I guess I need to introduce myself. I just lost my partner of 8 years, Rob, to complications from H1N1. He was only 48 years old. Long story short, we both came down with pneumonia. Me before him. The day I was diagnosed was the first day that he felt sick so I made him go to the doctor. right away. 3 days later, I was feeling better, but he was feeling worse and he went to ER and was admitted to the hospital. Within 24 hours, they placed him in an induced coma and put him on a ventilator. 8 days after that they tried to transfer him to another hospital and he arrested. The team from the other hospital flew in and placed him on an ECMO machine. They then transferred him to their hospital. After many complications, on Feb 28, 5 weeks after being placed on the ECMO, 6 weeks after being ventilated,  and consulting with doctors, we had them turn off the machines. There was nothing else that could be done. He was in multiple organ failure due to sepsis shock.

This has been a roller coaster ride for me, and made even more difficult because we were not married.

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Kristen,

I want to express my sincere condolences for your loss. I lost my partner of eight years on the 3rd of February to suicide and if you look in the seats behind you on the roller-coster, that's where I am, right there with you. Whether prolonged or suddenly the common denominator is grief. It is going to chew us up and spit us out but others have survived the damn roller-coaster and so will we, as painful as it is to go on even one more day, we will survive. I don't know if that makes it better or worse and the one person you want to talk to, you can't. Kristin, the only advice I have is to reach out into the community and find support. Life gives us WAY more than we can handle sometimes on our own but together, it's possible to overcome the storm of loss of a loved one. This is a step in the right direction joining the website. Keep looking. Find meetings when you're ready. Get out, smell the air, take a walk, anything but do it for a break from the heartache. Five minutes a day if anything. You will drive yourself crazy or you will trigger genes which will induce heart disease, kidney disease, body aches and cancer. You must release your suffering and share with others. Re-connect with humankind. I went to my first meeting tonight. It was hard. I was crying before we started. There were only four of us. A counselor, an intern, a gentleman and myself. That's it. But it was the most "myself" I've been since her death. Let me know if you need to talk.

Danielle

Thank you Danielle. I'm sure you have and are feeling incredible guilt. I just can't seem to shake it. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It's driving me crazy. This weekwe have been in the stages of planning his funeral. Me and his family. Most days since Friday I can't even get out of bed and brush my hair and clean myself up. I'd rather stay in my pjs all day. But I'm getting through it. Services are on Friday and I'm not sure I will survive it. Rob was a  well known local musician and we are expecting a very large turn out. I'd rather stay home and pull the covers over my head, than to deal with the amount of people that will be there. Too overwhelming for me.

My dear Kristen, I am so sorry for the loss of your partner, Rob.  He was so young!  And, I know it must have been so hard for you, having been ill, yourself, and facing the whole trauma of Rob's last illness and eventual death.  I am sure it was the worst experience of your life.  It has only been a matter of days and I am sure you are still feeling stunned.  Please know that everyone on this site has lost someone close to them.  We know that the loss of a partner is not like any other loss, and our grieving is not like any other grief.  We know your heart is broken.  The fact that you and Rob were not married, depending on his family circumstances, may make it even more difficult for you, as you may not be able to go through all the steps of making the final arrangements -- but, of course, he was no less your partner and you will suffer as a spouse.  

My husband, Chris, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in January 2013, and died on April 10, 2013.  It has been almost a year.  The most difficult year of my life.  I have been helped by so many, throughout this year, here on this Legacy site.  

We are members of a club that no one ever wants to join -- but, at least we know are not alone -- and, you are not alone, Kristen.  Come here often to share your thoughts, tears, fears and pain.  We will be here for you.

Sending Hugs and Prayers for comfort,

Barbara

Dear Kristen:

I am so sorry.  I too am new to all of this, I lost my husband of 24 years on Jan. 2nd.  I know the legal system cares about "marriage" but love doesn't.  Your loss isn't any different than mine because you weren't "married", I'm sure.  I can see how that would be quite a roller coaster ride with all the uncertainty you just went through, I imagine all along having hope that everything would be okay.  My husband was killed instantly in an industrial accident and my 22 year old son was there trying to save him and went into shock. No warning, no chance to go to the hospital and hope for a good outcome.  He never left work alive that day.  It crushes my soul to think he only had 10 minutes left before he was done and coming home.  We have 2 kids, 22 and a 15 year old daughter, 2 dogs and a cat.  We had a wonderful home life and isn't it just so unreal when you try to grasp what's happened?  It's been 2 months for me and in between my bouts of crying I sit and think how unreal this is, and could it possibly have happened and how?  I'm not in denial because I know it did happen, but you still sit and look around and think why? and how?  Everything was perfect, and then the world is turned upside down.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  You hear about these things on the news or through other people and you have sympathy for them but I guess something of this magnitude never hit me quite this close to home--I mean literally in my own home!  I've lost my dad, cousins, and other family but we were supposed to spend the rest of our lives together as I'm sure you were too, and what do we do now?  I found this website yesterday, and somehow venting to others who "understand" the pain does seem to help a little, so keep talking and I'll keep answering.    I'm trying to cope and be strong for my kids but It really doesn't make sense at all.  "Why", this 3 letter word, is the biggest one in my vocabulary right now.

The WHY is driving me insane. I just can't understand how this has happened. He was healthy adult. Right now all that is stuck in my head is how he looked in the hospital. And I still can't escape the sound of all the machines he was on, and the sound of the alarms that would go off when his vitals would get out of range. I feel like I'm in a twilight zone.

I was with him when the machines were turned off. I didn't think I could do it, but I had to be by his side. I just hope he knows that I was there, and knows how much I love him.

Terry Kent said:

Dear Kristen:

I am so sorry.  I too am new to all of this, I lost my husband of 24 years on Jan. 2nd.  I know the legal system cares about "marriage" but love doesn't.  Your loss isn't any different than mine because you weren't "married", I'm sure.  I can see how that would be quite a roller coaster ride with all the uncertainty you just went through, I imagine all along having hope that everything would be okay.  My husband was killed instantly in an industrial accident and my 22 year old son was there trying to save him and went into shock. No warning, no chance to go to the hospital and hope for a good outcome.  He never left work alive that day.  It crushes my soul to think he only had 10 minutes left before he was done and coming home.  We have 2 kids, 22 and a 15 year old daughter, 2 dogs and a cat.  We had a wonderful home life and isn't it just so unreal when you try to grasp what's happened?  It's been 2 months for me and in between my bouts of crying I sit and think how unreal this is, and could it possibly have happened and how?  I'm not in denial because I know it did happen, but you still sit and look around and think why? and how?  Everything was perfect, and then the world is turned upside down.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  You hear about these things on the news or through other people and you have sympathy for them but I guess something of this magnitude never hit me quite this close to home--I mean literally in my own home!  I've lost my dad, cousins, and other family but we were supposed to spend the rest of our lives together as I'm sure you were too, and what do we do now?  I found this website yesterday, and somehow venting to others who "understand" the pain does seem to help a little, so keep talking and I'll keep answering.    I'm trying to cope and be strong for my kids but It really doesn't make sense at all.  "Why", this 3 letter word, is the biggest one in my vocabulary right now.

The WHY is something we all ask ourselves.  The what if's, the should have, the could have are again all questions we have asked ourselves many time and many days. Time does not make it easier but it does allows us to adjust to the unanswered questions, because we cannot go back and change them.  We need to look forward and adjust to the new normal we did not ask for.  Life becomes difficult, decisions become complicated and the silence is deafening.  Take every day as a new beginning and the beginning is the hardest part to all of this.  Your grief is new and it is hard to comprehend 'why'.  The why may never be answered so take your time.  Grieving such as ours is a baby step process.  Hugs, Jane P.  

Dear Kristen and Terry -- Your loss is so new and your pain is so raw, right now.  You may feel that nothing is "real" and you are only aware of an occasional "blessed fog" that takes you out of your despair, briefly.  Your thoughts and memories of your loved ones last moments are torture -- you will learn to remember them in better times -- still sad, but so much better than dwelling on their ending.

We may lose others in our family -- but there is never any grief that is as profound as losing our partner.  Not only do we grieve their passing from our life -- but, we grieve the very life we planned with them, and expected to live out, with them.  We never stop asking "Why?", but we soon begin asking, "What now? How do I go on?"  And, the answer to that question is -- one step at a time -- one baby step at a time.  

This kind of profound grieving has no time-table.  Some experts will tell you that there are "stages".  I will tell you that this grief is circular -- you will find yourself back at the beginning, many times.  And, that's okay.  

If you have an opportunity, and feel inclined, try to join a grief group -- it may help.  Even one or two sessions may help -- but, most recommend a group that is dedicated to those who have lost a spouse.  Our grief truly is unique.  

Terry, being strong for children, and coping is what we all "try" to do -- do not neglect yourself -- you cannot help them grieve by hiding your own tears -- be patient with yourself, first.  As the flight attendants always say, "put on your own oxygen mask, first, then help the child".   Your first duty is to get yourself through this -- to survive these first awful days and weeks.  Whatever that takes.

My heart goes out to you both -- use this website to vent -- to share -- to learn --to give you hope.  There will always be someone here with whom to share your feelings -- someone, who, like you, has lost their dearest, closest friend and partner.

Sending you hugs and prayers,

Barbara

Tomorrow is Rob's funeral. And after spending the past 2 days in my house alone with my dogs, I don't know how I'm going to get through the day. I wake up crying and go to sleep crying. I tried to run some errands yesterday and had to cut it short and come home because I was shaking, dizzy and couldn't look anyone in the eye. We're expecting a couple hundred people at the funeral services and I know I'm just going to want to disappear. I know everyone means well. His bandmates are constantly calling me and texting me. I know they are worried and are just trying to be here for me but I just feel like I can't handle it.

Kristen -- tomorrow will be hard -- maybe the hardest thing you have ever had to do. . . but, it is important to the memories you will have later, to know that you faced this and did the best you could -- for Rob.  You will only get one chance to do this, right.  Make sure you do not set yourself up for regrets.  Your family and friends, Rob's bandmates will all be there -- for you.  It is to you, and his family, that they wish to pay their respect.  Don't deprive them of that last act of love for their friend.  Be brave.  Be strong. One more time.  And, if your grief shows, it's okay.

For me, I was comforted in knowing that my Chris had touched the lives of others.  I was grateful for the stories they all told about him -- the memories they had of him.  It meant that his life had purpose and meaning -- and that he would not be forgotten.  After all, isn't that what we all want -- to have lived a meaningful life?  Isn't that what Rob would want?  

I will think of you tomorrow, Kristen -- and send prayers for comfort.  When you feel up to it, let us know how it all went and how you are feeling about it.  We care.

Hugs,

Barbara 

Kristen, 

I'm so sorry for your loss of Rob, the love of your life. I want to hug you because I know exactly how you feel.  I just lost my fiance and the love of my life, Tim, to a hit-and-run in November.  When you're not "married," you almost feel like you have to justify the loss to others.  Don't.  You know that the love of your life is the love of your life and you know as well as I do that the hurt is immense and you feel like you're less than half of yourself as you've lost your other half.

Tim's funeral service was November 23rd, 2013.  It seems like a blur to me now. I know you're going through a sense of "I cannot believe I'm here right now."  So many people grab you and pull you in different directions and yes it absolutely is overwhelming.  You will get through it; I promise you. You will be so numb and your brain is going to put you in such a protective state that you will get through it.  Know I will be thinking of you and praying for your strength.  Much love to you and please reach out whenever you are ready.  The people on this site are wonderful and though I do not post much, I find so much comfort reading what others have to say.  It reaffirms the understanding that everything we go through in this awful nightmare is normal and that we are not alone. 

Sending you my best from chilly Chicago. So sorry, Kristen.

Nicole

Danielle, I just want to say that though I came on here to "give advice" to Kristen, I ended up needing to hear what you had to say way more than dolling out advice.  Your words touched me so much in this hour of this day where I feel that my losing Tim was the only time anyone has ever lost the love of their life.  I'm so sorry you're also on the roller coaster but thank you for being the best perspective I've heard all day.  

Sending you my vast appreciation and hoping to reciprocate some of the strength you've given me today.  Hugs, Nicole

Danielle Hamilton said:

Kristen,

I want to express my sincere condolences for your loss. I lost my partner of eight years on the 3rd of February to suicide and if you look in the seats behind you on the roller-coster, that's where I am, right there with you. Whether prolonged or suddenly the common denominator is grief. It is going to chew us up and spit us out but others have survived the damn roller-coaster and so will we, as painful as it is to go on even one more day, we will survive. I don't know if that makes it better or worse and the one person you want to talk to, you can't. Kristin, the only advice I have is to reach out into the community and find support. Life gives us WAY more than we can handle sometimes on our own but together, it's possible to overcome the storm of loss of a loved one. This is a step in the right direction joining the website. Keep looking. Find meetings when you're ready. Get out, smell the air, take a walk, anything but do it for a break from the heartache. Five minutes a day if anything. You will drive yourself crazy or you will trigger genes which will induce heart disease, kidney disease, body aches and cancer. You must release your suffering and share with others. Re-connect with humankind. I went to my first meeting tonight. It was hard. I was crying before we started. There were only four of us. A counselor, an intern, a gentleman and myself. That's it. But it was the most "myself" I've been since her death. Let me know if you need to talk.

Danielle

The "justify" is so true. It's been harder with his family than any of our friends. Our friends already know what we meant to each other. But when he became ill and was hospitalized, I was made to feel like such an outsider.

Nicole Amato said:

Kristen, 

I'm so sorry for your loss of Rob, the love of your life. I want to hug you because I know exactly how you feel.  I just lost my fiance and the love of my life, Tim, to a hit-and-run in November.  When you're not "married," you almost feel like you have to justify the loss to others.  Don't.  You know that the love of your life is the love of your life and you know as well as I do that the hurt is immense and you feel like you're less than half of yourself as you've lost your other half.

Tim's funeral service was November 23rd, 2013.  It seems like a blur to me now. I know you're going through a sense of "I cannot believe I'm here right now."  So many people grab you and pull you in different directions and yes it absolutely is overwhelming.  You will get through it; I promise you. You will be so numb and your brain is going to put you in such a protective state that you will get through it.  Know I will be thinking of you and praying for your strength.  Much love to you and please reach out whenever you are ready.  The people on this site are wonderful and though I do not post much, I find so much comfort reading what others have to say.  It reaffirms the understanding that everything we go through in this awful nightmare is normal and that we are not alone. 

Sending you my best from chilly Chicago. So sorry, Kristen.

Nicole

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