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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

May 17th 2013 new
hug

My mom could have written that.
May 17th 2013 new
Hi Marge, Big hugs! The one thing I know for certain is that this grief thing completely bites. I have lost many people and from a young age. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, friends, but as hard as some of those were, none of them come anywhere near the experience of losing Pete.

I received a Mother's Day card this morning from my son. It was beautiful and perfect and talked about how some mom's houses aren't spotless and sometimes they get the kids to school late, but they manage to get the important things right. He wrote in his typical Sgt. way. Mom, this was the most accurate card I could find. I love you. Always your son --then he signs it with his full name lol. The card touched me, but more than that it reminded me of his dad, who would spend hours finding cards that said what he wanted to say and then mailing them to me when he was on the road. So I spent a half an hour remembering and weeping and being happy that Pete lives on in the little things in his children.

I'm sorry that any of us have to go through this loss, it is truly the cruelest cleaving.
May 17th 2013 new
They did not work for me. First, I couldn't get a counselor who understood military loss the way I had to deal with it. I did find ministers trained in counseling that walked the journey with me for the first six months. I tried a widow/widower group in Boise this summer--I was the youngest by far and I felt worse when the meetings were over. I ran, I wrote a book, and I fell into my faith. I talk to military ministers.
May 17th 2013 new
: hug: Wasn't there some kind of counselor like the folks who help guys with PTSD? A former CM member was a military contractor counselor. Your situation would need someone with special experience and skills, I'm surprised that wasn't readily available.
May 18th 2013 new
Marge, this is exactly why I am back in school. I am going back in military resilience counseling. I don't want to do counseling per se, but I want to coordinate resources, deal with the immediacy of loss in families, and I want to train on resilience before the unthinkable happens. I know this walk and my fire blazes for it enough that although I have a ton of education, I am willing to work full time and go back to school. Laugh.
May 18th 2013 new
Linda, I applaud you. You identified a need and coupled with your own understanding of the situation, you will be an amazing resource for those who will be fortunate enough to receive your help. Best wishes to you that you are able to stay strong and achieve your goal. Many will be blessed by your dedication! rosary Praying
May 18th 2013 new
Absolutely, Linda, I second Michelle.
May 18th 2013 new
I thought I might add that the group I transitioned into is not a grief group specifically. No one there has lost a spouse, but they are all either grad students or academics who are struggling with some of the battles of grad school, or divorce. So the group is very diverse and not specific. And, I found all the grief books more than frustrating, because I wanted set answers, not this it's different for everybody sort of thing. My mind doesn't work well that way lol. But, I have found grief isn't rational, nor controlled by strong mind, nor will. I found great empathy in the group and other people to care about, so it has been a really good thing for me. Probably better than one specifically geared to grief, because I might have felt the same as some others here, if I encountered a lot of people going through grief but couldn't relate to them at all.
May 19th 2013 new
Grief does suck. Being a young widow sucks. Life isn't always fair, is it? I still have a Mother's Day card that I got back from Afghanistan. I haven't read it yet. It is still in the stamped envelope that was on his day planner to send the day he was assassinated.

Yes, the fire blazes so haot in my heart. I understand this journey. Without my faith and the people --mostly my military family--that have carried me, I would have cowered in the corner. I know, as surely as I have known anything, that this is the woman that I spent my life in dress rehearsal to be. I ache sometimes realizing that it took Phil's death for me to have this mission and journey, but make no mistake, I know what it is like to love well and to be loved well. I believe in a chapter two and I believe on working on me until they day I die.

While counseling was not available to meet my specific needs, I was carried and I did have a minister who dropped everything any time I needed him. It wasn't just prayer, but work....hard work. I wrote a book which was my way of processing what was happening to me. I still break once in awhile. I am lonely, but I see the blessings that God has provided along the way. I am humbled....so humbled.
May 19th 2013 new
. I ache sometimes realizing that it took Phil's death for me to have this mission and journey, >>>>>

Linda, this phrase echos for me. I have asked Our Lord many times, what purpose does He have for me, that required him to take Pete away? What mission do I have to complete that could not be completed together with my spouse? I know surely there is something, but I still have no firm direction, or passion to pursue, which in itself is very odd to me, all of my life, I have always had some inkling, or urge into which direction I should go. But, this last year has been terribly silent and adrift. A visiting priest told me to continue to be silent and listen, that in this silent time God is preparing me. So far the only thing that has sparked much passion for me is to speak out about safety in the oil field, to put a face to the reality of how important that safety truly and deeply is. If some good can come of Pete's loss because of it, it will help I think. To make safety personal. Perhaps that is where I am supposed to go. Pete begged and cajoled and pushed me to go back to school, because he thought I had things to say but no one would listen if I didn't have credentials. That sort of haunts me when I think about that now. But, perhaps gathering the credentials that will give me a voice was so that I could speak for him and all the other faceless and expendable oil field workers, to put their faces out there. I don't know, but I keep praying and asking and waiting.
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