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What Helped You In 2005?

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As I think back to last year when a large part of me died with the loss of my Jeannie to cancer I wonder how I have survived this long.

Without a doubt the support that I have found here and other similar groups has played a BIG role in that survival.

I know that we are all at different stages in our grief journey, and that we all move along at a different pace. Perhaps we could share the one or two things that helped us the most in 2005.

For me, the best investment that I made last year was to purchase a small paperback book Healing After Loss by Martha Hickman. It contains short, one page daily "Meditations" to help a grieving person get through one more day. You do not have to be "religious" to benefit from the book.

For example, today's message is:

"If I can let my resistance down. be calm in my soul, my grief will tell me what it needs from me each step of the way"

You can read what others thought of this book here:


Please share with us what helped you the most last year and how long it has been since you lost your loved one.

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As 2006 began I wondered how I had survived this long and into a new year without Gene by my side. I sent one of my daughters a message...I bring Gene with me and that's how I survive. I could not survive without his love.

This site and the people who find themselves a member of this group are the reason why I have managed to get to this point. I've visited other sites but have found a bond with so many here especially you Walt. And your inspiration and words have pulled me up from despair so many times. I do not think about you without thinking about Jeannie.

I feared the holidays as they neared. My children and grandchildren have gotten me through it and still are. They began coming Dec 16 and like a revolving door they are still coming. One at a time to make sure I was not alone. And when my grandchilren (5,5,3) all walked up to the tree and spotted the photo ornament and said "grandpa" my heart warmed...they will remember. Gene's love goes with them.

My faith guided me. I had not realized how some of my prayers were answered. I had asked God to fill my heart and soul with grace to fill some of the "nothingness". And though I had not attended church for years I walked into one a month after Gene left. That was nearly 6 months ago. I realized a couple weeks ago...the church name is "Grace Methodist". And I was welcomed with open arms that they all wrapped around me tenderly. At 57 I am one of the youngest in this small church of about 70. Most have lost their spouses......they all have been a source of strength and wisdom just by showing me that people do survive.

Of all that I have written...people here are why I know I can do each day...one at a time...never alone. And if I can help someone along the way it makes my day a better day.

Thank you everyone. It may be a new year but it will always be one day at a time.

Always Gene!


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Walt....thank you for the advice about the book.....I have just ordered it.....This sight is so wonderful.....I feel that it is eaiser to express my feelings here than with my own family.....I guess it is because we are all in the same boat......I lost my Dad in March and Mom is Sept 2005 and I am a only child....had a very special relationship with both of them......went to the cemetary to lay a wreath there and the headstone was installed all ready....first time I had seen it and boy....does that ever hit you right in the face........We will survive 2006 I have no doubt and it is wonderful being able to have this site....

We are all in this together......


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I've been thinking a lot about your question lately. What is it that has helped me to survive? Almost a year ago I couldn't even imagine I would come that far - that I would still be here after so much time. I didn't want to. The support and understanding of all of you has been a really big help. This forum has helped me more than most of you probably know. I don't know where I would be now without a special friend who I "met" here (though I have never met her in person, she's been a really good friend). But there's also something else - my strong belief that he's still here, with me, and will always be, and that somedaywe I will see him again. That has helped me to survive.

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Guest waterbird
I just lost my husband on December 3 so I am struggling a lot. I felt very close to him the day he died and I wrote some poems about him that expressed our life. Then I felt numb and only once in a while does my sadness come through. I am awake all night with half-asleep conversations with him or about him going in my head. I t hink what has helped me is trying to take care of myself and carry on as he would have wanted. He told me once thaqt there would come a time when he wouldn't be with me and that I would have a beautiful life. I felt like he was giving me permission to carry on and live life once he was gone. I think he knew he was going to die but I didn't really believe it. I am struggling because my family doesn't really understand the depth of our relationship as we were only married 3 years and not married in our church. I know my husband was proud of me and my strength and would want to see me achieving again in the world someday.
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Waterbird - I am SO SORRY for your recent loss!! It is a tough road to go down, but we will all get through it. We are always here for you!!

I lost my husband almost 14 months ago(shocks me just to say that!), he was quite young (46) and I just turned 51 in November, so I know I still have quite a bit of "life" left. I think numerous things have gotten me through so far. My 3 grandchildren are a huge part of it. I have to continue going on for them. I want very much to see them grow up and maybe marry and have children. I know my husband wanted to see that, too, so I feel like I'm left here to "represent" him. My daughter, of course, has been a huge help. My husband's family are all here and we are in constant touch and see each other a lot. Knowing that they are suffering along with me helps. His mom has a really hard time with the loss(she lost both her husband & her only son....), so she and I are VERY close. Basically I'm her "4th daughter", which means a lot to me. As someone here said, I think the "permission" that my husband gave me to go on with life is what really gets me through. He wrote me a letter, while he was in the hospital, and told me that I was to grieve and then get on with my life. That he hoped I would marry again(or atleast not be alone)because I deserved to be happy. I go through life for him. I get up every morning because he wants me to. I talk with him, I kiss his picture goodbye every morning and tell him I will see him at work. TRUST ME, I still cry quite a bit. Sometimes I still can't believe I will never touch him or kiss his face again! Or hear his voice, or just see him laying on the couch. I wonder some times HOW I will ever get through this...but I know I will.

Gosh! I didn't mean to ramble on like I did. I guess I'd have to say that all these things have helped and to a point, time helps. I don't like it, but we have to go on. We have other people that depend on us to go on. We can't let them down! I know I'm glad I have found all of you. It's somewhat comforting to know that other people feel as you do. I AM sorry we've all had to meet because of our losses.

My thoughts are with all of you!!!!


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Dear Waterbird,

I am so sorry for your loss and that you have to be here with us on this horrible journey. Your pain is so new and disbelieving, but we are all here for you because we understand your pain. The first few months you are numb until reality sets in you think this must be a bad dream and you will awake soon.

Please visit this site often and pour out your heart, we all have been where you are now and we are still trying to make sense of what has happened in our lives.

Even though we all are grieving each one of us has our own special grief for the one we loved, hold on to your memories they will help you thru this.


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Guest Guest_Deborah_*

I am so sorry that you have had to find your way here, as I have recently. I know the people here can comfort you with the words and because they have had this experience. I wish someone could explain to me what it means when people say "they would want you to go on with your life". Like his mother says to me "he wouldn't want you to be this upset" etc. How could he have possibly thought I could go on without him? The dreams, future and plans we had were for "us" not me, alone. Go on, and do what? I didn't have a life before I met him, why would I have a life after his death. It makes no sense to me at this time.

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I too experienced feeling like people didn't understand the depth of my loss because George and I were only married 3 years and 8 months...but a relationship is not measured by time alone...there are plenty of bad marriages that last for many years. A relationship is rather measured by quality...how close you were, how intertwined you were, the intimacy you had. And your loss equals the depth of that love. We understand that, those of us who are here, for some of us were married but a short time, some a long time, some never at all...yet our grief is deep felt and our love is great...or we would not be here. I am glad your husband was so caring for you that he gave you permission to go on and be happy again. That is a selfless and caring act! With time, I hope you can carry that out, for it sounds as if that is what he would have wanted.

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What helped me in 2005? Such a deep question. I don't think it was one big thing, but all the little things added up. This website for one helped. I t took me so long to join, first site problems, then my own issues. It has bee a great help to get things off my chest and out in the open or to read others' stories. My new found friends here help.

Another thing I am grateful for is all my friends and my family that have been so supportive of me. My job was also extremely supportive. My sons have been the best, I couldn't have asked for better. I have been truly blessed.

I have not always been a religious person. But I have always been a spiritual person. I have found comfort in the books written by James Van Praugh(sp?), John Edwards, and to some extent Sylvia Brown. I believe they have been given these gifts from God to help us. I believe we are sent sent to earth to learn lessons and then we get to go home. I believe that my Tom will be waiting for me when it's my turn to go home. This has helped a lot! I know he is still with me, always.

I also started attending church again. Not sure which one I will stick with, but I love to sing praises. It makes my soul feel so good!

Yes, I still wonder every day, how have I survived this long without him.

Love ya Tom,


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What helped me in 2005?

My church family, they invited me places, came to see me, and tried to help me not be so alone.

And this site has been of tremendous help, all of the friends here...for being here, understanding, caring.

John, for listening, caring, not pushing me to "get over" George, but just accepting me at my pace, with all I've been going through, and for his love of George and acceptance of him "as is".

My sister Julie for staying in close touch, my sister Peggy for helping me financially to afford health care and for paying for George's cremation and taking me out to dinner a million times so I wouldn't have to hurry home to an empty house.

My job for being so wonderful and supportive.

My kids...my son for helping me out in practical ways, attending to details and repairs. My daughter for coming to stay with me so I wouldn't be alone, for getting groceries so I wouldn't have to (it was something George and I always did together).

Our friend Dan for finishing our patio rails (a project George had been in the middle of when he died), and for unstopping my plumbing.

Our new cats that came to stay with us when Tigger left (after George died he ran away). So I've had a lot to be thankful for in 2005. You know, it really helps to name your blessings...my biggest one being God, who gave me ample time to air my anger and waited patiently for me to come to acceptance and trust in Him. He gives me assurance and without Him I wouldn't have the comfort of knowing I will see George again and he is being cared for in the meantime.

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