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Old 02-23-2015, 04:28 PM   #21
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We all grieve differently is the first point I would like to make and stress. No one can tell you how to do it. Personally I lost my DW very quickly (aneurism) totally unexpected and without warning late last year during early December. We were together for 55 years, raised 4 kids and basically grew up together. Shared a wonderful life. What has worked for me was to keep busy (as you have mentioned doing) and finding something to do every day to direct your attention to. The nights were really the hard part of the early days. I second the grief support group. I did not think that one was for me but after some family prodding to go I found that having others in similar but not identical circumstances can be very comforting after I gave it a chance. Have a while to go with the support group but I feel it has and can help further. Funny thing is that I am currently in NE Florida staying with my younger DS and have looked at homes thinking I want to relocate and sell the place up North (in OH, by the way). Now I have gotten ambivalent about the move thing which is another reason I find to slow down or as my oldest DS says "don't get the wagon in front of the horse".

Grief is a process that many of us will face and it will take time to work through.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:31 PM   #22
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When my husband died I kept a notebook with me at all times. You never know what will pop into your mind and then just disappear from your brain really fast...those notes were very valuable to me. I still have it and still sometimes use it as a reference. Ask questions and get answers and annotate everything in that notebook. I have no idea how I did it..it's a big blur right now when I think about it.

Take care of your health too. After you go thru all that stress your body might need to rest a little.


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Old 02-23-2015, 04:46 PM   #23
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I'm so sorry about your husband.

I encourage you to take up the opportunities to go to Europe with friends. After my father died and my mother completed her chemotherapy, I took her to London for a week. We rented an apartment (try homeaway.com or airbnb.com) so we could go out just for the morning and she could rest in the afternoon - I didn't want to tire her out.

Best laid plans: she was so excited to be there, she was an energizer bunny. She just kept going all week. When she came back, she slept well, but her friends told me that she was completely renewed.

There followed trips to New York City, Venice, St. Petersburg (not FL), Rio de Janeiro (she was 79 at this point), and back to London and NYC before she had to put away the suitcase and start being an old person.

I think a trip away from your "work" is what you need to start your next phase. Best wished to you.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:46 PM   #24
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Litgal, heartfelt condolences to you.
Sorry, can't help you in this regard.
You seem to a tough lady, best wishes to you.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:34 PM   #25
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Condolences.

I lost my DW after a long illness 2 1/2 years ago. I honestly can't remember doing the paperwork, but the estate was very simple and getting help from the various parties was pretty easy. The worst was the store credit cards. I'd call and all would be cancelled but then more $0 balance notices would show up in the mail. And a few times bills with new charges months after she was gone. I still have a small 401K to deal with though.

I did not lay back on decisions for at least a year as I should have. I made a few stupid purchases (anyone in the market for a '72 Ranchero?), and might have retired sooner than optimal, but luckily the house was (is) in such disarray I couldn't sell even now for another couple months. (DW was a pack rat on the verge of hoarder, and I'm not much better.) So I agree with most advice here - go slow.

I tried a grief group but didn't find it overly helpful. There were a lot of people there every month that seemed stuck and in the group for many years as well as an age difference. Individual counseling was much more helpful for me but was very hard to deal honestly with. So if your first choice in counseling doesn't work, move on to another type. They're all very different. I remember not being able to read a book for the first year. My mind would wander to bad places. The therapist helped with that and the guilt.

Only suggestion other than go slow is take a vacation from your situation when it gets overwhelming. Your life will gain a new sense of normalcy eventually.

Best Wishes.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:58 PM   #26
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I am very sorry for your loss. It sounds to me like you're a pretty strong person, who is organized and self-sufficient. I think you're doing all the right things - having something down the road (literally, in your case) to look forward to is a great plan. A long time ago I came across a little book called How to Survive the Loss of a Love. It describes all the phases of grief, and how you must go through them. Nothing but time takes care of this part. You just need to get used to your "new normal". Be good to yourself - this is one of the biggest stressers anyone go through.

I have a stack of these books that I give to friends going through a big loss - they've all really been glad they took the time to read it.

I'll keep you in my prayers. Hang in there - brighter days are ahead.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:21 PM   #27
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When my husband died I was determined to be efficient so I packed all his clothes and took them to good will but then I was unable to fill in the space with my clothes . If you opened our closet my clothes would be huddled together and then this big empty space on the other side .I eventually filled the space but it took several months .Don't give away everything ! Save something of his until you are ready to part with it .
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:56 PM   #28
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Best wishes to what lies ahead of you.

(May want to try lease before you commit to buying condo, RV. )
Yeah-- my brother suggested I come out to CA and drive one around for a few days while he gives me pointers. That should provide some "proof of the pudding" on whether buying one would be a good idea.

Re. the condo: I can already tell that I'd do better in the ones that seem fairly spread out, not the ones where people might feel crammed in on top of each other.

While I can live in small places, I always need space around that little place where I might live.

Thanks for your response!
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:08 PM   #29
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I think the point is these are not "normal" times for you and things might not feel "normal" for quite some time. Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend..you sound like a fun well-adjusted lady going thru a huge stressful event. Maybe focus in on one fun thing at a time, instead of several things.
What a great statement: "These are not 'normal' times."

Yup, no matter how much I let distractions keep me from the chores.......there is nothing I can do to make any of this "normal." You are so right.

There's not one thing I can do to make him walk back in that door.

(So, maybe I daydream too much about getting myself out of here?)

I never was much of a homebody.........until he came along. So, maybe I'm reverting to the old ways......defaulting to my old M.O. from the years before I met that dear one.

Thanks for the wisdom!

(Oh, and yes-- various girlfriends are coming around and we're planning at least 1-2 fun outings a week. Once again, am so grateful that ER makes this possible. It would be WAAAAAAAAAAAY worse if I had to go back to work and start grading reams of essays again.....)
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:48 PM   #30
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I have been widowed 12 years. The first year is the hardest. Try to avoid making any big decisions if possible. Get out and see friends and meet new people.
You can't rush the grieving process. Counceling is a good idea.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:12 PM   #31
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I am so sorry to hear about your husband. My sincere condolences.

I haven't been widowed, although years ago I did initiate and go through with a rapid divorce after 23 years of marriage. Not to say that's the same at all, but there are a few analogies. I have some suggestions and please feel free to take them or leave them! Here goes.

You know how people say to not make any major decisions for a year or two after becoming widowed? I see these:

1. buying a condo
2. buying a big RV
3. going on two trips to Europe

as major decisions. I wonder if you have given yourself enough time to go through a mourning period first, before you move on. No need to wallow in it, if you don't want to, but it may take some time to face everyday, normal life without him. You can't run from it. I have no idea if you are or not, just pointing that out.

If it was me (and I know it's not! ) I'd set aside #1 and #2 above for a year or two, and maybe schedule one trip to Europe less than a month long as a compromise.

Good for you to be getting through all the paperwork and so on! That's got to be so painful and difficult to do. You've probably already done this, but donating all of my father's clothes was a big help for my mother after he passed away.

Take care and like everyone else, I wish nothing but the best for you as you grieve and deal with this situation.
Ditto.

Katrina - moved 1000 miles inland with a pickup truck of what could grabbed in a couple hours. My girlfriend of 29 yrs and my 89 year old Mom passed away within the next 4 months.

Plug away at any needed paperwork and give yourself permission to do what it takes to grieve.

heh heh heh -
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:32 AM   #32
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Ditto.

Katrina - moved 1000 miles inland with a pickup truck of what could grabbed in a couple hours. My girlfriend of 29 yrs and my 89 year old Mom passed away within the next 4 months.

Plug away at any needed paperwork and give yourself permission to do what it takes to grieve.

heh heh heh -

Wow. I am so sorry to hear about your weathering 3 disasters in a four-month time period. You have my sincere condolences.

Advice taken.

Many thanks.

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Old 02-24-2015, 11:10 AM   #33
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When my husband died I was determined to be efficient so I packed all his clothes and took them to good will but then I was unable to fill in the space with my clothes . If you opened our closet my clothes would be huddled together and then this big empty space on the other side .I eventually filled the space but it took several months .Don't give away everything ! Save something of his until you are ready to part with it .
You did better than I did. I tried to take all of DW's clothes to Good Will shortly after her death, but I couldn't do it. In my case, there was no issue. Having gone from a household of 4 to a household of one, I had plenty of extra closet space. Her clothes went to Good Will as I was getting the house ready to sell more than a year later. At that point I didn't have the overwhelming emotional issues. I did keep a couple of her favorite pieces along with other mementos.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:36 PM   #34
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I would think that grieving should be your number one priority. Don't make any drastic or big moves until you heal a little bit.
Condolences
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:50 PM   #35
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I have nothing to offer but my condolences, and to wish you strength and peace during this difficult time.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:57 PM   #36
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I am so sorry for all of your losses.

LitGal

I agree with the others that said you should not make any big decisions for a while. I have always heard a year. I would grieve, take trips, enjoy your friends and be good to yourself. You sound like you have a wonderful attitude and I wish you the best.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #37
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I am so sorry for all of your losses.

LitGal

I agree with the others that said you should not make any big decisions for a while. I have always heard a year. I would grieve, take trips, enjoy your friends and be good to yourself. You sound like you have a wonderful attitude and I wish you the best.
I appreciate a theme that's running through everyone's advice: grieve, take care of yourself, and have fun.

In other words, it sounds like all this stuff will eventually get done, one way or another. (Instead, I've kept telling myself that, once all the work gets done, then there will be time to grieve and be nice to myself.)

Maybe I should turn the order of those activities around; but old habits die hard (eg."When I get x done, I can go on vacation." or " After I slave away for x number of years, I'll be able to retire, kick back, and have fun.")

Maybe, in this situation, the rules change? Even though I'm trying to be conscientious with all this &%#* paperwork and cleanout, I really just want to get out of here and go on a trip.

(Maybe that would quench some of the "downsize-to-a-condo" and" buy-an-RV" urges....)

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Old 02-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #38
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LitGal, of course only you are going to be the final arbiter on this one. I've heard that loosing a loved one is one of the toughest things in life and believe it from my own loss of my parents.

If it makes you happy to cross some things off the todo list, then that is fine too. If you just want to get out in the world and fly around a little, that is fine as well. Then there is the compromise mix of things too.

It's all just what you want.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:50 PM   #39
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LitGal, I have a dear longtime friend who lost her husband 3 years ago last month. For Christmas, she gave my DH a shirt of her late husband's that he'd worn on a very memorable vacation we took together about 12 years ago. I thought it was a good sign that she was able to go through his clothes, and that she chose to select a few things to share with his friends as remembrances of those many good times.

Another friend kept the outfits his late wife wore in all the photos they'd taken on their many cruise vacations, and was able to give away the rest after a time.

Those are my only useful examples for you, and I offer you my sincere condolences on your loss.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #40
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LitGal, of course only you are going to be the final arbiter on this one. I've heard that loosing a loved one is one of the toughest things in life and believe it from my own loss of my parents.

If it makes you happy to cross some things off the todo list, then that is fine too. If you just want to get out in the world and fly around a little, that is fine as well. Then there is the compromise mix of things too.

It's all just what you want.
Yeah, you've hit the nail on the head. I am dutifully crossing stuff off the list. But then I'm going to check out Southwest's current off-season "deals." DB and I were chatting at length last night about the fact that I have absolutely no idea about how to drive or maintain an RV. So, maybe I'll jump on a plane to Sacramento; he'll pick me up and we'll head to Santa Cruz in one of his RV's for the weekend. He'll teach me how to drive one and show me what is required for keeping it going. That will give me an idea of whether I really want to try such a venture or not.

(I have no mechanical aptitude or interest. He does, and camped with me when we were growing up. So he knows that I'm more pre-occupied with museums than with how much air is in the tires.)

So, a 1-2 week jaunt like this could easily dissuade me from one hair-brained (?) idea.........and also be a chance to hang out with old friends before returning to my to-do list here.

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