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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 99
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Oct 16, 11:43 AM
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    kittie
    Little steps Iris. You are newly widowed and the first phase is a real challenge but I think the second phase, that you are in, is even harder. There is so much paperwork at your stage, just be methodical and as soon as something arrives in the post, deal with it.

    I went to a function in my village hall, a meal and I felt like a pariah, there are the usual few friendly people and the others, who all look when you walk in but no-one asks you to join them, why would they, they are all couples and family groups. Ok, I gave in to that and have never been to another meal event in the hall. Just another fact, that indeed we widows are treated differently. Everyone sympathises but we are still kept at arms length. So we make our skin thicker and needs must that we look outwards from our close community. You are indeed taking those baby steps Iris and you will get stronger with each one
    • Mrs Money
    • By Mrs Money 13th Oct 16, 11:45 AM
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    Mrs Money
    Iris keep going it will get better - I feel the same but those sad moments of coming back to an empty house will lessen, at least the raw hurt will.
    I too went somewhere to "meet people" - and felt that awful feeling of "what on earth am I doing here?" washing over me while I was there. I had to fight the tears away and also the same on the dark walk home. I really think the best thing to do is follow a hobby to find likeminded friends (I haven't managed it yet - still looking!).
    The paperwork will get done eventually and will slow to dribs and drabs that are more manageable, in time.
    Kittie I'm sleeping but with trips to the loo in the night- can't decide if it's wanting the loo that wakes me up or if it's poor quality sleep that means I wake up anyway! Last night I had an early night for me - light off at 10.15, then awake at 12.30, 3.30 and 5.30! I know that can't be good for me.
    I'm also slowly sorting my husband's clothes - thank heavens my sons have been happy to have much of it; tee shirts, shorts, hoodies, socks, jackets, jeans have all gone their way as none of them like spending money on clothes -or clothes shopping! Just the jumpers (somehow more sentimental to me) now and shoes (also hard to do, don't know why) shirts and ties.
    Kittie I've also felt that the scent of my husband is no longer on his clothes.
    I've an offer of help from my son with the last clothes cupboard that I have to sort - a kindness that I'll take him up on eventually as he'll be okay with my tears and knows exactly what to do in those situations! (A hug, kind words, mug of tea) whereas my other children don't like my tears and say "don't cry" or "don't think about it" - well meaning but not helpful!
    We'll get there. 14 months for me and I still feel a bit "directionless" and wonder if we all try to hurry ourselves through this process- that doesn't work.
    Last edited by Mrs Money; 13-10-2016 at 11:50 AM.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 13th Oct 16, 11:49 AM
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    Savvy_Sue
    I also hated the walk back home in the dark (forgot to take my torch) and going back to an empty bungalow was awful and started me crying again.
    Originally posted by iris
    iris, I am sorry you feel so low, and that the harvest supper was no help. All I can offer are a couple of practical torch suggestions! But I give them with a virtual hug.

    In the winter I usually keep a small torch in a coat pocket, with the led bulbs they have now they are very small but still bright enough! I've got one which is a 'keycap' for my front door key (hard to leave THAT at home) or you can get small ones for keyrings or credit card sized ones. Probably the best one I've had for this purpose is credit card sized, but about a cm thick, which is a wind up torch, so the battery isn't an issue. Although again, the led bulbs use so little power that batteries last a lot longer than they used to.

    The other thing I do is use my phone - I really hate not being able to see my feet, and there are a couple of places where the shadows are quite dark. Just 'waking up' my phone gives a tiny blue light, enough to reassure me, OR I have a 'torch app' on it which is bright enough to find my hearing aid battery if I drop one on the floor in the cinema ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Oct 16, 3:44 PM
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    kittie
    Kittie I'm sleeping but with trips to the loo in the night- can't decide if it's wanting the loo that wakes me up or if it's poor quality sleep that means I wake up anyway!
    Originally posted by Mrs Money
    14 months for you mrsM and 20 months for me. At 14 months I was also waking up at least 3 times in the night and definitely once for the loo. I think I was also getting rising stomach acid, a relic of the bad time and stress, so I changed my eating and drinking pattern and used a wedge on my bed for a couple of weeks. Soon, with the help of my almost silent radio, I started to sleep longer and now am sleeping right through again on most nights. I think I can pinpoint wakefulness in my case, if my shoulder hurts, if I get silent acid, if my mind is whizzy. Your husband died suddenly, didn`t he mrsM? Like mine, no warning at all, so suddenly life changed from happy to very very bad and the stress, cortisol and inflammatory damage was something we have to take into account. The sudden physical changes in particular. I remember thinking at your stage, that I was not drinking enough water and I know sometimes I could feel that twinge in my bladder. Drinking enough water in the day keeps the kidneys functioning properly and also helps to calm them down at night, when we need to sleep. I was also getting concerned that kidneys were affecting other parts of me as kidneys/lungs/heart are all interlinked. So water is like gold to me and I no longer hear my heart beat too fast and too loud in bed

    Just going back to today, which I thought was going to be aimless, it wasn`t, it was very positive. Finished a fair bit more clearing and best of all, was able to get my neighbours complex pellet stove to work after being out of action for days, so that they now have warmth. I saw such a big smile on each of their faces and that boosted me no end, that is what life is all about
    • elona
    • By elona 14th Oct 16, 7:05 AM
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    elona
    kittie

    Well done on being able to help your neighbours sort out their stove. It does feel good when we have accomplished something or been able to help someone.

    Just being able to give a dd some made made frozen meals or soup, or doing some laundry for them gives me a boost. Not exactly rocket science but makes me feel useful.

    Hugs to all.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 14th Oct 16, 9:20 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Good morning everyone.......

    I have been feeling a bit unwell this week. Had a few bad nights and then of course have felt awful throughout the day. I also bought the wrong strength probiotics so have had some digestive problems. The new ones should arrive today so hopefully I will soon pick up.

    DS2 is off this week and we have been doing a few bits round the house. Yes it does feel good to achieve something and I like helping him sort the house out.

    My husband's last words were "look after the boys". I think he would be pleased that I have been able to honour that wish, not just financially but also helping them design and decorate their houses, although of course DIL now helps DS1.

    AS I thought I didn't get the bungalow and the town house I viewed kast night needed too much work or rather too much money spending on it. So......the search continues.

    It's a nice day here but chilly. I'll wrap up warm and have a potter in the garden later.

    IRis....sorry to hear you are feeling so low. It's early days yet and like Kittie says......this second phase is probably worse than the immediate few weeks.

    The surge of adrenaline which helped you through the early days has now been exchanged for noradrenaline which whilst it helps your body rebalance can leave you feeling awful.

    Plus of course there is that seemingly never ending mountain of paperwork, form filling and "things to be done" - all at a time when you are feeling utterly exhausted and drained.

    And then of course there's the aching void of loneliness, of missing them and of endless yearning.

    Here's the good news ........it does get easier......eventually........ Unfortunately though it just takes time.

    How much time???? Well it varies and it's never a straight linear progression - you will have days when you don't feel too bad at all and you'll have days when you can scarcely crawl out of bed.

    How do you get through them.......I don't know but you will. Somehow you will find the strength to hold on and ride it out.

    All I can advise is just do what feels right. If you don't feel like socialising then don't. We are all different. Some of us feel better when surrounded by other people, some of us might feel more comfortable just being quiet and still for a while.

    There is no right way or wrong way.

    Forcing yourself to get out and about and socialising might not be right for you just yet. As you say being alone in a crowd can make us feel worse, especially when the company is largely made up couples. It just reinforces our loneliness.

    The only thing I will say is to try and really look after yourself. Rest, sleep, good food, exercise when you can, a bit of fresh air.

    I know this is easier said that done too but try and "live in the moment". Of course we look back, that's only natural. I still do and it's been two years and two months.

    The big thing though is when you try to envision your future. That's the scary one isn't it. You just can't see a way forward, everything seems bleak and somehow pointless.

    I am pleased to say that I seem to be coming out of that phase now. I still don't know where I am going or what I want but That awful nameless terror has finally susbsided a bit. I do finally feel a bit more hopeful and I do feel calmer and happier - a sort of quiet serenity at last.

    Well I'm glad I am now a car owner again. Took it for a service and a couple of new tyres to make sure it was winter ready and the man at the garage said what a great little car. He's right, it feels good to be able to just be able to get in the car and head off. I only do local stuff but it's good to have my autonomy again.

    Hugs to all.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 14-10-2016 at 9:28 AM.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 14th Oct 16, 10:24 AM
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    kittie
    I think it is important to be aware that we are facing a double whammy right now. Not just the obvious journey through grief and coping as a single but also the journey into the dark months. I do think a coping strategy for these months is very important and not just for us widows, I know several people in couples, who are aware that they will get winter SAD, one couple is going to get sun in the caribbean, the rest mudle through

    Last year I did feel myself slipping down so I got myself a winter SAD lamp and it helped a lot. I may not need it this year but it is ready to use if I do slip. I am content as a single now, ok I do talk to my husband a lot and aloud but you cannot keep thoughts and questions in a tightly wrapped bundle, they need to come out and problems should be turned into logical processes, as they would in the past when talking them through. If I had a difficult problem then I would do a bubble chart or a pros and cons list, which all helps to make objective thinking easier ie thinking outside the box and getting out of that tightly wrapped bundle

    I am thinking today about how to tweak my food, so that it remains 100% nutritious but is more exciting. I happened to see Nigella the other day and she does awesome recipes eg the vegan chocolate cake, which I would make with cacao and would freeze in small portions. I loved the wilted lettuce from this week and many vegetables are better for the digestion when lightly cooked, rather than raw. Bought the book, which has just arrives from lakeland, a £6 bargain.

    I also bought some nice small bags as I have ordered special glace fruits from wholefoodsonline, maron glace, figs, pineapple, nectarines. A little of each will go into these bags and they will be added to the little books for my children and their spouses, for christmas and I am still well under a £10 max. Coaster blanks came yesterday, so next I will do some tracing and wood burning which uses a pen and nibs and which I can do in my kitchen. I am sure they will be happy, a book, glace fruits and coasters so far and I may well do the presents per couple, so I can continue to add, burned keyrings, a hm woven scarf etc and still the raw chocolate, which I need to make. Ok I know I have gone on, as usual, but this gives some focus for the next few weeks, rather than drifting and letting my mind wander where I don`t want to be any more. I feel content and I want to stay that way
    Last edited by kittie; 14-10-2016 at 10:26 AM.
    • elona
    • By elona 14th Oct 16, 1:58 PM
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    elona
    kittie

    The presents sound lovely and I am sure will be much appreciated.

    I was supposed to get the bus to York and see a film with a dd but a delivery came just as I was leaving and I missed the bus I wanted. Left a message to dd to ring me back as she was not picking up the phone. No point in my traipsing to York if she is not there so rather than get stressed I am going to have a hot drink and a sit down and wait for a call.

    I have been enjoying using the soup maker and just had some carrot and coriander which I made the other day. A delivery of low fat meat has just arrived which will make healthy meals and can be portioned and frozen for when needed.

    Hugs to all
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Oct 16, 7:57 AM
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    kittie
    another positive uplifting post from you elona, just the everyday stuff but it is what gets us through the day with a smile

    Am sitting here in my dressing gown and just been on amazon to find rose water, no shops here, then it put me onto amazon pantry and I have spent a long time browsing. I filled a box, which will be delivered tomorrow. Mainly store cupboard stuff and I found lots of things that were organic and wholefood type as well as the bulky loo rolls etc. I am well pleased tbh but had not intended to use amazon pantry, however today it suited me. If you do amazon pantry, then you need to allow a good hour.

    I am loving that simply nigella cookbook. I have a family gathering before christmas, vegans and omnivores as well as veggie food lovers. That book will be the only resource for me, everything I need to do is in there.
    • elona
    • By elona 15th Oct 16, 2:28 PM
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    elona
    kittie

    I am relying on either slimming world or hairy dieters cookbooks just now. I did manage to get a later bus and meet dd so we had a browse round the shops and a bite to eat.

    Two dds are popping round for lunch tomorrow so will make roast chicken, low fat roasties and lots of veg. Middle dd has just phoned to say she is popping round this afternoon about five, will go out with friends that live nearby for drinks later and stay overnight

    I love feeding family, friends etc. even made filled rolls etc. for the builders when they were here so when family stay over I get excited!

    I hate having washing on airers so treated myself to a dri buddy which I might ask dd to help me assemble tomorrow. I don't want to get into the habit of using the tumble dryer unless it is a real
    emergency.

    I am still in pjs but will get presentable later and pop to shops. All the capsules etc seem to be helping my knees get much less painful which is a relief. The book people are having a sale so I spent a happy half hour on there ordering a bright blue glass worktop saver, four very pretty vintage mugs, a Mary Berry oven glove, a pretty blue coffee tin and a set of three pots of grow your own herbs for the kitchen window sill. Feel quite extravagant but it was a good price and will brighten up the kitchen.

    If dd needs a bite to eat before going out then I have turkey bacon, low fat sausages, eggs and wholemeal bread so can make something quickly that is not too unhealthy. As she has just had my home made soup and lasagne at her house she has had something healthy already.

    I found amazon pantry really useful in the past for all kinds of things especially cleaning materials and things I can't get locally. With the days drawing in I am trying to use my head to save my feet.

    Hugs to all.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • Mrs Money
    • By Mrs Money 15th Oct 16, 2:49 PM
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    Mrs Money
    LL sorry to hear you've been unwell. Hope you're picking up now. I'm now on long term low dose antibiotics so I don't think my tummy is at all happy - I probably have no healthy gut bacteria left at all now and keep getting tummy ache. I need some yogurt I think.
    Kittie I haven't used Amazon pantry yet although I have bought coffee and toilet rolls from Amazon in the past - it sounds good - I'll have to have a look.
    Been painting this morning in the relentless drive to get my building work finished, there's still carpets to be chosen and laid, blinds to be bought and fitted so that it looks more homely and cosy for winter. I also have most of the furniture stored in a spare bedroom so would like to reinstate that as a guest room soon! Seems overwhelming at the moment as there's some other making good needed back into the house where the extension has joined it. I'll get there in the end...
    Elona and Kittie you're doing well on the cooking front! I was, but I've suddenly lost the interest and it seems to be an enormous effort at the moment., even to wash some salad! I'm just having a low phase I think.
    A few months ago I was very efficiently making casseroles, and other dishes all frozen in single portions, labelled and stacked neatly in the freezer. I seem to have lost all enthusiasm for it now, which is not normal for me as I've always loved cooking. I'm just putting it down to the ups and downs that we all go through and I'm not going to stress over it. I'll just think of something useful that I actually feel able to do and do that instead.
    • elona
    • By elona 15th Oct 16, 5:10 PM
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    elona
    MrsM

    I had days when just something like cereal and fruit for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and maybe a can of soup and a filled roll was all I could manage to make but made sure I had plenty of fruit, yoghurt etc. in the house.

    DD bought me an omelette maker and I treated myself to a soup maker so I did not have to stand over a hob if I had a CBA day.
    Just do whatever you feel like and don't feel obliged to do things perfectly or at all if you are not up to it.

    Hugs
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Oct 16, 9:28 PM
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    kittie
    LL how are you now? We are thinking about you

    MrsM, oh my goodness, I am the same with food quite often these days. I just cannot be bothered, what is the point of cooking for one, day after day. I too cannot be bothered washing a lettuce, so I do a whole lettuce in one go and store it in bags in the fridge, it keeps well for a few days. I don`t make porridge for breakfast, I put muesli in a bowl in the evening and just pour almond milk on it and leave overnight. Today I had one of my hm ready meals and couldn`t be bothered to prepare my green beans, so I peeled a carrot and washed a courgette and stuck both on a small enamel plate and they went in the oven with my meal.

    I will cook when I am in the mood but at the moment I am not in that mood and when I get in the mood again, I will be batch cooking or baking so I have food to freeze for CBA days. Getting the ingredients in is a help. next step will be to put them on the worktop and then it doesn`t seem too hard
    • elona
    • By elona 15th Oct 16, 10:17 PM
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    elona
    This is going to sound so lazy but I found if I had a programme on tv that I liked I would pop through to the kitchen in the advert break and just do even one thing. Loading up the soup maker with veg and stock, prepping the bread maker or the slow cooker, loading the dishwasher or washing machine etc. On days when I do not feel like doing anything, using an advert break to do just one thing does not feel too daunting.

    Cooking potatoes in their skins on the hob, letting them cool then peeling easily ready for low fat chips, ingredient for soup etc or reheating for a mash or topping for an oven bake or veggie burger.

    Having things like chopped onions, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, herbs in the freezer also helps as there is always something I can use without having to shop or plan too much.

    I now have an easy option available for when I am not up to things but also have the option to do fancier cooking if I want.

    Hugs.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
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    lessonlearned
    I too fall in and out love with cooking.....and indeed all things domestic. . I guess the trick is to make hay whilst the sun shines so if you feel like cooking then use that time to make a bit extra.

    If I run out of prepared home cooked goodies then I have no guilt whatsoever in cheating and buying in a few nice M&S ready meals or even eating out - if I can be bothered.

    Cooking for one and eating alone can definitely seem like more of a chore than a pleasure.

    I've had a couple of melancholy days this week but I know that they are temporary blips so I can usually get through them without panicking.

    I tried to sort out some photos the other evening......still can't do it so I just did a rough sort into categories and put them away neatly in a box. I figured there is no point torturing myself. In the grand scheme of things they can wait. Trips down memory lane are still just too painful.

    I made up albums for each of my sons 21st birthdays - a sort of "This is your life", going back through the generations as far as their great grandparents, right up until their own childhoods and teenage years. So at least they have that.

    I don't need photos to remember him by, they can stay in the box till I'm ready. The boys can just chuck them if they want. My husband wrote his memoirs and I have made a start on mine, so they will have all the family history and ancestry stuff they are likely to want or need.

    So much for posterity......

    It's a miserable day here, heavy rain. Was going to go out for a drive into the Peak District but not much point really. I've got plenty of cleaning uo to do and want to do some online shopping later.

    I have ordered a pain relief machine which uses ultra sound. I didn't realise you could buy domestic ones but Physios often use them and I have found them very helpful. I also have a tens machine which needs new pads so I'll order some of those too.

    Sounds extravagant but will all come in at around £100 but if it helps reduce visits to the Physio at £40 a pop, then they will be a good investment.

    Saw a nice bungalow on Friday. Need to go back for a second viewing and will take it from there.

    Hope you are all ok.
    • Mrs Money
    • By Mrs Money 16th Oct 16, 1:32 PM
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    Mrs Money
    I'm so glad I'm not the only one slightly lacking on the domestic front! I did make some cookies for visitors last week and an apple crumble to take to my son's when I was going there for dinner. I suppose that's the real problem - cooking for someone else has a point, a purpose and is always appreciated!
    As you say LL, I'll do it when I feel like it!
    It started off really rainy here this morning up until late morning and now it's breezy and sunny and I've just come in from the garden after processing a large amount of tree prunings into kindling to dry out in the greenhouse. I need to have lunch and then go out for a walk really, but I have a feeling I won't get around to the walk! We'll see.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Oct 16, 2:38 PM
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    kittie
    My photos were bugging me 8 years ago, so I did the sorting then, including the old black and white ones. Dh and I each did a family book and I did another of our immediate family. We did them via blurb and bought copies for each of the children. They were well received by our siblings and they bought their own. It was daunting and took a lot of sorting and work, dh re-photographed each old photo. That is how I have ended up with a fab cd of family photos, 435 in all. I am down to just half a box left now and that is how they will stay. I don`t want to throw them

    Today I made a quick almond traybake, now in slices and quickly in the freezer, out of sight. I am still waiting for my amazon pantry order and am partially trying to sort out my very big and now very messy, shed. I daren`t stay in there in case I miss the delivery. Some more items offered to the children today, good quality travel bags/holdalls. Were my husbands bags, so things are still offering themselves for disposal. I prefer to pass them to the children, obviously

    Looks as though we are all getting through sunday ok, that is a good thing
    • poppy811
    • By poppy811 17th Oct 16, 9:07 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    poppy811
    May i join please? I lost my husband 3 months ago very suddenly. The mornings are worse for me. I wake up very panicky and tearful but it seems to improve as the day goes on. Very lucky with friends and family but still feel so lonely. Have just put the house on the market. We had discussed this prior to my husband becoming ill so it is not a "kneejerk" reaction. Hoping to get something smaller with a lot less garden.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Oct 16, 9:53 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Good morning Poppy. . Of course you may join us, I hope you can get some comfort, help and support here. It might only be virtual support but I have found this thread immensely helpful.

    First let me say how sorry I am to hear of your husband's death. A sudden death is so shocking, it's such a jolt to the system. I hope you had time to say your goodbyes.

    Of course you are tearful and panicky, it's such early days and your grief is deep and raw right now. Hopefully your hunt for your new home will help you ride out your pain.

    Take care my dear, look after your own health now and protect your interests.

    Sad to say I had a dreadful night, didn't get to sleep till 5 am. Needless to say I don't feel very great this morning. I am a mass of aches and pains so will go and have a long soak in a warm bath. It might help ease things a bit.

    I have been feeling a bit low in spirits these last few days. I know I'm drifting but I can't seem to focus or make decisions - especially when it comes to finding somewhere permanent to live. I just feel "directionless".

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not suicidal but my existence just seems a bit pointless. I do actually feel that I'm existing rather than living.

    Maybe inspiration will come in its own good time......
    • elona
    • By elona 17th Oct 16, 10:49 AM
    • 11,251 Posts
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    elona
    LL

    The right place will "find you" and you will just know. Where I am now had so much needing done that dds were quite worried for me but realised it had the ground floor space I needed, rooms upstairs so family could stay over and was near a bus stop, shops etc.

    I hope a nice relaxing bath will ease the aches.

    DDs have now asked how I could see the potential in the eighties nightmare that was downstairs but it "felt right" somehow.

    poppy

    We had already put our house up for sale months before DH died as the house and garden were going to be too big and expensive for me to manage. Knowing it was a joint decision helped. Gentle virtual hug and be kind to yourself. You can only do what you can when you can so don't pressure yourself.

    kittie

    Approved food has rosewater at the moment but may be near the best before date.

    Dishwasher is loaded, my new window blinds arrive on Wednesday, home made soup is in containers in the fridge and my dri buddi had dried a big machine load of laundry in a few hours yesterday. Today is going to be a very lazy day with feet up, reading a book and sorting the dry laundry etc. after having two dds round yesterday and a good get together.

    Hugs to all
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
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