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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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Started by David Heggi. Last reply by David Heggi Nov 22, 2017. 2 Replies

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Started by denise. Last reply by Marsha H Oct 25, 2017. 4 Replies

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Comment by Marsha H on August 23, 2017 at 4:41am

Dear Linda ...  My deepest condolences on the loss of your wife.  My husband Ernie passed away 2011 of pancreatic/liver cancer, we had no children and I'm left with 2 dogs that are my saviors and get me moving.  My immediate family is very small and I don't see them that often and long-time friends were there at first, but slowly one after the other disappeared for long periods of time as they simply got on with their own lives.  Loneliness to me is the #1 heartbreak.  This forum is also wonderful for lifting one's spirits if only to know you are not alone in this strange journey of grief.  It's OK if you don't want to move your wife's things and leave everything as it was for as long as you want.  There is no rush.  Even after cleaning out a lot of Ernie's close for the less fortunate, I did keep some of his things. 

I am happy to hear you feel somewhat better and realize your dear on is gone, but never forgotten.

Hope you keep posting and just say what you have to say as no one judges another on here and this site really saved my life. 

Hugs

Marsha 

Comment by Marsha H on August 23, 2017 at 4:35am

Dear Deborah ...  Welcome to the family although I'm sad it's a forum for grief and my deepest condolences.  My husband Ernie passed away in 2011 from pancreatic/liver cancer and I still miss him to this day. 

The first year is the most difficult for most of us.  It doesn't matter how much support we may get from family or friends it soon wanes as they often feel after a year one should be over the worst of the grief and they get on with their own lives, but they don't know just how heart-broken we are as well as feeling lost, lonely and frightened at times. 

It is very common at the first stages of grief to have panic attacks and I find walking with my dogs (my saviors) helps me a lot.  I go to the dykes nearby where it's quiet, birds chirping, otters, beavers, fish, etc., you can see and high in the trees are Eagles and Hawks; fields of blueberries or cow grass and just peace.  I feel so much better after those walks.  Other symptoms you may feel is no appetite or eating all the time, sleeping too much or insomnia, stomach issues, headaches, anxious feelings and being frightened off and on.  It's all very normal.  Never be afraid to cry because that is the bodies way of relaxing.  When stressed our muscles tighten up.  I still have cries every so often.  You will feel as time goes by the heart-wrenching pain is less and you will think clearer as well.  Your beloved will always be in your heart, but your life with improve.  Some of us call it, 'reinventing ourselves.'  Just keep coming here and posting anything you like and we'll be here to help you.

Wish I was there personally to hug you and tell you things will even out in your life so you can move forward, but I'm smart enough to know that now is not the time.

Big hugs

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on August 23, 2017 at 4:24am

Sandfly ...  I know what you mean.  I'm a huggy person with people who are upset or those I know well as I believe in human contact.  A hug is so welcoming.  I have a small immediate family I don't see that often and friends, but as you say they are busy and soon get on with their own lives.  When I got my first hug after Ernie passed away I was in shock too and realized how much I missed him and would give up everything to just have one more hug from him.  We all need basic human contact and I find when I hug people most have a wide smile and look peaceful.  A hug to me is saying, 'nice to see you and I really do care how you are feeling today.' 

So here is a big, huge hug

Marsha

Comment by Sandfly on August 23, 2017 at 3:38am

To all of you that are missing your beloved,I am sending thoughts of love and strength and A BIG HUG! I wish I could give you all a REAL hug though. I have just realised that have been keeping track of how many (human) hugs I have received in the last 5 months.Three! I now live alone and have no family close by and a few friends which are great but also not close by or superbusy with their lives.The last 2 hugs I received were on David's death anniversary last week. 2 in one day! I was not aware of how much I missed basic physical human contact until I got a hug recently. I was almost shocked at the sensation of warmth and 'humanness'. I felt STARVED! Of course it would pale compared to a hug from my beloved David and I would give anything just for one more. Still it really shook me and it made me realise how alone I really am. I do have a cat, Mr Pip and recently I have rescued a 7 year old dog called Nellie. They are a real comfort and I hug them. I hope you are fearing better than me in your quota of hugs, they do help a lot!

Comment by Mary. Jane on August 22, 2017 at 10:21pm
I just read Chucks post, and I would like to add something. When I first came here..one of the things that made me stay, was the kindness, and non judgement of gender. Love is love, and the pain and loss is the same no matter what.
Comment by deborah peck on August 22, 2017 at 10:20pm

Chuck I'm so sorry for all you've been thru and so glad you've found support and acceptance on here. Aloss of a spouse is a tragic thing to experience and then to be ill yourself it must make it twice as hard, I hope your health is better now. I'm hoping this panicky thing gets done soon as it is very hard to start the day like that. I'm glad you had a friend that cared enough to get you moving again. At first my friends but mainly my family was always around, to the point I had to tell them to go get on with their lives that I had to get used to whatever my life will be like now, But now I don't see most of them very much so its very hard for me to say I need you and when they call or come over my response is I'm fine, so I need to quit trying to show everyone I am "fine" as I don't want to bother anyone.its just hard that there are no rules on how to do this. When my 1st husband passed away I was very young 31 with three little girls to look after but this time I am by myself so don't know what to do with myself anymore or what I even want to do but I guess I wull figure it out eventually   

Comment by Mary. Jane on August 22, 2017 at 10:14pm
I think what is worse in the mornings, is When I wake up, and I open my eyes, and turn over to look at BOb, and see if he's awake yet..and I see the empty space, the undented pillow, and then I remember.i think "oh" and realize he'S gone..and he's never coming back.
To this day, after 18 months, I have NEVER slept on "his side" of the bed.
Comment by Charles E. Nelson on August 22, 2017 at 5:37pm

Part 2

I too had the worst fears upon waking, trembling and wailing like a banshee as my mind wondered what had happened to make this all take place.

It was six months later that a close friend, who had started calling on the phone daily since I returned home, finally said that he felt I was getting worse and needed to find some support group somewhere - he lived 4 hrs away and was frustrated and helpless that he couldn't do anything except listen to my tears and ravings daily. He wouldn't hang up that day until I promised that I would go on the internet and look for an online group, since I was still not ready to go out very far from home. Also, the local groups all met in churches around here, and I couldn't face walking into a room with faces turned to me as I said I had just lost my husband. One look of disapproval or judgement and I would have gone to pieces. This site proved to be the perfect place for me, and it was actually the first and only one I visited. I too am not familiar with online groups or posting, so had to learn the ropes by reading and asking questions. Everyone  here has been patient, supportive, and accepting.

I just want to say that that waking to feelings of panic and fear will indeed dispel with time, but for us all how long is individual. What has not left, and I suspect will never do so, is the sadness that weighs down my heart every time I find myself going through morning rituals and remember that once upon a time I was doing it with and for my dear Larry. Some days all it takes is a glimpse at something of his, or a song on the radio - or just hearing a blue jay call from outside...they were his favorites, along with cardinals.

I kept Larry's belongings everywhere for a long time, and would feel and smell his clothing, or put on his cologne quite often. I eventually made a CD of music that both expressed my grief and love for him, and had some of his favorite singers, like Doris Day. I play it often, and although it makes me cry, it also makes me feel close to him somehow.

I've rambled enough for now - I hope you find here that same comfort and friendship that I have, and that each day brings you some moments of peace.

Love,

Chuck

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on August 22, 2017 at 5:36pm

Dear Deborah,

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost Larry April 22, 2015 to cancer. He was diagnosed in the early fall of 2014 with melanoma that had metasticzsed to his lung. It was made clear that it was terminal, and being 78 he was not a good candidate for surgery, or even traditional chemo. We were offered a chance of prolonging his life through entering a trial for an immunotherapy drug, which we did. The side effects were pretty bad for him, so he was on and off the schedule for months, and was still very active when he wasn't feeling bad. I was trying to be the guy like in the movies who was strong, supportive, and positive for him. I don't think I pulled it off very well at all, and everyone around us saw that clearly. He had a few brief hospitalizations related to the side effects, and by late winter I was feeling exhausted and ill. On April 3rd I collapsed at home, and was admitted to the ICU with multiple organ failure, intubated, and placed in an induced coma. Larry meanwhile was taken off the drugs and told the last treatment available now was an intensive course of chemo for two weeks. He had developed blood clots that spread (side effect), and one was right over his heart, another in his neck where it would go straight to his brain if dislodged. He visited me in the ICU on the days he was strong enough, driven there by a friend. I have some vague memories of his visits, but it all is jumbled and hazy in my mind. He had a stroke on the morning of the 22nd, and passed at 7PM that night, just two floors below me in the hospital.

It was many weeks before I was released to a rehabilitation center to learn to stand and walk again, then home to this empty house. I used a walker and was confined to the first floor, sleeping on the couch in the family room all day and night when I wasn't nervously wandering from room to room sobbing. Time of day meant nothing to me -  3AM was no different than 3PM, other than the daylight trying to come through the drawn drapes and shades. Like Mary Jane, I kept the TV on night and day, and drifted in and out awakening to different overnight shows and infommercials - it was just there to kill the unbearable silence. 

 (Continued in part 2)

Comment by deborah peck on August 22, 2017 at 9:58am

thank you all for your beautiful stories, I'm so sorry for your losses, even though you think at the time that no one can possibly be going thru this much pain I know it isn't true, my husband Greg was also a very giving person that everyone loved, he would give anyone anything they needed, he was always so afraid of something happening to me even though my health is great and his wasn't for about 5 years,I get out of bed every day as soon as I wake up to try to not let the panicky feeling get the most of me,. the 31st will be our 26th anniversary so to celebrate I bought this glider for our porch that we had seen in Tennessee but didn't buy at the time so Ive been scouring the internet to try to find one like it and had given up, then my daughter and I went to a festival in our town and there was the glider, it was like he knew how much I needed this 

 

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