Mary, By far, the death of my husband, is the most difficult thing that I have ever experienced. I found that others did not broach the subject of his death for many reasons. Perhaps they didn't know what to say or they were somehow concerned that bringing up his name would upset me. Unless someone has gone through this type of grief, perhaps they are under the erroneous impression that leads them to belief that your husband is not on your mind 24/7. At some point, I began to bring up fun memories and times of laughter. It helped me to talk about him. It helped my children to heal as we recalled thousands of fun times and wonderful occasions.
I too cried all of the time. My sleep patterns were abysmal. Slowly, I did begin to heal. I no longer cry. I still tear up and likely always will. I have regained my regular sleep cycle.
Please take care of you right now. Do whatever you need to do to get through the grief you are presently experiencing. Be kind to yourself. For me, this meant I needed to remove as many self-imposed demands as possible which is not easy after a lifetime of AAA tendencies. I needed to say that my time is my own and I can do with it whatever I need to do right now. Like Chuck, I spent a lot of time on the couch oblivious to the TV shows marathoning across the screen.
My brain needed to process my new reality. I needed to narrow my focus to micro steps in order to accomplish those matters that could not be ignored. My life has changed forever in the past year, but my priorities remain healthy. I've chosen to spend as much time as possible with each of my grown children and my precious granddaughter. I've met two widows in my neighborhood who I see frequently. I've sold some of our real estate and simplified our purposely complicated financial holdings. I've finished estate taxes. I arranged for my sweet husband to be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery.
At the one year mark, I am ready to plan a bit into the future. For the next six months, while my wonderful son-in-law is deployed to Afghanistan, I am the back-up person to step in and care for my granddaughter. I will be visiting weekly through the end of December. These visits are precious and vital to my life.
I hope that you are able to take care of you right now. I know how hard it is to do. Are you able to do something just for you today?
Hugs and prayers continue.
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband March 22nd so I have not been on here very long myself. I can tell you though that a great group of people are on here. Everyone shares what they are going thru and or have already been thru and it gives you a kind of comfort knowing that others can relate to exactly how you feel. Lots of people recommend that you take it one day at a time, which is great advice and sometimes you have to break it down to just minutes at a time. I hate to say it but It is still too new to me to be able to say that it gets easier because so far for me it has not. I still feel like I am having a bad dream and just want to wake up and have my husband by my side. Marty
Marty, Hugs to you this morning and prayers are always ongoing. Your loss is so recent. I am sorry that you (and everyone here) has suffered from the death of our spouse.
I dream of my husband nightly. In most (if not all) of my dreams, we are doing something together and then I am unable to find him. I suppose it is my way of processing reality.
You offer great counsel. How are you doing? Debbie
Mary ... My condolences on the loss of your husband. I know your pain is deep and I do sympathize with you. Right now you don't feel strong, but you are because you reached out and joined this site and all the wonderful people on it and you can pour your heart out and say anything without being judged. Many are in raw grief and some of us are further into our grief and we all stick together; if one fall down the rest of us will pick that person up.
We have some things in common. My husband Ernie of almost 40 years passed away at 65 of pancreatic cancer. He wanted to come home from the hospital so bad and he knew he was dying. Like you I was rushing around planning things out to do just that when suddenly he took a turn for the worst and next it was hospice. I wanted to stay over-night with him at hospice, but he told me to go home. He was gasping and I wanted to get the nurses to give him oxygen, but he refused. I asked if I could come the next morning and I'd stay all day and throughout the night and he smiled and said, 'yes.' Deep down in my soul I knew he was dying and I didn't bother going to bed. Sure enough at 6 AM I got a call from hospice and my beloved was dying and I had a friend drive me there (I was in no condition to drive) and he passed away before I got there. I stayed with him for quite sometime. He passed April 27, 2011. I went through shock, anger, so many tears, becoming reclusive, sleeping a lot, not eating like I should and not really wanting to talk to anyone as I knew they'd never know how I felt. By the 2nd year I could see myself getting stronger even though I had tearful times and I still can have teary moments, but not as often. I love Ernie with ever breath in me, but I know he would want me to go on in his memory and to be happy so I'm trying my best.
You are stronger than you think Mary, but never be afraid to cry when you want to, rest when you want to and choose who you want to talk to or simply don't talk at all. Be kind to yourself hon and when you feel down that's the time to come and talk to us. You are part of this loving family and have come to a very good place. As I said this site has saved my life and I've made some very good friends in the process.
God Bless & Big Hugs (because you need one)
Hi Mary ...
I wish you and many of the people on this site lived closer to me. I live just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We can't explain how deep our pain is and the only expression I gave was 'When Ernie passed away I felt like my heart had been ripped out and he took a part of my soul.' It's normal to see Bob wherever you go and even myself to this day I will be driving or walking somewhere and see a man from the back that looks and walks so much like Ernie. For a brief second I feel like I've had a bad dream and there he is, but snap out it quickly only to be reduced to tears knowing it can't possibly be him. Oh yes, you will smile again. I am a fairly happy person with a good sense of humor, but I went through raw grief with 'sad eyes', just sitting quietly with family or friends half hearing what they said or not caring at all. I just wanted my beloved Ernie back and I'd give everything I own to just hold him even for a few seconds. I remember in my second year I laughed out loud at something for the first time and actually scared myself! Slowly as the months passed I began to see some of my old self come back. I will never be 100% whole without my Ernie, but I will have part of myself to rely on. I decided that I would go back in time before I met Ernie as to the type of person I was and what made him fall in love with me and those qualities are still with me.
Oh how I know how hard it is to be up-beat when our spouses were so ill and I too did exactly the same thing you did. I would be at the hospital many times and come home and fall apart. I had 'shower cries.' Yes, we knew they were not going to make it and it was so hard to keep up-beat knowing this, but you know Mary, Bob and Ernie knew more than we thought they knew. Of course we kept on praying and hoping for a miracle which unfortunately never came. I also researched all over the world looking for that miracle cure which I never found. I am sorry things didn't work out for you at Duke University. I also know when our spouses were told there was no hope (Ernie was given 2 weeks to live and he looked at me in shock, tears streaming down his face and I just held him; both of us having a good cry.) The sad thing of it all was that he battled misdiagnosed Celiac Disease before pancreatic cancer and I research, hit the hospital emergency and Administration where it hurt 'threats of media coverage to suing' and Ernie was treated much faster and combated that problem. He was 6' 6" tall and 225 lbs. and had gone down to 156 lbs. Once they found out what he had he zoomed up to 235 lbs. We thought we'd beaten it and he always gave me credit for saving his life, but this time I couldn't. It was a hard pill for me to swallow. Yes, I too saw the light go out of Ernie's eyes when the doctors gave him 2 weeks to live. I yelled, 'No way, we're fighting this!' I could tell Ernie was soul weary and just too tired to fight and the hardest thing I had to do was give him permission to pass away and I'd be OK. Little did I know the grief that would come after his death would be more devastating than I could ever have imagined.
Life does get better for us Mary, so please hang on and keep on posting as we are all here for you. This site has kept me strong and I learn so much from people such as yourself and others on the forum.
When you go onto 'Legacy' you will see photos at the top and a couple together and that's the one you hit to get onto the main menu where we all chat. If you have further problems just let us know.
Love & Hugs
Mary ... I can't find the post you made on here to thank all of us for being here for you. It's our honor and you are part of our family. It's so unfortunate any of us have to be on here, but thankfully we found this wonderful site and all of us have become family and now you are a member as well. You may not think you are helping any of us, but hon, you sure are. We learn from each post written from raw grief to long term dealings with grief.
Mary ... Deb has started up a fixed time for Tuesday for all of us to sit in our homes and have a drink and then we post about it. It's just a way to socialize because we can't all meet up in person. You can drink anything you want. It's sort of fun. Most are EST, but I'm just outside of Vancouver, B.C. Canada so I'll be PST and I'll have to try and have my drink at home close to the time the rest do.
I know you are new at navigating this forum so this is what you do:
I hope hon you are feeling a little bit better and I do pray for you. I hope you join us. By the way, my email address is Maday1@shaw.ca If you feel comfortable about it just email me anytime.
Mary, Your post brought tears to my eyes. Tears of thankfulness that each of us somehow discovered this group and this lifesaving community and tears of sorrow for the pain you suffered when you heard your wedding song on the radio.
My husband and I were married 22 years and 11 months (to the day) when he passed away last July. For a very long time, I experienced many bad days when memories flooded back and I'd be overcome with grief. At some point in time the tears dissipated and laughter returned.
This group has been critical in helping me navigate through the days since Bob's passing. It has helped in ways that a grief share group I joined could not. One of the beautiful things about our group of friends is that we have the opportunity to share 24/7 to nonjudgmental friends who have walked in our shoes. One, if not all, have experienced exactly what we are feeling at that particular moment, know what we are going through, and offer wisdom and comfort. I join you in thanking God for bringing each of us to this group.
With hope that today is a better day than yesterday.
Hi Mary ... Of course we always know when one member isn't around for a bit of time and we all worry about each other and that's what makes this group a family. We all have grief in common and we do understand.
I know my dear Mary how you felt listening to that song played on your wedding day. Even after 5 1/2 years I can't bare to listen to a couple of Ernie's favorite songs he use to hum or play over and over again on a CD. I just shut the radio off and tears fill my eyes just like they did you. It's very normal Mary so cry as much as you want to and then rest as much as you need to. We're all here and we do understand how you feel. You are not alone.
Prayers coming your way.