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Three years in and still not ok 
Started by JSandersen
12 Jan 2021, 11:29 PM

I lost my wife nearly three years ago to breast cancer. She was an amazing wife but more importantly an incredible mother to or two young children who were 8 and 5 and the time of her passing. I have worked hard to help my kids through the loss and deal with it my own grief but it just doesn't seem to get any better. With the Covid restrictions and stress things have gotten even worse than they were before. I need some help! Mentally, physically and financially drained and at wits end. Just want my kids to smile and enjoy their young lives. Anyone have any suggestions for the SW Ontario region for support?
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13 Jan 2021, 2:35 AM

Grief – such a small word, but so powerful! It makes its own path, sometimes you can prepare for it, at anniversaries, holidays or special events. Then surprisingly it doesn’t turn up with the vengeance expected. But out of the blue, you see a butterfly or hear a piece of music and you are in a puddle of tears and feeling so alone.

Three years is not a long time in grief speak. The second year after my husband’s death was in many ways the hardest. The reality set in. He had died. My life had gone on without him – and I was without him. 

You have been a parent, cook and housekeeper; financial, emotional and physical support to those two lovely children all while living with your own grief and loss.  Added to that you have been supporting your kids through covid restrictions, school closures, limited activity and access to their friends – and yours. And as you say, you want happy and healthy kids and to be able to enjoy time with them.

I am glad you found us and I know that others will come along to support you as well.  Here are a few resources that you may find helpful. I am also checking in case I have missed anything.

Games night run out of Bob Kemp Hospice Bereavement Support program. They also have other resources for kids – helpful I think to phone and check out what is available. In the Hamilton area.

Children and Youth Grief Network - has a variety of resources 

my grief

Your wife sounds like a wonderful person, wife and mother. Are there things that she said and did that have helped you get through these last 3 years?


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Reply by JSandersen
13 Jan 2021, 3:21 AM

Thank you Katherine. Your kind words have helped a great deal this evening. Thank you so much. And yes, my wife left me several hand written letters and her most inspirational quote was simply "just breathe". I had this tattooed (exact copy of her handwriting from the letter) on my inner bicep so whenever I get too stressed I just roll up my sleeve and remind myself to slow down and breathe. 

Thanks again and I look forward to researching these links.  
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13 Jan 2021, 2:06 PM

Good morning, 
Wonderful to have letters - and especially in her hand writing.  

I have two other resources Jsanderson which I think could be helpful for you and your children.

Kidsgrief Q&A is led by Andrea Warnick, a children’s grief specialist and these webinars are held online monthly. The next one is Tuesday February 2. The sessions are recorded so if you can’t attend you can receive a copy of the recording. The sign up link is https://virtualhospice.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=c07fa235771066576396bbc7a&id=99ed3d82b7  Many bereaved parents attend and although you probably have already heard this, many grieving parents feel the same way as you do. Andrea is one of the members of the professional team on CVH and she suggested you could email her the post you made on the Discussion Forums or a new piece to KidsGriefQA@virtualhospice.ca  and she would be happy to respond.

The second resource is Bob Kemp Hospice’s new free (in Ontario) text and chat line for kids and adults at https://kemphospice.org/support-line

I am not sure what the restrictions are in schools right now in your area of Ontario, but perhaps for future consideration, Canadian Virtual Hospice kids grief for educators is a new resource for schools.

If you are up to it, please check back in to let us know how you are doing.



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Reply by eKIM
13 Jan 2021, 4:34 PM

Dear J

My heart aches as I read your story.  I send you a big VirtualHug.

I have lost 3 family members in the last year, but my loss is nothing compared to yours.

Your loss resonates greatly with me.  I am a husband with two grown children.  I cannot imagine losing my wife even now, never mind when my kids were young.

Sometimes all the prayers and well wishes from others (while well-meaning), simply are not enough.

We can have a whole team of friends and family cheering us on, but ultimately our grief journey is solo. 

Part of the reason for this is the “snowflake effect”.  No two of us are the same.  No two of us grieve the same.  People can empathize, but they cannot understand us entirely.  That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are sweet souls out there that you will meet as you grieve.  They simply wish to help you find your way on your journey of healing.

I hope that we here at Virtual Hospice can be of comfort to you. 

Have you had counselling from a grief therapist?  Have you joined a grief group?  Almost everyone that I have spoken to who has lost someone has said that these are of great help.

You might want to contact Heart House Hospice in Mississauga.  They do amazing work helping the bereaved. I personally have experience with them.  I know the people there well.  They are a group of tender-hearted and caring people.

Peace and Love

- eKim

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Reply by barbcurt
16 Jan 2021, 3:30 PM

Hello J

I am truly sorry to hear of your loss.  I too lost my wife over two years ago.  Unfortunately I have no answers for you.  Each person's grief is their own.  I found the title of your post really resonates with me.  I too am still not okay.  In this time of isolation due to the pandemic it is hard to get the assistance we need.  I had been part of a grief support group.  People that had experienced loss talking about how they were dealing with it.  I think I miss that and look forward to going back.  Sometimes it is easier to share with strangers who, in there own way, are coping with loss similar to mine and are willing to listen.  I hope you find the help you are looking for.  Just know there are others here who understand and are willing to listen.

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