PLOMS Disease.

I have just been listening to Radio 4 where three priests, one woman and two men were discussing bereavement and their experiences with funerals, and most of the time there was laughter.
Now a lot of people would object to that and say they shouldn’t make jokes about death. But if they didn’t see some relief in laughter or the funny side of life where would they be? Doctors, nurses all cope with it every day as do priests.
Sinking into the abyss of despair does no one any good least of all ourselves.
I realise some will take me up on this, but I still feel and always will that where there’s life there’s hope.
But no one can ever say I have not been there. I know the pain and I know what grief really means, but this is not going to beat me into the ground. I am not at all cheerful or happy or joyous, no way, but I am beginning to realise that self pity and despair have nothing but depressing results.
Some cultures celebrate death as a life well lived. It must be an enormous relief to attend a funeral without all the solemnity that so often accompanies ours.

I am pleased to say that the vast majority of posts on here are asking for help and in no way should we inflict more pain.

There is a time and place for everything. Jesus wept when he went to the death of Lazarus. He knew Lazarus was not dead so why did he weep? Because Martha and Mary wept. It was right to weep at that moment just as we can weep when we think of our loved ones. That’s empathy.
This is symbolic of the fact that there is no death. Life and death are the flip sides of the same coin. Inseparable. Just as love keeps us all together, so does life and death.
None of us have met here by chance. And now the chance has been given me I am going to make as much of it as I can. It was said I am lucky to see some light after 10 months. I am fortunate, yes.
PLOMS disease is a very difficult one to cope with. ‘Poor Little Old Me. in this state’. What’s more it’s contagious. Just as with germs we have no right to inflict our pain on others.
Despair is what it amounts to. Now in no way am I minimising grief or the awful pain attached. But my wife was a very positive person and, had I gone first, she would have wanted to go on and help others.
It was said that if I can see light after 10 months I am very lucky. Luck has nothing to do with it but love has. I loved my wife deeply and I know what she would have wanted. I can hear her say ‘get on with life, see you later’.

Christian in Doubting Castle under the influence of Giant Despair eventually found he had the key to open all doors. But for so long he doubted he had it. We all have it, but it’s lies dormant unless we activate it.
OK, so it’s not want many want to hear, sorry about that, but this site allows freedom of expression to us all provided we stick to the rules.And what I have said is my own personal view.
Thanks to everyone for the hopeful and uplifting posts. Blessings.

Dear Jonathan
Thank you for yet another thought provoking yet comforting post. I guess we all suffer from the dreaded PLOMS on occasion but as time goes on it is easier to recognise its onset and try our own hard won remedies to treat it!
I am finding it harder to post these days because those starting out on this unplanned and unwanted part of their lives need reassurance that things will get better and although in a way I can tell them that life does become easier to navigate I can’t tell them that the pain goes away…rather it becomes an ache that one accepts and almost welcomes because it is a constant reminder of how blessed we all have been to have had the joy of that one particular person in our lives…we are what we are today because they helped mould us and their memory lives on in us.
Sometimes people ask if they will ever be normal again…I am beginning to think that now is normal…what went before was so much more than “normal” even if we didn’t understand it at the time…everyone on this site has known love in its purest sense and there are millions in this rather sad world of ours who will never have such comfort and joy.
It isn’t easy…but was it ever meant to be so? There is a light out there…some days it is easier to see than others but it is there…“seek and you will find”.
Thank you to all the so special people who post here…love has many faces and one of them is found on this site.
Take care…love and blessings to all x

In another post I said you were lucky to see the light after 10 months so I can only assume that some of the comments in your post were aimed at me.
My love for my partner means I don’ t want to live without him, that’s not because I am self pitying it’s because my life has no meaning without the man I’ve loved my entire life.
If I suffered from PLOMS as you call it I wouldn’t have struggled on for the last 17 months.
Despite losing my mother, partner and 2 of my closest friends within 18 months, I have not inflicted my pain or grief on family or friends.
Outside this forum or the counsellor I rarely talk about my losses.
Counsellors always ask about suicide and my reply was always the same " It would end my suffering but I don’t want my family and friends to suffer"
This forum is the only place I express my true feelings which is what is what it is meant for. As you say this site allows freedom of expression.
I don’t need to be patronized or preached at by others who think they or God has the answer to everyone’s grief.
If only hopeful, positive and uplifting messages were welcome a lot of people would be deterred from posting.
People who post on here should not be made to feel they are "abnormal because they can’t see a way forward.
Wishing everyone on this forum well however they feel .J

Yes indeed. “Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you”. In that wonderful picture I spoke of before there is no handle on the outside of the door. We need to knock and await it’s opening. But that all requires some action on our part, and PLOMS disease is a sinking into despair. No movement. No hope ever. No possibility of recovery. No light to be seen! Is there a cure for it? That’s up to those who suffer from it.
It does seem that I have to keep saying it, but none of us can speak from other than our own experience. If my experience ‘clicks’ with yours then we have common ground. Does it matter?
I have the utmost understanding that many tread a different path to me. To me this is journey on a very bumpy and sometimes difficult road, but at the journeys end who knows!
Was it meant to be easy? Out of pain often flows love. Changing us is maybe what this is about. I have certainly changed for the better.
Everyone goes their own way and good luck to them.
Blessings to all.

Laughter like tears, like isolation and extrovert behaviour when one is naturally introverted is a defence mechanism, it’s an indication of not coping. Creating an I’m alright Jack fantasy is probably worse than not dealing with our emotions.
The fiction that doctors and nurses deal with it ignores reality. The western world faces a critical shortage of medical professionals, up to 50 per cent of new recruits to nursing leave the profession within a year. The average age of a nurse is now 45 years. My partner was a nurse for 30 years, she was always distressed when a patient was “celestially discharged”, sometimes she cried for them in private. Me and her wine glass were her support for the same stresses of dealing with life and death every day she worked.
Blocking out your real feelings and suggesting those who don’t do the same are wallowing in self pity is perhaps an indication of someone who really isn’t coping all that well.

I entirely agree Carl. But are any of us ‘coping well’.? I worked in a hospital for 8 uyeras so I do know the strains that staff are udner.

Sorry, message jumped again. It seems to be when I begin that it happens.

As I was saying. But they do cope don’t they. I have friend who is a district nurse and has been for 30 odd years. It’s a known fact that anxiety is very much a problem in the medical profession.
I always emphasis the importance of releasing emotions and feelings and not ‘blocking them out’,
Did I say people were wallowing in self pity? All I am suggesting is that we need to try, try mind, to look forward and not think that our lives have ended.
I have to disagree about laughter being a defence mechanism. I have not laughed for 10 months. I doubt many of us here have. I was not for one moment suggesting that we should all make a joke of this awful pain. No way! But are you suggesting that the priests I listened to who were laughing about their experiences were all introverted and blocking out emotions?
As a counsellor I skope to many bereaved persons but I was not trained in bereavemeent counselling and had no idea of the pain involved. I do now.

Again message published before I finished. What is happening?

I was siugesting that we need to look forward.

I give up. It’s gone crazy. Sorry. I have reported this problem.

I better stop Carl because I no longer trust this not to jump again.
Thank you so much for your reply. We are indeed many faceted people and I doubt we will ever all agree on everything. Best wishes.

Thank You Carl for a very interesting understanding and sensitive post.
It sounds as if your partner was a very kind and caring nurse . Jx

Thanks Jackie, she was, she was also sexy, gorgeous and she loved me. I am grateful for the 21 years we had together.
She was highly thought of by her patients and co-workers. I don’t know how so many nurses and doctors got time off to attend her celebration of life memorial service on a Saturday afternoon. We’d put in the obituary to donate to two children’s charities in Oklahoma in lieu of flowers. One of those charities reported a sizeable donation from a patient she’d taken care of. One time Rhonda was late home from work, she told me she had been to Walmart to look for clothes for someone she had taken care of. The patient had no visitors or relatives near by and didn’t have any casual clothes to change into.
I could as Jonathan says feel sorry for myself. Rhonda and I were never legally married and she didn’t get time to put her affairs in order. We always intended marrying but never got round to it. When she was diagnosed we were going to so I could take proper care of her. We expected she would get two to five years fighting the cancer, she lasted just six weeks before developing sepsis from her feeding tube. So when she died I literally lost everything. Her grown up children inherit the house we shared in Oklahoma and the cash assets. They paid my plane fare back to England and gave me a few hundred pounds to get by. They say they will send more once the probate is sorted, I’m not going to hold my breath on that though.
So I’m almost 64 years old, no job, no money and staying in a spare room at my elderly parents house. I do have a job interview on Thursday though, cross your fingers for me.
In spite of my circumstances it’s not me I feel sorry for, it’s my Rhonda, she worked so hard for everything, she was the good person not me, she didn’t deserve to die so young, it’s not fair. I cry for her loss as often as I do mine.
When she was sick I asked God to take me instead, that was selfish too because then she would have been left with the loss I’m dealing with.
I guess what I’m getting at is there is no easy answer, we don’t fit in boxes, the one thing we all have in common on this site is we are all trying to deal with our grief. Even if we don’t agree airing our thoughts and reading others helps with the process.
Prayers and good thoughts, Carl.

Hi Carl ,

What a terrible , heartbreaking time you’ve had. To lose your loved one so quickly, your home and your life.
Like you I cry for my.partner he was so decent and caring. To lose his life at only 69 and the start of our retirement was so cruel .He didn’t deserve it.

It must be so hard for you starting again. Good luck with the job interview . I am sure your Rhonda is looking down and wishing you well.
Do let us know how you get on.
I hope her children come up trumps and treat you fairly you obviously loved their mother deeply.

You’re right there are no boxes to tick or for into just a daily.struggle to keep going.
My fingers are crossed for Thursday.

I have really enjoyed reading all your posts and I agree that we have to move on.
I am also 10 months into the loss of my husband and I am coping better now.
God bless you all. Xx

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