Understandably up and down still

GraceB
GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
edited 4. May 2016, 12:18 in Community Chit-chat archive
I've been busy getting things sorted out for my partner's funeral (which is 17th March) but I'm now at the stage of running out of things which need to be done and therefore having too much time to sit and think. One minute I'm ok; the next I'm in a heap. The worst times are the evenings, especially when I get home from work on my work days.

I felt compelled on Friday to go and see John in the Chapel of Rest. Kate (my niece) was with me bless her. I needed to see "my John" again, rather than the John I left at the hospital. I saw "my John" but it was so, so difficult to go.

My family and friends have been wonderful and I couldn't have got through this without them. Coming on this Forum and knowing I can "vent" to my friends here has been, and continues to be, invaluable. My lovely neighbour Maureen has even switched her weighing in days with SW so she can go with me on Wednesdays. I took her out for lunch today as I wanted to thank her for her support.

Family and friends are coming to Ashford as from Wednesday; some go back Friday, others on Saturday. My friend Deb and her husband will be staying with me Thursday night so I'll not be here on my own.

In the meantime, I'm focussing on getting through one day at a time as I feel this is the best way for me to cope at the moment.

GraceB
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Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    These are still very early days, Grace, there is a deal of emotion to be processed which can be somewhat disguised or suppressed by planning the practicalities: they provide the immediate focus, and can be a welcome distraction, but they come to an end and the day-to-day reality of life without the loved one begins to really hit home.

    You sound to have a very good network of family and friends around to support you and I hope this continues after John's funeral because it will be even more vital. Of course we will still be around but we are not as tangible, are we? DD
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,254
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Grace
    I am so pleased you can talk to us all on here,and pleased you have such good friends and your lovely niece, I will be thinking of you on the 17th..its the day of my new hip so will have plenty of time on my hands...one day at a time, I do like that saying..it is so true
    You take care of yourself...((())) xx
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both for your kind and considerate replies. Yes it is early days. I'm tackling one day at a time as it's the only way I can deal with things.

    I got the eulogy over to the Vicar via email today. She's got back to me to say it's a "beautiful tribute and she'll be honoured to read it for me". I was touched by her kind words.

    My main concern now is that the funeral is everything that John would have wanted it to be, that it goes smoothly and without a hitch.

    I'm now on leave (as have got loads I either use or lose) so I don't go back to work until the day after Easter Monday. Lots of small calls to do next couple of days and I'll either have friends or family around me from Wednesday through to Saturday.

    GraceB
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Barbara - I hope your hip operation goes well. Please make sure you let us know how you get on.
    GraceB
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,463
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Grace

    I hope you are ok today - mind you you have coped so well I am sure you are doing amazingly.

    How lovely to hear words like that from the Vicar - she will have read many eulogies so you should be proud.

    I am sure the funeral will go perfectly and smoothly and be more than your OH could have wanted.

    Take care now

    Love

    Toni xxx
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your kind words. Everything is ready for tomorrow now. I just hope that all the family and friends there feel that my eulogy does John justice.

    I'll let you know how it all goes.

    GraceB
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,079
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Best wishes for you today Grace, we are all thinking of you.
    Moderator Sharon
  • Turbogran
    Turbogran Member Posts: 2,013
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Grace
    my thoughts are with you today and I am sure the day will go well and that you will do amazingly well and cope with it well sending gentle hugs to surround you (((((( grace )))))
  • Megrose2
    Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thinking of you, Grace. I hope that everything goes smoothly.

    Take care of yourself.

    Meg
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My thoughts have been with you today Grace. (((()))) Mig
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,415
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thinking of you and wishing you well
    Numpty x
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your kind messages and support.

    Funeral went well but it was tough, physically and mentally. I held it together until they were taking the coffin out of the hearse so sobbed my way into the Church. My brother and nephew helped with the pall bearing as John was quite stockily built and the undertakers need 6 not 4 pall bearers. That was good in a way as the men in my family usually do the pall bearing and John would have wanted some family carrying him. My Eulogy was well received and I had positive comments about how well I'd done with it and people instinctively knew I'd spent days on that. (The version which was read was the ninth one).

    The Church had put out 90 seats - the Vicar said only 5 seats were empty. She also said she felt the warmth of the love in the Church for John, and could see how much he'd meant to so many people.

    I coped ok-ish at the graveside until the Vicar had done that ceremony and I had to throw my flowers in (one red rose and one daffodil from the garden here as John had planted the daffs). Then I fell apart big time. My brother Andy held me up physically (I didn't realise how strong he was!). Had Andy not held me up I honestly think I'd have gone to the ground.

    The wake went well. Photographs of John were passed round - some of the ones that had been taken of when we were together, some his sister brought along of John as a baby and a young child.

    I'd taken along a condolence book for people to sign and most of those at the wake did that for me. I'll now make that (and my photos) available to those who just went to the Church - or couldn't attend - so they can add their thoughts and messages.

    Everyone there said I'd done John justice and he'd have been so pleased with the arrangements.

    My friend Deb & Joe go back today as they stayed overnight with me. Deb counted the condolence cards I'd received - 52 so far. Donations, which are going to The ME Association (as John had ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 2002), at the moment total £374 and I know more are on their way.

    Again my deepest and heartfelt thanks to all my Forum Friends for your support. Naturally, all my joints today are absolutely awful as I was on my feet for far too long yesterday, but it had to be done.

    GraceB
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well done my lovely, it all sounds to be very well done and a fitting tribute to John. I wrote and read my Ma's eulogy and managed to get some good giggles in with some of the old family stories about her and Pa. Laughter was a big part of our family life and it was good to be able to reflect that on such a solemn occasion.

    Now, you make sure you rest as much as you can over the next few days, funerals are not only physically draining there's the emotional toll too. Be extra kind to yourself over the next few days and I hope you have little treats and spoils in stock to help ease your way into a new life. ((( ))) xxx DD
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, you are in my thoughts over this Easter-time. DD
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just wanted to say it sounds as though the funeral was a good one, if you know what I mean, a celebration of his life and what made him so special and all the comments will be a huge support to you. I hope the sun shines on you this Easter weekend, and that you are able to rest and get stronger emotionally as well as physically.
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Grace I wanted to send my love to you after such a tuff day, sorry I didn't message you closer to the day. Take a few days for yourself to recover mentally and physically over the Easter break. I send you (())'s.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,697
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    How are you doing, Grace? I've been out of the country for a month but thinking of you.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for asking SW.

    I'm still taking things day by day as it's the only way I can cope. Some days are, to be honest, horrific still and I then end up under the shower (which is on full blast) window shut and shouting & screaming at John. That way I don't disturb my neighbours. A friend of mine whose first husband had a fatal heart attack very young, told me she did this for months after she lost her husband.

    I seem to cope a bit better when I'm at work as naturally I'm busy then but silly things upset me, especially when I come back home and there's just me and the cat.

    I'm still counting in weeks and it's 7wks today that John passed.

    Things have been difficult, continue to be so and will for some time. I'm realistic enough to understand that so in the meantime I'll continue to take things one day at a time.

    Thanks again for thinking of me.
    GraceB
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    DD, Slosh, Bubbadog & everyone else

    Thank you for your kind messages. Your support is invaluable. I'm reading posts daily on the Forum but not always posting, as some days I'm physically & mentally exhausted and I'm not sure I'd make sense if I posted.

    GraceB
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Grace so pleased to see your post,I think of you all the time and wondered how you were doing. We recently lost hubby sister she was the one that hubby got on with the most so its been a difficult time,by the end of the week the house will be cleared and we have a company coming in to clean through before it goes on the market.I don't think he's come to terms with it yet but he doesn't say much.Sending some hugs (((()))) Mig
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the message and kind words Mig.

    So sorry to hear of your bereavement. I hope your husband is able, at some point in the future, to remember the good times he had with his sister.

    I too am quiet in my grief when I'm with people; it's especially difficult for me when I come back home and find the bungalow is empty.

    I'm still counting backwards in weeks - 8-wks ago today I'd spent all day in the Relatives Room in ICU in the hospital, and late tomorrow afternoon it'll be 8-wks since John's life support was turned off. Tuesday afternoons are very, very difficult for me, certainly around 2.15-2.30 as that's when John dropped to the floor in front of me.

    I continue to tackle each day at a time. I'm still not sleeping very well at all, despite trying to mentally exhaust myself.

    GraceB
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh my lovely, this is probably the most difficult time of all. The death of a family member is always a shock (especially if you don't know it's coming) but dealing with the resulting necessary and practical 'arrangements' differently focuses the mind.

    I remember when Pa died me, Ma and (bless him) Mr DD went to register his death. We arrived at the Register Office and were shown into a room, complete with desk, nameplate and person behind said desk. The nameplate said 'Brian Smith'* but the registrar was female. Ma promptly said ' You don't look much like a Brian to me.' That broke the ice and I can still recall my astonishment at my 'the social niceties are everything' Ma saying such a thing.

    * It said Brian but not Smith.


    Last Sunday it was three years to the day that Ma died and it wasn't an easy day. I still have the 'if onlys' and 'what ifs' but not as frequently as before. I remember Esther Rantzen saying after her husband died that it is 'the having someone there to do nothing with' that was the hardest. Makes perfect sense to me but, for anyone in a committed relationship of any kind, it's something we all face. Mr DD has always been of the view 'that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.' I didn't agree in our early years but I do now: if I hadn't taken the chance with him I would not have had the happiness I've experienced for the past eighteen years and those memories will be a strong comfort for me should he go first.

    You are still in my thoughts and I apologise for not being in touch as much as I should - things are rough and I am sure you understand that. DD
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can only begin to imagine what you must be going through and how hard it must be.
    All I can say is that I am thinking of you.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just to say I am thinking of you over this extended weekend. ((( ))) DD
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you DD. Weekends are bad enough but Bank Holiday ones being longer are even more of a hurdle to get through.

    I'm still trying to keep busy. It's 10 weeks today since John passed. I spoke to a friend last week and classified my days as "awful" "very bad" or "bad". I'm grateful at the moment when a day is just "bad".

    My friend Rach helped me to bag John's clothes up today. A charity is collecting it all on Tuesday. I couldn't do this on my own as it would have taken too long; between us we got the clothes bagged up in less than half an hour. I've kept about 4 items - three I'd put to one side a few weeks ago, the fourth item was one I retrieved from a bag this afternoon when I realised I couldn't let that go either. These items (bathrobe, jacket, gillet and jumper) are all in the wardrobe in the spare room and will be kept. The gillet was the fourth item.

    Sleeping for 6 consecutive hours is still something that happens about once every 4 or 5 nights for me. I'm sure this will improve over time - I hope so!

    I'm going away Friday (6th) to my friend Deb in Cambridgeshire and will come back home on the 8th. It's a bit daunting doing this on my own but I know the route, I've invested in a brand new Satnav and I take the view that I'll have to go away at some point on my own so may as well "rip the plaster off now" as opposed to later on. I'm hoping a change of scene will help with the sleeping at the very least and it'll be good to spend some time with Deb and her husband.

    GraceB

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