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Born in the 50s

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Members: 801
Latest Activity: 17 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Misery loves company

Started by Tess. Last reply by Mari on Sunday. 20 Replies

Sunday Blues

Started by LP. Last reply by Estragon Apr 19. 10 Replies

How old was he?

Started by sadderbytheday. Last reply by DIVA70 Jan 26. 6 Replies

Ugh...Christmas.

Started by Lark. Last reply by Maggiepie Jan 24. 14 Replies

Keeping a journal sometimes helps

Started by sadderbytheday. Last reply by sadderbytheday Dec 31. 9 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by LandL (Linda) on Monday

Outwest, I remember being at 8 weeks after my husband passed very suddenly.  We'd been married 45 years.  The mental fog is normal, as is the questioning yourself.  I am truly so sorry for the loss of your wife.  It may be the hardest thing any of us here have ever gone through.  I know it is for me.  We're all here for you anytime you want to share.  We may not be able to lift your grief, but we can be good listeners.  We're all on the same path...one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Be gentle with yourself.  Welcome.  Come back often.

Comment by Hobom on Monday

Outwest,  First and foremost, please let me express my deepest sympathies for your loss and all that you have been going through. I find it so fortunate that so many have found Soaring Spirits and this forum which provides us a support system of caring and understanding that we so desperately need. There is no substitute for learning from others who have experienced something that we ourselves are now going through.

Losing a spouse is devastating, whether the death is sudden or following a long illness. One minute you are married; the next minute you are single, alone, and grieving. Your loved one is taken away and your sense of the world and your control of it, is assaulted. Your heart is broken into a million pieces and you truly feel that you are unable to continue any normalcy of life.
My beloved husband of 33 years death was sudden. Gone in an instant. I had no preparation or time to gradually absorb the reality that the world I knew was about to change dramatically. There was no incremental progressive transition. No time to make changes in myself, my expectations about my life or my world. Instead, there was a sudden complete destruction of the world and everything I used to know. Between suffering the intense emotions and all the problems and lifestyle changes that accompanied the death of my spouse, I felt shocked, bewildered, overwhelmed, numb, anxious and brokenhearted. I had always mistakenly believed that grief was a single emotion.  But learned that normal grief is actually a powerful multi-faceted and often uncontrollable response human beings experience following a personally painful or traumatic event. Grief can affect us not only emotionally, but also physically, mentally, and even spiritually. The loss of a loved one plunges us unwillingly into a powerful whirlpool of pain that often feels overwhelming, inescapable and, unbearable. Have patience with yourself and your feelings in dealing with loss. Allow yourself time to process all of your emotions. Your life will start to feel more hopeful and begin to feel like your heart and mind can be restored. You will slowly begin to find small ways to reestablish a sense of normalcy in your life on a daily basis. It is totally acceptable for you to take the time you need and remove any expectation of how you should be performing as you process your grief. Remember, you are not alone.

 

Comment by outwest on Monday

My wife of 42 years passed away 8 weeks ago, so I am pretty new to this. I was not allowed to be with my wife for 3 out of her last 4 days nor was I allowed to stay the night that she passed.
I was okay when busy doing all there is to doing when someone passes. Around week 5 most things We’re finishing and the woulda coulda shoulda started to kick in. From the mental level i think did the the best I could but on emotional level I keep wondering if I could have done more.
I have no family so it real hard to deal with missing my wife. Like Tess, I would not want my wife to suffer through this struggle. I keep thinking she will never see this, taste that or enjoy another spring day, I don’t know how to stop this line of thinking. Yesterday I visited a wildlife refuge that we visited together somewhat regular , I cannot tell you many I reached over and touch the passenger’s seat thinking how she would enjoy the beautiful day. 
Like Estragon I know the mental fog what am I doing, where am I going. I started a several checklists to try to get a handle on things. Especially the things that I never did before, like wetting my wife’s Africa violets. It seems to help.

Comment by Mari on Sunday

Estragon, I totally get you when you say your survival is not imperative. Ever since my husband died I understood people wanting to kill themselves. I know I'm not going to take my own life because I just couldn't, also because as you said, I'd be hurting other people, especially my children, though they're all adults. But I think mainly because I just couldn't do it. But most mornings I wake up feeling I rather continue sleeping and I can't really see the point of life now. About the absent-mindedness and the difficulty concentrating, I feel also the same. I stopped working because I just couldn't concentrate, but it got better. I still don't want to work, but I'm better now than when only 4 months had passed, as is your case (I'n nearly a year and a half on). I feel life has been altered forever (thinking of the Venn diagrams somene said, sorry I get lost in the messages) but that's a very good description of the mishapen figure we are now without our loved spouses. 

Marina

Comment by Tess on Sunday

Estragon, the irony of it all is that I am so healthy, maybe more so than when I was younger. I take care of myself despite the absence of respect for tomorrow. I guess I don’t want to be a physical burden to anyone. 
You never know as you experienced with the suddenness of your dear wife’s death. It is so very hard for us as survivors, but I would not have changed places with my husband. I would hate for him to be going through this struggle and there is no doubt in my mind that he would have fared far worse as a widower. 
This is the reality that I always knew would come and so dreaded. I tried to prepare myself, but preparation is impossible. There is no dress rehearsal for this stage of our lives. 
Take care of yourself.

Comment by Estragon on Sunday

Hi John.  I also had that feeling she was coming back for quite a while, and she was going to give me heck for getting her car dirty after she just had it washed.  Even now, I can almost hear her voice giving me the gears after I do one of the all-to-common stupid things I've been doing.

The distracted driving thing is definitely a concern.  A few weeks ago I went outside to check something I had constantly forgotten to check.  Absent-minded, I stuck my hands in my pockets walking back into the house, stumbled, and got a nasty road rash on my face.  A reminder that bad things happen when absent-minded. 

Comment by Estragon on Sunday

Hi Tess.  This might sound bizarre (actually it probably is bizarre), but here goes anyway...

I don't feel my survival is particularly imperative or welcome, I just don't want my demise to hurt anyone else.  My demise could be today, or decades from now.  Having ruled out making it happen on purpose (which would hurt people I care about), I'll just have to accept that it's mostly beyond my ability to control.  My wife went from perfectly healthy, to "I have a headache", to gone in a matter of minutes.  Going through the organ donation process when she died, they told me that as a cancer survivor I'm not a donor candidate.  My organs aren't useful for spare parts when I'm done with them, so I "should go ahead and wear them out".  It's bizarre, but oddly sort of liberating.  I intend to follow their advice.

Comment by chef (John) on Sunday

Estragon,

The fog is part of grief. It may be around for awhile, but it won't be permanent. I used to keep a small notebook of tasks to accomplish during the day during the first few months, because I was so forgetful and thought I was losing my mind. I later learned that some folks call this Swiss-cheese/widow's brain, and it's something that happens to a lot of us. Dealing with your grief head-on is the best thing you can do. Allow yourself to cry,scream, etc. It may seem like rotten advice, but it will work. You can't do an end-run around, over, or under grief. You have to go through it--and that hurts like hell.

The heart/mind dichotomy is also hard. My wife died in July, and for weeks afterward, every time I heard a car door slam, I'd look out the window to see if Judith had come back from work or shopping...and then realize my mind was playing tricks on me. I knew she was dead, but I also had the automatic response to run over to meet her...and then I would just jump all over myself and beat myself up. I was afraid to drive for some time, because I just constantly wanted to crash the car. I do a lot of highway driving, and recognized that thinking this way was pretty dangerous. In the end, I didn't act on the ideation/impulse. I just kept going to and from work, wondering what the point of my continued existence was...which was distracted driving. I'm lucky I never caused an accident. You can get through this. Just give yourself time.

Comment by Estragon on Sunday

Hi John.   "Getting better" does, in a sense, equal recovering from an illness.  I miss my late wife every day, and likely will for the rest of my life.  When I say "get better", it's really the physical manifestations of grief I'm finding so debilitating.

The big one is this mental fog I'm almost always in.  I've had maybe less than a week in total of something like clarity.  The rest of the time is really troubling.  I consider myself a somewhat competent numerate person, but doing tax returns has taken me the better part of a week, rather than the hours it would normally.  Even so, I probably messed something up. 

I've caught myself doing things that could be potentially quite dangerous for myself and more importantly others that I wouldn't ordinarily do.  The fog concerns me.  I need to "get better" somehow.

Another is physically shaking.  I've always had a bit of a shake.  You probably wouldn't want me doing detailed soldering on your circuit board.  Now, it's more like maybe I can pour and drink a glass of juice without spilling it all over the place.  Or not.  More often not.

If anyone else has solutions, please share.

I have to get past this, or I'm not going to make it, and I don't want to take anyone else with me.

Comment by Tess on Sunday

Landl, don’t feel ashamed. Everything is relative. The pain we feel is our own and it’s impossible to have only feelings of gratitude for what we had without regret for what we missed out on. Let yourself grieve without censoring your thoughts. 

Estragon, I’m reading your post and thinking, “yes, that is how I feel!” It’s so hard for me to project into the future and think that I may be here in another five years. I don’t know what that would look or feel like. Maybe there will be some compelling reason that I would feel survival is imperative and welcome. That’s a hard sell for me. And maybe I need to follow some of my own advice to Landl, because with people fighting for their lives, I feel like a lowlife taking mine for granted.  
Peace to all. 

 

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