### THANK YOU SOLACE:
Words can't describe the overwhelming pain and aloneness that took over my body after the death of my husband. I contemplated suicide, but then who would care for our beloved cat that was so much a part of our lives?
For ten months there was some kind of existence, then I heard about SOLACE. I knew they would not be able to help me, however I went to a meeting. How wrong I was, to be there in that wonderful group of caring people, who really understand my feelings because they were travelling the same road.
Thank you SOLACE for giving me back a life. It is a long journey but we do become stronger through the experience.
Leola. [New South Wales]
### MY THANK YOU TO SOLACE:
I was at the end of the tunnel with no light for the future.
My husband had been ill for over 5 years.
After Jim's death my life was empty as I had lost all contact with the outside world, my friends and my family, as they lived interstate.
After 5 months I visited my family and met a friend of 40 years who told me about SOLACE.
On returning to Queensland I contacted SOLACE, it was my life saver - SOLACE support worker listened to my story. I attended SOLACE meetings weekly for some months, then every 2 weeks until I felt I could converse. SOLACE helped me to see the blue sky through the grey clouds, helped me to start to go out again and to live, to communicate and converse with people.
I am now a Support Worker with SOLACE. It gives me great satisfaction to help others in their grief as our experience is from the heart.
### FINDING SOLACE:
Whilst in my thirties, my wife died after a long illness and left two young children. Being younger then, having two children to care for, work to occupy my time and mind, and the support of family and friends, helped me to cope with the first year of being without a partner.
Then a second lovely lady entered my life. Three more children, eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren later, I found myself very contented with life in retirement and a partner of 35 years. Then two years ago I found myself grieving again when my second partner passed away.
The devastation, depression and loneliness was much worse than I could ever have imagined. I sought help at the library where I read every book I could find dealing with bereavement and grief, believing that with a Christian faith I could find the answers to cope with the grieving process.
After some months, through a local publication of clubs and associations, I found reference to SOLACE and when a family member mentioned a friend who was aware of the work that SOLACE does, I made that first tentative phone call which led me to this group.
Being widowed is not something that we contemplate until it happens and to find a support group such as this where one can talk and listen, to gain support from others who are all in the same situation, in a non-denominational caring, sharing environment has been the consolation of so many needing help to continue along life's journey.
Personally, I am very grateful for the strength and support I have gained from my SOLACE friends to help me along life's journey, where I look forward to finding two lovely ladies waiting for me at the end of that final journey.
### I LOST MY BELOVED HUSBAND AND BEST FRIEND:
On the 4th November 1999 I lost my beloved husband and best friend. He was a very caring and good man who died in hospital unexpectedly and it was a dreadful shock. From the moment it happens, your life changes completely.
I went to SOLACE 4 weeks after he died, to talk to someone who was going through the same thing. Although family and friends tried to help, it is not the same. I cried the first night that I went, but as the weeks went on, I could talk without tears.
By going to SOLACE you can eventually help others, knowing what they are going through and how they feel. It is now 13 months since he died and I feel more at peace with myself, but I will never forget the good times and fond memories of my partner.
Kay.S [New South Wales]