Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.


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My love is gone...

Started by Chris Sky. Last reply by Mary. Jane Jul 1. 13 Replies

I used to love long week ends.

Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H Jun 6. 2 Replies

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Comment by Steve on July 7, 2017 at 10:54am

Marsha, you have such a calming way of putting things into perspective, as I watched Mark pass on his expression was one of someone asleep, his eyes were closed and the noise of his breathing just stopped.  I found great comfort this morning reading about how hearing is the last sensory our beloved has when moving on.  That means that he heard me asking him to stay and not leave me alone and possibly heard me when I gave in to his passing admitting out loud to myself that he was no longer suffering and in pain. 

Your post also brought me back to my sister’s passing, she was under in-home hospice care and a few days before she passed while I was sitting by her side, I looked at her and with tears streaming down my cheeks I said to her “I don’t know what to say”, she reached over and grabbed my hand and said, “I know, I love you too”.  Silence filled the room again as I sat there and cried, she then shared with me; “I will be fine and so will you, I saw our mother last night standing at the foot of my bed smiling down at me, she looked exactly as I remembered her, and now I am not afraid of dying, I am ready, I know everyone I love will be just fine, then she fell back to sleep.  I sat there for a time and as I sat there I became calm and a peace came over me that is hard to put into mere words.  I have that memory, one that I visit often, especially those days I feel down and wishing Mark was still here.

Mary Jane, I believe that there are more things in this life and the hereafter that we have no clue about than there are points of light in the evening night.  I embrace the thought that energy is not something that goes away or dies out, it is however, for lack of a better description, recycled/renewed into something more wondrous far beyond our understanding.  Just as in grief, we move forward at our own pace and we gain understanding and purpose that is tailored for each of us.  I have studied various religions and the one thread they all share is “Love” and a request that we treat others with the same love we enjoy with those around us.  Coming to Legacy for me is my way of sharing my love with all of you, and in doing so I am finding out that I can have compassion and love for strangers that I find along the way down my path.  When I found Legacy, it too was by accident (or was it), I too felt worse sometimes when I would read and respond to posts.  For me, I found my grief was drilling down into my soul and letting me grieve for all those in my family I was close too.  As a young man, I had chosen not to allow myself to grieve; eventually, all those feelings surfaced and I began to address them and still do even today.  So, my dear friend your feelings are normal, having doubts, feeling bad reading posts, second guessing, all normal.  I for one, find your posts most uplifting and think of you as an awesome person and good friend.  Sending you many hugs today, just because I can and because you need a few…:>)  

Comment by Michael Smith on July 7, 2017 at 8:30am

Mary Jane, I to can feel really sad when reading the stories of other people on here. But it is the encouraging replies that keep me coming back and raise my spirits.  

Melanie started having seizures the 23rd of October and was unable to communicate after that. We could tell the end was near so family was gathered at our house. at roughly 10:30 PM the 27th she yelled out 'let's have a party' We looked at each other and didn't know what to think. two hours later she spoke her last words 'Happy birthday' it was the 28th and our middle son's 18th birthday. Needless to say we were all in shock when we realized what time it was.She had spent 5 days without communicating with us but came back enough to wish her son happy birthday.

When her heart stopped her expression didn't change. I know she was watching us those last days. 

On another note my son and I had a good time and we both can't wait until we can see each other again.



Comment by Sara Murphy on July 7, 2017 at 7:57am

Hello again my Legacy family.  I've been going through withdrawals.  Something happened with my hard drive and I haven't been able to access any websites in a week.  I especially missed Legacy as my family here are the only people who understand so I'm glad to be back.  I haven't had a chance to read and catch up but I will soon.  Just know I've been thinking about all of you.



Comment by Marsha H on July 7, 2017 at 4:58am

Dear Mary.Jane ...  I had tears in my eyes just knowing you had kept this sad vision of Bob's death hidden in your heart.  I am so glad you just finally came out with it.  I have been with 3 different people (one of course being Ernie) waiting for death and then being there after death and I've learned from experience and asking doctors that each death can be different as far as facial expressions and whether they want to die alone or with family surrounding them.  Some people who suffer a heart attack can have eyes wide open and mouth open as if in shock, but it's the sudden instant of the heart stopping.

Medically put, when a loved one passes away they can either look peaceful (never saw a smile yet on the deaths I've experienced, just a look of peace and one with a grimace on their face.)  What happens when final death comes is the eyelids and then the jaw dropping.  Some loved ones who pass away may have their eyes closed; half open (Ernie did) or wide-eyed as if they've seen something frightening, but it isn't true!  Once the heart stops pumping the muscles begin to contract and thus, facial muscles become slack leaving some loved ones looking like they died in agony.  Believe me Bob was not in pain and oh yes, his brother Warren was there to guide him HOME!  Ernie saw two people; his grandmother and his mother 2 weeks before he passed away.  Ernie also was afraid of death.   I also want to tell you that while our loved ones are dying that they can hear!  That is the last of the 5 senses to go.  Also, studies have proven from data taken in some hospitals and hospices that often the person who is in a dream-like state just before death is well aware of who is around them.  Many dying patients actually wait for their loved one to leave the room while others want to have loved ones around them.  Death is a private journey just as our grief is.  Bob chose to pass away while you were gone and it's more common than you think.  Ernie did the same thing to me by not wanting me to stay at Hospice that night and he was gone by 6:30 AM the next morning.  I felt shock, cheated I wasn't there and as I held him his forehead was cold, his eyes half closed and life gone from his eyes.  His jaw had dropped as well.  He just didn't look like my precious Ernie.

Medically, I could go on and on to prove to you that your Bob passed away peacefully and it's just the heart stops, the flow of blood stops and muscles become constricted slowly throughout the body, but, it's too depressing for others as is.  It is very normal in your grief to reflect back on how things were before and after Bob passed away.  It's part of healing although you may not think so.  Death isn't something to fear and I believe when we die 'We go home!'  Also, there are loved ones to guide us to where we are to go.  So my dear friend take pleasure in the fact that Bob went peacefully, he was guided 'home.'  He no longer suffers or is any pain.  I do believe also you'll see him again. 

It is also common in raw grief to come to Legacy and express yourself to members, but then find it can make you feel worse reading other's posts at times, but once rested and through that part of grief most come back until they feel stronger and then they fly away to renew their new lives.  Some still come back such as myself, just to help others, while others continue on in their new journey.  You have my email so please, anytime you need to talk just hit the keyboard and send me an email.

Love & Hugs



Comment by Mary. Jane on July 6, 2017 at 10:31pm
I haven,t posted for a few days, as I realized that in my state of mind, coming here only makes it worse..but I really need an answer. I wasn,t looking for a place like this when I found this site. After Bob died, I looked all over for a place like this, but couldn,t find one..until one day, I was searching Google for something completely different and Legacy came up.
What I was searching for, was the expression on the face of someone who has just died.
So, this guestion is for those of you who were with your loved one at the time they died.
I always thought when a person died, they would have a look of peace on their in Steve Jobs..who is reported to say "Oh wow!" Just before he died. So I thought when Bob died, the look on his face would be calm and serene. It wasn,t like that AT ALL!. I had left the room for a minute, taking the baby moniker with me, and when I realized I couldn,t hear his labored breathing anymore, I ran into the room he was in, and he had died. But the look on his face was ANYTHING but peaceful. I am not going to elaborate on it, but it was NOT what I always expected a person who has just died at home would look like. I actually took a picture, after I gave him mouth to mouth, held a mirror to his mouth, then kissed him, and closed his eyes. I cannot get that look out of my mind...even after all this time. I know the look could have been one of fear, as he was always afraid of dying and everything..but it wasn,t one of peace or acceptance. Maybe it was one of NOT "going gentle into that goodnight" but I just wondered if anyone else experienced anything like this.
I don,t believe in Heaven or Hell...I think THIS is hell, and we keep returning until we get it right..and then go to heaven..I am an advocate of Edgar Cayce..and believe in reincarnation..but I can,t get over his expression the moment he died. It has taken me MONTHS to write this..and the only reason I took pictures was while he was in hospice, I had to learn to do medical things in less than an hour, like threading the feeding tube through the machine, emptying the waste bags, crushing his meds so they would go through the feeding tube without clogging them, so I taped the instructions so I would do it correctly. He wasn,t expected to die so soon..there was enough liquid food for one month and hospice kept me well supplied with medications...but I think he'd just had enough, so he chose to die early rather than experience another month of this.
Also, his brother had died in 2004 and I asked Bob if Warren was here..and he said yes. I had been feelin his brother Warren for months before BOb died..but never felt him there was like he was sent to escort Bob through his next journey. Ok that is has taken me all this time to ask this..I just want his death to have been one of ease and joy, once he passed over, but the look on his face when he died is something I cannot let go of..I hope someone here can help me.
Thank you.
Comment by Charles E. Nelson on July 3, 2017 at 8:33am

Hello Family,

I haven't been posting for awhile, but I have been keeping up with everyone's posts and Steve has shared with me his replies to you all. This past week I signed with a realtor who will be listing and showing the house, and so now begins the task of following through with much discussed plans to finalize the sorting, packing, and selling or donating of all the contents. This task could easily bring me to my knees both physically and emotionally if it were not for Steve's calm and patient presence whenever I begin to display signs of freaking out - in other words, every other hour it would seem. 

Yesterday marked two milestones in my life that, under other circumstances, I would have posted about sharing my many thoughts and emotions. Eight years ago I was informed that my brother Bill had passed away in the night. Larry saw me through the whirlwind of activity and emotions that that call unleashed, all the while watching me closely for signs of cracking under the pressure. There was much backstory and drama to all this, which perhaps someday I may be able to share here. 

Also, one year ago on July 2nd Steve stepped off a plane in Allentown airport and we met face-to-face for the first time. We have decided to consider that date as our "official" anniversary, if one is needed at all. The ways our lives have merged continue to make me pause shaking my head while asking how this all happened without either of us ever seeking such a thing in our lives.

These days I have little time for "navel-gazing" and contemplating the mysteries of the universe - not when there are boxes to load, closets to empty, and reams of paperwork to deal with. Live long enough in one location and you become blind to the creeping of collected and saved possessions into every imaginable corner of your domicile...and some corners hitherto completely forgotten! Lord give me strength. And caffeine - lots and lots of caffeine. 

I send my wishes to my very dear  Legacy family for a peaceful and pleasant Fourth Of July, and fervently hope you know that while I may appear to be absent in the days and weeks ahead, with every obstacle I face and challenge with which I grapple, I am asking for you all to send strength and encouragement, and many prayers for our poor Steve who does double-duty as my cheerleader/therapist and my guide/tutor through this entire process.

My love and prayers to you all -


Comment by Marsha H on June 30, 2017 at 2:39pm

Dear Michael ...

I know these long weekends and special occasions during the year are difficult for all of us and remind us so much of the memories we had with our spouses.  It's Canada Day (150 years old) on Saturday and there are fireworks just up at the park from me and my husband and I use to go see them.  He's been gone for over 6 years and I haven't gone to the fireworks since.  Just doesn't seem the same without him.

You and your son are in my prayers.  I hope that your visit with your son goes well and there is a possibility that when you can sit down and discuss what decisions you made regarding your wife's health that he will understand.  It appears that your son couldn't face the face his mother was going to pass away and that he never took time off o college to come and see her and as Mary.Jane said your son probably feels guilty for not doing so.  It is important for him to know it's OK that he didn't come to see his mother because some people want to remember the person as they use to be or that he just didn't believe his mother would pass away.  We can reflect on our own parents if one or both of them have passed away and I know as far as myself that although there for my father (who passed first) and then my mother 30 years later that they would never pass away and always be there for me.  Your son is grieving too and like all of us who have lost a loved one to death we always think we could have done something different to have saved them, but the reality is, we don't have control over death.  Let your son know that you worked with the doctors and don't hold back on anything that was said or done during the time your wife was ill.  No one wants to see a loved one suffer.

May I suggest that when you go to see your son you do NOT stay in closed quarters, but ask him to go for a walk with you; go to a park, a beach and discuss the problems you and your son will have.  It's more peaceful and may well stop any arguments between you and your son.  As much as it hurts as to what your son may say try to remember it's his way of grieving and he may be in shock.  Just tell him you love him and will always be there for him.  Grief as you already know takes time and I am sure your son will come to grips with his mother's passing.

Big hug (to send you on your journey)


Comment by Mary. Jane on June 30, 2017 at 10:59am
MIcheal, I wish you a wonderful weekend with your son. It is very easy for those who DIDN,t have to MAKE the decisions to disagree with us who DID have to make them. I think he might be secretly beating himself up for not being there..and it is easier to blame someone else..he might be thinking if he had been there, maybe she wouldn,t have died. Guilt is a powerful emotion and all of us feel guilty about something concerning the loss of our loved one. We beat ourselves up with "If onlies, and what ifs" when there was really nothing anyone could have done. It was their time to leave this earth.. If it wasn,t, they wouldn,t have died. Your son is very young, and probably angry at the universe for taking his he is taking it out on you. I hope he doesn,t want to argue with you..but if he does, understand humans seem to have to blame someone or something for everything.. try not to might be years before he understands that there may not have been enough TIME to mull over major did what you thought was best..and tell him you love him very much, and always will.
Comment by Michael Smith on June 30, 2017 at 8:13am

I pray that everyone on here has a great weekend. Melanie loved to watch fire works and I think of her when I hear them start.  I will be driving to our oldest's home to visit him and his wife. We don't talk as often as we should. We need to mend some fences. He was away at college while his mother was sick and he didn't agree with some of my decisions. 

Comment by Marsha H on June 27, 2017 at 4:20am

Hi Diane C ...  As always my dear friend you pop up out of nowhere when I post a problem and I love ya for it.

Thanks for understanding why I feel it isn't a good idea to go to this wedding.  As I said to Sara if it were friends getting married I wouldn't hesitate no matter how sad I would be being at the same place where Ernie and I redid our 25th wedding anniversary vows.  It made me angry they asked me so late as if I were an afterthought.  July 1st is like your July 4th so lots of things I could do to celebrate.  Of course I'm happy for the couple and will certainly send a card and gift.

Love ya back girl



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