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General Discussion / Re: Still so hard
« Last post by Karena on November 16, 2018, 11:53:57 AM »
 :hug:I think thats what people dont get - its not their fault -how could they until it happens to them - and thats the adjustments we have to make to every aspect of our life - and while we may appear to be acting normal - going through the motions of our everyday routines as they see them, they never see those moments when we make two cups of coffee on autpilot and then it hits us like a wrecking ball - or pick up the phone to tell them something and realise we cant -and of course we are happy for them when our friends are going off on their holiday together but at the same time sad because we will never do that again  - even later when maybe we go on holiday alone or with some-one else -there is that space by our side where the person we have lost should be.

so while grief and loss in itself  is a horrific and  major thing to deal with, everything else, every little aspect of our life also changes and thats why it is so all consuming and i think why so often we feel we are going backwards - you prpared yourself to get through those challenges that you can see coming up but then you stare into that extra mug, with its two sugars and suddenly feel you are back at the start of the journey.
Eventually you will look at it and think what an idiot,and maybe even laugh at youself and say to them in your mind -heres your coffee - or dont you be laughing at me being a nut job  - but there is a long way to go and often a lot of backward leaps before that time arrives.
Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: Hi
« Last post by Sandra61 on November 16, 2018, 11:47:20 AM »
Hi Laineyem,

So sorry to hear about your losses. I lost my mum in October 2017 and like you really felt life had no point after that. The worst time for me was about seven months later when I had a few weeks when I felt quite despairing. But there are still good or should I say better weeks as well as bad ones and that's how it goes on still.

Quite early on however, I knew I would have to make a conscious effort to engage with life again in some way, if I were to survive. Like you, I went through the motions of going to work, but still feel that only adds to the stress! What did help was to go out and join a class, which although initially it took a lot of courage, really helped once I started going. I made a few lovely new friends there and at least it makes me think about something else for a while, even if it is only for a couple of hours a week and it gives me a lift.

I think it is something you have to make yourself do, if you are to help yourself and I am sure your husband and mother would both want you to try to build a new life for yourself somehow. You still have your life and deserve to be happier, even if, at first, that is only for a few hours a week. I would recommend giving it a try. Good luck!
Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: Hi
« Last post by Karena on November 16, 2018, 11:23:52 AM »
 :hug: I lost my husband 7 years ago and also felt there was no point - in fact work in itself also felt pointless i wasnt exactly saving the world making adverts for software.and though i needed the money to survive -surviving still meant returning to an empty house and cooking for one (or rather microwaving ready meals and eating
junk because cooking required an effort i didnt think i was worth )
I had to move house too which made socialising even harder - our friends were centred around a camping club - and none of them lived nearby - i did keep going camping but it was a few weekends a year and left winters horribly empty.
 If i am honest i was never a great socialiser anyway and i still arnt - so firstly i think its important not to force yourself to be a person you are not because people say you "ought too" - having said that neither should we isolate ourselves completely.
Maybe the solution is something in between - my mum, when she became a widow joined classes -just stuff she was interested in like art -but doing that made socialising easier because she was in a group who were also wanting to learn to paint - and having that as a focus created social contact more easilly and she did gain friends from it  over time.
I did online courses as real world ones are not available to me - so again no real world contact - but it occupied some time there were discussions with felow students and even though they were people i would never meet it reduced that social isolation in a different way and kept my brain active - and eventually by putting several randomly picked -so i thought  - courses together i found a way in which the work skills i had been so down on before could transfer to something more useful outside work - so volunteering is another way that socialising can grow - others here have done this in the past and it has worked for them - whether thats direct like in a chrity shop or community centre or less direct which was how i started -  i cant go plonk myself in a pub and make small talk with random strangers - i cant even go into a cafe and eat alone -i dont have that confidence but there are other things i can do now that i never though in those early days i would - and actually i dont want to walk into a pub and if i am travelling i dont need to eat in a cafe there are plenty of other options - its a case of picking the destination you want to go too - not the ones others think you should and then finding ways to get round the dragons that might be standing in your way.

I still miss him every day -some days are worse than others, but i also think of my life as being his eyes on the world and so keep him moving forward with me, just in a different way.Initially going out was always tainted by coming back to the empty house and having no-one to share with - just like when you come home from work,so treating yourself - not in a massive way - but a film, a hot bath with bubbles, music, special bar of chocolate - special type of tea can help you get over the doorstep and if you have a garden or just an outdoor space and a plant pot maybe with some herbs in or one of his favourite plants if he had one -  that also creates some sancturary -  my routine now is go through the front door make a cup of tea then out the back door to drink it - that way when you go back in again the house feels more welcoming because you already got over the step.-

When my mum was ill she stayed with us and we put a load of bird feeders where she could watch them after she died we put them in a corner of the garden along with her favourite plants and a water feature - and i used to just go and sit there with a coffee in the morning  now its a new garden - and more loss - but i still recreated that space - its a memorial space to me but its also just a nice place to sit rather than just a place to mourn.
Writing this i,m thinking maybe it all sounds a bit self indulgent but i think showing yourself some kindness and understanding is the first step to building confidence and strength and finding ways in which your life is no longer pointless.

It doesnt feel like it i know, but it is still early days for you and finding this place became a lifeline for me - not only somewhere to write my feelings but also somewhere others on the same journey understood - no-one said "move on" or "pull yourself together" no -one had those expectations but still offered encouragement in other ways without criticism if i failed, and with re assurance that i wasnt going mad - because although we grieve in different ways -there is always something that makes you think you are going mad or doing it wrong somehow, but then some-one here says no -that happened to us too.
We also have the daily chat section - because as time goes on it isnt just the big things you miss - but the little things  that become important - how was your day - what can i do about this - whats this plant -what shall i cook for my tea - everyday chat is also important and for me not something that happens at work.

Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: Hi
« Last post by Emz2014 on November 15, 2018, 08:24:11 PM »
Sending you a big welcome hug  :hug:  hope you find the forum helpful/supportive xx
General Discussion / Re: Still so hard
« Last post by Laineyem on November 15, 2018, 06:51:46 PM »
Thank you this post.  Itís kind of the reason Iím here on this forum.  On the surface Iím coping well with the loss of my husband 18 months ago (and my Mum 7 months before).  I have bought a new house, gone back to work and taken on more responsibility so to the outside world at least, I am doing well.  But when that front door shuts I feel so alone and lost without him.  Iíve tried joining clubs,  but it is not working.  I go once or twice and the. Just make excuses not to go. 

 My friends are our friends and whilst they are lovely and have been so suppor, I seem to feel Steveís loss even more when with them.  Inevitably, conversations turn to their holiday plans, weekend plans and all the things that couples do and I tread that line of trying to be happy for them whilst feeling even lonelier.  Not a nice place to be.

In many ways it feels harder now than when I first lost him.  How does that work?

Thanks for listening.

Introduce Yourself To Us All / Hi
« Last post by Laineyem on November 15, 2018, 06:38:21 PM »
Hi, I lost my lovely husband Steve in March 2017 after 33 years together. I lost my mum 7 months before that and as Steve was so ill at the time (he had a tumour in his brain stem) that I donít think I really had the time to grieve her loss. I was cared to both of them and despite work I feel like life has no purpose.

I miss Steve more and more each day and whilst I know I need to move beyond this I just canít seem to find any interest in going out and socializing at all.  In fact I actively avoid it. There seems no point if he canít be there to share it with me.

Reaching out here as maybe online is at least a starting point.

Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: My Father has died almost 7 weeks ago
« Last post by Slimmershaz on November 15, 2018, 12:09:08 AM »
  I feel you pain, I lost my father too nearly 7 weeks ago also , total shock . All I keep thinking is what would he have wanted , and to not suffer is something many people do not get the privilege of . I talk to my dads photo every day and light a candle every evening . I hope you find a way to get some comfort from his sudden loss . Sending you massive hugs and hopefully you know you are not alone .
General Discussion / Re: Never-ending
« Last post by Karena on November 14, 2018, 12:26:11 PM »
I dont think you should delete them unless you want too - why should you - but i might consider actually writing down the ones that are special partly because they could get lost in a tehnology blip but also i am thinking your children were too young to know her -but that doesnt mean they shouldnt know her through your memorys - so maybe those memorys could go into a memory box for them - with some photos or other bits and pieces - because those conversations give clues about some-one - so if a message evokes a memory - a good memory for you then you will focus more on that - and sharing that by doing it with the children makes her into a more real figure for them - but also sharing that we remember people with sadness that they left but with smiles that they brought when they were here -is ok, you are arming them for the future when they also encounter grief.I dont mean sit them down and ramble for hours but start by creating the box - make it something about her or special - maybe decoupage it in some way and let the children join in - and then every so often sit down add something more and go through what is already there. MAybe the children could make her a picture or a card - so you are not just remebering her but in the future remembering them with her, through spending that special time with them as they draw paint or stick - if that makes sense.
It might feel counterproductive when you are trying so hard not to become emotional but sometimes it is ok to let children know that being sad isnt forbidden.Three of my grandchildren were not born when their grandad died but by keeping him alive in the sense of who he was in life, to those who were, they have passed that down to the younger ones. One of them said to me i am sad i cant see the grandad in heaven but i know he was nice when he was here  because he has a hairy smiley face - i didnt know whether to laugh about the hairy bit or cry about the sentiment but overall i think it was a lovely moment.

This is an emotional roller coster journey - i found myself bursting into tears over a stupid christmas carol 11 years after my mum died -and shocked myself by that - but it happens and we shouldnt beat ourselves up about it.None of us want our children to be sad, but we dont want them to forget us either -whether thats through smiles or occasionally tears as long as they end in smiles - which it did - the smile of irony because i thought i was over it - and the smile of memory of her learning to play that carol on the piano for a school nativity and some definitely un infant school teacher like langusge as she did so. :hug:
Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: Hello
« Last post by Karena on November 14, 2018, 11:58:22 AM »
Hi Sally - sending you a warm welcome  :hug: It is 7 years since i lost my husband but i was in the same place you are now for a long time and it isnt unusual at all to feel like that.Its a roller coaster journey and everyone is different but guilt, depression and anger are things that can affect us all in different ways and at different times.

First i would say if you think you might take the feeling further please ring the samaritans - you would not be the first to do so on this site,they also have more than phone help now, so if you find telephoning difficult they have e-mail support and also depending on where you live area offices which offer different types of suport depending on their local need.

second if this continues your GP may be able to help - mine arranged bereavement counselling - you could also try cruse for that.

But also remember that this is a normal part of grieving and some days or periods of time are worse than others and that it is still early days for you - which i know people outside who have not been through this  dont understand - because they talk as though the funeral is "closure" - and after a year of mourning they seem to think grief has a sell by date and it just turns itself off and everything goes back to normal - it doesnt.
But having said that - the pain does fade from agony to something that hits us with that agony every so often  but most of the time is a chronic ache that we learn to live with.
This time of year as well i still find really difficult - i have SAD but while he was alive it wasnt so bad - the darkness had lights in it - a welcome hug, nights in front of the fire - all of which is now missing, but you dont need to have SAD to feel increased depression as the nights close in and the triggers -like shops fill of christmas stuff when you least want to even consider christmas.

I still miss my husband every day - i know i always will - but there are some ways we can help ourselves to cope with this new unwanted life - if you are a social kind of person then maintaining  social contacts and establishing new ones is important - the way my mum did that when she became widowed was by doing classes - art, architecture, familly history type stuff -and she joined a choir - things she was interested in and because that common interest is a great ice breaker when you dont feel confident about meeting new people in more general situations .I dont have access to that and work restricts the time available anyway - but did also do that in a sense but with free online courses.
I decided very early on i was going to try and live my life for us both and create my own memorial too him so i went back to our favourite places and planted wild daffodils -it meant i had to force myself to go too those places that were happy and now would be full of pain -it meant i had to plan the logistics which occupied my mind  and step out of what had become a very tiny comfort zone to do that.I had to move house so i replicated the garden we had built together - starting by digging a pond - which physically wore me out - and that also helped - so physical excercise -even though its often the last thing you feel like doing does help counteract depression.
 The real breakthrough though was a moment in the garden when i was busy doing something and not really thinking about it - just in a kind of brain fog but suddenly became aware of a robin singing his heart out -defying me to ignore him - the sun was on my back and here was this little creature putting every effort in to being alive.It was only a brief moment but it lasted long enough to make me realise i did want to live -it didnt take long for the clouds to roll back in - and i was constantly trying to outrun them - they were always just over my shoulder when i did - but when they did catch up i held on too that moment in my mind knowing that the clouds would not be forever becasue they had cleared then and so they could do so again.

Since then i have been back to those places and seen the daffodils raise their heads to the sun,in spring - something he always looked for ward to seeing - and i have been to new ones - done new things that he would have enjoyed and i might have chosen to sit out on - and some of the things we planned but didnt get round too - because the loss is painful enough but we then punish ourselves even more by not doing things we loved to do because we fear we cannot still do them without the other one. - but in reality i feel closer too him when i do them.

So the last of those things i listed at the top, which is written about in grief theory, was acceptance -  but for me that isnt how it was interpreted and all about moving on, cutting the bond between us or leaving him behind - but about accepting that grief is something that doesnt have a sell by date or end , that it can knock you sideways when you least expect it, but it does change and we can live with it - and also accepting that even though he is no longer physically here he will always be with me in other ways - and thats ok - societys idea that somehow we have to forget, move on,cut them out of our lives,  is what is wrong - not how we feel.
Theory is not emotion and emotion is different for us all -we are not just figures in a text book.

So use this place to write down your feelings - that helped me a lot because no-one here will criticise them or say you are doing things wrong - and we do also have a general chat section because sometimes it isnt just the big stuff we miss but some-one to share those smaller things - what happened in our day - what we are havng for tea, our pets or gardening issues - all those general things that were part of the relationships we had with those we have lost.
When i first came here i thought the laughing emojie was a bit off - i didnt expect to ever use it - but there were wiser people here  who placed it  because i have and i do use it With the shared grief there is also friendship and we find grief is not the only thing we have in common - :hug:
Introduce Yourself To Us All / Hello
« Last post by Sallie22 on November 14, 2018, 12:07:31 AM »
Hi, I'm new to this site. My lovely husband passed away last July, life is extremely hard without him. Mindwise I'm not in a good place. Since losing my husband people ask how I am , basically I don't know how I'm feeling. I do have thoughts where I don't want to be here (life).  I just miss my husband so very much. Life is so unfair at  times. Is this part grieving  X
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