Topic: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

My John has been gone since Nov. and I'm still a mess. I've gone back to work but am not making it financially. I've sold just about everything and finally had to sell my wedding rings a couple of days ago.
That night I had a dream that John was in my arms dieing all over again. It has wiped me out.

I don't know have any support from anyone anymore. Everyone I know seems to think I've grieved long enough.  It's ( I think ) because John was a step father that my grown children are tired  of me being depressed and yes, even angry because he's gone.  My youngest had the incredible insensitivity to tell me I was going to be an "Old bitter woman" if I don't stop this, that I sound like a victim and I need to take control.
I don't know how.

I tried grief counseling but it wasn't like I thought it would be. We sat around and watched a video with people talking of the deaths in their families and how God has brought them through it. They were like robots, no real emotion.

I don't know what to do or where to turn except here. I'm hurting and need your help. I need someone who cares how I'm feeling, who knows how it feels to lose your spouse.
I've cut myself off from my family to a certain degree just because of their attitude. I feel so alone.
Charlene

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene,

I am so sorry that you are feeling so down & that your friends & family are not supportive of you.  I know just how you feel, as I feel much the same.  I don't think that anyone who has not lost the most important person in their life in the way that we have has any right to judge you and your feelings.

Here we all know what it is like & we all understand.  You don't just "get over it" in a certain length of time.  I feel like the pain & loneliness will always be with us.  We just need to learn how to live with it & move on.  I just haven't figured out how to do that.

I too am not one for counseling or support groups.  I feel that the wonderful people on this site, all of whom are dealing with this horrible cancer truely understand & are my support group.  So many of us have recently lost our husbands to this awful disease.  Everyone here is so understanding, sympathetic, helpful & supportive.  I have found a lot of comfort & made some good friends here.  We are all here for each other.

Try to hang in there & come here as often as you need to talk, vent or what ever. We all know what you are going through & are sharing this lonely journey of grieving with you.  You are not alone.

Take care Charlene.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Hi Charlene. I am so hurting for you and wish there was something we could do. I do not know that pain yet but realistically know its down the road and hoping that road is long rather than short. I do have some suggestions just from me. I am not a professional in any way but proud of my logic for having graduated from the school of hard knocks. First off could you take in a border? It would help financially and also provide you with someone in the house. Teddy is my second marriage and really stepped up to the plate where the children and grand children are concerned. They do not view him any other way. If your children didn't feel that close to their step father it is not the point. The point is he was your husband and you will come out of the grief period when you are ready not when they think its more normal.  My last suggestion is to call a family meeting at your house and just tell the kids where you are emotionally and financially. I believe the dream about John dying all over again had nothing to do with the past at all but with the guilt you must have felt selling your rings. Its just horrible to have to do that. Your kids and all family need to know what is going on.  Perhaps it would help if you brought them into your life rather than excluding them and make them feel they can help. You don't realize it but going back to work is a big step in itself. Hope you feel a little better soon and please feel free to vent here anytime.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene,
   I have found it is very difficult for people to understand this grief process, and the amount of time it takes us to process through it - in addition, I am sure it is different for everybody, and - it takes what it takes - we sure can't hurry it along. Butch was my 2nd husband, but - my Grandchildren never knew any other Grandpa, and he and my daughter were very close, so they are all grieving themselves -  I guess it is a different situation from yours.  I am so sorry that your family can't be more supportive - Lainy is right, maybe if you tried talking to them again, you could help them understand, and they could be more supportive of you? It would help you to feel a little less alone, I believe.
  I went back to work a couple of weeks after Butch passed away (it has been almost 8 months now) , and I find it helpful - it takes my mind off my "aloneness". I still am sad when I start home at night - I know I am coming home to an empty house - but, I stay as busy as I can, I have my little dog here, and, as time is passing, I get more accustomed to thi new life.  I found a new church and have made some friends there, and I did attend grief counseling, but didn't fine it very helpful. My advice to you is to try to find something to occupy your time and your mind - you probably won't even enjoy things at first, but just try.  I know it seems like a bother right now, but occupying my time has been my salvation. I bring my Granddaughters here for the weekend every 3rd weekend, At first it was so hard, because Butch and I always had them here together, but I have pressed on, and it is getting better - not good, I say, but - better. 
   Lastly, I took medicine (quite a bit of it)  for a long time, although I am almost off it now. I took an anti-depressant, and it helped me tremendously.  I don't think I could have functioned without that medication, so I am greatful that my Doctor prescribed it.
   Stay in touch with us and let us know how you are doing. We care, Charlene, and wish so much there was some way to help you.

Love,

Joyce

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene,

I can't offer any advice because I have not gone through it...yet. The lovely friends on this website have all have offered very sound advice as well as their deep understanding and a genuine empathy.

If I could offer comment, I am not sure why someone might think that you've grieved long enough. There is no time limit on grief and if John passed away in Nov I would expect that the pain would still be very raw. Regardless, no one has the right to judge your feelings. I am not in your shoes but I wonder if the comments from your youngest stemmed from his/her pain of seeing you suffer so much and feeling helpless. I don't know but it's horrible to see our parents in pain.

Charlene, I am so sad for you and I feel like I can identify with you. You're not alone. I don't know how I am going to live without my husband. I am 39 years old and we have a 50 year plan. We've had an incredible life together and I don't want life without him. We're talking about hospice. The pain is too deep. We're with the kids (I am the stepmother and his kids are beautiful loving teens!) and having some precious moments in the hospital.

Charlene, you are not alone. I wish that I could say what to do. I can't. All I can say is keep in touch with us, reach out and love and support from any place or person offering.

Joyce, Darla. I've read your posts over these months.  You've offered so much support.

With love,
Danielle

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene,
I have been thinking about you often and I am so sad that you are not getting the support you need. Sometimes people are insensitive, but dont really mean to be. I hate it that those who should be supporting you are not and I pray that it does not cause a further rift in your family.

I have no advice. Just warm thoughts and an ear. There is no set time for greiving. There is no gauge on how deep one must grieve. It is all personal. And if you didnt love john so much, you would not still be so raw. It is the depth of your love that causes you so much pain now. But that is what made your time with John so special and meaningful. It is perfectly natural to be in depressed, angy and disillusioned when the person you loved the most has been taken from you and others dont appreciate your loss.

I will be thinking of you and praying you get the support you need...whether from your family, us, or friends. We are here for you.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene;
I can't say I know what you are going through because I am the one with cc and have not lost a spouse. I can only offer my thoughts and prayers for you. I think everyone else had good advice and thoughts. I am heartbroken that your family has not been there for you. I agree that you should try and talk with them and let them know what is going on.  You are not alone. I am in Minnesota and if you are anywhere close I'd be happy to give you an in-person hug.  You are in my prayers.
God Bless,
Jamie

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene,
                    It is so good to hear from you again but I am sorry that life is so hard for you at the moment. I have been through a lot of the same emotions and experiences as you and I understand how you feel. I am still grieving badly and get very depressed but, despite this, I have learnt a few things along the way which may be of some help to you.
                   First of all, shockingly, the people closest to us who we expect to be our main support, can turn out to be a great disappointment. This is not at all unusual and I think it is partly because they cannot conceptualise the depth of our sadness and they are afraid of us, don't know how to help and so avoid us or avoid talking to us about the only subject we are interested in, i.e. our husbands and our grief. This tends to make us feel very angry because we need them so much and we feel desperately let down. I have sometimes wanted to shout at people and at other times I have wanted to never see them again but after many months I have calmed down and stopped worrying about them. I can now see them when I want to and find they respond better to me when I take a more pro active approach to what I want from them. I also find support from one or two other people who I would not have expected it from and you may need to work out who these people might be for you. Sometimes they are people who have lost someone very close and understand how we feel.
               I think it must be awful to have money problems as well and don't know what to suggest for this. All I can say is that work has been a life saver for me. I didn't expect to cope but actually I have and it keeps me busy which, at a certain point becomes very useful. You say you are back at work. How are you finding this? Are you full time or part time? Is there any one you could go to for advice about the financial side of things because this is an additional strain on you and havng to sell things must be very hard.
            I do agree with the others about talking to your children, thinking about what you want to say and opening up to each other. It is hard when you all need to give and get support and you do have to try to get a balance between the two. Your children are perhaps missing the mum they had before and this must be hard for them and I think talking it through calmly could help. Sometimes people can really surprise you with their responses. In our situation we tend to feel unloved in the whole world but I am sure they do love you and just don't know how to help you.
                 My final suggestion is that you come onto this site regularly and talk to us. We try to support each other and sometimes it just helps to know that what you are going through is normal and that you aren't alone in your sadness.
               Please take care and keep in touch.
                             With love
                                 Pauline

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Hi Charlene.

Deeply sorry for your loss. I lost my husband too & life has been very difficult, as you say.

Regarding finances. Have you already collected all the death benefits you're due from your husband's employer, previous employers, Social Security, Veteran's administration or any insurance policies he may have had?
Did you husband have any stocks, bonds or other investments? Was he a member of any organizations? Some pay out benefits to surviving spouses.

Here in the US we have to contact to report the death & file claim forms with all the above agencies & also provide them with birth, death, marriage, military certificates as they request. They don't contact us, we have to contact them. Then the claim is either approved & benefits paid out, or denied (but eligible for appeal).

You've probably been through this whole process already, but just a thought..

Hugs, Cyndi

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding. I feel so loved here!
I don't know how or who to contact for death benefits but John hadn't worked for many years due to an on the job injury THEN got cc.

My Mother In-Law has just had a stroke and has asked me to come back and live with her and care for her. We are like Mother Daughter. She has always been there for us so have decided to go home.

I am selling our home and will use some of the funds to get out of debt and put the rest into savings until she passes and I have to start over.

I want you all to know how much you mean to me and all the help you have given is amazing. I will keep in touch.

Cyndi, I know how hard it is right now. I too had thoughts of suicide but the wonderful people here brought me out of it.
I wish it was different for us all and I wish I could take all the pain away but it is a part of us now. I send you love and hugs from one lost soul to another. We will get through this as long as there are people like the ones on this forum.

I love you all.
Charlene

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene,

I am glad that your situation seems to be looking a bit better. It sounds like selling your house and moving in with your Mother-In-Law will be a good solution for both of you for now.  It will give you a chance to breath and think things over and helping her will keep you busy and hopefully relieve some of the pain.  None of this is easy, is it?  I too am so grateful for everyone here.   We will all get through this some how, together.

Please stay in touch and let us know how things are going.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene;
I am relieved to hear the latest developments. I am so sorry that your Mother in law had the stroke but it sounds like it will be a blessing for both of you at this time. This will give you a little breathing room with the finances. Where are you moving to? If its anywhere close to where I am I'd love to give you a big hug! You deserve it. Take care of yourself and God Bless,
Jamie

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Hello Charlene....does this mean you are heading back to the West Coast?
Hugs
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene,

It sounds like you have a very good plan in place, i.e and provisions for emotional and practical support. Mother in laws are wonderful (although not everyone agrees) as they are our connection to our husbands. They need us as much as we need them. It also sounds like you are in a much better place now and things are falling into  place. This is inspiring to me, I also have had very dark thoughts, all stemming from the impending loss of my beloved,  fear of my inability to cope and very daunting financial stress.

Charlene, your feelings match reality with respect to the support on this website. You are loved. Deep breaths, reach within for peace and you clearly have love  in your lifes and the strength to rebuild your life. You'll be just fine.

Love,
Danielle

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene,
I am glad the finances are looking better, though I am sad for your MIL stroke. I agree with the others that being with her will help you feel closer to your husband and you can help each other through your grief.

You are amazing, you know. You have dealt with so much and yet you continue to function and worry about others. You are stronger than you think though I am sure it doesnt feel like it at times.

Warm hugs and thoughts
Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene,

You are truly an amazing woman.  You've accomplished so much that you need to give yourself credit for.  You were wonderful with the love of your life, John and throughout his illness.  You were a source of love and strength for him while he fought this monster of a disease.  You had to be a strong caregiver and manage everything knowing deep inside you were going to lose John.  That is an amazing accomplishment.  You showed him so much love and support.  All of that was truly an act of unsurpassed love.

Now while dealing with debilitating grief at the loss of your soulmate, you are still making hard decisions and STILL taking care of those you love. 

I know how hard it is for me dealing with the loss of my Mom on April 3, 2009.  I can't fathom what it would be like to lose my beloved husband.  Grief is so much harder than I ever imagined.  I don't know if we will ever be as happy as we were before our loved ones' death but I know we will be stronger and more compassionate and emphathic.

Try and take some time JUST FOR YOU.  John would only want the best for you.  I believe he will always be with you and that you will be reunited someday.  Be kind to yourself.  Grief has no timetable and certainly no expiration date!

You sound as if you are making sensible decisions and that you now have a plan.  Take advantage of all the help you are offered.  For instance, Daddy was able to take care of all of the social security issues over the telephone.  That saved him from having to sit for hours in the waiting room at the SS office.  Most people I think have good motives about trying to help but death is a difficult subject for most to handle.  I know our funeral home had some wonderful literature that was helpful in providing lists of things that needed to be done. 

We are all here for you anytime day or night and we all truly understand how you are feeling.  You are not alone!

Come back often and let us know how you are doing.

Much love and many, many hugs!

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Hi Charlene,

Sorry to hear of your mother-in-law's stroke. I'm glad that she was able to reach out to you for help & that you can be there for her.
It sounds like this might be a good solution for you both, not just financially but emotionally as well as dealing with loss is always easier with someone else who understands. I hope things work out well for you both.

You may still want to check into the possibility of death benefits.
If your husband was on disability from work or if he had any pension plans with any previous employers you may be eligible for payments & I know social security pays benefits.
Check out the following link:
http://www.gofso.com/Premium/LE/19_le_l … pouse.html

Or you can just go to google & type in "what to do when a spouse dies" & some websites containing lists of sources to check will come up. There's a book called The Executor's Guide which I have also found to be very helpful (I am handling my husband's small estate & he died without a will so if I can help, I would be happy to..


Prayers & best wishes to you & the family.
Love, Cyndi

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene, God DOES work in mysterious ways, does he not? Sounds like a win, win situation. Good luck on all of it!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene,

I am so glad to see that there is a lift in your spirits.  How lucky your mother-in-law is to have you.  Sounds like you need her also.  Life sure can be complicated, can't it?
I am also so thankful for everyone here.

Big hugs to you,
Amy

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Thank you each and every one for your support. I want you to know that John came to me in a dream last night and he was absolutely beautiful and full of life. I believe he's very happy I'm going back to San Francisco. He told me he loves me and is waiting for me. We were walking on the Golden Gate bridge and just looking at the bay. I got to hug him again and it felt sooooo good to be in his arms again.

It was so so wonderful to see him again. Every dream I have had about him so far has been sad and very stressful.

I'm leaving Thurs or Fri this week. My cat and I are going to drive home and see the country.
I will post again soon.

I love you all so much. You've kept me from going over the edge many times.

God Bless and keep you all,
Charlene

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Oh Charlene that wa a beautiful dream! Sounds like John totally agrees with the decisions you are making and he is showing you how proud he is of you!
Have a safe trip and best to you on your new beginnings.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Dear Charlene,

How lucky you are to have had that beautiful dream.  I too am sure that John is letting you know that he approves of the decisions you are making.  Have a safe trip and good luck to you in your new life.  Please keep in touch with us when you have settled in & let us know how things are going. I will be thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Charlene,
  I am so glad you had that message from John - I, too,  am sure he is telling you that he agrees with your plans. It all sounds like such a good plan, and such a help - both for your Mother-in-law and for you. I hope your cat likes to travel!  let us know when you reach your new destination safely - we will all be thinking of you.

Love - Joyce

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

Thank you I will. I'm not so sure about my cat though....lol I know he didn't like driving to the vet. I feel so positive now. I will never forget the dream from my John. It was so happy and joyful. John just looked so beautiful. I miss him so very much.
You all are my extended family and I appreciate each and everyone of you.

I will write as soon as I get settled in S.F.

Hugs and kisses to all,
Charlene

Re: Haven't been here for awhile but need to talk

You'll be in our thoughts and our hearts.  Good luck with SF.

G