much has changed and many are gone.  It’s utter irony to have been an extrovert becoming what I am now.  It’s like people that did intricate things with their hands getting Parkinson’s or singers like Rondstat that compromised her vocal cords.  Cruel irony is more like it.  

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Gwen - I have always been an introvert and Dotti accused me many times over the years of "playing dumb" because I honestly was clueless with other people, especially groups of people. I have a Pinterest page with INTJ memes on it, and one of them says, "I think we can all agree that people skills are harder than nuclear physics." There are a lot of people who would naturally agree with that statement.

However, when you have been traumatized by the loss of your spouse, it can add a whole additional layer of problems, as you have said. When the government went into to full CCP emulation and locked everyone down, it was devastating for Dotti. She suffered from depression, and her health grew much worse over the past year. She was an extrovert and people were a necessary part of keeping her spirits up. Myself, I tend to avoid people anyway, so the government stupidity didn't do much to me directly. But it was a huge contributor to Dotti's death. 

There are a lot of things that go into good health. When that set of healthy requirements is broken or interrupted by outside forces, it can be deadly. I am sorry that your grieving has closed you in so much. I agree with you that medical visits are generally not all that helpful for curing social deprivation. And if you had been visiting with other couples, you are now the odd one in the group, and it just doesn't work right. My brother-in-law was married just a few days after Dotti and I were in 1976. He lost his wife, Cathi, in 2018, and I wondered at the time how he could stand it. He has been very sympathetic to me since Dotti passed, not only because Dotti was his sister, but because he knows what it is like to lose a wife after so many years of being happily together. 

I am sure that those who wish to give me sympathy are confused by my behavior, because the way I deal with pain is the way a cat does, isolating myself and licking my wounds and waiting for them to heal. (I am very much a cat person and never got on with dogs all that well. Cats are less needy and, as I said, are more like me. We get along very well usually.) The more people press in to give comfort, the more I tend to back away and create space. 

Until I created my YouTube channel I thought I was just a unique loner. But thousands of people have come to my channel and they understand the way I do things, and feel about things. I am not alone, as if I were a freak. (When I was in grade school that was exactly the way I felt about myself: a freak.) 

When you were a very social person, to have that taken from you is just horrible. I am quite sympathetic to your plight. Life is a perpetual, and ever changing puzzle and you can never get that puzzle fully solved, because it refuses to stay put when you think you have it under control. 

Kay- I have pretty much always been married for my adult life. I was engaged to be married my entire senior year of high school, and I got married the summer after I graduated. My ex-wife left me early in 1974, and I was unconnected until September that year, when I met Dotti, and I was with her ever since. I never really had what you would call a single life. However, I spent massive amounts of time alone. I tended to gravitate towards jobs where I could work alone. I like that type of job best. During my free time I tended to work on problems (math or science) or study chess, and later on, once computers became available, I got into coding and creating web pages, etc. That is where I am most comfortable. Dotti was super about that, and allowed me a lot of time in my office to work on things with no nagging. And she was absolutely wonderful when we spent time together having fun. We shared everything we did, even though our personal tastes were often very different about what was fun when we were working on our own. Now all that is gone, and I am not sure what to do about it. I lost my best friend, and my one source of daily human contact in the flesh. I can go days without seeing another person, and often do. It isn't loneliness for me, but the loss of the love and friendship that Dotti always gave me so freely. My purpose for living died the same day Dotti did. When the grandkids come over I feel a spark of something there that can help with creating purpose, if I can live long enough to bring it off. Time will tell. 

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1 hour ago, AlvinC said:

My purpose for living died the same day Dotti did.

Exactly how I feel and probably always will.  I’ve had lots of practice and if it hasn’t kicked in yet, doubtful it ever will.  I expected as I got further on the path that I could lower the bar and maybe enjoy some things.  That happened for a short time, but it’s not enough now.  Mostly because I’m so limited physically so ideas I get to do things are pointless.  Just putting a small load of laundry away had my body screaming.  I’m not good being regulated to sitting being my life.  Even before Steve and I were openly official (other marriages and suitors),  I had some 'alone' time but I had a couple best friends and a very exciting job.  I often came home at night and took my phone off the hook as I installed them all day and the last thing I wanted to do was talk on them.  No voicemail back then.  My friends knew to leave me alone.  
 

Once Steve and I hooked up, finding out we hadn’t fooled anyone really as our interactions at work were apparently obvious and our affair not secret as we thought, we became forever.  Faced things that almost tore us apart but our love was bigger.  When you lose someone like that, so much of you dies with them.  I’ll never get back what went with him.  
 

I’m glad you have your grandchildren.  I have occasional encounters with his music buddies.  I miss them swarming around and a home of music, laughter and energy.  He alone was a whirlwind of energy.  Our furry kids rounded things out to a great life.  I never thought I’d be the lone survivor.  As a buddy said to me recently, all it takes is a blink of an eye.  

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