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Survived 8 Months


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This seems like a very supportive group, although it's a club I know we all don't want to belong to. I lost my husband of 25 years to brain cancer last December right smack between Thnksgiving and Christmas. He was only 51, i am still in my forties and we have a 15-year-old son. It has been 8 months now, and while some things have gotten easier the big picture still hurts tremdously. For the first 6 months the phone rang constantly, friends inviting my son and I to all kinds of things and suddenly when school got out and people headed off on their family vacations, kids went off to camp (mine included) and life just became more unstructured the calls pretty much stopped. I try to stay proactive and contact people to do things, but being so young I don't have any widowed friends and hate to intrude on their time with their families. The lonliness is the worst part.

One thing I have done is start a journal where I write letters to Paul telling him what's going on in our lives. I also tell him how I feel and some pages have the stains of my tears, but in some strange way it helps make me feel like I'm still communicating with him. It's not an everyday event, just once in a while when i feel I really need it. Only problem ther is I never get any feedback. Hopefully here there will be more of a dialoge.

My son comes home from 5 weeks of camp this weekend, I can't wait to see him. Shortly after that he has a birthday, our anniversary, and the the dreaded holidays will set in. You'll probably be hearing me vent a lot when they arrive.

Well, that's my story...I feel for every single posting I've read today and can only hope that we can all work together to feel better. Thanks for listening.

Karen H

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Dear Karen,

I am so sorry for your loss, welcome to out healing place. We are all here to listen so vent, cry, say whatever you need to say, we all understand, we all have been and still are in that lonely place.

I lost my husband to cancer Oct 2004 and I still miss him with all my heart, but I write to him often in my journal, and you are right it feels like you are still communicating with them and they see your words. It helps me a lot when I am feeling especially sad or lonesome for him, I usually am crying like a baby by the time I finish writing down the things I want to say, but the release of some of the pain in those tears helps me to face another day without him.

Come here often, we all will listen.

God Bless

Grace

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Dear Karen,

Hi first let me say I am very sorry for your loss. I am somewhat new to this site as well also pretty new to widowhood. I lost my husband Jason to cancer July 5 2006. I find the times I am at my best is when I keep busy, keep people around, and have things to do. The moments when I sit down and think are so hard (even though I know I must have these times whether I want to or not because it is part of the healing process). I too have a journal that helps me at times with my emotions when I feel there is no one to listen to them. I also talk out loud to my husband and like you said although there is no response at least I am letting out my feelings. Our wedding anniversary passed on july 31 (2 year) and I knew I was going to be a mess so I bought a island for my kitchen and built it, visited with my family pretty much all day and babysat for my sister. But then the time came that night when I had to sit there by myself and think I looked at our wedding photos and started the tears. I am new at this and I just know the things that help me are keeping my mind busy but always making time in my day for the grieving. Good luck to you and God bless.

Chrissy777

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Dear Karen H,

How I can understand what you are feeling. I was drawn to your post because you indicate you lost your husband of 25 years to a Brain Tumor. I too lost my partner (I am gay) of 27 years to the same dreadful disease. What you describe in your post resonates with me very strongly. My partner died on July 31, 2005 about 4 months before your husband. He was ill a total of 10 months and early on in this tragedy he also lost his sight. I saw this once strong and powerful person slowly lose his left side. He went from full sight to – blind – from being able to walk – to only being able to stand – to being bed ridden – all in 10 months. Some of the worst times for me know has trying to forget the devastation of the 10 month illness and watching someone you love leave you in bits and pieces.

The time since his death – now one year has been difficult. I can relate to the extreme period of loneliness and friends drifting from contact. You mention Journaling. That is one thing that has sustained me so very well. I write a lot – and I also write pomes and songs about the tragedy of this loss. I also read a lot. I think that you will find the writing to be a great comfort.

I have learned the power of forgiveness – as I had to find a way to forgive myself for the times when I lost my patience with Jack during the course of his illness. This has been a difficult task – but so essential to healing. I do not know how long your husband was ill – or how you dealt with the slow loss of his abilities – but I would be very interested in hearing more about your journey though that time. We seem to have a great deal in common – and I do feel it is healthy to be able to talk about it and write about it. Please share your experiences with me. I have so many stories I could write a book – and may.

I am going to share a list of the 40+ books I have read since Jack's death. They have provided me great comfort. See the list below – I hope this will help you some how. The book I am currently reading is very interesting – it is entitled “Letters to Kate – Life after Life” by Carl Klause. It is simply a series of letters (he wrote one nearly every day) to his wife after she died for the first year. I am now reading it after my first year has passed and it is amazing some of the feelings he describes and how accurately he details this grieving voyage. I would highly recommend this and many of the other books you will see listed below.

Here is the list:

Grief Bibliography

1. Surviving the death of your Spouse Livinson

2. Care giving * McLead

3. Grief’s Outrages Journey Caplan

4. Life and Loss Deits

5. Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul Canfiled/Hanson

6. Wherever your go – There you are * Kabat-Zinn

7. Unattended Sorrow * Levine

8. Surviving Grief and learning to Live again * Sanders

9. The Mourning Handbook Fitzgerald

10. Healing your grieving heart Wolfelt

11. Life Lessons * kubler-Ross/Kesler

12. How to go on living when someone dies * Rando

13. A year to live * Levine

14. Letting go with love * Connor

15. The dying time * Furman/McNabb

16. Companion through the darkness * Ericsson

17. Don’t let death ruin your life * Brooke

18. A time to grieve * Staudacher

19. Too soon old too late smart * Livingston

20. The art of Forgiveness, Lovingness and Peace * Kornfield

21. Grieving mindfully * Kumar

22. When your Spouse dies Curry

23. Five good Minutes Millstine

24. Healing After Loss * Hickman

25. The Power of NOW * Tolle

26. Gay Widowers – life after the death of a partner * Michael Shernoff

27. A Journey through Grief Alla Bozarth

28. When Bad things happen to Good people Harold S. Kushner

29.The Grief Recovery Handbook * John W. James & Frank Cherry

30. Ambiguous Loss * Pauline Boss

31. The Precious Present * Spencer Johnson

32. Life after Loss * Raymond Moody & Dianne Arcangel

33. Writings to heal the Heart * Susan Zimmerman

34. The Grief Recovery Handbook * John James & Frank Cherry

35. When Bad things Happen to Good People * Harold Kushner

36. Stillness Speaks (have not read yet) Eckhart Tolle

37. In Lieu of Flowers * Nancy Cobb

38. The Other Side and Back * Sylvia Browne

39. Blessings from the Other Side * Sylvia Browne

40. Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow * Karen Casey

41. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying * Sogyal Rinpoche

42. The Loss Of A Partner * Carolyn A. Walker

43. Life On The Other Side Sylvia Brown

44. Transcending Loss * Ashley Prend

45. The Heart Of Grief * Thomas Attig

46. Letters To Kate Carl Klaus

I would enjoy hearing from you and providing more detail of your journey through

This sadness.

My best to you,

John - Dusky is my handle on here

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KarenH,

I,too, keep an ongoing file on my computer, "Letters To George"...It is a pretty huge file. At first I wrote every day, telling him about my day, my thoughts, feelings...I poured out my hurt, anger, fears, missing him, acknowledgement of all he contributed to me in our relationship. Now I pretty much just write when I feel the need to or have something particularly I need to say to him. Sometimes I talk to him in my mind or out loud...sometimes I cry. It's been fourteen months since he passed away. He had just turned 51 that week. It is lonely and fearful. I am impressed by Chrissy777 building an island in her kitchen...there are things I have never tackled and men have always done for me...I think the younger people are more resilient, but each time I do something I think how proud George would be and I think it's important to give ourselves credit.

John has read so much! No wonder he always has wisdom to impart and knows just what to say! We have a wonderful resource of people here on this site.

I am sorry for your loss and wish you well in your overcoming and going on...

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Dear Karen H,

How I can understand what you are feeling. I was drawn to your post because you indicate you lost your husband of 25 years to a Brain Tumor. I too lost my partner (I am gay) of 27 years to the same dreadful disease. What you describe in your post resonates with me very strongly. My partner died on July 31, 2005 about 4 months before your husband. He was ill a total of 10 months and early on in this tragedy he also lost his sight. I saw this once strong and powerful person slowly lose his left side. He went from full sight to – blind – from being able to walk – to only being able to stand – to being bed ridden – all in 10 months. Some of the worst times for me know has trying to forget the devastation of the 10 month illness and watching someone you love leave you in bits and pieces.

The time since his death – now one year has been difficult. I can relate to the extreme period of loneliness and friends drifting from contact. You mention Journaling. That is one thing that has sustained me so very well. I write a lot – and I also write pomes and songs about the tragedy of this loss. I also read a lot. I think that you will find the writing to be a great comfort.

I have learned the power of forgiveness – as I had to find a way to forgive myself for the times when I lost my patience with Jack during the course of his illness. This has been a difficult task – but so essential to healing. I do not know how long your husband was ill – or how you dealt with the slow loss of his abilities – but I would be very interested in hearing more about your journey though that time. We seem to have a great deal in common – and I do feel it is healthy to be able to talk about it and write about it. Please share your experiences with me. I have so many stories I could write a book – and may.

I am going to share a list of the 40+ books I have read since Jack's death. They have provided me great comfort. See the list below – I hope this will help you some how. The book I am currently reading is very interesting – it is entitled “Letters to Kate – Life after Life” by Carl Klause. It is simply a series of letters (he wrote one nearly every day) to his wife after she died for the first year. I am now reading it after my first year has passed and it is amazing some of the feelings he describes and how accurately he details this grieving voyage. I would highly recommend this and many of the other books you will see listed below.

Here is the list:

Grief Bibliography

1. Surviving the death of your Spouse Livinson

2. Care giving * McLead

3. Grief’s Outrages Journey Caplan

4. Life and Loss Deits

5. Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul Canfiled/Hanson

6. Wherever your go – There you are * Kabat-Zinn

7. Unattended Sorrow * Levine

8. Surviving Grief and learning to Live again * Sanders

9. The Mourning Handbook Fitzgerald

10. Healing your grieving heart Wolfelt

11. Life Lessons * kubler-Ross/Kesler

12. How to go on living when someone dies * Rando

13. A year to live * Levine

14. Letting go with love * Connor

15. The dying time * Furman/McNabb

16. Companion through the darkness * Ericsson

17. Don’t let death ruin your life * Brooke

18. A time to grieve * Staudacher

19. Too soon old too late smart * Livingston

20. The art of Forgiveness, Lovingness and Peace * Kornfield

21. Grieving mindfully * Kumar

22. When your Spouse dies Curry

23. Five good Minutes Millstine

24. Healing After Loss * Hickman

25. The Power of NOW * Tolle

26. Gay Widowers – life after the death of a partner * Michael Shernoff

27. A Journey through Grief Alla Bozarth

28. When Bad things happen to Good people Harold S. Kushner

29.The Grief Recovery Handbook * John W. James & Frank Cherry

30. Ambiguous Loss * Pauline Boss

31. The Precious Present * Spencer Johnson

32. Life after Loss * Raymond Moody & Dianne Arcangel

33. Writings to heal the Heart * Susan Zimmerman

34. The Grief Recovery Handbook * John James & Frank Cherry

35. When Bad things Happen to Good People * Harold Kushner

36. Stillness Speaks (have not read yet) Eckhart Tolle

37. In Lieu of Flowers * Nancy Cobb

38. The Other Side and Back * Sylvia Browne

39. Blessings from the Other Side * Sylvia Browne

40. Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow * Karen Casey

41. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying * Sogyal Rinpoche

42. The Loss Of A Partner * Carolyn A. Walker

43. Life On The Other Side Sylvia Brown

44. Transcending Loss * Ashley Prend

45. The Heart Of Grief * Thomas Attig

46. Letters To Kate Carl Klaus

I would enjoy hearing from you and providing more detail of your journey through

This sadness.

My best to you,

John - Dusky is my handle on here

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Hi Karen H, glad you've found this site, sorry to see you here. Aug. 16 will be 9 months for me. Larry died while waiting for an organ transplant. We never expected this (people don't believe me when I say that) we always held onto hope. His birthday was the next day and he would have turned 50. I wanted to respond to the part you wrote about the holidays. Last year the holidays were on top of me before I could catch a breath. I don't know what I did, but stumbled through. It's a weird thing this year because my birthday is coming in Sept. and I want time to stop. I don't want the holiday seaon or my birthday to come. It's so hard to accept that he has been gone nine months or that another holiday will come and I will be without him. I just can't stand the thought. I know that the few people I have left that I call friends will want to share my birthday with me but I don't think I will be able to cope. I actually want to take down the calender so I don't know what day it is. I know it's sounding like I've lost my mind. I only wish that were true then it wouldn't hurt so bad. Sorry to ramble, welcome, and just share your feelings and we will be here for you. Deborah

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Karen H – and everyone else on the site,

Thanks for your reply and some additional information as to what happened when Paul was ill – wow – 16 months – I’m sure it was a tortuous voyage. And thank you also for sharing that you too got frustrated and said some things that you wish you could take back. Forgiveness has been a long struggle for me – but to hear that others had the same experience makes me feel better. I have slowly learned to forgive myself – through all these writings – books I’ve read and support from people like yourself who have taken this same painful caretaking role that devastates you mentally physically and emotionally. So if Jack and God can forgive me – I have decided to forgive myself as well. Thank you again for your kind words.

Brain Cancer is such a devastating disease – having to watch your loved one slowly vanish from your sight – and lose bits and pieces – inch by inch. One of the hardest parts of this process for me has been trying to recover from these images of the long dying process. I have made progress – and the support from this site is truly amazing. The folks at Hospice and the folks who visit this site are all angles on earth.

As for the way to reply to messages – all you do is go back to your original message – at the top and hit “add reply” – that way your response to others reply to yours ends up on the same message. It was very confusing to me at first as well. I remember WaltC helping me out when I first stated using this site.

I don’t normally send a private message – it is too confusing for me. Normally I share everything I have to say with everyone. I benefit so much from everyone on here. I hate to imagine this voyage without each and every one of you.

I will be going to Toronto on Monday August 14th for 12 days – a much needed escape. I hope all of you stay well – and when I return will reconnect with all my friends here.

Love to you all,

John – Dusky is my handle on here

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Dear John,

Have a great getaway, I hope you can enjoy yourself. Check in when you get back, I will be anxious to hear from you. Sounds like we experienced some very similar tribulations. It doesn't bother me a bit that you're gay...who am I to judge? I went to my senoir prom with a gay black guy, about gave my father a heart attack (he ended up having one anyway years later). No one could have been a better friend at the time. Lots of theater and make up! Enj

Enjoy Canada and "talk" to you when you get back.

KarenH

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