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Hopefull

My husband passed away

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Dear Hopefull

I wish I could offer some words of comfort, maybe a hug or two or three....you've been through alot, yet always stayed true to yourself through it all.

God bless you now and always, and know that you have friends you haven't even met yet.

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Dear Hopfull, am so sorry to hear about yor loss. I'm glad you have friends with you. You and your family and your friends are in my prayers. love tcat

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I had nightmares early this morning. I dreamt that George drove up in his truck and parked in front of our apartment building. I was so excited to see him- I ran up to greet him but it was only a dummy in his seat. I started yelling, where’s George, where’s George, and then I thought to call him on his cell phone and then realized that I had both my cell and his in my pocketbook.

I became hysterical because I was not with his body and kept screaming in my head, where is he, I need to be with his body.

Then the heavens opened up and the clouds started forming fast in billows. A giant swarthy man appeared from the clouds and I knew he was akin to the devil and he reached out into the chest of a man standing nearby and plucked out his heart. I was hiding, and I could either confront him and use the Word to make him retreat- or keep hiding and lose the power of the Word the longer I hid. He looked over at me and then my alarm went off and I woke in a shivering sweat…

How does anyone get through this???

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Hopeful, ,we just do, one moment and then the next moment, and the next. There is no map or rulebook or certain way to do it; but the best part is that you are doing yours, and you have to.

Your dreams are very normal as you process George being gone from the place where he was; next to you, available to you, there.

When Bob died I had those kinds of dreams for about a year or so, but again, it's unique in the length as well. And interestingly I didn't have them until after I left twi, so that was helpful in that I was able to talk about them and process things and feel free to do so.

Another way you get through this is by being absolutely certain you take care of you. You eat as well as you can, even if it's just small meals and even if all you can manage one day is one meal; don't do without, ever. You drink alot of water, not because every med book says to but because it keeps your system hydrated and that in turn helps you think better, clearer, on the good days. If you get sick you don't have the same energy to fight it and it's just more to think about and take on. Eat and drink and sleep.

Take time to think about George and go over the memories, even the bad ones, assimilate your thoughts of him and you. I understand that you do think of him often, and don't feel at all guiltly when that gets a little bit less over time. Again, it's differant for everyone. Bob has been gone now for eight years and sometimes I go all day and don't think of him. That made me nuts at first until I realized it's ok.

The edges in your life are very very sharp right now and you are having to find your way in a world that doesn't look or smell or sound or feel the same. You'll adapt and the edges will soften.

None of this is to say that you'll "heal" as the word goes. You will, in whatever way it's necessary for you and you'll find your new normal.

Do things that you enjoy. It doesn't matter what it is; reading, hot baths, mindless tv, going out with friends. At some point you may want to spend time with other widows and widowers and talk about your spouses. Hospice offers free grief counseling, whether or not you used their services. We used their counseling services for about a year. I realized it was over when I had no more to contribute in the conversations and that it was good; I had beat it all to the point that I needed not to do so.

Surround yourself with people who will let you talk about your husband. Tell stories, laugh about things he did or said, share memories that are both good and bad.

Don't be afraid of the dreams, they really are normal and good although that's hard to believe. Your mind has to process that and you miss him!!! It's natural for our brains to need time to work through all that.

The way you'll get through this is by doing exactly what you are doing, never letting anyone tell you there is some special way to grieve and mourne, keep breathing in and out every minute, even when you don't think you've got the strength for the next one or don't care if you do. Do it.

Don't put a time limit on this stuff, let it happen as it happens. If you try to stop it, you'll just have to deal with that part at some other point. Get the rough parts over and look forward to the better.

Another thing I did was things that Bob liked to do. I watched shows he liked, I listened to music he liked, went to job construction sites to watch them work, thinking of the buildings and homes he'd built.

I found ways to release anger and frustration too. I chose music that I knew would cause me tears, I watched movies that would offer that release as well. I pounded on a pillow when I was angry with him for leaving us, I wrote letters to 'him' that eventually grew to be three notebooks. It was journaling, but a way to get my thoughts to him out there somehow.

None of that may appeal to you, find something, even one thing, that does. I can't believe it's been eight years since he died; amazing. Other times it seems about eight days. We still have rough moments, even now, but those pass too and we are still left with the best, the funniest, the most wonderful memories of a really terrific man.

When I offered that you could call me no matter the time, I meant it. We can talk, or just be silent. And if I never hear from you that's ok too.

This is unique to you and you have to do it. You can do it.

Edited by Shellon Fockler-North

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hopeful;

when my dad died 5 years ago my mom was gonezo

they were married for 60 years and still walked hand in hand where ever they went

the were devoted to each other

they never spent a night apart except when one was in the hospital

she had nightmares at first but her comfort for this was to sleep with one of dads sweaters or sweat shirts

this seemed to comfort her and the bad dreams went away

hope this might help

my prayers are still with you and always

dennis

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Don't be embarrassed if you find yourself doing something stupid. I did something really silly out of the other side of my brain shortly after my mom died.

She died in March. Mother's day that year, on my way home from school on a Tuesday of the preceding week, I stopped at my favorite florist to send her flowers as I always did. Now I knew she was gone. I planned her funeral. I selected someone to gift her special motorized scooter with. Nevertheless, I stopped in the florist, picked out what I wanted, sent it, paid for it with my credit card, got in the car and drove to the supermarket to shop for supper.

Shopping done, I headed home, unloaded the car and started putting stuff away. I stuck the meat in to marinate a while and then I realized what I did. I called the florist and canceled the order and by the time the call was over I was in tears. I raced upstairs and collapsed in tears on my bed. After I cried myself out I took a bath and then spent the rest of the evening by myself just thinking about things (my family was wonderful about that). But it took me a while to realize how both sides of my "brain"could work parallel to each other at the same time.

Over the years of their retirement, I had established a routine about holidays, as we all do. And when I realized it was the Tuesday before Mother's Day, part of my brain kicked into that routine, and even though I was fully aware she was gone...that side just continued to operate. Don't be upset if something like that should happen to you - it's part of the process. It may not happen to you, everybody's grief is intensely painful sometimes, but everybody's healing is very different.

If it helps, come back here from time to time. We cannot all understand your grief, but some of us can relate to it well, and everyone will help support you. I think of you often, and every thought is a prayer. Please allow me to help if I can.

Posted with loving hugs....krys

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Shellon, you have hit it all right on the nose. There is no way you would know all that unless you had been through it yourself- the world is a different place, to me- bereft of the one who was my best friend, always on my side, loved me unconditionally, lived all the day to day trivia and personal intimacies that no one else will ever know.

I can hardly want to live in a world where George isn’t. There is hardly a moment when I am not thinking of him, missing him. He was a quiet man but he had a lot of presence and I miss talking to him, I miss the security, I miss the bond, I miss looking at him and feeling the familiarity and trust of him. It has been almost a month and I keep forgetting that he is not here anymore.

Sometimes I feel so well adjusted and reasonably happy that it makes me wonder if I loved him as much as I know I do when those waves of grief drown me.

What I do know is that God and/or Jesus and/or his angels have been working overtime to comfort me and support me through other people and events that have come to my aid. I know it is especially important to try to push myself to live as normally as possible so that the natural grieving process does not become full blown depression. And if there was ever a time to focus on the spiritual that time is now. For example, I have made a commitment to meet someone at her church this Sunday morning for the service.

Shell, your post was amazing, you really do understand, thank-you for the time and effort you put into that.

Coolchef, I have been wearing his wedding band on a chain around my neck- because he told me to hold on to it before the surgery- and his watch and I sleep in his bathrobe sometimes. I hope your mom is doing better.

Krys, I forget he is gone so many times a day and want to call him with some news. I would not be surprised to find myself looking for a valentines day card for him in 3 months- your story is bittersweet and I sure do understand. Thanks for your prayers.

Shell- how did you get through holidays and birthdays and valentine's day and whatnot- without your Bob-

The counselor at the hospital tells me I will never be the same person I was. At least there is a chance I will be better. I will be in her group in Feb.

Yesterday was a terrible day. Today is much better. Tomorrow is as of yet unknown.

Bye for now.

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"Shell- how did you get through holidays and birthdays and valentine's day and whatnot- without your Bob- "

First times are always difficult. What was really rough for me in the beginning were things that were important to him. He died a week before fathers day and that was really really tough on his eldest daughter, who was 15 at the time. I bought them both gifts and we celebrated. That started a new tradition in our family of celebrating that holiday by celebrating them, who made him a daddy.

He enjoyed Christmas and although I never really did, I missed his excitement the first one without him. His birthday was tough, we didn't know what to do with ourselves.

Our wedding anniversary was very difficult and very wierd. October 27 the first year I went to a movie and dinner alone, as we'd done together. It was my own private goodbye to him I think now. Our kids still ackowledge the date, altho it's not as painful for me as it once one.

The first year was the toughest, maybe, because of so many firsts. The unknown of how I might react, behave, what others might feel. what I was 'supposed' to do and feel. Once the day passed and I realized we were ok, the next one got a little easier.

Our daughter sweet 16 party was surreal without the man who should have had her first dance with her.

Making decisions without him got easier, although when it comes to our children, I would some days give a lot for his input.

Our daughters graduation from high school and especially the birth of her first child, his first grandchild last april was HELL in my heart and I was so very angry with him all over again; blaming him for missing such an incredible moment in her life, how dare he? ;) OUr youngest daughter going to school, losing her first tooth. So much of my pain re: Bob is because of the "dad" things he should have enjoyed.

You will adjust to these first in your life as well. The important thing is that you do them in a way that feels good to you and you alone.

Sleeping in George's bathrobe is a great thing as you can smell him and feel him and gain comfort in all of that.

Maybe for valentines day you would consider doing what you and he usually did. Did you go out for dinner? Call a friend and go, or go yourself if you are ok with that. Buy yourself a gift that you think he would have liked you to have.

Your new normals will finally fit in your life somewhere, even if it seems they won't now.

Your friend is absolutely right, you are not nor will you be the same person, so you'll have to find a way to live this new life richly, happily eventually. When YOU and you alone are ready. When your body and senses and heart has made the adjustments necessary for survival in this new place.

Everything you are feeling is (I hate this word) normal, really. The body does amazing things to adjust to a loss. It sounds to me like you are doing that.

I stress doing things that are comforting, offer you joy, make you smile and things that make you cry. Get into the grief and feel it, as well as the anger and loss.

Today is today, keep breathing in and out. Tomorrow will come and you will do whatever it gives you too.

I love you

Edited by Shellon Fockler-North

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Hopeful..you are in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

Reading some of these posts, waves of my divorce grief have swept over me. In alot of ways, it some of the same feelings...even the other day I felt lost for a moment missing and pining for hanging around playing our guitars...it was weird...and altho it has been over 20 years since my divorce, I go through that emptiness too.

I'm glad you're going to church on Sunday, Hope...I hope that helps renew your being....

:) (((((smoochies)))))

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Hopeful.....

My heart goes out to you. I lost my mom about a year and a half ago. I had taken care of her for the last three years of her life when she was suffering from dimentia. It was like taking care a baby, role reversal. I was devestated when she died although at 87 one has lived a full life.

"I ran away from home" to another city and threw myself into a job and just "hid" I guess would be a good way to put it. When I thought of her the pain was sharp and hurtful and I would cry so much. As the months went by as someone said above, the sharp edges got softer and now when I think of her, I chuckle sometimes at things she said or did, and remember her with such fondness and less sadness. That deep wound has healed quite a bit. I believe it was Shellon who talked about the music. I made a tape of all of my favorite romantic and sad songs and played it whenever I wanted. It brought the emotions out and I know mentally wise I am healthier that the grieving got out. A time to mourn is really important. And when that time is over you will know. And don't let anyone else tell you when that time should be.

I know the relationship of spouses is different than parent/child, but the unconditional love is no different and the loss of someone you love that much is not that different. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and most important, your husband lives on in your heart and memories.

Love, fog

Edited by outofdafog

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Krys,

I know this was not the reaction you intended, but I have a big smile on my face from your story. I'm not laughing at the fact that you were hurt, but isn't that something we all do? I did things like that on a smaller scale. Just a few days ago I was going to buy a birthday card for my stepfather (Halloween), even though he passed away late last year.

I'm sorry for your tears, but your story is just priceless and beautiful. :)

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Oh Raf,

Yours is exactly the reaction I was hoping to evoke. Not all grief is intensely painful in the same way.

Of course, on that particular Tuesday evening I felt so stupid, and I wished a hole would open up in the florist shop and swallowed me in it from embarrassment. But the truth is what it is, and your comment on it sets it in place for everybody reading here.

I laugh at it now, and realize I was just doing my little routines as I always did. But this is also part of those "firsts" that go along with losing loved ones. Don't let yourself get all down on yourself if something like that happens. It's normal. And, in fact, I step back now and think that things like that come out of a long standing deep loving relationship. After the tears, don't feel "stupid". Instead think of how blessed you both were to have enjoyed such a relationship as long as it existed. It's a wonderful thing that many folks today don't take time to establish in their lives.

k

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