Loss after three decade relationship.

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

  1. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, Kim just dropped me off after
    getting ready made chickpea salads,
    chicken walnut & cranberry salads, and
    egg salad for tomorrow am. They all
    came from a specialty market, which
    carries many GF items. We also went to
    a supermarket for fruit, sparkling water
    ( do you recall Poland Springs from
    Maine?), and deli. I have anemia, so I
    chose Italian roast beef, which is tasty,
    with garlic. I also take a multivitamin
    with iron. You made me cry AGAIN (!)
    when you quoted my phrase about seeing
    God's presence in the timeless tides of the
    ocean. I believe I felt that way when I
    was a boy, but I feel it stronger now that
    I want to live. My role model is 97 year
    old Ginny, who buried 2 husbands, but
    loves people and lives in the present. I
    was shocked at her age, bc she appears
    to be in her late 70s. She walks all over
    town, and by the beach, stopping to
    talk with people. Ginny takes pride in her
    clothes, big hats, and sunglasses to protect
    her from the sun. Only her wheelie, which
    she puts things in, shows her age. You
    would love Kim, a kind soul. I like your
    moving circle of life analogy. I will be
    almost fasting, from 8am on, except for
    tea, black coffee, and GF toast. After noon,
    no water. Surgery should be after 1, after
    usual paperwork. Kim hopes to drive me
    home after 3. Meanwhile, I hope you
    will be having fun talk, cocktails, and
    dinner with your friend. It was good to
    reply to 3 widowers this am, and you were
    so welcoming, as always. Hope to be in bed
    by 9:30pm tonight. It's been a long day. Lou
    DEB321 and Patti 61 like this.
  2. Patti 61

    Patti 61 Guest

    Hi Lou, just in quickly to let you
    know I will be thinking of you
    during tomorrows cataract
    surgery, want to say
    hi to Karen, Deb, Robin,
    Carole, Jim (Oneman) Ron ,
    all others here .
    Keeping you and all others ,
    here in myprayers.
    Van Gogh and DEB321 like this.
  3. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry today was such a long one for you. I wanted to get back here earlier, before you went to sleep for the night, but as you know, once I start "talking," I can keep on going and going and going... I was "talking" to another friend.

    Like Patti just said to you, I'll also be thinking of you tomorrow... For me, the hardest part of any medical procedure is the waiting beforehand. By this time tomorrow, it'll be history. Please don't feel like you need to answer my messages until you feel up to it. Just rest and take the best care of yourself you possibly can.

    I hope you're sound asleep, getting a really good night's rest...

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

    P.S. I remember Poland Springs Water from Maine. It's been a long time since I had my last bottle of it! I miss so many foods from "home..." Stopping here before I turn this into one of those way too long, almost books.
    Van Gogh likes this.
  4. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Hi Patti,

    It's so good to see you here!! I think about you all the time, and keep you in my daily prayers. I hope you're feeling better. Miss you, and are looking forward to the day you'll be able to "talk" to us all the time.

    I'm way past exhausted, but couldn't leave here without saying hi to you.

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

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Patti, thank you for thinking of me about
    tomorrow's surgery. I will say verbatim
    everything our friend, Deb, said to you,
    bc she says it so well ! Not sure what's
    happened to the other people you
    mentioned. I hope they're OK, and can
    write to us soon. Good night, and God
    Bless. Lou
    Patti 61 likes this.
  6. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, went to sleep at 8:30pm tonight. There's something about a warm shower
    and clean sheets, which put me to sleep
    right away. I just woke up briefly to take
    my pills, and saw messages from both
    Patti and you, about tomorrow. Thank you.
    As I told Patti, I don't know what happened
    with the other people she mentioned. I hope they're OK, and know we care about
    them. Now, we have 3 new members, all
    widowers, and I hope they stay with us.
    If I didn't see your "books" (!) as you call
    them, I would have to contact Karyn
    Arnold to make sure you didn't leave
    South Carolina!! Your warm, compassionate, and encouraging words
    mean a lot to me, Deb. Pleasant dreams.
    DEB321 likes this.
  7. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Morning, Deb. I must be particularly
    needy this am, bc I left you a "voicemail"
    after you went to sleep, and here I am
    again. Linda was always with me when I
    had any medical appointments, so I really
    miss her this morning. I could feel the
    "waterworks" coming, when I used one of
    her spoons, while making coffee. I was
    with her when she made purchases in a
    kitchen ware store. When she no longer
    wanted to go to the mall, with her walker,
    Linda ordered kitchen items and clothes
    for us, via catalogs. As I've mentioned,
    she developed a weakness for PCH,
    Publishers Clearing House. She actually
    thought we would win some prizes, bc of
    all we went through, and dutifully filled
    out all the forms every week. We did get
    some useful items, but some were crap.
    After Linda died, I donated or threw
    away anything I didn't need, or things
    which made me depressed. We bought a
    lot of fun magnets ( Andy Griffith Show,
    etc.) for the refrigerator, but I gave them
    away to a person who appreciated them,
    bc I could no longer look at them without
    sobbing. Thank you for "listening" this am,
    Deb. Sometimes I feel that I'm like a guy
    in AA, and you're my sponsor, who helps
    to keep me from falling apart. I can't do
    this with anyone else out there, so this
    outlet is so necessary for my peace of
    mind. I've finished eating for the
    morning, so I will take it easy until I get
    picked up by a special cab at 11:30am.
    I'm looking forward to the ride home
    with Kim, when the surgery is over, after
    3pm. Thank you, again, Deb, for being
    there for me. You understand exactly how
    I'm feeling. Don't hesitate to write your
    "memoir" (!). Remember, I'm retired and
    love to read your writings! Lou
    DEB321 likes this.
  8. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Good Morning Lou,

    Thanks for making me smile this morning. Don't worry, there won't be any need for you to contact Karyn Arnold. I would miss "talking" to you!!

    I was glad you fell asleep early last night, and although I always like hearing from you, I wish you hadn't woken up just a few short hours later. I hope after you responded to me and to Patti too, you were able to fall quickly back to sleep, and woke up feeling like you got a good night's rest.

    Just got an alert, saw it's from you, so ending this. Will be back in a few minutes...

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

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I'm so sorry you had such a difficult evening and todayd is starting off much the same. I can understand how much you want Linda to be with you today. I've never had to go through any medical procedures without Bob by my side. I think, I should really say know, that the first time I have to do this, I'll be feeling really down too. I wish I lived closer to you, so I could go with you to the hospital. I'm so very glad you have Kim to take you and pick you up. It makes me happy knowing that you and Kim are such good friends, and she will be there to support you, and help you during the recovery period.

    Honestly, Bob didn't think the procedure was that bad. Like Karen said about Jack's experience, the worst part for both Jack and Bob was remembering to put all those eye drops in. If I remember right, you will have to keep a patch, they gave Bob a plastic "eye patch" to keep over his eye for ???, I have that widow foggy brain thing going on, either the first 24 or 48 hours. When he was able to take the plastic "patch" off of his eye, he was amazed at how much clearer his vision was. It kept improving for about the next two weeks. Just think, before too long, how much more beautiful the ocean will look....

    I know when I'm worried about something, it makes me miss Bob even more, everything becomes a trigger for tears. I totally "get" how just using one of Linda's spoons could be enough to open the flood gates.... Wish I was there to give you a big hug....

    I'm glad you finished your breakfast. I've been eating mine while "talking" to you. I usually start off the day with plain non fat yogurt (Fage is the best! I better stop here, or whoever manufactures Fage should hire me to do a commercial for them), and mix in hemp hearts and fruit. Today I cut up an apple and added in a little cinnamon with some diced apples.

    It's taking me a long time to type this because I'm having trouble with my internet connection again, plus I hit something and found myself off of this site. I had to log back in and am happy what I had already said was still here.

    I'm going to stop here for now, but just as I said yesterday, waiting is the hardest part for me. You're almost done with waiting!!! Today will be history before you know it.

    Sending zillions of hugs your way, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
    Van Gogh likes this.
  10. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much, Deb, for responding to
    me. I wish you were here, too, bc you
    remember what this part of the world
    my area looks like. I vaguely recall
    traveling through South Carolina, and
    we found most of the people to be friendly.
    Sometimes, I'll meet tourists from your
    state, and other Southern states. They
    want to hear about my life here, and I
    want to hear about where they live. Thank
    you for telling me about the eye patch.
    They keep changing the rules, so I'll just
    have to go with the flow. I chuckled about
    your sponsoring a particular brand of
    yogurt. I prefer Siggi's, especially
    strawberry & raspberry. This product has
    less sugar than many leading brands. I
    also like bananas & walnuts in the am.
    When I go out for breakfast, I like eggs,
    sometimes a cheddar cheese & tomato
    omelet. How's that for being specific?! Lou
  11. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Hi Lou,

    It was a beautiful sunny morning, but the sun around here is very strong and so it got hot quickly. The air felt wet, and my clothes were sticking to me, so I only did 5 miles. I ran into a few neighbors, so stopped to talk for awhile. So far, my day has been totally uneventful... This is a good thing!!

    Although there are some really pretty places near me, I like the New England coastline the best. I miss the change of seasons too. Before our children were born, Bob and I used to go skiing. I don't like heights, and never enjoyed having to take the chair lifts up to the top of the trails, but once at the top, the views were so beautiful... It was totally worth the ride up. Now, I don't miss the snow!! I have frostbite, I know, I'm exaggerating quite a bit!!, but just thinking about it, makes me shiver... You already know how much I love the fall, my very favorite season at "home." I could keep on going, but I have some things I need to do.

    By now, you're probably getting ready to go. Although Linda can't be with you physically, she is with you in spirit...

    Thinking about you, all the way from SC...

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
    Van Gogh likes this.
  12. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Kim just brought me home, with my
    eyepatch, Deb. Thanks for warning me,
    Deb. I told Kim how you & I are helping
    each other every day. Except for my
    doctor, I was surrounded by pleasant
    nurses. The first one put eyedrops in
    my eyes, and said I had nice hazel eyes.
    Her name was Rose, & I thanked her. I
    always thought I had brown eyes, but
    Linda said they were more hazel, too.
    Then, the 2nd nurse prepared me for
    surgery, with many more steps than I
    thought I would have to do. I said that
    I liked Rose. and what she said. Then,
    I looked at the 2nd nurse, and said she
    had "beautiful eyes" ( I surprised myself
    by saying that). She smiled sweetly, said
    thank you, and patted my arm. It was
    good to feel like a man, and not just
    another patient. I told this to Kim, and
    asked her if I violated the "Me Too"
    movement against sexual harassment,
    and she laughed and said I was good!
    I liked snow days as a boy. when I would
    hear the no school announcements, and
    could play in the snow: sledding, building
    snowmen and snow forts, and go ice
    skating. I even played hockey (without
    helmets (!) on a frozen pond at the end of
    my street. Now, that I'm leary of falling,
    I'd rather not have snow. We've been lucky
    not to have snowstorms since 2015. The
    coldest days had a "feels like 20 degrees).
    That's when I wore layered clothing. Both
    Linda & I had a fear of heights. One time,
    we went to an amusement park , & went
    on a cable car ride, suspended over the
    fairgrounds, by wires. Linda stared at me
    the whole time, and never looked down.Another time, we took a small plane
    to one of the islands off our coast. Linda
    noticed me reading the manual about
    unfoilinf a parachute if necessary. We
    were experiencing "turbulence" as our
    pilot said. When we finally landed, Linda
    & I kissed the ground, and never went up
    in one if those small planes again! We told
    those stories to other people & got a lot of
    laughs. Well. It's good to be home. Just a
    post op look by the doctor, tomorrow at
    8:30am.Bed early! Have a good evening.
  13. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Wanted to touch base with you, Deb,
    before I go to sleep. My doctor called me
    tonight to say I can remove eye patch. I
    have to see him at 8:30 in the morning .
    Hope you & your friend were able to
    have a few laughs at dinner. I replied to
    Robin, for the 1st time in quite a while.
    She reached out to Cynde1966, whose
    husband died suddenly only 3 weeks ago.
    I welcomed her, even though as you've
    often said, I wish I didn't have to, under
    these tragic circumstances. Well, I'm
    foggy from the anesthesia, so I don't
    recall much of what I wrote to you when
    Kim drove me home. I'll just say good
    night & talk with you tomorrow. Lou
  14. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I just got home and was surprised, but happy to see your messages. I'm amazed at how well you can write when still foggy from anesthesia!! I laughed too when I read about the small plane ride you and Linda took. I hate!!! small planes. Bob and I were on a really small plane once, but I can't remember where. It was super tight, hardly any room between the aisles, but fortunately it was only a short ride. Bob was very tall and it was hard for him to find enough space for his legs, but he loves planes, so it didn't bother him too much. Fortunately, I'm much shorter than he was, so I had just enough room, but having a major fear of heights, just like you and Linda, I was glad when it landed, total understatement!!!

    I had a really nice evening and am totally exhausted, too fried to "talk." (Bob would definitely have had something funny to say if he read this!!)

    I hope you don't see this until tomorrow morning, that you're able to sleep through the entire night.

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
    Van Gogh likes this.
  15. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, Thanks for your funny plane story.
    When you & I tell stories, it's like we're
    slowly "peeling an onion", and revealing
    new things about Bob and Linda. I'm
    proud of you for telling a fun story about
    Bob, not just the sad ones. It took me quite
    a while to do that, and it's still a mixed
    bag. Example: yesterday, when I told a
    nurse that she had "beautiful eyes", I

    immediately felt guilty that I was cheating
    on Linda. We used to compliment each
    other's eyes. Linda's eyes were blue. I
    would joke with her that they sometimes
    turned green, like the colors of the ocean. I would marvel at how "clear" her eyes
    looked, like those of a child. She would
    get annoyed, and asked me if I expected
    them to be "bloodshot"! She looked at the
    pupils of my brown, or hazel, eyes, and
    said they reminded her of a tiger's. I liked
    that, for my ego. Both of us were short
    (I'm shrinking, like most people do, as
    part of the aging process). Well, I woke
    up at 2am, thinking it was 6am, so I
    better get back to sleep. As you say, I can
    keep "talking", or writing. I laugh when
    you say, "total understatement!!!". Lou
  16. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I hope your doctor's appointment went well this morning. I hope your day is mostly a good one, in spite of having to remember to put in all those eye drops.

    I'm getting a late start to my day. I woke up around 7 a.m., but was so tired, I managed to fall back asleep, and slept for another hour. When I finally got up, I realized that I must be making a little progress in my grief journey. There was a time, not too long ago, when as soon as I woke up, all I could think about were the horrible events of the last evening/early morning hours before Bob passed away. There was no way I could stay in my bed for another second... It was just way too painful..., being in our bed, alone..., and lonely..., without Bob next to me..., without being able to stop the worst memories in my entire life..., from flooding my brain. Usually I can't sleep once the sun begins shining in through the cracks in the plantation shutters. This morning was almost a first! I must have needed that extra sleep more than I thought I did!

    I know that sharing stories with you about Bob, and "listening" to stories you share with me about Linda, is helping me much more than I thought it would. Being able to "talk" about my feelings, in a place where I feel safe doing so, is giving me hope, that this is the beginning of much better days ahead. I'm not looking at this through rose colored glasses. I know that I'm still traveling on that seemingly endless emotional roller coaster ride. I still think about all the horrible moments leading up to Bob's death, but, and this is a huge BUT!!!, those thoughts aren't on my mind 24/7. I told my friend last night about the short video that friends who Bob and I used to vacation with all the time, sent me last week, when I was feeling especially down. I told her how I was able to laugh, really laugh..., no sad thoughts entered my mind, for just a very brief moment in time. She was so happy to hear this. She thinks I'm doing really well, even on the days when I feel like my entire world, has shattered all over again.

    I'm moving at a snail's pace. I think part of my brain is still asleep. I need to get some things on my to do list finished. I also want to be able to spend some time outside. I rather "talk" to you, but need to get going.

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
    Van Gogh likes this.
  17. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Deb, or asking about eye
    doctor. It went well. I joked with him
    that I want to keep wearing glasses for 2
    reasons: 1st, I've worn them for years, and
    2nd, they hide the bags under my eyes!
    I must have a bit of vanity. Before Linda,
    I remember a female co-worker who said
    I looked better with glasses. I felt insulted
    at the time, bc I took the trouble to wear
    contacts back then. After Linda & I got
    married, both of us ditched our contact
    lenses, bc they got expensive and were
    too much trouble. I'm so glad for you in
    your remarkable progress in this unwanted, sometimes awful journey of
    mourning. Right before you emailed, I
    got an email from Cynde 1996, and replied
    right back. I told her how you & I check on
    each other mornings and bedtime, when
    we are loneliest and saddest. I have a
    surprise for you. Jonathan Santlofer, a
    prolific mystery and international
    thriller writer, is doing a book tour. I'm
    on his email list: jonathansantlofer.
    gmail.com. I told him that I wrote to him
    in Sept, 2019, almost a year after Linda's
    death, and said he was like a "brother".
    I brought him up to date, and told him
    how I recommend his memoir to Grief
    in Common. He shocked me AGAIN(!), by a
    warm email to me this morning!! Lou
  18. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    P.S., Deb. The Center for Loss quote is
    perfect for you today, about the "slo-mo"
    aspect of grief and how to deal with it.
    You & I are trying, with our long walks in
    nature and talking with friends. Hope you
    get Jonathan's book soon! Lou
  19. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    Lou, I'm back from my trip. A trip I should of not taken. My daughter wanted to see where Jack and I lived, I was reluctant at first then gave in. Every restaurant, grocery shop, lake trips, doctor trips, etc. we did together. All the memories came flooding back which made me very uncomfortable. I tried not to show it in front of my daughter--wanted her to have a good time.
    I have had two days of a relapse, crying constantly thinking back on these memories. It was a mistake to go. The old saying, "never go back". true.

    Lou, so glad you had your surgery, I've been reading all your and Debs posts to keep up on what's going on. K
  20. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    Will you be having the other eye done? I'm surprised you can type so soon after surgery and eye drops.