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Realization


John9

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tnd,

I have said that all i really am doing is what i have to do, feed and care for MIL, take care of wife's cats cut the yard which I used to do in 1 day and now takes at least 3 days to do because I don't want to do it and now time constraints that weren't there before. My wife and I clicked like you and your husband did early on as well and nothing was one sided, before she was the only one who was working we both worked and we both shared the "housework" after she became the only one the majority fell to me and she was very proud of how much I "helped" out. We fit together like puzzle pieces and now that she is dead there are so many pieces of my broken heart that don't fit together anymore.

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John9:  I use to think of myself as being somewhat positive and strong. Now I don't care if I am or not. If I want to be weak and cry or get into bed and not even move an inch, then that is what I do. I am trying to keep some sort of routine but there are days where I just say the heck with it and get back into bed. You've got it a lot harder because you are taking care of your MIL. But I hope you find time for yourself and to not have to think about all the things you have to do. Even if it's at night after your MIL goes to bed. Take advantage of that time to just do what you want, even if it means lying in bed or just sitting up. When we still had the house there was a time shortly before we had to sell it that I  was very stressed out. I couldn't sleep so I sat outside on our patio and began feeding the critters. I'm sure the neighbors loved me for that (I actually fed skunks and raccoons) but it would take my mind off things and being outdoors on a breezy night helped to relax me. Can't resort to that relaxation technique here though, I'm in an apartment. Nowhere to sit outdoors and they have rules about not feeding critters. And I'm on O2. But if you have somewhere just to sit outdoors at your house, I'd give it a try. Sitting in the dark for me helped. Sometimes I'd be out there to watch the sun rise.     

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tnd,

Sadly I have no desire to sit outside right now as that was our thing and the damn mosquitoes love to eat me. We used to really like seeing all of the deer come out in the evening before they came this year and ate the roses and trees and watch the birds fly over, we had to worry about our chihuahua's and the hawks but we enjoyed watching them. Now I really don't care about it and skunks and raccoons just make more work for me because they cause trouble and messes. Nothing against the suggestion just not for me right now. I didn't even put out the deck furniture this year because there is no one to sit with me and it is a pain in the butt to get out and put away. I go to bed after putting MIL to bed but really as soon as I walk in the bedroom all ALONE I start to cry and relaxing doesn't really work out for me which probably sets me up for no dreams or not remembering them.

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John9:  I am so sorry!  As depressing as it is, going to your room every night and crying IS your routine right now. We hate it but we do it because we cannot help it. The other day I cried all day. Today not so much because I guess my anger took over instead. But if we cry, we will cry. And that is part of our life/routine right now. I was so busy with digging around and trying to find paperwork today and on the phone with robots that it wore me out. I was mad and wore out. I hope to curl up on the bed tonight and cuddle with my cats. I talk to them about stuff, like our impending move to a new home. They just stare at me but at least I have their attention and their eyes are on me. I know you said that your cats/kittens aren't sociable but if they are still very young, that is why. Give them time and keep talking to them anyway. At least they won't give you any back talk or sas back. I had one cat that did that to me all the time, as if he was telling me off. But sooner or later they get it. My cats became way more sociable as they got older. But regardless, if you have the need to just go to your room and cry, then that is what you do. You go. That's your routine. You don't have to like it but knowing it's a routine or looking at it that way kind of helps give myself permission to do what I feel and if I feel like crying, then that's what I am going to do. No guilt, no shame, I don't care. I don't know when all this crying will stop but again, I don't care right now. Except that my eyes are red and raw and eye drops no longer help. 

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tnd,

I know what you say is correct  and I really don't care if I cry because that is where I am right now and I don't NEED to go to the bedroom to cry. I cry in every room and at any time depending on what I am doing or thinking or whatever. I cry when I am outside cutting the grass, I cry going to the store and coming home, I cry in the shower, I just cry. As for the cats as I said before we had cats for the entire 35 years we were together and "these" are different in every way, which is why my wife wanted them. If you want to know what I mean look up Oriental Shorthair cats. My wife wanted them because the are VOCAL and TALK when they want to. It is mostly okay until they wake up at 3am and run around the room/house TALKING. Sadly that is one of the things that hurts so much that she never got to enjoy HER cats. Today is another DREARY start and it's a Saturday too which means that since she died on a Saturday it is now 19 weeks (133 days) and what I said before about weekend is just made worse because of that.

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15 hours ago, tnd said:

Everything I do right now is a chore because I HAVE TO do it.

I kind of feel like this too right now, like my life isn't my own anymore because everything is a "have to" with my sister.  It's a lot of pressure.

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17 hours ago, tnd said:

. No guilt, no shame, I don't care. I don't know when all this crying will stop but again, I don't care right now. Except that my eyes are red and raw and eye drops no longer help. 

I don't feel at all guilty crying at home. I have told my very understanding nephew how my day goes and he said to me. If you weren't crying would that be normal? No, we cared so much, it isn't going to stop so soon.

I have lost most of my eyelashes from crying which is very frustrating.

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LMR,

I "thought" my eyelashes were looking thin, but since I have no one to "check me out" I guess it doesn't matter. I have never cried so much it all of my life, I mean that I have cried more since my wife died than I have in my life up to that point. I agree it isn't going to stop soon and I don't care because I don't have anyone to worry about how they feel about me crying. Nobody here most of the time to see it except MIL and she is in her own "world". I can only guess that because I LOVE(D) her so much I will GRIEVE (cry) so much. I was just shredding more papers and so many were her work papers with her name all over them and it just made me so sad. I should have probably never kept them in the first place because we never needed them.

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19 hours ago, John9 said:

We fit together like puzzle pieces and now that she is dead there are so many pieces of my broken heart that don't fit together anymore.

John9...perfectly said.  I so understand what you're talking about.  That's how I feel about my husband.  We were a perfect fit and now that he's gone I feel like everything is out of whack.  And crying has become second-nature to me.  Sometimes out of the blue and very unpredictable.  And when the crying comes, it comes hard.  There is no easy way to get through this except to go through this. 

My friend told me about her mom who started keeping journals after her husband died and one entry was how much she still missed her husband after ten years.  I'm only two years into this and I don't know if that helped me or hurt.  Honestly, every day to me now is just another day without him.

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MaryB,

I am so sorry any of us have to deal with this and we will all do the best we can do. That said it sucks and the waves of emotions do if fact come out of the blue "for no reason" and we all know there is a reason. I am up to the seventh "notebook" since my wife died (along with these posts) and I DREAD going through this PAIN for as long as your friend's mom. As I said each day is worse than the day before and each Saturday is harder. And her birthday is coming up and .....

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And, and, and, and the reminders never end.  

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MaryB,

I know I am not s "far" as you and others are but to me "EVERYTHING" is a reminder, songs, words, time of day or night, day of the week, smells, noises,etc.

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John9,  at the beginning of my journey, I kept thinking that there was some kind of secret way to deal with grief that made it a little more bearable.  But now I know that the only way to deal with it is to meet it head on, not run away from the pain and feel whatever it is you're feeling.  As awful and uncomfortable and intense as those feelings are.  So I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope that time will soften my reaction to those reminders.  They're everywhere for me too.  Let's hang in there.  Our spouses would have wanted that.

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MaryB,

I am TRYING to do all I can to honor my wife's "wishes" and memory and what I believe she would want, however it doesn't make it easier or less painful to deal with.

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9 hours ago, KayC said:

I kind of feel like this too right now, like my life isn't my own anymore because everything is a "have to" with my sister.  It's a lot of pressure.

KayC:  Since losing my husband I feel like a different person now. I'm not sure who I am. But I'm starting to look at things, to look at life and people differently. Since everything feels like a chore to me right now, I am choosing my chores wisely. If there is something I absolutely have to do, then okay, I do it. But if it could wait another day or even later the same day, then I let it go until then. This includes returning people's phone calls if I don't feel up to it. I may have less control over my life now but suddenly I saw that I do have at least a little control left...all depends on what it is and how I can control it. And no one has to know how we decide what to do/not do. 

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I know, John9.  And you're right,  it does suck.

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6 hours ago, LMR said:

I have lost most of my eyelashes from crying which is very frustrating.

LMR:  I've lost some eyelashes too but don't care. Two of the medications I am on cause hair loss...so I've lost some lashes, eyebrows and wads full of hair every day. I don't care but I know I don't look too great right now. I'm grieving and sick with an illness at the same time so I don't think anyone expects me to look myself. 

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36 minutes ago, John9 said:

I am TRYING to do all I can to honor my wife's "wishes" and memory and what I believe she would want, however it doesn't make it easier or less painful to deal with.

John9:  You are right. I want to honor my husband in some way but I still have to deal with pain. It still feels so unreal to me. I want to shake people that are hurting other people that I see in the news. One person tries to kill another and in the process, they kill an innocent bystander. And so many lives are forever affected. It's gotten to where I skip over those news articles now. I already have enough pain, I hate reading about fools causing other people pain. 

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I only check news headlines and rarely read further. Yes, stupid people causing pain is infuriating. I cannot even watch a drama show where someone is being used or taken advantage of. It just hurts even though I know it isn't real. Everything I read or watch has to have a happy ending. I can usually tell how its going to go and will quickly ditch the 'downers'. I don't need more pain in my thoughts. I find I'm reading lots of stories about animals. They are so loving and trusting, it is just beautiful.

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47 minutes ago, LMR said:

I find I'm reading lots of stories about animals. They are so loving and trusting, it is just beautiful.

LMR: I have a few animal you-tube channels I like. Lately it's been hard for me to focus on them but they do provide for a good mental escape. I am talking a lot more to my cats these days. And they have been more vocal as well. I feel bad for them. My husband paid them a lot of attention and I don't know how he did it but he taught one of our cats how to do a trick. So I try to keep that going. The cat loves it. But really, they offer me so much comfort right now. I've always been able to connect with animals. Even the ones that no one else wanted or could tame. In fact, one of my cats was feral. Took a lot of time and patience but eventually she decided to trust me and let me make her an indoor kitty. She still has a lot of feral in her and not sociable with other people but I "get her" and she seems to "get me". They miss their daddy. 

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tnd,

I agree about the pain caused by others to innocents or actually anyone. It also make me ANGRY that "they" are still alive and our loved ones are dead it just doesn't seem right in any way. My wife and I watched the news to stay up to date but she "hated" the stories where any animals were in "danger" either from nature or people. That had a lot to do with the fact she saw animals at her work and saw up close the pain they suffered. She did enjoy watching "fun" animal clips online and that is how she first discovered "HER" Oriental Shorthair cats and why she wanted and got them finally. My wife had taught the cats to jump from anywhere to her shoulder/chest but I did not continue that because of MIL, I didn't want them to surprise her and knock her down.

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LMR,

Sadly I have found that it is difficult to watch many things that "we" used to watch together or that she liked to watch. I have said before that I was always "fighting" my emotions whenever something was heart wrenching in movies, stories, music, etc. and now I even cry at commercials let alone the sad news and stupid people that in my opinion should not be alive especially since my wife died and yes even before but how is it right for us to have to deal with this and they are "walking" around hurting and killing others. I just don't care or enjoy anything right now nothing that I liked before seems to work for me anymore.

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KayC,

I am "glad" you are able to do what you have been able to do and unfortunately for me I at this stage can only compare things as they were. I may or may not even be able to move beyond that point in the future but as I posted earlier I surely can't and won't "plan" it. I will continue to do the "moment at a time" whatever it may be, minute, hour, day, week. I hope that everyone is able to find the way that "works" for them to process their grief and the journey "through" their life. I am trying my best at this time and that is all I can do.

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Diane R. E.
17 hours ago, MaryB said:

I kept thinking that there was some kind of secret way to deal with grief that made it a little more bearable.  But now I know that the only way to deal with it is to meet it head on, not run away from the pain and feel whatever it is you're feeling.  As awful and uncomfortable and intense as those feelings are.

Mary; you are so right about this. In the beginning I intentionally distracted myself and tried to suppress those feelings as much as possible. Now I realize the importance of letting yourself feel and express the grief we are going through. 

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12 hours ago, KayC said:

But I take solace in the wonderful neighbors I have and Kodie, and find purpose coming here and helping my diabetic site.  We do our best, find good where we can, try not to compare to the past...

KayC:  That is something I know I need to work on. Both my husband and I had been laid off (a couple of times) in the past and kept having to start over. Friends and particularly family could never understand why we were always struggling. And now with the loss of my husband I am having to start again. It's maddening and exhausting. It's like most of my life has been spent dealing with "losses". But I know that sooner or later I need to let go just to be able to put one foot in front of the other. 

It was good of you to be a good parent to your kids and for not letting bitterness or sadness from your own upbringing be your guide. To have risen above that and love your children in a way that you weren't is extraordinary, to say the least.  

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12 hours ago, tnd said:

put one foot in front of the other. 

I don't know of another way.  There was someone named Darrell here years ago and he used to sign "one foot in front of the other."  

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Speaking of realization, I feel sunk realizing that my brother and SIL just do not get it. I understand that they have a life and 2 boys to take care of. I'm sure the last thing they wanted was for me to land on their doorstep. But I feel that just because my life (as I knew it) has now been wiped out shouldn't give others permission to treat me how THEY see fit. I'm not brain dead. I can still feel and what I am feeling right now is intense pain and sorrow. And it's exhausting me. They exhaust me. And I don't feel up to playing Uno or any other lousy card game. But I'm afraid that if I just want to sit alone in my "assigned room" that they will drag me out and lecture me for it and tell me I am going about it all wrong.   

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tnd,

It probably seems like I'm stalking you but, it might help if you can find and print some information about what "they" should be doing. I think that if they see something in writing from "an expert" maybe they will understand it is your grief not theirs and how they should "handle" you. I would hope that if you can get the support you deserve to get that maybe at some point you will want to play Uno , my wife and I loved to play but it isn't really a 2 player game and MIL lost that ability a long time ago. I have said I hope she is playing cards with her Grandpa because we loved doing that when we went to their house for family outings.

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1 minute ago, John9 said:

it might help if you can find and print some information about what "they" should be doing.

John9:  I was thinking the same thing because it's become obvious that I will have to do that for them to understand my illness. Guess this is going to be a two-fer. But they do know that I want to have a sit down with them. They probably aren't use to people doing that but I don't care. My whole life has changed and so have I. The old me would've just sat and taken their lectures because I have in the past but not anymore. I don't think I've got anything to lose by speaking up for myself now. They don't like it, too bad. 

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tnd - I am trying to look at “offers to play Uno” that come up in my life as sincere reaching -out by the people who care for us.  In their own, totally naive way, they are trying to offer comfort and distraction to us.  For example, that could include the 2 boys, who don’t know any ways to help at this point.    IMO, I would actually welcome being included that way at times, rather than the silence of being alone, because most I know just do not know anything to say/do, so they stay away.    I long to be included, and then you can say that’s enough I’m tired now if you need to grieve alone.   I hope this does not offend.  

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AnnRA,

I have to say that I really miss EVERYTHING about my wife, but we played all types of games through our 35 years together, board games, card games, video games and her favorite was Scrabble. And I would like to be able to sit with her again and play.

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1 minute ago, AnnRA said:

 I long to be included, and then you can say that’s enough I’m tired now if you need to grieve alone.   I hope this does not offend.  

AnnRA:  No offense taken. And I certainly get what you are saying. I've been here alone since my husband went into the hospital last December. Aside from a very brief stay here at home back in March, he returned to the hospital and then passed away. But all the months that we could talk, we kept telling each other to "hold on, just another week, just another month". And I held on. I stayed positive and hopeful for his sake. So I've got a lot pent up inside me now and need to let it out. I haven't been able to grieve, at least not in a normal or proper way if there is such a thing. Instead, I have had to rush to apply for Social Security Death benefits, Medicaid, look for new insurance, search for new doctors and arrange what to do with all my furniture and belongings because now I've got to move in with my brother and SIL. Life as I knew it, is gone. So when I finally get to my brothers house and unpack my 2 little suitcases, I think I should be allowed to grieve and in whatever way I want or end up grieving. I don't want to have to worry that I might hurt their feelings if I don't play Uno with them. For the first time, my own feelings are going to come first. I know they don't understand because they haven't had this happen to them but that is why they need to listen to me and right now, they aren't listening. So I told them that I want to have a sit down with them when I get there and I will tell them what I need and why. If they still don't get it, tough.  

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2 minutes ago, John9 said:

her favorite was Scrabble.

John9:  We had the stackable Scrabble game. That's how we'd spend our Saturday nites. Friday nites were spent playing our old favorite music CD's and dancing in the kitchen while snacking. Sometimes we just sat and danced in our chairs at the kitchen table. We weren't exciting people but we had the best time. We could sit out on the patio at nite to watch little lizards catch bugs in the patio lights or see toads come out and sing to compete with each other. We were very "low maintenance". Nothing fancy. 

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2 hours ago, tnd said:

I don't want to have to worry that I might hurt their feelings if I don't play Uno with them. For the first time, my own feelings are going to come first. I know they don't understand because they haven't had this happen to them

AnnRA:  I'm sorry if my earlier post sounded too harsh. I did understand what you meant when you said they probably mean well and are trying to comfort me with their offers to play Uno and cards. And you are right, they probably don't know what to say. That's what makes this all so hard. It's hard to think straight and to communicate even to my family what it is I need or want or don't need or don't want. I feel like I've been swallowed up by some monster and trying to fight my way out. And I'm tired. I am very ill and have so much to do with this move and missing my husband. I just want to lie down and not have to think of anything anymore for a while. I don't want to be cleaning and packing while tears are dripping all around me. I just want to be left to grieve. And when I feel I can start to emerge from it, I want to do it on my own terms. Everything else has been taken from me, I need to at least grieve how I want. Happy, cheerful talk doesn't work for me.  

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tnd,

My wife and I found it was easier for us to play Scrabble on the Ipad and then the company "updated" and removed it. Since "we" became caregivers we tried to make it as easy on everyone especially us. We were just like you primarily "our" lives were about being together and doing "nothing" together. We didn't really care what we were doing just being there with each other. I also feel the same about just wanting to be able to grieve and even though I am not "moving" I fully understand all of it. I just hope that you and your "family" can come up with a plan that works for all. Maybe they are hoping that "games" will allow your brain some relief because sometimes for the briefest moments I am too busy with MIL and all of the other things to be totally sad BUT then it all rushes back. I just this morning "LOST" it in the bathroom and in the shower and it all came rushing in AGAIN. The constant waves of emotions are tearing me apart and draining everything out of me and the lack of restful sleep is SLOWLY dragging me towards my demise because I know that all of this stress and anger and frustration and loneliness  isn't good and I can't stop it. As I have said before just because I know something is or will or should happen doesn't make it easier when it does actually happen.

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5 hours ago, John9 said:

The constant waves of emotions are tearing me apart and draining

John9:  "Waves" is a good way to describe it. One moment my eyes are dry and I try to have an open mind about moving. The next, the tears become Niagara Falls and then  after that, anger decides to show up at the party. You'd think that it would be impossible to experience so many emotions all at once. But no, I go through it every day. Thought I'd be slick and try to kind of plan for it but doesn't always work out that way. I could be getting into bed and feeling relatively okay but then just as I lay my head down on the pillow, the shuddering and shaking begins and out pours the tears. And they may be emotions but it is physically exhausting. I didn't sleep last night, not at all. Finally dozed around 9am for a couple of hours. I hate that but really don't care anymore. I've decided that whatever I am up to doing to get ready for my move then I will do it. If something doesn't get done by the time my brother and SIL get here, oh well...it is what it is. I won't even care if they complain about it. 

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@tnd  I thought the suggestion to print something out was a good one.  Here's some to look at:

Helping another in Grief
Grief Healing: Helping Another in Grief: Suggested Resources
Helping Another in Grief
Tips for Helping The Mourner

Also, the griefhealing.com site has a LOT of articles by Marty, a retired grief counselor who is a friend/mentor of mine.

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tnd,

Sadly, these are my daily "Facts" these days. I only do what I HAVE to do, because I also don't care about the things I used to mostly because what I did revolved around caring for others and My Wife and there is only one I am caring for now and I don't think she really cares one way or the other. I don't like it, I don't want it, I didn't ask for it but it is what I have right now and I do what I have to. How long, I don't know.

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38 minutes ago, KayC said:

I thought the suggestion to print something out was a good one.  Here's some to look at:

Helping another in Grief

KayC:  Thank you. There are some good tips in these. I might print them and then use a hiliter to draw attention to specific areas. They also need to understand my illness better. Right now they sound as if exercise and endurance training will help. Well, that might help but the fact remains, there is no cure. I am learning to live with my limitations and how to do things differently and since I will be living with them, they need to learn more about it themselves. I've been telling them and telling them but I think my words have fallen on deaf ears. So maybe some literature will help them. And I just might have one of them actually go to the doctor with me so they can hear what a doctor says. 

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17 hours ago, tnd said:

And I just might have one of them actually go to the doctor with me so they can hear what a doctor says. 

Sounds like a good idea.

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I was just reviewing some of the posts and I noticed that some things I "said" are missing, is this common?

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8 hours ago, John9 said:

I was just reviewing some of the posts and I noticed that some things I "said" are missing, is this common?

John9:  I don't know if it is common or not. I think there is a thread for technical help on the main page but not sure. I don't think any of my posts have ever disappeared. 

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tnd,

 I may be wrong and it may be on one of the other topics and maybe I edited it and didn't post it but I thought I did, it was just in reference to you going to the new Doctor and someone going with you and the new Doctor explaining your condition to them.

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John9:  I already told them to not be surprised when the first time I see a new doctor that they do a chest Xray and freak out and want to admit into the hospital. Silently, I am almost wanting that because a few days in a hospital will be more like R&R for me (rest, sleep and eat) and it might finally "force" my brother and SIL to understand what I meant when I've been saying that Sarcoidosis is no picnic. 

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tnd,

I hope that if it is what is needed that it will work out for you and not put extra pressure on you. But you probably would be correct that then they would have no choice but to realize you might actually be "sick" and not looking for sympathy or pity.

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John9:  There's a reason why I've got oxygen tubing up my nose. They seem to forget that. My cats have been more understanding than they are. They don't mess with the tubing, it's 50 feet long and they don't touch it. No batting it, no chasing it, no biting or chewing. They must think mommy grew a long tail out her nose.  

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tnd,

I am glad for that because my wife's cats won't leave anything alone because they are troublemakers, maybe when they get older but right now it wouldn't work out.

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12 hours ago, tnd said:

They must think mommy grew a long tail out her nose.

That is my chuckle for the day, I needed it!

I hope they will take you into the hospital if you think it'd help.  Do you have anyone to watch your cats if you're gone?  Although cats are pretty self-sufficient, as long as they have food & water and a litter box, they're good.

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9 hours ago, KayC said:

I hope they will take you into the hospital if you think it'd help.  Do you have anyone to watch your cats if you're gone? 

KayC:  Yes, my brother and SIL would take care of them. That's why I don't want to go to the hospital until after I move. I have no one here to look after them. But they said I could bring them. They have a cat and a dog so know animals. 

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