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  • Date Widowed
    July 4, 2014
  • Cause of death

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Guaruj's Achievements


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  1. I didn't know that such rings had a name. It's been 5 years already since Catherine died. When I was newly widowed, I decided I would wear my wedding ring for a year and a day. After that, I wanted something in its place. I thought of a black ring, or even a black tattoo in place of my wedding ring. But I gave my wedding ring a year and a day, took it off, and have nothing in its place. I still pay tribute in so many other ways. |+| M a r k |+|
  2. I am here because, after losing Catherine 4 years ago, I still think about her at least once during every waking hour. I'm not complaining about that; it's just a fact. This is the one of the very few places I can go to talk about it. I've been away from these boards for many months. I'm glad to see so many familiar names are still here. |+| M a r k |+|
  3. My wife, Catherine, died in 2014. She still gets mail, though it's mostly catalogs. Today was different. The mailbox had a large envelope addressed to Catherine with the title "2018 GLOBAL HEALTH SURVEY". Further down the envelope were remarks addressed to her: Catherine Lastname - You are part of a specially selected sample group to participate in the 2018 Global Health Survey. In appreciation for representing Massachusetts, a personalized thank you gift is enclosed. The "personalized gift" was a set of return address labels containing Catherine's name, our home address and some very nice photographs of mountain and desert vistas. I know Catherine would have enjoyed these and used them. I opened the envelope and took out the survey form. Attached to it was a sticky note with a message printed in a faux-handwritten font: Ms. Lastname - Your opinions are important in the fight to eliminate the injustice of poverty and hunger throughout the world.... The survey contained a couple of questions about age, race and education, and then contained questions like these: Do you agree that society must break the cycle of poverty and disease? It was clear that this "survey" wasn't really designed to collect information. It was designed to stir emotions and collect money. Question 13 asked whether she would make a donation to ensure people had access to health care. But who was requesting this donation? It was Partners in Health, a non-profit health care organization in Boston affiliated with Harvard University. As it turns out, they're not the same as Partners Healthcare, another Massachusetts firm affiliated with Harvard which is the parent company of the hospital where Catherine was treated - and the same hospital where she died. The Wikipedia pages for both of these firms state that they're not to be confused with each other, which means I'm not the only person who did. Is it really such a red-herring that I took offense to this so-called survey seeking a donation from my deceased wife? Partners in Health most likely acquired Catherine's name from Partners HealthCare. Given that close affiliation, it would be best if they put the same effort into removing deceased patients from their mailing lists. |+| M a r k |+|
  4. Thank you, JeanGenie, for having us at your home this afternoon. I had a great time seeing my fellow wids at your home. The scenery made for a beautiful drive, and there was so much wildlife to enjoy, including chipmunks like this one: How could anyone help but love such a creature? Thanks again! |+| M a r k |+|
  5. Well, one of my dire prophesies was fulfilled after all. My friend with cancer did not want to be reached because he was, indeed, dying. His girlfriend, who lived with him for 13 years, called me last night. He died two weeks ago at home in hospice care. He would never have wanted me to see him that condition. I spent the rest of the composing a Facebook post in his memory. Dozens of people responded overnight and through the day. None of them had any idea that he was ever ill - I was one of the very few people he shared that information with. I'm just amazed that he kept all of this a secret. The other missing individual was my brother. He proved to be alive and well, thankfully, because both of my parents have been having major medical issues lately. Part of me does regret not taking kjs's recommendation to bring food to his house. But, then again, I knew he did not want me to see him in that state. I bought a huge bag of cheese, crackers, hummus and sausage for his girlfriend tonight. I'll take it over there when she's ready for that. |+| M a r k |+|
  6. Rudy - I appreciate your efforts to organize this hike and I did want to come. Things have changed for my family in the last month, however. Both of my parents are having medical problems and need my help. Right now, I should not travel to any place where they might have trouble reaching me. I am hoping to see this situation improve by the end of the year. Thanks again - |+| M a r k |+|
  7. I bought a package of 36 polyester cloths from Costco about 4 or 5 years ago. They're meant for drying cars, but I use them in place of paper towels. They dry so quickly that I don't bother putting them in the drawing. I still have at least 12 or 15 of these that are still in the original package. What triggered this purchase was realizing that the cloths cost about the same as a 12-roll paper towel package at the supermarket. Living alone, I use paper towels for napkins, then re-use them for cleaning. I use only 1 or 2 half-sheets per day. The typical final use is straining the grounds from my french press coffee maker. I may get one of these. I make a lot of soups and stews during the winter, and I usually like to have some bread to go with that. |+| M a r k |+|
  8. Maureen - I wish I could join you next weekend. I already have a big commitment next weekend here in Boston. I hope you have a great time - and that you revisit New England soon! |+| M a r k |+|
  9. I agree that there's no reason to get worked up when someone doesn't get back to you for a couple of days. But my friend with cancer suggested that we have dinner together over one month ago, then went silent for a couple of weeks. The last time I spoke with him was two weeks ago, and he then said that he wanted to get in touch one week later. That didn't come to pass, either. He's either too sick to talk to me or feels the need to hide his condition from me. The other guy I haven't spoken to in months, and nobody else I know has spoken to him within the last month. Obviously, I'm not assuming that either of them are actually dead, or at least not yet. But I know both of them are having serious problems right now. |+| M a r k |+|
  10. Wow. I just got home from work and I'm amazed at all the responses. One of these friends has cancer and hasn't confided that simple fact to many people other than me. I am seriously concerned for his health. I remember well what my wife, Catherine, went through during her cancer treatment. The other has always been reclusive and has had some setbacks in recent years. He's one whose death could go unnoticed by even his neighbors. That does happen; you can search this forum for a very tragic story I once posted about a man in New York named George Bell. Compounding all of this is my parent's own health. Suddenly, I'm the one that they're leaning on, instead of vice-versa. I'm glad that my thoughts aren't unusual after all. Perhaps I should be surprised that it took three years for me to catch myself thinking this way. I'm going to keep trying to contact both of these guys. I get up very early, so I might call one of them at 6:00 AM Thank you to everyone who responded. |+| M a r k |+|
  11. It's been over three years since my wife passed away, so I don't consider my to be actively grieving for her. But these are difficult times for some people close to me. Age has rapidly caught up with both of my parents and they need a lot of help. One of my friends is ill and seems too have withdrawn from the rest of the world. Someone else close to me, who has always been difficult to reach, hasn't responded to my phone calls for weeks. I speak with my parents just about every day, so I'm up-to-date on what's happening to them. As far as the other two individuals are concerned, I keep wondering: Did they suddenly die? I know it's absurd to jump to that conclusion, but these questions still come up: Did they die and nobody has told me yet? ...or, worse: Did they die alone and nobody has yet discovered this? I'm not Has anyone else gone through something like this? |+| M a r k |+|
  12. ...and you thought your own on-line dating encounters went badly: Woman On Tinder Date Gets Stuck In Window Trying To Retrieve Her Own Poop I was almost encouraged to read this: Oh, he's suddenly "busy" now? Of course he should ask her for a second date! How could she turn him down? |+| M a r k |+|
  13. Guaruj

    I'm a prude

    Sorry, I guess I did misunderstand what you said. Going back to this question... I could imagine that happening at any point while you're dating. I wouldn't expect it when meeting someone for very first time, but after that, why not? As I said already, that's really between the two people in question. I also see it as something that, frankly, either person could initiate. |+| M a r k |+|
  14. Guaruj

    I'm a prude

    Honestly, that's between you and whoever you choose to hold hands with. It's a very innocent form affection, don't you think? I guess that's true in a public setting, where friends, family and neighbors might see you. Is that your concern? How would you feel if it were just the two of you walking alone in the woods? I don't know where you live. Is it possible for you to go some place new, where nobody else knows either you or your date? I do assume that you're well adulthood, I think you shouldn't feel self-conscious about holding hands with someone you're fond of - even if you two are not yet a couple. |+| M a r k |+|
  15. I'll be there. Thank you for organizing this, Rudy. |+| M a r k |+|
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