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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 Apr 10. 4 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 March 19, 2018 at 5:05am

Dear Anthony ...   My husband Ernie suffered a great deal with pancreatic cancer and I was led to believe by his specialist he would be coming home with Hospice care and I would also be able to look after him.  Ernie wanted to come home so badly, but what many of our feelings really are is when our loved one is so ill and close to death we can't control one thing about it.  Sadly, I wasn't able to bring him home and he was sent to Hospice where I met met him and explained where he was.  I stayed for hours and wanted to stay the night, but even though his breathing was labored and I told him I wanted to give him oxygen he refused.  I asked him 3 times to be sure.  He also didn't want me to stay and held my hand, a wane smile and I asked if I could come the next morning and stay that night.  He agreed.  Somewhere deep inside of me when I came home that night (never slept) I knew that Ernie wanted to save me the sorrow of seeing him die and for a long while after he did die I was angry at him.  We always covered each other's backs and I wanted to be there for him.  Once I went into my second year of grief I realized that I had done everything I could for him and we had many words of conversation.  When in hospital and I saw him in pain, yet he was worried as to how I would get along without him I gave him the greatest gift of all, 'It's alright to let go hon, I'll be fine.'  The words choked in my throat.  So his freedom to pass actually started in the hospital before he reached Hospice.

Guilt of not doing enough, or, you can't remember happy times and why can't you is something many of us go through, but please realize you are in raw grief and on a roller coaster ride.  You miss him, you want him back, but know it's impossible.  I promise you in time that you will gradually start to remember the beautiful memories you had together.  I do now and it brings a smile to my face and I feel so lucky to have been part of his life and hold those memories so close to my heart.  Never fear Anthony, those good memories will come back to you when you least expect them.

Marsha

Comment by Mary. Jane on March 18, 2018 at 10:36pm

Anthony....I meant to respond sooner...but Sara’s post reminded me I hadn’t..so here ya go. My husband of 49 years,  Bob came home from the hospital, and these hospice people with him were setting up equipment, etc..that they told ME I would be feeding him through a machine...and a truckload of meds I had to crush up and add to the feeding tube...cuz he has brain cancer, a stomach tumor  and more...and I was terrified that I couldn,t DO that sort of thing..so I TOOK VIDEOS of how I was supposed to feed and medicate him..and they left.i had TONS of medication to give him at different times... He was expected to live another month...so I had cases of liquid nutrients to feed him, and plastic tubes, and syringes..it was overwhelming..but the videos I took were really a help...BUT...I started taking videos of BOb...his laughing, and talking..his spirits were good..but as I took these very short videos it occurred to me, that they would be good to have so I could look back at them, and know I had done everything I could have..

and I think that is what you might be dwelling on..I DIDN,t want to feel there might have been something else I could have done for him...cuz he gave up after 4 days...came home n a Friday night, and died the next Tuesday...and instead of beating myself up thinking there must have been something else I could have done..the videos showed I did everything I could have. 

Maybe you are beating yourself up in the same way..feeling guilty that you DIDN,t do enough? But you DID!!  As it turned out, BOb decided not to try...and gave in. He could eat stuff like ice cream, and jello and soup...but he realized after a day or two he would rather just let go. And he told me “THankyou “the night b4 he died, took my hand and kissed it..and at 2pm the next day, slipped away. It took me a long time to look at the videos, just the first picture b4 each video started was all I was able to look at for almost a year, but in 4 days he had plummeted. 

So Anthony, don,t worry..the happy memories will come..but in a sense, they might b worse than the ones you now can’t get out of your head...because the memories of the wonderful ness you shared is might be heart wrenching. 

I wish you all things wonderful, and I am sorry u r having to go thru this. A few pages back on this site, someone posted a wonderful thing about how loosing a partner is the most difficult loss ever.and how your life changes in so many ways.if you haven,t read it, try to find it. It is a C &P in a sort of beige color..and it is the best thing I have ever read. Sorry this is such a long post...but I wanted to assure u the good memories return soon..which is sort of a double edge sword..as u will discover. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on March 18, 2018 at 9:52pm

Susan,  I feel for you having had so much loss in your life.  That really is a lot for one person to bear.  I too think about finances all the time.  It's so scary to be solely responsible for everything.  This is one of the aspects I don't think family and friends even think about, or at least no one has ever asked me if I'm okay money wise.   In fact, like Deb says, everyone thinks I'm "good" because I had to learn to fake my way through the day. 

I hope you'll keep posting.   You're not feeling sorry for yourself.  You just need a safe place where you can openly and honestly express your feelings and you found it. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on March 18, 2018 at 9:36pm

Anthony,  I'm catching up on reading the posts so I haven't gotten through them all.  I just read your post about being haunted by the memory of your last days with Kevin.  I can tell you what you're experiencing is normal.  My husband, Ken, had been in the hospital for a month when he passed away.  The short version is he was getting back into bed and as he was doing so, I turned to move a chair out of the way.  I heard him make a sound and when I turned back around, he looked as if he may be having a seizure but he actually went into cardiac arrest.  Although the doctors were there within seconds and worked on him for over an hour, they couldn't save him.  The events of this night played like an automatic loop in my brain every night for about 13-14 months.   My brain couldn't bring up the nearly 30 years of memories, it was stuck firmly on those few hours.  I'm now at a point where I can force the good happy memories to overtake the worst night of my life (although I never want to forget a singe detail).    As Chuck says, there is no timetable so please don't pressure yourself to feel or not feel anything at any particular time.  Also, although our family and friends mean well, they may not realize they put pressure on us to heal faster than humanly possible.  You are part of our family now so please lean on us. 

Hugs to you,

Sara

Comment by Mary. Jane on March 18, 2018 at 11:10am

Oh, Debora, I know exactly how you are feeling..finding the cards, and momentos of your life with Greg. Actually you were sort of fortunate they were mostly in one place...sine I have been going through all my stuff for months, I am always discovering cards. ,notes, poems, when I least expect them..including stuff from my mother, who died n 2001, and things my daughter wrote when she was a little girl. If I had a SHRED of organization, they would have all been in one or two places..but I wasn,t so they pop up everywhere...and the ones from Bob especially the poetry are so agonizing...I wish you all things good as you discover more  unforeseen memories of Greg...and the life you had together. 

Comment by deborah peck on March 17, 2018 at 9:08pm

Today I was cleaning out the closet in my craft room and came across a tote of cards and mementoes from what seems like a lifetime ago, cards and things that Greg had given me plus our wedding announcement and even items from my parents, I read through a lot but finally had to put away for another day, just too much to go through and keep my sanity.  As many of you know my brother is staying with me temporarily until his place gets ready the middle ogf April, my girls keep trying to get him to stay here with me for good so I wont be "LONELY", I don't think they understand that I'm only lonely for Greg, even when they are all here I am still lonely and no one can fix that, I don't think unless you've lost a spouse you could understand that. People think I am doing GOOD, that's because they cant see me inside me head and heart, when actually I'm falling apart inside, I put on a good act as I'm sure many of you do but were still in so much pain, sorry so depressing, just my mind frame tonight

Comment by Marsha H on March 17, 2018 at 4:25am

Dear Sue ...  You are not feeling sorry for yourself at all and never believe that.  You have certainly had more than your share of grief and please remember that getting through that was enough, but you're still standing and you always will.  

I have happy to hear that your grief counseling is going well.  It helped me too, but Legacy really did save my life from all the angels that use to be on here and even the new members.

All the symptoms and feelings you are going through are very normal (I've been there) and, in fact, still have my beloved Ernie's work jacket hanging off a hook in the hallway.  It's been there since 2011.  Ernie and I were like you and John, so close and shared so much and yes, the evenings are the worst, but after 7 years I've grown accustomed to not having those conversation any longer and try to put my mind on other things and yes, I even talk to my two dogs (couldn't have children.)  

I will certainly say a prayer tonight and hope your dad comes through it all.  I can understand your fears.

Susan, what I did after Ernie passed away even though I was not thinking straight, I took his death certificate with me to the bank I dealt with, explained the situation and they did the rest.  I hope you will do the same as there are many ways to save your house and have money in the bank.  Take a friend or family member with you when you go.

I will be honest in saying when I have some tough days I get angry at God too for letting Ernie pass away.  At other times I actually get angry at Ernie and this was bad at the beginning of my grief, but not so much now.  Very normal emotion.

Keep going to grief counseling and please keep coming here as the angels on here will be right here for you. 

You will not lose control or go crazy although you may feel that now.  Every single day you get up makes you stronger and yes, you will get some breaks in life to help you through your grief.  Cry when you want to, sleep as much as you can and if by chance you just don't want to go out and just be alone do so.  I found walking was a good help for me when I wanted to be alone with my own thoughts.  One day down the road I can promise you without even realizing it at first you will laugh out loud.  I did and others have and it sure shocked me.   

Big hug (because you need it.)

Marsha

Comment by David Heggi on March 16, 2018 at 1:00pm

I am so sorry, Sue; you have definitely had more than your share of grief to bear.  I also think I've paid my dues, and then to have more heaped upon them.  I am also frequently angry at a God who would allow this.  I don't have an answer;  I do have empathy:  I am in the same situation, losing my beloved, my house - my entire life without him.  Most people don't consider not only the loss of our loved ones, but that income as well.  And that adds more devastation.  My heart goes out to you, Sue.

Comment by Susan Farrell on March 16, 2018 at 11:59am

Feeling guilt seems to be common thing among us who have lost our loves.  I see things everywhere that remind me of John.  I am keeping notes he wrote, his last empty Tic Tac container, etc.  I hug his pillow and it still smells like him.  I stare at his picture and play our song and cry and cry.  I went to my first grief counseling session today.  It went well.  I have learned to let it all out quickly so I don't end up in a year's worth of co-pays.  I feel a little lighter.  I still can't eat much and have so much trouble concentrating; I forget things all the time.  I am clutching onto this life as I really want to be in the next life. I learned in my 12 Step group to "act as if...", and to suit up and show up.  Therefore, I will be making corned beef and cabbage tomorrow.  Evenings are the worst for me.  John and I spent so much time together, but just after supper was very nice quality time and just being together.  My Dad lives with me.  He has two types of cancer and is on chemo.  He is 85.  Yesterday he had a biopsy of a tumor on his foot.  Oh God.  Doc thinks it's cancer and if so, would have to amputate.  We will get an answer in two weeks.  I have not seen it mentioned here about financial difficulties or the fear of them since our spouses or significant others have died.  I have the fear.  If my Dad dies I will more than likely lose my home.  I am squeezing every nickel.  I am grateful to have a community food bank that does not consider income or I would not qualify. I  am trying to count my blessings and to look at what is right in my life.  I pray quite often, but I am more than mad at God for allowing  John to die.  I have had a lot of traumatic losses in my life and I feel picked on by this life.  My Mom when she was only 60, my husband, a sixth month pregnancy and two other miscarriages, Patrick our friend of 35 years who we took care of all those years, my 22 yr old daughter in law and my grandson died in a car accident and now my sweet love John at age 55.  I've had enough!!!! I am surely feeling sorry for myself.   Sue

Comment by deborah peck on March 16, 2018 at 10:01am

Anthony, my husband too passed at home and it is a hard but blessed experience, a lot of guilt that maybe I could of done things differently and he could of lived longer, ect... I replay it all in my mind all the time too. Unlike you he only lived two days after I brought him home and after being the caretaker for my mom I knew I couldn't be the one to dispense his meds so my brother did that for me and he was surrounded by my entire family with me laying next to hime when God took him, I try to think of the good too but right now I cant find that peace either, its been 10 months for me but everyone on here is so supportive so don't be afraid to bare your soul on here as everyone on here is helpful and they know EXACTLY what your going thru, hugs to you  Debby

 

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