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Today my geek is coming for my laptop for major work (upgrade to 64 bit, solid state hard drive and more ram etc). He wants all the software. Easier said than done. As I took care of Bill for 4+ years, I also lost my organized office. Before he got sick, I would have had all the software nicely piled in ONE container having discarded the out of date versions. Manuals would have been right with the software. Today I had to search in 4-5 places (all in my office at least), sort through old versions.... for all of this....I THINK I got it all.

This is only one tiny piece of the fall out just in the household pieces of life after a long period of the kind of chaos that accompanies chronic illness, care giving, exhaustion, trauma and ultimately a death. Bill took care of the finances for many years as I hate doing it. Thank goodness we had the foresight to meet twice a month so I was in the loop. I took it over BEFORE he was unable to assist me and bring me up to speed. We saw it coming even through our denial. He had organized everything meticulously...I mean meticulously. If he saw my files today....he would know more of how disorganized care giving led me to become. Thank goodness for Quicken....as I do at least have records and receipts on four checking accounts (3 for businesses)...receipts in absolutely no order for the past three years....oh, please don't audit me, IRS.

It goes on and on....boxes in the basement sit unpacked as we moved in the middle of his illness hoping the new location (next town) where we always wanted to live, would give him places to walk in town and people to talk to at the General Store and shops. I knew if he got lost, someone would bring him home as everyone knew us...and it did happen once. My signal to go with him after that.

His complete wood working and repair workshop....sits in boxes with several saws, drill press, lathe, etc there also. His closet is full. On and on and on it goes. I know many of you are also dealing with this. Between the exhaustion, the grieving and working....those things tend to sit unattended...UNTIL my geek wants all my software or the accountant wants tax records in two months....

...and do you know what? NONE of it matters...not one bit...just another task to do through fatigue for all of us. As my art studio comes to completion, the contractor asked yesterday, "What kind of step do you want here and what kind of platform for the gas stove?"...I said-"be creative". he looked at me with wonder. I said, "Eric, it does not matter. I know you will do it right." I felt like adding, "When the worst has happened, a step and a ton of other things are of no consequence." Every contractor's dream...or nightmare. I did not say it...as usual.

Thanks for listening to my long dissertation.

Mary mfh

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Mary, you are exactly right, when you have been through the worst, like we all have here on this site, nothing else seems to have any relevance. That reminds me of the rare occasions since Larry's death when someone offers to get me something to eat, what would you like? my reply is always the same, it doesn't matter, I'll eat whatever you want. Food, the house, the garden... all the things I prided myself in managing... yes I still care about those things but its now something to get done. Deborah

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I can so relate. This time of year always getting tax info..my legal name is different than the name I use..I have a hypenated name but don't use it..so the IRS for the past two years has to have me fill out more forms. Finally after spouses passing, (I had do file a probate because for 16 years we have been common law married ) I also got a court ordered name change to please the IRS. So now am waiting wondering what issues will come this year..and of course the forms have already started coming...and of course trying to contact them by phone or email will drive anybody into a crazy state. Just one of those days.

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I think you summed it up well - the fatigue and that feeling of "nothing matters" is pervasive. For me, and for all of us I'm sure, there are a few distractions during the day - work, a film on tv, dinner with the kids or with friends. These things distract me from the deepest grief. But the fatigue and general enormous disappointment with life is always hanging there in the background, like a grey, drizzly day.

All the practical stuff we have to get through alone is pretty exhausting too. I tend to feel bitter then - why did I have to be stuck with all this - alone?

I try to keep in mind those widowed women in different parts of Africa, trudging through the desert with starving kids and no one to help them. They have nothing at all. It's hard though, to keep that perspective.

Melina

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Dear Mary,

You said what we all feel. I have, everything of Pauline's still out, all her personal items in the bathroom, bedroom, even all her clothes are still in the closets. I know someday I will have to tackle all the. I looked for her keys but could not find them. We had our ear pierced, on our 10 anniversary. I wore mine every day, then about a month ago, somehow I lost it. It broke my heart so bad, I cried for over an hour. Do you think I could find hers. No, so I took some cash that Pauline had set aside and bought a new pair. I needed to feel that connection again. Just the little things, need to be done. My filing is like yours, I had to re-image Pauline's computer, well mine now. I needed a software key. Do you think I could find it. After hours of searching, there it was right in front of me all the time, right where, Pauline always kept her codes. I felt so stupid, but in the end, it was where it should have been. Go figure.

God Bless, my friend,

Dwayne

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Mary,

I too can relate. As I've been out of work for nearly six months and time progresses without me landing a job that would enable me to keep my home, the day draws nearer when I realize I will eventually lose my home and the biggest concern I seem to have is what do I do with all of this stuff and will there be anyone to help me with any of it? For it is too much for me. There is a double garage with an attic above it that I have never been in (there is no stairs and I'm not up to going up there with a ladder...you can't stand up in it either) and things perched in the rafters...how do I get them down and what is up there? There is a house full of 34 years of family living. It's almost as if I want to pack up what I know I will use and hold a garage sale with the rest...anything left can go to Goodwill or the dump. But physically I can't do all of this by myself...I cannot take my bed apart, and it won't move without dismantlement. Is it ridiculous to worry about all of this? Probably. But at 4:00 am, that's what's on my mind.

I can relate to your not caring what the step looks like and wanting someone else to just make a decision about it for once...we get tired of having to make all of the decisions about things that are, in the relative scheme of things, unimportant. I want someone else to order my life and act upon it...but that's not happening. I'm in charge of it all. That's part of the realization you get when you've lost your spouse... you who USED to be "in it together" now aren't...there's just you. And it's all on you, and you feel it.

I too don't want to deal with tax planning or anything else. It's enough to shovel snow and stack wood and be the only one in charge of this place and all it entails. I try to consider what I need to do in the upcoming week and not look too far beyond that because it can seem overwhelming otherwise. As I cross laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning kitchen, getting groceries, paying bills, getting wood in, making birthday cards, shoveling the snow, and fixing dinner off of my list, there is a feeling of satisfaction when everything is finally crossed of...only to have to make a new list as it now has to be done all over again. And so time continues ticking by, week by week, we age, but we don't notice the time going...are we getting any closer to joining our loved one? In between there are little things to look forward to, some of you have grandchildren you can enjoy seeing, or kids to get together with, there are activities we enjoy like music or crafts, volunteering, or spending time with a friend. Those are the things that seem to keep us going.

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Yep, we are all up to our ears in whatever. The guy who is taping the new drywall no showed on Thursday. I finally left. Today he i was two hours late. And no sign of it changing. He should return at 9 Am tomorrow...I told him I would hold him to it. They are late because people allow it. I had to bite my tongue to not say what I wanted to say. I felt my stomach tighten the way it was the many years I watched bill die a slow death....now I am in tears as these guys tape my new wall...trying to be grateful. I am trying to focus on all the good stuff but today it is like climbing a mountain.

Kay, I do hope you can keep your ho e and then slowly purge it with some help from others. Very gray chilly day here....tons of shoulder pain for two days. Ok venting over. Peace to us all,

Mary

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Dear Mary,

I think it is time to find a new drywall guy. That is one thing I can say, is that I am never late to a job or whatever. In 27 years at my job, I could count on one hand the times I got in late. I do not understand how they can run a business, like that, in today's time, with so many people out of work.

I hope that your shoulder heals soon for you. The cold will only aggravate it more. If you can, put it in a sling for a few hours a day. Keeping it stable will help it heals faster, along with a lot of protein, and vitamin D.

God Bless

Dwayne

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I'm sorry about your shoulder pain, Dwayne's right, the cold brings it back with a vengeance. My elbow didn't hurt for at least a month and now with the snow I can feel the pain in the same place I broke it...arthritis already! At least it's just once in a while, not constant. I'm continuing my gin and raisins, that's for sure!

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Ithanks, Kay. I actually lifted something I should not have lifted. Someday I will learn. Back to doing what is good for me. So hard sometimes. My drywall and I had a pleasant talk and now he shows up when he says he will. He is here now on Sunday morning. I look forward to getting this job done. Chaos reigns here.... :)

Peace

Mary

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Yes Mary I to am having a difficult time keeping up with my chores, paying bills is like pulling teeth right now......I just cant do it.......energy is gone and where am i putting everything, in fact almost had my car insurance cut off........but was able to call in a payment! My mind isnt as sharp as it once was.....

Was planning to go to the valley wide memorial service tonight through Hospice of the Valley, but just not sure I have the energy to go by myself and make it home.....once again another 2 hr commute roundtrip!

And do remind myself that everyday is a memorial to Mike that I get up and try......besides having Thanksgiving here and that damn picket fence needs some more paint, would rather paint the house 4 times then paint this fence! With this all being said to finish up this painting.......would probably be more to Mikes liking..........

I havent been crying on a daily basis this week, but there is never a hour I dont think of him and get sick to my stomach........with that horrible burning sensation, that I really dont think will ever leave me.....

Dave

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I don't trust my mind to do the thinking anymore, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is on my google calendar and reminders pop up and tell me when to pay a bill or go somewhere, even when to take out the trash! If my computer or internet goes down, I'm done for. LOL

When I broke my elbow it was so hard to vacuum and carry groceries in, etc. I would flop dogfood bags over into the trunk, kind of roll them (35 lbs). I used a wheelbarrow to get groceries from car to house...brought it right into the kitchen! I could lift the left handle with my left hand and use my useless right one just for light guiding...kind of tricky. Opening cans and Rx bottles was out, so was chopping, and at first I couldn't even drive (stick shift car). Honestly, I don't know how I got through it! You have had your elbow messed up for a very long time, I don't know how you're surviving, but ask for help whenever you can and let things go that don't have to be done. If you can eat takeout, do so, I hope you have an automatic car!

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Dave,

You are right...you do not have to drive two hours to remember mike. It is nice to do when it feels good but today is not one of those. I am sory things are difficult, painful for all of us. Peace, mary

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Oh Kay, that sounds awful, creative but so trying. I wish you had people to call on when you need help. It is my shoulder and over a year now. I helped carry an art table at group the other night and it was waaaaay too heavy. Stupid decision when there were others to do standing right there. My ego got in the way. Thanks for your kindness.

Peace...and healing

Mary

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