Yes- I became desensitized as well as better able to cope through full exposure & practicing my spiritualism. Bob died from blunt force head crush. The top & back of his head were crushed leaving his brain leaking out. Pictures were taken at the scene of the crash as well as provided w/a fully detailed autopsy & further explanation of the cause of death by phone from the coroner. I left all his belongings where they always were, as is, never moved them -I cried every time I looked at them over & over & over. After 2yrs of grieving out that part of the process, they all faded into the background to no longer be triggers. Bob's crushed head took another couple of years to cope with. Exposure was highly effective, it forced me to do the grief work to be able to care for my suicidal kids, fight off psychopathic INLS & attend court monthly w/out sobbing or trembling in anger -any kind of grieving in court is not allowed otherwise a person will be escorted to the quiet room. It's however a person decides to work the grief process. Unfortunately, there is no easy way. (((HUGS)))
Flashbacks, or "Zingers" as I call them are just things that happen to us. It's been four years for me since I suddenly lost my wife, Susan after 35 years of marriage. She went to sleep Sunday night, had a silent heart attack, and did not wake up Monday morning. I've found that sometimes scenes in movies,or watching a TV program, sometimes a TV commercial, or even sitting out on the deck watched deer eating can bring these memories racing back into the forefront of my mind. And then the tears begin. Sometimes it's a brief session, and other times it can last much longer. One day it was 32 degrees out and it was snowing the large inch wide flakes. I was standing out on the deck enjoying the snow fall. It was so quiet you could actually hear the snowflakes as they fell through the pine trees making a soft Shhhhh sound. Suddenly, I realized how peaceful and quiet it was and I said "this is why we moved up here," and my loss came crashing in on me. We all go through it. It is normal for us. I have a friend I chat with here on WV who is 8 years out and she says she occasionally has moments like that too. We may never escape them, and you know, I don't think I want to. I do not want those 35 years to disappear from my memory. I have found that I have reached the point where I can talk about our marriage and my wonderful wife, and remember the fun times we had together and actually not break down into pieces. Yet, when I watch Viennese Waltz on Dancing with the Stars, I crumble. It reminds me so much of Susan. I picture us holding each other closely moving in time with the music as we whirl through life with its ups and downs.
Once the tears slow,try to think of what started them,and turn your mind's eye into the love you shared instead of the loss.
Thank you Frank, my guy was Frank too. And we were married 34 years.
I was cleaning up the garage for a car club meeting the other day, and I had an assist-lift chair stored there that good friends lent us when my spouse got sick. We were recently discussing arrangements for them to pick it up for another ill friend. I was repositioning the chair and brushing it off and I simply started sobbing, and sobbing hard. Had to take a break from cleaning for a little bit. It doesn't happen as often (almost 3 years out) but it happens. I don't mind, given the depth, length and breadth of our experiences together.
So now for the rest of the story -- me and the car club were unsuccessful in fixing my car, so off it went on a flatbed this morning to the chair- lending friend, who is also my mechanic. "I have a weird request . . ." I told the tow truck driver. Soon the chair was strapped on the flatbed in front of the car, and on its way to my friend's garage, and the driver was getting a big tip. I am glad it is going to help someone else, and just a little relieved I don't have to look at it anymore.
Picked up a scrip from the medical center pharmacy today, it is right across from the hall from the cancer center where we spent so much time. Oh boy. Lots of sad memories.
Since this terrible thing happened (spouse died 9 months ago) I have thought so often that many articles and things about losing a spouse tend to focus on the large, logistical things like banking, houses, and the like when it's these small, every day things that are what knocks the wind out of you. I have found that the supermarket is just an awful trip. Shopping for one. Seeing his favorite cookies on sale and not buying them, looking at a very off balance shopping cart because all the things you'd buy for him are not there. It's awful. The half eaten candy bar in my fridge that I can't bear to look at or throw out. The welling up that comes just any time for any reason that can just be a moment that fades or an hour long, deep crying time. Seeing a television commercial that he used to laugh at, hearing the jingle of NBC Nightly News, or the jingles that accompany sporting events are just crushing.
I feel everyone's pain.
my guy LOVED watching football and he would watch it in the living room while I watched my "crazies" (as he called it, he would hear me laughing) in the bedroom. Now if I am flipping thru the channels, just a second of that "football game sound" brings tears to my eyes.
And I am with you on shopping. I usually don't even get a cart, just use my bag. Or cooking something he used to like.
It's 4 years now, and just walking by a couple shopping in the food store brought tears to my eyes - I used to go shopping with Frank. Now it's just me with my quart of milk and cole slaw mix.
Barb, I know and remember it was still very difficult even after four years. You may continue to have these thoughts even after a longer period of time. I can only tell you that as you continue to heal, those thoughts may no longer be the first thing on your mind. That in itself will be progress. It doesn’t go away, but you will be able to push some of those thoughts and feelings to the side.
I think we cook the things our spouses enjoy and we buy the things they want from the store. There were things I couldn’t cook for a while (hubbys favs) but in time, we can work through that too. What I never understood about grief (before this) is that how much we become entwined—everything, well almost everything, may jaunt a memory. It’s part of why grieving is so hard! However on a positive note, in time, some of these memories become precious and even sweet. Instead of tears, you may begin to smile.
We all know grief has no timeline. Even once we do work through it, there can still be those times when we still feel a little “tender”. I would rather have those times then not have those times—living without the memories would not be a choice for me. Still miss him and think of him every day but thats never going to change.
Like tornoutheart says, I feel everyone's pain. We share these experiences. We all probably read along nodding our heads a little. I struggle with fixing the meals my husband liked most, when he has to "miss" it, but our family agrees he's probably getting just what he enjoys most, anyway...
He loved to catch sight of hawks and birds of prey and eagles were special to him. When I caught sight of one soaring ahead of me as I drove, I burst into tears. I was also married 34 years. That's a lot of moments of memories that might be very mundane, but they are now poignant and move me.
My husband died in June a week after a cardiac arrest. Suddenly there are commercials on the radio for the great cardiac units in my region. So man triggers.. we have to allow ourselves our natural response. And, like Frank says, I don't want him to be gone and forgotten... his life had meaning. We honor that by our grief.
It will be a year for me in March, but it is the little things that hit me the hardest. Just looking through the food circular can set me off. My Ed loved ham and swiss so when it was on sale we would get it. I find myself saying to him "your ham and cheese is on sale", then it hits me ,again, that he is not physically here.