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Worried about Bob's wife, Jo


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I just wish I knew what to do to help her. She is with us a lot of the time, and we spend every single Saturday evening with her since we always spent that night with them anyhow.

The thing is, she looks like she has aged 10 years to me, and she is so fragile.

Tell me if any of you know what might help. She says all her life memories are of Bob and her, and that she feels this horrible cutting pain most days, and it swamps her like a wave coming from behind her.

She went to Ohio to visit her daughter for Easter, and that is a good thing, but she is sick with stomach flu there, and her daughter says she is going through the first trip without him, first holiday without him, first time type stuff too.

Just guess I needed to say we are very concerned about her and we miss Bob so very much.

Thanks for listening



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Hi, Nell. I am sorry to hear things are going so hard. I don't have the answer either. I guess you are all doing it, one foot in front of the other. Things will never be the same, maybe in time we get used to it. Stay busy. I see she is making the effort, maybe that is the best we can do. Make the effort and give it a lot of time. Love, Margaret

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Nell, I am 7 1/2 months out, out from the worst day of my life. The best advice I can give you to help Jo is to stay there for her. Keep her busy.

When Earl first died I was enveloped by family and friends. I was fearful that this would go away as time passed. It has faded a small amount. But they are all still there for me. Now I am an obnoxious, proactive person and 'kind of' don't let them go away.

It does not get easy, at least not yet. But it is easier. It is not that heart wrenching sobbing and feeling of loss that was there in the beginning. Time gives us wrinkles etc. but it is merciful.

Try and encourage Jo to wake up with a purpose. It could be redecorating the house, volunteering, knitting premie hats for a hospital, anything that helps her looking forward to the day. An occupied mind and busy hands really help.

Tell Jo we are thinking of her.

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I know how helpless you are feeling. I am feeling the same way about my Mom.... Dad has been gone 3 months and the loss for her is just staggering.... We have tried to keep her as busy as possible, she has been proactive in reaching out to friends and has gotten "alittle" involved with the AARP in her town - but as she always says" When all is said and done, she still has to come home to an empty house without the person she loved most in the whole world". It just seems no matter what we do, its not enough and we can only ease the pain for short periods of time. I have come to the conclusion that this is Mom's battle, she must deal with it on her own terms and I pray that she eventually makes peace with it. She too has aged and lost weight she is 74 years old and never looked a day over 65, now she is showing her age and she is even beginning to act somewhat feeble which is so unlike her. Death is a major trauma to ones system and I pray time will change things. Until then, I do what I can, I pray for her and I put trust into Gods hands.... I will pray for Jo also. Love, Sharon

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Grief is a physical pain just as it is emotional. It takes a toll on your body. It is always hard to know how to help someone when you see them suffering. Telling them that it will get better doesn't help that much because when we are hurting so deeply we can't believe that the pain will ever be less. My only suggestion is that you be available when she needs you and give her space and time to grieve when she needs it. Sometimes the only thing that can get us past those first gut wrenching months is to allow ourselves to be totaly swallowed by our grief for a while.

There are no easy answers. Each person is different and each person grieves differently. In my case I wanted people around me then when I had them I wanted to be alone. It took me a very long time to get to a point where I could face each day without that pure torture that comes when we lose someone so much a part of us.

The answer for me was meditating and prayer. After nearly two and a half years I have found some peace but it is not a sure thing. There are still days when I want to cover my head and forget that I am still alive. I try to live one day at a time and one minute at a time. Looking at a future without Johnny is just too frightening so I miss him today and don't think about the days ahead. Each day I just ask God to give me what I need to get through this day. So far that has helped me.

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