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Messages - JustMark

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Two months
« on: November 04, 2017, 11:55:49 PM »
Hi GreensGal, yes it is quite an adjustment and definitely a life changing event. I lost Gina back in March and I wouldn't exactly say I have it together but I have come a long way. No one really stops by anymore. Once in a while my mom will stop by but that's about it. I do some things on the house to keep myself busy and since Gina passed I have taken guitar back up. I have gotten used to being alone with our dogs in the house but I still don't get things done like I used to because like you mentioned I now have to do somethings that Gina always took care of.

I've actually learned quite a bit and this is really the longest I have ever been alone. I still have plenty of fond memories and find myself recalling them through out the day. I think the most important thing I have learned out of everything else is is being content with where I'm at in life. When it came to rehabbing the house I was always trying to do things the way Gina wanted. Don't get me wrong I do miss Gina quite a bit but it's more like I don't need to rush. I can take time during the day and enjoy a happy memory.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Introductions thread
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:57:55 AM »
Randij you have my sincere condolences about your boyfriend. You may find this group helpful. I know I have with loosing my wife in March. You are also not the only one that comes here thinking they aren't good at expressing their feelings. I was too but I did learn to open up and coming her quite helpful. Everyone that comes here either is going through or has been through dealing with the grief of loosing a loved one. Some of us more then one. We are quite familiar with most of the classic issue and all sorts of problems that that we encounter in dealing with our losses. We each share our insights or experiences of what works and sometimes our setbacks to help develop and learn skills to help us deal with a new life with loss because loosing a loved one is very much a life changing event for us. I'm not sure how new to you, your loss is but I know for me the first thing I had to relearn to do was make sure I took care of myself like getting motivated to cook for myself with me being the only one at home now. There is nothing wrong with my cooking and I made most of the meals while my wife Gina was alive but I still struggle with motivation to do it for myself. I'm a disabled vet and I have also restarted rehabbing my home. I had started in 2014 and continued to work on it up til Gina couldn't take care of herself in April of 2015. She already had disabilities and was doing ok but in April of 2015 she had knee replacement surgery and loss the use of her right arm. So I put the house on hold and took care of her. One problem I am encountering now is back in 2014 Gina picked a whole lot of things that I bought to install during the rehabbing and just now putting in like bathroom fixtures, shower units, ceiling fans and lamps the whole 9 yards. She even bought us new desks to use in what will become the new offices I will soon finish in the basement but Gina isn't here to see when things get finished. Plus we had planned on reopening our charity after Gina regained the use of her arm, to help disabled people with with a few new toys that cost around $15,000 for mechanical, electrical, software engineering and other items for small scale manufacturing on top of what I had already from an engineering company I closed before I met Gina, here in our home. That is what we planned on doing so that is what I will be doing when the house is finished. Because I'll reopen the company in honor of Gina.  So I guess you could say I also learned if I keep myself busy I don't dwell too much and stay out of trouble.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Gina's Birthday
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:25:06 PM »
Thanks everyone, I actually had a small laugh when that memory of Gina's birthday hit me. The reason why it was such a pleasant surprise was it was the first time I had laughed at anything since a little more then a year earlier since before Sarge died. Also the first sign my meds were working and I was getting back to normal.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: 6 months and 4 days
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:12:50 PM »
Hi Raven, I'm glad you posted. Your right this is not a place where we come just to share pleasantries and only the positive. We come here to share both the good and bad we experience or learn in order to help others learn from our successes and mistakes. In order to do that we sort of have to shed that mask we hid behind and can let people who understand or know what we are going through that we hurt. or we are angry, disappointed, moments of happiness or things we have learned. For each of us we have gone through a significant life changing event. I would have loved to have found a place like this just after my father died because I had absolutely no background in how to live life without him. Now I have to figure out things relating to losing my spouse and I also have another one that will becoming in the near future with my mom who is now 86. I too get emotional shifts throughout the day. Much like you mentioned going along thinking your strong, well in my case calm and get knocked for a loop and setback. You mentioned sadness but with me dwell on something so much most of the time it's anger or disappointment I can't get it out of my head the whole day because I remember the mistakes of Gina's Dr or my Dr's the first time around with VA or something someone did. For me though I think the 3 things that help me out the most is getting back on meds, so those mood swings aren't so frequent or intense, my guitar to distract me or change my thoughts to something more positive and coming here after I've mellowed out, got advice or insight, and can also help give or share and help others in here.  Congratulations on being a grandmom. I know your new grand son won't know "Papa" but I have now doubts as time goes on when he is with you or around you that you will make sure that he does get to "know about" Papa.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Happy Birthday Mark!
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:30:40 PM »
Thanks Raven, My oldest daughter is 34 and Angel , my youngest is 32 and it seems like everyday as I went through life I wasn't tracking everyday and all the events but every now and then reality sets in and you wonder how it all seemed to go by so fast. I think what really does it as you look back through time you start to realize how much you have changed over the years from when you first started. You start out with little to no responsibilities or any real worries and then you see yourself grow in responsibilities, achievements and both good and bad you go through and realize how you turned out as an adult now. The scary part is I started off as a wild child and how I am now is completely different. Not afraid of responsibilities or commitments, always try to help others and not so self centered, sort of reserved and I even still have a semblance of military bearing and discipline. I'm not sure how to describe but I still have my moments of sorrow and missing Gina but it seems more like at times I have more of a sense of completeness or I've come full circle and no need to rush sort of like a calm in the middle of a storm when I see whats taking place in the world around us. I'm still not sure I'm describing it right but it's fairly close.

Parent Loss / Re: my heart is torn to pieces
« on: October 17, 2017, 09:34:15 AM »
I'm sorry for your losses JIm, that many real close together is quite a lot. I imagine it can seem overwhelming but I do know there is a way through it in dealing with loss and we can help give you with encouragement. We share our experiences in what worked for us in dealing with our losses as they very much life changing events. From sharing those experiences and what works for us we not only learn we can continue on but we can still experience moments of happiness. We also learn new lessons and new wisdom from our deceased loved ones in hind sight that we can share and in a way they get to live on in continuing to help others.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Happy Birthday Mark!
« on: October 17, 2017, 08:42:05 AM »
Thank you Terry, I find it hard to believe I hit 56. Where does the time go? It just seems like yesterday I graduated from high school with all the dreams of a teenager and his guitar. A wild child out to set the world on fire wi9th no intentions on going to college unless I majored in music, was never going into the military and going to be financially set by the age of 21. Luckily every single one of them were never achieved. Actually they were replaced with more realistic ones as I got older and the new dreams became real. I went to college for engineering, went into the Army, put the guitar away and became a dad and now with wisdom look back through the years I actually did more then I originally planned and understand that both the good and bad that I went through is what  it took for me to become the person I am today. It's a good thing too because if my original dreams would have came true I would not have learned to appreciate anything given to me nor the hard work and sacrifices of others. It took both the good and bad I went through and that appreciation to make me the man I am today.

Parent Loss / Re: Sharon's Birthday (Lacemaker)
« on: October 13, 2017, 04:28:51 AM »
HI Lacemaker, I was wondering how you are doing as I know the last couple of days were significant anniversaries for you.and they can be rough sometimes.

Parent Loss / Re: Birthdays and Angel Dates - NEW!
« on: October 09, 2017, 11:13:22 AM »
Hi Lacemaker, for your mom's dates you may have to message Terry as I don't think she caught them in time.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Introductions thread
« on: October 02, 2017, 06:55:49 PM »
Hi Tom and welcome. sorry to hear about your wife Amber. I lost my Gina about the same time as your wife. That's about all we can do is take it one day at a time.It's been a few months since I cried but my problem is more like getting motivated to do anything especially cooking. I keep finding myself drifting back to a steady diet of sandwiches, salads and cereal. Of course recently part of that is because the last two weeks I been going up to the VA hospital almost everyday. This week I won't be going at all. I recently got plugged back into the system as when the scandal broke I seen I was going through the same things taking place in Phoenix and used my medicare and switched over to private practice. With coming back they are going over me with a fine tooth comb. So it's been one day go to one specialty then the next lab work and different specialist, then next day go over reports from cat scan and refer to another specialist who wants more lab work. This time around they threw in two more specialists urology and an endocrinologist on top of what I was seeing before. Every single one says the same thing. Oh we found this, but it's probably nothing to worry about we just want to a different type of testing or some sort of different type of scan at radiology. At the rate they are going next week they will send me to the proctologist to prep me for brain surgery. My old Army sense of humor.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Introductions thread
« on: September 28, 2017, 06:38:55 AM »
Thank you Kathy, you have my most sincerest and humble condolences. There is so much in what you have explained that I can relate to in so many ways I am literally in tears right now even though there are differences in our stories. I lost my Gina this last March and in coming here dealing with her loss I found I was still dealing with some issues and griefjust a few hours  with the loss of my father in 2001 and he passed just a few hours short of his and my mom's 50th anniversary. I'm also in the process of returning to the VA medical system after moving my care to the private sector because I was experiencing at the Baltimore VA medical system the same things the IG investigators were uncovering at the Phoenix VA and other VA facilities. In coming back they are going over all sorts of things to make sure I'm doing ok and just getting acclimated to my psych meds for about a month and the pharmacy has already messed up the first refill I requested on the 15th of September. Anyway with the disabilities I have they also wanted updated MRI's and Catscans of my lower back and hip and they discovered two small fibrous masses and been referred to urology and my appointment is tomorrow. Probably nothing to worry about or is caught early enough to be taken care of but won't know for sure until tomorrow.  We come here with what works for us in dealing with grief or different ways of coping with it. None of us are really experts on greif or come from psych backgrounds. I found keeping myself busy helps so I work on my house as it was in rehab and I stopped to help take care of Gina during her last 2 years with me. I have also recently returned to playing guitar and music as I used to play professionally before I went into the Army in 1983. I do have 4 large dogs two of which are fully trained service dogs for me and one is a new arrival who I am just starting on training and then Tunnie the smallest one is around 140 pounds or so is too small in helping me up and down steps but has been trained in other tasks to help. I have an appointment in a little bit so don't be surprised if if I pick this back up and share more of my thoughts as as that was a lot of information you posted and sharing also helps sharing also helps quite a bit as well. I also found changing the environment in one form or another helps as well as it will not be a constant reminder of loss and help develop room for new and fond memories so that we are not dwelling on our grief as it doesn't do anyone any good including ourselves. When I say changes in environment it could also be a change in actions or habits with things that have to get done. Gina was the flower gardener and I was the vegetable gardener. I'm keeping all of her rose bushes and I changed the flower beds a little bit and added a small bench I can sit on and enjoy the view and reminisce not only Gina but also Dainy the mother of the litter of pups that are now my service dogs because she is buried there and things from Sarge my first service dog and father of the litter of the pups are there too. Anyway I do have to step out but I will be back.

Hi Natalieb, you can seek counseling help for him all day and night but there isn't much anyone can do until he wants it or is open to it and sees where it may benefit him and help him get back to life as normal. You can't want it for him. If you force it he could resent it, feel your meddling or trying to control him. He will need to see that he needs help or that his behavior is destructive or detrimental somehow and it sounds like he is isolating or withdrawing and maybe wants to dwell on memories of the past with his mom.  Also he may have deep seated resentment towards his biological and feel he was abandoned by him. I don't know how his mother raised him or how she explained to him at an early age why his father wasn't around. He could be trying to find answers to questions about life. He might be open to talking to clergy. He may also need professional help and medications. The loss of a parent can be devastating especially with this being the only parent that raised him.
Bare with me I'm just an outsider looking in so to say. I don't have a background in psychiatry, medicine or anything like that. I'm also not a councilor I just try to explain things that worked for me or get advice on dealing with loss. I'm more then happy to talk to him but I doubt you can get him in front of a computer to talk to me and even if you did the issue is would he open up. Probably not. Most likely he would think of excuses to get out of the situation unless he knows he needs it.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Gina's Birthday
« on: September 13, 2017, 01:23:58 PM »
Thank you Terry. yesterday I did have a pleasant surprise in that it called to mind one of her most memorable birthdays for me. I remembered her other birthdays and there was one birthday after I was diagnosed with my back and hip that I closed my construction company and money was non existent for us. It was her very first birthday I celebrated with her on September 12th 2007 and my fledgling construction company was starting to take off and 5 men working for me. . We were rehabbing house in Baltimore and It was a very happy occasion.  Gina liked helping with some of the construction that wasn't too physically demanding like painting, drywall taping and spackling. I acted like I didn't know or had forgotten her birthday. We were on our way out to the job sight. I was driving the truck and she was driving the car as she would occasionally pick up two of the guys as they were a one car family and their wives would need to use their car. I told her I had to leave the house a little early to hit the hardware store on the way out to the jobsite to pick more joint compound and drywall. One of the guys would drive to the house in the morning to help with load up of tools and equipment and ride with me to the site. Anyway I actually raced to the closest grocer to pick up a cake, candles, sodas I also hit the dunkin donuts to make sure I took out some fresh coffee for everyone so I picked up one of their boxes of joe and a container of dunkin munchkins and high tailed it to the heart of Baltimore. I also hit a local eatery around the corner from the jobsite and made arrangements for lunch for everyone to be dropped off around noon. Anyway we got to the jobsite and the cooler was a two man carry so Xavier, the guy with me and I stuck the cooler in the house real fast and threw the sodas in it with ice. and we started setting up for a small party and got every thing I bought inside and left most of the tools and equipment on the truck like we were still doing our normal unloading waiting for the guys to show up. Gina got there earlier then I expected so the two that road in with her and the others that pulled up began unloading the equipment like normal. I started talking to Gina off to the side about a billing issue I encountered at the hardware store that morning so she couldn't see the guys quickly finishing up the set up of things and keeping balloons out of sight. About 5 minutes passed and guys were finished and Gina was by the truck facing the street with her back towards the house. I was facing the house when Gina and I were talking and two of the guys quietly sneaked  into the bed of the truck with buckets of confetti.  The guys were standing with the buckets and I still had Gina's undivided attention. I leaned over like one of the guys were motioning to get my attention to get started on the work for the day. I lifted my left hand and pointed a finger up like I was signaling to give me one minute. I looked at Gina and said wait let me get the guys going and we can pick the conversation back up and started walking towards the house and as soon as Gina turned around it was confetti all over the place and most of it on Gina. Two of the guys had those aerosol horns blasting and they had also quickly put a homemade "Happy Birthday Gina" sign over the door of the house. She had such a surprised look on her face as she went into the half gutted house she saw the balloons and cake with candles and we all sang happy birthday. She couldn't believe I pulled of the surprise and we really didn't get much done that day so we knocked off after lunch. It was a good hard working crew and they deserved a break anyway. The funniest part is after things settled down somewhat before lunch and everyone was sitting around talking. We all got a very good laugh with Gina. I was so convincing when I discussed the billing issue earlier I had to explain to her there really wasn't a billing issue I just used it to stall for time so the guys could finish setting up as Gina wanted to finish discussing it.   

Child Loss / Re: I lost my Son Derek on 6/18/2017
« on: September 06, 2017, 03:14:12 PM »
Jules I'm sorry to hear about your son. I can only imagine the questions running through your mind. That is natural. Don't blame yourself or run through the what if and what could have beens. It will drive you nuts. I don't know what his medical problems were or if they stemmed from his alcoholism or if he died because of the alcoholism. I'm not even sure your staying home would have prevented it at best it may have only postponed it if it was alcohol related. We can only protect them from themselves so much. It sounds like this is a very fresh wound and it's normal for family members to blame themselves when in reality they cannot take responsibility for the alcoholics actions or results of the alcoholics actions.  There is a very good chance that the autopsy wouldn't have revealed anything different at all. What the leading cause of heart attack is a person's life style. That's exactly what my wife Gina died from was heart attack, no autopsy was done and she wasn't an alcoholic and she did have medical problems. Heck with Gina at first I thought it may have been an accidental overdose of her pain meds and I started wondering if I had done something wrong but later after some thought I realized she didn't abuse her medications and she had been on the medications for years and how they were administered hadn't changed either so it wasn't an accidental over dose. So with it being a heart attack how would you staying home prevented it?

Child Loss / Re: 11 years today
« on: September 06, 2017, 02:33:12 PM »
Amen. That's a very good prayer Brokenhearted. It says a lot from the heart

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