Hello Everyone! I am wondering if there are gay and lesbian members who are grieving the loss of their spouse? While grieving is grieving, there are differences in how we grieve, based on the particular relationship and the circumstances of our loved one's death. During this past year I lost my spouse from a sudden heart attack, my mother from cancer and my beloved pitbull from old age. My grief reactions have been different for each of them. I would really like to hear from gay and lesbian members who have lost their spouse.

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Tammy,

 

This is a better day here, although I'm not saying it will ever be the same again. Have you thought about getting a pet, like an older one from an animal shelter who needs love as much as you? At least then you'd have the cuddling that, for me, makes all the difference. That's what I think I miss the most. I say an older pet, because the pup is so needy it is almost too much, even though she loves me the most.

 

What did you say your profession was? I'm thinking it was some kind of counseling, and I can see how you hesitate to practice that when you're at a loss now. Every so often I consider taking a leave from work myself, even though I only work part time now. But then what would I do? At least that keeps me in touch with real life. Is there something else you could do to get you back in the world, even being a clerk somewhere or a receptionist or something that would give you routine contact with the public so you see life going on? Perhaps doing a volunteer job would be best. I don't know, but it is getting out of here that helps me, even when I don't want to do it.

And right now I don't. It is Superbowl Sunday and I just want to hole up with my dad and eat. Not a good thing at all.

 

Meanwhile, I have to tell you that my faith has a little different take on God's plan. Perhaps that's what motivates me not to just sit and wait for The Plan to unfold. I believe we are challenged to participate in weaving the patterns of the Universe as part of God's gift of free will. This means that, while there may be patterns set in motion, we must choose how we will interact with them to determine which outcomes might come into play. Our actions all participate, but we aren't in charge of anyone else's life, of course.  Neither do we have ultimate power over our own fate. But it is just as much a sin not to participate as it is to try to control the entire thing.

 

Also, my faith informs me that we are still here with God-given talents, gifts for brining meaning into Life. If we take ourselves out sooner, then we will have to finish the tasks that are ours in some other way, in some other medium. It is best if we stay here and do what we need to do. At the same time, I don't believe everything here is about us. Our mothers' deaths didn't really have to do with us, but with them and their time. The same is true for our partners. Their absences hurt us, scar us even, but they are sorrows we learn to cope with until we have finished our time here, our ministries on this earth. Our time with them was a gift, moments of grace, if you will.

 

I am so thankful to have had such a love in this lifetime as that I had with my partner. It may have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing. There were moments of pain, but to have known such a love means I have had one of the greatest gifts life can bestow. How can I help but miss it, miss her? So many people never have that even once. No wonder I miss her so deeply. How could anyone, any thing, replace that?

 

This is what makes me so lonely for love. This is what I miss that my friends can't fathom. Nearly all of them have no idea what it means to spend a decade with someone, let alone three decades plus. This is the loneliness. How do we talk about that?

 

Well, enough of this. I'm sure you understand.

 

Dee

Hi Dee,

 

I having been feeling somewhat better and decided to get online. I didn't realize that you had responded to my post. I am extremely blessed to have had the love I had with Jackie and you're right, not everyone gets to experience that in their lifetime. I know that my Jack's death and my Mom's death had nothing to do with me. They were both sick and God decided to end their suffering. I never asked God "why me?" He blessed me and I believe I will see them again. I am not ready to return to work but I have been thinking about volunteering somewhere. I still have to unpack from moving from my house to a 2 bedroom apartment and that feels like a full-time job. Jackie and I had a wonderful red-nosed, fawn colored pitbull, our Blaze, who was spoiled rotten and our Baby. Blaze died of old age (14 years) just 6 months before Jackie died. It was a huge loss for us. The three of us were a family. I won't get another pet, especially an older dog.

 

Dee, I loved your explanation of our participation in our life's plan and how God and each of us weaves the patterns of our lives. I have had a wonderful career and being a psychologist seems to be my calling. There is so much more I want to do in my profession. I also want to write (and get published), which has always been a passion. It's just hard to do any of that right now. I'm sure there will come a time when my grief is not so debilitating and I can resume my goals. Since I have moved back to the state where I grew up, I get to spend more time with my sisters, nieces and nephews. Today, I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't see it, but I know it's there.

 

Thank you for your words of comfort.

Tammy

You're welcome, Tammy. Good to share.

Hi Tammy,

I came across your post and am sorry for your numerous losses. I hope that you are doing better. I lost my partner in 2008. At that time I became aware of the lack of resources for lesbian widows. Just recently I have started a website and forum L.I.G.H.T. Lesbians in Grief - Healthy Transitions. It's brand new so I do not have any posters yet on the forum but if you would like to visit and post, I will certainly respond. Eventually I hope to have many lesbian widows aware of the site so


that they will not feel so alone in their grief journey. The website is lesbianwidow.org. You can get to the forum from there.

Take care,

Stacey

Hi Stacey!

I haven't been on the site for awhile so I am catching up on posts tonight. I looked at your website and it is beautiful! I will definitely join the site and help get the word out. It is a much need place for support and resources, and in time it will draw alot of people. Thank you for making the site and I'll talk to you soon.

Tammy

 

 

Thanks Tammy, I'm glad you stopped by. Please do join and post on the forum if you want. It is set up so that lesbians in any stage of their grief has a topic to relate to. I hope that eventually more women will know about it.

 

Take care,

Stacey

Hi Tammy,

I lost my partner this May after a 5 year struggle with organ failure and transplant, 2 weeks later we lost a dear friend to cancer, and her father to colon cancer as well.  The March prior we lost a best friend and a beloved dog. It's been a shitty year.

 

This forum does not come up with ANYTHING when you search on the word lesbian. Is there anyone else out there who has lost a partner and is struggling in the hatero world to find someone who understands?

 

I am sorry for your loss. I can not imagine how difficult it is to deal with the sudden loss.  I was primary and only caregiver for my partner for 5 years plus. There was more time to get used to the idea of loss....if i hadn't been so busy taking care of her and trying to keep her focused on living.  We did not expect her to die when she did.

 

I was also my partner's primary caregiver.  I am so sorry for your horrid year.  I also didn't expect to lose her.  At the end, it went so fast.  I was numb, and grateful for this so I could be strong for her.  I never expected to go through this at my age.

 

I am new to the site.  Struggling to get through this time, missing my partner so much.  I am 35, and live in a smaller town.  Not many lesbians, even fewer in my age range. Just wanted to connect and hear others stories.

 

Hi Bethany,

 

Thank you for writing to me and I'm sorry for my late response. I can identify with not connecting to people who can relate to our experiences. Losing a spouse is so unbelievably painful and there are many support groups and forums for straight spouses to share their experiences, but very few for gay and lesbian spouses. I sometimes wonder if the pain and the desperate longing for Jackie will subside. As of May 12th, Jackie has been gone for 2 years and 6 months. While I am so much more functional and I don't cry everyday...all day, there are days of such overwhelming grief. I can't explain in words how much I miss her. I am a mental health professional and I have always loved my work, but even work doesn't seem to bring me joy. How are you coping Bethany? Is work a stressor? I know social work is very demanding. Write back when you can.

 

Tammy

Hello my name is Helen and I recently lost my spouse of 30 years to cervical cancer this july. The grief and pain is the worst I have ever experiences in my entire life.furthermore I just found out that my first love when I came out 30 years ago passed away this past saturday of stage 4 lung cancer.so life for me has been very sad.every single day since then has been a sruggle not to mention my emotions go from happiness to utter pain and devastation
Of lossing your other half. So my friend you are not alone...


helen

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