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.

I also have some family who do not handle my emotions very well and will try to change the subject or leave the room etc. I think that is their issue. THEY aren't handling their grief very well. I truly believe that losing my husband has to be the greatest pain I have ever known. I cant expect others to understand the depth of my pain if they have not experienced it as well. I have given myself permission to cry when I feel like crying and to smile when I am happy . If I have a really bad day, so be it. I believe allowing myself to go through the stages of grief at MY pace is imperative to my healing. I am not letting anyone else tell me how I should feel or when my grief should be "over" . People who love you will allow you to travel this journey at the pace you decide and they will walk along the path with you. Hugging you from MO!

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@fara67

I also have some family who do not handle my emotions very well and will try to change the subject or leave the room etc. I think that is their issue. THEY aren't handling their grief very well. I truly believe that losing my husband has to be the greatest pain I have ever known. I cant expect others to understand the depth of my pain if they have not experienced it as well. I have given myself permission to cry when I feel like crying and to smile when I am happy . If I have a really bad day, so be it. I believe allowing myself to go through the stages of grief at MY pace is imperative to my healing. I am not letting anyone else tell me how I should feel or when my grief should be "over" . People who love you will allow you to travel this journey at the pace you decide and they will walk along the path with you. Hugging you from MO!

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I've come to that conclusion as well. It's my grief and if they haven't felt a loss like this they cant understand. I dont know how to handle this, how to cope or how to move on. But I have to one day at a time. I cry alot and just when I think I cant cry anymore I start all over. I dont know if I will ever find anything that makes me feel better. But I do know this group makes feel like I can cry with you all or at times it just makes me feel better knowing someone out there understand. Thank you.

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I think it helps me just to know that how I am feeling is completely normal. I am not crazy, losing my mind, or overreacting. And yes this group allows me the freedom to Express myself openly. I am here for you , just as I feel others will be there to listen to me

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@hopeful33250

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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Theresa..thank you for your kind words.
My husband battled pancreatic cancer for 2 years with such grit and determination..it was inspiring…when I would have my meltdowns with him he would stop me in my tracks and tell me to "cut it out..we have to deal with this..this is the hand I've been dealt."
As I go along this journey, I sense him telling me this to move forward everyday…
That is how I honor the memory of him…Do I have my Godawful moments..absolutely…but I keep them at moments, not days for that could turn into weeks and I won't let that happen. I look at those moments as minor setbacks..and that's to be expected.
I also have a tremendous faith which has been strengthened since he died..
I reach out to friends..I don't wait for them to call me…being with others gives me a respite from my grief…
I'm trying very hard everyday to move forward..it's exhausting for sure!

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@rlealsan

I've come to that conclusion as well. It's my grief and if they haven't felt a loss like this they cant understand. I dont know how to handle this, how to cope or how to move on. But I have to one day at a time. I cry alot and just when I think I cant cry anymore I start all over. I dont know if I will ever find anything that makes me feel better. But I do know this group makes feel like I can cry with you all or at times it just makes me feel better knowing someone out there understand. Thank you.

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You are right…everyone's journey is their own..no timetables..
.will I ever get over losing my husband?..will I ever move on?…no…I will move forward everyday one day and one step at a time…
Those people who love us will understand our limitations right now…
I am trying hard not to focus on what he's missing for I truly believe he is with me…
I'm trying to focus on our time together and the memories we have made…hard, I know.
We were together 45 years..I'm grateful for that time with him…
Day by day…sometime minute by minute..

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@maddiec

Theresa..thank you for your kind words.
My husband battled pancreatic cancer for 2 years with such grit and determination..it was inspiring…when I would have my meltdowns with him he would stop me in my tracks and tell me to "cut it out..we have to deal with this..this is the hand I've been dealt."
As I go along this journey, I sense him telling me this to move forward everyday…
That is how I honor the memory of him…Do I have my Godawful moments..absolutely…but I keep them at moments, not days for that could turn into weeks and I won't let that happen. I look at those moments as minor setbacks..and that's to be expected.
I also have a tremendous faith which has been strengthened since he died..
I reach out to friends..I don't wait for them to call me…being with others gives me a respite from my grief…
I'm trying very hard everyday to move forward..it's exhausting for sure!

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I so like what you say, @maddiec, "being with others gives me a respite from my grief." All of us we need those respites that come from being with others.

I also appreciate the "take-away" that your husband gave you when he said, "cut it out..we have to deal with this..this is the hand I've been dealt." When any of us loses a loved one, I feel there is always a "take-away." By that I mean, some characteristic that person exhibited that we can mimic or mirror in our life that will help us honor their memory and make our world and the world around us a better place.

I sense your husband was a strong person. If you have any other memories or "take-aways" please share them. As one of our mentors, @mamacita, always says, "We are stronger together."

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@maddiec

You are right…everyone's journey is their own..no timetables..
.will I ever get over losing my husband?..will I ever move on?…no…I will move forward everyday one day and one step at a time…
Those people who love us will understand our limitations right now…
I am trying hard not to focus on what he's missing for I truly believe he is with me…
I'm trying to focus on our time together and the memories we have made…hard, I know.
We were together 45 years..I'm grateful for that time with him…
Day by day…sometime minute by minute..

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I miss our moments and that is the hardest time of the day. I cant even make dinner because I break down. So it's been cereal which is fine. That's all I ate towards the end because he wasnt eating much. When I would cry when we were at the hospital he would tell me I was stronger than what I thought I was. But I have never felt so weak and hopeless in my whole life. I am trying to move forward, I have started looking for work …have a couple of interviews scheduled and pray I dont break down during the interview. I too am trying day by day and sometime minute by minute..I cant do more than that.

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@rlealsan

I miss our moments and that is the hardest time of the day. I cant even make dinner because I break down. So it's been cereal which is fine. That's all I ate towards the end because he wasnt eating much. When I would cry when we were at the hospital he would tell me I was stronger than what I thought I was. But I have never felt so weak and hopeless in my whole life. I am trying to move forward, I have started looking for work …have a couple of interviews scheduled and pray I dont break down during the interview. I too am trying day by day and sometime minute by minute..I cant do more than that.

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Sending love and hugs to you!

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You keep on one day, moment at a time!

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@rlealsan

I miss our moments and that is the hardest time of the day. I cant even make dinner because I break down. So it's been cereal which is fine. That's all I ate towards the end because he wasnt eating much. When I would cry when we were at the hospital he would tell me I was stronger than what I thought I was. But I have never felt so weak and hopeless in my whole life. I am trying to move forward, I have started looking for work …have a couple of interviews scheduled and pray I dont break down during the interview. I too am trying day by day and sometime minute by minute..I cant do more than that.

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@rlealsan It is a struggle each day, and eventually you will find little glimmers of grief lightening up. Do not be discouraged, as the process is ongoing. Our senses will catch a smell, or sound, or see something that reminds you of him, and the grief feels new again. It is a message from him, to let you know he is still watching over you. Your strength was something he saw, and knew you would be so sad but strong to survive. We are here for you.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@rlealsan It is a struggle each day, and eventually you will find little glimmers of grief lightening up. Do not be discouraged, as the process is ongoing. Our senses will catch a smell, or sound, or see something that reminds you of him, and the grief feels new again. It is a message from him, to let you know he is still watching over you. Your strength was something he saw, and knew you would be so sad but strong to survive. We are here for you.
Ginger

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Thank you so much Ginger. That means alall out to me…made me cry but helpful. Thank you,
Ruby.

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Road of grief is a road without a destination it is extremely difficult to travel on it.I lost my eldest son seven years back some days are just too painful and difficult for me to manage I literally have to grit my teeth to focus on even simplest of chores .Every day I drag myself out of bed with a prayer that may God grant me strength to bear this unbearable loss and also that no parent has to go through from we went through

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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 wish I could say there was something that helps but nothing really does. That is not to say that well meaning friends don't; it's just that there is no escaping the overwhelming sense of sadness and emptiness never ever leaves. I have to force myself to do even the most mundane things at home each day in a home that was filled with love when he was here but now empty. I force myself to occasionally do something with a friend but there is literally no escape every moment. I cannot see a future where I used to love to plan. I struggle to find and hint of joy in anything. I try to put on a good face for our 2 young adult children who live with me when they are around but otherwise I cannot think of anything else but my love. If it were not for our kids, I do not think I could go on at all.

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@jmel

I wish I could say there was something that helps but nothing really does. That is not to say that well meaning friends don't; it's just that there is no escaping the overwhelming sense of sadness and emptiness never ever leaves. I have to force myself to do even the most mundane things at home each day in a home that was filled with love when he was here but now empty. I force myself to occasionally do something with a friend but there is literally no escape every moment. I cannot see a future where I used to love to plan. I struggle to find and hint of joy in anything. I try to put on a good face for our 2 young adult children who live with me when they are around but otherwise I cannot think of anything else but my love. If it were not for our kids, I do not think I could go on at all.

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@jmel …what is so difficult is not only the physical loss but all the secondary losses…the loss of our future, our security, our past, our identity, our plans…and on and on…..the sadness and loneliness is always there…every minute of everyday, but in the midst of it all, there are things that are true blessings in our lives…I know it's hard to see them sometimes, but for me it helps me to try to see the glass half full…..
I have moments of incredible grief and sadness…I get it out because I will explode if I don't…but I try not to stay there…I talk to him all the time..writing has really helped..it just puts all the sadness I'm feeling in a place, and then I put the pen down and move along…..this will be an ongoing process for as long as it takes…and even when we think we are OK…we may not be….and that's ok as well…

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@hopeful33250

I so like what you say, @maddiec, "being with others gives me a respite from my grief." All of us we need those respites that come from being with others.

I also appreciate the "take-away" that your husband gave you when he said, "cut it out..we have to deal with this..this is the hand I've been dealt." When any of us loses a loved one, I feel there is always a "take-away." By that I mean, some characteristic that person exhibited that we can mimic or mirror in our life that will help us honor their memory and make our world and the world around us a better place.

I sense your husband was a strong person. If you have any other memories or "take-aways" please share them. As one of our mentors, @mamacita, always says, "We are stronger together."

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Teresa…For me, I know that this was my husband's destiny..and now, this is mine…He put a face on living with a virtual death sentence with fortitude and pragmatism. I know he was frightened at the end, but you would have never known it..everyone who knew him was touched by his journey…
Now, for me, I'm putting a face on what it's like to deal with my unspeakable loss…we are showing those around us what that looks like…I want to be able to heal…
Although my children are adults with children of their own, they are devastated by the loss of their Dad…I can't have them burdened with carrying me along as well..I have to model, to the best of my ability, moving forward…
That is not to say I don't want to curl up in a ball from my grief..and sometimes I do..but I do the best I can to pick myself up and keep going…
This winter weather is exacerbating the whole process for me….the dreariness and darkness is a big issue for me..ugh..

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