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Messages - Raven2017

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1
Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Almost 17 months
« on: October 21, 2018, 07:02:49 AM »
Hi BLW,

When Jim passed away, our grandchildren were almost 4 and 7.  They spent a lot of time with us and Jim always did crazy things with them.  He taught them both to ride the quad, tried to teach them to skate and just did a lot of really fun things with them.....he was very athletic and adventurous.  They both loved him so much and he loved them unconditionally.

Jim coached competitive baseball and was always looking forward to coaching the kids when they started playing ball.  Our then youngest grandson started playing T-ball this past spring and it was heartbreaking for me to go and watch his games.  It was a constant reminder of what both he and Jim were missing out on.  I also went to every game because I knew that would be what Jim wanted, plus it was very important to my grandson that I was there.

When Jim first passed, all I could think about were the things that he was missing in the grandchildren's lives.  I worried, like you do, that they would forget him.  Jim also had a very special relationship with our granddaughter.  Sometimes, I look at the pictures of them together and my heart breaks for what SHOULD have been.  Now, I am still incredibly sad for what they are all missing but I am also so very grateful for all the memories that we all have of Papa.  Now, 18 months later, my youngest grandson still talks about the things that he did with Papa....my granddaughter has a hard time talking about him, mostly because she thinks she will make me sad, but she is getting a bit better now.  I make a conscious effort not to bring Jim up all the time but if they want to talk, I listen.  Their lives were richer because they knew Papa and some part inside of them will always remember but time is very different for children.  6 months is very different for adults and children.  To me, 6 months is a very small amount of time, to them it is forever.

We now have a grandson that is 1 year old and he never had the chance to be with Papa which makes me sad but I still think Jim can see him in some way.  Jim's memories will be passed down through all our family and his footprint in our lives will remain forever and Logan will get a sense of who Papa was.

Everyone grieves in different ways.  I, personally fell apart for the better part of a year.  I am a very private person so in public, I was "fine" but I have never cried so much in my life.   I can't imagine where I would be right now if I still had everything inside me.  I'm still not where I would want to be but I am content with the progress that I have made and I know now that I will never be the same person that I was.....I just have to find the new "me". 

Don't be too hard on yourself.  You have been through a lot, losing both Kenny and your Dad.  I can't imagine trying to grieve the loss of two very important people at the same time.  If the method that the grief counselor suggested doesn't work, try something else.  I think it all has to come out at some point..... have you ever tried journaling?  That's something that I normally wouldn't have done but I have books filled with anger, tears, ripped pages....you name it, it's in the books!  It helped me immensely.  I always write to Jim but now I have stopped and I will never re-read my books but for the past 18 months, it helped me a lot.   

Take good care of yourself.

2
Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Almost 17 months
« on: October 16, 2018, 06:19:37 AM »
Hi JustMark,

I think that is really good news.  It probably also takes away a lot of the feeling of "aloneness" for you and just seems like a win-win situation for both of you in many ways.  I think that's one of the things that I miss the most.  Jim and I did so many household and outside work together.  I miss the companionship that we had when we were doing chores. 

3
Spouse, Partner Loss / Re: Almost 17 months
« on: October 16, 2018, 06:15:20 AM »
Hi BLW,

I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm glad some of the posts have helped you, it has helped me so much just to be able to write down my feelings and read the posts from everyone else.  Nothing could ever have prepared me for the complete and utter devastation of grief and I personally think that it lasts for a lifetime; there will always be those moments that just kind of punch you in the chest, regardless of the amount of time that has passed.  Being able to read the posts on this site literally saved me, emotionally. I spent many nights searching for posts that I could relate to at the time.  I'm pretty sure that no one is prepared for the multitude of feelings that you go through when you lose your best friend and it helps enormously to know that you are not alone. It was scary at first when I read the posts from people that had been on the site for years and were still hurting. I thought they were still feeling complete devastation but I now realize that it will always hurt, it does "soften" (I don't really like that word but can't think of another one), we just learn different ways to cope with our loss because we really have no other choice.

Kenny is gone physically, though I'm sure, in some way, he hears you when you speak to him. Even after 18 months, I still talk to Jim out loud all the time, I just wish I could hear his voice talking back to me....I'm glad that you said that, I thought I was going crazy. 

Coming home to an empty house is the worst thing, especially if Kenny was always there waiting for you.  I don't even know what to say to that because that is one of my worst times of the day...I would drive home with a sense of relief because I would think "I can see Jim" and then as I opened the garage, reality would set in.  I'm not sure how to deal with that...I just stopped going out after 4 so that I don't come home to an empty house after a time that Jim would have been home.  I know that's not a healthy way to deal with this feeling but I can't think of another way to do it.

I am just finally starting to accept the fact that my personal life has dramatically changed and I am trying to work with what I have left.  I was extremely unfocused for over a year, I can't even remember anything that I did during that year but I survived it.  I still pretend to most people that I am "fine" because after 18 months, that is the expectation.  I am more fine than I was but still not quite ready to step into the real world full time.

You will be surprised at what you can do when you have to and you will be amazed by the people that know you won't ask for help and that will just show up.  I live on an acreage and was terrified of last winter.  It was a really bad winter, most snow in 100 years but it's done now.  Things will get done, not as Kenny did them but "enough" so that you can make it through the winter.  I also have a big problem asking for help and very rarely did....that's another thing that I would change...only a little bit, though!  You are not yourself now so be gentle with yourself and let the person that you are now accept any help that's offered.  It's very hard to do, you are not being weak or dependent, you are hurting in the worst possible way.  Sometimes, helping you is the only way that people know how to express their hurt for you, they don't know what else to do so accepting their help actually helps both of you.  I found this out very recently...I think I hurt a lot feelings by turning down some offers of help because I didn't want to bother anyone.

I know you're not just missing what Kenny could do...that part is just easiest to write about. It's hard to explain the fear and loneliness.  I still couldn't explain the extent of my feelings to anyone that hasn't been through this.  It's all the little, everyday moments that people don't even think about when they "imagine" the death of their spouse....those are the hardest.  I always say to them that they couldn't possibly "imagine" what this feels like unless they go through it.  It is indescribable to a person that still has their spouse.  There are just no words that would come close to describing this excruciating level of physical and emotional pain.

Take care of yourself as best as you can right now.

4
Spouse, Partner Loss / Almost 17 months
« on: September 12, 2018, 04:27:55 PM »
It's so hard to believe that Jim has been gone for 17 months.  Some days, it feels like forever and other days it feels like just yesterday.  I haven't been on this site for awhile as I feel like I should be farther along this journey than I am and I didn't want to keep posting all my sadness.  I miss him so much and life is so different now.  I am so very lonely for JIM.  I want to talk to him, I want to hear his voice and feel his hugs.  I am still incredibly sad. His death was SO unexpected and he was only 59....I wonder if that's why I am having such a hard time?
I was reading some of the newer posts and I'm so sorry for all your losses.  My heart breaks for all of you. I don't think anyone could ever describe this feeling of complete "aloneness" that we experience when our spouse dies.  I have tried to explain to people but it's impossible because you can't describe the emptiness to anyone....it's going out and coming home to an empty house, eating dinner alone and cooking for one, not having him to talk to about ordinary, everyday things. I think it's the everyday life that changes so much...all the little things that aren't so little anymore.. 
I don't think that you can put a timeline on when the pain goes away, it's different for everyone.  I don't think it ever "goes away" but it does soften a little bit. I can say that the intensity of my pain has dramatically decreased but it's still there...just a little further back in my heart.  I can only say that it took me close to a year before I began to feel any different, but that's just me....I'm never sure what's going to bring it to the forefront again, sometimes it's something as simple as an older couple walking by, holding hands.  I used to get resentful when I saw this - why them and not Jim and I - now, I just feel a little burst of sadness for what should have been.
My life is good....I have wonderful children, adorable grandchildren and I am fortunate for the most part.  I just can't get past how much Jim is missing...how many changes that he didn't get to see in the past year and a half and it makes me sad to see life going on without him.  Of course it has to but it's just hard.  Sometimes, I think that something happened last year and then I remember that Jim has already been gone for over a year so it must have happened 2 years ago.  It's a strange feeling and then it makes me realize that I have lost focus for over a year.  It has been surreal, going through the motions and pretending to be fine on the days that I'm not.  It is "better" now than it was and I'm sure that it will soften more as the days go by.  It has to or no-one would ever survive this...that's what keeps me going....all the survivors on this site
This website was my salvation.  I had never been on any website before but I was so lost when Jim died.  As JustMark said, the people on here are not judgmental, they are very kind and everyone is hurting.  I liked the fact that it was anonymous because in real life, you can't really talk about the intense pain of losing your spouse because it makes people uncomfortable.
I learned a lot from reading recent and older posts.  I did this for quite awhile before I ever posted.  There were so many people that described exactly what I was feeling and it made me feel like I wasn't alone.  I found coping mechanisms - some worked, some didn't for me - but it seems to me that just sharing your feelings with people that, unfortunately, completely understand what you are going through is very helpful....it makes you feel less alone, even for a little while.
While I never really followed this advice even though absolutely EVERYONE gives the same advice, it is VERY important to continue to eat, drink water and even take supplements if you have to.  It is almost a year and a half and I have finally started to eat properly for the most part but not doing this has certainly taken it's toll on me. It's hard to do but I think if I had done this, I would be a little farther ahead, physically, right now and taking care of myself a little better would have probably helped me focus on life a little sooner that I have.  I guess we all do what we do in our own time but in hindsight, this is something that I wished I had done sooner.  Your body and mind are going through the most horrific experience that you couldn't have possibly imagined and you need to take care of yourself, even if you don't have the energy.

5
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?

6
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.


7
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.
 

9
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.

12
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....

14
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" .

15
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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