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In The Wee Hours


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I should be asleep right now, I have to get up in five hours to commute to work, but I can't sleep. It's so quiet, so lonely, and my heart is in so much pain. How can you be doing so well and then just hours later...not? How can I still be going through this after over two years have gone by? Will I ever get used to living and being alone? I struggle so hard to make ends meet...I will be alone this weekend and wish I could put the dogs in the truck and drive to the coast, but that'd cost a fortune in gas and I just don't have it. I was alone last Friday night and Saturday and I must say, I hate it. I don't even have t.v. and am not sure I could concentrate on anything if I did. Does anyone else have a hard time concentrating since the death of their spouse? I can't read, have a hard time focusing on movies, it's just hard. Nothing holds my attention anymore. What causes this? My son is clear across the country and my daughter has some problems claiming her attention right now, friends...well they have a way of disappearing. I have to force myself to even go to church anymore, I've never felt like this before. What is going on with me? Why can't I be "normal" after more than two years? I feel like if George were here, he would hold me and everything would be all right...why am I still feeling like this, why do I still miss him so bad? I feel like I'll never have a life again, and I've tried so very hard to build one, it just isn't working. Help me, please, somebody, I feel like I can't take much more of this!

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Kay, I'm here just to let you know you are not alone....feeling the way you do after 2 years. I read Derek's post on "Strength" and could not reply. I'm not a stronger person. I don't know how long these lows will continue to rear up but they don't get any easier. I was a strong person when I met Gene. We were stonger together. Now I look in a mirror and I don't even know who I see anymore. I still get up in the mornings with no direction and am unable to complete any task. I need to get a job and I just can't seem to find the strength to do anything for myself. I got a jury summons in the mail this week and that alone set off one big panic attack...I called my doctor and begged for a medical excuse. Fortunately I have a compationate physician who understands. Last night in tears I begged God to take this pain away. I hope he's listening and will bring some sort of comfort into all of our hearts. Maybe today I'll at least get the house vaccumed. That alone would be a big task done.

Kay, know that I do care about you and everyone here. How I wish we all could find a few moments of happiness.

Always Gene!

Always!

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KayC

I am sorry that you were awake so early and feeling so sad. you are not alone kayC, we have all felt htis way or still feel this way. i still have not been able to read a book since my mom last july. i can magazines but not a entire book. i just can't concentrate. i am able to watch tv but that to awhile.

i think it is so much harder for you b/c you don't have the support of your children or family. i have my two boys and husband so i have to keep it going for them. the other day i had a complete melt down. the boys were playing outside and i was hysterical. i then got it together b/c they came in.

Kay, you are perfectly normal. You lost someone so close to you , you second half. just take one minute at a time kay, that is all you can do right now.

can you join a church group that can help keep you busy ? maybe you should think about going on the retreat with work.

I am always here for you. Lori

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KayC

I am sorry that you were awake so early and feeling so sad. you are not alone kayC, we have all felt htis way or still feel this way. i still have not been able to read a book since my mom last july. i can magazines but not a entire book. i just can't concentrate. i am able to watch tv but that to awhile.

i think it is so much harder for you b/c you don't have the support of your children or family. i have my two boys and husband so i have to keep it going for them. the other day i had a complete melt down. the boys were playing outside and i was hysterical. i then got it together b/c they came in.

Kay, you are perfectly normal. You lost someone so close to you , you second half. just take one minute at a time kay, that is all you can do right now.

can you join a church group that can help keep you busy ? maybe you should think about going on the retreat with work.

I am always here for you. Lori

Dear Kay

It has just been over six months since I lost Bruce and I know what you mean there are times that I think I can do this. Life is going not to bad and then out of know where it hits you. He is never coming back. I thank god everyday that my kids are all with in a few miles from me. They tell me that things will get better. I pray that today will be a better day for you.

Gail

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I, also, need to tell you you're not alone. I have had that happen to me as well. It's such a helpless feeling. Being alone is very hard and to be lonely on top of it is double hard. My heart goes out to you. Today is two years for Jack and I'm not sure how it will play out. I woke up thinking about when it happened. Before Jack, my life was very difficult with years of my children and I abused by my ex and then, after being alone quite a while, I was going to marry a man that died in a truck crash, then being alone for quite a while, my wonderful Jack. So, I think I've learned to turn thoughts off out of self protection. I try to replace a thought I don't want with one I do want and that helps. We each have our own ways of dealing and you've done beautifully so far, so, as it's been said, "And this, too, shall pass." Hang in there, Kay, you'll make it.

Karen

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Karen,

My prayers are with you today. My two year milestone I went to work and then came home...alone. It is tough, I've said it before, and I'll say it again,I honestly don't know what I'd do without this site.

I don't find solace in church anymore, there are people there whose lives are so different than mine, I feel there is a big gulf between me and them. A chasm that did not exist "before". All I do is commute, work, take care of my animals, clean house, and stamp. I don't know anything else any more. I've been walking every day, I'm hoping that helps, but I don't even find comfort in that any more and I have always loved nature and hiking. I feel the sunshine is gone out of my life and I don't know how to get it back. I keep trying, I'll probably keep on trying the rest of my life, the thing I don't know is, why I bother. You know what the pits is? I don't even have a garage to shut my car into! Now that's the pits! Okay, I recognize I'm having a down day, this isn't like me, but it is like me today. I hope some of you are doing better than me today. I'm sorry I sound so low, I wish I could be more uplifting today. I don't even know what to do to make myself feel better. Not even chocolate could improve my mood today. :(

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((((KAYC)))) - my thoughts are with you as I read your latest post. I am sorry that you are feeling "down", but please remember that you have helped me, and many others here, survive on this lonely journey.

Remember when you wrote:

"I try to think of something good about each day, about seeing the deer in my yard looking at me or the elk mewing in the trees. These things do not take his place, not even for a moment, but they are joys in themselves all the same. We have to go on, we have no choice, but we can still look forward to being reunited someday."

and …

"It helps to hear what others have to say...to know that I'm not crazy, or if I am, at least I'm not alone, for we who have lost our life partner, our love, we are going through this lonely path together."

You were so wise when you wrote:

"I am very happy for my husband, he is safe, he is happy, he is in that wonderful place we now all long for...but for myself, I am going to have to make something of this rubble that is left of my life. I am going to have to give it meaning, hope, purpose."

I have tried to follow your good advice, but sometimes fall back, temporarily I hope, into the pit of grief.

At year end 2005 (the worst year of my life so far) you offered these words of hope:

"We must hold on to our hope for sometimes, at the moment, that is all that we have. It is that hope and faith that sees us through the darkest of times until we can see our dreams realized in fruition. We have the hope of seeing our loved ones again and being reunited, we need to focus on that and on what we have now rather than concentrating on how long the wait is."

Our loved ones will always be with us . They are patiently waiting for us

Listen Here When we get where we're going there'll be only happy tears!

Take Care Kay - there will definitely be better days ahead!

:):):):):):):):):)

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Thank you, Walt. It seems like when those waves of grief overtake us, they waft into our life unbidden and by surprise and overwhelm us. It is that which I am going through, and I know I won't feel this down always, but today it is that I am. I will try to find something good today, tonight, and tomorrow. I appreciate your words of encouragement.

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KayC, you know your "family of friends" on this site are surrounding you right now and holding you up... we are sending our strength today to help you, as you have helped us when the going gets rough. This grief experience rarely makes sense to me. The things that once would bring us comfort or a least a respite from the pain, no longer work. That is what makes this journey so difficult sometimes. You are trying but some days nothing seems to work. So today, let us help you, I'm hoping for some peace for you today, just go slow today, don't try to do anything, just go with the feelings and we will be here tomorrow and the next to listen and help. Deborah

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Hi Kayc,

You don't mention whether erratic sleep patterns are normal for you now or not. But I'm in the same boat as you--sleep is not what it used to be for me. Awake for two days--sleep for 4 hours--trying to resist falling asleep during the day, then wide awake at bedtime--sleeping for 12 hours straight after one of the no-sleep stretches. It's a year-and-a-half for me, but what has changed are not the feelings of loss and pain, but how they appear to others. ("You're doing so well!"..."ummm...thanks.")

I've had the same problems with concentration as you have. After the death of our baby, I went from reading 4-6 books at a time, to zero. It took years for me to read again, but it eventually happened. My concentration level hasn't returned to let me read a rack of books a year, but I was able to read at least a couple a year eventually. Now, after Tanya's death, I have the same problem as you. I'll find myself reading for an hour and having absolutely no idea what I just read. Ditto TV or movies...what was that movie about? Heck if I know--don't even recall who was in it. If your library has audiobooks, they're worth a try. It usually takes me multiple listens to get the gist any longer, but it sure isn't as frustrating as reading and getting nothing out of it. It might be nice to hear a voice in the house too.

Kay, I'm sure you know that someone like you going through the anguish you are, sure doesn't deserve it. Unfortunately, life's chaotic non-pattern reveals itself in moments, and there is no way to accurately predict the outcome of the next one, or when elusive relief might unveil itself. Know only that while your journey is being travelled alone, many are on the same road--some in front of you, some behind. We all understand the pain and difficulty because we're living it too, and we all wish you relief. ~ Steven

Sorrow comes to all...Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better and yet you are sure to be happy again. Abraham Lincoln

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Thanks, I almost feel you guys' prayers surrounding me. I feel a little better this afternoon. I am trying really hard to get used to living alone but it was never my preference, and all my life I wanted a family, so this is tough to get used to. I wish you all the best this weekend.

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KayC,

If George were here, he would hold you and everything would be all right. In addition, Jack would do the same for me. However, if they were here – that would mean they would not have died and we would not be needing this assistance so desperately. What you describe is very familiar to me – sometimes I have a terrible time concentrating. I find myself wandering from room to room wondering why I am in the room I just entered. It’s as if I’m looking for Jack and that I’ll find him if I keep wandering the rooms of my home – certainly he could not have permanently left me? It will be two years next Tuesday the 31st that Jack has been gone – nearly the same timeline as your George. We keep wandering from room to room looking for “normal” but “normal” died when they died. I feel lost and alone every day in so many ways – and hold on to the few things that have sustained me during the last two years. Those few things are:

1. A few close friends and few close family members

2. Monthly counseling sessions with Hospice of the Valley

3. The folks on this web site and

4. writing

I force myself to stay busy. I force myself to re-connect with human contact – even if it’s just to go to the local coffee shop to be where others are. I force myself into any number of situations that will engage me with the rest of the world. Sometimes I force myself to enter this web site and communicate with all of you. However, if I did not force myself into all these seemingly ordinary pursuits I would probably spend all my time wandering room to room looking for Jack. It is hard to create a new life- to find a “new normal”. However, the more time I spend searching for a “new normal” the more pieces of Jack I find along the way. He’s gone – but in some ways, he’s not gone. He left an indelible mark on my life and I am quite sure that George left the same mark on your life as well.

I have not physically found Jack in all those rooms I wander into – hoping that he would suddenly appear. However, I have found – and I bet you have too – pieces of your lost love in things you say and do. A long time ago, I shared the following poem with you all. I want to share it with you again as we all seek to find a “new normal” after our lost love has vanished from our sight. If we look close enough we will find that our “new normal” is bound to have elements of George and Jack. As we wander room-to-room (or pace the night away) looking for that “new normal” you will find him in the mirror staring back at you some day – a piece of him will have lingered and found a way to stay. Your “new normal” will be based on the pieces and memories of how he moved and walked and talked. And you will say “I See You In Myself”

“I See You In Myself”

Your face I cannot feel or see - but clothes you wore remain

The space you filled is all about – but it’s not quite the same

What we had then - when you were here - was special and unique

What I have now – that you are gone - has left me here to seek

I had to clean the memories out - and place them on a shelf

My heart – it has been stored away – like a plastic Christmas elf

I hope my heart will not grow old there - sitting in the dark

The memories that I placed it with – were meant to heal a heart

My heart and soul remembers well – the items on that shelf

You touched and wore - what I now store – “I See You On The Shelf”

I could not bear to see them go – these items that you graced

I could not bear to let them stay – I had to find a place

The heart that had to watch you die – now had to do the rest

With loving hands and broken heart - I pressed them to my chest

Pictures - Wallets - Rings and Chains - plus stands of golden locks

With tear drops falling on my cheeks - I placed them in that box

I slipped in all the memories - of each item that was you

And then I took this broken heart - and left that with you too

My heart and soul remembers well – the items on that shelf

You touched and wore - what I now store – “I See You On The Shelf”

I know I put that box away – up there upon that nook

But somehow I still find you here – in strange places that I look

I saw you in the mirror staring back at me today

A piece of you had found its way - to linger and to stay

The little things you said and did - could not be hidden there

To boxes on a shelf so high – my memories are so clear

The heart I had so gently placed in boxes – there to rest

Had found its way down off that shelf - and back into my chest

The you - that moved - and walked - and talked – were not up on that shelf

That box - could not hold what you were – “I See You In Myself”

I see you in the mirror staring back at me today

A piece of you had found its way - to linger and to stay

The you - that moved and walked and talked – were not up on that shelf

That box - could not hold what you were – “I See You In Myself”

My heart and soul remembers well – the items on that shelf

You touched and wore - what I now store – “But I See You In Myself”

© John R. Davis 2007

My best to you always,

John – Dusky is my handle on here

Love You Jack

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Kayc,

My heart extends to you, I know the feelings you quoted too well, I pray for peace to surround you, you been such a dear friend to me, I will tell you, I wake up every day not knowing who I am anymore, in fact I personally avoid looking at myself, but the fact you made it thus far is a blessing from God, without our faith the glue would wither away. You are not alone for SURE :)

William

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Stallyn, Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. John/Dusky, I appreciate what you shared. You are right, they are here with us, we carry them here in our hearts. It's hard for me to believe we've made it two years, it doesn't seem possible. I remember that day, like it was yesterday, when I was in the hospital, praying, and "they" came to tell me...I didn't want to hear it, I cried out a resounding, "NO! NOT MY HUSBAND!" in a wail that echoed down the hallways. In that moment I experienced the most excruciating pain one can ever experience, the moment that changed my life forever.

It didn't get any easier for me this weekend...my daughter had a crisis and I wanted to be there for her. I prayed a lot. It's different now, my prayer life, I have a very difficult time focusing, but then, God understands that. I am turning to Him nevertheless. My John was gone this weekend and out of cell phone range, so we couldn't even talk. Married or not, I have to go it alone and try to live with just myself. It was never my preference to be single or alone, all my life, I wanted a family, and here I am now, alone. The kids are grown with lives of their own. My special cat, Chappy, that the Lord gave me after George died, ran away a week ago. I am taking care of my son's dog while he works in upstate New York for 2 1/2 months, and Chappy didn't like it. I found so much love and comfort in that little cat, and I miss him terribly. Then, and I know it's just a little thing, but it just added to my morose feelings, I received an email from a buyer on eBay that was just horrible and unfounded, and it hurt like the dickens. I bend over backwards for my buyers and once in a while you get one like this. I know some people are just that way, that you can't please everyone, no matter how hard you try, but some people sure make life challenging.

Then to further add to how the weekend was going, since I am still sick (it's been 13 days now), I rented some movies, but they were all duds, I mean really bad duds, not watchable. They didn't seem at all like the description on their jackets. My daughter was supposed to come up Fri. night but didn't make it up until Saturday night. It was just one of those weekends. And it's not over yet. I have another day to survive being alone before I go back to my job that I commute to/from 100 miles every day. We are in the throes of a building project and I am under a lot of stress at work with more expenditures than income, trying to juggle contractors, workmen, and schedules. I feel like we all need something to look forward to and I'm not sure what I have to look forward to...there is nothing, noone that I can count on. I miss my son. New York feels clear across the world to me, here in Oregon. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have gone on and on, we all have our weekends to survive, our lives with their petty problems, our loneliness and adjustments and seeming loss of purpose to deal with. It's a lot to chew! But I have these two dogs and one cat left depending on me, and it forces me to get out and take them for walks. I've only been sleeping three hours per night so I didn't feel like rushing to church this morning, it's afternoon and I haven't even dressed yet, but I'll make myself go out tonight. I'm not sure why, I don't fit in any more, but I know, like John said, I need to get out some.

I hope you all are surviving your weekend as best as you can, my thoughts are with you.

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I came across this and thought you might want to read it.

"After the first death, there is no other," wrote Dylan Thomas. That doesn't mean the one that come after won't break your heart, but it's the first that punches your soul's passport. Welcome, fellow human, to a different country than the one you woke up to this morning. The air's different here; so is the scenery. Your knees don't work so well in fact, you may want to fall to them.

For a precious little while, you are allowed to be stunned into silence, or to shriek, or to talk -- recounting stories of who he was, what she meant to you, and how it all came to an end. Tell those stories. Some people may say Enough of This Drama Is Enough. Ignore them. If you treat yourself gently, someday soon you'll hear the faint but steady voice of your own good sense.

Play music you love, sit in the sunshine, and if anyone offers you a hand, hold it. Let them feed the cat, too, because they want to be useful, and since they cannot raise the dead, let them feed the cat. And scramble some eggs. It will feel strange at first. But if you pretend that scrambling eggs is normal, eventually it will become normal.

For some of us the stay in this new country seems endless. But time passes, and, truly, would those we grieve for want us to mope? Come with me, back into the world. We'll return to this land all too soon, but in the meantime the garden needs weeding, the bills need paying. Your other loved ones need you. And you, my sweet friend, you could use a shampoo.

Larkin Warren

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My husband ,David, and I used to always write little love notes to each other and call each other up on the phone during the day to give a "hug". Even after 42 years of marriage. I miss that so much now. I have discovered that the only way for me to get any rest at night is to write David a love letter telling him about the day's frustrations, sadness, memories that cropped up, how much I love and miss him, etc. I'm on page 81 tonight. Someday I hope I will be able to share a happy thought now and then, but that day is a way off right now. It does help me get rid of some of the stress and the tears that build up and prevent sleep. Don't know what I'll do with the letters later on, but I'm not worrying about that. Perhaps I'll burn them and add their ashes to his. Some nights, when I can't stay asleep, I'll add a P.S., P.P.S. ... Jan

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Kayc: There are times "that tries mens' souls." Everything goes wrong, people are demanding things you don't have to give and instead of little things going the way they should even they backfire and screw up.

Before my first husband died we had to declare reorganization bankruptcy. People from banks called my business, my husband put himself and others in

danger with eplipsy blank outs that started to happen while driving. (He crashed into a gas station!)I was working a second job while running the business and got calls all the time from him because he couldn't remember things, etc, etc. My dog had to be put to sleep 2 monthe before John died, she started bleeding internally. My mom had a stroke, my dad was getting dementia and couldn't remember all the help we were giving them and became influenced by a cousin who suddenly entered the picture. My dad started to hate me and pushed me away. I had terrible stress palpations. Finally one day after a nasty phonecall from a creditor I threw up my hands. I knew I was backed up against the wall with no more options anywhere for anything. I felt this sudden rush of relief, because it was just plain out of my hands at that point. I started laughing. I told my DH John, "This is so stupid. This is actually ridiculous at this point. It is actually funny !".

I was amazed. When it overflowed on its' own it left me. I was able to sit down and tackle each thing one at a time clearly and decidely.

I must have been fighting against the tide with false hopes. When I gave up trying to swim upstream I saw everything so clearly and the fear left. Things just were and that was what I had to deal with. I could let them get to me or not. From feeling totally powerless I suddenly felt empowered. When I accepted the reality of each thing there was a clear answer to each one (not that they were happy ones,to be sure, but they were answers that solved the problems and would make life better for me later).

What a time ! That was several years ago, and now my life is better. You never know what lies before you. Today sucks, and in time it can be so different. Hang on. Let it run through you and out of you. Sometimes there is nothing you can do for awhile. If you accept it for what it is RIGHT NOW

you may not feel as stressed fighting something that just has to run its' stupid, ridiculous course.

During that time and afterwards I said, " well, maybe its' better to get all the s--t over with in a huge clump, then there won't be anything left to deal with for a really really long time."

Letting it all out is good- afterall, why keep it? Take care- Doublejo

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Doublejo,

No wonder you are so wise! You have been through so much! It would break some people, but you didn't let it break you, you learned the simple truth that is in the serenity prayer...accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can. That's it in a nutshell. I think of all of the things I face, the hardest for me is being alone. John and I are progressing in our relationship, I have been working very hard on ME (change the things I can) and I am now seeing responsiveness in him. Our situation still is what it is but I am trying to accept it for what it is for now, even though it's not my personal preference. I am learning to carry George and all of the good that we had in our relationship within me and draw strength and comfort from it, instead of just missing it. Thank you for everything you shared, all of you. God bless you.

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Kayc:

After John was gone my mind was so tired and stressed my memory was shot.

Yet, when I had to fix something I remembered how John did it, even if it was something I never did myself. I still find that amazing. It was like I had absorbed all of my John into me and I carried him with me.

After my second husband , Curt died last year, I at first panicked when I needed to fix something he had done. Then, instead of saying to myself, "Curt would fix this !" I started saying to myself, "now, how would Curt do this?". I drew upon Curt.

Truly, when you live with someone and become one, you do not separate upon death. The body goes but the person stays within you somehow.

You never know what the next day brings. Change can be hard work but can bring wonderful new things too.

Tak care- Doublejo

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Kayc,

Its a honor to know you and comfort each other here, lately I been in a funk of some kind, well I blame the weather here, I miss the companionship of a woman, seems like forever since my dear passed away, Its a gift from God to men, when its taken away, the essence of being is chaotic. Bless you all :)

William

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Hi William....I've been in kind of a funk,too. But my little neighbor just lost her mother and I looked all over for "forget me nots" to give her with a card but couldn't find them but I gave her a fuschia and she came to thank me. When I looked at this little sad yount lady all I could say was I loved her, she was so special and please come and talk with me whenever she could. She was worried about a memorial or not so I told her of some of my experiences and also to think about first "her mind, her heart and her hands." I feel that what comes into our minds, needs to go to our hearts to sort it out, and if that works out towards good, then our hands will carry it out. She walked away saying, "Mind, heart, hands....mind heart, hands." Take care, William.

Your friend.....Karen

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Karen,

I haven't been around lately, I been keeping myself busy to exhaustion, anything to forget my problems and loneliness, you have a big heart to share, thanks for always supporting me and others that need it. I am STILL in a kind of daze, like a part of me went to hibernation. How are you doing lately?

Blessings,

William

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Doing very well. I'm keeping busy also. I have a new thing I'm doing. I work out 3 times a week and a lady there is deaf so I'm teaching myself the American Sign Language so she has someone to talk to. It's a beautiful language and she seems so happy to talk to me.....but it does take time. I'm glad you're keeping busy, too. It sure helps. Take care and have a good day.

Your friend....Karen

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Karen,

You are an inspiration to us all. God bless you.

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Karen,

What a great opportunity to learn ASL, I used it when I was younger since I am hearing impaired and had friends that are deaf, Well I got a 20 Gallon Tank a week ago with some freshwater fish in it, helps but doesn't fully fill the void

does it :(

William

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