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I am a wreck without my wife

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by RickB, Oct 5, 2021.

  1. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    Thank you! I find it helps to cry. To feel the feelings. I find myself doing "Phewwwww! and blowing out a lot! I write a WordPress blog called "Good Morning Sunshine!____. That has helped too. Some are about mourning or grief. Pen palling has helped. Having been a caregiver helps bits and pieces of things I have done help. People help most of all. We lived a life of "us" Just two artists until bombarded with my daughter and her kids. It helps that one of my grandsons is here with me since Tom died. He has Diabetes 1 and Mom works as an LPN in the thick of it at times. So this has worked well so I have to do a routine. I home school him he is 15. That and there is this bossy cat named Merlock! Tom's job was 4:00 pm to after midnight. So that is when I worked. I think it was a good thing for me to just pivot and not focus on some projects until I could. I am thinking of going for my MFA in writing.
     
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  2. Gary166

    Gary166 Active Member

    Hi Pejj my name is Gary. I’m sorry about losing Tom. I lost Cheryl my girlfriend of nine years five months ago to a sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest. I just joined this site one week ago. These are the most caring and supportive people I’ve ever known. My mind is fried from trying to keep up with both threads today. Glad you’re here. I’ve got to get some rest bye. Gary
     
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  3. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    Hi Gary! I think it is one of those things you do, but maybe not every day. It helps but I need to move from the chair. LOL Best wishes! Pejj
     
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  4. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    PJ, it looks like you're a great, insightful
    writer, as well as being an artist. Your
    descriptions of your loving marriage with
    Thomas, your caring for Alex, are very
    moving and real. Writing comes easy to
    me. I just let my emotions flow. But, like
    Deb, I'm tired at night, so I try to reply
    to posts in the morning, over coffee. I
    would suggest s book to you that I had
    recommended to Deb, George, and Gary,
    and they are all reading it now. I think
    you would like it especially, bc the
    author started out as a painter, before he
    became a writer. His name is Jonathan
    Santlofer, and his book is : The Widower's
    Notebook, a memoir. Well, time for bed.
    I like to get up early on these sunny,
    autumn days. "See " you tomorrow. Lou
     
  5. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    I get up and write in the morning too. With coffee at the ready. I am trying to figure out where I am at with this. We are all different, and at different stages. Sometimes I feel odd, that I am not feeling enough, but I do react, I cry. I feel heavy some days. Crying is something I think we do need to do. To have a release. I don't want to overthink or intellectualize this experience too much so I am immobile. I just want to feel it, not block out the feelings, and not be overwhelmed so I can't function. I think this has to do with how old I am now; my own immortality, Tom's being fresh in mind. There is so much I want to do, I feel if I am lucky I have another 30 years. But no one knows for sure how long they will live. Time moves too fast! Thomas was my number one supporter. Poof! He's gone and here I am.

    I want so much to get rolling on an art project I was doing when Tom died. But I feel concerned that a Tsunami of emotion will hit me right in the middle of it. And it will all come tumbling down; my dream of helping a lot of people through art. I am falling back on what I learned from my business coach. And that is being consistent. I like that word. It means doing something each day to move forward. I feel going for an MFA in Writing will be a good test of moving into my goals. One of the projects is to write an instructional book about the art I do, so others can have this book to instruct and teach Shibui. It will be about creating the foundations for Shibui Found Image Art. I began developing this in 2011. It can be used as an original art form or as an art therapy tool. The instructional books are about the ins and outs of what Shibui is. I have a control group on Facebook where I learn ab0ut what others can do with it. Some pretty fantastic works by other people! One lady wants to take it to a cancer center. Tom's death had me feel I needed to pivot to take a step back if I am to truly pull this off.

    He was going to retire and then we would become two artists working in the studio. Covid hit everyone! I was going to teach live classes, got all the equipment to do so. I had a facility interested in me. I am not sure of that particular place. But I did get some great feedback about Shibui from him. I think he needs to see me "back to normal", that he can have confidence in me and what I can do. I just feel unsure of myself and what I can do. Not knowing if I will get hit by something that totally overwhelms me.I am concerned that I am not feeling, blocking hurt and this will be that Tsunami. Is anyone feeling such feelings? From what I read people seem pretty overwhelmed. I feel I am balanced most times. I hate to be broadsided. I have lived a life of protecting myself from being hurt by other things like my parents, the first husband. Then I learned to feel my feelings, had a really good marriage with Thomas where I was loved for who I am, and for me loved him for who he was! I don't want to go back to that way of being. This said I think I am ok.
     
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  6. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    Thomas and I talked about anything and everything! He was like a walking encyclopedia. We talked a lot about life and what it was to be human. I miss him. Pen palling has helped as I have said here and there. Do you think it is possible to be so connected it makes you feel balanced, so well-loved that you're ok? That you can face things because you were so well-loved? We took care of his mother and Dad. Eileen the mother had lung cancer, but earlier in life, she had an operation where she did die on the operating table and had an out-of-body experience. She said where she went was so beautiful and she did not want to come back. She had been totally out of it, at the end. She rallied up being present long enough to say with great excitement! "All Right! Let's go!" In the same kind of voice that you'd use if you were going to do something special! She looked upward as she was saying it as if looking at something. When I was caregiving her she told me, "I will be back!" She said it often enough that I told her to leave me white feathers. She did! I am allergic to feathers so we did not have anything with them in it. One chair with tiny white feathers actually. Not the size found out of the blue in the house. When we moved here there were white feathers at all the outside doors on the stoops. My daughter had one stuck in her bedroom rug and when she came into the kitchen it was there. She had tried to vacuum it out of the rug. Same feather. I would smell her perfume. We blamed the Dad for taking things. I had purchased a calendar with artwork on each month. I laid in on the counter, went shopping, it was gone when I came back. I asked Tom, he had not seen it. Months later it turned up in new current newspapers. I only know the experience. Mom died and I saw a grey mist leave her mouth. A friend had told me of seeing grey mist leaving her mother. Thomas turned up at the funeral parlor. It got very cold between my daughter and me. I heard in my head. Thomas's voice in my head say "I am naked!" Not exactly appropriate, so it seemed. " Then I saw in my mind his naked body with his butt going back and forth like a duck. When we went to the funeral and it was time to view his body and say good-by his artwork on an easel at the bottom end of the casket but not close to it, fell off. Jacobie heard Tom's voice in her head say "Shit happens!" She also noticed his face looked like it was going to break out in the grin just before he would say this! I only know what I experienced. I conclude there is more to life because of being privy to these events. No matter how they happened.
     
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  7. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    WOW,PJ! Just read your 2 long posts from
    last night. Before you came along, from
    Maine, Deb, from South Carolina, and I,
    from the coast of Massachusetts, were
    the champions of memoir writing. You're
    our new champion. I can't address all
    your points, PJ, but I gently suggest that
    we have person to person dialogues. Every
    morning & evening, I check in with my
    friends, by name: Deb, Karen, George,
    Patti, Gary, and others (some of whom
    who have left the group). I seek a
    commonality here. For example, the ocean
    feeds my soul, as it did Linda's. I sit on the
    same bench that we sat on. I feel my
    mortality, too. I'm 72. Linda would've
    turned 71 yesterday, Oct. 13, but she died
    suddenly, right in front of me, at 68,
    just before Thanksgiving, 2018. I had
    suggested The Widower's Notebook,
    a memoir, by Jonathan Santlofer, to you,
    bc Jonathan was a painter, before he
    became a writer. Deb loved the book.
    George just started reading it, and Gary
    just ordered it through Amazon. The
    book examines many of the feelings you
    raised, and that all of us have. I would
    love to hear your opinion. Lou
     
  8. Van Gogh

    Van Gogh Well-Known Member

    Welcome, PJ. I replied to your 2 long posts
    from last night, after I went to sleep. Glad
    you liked Seinfeld, too, and. my Whale's
    Jaw Cafe. Your Greek restaurant sounds
    great, too. I have breakfast at Two Little
    Birds Eatery, across from the ocean, in
    Rockport. It used to be Nate's, owned by
    a woman from Athens. Now, her daughter,
    a local, owns it. It's very relaxing, with
    great music, including soft jazz , blues,
    & reggae. You are amazing, in your
    positive outlook only one year after the
    death of your husband, Thomas. I did not
    do well at all a year after the sudden death of my life, Linda, after 25 years of
    marriage. I drank more, became very
    depressed, with suicidal thoughts. I had to
    go to the ER, and from there, a small
    psychiatric unit, for 5 nights, which was
    very good for me. Upon discharge, I gave
    up drinking. It's been almost 3 years
    since Linda's death, and I feel better
    physically, but still have to work on
    the mentally part. Welcome. Lou
     
  9. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your story... I am glad Thomas was supportive of your art. I was a junior high Science teacher for around 25 years until I became disabled with End Stage Renal Disease. I say I want to be a writer and artist when I grow up! Which is now. I was kinda sidetracked with Valerie's dying and stuff and needing to sell my house. Shibui Found Image Art sounds really cool. I am into abstract stuff myself and surreal. some of my stuff is on here... I used to like to do train photography too... https://www.deviantart.com/eyepilot13
     
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  10. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    I am climbing out later than I always plan to because I did read quite a bit of Jonathan Santlofer's book. I found several things in common. It was quite insightful. Thank you for sharing it. I will re-read it. I put it on my kindle. For fun read My Grandmother asked me to tell you she is sorry. Fredrick Backman. I shan't tell you anything but that I have listened to it several times, it makes me laugh, and engage in its seriousness of life. I think i would like to be more like the grandmother. I recommend the audiobook by Audible. The reader is excellent! I love audiobooks, they help me as well. You can earn a free one each month. The next Fredrick Backman book I loved was Britt-Marie Was here. Both are about being humans.

    Like Santlofer I can see how Thomas died. We had moved into the bedroom to go to sleep. He sat on his side of the bed. I thought the skin on his back looked flushed, pink. He had gone to the bathroom. He had commented on how he was feeling. I forget just what he said, but that he felt different___ He went back in the bathroom, I followed to see how his skin looked in better light. He sat down on the toilet. His skin now looked yellow to me. He had his shirt off. His legs did not hold him, he had taken a step and was sitting on the floor, his shorts around his knees. I grabbed a towel to wipe him and then pull his pants up. That never happened. I sat on the flush and leaned him against me to figure things out to learn what was happening with him. I kissed him. I called 911. I had to unlock the door, and returned to him and leaned him against me again. He did not have his oxygen on. I don't think that would have mattered, he was dying. They came and laid him out on the bathroom floor and began to work on him. I asked them to cover him. I did not think they would be able to pull his pants up working on him was more important. He was a very modest man. I called my daughter. It was all so surreal. You answer questions. Different people came. The police come at some point. Then about 45 minutes after they began they talked with Jacobie a nurse and told me he had died. I think he had died when he slumped over. They had been asking him questions to see how responsive he was. Jacobie lives in Rhode Island, she came in the morning. I don't know I think I slept. Tom losing his pants and being naked was how he a very modest man left in a bag. So the next day when I heard him say! "I am naked!" It seemed funny. My seeing his butt going back and forth was like him saying, I don't need clothes anymore! And it was like he wanted me to see the humor. Living with Thomas was so much love and laughter, joking. He was in his early 40's had never married, and was kinda shy. There was this innocence about him that made me tease the heck out of him. Patting his bottom made him go deep red, he did eventually not go so red! I would call him stud muffin and make him turn red. He called me doll face! We ended up with a long list of names like that. Flirting with each other was something I had never done before. It took him years to take his t-shirt off. Always the gentleman. When we kissed we would often get zapped, there would be a loud snap and lips would have to get feeling back. It was a bit funny. We were so into loving each other. Just a touch was fireworks we knew each other so well. We talked about anything and everything! I think I began mourning his loss when I realized he would die. You are given 3 to 5 years for advance pulmonary Fibrosis. I could have lost him when he had heart surgery in 2014. We both had a scary year. I was told I had precancerous cells, a few, and that to save my life I would need a hysterectomy. I am told I am a cancer survivor, but it's surreal when you do not go through what others do to survive. I have been a caregiver, for Tom's parents then I worked as a caregiver for a place called Tootsie's Girls. LOL. I think the caregiver part of me has some bearing on me. But not totally that's for sure. Maybe my insights into psychology? Just information I can draw on really. I just needed to step back with this one and feel it. Let myself feel my loss.
     
  11. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    A Shibui Found Image Art begins with creating a foundation created by action art. By dripping, dropping, creating runs, bleeding wet medium, blotting it, using absorbing things like salt...etc . Then once dry it becomes found image work. You find what's there and develop it by doing some intentional work. It is problem-solving, and why it is great as an art therapy tool. Anyone can have fun with it. It is like finding something in the clouds or in a stain. When you can't seem to be creative it will get you going. That is how it began in 2011. It needed an explanation, and I have got that down. I was preparing to teach it and take it to a place called NeuroRestorative. They help people using art therapy. Neurological damage, autisum___ My goal is to teach others to instruct in it. use it as an art form or create a job for themselves. I also recommend learning the business end of art. How to generate revenue streams. I was just getting this off the ground when Tom died. I had stopped to help Jacobie as she did her LPN. Alex needed me to be there while Mom did school. So Tom and I made the decision I would go back and forth and do that. He was working then. Shibui has the potential to help a lot of people. I want to do this one thing so badly. But I need to be sane to do it. I think going for a MFA in writing will help me in writing the instruction manual and children's book projects. College should give me structure. If you are over 65 your tuition is paid for. Just need to pay for books. It is a low residency program. 2 years
    Maybe having this carrot before me helps me. Although grieving makes me fearful not knowing if I will explode somehow.
     
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  12. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    Your work is so beautiful. To create and imagine is the only way forward for me too... Your art is so colorful. Valerie was always the down to earth one and I was the artist type. My art wasn't really her thing. Thatz pretty cool going back to school. Kind of a big forward looking project like me selling my house.
     
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  13. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    This is my website on WordPress. https://anisettestudio.wordpress.com/ it may link to the blog. Some things are about my grief. There is another website with FASO is https://anisettestudios.com. Writing and art do help. I am thinking of drawing Thomas after reading the suggested book___I am forgetting its title. One thing that is shocking is suddenly being single. I have been married much longer than being single. I feel I want to treat life as an adventure now. I want it to be different. I want to be more outgoing and reach out. Thomas and I were so content with just us, and I think we do need other people in our lives. Family for sure. But for Jacobie this is a time where she and Dave, the kids need to grow as a family to have their own lives. I will be involved in the family of course but I want my independence too.
     
  14. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    I would love to have your deviant art address I seem to have lost how to go back to see it. I love art. I do printmaking as well.
     
  15. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    Jazz! I have a 10 X 10 room full of Jazz and other music. Thomas was a fan and did a Jazz radio show for a bit for a fellow who was dying from cancer. There is other music there too. The book a pen pal told me was The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer. It helped me with the voice in my head.
     
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  16. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    Sometimes I feel heavy and tired. Then I end up late nights and that just isn't good.
     
  17. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    I plan to sell when Jacobie and Dave build, they will do a split level with an in-law below. I would move after I do the MFA in writing. It won't be easy to move. But there are things I can't do. It would make a difference if I had additional income. I am packing things now, taking care of things way ahead. A friend suggested the free boxes you get from the US Mail. They are perfect to do the job in stages with. Mark them! LOL I did it with Tom's brother (things like their family photos, that Tom had. Some paintings from their family home, and other things he would enjoy.) Things for Jacobie, I boxed up the media room putting many of the CDs away for now keeping some out. It's a lot of music. Doing it gave me a guest room for my grandson. Some boxes are things I am keeping of Tom's. There is comfort in doing this and marking the boxes. Things are safe but it helps not to have so much of Tom out. I did find one image I laugh or smile about I put out. Doesn't hurt so much. I simply went through draws and closets. I did find things I could give away. And there were things Tom had he was planning on using like many photocopies I could let go of. I went through with the idea of what I would use and not use. I also changed things in the rooms. This helps truly! Because it is a different view than when Tom was here. I changed the bedroom a bit too and bought a new sheet set can comforter. This helps. Jacobie helped me with things in the basement. We got a dumpster. We had done this when we moved here, getting rid of his parent's things. It is much more intimate when it's your partner. I took up pen palling so I could have conversations with someone. It helps. I do write about Tom but about other things too. Responding to other people's lives and interest is good. Thomas was a great conversationalist. I miss him. A 15 year old is just not the same. I am glad he is here! Him and the bossy cat! But there are times I wish I was alone to just fall apart. It does help to cry as well as to talk. I have times when I am good, very good. Positive, and other days are colored over. They pass. Thomas would not want me to feel forever sad. Other people do move on in life, I assume so shall I. It can't be done by leaving my home as a shrine, so I have learned and which makes sense.
     
  18. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    There is a need great need for what you do if you would like to teach it as art therapy as a revenue stream. I am hoping to find people like you who could apply digital art to create shibui foundations. I don't know enough but have seen one person in my control group pull it off by creating digital foundations. It would help people who can only use computers as a therapeutic tool. It would help people to heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It can be taught via live video. Neurorestoative was highly interested in this for their clients so other places would be too. It would be for people who are paralyzed who can not do other art forms. The control group is Shibui Found Image Art Live on Facebook. A private group you can request. There is a lot of Shibui in there to see. I have not been as active, just getting back into it by putting blogs. Trying to be encouraging. I am pivoting a bit to change it. I have one serious-minded person who wants to instruct. Others are on a different mode. It was not mean to just share art, but to find interested people in using Shibui. I came to realize they needed better info that the manual would give. The cart a bit before the horse. I was in a group that worked very well The artist-entrepreneur network. This taught the business end of art. Catherine Orer has a pod cast now that helps artist regarding the business end of art. Maybe it would help you too. I like what I see, I do abstract work as well as other art forms. I like losing myself in Shibui as it makes me focus on what I am doing LOL!
     
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  19. Pejj

    Pejj Active Member

    Person to person????
     
  20. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much... all I can say is wow and kool... I was a a teacher for 25 years too. Right now my focus is getting out of this unHomelike house and starting a new life. I want to use whatever talent and skills I have (not real confident now... cuz of my loss! but thatz expected.) to help others. I just want to survive and be positive I don't care about surface stuff. I just want to be able to live my values.

    Digital art is awesome to get lost in! And I just pretty much use my images from 35mm photography and layer them with colors and filters. It is so therapeutic! My future goals would be to do something with art or writing or creativity. Even when I taught Jr High science I incorporated Liberal arts type stuff (like art) more than the Math. You could imagine how the "serious" Science teachers felt about this!