Hi all. I see posts from time to time that indicate that many have difficult times in the evening and at bedtime. I am sure that is so awful if it is interfering with your rest, so I truly feel for you.
For me, I am realizing that the worst time of day is in the morning. It feels as though the expanse of the entire day is ahead of me as I wake up with that empty feeling. Another day alone without a partner to share my joys and sadness.
In the evening, I can look forward to some mindless television viewing, which I never apologize for. It is what saves me. It is my guilty pleasure that clears my head of everything that took place during the day and helps me tire before bed. It is harder to watch any show that I watched with my husband. It seems so strange to me, feeling that so much time has passed since he died (almost 21 months), and still I see episodes of shows we watched together. Discordant timelines that I can't seem to reconcile in my head.
Anyway, that is my situation. I hope to hear from some of you.
My bedroom is the same. I have Chris' ashes, photos, a lock of his hair, a poem he wrote for me. It is a sanctuary for me.
I don't know how far into this journey the rest of you are, but I am 4-1/2 years in and have become increasingly aware that the urn on my dresser has meaning only to me...along with the boxes containing the ashes of four cats.
When Steve first died, I just wanted him home. But now, especially as I age, the question of "What happens to these when I'm gone" comes into play. And I know what happens to them -- either my sister will throw them in the trash if she outlives me, or if she does not, whoever I make my executor will. So I am taking at least some of them to Jamaica, where we went 18 times, for burial at sea, and the rest will be buried in my backyard along with the ashes of four cats. Because something has to be done with them and I'd rather it be me that does it, even if it means burial in a place that means nothing to him. I simply cannot bear the thought of that urn being emptied into a trash can, even though he had said more than once that is what I should do.
My husband and I never talked about the end. I am not a hundred percent certain what he would have wanted with his ashes. But fortunately or kids and I knew what he didn't want.
So we scattered his ashes in the sea and on a little beach where we had come for years and years and were happy. It also was the last place we visited before his disease became so bad we couldn't go anywhere .
We went there together: all kids, grandchildren and in laws. We hugged each other as his ashes disappeared in wind and water. So now his remains can be everywhere on earth. We gave him back to nature.
We played and sang his favorite CSN&Y song. And it felt good.
The only thing was: he was not there with us to enjoy our gathering. He always liked the 12 of us coming together. His family was his life. He often expressed the wish to have a little vacation all together.
It never happened . Working kids and grandchildren who have to go to school. Always there was one or another obstacle. We often saw each other for a weekend or a a meal together, but never for a vacation.
And now we were there without him. That gave a lot of pain. But also he would have liked us to be happy and have a good time together. And so it happened.
I only have his things and numerous photos of him around me. I need to see him whatever I do.
I'll never get rid of all of Ron's ashes, but I'm dropping small amounts of them all over the world- places we both loved, and places I'm visiting for the first time. I know I've listed these places before but it's always a different audience: the lake behind our house, the MO River at Hermann near our favorite B&B, Iceland, the Panama Canal, off Costa Rica, in the Ganges at Varanasi (while a Hindu priest chanted form the Vedas), and at the base of a giant old tree in Kathmandu. Edinburgh and Paris are next.
My son knows that I want whatever is left of Ron's ashes to be mingled with mine when my time comes. I don't care if it all goes out in a Hefty Bag.
It will be 4 years for me on June 24, and I still wake up every morning thinking that Dan is not in bed with me. I still have trouble settling my stomach enough to eat breakfast. After I get going, mornings and afternoons are better. There is a lot to keep me busy. I have 3 acres to maintain, and several elderly people to check on, run errands for,etc. The absolutely worst time of day for me is after 7 PM. I'm not much for TV, and reading only works for me for awhile. When I'm in a really deadly funk, I get into my car and drive around aimlessly or go to the mall and walk around. Our couple friends still are all intact, and I hate to bother them during their couple time. The elderly folks I help during the day all go to bed by 8 PM! My main hobby is sewing and quilting, but I can't seem to see well enough for detail work after dark. My kids/grands are all at least 90 miles away, and again, I hate to phone during their evening family time. I do love it when one of them calls me during the evening. I thought things would be better by now. I have no interest in dating. I tried it with a couple of really nice guys, but they wanted a relationship leading to marriage or living together, and I just want companionship. Dan was the love of my life, and I'm not interested in trying to replicate that. I visit each of my kids for a weekend or week a few times a year, and those are the happiest times of my life now. Between times is difficult for sure.Even so, I know that I am more fortunate than many are. But these lonely evenings are killing me!
Ok I did something really weird with his ashes. We had lived in NC in the mountains, so when I moved I sprinkled some of his ashes several places on our land along with a little of our two dogs. I knew I'd never be back to this home, but I wanted some of me there too with him, so I cut some hair and fingernails and mixed them in. I know that is real weird, but could think of nothing else to do to have some of me there.
Now im in another state and I still have the bulk of his and the dogs ashes. So when I die and am cremated, I just want them all mixed and thrown around my yard here. But he nor the dogs were ever here, so somehow it doesn't seem right. I have no one I can rely on to take them all anywhere else, so I don't have much choice. And in reality I know it doesn't really matter, as they are just ashes...nothing more. But it's symbolic I suppose. I'm not religious and I like the idea of everything just going back into nature...it's just that he was never here. He would want to be in Mi. where he grew up, but I can't see ever going back up there myself.
I don't think that's weird at all. I did not want to leave any of my husband's ashes in NJ because a) I was just not ready to even see them yet; and b) he never wanted a house at all, so why would I leave parts of him in a house that always felt like a burden to him.
I don't really care what happens to my ashes when I'm gone, but I would like to leave as a specific bequest enough money for my sister or executor to go to Jamaica and bury my ashes at sea.
Maggie, that's not weird at all. It's all about the symbolism. I'm pretty sure some of the things I've done following my husband's death may appear very strange to others, but not so much to other widows/widowers. Here's an example. My husband had some physical limitations before he died, so he wasn't good at grooming his toenails. I did them for him a matter of days before he died. I cleaned them up from the floor, or so I thought. A week later I found a sliver of a nail in a corner. Do you know I could not get rid of that nail? The way I see it is it was a living part of him.
You don't have children, right? Is there a good friend or relative that you can state your wishes to? It sounds as if maybe the remainder of your husband's and your dogs' ashes, plus yours, should go back in the mountains of NC upon your death.
My husband passed away now 7 weeks ago. He died from Glioblastoma . He was ill for 4 years , and especially in the last half year he needed a lot of care.
I had to wake up every hour and a half because he was in need of help . I am still in that pattern, although I am exhausted.
I had hoped it would have been better by now. But every hour and a half, I think I hear him asking for something and I wake up.
His photos are all around me and I try to talk to him. But somehow that doesn't seem to work. I still have trouble to remember him in his good days.
I only have the horrible last months in my mind. I hope this will change soon, or else I will need to look for some help. Only slowly I start to read a magazine again. Films and books bore me, I am too nervous to watch or to read. Before it all started, I was a book fanatic.
It seems I lost all my certainty, loosing my dear husband, the love of my life, and have not found any balance yet again. People tell me this needs a lot more time.
You're certainly not alone.
Hugs to you,
Do give it time. You were an attentive caretaker and you are still in that frame of mind. You will have to decompress from that role before your concentration returns. It is not unusual.
I was not a caretaker, my husbands death was sudden, but I suffered from the same types of things. I find from talking to other widows that it is the same as well. I couldn't read or watch anything very involved. My mind could not absorb it. I suppose that's part of "widow's brain."
The best thing is to continue with light reading as you are doing with magazines and maybe some television sitcoms.
I wish you the best in your healing. I hope you get some rest and maybe eventually sleep through.
Hugs to you dear Tess
Right now the mornings are okay for me. I can still work through some of the mind numbing details necessary to keep things going. Afternoons, and TV times are the worst. We used to take a short nap. Those are awful. Nighttime, I still sleep with a lot of lights on, I wake at 4a everyday, I am tired all the time, it is awful. I finally turned the salt lamp off but I can't turn out the bathroom light I leave on. I have been reading in my room rather than watching TV, just looking across at his chair where we used to talk and hold hands is so painful. We are thinking of perhaps moving. We don't know. The house is in his name only and I don't think I can refinance in my name. I haven't got that far yet.