I lost my soul mate of almost 32 years on April 15th, after a 14 week battle with a lung disease called ARDS.  Our 32nd anniversary would have been on April 18th.She was a Pediatric Oncology nurse for the last five years, helping kids in serious health conditions. She was my life and we traveled across the country together  as she took on a traveling nurse job.  I have been trying to heal yet every evening it is my low point, work has been an outlet for me and I am blessed with a great management team that has been supportive as well as two great brothers and their wives.

 

I found out last night my 16 year old Autistic grandson was in a accident when his dad was driving and had a Diabetic seizure and hit a utility pole, he may have broken both legs. We are waiting on the outcome of surgery and MRI's. I have had a hard time with this because my wife loved this guy so much because of his disability.

 

I am wondering also for those of you who have lost a spouse, even though my wife's was an extended illness would it be (if you could chose) easier if it was a quick death as opposed to a long term illness of 14 weeks. Just some of the thoughts that have gone through my head in this process. I pray every day for the time God gave me with her. Her video tribute on YouTube says it best. Search Roxanne Currie on youtube.com to see my soul mate and me in happier times, memories that will live with me forever. I just want the pain to go away....

 

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JJ, so sorry for your loss. I lost my wife of 34 years after a 50 month fight with Lung Cancer. She did not smoke. I would want as long as I could have as long as there is not any suffering. We were lucky as Maria had courage that I hope I have when it is my time. She considered all treatment options including clinical trials as she had a mutation in the EGFR protein and targeted therapy was best treatment option., Unfortunately, only one approved medicine for EGFR patients, Tarceva, stopped working after 12 months. Therefore, we went into clincial trials. It has been 6 months for me and it is not any easier. I went to and am going to bereavement groups and it helps to be with others who have lost the love of their life. Like you we traveled and spent all of our time together. I also have had great support at work and it occupies some of my time, but coming home and not having Maria here is very difficult. My condolences and I pray you can find consolation in your memories of the love of your life. The griefbursts hit me with such force, I just cry it out until I get my footing again, then take another step...    

 

 

 

JJ, I lost my wife of 32 years on December 29, 2012.  Within two weeks of her passing, I joined a bereavement group at a local cancer support organization and have been attending the weekly meetings ever since.  For the first month or so, I was in a real state of fog.  I would go through the motions of living and working, but so much of it just did not feel real.  Now at roughly 4 1/2 months since she passed, the fog is lifting but the pain of losing her is still very much with me.

From the experiences of others in the bereavement group I can say that it is impossible to draw any conclusions about the pain of loss and the length of illness.  Each of the stories I have heard in the group are similar yet so different.  In one case, a long illness with successful treatments turned suddenly and the loved one passed within a day.  In another case, the woman's husband had a long illness with numerous ups and downs yet he maintained a hopeful attitude until the end.  As such, she never really got the chance to prepare.

My wife became ill during late winter of 2012.  She visited her doctor in mid-May and because of the nature of the symptoms she had from the pancreatic cancer, he missed the diagnoses.  She visited a specialist in late-July (after losing 23 pounds since the mid-May doctors appointment) and after a couple of tests was diagnosed within a day.  A couple of weeks of more detailed tests and five weeks of Chemotherapy did nothing to halt the tumor growth.  She considered the options for treatment and decided to start on hospice in mid-October. During the time between the end of treatments and her passing, my main focus was trying to keep her as comfortable as possible and safe.  I worked part time from home while caring her not wanting to use up all my reserve vacation hoping against hope that she would live well into the new year.  My wife's passing was more of a gradual fade.  She would sleep more and more each day until at the end she would wake only for very short periods.  I knew on a conscious level what was happening and I was starting the grieving process as she was fading away, but I was not willing to accept what was happening.  The day she passed, reality hit me hard.

Like Wilela said, be ever so careful to take care of yourself.  Eat well, get lots of rest, drink lots of water, get some exercise and take solace in the company of friends and loved ones.  Your friends will want to help; some of them do not exactly know how; some who are unfortunate to have lost a loved one will have a pretty good idea what to say and do.  Just remember that by letting others help you, you are giving them a gift as well as receiving one from them.

Lastly, the love that you shared with your wife is in your heart. No one can take that from you.  The grieving process will make it hard to see this sometimes.  You have a bond with her that still continues even though she is not physically here.  Like Whinnie the Pooh said:

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together,

there is something you must always remember.

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem,

and smarter than you think.

But the most important thing is, even if we're apart,

I'll always be with you."

I strongly recommend that you find a bereavement group in your area and attend some meetings.  For me they have helped reinforce that I am not alone and I have learned so much from others experience. It helps me to tell the story of my wife's passing, I see new things each time and cry in different ways.

I am so sorry for your loss. You are just beginning this roller coaster called grief. Your question reminds me of lines from a poem by Emily Dickinson. Here it is: I MEASURE EVERY GRIEF I MEET

I measure every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.

I wonder if when years have piled--
Some thousands--on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;

Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.

My Wife passed six months past what the Doctors said and those six months were quality. I was very grateful. There was nothing left unsaid there was no question in her mind, our kids minds, or mine the love we all had for each other. And thats what I'm grateful, for. Married for 31yrs, not long enough...we were supposed to get a lot older together she was 57. Its been 19 months, and I have to say it really hasn't got any easier, for me "gets easier with time" isn't working with me. Im grateful we had that extra 6 months, if she was suffering and in pain, that I think would've been one thing...oh and by the way after listening to the Doctors telling us each day that she wasn't going to make it past tomorrow over and over again, they weren't doing anything besides watching her. I got pissed and against Drs. recommendations, I brought her home three days later she woke up said she was hungry and "where am I"? She kept getting stronger she went from 71 lbs to 109lbs. and for six months we cruised the beaches, went out to dinner a lot it was quality life.. am I bitter.. yep

                                     John

JJ.  My husband dropped dead at my feet whilst w were on holiday so were in a strange place of an aortic aneurysm.   I have always felt I could have come to terms with his death better if he had been ill and I had had some time to prepare but of course from his point of view the suddenness was probably easier on him but certainly not on me watching him twitch to death at my feet after apparently good health.   Don't know if this helps answer your question but it is what I feel

I lost my husband 4 years ago. We were married 34 years and was my best friend. I did join 2 berevenent groups. The pain loses its intensity but in the beginning it seems like someone just reached in and ripped your heart out. My husband was hit by a tractor trailor in 1999 and was in constant pain for almost 10 years. He died of CHF in 2009 which to me was sudden but always knew that all the pain Meds would eventually do damage. Don't think it matters if they suffer long or short term, the hurt is still the same when they are no longer with us. Work was good and understanding to me but it took a long time for me to really focus. At one point you will realize that your tears are no longer filling up a lake but a small pond. Use the support you have in your family and grief counseling if you feel it might help. I still have some really bad days even after 4 years but I get by most days. My hardest time was coming home from work during the drive every day we were always on the phone and I still have that emptiness on the drive home. We had plans of growing old together, retiring nd enjoying each others company after retirement but he died at age 54. Now it hurts to see couples together at times. I remember going food shopping with sunglasses in the store because the tears would flow especially seeing older couples together. Time does help but it has not healed all.

I have just had the third anniversary of my husbands death.   We were on holiday in a remote cottage and he was having a lie down because of his sciata (apart from that he was hale and hearty).   I heard this funny noise and went through to find him lying twitching on the floor staring straight at me with  an open mouth and wide blue eyes and (to me) a look of terror on his face.   His eyes were hazel so the Medics tell me he was already dead and the blood had drained from his head and everyone;'s eyes are blue underneath.   I turned him on his side and phoned for help and they talked me through CPR but I think I knew he was already dead.     We raced through  the street and he was pronounced dead art the hospital..   I phoned one of his nieces who came with her husband but patently did not want to be there.   They took me home with them and I spent a sleep less night just lying in a spare room repeating over and over  Morley is dead, Morley is dead.    They would not let me close his eyes or his mouth at the hospital not would they allow me to take down the sides of the bed to hug him one last time and all the time two policemen were watching my every move (sudden death).   It was an aortic aneurysm they discovered and there are no symptoms.   They say it was a good death for him and he would have known nothing about it but for me, I relive that scenario every night of my life.   They say I have post traumatic stress.   We had 35 wonderful years together.   I never knew what happiness meant until we met.   He was my lover, best friend and soul mate and three plus years on I cannot get over his death and long to be with him.    I have lost countless friends (someone warned me that would happen but I did not believe them).   e was, quite simply my whole life and since we had been retired 10 years we were together 24/7 and loved being together every minute of the day.   We just lived for one another.   How do I start a new life at 74.   I am so grateful for all the happy years we had but people are so impatient with me because after three years I am still deeply grieving.   We had no children and my (I thought really close family) a sister and two nieces have abandoned me so I have no support except for a few close friends but they all have famillies of their own and their llves have moved on whereas I am stuck in that remote cottage watching my husband twitch to his death.   I feel nothing but despair and whether itis a lake or a pond I still shed many tears on a daily basis.    He was quite simply my life and |I no longer wish to exist in this world without him but have no choice.   Sorry for the desperation but it is a long time since I told the story and it has brought back to me what |I have lost.

Maria Dupell said:

I lost my husband 4 years ago. We were married 34 years and was my best friend. I did join 2 berevenent groups. The pain loses its intensity but in the beginning it seems like someone just reached in and ripped your heart out. My husband was hit by a tractor trailor in 1999 and was in constant pain for almost 10 years. He died of CHF in 2009 which to me was sudden but always knew that all the pain Meds would eventually do damage. Don't think it matters if they suffer long or short term, the hurt is still the same when they are no longer with us. Work was good and understanding to me but it took a long time for me to really focus. At one point you will realize that your tears are no longer filling up a lake but a small pond. Use the support you have in your family and grief counseling if you feel it might help. I still have some really bad days even after 4 years but I get by most days. My hardest time was coming home from work during the drive every day we were always on the phone and I still have that emptiness on the drive home. We had plans of growing old together, retiring nd enjoying each others company after retirement but he died at age 54. Now it hurts to see couples together at times. I remember going food shopping with sunglasses in the store because the tears would flow especially seeing older couples together. Time does help but it has not healed all.
Helen - I feel the same as you. We were best friends and soul mates. When my husband was injured back in 1999 his injury just got worse over the years. His ability to walk deteriorated over the years but was still able to walk very slow and used a scooter; however people stop calling and coming around because they don't know what to say. After 4 years I still miss him dearly but everyone seems to think you should be over it. They don't understand unless they have gone through it. My mom after 3 months told me to get over it after only 3 months and my sister told everyone that she had no idea what to do for me. Then I found out she had a discussion with some people during the funeral and said well she is well off. I wish (still paying a mortgage) and how inappropriate at the time or anytime to say something like that. The only people I have live out of state so it gets lonely not being able to go out to lunch with someone. We did everything together and were married 34 years. we finished each others sentences, would call up and say how about such and such for dinner and the other would reply I was just thinking the same thing. When you lose someone who means the world to you I dont think you ever get over them. I long to hold him in my arms and have a two way conversation with him. I drive an hour to and from work - those are my most lonliest times as we would ALWAYS talk on the way home every day. I understand how you feel only too well. I hope for the best for you

Maria    I totally know where you are coming from.   We shared 35 years together and 100 would not have been enough for me.   My husband had a serious mental breakdown that ended up lasting a year he was in  mental hospital.

The main reason it lasted so long was an experimental drug they p[ut him on and he went completely pff the scale andf I just knew it was the drug.;
.   Fortunately I come from a scientific background (as did my husband) so |knew exactlly where to find out about this drug.   I phoned the lab who maketed the drug and spoke to the senuior scientist.   They told me they were withdrawing the drug as the side effects my husband was showing they had reports from other patients.     The psychiatrist refused to take him off the drug so I took him home but it had gone too far and he had to go back   but I stipulated a different Dr and a different ward.   It took a year but I got him back better than he had ever been and we then had the 10 happiest years. of our marriage until he dropped at my feet twitching to death.   He was definately my soul mate and 3 plus years I am still in the same place,.   I honestly believe that  when you love the way both you and I obviously did we never get over it"   I have lost many friends because they expected me to bounce back and I can't.   I weep for him every day and relive his death throes every day     I was so scared for him after the mental hospital that I focused on him alone and now there is nowhere for me to go.   At 74 I am existing not living and pray (although|I am not particularly religious ) that when I go to sleep (drugged sleep) I will wake up in his arms and it will all be over for me on this earth.    He was my sole reason for living and he felt the same as me - we were destined to be together.    I am so sorry you find yourself in the same place as me but at a much younger age.   I have had all the cruel and thoughtless things said to me because people cannot accept I am still grieving.    Apart from a few friends (very few who recognise  that they have to be there but not tell me what to do) I have lost all the rest(and I thought I was so popular) but it was my husband that was the attraction obviously).   I lost my family (no children but a sister and two nieces) after my husband and I had taken my sister on holiday with us for 16 years after her husband died.   They have not been in contact with me for 2 years now.   I would just be a burden on them so I am totally alone as far as blood is concerned.   We are sisters in grief and I feel for you because I cannot tell you it is going to get better.   I find I can stop the tears in public now and can go to a concert (having been bullied into it) and pretend I am enjoying it when inside I am dying.   I feel as if I am in some weird play and I am acting the part of someone enjoying the concert and feel I deserve an oscar because I am missing him so much that  my heart is breaking.   Sorry if I have depressed you further but I do know EXACTLY how you are feeling.

Helen

Maria Dupell said:

Helen - I feel the same as you. We were best friends and soul mates. When my husband was injured back in 1999 his injury just got worse over the years. His ability to walk deteriorated over the years but was still able to walk very slow and used a scooter; however people stop calling and coming around because they don't know what to say. After 4 years I still miss him dearly but everyone seems to think you should be over it. They don't understand unless they have gone through it. My mom after 3 months told me to get over it after only 3 months and my sister told everyone that she had no idea what to do for me. Then I found out she had a discussion with some people during the funeral and said well she is well off. I wish (still paying a mortgage) and how inappropriate at the time or anytime to say something like that. The only people I have live out of state so it gets lonely not being able to go out to lunch with someone. We did everything together and were married 34 years. we finished each others sentences, would call up and say how about such and such for dinner and the other would reply I was just thinking the same thing. When you lose someone who means the world to you I dont think you ever get over them. I long to hold him in my arms and have a two way conversation with him. I drive an hour to and from work - those are my most lonliest times as we would ALWAYS talk on the way home every day. I understand how you feel only too well. I hope for the best for you

I posted this back in May, my Sister tells her friends that I'm a little rough around the edges..that maybe so.. but to me the heartache hasn't lessened if anything its worse, I think I've accepted the fact that how I am now is the best its going to get. October 11th will be two years, I've had more things go to hell in a hand basket than I've had in my entire life. Just for today I want to say "done rough around the edges or not, just for today, and say just for today because tomorrow I won't feel this down and lonely, I really shouldn't be making this post,  I don't want to burden anyone else with my depression or feelings of being completely lost....

  This is what I posted back in May                 

 My Wife passed six months past what the Doctors said and those six months were quality. I was very grateful. There was nothing left unsaid there was no question in her mind, our kids minds, or mine the love we all had for each other. And thats what I'm grateful, for. Married for 31yrs, not long enough...we were supposed to get a lot older together she was 57. Its been 19 months, and I have to say it really hasn't got any easier, for me "gets easier with time" isn't working with me. Im grateful we had that extra 6 months, if she was suffering and in pain, that I think would've been one thing...oh and by the way after listening to the Doctors telling us each day that she wasn't going to make it past tomorrow over and over again, they weren't doing anything besides watching her. I got pissed and against Drs. recommendations, I brought her home three days later she woke up said she was hungry and "where am I"? She kept getting stronger she went from 71 lbs to 109lbs. and for six months we cruised the beaches, went out to dinner a lot it was quality life.. am I bitter.. yep

There are some people out there that are fortunate enough to meet the "Love of their Life", their soul mate.  Before I actually met my husband Mike, he looked out his kitchen window and told his friend, "See that girl, I am going to marry her", never having yet been introduced.  When we finally met, it was like electricity running all through our bodies.  We looked into each others eyes and just knew we were meant to be.  We had an exceptional marriage that others envied.  We loved and trusted one anther completely.  34 years was not long enough.  When he died, I did not realize that I was angry but I was.  Angry that part of me died August 5, 2009 never to return.  Angry that those who have something precious do not work at what they have.  Angry because they complain over the slighest little thing.  My husband just had the spinal cord implant done beginning of July.  We finally found something that seemed to ease his pain a little, only to pass away a  month later.  Life was so unfair as far as I was concerned to give him 10 years of pain 24/7 and only 1 month of being able to ride in a car without too much pain, and being able to lift his legs a little higher.

I would have given up everything and lived in a shoebox just to have him back

I too  have gotten really good at hiding the tears because people think you should no longer grieve.  Been married 34 years, how in the world would someone get over it in 3, 4, 5 or more years.

Never apologize to tell your story, even if you are bitter or depressed.  It helps those of us that are in the same boat and we really are not alone in how we feel.  Our spouses were every bit a part of us and we hurt because we loved them with all our heart and soul. 

 

My husband once told me that he wanted to go before me and unfortunately I now know why.  I would not wish this on anyone.  This has to be one of the worst things a person has to endore.

Maria   Every single word you have written above could have been a description of my love and my husbands for each other.   People have told me since he died that we used to light up a room  whenever we came in because there was this bond between us.   I know that if one or other of us happened to be out of the room, the minute we came back our eyes were searching for each other and (according to others), the smile we exchanged when our eyes met lit up the whole room.   We were so very lucky to have those 30 years together but, like you, I would sell everything and live in a tent if I could just have him back.   I am glad my husband went first because I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone much less the love of my life..   We were together 24/7 for the last 10 years and friends used to criticise me for putting all my eggs in one basket and not doing other things with other people but that was what we both wanted and what made us the luckiest and happiest couple.   Yes, now I feel lost and useless.   We had no children and there is nowehere for me to go.   I have good friends (an awful lot of them disappeared when Morley died) but at the time it felt right for us and I will just have to bear the additional pain of being left completely alone.   They say your loved ones walk beside you until you meet again.   I am not particularly religious and find that hard to believe.   I am however spiritual and have a good psychic who tells me Morley is waiting for me.   I hope and pray she is right but how long do I have to wait.    There is nothing left for me here and I feel I am existing, not living.   I pray each night that I will not wake up (doesn't everyone) but with my luck I am going to develop some lingering .   I agree with you Maria, the pain of grief is like no other and the horrible bit is that it never goes away.   I was told at the beginning because of the horrible way Morley died, dropped at my feet twitching in a remote cottage whilst on holiday and the subsequent repatriation of his body home with me holding on to his coffin handles all the way has led to me having post traumatic stress and they told 5 years was the minimum they expected me to take.   I personally think, that because of the wonderful marriage we had, I will never lose this pain.

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