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Long-Term Illness

For those widowed by cancer and other illnesses or long term conditions that required caregiving.

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Patience (Diane) is your group greeter.

Members: 646
Latest Activity: Jul 15

Discussion Forum

Grief and release at the same time?

Started by Germaine. Last reply by Terry Mar 31. 32 Replies

I am aware of two different forces acting from within me.  One is the downward weight of grief. The other is an upward energy that comes from the release from caregiving.  After 16 years of part time…Continue


Started by katjames. Last reply by katjames Jan 18. 12 Replies

Has anyone been to any retreats in the last few years that were especially meaningful and good????   I know there is Camp Widow, but I'm wondering if anyone has any organization they can recommend.…Continue

I'm Lost

Started by MickeysLove (Sandi). Last reply by my roses Dec 9, 2014. 19 Replies

So, 4 days ago marked the 2 month period.  I had joined a support "group" where you go and sit with other people and talk about whats bothering you. I had went 2 times, I'm not going anymore - I…Continue

Looking to Put Together Resources for soon-to-be-widowed

Started by Mozzie. Last reply by MickeysLove (Sandi) Dec 3, 2014. 32 Replies

I found being the spouse of a terminal person very frustrating.  We were getting care at a prominent hospital, and there were social workers, but I didn't feel like anyone ever gave me useful…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by MLI on July 14, 2015 at 9:28pm


Perhaps there is another word you will think of that conveys what you both want and need it to. 'Accept' for me was chock full of stuff for me - just a few I mentioned in the original post - and there were both positive and negative meanings to it; Perhaps negative is too strong - burdened meanings? I actually made a list at work one day and my head, my hand, and my pen kept coming back to that one word. For those in this particular group, well, we had to accept a tremendous amount of pain, anger, work, challenge, and change in spurts and sputters, months and years so perhaps the word 'Accept' actually has been in our life for longer than we know. The list is nothing but words until you decide the one that will work best for you and for how long until you are ready to move to another one. Peace to you tonight.

Comment by MLI on July 14, 2015 at 4:00pm

I know that 'forward' is a strange word because I often find myself going the opposite way, on any given day, at any given moment. But that hasn't stopped me. I just take a moment to acknowledge whatever it is that made me step back.

Idaho, I hear you, I hear your 14 year old, and I can only say that perhaps ( if you are not already doing so) getting some outside assistance would be great for both of you, separately, together. I did that for myself a few years prior to Dan's death just to be able to cope with the everyday and to be strong AND I had my kids in therapy for a while because they were dealing with becoming young teens AND with an abnormal household AND losing their Dad. It was good for everyone and I would like to think it helped us get where we are today - able to keep going and support each other when it is hard. keep talking here - it is a great place to be. Thinking of all of you.

Comment by booktime (Susan) on July 14, 2015 at 6:20am

I can relate to all of you!

Heather, I wrote a small grant too and wish I could share.

Maggie, there is that loneliness and you aren't rambling. When my husband was in hospice and my sister was visiting him (I was at work), she told me how she just kept rambling in her talk and she told him - oh i am just bumbling here aren't I? and he nodded but told her - it's good bumbling. So it's good rambling.

Sue - that is marvelous. BE. I have chosen what my mother chose 6 years ago when my Dad died. Thrive. I am trying to thrive and it means trying out new things, doing different things, reaching beyond my comfort zone.

Which as we all know would be to stay in my home, hiding from the world because it is sometimes too painful to be with happy people, couples.

I also choose to "do what I gotta do", Ed's words to me many times. I have re-interpreted them to help me keep going.

Cynthia, as I read your words, I breathed. Good.

Hugs to you ALL. I hate we are here but I love that we have this community to share to vent to be.

Comment by Missing D&Z (Heather) on July 14, 2015 at 1:47am
Lonely...exactly how I feel. So many people around, I can work to be a member in the crowd most of the time but when I am uncomfortable I go into a shell. I spend more time with the people that I consider "safe"...really good friends and family. I moved to a new city and that has been the hardest thing. Whenever I make little accomplishments I want to turn to Derek and tell him but I can't. I wrote my first grant for a small STEM grant and when I was done I wanted to tell him..but, no. I'm rambling too...

Comment by Maggie on July 14, 2015 at 12:09am
I've always wondered what does "move on" really mean? I know there is the obvious of finding a new love, or,perhaps a major change in a career that takes you to a new location and new friends, new life. Or perhaps a new life style that is totally different from the old. But for most of us these do not apply. So what do we mean by "moving on?" It's almost a fear of being happy, that in doing that, you are somehow leaving them behind. So unless it's something major, do we really move on or just move along...always loving them, always missing them and a comfort of sorts in staying true to our feelings and longings. For me year one was shock, extreme grief, disbelief and the absolute need to stay busy. Year two has been Resignation, but not Acceptance..I know a fine line..and for me, the word that overrides it all is Loneliness, even with people around. It's always there and that permanent feeling doesn't move on....rambling I know, it's late.
Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on July 13, 2015 at 11:26pm

Sue - what a wonderful philosophy you have!  

Comment by sueprnova on July 13, 2015 at 11:24pm

MLI - I too do a word or phrase of the year.  2015 is BE - BE adventurous, BE brave... etc.  I try, and more often than not, I am successful in doing things that allow me to BE something.  

Easy?  not hardly.  I have had adventures in the last few years.  I am determined to "Live a Life worth Living"  That was my husbands favorite quote.  It was written on his whiteboard that I still have... and I have since gotten it tattooed on me. 

Peace can some in time.  It's work to get there.  Eventually the sea will calm, with the occasional storm...but nothing like the hurricanes of the first year or so.

Take care of yourself.  I will always advocate outside assistance if needed.  SOmetimes others can guide us to that path we need to be on.  



Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on July 13, 2015 at 10:13pm

MLI - I think your word of the year is a great idea.  One may not always be able to live up to the word, but it's good to have one.  I started an art journal this year though a Facebook journal group; i've been doing art since I was, well, probably forever... but this group had us choose a word to focus on at the beginning of the year... my word is Breathe.  I often find myself holding my breath.  I'm a retired therapist. When I would notice a client holding their breath, I would remind them to breathe.  So many of us - widowed and non-widowed - do this.  It's a stress reaction.  The breath is so important, and it's so important to breathe properly - from the diaphragm, and not just in the chest.  So anyway, I like your word.

Like Idaho, I find that moving forward is full of so many fears.  It will be 5 years for me in November.  I went to an art retreat this past June, and one of the things I think that I realized is that if I move forward, am I leaving Don behind?  I know how it may sound; after all, he's dead.  It's not like I'm leaving him.  But there's something for me that if I move forward, I'm somehow letting go of him.  And there's something about that, even after almost 5 years that feels like I don't want to lose whatever it is I have, and that I will lose something... I don't know if that even makes any sense.  It's almost like if I move on, I'm losing Don, even tho I've already lost him.  Oh boy; this is just getting more confusing.  It's the loneliness for me that is the hardest part.  No matter how busy I keep myself, at the end of the day, I'm alone.  I go to bed alone, I wake up alone, I live alone.  And it sucks.  Sorry... did mean to ramble.  

I think we all want that "path to peace"... if you find it, please let me know where it is.  

Comment by idaho on July 13, 2015 at 9:55pm

MLI , it has been one yr (in May) and I still can't use the word Accept. And I want to go Forward but find it so difficult. I find myself working overtime so I don't have to think at all. My poor 14yr old needs me but I find it difficult to sit and just "be"- I want to keep busy all the time so I don't have to think because when all is quite - I cry and cry and cry. I feel sad, I feel guilt, I feel afraid, and I feel alone. I want so badly to find that path of peace - 

Comment by MLI on July 13, 2015 at 9:00pm

I came to the conclusion that each year I needed to come up with a word of the year. The first year was 'Accept'  - not just accepting Dan's being gone, but accepting that the world continues, life continues, accept that I had things I needed to do, children I needed to raise, money and a house I needed to manage, work I had to go to and be reasonably competent at :), etc. The Second Year's word is Forward. I hope those reasons are obvious.

I honestly don't know what the third year's word will be but I offer the idea of the word of the year as something to hang your proverbial hat on when things get rough. The year can be January or June, an anniversary or a birthday or whatever date you choose but each word will hopefully reflect a path of peace.



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