Loss and Grief: How are you doing?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Jan 16, 2018

When my dad passed away several years ago I lost my keys 4 times in one month, I would wake up at 3 a.m. several days every week feeling startled. Sound familiar? These are reactions to grief. Grief is a very personal experience – everyone grieves differently – even in the same family because the relationship of a father is different than that of a wife or a granddaughter. Unfortunately, often we grieve alone. Sometimes we don’t want to “bother others” with our grief, and sometimes friends and family tell us that we should be over it by now. After all the person we lost was ill for a long time or was very old and “it was their time” or “they are in a better place now.” Sound familiar?

Grieving is often described as the “work of grief.” It does feel like hard work doesn’t it? Grief can be difficult because of the many factors related to the loss. If the loss followed a prolonged, serious illness you undoubtedly did some “anticipatory grief work” prior to the actual death of the loved one. If the loss, however, was sudden, i.e., accident related, suicide, a result of crime, etc. the sense of grief is coupled with shock.

The relationship that you had with the loved one also affects your grief experience, i.e. was your relationship close or had it been strained? Do you feel guilt that you were not closer or do you feel guilty because you don’t feel you did enough to help while your loved one was ill?

Sometimes anger plays a part in the grief process. Did your loved one get poor medical treatment or a wrong and/or late diagnosis? Did your loved one not follow your doctor’s orders with regard to their health (diet, smoking, attention to meds or exercise)? All of these factors contribute to your experience of grief.

Also, some losses are not so evident to others. These would include a miscarriage or a stillborn. Sometimes these losses are not considered as relevant to others as the loss of a person who has lived a longer life. In the case of a miscarriage, others might not even be aware of your loss.

You may think of that person on anniversary dates (their birthday, date of their death) or you might think of them constantly. Unfortunately, sometime people say things that can multiply grief. Have you ever heard someone say, “you should be over this by now?” or “I had a similar experience and I’m OK.” Well, most likely their similar experience was not the same as yours. Thinking you should be over it might compound your grief with feelings of guilt or frustration.

Whether a recent loss, or a loss you experienced a long time ago, let’s talk about it. Whatever your experience, I’d like to hear your stories and together find a way to relocate that loved one so that we can experience peace in our lifetime.

Together let us support each other in our grief journey.

Teresa

@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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I know my story is not unique, but as you know you cant see the light thru all the clouds, seems like my life lately is just full of losses, as yours seems to be. I'm sorry for your losses, and I in no way want to make less of them. As you too are grieving,, sometimes I just feel so empty, and just cant seem to find the joy. Mostly its the loss of my church that seems the hardest to take. Was such a huge part of our lives for so many years, all of our 40 yrs of marriage, now so empty, not there, not place for me to fit in. there is much more to that story,
I was very close to my dad too, and lost him when he was only 47, and I was just a young mother. Then shortly after my grandmother died, who was more of a mother to me then my own mother. But none of those compared to the loss of my husband, as then I had him to help me get thru, now I'm all alone. all my kids live far away, and are busy with there families. I think its the loneliness, that is the hardest for me. And I just cant make myself go anywhere, just easier to stay home then to go out and feel like I'm alone in a crowd. I always go with those who come and say lets go do something, but dont go out on my own. And those outings are few and far in-between
I just want to join my husband, dying of a broken heart. and cant wait. but suicide is not an option. I know that. No reason to want life or to choose it.

Liked by muppey

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@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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Still just wondering what that God given work is, and when will I know???? Really I just want to be useful and needed.
thanks

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@hopeful33250

Hello @kathy4385,

I would also like to welcome you to our Connect community. I am glad that you have posted your feelings of loss and grief. You have expressed what you are feeling quite well and I see that you have insight when you reflect on the fact that caring for the foster children delayed your grief. That can happen very easily when another activity interrupts the grief process.

Please allow yourself to grieve at your own pace. Kanaaz offered some good suggestions for finding people to talk with, therapist, counselor, etc. Also you might look for a grief support group in your area. Aften funeral homes can give you good information about grief support groups nearby.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Remember, we at Connect, are here to support and encourage you.

Teresa

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thanks for the note, The one think I know that has not left me is God, My relationship has gotten much stronger with him since being abandoned, and left alone, God never leaves us, I am confident of that. Been keeping my mind on Him, doing study's on grief, depression, and loneliness. Memorizing a lot of scriptures too. Listen to our churches sermons on Pod Cast. Its just not the same as being there, and just dont feel I belong anymore, cant explain.
I spend a lot of time with my horses, and outside cutting wood or gardening or mowing. but that is summer time stuff. Its the winters I have such a hard time with.
Also miss being able to have foster kids, seems the county doesn't need lonely people like me to take care of kids.
thanks for the visit

Liked by muppey

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@hopeful33250

Hello @kathy4385,

I would also like to welcome you to our Connect community. I am glad that you have posted your feelings of loss and grief. You have expressed what you are feeling quite well and I see that you have insight when you reflect on the fact that caring for the foster children delayed your grief. That can happen very easily when another activity interrupts the grief process.

Please allow yourself to grieve at your own pace. Kanaaz offered some good suggestions for finding people to talk with, therapist, counselor, etc. Also you might look for a grief support group in your area. Aften funeral homes can give you good information about grief support groups nearby.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Remember, we at Connect, are here to support and encourage you.

Teresa

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@munashi I once wrote an article about patience to recount my experiences. I have prayed for patience since I was a teenager and God has definitely answered that prayer and answered it with a resounding YES! Since you are requesting it do not be surprised when irritating things start popping up in your life and you find yourself waiting on other people to do, start, or finish a joint project. Just start watching for them. They will come.

Liked by muppey

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@hopeful33250

Hello @kathy4385,

I would also like to welcome you to our Connect community. I am glad that you have posted your feelings of loss and grief. You have expressed what you are feeling quite well and I see that you have insight when you reflect on the fact that caring for the foster children delayed your grief. That can happen very easily when another activity interrupts the grief process.

Please allow yourself to grieve at your own pace. Kanaaz offered some good suggestions for finding people to talk with, therapist, counselor, etc. Also you might look for a grief support group in your area. Aften funeral homes can give you good information about grief support groups nearby.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Remember, we at Connect, are here to support and encourage you.

Teresa

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2011panc, I don't know that i'd pray for patience again, takes to long! I really did ask for patience way back when I was about 25. You are right about "irritating things start popping up". I'll make it but darn, people think your crazy sometimes. When Mary and her son came up here to get her stuff I was polite and helped load some of the stuff. Kind of irritated me that they left Mary's office a mess with stuff they didn't want. Haven't been back there since. Cost me $40,000 to build it for her but she was really to sick to continue so I told her to quit after about six months, beautiful office, looks better than our cottage. Oh well.

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@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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"I know my story is not unique" We are all unique, there is not another you and no one will really understand your pain. It seems unique to me but other people just go "what's the problem?" Bugged me greatly that Mary just acted like it was cool and rushed to hug me which really bothered me so I turned and said, "I'll be in the house." and left. A lot of Mary's stuff was in the office. A song…"What bothers me most is that it doesn't bother you."
Don't think you're not unique, you are and your pain is.

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@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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@2011panc
Not sure how to answer your post. Maybe it's to soon. What I've done was not be a pest to her. I only called twice to her. Once about three days after she left. I had no idea what was going yet as I had no word from her yet. I asked her what was up and she just started crying and mumbled a lot of stuff and said she was sick and needed help. Be then I'd all ready discovered her deceit and Steve L. (a snake charmer, Mary's words) He was Mary's first husband and the story is really sordid, and they think I'm a sinner. Mary's calls always came with a twist of the dagger and when she did that I'd just say goodbye and hang up. Tough if she doesn't like it but I think it's mean and purposeful. Once she called and asked how my new girlfriends were. That is bs stuff and I told her I was not interested. Bye!

The second call I made because I'd made Mary cry when she came to pick up her stuff with her son, they brought a moving truck and I helped and was polite. Anyway I called about a week later and apologized to her for the grief I caused and for making her cry and etc. Then I hung up because they wouldn't answer the phone. I can be an ass but they were pretty mean to me. Long story.

Not sure I want to put myself in her shoes as I've done a lot of thinking and wondering about that church she joined. It's a cult. I've been there and know what I'm talking about, ten years before I got out of that.

I literally rescued Mary when she got lost and spent a night in the woods. I found her around 8 am on a Saturday morning, I was out for firewood for my cabin.
After we married we had to deal with her son Jon. He was deep into Meth., I'd give him work but I told him he'd have to find his own apartment which he did. Anyway we all worked together and got him into rehab which worked. Now he is a good successful HVAC tech in the school system in Castro Valley, Ca.
I need to bookmark this page and come back here. Guess I'm a bit on the testy side right now to even think of your proposal. I have always hated betrayal and it's going to be hard to understand what you say. Maybe you could help me as I'm new here and not really great on computers.

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@elainesharon

Hi I lost my mum in August due to dementia she was the most precious person in my life I loved her so much I am struggling to come to terms with losing her I wasent there when she died but was staying not far from the home she was in I went to see her and I just cried mummy don’t leave me in December I tried to take my own life and still want to I can’t survive without her even though mum had dementia she still knew who I was the deteriation I saw wasent good she had stopped eating and drinking so couldn’t talk I told her everyday I was there that I loved her I’m missing her so much . My doctor has put me on these tablets but it’s not tablets I want it’s my mum she was 91 when she died (good age) but that doesn’t matter she was my mum (adopted by her when I was 12 but knew her at a nursery in London when I was 3 can’t help the way I feel

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elainesharon,
Hi, very sorry for your loss. I was just going to say that I've always liked things British. I was born and raised in Burlingame, CA, which is just south of San Francisco. I now live in the Sierra Foothills, Murphys, CA. I'm trying to get used to being alone after 22 years with Mary. Guess she just got tired of me. Making myself laugh for some reason. Guess it could be easy to get tired of me.
I was going to support you but I'm talking about myself.
It's been only a few months but are you doing a bit better or to early? Let me know.
My family came over here from England, both my Dad and Mom. Mom's family landed in Jamestown and Dad's landed in Delaware. Been watching British and Scottish bagpipes and drums, love the British marches with the bagpipes and precision and all that stuff.
I lost my brother Steve and because I was the one that noticed he needed some serious help and I drove three hundred miles to get him into the Veterans Hospital, he had a large brain tumor, (doctor in the mountains just told him he was depressed) did that twice. Last time was to take him to his final stop at the Veterans Hospice. He took me outside at my moms house and told me he was going to die in a few weeks and he wanted me to have his jeep and bank account. I still have the jeep and usually thank God and Steve for it when I get in there and drive, don't have anything else since Mary left. Really needed it as I've had to haul water to my home for four years because of drought in CA. Jeep is a 1990 model and going strong and really needed it to haul that water. Company water cost a lot of money. I have a shallow well.
I get carried away because I do.
Maybe it's because I used to write and have been published but nothing big. Have some poetry too. 'Bankers Gleam.' Maybe I should dig that out and start again as I've nothing else to do.
Don't know why I'm laughing but if you don't mind, thanks for being there. I laugh when I go to funny videos but not usually when I'm trying to be serious and hope you have found some peace by now, but everyone is different and that's ok. I looked up "How long should a person mourn". Anyway I think you should mourn for as long as it takes. I still think of my first wife, didn't want that divorce either, so mourn if you need and crying isn't weak, it's normal. Someone, I think Kathy, thought it was being weak, but whoever, I told her I'm a man and I cry and always thought I was strong until this happened.
Take care and get better, your mum will always be with you.
Guess I should hang up now. Drop a note and let us know how it's going there in London.
Mark

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@hopeful33250

Hello @kathy4385,

I would also like to welcome you to our Connect community. I am glad that you have posted your feelings of loss and grief. You have expressed what you are feeling quite well and I see that you have insight when you reflect on the fact that caring for the foster children delayed your grief. That can happen very easily when another activity interrupts the grief process.

Please allow yourself to grieve at your own pace. Kanaaz offered some good suggestions for finding people to talk with, therapist, counselor, etc. Also you might look for a grief support group in your area. Aften funeral homes can give you good information about grief support groups nearby.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Remember, we at Connect, are here to support and encourage you.

Teresa

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Something Mary said and believed. Someone asked her years ago what church she belongs to. Mary said the river is my church where I go to pray.

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@hopeful33250

@muppey

I think that divorce and separation cause confusion of feelings and emotions. It's not just a woman thing – during a friend's divorce – after her husband had moved out and met with a divorce attorney he sent her an anniversary card (it was their 20th) then he called and said he was upset because she hadn't sent him one! Go figure 🙂

Teresa

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I won't call. I figure she left because she's sick of me and I'm not going to put myself in any position where she can say something stupid like she already did. "How are your new girlfriends?" Mary returned to the Mormon church.
It's funny because right out of the Army I had a Mormon girlfriend for a short while. I was to strung for her and she started going away. She didn't just say let's not see each other. Anyway I'd call her and she started making fun of me almost like Mary did. So I figured it out and never called her again. It's funny because Wendy has always sent messages to me and the last one I got was somewhere around Feb 4-5, just after Mary left. I don't pay any attention to those because she was mean and I just walk away.
Not nice to break people's heart in any form. Death is different but when you have to see them or they want to talk to you it's kind of strange to me. I have strong feelings against traitors, I just walk away from them and that's it.

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I can't find who posted about "missing fostering kids". My friend is single she does respite care for kids. There are way to few homes/people willing to do respite care. No you often don't have the kids for a long time, maybe just a weekend are a few weeks, but it is really needed. It sounds like you have a lot of experience with fostering kids. Is this a place where you are able to help. It isn't something I can do, but I help out where I can like collecting back packs for her. Every kid that stays with her goes out with one for their things. I know things feel empty and with out purpose, but there is a reason your here. Mine was to take care of my parents but now they are both gone. I have no idea why I am still here either. I pray in time it will revele its self to me.

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I think it was me you were thinking of, I have done respite care, foster care both long and short term. Love having kids in my life, and believe all kids should get the opportunity to live on a farm, and enjoy animals, and learn to work and care for animals. But it just seem that where I live there isn't a need, as I go many years w/o getting asked to take more kids, I am still open to having kids, but not asked.
I am sure you will find your purpose too, as I know a big part of wanting to live, is to be needed.
Thanks for responding, and being an encourager even in your grieving. God bless

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Your needed, by those animals. I loved reading about how many you have. Thanks for caring for them. The night before my Mom died she suddenly got very concerned about the dog and was he going to be cared for, was he ok. Weird. We didn't know it was her time to go the next morning. I assured her he was fine. I brought him in to day good night to her. God is probably trying to talk to you, but darn aren't we humans hard of hearing when it comes to him.

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@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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@muppey Thank you for responding to my post. I agree that it is probably too soon for you to understand Mary's side of things. Understanding does not mean agreement or approval. Please understand that I am just sharing some of my past in hopes that it may help you in some way.
You did a wonderful thing by rescuing her when she was lost in the woods. Being a curious person, I wonder if that led to an element of savior/survivor in your relationship. You did another wonderful thing by working with her and her son to get him off drugs and into a fulfilling life and lifestyle. Again did this give you an element of "better than" in either your eyes or theirs? That would be normal and not a problem unless any of you tried to use that element to manipulate or control one of the others in the relationship.
Her "church" affiliation is, in my opinion, a big part of your current situation. I understand a little of their beliefs and from my perspective her current actions are completely in line with their teachings. She needs to witness and save everyone she begins a relationship with in a certain amount of time or completely cut off all communications in order to acquire and maintain her place in the lineup for heaven, which has limited space. There are many daily rituals and requirements that I do not know but suspect she was breaking every day that she spent with you. Leaving you physically but keeping a line of communication open to save your soul would be sanctioned by her church. In her church's eyes and in her eyes you are a "sinner" or "undesirable" person needing salvation. Do you see how this additionally confuses the situation because you literally DID save her but her church is telling her that she needs to save you.
As far as where you are in this process, I think you are right where you need to be. I see you as deeply hurt, lost in feelings, resentful, and searching. That is very appropriate for you at this point. I do not think you will stay in this situation forever, but no one really knows how long that will be. It will be don when it is done.
I understand the feeling of betrayal. I felt like, "after all I have done for you, THIS is what I get back"? That is what I hear in your posts, which, again, is completely appropriate. Bottom line, I wanted. I wanted things. I wanted people. I wanted friendships. I wanted family (had to make a family life for my children). I wanted acceptance. I wanted esteem. I wanted honor. I wanted to feel honorable. I wanted so much and that wanting is what pulled me beyond an into making my life what I could accept and enjoy. I know you will get there. I also know that the time until you do get there will be taxing and difficult.
Maybe it will help you to remember that God won't necessarily give us what we want; but he always makes sure we have what we need. Bless you as you begin another new life.

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@hopeful33250

@muppey

I think that divorce and separation cause confusion of feelings and emotions. It's not just a woman thing – during a friend's divorce – after her husband had moved out and met with a divorce attorney he sent her an anniversary card (it was their 20th) then he called and said he was upset because she hadn't sent him one! Go figure 🙂

Teresa

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@muppey

Mark,

I met my wife in Atwater, California. I grew up in New York, from Brockport to Canandaigua to Jamestown. After I graduated from Jamestown high school, I went to Bible College and earned a BA in music and Bible. While I was in college, my father resigned from his position as pastor of a church and began to pastor a church in Atwater, California. My wife's family attended that church, and after I graduated from Bible College, and she graduated from Cal Berkeley, we were married.

I lived my whole life behind a mask. I always felt that if people knew what went on behind the masks, they wouldn't be saying such good things about me. I was a great pianist, but since I retired, I stopped practicing, and by now, when I play for worship at church, I know that I've had to simplify my playing because I don't have the technical skill to play as well as I used to. I want to practice, but with depression, I just walk past the piano and sit in my recliner.

As I said yesterday, I lost the message I wrote, so I'll try to summarize what I wrote in a separate post. I have to stop right now to call the doctor, and I'm afraid that I'll lose what I've written when I make a phone call. I'm sure it's possible to pause in my writing, but with my somewhat limited knowledge of the workings of my new phone, I don't know how to pause and return. So, I'll stop and write more later. Warning – I tend to get started writing and just keep going on.

Jim

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