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dutchhook

Members
  • Content count

    5
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About dutchhook

  • Rank
    Newbie

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Delano MN
  • Loss Type
    Wife
  • Angel Date
    11/08/2011

Converted

  • Occupation
    Entrepeneur
  • Last Name
    Hoogenakker
  • First Name
    Steve
  • Zip
    55328
  • Country
    USA
  1. For this story and other short stories about loss and grief, click here: http://hoogenakker.net/?p=664 Feel free to share this with any loved ones - Steve ...............(cont)..... As I think about what could have been different over the last year, there was one thing we never did. We both knew what to do, but because we were always honest with each other, I know we both felt like doing this wasn’t in tune with our ne’er said honesty pledge, but sometimes we have to fake it til we make it.What’s the one thing? Teri and I BOTH needed to be held by each other every once in awhile VERY tightly with full body contact and whisper into each others’ ears, “Everything is Going to be Alright” over and over and over again. Maybe til the other fell asleep, or their breathing slowed and deepened. Wow! Simple, powerful, an eternity of comfort with a few words. Why we didn’t take the few minutes to do this, when it would’ve provided comfort for an eternity, I don’t know. Does the statement stand up to scrutiny? No! Does it stand up to logic in the face of certain death? No. Can you then follow up with questions and doubts? No. Don’t lessen the magic, there will be plenty of time for worry. Just be engulfed by the glow of the moment and let your comfort work it’s way deep into your loved one. Or harder still, to calm the inner child inside of yourself, and not to squirm, as you are the one accepting of the love and comfort. See, even in the face of death and an uncertain future, You Never Lose the Right to say Everything is going to be Alright to the one you love.
  2. Panic, Panic, a poem

    But to those who know panic attacks, I had one today, first one in 3 years. You can't stop them from happening, you feel like you're going to die, you feel yourself floating outside of your body. This is what I was feeling driving home from the gym this afternoon. I hope to write something more positive and uplifting sometime soon. Link to full poem and other stories Panic, panic, heart is racing. Pressure, pressure, chest wall a blazing 3 eagle talons rake down my chest, they scrape each rib til they rest in the pit, so red and real. God make it STOP, don't want to feel. 30 arrows pierce me through Tis no one's fault that I am blue Not him, not her nor even you. I've poured it out, the well is dry No whom no what no where no why. So much despair, thought I was through, the worst of it, without a clue, came rushing back - a tidal wave, afraid of all, thought I was brave. When the well fills up, I will come back in happier times, when they aren't so black. Steve Hoogenakker
  3. Fallin’ is a many splendored thing.I still remember the first time I saw Teri. She was in a room that spanned the mens/women’s dorms. She was sitting on the window sill with her feet on the heat register. In what is an impossible coincidence, the picture that Debbie sent with me jumping? I believe the window to the left of me in the pic was exactly where she was sitting at that first encounter. As soon as I saw her, I said to myself, I’m going to get to know her. Fallin’ in Love at First Sight? I don’t remember ever feeling that way before or after, well except for Charlize Theron as Keanu Reaves wife in “The Devils Advocate”, that could’ve been Love at First Sight too, but good thing I didn’t start dating Charlize because later she did Monster, where she played a serial killer (Shudder) and I became a nobody. Those Hollywood marriages never pan out anyway. There was no way to know that our next chance meeting would happen because someone pulled the fire alarm, and everybody went to the student community center or some other room that sounds like a communist utopia, where JoAnne and Teri saw me eating Peanut M and M’s and drinking grape pop and thought it looked like a great combination. I was thinking Teri and I looked like a great combination. The only other combination that was better? That was when somebody stuck their chocolate bar in somebody’s peanut butter or the other way around, the debate rages on. The odds were against us from the beginning. I hated school, was terrible at studying and moved back to the cities. Teri stayed in Duluth, but we hung in there. Fall in love we did. Fell head over heels. Then we just got through the 3 stages of marital bliss. Teri did wonderful things for me every day for years, but there are three things I did for her that equaled everything she did.(yeah, right) The first stage, 15 years ago, where I got the guys operation You know, the one where you find a new purpose for 13 bags of frozen peas? I could always crack Teri up with this one, because as I was laying there, I smelled something burning, then looked up and realized it was me! Then the next stage of marital bliss, the 10 years since I’ve had to go to the store to buy anything labeled “Supers” or “For Heavy Days”. Finally, the last stage, the last two years where I didn’t have to go to the store to figure out what saline solution to buy or other gross eyeball things that I don’t want to think about. And by the way, what’s up with cotton balls anyway? I can’t remember ever using cotton balls. They’ve always been here, there’s still a bag, but unless I feel like coloring the Easter Bunny for my grocery stores contest and need a puffy ball for a tail, I think they may go bad. Then about the same time, 2 years ago, came an all new meaning for the phrase “terrorist cells”. You might be thinking of 9/11, but these terrorist cancer cells went rogue on Teri’s leg. They decided to wear masks, make videos, run through obstacle courses and make a weapon of mass destruction. Then exploding said weapon, with the blast radius of about 1600 miles, hurting all kinds of innocent people. I wish I could have negotiated with these terrorist cells of cancer. I would say, C’mon guys, you realize if you succeed, you’ll just kill yourself? But NOOOOO, they had to do it their way. It looks like a very long 20 years ahead for me. But there are a couple of bright spots. They say that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Hmmmmmm that means the other 50% end in death! Why is that a bright spot? Well when it comes to Fallin’ I got the chance to Fall in Love, and a blessing in the wake of tragedy, an amazing twist, I never had to fall out of love. Please share this story with others More personal blog posts at hoogenakker dot net
  4. You’re probably saying, there’s no way someone can link pregnancy with mangos and bananas. When you’ve been a caregiver for awhile, a single parent and a survivor, you can do damn near anything, so here goes, you can tell me if I pulled it off or not! When women are pregnant, they “know” at least in real life. On TV, there’s the show “I had a Baby and didn’t know I was pregnant on the Womens network, or in movies, there’s the beautiful single person, throwing up at 9 am at work and the best friend, interrogating her with the know it all look of “YOU ARE PREGNANT, AREN’T YOU?” The heroine of the story usually denying the obvious. Well, in a way, I’m pregnant too. I feel myself changing every day. I “feel” a change in a thousand different ways. When I walked out of the hospital, knowing Teri was going into the hospice, I remember feeling like I was floating outside of my body and felt changed. When she passed and I was speeding back to the hospice, I felt changed. Everything is different, the tv, my sleep is bad, my knees feel weak every once in awhile,(aren’t I supposed to cause that, not get it, what a wimp!) and my work production is inferior in every way My time at home is different, even driving is different. This must be the same for pregnant women, once they know too. Just like I asked Teri how she felt when she was pregnant, there was no way she could tell me what she was feeling. My personality is changing, and I can’t tell if it’s for good or ill. I’m going to my first widowers group tomorrow night, excuse my poor attempt at humor, but what would the twelve steps of a widowers group look like Steps 1-11 Please don’t die, I love you more than life itself. please PLEASE don’t go away honey Step 12 – Oh (*&^@ I mean there’s only so much the volunteers can do after a loss. I needed the miracle two months ago, but as survivors, we’ll take any miracles we can get these days, so THANK YOU to the volunteers who manage these groups, but we tend to have a sick (or practical) sense of humor. I feel sorry for people who come up to me to ask how I’m doing. I think widow(er)s should be rated like fruit. Green, ripe, or bruised all to hell, stay away. I should put a sandwich board with my ripeness rating so people know what they’re getting into, can avoid my eyes, or cross to the other side of the sidewalk! Even tonight, it changed dramatically. I was at the store, everything ok, then I came home, talked to Paul and he said that Teri was making mistakes as early as August 15th. My God, tears starting, I thought she only got bad after the leg surgery September 23rd, how could a loving husband not see the distress? Absolutely Unforgiveable. So, back to pregnancy. I feel like that pregnant woman, knowing my body, mind and soul are changing every day, sometimes every minute. I can’t explain the changes and I don’t know if they are good or bad, but like a pregnancy, I’m just along for the ride. On the plus side, (ha ha – that’s a womens clothing joke) I’d like to announce that now that I’ve announced I’m pregnant, I’d like to say that my bulging waistline has really been a cute baby bump since 1985, way before it was fashionable! As for warning you, my friends, some days I feel like a green banana, sour and hard, other days, ripe, sweet and oh so good, and nights like tonight, bruised and beat to heck with the new knowledge that I might have missed some of Teri’s distress. Where does the Mango fit in? Well, a banana shows it’s bruises pretty quickly. You get advanced notice of what you’re getting. THat tricky Mango? One can be solid green and soft, and another can be beautiful orange and hard and there’s just this tiny time frame of when that Mango gives 3/16″ of an inch when it’s perfect. So when you come upon a widow(er), like a mango, you won’t be able to tell if they are going to be hard and tasteless, or turn to mush like an overripe mango, but know this. It turns out that me dumping on you, my friends, is good for my mental health, even though it scars you for life. It’s all about me! If my mental health improves, my psychiatrist will be looking for more patients, and those I’ve depressed can get an 8% discount! I think I’m kind of over most of the bruising (in public), but if I squish, sorry, I’m pregnant, but I don’t know if I’m a mango or a banana. Please share this story with people you know More posts on my personal blog hoogenakker dot net
  5. Don’t even care if anyone will ever see this, but I have to write this somewhere. I REALLY miss my girl as Christmas gets closer. I keep all of my posts professional, but can’t right now. There’s nobody to put up all the Christmas decorations, nobody to spend 10 hours putting up stuff that nobody ever seemed to care about, but would give the world to see this year. I went through the boxes Saturday and Sunday, but everything is packed so perfectly, I know I would never get things back in boxes again.It was an emotional drain just putting up the Christmas stockings. Teri’s from 1960, A real Christmas stocking, that is drooping out of shape because it’s so old and authentic. It needs a piece of wonderful cardboard inside it just to keep an approximate shape. What do we do about Duke’s stocking with paw prints on it? Nobody to light the candles. Nobody to make me go to the wonderful Christmas service, a 2 hour extravanganza at church that I never wanted to go to, but always felt great once we got back. Then there’s my favorite hour of the year which was the hour every Christmas Eve where Teri waited for Gerrit to go to bed, pulled out bags of “stuff” from the closet to put out for the kids for Christmas morning on the fireplace of her dream house. Nobody to wake up early Christmas morning to be there when Santa’s presents were miracously discovered.I always slept through that, but oh god, what a miracle it all would be this year. Can we try to re-create it? Some people might, but it was the wonder of Teri that made it all special. Any re-creation would be like a cheap plastic imitation. I love my family so much. I see Teri in each of them. Paul with Teri’s bottomless compassion, Kirsten with Teri’s strength and common sense and Gerrit, blessed with Teri’s faith in something greater than ourselves and God.Ok, seems that alcohol in equals snot and tears out. Sounds like a perfect engineering equation, but lets get off the serious stuff. I couldn’t remember if Teri got Jon a stocking for Christmas, so I went to Target this weekend. I couldn’t find any stockings with the name Jon on them, or even any with the letter “J” on them, so what to do, what to do? Well, since I couldn’t get a real stocking for our newest family member, I decided to go cheesy. If you knew about the Aluni/Hoogenakker gag gift Christmas presents, you would know why cheesy was the obvious choice. The cheesiest stocking I could find was a Toy Story stocking with a picture of “WOODY” on it. I threw it in the cart, then as I got close to the checkout, I started thinking… “What could possibly be more creepy than someones’ new father in law to get them a stocking (the week after his bachelor party) with the word “WOODY” prominently across the top???? Creepy, yes, so I ran to the back of the store. There is a new Buzz Lightyear stocking ready for Jon. Steve Hoogenakker Audaces Fortuna Juvat (Fortune Favors the Brave) more posts on my personal blog hoogenakker dot net
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