Loss after three decade relationship.

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by oneman, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Good Morning, Lou

    Getting a very late start. I had no trouble falling asleep, but woke up at 1:00a.m., finally, at 2:30, decided to take another hit of melatonin. I slept until almost 7 this morning, but am still dragging. I hope you got a much better night's rest than I did!

    Backing up a bit, and totally off subject, I think you mentioning Linda feeding fish to the pelicans in Florida, was what got me going on and on and on , like the Energizer Bunny, in that old commercial, about all the wildlife around here. It's a beautiful, sunny, but cool morning. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've been waiting until it warms up a bit before hitting the pavement.

    On to the shack... I smiled when you said that like the Godfather, you stayed where you were, and let people come to you. Thanks for making me smile! The beginning of the holiday season is really hitting me hard. When I'm feeling down, knowing that I can still smile helps. It's good that you made enough of an impression on Jimmy last week, that he took the time to think about what you said, and was able to walk over and apologize. I'm glad you told him again how it made you feel and were able to leave things on good terms. I think (hopefully I'm right!), he'll think twice before speaking in the future. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the evening because you were with Tom and Ann.

    I'm proud of N. too and I don't even know him. He is a strong person, working two jobs, to get himself back on his feet, working so hard to move forward. I knew someone who was sent to Vietnam and came back suffering from PTSD. He wasn't able to move forward, and sadly, took his own life. N. is lucky to have you for a friend, to be there for him. as he goes about rebuilding his life.

    Having some technical issues this morning, I hit something and thought I deleted this message. I'm going to send it before, I it really does disappear.

    Hope you and N. are enjoying coffee at the Legion.

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  2. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Didn't see this until I sent my first message to you this morning. I'm way too technically challenged and am having computer issues, but unfortunately, I can't blame this on my laptop.

    There's so much I want to say, but it's getting late, and I need to get a long walk in before it warms up too much. I will be back after my walk to "talk" to you. By now you're at the Legion with N. and might have already finished having coffee. I'm very glad N. picked you up this morning and that you're not alone!!

    For now, just know that I'm thinking about you, and hope that what has started out as a miserable day, will end up being a much better day than you expected. Hoping you find reasons to smile...

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
  3. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Your timing is perfect, as usual, Deb, just
    like the daily emails from Center for
    Loss. N&I had a great time with the
    veterans, who are a humorous bunch,
    who like to kid each other. One of them
    is a former baker, who owned a strudel
    cafe, now run by younger people. One
    time, I asked him if he had anything
    gluten free. With a deadpan expression,
    out of the corner of his mouth, he said,
    "yeah, water" ! I gulped with sadness
    when you talked about the Vietnam
    vet, with PTSD, who took his own life.
    When Linda died, I didn't want to go on
    without her, but thank God, never tried
    to take my own life. My grief counselor
    didn't like the phrase, "commit" suicide,
    bc one doesn't commit cancer, for example. If one takes his own life, it is a
    desperate act from the agony of despair &
    no hope. When N & I walked down the
    street after the coffee, I said hello to
    a couple in their late 60s. When I saw
    that the man had a Vietnam vet hat, I
    thanked him for his service, and they both
    smiled. N says he does that all the time.
    I half jokingly said to him today, "I'm
    proud of you, son", and we both laughed.
    He'll try to meet me on the Neck on Sun,
    his only day off. Strange thing about
    anniversaries and holidays. I share that
    sadness with you, Deb. Please remember
    that I'm " on call" whenever you need to
    cry. I can send a virtual hug. Both of us
    could use one. Ann kindly did that for me.
    Also. Kim's father surprised me with a
    manly hug, rather than a handshake. They
    are family to me. In Permission to Mourn,
    by Tom Zuba, he spoke of signs from his
    late wife. One of my signs, is that when I
    turn on the screen on my phone, Linda's
    birthday shows up sometimes. It makes
    me sad and smile at the same time, which
    seems to be a common theme for all of us.
    Hope some coffee and a walk will get you
    out of your Melatonin induced haze! Lou
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  4. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    You did it again, I smiled as soon as I read the former baker's reply to you. Smiling is something that I don't take for granted anymore. Still on smiling, what started out to be a difficult day turned out to be much better than expected, the reason I'm getting back here so late. Even though the sun was out, and it was just one of those perfect days for walking, almost as soon as I left my house, I heard an ambulance as it was making it's way down the main road off of the street where I live. The sound of that siren, had me in tears. I couldn't get the images of the night before Bob died, and early the next morning when he passed away out of my mind. I knew I needed to walk so headed towards the raised wooden path that I walked the other day. I needed to be alone, and I was glad that not many people were around. Although I tried to concentrate on other things, and tried to just listen to the sounds of nature all around me, I couldn't get my mind to stop working overtime. I sat on the same bench that I sat on the other day, and cried... There wasn't anyone around so I let myself cry... Ambulances are always a trigger for me.

    After about half an hour, I was okay, so I got off the bench and continued down the path. When I was on my way home, my friend who lives a couple blocks away from me, had just left her house to walk her dog. I am madly in love with her dog!!! I'll tell you about him another time (if I can remember!). We ended up talking for a very long time, and I walked with her and her dog. I ended up going back to her house. We had lunch together on her porch. We talked and talked and talked.... By the time I left her house, the day was almost over. I felt much better.

    It sounds like even though you had a miserable start to your day, it got much better. I hate this seemingly never ending roller coaster ride of emotions.... However, just the fact that we are able to smile..., to laugh... , has got to be a sign that we're learning how to live our lives again, even though grief, will always be like a dark cloud hanging over our heads... I know that Linda and Bob would be proud of us today.

    What you said about always being on call for me, has made me teary eyed but only in the best of ways!! I want you to know that I'm here for you too. I feel like we just had one of those virtual hugs...

    I'm still a bit tired, but I don't know if it's from that "melatonin induced haze," or just the kind of exhaustion that is a part of grieving.

    Hope tonight is a good one for both of us... an "uneventful" peaceful night's sleep... (Another thing I'll never take for granted again!!!)

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  5. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Did a lot of walking on the Neck today,
    & came home for a nap. Just woke up and
    was pleased to see your email, Deb. The
    death of your husband is more recent than
    the death of my wife. The shrill sound of
    a siren, from either a rescue squad
    vehicle, or ambulance, used to paralyze
    me with fear, and I would cry also. I will
    say that doesn't happen now, and I hope
    that will be the case for you. So glad you
    visited with friend & dog! I'm home this
    evening, which is relaxing after being out
    Wed & Fri nights. I plan to get together
    with N tomorrow on the Neck, his one
    day off. Tom may have breakfast with me
    another day. I don't mind that he takes
    long distance business calls. I'm not as
    needy for conversation, and bring my
    phone for diversion. I buy breakfast, and
    Tom & Ann insist on buying dinner!
    Fatigue and unexpected roller
    coaster effects of grief, are to be expected,
    unfortunately. It is amazing that both of
    us can smile, and even, laugh now. N,
    and now, Tom & Ann, make me laugh, and
    I return the favor. I like these Sept days,
    which are still sunny, so I go to bed early, and wake up early, to make the most of the
    day. I just bored myself with my comments
    about my sleeping patterns, so I'll eat
    supper now ! Hope you have a relaxing
    evening. Lou
  6. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    You keep getting me to smile, thanks!!! If you could "listen" to my l o n g, boring description of the wildlife around here the other day, I can certainly "listen" to one sentence about your sleeping patterns. BTW, backing up a bit, I forgot (told you I have that widow's foggy brain thing going on) to tell you that we also have lots of armadillos around here. Okay, now I'm finished. On to other things...

    I'm sorry you used to have the same reaction to the sounds of sirens from ambulances and rescue squads that I have now. I'm glad that this doesn't happen to you anymore!!! I think it must be a "normal" reaction given the circumstances. My friend who I spent time with today, told me that whenever she hears a siren, sees an ambulance or rescue vehicle, she says a prayer for the person who is in need of medical atttention, and his/her family. She also told me that she used to cry too, but like you, she has been dealing with this misery longer than I have.

    Backing up to an earlier message you sent me, I like to believe, have to believe that Bob, is watching over me, is here with me in spirit, just as Linda is watching over you, and is here with you in spirit. There's only been three times that I've felt like Bob was trying to let me know he's still here. Two out of the three times involved throw pillows. The second time I thought he was trying to let me know he was here, was when I saw that one of the throw pillows on my bed wasn't in the position I always leave it in. The third time happened tonight. When it began to get dark outside, I went over to shut the plantation shutters that are behind the couch. One of the throw pillows that is usually on the right side of the couch, was now on the left side, in front of the pillow that is always there. It made me cry, but it also made me feel a little less alone. I found comfort in Tom Zuber's book "Permission To Mourn," when he wrote about this. As Tom Zuber said, "Love is eternal."

    Hope you and N. have lots of reasons to smile and laugh tomorrow... Enjoy a beautiful fall day on the Neck.

    Stopping here for tonight. I'm so tired... I'm going to take some melatonin, have a cup of herbal tea, and go to sleep.

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  7. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, sometimes it feels like "phone tag" with
    us, bc we just miss each other! I fell asleep
    right before your last message, just woke up
    briefly, and there you were! Glad we are getting more hours of sleep now. In the
    cold winter, I tend to hibernate. Your stories
    about the pillows were very moving. It is so
    important that you keep Bob's spirit alive. The
    more you tell me about him, I know that I
    would've liked him. After all, I like you, and you
    and Bob were soulmates. I know Linda would
    have liked you for your kindness, both to
    people and dogs. I was glad she was able to
    meet many dogs when she was well. She
    found most dog owners friendly and fun. I feel
    that if I can have just one person to count on,
    I'm a lucky man. Kim will drop anything and
    adjust her schedule to help me, bc she saw me at my worst, right after Linda died.I like
    my other friends, but they're not always
    available. Not to make anyone jealous here,
    but you seem to be the only one consistently
    there for me every day. I know there are
    good reasons why some have not written
    lately, but I wish they would, so we could see
    that they're OK. Well, back to sleep. Hope you
    have pleasant dreams, Deb. Lou
  8. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Today is off to a chilly start, it's in the mid sixties right now. I know, I'm from New England too, so you're probably laughing at this now, but,, and this is a BIG but, it doesn't take much time to get used to the weather conditions once you move. It's going to be another picture perfect day, and I'm going to take another long walk this morning.

    This afternoon, I need to get gas, otherwise, I'll have to drive my car, much the same way Fred Flinstone drove his, in the days of the dinosaurs. I'm also trying to get back to the way I used to eat, so much healthier!!, and want to pick up some more fresh vegetables and fruit. Still sort of on the same subject, I forgot to tell you that I made salmon for dinner last week. I made a big salad to go with it, and baked a sweet potato. It was one of those bittersweet moments, I cried because Bob loved salmon, and he should have been enjoying it with me, sitting next to me, in his chair... I forced myself to eat dinner at the kitchen table, rather than bring my food into the living room, turning on the TV (something that was never!!! on during meals when Bob was with me) for distraction from the pain and loneliness of having to eat my meals without Bob. So far, I'm just making very simple, quick meals, and not every night, but, for me, it's step in the right direction. I think this would make Bob proud and happy, knowing I'm trying to take better care of myself. I forgot to defrost something for tonight, so I can either eat one of those frozen, organic meals still in my freezer, or pick something up, maybe some chicken... Another one of those TBC's ..., although I keep forgetting to update you, so maybe it'll be a TBC. Like you last night, I'm boring myself "talking" about my eating habits, so time for a change of subject.

    Lou, it is mainly because of the things you've said, that have helped me get as far as I am in this miserable journey, that not one have us would have chosen to take. You encouraged me to talk about Bob using his name, and this was a HUGE step for me because once I could use Bob's name when "talking" about him, it was more painful, but his death became all the more "real." It also, although I can't believe I'm saying this!!!, feels good to "talk" about him here, to share some of my favorite memories of him. Just like you're keeping Linda's spirit alive, I'm now doing the same for Bob. It hurts so much to "talk" about him, but at the same time, it feels so good to remember all the wonderful things, and all those not so wonderful things, about him, that made Bob, Bob. I'm teary eyed thinking about this, but I think the tears are healthy tears... I think if the circumstances had been different, the four of us, you and Linda, Bob and I, could have easily become friends. I think we would have been able to enjoy so many fun times together...

    Back to dogs, I agree with Linda, most of the dog owners I meet are good people, easy to talk to, and fun to be around. Backing up to what I said the other day about having a dog is like having a permanent two to five year old child, I found that after the puppy stage was over, Bob and I could easily leave our dogs home alone for the day, or for an evening out. However, during the puppy stage, we used to bring them lots of places to socialize them, so they would grow up being happy and well adjusted rather than fearful of strangers, mean to other dogs, etc. etc., etc.,

    Mentioning this made me think of something that is very painful for me to "talk" about. We had to euthanize our very favorite "fur baby." She had cancer and when she no longer was able to enjoy her life, we knew it was time to let her go. The way it happened was so peaceful, so beautiful... We scheduled a date, and time. We requested that her favorite "doctor," send her off to heaven... ( Yes!, I believe there is a place for dogs there). We were put into a private room, Bob, myself, our daughter (she flew where we were living at the time to be with us), and our very favorite "fur baby." Her veterinarian spread a large, warm blanket on the floor. It's almost if our dog knew what was going to happen. She walked over to it, and immediately lay down. Backing up just a bit, when we first got to the animal hospital, our dog was very weak and had trouble walking, but she loved!!! going to see her "doctor," and walked all the way inside by herself. (A tech had come out to meet us and had brought a stretcher for her, but we let her walk inside instead.) Her vet told us we could spend as much time as we wanted with our dog, and when we were ready, to press a button that was on the wall near the door, she and her assistant would come back. When we were ready, my daughter and I were hugging each other, there were so many tears..., Bob was heartbroken, but always the stoic man who he was, didn't shed any tears, but, his eyes were watery. (Prior to us being able to spend our last moments with our "fur baby," the vet took her into another room. We didn't know it at the time, but she had her assistant make us a Christmas ornament with her paw print in it. She also cut a lock of her fur, and put a bow around it. Once this was done, they brought her back to us.)

    My dog loved baby carrots. We were told it was fine to let her have a snack prior to being euthanized. I brought a bag of them with us. Normally our dog never wanted snacks when she was busy meeting people, and curious to find out more about wherever she was, but this time, she gently took each carrot from my fingers, and ate every single one of them. Shortly after she finished the baby carrots, my daughter pressed the button... The vet gave our dog something to relax her first, the vet tech patted her back, my husband held her paw, my daughter and I were in tears, so much so, that all we could do was hug each other, in between crying, tell our dog how much we loved her. After the medication relaxed her and her eyes were closed, but she was still alive, I asked the vet if she still knew we were there. The vet said she no longer knew we were with her, and being too painful to stay until the very end, my daughter and I went back to our car, still crying and hugging each other.

    Bob stayed on the floor, still holding our dog's paw, talking to her, while she was given the final shot. He didn't want her to die alone. The reason why I told you this story, is because it breaks my heart over and over again, remembering that I wasn't allowed to be with Bob during the final moments of his life. I can only imagine how he felt, so all alone... scared???) I have no idea what thoughts were racing through his mind, before he lost consciousness. All I know is that I wanted with all my heart to be with him when he needed me most, and I wasn't there. I know this wasn't my fault, but it hurts so much... I wish there was someway I could let him know how sorry I am, how much I wanted to be there for him... I feel like I'm not going to be able to get past this. It hurts that much. Can't stop crying... Need to get another tissue. Also, need to get out of the house!!!

    Just checked the time. It's getting late!!! If I don't get out of the house soon, it'll be the afternoon before I get my much needed walk in.

    Like you, I hope and pray everyone here is okay.

    I hope your morning is off to a good start...

    Enjoy your day with N. .....

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  9. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, by coincidence, your email came
    about the same time as one from Center

    for Loss. This one was written by the
    founder,AlanWolfelt. He addressed the
    issue of fatigue in grief! When you said the
    four of us would have enjoyed being
    together, I cried, bc Linda & I never
    managed to have another couple as
    friends. But, I really wept when you talked
    about your dog's death, and Bob's eyes
    tearing up. When Linda & I had to give up
    our mini poodle, ( which we took care of
    when her parents no longer wanted her),
    we were traveling. Linda was heartbroken,
    as if she had lost a child (which we never
    had). I carried the little dog into the
    kennel and handed her over for adoption,
    but I didn't cry. I felt we had no choice, but
    Linda never forgave her parents for
    putting us through this needless agony,
    when we should've been putting our
    happiness as a newly married couple
    first. As for what Bob, or Linda, were
    thinking at the end, we will never know,
    but we can't torture ourselves with
    endless guilt . I learned that after months
    of grief counseling. Once again, I urge you
    to read The Widower's Notebook, a
    memoir, by Jonathan Santlofer, whose
    story of his wife's death, parallels our
    own. As I've said before, I had to put the
    book down after the first few pages, bc it
    was too close to home. A week later, I
    read the book, cover to cover, over
    coffee. I have it by my bed, and reread
    some passages about his marriage, some
    of it very real and amusing. I was so
    taken with the book, that I emailed
    Jonathan in NYC, and he surprised me
    with a warm email, in return. Well, it's
    nice here, too, so I'm off to Neck to see
    N, & others. Enjoy the day, my kind
    friend. L
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  10. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry you and Linda had to go through the heartbreak of putting your dog up for adoption. It's hard to believe that Linda's parents could be so heartless and inconsiderate.

    I ordered the "Widower's Notebook" on line and it should arrive by the end of the week. I love that you sent Jonathan an email and that he sent you a warm reply. I'm looking forward to reading his book this weekend! I'll make sure I have a full box of tissues near me before I even read the first page. Looking forward to "talking" with you after I finish reading it.

    It was such a beautiful day... I saw some of my neighbors while I was walking. When I was about half way to the raised wooden path that I've been telling you about, I saw my friend who I had lunch with yesterday. She was on her bike heading home, in the opposite direction. I'm looking forward to getting together with her and her dog again this week. Her dog reminds me a lot of my very favorite "fur baby."

    On my way home from my walk, right in the middle of the sidewalk, there were a bunch of vultures eating what remained of a dead armadillo. As soon as they saw me, a few of them started dragging it towards the grassy bank next to a lagoon. By the time I got there, there was almost nothing left of that armadillo except for it's "shell," tail and legs. (Not sure how to describe it.) I believe there's a reason for everything, and now I know why I got such a late start today!!! All I can say is that it was a good thing I had eaten my breakfast way before I saw this. My youngest son teaches biology at a state university. He is the only one I know who would want to see this. So just for him, I stayed long enough to take a picture.

    I know you're right. I hope that like you, I'll find a way to stop beating myself up over something that I had no control over. It just that it breaks my heart when I think back to the day when we had to take our favorite "fur baby" to be euthanized. Our dog was treated a zillion times better than Bob was treated in that hospital ER.

    I hope you and N. had an enjoyable day on the Neck and that your evening was a peaceful one.

    Sleep well...

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  11. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Morning, Deb! I'll start with my best
    thought about your last email: I'm so
    pleased , and flattered, that you took my
    advice, and ordered Jonathan's book. I
    refer to him by his 1st name, bc when I
    emailed to thank him for his amazing
    book, I said that he seemed like "the
    brother I never had". I told him the
    shocking details, leading up to Linda's
    death. I saved his reply to me: " I am so sorry about the loss of your wife, Linda.
    That kind of sudden traumatic loss is truly
    terrible, and something I know about.
    Thank you for writing to me. If my book
    brought you some comfort, I am glad I
    wrote it. I am touched and proud to call you "brother". My warmest and best,
    Jonathan". This brings tears to my eyes
    now. Little did I know that I would save
    his personal words to me, to share with
    you, Deb. Linda and I were very much
    alone. Both her parents and mine, led
    lifeless marriages. In a way, they were
    jealous of our unconditional love for
    each other. Linda & I waited until our
    mid forties to get married ( first marriage
    for both of us). We had both dated others,
    but we didn't want to settle for less, like
    they did. They did not share our joy, so
    we didn't invite them to our wedding, and
    "eloped" to Las Vegas, which became our
    honeymoon, also. Our biggest regret later
    was that we didn't walk away from these
    toxic people, but instead got entangled
    with their loveless marriages and bad
    decisions. We did not go to their funerals,
    bc we hadn't seen them in a long time, and
    they never wanted to be part of our lives.
    Sad, but I know there are other stories
    like that. On a lighter note, I'm happy to
    report that I never saw either an
    armadillo or vultures up close, only in
    As for N, I have to forgive his
    immaturity at times. I forget that he's only
    34, and gets easily distracted. He didn't
    get to the Neck until late afternoon, and
    I told him I got bored, bc there was only
    one storeowner with whom I could chat.
    He is trying to ask a young woman, who
    works in a store here, out for a date. I joked with N that we were living in
    alternate universes yesterday. He hopes
    to drive me out of town for breakfast
    some Sun, for a change of scenery. Lou
  12. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Hi Lou,

    Thank you for sharing with me Jonathan Santlofer's heartfelt reply to your email. Your story touched his heart too, in ways that only those of us who have been through this kind of total heartbreak can understand. I can't wait to get my copy and begin reading it!!

    I'm so sorry that both you and Linda didn't have the kind of nurturing, loving childhood that every child deserves. My childhood was far from perfect, but at least I knew, deep inside, my parents loved me. Unfortunately, they didn't have a clue as to what unconditional love means. Sadly, I made some choices in my teen years based on things they wanted for me, and not on things I wanted for myself. I was lucky because I realized this after I moved out of their house, and began my first year of college. I didn't cut off all communication with them, but kept my distance emotionally. They were a part of my family's life while our children were growing up. They were good to our children, and provided them with the unconditional love I didn't have growing up. However, I felt tremendous guilt for years after I separated from my parents emotionally, even though I knew feeling guilty was irrational. I'm sorry you and Linda didn't walk away from her parents sooner, but glad you recognized the relationship for how toxic it was, and were eventually able to walk away, not look back.

    I'm sorry yesterday at the Neck wasn't as enjoyable as you thought it would be. It's nice that N. is going to take you on a day trip, a different place for breakfast and a new town to explore afterwards. Still sort of on the same subject, how much longer are Tom and Ann in town? I remember you said that you might be having breakfast with Tom one morning.

    I only woke up two times last night, so am feeling pretty good this morning. I've been "talking" to you while waiting for it to warm up a bit outside. I think I can finally head out the door without getting frostbite! (I know I'm exaggerating, way more than just a little bit, but... as hard as this is for me to believe, having grown up in New England, and spent most of my life there, when it's in the low sixties here, I'm cold!)

    I hope your morning is off to a good start....

    As always, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  13. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Can't believe we're here at the same time! I just can't seem to stop "talking," responded to a new member. Really got to get outside now, or as I said yesterday, it'll be lunch time before I get my walk in.

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  14. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Deb, but I have to laugh when you
    say 60s temps are cold for you now! You've become a Georgia woman! I wear a
    sweatshirt & light jacket, when it's 60s in
    the am, and shed them when it turns
    70s in the sun. I'm not ready for Oct. yet,
    but I already see some beautiful orange
    colors in the trees. The fact is that I had a
    happier childhood than Linda, bc I was
    blessed to know my grandparents, on my
    mother's side, and they did show both
    love for each other, and for me. Linda's
    grandparents died before she was born.
    Also, when she was 12, her younger
    brother died of a rare illness, at 10, and
    she never got over the unfairness and
    cruelty of the death of an innocent child.
    You might say she fought with God. I didn't
    have an answer for her, except that life
    can be unfair. She would get so sad about
    the children with cancer, whose pictures
    were shown in the St. Jude's Hospital
    brochures. Mercifully, there is a better
    survival rate for them now. Ironically,
    there was no cure to save Linda. When
    some people would boast of their rather
    petty "accomplishments", Linda would
    say to me that they " didn't cure cancer".
    For some reason, Deb, I've been crying
    about Linda when I'm about to take a
    nap, or when I wake up in the morning.
    I think of her sayings all the time. One of
    them, that breaks my heart, was," I need
    a hug". I feel guilty that I wasn't more
    affectionate at the end, which is
    irrational, bc there was a table, with
    wheels, on which she had her water, etc,
    and I couldn't always be next to her in
    her room at the rehab. center. I'll stop
    here. I'm glad I have my weekly phone
    therapy session on Mondays at 10am. I must say, however, that my current therapist and I deal with my day to day
    relationships with people, rather than
    grief, which I did with my first grief
    counselor. I get more out of talking with
    you and receiving daily emails from
    Center for Loss. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about the book. Lou
    DEB321 likes this.
  15. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Correction: Do you live in South Carolina?
    I don't know why I said Georgia. I think
    Tom & Ann are here 'til Nov. 1st. All the
    shops on the Neck, except one, and a cafe,
    close Halloween, so I'm thankful I can hop
    on a bus, senior rate (!),and go to nearby
    city, for variety. Lou
  16. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Yes, you did say "Georgia,' but that's okay, it's just one state away. It's okay, keep right on laughing!! My friends from "home," laugh all the time when I tell them it's getting cold here. However... backing up just a bit, it was a day filled with sunshine, which is always a plus, but it was way too humid. I felt it almost as soon as I stepped outside. I decided to cut my walk a bit short, but I'm glad I made it out the door this morning. I really needed that walk, total understatement!!!

    I ran into my friend, and my very favorite "fur baby," on the way home again. She had just finished taking him for a walk, was about to cross the street, when we saw each other. We ended up talking for awhile. It seems like we never run out of things to talk about. I think she can talk as much as I can, and this probably isn't an easy thing to do. (Bob would have had something funny to say right about now.) An added plus was that I got to spend time with the second love of my life, her dog. He's just such a sweetheart.... I'll get to see him again soon because we're having dinner together Wednesday night. We like to do 5 p.m. cocktail hours on her porch, followed by dinner, and of course lots more talking afterwards. This week we're going to do take out, we haven't decided if we want Thai, Italian, or Mexican. I remember times, before Bob and I knew how sick he really was, when deciding what to order for dinner was the hardest part of the day. I need a tissue...

    I'm glad that you had loving grandparents who were there for you. Linda had a horrible childhood. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must have been, being a child herself, to lose her younger brother, and not to have the love that she deserved and needed from her parents. As you used to say to Linda, life is unfair. I don't understand why some people have so many horrible things happen in their lives, things that they are powerless to do anything about. I'm glad that although you and Linda met later in life, you got to spend many wonderful years together, and got to experience true love, the kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime, that sadly, some people never find.

    I'm sorry that you're struggling lately, crying before falling asleep, or when you wake up in the morning. I'm very sad before I fall asleep too, and also first thing in the morning, especially when I first open my eyes, want to cuddle up next to Bob, and know I'll never be able to do this again. You and I both feel guilty over things we couldn't do for Bob and Linda at the end of their lives. While we both know our feelings are irrational, feelings are feelings. We can't help the way we feel, but I wish there was a way we could make our hearts realize what our brains already know. I'm not far enough along in this miserable journey to know if it's possible to feel less guilt somewhere down the road.

    I talked to my youngest son after dinner tonight. He is such a good person with a huge heart. No matter what kind of mood I'm in, he always gets me to smile, and sometimes laugh. In some ways, he reminds me of Bob.

    Thank you for the kind words. The feeling is mutual. You are making the worst time in my life, a little easier, a little brighter, by "listening" to me, giving me advice, and letting me know that there really is hope for some sort of happiness again.

    I'm looking forward to reading the book and "talking" to you about it too. BTW, I keep my copy of "Permission To Mourn" on my night stand. So far, it's the best book I've read on grief.

    I hope by now you're at the beginning of getting what turns out to be a good night's sleep

    I'm about to take some melatonin. I'm fried...

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace. DEB
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  17. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Was just about to fall asleep, and wanted
    to check in, my South Carolina friend! I
    received a text from Steven in Pa. He &
    wife, Betsy, met me here one quiet night
    at the Shack. I did what I always did, &
    asked where they were from.Before they
    returned home, I took their address, and
    Steven became my pen pal, the old
    fashioned way. I send them postcards of
    this area. They love the ocean & visit here
    every March & Oct, when the rates of the
    inns are lower, and it's not as crowded.
    They are younger than I am, and still
    working, so these vacations are special
    for them. They met me a year after Linda
    died, and were very kind. I told them
    about our group, and specifically you (!),
    and they are proud of me for comforting
    others while being comforted in return.
    I also told them about Center for Loss &
    the books on grief, and they are happy for
    me that I now have support. I wish they
    could live here, but it's very expensive.
    I am blessed to have an apartment so
    close to the ocean & downtown. As I
    said to you that Linda would've liked
    to get together for dinners out with you
    & Bob, I know she would've liked Steven &
    Betsy. One Sunday, I texted Steven that I
    was depressed, and he called me right
    away. They are true friends like your
    friend, with whom you enjoy long talks.
    Well, hope you sleep soon, Deb. I'll "talk"
    with you tomorrow, God willing. I've
    been adding that last phrase lately, after
    falling down! Lou
    DEB321 likes this.
  18. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I'm very happy that you're able to live in such a beautiful place, so close to the ocean and downtown. You and and Linda had a very challenging and difficult life. I'm so glad that now, you've finally found your special, forever place, to call home. Although Linda can't be here in person to share this special place with you, as you told me the other day, Linda will always be with you in spirit. I know Linda would be proud of you, and very happy too, because of all the things you've accomplished, all the challenges you've overcome, since she's passed away. I'm very proud of you too.

    I'm so glad that Steve and Betsy are your true friends. We all need friendships like the one you have with them. When it gets down to it, the most important thing in life, is the connections we make with others. I feel very blessed for the true friends that I have. I am grateful for each and every one of them, every day.

    Backing up a bit, I slept much later than usual, but I really needed the sleep because I woke up way too many times last night. I had trouble falling back asleep because all I could think about was how much I miss Bob, and all I wanted to do, was to cuddle up next to him. I've been sleeping with his pillow all the time now. One of the times I woke up, I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. As I was about to walk into the kitchen, I don't know what made me do this, but I walked into the living room first. I picked up Bob's pair of glasses, the pair that is missing one lens, because we never had the chance to buy him new glasses after his cataract surgery. I cried.... and cried..., and cried.... After awhile, I put them back, in the same spot I've been keeping them since he died, on the corner of the cabinet that my TV is on. I finally managed to fall back asleep, hugging his pillow.

    I guess I needed that cry because I'm feeling better this morning. I'm going to go for a short walk before it gets much later. This afternoon I might do a bit of shopping. I need some new walking shoes. I have two pairs, but both of them have seen much better days. On the way home, I'll stop and pick up a bottle of wine to bring over my friend's house tomorrow night. Late this afternoon, I have a doctor's appointment. Nothing serious. I hope I don't have to wait too long because it's her last appointment for the day.

    I'm thinking today might be a tough day for you because tomorrow you're having cataract surgery. I hope that it's another beautiful day and your walking by the ocean, visiting friends on the neck, or doing something special just for you... Try to have a good day, soon you'll be able to see the ocean so much more clearly!

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  19. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, I wept through your reply to me
    this morning. Don't feel bad that you
    have that effect on me. As you said,
    crying is healthy, though painful at the
    to me. You are such a warm, kind woman,
    to remember my cataract surgery
    tomorrow. I remember that you said
    Bob was able to do eyedrops for only
    one eye. Your story of finding his glasses
    is truly heartbreaking. My consolation
    about Linda is that she knew we had
    finally found our home by the sea. Our
    plan was for her to be more mobile and
    join me in the winter motel, before we
    found our apartment together. That
    didn't happen. In a Zombie like state, I
    had to move out of the motel into an
    apartment, making decisions without
    Linda by my side physically. But, I
    recalled that when we used to move to
    other places, we would divide and
    conquer. Linda would look at the kitchen,
    living room, bathroom, and bedroom, and
    I would go straight to the windows, to
    see if they worked, and also, to see if
    there were any problems outside. You're
    right that she'd be proud of me. Linda
    taught me to cook, use the internet, and
    even to learn song lyrics. She was a
    remarkable woman, and the tears are
    rolling down my cheeks as I write this.
    Kim never knew Linda, but she & her
    young son helped me move, and she has
    been my most reliable friend ever since.
    She has seen tragedy in her own life.
    Whenever I was in despair, she would
    comfort me, by saying, "it will all work
    out, Lou". Her belief in God has rubbed
    off on me, bc I see God's presence in the
    timeless tides of the ocean. Lou
    DEB321 likes this.
  20. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    It is so difficult when it becomes necessary for us to make important decisions that will affect our futures, when we're at our absolute worst..., when our lives have been totally shattered..., leaving us heartbroken, and unsure of ourselves. It's amazing that you were able to find an apartment, in such a perfect location, when you had just lost Linda, your true love and best friend. You were much stronger than you thought you were, even at the very beginning of this miserable journey. I'm sure this would have made Linda very proud.

    I wish I could meet Kim. She is a wonderful, caring person, and I'm glad that the two of you are such good friends. I'm sure she values your friendship just as much as you do. I've found that the kindest, most generous people, are those who have had something tragic happen in their lives. It's sad that it sometimes takes a tragedy before some of us, are able to become the people, who we were meant to be. In some ways, I think I've become a better person since Bob's death. I always cared about others, I did my best to help out whenever I could, but I truly didn't understand things the way I do now. Looking back, I think I could have been a better friend and also a better neighbor.

    What you said, "I see God's presence in the timeless tides of the ocean," is so beautiful... Thank you for sharing this with me. My belief in God is helping me get through this. I pray daily for strength for all of us, to help us get through the very darkest days of our lives... I know my prayers, along with everyone else's prayers, are being heard.

    I started this a long time ago, but the phone rang, and it was my very closest friend from "home." We talked until I had to go to my doctor's appointment. While I was waiting in the office, she sent me an adorable picture of her sixth month old grandson. He was born exactly one month and one day before Bob died. It made me think about the circle of life... When one life ends, a new life is brought into this world... It also made think of "The Circle Game," by Joni Mitchell. Now I can't get that song out of my head!

    I had lots more to say to you when I started writing this, but I've lost my train of thought. I'm going to stop here for now, and make something for dinner.

    I hope you're able to enjoy a peaceful night tonight. If I remember correctly, your surgery isn't scheduled until tomorrow afternoon, so I'll "talk" to you tomorrow morning.

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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