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

@muppey

Lisalucier suggested I post this here. I was a bit confused by what happened yesterday. I also found lots of email stuck in my spam folder so dug all those out just an hour ago. Anyway…
Hi lisalucier, I'm trying to figure something out and not sure who to ask, or tell. Everyone seems great here. Just wondering why I'm feeling so good at the moment and am wondering if it's one of those come and go things. Can't get better suddenly? I did talk with a young lady who's been ghosted recently. Known her a long time and she told me to call and that she would drop by and bring her little son and we could talk. Just confused. OK?
We're long time friends and I've mentioned her before. I feel bad for her being dumped like that and now she has to raise little Bodin by herself. Beautiful kid and he shook my hand at the grocery store and smiled at me. I like kids. First time in a month I had a conversation with a live person. Nothing against here, you guys have helped me a lot.

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@muppey Sorry to hear that!

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@kdawn32

@muppey I think "things" or trinkets, for some people, are used to say what that person can not put into words. However if the person on the receiving end doesn't communicate that way it is meaningless for them. So it all gets lost. The giver gets upset and the receiver is confused. So you might think about this the next time some one gives you something. Thank them for thinking of you. Say something like "is there a special meaning". A lot of us do tend to put to much attachment into "Things".

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@muppey Thank you. Yah, I don't do fake well. I've been thinking that my ex-husband could probably accuse me of betrayal because I left him, however it was not planned. I was running in fear and disgust when I left. I've been betrayed several times through my lifetime, but the one that hurt the most was with my ex-husband. Looking back on it I have to say that they started while we were still dating. He is a chronic liar and seemed to get some kind of kick out of spilling my secrets at the most inopportune times. Contrarily, most of what he told me I found out later to be untrue. No matter, I kept the secrets he asked me to keep unless they were secrets that should not be kept. Something he said during the divorce proceedings sums up our relationship very well, though I know he didn't mean it to. He said that it was my wedding, my marriage, my children, and my divorce. He disavowed any participation or responsibility — that was probably the most honest thing he said and did. I left after it became clear that he had checked out of the marriage except for legally. There is a great deal of other information, and if you feel the need for it I will share, but in a private message.
It's a nasty thing for Mary to have tried to block your planned retirement plans. Hopefully you can contact them and reestablish communications if that is what you desire. It baffles me that she would enter into retirement planning at the same time she is setting up her exit from your marriage.
What a wonderful thing for you to reach out to service people and old friends. They and your sense of humor will help get you through. If you are like me (and I suspect most people are) some days will be bad while others are good. You will know you are moving in the right direction when there are more good days than bad. I have a great deal of baggage, but over the last 30+ years (since I met my current husband) there have been many more good days than bad and I am grateful every day.
Most of my current baggage relates to my health issues and in that regard there are way too many bad days, but they pass.
Blessings.

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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

Maybe there are copies of some of the documents. It's hard to understand the inner workings of some people's brains.

I've been having a hard time with "moving forward", as my therapist told me. I know it's what I need to do. It can take a lot of time and effort to do that.

Jim

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@kdawn32

@muppey I think "things" or trinkets, for some people, are used to say what that person can not put into words. However if the person on the receiving end doesn't communicate that way it is meaningless for them. So it all gets lost. The giver gets upset and the receiver is confused. So you might think about this the next time some one gives you something. Thank them for thinking of you. Say something like "is there a special meaning". A lot of us do tend to put to much attachment into "Things".

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Sorry about those health issues. I'm thankful for my good health, if I could find work I'd be better off. Maybe resurrect my Home Inspection service except now but I'm not supposed to drive or climb roofs. Ok one health fault, seizure's, where I go unconscious for how long? No one's told me that, and never thought to ask except I was able to guess on the last one, 5-6 hours.

Lying is another one, how long has he been lying to your, what's true today and what's a lie tomorrow? I really don't know how long wifey was lying to me but I could always check the phone bills but that would only depress me. Saw the last one and that was enough, usually just paid and mailed it off and stuck it in the file.

Hard to live with knowing that you're x husband would be so rude as to tell people your secrets. What the heck is that? "Honey, I'm telling you this in strict confidence and I trust you." Bad thing to do to you, and it really hurts that people can do that to some one they are supposed to love and "cherish". I like that word but who knows about that anymore?

I'm doing pretty good yesterday and today. (Sheesh, I've heard two loud explosions today and that was the second one, not lightning.) I can only put it to the little conversation I had with my friend Mezi. Her husband ghosted her in January but I only talked to her in the store parking lot for about and hour after that and then just the other day for about 5 minutes in the store.

Can you help me with this one. I've known Mezi since she was a little girl and it's been boarding her horse here, her and Joe would do work for me and I'd save bottles and cans and they'd pick them up every month or so. About 18 years now I think.
What I'm getting at is she told me to call her and she let me know that her son goes to bed around 7 and has nothing to do after that. I'm hesitating on calling her because I'm me. I would like to know how she's doing but I always hesitate and I often am wrong in my thinking about people. Guess that's why I always end up alone, used to it now, but I still like people. Just don't cross me else you aren't a friend of mine… Appreciate from a female mind. I'd call the guy friend but I can't believe he dropped a gossip bomb on me. Why'd he do that?

I understand about the private talk stuff also. Something in the army really pissed me off but it's one of those things that's as crappy as gossip and people spread damn lies about you. Walking away time….Confused the idiots but they didn't have to lie about me. But I wouldn't post that out in the open because it was mean and to stupid to broadcast. Only shared that with Mary and no one else.

I only talked about that helping people thing because it won't go beyond this site. I know lots of people do the same so I'm no different it's being human. I don't keep track but I know what I do and then forget it. I'm pretty handy so it doesn't seem like a big deal. If I dared share something like what I wrote with my stepson he'd say "Where do you come up with this BS." Up yours Jon, I've had a life and I've done stuff.

I'm also a Boy Scout, sneaked in a year early and no one said anything, just wanted to go adventuring, and we did, a lot with Scout Master Mr. Ratto, great guy. Skipper Kunz was our Sea Scout…Skipper. He was a Flying Tiger over China in WWll also. Great guys.

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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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@jimhd, I sure hope you can get some relief from your pain. I can't stand this stuff. The first or second week after her leaving, my brother came by and wanted me to go to work. I said, "Mike if I could get rid of this today I'd do it, but it's in your head and doesn't want to leave." No one can tell you it will be alright if you just do this or that, there's no light switch and it's impossible to fake it. Just have to do your own therapy I guess. I sit and think and I'm not willing that anyone can take my mind and bend it out of shape. I'm getting up and going to do alright. Might not trust people as I like to do but I'll be all right. That's how I'm dealing with all this betrayal and it's not only Mary, it's friends and like so many people here have been saying, it hurts a lot they treat you like that.
Jim it's people who do this and they shouldn't be able to control you like this. Do they pay rent for the brain space? Just give them their walking papers. Sounds easy on paper but that's what I'm doing. I can now read an article in the news and comprehend it and she doesn't keep popping into my mind. She's gone and she's going away out of my mind. I know she'll always be there like your loved ones, but she is at the end of the line now, and I'm sure you can do something like that. I'll do like panc did and said she'd pray for me. Wow!

You know what I think about therapists. They're great for sitting there and once in a while mine would type a comment or point down. My first time around Paula and I agreed to marriage counseling. One day as we were talking he fell asleep. Must have been awful boring. Big money too. LOL.
However it's good to have someone who is willing to listen to you. Best part of my PTSD thing with the VA was in the group setting. The therapist forced me to talk and then took what I said and asked the group if anyone had the same experience. About 15 people raised their hands and I was surprised. It had to do with arming ourselves, after this particular experience, after we left the army. They all packed and carried knives in their boots, a mixture, but the idea was we were never gonna let that happen again, sneak attacks usually against a lone person unless they out numbered you by a good margin.

Anyway the retirement files and letters are all gone and we'd been on the list for more than a year. Takes a while. I've got a brochure but I'll have to rethink it because the other places aren't in the mountains and I don't want to go to the city. Just me!
Take care Jim.
Mark

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@muppey

Lisalucier suggested I post this here. I was a bit confused by what happened yesterday. I also found lots of email stuck in my spam folder so dug all those out just an hour ago. Anyway…
Hi lisalucier, I'm trying to figure something out and not sure who to ask, or tell. Everyone seems great here. Just wondering why I'm feeling so good at the moment and am wondering if it's one of those come and go things. Can't get better suddenly? I did talk with a young lady who's been ghosted recently. Known her a long time and she told me to call and that she would drop by and bring her little son and we could talk. Just confused. OK?
We're long time friends and I've mentioned her before. I feel bad for her being dumped like that and now she has to raise little Bodin by herself. Beautiful kid and he shook my hand at the grocery store and smiled at me. I like kids. First time in a month I had a conversation with a live person. Nothing against here, you guys have helped me a lot.

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The only way to never have heartaches and losses is to never feel or love. Was just watching a TV preacher who said that as social beings, we will either associate with others or feel very empty. I won't do any preaching about how anyone would arrive at this conclusion, but I think I would agree. That being said, I am sorry that you seem to be getting piled on right now. Apparently you have the ability to show empathy and people appreciate that or you would have likely never spent an four on the phone with her. Good for you!

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@muppey

Lisalucier suggested I post this here. I was a bit confused by what happened yesterday. I also found lots of email stuck in my spam folder so dug all those out just an hour ago. Anyway…
Hi lisalucier, I'm trying to figure something out and not sure who to ask, or tell. Everyone seems great here. Just wondering why I'm feeling so good at the moment and am wondering if it's one of those come and go things. Can't get better suddenly? I did talk with a young lady who's been ghosted recently. Known her a long time and she told me to call and that she would drop by and bring her little son and we could talk. Just confused. OK?
We're long time friends and I've mentioned her before. I feel bad for her being dumped like that and now she has to raise little Bodin by herself. Beautiful kid and he shook my hand at the grocery store and smiled at me. I like kids. First time in a month I had a conversation with a live person. Nothing against here, you guys have helped me a lot.

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I'll listen to teaching but not good on 'preaching at you'. Think you know what I'm saying.
I know I must be doing something wrong that irritates people but no one will say, I've asked, and I get no response, so I wonder. It's ok, been there and will manage.
All the people here who are hurting and lonely and express what's going on and all that helps me a lot. Never thought I was the Lone Ranger in this regard.
Some people know how to deal with people and some don't. Would be a weird world if we were all the same. But a friendly world wouldn't be weird.
Funny you should use the word "empathy". I looked up the antonym for empathy a few weeks ago only to find out it was the obvious antipathy. Then there are several more words and another is sociopath. Hmm. Wonder who that could be? Hard people to deal with. That song, "Smiling Faces" comes to mind. They could care less whether they cause great harm or little harm as long as they get their way. They are always long term if need be and you won't know it. Takes experience, unfortunately. He won! We'll see.

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I'm not sure if I come off as hard nosed to the people here but I'm not really that way, or don't want to be. People say, just forget it! I have a short memory on some things but long term memory on other things. Sometimes I read on this site where people are grieving over the loss of their loved ones and I understand that, not easy to get used to an empty place in your heart, let alone they are not present to love and comfort you.
Perhaps this will be a good subject to bring up with my VA chick. Who knows, maybe she can clue me in on some things. Maybe if I listen to the people here I can get a clue as I've mentioned a few times.
Just talked to my son on the phone and did pretty good with assuring him that I'm doing much better thanks to you people here. We didn't talk about my situation except I did say, "Whatever she did to me.", and left it at that followed with the fact that I got stuff done today, a little repair on the washer, and some running around.
Thanks

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@IndianaScott

I think, especially in these types of conversations, it's important for us to remember we are each unique. In that each of us are individuals complete with our own differing needs, points of view, beliefs, and personal situations which influence our views of life, perceptions, and our beliefs.

One is not correct just as another is not incorrect. Our views and lives are like art … some folks love Picasso while others love Monet. One is not good art while one bad. There are just different views and we each have our own tastes in art.

Likewise we each grieve in our own way and for our own personalized reasons. As I have continued in my own journey with grief I've come to more fully realize, now more than ever before, how individualized grief is.

Just my two cents, plain.

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@jimhd I'm glad you mentioned grief over loss of a job. It is not something talked about often. I think it is very much like the grief we feel when some one dies. Any thing that is such a part of your life, that is part of your identity that is suddenly taken from you forever leads to grief. Fortunately you'll find a new normal for yourself and things will improve. However the stress (even if you where able to take retirement) is still going to impact you for a while. I was listening last night to a show where the doctor said stress can lead to memory issues and other problems. Great just what we all need when we are grieving and stressed! Hang in there. I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head with your post.
Kim

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@badboys1965 Just read your post. Latter today I go to my Mom's funeral. It sounds like I have some similar issues as you do with siblings. It is hard to let go even when you want to do so, even when the sibling seems to always hurt you. I thought I was past caring. Last night I tried to make amends with one, but that got shot down. On top of that I got a 30 minute lecture on being a better Christian by forgiving. The person preaching to me jumped to a lot of conclusions. I am blessed that I have at least one non-judgmental brother we have each others back and a niece who also knows how to set others opinions aside. Plus some truly amazing friends. I with the same for you. So glad your husband is supportive. Bless you both and your kitty-cat too.~Kim

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@kdawn32

Hi Kim,

My condolences to you on your mother's passing. The loss of a parent can sometimes bring out the worst in families (especially if it is the death of the last living parent).

I do hope that all goes reasonably well at your mom's funeral. Will you post again? I would love to hear from you.

Teresa

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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Thank You Teresa. She was the last one. My Dad died 16 months ago. Mom had dementia for 15 years. Ironically it was the week she passed that 15 years ago she was diagnosed. I had posted under caregivers a lot this past year. That group was so very helpful. Unfortunately it isn't the death of Mom bringing out worst it is kind of SOP. My hoping for something else was my optimism coming out. I'm learning to just let things be, but it can be difficult. Yes I will post again. ~Kim

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@kdawn32, Sorry for your loss, Mom's are special.
Mom's funeral was the only thing that got me back to the SF Peninsula in the last 20 years.
I understand the forgiving thing but people think we are magic when it comes to forgiving. It's easy to forgive a casual mishap but not so easy in other situations. That's why I said, "I'll work on forgiving you."
Bet most of us don't want to be mad at anyone forever but things take time. I've made comments such as "I won't be doing that again.", but I do. I've also said that I don't write things in stone, that takes even longer. A heart of stone or of flesh?
Take care!
Mark

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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, Hi again. Still going over what you say. Never to old to learn.
My little friend came over this morning at around 8 and she left just a bit ago. For some stupid reason when I meant to say Mary the name Paula came out and I said, "Where is Paula coming from?" Mezi said that I'd mentioned her before. Paula is my first wife. Never really wanted a second but what you gonna do?
I'm all right just a little foggy still. Mezi's husband left her last Oct. and she's still busted up about it but is hopeful they can get back together. She has lots of family here in Murphys as they are an old time family here, she has lot's of support but none with the identical situation. She's tough and cute and Joe is crazy, not Mezi. Prejudiced much, yes.
A few years ago Joe stopped by and told me he'd broken up with Mezi. I couldn't say much but I was thinking, "You're nuts, there's lots of guys who'd like to get together with her." They made up.
Thanks again panc.

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@IndianaScott

I think, especially in these types of conversations, it's important for us to remember we are each unique. In that each of us are individuals complete with our own differing needs, points of view, beliefs, and personal situations which influence our views of life, perceptions, and our beliefs.

One is not correct just as another is not incorrect. Our views and lives are like art … some folks love Picasso while others love Monet. One is not good art while one bad. There are just different views and we each have our own tastes in art.

Likewise we each grieve in our own way and for our own personalized reasons. As I have continued in my own journey with grief I've come to more fully realize, now more than ever before, how individualized grief is.

Just my two cents, plain.

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@jimhd Hi, That memory issue is real and the other problems is real.
It was bugging me that I couldn't get a picture of Mary in my head after that. I told a friend that I was sure it'd be temporary but the only picture I've got right now is when she was here to pick up her furniture and I made her cry, she looked pretty cute that day but whatever, always called her my little hippie chick. She was wearing a black and yellow, large men's shirt which hung to her knees. Didn't mean to make her cry though.

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