Bereaved spouses and partners

A place for widows and widowers to share their feelings and support one another.

Feeling Very Strange Today

MelanieL
Posted by

Hi everyone.

I have had a very busy week. I was teaching a Reiki workshop, saw my regular clients and had a number of new clients as well, wrote into my McMillan bolg and spoke to family and friends on the phone. In a few minutes, I will leave the house and go to my first ever Meetup meeting for an hour of walking around the park nearby. I was feeling okay all week really. Actually, I was surprised how well I was feeling, content at times, certainly well focused and clear and filled with appreciation for what is. But today I have been feeling beside myself. It is as if this feeling good is happening too fast for my system to catch up, like some part of me is saying, "Stop! That's too fast! It's too much change all at conce!" Also, I am really nervous because tomorrow is bereavement day at St. Luke's Hospital, the hospital where Paul died, and I was invited to come along. It will be meeting with others who have lost their loved ones in similar circumstances and there will be two talks on grieving and the grieving process, lunch for everyone, a time of silent reflection, a time for sharing and a short time of remembrance. I didn't think I would feel so nervous about going but I really do. It will be the first time that I am with others who are grieving in the same room since Paul's death and I have absolutely no idea what that is going to be like. I always feel like, yes, I can imagine going there for work  - as all of you know I would love to work there - but not as the bereaved widdow. I actually feel my body contracting and nausea coming on when I think of myself and see myself there tomorrow. It's definitely a very intense time in some way.

Now I have to go and meet up with this lady - the only one - who responded this morning when I put the event up on Meetup. It's a big step for me to go because she doesn't know yet of my vision impairment. We will see how it goes. It will distract me a little from the nervousness anyway.

Love to everyone!

Mel.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Wife0f26years
Posted by

Hi Mel sorry for late reply. I hope your meet up was successful. 

On your return from day at hospital that you're not too exhausted and it could well have been lots of different emotions, but also a time to realise the feelings and thoughts are quite "normal" in the circumstances. It's good to hear there are other things ahead for you. Thankyou for sharing your reaction. I recently  interned my husband and fathers ashes, before which my body reacted alsorts of ways. Hope you've  shared lots of memories and had opportunities  for support  today love and best wishes xxx

Cinnamon09
Posted by

Hello Wifeof26years

That must have been very difficult having to inter both your fathers and husbands ashes? That’s the situation I will be in shortly. I haven’t been able to face interring my husbands ashes yet and after my mums funeral on Thursday I will have her ashes too. My daughters don’t want one ceremony; they’d prefer their dads ashes on a separate date which I completely understand. Did you have two different dates? I know there’s no real urgency but I don’t want to let it drift on for ages. If I’m honest I’m avoiding it. 

Carol 

Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace. 
Wife0f26years
Posted by

Dear Carol

It must be so hard with everything so close together. We had one plot and one day and we supported each other through. There is no rush but I also understand the drifting. When I arranged it I was ok but as it got nearer was more difficult. Feel like I've left something behind...

I hadn't wanted ashes at home yet I'm aware some take a great deal of comfort having them near. It's for you and your family to decide. Not ready yet? Take your time it's got to feel right xxx

MelanieL
Posted by

Hello everyone.

The bereavement day was a very beautiful but very difficult experience.

It was a lovely feeling to go back into the hospital. I just love the place. It has so much warmth and kindness and comfort. I really, really love being there.

We were 32 bereaved people in the group. All of us had lost someone very dear to us in the hospital.

First there was a talk given by a lady who lost her husband three years ago. She spoke about her own personal experience wth grief. It was very good. The second talk was by a psychologist and bereavement counsellor from the hospital and her talk was very good too. She highlighted the different things we feel on our journey. We had lunch in the staff cantine. It was interesting for me to feel how familiar it all felt. Walking along the hospital corridor along to the cantine felt so natural, I new my way around, it was as if I had only been there yesterday. Lunch itself was okay. I had a lady sitting beside me who incessantly talked but I would perhaps preferred to be silent. Then after lunch we were broken up into small groups and in the groups we spoke about our own personal grief. When it was my turn, I was surprised how much I cried when I syaid, "I am coping okay, you know, but I lack purpose in my life. I loved caring for my husband and now I don't know what do wo with myself. It's like my identity is lost." I felt my whole body contract with sobbs. Other people shared their stories and feelings. And then there was a short ceremony of remembrance with readings and a little bit of music and everyone of us had to light a candel. One of the readings which I will post here when I get a chance was something like: in the trees, in the birds, in the blue sky - we remember you. In the laughter, in the pain, in the moments of courage - we remember you. It was really a lovely reading.

What I can say is that I didn't know how heart-broken I really feel until I was in a group of people, not on an online forum but with the real people, who were going through the same thing. The pain was so intense. At some point I even thought: How is it possible that I am here now, at a bereavement ceremony, when one year ago my beloved Paul was still with me? And there is still a part in me that cannot comprehend this, some part for which the pain is too huge to really comprehend. I just think the truth of it is that I feel really, really lost in my own life. I am doing everything I have to and want to, sometimes it is nice or even fun, but over all my life is like I am waiting - for what I don't know; is it for Paul to come back or for my own life to end; I don't know. But it feels like my life is on hold or something.

I stop rambling now. I just wanted to let you know that it was an important day but very, very difficult.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Cinnamon09
Posted by

Hello MelanieL

Ypur phrase ‘lost in my own life’ really struck a chord- that is exactly how it feels. As you say even on the good days there is something fundamental missing. That person to share it with and even the best of friends can’t take their place. I hope maybe the day was cathartic for you. I think you’re also right in that sharing of grief face to face is so difficult but also maybe healing too? 

Wishing you peace after what must have been an exhausting day. 

Carol x

Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace. 
jojowest
Posted by

Hi Carol

I am struggling like you about the ashes. Not sure if I will do it on my own the family are gradually coming to terms with it so don't want to upset them. Also it will be difficult to get them altogether shift work etc. As you say there's no rush just don't have the energy to make all the arrangements. 

Love & hugs 

jojo 

Wife0f26years
Posted by

Dear all 

Mel I'm pleased you found your bereavement day so informative and also it allowed more thoughts  and feelings to work through. 

Dear Jojo it's so hard to know what to do with the ashes and you have to feel it's right. I know I did what I could but I really feel like I've left my husband behind. 

Sorry you're feeling a lack of energy sending thoughts to help you through xxx

Cinnamon09
Posted by

 I have bought about just sorting the ashes myself but I think my daughters would want to be there. Like you energy is an issue. I feel so tired a lot of the time. But no rush. We need to look after ourselves I think. 

Carol xx

Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace. 
MCLkid
Posted by

Dear Wifeof26years andCinnamon09,

After a year, I still have Georges ashes and I think I like having him around for now. I am feeling OK with that for now.

Maybe next year. 

Love to you both.

Millie

MCLkid
Educating myself about this disease.
MelanieL
Posted by

Hi everyone.

I can't actually remember whther I posted about Saturday or not, so I apologise if you have to read this twice ;-) I think my brain isn't workin well at the moment.

Saturday was very emotional. It was so lovely to be back at the hospital. The moment I walked in the door I felt at home and so safe and just like it was the right place to be - which is how I always felt when walking into that wonderful place.

The day was structured in such a way that there were two talks in the morning - one by a lady who lost her husband three years ago and who spoke about her journey with grief and one by a psychologist from the hospital who spoke about the various emotions that we can experience during the grieving process - and then we had lunch followed by sharing our own experiences in small groups and a time of remembrance at the end.

It was a very emotional day for me. A lot of what the two speakers were saying resonated with me. And I found myself crying and thinking: It is really true, I am sitting here as a bereaved person of 37 years, I have really lost my husband to this disease. It was like I could feel the shock all over again - or I should say it felt like the shock happened anew; knwoing that Paul is no longer here with me. I was surprised how similar my heartache - and I mean real physical pain as well as overwhelming sadness - were to the time when I actually lost him.

I think the day has taught me that the grief does not change for me, all that changes is my ability to cope better with the pain. But then once I am in the right situation or with the right people - and I think in this case it was the knowledge that I was with people who had experienced the same thing - gave me the opportunity to really feel and live through my pain.

It was interesting that when I got home I still felt very tearful and the same on Sunday. But as the new week began with all its work and my preparations for my Easter holiday with my family in Germany the feelings calmed down again and I am now back to not tearful, sometimes even cheerful, and coping.

Love and hugs to you all,

Mel.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Wife0f26years
Posted by

Dear Mel 

I appreciate what you are saying and think as time goes on there is a realisation  that this is where we find ourselves, . I hope you find comfort and support from your family. I recently saw my mum first time since my husband passed and it was lovely.

We havea lot of adjustment  to something we don't want but is our situation it brings to ahead how important our family and friends are 

Take care xxx