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  • FIRST POST
    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
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    kittie
    A support thread for the bereaved
    • #1
    • 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
    A support thread for the bereaved 27th Feb 15 at 5:29 AM
    I started the thread when I was very suddenly widowed, early 2015. Since then in 20 months I have lost another two much loved family members, so I have been through the mill, everything looked so very bleak at the start of my journey

    Please use the thread if you need help in coping with a close bereavement. That is exactly why the thread was started
    Last edited by kittie; 08-05-2017 at 7:06 AM.
Page 185
    • dorothy52
    • By dorothy52 19th Jul 17, 5:29 PM
    • 457 Posts
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    dorothy52
    Oh LL, how lovely that you felt his presence, how comforting. After I read about 'sistergate' I could see why it affected you so badly, I was horrified. You're right, she doesn't really think that she's done much wrong, and no doubt struggles to see why you are so hurt and upset.


    I believe that she believes that your dad loved her more than you and therefore chose to give her a larger share of the inheritance, and that she somehow deserves it. The underhand and deceitful way that they colluded was just so wrong on every possible level. I honestly can't really believe that people behave in this way.


    So she has finally done the right thing, sort of, and I understand that you have chosen to still have a cordial relationship with her for the sake of the wider family, but my God, you are a better person than me. I too will put up with all sorts for a quiet life, and am so non confrontational, but honestly, LL, I couldn't forgive her - I really couldn't.


    Going back to your 'feeling'...........I think he came along to let you know that he is still here with you, and chose to do it now that you finally live alone.


    Many will laugh at my fanciful ideas but I care not a jot. I believe yet have yet to have one of these feelings, despite losing both parents. My sister, however, has felt our mothers presence very strongly when her DGC were born, so much so that she said aloud, 'Great Granny's come to say hello'. I was so jealous when she told me that...........
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 9:16 AM
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    lessonlearned
    I was telling my DS2s girlfriend about my "feeling" the other day. She is a nurse and she says that lots of nurses and medics have tales to tell, especially when patients are terminal. She was very matter of fact about it. But none of us knows for sure, we can only go by what we experience ourselves.

    The poor girl buries her father on Friday, full catholic mass, the works. She was very subdued last night and a bit tearful. I cooked her a nice meal and she managed to relax a little. My son is so gentle and tender with her, drawing on his own memories of how it felt to lose his dad. It made me very proud to see how supportive he is, how she gets comfort from him.

    Re my sister.......I don't know that I forgive her......that is probably asking a bit too much from me. I certainly won't forget. All I can do is not bear a grudge or seek revenge, it's about all I can manage right now.

    There's a saying. "In time you may forget what was said and done to you but you will never forget how you were made to feel".

    It has filtered back to me that the spending has already begun. Expensive landscaping to what was a perfectly acceptable garden, all it needed was a bit of TLC. BIL is not a diyer by any stretch of the imagination and having a son who works in a garden centre I can well imagine how much they have spent.

    Still it's not my business and if it gives her pleasure to sit in her garden and enjoy her legacy then it's money well spent. However, knowing BIL it was done to "add value" to their house so he can sell it. Again, none of my business really.

    Raining here so today I am going to start prepping the bedroom ready for decorating. I have bought the curtains and paint. DS2 will get cracking next week. I will help as much as I can so I will make a start with the pollyfilla, masking up and undercoating the woodwork over the next few days.

    It will keep me out of mischief.

    Hope you all ok and have not suffered too much from the storms.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 9:23 AM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Jul 17, 9:49 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Re my sister.......I don't know that I forgive her......that is probably asking a bit too much from me. I certainly won't forget. All I can do is not bear a grudge or seek revenge, it's about all I can manage right now.

    There's a saying. "In time you may forget what was said and done to you but you will never forget how you were made to feel".[/I] ......

    .
    by lessonlearned;72863278

    ........I
    That sounds pretty much like forgiveness to me. xx
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 20th Jul 17, 10:28 AM
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    thepurplepixie
    LessonLearned, I'm sorry I haven't followed the whole story with your sister but was the unfairness because of money he gave her when he was living with her? I think you said he moved in with her at the end. If so would it help you to not think of this as not inheriting equally, he may have wanted to feel he was "paying his way" as old people don't want to feel a burden or beholden. Maybe the money he gave her was spent on his comfort, I don't know and it could be anything from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands.

    I think sometimes being able to step back and look at from the other person's point of view, your father not your sister, can make it more understandable. Reading what you have said I can imagine my siblings thinking my mother spent more on my family than on their families but she lived with me for 10 years and saw my children growing up on a day to day basis. It was strange because obviously she was closer to mine in many ways, a second mother, and would give them money for new trainers or a day out or whatever. On the other hand their cousins were honoured visitors and never got the sharp end of her tonuge, I don't mean that in a nasty way but if you live with children sometimes you tell them off in a way you don't with visiting children. My siblings have never said anything but it makes me wonder. Of course the other side of it was she had more disposable income because she was living with me.

    I say this as I can see this has caused alot of hurt and maybe it wasn't meant and if it wasn't it is so sad that it has caused this rift at a time when you and your sister could support each other.

    I hope the hurt and the rift can heal.

    Just wanted to come back and say I hope this isn't intrusive but what you said about you can't change how you were made to feel just made me think that maybe another perspective can help you to feel another way.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 12:45 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Not intrusive at all PP.

    However, it really isn't about the money ........ even though she initially waltzed away with over 50k more than me.

    I have money of my own, plenty for my needs. If I had thought she was in genuine need I would have given her the money, with my blessing. I have done so in the past. I gave her a car when she needed one, I allowed her to stay in our holiday home free of charge, I have showered her with gifts, too many I now realise.

    There is 11 years between us. When I was a child my parents had little money, because my father spent most of it on cars, women and gambling. When I was a twenty something earning good money and my sister was a teenager I shared my good fortune with her, buying her clothes, records and treats. She lacked for nothing,

    No it's definitely not about the money.

    It is all about the lies, the deceit, the dreadful things she said, the accusations she made. The money was the Icing on the cake.

    As for my father - well let's just say I spent 65 years understanding him only too well. It's not nice to criticise your father, especially one who gave his best years to the service of his country but in all honesty he just wasn't a nice man. I dont think his war time experiences helped of course but apparently his brothers and sisters always found him "difficult", even before he went to war.

    I spent my whole life making allowances for him, apologising for his monstrous behaviour at social gatherings, pouring oil over troubled waters, smoothing everyone's ruffled feathers and building bridges, rescuing and patching him up after he had been on a bender (fortunately that was rare - must of the time he did have the sense not to drink, but when he started he couldn't stop). I helped my mother financially when I could and looked after her when she went to pieces because he was having one of his extra marital affairs.

    Whenever mum was wrapped up in her misery and retreated into her shell I looked after my sister. My sister nearly died when she was 1 year Old and suffered from severe asthma as a child. I was the one who nursed her through bouts of sickness (she always wanted me close then, would creep into my bed etc)

    Even when mum was ok I was still the one who looked after my sister most of the time. I was the one who could get her to eat, who took her for her check ups, took her to have her feet measured, picked her up from nursery or school and looked after her after school and during the holidays, who helped her with her homework. I think over the years I was more of a parent than a sister. I even accompanied my mum to my sisters parent teacher meetings because dad couldn't be bothered.

    Then to have all that thrown back in my face and have my father make me the scapegoat. My sister basked in the sunlight of my fathers affection whilst I was ignored, nagged, yelled at and occasionally beaten ........

    So to have my sister turn on me so viciously - well of course I was hurt and angry. I am no plaster saint.......

    Of course the hurt was not deliberate, at least not from my fathers point of view. He was a totally self absorbed narcissist, who always put his needs and wants first. That's what narks do. He only ever gave out for what he could get in return, using and manipulating others to further his desires, never even realising that he hurt people in the process.

    If you tried to tell him he would just look at you in astonishment unable to comprehend the damage he had done or the pain he caused. He genuinely thought that if he apologised then he would be forgiven and adored again. That's what mum did, over and over again. I couldn't. But thats what narcissists are like, they have no thought for anyone but themselves, no one else exists but to serve and adore them. That's the definition of narcissism.

    My sister was the family beauty whose stunning good looks he was able to bask in. She reflected well on him, his Echo. ....."Look at my beautiful daughter, look at how she looks like me". All narcissists need their echo.

    I didn't look like him plus of course I was the one with the birthmark, In his eyes I was damaged goods, deformed and ugly. I was not perfect so was deemed unworthy, beneath his notice, beneath contempt.

    My imagination??? - alas no I have plenty of evidence and witnesses who will attest to the truth in all this. The day I was born, he took one look and turned away unable to hide his disappointment.

    You have to realise that narcissists only "love", in as far as they are capable of love, those who can reflect back well on them. An "ugly" daughter would never do.

    I'm not telling you all this to gain sympathy but just to answer the points you raised. I have no self pity. I came to terms with my face decades ago. It didn't stop me having two husbands and my fair share of lovers. nor did the birthmark ever hold me back in life. It faded over the years and I learned how to camouflage it and cover it with make up.

    Although plain as a child and plagued with a birthmark I did eventually bloom. Once I hit puberty and "the equipment" arrived I did finally blossom. The ugly duckling did eventually turn into a swan. And without being too cocky I have aged surprisingly well. (I often think the less pretty ones often fare better in the ageing stakes). And now of course I no longer have a birthmark. It became cancerous and was removed. So in a funny way I have had the last laugh there.

    Without wishing to sound too vain I actually scrub up quite well. I learned early on how to make the best of what I had been given, height, a slim figure, good boobs, long legs, nice hair and good skin. I learned how to dress well and move with grace, I learned to "talk proper" and apparently have a nice voice. I guess all the things that develop and improve over time.

    A true story.

    When my son got married, as mother of the groom, I pulled out all the stops. I got myself dolled up, full slap, killer outfit and a big fancy wedding hat. When my father saw me he literally gasped and he was visibily shaken. He said "Oh My God, you look fabulous, I had no idea you could look so beautiful. Seriously I Didnt know you could look like that". He was trembling and he kept repeating it over and over, until I managed to quieten him. I must add he had clear signs of early dementia at this point and was becoming increasingly more unstable.

    But for him to actually say he thought I looked beautiful - well I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After all every daughter wants to feel she is beautiful in her fathers eyes. He had never once told me I looked pretty let alone beautiful so it was an odd moment.

    Still he's gone now. My sister has said sorry. Whether she truly means it I really don't know, only time will tell. Perhaps she has had time to reflect on the harsh words she uttered and untruthful allegations she made. The problem is once something has been said it cannot be unsaid, it hangs there in the ether.

    Anyway I have rabbited on and monopolised the thread quite enough.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 4:04 PM.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 1:04 PM
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    lessonlearned
    That sounds pretty much like forgiveness to me. xx
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    Ah thanks. But I'm afraid there will always be a part of me that now "hangs back" and who will be watchful, so not really true absolution......
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 20th Jul 17, 4:23 PM
    • 948 Posts
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    thepurplepixie
    Ah it is the history, not the money. That makes it all harder.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 5:14 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Yeah.....that's why it hurt so much. Money is nothing really, we need it of course, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't amount to anything really. She'll learn. Just hope the lesson isn't too painful.

    Well I didn't get much painting done. My little man came to sort out the guttering. He's lovely but he can talk for England and drink enough tea to sink a battleship.......
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 5:18 PM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Jul 17, 5:59 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Ah thanks. But I'm afraid there will always be a part of me that now "hangs back" and who will be watchful, so not really true absolution......
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    Well whether or not it is forgiveness (I still think so), you have proven yourself to be the bigger and better person.

    When my husband had his first (terrible, terrible) breakdown, a person we thought was a good friend behaved treacherously towards him, whilst my husband was at his sickest. I felt anger and hatred towards that person for a long, long while. I knew as a Christian that forgiveness was key, and I prayed for God to not only give me the strength to do it, but the will. For ages I didn't even want to forgive him.

    After a few years, I was able to want to forgive the person, and after a while longer I was able to get rid of the anger and hatred towards him.

    Years afterwards (about fifteen) he unexpectedly turned up on our doorstep, saying he was sorry that he had behaved that way, and at last I was able to fully forgive him, because it must have taken a lot for him to do that.

    BUT....our relationship has never been as it was before (can't be), and although we are in touch there is no friendship in the way I would want to be a friend. Just acquaintances.

    You can't forget, and I think part of the experience is learning from that, coming to terms with it, and getting on with life in that context, even if the relationship is no longer the same.

    Hope this helps.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 6:34 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Yes it does help...thanks.

    Oddly enough I really haven't missed her. I thought I would and yet all I feel is peace and a sense of relief. I actually feel that a burden has been lifted and that I'm finally free of the worry. I am no longer the "little mother" - a role which should never have been placed on my young shoulders.

    I havent felt so free and light of heart in a very long time. I feel that I am finally finding the old me, the real me, the one who lived before the darkness fell, before my husband got sick.

    It's coming up to three years now since Bobby died and I can thankfully say that all the sad memories of his illness and all that he suffered are receding. In their place I now remember with great fondness all the good times and all the happiness we shared. Yes I miss him of course I do but I am really quite happy now in my own quiet little way.

    It's taken a long time to get to this stage - perhaps because I also had to contend with both my Parents dying as well as my husbands death but I do really feel that finally the black cloud has lifted.

    My old joire de vie has returned and I am no longer afraid of whatever the future has in store for me. I can handle it!!

    All I need now is to get fully fit and regain a bit of the old va va voom.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-07-2017 at 6:38 PM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 20th Jul 17, 7:35 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Yes it does help...thanks.

    Oddly enough I really haven't missed her. I thought I would and yet all I feel is peace and a sense of relief. I actually feel that a burden has been lifted and that I'm finally free of the worry. I am no longer the "little mother" - a role which should never have been placed on my young shoulders.

    I havent felt so free and light of heart in a very long time. I feel that I am finally finding the old me, the real me, the one who lived before the darkness fell, before my husband got sick.

    It's coming up to three years now since Bobby died and I can thankfully say that all the sad memories of his illness and all that he suffered are receding. In their place I now remember with great fondness all the good times and all the happiness we shared. Yes I miss him of course I do but I am really quite happy now in my own quiet little way.

    It's taken a long time to get to this stage - perhaps because I also had to contend with both my Parents dying as well as my husbands death but I do really feel that finally the black cloud has lifted.

    My old joire de vie has returned and I am no longer afraid of whatever the future has in store for me. I can handle it!!

    All I need now is to get fully fit and regain a bit of the old va va voom.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    The bit I've underlined in your post shows that your forgiveness was the real thing.

    I'm so glad you can remember the good times you and Bobby shared, that in itself must be healing.

    Wishing you well xxx
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Jul 17, 9:35 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Really.....maybe I don't understand what it really means to "forgive" after all I'm not really a Christian these days, so maybe I should go back and read my catechism.

    I sometimes think it would be nice to be a person of faith, to be able to put my trust in a superior power and not worry so much. Life would be easier.

    My husband was....well in his own perculiar fashion. He had his own version - a cross between humanism and some bits and pieces of other religions all cobbled together.... he even flirted with the Moonies at one point in his search for enlightenment.

    He was such a character. Always curious. He just left work one day and disappeared from view enrolling into Moonie camp or whatever it's called. Three weeks later he decided it wasn't for him and waltzed back out again. He sauntered into work the next day as if he had never been away. His boss was so astonished he promoted him.......you couldn't make it up.

    This was all before he met me but he remained curious all his life.

    One day I arrived home from work to find him drinking tea and eating cake with a couple of jehovahs witnesses. They had knocked at the door, he was on his own and bored with his own company so he invited them in for a chat. They must have thought they were in for an easy conversion. No chance - he was simply at a loose end, waiting for me to come home so he thought a theological discussion would pass the time nicely thank you.

    But the funniest one of all was a trip to Dublin.

    My husband had been in a pub in Birmingham when a bomb planted by the IRA had exploded. Luckily he was unhurt. Anyway we gets to Dublin and my husband sits next to the taxi driver, myself and two of our friends in the back.

    Himself starts chatting to the driver about the troubles, asking loads of questions as was his wont and getting into a deep philosophical discussion. Our friends began to get really nervous thinking he would upset the driver but they needn't have worried, my husband was always very respectful. He could charm the birds off the trees and always made new friends wherever he went.

    He was just naturally inquisitive and curious about everything, learning about religion was just something he enjoyed. He said that religion wasn't important, what mattered was whether someone was intrinsically good and decent.

    My dad was a catholic and one of our bones of contention was that I had turned my back on the church. He never bothered going to church himself and he broke most of the Ten Commandments but yet he had the audacity to criticise my life choices.

    Atheist I may be but at least I never broke my marriage vows the way dad did......And I never fleeced my fathers bank account the way my sister did.
    • elona
    • By elona 21st Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    • 11,321 Posts
    • 60,737 Thanks
    elona
    LL

    Your sister would be gutted that she is no longer regarded as a gilded treasure but as a millstone that has been removed from your neck.

    DH could get on with anyone and was genuinely interested in everyone and everything. We have a get together tomorrow with some of his cousins who were like brothers to him and their grown up kids and it will seem so odd that he is not there as he would have been in his element.

    Youngest dd arrives around tea time and am planning on making her favourite lamb sheema kebabs with actifry wedges and stir fry.
    I might also make a chicken curry with lots of veg around lunchtime and portion it up for later.

    Bedding is changed and have lots of laundry to hang out.

    Hugs to all
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • margaretclare
    • By margaretclare 21st Jul 17, 10:45 AM
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    margaretclare
    LL, your description of your late father reads almost like a case study from a Behavioural Sciences textbook.

    When I was researching into family history 15 or so years ago I asked a lot of questions about my late illegitimate father. A lot of the things I turned up that seemed to make no sense, only made sense in the light of the fact that he also had narcissistic personality disorder. Why did he volunteer to give evidence for the defence in the Stanley Setty murder trial - he had no need to. It was all lies anyway, but he got a mention in the press of the day and got his face before the media as it existed then. Why did he volunteer to take command of the British Free Corps in its last stand in the last days of the war? Why did he make so many additions to his given name and tell so many porkies in the early days of the SAS? And why, much later, did he get involved with the anti-Vietnam war movement in Australia? I think once you realise that there is a thing called narcissistic personality, a lot becomes clear. They just cannot help pushing themselves to the forefront of wherever they happen to be at the time. It's all 'me, me, me'. A man like that must have the most beautiful wife - arm candy - and the best-looking, cleverest kids. He'd never be happy with a simple village girl like my mum.

    Of course, narcissistic personality can also affect women as well as men.

    As for forgiveness, I think you have to forgive to a certain extent, for your own sanity and peace of mind. You just cannot go on holding a grudge for ever, rehashing old wrongs. It's for yourself, not for whoever has injured you. Trusting them again - ah well, that's a different story.

    As for things that are not known and can only be felt, DH is a believer because of an experience he had while coming out of a coma in ICU. He nearly died of septicaemia from an infected knee-joint. He says that he had a horrible vision, like a gargoyle, a threatening face looming at him and felt he was falling into a pit or off a cliff. He then felt warm hands on his face and his body and a voice that said 'Not today, my son. Come back with me' and he gradually regained consciousness.

    That experience can be explained scientifically, logically, in all sorts of ways, but DH believes what he believes. Given that he's a very down-to-earth sort of character, a mechanical engineer, not given to flights of fancy, I tend to believe him.
    r ic wisdom funde, r wear ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
    • wort
    • By wort 21st Jul 17, 11:02 AM
    • 454 Posts
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    wort
    Hello, can I join you?
    My hubby died on the 20th June, he was 63 and had never been ill in his life,. We were on a cruise when 2 days in he developed a headache and nausea, we came home early and after 2 weeks in hospital, they finally diagnosed him as having metastes in the meninges of his brain, the primary cancer was never found. He died 10 days later.
    I'm in such shock and though I have a loving family around me, I find it hard to express my feelings.
    I really felt the meaning of the word bereft, as we drove home from hospital, I felt I was missing part of me, as though it had been wrenched from me.
    I've kept busy, and as some know I'm on the marie kondo thread, which helped me move all his possessions quickly, I felt holding on to them would be harder the further along it went.
    The thought of the rest of my life without him,seems unbearable, I'm 53, and will be going back to work as we were not financially in a position to have insurance etc. And I have the mortgage to pay for another 10 years.
    My dd has sorted all the paperwork and most things were straight forward, just a matter of ringing utilities and changing the name and direct debits.
    If I can ask how do people answer when asked how are you? I just say ok and shrug my shoulders it seems so unfeeling but what can I say do they really want to know! Then they say I'm so sorry, what can you reply to that only thank you! Then there's all that awkward looks and shuffling, I'm dreading going back to work as I work in a large store and there are so many people to face, colleagues and then the public. If anyone has any advice I'd be grateful. Wort xx
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 21st Jul 17, 12:09 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Oh my poor dear Wort...I am so very sorry to hear your news.

    Welcome to the club that no one wants to join.

    What can I say......it's early days and right now you probably feel that you have been run over by a truck. It hurts so much doesn't it, you feel that if you were to start screaming you wouldn't be able to stop. So ......you put on that brave face and you step out into the world.

    Somehow, you do it. You go through the motions, you go shopping, you pay the bills, you clean the house, day after lonely day. I am so glad you have your lovely daughter helping you with the paperwork, that is a huge burden lifted from your shoulders.

    What to say when people ask........well it really depends on who it is and how you are feeling on the day. Sometimes I would just say "I'm doing ok" - some days I would hardly be able to reply, the tears would just flow.

    Do people really want to know.......some do, some don't. Some can handle your grief, some can't. I'm sorry I'm not being much help am I. Some will be so empathetic that words aren't necessary, they will just sit quietly with you, or take you out for a coffee or just arrive with a bunch of flowers and wrap their arms around you. As you say some will just shuffle their feet in embarrassment. It doesn't mean that they don't care though, it just means they don't know what to say and don't want to hurt you.

    Re going back to work.......some people find it best to go back to work as soon as possible, some find it too traumatic.

    A true story......

    I once worked in a very large open plan office. I was around 27 at the time, many people found me a bit of a lightweight (I was) because I was divorced, into rock music and fashion and usually had at least one boyfriend on the go..... yes, .a right little madam.

    Anyway a lady there, twice my age, lost her husband. It was very sudden, although as he had a heart condition not entirely unexpected. He died on the golf course and was dead by the time he hit the ground.......a fabulous way to die, doing something you love, but hard on his poor widow and children.

    The lady came back to work, just two weeks later. She walked into the office to a deathly hush, you could hear a pin drop. No one looked at her or spoke to her. I sat and watched for about 15 minutes and not one person made any attempt to speak with her or even make eye contact.

    I was appalled. Anyone would have thought death was contagious.

    I couldn't stand it so I walked over to her, and drew up a chair. I can't remember the exact words now - this was over nearly 30 years ago. I said something like how sorry I was and whilst I understood if she preferred to be alone I would be having lunch in the canteen that day and she was very welcome to join me. She looked up and smiled and said, "thank you, I would like that very much". Very simply, no fuss.

    Over lunch I let her talk and cry. She told me all about his death, the funeral, and so on. I just listened and put my arm round her when she had a sobbing fit. I made my "what a nice way to die" remark and she said......."yes, wasn't it, I'm so glad he didn't suffer."

    Once I had gone over to her and broken the ice I noticed the general hum of office conversation started up again, that awful silence was broken. During the morning several people went over to her and had a few words with her.

    Lord knows what possessed me to go over to her like that.....as I say I wasnt very old and hadnt had any experience of death or loss. I had no idea what I was doing.

    I know a lot of the older women (and some of the men) in that office didn't approve of me because I was divorced, and had had the audacity to have the occasional boyfriend. I could feel hundreds of eyes following me as I walked over to her and sat down. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life

    All those people, older and wiser than me, and yet not one had had a kind word for that poor woman. I couldn't fathom it out at the time. Now of course I know why. It was fear. They had experienced death and loss and were just wary of upsetting her. Talk about going where angels fear to tread. I just wandered over to her like an over enthusiastic puppy wanting to make a new friend.

    Several people did say to me they thought I was brave (often a euphemism for "stupid"). Yes it could have gone horribly wrong, I could have upset her even more but at the time I didn't really stop to think, I just couldn't bear to see her all alone and ignored, so I acted. Pure impulse.

    Going back to work is a real hurdle. No doubt you will feel drained and exhausted. Our employers were very kind, the lady was allowed to return part time at first.

    Please don't exhaust yourself, ease yourself in gently. And if people are a bit quiet at first it could be that they are wary of upsetting you. It's not that they don't care. Not everyone is as impulsive as me so don't be too surprised if things feel a bit strained at first.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 21-07-2017 at 12:17 PM.
    • elona
    • By elona 21st Jul 17, 12:25 PM
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    elona
    wort

    I had not fully realised how recent and sudden your loss was and am so sorry. There is no real way to explain the gaping hole in your life and emotions are unpredictable and all over the place unless you are "numb!" I spent a lot of time either sobbing my heart out in private or "putting on a good face!"

    I used to mumble that I was "plodding on" unless I ended up in tears unexpectedly. I am lucky that I had dds and a couple of friends who encouraged me gently to not become a hermit. (we were retired so I did not have to face going out to work.)

    Hugs
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    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 21st Jul 17, 12:39 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Elona.....enjoy your gathering tomorrow. Raise a glass to your lovely husband, he will be there with you in spirit, of that I'm sure. Lamb kebabs. Yum, yum.

    Margaret Clare......what an interesting story. Im sure your level headed scientific minded husband was fascinated too. Perhaps even comforted.

    Re narcissism......it was only a couple of years ago that a psychologist said to me "well of course your father is a text book narcissist" I was astonished. She gave me some books to read. Yes I had heard the word narcissist and knew the Greek legends but I had no real understanding of it in clinical terms.

    As you say once I knew then everything slotted into place. I wasn't bonkers (all that gas lighting makes you think you are losing your marbles) and no it wasn't my fault, I had done nothing wrong.

    When I was 17 and I was diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer my GP did say that I would never be well whilst I lived under my fathers roof.....but he didn't really elaborate and I didn't ask what he meant. He knew.

    Going back to faith........It's odd isn't. It.......we can know nothing for certain about what happens next. Whether or not there really is an afterlife.

    I was watching "Goodby Mr Chips" the other day......yes I am a real softy it's one of my all time favourite films. I don't mind which version I watch, I just love it.

    At the end where he is dying, his beloved Cathy comes for him. Just like in TItanic and so many other Hollywood movies.

    Wouldn't that be nice if that's what really happens......but the sceptic in me says "don't be silly".

    And yet..........theres also those feathers, signs and portents. Who knows.

    One more story.......

    When I was about 16 I had a weird vision (dream? - my rational self calls it a dream). Anyway in this dream/vision my friends older brother comes to me and says "I've come to say "goodbye".

    A couple of days later my friend came to see me......I've come to tell you my brother is dead, he was killed on his motorbike. .....yes you've guessed, the exact time he came to say his goodbyes......

    Strange days.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 21-07-2017 at 12:51 PM.
    • wort
    • By wort 21st Jul 17, 1:06 PM
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    wort
    LL , you sound a very caring person, and you obviously helped the poor lady , it broke the silence and no matter if you were young or not, at least you made an effort, I'm sure she appreciated it.
    Elona I feel like I'm in a nightmare, so I'm carrying on as normal then realise as the thunderbolt hits, he's not just at work or in bed, and the loss is too much then .
    I am lucky my family are close I've been alone very little, usually in the night, although my daughter stayed a few days at first. Sometimes it's nice to be alone because I don't feel comfortable crying in front of people. Though I did at first, and during the funeral service. I know they would understand but it's just how I am and I can't change it.
    Thank you both its so nice to have people that truly understand, I have lost both my parents over 16 years ago, and I thought that nothing could be so bad, but the death of a husband really is a game changer, we had been together 30 years, and did everything together, I know I'm grieving for what we missed out on and I should look from the other side and see what we were lucky enough to have, but it's so hard.
    I also feel for my grandson who was so close to him as he hasn't had his father around, they did all the boy stuff together, he's only 10 and I'm sad for him .
    I'm sorry to go on so , I hope you don't mind, it's easier to speak to people who aren't as close but know what I'm going through. Thank you x
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 21st Jul 17, 2:08 PM
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    pollypenny
    Wort, what a shock for you. I'm so sorry. You'll find some lovely supportive ladies on this thread.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

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