manitou

Grief; Coping with the death of a spouse

39 posts in this topic

I would love to hear any discussion from those who have experienced the death of a spouse, a long-term relationship.  I just lost Joe maybe 6 weeks ago to an ischemic stroke from a brain bleed between operations.  I am devastated.  I am wanting to know more about this grief process from those who have experienced it.

 

The first couple weeks, I was numb.  I saw the death from a cerebral perspective; a few tears, but nothing devastating.  I think I was still operating on adrenaline from all the trips to the hospital, cremation arrangements, a final ceremony to help him cross over.

 

It wasn't until about the third week that I became devastated, crying at the drop of a hat.  Anything at all reminds me of him.  I know that it is myself that I am crying for, the loss of half of me, half of me that had been filled by Joe for 35 years.  I am still projecting Joe into inanimate things; I keep a teddy bear on his side of the bed, pretend that it is him, and talk to it.  I hug it.  I cry from the depths of my soul.  I awaken with my eyes red and swollen.  I am crying as I write this.  still I can smell his smell, feel his silky skin, look into his kind eyes.  I see his eyes in the teddy bear.

 

What is helpful is to remove myself from myself, and speak to myself from the Observer perspective.  I did this just this morning.  Laying in bed sobbing, I said "She is crying".  That seemed to help.  I am capable of slipping in and out of myself from the Ego to the Observer, but remembering to do so when I am in this state is rare.

 

If anybody cares to respond to this from their own experience (Rene, I can't thank you enough for sticking with me as much as you have; I hate to burden you further) I would greatly appreciate it.  I seem to be going through a 'stage' of suicide ideation.  This morning, before slipping into the Observer state and saying 'She is crying', I was thinking that it would be preferable to slit my wrists along the length of the arteries rather than across.

 

Please, no platitudes.  No pity, please.  Just help me get through this and let me know what to expect.

 

 

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1 hour ago, manitou said:

I would love to hear any discussion from those who have experienced the death of a spouse, a long-term relationship.  I just lost Joe maybe 6 weeks ago to an ischemic stroke from a brain bleed between operations.  I am devastated.  I am wanting to know more about this grief process from those who have experienced it.

 

The first couple weeks, I was numb.  I saw the death from a cerebral perspective; a few tears, but nothing devastating.  I think I was still operating on adrenaline from all the trips to the hospital, cremation arrangements, a final ceremony to help him cross over.

 

It wasn't until about the third week that I became devastated, crying at the drop of a hat.  Anything at all reminds me of him.  I know that it is myself that I am crying for, the loss of half of me, half of me that had been filled by Joe for 35 years.  I am still projecting Joe into inanimate things; I keep a teddy bear on his side of the bed, pretend that it is him, and talk to it.  I hug it.  I cry from the depths of my soul.  I awaken with my eyes red and swollen.  I am crying as I write this.  still I can smell his smell, feel his silky skin, look into his kind eyes.  I see his eyes in the teddy bear.

 

What is helpful is to remove myself from myself, and speak to myself from the Observer perspective.  I did this just this morning.  Laying in bed sobbing, I said "She is crying".  That seemed to help.  I am capable of slipping in and out of myself from the Ego to the Observer, but remembering to do so when I am in this state is rare.

 

If anybody cares to respond to this from their own experience (Rene, I can't thank you enough for sticking with me as much as you have; I hate to burden you further) I would greatly appreciate it.  I seem to be going through a 'stage' of suicide ideation.  This morning, before slipping into the Observer state and saying 'She is crying', I was thinking that it would be preferable to slit my wrists along the length of the arteries rather than across.

 

Please, no platitudes.  No pity, please.  Just help me get through this and let me know what to expect.

 

 

 

I liken it to a small boat at sea wave after wave some larger some smaller. For me it continued for quite some time before I noticed any improvement. Remember you are not alone in the experience, many others are also grieving. Consider joining a grief support group. I did and found great comfort in sharing my experience (s), fears and worries with others in similar circumstances.

There is no explaining it to the uninitiated. The greater the love the harder the loss. But it is much better to have loved...

Wishing you ever increasing peace!

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Thank you so much Cold.  No, I don't imagine it can be explained to the uninitiated.  I think of the remaining family in Texas who just lost 8 family members in that mass shooting.  I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through.  Yes, waves is the perfect description - the grief comes in waves - some short in length, some deeper, some lasting for a longer time.  I do get relief in knowing that thousands or millions of people, at this very moment, are going through this same thing around the world.  And they get through it.  I know I will too.  It's just so very painful, with no end in sight.

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Faith or trust both come to mind at times like this.

I imagine being caught in an undertow the water rapidly and uncontrollably carried away.

Both panic fear are natural. And at the same time the worst reactions for that particular situation.

 

When I feel powerless I swim sideways to the current of my thoughts.

I acknowledge the fear "hello darkness my old friend, I am a bit busy to entertain you right now". And move on, not in denial because I know its just a matter of time before I am visited once again.

But rather to gain a different perspective. 

And have faith (or trust if you prefer) that I will persevere.

 

I have found some numbness is a natural part of this process.

And also can be a blessing at times like this.

Set that heavy burden aside if only for a few moments...

 

Peace

 

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Your words are not a burden, manitou; our exchanges helped me as much as they might have helped you. That door stays open and is filled with love, always and only.

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 I find numbness on watching things on Netflix like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad.  I am grateful for them.  It gives me a temporary reprieve, although it just puts off the inevitable darkness of grief.  I wonder if there are a given number of tears which must be shed, and to delay them is only to prolong the process.  Cold, your metaphor of the undertow is perfect, and swimming sideways is to avoid getting swept to sea.  I find comfort in knowing that every single person on earth, in one form or another, must go through this.  It's just my turn, that's all.

 

Thank you again, Rene, for everything you've done to help so far.  I will PM you. I just didn't want to wear out my welcome.

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~ snuffed ~ 

Edited by C T
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3 hours ago, C T said:

Am I willing, while in this difficult period, to open the pain up even more, by generating a sense of wanting others, who are also in the same/similar position as I am presently, to be free of their deep despair through taking on their burden (or even a little, for a start) as if these were my own? That I am willing to absorb their pain into my own so that in some way they can at least experience a sense of comfort. Naturally, this is only a mental visualisation exercise, but its rationale, and a noble one too, is nonetheless immensely sensible - it helps us to rediscover that despite our own suffering, we can still generate inner courage and strength to shoulder other people's painful emotions, something which is rather difficult to do, but once embraced, is akin to physiotherapy. 

 

 

 

 

This is very useful, CT.  Thank you very much for your post.

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I am laughing as I write this.  It has been about 7 weeks.  I am so sick and effing tired of feeling like this, I think I shall stop.  I just looked at a picture of Joe and asked him to cut me loose on the crying and just let me love him.  Period.

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It's funny you should mention this.  I was sad to hear of Joe's passing and finished a short ritual to help Joe in his transition, and help you also a little bit ago.

 

The strongest thing that came through was that you were "the radiant Angel who had save him", and now he was going to do everything to save you.

 

In the ritual I called on the Heavenly Lord Taiyi to accept Joe into his Eastern Paradise of Eternal Joy, and empower him to help.  You can find my page to Taiyi here here:

 

The Heavenly Lord Taiyi; Daoist God of Mercy and Salvation

 

and you may find it useful to it and connect with Taiyi.

 

Of course this may simply be a coincidence, but whatever it is I hope that it is a turning point for you in this difficult time.

 

ZYD

 

 

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44 minutes ago, manitou said:

I am laughing as I write this.  It has been about 7 weeks.  I am so sick and effing tired of feeling like this, I think I shall stop.  I just looked at a picture of Joe and asked him to cut me loose on the crying and just let me love him.  Period.

 

Once the sage is sick of being sick,

she is no longer sick.

 

(((hugs)))

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10 hours ago, Zhongyongdaoist said:

It's funny you should mention this.  I was sad to hear of Joe's passing and finished a short ritual to help Joe in his transition, and help you also a little bit ago.

 

The strongest thing that came through was that you were "the radiant Angel who had save him", and now he was going to do everything to save you.

 

In the ritual I called on the Heavenly Lord Taiyi to accept Joe into his Eastern Paradise of Eternal Joy, and empower him to help.  You can find my page to Taiyi here here:

 

The Heavenly Lord Taiyi; Daoist God of Mercy and Salvation

 

and you may find it useful to it and connect with Taiyi.

 

Of course this may simply be a coincidence, but whatever it is I hope that it is a turning point for you in this difficult time.

 

ZYD

 

 

 

 

ZYD - thank you so much for your thoughts and your ceremony.  I too like to do ceremonies for those in need, whether known or unbeknownst to them.  Something switched on, like a light.  Between you, CT, Rene, and cold - I seem to have gotten just what I need, for now at least.  This particular part of the process has terminated.  I'll take future bridges as they come.

 

I looked at your Heavenly Lord Taiyi page and love the concept of Supreme Oneness, which I find to make ultimate sense and a comfort as well.  Funny you mentioning the 'radiant Angel' thing.  I've had a savior complex all my life, and Joe was the ultimate fixer upper.  He was, at the beginning, a skid row wino.  After all, my childhood superhero was Mighty Mouse, LOL.

 

Thank you so much, all.  I love every single one of you.  

 

 

 

Edited by manitou
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Thursday November 16 is childhood grief day.

 Please consider wearing blue that day in support or recognition of all (and in particular children) facing grief.

And peace to you in particular manitou !

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would that I could help, I can't, have not been in your situation. But know that I hear you.

 

On 11/13/2017 at 3:46 PM, manitou said:

 I wonder if there are a given number of tears which must be shed, and to delay them is only to prolong the process.  

 

but this, yes, i think that is so. but maybe prolonging it is not so bad. If you let come all in one big gob, it might be too overwhelming, even for a radiant angel

 

if you want them

 

hugs

 

BES

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1 minute ago, blue eyed snake said:

would that I could help, I can't, have not been in your situation. But know that I hear you.

 

 

but this, yes, i think that is so. but maybe prolonging it is not so bad. If you let come all in one big gob, it might be too overwhelming, even for a radiant angel

 

if you want them

 

hugs

 

BES

 

This bears repeating.

 It is so true in my experience.

 

bolded by me for emphasis

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4 hours ago, manitou said:

I looked at your Heavenly Lord Taiyi page and love the concept of Supreme Oneness, which I find to make ultimate sense and a comfort as well.  Funny you mentioning the 'radiant Angel' thing.  I've had a savior complex all my life, and Joe was the ultimate fixer upper.  He was, at the beginning, a skid row wino.  After all, my childhood superhero was Mighty Mouse, LOL.

 

Since you liked the Heavenly Lord Taiyi, and rituals too, I thought I might share with you the links to some posts that I did on exorcism calling on the Heavenly Lord Taiyi a while back, they may give you some further self help in your present situation.

 

Another part of my impressions during my ritual was that Joe came into this life with considerable spiritual power, but it was smothered by the negativity into which he was born.  This was an important part of the attraction and connection between you two and why the two of you would work so well in healing work as you have posted about in the past.  This spiritual power is now free and has been further empowered by the Heavenly Lord Taiyi, to paraphrase an old saying, "you may have lost a codependent husband, but you have gained a powerful spiritual guide and ally".  If this impression is correct you may find it worthwhile to look at these links and see if they can help you connect and use that connection both to move on and to turn the experience into one of growth and new directions.

 

 

 

 

Because of his benevolence and "ease of access" the Heavenly Lord Taiyi is an important part of the first part of the teaching which I envision here:

 

What, me teach? Ok, sure why not . . .

 

So I hope that he can be a further help you.

 

ZYD

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" No one ever told me grief felt so like fear,"

 

C. S. Lewis in "A Grief Observed"

 

 

 

I measure every grief I meet --

I wonder if it weighs like Mine --

Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long --

Or did it just begin --

I could not tell the Date of Mine --

It feels so old a pain --

I wonder if it hurts to live --

And if They have to try --

And whether --could--

They choose between

It would not be -- to die

Emily Dickinson

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ZYD - yes, your impressions are correct.  We were both very contorted individuals upon entering the relationship; the fit was a key in a lock.  The whole 35 years has been a healing process of individualization for both, partially completed.  And thank you for all the information, which I will go through carefully and find useful things, I'm sure.

 

Cold (this could be a double post, for which I apologize, my computer is acting up) - I seem to be in good company with Emily Dickinson and C.S. Lewis.  There is no faking the words and sentiment of both...

Edited by manitou
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You are in good company! And remain in my thoughts and wishes for peace.

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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 7:22 AM, manitou said:

I would love to hear any discussion from those who have experienced the death of a spouse, a long-term relationship.  I just lost Joe maybe 6 weeks ago to an ischemic stroke from a brain bleed between operations.  I am devastated.  I am wanting to know more about this grief process from those who have experienced it.

 

The first couple weeks, I was numb.  I saw the death from a cerebral perspective; a few tears, but nothing devastating.  I think I was still operating on adrenaline from all the trips to the hospital, cremation arrangements, a final ceremony to help him cross over.

 

It wasn't until about the third week that I became devastated, crying at the drop of a hat.  Anything at all reminds me of him.  I know that it is myself that I am crying for, the loss of half of me, half of me that had been filled by Joe for 35 years.  I am still projecting Joe into inanimate things; I keep a teddy bear on his side of the bed, pretend that it is him, and talk to it.  I hug it.  I cry from the depths of my soul.  I awaken with my eyes red and swollen.  I am crying as I write this.  still I can smell his smell, feel his silky skin, look into his kind eyes.  I see his eyes in the teddy bear.

 

What is helpful is to remove myself from myself, and speak to myself from the Observer perspective.  I did this just this morning.  Laying in bed sobbing, I said "She is crying".  That seemed to help.  I am capable of slipping in and out of myself from the Ego to the Observer, but remembering to do so when I am in this state is rare.

 

If anybody cares to respond to this from their own experience (Rene, I can't thank you enough for sticking with me as much as you have; I hate to burden you further) I would greatly appreciate it.  I seem to be going through a 'stage' of suicide ideation.  This morning, before slipping into the Observer state and saying 'She is crying', I was thinking that it would be preferable to slit my wrists along the length of the arteries rather than across.

 

Please, no platitudes.  No pity, please.  Just help me get through this and let me know what to expect.

 

 

 

 

"From a medical standpoint, the third and most probable explanation is that Jesus was indeed dead, and what his disciples experienced were mere hallucinations evoked by the grief over the loss of their beloved teacher. It is clinically known as "Post-Bereavement Hallucinations Experiences" or PBHE."

Abhijt Naskat

 

I don't feel terribly bad about not attending viewings or funerals any more.

The last one I went to was for a friend who was homeless. It was almost a year ago, and I have other funerals I could have attended, but I sent a card or flowers instead.

 

My homeless friend would get arrested about this time in the fall so he would have a warm bed and 3 squares.

Damn it I miss the old guy!

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1 hour ago, cold said:

 

 

"From a medical standpoint, the third and most probable explanation is that Jesus was indeed dead, and what his disciples experienced were mere hallucinations evoked by the grief over the loss of their beloved teacher. It is clinically known as "Post-Bereavement Hallucinations Experiences" or PBHE."

Abhijt Naskat

 

hallucinations...

I remember when my dad left us,  a sudden and by most of my sibs totally unexpected death.

I came back from my vacation and sat with him, I clearly heard him talking to me, he had an important message for me. I've never regarded that as an hallucination, he just needed to tell me something after his body was no longer functioning.

same with my brother.

 

I don't know what happens after death, but I do know that people contact us, when there's need and when we can hear.

 

Me thinks, as with all those things, go along with it but don't get ' sucked in'  by it.

 

love again,

cry when you need and look for diversion when you need that.

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2 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

 

hallucinations...

I remember when my dad left us,  a sudden and by most of my sibs totally unexpected death.

I came back from my vacation and sat with him, I clearly heard him talking to me, he had an important message for me. I've never regarded that as an hallucination, he just needed to tell me something after his body was no longer functioning.

same with my brother.

 

I don't know what happens after death, but I do know that people contact us, when there's need and when we can hear.

 

Me thinks, as with all those things, go along with it but don't get ' sucked in'  by it.

 

love again,

cry when you need and look for diversion when you need that.

 

Not making any judgements in my earlier post ...

just making one possibility known some of the phenomenon that one might not expect

completely agree with going along but not allowing oneself get sucked in

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1 minute ago, cold said:

 

Not making any judgements in my earlier post ...

just making one possibility known some of the phenomenon that one might not expect

completely agree with going along but not allowing oneself get sucked in

 

i did not regard it as a judgment, just felt like telling how it felt for me. 

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My Mom passed and a week or so later my Aunt joined her.

I drove for 12 hours stopping for fuel not recalling when or where I did. But it had to be between bouts of tears.

When got into the motel room set my phone down and noticed I had thirty or so voice mails. Numb

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Manitou,

 

I haven`t been in your situation but I came across this quote by someone who has, Joan Didion.  It`s from a book called The Year of Magical Thinking.

 

“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.” 

 

Joan Didion

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