Hi, my name is Sara and I'm new to this group. This is my first post with the exception of replying to another post. I lost my husband Ken on 1/13/16. He was just 52 years old. We have been married for 26 1/2 years, together almost 30 years. He was the love of my life, my soulmate, my absolute everything. He first got sick in 2008 when he had a silent heart attack and triple bypass. In the years since he's had issues with his liver which we finally got stabilized and then in 2012 his kidney's began to fail. In May 2014 he needed to start dialysis. For all of you who have had sick spouses, you know the worst thing is watching the person you love most suffer and not be able to do anything another than be by their side for support. Finally I was able to do something to help, I was a match to donate a kidney to Ken. We were thrilled, the surgery took place in Sept 2015 and he was so grateful to me for saving his life. Little did we know, God had another plan. The kidney was working fine but infection set in. He was in and out of the hospital 6 or 7 times between Sept and Jan. Despite all the doctors did for him, and they tried absolutely everything they could, he went into cardiac arrest on Jan 13th while hospitalized and they couldn't save him. No one, including the doctor's were expecting that. They were as surprised as I was by his passing. He was "okay" one second, I turned my back to move a chair and the next second he's in cardiac arrest. I guess his heart just couldn't continue the fight any longer. Every day since then is just one long, empty day. We had such a strong, bonded marriage. We did almost everything together. He had other health issues as well and whether he was in the hospital or at home, I was by his side for everything. Even before the surgery he needed so much help with everything. I was always so grateful to God that I was the person chosen to be his wife, by his side. Now, there's nothing but emptiness and surprisingly guilt. Despite everything I did for him, I feel "did I do enough? could I have done more?" I want a do-over for this or that. I wish I had said this or that. Not a day went by that we didn't say "I Love You" to each other several times a day. I feel cheated out of a final goodbye because he died so quickly and unexpectedly that I couldn't tell him one final time that I loved him and because of that I wonder if he knew. My head knows better but for now my heart questions it. Sorry for rambling but my friends and family have never been through this kind of loss. Although they try to help, they can't understand how deeply broken my heart is, how it feels to drive past our breakfast place, how it sickens my stomach to go grocery shopping and walk past the items I would buy for him. No one can understand unless you've actually lost the love of your life which is what led me here.
Thank you Wilela. I'm sorry for your loss of Brian and all that you went through. Right now I cry for Ken every single day but I do look to the future and hope that one day I can make it through without tears. It turns out my most hated question right now is "how are you doing?" I want to say " how do you think I'm doing, I just lost my husband" but I end up saying Fine because I don't want to get into a discussion. I will say that my closest friends know that they don't know how I feel and don't pretend they do.
When you responded to my post that we had similar experience with the death of spouse, it goes also to our response to there passing. I always did a lot for my wife too because she had fibermalogia, restless legs and copd issues. I have had many people including the Doctors say I raised the bar on taking care of my spouse, She didn't come home I feel like I should have done more, I don't know what but something. She was 2 hours from home I slept in her room hotel everyone in a while. I would tell her a bunch of times a day I loved her, but she was on a respirator and couldn't say anything to me. She was back in our hometown when she started bleeding and heart stopped for 28 minutes, I was home sleeping. I feel guilty I wasn't there Nobody expected her to have problems, there wasn't anything I could have done but after spending every day with her in Ann Arbor I felt guilty. I had to make the decision to turn off life support, with the information I had I know it was the right thing to do, but I feel a nagging thing in the back of my mind did I do the right thing. I never got to say a final goodbye and feel cheated by that too. I don't have any great advice for you, wish I did for you and me. I just wanted to let you know that some of the feelings you have are shared by many. When I catch myself playing the I could of I should have game I try to stop myself and say you did the best you could no one can ask more of you than that. Sometimes it helps other times not so much.
Thank you Harold. I feel for you having to make that decision to turn off the life support. No one should have to make a decision like that, least of all for the person you love most. I guess I'm glad to know that I'm not the only person who feels some guilt of not doing enough when I know very well I couldn't have done more. His family especially has for a long time thanked me for always being by his side and taking care of him. It helps me to know that there are other people out there who have done just as much for their spouses. As I mentioned before, there are many people who truly couldn't understand that I would rather spend entire days in the hospital with him than be anywhere else. The folks in this group, such as yourself, do understand. I hope you find the peace that we're all looking for.
My deepest sympathy for your so recent loss of Ken. I feel so much of what you have written myself. When Larry, my husband of 32 years passed, I was three floors above him at the hospital waiting for someone from transport to come and take me down to ICU where he had been admitted that afternoon while I was being shuttled from place to place throughout the hospital undergoing tests. Everyone knew our situation - unfortunately we had become fairly well known among the staff because of Larry's treatments for cancer and my frequent visits either accompanying him to his immunotherapy infusions or his several stays necessitated by adverse reactions requiring hospitalization.
I was promised that I would be taken straight to him if his condition worsened. I never did see him again - they took my bed to a quiet single room with dim lights, and after checking my tubes and drips, the nurse touched my shoulder gently and said she'd be right back. That's when I saw all his family led by our dear friend Peg standing in the doorway. All I could say was "He's gone..." and Peg came up and grabbed my hand. I remember the rest of that night and the days that followed like it was a movie I watched many years ago - foggy, vaguely out of focus, confusing the order of events. The thing that I remember as if it was one minute ago is the realization that I never got to say goodbye. So, dear Sara, I know. And please, hear me when I say that the questions - and guilt - and self-recriminations are something I and many others here understand very well - you are not alone in this.
I can only share my own experience, and so I will tell you that to this day I find myself staring at the picture of us in the living room - the one where his beautiful blue eyes and beaming smile remind me time and again how in love I am still - and I say "You do know, don't you - I wanted to be there - I'm so sorry...".
Then come the tears, and yet with them a sense of his presence and the feeling that he is trying to tell me he knows, and knew then that I love him and will forever.
Yesterday I was undone by - of all things - an unopened box of Larry's favorite cereal on the shelf in the kitchen. I took it down with the intention of putting it out with the trash, but it suddenly came to me that one year ago he was holding this box in his hands as he unpacked the groceries. That was that - after I finally stopped sobbing and wiped my eyes, back on the shelf it went - maybe next week...maybe not.
We have to let ourselves feel these things, and cry, and be as gentle and kind to ourselves as those who love us are gentle with us. Please know that here we all have you in our hearts and our prayers...
Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry you lost Larry and missed out on your final goodbye as well.. I try to remind myself that even though we didn't get that final goodbye, that Ken knows now as he always knew in life that he was my everything. I totally understand about that cereal box and it helps to know I'm not the only one who feels that way about items in my cabinet. I know eventually I have to throw away out of date food that was for him but I'm not ready to do that yet.
I too went through a similar situation with my Rose. She had cancer, which they cured but the chemo gave her an enlarged heart which is what eventually took her. I also feel the guilt of could I have done something different or better. All I know is I miss her every day. My wife was 54 when she passed and we had been married 30 years.
You have come to the right place. I lost my wife five years ago and it was the support of the people here that helped me the most. My thoughts are with you as the loss is still so fresh. It will get easier (not that it will ever totally stop hurting)and you will be able to move forward, Give yourself all the time you need and do not listen to people who say get over it. They do not understand. Keep reading what others have written and you will be surprised how it helps.
Thank you Chicago. The reason I joined this group is to hear from people who have been/are going through this. Although I hear the deep grief eventually passes and it becomes easier, it's better to hear it from someone like yourself who is actually living through it. I can't imagine living one more day without him and moving forward but what other choice do I have. I read the discussions from this group and calm down knowing so many people feel as I do now and are willing to share their experiences and offer advice.
Thank you Gretchen. I'm sorry for your loss. The motorcycle accident hits me because my husband also road and had a couple of close calls with people not paying attention so I feel upset that you lost your husband that way.
I'm looking forward to the time when the good days outnumber the bad.