Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What happens next?

I’m waiting for the dust to settle and for my life to return to “normal” although I’m not sure that will ever really happen.

More than a month ago, my husband Greg had a stroke that caused a fall down a flight of stairs and a subsequent ambulance ride to the hospital where he remained for almost four weeks.  His condition was very complicated and while the stroke was the immediate problem, there were other health issues that made his treatment exceptionally difficult and, well, complicated.  While it was a truly awful time for Greg, it was also a harrowing time for me, our kids and our family and friends.  When he was finally moved to a rehab hospital, we thought that he was beginning to heal, but on November 1, he succumbed to another stroke and passed away.

We scheduled our memorials for this past weekend with calling hours on Saturday and a memorial service at our church on Sunday afternoon.  I was astounded by the number of people who came to offer their condolences and to share their memories of Greg.  People came from all areas of his life, including family from near and far, high school friends, his friends and fellow workers from New England Electric Service and National Grid, our steadfast church friends, our Walker Pond neighbors and other local friends, his much loved biker pals, and even a server at an area restaurant who saw the obituary in the newspaper and wanted to let us know that she remembered that Greg had always greeted her by name and made her feel like a friend.

But that’s just the way he was.  He was not a perfect man by any means and there were times over our 35 plus years together when he drove me absolutely nuts.  But, in many ways, he was larger than life.  People mentioned over and over that they will remember how he loved to laugh.  So many mentioned that when they first met him, they felt they were immediately in the company of a friend.  He was always the life of the party, always one of the smartest guys in the room and always careful about caring for his family and friends and was never shy about letting them know how much they meant to him.  He was a hugger.  And he loved to sing, serving as primary tenor in the Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church choir for more than twenty years.  He will be hugely missed by so many, not just me, Carrie, Evan and Olive, the pug.

In personality, Greg was the opposite of me as I tend to be socially awkward,  introverted and shy.  Maybe that’s why we got along so well all these years.  We did complement each other in many ways.  But right now, I am keenly aware that the support and love I am feeling from friends and family are really a gift from Greg who never hesitated to make a friend or to celebrate with family.

I am going to try to move forward, to start picking up my camera again and to dip my toes back into the blogging world.  Bear with me as I try to find my way.


Felicia said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss Barbara. I lost my father on October 4th and had lost interest in blogging and photography. I find it is slowly returning to me.

Take time to grieve for you need to do that too. Your love for photography and life will return in time, please be patient. But yes we do have to move forward in life. Surround yourself with family and friends you love and things you love to do.

Hugs Felicia

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Καλή μου, αγαπημένη μου Barbara, πόσο λυπάμαι....
Θέλω να σου εκφράσω τα πιο θερμά μου συλλυπητήρια για τον απρόσμενο θάνατο του συζύγου σου.
Είθε να αναπαύεται εν ειρήνη.
Κάνε κουράγιο, σ΄αγαπάμε όλοι και είμαστε κοντά σου.
Ο Θεός να σου χαρίζει δύναμη και κουράγιο.
Σου στέλνω την ειλικρινή αγάπη μου, καθώς και στα παιδιά σας.

Linda said...

Oh Barbara...so sorry to hear this...kindest thoughts to you and your kids...
Things like this in life, are never easy...
You seem to have a strong support system...use it to your fullest..
Be brave...let the healing begin...


MadSnapper said...

so shocked to read this I am speechless. I have no idea what to say, except that I care and will be here when you can get back to blogging. my sweet little Olive must be devastated. there is no way to explain his absence. my prayers and condolences to all of your family and of course for you.. I missed so much i was not aware he was so ill. we lost our precious pup Baby while you were away and also this past week my friend Rich passed away. this makes me understand just a very little how you are feeling. God bless you.. and hugs

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A lovely message. Thank you. I'm cheering you on!

Unknown said...

Oh Barb, I have thought of you often lately wondering how you are coping with one of the worst life tragedies I can think of. You were part of my young working years and you were there when I discovered I was pregnant so you will always be a part of my life history. We both know that you will get through this dark period and life will resume on a different path for you, one that you didn't plan for but which could bring new and interesting challenges - hopefully ones, that will put that beautiful smile back on your face. You are gifted and very talented as evidenced by your blog. Keep your face to the sun and remember those family and friends that surround you with love. My best to you and your lovely family - and Olive the pug. Sharon

TexWisGirl said...

i am so very sorry, barbara. i have no words to offer that can soothe all you've been through, all you've lost. i do hope you can hold onto the love and memories. bless you all.

Pamela Gordon said...

Dear Barb, I am shocked to read this post and of Greg's sudden passing. I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you will continue blogging and taking those beautiful photos when you feel up to it. I'm glad you have good friends and your own family to support you at this time. Blessings. Pam

Anonymous said...

I know you will return to "normal", Barb, it will just be a new normal, a different normal. And then again, as is often said, "What is normal anyway?" I suppose it is how we live our life day in and day out. I think of you often and how strange it must be to not have Greg by your side after all your years and moments spent together. Yet somehow healing comes and we are greatful for it. It is not always an easy road yet it is a road worth going down. We were so touched by Greg's service - such a tribute to who he was - how he loved and was loved. And a reminder of how you are surrounded by so much love and comfort. May you feel the warmth of that for as long as you need it - Carrie and Evan too. - Laurel (H)

The Furry Gnome said...

Oh Barbara, i am so sorry! You're very courageous to share this with us, but i know it will porbably help you. I will be thinking of you.

RobertN said...

Sincere condoleante! Viata nu va mai fi niciodata cum a fost, nu poti uita ce iubesti.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I have been dipping in and out of your super blog for awhile and your headline grabbed me. I don't know you but feel I want to say something; as if words help much. I have come to realise, though, that those we love and care for never really leave us and we are lucky that they came our way. It's also important to try to think how they would like us to be when they leave us. Greg sounds like quite a guy. My thoughts are with you.

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Hello Barbara, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Be strong, hugs!

Amy Burzese said...

Barbara, I am so sorry to see this news. Welcome to the club in which no one wants to be a member. Being a member myself, sadly, I don't have anything very helpful or profound to offer. The saying "one day at a time" does hold true meaning to me now. Sometimes it is one hour at a time. I can go through all of the degrees of acceptance and grief in a single day. Please feel free to contact me should you feel I could be of any help. Blessings to you and your family as you go through this adjustment.

Brian King said...

You have my deepest condolences, Barb. I'm so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

Rose said...

Oh, Barb, I am so very sorry for your loss.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

So very sorry to read this post and learn of Greg's passing, Barbara. Our condolences to you and your family. There will be a normal after awhuke and it will be different, but take all the time you need.

Betsy J... said...

Thank you, Barb, for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Please know how sorry I am for your loss and I'm thinking of you daily and keeping you in my prayers. They say time heals but I don't know if that empty place in your heart ever completely goes away but time will make it easier to bear.
With love from Betsy J... of flickr

Unknown said...

Let us hurry to love people - so quickly away

Kerri Farley said...

I am so sorry to hear this Barbara! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

E. said...

oh gosh, i just stopped by, & i am sorry to be so missing in your posts. please know i am thinking about you and your family. so sorry to hear of this loss. i send my love, prayers & big big hugs your way. we love you & Olive. ( :

Nicki said...

Barb, my deepest condolences. Greg sounds like a great partner to have had in life.

EG CameraGirl said...

I am so sorry to hear of this! My husband had a stroke a year-and-a-half ago. I'm lucky, though, I still have him, although he is handicapped now. Gosh, we just never know what's going to happen next, do we? I will be thinking of you!

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Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Hi, Barb - I was reading through some old comments on my old blog and saw your name and came to check on you. I am so sorry for your loss and for the difficult times, and I'm sorry that I didn't know about your loss until now. I hope you have found some normalcy and peace. I am thinking of you and praying for comfort and peace and joy for you. ~Tina

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Missing you today, I hope you are healing!

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