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I went to a funeral
Mulelady
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2015 10:52 AM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164


On wednesday, I went to a funeral for an aged aunt. She was old and in a NH and life was not good any longer. It should have been a celebration of her long life and not a terribly sad time.
It was so hard. As I sat through the funeral all I could think of was my own loss. I was worse than Don's memorial service was right after his death six months ago. I guess then I was in shock.
I thought it would pass as soon as the service was over, but it has drug me into such a hole. I'm digging as fast as I can, but it is just getting deeper. I know I have to stop digging, just haven't managed to find a way.
Leanne

KML
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2015 12:49 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


Leanne:

I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. Six months is not a very long time at all to have the grieving end. In fact, the grieving never stops, it will soften in time, lots and lots of time, but there will also be something throughout that will bring it back like another wave hitting. But in between those times, it will soften somewhat and you'll find things that will spark light and joy. You will. It's the human spirit that carries us through.

I always think it is a good idea to speak with a grief counselor. I did when my father passed away. I had so many thoughts and feelings and emotions that I could not untangle by myself. The counselor helped guide me through, she was more objective about things than I could ever have been for myself. It helped me a great deal. I'm not over it, we'll never be over it, but it is possible to live with it and make room for it in our hearts. Our hearts have a bigger capacity than what we think.

I would say your loss is still so very recent. Six months compared to the years you had with your husband, those six months don't match up to the time you had with him. It will take a lot of time and there is no timetable. It's the same one step at a time, one day at a time, the same as the journey of Alzheimer's was.

I also found it helpful to read about the grieving process. I thought grieving had to be done a certain way, I didn't understand the process. By reading, I learned it's very individual, there is no right or wrong way, there is no timeframe. The book I read was called On Grief and Grieving, by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It helped me to feel normal in my feelings and to read other people's accounts of their experiences, made me feel what I felt was really normal. Don't expect so much of yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself.

It's good that you come here to post, I think more will reply to you, you're not alone.

My father's cousin passed away recently, and I got soaked in grief again thinking about him and my dad and the loss of these two special people. There will be times and places and things that bring them back to the forefront of our minds and that will ebb in and out.

Eventually, it eases and we can think of them with not so much hurt, we can think of things we were grateful for in having them in our life and we can be happy thinking about them. It takes lots of time, we adjust, we continue, we do our best.

If you can find a grief support group for spouses/partners, if you can find an individual grief counselor, that will be helpful to you. I wish you the best and peace.


Mulelady
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2015 7:47 PM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164


KML, Thank you. Leanne
Lorita
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2015 11:36 AM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 12802


Hi Leanne,

I typed a reply on my tablet, touched a wrong place and it disappeared, so I'll try on the laptop.

I'm sorry you had such a hard time at the funeral. It brought back all the memories you had been trying to work through. I think I've mentioned when we had the funeral of one of my parents a very good friend came. She had just recently lost her husband and it was just too much for her. Everything was still too fresh.

You're four months ahead of me in the grieving process that will never be over. I imagine/hope it will get better with time - couldn't get much worse. I think when we have the funeral we are in shock, as you said. God does that so we can make it through. Then, we have the long time to try to recover.

The book KML mentioned is very good. I'm in the process of reading it now. Some days I can read some, other days I can't. There are the five stages of grief but it says many of us who have been caregivers have already gone through those five steps but will probably do so again.

Some days I just don't want to do anything - and I don't except for feeding the animals. I imagine it's the same with you - you have the animals you have to get up and feed and care for. Without them, I'd be completely alone. I don't have close relatives nearby - not many of them anywhere. My cousins aren't well and we've never really visited anyway. I have a couple of friends whom I could call on if I need to - but I try not to. The friends I made while I worked are not closeby either - so it's just me and the animals.

When we're with someone as long as you were with Don and I with Charles, they become part of us and when they're gone, there's this huge emptiness that was them. I don't think anything can ever fill that void - it may get smaller but never will be gone. I imagine everything we do will remind us of them and the times we did those things together. I'm grateful for the years I had with Ray but wish there had been many more. Sometimes it makes me think maybe it's better to never have been married, then we wouldn't feel the loss. But, we've never have felt the love and togetherness either.

I guess there's nothing to do but to try to live each day without them. Perhaps it will get easier. I can see how someone who had been married and lost their husband or wife might want to get married again - I don't though. One of our neighbors lost his wife a few years ago and remarried within a few months. I know it was because of loneliness and the emptiness he felt. I can understand that and I guess it's all right for some people - but no one could ever replace Charles and I know they couldn't replace Don for you.

We'll make it through, Leanne, there's no other choice. You have your family and friends and I have my sister and nieces and cousins and some friends. And, we always have each other and the good friends we have on our forum.

We just have to do it day by day and hour by hour. Just as we did when we were caregivers except there's no one to care for now except ourselves - and our animal

I hope today is better for you.


Mulelady
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2015 8:28 PM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164


Thank you, It has taken several days, but I am better again.
As you say, a three legged stool. A careful balancing act. Maybe after a while, we won't be so dependent on that missing leg. Leanne

Bubbily
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 10:32 PM
Joined: 7/29/2013
Posts: 473


Mulelady,
So sorry. I will share that I lost my dad 5 years ago, 6 months after I lost my best friend of 25 years.
I avoided funerals at all costs for a time. Even now, 5 years later, I still avoid going to them except for the closest. It doesn't help that mom is getting close to her time with ad.
I went to a funeral 2 weeks ago for a friends mom, it through me for a loop for a couple of days, and I didn't even know her, just knew my friend.
These events just bring out emotions in me , it's like opening a sore that has a scab, and I have to go through the healing all over again.
Be easy on yourself, attending brought out the pain and sorrow you feel for your LO.
Take care

catlady
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 4:41 AM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 1267


This weekend will be the 6 month point of losing my husband. I feel I am worse off than just after he died. I know that God gave me the strength to get through that.....that part was easy compared to now. We had been married for 43 years. I just didn't struggle with Hospice, his death, made it through his funeral at his hometown and the celebration of life here. Everyone thought I was so strong. I think I was then...but now I am not feeling so strong. I cry at some point every day. We didn't have any children and no family lives close to us. I really don't want to burden anyone with how I feel....It will just pull them down. Sometimes I think about will I get married again. It's different losing your LO when you are young and still have lots of your life ahead of you. At 66, not so much. How could I ever find someone who would "measure up" to what we had? Am is silly to even think about will I ever marry again. Am I going to be alone for the rest of my life?

I'm going to get that book On Grief and Dying.. maybe that will help me through this.


KML
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 12:00 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


catlady:

I'm glad you are going to get the book. It is helpful. Grief counseling, too. Don't be hesitant to speak with someone about your thoughts and grief, that is important to do and you can't keep your feelings all to yourself, it's too much to expect of yourself. If you have trusted friends, family you feel comfortable with, that's good. Seeing a grief counselor, I think is very helpful because they are an objective person, it's their job to listen and to guide. Sometimes we feel we might overburden a friend, but with a grief counselor, we don't have that feeling and they are trained in this area. Six months is not a long time, the grieving goes on for awhile, you'll find your way. I wish you the best. The thing about coming here, too, is good and as you can see, you are among others who have lost a spouse, and the people here get what you are feeling, that's the important part, not feeling alone in this.


Mulelady
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 9:53 PM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164


Catlady,
I believe we lost our DH's about the same time. I think that I am a lot like you. Some days I seem okay and others not so much. I do think to a point it is worse now, because it is really sinking in that they are gone and won't be back. You (and I) think about whether or not we might remarry, not because we want someone else, but because we want what we had. I really believe, that we think we should be moving on faster than we are, and not giving ourselves the time and patience needed to grieve our loses. I can't imagine getting involved with someone else, but I also can't imagine the rest of my life alone. I guess we just have to keep plugging along. I do think that a grief counselor is a good thing if you don't have someone you can talk to that really understands what you are going through. I have seen one twice, and my son is seeing one every other week. His 14 year old daughter committed suicide in Nov. I think I have done a little better, just because I have had to help him with our mutual grief.
I hope knowing that you are not alone in your feelings helps you. Come here and let it out, there is always someone to listen. And we care. Leanne

KML
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:00 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


Leanne:

I am so sorry for your and your son's loss of his child. Blessings to you both for the very hard losses you both have had to bear. I hope you both can draw from each other's strength and support.


Mulelady
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1:51 PM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164


KML, Again, thankyou. Leanne
Lorita
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:05 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 12802


Hi catlady,

I just read your post. I think you and I are pretty much alike in that we don't have children and no one closeby to talk with. But, we have each other, and all the other wonderful people here.

I agree with you - I think I was stronger right after Ray passed away and during the funeral and for a week or so afterward. I think we were in shock - God's way of helping us deal with it. Now, all of the things we had to do is mostly over and we have - nothing but the grief and the loneliness. I, too, cry almost every day. Occasionally I'll miss most of the day and then something triggers it - doesn't take much. Reading your post just now was the trigger for today - knowing that someone else is feeling exactly how I'm feeling.

I was able to talk to my cousin a little bit yesterday - she lost her husband ten years ago and is still not over it. I guess you never truly get over losing someone you've lived with and been a part of for so many years.

I don't want to live by myself from now on but I don't want to get married again either - so what's the alternative?

Do get the book at your library and read it. I'm about 2/3rds finished. Read a chapter or two just a while ago. It talks about the five stages of grief and tells many stories of how people have dealt with their grief. I guess everyone deals with it differently.

I'm tending to not do anything more than is necessary but I do know I need to get outside more and do more work and get my mind off how I feel - I'm having aches and pains that I shouldn't have but that they say you do have after a loss such as this.

I don't live anywhere close to a place where I could volunteer - I won't/can't go back to the VA Medical Center where I lost Ray. Until that time it was almost like a second home since I'd spent so many years there - literally growing up working there.

This is long but just one more thing. The night I lost Ray I had come home that afternoon to feed the animals and after I had changed clothes and was leaving the bedroom I took off the chux and padding where he had been sleeping when they took him to the hospital. I don't know why I did that - maybe a premonition? I also took a flashlight with me - I had never done that before - another premonition?

He passed away at 10:30 and I got home about 1:30 or 2 a.m. Our electricity was off and the whole farm was dark - no security lights, no lights in the house - nothing. Not even heat. I'd turned the propane off because they were working on the generator that day. How in the world I managed to drive the 25 miles home in the middle of the night, come into a dark and cold house and find candles and light the stove, I'll never know. I couldn't do it now. I know it was God helping me do what was necessary. Then, the dealing by myself with making arrangements the next day and then having to be at the cemetery before daylight the day of the services. I know I couldn't do that now - but God and Ray were both with me.

I also went by myself to make daddy's funeral arrangements. Mother wasn't able to go and my sister and niece went back to OKC. When I got home mother said she was sorry she hadn't been able to go to help and I told her I wasn't by myself - daddy was with me. She said she understood.

I know I'll never get over missing Ray. I feel like he's still here with me. I touch his pillow every night and tell him goodnight and touch it and tell him good morning every day when I wake up. I hate waking up alone more than anything.

There are so many of us dealing with the same thing right now, catlady - we're not alone. I've been thinking about grief counseling, too, but I don't think I could talk to anyone right now - maybe later - or on the phone with a counselor.


Cheznut
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 4:46 AM
Joined: 12/3/2013
Posts: 306


Mule lady, cat lady, Lorita, kml, it's 2am, it'll be 3 months for me on April 13th, which also is my great grandsons first birthday. I had been apart from Don since I put him in the MC/alz facility on march 20, 2014, so you'd think I'd be thru a lot of grieving. I don't know what I feel, guess sorrow and tears just come up. I finally got thru the SS for benefits, so I guess "each day, now, is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm 75, have no clue what joy and happiness is out there, certainly not marrying, I give thanks for the almost 20 years we had, cant expect to find or even look for a companion. I can't seem to get interested in anything, I know I need something to occupy my time. I moved us here, to be close to my son and his wife, but I try not to bug them too much. My dau, grandson and family live back in Mich., so distance separates us. You don't feel like talking about sad feelings with kids and friends, as I notice they sort of "shy" away at times, so I try to have a positive attitude,, but alone, it's hard. This is a good place. At least , here, we know we are not crazy, and it just takes time.....
dayn2nite
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 8:55 AM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


Please let me encourage you all---it will get better. It really will. It may take another year--yes, a year--but I think the first year is awful. It's full of "firsts" and those are very hard to get through. Please hang on and keep talking here. It helps.
catlady
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 2:49 PM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 1267


Thanks to everyone for the reply.

I got the book On Grief and Grieving today. I'll start reading it and see how it goes.

I really thought that with Alzheimer's I had already grieved because I had lost the man I married. No so. I am grieving all over again. Leanne, I do think we share lots of the same feelings. I don't really want to be alone the rest of my life. I'm only 66 (seems pretty young to me!) and while I can't see myself alone for the rest of my life, I can't see getting involved with anyone else. I guess I'm pushing wanting to know the future too much.

I fear that if I really tell his family how I feel, they'll just pity me and worry....they have enough on their plates right now and they don't need me to add on their burdens. So, I tell them I'm fine.

I tried to go on a vacation by myself a couple of months ago and for the most part I was miserable. I was lonely and didn't want to be a third wheel for anyone. I guess I just don't travel alone well. I did prove to myself that I could do it and make my way alone...but I was ready to come home after the 3rd day!

Volunteering seems to the thing that saves me from being in that dark hole. When I am helping someone else, I am not thinking about me. It lifts my soul and makes me smile.

I'm "knitting" scarves to sell at a craft show. Any and all the money will go to the Alzheimer's Association. That keeps me busy and I feel like I am giving some meaning to his death. I feel like I want to do something positive on his birthday/ our anniversary/ the anniversary of his death. Can't think of anything definite right now except that our area's annual Alz. Walk is right around the time Mike died. I just don't want to wallow in tears and sadness. Has anyone else thought of anything to do on those "special dates?"

It is so good to be able to come here and bare my soul to others who do understand and are going though the same things that I am.


KML
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2015 11:52 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


Cheznut:

I am sorry for the loss of your husband. There is no amount of time that is enough to grieve. I didn't lose a spouse. I lost both of my parents to this disease and I understand how very different the feelings are in losing a spouse/partner.

If you can find a grief support group that you can meet with or an individual grief counselor, I find it very helpful to talk to someone without feeling like I'm overburdening a person. Family and friends may be helpful, too, but sometimes we don't want to share what we feel because we think we'll bring them down. That's what a grief counselor does, they listen, they guide you through your feelings. I found it to be helpful to me. My mom died almost 15 years ago, my dad will be three years this May. I still grieve. It comes and it softens and it comes again. It takes time learning to live with it and living a different way.

I'm glad you are coming here, there are people here who understand because they are feeling the same things, their losses are very recent, too. I do feel in time, we all find our way and we do find joy, again, there's almost a new appreciation for the joys we will find. Take care.


Cheznut
Posted: Friday, April 3, 2015 6:34 AM
Joined: 12/3/2013
Posts: 306


KLM, thank you..Roxy.