The Journey of Grieving

Posted by liz223 @liz223, Nov 22, 2018

Traveling the road of grief is never easy. I lost my husband of 62 years 10/6/18. This is my first Thanksgiving without him. I’m fortunate that I have moved into a retirement community and will be able to eat with new friends in our beautiful dining room. I have a lot to be thankful for today even though I miss him and will love him forever. God gives me strength each moment to take the next step. I will be here to discuss my daily journey. If you are grieving for a loss in your life, please join me. Thank you.

@lisalucier

Hello, @jmel and @fara67 – I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am married, as well, and cannot begin to imagine the loss and extreme grief of losing my husband. I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

@trider7140, glad you determined how to post here in this discussion on the journey of grieving. That sounds extremely hard to lose your mom, and so suddenly. A friend of mine lost her dad this month, with chest pains rapidly evolving into a fatal heart attack, and I know she is struggling to feel like it's really real.

@psearby17 – what a young age to pass away from cancer, at 21. My condolences. So very hard to feel as though you've also lost your daughter, with no communication from her.

What I'm wondering, amidst the grieving and processing of these very difficult losses, @jmel @fara67 @trider7140 @psearby17, is there any one thing that has helped you at all – brought you any comfort or relief – that you might share to benefit others here?

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Thank you for your kind words Lisa. They do help. Staying connected with people helps in the grieving process. I'm also looking for a support group to help me. The memorial for my great niece and the comments made by her classmates and all those that loved her helped. Talking with my brother and sister-in-law who were her grandparents helped. But I think the biggest help is time. I had a very hard time with her death and it really got me down. And then we had the holidays without her. I really am looking for some coping tools to help. Crying helps too and there were times when I'd cry anywhere, in my car, in the supermarket, at my hairdressers. It would just come on. Talking really helps to but not many people I know want to talk about the death of a loved one. It's hard. Thank you for your kindness.

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@kdo0827

@fara67 I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. Things went so quickly that you didn’t even have time to process his diagnosis much less his death. I’m sure getting through the holidays was very hard. Just know that you have us to listen and support you. God bless you.

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Thank you so much for your kind words. You are so right about not truly having time to process. It was all so overwhelming. I believe the grieving began before he even passed. But my faith and the courage with which he faced each day helped me to cope.

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@lisalucier

Hello, @jmel and @fara67 – I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am married, as well, and cannot begin to imagine the loss and extreme grief of losing my husband. I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

@trider7140, glad you determined how to post here in this discussion on the journey of grieving. That sounds extremely hard to lose your mom, and so suddenly. A friend of mine lost her dad this month, with chest pains rapidly evolving into a fatal heart attack, and I know she is struggling to feel like it's really real.

@psearby17 – what a young age to pass away from cancer, at 21. My condolences. So very hard to feel as though you've also lost your daughter, with no communication from her.

What I'm wondering, amidst the grieving and processing of these very difficult losses, @jmel @fara67 @trider7140 @psearby17, is there any one thing that has helped you at all – brought you any comfort or relief – that you might share to benefit others here?

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I have a co worker who had lost her husband 3 years ago. She encouraged me to journal my thoughts. At first it was just writing down my deepest thoughts, concerns, etc. Then it became letters to my husband. I have journaled almost every day since his diagnosis in Sept and then his death that same month. It brings me peace to write "letters" to him telling him how I am feeling, how I miss him, and the normal every day things we used to talk about. I also found it helpful to talk about him with a close friend who understands my need to share memories of him. I also made sure NOT to isolate myself. For me personally, I need to be with other people. Hope these ideas can help others

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Just found this site…Dealing everyday with the loss of my husband of 42 years..He died in August 2018 from pancreatic cancer but have been grieving since his diagnosis in 2016…trying to keep busy is key for me,as well as socializing with friends and family…it gives me the respite I need from the sadness and loneliness..I know it's a process and there will be an ebb and flow to my grief…literally living one day at a time..not a club anyone wants to be in for sure..:(

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@maddiec

Just found this site…Dealing everyday with the loss of my husband of 42 years..He died in August 2018 from pancreatic cancer but have been grieving since his diagnosis in 2016…trying to keep busy is key for me,as well as socializing with friends and family…it gives me the respite I need from the sadness and loneliness..I know it's a process and there will be an ebb and flow to my grief…literally living one day at a time..not a club anyone wants to be in for sure..:(

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Hi, @maddiec, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Thank you for sharing some of the things that have helped you in this grieving process, like socializing with friends and family, and trying to keep busy.

You mentioned grieving since your husband's diagnosis since 2016, and that he passed away in 2018. I'm guessing others have also had the experience of grieving before a loved one passed away. I'm wondering if you would share a bit more about what that was like learning about his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer?

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I am sorry for your loss. My husband of 17 years passed away 12/5/18. That may not seem like a long marriage but it was a lifetime for us. We were never apart except for work and could not wit until we got home in the evening to talk about the day. We were blessed with a very good life. But now my heart is broken and I cant seem to function. People say it will be fine you'll be ok but the pain is unbearable. I think I want to be alone and then I am so lonely but do nothing but cry when I'm around other people. The hurt will never go away.

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I am so sorry to hear of another lady enduring this awful heartache. Your loss is so recent and I know it feels like it will never get any better. I too cry alot, but as my 8 year old grandson tells me, tears cleanse your soul. So let those tears flow! I pray you have a close friend you can share your deepest thoughts and concerns with. I am blessed with a friend who was with me through the journey, even as my husband passed. She prays for me, she hugs me, and she listens without judgement. That is key to healing. My sweet husband faced his death with such strength and courage. I believe he is passing that courage and strength on to me. I never thought I would be where I am today and I too felt it could never get easier. I am 3 months into this awful journey and I truly can say I am better today than I was 3 months ago. Hang in there!

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@lisalucier

Hi, @maddiec, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Thank you for sharing some of the things that have helped you in this grieving process, like socializing with friends and family, and trying to keep busy.

You mentioned grieving since your husband's diagnosis since 2016, and that he passed away in 2018. I'm guessing others have also had the experience of grieving before a loved one passed away. I'm wondering if you would share a bit more about what that was like learning about his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer?

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When my husband was diagnosed in September of 2016 it was if a train just plowed through our lives…from that day forward, his, mine, and our children and grandchildren's lives were forever changed…He was told it was not curable, but treatable..we knew he was terminal but he fought as if he had a curable disease…the doctors just looked at him in amazement…he was an inspiration to all who knew him..not only did he have cancer, but end stage kidney disease, 40 year diabetic and heart disease..he lasted two years, and thankfully no pain…No matter how much you prepare, you are never prepared for the end..
I journal everyday since his diagnosis and I am in a support group for loss of spouse..I highly recommend that..I didn't think I needed it…I do!
I am moving forward everyday, and doing everything I can to heal but try to keep my deepest grief to moments, not days…
We are stronger than we sometimes give ourselves credit…but we must have patience for the process..
We were together 45 years..this will not happen overnight for sure…

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@rlealsan

I am sorry for your loss. My husband of 17 years passed away 12/5/18. That may not seem like a long marriage but it was a lifetime for us. We were never apart except for work and could not wit until we got home in the evening to talk about the day. We were blessed with a very good life. But now my heart is broken and I cant seem to function. People say it will be fine you'll be ok but the pain is unbearable. I think I want to be alone and then I am so lonely but do nothing but cry when I'm around other people. The hurt will never go away.

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When people ask me how I am I say.."I'm not fine, I'm not good…I'm doing the best I can." That is my truth..
Would it be helpful for you to find a support group to sit and talk with those who have experienced our kind of loss?
Sometimes being able to talk in a "safe space" is extremely helpful..no judgments, no time frames, just speaking your truth..
As far as how long you were married, doesn't matter..we lost our life partners…and with them went our life as we knew it.
I'm so sorry..:(

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@jmel

Lost my husband 8/13/18 and I am so lost. We had a bond few ever have. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and died within weeks. We were both about to retire and had so many plans. I am devastated and cry a good part of each day. Time does not heal.

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Jmel…I lost my husband from pancreatic cancer on August 13th as well..we are still trying to process all of this I'm sure…it's not even 5 months compared to our time with them..
I have had to learn to live one day at a time which has worked for me because looking too far into the future is overwhelming..we are all upended now but I have faith and hope that I will find my way..I have to..and it is truly what my husband told me he wanted for me..I want to honor him that way…
You have my deepest condolences…:(

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@maddiec

When people ask me how I am I say.."I'm not fine, I'm not good…I'm doing the best I can." That is my truth..
Would it be helpful for you to find a support group to sit and talk with those who have experienced our kind of loss?
Sometimes being able to talk in a "safe space" is extremely helpful..no judgments, no time frames, just speaking your truth..
As far as how long you were married, doesn't matter..we lost our life partners…and with them went our life as we knew it.
I'm so sorry..:(

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I was thinking about a support group but indecisive. Spoke to the hospital counselor and said I was too emotonal??? Today makes a month already and has been a hard day. Just when I think I'm ok, I crumble. People tell me hes in a better place and pain free…I understand that and am grateful but it doesnt make it better as I miss him, i miss us every minute of the day. So heartbroken.

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@rlealsan

I was thinking about a support group but indecisive. Spoke to the hospital counselor and said I was too emotonal??? Today makes a month already and has been a hard day. Just when I think I'm ok, I crumble. People tell me hes in a better place and pain free…I understand that and am grateful but it doesnt make it better as I miss him, i miss us every minute of the day. So heartbroken.

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I’m so sorry the hospital counselor was so rude and unsupportive. Of course you’re emotional, I’d be concerned if you weren’t!! You can’t time stamp when your grief will be easier. You take all the time you need! I’m not going to tell you to get out more or read a book, that insults me somehow. What I will say is reach out to your family and friends. Perhaps make a scrapbook of all your happy memories. We’re all here for you!

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@rlealsan

I was thinking about a support group but indecisive. Spoke to the hospital counselor and said I was too emotonal??? Today makes a month already and has been a hard day. Just when I think I'm ok, I crumble. People tell me hes in a better place and pain free…I understand that and am grateful but it doesnt make it better as I miss him, i miss us every minute of the day. So heartbroken.

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@rlealsan There are different types of support groups. You owe it to yourself to find whatever will work for you. Some have brought up journaling, or talk therapy, but you'll know what is best. Be gentle on yourself.
Ginger

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@maddiec

When my husband was diagnosed in September of 2016 it was if a train just plowed through our lives…from that day forward, his, mine, and our children and grandchildren's lives were forever changed…He was told it was not curable, but treatable..we knew he was terminal but he fought as if he had a curable disease…the doctors just looked at him in amazement…he was an inspiration to all who knew him..not only did he have cancer, but end stage kidney disease, 40 year diabetic and heart disease..he lasted two years, and thankfully no pain…No matter how much you prepare, you are never prepared for the end..
I journal everyday since his diagnosis and I am in a support group for loss of spouse..I highly recommend that..I didn't think I needed it…I do!
I am moving forward everyday, and doing everything I can to heal but try to keep my deepest grief to moments, not days…
We are stronger than we sometimes give ourselves credit…but we must have patience for the process..
We were together 45 years..this will not happen overnight for sure…

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Hello @maddiec

While I understand that this is a very difficult time for you, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all of the self-care you are giving yourself. You mention journaling and that is so important. You also say that you are part of a support group and that is wonderful, because it is important to travel down this road with others. You also recognize that this will not happen overnight and thereby you are taking pressure off yourself to be OK in a short period of time.

You are doing (and thinking) all the right things and I really must applaud you for your efforts and also thank you for sharing this journey with Mayo Connect.

If I may ask, how did you come up with so much wisdom in dealing with your grief? Any particular experiences that have created this strong mind-set and resiliency?

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@kdo0827

I’m so sorry the hospital counselor was so rude and unsupportive. Of course you’re emotional, I’d be concerned if you weren’t!! You can’t time stamp when your grief will be easier. You take all the time you need! I’m not going to tell you to get out more or read a book, that insults me somehow. What I will say is reach out to your family and friends. Perhaps make a scrapbook of all your happy memories. We’re all here for you!

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Thank you so much. Family and friends are supportive. Although sometimes when I cry they quickly change subject so I try to remain strong I dont go to events or leave quickly. I do have one close friend that will call and cry with me and that feels good and I feel better for awhile. Thank you again.

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