I lost my husband of 25 years at the end of March.  We were packed and ready to head to the airport for a trip to Las Vegas with some friends.  My  husband had not been feeling very well the last few days and we thought it was opiod constipation.  (He had sle type lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and had a flare up and was taking some vicodin to control it.)  The stomach pain continued to get worse so instead of heading to the airport we decided to go to the emergency room, still thinking that maybe we could fly out the next day.  In the ER they determined he had a small bowel blockage.  Well after a week in the hospital with the pain getting worse and the fentanyl was not helping the Dr finally decided to do exploratory surgery.  They discovered he had ischemic bowel and almost everything inside was gangrene.  They did surgery and after it he had a "temporary" ileostomy bag  & was on a ventilator in ICU.  He improved enough after 2 weeks that they took him off the ventilator  and we were finally able to talk to each other.  I thought he was finally starting to get better so went home for the night & the nurse called at 5am to tell me they had to put him back on the ventilator.  I rushed back to the hospital only to find out that he had had a massive heart attack.  They attempted to bring him back but were not able to and he passed. 

This is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with it my life.  I had breast cancer a couple years ago and thought that was horrible but now I look back and think it was nothing.  It was fixable and this is not.  He was not only my husband but also my best friend.  We did everything together and tried to enjoy life to the fullest. 

I keep telling myself I just have to take it one day at a time.  But how do I go on?  I don't even seem to have a purpose in life anymore.

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Marty, I am so sorry. Your post brings tears to my eyes. 

I lost my husband on July 22 of last year. Like your husband, Bob had some medical issues but he seemed healthy. He saw his doctors regularly. There were no major health concerns. He was well until he was not and the transformation from fine to clinging to life happened overnight. I share this to let you know that we share similar experiences despite different details. There are other members here who will also relate.

I agree with you. This is the most difficult thing that I have ever dealt with, bar none. For the first several months, I could not take it a day at a time. I was devastated and in shock. At some point, I opted to narrow my window. I began to take it 15 minutes at a time. When I became stronger, I increased my goals. 

I also learned to be kind to myself and give myself breaks to reflect and reconnect. Our foundation has been shattered. I am discovering that the shattered foundation has shifted and hopefully can be rebuilt. The footing will never be the same but will hopefully be strong enough to allow us to move forward.

Hugs and prayers are with you.

Debibe

Thank you Deb and I am so sorry for your loss.  I am moving forward with baby steps so far.  Just this last weekend I finally had enough courage to go shopping at "Our" grocery store.  I had been avoiding it since his passing.  As crazy as it sounds just going to the grocery store brought up a lot of emotions but also lots of good memories. 

Marty

Marty, I still struggle with going to "our" grocery store and still tear up. Our store has a marvelous food court and we would eat lunch there at least once a week. I've been back to the food court 5 times in the 10 months since I lost my husband. The first time, I had to take the food out as I suddenly broke into tears. The second time, I sat down and took one small bite before tears began to stream. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I moved to a different area of seating and did not cry. My long and leisurely shopping trips have been replaced with quick trips where I pick up a few items and leave. It does not sound crazy to me that going to the grocery store brings up a lot of emotions. We see foods that we bought for him, we remember conversations, we grieve and we laugh. I understand completely. I hope that your today is a bit better than your yesterday.

Hugs, Debbie

Marty.....I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband.  Reading your post strikes a chord because it's similar to my situation.  I lost my husband Ken on January 13th after 26 1/2 yrs of marriage.  The details of his illness are in my discussion "another long and empty day" but a quick summary is he had been very sick, in the hospital for a month with an infection and eventually went into cardiac arrest practically during a conversation.  This was totally unexpected and has rocked my world.  He was absolutely everything to me.  I truly understand how you feel now.  My husband was my reason for living and now I have to come up with a new reason every day.  As Deb says, we now have to take each day one little thing at a time.  I hope you will find the support you need here.

Hugs,  

Sara 

Sara,

I am so sorry for your loss too.  You sound like you had close to the same bond that Gene and I had.  We loved doing so many things together and like you my husband was my reason for living.

Marty

I am so sorry for your loss. My husband died July 17, 2009--7 years this year. It has been a rough and rocky road for sure but I can assure you that grief is normal after the death of a loved one, especially a spouse who was also your best friend. The first year is the hardest because you will experience all the special holidays and moments without your partner. The second year for me was equally as hard as the first but the third year I found myself still missing the love of my life but the unexpected crying spells became shorter and not as gut wrenching. Now I am facing the anniversary of his birthday on June 28th, our 38th anniversary on July 9th and the 7th year anniversary of his death. I will always miss him and love him. In time you will find the path of growth and discover your new normal. I still have moments of crying but I realize they are tears of joy because of all the beautiful memories we made together. They will never disappear and I hold onto them with delight. Don't let anyone tell you time will heal your pain or to move on or get over it. You will decide when you are ready to move on. You will not get over the death of your incredible husband and that is ok. Everyone heals differently and at their own pace. I am sending you hugs from Charlotte NC. You will get through this. Be kind to yourself and take all the time you need. Grief counseling can be helpful, being with friends and family also--give it time and make the connections on your terms. People mean well but unless they have experienced our loss they really don't know what to say. Be gentle with them! May you find peace and calm. Remember he will be with you always and is watching over you. I feel Douglas hugging me all the time! Stay strong. It will get easier--I promise.

Brigitte, Although you were writing your post to Marty, your words resonated deeply with me. I needed to read this today and will print it so that I can refer to it often.  Thank you!  Debbie

Thank you Brigitte for all the great advice and for the hugs.  It has only been about 2 1/2 months so I am still struggling with accepting that he really is gone.  I just feel so alone yet when I am with others I still feel alone.  I did go to a Grief Support Group meeting but once I got there I couldn't make myself get out of the car and go in.  I am thinking maybe it is just too soon for me.  I am so sorry for your loss too and glad that you are starting to feel that at least you can move forward.  Thanks for giving me the encouragement that there is hope for me.

Marty

Hi Marty;

I lost my hustand on February 16, 2016.  I came home from work on that horrible, heartwrenching day and found him on the floor. He had died from a massive heart attack.  Based on the coroner's findings, it happened such a matter of a couple hours or less from the time I left the house at 7:00 a.m. that morning.  In addition to my devastation, I live with the fact that he was alone.  I still wondered if he called or cried out for me, even though the coroner said it was sudden.  I was suppose to be there with him as our vows stated until death parted us.

I now live with the question of  "what is my purpose, and why isn't my husband a part of it?" My children are all grown and so is his so why am I still here?  These are questions that I ask myself every day.  We had so much more living to do--so many plans.  We had been together for such a short time.  We had been in each other lives for 10 years but only married for two.  Each day is a struggle and I find myself crying for him uncontrollably most days.  When I think, I am getting to a place of acceptance, I tailspin back to the day of when it happened, and the intensity of the pain is as it was that day my life changed forever.

I do draw strength from the group.  I don't always post, but I pray for everyone who does.  This hole in my heart will never go away, but I have to believe that one day, I will be able to breathe alot easier in spite of it.  I will turn 57 on June 26th.  If I live anywhere close as my mom has (she's 93), I have many years left.  I use to hope to live a long life as she has, but that was because, I thought I would grow old with my husband.  Now the thought of longevity only frightens me.

I'm sorry that I can't offer any words of encouragement, but it's just too soon for me as well. I can't offer what I haven't experience.  I can listen, and empathize because I, too, know the pain.  However, you will find encouragement from others who have been where you and I are presently stuck.  You belong to a great group of people who will be your friend and family as long as you need them too.

Take care of yourself and as someone said, if you can't take one day at a time, then take it increments of 15 minutes.

Joann

Joann,

I am so sorry for your loss.  You and I are very close in age so I am sure we will be able to relate on a lot of issues.  I am sure lots of people on here have people (like co-workers) always asking how you are doing.  Most of the time I just say "taking it one day at a time".  Do they really want me to tell them I cry most evenings on my way home from work, that my mind seems to be in a fog, that I am still struggling with finding a reason to go on?  I know they mean well but I just figure they really don't want to hear how horrible I really am doing.  Most people want to be able to fix things and this is not something they can fix. 

Please take care of yourself too & if you ever want someone to just listen I can do that.

Marty

Marty,  This reply to Joann just touched on my most hated question...."how are you doing?"  This is becoming an intolerable question to me.  I know that people are concerned and mean well but it's a question that has no answer.  If you were to answer honestly, you get more unsolicited advice from people who have no experience to draw from and don't realize how hurtful their responses can be.  As you said in your reply and I've actually said to some family members, this is not a problem that can be fixed.........ever.  Most often at work when I'm asked, I just say Fine and keep walking.  Problem with that is people tend to think you're "over it".  It's a no win situation for us.    Sorry if I'm ranting but it's so nice to have this Legacy family,  people who truly understand what each other feels and when I read someone having the exact same thoughts as I, I feel a little less alone and less crazy.

Sara

Marty and Sara, "How am I doing?" Do you really want to know?

After almost 11 months, my answer to this question is never the same. People who also loved my husband are also grieving. Some people ask but do it out of a sense of courtesy and are not interested in the answer. A few people ask and appear to want a true answer but do not really want to hear your actual feelings. A couple of friends are strong enough and care enough to want to hear how I am actually doing. It takes a while to determine the nature of the question and whether a "I'm fine" response is warranted.

Those who loved my husband most seldom reach out. I've spoken to his sister one time, to his cousin twice, to colleagues a few times, to others not at all. I spoke with his cousin last night to discuss his upcoming inurnment ceremony. We both miss him so much. He should have been here for me to transfer the phone call . . .

Sara, I can especially relate tot wondering if people think I am "over it". I'll never be over it and don't want to convey that I am. It does often feel like a no win situation. When my cousin-in-law mentioned that he thought of him often and missed him I replied and repeated "(y)ou and me both". It wasn't adequate but it was all I had at the moment.  Debbie

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