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Topics - Jean D

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Spouse, Partner Loss / Progress report
« on: June 02, 2013, 11:57:20 AM »
Hi everyone,

Wanted to touch base and let folks know I'm doing ok. I have my days (as I know we all do) when I do not want to do anything or I find myself teary eyed, but they are less than they used to be. I have lost 23 pounds! As I shared with some of you I have found much comfort in food and knew I needed to stop doing that and I feel so much better for it. Next week it will be 18 months since Ben passed away. Today, my church was running a clothing drive. So, after church today I grabbed a large plastic bag (it actually ended up being 4 bags) and began emptying the dresser next o my side of the bed that contained some of Ben clothes. It was packed so full that it was hard to open drawers, but it all was either donated or tossed...and I only kept two pieces. I had not left myself much time to get the bags down to the church, so I only had one hour for the task, and that seemed to make it go much easier than I anticipated.  There are still other areas to tackle and things to complete, but for now this felt like a really big milestone.

If you are in the northeast, I hope you have been staying cool. And I hope everyone has been and continues to be safe in all the weather related events that have been going on.


Spouse, Partner Loss / Today SUCKS!!
« on: March 18, 2013, 09:36:00 AM »
I have come to the realization that I must have been in quite a fog this time last year. You see, today would have been Ben and my 41st Wedding Anniversary. I don't remember it being this hard last year. Every time I think about it today, which has been frequently, I have been crying. The tears won't stop. It hurts so bad. Today is a two step back day for sure. I am so grateful for the wonderful years we had together, and so sad it was cut short. I was just 20 and he was just 21 when we married. We had known each other for 5 years. We had our two wonderful children while we were young and thought we would enjoy our later years together...but we had his mom to care for, so I cared for mom and he continued to work. She died two months after him. We never got the opportunity to enjoy retirement together. We did travel together during our marriage and maybe that was because there wouldn't be time later. I don't know where I am heading with this...just writing I guess...trying to feel better. I have a laundry list of chores to do today and no ambition to complete it...story of my life the past 15 months.  Thanks for listening...

Spouse, Partner Loss / quiet
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:24:33 PM »
Hi everyone,

Things seem to be quiet here lately. Is everyone ok or is my computer not seeing updates from folks?

I'm doing well and been completing some tasks that I have been putting off. Cleaned out Ben's desk and our entrance closet. A few tears, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. So that is one closet down. FIVE more to go. One at a time.  Went through my birthday without him again...I miss him a lot, but more so on days like that.

Peace to all

Spouse, Partner Loss / My New Year
« on: January 02, 2013, 07:56:25 PM »
I started this out as a reply to another post, but realized it really needed to be it's own post.  I am coming up on one year and one month...I still cry, I still yell, and I miss him more than life itself and all the holidays just sort of happened around me even though I spent them all with family and hosted both Christmas and New Years Eve. I just did not have the same joy. Yet, I cry less and I yell less and there is a sort of calmness that has come over me that I do not totally understand. I think it may be that I have actually grown over the past year. I discovered that at 60 I can be an independent woman. I met Ben when I was a teenager and moved from my fathers home to our home...I never ever was on my own. Ever! It has taken much reflection, grief groups and prayer to discover this self realization. It does not mean I miss him any less, I am just forever changed. There is an emptiness and a loneliness that I don't think that will ever go away, but (and I don't even believe I am saying this) I'm excited to see what the new year will bring to me...I think it is time for good things to happen!!


Spouse, Partner Loss / Quiet!
« on: January 01, 2013, 09:17:40 AM »
Hi All,

I hope you had a peaceful New Years Eve and can enjoy a relaxing New Years Day. I'm looking forward to 2013 being a year fill of hope and new things. The last of the family has left this morning. I'm straightening up and sort of enjoying the quiet after 10 days of non stop family in the house. OH and the mummosa (sp) helps too.  :laughing6:

I wanted to share one thing from last night. My sister, brother in law, niece and her boyfriend where leaving after helping us ring in the new year and we were outside...I was looking at the decorations on the house and the downstairs lights went off and then back on. No one was in that room and that light is not one to flicker off on its own.  I have been on the edge of tears for days...weeks, yet I feel a calm that is surrounding me. My dogs were acting very, VERY strange last night and I'm sure they felt the presence of those who were providing that calm.

Happy New Year all

Spouse, Partner Loss / Peace and Love
« on: December 25, 2012, 12:20:22 AM »
Sitting here trying to figure out a title for this message. Maybe one will make itself evident as I type. Today, my daughter and I decorated the Christmas tree and it was just about done when I said, that star on top looks like it is staring down at was just about then that the tree fell. We fixed it back up and my daughter said I had a poltergeist and I said...yes, his name is Ben.  :love4: My daughter and I baked pies and cheesecake, cleaned house, shopped and many other things. I just returned from singing with my choir at Midnight Mass and tomorrow morning I will be back to church to play handbells with the handbell choir. Ben used to play handbells with us too.  There is a big part of me feeling very down. With Ben's death being so close to Christmas, I was numb last year and went through the motions, so this feels like the first Christmas without him. It certainly the first without him with me hosting the family dinner. So much stuff he just took care of that I now need to make sure gets done. It is going to be very hard to sit at our table without him there. Miss him so much, these last few weeks since the anniversary of his death, I have felt very empty. I am not finding joy in the things I have always done to celebrate Christmas. But, reading back over this I have a lot of people to be thankful family, my friends at church and elsewhere and my friends here. If you celebrate Christmas, I wish for you a Merry Christmas. For all of us I wish peace and love.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Car
« on: November 19, 2012, 12:39:45 PM »
Hi All,

I just wanted to share with a few of my friends that I went out this weekend and bought myself a new car. I have been wanting to do this for a very long time, but have been reluctant to go out on my own and make the purchase. Up until this, I have never ever made a major purchase on my own. Beni was always there with me, advising and helping with selection and negotiations. But I did it...I did it all by myself, though I'm sure Beni was at my side. It will be almost a year since I lost him...but I have become so much more confident in my ability to do things on my own...something that is very difficult when you have done them together for over 40 years.

Oh, the purchase? A candy apple red, 2013 Chevy Malibu 2LT. A beauty. I would post a picture, but was having trouble uploading it.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone

Spouse, Partner Loss / Spammed!!!!
« on: November 14, 2012, 08:38:41 AM »
It looks like our web site has been spammed. How could this happen. Some of this spam has even made its way to topics that were already started. :angryfire:

Spouse, Partner Loss / Quote
« on: November 12, 2012, 04:31:13 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I read a quote/definition yesterday for Veteran's Day and though it applied to us here on this site on our journey of grief. And I don't mean to take anything away from Veterans...Ben was a 20 year Navy Veteran and I am very proud of his service.

Courage: Bravery doesn't mean you aren't scared. It means you go anyway.

I don't think there have been many steps on this journey that I wasn't scared out of my mind...but I took those steps anyway. May we all find the Courage it takes even when we are scared.

Love and hugs

Spouse, Partner Loss / Watching over me.
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:15:12 AM »
Hi all,

I'm in central New Jersey, so right smack in the middle of Hurricane Sandy, better known as Frankenstorm. I'm well prepared and my dogs and I could manage quite well for more than a week if I need to as long as the basement doesn't flood. I did a lot of running around yesterday getting some additional supplies and while doing so thought I lost my favorite pair of dollar store glasses (only need them for reading). Well this morning I went into the basement to check for water (it is doing fine for now) and there was a bag of stuff that had fallen to the floor somehow. Well, I went to pick it up and lo and behold, there were my glasses. I think Ben was checking on the basement too and saw my glasses and made this bag fall so I would find them.

For all in the path of Sandy, be safe, stay indoors and off the roads.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Today's memorial
« on: October 21, 2012, 08:08:40 PM »
So I went to the memorial held for Organ and Tissue donors today with my son and my granddaughters. It was a lovely and very moving afternoon.  I cried a little, but mostly I felt numb. Sort of took me back to how I felt those first few days. I spent the evening looking at the TV and mostly not hearing exactly what I was watching. My son and the kids had to leave right after the memorial since they have a 5 hour drive and school pretty much by myself with my thoughts and feeling very empty.

I received a rose and a few gifts and I wanted to share the most lovely sentiment that came in the way of a gift. It is a shawl and it came with a card that says "Handmade by someone who cares from  Wrapped in Love. This shawl was made especially for you. It is our hope that you feel wrapped in love in your time of grief"  How wonderful that someone cares enough to do this for someone they do not know. Little did they know that this gift makes sort of a 360 trip. You see, I crochet baby blankets, booties and hats for preemie babies. Now I more fully understand how the parents of these small ones feel when they think of the stranger who cared enough to do this for their baby. I have been wearing this shawl all evening and it is sort of helping with that empty feeling.


Spouse, Partner Loss / Signed up
« on: October 18, 2012, 06:42:51 PM »
Hi All,

Wanted to share that I signed up for a support group at my church. I've known about it for quite a while, but have not felt I wanted to attend. I spoke with the woman who leads the group and she lost her husband 11 years she gets it and understood when I said, I'm not sure about doing this and that I might attend and then not show back up and she understood. She said I will know if it is right.

With so much coming up I think I will make every effort I can. This Sunday is the memorial some of you may have read about a few weeks back, then Thanksgiving, his birthday, his anniversary,Christmas and the New Year. I can't believe it is almost a year. I look back and see I was in quite a fog for most of the year. I made it through things mostly just for my granddaughters. Today I was in the supermarket and saw that they already have the Christmas decorations out for sale...I saw them and a sort of panic came over me, tears came to my eyes and I had to get out of the store. With all this I think maybe adding a group wouldn't hurt...and just might help. I know this group has helped me more than I can express in words. It has helped me know I have not totally lost my mind and that there is hope. i look forward to talking with everyone here through these next few months and through the holidays.

with love,

Spouse, Partner Loss / Hello from Seattle
« on: October 05, 2012, 11:26:29 PM »
Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to say hello and share a story.  I'm here in Seattle for a conference. When I checked in here at the conference hotel, my friend and I were trying to get rooms that where at least on the same floor and wing. Got my new room key, unpacked and ran a few errands. When I came back to the room I was trying to figure out how to remember the room number.  Then it hit me...Ben sent me a sign, the room number 372 is the month, March, and the year, 72, that we were married. i look up and thanked him.

Back in Jersey on Tuesday...til then...

Spouse, Partner Loss / My Beni
« on: September 04, 2012, 06:42:16 PM »
After I left the hospital the day Beni passed, I received a phone call asking if I knew about the NJ Sharing Network. They asked if I would be willing to allow Beni to be a cornea and tissue donor. He had just died of a heart attack and nothing was making any sense to me. I waited until my son arrived and told him I thought his dad would have agreed and  asked him what he thought.  His reply was I can hear dad saying "if you can find something that works, you can have it".  So, he became a cornea and tissue donor. 

The Sharing Network holds an annual Family Memorial Program and it will be held next month. They prepare a Tribute book for the program and you can include a photo and a tribute of 125 words or less. Wow...only 125 words. It has not been easy to put 61 years of living into 125 words, but I have finally put something together's 130 words. Since I never have really told folks here much about Beni, I thought I would share it with you. Here it is:

“If you can find something that works, you can have it.” That was Beni. An encouraging word, a helping hand, a cornea or tissue. He saw a need and willingly filled it. He gave two decades to his country in the US Navy and never mistook numbers for people. As a letter carrier, he always gave caring attention to people on his route. He gave music and laughter as a member of the OLP Hand Bell Choir and helped bring young men into St. Benedict’s HighSchool.  After his heart surgery, he volunteered with Caring Hearts at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, offering reassurance to patients.  Loving son. Devoted father to Ben and Gigi. Doting grandpa to Sophie and Lola. And my beloved husband. Beni’s generous spirit lives on through tissue donation.

Spouse, Partner Loss / Emoticons
« on: August 20, 2012, 07:09:24 PM »
Does anyone know why I might not be receiving and cannot send emoticons (I think I'm spelling that wrong, but you know the little smiley guys). They all just show up as question marks!


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