One Year

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by csmith532, Oct 1, 2022.

  1. Rose69

    Rose69 Well-Known Member

    Sorry you're going through this Karen but yes, in my experience it's
    absolutely common.
    As we said previously, you and I are both approaching two years, around the same time. I also have that deep sadness which is fixed in my mind, in my heart, it will not go away, and it continues to overshadow any positive event that may occur in my life. I always stop and think why isn't my C here to see this? So I don't feel any joy in situations where I should. How am I handling this? Thinking that he is actually still with me, just not physically, I feel him all around me, I am him and he is me, I am what I am because of our 25 years of marriage, and until I remain in this world he will continue to live through me, and of course through our children. Everything he did, ever since we married, he did it for his family and home. I will do my best to pursue this ideal,although under the surface I have an eternal heartache.

    Like others have suggested, if you feel it will help you, than it would be a good idea to seek a counseller, only if you truly want to, though, and as you correctly say, it's important to choose one that's right for you, personally.

    Take care.
  2. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Rose, it's touching that you and my dear
    friend, Karen, share the same 2 year
    sadness over the deaths of your soulmates.
    Robin & I share that same closeness after
    4 years. But our grief overlaps, because,
    like you and C,Linda and I were married
    25 years. It's only natural that a day doesn't go by without my thinking of her. Like
    Robin & Ron, Linda and I were together
    24/7, especially after we retired. Everyone
    is different. I think of Linda most in the
    morning when I would get coffee &
    breakfast together for both of us, or when we went
    out to breakfast. What propels me out the
    door in the morning is that Linda and I
    didn't go to the same restaurants I go to
    now, since I moved. Thank you for
    reaching out to comfort Karen, in spite of
    your own pain in grieving for C. Lou
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  3. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Karen. I’m afraid I believe it’s very common. I hate to give you that news but each of us on this site love our spouses. our soul mates to the moon and back. They were and still are our everything. I know I sound like a broken record. But fresh air, it does help. Just this week I tried to go on errands and just kept putting it off. I finally went out yesterday and came home rejuvenated. Breathing in fresh air helps with the sadness and mood. I think of it as, Ron and I were together 44 years, our love grew stronger every single day. And then we lose half of ourselves and life becomes debilitating. For me it’s 44 yrs of love and living the best life. I’m sorry I don’t know how long you and Jack were each other’s everything. Lou mentioned 25 yrs. So your lives revolved around each other all those years. With your love growing stronger each day. When we lose that part of us that was growing with each passing day. It takes time. It took time to build that life that we miss so much. I’m not sure time heals but it makes us stronger. Fresh air and moving is what works for me. Sometimes it’s hard to make yourself get up and out and move. It’s an effort worth taking. I still struggle with music with cooking which I always loved to cook and bake. All my hobbies are on the back burner. I just can’t. The interest is gone. I dread the winter months cause getting out and inhaling that fresh air becomes harder. I’m praying I get on the beach tomorrow. I know it will breath life back into me. So what I was getting at is, instead of saying it’s 2 whole years and I feel so down and constantly sad. Say. Jack and I were together for 25 years, it’s only been 2 years I'm on this new journey. It took 25 yrs to build this love of coarse 2 yrs isn't long enough to feel ok.
    Karen. And anyone else reading this I don’t know if anything I shared was helpful at all but I hope so. Be good to yourself. Jack. C, Linda, Ron and everyone else want us to be ok. It takes time and energy. Time makes us stronger.
    Sending out hugs and love. Eventually you’ll slowly get those glimmers of feeling “normal” you’ll smile, even laugh and not have guilt but have it feel good. It will happen. In our own time. ❤️ Robin
  4. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Wow, Robin, you outdid yourself with your
    eloquent words of comfort to Karen, which
    can apply, of course, to all of us. You and
    I are a lot alike in the belief that walking
    outside in the fresh air does wonders
    for our physical and mental well being.
    In past years, I dreaded the winter like
    you do. But, this year I'm determined to
    break the pattern. if it's just cold, but not
    a lot of snow, which makes walking
    difficult,I will dress in layers,and take the
    train to a larger city for things to do,
    when my small tourist, seaside town is
    dead. As I write this, I'm treating myself
    to a seafood dinner in a restaurant owned
    by a family who greets me like royalty.
    This place didn't exist when Linda was
    alive. I hadn't been here all summer, bc I
    had been eating lighter fare at outdoor
    restaurants. It is so important to treat
    ourselves. I don't feel alone when I
    post to my friends on GIC, like you. Lou
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  5. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Thank you Lou, I try to offer what I’ve learned first hand. I’d love to be there having a nice seafood dinner. It is very important to treat ourselves. We need to. Fresh air helps and you don’t even realize it’s doing anything. Fresh air raises your oxygen level which raises serotonin levels which helps with our moods. A simple thing that helps so much. But sometimes it takes a real effort. I believe fresh air has helped you a lot. I know it has and is helping me. Talking with people helps too. My outside is usually in my yard. In the winter I have little desire to be in my yard. But I make the effort. I like your plan to dress in layers and take the train and visiting new areas during the cold of winter. Today it’s pretty nice out after yesterdays high winds and way too much rain. Hoping to pack food and be on the beach tomorrow. As long as we have GIC we’ll never be alone. It’s such an important part each day.
  6. Rose69

    Rose69 Well-Known Member

    Robin, I agree totally that fresh air helps us heal. I thank my darling husband that we have this house in the beautiful countryside surrounded by over two acres of land. This week, I've been busy pruning and gathering twigs and branches to use as firewood for the Winter season. (I've already had my log supply delivered, something my C and I used to do together using trees in our woodlands), now I sadly have to get our local handyman to do it for us, or just buy a supply of firewood from his warehouse. Autumn is the best time for walks in the country, not too hot, not too cold, and no pollen allergies! Like you, Robin, when I go back into the house, after spending hours outside I feel that fresh air throughout my whole body, it revitalizes me and keeps my sanity at bay.
    You're lucky to have the beach nearby. I hope you get to go there tomorrow, as you say. Will you send me some virtual ocean air, you too Lou?
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  7. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Robin, I left out the fact that it was raining
    and windy all day TODAY, until a little
    while ago. I had a choice: Sitting in my
    apartment, looking outthe window, and
    sulking, or hopping on the bus to the
    nearby city ( smaller than the one to
    which I plan to go by train, in November).
    It was a free flow day. I had originally
    planned to go to a small sub shop where I
    can get gluten free soups & sandwiches.
    But, after walking in the rain, I said to
    myself , " Damn it, that's not enough today.
    I need a hot,made from scratch meal,
    served by a loving family". I came home
    and took a delightful, well deserved nap.
    I'm going to my local cafe tonight for
    live music, which I try to do every Friday
    night. Unlike my younger friend, whose
    soulmate died 3 yrs ago, I don't feel my
    time is wasted if I don't meet a woman,
    with whom to have a relationship. I enjoy
    talking with people of all ages, male and
    female, and feel good to listen to music.
    The 2 women owners greet me by name,
    and I feel like I'm in an episode of the old
    TV sitcom CHEERS. One funny note: the
    woman who's been like a daughter to me
    since Linda died, said I look like Martin
    Frasier, the gray haired ex cop father of
    the main character , Frasier Crane. She
    says it's especially true now that I walk
    with a cane, and we both laugh. Lou
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  8. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    "Rosette" ( as Gary calls you), great minds
    think alike. I was just "talking" with Robin,
    and you might like my last post to her. Both of us are inspired today and writing
    "books" to each other, like our close
    friend, Deb, does. I wish I could send you
    the ocean air. As for your beautiful
    countryside, I will have to see it on a
    travel channel, or in a movie, or simply
    close my eyes and visualize it from your
    vivid description. As always, The Rose, it's
    wonderful to see you on here, "talking"
    with other Grief Warriors. Lou
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  9. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member

    Ms. Hum,

    First, sending you the BIGGEST!!! virtual hug... All of this SUCKS!!!, feels so wrong... but, and this is another one of those really BIG BUTS!!!, I know all of our spouses would want us to be as happy as we possibly can be without them (physically) with us. I know this doesn't help, and I know you already know this, but when I'm feeling like I'm stuck on the bottom of that miserable roller coaster in Mr. Grief's over the top twisted amusement park, I think about how much Bob would want me to do my best to enjoy however long I have left on this earth. Sometimes, thinking about this, forces me out the front door, into fresh air, surrounded by nature, where I seem to find some sort of peace, something I couldn't say not all that long ago.

    Like B-ster, I was Bob's full time care giver prior to his death, but unlike B-ster, I was only his full time caregiver for a little over three years. I didn't know it at the time, but thinking back, I now know I suffered from anticipatory grief. I can be a good actress when I have to, (learned this growing up with parents who could only love me conditionally), so Bob never knew how sad I was, a deep sadness, impossible for me to shake. Whenever he was sleeping, I would go into another room and cry... I did lots of crying in the shower. Looking back, I wish I had recognized it for what it was, had gone for counseling, because every minute Bob and I were together those last three years was so precious, a gift... Moments that should have only been treasured, not tarnished by tears.

    I thought about his pending death often, praying he wouldn't suffer, praying he would be at peace, when God decided to take him. If Bob had agreed to hospice care, or even to palliative care, I think the quality of both of our lives would have been so much better. There's so much more I want to say about this, but I'm frazzled. I took a really long walk today, and the fresh air and sunshine wore me out. I wish so much I could box it up, send a box to everyone in our GIC "family" who has been experiencing miserable weather.

    Wait, getting off track! Back to what I want to tell you. Although it was the most horrific time in my life during the last 24 hours of Bob's life, and for a long time following his death, after 18 months of having to live without Bob, my knight in shining armor, I'm finally able to experience real moments of happiness, although they're always laced with sadness, but unlike in the past, I can finally be fully present in the moment. I know this sounds like a contradiction but I don't know how else to describe how I'm feeling. It's like while I'm laughing, I can momentarily forget about Bob not being (physically) here with me, but soon afterwards, I feel a deep sense of sadness, sometimes survivor's guilt. I guess it's that happy mixed with sad feeling, as Robin describes it so perfectly. However, now 18 months later, the mix isn't as balanced, it's a little more happy than sad. No matter whether our spouses, significant others, girl friends/boy friends, died suddenly, without warning, or slowly seemed to wither away, until the last bit of life was sucked out of them, not one of us can ever be prepared for the over the top intense emotional pain that follows. However, looking back, I now know I began the grieving process way before Bob died. Maybe that's why after 18 months, I'm able to (sometimes) live in the moment, experience real moments of happiness.

    One more thing I want to say. Lately I've been thinking lots about Tom Zuba's books. I can (almost) hear him telling me to "just say yes, yes to life," (or something similar to this.) I've been saying yes more than no lately, and I'm finding that sometimes even though I have to force myself to do something, like join my neighbors outside for happy hour, I'm usually glad that I did. Just yesterday,or was it???, I still lose track of time, my close widowed friend asked me if I wanted to join her and another couple for Thanksgiving Dinner. They're going to a delicious restaurant where Bob and I had one of those wonderful, long leisurely, romantic dinners... excellent food..., excellent conversation..., the kind of evening you wish could last forever... I surprised myself, and without hesitating, said YES!!! I know it's going to be a very bittersweet day, but I'm going to be with my very close friend, and the couple we're going with are lots of fun to hang out with. I can (almost) see Bob smiling, so proud of me for being brave enough to say YES!!!

    I know none of what I just said helps you in any way, but the time for getting used to this new life we've been thrown into (I no longer believe we heal, but this is for another conversation) is different for each and every one of us. I think the advice Louster gave you was excellent, and I agree with you, Louster, and The Rose (sorry if I forgot to mention someone, I'm super tired!!!) that if you decide to go to counseling, it has to be with someone you feel comfortable with. There is NO!!! way I would see a grief counselor who didn't experience grief herself/himself. Also I wouldn't want to go to one who is very young, without enough life experience. My widowed friend saw a grief counselor for three sessions and stopped. She said she was young and clueless when it came to even remotely understanding the total heartbreak we've all experienced.

    I just lost my train of thought, so tired I'm not sure if what I said will make much sense, but will hit send anyway. I think I just wrote you one of my "books," as Louster calls my way too long messages, even though I said I was going to keep this short. I can "talk" almost as much as I can talk. I know Bob would have something funny to say right about now. Just had to kick the F*CK out of Mr. Grief, but made sure I gave him an extra hard kick for you too. All of this SUCKS!!!,

    I'm so grateful we have each other, our GIC "family" to "talk" to!!!, the one place I can visit and know that all of us understand each other in a way that those who haven't been through this hell, can never understand. While it totally SUCKS!!!, it's way beyond wonderful how TGW became one big "family," always here for each other, "listening" without judgement, offering advice, sharing experiences, all wrapped up with hugs and love. Together we CAN!!! and WILL!!! get through the darkest days in our entire lives... It's good to be "home."

    Sending you and The Wink lots of hugs and love, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEBSTER
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  10. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Wow, a "book"from The Deb at almost
    11pm!! I just wanted to praise you for
    reaching out to Ms. Hum. Now, I'll read
    your long post.... Louster
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  11. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    You're so creative, lol...

    As always, sending you and Magster lots of hugs and love, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  12. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Just read your "book ", Debster, and it
    was a gem. Thank you for saying I gave
    excellent advice to Ms. Hum. I think all
    TGW share a great sense of humor, and
    the ability to laugh at oneself. Like you ,
    I took a long walk, even though it was
    raining. I'm tired, but in a good way, like
    you are, Deb. Please don't be offended,
    but your "book" makes a great bedtime
    story. "Talk " with TGW tomorrow... L
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  13. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    It would take lots more than this for me to be offended, lol!!! Life is way too short to get worked up over most things.

    I'm impressed that you walked in the rain. So glad you're only tired in good ways...

    Sleep well...

    No sheep counting necessary!!!

    As always, sending you lots of hugs and love, wishing you peace, all of us peace. The Deb (Variety is the spice of life!)
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  14. Countess Joy

    Countess Joy Well-Known Member

    The wildlife is incredibly busy this Autumn.
    And an extended summer temps in retreating light makes things feel unsettling.
    This might be a cold winter.
    I’ve been nesting, I think.
    I’ve put everything I don’t want or need to take care of in the garage or one small bedroom.
    I was thinking it would give me something to do this winter but perhaps just never using that room or the garage ever again is an option worthy of consideration. I haven’t gotten rid of anything. Could even put it all back into it’s previous chaos if I needed to, lol.
    I think this hollowness is what’s keeping me connected to the earth. So I don’t just disconnect or something. I feel Kenn in that space. He’s on my insides. That’s where I find my remembering of him. The things I most want to hold I hold gently as life is fragile and we are strong. Strong enough, at least, because here we are. If I sit very still I sense the hollowness has life.
    This is the time of year when the natural world retreats. The roots have stored what they need to come back to life in Spring. Soon is the time for resting, now is the mimicking nature to make use of the light as the breezes pick up.
    I cleaned the window panes of my french doors so I can see out more clearly, opening my view and bringing in light.
    Put down new rugs on the hardwoods and oiled the shelves.
    Rearranged things to fit the way I move and use my space and my things.
    It feels like a completely different space with all of our things but arranged for the way I live now.
    He’s everywhere in my space but my physical space doesn’t need to accommodate anyone anymore.
    I’m creating a home for Maggie and me for winter….
    ..there are no words. It’s impossible to fathom.
    Only this group would get that.
  15. Rose69

    Rose69 Well-Known Member

    HI Deb, there isn't a better 'book' that I would want to read as my 'wake up book', than your great inspiring posts.
    An advantage of having 6/9 hours difference from all of you, is that when I see everyone's posts here first thing in the morning, really makes my day less lonely and sad, ready to confront and tame Mr Grief (borrowing your expression). What's better than a friendly smile from my empathic friends to start my day?

    Thank you all.
    Rose, or The Rose/Rosette
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  16. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    La Rose ( I like to shake up your
    nicknames to keep you on your toes!),
    I agree with you

    that seeing
    TGW, when we wake up in the morning
    brings a smile to our lips, and is a
    wonderful way to start the day with
    likeminded people.Just woke up at 7am,
    my time, and I had a double treat: Deb
    had one last, funny message for me,
    and now your morning post.
    I'm glad you
    like your 2 nicknames, The Rose and
    Rosette. Hope you have a great Sat. L
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  17. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    La Rose ( another nickname!). as much as
    I love many of Deb's phrases, I must say
    that it was Karen ( who I call Me. Hum,
    bc she often ends her post with " Hum..")
    who came up with the term, Mr. Grief.
    She was the first person to welcome me to
    GIC in July, 2021. Hope you have a great
    Saturday. It's my favorite day. I start out
    with coffee with my veteran friends
    ( though not a veteran) at the American
    Legion hall, have breakfast at an
    outside table, sit at a Farmer's Market
    ( last one of season today), listening to
    music, lunch at an outdoor table at a
    great Greek restaurant on the
    promenade, people watching. Sometimes,
    if I see a tourist with a funny T-shirt,
    or a cute little dog, I'll say something.
    We both laugh and it feels good. Later,I
    join my musician friend for a drum
    circle at our local cafe. We never know
    who will show up. Even though not a musician or artist, I appreciate both
    music and art, and feel blessed to live
    here. I told someone that Linda didn't live
    to see any of this, but would have loved
    it, and loved the people I know. Linda's
    spirit is with me in all these places, as
    Bernadine so movingly states. Louster
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  18. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Bernadine, I love your phrase, "He's
    everywhere in my space, but my physical
    space doesn't need to accommodate
    anyone anymore". Kenn would be proud
    of you. Linda hated clutter. In her
    memory, I keep my apartment ( which
    she never lived to see) neat. Even though
    it's rare for someone to visit, I make my
    bed in the morning---for me. My upstairs
    neighbors, who have lived in the
    building 20 years, came down to see my
    place. They are in their early 50s. They've
    accumulated many items: furniture,
    large screen TV's, etc. When the wife
    looked at my simple surroundings ( with
    no TV--I have everything on my Smart
    Phone), she said I lived a Zen existence,
    and we both laughed. Lou
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  19. Gary166

    Gary166 Guest

    Hi Karen. I don’t think it’s good to be that sad that long. Especially for our physical and emotional health. Immediately after Cheryl transitioned I knew I was in serious trouble. I started in person grief meetings and therapy. I’ve dedicated the last 17 months trying to learn everything I could about the grief journey. With Everything I have learned and know I realized I still have to suffer. My grief evolved from constant to mixed. I’ve been to several therapists over the last 30 years. 4 of 5 were helpful. My last healer was employed by a local hospice where I attended grief meetings and began volunteering. This healer specialized in grief recovery. She referred me to several books and websites for additional info. Also she was very compassionate and made me feel safe. And I trust was formed. Before each session I would make notes on a legal pad of what was bothering me So if I lost my train of thought I could regroup. I have a fear of being diagnosed as being crazy but finally dismissed that. Search for a therapist through hospice is my suggestion. You can do virtual therapy visits with out leaving your home too. Have you ever listened to Kristin Neff’s Self Compassion audio tapes? They are free on the internet. Start out with the 5 minute basic self compassion one and then do the loving kindness one 20 minutes. It’s a good place to start. Sending you and Wink a virtual hug. When I heard the name Wink I thought of a Cheech and Chong character named Wink Dinkerson from KRUD radio. Isn’t that funny? Gary
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  20. Countess Joy

    Countess Joy Well-Known Member

    I remembered that Karen, who set up this site, does grief work of course but she has a free 15 minutes session option to see if working with her might be a good fit. I scheduled time with her before Kenn died since I wasn't pretty rudderless when it came to grief in the midst of all that was going on. I don't know her story, obviously she gets the importance of connecting with others who share a similar loss. She really great. ~B