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When one falls we all fall down…

Sometimes it happens in families, when the most beloved of them, the strongest of them who holds us all together dies. The remaining family will despair and go their separate ways… the family bond weak, an illusion in time. Love, anger, disappointment happen but most of all separation of family in honor of the loved one, this is not what was planned for the "lost one" or even wished for. But families are only human with hearts that are now broken and trying to make sense of the painful death experience. We are each trying to go on with our lives, going forward… facing pain day by day that haunts every one of us. One by one we suffer but each one of us suffers alone.

I've read that grief can take a few weeks for some people to get over their loved ones death, months for others, one year for many, several years for more. My husband, Bob died May 27th, my Mom on May 19th … I really thought I was doing good until this week.

The fact is I've been really busy with just getting by and until yesterday when all my grief hit me. It is not getting better it's getting worse… I am definitely becoming overwhelmed. Friday I snapped at my boss (I wasn't aware of it, not like me at all). Fortunately she was understanding and has given me space to get my job done. But I need to get this grieving under control so I made a call to Hospice/Providence in Oregon. Hopefully I can get something going in grief counseling. Not that I like the idea of going, I don't… but something has to happen because I know Bob, my husband would not want me to be unhappy. I promised myself that I would live my grief as he died with cancer, with dignity and no fear. I made it through Bob's Life Celebration with lots of help but my life in this house was built for two not for one, this house and I need help to help run it… someone who is a carpenter, mechanic and plumber… but then that's my husband now isn't it?

No replacement…

Decisions to make come next spring I've decided… being very independent has come with a cost and asking for help all the time is giving me a stomach ache. I need to find me again, that strong independent woman I remember and was proud of so long ago… who could make decisions and not worry about what other people were thinking about her. This path I'm on has got to lead me somewhere that I don't feel like I'm swimming upstream all the time or none of this will make any sense to me… and it needs to make me feel alive again and not battered by what's happening around me.

Peace to all.



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You could be talking about me here. I have also put off major decisions until the spring. I put them off last year too, but I think we have to move at our own pace. I have fallen down many times. The grief hits you when you least expect it and sends you reeling.

I've also got a house to deal with that was meant for four hands and two incomes. My husband was the handyman. I have no idea how to fix things. I wish there was a class for women with no practical skills.

It's still early days for you - so go easy on yourself. Lower your ambition level. Just getting up in the morning was an accomplishment for me when I had reached the point where you are now.


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Yes, I'm struggling to regain myself and to manage a home that he built that is perfect for us but not so friendly for one pretty useless handywoman.

I don't think the strong independent women we were have gone anywhere - we just need to give them time to surface again. I have to believe they will...Susie Q

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...and when one rises we all rise....same tide lifts all boats in the harbor. THIS is the harbor....we go up and down with each other but it is a safe harbor. Slow down. I still have not written thank you notes (and won't now I suppose 18 months later), I have a list a mile long of decisions, to do items....I do what I can when I can. Be gentle with YOU.


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Mary - re thankyou cards

In a few weeks time it will be two years since my husband died. I have tried a number of times to do thank you cards but find it just unbearable. Instead, I've written about five letters/notes to significant people without whom I just would not have made it this far. A couple I included in Christmas cards last year and the rest with a birthday card as they rolled around. It seemed much easier as a one-off task.

I mentioned to a friend not long ago that I still felt really badly that I hadn't responded to some many wonderful people. He said "The people that matter don't care, and the people that care don't matter'.

That simple line has released me from all the guilt I felt and strangely, I even seem a little more disposed to start the process slowly.

Funny isn't it, how a shift in mindset affects the soul?

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Personally, I don't think it matters if it takes you a year to write the thank you notes...this isn't, after all, like wedding thank yous, and people surely have to understand that this has gotten a grip on you and it's very hard to get through the fog. If they don't know, they will...someday. People need to be understanding and etiquette that is normally important, should be allowed to take a back seat in this instance.

I am very independent and good at what I do...but that does NOT include home repairs or anything mechanical...that just is not my niche. We all have things we excel at, that just isn't one of them for me! Don't be afraid to ask for help, a neighbor, a relative, a friend...bribe with great dinners and your good companionship if need be!

It is good to know when you need outside help, group support, therapy, or a long cry-on-the-shoulder-of-a-friend session, anything to keep some of the fallout from landing at work. It is natural you will cry at work, church, driving, etc. in the early months...or even first year or two on occasion, but we want to keep those times in public to a minimum. Not everyone is understanding and we don't want to lose our jobs! I was very fortunate to work for a good place when I lost George...my current job (what's left of it) would not be so understanding and supportive, at least they sure weren't when Jim broke up with me at work.

The real lifesaver for me has been coming here...and having my dog...without that, I just don't know...

It was also good for me to realize that God was here all of the time, even when I didn't feel Him here.

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