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Irrational Guilt Feelings


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So, tonight is the first time I've cooked myself a meal since Harv died. I'm grilling a steak and why do I feel guilty? My Harv considered himself a grillmeister and loved grilling for people. I guess I'm just having a bad evening. I miss him so much and just want to sit on the porch with him and have a cold beer and talk about anything and everything.

Love, Pam

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Pam

All the same, I am so glad you did because it shows you're focusing on yourself and that is a healthy thing.

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I understand that. there are still some things I can not do for the guilt, or the sadness it triggers. Slowly I am doing some more of them. I remember starkly the first time I had to buy groceries after she died... I was so off my face. there are still some favourite things I can't buy- because that is our favourite food together. Sometimes I feel pride and a shared experience by doing some of those things- like it feels closer to her. Other times I just can't face it.

Sending support and acre to you...

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Dear Pam,

The very thing has happened to me. It took me almost 6 months where I was able to cook meals for myself. The strongest emotion I felt was guilt. All The Doctors and the nurses that knew us told me, that I have, nothing to feel guilty over. That I had given Pauline the best care and loving home better than any one else they have seen. That no one could have given her what she needed and when she needed it as I did. They could see the great love and respect we had for each other. It has taken me a long time to get through the guilt. I still feel some even today.

Pam you have made a very positive step forward into this new life that none of us wanted or could even imagine. Take it one step at a time. You are doing just fine.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Dear Pam,

Self care matters. Routines matter. Going back to something you used to do--or he used to do--is hard--but something you have to do. or so they tell me. That first moment is insanely hard. But the next meal you cook will be a little easier, and the one after that easier still. Eventually it will come back to a kind of normal. But even then something can jump out and hit you with grief you do not understand. I seem to be going through that myself this week. I have a house to clean and I just can't seem to get up the gumption to do it--which strikes me strange since I have been really good about it for months.

But I came across one of my old notebooks from when Jane was in the hospital--and those notes just crushed me. I read them now and I know too much about what came next.

The good news is I know this storm will pass--intellectually--and that I will survive because I have been here before. But emotionally--that's a different story. Mind and emotion are at war this morning. The mind says get moving and the emotions say why bother? But I know I will feel better if I can get up and do some useful things, so I will do that shortly--just not this very now.

Peace,

Harry

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Pam, there days when getting the essential done is very hard. It took me, for instance, until noon today to sit down at the computer and pay the first of the month bills. Bill did the bills for years until he could not do it any longer. He always went over it with me so I was in the loop but now it is just me and paying them is another reminder or just doing something, anything, that takes energy. Cooking is another story...it was months before I started cooking. Lucky for me I live in a small town and often came home to find food on my doorstep. Of course that has stopped months ago (except for the recent barrage of tomatoes :) and cooking is still tough. As Harry said so well, sometimes sadness just hits out of nowhere. Other times we know exactly what the source is. Bottom line: be gentle with yourself. It is a long road so do what feels ok and let go of the rest. At least that is what I attempt each day.

Now that the bills are paid, going to the bank is the next step...and tonight's art class feels foreboding but I WILL go and once in the car with my friends, I will be distracted and end up enjoying the class....we just try our best and let the rest go.

By the way, I am doing this at 18 months out.

Mary

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It always astounds me how you guys write about so much that I can relate to. Harry, I understand so well about reading your notes and the grief and heartache that you must have felt in reliving that time. I am trying to believe that I can handle most anything, but really-can I? My Harv truly was a jack of all trades, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, you name it. He always said he could fix anything but the break of dawn. ;) I try not to put him on a pedestal, neither of us were perfect. But, just as we were getting older and instead of having heated disagreements like we had when we were younger, we had settled into a tender, appreciative relationship. Then- BOOM, he's gone. Seems kind of unfair. I remember hearing somewhere when our son was very young and we were learning how severe his disabilities were, I would cry and say "it's not fair! I did everything I was supposed to do while pregnant and other girls smoked, drank alcohol or worse and their babies were "fine." But somewhere I heard that we were never promised everything would be "fair."

I tried to listen to a country music station on the way to work and the song that was on was about a woman with breast cancer and her husband comforting her and promising to be by her side all the way and I couldn't stop the tears- who will comfort me if I become I'll? My Harv would have and that's who I want. Sorry, this is all over the place.

Love, Pam

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Pam,

That was how I felt when I had two falls one week apart...I broke my nose, damaged my teeth (I just learned yesterday that my front tooth the canal cracked all the way across and I need a bridge or implant $3000-$4000), bruises and abrasions everywhere, seriously fat lip, broken right elbow, and pulled ligament/tendon. I was told I couldn't drive for at least a week (and of course my car is a stick shift) and oh by the way, get someone else to walk your 90 lb. dog that no one but you can handle. I couldn't even get my pants up and down, I couldn't open a Rx bottle, I couldn't open a can, couldn't chop food, lift a pan of water, take out the garbage or anything else. All I wanted was for George to come back. I knew if he was here, he would take care of me, but he's gone, I didn't know what I'd do. Somehow I survived it. I got someone to mow the lawn, I hauled groceries and garbage with the wheelbarrow, I walked the dog left handed and somehow he was amazingly good! I got my neighbor to open bottles/cans for me. I wore loose dresses that first week. I drove even when it hurt to because I had to get to work, but the first week I telecommuted. I figured out if I opened the drawer on my computer hutch, put a board on it, I could lower my mouse/pad, making it more comfortable for my arm, and even manage to ice it while I worked! My house still needs painted and I'm sure there's a lot of things around here that need attention, but I do what I can and try not to worry about the rest.

I think the harder part isn't the physical things they did around the place for us, but that we are missing their arms around us, their telling us everything will be okay. At those times, I remind myself that George still loves me, he just isn't able to tell me right now, and I remember the things he would tell me if only he were here.

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