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Things I Have Done On My Own


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The blog Marty sent us to set me to thinking...I'd like to list my own accomplishments and hear some of yours. Maybe others who have been here a while would like to share what they have done "since losing their spouse". When we look back, we really can get a picture of how strong we are...whether we feel like it or not!

I stupidly remarried, but bravely got out of it when I saw there was no other recourse. George would have been proud to see me setting about getting John and my bank accounts separated, hire a lawyer before the holidays (no easy feat), and get rid of his trailer he'd left in front of my place with the sewage full and the floor, cabinets, and appliances torn out of it. In the dead of winter, with several feet of snow on the ground. I sold it for $1 just to get it out of my face.

I dealt with Identity Theft proactively, and even though I have to keep a close eye on it the rest of my life, I was able to stave them doing any lasting damage.

I bought and sold three vehicles. I gave George's trailer to a coworker. I learned how to use the riding lawnmower (okay, so I peed my pants the first time...it's on a hill and it was scary!). I have shoveled tons of snow and stacked tons of wood.

I have had to make all of my decisions, alone, by myself. I was out of work twice and somehow survived. I made decisions about IRAs, mortgages, jobs, handling $, and much else. I recently refinanced my house to save $150/mo. in payments since I'm "underemployed" now and that seems to be a thing with the times.

Tigger (George's cat) ran away. I acquired Chappy (cat) and then he got eaten by a cougar. I buried King George (cat). I buried Lucky (dog). I took care of my son's new dog, Skye, for much of the time he's had him. And I made the best decision of my life when I got Arlie (dog). And I inherited John's cat, Kitty. Wow, so many animal changes!

I replaced my freezer, and am getting a new refrigerator this week. I bought a pistol and learned how to clean it, etc. I've kept up with requirements/changes in the workplace, computers, etc. Got an iPhone. Got satellite tv and satellite internet. Learned how to eradicate woody vines/suckers from the yard.

I got my heart broke again but learned from it.

He would be happy to see how close my siblings and I are. Family was always important to him, even if it wasn't always reciprocated by them.

I was by my FIL's side through his old age, until he passed 1 1/2 years ago. Am going through my mother's ongoing dementia, having to go through court to get her to be willing to go into a home...still waiting for a dementia care opening.

I've seen George's granddaughter grow (through FB...she doesn't live near here) and his grandson born. Now his son has some as well, although he doesn't keep in touch.

George would have been surprised to see all of his friends/family disappear on me right after his memorial service. Some of them asked for things, but I stood my ground to them.

George missed my daughter and Don getting married, he would have been thrilled to death! He saw how lovesick Don was for my daughter. :) Three years ago next month! And he would have been ecstatic to see my son fall in love and marry such a wonderful girl. He would be pleased to know they want to use our camping trailer when they have kids (I haven't had the heart to use it since he died). He would be so pleased, how the traditions continue. He would have been happy to know my son got his "fish dishes" and loves them (even if his wife doesn't). He needs to pass them on to a confirmed bachelor now. :)

I think George would be proud of me. Life hasn't turned out like I thought it would, but it's okay. I'd still give everything to have him back, but somehow I think he's here...

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Kay, my first reaction to your request was that it was overwhelming to consider. So I ignored it. Then I said to myself...just write with presence...so I did and it is attached on the pdf format. In truth, it is the tip of the ice berg of these past 29 months...and your question made me consider that I, like everyone here, am doing this journey. We are using our strengths, allowing our pain to exist and be honored. We ARE progressing through this tunnel trusting that the flicker of daylight we see most days or seldom..will get bigger. Thanks for the question. Your own list is huge...and you have had so many obstacles rear their heads, including a mom who needs intervention often, job issues, and so much more.

I think we all deserve medals of courage, purple hearts for taking on life when we hurt so deeply, when we are shredded and half of our hearts are just gone and when we could run but choose to grow. I have to say that writing this has left me in a puddle of tears...sobbing with sadness and pride.

Peace,

Mary

Without You.pdf

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I'm here, but I need time to digest your thoughts. This is a good question. One thing I can say right now is that I do think I am strong even though I don't feel strong right now. I'll put something together but I do want to say that I am impressed with your courage. enna

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Mary, I love your list. As is your way, it sounds poetic, whereas mine is just random thoughts. :) The point being with this thread, is we need to look at what we have done, where we have been these recent years "since" and give ourselves credit as we know they would. This is no easy feat! So many little things which didn't seem little, I didn't mention...like getting groceries by myself, learning to sleep alone, learning to cook for one & eat alone, learning to go to church alone, learning to go ANYWHERE alone. I mentioned the bigger things but these seemingly smaller things didn't seem small, they seemed like herculean hurdles.

Enna, I look forward to reading your list, once you've had the time to digest this topic and write it out...and everyone else's. Some of you have attempted things I can't imagine attempting...driving across the country, selling homes, closing businesses, etc. We ARE a strong bunch...even when we WOULD rather pull the covers over our heads!

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This has made me also start thinking about many things... I have done things in the past year since my husband crossed over. Things that in the past I would never think I was capable of doing. There have also been many times that I thought how much better for my family it would be if it had been me that died instead. But, it wasn't and all I can do is keep on keepin' on. My Harv was my biggest cheerleader, he always told me I was much more capable than I gave myself credit for. So now, I remember him telling me that and I try to honor him be believing that. But, sometimes it's just freakin' hard. Peace and love to all. Pam

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Kay thanks for this blog, have been feeling really lousy about myself lately....but after reading this.....it has made me think....that I have done alot and alot that Mike would be proud of me for.....will write my thoughts after getting some much needed sleep! Dave

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It's morning and I had time to think about what Kay and Mary said about things they have done on their own. I tried to send my thoughts as an attachment but it said there was an error so I have to put this in this message. Your courage is giving me some hope that in time things will be less painful. enna

Tackling the Concrete Wall

My thoughts on going on without my Love:

… if you’re faced with a concrete wall and you want to get to the other side, you’ve got a few choices. You can either blast through it, walk around it, dig under it, climb over it…or act as if it doesn’t exist and walk right through it. “

I think we all have more potential than we realize and our lives have more possibilities than we can fathom. Those of you that have shared your concrete walls and how you got to the other side, thank you. I’m still standing on the other side of the concrete wall wondering if I’ll be strong enough to make it to the other side.

Some of my thoughts at this time are:

If I can give birth I can get through this . . . I don’t know why I thought of that! ☺

If I can cry and vent then I’ll be able to take the lead and make solutions instead of dwelling on the problem.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” I don’t know why that came into my mind! Perhaps it’s the journey of putting one foot in front of the other to get to where we need to go.

My first call was to our Hospice Nurse to tell her that my Jim is not breathing and it’s really not just sleep apnea. Family was notified. My Jim was donating his body to science so I had to call Science Care. My Hospice of the Valley Team was with me throughout the morning guiding me through the fog. Later came memorial plans, contacts with SS, VA, Insurances, utilities, etc., etc, etc. Each day there seemed to be more to do. When will the paper work stop? I guess I was lucky in one way because I had been doing so many of the things we always shared together for several years. Some things I resisted were the small things like putting gas in the car. I had convinced myself that taking care of the cars was Jim’s job and I really didn’t want to do it. I finally gave in and began to do it without the bad attitude I had.

I am encouraged to hear from Mary and Kay that as time passes I will be able to do some of the things they are doing. I change filters now. I call the landscaper and tell him what needs to be done. I go out to lunch with the girls. I try to be kinder. I signed up for Marty’s e-mail class on getting through the first year of grief.

I am hoping to get to a place where I can carry Jim along with me as I go through this journey alone. enna

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I am hoping to get to a place where I can carry Jim along with me as I go through this journey alone. enna

Ahh, Enna, it'll happen. I reach inside for strength from George whenever I need it. I think it took me to about 3 1/2 years before I realized I carry him inside of me and thoughts of him could be positive instead of painful, but that doesn't mean it'd take that long for others, I may just be a little slow. :)

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This has made me also start thinking about many things... I have done things in the past year since my husband crossed over. Things that in the past I would never think I was capable of doing. There have also been many times that I thought how much better for my family it would be if it had been me that died instead. But, it wasn't and all I can do is keep on keepin' on. My Harv was my biggest cheerleader, he always told me I was much more capable than I gave myself credit for. So now, I remember him telling me that and I try to honor him be believing that. But, sometimes it's just freakin' hard. Peace and love to all. Pam

Hi Pam, I had the thought also that it might have been better if I had been the one to die but I KNOW Bill would have had an even more difficult time than I have and am having. he would have been far more lost than I. This journey does lead us to do things we never wanted or could do alone...grief teaches us our strength that is for certain. And yes, it is just "freakin' hard" sometimes. I totally agree. Peace, Mary

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"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I don't know why that came into my mind! Perhaps it's the journey of putting one foot in front of the other to get to where we need to go.

I am encouraged to hear from Mary and Kay that as time passes I will be able to do some of the things they are doing. I change filters now. I call the landscaper and tell him what needs to be done. I go out to lunch with the girls. I try to be kinder. I signed up for Marty's e-mail class on getting through the first year of grief.

I am hoping to get to a place where I can carry Jim along with me as I go through this journey alone. enna

Enna, I do think it IS one step at a time. One hour at a time or one day. It is a journey that demands mindfulness and trust in ourselves and our ability to walk the trek. It does get easier...not sure easier is the right word but there is no word. I am more used to Bill being gone. I know he is not coming back. There are moments more than days that take my breath away. There are times I sit and bawl and days I get through without tears. You sound like you are doing a lot of things right and signing up for the class is wise. Getting out is good. And I believe Jim IS with you wherever you are....where else would he be? I guess I am in the process of integrating this loss, accepting it, and trying to figure out where from here. I miss Bill every day...I think about him when I waken, most of the day off and on and when I close my eyes at night. But it is still better than even a year ago. Keep on keeping on. You are strong. Peace, Mary

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Dear friends

Not a positive thing I am doing on my own. I am really poorly. The first time since Pete died five months ago. And in the seven months before that when he had the stroke I kept well. But now I have been in bed for four days with diarrhoea and vomiting and incredible tiredness. The gp has diagnosed diverticulitis and I'm on antibiotics. I never felt so bad in my life and I'm not being looked after by my beloved Pete as he would do so well if he were here. Obviously the physical illness is made much worse by my emotional wretchedness. I know some of you will have had a first time for this too. I suppose this will pass but right now I cannot imagine how. I don't want to slide deeper and deeper down which is how it feels right now. Any tips to someone going through her first illness without her loved one?

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Gosh Jan, I wish I had an answer. I've heard Diverticulitis is very painful, I'm sorry, can they give you anything for the pain? Any prognosis as to how long recovery will be? Do you have anyone looking in on you, bringing you groceries, etc?

I haven't had any major illnesses since George died, but I had a couple of bad falls last summer, ended up with broken front tooth (broke across the canal so I had to have a bridge put in), broken nose, multiples bruises and cuts, and a broken right elbow. I have a stick shift car and wasn't able to drive at all for the first week and it was very painful to drive when I resumed. My hours had been cut to one day/wk but I still did the daily bank report from home, and it was very hard trying to work the first few weeks with so much pain. Getting dressed was very difficult with no one to help me, as was taking out the garbage, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, walking the dog, etc. I couldn't open a can or even get my Rx bottles open! How I got through that summer I have no idea. My only advice is if you have ANYONE to call on for help, do so! And barring that, do only what you absolutely have to. It drove me nuts laying around not being able to do the things I saw that needed doing. Remind yourself often that this too will pass.

I'm so sorry! I wish some of us were close by to help you. :(

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I totally get what you're saying, Kay. So here goes. I've run our business for 4 years. Lots of blood, sweat and tears in that one. Thrust into becoming treasurer of our homeowners' development 3 months after Joe died (long story), but did it. Went through 2 hurricanes. Killed 500 spiders. Broken equipment, A/C, employees' drama, wanted to shoot myself, sometimes - but here I am, still standing, and I know if it were me instead of Joe, he'd be doing the same. Whew. It's been hard. Because I'm doing all of this outside of the bubble now - do you know what I mean? Hugs, Marsha

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I totally get what you're saying, Kay. So here goes. I've run our business for 4 years. Lots of blood, sweat and tears in that one. Thrust into becoming treasurer of our homeowners' development 3 months after Joe died (long story), but did it. Went through 2 hurricanes. Killed 500 spiders. Broken equipment, A/C, employees' drama, wanted to shoot myself, sometimes - but here I am, still standing, and I know if it were me instead of Joe, he'd be doing the same. Whew. It's been hard. Because I'm doing all of this outside of the bubble now - do you know what I mean? Hugs, Marsha

Marsha, you get a medal for being on the homeowners team...been there done that but not alone. It sounds like everything that could happen (spiders, hurricanes, broken equipment, etc) did happen and you are still here standing tall. Congratulations. And yes, I know what you mean...outside the bubble and I know Kay will also.

Mary

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Came across this today and thought it might inspire someone else.

You have no idea howhard I've looked

for a gift to bring You.

Nothing seemed right.

What's the point of bringing gold to

the gold mine, or water to the ocean.

Everything I came upwith was like

taking spices to the Orient.

It's no good giving my heart and my

soul because you already have these.

So I've brought you a mirror.

Look at yourself and remember me. ~ Rumi

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Marsha, oh yes, I DO know what you mean! And now I can add to the list "replaced refrigerator"...NO EASY FEAT! ha ha

Mary, I love that short poem, it speaks to me.

Will go read Marty's link...

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Kay, so glad about the frig!! somehow we get it all done...glad you got help and it is done.

Marty, that piece sounds a lot like my life right now...taking my time....thanks for sharing.

Today I am making myself go to BeatleFest. Not crazy about it but it is a community event. Starts at 11am and goes to 10 or 11pm. Local groups sing Beatle songs all day long. It is VERY loud and not my favorite at all. I took Bill in 09 just to get him out a bit and after 20 minutes he said he needed to go home....I know if they were playing anything classical he would have been able to stay. I will go for max 2 hours-that is all I can take. It is outside behind the General Store, local food, local beer, local musicians, and lots and lots of locals. the gal who owns the General Store has had a tough year so I like to support her and I need to stay in touch with community then home to paint the rest of the day.

Another holiday weekend behind me. Whew. Good quote below for those of us who now experience a lot of solitude. I live in a town where it seems everyone goes to every event and there are many many events....it is an arts area. The gal who cuts my hair lives in a town about 30 min. away and said to me one day, "Does anyone in this town ever stay home?" Well, I do.

"When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the myself of inner landscape." Anam Cara p. 17 (John O'Donohue)

Peace to our hearts,

Mary

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Ahh Mary, I wish I was there...you could do the tolerating and I could do the enjoying! LOL I love Beatles, but then they were my era.

I have always appreciated solitude. That doesn't mean I don't get lonely, I do sometimes. But I also love and value my solitude. For those who have never learned to enjoy their own company, be comfortable with their own thoughts, to enjoy their own space...it is desirable to learn to do so. It is then that peace comes to befriend you.

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I agree, Kay. When I find myself feeling so lonely for Bill or even feeling lonely at all, I remind myself that I created this particular leg of my journey i.e. no job and no publication so that I can explore my life, my inner world, etc. I have always done a lot of solitude but of course, now it is laced with the longing for and missing Bill so much. That longing and missing does not diminish at all, the tears still flow at least once a day and very often each week I find my breath catching as I consider his absence...a mini shock wave goes through my being. M

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Kay, my first reaction to your request was that it was overwhelming to consider. So I ignored it. Then I said to myself...just write with presence...so I did and it is attached on the pdf format. In truth, it is the tip of the ice berg of these past 29 months...and your question made me consider that I, like everyone here, am doing this journey. We are using our strengths, allowing our pain to exist and be honored. We ARE progressing through this tunnel trusting that the flicker of daylight we see most days or seldom..will get bigger. Thanks for the question. Your own list is huge...and you have had so many obstacles rear their heads, including a mom who needs intervention often, job issues, and so much more.

I think we all deserve medals of courage, purple hearts for taking on life when we hurt so deeply, when we are shredded and half of our hearts are just gone and when we could run but choose to grow. I have to say that writing this has left me in a puddle of tears...sobbing with sadness and pride.

Peace,

Mary

Without You.pdf

Mary- I loved that. You are an amazing writer! I can't wait to share some thoughts with you and get to know you better. You should be proud.

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