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Messages - Raven2017

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Almost 14 months
« on: June 05, 2018, 06:13:16 AM »
Even as I write "14 months", I think is that all?  I feel like Jim has been gone forever but then, at times, I still feel like he is coming home.  I feel like I am slipping backwards.  I just can't fathom "forever".  NEVER seeing Jim again?  My brain knows that is true but my heart breaks at the thought.  Sometimes, I think I hear the door open or his car drive up and I get a momentary feeling of relief only to have real life come crashing down.  I definitely feel his presence all the time but I want to hug him, hold his hand and I know I never will.

We live on an acreage and it is just too much work.  It keeps me really busy which is good but there are so many things that I can't physically do.  I have really good friends that will help me whenever I need it but I'm not one to ask for help very easily.  They also have their own life, chores to do.  I look around and while I am doing a good job of maintaining our property, I keep seeing all the things that I'm NOT doing, things that Jim easily did, things that no matter how hard I try, I am not physically capable of doing.
 
I decided that I am going to move back into town, closer to my daughters. Because of the economy in Alberta, this could take a month, it could take 2 years.  I sold Jim's truck and when I saw the empty space in the garage, it made me cry.  While we absolutely fell in love with this place, it was for us, not just me and I feel Jim's absence even more.  When I'm gardening or cutting grass, I always have an empty feeling inside.  While we may not have worked side by side, Jim was always there.  If something was too heavy, I'd call him over and then continue on.  Now, I have to stop because I can't do something and then it makes me feel so sad.

That has forced me to do some things that I'm not sure that I'm ready to do and it just makes me incredibly sad when I see parts of Jim disappear.  I haven't gone through Jim's personal belongings yet.  Every time I try, I feel physically ill.  I may just bring everything with me.  I have a lot of "things" set aside to put in a memory trunk that my son-in-law is making.  Then I wonder if I am keeping TOO many things, if I am making everything worse. 

People don't realize that, yes, it has been 14 months which in their minds is a long time, but they don't understand that Jim's death has affected EVERY single moment of my day and night.  Everything. There are so many times in every day that I just can't believe that this has happened to us.  I do have good days and I pretend A LOT but it's tiring.  I do go out during the day, I see people , I run errands, I appear to be "normal" but I feel anything but normal.  I absolutely KNOW that Jim has passed but I'm not sure I know how to cope with this.  I don't feel depressed or suicidal, I just have this incredible feeling of sadness inside me all the time.  Some days, it is worse than others but it is always there.  I'm hoping that I'm not the only one that feels this way....how do you deal with it?

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: 10 months
« on: April 07, 2018, 07:37:03 AM »
Well, I finally feel able to talk about the hospital review into Jim's unexpected death.  I kept overthinking the meeting and have finally decided to just accept it and put this part of Jim's death behind me.

The meeting was attended by the top people from the hospital.  The end result from the review was that Jim's records were "lost in the system" so they were treating him based on false information.  They admitted that it was their error, their lack of communication between facilities and the system that completely failed Jim.  They have initiated system changes, people changes and have accepted  responsibility for his death.  I received 6 apologies and while this made me feel that there was actually a human element in the hospital system, I was heartbroken to know that Jim's death was avoidable if only people had talked to each other.  Our life would have been different if only they had listened.  We tried to tell them in so many different ways during the two weeks between the time that Jim was discharged and the time that he passed but no one listened as they didn't feel that his care was urgent.  If they had followed up on their phone call to Jim on April 10, I would not be on this site.  Just simply heartbreaking.   Nothing will ever bring Jim back and that is what I wanted, but, at the very least, maybe another family will be spared this heartbreak when they implement the changes.  Some changes are short term, some long term but I will be kept advised of the progress so that I KNOW that the changes have been implemented.

I am so sad with this outcome.  I am grateful for the accountability from the hospital as my questions have been answered but it leaves me feeling weak and so devastated that our family lost such a strong, vibrant, kind man at the age of 59, all due to a broken system.  Jim worked so hard to take care of himself, he was in phenomenal physical condition and had such a great love for life, our lives will never be the same without him.

While I can put this part of Jim's death behind me, it doesn't give me closure.  I will miss him forever and will always wonder what could have been.  Maybe that's not healthy but that's how I feel right now.

Friday, April 13th will be one year.  It feels like yesterday and then again it feels like I haven't seen Jim forever. It has been a year of hell for me.  It took almost 10 months to lose the fuzzy feeling in my brain, I have made new friends and lost old friends, I have tried many different hobbies, I have journalled and I have kept as busy as I could to try to pass the hours.  There are SO many hours in the day, though, and for the most part, I still feel Jim's absence in every one of those hours.  Everything, aside from the basics, just seems overwhelming when I look at the whole picture.  Jim's favorite saying when things seem impossible was "How do you eat an elephant?"  "One piece at a time".  I try this and I know I will eventually get there but right now, it's not really working for me.  The anger is gone, I have accepted that this will be my new "normal", I just haven't figured out what that "new normal" will look like.  I am incredibly lucky to have a wonderful support group of family and friends but sometimes, I just want Jim and the way that it was even though I know that this is not possible.


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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: 10 months
« on: April 07, 2018, 06:48:14 AM »
Thank you for your caring words, Anne Marie.  I am so sorry for the loss of your Artie.  I feel so sad that we have to go through this heartbreaking time but I am so grateful for this site and being able to find some sense of "normal" as I read the posts and realize that I am not going crazy.

You ask a good question.  My "stock" answer of what I miss the most about Jim is "everything".  What I miss the most, though, is his eyes, the way they showed every emotion, good and bad, the way they softened when he looked at me and how they sparkled when he was excited or going to do something incredibly silly.  He had a crazy sense of humor.  I miss holding his hand and his hugs, both were so strong and left me feeling so loved and safe.  I miss talking to him so much.  We finished each other's thoughts and sentences and we understood each other in a way that was almost surreal.  It was like that from the moment that we met, we often joked that we must have known each other at some other point in time.

Like you with Artie, I also have an essence of Jim most of the time.  It makes me feel both peaceful and sad.  He will be in my heart forever.

My first name is Fay.  Raven is my oldest dog and it was just her and I here at home when Jim passed.  Having to take care of her saved me for the first month.

Take care.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: How is Clapton doing Terry?
« on: April 07, 2018, 06:13:56 AM »
Hi Mark,

I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are such a big part of our families.  Your idea of a pet board is a great one.  I don't know about anyone else but I owe so much to my dogs.  They have helped me get through this past year.  I don't know what I would have done without them.
 

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: 10 months
« on: March 16, 2018, 06:03:15 AM »
Today, the review into Jim's death is complete and I am meeting with the Board to hear the results.  My sister is coming with me and I am so scared.  We all know where the blame falls but we also know that they will never admit it even though we did not and never will sue for money.  That wouldn't bring Jim back and that is the only thing that I want. We just want accountability and we want things to change so this doesn't happen to another family. 
I want them to see Jim as a person so I am going to be his voice.  I know he will be there with me but I wish, at the end of the review, they would just give Jim back to me and we can all pretend that this nightmare didn't happen.  I don't want to go and relive the horror of April 12th and 13th.  I don't want to hear them "de-personalize" Jim.  I'm not sure if I will make it through today.  They took my heart away and life will never be the same again.  Jim is in my heart and will be be there with me, I know this, but I wish I could just feel the strength of his hand as we work through this.  He always made me feel so safe and I miss him so much.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Hi Mark
« on: March 16, 2018, 05:46:42 AM »
Hi Mark,

I'm thinking of you today.  I hope everything is still going as well as can be expected for Tunnie.  These are hard times for you.  I hope you've been able to pick up your guitar a little more often....from reading your posts, it seems to help you.  Take care of yourself.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Hi Mark
« on: February 22, 2018, 07:06:12 AM »
Hi Mark,

Just read your post and am sorry to hear about your health issues.  I hope you are feeling better.  I hope Tunnie is managing her pain as well as you can.  I sympathize with you, I have had a few dogs over the years and the older one I have now is 15 and really starting to show her age.  They do bring us lots of unconditional love so it is a hard time.
Take care of both yourself and Tunnie.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / 10 months
« on: February 22, 2018, 07:00:00 AM »
Last week was 10 months since Jim has been gone.  Valentine's Day was hard but we never really celebrated it specifically...we thought we should appreciate each other every day so we always just went out to our favorite restaurant for dinner.  Jim was funny.  He thought that Valentine's Day was so commercialized so he always bought me roses the week before when they were half the price, we always laughed about that.  I missed the flowers this year, I miss everything about Jim.  With Valentine's Day gone, I have now gone through all the "first" holidays without Jim but it's the everyday moments that hurt.  This is the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through and I don't know how all of you cope with your loss.

My mind has finally come back in  the past month.  For the most part, I can focus on the things that I need to focus on but I still can't read a book for pleasure.  I was an avid reader and have only read 2 books since last April.  Has this happened to anyone else?  It would be such a good way to escape, to pass time.  There are still so many empty hours in the day.  I keep myself busy, I have started to do a lot of things to keep me occupied but I still wander.  By 4 in the afternoon, I dread the hours ahead. It probably doesn't help that I am usually up by 4  in the morning, making the day pretty long.  I also have an old dog that need to go outside at all times of the day and night but she is worth it.

Dinner was our time to kind of close the day, eat and talk about our day.  I find it very hard to eat dinner and only manage to do that once or twice a week.  I never sit at the dining room table and it's so lonely to cook for one person.  I guess it's just something else that comes with time. I did follow your suggestion, Mark, and I made double meals when I did make something but they just sit in the freezer for the most part.  I have tried to eat dinner at lunch time but that seldom works because I try to keep so busy during the day.

It's kind of strange.  Jim has been gone for 10 months which seems like forever to my heart but is not a long time in real life.  It seems like everyone thinks it's been long "enough" and I should start "moving" on as they call it.  Why don't people understand that it's just not that easy.  I still feel so lost and the thought of going out without Jim is hard but the coming home to an empty house at night is the worst.  I have only gone out one night since Jim has been gone and that was to watch my grandson on Halloween night for a few hours.  It was so hard to come home alone at night, knowing that Jim isn't here waiting for me, so I have never gone out at night again. I know I should but I don't want to.  I am perfectly fine during the day, I come and go all the time. Is that weird?

I feel like I am living a double life.  To everyone that asks, I say I'm fine but inside I still feel so empty.  Sometimes, I can feel the tears just sitting in my throat.  I am a strong person usually but this is testing every  little bit of strength I have.  I had to cancel Jim's passport last week and when the clerk punched holes in the passport to void it, I barely made it out of there before I lost it.  It was one more place where Jim ceased to exist.

Every once in a while, I will have a good day and then I feel guilty because Jim can't.  I know that's irrational but it's almost like I'm afraid to have fun because  it makes me feel like a traitor to Jim. I know he would want me to have a good life, he was so full of life himself and took advantage of every minute.  He is probably looking down at me and shaking his head but life is so hard without him.

I miss him so much all the time.





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Spouse, Partner Loss / 7 months
« on: November 14, 2017, 02:36:37 PM »
Yesterday was 7 months since Jim has been gone.  I am wondering if this EVER gets easier?  I have added so many new activities into my daily routine and there are still so many hours left in the day.  I am ALWAYS thinking about Jim and no matter what I do, I feel so sad.  This is mentally and physically exhausting - the face you put on for everyone else so that they aren't "uncomfortable" and then the real "you" when you're alone.  The saddest part is that if I ever had a problem or was stressed about anything, Jim was the person that I turned to.  He and I talked about pretty much everything...we didn't always agree but we were good sounding boards for each other.  I want to talk to him now so that he can help me understand this but he's gone.  I have good people in my life but no one that comes close to understanding what I have lost with Jim's passing. He was my best friend and I miss him so much.
Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that 7 months have already gone by but then I look at it day by day and this has been the longest 7 months of my life.  I wonder if the rest of my life is going to feel like this?  Only 7 months but I have already had so many firsts - Easter, my birthday, our wedding anniversary, Jim's 60th birthday, all our children's birthdays, our grandchildren's birthdays, Thanksgiving, Halloween.  All without Jim. The problem is that we celebrated so many everyday moments in life that I just can't escape.  I am grateful to have so many wonderful memories but that makes EVERYTHING that happens a "first" without Jim. It is overwhelming. 
I know everyone says to take good care of yourself but how on earth do you sit down and eat a meal all by yourself?  I have tried to eat better, tried different rooms, tried everything.  I don't see the point in cooking for myself and then throwing it away because it feels lonely.  I know I have to get past this but I don't know how.
Just having a bad couple of days....

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Two months
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:51:51 AM »
Hi GreensGal,
I lost my husband, Jim, suddenly in April and I feel just as lost as you do.  I am a widow at 56. There are good days and bad days, LOTS of meltdowns.  I miss the things that you do, snuggling under the blankets, the hugs, him holding my hand...just the feeling of "safeness" that we created together.  I just miss HIM....My house is SO physically empty but it is still alive with Jim and our memories.  Most days, I am as content at home as I can be with his absence but others I just scream because it's just not fair.  It's a lonely existence right now but you have to find things to occupy yourself...things you didn't do with your husband.  It's hard and it definitely sucks....I have used that word quite often. I think that everyone is just as lost as you. 
When I came to this site, I found someone that had lost their spouse relatively close to me so that I could relate better.  He was extremely helpful and while all of our stories are different, the grief is pretty much the same.  Keep reading, this is a very helpful and caring site.
One thing that I get irrationally angry at is that the world didn't stop when Jim passed away.  It did for me but everyone else just continues on with their lives.  Of course they should but we feel forgotten...we're not.  No one can possibly understand this heartache unless they have gone through it but you have to be grateful for the ones that are there.  I find a lot of comfort in my daughters and my grandchildren but otherwise, I prefer to be alone...you have to find what makes you "comfortable" .

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Gina's Birthday
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:40:41 PM »
Mark,
What a wonderful memory to have.  It sounds like a birthday that created memories of Gina for everyone involved.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / 6 months and 4 days
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:37:39 PM »
I haven't posted very much lately as I was feeling like I had nothing positive to offer and then I realized that this is not what this site is all about.  I have learned a lot about coping on this website and it's helped me through the first three months knowing that others feel the same way as I do... it probably makes good sense to continue.  In my world, I have lots of support but no one can actually relate to how it feels to lose your best friend, your soul mate. 
Well, it's a little over 6 months since Jim passed away.  I still feel like it happened yesterday and I still find it hard to believe that he is not physically here.  If I could wish him back, he would be standing beside me right now. I was getting through most days in a semi-productive way but then I had a 60th birthday dinner for my sister in September and it has been downhill since then.  Jim passed away in April and would have turned 60 in June and while I love my sister, it just reminded me that Jim didn't get to be 60 or do the things that he was expecting to do after working so hard his whole life.  It was probably a mistake to have the dinner but I have a big family and Jim and I usually have all the numerous family functions.  I did learn my lesson and our Thanksgiving dinner (obviously Canada) was very small with just my daughters and my parents....that was still hard.
All these firsts.  I wonder how on earth people make it through this.  I start to feel strong, like I may make it through and then I come crashing down really hard.  I am not depressed, just so sad, but each day, I am not sure how I am going to feel and honestly, it changes about 10 times during the day as does my thought process.  My mind is still kind of all over the place, I am never sure what  is going to come out of my mouth.  I am a very private person and I am both physically and emotionally exhausted by trying to show a strong front to everyone.  Honestly, I don't want to participate 100% in life right now.  I am probably at the 50% mark.  I still want time to myself, I want to pick and choose what I feel capable of doing on a given day and I don't want to have to waste the energy coming up with excuses.  I just want to be able to say "Not today" and have that taken at face value.  Does this make sense to anyone or am I being selfish?  Jim was my best friend, so vibrant and strong, we were the best team together.  To lose him so unexpectedly and unnecessarily is really hard to wrap my head around.  I am constantly aware  that he isn't here and I never had a chance to say goodbye and that is the part that plays on my mind the most right now and probably always will.
October has been bittersweet.  My daughter had a beautiful, healthy baby boy.  I am so grateful and happy but then I feel so sad that this grandson won't know "Papa".  Jim was like a kid himself around the grandkids, he was so proud of them and they loved him so much.  They're pretty young so while they will keep Jim's memory with them for awhile, it makes me sad that this baby will not have any memories of Jim.  I know life goes on but I want it to go on with Jim in it.  I also know that isn't possible....
My Dad had open heart surgery in October as well.  He is 79 and is recovering fabulously.  While I love him so much, I can't help but wonder why they were so good with my Dad and so incompetent with Jim.  A little bit of anger which I try very hard to keep in check.  The hospital is in the process of completing their review into Jim's death and Health Services will finish their review by early December.   I am torn by this as I want the people responsible to be held accountable but whatever happens, the end result is that I won't get what I want which is to have Jim back with me. 

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Happy Birthday Mark!
« on: October 17, 2017, 11:52:05 AM »
Happy Birthday, Mark!
It is funny how fast time goes when you look at our ages.  I am 57 and my oldest daughter just turned 35.  I look at her and wonder how is that possible when I am not that old and then I remember that I am....it's kind of funny.  I hope you enjoyed your day in a way that was good for you.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Been a month
« on: July 29, 2017, 06:52:43 PM »
Mark,
I wouldn't call you over-protective, I think you are just being smart.  It's better to be safe.  How is Ben doing after having a couple of weeks in your home?
It's funny...Jim has been gone for 3 1/2 months now and it's strange to me how people just seem to carry on with their lives in a normal way.  They are back in their routine and it was just a small "blip" in their lives.  Rationally, I know that is how it works but inside, I am horrified that everything can be normal when our world has been devastated forever.  I also get the weekly calls now though sometimes, I am happy with that as it leaves me time to be by myself.
I hope you have picked up your guitar again.  I think it's important to do things like that though for the life of me, I can't think of anything that motivates me.

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Spouse, Partner Loss / 3 months today
« on: July 13, 2017, 07:33:36 PM »
I feel so bad for being so negative but does this ever get any better?  I miss Jim more and more every day.  His passing was so unexpected and senseless that I can't wrap my head around the fact that he is gone forever.  One minute, we were watching T.V, then he had a headache and was going to lie down and then next I was calling an ambulance.  I didn't get to say goodbye to him. Rationally, I know that he is not here but I miss him so much and I am having more bad days than good ever since his birthday in June.  I still get up, get dressed and go through the day but inside, I am a mess.  I feel like the outside of me looks normal but the inside of me is in a fog, unfocused most of the time. I keep extremely busy both inside and outside but it's not enough.  He is in my mind constantly.  I feel like I'm going crazy.  I am so lucky because I have so many people in my life that care about me but I just want Jim back.

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