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

@kdawn32

So In the midst of dealing with my Mom death, the estate, doing the taxes (mine and hers), coming to grips with the fact that I am an orphan (how weird is that at almost 50 years old), and all the other stuff life tosses at you I'm also dealing with a crazy person. My sister (in biology only) once again threatened to kill me. Now she doesn't make these threats to my face. She tells my brother while telling him things like "other Christians look down on you because your not married, your not a man because you've never been married". She recently said she was the only person who was a care giver to Mom. So I guess I just imagined most of the last 15 years of me helping out with my folks. The last 10+ of spending about 50 of the 52 weekends each year going to their home and caring for Mom every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My brother has evidently, according to her, been living with them since 2014 but did nothing. Thursday she not only verbally attacked one brother, but physically assaulted another. Her threats included the fact that she carries and has a gun. I did convince one brother (not the one who was physically attacked) to go with me to get a restraining order. She broke those about 48 hours into it. Happy Easter to us all, right. Did I mention she would tell you that she, though a sinner, is the best Christian that ever walked the face of the earth. We are all evil, wicked people and are just trying to take all the things and money she is entitled to have. First of my parent worked for that money. The only people ever entitled to a freaking dime of it was them. I am no happy that they didn't spend every dime. You got it go spend it. Live your life, be happy. Take that trip you want to take. No one else is entitled to a thing. FYI that "sister" turns 68 this year if your wondering.

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@kdawn32,, I hit the wrong button! I was going to delete the big paragraph but I had laundry on my mind and got in a hurry.
It's sunny and warm today so I can hang my clothes. I have a dryer and all the laundry hook ups built into the bedroom but Mary didn't want them in the room so the machines are on the rear deck.

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It is all so strange. I went to Easter Services at a church I had never been to before. The sermon could have been a personalized one for me and 2 of my brothers who went as well. Right down to a term I had never heard before (and can't remember right now) that was the exact description of how the sister acts in regards to her religion. We about feel out of our chairs. I am doing my level best to stay away from not only the sister but all of her children and grandchildren at this point. I have avoided her often in the last 49.5 years because of how she acts. I am in the process of following up with Law enforcement over the texts. What is crazy is that it all could have gone smoothly. People who don't live in the area could have in their procession as I write items my parent wanted them to have. I could be donating clothing to charities. When probate is done processing through in a few days checks could be cut to be equally distributed between all of our parents children. One greedy unhappy person has now made a living nightmare for me. It has touched my place of work etc. FYI if any of you need to block someone from texting on a Verizon android contact me. It is not easy. Iphone is another story. It is easy. I almost want to go back to one!

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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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@2011panc, Hi, panc! Just wondering how you and your husband are getting along.
Just doing some house cleaning and found a bunch of Mary's high school year books, old wedding stuff of her 1st x and misc. other stuff so I was busy sending that back to her. Good thing it can go 'book class', a lot cheaper.
I've been getting better and have decided to go back to AA meetings as a bottle of whiskey and a couple packs of cigars are looking better each day.
My son got me on linkedin and this morning got a message from a guy I've know from AA for a few years. Thought he moved away. He drives past me on his way to work so I wonder why he never stopped. Not that big a deal to just pull to the side and say hi. He lives way down in the canyon over the hill from me and I've never been to his place and don't like doing cold drop in's especially when he's busy with his own family etc. He gave me his cell number. It's just me!

One good thing is I can get to sleep about 10 pm now instead of 12 -1:30 am. That was getting a little to much as I'd always wake at 5:00, old work habit which I don't mind but I need a little more sleep than that.

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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,
Hi, hope you're doing well! Earlier I told I pick up a lot of strays on French Gulch Rd. Picked up another one about four o'clock today. It's a black lab with a bob tail?, hope he was born that way. Who would do that on purpose? Anyway he's a good dog so I've contacted Animal Svcs, so hopefully the owners will do the same and we'll get him back home. He's well cared for and answers to the usual calls, Food…he'll keep me company tonight and probably all night long as he seems to be missing someone.
Anyway hope you're doing well and your grief gets lighter each day. Some days it doesn't seem like it's going away but it gets to be like poison oak, it itches less as the weeks go by, caught that a lot when I was a kid and some as an adult.
Sometimes I want to hold onto it but I know she's not coming back so I'm getting it set in my mind that's the way it goes. I just have a big problem with that nut job being around her. He abandoned her once, and his 11 wives since then, so why not again? He won! My research into his traits indicate he will likely stay to pattern. I wonder if it's not some kind of punishment handed me for daring to marry her. Hope he doesn't do that but also I think unkind things towards him. Went back to AA so I'll work anger out all over again. Great outfit.

So anyway have a good day and all.
Mark

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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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@muppey — I really like your word picture here about grief: Some days it doesn't seem like it's going away but it gets to be like poison oak, it itches less as the weeks go by. I realize you are in a lot of pain, still, naturally, but you seem to have yourself in a good place by dialoguing with others here experiencing grief and going back to AA.

So nice of you to care for the stray dog and try to get it back home. Glad you have a "buddy" there with you for a little bit, anyway.

Did you pick up anything at the AA meeting that you think might be helpful to others going through grieving?

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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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@lisalucier,
Thanks for the reply! Animal control returned my call and no ones claimed him yet. I'll go out and put up some posters. Small town, somebody should know him.

At the meetings you come to realize that their is an enormous amount of grief and pain which has played out with the people for many years. The one great thing is that everyone is aloud to tell their story or not. One guy last night was quiet as silent night, just said hello to him but it's easy to see he's got a lot on his plate.
We are all in the same boat and nothing leaves the room, which is unlike my experience with the situation which quit literally changed my life. All the people here have had their lives changed and I know it's very difficult to come to terms with it all.

The idea with this group is long term support and they don't care how messed up your life and story is. They've all been there.

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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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Muppey,

I haven't been on the Mayo site much the last few days, having a bit of a
downer right now.  I think I caught a bug of some sort.  You
have been on my mind and in my prayers and from what I have seen in my
notices it seems like you are doing well.  I am glad for that. 
I take it as a good sign that you are sharing and reaching out to other
people.

I am curious about something and did not wan to ask it on the main
feed.  Before I ask, I want to assure you that I mean no disrespect
to you.  My question is, how did you come to this site?  I am
glad you did, because you are so helpful and caring to everyone.  I
ask because you don't seem to have much for physical or medical needs so I
am wondering how you got associated with Mayo?

I wonder if and how these pages of assistance, sharing and information
could be available to people without medical needs that they have taken to
Mayo.

Take care and God Bless.
 

Liked by muppey

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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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@2011panc, Get over the bug! My x called and said she'd caught a bug and not feeling good and all that. Well, you are living with a six year old germ factory now. Get a clue.
Thanks for thinking about me! I've got some people on a little list from this site. I appreciate that.
How'd I get here? Ummm, pain can drive a person crazy but there is a pain that doctors can't touch and know little about IMHO. Doctors at the hospital just thought I was crazy and one lady doc talked with me for a while and she huffed and puffed at what I was saying. "It's your imagination." she said. "Well doctor I'm not totally stupid and I can read and the x didn't take everything away." She waved me away and left the room.
Love letters speak volumes, but I didn't read the whole things, just noticed and stuffed them into her briefcase. Dumb ass thing to do to someone, don't you think.
Although I appear well physically it doesn't feel so good inside.
What brought me here was what appeared to be an open invitation for anyone who'd just been smacked down and destroyed. That's what I feel like because it has changed my whole life. That particular night I knew I was going down and I knew at around 4-5 am, still stuck in my chair, that if I didn't get help I might not be here much longer. I sort of knew I was in shock but so confused. The paramedic confirmed what I thought. I latter asked a nurse what it was but he said, "Your vitals are all stable and everything is fine." That's a…not going to tell you answer!
Two weeks later about the same thing happened but I stayed glued to this chair for over 48 hours before I called for help. Couldn't close my eyes because I'd get shocked along my spine and it'd jerk me around. 3 seconds was the longest I closed my eyes, I counted. TV spine doc got mad at me for disturbing him I suppose. Just a drunken idiot dismissed. I understand but I'm well groomed and not drinking, but I did admit to drinking a half pint of Peppermint Schnapps earlier at around 7-8 pm.

Anyway I searched the internet for a place like this, hadn't thought of AA yet. So glad I found you guys, kept my sanity sane, sort of.

A bob tailed black lab wandered into my yard yesterday with no collar, he spent the night here. I left my name at Animal Control and they connected me with the owner so he's coming by at 7 tonight after he gets off work. The bob tail was there at birth so no one did that to him.
Get better and thanks for asking.
Mark

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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 Good thing to clear out the "old regime"! I think your decision to resume AA support is also good. It is at times when we are emotionally hurt that it is easiest to relapse. I did join linkedin for someone else, but have not been active. I just do not feel drawn to that site. I am glad it worked for you to reconnect with an old friend. I am guessing that he does not stop by your place for the same reason that you do not do "dropins". A better sleeping schedule will only aid your continued healing. I am glad for you for that.

My husband and I are doing very well. He retired a few months ago and I am happy to say that the things I was concerned about have not happened. He went to a meeting a few nights ago and got news about several old friends (couples) that are not doing well. It is amazing what can go on when you lose touch with people. A part of their discussion turned to their shared experiences of retirement. we had a chuckle together about the fact that we have not had any of the irritations that often come from increased contact following retirement. We have always been "independently together" in our marriage. By that I mean that we each had our own careers and interests and enjoyed them separately, making it fun to get back together and share our experiences. Thinking back on our lives together, I probably should not have felt any concerns. When we were first together we spent a great deal of time in tents both with and without our children. I am happy that we have those memories and still have that ability to work together.

I always say, "love is what you do, not what happens to you" and "love is a decision" and "love requires respect first". I believe these things and have watched them benefit my marriage. It helps me to feel in control of what is happening to me rather than feeling smacked or blessed by "fate".

Take care and Blessings to you.

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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@kathy4385 Hi. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I can say I know a little bit of how you feel as I felt the same when I lost my fiance to cancer. Never believed he would die on me but that is because I did not want to believe it. I felt very alone. Grieving lead to me sitting at home drinking and doing nothing else but that and crying. I reached out to the only person who was close to where I lived and that was my ex husband. I have to admit it he was a God send as he really helped to get through it. Even though he is a butt head most the time and we are so different he did help me. Then when I started keeping my little granddaughter after just 2 weeks old I knew I would be ok. My furbaby was also a comfort at times. I really did not grieve much after that because of estate and problems with his children that I thought liked me. I still have my moments. I know if it was not for God, my grand baby, and my fur babies I would be at home constantly drinking. I will pray God will take care of your broken heart for you. God bless

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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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@muppey I am just checking in to see how you are doing. I have not seen you on for a couple days or so and was worried. I feel like I am going crazy sometimes but I am good.

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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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@lisalucier,
Hi, the owner of the dog, Jake, called me yesterday and we are all happy campers today. The dog perked up when Cole drove into the driveway, they're hunting partners so that's good. We were talking at his truck for a while and I mentioned my pine tree which is staring at my house, it's started to lean way to much because it's growing with a steep bank on one side and no soil to hold roots. Naturally it's got to aim at me, poor guy/ Hah!
Anyway I mentioned it and asked Cole if he knew anyone who could fall a tree and then I said, "Couldn't afford it now anyway but it'd be nice to know." Cole didn't miss a beat and told me he'd get his pro friend over here after this Pineapple Express Storm blows over. Gonna get some rain tonight through Sunday morning. He said they'd do it for fun and no charge. Blow me away. He called later that night and said it's all set up with his buddy. Some days are diamonds. (John Denver)
Just got back from my VA therapist and that went well. See her again in May.

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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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@littleonefmohio,
Hi littleone. I haven't forgotten you, just had to check into crazy street for a while. Not really! I grabbed a stray dog and was busy taking care of him until the owners and I got connected. It happened yesterday and Jake the dog heard Cole's truck pulling into my yard and his ears perked up and they had a happy reunion. It was interesting the reaction I got from neighbors. I was pulling the posters from the stop signs and trees and stuff when I pulled into Darby Lane there was a car parked there which I ignored until a lady got out and came up to me wondering if I had found the owner. Yep! All's well. Another guy was working on a roof and he hollered at me, "You find the owner?" Yep! Came by yesterday. "Good" he said, "I like a happy ending."

Good fun and I'm getting a dangerous tree cut down because we talked, I mentioned the pine tree he looked at it and agreed it's got to come down. Then he said he'd get his tree cutting buddy over here after the storm and cut it down. Then I won't have to worry about it falling on my head one night, it's leaning way to much towards my bedroom. No charge too! Couldn't afford it anyway at the moment.

Some good things happen! Hope you're doing well! I get a bit lonesome here and start feeling bad for me but it's just something I'll deal with. Might go to an AA meeting tonight, I'm feeling good about that.

Be well and your husband too. Think I got that right??? Guess I should re-read your post's.
Mark

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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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@muppey

What a great experience. It appears that one good deed (finding the dog's owner) led to another good deed (getting your tree cut down). While it doesn't always work out so nicely I'm very pleased for you! A bit of encouragement is a good thing, we all need it.

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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@hopeful33250,Yeah, I wasn't very happy with the bit of humanity I'm close to so yes this helped a lot. The owner, Cole, has been with the dog for five years and the reunion was a good thing to see. Guess some reunions work out.
Thanks for the boost. Still have you on my mind a lot and have a little list I keep.
Take care
Mark

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