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Sudden, Surreal & Blank Canvas

Discussion in 'Coping After a Sudden Loss' started by KVR, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Abc

    Abc Guest

    Thanks Paul for sharing that with me. I'm glad you have a good friend walking this path with you. Now you have another friend, the doctor from the park, I'm happy for you. I'm sure it helps to have someone around, hear their voice, a human touch. I know coz I don't have anyone here with me. I can't tell anyone at work and I don't know anyone else. It gets so quiet and lonely, just this emptiness all around me that cuts like a razor. So I'm really glad you got some people around. It's gotta be helpful. Do stay in touch with them.
  2. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member


    That is exactly what gets me. The people are so alone. The few in-person grief groups that I went to had one woman and not a soul during her husband's sickness and not one with her now. I was so reluctant to go fearing I was too volatile and my social filter was low. They took turns speaking and she said her circumstances and I immediately said I am so sorry. I still felt the souls in that room were very mild and my intense being would be upsetting. Add the forgetful brain fog with questionable driving. I ended up here. Ainie said the same thing. She is online for all social and can visit here kids or grandkids from the fence.

    So if you can tolerate an idiot. I am your guy. Since our world imploded due to 19 and grief. How do we adjust? A ritual thing is the flowers in the high above alpine summer full-color display. Each year I am dazzled by them. There is a couple in their late seventies that run a rustic log inn. The place is cheap, clean, and a wrap-around porch. People mainly hiking nature type will visit. The small-town library is amazingly well supplied. The new business in town is a microbrew. I am limited to not much beer. But also set up for outside tables and chairs. I have no idea when the time comes in August this much-loved ritual will be available. I am concerned about the proprietors. Never go in July as the mosquitoes will devour you.

    Sorry to be a pest. If I am intruding in any way. If we visit fine or need to be private your call. I am moody and either need to relate a lot of width draw.

    Rainy and chilled today. I planted two blueberry, one raspberry, and two Japanese maples. All look to have made it. I just make shit up to fill time. Then there are days of just all the unpleasant stuff.
  3. Abc

    Abc Guest

    Paul, you're a very nice person and it's nice of you to take the time to write to me. I'm sorry I'm at a loss of words. It's just that things seem so pointless that I don't know what to say.
    It's nice to hear you talk about the flowers and being out in the nature, and looking forward to things. That's hope. Hope is very important. I'm sorry I don't have anything much to add to the conversation but it's very good to see someone on the path of reviving life in them again. I hope you feel stronger with every passing day. You're not a pest. You're a friend and it's good to hear from you. Thanks.
  4. Abc

    Abc Guest

    Ainie, I hope you're feeling better. I know I'm not much help but I pray you feel better soon.
    ainie likes this.
  5. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member


    Actually you have had a good deal to say. Our site is called Grief in Common. We have a good deal in Common. I think both were dedicated to our careers. I am fortunate to now have time to cope. We both lost our partners we loved immensely. Those two were for me 90% of my life. I noticed that I had gone from 10K words a day to 20. Work-life has responsibility, relating with so many people throughout the day. At the end of each day you to Steve and me to Kay. I loved coming home to her each and every day. I am not going to get all analytical. I will say the companionship in our relationships similar to how you write. We could not have asked for more. Always more time with them of course. I think that we both adored our partners.

    We share seeking. You have a similar spiritual orientation. The Old Testament is an angry, violent, and wrathful God. The spiritual teaching you are attracted to speak often of inner harmony, peacefulness. As Ainie has expressed the world we encounter is not that. We see both the beauty in the world and the suffering. You watch the videos. These religious traditions have been around for a long time. They try to offer wisdom to bridge these two aspects of life. Make sense of it. We seek wisdom and guidance. David finds beauty in music and so do I. Nature has that in abundance. The kind good-hearted acts of love we extend to each other.

    I would not expect you to be of full service at this time. I would expect very raw emotions. Disoriented. A ton of remembering and replaying the happiness found in your relationship. Your heart is hemorrhaging. You are suffering a significant loss. That will be personal and much alone. I just want you to have support in those moments you can come up for air. I come here and feel all the ways we experience this. Stronger each passing day? Some forward and some back.

    I am curious how you found your way here? I remember fumbling along looking up the definition of the word grief. I thought I am living it. I should know what the word means. I think we continue to define it.
  6. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Good morning folks. The horror of the the weekend is easing. Another good friend has died. I worked with her for many years. The police said we can form an honour guard along the road to the cemetery as long as we stand just outside our own car and don't gather close. We will line the road from the funeral home all the way to the cemetery and the family, when the make that drive, will know we are with them.

    Yesterday I spent the day making a photo collection of my favourite pictures of Mike. I love looking up from my coffee to see it. This morning I did a fire ceremony to release a full box of old photos and as the smoke went to the universe I let myself also let go of so much of the past. I'll keep sweet memories and I will love life as I move forward.

    At least that is my affirmation for today. I was reviewing my posts on here and became very aware of how often my emotions swing from grief and despair to hope and peace. Hoping as time goes on I will be able to stay with the hope and peace days more and more often.
  7. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member


    Good Morning. I know as you wrote last how upset you were to not attend to your friend in our 19 world. There will be a ceremony and you will take part in it. I think there are loyalty and respectfulness in that. How and why life was taken will trouble everyone. Witnessing a life well lived is the least we can do. I asked a friend about gun violence. He had a few comments. Guns were to cheep and easy to get. Australia has banned assault weapons. I knew they did buybacks but I had not realized a ban was placed. The Japanese went further than background checks. They have a rigorous exam to pass prior to owning a gun. The Sandyhook community developed a type of speed dating for the kids. Small carpets are placed and the kids change seats and get to know all their classmates. The idea is bullying is harder to happen if by knowing each other they will step in if one is singled out in bullying. Similar to Florida. A teacher devised some imaginative tests. The idea was that kids know who they like and who they distance from. That informs the teacher of the kid that is isolated. Sorry for the circumstances of this ceremony in the first place.

    The fire ceremony is interesting. Where did you get that Idea? I did some made-up rituals for Kay. Mostly a table with her picture. Sympathy cards and candles. Grief fog is still present. I had made so copies for two friends of hers. Her sister wanted some and I went to the copy store. I was convinced I had left them at the store. I went to my sisters to spend Christmas. I was showing the pictures to Pat and it does not register I am showing her the pictures that had thought still at the copy store. I return home and the pictures are lost or stolen. I have more but those were the best. So as you say we swing from one state to another.

    Ainie, I recall we have talked about how hard we both tried to give care during the decline. Did we do enough? I will say we did or our very best. I had a recall of one day of mistakes that happened. A miss communicated hospital discharge. A taxi driver that left her on a sidewalk and not the entrance to the SNF. I was beyond pissed off. I could understand how it happened. I could appreciate how really 98% who gave her medical assistance did extremely well. That day came back and the same intensity was there. So, as you say some back and forth processing it all but those first few months were the worst. I was with the Hospice counselor and the time element came up. I intuitively ballparked about two years. At fifteen months that still feels about right.

    This added pandemic and your now personal loss. If the day says overwhelmed then take the day off. I am glad you are here. I don't watch TV anymore but I will know you are attending the funeral. I will pay more attention should that be covered.
  8. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Ainie, Such horror and times we all witness. The honor guard you will all line up and pay homage is beautiful. Never a greater expression of love is there.

    The photo collection, and the special burn, another amazing image comes to mind. I still have over 10k pictures, and am not ready to part with any yet.

    Ainie, I have found in my posts, depending upon who I am talking with, the emotions sometimes run all over the place from post to post. As I move from post to post in the same sitting, my emotions stream up and down. I attempt to touch a person soul and let them feel that, and hope the post helps them in some small way.

  9. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Abc, Paul, David Thank you so much for you kind words.

    Abc you do help so much...knowing someone feels the devastation somehow makes a person feel more sane and not so utterly alone.

    The fire ceremony came from my studies of shamanism. Shamanism is an ancient practice of healing found in every country around the world. My teachers say that when you hold onto objects, such as pictures, of others you are holding onto a bit of their essential essence. By honouring the objects, thanking them, and releasing the object into the fire that essence is released and returned to the universe where it belongs. They taught that to carry the essence of another is a burden on one's soul, and to release it is a blessing to your departed. I am uncertain about it but I can attest that today I feel much lighter, much more at peace. Went to the cemetery this afternoon and felt that Mike very much approved.

    Love and hugs to you all
  10. Abc

    Abc Guest

    Ainie, it's good to know you feel better. I'm very glad.

    A patient had once told me he had found a site on dealing with grief, though I don't recall if he mentioned the exact site but something to that effect. I was actually looking up on suicides after death of someone very close. Thats how I tumbled onto this site.
    Sorry I don't have much to say.
    I wish all of you well.
  11. KVR

    KVR Active Member

    When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou is beautiful. I have done the fire ceremony in the past, with old letters and some pictures related to things I wanted to forgive and let go. I have not done this my husband's photos. I find peace in them and his essence was so peaceful and this peace I need in my life. I was (am) always the anxious one, questioning, restless. He was the calm grounded one, the earth, steady. Still, the fire ceremony is beautiful and liberating and I think each one of us will find the right combination of ritual and practices for our personal healing and growth. Our pain and suffering are shared, universal perhaps, but how we express ourselves is unique ways and we are perfectly designed to know what is best for our healing if we pay attention and follow our instinct, our heart.

    Trust has been on my mind these days. Trusting myself, trusting life, trusting the master design and our role in co-creating destiny, trusting our strength to carry on in the face of adversity, trusting ourselves to love again or simply to live out what we are here to do with dignity and grace.

    The world news and the ongoing turmoil and loss can feel overwhelming. I think about war torn countries and the mothers and spouses that experience loss daily and I wonder how that must be to carry on each day, when my loss feels so great? The great strength of character and the resilience of the human spirit!

    Happiness has been on my mind. What makes me happy? What are the thoughts and experiences that calm and lighten my spirit?

    All of you are very beautiful people to be so open and vulnerable sharing on this site. Thank you.
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  12. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    abc and kvr,

    ABC no worries on say or no say. I also came here by for lack of explanation dumb luck. There are no referrals from say hospice. So, the same as you out of need and internet search. Trial and error. Be well as you can. Also, good your relationship with patients has that type of communication.

    KVR good thoughts. Also the same about the relationship. I see those as tangibles and intangibles. Kay's way of being in the world covered my duces. Good-natured, happy with whatever, great with money, but her loyalty to people was inspirational. She just cared a lot. The poem is from a gal on this site, now gone but we continue to write. That inner guidance system? The intuitive way I would ask how you connect to that and then the trust?

    The world news about suffering. That is hard to see. I do wonder how do people begin to function. The political bickering is best tuned out. I think happiness is when I see the goodness in others.

    The honesty of people here is noteworthy. We are at our worst and need to understand.
  13. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Good morning. It is a sunny spring morning and hope is strong today.

    Yesterday the funeral for my friend was so unusual and yet oddly it was very powerful. Everything was outside ... the priest had set up a mic and amplifiers at the graveside. Down on the road by our cars we could hear well. The sunshine, the gentle breeze, the lovely hymns, and the priest's words were all so very comforting. Silence, a warm comfortable silence, prevailed as no one attempted to talk loudly to the person who was closest yet distant. It seemed right.
  14. KVR

    KVR Active Member

    Today in New York, the sun is out for the first time in a few days and I really needed it. There is something extraordinary about nature, how it can come to us and uplift our spirit, or bring is down. I am glad the funeral experience felt right. Strange, how in this case, there was comfort in this death experience, in the silence?

    Paul, on the inner guidance system, and the way to trust. So much to say. It is a daily practice of meditation that is the core, I think. I've been sitting meditation for several years, starting with only 10 minutes and now, I do about 35-40 minutes daily. This practice has become an essential component of my being, a way to trust myself, and see myself and my experience in the world differently. It is a journey. I started and read on the topic, to read the teachings of the practice helped me to engage with it with intention and with some guidance. I visited a few group meditation sessions, this was nice, but doing it on my own, works best. The ritual involves lighting incense. The fragrance helps me to stay present. Some prefer meditation sounds. The sitting practice is specific and requires patience, as you move a long, trust and strength builds in yourself, in a very dignified way, you sit and are simply yourself in all your pain and glory and whatever and you love yourself and receive the love and acceptance of the energy that is inside you and around you.

    As the practice of meditation settles, and it takes time, you begin to transfer the meditative state to your life and interactions with others, and with nature. I can not tell you how much I appreciate having had this training before the death of my husband. I think I might have fallen far deeper into the well of despair if it were not for my sitting practice, coupled with light yoga and some running, to keep the air pumping in my lungs. The meditation, is key.

    Trust and letting go, surrender, love-- understanding what that is, what that means, unconditionally -- is a topic of mystery and also the essence of all inner and outer peace I believe. How we love ourselves and love others and what we expect from relationships, who we trust and are vulnerable with, how we are alone and in the presence of others, who we consider our life partner, what to do when we love, fall in love when it makes no sense...

    I ramble on. I think its central to grief and loss, the fact of losing a life love, the grappling with this topic and making space for something new, if of course I believe there is love for me in the future. I am young and not so young, but I feel like there is an abundance of love to give, and most people, most people, well I believe are lonely and isolated, whether accompanied or not, and how to love better and more deeply, freely is a good way to consider this experience, as a way to understand all that, and maybe pay it forward
    ainie likes this.
  15. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it was such a peaceful and lovely ceremony. And so many showed up offering such wonderful support.
    Keep the hope!
    Finally sunny and feels like spring here too!
    ainie likes this.
  16. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Dear KVR: Precious words with the ring of truth.

    With my practice of shamanism much is the same. My mediation is to the monotonous beat of my drum. Every morning when I light my candle and sit with my drum I am at one with myself and with all that is. Or at least in glimpses this comes.
  17. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    ainie and KVR,


    Thanks for sharing your experience. I wrote to you about the many times this type of tragedy has happened. We see this in a news cycle. It is reported and everyone is stunned then the next news cycle. As you are a member of this community you're being touched by this makes it personal to many of us. When I read your account it is spring. Then the solemnness of the event itself. What is thought individually and collectively? Like a meditation of sorts. Then how 19 has altered how we do things. So much happened. You mentioned being devastated alone on first hearing the event had happened. In the service was coming together and feeling the weight of what occurred. The weight was shared. It sounds very healing. The drumming is interesting. This time of year has the world rhythm festival. That was pre 19. Boeing is attempting to go back to work but not without challenges and adapting. Grocery stores most are masked and gloved. Medical is adapting. Video conference doctors' appointments. Drive through 19 testings. Lab Corp now samples in your car. New normal?


    East meets West. This blending has been going on for a long time. You are doing the practice. The comment that you had established this prior to your husband's death does seem a very useful coping tool. I attempted to do this by attending a Buddhist Monistary entry-level one-hour meditation. These were Chinese from Taiwan. There is one incense class. Then a whole room of Chinese doing a sutra recitation in unison. Mentally I still over process and finding some calm would be desirable. Of the many wellbeing darts I have tried just prior to 19 were sound bath group class. A senior center had offered a whole range of classes. I appreciate how you explained your practice.
  18. Songman

    Songman Well-Known Member

  19. Songman

    Songman Well-Known Member

    My Dear wife passed away from brain cancer 15 months ago, and like you, I was devastated. I stumbled onto this site just a few weeks after Janet passed. I stayed with Janet in her Hospice room 24/7 and I was with her every day for 3 months, until she died. She took her last breath as I held her hand. She was my everything.
    I was blessed to meet my Grief Counselor (Joanie) a few days later. Joanie discovered that I had a musical background and encouraged me to write my feelings down on paper. This led to writing songs. This helped me to occupy my time and gave me purpose. Without Joanie and her influence I probably would have just wasted away. This site has been an enormous help. I have made eternal friends here. They get it!
    This song is being mixed and mastered as we speak.

  20. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Your account about how it went and the aftermath are very familiar. Really exact in many ways. Nice song and use of your time. Your coping and healing are good. I think both self-effort and mystical also.