Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I am so sick of this roller coaster ride. Now, I've never been on a roller coaster in my life and I will tell you right now, I won't ever be. Not a real one in an amusement park. Just looking at them scares me to death. Nope, my feet are planted firmly on the ground.

I was talking about this up and down and twist and turn and just when you think you are making a slow climb to the top, you get there and you plumment right down to the bottom again at break-neck speed.

I have read up on grief. Least I thought I had read enough to sort of know how it would be. The only really close death I had experienced before was losing my Mom in 1996. And, I did go to counseling for a short period of time afterward. And, I got through it, I thought, pretty well.

But, there is nothing to compare with losing a spouse. Losing Mom was tough and I don't want to take anything away from how that hurt ..... but losing Elbert has just thrown me. My daughter tells me all the time how very strong I am and I thought I was. I've dealt with a tremendous amount of struggles over my life but some things just take your strength away and you have to lean on an arm stronger than any other. I am trying to call on that higher strength. I know He hears our prayers but sometimes I feel like I don't even know how to pray for ease from this roller coaster ride I am on. I have come to believe that if you don't go through ALL the phases they tell you that are in the grieving process then you can't heal. Hmmmmm.....

Anger is an issue with me right now. I have always been a very calm, almost passive person. Elbert and I never fought (in 60 years of marriage). Not that we didn't disagree on things but we were not fighting. Now, I seem to be filled with anger. I am angry about so many things. I am angry at Alzheimers and it picking Elbert to reside in. I am angry at Elbert because he left me and I have to admit that there are times I just wish I could go back 20 years and find him. I am angry over nothing and everything, then all of a sudden I 'fly off the handle' at someone and the anger is not at them but they are the recipient of some unnamed rage inside me. So, somebody, tell me if that is normal, whatever normal is these days!! Or something I should get counseling over or pray about or what the heck I am supposed to do.

They don't give you a road map on grief.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In The Dark of Night

The sun goes down taking with it the light. The shadows grow long and unidentifible. I pull on my jammies and crawl into bed and the night sounds begin.

No, this is not a scary movie. It is part of learning to live alone. I feel very safe where I am so I am not afraid, however,  I dread the sounds that I hear, not with my ears, but the sounds that I remember. The footfall of someone not there, a voice calling out, stumbles from room to room. I listen and there is no sound. It is just me being so trained to listen out, to watch and wait, to protect and care,  that I can't seem to turn loose of that part of my life.

Some nights are good and I sleep the sleep of the weary. Some nights my body is tense and watchful, thinking I am still on duty and I do not sleep. When I realize that my 'job' is over, the tears come.

Nighttime is dark and lonely.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Take Your Time

There is a time to grieve.... there is a time to be happy....

It's the TIME to grieve that concerns me at this point. I've often heard that a person in grief should not make any major decisions for at least one year. That may seem hard to do but it is so very necessary. I'd add making any decisions at all for one year!!

The effect of the decisions I make now twist and turn and are never clear from one day to the other. What I think is right for me one day, is totally wrong the next day. I am struggling with finding a clear path to walk these days. The road seems endless and stretches far to the horizon and then fades into oblivion. And, although i can not see the road as it dips out of sight I know that when i reach that point, at the edge of tomorrow, there will be more road going on endlessly...

It certainly isn't a time to make a move, sell your home and buy a new place, even to plan a trip. It also is not time, I am finding, to change my hairdo, change my schedule, change where I buy groceries even. I need that security of the 'known', of what I am comfortable with, for things I don't have to think through. My 'thinking cap' is on the life I have lived with my spouse, on happy times and yes, the bad times, of when raising a family was the biggest challenge that we had.

It has been 7 months since Elbert left us. It seems like it is 7 years. I know that 'in time' I will move on and live again. But, that time is on the horizon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Grief on Stage

 I don't think I know how to grieve. The 'experts' say it comes in stages and so it may. Who am I to argue with the experts? At this juncture of my life, I am not sure which STAGE I am in. Maybe it is because, with Alzheimers you start your grieving process the day you know you are facing that dread disease. Okay, what stage is that? Is there a category named 'Pre Death Grief'? I know that there is anger involved. Oh boy, did I get mad... how dare this happen to the sweetest, most agreeable guy on earth? Well, it did and I got over my mad spell pretty quick. You do what you gotta do and carry on.

Denial..... another stage or so they say, but there was no denying from me...I knew that there was something very wrong. Elbert never went through denial either. You'd never say  'Honey, how do you feel about having alzheimers?' You'd get as many answers as there are people with it. But, when I did bring up the subject Elbert just said 'There's nothing anyone can do so I live with it'. He accepted what was handed to him and went from there to the end with immeasureable grace. I was so blessed. You have no idea how blessed.

Extreme sadness, depression, yeah, I went through that at times through the long years of caregiving but there was a sense of release, of letting go when Elbert went home to be with his Lord. I knew he'd be happy just hanging out in heaven. But, for me, the process started all over again, right from page one of the Grief manual.

Denial.... a little

Anger.... some but like I say, I knew he was better off.

Sadness, oh my goodness. There is no way to describe the sadness at being left behind, of being alone. Depression, there was some of that but it is the sadness that I just seem to wallow in every single day. It takes so little, A book he once read, a song we liked together, a trip down a familiar road, a hymn that was his favorite, his side of the bed, the way he told me that he loved me. Yep, sad times for sure. Does it ever get better? I sure hope so.

Those of you who have already lost someone to Alzheimer's (or any other disease) will know what I am talking about. For those of you with that day yet to come my heart just breaks for you. Just know that I am here always, a friend from afar, with a shoulder, a shoulder that has already carried the burden of caring and loss.

Gee, I need to get over this 'stage'. I am depressing myself much less everyone else!!

Much love to each of you, for your continued support and care. Blogging friends are the best!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time drips so slowly

Time is like a slow dripping faucet. Drip.... drip...... drip.  Has it only been 7 months since I lost my sweetie. It feels like a hundred years. And, some days I feel like I am 100.

I am in Nebraska visiting my son and daughter-in-law and alone most of the time. People do have to work, I guess. I feel the depression (which, by the way, I was keeping at bay very well back home) dripping into my body... drip.... drip... drip. Every day I am more saturated with it.

This is the first time I have visited Michael since his Dad passed and it hurts. I have cried alot. You see, when the two of us visited before I had Elbert to see about. And, I had his companionship, the connection of being a couple. I feel so doggone empty. I know that it must affect Michael as well. Missing his Dad, I mean.

Every 'first' is so hard. This is just another one of those first I have to go through. Drip.... drip..... drip.