Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
It is just over 3 weeks since my husband Pete lost his 5 year battle with his cancer of an unknown primary. This grief journey is not new to me as 18 years ago my first husband took his own life. I never thought I would ever find love again, but I did. I was so lucky to find Pete and we had 10 special years together. However, half way through that he was diagnosed with cancer. I feel so cheated, but at the same time I feel blessed I was given another chance. I know that many people do not get that, so I shouldn't feel sorry for myself. AT the moment I do, but I know that will pass. Every day the tears come and I try so hard to find comfort in the good times. But at the moment the thoughts of the good times are what bring on the tears. As someone once said to me, "you will never get over this, but you will get through this." Thank you for listening.
The passing of that bird broke my heart. He seemed somehow like part of my new "normal", visiting me every day, waiting by the door just looking in. I still miss him terribly.
Basically I think the visit went well. I was shocked to see my mother, so thin and hunched over using a walking stick. I was greeted well by my sister and her kids (her estranged husband was a different matter, but he's always been a problem), my brother and his family too. The party was lovely, my brother and his wife put so much effort into Mum's day. She cried. My 2 daughters arrived with my eldest daughters 3 kids. My youngest daughter was very cool towards me and if it wasn't for me trying to make an effort, I believe she wouldn't have bothered. My eldest granddaughter and I had a good talk about nothing in general, but I believe she wants to try. As for the 14 and 9 year olds, not sure how that will ever go, it's going to be a long time whatever happens for everyone I think. But at least a start has been made. My son who lives in the USA also rang mum, but he didn't think it was the appropriate time to speak with me and I do agree with that.
Yesterday the tree loppers finally made it in and removed 5 trees. They will remove the final 2 today before another weeks worth of rain is to arrive tomorrow - that's right another week!!
They have made such a mess of the place, but it can't be helped due to the ground simply not given a chance to dry out. As I said to them, compared to what I went through with Pete, this is nothing, it can be fixed.
Please don't feel silly going to your music room. If that gives you peace, then you should do it. I can't believe the closeness in the dates of the passing of our husbands. Pete passed away on 5/11/21. It is strange. I used to love playing solitaire on the computer before I lost Pete, but since he has gone, I haven't touched it. It is a routine we sometimes enjoyed together and now I can't even look at it.
I can't tell you how much I have sobbed and sobbed. Sometimes I feel I have no more tears, but they are there. You had such an unexpected loss, which I understand how painful that is, but please try and let those feelings out. Tears are part of our emotional release of the pain we go through and we must cry. I've even broken down in public and felt such a fool, but thankfully at the time I had a friend to give me a hug. I wish I could give you a hug and you could cry on my shoulder. Never apologize: you must get your feelings out, even if they are the written word, it is very important.
The days are becoming shorter here, the nights and mornings are trying to cool off. Though mind you, I'm still wearing shorts and t-shirts.
Take care my friend
I still feel so awkward and don't know what to do next regarding my kids/children. My son in laws certainly don't seem interested in me at present and I do feel this underlying current that the whole family break up all those years ago was my fault and mine alone. That really gets to me I have to say and I would feel so much more at ease if I was left alone. Sad but true, I'm finding the whole thing too much to take on and even care about on top of losing Pete. It's overwhelming to me.
I can well imagine how heart breaking it was for you to wake up from such a wonderful dream. To wake up and realise it wasn't true must have been so hard for you. I still can't dream about Pete, but he has sent me other messages which I simply can't ignore.
You know, during those first weeks I found it nearly impossible to visit the supermarket. Pete loved shopping there and he knew his prices and loved looking for some nice meat for our little dog, he knew staff members, loved a chat etc. I found those visits so hard and then of course they play songs in the background and that would make me cry too. I really do understand your pain at the hardware store. Life just sucks at times and isn't fair on many levels for so many people.
I'm the opposite. I love it when people talk about Pete. My family won't and over the Easter break I made sure that I did, because he mattered to me, if nobody else. In my mind his time on this earth was important and needs to be acknowledged.
Two days ago I was at our local corner store (I live 20 minutes out of town), when I saw another woman being served. I hadn't seen her since before Pete died and when she saw me she opened up her arms and hugged me. I just cried on her shoulder and told her how much I missed Pete and she let me cry. I felt such an idiot because every time someone wants to give me a hug I cry, I can't help it. I can just imagine what you and I would be like if we could give each other a hug. Just to know someone cares enough to reach out and you know it is genuine means a lot.
I've had a couple of terrible days. With overcast skies and not being able to do much it just gets to me. Yesterday I had my mower stuck on a slope as the ground is so wet and it kept sliding. I had to call Marty and Joel to help me. I so hated having to ask for help, but I had to. After they left I got out my small battery operated chainsaw and cut down a small tree which was dying. After exerting myself doing that all my stress levels seemed to wane and I felt a bit better. That's what I find, hard work helps so much and I bet you feel the same way too?
Whenever I tackle a job I always recall how Pete would say the best way to do it was...... and I'm always asking myself is this how Pete would do it. I also see Pete everywhere and it is so hard to function some days, I would love to be able to reach out even if for one last time to have that hug or to hold his hand. You are not alone with those thoughts my friend. You know what, why don't you let out a scream? If that will help your pain, just do it. Even if you scream into your pillow, let it out. If that helps ease your grief, for even the slightest bit, do it.
As always I'm thinking of you. Please take care and I'm sending you a hug
I think you are wonderful being able to put your husbands treatment by your parents to the back of your mind the way you do. I do realise this is how it must be, but I understand just how hard that is for you: I feel the same way. Over Easter my mother made many efforts to reminisce about my first husband who died 19 years ago, yet not once did she ever mention Pete. That hurt me so much and every opportunity I had, I brought Pete up in conversation and how his illness affected him/me etc. Basically no-one asked me anything, because to be honest I don't think they cared. That's how I see it anyway.
I thought that the phone call you had from your husbands aunt was meant to be. You needed that emotional release from some of your pain. Every time you cry a little bit more pain is released. It's evidence of the love we have for your husbands.
On my way home from town two days ago I had my CD playing in the car. I've only recently been able to listen to music of any kind. I love John Denver's songs and if I don't want to listen to something I forward it to the next track as so many make me cry. There was one song on this particular CD I wanted to fast forward, but it seemed stuck and I couldn't move it forwards or back. Then it hit me, Pete wanted me to listen to the words of this song: so I did. It related so much to my present situation and of course I cried and cried. It was like I was being forced to listen. The song is called My Sweet Lady. I truly believe it was a message from Pete.
I've been busy this week getting into my muddy dam trying to clean out weeds. I was a muddy mess. Cutting out tree roots growing through the driveway and of course mowing and gathering up mess from trees. The feeling of exhaustion overtakes and I know I can still cope.
I know that the work you have put into creating another beautiful garden had the same affect on you. When you work with what you have, even if it's just bare hands it's a huge accomplishment I think.
My dear friends Marty and Joel are coming out this morning as we attempt to light the 3rd bonfire for the season. With so much storm damage it is never ending. Pete and I never had this much to burn in the 10 years we were married. There will be at least another 2 fires by the end of winter I believe.
You are right, I also feel we understand each other. In many ways our lives are similar.
Take care and I always look forward to hearing from you to brighten my day.
On Monday the man who usually comes out for 2.5 hours a week helped me to chop up heaps of timber and natives vines that had brought a big tree down in a storm. I have yet to chop it up smaller so I can take it to the fire site. The ground is still too wet and I just don't have the inclination at the moment to do it.
I knew you would like that song. The words were so special weren't they? Another John Denver song I like and I'm not quite sure of the title, but it's .... Some days are diamonds some days are stone. When you listen to those words it is so true for both you and I.
I think how you show your grief is perfectly normal. We all handle it in our own way, no way is the right or wrong one. You have to do what feels helpful to you. I just seem to cry a lot and at the moment I have quite a few things happening here that need attention and I'm finding it overwhelming, having to do it and make decisions alone.
Thankfully I have 2 showers I can use. The main one is separated by a wall in my bedroom. I have noticed down on the bottom of that wall there appears to be water damage. I'm thinking there is a leak in that wall. So I'm using the other shower. One of the toilets has a constant leak into the bowl and since I live on a rural property, the water to the house is operated by a pump. Well, with the constant leaking the pump goes on and off all the time. So Marty came out after work to have a look and he turned the water off to that toilet, so hopefully the pump will now behave itself. But my hot water service needs attention and the company that tends to that is recovering from the floods and so that is on hold. Trying to get a tradesman here at the moment since the flood is nigh impossible. Like you, I want to just scream and yell and make it all go away. I don't feel like dealing with all these problems on my own.
I lost my faith in god years ago I'm afraid. I was brought up Anglican, but after seeing what the church has done to destroy many families, it totally upsets me and yes you are right, we shouldn't talk about religion.
Thank you Enza. Other friends have also said to me that my family are the ones who are unfortunate in not giving my husband a decent chance at getting to know him. It is well and truly their loss. He was once told by my sister that he tried too hard. Can you imagine saying that to anyone? As I said to her back then, "at least he tried." All he ever wanted was to be accepted and loved. Some things I just simply can't forget.
My eldest daughter turned 45 today and I sent her a small bunch of flowers, which she has acknowledged. It is mothers day here on Sunday, I don't expect any contact, but at 8.30 am on Monday morning I'm meeting my eldest daughter and eldest granddaughter in town for a coffee before they have an appointment at 10am. Wish me luck!! I haven't seen any of them for 3 weeks.
Not much more to tell I'm afraid. By the way we also loved the music from the 60's and 70's and even some from the 50's. I totally understand your frustration at not being able to work outside: it gets to me too. I'm about to start a jigsaw puzzle, to help me during those times with more rain on the horizon so it seems. I do find them therapeutic.
Take care dear friend and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Hugs back to you
So you have the same problems with tradesmen in your part of the world too? I've contacted 2 plumbers and neither have got back to me. It's so frustrating and in the meantime the problems are mounting. I can manage things like light bulbs and basic stuff, but plumbing is beyond me. Marty and Joel came out on Saturday and took off my front door to plane the base away. Due to all the wet weather I couldn't move it. So thankfully that is now working.
Thank you for your wishes for my coffee meeting with Lauren and Olivia this morning. Olivia is 17 and such a nice girl. She acknowledged this morning in her own way that my going to my mothers 90th was a big deal for me and how hard it would have been. I was impressed by that and I told her it was hard. The coffee morning went well. They gave me some lovely hand cream and 2 coffee mugs for mothers day. Receiving those 2 mugs made me sad because there is only 1 of me. I thought of you and knew you would understand. Just like your experience at the supermarket. Pete prided himself on knowing what was on special and would take his time trying to find suitable meat for Bonnie now she is older. I still find it hard, 6 months on, going to the meat section.
For mothers day Lauren sent me a nice text, but I didn't hear from the other two, which I guess did disappoint me, but I also think, it is their loss if they can't reach out just a little bit. I consider myself to be a decent person who is willing to give them a go, if they are interested. If they aren't, it is their choice. Marty and Joel presented me with a potted plant for mothers day, which I thought was sweet of them.
I spent 2 hours yesterday chopping up storm damage which my handyman helped me cut down a week ago and this morning I finished it off. I have worked out I have 38 manageable piles which I will one day get to the bon fire site, once it stops raining!! Yes, another weeks worth of heavy rain is apparently on the way. It is just so depressing and people are once again stressing out after the 2 big floods we have already had. We are hoping we miss out on the worst this time.
You are dreading Spring and what your life used to be like and I'm dreading winter. Pete loved to sit in front of our fire with Bonnie on his lap in winter and the nights are starting to cool off here and I have begun lighting fires. Unfortunately Bonnie won't sit on my lap and that saddens me and somehow the nights by the fire aren't the same. Like you it brings me to tears.
Well dear friend that is about it from me. I really do look forward to your emails, they brighten my day to hear from a friend who understands the pain. Take care
You wouldn't believe it, but the day after the coffee morning last Tuesday, my daughter sent me a text to say they both had covid!! I couldn't believe it as I have been so careful. Up until now I don't have any symptoms, so I'm hoping like hell it stays that way.
I can truly understand how you must have felt when you had to rely on the handyman to bring you your wood supply. I do things on this property too as much as I can alone, but when I have to rely on my friends Marty and Joel (who are like sons to me), it makes me cry too, because they were jobs we did together. It is such a cruel blow to be suddenly left to do it alone. I know like you, all of a sudden it seems things start to fall apart. I have finally found a plumber to come out on Friday to look at all the issues mounting up out here.
We are still receiving copious amounts of rain. When will the sun ever shine again we all wonder? My once gravel driveway, some 400 metres, is now all mud and so dangerous to walk on. I've slipped a few times walking up to collect the mail. Even when Marty came down in his 4 wheel drive yesterday he was slipping. So he and Joel went into town and bought the last 10 bags of gravel at the local hardware store to try and do some temporary repairs until it is dry enough to get a truck load in. I've never seen it like this in my 11 years here and I believe Pete would have said the same. He would be mortified at how our beloved property/parkland now looks. I'm so thankful I had those trees removed when I did a month ago.
I've started a jigsaw of 2 turtles and other sea life. I find they help me to relax and Pete loved turtles. I just received a belated mothers day text from my son in the USA, which was nice. My youngest daughter didn't bother. Yesterday I received a phone call from my younger sister and we spoke for an hour. I hadn't seen her in 6 years due to my feeling absolutely betrayed by her among other things. We got on ok at the party and yesterday when she rang she told me she was proud of me for attending, as she said no-one thought I would. That surprised me, but I told her it was something I did for me to prove a point after what I went through with Pete's illness, I thought I could handle just about anything they dished out to me.
I wish I could send you some of this rain to make your land easier to prepare for your tomatoes. Over here my land is like walking on a sponge. I love home grown tomatoes, there is no flavour like it, is there?
This morning I've been trying to kill the moss growing on the pavement alongside my garage, which is where I go to access the water tank. It is so dangerous walking on it. I have so much pruning to do due to all the wet weather, but thankfully now the grass is slowing down.
Take care my friend, how I wish I could be there to help you and visa versa. Two determined women would make a great team I believe!!