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Anniversary is looming

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by reddollyfood, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. reddollyfood

    reddollyfood Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    35
    108A8EA5-0A7C-48A6-A4ED-09578F80ED71.jpeg On 28th Of this month would have been our 47th wedding anniversary and on 3rd November will be the first anniversary of my husband’s death. I’m dreading both. Have not considered doing anything for the wedding anniversary but am going to Austria to Graz - the city he lived as a child and young man for the second to visit some of his favourite haunts.

    To be honest I haven’t really moved on much this past year - really need to move house cos I just don’t feel happy living there on my own any more (for some strange reason it never bothered me when he was in the nursing home those 2 years but how it just feels wrong).

    My daughter’s have been great but none of them live close by and all have hefty workloads and families. For years it was just him and I and I thought we’d grow old together! Friends are good too but nothing and no one seems to be able to fill the hole. Any ideas/suggestion welcomed!

    This was us just a few weeks before he died.
     

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  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    52,638
    Dundee
    I so feel for you. We were married for 38 years and the first anniversary of Bill's death was on July 31st. Our wedding anniversary was on 29th December. As our wedding anniversary is so close to Christmas I was with family/friends on the day. On the anniversary of his death I went out with 4 friends and we celebrated Bill's life and raised a toast to him. I found 1st October much harder. That was his birthday and a year to the day from us burying his ashes.

    You say you haven't moved on much but I don't think we will ever really move on as such. We move to a different kind of life and I think that the anniversaries and special dates may eventually not be so raw. I think for me they will always be difficult but I'm hoping not so raw.

    Your plans to visit the places of your husband's youth sound good. It will be emotional but then everything tends to be emotional now I find.

    I've no real suggestions I'm afraid. I tend to go with the flow. I don't think I've filled the hole left in my life but I fill my time. I'm in the slightly strange situation of having two friends who have lost their husbands to dementia in the past 18 months. Sad as that is it has given us a little support group. We really understand each other.

    Sorry I haven't been much help. Wishing you strength.
     
  3. LadyA

    LadyA Volunteer Host

    Oct 19, 2009
    11,469
    Ireland
    I think tbh, Izzy has pretty much nailed it. It gets easier, in time - my husband is two years dead now - but I found the second year much harder than the first. It really sunk in that this, now, was real, and the future was just me. It doesn't mean there isn't happiness - I now have a lovely grandson, for example. It doesn't mean we can't look forward, and make plans. But I think we carry a sort of "aloneness", that's different from loneliness. I like my own company, and don't get lonely at all. But even when out with friends and family, there seems to be a sort of "Separate" feel, which is difficult to explain.

    Enjoy your time in Austria. It will be emotional, I'm sure, but probably in a good way.
     
  4. pins tony

    pins tony Registered User

    Oct 20, 2014
    200
    bristol
     
  5. pins tony

    pins tony Registered User

    Oct 20, 2014
    200
    bristol
    My lovely wife June passed away on January 28this year.are special day is 5th November that's the day we meet in 1954 June was15 I was 16.so what do I do.take roses to her grave.i am so lost without her.when does the pain start to ease.I have a lovely family but they have lost their Mum.i have lost my reason to live.sorry for such a negative post but who else to talk to.take care
     
  6. Loopiloo

    Loopiloo Registered User

    May 10, 2010
    5,191
    Scotland
    #6 Loopiloo, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    Hello rdf, I also feel for you and empathise. Both Izzy and LadyA have expressed it well - and I am another in the same situation. My husband died on 19th June last year, our 59th Wedding Anniversary was last month, 27th September, his birthday was New Year's Day. They did affect me deeply last year but much more so this year - and I dread the coming New Year's Day. He had vascular dementia at least 15 years, the last 5 years in a care home.

    I have not 'moved on' in the way so often referred to, but as Izzy said I doubt if we do move on after many years together, just gradually learn to adapt. I also am content with my own company, but am aware of what LadyA also mentions, a strong feeling of 'aloneness' rather than loneliness as such. I miss my husband's physical presence; the passing smile or touch, the silent understanding, the sight of him in the garden, a warm hug. But I miss all of him, words cannot express it. The rawness is still strong but like Izzy I hope in time that will lessen.

    Dementia is said to be a slow bereavement, the gradual loss of everything that was. But it does not prepare you for the final loss, as many people seem to think.

    I did move house some months ago, more for health and mobility reasons than by choice, and to a smaller house. It came as a shock to me to realise there was nothing of my husband here at all, and how much that upset me. However I have gradually adjusted to that, and although I miss him deeply he is always with me in my mind and heart. He is part of who I am and that will never change.

    I think your visit to Austria to places meaningful to your husband will be good for you if bitter-sweet at times. Walking where he walked.... seeing what he saw. It is what I would want to do in your place, even although emotional.

    Memories are what we are left with and they are precious. Photos are precious. Also bitter-sweet seeing how our men were and remembering how they became. However I find going through photos as I gradually find a home for things in this house heightens the good memories, the times we shared and enjoyed, and helps combat the not good memories of dementia.

    I wish you well and hope you will keep in touch, tell us how you get on when you visit Austria.

    One bit of advise.... if you plan to move house it is never too early to start preparing! It can take longer than you think to go through things, decide what you truly want to keep and what you really no longer need. It can also be emotional - and exhausting!

    Loo xx
     
  7. Loopiloo

    Loopiloo Registered User

    May 10, 2010
    5,191
    Scotland
    #7 Loopiloo, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 10:51 AM
    Dear Tony, I did not read your post until after submitting mine. You are not being negative. You are deeply grieving and no need to apologise for that.

    I often think my husband and I grew up into adulthood together, although we did not meet in early 1957 as young as you and your wife did. That makes it very hard indeed. As you say, who else to talk to, to care... Our children have grown up, have families, and busy lives and they do also grieve, miss there Mum or Dad. But they have their lives ahead of them to live and I know the feeling that your reason for living has been lost.

    My family do not live locally so I am not a regular part of their lives, and one lives abroad, but perhaps yours live nearer to you. Perhaps you can find comfort in knowing they still need a Dad and a Grandad. It wont lessen the pain of no longer sharing so much with a life long partner, but seeing them grow, mature and knowing they are yours and your wife's can give comfort.

    It is very early days for you Tony, and I think the months that follow we are still in shock, need time to 'take in' all that has happened. It can be overwhelming. All you can do is take each day at a time and let yourself grieve, it needs to come out but so often we 'put a face on it'.

    I cannot say anything to ease your pain of great loss, we all grieve and in our own ways. But do keep writing, and know that you are not alone but here with people who do understand.

    The 5th of November will be hard for you, I will have you on my thoughts. Cherish your memories.

    Loo xx
     
  8. pins tony

    pins tony Registered User

    Oct 20, 2014
    200
    bristol
     
  9. pins tony

    pins tony Registered User

    Oct 20, 2014
    200
    bristol
    Thank you so much for your reply.I do try to put a brave face on for my family all of you take care
     

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