Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: on Friday
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.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21.
Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22.
I just lost one of my best friends of over 25 years to pancreatic and liver cancer. Took less than two months from diagnosis to his passing away. Another hole in my life.
Theresa ... You are so sweet and thank you for that nice compliment. I always enjoy your posts and you always seem to keep Legacy alive and running and that makes you one very special person on here.
Karen ... You are so very welcome and might I suggest you print out the information from that link and give it to your family and tell them it would be a great favor to you if each of them would read it. They cannot feel the deep grief that you do losing your love, but they can certainly have some idea of what it is like. I took a similar piece of information and emailed some family members, friends and printed out some to other friends and if they said one wrong word to me as to how I should be grieving I'd look them right in the eye and say, 'You didn't read the information I gave you did you? I know what I'm going through is normal. Unless you read it keep your comments to yourself.' That sure did the trick and although not all read it many did and it was a whole different ball game. Most of us on here that have grieved for a year or more know now that grief is different for each one of us and it's a rough road, but grief also helps us to learn about things in our lives. It humbles us, makes us more sensitive to others who are in mental anguish or in pain and it makes us stronger. Like you, I felt I kept failing over and over again until one day I realized I was getting stronger. We will never forget our spouses and even 5 - 10 years or more we'll shed a tear or two, but, we will have a future for ourselves that we so choose to lead. There is light at the end of the tunnel Karen so hang on and lean on us.
Georgia ... I completely understand how you feel about the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and everything going so fast after that. My husband was 65 when he passed away. With the other health issues he had we never dreamed he had pancreatic cancer as he'd lost so much weight before they diagnosed him with Celiac Disease so we thought perhaps his diet wasn't strict enough and we weren't prepared for the devastating news. I know how difficult it is to watch our spouses dwindle away before our eyes and that everything is out of our control. All I remember is going after his surgeon who was a complete jerk with no empathy and I had to be at him 24/7 and believe me I was! I talked to Head Nurses, nurses and our family doctor and tried getting some support from the hospital to help us both through this difficult time. I was completely exhausted at the end of the evening, but kept plowing ahead to try and 'make him better' when I knew inside I couldn't. It took me several months after he passed away to remember that we had a few words together as often he was in a fog-like state on pain medication. We loved each other for over 40 years and told each other so, but soon he withdrew because I know it was hard to leave everyone he loved behind. I did give him permission to pass away near the end and I know that sounds narcissistic, but I've had other loved ones pass away and sometimes they need to know it's OK to slip away and be at peace and out of pain. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
More and more those last memories of being with your loved one will come back to you. The one thing that keeps me going (and I do fall often, but get back up) is the fact they were so brave and managed in the midst of the madness of their disease they kept their dignity. Now I realize after 3 1/2 years after his death he left me with not only wonderful memories and that I was so lucky to have had him in my life he taught me much throughout our lives together and I will never let his memory fade and I'll take those lessons he taught me and pass them forward.
Print out the information on that link I gave you and give it to family so they can have a better idea of what normal grief is because you are normal and if you didn't grieve the way you were then you'd have to be made out of stone.
I hope you are having a bit more of a peaceful day Georgia and remember we are always here for you.
My wife also died of pancreatic cancer. She was six days past her 57th birthday. It was roughly six months after her diagnosis. Like your husband, her symptoms were vague (food did not taste right... which led to weight loss). I suspect that by the time she was showing any symptoms she was already in Stage IV.
It has been a year and a half. I start feeling better and then seem to regress. Grief is definitely not a linear path. I have been participating in a bereavement group since just after her death and it has helped keep me connected. It is the one place that I can really talk and not feel out of my mind. I don't cry so much on the outside, but there are days when I feel like I can't stop crying on the inside.
Yes, your feelings are normal. Just reading the posts here, you see we all have followed a similar path. No two of us have the same story. We all experience grief in slightly different ways. But it is in sharing our experiences that we all find hints as to how to rebuild our lives.
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