Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by DEB321, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Good news first - The best thing about my day was that I got the book!! I haven't started it yet, but I'm looking forward to getting into bed and reading at least a chapter or two before falling asleep.

    Now for the not so good news, I'm struggling so much more now that October has hit. I had to pick up batteries for my TV remote control, and went to Walmart. It was filled with families shopping, Halloween decorations everywhere... I stopped by the wholesale club nearby on the way home, and the Christmas displays had me in tears... I left quickly without buying anything. I couldn't stop the tears... I cried while driving home. So many of us are struggling more as days are growing shorter, and the holidays are just around the corner. I know this is a terrible thing to say, but I wish I had a magic wand and could just make this holiday season disappear... Okay, I'm exaggerating, but I really wish it was already the beginning of January... I hate this seemingly endless roller coaster ride of emotions... It reminds me of Tom Hanks, in the movie, Forrest Gump, saying, "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."

    You're not making me uncomfortable when you "talk" about your mixed feelings towards other women. I think you're just trying to figure out now that you've found your place in the world, what you truly want out of life, now that Linda is no longer with you. From the things you say, I think that deep down you would really like the companionship of another woman, but even though Linda has told you she wants this for you, that she doesn't want you to be alone and lonely, I think maybe (although I could be totally wrong) you might be feeling some guilt over this. Rationally I think you know there is no reason for you to feel this way. I don't think we're meant to live the rest of our lives alone, and lonely. The most important thing in life are the connections we make with others. When it gets right down to it, nothing else really matters.

    I think it's normal, natural, to want to have someone special in your life again. The world doesn't stop because Linda, Bob, and everyone else's spouses are no longer a part of it. I don't think we're meant just to be spectators in life, watching the world go by, while we continue to be sad, because we're feeling so alone, and lonely. Linda didn't want this for you. Bob didn't want this for me. I bet no one else's spouses wants this for them either.

    I know that I need to be a "whole" person again, before I would even begin to think about spending my life with someone else. Not only do I need to find my purpose, my place in the world again, but I need to be able to find some sort of happiness..., some sort of peace..., before I would ever begin to think about opening myself up to another potential relationship.

    You are much farther along in this grief journey than I am. You have worked so hard to finally have been able to find a place you now call "home," and to build new friendships. You have found your place in the world again, without Linda, by your side.

    I know I might be "overstepping" my boundaries here, but I would be very happy for you, if you found someone who you feel connected enough with, that you want to become more than just "friends." You are a good person with a big heart. I know you're not actively looking for another relationship, and that no one will ever replace Linda, the one true love of your life, but I truly hope it happens when you least expect it to. This would make Linda very happy.

    It's getting late. Going to stop here. I'm apologizing in advance if I said too much here, but decided to send you what I'm thinking instead of wiping out most of this message. I would have been here much earlier, but I've had to pop 800 mgs of ibuprofen twice today, and had trouble typing earlier.

    It looks like I have lots of catching up to do around here tomorrow. I'm glad there are new "faces" here, but so sorry that they had to find us. It makes me so very sad, when I think about how many people are living with broken hearts, and shattered dreams...

    I hope you get a good night's rest.

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

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Wow, Deb! Happened to wake up at just
    now, after 3am, and was very relieved to
    see your reply. I've been going to bed
    early, earlier than most people here. So glad you got the book. I strongly suggest
    that you start the book in the morning,
    over coffee ( if you're not going out for a
    walk), rather than start it at night, when
    you're in bed. I learned that the hard way.
    As you would say, " Total understatement"!
    I skimmed your compassionate words,
    but want to do it justice by reading them
    in the am. So sorry you have to take
    ibuprofen. I'm also extremely sad that you
    want to erase the next 3 months of your
    life. 2018, 2019, and 2020 holidays were
    very rough for me, I won't deny it. I
    needed a therapist, and gradually more
    people in my life. Remember: my 1st
    Thanksgiving right after Linda died, was
    spent in a psychiatric unit. I ate turkey
    with 8 other lonely clients, counselors,
    and nurses! I learned then that I couldn't
    face the holidays, especially Thanksgiving
    alone. But, unfortunately, I didn't put
    that into practice, and turned down offers
    until this coming one, God willing, with
    Kim's family. I had a dry run with them
    at their place on my surprise birthday
    party on the Fourth of July ( yes, I was
    born on a firecracker, which explains
    my sometimes excitable personality and
    ultimate optimism). Well,I better address
    the idea of having another woman ------
    tomorrow! Back to sleep. Speaking of
    other women, I see 2 late night messages
    from Robin and a new menber, Susan
  3. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    P.S. Susan McB --- the info said she was
    from my state of Massachusetts, but she
    told me she lives near you in South
    Carolina now! I think you'd like to hear
    her struggle with the upcoming
    holidays..... Lou
  4. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    As always, it's so nice waking up and finding a message from you, but I wish you were able to sleep through the night much more often. Speaking of waking up, I just got out of bed and threw on a tee shirt and some shorts. I can't believe how late I slept!! This is a definite first!! I need a walk, and this is another one of those total understatements!! This short message is just to let you know that I haven't vanished off the face of the earth. I'll be back later when I have time to respond to what you said, in the way too early morning hours.

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

    Be back later to "talk."

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

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Morning, Deb. About to go with N. to
    Legion for coffee, & wanted to say that
    you should write for Center for Loss!
    Your words are do moving and wise. I
    put on a happy smile to the world ( but
    sometimes I'm just "faking it , until I
    make it" bc most people don't want to
    be around people who are miserable
    all the time. Linda used to joke with me
    that I can be Gloomy Gus and she could
    be Debbie Downer ( sorry, Deb!). If I were
    you, I'd forget about Halloween this year
    and try to go into stores like horses "with
    blinders" like you finally began to do in
    supermarkets. As for Thanksgiving, I truly
    hope you can be with people. It's not a
    holiday to be alone. Neither is Christmas.
    I loved when you said, "The most
    important thing in life are the connections
    we make with others" I try not to be sad
    that Linda never achieved that with
    anyone else besides me. I've needed to
    change that for me. You're right that
    Linda would be proud, and want, that for
    me. As far as other women, Jonathan
    explores that in depth, with both sadness
    and humor. He writes so well that he's a
    pleasure to read. I feel like I know him,
    as a "brother", as I told him. His last
    email to me, was well written and warm.
    I thanked him for his quick response, &
    that he inspired me to write my emotions.
    He is going to a friend's secluded farmhouse to write, and then, a writer's
    retreat, called Yaddo. Have a good one. L
  6. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Our messages just crossed, Deb! Great
    minds think alike! Lou
  7. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    Hi I'm new here to this and I've just been reading and re-reading your posts and Lou's and stuff and Saturday is my hardest day to get through and Valerie's thing was Christmas and now we start all the holiday stuff and It just is so meaningless to me. No more Christmas cookies... like she made that last cookie I ate back in December was IT!!!! Like I said I just joined. I met Valerie when I was 21 itz been 7 months since she died I really kinda hate almost everything... thanks for listening!
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  8. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Susan, October used to be one of our
    favorite months, for a few reasons: my
    wife, Linda's birthday, around Columbus
    Day, the fall foliage, the crisp, sunny
    days, jacket weather, but not winter
    coats. Halloween was no big deal for us,
    mostly bc we didn't have kids. Since it
    was just the two of us bc we didn't have
    family, or other couples, Linda liked to
    go out to restaurants on Thanksgiving.
    When Linda died, right before the
    holiday, in 2018, I was a wreck. Some
    people invited me to dinner, but I wanted
    to be alone. This year will be different,
    thank God. A kind woman, who's like a
    daughter I never had, met me right after
    Linda died. She has 2 teenage kids of her
    own, and drives me to the supermarket
    every Wed. She invited me to join me
    for Thanksgiving, and, God willing, I plan
    to go. My other favorite month is July,
    when I was born. This same woman &
    her family had a surprise birthday party
    for me. It looks sunny this afternoon, so
    I'm walking outside. I hope you like North
    Carolina. We traveled through the
    Carolinas and were treated to the famous
    Southern hospitality. Lou
  9. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    George, I'm really glad that you're with
    us, in this horrible journey. Only those
    whose spouses have died, can really
    understand our pain. I'm not a veteran.
    I was damn lucky to have a high number
    in the draft lottery, during the Vietnam
    war. But, there was an open house coffee
    at our American Legion. I was nervous to
    go in, but I walked over to a Korean War
    vet, Roger, 93, & quietly told him I wasn't
    a vet. He said, " get a coffee & sit down".
    I told him about my wife, Linda's death,
    and he told me about the death of his
    wife, Nancy, after 67 years of marriage.
    He has a framed photo of his wife on his
    bureau & talks to her every day. I had to
    stop myself from crying, but I teared up
    and put my hand on his shoulder. I hope
    to see Roger next Sat morning, God
    willing. Lou
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  10. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Hi Lou,

    I hope you and N. enjoyed coffee and some good conversation at the Legion this morning. I don't know why, but your friend Ginny (?), in her 90's, just popped into my mind. She sounds like the most amazing woman!! I bet she's had a really full and interesting life. I can't even begin to imagine burying two husbands... She is one very strong person, with a great outlook in life. She's another one of your friends I would love to meet!! Now that I've gotten waaaaaaay off topic, I need to try to remember what I was going to say before Ginny popped into my thoughts. I know, I must have thought about Ginny, because from the little I know about N., he's also been through some very difficult and challenging times, and is working really hard to make his life better.

    Backing way up to your way too early morning message, although I didn't read it in time, I fell asleep before I could start the book. After what you said, I'm glad I didn't get a chance to open it. If it's not too hot, I'm going to (try) to sit on my back porch with a large glass of iced tea, and read... I haven't been able to sit on my back porch since Bob passed away because of the ceiling fan. I remember when we went shopping for it, we knew exactly what we wanted, but had trouble finding the right one. As we were walking through another home improvement store, Bob excitedly said, "Hey Deb, I found it!!" He was so proud of himself. It was exactly what we were looking for. At the time we bought it, he was still able to get around with the help of his walker. He always enjoyed doing home improvement projects, but this time, he asked our next door neighbor to install it for us. I knew it wasn't easy for Bob to ask our neighbor for help. Bob was used to being the one doing everything for everyone else. It made me so sad..., but I didn't let Bob know it. Most of the time, just looking at that fan, has me in tears... I want Bob to be proud of me. I want to be able to enjoy simple things again... things that I always took for granted..., like sitting in a comfortable chair on the back porch..., the overhead fan keeping me cool... reading a good book. (I bet you already know what I'm about to say) This is another one of those TBC's (if I remember to tell you about it.)

    I totally "get" "faking it until you make it." Karen says she does this often. I do it too. This morning as I was walking, I ran into neighbors. I was feeling so sad when I woke up, I knew I had to walk, I needed to get out of my house. I did that "fake it until you make it" thing when I saw them. In fact, I did it at least four times this morning as I kept running into people going for morning walks.

    I saw a very elderly man, walking his small fluffy white dog, very s l o w l y... with the help of his walker. The small dog (super cute!!) was so patient, as if he knew how difficult it was for his owner to take him outside. I stopped to talk to him for a few minutes and of course, I just had to give his dog a hug. I think he was so grateful that someone stopped to talk to him. He seemed lonely. After I said good bye to him and was on my way again, tears started streaming down my face. I thought of how difficult life must be for him... Seeing him also brought back memories of watching Bob struggle to walk, to eat, to bathe himself... to do all those little everyday things, things that I always took for granted. I wanted so much to be able to erase these images of Bob from my mind, to replace them with images of much happier times, like the times when we were skiing, hiking, walking along the shore... but, I couldn't erase the images of Bob, the memories of him, once he became so frail.

    After I walked for about another mile, I began feeling a bit better. It's amazing what some fresh air and sunshine can do. When I was almost back home, I ran into someone I hadn't seen since Bob passed away. He was walking the new addition to his family, an adorable puppy, a five month old black lab. We stopped to talk to each other. He asked me how Bob was. He didn't know Bob had passed away. After he told me how sorry he was, he asked me how I was doing. I was honest. I told him that it's been difficult for me because of how much I miss Bob. I thanked him for asking me how I was, and asked him how he was. He immediately told me about one of his neighbors who lost her husband two years ago. He said she had a hard time at first, but now she's fine. (I think he was trying to make me feel better.) I had to correct him, but I tried to do it nicely. I told him that I'm glad she's doing much better, but I also told him that grief never goes away. I told him when you least expect it, something might trigger a memory of the person who you loved, still love, with all your heart, and even if it is a happy memory, it is bittersweet - Happy and sad (to quote Robin again) at the same time. He seemed to think about this for a minute, but don't know how much of it he really understood. I hugged his dog, we said the usual stuff, that we hope to run into each other again, and each went our separate ways. Life and death are connected. It's sad that in our society, death is something that people try to avoid talking about at all cost, trying to sweep it under the rug, as though hiding from it will make things better. Better stop here, before I really get going!!!

    I guess I really can write as much as I can talk. As always, I can (almost) hear Bob making a funny comment about this. Thinking about what Bob would say, is making me smile. Only people going though what we're going through, could ever even begin to understand this seemingly never ending roller coaster ride of emotions!!

    I hope you have many more reasons to be happy, then to be sad today...

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  11. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    I'm always talking to Valerie too!
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  12. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    Lou, you made me laugh with your comment, "Born on a Firecracker". Thank you for the 6th day of tears from my trip memories with a laugh. You really do have a sense of humor.
    Van Gogh likes this.
  13. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    Oh no, another laugh for me today. (Debbie Downer and Gloomy Gus). So, darn funny. You made my day thank you for your wit, Karen
  14. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Well, you did it again, Deb. Don't feel bad,
    but tears were streaming down my cheeks
    when I read your email just now. I had just heard from George (eyepilot 13) about his
    late wife, Valerie. His grief is raw and
    unbearable, but I'm encouraging him to
    stay with us. He said he's been following
    our threads, and is interested in The
    Widower's Notebook. Glad you plan to
    read it over iced tea, in the daytime. When
    you read my reply to George just now, you
    will read about my coffee at the Legion.
    Nate overslept, bc he worked late last
    night, and does a double shift at the
    VFW ( different from our town's Legion),
    today. He starts a SECOND job on Mon,
    God bless him. I have to remind myself
    he's only 34! But, it worked out today, bc
    I had a long, moving talk with Roger, 93,
    Korean War vet, the 1st guy I met there,
    4 months after I moved here after Linda
    died. Roger's wife, Nancy, died slowly
    from dementia, after 67 years of
    marriage. He talks to her framed photo,
    on his bureau, every morning. I had to
    stop myself from crying, but my eyes
    teared up, and I put my hand on his
    shoulder. He looked into my eyes with a
    steady gaze, standing with his cane, and
    said we both know what it's like to lose
    one's true love. I cry as I write this. I told
    Roger that I sit on the same bench, on
    which Linda & I sat, looming out to see.
    Now, not only do I feel God's presence,
    but, if I close my eyes, I picture Linda
    sitting beside me. Correction: looking,
    not"looming" out to sea, not "see", but you
    probably knew that, Deb. Lou
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  15. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Words are totally inadequate at times, but since they're all we have, I want you to know how very sorry I am for your loss. Bob, my husband, will have been gone six months on October 11th. You lost Valerie only about a month before I lost Bob. We're almost beginning this miserable grief journey at the same time. Losing someone who you loved, and still love, with all your heart, is the worst kind of pain imaginable. There is no way of running from grief, it is always with us. It just sucks!!!

    The weekends are the hardest for me too... Now, with the holidays almost here, it just makes the weekends that much worse. Bob and I met in the fall, went on our first getaway together over Columbus Day. Not only is Columbus day on October 11th, but it's also the six month anniversary of Bob's death. We got married in October. I could go on and on and on... the fall was always my very favorite season in New England (where I'm originally from and spent most of my life). The holidays were also a very special time of year for us. I'm dreading the holidays. I'm trying to focus on just making it through each day. As of this moment, the biggest challenge for me, will be making it through October 11th.

    Backing up a bit, I feel not only alone, but also the most lonely, just like you, over the weekends. Weekends were always such fun times... sleeping in on Saturday mornings... waking up together... making breakfast together... talking about our plans for the evening over that first cup of coffee..., talking about our future dreams... our future plans.... I could go on and on and on, but will stop here (for now.) I know you "get" it, but wish with all my heart, you didn't have to "get it." I also wish that I hadn't taken all these little moments, the ones that make up so much of our lives, for granted. I think I could write a "book" on this, but sadly, I know you probably understand this too, so once again, will stop here (for now.)

    I find that being outside, taking long walks in nature, the fresh air and sunshine, help me cope, and has a way of brightening my mood. I always make lists of things I want to accomplish every day, to try to give my life some structure. I find that it's especially important for me to do this on the weekends. There are times, that when I'm at my absolute worst, I just curl up on the couch and cry... I'm so sad..., I don't even want to talk to my closest friends from "home." There are other times, when I can't stand being alone, and so lonely, and I need to call a good friend. I always feel better once I hang up the phone. But, and this is a BIG but, as I know you already know, this seemingly endless roller coaster ride of emotions, seems to have way too many downs, and not enough ups.

    I think I'm rambling, and have totally lost my train of thought. I slept much later than usual today, but am still totally exhausted. I'm not sure if anything else I write would make any sense right now. I wish I had some words of wisdom, some suggestions that would make Saturdays a little bit easier for you, but sadly, I'm in the same boat you're in, the same boat all of us here, are in. It just sucks!!! I know it doesn't help you at all, but I totally "get" how you're feeling.

    It's nice to "meet" you, but wish with all my heart, you didn't have to find us. This has become my safe place to come to for support, for advice, and to connect with others, who understand the unbearable pain of losing someone who you loved, still love, with all your heart. I hope this will become a safe place for you to visit too.

    Sending you hugs, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  16. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    George, I'm glad you've joined Deb & me,
    in our LONG "talks".I wish we could all
    meet, or at least, talk on the phone, but I'm
    grateful for this. It's a cool, sunny Oct.
    day, so I'm going to take a walk by the
    ocean. Do you have a body of water near
    you? When Linda & I lived in other
    Massachusetts towns, or cities, we were
    happy if we could have a nearby river,
    lake, or pond. I recall being in Chicago
    by the beautiful lake, but the Windy
    City sure lived up to its' name! Lou
    DEB321 likes this.
  17. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I don't want you to feel badly either, but reading what you just wrote, has me in tears... I just responded to George. I'm functioning in slo mo today. I'm going to grab a glass of iced tea, get my book, sit in a comfortable chair, on my porch (or at least this is the plan), and read.

    "Talk" to you later...

    As always, sending you hugs, wishing you peace. DEB
    Van Gogh likes this.
  18. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, so glad you're "talking" with our
    new friend, George. As I've said before,
    you & I are almost mirror images of each
    other, or as Linda used to say, separated
    at birth. You & I just let the words flow,
    and try to help newer members and each
    other as best we can. As I told Susan McB,
    Linda's birthday was around Columbus
    Day ( actually Oct. 13) and we would
    celebrate sometimes, with a holiday
    weekend getaway. When we were
    drinking beer, she liked pumpkin ale,
    and I liked Sam Adams special draft,
    Oktoberfest. I had to stop drinking beer
    when it was discovered by my doctor
    that I have Celiac Disease. I could drink
    only gluten free beer, which got old
    fast. I switched to hard cider, then
    vodka, cranberry juice, soda & a lime.
    When I gave up drinking, I still wanted to
    see my friends at the Shack, and asked
    the friendly bartenders to skip the vodka,
    and they didn't even raise an eyebrow. L
  19. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Deb, I just told George that I wish the 3 of
    us could either get together, or, at least
    talk on the phone. It would be easier &
    faster! I'm having trouble keeping up.
    Doing eyedrops at home, but want to
    go to Neck & have lunch at the Bean &
    Leaf cafe, overlooking a little harbor. I'll
    bring phone. I still haven't had time to
    reply to Robin from after midnight! If
    you try to read the book today, put it away
    for a while, if it's too overwhelming on
    your "slo-mo" day. Sometimes, I just
    need to stare at the horizon, and the
    puffy white clouds in a bright blue
    sky. , Lou
    DEB321 likes this.
  20. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    That would be cool! I keep coming back to the computer to see if there are any new posts. I haven't been this into something in months or really years. When was normal for me 2019... not really even 2018. Perhaps a bit but then everything went crazy in my world... Or crazier!