GO IT ALONE HERE OR JOIN A LIVE SUPPORT GROUP

by Judith in California
(USA)

Hi All,
It's been 7 months and 11 days since being thrown into widowhood. It, like all of you , was not something we would have ever chosen but we know deep down our loves could not have survived for too long especially with an incurable disease and as sick as they were , death was inevitable and ,if honest, we prayed God would take them to relieve the pain and suffering or continuing loss of bodily functions and loosing their abilities to talk and let us know what is wrong with them, I for one could not ever put him in a home but it was getting close. I watched as he lost muscle mass and could barely walk with my help then his ability to speak. It broke my heart and I cried out "God, please take him . How can I care for him when we can't communicate anymore? I need to know if something hurts him so I can get him the help he needs.".

Well ,God must have felt it was time too because 4 days later he was gone due to pneumonia. Of course my heart was broken and still is and as I finally put the pictures of our lives in Albums I cry as I have been for the last 4 days. He began the albums before he became so bad he could no longer. So I hope he sees me from heaven and is pleased that I am continuing them.

I have realized one thing and that is that the more I come here the more I grieve. This is a wonderful site for immediate support but we all need to seek a support group with live people and be able to feel live support. My therapist told me it's not good to come here so often as it becomes a crutch to not move on. We just can't feed of of one another forever.

We all know this journey will never end. We will always have a "Grief Corner " in our hearts for them and upon occasion we will break down in tears of loving remembrance and sadness. We will always at some point want them back and miss our "US". We will always love and miss our loves even tho' they were perfectly imperfect. I loved mine and know our marriage was imperfectly perfect too. I would do it over again knowing that if I could. I'm sure you would marry yours too.

I will join a live group and look forward to meeting others who may help me and me them hopefully.

I will on a monthly basis return here to see how Patricia, Hope, Trish, Jules, Maria, Jen, Yvonne and the rest of you are doing.

I feel the pain of everyone of you and cry with you and for myself. I pray for your peace and resolution . I pray for your happiness and hope you will all find love again in the way you want it be it in another marriage or just a companionship. God meant for us to share our lives and since ours are not over we must find someone else , when we are ready, who won't be anything like our deceased. Its not supposed to be. They will learn to know us as much as we let them and them us. We will share ourselves again and hopefully begin new lives and accept the ebbs and flows. I for one hope to get there as I don't see it for now . It's still all too painful.

God bless our lives and bring us peace in Christ name ...Amen.

Comments for GO IT ALONE HERE OR JOIN A LIVE SUPPORT GROUP

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Apr 30, 2011
a greif sabatical
by:

Judy,

I still need this site. I have no plans on leaving it, so me using the term "I think I may have out grown this site" was mis-worded. What I meant was that I feel that I am not helping those in the beginning of grief. I can recall the gut wrenching feelings that assailed my mind each and every day. Yet in mature grief the memories are there but do not play a tug of war as the future battles the past. (as much)

Last night I went to a Lynard Skynard concert. I have not been to a concert since the 80s (eagles) and before that David Cassidy (Yeah he was so cute way back when)

It was part of my growth, part of this new life as I try to forge for independence, even when things are new and can be uncomfortable. I went with my 13 year old son. His first concert.

I did fine until Tuesdays gone (in the wind) came on. I got misty but let it go. The last song was of course Freebird.

It starts "If I leave you tomorrow, will you still remember me?" The tears came and I could not control myself. In the middle of all the screaming fans, I cried. Boo kept asking what was wrong and I shooed him away needing to be alone in a crowd of thousands in my grief.

Am I "done grieving"? no not by a long shot. But I am trying to grow within. Be my best self. Not for him but for me. Life is not over, it is just starting a new chapter...
HH

Apr 28, 2011
Need for continued support
by: Judy

I just want to chime in again, and especially to Hope who said something along the lines that her usefulness on this site is over because she has passed the year mark and is beginning to feel stabilized.

I think that there is still great need to talk to other widows in this time which I am mentally calling Widowhood Part II. The worst of the shock and pain has passed, now we are left with the monumental task of learning to live in the "new normal". I for one find myself floundering sometimes trying to redefine who I am.
When I was single after divorce I still had my kids at home so my identity as Mom was foremost-they are now in their 30's and 3000 miles away. I still wear the hat of Mom but it is on the hatrack a lot of the time, so who is Judy now that her primary role of wife is gone? That is the big challenge now, and it helps me tremendously to hear from other women who have lived in widowhood for a period of time and hear how they cope with this challenge. Live support groups are wonderful but most end before you reach this point, and even if you hang around, the energy is going to those newer in grief in the most pain and confusion-and rightly so. So I do appreciate having this site to share and learn from others who are this part of the path.
JM

Apr 27, 2011
no judgement intended
by: Judith in California

I am in no way judging any of you. I think by my comments you will see I was speaking for me only but also seeing that we will not "get over" our losses no matter where we go or what we do. I'm in no way attempting to get over my grief but to seek socialization and when in a support group be it christian or not we have to be able to be honest and if we see that someone is judging us then we must call them out on it. I have no problem with letting someone know when they have crossed the boundaries of my soul by saying stupid things about how I should feel. I have learned early on to stand up for me and my beliefs. I appreciate all of your comments.

AS for the crutch comment it was solely the therapist. And in that she meant that it gives me an excuse not to deal with other people because I've tended to isolate myself and not socialize; but who really can when we don't feel so damn social? She feels I need human contact because I can't just be a mommy to my 4 cats.

I am one of you ...we are all connected.

Apr 27, 2011
Do Whatever it Takes...to Heal!!
by: Dakota Blues

I stumbled across this website a couple of weeks ago. I think there is something to be said for online posting. Letting your "words in the air." I truly hope this helps me move forward in my grief. And, if it doesn't....that is A-OK, too!

I attended a grief support group in the early months. My daughter passed away 3 years ago. Suicide. I thought it was very helpful. I probably should have stayed with the group a lot longer!! But, I didn't have the energy to do anything more than get out of bed.

I just started counseling this month. Ya know...I think we need to trust our guts and take whatever steps we feel lead to do. Our search to get stronger comes in different packages. One thing nice about a group meeting is you can build friendships and have social get togethers.

Group sessions, counseling, online posts...they are forums for us to work through our grief. No right or wrongs that I can see...only options! Hugs~

Apr 27, 2011
To Zoe
by: TrishJ

Yes~
After I hit submit comment yesterday I felt a bit strange saying that I agreed. I want to clarify.
I only agree that the actual human support is very much needed in our grief journey. This site has literally saved my sanity.
People come here and pour out their hearts and souls. The pain is so overwhelming. As we make the journey to rediscover ourselves and adjust to our new lives sometimes we just need to vent and there isn't always someone around. I don't think Judith meant we could all go take a flying leap but I know what she meant by saying she needed actual human contact. I question the intellectual skills of the grief counselor by saying this site is a crutch. If we break a leg we need crutches to support us as our broken bone heals. Our hearts are broken ~ so what if it is a crutch ~ it's a much needed crutch. Our hearts (unlike bones) will never really heal all the way. We do what it takes to comfort us after our lives blow up in our faces.
Thanks Zoe for your much needed comment. You also gave me a valuable tip once about not shopping too much. I am a stress shopper and believe me when I say that stopped me in my tracks. Cha Ching!! I haven't charged anything in a few months.
Peace and Love.

Apr 27, 2011
Matters of the heart
by: M Mack

Judith,

I know how hard all of this is for you and that you have reservations over coming to this site. That's your preference, decision and you should follow your heart. Grieving is different for everyone and the length of time varies for us all.

I want you to know that I found this site early on and I was blown away by all the grieving people on here. It felt like there was a connection, everyone was having the same pain as I was. Thus, the deep sadness, replaying every emotion over and over in my heart and mind. The thing is that I hit bottom and got through it. For me, I needed to complete my grief cycle and although it's still very painful I have nowhere to go but up. Human contact is wonderful but sometimes at 2am who is there for you to express yourself? Part of healing is reading about your grief and writing completes the process.
There are many going through this and you are never alone. Plus, I can do this privately; some of us want privacy and don't want to be in a room full of others judging your background, appearance, society status......it can be invading for me.

Yes I know it's depressing reading the day to day pain that mirrors your own but I'd rather not shove my pain in a drawer waiting for the meeting next week. I'm done, I get it, I cry and feel better.

We are all individuals with individual needs. Only you can determine that for yourself and I respect you for your opinion. God bless you Judith and I pray you find the comfort that works best for you. Take care and let us know how you're doing.

Apr 27, 2011
go it alone
by: jules

Yes,yes,yes - in my reply post to Judith I tried to not be judgmental, and be diplomatic - but I did feel that she was judging us, putting us down for coming on here as often as we need to. All I can say is that it is early days for her, where will she turn at 3 or 4 in the morning, or even 8am when she reads something that brings it all crashing back, or has a dream, or wakes up hearing someone gently snoring beside her, but no-one is there.
I know that I can come here, no one will judge me, no one will criticise me, what I will get is compassion, caring and support.
If she feels she can put time limits on her grief, good for her - I can't, just when I think I am doing well, something will happen to bring it all back to me - how long this will happen for I don't know - maybe forever?
but now - every day - one step, one breath
take care
jules

Apr 26, 2011
I Agree
by: TrishJ

I totally agree with you. I love this site but there is nothing like one on one human contact. One of the first things I told the leader of my grief counseling was, "What a difference it made to actually see living breathing people." I read books until my eyes got blurry but to interact with people who are all going through the same thing was so helpful and comforting. We are all still alive, our hearts are still beating, there are people in our lives that want and need us to be happy and move on.

I still have days where I want to sit and cry. It'll be 5 months for me on May 3, but I think I'm actually beginning to have more good days than bad. I had a beautiful Easter with my little grandsons. The tears only came once when I thought about my husband not being there.
We are widows. That's an ugly word but so is depression. We all have to seek out the good in our lives and try to find a bit of joy in each day. Joe would want me to be happy. There is a part of us that will always remain in mourning (and that's ok) but we have to do our best.
God's blessing to you. I hope everything you want and need comes to you ~ to us all.
Peace and Love.
PJ

Apr 26, 2011
Judgement
by: Zoe

You know the thing I have always loved about this site is there is no judgment. We come together in love and support either soothing our pain or expressing our feelings knowing we would not be judged
That was before this post.
I am glad that your therapist helps you and I am glad you think that a live group can help you and I whole heartfelt encourage that.
But for you to come-on this site that I can say personally saved my life- and degrade it and what we do for each other in such a manner is abhorrent. How dare you tell us how to grieve what we would want.
That is what you want and I applaud you for it.
But to come here making blanket diagnosis is self serving and dangerous.
I hope you have great success on your path.
I hope you find peace and happiness.
Do not presume to judge my path or those who do not do it your way.
We are equally valid.
One breath one step one day at a time

Apr 26, 2011
go it alone here or join a live support group
by: jules

Judith - for you it has been just over 7 months, it is plain to see that it is still very fresh for you, as you are still counting the days as well.
I am just over 17 months since John died, and sure when I first found this site, I was on here constantly, I live 40k from the nearest big town with a grief support network, though I did see a counsellor here in town a few times, so this site was my sounding board for a long time.

But I am not feeding on anyone, in fact I am feeling so much stronger because of this site.
I log on so much less now, but I know it is here if I need it, and sometimes that need comes at inappropriate times - 2am etc - I can come here straight away, and voice my feelings, I don't have to wait for a weekly or fortnightly meeting -help is immediate. Sometimes just writing things down is therapy enough, but I welcome the comments from others on here, I can see how far I have come, when I see people who have just entered this horrible journey.

Judith, we all do what we need to traverse this rocky path - and you will do that too.
remember though - every day - one step, one breath
jules

Apr 25, 2011
Do whatcha need to do :)
by:

Judith,

I wish you well in you quest for relief from grief. I have to ask you to please do what YOU want/need not us, not your therapist, not your friends or family. We all want out of this grief and I do not consider this site going it alone. (I would be way more nutso without the help and compassion found here).
Eventually I will move on and allow the newbies of grief to help others in their approximate grief/need bracket.

I just commented in fact that I feel my usefulness here to help others is finished. I can no longer offer bits of wisdom to help because I have surpassed early grief and am at the tail end of my battle. Grief is like labor you never forget it yet it softens so that you can go on enjoying life as it was meant to be lived. Much Luck to you with your support group. We are always here to listen regardless. I thank you for all your support these past months...
Hope

Apr 25, 2011
all respect to your therapist
by: Judy

Judith,

with all respect due to your therapist I think he/she is misinformed about this website. To me, this is no crutch but one of the few places I can come to where there is no judgment, no false cheerfulness and everyone truly understands what you are talking about. If you look back at our posts you will see that we don't act as a crutch to keep ourselves in grief but a cheering section to move each other along as fast or slow as we individually can go.

There is no reason not to have a "live" support group and us too. I have a live support group which is Christian based but there are things that I just would not bring up there-the missing of our physical relationship for one, or the confusion that comes when you get unwelcome attention from someone. How about how some of the people try to help you by saying things that are unintentionally mean. Here we can say anything.

By all means, go to a live group and get whatever you can from it, and if they have a good idea bring it to us. A live group does help with the needs for socialization and companionship. I think that both groups are the best of both worlds.

JM

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