Ways to help my dear Aunt

FlowerLady6January 25, 2007

I have read some heart rending stories on here of your losses, since our dear Aunt on DH's side lost our dear Uncle, her husband of almost 60 years, a little over a week ago.

What I would like to know are some suggestions to help her as she grieves. She lives up north and we live way down south. We communicate regularly.

I've sent her a couple of letters. I'm trying to carry on like before. I've mentioned things that we loved about Uncle Wilbur and memories that DH has from his time spent with them on their farm when he was a boy. It's hard to know what to say, how to act, and I even feel guilty for our life that we still have. Life can change in an instant and each day we have with our loved ones is an opportunity to love and encourage each other.

I am thinking of sending her a gift basket and have some ideas of what to include in it. Do you have any suggestions there? I've thought of scented soaps, a nice scented candle or two, some note cards I make with photos of flowers from our gardens, a sachet filled with lavender and rose petals, some healing, calming herbal teas.

Thank you all for any input here. My heart goes out to all of you.


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Why not fly her to your home to get the basket? She probably would appreciate the thoughtfulness and the chance for a change of scenery/pace.

People who are grieving need company, don't want company, need to cry, can't cry, need someplace to go, can't muster up the strength to leave their home. What they are expressing is minute-to-minute emotional changes.

In a few words, her life is over as she knew it, and your gesture would assure her that ALL is not over - she is still deeply needed and loved, and WANTED!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 3:44PM
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I couldn't have said it better, but give her a few weeks, she has to be home alone for a little while because she has to go home again eventually and that will be devastating too. I have been home alone for 2 months and the house has become less hollow, I am now ready to venture away for a little while because I don't think it will feel so stark and empty now when I come back. Everything takes time and everyone takes "their" own time. But definitely ask her to come for a vacation and you can pamper her and above all, listen to her. Give her hugs and kisses from me.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 9:02AM
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Kay ~ That is a wonderful idea and we would have her down if we could, but we aren't in a position to do that, financially or room wise. We live in a tiny cottage with no extra space.

Mav63 ~ I did write to her telling her to write whatever she feels like writing to us, her feelings her memories of Uncle Wilbur and I sure hope she will. She and I have always enjoyed our letters to each other. I also send her pictures all the time of our projects and pics of gardens. She has always encouraged DH and I and now it's my turn to listen and encourage her as much as I can. We love her dearly.

She does have her only daughter and they are very close, and she had talked of moving near her before this happened and also of moving into a retirement home.

I am reading a book now by Jean Hersey "A Widow's Pilgrimage" and it is really giving me an insight into this experience.

I agree that everyone grieves differently and that it all takes time, and life is not the same anymore as one new it.

My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones.

Sincerely ~ FlowerLady

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 10:17AM
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I was going to suggest that you put a book in the gift basket. Perhaps the one you're reading would be appropriate.

Some dried fruit in the basket...nutritious and calorie-dense. She may not be eating regular meals these days.

You could ask her if she's dreamt about her husband, or observed anything she might interpret as a sign from him. Most people who grieve are relieved to know that it's okay to talk about these things.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 1:55PM
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I like the candle idea. I started getting into candles when my dad was sick. One friend would light a candle for dad. Now that he's gone, having a scented candle fill the house with a soft scent brings comfort. Do you know what kind of scents she likes? I've had people buy me apple or vanilla candles which I can't stomach for some reason.

A small photo album. Include photos with your uncle with relatives. Walmart used to have a really nice one that had dried flowers on the front with a slot to add a pic.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 8:04AM
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Rainy, I didn't realize it was you posting. I remember your garden and how beautiful it is. I think the notecards are a great idea.

I'm very sorry for your loss. My head isn't here, next week it's been a year since my dad passed; I got my love of gardening from him.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 10:53AM
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alisande ~ Some dried fruit sounds like a good idea. I'm also thinking of adding the book I'm reading in her pkg also. We got some Bach Rescue Remedy cream, a bar of wonderful eveing primrose soap, and I embroidered a rose for the top of a sachet filled with rose petals and dried lavender. We also bought some organic fruit bars that sounded nutrituous and good. I hope to get this sent out to her the beginning of this coming week.

Hi Sue ~ Sorry for the loss of your Dad. How wonderful that you got your love of gardening from him. Gardening is wonderful therapy for me, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Candles are soothing and I'll have to find out about which scents she likes.

Thanks again for your kind input.

May you all feel love, peace and strength with each new day.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 12:49PM
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Just an update on our dear Aunt Ruthie. It was a month ago yesterday that Uncle Wilbur passed away. We mailed her our package and she loved it and said it came on her worst day and she felt love from us and our gifts to her. She said she started reading the book right away and couldn't get over how the widow's feelings and thoughts were just what she herself was going through. Aunt Ruthie said she had two choices, to give up or to do her best and keep on living and that's what she's doing. Taking each day as it comes good or bad and going with the flow. She's a real trooper. She is thinking of moving to a retirement community in FL and DH has volunteered to go up there and help her move when the time comes. She's not ready to do anything just yet.

Thank you again for your input. I really appreciate it.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 1:57PM
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