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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Need Advice:Grief and Chronic Fatigue

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Comment by Deb S on July 21, 2017 at 5:46pm

Sara, I continue to discover so many commonalities between the two of us. The doctor asked if I wanted a post death medical examination. I asked him if he felt it would help the hospital to have that information. He said no. That made my decision easier.

Today has actually been a good day. I continue to remember only the good times of which there were thousands. I've been smiling all day.

Enjoy your week off in August. That sounds awesome.  Debbie

Comment by Sara Murphy on July 21, 2017 at 2:24pm

Debbie........It seems like Bob and Ken died of a similar reason, infection.  Ken had a kidney transplant.  The kidney was working fine but somehow he contracted Klebsiella, an antibiotic resistant bacteria.  It took the doctors 2 months to put a name to the infection.  The infection was really taking a toll on his liver but ultimately got into his blood stream and he went into cardiac arrest.  Due to his kidney function, they couldn't do a catscan with IV contrast so they were giving him an oral contrast to try to look inside him as best they could to find the infection hoping they could surgically remove the infected area.   He had daily catscans that last week as they were looking at each area individually to find it.  When he died, the lead doctor asked for my permission to do an autopsy.  They want to look inside to see what was going on in the hopes of helping someone else in the future.  Ken had always been about paying it forward so I gave my permission but I didn't ask for the results for myself.  Like you, I feel no good would come of my seeing the results and it wouldn't change anything.  Also like you, Ken will always be the love of my life. 

Take all the time you need to de-stress.  I have a week off in August and am looking forward to doing the same thing.


Comment by Deb S on July 21, 2017 at 1:29pm

Sarah, Thank you. I am concentrating today on all of the happy times and memories from our life together. It helps to focus on the positive. We had some amazing experiences and I am blessed beyond belief to have spent so many years with him by my side.

Bob's death was not from any particular illness. He was fine and apparently healthy until he was not fine or healthy anymore. I declined an autopsy knowing the cause was not going to change the outcome. This was a personal decision. I don't want others on this site to misinterpret my mentioning this choice. I could have gone either way but came to this decision based on prior conversations where he made clear that he didn't want this option.

His death certificate attributes his death to multiple organ failure due to toxic shock syndrome. The medical team was not able to discover what was attacking his body and causing the massive infection that hit him in a NY minute. They pumped him with series of antibiotics and continued to add machines. He had also made clear that he did not want to be kept alive artificially. I had to make the impossibly difficult decision to remove life support. I then held his hand for the next 14 hours and took it all in.

He remains the love of my life. I am blessed beyond measure. I will continue to move forward. For now, I am taking a couple of more days off from the hustle and bustle of life to just be.

I hope you are doing as well as can be expected. Debbie

Comment by Sara Murphy on July 21, 2017 at 11:09am

Debbie....I'm sorry you've been having an extra hard time lately. It's so hard for those of us who watched our spouses suffer with illness.  Those moments keep flashing and we relive them over and over.  I too still relive the last days of Ken's life.  For the first 14 months after he passed, I couldn't close my eyes at night without those last couple hours playing out as if on a big screen.  I had no control.  I hope you're feeling a little  better.  I also hope that along with these tough memories are the good, fun memories of your life together.

Thinking of you.


Comment by Deb S on July 21, 2017 at 8:39am

Marsha, Thanks for your sweet post. I've been absent for a bit. I hit a very rough spot about a month ago as I began reliving the events of two years ago. I gave myself time to just "be". I read the book, Option B, and joined the FB page. I find that the posts are overwhelming - so much pain and grief. There are supportive posts too but the raw posts are more than I can handle presently.

Two years ago today I was sitting vigil with my sweet husband in the critical care unit. He was receiving incredible care - a team of more than 50 professionals were trying desperately to determine what was causing mounting multiple organ failure. The team leader was brilliant and kind. It seemed that every time I saw him he said "we have to talk about your wishes." I responded that we had just talked about my wishes a short time ago. He responded that "he has gotten worse". I thought to myself: how could he be worse? His lungs, kidneys, and liver had failed. The doctor responded that he had recently suffered two strokes and his cells have now failed. Incredible. I quickly received an abbreviated course in critical care medicine and realized that the best medical team available anywhere was not going to be able to make a difference in the outcome.

Fortunately, I had supportive family and friends that came to be with me. I continued what would end up being an 89 hour bedside vigil by his side. I held his hand and communicated with him.

I am remembering each and every moment of that day while feeling so blessed that this lovely man and I spent so much time together. God bless.  Debbie

Comment by Marsha H on July 21, 2017 at 5:11am

Dear Deb ...  It's always wonderful to see you post.  I miss you!  Happy you like the song and as I said, 'pretty much says it all.'

Comment by Marsha H on July 21, 2017 at 5:10am

Mary.Jane ...  Sorry, but I laughed so hard over that story.  I don't like spiders either!  I can see where you would be grossed out.  The other day I went to put garbage in my green bin and there were maggots everywhere.  I was beside myself!  It's the hot weather causing it and the neighbors I've talked to have the same problem.  Suddenly it got cooler and they completely disappeared.  It's the disappearing that gives me the creeps!  LOL

Comment by Mary. Jane on July 20, 2017 at 11:15am
This is an ironic, rather horrifying, but humorous story about a feather I found yesterday. I was out feeding and watering the MULTITUDE of birds, bunnies etc that hang around my front yard, when I noticed a small feather hanging from a tiny branch of my large rose bush. It was a brown& White I went inside, put on my gloves, and got a pair of tongs, thinking how nice, Bob must have left it hanging so I would see it. But, to my surprise, the tops was really tightly stuck to the branch, so I tried pulling it off with my gloved came off only by snapping the branch. Examine it, it was weird..the top of the feather was rolled into a tight ball, like a peanut..the end of the feather was like a should have seen how fast I tossed it back into the garden when I realized what it was. Omg! I know you all have seen a type of light colored spider that makes a sort of cocoon around itself...sometime on drapes, or other fabric, sometimes in little corners of items around the house...sometimes they will still b in the cocoon, other times the cocoon will have a hole where the spider has crawled out.
So much for loved ones leaving feathers, at least for me. LOL
Comment by Sara Murphy on July 20, 2017 at 6:54am

Mary Jane.....Yes, that sounds like the right commercial.

I also believe in reincarnation.  I've been reading a book about life on the other side written by Medium Sylvia Brown.  Some of what she says I don't agree with but much of it, I can relate to.  I've always believed that the date of our death is written before we're even born and she says things that back that up.  Also, she talks about how we already know people from Heaven so when we meet them here, we feel that pull, that recognition of "I feel like I've know you my whole life".  I've always felt that Ken and I have walked through past lives together and you and Bob probably did as well.  In fact, Ken told me on our second date that he was going to marry me because he just knew.  Same with you and Bob, your souls just knew you were meant to be together.

Comment by Deb S on July 20, 2017 at 3:59am

Chuck, How are you doing my friend? I have been absent for a bit. You and Steve remain in my thoughts as you begin the arduous process of packing and sorting. I know how difficult a process it is to move. It is a challenging and perhaps even a grueling task when one revisits the many memories often associated with "stuff". Those memories can precipitate instant tears or laughter. Hugs and prayers remain with you as you take the steps necessary to make this positive move happen. Love, Deb


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