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Old 03-28-2018, 12:21 PM
 
3,967 posts, read 5,257,158 times
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I recently gave a 20 minute presentation at a forum about care giving for people with cancer. A friend also volunteered. We both thought it would be a service to others as well as being rather therapeutic for us. We both lost our husbands to cancer, and both 3.5-4 years ago. Her presentation was shorter than mine, and was very factual. My presentation was a bit longer, and included more emotional discussion. (Yes, some tears, both from me and members of the audience.) Afterward, my friend said "I just couldn't get into the emotional stuff. I had to keep it factual." I said to her "I can't do that. I HAVE to get into the emotional stuff when I talk about my husband. It is so much a part of the topic, I can't avoid it." I think the bottom line is that to my friend, her emotions are so private that she would not bring them up in a group. (There were about 25 people there.) I, on the other hand, am comfortable with discussing the emotional impact these events had on my life, and it doesn't bother me that a group of people know what I went through and how I changed.

So I was just thinking about how different our long term coping is. She and I are both doing well, she is in the process of moving, as I did. We both have active lives, friends, activities, etc. We both are OK. But how different is the way we cope! I think this just goes to show that we all are different. I tend to think that my way of coping is healthier - FOR ME! Maybe her way of coping is healthier for her. I don't, by the way, go around talking about my lost husband all the time. I respond when asked, and I take pleasure in recalling my husband with people who knew him. She does, too. I have many times heard her recall something happy or endearing about her husband. But how different we are when it comes to discussing pain and grief.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
7,981 posts, read 6,739,855 times
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My wife died of cancer over two years ago after having been treated for 5 years. During those 5 years we had time to accept it and plan for my future. This made it easier to accept and move on in life. People cope different and as long as it works for someone, it was the best way.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:05 PM
 
Location: The house I built
311 posts, read 134,389 times
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I was her caregiver for 8 years. We never talked much about it other than always being positive and expecting the best. I only accepted the inevitable the morning she died. I did not want to think about it.

So its been 16 months. I only cry when I think of her. And I only think of her many times a day. I am surviving but would not give myself high marks for my coping. I am surviving but not really doing much more other than running in place.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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I often talk about my husband. I tell my son stories about about things that happened before he was born. His father was an extremely intelligent, ornery cuss.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:41 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,474 posts, read 18,177,881 times
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It has been 6 years, 3 months and 10 days but whose counting? I am still "single", just the way I am liking it. I have no need or want for any activities, I am a happy chair potato. I think this comes from being the only child, plus my mom was a drug addict, hooked on pain pills and would not let me go out of the house and play all my life. I "dated" my first husband on the couch!!! She would not let me outside.

Anywhoo, I really, really think that is why I can be absolutely alone and it does not bother me. Besides, I am NOT alone....I have my cyber friends and they know me better than anyone IRL did except husband's. Even they didn't know how I could be because I did have lives with them!

I have one gf I can speak about my late husband with because she knew him. That is okay. I have no one to talk with about my parents, everyone who knew them is no longer here but that is okay too.

IDK WHAT I have become now. All I know is that raw pain is gone and I spend most days out on the lanai here in SWFL and I am surviving. Which, 6 years, 3 months and 10 days ago, I did NOT want to do.

Under my name is who I give all my thanks to.....
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:57 PM
ERH
 
Location: Cary, NC
1,036 posts, read 1,496,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevie60 View Post
I was her caregiver for 8 years. We never talked much about it other than always being positive and expecting the best. I only accepted the inevitable the morning she died. I did not want to think about it.

So its been 16 months. I only cry when I think of her. And I only think of her many times a day. I am surviving but would not give myself high marks for my coping. I am surviving but not really doing much more other than running in place.
Grief has its own timeline for each of us. I sit here looking at Mom's picture and think how in the world can it be that she's been gone 2+ years? My dad still struggles every day.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:37 PM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,117 posts, read 3,400,480 times
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I have to admit, I make an effort to move beyond this thread everyday as I scroll past it in the General Forums. Why? Because I know that when I read the stories of the many who come here to seek encouragement and solace that I will be touched by each and every post and it will open up 'old wounds' that I would just as soon leave alone and scarred over.

It's been over 15 years and for a long time friends and family would comment to me, 'I still can't believe he's gone' and although they meant nothing at all by it, it really emotionally felt like rubbing salt on a wound. Finally, after several years I replied to my SIL that yes, he's gone and has been for awhile now so the best we can do is move on. And I did, it wasn't (and sometimes still isn't) easy but life is for the living and like it or not we 'adjust and we cope and we make do'.

Everyone is different and finds their own way, inch by inch and day by day and finally year by year. Not because our loss is forgotten but because our duty is to live each and every single day in honor and respect for departed loved ones. I truly believe this is what 'they' would want and demand for us and I intend to honor that to the very best I can each day.

No, nothing is the same as it used to be and it never will be again but I sleep, I wake, I bathe, I work, I shop, I cry and I laugh. And I find joy in the peace and tranquility I have made for and with myself.

That's how I am coping in the long run.

I hope everyone finds their coping mechanism and finds light at the end of their tunnel.
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:55 PM
 
3,967 posts, read 5,257,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeIsWhere... View Post
Everyone is different and finds their own way, inch by inch and day by day and finally year by year. Not because our loss is forgotten but because our duty is to live each and every single day in honor and respect for departed loved ones. I truly believe this is what 'they' would want and demand for us and I intend to honor that to the very best I can each day.

No, nothing is the same as it used to be and it never will be again but I sleep, I wake, I bathe, I work, I shop, I cry and I laugh. And I find joy in the peace and tranquility I have made for and with myself.

That's how I am coping in the long run.

I hope everyone finds their coping mechanism and finds light at the end of their tunnel.
I very much agree. It is something I think of often - that I am who I am in large part because of those that I have lost (my husband, grandparents, parents.) I do try to live life "well" because it seems to me to be a tribute to them. Our grandparents and parents, of course, expect us to carry on because that's how life is supposed to work. With my husband, it is a little different, because neither of us expected to be parted yet (he was 65,) but even so, he wanted me to enjoy my life, do what was meaningful and good, be myself, etc. If you love someone, you don't want them to suffer for the rest of their lives. So yes, things will always be different, but that does not mean they can't be good. I will always miss him, but that doesn't mean I won't take pleasure in the life we had together.

One thing that is harder, I think, is that we no longer have that person who knew you as completely as one human can know another, and still loved and appreciated you. It was wonderful to have such affirmation. Now, that comes in bits and pieces for people who don't know me as well. But I am learning to be self-affirmed in the activities I enjoy, and spending more time affirming others. I am setting aside time for things that bring joy, peace and tranquility.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:13 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
444 posts, read 657,403 times
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I came across this thread while browsing on this site today, having posted a few days ago on the Health site. The post there has to do with the loss of my mother within hours of a heart procedure.

On April 11th, it will be 22 years that my mother is gone, having had her artery perforated during an atherectomy. I don't know why I am feeling so much pain this year, maybe because I'll be 60 in a few months. Maybe the other part of the pain is I never found closure. I did speak with the surgeon a little while later but to be honest, it went over my head and I don't know why it happened because I really wasn't taking it in at the time due to shock.

With the trauma of the actual sudden loss, I was alone. I am an only child and was unmarried at the time (still am). I was so distraught that a neighbor drove me home from the hospital. The only support I had were neighbors. My mom was an only child too and the cousins I do have I didn't really know as we lived in different states. My mother died one year and four months after my father did. He died of brain cancer. He died two days before Christmas and my mom died two or so days after when Easter occurred the year she died.

I did feel angry toward my mom along with the shock of her sudden death because I felt like she didn't really care much about life anymore after losing my dad. Back then I thought gosh, I needed her and she'd given up on life. i do understand now that even though she loved me, she missed my dad so much she couldn't go on.

Right after my mom died, I returned to Miami from DeLand, where I was living at the time, where my parents had retired. I reunited and got engaged to an old boyfriend. All this happened within months of my mom's death. I sold my parents' home and when I was up in DeLand at the closing I took my dog up with me. I left her on the patio and when I returned I found her dead in the swimming pool. She was old and had apparently fallen in the pool. This further traumatized me. When I returned to Miami, my boyfriend said the dog's death was my fault as I should've known better and not left her on the patio. Mind you, I lived in that very house with my parents and the dog until their deaths. I broke up with my boyfriend, not being able to take his controlling ways and emotional abuse.

I moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where I had some old friends. When walking up the path to my new place, a beautiful purple hyacinth was blooming by itself in the flower bed. This consoled me and made me feel as though my mom's spirit was with me since this was her favorite flower. It may sound strange but brought me comfort. I lived in Ohio for a little while but the cold weather and winter dreariness got to me. Long story short, after going back to Miami and back to Cleveland after that briefly (not to reunite with the boyfriend just because it was my childhood home), I ended up in North Carolina.

I have been in North Carolina since 2002. At first I felt okay as it was a change I felt I needed. However, all these years later I cannot say I like it where I live, in the Raleigh-Durham area. The culture is not for me and the dating scene just isn't there for my age bracket. So, this is how I've coped. I moved around a bit and landed here in NC. I feel like I should've stayed in Cleveland, but the people I knew passed away and there's nothing for me there. I'm now trying to research a brand new place to start all over again. I do accept my father's death because I had my mom. We both knew his death was coming but with her death, I had no advance notice of it.

Thank you for listening.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:14 PM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,117 posts, read 3,400,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
I very much agree. It is something I think of often - that I am who I am in large part because of those that I have lost (my husband, grandparents, parents.) I do try to live life "well" because it seems to me to be a tribute to them. Our grandparents and parents, of course, expect us to carry on because that's how life is supposed to work. With my husband, it is a little different, because neither of us expected to be parted yet (he was 65,) but even so, he wanted me to enjoy my life, do what was meaningful and good, be myself, etc. If you love someone, you don't want them to suffer for the rest of their lives. So yes, things will always be different, but that does not mean they can't be good. I will always miss him, but that doesn't mean I won't take pleasure in the life we had together.

One thing that is harder, I think, is that we no longer have that person who knew you as completely as one human can know another, and still loved and appreciated you. It was wonderful to have such affirmation. Now, that comes in bits and pieces for people who don't know me as well. But I am learning to be self-affirmed in the activities I enjoy, and spending more time affirming others. I am setting aside time for things that bring joy, peace and tranquility.
This is the very most difficult (for me anyway) as I feel that all of my quirks, rebellious attitudes for outdated thinking were part and parcel and the center for who I am and it was not only accepted by my spouse but greatly appreciated as well. It would be nigh impossible to acquire that same devoted, loving and tolerated camaraderie at this stage of life, these things take time and 'blind' love.
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