Jeannine’s grieving
The Beginning of Alzheimer’s
For six years, I knew that my husband had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. At that time, he was still able to do most things that he had always done. He could drive his truck to play golf at different courses around the area. He could even play dominoes; use the computer, especially to play solitaire. He could also mow the yard and water the grass and do some gardening. He always enjoyed ushering at church, etc.
I accepted the diagnosis, knowing that Alzheimer’s patients did not get well but only got worse. And I knew that he most probably would go before me.
In the last year or so, my brother would send me newsletters from the “Banner Alzheimers’s Institute” in Phoenix, AZ, where he lives. For some reason, he was on their mailing list, and he would forward them on to me.
These articles were beneficial —it did not take long to read them; they followed Hadley’s Alzheimer’s from Mild to Moderate to Advanced Stage.
In the last six weeks, my husband was in “Memory Care,” in Friendswood, my daughter and I felt like he liked living there. (Of course, he could not verbalize it).
After a few weeks, he began to go down very fast –losing weight and finally not being able to swallow, and that became too sad for us to watch.
My daughter and I began to pray that his passing would not be long in coming.
Death was imminent; but we did not know when. So, I feel that I did have plenty of warning.
After I put Hadley in Memory Care, I would go home and cry every night.
A while later, after the visitation, the funeral and burial were over, and everyone had gone home, I was drinking coffee the next morning; deep sobs of crying came over me like I had not experienced before. After four more mornings, I didn’t have that crying anymore.
On Tears
One day, while listening to Christian radio, I heard a person say, “Jesus gave us permission to grieve.” I looked at the reference, John 11:35; and we know that verse, “Jesus wept.”
In a little book, “For Those Who Hurt,” Chuck Swindoll gave a Scripture reference, Psalm 58:8b (The Living Bible), “You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle. You have recorded every one in your book.” I never remembered reading a verse like that in the Bible, so I looked it up, and sure enough, it was there.
What a neat verse—and I had used it many times when I was sending a sympathetic card to someone. I think it is so encouraging to know that God even cares about our tears.
I think dreams can be comforting.
The first dream was Hadley, and I just standing there, looking happy. We were young, probably teenagers. The next morning, I was surprised that I had dreamed that kind of dream, as it had been so many years since we were that age; but it was comforting to me.
The second dream was Hadley lying down on a bed, covered in white linen bandages or something like that. I knew he was not alive, but his face had his natural skin color. He opened his eyes and looked at me like he was going to say something, and he did. He said, “You are going to be OK.” And that was all the dream.
His words were distinct and comforting to me.
Getting stuck
In this grief process, sometimes we get stuck in the journey, and it seems we can’t move forward at all.
Some things I tried:
1. Getting back into taking walks
2. Some days I would pray that God would show me someone I could help that day, and he did. It so happened that, through some short time, I was able to assist one of my long-time neighbors in getting her to doctors, picking up prescriptions, and other necessary things.
3. I listened to old 50’s music that Hadley and I both liked; while sad, hearing the many old love songs was also comforting.
I need to add to this list.
Things We Miss
1. Someone to share things with.
2. Drinking coffee in the morning.
3. Going on trips, vacations, etc.
4. Someone to help me with “anything and everything.”
5. Sitting on the patio, watching rainstorms.
From “A Season of Grief.”
1. A shoulder to cry on.
2. Arms that embrace and comfort you.
3. “If you want to heal from grief, you must go through it; you cannot go around it.”
Sharing Your Grief
Some persons are very private with their grief and don’t want to share much about it, and that’s OK; but for me, I found that it was better to share my pain.
After Hadley passed away, I called many friends, old neighbors, etc. I also emailed persons that we had heard from once a year. In doing the emails, I heard from some that had also lost a spouse.
Our daughter put his death on Facebook, and she received many replies, which she would read to me.
And it seems to me that others also want the opportunity to share with you their grief about losing a loved one.
During the last three days of my husband’s life, several people came by to tell him Good-Bye, and although he could not respond, we think and believe that he could hear. Ron and Sandy McHone were the last two persons to come by and see him (except our family).
I was glad and thankful for anyone who wanted to come.
Give Time Some Consideration.
Its been over two years since Hadley passed away, and it seems like only yesterday, and I still miss him so much; but I realize that I’m still here and life goes on, and I think that time is helping me.
At this point, I do have a problem making myself do things or completing tasks that I start and don’t want to finish; probably, some of this is due to my age, some may be physical problems, and some, of course, grief itself.
What Can Take Sadness Away?
I don’t know, but I suspect that it is and will be a series of things. For example, time, as I refered earlier.
Talking about the person who is deceased, when appropriate.
Thinking about some things to look forward to in the future.
Helpful Bible Verses
(Taken from The Living Bible)
Verses on Tears
Psalm 56: 8
“You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded them every one in your book.”
Psalm 30: 5(b), 11
“Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning there is joy.” “Then he turned my sorrow into joy!”
Psalm 84: 6“When they walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains!”
Hebrews 11: 1
“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
“What a wonderful God we have—He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The source of every mercy and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more He will shower us with His comfort and encouragement.”
Growing in Inner Strength2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessings upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”