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CAREGIVING, LOSS, GRIEF, AND RECOVERY: A JOURNEY

Donna, my wife of 28 years, died two plus years ago. I have written about caregivingHPMlossgrief, a film project and more. What I haven't written about is adaption, recovery, and growth. How and why is it possible to traverse caregiving, loss, and grief to find meaning? Can we find a new better and improved self? Is there something more post trauma? What does the science say?

Caregiving, Loss, Grief, and Recovery: A Journey

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Comment by Mark99 on November 18, 2013 at 4:44am

Great thoughts and ideas here. It strikes me that we all share a common need to find a place in our new world for who we've become following our losses. We are the same person yet we have fundamentally changed. How does that fit with life today and the reality that many don't understand the profound and deep sense of loss and hurt we feel. 

Comment by Patience (Diane) on November 16, 2013 at 9:30am

Interesting that you should ask "what does Science say?"  I had the privilege to meet Dr. Eban Alexander, the neurosurgeon who wrote "Proof of Heaven"  about his near death experience and his journey to share what he learned. We are all on earth to learn life's lessons. One of which is death. We not only can, but we are supposed to learn and grow from the death of our loved ones.  It's challenging, but it's a very real and important part of our journey.

Comment by my roses on November 15, 2013 at 8:01pm

My roses  Nov 16th 2013

Hi Mark  

Like you I find the words of songs very relevant and saying what I feel.  I am happy with my inner self,  and have had other losses, and also been alone (when I was about 21) but this loss is totally different. I think it is because this is not just a physical loss, but a spiritual one.  Something is missing not only in the house but everywhere.  A part of you is torn away which cannot be properly described.  I had a dream of Wes  in which he was with me in a hotel lounge area. Many other people around.  He said he was going to look for a building either by getting on a bus or walking.  By  the time I realised he was gone I started to search realising I did not know which bus? Or where he would have got off?   I was wandering in a nightdress,eventually went back to the hotel.  As I arrived Wes was there and hugged me and held me close to his face. My cheek against his and my face into his shoulder.  AT ONCE there was total peace. I said you have found me - this is where I belong.  (This is the only real feeling of peace I have had in 10 mths. )  It is a feeling of completion.  Here are the words to a song called ALL FOR LOVE by Michael Bolton.  Which embodies the loss, the hope and the completion. 

May you find peace too…..

  

ALL FOR LOVE   by Michael Bolton

 

The night becomes the dawn
To prove that love goes on
It's written in the stars and in my heart of hearts
With you is where I still belong
Through every page we turn
Each lesson that we've learned
Will finally set us free or bring us to our knees
But love is right and never wrong

We know we can say we gave it all
We gave it all for love
Each step of the way we gave our soul
We gave it all for love. All for love

In silent prayers I pray
What words could never say
To reach into your heart
No matter where you are
To promise we will find a way
To walk the road we've known
The road that leads us home
A million dreams
I've dreamed in every one I've seen
The face of you and you alone

A lifetime goes by so fast
For the secrets that remain
Soon the future becomes the past
When I hold you again.
I'm gonna hold you forever

In silent prayers I pray
What words could never say
To reach you through the dark
To reach deep into your heart
And promise we will find a way
As night becomes the dawn
To prove that love goes on
Through every page we turn
Each lesson that we've learned
Will finally set us free or bring us to our knees
But love is right and never wrong we give it all for love

 

Comment by Mark99 on November 15, 2013 at 6:09am

Roses Thank you for the note. I just read it and was listening to Van Morrison "Have I Told You Lately" the following stanza strikes me as important to what you said about loving two people.

Take away my sadness
Fill my life with gladness
Ease my troubles that's what you do
Fill my life with gladness
Take away my sadness
Ease my troubles that's what you do.

That for me is about memory and hope and growth following this shit storm we are in. I too find the loneliness but remember something Donna said to me when we first met, "If you cannot love yourself and enjoy just being with yourself you will never be happy." I am lonely but I know that I am okay at who I am what is lonely is the fact I lost not a part of as much as reflection of me back to myself that helped me know I was who I am. What I wrote is a way for me to find the me in the absence of Donna. And you are correct healing is part of our sharing of who we are. 

Finally I have seen some who knew Donna and me disappear. That is so sad and angers me. 

Thank you for your thoughts 

Comment by my roses on November 15, 2013 at 5:57am

My roses  15th November 2013

Hi Mark 99  - yes we need what you are asking in that last question.  I was talking to a male friend of my husband and I, today... he said I looked better (apart from the flat look in my eyes, no sparkle).  But said I needed to find some joy in life.  This friend managed to still care about me when I was howling and wailing with the pain... many others would have gone away. (As so often happens).  I have been reaching out in various ways to many people, both men and women, as a way to stop the loneliness.  I figured that having a considerable number of friends to talk with, or they visit, meant that even if they did not contact me for 2-3 weeks  - I would see or hear from at least one person in a week.  I was also interested in the concept by a writer a few days ago who indicated that widwos had the ability to love 2 people at the same time. i.e. Still loving their beloved partner but in seeking companionship again was able to love anothe as well.  I think healing does come from having a caring relationship.  I think we were meant  to have that energy interchange (men's energy which raises up the woman and vice versa). 

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