Me and my wife were married for 11 years both had been married before and had been single for 8 years. Meant through a friend and hit it off right away. About seven years ago she developed some sever leg pain and swelling went to local hospital she had blood clots in her.legs, abdomen, and lungs. They couldn't do anything told us to get to Universality of Michigan Hospital. They treated here with some clot busting drugs and every morning they would go in to clean out her veins and the next day she would be clotted right back up again. She had Factor Five Leiden a clotting disorder, after a few days of this the top doctor told me they might not be able to help her. They did come up with a technique to bridge a couple of strong arteries to the clotted ones so when they cleaned them out there was enough blood flow to keep them open, they also installed some stents and filters At the time I thought that was the scariest time of my life. She would be gone for surgery 4 to 5 hours a day and the rest of time was out of it on morphine.She got better and was sent home but because of the shock of everything she developed restless legs, fibromyalgia and her copd got worse she was limited on what she could do. She always felt guilty because I had to do more of the load, I always told her you didn't ask for any of this did you it's not your fault, reminded her wedding vows were for better or worse not just when it was easy. Once a year she would go to have her leg tested to be sure there were no new clots. This last November she went in mentioned she had more pain and swelling on right leg. Doctor suggested they go in with clot busting drugs and ultrasound clear out scar tissue relieve some of pain allowing her to do more. The night before they came in with the paper to sign alerting you to side affects, no big deal were do we sign. After about six hours doctor came and saw me, I knew by the amount of time and look on his face it wasn't good. Towards the end of procedure she started bleeding from her nose and mouth got into her lungs and stopped her breathing. They got the bleeding under control and got her on a ventilator. She developed a major infection and bad case of ammonia and kidneys shut down. She was kept on the sedation because of the seriousness of everything and had Dialysis. This all happened December 21 so I spent Christmas Eve and Day in the room with her on ventilator. The only nice about Christmas Day her nurse came in and saw me sitting there and said follow me they were having a potluck dinner and he took me in there and said Harold needs some comfort food they all welcomed me in that made my day. I had people tell me why don't you go home theirs nothing you can do here, no my place was with her. When she got agitated I would sit with her and hold her hand and she would calm down. After about 3 weeks they turned off the sedation and some of the pain killers, some people come out of it in hours she took about 5 days. They ran test because they were afraid she had brain damage, showed normal brain function. Her Lungs were messed up so she was still on ventilator, but she was alert and could follow commands and nod yes or no. They sent her to Home hospital to get off ventilator and Dialysis, she seemed to be doing good. She would smile give me funny looks and was in much better mood. I was having lunch they called me and said she had some bleeding around her tracheotomy they moved her to intensive care as a precaution and gave her light sedation to keep her still. I stayed till about 10;00 that night she seemed to be fine doctor said she was doing ok. Got a call around 2:00 that night calling the whole family down. Scar tissue had broken off around her tracheotomy, she started bleeding and her heart had stopped for 28 minutes, they did CPR but that's not very efficient. They said we could wait a day or two to see how she was but with heart stopped that long wasn't much hope. I had to make the decision to pull the plug, I went in the room and held her and talked to her and told her it would be okay, I would take care of her daughters, grandsons, and dad. I can still here her take those last few breathes, I don't think I will ever forget that sound. I never got to hear her talk to me, I miss her voice terribly. Everyone expected her to get well and come home including the doctors. Feel like part of me has been ripped out trying to figure out how to go on without her she was my life. I expected a good turnout at her showing, but I was amazed at how many people's lives she touched, the secretary of the dentist we went to came she said she just loved visiting with her, she was always so happy and nice. She worked with Relay for Life, if anybody needed her she would help even knowing that she would pay for it in pain for days after. I'm 63 and she is the first women that truly loved me for myself, how do you move on and replace someone like that. I know it's early for me she died January 29, 2016 and it takes time. I'm sorry for the length of this I guess I had a lot to get out on paper.
Thanks Harold McKinstry
Condolences on your loss. It is still very new for you and the pain of grief will be overwhelming. Give yourself time to grieve. Don't let anyone tell you to "get over it" -- you never will, but the pain of loss does get softer and easier to handle. It was 6 years ago that my husband died and my world was upside down for what felt like an eternity. The first year is the most difficult -- all the firsts without your loved one--holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. I don't even remember my first year! Douglas and I were married for 33 years -- he was 62 when he passed. I am stronger emotionally but I took my time. Allow your feelings to guide you. There is no time limit on that! You will have good and bad days. I still do. I have what I call "Douglas" days. He is on my mind 24/7 for some reason. I like to believe it is because his spirit is next to me guiding me as I adventure onto new things. Grief hurts. Your heart is broken and duct tape won't fix this. But you will continue to go on. You will continue to remember your wife and hold on to the love you had for each other. That gets you through the day. People who have not lost a loved one, especially a spouse, really do not get it. But we on this site do. Keep posting and expressing how you are feeling. That helps -- not good to keep it bottled up. And CRY whenever and wherever you please. There is no shame in that. And I can tell you that the crying will still continue in years to follow but the tears don't last as long and the pain in your heart will not be as strong. Take care of yourself, don't rush, and if people don't understand that is on them. I strongly urge you to keep up with this site. It helped me soooooo much. I wish you the best and I feel your pain. You had something many people never ever find--true love. And death can never take that or the wonderful memories you shared. The memories keep me going!!!
I have had a lot of support from family and friends , but your right if someone hasn't gone through it's hard for them to understand. I have to sweet little dogs that miss there mama and are great company. My wife always said I talk to myself to much,now I just talk to her instead., I always tell her good morning and good night and that I love her through out the day. That seems to help whatever works huh.I appreciate your advice and kind words will keep up with this site.
I'm so sorry for your loss of your beloved wife. You have had a long difficult time of it, the two of you, and now having to face the future without her is almost unimaginable - I know the feeling. Everything Brigitte said is so true, and I add my welcome to you to this site. I promise you that you have found a place - a safe, understanding place - filled with wonderful souls who do get it, because we are all going through the same thing. Some very new like yourself, when your grief is so overwhelming at times you don't know which way to turn. Others here are at many different points on this journey toward - what? A life that will be forever different, as you will be different - and that's OK, because your loss will be felt daily. by the way, I do the same thing - saying good morning , good night, and I love you to a photo of Larry. I ask him questions, tell him about something that happened that day - and very often just sit looking at his smile as my tears flow. Let them flow when they come - Brigitte is so very right - there is no shame ever - it is simply proof of how deep your love is for your wife, and is actually a tribute to the life and love you shared.
She sounds like a very generous, brave, and wonderful woman, and you will miss her terribly, as will the many people whose lives she has touched. I know that for me the first few months were a blur, my emotions all over the map. I'm now approaching one year in April since Larry passed, and I could not have made it if it were not for this forum and the kind people here - they have welcomed me, listened to my fears and shared my sadness - and you will find that support and caring here also. So please keep coming here, to read, or post, or sometimes to rant if things get to be too much - we've all done it, and I know for myself, and believe for everybody, we usually come away a little calmer, a little stronger - but most importantly knowing that we are not alone in this. And Harold, you ar not alone in your grief either - please remember that.
Thanks for the kind words Chuck, it's nice to talk to people who understand the grief you go through losing a loved one. She was very special, and missed by a lot of people,me especially. Everything is pretty raw for me I will probably always feel pain just learn to move on.
Harold I am so sorry. I can truly understand the place you are in. I lost my husband at 48 years old to Cancer just 8 months ago. Those first few months really are a complete fog and you are just numb. Nothing seems right, nothing feels normal and it's hard to identify with who you are. I won't say that time heals all wounds because I don't believe it does, at least not a wound like this, but I will say is that time does help with the ability to cope and function. That and talking it out and I mean all of it, the good the bad every feeling just express it in any way you can. I would recommend Support Groups as they saved me from crawling into a hole and just staying there, This venue was great, but I found I needed face to face interaction with others in my same situation. I found a group called Grief Share. I am not sure where you live, but Google it and look for one on your area, They are usually run through the EP church, it is very spiritual based, but it is a 13 week class that touches on every step of the grieving process and I found very helpful. Just know you are not alone in this, I know the beginning feels like you are, but continue to reach out and you will find it so helpful.
Thank You Jennie
Its nice to hear that i'm not the only one that feels like I'm in a fog and numb. I have heard that time helps you cope, hard to see that now. It helps to know that I'm not losing and other people have felt the same way and found away to cope and function. I appreciate your advice about a support group I made a call to one, I think it could be very helpful. Sometimes I do hold stuff in but your right that isn't going to help, my sister told me the same thing today. It's hard to see through the deep grief, i'm working on it.
Harold I am sorry for your loss. I know how you feel having lost my wife of over 30 years a little over 5 years ago to cancer. We were inseparable from the time I was 18 years old until her passing. We all deal with this type of loss differently. I hope you will consider the possibility of some sort of counseling. I tried to cope without it and found I did myself no favors with that course of action. You are in good company here. God bless you on your journey.
One month is so very new - I know the feelings are overwhelming and disorienting - you are so among friends here who understand and care, and you did right by expressing those feelings as Jeannie said. What I want to say is that I hear you when you say don't know who's left - with time you will find that the most important one left to you is yourself - it does not feel that way to you now, and it will not happen overnight, but please believe me that it will gradually happen. The you who had a beautiful loving life with your dear wife is still there inside - hurting and frightened and bewildered - but there none the less. No, you will not ever be who you were before your loss, and I agree with Jeannie that some wounds remain with us permanently - battle scars, if you will. However, I am finding a new version of myself just beginning to emerge at times, and I'm surprized at how strong and resilient he is, because I never would have used those words to describe myself before losing Larry. I'm trying not to question where all this is coming from, but I suspect much of it is a direct result of this group of friends who "get it" and listen to me, no matter how crazy I sound to myself.
Hoping that when you wake tomorrow, one more day along on your new journey, you will feel just a hint of encouragement and hope -as for me, when I ask Larry to help me through the next minutes/hours/days, he does just that. Your wife is there with you, and will do the same.
Be kind to yourself -
Dear Harold ...
My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved wife. You have been through so much and many of us on here have experienced much of what you have. My husband passed away April 27, 2011 of pancreatic cancer. We were unable to have children and were kindred spirits from the time we met and just missed our 40th wedding anniversary and I'd known him 5 years before that. I have a small immediate family and one brother and no other siblings. Many of our long-time friends who promised to be there for me have long since disappeared and I suppose didn't know what to do with me since I'd become a widow, but a few friends remained loyal to me. I know just how you felt in that hospital. Deep down we knew the ending would not be a good one, but we kept hoping and praying our spouses would survive yet once again after a hospital stay. I prayed and prayed, but it was of course not meant to be. Like you with your dear wife, I stayed with him as much as I could and it broke my heart to see him waste away and I had no magic up my sleeve to save him. I realized then that I had lost control and it was out of my hands. At the end he was in hospice for less than 24 hours. When there I held him close and explained where he was. I wanted to stay throughout the day and night and however much he needed me and through gasping breaths he told me to go home and come back the next day. I gave him the last ultimate gift I could give him; giving him permission to pass away and that I'd be alright. Because he was adamant I go home I did, but didn't sleep until I got a call at 6:30 AM that he had passed away. I did go and see him and stayed with him for as long as they allowed me. To this day I still feel cheated I wasn't there when he took his last breath,, but look forward in life and live for his memory and all the good things he taught me since I'd known this 6' 6" tall, strong gentle giant of a man. Today I miss him as much as ever and I know when he went part of my soul went with him. I forge on this difficult journey of grief like all of us on here and it is true time does heal and we are able to remember the good memories we had with our spouses. I like to call it 'pay it forward' that our spouses did enhanced our lives so greatly and taught us many valuable lessons in life and we pass that onto others to help where we can.
You are in raw grief Harold and those of us who have been going through grief longer still can remember what that feels like. One feels lost and doesn't know where to start or where things end. It has to be a bad dream or they are going to come through that door at any time. Then when reality hits we see things around us in our homes or out and about that remind us of them and yes, there will be tears, times when you feel you can't get out of bed or not wanting to talk to family or friends. It's very normal to feel all these things because the light of our lives has gone, but oh, they left us with the very gift of themselves. They will always be in our hearts and I do believe they are with us watching out for us.
There are no words at this time in your grieving that can make sense to you right now Harold or that one day you will feel somewhat better and start to heal, but please know all the angels on here have felt the heartbreak you are going through and we still can have the odd times when we just need to come onto Legacy and express our longings for our spouses or fears. You have come to a very good forum and if it weren't for Legacy and the angels on here I don't think I would have made it.
Please lean on us Harold and we'll hold you up, strengthen you and get you through this journey of grief because you are not alone. When you least feel like venting is the time you need to and you're post was not lengthily at all. Just feel secure with us and post those feelings as it alleviates stress and does assure you there are others who feel just as you do.
Big huge hug (because you need one.)
Thank You Marsha
Thank you and l'm sorry for your loss too. What you said about raw grief hit home, it's what I feel. I guess we all have to go through it to move on. I hope they are watching out for us, I find myself talking to her asking just let me know you are okay. I would give anything for 5 minutes to talk to her. I hadn't heard her voice since December 23 because she was on a ventilator, she was sedated for the first 3 weeks, after she came too she was to week to write. I will lean on this group and appreciate all the kind words
You are welcome Harold. We all go through raw grief which is the roughest part of losing our beloved spouses. It seems cruel we should have to go through such terrible grief, but we do learn something from it or it seems I have to some extent. Thank you for understanding about my loss as well, but that is one thing on Legacy we all have in common. I still talk to Ernie every single day and on special occasions I still buy him cards and lay them on top of his box of ashes. I know that sounds crazy, but he was the love of my life like your wife was and so be it. I honestly do believe they are around us. They say if you see feathers flying down near you, a dropped feather, coins found in the house, etc., this is a sign. I have done some research as well on the subject, but that came around the 3rd year after Ernie passed away.
As time goes on even in your first year you'll be thinking of your wife and out of the blue come across a card she may have given you or something of significance she gave you as if she's letting you know she's around., Although grief counseling often say that seeing, hearing or believing your loved one is around is a fixation, but not true if one does the research. Even hospitals study the death process in hospitals so they are onto something as well. Keep talking to your wife and on special occasions (an idea given by Jane P and I do it) buy a helium balloon and write love messages on it and take it to a favorite place you and your wife frequented (a park, field, beach, etc.) and let the balloon fly to the heavens. I do this myself as well.
You may also find some old videos of you and your wife and hear the sound of her voice. I found two videos of my Ernie; one of his 50th b/d and it was wonderful to not only see him, but hear his voice once again. Give it time and I also wanted to let you know not to make any big decisions in your life such as selling your home, etc., until a year is up and your mind is more settled.
I'm praying for you and so glad you are going to keep coming back here for support.
Harold, I'm reading your story and it is very much like my own. First allow me to offer my condolences on your loss. I know first hand how excruciating it is. I just lost my husband of 26 1/2 years on Jan 13, 2016. Without going into a lot of detail, he was sick for several years beginning in 2008 with a triple bypass. After that followed issues with his liver function and then his kidney function. Eventually he ended up on dialysis. 2015 was a terrible year. It's so hard watching the one you love most suffer but finally I could help him. I was a match to donate a kidney which happened in Sept. The kidney took and was working well but unfortunately an infection got into him and they were never able to find the source. He was in and out of the hospital 6 or 7 times since that surgery. Like you, I couldn't consider leaving his side with the exception of going to work and eventually home at the end of the night after visiting him for a few hours. Some people didn't understand that I would rather be there with him than anywhere else. I would spend all day Saturday and Sunday by his side. We had continued faith in the doctors that they would get a handle on things and they tried. Boy, did they try everything. His last hospitalization began on 12/15/15 and ended with his unexpected death on 1/13/16. The doctors were as surprised by this as I was but he was so sick for so long that his heart couldn't handle fighting anymore. I, like you am now lost. I cry for him everyday and don't see that stopping anytime soon. I guess I just want you to know you are not alone. The intense grief you are feeling is normal. I just joined this group myself because I have no one in my life with the personal experience of losing a spouse (soulmate) and I think this group may help me. I hope it also helps you.