I thought I was doing "ok" but I now realize that I need the support of others.  I know everyone's circumstances are different, but we all share the common loss of a loved one. My husband Stan passed away on April 2nd, 2011 at 2:02 AM as I watched him go.  He had been sick in the hospital for almost 9 long months with a bone marrow disorder labeled "MDS" that caused multiple other issues. He ended up on life support (ventilator and feeding tube) but he wanted to continue supportive care and try everything possible to try to get better.  The hospital approached me several times to put him into Hospice but I couldn't bring myself into doing that. We would of been married for 35 years on August 21, 2011.  I stayed at the hospital almost the entire 9 months with my husband, only coming home to sleep at night & care for our pets.   I miss my husband so much.  We did everything together. He was my best friend. I feel like part of me has been ripped out.  Everything I do, everywhere I go, I am constantly thinking of my husband.  He was a huge sports fan so I follow all the games that he would be watching and then I feel horrible as I watch/listen because I miss him not being with me.  Even turning on the radio there is always a song that comes on that reminds me of him, something that he liked or brings me memories.  Thankfully we have so many happy memories and he left me so much with his artwork and poetry that he did.  I have our bedroom just as it was before he got sick.  I have all of his clothes hanging in the closet & can't bring myself to part with anything, although knowing my husband I know he would like it donated to a rescue mission. I can't change the bathroom either.  His toothbrush is still there next to mine.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning and rollover hoping to be able to hug him, hold onto him and then I know that will not happen.  I find myself crying at times at the supermarket wishing I could be cooking for him again. I'll be in the supermarket wondering why I'm even in there in the first place, then I will just leave the shopping cart there & walk out with nothing. This turned to be longer than I intended.  Wondering if this will ever get any better?

Valerie

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Valerie,  I can't speak for everyone as my Neal has only been gone 6 months. He died of lung cancer which had spread to his liver, bones and brain. We would have been married 41 years this past Feb. 20th. I don't cry as much as I used to, but I think that is due to the medication my doctor has me on. I just feel so empty inside like there is no reason to do anything because Neal is gone. I also have lots of happy memories but so far I just keep remembering the cancer part. Neal died at home with our two sons and me by his side. Neal's clothes are still in the closet and drawers, his toothbrush is still next to mine and I won't let anyone move his things in his "man cave".  The grocery store is hard for me also, as I am still buying as if Neal were home for me to cook for.

 

I wish I could tell you things get better, but I can not. Someone on this site has said it does not get better it get doable. Maybe someone who has been in this "club" longer than me can give you some better news.  This site has been good for me as I feel I can write whatever I want to to vent or just to talk and everyone is so understanding. Stay on this site.  HUGS

No it doesn't feel like it gets better but we get more comfortable with ourselves and the new life we have been forced into. We put one foot in front of the other and keep moving, thats how we survive the pain. We send lots of hugs and we are here to listen. Vent anytime. We will try to be here to support you.

Valerie (which happens to be the name of one of my favorite people)

 

I lost my wife of 30 years last September. What you wrote I could have written. I still find myself tearing up because I am thinking of her (such as while I am writing this). It does not get easier but it does get somewhat less painful. The world has a nasty habit of continuing on when we need to stop and catch our breath. I still have the majority of my wife's things but will eventually move them on. Meeting her was the best thing that ever happened to me and winning her my ultimate accomplishment. However, as one of the commenters noted we need to take things one step at a time (as a day at a time is way too long for me to deal with at this point), putting one foot in front of the other. Things will change yet stay the same. There is a big hole in your life that will never be filled, at least that is how it feels for me. I still dream about her and want to touch and hug her so bad that I don't know what to do with myself. I am new to this site also but I believe that the support and experience of the others on the site will help me and I certainly hope it helps you too.

Valerie, I am sorry for your loss.  All I can say it takes as long as it takes for each person.  In 8 months I lost my soulmate, and then my Mum. I cant even express my feelings, it was so bad.  Had to end up on medication, and that has helped me so much, dont cry anymore, but still do feel down.  Yes it is hard to get rid of your loved ones stuff, my husbands clothes are still on his side of the built ins.  I am however when ready will give them away, as I do get upset each time I open his side of the cupboards. Next month is my husbands first Anniversary, and it feels like yesterday.  All I remember of his last few months is him being ill. Still cant remember anything else, and we had the best marriage ever, he was such a good person.  Cant wait for the day I really forget about his illness, and remember our good times. we had known each other for over fifty years. I was very young when I got married, had to get special permission, lol. And he was, 10 years older than me. everyone said it wouldnt last, as I was so young, but it did. I miss him so much, it is as if he is just going to come through the door, all the time.  I pray that you get stronger each day. and reading this site has helped me a lot, to see that I am not alone, Keep well

This is very new for you and each day we are at a different place in working through our grief.  Everything you are doing and feeling is normal for someone who lost their spouse.  You are correct, it does feel like half of your heart or life has been ripped away.  It is the most painful situation I have ever faced. 

 

Take one day at a time and give yourself permission to cry.  There is no hurry to go through his things and donate them, etc.  I haven't touched my husband's dresser or closet since he passed away on 11/5/2010.  Some days are very hard and others are better - now I have momments here and there that tears come right to the surface without warning.  Don't feel like you have to rush the grieving process and "get over it" how can we get over such a deep loss in a short amount of time? They impacted every part of our life and life is strange for us now without them at our side.

 

I have a grief counselor, attend a support group, work (which is an escape from reality sometimes) and most importantly I have very strong faith and pray for strength all the time as I try to figure my life out now.  May God bless you Valerie and comfort you - I hope you continue to share and feel safe in doing so here too.

God bless you and help you each day to feel a little stronger.

Sheryl

Dear Valerie,

 

I am so sorry for your loss.  It has been almost 2 years since Douglas died -- July 2009.  Like you I also lost my best friend, spouse and companion.  We did everything together and we were married 33 years a week before his death.  Douglas had been ill for many years and I took care of him plus worked full time.  So his death brought about many questions that still puzzle me at times.  I was a wife and caregiver for so long -- now what am I?  Well, I am still Brigitte who is on the road to many new adventures.  I can say with all honesty that it does get better with time, love from friends, family and self.  Do I miss him?  You bet!  I still cry and get angry sometimes that this beautiful man was taken so soon, but I have also accepted that it was his time to move on to the next step.  Douglas was so ill and in pain.  It would be selfish to have him hang on for me in that condition.  I was with him when he died -- and had it not been for hospice I don't know how I would have coped.  They are angels on earth!  Douglas died with dignity and peace.  The path of grief seems like it will never end, and for some of us it will not, but the path does get shorter.  By that I mean the feelings aren't as intense.  Now when I find myself having what I call a "Douglas" moment I will cry and then remember one of his crazy antics and start laughing.  I have 33 years of wonderful memories that will never die and that is what keeps me going.  I just now put his clothing away and will donate to a Veteran's group -- Douglas was a Viet Nam veteran and proud of it.  Valerie, you have joined this site for a purpose.  All of us has been through the tragedy of losing our loved one.  We understand each other, our feelings, our anger, and confusion.  We care!!  I wish you well on your journey to finding your "new" normal.  You will hit many a speed bump but you will get through this.  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

 

In Peace,

 

Brigitte

Thank you all for your kind replies.  I have been reading everyone's posts.  I am not looking forward to May 2 which will be one month since Stan passed. Actually every Saturday so far at 2:02 AM I make sure to be awake and look at the clock.  This Saturday will be 4 weeks.  Am I nuts for doing this?  I don't know why I seem to need to do this.  Mother's Day is approaching and I am not looking forward to it because I would always write Stan a card, thanking him for making me a mother.  We have 3 grown kids ages 31, 30, & 24.  We married when I was 19.  Stan is 16 years older than me, was a "young" 71 when he passed.  So I literally grew up with my husband and best friend and have never been on my own before.  So at 54 years old I am on my own.  We are florists, so now since Stan passed I am back working full time at the flower shop which our son & his wife took over about 6 years ago, so I want to keep my husband's legacy going at the flower shop and make him proud, which I have his picture on my design table right in front of me and I talk to him constantly. But I cry more than I talk because Stan has left me with SO many happy memories and I miss him so much.  Thank you for allowing me to express my feelings here.  I hope that it is ok as I have never joined a support group for anything before.

Valerie

You are not nuts. You are in the very early stages now and when I look back on the past 9 months since my husband passed, I realize how numb I was. It's nature's way of protecting us, I think. I feel like I am starting to come out of my fog now which doesn't mean I don't miss Chris every single day, but I am actually able to smile and laugh at my memories. I still can't believe he's gone; I haven't cleaned out his drawers or closet and I don't particularly care if this is "normal"....it's my grief and I will move forward as I can. My daughter moved out this weekend after being home for over a year and I find I am actually ok with it. She needs to live her life. I find that I still watch sports (hockey playoffs right now) because my husband would watch ANYTHING and I would sit with him and read just to be with him. We were married just short of 28 years (he was 56, I'm 55) and have 2 daughters, ages 20 and 26. I have his pictures by my computer at work as well. Just know that your grief is just that; YOUR grief, and you will do what YOU need to do to take care of yourself and honor your husband's memory. Take good care of yourself and let friends/family help and support you. Make sure you are sleeping...that was a tough one for me and I needed to see my doctor about that. Take care, I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry you are a part of this site now.
Valerie it is so good that you are back at work, that is going to keep your mind busy. You hit the nail on the head, all the crying we do, is because we have good and happy memories of our soulmates.  This will be my first mothers day, without my husband, so I am not looking forward to the month of May at all. Keep Well
Floss, you know what really hurts?  I know it sounds ridiculous to some people as they don't understand, but I was SO hoping that Stan would have been able to come home, just for a few days, to be able to spend some time in the comfort and coziness of our home, and to be with our beloved pets.  We are animal lovers, and we have 6 dogs and 3 inside cats, as well as outside cats that have made their home here that we've "fixed" and feed them. But he spent his last 9 months of life in the hospital, went to re-hab several times, & only came home for 3 days in October which I had to call 911 in the middle of the night.  Stan ended up on a ventilator, feeding tube, dialysis, so it would of been impossible to bring him home unless we had the money to afford to do so, which we did not.  These past 9 months still seems like a bad dream to which I wish I could wake up and everything be ok again.  Stan was healthy until he got sick.  I hope I am not stirring up emotions for those of you that are in the healing process.

Floss said:
Valerie it is so good that you are back at work, that is going to keep your mind busy. You hit the nail on the head, all the crying we do, is because we have good and happy memories of our soulmates.  This will be my first mothers day, without my husband, so I am not looking forward to the month of May at all. Keep Well
Marianne, yes, sleep is a problem for me too.  And I find myself dozing off in the middle of the day.  I toss and turn and the next thing I know, I have to get up and get ready for work.

Marianne said:
You are not nuts. You are in the very early stages now and when I look back on the past 9 months since my husband passed, I realize how numb I was. It's nature's way of protecting us, I think. I feel like I am starting to come out of my fog now which doesn't mean I don't miss Chris every single day, but I am actually able to smile and laugh at my memories. I still can't believe he's gone; I haven't cleaned out his drawers or closet and I don't particularly care if this is "normal"....it's my grief and I will move forward as I can. My daughter moved out this weekend after being home for over a year and I find I am actually ok with it. She needs to live her life. I find that I still watch sports (hockey playoffs right now) because my husband would watch ANYTHING and I would sit with him and read just to be with him. We were married just short of 28 years (he was 56, I'm 55) and have 2 daughters, ages 20 and 26. I have his pictures by my computer at work as well. Just know that your grief is just that; YOUR grief, and you will do what YOU need to do to take care of yourself and honor your husband's memory. Take good care of yourself and let friends/family help and support you. Make sure you are sleeping...that was a tough one for me and I needed to see my doctor about that. Take care, I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry you are a part of this site now.

Thank you Brigitte.  I LIKE how you mentioned "Douglas Moments".  Yesterday our son and I were reminiscing about some of the crazy things that Daddy (yes..our grown children still call him Daddy) and we both burst out laughing about it.  And then after that laugh that felt so good, I began to cry...wishing Stan was still here with us.  So I will now call those moments "Stan moments".
Brigitte said:

Dear Valerie,

 

I am so sorry for your loss.  It has been almost 2 years since Douglas died -- July 2009.  Like you I also lost my best friend, spouse and companion.  We did everything together and we were married 33 years a week before his death.  Douglas had been ill for many years and I took care of him plus worked full time.  So his death brought about many questions that still puzzle me at times.  I was a wife and caregiver for so long -- now what am I?  Well, I am still Brigitte who is on the road to many new adventures.  I can say with all honesty that it does get better with time, love from friends, family and self.  Do I miss him?  You bet!  I still cry and get angry sometimes that this beautiful man was taken so soon, but I have also accepted that it was his time to move on to the next step.  Douglas was so ill and in pain.  It would be selfish to have him hang on for me in that condition.  I was with him when he died -- and had it not been for hospice I don't know how I would have coped.  They are angels on earth!  Douglas died with dignity and peace.  The path of grief seems like it will never end, and for some of us it will not, but the path does get shorter.  By that I mean the feelings aren't as intense.  Now when I find myself having what I call a "Douglas" moment I will cry and then remember one of his crazy antics and start laughing.  I have 33 years of wonderful memories that will never die and that is what keeps me going.  I just now put his clothing away and will donate to a Veteran's group -- Douglas was a Viet Nam veteran and proud of it.  Valerie, you have joined this site for a purpose.  All of us has been through the tragedy of losing our loved one.  We understand each other, our feelings, our anger, and confusion.  We care!!  I wish you well on your journey to finding your "new" normal.  You will hit many a speed bump but you will get through this.  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

 

In Peace,

 

Brigitte

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