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Life after life

User
Posted 31 October 2016 21:50:57(UTC)
It's nearly three weeks now since Tony, my dear husband of 46 years, died, and I think it's time for an update. Not everyone will be interested in this, but some women facing similar issues may find it helpful.

The main thing I want to share with you is that for me, the dreadful anxiety and stress that I have lived with for these past two years are over, for both Tony and me. He is at peace; and I have found that the grieving I have done already has taken the edge off the pain of bereavement. There is even a term for this: "anticipatory grief", and now that I know it has a name, I understand better what has been happening.

Of course there is still pain; there are still times of helpless weeping and overwhelming grief - but they come in waves and are short-lived. I am still a bit fragile, but much of the time I can function quite normally. People think I am being brave, but it took much more bravery to face up to Tony's initial diagnosis and live with the uncertainty and anxiety it entailed. The actual bereavement is not as acutely painful or incapacitating as I had expected. There is also a huge amount of support that is suddenly on offer, sometimes from the most unlikely people.

Yesterday we had a lovely memorial ceremony for Tony. His wish was that we should not waste money on an elaborate funeral, but give him a happy send-off, with food and drink for everyone. So we planned a "funeral" which did not involve either religion or the presence of a body. Here, for anyone interested, is how we (my two daughters and I) did it.

I arranged a direct cremation for Tony. This means that his body was taken to the crematorium by the funeral director, without any mourners or family present. Then, nine days later, at a time that suited us, we hired the village hall and held our ceremony. Over 70 people turned up. The first part was a more serious "saying goodbye", with affectionate and sometimes humorous tributes by several of us. We heard some of his favourite music, a couple of moving peoms were read out, and our granddaughter sang "The Parting Glass". Some tears were shed. Tony's ashes were displayed in a splendid stainless steel mini beer barrel from the local brewery (he would have loved this!).

Then the youngest grandchild blew out a candle, after which we moved the chairs, and drinks and refreshments were served, to background playlist of some of his favourite music. Friends and family were exchanging fond memories and anecdotes, such as:
"He used to call me a silly old bugger!"
"He taught me to scuba dive"
"He was so helpful to me when I had my hip replacement, telling me about his, and how he got fit again."
"He came to the beer festival with me and his carryout bottle leaked beer all over his trousers!"
"We had some great arguments about politics"
... and so on.
The occasion had, by this stage, a really positive buzz about it. I think Tony would have loved it and been proud of his family.

I hope my experiences can help other wives and partners in a similar position, and perhaps also offer some reassurance to men who are worried about how their families will cope when they are gone. There is a lot of support and goodwill out there, and I will tap into this to help me find is a way through it all. Although my journey has only just begun, I am hopeful that I will learn to cope with the grief, and make a worthwhile life on my own. Tony will always be in my heart, and the happy memories of almost 50 years together will give me strength and comfort.

Marje



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User
Posted 31 October 2016 21:50:57(UTC)
It's nearly three weeks now since Tony, my dear husband of 46 years, died, and I think it's time for an update. Not everyone will be interested in this, but some women facing similar issues may find it helpful.

The main thing I want to share with you is that for me, the dreadful anxiety and stress that I have lived with for these past two years are over, for both Tony and me. He is at peace; and I have found that the grieving I have done already has taken the edge off the pain of bereavement. There is even a term for this: "anticipatory grief", and now that I know it has a name, I understand better what has been happening.

Of course there is still pain; there are still times of helpless weeping and overwhelming grief - but they come in waves and are short-lived. I am still a bit fragile, but much of the time I can function quite normally. People think I am being brave, but it took much more bravery to face up to Tony's initial diagnosis and live with the uncertainty and anxiety it entailed. The actual bereavement is not as acutely painful or incapacitating as I had expected. There is also a huge amount of support that is suddenly on offer, sometimes from the most unlikely people.

Yesterday we had a lovely memorial ceremony for Tony. His wish was that we should not waste money on an elaborate funeral, but give him a happy send-off, with food and drink for everyone. So we planned a "funeral" which did not involve either religion or the presence of a body. Here, for anyone interested, is how we (my two daughters and I) did it.

I arranged a direct cremation for Tony. This means that his body was taken to the crematorium by the funeral director, without any mourners or family present. Then, nine days later, at a time that suited us, we hired the village hall and held our ceremony. Over 70 people turned up. The first part was a more serious "saying goodbye", with affectionate and sometimes humorous tributes by several of us. We heard some of his favourite music, a couple of moving peoms were read out, and our granddaughter sang "The Parting Glass". Some tears were shed. Tony's ashes were displayed in a splendid stainless steel mini beer barrel from the local brewery (he would have loved this!).

Then the youngest grandchild blew out a candle, after which we moved the chairs, and drinks and refreshments were served, to background playlist of some of his favourite music. Friends and family were exchanging fond memories and anecdotes, such as:
"He used to call me a silly old bugger!"
"He taught me to scuba dive"
"He was so helpful to me when I had my hip replacement, telling me about his, and how he got fit again."
"He came to the beer festival with me and his carryout bottle leaked beer all over his trousers!"
"We had some great arguments about politics"
... and so on.
The occasion had, by this stage, a really positive buzz about it. I think Tony would have loved it and been proud of his family.

I hope my experiences can help other wives and partners in a similar position, and perhaps also offer some reassurance to men who are worried about how their families will cope when they are gone. There is a lot of support and goodwill out there, and I will tap into this to help me find is a way through it all. Although my journey has only just begun, I am hopeful that I will learn to cope with the grief, and make a worthwhile life on my own. Tony will always be in my heart, and the happy memories of almost 50 years together will give me strength and comfort.

Marje



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User
Posted 01 November 2016 05:43:56(UTC)
Marje

A wonderful post explaining the often forgotten perspective of our dear wives who are left behind when this disease takes its final toll. Anticipatory grief is an excellent way to describe the emotion that is the state of mind a loving wife must feel - as they are there from diagnosis, through initial treatment to the end stage supporting, loving, caring and nursing us men. It is a noble task they perform and although I have not reached end stage yet, know that it is one that Amanda, my wife, will perform without qualm and with that stoic quality that strong women possess.

The effects of a diagnosis and the treatment for prostate cancer are not just physical, they are very much psychological, with worry, fear of the future and anticipation and uncertainty your daily bedfellows. A good wife will deflect some of these worries off their men as they both deal with each brick wall of bad news that hits them together as the disease progresses. You share the anger, the pain, the denial, the tears, the why me's, the scaredness, the inevitability. In short, the entire gamut of emotions and the journey. It is this shared experience which makes it easier for a man to contemplate his fate and for his partner, makes easier the passing of their man. This in no way makes light of the terrible, invidious disease that is cancer and the devastating effects of dying, but is a reality in most loving long term relationships. I do not know how I would have coped without my wife by my side at every appointment, dealing with the various health professionals and arranging everything to make the everyday deal it is living with a life limiting disease much less of a trial than it would be. Good women are, in that respect, irreplaceable.

And so it is for women in your position, good, strong, loving women who have been there supporting their husbands from the outset to the end who, through their selfless devotion and love, are spared the harshness of dealing with the strength of emotion that, say, a sudden death would usually impose. The one saving grace about prostate cancer is that it is generally, in some cases longer in duration than others, a slow progressing disease giving the partner some time to experience part of the grieving process before their man passes.

I, and I believe that I speak for the vast majority of men here on this forum wish to thank you for the selfless devotion you showed your late husband and to let you know that it did not nor does it go unnoticed. We may not express our thanks, but without you women by our sides, this horrible journey would be much more a miserable and onerous burden than it already is.

Godspeed to Tony. He is waiting for you I am sure, in a dimension we have yet to understand. In your heart, however, have no doubt that he is doing his best to return the favour and ease your grief as you move forward with your life. True love never dies. It is just expressed in other ways such as a memory, a sound, a whisper on the wind. Tony's love will forever embolden you when you feel down, I am sure, till you meet again. Thank you.

Bazza
I am Spartacus - with the strength of iron, a will of steel and the fight to give this disease a real run for its money.
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User
Posted 01 November 2016 07:10:58(UTC)
Hi Marje. Good to hear from you. I write this on the train to work. What you have written about how you are coping could have been written by me. I, too, did my grieving in the time leading up to Phil's passing and I think that has meant that I have coped with his death better than I thought as I was grieving earlier than others. His sons have found it much harder as they didn't cope with all the appointments and pain leading up to the hospice.

We too had a very personal service and will be heading up Catbells for the final scattering of Phil & Wesley the westie who are now mixed together in a scatter tube. The final cremation song was I love to boogie!

Ive joined the Ramblers as I love walking and have booked to do the Coast to Coast in his memory.

Take care.

Glen
x
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User
Posted 01 November 2016 00:20:56(UTC)

What a lovely send off for your Tony, and thank you for writing to let us know how you're coping.


God Bless
Chris.

User
Posted 01 November 2016 05:43:56(UTC)
Marje

A wonderful post explaining the often forgotten perspective of our dear wives who are left behind when this disease takes its final toll. Anticipatory grief is an excellent way to describe the emotion that is the state of mind a loving wife must feel - as they are there from diagnosis, through initial treatment to the end stage supporting, loving, caring and nursing us men. It is a noble task they perform and although I have not reached end stage yet, know that it is one that Amanda, my wife, will perform without qualm and with that stoic quality that strong women possess.

The effects of a diagnosis and the treatment for prostate cancer are not just physical, they are very much psychological, with worry, fear of the future and anticipation and uncertainty your daily bedfellows. A good wife will deflect some of these worries off their men as they both deal with each brick wall of bad news that hits them together as the disease progresses. You share the anger, the pain, the denial, the tears, the why me's, the scaredness, the inevitability. In short, the entire gamut of emotions and the journey. It is this shared experience which makes it easier for a man to contemplate his fate and for his partner, makes easier the passing of their man. This in no way makes light of the terrible, invidious disease that is cancer and the devastating effects of dying, but is a reality in most loving long term relationships. I do not know how I would have coped without my wife by my side at every appointment, dealing with the various health professionals and arranging everything to make the everyday deal it is living with a life limiting disease much less of a trial than it would be. Good women are, in that respect, irreplaceable.

And so it is for women in your position, good, strong, loving women who have been there supporting their husbands from the outset to the end who, through their selfless devotion and love, are spared the harshness of dealing with the strength of emotion that, say, a sudden death would usually impose. The one saving grace about prostate cancer is that it is generally, in some cases longer in duration than others, a slow progressing disease giving the partner some time to experience part of the grieving process before their man passes.

I, and I believe that I speak for the vast majority of men here on this forum wish to thank you for the selfless devotion you showed your late husband and to let you know that it did not nor does it go unnoticed. We may not express our thanks, but without you women by our sides, this horrible journey would be much more a miserable and onerous burden than it already is.

Godspeed to Tony. He is waiting for you I am sure, in a dimension we have yet to understand. In your heart, however, have no doubt that he is doing his best to return the favour and ease your grief as you move forward with your life. True love never dies. It is just expressed in other ways such as a memory, a sound, a whisper on the wind. Tony's love will forever embolden you when you feel down, I am sure, till you meet again. Thank you.

Bazza
I am Spartacus - with the strength of iron, a will of steel and the fight to give this disease a real run for its money.
Thanked 5 times
User
Posted 01 November 2016 07:10:58(UTC)
Hi Marje. Good to hear from you. I write this on the train to work. What you have written about how you are coping could have been written by me. I, too, did my grieving in the time leading up to Phil's passing and I think that has meant that I have coped with his death better than I thought as I was grieving earlier than others. His sons have found it much harder as they didn't cope with all the appointments and pain leading up to the hospice.

We too had a very personal service and will be heading up Catbells for the final scattering of Phil & Wesley the westie who are now mixed together in a scatter tube. The final cremation song was I love to boogie!

Ive joined the Ramblers as I love walking and have booked to do the Coast to Coast in his memory.

Take care.

Glen
x
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User
Posted 01 November 2016 08:57:12(UTC)
Hello Marge
I don't often join this forum but you've struck a chord with me, thank you.
My husband and I have had the difficult discussion about his wishes and, like yours he has opted for direct cremation, he did explore donating his body to medicine but that is unlikely.
We have a wonderful friend who conducts weddings and funerals and we talked about this , she said that a body isn't necessary for a funeral but I love your idea of hthe ashes in a suitable container.
Anticipatory grief, yes I'm working through that now I have a name for it.
Thank you again for your post .
You are a wonderful person
User
Posted 01 November 2016 09:40:19(UTC)
Marje
a lovely post, I think the expression anticipatory grief is a good one. I totally understand that.

Wonderful that you could give Tony a send off that would have suited his life. I think if Mick had known about direct cremation he would have asked for that too.

Your post will help others who are in a similar position now or maybe sometime in the future. So thankyou very much for sharing your experiences.

For you and others just one small thing, please consider the support from the professionals that is offered. If you don't think you need it that is fine. I didnt think I did but something just crept up on me unawares, I didn't see it coming and I didn't really feel I was doing anything different from normal.

Just one really good friend who saw the little differences that were slowly surfacing. Invisible to me but not to them.

I saw a lovely Lady "counsellor" from the hospice maybe 10 times over a 6 month period almost a year after Mick had died. It was nothing like I had thought it would be either, she just really helped me to sort things out for myself both in my head and in my heart.

My very best wishes to you and your family
xxx
Mo
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User
Posted 01 November 2016 14:00:25(UTC)

Thank you for sharing your personal journey and thoughts with us, It's good to hear you have supportive family and friends around you,

Take care
Viv X

The only time you should look back is to see how far you have come
User
Posted 01 November 2016 17:20:37(UTC)

Thanks so much Marje and Glen for sharing your experiences in the last few weeks. It helps me a lot if in a slightly different way given I am the one who will be leaving the gathering at some point! I don't have a partner either so my experience of support is very different. I noted Glen you talked of your sons still adjusting and I do worry about the impact on my two children. I suppose one thing which has happened is that they both take a more direct part in my support and thus over time may feel the anticipatory grief you describe. I try and talk to them about the future in the hope that they can transition without too much hurt and upset.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the funeral, I had not thought of doing it that way and have already set down how I want my funeral to happen. My only regret is that I won't be there and I can't change that! I shall give your idea some thought.

It was heartening to hear you getting on with the future, obviously edged with occasional waves of grief. I so identify with that and want everyone who will be impacted by my eventual departure to just remember the good times and not dwell on the loss but on my contribution.

Just had an unexpected good review from my oncologist so for now I define the odds but thanks again for sharing this.

User
Posted 01 November 2016 20:49:04(UTC)

Marje,

You never fail to make me gulp, then tear up, then smile.

Mrs_C and I both empathise with everything you say, particularly about anticipatory grief. I've chosen for my last ride to be to the University of Bristol medical school, forms filled out and filed, although there is no guarantee they will want me when the time comes so I may not get my postumous degree. I hate funerals. The body is an empty vessel once we've passed on. Celebrate the memories rather than weep over the empty vessel.

The stainless steel mini beer barrel, I love it. I want one of those if I can't go to Uni.

David

User
Posted 01 November 2016 21:54:55(UTC)
Oh WoW Piglet,
Anticipatory grief so that's what it is called if I am honest my grief started the day Trevor was diagnosed I have become expert at hiding it . I hide it from Trevor because he needs me to be strong, I hide it from the boys beacause they need me to be strong, I hide it from the world because that helps me stay strong.
I quickly deflect any signs of sympathy from others because that would make me weak and vulnerable and I need to be strong .
Although yes I always say to everyone make the most of every day and life is for living the reality is every day is tinged with sadness.

Absolutely love the idea of a no body and coffin funeral I can see that some would feel the need to have the full works especially the funeral directors. I know if my dad had heard of it he would have been in favour . I suppose it is a very personal choice just like everything else in life and not everyone is the same but yep for me cut out the middle man, cut out the wailing and let's honour the life of the person .

Your post has made me cry but has also made me smile just the thought of you beginning to heal is a positive in what is such a sad situation.
Keep going forward Marje.

BFN
Julie X
NEVER LAUGH AT A LIVE DRAGON
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User
Posted 03 November 2016 21:51:01(UTC)

Thank you all for your touching replies. It's reassuring to know that others are familiar with some of the confusing reactions I am experiencing.

Julie, in order to stay strong, you need to be kind to yourself too. Don't be afraid to seek or accept emotional support sometimes. I wish I had done this a bit more following the shock of Tony's diagnosis (and the later after-shocks when treatments didn't work as well or for as long as expected, or had to be stopped). Hospitals tend to see the wife as part of the patient's care package, rather than someone who might need support herself, which is tough and unfair.

I hope all of you who are facing this cruel disease can squeeze the last drop of enjoyment out of every day. Quality of life is more important than its length; when you have a box of tissues handy, here's a poem that my niece read out for us at Tony's farewell:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/so-many-different-lengths-of-time/

Marje

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User
Posted 03 November 2016 23:44:50(UTC)

Simply lovely - I admire your strength so much piglet x

Julie, you might hide it from everyone but we know x

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


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User
Posted 04 November 2016 09:32:51(UTC)

Hi Marje, Lovely post .

My grieving process started with my partner's diagnosis. Looking back, for his sake, I wish he had died quickly from something like a heart attack, it was awful seeing his decline from PCa, the terrible feelings of helplessness and the constant chasing up for support and treatment. I am a member of 'The Rainbow Room' a FB group for PCa widows and have been lucky to have sought and found much support after Neil's death, two years back, not that anything makes it easier to start with. After a prolonged period of feeling depressed recently, I think I can say my grief has started to feel 'lighter' and slightly easier to bear. I would not have wanted my partner to have carried on with increasing disability for anything and my heart goes out to those going through these stages and trying to find some sense of joy and stability in the midst of the turmoil.

I have recently, at the age of 58, taken up dog agility with two of my collies. It has helped to take a new direction and its an incentive to get out and meet more people, something I'm not good at. I know our husbands and partners would want us to lead fulfilled lives and to be as happy as posible and it's thoughts like that that help prevent me from slipping back. Cant imagine ever finding or wanting another partner, I gave my all to Neil. So for now, life revolves around my beloved dogs and the many friends I have. If my health remains good and I have my dog walks and the social outlets I enjoy I will be as content as I can be. I send you all my love and do not be afraid to seek support if the grief is overwhelming. It will come and go in waves of intensity for a long time, best analogy I can think of !

 

Fiona. xx

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User
Posted 04 November 2016 18:14:45(UTC)

My step-mother-in-law has not moved on one iota in the 4 years since Stan died. She is so difficult to be with, and it is getting harder - my children avoid phoning her for as long as possible these days. When Stan was still here, I moaned that she would be really hard work when he was gone but he used to say 'oh she is much stronger than you think' .... she bl***y isn't :-(

I know that she is young to be a widow but sometimes I want to drag her to a computer to make her read some of your profiles - you are all amazing.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


User
Posted 12 November 2016 00:01:18(UTC)

Hi Piglet

I haven't been on here for a while but your post has really hit the mark for me. I have been struggling to understand why I seem to be coping 'so well' but your description of anticipatory grief makes such sense. Your send off for Tony sounds wonderful - what a good idea.

I find the worst  thing for me now is loneliness. I have plenty of friends and am out alot but I still feel very lonely as people don't really get it unless they've been there themselves. I have just returned from a holiday abroad with my daughter which was nice but it just didn't feel right. I had one moment where I suddenly felt really happy (as I rode my camel along the beach!) but then almost immediately found myself in tears.

I have recently found a site called WAY UP for widows/widowers (I hate those words) in their 50s and 60s. There is similar support to this site and you can also link up with others in your local area. I've already been invited for coffees with people in a similar situation. Group invites are available for meals and holidays too if and when you feel ready. 

Best wishes

Rosy

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User
Posted 12 November 2016 10:21:58(UTC)

Oh Rosy,

I so well remember reading these words many years ago, "'I have plenty of people to do things with - I just have no one to do nothing with".

Thank you for telling me about http://www.way-up.co.uk/,

David

User
Posted 12 November 2016 11:58:44(UTC)
David, how true those words are, it is when I am sat at home doing nothing that the loneliness really hits me. I have many good friends and even went away for a few days with some of them, I was so worried about going that I even got my GP to give me some Valium in case I went into a panic while away but I m pleased to say that the break did do me good and I didn't have to touch the Valium!! I find it hard when I watch some TV programmes (like The Missing) that I sometimes find difficult to follow, that I have no one to speak to about it.
Marje's words about anticipatory grief made me realise that I had been grieving for many months before Tim died.
Thank you Rosy for mentioning WAY UP, I have applied to join the forum.
Linda
User
Posted 13 November 2016 22:29:22(UTC)

Oh David, those words go right to the heart of the loneliness of bereavement. I am filling my diary with things to do with others, but nothing can make up for the lack of a constant presence at home, someone who is simply there for me. The late afternoon is a difficult time for me, especially as the dark evenings close in. I'm trying to make this the time when I phone people for a chat, which worked for me today.

As you say,Lindy, it's the strange little things you miss, like turning to your spouse when you watch a TV play to say, "Hang on, isn't he married to the one with the dark hair? So who's their son?" etc. Only having one brain available in the household, especially when it's a somewhat flawed "bereavement brain", can be a problem. And decisions: is it too late to get the back hedge cut now? Does the bathroom need redecorating? How do I know?

Rosy, good to hear from you again. I had a look at the Way Up website, but at nearly 69, am I too old for them?
I have found a useful section on the Macmillan website forum where there's a whole section for those who have lost a spouse or partner to cancer. People's experiences and responses do seem to vary hugely: some are still hopeless and helpless with grief after many months, while others are more like me, and finding that the pre-bereavement grieving seems to have helped them work through some of their worst fears and feelings beforehand, preparing them for the final loss.

Marje

User
Posted 14 November 2016 12:54:51(UTC)

Than you for posting the Way Up link.


My sister is 64 and was widowed 2 years ago.

She copes really well I think, but she does feels a bit isolated because all her friends are married (bar one) and holidays/socialising seem to be linked to the single friend which isn't ideal as they have different temperaments.

I have sent her the link and she has looked and joined straight away.

Many thanks

*******

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 14 November 2016 17:05:43(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I had a look at the Way Up website, but at nearly 69, am I too old for them?

Lie! 

P.S. You don't look it.

User
Posted 14 November 2016 18:49:50(UTC)

OK, I hold up my hands, David, that photo was taken a few years ago. You have shamed me into updating it. I have now taken one as I sit here, and uploaded it. Glasses are now a permanent accessory. I don't seem to be in the middle of the frame, but can't be bothered to sort that now. At least having a photo demonstrates that I am not in fact a piglet. (Piglet was the name of a little boat Tony used to have.)

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Posted 14 November 2016 19:39:41(UTC)

Sod it, still lie! 

P.S. You still don't look it.

P.P.S. My photo was taken on my 60th birthday, that's over 7 years ago. I look younger now. It's the latest photo I have of me drinking real beer. I must get Mrs_C to remedy this deficiency.

 

User
Posted 14 November 2016 23:25:52(UTC)

I've just seen a post on the Way Up site from someone who's 79 and she was being told she's not too old!

User
Posted 14 November 2016 23:39:57(UTC)
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Sod it, still lie![img=http://community.prostatecanceruk.org/editors/tiny_mce/plugins/emoticons/img/smiley-smile.gif]




P.S. You still don't look it.


P.P.S. My photo was taken on my 60th birthday, that's over 7 years ago. I look younger now. It's the latest photo I have of me drinking real beer. I must get Mrs_C to remedy this deficiency.






Reminds me of Bob Dylan: "Ah, but I was so much older then/ I'm younger than that now."
Are you sure you're still old enough to be drnking beer?
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Posted 15 November 2016 20:43:07(UTC)
Marje, you are an incredible lady and it's so lovely that you are still posting and helping others.
Anticipatory grief, thanks for helping me understand that this is what I have been going through right from the beginning of this journey. I relate so much to a few of the above posts, i especially find myself hiding my sad feelings from those closest to me in order to protect them.
My bob is still fighting the good fight but I hope when the time comes I will be able to build my life back up as you other wonderful ladies are doing now.
Take care all
Lesley xx

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Posted 15 November 2016 20:53:57(UTC)
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Marje, you are an incredible lady and it's so lovely that you are still posting and helping others.
Anticipatory grief, thanks for helping me understand that this is what I have been going through right from the beginning of this journey. I relate so much to a few of the above posts, i especially find myself hiding my sad feelings from those closest to me in order to protect them.
My bob is still fighting the good fight but I hope when the time comes I will be able to build my life back up as you other wonderful ladies are doing now.
Take care all
Lesley xx



You will, Lesley, although some people take longer than others. But one thing I can tell you is that you are already doing some of the building right now. You may feel as if you are stuck in a hole, but you are digging the foundations of your future, by dealing with your feelings and expressing them here.

Marje
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