Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

What Next?

What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 13, 2020 8:02 pm

After The Care Giving

9ac10dc7ff81da19401ad877fb86c2b8-huge-_d

My son paid me a birthday visit today. I guess the question on the sign says it all. Its times like this that the death of a loved one is felt most keenly. I do feel like the love she gave me was so well done that it will get me through these rough spots. I have spent some time today going through the many wonderful notes we wrote back and forth to each other over the years...a note that I just read had this in it:

"I am so thankful for David, helping me through this rough patch. I love him so much..."

Knowing that, according to her, I did things right does lessen the pain...I find renewed strength in looking at the blessings and the many wonderful memories. She truly loved me with all her heart, and I am still amazed about that.

Thought I would start this topic to share a bit on how I am dealing with the aftermath. I have not been out yet since she died. I plan on an outing to the mountains tomorrow. Something about the wild horses that calms my soul...

If anyone on this forum would like to share their "aftermath" as in "After The Care Giving," please feel free to share here.

"Pain shared, IS pain divided."

________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by Brighty on Apr 13, 2020 8:18 pm

Happy birthday to you CentralAB‍! !! You have such a kind face.     You and your wife were so lucky to share the kind of love that you did.    Dan and I had a bond  although we only got a short time together.      The aftermath was tough..  but in a way  it was also a relief.       The amount of suffering  he endured I wouldn't have wished on my worst enemy.    Knowing  he is now at peace gives me some kind of comfort.    I   struggled  with anger, guilt and denial for a very long time afterwards.      I still  do at times.  I keep my wedding dress  in my closet  hoping some miracle  will happen  and he'll come back.     The guilt and anger nearly destroyed  me and I had intensive councelling  for the first year after.. including  group therapy  and one on one to work through  things.      Anniversaries and birthdays were rough but my social worker gave me strategies to cope.     You might want to consider  talking to someone.    They will do it by phone now.   I hope you will find peace my friend.   We are here to support you every step.     
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: What Next?

Posted by Rayline on Apr 14, 2020 12:23 am

CentralAB‍  Wishing you lots of beautiful phots for this year. I have been thinking of you, Easter and now your birthday without your dear wife. I am sure this is so tough for you and Brighty‍ I appreciate your sharing and honesty and I know how difficult it was for you losing your love. 

Re: What Next?

Posted by a3a on Apr 14, 2020 1:45 am

Dear Central AB, so sorry to read of the loss of your wife.  Your posts were so filled with love, the thoughtful care you provided has been inspirational to many caregivers as well as those of us undergoing treatment. I'm glad you have notes to reread,  visible reminders of your devotion to each other. Thinking of you on Vancouver Island, Ginny

Re: What Next?

Posted by Essjay on Apr 14, 2020 8:20 am

Happy birthday CentralAB‍ 🎂🎈🎉🎊

im so glad you have those loving notes, and that they are a comfort.

And you clearly have a wonderful loving son xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: What Next?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Apr 14, 2020 12:06 pm

CentralAB‍ , I hope you had a great birthday. It’s heart-warming to see that your son came out to help with that!

I’m glad you’ve decided to some here and share your “aftermath” as you said. I’m going to tag Dot75‍ Into this conversation, as she might be interested in participating in this discussion.

How wonderful it is that you have so much love and gratitude for the woman who so clearly loved you.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: What Next?

Posted by Dot75 on Apr 14, 2020 2:29 pm

CentralAB‍ i just read your post and I’m sitting here crying thinking of my love who passed on April 4th just before Easter.  Although I don’t have notes I have pictures of us together and so many memories.  I miss him so much!!  I promised him I would look after him and keep him with me until the end, which I did.  I didn’t want him to be with strangers and I knew if he was taken out of our home I would not have been able to be with him.  That is something I couldn’t live with.  
He always said I was the strong one.  He said he was glad he would go first because he wouldn’t know how to carry on and look after things.  I sit alone these days because of the social distancing and I can’t believe I aM in this predicament.  I really thought that by some miracle this was just a bad dream.  It’s not, it’s real!!!  Sometimes I think to myself, why did I have to be so strong this way?  It’s not fair!  I lost my first husband to a tragic accident and 40yrs ago after only 13 yrs of marriage, he was my first love.  We had two children.  This wonderful man was right there helping through that horrible time.  They were friends and we were neighbors. He had been left with two little Girls to raise.  We got together and blended our families.  I had told him at the time that I hoped I could fall in love again!  I can’t remember the exact moment but fall in love we did.  He always wanted me to marry him and I always felt guilty to do that!! 10 years ago I said yes and what a magical moment that was.  We had been together for 30 yrs and I finally said yes!!  It was a beautiful wedding that our four children and grandchildren organized.  It was an outdoor wedding.  My only regret is not doing it sooner! He had always been my rock and I had just survived kidney cancer!!  I didn’t think it possible to love someone again so much!  I will be 75 this year.  
I am so deeply sorry for your loss as well, and taking one day at a time is all we can do right now.  I don’t know of any outlet for grieving right now and it makes it doubly hard to have to be alone without the family or friends.  Almost seems like a cruel joke.  
All the best to you!  I like to think he is still here.

Re: What Next?

Posted by Brighty on Apr 14, 2020 2:34 pm

Hi Dot75‍  what a beautiful  love story you had !    Thsnk you for sharing your precious memories with us !!! Would you consider  talking with a grief councellor?  They  are doing counseling  sessions  now by phone.   Ive been talking to mine over the phone.     I can look up some places for  you if you feel comfortable  telling me what area you are in.    
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: What Next?

Posted by Dot75 on Apr 14, 2020 5:48 pm

Brighty‍ yes most certainly. I live in the Niagara area in Ontario. St. Catharines to be exact.  I wasn’t sure where to reach out and because of the social distancing etc I just didn’t know what to do!!  I am just here trying to be as strong as he thought I was!!
thanks, Dot

Re: What Next?

Posted by Brighty on Apr 14, 2020 6:14 pm

Here are some numbers for you Dot75‍ 
Grief share.   905 937 5300 x 210
grief recovery outreach program 905 937 4444.
bereaved  families of Ontario 905 318 0070
compassionate friends of niagara  905 374 8050
grief Recovery group fort erie  905 871 0444
grief recovery  group welland 905 732 3969.
let me know if any of them work out for you.
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 14, 2020 8:44 pm

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and experiences that are being shared. I guess I am one of those ones who hides the pain very well, there have been a number of people who have said that they 'admire my strength," and other similar comments. If people knew the pain inside; well, I dont know. All I know is that this week seems worse for grief, than last week. Sorting through the belongings for family, etc serves to amplify; and I find myself kind of frozen...Thats why this is called "Whats Next.?"  Its not all "wine and roses" and "staying positive." I sometimes wonder what that actually means. Has anyone ever experienced grief so acutely that even words of comfort are painful to listen to?  That is some of what I mean when I ask "What's Next?"

However; I do still believe there is always a little light. That little bit of light doesnt mean I shouldn't miss her terribly, or cry and wish she was still here. But what it does mean for me, as I think I said before here; if you don't see any light where you are now, for your particular situation, then its time to just look to where you last did see some light. For me it has often been out in the wilderness. So today I got out for a bit, and came up with some really nice Raptor pictures. The picture below is either a Falcon, or a Juvenile Hawk. I am leaning towards Falcon because of the beak.

3224c0c0aeffc082f658035318d4e31c-huge-_d

My wife said a number of times that she loves the way I keep going out to find something beautiful, no matter how gloomy things might be. She wanted me to become successful in my photography, so when I find birds like this; I can feel those rays of light coming back to brighten my heart.
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by Brighty on Apr 14, 2020 9:09 pm

CentralAB‍  you don't have to be strong at all times.   It's understandable  that this week would be worse than last because  after you finish  with all the practical  stuff , reality sets in.     I do understand  experiencing  the pain so acutely. ..  I couldn't even get out of bed the first few weeks after it happened.    Nothing anyone said to me made me feel any better.. it actually  just made me more upset because  I felt they didn't truly understand .   Sometimes I really just wanted to be left alone.     I didn't want people to try to cheer me up.     I wanted to wallow in my pillow.      I didn't want to go by others time  tables of when the pain should stop.       Slowly slowly  in my own time I got out of bed and managed  to do one small thing per day...then as time went on  I slowly integrated  back into life.    Do it on your own timetable.     I'm so glad to hear you got out for a bit today...and that you have an outlet and a place thst brings you peace.     You will always  miss her.   I miss Dan every  single  day even though it's been almost  2 years.     She will always  always be with you.    

 
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 15, 2020 7:51 am

Thank you Brighty‍  The first line in your post says it all!
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 15, 2020 9:07 am

It is challenging to let this happen. For 5 years I have had to be vigilant in being strong. I keep forgetting that now I can let my guard down a little now. And I think we all do need to from time to time. A nurse said to me not too long ago: "you have been so strong for so long now..." and I remember thinking "But I didn't think I was being strong; I was just doing what came naturally, as a labour of true love"

Now when I think of it, that would make anyone strong. It has been said that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. I let myself love someone, when I swore up and down I never would again. My wife was that someone. It was easy to love her. Not easy to allow the weakness. BUT I am finding that the more I can accept and be at peace with; then the happier I will feel. Like the song says "You Were The Woman That I Always Dreamed Of."  She really, truly was. We both kept saying "God saved the best till last."

Nature has many lessons that I draw on to help me along the way. In the enclosed picture, the deer were running to get off the road and out of my way. They were literally running for safety, or, one step further, they were running to the light. It made me ask myself "what would happen if you ran like this to where you last saw the light?"

b425dff76849c2ca24050aafe132893c-huge-_d


That question leads me directly to "the good things. The good memories." My sister told me the other day, when I was grieving, rather loudly: "think of the good things. How did you two meet?"

How we met was truly delightful. It happened through online dating, and we felt rather special when we met, because the name of the site was "Our Time." So fitting for us. My wife is the only lady in the world that I ever had an eight hour first date with.

 

CentralAB:
Thank you Brighty‍  The first line in your post says it all!

 
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Apr 15, 2020 11:10 am

CentralAB‍ 

I always enjoy your photography thanks for sharing it here. It will always be a reminder of how proud your wife was of you.

Just a quick note: You might not feel strong right now. But I believe you can exude strength while in pain and grieving. I think with grief the only way through it is... through it. Keep talking to us we are listening and here for you.

Thanks for continuing to offer kind words to others in their journeys. 

Lacey

P.s. Do you find the falcons hard to photograph. My husband constantly complains that he is able to sneak up really close and at the last minute they take off. 

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 15, 2020 1:39 pm

The Falcons are a bit tricky, they do get skitterish. But there is a trick to it. I dont have too much trouble doing it now. It helps to remember that sneaking up on them is the first step, but there are other things to remember. Any sudden movement, such as the camera when you try to get the shot will spook them. Taking it slow is the trick there. Sometimes I get closer, then wait quietly for a few min.

I agree, we do have to just push through it. Trying to go around it or avoid it doesnt work.
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 15, 2020 1:43 pm

Sometimes I am waking up at 4 or 5 am and thinking "she needs help" and by the time I get half way to her room I realize that I was dreaming about it. I dont know what to do about that one. That kind of thing happened a lot for real when she was here.

Brighty:
CentralAB‍  you don't have to be strong at all times.   It's understandable  that this week would be worse than last because  after you finish  with all the practical  stuff , reality sets in.     I do understand  experiencing  the pain so acutely. ..  I couldn't even get out of bed the first few weeks after it happened.    Nothing anyone said to me made me feel any better.. it actually  just made me more upset because  I felt they didn't truly understand .   Sometimes I really just wanted to be left alone.     I didn't want people to try to cheer me up.     I wanted to wallow in my pillow.      I didn't want to go by others time  tables of when the pain should stop.       Slowly slowly  in my own time I got out of bed and managed  to do one small thing per day...then as time went on  I slowly integrated  back into life.    Do it on your own timetable.     I'm so glad to hear you got out for a bit today...and that you have an outlet and a place thst brings you peace.     You will always  miss her.   I miss Dan every  single  day even though it's been almost  2 years.     She will always  always be with you.    

 

 
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by Brighty on Apr 15, 2020 1:54 pm

CentralAB‍  it will just take time to process ....it took me a while to process the reality.  Your mind is kind of programmed now.. I was always  thinking stuff like 'which hospital  is going  to call this time with more bad news '  or what emergency  are we going to have this week.    The first year when he was gone and I didn't spend all my time in one hospital  or another  I didn't  know what to do with myself.     ...it just takes time to get back to your so called new normal.    
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 15, 2020 10:00 pm

Yes; I agree and have often taught others that it takes time. On that note; it also takes time to get the right shot. I went back to find my friend the Falcon today, and convinced him to give me the perfect portrait shot:

6819796909669be2b2cddceb90adea3e-huge-_d
 

Brighty:
CentralAB‍  it will just take time to process ....it took me a while to process the reality.  Your mind is kind of programmed now.. I was always  thinking stuff like 'which hospital  is going  to call this time with more bad news '  or what emergency  are we going to have this week.    The first year when he was gone and I didn't spend all my time in one hospital  or another  I didn't  know what to do with myself.     ...it just takes time to get back to your so called new normal.    

 
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by Brighty on Apr 15, 2020 10:16 pm

That is an awsome shot of him CentralAB‍ !
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: What Next?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Apr 16, 2020 10:42 am

CentralAB‍ , I’ve been trying to identify your falcon - It could be an adult Prairie Falcon, and it could be a juvenile Peregrine. Adult peregrines have a lot more white on their chest, and some of the photos I saw of Prairie falcons don’t have the yellow on the beak or the feet. Of course, there’s also the possibility it could be a Merlin, but it looks to be quite a bit bigger than that.

Re waking up in the middle of the night thinking your wife needs you, could I suggest that when one of those thoughts pass your mind, you just stay in the bed for a few seconds before you make a move. Allow the thought to roll into your consciousness before you throw the cover back. I think it will help you work through that moment and keep you in a warm, safe place, where you can process it. It might even help you get back to sleep. I feel for you going through those moments.

Lacey_adminCCS‍, a “hot tip” I got for photographing birds (just in the last 2 months!) is that songbirds “dip down” off the branch, and most raptors “spring up” off the branch (generally speaking) so if you aim the camera either just below or just above the branch (respectively), you might get a “launch” photo. (But I think the guy who told me this may have been a little too confident in my reflexes.)
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: What Next?

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Apr 16, 2020 11:09 am

CentralAB:
Yes; I agree and have often taught others that it takes time. On that note; it also takes time to get the right shot. I went back to find my friend the Falcon today, and convinced him to give me the perfect portrait shot:

6819796909669be2b2cddceb90adea3e-huge-_d
 

Brighty:
CentralAB‍  it will just take time to process ....it took me a while to process the reality.  Your mind is kind of programmed now.. I was always  thinking stuff like 'which hospital  is going  to call this time with more bad news '  or what emergency  are we going to have this week.    The first year when he was gone and I didn't spend all my time in one hospital  or another  I didn't  know what to do with myself.     ...it just takes time to get back to your so called new normal.    

 

 


CentralAB

WOW! incredible. I think your wonderful skills you used as a caregiver are spilling over to your photography-Your patient and gentle nature is paying off. Great photo.

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 16, 2020 11:14 am

Thanks Cynthia Mac‍ ; I am favoring a juvenile bird of some kind, as I think some of the feathers might indicate that. I have bird ID software, but have not yet installed it. I should be able to identify it better then.

The hint you gave can be very helpful....what I find with such birds is that in order to get the shot, its important to limit or eliminate movements that will send the bird to flight. For example, holding camera at neck/chin level so that when you go to move it in place to take a shot, there is not as much movement...I sometimes will flank to the right or left, as required, with camera already in place, over the eye. But that can get risky in swampy areas, lol, as I found out more than once. You have to watch where you are walking in some spots.  It also helps to stay too far away to get the shot for an hour or so. Then move in closer. A spotting scope can be used to spot them. Waiting in the area seems to convince some wild life that you are harmless, and pose no threat. It can sometimes take hours to get one like the last one above. I also have camoflauge tarps and such to dig in for longer waits. A hunter's blind will work for some types of wild life. The trouble with these birds is that they can see so well. With deer, for example, thats not a problem. Each animal or bird will be a little different.

Cynthia Mac:
CentralAB‍ , I’ve been trying to identify your falcon - It could be an adult Prairie Falcon, and it could be a juvenile Peregrine. Adult peregrines have a lot more white on their chest, and some of the photos I saw of Prairie falcons don’t have the yellow on the beak or the feet. Of course, there’s also the possibility it could be a Merlin, but it looks to be quite a bit bigger than that.

Re waking up in the middle of the night thinking your wife needs you, could I suggest that when one of those thoughts pass your mind, you just stay in the bed for a few seconds before you make a move. Allow the thought to roll into your consciousness before you throw the cover back. I think it will help you work through that moment and keep you in a warm, safe place, where you can process it. It might even help you get back to sleep. I feel for you going through those moments.

Lacey_adminCCS‍, a “hot tip” I got for photographing birds (just in the last 2 months!) is that songbirds “dip down” off the branch, and most raptors “spring up” off the branch (generally speaking) so if you aim the camera either just below or just above the branch (respectively), you might get a “launch” photo. (But I think the guy who told me this may have been a little too confident in my reflexes.)

 
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: What Next?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Apr 16, 2020 2:20 pm

CentralAB‍ - you’ve reminded me that we used to use a hunting blind for photographing ducks when I lived on a river - it kind of made us all “sitting ducks!”
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: What Next?

Posted by CentralAB on Apr 16, 2020 4:04 pm

I have developed other ways for the most part to get the shot, but the blinds and camo stuff really help for certain situations. Some of the reason for the skull cap is for camoflauge purposes. lol, the birds get skitterish when they see the chrome dome glinting in the sun! I have a big piece of burlap, very light weight, with camo-patterns on it that I use to create makeshift cover if I think I need it.

Cynthia Mac:
CentralAB‍ - you’ve reminded me that we used to use a hunting blind for photographing ducks when I lived on a river - it kind of made us all “sitting ducks!”

 
________________ "there is always a little Light"