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bttrfly, Cadet, Mach1
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by Mach1
Mach1
Been thinking about this for some time. A place to call my own here....



I can paint it whatever color I want...take down the ugly curtains that Cadet hung....


Building a large table for friends to gather around…

I'm not looking for pity, I'm sorry either. Just some real stuff, maybe some playing....


I was reading some in the archives recently, and with one of the BIG 6x6's that Ian used to swing around here. And he told me that this place was for laying out whatever my thoughts were, being vulnerable, and trusting others to help, advise, or provide empathy towards my thoughts, feelings, or whatever comes out.

That certainly encompasses me lately. …

As many of you know, I have had a huge loss recently in my life. Essentially ripped it apart, down the middle , and shredded all of the hopes, dreams, comforts, and companionship that I have had for the past almost 13 years.


I've deeply loved two Women in my life. I lost one of them through a Divorce, and one of them to Cancer....


Losing a partner to cancer is different than the loss of a partner through Divorce. Similarly the same, yet totally the opposite. From my perspective, the difference being that one, (divorce), was a conscious decision that had been made, whereas losing a partner to death is NOT a decision. It is the total opposite of a decision. If anything can lesson the pain, it is that.


Dealing with the aftermath is something that is different too. Going through what I went through with a divorce gave me lessons in how to navigate loss again. When I got here way too many years ago, I was broken, so it was a rebuilding process internally. Lately I have found that I am not broken, I am just heartbroken....BIG difference there....


If this isn't something that is allowed here, then please remove this thread. I kinda figured that loss was loss. And dealing with loss and rebuilding is the essence of this forum. ???

I have been laying myself at the foot of the Cross lately, trying to find what is real , what is imagined, and what I need to learn from this, and carry forward with me. It's left me feeling pretty empty at times, and has knocked me on my a$$ quite a bit. I am more than okay being alone, yet the emptiness is what haunts me most. I still watch the window to see her turning into the driveway, or waiting to hear her special text tone, only to realize that it's not her, and it will never be her again.

To be holding each other and planning a vacation in March, to planning a memorial service in June is pretty sobering...


Maybe that's something different from the Divorce process, that we can do the work, and better ourselves, and HOPE that one day we can be reconciled....there is no chance of that with this. Hope is laying at the bottom of a ravine, crumpled and decaying, along with the prayers, and dreams of our future that we were building together.


I had a birthday last week, not my first, yet the first that I have had since I had met her and lost her. I would say that the anxiety beforehand was numbing. It shut me down pretty good. Working through it, I realized that the expectation of it was worse than the actual day was. The day after was equally as hard, as it marked time.


Each day is another day that I feel further from her, another day, then week, than month, then year. I'm pretty sure that isn't productive in any way, other than process what I am feeling and thinking.


I've had thoughts additionally about my mortality, and what that might look like down the road. And I'm not stupid, and I have a lot to live for, so NO, I would never be foolish as to throw life away, yet there has been a certain calm about it for me, and that if the call would come, then I would gladly answer it.


I've decided that I am not making any BIG decisions for at least a year, about my life, about where I might live, or what I might do. Possibly even who I will be when I get further into this process. Nothing in life is for certain, this has shown me that.


All I can assure myself, is that failure isn't an option. I made K a promise, that whatever I did, and what my future looked like. That I would get through this whole and healthy, and that I would not only survive this, but thrive afterward. So that I could carry her with me to all of the future happiness she wants for me.... That this will not define me, and that I will honor her by letting her go and living a life of happiness.


Way easier said than done baby….


While at the Cross, I have been dealing with a lot of differing thoughts and emotions. Mostly, guilt has been eating at me. I've asked myself a million times, If I was 'enough' for her. Then again, I asked her that during better times and she always said yes. The last two years had been very difficult for us, and HER last 2 months made those look easy.


The difficulties that we faced, the lines between Love and Obligation could easily be blurred. So defining what each of those was, had become important to us both. Being her primary caretaker happened really quickly. Neither of us was ready for how freakin fast she spiraled down.


She would look at me and say..."I’m sorry, this isn't what you signed up for" and I would tell her that " I signed up for you, and whatever that entails" ...


And the guilt is what is different for me between the two things. Guilt allows it to be an obligation, whereas the lack of guilt allows me to see that all of this, was a choice that I made. A choice to Love without fear.


Sure, I feel guilty about some things, just not on the grand level that it could be, I feel guilty because after not sleeping for three nights and going to work, I would snap at her when she would expect the fourth night to be a mirror of the previous ones. On some level I can accept that it is human nature, on others I refuse to accept that from myself...and I should have been "better" for her. Peace lives in the balance between the two.


I feel guilt because I was unaware of how far into the end of life process she really was before I recognized it for what it was. It wasn't until we did our hospice intake that it really hit me, how much pain she was really in. How that I was in 'survival' mode, and maybe not seeing things as clearly as I could have, or should have.

I want to be able to see things clearly, without rose coloring on my glasses.




Sometimes a memory sees only what it wants to believe......Chris Robinson



I suppose that is what and where I differ from the divorce too. I ACTED out of guilt, even "stood" out of guilt for quite sometime, until I could get out of my own way, and accept that I was just as much to blame as she was for the demise of our marriage.



Anywoo....



i'm an open book.



Welcome to my place here....



It smells funny, I really need to wash the walls and change the curtains that Cadet hung up....



Clean the musty smell out of the basement from LH running his statistical database...and developing his phycological dating app. Clean out the Capri Sun pouches, pick up the Chuck-E-Cheese boxes....
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by Drew
Drew
Mach1,

Brother....

You know I'm a man of few words. And rarely post here anymore. But for you I just gotta.

I came here about the same time as you. In pain, doubting everything.

But you, our buddy J3B, and yes even Eric helped get me through.

And for that I can never repay you.

So whatever you need from me.

Anything.

You got it.

As always, Strength and Honor, my friend.
1 member likes this
by bttrfly
bttrfly
Hello ... just brought over a few things for the new place:

1. some virtual white mountain sage to clear and get the musty smell out ...

2. the Italian thing: bread, oil, a candle, a broom, salt, honey - to never go hungry, for good health, for light, and cleaning out the cobwebs, and prosperity, to have sweetness in your life.

3. a fire extinguisher (hey, you never know when you'll need it)

4. a subscription to BritBox so you can watch Fawlty Towers when you start taking yourself too seriously
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by Cadet
Cadet
Well now that I welcomed you - I have actually read your post.

Yes you are certainly allowed to post here and I think the point about the difference between divorce and death is certainly a worthy topic to discuss.

I totally agree that the big difference is that it is much more final, no reconciliation is in the cards.
Although with many of us that is the same result anyways.
So we certainly need to get through the grieving process and rebuild the rest of your life.

There are certainly many similarities in the process.
And as our friend with the same first name as me pointed out their are no shortcuts or easy buttons.
The only way through is to point ourselves in the right direction and take one step at a time.

Keep plodding.
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by Ginger1
Ginger1
I haven’t been with anyone for longer than 9 years. Only married 4 of them . The rocking chair was never really there for me. Given my age , Maybe I’ll get a good 20 years. Given my track record, probably not , lol.

Seriously though. What Mach said. He got 50 years into 13. Some will get 5 years into 50.

Quality not quantity , right ? That’s the hope I have left .
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by Mach1
Mach1
Been thinking a lot lately....

Life has kinda kicked me in the a$$ the past few days. Haven't been feeling well, had a couple other things that have added to that...

Woke the other morning to finding out that K's insurance money hit my account....

I hadn't thought of how that would affect me, or how deeply I would 'feel' that when it happened.

I felt cheap, and dirty with it. Like it was 'blood' money of sorts. When I was younger, material things had always played a part in life. We all want to achieve a certain 'status' that satisfies us to what our standards had been. Or at least the standards that we have been taught they should be, I know that my parents (being of an older generation) had always defined success through material possessions.

Status and material where certainly present during and through the divorce process. My Ex seemed to obsess about money, status, and material things. Yet, somewhere along the line, I had moved past that, and what was important to K and myself, was just the time that we spent together. We seriously could have lived in shack anywhere and been happy together.

In reading the text, I somehow felt that I traded her for money. I know it isn't the case whatsoever, yet it certainly 'felt' that way....those nasty feelings huh ??

What it does do, is to provide a little financial stability so that I can get my feet back under me and not have to worry about some things that were left unfinished in my life....

It will allow me to travel a bit, and do some things that I promised her that I would do. I want to take her home, back to the northeast state where she was from. Hoping to see some friends while I am there, and spend a few extra days doing some things for me.

And I'm finally at a point where I am embracing that this is her, trying to be there for me in the only way that is left. Some financial help , regardless how 'final' it feels. This is the last 'material' thing that she will ever leave me....

I've always been a perspective person, and that life is all about how I see things. So finding my footing took a little time with it. I did have a couple message conversations to help me out. I did message with Mrs. 3 Beans since she had felt this too.... God how I miss the Pirate....

Drew...B-lady....thank you : )

With that, I've been trying to slow things down in my head a bit, trying to see what I want my life to look like moving forward with me. And I still haven't found any answers. The only thing that seems to be coming out is the remnants of this cold....eeeek....

It IS entirely possible, that this affected me more because I've had this cold kicking my as$ too....

For now though, there isn't anything that I HAVE to do today, other than breathe and take another step forward.....





vi et honore



And perhaps a little Dignity, and Grace too..
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by Grace_OM
Grace_OM
Cadet,

The mission was a success. Thank you for your help! grin
1 member likes this
by Drew
Drew
Originally Posted by Grace_OM
Right?!

Good to "see" you Drew smile I do hope all is well in your world.

Grace,

I literally couldn't be better!! And great to hear from you again.

Mach,

I think in her own way, Cat got the band back together, perhaps with the help of a beanstalk climbing Pirate.

Now wouldn't it be something if Eric stumbled in .......
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by Mach1
Mach1
Originally Posted by bttrfly
All you have to do today is breathe.
And stop projecting into the future.


The first part...

I've been practicing at for years apparently....

The second part...

At first I was thinking ....yea...I'm not...

Yet as I follow my DB rules...

I tried to see what you see....

And I am doing that to some degree...

Trying to perhaps rush the stages of grief, and trying to be overly one way or another.

Ain't gonna lie, there is a part of me that just wants this pain to end, and to feel something 'normal' again. Whatever the F that's gonna be....

Thanks B-lady....for letting me see that...

One step at a time.

Be it forward or backward.....

Just not still....




I'm gonna need more popcorn....
1 member likes this
by Mach1
Mach1
Originally Posted by bttrfly
Originally Posted by Mach1
Originally Posted by bttrfly
All you have to do today is breathe.
And stop projecting into the future.


The first part...

I've been practicing at for years apparently....
Have you? Practicing breathing deeply, waiting a moment, then breathing out slowly to a count of 6, then again to a count of 8, 10, 12?

that kind of breathing?

I'm not sure I believe you.


Well, I didn't know you were gonna get all specific with it : P


So yea, prolly not that, all the time....


I will say, that ^^^ has gotten (me, us, her) through some tough times, and I highly recommend it...

Thank you for the reminder B-lady.....muchly appreciated....

: )
1 member likes this
by bttrfly
bttrfly
Originally Posted by Mach1
Originally Posted by bttrfly
Originally Posted by Mach1
Originally Posted by bttrfly
All you have to do today is breathe.
And stop projecting into the future.


The first part...

I've been practicing at for years apparently....
Have you? Practicing breathing deeply, waiting a moment, then breathing out slowly to a count of 6, then again to a count of 8, 10, 12?

that kind of breathing?

I'm not sure I believe you.


Well, I didn't know you were gonna get all specific with it : P

Well, there's breathing ... and then there's breathing -- the healing kind, that goes deep into your lungs, bringing oxygen to all your cells, calming body, mind and spirit.

Originally Posted by Mach1
So yea, prolly not that, all the time....
quelle surprise!

Originally Posted by Mach1
I will say, that ^^^ has gotten (me, us, her) through some tough times, and I highly recommend it...

Thank you for the reminder B-lady.....muchly appreciated....

: )

you're welcome.
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by Cadet
Cadet
Definitely no sexual overtones. smile

I am glad today is better than yesterday.

One step forward then maybe one step back, you are going to be OK.

I have the calendar blocked off, let us know if you need us to do anything.
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by job
job
Take each day as it comes and do not try to look too far into the future. Grief is a beast. Sometimes you feel great and then something will set you back and you are at the anger stage once again. Work through those feelings that come up. Trying to go around them will only make them return once again and bite you in the rear unexpectedly.

IC would be a good start to just kind of sort things out a bit and to actually have someone to talk to. Do not be afraid to ask for help or for someone to just listen. Talking through some of the feelings will help you.

As for her father, if the situation is a bit much at this time, then step away for the day or even a few days. He has to deal with his health crisis and the loss of his daughter in his own way. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else.

But most importantly, be patient with yourself. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to take out your frustration, then beat the heck out of a pillow or go to the gym and work up a sweat. There will be times when you will sit quietly and the answers will come...but do not stay in one place too long. As you work through the grieving process, you will find yourself starting to smile again, listening to music and doing the things that you have loved doing for many years. Just know, she will always be in your heart and she is never far away in your memory.

One step at a time, one day at a time. Patience is the key.
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by Mach1
Mach1
It's been a strange week, which oddly seems to be the new normal in my life..

A week ago last Monday, was one of the roughest days I've had since she passed. I could not get everything out of my head, and by mid-day, I kinda had a meltdown of emotion washing through me.

It lasted a few hours and toward afternoon, I felt a sort of peace come over me. I can only assume that it was a release of sorts, everything leaving my head, and letting go of some things. I've been in that place since then...feeling some peace and relief with my new arrangement in life.

I have no clue what started things, or why they lasted as they did. It wasn't one thing in particular, more of a culmination of things all balled together that just let loose.

As the week went on, there were a couple things that popped up, and everything just 'felt' different. The way I heard things, the way I saw things, and certainly the way I dealt with things.

Everything with her Father came to a head shortly before the weekend. He had been in the hospital for a few days and got word that he has cancer now. His anxiety over her celebration, combined with this new news has me wondering if he is drinking again, which is entirely possible considering that he has no support system in place for his recovery. There have been no steps taken, and he isolates himself for days at a time.

I ask myself what would K do, or how would she want me to handle this situation for her. I feel that first off, she would tell me to walk away from anything that could possibly cause me to loose myself in the process. And she would ask me to help when I can, if I can without any major sacrifice of myself. She would verbalize that she appreciated everything that I did, and then her actions later would reaffirm that she did : )

She, on the other hand, would have been on the first flight out of town, and would be in charge of the Oncology ward by now....anyone that knows her certainly knows what I am talking about....that ferocity of hers....and as fierce as she was, even she had limits when it came to her family. She knew when to walk away from things. Typically just after she had whipped them into order... : )

I did have to lay a couple boundaries with him. We have opposite communication styles, and if he avoids me, then so be it. However, I had missed a call from him and he felt it necessary to berate me in text. Needless to say, that didn't end well for him. Number 1 and 2, well, this is supposed to be a PG rated forum.....Number 3 on my list was...Don't ever mistake my kindness for a weakness...



I seem to be sinking into "routine" once again. Life seems to just be there, so I am finding that I have to occasionally put myself out there, and force myself to 'do' things, even if I don't feel like doing them. I went to a Cider festival Saturday....sigh. Too hot, too unorganized, too many people there. I did find a couple that I liked though...

So things are moving along steadily for now. A couple more weeks until her service, which undoubtedly will be bittersweet. I am looking forward to meeting a lot of her family for the first time, and spending some time doing some things for me. I am going to do my own private thing, with just me and her on that Tuesday, which is our unofficial anniversary. One last goodbye to her on her earthly level. Pretty sure I am gonna spend Mon and Tues with our own tutu wearing freakin' Rican. I hope so.

There will be several people from here that I hope to spend some time with actually...

It will be interesting to see if my new small level of peace continues through that. I almost expect a fallback of sorts to gain another step forward. Just can't get caught up in predicting future feelings.

I have some trigger days coming ahead of me too. so keeping those at bay may be difficult, or not.

I remember the words of the Pirate (ironically speaking) who once told me that trigger days are just regular days that WE place expectations on.....yea....well FU Fenn....you are the trigger.... : )




G, I did a couple things with bereavement services. It was laughable at the level that they participate in it. I had signed up for a couple services during the hospice intake, and when I finally heard from them over a month after she passed...well...

I have been thinking about doing some IC though. Just to work through things in my head...

Time will tell where I land with this....

For now though...I'm 'okay'...

Seems a safe enough word to describe me.....



As always........Strength and Honor
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by Mach1
Mach1
It's been a while...

A lot has happened , yet nothing has really happened.

We had K's service up north earlier this month. It was a mixed bag of tricks. Her Father completely tried to take over the weekend, boundaries had to be put in place, and in the end ? It was a beautiful service and memorial for her in a place that she absolutely loved. Her spirit was with me and everyone that was there to support me. Thank you to ALL that were there either with me, or merely in spirit with me.

Coming home on Thursday was hard, dealing with the somewhat finality of things, and fulfilling my promise to her, it seemed so final, yet I felt an almost peace from within. Like for the first time since she passed, I was able to breath, and know without a doubt that I was going to be okay.

Friday morning was actually a good morning even though I went back to work. I got a call around noon , from my step-sister, that my Father wasn't doing well. I had tried calling him several times over the past couple weeks and just thought that I had terrible timing, when in actuality, he and my Step-Mother had been living with my step-sister. Her and I have a not so great history together even though we have been "siblings" for over 40 years now. It was an almost scolding call , to "inform" me that his care nurse had recommended that he go on Hospice. So I was back out the door in a week to head to the mountains to see him. I had a talk with the universe and told it that if it was best for him to hang on until I got there, then I would be thankful. If it were best for him to leave before I got there, then I wanted was was best for him.

I've spent the past several years having to make peace with the fact that when I left there, it could possibly be the last time I got to hug him goodbye, and see him with my own eyes. It hasn't been easy, yet I seem to find that within myself every damned time. It is the price that I have paid for raising my children and living my life in an area that had good schools, and jobs that paid over minimum wage, where not only I , but they had a chance to have a normal life. There, you either have a job in the mines, or a chemical plant, and the rest are minimum wage. It took years to be able to embrace my heritage and celebrate that I was from there without it looking like I was better than everyone else for leaving. Because I am not...I am just different, and have made different choices in my life that have allowed for a different path.

Many of the things that were ingrained into me culturally, were the very things that I fought against in my "fight for self" several years ago. Something that apparently hasn't been lost on my Son or Daughter. My Son made the 6 hour drive with me, and we talked about a lot of stuff from his past, and the process of DBing, and my "fight". It was more about where he is now as a young man trying to find himself. He is almost 22 now, and was 8 when all of this started. A LOT about his relationship with his Mother and her Partner, how he feels/felt about things. It was incredibly insightful and I listened and was supportive of him. He feels like he has no relationship with her, and merely tolerates him. That she isn't capable of anything deep and meaningful in her life, and only can emotionally handle something superficial in her life, and that includes he and his Sister. I told him that it was something that only he can talk through with her, and even if it failed, he had made the effort.

He told me that his Sister feels exactly the same, yet her and I go through strained periods of our relationship. Mostly because she struggles so hard to have that with her Mother, and the bottom line is, when they are doing okay (albeit superficially) then she gives all of her effort there, and I tend to fall away. It is a strange dynamic for sure.

My Father passed this past Thursday afternoon, a day before I got there to see him. He and I have had an amazing relationship over the past 25 years or so. There is nothing unsaid between us. There has been forgiveness, healing, tears, laughs, and a bond that will last me for the rest of my lifetime. I have zero regrets or guilt over our relationship. He went through periods of our life where he was an amazing Father for me, and he was human, so we each had not so shining moments together. I am thankful most for those times, because the love was always there, and they guided us to the later relationship that we shared. My last words to him were that I couldn't have asked for a better Father for me, and I am proud to call him my Dad....

83, warm in bed, his wife of 40 years by his side....When it's my time, I feel like that's the way to go...

Family dynamics have been proving tougher for me. The most difficult is becoming the promise that I made to my Father that I would make sure that my step-Mother was taken care of. The dynamics between my sisters is going to be what it is.

Every time I return from there, I feel as if there is some "baggage" that I need to unpack from my past. And that is where I find myself . Trying to sort through everything that I am compared to who I was when I lived there. I had spent most of my time there feeling like I was an outsider, and merely there for cosmetic reasons, and to support everyone else around me. I hadn't wanted to create any drama, yet eventually, I came to a point where I broke away from things and did what I had to do while I was there. Nobody had been to their house since his Hospice intake, and they didn't want anyone to go there just yet. Not an easy feeling being kept away from the home I grew up in. I felt as if it was their way of "running" from the emotion of everything. I know that every one deals with grief in their own way, yet I felt as if I was respectful of them, and nobody was respecting me. I've come accustomed to it over the years, and found my way of dealing with it. I spent about an hour on their front porch, and my Father and I had one last good talk....

Sometimes it is possible that I expect the same level of emotional maturity in return to what I try to give. And just possibly, they simply aren't capable of giving it back. I have to accept that...

I did get a warm message from my Ex last week. Saying that she is sorry for the crappy year that I've had. Just a simple reply that I appreciated it, and it meant a lot.

IF you made it this far, you win a puppy...Just typing most of that allows me to see where I am, and possibly where I am headed to.

Thanks to G, UR, B-lady, Rich63 (and the latino K) and Cadet( and the other) for being there for K's service and holding me up when I needed it. I always part wishing that we had more time to spend together. I did get to spend some time with the Tutu wearin Batman. My time there was special fior various reasons, and pretty crappy for various reasons. I think though, that is just what life is. Moments of crappy and moments of special. I kind of like that I can tell the difference most days. : )
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