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Mark01

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Mark, I am so so sorry for your loss and esp. the way it occurred.  She is so beautiful, and as you said, inside and out, it's a shame she helped everyone but the one who needed it most, herself.  It leaves a huge gaping hole in the middle of our hearts when we lose them, and very hard to wrap our heads around how they can be here, vibrant and full of life, and then just no more.  There is no making sense of the nonsensical.

It's been 16+O years since I lost my husband, he'd just had his 51st birthday, I never saw it coming.  I didn't see how I could do one week without him!  Now I've been alone 16 years.  I don't know how I survived except learning to take one day at a time.

You will figure out all of the details about $, business, etc. little by little.  Right now you do well to get up, dressed, remember to eat something and drinking something, and breathe.  That is a lot for now.  I;'m glad she was well remembered at her service.  It's of comfort to know how other's felt, it's a validation of who we knew them to be.  No one will grieve the same way as you,  not even our kids who love them so much, the relationship is uniquely yours and you will do this journey in your own way.  It takes time to figure things out, process your grief, this is a journey with a beginning but not an end, although it evolves.

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

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 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • 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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Mark, I know this hurts indescribably, but I also want you to know you're going to make it through this, esp. as you can't see that right now...early grief brings brain fog and we feel overwhelmed, shocked, don't know where to start, how can we not!  

Others will be along to greet you shortly...

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Mark01:  I am sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through. Yours is a very tragic loss. It's hard to know what to say. I almost had to end things myself because I felt I had no other choices. Or rather, I thought I had run out of choices. I was facing homelessness after my husband passed and since I am on oxygen 24/7 (rare lung disease) I knew I wouldn't survive on the street, which was suggested to me because the shelters are full and my own brother abandoned me . So I was going to remove my O2 and just peacefully pass in my own bed, leaving a note for whoever found me apologizing and explaining things. 

I am 57 too and literally 2 days before I was going to "enact my own plan" I prayed for a miracle. And no joke, by 8:03 the next morning, I got one. A family that really didn't know me moved me in with them until I am approved for Widows Benefits. I suggest (if you don't know already) that you call the Social Security Admin and arrange for a phone interview to apply. I applied 3 mos ago and still waiting so I wouldn't delay this. Next, if you have someone that can help you with paperwork then tell them what you need. Be direct. Make a file and keep it handy. I have had to take care of a lot of things without the benefit of having access to my computer or a phone when I need/want to. It has all been so hard and frustrating but I am doing it. Be prepared to feel tired and uninterested in anything. It's to be expected and it's normal for what we are going through. Don't deny yourself your own feelings. Go easy on yourself. You can probably help your daughter by just being honest and direct with the pain you are feeling and the anxiety. I'd let her know you are in it together but that you have your pain too. 

Lastly, you will make good friends here but you have to be proactive. Let things out. You don't have to go into details if you don't want to but please speak up if you need to vent or talk or cry. We are all going through this terrible journey of grief. We help each other, that's what we do. We can help you too if you want. 

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Thank you tnd. I am sorry for your loss and I am glad you are still here. Thank you for the kind words and suggestions. 
The one question I have is your SS suggestion. I read on their site that I can’t file for hers until 60 years of age. I do not have a dependent child. I have a dependent adult, she's 23. I’m only 57. So my hopes for that benefit is as put off for a few more years, unless you know more then I. I’d appreciate your comments. 

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3 minutes ago, Mark01 said:

The one question I have is your SS suggestion. I read on their site that I can’t file for hers until 60 years of age. I do not have a dependent child. I have a dependent adult, she's 23. I’m only 57.

Mark01:   Unless 60 and older, we don't qualify for what they call "Survivors Benefits". The general public doesn't know this, including myself. I just assumed I'd qualify. Didn't know about the age requirement. However, when I DO turn 60, I can apply for the Survivors Benefits because it will be slightly more. I was told to apply at least 2 mos before my 60th birthday. And then when I am old enough, I can withdraw on my own SS or continue the Survivors Benefits, whichever pays the higher of the two. Meanwhile, I am waiting to be approved for Widows Benefits. That is for people who are 50 and older with a disability or disable (or maybe) dependent child. 

Since you have a dependent child and are only 57, you might qualify for "Widows Benefits". And especially if you have any sort of disability. Regardless, please call them.  SSA  1-800-772-1213. They will want you to mail them your original Marriage Certificate and they will mail it back to you. I was nervous about doing that but they did mail it back to me quite quickly. Also, you can claim your automatic $255 "Lump Sum" payment (everyone qualifies for that). I know that's not much but it's yours to claim.   

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Mark01, 

I am so very sorry for your loss. Your wife sounds like a wonderful person. It is hard to imagine the pain she must have been in to leave you and your daughters. I am sure she did not intend to cause the pain you three are now in. 

We have all arrived at this forum under different circumstances, but we share the pain of having our lives shattered. Our present and our future. It is incomprehensible. How can we still exist when our heart and soul have been ripped away? Friends and family often do not have a clue what this is like for you. Sadly, we get it. Our lives have been shattered too. 

Come here to vent or share or just read the posts of others.  There is some comfort in seeing you are not alone in what you are feeling, that you are not losing your mind. Some times you may feel you are coping pretty well, and then you are overcome by a wave of grief that drowns you. We have all been hanging by a thread at times. 

Your grief will not stay this intensely painful forever. It will evolve into something manageable, but it takes time. For now, just focus on getting through today. That is challenge enough. Cling to your daughters. You need each other. 

I am so sorry you have reason to join us on a grief journey none of us wants to take, but welcome. 

Gail

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19 hours ago, Mark01 said:

I have a dependent adult, she's 23.

It is sure worth a try.  Have you tried your soc. sec. office yet?  I'd call first to see if they can do it over the phone or if you need to come in and what, if any, documentation you need.

Grief Support for Survivors of Suicide Loss
Spouse's Suicide
Surviving A Spouse's Death by Suicide

 

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foreverhis
On 9/22/2021 at 12:17 PM, Mark01 said:

I have a dependent adult, she's 23.

If your daughter was disabled before age 22, she will qualify for survivors benefits on her mother's work record.  I don't know what proof is required regarding dependent adult children who are disabled, but your local office can tell you or perhaps there is more information online.

I'm so very sorry that you have lost the love of your life and are dealing with all this on top of that.

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