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Posts posted by glo

  1. I'll chip in my nickel's worth here too as a widow. God, who knew how much that word could hurt??

    I believe the grieving forum is a good thing, but as to whether there should be a split off into subgroups, that's immaterial to me personally. I'm sure it can work -- I also think we can make it work as is, with a little careful consideration.

    I do understand that witnessing the horrid details of our grief can be demoralizing to those struggling to stay positive, but the title of each forum tells you if it's apt to be something you want to read or not. I personally skip reading lots of categories.

    I think it is courteous of those of us who are grieving to confine our descriptions of that grief and our requests for help with it to the grieving or obituary forums and confine our posts in General and in Family Members etc. to more positive thoughts. If someone is asking for help in those general forums on the topic of grief or after-death issues, we can merely post a reply something like "I'll start a new thread in the grieving forum to tell you all I know about that". Gives readers a choice to view or not. Ann is a shining example of this - she stays and contributes all kinds of positive help in all the forums.

    The only thing in this whole issue that I would REALLY not like to see happen is a grief site established that is separate from lchelp.org with just a link posted. That really does mean "goodbye, we don't need you anymore". And it would certainly not be fair to expect Katie and Rick to establish and maintain a whole new site.

    As to whether we should move on and find "another forum like this, but for grieving" - please -- there is not another forum like this anywhere for any subject. People here "get" each other.

    As others have pointed out, it's an always evolving website, and there will always be issues to resolve. You can't make everybody happy all the time, but you can make everybody welcome.

  2. Peggy - so glad your CTs are clear! Yay! And I'm so proud to call you my friend.

    I'll pm you an address to keep in touch. I think the board would lose an important member if you leave, but I also believe in your ability to know what's right for you. Just make it your own decision and not somebody else's.

    I'd like you to know that you have impressed me very strongly with your ability to reach out and offer support and love to others even in the darkest days of your own struggles. You're a class act, Lady!

    Hope you stick around.


  3. Ooh, wow, Becky. Raised goosebumps. Holy cow -- I work on the 22nd floor! Quite a few people have gotten trapped in our elevators, but I think they've always been able to get them unstuck and people got out the doors in the normal fashion. Whew. What an experience for you. You're definitely a trooper, girl.

    A friend and I were in with about 3 other people one day and the elevator came to a sudden jerky stop on 11th floor and wouldn't open or start again. Security didn't immediately answer us either. Usually if anybody even accidentally brushes that alarm button the response is instantanious, but this day we had to push it three times before we got an answer, but they must have had a reset switch or something because it then started right up and descended normally.

    Wow, glad you're ok.

  4. Shirley and Ann -

    I'm so thrilled for you both. Couldn't happen to nicer people.

    I think good news like this is uplifting to everyone on the forum - it really is proof that even the most devastating of events can be survived and although life is never the same, it can be good again.

    And both of your guys sound so great.

    Best wishes to you both and keep us posted on the wedding plans.

  5. Awww, this is such a sweet thread, started by one of the biggest hearted people on the forum. It has really inflated me today -- can I ask somebody to let just a little air back out? I'm floating above my house and can almost touch the roof with my toes, but can't quite get back down -- and it's raining out here. At least I'll be clean. :lol::lol:

    Love you Shelley - you're so strong, girl!

  6. Val - that's so wonderful! I'm happy that you had that experience.

    Katie - your post made me laugh, because that's exactly what I think about having no such dreams of Chuck - he was not a talker, either. Your dad and my husband really do sound so much alike.

  7. Lillian, it is very, very hard. I'm so sorry you have all these struggles that add to an already heavy burden of grief. Please know that we all do care for you. I admire the kind of work you do, and the way that you put your whole soul into it. You are furnishing your elderly clients the kind of comfort that you yourself are yearning for just now. Please trust that the caring you are giving will come back to you someday in some way. Hoping for your financial situation to turn around soon.


  8. Sooo glad the tests came out ok, Katie. I had my fingers and toes crossed and my prayers said. My mom has had about three different bp meds lately too, although her pressure is being controlled, she's having other unpleasant side effects and has lost a LOT of weight over the last six months or so. They also discovered she is borderline anemic, so hopefully the latest bp med and some iron will fix her up. She's 91 and in remarkably good health otherwise.

    Hug your mom for all of us and remind her what a huge group of people care about her.

  9. Both Lilly and Val gave some good advice. Everybody reacts differently to grief. Let me just tell you that I CAN'T order a headstone -- my son has been dead 16 years and husband for two years, and I STILL can't do it. I never go to the cemetary. They aren't there -- I talk to them and picture them here in my house and other places where their memories are.

    I think the advice to ask if he would like you to order the headstone is good - I think I'll ask my daughter to do that for me, and I'll gladly pay for it. Just can't face it.

    I did go through my husband's clothes early on and remove them from the house except for a few fleece shirts, jackets, etc. that I like to snuggle in during the winter, and that are nice to have on hand if my sisters or his visit and haven't brought jackets. This always feels like he's with us and helping to look out for us like he always did.

    I do feel the urge to rearrange furniture; get rid of some pieces and make it more "my" house than "ours". Sometimes my daughter (30 years old) gets quiet and I know it's strange for her to see the house change, but she knows she can have anything of his she wants, and she smiles when she notices that when I've redone a room I'm careful to put something back that shows I haven't erased him -- got rid of his huge desk, but kept the little nameplate he once brought home from work - kept the pencil cup with hunting designs on it -- little things like that.

    My situation is different from your Dad's of course, because there is nobody new in my life. My mom has been a widow for nearly 30 years, and I can't even imagine what it would have felt like if she'd remarried -- I know I could not have stayed as freely in her house and felt as at home as I do now. And it's not the house -- she has moved a couple times since my dad died. It's just about sharing their heart and surroundings with someone new.

    I wish you all the best. The cards; what to call her; all of it is a heartache, but I'm sure you want your dad to be happy and you'll work it out. Since he's willing for you to have your Mom's things, perhaps you and your sister could share the cost of a storage space for all of it for a while until it gets absorbed into your houses -- and who knows, your dad and his new wife may want some of it back later.

    My sister-in-law went through the situation you are now in. She and her sister very much resented the new woman, especially because this woman had grown-up children and the dad gave some things to his new wife's children that his own children thought should be theirs. After some time passed, though, they came to accept that she made him happy and took care of him in ways that they couldn't and they accepted her.

    Best of luck - it must be very hard.

  10. Thinking of you also, Katie and Rick. As you know, this time of year is my bad time, too. Although it's hard, this Katrina disaster also puts me in my place when I start feeling sorry for myself.

    You have such a huge heart, Katie -- and you totally honor your dad with your determination to help the refugees. It IS so gosh darn frustrating. I have so many clothes, and household STUFF that those people need desperately, but no way to get it to them. You're close enough to take some of your stuff to the refugee centers and that's great that you want to and will. It's sad that in emergencies we can't get stuff distributed fast enough. I understand the shipping problems, etc. but darn it, there's gotta be a better way.

    I will take my stuff to the Salvation Army here - and they usually do find a way to ship to disaster areas, but it takes so long. I saw on TV that Sacramento has sent their search and rescue team, and troops have been deployed from Travis air base and Mather.

    I agree with the others, Katie -- take your time and figure out the best and safest way to help -- we need our Brown family safe!

  11. Oh, my goodness. Hang in there you two. I'll be right back -- going out for kleenex. Nothing wrong with crying -- I'm just so, so sorry that you both have so much sadness to handle. Seems like we all do at some time or another. I guess that's the human condition. Like Rich says we all are getting older and the alternative to gettin' old is none too attractive, either.

    Ok, I'm back with your tissues. Softpuff with aloe lotion so not to make the nose sore. Hugs and good wishes for both of you. Sure hope tomorrow is a brighter day.

  12. Whoo-hoo! One year is a big deal. And I think you do need to go for Style points. I'm voting you ten big ones, Beth. I've liked your style from your first post. You're unsinkable!

    So glad to hear about the celebration. I'll have a whole pitcher of strawberry margaritas and then let Brian and Pat drive me home -- which for sure they'll have to do, because even one margarita can put me under the table.

    Thanks Cindi for setting up the celebration!

    Go Beth!

    Go Cindi!

  13. Paddy -

    Of course David will find you. Didn't the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus find Katie after Curtis moved? I think they all have GPS now and if they have it, it surely must be in Heaven too!

    All kidding aside, I think you're doing the right thing. I've stayed in my house, but like Ginny said, even those of us who stay find ourselves redecorating, changing things in some way. I've donated several pieces of furniture, bought new sofa and loveseat, cut down a tree in the backyard -- constantly replacing things. I do feel the need to make it "mine" now. And some of it is just the need to fill the time when I'm alone here. Now I have the time to do all those things I used to only think about.

    I know your family will enjoy having you close and I think it'll be good for you to not be alone so much.

    Best wishes, my friend.

    Hang in there.

  14. (((Berisa))) -

    The first anniversary is difficult, but like others said sometimes the dreading of it is worse than the actuality, and once through it, that's one more "first" out of the way. All of these "first" events without them hurt, but going through it somehow lessens the pain of the second time around. You have everything to be proud of and nothing to feel guilty about -- you did everything possible for your dad. Fact is we all search for something to feel guilty about, and can usually latch onto something, but really we did the best we could with the situation as it was at the time.

    Later, we look back and fret -- in reality, your only option at the time was to raise a big fuss arguing to stay, which if done in his room might have really upset him, and possibly caused him to die panicky and worried for his daughter, and if done outside his room might have merely gotten you escorted from the hospital and less cooperation from the hospital staff the next day if he had lived. You could not have known how close to death he was, and his last conscious thoughts were surely warm ones of how caring you are, whether you were still holding his hand or not.

    I agree with Katie, you were already a success in his eyes the minute you were born. But yes, we do especially miss them when we have an important event to celebrate. We will all eventually adjust to this life without them and go on, because to do otherwise would dishonor their memory. Their faith in us lives on.

    Wishing you well, Berisa. You are one terrific daughter.

  15. Love you Katie

    You made me laugh, not cry, because I've been there too -- maybe not as frantically, but I looked, because my husband did know how sick he was -- long before I did, I'm sure. Like your dad, he wasn't a person to express his feelings much through words; he chose actions too. He would always go to incredible lengths to do things for our daughter and for me, but he didn't feel the need to talk about it.

    When I was paying bills and doing all those paperwork things we all have to deal with after a death, I also hoped to find some kind of letter or note. Amazingly, I did find a birthday card under the blotter on his desk. It was a Husband to Wife birthday card, but unsigned and nothing written on it. It was a little weird. He died on Sept. 1 and my birthday is Nov. 22. Now, I'd kinda like to think he bought the card in advance and didn't have a chance to write on it or sign it, but I'm more inclined to believe he bought it for a previous birthday and forgot it -- or perhaps found two he liked one year and stuck the extra one under there for next year. Don't really know, but my daughter pointed out that it probably wasn't that he bought it early thinking he might not be here on my birthday -- if that were true, where's the card for her birthday on Oct. 5 -- before mine! And we both laughed. I was happy that she felt so confident in his love that she KNEW if he had bought the card in anticipation of not being here, there would have been one for her too. And she's absolutely right. She was his pride and joy -- another Daddy's baby girl.

    Katie - I've had nothing I can attribute to signs from him, BUT I've experienced things that feel like help, such as going to the desk -- which was primarily his territory, and he paid the bills, did all the paperwork -- to look for something I thought would take real searching, such as his army discharge papers and info on a small pension he received from a long-ago employer. EVERYTHING I needed was easily found. And neither of us were that well organized.

    There are things around the house that let me know he was aware that he'd never do again some of the things he'd done all his life -- I don't think he necessarily was aware that he wouldn't live long, but I think he knew he'd be limited -- maybe even in a wheelchair. Old lumber, pieces of lattice, plastic pipe, etc. that were stored in an area at the side of the house were all gone - lumber was cut into blocks of a size that would fit in the fireplace insert and stacked by the woodbox out back. (He was a general contractor, and worked from home). When I've cleaned out the garage, I can tell by empty drawers that he reorganized and gave away some stuff.

    The only real instructions he gave me were for the sprinklers, when he realized he couldn't go out and turn the valves anymore. He had some convoluted, jerry-rigged methods that required opening a valve on the waterline, then manually opening one of the manifold valves, reclosing them after the run, etc. This was all because there was a leak in one of the lines that he hadn't been able to find, so solved it by installing a shutoff so it couldn't leak between runs -- not very automatic sprinklers, but if he hadn't shown me how, I'd never have figured it out. I intend to have somebody redo the whole works someday so if I go on a trip, I don't have to put my poor neighbor through this routine. :lol:

    Anyway, it doesn't surprise me to have no signs from him -- even if it's possible, I can just imagine him saying -- "why? you know how I feel".

    Right now I'm organizing my household files and trying to put things in order -- mostly trying to figure out if I should retire at the end of this year or work a few more years. I have an appointment with a financial counselor and have to dig out info for that. Then I'm going to put it all together in a notebook with a detailed list of assets, liabilities, etc.

    From my own wish for notes or letters, I intend to intersperse some notes for my daughter. She's more like her Dad than like me, so it's easier to just tell her what notebook or drawer to look in if something should happen to me than it is to talk to her about such stuff.

    Like some others have said, I now end every phone conversation with my daughter, mother and other family members with "I love you" and say it to my daughter every time she leaves my presence. Losing someone does make you more aware and appreciative of what we have.

    Keep on keeping on, Katie -- we'll all make it, but it will never be easy.

  16. ((((Karen))))

    I'm home today with not much on my schedule, so I'm programming that erratic organ that serves as my brain to send continuous good vibes to you all day! Ooops, did you just feel a sharp pinch on your left shoulder?? It was meant to be a soft hug! Back to the programming.

    Seriously, I wish I was close enough to just come to your house and run interference and take over your duties while you just soak in the tub, take a nap, listen to music, read a book, and feel a few hours of being Karen. Being a caregiver is exhausting, scary, lonely and so much more and you have so many other issues to contend with.

    Keep on venting here.

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