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My sister just called saying she is worried about Dad. She said she overheard him talking to our Grandpa (Mom's dad). He was saying that it was getting harder instead of easier. Now that the business of the funeral and thank you cards is coming to an end he is finding it hard to get back into normal day to day living. I completely understand that this is normal but I still feel so bad. My sister lives at home but occasionally will go stay with her boyfriend. She called me on her way there saying she felt terrible leaving Dad home alone. I told her she has to live her life too. She is still home most nights with Dad. Dad knows she won't be there forever. For those of you who have lost a spouse, what are some things you did or do to make things easier for yourself? My Dad likes to read but he doesn't really have any other hobbies. I wish I had something to suggest to him to make the nights easier. This is probably something he will have to figure out on his own. I feel so helpless. :cry: He lives in the country outside of a very small town so there isn't much to do. I hate the thought of him sitting there all alone feeling sad. We (my siblings and I) are taking Dad out to eat tomorrow night to celebrate Mom and Dad's anniversary so that will be a good thing. Any other ideas?

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Does he belong to a church or any other organization where he has friends? Did he and your mom have many friends in the area? It might help if people like that invite him out -- even if it's just for a coffee or something quick. After Bill passed, I had a house full of family for a week or so. Then I stayed with my parents for a few days. That first week I was home on my own, I had quite a few plans with people that kept me occupied. I had made a decision to accept people's invitations, even if I didn't really feel like it. I did some things I hadn't been able to do for a while, like going to the beach with my niece. For the most part, it was good for me.

Is there a grief group in his area? Even in a small town, a local church might have one. It typically doesn't matter whether or not you attend the church -- you can still attend the support groups.

No matter what, there is no quick or easy way to get used to being without the one you love.

I think if you could call him each day at a certain time, that would be helpful.

Just from my experience, it's still getting harder for me. And well meaning people always say things like, "I hope things are starting to feel normal again." That's probably happening to your dad. Because at first, you're consumed with things you have to do. And people call all the time. And you almost wish you could just get some peace from all of the support. You're on an adrenalin rush and in shock from the loss. Then it quiets down, and very, very slowly some reality starts to sink in. Don't be surprised if he goes through major swings, or changes his mind about things a lot. Don't expect it to be something where it goes steadily from worse to better.

You are so sweet to be putting so much energy and thoughts into your dad. Just keep being the close family that you are, and remember to take care of yourself too.

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I really don't know. I just found out recently that after my dad died, Mom would drop us off at school and most days go over to her friend's house for coffee and a cry if need be. I never knew. I did know that Mom was so blessed to have such good friends. Does you dad have anyone he can hang out with?


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Thanks Teri and Kelly. I wish my Dad was more outgoing. Right now he is in the habit of saying, "Mom took care of all that stuff." She was the one that got everyone together. Dad always says, "All I had to do was show up." He is kind of quiet and isn't one to ask people to do things. I don't know of any support groups locally. There are a couple of people, including an old neighbor of ours that have lost their spouses at a young age. I have thought about contacting them to see if they would mind reaching out to Dad. Maybe they already have. Not sure. I am sure right now he is feeling like he is the only one feeling as low as he does. Maybe it would help if he knew other people felt the same way.

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I think contacting other people who might reach out is a good idea. Sometimes people don't quite know what to do. Especially if there is someone that your dad can relate to.

The other idea I had, is does your dad like animals and does he have a cat or dog at home? Because I'll tell you, I cannot imagine going through this and feeling an "empty house" without my canine companion.

When my grandmother had a stroke and my grandfather was pretty old then too, we snuck out one day and got her a parakeet (she confessed that she would love one). It's the last thing my grandfather wanted. Do you know that bird was such a blessing. It gave them both so much joy -- it was out of it's cage visiting them more often than not.

Animals are very healing. They accept you as you are, and they give you a living thing to care for.

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As he likes to read, a volunteer

job at a library could take care of

some time and make him met people

that like reading also, I did some

for a friend of us after Mike died

he had a second hand book store and

I had a wonderful time working for

him, met new people interested in

reading and was able to make suggestions

about the new books we had received

and not placed yet and now have two

new friends that I met there.

Just my two cents.


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I think you are so sweet to want to help your father through this tough time. I don't know if there is one answer that will the right one for your dad. This is really a personal experience and everyone goes through it in their own way.

I know that the first few months after my husband passed, I thought were so hard and so scary that I thought I was at my lowest point. To my surprise, it actually got worse from there. I think there is a period of time where your mind buffers you, and you are a little numb. But as that numbness wears off and reality sets in, it gets so much more difficult.

right about the time people started asking me if it was getting any easier because time had passed, is about the time it actually was getting harder...because time had passed. Instead of getting more peace with the passing of time, I was more aware of how long it had been since I saw his smile. I missed him more and more. As time went on I found I'd feel more and more grief over the little things that my brain would not remember. It was too long since... well since everything. I couldn't mentally recall the sound of his laughter. I couldn't remember the exact way his nose would wrinkle when he stuck his tongue out at me. I would obsess about trying to remember ever freckle, ever joke he ever told me. And what disturbed me, is that I knew that if I couldn't remember every great thing about him even though he was my true love, then others might forget great things about him too.

Having people around me, talking to me, letting me talk about him really really helped me a lot. However I also realized there was going to be a time when people had to get back to their lives and I would have to learn to deal with my life and my time all alone. What I did, was I started a project journal. A friend bought me a blank journal where I could sit and write any thoughts and any grief I had whenever it occurred. No one ever would read my pages, they were for me to be completely open and dump my pain into. Sometimes friends or family would tell me memories or stories of Keith that I would add to my journal to remember always. It really did help to know that others still thought about him, still remembered him, and as they were going about their lives would have moments where Keith touched their lives. That knowledge helped a lot.

The project grew in time, to include more of a collection of Keith'ism and memories, scrap book, DVD retrospective, musical tribute and expression of my love and gratitude for him. It started out very hard, with every word written in tears and near hysterics but as the months passed, I found that sometimes as I'd write I'd be smiling or even laughing at some really off the wall memory of his goofy and wacky sense of humor. Now when I go back and write or read, it is comforting to see in writing the love we shared. I was so very lucky and so very blessed.

If your father likes to read, maybe he'd also enjoy writing his own love story. Or maybe a project to preserve and share her memory might occupy his time and give him a purpose.

It's been 1 year, 3 months and 6 days. It's still hard, but I think I'm starting to see days where is isn't getting harder and where I can actually believe that in time I will be ok.

I hope your father can find strength at this difficult time, and make it through to the days where he smiles more than he cries and can be grateful for what he had with your mother verses feeling the pain of what he's lost.

Wishing your family all of God's grace and love


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