manitou

Grief; Coping with the death of a spouse

39 posts in this topic

This is going to sound really dumb.  Joe, like many guys, loved to mess around with the sound on the TV.  He had one of those sound sticks that plugs in somehow and makes it sound like surround sound if you're watching a movie.  I kind of hated the thing, he just wouldn't leave the sound alone.  Ever.

 

The day following his death, I was crying my eyes out, and said something out loud to him like 'Can you let me know that you hear me???'  It wasn't but two seconds later that the TV (which had been on very low) suddenly started BOOMING - the sound stick came on all by itself.  I ran around the room looking for the darned remote to turn it off - it was in the basket next to where Joe sat.  At first I was just really confused, and then I realized that Joe had somehow answered me, electrically.  

 

I think the veil is very thin..

5 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, manitou said:

This is going to sound really dumb.  Joe, like many guys, loved to mess around with the sound on the TV.  He had one of those sound sticks that plugs in somehow and makes it sound like surround sound if you're watching a movie.  I kind of hated the thing, he just wouldn't leave the sound alone.  Ever.

 

The day following his death, I was crying my eyes out, and said something out loud to him like 'Can you let me know that you hear me???'  It wasn't but two seconds later that the TV (which had been on very low) suddenly started BOOMING - the sound stick came on all by itself.  I ran around the room looking for the darned remote to turn it off - it was in the basket next to where Joe sat.  At first I was just really confused, and then I realized that Joe had somehow answered me, electrically.  

 

I think the veil is very thin..

 

Very cool.  My younger brother died on cancer when we were in our twenties.  In our discussions, he promised to try to make contact after death if possible. We were lucky that he was able to pass in my parents home.  At the moment of death, his dog that had avoided him for the week before came running over and jumped onto the bed.  I first thought that is was the dog knowing and showing his love.  But, rather than really go to my brother, he sat at the end of the bed at attention and stared at all of us.  Watching us and taking it all in.  This went on for about 10 minutes and then he dropped down and resumed more normal dog like activity.  To me, my little brother had kept his promise... 

 

Much love :) 

8 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

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

 

 

What a great title.  The Year of Magical Thinking.  But, on the other hand, I do believe in a bit of magical thinking.  I've seen it in ceremonial healing ceremonies.  But as it applies to a sudden void of a spouse?  Yes, I can see subconsciously waiting for him to return and need his shoes.

 

 I went to a bereavement group right after Joe died.  I was still numb, I had cried some - a lot - and really hard.  I thought it would be appropriate to go to the group.  What I found was a handful of people who were 6 or 7 months into this thing, still having their eyes well up with tears when they would mention a motorcycle ride they took together - anything would set it off.  It wasn't time yet for me to be at that particular group.  I had absolutely no idea that the process was such a long one.  Now I understand societies where the widow will wear black for a year.  I'm nearly two months into this - I just had no idea.  This is quite something, and I can see that it is really going to be a life-changing event. It's funny - well meaning folks will send a nice card right after the death, usually with a 'Sorry for your Loss' sentiment (which if I hear one more time I think I'll gag).  And then the event is out of their minds, they did their duty, they sent a card.  I know one thing.  I will never again be one of those people that just sends a card and forgets about any further contact..  The real hurt begins after the numbness stops, and that can be weeks after the death.  That's when the real help is needed.  And that's what Rene has understood, and been there for me.

 

How unreal this all is.  This thread has helped me more than you can possibly imagine.  

3 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed, sometimes music can help with feelings...if you find the right music..

when there is pain.. 

here is one...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, manitou said:

 

 

What a great title.  The Year of Magical Thinking.  But, on the other hand, I do believe in a bit of magical thinking.  I've seen it in ceremonial healing ceremonies.  But as it applies to a sudden void of a spouse?  Yes, I can see subconsciously waiting for him to return and need his shoes.

 

 I went to a bereavement group right after Joe died.  I was still numb, I had cried some - a lot - and really hard.  I thought it would be appropriate to go to the group.  What I found was a handful of people who were 6 or 7 months into this thing, still having their eyes well up with tears when they would mention a motorcycle ride they took together - anything would set it off.  It wasn't time yet for me to be at that particular group.  I had absolutely no idea that the process was such a long one.  Now I understand societies where the widow will wear black for a year.  I'm nearly two months into this - I just had no idea.  This is quite something, and I can see that it is really going to be a life-changing event. It's funny - well meaning folks will send a nice card right after the death, usually with a 'Sorry for your Loss' sentiment (which if I hear one more time I think I'll gag).  And then the event is out of their minds, they did their duty, they sent a card.  I know one thing.  I will never again be one of those people that just sends a card and forgets about any further contact..  The real hurt begins after the numbness stops, and that can be weeks after the death.  That's when the real help is needed.  And that's what Rene has understood, and been there for me.

 

How unreal this all is.  This thread has helped me more than you can possibly imagine.  

 

Consider that the nice meaning folks may be doing all they can. I know that's true for me. I only have a few funerals left in me.

I knew a Oncology practice five Doctors a dozen nurses or so. Doctors worked six months a year that's all they could take.

Standard procedure for the nurses was call in sick if you can't perform at 99.99 percent. And they did often.

 

I have two older siblings two younger siblings and their spouses kids and a few close friends whose funeral I will attend. Otherwise I make myself available to walk and talk to listen to cry with.

And remind myself I'm doing the best I can ....

 

Please check in this thread daily I find comfort in that, thanks!

3 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, the veil can be very thin, and you're open for it.  Boom

 

May I share a memory?

 

after my brother died, my mum could not let go. He always drove an old yellow deuxchevaux, with that strange noise those cars make. So, she and I could hear his car driving up to the house. I heard  it and looked at her and vice versa. But my dad didn't hear a thing.

noises in the house too, we lived in an old creaky house. A house were you can hear who is upstairs or walking the stairs. Mom and I heard it, dad did not. It took a real long time for her to let him go, and for him to let go. He died of suicide, makes it harder.

 

Bereavement, takes a year my love. And the most heard thing of people who lost their partners is that the first year they get help from family and friends. After that , well a year is a long time isn't it....

But then you have to recreate your life without him. The highlights of the year again. Whether that be Christmas or private things like looking at the first flower from some plant. Little intimate things.

 

sorry, I should not let you look so far forwards maybe, take it a day, an hour at the time.

 

that boom, I do not know Joe, but from what you've written about him, sounds just like him. A memory to carry with you I think

5 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, centertime said:

I have noticed, sometimes music can help with feelings...if you find the right music..

when there is pain.. 

here is one...

 

 

 

 

Very nice, centertime.  We just all have our turn - and right now it's mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, blue eyed snake said:

It took a real long time for her to let him go, and for him to let go. He died of suicide, makes it harder.

 

 

 

 

I can't even imagine the pain of a loved one committing suicide.  My heart breaks for your family.  So many other feelings would enter into the picture.  Thank you for sharing your story, BES.  This seven weeks has seemed more like seven days.  Like time has stood still in some way.  Maybe that's why it takes a year.  Because time stands still.

Edited by manitou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sometimes it helps when we give ourselves permission to be vulnerable. 

 

It is actually ok to do that. Those who grief seldom find the space to acknowledge that. 

 

Most are either caught up in guilt, pain or anger. These are all very contractive states that prevents reconciliation. 

People tend to busy themselves with these emotions out of fear of vulnerability.

Its like building walls to shield reality out. 

 

To be open is to be vulnerable.

 

To be real is to be vulnerable. 

 

Reality, at some point, ensures that all beings will have to yield, in one way or another. 

or else get broken. 

 

Be not afraid to be real. 

4 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really excellent point CT.  But I guess I can only get real at the pace that I'm able... 

 

I don't feel any guilt or anger.  Let me take that back.  I feel guilt that I couldn't 'control' how Joe died. I wish he had died at home, in  bed, in my arms.  I feel guilty because before his second operation he told me that 'these people don't know what they're doing', and I didn't do anything about it. He said that he could hear them arguing, even under sedation, about what tube went where.  I assumed that he was in an altered state and I didn't take him seriously.   After all, he was in a big hospital, between operations, and I didn't know what to do about that.  Pull him out?  I just assumed he was under the influence of the sedation.  And then, that night, he had a massive brain bleed.   I feel guilty because I was checking into putting him in a hospice rather than trying to care for him at home after his massive stroke.  I do feel guilty.  If there's anger to come, it hasn't come yet.

 

Yes, I am caught up in pain.  I can say that it is diminishing a tiny bit day by day; and I was just able tonight to bang on the keyboard for an hour, for the first time since this happened.  I am in a forced alone situation; I have virtually no friends here in Ohio, never gotten to know anybody since we moved here 8 years back.  All my time is spent alone; don't know if that's good or bad; maybe if I had a lot of friends here it would delay the whole process.  I just don't know.  It is what it is.  I'm trying to be as real as I can be.

 

My hard shell of strength against vulnerability shattered greatly during my forced PTSD retirement from the LAPD 36 years ago, and then coming to grips with my alcoholism.  I suppose I have rebuilt some of the shell.  It sure doesn't feel like it.  I feel about as vulnerable as a turtle on its back right now.  But maybe I need to give myself more permission, I just don't know.  If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

4 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, reminds me of an then eightyearold niece who was crying to her hearts content when her grandmum died.

 

someone tried to console her with words like: "grandma doesn't have any pain anymore, it really better this way"

Then she sort of yelled: of course I know that, but I'm sad, I'll never see grandmum again and that hurts!!!!

 

and she cried further, 

the healthy response of a kid

 

when i wrote I saw:

crying to her hearts content...

maybe thats sort of what CT means

8 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 11:08 AM, 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

 

 

Above I opened the door a crack :ph34r:

 

Below bes marches right in fearlessly :wub:

 

On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 0:41 PM, 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.

 

Bums trying to help other bums is why I love this place!

3 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Manitou you remain in my thoughts and prayers and hoping you are moving towards greater peace!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites