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    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
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    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 194
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 10:42 PM
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    Our last proper holiday before my husband got sick was to Sorrento so yes we went to Pompeii etc. It was wonderful.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 10:48 PM
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    That woman probably wouldn't have fancied an adventure holiday jungle safaris, dessert trips, trekking through Tibet.

    What a narrow minded attitude.....

    I have to confess I'm not a lover of camping for more than a few days but I would do it in the right circumstances,
    • elona
    • By elona 16th Sep 17, 11:40 PM
    • 11,390 Posts
    • 61,660 Thanks

    I know it sounds snobbish but I don't see the point of saving 50 weeks out of 52 so you can be in five star hotels when the other 50 weeks are in what would be one star. I can see saving for experiences and that is very different.

    DH and I went on a cheap break to Amsterdam when we were dating
    and he asked what star it was and was surprised there was a star below! It did mean we could spend on excursions and nice meals and our next break which was our honeymoon also in Amsterdam was much more luxurious ( I was scared to step on the red carpet)
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 17th Sep 17, 10:59 AM
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    I've never been on any sort of organised holiday other than one school trip to Switzerland but that was a long time ago. I love planning it all, it is half the fun, and you can make it just what you want. Last time I went round europe I spent one happy day on a train with lots of young English people, mainly students. All singing "We're all going on a summer holiday" and generally enjoying ourselves. Lots of lovely young men lifting my backpack and helping me with things. The internet is great because after a couple of days in Prague I decided to go to Vienna so went on line and found a reasonable hotel and then off to the station to buy train tickets for the next day. When I'd seen enough then onto Budapest and so on, great fun. I've done most of Western and Central Europe like that.

    I suppose as I get older maybe I will find the organised trip reassuring but I do hate the thought of handing over control to someone else. Just one more thing to adjust to.

    I do agree Elona, sometimes the best holidays are the budget ones and to me a hotel is just somewhere to sleep so as long as it is clean it will do me. I'd rather do that for a month than luxury for a week but of course others would choose the luxury and that is fine if it is what suits you. I remember in Venice finding a cafe where local workers were having lunch, I went there most days and had lovely Italian food at a fraction of the cost of the tourist traps, I think my lunch cost less than a coffee in St Mark's Square.

    I haven't managed to go anywhere this year, family commitments have kept me busy but as I live in a seaside town I can always do "holiday stuff" just a short walk away from home. Added bonus is I can have a day on the beach with grandchildren and then drop them off with parents so I can have a quiet evening to myself.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 17th Sep 17, 12:19 PM
    • 30,013 Posts
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    Thanks for that. I knew it originates from the bible but wasn't sure which book. To be honest I half recalled it from a song called "Turn, Turn, Turn". Recorded by the Bryds and then later covered by Mary Hopkins.

    Yes it does have a comforting ring to it.

    Yes I think a holiday will do me good. I have been quite low today, just a tad melancholoy and physically a bit below par. My sister upset me this week....up to her old tricks........I won't bore you all with the details.

    I shouldn't be surprised at her antics and I really mustn't let her get under my skin but she still has the power to shock and hurt me at times.

    A change of scene and a bit of sun should help give me a lift.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned

    Ecclesiastes 3King James Version (KJV)

    3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:


    I remember the Byrds/Hopkin songs too
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”: C.S. Lewis
    LOving and caring Corbynista to Jacob Rees-Mogg : 'Why don't you F*** off and die?' J.R-M 'If I do, will you please pray for my immortal soul?' '
    • iris
    • By iris 17th Sep 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,087 Posts
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    Thank you for the info on C&M cruises LL. I quite fancy their themed cruises.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Sep 17, 6:14 PM
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    There is a closed group on Facebook called Friends who love Cruise and Maritime (CMV). You don't have to booked on a cruise to join.

    Lots of discussions, tips, advice and useful information on there.

    This morning I met up with some members of the local Jolly Dollies group. Glad I went. Nice people and we've booked two more meet ups for this year and plenty of ideas for next year.

    PP I have looked at the idea of a "train holiday" across Europe. I think I am going to have a go. I've bought a couple of books so am looking forward to reading them and planning my journey. The hardest part is deciding which bit to do first. So many fabulous places to visit and only one lifetime.......

    Had to smile about your lunch experience in Venice. It echoes one of my own......

    I once went on a cruise with a widowed aunt. She was in her 70s and I was just 25. You would think it would be a disaster but it was fabulous - one of the best holidays I've ever had.

    Anyway when we got to Venice she said I want to treat you to lunch and marched us off to St Marks Square. I saw her face fall when she looked at the menu and saw the prices.. I said "you know what I'm not that hungry, why don't we just have a coffee here and then have a wander round and eat later"

    So that's what we did. I found a fabulous workmens cafe just a few minutes from the square. I wonder if it's the same one you chose Anyway we had a slap up meal which cost peanuts. We left and a few minutes later I heard a male voice crying out "signorina, signorina, please wait". I turned round and a man was holding out my camera. I had left it on the table.

    And yes my aunt paid less for that fabulous meal then she'd paid for the coffee in st Marks square. She couldn't stop talking about it, regaling our dining companions on the cruise about our bargain meal and the nice workman who returned my camera. She said I've learned a valuable lesson from you..... Always eat where the locals eat!!!

    That cruise was fantastic. Despite the age gap my aunt was a wonderful travelling companion and I had a ball. Except she kept trying to play matchmaker.....I received 4 marriage proposals in a fortnight. :
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Sep 17, 6:22 PM
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    Thank you for the info on C&M cruises LL. I quite fancy their themed cruises.
    Originally posted by iris
    They look fun don't they.

    They have just done a 60s one with guest entertainers such as Suzi Quattro and Manfred Mann. Apparently it was fun but the weather was a bit grim.

    I don't know if it was C&M or another company but I have just missed out on a music one. As well as on the onboard programme there was a couple of stops at the opera houses in Milan and Palermo. I will watch out for that one next year. I dithered too long.

    I've learned that if you see an amazing holiday bargain you have to be quick.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 17-09-2017 at 6:26 PM.
    • jaybee
    • By jaybee 18th Sep 17, 3:09 PM
    • 1,402 Posts
    • 2,549 Thanks
    Thank you all so much for your kind and helpful words.

    After having a complete *meltdown day* on Friday with Saturday and Sunday were much better. Early days and all that and I am trying to think that this is normal (!) for now. Baby steps and all that.

    I have received the Interim Death Certificate so things have been set in motion. Of course, the solicitor has now gone on holiday . . .

    Talking of holidays . . . . I have so enjoyed reading of your escapades and plans. I haven't been away on holiday for over 20 years but may (just may) change that in the future.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 8:40 AM
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    Good morning all.

    Not much news here - just wanted to pop in and say Hi to Jaybe. Sorry to hear about the meltdown on Friday, but glad to hear that you felt a little better afterwards.

    I think we just have days like that, I call them my Tsunami's a like a great tidal wave that just engulfs and overwhelms you.

    The good news is that, over time, those tidal waves of grief and helplessness do get less frequent and smaller over time. They gradually become more manageable. Three years in and I still have my moments but I can handle them.

    I still struggle with feelings of minor anxiety from time to time, something I never experienced when my husband was alive. A bit disconcerting. I just give myself a stern talking to.

    No real news.....except the cat has now gone to live with my son. The house does feel empty now, I've just got two fish left......not quite the same. You can't cuddle a fish.
    • elona
    • By elona 19th Sep 17, 11:52 AM
    • 11,390 Posts
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    Had you considered the idea of getting a cat of your own?

    My dds had been trying to convince me to get a pet but never having had a pet I don't feel I could be a good owner and do justice to a pet. I take care of DD and SIL's cat for a few days when they bring her over and am fine with that but she is not a "cuddly" cat.

    I managed to get the consultant's appointment sorted for next week and am just about to phone a handyman to put together some shelving, assemble a bit of furniture etc. Dishwasher is loaded and washing has been hung outside, cardboard and recycling boxes are outside ready for collection and someone is coming to help with the garden this afternoon.


    One of the hardest things is feeling that nothing will be "normal" again and trying to get to grips with a reality that is so far from what we had hoped for or expected. In the circumstances you are doing so well and emotions will overwhelm us all no matter what stage we are at.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 12:13 PM
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    Elona....gosh you have been busy mind it's a nice day here and I have rattled through a few jobs this morning, I think the sun does help. I've just had brunch and then I'm going out to do some shopping, drop some bits off at the charity shop. It will be nice not to have to wear a raincoat for a change.

    Glad you've got the appt with your consultant, hopefully you can get things sorted now.

    Re the cat...I think I will get a pet of my own at some point, possibly an older animal from the rescue centre, one that is trained and quite sedate but just needs a new loving "mummy". Our vet has links with a centre and they are always posting pictures of cats and dogs that need rehomimg. I'm often tempted.

    However, I think I'll wait until I have finished travelling and am more settled. Like you I would want to be a good owner and I hated putting our little furry friend in the cat hotel last time. I felt so guilty.

    Mind you it was 5 star.
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 19th Sep 17, 4:53 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 135 Thanks
    Not a good day here today. I've been thinking of my husband all day. I went back and read his obituary and cried buckets. It's a year in a weeks time since my mum passed away and I think I'm thinking about my own mortality a little bit too much. I've made a decision that while I miss my hubby I have to accept that he is now free of pain and I need to live the life he didn't have chance to live.


    I'm going to allow myself a restful (read lazy) day today then come tomorrow back to as much as a positive mindset as I can muster.

    Still no definitive decision made on the move, all due to the fact a couple are also interested so it's still all up in the air. That is not helping my equilibrium either.

    Onwards and upwards...
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 5:09 PM
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    Sending you hugs. WHitemusk.......treat yourself gently. A quiet day will help. X
    • jaybee
    • By jaybee 19th Sep 17, 7:29 PM
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    Thanks again for all your words of wisdom and understanding.

    I am struggling very much with 'images' - especially of his last days in hospital and I can't seem to get them out of my mind and replace with something more normal.

    Another thing that is troubling me greatly is that I feel as though I failed him in many ways. I suppose this is part of the guilt thing.

    I have had to write an appraisal of his life for the Inquest. No idea why that's needed.

    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
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    Ah sorry you are struggling so badly.

    Those images of his final days, of his illness and the feelings of "did I do enough" will eventually pass. I think we all have experienced this, I know I certainly did. I thought those images were seared into my brain forever but thankfully they have faded. I can still bring them to the forefront if I wanted to it they no longer jump into my brain unbidden. I can control them now.

    I can recall those images anytime but they are no longer my constant companion. I think you will find they will eventually fade and one day you will be able to recall happy images from happier times.

    I really feel for you having to face an inquest. It must be dreadful to have that hanging over you. I fail to see how it could do anything else but haunt you and how you must be dreading it. And it's a long while to have it hanging in the air like that. How you must long for closure and peace of mind.

    Writing that appraisal must be torture. Get it over and done with as soon as you can.

    I really can't think of anything I can say to help you except to say "this too will pass". You will get through it because that's what we do. You will dig deep and find the strength. One day you will wake up and the nightmare of the inquest will be behind you and you will be free to rebuild your life.

    It's such a difficult time and it is still very early days. You are raw and in great emotional pain, the inquest must feel like someone is twisting the knife. It will stop and you will heal.

    Take care and try to sleep tonight. X
    • wort
    • By wort 19th Sep 17, 10:02 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 7,835 Thanks
    Oh Jaybee, sending hugs, how awful to wait so long for the inquest. Please accept my condolences, those last images are awful and I'm still working on pushing them from my mind.
    LL, good news on your bargain cruise, I hope you enjoy it.
    I'm going with my brother and sil to Portugal on Saturday, I'm not sure if I looking forward to it or not, everyone said go it will give you a chance to rest. But the last holiday was the cruise in May when hubby became ill whilst on board, I'm not sure how I'll feel,
    I went for a family meal on sat for brother in laws birthday, we went back to the house after, but at the end of the night I burst into tears, that sort of thing is so hard.
    Has anyone else suffered from irrational anger, I'm normally very patient, but twice lately I've felt angry, the first over not being served whilst out the girl served everyone else first and I was hopping mad!! Then today I went to buy euros and she wanted ID, I didn't have any as I don't drive and didn't take my passport as I didn't expect to need it. I just said forget it and walked out but I was annoyed it seems so petty. I realise she was just doing her job , but couldn't help how I felt.
    The other thing is being overwhelmed by simple tasks, I can't get my head round them, especially things with instructions.
    Sorry to go on, I don't want to be negative. You lot are always so positive and I know you won't think I'm crazy.
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 10:33 PM
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    lessonlearned are not being negative. The anger is quite normal. It will ease off and you will soon be your normal patient sweet natured self.

    As for feeling overwhelmed by seemingly simple tasks. Well again I think this is quite normal. We've had the stuffing knocked out of us, it leaves us feeling drained, exhausted and incompetent. Our new reality is such a shock to the system that we lose some of our confidence and become fearful and anxious.

    Rebuilding confidence and coping with feelings of anxiety requires some work and effort on our behalf. It's not easy. There are a series of "firsts" to be overcome and we do have to step out of our comfort zone to achieve that. We just have to work our way through this.

    The first holiday is a big hurdle. But you will feel good for taking that leap into the unknown. Yes you will probably feel nervous and you will no doubt experience moments of loneliness and loss. You will no doubt cry when you are alone in your own room. There will be a lot of mixed emotions but I am sure that getting away for a break will help you move forward in your grief. It will be good therapy.

    And most definitely are not crazy......everything you are going through is perfectly rational and yes "normal".

    And you are being have agreed to go on holiday. That's a positive step on your journey Towards your new life. If we dont talk before then have a lovely time, let that warm Portuguese sun work it's magic.
    • By HOUSEWIFE25 20th Sep 17, 6:34 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Hi Wort,
    I can relate to the irrational anger, I'm normally quiet and wouldn't be rude to shop assistants , but a few weeks ago i had to go to Screwfix to buy a connector for my lawn mower, to connect the wires together. As i'm not used to cutting the grass, i went over the wire and it split. This in itself upset me as normally my husband would have fixed it.
    So i ordered the part online for click and collect and the assistant said " have you any photo ID on you" and then went on to lecture me that it tells you when paying that you needed this. I was showing her the order number on my phone and i just flipped, slapped the cover over on my phone and said " just forget it" and proceeded to march out the shop, then realised i actually needed it and had already paid online.
    So sheepishly i went back in and apologised and burst into tears, she then offered me a glass of water.
    I felt really bad after it, and couldn't understand where the anger had come from.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 20th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    • 6,026 Posts
    • 36,411 Thanks
    I'm not widowed...however I am constantly amazed at the strength of those who are posting here, pouring out their grief, anger, fears and pleasures - that's astounding. The support here just goes on no matter what is thrown at the thread.

    Don't want to sound patronising, however a great big to everyone here. For some strange reason I'm reading this thread everyday and gain my own strength from you all.

    You show that life goes on, it changes, meets challenges, goes up and down and you all bob along with the waves. Everyone supports one another with empathy and without judgement, best of people.
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