How the grieving mind works.

Having a recording of the voice is so important, that was what I couldn’t remember, the sound of his voice. I had to go back through all the viol clips to find some of him talking. X

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I saw that episode too as nd I cried. Many people, those who haven’t lost a spouse probably wouldn’t give that line a thought, but if hit me to the core. I lost my Nige 4 years this December 19th. At times I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed and then other times I c as not believe he’s gone. I often think I’ll tell Nige or I won’t but it now I’ll ask Nige what he thinks. I ask him anyway. It’s strange not having him here and yet he still plays a massive part in my life.

Dear Samantha

Thank you for sharing. I am fourteen months on this journey. My husband’s clothes and all his personal items remain where he left them. I have only taken out the items from his wardrobe that he had bought but never got a chance to wear. I can relate to your comment about just going through the motions and devoid of emotion. Eating is just a mechanical process that I force myself to do most days to stop the weight loss getting any worse. My life will never be normal again and there is no ‘new normal’ unless stumbling through each day to survive counts.

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Hi Sheila I lost my husband nearly 3years ago a loss is something you just learn to live with the pain does get easier I took to joining the gym for my mental wellbeing I never sorted my husbands clothes till recently and it hit me hard the grief was back diana

Dear valdez

Thank you. I know that I have to just continue on. Our kids could not bear another loss although I so desperately need to be with my husband. My husband was my life outside of work. I really cannot reinvent myself. We have two young grandson’s so they will have to be the distraction when their parents are at work.

Take care.
Sheila x

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Hi everyone, question for u all… might sound silly to some. As the post is called how the grieving mind works…
I lost my mam suddenly in March and when she first died …I could hear her talking to me in my head, u’d ask a question n within split second she would reply with an answer was weird. I thought I was going a bit crazy or it was my mind with grieving I don’t know what it was. When I went to spiritual church spoke to a medium she said it was my mam answering me they can do that. It hasn’t happened as often lately but the odd time I’m lying in bed at night n it happens aswell like I’m having a conversation with her.
Anyone else experienced anything similar?

Hi Sheila - I’m only 3 months on from Russ’ death and I’ve virtually nothing of his. His family took my keys to his home (our home - id recently moved a few doors down with my mum to care for her) . I had one day to move all our memories and I just couldn’t not touch anything. Now there’s so much I wish I had kept but if I had access to it I’m sure I’d still not be able to move it. Part of me cannot think about all this as it’s just too painful. I just want him back

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The reaction of some families are just terrible. And I understand. I so desperately need my husband back. Just watched an advert for Pampers nappies and premature babies and it reminded me of our first grandson. My husband visited him everyday practically all day for three months and was at his side as much as the lockdowns permitted when he was discharged. My husband died before our little grandson’s first birthday. Heartbreaking beyond words. Just sat and cried.

I came out of hospital last Friday after being admitted for Pneumonia, I am 79 years old and live alone. Our son came to collect me to take me home after discharge and then went home, our other son visited me the day after I was discharged, it is now six days since I left hospital and I have not had one phone call from any of them to see if I am still alive or if I need anything. I have done three piles of washing, still the ironing to do, my bed had to be changed when I got home from hospital as I had been sick in it before I was taken in by ambulance. Up until I was taken into hospital I looked after our three year old grandson twice a week so his parents could go to work, it is all one sided. From my Peter and I retiring 19 years ago I have looked after four grandchildren from being 6 months of age, even the eight years when Peter was ill we still looked after them and after he died seven years ago, I continued looking after them until they were old enough to be left on their own. My usefulness has ended so no-one seems to care anymore.

Am I justified in feeling sorry for myself or is this the way of the world now, forgetting about your old parents. I remember looking after my mum for 35 years after my dad died, doing her shopping, taking her out for meals, taking her on day trips, I saw her three times a week after I had finished work.

It just makes me so sad.

Dear Sheila

That is so sad. I do think you are justified in your thoughts but today’s generations are far different to ours, even though we tried to teach them the same principles and values. There are times when I come back from visiting our son’s or put the phone down after speaking with daughter and just cry. The signs are all there that to some degree they are moving forward which as a mother I do need them to do but they think I should do the same and cannot understand the heartbreak for me is quite different and they can show their frustration quite visibly. The fact that you have gone through so much and they have not called - there is just no excuse.

More so with extended family I think it becomes a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. My own sister who lives local never calls to check on me.

It costs nothing to be kind except a bit of effort. Take care.

I think you are right, the days of children looking out for their parents are, in many cases, gone. When I was in hospital there were three other women my age, one of them was telling me that her daughter lived in the next street to where she lived and did all her washing, cleaning and shopping for her. The other two ladies had married sons and their sons were trying to get them into a care home as they didn’t think their mums were fit to be living alone.

Perhaps if their sons did what the other ladies daughter did, do the shopping for them and the washing, then they would be able to live on their own, all we elderly want is a bit of help now and again. I no longer cook meals I use the microwave for Marks and Spencer ready meals, so I don’t need anyone cooking for me. Luckily I can still do my own washing and change the beds even though it is a struggle changing duvet covers.

It is a shame, it really is. I bet when we all die our families will be there putting the house up for sale. My old mum lived in a council bungalow and had nothing and we did everything for her out of love.

Dear Sheila

Certainly up North we had a saying that ‘a daughter is a daughter all of her life, a son is a son until he takes a wife’. Fortunately I now live in our little bungalow alone but it is just about manageable. We changed the bathroom to ‘future-proof’ it thinking it would be more for my husband as he was 6ft 2inches and his mother had Parkinson’s and therefore we had a built-in shower installed. I have told our kids that I would rather crawl along the little corridor than be put in a home. It does make me cry because me and husband were just getting it the way we wanted. And of course I worry that like yourself when I need help it will not be there.

Hi Sheila. I feel so sad for you, it must be so difficult and emotionally painful. People often say just hold your head up and carry on, find new interests and friends but when you are low that can take an enormous amount of effort - even ringing cris lines can be too much for you. I have found Age Uk very helpful, they can arrange for someone to come round and chat and also run social events and coffee mornings where most people will be in similar situations to yourself; and there is an organisation called Silverline who you can call for a chat 24/7. Also Samaritans will talk - I have used them often in the early hours when unable to sleep and feeling wretched. Please call someone, it will make you feel better. There are people out there who will want to help and understand how you are feeling. Hope you can start to feel happier soon.

That’s strange , the last time I heard R laugh was at an advert for a delivery company featuring a desperate family who had just run out of nappies.

Dear Mand and Sheila,

I truly wonder if I am to blame for being left to my own devices because I looked after my late husband for eight years before he died, then looked after our grandchildren before he was ill, during his illness and after my husband died, it has always been me doing things for them. Childminding, knitting jumpers for our grandchildren and knitting toys for them. I once remember our son saying not long after my Peter died that they considered themselves lucky that I don’t ask them to do anything for me and they don’t have to worry about me as I can take care of myself.

I honestly think they still regard me as a young mum, who is always there when they text me and ask me to do something for them.

Perhaps it is about time that I started asking them to do jobs for me instead of doing them myself. But it just hurt that no-one has picked up the phone since I got home from hospital to see how I am feeling. A text is not the same.

Dear Mand3

I know which advert you are talking about and it is quite funny although my kids were both allergic to disposables and so I had to endure the towelling nappies so my problem was having plenty washed and dried.

The premature babies advert though hits a raw nerve. Our (now) eldest grandson was born with a life-threatening defect and endured three life-saving surgeries with his grandda at his crib every step of the way. I still cannot believe that my husband has been taken from us. He had so much still to give to our grandsons.

But I agree there are things that come on the TV that prompt me to remember my husband having a laugh.

Dear Sheila

You are right. A text is a ‘cop-out’. My brother-in-law and his wife send me texts usually telling me to ‘stay strong’ but if they bothered to phone they would perhaps come to realise that strength has deserted me in my saddest time. I think it just helps them to tick me off their list and continue on with their lives.

I would certainly try and ask your son’s to start doing some jobs for you. I recall you have a large garden and even if they came round to give you a hand. They could make a day of it with their partners and kids.

Dear Sheila

I hope you are feeling better. You need to ask your kids to help you. Maybe they are not aware you need help, or feel they are interfering by offering (I am giving them the benefit of the doubt). I had something similar with my son, but we had a strong words a few months ago, and it did the trick. My son even had a word with my daughter as he didn’t think she was coming round often enough. You have nothing to lose my saying something. Take care x

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Dear Sheila and Viv,

When my husband died seven years ago, after everything had been sorted out our eldest son said to me (these were his exact words), “You have a lot of money now mum, you can afford to pay for jobs to be done as we are very busy people”.

I have always paid for jobs to be done, gardening, decorating, anything at all that I cannot do.

I do ask them to change a light bulb if and when it needs doing, another bulb has blown on the landing so the next time they visit I will ask them to change it for me as I don’t want to be standing on ladders at the top of the staircase.

Our eldest son came to pick up some of his stuff that he stored in my garage as he and his partner were moving home. I was cutting the hedges with my telescopic hedge trimmer when they turned up. There was a tall bit I could not reach so I asked our son 6 ft 4 ins tall, to cut it for me, what did he do, he took a photo of himself cutting the hedge to send to his brother and then went on to cut through the flaming cable and render it useless so I had to go out and buy a cordless one. I saw the photo he sent to his brother and he had put a caption on it, number 1 son cutting the hedges for mum. It made it look as though he had done all the hedges not just one branch but never told him that he had cut through the cable. They will never grow up, they still think they are teenagers.

I most certainly do. Life is a shell without him. I often feel that I am not real, that life is not real. He was not afraid to die because he had such a strong Christian faith. He only minded being separated from me. Highly intelligent, handsome, entertaining, capable, poetry lover, stone Carver, the best stock man our vets had ever met, wonderful singing voice, etcetcetc. How can all that have just gone? How can have loved me so much? What happens to love when you die?

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