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Going from WE TO ME........ 
Started by nanalovesu
26 Jun 2012, 6:01 PM

My husband passed away last May from cancer.  It has been one year now filled with dates we used to celebrate together and now?  Well, they are just sad days.  I remember the journey of his passing like it was yesterday. Now, I have different outlook on life, not taking it forgranted, not wasting precious time with my children. He was my second husband and I have a blended family which makes it interesting some days. One daughter asked me not to change my last name if I remarried, wanting me to carry it with love.  Right now I feel lost. Not sure if I should move so I can start again, turn the page, because there are so many memories in my home of US.  And it is different for me because he passed away in our home, as he wished, and I fullfilled with love.  Seems the walls speak sometimes, especially the living room which was turned into a hospital room. My parents want me to move home, my daughter both want me to move in with them, and I still have to book a flight to bring my late husbands ashes home.I'm so confused sometimes, don't know which way to turn.
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Reply by NatR
26 Jun 2012, 6:35 PM

Hi Nanalovesu, my apologies, I didnt realize you had already started this separate thread.

I look forward to the ideas that others post to answer your question.

I am sure it is very hard to stay living in the home that your husband spent his last days in.  It seems like everyone is offering you help, your children, your parents, and that is all wonderful - but in the end it will be your choice, your decision.

Sounds to me like your family only wants you to feel better, to know they are there for you, and I would guess that when you do decide what works for you - they will be okay with it.  And, if they struggle with your decisions, they will also have to adjust - as you have had to adjust to this loss that was not what you wanted.

It is so difficult to lose someone too early.  I have lost a parent, a sibling and I can try and understand your feelings of loss and confusion.

My advice is not to do anything quickly but to take time and make sure it is really what you want or need to do.

I can say that living with family can be wonderful and it can also be challenging.  I have done it both ways and appreciate having my own space.  But for you in your loss, maybe that would be too much alone time.  You may decide to stay with members of your family for a while before you are back on your feet again and desire that space of your own.  No one will or should judge you for your decisions.

As you said in your note, life is short, and you dont know what lies around the next corner...so do what you decide..and what brings you peace.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss and your pain.
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Reply by Brayden
26 Jun 2012, 8:32 PM

Dear Nanaluvesu,
I have journeyed with a number of spouses in your situation and can feel the confusion that you find yourself in. The suggestion from NatR that you might look for a support group is really good. We in Manitoba have a good number of excellent resources. Even if you live outside of the city, you can access Hospice & Palliative Care Man. for bereavement support. (204-889-8525)

 The problem of moving out of the house where your loved one died always seems to surface. From the way that you state your situation, I would caution you not to feel pressure from family to make the decison before you are totally comfortable with it. Families intentions are normally good but they often do not make your feelings the priority. Sometimes others feel that by moving you will get over it and start moving on. Then moving is not helpful. Everyone grieves differently and at different speeds. Your decision to reach out beyound your own family may also provide a fresh outlook.

I admire you for the strength you do convey after enduring that most difficult first year.
Please keep posted as we care for you.
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Reply by nanalovesu
27 Jun 2012, 6:24 PM

Hi NatR and Brayden,
Thank you for your posts. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that knows what it feels like to be widowed.  I never thought I would be alone and on my own at 52, the children understand they still have their spouses and it is different for me.  When I go home it is to an empty chair where he once sat, an empty bed where he once slept. A part of me died that day too.  The biggest question for me is, will I be able to love again? I live in a small town in Manitoba where there are not many resourses, such as bereavement support groups.

I am fortunate to have a supportive family that cares so much.  But I am considering moving to the city, a new adventure.

I continue to go thru all my late husbands things, trying to decide what to do with it. Any advice in this area?

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Reply by Mark99
27 Jun 2012, 8:32 PM

Oh My Gosh Beverly much of what you present is similar to what I've been through. Donna my wife of 28+ years passed away last August 7 so my year anniversary is coming fast. In fact July 10 was the day before she went into the hospital for a procedure. We had dinner. Little did we know it would be our last meal together. We had no children just Nina the Westie.

This past year after her passing has been an entire range of emotions that go from abject pain to dullness. I see all that she did for us around the home and see her in all her things. I have started to donate to her things CancerCare.org but had to stop since it is painful. I will start again next weekend. It is my way of finding my way. What was the hardest for me was not taking her things out but replacing the empty space with mine. That hit me hard. Just take your time. 

I sense your struggles are constructive and moving you forward which is what struggle is the movement forward. I try to consider that 'Donna loved me into being' and my being is what I am for me and for her. But I have not made up my mind yet about moving or starting over. I have not gotten there on any level. I am trying to find myself in work and reinvent myself as a way to establish a new adventure. I closed my business up when she was diagnosed three and half+ years ago and have been doing some consulting but I now find myself with just me and I am not that interesting some days. But I know for a fact that today I am better for all that I did and went through. My time caring for her and after her death brought into focus what we had, what she was and what I am. These dark moments are just speed bumps and places for me to drill down into myself, the love I have for her, and us to find more. I am learning and growing from this but not in the way a child grows but in a way a plant grows and sends roots out to find water and nourishment. I am nourished by the pain in some strange way. Both of us were take no prisoners type of people and she clearly said to me in the hospital ‘Don’t be a maudlin pussy’

I’ve posted this in other places and at the risk of repeating myself I’ll do it here again:

"Decathexis is the word. Freud (I was told) used the word CATHEXIS to talk about attachment. My supervisor talked about the process of grief being the work of "DECATHEXIS" and that is the tying off the threads (the warp & the woof) of the tapestry of the relationship. All the threads that make up that tapestry have to be tied off, the tapestry completed. The tapestry remains and is preserved through that tying off of the threads that formed the relationship. And it's hard, time-consuming work."

So that is my work right now to create this tapestry that I will hold with me preserved in my heart. I hope this helps. You know our 10 year wedding bands said the following Amor Vincit Omnia ‘Love Conquers All Things’ Donna believed it and I do and I believe love will conquer this and will help me find love again, though Donna knew I am one fussy bastard…LOL

I hope I’ve helped and am her to help more if I can.  

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Reply by NatR
29 Jun 2012, 4:37 PM

Hello Nanalovesu and Mark 99

Sounds like you are going to be great supports for each other.  I wish I could offer you advice Nanalovesu on what your next moves will be...but its entirely up to you...go with your gut...I wish I had followed mine more often:)

I am a bit older than you...but I did go through a small crisis at the age of 49, not a death of a person but a death of a relationship.  In a lot of ways, that relationship loss has always had a small corner of my mind.  Wishing I could have changed things, improved things, fixed things...and not all of it was bad.

I know that you will always have a little pack sack of memories, conversations, moments that made a difference...all bundled up in your heart.  You will have those no matter where you go, what you do, or how you live your life.

You did ask about what to do with your husbands personal things.  I did deal with my fathers passing, and also dealt with a lot of my moms personal things as she is suffering with dementia and decisions had to be made about her things.

Keep what matters and brings  you comfort...anything that reminds you of a special time, day, important event...such as maybe his watch that you might still wear...a chain or something that brings good memories to you...I have a friend who wears her husbands watch...it was from his work, and it meant something to him, and therefore it means something to her.

As far as other things, clothing, books, items that you may not want to keep or have no personal need for...I would suggest offering them to family members who can use them...or giving them to charity...

Your husband will always be close to you in your heart and mind.
I would also suggest...embrace life, take chances...you can always go back, you can always retrace steps...but its a good chance to take...rather than saying later in life...I wish I had done this, that or the other thing.

I wish you only peace in your heart...and wish you a renewal of energy to pick up, keep going...and as I saw on Twitter just yesterday...each minute brings us 60 seconds of living...opportunity...and that stuck in my mind.  We often think about days, weeks or months as times we should value...but its the moments, the little things...just as it is the little things that stay with us...that kiss, that touch, that smile, that look...you are richer for having all those things to recall:)

Hope that my words at least comfort you...if not motivate you to be you;)
My best wishes,
And to you Mark99 have a good weekend;)
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Reply by PPP
20 Jul 2012, 12:58 PM

I too have lost my husband just over 3 months ago and going through the same senario as you.  As you stated NNLU, I go home to an empty house etc and find the silence unbearable. 

I try and have a routine but everything I do reminds me of of my loss right now.  I will have to make decisions whether I stay in my house for the winter or not.  I live in a home  that requires snow ploughing (which my husband looked after) and don't know if I can handle living here in the lonley winter months.  I can go stay with my children for a few weeks at a time but don't know if I could leave for any longer.  

Yes, everything we do reminds us of our loss, but some days I feel his presence and gives me comfort.  My husband had a great sense of humour and always had me laughing.  He would not want this grief to overcome me.  I try and think of those things but some days are harder than others as I am sure we all have experienced.

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Reply by NatR
20 Jul 2012, 4:38 PM

Hi PPP and Nanalovsu,

It is good to see people going through the same situation posting their thoughts and feelings.  My heart goes out to you both.  Grieving is something we all do differently and it does take its own time...no one does it in the same way or the same space of time.

I have not been in your shoes..but I know from having lost parent and sibling, that it does resurface...even years later...feelings come up...thoughts, memories, and for you both who have lost the partner that filled your life...my heart felt thoughts to you both.

Being able to share it...here on the forum is a good thing to do...just to know you are not alone.  Just to know someone is listening...
I hope that you are able to take your day an hour at a time...and please feel free to write whenever you have a need to express, vent or just cry.

I have found that typing things out...is in a way much like keeping a journal..writing notes..( and yes I do that too) it kind of takes a bit of the pain, frustration and feelings out of your body and for me...it takes the edge off, writing it out, letting it go...and also getting feedback..understanding...from others who want to help.

I do hope that it will help you to write it down and let it go ....and in that way...help yourself to heal and move forward.
As you said PPP, your husband would want you to continue to live and not be overwhelmed in grief.  Keep that in mind...and let it strengthen you.

I am sending you best wishes today..
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Reply by Brayden
20 Jul 2012, 5:31 PM

Dear PPP,
I can just feel that sense of loneliness and emptiness from your words. Everyone grieves differently and must find their own journey. Having said that, there is value in allowing non-judmental friends to support you in lending guidance from their past experiences. You are facing a very major decision about staying in your house and you may want to weigh the options very carefully. Major decisions made too early in the grieving process can be regretted later. Be sure to find a trusted friend to help assess all the details of a move and weigh that against other options.
Please keep posting with your questions and for emotional support. We here all care deeply about you.
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Reply by PPP
21 Jul 2012, 11:36 AM

Thank you NatR and Brayden for your words of support.  As you said typing it out does help.  

I think I have been holding some of my grief in, trying to be normal, but there is no normal right now.  How do you make it normal?   

After my husband died, I visited my children for a month off and on who live out of town. I think I was avoiding being alone, trying to escape the lonliness. I found that everyone has their own life and sometimes you don't fit without your spouse.  This I found is one of the hardest part of grief, not having your "best friend" beside you when everyone else does!  As everyone keeps saying time will heal.

After many plans, we are going to have my husband's interment next week, maybe that will give me more closure.  I try and take one day at a time, as everyone says.  My husband would say, "you worry too much"  and he was right!  Trying to heed his wisdom and "relax".  As I type this I smile remembering him saying that to me!

Thank you again for your emotional support.

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