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Widowed in 2011

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Comment by Cee on January 1, 2020 at 3:50pm

Mark, you are so good about finding the right words to help the rest of us navigate this fog we are in. Thank you for being there for us.


Comment by Cee on January 1, 2020 at 3:48pm

Sad one,  Sorry I just came back in and found your posts. My heart aches for the way you were treated by your family. I can't believe they would treat you like that. Maybe the best thing about it was that it was short. I understand how much you looked forward to having family come to visit It should have been a happy time being with people.  These are the times we miss our spouses.

I did go over to the friends for dinner - just her, her husband and her sister and me, so it wasn't a long visit, It was nice that because she had to go pick up her sister she picked me up also and I didn't have to drive in the dark to come home.  This gal is one of those people that takes in all "strays"  she and her husband are always helping other people. It is nice that she does this but it makes me feel like one of her stays and not a real friend. our conversations are mostly her talking and me listening. I am complaining but I do appreciate that I have had her in my life - she was basically my life line when my husband died.

 Because of some other things happening here I am giving more thought to moving back to my home state and looking into some kind of senior living space so I wouldn't have to worry about all the home maintenance, and there would be people around to help - like last summer when I fell and I knew right away my shoulder was broken, I was all alone and it was about 5:00 in the morning so I managed to slide myself around and got to the phone to call an ambulance. After I got back home I had to hire one of the home care aids to help me for a while. That is what happens when you do not have family around. Oh the gal I mentioned did pick up some tv dinners for me and called a few times but she had her hands full with her own family to help much.

 I seem to be running off at the mouth tonight - guess I am just lonely and this is as close as I can get to talking to some one.

 S' I hope things have calmed down with you and we can all look forward to a brighter new year.


Comment by Daisy on January 1, 2020 at 8:37am

Mark, thank you so much for your post. It was just what I needed to read today! About 2 weeks ago I started to create a blog website. This morning I woke up thinking, "Should I really be doing this? Why did I start this?" I was beginning to doubt that it was a good idea. Then I read your post. What you said - and I really admire your eloquent way of expression - so perfectly reflects my motivation for starting this project. Yes, I'm doing it in part for myself as it is very therapeutic to write about your grief, but also and mostly to share with others in the hope that it will help them in some way and make them feel less alone on their grief journey. It helped me tremendously to be able to read about others' experiences and thoughts and it still does. So thank you for giving me the little "nudge" I needed to continue my foray into something that is a little out of my comfort zone and definitely involves a lot of learning!

I hope this new year brings hope, love, light and healing to everyone.  

Comment by Barzan on December 31, 2019 at 4:35pm

Mark, that was a very thoughtful post.  You are correct in that grief is viewed and dealt with much differently than it was years ago.  Not only have we spread out into communities but our measure of time allotted for most events have shrunk considerably.  Take for instance the Christmas decorations on store shelves the day after Halloween and Valentines stuff has already taken their place.  We are expected to overcome our grief in short order.  A question I posed to a friend who has been happily married for over 35 years was how long would it take for her to get over the death of her husband.  She hardly took a minute before replying that she probably never would.  I think maybe she gets it now but until your the one left alone, you really don’t get it.

I had 5 weeks with my husband before he took his last breath.  I can still vividly remember the last time he was sitting up on his hospice bed and thanking me for 31 of the happiest years and all that I’ve done for him.  We said our love yous and soon he was on heavy pain meds and never spoke again.  

He was a brilliant man who also wrote brilliantly.  Poetry, essays, short stories and greeting cards to me are all carefully stored in a box that I pull out and enter his world.  Much of his writings were while in uni and law school before I met him.  He taught me the lesson of patience, listening, not being judgmental and not swearing.  He was funny and goofy.  And best of all, he was the best part of my life for 32 years.  

I wish all of you a 2020 that is filled with strength and forward momentum.  I’m thankful to have all of you here to share our wid-life.



Comment by chef (John) on December 31, 2019 at 12:42pm

Thank you for writing such an incisive and understanding/compassionate post, Mark. Your view is Zen-like, yet also a practical approach to our situations. I wish I were as eloquent.

Comment by Mark99 on December 31, 2019 at 11:30am

A Decade of Grief & Transparency

Since Thanksgiving the whole grief thing felt like those floaters we have in our eyes. Little black spots that you can see bouncing in your field of vision. Some days harshly bouncing off the concrete wall in paddle ball and other days a pink Spaldeen sitting in a gutter. I've been thinking I should do a NYE post about Donna's and her last NYE to kind of address this season of grief. I realized (slow one I am) this is the end of decade and everyone is doing decade reviews of: albums, books, movies, styles of underwear, etc. Add to that I'm listening to a podcast with Dax Shepard interviewing Edward Norton where they got to talking about how when people step out of their mold and take risks that that transparency shown outwardly can be a prism for others to engage or find their way.

I heard that and thought about us here. Not just us here but any platform or grief support group, etc. I have been posting, podcasting, wrote a book about my grief and grief in general. I was using my grief in a transparent fashion to, one come to terms with it, second share it with others. Somewhere in there I hoped it would help someone somewhere.

Historically way back when we lived in villages death of a loved one was a village event. Wids were not left alone when gathered around the town fountain or center. Grief was a currency of need and support where all gathered to help the one grieving. Fast forward to the 20th century and our grief journey became more and more isolated as populations dispersed to suburbs. In that environ grief was a sorrow carried alone with all its transient suffering.

Today within our community and others we are gathered around a virtual village fountain sharing. Our personal grief shared allows other to see their grief and access it. AND it helps us understand and find a safe place to grieve. Shared emotions and ideas can only serve to help others integrate new knowledge into their world to create a new consciousness.

I guess this decade, as I look back, is one where I have journeyed with my grief to learn and understand me, Donna, love, and others. I, in a way, am an advocate for grief and our collective need to share. I root for my grief and yours. Not for the pain but the window of light it can allow in. I am going to write a longer post about this idea better thought out. For now much love today and into 2020.

 The pictures are from NYE 12/31/2010 into 1/1/2011. I think you can see on Donna's face she was in pain. As I look harder at the photos I think she knew this would be her last NYE. Until I can no longer write or talk about these topics she will never not be with me on NYE.

Comment by Sad One on December 29, 2019 at 11:51pm

 Hi Cee,

I just now saw your post. It was sweet of your son to send you a Victoria's secret gift. I mean he meant well.  Maybe you can exchange it for something else. PJ's or robe or something. I find my slippers online. I too have ankle, knee, and foot arch problems. I use Vionic brand slippers because they're made with built in arch support. 

I'm sorry to hear you live alone. Can't be easy. It is good however, that you have neighbors that look out for you.

My Xmas was weird. My aunt, cousin, and father came over as planned. But we were supposed to have Xmas dinner at my place. But when they arrived, they announced they already ate. I was shocked they didn't give me notice. I mean the food I could just save. I didn't care on that. I just felt disrespected. All they had was coffee and some sweet bread they'd brought over. My father criticized my house, he said it was dirty and that I don't clean.  My aunt seemed to have a chip on her shoulder. My cousin, who is now 50, just giggled at the spectacle of a visit. And a short visit, they stayed only just a little over an hour.  I don't understand my own family. I find myself frowning at the memory of Xmas eve. And sad that my Hubby isn't with me. And knowing he would not have accepted such disrespect.

Hugs to you Cee.


Comment by Cee on December 25, 2019 at 6:31am

This may make you smile

I do not live near my family so gifts are sent, the ones from my son have been sitting in front of my fireplace waiting. He made the comment that he thought the gifts were something I would use "a lot"

Now I don't think you could find better way to make someone feel old and lower their self-esteem any more than to send them this gift from Victoria's Secret -  "SLIPPERS"..... now doesn't that just make one feel young and sexy? :)     and I can't even wear them because they are the slip on ones and with my knee and ankle problems they would not be safe.

This has been a lonely time, I am just waiting for the holiday to be over. I didn't even decorate ---because of physical problems I wasn't able to bring the decorations down from the attic. Since I live alone and do not have any family in the area and no one else comes to visit, it didn't matter that there were no decorations.  I do have an invite from a neighbor to come over for a late dinner so at least I will be around a few people for a little while.

HUGS to all of you, I hope you are having a peaceful day and if possible with family or friends.



Comment by chef (John) on December 9, 2019 at 11:20am

@Mark99: Good that you're getting out for the writing classes. I keep meaning to look into (evening) classes myself, since I can take classes at many local public institutions (a reduced price) in NE Ohio, now that I've achieved "senior status" by passing the Big Six-Oh. The problem is that I'm still working, so my work schedule conflicts with several (day) classes in which I have interest.

Comment by Mark99 on November 26, 2019 at 4:01am

Hey all. I have been reading your comments and note and memories with great interest and I'd joy. This is a distant first community for my grief. You all hold a dear place in my heart. I am not I shared with you all that I self published 'Donna, A Photo Memoir of Love and Loss' I have also been taking some writing courses and doing a bit of leaving the house. Ha 

On the whole you are dear to me since you were my first community. Have a great Turkey Day all. 

How far can we go into to our grief before admitting we are lost? I think being lost in our grief is an element of our journey. 


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