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Carrying On


Guest Marmalade

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Hello all,


It seemed to me that "Our Journey Without Chemo" had run it's course and that life after Louis deserved a thread of it's own.


Louis funeral was all we and he had hoped for. Good people, good music, wonderful flowers, so many speaking so well of him and the most beautiful service. I cried when they played his beautiful music, I cried to hear the readings and I cried when he was carried out of the church and when he went through the curtains at the crematoria. They were not great howling tears but constant streams of salty water which would not stop.


Despite all these tears I have been calm. Not happy nor distraught but calm and every day I wait for the hiatus to commence. I don't concentrate well and can't settle to anything but nothing too horrendous until the day before yesterday. At about 8pm I was on the phone with my daughter, we had had a nice chat and I was saying that I had a man coming who would pay me a small amount for each of the hardback books that I was going to get rid of. There was a long silence and it was obvious she didn't approve. Her view is that I am doing everything too quickly, not sure if that is too quickly for me, for her, for Louis or what because I started to cry, couldn't speak, had to put the phone down. We made up by text immediately but I continued to cry for 36 hours almost non stop. I had to pick up a prescription yesterday and all the while tears were running down my face. A man I knew hugged me and I told him that I wanted Louis to hug me, it was no good from other people. I cried and watched TV all night and finally stopped crying about 9 this morning absolutely exhausted.


I have never felt so utterly desolate. People phone, and call and see me, and text, and email but the loneliness is overwhelming and all encompassing. Even a tiny unintentional pushback increases the feeling of isolation and rejection. Hyper sensitive I guess.


I know it will all pass in time and that these great waves will be replaced by other less frequent but sharp reminders that life has changed and this thread will be my journey back to the light.

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PCUK Nurse Dianne

Dear Marmalade,


Sad and wise words. There is no right or wrong, you have to go with your heart and do as you feel is right for you. These are difficult days and you have been such a wonderful generous soul in caring for Louis and those wonderful friends on the forum, we all feel for you in these lonely times.


Tears are so often frowned upon, however they are important to shed, Marmalade see them as special memories of Louis. Louis' funeral sounded like a wonderful celebration of a special life and so warming to hear so many came to show their respects.


Marmalade please do feel free to be in touch, more than happy to chat by phone if this may be helpful.


Thank you for sharing as always.


Dianne

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

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Marmalade,

It sounds as though Loius's funeral was really really lovely.

I was surprised I didn't cry more at Trevor's but I think like others I had done a lot of my crying in the weeks months before he died, or perhaps it still hadn't really hit me.

I think we try to stay strong, and get on with life because we know that's what they would want us to do, but we can only be strong for so long then something has to give! Sometimes when the tears start it does take time for them to stop but 36 hours is quite a marathon,no wonder you were exhausted my love.

I was cutting the grass a few weeks ago with tears streaming down my face, because the lawn mower cord kept getting caught on things, and I knew I wasn't cutting it the way Trevor would have cut it, and I felt as if HE was there, making it as difficult as he could for me. I got so cross, the crosser I got the more I cried and the more the cord got stuck. But I do think we need the release from being the big brave ladies that we like to pretend we are, after all our world has ended our lives will never be the same. and that is what is so hard to accept.

We always used to call that special hug " an arms round squeezy one " I know only its only Louis's hug that will do but I will send you one anyway just to let you know how much I care love sandrax xx

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And through those tears you still manage to comment on threads on here.


I think when you've spent such a considerable time caring for someone like you did for Louis, you must feel totally bereft when you haven't got that sense of purpose anymore.


Huge cyber hugs.


Vx

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I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a rotten few days. Even more reason for more of us to meet up because I think we will bounce off one another. Especially as everyone is at different stages of their mourning. Hopefully you will get a good nights sleep tonight, exhaustion plays havoc with emotions and of course don't forget, this is the first time in your adult life you are alone, that in itself is massive and it's going to take a while.


I for one though can say I look forward to reading your journey back to the light .


(((Hugs))) xxx

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Yes Marmalade, "Our Journey Without Chemo" may have run its course in the most beautiful and dignified way and I can totally understand why you want a new thread to carry on your own journey without Louis.


It does sound like Louis had the most beautiful service and I am sure all the lovely words and thoughts towards Louis were wonderful and I would have cried throughout myself it is was me. He sounded always like an amazing and lovely man, father and husband.


I wouldn't be worried you cannot concentrate and settle, I think that is a natural reaction to any stressful situation and this is definitely classed as the most stressful in my eyes. And with that stress it is always our nearest and dearest that we have little tiffs with, it is the natural course of things. I think we have all learned through reading everyone else's experience that there really is no right and wrong to grieve and go through this process because it is a very individual thing with individual reactions.


I know it is not the same as a Louis hug but it was also very lovely that someone went out of their way to try and make you feel better. You do sound like you are surrounded by a great community and friends and when things are not so raw the beautiful lives and community that you and Louis built will comfort you more and more. I really do hope and believe so. In the meantime you may feel desolate but we are here for those empty times as well and we want to hear and support you through those unexpected drops over the little things. We can do hypersensitivity here anytime my lovely.


You will get back into the light, hold on to that every day. x


Much love


DG

Edited by Dandygal76
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Dear Marmalade


Today I'm breaking my rule of not visiting the 'Coping with Loss' forum to say hello and to send some virtual support and love.


May your new thread usher in some light for you very soon - I'm sure it will - and for others on the Forum who are also in deep mourning. My heart goes out to you all.


Much love

W&M xx

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Dear Marmalade, It's such a strange feeling being on the other side of the journey. Like so many people have said, you just have to go with the flow, do what feels right and cry as much as you want to. Tears are not a sign of weakness but a way of washing away some of the sadness. Love and hugs Annette xxx

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Marmalade, each carries on in their own way. I for one, when feeling overwhelmed have conjured up images of him, concentrated and DEMANDED that he come back. I've felt many a virtual hug that way. Yes it might be my imagination but I don't care. Also talking to him about my day, problems etc. That has helped me too. Xx

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Ah you lovely people, its so kind that you come and walk with me on my journey, especially those of you for whom it is a path best not contemplated, I do understand the feeling.


The tears are intermittent now but SandraW is absolutely spot on with her lawn mower antics. I have run big international corporations and travelled the world, often on my own but this is something else. I am confused by the disappearance of my confidence. Every decision I make is undone a few hours or even a few moments later. A kind friend has suggested we have a weeks fly and flop holiday together somewhere warm in the next few weeks, my tired body says "oh yes", and another said "come to Cornwall with us we have a big house and everyone very relaxed" but minutes after the offers I realised that what is left of Louis spirit is here, in this house, and I don't think I'm ready to leave it yet.


It would be ridiculous to say that I am miserable all the time, the 36 hour marathon cry was an exception and should have been cathartic but I have to be honest and say it wasn't really. I am still snivelling on and off but not as bad. Yes, I have friends, many going to great lengths to be supportive, calling to see me, phoning, mailing, texting, taking me out, inviting me to meals or events and so on. I should feel blessed if I were not so busy weeping and wallowing.


I am also struck with the cruelty of how, when one tragedy happens another seems to follow hot on its heels. There are examples on here of people who have lost one loved one only to lose another in quick succession or to have some other devastating news. I was given some devastating news about my step son on the day of the funeral, he is not ill but it means we will no longer have any sort of relationship, and then yesterday, a dear kind friend who was so lovely with Louis while he was ill has had his marriage break up, got drunk, driven his car and killed a motorcyclist. I am his friend but I also feel the pain of the bereaved family who could not have guessed that their family member would go out and not come back.


On a brighter note, a good friend turned up at my door yesterday with a sorry looking old Chad Vally teddy bear and asked if I would help him renovate it so we sat in the garden unstuffing Mr Bear and then washed and rinsed him. His patchy, grey, very dusty fur turned out to be the most beautiful golden honey colour and as I sit here today he has completely dried and is waiting patiently for his nose to be darned, new paw pads and new stuffing. It's very therapeutic to sit quietly with a companion doing gentle things.


Have a good day all of you M x

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I feel a lot better as we head into another week, no reason that I can see just time I guess.


The paperwork is fairly overwhelming and I can't shake off the feeling that financial institutions are deliberately dragging their feet. I have been waiting 2 weeks for a form from one of the major banks. They had certified copies of all the documentation delivered to their branch at the outset. Other institutions are just as bad. I am so glad I was advised to do the admin myself and just check in with the lawyer now and then, it must be saving a small fortune. I also didn't realise that probate is not required as I am both wife and sole executrix - well done Louis!


Spent this morning clearing a filing cabinet in the garage as a man and van are taking lots of junk away tomorrow so we can then make a start on clearing the roof and I can put the car away this winter. Louis kept every piece of paper so I have just been reading all the grovelling letters asking for money from the boys when they were young, the history of the cars, university applications etc. As a family historian it would be lovely to keep it all but realistically I will have to scan some of the stuff and bin most of it.


I went to Suzie's yesterday. We both feel we need to be together at the moment.


Well no great ups and downs for a few days but sleep is still elusive and leaving the house for any length of time makes me anxious. I would love to have a break with my friend and am looking but it will be a huge step to sleep away from the house so I'm not promising…


Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine and that those you love are safe and well M xx

Edited by Anonymous
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Poor Marmalade.


What a sad time for you but nice to hear that you feel a 'lot better'. I was interested to hear you say that leaving the house makes you anxious at the moment. You made me think of a wounded animal that stays in its den licking its wounds until it's strong enough to venture out again.


Lick your wounds as much as you have to. Nobody is timing you. Do everything at your own speed. There is no right or wrong with this process.


I have a poem written down somewhere, I think it may be Spenser - "Calm after storme, port after stormie seas ..." If I go looking for it now I shall forget what I wanted it for because my brain is only working in fits and starts, but you may know it anyway.


with my love

Mo

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Didge wrote:

> Marmalade, each carries on in their own way. I for one, when feeling

> overwhelmed have conjured up images of him, concentrated and DEMANDED that

> he come back. I've felt many a virtual hug that way. Yes it might be my

> imagination but I don't care. Also talking to him about my day, problems

> etc. That has helped me too. Xx


Not your imagination Didge, it's real. xx

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Dearest Marmalade


Don't leave the house for any period of time until you feel good and ready. A friend of mine who lost her hubby in February is exactly the same. At the moment, all you can do is go with the flow and do whatever feels right. Don't make any promises, that only puts you under pressure.


Much love

PW xx

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Hey Marmalade, I hope you are still feeling better and that things are on a reasonably even keel. All that paperwork must be exhausting and I can imagine it was quite sad sorting through all the historic records. What lovely little treasures that Louis kept and I think scanning it is a great idea and definitely the way to go nowadays.


I can see that you and Suzy are a great support to each other and it must be hard to see her pain through this process. Even though she is an adult she is still your lovely daughter and we naturally want to shield them from these things. I dread to every be looking my eldest in the face if he has to deal with the loss of dad.


I can imagine the anxiety leaving the house and the comfort of all you have at home that is Louis. Perhaps some sleep could help this as well, have you spoken to the doctor? Lack of sleep makes everything so so emotional on its own without everything else you are dealing with.


Sad times dear Marmalade but just keep going, one step after another until you reach some sunshine.


xxx

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I was once given a card with the words 'It doesn't rain for ever, the sun eventually shines through' or something like that. DGs last comment reminded me of it, so I'm holding that thought in my mind at the minute.


lots of love and strength.


Vx

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Another day over. I am often asked what I have been doing and it's quite hard to know. Daily tasks just seem to expand and contract to fill the available time.


I did sleep last night, I still wake every two hours but went back to sleep, although I had been physically busy in the garden which helps. It's quite sad that my garden, so long my love and my solace holds little enjoyment for me now. I recall an artist aunt who wasn't able to paint for about 18 months after her husband died, maybe it's a common syndrome.


Quite a bit of what I would call rubbish and what Louis would call useful woods off cuts has been cleared from the garage today. I have told him that I am sorry but I need to have a space to put the car in this winter and to act as a marshalling place for sorting things from the loft into charity, sell, keep and chuck. I know he will think I should make more effort to sell things and take more time but I haven't the heart for it. I am still wondering what to do with a large flat bed saw, an Underwood manual portable typewriter cica 1950, possibly earlier, fishing reels, and all manner of other curiosities. Another collection for auction maybe. I don't want all the hassle with eBay and people turning up to the house or backing out of the sales.


I may go to my sisters tomorrow. It would mean being away from the house for a night or two. I've booked a room in a nice B &B ( has anyone else noticed that they are now more expensive than an hotel? Why is that?) it will be a big deal for me if I do it. Might have a chat with Louis about it later.


About the tiger...Louis bought me a soft toy tiger many years ago. It holds a baby in its mouth and for years and years it sat on the chest of drawers in our room. It's called Tigsy. Latterly it sat in Louis room and he stroked it's head every evening, sometimes he talk to it, just nonsense. Anyway, Tigsy now sits at the foot of my bed on a footstool so he can watch over me. I touch his head where I know Louis fingers have been. I swear that tiger looks at me, I mean really looks at me.

I talk to him as if he were Louis, as if he were going to answer which of course it can't, being an inanimate object but it's warm and comforting and something to focus on.


Tigsy and I pray that this night you will all have peace and refreshing rest, especially those still caring for loved ones for whom the load is heavy. Xx

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Look to this day,

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision,

But today, well lived,

Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.


Sanskrit Proverb

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Perhaps you could ask Louis' friends first. When I was widowed pre Internet a number of his friends turned up asking if they could borrow complicated sounding tools which I didn't know I had, never mind how to use them. I was very happy to donate them or I'd still have them cluttering up the place! X

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That is a lovely proverb Marmalade. I hope Tigsy is bringing you lots more comfort today and that you did get to see your sister. I can imagine how hard it must be to enjoy the things you have previously but it will come if you keep today well lived as the proverb says. One day at a time lovely lady.


It sounds like Louis has stored all manner of things! It must be bitter sweet to be sorting through it all and I hope you are managing to get through it all.


Much love to you. x

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Well, I have travelled northward to my family and returned two days later in one piece although incredibly tired. I don't seem to be able to shake off the exhaustion or the waking every two hours to check on my beautiful boy as I always called him.


He would laugh because he was no spring chicken but whenever I was away from home or from him the image I had was of him when I first met him and fell in love. I wish I could post the picture but I don't seem to be able to, its of us both, me in my denim pinafore dress with my hair in bunches (I was 17) and him in his designer brown suede jacket with narrow lapels and flairs ha ha ha. I think he has a cigarette in his hand but he never really smoked, he would just carry one to look "cool". I had a vespa and an Afghan coat in those days ha ha.


It was good to be with my sister, we had another good cry. Her husband developed schizophrenia in his mid 30s which was pretty awful for her and the children as well as for him. Sadly he developed a pulmonary embolism and just dropped dead one night going to the bathroom. We are now two middle-aged widows comforting each other. It was not all doom and gloom as we had our nails done and got a facial. Its a hoot as I refuse to get undressed and be massaged anywhere other than my face neck and head. I think its weird to have a facial and be asked to take clothes off so they can massage your shoulders and back, but that may just be me. My nails are clear gel with tiny glitter mixed in, some concoction of Clarins but they look lovely, subtle but not boring. We also had a fabulous meal out at a favourite authentic Italian restaurant that we both love. Seeing my brother was also lovely but tinged with sadness because his wife has advanced bowel cancer and they are both worried about the future. I'm a bit weary of reliving Louis death now.


The drive home was 3 hours and has left me exhausted but I've been all over the house since I got home and he has not gone, I still feel his spirit all around me, not in a jumping out of the wardrobe way but the smell of his toiletries, his dressing gown on the back of the door, his wallet on the night table and Tigsy, sitting at the end of the bed holding the baby and watching over me.


It's about 7pm and I am off to get a cup of tea, put my nightie on and get my feet up with Tigsy.


I wish you all a good evening and a restful night. Big hugs,


M xxx

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I had two nights away from the house and feel like I have climbed Everest. The effort to concentrate on the 3 hour drive each way and navigating round places which are nothing like I remember has been exhausting.


It was wonderful to see my sister and brother and I wish I could parcel them up and bring them home with me but I think we would end up squabbling just like we did when we were kids, better to have occasional trips and enjoy every minute.


Coming back to the house was like being wrapped in a security blanket. I won't be rushing into any more trips for a little while.


I only cried three times today so far, once in the drapers and once in the butchers and once for darling Veema, both shops were full of staff I know who are now used to ignoring me. I don't think I've mentioned my bedlinen fetish. I love beautiful bed linen and when I feel down I buy some more. Louis never cared and said it was cheaper than most habits and less fattening than most.


I feel Nige's death and Veema and Phoebe's sorrow raw against my aching heart and I weep for them, for all of you who have born this dreadful, hideous parting, and for me.


May the love that we have for each other sustain us all this night and bring us peace.


M xx

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But you did it Marmalade and Louis would be really proud and relieved that you were able to. Small steps remember. We all find different things comforting and reassuring and your home is clearly your castle.


Tell us more about your bedlinen fetish. What do you tend to go for?


Oh and by the way, your postings are as caring and as beautiful as ever xx

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I am also a bedlinen fanatic Marmalade and it has to smell just right on the bed. I put clean crisp lovely smelling linen on twice a week and my partner thinks I am nuts!


I am glad you got out and to your sisters and it must have been lovely to catch up although I can imagine the 3 hours is tiring. Perhaps a coach or train would ease the way and then you can relax and eat jelly babies or something (what am I on about??).


I am glad you feel comforted at home and I think only 3 times crying was pretty darn good considering.


I hope you can relax a bit tonight and I am also sending you lots of cyber hugs as well. xxx

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