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KarenSunshine

I'm new here - and grateful

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I'll mention before I forget that you can claim your husband on your taxes for 2018 and for 2019 since he lived part of the year.

Welcome here, I'm sorry for your reason for being here, it's so hard to lose the person we loved most in this world and we continue to miss them always.

I wish you well with your prognosis, a close friend of mine had stage IV also but has lived through it for many years now.

I also want to leave you with my article of tips, I wrote it at about ten years out but am now close to 14.
 

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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@KarenSunshine  I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband.  It just seems we have no control over this grief process no matter how much we try to get out and do. I am at almost 6 months and for myself I feel the pain has eased up some, and I have come more to acceptance.  My love for him has never lessened and I still miss him dearly but I know I need to go on in this life.  I commend you for already getting out, and for volunteering no less so early in your grief.  And I pray that your cancer and medical issues will respond to the meds. Thankyou for sharing and know we are here for you and thinking of you. Love and hugs. Jeanne

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@Karensunshine What a lovely username.I'm so sorry you find yourself with us.This is a place for love understanding and validation.I'm so sad that you must deal with this trauma along with your medical issues I pray for healing.You sound like a bright spot in this world and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
My love to you
Billie

Sent from my LG-TP260 using Grieving.com mobile app

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Dear Karen,

how sorry I am for you to be in this situation. You're doing all the right things but the terrible feelings following the loss of your loved one are no less I gather. You are very right to point out that you grief also for your husband.

Filling out your income tax form is such a painful reminder, I know.

I admire you for wanting to live, that is difficult for me sometimes.

All the best, Pim

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Thank  you for ALL of your comments: about taxes (yes - another year of joint), about tips for survival (good ones), about the KarenSunshine - well it's called "acting as if" and it's better than a number, as for the volunteering I have three "jobs" but the most rewarding is in kindergarten.  Jim and I both did it and now when I go (only one a week for two hours) I am surrounded by kids wanting to hug me.  How good that is!  

I am not a believer in a god or gods of any sort. Or in heaven or hell.  I believe that what is to be accomplished on this earth is in the province of man and nature alone. Sometimes (with all the endless horrible news around the world) this believe (that mankind will somehow get its act together and save itself), this belief is hard to hold onto.  Sometimes I envy those that "believe" thinking it may give them some comfort ... but I do not, can not.  No shortcuts, no easy outs, a tiny step at a time in belief in my resilience is what it will take. And hope.

I need hope, and so I wrote myself something - it's framed in several rooms.  It was originally for the cancer but now it is for the grief which is overwhelming me today as I work on estate papers. Tears won't stop.   I thank you All, for reading, for caring, for responding.  We share something that is awful and life altering. May we all come out whole and better for our survival.

I WILL KEEP HOPE

I will keep hope, however slight it is; hope for a good week, hope for a good day, hope for a good moment.

Hope for more ease. I will keep hope hope through all suffering and loss and darkness.  

I will keep the last hint of hope close to my heart.

Hope for simple comfort, for peace, for acceptance.

I will hope for those left behind, hope for all life

I will hope that tomorrow is yet a chance for more hope.

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I love your positive attitude and believe it will be your mainstay.  I will hope with you...

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I love your spirit.I also do not believe in God but more Native American beliefs.We must accomplish here on earth.it's where our lives matter.I too will hope with you[emoji307]

Sent from my LG-TP260 using Grieving.com mobile app

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22 hours ago, KarenSunshine said:

 May we all come out whole and better for our survival.

I WILL KEEP HOPE

I will keep hope, however slight it is; hope for a good week, hope for a good day, hope for a good moment.

Hope for more ease. I will keep hope hope through all suffering and loss and darkness.  

I will keep the last hint of hope close to my heart.

Hope for simple comfort, for peace, for acceptance.

I will hope for those left behind, hope for all life

I will hope that tomorrow is yet a chance for more hope.

@KarenSunshine thought provoking and inspiring. A beautiful and powerful word:  HOPE!  

To feel a sliver of hope is actually magical in the dark moments we all experience.  A beautiful share. I thank you.  

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