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So, here we are.

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Well now, here we are, in a section of the forum I've not been to before, I don't think. Would have been like tempting fate. Only fate didn't need tempting, did it? Because my poor William's fate was sealed the day I realised he had dementia. And here we are, After dementia - dealing with loss. Like it or not.

Last evening, I went to a small "do" in my brothers. His daughters were off to a Debs Ball, and my brother & his wife threw a - not exactly a party, but just had some food & drinks before the girls & their escorts left for the Ball. So we could all Oooh & Aaah over the dresses etc! And well worth the ooohing and aaahing they were too! Stunning girls, both of them, around 5' 10" tall! Anyway, there was everyone laughing, eating, drinking and I trying to join in. But feeling like I just wanted to go away by myself. Now, I've never been a party person. I don't "do" crowds. I'd rather sit in a corner and observe. But now? With William less than three weeks dead? Anyway, after an hour or so, a guest arrived who had heard the news - and came and said "So sorry to hear about your husband. How are you?" cue other guests looking shocked, and going "What? What? Oh my Gawd! I never heard! I'm so sorry! Are you ok? When did that happen?" etc. etc. and I had to make polite noises, then make my excuses and leave.

Someone said to me the other day that years ago, a new widow wore solid black for a year, and while in some ways there were too many restrictions in those days - she felt that that particular custom did have some merit. She said that it told people the position, without the widow being put in the position of having to explain, it stopped awkward situations, and it also meant that the widow was given the time and space to grieve because people had that visual reminder that she was grieving. In many ways, I think she is right. William is only three weeks dead on Monday - and already I feel people expect me to be "over it" and getting on with life. Particularly because I was so very much younger than he, there seems to be an assumption that it must be a relief to me. I'm sure his death is a relief to him, because his illness was a terrible burden to him, and the final frailty of not being able to walk - I think that just was too much for him to bear.

But a relief to me? No. I've lost the only person in the whole world who's face would light up when he spotted me coming, from the far side of the Day Room in the Nursing Home. There are other people who love me - but there is no-one else to whom I mean so very much.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Not sure I can remember how to post a pic on the lappie, but will have a go. One of the last pics taken of William and I together. Was takin in May, just before he became really ill and was hospitalised for a week with aspiration pneumonia. He never really recovered from that.
 

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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,786
Kent
Someone said to me the other day that years ago, a new widow wore solid black for a year,
They were called Widows` Weeds Lady A. They could also wear black for six months, then Grey and then Purple.
No one who was bereaved would dream of socialising or even listening to music or visiting a theatre.

It may be considered archaic but there were no expectations which gave everyone the freedom to recover from the trauma of loss in their own way in their own time.

You were brave to go to the `do` especially if not all the guests knew of William`s death and you had to endure the platitudes and pitying looks.

The photo is marvellous. :)
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
435
Oh, LadyA, how sad your situation is, but what a wonderful photo. None of us can put ourselves in someone else's shoes, but I'm sure there are many who will empathise with you x
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Oh, LadyA, how sad your situation is, but what a wonderful photo. None of us can put ourselves in someone else's shoes, but I'm sure there are many who will empathise with you x
No sadder than anyone else who has lost their husband/wife theunknown. My daughter is wonderful - but she is young and has her own young, strong husband. My mother is also great - but she is elderly & getting frail and lost her own husband, my dad, years ago. So she understands, but no - William was the only one who, even in his dementia, right to the day he died, lit up when he saw me. He didn't know my name - but he knew me. Which is all the more lovely, because I was his second wife - his first wife died 25 years ago!
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
Dear Lady A, what a wonderful photo. You must cherish it, and all the memories of your life with William. I think you were very brave to go to that 'do', though I know that's probably not a word you would apply to yourself.

Your loss is very deep and grieving will take time. Please don't allow the expectations of others to get in the way of that....well, I'm sure you won't.

Sending you heartfelt good wishes and hugs :)

Lindy xx
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,959
Brixham Devon
LadyA, I've just posted on my thread suggesting that you start your own-and here you are! I'm glad as we will all be able to see how you are doing.:)

Such a lovely picture of you and William; I'm glad that he knew you right to the end-I hope that is some comfort for you in a time when comfort seems so hard to come by.

Take your time/do anything that gives you even a brief moment of peace-there are lots of us in the same rocky boat.

Thinking of you

Love

Lyn T XX
 

Grey Lad

Registered User
Sep 12, 2014
5,736
North East Lincs
Hi LadyA pleased you have started this thread as we need to know how you are doing. All I can think of saying is: 'sorry for your trouble'. Words that meant so much to me at a time of great loss for me. Hope they help you at this time.
 

Kjn

Registered User
Jul 27, 2013
5,833
That's a lovely pic LadyA, I'm pleased you've started a new thread , a way to get your feeling down on paper as they say. Xxx K
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
William's children are busy planning a Memorial Service for him in the US, for those who couldn't come for the funeral. In his day, and in their own denomination, he was a hugely popular travelling Minister, so I'm sure it will be a huge Service. I don't think I would be able for it! His first wife's grave is there, at the church where it will be held, and when she was buried, he had a double headstone put up, with his own name and date of birth put on - just waiting for his date of death! So now, his children are going to have the date of death and "buried in Ireland" put on. I have asked them to take pics of the gathering, so I can see. But I am glad I won't be there. I really don't think I could go through a second "funeral". I think it's important though to have something for those of his children who haven't seen him for years and couldn't come to the funeral - and his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and a lot of his old friends would travel to the Memorial service, who wouldn't have been fit to fly.
 

Scarlett123

Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
3,802
Essex
It took me till quite recently to "come over" onto this site, so well done you for taking this huge step. You were very brave to go to that "do", and I absolutely agree with you about expectations of others.

And yet probably, if you were kicking up your heels they'd criticise you for that! Your photo is beautiful, and your love for each other is as bright as a beacon. xxx
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Look! I went today to Harvey Norman to get the photo printed so I could frame it. I confess, I don't know how to use the photo machines! So I had a staff member help - and when I explained that it was the last photo of us before he died, she said we can improve it. So she enlarged it, cropped out the lady beside us in the wheelchair, and printed it in both b&w and colour, and I had one black and white one mounted on a photo block. I'm thrilled with it!
 

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