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Elle

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  • Date Widowed
    October 29, 2017
  • Cause of death
    Heart Attack


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  1. A little over a year now since my LH passed and thinking about what will be in store for 2019. In 2018 I had an unexpected event. Besides recovering from the loss of my LH in October 2017, last May I broke my wrist while dismounting a bicycle on a gravel bike path. The accident resulted into two surgeries and six months recovery time. Some may think this as a catastrophe. But, actually the six months gave me time to think, relax, and do home projects (with one hand). I could not drive for nearly a month and adjusted by taking public transportation. I boosted my culinary skills, enjoyed time with my pets and being outdoors in my garden. I had a few visitors from old friends and my adult son helped me out when needed. The time was used wisely by having a few maintenance jobs done on my house; including having a demolition crew taking down my old garage. I drew up a will with my lawyer. I returned to work once I recovered from the therapy and surgeries. I could have retired but have not made up my mind exactly when I will take a break from the work world. There is an awful statistic of people who retire from my workplace and die shortly afterwards! Many have died in their 60s; including my late husband! I am kind of scared of this curse. Another thing I held off on, was to have a gravestone made. I still have my LH's ashes. Haven’t done any work on that yet. Will attempt to in 2019. Forget about dating, I am a bit intimidated and exhausted reading Match.com prospective dates. I need more time. Actually, I’d rather meet people who share same interests as me in other ways. Wishing everyone here a Happy Christmas. Hope you are able to enjoy the holidays with those important to you.
  2. It has been awhile since I visited here. Just an update on what has happened: A get-together with an old college friend for a fun bicycling trek along a bike path turned into a 3 month plus disability for me. I hadn't bicycled for almost ten years. I actually did a lot of cycling in my 20s'. Well, I am 65 now, and unfamiliar with the "new" all terrain bikes. Plus, I never bicycled on gravel. Whoops, I fell down at a crossing and broke my wrist. Then, 2 weeks later I had surgery. I had a carpal tunnel test yesterday, and it confirmed I have nerve damage. Will await to hear from the doctor for what my future will be. I don't look forward to returning to work. I use my hands typing, filing, and much hand repetitive work. My short term disability could very likely turn into long term. I may be jumping the gun here. I actually prefer not returning. I feel more alive and productive at home. Also, the longer I am out, the workplace is becoming a far distant thing of the past. I met my husband at the place I worked over thirty years ago. I had my wedding ring and diamond taken off on the day of the accident....Don't think they will fit back on my swollen hand. I guess I will stay low for a while, and walk for exercise. :-)
  3. Elle

    Purging

    There have been several discussions on this topic and many reactions to what to do with what is left behind. So far I am doing okay in reorganizing the things my DH left behind. Some of his things I've thrown out and some I'm keeping. Some given to my son and grandson. One thing I have a hard time deciding on is what to do is all his old MEDICAL RECORDS? There are a lot of them! I see no reason to keep them. I don’t think it is necessary. Any thoughts on this? I am about ready to take them to the shredder.
  4. Elle

    Saying Goodbye - Last Words

    I have not told my family yet his last words he said to me. It saddens me to think about it. I was about to leave from a store to go home which was 8 miles away. I knew he was preparing supper at the time and would appreciate knowing when I arrive. He was making soup and watching a football game. I heard him say on the phone in a distant sleeplike voice, "ok". When I arrived home he was on the floor in the kitchen unconscious and holding the t.v. controller. The stew on the stove was just simmering at a medium temperature. The rest happened so quickly. Ambulance took him away and he died at the hospital.
  5. Elle

    Am I justified in feeling offended?

    He sounds like a very eccentric individual. This subject is rightfully your own private business. I would not ruminate too much about what he says to you. I don’t think you will be able to change him. I’d just change the subject matter when he starts talking about it. If he asks these questions in front of other people it would un-nerve me even more. Hopefully, he has not. You could try to come up with a good retort to his prying questions. Such as, “I don’t have time now to discuss this, I have to go”. Or, to his question how much do you receive? - “Not enough”. I have a feeling this might not be the only busy-body question he has ever asked. I’d just fluff it off and change the subject.
  6. Elle

    Journaling Recommendations?

    I always kept a journal. Still have the latch and key diaries from my long ago grade school days. :-) The journal I keep now is set up to just pen down brief daily thoughts. I had to writtten down this recent occurrence: While checking my DH's Yahoo email, he received a response from someone to his Yahoo Answer question! It was a bit spooky to read it. He asked for an opinion on a certain type of water filtration system. And just recently I had been thinking of researching different types of water purification systems to replace the store bought gallon bottles! How about that?!
  7. I am now ready to tell what happened to me after when my husband died 6 months ago. I want to share this experience because it may help someone else who has a similar experience. My DH was disabled before he died and he was still collecting work disability payments through our employer. As being employed with the same company, I am very familiar with the company’s benefits. I know the company dynamics. There have been several HR persons over the years. It appears to me that HR is a “secondary” position. Whoever fills the position was more attuned to the company finances. That is, the HR person not only handled benefits, but also was the company accountant. Get the picture? The scenario I dealt with: My Company changed employee life insurance companies in the same month my husband died! It complicated things a lot! The HR person was not helpful at all in knowing what paperwork needed to be done. I was denied his life insurance from the new plan. At first I expected HR to do all the contacting. But, I soon realized he was useless, and I called both the insurance companies for help. After several months, I finally was paid life insurance from the old insurance plan, and received spousal benefit from both the new and the old insurance companies. It was a lot of aggravation- and I felt high and lows not knowing if I would receive any benefits, especially at such an emotional time of losing my husband. I would have expected it to run smoother. I learned to not rely on what HR says. He got many things wrong. I think of what happens to other spouses do in the same situation? Do they get their rightful spouse’s company’s benefits? And how many loose out? My second experience was after my DH died in the hospital and the negligence I received by the hospital staff not returning my DH’s personal identification property. I was given a full run-around. Some staff actually said the items were given to another family member and accused the funeral home taking them. You would think a hospital would be more caring. I reported this to the DMV and the local police. It feels good to get this off my chest now.
  8. Elle

    Interesting article about Social Isolation

    I found the article interesting as well. Thinking about the before and after; and if there are any changes about myself. Not quite sure if I fit into this category of social isolation. When my DH was alive I was active in many ways- held a fulltime job, volunteered in civic groups, managed some of the household things, and babysat grandchild occasionally. I also made sure that the last few years I did more things with my DH before he died. I knew his time on earth was short. His passing was expected. I was more at loose ends after his first heart attack than when he actually died. If that makes sense. My DH was not very social, although he kept brief contact with his own extended family. Partly because he was tired after coming home from work. We did fun things while on vacations and visited relatives as well. DH was closest to his large family than friends and we went to BBQs reunions to see them once a year. Other than that, it was pretty much just the two of us. We got along well. I had outside interests in certain civic groups which he had no problem with. I was averaging about 5 hours a week with the groups. This is the biggest change that I have made now. I plan to stay as a member, but limit my involvement. Because I put so much time into these civic groups, I did less with my home. Now I want to personalize my home, and make some improvements.
  9. Just two more days and it will be my six-month mark. Throughout this time I‘ve enjoy cooking at home- more so than eating out at restaurants. Anyways, eating out alone sucks. Only went out to eat a few times since my husband passed away. The several Nor-Easters in March were a test on me. Lost my electricity for four days and shoveled snow for 6 hours after one of the other storms. Trees came down in my yard and lost my heat and hot water. Had about 8 inches of water in my basement. Had to call a plumber. The third North-Easter I said none of that, and paid a plowman to clear over a foot of snow in my driveway. I managed to get through it all. I discovered while going through my husband’s stuff some of his old childhood family 8mm films. I sent them out to be digitized. I 've enjoyed editing and sharing them on my husband’s family Facebook group now. Many of the films I had never seen before. Films from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. It is very comforting to watch them. I still work fulltime. “Time” is so important to me now. I get a bit annoyed when people in my social groups ask me to volunteer on certain things. I don’t have the same interest as I used to in volunteering. I had done a lot of it over the years and feel now that I want to take care of myself and my home. I am practicing the fine art to saying NO.  My husband and I rarely ever entertained family or friends at my home. I want to do more entertaining now. Recently I invited my sister and my mother over for lunch at my house and served lobster rolls. We watched some of our old family movies I had made when I was in college. It was a good time. I am looking forward to the warmer weather.
  10. A lot can also be discussed with Social Security on the phone before heading out to the SS office. I recall I had very good results by phone- surprisingly! In my case, I am collecting now my husband's Social Security benefits. I plan to do that till I am 70. When I turn 70, I will collect on my own SS account which will be a higher benefit. Unfortunately, one can't receive both the spouse benefit and my own. Just one. Recently Social Security changed some of their benefit plans according to one's birth year.
  11. My “new” avatar is me in my first party dress my mom made for me years ago. The photo reminds me of youthful life expectations. Anyhow, as we all know life can throw curve balls! What I like to share is some small accomplishments while navigating widowhood. My husband was the “tool man”. He knew every type of tool that exists and was very proficient in the work he did at the company for over 30 years. He had his own tool chest which reached over 6 feet tall at work. About a month before he died, I made space in our house for the chest to be moved back home since it was expected he could not return to work due to his health. A co-worker with a truck helped bring the chest into our house. It was one thing knowing what each tool did what. That will be another day for me to figure out. It was another thing knowing which key unlocked the compartments in the tool box! The prospect of finding the power cord to a small power drill another challenge. I found all keys this weekend and was able to locate the power cord! I think my late husband is smiling down on me!
  12. Thank you, Julester3 and Beth, I appreciate your replies. I haven't discussed in depth with anyone about my widowhood other than here and it is great that there is a group such as this to share what is on ones mind. Presently, I am preparing for income tax season. My husband did the taxes all those years with our accountant. This will be my first doing it myself. I think I have everything in order to present to my accountant. The other thing I am preparing for is a "will". Neither of us had one. And I feel it is very necessary now that I have one made. I have put together a folder of important papers to go over with my lawyer soon. And lastly, my saving grace is I am also a "crafter", Beth. :-) Also, a gardener. I tend to have a good size garden every year in the summer. But, I think I will downsize it a lot to just a couple favorite veggies and flowers. Last summer, my husband was able to water the garden. He enjoyed it. Recall him telling me that hummingbirds hovered over him. But, since I work, I don't really want to spend an hour a day watering the plants. And, it is just "me" now. I kinda like to discover some good farmers' markets. :-) And also check out Boston's market near Faneuil Hall a few times in the summer. That's about all for now. Elle
  13. Hello, I am a new member. Thank you for having this forum. I like the catchy name and hope to become friends with many of you. Four months ago my 66 year old husband passed away from a heart attack. He had a pre-existing heart condition and was suffering from COPD. We had met at work in 1980 and been married 33 years. He worked there up till when he went on disability. I am still working at the same company. I was looking forward to retirement and being able to finally spend more time with my husband. But, that never happened. I have many happy memories of us together over the years; including some of the difficult times which we weathered through. I think I became desensitized after five years of marriage with the first shock of my husband’s major heart attack in 1989. I just kept going like the “Ever Ready Battery” on “work mode”. I didn’t have time to relax or be by his side. We were young then, and I had to keep on working at my fulltime job if I wanted us to still live in our house. Relatives and coworkers were very insensitive then. And looking back, I think they had no idea of the stress I was under. I HAD to work while he was recovering at home. We had a three year old child at the time, and it was my daily chore of taking him to daycare and then off to work I go. My immediate family seemed clueless. And they gave very little moral support. I worked fulltime through all the four other heart attacks he had over the years as well; and my husband and I soldiered on. The doctor told my husband after the fifth heart attack that he would not survive a sixth. I felt forewarned, and prepared for the worse. One of the best things he did was quit smoking 15 years ago which I do believe extended his life a few years. Although the previous years of his smoking caught up to him later when he was diagnosed with COPD. During the past 1 ½ years while he was home on disability for his COPD, I made sure that I could be around him as much as possible on the weekends. I also planned several mini vacations last summer which were a lot of fun for us at Cape Cod and New Hampshire. I knew that he had a short life expectancy because of the dramatic shortness of his breath. Simply walking on the beach took a lot of effort out of him. I still think of myself as married to him and have no interest yet in meeting someone else (now). Almost every night I have dreams of him. I suppose it is my subconscious sorting things out for me.  I have begun rearranging some of the rooms of my house. I’ve given many pieces of his clothing to a friend who takes things to the homeless. Other clothing items I will donate to the Salvation Army and then a few pieces of clothing I’ll keep for myself or give to my son or grandson. I am storing in heavy duty bins some of his personal items I am not quite sure what to do with. Since his death, the only time I went out to eat by myself at a restaurant was on my birthday. I don’t want to EVER eat alone in a restaurant again. It is so saddening. My husband was the cook. He often said to me and I agree, one of the things I will miss about him when he gone is his cooking. I think he would be quite amazed how I’m doing! I actually find some comfort in cooking. Thank goodness for my crockpot and Pinterest! The biggest challenge I have now is where to go and what to do on vacation this summer? I always enjoy going on vacations. It is a time for me to breath. But I don’t want to feel “alone”, if you know what I mean. Any suggestions?

Personal Information

  • Date Widowed
    October 29, 2017
  • Cause of death
    Heart Attack


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