Grief

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
The air
thick
humid
sky layered
multi shades of gray,
silver, black.
Curtains of rain
fell
intermittently
Soft
then
pelting
heavy
then
not.
The hours
move quickly
and all at once
slowly
as I peer into
the abyss of
what is,
was
and will be.
Woven in
between
those layers
clouded with
grief
shrouded
painfully
sewn stitches
those
memories
embroidered
upon my soul
moments
moments
keep
unraveling
and
the rain
fell again
to the
rhythmic
Clock ticking
on the wall
endless reminder that
Time waits
for no one
marching on
and on
and on
not caring
how it is
spent.
I reach
out
in the
night
for
you
but
there
is
only
air
heavy
with
sighs
all
at once
empty
yet
full
and
past
mixes
with
present
and you
are not.
Words
left unspoken
engraved
on my heart
welling
into
muddied
puddles of regret
of what
could have been.
Should have been
and
The rain fell
and fell
and fell
and falls
then silence
and the clock
ticking
and
tocking
mockingly.
Time waits
for no one
know one.
"Spend it
well"
the second
hand said
the one
you thought
would forever be
there
is gone
in a second
I thought
you were here
but you are not
and the knot
in my stomach
tightens.
Welling up to
a choking
lump in my throat
and the cloud
layers
build again
as I drift
in between
chasing
moments
that were
and we're not
and never
will be.

Yesterday I opened the mail, it was a note regarding health insurance, "So sorry for your loss" is the new normal.......glancing over the formalities of signing up for my son and I, hubs retirement insurance, thank God we are covered, sections of the application were pre filled out. Marital status........"single" is checked off. I burst into tears.
Just like that.
The last three weeks have been hectic with work and keeping busy and drifting off to troubled sleep woken up at 2:00 am each morning by a gentle touch on my arm or thigh to no one.
It feels like I have been grieving forever over my two, and now this.
I knew hubs was not quite himself, not feeling well. He had changed, agitated and angry, grumbling, grouchy. I knew. I knew something just was not right and he spoke over and again of early retirement and money worries, pinching pennies and buying time until his birthday in September. He spoke with the girls about camping and a trip to Hilo for the Merry Monarch hula festival next year. I didn't know about that till they mentioned it in the hospital waiting room when the air was heavy with the realization that this might be it, but we pushed it aside with wishes of hope and recovery and bringing him home. I didn't really believe it deep down inside. Then I didn't believe it as it was happening, it all went down so agonizingly slowly then quickly.
I try to brush away the horrible memory of his last days. It is not with me always as I busy myself with necessities of life, but at times there are flashbacks.
I was in the canoe, we go out to the ocean and the coach yells out "12 minute pieces!" I am thinking how out of shape I am and if I can go hard for that long. Drive my blade deep into the water, feel the muscle strain and work at regulating each breath. The exertion is good and I am in our element, salt water, ocean breeze and sea birds flying above. We go on and I am relieved when each 12 minute piece ends.
We turn back for the docks and I am concentrating on correct breathing and finishing strong then all of a sudden I am thrown back into the hospital room and the terrified look on hubs face as he struggles to breathe hits me and my breathing becomes his breathing and I am choking and bewildered and overcome with emotion and the vivid imagery plays in my head like a horror film on a movie screen and I am silently screaming and I just have to get out of the canoe. Mercifully the coach pulls the canoes into the docks, not knowing what is happening to me and I hear myself tell him I have to go and he is mad because he has no idea and I push back the panic and tears as he tells me to hurry up and get out because he has no idea I am thrown back into time and I am struggling to get out, body worn and cramped and mind gone.
Breathe.
The day's slip by with life's necessities.
I have been grieving for so long.
Starting with the choices my two made and the realization there was nothing I could do to change their misdirection.
And now this.
Grief.
I muster up the courage to go on.
People ask us "How are you doing?" the answers don't come easy. Most times I shove the hurt down and put on a brave face, other times an uncontrolled recount spills out and I am reminded by the look in their eyes that they didn't really want to know that much of how I am doing, it was just a rote question, attached to a greeting.
Others avoid me altogether and that is okay.
One day at a time.
We will get through this because we have to.

Life is beautiful and fast and horrible and slow all at the same time.
Grief.
I wrestle it down and pin it to the ground defiantly, then it flips me over and laughs at me.
Taunting me.
It comes in many shades like the layers of clouds
I saw yesterday on my way to work.
Today is the last day before the summer and I will close up my office and write a list of things I need to get done at home.

The clock ticks loudly reminding me that time waits for no one.

Leaf.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Beautifully written. Beautiful explanation of how you are feeling. And a reminder that time is all we have and we can be called home at any moment.

Hugs to you and I can't imagine how hard it is to be without your other half that had been a part of you for so long.

I know that you will find peace and a new sense of happiness again but it will take some time.
 

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I am very happy to see you, New Leaf.

Marital status........"single" is checked off. I burst into tears.
Just like that.

I would have too, Leafy. You are not single. You are widowed. To name you single denies you your life. What a deeply hurtful thing.

It is not with me always as I busy myself with necessities of life, but at times there are flashbacks.

You have been brave, Leafy. I am so sorry this is happening. You will come through this.

...it all went down so agonizingly slowly then quickly.
I try to brush away the horrible memory of his last days. It is not with me always as I busy myself with necessities of life, but at times there are flashbacks.
I was in the canoe, we go out to the ocean and the coach yells out "12 minute pieces!" I am thinking how out of shape I am and if I can go hard for that long. Drive my blade deep into the water, feel the muscle strain and work at regulating each breath. The exertion is good and I am in our element, salt water, ocean breeze and sea birds flying above. We go on and I am relieved when each 12 minute piece ends.
We turn back for the docks and I am concentrating on correct breathing and finishing strong then all of a sudden I am thrown back into the hospital room and the terrified look on hubs face as he struggles to breathe hits me and my breathing becomes his breathing and I am choking and bewildered and overcome with emotion and the vivid imagery plays in my head like a horror film on a movie screen and I am silently screaming and I just have to get out of the canoe. Mercifully the coach pulls the canoes into the docks, not knowing what is happening to me and I hear myself tell him I have to go and he is mad because he has no idea and I push back the panic and tears as he tells me to hurry up and get out because he has no idea I am thrown back into time and I am struggling to get out, body worn and cramped and mind gone.

This is your healing imagery, Leafy.

The coach is you.

Can you envision what is it you need from him? Someone to hear you. Someone to hear the truama and confusion and not be afraid of the horror in it.

And someone who allows you to have and to honor your feelings and yourself.

What would you think of this coach if you stood beside and just behind him.

He is a bad coach.

He has no empathy and no compassion and he views you in ways that weaken you.

Take all the healing time you need, Leafy. The canoe is your canoe. It belongs to you. The paddle is yours, the water is yours, the strength is yours.

You could take the canoe out again.

You could stay on the ocean all night, navigating by the stars.

Tell him to shut up.

Then, tell him you require a witness. That you need validation, because this is a very hard time.

People ask us "How are you doing?" the answers don't come easy. Most times I shove the hurt down and put on a brave face, other times an uncontrolled recount spills out and I am reminded by the look in their eyes that they didn't really want to know that much of how I am doing, it was just a rote question, attached to a greeting.

Listening to raw pain is the hardest thing. Very few of us can do it. We are all so camoflaged behind whatever roles work for us. Real pain, real grief, a forever loss, blasts us from role into real and leaves us nakedly vulnerable to the pain in our own lives. That is what people turn away from, I think. It's awkward as can be. It's like we've breached the social contract by revealing our pain and confusion instead of playing "nice".

With the kids, with the feelings around my family of origin issues, I always wished there were a mark of grief I could wear. An armband, maybe, or black clothing for one year, so people would know to be gentle with me. Those old traditions are very good things. I researched Hawaiian traditions for you, Leafy. I could not find some symbol of loss for you. Maybe, you would be able to know more about how the Hawaiians mark this time.

Or Kalahou. Maybe she will know.

One of the ways is a tattoo.

***

Have you found a Bereavement Support Group, Leafy?

I used to do Bereavement Support, for Hospice. Unless things have changed, the service is sponsored by Hospice and is without charge for those in bereavement.

http://www.hospicehawaii.org/services/grief-and-support-groups/

This is something I found having to do with bereavement. I listened to her for you to see whether she was only trying to dun up money, but there was good advice and no request for money.

http://www.hawaiianmemorialparkmortuary.com/grief-and-healing/

I was so glad to see that you'd posted to us, New Leaf.

Cedar
 

Ironbutterfly

If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
Life is beautiful and fast and horrible and slow all at the same time.

The clock ticks loudly reminding me that time waits for no one.

I'm sorry you have to go through this- I love your statement about life. Keep yourself busy, find a club to join, a hobby. Write a bucket list if you haven't. I know a friend of mine did that after she lost her husband. It seemed to give her a purpose to move forward even though she was grieving.
 

Nature

Active Member
Dear Leaf,

Although my net access has been sporadic lately as I visit my sisters remote location more and more. A post written by you is the first I have been checking for when I return home as I had wondered how you were. I've said it before your kindness and wonderful spirit is evident in your writings. Each day I found myself thinking of the grief you must be feeling and how you are coping. I want you to know I and everyone you've touched is here for you. Hugs from me.

PS my partner is Dutch and his pet name for me is Leifie ( as Leif in Dutch means sweet and Leifie of course is Sweetie). Just thought you should know that your moniker also means Sweet.
 

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Warm hugs for your aching heart, Leafy. I joined a support group after my husband died. I found it to be comforting and therapeutic and helpful. I checked for the online group I joined, but it has been shut down. There are others. I think it truly helps to talk to others who are also grieving. Mainly because those who are not grieving themselves cannot listen for long without becoming too saddened. But those who are grieving need to talk and journal.

Your poem is beautiful.
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for your kind replies and support. I fear I am a bit of a pariah, it's not that people haven't been kind or reached out, it is me too, there are times I just need to be with my thoughts. I am getting a bit better as time goes by. Hard to believe it has been two months since hubs entered the hospital.
Listening to raw pain is the hardest thing. Very few of us can do it. We are all so camoflaged behind whatever roles work for us. Real pain, real grief, a forever loss, blasts us from role into real and leaves us nakedly vulnerable to the pain in our own lives. That is what people turn away from, I think. It's awkward as can be. It's like we've breached the social contract by revealing our pain and confusion instead of playing "nice".
This is so true, Cedar, it is too "in the face", awkward moments where we don't know what to say or don't want to say the wrong thing, I have been there many times.
Have you found a Bereavement Support Group, Leafy?
No group yet. I am working on tying up loose ends. I don't have the corrected death certificate, can't do any business, okay well, I could but I am stubbornly refusing to issue out an official document with erroneous cause of death. It is taking forever to fix......
Keep yourself busy, find a club to join, a hobby. Write a bucket list if you haven't. I know a friend of mine did that after she lost her husband. It seemed to give her a purpose to move forward even though she was grieving.
IB, I am moving in that direction, still busy with coaching, paddling, the kids keep me occupied. Son fell off his skateboard and needed stitches...it is like a whirlwind but I am in slow motion at times....We have to plan hubs celebration of life. We are having it at the beach, it is fitting. I think once that bridge is crossed, I will be able to move a bit more.
It is just so strange not having hubs here.
A surreal feeling.....pinch me and I will awaken from the nightmare.
You have been on my mind and heart. I appreciate that you give us a glimpse of your grief and your courage.
I don't feel very courageous Ksm, you are very kind to write that. It is just that all of it went downhill so quickly, yet slowly. Does that make any sense? I have been scouring the web for information about hubs condition, is that morbid? I need answers to questions that may be unsolvable. I want to know why the doctors didn't do what they said they would do when they said they would, why there were so many different opinions, why they didn't do more to keep hubs comfortable, why he had to suffer so. Maybe it is that old retrospect working......I don't know. It's just that it seems like so much was missed.
I hope I get some more clarity with the medical and autopsy report. Talking with my daughters, they feel the same way, all along the docs were saying that hubs was strong and they felt he would pull through. I guess in the end all, one just never knows.
And a reminder that time is all we have and we can be called home at any moment
Yes, RN, time and unforeseen circumstances can befall any of us.
I pray for peace and grace for your grieving heart
Thank you Pasa. It is a grieving of a different sort. I have been grieving my two forever it seems, all the while trying to carry on and make some sense of it. Tornado is trying to make small changes, but Rain is another story. I hope this loss may help them think more of what they make of their lives, but for Rain caught in the grip of meth, it seems it will take a long time for her to find herself.
Each day I found myself thinking of the grief you must be feeling and how you are coping. I want you to know I and everyone you've touched is here for you. Hugs from me.
Thank you so much Nature. I know you are so busy helping with your sis and mom, thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I will be okay because I have to. When I reach points where I feel I am being pulled into the emptiness, I struggle to swim up. It is all so new and raw. Like a gaping wound at times. Then there is this numbness. I have to learn all over again how to be.....how to muster up the chutzpah to keep going through this tunnel, turn the headlights on and see through the fog of it.
I am grateful for my children who are supportive and kind, they have been my backbone. We keep each other going.
Then there are my two. Up and down. Here and there I have seen Rain, she is in her own world.
I have been reading posts and marveling at all of our warrior parents who have gone through so much with d cs. Each of us on our own path.
I suppose I am at the point where I just need peace. The turmoil we have gone through on the journey took its toll on hubs and I. Coming to terms with that and how it affected our lives and relationship is part of this grieving process.
PS my partner is Dutch and his pet name for me is Leifie ( as Leif in Dutch means sweet and Leifie of course is Sweetie). Just thought you should know that your moniker also means Sweet.
:hugs:
I think it truly helps to talk to others who are also grieving. Mainly because those who are not grieving themselves cannot listen for long without becoming too saddened. But those who are grieving need to talk and journal.
I think you are spot on Pigless. It is too much for others. Maybe similar to our situation here, where we have found this safe place to write out the unspeakable, we know there is no judgement because parents that have come here to find respite understand the woes of others trying to untangle the web our d cs weave. When I am ready, I will search.
I think part of my angst is the time lost between us while I was trying to work through the pain of losing my two. Hubs simply could not talk about it. I realize now that it was too painful for him, that he buried himself in work. Copa mentioned in her post to me that hubs lived as he wanted, which is true, worked up to the end. It was his way of showing love for his family, providing. He was not a talker, he was a doer. I think oft times, people misunderstand people like hubs, quiet and pensive. In the months preceding hubs illness, there were changes in him that looking back were telltale signs. He was more reclusive and tired, was talking about finances and his desire to provide something for his children. He was pushing me away at the same time. I could see that he was not feeling well, not himself. I struggled with it, felt lonesome and bereft. I think instinctively he was trying to prepare me. The most difficult part in all of this is that we did not say farewell to one another. Maybe that is because one day, we will see one another again.
I have my work cut out for me, to get through the many emotions flowing through me, and to remember the good times. In my grief at his passing, I held his hand and sobbed uncontrollably and told him how much I loved him and that I know he didn't mean to distance himself. I know in his own way, he loved me too. I miss him terribly, as do his children.
So, we shall have to learn a whole different way of living. We shall have to remember the times we had when hubs was here, and also that he would expect us to carry on together and live with strength and dignity.
Life is precious.
I cherish my life with him.
Thank you all so very much for your understanding and your heartfelt words.
I am truly blessed to be able to have your support.
(((HUGS)))
Leaf
 

Kalahou

Well-Known Member
Dear Leaf,
Just saw this. You have spoken very beautiful words, healing words, spiritual words.
Words do not return void ... thoughts are things ... life is precious. Hub's life lives on in you all.
You have stayed strong and steadfast, even in your sorrowing time.
You know your rhythms, just as sometimes makani blows strong, sometimes whispers, then stills, silent.
All your sharings show faith, love, hope to light the way.
~ Each new day by new day ~ You know you are not alone, Tita dear.
Aloha ~ Kalahou
 
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