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Friday, November 23, 2012

The day after Thanksgiving

I planned on writing this on Thanksgiving, but the day got away from me. I went to friends for dinner and had a great time there.

And basically that is what this is. An update on where I am.

Joe died on August 1st, but he was gone from me a lot earlier than that, so I began the grieving process even before I placed him in a nursing home. I had no choice about the nursing home. My experience is that most nursing home placements of dementia patients occur during a crisis. His was not an exception. The day before we went to the hospital, he took off. He got away from me after close to 2 hours of my putting my body between him and the door. I could no longer keep him safe, and I could no longer keep me safe. At the hospital the ER nurse made the call. I could not take him home. It would not be safe.

Many widows come home from the funeral and are suddenly alone in the house. I had that experience when Joe was still alive, but in a nursing home. My daughter and I had supper at a restaurant, and she got into her car and went home. I went home and suddenly, after 5 days of too much to do and no time to think, it was all done. And now what? Some of my grieving started then.

Some of it started after Joe's November 2010 crisis. He was never the same after that crisis. From then on he was bed ridden and his language skills started the fast slide to no words at all. In March 2012 he had an even worse crisis. Up until that time even if he couldn't talk to me, he did know I was there if he was awake. He mostly wasn't awake when came to visit him, but occasionally he was. Starting in March 2012 he did not know I was there when I was standing right next to him.

Each of those times I went deeper into grief, and started working out what I actually was feeling. The practical aspects of becoming a widow were also done so early that there was nothing left to do once Joe died in August 2012.

So right now, even though it has only been a few months, I'm pretty far along in the grief process. I've started rebuilding my life. This blog was part of that. There is going to be a lot more daily life and a lot more quilting here than grief stuff. But I know that one of the things I am thankful for is that when I needed to pay attention to my grief, I did pay attention. One thing I know is that if you try to stuff it down, it does not go away. It just gets worse.

Take care all.


  1. Stumbled on your blog thru Leah Day's website. You are a talented and creative quilter and a true warrior woman. God bless. Ruth

  2. I lost my Mum in a car accident on Aug 13th. She was on her way home from visiting my Dad who is in long term care. I understand your grief, even though mine involved losing someone quickly. I'm now watching my Dad decline as HE grieves his partner of 59 years. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad to have a creative outlet, as I'm sure you are, too.

    1. All I can advise you to do in your grief is Hang In There. And acknowledge what you are feeling. I've found that helps more than almost anything else.