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Sole-Mate

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About Sole-Mate

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Loss Type
    Spouse (Wife)
  • Angel Date
    June 14 2011

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  1. Bear has passed

    Well, I had to make the decision on Monday for Bear. He was my 17 year old white Husky. Ya know, the last year I tried twice to make the move to the VET, but I really wanted Bear to make his own decision. He was still able to walk outside by himself and take his potty breaks albeit a little wobbly. I keep this nails short, when he would let me cut them. When they got long they curled under and bothered him when he walked. He was very clean; he did not mind the bath so much; he still had an appetite; he was still cognizant of his surroundings; he interacted the best he could. He even would meet me at the door sometimes when he could navigate the two steps. So, I kept giving him a good diet and cleaned his linens and brushed him. Always giving him treats; singing to him; given him lots of hugs. I work from the home and we were constant buds 24/7/265. I never went anywhere overnite for the last several years because I wanted to care for him. It was no problem and I liked it and he was a great companion. He gave me the extra eyes and ears around the home. The last year or so he started staying close to his bedroom and dripping in his bed. No problem as I just washed it more often. Then he started having #2 accidents at nite since it was hard poopy. Still no problem and I would take him outside as much as he could stand. We always walked around the outside of the house at least once a day. Most recently he started having wet accidents in bed and would not be able to get up after sleeping in it. He would actually go to the side of the bed that was dry and give me that look like there was something gross in his bed. BUT, this last weekend he began whimpering for me to come in and pick him up and then I knew he was not going to last much longer. He would go get some water and I would hear his whimper because he would fall and I would pick him up. He just could not stand on his own anymore and then I knew what I had to do. I had been mentally preparing for this moment for a long time and I just told him "It was okay, we all get old." in a warm soft voice; gave him hugs and kisses; and dumped heads after a kiss on the nose. He would gently close his eyes and I would sing to him. So, when we had to go to the VET he was calm and it was like a normal outing. BUT, and that is a very BIG BUT, I do "feel" like crap that it came down to this and I HAD to make the decision. I know it was the right thing to do; I know it was the best for him; I would rather be there with him until the end and not have him run off somewhere or hide in a corner or pass without being together. What can you say, Our Canines, our little creatures, are family to all of us and they deserve as much reverence and respect as any family member. I believe after 17 years he had a great life; was respected; was cared for appropriately; cared for until the end. Special!
  2. My big bro passed a few months ago - 58 yrs old. He had a mental illness for over 35 years and that put him in the "danger to others" column. We, the family that is, were his care-taker for his entire life. A bit of relief on my part since initially he was taken care of by other members of my family and even my wife whom is now deceased. When she passed 7 years ago I became the sole care taker and I always worried what would happen if I passed before he did. He would not have had anybody left to honor and pray for him and to to take care of him properly. He was a former Marine and was honorably discharged so I wanted to make sure he got an Honor Guard and was buried in the proper cemetery and was remembered as opposed to just been put in a grave without remembrance. So, in a way I am relieved because the daily stress is gone and his life is complete without major incidents and he has honor. I did not get all emotional as we had a typical bro to bro relationship for 58 years and it was complete. It was a care taker role and I saw the cycles and changes and was sort of prepared for the end as opposed to it being a surprise. I think that explains the neutral emotions. Do not get me wrong, I loved him and took care of him just like family is supposed to do, but the long drawn out emotions and inner hole is not there. I think it may have been gradual and his passing was part of that plan and my emotions leaked out over the many years. But, I dug out an old pic of us, 8 x 10 of us when we were 5 and 3, and put that one up next to his Marine pic and our Mom's pic and that makes me feel complete. Out of all the pics this one is in color and we are sitting next to each other with his arms around me. We had the greatest smiles on our face and were so very happy without a care in the world! Semper Fi! RIP Marine!
  3. 5 years and moving forward

    As always, come what may, I will move forward. One thing I will miss is the caring part of the relationships. My bro was my charge and there was this constant presence and concern for him just as there was for my wife, but now, there is no "need" for a constant vigil over them. That part of caregiving or concern is gone and I suppose that part of the living life experience is going to be missed. Sort of the paternal instinct of taking care of things is gone.
  4. 5 years and moving forward

    I was doing okay there for almost 6 years, my wife passed June 14, 2011. I do not date or engage in anything special. I enjoy just getting out and talking to everybody and anybody without expectations. BUT, on 27 May 2017, just a few short weeks ago, my bother passed away at 58. Now, after getting his burial squared away and back at work, it all starts to sink in. I have buried my entire 5 member family and I am the last one standing. I am it! I was glad to be able to give my bro a great send off since he was a disabled vet that I cared for solely the last 10 years, but for 35 years as a family. I was always worried that if I passed first there would be no one to take care of him let alone remember him as a USMC Veteran. I feel somewhat relieved about it. I am am sitting here thinking how my bro, my sis and my wife should all be here right now and we all should grow old together. It is missing and there is something wrong with this picture. I am not so sure the next 30 years without all of them is going to be something to look forward too. I am definitely the last man standing. Bummer! It sucks!
  5. 5 years and moving forward

    Well, it is now 5 years. I seem to have marked the time in yearly milestones and this year has been one of actually planing and thinking of myself and my future. Over the years I have dabbled into the dating scene but only topical. I really was trying to get out and about into the social environments. So, this last year has been one of thinking of myself and not pining over a loss. I have essentially sent all of her jewelry and personal items to our nieces and god daughters and they loved the idea of having these things. I was not sure how it would work, but I figured these things might bring more joy to the children for many years to go along with good memories. I moved pictures out of sight because the memories would always pop up. Now, I feel I have a best friend to talk to that listens instead of lost spouse. A good friend is a good thing! As far as moving forward I like to get out and talk to people and leave it at that and I go home to my space. I have found that I am thinking of my enjoyments in life and what I want to do and how I want to live and scheduling my life. It may seem selfish but I am at that point that I am taking care of myself and not taking care of others. But, it works for me. So, not sure if I will invite people into my personal life as I enjoy doing things that I can do on a moments notice and meet a wide range of people.
  6. I am rolling to the end of my 4th year and this last year I have been focusing on myself and thinking of the future. I was thinking of the things I used to do way back 35 years ago when I was single. I am getting along and making plans for the future. Initially I was concerned about being alone, but that concern is no longer there. I was vulnerable right after her passing, but now I am finding my own space and time. I am feeling more comfortable in my own being. I would welcome companionship, but not an intrusion into my space. An addition too or complementary to my life would be welcome. I will always consider my wife my best friend, but not such that I cannot live or move on without her. I think that she being my best friend is a good thing since we all have a best friend that is our go to guy for a comfort zone. So, she is mine. I have been ridding my house of clutter and things that are old or not used or not needed anymore. This helps me become minimalist or the way I was when I was single and looking towards the future with wide open eyes and a sense of excitement. Actually, I do not have TV or any time wasters in my life. I read alot and work and get outside as much as I can. I am planning on a few canoe trips this year and riding the MC and going a few places. None of this was of interest a few years ago, but now I feel released to some extent. I still get emotional sometimes but I work my way thru it. This works for me and I had to work thru this alone as there was no support from anyone. Those that I thought would be around are not around. So what! I got along and am making my own new way. It is different for some folks. Some got married within a year and some jumped right back into relationships, but I wanted to get clear and get thru the grief period and start something new. So here I am....hopping along.....
  7. It has been over 11 years since my sister took her life. I always think that she should be here right now and we should be laughing about the odd times of our life. In 2003 it was the worst year. Father in law passed; Sister committed suicide; Wife died, then resuscitated and had pacemaker implant; Father went in for tripple bypass and susequent kidney failure; and wife went back into hospital because her lungs were filling up with blood. It was a turning point in a lot of ways. Now, here it is 11 years later and I am the only one left. I peruse the pictures of us all running together, visiting, vacations, events and just plain hanging out. The older parents are expected to pass at some point before us kids, but 35 and 48 are too young to die. The sister and wife just need to be here. Me and the Sis had just turned a corner in our lives as bro and sis but Wham! she takes her own life shortly thereafter. She did not turn to any of us family members in her time of need. I suppose we had not solidified our bond, but at least I had the best hug with her that I ever had before she passed. There was a Suicide Hotline and Survivor Program set up in her name, but it has since been combined with other programs. I did not go to her funeral as I wanted to remember her in life not lifeless. I was more mad that she did not even consider a family member as a lifeline especially me. I did not cry or get overly emotional, but was struck with awe and disbelief. She gets prayers and a candle at Church and is always remembered on special days. Her soul is being cleansed and she will at some point be where she is destined if not already. Sweet girl and I changed her diapers and took care of her as a little one. There is nothing that has happened since 2003 that she could not have overcome....
  8. Moving into the 4th year

    Well, I hope it works out for you and in a good way. I find it takes people different times to get over the loss. Two aquaintances were married within 6 months which seemed a bit too soon for me. Another person has no desire for another relationship. Another person sold out and moved to CA. There were quite a few people that I knew lost their spouse within a short period of time and we all handled it somewhat differently. It is not the same for us all. Personally, for me, it works out best for me to think of this as part of the married life, in a way. Now, I am the "Widower in that house over there." LOL....
  9. Moving into the 4th year

    Well, this last year I focused on becoming engaged with life's activities. There was nothing special but what I wanted to do was to let things flow and not press trying to be or do who/what I used too. At one time I wanted to sell and move elsewhere, but the reason was that I wanted to run away. But, I also noticed that I was trying to do the same things or engage with the same people as before when I was married. I stopped thinking like that and have tried to expand my circle of friends with who I am today and not who I was yesterday. This has worked to some extent as I really do not see the old friends anymore and the new ones are taking time to become friends. Also, I think I am getting used to my new space and will see how this fits me. I am not opposed to meeting new special people, but I am not trying nor plan on it as I am just trying to be the new me. There are a few times I get emotional; not so much anymore. The good times are more important to remember and nice to smile about. I do find it easier to move about as me and not get involved. As I move into the fourth year I look forward to ????? who knows at this point but the constant emotional drain is gone....
  10. Into the third year

    Well then, my best friend is gone and there are no best friends down here to hang with. They were just acquaintances. Just came back from a long walk in the woods with the canine. Bright clear blue skies and the smell of leaves in the air. The fall has been a wet one so far. It is so nice to have the tree removed from near the house; it lets the sun in and brightens the great room. Still very tough at this time and was hoping that the rough times had passed.
  11. Into the third year

    Maybe we deal with the past, the passing or the could have been. Our cycle of life has stopped in time and there is a snapshot to look at. The rest are playing to the now, real life and living. What I mean to say is that the tie that binds is the living in a sense that there was the now and the future in our relationships with our "friends" and when the "past or death" creeps into our "circle" we as a group do not deal with it very well. It is too close for us to and we as a group give a quip and a 5 min response and move on. I had "friends" that owned a store or worked as a baker or an engineer or were cousins thru the marriage or coworkers thru a job or mutual friends thru my wife or neighbor friend thru the wife or an associate thru the brother-in-law and now the tie to them, my wife, is gone and now they are gone. That 5 min interaction which I may have thought was something was nothing and now our 5 min connection is goine. We do not even get the 5 min response anymore. There was really no true "tie that binds" or true foundation in our friendly relationship. All of this makes me wonder about the next group of friends that I will encounter and how disingenuous they might be or not. I like the idea of truely starting over that some have suggested or even have done already. The tie to the past is death , 5 min, and the tie to the future, eternity, is hope, faith and charity in some sense.
  12. Into the third year

    Faith, yesterday, before I read your post I was thinking about the "abandonment" of my "circle of friends" if you want to call them that. Just a phone call or an email is all that is/was required up to this point. I told myself that when I get to a point, whenever that will be, I will just not look back and discard them as easily as they did me. It still fascinates me that with email it is easy to slip a quick note of some sort or even a note on the answering machine. Even a cousin just slipped away. Too get a response I have to email them. A little reach out or quick convo or sandwich or something would be nice. My two neighbors that lost their spouses - one of 30 yrs and one of 47 yrs - have sold and moved onto something new. One became a nanny to his new grand child and the other was frightful of dying in her house all alone so she moved into a community of sorts. I was married for 19 yrs and younger than both, which makes the future less desirable, so dumping the old and going for new friends might be the answer for me. Another aquaintence lost his wife of 30 yrs and within a few months he was kissing someone new. He said he wrote down what he wanted and that he found a new one. A relative was holding hands at Thanksgiving a year ago with someone new after his wife of 45 years passed several months before. The cousins, children, etc. were shocked. That is not the replacement that I want in my life.
  13. My sister was despondent and was an up and down emotional person. We, like any siblings, had our differences and we were working thru them. In the year preceding her passing, she took a month long RV trip with Dad. That was great for them and it was needed. Then the following year on her birthday we had a dinner as we did for all our birthdays and at the end of it and before she left we had the best hug, ever in our life. She was 8 years younger but we had reached a turning point in our lives or at least I thought. Within a month she had killed herself. She was tired of starting over and going thru the motions and she thought she had found happiness, here on earth. She did not turn to me or her father or any family member or close friend or anybody. She just went out and did it and was gone. I got the call and I went to support the family. I kept to my schedule and did my thing and did not go to her funeral or see her before she was laid to rest or any connection to the entire process at all. I did not cry or lay down an umbrella of emotion. I was not mad at her or wanting to lash out. I was just neutral for some reason. I cared for her as a baby; I changed her diapers; washed her; fed her; took her for walks; played with her; argued with her; helped her as a big brother would, but for some reason I was not emotional about it. And oddly enough in her suicide letter she did not reach out either. Within months of her passing I got all of her things; her pictures; her trinkets; her books; her letters and odds and ends. My father also gave me a copy of her suicide letter. I sort of went thru the items and put up her curio cabinet and little things; they are still there after 10 years. I also got copies of her lifelong letters to/from people including family members. I did not read them thoroughly, even four years later after my father passed. When my father passed, I got all of his letters to/from family members; family albums. I set them aside. Now, when my wife passed, I am left with alot of my own to/from letters; trinkets; pictures, etc. But this time I am reading all the family letters, e.g., sisters, fathers, brothers, mothers, wifes, and what a story it makes. After ten years of not reading my sisters letters thoroughly and now reading the other side of the letters to/from my father, I can have a good picture of the hurt and pain that she was going thru. That last hug on her last birthday was a tremendous breakthrough and gift to me. I was supposed to look after little sister and we were supposed to grow old together and laugh about the old times when we were wrinkled, but that is gone and will never happen. The four of us; me; my wife, my Dad and my sister; ran together and after 8 years they all left me. I am left with memories and letters and pictures...but I did get that last hug from my sister; I did get that last hug from my father and I did get that last hug from my wife. Hugs are good!
  14. Sister Dying of Cancer..

    I can give you a story if that will help and you can find truth in the meaning. My wife was your sisters age and had cancer. She was slated to die, but a regimen of mustard chemo and radiation saved her at that point. She lived many years; had dreams; suffered constantly due to health problems; she persevered and was a delightful person for the rest of her life. She had cancer again and defeated it. Each new disease or issue was a challenge; she met it head on without as much as a whimper. She lived her life like she was dying as the song goes. She had nine lives and always expected to live past the next challenge. In her last bout it was either she died or had an operation because without it, she would have died anyway. I absolutely had no choice and had to be gone for 2.5 years while she fought this terrible thing. I was there doing my part for her; I was providing the best possible care for her that I could provide; I prayed for her; we talked and communicated as if life was going on without a glitch; we just kept on keeping on and doing our part in this life the best that we could. She would not have had the extra 2.5 years of life it I did not do my part, but it destroyed me internally to "have to do my part", but she supported me and it was a joint decision otherwise she would have passed 2.5years earlier. You do the best that you can; in the best way that you can; and continue to pray for her soul. A doctor told me that I could come home; pace the hallways; and worry about her during her operations or I could support her where I was and pray for her.
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