Jump to content

Joining the Club


Recommended Posts

Hello, I'm new to the forum. Lost my beloved husband in June and my sweet mom a month later. Her death was long anticipated and most likely a relief to her. His was sudden and awful; and just days before a long-awaited birthday getaway. Regret over poor decisions I made adds another distressing layer. The sadness, as I'm sure many of you know too well, is paralyzing. Don't want to do anything, managing only those have-to things. I'm sad also for my pets, especially the old dog who misses his favorite human (I know the feeling). I try to give an extra stroll, tastier dinners (it takes a whole lot of turkey crumbles to make up for the gloom!). Grateful for them, they're a comfort. Realize my situation is not unique; major loss seems to be the inevitable human experience. Grief is packing a greater wallop than I could have imagined. Guess with time comes adaptation - whatever that may look like. In the meantime, I'll keep bumbling along. Thanks for listening. 

  • Like 7
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Ruby,

I'm very sorry for your losses and welcome to this place of compassion. Feel free to share your feelings and experience because here there is no judgement. Just understanding. 

In my experience, what has come with time has been adaptation to grief triggers, incorporation of the loss of my soul mate into my life (his absence cannot be changed), acceptance that because of the gift of true love and the admission that it was a privilege to live that, without it/and without him my life is and feels incomplete and some places will always remain empty. And last, coexistence with the contradictions which come with grief. 

I cannot accurately explain how I have achieved this state. When I can't convey words I would say: there's no choice but to keep walking.

I have been walking through a major transitional and transformative process, against my will (here, I say it).

This place has been a great support and relief when nobody understood. 

Trust, you will survive. One day at a time.

  • Like 6
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for your losses. I know all too well what it is to bumble along.  

I lost my beloved wife in May 2020. She had myriad health problems, and I still feel guilt about all the things that I feel I could have done differently. Her passing was essentially an accident, but also just a "perfect storm" of all her medical issues that was probably inevitable. And after also losing my father-in-law to COVID in August, I know really don't know why I'm here. It's hard to describe what a cold, damaged person I am now. My family I live with are not warm and affectionate people, so the person I was with my wife is gone. 

It's hard to go on, but if I don't think about her too much, and something doesn't trigger a sad memory, I find that I made it through a day relatively unscathed. It is very, very helpful to write down your feelings, and there are very nice people here- and they read your posts! And they care and knowing there is life and people out there that understand makes it a little more bearable. I hope you post more so you can get out all your thoughts. It really helped me in the past year, though I have to admit that I'm really at a motivational low in my grief journey. December is an extremely hard month for me, so if I make it to New Year's (with the Forums help), I will feel a whole lot better. 

James

  • Like 5
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruby:  Am sorry you have had to join "the club". The loss of someone as dear as a spouse and then to lose your Mother so soon afterwards is unimagineable.  Like all who have responded, I have found much support and companionship here in walking the long, confusing path of grief.  We each have our own path to walk, but by sharing feelings here it seemed to give me the courage to keep going forward.  The most important thing I learned is to only try to get through one hour at a time.  The hours gradually turn into days behind you.  Please know you are not alone, we understand, as we all "bumble along".  Dee

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruby, welcome to our "tribe", the last place I'm sure you want to be. I understand a bit how you must be feeling. I lost my husband 8 years ago followed by my daughter a year later. This is possibly the hardest journey you will ever take as you follow the path of grief, but know that you are not alone. We will walk beside you. The pain is always there, but in time it becomes bearable. I will never accept losing them, but I have adapted.

  • Like 5
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave up acceptance also.  I know it’s real after 7 years.  I’m so sorry for your life altering losses.  None of us want to be here, but have become a family of support and understanding.  Only you feel the losses in this way.  People think they do, but unless they have experienced it, they are only projecting.  I think you will find we know a whole new language that comes with this.  There is nothing you will feel someone else hasn’t too.  The losses are still so new.  I hope you keep sharing your journey knowing we are hear to listen.  Especially validate all you feel.  💕

  • Like 5
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the messages of encouragement! This looks like a site of great support. Having some difficulty figuring out the best way to submit/respond, so please forgive - a forum “newbie!” ☺️

  • Like 8
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Ruby said:

Hello, I'm new to the forum. Lost my beloved husband in June and my sweet mom a month later. Her death was long anticipated and most likely a relief to her. His was sudden and awful; and just days before a long-awaited birthday getaway. Regret over poor decisions I made adds another distressing layer. The sadness, as I'm sure many of you know too well, is paralyzing. Don't want to do anything, managing only those have-to things. I'm sad also for my pets, especially the old dog who misses his favorite human (I know the feeling). I try to give an extra stroll, tastier dinners (it takes a whole lot of turkey crumbles to make up for the gloom!). Grateful for them, they're a comfort. Realize my situation is not unique; major loss seems to be the inevitable human experience. Grief is packing a greater wallop than I could have imagined. Guess with time comes adaptation - whatever that may look like. In the meantime, I'll keep bumbling along. Thanks for listening. 

Ruby, welcome here, although I surely wish you had no cause to be.  My heart goes out to you as I know grief all too well and wouldn't wish it on anyone...although I have learned a tremendous alot on this grief journey that has actually helped me in other ways.

I want to post some articles that come to mind in reading your post.  I am so sorry for your losses, I've lost so many but the hardest hitting was my husband, George.  I hope you will continue to come here and read/post, I know we get sidetracked venting about our lives, but this living alone seems to be the one thing that continues to haunt us and it helps to express ourselves somewhere safe where others "get it" and we know we're heard and cared about.  This is that safe place.

Multiple Losses
Grief Process
And lastly, an article I wrote at about ten years out I'm at 16 now (although I've since lost many pets, friends, mom, sister, and am currently losing one sister to dementia).
Tips to Make Your Way through Grief
 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Kay. So much loss and grief you've experienced. Understand the death of your George being the hardest hitting. I'm reeling over my husband not being here - waking every morning with the "new reality" washing over is awful, as I know you know. It is great that in spite of the grief you've experienced you're able to see learned valuable life lessons along the way! The articles are terrific. I'll be looking again at Multiple Losses and the resources (much appreciate) listed; challenging to remember/honor both losses adequately and I'm sure the readings will be of help. In honor of Mom, we (family and a couple canines) will be spending several days at the beach (her favorite place) eating her favorite foods, spreading ashes. I think it will feel like her. Your Tips article is wonderful; will have those needed reminders at the ready for the long haul. Was drawn to the section on continued bonds in the Grief Process article; seems to be where my heart is right now.  Have been doing a lot of reading on the topic, and with the article and recommended resources, will continue. Thanks so much, Kay.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruby, we understand if you don't post for a few days, but will be here when you are ready, will be thinking of you honoring your mom with your family, the beach is my favorite place too, along with my beloved mountains and evergreens that I live in, such a great place for you to go and spread her ashes!  I hope it helps to be with your family.  That you are also in early grief with your husband makes this so hard, we send you our thoughts and prayers, strength for today, don't worry about tomorrow, just do today, it's enough...more than enough.  Marty has some wonderful articles, she has gotten me through all these losses, I've learned so much from her...here's a list of her articles:

Articles-Marty's

I can do this!.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Kay. Today is more than enough. The memorial isn't until early Dec. I'll probably need that time to make preparations - these days I seem to be moving about as fast as the sloths in Zootopia. Will be good to be with family; very grateful to have such a nice one. Hikers' paradise where you are; lovely. 

Wow. Marty's articles have such scope and wonderful insights. What an asset for us to have these resources available. This is real dedication to the field of bereavement. Thanks, Marty!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amen, this is the major difference between this site and other grief sites, and such a huge difference it is!  Here we have someone keeping an eye out for us, helping us, providing just the right information, a collaboration of her life's work, all at our fingertips.  It is valuable indeed!

Ruby, where do you live, if you don't mind my asking?  I see you love the same things (except I don't kayak...I leave that to my son), we always hiked, camped, boating, although I haven't done that in years, but I still walk and love my animals and nature.  I'm above Oakridge OR, in the mountains, a paradise for sure!  So blessed, a place of beauty where neighbors know each other and look out for one another.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kay, I bet your area is gorgeous! One of many places "we" had wanted to go before time ran out. Yes, I love those activities (haven't camped since a kid, though)! To me, nothing calms the mind more than a walk in nature. Imagine my walks here in flat Florida are pretty tame next to your mountain hikes. Do love kayaking, but I'm lazy - a lake, swamp, or calm river is about my speed. Love bird watching also though not very good at it. Enjoy going with the experts, the Audubon folks are amazing at identifying. You've got me going, love this stuff! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have friends into bird watching, one in CA, one here, I've never gotten into it although I often watch them when on my walks or out on my patio.  I love watching the deer too.  I teach my dogs to not bark at them, unfortunately they think that applies to bear too!  :D

We have a lot of trails here, when I was in my 40s (prime of my life) I used to walk six miles/night with my Whippet in nature, we encountered everything, I love nighttime, it's quiet and wildlife is out...
I wrote this on one of them...

          Tonight is so beautiful…there was a lot of wind today, and the temperature is perfect.  As I walk down my beautiful road of nature, the sky is dark - neither black nor quite blue…just very dark.  There is no moon out, but the stars are sprinkled all across the sky like glittering diamonds, and the dark sky shows them off.  The path is thick with dust from the earlier wind, so the ground is soft, and the air is fresh and it smells like the smell of fresh dirt.  I feel the air whipping around my face, not harsh, just…nice.  I can barely make out the silhouettes of the trees in the darkness.  I walk down a lane bedecked with tall stately trees, and it is like walking through a narrow tunnel, and then I come out to the other side and the sky opens up to beauty and wonder.  The only sounds I hear are the sounds of rushing water, and bullfrogs calling their songs.  Lucky is running back and forth, investigating everything, checking on me, happily whipping her tail at me, saying, “Come on!”, and she nestles her nose against my hand as I walk.  I come to my favorite tree, the one that is tall and stout - it has a story to tell.  It stands alone with its greenery ruggedly uneven.   You can see it has been whipped in life, yet it still stands, a monument to survival.  Where are its companions?  The others are all together, but this one with the interesting shape, it stands aloof…perhaps not intentionally, but there it is, alone.  I find comfort in it, knowing that it is still there.  It holds its branches out to the sky, and you can’t help but admire it.  I walk along, and I see another favorite…two trees entwined so tightly they look like one.  I am reminded of a couple whose hearts beat so closely, you can barely distinguish them as separate.  These two trees speak to me also, of closeness and harmony…and again, I see survival.  I walk along and hear the sounds of Fourth Creek rushing, and I think of the forces that go on, regardless of the season…they have their highs and lows, but they continue.  I hear the wind pick up its song, and it sounds almost as thunderous as the ocean, and for a moment I listen and think of the peace that I always feel when I hear that sound.  Everything seems to come into perspective somehow when you hear that sound.  When I look up at the sky and see the myriads of stars there, knowing that each one represents vastness all in itself, I feel so small…yet not in an insignificant way, but rather I realize the vastness of God, the vastness of His love…that me, so small in the scheme of things, should be important to Him who has so much to concern Himself with!  How quickly these six miles pass!   How blessed I am to live in such a paradise!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kay, this really is beautiful! And such metaphors with the trees. (This brings to mind the poem on death, When Great Trees Fall, by Maya Angelou; pretty powerful.) Hope you’re continuing to write!

This Covid is unbelievable; stay safe.

Marg, thoughts are with you this difficult day.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hello everybody. 

I'm new here so I have chosen this topic to introduce myself. I lost my soul-mate just over a year ago even if for me it seems that not even 1 day has passed. I don't know if anyone has experienced this feeling of "time being stopped" but this is exactly what has happened to me. 

Everything around me seems strange and unfamiliar (odd - just like Ruby said in another topic). I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you. 

V. R. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, welcome and my condolences.

I can understand how you're feeling and it's an interesting way to describe grief. I actually wish that I felt time stopped. For me, it is far harder to feel time and life marching on without Annette. It makes me mad and upset that her favorite shows are showing new episodes or her favorite artists are releasing new music. She can't enjoy them anymore and it hurts my heart. And I'm ageing and getting more decrepit. I stopped going to a chiropractor two months before she passed, when COVID started, and I haven't had once since, and I am really feeling it. I wish time was stopped. But, I can understand the feeling that this is "new time"- time froze when she left because now nothing in "new time" means anything. I still have thoughts of needing to refill a prescription of hers or think of the progress and what's needed next for her medical care, so yes, I definitely feel the time has frozen in that way. 

James

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

V.R., I’m sorry about the loss of your soulmate. Interesting to hear both descriptions of time. For me it’s been strange how days are simultaneously interminable and fleeting. I’ve never before known this level of sadness; miss him horribly. Miss my mom too, and feel her death was in a way eclipsed by his; my husband, and so unexpected. Wondering with trepidation about the emotional impact of her memorial next week. Trying to avoid returning to that state of inertia, when I barely got off the couch, by engaging more with people and activities. At my ripe old age you think you have your coping strategies down, then something happens to shatter your world and you (I!) flail. Like starting over. It’s been helpful to me to read others’ posts about how their grief process has evolved over time; thanks to all.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, V. R. said:

I'm new here so I have chosen this topic to introduce myself. I lost my soul-mate just over a year ago even if for me it seems that not even 1 day has passed. I don't know if anyone has experienced this feeling of "time being stopped" but this is exactly what has happened to me.

Again, I will repeat what my grandma wrote.  Someone told her she had had time to "get over it" when it was 19 years.  Grandma wrote "It seems to me like yesterday."  Well, for me it has been six years and one month, ten days.  But who is counting?  I can talk about him now.  I remember him constantly.  My back is turned to the rest of the apartment (which he never would have lived in), and I know he is not here, but somehow he is behind me, I just can't see him.  It is not that easy.  I've hated every holiday and birthday, mine definitely, since he has been gone.  I still talk to him.  I found my way here three days after Billy left.  I don't like to use words with finality.  I promised my life long friend, after the holidays I will come see her.  She has lost two husbands.  My mom "left" 10 months after Billy.  I've come to admire the fortitude she showed the 32 years after my dad left.  She tried once to date a friend she had known in high school.  My mom had a way with mispronouncing words.  She wouldn't see him again because he acted like he wanted to put her up on a "pretzel" (pedestal).  

Rose Kennedy said the wound never healed but we develop scar tissue.  Does not take much to knock it off.  One day I hope you will see the tulips, dogwoods, daffodils and the fluorescent green of new leaves on the trees, seeing there is a spring and then in autumn seeing the mauve, red, orange, purple, yellow of the leaves before they fall.  We see time changing and we all handle it differently.  Some younger than me might date ever so often and then some never will.  I wish for you the best and some amount of something akin to happiness again.  Nothing is ever the same, how can it be?  My heart is with you.  Keep coming on, someone has felt what you feel often, some, all the time.  Say what you want to say.  We will understand, nothing is left unsaid.  We all know your feelings, we all have suffered, still suffer, but we all are friends.  We know.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Thank you for your messages. I am really starting to believe that it's healing sharing one's grief with others by writing down our thoughts and experiences even if we don't know each other. I have so much inside me that at times I feel I'm going to burst, like a balloon. I just can't let it all out, at least not yet. How can I if I still don't accept what has happened? We had celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary that year, and the irony of it all is that my love was suddenly torn away from me by a heart attack exactly 26 years after we had first met(the same month and almostthe same day). He is always on my mind, every single moment of the day. Each day I get up and I hope that the day will pass quickly because for me this period I am living now is just "useless" without him. I manage to get by thanks to my son and daughter who live with me, otherwise there would be no sense for me to get out of bed in the morning. 

I'm sorry if I have been a bit gloomy but I am just unable to come to terms with my loss right now. I go about my day as if my husband is still here. I continously ask what he thinks about a certain something or in other cases I say: well, what would he do/say in this situation? Or maybe: yes, that's right, your dad would approve, he would say... Or he would do.... He used to make all the important decisions in the family and I can honestly say that in all these years he Never made a wrong one. In fact a friend of his called him Mr Wolf (the problem-solver in the film: Reservoir dogs). I manage to go on also thanks to his knowledge, wisdom and reason which he has passed on to me and my kids. 

I owe so much to him. He taught me so much about life, people and everything. 

Thank you for sharing. 

V. R. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grief is so cruel.  Everything that has been shared we’ve all felt.  I think the same thing...what he would say, do or solve.  We made the perfect team.  To lose that was to lose so much of me.  None of us will ever feel whole again.  My Steve has been gone 7 years.  It feels like forever and yesterday at the same time.  I’ve had (very) brief periods he is a figment of my imagination.  But the pain is not.  I know he’s not here, but he is.  The torture is I cannot have any physical contact nor see or hear him.  
 

I suppose we ‘accept' it.  But not how outsiders think.  The world is not patient with grief.  Not until it happens to them.  I’ve learned to avoid the subject with those who don’t experience it.  I do get angry when someone tells me about my feelings.  You had so many years that defined your world.  It was taken away.  The impact is enormous.  The timing was very cruel.

Don’t ever apologize for being gloomy.  You have the right.  This isn’t like we missed a great sale of a car or something.  This is the loss of the most important person to us and us to them.  You have your children but their grief is different.  We both lost both our parents and could share that together.  I can’t share losing him with him.  The best thing was finding this most compassionate family here.  I know I can say anything, vent, cry, lose my mind as well as get smiles and feel heard and safe.  If I can help someone I can repay much of what has been given me here.  
 

I hope you will find the same.  We can’t walk your unique path inside, but we can walk it with you.  💕

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So true, Gwen. Nobody can understand losing their spouse unless it happens to them. I had an old school friend that I reconnected with here. He wanted to hang out and we did a couple of times, but I just couldn't be friends with him in the way he wanted. He has no understanding or ability to deal with any emotions associated with my grief, and I don't need a "hang" buddy- I need a friend who understands and can comfort and that I can share this loss with and I can only find that in cyberspace, here. We haven't even texted in months now. 

I feel destined to be alone in this life now, like David Banner in "The Incredible Hulk"- just drifting. It feels so wrong to be without my "teammate", like I abandoned her. She lives in my heart but the outside world doesn't see her. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friends, I am so touched by your posts. I really do wish you all lots of comfort from sharing our grief together. 

You know, when my mum asked me how I was feeling a few days after that 'day' I just said: I am a half-person now. Just like Gwenivere says, my husband was a part of me. We were 'one'. 

Nashreed, I used to watch 'The Incredible Hulk' every Saturday in the 80s when I lived in U. K.  and I'm really sorry you feel like David Banner. At this stage I don't know who I could compare myself to. I don't even feel like a human being anymore. I'm just a body who moves, breathes and does things automatically just like a robot. I've been drained!

I'm writing this post from our "music room". We had started learning how to play the piano together, my husbandwas much better than me.! For the first 6 months I couldn't set foot in this room on my own without him,but now I come here every day for a couple of hours and it seems as if I'm with him and we are playing and singing together. I will probably call it my comfort room now. But I can't play the songs and music we learned together. I just break down if I do That. I have to play different songs that we didn't do together. In the same way I can't cook all the special dishes he loved. It wouldn't be fair on him. I have given up Sunday lunches, cakes for special occasions, etc etc. Everyday is the same for me.

All the best. 

V. R. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's beautiful that you have a comfort room! I had to move from our house in Tulsa, OK back home to my Mom's in California, and I have tried to cram as much of "her" into my little childhood bedroom, but its a far cry from being a comfort room. It can sometimes feel like a prisoner's cell, where I have my favorite photos of her taped next to my bed. It's more of a "reality room". I feel like my teenage self that had a wonderful dream of a beautiful life that's gone. Annette lives in my heart and I can feel her love when I think of her, but thinking of her also brings guilt and sadness and it's just not worth it to really think of her very often- and I hate that's what I have to do to just get through a day, not think of her.

One of my favorite songs title describe my life- "Everyday Is Like Sunday", y'know like how lapsed Catholics like me are supposed to reserve Sunday for quiet prayer and meditation and it's quiet and lonely and miserable. 

I should read books more. In honor of her, because she couldn't (she went legally blind 20 years ago). I hope there's books in Heaven. It would be Annette's dream to read her favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, Robert Heinlein, and ask them about their works in person!

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...