Topic: Hi Friends...

Nothing special to share except that my knee has recovered well. I wish I could have had them both replaced at the same time, it's so nice to not have so much pain. Now I just have to hobble around on one and it's not as bad as the right one was. Anyway I tell everyone I'm doing well physically but mentally (emotionally) that's another matter. An old friend of ours lost his wife and a few months later when I saw him I asked how he was doing. He said fine, except for my broken heart. I understood exactly what he was saying then but even more so now. I don't know if it's because of Spring or what the problem is but I have to say I've been a bit of a wreck. I may actually break down and go to counseling. I just miss Tom so much. I sit on the back porch and his rocker is empty, I'm already tired of eating alone, ecspecially breakfast. We always ate breakfast together every day for 31 years unless he was in the hospital. I went back to the Church where he sang in the choir yesterday for the first time and started to get emotional the first time someone asked me how I was. I could literally hear his voice singing even though he wasn't there. They dedicated a song for him a few weeks ago. I told the director it was probably a good thing I wasn't there that day. I would have embarassed myself. I've read books and things online about grief but I just can't get my head around the fact that I may have to live another 20-25 years without him. Of course I may not and honestly right now if it wasn't for my kids it really wouldn't matter. I would trade with someone younger if I could. I feel so bad that there are so many that are in the prime of their life and would give anything to be healthy, including my Tom. I think he would be doing better than me but my kids say he would have been a wreck. Of course they think I'm not. I'm kind of like a guy in one of the books I read that said everyone thought he was doing so well and was so strong but he was glad they didn't know what was really going on inside of him. We put on a good front. I know I was incredibly lucky to have such a great marriage and spend 32 years with somone that I loved and who loved me deeply too but now I go to bed every night and get up every morning and wonder what the heck am I going to do with the rest of my life. I'm busy, I more or less function on a daily basis but is this it? I don't know. I'm sorry to sound so down but I really don't have anyone to talk to. It's amazing how people just quit calling or never call at all at a time like this. It is a very eye opening experience. I talk to my son who's living with me but he really doesn't understand. He tells me I have to be happy and go out and do things and meet people, blah, blah, blah! I don't know how to do that.Tom and I did everything together. We didn't socialize with other people except other couples. He went out one time with the guys after we were married. He came home, crawled in bed and said that was a waste and that he wouldn't do that again. He'd rather do things with me. I was the same way. If anyone has any suggestions on how to start life over at 55 + please let me know. I honestly haven't got a clue. Thanks all for listening. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Take care, Mary

Re: Hi Friends...

Hi Mary,
I think of you all the time.  It's understandable that you are grieving for Tom.  It hasn't been that long.  Are you sleeping o.k?  Grieving is hard work and can be so exhausting. 

When I was first diagnosed and went through surgery, I closed myself off to my friends, determined not to be a burden or a "downer".  And my friends all backed off.  But I was so sad inside.  It has taken me a long time to ask for help or a shoulder to cry on but it helps me so much to reach out.  Maybe that is what is happening with your friends?  I think counseling is always a good idea.  Mary, you will get through this difficult phase of life and find a new way of life without Tom.  Life is unpredictable.  You never know what the future holds in store for you.  Be gentle with yourself.  Please keep writing.  I've missed you! smile

xxoo
Betsy

Re: Hi Friends...

Dearest Mary, I was going out the door to shop and when I saw your post I thought, no, I have to get back to Mary now! So, thanks for saving me some money.
I so undertand as Teddy and I had for 17 years what you and Tom had for 31. When I feel down I say to myself, "shame on you! You had for 17 years what most people never have in a lifetime!" That kind of jolts me out of it however, here are some things I have done personally. The first thing that happens is your dynamics change so you need to try and make new friends. I have made friends with 3 other ladies who are single and we try to eat out 1 or 2 times a week together. When I eat meals at home , I turn on the TV. For the longest time I sprayed Teddy's pillow with his cologne and it made me feel like he was here. If you are a believer, I keep a log of all the times I have felt Teddy around me and when I feel sad I read it. I had belonged to our Temple choir with Teddy for 15 years and going back was extremely hard. But I did it as one of my best friends is the choir director and she pushed me. I even went to a couple of movies by myself. Most of all I know that Teddy would not want me to be unhappy. I will be 72 next week and making a move to an apartment. I am so stoked, very excited. I call it my resort. Not a last resort but my resort as I don't plan to do a thing except to blow dust off the tables!
I am not a professional but I think you are lacking some close friends to be with. Can you meet anyone through Church or Choir? By the same token, Mary, you always sounded so together that perhaps if you even think you may need some help go with that feeling. One last thing. I have been sick for 1 year now with Ulcerated Colitis and I know when one is sick, or having had surgery, like you, the surgery and Meds can bring you down mentally as well. Sometimes I think my UC was meant to be as it didn't leave more room for me to overly dwell on Teddy. The Prendisone really wreaks havoc with the brain. I hate to look back and see what I wrote on here all year. Mary, if you ever want to chat just e mail me and I will send you my phone number. I wish you the very best and I undertand totally what you are going through.

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: Hi Friends...

Dear Mary,

Don't have much to add to the good advice that has already been given.  Just want you to know you are not alone.   I too feel like you and some days it is a real struggle.   And yes, everyone thinks I am just fine.  I am so strong and doing so well.  They have no idea.

Jim and I had a life much like your's and Tom's.  We had 45 good years and I am grateful for that.  I know that is much more than most people every have, but it doesn't make it any easier.   We really thought we would share many more.   

I have been fortunate to have become very close friends with someone who also lost her husband 3 months after Jim passed.  They too had a life much like ours.  We keep in close contact and  we both know how the other is feeling and what we are going through.   We can share our thoughts and feelings and truely know and understand.   

Coming here and letting out your feelings does help.   It doesn't take away the sadness and loneliness, but it helps to get it out and to know there are others who care and understand.

Take care Mary.  Know that I am thinking of you and struggling to figure out where I am going with what is left of my life, too.

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: Hi Friends...

Hi Mary,

I have missed you. I am sorry you are having such a hard time. I think you should be allowed to grieve, and I bet one day you will find something you like to do and start feeling better. When the time is right, I think you need to meet some new friends you can have fun with. I know things will look brighter for you one day. But in the meantime, know there are a lot of people that care about you. Take care, Mary and don't be a stranger.

Love, -Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Hi Friends...

Hi Mary,
All I can say is I totally relate.  Any adivse after 3 years....nope!  Some days are not as bad as others, but it is definately an effort to be in a "good" place mentally, emotionally.  Rob is still "around" leaving messges of encouragement and love, but it is not the same and never will be again on the earth plain.  We also had done everything together for 37 years and I had begged him that we could do the next (last) step of our life's journey together - at which he said I had to stay here for our family.  I do feel an inner peace along with the gigantic hole in my heart.  Sending you love and healing energies Mary.  Be well.
In peace,
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: Hi Friends...

Hi Mary:  I don't have much to offer in this area since it's just been almost 5 months since I lost my spouse Tom to CC.  I try to take it one day at a time, but it is hard.  I do have children and grandchildren and many times they can help me get over some rough spots.  But in the end, it's me at night, alone with thoughts of Tom and all the things he and I used to do together.

I can only hope that it gets easier for you, and for me.

Love and Hugs,
Margaret

Re: Hi Friends...

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all of your support. The hard part of my life right now is I'm busy with my business that Tom and I did together in one way or another all these years and I don't see him around on the tractor, he doesn't come in to the greenhouse to rub my back when its sore from transplanting, he doesn't sit on the porch and take a tea break with me. It's just a really hard time of year and probably always will be. In a few weeks I'll have to wait on people 7 days a week and explain to some that Tom is gone and hear condolences from others and honestly I did better right after his death than now. Now I get really emotional and I hate tearing up and struggling in front of people. Plus we have several family events with people that I haven't seen since his death and it will be more of the same. My two brorthers that lost their wives the past 4 years are supportive but they both are messes each in their own way so I can't look at them and get a positive feel for the future. I did go out to dinner with a widow, her husband actually died a few days after Tom and I think we just depressed each other! Lainey I think the drugs they gave me after surgery actually helped my mental state. It seems like I've been worse since being off them. My best girlfriend of course is married and has been as supportive as she knows how to be. She tells me about all of the things, trips etc. that she and her hubby are doing and I don't think she even realizes what effect that has on me. I just tell her how great it is that they can do all of that and it is, they're very lucky! I had another neighbor friend  tell me the other day that she couldn't imagine what I was going through and I just said no you really can't. I told her I thought that I could imagine what it would be like but it is 10 times worse than I imagined.
   I will be alright. I appreciate being able to vent on here. I'm sure I will find someone down the road that I can talk to freely. There are a lot of widows around here unfortunately. I will be so busy in a few weeks so I'll just collapse into bed and not have time to feel sorry for myself hopefully.
I will be in touch Lainey. I'll get through May then I'll give you a call when you're settled into your new home. By the way I've actually been laughing and telling people about Teddy giving you signs by winking the lights on and off. My son and I have decided Tom is telling us things too electrically. Lightbulbs keep popping, we've replaced two starters and a battery in our vehicles, the thermostat on one of our furnaces went out yesterday. It seems like one electrical issue after another. I think he's telling me to sell this crazy farm and move to Costa Rica!! That's what he wanted to do! Well take care all. I'm at the library and they're going to shut the lights off in a minute. I'll keep in touch. It was nice hearing from all of you!  Love, Mary

Re: Hi Friends...

Mary, I love the Costa Rica move, I will be right with you, I LOVE Costa Rica. You know me, I do believe that Tom is all around you and he is trying to keep you busy with his electrical antics! Can't wait to hear more! Take each day at a time.

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.

10 (edited by Darla Wed, 11 Apr 2012 18:13:18)

Re: Hi Friends...

Mary,

I too have gotten many signs that Jim is still with me.  Mostly electrical in nature.  I also am running the business we shared, alone now.  I reopened 2 weeks after he passed away as I knew the longer I waited the harder it would be, so I just did it.  In some ways it is comforting and in others very hard.  There were some rough days and even now I will have someone come in who I haven't seen since he passed and it is still hard at times.  Only those who have been through what we have know what it's like and what we are dealing with both mentally and emotionally.

My friend who's husband passed a few months after Jim and I share so much with each other and find it comforting, not depressing we seem to be good for each other.  I'm hoping you can find someone who can be helpful, supportive and understanding to you and you to her.  Pick your friends wisely and hold close the ones that you are comfortable with.

My heart goes out to you as I know exactly what you are feeling.  I read your posts and am nodding my head in agreement with everything you say.

All I can tell you is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and deal with things as they come.  There are a lot of ups & downs and just when I think I have it all under control  something comes along and knocks my feet out from under me again.  I just pick myself up and start again.  Sometimes it is one step forward, two steps back, but all we can do is keep moving on.

I have come to realize that what all of us are going through is normal for us under the circumstances.  It is what it is and all we can do is keep trying and doing the best we can with the hand we have been dealt.

Costa Rica sounds good to me, too.  smile

Take care Mary.

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: Hi Friends...

Mary.....They should consider longer library hours just for you.  We miss your checking in with us.
Hugs and more 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: Hi Friends...

Hi again Mary,

The universe certainly works its' magic...I read this just this moring and it seemed to speak to so many of us that I thought I would share.....

"I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.  Loss is not loss when properly preceived.  Pain is impossible.  There is no grief with any cause at all.  And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream.  This is the truth, at first to be but said and then repeated many times; and next to be accepted as but partly true, with many reservations.  Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as the truth.  I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.  And I would go beyond these words today, and past all resversations, and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them."

It may be way too early in your grieving process to consider these words, but maybe they will come back to you later when the time is right.

In peace,
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: Hi Friends...

Hi everyone,
  Just checking in to let everyone know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I made it through the Spring and my greenhouse business. I measure my life these days by getting through one season or event, etc. I just have to help get my kids through their first Father's Day without their Dad, then our anniversary, then another knee surgery, then the anniversary of Tom's death, then the holidays again. I'd like to say that I feel better and life is great but honestly I still get up every morning and think being a widow is the pits. I appreciate everyone telling me it will get better, I'll be alright etc. I talked to a lot of widows the past two  months( I think I live in widow valley) and some are doing alright, some are doing great and some are still in terrible grief and will never really be alright.Some still have their wedding rings on after years of being alone, some have theirs off after just a few months or weeks. When is the proper time? I still can't take mine off. I think maybe I will on our anniversary. I don't want to acknowledge the fact that I'm single yet.
     I had to put my beloved dog Annie to sleep 10 days ago and ended up getting another puppy last week. She is keeping me entertained and very busy right now. I have also had a lot of weird electrical issues again and I know it's Tom. I had our headstone put up in his family's plot a few weeks ago, even though he's on my dresser, and he really made himself heard. I think he was glad I followed through with my promise that we would be buried together. I really never was a believer in any of this before but there really is no other explanation. Even my brother ,who lost his wife almost two years ago had strange things happen the morning of his daughters wedding last Saturday. His bathroom lights and hers blinked on and off as they were getting ready and they don't live in the same house! He acknowledged that it was Glenda. I think it really made him feel good to know she was still around at times. I know it helps me.
   I hope everyone is doing well.  I'm really doing alright most of the time. I am functioning as well as can be expected. I don't even cry daily anymore. I'm just lonely... you all know what that is like if you've lost a loved one, ecspecially a spouse. I feel like I've lost my two best friends this past 7 months. Tom and Annie. They were both my daily life companions. I miss them both.
   Best wishes to everyone. I know I've missed a lot the past weeks. I still haven't gotten a new computer. I'm waiting until fall then I'll decide what to get and how to get decent internet service. Right now all I can get is dial up and I can't stand trying to deal with that. 
      I hope everyone is having a happy, healthy summer.  Take care, Mary

Re: Hi Friends...

HI and gosh and gee, Marylloyd. How excellent to hear from you and that you are doing well. I know that Tom is so very proud of you! I think you are doing just fine. Teddy has been gone 1 1/2 years now and I wonder where the time goes. I still have my crying moments but they are happy tears with the good memories. One day you will know when you are comfortable with taking your ring off. It doesn't have to mean you are single in that sense of the word. Sometimes I wear Teddy's band as a thumb ring. Guess I could do a toe ring as well but never wanted him to think I was walking all over him ! A little humor there LOL.
You know I am one of the big believers and I have a log I started when T passed. When I am lonely I read the log. There are over 50 entries and I kept them very short. I decided for Father's Day I am sending it out to Family and Friends as I feel it got me through this past 16 months. BTW if anyone wants to see all the visits I would be happy to send it out.
You just keep on doing what ever it is you are doing, be strong but allow the "good" tears to come once in a while. Miss you and take care.

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: Hi Friends...

Hi Mary, Great to hear from you and hear that you are healing. I understand your sentiments about widowhood well. I haven't been able to wear my wedding rings since December when I broke my wrist and arm. They took them off in surgery and I haven't been able to get them on since. I can't wait to wear them again. I told my physio that I am going to get them sized bigger; she told me to wait awhile longer for she still thinks I will get back into them. I think it is an individual opinion when it comes to the rings. You'll know if and when it is right for you to take them off. Wish we were closer so we could meet for tea.
Sorry, to hear about your old dog Annie. It's hard to lose a pet especially when you are already in the throes of grief.  One of my two fourteen year old cats is sick. My dog is nearly 13 and is doing well but my fear is that I'll lose them all in a row.
Glad you have the energy for a new puppy! What kind of dog is she? Take care and remember there is a friend in Revelstoke BC that understands. smile Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Hi Friends...

Happy to hear from you again, Mary. Sounds like you are doing ok. I hope things get easier for you in time. All the best to you.

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Hi Friends...

Nancy,
  I got another german shepherd named Sadie. She's a little heathen. I think she saw me coming a mile away when I went to the breeder to pick out a pup. She kind of picked me out! She does keep me company and busy. We have a beautiful lake near us that I take her to walk everyday. It's good for both of us. I do wish we could meet for tea. Tea and scones!! I don't bake anymore but Tom and my kids always loved scones with cream and raspberry jam.
Pam,
I actually only live about an hour south of you in the Atwood/ Leesville Lake area. My daughter lives in North Canton, near Canal Fulton. She actually saw the article in the Repository about Lauren. It would be good to meet you and Lauren some time and Betsy!I know you get together once in a while. I hope Lauren is doing well. I've kind of been out of touch with everybody here. There are a lot of new people.
Lainey,
I've been writng things down too. It's been pretty quiet, electrically. My son and I have just decided the farm is just jinxed. Something is constantly breaking!
  Take care everyone. I hope to get more involved here again this fall if I can get decent internet service. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!   Mary

Re: Hi Friends...

We would love to meet you, Mary. We live about 5 miles from North Canton. Maybe lunch at Grinders in North Canton or something. We've only been to lunch with Betsy once because she lives kind of far, up in Cleveland somewhere. But she is such a nice lady. It's weird how you form an instant bond with all the CC people when you meet them. Lauren is doing well. We are a little nervous because she just had a CT Cholangiogram today. We will get results tomorrow. Take care.

Love, -Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Hi Friends...

I sure hope for you two to meet up.  I so much wish to join you.
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: Hi Friends...

I would love to meet up with everyone again and to meet you Mary!  So glad you have a new puppy.  Dogs are wonderful companions and do so much to ease the sadness of being alone.   

I don't mind making the trip to Grinders.  Let's pick a date!

Betsy

Re: Hi Friends...

Pam,
   I hope you had good news from the scan. I used to get so nervous waiting for results from Tom's. They used to make us wait a whole week sometimes and I had a hard time sleeping. I don't think he ever really stressed. He was always so positive! I am free just about every day right now for lunch or dinner. I usually try to get my work done in the AM while it's cool.
Betsy,
  it would be wonderful to meet you, too. I hope you are still doing well, I've lost track of you also. Are your drains still in and causing problems? I really hope not. You've been through so much. I'd love to hear that you're drain free!! Anyway, Grinders is fine with me or we could meet out closer to 77 so Betsy would have a little easier drive. There's a Cracker Barrel off Portage right by the expressway. It doesn't matter to me. Let's just set a date and time. I wish Marion could join us too. Maybe we will all meet someday! Hope to hear from you soon.   Mary