Hi. I am new here so I am not sure all or even what to say. My husband of 47 years died after 18 months of treatment for brain cancer. We were told,after his brain surgery that he had GBM and there was no cure. We tried everything but nothing helped and he fought so hard. We did hospice and he passed away at home with his family around him. My problem is that my mind knows he has passed but my heart will not agree. The hurt I am feeling is like nothing I have ever felt before and I have lost both my parents and two siblings so grief is not new to me but this is more than I can take. It is such a deep and painful hurt that cuts right to the heart and leaves me so sad and depressed. When I look at his picture I just want to crawl in and be with him, just to have him in my arms again. Does it ever get better? I hope so because to live like this would not be living.

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Hi Bonnie, I can relate to how you are feeling and remember well when I thought the pain would never subside. Each one of us grieves differently and no two people grieve for the same length of time. In order to heal it's important to express your feelings to friends and family. Sometimes counseling may be necessary as well. There are support groups with people just like us who are dealing with the loss of a loved one whom I found can help tremendously! Compassionate Friends is one of those support groups that helped me a lot. Search them online in your area and give them a try. The key is to find things to do to keep yourself busy. I learned 2 things that Dr Phil once said that I still return to almost daily and it's been almost 13 years since my son passed away ( age 26) and 8 years since my wife also passed (age 56). Number one is there is no right amount of time to grieve, we grieve UNTIL! Until we are ready to move forward. That doesn't mean we let go, it just means we learn to live differently. The second thing that still helps me almost daily is we have the power to change our thoughts. Do we want to think about the one traumatic sad day that we lost the person or people we loved? Or change our train of thought and think about the thousands of days we shared joy and laughter with our loved ones. We have the ability to choose and I choose the happy times whenever the sad thoughts return. You will get beyond this but it takes time and effort. Most people I have talked to about it say the first year is the hardest and I have to agree. I am sorry for your loss and I hope you find your way in near future. Until...

thank you.

Hi Bonny.
I am so sorry that you had to find your way here. Like Peter said, there is no time frame and there are no rules for how you handle your grief. Help is important—people who will listen. Having lost my husband in a tragedy 5 years ago I do understand. I think that even though we may have experienced other losses (parents, siblings,etc.) our spouse is our soul mate, our life partner and our lives are so intertwined that when that person isn’t here we feel like we don’t belong in a way, and the gut wrenching raw pain of not having that other half of us can’t even be put into words. Time will be your friend. Just don’t expect to follow any time frame. If I could suggest something that I didn’t do enough of, try to write down your feelings and thoughts often in a journal or notebook. It helps in the moment and i also find it helpful later. Since I didn’t do enough on my own I obtained copies of the notes my therapist wrote and over a 3 year period I was able to see a difference in how I was handling my grief.
Life will never be the same as it was, but over time some sense of a new normal emerges and I find myself remembering so many happy memories. There are still days of tears, but in trying to cope I’m finding different things to occupy my mind and my time. Life may be divided into before this and after this for me, but as time goes on at least that rawness of the pain has eased into a more manageable pain so that I can function. Sending you hugs and support, Terry

Thank you. So many people talk about having to live a new normal and that scares me a bit because I don’t like this new life so I hope as you say time will make it easier.

Bonny......I'm sorry for the loss that brought you to us but happy you found us as support is so important.  Since the loss of a spouse is unlike any other loss, it helps to share with others who have personal experience.  I say this because I find it very difficult to accept the help or words of encouragement from family and friends who haven't lived with this type of deep, all consuming pain even though they mean well. 

I lost my husband of 27 years in Jan 2016.  He was only 52 yrs old.  He had been sick with various health issues for several years and had been very sick for the 3 months preceding his death, spending the last month in the hospital.  Despite this, the doctors still weren't expecting him to pass and were as shocked as I was when it happened.  It took over a year before I could lay down at night and not have automatic flashbacks of that last night in the hospital.  I say this because I don't want you to feel you have to rush through your grief or "be better" within a certain time frame.  As others have said, this is a long road and is different for each of us.   I had never experienced such pain before and didn't realize how indescribably deep the pain could run.  I had actual pain in my heart and felt the weight in my chest.  I now can understand how people can die of a broken heart.  This is something I had heard of but didn't understand previous to losing the love of my life (Ken).   I would say after about 2 years, the heaviness in my chest lifted although there's still not a day that goes by that I don't cry for him and want him back.  It's just a little easier now.  I like Peter's advice of tying to remember the happier times and not the sad times but it takes time to get to that place.

In addition to Terry's advice about keeping a journal, I would also suggest keeping a record of your dreams of your husband.  I had started doing that about 15 months after Ken passed but wish I started sooner.  The only time I feel normal is when I spend time with Ken in my dreams so I like to read through them periodically.  

You may also want to post on the Bereaved Spouses wall as that's where a lot of conversation takes place and you'll find support from many people who understand what/how you're feeling.

Hugs to you.


Thank you Sarah. So much of what you said I am feeling, the hurt in my heart is as you described and I agree that unless you have lost a spouse you just do not understand.

Dear Bonny, One of the ways to heal is to really invest your time in the Word of the Lord. There is healing there. It is true that losing your spouse is so much uniquely different than losing parents or a sibling, because as a marriage "two become as one flesh". Some days, as you go forward, you can occupy your days with helping others (I volunteer at a food pantry and widows'ministry) But then there are those days when getting out of bed, doing laundry, or tasks around the house remain undone because your loved one is so omnipresent, it seems more than you can bear. Even writing this to you, I am starting to weep in remembrance of my husband. I am 1 year, 6 months, and 2 1/2 weeks in from my loss. But God's Word shows us that life is worth living. Sometimes, sharing with others who are widows helps greatly. I met my husband in 1978, we married in 1981, and had three wonderful children. Remembering the love and protection he gave to us, as to his work and community, strengthens my resolve to live to honor him, through the tears and desolation. And, God's Word that He is a protector and defender of widows. God Be with You, Cynthia

Thank You Cynthia. I could not get through one day if were not for my God. I know that my husband is now in His care but yet it is still hard. I pray daily that God will me direction in which He wants my life to go. I am not yet 3 months out from the day God took him home so as of yet I am still trying to deal with just living but I do have plans to be come involved in outside activities. I am also going to be going to a grief group here in town. God bless

Dear Bonny

I read your post a few days ago...and have been mulling it over for the last week..as to what I could say to you that might give you some comfort. Right now, the most important thing is for you to care for yourself. I too was married for 48 years..and my husband, Bob died from brain cancer and  a stomach tumor which I guess was created by the brain cancer..he died at home, in hospice, with me and our kitty...I was caring for him when he came home from the hospital...the doctors expected him to live another few months, but he died 4 days after coming home. He had to get a tube inserted in his stomach...so I had to crush his meds, and insert them with his liquid food...I don,t know..but I think he decided this life wasn,t what he had signed up for...and he chose to “let go” after those 4 days. No one expected him to die that soon, but I think he made that choice not to fight...

But I cannot imagine the 18 months of illness, and hope you had, only to loose him in the end.you have been given some wonderful suggestions here...but only YOU can decide what is right for you. I know the pain is excruciating right now...and it doesn,t seemlike you will ever get through it..but you will get better with time. “IT” never gets better, but very, very slowly YOU will start to heal. I can not tell you what might give you some comfort, I can only tell you little things that worked for me. Next month it will be three years since my Bob died. %Yes, he was the love of my life...but I had the grace of him only being ill for 4 months, when he died. That sounds terrible and heartless...but you had to endure 18 months of hope...so I am going to tell you what helped me. 

It was about 17 months before I accepted he was really gone. Of course deep inside, I knew he wasn,t returning...but I actually though he was going to open the door and say I’m home! Did you miss me? So I talked to him all day long...and I still do. I take comfort in the idea that he is still with me, I just can,t see him..but even now, I can still feel his presence. He still lives in my heart and always will. That helps me get through the days. 

Bonny, it is CRUCIAL that you take care of yourself now..and I don,t mean eating right, etc..I mean, if you decide you want to spend the day in bed, DO IT! If you want to eat a gallon of ice cream..do it! You need to heal your soul...and PLEASE do not feel quilty about anything, and do not fill your head with “if I had only done this, or that, etc” Don,t beat yourself up...don,t feel quilty because you are still here, and he isn,t. I believe that those of us who are “left behind” are here for a reason. 

Three things  have saved my life here at home. My CAT, who completely changed after Bob died...and has spent every night  for 3 years sleeping next to me..(he didn,t do that before) and caring for him gives me purpose...so if you have an animal, they can be SUCH a comfort, (even caring for a PLANT or GARDEN can help...and keeping a JOURNAL...that has been mentioned here before...but writing down anything you wish, even if it is just a sentence and you only do it once a week...just b sure to date your entries, and coming HERE which helped save my life....the journal will also help you see when you start feeling better...in however long it takes..but I wouldn,t advise you to read your entries unless a long time has passed...just write what ever u wish...but don,t read it for along time...u might not be ready but it has really helped me...and the folks HERE have helped in ways I could never imagine...because they understand what u r going thru...when others tend to think you should be “getting over it” but you never get over it...you just get through it. 

Basically, just do anything that comforts you...you don,t have to get out of bed if u don,t want to...but the only thing that really helps is time. The pain and loss never goes away...but YOU get more able to deal with it in any manner that works for you. Don,t let anyone rush you into something you aren,t ready to do.

since nearly 3 years have passed for me, my only child, my daughter, (no grandkids) has been extremely patient and wonderful...and I am in the process of moving back to California...and having to sort thru almost 50 years of my previous life..photos, Cards, letters, etc...she has been so patient during all of this...but I have never been on my own before..and it is terrifying, but I have to do it. Starting a new life without Bob....has made me a bit angry that he left me to deal with all of this CRAP..But I know he will still be with me..as he lives in my heart forever..as will your husband. 

So, Bonny, as painful as it is...and how badly you miss him...we were left here for a reason...and someday you will be able to live again...but for now...be good to yourself...it is your turn...and seriously, try talking to your husband...you just might feel him answer in your heart. I wish you the best.

Mary Jane

Thank you. A lot of what you say is so true for me. I still know he has passed but I tell my kids and grandkids that my heart and mind just can’t agree. I too feel one day he is going to walk through the door and life will go back to normal. My mind knows this can never happen but my heart is not ready to let it go. I have been doing a journal but not daily and in it I talk to him about how I am feeling. It has been good and I am in therapy as needed. I just miss him so much and it hurts to the bone. 

First, my sympathy on the loss of your beloved husband. Second, I am glad you found us, we are like a giant grief support group and you will find people on here almost all the time who will be very willing to give you the opportunity to vent and will give advice when requested.

I will tell you from my own journey that what you are feeling is perfectly normal. I think all of us wanted to be gone ourselves because the grief is so overwhelming. I know that in my own journey I experienced a long period when my thought processes were really off, which scared me because I try to be such an analytical person.

Did you have a hospice that helped you during the last stage of his battle? If so, contact them. If not, contact your local hospice. Many of them have grief support that will get you through the rough parts of your journey. In my case, I was supplied with a person who came by weekly during the first year and monthly during the second. They also got me into a couple of good support groups which helped because when you are going through this, finding out you're not alone, that there are others nearby who are going through the same thing helps remove that feeling of isolation.

Does it get better? I don't know if better is the correct term but it does change and eventually the constant pain and depression does lift. Also, if people tell you to "get over it", as much as it will make you feel better, don't rip their heads off. They are just unable to process their own feelings about your situation. Everyone travels differently and their journey is not yours.

Thank you Steve. I am getting help in therapy and my parish priest. My hospice never came through with the grief support they said they would so I just found my own. Talking to others helps and the support I am getting here is great.


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