My soul mate died on March 3 at 4:12 am.  I have pasted what I wrote that morning.  I hope this will open a line of communication with those who have gone through this pain also.

 

I don't know where to start. But my reason is gone. My reason for laughing, loving and living departed this world this morning.

Jim went to bed at 1am this morning. I however stayed up and was watching television. He came out to the living room and said he wasn't feeling well. He complained of a backache and chest pain. He had been worried all day about various things that seem pretty trivial now. So I thought he might be having an anxiety attack. He asked me to rub his back. But whatever I was doing wasn't helping and he seemed to get more frustrated. He got up and went to the bathroom, came back out and he was breathing very heavily and still complaining about his back. And saying that he never felt like this before. 

 He sat down on the couch, I began coaching him on trying to control his breathing so he could relax. He leaned back on the couch and all the color had gone from his face. I told him let's get you to the hospital he said no. He just wanted to get his back rubbed I did. He again went to the restroom and came back to sit down but this time he wasn't talking just groaning. I began to rub his shoulders and he tried to talk to me but the words were just garbled. I grabbed the phone and dialed 911.  He leaned back into the couch and his color was now blue.  I tried to get a pulse but couldn't find one.

The ambulance arrived quickly but they were having the same problem I did. They could not find a pulse. He was still making sounds and moving around on the couch. He told the paramedics he had to go to the bathroom. To which he went under his own power but when he came back he just collapsed on the couch. The medics tried to attach the heart monitor and told Jim he had to stay still for just a moment. The were not able to get a reading. Jim looked up at us and said "oh my stomach, I am dying. He just kept reaching for me.  With Jim still conscious they took him out to the ambulance I followed in the car. I went into triage and waited for what seemed like an eternity, one of the men from the ambulance came out and said that he is very serious and that upon entering the driveway to the hospital that they had to start CPR his heart had stopped and that he was now on machines to keep his heart beating and to make him breath.

About an hour had passed and a nurse had called me to the back. I was scared but, hopeful. That is until she lead me to a conference room and not his bedside. The a few minutes later the Doctor came in and explained again what had happened and the efforts that they had to take. However, their efforts were in vain because God had called Jim home.

My precious you don't have to worry anymore. All your worldly cares are over. No more pain no more sorrow. I know I sound selfish but, I feel I need you here with me. I will never stop loving you. I can't believe you are gone. You have been my strength and my rock. You have always believed in me. I am at a loss as to how to continue.

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Mark - I am so sorry for your loss. It's not anything I would wish on anyone. I'm at the 18 month mark when I found my Nils and passed away in his sleep... peacefully thank God. It was such a shock and still is from time to time. I have to agree with Robert... find those peaceful and happy moments - it will help get through those rough times.

Reach out to others - don't go through this alone. Surround yourself with good people.

Don

Dear fellow widowers,

Thank you all so much for your heart felt comments.  I have just had so much going on that I have not been able to write back til now.  There have been some thing going on that I wanted to share.

Jim and were together for 18 years.  Pennsylvania had just passed the law that gay couples could get married.  Jim I had planned to get married in August.  Now however, this has made life for me a bit more difficult.  The house was gifted to him from his mother last year in February.  We had planned to for go getting the deed changed into both names since we were planning marriage.  Jim did have a will.  And left all to me but at the time the only asset in his name was the house.  And of course the line of equity is still owed before the deed can be transferred so now I am looking to qualify for a mortgage to get that but before the bank can sell the house to me comes the cost of probate court and lawyer fees.  Right at the moment I can't afford all of that so I am working with the bank and they seem to be happy to take payments from me for just the interest on the equity loan.  Amen to that because I could never find rent that inexpensively.  I am also dealing with my elderly parents failing health.  Mom is recovering from a fractured tail bone and hip.  My Father is full blown Alzheimer's. They had offered that I come home to live.  It may sound selfish and wrong but mentally I don't think that I could handle their issues and try to work though my loss and issues also.  Plus that would then mean having to find a new job or have over an hour one way to work.  And you know the hardest part is not so much those that were there soon after the loss have started not calling.  Mind you no one has come to visit since the day of the memorial.  I don't blame these people for moving on.  But what hurts most now is the people I do interact with daily at work, asking "How are you doing?"  All the time walking on eggshells if I happen to say I'm not having that great of a day.  I swear sometimes I just hate being asked if I'm okay.  I know that they care and that they mean well but, I don't know how to tell them that things will never be the same again.  And that I am learning to deal with that and that they have no idea nor can relate to the pain and the issues I face on a daily basis.  This is what I miss Jim for the most because no matter what no matter how I was feeling,  he always had my back and supported me no matter what.  And now my parents who have also always been there for me may not be with me much longer either.  What am I to do it seems the people that I have always relied on so much are leaving my life and there is nothing I can do about it.  I have always been told that I am the strong one and the level headed one.  But it is so hard to be there for yourself.  I don't know how I have gotten through this last month but, my grief counselor seems to think I still have a level head.  But I am not so sure that I can keep this up.  But every morning the sun rises.  I feed the cats and start my day.  I even smile and laugh sometimes.  I just don't know where it is coming from.  Thank you all for listening (reading).  I hope I didn't ramble on too much.  But it is nice to be able to vent to someone that understands.

Love, 

Mark

Still miss you so much!

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Hi Mark

 I glad you shared your story and hope this finds you doing a little better at least. It does get bearable with time. i do remember though at the time and when it was still fresh i couldn't imagine it getting better,but it has. Make sure you have good friends around you always. I too lost a dear love of 27 years and although his death was drawn out and extremely painful to watch, i at least was a little prepared for the end, well as prepared as one can be. If you ever need to talk please feel free to message me i would be happy to chat.

Hugs,

Shane

Hi, Mark.

This site is a Godsend; sure, you'll get advice some of which will help and some of which might not, but what you will get from this site is a sense of shared experience.  And only those who have gone through this or are going through this can truly understand it.  It's worse, I think, being a gay or lesbian since there aren't a lot of LBGT resources - but then again, I'm told by straight friends that's it no easier there either.

My spouse passed in October 2013, so my journey is far along.  What could I say to you that will help, that might prepare you for what you'll face, that will help you live your life?  First of all, it really is a process, no real defined beginning/end/etc., and it comes down to time.  Second, it's an oddly lonely time.  Not simply that friends stop calling or inquiring - you later understand that this is your life, and your journey, not theirs - but that you feel like part of you is sequestered off in a different experience, that everything seems different, that you've gone through something nobody else seems to have experienced.  You may even date other widowers (while the shared understanding is a strong bond, you'll quickly find that person's qualities are more important than shared grief) - but eventually you do come out of the fog.

And from my experience, that's how you'll feel for a while - like you're walking around in a fog.  I found it really helped focusing on the basics, on the little things.  I couldn't change the big picture, but I knew I had to keep my job.  I knew I would be bad at it but I tried to focus on a few things that would save me until I was 100% - yes, sounds ridiculous.  I also began focusing on small personal things:  I fixed a bathroom mirror, I got rid of a piece of art that I didn't like, I put away all our shared momentos (didn't throw them out, but no longer left them out) and I allowed myself one photo of the two of us, and in a grouping of other late relatives' photos.

I fixed up my gardens, and I followed other folks' advice as to what to plant, and how to do it.  I took a crazy vacation - river rafting down the Colorado with an old friend - I held my (once ours) giant Christmas party; I got back into the dating scene (and made lots of social mistakes at the beginning - my bad) and I followed advice that a friend gave me which was never better:  Have the Year of Me.  Be selfish, but try not to look back.  The past is not the present nor your future - the focus has to be you.  

And this is a great site in which to vent your frustrations, your angst, grief - everybody here has gone through it, in all the different stages.   Believe me, I found one post from a guy who watched his partner die of cancer, and posted a truly heartfelt blog, documenting the journey through and after his death.  The blog is no longer active has he has since moved, found somebody else, and I believe remarried.  When I first read that I pondered, "how can that be?" but now a year and a half in, I understand how it could be.  The process does unfold, and we do move on.

Richard

I also lost my partner October 2013 and I agree with every word you wrote. I have to admit I didn't want to hear "give it time and you will heal" at first because the pain was so raw. The emotions one has to go through is such a painful experience. But time does have a way of making things better. Yes the fog will eventually lift and you do start to see things more clearly again. But it does take time.

At this point in my life I'm appreciating every little thing that makes me smile. I've become more focus on the house/farm as all the responsibilities and job duties fell on my shoulders. One thing I tell everyone is "dealing with the death was bad enough - no one told me my job description would change too". And how! Little did I know at the time that would be my source of strength. Every day when I get up I look forward to the challenges of the day and take them on head on. At night when I go to bed I ask my partner "did I do OK today?" I'm sure he looking down on me with that big bearish grin that I miss so much.

March 23 would have been our 19th anniversary. I wasn't a sad day for me - instead it was a day filled with love and happy memories. I smiled all day. I guess it looks like I must be moving on.

Life is good.... again.

Don


Richard Turner said:

Hi, Mark.

This site is a Godsend; sure, you'll get advice some of which will help and some of which might not, but what you will get from this site is a sense of shared experience.  And only those who have gone through this or are going through this can truly understand it.  It's worse, I think, being a gay or lesbian since there aren't a lot of LBGT resources - but then again, I'm told by straight friends that's it no easier there either.

My spouse passed in October 2013, so my journey is far along.  What could I say to you that will help, that might prepare you for what you'll face, that will help you live your life?  First of all, it really is a process, no real defined beginning/end/etc., and it comes down to time.  Second, it's an oddly lonely time.  Not simply that friends stop calling or inquiring - you later understand that this is your life, and your journey, not theirs - but that you feel like part of you is sequestered off in a different experience, that everything seems different, that you've gone through something nobody else seems to have experienced.  You may even date other widowers (while the shared understanding is a strong bond, you'll quickly find that person's qualities are more important than shared grief) - but eventually you do come out of the fog.

And from my experience, that's how you'll feel for a while - like you're walking around in a fog.  I found it really helped focusing on the basics, on the little things.  I couldn't change the big picture, but I knew I had to keep my job.  I knew I would be bad at it but I tried to focus on a few things that would save me until I was 100% - yes, sounds ridiculous.  I also began focusing on small personal things:  I fixed a bathroom mirror, I got rid of a piece of art that I didn't like, I put away all our shared momentos (didn't throw them out, but no longer left them out) and I allowed myself one photo of the two of us, and in a grouping of other late relatives' photos.

I fixed up my gardens, and I followed other folks' advice as to what to plant, and how to do it.  I took a crazy vacation - river rafting down the Colorado with an old friend - I held my (once ours) giant Christmas party; I got back into the dating scene (and made lots of social mistakes at the beginning - my bad) and I followed advice that a friend gave me which was never better:  Have the Year of Me.  Be selfish, but try not to look back.  The past is not the present nor your future - the focus has to be you.  

And this is a great site in which to vent your frustrations, your angst, grief - everybody here has gone through it, in all the different stages.   Believe me, I found one post from a guy who watched his partner die of cancer, and posted a truly heartfelt blog, documenting the journey through and after his death.  The blog is no longer active has he has since moved, found somebody else, and I believe remarried.  When I first read that I pondered, "how can that be?" but now a year and a half in, I understand how it could be.  The process does unfold, and we do move on.

Dear Mark, I am sorry for your loss, my partner died last July we had been together 25 years and had decided to get married. However three days before we were to get married Bertrand was found collapsed in our apartment and had died a few hours earlier. Like you and Jim we had made a will, thank goodness but and all those administration papers had to be dealt with and after 8 months I am still dealing with them.
My life was so tied to Bertrand's and it has been a horrific eight months getting finances sorted. I know one day it will be all fine but at the moment it's a waiting game.
I suppose I just want to say you are not alone in your grief, and all those administration problems that we have to deal with are all part of the deal. In France I had to produce three different certificates to prove that Bertrand had died.
I have given myself one year to see how I will go and afterwards I will look at how I have gone.
Take care

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