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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Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31. 13 Replies

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019. 12 Replies

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Comment by Sara Murphy on March 2, 2020 at 11:35am
Mary Jane...I'm reading the posts from the past week. I'm sorry for all the anger that's presenting now but am glad you came here to scream. It helps to let it out especially to people who understand. You mentioned the few minutes the nurses spent teaching you about the feeding tube and it reminded me of the whole 5 minute lesson I got on how to give Ken IV antibiotics from home. I'm sure in nursing school they spend more than 5 minutes learning about how to properly administer IV meds and make sure there are no air bubbles but we family members I guess can learn in a fraction of the time. Those are the kinds of things I get angry about. Not angry at Ken or God but at the medical community as a whole.
I hope this week is a better week for you.
Comment by Marsha H on February 25, 2020 at 3:25am

Deborah P ... I am so sorry you had to go through such a terrible time with your first husband and especially because he was so young.  You're words were inspiring regarding anger eating one up and it changes nothing.  Now you have had to face losing Greg and there some things you said that I did with Ernie such as laying with him at the hospital. 

I have heard often that loved ones do pass when one or more people leave the room as did my own mother, relatives and then Ernie.  I remember a week before he died he said he saw a man at the end of his bed with a goatee and Ernie smiled and I'm sure it was his brother who passed away when he was only 25.  I think for me at least the best gift I could ever give Ernie was to tell him I would OK and that it was OK to go.  He sighed when I said that.  It was so difficult for me, but I just couldn't be selfish and let him go in peace. 

The story of you mother was something that assured me that yes, there is someone waiting for them to 'take them home.'

Thank you my friend for being so candid with us.

Love you


Comment by Mary. Jane on February 24, 2020 at 6:36pm

Thank you, Marsha and Deborah.

Comment by deborah peck on February 24, 2020 at 8:01am

Mary Jane, I have been reading all the post from everyone this morning and I feel so much pain in everyones words. Anger is a hard thing, I had so muchof it after my 1st husband passed away at 36, way to young and U was only 31 with 3 little girls. The one thing I learned was the what ifs and anger eats at you until you come to realize it changes nothing. I would not let myself go there after Greg passed, there was very little anger except at im for not listening to the doctors when his stroke could of been prevented if he would of taken his blood thinners, but I am quite sure he was mad at himself to. My sister too had to leave her home within a month after her husband passed as he left her with no money and terrible debt that he hadn't tole her about and she does not feel him around her either, even though I tell her he is there but I truly think the anger and pain prevents them from coming to us. Greg was only home for 1 day on hospice before he passed, I was blessed to be laying beside him with my arms around him with all my family and his best friend in the room , they all snuck in while I was snuggling with him and I didn't know they were there until his breathing changed and I opened my eyes to look at him, I wanted to plead with him to stay but instead told him I would be okay.  I think I heard somewhere that sometimes our loved ones wait for us to leave the room before they pass, maybe they don't want to bring us more pain? My mom passed at home on hospice and waited until everyone was out of the room but me and my aunt to pass and when she did she was staring off to the wall and reached her hand out to someone she was seeing, we just froze as we realized what was happening.  Mary Jane one day you will be at peace with the anger and realize it was his time and nothing you had done could've changed anything, love you and prayers to you and all

Comment by Marsha H on February 24, 2020 at 2:54am

Dear Mary ...  You have been through so much with Bob and looking after him, but that's what 'true love' is and we just do it.  Our spouses thanked us because they felt much loved and believe it or not there isn't a high percentage of spouses that would do what all of us had to do. Bob knew you loved him and thankful you cared for him.  Your presence made him feel safe and loved.  It was wonderful his brother came to get him and 'take him home.' 

I know that anger all to well and wish I had a magic wand to have saved Ernie, but for some reason and something none of us can fathom or control our loved ones are 'called home.'  I was so angry and like most of you and without knowing it I didn't realize how angry I really was.  I blamed God; doctors; and myself (did I do enough and did Ernie know just how much I fought to keep him alive and well?).  I believe with all my heart that none of our spouses wanted to leave us, but had no control over it.  I told Ernie if I could I would go with him and in a weak voice he said, 'I know.'  A dam broke just then and I sobbed more than I ever have in my lifetime.  I still can get angry and I still don't know why I'm here and what I should be doing. 

I do feel your pain Mary and I can certainly relate.  Bob is around you to give you strength when you need it. 

I remember Mary you posted a long while back how horrific it was to see the look on Bob's face and I hope and pray this will ease your worries:

This is from a Hospice nurse:  I can usually tell when death is going to happen within hours. Here's how: my patient becomes unresponsive. Not asleep, but unresponsive, like you can reposition them and there's no response whatsoever. When they pass away they lose muscle tone in their jaw and their mouth is open and sometimes their eyes.  It's normal and the image is not because of pain or fear.  Also in research I learned that the brain is far from dead after your loved one dies and can still hear even after death.  When they leave their bodies they are still with you.  Hospitals have been studying the process of dying since the early 90's and nurses take notes.  I have seen it with my own eyes. 

Remember what I had said to you that there is always an 'exit' out of what you feel is a bad situation.  Nothing is holding you to California, but I would give it a chance.  You can always go back home if you so choose.  The thing of it is Bob will follow you no matter where you move to.

Our spouses want us to be as happy as possible and when we hurt they hurt so when I get down I slap myself silly and start moving again.  Every emotion any of us feel is very normal. 

Love you girl


Comment by Mary. Jane on February 23, 2020 at 5:22pm

Omg, Chuck and are so special. Thank you for all your kind words, and support.One thing I really regret, is we didn,t meet when I lived a mere 5 hours from you. I guess it just wasn,t meant to be. 

There is one more thing about Bob I’d like to share...his fear of getting cancer. He was ALWAYS terrified of it. From the moment that I met him, in 1966,  I learned he had a lifelong TERROR of getting  it. Family & friends would kinda laugh, tell him to calm down, yuk yuk. For YEARS he would NEVER see a DR, unless he had an ACCIDENT or injury, He KNEW every tiny pimple was skin cancer, every chest cold was lung cancer..etc. Finally, around the 90’s, he started seeing doctors, for EVERYTHING..the total reverse of previous Bob.

Oddly, in 2016, he had been having headaches for about a year..Oklahoma has lots of pollen etc so we kinda of blew it off, got an air filter..when he got a chest cold in October 2016, he went to the Dr..he wasn,t as afraid then..but the Dr didn,t like the look of the chest X-ray..sent him for a cat scan..that was the beginning of the end..4 months later, he died.But because he had always feared cancer, no one was surprised! It was more like: HOW DID HE KNOW ALL THOSE YEARS HE WOULD DIE FROM CANCER? But he did. He knew! Two good things came out of the past, he tended to be grumpy a lot..because FEAR EATS THE SOUL. Everyone would say, that if Bob ever got cancer, he would be HELL to live with..but THE EXACT OPPOSITE HAPPENED!!!  What he had feared his entire life was now here..and during those 4 months, he was happy, sweet, kind, and NOT AFRAID! He was wonderful, because he didn,t have to FEAR it anymore.It had arrived. I was so proud of him..he took everything the Drs threw at him, with a smile, and good humor. 

But, it seemed like more and more areas in his body were effected with new types of cancers. Every day this first few months were taken up with useless visits to the cancer center...time that could have been spent on trips, or vacations..but I digress and will stop here, without giving my opinion on cancer “care”. 

So, that is FINALLY all. I have vented, and mourned..and I thank all of you. And thank God for this wonderful place we can all come to, with such wonderful people. 

Comment by Mary. Jane on February 23, 2020 at 1:55pm

Time of death..1:52 pm central time..11:52 PST..right now. I took his picture out to my porch, had a cigarette, and showed him the trees outside. I was kind of Hoping I would have had some sort of visit, or something..but I don,t think he’s here anymore.

RIP, Bob. I will always love you.

Thanks, fellows. Your posts meant a lot to me.


Comment by Steve G. on February 23, 2020 at 12:13pm

Dear Mary Jane,

I never realized how much anger and pent up emotions I was dragging around in my life, until I lost Mark.  Unlike your story I was there as Mark took his last breath.  That last breath was very laboured and the sound to me was painful and scary.  As I looked down at his face, he just looked like he was sleeping, and at first I was angry, then pleading, then just sitting there stunned and wondering, what do I do now.  Then I remembered what he said to me a week before, under no circumstances should any attempt be made to revive him.  Then I burst into crying for him and for me, I had to keep my promise!

So I waited 10 minutes before calling 911, they immediately wanted me to get him out of the bed and start CPR.  I told the lady that I did not know CPR nor was I strong enough to get him to the floor, she kept trying to calm me down which caused me to cry louder.  Finally, she said parametics were on their way and needed the access code to our apartments gate for vehicles.  After giving her that she asked me if I wanted her to stay on the phone with me, no I said they will need me out front to direct them to where the gate was.

With all of that past, it took another 3 months for my anger to surface again.  Me and Bella on the way home from Florida to Dallas, there it was an exit sign on I-10 for Dothan, Alabama.  That was where my father and stepmother lived before their deaths in 2000 from an auto accident.  All of the hatred and anger for them rose up at once.  I could not stop my sobbing and pulled off the road.

Then something inside told me to forgive them and to forgive myself to break that bond of hate.  I was stunned, I found a gas station, parked in the shade and let Bella out for water.  Out oh no where a woman approached me and commented on how beautiful Bella was.  She then asked if I was ok, I said yes.  She then asked if I had jumper cables, she and her husband were stuck at the station and she keeps asking each new customer.  I said, I'm sorry but 

I too did not have them.  As she left, I noticed her continue on searching.

I felt like I should do something, so I went inside to get coffee and see if they had cables for sale.  I looked and they were sold out, as i was passing the snacks, sitting on top of my favorite snack of cinnamon red hots was a set of new cables.  Paid for both then went looking for the lady.  Found her sitting next to her husband, I said I found these inside and I can jump you car with mine.  When their car started they both hugged me and the husband was starting to hand me the cables, I refused saying you needed them more than I.  

Bella and I got back on the road, I felt comforted and I started talkin to my father as if he was alive and sitting next to me.  I was able to forgive myself for hating him and forgave him for all the things I hated him for.  As the miles past I felt better and I cried and grieved for their deaths.

Life has a way of picking and choosing for us what and when things need to fall into place.

I wish I could hug you and comfort you, so please accept my eternal love and connection with you and everone on this site...your brother, Steve.

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on February 23, 2020 at 10:44am

Dear Mary Jane,

Anger - you have hit a nerve with me that tingles throughout my soul yet the one I seem to spend more energy ignoring than most other emotions.

My friend, this is the rare, for some of us the only place, where we can dredge up the most turbulent and upsetting of feelings and express them without ever being judged or fearing hurting someone around us, as you wish to spare your daughter.

The medical procedures and interaction with hospice brought back a time I went through with my father in his final days of terminal lung cancer. Larry was with me through that awful nightmarish time, and without him and an angel in disguise as a Hospice nurse I surely would have gone mad.

How you dealt with everything you describe alone both astonishes me and brings me to tears. The avalanche of events and emotions was frozen in mid-motion for you since that night, and now as they thaw with time and distance they are breaking off in huge chunks to crash down upon you. We here can't rush across the street and grab you in a tight hug, and that is our frustration and nightmare - that we hear, feel, and understand what is happening to you, yet are limited to replying with words on a keyboard.

My love, my heart, and my tears of rage and doubt are yours now as always. Perhaps sometime I will share some of the things I went through as my father deteriorated, but not today - all I want you to know is that I am with you in my heart -

Love, Chuck 

Comment by Mary. Jane on February 22, 2020 at 10:15pm

Ohhh, I forgot...I NEVER EVER saw any more piles of pennies in our house. And I am so grateful his brother came to “take him home” as I have never felt his brother  Warren there again, since that last day. 


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