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Reply by AdoptedSon
10 Apr 2015, 11:11 PM

Why do we weep?

I honestly don't know why we do, but we do, and maybe it is just that, a way for our body, our spirit to help ease the ache buried deep within our souls, or maybe it is as simple as because we need to expend some emotion, to let us know that we are here.

While the tears roll unheeded down our faces, we feel the loss, the emptiness more so, but then when the sobs, the gulps for air, the cool of the wetness drying, our spirits seem to suddenly be at ease, at peace with what we have lost.  Momentarily perhaps, but every second of respite is a blessing.

Just as the poppies are a token of rememberance for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, so are our tears, a deep personal reminder of what we have indeed lost, but like the poppy, not forgotten.

So maybe we shouldn;t wondery why we weep, but instead take solice that we can at least, weep for what is gone, but not really lost, and most certainly not forgotten.

Hugs to you Xenia, and to all

ps/ David got me a new hanky, its other name is a bath sheet, found in most bedding and bath supply departments.

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Reply by NatR
11 Apr 2015, 1:44 AM

Thank goodness Ian, 
for yoir quick reply and your quick wit!
I am so glad you are all here for each other.

xenia, I am so sorry you are having a rough time.  Try not to be so hard on yourself.   You are sorting through years of memories, pieces of paper, getting vivid pictures of all the little things John did, who he was, all the reasons you love him and miss him.

i cannot say more than I think of you from time to time, wondering how your day is going.

by the way, winter is still with us in northern Ontario.   It is whistling and whining around my window...but I like the sound...it reminds me of my childhood when winter could find gaps in the old wooden frames, the storm windows were drafly etcetera

see, I think we all go over memories...of loved ones, of our childhood, on and on.
i am not an expert by any means but I do feel you will be comforted, in time, by each and every memory.

for now, please keep writing and sharing...and tonight I am sending you a cyber hug from my arms to you.
hugs and thoughts.
natR ❤️ 
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Reply by oldbat
11 Apr 2015, 3:11 AM

Dear Xenia, Ian, NatR et al,

No I haven't forgotten you all.  How could I?  You've been my steadfast companions on this journey we share.

Xenia I am so sorry that today has been such a sad occasion for you.  Anniversaries, of any kind, are tough for us all.  Memories of "the way things were" bring us tears and sorrow and regret for the fact that those times will never come again.  But at least we did experience them and can relive that joy, that happiness over and over again in our minds.  As long as we do that, and it does hurt a lot sometimes, we are still alive, still keeping the faith.

Things have been a bit tough around here for a while.  first there was the aneurysm scare - still a sad reality for Karl and me.  Although he is totally unaware of it , and I plan to keep it that way.  I have been spoiling him greatly since then! 

Couldn't do that over Easter though.  On the Saturday some stupid (very!) part-time nurse at his home gave him a quadruple dose of his blood pressure medication "by mistake".  Fortunately she realized what she had done and notified the Director of Nursing, who called in a doctor right away, and then called me.  I was decidedly unamused.  Karl was very comatose and almost complete unable to speak for the next three days.  The first doctor ordered his vital signs to be taken every half hour, the next doctor who arrived on Easter Sunday reduced that to hourly and then, on Easter Monday once every shift.  On the Monday he developed the gastroenteritis that has had the home under quarantine since Good Friday!  I was not able to visit him all week, but he has been declared well enough to come home for a few hours on Sunday.  We will rejoice then.

Since the aneurysm disgnosis I have had the painful task of trying to pre-plan his funeral.  This is the first time that anyone close to me has died.  They've usually vaporized!  Long story!  Anyway, it has been quite the journey.  I didn't have a clue what/when/where/how to go about things and took many blind alleys as I blundered along.  Finally turned to a good friend, a chaplain at a local hospital, who took me out for dinner and helped to create order out of chaos.  It certainly wasn't fun.  Of course, Karl and I had had  "the talk" long before he got ill, so we each knew what was wanted.  But his stroke turned everything around.  I am somewhat reassured now, and will go ahead with my plans - which involve a bagpiper!

Tonight I had dinner with some very old friends.  It was wonderful.  Great food, great conversation and memories that we all shared.  And I was sent home with a care package for dinner tomorow.  I feel truly blessed.  Even more so because my friend ( the wife!) called me just now to make sure I'd got home safely.

Major cyber hugs to each and every one of you.  May your sleep be sweet and your Sunday bring you peace.

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Reply by Xenia
12 Apr 2015, 4:38 PM

Good Morning All My Faithful Friends on CVH:

Thank you all for responding, Ian you have such an insight into grief and all that goes with it.  You have been a source of comfort and stability to me since we met on line.

Nat R: You give me strength to go on and face a new day and be able to lean on someone in time of need.

OldBat aka Old Bag:   Like the song says:  You LIght Up my Life, your understanding and bluntness makes me laugh and keeps me anchored in living with my grief and without John.  

To All:  Isn;t it amazing that all of us are able to respond in a time of need and I am not sure if we would be considered councellors or such in the medical profession or the councelling profession, however, I do believe that everyone on CVH has the ability to see through and think through many of the problems facing each of us.  We have lived the life and walked the walk so are aware of the extreme pain, the loss and the need to share our pain with others who understand and do not judge us in any way or manner.

To-day, I am better.  Am finding that there are certain areas in my life that brings on tears or bewilderment.  Such as going into the bedroom and expecting to hear John, going to the kitchen and preparing a meal thinking is this the way I did it for John.  as the day progresses I find that I have to slow down, meditate and just go with the flow and if I need to cry, I cry, if I need to rest, I have taken the time out to sit down and to heck with the unmade bed, do I really need to be the person I used to be, doing everything and carrying on like I have to get this done, do that, and try to keep busy just to forget.

I know it will take more time than the 3 months of missing John and it will be slowly and one day at a time.  With all your help and understanding, like the little engine, I know I can.  All things are possible.

Take care and a great big hug to all and thanks again for your taking time to comfort me in my time of need.

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Reply by Nouce
12 Apr 2015, 5:15 PM

Thanks to you all! I had a weeping weekend, partly because I was able to spend some time alone while son in law took care of Pablo. I remembered my parents as I listened to the spring birds in the morning and met some Native Americans drumming their sorrow at the desecration of one of their burial sites by a pipeline. 

But I also slept. Someone else was watching! What respite. May we each one find these moments of breathing, and the good weeping you describe.

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Reply by Xenia
13 Apr 2015, 4:14 PM

Good Morning All:

Rainy day, looking grey and what better for me to head for the pool and get out and do some water walking.  

Have a number of items to do relating to John;s passing but that can wait.  Family, inlaw, John's  only remeaing relative on his side wants me to travel to the East, Windsor, and spend some time with her and family.  At the moment I am not ready to do that but will consider it for later on prerhaps in the fall as I do love Ontario in the fall.  

I have been rereading the messages on this board and the comradierre amongst all was almost instantious. (spelling?) We seemed to have bonded right away .  I wonder what it would be like if we all met and had coffee sitting around discussing many subjects.

I see by the report that this message board has been around the longest, I trust that we will continue to message even though our circumstances change from day to day.  I would miss you all as you have been a blessing and help through thick and thin dealing with John;s illness and death.

Jimmie, how are you?  How is Sarah?  I appreciate you are busy so whenever you get in touch makes my day better.  Nat, has the weather changed yet?

Oldbat, trust things will get better for Karl and that you are able to get out more.

To all, heading for the pool and the hot tub to get some of the creakiness (word?) out of these tired old bones.  

Take care.

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Reply by Jimmie
13 Apr 2015, 5:46 PM

Dear Xenia (and everyone):

After a miserable, and protracted winter, we are enjoying the first warm day of the spring. I have boldly made an appointment to have my winter tires taken off and the summer ones installed.  Unfortunately, those summer tires are stored in our little garden shed which remains firmly manacled in the grip of a four foot snow bank.  I am hopeful (probably naively) that the sun will liberate both shed and tires over the next few days.

I have been following your letters and the responses of others. I salute you all - matted mittens removed tamporarily in honour of your respective struggles.  It has been a long, long night for all of you.

Sarah, as I mentioned in an ealier post, is now a resident of our local long term care facility. That nursing home is only five minutes away from where we live.  For that I am grateful.  I have tried to replicate the schedule Sarah and I kept while I was caring for her at home and consequently I spend the better part of each day with her.  The substantial increase in her medications has brought her manic/abusive behaviours under control, but in the process has left her socially disengaged and emotionally flat.  My task ,I think, is to bring as much comfort into her life as possible though at this point it is difficult to determine if my efforts to do so are of any benefit. AS I know you all understand, the emtional adjustments to this separation in our lives are substantial for the both of us.      

I am wondering if I might for a moment at least  shift the nature of our conversations slightly in keeping with Xenia's daydream about us meeting in person at some time - something I have oftened imagined as well.  I was wondering about moments of serenity, perhaps you would prefer the word tranquility, or stillness.  I am wondering when and where you have experienced such moments - if not of late, then sometime before. 

The afternoon sun, in early spring, floods our small living room, a living room which has grown quiet in Sarah's absence (and in mine as well).  There are times - unpredictable more often than not - when that sunlight and stillness within that room offer me fleeting moments of tranquility in spite of the rigours of my day, moments of grace.  I am wondering if any of you have a place or circumstance which offers something of the same experience to you.

If I could, I would take such moments - the felt presence of sunlight and stillness - and offer them to you as a balm for your sorrows.  That is how I would like us to meet - at least for a moment.  That is what I would like to give to each one of you after such a long and difficult winter. That is how what gods there may be offer their consolation - or so it seems to me - that is how they keep us company.

The story is such an old, old one, and now it is our turn to travel the path well worn by those who have gone before us.  It is not forbidden to sit and rest a while.

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Reply by frustrated
14 Apr 2015, 2:30 PM

Hi everyone,

Even though I haven't joined in the conversation for some time, I felt compeled tocomment on Jimmie's .


When you speak of Sarah's manic/abuusive behavior, I know what you are going through. For the last three months I have been verbally abused. The care center  where my husband has been has been unwilling to "over-medicate". So it has been a very trying time. I have been angry frustreated and resentful knowing that nothing I can do to justify myself. That I am not doing all the things I am accused of by his psychotic mind.

But then he will go into a semi-coma due to his illness. When he looks so weak and venerable I feel like my heart is being riped to pieces it hurts so bad. The  rollercoster of feelings and the inability to change anything or "fix it" is so difficult.

Then I read all of your comments about how hard the greiving is and I know that this will only get worse before it gets better. I don't know how I will ever survive all of this. Even my chocolate supply doesn't help. Going for walks in the woods hasn't helped. Friends are good, but when I go home it is still to a lonley dark cold house by myself ( I do have a cat).

Thank you all for all your postings. I do read them reguarly and am glad that we have this place to come to.




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Reply by Xenia
14 Apr 2015, 8:58 PM

Dear VJ and all:

Responding to Jimmies and your messages  about the abusive/manic begaviour, I understand some of what you are going through.

About a week or 10 days before John passed away, he started to act differently.  Nothing abusive but he wanted to get out of bed all night and was angry when I had to help him into bed.  Then on a Friday night a week before he went to hospital and passed away he was determined to get out of the condo, walk out the door and nothing I could do to help him change his mind.

He was connected to his Oxygen Concentrator but was still determined and thankfully I called my daughter and her husband and they came as quickly as possible while I stood guard at the door to the hall way and the fire escape stairs.  It was horrendous as all of a sudden he was so angry and started saying I know what you are doing, I know you are doing the same things again.  In tears I called 911 for an ambulance and after that it is along story.  

Like you said, it a roller coaster of feelings.  Our doctor had us take him to ER and stated we were not to take him home no matter what the hospital said.  He was still angry at me the next day and I didn't visit him until two days later and as you said, he looked weak and vulnerable that I almost said, yes, I will take you home when he said to me and my daughter "Let me go home and if I fall again or not be able to walk then you can put me in a home"  Both my daughter and I almost said yes, but we had to just smile and talk to him.  

He never went to a care facility, he stayed at the hospital and passed away a short time later.  As you the grieving went on for a long time, 18 months of palliative care at home with me, prior to that he was ill for a number of years in and out of the hospital so I grieved for a number of years.  I was numb when he died and my feelings of despaire of losing him just hit me a few weeks ago.  All of a sudden I realized that no matter how I felt during the first few weeks after he passed were nothing like I have been feeling this past few weeks. 

If it hadn't been for Jimmie, Oldbat, Ian, Nat and all the others on this message board I do believe I would have gone mad some days as I couldn;t understand my feelings of loss and guilt wondering if I had done enough for John.  Thankfully the support helped me understand that I was not the only one with guilt and wishing I had done more.  I had done as much can be done and I was able to do and thankfully John knew it as he was always thankful for my care and the families care and we only had that week or 10 days when this other personality appeared perhaps from the fall he had, the cancer moving, or whatever.

I am thankful I had John for 59 years and as you I try to find solace in music, reading, walking and getting on line with all our friends at CVH.

Hugs to you all and perhaps as Jimmie mentioned, we may meet one day, who knows the future.

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Reply by Jimmie
15 Apr 2015, 11:10 AM

Dear Frustrated:

Thank you for writing.  I have been wondering how you were doing.

In my own case. Sarah's abusive rages left me emotionally and physically exhausted.  They took a considerable toll on my energy, patience, and resolve to continue to care for her.  Though I understood, as many people suggested that it was "just the disease talking", I found knowing that was not enough to blunt the negative impact Sarah's rages on me. Her unrestrained anger and the very harsh language she used to expresse it staggered me each time she exploded.  When you experience such abusive circumstances over and over again for extended periods of time, it can leave you absolutely depleted and broken particularly when you are the primary care giver.  You should not underestimate the significant damage such abuse can have on you, and, in my opinion, you have to protect yourself from that damage.  You have to protect yourself from your husband's assaults. 

Sarah's rages are now more or less under control thanks to the increase of one of her medications.  Having said that, there were periods during her hospitalization when she would erupt. It reached a point where I simply  couldn't remain in the room with her at such times.  I just couldn't stand another assault.  I would leave and the nurses would take over.  I was just too exhausted to tolerate her unbridled rage.  I would suggest you do the same particularly in a circumstance where the professionals are not willing to increase your husband's medications.  When he erupts with his form of verbal abuse - leave.  It is of little benefit for you to stay.  He does not hear or respond rationally to anything you might say, and his battering of you leaves you even more tired and dispirited than you were when you entered his room.  Leave, and let the staff - who have the "luxury" of being able to address your husband's anger professionally, not personally - take care of him. Do not remain  in the face of such rages.  They are too destructive, and unfair.  You need the safety of distance and separation to remain at least somewhat balanced.  YOu need to protect you own sanity, and salvage what patience and affection and care you can in the facde of such onslaughts in order to continue caring for your husband as best you can.

Leave - recover - and return.  Let others intervene on your behalf.  Preserve as best you can the battered love for your husband by removing yourself from his presence when he becomes abusive.  There is no need to feel guilty for doing so.  We can not continue to care for our spouses, if we are emotionally or physically destroyed in the process.  Leave - recover and return.  Easier said than done I know, but a necessity, I believe, in my case at least if I am to continue to care for Sarah, and if I am to continue to WANT to care for Sarah.  WE are finite.  There is a limit to the weariness, and stress our bodies and spirits can tolerate.  Such abuse takes it's toll on our vitality and our love.  Best to protect both for the sake of our spouses, and for our own sakes as well.  Do not feel guilty for trying to protect and preserve your love for you husband by removing yourself from his abuse. an abuse which will inevitably corrode that love should you remain too long in its presence.  At least, that's what I found was happening to me as a result of Sarah's rages.  Leave - recover - return.

With affection and concern =





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