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Dennis has been gone for 15 months now and it still amazes me how the oddest little things can bring me to my knees and totally break my heart and my spirit! One of the last things Dennis accomplished was to set up and stock a 150 gallon fish tank in our home. This project was very good for him and kept his mind occupied on things other than cancer. My Dennis was a very detail oriented individual and anything he did had to be done just right or he was not satisfied! I remember taking him to a store, almost 100 miles from our home, just so he could select the right rocks for the bottom of the tank. I remember he was so weak at the time. The owner of the business brought him a chair and I would drag over box after box of rocks to him so he could find the special rocks. During his teen years, Dennis had breed fancy tailed guppies and mollys and had won shows with his prize fish. This is what he wanted to do again! After weeks, he got the tank all set up and we got some fish. By this time, Dennis was too ill to take part in caring for them and I was a real novice. We did have one guppy that gave birth to babies and we were able to save three of them. There was one very special colored guppy that was Dennis's favorite. Dennis so wanted to see the offspring this fish would produce. She was pregnant, but poor Dennis could not hold onto life here on earth to see her give birth. Dennis died on December 15th and on Christmas Eve, a miracle happened for our family. That little guppy gave birth to one tiny little baby...just one! How we all cried...just as I am doing now! My son has that tank at his house now, as it was all too painful for me to see on a daily basis. Every rock, plant and fish was somehow a part of Dennis. I hadn't thought of this in months now and then last night, while buying catfood at the pet store, I overheard a conversation between a salesman and a man about the guppies he was purchasing. I broke out in tears and had to run out of the store, leaving my cat food behind. It really does amaze me how these little things can stay so reserved in our hearts and mind but still cause so much "fresh" pain! Thanks for listening!!!

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Boy do I know what you mean. Last week I finally got my niece to go to town with me. In fact she needed me to take her somewhere. I was glad for the company and enjoyed the time we spent together. We were at Costco shopping and I walked a litte ahead of her and that is when it hit me. Right in front of me were the floral displays. I don't have a card so never shop there. The last time I had been in a Costco was the night before Johnny's memorial service. We went to one in Olympia to buy some groceries and snacks for the next day. I bought two dozen chamgane colored roses for his service.

When I saw that floral display last week it was as if time had thrown me backward. I got that ache inside of me and the tears came on suddenly. I have trouble buying strawberries or getting my hair cut. Such simple things all hold such intense memories that they can throw me back in just one second. I can't help but wonder if there will ever be a time that normal everyday things will ever feel normal again. Lillian

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I know that feeling as well, sometimes I think those little things are the hardest to overcome.. I have lost some people that were very dear to me even my best friend, but nothing has affected my daily life like the loss of my dad.. I hope today is a better day for you...

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Guest Laura

Dear Ann, My Fla. Neighbor,

I know how you feel. I'm at my mom's this week for spring break, and it is my first visit back since Sam died in Jan. It's been a tough week. It's been the week of a bunch of first's for Mom, and her grief is still so fresh. Sam's death has left such a void in all of our lives. We miss him so.

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Laura, please tell Mrs. Sam hello for me. I know how lonely and empty life must be for your family. I never really noticed just how very quiet stillness can be. There's such a void that is left in our lives after we lose someone we love. I agree with you about the difficulty of all those "firsts" that we experience. I will never forget the first time I went out to dinner alone. Sure, I had gone out alone for a bite before....but I knew that it was by choice...not a requirement. Another really hard one is when you prepare your income tax for that first time and have to select...WIDOW. I never knew just how hard, harsh and cold that word can be!

I know you all must miss Sam...as I miss him also. He was a wonderful member of this LC family. It was his spirit and words of encouragement that helped me survive the first weeks of Dennis's diagnosis without falling to pieces!

Enjoy your visit with Mrs. Sam and get ready to enjoy some dynamite weather when you return to Vero. The past few days have really been Chamber of Commerce weather and the forecast looks great!!!

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I am glad to see your post. I know what you mean about the little things. I went past the ice cream shop the other day. On their sign they were featuring the daily special. It was Randy's favorite. Talk about bringing back the memories and the sadness all in one small moment. Like you and Lillian, there are times when things hit and it is so hard to bear. Last night the grandbaby wanted me to come out and watch him pedal his bike. He is just learning how to do it. As I stood there watching him, all I could think about was Randy and how much fun and joy he would have gotten from it. I miss him so much and the tears just flow. So I run and hide because I don't want the boy to see me crying. It is the small things that happen through out the days that can bring me to my knees.

I so miss the little things we did together that made us smile. Good coffee in the morning, coming home at night and having him to talk with, playing with the baby. They will never be the same again. As our wedding anniversary gets closer, I think about him more. I am so sad. I miss him so much.

Thank you for sharing and opening another door for me. There are times I think I am alone in how I feel and then someone will post on here and I find I am not the only one going through this. It gives me the hope and strength to carry on. It lets me know that what is happening, is normal and is happening to others. Thank you.

Take care dear lady.


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Oh Ann, Lily, Cathy, Laura & Shirley,

Death of a loved one is never easy. I honestly feel that when one is my and Buddy's age and have been together for so long that they should be able to die together too. One should not have to be left on this earth to suffer the horrible loss that one endures inside oneself. I sure hope there is a Rainbow Bridge for that is all I have to go on knowing he will be waiting. I remember him saying to me "don't wait to long for I will be missing you".

I have been through a lot of deaths in my lifetime but nothing like this. I always had Buddy to get me through the hard times, he was so strong. Now I have no one but myself to muddle through each day. Oh yes, we have family but that does not help. It can take our minds off of the present hurt while you are visiting but after they leave, it is back. No one can take that hurt away. It is there forever. You can't love someone for all those years and then just say "oh well, i must carry on along now, - - time will heal". It don't work that wayv as you all know.

I have to look at pictures to focus on him. It is like he lived with me for 46 years and now it is like he never exised. It is so strange.

I know I don't cry as much, but when I do it really flows, - - like right now. I have a very hard time talking about him to anyone without getting all upset. He has been gone two month next Thursday at 9:30 pm. Thursday evenings are hard to get though. Everyday is hard to get through.....

Oh well my friends, I guess I just needed to say what you all are saying and feeling too. To bad we can't meet for coffee. Love

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Well, this just proves that we all have much in common when it comes to the loss of a loved one. Norme, I know what you mean about looking at a picture and feeling as if he never existed. I have done that. Everything seems so far away and so long ago. I remember the very hardest thing for me was the night that it sunk in that I would never see Dennis here on earth again. What a feeling! Talk about a reality check!!! I remember lying in bed at night with Dennis toward the end...before the hospital bed separated us. There would be just enough light shining in that I could see his face as he slept beside me. I would lie there for hours thinking that I was memorizing every part of his face so that I would never forget how he looked. You know...sometimes now, I have to close my eyes and concentrate to remember every detail. That is so scary. We were together 26 years and I find myself struggling to remember every little thing. Norme..we all have to believe that the Rainbow Bridge is there and that our guys are all standing there together waiting on us!

Shirley...I can only imagine how very hard it is to watch that little fellow and know how happy all these things he is doing would have made Randy. Dennis and I weren't fortunate to have any grandchildren yet but Dennis would always talk about how he looked forward to a grandson. When our boys were little, Dennis spent all the time he could with them but at that time he was working so hard to support the family time was scarce. He often talked about how he looked forward to haveing the time to spend with grandchildren. You have no idea how special all of you are to me and how much it helps to have others to share this sorrow with!!!

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Dearest Ann, Shirley B. Norme & Cathy,

It was exactly twelve weeks ago today that the love of my life, Sam died. I do not have to tell you how it feels because you, too, are experiencing the same agony. At times, that day seems so long ago as does the past forteen years. While we shared different time spans with our loved ones, nevertheless, we now share the same grief.

I am so encouraged to hear you say that you are having difficulty picturing your loves. I, too, have to look at a picture just to recall his features and it seem difficult for me to remember his voice. Sam had a chuckle that I can hear easier than just his voice.

As Ann said, sometimes the smallest remembrances can stir the emotions and the tears begin to flow no matter how hard you try to resist. Recently, I was walking through Wal-mart and I passed thru the candy section. I saw the peeps, the googy, sweet, marshmellow Easter treats that Sam loved. If you are not familiar with these, they come in different shapes and colors but, still taste the same. Sam thought the yellow chicks were the best!

As Norme said, there is no death that is easy to understand and accept and my condolences are extended to all who have lost a loved one to this dread disease. However, there is a difference when it is your soul mate and I think only those of us who have experienced this can truly relate to the pain. Yes, it is a ache that just hurts.

I wish for all of us happier days ahead. Maybe soon, the pain will lessen and each day will become easier. My love to you all and I wish I could give you a hug and say everything will be allright.

May God bless us all.


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Looking back now I wish I would have had a video camera and done some videoing of Buddy and myself together. There I would of had his voice to. I forgot about his voice. I can't bring it on in my mind. It is so very sad.

Our anniversery is this month. I think I will pick one of his favorite places and have lunch. I say that now but know I won't be able to do that.

Oh what I won't give just to have him back for just a minute or two. To be able to give him a big hug. Before he took sick, we would be working out in the yard together and he would come up to me, put his arms around me and look all around to see if anyone was watching and would give me a big fat kiss. He thought that was so funny. He would say "watch everyone". I would say, "oh Buddy, you nut". That won't ever happen again.


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To all,

This month it will be 6 months Mike is gone, it will be his birthday also.

I must have gone the first months in a cloud with all the papers that had to be looked after, now I find myself with only myself to look after and I can't

take it much longer.

I went through the house and got rid of all my clothes I had not worn

for a year or more but kept his, got rid of all my pictures but kept his

and those of both of us together, did the same with the books, kept all his

and got rid of mine that I had read and same with private papers his are

still all together and I only kept my obligatory papers.

Not much more I can do except wish to meet with him again soon.

All those little things............


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For the past two days I have read and reread Ann's post and all of our responses. There is just so many things I feel the need to say. As some of you know I have been writing mine and Johnny's story. He always said that we were one in a million because our love had lasted through so long a seperation and we got back together. Writing the part I am working on now is the most difficult thing I have done. I'm writing about his last two weeks. I have relived those days thousands of times sense his death and thought there was nothing that I had missed but now I have little memories that were tucked away somewhere that are just coming to the surface.

Norme what you said is so true. I have lost 3 brothers and both parents as well as numerous aunts and uncles and even my ex husbands family members that I was close to. There were also two others who were like close family to me. All of those deaths hurt and like everyone says they change your life. But there is a difference. When they died I still had a life and other people who could fill some of the emptiness. When you lose the one who you have shared your heart, mind, soul and body with you lose everything. Your dreams and hopes are gone. There is nothing left but a deep void where those things were. Life just looks so desolate and empty. I try to enjoy things that once meant a lot to me but they no longer bring me joy like they did before. The only real feeling that I have besides pain is anger. I think even my anger is my minds way of protecting itself from the pain that never really goes away. People try to help for a while but they have no idea what it is like until they get where we are. As Shirley (Sam's wife) says we all had different amounts of time with our loves but it is not the amount of time we had but the depth of the love we shared. I try to be upbeat and somedays I actually feel a little better but the ache in my heart is still there. I put on a face for people but deep down I feel like a fake because I know how I really feel.

It still takes so little to start the tears. I said before that I can't go get a hair cut or buy strawberries because those things have special memories. I can't see the valentines without falling apart because Johnny and I would have been married on Valentines Day. I hear a bird or see a cloud and remember something that he said about those things. I have moved twice sense his death and the reminders are still around me. He is everywhere but he is not here and that is the truth that I live with and the pain that breaks my heart over and over.

I have pictures of him and have him on vidio tape. I look at them all of the time. Unlike the rest of you I don't need them to see his face. Maybe because we were apart for so long all of his features and his touch are so much a part of my mind that I have no trouble recalling them. Maybe somehow my mind recorded them deeper because of our first seperation. We had one year of phone conversations and five months together. One month out of the five was spent in the hospital and another two months was spent battling the anxiety. We had two glorious perfect months together dispite his illness. It was just so short but I know that had I had a hundred years with him it would never have been enough. I would still have this aching in my heart that seems to be the center of my being sense he is gone.

I have had so many signs to tell me that he is still here with me. I know that someday we will be together again. That is the only thing that keeps me going but even that is not the same. I know that it will be different and I want it to be like it was. I want to see his eyes and his smile. I want to feel him pat me on the butt as I walk past and I want his kisses and I want him to make love to me again. I know I am being selfish when I say that even as happy as I am that he is not afraid any more and life can't hurt him anymore, I don't want him to be too content without me. I want him to still want me the way I want him. I know that he wants me to go one and have a life without him but like I said once before, I know him well enough to know that he wants me to love him so much that I ache for him everyday. I read somewhere that love is not selfish but when someone who is so much a part of you is gone it becomes very selfish.

The evergreens that he loved so much are all around me now. I live in a place that he would have loved and somehow I feel that I am not here by accident. I think somehow he arranged for me to be here. Everything I see is a reminder but the kicker is I don't need anything to remind me. He is always in my heart and on my mind. So maybe all of those little things that are reminders are really just here to remind us that they are still with us. Maybe they send those tears as well as the laughter when we remember something they did or said. Maybe the signs we look for are the things that cause us pain. They hurt and I am never sure when the same memory that make me laught yesterday won't make me cry today but if I have to feel those things to know he is with me I'll take all of them everyday.

Oh gee once more I have gone on for too long. Please forgive me. There are just so many emotions inside of me still so much pain and I never feel that anyone can really understand. After reading the posts on this thread I see that others feel the same things so I feel free too say what I feel. Thank all of you for being here. I can only pray that someday we will all know the joy of being with our lost loves again. Lillian

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