Widowed Village

A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation


Widowed in 2010

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Latest Activity: 22 minutes ago

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Comment by Macduff (Hal) 22 minutes ago

Here's what I am dealing with now six months after making my big move...


Comment by goingon (Cynthia) 9 hours ago

irreverentyoungwidow -

I always dreaded having to move out of "our" house after living there for 30 years with Don and raising our children and all that goes with it in that house.  I moved when my mom needed someone to help care for her; it was daunting to say the least, because in addition to all of the memories, there was just so much stuff.  A lot of that stuff was stuff of Don's that I had actually forgotten was still there until I was packing up the den and found a cabinet with all of his chess things.  He played "postal chess"; then it was on the internet; he had kept every single postcard he'd received; every single game in note books, in index card boxes; he made notes on his game to himself, he analyzed it all.  Now it's all in a box in my garage here because there's no room for it in the house, but I just can't let go of that box. 

But I'm rambling.  As far as how to say goodbye to that house... well, but the time the movers came, there was so much stuff piled up in the living space - a pile for storage, a pile for donation and a pile to take with me that once they moved it all out, I spend some time alone, walking from room to room, remembering so much - walking through our daughter's rooms, remembering when they were babies, when we had the Northridge earthquake, well, just about everything major.  Being alone in our bedroom, where so much happened between just the two of us, and where Don died.  It was not easy, but perhaps that was my "ritual"; just taking that time to quietly say goodbye to each room, to each memory, to all the love we had there.  We each do this differently, and I think you'll find what works for you.  There's a little book called "good grief" that suggests rituals for grieving.  I don't know the author, but perhaps it will help.  Good luck with your move, and I hope that you are able to manage it without too much pain.  Or no pain - that would be nice, wouldn't it?

Comment by Macduff (Hal) 10 hours ago

I moved six months ago from the house we built. Not only moved; but moved 3,000 miles across the country. I found the nitty gritty of moving was a prolonged ritual in itself. The goodbyes happened just about every day as departure date got closer. Since I hardly moved anything at all (only took what could fit in the car) I had to leave hundreds of big and small items of our life together behind. Once I got settled in memories of us in the house stayed with me, and often came in dreams. It is all a process of the final stages of grieving much out of our control. 

Comment by irreverentyoungwidow 22 hours ago
I could use some ideas - in 3 weeks I will move from the only home I ever shared with my husband. I found lots of ideas for "goodbye rituals" online, but nothing that connects to saying goodbye to a marital home, or having to move after the death of a spouse. I feel like it's a double goodbye or a double whammy. Any rituals or suggestions on how to say good ye to the WE of the place, when it is not WE but only me who is moving? Thanks all!
Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on December 11, 2014 at 1:35pm

I agree that we have our experiences hardwired into our frontal lobes; our brain has an experience, it transfers that experience to short term memory, and if everything else is working, to long-term memory.  When it's not working, we call it dementia.  In any case, our feels, or our body memories, or cellular memory has a lot to do with these sensations.  Watching Don die that last morning, he was reaching up to the ceiling, and I knew in my gut he wasn't hallucinating - he never did have hallucinations, even when he was at the end and was bleeding from every orifice (sorry; I hope that isn't too disturbing for you), I knew at the end, he was seeing something only he could see.  There is a book called "Vision Trips and Crowded Rooms" and I forget the author; it was written by a social working and he collected accounts given by people who were at a bedside when someone died - family members, medical personnel, other social workers, care givers. The accounts are amazingly similar when death is expected and someone is lingering, waiting for the right time to leave their bodies behind.  I have no idea what happens to us after we die.  I don't know if we have a "soul" that goes on to another plane of existence or if we are just energy and when our body dies our energy is absorbed back into the earth or out into the universe, and becomes part of someone else's energy when they are conceived or born.  But I do know about the brain.  And yes, that period between being awake and asleep is one when we are most susceptible to our unconscious.  My experience of "feeling" Don near by is always when I'm awake - I've been up and out of bed to use the bathroom or get a drink of water (I haven't slept well in years - many years, before he died).  And yes, he's been in my dreams.  Sometimes they are so real I wake up feeling his lips on mine.  Body memories, or a visitation?  I don't know what to believe anymore.  Psychics?  Mediums?  I don't know.  I do know many people believe strongly in psychics and mediums, and I don't doubt psychic ability.  I think we are all born with it; most of us lose that ability over time, some of us don't.  When my first daughter was a toddler, she said things before they happened; then they would happen.  I KNOW she was psychic, and now she is very grounded in reality and any psychic ability she had, she no longer has.  But think of the times someone you were just thinking about, out of the blue whom you haven't talked to in ages suddenly calls you.  Or you finish someone's sentences, or say something before they say it, but were going to.  Can any one explain that?  So I guess, until someone can prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing after we die, I will always believe it to the extent that it hasn't been disproven.  I hope that makes sense.  But why haven't I had these experiences with other's who have died?  My dad, my grandparents, my uncles and a best friend who died way too young.  I have never felt them near me after they were gone.  Maybe because of the relationship, although I loved all of those people, too.  I'm sorry; I'm rambling now.  Thank you. 

Comment by sarahroo on December 11, 2014 at 10:42am

My husband was missing for a week before we knew for sure he had died. In the middle of that week, I was alone in my bedroom and I heard his voice say my name. I sat straight up and looked around. I thought to myself, "I am losing it. There is nobody here." But I was so sure I had heard him that I even went to the window and pulled back the curtain to see if maybe he had called me from outside. I just cried out, "Where are you?!" I didn't hear him again, but a calm came over me and I felt like he was telling me he was safe. It was at that moment I knew he was gone and not coming back. I guess a tiny part of me held out hope that he would be found alive, but after that moment, I was (almost) convinced that he had died. There are times I feel extra close to him, like he is in the next room. It is a strange sensation to feel like he is here, but it is also very comforting. My children (6 & 8) feel it too, mostly at night. We like to say he is just checking things out and checking up on us and looking out for us. The void is still palpable and I imagine it will be for a long time, maybe forever, but feeling like he is close helps. 

Comment by Macduff (Hal) on December 11, 2014 at 10:21am

My 93 year old father-in-law had vivid hallucinations of his wife for six months after she died. Grief is in the heart, in the mind, and literally in the neurons of our brains.

When you're in the twilight zone between sleep and being fully awake, you are more prone to these compelling, sometimes comforting and often disconcerting experiences.

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on December 11, 2014 at 10:16am

Hello all.  I'm not sure where to post this, so I'm just going to post it here.  This  may sound weird or crazy, but lately, when I wake up whether it's during the night or in the morning, I have this feeling of not being alone; it's like there's this expectation that someone is here with me - and it feels completely normal.  And then when I'm fully awake, I'm like 'Oh yeah... there's no one here."  Except one night I had gotten up to use the bathroom and when I climbed back into bed, I spoke out loud, asking who was there, if anyone was here, if it was Don and that to please give me sign.  Well, I didn't get any signs, and I still get that feeling during the night and in the morning.  Has this happened to anyone else (who is willing to post it here?)  ?  Thank you. 

Comment by Paula on November 28, 2014 at 8:37pm

Hi Crying (Lisa) I know you from CWE and FB. I'm sorry it's taking so long, I know that it takes as long as it wants too. 

Comment by crying on November 28, 2014 at 5:05am
You are another one I remember thru the years. In this last post it sounds like you are finding some peace in your life. Still hard for you but some peace. Hope you had a good holiday

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