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Reply by AdoptedSon
25 Mar 2015, 9:33 PM

Dear Xenia

I honestly don't know if time is a healer, or that as it passes, we begin to cope more, as the pain becomes a bit dull over time.  I know here I am, nearly a year n a half later and I still break into tears at inappropriate times, remembering something, looking for what I dont know, but all I can honestly say, is that the oceans of tears have slowed to mere rivers of them, at times.

Like so much else in life, we simply get used to it, as time marches on. Maybe it is as it should be, but I know that some holes just never seem to ever get fully filled in. And as we go on, we still trip over the edges of those nearly filled holes.

I dont know why or even if it is good or not, but I dont want to forget, and sure at times now, it can still be holding me back, but life does marches on. I try to keep putting one foot forward at a time, but I still want to remember, to think about what has gone. I guess that is part of the process, but I am stubborn too.

And frankly, so today I only took one step forward, the world didn't end, and maybe I did have to dry the eyes more than I should have, but then like I said, the world didn't end, and my life didn't crumble.  Plus I feel better for having some moments to wallow in my memories as not all memories are bad ones.  I do think less about the rotten care she got from an unfeeling corporate entity, from a heartless government, and so the tears are now less about anger, about disappointment, but about the actual loss of a smile, of a kind word.

There is laughter in there too, so the tears aren't bitter, but cleansing in a way. They help to clean away the sorrow, not the loss, but the emptiness it caused. They help to remember, and they help to spur me on, to just put that one foot forward, one more time.

Hugs, and if you are worried about the tears, well Scotchguard is good to have for furniture and rugs.  Course a bit of chocolate wont hurt either.  Chocolate is immune to water damage.

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Reply by Jimmie
26 Mar 2015, 11:36 AM

Dear Xenia:

Thank you for writing.  Though I have written few entries of my own, I have always read the others, including yours, who have posted.  I thought Ian's response to your latest entry was wise, beautifully expressed, and profoundly real.

My experience of the mourning you are enduring is that it involves every aspect of your being, every cell of your body down to the very marrow of your bones - there is no part of you that doesn't ache with grief and loss. It is, at its deepest moments, incapacitating - emotionally, physically, socially.  And it is. ultimately, yours alone to endure.  Others have theirs too, but ultimately we suffer alone - in the company of those others.

There is a lovely little story by Nikos Kazanzakis  wherein in he tells  of how as a boy he came upon a cacoon and wishing to witness the birth of the butterly within warmed the cacoon with his breath in hopes of excelerating the process underway.  The butterly emerged prematurely but died within moments of doing so.  There is a rhythm to such things - to being born, to grieving.  In our (understandable) haste to hurry the process along, to be somewhere else other than here, we sometimes do more damage than good.  Perhaps it is best to grow into our new selves (we shall never be the same, that is a given) in keeping with the natural rhythms of such things - one painful day, one step (as Ian points out) at a time.  The lightening will not be dramatic, but gradual - one cell and then another is renewed. It can not be otherwise, we can not push it along or surrender to the wishes of others to push it along without doing damage to the person we are changing into - as Kazankakis learned. 

What we need are others who will hold us, keep us warm, love us, be patient with and for us, listen to us, nurse us, endure us and with us as we slowly recover. That is what make recovery possible: the constancy, and care and patience of those who love us.  And those you have met on this site, as ephemeral as we might seem at times, do in fact love you Xenia - and will remain with you, of that, I am certain.

It is morning here.  We have had a miserbale and protracted winter.  The "winter of our discontent".  I need to do what I can to be of help to Sarah.  It has been a long long, time since I have seen her smile.  Perhaps  today.  We carry, and are carried in our turn.

With love -

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Reply by Nouce
26 Mar 2015, 12:49 PM

Thank you, Jimmie. I have been almost overcome with impatience in the past few weeks. Your story is a good caring warning.


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Reply by Xenia
26 Mar 2015, 3:36 PM

Dear Jimmie and Ian and Nounce and all on this message board.

Your understanding of my wanting my grieving over in a hurry has helped me understand myself more.  Just as your story of the butterfly, I too have always been in a hurry to do things move things along and get it over with and get to another project or chore.  My whole being has been on a time schedule, work at a hospital, time, work at home time schedule, caring for John time schedule.  

Ian your understanding that time is not necessarily a healer it is way of coping and Jimmie when you state the pain of mourning hitting every cell in the body and the marrow is exactly what I have been feeling.  I had the flight or fight feeling the past few days.  Sitting I would be overcome with with the need to cry to yell or just shout, what the hey, is there anyone out there who understands what I am going through.

Then typically I would tell myself, you are not the first person to lose a loved one, whats the matter with you.  Is John;s death so much more painful than someone elses pain in their loss of a loved one.  Once again my reasoning would not really allow me to mourn and reading your messages I understand myself much more.

Nounce, I too have and had been overcome with impatience to get this mourning over and begin a new life.  Thanks so much for that input.

To-day the sun is out for a while, the rain has finally slowed down and as I look out the windows I see the cherry blossoms falling off the trees making it look like snow on the freshly mowed lawn.  Yes, they mow the lawns here in March.  The trees are beginning to bud so it wont be long till the leaves will be full out and all will be well with nature.  The geese have overtaken the green space along with the ducks they have taken over the koi pond.  The poor crane parks himself/herself on the edge of the pond looking for gold fish but there are none.  So spring begins on the West Coast of Canada.

Jimmie the Winter of Your Discontent will soon pass and you and Sarah will soon be enjoying the wonderful spring and summers you know.  Ian, from your postings I know or assume you are on Vancouver Island and are enjoying some of the wonderful spring we are having.  Nounce I hope you are having a great spring as well.

I am comforted by your messages and know they will get me through the day and days ahead.  Just heard from our, or is it my, daughter telling me where we will be having Easter.  Life does go on and as such I am learning to live one day at a time and with the help and guidance of all on CVH I will learn to live without John but live with the memories of our time and love together.

Hugs and Love to all

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Reply by Jimmie
28 Mar 2015, 10:00 AM

Dear Frustrated:

About a month or so ago your visits to your husband in his care center were leaving you and your family in a state of exhaustion because of his behaviour.  I was wondering how you are doing now?

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Reply by Xenia
28 Mar 2015, 5:27 PM

Good Morning All:

Day has started somewhat sunny in the Wet Coast, rained, thunder and lighting last nite .  What a downpour.  More rain expected later on in the day so I plan very little outside, however, really need to get out more and do some outside activies like walking.  That will come once the rain stops.

After reading the messages from all of you, I did what I had been putting off.  Opening up the album of pictures the family had put together for John's rememberance get together.  It was too painful the first month and I kept looking at the first page with his picture there, I just didn;t have the courage to turn the page and start looking at the beginning of our life together. Photos of our marriage, family get togethers, etc. etc.  But I did it and it was painful and I got through it.  

I am glad I did as I was trying to block out a lot of junk, why, who knows, too painful to relive the great moments in our lives, to look back and remember.  I am not saying our marriage was the marriage that should be written about, bliss and all that. Our marriage was what most marriges are, ups and downs, joy and tears, kids and finances, holidays and trips.  Sickness and health.  All the things that made us stronger and able to be supportive of one another.  It difenetly was not Camelot or things of the movies, it was reality, real life and we all live it in different ways.

My thoughts are of John and missing him, however, I am able to get through the day, one hour at a time most days and then there are days where John is in my mind but not front and centre and that is when I get scared.  Am I forgetting him?  I seem to want reassurance that I am not forgetting him so I put on some music which we shared and memories are front and centre again.  In my mind of minds, I know that there will be days when thoughts of John will be on the back burner but that does not mean I forgot about him and until I get to that stage I have to remind myself it has only been about 2 1/2 months since he died.

On to happier thoughts.  Our grandson and his fiance are out looking for hotels, halls, etc for their wedding.  John wanted desperately to be at his only grandson's wedding but he will be there in spirit.  The marriage is set for June 2016 and I find it hard to believe one has to plan a wedding a year in advance.  Seems all the venues get booked up tight.

Remembering mine, it cost barely $250.00. for a dinner in a hotel and in the middle of winter besides.  How time flies and comparisons are starkly different.  Grandpa made sure there was something put aside for the happy couple so our family is looking forward to that big day.

Jimmie, see that some of the snow is melting in your area and soon it will be spring for certain.  Nounce trust you are doing well.  Old Bat aka Old bag, where are you?  How is Karl?  Ian thinking of you.  Nat keep in touch and keep sending out good advice.

The sun is out...perhaps the weather girl made a mistake and it will be sunny all day.  To all hugs and love and wishes for a happy day.

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Reply by Xenia
30 Mar 2015, 3:50 PM

Good Morning All:

Another victory in my daily life.  Thanks to all of you.

Opening up the album of John's life and viewing the pictures and really seeing them I am happy I made that step,  Hard as it was I am glad I saw them through tears and smiles and laughter.  So many good memories of a life time in a few snapshots.

Last nite I went to the Legion, work there two weekends in a row, selling natchos to help the Ladies LA which we then present most of the money to our local legion.  Everybit helps them as there are so few soldiers and volunteers at the Legions anymore.

Today I am off to the pool.  Really need that for my shoulders.  Can;t wait till I see the Ortho in May.  Meantime I will try to meditate and all the good things we have been told to keep our minds off pain.  Perhaps a good drink after the pool as you have done Jimmie, will help me through the rest of the day, don;t know about much good at night.

Holidays again, Easter, summer, birthdays, etc.  Need to look at how we will be observing these days as it was so much fun with John here.  Haven't had a Tim's coffee since he passed, that was his favourite, the kids would come in on their days off bringing a coffee and a long John (if you are not familiar with them...it is a long donut with a lot of chocolate icing on it.)  Dr. told me to let him have what he wanted and not worry about it but keep his salt in check.

My days are still slow when I stay home therefore I am looking at attending the sit and be fit classes I used to attend(before I had my knees replaced).  Probably will be good for my overall health and the exercise will help clear my mind.

It is a dreary day to-day so it is going to be good to sit in the hottub then into the pool and work up and off some pain.  Take care

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Reply by Xenia
31 Mar 2015, 8:25 PM

Good Afternoon All:

To-day I am happy, happy to know that my government has decided it is time to let me know the amount of pension I will receive as a widow of my husband John. $86.52 and I say lucky me.  Good thing I worked and can count on my own CPP and OA.  Otherwise, I guess I would be joining the others who look forward to a bleak time in life.

Ah, such are vagaries, is that the correct spelling, anyhow you know what I mean.  Troubles, yes, however John did right by me by splitting his pension from work in half and I can live comfortably now.  Not live high but within my means.  I guess the word is mean..means.  lol.  No more champagne in the a.m. and no more Tequilla at night.

Today has been a good day.  Daughter came over before she went to a movie with her friend this p.m.  Brought us lunch, a corned beef on rye, coffee and a chat made the day go faster.  This everning I am out again.  This time to a Birthday dinner for my friend.  The Casino sends out gifts for their patrons and this is an Italian Buffett.  See my pension will go further if I keep getting fed by friends and families.

Had a great visit with my daughter.  Spoke about dad;s passing and all that took place in the hospital that day.  So much I still don;t remember but was glad to be updated on the time frame and yes, I did spend time with John when he died, somehow my mind told me I was there only for a short time.  Mom, you were there for an hour she said.  "Really, I don;t remember"  I remember taking the blanket off him, folding it and carrying it down the hall while I tried to keep from crying out loud as we headed for the lobby and into the cars for home.  I still don't know what went on that afternoon but I was not alone.  The girls stayed behind and the men left for home as they had to go to work on Monday.  So the memories return with help from family and everyone remembers the nurse who placed dad;s blanket on him which made it look like he was in his own bed.

I know you are all busy with your loved ones as I do not see your messages and I wonder what is happening.  I think of you often and know you are attending to your loved ones and that takes time out of your day.

Jimmie I do hope Spring has finally come your way, OldBat I think of you often, Ian my thoughts are often of you as you have so much to give. Nounce trust things are better your way and to all else I send you best wishes and friendship.

Hugs to all

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Reply by NatR
01 Apr 2015, 3:36 AM

Good evening Xenia,

glad to hear you are doing ok, things are falling into place and that your sense of humour is in evidence.

yes I hear you - us seniors will not run the roads spending our pensions - but as you say glad there is enough to get through

its always a challenge it seems - but you are doing so well - dealing with all the details, and trying to take care of yourself!
sending you hugs from a bitterly cold northern Ontario . This morning it was -32 ! Hard to believe on the edge of spring ;)
tomorrow is april  1st.  
Wishing you all warmth and sun!!
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Reply by Xenia
10 Apr 2015, 5:43 PM

Hi All:

I am so sad to-day, I need help from someone who has lost a loved one.

I thought I was on the mend, yet today, the 10th, why am I crying just because I was going through some warranties, etc to get them out of my files and found my husbands cards to me and a receipt for a #1000.00 55th wedding ring he gave me.  Wow, did that blow my mind.

He never asked for money just his gas money and would put it away in his wallet and then use it for gifts or whatever.  He never asked for much except a few special food items I would cook for him, time out with the kids and grandson.  Just being at home with me and sitting on the patio later in life.

Why do I weep, exactly like the article I wrote about when Socrates was weeping.  Weeping because it does not bring him back.   John died on the 10th of January and today has been a really bad sad day for me.  So I turned to you my friends, just writing has helped me as I know you understand.

Guess it may have been I had my birthday without him on the 7th, although had a good time with the family, looked at some of the cards I kept from John.  Funny man, always wrote Love John and his work number.  

To-day I go to the Legion LA bake sale.  Good thing I did my baking yesterday.  We have the sales once a month to help out our Local Legion Branch.  So many vets are passing and not many new members so we do what we can for the Poppy fund and for the vets that are in care.  Helps to know we can still remember and thank our vets.

All for now, need to go and wash my face, tears have made a trail down my cheeks also a very red nose so off I go.  Thanks for listening and hugs to all.

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