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Anniversary Angst

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Tomorrow is our forty-second anniversary and Thursday was the five-month anniversary of my husband's death. Sad sad week.

I'm having trouble getting through today. I can't imagine how depressing tomorrow will be. A comedian I enjoy, once made a joke about feeling so low he could "limbo under a rug." That is how I'm feeling.

I continue to attend once-a-week grief/bereavement group counseling sessions but I'm not feeling a whole lot better. The sessions do give me an opportunity to interact with others who face similar grief and I think that is good for me. I am more weepy than most of the people in the group. That makes me feel self-conscious because, throughout my life, I've always kept my personal sorrows very private. Crying is simply something that I don't do in public---until now. (Interestingly one lady lingered after the bereavement session last week and suggested that perhaps it was too early in my grief, given my emotionalism, to try to be a part of the group. She is a well-meaning person but I couldn't help but think that I was being told that my tears were making the other group members uncomfortable. Do people cry in the group or individual sessions you attend? )

Since I'm on the topic of uncomfortable moments in the bereavement group session, there was a lady in the group (it was her first session) who spoke about how much her religion helped her cope with her husband's death. I was glad for her that she found comfort from her beliefs. We live in a pluralistic society and I respect the right of people to follow whatever religious path they choose or no religious path at all. After she had spoken for some time about her religious beliefs, however, she said that she couldn't imagine how anyone could deal with the grief of losing a loved one without religion. She then looked at the group and said that she assumed we were all religious and asked point blank if anyone in the group did not believe in God. I was pretty stunned by her question. I am not a religious person. I started to answer her question and then decided to stay silent for the time being because I thought her question was out of order.I have enough on my plate. The social worker who was facilitating the meeting seemed uncomfortable but did not address the propriety of the woman's question directly. (This grief/bereavement group is being held at a cancer center associated with a local hospital.)

A number of you have posted that you have sought individual counseling. I would be interested in knowing whether you sought individual counseling while also attending group sessions. Also, was your individual counselor a social worker, a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

I have appreciated the kind words of people who post on this board. Thank you for being here for me. It comforts me to "talk" with people who understand how profoundly this grief affects my/our world.

Hatshepsut

rosyfern
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010

My 42nd anniversary is today. He has been gone 9 weeks. It feels just as if it happened without the benefit of shock. I cannot imagine where the time has gone. I cannot imagine why he is not here with me. Amazing what your mind does in grief. I spent 30 hours holding his hand while he died in the hospital. I was there. I should know. My heart seems to be somewhere else. I understand.

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Rosyfern:

Congratulations on your anniversary.

I am sorry to read that you lost your husband. The pain and shock of losing someone you love is extraordinarily difficult. Like you, I cannot fathom my future without the husband I love.

I hope that you can find some comfort on this board.

Hatshepsut

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi,
It had to be a tough day for you today. Me & my husband would've been married 47 years next February. We actually knew each other since 1st grade. It is so hard to go on without them isn't it? Never thought I'd be doing this.
About counseling. I see one who is a psychologist. I had asked her about group sessions, but she said sometimes they can be more depressing. I love the individual treatment. It doesn't cost me anything either cause it's at the Froedert Cancer Center. Must be paid for by the cancer society or something.
I can't believe that my husband died 7 months ago on the 25th. It seems like such a long, long time ago that I held him in my arms. We were so close.
I hope you're doing okay. We have to get through this one way or another.
When you mentioned religion, I was raised Catholic and when my mom died in 89 from pancreatic cancer after only 2 months, I prayed that she'd be okay and to please help me. Well she died and I have lost faith since then. I do believe in God, don't get me wrong, but I'm a good person and don't believe religion is everything.
Well guess I've gone on long enough. Take care! "Carole"

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I, too feel like I am "losing my religion". I don't pray like I used to, have replaced Bible study with an excersise class, don't stay for any fellowship functions after church, and don't feel guilty when I don't go to church. I prayed sooooo hard for Doug while he was sick and now I find it hard to finds words to say to God. I know He is getting me through this grief and that He is beside me, but I just have an empty hole in my heart and soul these days. And, I too am in one on one couseling, but going to try some Gilda's club meetings starting this week. Don't have any idea how that will go, but we'll see. Best to you and keep your friends and family very close now! Gayle

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Thank you for your posts and good wishes. I know my grief is not unique, nor is it more profound than yours. All of us hurt. All of us share the sadness of empty homes, empty beds and empty hours.

This is an awful day--an empty anniversary. I don't have children and have no surviving family members, so this journey is lonely on the best of days. Today is not one of the best of days. My husband was my world. He helped me, protected me, loved me.

(I am a strong person, by the way--even if I am "weepy" at the moment. I am putting together a network of support people for emergencies I might face in the future as a single person. That I am able to do that is giving me some feeling of security. That is my practical side. There is, of course, the more problematic emotional side.)

Thank you, too, for understanding my concerns about the bereavement group I'm trying so hard to fit into. Like you, I am trying to find my way in a radically different world. I hesitated to share the religion incident in my original post but decided to be honest about what happened and how it made me feel. My feelings of grief for my husband's loss of his life and my loss of his presence is the worst thing I've ever faced.

Again, thank you for being here for me today.

Hatshepsut

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I hate to hear that you do not have any close family anymore. If it weren't for my family and friends, I definately would have lost it by now. In the grief group that I went to today, there was a 32 year old girl whose Dad just died days ago and it is all still very raw and fresh for her. She stated that she had no friends and that her boyfriend just does not understand what she is going through. I just wanted to give her a hug and my phone number, but didn't because I know nothing about this person other that her dad was an addict and she had a pretty rough life, so giving out such personal information will have to wait until I know her and her situation better, but I felt so sorry for her because it seems she has no one to turn to. I think that if we are able to help other people through their grief and mourning, it will help us in turn. I know it makes me feel better to express sympathy to my facebook friends when one of their loved ones die...I know that they know that I am going through it too and can honestly say "I know how you feel."

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

I too prayed for healing for Don for a long time, but eventually I saw that healing here was just not likely. I prayed then that God would take care of him and I know He did. Don is okay. I know that.

The problem right now is that I'm so lonely that sometimes I'm not sure if He'll take care of me or if I care if He does. And, yes, I have been praying for something that hasn't happened.

However, if I didn't believe that I'd be with Don again, I don't know if I'd have survived this long. I believe, I've always been taught to believe, that's true.

That said, I do believe that God is bigger and stronger and kinder and wiser than we can ever imagine. I don't believe that God is only in one particular church or denomination. And I believe that if we do the best we can, regardless of whether we go to church or not, God considers us His children.

I still go to church every Sunday, but I've learned to sit in back because I seem to always cry in church. SOme SUndays I make it through the whole service and some Sundays I barely get halfway thru. I figure God understands that, too.

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

I was glad to see this posting on religion, because I am struggling terribly with my faith. Not only have I lost my husband, but I have lost my faith in a loving and kind spiritual being. Our world seems so out of balance...so many good people leaving this world, so much suffering...that the whole concept of a supreme being no longer makes sense to me. I was a regular church goer, every Sunday, but have not been in a church since my husband's funeral in June. Wish I knew that he was truly in a good place, wish I knew that I will se him again. Maybe this is part of the grieving process. I don't know.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

Questioning God is a good thing. I think that is a part of our moving forward. It is ok to be mad at God, too. He can take it. I was really blessed with a strong church community and support system. I truly believe that my husband was healed. I think that is different from cured. Doug drew much of his strength and comfort from his faith. We rarely missed church, and we updated the congregation regularly. I must admit that I belong to a fairly progressive denomination which gives me a lot of latitude I guess. I, too, believe that no one faith or church is the right one. I think we each must find our own way to God. My father was an atheist, so I was not raised in a church. Instead of turning away from religion in college as some do, I turned toward it. I went to church with family the day after my husband's celebration of life. I felt that I needed to do that. Otherwise, I was not sure I could go back. Kind of like getting back on the horse, I guess. Now, I am moderator for our church. That keeps me busy since I am a member of all boards and committees. Also, we are between pastors which adds to my duties. Since I am retired, I feel that this keeps me somewhat occupied with something other than myself. It also keeps me socializing. I don't know if any of this is helpful. Just some thoughts. Fay

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I truly believe that we will be together again one day and that Doug is being taken care of and being loved by God. Even though I am struggling with my christianity these days, in the deepness of my heart, I do know this. I welcome the day the Lord comes back to take us home...the last thing that I fear now is death!

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