Looking for online LGBT bereavement groups

Discussion in 'LGBTQ Loss' started by zag, Jul 3, 2023.

  1. zag

    zag New Member


    My first post here. I am looking for open online LGBT bereavement groups, ideally for people who have lost a spouse or partner.

    While supports are increasing, it still seems like there is not a lot available but maybe I am not looking in the right places. I have been to three support groups over the past few years, but was never able to find a group that was LGBT focused.

    I am in my 50's. Lost my amazing partner to cancer 3 years ago. Still feeling like hell a lot of the time.

    Thank you,
  2. Cmw547

    Cmw547 New Member

    Zag, I'm looking for the same. I lost my husband of 12 years suddenly to cancer (AML) two weeks ago and while it's so soon to even feel real, I want to connect with someone who has been through this to even help me figure out which way is up - and also just feel less alone in this. If you've found a group, I'd love more info. If not, I'd love to talk if you're up for it.
  3. zag

    zag New Member

    Hi Chris, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your partner, and especially such a sudden loss. Totally understandable that you cannot wrap your mind around it. I found a FB group and can dig up the link, but nothing else yet. Also would be happy to connect.
  4. BobGrief2023

    BobGrief2023 Active Member

    Sending love to you and your partner. Sorry for your loss.❤️
  5. MICHAEL2023

    MICHAEL2023 Well-Known Member

    Hi Zag and Chris, I too have had a challenge finding LGBTQ support groups. I've attended two 12-week grief support groups provided by a local Hospice. I felt comfortable, no tension or negative feedback, and I was the only gay person in both sessions. That support has been priceless, however I feel like I need to establish other contacts that understand what I'm going through. My spouse Edward passed in February of this year. We were blessed and blissed for 28 years. We were each other's world which made it even harder when he passed since he was my best friend and confidante. My biggest challenge at the moment is trying to grasp some images/ideas for piecing together a future for myself. It's a struggle. I just keep breathing and taking life one day at a time.

    I'm sorry for your losses. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone.

  6. steinbok

    steinbok New Member

    Hi, also a first time poster, and joiner here. I am going to lose my husband to glioblastoma (brain cancer) shortly He is still alive, but the process of death has begun. I haven't looked around for any bereavement groups yet, but maybe, should. I've had a lot of anticipatory grief, and am making plans between the crying episodes.
    I understand the need to reach out to others who are also suffering.
    feel free to reach out.
    MICHAEL2023 likes this.
  7. MICHAEL2023

    MICHAEL2023 Well-Known Member

    Hello steinbok. Thank you for reaching out. I can relate so well to what you are going through. A decade ago a dear friend of mine died from glioblastoma. I was actually with her the day she had her first fall that led to all the diagnostic testing. Her close family members were her caregivers at the end. I think the hardest part is watching and feeling the cognitive decline, our loved one as well as are own, right? I've also cared for a family friend with glioblastoma, and I know how physically exhausting it can be once our beloveds long term memory is gone. Having to repeat oneself over and over, although it is a labor of love, is it not?

    With my dear Edward, I was oddly blindsided by his actual death. I had just retired from 30 years of working in healthcare when his health took it's final turn downward. After 11 years of dialysis we had been cautiously optimistic he would be able to progress toward his lifesaving kidney transplant. Along the path of getting all of his preoperative testing done it was discovered that he needed a triple bypass. Since he was on bypass for 6 hours his cognition was functioning at only 60% post-op. He was moved to a rehab hospital to help with cardiac recovery, but his mental state quickly declined. I knew then that nothing would ever be the same and time was not on our side. Rather than placing him in a nursing home I took him home, despite his medical team's recommendation.

    The last 6 months of caring for him at home were the strangest, most confronting and confusing time of my life. I had full confidence that I'd provide excellent medical care for him, skin care, etc. But looking back I missed some clues and opportunities that would've allowed him to share more of what he was experiencing. I was on auto-pilot (Higher Power). On a couple of occasions he started sharing his feelings about dying but I was so numb by then, I sure hope whatever I did say was some help to him. That is the only regret(s) that I have. I was so happy that he was able to remain at home during his last days. Hospitals can be so brutal and revealing.

    To summarize, my pervasive feeling (unexpressed, of course) throughout the entire process was the maze of anticipatory grief. It chipped away at my heart one day at a time. My Edward passed 10 months ago today, I believe the grief of final loss is less than the anticipatory grief of participating in a long-term illness.

    I think your very wise to begin building a framework of support ahead of your beloved husband's passing. Our friends and family are somehow more supportive during the death process, once death takes place they seem to scatter about since they don't know what to say or do. Only those that have walked in your shoes can truly know and feel where you are right now.

    I wish you peace, brother. Be kind and patient to yourself as well.

    ~ Michael
  8. steinbok

    steinbok New Member

    Hi Michael. I am seeing the cognitive decline, firsthand. It gets worse every day. It's those staring blankly at you after you ask a question, and then ask again, getting the same response. I cry, I have a heavy heart. It is broken.
    When quack western medicine forced my hand (out of treatment options, not that his QOL was anything to write home about) he was at an SNF, getting < than stellar care. I pulled him out of there, and into a board & care home, where he would get that better treatment and care.. It was the closest thing to "going home".
    I was thrown completely into "adulting" (taking over all aspects of the household), I didn't have the bandwidth to deal with anything else except that. I also could not offer the same type of care that a board & care would offer. (I was at my breaking point with all this)
    He, Reed, my life partner of 30 years, and husband of 2+ is not afraid of dying. He doesn't have much emotion about it. Whenever I go there, I always tell him I love him-- more than once.
    The anticipatory grief has been intense at times. I cry just about every day, knowing that he is no longer the man I knew, and that soon, he will be gone, his soul leaving a broken vessel that has not served him well for nearly 30 years, getting a brain tumor in it, the last 20, maybe? He had an MRI in 2017, with no tumor. May 2023: one the size of a baseball.
    Did you find some relief that Edward was finally released from his pain, the day he died? This is what I hope I will get to understand once Reed passes, that he will be free of the pain, anxiety, stress of life.
    Right now, I have a heavy heart. I know that things "get better", but it sure is painful right now.
    MICHAEL2023 likes this.
  9. MICHAEL2023

    MICHAEL2023 Well-Known Member

    My heart hurt as I read about yours and Reeds' journey. No amount of outside support, however abundant, can take the pain away of watching our beloved go through the dying process. A certain part of this grief walk is done in isolation, whether we like it or not. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and make choices in the moment about how to respond. This is tough stuff! One of my mantra's during the loss of so many friends and family members has been "no regrets...". Whatever was needed, we responded in the best way we could. We were present as much as humanly possible, which at times, for me, was super challenging because I also live with bipolar depression. My emotions and impulse reactions were so out of control during Edward's last 6 months, a little bit with him, but mostly with hospital staff and physicians (think Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment!!). The constant need to advocate for him, and protect him catapulted me into being someone I didn't recognize anymore. The past 10 months has been a process of learning how to be weak again, without the need to problem solve every second of every day.

    You asked if I found relief once Edward was finally released from his body. I'll tell you, as I watched him leave his body, it was as though he sent me a huge smiley face emoji (sort of...) image in my mind. He was showing me that he was free, that he was grateful, and still with me in some mystical way.
    I have had to hold that image close as I've been in the whirlpool of grief, but the good news is that as we get ready to change the calendar to a new year, I feel for the first time that I'm turning a corner as well. One day at a time.

    ~ Michael