Jump to content

Massive Windfall Of Grief Today


Recommended Posts

Hi all, I just fell into the pit of despair again, I can't seem to live without my Myrna, she promised she will never leave me, I am so damn sad and angry at the same time, I cannot stop crying, Life seems at a standstill w/o hearing her voice and her touch,

William

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are these times when you just burst out crying and it might be happening from some type of memory trigger that heightens these painful episodes. It happens to me, too, and it's been about a year and a half since my husband, Jack, died. I'm told it will lessen but in the meantime it's so hard. I feel badly for you. Do you have a caring someone that you could be with for a little while until this subsides. Weekends are hard. Maybe there is something you can do to keep busy. Sometimes exercise helps. Or maybe just go with the flow like we do. Hang in there and let us know how you do.

Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately I don't have anyone that I can confide in, my friends don't understand well, and her family in Guatemala, I think they cut the cord, I don't bother calling them anyways, I been going out and shopping but that doesn't foot the bill for long,I hold it all in and a few days I burst, I think soon I should go to group and meet people there, since people where I live are not friendly, a setback for a big city, my wife was my closet ally, I been much a loner for awhile, I really don't know what to do anymore. Thanks Karen for your support

William

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William, I know this is such a hard thing to go thru alone. My Larry was everything to me also. I wanted you to know that this site is filled with many many great people in your same position and will support and share with you. Keep posting your feelings and we all will respond. You are not alone here, many people care and have been there for me over and over again. Grief has many different aspects and its overwhelming when you don't have much support. Maybe you could find a support group and join in with others in your community. Just keep writing here, we are listening. Deborah

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William,

It seems as if you are having a grief burst, which is to be expected and is very normal...we all have them. It has been nearly two years for me and yet I still go through this every now and then when I least expect it. One of the hard things about grief is that we are often isolated...we feel those around us don't understand, and indeed, if they have not been through it, they probably don't. But isolation can heighten our aloneness and missing our loved one. It really helps to "get it out", to talk, paint, write, any way of expressing what is going on inside. A support group or counselor would be a very good way to start...I like the support group idea because there are others who've been through it, while a counselor may or may not have. Still, a counselor has studied about it and there is a lot to be said for that. And there is always this site to come to, where you will find understanding friends. Just when I have felt my worst, along has come a posting or email or personal message, and lifted my spirits. Hang in there, we're here with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I read here helps, I didn't know about grief bursts, I guess 2 months I still haven't found a good coping mechanism, I only surmise that 2 years is difficult too, so far it seems its in for the long haul? Is it true that men are

affected more differently by this? I read it somewhere, I guess it because its held within so much by what we were taught, I am going to go a group session too, I can't bear this alone anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William,

It has been over a year since cancer took my sweet wife, and I frequently feel the same sort of despondence you are experiencing. I note this only to let you know that you are not alone in your feelings of despair. You mentioned previous words to the effect that you had heard somewhere that men don't fare as well after the death of a spouse as women do. I recall reading something similar, also that men feel more secondary losses (my terminology may be off here), because realistically, men often don't do as much for their wives as wives do for them. There are also the types of friendships that women have relative to those men cultivate. Women are more supportive in general in their relationships with each other, and especially so emotionally. Where does that leave us guys? Well, one of the things I was learning from my wife is to be more like a woman! It seems you are doing the right thing--you've met a supportive group of people here, and are sharing your own worries and adding your own words of encouragement to those who might need it. You are among people in a city that aren't providing, at least on the surface, the sort of support you need, and you mentioned that you might be taking steps to join a group that will assist you; I'm certain we all encourage you to do so. I'm sure you know that the feelings you have are normal, and that a support group will understand this.

William, I've gone from working as a bouncer many, many years ago and thinking that I was too tough to cry, to experiencing the death of my two best friends, baby daughter and my wife, and coming to the realization that life is tougher than I will ever be, or want, to be. Embrace your tears, they are evidence of your pain and love. They are not an indication of weakness, rather that you have not become hardened to your overwhelming, sad experience.

In so many cases, words of comfort are of little help, but I'm sure your wife did not break any promises to you--she did her best fighting cancer just as mine did, and while the loss will never go away, your love of her will remain in your heart as will she, just as she promised.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that I always knew if George lost me it would be nigh impossible for him to cope with. What I hadn't anticipated was that I would be just as much a basket case if I lost him. I have always been tough, a survivor, would adjust, cope with anything that came my way. Nothing in life could have prepared me for this and all that accompanied it. I know it is true that women tend to be nurturers, etc. so you'd think that'd help us out (with our friends around us) in the time of death. Not true in my case, not true in many cases. I lost my friends. I don't know why, maybe because we, as a couple, now became a solo and they didn't want that. Maybe because they thought it'd rub off on them. Maybe because death is so uncomfortable. Who knows? I only know that friends change with death/loss. I don't think it's true that women do more than men. I think it was hard for me when our two incomes went to one and I was assailed with bills from the hospital and doctors. I think it ws hard for me to clean out and get rid of his car and trailer. I think it was hard dealing with his clothes and personal effects. It was hard notifying everyone. It was hard when my sink stopped up and I don't know how to fix it. It was hard when the car broke down and I didn't have anyone to call for a ride, let alone fix it. It was hard when I needed to carry or lift something too big for me. It was hard being alone, always alone, no one to appreciate me as a woman or listen to me at the end of a long day. It was hard to get used to cooking for one and not having him to appreciate a batch of cookies or the meals I fixed. It is just plain hard to lose your soulmate and best friend, that person that completes you. Man or woman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To KayC - Here! Here! I totally echo everything you said....so totally true. I sound just like you down to being a survivor. Once you have dealt with a situation, nine chances out of ten, if it happens again, you will remember and fix it just as you did the first time. You sound like a lady who has learned a lot, just like me. Thank God!

Your friend...Karen :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was responding to William, it actually occurred to me that referring to studies that cited that men don't fare as well after the death of their spouse as women do might be misinterpreted, but I erred on the wrong side. I'll take the responses from KayC and Karen as a signal to be more thorough, or at least more sensitive when responding. I have to remember that what we are going through is a deeply personal experience, and that generalizations can easily be personalized. For the record, I think that comparing pain is a zero-sum activity--there is absolutely nothing of value to be gained in comparing pain. My comparison concerned differences in proficiency regarding dealing with emotions. In my response, I mentioned that, like William, I had read that men don't cope as well as women do emotionally following the death of a spouse. This is a general observation and not intended to diminish anyone else's experience or suffering. It has no reflection at all on anyone's individual experience. I have no wish to prove a point here, only that in my experience, in general, men do not cope as well emotionally as women do. That does not mean that is true in anyone else's experience. I recalled while typing that one of the incredible hospice people forewarned me about something called the "widower effect" and that one of the pamphlets left here actually described what we've discussed here, and that's one of the places I'd read about it.

So, I hope I've covered my bases here. As far as men or women doing more, in my marriage it shifted back-and-forth through the years. But, among the folks I know, wives do more for their husbands and families on a day-to-day basis than their husbands do for them, and the three guys I asked today confirmed this without even pondering the idea. My observations/experiences are not everyone else's--I try my best not to impose or universalize them. I hope this clarifies my previous post, and that William, at least, gained something by my response. Hang in there, guy.

Whew! - Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven,

It's okay, I'm not that thin skinned and I'm not personalizing...I just didn't want you guys thinking you're the only ones that seem to find it difficult to cope. I had always assumed the same thing, that's why I never wanted George to lose me and I still am glad that it was me that lost him instead of the other way around because, honestly, I don't know how he would have coped. I'm not comparing losses, you're right, that would be futile and non-productive...us men and women are not pitted in an us against them thing at all. I dearly love the men on this site and the fact is, you're right...we do all have a tough time, sometimes for differing factors, but tough all the same. Don't worry about what you say, you're fine. You're very articulate and seem very sensitive. Whatever you say here will be fine. Try to have a good day today, okay? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven, Kayc, Karenb, Stallyn and Larry's Girl and all you wonderful folks on this site,

Who gives more (nurturing) in a relationship – the woman or the man? What an interesting question – with room for all kinds of opinions. Whom does society generally recognize as more of a giver –a nurturer – the woman or the man? What an interesting dialogue.

Each response I see regarding coping – and now the topic of giving or nurturing is couched in the confines of a traditional relationship between a man and a woman. Flip a coin and one person in a relationship will be the one who is more giving than the other is. Nevertheless, in either case it does not make the receiver less valuable in the relationship. It is sometimes difficult to be more consistently on the receiving end as well.

Perhaps in the traditional relationship between a man and a woman it is the woman who more often takes on the role as the giver – but I would hate to be the one to make a judgment call – and would not try to do so here. Nevertheless, even in a same sex relationship, whether it is two men or two women, there will be one (and in my and Jack’s case who ever it was going to be was going to be a man) that is more the giver and the other more the receiver. With Jack and me, he had always been perceived as the one who was more nurturing – the label had to fall to one of us – and it was going to be a man regardless of who the outside world gave the label. However, during the 10 months of illness prior to his death, the tables were ‘turned’ and the majority of nurturing, in the traditional sense, became mine exclusively. At least that is what one might assume at first glance. Incapable of sight and much physical movement for 10 months, Jack still was able to “mentally nurture” all those around him including me - even absent his sight and mobility.

I offer you the following example of Jack’s continuing ability to nurture all those around him in spit of sever illness, delusions and physical restrictions. The following is an excerpt of the book I am writing in memory of Jack:

“Many individuals did visit Jack during the course of his illness, but many also pulled away. Some feared what they would see if they allowed themselves to visit their dear friend, failing to realize that he was still very much the same person. Physically changed, he would still greet each visitor with a smile and a hug. Unaware of what he looked like to others, the only change he was conscious of was the fact that he could not see. His delusions were real to him; therefore, they did not represent anything unusual. Moreover, in his mind he could still stand and walk, even when that was not reality. All a visitor had to do was look beyond the descriptive delusions to realize that his quick wit and remarkable sense of who he was still existed. So often, the ill and disabled are overlooked, looked past and through, without realizing the beauty that still remains within. Many of the people (friends, family and customers) closest to Jack when he was healthy missed the extraordinary individual he was by failing to partake, witness and experience his illness. The true essence of this man was most apparent in the closing days of his life. As difficult as this process was I am grateful I did not miss - one day - one instant - one heartache - of his illness and death. Witnessing and directly participating in this process has in fact allowed me to heal.”

The truth of the matter is that either person can and will nurture to some degree and in some way during the course of a relationship. Jack did it for years. Then when he got sick, I did it as well. During the same time that I was supposedly nurturing Jack (during the last year of our lives together), he was still providing nurturing - in his special and unique fashion – even as sick as he was – to me and everyone else around him. Some of us – like Jack – are capable of providing some degree and level of comfort regardless of the extreme physical losses suffered. Nurturing can be accomplished without even raising a finger. It can be done by word and touch as well.

Perhaps it is a woman in a heterosexual relationship that gives more – nurtures more – I would not hesitate to know. In mine, it flip flopped – but Jacks was certainly the one that would carry the label – and he was a man. Nevertheless, I say that with tongue in cheek since the other choice was also a man – me. In addition, who would have coped the death of the other better? Would Jacks well defined and talent at nurturing provided a better means to cope with my death? I doubt it. Regardless of which one of us had to deal with the horrors of brain cancer coupled with total blindness the survivor would have been left shattered. I was – and it has taken a Herculean effort to rise from the ashes of this nightmare – regardless of the label of giver, receiver, nurturer or “best able to cope”. Nothing can prepare you for this type of loss. Either way – in this relationship it was going to be a man. I do not think the pain of this type of loss finds greater depth in either sex. All I know is what a painful experience it is.

You all allow me to reach into the depths of my thought process and provide me a way to contemplate so many interesting aspects of our relationships with our loved ones. Thank you for bringing these wonderful topics up fro discussion. What a great group.

John

Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know exactly what I expected when I decided to begin reading the posts in this group a short while ago, but it has been a surprisingly positive experience, and I think I've learned something every time I sit down to read here. Thanks John, for the gentle reminder that all loving pairs are not traditional in their makeup, and that what matters most is the love shared. I enjoyed reading your observations and the selection from your book. I hope you'll keep us updated as it takes shape. I live in the same neck of the woods as you--maybe I'll be able to come to your book signing!

Your comment regarding the ability of some to nurture despite seemingly impossible conditions really struck a chord with me. Tanya was truly the brightest spot in the lives of many who knew her, and because of my wonderful sister's incredible generosity, I was able to spend all my time with my wife in her final months, truly immersing myself in her goodness. Just now, when describing this precious time together, I was tempted to say "taking care of my wife" and while this is true, it doesn't at all accurately or completely portray the experience. As you alluded to, it doesn't convey how much I was gaining in the process of attending to my loving companion's needs. One of the benefits of an especially loving and close relationship is the ability to communicate well without words. The twinkle in her eye, or the expression on her face when she was having difficulty speaking often spoke volumes. Tanya was, mercifully, able to speak well into her cancer, but less so in the month preceding her death. More often than not when she was able, her short sentences were loving in nature, and were restorative in their simplicity. I recall in the week just before she died, helping her to adjust to more comfortable positions, and helping her to balance as she tried to walk down the hall (she never stopped trying to walk). After one particularly trying voyage, we were sitting silently on the edge of the bed, me once again helping her to balance. She seemed to be lost in a painkiller haze, but still had a beautiful, beatific smile on her face. Truthfully, I was despairing that I was unable to do anything to effectively change the dire direction the love of my life's health was quickly taking. Again, I refer to the ability of some to nurture with the seemingly sparest gestures or words. Tanya hadn't spoken in quite some time at this stage, and I certainly wasn't expecting her to speak now. She turned to me, smiling with her beautiful brown eyes, reached out to hug me, and spoke the simple words "you're so good."

In my darkest moments, when I'm thinking what I could have done differently, I think of Tanya speaking those words. It never fails to provide relief; never fails to bring tears. When I reflect on the seemingly endless depth of pain of losing Tanya, I must remind myself of how the pain pales in contrast to the beauty of experiencing and sharing life with her.

Steve

Edited by Steven
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve

I am so sorry about Tanya. I am glad you are on the website.

I smiled thru my tears as I read your post about Tanya saying "you're so good". I had a moment like that with my mom. She too, never stopped trying to walk, I had just helped her to sit back down on her bed, she was exhausted and out of breath..she looked at me, smiled and said,"you are such a good daughter"..It was one of the last things she said to me, but those few words mean the world to me and I like to remember that moment. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me of a special day I had with my mom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All my friends here, I've been out of commission for a few days having all my teeth pulled and living on a "little" pain killer but it only took 3 days or so to get back to myself. I love reading your compassionate words, especially lately Dusky and Steven. You both do have a way with words. As all of you loved those you lost, I loved Jack so dearly and we only had 15 years together (we knew each other for 30 years, though). I would have taken care of him the rest of his life but the good Lord saw fit to take him back home earlier than I wanted. He was in pain with two heart bi-passes and insulin diabetis and his sudden death, I'm sure, saved him from having to suffer much longer. I didn't get a chance to say good-bye because he died immediately from a heart attack when he was driving home. Thank God my son-in-law was with him, grabbed the keys and got the truck off the freeway. It was quite an unbelievable shock and took a long time for me to get on the road to recovery. All you people have helped. Thanks for being there.

Your friend....Karen :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my derivations on the subject that men fare less, I concluded I am in error too, but I understand more now that I ever did, I found it hard myself to being a nuturing person but I guess we have our ways of showing our love, I was often rebuked by Myrna's friends not to cry around her, or show any "negative" emotions, though I was suffering the most, because of that I didn't make myself available to her as I wanted to, So in meaning they were expecting me to be "macho" according to their latino culture, so I easily thought Ok, none of them cried or expressed emotion, but I always cried around my wife through the years, I didn't have a first hand experience how it effects women, until I read these posts, Dusky, thanks for your wisdom, it has given me assurance that I did what I could with Myrna, that I was doing the best I could for her, And Steve for showing me the other side of the picture, Thanks Kay C, & Karen B for your insight, and some sensibility in my thoughts of the matter, My experiences with her friends does not echo the facts shown here.

William

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karen, the blessings you have given, may that always be a comfort to you, I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to Myrna either, I know its a very very painful thing to live with everyday, but we comfort each other and it makes it bearable, you always had nice things to say, My God heal your heart and body.

William

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad you're past the worst of it and are back to being yourself, Karen.

This group provides a sort of tonic with the variety of contributions. No matter whether the posts are from talented writers like Dusky or those who state very simply their situation, pain, love, or feelings in the most stark, heartfelt manner, I really gain by coming here.

This discussion in particular really has been an interesting one with compelling thoughts all around. It seems strange to me that each of us will deal with death, we know we'll deal with it, yet it remains so incredibly difficult. I have kept a journal since Tanya died, but writing publicly is different. My journal has transformed from random thoughts about our life together into a rambling, endless love letter to Tanya. I think both personal and private avenues are therapeutic in their own way, but hearing of other's difficulties and their great love for their partners, family members, and others somehow helps on a personal level. Reading about the incredible bond that love provides, unbroken even by death, is one of those rare experiences that can compel, at the same time, both tears and smiles.

I thank you all too. - Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed, I think that I hope I didn't stir up trouble with my comment on how people cope, but it turned around and became a revelation to me, on how women cope with it too, I think the genders aren't so much different as I once believed, I remember how my wife always showed love and attention to me and I didn't do much back, or I think I didn't, she was a great comforter in all the health troubles I had over the years, and now damn I miss it, I miss her words, her kindness and patience with me, I wonder do we move on from here? what is in our future as a person alone, do we move on and love another person like we loved the deceased? Can we ever love that much again? Seems its an illusion to think that bonding with another person is possible, when you give your heart to someone that dies, it dies with them, I have been sifted like sand with it.

Blessings,

William

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...