Mary, He was at one of the top hospitals in the U.S. There were more than 40 medical professionals working on his case. I gain comfort from knowing that he had excellent medical care. The physician in charge of his case was literally pulling his hair out because he could not determine the cause of the massive infection that was causing his body to fail.
Initially, I surmised that he had suffered a stroke and would be good to go with time. He was transferred from rehab to our local hospital. At that point, just 2 hours after I arrived at rehab, he had spiked a high fever and his body began to fail. I was left in the waiting room at the hospital to worry and pray. After 5 hours in the waiting room, I stopped the attending physician and told her that I needed to see my husband. She shared her opinion that I did not realize the precariousness of his situation. I corrected her and told her that I did realize how sick he was and that is why I needed to see him immediately. She cleared the room and I was able to spend a few minutes with him, remind him how much he was loved, give him a pep talk, and talk with God.
The local hospital did an amazing job and were able to stabilize him enough to transfer him to our major metropolitan hospital. I stayed with him 24/7. I hoped for the best but it wasn't meant to be.
Thank you for letting me share the details of Bob's death. It plunged me into an abyss. I've crawled out and am now doing well. Still, I will miss his presence for the rest of my life. He remains in my thoughts 24/7.
They were never able to determine the cause of his sudden demise. They pumped him with antibiotics. He received impeccable care. His body continued to fail and the antibiotics were not circulating. I had to make the most difficult decision of my life and terminate life support.
Throughout our marriage, he made it clear that he adamantly opposed utilizing life support. Fortunately, his cousin drove 5 hours to the hospital. When he saw Bob connected to no fewer than 30 machines (I counted), he shook his head and said "(t)his isn't right". With great difficulty, he shared that he and Bob had promised each other that they would step in and never allow this to happen. They would take whatever steps necessary to prevent life support measures. I was in shock and it was helpful to have our cousin's input. However, it was my decision to make. I was well aware of Bob's wishes as we had discussed them often. Nevertheless, I talked with his primary doctor one on one for a very long time. All of my questions were addressed. By this point, Bob had suffered several strokes and the doctor opined that he had a .00005% chance of survival. I made the decision to withdrawal life support once I knew that he was not going to pull out of this despite my prayers and best wishes to the contrary.
Again, thanks for letting me share. It is helpful to revisit the circumstances of his death. After months of second guessing everything, I am now at peace knowing that there is nothing that could be done to alter the outcome. Debbie
Mary, I agree with everything Sara wrote. It has taken me more than a year to simplify our life and I am not done. I stopped by an estate sale being held in my neighborhood yesterday and interviewed the owners of the estate sale company. I liked them and plan to use them next month to help me. My husband and I owned a couple of rental properties that we rented turnkey. I sold the properties but have not yet parted with the HF&E (household furnishings & effects). This is a huge step for me and dealing with it will rid me of monthly storage facility fees and reduce stress. Yet, there were other issues with higher priority that I needed to deal with first.
Please feel free to rant often. Each post helps someone else on this group. At 13 months, I still find it surreal. It happened so fast. It wasn't on my radar. I am now shocked that I was so naïve and question my belief that it wasn't on my radar. I now recognize that I did consider the possibility but purposely repressed my thoughts. It was a coping mechanism.
I hope and pray that you determine a way to keep the home that you love. Allow yourself freedom to investigate options and analyze alternatives. This has helped me get through all of the financial decisions that have arisen since my husband's death. It also helps me to consciously be nice to myself. I tend to put heavy demands on myself and it is difficult to break this lifelong habit.
Please know that you remain in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you are comfortable jumping in more often. This is a safe place to share whatever you are experiencing.
Hi Mary ... I'm so relieved you chose to post as I for one and sure the rest of the members were worried about you. Remember, you are part of this family on Legacy so you are NEVER ALONE!
I know exactly how you feel and I went through that (still am a bit) where I counted on Ernie to help me make decisions about so many things.) Now most of us are having to make those decisions on our own and we have little help to make choices and have to do 'double duty.'
I hope you don't mind me suggesting a few things to help you out. I suggest you go to your banking institution and ask for some help by the Financial Advisor there. They are more than willing to help you. Take someone along with you just to be extra ears for you and clear headed. I did that and it sure helped get through all the red tape.
As far as bills anything without your name on it such as Bob's cell phone for an example is null and void and you do not have to pay for it. Check out credit cards to see if there is insurance on them as Bob may have done that. This will protect you as far as not paying them. If you have a loan on your car in both your names and had insurance on that loan the debt should be paid off by the bank and not you.
Now, as far as that lovely house you so love (I love this little rancher style house Ernie and I lived in since 1978 and don't want to give it up) I talked to my Financial Advisor and he suggest a CHIP Mortgage where they take a percentage of your house and give you that money. Say your house is worth $500,000. They will loan you up to $250,000 and you just have to take out what you need. Of course there is interest on that. You can also hire a CGA to do your taxes and claim some of the interest on that CHIP Mortgage. Many seniors here are doing this because they can't stay in their homes otherwise. This eases up money to do repairs on the house and other bigger expenses you may incur. Before taking out the CHIP Mortgage be sure you know what you are bringing in each month between Bob's retirement and yours. You may have enough without knowing it and this is what the Financial Advisor helps you with.
I wasn't quite clear about you losing a check of Bob's re his pension, but if you misplaced it immediately call and tell them what happened and they will cancel those checks and send out new ones. Don't get upset because I sure made many mistakes along the way, but never made them twice.
Mary, you ARE NOT a failure! After our spouses passed we were thrown into another world of heartache and grief not knowing what our future holds for us or how we'd survive. That's a lot to think about and fear of course is very normal, but that soon will go away. You aren't expected to be running a smooth course because you are in raw grief and everything you are feeling is very normal. Trust me when I say that you'll end up hard core and fighting for what is due you and you'll have it all down to smooth sailing. Heck, I still make the odd mistake and it's been 5 1/2 years. I still can have the odd crying jag or feel like I'm a failure to a degree, but I slap myself silly and get back in the saddle again. It all just takes time Mary so please don't ever feel you are a failure. Take all your bills that come in and set up a file and when you pay them write on the bill the date you paid them. You can go to the bank to pay them or pay them over the phone or do online banking (please talk to your bank about that.)
I am so glad you vented and no one here thinks you are weak or a failure because most of us have gone through the same thing. Grief and reality simply don't go together well. It won't be like this forever so please let yourself grieve at your own pace and if you don't know what to do come onto Legacy and we'll help you.
If you would like please email me at Maday1@shaw.ca and I can help you more. If you aren't ready for that I will truly understand and not be hurt by it at all.
You vent anytime and we are all here for you.
Big hugs (because you need it)
Mary, It is hard to believe how much we have in common. My husband, "Bob" was 75 when he passed away last year. We celebrated his birthday 19 days before he left. I am 59. Like you, due to our age difference, I will not be eligible for Social Security for years. We were also married 22 years (22 years and eleven months to the day). The mortgage on the house I own and live in is just in Bob's name and I chose not to inform the mortgage company. The law is unclear as to whether or not his death would be a triggering event to call or accelerate the mortgage, but I don't want to take any chances. I likewise cannot qualify for a new mortgage on my own.
I am sorry that you are facing the financial stress that you are under and hate that your stepson is being unreasonable. Is your house titled with your husband as "joint tenants with the right of survivorship"? If so, the house is 100% yours. If not, did your husband have a will? If yes, did the will address disposition of his interest in the house? Please feel free to email me directly if you would like some input on the issue of the ownership of the house.
Others have mentioned that there are angels here. I believe it to be true. I am happy to help you in any way just as others have helped me. Unfortunately, we are all in this together, despite our hopes and dreams for a different outcome.
Mary, If you are entitled to the house through will or deed, you have the right to ask your stepson to move out. I know that this is easier said than done but the situation doesn't sound ideal for you with him living upstairs. Since he is unemployed, I am assuming that he doesn't pay you rent. On the other hand, if you opted to find a paying tenant for that space, you would have additional income to help you meet your financial obligations. . . . just my 2 cents.
Our anniversary was on the 22nd of August. I chose to spend it porch sitting, reliving the precious memories of our wedding. My thoughts will be with you on the 11th. Debbie
Mary, You have legal remedies available to you to remove your stepson from your house. Perhaps you can investigate those options a some point. This suggestion might add to your feeling of being overwhelmed, but getting him out of the house might well be a Godsend. I'd hate to have someone living in my house who I don't trust, freeloads, and isn't a nice person. Good luck! Debbie