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What now?
Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2015 3:51 PM
Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1259

I'm new to this, my husband died 4 days ago. The last month has been a blur. He became ill about 4 weeks ago. Hospice came in, he deteriorated. He stopped eating and drinking, fell into a coma and stopped breathing. I've done the ministers, funeral home, caterer, which is also a blur. Bob has 7 children and they're all here (they get along very well together and with me), but they're nearly killing me with kindness. I really haven't been alone for 3 weeks until today for a few hours. It felt good. But I'm wondering what will happen when the funeral is over, 3 of them go home and the other 4 go back to work. I haven't really processed that Bob is gone. Can you give me some advice what the next months will be? Thanks so much.
Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2015 9:19 PM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164

I am so very sorry that you have lost your dear Bob. We all grieve in different ways and no one is the same. You will probably like being alone for a while. It seems that we kind of cocoon and insulate ourselves from the outside. Then, it takes a long while to realize they are really gone, and even longer (for me anyway) to have it sink in that they will never be back.
It has been nearly a year since I lost my Donald, and it is better, but it will never be gone. After being with someone for 45 1/2 years, they are a part of you. Let family help you, and take it one day at a time. Allow yourself the grief, it is the price of love. I wish you the best. Leanne

Mrs. Braxton
Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2015 10:50 PM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 929

Bjjca I am very sorry for your loss. It is so very difficult for each of us. Then weeks they are dying is a blur. It happens so fast you can barely keep up with the decline.
Our Hospice here has 13 months of grief concealing. She gave me a book on grief, and I have really liked it.
Its been 2 months for me and I get little done, I wonder around and dont want to really do anything. I have not moved much of his things. Some clothes I sent to the VA Veterans. A few items went to his children. I had already given some momentos to them over the last year.
When the funeral is over, everyone needs to get on with living. The widow or widower goes home alone......... My girlfriends have been very supportive. I can call several of them and say the same thing over and over again. I miss him and I want him back.
I talk to Swanson as if he is here. I know he is fine, I know where he is and I know I will see him again. I am 61, so I could have 10 to 20 before that happens to be with him again.
I dont want him back ill, of course not, I just want to see his face and hold his hand.
after a month I did start going to yoga again, I am doing my life slowly, I am taking my year to grieve. I cry when I feel like it and I lay down when I want too.
I can't imagine someday it will be a year, or even that it is 2 months. Dont know how I have lived through it.
I do out for lunch with my friends or they bring lunch here if I am not up to it. I am not depressed, just sad and in shock that he is really gone.
I have read some near death experiences, some stories on grief. and now this Hospice book.
ask about a book, that tells you so much on what to expect.
Now the heighten state of stress and worry are over, so who are we now ? what do we do with all that time now. How did we use to live before being a caregiver.
Its a lot and we take one day at a time.
Keep posting on this site and I will read and respond. I am processing. I feel lonely tonight, though I felt lonely lots of nights because DH could not talk or follow a conversation. but I could snuggle with him.
Many hugs and good thoughts coming your way.

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2015 11:14 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


I have not lost a spouse to this disease. I lost both of my parents to this disease and I know that the grief and loss of a spouse is very different from the loss of a parent. Although, the process of grieving takes its course for all losses.

During the busy time of preparation for the funeral and all of the people who are around, it keeps you preoccupied so that you don't have much to process what's happened. It is a blur.

When the services and funeral are over with, everyone goes back to their life. I felt most alone at that time. Sometimes people will expect you to move on with your life, as well. Don't expect this of yourself, it will take a long time to adjust to the loss, do not let anyone try and rush you through the grief. Grief actually acts as a buffer and it allows you time to process the loss, to feel all of the emotions and it has no timeframe. People will try and be well-meaning, but it's not them, they are not feeling what you are feeling.

What struck me most was the almost deafening silence, when I walked into my parents' home after my father passed away. My mom passed away before my father. But when my dad passed away, the silence was very hard to take.

There is a good book called on Grief and Grieving written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. I read it and felt like she wrote it for me, she describes all kinds of loss, loss of friends, parents, children, spouse. It helped me to feel everything I felt was normal and to be expected and that there is no timeframe.

I think it is also very helpful to talk to a grief counselor, because we feel so much, it becomes overwhelming and talking to someone objective is very helpful.

Most family and friends will try and be helpful, but as I said, everyone goes back to their life, and we sometimes feel left behind and stuck.

Please be patient and kind with yourself. The grief will never go way, the intensity may soften in time and we learn to make room for the grief in our heart along with all the good and the love we felt from this person. I came to think of grief as my friend, it didn't expect anything from me, it allowed me to be quiet, to cry, to feel everything I felt.

I am very sorry for the loss of your husband. I wish you peace in your heart.

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2015 10:24 PM
Joined: 10/6/2012
Posts: 924

Hi, there.
In a few days, it will be six months since Dickson passed away. Sometimes, I think that I'm actually feeling worse than when he first died. I'm not crying everyday. Gosh, it's really hard to describe how I'm feeling. That there is a heaviness? I'm definitely feeling anxious because I find myself clenching my teeth a lot. I've been going for meditation every week, and I do feel that it helps. Like Angela, I find myself talking to my husband. Last night, I was thinking about the side of the bed where he always slept and stroked that area, talking to him some more. Leanne hit the nail on the head when she said that they are always a part of us. Last week was our 38th wedding anniversary so there's many memories. Just a smell of the grass or a certain song brings back memories. It's a roller coaster.
Hugs, Debra.

Mrs. Braxton
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2015 11:06 PM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 929

KML wrote:


Please be patient and kind with yourself. The grief will never go way, the intensity may soften in time and we learn to make room for the grief in our heart along with all the good and the love we felt from this person. I came to think of grief as my friend, it didn't expect anything from me, it allowed me to be quiet, to cry, to feel everything I felt.

yes I just tried this quoting thing. after 2 yrs. haha

I like this whole concept. the intensity softens, grief is a friend. I need to ponder this. I like it. thank you KML.

I am struggling as are most of us. I just want him back, I miss him and its so darn hard.


Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 5:27 AM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 1267


I'm glad you came to this board. So many of us have lost our DH this past year......I lost my Mike in October. What can you expect??

I think the first few months will be dealing with all the stuff of changing things. I got one of those black and white composition books and wrote down everything I did, dates, and names of people I talked to. I just knew my brain was not clear and my memories would fade, so this would keep me straight (as much as that is possible).

I had been going to exercise class before Mike passed away. As soon as I could, I went back to that. It kept me in a routine and gave me comfort. I found that there were other "single" ladies there that would include me in going to the movies, getting together for lunch, etc.

I found that I HATED the word WIDOW. I certainly didn't feel like one!

I had been doing a little volunteering. I added our local art center as a place to volunteer and that has been great. I cannot even draw stick figures or really don't know much of anything about art, but they needed my help so that was good. A real problem I have is answering the question, "what is my purpose??" My purpose seemed to be looking after my, what is my purpose?

I think each of us grieves in our own way. I think I appear strong on the outside. But I cry almost every night. I am amazed that I can stay alone ( not really alone...I have two cats) in this house and not be afraid. Maybe that's because Mike was here but not here for some time....????? I have heard that you should not make any major decisions ( moving, selling the house, etc for a year. That makes sense to me.

I really liked that book On Grief and Grieving. It validates everything we feel.

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 10:13 AM
Joined: 12/3/2013
Posts: 306

I'm going on 8 months, my hubby had been in an Alzheimer's/memory care home, 10 months previous, so it seems I've had awhile to work thru this, the book by Kuber/Ross plus other readings helps. There just isn't any one way to get thru this, just be, do the best you can. Sadness triggers happen, accept it, and then let go. (Easier said than done). I think a lot depends on age, I'm 75' and want else is going on in your life....I pray for peace and joy to enter all our hearts..Roxy
Sea Field
Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 10:35 AM
Joined: 8/5/2012
Posts: 1872

Bjjca, It's been a little over a week now for you. How are you doing?

For me, the first couple of weeks were a blur. And then a more up and down pattern emerged. There were days where I felt I was doing okay. Then, without warning, all that would collapse and I would weep, hibernate in my house, ... Eventually there emerged a pattern that has worked well for me up to this point. I interact with others in social activities for a couple of days, then retreat/hibernate in my house for a couple of days. This seems to help me keep my balance. I have time to engage others and explore my interests followed by time to heal within and acknowledge my inner pain and sorrow.

One thing I found is Belleruth Naparsteks CD 'A meditation to Ease Grief'. Her voice is very soothing. The CD has a track for guided imagery and another track for affirmations. The CD is reaffirming, considerate and honest about the myriad of feelings we have during this time. If you are at all inclined to listen to something like this, I would recommend it.

Well, hope you are hanging in there as well as can be. When you can, please let us know how you are doing. Sending loving thoughts your way.


Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 5:29 PM
Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1259

Thank you so much for your insights and recommendations. I will buy the book and CD. It's been about 4 weeks since Bob started his slide and then his death a week ago. We had the memorial service yesterday. We have 7 children so they all came, along with spouses, children, and some grandchildren. We had 24 to feed, so went to restaurants and took the private rooms. Seventeen adults cleaned out our garage--Bob had become something of a pack rat--we filled a huge dumpster. Now things are over and I'm finally settling down. I thought his death would be a relief for me, and I'm glad he's free. But I just feel empty inside, and tears just come. I plan to start picking my granddaughters up from school, taking them home, helping with their homework, and feeding them dinner. It will be good for the girls, a joy for me and helpful to their parents. I'll be going to the gym everyday and have lunch plans with several friends. The grief seems to come out of nowhere, like a punch in the stomach. I really like this board so we can discuss our feelings. Thank you all.
Mrs. Braxton
Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 11:05 PM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 929

Sea Field & Bjjca
I wanted to comment on you listening to BellRuth, I LOVE her CD's. My life has been better with her in it.
I love Ease Grief. I have many of her CD's. Someone at Yoga told me to get the one
Successful Surgery when I was going to have Open Heart Surgery and I also got Ease the Pain.
I went thru open heart surgery so easily, never had a pain pill other than Ibuprofen once I left the hospital after only 2 1/2 days. Some of the staff came to see me and asked me how I did this. I had very little medication in the hospital. They had never seen anything like it.

This has been my routine also Bjjca, I cry a lot it comes in waves. I like to be at home and make myself go out once a day. I go to yoga and tai chi now. I also help with my nephew and nieces and that is a nice diversion for me.
I have wonderful friends and I do go to lunch or they bring lunch over too.
I dont really feel this sense of relief that I am glad its over. I am glad he is no longer a lost person here. For sure I am glad of that.
I miss his, his essence, everything about him. We have a long way to go through our process and its best to do it as it comes to us.
love and hugs,

Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2015 6:35 PM
Joined: 1/23/2012
Posts: 781

Hi ,Seafield& Bjjca,

I just understand that it hurts so bad , it has been nearly 2 month for me now.I would like to know when it gets better. I am good alot of the time , and then wamm I start crying like out of the blue . I guess all of us just have a lot of things to work through. You just can't keep crying for the rest of your life,I feel people that have worked through thi s and have moved on need to keep posting.I am afraid they might think some of us would judge them and maybe that is why they stop posting..

All you 8st out there that have moved on please let us heare from you.

love to all Surfergirl

Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 1:24 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4120

Mom left this earthly world and me 6/7/15 an I think I'm coming out of the blur---she was cremated but I have not yet laid her to rest with my father which is 500 miles away- I did not think I should drive alone with my intense sobbing and grief and confusion...and I am dreading

I could only listen to her funeral song- no ther music- meatloaf sent me to tears with all the places we ate an crying continues most intense at night when its time to rest my weary head-

Just bout everything still makes me sad or sends me to tears....she was my life...

Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 5:27 AM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 1267


I lost my DH almost 11 months ago. I still find that something that reminds me of him with set off my crying. Each of us grieves in our own way. There isn't a timeline. For me the pain doesn't go away, it just lessens. I find that keeping busy and keeping to a routine helps me. I go to exercise class 5 days a week. I still have not gotten rid of all his clothes. Sometimes I can go through a few of his things and then I have to stop. I find things he has written and that sends me into tears. I have a good friend who is single and she tries to "drag" me along to things with her friends.. ...we go to movies and she got me involved in volunteering. We go to cooking class once a week.

Hope this helps.


Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 11:18 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

I think it only appears that people have moved on. We never know what anyone is going through, really. I think we don't move on, we eventually make adjustments, make room for the loss and hold it in our hearts like everything else we have going on. Right now, it's a new component to our lives, we live with it, we feel it, we hurt, we cry then little by little we kind of get adjusted to it and it settles in our hearts. That is not to say that the intensity will not flare up again, it most definitely will. How could it not. These people were a huge part of our lives, they always will be. We will always miss them, a void will be left. But we will continue on, we will make adjustments.

We can't compare ourselves to anyone else, we can't say we must not be doing this right because that person over there seems to be handling their loss pretty well. We don't live in their skin and we don't know really how anything is for anyone else. Everyone's feelings, experiences are unique to them alone.

How we grieve is right for us. Triggers...they are all over the place. So many experiences with our loved ones, decades of experiences, there are going to be reminders all over the place, all of the time. We expect this to happen, we accept that it will happen, and it's something we have to go through. Again, eventually we adjust. Patience and acceptance of our feelings and realizing what we feel is valid, is okay.

For a long time, I would cry in Target stores. I associated Target with my mom and shopping for her supplies. I would sob at Target, sometimes still 15 years later, I do. It depends on what is happening at that time for me, in my life, that moment missing my mom. If I hear a Tony Bennett song, I'll cry, it reminds me of times with my dad. In time, things even out. Will we stop feeling or missing them, no. It just softens after a lot of time. Yes, we can keep crying the rest of our lives, we may not cry everyday like in the beginning, but we'll cry, we'll smile, we'll keep going because we have to, we are still alive and if there's one thing we've learned from this experience, the one thing our loved ones would say to us, is that life is fleeting and it is precious, enjoy what you can while you have it. Of course, you will be sad and lost and feel torn apart. But remember, you are still here and you are standing, be kind and be patient with yourselves and in honor of your loved ones, live a life the best ways you can. You will still be holding them in your heart, they will remain with you and one day, everyone will be back together. Until that time, try to do the best you can for yourselves.

Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2015 10:09 AM
Joined: 2/20/2014
Posts: 294

bela wrote:
"Mom left this earthly world and me 6/7/15 an I think I'm coming out of the blur---she was cremated but I have not yet laid her to rest with my father which is 500 miles away- I did not think I should drive alone with my intense sobbing and grief and confusion...and I am dreading

I could only listen to her funeral song- no ther music- meatloaf sent me to tears with all the places we ate an crying continues most intense at night when its time to rest my weary head-

Just bout everything still makes me sad or sends me to tears....she was my life..."

Bela, the last line hits home!