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    Sometimes I just feel like giving up. I can see the handwriting on the wall...I'm going to die a bitter old man, mad at the world for taking away the one person who ever gave a damn about me, and at age 26 showed me that I didn't really want to be a bachelor. And now that reason for being happy, decent, and positive is gone, and at this age, I don't have a lot of confidence that someone like her will ever come along again. I'm a mess, and I guess my destiny was to care for her until the end, and then what? I don't know. I wish God would tell me, otherwise I'll just be a leaf floating on the water, at the mercy of the wind to take me to my new destiny. So I wait...and wait...
    Okay, Joe, guess what? The pity party is over.....! You have better things to do than sit around and wait to die. Yes, you lost your beautiful wife...that is horrible. Guess what? A lot of us have lost our spouse. Yep, it sucks.....but contrary to what you may believe, your life is not over. There is a whole big beautiful world out there. But, you have to open your eyes.

    I know you are still grieving...I can appreciate that but you can't let it consume you. Do you realize that the best way to honor her memory and your life together is to make sure that you continue to have a wonderful life. That doesn't mean you won't miss her every day of your life.....but missing her and MISSING her are two different things.

    You have lots of friends here who care about you and we worry about the fact that you think there is nothing left for you. Well, I am here to tell you that there is lots out there....but you have to make the decision to go and find it. Life is not going to come and ring your have got to make the first move.

    I am so sorry if I have offended you or anyone else, but it breaks my heart to see someone with so much to live for (yes, Joe, you do....) just give up. So, pull on your big boy pants and get busy with living......

    I hope you take this as it is intended.....
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2010 edited

    I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. Try to get out and do things you enjoy. We all care about you here.
    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2010
    Joe, Are you still taking your meds for depression? If not, why not? And if you are maybe you need to speak to your doctor for a med change or larger dose. Hang in there you know there are people here "who give a damn" about you.
    Joe, I realize you are really suffering now that your loved one is gone. She would be the first to tell you that now she wants you to
    live your remaining days by picking yourself up off the ground, dusting yourself off and you have the golden opportunity to start a second life for yourself. She did not have that option.

    It has now been almost 6 weeks that I have been alone. I made the decision to not feel sorry for myself or be depressed. I am determined to help be a roll-model myself and for other caretakers here and everywhere and PROVE that there can indeeed be a "new second life". You can also help the other widows and widowers here face their new life. I am 72 and I am imagining things for myself. I will be very lucky if I can live another 10 years. Anything after that will just continue on as a bonus. I am hoping for another 10 years as a bonus. I am taking stock of my life now and 6 weeks of my 10 years is already past. Paul is no longer in the picture as a help-mate but he hasn't been for the past few years really. He was here but I had to completely devote my life to his needs. The transition back to
    meeting your personal needs is a big step to take, at any age, but it is never easy and it takes a strong, brave person to accomplish
    that. Sandi is a good example. Read what she has to say and stand up in the ranks of the rest of us survivers. YOU CAN BE IN THE FRONT LINES WITH THE REST OF US.

    I also second Jean21's suggestion that you talk with your Doctor and get a med change. We need you here to be encouraging the
    rest of the spouses still dealing with difficult issues of their own. It is actually your responsibility to remain healthy and encouraging
    for the rest of us and I know you are a strong enough gentleman to do so.

    I am setting up some travel plans. Look for 1 or 2 day bus trips in your area. Here, such busses are filled with widows. Be a good
    place to start socializing with different ones. I am sure many of them would enjoy your company and you would have a captive audience. Be comforted by the fact that men seldom remain single for long. Personally, I intend to remain single.
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2010
    I hope today is a better day for you. I haven't talked to you in a few days but I keep looking for an email everyday.
    Like the others have said it's hard but you have to keep going one day at a time. Those days will get better. There will be times and things that remind you of what you've lost but when those times come, think about how much you wife suffered and how much happier she is now. She's watching you everyday, make her proud of you by doing what she would want you to do.
    Let me know how you're doing at the gym. You have to keep me motivated to keep going. I walked about 3 miles keeping HR in target range yesterday. Think I'll take a break today. Might go after mass tomorrow and just walk with no resistance training. I would challenge you, but I'm not sure how to compare this out of shape lady to someone who has been doing this for awhile. At least the gym gives me a reason for getting out.
    I'll be looking for that email.
    Two things make me feel so bad. First, like one would invest their entire life's savings in ONE stock, I invested my whole life in my wife..I never wanted anything else to do or anyone else to be with (like male friends). So when she left, so did my life. Second, I feel so quilty that she led a horrible life the last 10 years, not able to do things like take a walk, ride a bike, or even understand a tv program or movie. And now, I am supposed to enjoy a 'second life'? Plus like I said, who am I kidding...start the whole thing over again at 72? Why bother. I'll just be the world's doormat until someone stomps on my head. Thanks for all your concern...I really do appreciate the attempts. Maybe I'll feel different in a year from now..I actually hope I do...but right now, I don't want to do anything.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2010
    That is where Facebook is one more dimension to this site. By that I mean we see pictures of each other and other parts of their lives. We become more real. That is my opinion. Joe, if I had the money I would pay for you to go on the caregiver cruise. I know you are now just a caregiver to yourself, but there will be friends from here there and that will make them even more real.
    Thanks, Charlotte, for the generous thought. I'm thinking that I am becoming a "Drama King" with all my feelings, so I'm going to cool it for a while, pull up my big boy pants, and wait it out. I thank all who have made such supportive comments, and now you can rest from seeing the need to do any more. I love you all.
    Joe (AKA TJ).
    Today, I was in town and decided I needed some fresh flowers to brighten up the house so brought home a half dozen daffidols. That should perk things up a little around here. Keep those positive thoughts around and forget the negatives.
    Lois I think daffydills are the most cheerful flower ever created.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010

    If you need to talk it out, do so. This is the place for it. But I agree with the others that you should talk to your doctor - you may need a med. change to help you through the grieving process.

    Have you checked out widowers support groups in your area? They, too, are another source of support that may be helpful to you.

    Kudos and thanks to Sandi and Lois. I don't know if I will be that brave when my time as a widow comes.

    Joan, it is not bravery, it is acceptance of what life brings (and takes away) and knowing that the spouses (spice) are in a place that they are free from AD and other illnesses; in knowing that they loved and were loved; in knowing that their spouses want them to go on with their lives. It is the most difficult thing in life to lose a spouse or a child, but we must deal with our loss and look to our future. They wouldn't want us to give up.

    We must accept that we have lives yet to be fulfilled. Either by spending time with grandchildren, volunteer work at Hospice (they need the help and who better than caregivers to offer that help!) or at a hospital or at Meals on Wheels. When you give of yourself, you can feel better about yourself and deal with your grief easier. And then there is travelling, and getting with groups that go out together for dinner or to a show, etc.

    TJ, and others who need to talk it out, do so, but please try the volunteering to see if it is something that will help you during your struggle.

    Lois, Sandi, Nancy, Folly, New Realm, Fran, and Joyce, I hope I cope as well as you have when my time comes!
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
    Well said Mary. we all are hoping to make the difficult transition easy on ourselves.
    Mary, you are so all boils down to acceptance. There is nothing you can do about the situation so you have to make the best of it. I do believe that having years and years to get used to the idea helped me. Plus the fact that he spent so many years completely in oblivion. There are some things that are worse than death and Alzheimer's Disease is one of them.

    Volunteering is a wonderful idea.....for me I went the "fitness route" (not that it has worked..LOL) but I started water aerobics, go to a yoga class once a week and started using the gym equipment at our local recreation center. I have made new friends all over the place and have more invitations to do things than I have time to do. It's a wonderful problem.

    There is grief counseling that is available.....some people find that very useful. Letting your family know how you feel and letting them take care of you for a while is another option. People want to help, but you have to be willing to open yourself to them.

    Joan, you will be fine when your time comes. You aren't one to sit around and mope......the fact that you started this wonderful forum is testament to that.
    Absolutely Mary. Well said. Acceptance is the key word here. You can accept the cards you were dealt and play out the rest of the hand or give up and live in the past. I choose to keep going forward and after 7 weeks I think I am doing pretty good. I haven't started any volunteer work yet but I keep thinking about it and actually picked up an application at the library the other day. I have not yet got everything finished on DH estate work yet but just about. The cruise is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am focusing on that as well as a couple day bus trips I have signed up for.

    Sandi, you have been a good roll model for me. I hope I can pick myself up and go forward as well as you have. I think everyone here on this site is capable of moving forward when the time comes and most of you will.

    Fitness is on my agenda also. My Doctor wants me exercising and oh how I hate to exercise but I am going to work on it.
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2010
    Acceptance, volunteering, counseling,travel. exercise all of this sounds good and looks like a perfect solution to get over the loss of a spouse. Sounds good but none of these things make you forget what you've lost.
    DH has been gone for almost a year and I've done all the above except for counseling, there are still days that I wake up and all I want to do is cry all day. It took me several months to really accept that DH was not coming back, that he was really gone.
    How can we tell someone to just get over it and go on with life? Sounds like poor support to me. A couple of months is not a long time to get over the loss of a spouse that you've loved and felt like they were a part of you for most of your life.
    I do agree that we have to go on, but how and when we go on is an individual matter. Everyone handles grief differently. It's like telling a smoker or an alcholic to stop, it does no good until they are ready to stop. We can't tell someone to stop grieving, they have to griev in their own way.
    We can accept the cards we're dealt, but that doesn't mean we have to like them or that we will win the hand. It only means we should do the best we can. Some people may play the hand better, but we all do the best we can.
    Joyce, no one was told to get over it....what I and others were trying to convey is that if someone dwells on all the negatives and when someone talks about suicide and not having anything to live for it is time to talk a little "tough love".

    I judge no one....I just don't want to see any of us give up on life.....and talk of suicide is a sign of a serious problem in my book.
    I don't think we should try and forget what we have lost. I think of my DH many times a day - every day - but I am thinking of him as
    well and not being unable to walk, talk, eat or enjoy life. I think of how he would have enjoyed our granddaughters basketball game the other evening. Her playing basketball was one of the highlights of his life and the past year we took him in a transport chair so he could sit on the edge of the floor and watch her play. I thought of him Sunday Morning as I sat in Church with my daughters family, he was known as the "chewing gum man" at Church. I think of him while I am sitting by myself eating, how much he would have enjoyed certain foods at one time. I like to think he is looking down on me and approving of my life now.

    No way can I turn back the clock but I can try and live the rest of my life being a beacon to others.
    A couple of days ago would have been the five month anniversary of Frances's death, and today would have been her 84th birthday, but dates don't bring me to tears. Showing videos taken during Frances's last months, and then of her memorial service, to friends who are visiting with me did, however, bring me a few tears yesterday. But today's bright spot for me was accompanying Joyce on a visit to her spine surgeon and having her introduce me as "my fiance" -- first time I can recall ever having been called a fiance, and it felt GOOD! That's just the ticket for killing the blues! Wish some of you other asterisk folks could be as lucky (and motivated) as I.
    Gourdchipper, I am pleased you are making plans for the future. Frances would want no more from you. Good Luck to you and Joyce.
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2010
    Joyce, when I was 7 I figured out that my father was never coming back. He died when I was 4, but it took me a while to figure out what that meant. I was a latch key child and was home alone for several hours every day, and I cried during those hours every day for months. It did not bring him back.

    My husband has not died yet, but when he does I already know that he won't be coming back. I don't know how I will handle his loss. We have been married for 49 years as of tomorrow. Nearly half a century is a long time.

    If nothing else has worked for getting you accepting that life is going to continue for you, I'd suggest the counseling. Every hospice organization offers grief counseling even if you didn't use their services for your loved one. If you are still crying all day, every day, you need someone to talk to about it.

    One of the things I'm learning during this journey is that my attitude is my decision. I can choose to pick myself up off the floor, or I can choose not to. Grief is something to be expected on this journey and certainly at the end of it, but if it becomes the only thing going on months after your LO died, you also have the choice to get help.
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2010
    You don't need to worry about me Starling. I'm going on and living each day to the fullest. But there are times that I cry also. We didn't quite make 50 years but were close to it when DH died. I've been through the loss of a 7 year old son so I know I can go on now. I can now go when and where I want without having to worry about what someone else wants to do. I've made several trips to Chicago and I now head North whenever I feel like it. Life isn't all bad just bad moments. I think we all know that when someone dies, they aren't coming back, but I still believe there is a short period where it seems unreal.
    You are right that life is what you choose it to be. DH wouldn't want me to sit and feel sorry for myself and I'm not doing that, but there are still memories of what's gone. These memories aren't everyday or even every month, but they still sneak in at times. Heck, I still tear up sometimes when I see something that reminds me of my mother and she's been gone for 12 years.
    joyce I understand what you mean about things sneaking up on you. My Dad and I were very close. He's been gone for a long time. I came across a dish cloth he had gotten me because it had a cat on it (I adore cats). I held the cloth close to my heart and cried.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2010
    Everyone grieves on their own timetable. There is no expiration date on memories. My mother died when I was 22 years old, and I still think of her every single day of my life, and choke up sometimes when I speak about her.

    My concern for every widow and widower is that you don't follow the path my aunt did. She never came out of the grief after my uncle died suddenly. They were 4 months away from their 50th wedding anniversary. She could not get over the grief. She became very bitter, and wallowed in her misery. For 5 years. She was in poor health, and just gave up, refusing anymore medical treatments, and died alone in her bed.

    Life is for the living. I hope I am able to live a good life after my husband is gone, cherishing the wonderful memories of our life together.

    I don't know if this is for the widows and widowers only so I 'll keep this short. I just want to send my sympathy along with huge doses of admiration for the journey they have made. My mother and her younger brother died of this disease and now it is in my own home with DH suffering this disease. I appreciate the insight you will be providing to all of us who are on this journey now.
    • CommentAuthorjoyful*
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my dear husband's death. Today is our 59th wedding anniverary. I made it through the day fairly well although when the time showed on the clock ll:40 pm I couldn't help thinking of the moment he passed from this life to the next, I do believe that my DH was trying to stay with me until Feb. 18th our special day but he passed 10 minutes before the new day. When he passed, he raised his arms as if to rise from the bed, quit breathing, and said, "Love you". It was a very peaceful death with no pain evident.
    Last night his little dog came to my bedroom and began to run around excitedly. I put her in bed with me as she seemed very anxious about something. Perhaps she could sense his presence, I don't know but I would like to think he visited me to mark the special anniversaries.
    I miss him so and probably will be lonely for the rest of my life,but this existence does not change just because I would like for it to be with him . Living a life with purpose and love for our family is my salute to him and I will do my best to not waste the days ahead.
    joyful* your post is so full of love.
    A beautiful post from a beautiful, loving lady.
    What a lovely tribute to the life you and your husband shared. It is, simply put, beautiful.
    Here is my thought about the little dog, I think he was responding to the nearness in spirit of your husband on your special day. I hope you don't think I am nuts but I had a kitty that I rescued after having been mauled by a big dog. She was a Tonk, a beautiful bluepoint. She had been in a garage for 2 weeks as near as the vet could guess and she would have died in a day or two more. I fed her and and she wolfed down what she could. Got her to the vet, she had a broken leg from the bite. It took months to win her over but finally I became her person and we had 18 years together. She died in my lap of cancer. Here is the neat part, she still comes to visit. I'll see a little sort of gray whisp go by and my other cats would awake from a nap or sit right up so I know she was through checking the house and all her things.
    I do believe there is a place in heaven for our beloved pets and I think they are aware of the presence of our loved one, "their person" when spiritually that person is present. I believe it of people too. My dad who always smoked cigars ( and we have a no smoking house) has been to visit as well..I smell the cigar scent.. It makes things less lonely and I also think that somehow when we most need their presence they do come to comfort us.
    • CommentAuthorjoyful*
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    Thank you Mimi for your is lovely isn't it to know we still live on after this life...

    I am glad you all could sense my love for my dear husband...He and I were together for a long time from our teen age years until old age. He was my very dear friend and lover....
    It is lovely to know there is more than just this world...and yes your friendship and love for your husband is softly clear..I do believe he is near to you. My aunt told me, after my mother died, that the spirit of our loved one that we can no longer see, hear or touch still remains near us until we are healed enough that they can then move on to the next spiritual level, if you will. My aunt was a deeply religious woman who took time to read her Bible and other christian literature daily. She was prayful in all she did, She was not into new age stuff. I think this gave her courage as she faced learning to deal with the effects of Alzheimer's as her husband suffered this disease and she had always been protected and then had to learn to do all the things he did. It was her faith that got her through all those difficult days and the days later.
    Blessings and hugs,
    • CommentAuthorjoyful*
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2010
    MIMI.....I wrote you on the thread for us to contact one another.
    joyful* how do I do that? Not sure
    I figured it out. I sent you a message.
    • CommentAuthorRB13
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010
    Dear Joyful, your message was full of love....It is just a month since my DH has gone, Jan.24th, we had our 59th Ann. on Jan 13th... I think your DH wanted to keep you Special Day, Special...
    It is taking time, getting use to being one to care for....all the reminders around the housse, I feel your pain...Even though we lost our husbands, along this sad journey, we are never ready to accept the parting. I am sure it will take time, the best thing is to keep busy, and not get lost in depression. Prayers are with you..Mimi: you are right, it is our Faith that helps in our time of grief..It is what helped me when loosing our son at 39 and then loosing our grand-daughter at 16...
    • CommentAuthorRB13
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010
    I am having a problem getting my star up...I did what I was supposed to do...but it doesn't work...need help please...
    RB13 are you clicking on accounts - personal information and then following RB13 add the star so it is RB13*. Scroll down because there should be a place to ENTER or APPLY etc. Good Luck
    • CommentAuthorRB13
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010
    Hello Imohr: no luck....i did what you said...and I get a red statement that says..problem encountered, user name is already taken by another they mean that someone else is RB13??
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010
    RB13 try it again maybe there was a problem with the site at the time. Click on Account tab at the top of the page, then click on personal information on the right side, add the * after your username and then click save at the bottom of the page. Hopefully it will work for you this tme.
    • CommentAuthorRB13
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010
    HI Deb..just tried again....I have done just what you said to do...I get the same note.. don't know what else to do.....I have tried at least 10 times..
    RB13, Joan can maybe help you when she gets back from up North.
    • CommentAuthorWeejun*
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010 edited
    RB13, doing a search of users shows there is RB13, account created 2-17-2010 as well as RB13* account created 4-25-2009, last active 2-15-2010 so perhaps you'd already updated your name with the * . Perhaps when Joan gets back she can delete the duplicate.
    • CommentAuthormarygail*
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2010
    My young friend posted this on facebook, I want to share it with my friends, Thought of you with love today,but that is nothing new.I thought about you yesterday and days before that too.I think about you in silance,I often speak your name,all I have is memories and a picture in a frame.Your memory is a keepsake with which I`ll never part,God has you in his keeping,I have you in my heart. My Bob has been gone for 4 months and it still seems like yesterday, I miss him terribly but know he is at peace now, I am still having a hard time as the nights are so long, I am going to Arizona on March 25th to visit my oldest daughter, will be going with my only son and his family ,will be gone for 12 days, I need t get out of here for awhile. Gail
    Gail, that posting from your young friend was so beautiful. He/she put into words what all of us with stars after our names are thinking, but don't know how to put it into words. At least, I can't.

    Claude has been gone a year last Friday. The nights are still long for me, but I know he is at peace and pain free. That's is part of what keeps me going.

    I'm glad you are getting away for awhile. You will be surprised how much better you will feel. I know how much better I felt when I flew up to Seattle last July.
    This coming July, between the time Cathie's (my daughter) summer job ends and when teachers have to go back in August, we are driving back up to Seattle. It will be a quick, busy trip, but a chance of scenery.

    • CommentAuthorRB13*
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2010
    Gail, that was a beautiful poist from your is what we all feel, expressed very well...I will be making a trip the end of April, to visit my brother in N.J. then in the summer I need to plan to visit Dario's family in Italy....I think they need to see me, in order to have clousure, his sisters are 94 and 91..this is one trip I am not looking forward to....
    I'm finding out you just can't replace your soulmate with fun activities or friends or family members. I'm also beginning to think it's a big lie, to "remember the good times", and that "even though you move on, you'll never forget her". I am now thinking that in order to overcome the sadness with happiness, you HAVE to forget most of the memories of them, which is what time and distractions do. It sounds cold and inhuman, but I think that's what it takes. Otherwise you will be mired for the rest of your life in the misery of missing them so much and wanting to be with them. It takes the time to pass before you are willing to get into distractive activities, and once that is done, the passage of more time and deeper involvement in those activities creates the infamous "healing". I am not ready as yet to further that process...more time is needed still.
    Today was a tearful day, and drove me to suggest the above.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2010
    TJ - you take all the time you need. Everyone has their time table for mourning. Some can move on in a matter of weeks, others and more common is months even years. It has been 3 years for my sister and she is just now ready to start living - and they only had 7 years together.

    You and your wife had many, many more years together as a couple. You can't just become a single overnight. I have been married since I was 18 - will be 39 years in May. I have never been just me. As others on here have experienced, it is hard reinventing yourself, probably more so when you are retired.

    Be nice to yourself and patient with yourself.
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2010
    TJ, it must be so hard. Thank you for checking in and letting us know how you're doing. I think that when my time comes, it will be a help to have heard from others what to expect. Of course I know it's different for everybody. Hang in there, you'll make it.
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2010
    You're never going to forget your wife Joe. That memory will be replace by other new memories but but it will always be there.
    Saying that made me remember when I took my grandson to our place up north last summer. He was excitied about going until the night before we left. Then he changed his mind and didn't want to go. We all tried to coax him into going but he said he didn't want to go because Papa wouldn't be there. When we mentioned making new memories, he said he didn't want to make new memories he just wanted to remember the memories he had with Papa.
    I finally convinced him to go by promising that I'd bring him home in two days if he still wanted to come.
    That first night was really hard on him, after the girls (I had three of the grandkids with me) had gone to bed, he came to me with tears and ask me to take him home. The next morning was the same thing but I reminded him that he had promised me two days. At the end of two days, he never mentioned going home again.
    He made new memories last summer but he still talkes about his Papa and things they did together. He is already asking about going again this coming summer.

    As time goes on, you'll make a different life and new memories but you will still have the memories of you wife. They will always be there just not at the top of the list.
    Take care and try to enjoy the nice weather that is out there.