I think it's really good to get therapy and medication if you need it. I think a lot of people who could really benefit don't seek help. Stress is a terrible thing. I actually feel less stressed than I did before Tom died. The stress of dealing with his illness and the inevitable outcome went on for over five years. I always hoped he would be cured but I always knew he probably wasn't . It was not really a matter of whether he was going to die from this disease but when, how and where? Of course I could not imagine how awful it was going to be and how I was going to continue on. Since his death I almost feel numb a lot of the time. I don't really get stressed about anything like I used to. I do get depressed and have to deal with that occasionally. I think I've dealt with things but I may be like you Lainey and held it in. I don't really know. I'm trying to move on a little at a time. I hear Tom's voice in my sleep sometimes calling my name in a way that is telling me to get it together! I always wake up thinking okay, I'll quit moping around. Then I talk to a guy I've met on the phone, thinking I may try this dating thing again and I have very vivid dreams of Tom telling me he is leaving me for another woman. I wake up terribly upset. Wow. MY subconscious is feeling guilty. Things are just too complicated. Take care, Mary
I'm glad I can help in any small way. It does gets easier in time. One good friend told me that the grief doesn't ever go away but it does get lighter. I think that's a great way to describe it. It's always there, it always will be! But we all learn to deal with our emotions and carry on the best way possible. In time the weight on our hearts does get lighter. I still honestly have a hard time believing my Tom is really gone and it's been almost 2 1/2 years. I often ask myself and any other entity out there listening, how did this happen? It's just not the way it was supposed to be! Then, of course I go through the whole questioning process of why him, why me? Because I feel it's not just him that lost his life, obviously he physically did, but I lost my entire life as I knew it. All of our dreams, our plans, everything is gone. You and I have to start life all over and it can be overwhelming to contemplate. Baby steps. That's the only way to do it. Start out slowly. Take time to fully grieve. Cry as much as you need to...don't hold it in. Take care of yourself. Go to counseling if you need it and support groups. Give yourself time to heal. It won't happen overnight, obviously. Best wishes Margaret. Keep in touch and feel free to vent here when you need to. We all have strong shoulders!!
I love your poem. You are very talented. I hope you're feeling better. I don't get online very often so I lose touch with everyone. Did you have surgery? I hope you're having a good winter. I think most of us are suffering through a record cold one. That doesn't help our mental state either. I feel so much better on a sunny day!! Take care. Love, Mary
Hi Lainey and Darla,
I think it's being locked up inside that's causing my "winter blues". I'm sure you understand, Darla!! Lainey, you're lucky to live in the warmth and sun! I hope all of your health issues resolve themselves. You have had to go through a lot of krap!! I'm very lucky to be very healthy. I was on Match.com for 3 weeks and went off. I did go on my first date Weds. after talking to the guy for weeks and it was very awkward. He seemed disappointed. I've lost 30 lbs. and thought I looked really good and after his initial reaction I kept thinking about Tom the whole time. If he had been standing there and saw me get out of the car after all of this time he would have said "Wow! Forget dinner, let's go home!!" Lol ! Anyway, a lot of these guys think they're God's gift to women I guess! The good thing is I met another fellow for lunch on Friday and we had a very nice, intense conversation for 3 hours. I was almost late for an appointment we were talking so much. But we are just friends. His wife died 18 months ago and he's got a long way to go. We enjoyed talking though and I think it was good for both of us. I know someone will eventually come along but I agree with my son re: the online dating. He says it's soul crushing! No more blind dates for me!!
Take care, Lainey. I hope everything goes well with your tests. Darla we definitely have to just take baby steps. Stay warm up there in Wisconsin!
Love to you both, Mary
Someone posted this on facebook. I've never read one that expresses my experience and emotions so completely and simply.....
The moment that you died
My heart was torn in two,
One side filled with heartache,
The other died with you.
I often lie awake at night,
When the world is fast asleep
And take a walk down memory lane,
With tears upon my cheeks.
Remembering you is easy,
I do it everyday,
But missing you is heartache
That never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart
And there you will remain.
Until the joyous day arrives,
That we will meet again.
I'm trying very hard to move forward. But just like the old saying says, you take one step forward and two backward at times. I hate cancer so much!!! Like all of you, I just want my old life back!
I hope you had a great time today with your new friend and family. I give you credit for introducing him to your family so soon. I think that might be the hardest thing for me. I have two friends I've been chatting with. One is divorced and very insistent on our meeting soon. I'm having minor surgery a week from tomorrow though and I want to wait until I recover from that. I tell everyone he's the one Tom sent for me because he's a short, bald fellow, a total opposite of Tom, but I don't care about that. He makes me laugh and I really like that. I guess my main concern is whether the person is healthy. Like Darla ,I really don't ever want to go through losing someone again. It's scary to think about. The other fellow is a widower of 15 months and I think it might be easier with him because we understand what each other has gone through and is going through! They are both a little younger than me so I like that too. I'll let you know how things go. At least it's something to look forward to and it's given me great incentive to lose weight! lol ! Happy New Year girls!! I hope it's a healthy happy one for all of us!
Good for you Lainey!!! I've been chatting with a local fellow that I haven't actually met in person yet. He was telling me that he had only dated one widow before and that her house was like a shrine to her dead husband. She had a 20x30 picture of him on the wall and his urn was on the mantel, etc. I just started laughing. I didn't tell him that mine was only a 16x20 of Tom and that his urn is sitting on my dresser along with a substantial number of pictures of us together. His straw hat is still sitting on my fridge right where he left it and I haven't cleaned out his wardrobe yet. I'd like to think I'm ready to date and I think I am if I just meet him somewhere but I don't think I'm ready to have anyone come to my house. It's very hard for me to put all of this out of sight. I know I'll have to someday or I'll be alone the rest of my life and I don't want that either! I'm glad to see you getting out and enjoying life! I hope you have a happy New Year and you are blessed with good health and happiness!! Love, Mary
I hope all of you had a nice Christmas. It was the best one I've had in several years. I have a new grandson that I love dearly and he helped brighten up the holidays. I only got teary once when some familiar music played while I was rocking him. I just wished his grandpa was here to enjoy him too. Those are the hardest times. I know he sees us from heaven but we all want his physical presence here. My son commented that everyone was taking pictures so that must mean we are feeling better about things and want to remember these gatherings. He's right-it is getting easier.
Margaret, I'm so sorry for your recent loss. This is a very hard season to go through after so recently losing your dear husband, John. Darla and Lainey and I have had time to move through our own personal grieving process and I know we are all doing better than we were years ago. It's wonderful to have the support of friends here that really do know what you are going through !! Lean on us when you need to. You will find your way in time. Just don't be in too big of a hurry and take care of yourself.
Best wishes to all of you for a blessed New Year! Mary
It will be two years tomorrow since I lost my dear husband Tom. I can't believe it's been that long already. It still doesn't seem possible that he is gone! Two years ago I couldn't imagine life without him. But life goes on. I miss him so much. Like I said once before , I long to see him again. Somehow saying I miss him doesn't fully describe the depth of my feeling. During our last minutes alone ,shortly before he died I cried and held him and told him how much I loved him and would miss him, that my heart was breaking. And it truly felt as though my heart was broken. There was actual physical pain. I had never experienced that before and hope I never do again. But time has healed that pain. When I think of Tom now I laugh more than I cry. He was such a character. He loved living! I feel guilty if I don't at times. Sometimes it's so hard to be happy about a life without him in it. There are so many things he's missing. So many things I miss doing with him. We all find our way through our own personal grief. I am finding mine. I am now going to try and accomplish all the things I wrote about doing one year ago. I know that is what he would want for me.
I love you Tom and always will. I look forward to you holding your arms out to me some day and hearing your voice greet me with, "Well, hi ! I've missed you." Until then I will keep you close to me in my heart and in my dreams.
I just got internet hooked up at home so I will also send my story if you still want them.Where do you want them sent? Glad you are doing well. I have two more weeks before my winter break time. My pumpkin season has been very busy. Take care, Love Mary
I have not been online for weeks and lost track of many friends here so seeing your news about Lauren was heartbreaking. I am so, so sorry. Words can't heal your broken heart right now but time will help lessen the grief. I know I tended to get teary and often cry when talking or thinking about Tom after he first passed but now I usually laugh when thinking of him. I think of our good times and his smile and laugh and voice and you will remember Lauren that way too. You'll get over the trauma you obviously have been through, it's like suffering from PTSD after being a caretaker for so long and having to go through all that you and your family experienced at the end. Watching a child go through what Lauren did would be torture. But in time those memories will fade and you'll be able to laugh again. You'll still cry... just not as often !! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and with Lauren. We have a new, beautiful CC angel. We'll always remember her strength and courage. Take care of yourself, Pam. Remember we are all here for you. Love, Mary
Just stopped in for a quick peek but this is the one subject I love to talk about and have few people who really believe or understand. I too have had many instances of Tom being near and communicating- not so many lately but I begged him to quit worrying about helping me and help my daughter and son-in-law. They have been trying to have a baby for years and have gone the surrogate route. My daughter was convinced it wouldn't work and they would be out $50,000 but I'm glad to announce things are going well. We don't know what the gender is but they have one healthy baby due in Dec. Something wonderful to look forward to. I keep telling my daughter her Dad is the baby's guardian angel- he's been mine several times in near car accidents. One early morning I was taking my dog to the vet and was daydreaming when my overhead light flashed on, which brought me out of my trance just as a deer ran in front of me. Before Tom died we discussed (with much difficulty) his burial wishes. He knew I wanted to be cremated so in typical Tom fashion he asked which was cheaper, to be buried or cremated, Since it was cheaper to be cremated he said that would be fine but he wanted me to promise to be buried with him some day in in the family plot . I said okay but I think he was concerned I wouldn't follow through. Anyway I went ahead and had a beautiful stone set with both our names etc. The morning after they placed the stone on our plot I got up ,made coffee, went in the living room and tried to shut my son's x-box off. It would go off then back on so I finally gave up. Then I went back out top the kitchen to get some more coffee, looked out the window and my car headlights were flashing on and off. I went out and changed them from automatic to manual and they went off. Later that day I put them back to automatic and they were fine. They've never done it again. I'm sure it was Tom telling me he was happy with the stone and me keeping my promise. He isn't buried there yet. I told my kids to mix us up together someday and bury us then. He's sitting on my dresser right now. a lot of people think that's creepy but I love having him close! I find all of these visits very comforting! Lainey I hope you have a good trip. Take care of yourself!! I'll post again soon. I'm really supposed to be ordering things for my greenhouse right now so I need to go. Take care all, Mary
Six weeks is way, way too early to even imagine starting to feel "normal"! Sometimes I think it may take years, if ever. I lost my dear husband in Nov. 2011 after 5 1/2 years of fighting this cancer and 32 years of marriage. I and everyone else here understands all that you are going through. You simply have a whole in your heart and in your life that will never be totally healed. Eventually it won't hurt so much , you will be able to get up every day and face whatever life throws at you but believe me you will never forget the love and life you shared with your husband. You will even be able to laugh and smile when you think of him... in time. The tears will still come but they will be a little less frequent. Your happy memories will help them subside. The first year is definitely the worse. All of the firsts you have to face. I thought I was doing pretty well then our anniversary came along and I cried for a week. I went to my first wedding without him, that was really hard...one of the hardest things I had to go through. The six month anniversary was also very hard for some reason. Hospice actually sent out literature at that point saying it was a hard anniversary. I never went to any support groups. It does help some people but I just kept very busy and tried to cope on my own. I think I've made it through the worst part of the grieving process. I can actually think of my future and not start crying or slip into depression. When Tom first died someone told me that my grief would never totally go away but it would get "lighter". As hard as it is for you to imagine right now, it really is true. My kids and I sit and talk about their Dad and laugh about our memories of him. I catch myself saying or thinking of some of the "dumb" sayings he used to say and start laughing. I remember trying to come up with a word to describe my feelings about losing him. Saying that I "missed" him didn't seem to express my feelings adequately. I even looked in the dictionary for a synonym for the word "miss". I finally decided the best word was that I " longed" for him. I longed to see him again and touch him and hear his voice. To sit and chat and laugh and hold hands. Even to argue with him. I still do and you will too. That desire will never go away as long as we live. We'll miss sharing our lives with the person we planned on being with until we were both very old and very gray! I am thankful for the happy years we had but like you can't help feeling cheated that it wasn't longer. Laurie, all you can do is take care of yourself, try to find people you can talk to and let time heal your pain. It is hard to believe after just 6 weeks that life will ever get easier ,but it will. Please feel free to vent here whenever you feel the need! Love, Mary
I'm glad you enjoyed your night out remembering Teddy. I hope you're feeling better by now. It does seem hard to believe it's been two years already. We all miss Teddy, too. Maybe someday we will meet in person and I can give you a big hug!! Thanks for being a good friend. Love, Mary
I just resized my wedding ring. I actually lost my engagement ring years ago. I would take it off because the diamond would catch on things and then forget to put it back on. I think I swept it up in the sweeper. I have always felt bad about that. Best wishes , Mary
I agree with Lainey. This truly is one of the most beautiful and inspiring posts I have ever read. I am sure your Dad is very proud of you and I know he wants you to find happiness. All of our lost loved ones do. Lainey and I have have had many real physical communications from our lost husbands and I always come away feeling the same way... somewhat sad and lonely but also happy because I know he is okay and he wants me to be okay too. Easier said then done often, but it is possible. We must just put our broken hearts and wings back together as well as we can and carry on. We have no choice!And helping others is truly the best way . Best wishes, Mary
Thanks so much for sharing Kris' birthday with us. I like what you said about celebrating her birthday rather than the day of her death. You are so right-I never knew anyone more full of life than Kris!! We all loved her so much and truly do miss her sense of humor and smile. It's funny how our minds can cause all of the "bad" things to fade from our memory and we do remember all of the good things. In my dreams and memories Tom is always strong and healthy....and smiling. He had a great smile and laugh too. I hope you continue to keep in touch and I wish the very best for you. Thank-you for lighting a candle for everyone here. We are lucky to have had so many good friends here over the years! Take care. Love, Mary
Thanks for all of your responses. It's good to hear from all of you, ecspecially you, Hans. I'm glad you are still checking in with us. It really is hard to believe it's been two years since Kris and Teddy left us. I miss them too and think about all of our lost friends often. I don't necessarily want to wish my life away but there are times that I'm glad the time is flying. I have absolutely no fear of dying because I know I'll see Tom again, my main fear is of being dependent on my kids. I'm really happy to be doing so well a month out from my surgery. It was so hard trying to arrange people to be here with me, mainly to take care of my crazy dog/pup. When you have a spouse you just take for granted the fact that someone is there to help you when you need it. When you're alone it requires a lot of planning ahead. My parents want to help but they're getting so old. My Dad is 86 but still wants to do what he can. I told them it's crazy that I'm 55 and still have to check in with my parents or they worry about me! Who would have thought that things would turn out this way? Lainey, I would love to head out your way. One of these days I'm going to do it! I love your poem too. All of us that have lost a loved one share the same feelings. We all have different personal moments that we miss but we all share the feeling of loss and sadness. I've tried to tell other new widows that it does get easier. They look at me in disbelief sometimes just like I probably did a year ago when I was told the same thing, but it honestly does. The memories help get you through the tough days. I'm so happy that I am lucky enough to have so many good memories. My kids and I laugh a lot when we think of all the corny things Tom used to say. I actually hear myself saying them sometimes and it makes me laugh! Take care everyone and Pamela and Betsy I would still like to get together sometime. I hope everyone is doing well. I still don't have a computer or internet so I have a hard time keeping up with all the news here. Best wishes to all. Love Mary
I had my wedding ring sized to fit on my right hand. I plan on always wearing it in memory of Tom regardless of what my future may be. I just feel wrong not wearing it. I couldn't wait to get it back from the jewelers, I was so worried they would lose it. It's a personal decision and there isn't a wrong or right way of doing it. Just do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Mary
since I lost my best friend, companion, and true soul mate ,my husband Tom. It's hard to believe that I've made it a whole year without him. I miss him more every day but I can deal with the grief much better. As someone told me after his passing," it won't necessarily get better but it gets lighter." It has gotten lighter. I see him in my surroundings , I think of him all of the time, I still talk to him and feel his presence, but the sadness has lifted somewhat. I wish I could just sit with him in the mornings and drink our coffee and talk like we used to or cuddle up with him on these cold fall nights, take walks together with my pup or hang out and just watch a movie or go for a drive. I miss my husband. I miss being a wife. I never really wanted to be single and it's hard to get used to. I really miss his voice. I watch videos just to see him and remember his voice. It makes me cry but it also makes me feel better. It's been a really tough year for me besides just losing Tom. My grand finale has been having my left knee replaced on Oct. 30. I'm doing well, I just want to be 100 % again and be able to go for walks and get around and get things done. I hate depending on others.My youngest came home from Thailand a week ago so he's living with me now. It's been good having him here. I am actually looking forward to next year. I'm going to try and force myself to become more social. I work at home so I need to get out and make new friends! I've checked into some volunteer programs and some church related singles groups that I might attend. Hopefully I won't chicken out. It's really hard to think about starting over with a new life after all of these years!
I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. I've managed to get out of cooking this year. My daughter is having all of us, including my parents and widowed brother and his kids, so I think we'll have a good time. Take care all, Love, Mary
I, like Lainey love these posts too. My Tom has visited me in so many different ways. I have a little wren that wakes me up in the morning singing and seems to follow me around when I'm outside working. Tom loved to sing so I always think that it's him serenading me. A few weeks ago I was driving my pup to the vet early in the morning and kind of in a trance when the light above my rearview mirror flashed on and startled me awake just as a deer ran across my path. Weird things like that have happened from the beginning. Some people say it would give them the creeps but I find them comforting. I love to think he is still around and some how aware of what's going on in our lives. I hope your sister keeps visiting you. Love, Mary
Thanks for the response Lainey and the laugh, although I'm worried about you and your health issues. Sorry you couldn't go on your trip. Exactly what is going on with your UC? I'm not familiar with that disease at all. You are exactly right about comparing everyone to Teddy and Tom. That is exactly the problem and probably always will be. I'm really not in the dating mode yet. That's why I don't want anyone to even ask. I have my own plan and timetable set. It may or may not happen as planned, time will tell! My single son says dating is a minefield! He's been broken up with a long time girlfriend for 18 months and he hasn't found anyone serious yet. Just cuddlebuddies- that's what he calls them! I honestly can't imagine!! Take care Lainey! I hope you feel better soon. Do you have to stay on the prednisone or is it just temporary? Talk to you soon. Love, Mary
That's pretty cute Lainey. I never used that one before but I think he was definitely putting the 'moooves" on me. Anyway about this dating business. I I really am not ready. I've had two guys "hitting?" on me this week. One actually asked me out. They seem too old. Tom was 9 years older than me but he seemed and looked a lot younger. I never liked dating back in the old days. I was so glad to meet and fall in love with Tom. I just can't imagine going through all of that again!! Its too soon anyway but when I do feel ready I just hope I find someone I really like and that's it. Wishful thinking I'm sure. Have you found anyone interesting yet? It would be nice to just have someone to go places with and have fun. Take care, Mary
Tom has been quiet lately too. The first 6 months we had some really strange things happening. The only explanation was that he was causing them- I still feel that way. I had to make a decision about whether to sell my farm a few weeks ago. That caused me a lot of stress. I decided that I couldn't. Tom and I first saw each other right here on our farm. He was walking along the road in his knee high gum boots, shirtless, with cut off bib overalls , his wild black curls bouncing, tanned and I thought pretty sexy!. I drove by in my little blue honda civic and we kind of gave each other a good look. I had just moved back to my parents home on the neighboring farm and a few days later he showed up as I was getting home from work and asked if I had seen his cows. A few were supposedly missing. I said no but that we would let him know if we did. He called me that night and asked me out! That was 33 years ago. Our thirty second anniversary would have been this Friday. Since making the decision to stay put I actually have felt a lot better about things. I know he is probably trying to tell me I'm crazy, but I just can't move. Our entire life together was spent here, from the beginning to the end. Anyway, this place gives me lots of projects and right now thats a good thing. I feel like I've rounded a corner where I can actually see the future and feel like I'm going to be alright. I'm having my surgery on November 6. Then I'll have twogood knees and maybe be able to keep up with my pup! She drags me around now.
Take care Lainey. I know your are doing fine and Teddy knows that too! I do miss all of the flashing lights etc. but I do think it makes it harder to move ahead. Maybe that why our boys have quieteddown. I think Teddy taught Tom all of his tricks!! I'll talkto you soon. Love Mary
Hi Jilly and all of above,
I, like Nancy, considered myself to be a young widow at 54 when my husband of 32 years passed away in November. My oldest son , who is 28 lived with me until this past Friday. I'm actually really ready to live alone and move on as much as possible now. I was glad to have his company and he helped me with my business this first year without my husband but I feel it's time. This is the first I've lived alone for over 33 years and it seems very strange. I appreciate the article above. It has some really good advice. Personally, I have set myself goals that I want to achieve and listed projects to finish to keep myself busy. Keeping busy seems to be the best medicine for my loneliness. I have a new 4 1/2 month old shepherd puppy so I spend a lot of time walking and playing with her and that helps with my goal of wanting to lose weight, plus she is very entertaining and a good companion. I am having knee surgery the end of October so I'm going to try and get my house totally cleaned before that. I was waiting for my son to move out before I started that chore. I know I'll feel better when I accomplish that. Then, when I recover from my surgery and get through the holidays I'm going to make a conscious effort to become more social. I'm not sure exactly what that entails but I'm going to do some volunteer work maybe start going to church again, join some groups, maybe even go on a date. Who knows? I just know I don't want to sit by myself night after night for the next 25-35 years? so I have to make the effort myself. I know it will be really hard, I actually cry quite often when I even think about dating etc., I just want my Tom back but since that isn't going to happen I know I have to try and move on. We'll all get through this in our own way. I have two brothers that lost their wives in the past 4 1/2 years. One started dating pretty quickly, before he really had a chance to grieve and that caused him some problems. He has a new girlfriend now that he is serious about. My other brother lost his wife 2 years ago and kept saying he wasn't interested in dating but ran into an old high school friend a few weeks ago and she obviously changed his mind! I just believe things will happen when they are meant to. We just have to be patient. Everyone take care. I hope we can all find happiness again. Best wishes, Mary
My boys went to a nearby lake to hang out together the night Tom died. They saw several huge meteors while they were there. They talked about it at his funeral. I know it was him letting them know he was alright and glad they were all together. Thanks for the beautiful poem. It says what we are all feeling. There is so much to deal with.....it seems overwhelming most of the time. I wish Tom was here, every minute of every day. Mary