Your pain is as real as theirs is emotionally

Photo by: Cristian Newman

Hello, I’d like to speak to you today about a sensitive subject we all have experienced at some time in our life. We’ve had parents, friend’s, brothers, sisters and spouses that have passed away. Each loss is different in its own way. I speak of one specific area that leaves us both grieving in anticipation of a loved one that is beyond help with some form of dementia or life ending disease such as cancer. I can speak for myself that I spent nearly one year that we knew my wife was going to pass away. You wake up facing the same probability each day and wonder when the end will come. Some of us are luckier than others and the end comes in a relatively short period of time others have to endure years of watching our beloved slip farther away. Your pain is as real as theirs is emotionally and, in the end, while there is relief they will no longer suffer you must now confront the loss and decide what path you will take. But this is a subject for another article. This time I would like to talk about those that are living another kind of nightmare known as Dementia or Alzheimer’s. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this painful situation and there is no good or right answer for how to deal with it and one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get involved with some form of grief share, bereavement group or Alzheimer’s support group. What I want to bring out is some of the feelings that no one talks about even in one of the support groups I mentioned.

Society has set up some kind of rule that says if you start dating or seeing other single people to soon after your spouse has passed away you are not respecting their memory or if your loved one is confined to a hospital and may not even remember your name you have to wait to begin to live again. Everyone seems to feel you are supposed to wait until they pass away then go through a grieving period before you are able to live again. They don’t know or understand what we have been through so why we should wait for their approval.

Researchers found that those who had been single their entire lives had a 42 percent increased risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s and that those who had been widowed faced a 20 percent higher risk. The bottom line here is we are social animals and need companionship to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

I encourage you to leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments about your feelings for others to read and benefit from and realize are not alone in their thoughts.

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Your pain is as real as theirs is emotionally

Photo by: Cristian Newman

Hello, I’d like to speak to you today about a sensitive subject we all have experienced at some time in our life. We’ve had parents, friend’s, brothers, sisters and spouses that have passed away. Each loss is different in its own way. I speak of one specific area that leaves us both grieving in anticipation of a loved one that is beyond help with some form of dementia or life ending disease such as cancer. I can speak for myself that I spent nearly one year that we knew my wife was going to pass away. You wake up facing the same probability each day and wonder when the end will come. Some of us are luckier than others and the end comes in a relatively short period of time others have to endure years of watching our beloved slip farther away. Your pain is as real as theirs is emotionally and, in the end, while there is relief they will no longer suffer you must now confront the loss and decide what path you will take. But this is a subject for another article. This time I would like to talk about those that are living another kind of nightmare known as Dementia or Alzheimer’s. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this painful situation and there is no good or right answer for how to deal with it and one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get involved with some form of grief share, bereavement group or Alzheimer’s support group. What I want to bring out is some of the feelings that no one talks about even in one of the support groups I mentioned.

Society has set up some kind of rule that says if you start dating or seeing other single people to soon after your spouse has passed away you are not respecting their memory or if your loved one is confined to a hospital and may not even remember your name you have to wait to begin to live again. Everyone seems to feel you are supposed to wait until they pass away then go through a grieving period before you are able to live again. They don’t know or understand what we have been through so why we should wait for their approval.

 

Researchers found that those who had been single their entire lives had a 42 percent increased risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s and that those who had been widowed faced a 20 percent higher risk. The bottom line here is we are social animals and need companionship to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

I encourage you to leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments about your feelings for others to read and benefit from and realize are not alone in their thoughts.

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Live Every Day Like You Mean It

Getting out of the house is a good way to start. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be good to yourself. Go see a movie if you don’t want to interact with others right away, its OK! Go places that you went too together it may be hard but in time it will get easier and the sadness will turn into a fondness for good memories. How much time? Well, that all depends on how long it’s been and how soon you start. You may be thinking “I can’t do this at my age” or you may feel “people will think poorly of you”. If you are as lucky as me people encouraged me to start getting out after the first six months by suggesting I do something with my time so I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself they even said my wife wouldn’t want me to be unhappy. You need to realize its OK for you to have your own life it’s like learning to walk again starting with small steps they take time but before you know it you will be taking bigger steps. The main thing to keep focused on is whatever you do does not in any way minimize or disrespect the life you had and the one you love. Remember it’s only you turning to a new chapter so make every day count and live it like you mean it.

 

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Making New Friends & Keeping The Old Ones

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

For whatever reason, some of your friends that are married and enjoyed getting together as couples will drift away. It is not because they don’t like you they do It’s just a different dynamic now, stay in touch regularly with them, have a lunch or dinner with them they want to stay in touch and care how you’re doing.

So how do you find more friends that are like minded and you have things in common with? I was very fortunate to have found a group within the Meetup community. Meetup is a social platform and was founded Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the site’s co-founder Scott Heiferman publicly stated that the manner in which people in New York City came together in the aftermath of that traumatic event inspired him to use the Internet to make it easier for people to connect with strangers in their community. If you want to read about its history. click here or just go to Meetup.com you will have to register and its super easy and safe. Once you signed up and are logged in you can browse all the different groups within the distance you choose. Just type in what your interests are and read what they do and what they’re about. You can also see how members belong and the events they have. This is a very good resource and I highly commend it. If you have more questions about meetup before you sign up, leave it in the comments.

Local groups like the Lions, Moose lodges or eagles lodge are also a good way to get to know people. What I like about these groups is they are charity based and do good for the community. The reason I am suggesting to join something is whether you realize it or not you need to feel like you belong. Yes, you do.



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Everyone is gone and your on your own

This is as hard for me to write as it is for you to read but maybe I can clear up a few things to help guide you in your journey. I can remember thinking to myself and say “Now I have to send out the thank you…reply’s, read the condolences and finalize all of the unpleasant details”. You may find it hard to function at all, I know I did. If your lucky your children or close family relatives will help you and you need to let them its part of their grieving process as well. It is said that the 5 stages of grief and loss are: 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.

People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them. I seem to have experienced them all at the same time or at least #4 and #5 were at the same time and I don’t think I experienced #3 at all. Some lasted longer than others and I still have days that I ask the question Why?

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

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