Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
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Julie, Chicago, Shannon, and Carol blessings and hugs to all of you!
Julie, I'm praying for you. I've read your posts. I send you hugs along with a lot of prayer that the Lord will lighten your burden and heal you, that He will give you peace in the midst of your storm.
Chicago, I'm happy for you. Again, we don't judge you. The six months you were alone I'm sure was an intense form of hell on earth. I know that no one can replace Rose, but they make a place for themselves. No matter what just know that we, your friends and fellow travelers on this road of loss, are always here for you. Enjoy every moment of every day and live it as though it were your last day on earth. Embrace all that this new adventure offers.
Shannon, I look forward to talking to you. I'm glad you're okay. This mourning/grief process can be so intense at times. It sneaks up on you. You think you're doing better, and all of a sudden it ambushes you with overwhelming emotions that seem to put you back to square one. But you know what? As I've often said here, we're all making a new garment for our lives. We make so many new stitches every day, and then we rip up a few. However, eventually we will get that new garment, and we will be able to see our old garment hanging in the closet of our hearts every time we open the door to take out the new garment, but we will be able to smile at it with fondness and remember, but the pain will not be as great. We'll talk on Saturday.
Carol, I'm so glad I was able to write something that uplifted you yesterday. Yes, it's true. We didn't transition with our loved ones. All of our emotions, feelings, needs, wants, desires, and our human need to be connected is still here, but now it has not physical interaction with our other half to get the electric charge we crave.
Carol, it is a living hell, a wasteland, if you will. Where do we go? We go to our family and friends, seeking to elicit from them what we need to keep on going. Sometimes we get it, but most times we don't. I had to start forgiving people because they couldn't supply me with what I needed most, to have Lawrence back.
Shannon, yes, seeing couples is painful. This week has been rough with all the sunshine and the blooms of spring. We'd go fishing or just sit back and enjoy the warm sunshine or a sunset and hold hands and laugh at something in particular or nothing. Lawrence was a real outdoorsman and he loved each season. Without him, the tears fall freely. That is normal. When you lose a part of yourself there is pain and a sense of loss. Healing can take months or even years and you have to sometimes go through rehab. That's what we are all doing, going to rehab. I'm going kicking and screaming and sometimes whimpering. I continue to struggle and pray for God's mercy for not just myself, but for all of us here. This is no easy path, but just knowing that I have friends who care and understand, who don't judge my battle or my regressions is awesome.
Everyone be kind to yourself today. Do something just for you, and know that no matter how alone you feel we are here for you. As Marvin Sapp sings about his wife who passed away "I know God has a plan for me and it is working for my good." Even if we can't feel it today, we may have lost our loved ones, but we haven't lost God. He will see us through.
Hugs and blessings to all!
Hello Friends, I haven't posted in a few weeks, as I have been out of sorts and then had the surgery for the skin cancer and all the of crying, memories, part of being at the hospital. Just stopped by to send you all hugs and know I care, couldn't make it through this journey alone. Will post more tomorrow is 4 months for me and lots of sadness and a very heavy heart tonite. Much love and warm hugs Love Julie
I started dating about six months after my Rose passed. I have been very fortunate in again meeting someone who I connect with so well emotionally. That does not mean that I still do not ache for my Rose everyday and my new lady knows and accepts this. She is amazingly understanding of what I am going through even though she has not gone through it. I still hurt every day for my loss but am grateful everyday for what I now have. I recognize that I am extremely fortunate and my experience does not have to relate to anyone else. Just sharing after reading some of the other posts. Obviously everyone grieves there own way and own pace and that is just how it is and that is OK. I am not replacing Rose. The irreplaceable do not get replaced. I am just moving on with my life the best I can. My best to all.
Dear Vee, thanks for posting this morning, I really needed to read
something uplifting and supportive and there it is. Yesterday was probably one of the worst days for me and it's been 18 months now.
I love your description of still having emotions and needs and desperately wanting to share with your physical other half, it's just what I needed yesterday and there I was, alone, struggling. We've been talking about hugs this week, and that is all I wanted, a hug from my sweetheart, to feel safe, it wasn't to be. No one to wipe away the tears pouring out. It was something that transpired at work and it made me realize the emotion, the grief is still so raw that I could react in that way. The lonliness hit me like a ton of bricks!
I know I am so connected to my darling, he is around me, guiding me, but as my daughter and Bruce pointed out, and feeling that way, you can be surrounded by people and without the one person you want there, you might as well be on a desert island. We seek that connection, the deep spiritual and emotional connection. My soul and my husband's soul are so entwined, I do not know if I could ever see that in another human being. For being with someone else, I agree that if one's heart and soul are not in it, there is no point and it isn't fair. This 'new normal' of our lives now, we don't quite know what to do with it a lot of the time, where we fit in the grand scheme of things in the universe and why are we still here and how are we going to make a difference while we are.
Until we figure that out, well it is wonderful to be able to come here and know we are surrounded by loving and care people, it is a blessing.
Debra, I can relate. Oh, my goodness, my heart goes out to you going through this again. I know plenty of people, and they are almost getting on my nerves lurking around, old boyfriends and those who wanted to be men in my life. That's a problem, too, people thinking that you can so easily replace your lost loved one. I'll bet you dimes to donuts that if you aren't a total recluse there are those waiting in the wings for you as well. You'd be surprised!
Family and friends are also prone to just wanting to stop your pain, so they are out scouring the bushes for you, too. It may not be anyone else's experience, but it is certainly mine.
Debra, I can relate to your whole statement. But I don't down anybody who can go out there and start over, because this loving and missing is a kind of hell on earth. You still have all the feelings, emotions, and needs on your side, but there is no one there to physically interact with and share. I can see and sympathize with those who just can't stand the limbo any more. I know myself, and I know I might slip up and call them Lawrence. That is painful for the person and would leave me riddled with guilt.
You're also right, I would be comparing them with Lawrence. And I'm afraid at this stage, I'd find them wanting. That would be horrible. I know I have to go a different path. But I absolutely also feel that if someone can go on and they just cannot be alone, the loneliness is destroying their life and their sanity, then do what you feel you must.
This group is here to support you no matter what the outcome. If you get in and find you cannot hack it, we will all be here to support you. Why? Because we're all going to probably do some things we never thought we would. Some of us were happy and gregarious and outgoing, we may find that it will take us a while to get back to that. Whatever is the aftermath of this grief/mourning process, just know you have friends here. DO NOT hide away and suffer in silence because you feel that nobody will understand and will judge you. We all hate the silence, the loneliness, the pain, the tears. We care about each other here.
Blessings and hugs to all who walk this road!
I Hate being alone!! But I also feel that I could not even begin to give myself to anyone else! beacuse I would be Looking @ then & Comparing them to both of my late Husband's, So I Will have to wait! I Still having a very hard time just taking care of Me! And I dont know anyone else anyway? So For Now I Just Need Prayer's & Hug's to get thru one day @ a Time!
I don't have a problem with people dating or remarrying soon after the loss of their spouse; it's up to them with respect to their moving on timetable. My only concern is that they make a move so fast that they don't think rationally. I can only tell you that I know I am not thinking and feeling clearly enough to make that kind of life decision and to agree to build a new covenant with someone. I would be perpetrating a fraud on them, because my heart and my soul is still so connected to Lawrence.
On this earth, Lawrence meant everything to me. The pain is so great sometimes it seems as if I will just burst with tears. How could I offer myself to someone else? I couldn't just go through the motions. No one deserves that. The other side of it is Lawrence's best friend Fred is my friend and he is single, but he is grieving, too. I can't see myself ever marrying Fred, just so we could grieve together over the loss of Lawrence.
I do know of a situation of a friend's mother of mine who married her husband's best friend. He had been a friendly part of the family all through this woman's married life. He never married. I believe he was secretly in love with her all the time. Did she get what she bargained for? No. He was very stubborn, set in his ways, and wants her to wait on him hand and foot the way he saw her wait on her husband. She wishes she'd waited.
That is my concern, that you're just trying to recreate what you had. I am not at a stage to even consider dating or remarrying. But if and when I'm ever ready, I know I've got to build something new. I'm not the same person, and I never will be again. I've got to take the time to find out who I am without this very deeply loving man. Right now, I have very little to offer myself, so I have even less to offer somebody else. Until I can make a new garment for my life, I'm just dealing with pieces of fabric cut out from a pattern that was once my life.
Having said all that, if someone can find some happiness in this life, God bless them because life is short. It really is. I walked out the door and came back in less than 30 minutes, and my whole world crashed. I just wish for all of us that are in this struggle (really with ourselves) some peace. I hope we can all find our joy again, our joy for living. With God's help I fully intend to, because only then do I feel Lawrence can be at peace. While I'm in turmoil, I think he is watching and praying for me to find peace. I believe he is nearby, and only when I free myself will he be truly free. It's just my feeling.
God bless and keep all of you. Warm hugs to all who need them!
I know a lot of men who have remarried or paired up with women very shortly after they lost their wives. The men were slightly older and had long, wonderful marriages. They weren't able to cut it alone. Me, four days after my beloved Steve was buried and I had finished sitting Shiva for him, I signed up for JDate. Not because I wanted to meet someone. I needed to be entertained. After 6 years of caregiving, I needed a laugh or two. Never met anyone. Never really wanted to. It was just good for a giggle. It was a year this past Monday that he died and I can't imagine being with anyone else. He is absolutely irreplaceable.
Carol, I know what your daughter feels. I can be in a stadium full of people and feel alone.
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