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My most precious one


Roses

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Roses, I want to welcome you here with open arms, my heart breaks hearing your story, so much loss, so much pain.  My other grief site saved my life over 16 years ago when I lost my husband.  It's adm/owner is a retired grief counselor, and she's an amazing source of information, I've saved so many of her articles over the last six years, I wish I had from the beginning, she avails herself to everyone who comes there, responds to them.  I will give you a link to her website if you ever want to use it.  Not to pull anyone away from here, this place has tons more traffic but the mods have reg. jobs in addition so can't be everywhere. https://www.griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com/
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/p/links-to.html (articles)

I've found purpose in helping fellow grievers with what I've been through and learned, and also diabetics (I'm mod/adm of diabetic groups), I believe in using what we've been through/learned, kind of like John Walsh did (with missing persons).

My husband was barely 51 when he died suddenly/unexpectedly (heart with diabetic complications), he'd done what the doctors said and it resulted in death, his birthday banner still up.  I've since been diagnosed and learned everything they tell us is all wrong, I now have mine under control with diet/exercise/fasting.  I've learned so much in both of these journeys...a lot of us here have but I doubt there's a one of us who wouldn't trade it all to have five more minutes back with them.  Sigh...

Everyone's grief journey is unique, we learn to do what brings us comfort.  In the beginning I didn't see how I could do a week without him, let alone the whole rest of my life, 40 years or more!  I couldn't fathom that, and it brought me great anxiety to think about it.  I've learned to do one day at a time, I do that still, in so doing practicing living in the moment.  I ascribe to the verse "Do not worry about tomorrow for each day has enough trouble of its own."  That's a for sure!  What I've learned in this is that in order to fully appreciate what IS, it's important to embrace life in the moment...day 11 of my journey God placed a refrigerator magnet in my path that has changed my life...pictured here.  I bought it and display it still.  I've led grief support groups and always make everyone one.  It taught me to LOOK for good in my day, nothing too small to count, my big joy (George) is gone, but there are what I call little joys, a phone call from a sister or friend, a puppy's kiss, seeing a butterfly, a stranger letting me merge in traffic (nothing short of a miracle!), paying my bills, making a new friend.  

AJN, you are so right, in the early grief times a whole day can be too much to take on, so I, too, did an hour, sometimes having to break it down to one minute at a time.  ;)  

Anticipatory Grief and Mourning 
Anticipatory Grief and Mourning: Suggested Resources

This is for both of you:

Grief Process

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.

 

Find joy in every day.jpg

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There are counselors at a sliding scale, we got my daughter one there when she needed it desperately, my sisters and I chipped in to pay for it but she was low income so it gave a good rate.

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I am sorry for your loss, Roses and the pain you are enduring. Yours is such a tragic story of loss and sorrow. What you wrote about the leaves was beautiful. Keep writing. Maybe it will help you get through this terrible time. Please continue to share your thoughts and feelings with us here....that's what we do and it helps. The others on here can best relate to our grief and pain. They are wonderful people. So if you can't afford a counselor right now please come on here and let us know how you are doing, good or bad. Keep writing..

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@Roses  I am so very sorry for your losses.  Your story is heart-rending.  You are in my prayers.

I hope you can find a bit of comfort here.   << HUGS >>

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