Hello good people.  My name is Michael and I lost my partner of 36+ years, Danie (pronounced Danny, his Mom had a thing about spelling her kids' names 'differently), only 15 days ago.  He was in his usual state of active, good health until 9 weeks before he became ill and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  Danie had never smoked, nor had I.  He would have celebrated his 62nd birthday this summer.  I will be 64 in a couple of months.

Danie's final illness robbed him of his amazing energy and gregariousness very quicky.  At first we thought, or at least I hoped, that chemotherapy would give him a few months, or a year or two or three,  It happens...  But that wasn't in the cards.  He never re-entered the hospital after his diagnosis, but his last 7 weeks were filled with tests, doctors' appointments, eventually the need for home oxygen and strong pain medication, and a new reality for both of us,  As time went on he, and then I, realized that his body could never withstand the rigors of chemo.  By his 2 weeks he had moved out of our bedroom upstairs to a beautiful room downstairs that he designed specifically for when either of us was ill.  He couldn't climb the stairs anymore and he felt bad about waking me up with his bouts of coughing.  By about 3 days before he died we both decided officially to give up the hope of chemo and requested home hospice care the following day.  Before he could even be evaluated, he died in bed, while I was taking a shower.

That was on March 27th at 4:00pm.  We had recently celebrated 36 years together, and were talking about finally getting married at home this summer after ongoing renovations were completed.

Now he's gone.  And I'm left with a hole in my life that appears to be bottomless, a house we owned together for over 22 years that we were finally fixing up per his direction, and 4 beautiful Australian Shepherds that were the 'apples of his eye'.    

There are a lot more details to the story of our lives and my life since losing him which I will write about in due course.  It's been so long since I had to fend for myself in this world that I've forgotten how.  Close friends and both our families have been very supportive and I'm learning to let them help out in some ways, but the two of us were so self=sufficient together for so long that even accepting help is hard.

I miss him so much it hurts to my core.  And the dogs, who are a great comfort, will not let me sob.  Every time my crying becomes the least bit vocal, they jump up on me and lick my eyes.

When I resorted to crying in the shower, they would stand just outside and all bark at me until I stopped.  Now I can only do it in the car.

But, without those 4 girls, our(now my) house and occasionally my work when I manage to get there for more than an hour or two, I would be totally lost.

That's about all I can write at this point.  Thanks for reading.

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I realize I have no control over anything, but every time I leave the house I become paralyzed and have the urge to rush back in and hug my dogs.
 
Tom Hogshead said:

I understand Michael, Jason and I loved doing things for eachother.  Last week I kept seeing things that would be perfect for an Easter basket before catching myself. Dozens of times a day I still think, I need to tell Jason about that.  It's a microsecond of an impulse, but the wave of pain is immense, and I relive the realization that I am never going to see him, hold him, or hear his voice again in this lifetime.  I used to think the phrase "misery loves company" was a negative.  Now I see that company of others who know exactly the pain I feel is a blessing.  My challenge this week has been people who ask me how I'm holding up.  Even the best of friends will not be able to tolerate the long term need to express our pain, and that is where this site seems to be of so much help for me.

Hello Michael,

I was very moved to read your story and joined this group because of it.  I too lost my soulmate rather suddenly.  It was not unexpected but like you I thought we would have had more time.  My beautiful Stacy, who was in my life for 17 years, was diagnosed with inoperable esophageal cancer.  We shared a birthday and we got the confirmed diagnosis on our birthday.  It was a grim diagnosis because the cancer had spread to his lungs and liver by the time they discovered it.

We had hoped that chemo would give us more time but it wasn't to be.  He went into the hospital at the end of October to have a feeding tube put in because he could not eat and was losing weight rapidly. The plan was to get his weight up so that he could be given chemo.   He was never home again.  There was an endless line of set-backs and complications.  We just never got a break.  

I was walking down the hall to his room when he went into cardiac arrest on December 10.  They got his heart started but he was not coming back.  I stayed with him, telling him it was okay to leave and read him to him from all the messages that people were sending to me throughout the day.  His heart stopped again in the early evening.

I still can not get over how fast this happened.  He was so alive and then this terrible disease and he was gone in 3 months.

We had 17 wonderful years together, the last 5 we were legally married.  We had just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary when he went in for his cat scan.  I refer to him as my late spouse or husband. 

He was the love of my life and I am so very blessed that he was in my life.  Both families have been very supportive and I am lucky to have that as well.

I can really relate to your story on so many levels and would be happy to share with you whenever you need to.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

I am so sorry,i do know your feelings also,very sudden here to the death of my partner of 13 years,to congestive heart failure,actually we had 10 days together before he died on October 5,2014.Bless you.

Oh Michael, 

I wish so much that I could just hug you and let you cry.  Your story has touched me in so many many ways.  Boy do I get how work can help.  If it were not for work and the support of family and friends, I do not know how I could have begun to cope with the loss of my partner Jim.  I too like Steve who also commented here would find myself breaking down literally anywhere.  I have been through many losses in my life but none that cut me so deeply. I do know in my heart that he is still with me.  Every memory over the past eighteen years is still with me.  Those memories can be a bane and a blessing but I  remind myself that I was privileged to be a part of those memories.  I find strength in that.  Everyday I am reminded in my head about what he thought of me, how he treated me and how through all those I became the person I am today.  I would not be the person I am today without him.  I am humbly grateful that the universe gave me the opportunity to be with him.  The only advice I have to give is be grateful even if you don't feel like it.  Be grateful for each tear they are a gift.  Be grateful for talking out loud to Danie though he may not be physically present his presence will always be with you.  Be grateful for the independence and self reliance that Danie has taught and given you.  Be open to all that is you and in doing so you honor Danie and yourself.  What you had was special and no one will ever take that away.  Hold on to whatever gives you comfort be it a picture, a pillow, a favorite outfit, the dogs, or a friend.  There are many times I found and I still find myself doing these things.   I given myself the permission that whatever I am feeling is okay.  Realize that everything you feel is a gift and a stepping stone.  Does it ever hurt less?  No, but it hurts differently and sometimes it feels wonderful.  Graceful good thoughts and digitally ((((HUGS!)))) And thanks so much for sharing a part of your beautiful story with us.  -  Mark

Thank you Mark, Michael and David.
Weekends are hard. It helps a little to get confirmation that the feelings I am feeling are a normal part of my grieving process.
Yesterday was the one month anniversary of Danie's death. Now that I'm trying to settle into what is my new routine of work, taking care of my 4 dogs and house, and keeping in touch with my support network of friends and family, I sometimes go for an hour or so without thinking about my loss. Then I will remember what my new reality is, and it's as if I'm losing him all over again.
What was our journey for 36 years has now become my journey, mine alone. And I miss having him as my travelling companion so very much.

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