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anniegirl

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  • Date Widowed
    2006
  • Cause of death
    pnemonia


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  1. anniegirl

    Anticipatory Grieving

    There is a lot of trauma. Healing takes time and grief compounds things. I can totally understand being afraid of the possibility of care giving again in another relationship. It's physically and emotionally draining and it's a legit to worry if one has the stamina for a second round in the future because we all can recall moments when we weren't so saintly during care giving. Whether you date or not again is not a decision you have to make right now. There is no handbook. No rules. You will do what's best for you and your kids and that's all that matters. Personally I found the latter half of the first year the hardest but I think it was due to my particular circumstances more than anything else. One day at a time and remembering to self-care (even if that means marking dates on your calendar so you can plan childcare) are helpful things to remember. Don't be hard on yourself. Ask for what you need from the people around you because they will (might have already) move on faster. It's going to be okay. Not tomorrow. But the day will come. Knowing that I would find myself at that day was the one thing I held tight to and it helped me more than anything else. Hope for the future is powerful, imo. I am sorry a significant holiday came up for you so quickly. Anniversaries and holidays are hard. Do what you need to and don't be afraid to embrace a bit of distraction. We all need breaks and grief isn't going anywhere, nor do we get through it quicker by treating it like a job we have to show up to everyday.
  2. anniegirl

    Anticipatory Grieving

    I am sorry for your loss. I understand why it's hard for you to relate to recently widowed folks. I couldn't either. Even though we lose our spouses bit by bit over time, the actual physical loss with their passing still goes off like a bomb in our lives and it's unsettling because hurts, you miss them, and yet it doesn't seem the same as other people's and you feel like you don't fit. Or you are doing "it" wrong. But you are perfectly normal. Your fears for the future, your kids, and the empty space your husband left even though he wasn't the same man you married. They are all familiar to me. You might want to try reading the posts of people who are farther out. I found I could relate better to those. It will not feel like it now, or for a while, but things do settle and you eventually feel like yourself again. Things get better over time. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. But mostly just remember that it's okay to feel what you feel. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Best wishes to you and your children.
  3. anniegirl

    Who comes first? Kids or new spouse?

    It's situational. Ebb. Flow. Age of kids dictates a bit. Level of need. It's not a contest. The kids grow up and build lives of their own though so it's important to remember that it will be just you and spouse someday. Nurturing that relationship has to be a priority or why bother to marry?
  4. Trying, you aren't complicating their grief. You are just at different place and your grief will naturally be different from theirs just because he was their father but your husband. My dad's death affected me quite differently than LH's did. I do think that if you wanted to talk to your older boys and remind them that it's unfair of them to take out their hurt on you, you would be totally inbounds but I can understand not wanting to. They are old enough though to know better and for you to have higher expectations of them than the 12 yr old. The 5 yr old was treated with far more understanding when she acted up than the 22 yr old did. And klim makes a good point that maybe the older ones need to know that you are not expecting them to see NG as a dad figure but as your life partner/husband. It might seem like a small distinction but it could make a difference. Take some of the pressure off. But the big thing for them - probably - is that your relationship with NG has forced them to realize that you are more than just mom. You are an adult woman who had a life, needs and hopes before they existed and will after they've grown and gone off on their own. That's a huge eye-opener even when both your parents are still alive. Forget about adding a loss into the mix. A lot is going on. But it doesn't give them license to make life hard on you. Hope things settle down soon. It's difficult to feel pulled on both sides.
  5. Trying, No, you aren't expecting too much. I can't remember how old your kids are but my daughter was kindergarten age when husband and I married (we were both widowed) and though she was happy about it, she had her peevish moments when she simply wanted things to go back to what she knew/had before. Little as she was, she knew how to push buttons and guilt was a favorite and it continued on/off for about a year. Finally, I just sat her down and explained to her that it was not okay for her to try and make me feel bad simply because she was unhappy about this/that. I told her I understood that change was hard and sometimes she would be upset about things but taking it out on me (or anyone else) was wrong and pretty bad habit to get into. She understood our conversation and things improved after that - though she/we still had our moments - but imo, it's perfectly reasonable to inform your children that you know what they are doing and they need to stop. Life sometimes sucks and it's okay to be unhappy, sad and even mad but it's not okay to make you the target of it or expect you to put your life on hold because they would prefer it better that way. My husband had similar conversations with his girls (who were in their early 20's at the time). It's hard when our kids are hurting and we can't really help. They have to find their own way through grief and we can be understanding and give advice, but we can't do it for them.
  6. anniegirl

    How fast is fast?

    For OP - LH and I moved in together after 2 wks of dating. Engaged at 4mos and married at 10mos. Husband now and I professed our love before we even met in person after "dating" virtually for not quite 2 months. We were engaged within a month of meeting and I moved to another country to marry him. All told, it was about six months from start to finish. With both, I was very direct with how I felt, what I wanted and how I saw us working as a couple. LH and Husband were equally upfront. Was married 7 1/2yrs the first time and married just short of nine now. I think if you know who you are and what you need/want (mostly - it can't be perfect) and the other person does too, everything else is details that you work on together. rmdee67, Take a breath and don't be too hard on yourself. Actually, there's nothing wrong with crushing hard on someone who we know is not right for us and daydreaming it until something better comes along. We never have to act on feelings. It's frustrating, I know. But it's pretty normal. It's also normal to let ourselves act and get caught up and then regret it. So I guess the craziness is how do we stop the latter? I would say by figuring out what your patterns are, recognizing the type of guy who sets these patterns off and running and then choosing not to go there. It's trial and error but I think most people can train themselves out of any habit with a bit of persistence.
  7. anniegirl

    How do you go on?

    Choosing happiness doesn't make it happen. It just keeps the option open. There's no magic. It's deciding where you want to go and then taking the steps/risks to make it happen.
  8. anniegirl

    Public deaths

    Romanticizing the actual act of dying, you mean? I've watched LH and my father die. Hospice style, so it was a drugged kind of quiet but my LH was in a hospice that had 7 other rooms that were nearly always occupied. You knew when someone was going to die because their breathing would change. I always thought "death rattles" was a narrative invention and not a real thing but people really do rattle. Loudly. And when they go, they gasp and sort of deflate like a balloon. There is a struggle at the end whether people are ready to die or not. It's human. Whether you find poetry in it or not is shades of human too.
  9. anniegirl

    How do you go on?

    Too Soon, I was replying to the OP. Sorry. Should have been more clear.
  10. anniegirl

    How do you go on?

    I agree with MikeR. Life is different and part of going on is making peace with that. I agree with Portside/Mike too. Happiness is kind of a choice. You have to want to. Before my LH died - and he took his time doing it - I was forced to remake my life. He spent the majority of his illness in a nursing home and then hospice. I was a single mom, working a full-time job for a while before I was officially a widow. Unless you knew me really well, you'd have had no clue what was going on in my life and even people who did know me, sometimes forgot. One morning, I dropped by another teacher's room to chat with her about something during my planning period. Her class was working on projects and we were watching them. Joking a bit and out of the blue she says, "How can you smile with all that's going on in your life?" I didn't even think about my answer, "Because someday I know I will be happy again." And I did know. LH was months and months from dying but I knew he would and I knew I would be okay again someday. Even happy. If I hadn't decided that early on and clung to it, I don't know where I would be right now. But it's been ten years since he died. More than that since I had that conversation with my co-worker. Life is different. Partly because I made it different. I had a plan and I executed it. I met a guy. Remarried. Changed careers. Twice now and thinking about a new one again. I moved to another country. I am not happy every single day but most days, life is pretty damn good. In some ways, better than it was and not at all what my life would have been like had LH not taken ill and died. Not that my life before was less than. Just different than the life I have now. And that's okay. It seems daunting and in a lot of ways it is, but your life is yours to do with as you want. Stay where you are or change it. Happiness is a bit circumstantial but it is also something you can create if you put your mind to it. Hmm, I wrote too much again. So short version: if you want to be happy, be happy. Pick just one thing that you really want to do, and do it. And then - pick something else and add it to your to do list. You can do it. Life can be better. But it won't be better by magic.
  11. anniegirl

    Public deaths

    I think the romanticizing is the way people try to deal with their own fears about death - theirs or a loved one. People who have been through it are not going to use the same language. I also think that many people who choose to share their struggles with care-taking and terminal illness try to downplay the ugly. Maybe because they know that they won't get the same sort of public support if they are honest that they will if they play the role that is expected of them - selfless hero. When my LH was ill and after his death, there was another widow in the local news because both she and her LH were columnists for the local paper. It bugged the shit out of me that support just rolled in for them during his illness and for her after. And she wrote about widowhood as though it was some self-help discovery journey. Eat, Pray, Die. Ugh.
  12. anniegirl

    Passing Away

    People use the words that fit their feelings, personality or reflect their upbringing. We tend to parse them a bit more because it's very personal. Passed or passed away tells me that the other person might believe in an afterlife. Lost is just that. A person has lost a part of their life and self. Died is blunt and signals that the conversation on that particular topic is over. But that's just me. We can't do much about other people's word choices aside from note them for future reference.
  13. anniegirl

    Talking about the late spouse

    I am remarried almost nine years and I still weigh my words where LH is concerned. I don't have to. My husband is widowed too and it doesn't bother him. But I just don't feel like LH has a place in my life. He is my way past. It just feels weird to include him. I will say that my husband used to bring up LW a lot during the first year or so but he was coming out of a 25 yr marriage to someone he'd met while in high school. All of his formative young adult years were with her. I didn't marry until my mid-30's, so I have ton of life that is just me-centric where he was a husband and father from his late teens. Anymore, late spouses usually only come up in context with kids. Or death. When we have our occasional discussions about "what if", we reference the things about our late spouses deaths and the immediate aftermath (mostly in terms of what we'd never do again). I think you should do what makes you feel comfortable and what you think is best for your marriage.
  14. anniegirl

    Introduction to children

    My daughter was four when I met my husband. She knew I had a ldr friend and she was aware when I went to met him for the first time. He didn't meet her until we'd decided we were in it for the "forever". The first time was at her school actually. He'd arrived for a a week long holiday trip and went with me to pick her up from her pre-school. She knew he was coming because we'd talked about it and she wanted him to come along when I picked her up that day. Husband waited on the edge of the playground while I collected her from the jungle gym where she was playing with her bff. As I was helping her with her jacket, her little friend asked, "Is that your daddy?" DD said, "Yes," and she ran over to him and held her arms up to be carried. Just to note. DD had no relationship with my late husband, her father. He was sick her whole life and by the time she was old enough to really interact, he was suffering from profound dementia and physical disability. The last year of his life, he was bedridden and probably vegetative though the DRs always hedged on that. So, unlike her friends, she didn't have a daddy who picked her up at school. Her initial reaction was probably more about wanting to be like everyone else than anything else but it was curious because she hated being carried by strangers. And she didn't allow just anyone to pick her up. My meeting my future step-daughters was probably more fraught with anxiety on all sides but my husband's. He was pretty exasperated when the oldest one balked a bit because he thought he's made it clear to both girls long before he met me that his dating/possible serious relationships of the future were not open for debate. He accepted their choices for dating prospects without much comment and he expected the same from them. So I met the younger daughter (who was 22) when he brought her for a weekend visit - that went pretty well but I didn't met the oldest (24) until days before our wedding. Her choice. Though she and I had emailed back/forth a bit. And it all worked out. Largely because my husband simply wouldn't accept anything else but also because the girls are very open and generous people. Kids who are open are pretty easy to introduce. Kids who are not should probably be allowed some say in to the how/when but with the realization that if a relationship is a long haul, they will eventually have to suck it up whether they are keen to or not.

Personal Information

  • Date Widowed
    2006
  • Cause of death
    pnemonia


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