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    • CommentAuthormarygail*
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2009
    I repeat (I CAN AND WILL DO THIS), thanks for the pep talk Lois you are one tough women, I want to grow up to be just like you BUT DOES IT STILL HAVE TO HURT SO MUCH LOSING YOUR LOVE OF YOUR LIFE.
    I think of him every day but I also think of how unhappy he was here on earth these last few months, because he still realized many
    things he could no longer do and I do think he obsessed over many of them. He was very frustrated because he could no longer string a sentence together and I believe he is happier now and enjoying his new home. The house seems so empty and quiet now. We had been together for 53 years almost 24/7 because we had our own businesses and worked together. I never dated anyone else and he never dated anyone else.

    The choice is now mine to make. I can do as my aunt did and remained bitter the 25 years following her husbands death, or as my cousin (age 69) who fills every day and many nights doing volunteer and Church work around the clock so she won't have to stay home or try and carve out a new life for myself at age 72. I choose the latter and with the help of my children and grandchildren as my support along with the support from this site and my E-mail friends I intend to try and go forward a step at a time and getting involved in some new interests, including travel, college courses and enjoying my grandchildren. I am indeed fortunate to have 2 of my 3 children living within a mile of me and many of you don't have that. I wish you did. You can do it also marygail, but you still have your grieving time. I have grieved for the past few years for both of us and I think that is making it easier for me now.
    Lois, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Tomorrow, Claude will have been gone 10 months. I'm still grieving but did most of it before he passed on, and it has made it easier for me.

    In February, my brother-in-law will have been gone 30 years. My sister-in-law is still bitter and makes it uncomfortable for everyone around her. She had a chance to remarry a wonderful man, but that bitterness drove him away.

    I refuse to be like her. I started some volunteer work and am planning on going back to school next month. I've enrolled in an english course - one course but it's a start. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but I'll be one step further along on my journey.

    Unfortunately,it's been a long, hard road for those of us who have the "star" behind our names, but there is an end to that road. We can honor our spouses by picking ourselves up and making a new life for ourself and our families.

    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2009
    redbud, my mother was a widow much longer than she was a wife. When my father died she was still in her 30s. And she never got over the bitterness of the fact that her "life had ended" so early. I've always known that dealing with widowhood might just be one of my life tasks. I needed the reminder that I will have choices.
    Hi, well, I'm not happy to be here, as I know none of you are. But I will be happy to hear what some of your tips are for coping with where we are. Thanks.
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2009
    Redbud, what English course are you taking?
    Mary75, i'm signed up for a literature class but am thinking about dropping it and taking a history class instead. Even tho I love to read, I never really cared for english and/or lit classes in school. I have always loved history so maybe it may be a good test of the waters so to speak. My 50th high school reunion is this coming September. The only classes I have taken since then were for work or fun classes like ceramics.

    TJ, I'm sorry you're here also but welcome. Someone one time called those of us with the star behind our names "war veterans". They were right - some of us came thru the 'Alzheimer War' relatively unscathed, others have many wounds to show for it. I'm kind of inbetween. After reading some of the posts over the last couple of years, I realized Claude and I both came thru it fairly easily. We definitely had our moments, but basically he was a very laid back person. I was the one that got stressed out to the point where I had to go on meds.

    One thing I did do was go back and read all the posts after Joan combined them and made a sticky. There is alot of good advice there.

    Hugs, Mary
    Joe, I truly believe you will be one wants to be in our position, but it is what it is. I think we owe it to our dear loved ones (both living and deceased) to honor them by living life to the fullest.

    Don't be hard on yourself and give yourself plenty of time to grieve. It is a process....and no one can tell you how to do it or how long it takes.

    Mary, I came through relatively unscathed myself. I am, by nature, a very positive and upbeat person....I think that has served me well over the long years of caregiving and the widowhood that has followed. I didn't have to build a new life after my husband died, because I refused to leave the old one. I know that is one of the reasons I am as happy as I am.

    Joe, just keep hanging out here....we will get you through this. One day at a day at a time.....
    Thank you Mary and Sandi. How long does it take for you to really realize your LO is gone? It still seems so surreal, an ongoing nightmare, and I keep hoping to wake up and see her there, in her hospital bed. I go around in a kind of fog, trying to act normal. I feel so alone, so abandoned. I guess God needed her more than I did, but that is hard to believe. Maybe He thought she had suffered enough, and called her home to be whole again. I wish I could sleep until this Summer, and wake up with the time passed as though I were awake the whole time. Then I would feel much better than now, I'm sure. Again, thanks for your support at this most difficult time of my life.
    • CommentAuthormarygail*
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2009
    Joe you and I are feeling the same way, for the first month I thought if only I would die then it would stop the hurt but life goes on and you learn to adjust , it`s hard, Bob and I were married for 42 yrs, how do you give that up, I would ask him every night to come see me, didn`t happen, I now dream about him and it brings great comfort, it`s only been 2 months for me and I still hurt but not as much, give yourself time, I know you are saying why do people tell me that, it hurts and the hurt will never go away, how do they know how I feel, well we don`t ,only you know your pain, you will cry alot, my family doesn`t like it when I tell them I cry still, to bad that`s the way I feel, losing your soul mate is like losing yourself, I grab hold of the good memories we had together, I talk to him about them, like remember when our babies were born and things like that, it brings me comfort to talk to him, I guess in time the talks will subside and it will be ok, I also get mad and yell at him for leaving me, like you say abandoned. My honey couldn`t take care of me here on earth so I think he is taking care of me now, he used to do everything for me. if you want to email me feel free, I love to talk about Bob, and I would love to hear more about Maryann. Take care. Gail
    Joe and Gail, most of the hurt does go away in time. It's been 10 months for me. There is still some hurt there and some days I do cry, but the good memories of our 38 years together are overpowering the bad ones of the last few years.

    It just takes time. It doesn't seem possible when your hurt is as fresh as it, but believe me, time heals everything (or almost) as the old saying goes.

    Hugs to you both, Mary
    Thank you Mary. If I could step into a time machine and go forward about two years, I'd gladly do it. Hugs to all who hurt so bad. Maybe the French Foreign Legion would, too old for that. Guess it's back to plan B.
    • CommentAuthorjoyful*
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2010
    I have been reviewing this thread for widows and widowers and see that some of you recalled I was to be operated on and wondered how I am doing. I had my operation on Oct.28th of last year...the procedure did what it was supposed to do however I still have problems so am seeing another specialist this coming Wed. Jan.6th. I do hope he can do something as I am quite often confined to home and wish to get well enough to have a modicum of freedom to live a few years and to do some of the things I have missed during these past 10 yrs. of Alzheimers duty. I miss my husband very much but am glad he is now free of that horrible disease. I don't talk much to anyone about these past years as they just don't know what misery we endure as mates of someone who disappears before our eyes.
    Thank you for your concern for me....
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2010
    wishing you luck on your upcoming dr visit in jan joyful. hope they can give you some relief.
    Joyful, I hope you are soon back to full health and can move ahead with life. Good thoughts coming to you......
    Positive energy going to you,Joyful. Hope you will be back on top soon.
    • CommentAuthorjav*
    • CommentTimeJan 9th 2010
    the holidays have been extremely hard to face. my precious husbands birthday was new years day. it is so hard to think of how much time has already gone by since his passing in april. i haven't been on here in some time. i am so sorry to all of you that have lost their loved ones since i last posted. i am still so wrapped up in grief and am having a hard time making myself get out and go. i am trying to stay busy,cleaning out closets and getting my house in order,although i can't bear to think of parting with anything that was his. i washed a couple of his jackets today and hung them in the closet. i cried when i put them in the washer and cried when i took them out to hang them up. i still sleep with his tee shirt at night,it seems to comfort me,but all traces of his smell and his essence are gone. his clothes just smell like freshly laundered clothing or the drawer they have heen stored in. i dream about him alot,in my dreams he has come back and nothing is wrong with him,i just think,it is a miracle and feel so happy,but then i wake up and it just makes it worse. i still cry alot, at the drop of a hat,the tears are always there,just ready to spill. my grandbabies help me so much. i can feel happy with children are very supportive and try to help me,but i know that i have to go through this sad journey at my own pace. god bless you all.
    I feel your grief, jav*, ...mine is so raw...My husband died on November 17th. I still cannot say "My husband died"(even to strangers on the telephone) without choking up. I was with him every minute of every day and night, and he was so precious to me. I was told by my priest that most spouses grieve for six months if death was anticipated (say ..had serious cancer, lung disease or heart disease. If the death was not expected, as MY husbands' was not expected so soon because he was in overall good health otherwise. If the death is not expected, grief will take one year or longer. So it must be with you. I wrote a friend today that I still try to find my husband's smell everywhere and his clothes are still in my closet. (Six weeks later...not long at all) Would you believe that one person visited me less than a week after his funeral and asked if she could have all of his clothes?? I said "Not now, I don't want to touch them". (Meaning not move them). She replied, "Oh it's okay, I'll get them with my own hands and you won't have to touch them." What do people think???????????????????????????????????????? I have avoided her phone calls since then. I might keep his clothes in my closet for a year or more. Why NOT???
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJan 9th 2010
    Nancy, there are people that are so insensitive that they believe the only way to move on is to get all trace of the person out of the house ASAP. For some, that is what they do. For others it can be 6 months, a year, or longer. They just don't get it.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2010
    People grieve on their own time table, and should be allowed to do so. I don't believe one can move on to a new life until they have gone through the grieving process and come out to the other side, with the memories of their spouse residing in a special part of their heart forever. And I probably shouldn't even be commenting on this, since I have not experienced it. I'm only referring to those I have known who have gone through it.

    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2010
    I'm proof of what Joan just said. My father died when I was 4 years old and I did not understand what had happened. When I was 7 I finally understood, and started grieving. No one in my family was willing to understand why I was grieving or allow me to cry myself out, so I hid what was going on. Since I was a latch key child at 7, I had a couple of hours alone in the house every day to do just that.

    You need to grieve. For some of us the grieving is going on while our LO is still alive. I'm having a hard time saying the words, "my husband is going to die." But that also means that I'm already dealing with that issue. And he could easily still be with us for two or three years, or even more.

    You grieve on your one time table, and that is just fine.
    Yes, grieving is a process....and a very individual one. I will tell you how far along I was in the grieving process when my husband was still alive. On more than one occasion when I was talking to other people I would find myself saying...."when Butch was alive......" and he was still among us but in such a state that I had already become a widow. I don't know what that says about me, but I am doing fine......
    Today, I gave away the jars of baby food I had bought for Mary Ann to eat when she couldn't chew and swallow regular food. I also gave away the peach nectar I bought for her....gave all of it to the food pantry collection at church. I will give her meds to a pharmacy to destroy, and toss any plastic containers of unused body wash, lotions, etc. that Hospice brought. But way. I may have to keep all that for a year before I can handle disposing of all that. She had tons of sweaters. I sleep on her pillow, and kiss it every morning and night. I, too, cry at the drop of a hat, and visit her grave twice a week, where I cry some more. I didn't think she would die so soon...thought she had at least another 6 months. I could go on and on, but you also grieving spouses know what I mean. I don't want another life...I want the one we had, before she got so sick. God help us all.
    TJ, my heart aches for you and for all the others going through this. I cannot imagine the pain and heartache you have. Not having gone through it, I have no advice - except grieve as you see fit, for as long as it takes. But try not to isolate yourself. And...we all still have the rope dangling with lots of knots.

    Hugs to you..
    • CommentAuthornatsmom*
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2010
    Texas Joe, my heart goes out to you!! We cling to our loved ones, as you did to your wife, and do, even now. Even though we endure such hard times with them, we cannot imagie life without them....But, we know it's coming...just not sure when ~ Texas Joe, wishing you healing more & more as the days pass...Thanks for sharing with us. Be encouraged...we are here for you!! ((((HUGGS))))
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2010
    marygail* CommentTime 11 hours ago

    I thought I was over the crying but have been doing it for over 2 hours now, all of a sudden I felt so over come by grief and can`t seem to stop the crying I see him every where in this house tonight and even can feel him here , does that mean I`m losing my mind, I thought maybe if I came on and posted it would help me and maybe someone could help me understand what I`m going through, I am so lost without my love and not being able to set my eyes on his face is so hard, how do you do it, it has been almost 3 months and seems like yesterday. wow this little post took me 15 mins. to write can`t see to well through the tears. WILL THE PAIN EVER STOP? Gail
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2010
    You're not losing your mind Gail. You're still grieving. It will be 1 year the 21st of Feb. that DH has been gone and I still miss him. It seems like just yesterday, everything about that day is still so clear. Then at other times it seems like he's been gone forever. I have his picture on my computer and every time I turn it on, there he is. I can't help but reach out and touch his face. It's the last thing I see before I go to bed, because that's when I turn off the computer. Again I reach out and touch him and tell him how much I miss him and I tell him good night. At times it's difficult to turn off the computer because he will be gone.

    I will never forget him, but it is getting easier. Whenever I start feeling down, I remind myself how much happier he is now than he was while suffering.
    I don't know if you mean you actually see him or if you see things that make you think of him, but either way it doesn't mean you're losing you mind, it just means you're remembering him. I'm crying while I write this, both for you and because I'm remembering.
    People say it gets easier with time and I guess it is getting easier, but that doesn't stop us from remembering .
    Cry all you want, it seems to help me.
    We'll just take it one day at a time, we will survive. In the beginning, I didn't care if I did or not but now I feel I can go on.
    My reason for living has been gone now for 26 days, and nothing is any better. I miss her terribly, and I hate this so-called 'new' life. Yesterday, the funeral home called to tell me the death certificates are ready to be picked up. Just another reminder that this is real, and not an ongoing nightmare. This morning I didn't get up until 10, and even then, I just wanted to stay in bed all day. It being cloudy all day isn't helping. I guess one reason I hate this is that even though I like people, whenever I was with others (except at work, of course), my sweetie was always there with me...we were a team. And now, I am alone with all these 'strangers', and feel so alone without her by my side. This totally sucks.
    Joe, darling, it's been 63 days since my husband I understand how you feel. I was having a very hard time missing him and feeling so lonesome during Christmas. Then I realized that I was missing the man he used to be, not the man he would have been if he had been with me on that day. As time passes, we remember all the good times and happy days and loving moments, ...and fate has deemed it that we do not remember as many of the lonely times we were alone at home the last year or so, when he wasn't "the man I married, the man I had the good times with, the fun team-mate". I guess I'm moving on. I still cry when I talk to others about him,..not as much, ... but the tears still come. I'm missing my husband... oh God! how I miss him...but I realize I'm missing the person he was...not the man who died in my arms. Thank heaven for so many good memories. But I do miss him, and you will always miss your wife. That's because we had good partners, ...good memories... and that's our blessing.
    Joe and Nancy, I don't count the days anymore -- for a while i was keeping up with how many days since Frances left, and then it was weeks, but now I'm thinking in terms or months -- about 4 1/2 at this point, and I'm healing fast. I hardly ever mist up anymore, although I did a few times several days ago while visiting Frances's recently widowed younger sister (her husband died in November) and let her watch some videos made during Frances's final months. I hardly ever think of those bad times anymore -- the memories are still in the back of my mind somewhere and can be accessed, but I just don't do that very often. Too much else going on -- which I think is key to my healing. I'm busy as all get out "courting" my second best sweetheart, Joyce -- dinner, movies, lunch, etc. several times a week and looking to a possible future together sometimes on down the line. Next week she and I will drive across the state to attend the wedding of a first cousin -- both he and his bride-to-be are 81 and acting like lovebirds. Both lost their spouses about three years ago, so there really can be an "after".

    I still visit with Frances's photo several times a day to remind myself of the old healthy Frances, but don't feel that I'm being disloyal to her memory or shortchanging the love we had for one another by moving on with my life. I wish everyone could be as lucky as I am.
    Nancy, unfortunately the memories I can recall the best, and most, are the recent ones of a sweet but declining love of my life. For some reason, the 'good times' memories are so old, they are faded and forgotten (unless shaken free by viewing pictures), because this nightmare began 26 years ago with her brain surgery.

    GC, you are indeed lucky to have had a very good friend of the family that could develop into something more, and did. I have nothing, nobody to go out with just as a friend, who isn't married. I just met a woman at church, whose DH is in a NH now with Alz, but one can't "date" someone like that because her LO is still here. Plus, I don't want to anyway, 'cause I would feel like a cheater until a LOT more time passes. But again, your situation is not like that.
    I am glad you are doing so well at this point.
    • CommentAuthorbriegull*
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2010
    Joe, are you still taking your antidepressant? The need hasn't gone away, you know.
    • CommentAuthorjoyful*
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2010
    The other day I was grieving for my husband and dreading each day that brings me to Feb. 17th, the day of his death. But then I was given an insight (I believe from God)....I still am fortunate to have my cognitive abilities intact including the memories of my dear one . Even though the memories include painful sadness, I still have them.He had lost his memories including his sense of our shared life . So I thank God for the ability to remember our wonderful years together even through the tears.
    Yes, Clare, I am taking it. If I weren't, I'd REALLY be in the abyss. Now, I just hate what this so-called life has done to us. I can take it for a year or so, but if not, I can always check out of this lousy hotel.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2010
    Joe - just take one day at a time. Take more anti-depressant if need be.
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2010
    joyful* , I,too, am dreading that one year anniversary. Feb. 21st will mark the one year day that I lost a big part of my life. I'm not sure what to expect but I know I'm dreading it.
    I thank God that although my life ended with his, he is no longer suffering and I am beginning to live again.

    Gourdchipper, There is no one to replace DH but I do think about how it would feel to have someone to love and to love me . I miss the closeness we always had and wonder if I will ever feel that closeness again.

    It is getting easier but I don't think I'll ever forget. Guess I don't want to forget, I want to keep his memories forever. I can now look at videos and not cry but actually laugh.
      CommentAuthorNew Realm*
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2010 edited
    March 14 will be the first anniversary of Paul's passing. I was such a wreck the day of, and day AFTER his birthday. I thought i'd take the day after this anniversary (Mar. 15) off since it's a Monday, but now the boss man is saying he doesn't want us taking a Mon or Fri off. I think I'm gonna come right out, nearly two months in advance, and tell him the what and why that I need that day off. Want to spend an extended weekend with my kids.....cuz they are hurting too.
    Joyce43 said:
    <<Gourdchipper, There is no one to replace DH but I do think about how it would feel to have someone to love and to love me . I miss the closeness we always had and wonder if I will ever feel that closeness again.>>

    Joyce, I agree -- there'll never be anyone to replace my dear Frances, and I wouldn't want there to be -- but as to how it feels to have someone to love and be loved by again -- well I can tell you that feels GOOD! And as for ever regaining the closeness I had with my DW, well, "close enough for practical purposes" as engineers would say......(I wish I knew how to do emoticons)

    I doubt that 80+ year olds can ever truly be "in love" again in the sense of the all consuming, blind kind of love that first led us to marriage when we were younger, but I do believe we can grow to love someone again with enough real affection to want them as a partner in our remaining years, and to be willing to accept each other with whatever "pre-existing conditions" that we may bring to the relationship.
      CommentAuthorBama* 2/12
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2010
    Gourdchipper, You are a wise old soul. We all have room in our heart to love more than one person. It might not be that young blind love but there is something good to be said about loving someone with our eyes wide open. I wish you all the happiness that life can bring. You are a good example for all of us when we get through this journey.
    I'm getting tired of this empty house....I just want to curl up on the couch with my sweetie's pillow and take about a six month nap. Is that so wrong? I am soooooo lost. I know I'll feel better tomorrow, but it's such a long wait, it seems.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2010
    Joe, when my bil died, my sister slept for the next year only getting up to pay bills, grocery shop when needed. She had a stash of meal bars, snacks, etc in her room so she had little need to come out. So, no there is nothing wrong if you need the sleep and you may need it. You may be more tired than you think you are. When you are exhausted physically and emotionally, coping is much harder.
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2010
    Keep going TJ. It's hard but they wouldn't want us to just give up. I didn't sleep a lot but I didn't do anything either. Sit, watch tv, switch channels, read that was about it. Nothing would get me excited or feel alive. My kids would come over and I would put on an act for them but when they left it was back to doing nothing.
    it will be one year next month and it's only been the last month that I joined a gym and go there 5 days a week. I guess I decided that I wasn't ready to give up and spend the rest of my life like I have been this past year.
    Who am I trying to kid? This life stinks. Without Bill being here, I feel like there is nothing left to look forward to. I do things that I have to do, but there is no enjoyment in it. I did join the gym though and I look forward to going there so maybe I will make it. But who is there to care if I do or not?
    Sorry Joe, guess I'm not much help this morning. I've had company for the past week and they left yesterday. This morning all I have is two helium balloons floating around and the noise of the TV. Neither of which is much company.
    Maybe some day, Joe, we'll be able to enjoy life again. Right now all there is, is more sitting, reading, tv and channel surfing.
    I'm glad I found out that sighing is one of the things we do when we grieve, 'cause I sure do a lot of that around the house these days. "<sigh> oh me", "<sigh> oh geeze", "<sigh> oh dear", ad nauseum. Just sayin'. Not a happy camper lately. I guess I never thought one of us would go first...thought we might go together in a tornado, or something.
    I wish we all lived close to each other so we could gather together to support each other in our losses. No match-making, just to be with those who know the pain and can understand our feelings of loss. Cry on someone's shoulder, laugh at a joke, talk about whatever touches you, play cards, and maybe even dance, and of course break bread together. Well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride, right?
    More rain this morning, as if yesterday and last night were not enough. I really need what I posted above ^ .
    Joe, I haven't experienced your pain and loss yet, but if I were near you, it would be wonderful to play card, dance, eat - whatever - with you. My heart goes out to you and am sending big hugs.
    Joe, I too wish you were closer....I am always up for some fun.....I even think I could get a chuckle out of you......
    Texas Joe
    Have you tried finding some of the members on here and trying to play cards online? I never did it, but I know that if two or three members exchange email info, you can find a site to play many card games online... I know they have Spades, Poker, Hearts, Rummy, and many others.. Perhaps you shud try to recruit members that you know on this site.. It would do you good...
    Thanks, Vickie and Sandi*, that would be so great....maybe one day.
    Phranque, when I play cards, I like to look people in the eye, and talk with them. Something that is still missing in this cyber-life. This online family has been immensley helpful and supportive, but I need the human contact to cure my ills, that's why I said what I did. I have that contact at church, but they are not you guys. Thanks for the idea, though. Bless all of you.