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It seems like months, not days since Mr. B passed away. On Friday it will be two weeks. I was hoping that as each day passed it would get a little easier but it doesn't. If anything it has gotten harder. Last week I was mostly in shock and as that shock wore off it was replaced with anxiety about the funeral service on Saturday. I was absolutely dreading it! I knew it would be emotional and it was. I cried so much. At the end of the service, the funeral director asked everyone to file by the front pew were all of the family were seated to offer their condolences. I hugged many of them and cried each time. There were approximately 150 people that attended the service. So many of them were co-workers of Mr. B from his current workplace and from his previous workplace. Although I did not know their faces, I did recognize their names as Mr. B spoke of them often to me. It touched me so much to see how respected and loved he was by others. Mr. B was cremated so I have his ashes at home now. My plan was to have the urn buried in a cemetery plot this summer. But I'm having a hard time thinking about that right now. Yes, it's true. I've become one of THEM. You know who I mean. Those crazy widowed ladies that keep their husbands on the mantle forever. I'm finding such comfort in having his remains close by. The urn that I chose is so beautiful and represents Mr. B so much. I will try to post a photo of it. Hopefully I don't gross anyone out. :-)

I feel such an emptiness inside of me since Mr. B passed away. It's like part of me is missing. I can't seem to focus on anything, not even watching TV. I find that having the TV on is just noise to me so most of the time I have it turned off. I'm better if I'm away from home running errands but when I'm back at home and looking at all of his things, I start crying pretty quickly. I'm taking it very slow in regards to disposing of Mr. B's things. I know that his clothes will be the last to go. For now they bring me comfort. I see them each day when I get dressed in the morning. I know I won't be able to handle the big empty space in the closet once they are gone so I want to make sure I'm ready before I take them out. Every thing of Mr. B's that I take from our home has left me feeling more empty. The first things I wanted to have taken out were the things that reminded me of him being sick like the hospital bed and his wheelchair. I still have to tackle his bathroom. There's a few things there that were to help him like the special toilet seat, the tub bar and the shower chair. I will deal with them, but so far I've not wanted to spend much time in that bathroom. Too many bad memories for me there.

Its funny how some of the smallest things will make me cry. In our home we often purchased jujubes candies as a treat. Mr. B and I both really liked them. Mr. B really liked the green ones which made me really happy since they were my least favourite. So as I passed the candy dish the other day I thought to myself, "Who is going to eat the green ones now?". Silly, I know but it did make me cry. I feel like I've lost my protector. :-(

Here are the three songs that were played at Mr. B's funeral service.

This song was played at our wedding on October 10, 1075, Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce.

This song was suggested by a close friend. At first I resisted using it because I knew it would be very emotional for me to hear it. I cried the very first time I heard this song even before Mr. B passed away. But I knew that it was perfect for the service so I went with my heart and used it. I know it touched many people at the service and even though I had to restrain myself from sobbing uncontrollably, I feel really good that I persisted and played it.
The last song was Mr. B's favourite. I never really liked it but since this service was about him, I knew there was no other song that I could pick. Plus it was a really good way to end the service on a happy note. Rest in peace, Mr. B.
Carolyn
4/16/2013 09:43:41 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss. You have been very strong through this. I was diagnosed in January, and I know how difficult this is on the loving spouse. God bless you, you are in my prayers.

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:25:46 pm

And you will be in my prayers too, Carolyn. The longer you can hang on, the more chance there will be for a new breakthrough in treating this horrible monster called, Myeloma.

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Cindy Walsh
4/17/2013 01:11:52 am

Shelley,
My thoughts are with you. My dearest friend lost her husband about 15 months ago, she attended a grief group for several months and found it helpful. She said the sense of loss doesn't to away but the raw hurt heals. The first 12 months was a journey for her

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:27:14 pm

I have considered attending a grief group but since I don't drive, then I'm limited in where I can go. Plus the bus service where I live is not very good either. :-(

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BARB BURANT
4/17/2013 01:58:44 am

Shelly,
There are no words to tell you how sorry I am to hear about the passing of your beloved husband. He will always be in your heart. Don't worry about his clothes or having his ashes with you. You need to do whatever it takes to make it through the day.

Thinking and praying for you.

Barb

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:29:30 pm

Thank you, Barb. I'm learning that each day is different. Some days like last Friday are spent crying a lot. Then the next day you might just experience a great sadness. This is a new road for me and whether I like it or not, I'm forced to travel it.

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4/17/2013 08:16:46 am

That old saying "Time heals all wounds..." is only partially true. Some grief will always remain, but in time it will be less in-your-face like it is now. Don't rush the removal of reminders; I have known of secondary grief (for the loss of the things that were precious) on top of the primary loss. There will come a day when you say to yourself, "Today I will..." and it will feel right. Until then, reach out to friends, join a support group, and you might want to read some of the writings of John Edward, a medium who claims (with amazing accuracy, I might add) being able to contact those who have passed over. It is comforting to think of our loved ones having an awareness of us here on this earthly plane, at least to me; not just having been converted to stardust and sent to another galaxy.

But whatever works for you is what is right. Really grief is such a personal thing and disregard anyone who might thoughtlessly say, "Oh, snap out of it!" And do be aware, if possible, if your grief is immobilizing you in a serious way, and you might want to seek some help for depression or anxiety. I will be holding you and Daryl in the Highest Light of healing while you both process this separation. Hugs!

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:31:27 pm

Thank you, Sandy. Prayers and hugs are gratefully accepted. :-)

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Pat
4/17/2013 10:27:35 pm

Since there really are no words, (((Hugs)))!

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:32:09 pm

Hugs are the best thing for me right now. Thank you, Pat.

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Nicky
4/20/2013 01:02:40 pm

Don't be afraid to let me know when you need some company at the puzzle table, or need to get out and run errands or go for tea - even if you have to push yourself sometimes to reach out. You are not alone.

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:33:02 pm

You have been a very good friend to me, Nicky. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :-)

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4/20/2013 02:23:49 pm

dear shelley,

i am so very sorry, wish i could reach through the screen and give you a warm hug. if possible, keep writing through your grief so that we can continue to give you love and support. try not to worry about decisions you do not have to make - when it feels right, you will know. i hope that you can feel daryl's presence enfolding you in comfort and love - love never dies, but when we can't be with our beloved, it's so very painful. i hope that you will find the things that comfort you, that can be touchstones to lighten your heart, so heavy with grief. and sandy is so right! grief is such a personal thing, and no one else can can tell you how to do it.

thank you for telling us about daryl's service, the outpouring of love from so many who cared and admired him, and the music you chose. and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings during such a sad and difficult time. i am sure others will read your words and know that they are not alone.

and know that you are not alone, either, there are legions of people who have followed your story, your role as a loving caregiver and advocate for daryl, and they will still be here for you. i send you my most powerful vibes for finding your way, the baby steps that, though they may be hard and scary, will help you get through the pain and offer some measure of comfort.

love, XOXO,

karen, TC

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Shelley
4/21/2013 03:44:11 pm

Thank you for your words of encouragement, Karen.

I've wondered how I should proceed with my blog now that Mr. B has passed away. When I started it, I wasn't expecting him to leave me so quickly and that I would be writing in it for years to come. How wrong I was.

I don't want it to be a place that depresses people but right now I am in a place that is dark and it is hard to keep that out of my posts. I don't know what direction this blog will take but I hope to continue on with it in some way. I hope I can still offer some encouragement to others.

I have a friend that also lost her husband to cancer. It was almost 2 years ago. She said that she would open the drawers that had his clothes and hope that she could smell him. Or when her birthday came around she hoped that he had left a card with someone that would be delivered on her birthday. I totally understand that. I walk into our closet and look and touch his clothes. I know that they will be the hardest thing for me to let go of since I can still picture him wearing them. I have already determined which of his favourite t-shirts I will keep. Maybe one day I will lose enough weight to wear them myself. Does that seem silly?

Next Sunday will be a very hard day for me. It's Daryl's birthday and I know I will likely spend the day crying. :-(

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4/23/2013 11:13:56 am

I'm sorry for your loss.

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Shelley
4/25/2013 03:23:03 pm

Thank you, Lisa

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Linda Hashim
4/24/2013 10:37:04 am

Hi Shelley

I came across your blog whilst trawling the internet for some comfort for my own dad's passing on 9.4.2013. My dad too had MM coupled with other complications (brittle spine, kidney failure,diabetic to name a few). My dad too had aggressive MM - he passed away after slightly only 3 months of the MM diagnosis.

I live at home with my parents. My mum was the primary caregiver. She too feels my dad's absence like you do of your husband. My mum locked up my dad's room downstairs which had the patient bed, special toilet etc, the day after dad'd burial.

I do too miss my dad very dearly. Sometimes, I feel to a certain extent, because my dad was ill and suffering for so long (he was bedridden for 9 months prior to MM diagnosis) that most of the rest of the world (there are exceptions, of course) expect me to be fine as my dads passing is "expected". And that I just need to suck it up and move on.

Most of the time I just tell myself that I am ok...but deep down inside, I know I am not.

I am rambling...i guess what I am trying to say is that I share what you are going through right now. Hugs hugs hugs

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Shelley
4/25/2013 03:28:40 pm

Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure you are missing your dad a lot. Hugs to you.

I'm not sure why we place such heavy expectations on ourselves when it comes to grieving. Or that we feel we need to listen to what others are saying we should or shouldn't be doing to "get over it". I'm allowing myself to cry when I want to and to not apologize to anyone when I do. I still cry every day but some days less than others. On the days I am gone from our condo I seem to do better. But the intense sadness never leaves me. :-(

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4/26/2013 12:14:23 am

I lost my husband in September 2010 after a 4+ year battle with myeloma. I used my CaringBridge journal during the caregiving years and started a blog after he passed. It has been helpful for me to have a place to write (most of) my feelings and I can look back now and see the progress I've made. Let the blog be for YOU ... don't worry that it will be too 'dark' for others. They can choose to not read it ... you are having to learn how to live with it.

I do very well at work and I'm volunteering at Widowed Village and for Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation. I'm in a pretty good place right now. But Vern's clothes are still in the closet, his ashes still in the beautiful wooden box. I am not ready to part with these things and that is ok. There is no timeline for this and please do not allow anyone to tell you what you must do. I give myself permission to feel what I feel when I feel it. If I'm hit with a sad day, then I stay home in my jammies and just wallow in it. It passes, and the next day I can once again appreciate the beauty that surrounds me.

Losing your husband is very, very different from other losses. And it is so soon for you. Please just be kind to yourself, Shelley, and take one day at a time.

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Shelley
4/26/2013 04:18:43 pm

Thank you, Dianne. I'm glad that I am not alone in wanting to hold on to Daryl's things. The personal items like his wallet are especially hard to handle right now. I feel like people are expecting me to deal with his things in a timely manner and that I almost have to apologize for taking my time.

I had another bad day today and it wasn't until I was having lunch with a friend that I realized it was the 3 week anniversary of Daryl's passing. I think my subconscious knew it even though I wasn't focusing on it. All I knew was that I felt horrible when I got up. I was tired and could hardly drag my butt around to get ready by 12:30 to be picked up. I cried often during my lunch date. Last Friday was the same except that I was home during the day and went out for supper instead.

And yet the day before I thought I was doing really well. I began to think that I had turned a corner. I guess I was wrong. :-(

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5/24/2013 02:13:20 pm

hello shelley,

it's me, karen, just checking in on you and letting you know that i am still sending you love, good thoughts, and hope that during this very sad and difficult time after losing daryl you are finding your way day by day.

warm and gentle hugs to you shelley, xoxo,

karen



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