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      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie
divalite5

How to get through the day...

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My husband passed on August 4th 2017. He had cardiomyopathy and we went through the grueling procedures to get  placed on the Heart Transplant List. It finally happened that he was placed on the list in June 2017. He was told that he had a good chance of getting a heart due to his size, blood type etc. So we got our hopes up.... Sadly, a heart did not arrive in time and he passed away after the 3 surgeries he endured prior to the end. He passed from a massive stroke due to the blood thinners that they had put him on.

I/we really thought that he would get that heart transplant and so it was much more devastating when he passed... I can't seem to function other than doing what is absolutely necessary through out my days....

My family and friends were there during the first few weeks for support, however, they have their own lives to live. Does it get easier?  I cry all day long due to all of the memories that flood my mind and seeing all of his things and even places that we went together like the grocery store. How do you get through this?

Thank you for listening....

Ingrid

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KMB   

divalite5,  I am so deeply sorry! I know the pain, emptiness, loneliness, confusion, ALL of the emotions you are going through. My husband passed of sudden cardiac arrest. He was just a few days away from starting a different procedure that we were led to believe would make things easier for his heart. It took me a long time to get beyond placing blame on doctors, medications, procedures.  The physical body can only withstand so much. My husband's heart couldn't handle any more. It still bothers me how hard he struggled to stay here, with me.

Like me, you stayed strong, kept the faith and hope going for a good outcome. But, sadly, we lost our soul mate and our lives are shattered.

I have been on my new journey for a little over a year. I was in shock for many months. Laid in bed most of the time crying tons of tears. I wasn't even functioning. I would let the dog out, or in, and feed him and our cat. I didn't care about anything, not even myself. I only took a shower if I absolutely had to be somewhere. And that was hard, to force myself to walk out the door and try to manage driving, facing the public, interacting. By the time I would get back to my car, I would break down crying. Try to manage the drive home and break down again at coming back to an empty house. I was literally a basket case for about 8 months. I had brain fog. Couldn't remember much of anything. No clarity in thinking, no concentration or focus. I was forgetting bills and the occasional appointment. I still have issues with the brain fog.

What I can tell you is to take it moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. Don't worry about the future. Everything is overwhelming, we have enough just to get through each day. The future will take care of itself.   Take care of you. Grieving is the hardest thing you will ever do. It requires patience, self care and time. A very long time.

Keep reaching out to family and friends. I went to grief support for awhile and learned that it is our responsibility to maintain contact. I know it sounds unfair, but that is the way of it. People do not know what to say or do to help us. We have to let them know what we need. A listening ear, a hug, run an errand or help with chores. Or just to have someone sit with us can be a comfort. Just having another living, breathing person close by.

You have found your way to a great place here. It is only those of us, that are going through losing a soul mate. who understand. Sending prayers of love, comfort and peace to you.

 

 

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Thank you sharing your experiences.... It really helps when I feel guilty for just not being motivated to do anything (including taking a shower) 

I would like to write more, however, I am having a very bad day today and I just feel so numb.... Words just won't come out....

I will write when my mind is working a little better....

Hugs to you all..... I am so grateful for finding this forum. I feel like it is a sort of special "family" to me....

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@divalite5 Hi Ingrid,

I will second the journal idea, for if/when you feel up to writing. 

I keep two separate journals... one, I started earlier on, just to list out memories. Important ones, and also the small, seemingly ordinary ones. I was, and still am, so afraid of forgetting the little details about him and the things we did together, so I write them out whenever they come to me. Even about our trips to the grocery store, like you mentioned... I'd do anything to have those times back again.

The other journal is just a free-flowing diary, to vent my thoughts and feelings. I had never done this before, but have found it does help (a little).

Please don't feel guilty about the lack of motivation... just taking a shower some days really does a lot of effort and strength now. We all understand that here. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as well. ❤️

@KMB, that's a really interesting point about it being our responsibility to keep reaching out and maintaining contact. I had not thought of it that way, but it makes sense. I've been hitting that weird point where a lot of people - old friends, coworkers - drop off. Not all of them, but most. I've been feeling badly about it, but I know deep down they are probably just unsure of what to say/do. I need to try a little more on that front, because I know losing touch with them completely will only feel worse. Thank you for sharing that, definitely giving me something to think about.

 

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Eagle-96   
11 hours ago, AshleyDonahue said:

that's a really interesting point about it being our responsibility to keep reaching out and maintaining contact. I had not thought of it that way, but it makes sense. I've been hitting that weird point where a lot of people - old friends, coworkers - drop off. Not all of them, but most. I've been feeling badly about it, but I know deep down they are probably just unsure of what to say/do. I need to try a little more on that front, because I know losing touch with them completely will only feel worse. Thank you for sharing that, definitely giving me something to think about.

 

It is a vital aspect to all of this. If we want the relationship, we have to work on it too. Some people stop contacting us as much because the may feel like they are intruding, being overbearing, or they simply do not know how to act around us. I have to remember that phones are a two-way piece of technology and I have to reach out from time to time. I spoke with one of Lori and my couple friends this weekend and she relayed how scared she was for the relationship to grow distant and end. I have to work just as hard as they do to make sure that doesn't happen. It's not always easy to muster the emotional and physical strength to keep the bonds there but I believe the effort is worth it.

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BSL   
On 9/10/2017 at 9:11 PM, KMB said:

 

Keep reaching out to family and friends. I went to grief support for awhile and learned that it is our responsibility to maintain contact. I know it sounds unfair, but that is the way of it. People do not know what to say or do to help us. We have to let them know what we need. A listening ear, a hug, run an errand or help with chores. Or just to have someone sit with us can be a comfort. Just having another living, breathing person close by.

I have read numerous articles online about how friends of the person grieving should reach out and not expect the griever to ask. I admit, that, I have been following this idea, but, I see the point of it being our responsibility (at least, in part).

It will be the 2 year anniversary of my wife's death in November. One of her close friends, has dropped all contact with me about 6 months after my wife died. I harboured some resentment toward this friend (although I never voiced it to her), for what both my wife and I felt was her not being there for my wife in the end. Whether that feeling is valid or not, I don't know...

I have been flip flopping over the last year, on whether I should reach out to her. Although she was my wife's friend, we used to socialize with her and her husband the most of our circle of friends. I am hanging on for dear life, all possible connections my wife had, because as each day and each milestone in my life and our kids' lives passes, she feels further away.

 

Any advice from my fellow grievers?

 

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KMB   

BSL, If you wish to make contact with your wife's friend, go ahead and try. I hope she gives you a positive response. Either way, you will know where you stand and can go from there.

Sometimes, we end up trying to make new friends, which is not easy and slow going.

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BSL   

Thank you KMB. I think I will.

I just want to know why she didn't reach out at least on my wife's birthday or the anniversary of her death. I don't understand it.

Then I think, if I had not gone through this, would I be the same as my wife's friend? Would I bother keeping in touch with a friend's surviving spouse?

 

Bill

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Francine   
On 9/8/2017 at 5:43 PM, divalite5 said:

My family and friends were there during the first few weeks for support, however, they have their own lives to live. Does it get easier?  I cry all day long due to all of the memories that flood my mind and seeing all of his things and even places that we went together like the grocery store. How do you get through this?

I truly am sorry for your loss and know too well your pain.  Does it get easier? The answer to that question still scares me  because I’ve been waiting for *easier* for almost eleven months now.  And it wasn’t long ago that I was asking people who had lost their loved one and were further down the road of grief than I was that very same question.   It doesn’t get easier, but it becomes different— softer, at times– louder at other times. It’s like a storm. You can’t predict when it’s coming, and you can’t predict whether you’ll be able to find shelter or not. You can’t predict whether you’ll even survive. You just hold your breath, brace yourself for the impact, and hope you can find some solid ground. Eventually. Sometimes you’ll get swept under by the tsunami of grief; other days you’ll tread water, and still other days you’ll choke and gag on the on-going horror of it all. Some days you might float above it, and your whole body will feel the glorious feeling of air hitting your skin above water– sun on your face– wind in your hair. Those are the very good days of grief, of life after loss. Over time there might be more of them, so embrace them when they come. And let the sun dry out the soggier parts of you whenever you can.

How do you get through this? One moment, one step,  one day at a time.  Will it be the hardest thing you'll ever do?  Perhaps.  Because, guess what? Hard is the only choice we have, the only choice we were given. It’s do you want hard, or hard? Either we find a way, or we give up, right? And giving up isn’t an option.  What people don’t seem to understand is– it’s a life sentence. One we didn’t ask for, or want– it’s one we were charged with against our will. The life sentence doesn’t change, or lessen, or ever go away. Not with time, not with a whole lot of anything. We’re forced members of the God-awful club that is every widow/widower worst nightmare. A club we can never leave. So what are our options? We are forced to lean into it– to grin and bear it. We are forced to find grit we never knew we had. We are forced to dig deeper than is probably humanly possible. We are forced to live out this horrific life sentence, some how, some way, even though everything within us is screaming, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We are forced to learn how to consistently do hard. Over and over and over again.  So we find a way. And we keep on doing hard. Together. We find people (like this website) who can say me too, me too with us– and over time we realize that finding a village who understands the depth of our pain without words necessary is really what makes all the difference in the world when doing hard.

Hang in there; you are in my prayers.

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Thank you, Francine, for your response.... It is scary to realize (from others years after the loss) that is doesn't get "easier"  I am finding out exactly what you so eloquently described, as a reality for me now. It has been about 3 months now and I still wake up in the morning "forgetting" that Ron is no longer by my side and then when the reality hits me, the whole nightmare begins again for another long long day. I am really grateful for this support group because, in my opinion, no one can know/feel what I am going through unless one has been through it themselves. How to respond to "it will get easier" or "it will pass" or "you have to get on with your life" I have secluded myself so I am not subjected to these "well meaning" friends giving me advice. I thank you again for giving me the raw honesty..... It makes me feel more real.

Blessings~    Ingrid

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KMB   
3 hours ago, BSL said:

Then I think, if I had not gone through this, would I be the same as my wife's friend? Would I bother keeping in touch with a friend's surviving spouse?

Those are good questions. Personally, I haven't been on the opposite side. All of our friends still have their spouses. Someday, our friends will face what I have. I believe in being a friend through the good and the bad.

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Francine   
3 hours ago, divalite5 said:

that Ron is no longer by my side

Talk about a small world.  My Charles middle name was Ronald and we all called him "Ron".  I truly know how much you hurt and how lonely you are; I'm right there with you. I didn't think I'd be able to live through this devastation and I haven't, not really.  The weird crazy thing about loss is that life actually goes on without them.  When we are faced with a tragedy so huge that we have no idea how we can live through it, somehow we do and the world keeps turning and the seconds keeps ticking.

My faith in God helps me through this tragedy.  I think when we go through such a tragedy, we can either let it destroy us and become bitter and never let it go or we can let it make us stronger and grow us.   And often times, I still feel depressed, defeated, angry, hateful, bitter and pain, but I know we were not created to live this way.    We were created to live in victory, in love and kindness displaying endless sunshine and glory.  I think if we allow ourselves to heal, it will become one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves.

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I can't tell you how inspirational your words are to me.... "we can either let it destroy us and become bitter and never let it go of can let it make us stronger and grow us" Those words really spoke to me! There was a type of "spark" that flickered for a moment..... Maybe a spark of hope that there could be life beyond this unbearable grief and sadness... I agree that faith in God is what will help me get through this and He sent your words to me...

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Francine   
10 hours ago, divalite5 said:

I can't tell you how inspirational your words are to me.... "we can either let it destroy us and become bitter and never let it go of can let it make us stronger and grow us" Those words really spoke to me! There was a type of "spark" that flickered for a moment..... Maybe a spark of hope that there could be life beyond this unbearable grief and sadness... I agree that faith in God is what will help me get through this and He sent your words to me...

Amazing how God knows exactly what we need and when we need it.  I think HE wants each of us to be the flicker of hope for someone who is struggling.  I believe within us is a light called Hope that may flicker but will never ever burn out.  Praying that your day is filled with that Hope and Peace that eases the soul.  Take Care!

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KayC   
19 hours ago, BSL said:

Thank you KMB. I think I will.

I just want to know why she didn't reach out at least on my wife's birthday or the anniversary of her death. I don't understand it.

Then I think, if I had not gone through this, would I be the same as my wife's friend? Would I bother keeping in touch with a friend's surviving spouse?

 

Bill

Be prepared that whatever she says may not be of comfort to you.  People have a hard time voicing what they're really feeling, which in situations like this is often selfish fear of being reminded of their own mortality or having to go through what you are going through someday.  Or she may feel since she was your wife's friend and your wife is gone, it's unnecessary.  Who knows, they all have their excuses.  Personally, I think someone who is a good human will reach out in spite of their own fears or issues.

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KayC   
1 hour ago, Francine said:

I think HE wants each of us to be the flicker of hope for someone who is struggling. 

We need hope.  It's one thing we can't live without.  The hope of seeing my George again is the one thing that keeps me going.

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Francine   
2 hours ago, KayC said:

We need hope.  It's one thing we can't live without.  The hope of seeing my George again is the one thing that keeps me going.

Ditto that! 

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Yes..... Hope is what I try to focus on. Without it, I would surely be lost.....

 

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KayC   

I've had a lot of losses in my life, but 11 days after my husband died, I believe it was God that led me to a refrigerator magnet that read, "Find Joy in every day" and I bought it.  It changed my life.  People tell me you can't, but I know better because I've lived it the last 12 years.  You have to LOOK for joy to find it.  The sorrow doesn't need looking for, it finds you, but the joy needs ferreted out.  Oh it's not like the joy "before"...don't compare!  Recognize and acknowledge the least little thing that is good that comes your way!  For me it might be something as innocuous as a stranger letting me merge in traffic, or someone holding the door open for me.  Seeing deer in my backyard.  A rainbow (there was a triple rainbow amidst a tremendous thunder/lightening storm at the moment my husband died).  A hummingbird (they were special to us).  A phone call from a friend or my sisters.  A check in the mail that was just what I needed.  The list in endless.  It's not about the thing, it's about ACKNOWLEDGING it.  To do so is to begin to live in the present and not miss what IS for lack of what ISN'T.  We can't change what ISN'T anymore, but we can live what IS now.  It's a practice, a way of life, indeed, an art.  Living in the present.  Being present.  This is the way back to life.

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Francine   
8 hours ago, KayC said:

Living in the present.  Being present.  This is the way back to life.

You are so spot on in your post.  We can cry over the past, but it's gone and won't come back; we can stress about the future, the unknown, but it hasn't happened yet or we can live in the present (which is what we're doing) and try to make it livable.  There's only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.  As hard as it is for some of us (me included) today is the right day to love, believe, hope, do but mostly live because each moment we breathe is a gift from God. 

It's unfortunately how we take things for granted without realizing it; We need to thank God everyday for our family; our health; our trials, our success, our tears, our laughter.  Everything that  makes us matures us.  KayC thanks for making us remember the *joy* in our lives.

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KayC   

I know it's a hard message that not everyone is ready to receive, but like I said, I was eleven days out when God gave me this message through a simple refrigerator magnet that I "happened" to run into outside a vision care center.  Coincidence?  I don't think so!

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KMB   
5 hours ago, KayC said:

 

I know it's a hard message that not everyone is ready to receive

 

It is a hard message to receive and try to incorporate. I still have problems with that. I used to find pleasure in the sunshine, feeling  the warmth of it on my skin and how it brightened up my world and my mood. That I could achieve anything, just because the sun was shining. Listening to the birds also used to be enough, to bring pleasure in just being alive. It is so hard trying to find that again with this dark cloud of sadness hanging over me.

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Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me of things that I have forgotten.... " We can't change what ISN'T anymore, but we can live what IS now.  It's a practice, a way of life, indeed, an art.  Living in the present.  Being present.  This is the way back to life"  I have read "The Power of Now" many years ago and had forgotten the concept during my intense grieving... Thank you for the reminder!

Blessings~

 

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KayC   
15 hours ago, divalite5 said:

I have read "The Power of Now" many years ago and had forgotten the concept during my intense grieving... Thank you for the reminder!

A few years after I lost George, a friend gave me that book, it is a good philosophy to ascribe to!

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Debo   

My husband, Bobby, also passed away in August.The day was August 6, 2017.  He would have been 65 on August 20th. Twelve years ago he had throat cancer. Survived that after chemo and radiation. All the cancer drugs left him with health problems later on. He was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney disease and getting ready to have dialysis in one week. He was always in pain and also had previous eye surgeries due to his thyroid disease also. A few days before he passed away he told me he survived cancer I am going to survive this kidney disease. He was having trouble breathing one night and did not want to go to the hospital. He thought it was just from bronchitis the heart doctor diagnosed. My husband also had a defibrilator pacemaker implant.  He told me he was is so much pain all over he just wanted to die.  My son was at the house that night and told me dad did not look well. I said that is from his kidneys. He said no mom, I don't think dad is going to make it, he is in so much pain and had lost a lot of weight. This was a Saturday night. The next morning Sunday, I told my husband I was going for a walk. He did not answer me. I touched him and then I knew he was dead. I'm sad but also thankful my husband died at home peacefully and not in a hospital. Some days I just don't want to be in my house because it makes me so sad. We had 36 years together and he always made me laugh even when he was in pain. I cry every day. Yes my friends are there for me. My childhood friend that I grew up with also lives in my neighborhood, so she checks on me off and on, more so than my own family. She is like a sister to me and has helped in my grief. I have a dog and if it was not for her I don't know what I would do. She has been good therapy for hugging on to.

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