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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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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 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. 

Comment by Mary. Jane on February 22, 2020 at 10:11pm

Part 2.

I have to tell you..for MONTHS before Bob got sick, we had noticed  PILES of PENNIES around the house. Hundreds of pennies. I just left them where they were, vaguely noting, they were always somewhere we would see them..ie: by my ashtray in the garage, by the telephone, etc, The night before the catheter thing, I had asked him “Is Warren here?” (Warren was his little brother, who had died 11 years previously) He replies “yes”. I kinda knew that..I could feel him too. 

Soo, the hospice nurse did what she had to do, bathed him, and left, and Bob fell into a light sleep..so I LEFT THE ROOM FOR A MINUTE. I had a baby monitor on his IV pole, so I could hear every breath he made, as I carried the other one with me..and it wasn,t even a minute, b4 I realized I couldn,t hear his breathing. I remember thinking, as I ran back into his room..”NO NO NO NO....” but he was gone. 

No warning, no clue one minute he was fine, the next gone. I was STUNNED..but the very worst thing, was the expression on his face. It wasn,t warm and fuzzy, like I had always thought it would be. 

That expression has haunted me for four years..plus the guilt..did I do something wrong? 

This is the first year, I have been AWARE enough, not in my rosey bubble...thinking everything was fine, that I am OK. I am NOT ok! I am ANGRY..at everyone in the medical profession, at everything in general, at him for LEAVING me, for deserting his daughter, the flood gates have finally opened, and I am LIVID!!  This has been 4 years coming..He is really gone, and he is NEVER coming back! I am stuck in a F***ing house that I don,t want to be in, in a life without him..and the bubble has burst big time...as I cannot feel him as much as I did in my prior home..and I WANT HIM HERE!!!

ok..I had to write this..to “get it out”. I have spent the last few days slamming things, screaming at the universe, I am SOOO ANGRY! 

I am NOT ever angry..I do not have a temper..I guess I have been carrying this for years. Every other year I was in a coma of sorts..a warm soft place I created for myself..but it wasn,t real, and I have to move past this..for my own sanity. 

So I came here...because I don,t know what else to do...or who to tell..I cannot tell my daughter..she was his “little princess” and adored her dad..she is bleeding too,  but holds it in. So, tomorrow at 11:52 am,PST I will hope for the best, and thank all of you for being here and allowing me to rant. Maybe I will hug my kitty, maybe I will just watch TV, maybe I will still be angry. 

Thanks guys.

Comment by Mary. Jane on February 22, 2020 at 9:38pm

This might be graphic, but I am compelled to write it.

Part 1

4 years ago, tonite, Bob took my hand, kissed it, and said “Thank you”. I was so surprised! I asked him “for what”. I don,t remember the reply..it doesn,t matter.My guess is, for 48 1/2 years of being together? He had been home for 2 days..in hospice. They had brought him home, along with machines, meds, liquid food..and they spent a mere 20 minutes, giving me directions on how to feed his stomach tube, add any medication, after crushing the pills..the morphine was liquid..how the machine worked, the oxygen, various tubes, etc.

I always wondered why they didn’t spend more time with instructions. What if I did something wrong? It NEVER occurred to me, until a few days ago, that it didn’t MATTER if I screwed up. When that epiphany hit, and I realized that..I was actually STUNNED.

Ironically, I was GOOD at caring for him! I remember thinking I would have been a good nurse, and I liked being able to care for him. He had ONE MONTHS supply of liquid food..2 cases of the stuff, Fed directly into his stomach tube, the meds were added seperatly through a tiny tube that connected into the main one.   He could eat stuff like Jello, which he NEVER ate, he was a vegetarian..but that was a moot point. I feel so BAD, that when  I crushed up some meds in his Jello..and he noticed the texture was wrong. I was so ashamed..I don,t know why. 

I also don’t know why I am compelled to write all of this here..but I just am. The next morning, when the nurse came, she had to catheterize him. That was the ONE THING he hated above everything else..my heart just died a little for him..he had been SO BRAVE, accepting everything with a smile..but this was bad..and UNFAIR! 

Comment by Marsha H on February 21, 2020 at 6:33pm

Sara ...  You're so sweet and I do think of you a lot as to how you are doing.  I am having a better week and have more energy for a change.  I am so happy you feel Ken's with you and as I said it's a little less, but when I'm really down I can feel Ernie's presence as well.  What a wonderful feeling!

Love

Marsha

Comment by Sara Murphy on February 21, 2020 at 11:41am
Love never dies.....have truer words ever been spoken? I'm not sure I would have made it this far if I for one second thought Ken were not still with me. Feeling his presence and having him come through for me when I need him keeps me going.
Deb.....what a wonderful moment to feel Greg's arms around you. I hope the memory of that feeling gives you a little bit of extra strength when needed.
Marsha....You can't get rid of me that easily. I'll be here for the long haul ☺ Hope this has been a better week for you

Love,
Sara
Comment by Mary. Jane on February 20, 2020 at 10:49am

Oh Marsha..when I read your heartfelt post..I felt so deeply what you went through during those last days with Ernie. Desperately trying to save his his life, keep him calm. Not let him see how terrified you were, hiding your tears, as not to upset him...all of it..only to not be there with him at the moment he left this world. It is a pain that never goes away..it just recedes a bit, only to surface at odd times, as fresh as it happened only yesterday. 

But, I also know, without a doubt, he KNEW you were there after he had “died”, as HE WAS STILL THERE..he wasn,t in his physical body, but he was still in the room, watching you, knowing you were there as soon as you could be. 

I have heard SO MANY stories of “near death” experiences, when the soul leaves the body, but is still above in the room, watching loved ones grieve. Every single story of this is EXCTLY the same. People who die for a bit, then return to their material body describe the EXACT same scenario ..floating above the room, then returning to their human form, cuz it was not their time. So it makes sense, if THOSE people could watch from above, so can people who didn,t return.

Ernie was waiting for you to arrive into the hospital..  he knows how much you loved him, and I believe all of our loved ones are STILL watching over us..and always will be..until we all leave this realm, and are reborn in our new lives. Together.

Comment by Marsha H on February 20, 2020 at 5:51am

Dearest Deborah P ...  Thank you so much for that wonderful post and it made me smile and also for being so candid about your own experience with Greg.  I guess that's what I miss most those loving big arms just holding me.  It will be 9 years since Ernie passed and I thought all this would be over, but when you've met your soul mate and they pass away I doubt it's ever over and the crying just isn't as often, but as you say something can trigger it off. 

I am so happy you had that experience with Greg.  I haven't felt Ernie around for a very long time.  I did have one dream recently which wasn't one I care to remember for long.  I was half asleep sideways on the sofa and it was as if I should be going somewhere with Ernie, but didn't want to go and I could see him leave through the side door and looked back at me and obviously annoyed with me.  I have no idea why I had that dream.  I hope I am lucky enough to feel what you did.

Thank you for caring my dear friend and it's so appreciated.

I wish you only peace and joy and it seems you are on the right path.

Love and your friend too

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on February 20, 2020 at 5:45am

Dear Chuck ...

Thank so much for that up-lifting post you left me and it made me feel much better.  Thank you for also sharing how you felt.  What you said makes so much sense.  Thank you again my dear friend and hope you keep well too and have joy and peace in your life.

Love you more!

Marsha

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on February 19, 2020 at 1:44pm

Dear Deborah,

Thank you for sharing that beautiful moment you experienced Greg's embrace and knew he was with you and your sister. I have had certain moments when I was faced with something so overwhelmingly taxing or upsetting that I felt like I was drowning when I also felt Larry's love and presence bringing a calm and peace so gently and thoroughly that I wondered if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming. When those things occurred I was grateful for the balm of relief of course, but I was especially comforted by the knowledge that Larry still existed in some way that is beyond my understanding or knowledge, but he wasn't simply snuffed out like a candle. This also let me know that whatever he felt for me in this life also lives, and that is something I have always believed - love never dies. 

Wishing you peace today, and again thank you for that wonderful image of you being hugged by Greg - 

Love, Chuck

 

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