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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New Member

Started by Susan. Last reply by Marsha H Sep 2. 5 Replies

Lost my husband

Started by Mary Clough. Last reply by Marsha H Sep 2. 99 Replies

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Comment by Charles E. Nelson on June 22, 2018 at 7:51am

Dear Sara,

Move over dear, because I too am behind the curve playing catch-up. Addressing Patty's wondering if it is better to know of our impending losses, I can only offer my experience after Larry and I were told in late summer of 2015 that his melanoma had metastasized to his lung and was terminal. We were only offered the possibility of buying time through his enrollment in a trila study of immunotherapy drugs, not knowing if he would be in a control group with placebos. He never said it out loud, but in my heart I believe now that he agreed as a way of making his passing something useful for scientific research hoping his small part might one day save someone elses' life. That's who he was, and thinking this way allows me to get past the memories of the horrible side effects he endured.

Our last months together were not easy ones for either of us, and particularly his November birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were truly exercises for me in digging deep to put up some front while inside the ticking time bomb was tearing me apart.

Larry had to pass on doing an antique show he always sold at over Thanksgiving weekend, which alerted his many friends in the business that something was awry. Several hastily planned a huge Christmas party for the gang and their spouses, and Larry was told by the hostess that I was expected to attend and would be fetched and dragged there if I tried to skip coming. I sat on a couch between two of his dearest friends whose job was obviously to keep an eye on me in case I broke down sobbing or something equally upsetting. I made it through with constant refills of my wine glass and a few choked-down bites of the lavish spread they had arranged. Larry and I both knew in our hearts that this was their way of saying good bye to him, and he actually had a very good evening. I didn't.

So, knowing we were near the end wasn't great for me, and for reasons best left unsaid for the moment I think it made our final months much more stressful and difficult for Larry. That is what I regret more than anything else, and need to reign in my thoughts quickly when I begin down that dark path.

Thanks Sara for letting me get that out - I don't think I've told that here before, and it helps to do so now. Hope your weekend is calm and peaceful.

Hugs and much love,


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on June 22, 2018 at 7:16am

Dear Marsha,

How true are your words that we all wish we were able to be physically there for each other, especially when someone needs help with transportation, house or yard work, or even just sitting quietly and pouring our hearts out while someone holds our hand.

That said, being able to come here and read everything posted remains for me a way of keeping myself centered, focused, and sane. Well, that last bit is debatable. This week the world once more made me question where people's hearts have gone, leaving me pining for the innocence and simplicity of my childhood. I do indeed notice that so many of us have health issues, and am in agreement with Stephanie that stress plays a role in that. Also, we as a family aren't exactly spring chickens for the most part, but i don't mean any offense please - I'm 64 but most day feel 20 years older. One thing I hope happens someday is to look you directly in the eye in person and tell you exactly how much you mean to me before grabbing you in a hug I've been storing up for 3 years now!

Have a peaceful and calm weekend dear friend, and Steve and I may be asking you to scout out houses for us up there, if you get my drift.

Love, Chuck

Comment by Marsha H on June 22, 2018 at 6:23am

Mary.Jane.  So sorry you are having difficulties with someone just being with you.  Even though it's been 7 years since Ernie passed away there are times I get very lonely when home.  I am active out of the house, but once home it's so lonely.  Bless the heart of the wonderful friend who drives you where you need to go.  If I could I would swing by your house and give you a ride on my broom!  Wish I lived closer to help you more.


Comment by Marsha H on June 22, 2018 at 6:20am

Stephanie ...  I totally agree with you regarding Chemo.  Believe it or not more and more patients are say 'No!' to Chemo.  I am so very sorry that your husband had to go through Chemo only to pass in the end.  I had to watch the same thing with my Ernie, but he was not a candidate for Chemo (he was grasping at straws) because I knew what it would do to him.  Big Pharma is taking a beating and right now with British Columbia legalizing Marijuana very soon (patients can get it right now) there are high possibilities that Marijuana oils etc., can help with cancer and also it's used for pain, making an ill person hungry and so on.

I just saw on the news a big alert that women with breast cancer should NEVER take Chemo.  How enlightening and this is a big hit on Pharma as well.  You can bet Pharma will want their profit off the Marijuana for cancer patients who want to go that route.

Wise words Stephanie that we should put ourselves first when it comes to our health.  I have my new life to a degree and active, but as you say, that hole in our hearts never goes away.

It's always nice to see you post.

Comment by Mary. Jane on June 21, 2018 at 9:05pm

Thank you, Stephanie. You nailed it. This is the first time since Bob died I have felt so completely and utterly alone. I asked my niece tonite if she could take time off work.and she offered the assistance of one of her kids, or my SIL..who can’t drive well these days, I don,t want my grand nephews and my grand niece has an ex convict for a boyfriend, and has totaled several cars. I am very blessed to have a friend who will take me.but how do I thank her for such Chuck and Steve who offered to drive 4 hours to take me. There are such wonderful people here. Welcome.

I am sorry you had such pain. Thanks for sharing. 6 months is very raw. 

Comment by Stephanie Hughes on June 21, 2018 at 6:13pm

Hello everyone

This is my first posting on this website, although I do post on other grief and widow websites.

Mary Jane- I too wish I had been strong enough to say to my husband 'let's just do the palliative treatment'. I known he wanted to fight and live, but the Stage IV lung cancer was too advanced, and at the first meeting, the radiologist said maybe he should enjoy the time he had left. He died 4 months to the day after finally being diagnosed, but they found it by accident. They had been trying to find the source of gut problems, which they never did, even though they did countless scans, oscopies, etc. It was finally when one sharp radiologist at our former hospital found the mass.  I know my husband wanted to fight, even though we both knew the cancer was inoperable and incurable, but we also hoped the treatment would buy us time. The chemo killed him before the cancer, and when he died, he probably weighed 115 pounds. Yes, big pharma are the winners in the chemo process- all it does, in my opinion, is prolong the suffering of our loved ones.  I spoke with a contractor yesterday who will be making repairs on our house, and his wife passed away 3 years ago after an 18 month battle with cancer, and the chemo killed her first, too. I know it's easy to say this, as I have no children, but God forbid, if I ever get diagnosed with cancer, I will NOT get chemo. Just keep me out of pain for however long I will have.  Going to his treatment center, every day, and seeing all the people struggling to survive one more day, with probably a poor quality of life, made me so very sad. I think the medical profession should have more honest discussions with their patients, and really be up-front about what would be coming with the chemo. I know that all cancers are treated differently, and some have a few decent outcomes. I understand my opinion is skewed since DH's cancer was so advanced, but still , I think doctors fill their patients with false hope.  

Marsha, we all know too well the stress that grieving does to our body, so it's no surprise that the surviving spouse gets sick. We spent so much time focusing our entire being into caring for our loved ones, that our own self care went out the window. Then after the passing, we are crushed with the overwhelming grief. That's why we all must try, no matter how hard, to give ourselves the same tender care that we gave to our spouses. BTW, I am 6 months out, and while the tidal waves  don't crush me any longer, and the waves are smaller, the hole in my heart will never heal.

Peace to all


Comment by Marsha H on June 21, 2018 at 4:27pm

Deb ...  I am so sorry to hear it's ongoing with your squamous cell skin cancer.  Has anyone noticed since our spouses have passed away so many of us are battling some sort of health issue.  I'm praying for you that this all stops and you can find some peace.  So happy to hear you are not in pain.

Keep your chin up!


Comment by Mary. Jane on June 21, 2018 at 2:33pm

Oh Deb, I am so sorry. I hope everything will b ok. 

I am living with the threat of colon cancer..I see the Dr tomorrow to arrange the procedure appt..but this fear of waiting has thrown my Epstien Barr into overdrive. It causes me to feel sick and weak and unable to cope...and if I do have cancer, I am debating whether to have treatment or not. I am 71, and I watched Bob spend the Last 4 months of his life at a cancer center, then in and out of the hospital..only to die anyway. What a waste of time..I wish he had taken at least two of those months, and created some more joy and good memories in his life. They jerked him around, delaying tests, doing them only one at a time...for what? Lots and lots of money, that’s what. Their CT scan only included “eyes to thighs” never testing his brain until months had gone by,even tho we told them he had headaches for years, after a bad fall from a bicycle. 

I apologize.. I am very angry at the treatment he received, or DIDN!t and I just took it out on you...and I am very scared. I don,t want to die yet, but I also don,t want to give my possible last days to cancer Drs. Thanks for letting me vent..and I know you will be ok. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on June 21, 2018 at 11:26am

Patty.......I'm catching up on a week's worth of reading.  I'd like to respond to your question about wanting to know when our loved ones were going to pass although I'm late to the game on this one and you've all probably moved on by now.

For me, it's both yes and no.  Yes because I feel cheated out of a proper good-bye and will never get over this.  I was standing right by his side when he unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest.  He was in the hospital and the doctor's were in his room within 5 seconds and yet they still couldn't save him.  I always thought I would be laying by his side holding him when he took his last breath. I know he passed knowing he was loved completely because we would say "I love you" to each other several times a day every day for almost 30 years.  He would routinely say that he loved me with every cell of his being and this is something I hold close to my heart. 

But I also say no because if I knew, I would probably have spent the time crying about the upcoming loss and not fully enjoying the remaining time.  I also think it would have been tough for him to know (as it would be for everyone). 

I'm going to continue reading now and see what other's opinions are.

Comment by deborah peck on June 21, 2018 at 10:57am

went yesterday for my 3rd surgery since January, this time for Squamous cell skin cancer, getting tired of this but the bright side is I have no pain at all


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