My wife of 25 years passed away this year, Jan 14, 2016 in hospital. She went in healthy and happy for a simple gall bladder removal. In the past she had much more complicated surgeries, so we weren't too worried about this one. During surgery, the surgeon accidentally cut part of her small intestine. Without knowing it, he closed and sent her to observation. Instead of getting better, she got worse. 24 hours later, they took her back to surgery and found the problem. They repaired it as best they could, but she went into septic shock. She survived in ICU for 30 hours before she died.

Everything was a complete blur for me. This couldn't happen to my precious Kim. We were retired and things were going so well. Her 64 birthday and our anniversary were
Both less than a month away. It couldn't be real. it was so sudden and unexpected.

Now it's May, and I feel so lost, confused, and so unhappy. Everything reminds me of her. I still can't get through the day without crying and wailing several times. Nothing seems to make me happy. I'm only 62. I don't think I am suicidal, but its hard to imagine living the rest of my life without her. I love and miss her so much. I still talk to her as if she is still around. It's the only way I can get through the day. I've practically turned our whole house into a memorial alter, with her pictures and possessions everywhere. I'm lost.

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Danny, I no longer look years ahead.  It is too sad to even attempt to imagine living 25 or 30 years without my husband.  It is difficult to not tear up even typing these words.  Instead, I narrowed my focus drastically.  In the beginning, I concentrated on what I wanted to do in the next 15 minutes or hour.   I can now focus on what I want to do this week.  The month of May is also mapped out. I visit my daughter and her family on Friday and Saturday and see my precious granddaughter. I will get together with my sons and their girlfriends on Sunday. I'll attend my daughter's graduation In 2 weeks. None of these are easy to do on my own.  I will miss him more than words can adequately describe. I know that our daughter's graduation will be especially emotional. She will receive her PhD. He nurtured, guided, and supported her along the way. The lack of his physical presence will be deafening.

I haven't looked ahead to June. My high school class is having a small reunion.  I'm not sure that I can handle attending so I haven't committed.

Perhaps you might feel more at ease if you are able to narrow your focus to a period of time that is more manageable. Baby steps helped me and I hope it helps you.  Debbie

Dear Danny ....  I had tears in my eyes just reading your post as I know how lost you are without Kim by your side.  I am happy to hear you keep as busy as possible, but I really do know that hole in the heart as I still feel it.  I walk the nature paths by the river with my dogs and although I meet some like-minded people it's a sort chat and that's it.  I watch couples holding hands, smiling, laughing and I tear up to this day.  It's lonely and I would give anything to feel Ernie holding my hand as we always use to do that.  There are also times I feel I can't catch my breath and yes, I still can cry while driving every so often and find myself talking to Ernie and I don't care who thinks I'm crazy.  The only thing keeping me glued together is I truly believe they are around us strengthening us to keep going and to keep their memory alive.  I am so proud of you for telling your family and friends that you do want to talk about Kim even though it may bring tears to your eyes.  Believe it or not you have a good attitude about grief as miserable as it is by doing speaking out. 

You sure aren't alone and we're all here to help you through the bad times and to assure you this deep cutting heartbreak doesn't last forever. 

Marsha

Thank you Marsha. It's good to know I have support from people like you. Danny

Danny, My reply posted twice so I am deleting this one.  Debbie

Danny, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your wife of 25 years. Thank you for finding this group and for posting.

My husband passed away 10 months ago from multiple organ failure caused by toxic shock syndrome. It was also sudden and unexpected. Like you, much of the time since has been a blur. I can now look back and recognize that I remained in shock for a very long time. His death wasn't a part of our immediate plans. This could not happen, must not be real, must be a nightmare. Yet it happened and it is real.

Your last paragraph sums up my experience. I could have written your words.

Please know that the passage of time allows you to begin to heal. At some point in time (after I joined this group), I began to regain joy and happiness. My husband talked me through this process. Presently, as I recall our life together, our connection, our conversations, our experiences, I do not tear up, cry or wail like I did for months. Now, I smile and laugh. We had a great life and I am so blessed to have had him by my side for 26 years.

As I mentioned, finding this group has been a Godsend. We care. We are concerned. We include everyone in our prayers and good thoughts.

I hope that your today is better than your yesterday dear friend.

Debbie

Thank you so much for your replies Debbie. I'm realizing that I'm not the only one... that I'm not unique in having these feelings after losing Kim. I guess we all have more in common than we realize. I will try to plan and do things in small steps, not looking too far ahead.  I still have the kids, although they are grown and live far away. We do talk often. Our house seems so big now. And I have Kim's photos and things all over.  I still talk to her.  It helps calm me down.  I even find myself still opening the car door for her and telling her to watch her feet as I close the door. These routines I do as if she is still here help to get me through the day.  There's just nothing I do or see or touch, or places I go, that doesn't remind me of her, and bring back beautiful memories. I know in time that it will be more bearable, and that I can begin to live a more normal life without her here.  I just can't of that now.  Like you said, small steps.  Thank you, my friend.  Danny

Danny, 

We do have more in common than we realize. My husband and I downsized four years ago.  Soon after our move, he quit going into the office every day and eventually retired.  I thank God for this time. I took over finances, stress disappeared, and we enjoyed a fabulous life.

The experts suggest that widows/widowers do not make any major changes for a year. I'm following this plan but have made the decision to keep our house for now. We built it together, we loved our new area, and I still love it. Although we downsized, we did not rightsize and this house is much larger than I need.  It's OK.  It was also too big for the two of us and we decided it was perfect. 

I love that you still talk to Kim and open the car door for her. I continue to talk to my husband.  It helps immeasurably to know that he remains by my side. 

Please allow yourself the freedom to grieve at your own pace. It is OK to cry, to wail, to tear up.  I'd be worried about you if you were not reacting in this manner. At some point, you will surprise yourself and discover that your memories prompt smiles and not tears. If you are like me, the transformation is recognized in hindsight. The tears will likely never disappear and might arise when least expected, but joy will prevail.

Please take care of you.  Deal?  

Debbie

Thank You Debbie, it's a deal.  I too have a house too big. But we always like space.  Lots of people, such as family, friends, etc. would come and stay for weekends or longer, so the space worked out.  It also afforded me to stay busy in the garden.  Its on a small lake, so its a beautiful setting.  I can't imagine getting rid of it.  We retired 6 years ago, pretty young actually. But we never regretted one minute.  We thought we would both live to be 100, and eventually die together of old age in our sleep, holding each other.  If only.  Danny

Danny, 

Thank you for taking me up on our deal.

I do love my too big house.  It suits me. Like you, I have space for parties, guests, and family time.  I wasn't strong enough to host Christmas last year. It happened to suit our family better to celebrate at my daughter's home. My kids have been so strong and supportive.  They have been Godsends.  I appreciate everything that they have done.  I was allowed to regain my strength.

I've thanked them and shared that I am reclaiming the Mom role. This also suits me. I look forward to hosting Christmas again this year.

Like you and other members, I love gardening. It is good for my soul.  My husband was born a farmer and viewed gardening as work. He did not garden but loved that I loved "playing in the dirt".

I am sorry that you and your wife did not pass together at age 100. I am sorry that your dreams did not come to fruition. I am thankful for what you did share.  That is priceless.  

Debbie

Danny,  I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved wife.  As the others have said, you found the right place to come when you need to share with people who understand exactly  how you feel.  I lost my husband Ken on 1/13/16 at 52 years old.  We were married for almost 27 years, our anniversary is at the end of May.  He had been sick for a while but not terminally ill and the doctors fully believed he would get better.  That obviously was not God's plan as he went into cardiac arrest on 1/13 while I was with him in his hospital room. 

I still cry for him every day.  I want him back and can't even think about living possibly another 30 years without him.  The plans we made for our future are now gone.  I myself will have to take Debbie's advice of not looking 30 years into the future but just worry about today for now.  

With each other's support, we'll all get through this together.  It won't be easy but we have no other choice.

Take care of yourself

Sara 

Sara I'm so sorry. I know exactly how you feel with the loss of Ken.  It's unreal.  It can't happen. It wasn't supposed to happen. Ken passed from this life one day ahead of Kim.  I will never forget the sights and sounds of that early morning, 40 minutes past midnight, in ICU at Emory Hospital.  I was completely in a daze..a fog. I had a better day today. I went into the city, where we spent a lot of time, to the places we visited, ate at Whole Foods, where we ate a lot.  The day was beautiful, sunny, the perfect temperature.  I believe she was with me. We talked, and laughed, reminisced, and really enjoyed the day.  It was the first time since she left this life that I could visit our old places and actually feel some joy, without crying, or losing it completely. I know she wants me to be happy and not feel so much pain.  I am trying, as I am sure you are. It's comforting to know that I am not alone.  Thank you, 

Danny

My husband, Ken, also died on January 14th of this year.  We had been together over 25 years with our 24th anniversary coming up.  One day he was fine, the next gone, taken by a blood clot. 

I live in the house we have lived in for 22 years, the room I sleep in, we built together in the mid 90's. We were going to get things ready to possibly sell the house soon because the kids are grown up, but now that he is gone, I don't want to make those plans a reality because I am not sure I want to leave this house now.

My son that still lives here understands how I feel because his day to day life was affected too, but everyone else says things like "you need to get back in to your routine" or "it's time to move on". My life will never be the same again, so I don't know what routine they would be talking about.  You can't remove a vital part of your life without noticing, on so many levels the emptiness left in his place.

My future looked so bleak that it crossed my mind to join my husband, but my brother committed suicide in 1983 and I saw and lived the aftermath of that, so would not want to add more sorrow to those that I love. My friend was my saving grace.  She came to my house and stayed several nights, she encompassed my son and I into her "family night", and even now 4 months later she spends Friday nights here, sometimes with all of her kids. Each day I've gotten through is another lived, but another closer to Ken also.

I am not looking to forget my husband. I too have part of my room dedicated to him and to the things that remind us of him.  I am only 53 years old, and have a large heart with lots of love to give. If I decide to, how do you find someone new when you feel you were already with your soul mate. No one will want to be "held up" to our past relationship.  The conclusion I have come to is to find someone who also lost their long term mate, who wants to remember them openly.  If you both can openly remember your past loves you may be able to embrace the future.  It will be a different reality, but different doesn't automatically mean bad.  Example:  Maybe your past love liked to read books with you and take long walks, but your new partner doesn't like to read. Instead, she loves to play golf.  You equally love reading and golf.  Different but still worthwhile.  Good luck to you, in your search to a new reality.

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