Author Topic: The journey continues  (Read 8293 times)

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
The journey continues
« on: February 17, 2016, 12:23:43 PM »
. I'm new here.  I hope I've got this right.  It's four months today since I lost my wife, Cathy.  I broke down twice this morning.  There is a lot I'd like to get done, like rearrange my house, but I can't summon the energy.    I'm trying to get finances straightened out and every time I think I'm getting somewhere it's two steps back.  If nothing else this forum gives me a place to vent.   Wally

kgraham

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 03:05:16 PM »
Hi Wally!
Im new here too my friend! I Lost my husband a couple of weeks ago, Jan 31st after a year long battle with cancer. Its hard to scoop yourself up, find the energy and think at all right now lord I know... This sight has helped alot just to be able to talk to people who know how bad it hurts, and to type words to get it out about how you feel. I was told the other day by a friend that's gone through spouse loss to change one small thing in a room like re-arrange the furniture, re-cover a chair, or paint a different color but not change everything. We worked in the yard alot so I decided the other day I am going to go work in the yard and my husband is going to be right over my shoulder with me helping...I know he was! I was calm and didnt have a worry...They wouldnt want us frowning and upset...they would want us strong happy and smiling....sooo I try every day to do one small thing to better myself. One day it was to smile for an hour...then I could cry. The next I went outside and sat in the swing. One day I just made a list of bills that needed to eventually be paid that are piling up...just try it! One smile and one small thing right now! We will all get through this together...this gut wrenching hurt of loss. Remember Cathy's smile and carry that smile through you as energy to do just that one small thing a day. Thats how Im going forward...My small thing today...I bought friut at the store...I got out. Wheew that wasnt easy.
My husbands smile is the energy I use to walk forward. Small steps.... Ill be here to talk...you arent alone hope this helps! We re all in this together! God Bless you! -kgraham

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 12:32:18 PM »
kgraham, Thank you for the kind words.  I will always remember Cathy's wonderful smile.  She always loved to laugh.  I know she did not want me to be sad but be glad she is no longer struggling to be breathe and that she is with our son, Brett.  But, we will grieve anyway.  I will get to making some changes, rearranging.  And I am paying bills and getting out of the house.  I do feel she is with me and smiling.  I guess I'm doing okay, which is what she wanted.  It's only been a month for you. I think, like you said, take small steps.  In spring I will plant the cottage garden Cathy always wanted.  Someone said we should tell where we live.  I'm in Canaan (central) Maine.

RobinBlue

  • nospam
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 07:48:58 PM »
Hi Wally,

One thing I've learned on this journey (it's been a year and a few days since my husband, Tom, died of cancer), is that in the beginning, there is a lot of the one-step-forward-two-steps-back shuffle. On the second day of this journey, I was so overwhelmed with everything that had to be done and what I wanted to do that I promised myself that I wasn't going to try to get it done all in one day. I would pick one thing and accomplish it. And save the rest for tomorrow. I had a running list and as each day went by, I marked something of the list...usually. In those first days, weeks, months, just getting out of bed was an accomplishment.

And I rearranged furniture, too. Sometimes, the energy would come to me late in the evening but I would just go with it.

But after working with a CPA firm for 20 years, I would caution you, and all the new members that are now embarking on this journey, in the first year: don't make any major decisions (like selling a house or buying a car or change your financial strategies) unless you absolutely have to. I know we all handle grief differently...but, personally, there were times when it felt like I was being rational when I really was still being emotional. Now that I'm a year out, it's not like someone waved a magic wand and all of a sudden I feel 100% better...but I am thinking much more clearer than I was in those early days.

Another thing that helped was this website. When I felt that I was overwhelming my friends with my grief, I could come here and pour out my heart...and there are people here that understand completely where you're at. And just knowing that you're not alone is a tremendous help.

I have a feeling that your cottage garden will turn out beautiful. 
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 05:49:31 PM by RobinBlue »
I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it - Maya Angelou.

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 07:48:25 AM »
Robinblue.  Thanks,  That is pretty much what my counselor said to me yesterday.  Make a list and try for one or two things a day.  I worked in the medical profession and was a mental health professional for twenty years but, as they say, the doctor can't heal thy self.  Today I've run across things that stopped me cold.  Cathy used to cut my hair.  I don't know what to do with her hair cuttin tools.  Or her exercise videos or her books.  We were both writers.  I guess time will tell me.  My sister lost her husband two years ago.  She tells me, you never get over it, but time makes it a little easier.

kgraham

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 01:42:56 PM »
I'm listening too RobinBlue...thanks for the advice!
Wally, you're exactly right...they aren't hurting anymore!  As selfish as I would want to keep him here and love on him forever his body was tired.  I have peace in my heart believing that he is up in heaven making my spot right next to his, and it's going to take a while so I'd better behave down here a while longer and make a difference. :) 
You think your getting better and like you guys said, then there is one step forward and 2 steps back. It's still hard just getting out of the house.... A social worker told me the other day that the reason it's so hard to get out is because we don't have to be who we don't want to be outside of our homes.  We have our little controlled environment in our homes, and no one is making you feel like you don't want to feel.  She said set stipulations when people ask you to get out...  For Example: Yes I will go have coffee with you, but if I don't want to talk or even smile let me be.  I also have learned to take my own car right now so I can leave when I want to.  Jeff always used to say "Always take your own horse so you don't get stuck where you don't wan to be!"  I remember that alot right now. I don't let others make me feel like I don't want to feel.  It's going to take some time!  And it's going to be my time how fast.... 
Jeff's birthday is Leap Year Feb 29th.. he actually would have had one this coming weekend...woooosh that's going to be a tough one. Our birthday's were 4 days apart and we always spent them together with a huge 4 day party.  I have decided to go to our farmhouse and go fishing. I've also decided to make a vegetable garden like we've had for past years that we couldn't do because he was so sick last year.  It's for Jeff...he would want that, and he'd want me to catch a big huge catfish this weekend!  We spent many hours together in the yard and garden and right now that is a place of total serenity for me...wonderful therapy.
Wally I can't wait to see pictures of your cottage garden when it blooms!
Thank you guys for listening, as I will always return the favor of friendship & an ear!
God Bless from Ft. Worth, TX!  It rained today!!! I'll send some rain up north for your flowers!

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2016, 08:32:10 AM »
. Cathy and I always had a vegetable garden.  Of course the past five years she could do very little.  She hated not being able to do things.  I always bought cards for birthdays and holidays.  She would get upset.  She would say, I can't even buy you a card.  I took care of her and she would be upset that she couldn't take care of me.  I'd tell her that if the shoe was on the other foot, I know she would have taken care of me.  Instead of vegetables, I will grow flowers this year.  I've started to do some rearranging and I run across things of Cathy's that I don't know what to do with.  I'm going to set them aside and let time decide.  Thanks for sending the rain.  It's due tomorrow.

RobinBlue

  • nospam
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2016, 05:47:22 PM »
Hi Wally, when I first started on this journey, I would come across things of Tom's and I would wonder what to do with them. His combs (he had just gone out and bought 10 new ones before he was diagnosed because he was always losing them). Tie clips. His Leatherman. His wallet. And just a host of other things. There's no way that I could part with them (not even now). So I went to Michael's and bought some very nice, decorative storage boxes (nothing girlie...he wouldn't have approved) and as I would come across things, I would just put them in the box. That way everything is all in one place if I ever want to open up the box and touch and remember. Maybe you could do something like that with Cathy's hair cutting tools? Another box for her books and her videos? For me, it wasn't like I was packing Tom away. There are some things that I have out throughout the house. But the rest is in our closet, safe and sound.
I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it - Maya Angelou.

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 01:38:05 PM »
Robinblue,  I don't tear up a lot any more, but you never know when it will happen.  It happened while I was reading your last reply.  I think that's a great idea.  I will find a nice box or chest to put some of Cathy's things away.  No law says I must get rid of everything.  Actually, I've gotten rid of ver little.  Some of her clothes, some books.  Today I went to my widow/widower group and I got some of my short stories ready to mail out.  I can put one foot in front of the other.  Thank you for writing. 

RobinBlue

  • nospam
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 07:39:32 PM »
Wally, you're right. There is no law that says we have to get rid of everything. Tom and I had planned on moving to Montana. We tried so hard to sell our home in San Diego but it just wouldn't sell. But the dream was very much alive until he was diagnosed. Well, after he passed, I originally thought of donating his clothes but it was too difficult. So I went out online and ordered a blanket chest...made in Montana (I didn't plan it that way...it just worked out that way)...and I folded up his clothes and put them in there and closed the lid until I'm ready to let go. And if I never let go, that's fine, too. They're there for safekeeping.

To this day, it feels good to be able to put one foot in front of the other. I'm glad you had one of those days. :)
I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it - Maya Angelou.

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2016, 03:09:42 PM »
. It's strange what may upset us.  Some days are okay, some days are not.  I've been sad today.  Thinking a lot about Cathy today.  Today I'm making one of Cathy's and my favorite meals.  Maybe that's making me sad.  I don't know.  Tomorrow I clean the house.

RobinBlue

  • nospam
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 08:24:58 AM »
Wally, I know that feeling all too well. There are the obvious things that can set me off. The smell of his cologne; hearing our favorite songs; looking at old photographs; rainy days. It took me a long time to get back into the kitchen other than to throw something in the microwave. I tried cooking something a few weeks after he passed...I thought I'd try a new recipe...I should have been safe with that. Wrong. It was a hollow feeling because he wasn't there to give his seal of approval. It wasn't until December when I started having friends over and entertaining that I found I could get back into the kitchen and enjoy it. But I haven't been brave enough to try any of our favorite meals yet. I've been experimenting with things that Tom wouldn't have liked (he was a meat and potatoes kind of guy).

I did have a case of weepies recently. He always had to have a jar of jelly beans sitting next to him on the couch. He might have four or five a night. Since he's been gone, I try to make sure the jar contains some jelly beans...I get into them, too. And just, for some reason, I looked at that jar and remembered our quiet evenings together in front of the TV and the way we would talk about things...and I broke down. Undone by jelly beans.
I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it - Maya Angelou.

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2016, 02:27:40 PM »
. I had to laugh at the library be, undone by jelly beans.  I was reading Leap Year birthday and was reminded how I feel like the odd one out when I go somewhere, even at my siblings house.  I feel a part of me is missing, and it is.  This is a journey, for sure.  I don't watch but I caught a line from Downton Abby one day "where there is great love, in loss there is great grief."  So true.  We never known what, when or where we will be upset.   Wally

RobinBlue

  • nospam
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 03:28:44 PM »
There is a big part of us missing. And I'm starting to understand that it's a hole you can't fill...perhaps a little, but definitely not all the way. I'm sure you've seen the poem by Henry Scott Holland on death. For me, I found a lot of solace in those words, especially in the early months (listen to me, I sound like a seasoned veteran). And, it's also true about where there is great love, there is great grief. And, I have yet to shake the feeling of being the third wheel. All my friends are married, except one and she's about 100 miles away. Everyone means well. But I miss being able to share things with my Buddy. I miss the comfort of being completely understood.
I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it - Maya Angelou.

wally49er

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The journey continues
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2016, 09:07:55 AM »
. I miss holding Cathy's hand.  Sometimes she would take my hand just to cross the street.  Sometimes while watching TV.  We led a simple life and she would tell me how much she loved spending time with me.  Just going to a yard sale.  I'm keeping a journal and this morning I apologized for all those little things I didn't do, especially near the end.  Things didn't end the way we had planned, but what ever does.  I believe she has forgiven me, but I had to say it, anyway.  Maybe she's reading over my shoulder.