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SAL1512's Photo SAL1512 SparkPoints: (458,841)
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11/19/11 9:25 P

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After Ben died I bought a paw print stamp so his little dog could sign our cards. It just seemed wrong to have just my husband and I sign the cards. There was just too big an empty spot . . .
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11/19/11 3:57 P

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Signing the cards was a hard one for me, usually I did that and signed all our names. We all start with a D, so I would make one big D and then finish the names. I could not this year, so I signed only my name and had my two kids sign their own and I got a paw stamp and stamped a puppy print and wrote the puppies name under. It just seemed wrong to do it the same as I had done for the last 38 Christmas'.

Doing all things the same is hard, changing some, keeping some the same seemed to be the way to go. Going back to the old ways maybe for next year, but I suspect it will be more of incorporating new with the old, picking what is comfortable to do and leaving out those things that just are to hard for now.

Dot
Goal: To do better today.


Treasure the past, live in the present and believe in the future.


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KATEJ17's Photo KATEJ17 Posts: 136
11/19/11 2:43 P

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Dad-tree is such a great idea, i agree. My husband always read the Christmas verses from the Bible on Christmas morning before we opened any presents. Last year, for the first time, my 8 year old daughter did the reading beautifully. We lit a Yankee Jar candle, i think it was Angel Wishes or wings or something like that, and burned it all day in honor of him. I think we will carry that tradition forward. Also, this year on our family Christmas card, I included a photo of him and the girls together with our other pics, as he will always be part of our family.



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11/19/11 10:45 A

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Our 19 yr old son is really hurting this week, in the form of anger. Broke a lot of things around the house. Really missing my husband as he would have taken control, then again would have been no reason for the anger, catch 22. Wish I could get his to go to counseling, but he will NOT. Tried. All I can do is try to help him thru enough so he can see he needs help.

Everyone I have told about the Dad tree seems to like it, I like it because we get to make him a part of our Holiday, can leave it up longer if we want, can put it up year after year or stop when the time seems right. It will also spur conversation so that future family members can share in the stories of the great Dad that is with us in spirit now, less likely to be forgotten by generation who did not get to meet him.

Dot
Goal: To do better today.


Treasure the past, live in the present and believe in the future.


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COSMIC_ENERGY's Photo COSMIC_ENERGY Posts: 10,398
11/19/11 10:22 A

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Love the Dad tree idea! Like a mini shrine for the holidays. I have a shrine area for those who have gone on in my bedroom. It's very comforting. You're so right, the kids are grieving and everyone grieves in their own ways.


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11/19/11 10:02 A

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Thanks, last night was just one of those nights, feeling better today and ready to tackle the day and those things needed to get ready for the upcoming days.

I am getting a lot out of griefshare, also found a Surviving the Holidays session I found most helpful. Gave me the idea of making a small "Dad" Christmas tree. Since we have had a tradition in our family for years of me giving him and the kids a new special ornament each year, we will take all his ornaments and put them on one 3ft tree and since he loved the grinch, and he had several stuffed ones, we will use the smallest one as the tree topper, or one of his favorite hats. This will each year be the "Dad" tree, so we can feel he is still part of our holiday celebration. I think he would get a real laugh at it, but love the sentiment. I talked it over with the kids before making the plan and they agreed they liked the idea. That I felt was important, 100 percent agreement, as they are grieving too!

Many of the ornaments are of the things he loved to do, fishing, softball, local pro teams in footbal and baseball etc. Not only did I get him an ornament, but also my mother did for many years, so the tree will be full. Then we added one that we found this year, that has best Dad written on it.

Have a good Saturday everyone, taking each day as it comes, sometimes each minute, but I know God will get me thru this hard time.

Dot
Goal: To do better today.


Treasure the past, live in the present and believe in the future.


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COSMIC_ENERGY's Photo COSMIC_ENERGY Posts: 10,398
11/18/11 10:41 P

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A puppy will force you out of your own misery. As yes, one day at a time. One foot in front of the other because we have no other choice. I used the online version fo grief share. Be easy on yourself right now. emoticon


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11/18/11 9:50 P

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I found a grief support group called griefshare in my area, it is church based and available all over it is helping me but yes with the holidays approaching and what would have been our 39th anniversary smack dab in the middle between Christmas and New Years, I too have been doing a lot of mindless eating, turning to my old foe chocolate and not wanting to do much and definately not exercising. I tell you this is by far the hardest thing I have ever done and I have yet to make it thru the first year. People keep telling me I am strong, and I know I need only turn to God, but I want to scream at them what choice do I have, I am alive and I must go on and while my kids are 23 and 19 yrs, they are what propell me to the next day.

A couple of months ago I made the decision to get a new puppy, this too has helped as a puppy needs what a puppy needs when she needs it and I can not mope about, she is funny and has brought some laughter back to the house as well as some purpose. While a new puppy might not be the answer to all, well for us it is a help and a new puppy was a planned addition only I decided sooner rather than later.

I hope you are getting thru these days and turning to God for the strength to get to the next moment. We all know all to well just how hard it is.

Dot
Goal: To do better today.


Treasure the past, live in the present and believe in the future.


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KATEJ17's Photo KATEJ17 Posts: 136
11/13/11 12:55 A

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THank you ladies, so much for your thoughts and suggestions. Last year, I started a letter to my husband...a ramble of thoughts good and bad. Haven't been back to it in a while. I do talk to him though, in my day to day travels, and in my closet because his ashes are still in there wrapped in a favorite t-shirt of his, and his 3 favorite ball hats. I have not settled on a place to scatter the ashes yet, and know that God will tell me when and where that time will come. I will try to be more deliberate in my conversations though. I just cry all the time these days, and am so easily frustrated by everything and anything. ah, i always a late bloomer. guess it is the same with this too!
love and thanks,
kate



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KATEJ17's Photo KATEJ17 Posts: 136
11/12/11 11:16 P

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THank you ladies, so much for your thoughts and suggestions. Last year, I started a letter to my husband...a ramble of thoughts good and bad. Haven't been back to it in a while. I do talk to him though, in my day to day travels, and in my closet because his ashes are still in there wrapped in a favorite t-shirt of his, and his 3 favorite ball hats. I have not settled on a place to scatter the ashes yet, and know that God will tell me when and where that time will come. I will try to be more deliberate in my conversations though. I just cry all the time these days, and am so easily frustrated by everything and anything. ah, i always a late bloomer. guess it is the same with this too!
love and thanks,
kate



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SAL1512's Photo SAL1512 SparkPoints: (458,841)
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11/12/11 9:23 A

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Kate,
White-Lotus had a great idea! Write to him! I had forgotten that I kept our son's e-mail address active for a long time after he died. It really helped to e-mail him. I never told anybody until today that I did that. Our older boy e-mailed him too. Eventually I closed down that e-mail address and then I sent the e-mails to myself.

Sally emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY's Photo COSMIC_ENERGY Posts: 10,398
11/12/11 12:31 A

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Are you able to talk to a counselor or grief group? Others who have walked through this grief are more understanding and people without familiar ties and expectations.

For me I found I had to give in to the grief and really honor it. Pushing it back only made it seem to push back harder and longer. It's almost as if you have to make grief your friend and give it its due notice before you can walk out the other side.

So my suggestion is talk to it. Talk to him. Write your thoughts -sad - angry - happy in a journal, light a candle when he come to mind, develop rituals that pay homage, yet let you keep moving forward. and tell us here as often as you need to be heard.


Cosmic energy of light and love


SAL1512's Photo SAL1512 SparkPoints: (458,841)
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11/11/11 1:16 P

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Yes, you are entitled to grieve because he was important to you! A marriage certificate, a piece of paper, a contract does not really have anything to do with the emotional tie you felt for him these past 10 years.

The cherishing of our loved ones memory alternating with pushing away the memories of our youngest son, Ben, is the roller coaster of emotions that I often refer too. Then it is complicated by my husband's emotions. I find that when my roller coaster is going up, his is going down and that makes for a strain on our relationship. We have found that we have to have contacts to talk too outside of our marriage because of this roller coaster ride.

I felt sad for years because I had to grieve by myself. My "friends" and church were not there for me. I got the feeling that they thought they would "catch" something from me if they talked to me. Like loosing a child was a disease. They also thought that I was grieving too long. I looked until I found someone who would listen and talk to me. I found a group that I could go to once a month. Men attended this group and I was able to learn from them what my dear husband was going thru. It just takes a while to adjust to your new life. My path has changed. I do not like this new path, but this is the way it has to be now. I also found Sparks.

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VAWHITE's Photo VAWHITE Posts: 10,378
11/11/11 10:17 A

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Have others experienced being torn between wanting to cherish the memory of the person you lost but also wanting to push the memories away so you don't hurt so much? Since my sweetie and I weren't married and didn't live together (but only 4 house apart), I feel awkward trying to talk with friends about it. I don't even think my sisters understand the depth of my loss. We met 10 years ago and dated for 9 of those years. We talked about how we were the answers to each others prayers, but neither of us wanted to get married again after getting out of bad marriages. Sometimes I almost feel like I'm not entitled to grieve so much. I know that's not rational, but I have that feeling often. What do you do when you feel no one wants to hear you talk about the confused feelings you're having?

Edited by: VAWHITE at: 11/11/2011 (10:20)
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KELCARD1's Photo KELCARD1 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/10/11 11:46 A

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For me, the second year is harder in many ways after my mom passed away. The first year was filled with taking care of issues like the house, bills, etc. While is was also filled with a lot of trauma, I was lucky enough to have support from all over. Now that it's the second year, the loneliness has creeped in more. I am so glad that I found this site and others like me, so that I know that I'm never really alone. I just need to reach out. Like you, I was struggling with my eating. In a lot of ways, I felt like it was the only thing that I had control over and it was always dependable. It was also very comforting. I realized what I was doing to myself when the scale jumped in the wrong direction and looked for some books and found SparkPeople. The book that really made a difference for me is "The End of Overeating" by David A. Kessler, MD. It made me look at food in a whole new light and realize that it really had become an addiction for me. Plus, it helped me realize that I should not shoulder all of the blame myself. Our food companies like us becoming addicted to their products and they try to make them even more alluring. I hope all of this helps.

Kelly

Kelly
~A&I DECEMBER BSG Mistletoes


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SAL1512's Photo SAL1512 SparkPoints: (458,841)
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11/6/11 6:23 P

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Kate,
It has almost been 5 years since our youngest son, Ben, died. He had been sick for 5 years and his death was expected. The first year was a fog. My husband and I remember very little of it. The grief never goes away, but it does change in intensity. The grief process is yours and the new life that happens in this time line that you never expected to find yourself in, is your new life. Be gentle with yourself. You are probably doing better than you ever expected. I can tell, because you still seek a healthy life style.
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Sally

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COSMIC_ENERGY's Photo COSMIC_ENERGY Posts: 10,398
11/6/11 4:48 P

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Yes Kate--it's funny how as we get stronger, the grief opens up on us. The first year, we often keep busy so we don't have time to be over whelmed. Then as life in its new form takes over anniversaries creep in. I think this year (6) I had several things happening (2 cousins passed, days in fall are shorter (less light), and a close friend had emergency surgery and a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. My dad's birthday came and the sadness rolled right on to me.

I've been on Sparks since 2006. I'm just now having weight loss success. Exercise, that's another thing.

Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break. Start small, reclaim good eating habits. When you are able to workout, find ways to use parts of your body that won't put a strain on your injury. If you have any spiritual practices, be it meditation or prayer--even journaling, focus there. Healing your mind, shoring up your ability to cope with life's curve balls. This too shall pass.




Cosmic energy of light and love


KATEJ17's Photo KATEJ17 Posts: 136
11/6/11 2:37 P

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Hello all,
I wrote a while back just prior to the first anniversary of my dear husband's death, when I was about to run in a Duathlon with my daughter in his honor. It was a great day, and we got the job done. However, I injured my knee with acute tendonitis and a posterior tibial ligament strain and have been having a hard time getting back on the exercise train. Add to that some first year depression, our wedding anniversary on 10/28, and Halloween with my 2 little ones, and we have a recipe for disaster. The grief I am feeling as I enter this second year seems so much more intense. I feel like I need to start Spark all over from the beginning again,and that's not so bad, but my schedule is so much more difficult now. I am doing mindless unhealthy eating, and I am so disgusted with myself.
Have any of you experienced this , and if so, how did you handle it??
Thanks and love,
Kate



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