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, believe me I know exactly how you feel, my wife of 30 years passed away suddenly 3 years ago on June 27th 2013, the pain and memory still haunt me at times, there's just no way to prepare oneself for such a terrible loss. Your loss was recent and is still very raw, it will take time to adjust but you will, don't expect to ever feel the same way that you once did, it will be different but you can survive it. I'm your age, and I know facing life without her is unthinkable, I Pray that you cope soon. Rolland

thank you Roland. You are so right. This is still very raw, and at times it seems I'm still in the denial phase. It happened so unexpectedly, maybe that's why. I went to our dentist yesterday for a cleaning, and lost it when I saw everyone in the office that we both knew. We always went there together. When I read the Legacy input, including yours, I lose it. June will be the 5th month. At times it seems only yesterday; other times like a lifetime ago. I try to stay busy, but some things just don't seem normal when I do them alone. Whether visiting my family or friends, it still doesn't seem right. I feel very alone, and at times very angry.

Danny, It will be very raw until it isn't anymore. This sounds like a simple statement yet the truth of it has helped me get through constantly questioning myself. Like you, I lost it when I visited anywhere that especially reminded me of my husband because they were places that we went to together. One day, the pain and desolation begins to dissipate. The feelings of sorrow remain and a different emotion emerges. I have no words for the "different" emotion because I am not able to grasp it enough to articulate what I am now experiencing.

It still doesn't seem right and likely never will. How can we not feel alone when the love of our life is no longer sharing our experiences?

Presently, I am on a road trip. A plethora of emotions are hitting me. What ended up being the last vacation for my husband and I, which was merely a several day beach get-away, occurred one year ago. We timed our visit to spend time with family who opted to visit the same area. One year later, I visited the same beach, spent time with family, ate at the same restaurants, etc.  I needed to do this for me. After leaving the beach on Thursday, I began a long drive to my hometown for a class reunion. I changed up this part of the trip allowing myself to go off my beaten path. Last night, I opted to break up the trip and stay for the first time in a charming historical inn. This morning, I left the interstate to travel to the very small town where my mother was born 99 summers ago. I had never visited her birthplace and literally decided at the exit to take the road less traveled (at least by me). I have passed this exit @ 8 times a year for close to 40 years yet I never took the time to stop until today.

During the @20 hours that I've been on the road, I've talked to my husband and recreated phone conversations. I've met a lot of wonderful people along the way.  It has been a good experience and I am glad I opted at the spur of the moment to make this happen.  

I am sharing this with you to let you know that my emotions are no longer raw. I did not know what to expect revisiting so many of our favorite places. The raw emotions have been replaced with a jumble of different emotions. I am sad, I miss him more than words can say, I wish he were physically by my side. The flip side is that I do laugh and experience joy. Mainly, I am experiencing a feeling of overwhelming thankfulness and deep appreciation that I was blessed to spend so much of my life with my husband. 

It has been over 10 months since my husband died. I was at a different stage at 5 months. I appreciate your comment that it seems like only yesterday and it seems like a lifetime ago. Often these feelings occur within the span of 5 seconds. Each of us do our best to cope. Please continue to take care of you, do whatever it is you need to do for you, and allow yourself the gift of time. Prayers continue my friend.

Love, 

Debbie

 

Deb, what a wonderful story.  Accounts like yours help me put my suffering in some perspective. I just spent the day (Saturday) doing the things my wife and I used to do almost every Saturday. Breakfast downtown, walking and window shopping in her favorite mall, lunch at our favorite Korean restaurant, and then an afternoon movie with popcorn at a nearby AMC theater. I can still imagine her sitting beside me in the dark theater holding my hand, while I whispered to her something about the movie, while others around me were telling me to shush. I find myself still opening the car door for her, and I find myself saying what I always said before closing the door, "feet, feet, feet", letting her know I was about to close the door and to make sure her feet was completely inside the car. It gives me comfort to still ask her things and I find myself telling her things that happened during the day. About this time of day I turn the TV on in our bedroom where she likes to rest and watch some of her favorite shows that she recorded earlier, which I still have. I raise the bed  and even make her some of her favorite herb tea, putting it on the stand by the bed.  After a while, I will rewarm the tea, and drink it myself.  I still pick roses for her from our garden and put them in champagne glasses, placing 3 or 4 near pictures of her.  She really likes roses. What a green thumb she has.  Yes, at times I speak of her in the present tense. It keeps her near.  I'm not delusional I don't think; It's only my way of coping. She was the world to me, and still is. I would have gladly taken her place, if there had been a choice. So full of life, and such a loving and compassionate heart she had. We thought we would live to be 100. I guess as smart as we think we are, nothing prepares us for this. She didn't deserve this, as I'm sure all of you feel about your loved one. I can still hear the bedroom TV playing, where Kim would be singing along with the music (she also had a beautiful voice). Its very calming.  Thanks for listening.

Hello Danny,

I've been away from Legacy for the past several days while a dear old friend visited, so I just read your description of your Saturday - what a picture you paint with words. I feel as though I see your and Kim's movements, can hear her voice singing. Such images come from such perfect love between you that it flows freely through you to all your family here. Thank you, my friend, for sharing such sweet and piognant memories with us.

My friend Karen arrived Wednesday night late - after supper, her husband returned to Delaware leaving her in my care until Friday night when he returned to spend the night, both leaving Saturday. Karen was either here or staying closely informed last year during April -  the month of my hospitalization, during which my Larry passed. When we were alone, I grabbed a candle, made us coffee, and we retired to the porch to catch up. As happens with very long-time friends, we quickly got into our deepest feelings, much of it about April 2015, and how we each were forever changed by that dreadful month.  We hardly noticed time passing, as we found it was 4:00AM and neither was sleepy.

Danny, please continue to talk to and about Kim - to yourself, to us, to anyone you know and all  who love you and her. My voice is still raw, and I am exhausted, but having the gift of Karen's loving ears listening to my soul speaking, and her revealing things about that time of which I was unaware - especially things Larry said only to her when they also sat on the samr porch at night...those are gifts of healing.

Continue to speak to and of your beautiful Kim in the present dear friend, because she is and always will be with you, in your past, your present, and forever.

Be well, and peace  to you Danny -

Love,

Chuck

Thank you Chuck. You are very kind. I feel good about what you are saying, and I'm thankful you are staying with Legacy more than a year later. I hope that one day I can listen and give advice to others who are suffering instead of just pouring out my heavy heart. Thanks to all of you listening.  Danny

Danny, Saturday sounds like a good day. I know that spending the day doing things that you previously enjoyed with your dear wife could not have been easy. I loved reading about your activities and the things that you are still doing for Kim.

I also speak of my husband in the present sense. It does help me cope.  I do not think of myself as delusional either but do laugh at myself on occasion. I recall a very old man (likely about my age now) who lived a couple of streets away from my childhood home.  He would talk while gardening to his late wife. I didn't understand it as a child, but I certainly get it now. 

I am almost 17 years younger than my husband. Intellectually, I knew that we would not be sharing our lives on earth at 100. Yet, hope springs eternal. I never considered that he might pass when he did and truly believed we would have another 10 to 15 years together.

Thanks for sharing.  It is always a pleasure to listen. How are you doing today?

Debbie

My brother in law is visiting from Korea and will be with me for the next 10 days. My wifes passing has dealt a big blow to him as well. Kim was his sister, but he looked to her as almost a mother, given their father and mother both passed when they were relatively young. We spent the day going to the different places Kim and I used to go, doing some of the things we used to do. It was a nice, warm, and sunny day, so that helped keep our spirits up somewhat. I recalled to him some of the things his sister and I talked about while spending the day together. I think he really appreciated seeing and doing those things, making him feel closer to her. It's not totally easy however. My heart aches so much revisiting our old stomping grounds. Conversations remembered, laughter and sweetness, and the deep love we had for each other. I can't even write this without tearing up and sobbing. No matter what I do, there is this emptiness that won't be filled.  Thank you for your kind words.  Danny

Danny,  I'm glad you're able to spend some time with your brother in-law.  I think it may help both of you to reminisce about Kim although it will likely be painful as well.   I lost my husband this past January as well and right now every memory is painful simply because he's no longer physically with me.

Enjoy this visit.  I'm sure Kim is smiling down on your both.

Sara 

Hello Danny,

I am smiling that you and Kim's brother were able to spend time together reminising and visiting special places. As we here know well, loss shared brings comfort and removes just a tiny piece of the loneliness, at least for the short time spent together with people who miss our loved ones as much, if in a different way, as we do.

Larry's sister was crushed by his loss, and is so grateful for the day she spent with him just shortly before he passed. They visited me in the hospital, and I remember clearly the anxiety in her eyes, knowing the precarious situation her brother was in, both with his own health, then with mine on top of that. She told me later that at the end of that day, he pleaded with her to stay the night, and she will forever regret declining. It is her last memory of him, standing in the driveway waving goodbye with tears in his eyes.

At Larry's memorial that I conducted at the cemetery to inter his ashes alongside his parents, his sister was beside herself, although comported herself with the same grace and dignity that Larry always displayed in any situation. That was one year ago on June 23rd. She resides in Fla., but returns to NJ often to visit her children and grandchildren - I have not seen her. She has called twice to briefly ask how I am, but there is so much I wish I could ask her, and tell her, as you did with Kim's brother.

Larry and I knew full well that many would not view our relationship, and subsequent marriage, as "legitimate", but it hurts  that I can't share with the woman who had him as an older brother and has a treasure trove of memories  as I do that could bring us both some smiles to go with the tears.

I continue to be grateful beyond words for this site, and this uncommon family that gives me such acceptance and support, and you Danny, through your sharing of the most precious memories and sorrowful moments in your journey, bring us all such healing for which I thank you - this is what this sacred place is all about.

Peace to you today, my friend, and to all my dear family here -

Love, Chuck

  

Danny, I've found that it's part of the whole grieving process, going places where you and your beloved once went is tough, my wife Janice and I shared many things, restaurants, movies, we had the same family physician, when I had to visit the doctor for the first time after my wife's passing it was very sad, the Doctor actually came up to me and put her arms around me and hugged me saying how sad she felt at Janice's death, it was unusual, because my wife and I would often both be in the examination room during visits to the doctor. And I'll readily admit that being there without her made me feel very much alone. It was just another step in the walk to acceptance of my loss. It'll take time Danny, in the meantime be easy on yourself, thats our wives would have wanted for us. Rolland

Dear Chuck, I am so happy that you were able to spend several days with your friend Karen. I believe that I can hear an extra bounce in your step as you share your extraordinary visit.  Sometimes talking to a dear friend until 4:00 a.m. in the morning is the best thing one can do. I am glad you had a great time.

Debbie

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