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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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Discussion Forum

Navigating Widow-hood

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

Finding the new normal

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

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22. 12 Replies

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Comment by Margaret Clare Sanders on October 15, 2009 at 4:12pm
Hello Jen
My condolences to you at this difficult time. Know that you are with friends here. The feeling of being
'disloyal' is one I am very familiar with.
Since my husband passed away I have done some things that I just know he wouldn't have approved of and I felt very guilty and disloyal. For example:-
My husband hated the Casino. Never liked playing on the slots but would tolerate me having a bit of fun though I never overdid it.
One night recently I went to the Casino on my own and stayed and played all night!!
I just kept winning and at the end of the night was still in the positive so no harm done. However, I felt so disloyal and guilty and felt that he was there looking at me and getting upset.
Thing is Jen, that in many ways you have to re-invent yourself when you lose your spouse and I think that it takes a bit of time to learn that you can and should do the things that please you. It is not selfish or disloyal.You can still keep the memory of your love and go forward and be yourself without guilt. You deserve to be happy.
So don't feel disloyal. Be yourself!
My best to you
Margaret
Comment by Jen Fuchs on October 14, 2009 at 5:24pm
Hello,
I lost my husband 6 months ago. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 5 weeks later he died at home. I am a RN in an ICU and felt like I was handling everything so well, we had wonderful support from so many people, I still have support but I have reached a point where I need to share with others who know what I am dealing with.
In the last couple months the reality of the permanence of my situation has settled in. I was privileged to have 24 wonderful years of marriage. We were a couple that everyone knew belonged together. My Don had a smile and personality that touched hundreds of people. Now that he is gone, I feel as though I am too.
I have remained active and done quite a bit of traveling, I suppose that is like running away. Now, with the holidays fast approaching, I know it will only get more difficult.
My struggle right now is the feeling of being disloyal. Don never wanted me to color my hair, he thought the salt & pepper look was great. Last night I wandered around the store with a box of hair color for 30 minutes before I returned it to the shelf feeling as though I have betrayed Don in some way. Can anyone else relate to this?
Comment by Margaret Clare Sanders on October 14, 2009 at 9:53am
Hello Everyone.
Those of you who feel guilty because they feel they should have "done something" differently or been able to prevent the sudden death of their beloved spouse are carrying an unnecessary burden along with their grief.
Like some of you, I was also present at the moment of death and I am a registered nurse with many, many years of ER experience, yet I still could not save my husband.
I was fortunate that the coronor told me that 'no-one could have saved him. He had a massive heart attack and his heart could not be saved'
Try to remember that death is inevitable. We do not know the when or the how. Sudden death can be a mercy in disguise for the one who passes away even though it is h.... on earth for the ones left behind. Then again, I have witnessed the pain and agony of a prolonged death and its effect on everyone. It is never easy.
As for "Closure", truly there is no such thing. Nor should there be as the very word signifies that the memory of that person will die. A better word is acceptance and this cannot be rushed or predicted.
For me , it is not quite a year and there are days when I feel so alone and sad I can hardly get through them. Then there are days when I feel contented because I was so lucky to have had the love of a special man for 45 years and that cannot ever be taken away from me.
So at this time of Thanksgiving, remember the good times and the love you shared together.
My best to you all.
Margaret
Comment by Frannie Manzoni on October 13, 2009 at 2:42pm
Hi

I belong to a group in New Jersey called HOPE. I am not sure what area you live in but it has helped me immensely. I also see a therapist weekly. It is very hard but I am doing much better. It will be one year for me on 11/17/2009.
Comment by Wendela on October 11, 2009 at 11:25am
Jo, I understand the pain and the bewilderment, only too well, trying to do what needs to be done while you're grieving so deeply. Grieving seems to take up huge chunks of energy and brain power, so that sometimes the simplest of things looms up as impossible to manage, and there are so many little reminders that trigger the pain again. Yesterday, after putting back the shopping cart in a parking lot, I walked over to the passenger side of the car automatically, before realizing that I am the only driver in the family now, I won't be sitting in that passenger seat again. If you can, try not to think about what might have been different if you had known more about CPR. I try not to go there myself, or ask what if I had been with him instead of at work, or what if I'd alerted his brother to go check on him earlier when I didn't get a phone call from him in the morning. But there's no point, it doesn't help, so when those guilt thoughts or "what if" thoughts start to come up I just tell myself "STOP" and try to consciously put my mind on something else. Whatever works, I know it is different for each one of us, but I also know no one else really understands what we are going through but others who have gone through it. Hold on, hang in there, and I will too.
Comment by Wendela on October 10, 2009 at 10:59am
Like all of us here, I am a grieving spouse. I lost my darling husband, who was my true love, soul mate, best friend and life partner. He died on 9/2/09, exactly one month before our 27th anniversary and one day before our middle daughter's 23rd birthday. He had flown to be with his mother who was having cancer surgery. Her surgery was a success, but the next morning he got up and just died. That night, when he hadn't gone back to visit his mom in the hospital and didn't pick up the phone, his brother went and found him. He was only 54 years old. We are still in shock. We have 3 children, all living at home (a great blessing to me) but each one has challenges, (1 with high functioning Autism, 1 with cardiac problems & fibromyalgia, and 1 with Asperger's Syndrome) so I am the only "whole" one to take care of us all now. Except I'm not whole. I feel as if half of myself has been ripped out, and it was my favorite half. But it's gone now, and all I can do is try to rearrange the pieces of myself that I have left, to stand up around the front and outside edges of what used to be myself. So I am walking around hollow. At least I am walking around, and going to work, and trying to take care of business, driving the kids to doctor's appointments and college classes. My brain knows things will get better, and the pain will become more bearable, and I will be able to enjoy things again some day, but my heart is empty and broken. Prayer really does help, but nothing can change the reality that we're left with. Having loving, supportive family and friends helps, but nothing will take his place in my heart. I will look for a grief support group in my area, because I know no one else can understand what I'm going through except someone else who has gone through it, like all of you. I pray that those of you who are in despair with no support will find the support you need, and will hang on for now, in faith that life will be worth living again some day. Just hang on, and I will hang on, too.
Comment by Isabella on October 10, 2009 at 12:48am
My beloved Phillie passed-on suddenly on September 5th, 2009 and on the 8th family, friends and medical staff let him go in peace. Find out about what happened: http://knightinshiningarmor88.blogspot.com/
Comment by Margaret Clare Sanders on October 6, 2009 at 12:15pm
Hello to all fellow sufferers. Reading your words has helped me becasue I know that I am not alone in my grief. My darling husband passed away suddenly at home November 9 2008. He was 64 and apart from well controlled high blood pressure and diabetes, he was healthy.
I am blessed with a loving family and friends but as we all know, no-one can ever replace the loving spouse we shared our life with and that's the truth of it. I have had times when I have cried and times when I just cannot cry and I feel bad that I am maybe not showing people that I am sad and that they might think that I am 'over it"
I am trying to keep busy and that helps but coming home to an empty house is really hard. I am now starting to leave the radio on so at least there are voices. My thoughts and good wishes go out to you as we journey together.
Comment by Billie Oliver on October 3, 2009 at 6:24pm
I lost my husband June 23. We had 18 love filled years. I do not find the day to day to be the hard part, as I am busy with kids, grandkids, friends and work. Its the moments that awaken those memories of when we did certain things together.. Yesterday I closed our lake place..something Tim and I had done together for the last 9 yrs., and yesterday it was just me. I cried the whole 2 hr. drive home. Knowing the love he felt for me is here in my heart for the rest of my life and mine in his, just not together. I had not experienced such an emotionally draining day since I said my final good bye. I talk to him daily and journal as well..it helps. I find myself just writing and telling him about my day and things that happened.
My thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost their soulmates and I hope to find solace along with you..life is a journey and we still have life to live.
Comment by Helen Raulerson on September 28, 2009 at 6:09pm
My husband died from a massive brain hemmorage April 22, 2009. Needless to say my world has changed. We had been married 20 years and about the last five years he was in a wheel chair. I took total care of him and now I seem to have all this time with nothing to do. There is plenty of the routine things to be done, but all I feel is empty inside. I have plenty of support with friends and family, but my best friend is gone. I guess it has gotten a little better, but some days, like today, it is very hard to get up and put one foot in front of the other.
 

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