Linda G.
  • Female
  • Clemmons, NC
  • United States
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Neal and I married after only knowing each other 2 1/2 months and were married for 40 years 8 months.  Neal was 19 years old and I was 17 years old.  During our marriage we learned about each other and our love grew each day.  Nine months after we were married we were blessed with our first child, a son, Neal Jr.  Then 10 years later we were blessed with our second son, Jeremy. 

 

During the first years of our marriage, we struggled alot. Struggled with finances, getting to know each other, having a new baby and just all of the things everyone goes through.  But we made it.  We became as one.  We liked the same things and as time went by we could even finish each others sentences. 

 

Neal was never one to be sick.  If he did get a cold or something he never stopped he kept going. His favorite medicine was Goody powders.   That is about all he ever took. He would take 2 powders and wash them down with a beer.  But April 19th 2010, he had a spell where he could not remember stuff. He was on a job site and could not find his way home. So he went to our doctor, which he hardly ever did.  His sodium level was so low the doctor put him in the hospital.  They did all kinds of test and on April 27, 2010 they told us he had lung cancer.  After a biopsy they also told us it was inoperable and it was the fast growing type.  He did 4 chemo treatments and had to stop because the side affects were so bad on him.  Then September 10, 2010 the doctors told us the cancer had spread to his liver, lungs and brain.  I will skip all the awful things the cancer did to him and just tell you that he kept going as hard as he could up until the last week of his life.  I watched my 6 foot 230 pounds husband who was a true outdoorsman go to 185 pounds and barely able to walk and not able to remember even how to turn the TV on. It was just heartbreaking.  But his main concern was me, he kept saying it was not fair to me, he also kept saying he hated not being able to finish teaching his grandsons all he had wanted to. 

 

Then on October 15, 2010, the love of my life lost his battle with cancer.  He passed away with Neal Jr on one side of him, Jeremy on the other and me sitting at his feet holding his hands.  That day I lost my husband, my lover, my friend and everything I knew. My sons lost their "Pop", their teacher and their fishing and hunting buddy.  My grandsons lost their hero.

 

Life as I knew it is gone, replaced with the unknown.  My concentration is shattered, answering the phone is a hassel, doing anything is a chore. And my eating right is just gone.  I have no idea who I am anymore. I have no purpose in life anymore and I just muddle through each day, one at a time.

 

At this point in my life I don't know what I will do the rest of my life without Neal. My life was his life.  I was his wife, lover, friend and at the end his caretaker.  Only time will tell what the rest of my life will be.

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At 9:30pm on February 11, 2012, MaggieP said…
Hi Linda,
I am happy to hear from you. I just passed 14 months on the 2nd. I miss Dave very much, but I am also making my way alone. I please myself by doing ' decadent' things like eating ice cream out of the container, giving the cats a dish of water on the kitchen counter...(i don't use that area for food preparation) and having pop corn for dinner occasionally.
I remember the person you speak if. her attitude was really upsetting. I see her posts on face book, and she is a different person. I suspect that Steve blocked her posts.
8 years ago, when I started working at the college, I started getting a massage twice a month. I had really good health insurance. I continued with them for six months after Dave died, and I think it helped me with my grief ....well it didn't hurt me. With a change in health insurance I lost the perk and now I miss my massages... I can't keep my eyes open tonight. Take care and I will talk to you later. Hugs to you my friend
At 7:00pm on February 10, 2012, Dianne said…

Hello Linda G.  It is so awesome to hear from you!!  I have been away for a little bit.  I am trying to prepare myself for doing a module on grief and bereavement at my job.  It is a new pilot program and it is for those who have lost a child through SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or pregnancy.  It's the grieving part that myself and another colleague will do.  Please pray that all goes well with my presentation.  I am so glad to know that you are doing better with your eating and also doing more around the house.  Isn't God good.  Sometimes I can get down because to me there is so much I want to do to help others, but my monetary finances are short and my heart aches at times because of that, but I know that God is in control.  I love to make cards and I also do funeral programs for those who cannot afford the high pricing.  It brings joy to my heart when I can do that for others.  I do pray life is treating you well, which I should know it is because you Love the Lord.  Keep trusting in Him no matter what.  He is our anchor.  Keep me posted on how you are doing as I will do the same.  Hugs and Kisses

At 9:47am on February 7, 2012, Christy said…

Linda, it was so nice to hear from you today (just got your email-I didn't notice when you sent it). I really needed to hear from you/ someone who knows exactly what it's like. So thankful for so much, yet inwardly crushed & still over whelmed by my loss. Please never ever apologize for sharing your feelings with me- that's what we are here for! It helps me to know I am not alone in my feelings. I understand how you feel about going to have your teeth pulled- I cried my eyes out the 1st time I went to see a new doctor & filled the papers out- Who to contact in case of emergancy? That got me! It has been Larry for so long, before that it was my mom- who now? It's beyond words...

I am in a British Literature class now, and surprised at how much I enjoy it. We are covering the Romantic Period which was during the 1800s basically & at that time, medicine had not advanced & most people experienced the deaths of loved ones, so alot of what we are reading deals with this grief, sorrow & how it effects a person. I have found it very comforting to know these famous authors have put into words my very feelings!

I've got to go- take care & as Always...HUGS!

Christy 

At 8:02am on February 7, 2012, MaggieP said…

Hi Linda.  The book is Healing after Loss by Martha Hickman.  I tried posting it twice...once last night, and then again this morning.  It was in a bigger post.  Every time I tried to enter, I was told that there was no connection to the page.  I was getting paranoid.... About the same time you were asking, I finally just posted the title.  It went through.  I got to work and saw your post, and wanted to say Hi to you and send you a hug!!!!!!!

Friday would have been Dave's 94th birthday.  He used to love telling people that he was younger than his mother-in-law (by 20 months), and that she was the best mother-in-law (3rd) he ever had.   Last year, I cooked his favorite dinner, and had his favorite drink before dinner, and toasted him.  I am thinking of doing the same thing again.  Right on the heals of birthday is Valentines day.  We never did much to celebrate Valentines day, but two whams so close together can be difficult.  I guess I will do what I can to get through both days.   I got a massage yesterday.  I hadn't had one since June.  My body was so out of whack... I think it was from the tension of grieving and all of the family stuff I had to go through.  I don't think I will wait as long for the next one.  I really think the massages helped me deal with my grief.  It is amazing how it affects the body.

 Hugs to you! I hope all is managable with you. I suspect that things are easier for you because I don't see you posting as much.  It is interesting to read the new posts. The stories change some, but the same emotional pain is there. All things change, and nothing changes. 

At 7:23am on February 3, 2012, Christy said…

Hello Linda! I've been having a hard time again... you know it seems that almost everyday is a challenge, but there seems to be "periods" when I can't seem to shake this grieving. I just miss him so, so much I can't stand it. I wonder sometimes if I will feel like this if I live another 40 years. I am hanging in/on & there are no real concerns or anything worrisome going on... I have so much to be thankful for. My granddaughter will turn 2 yrs on Valentine's Day- she is such a blessing & brightens each day more than anything.

I hope things are going smoothly for you also. How is the food/exercise... coming along? I am doing o.k.- better than I was, but not as good as I should be yet. I sure have enjoyed this mild winter, it was 73 degrees here yesterday! Well, take care & stay in touch.

Hugs & best wishes always,

Christy 

At 9:36am on January 6, 2012, Christy said…

Hi Linda! I just read your messg. & I am glad to hear you are making positive strides. Since I wrote you last wk, I too have done some cleaning out (not Larry's things either) and it feels good! I also started watching my intake choosing fibre over mindless munching & lots of homemade soup which is healthy, tastes great, is cheap, and feels great on my sore throat. Yes, I am here for you & cheering you on! Go Linda!!! :) We can do this!

 

At 9:39am on December 31, 2011, Dianne said…

Hi Linda;  I can truly say from reading your story, that God got the Glory in your husband's death.  All the time, God's glory shined through your husband.  It was the love that the two of you had for each other.  God's love shined through the both of you.  Now take that love and pass it on to others and show them what love is all about in a family.  There's different types of love.  But the one you had was the love for your husband and family.  And the love that God had for your husband was the agape love.  Love that surpasses all our understanding.  You may not know what to do the rest of your life without Neal, but God knows.  Let God be your life, your husband, friend, your everything.  There's a work for you to do and only God will show you what it is.  For forty years your purpose in life was being created along with your husband.  Now that purpose needs to be shared with other wives who are struggling no know what love is.  You know what love is--you experienced it.  Give yourself time to answering the phone.  Listen to the voice messages and return one call at a time.  Do your chores the way your husband and you would have handled them--one day at a time.  Pick back up your good eating habits for you need that strength for the family and tht class you are going to teach (smile).  You need strength to carry on.  You know who you are--You are a child of God--the Most High King.  God will show you what to do--He's only a prayer away.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  Going into another year!!  What are you going to do about it?  Are you going to let 2012 suck you in or will 2012 be the year to break out and show the world what God has done for you through trusting Him.  Alright girl--let's shake that booty!!  Love Ya-Happy New Year 

At 10:12am on December 27, 2011, Christy said…

Hello Linda,

I have not been here in quite awhile, but I think of you and others here and send up my prayers. I hope you are adjusting some to life without Neal and making yourself a priority now. You need to be good to you! I know how hard it is. I lost weight and now I have gained weight and am going to try harder to eat healthier. It seems all I want is garbage. You know they say you are what you eat, well I think we might eat how we feel too. A woman I met over this past year is a widow for several years now and my age. Her husband was only 37 when he died in an auto accident. (One of my regular customers is responsible for her husband's death- it is tragic) Anyway, she recently went to the emergancy room in severe pain and I ended up bringing her home with me. She has no close family to speak of. Getting to know her better since her hospitalization showed me how easy it is for us to fall in the trap she is in: she gained and continued to gain and is now almost 300 lbs and she was a healthy size before. Her house has been neglected and looks very close to that of a hoarder. She lost her job (likely to appearance & health issues) leaving her in financial strain, which gave her an ulcer due to stress... anyway I see how easily I could be in that exact mess. I don't eat right, and my house is in need of attention. I just haven't "felt" like doing anything. I only do what I absolutely must, like work & school. Sorry to go on about this, but I remeber you saying similar things about how you felt/ate and hope that you are doing better now. If not, I hope you join me in trying harder to be better to yourself and your health.

Take care~ Christy

At 10:07am on December 16, 2011, MaggieP said…

Linda, Dave died December 2, 2010.  I am on my second year.  You are right, still, there is pain and lonliness.  You are so fortunate to have family around and grandchildren that love and need you.  My children are not here.  I do have a brother that lives in town, but he and his family are busy with their life.  My mother lives in the area too.  She moved back to the area soon after Dave died.  She lives in an independent living place, but she can't get out on her own.  I was celebrating my mother's birthday last month with dinner at the place where she eats.  At her table, sitting in her seat, was a gentleman having dinner with his in-laws.  I heard him saying that he didn't know what he was going to do without their daughter who had just died.  I felt compassion for him immediatly!  When we had our first rehearsal with the choir for the Messiah, I kept looking at this man in the back row.  He looked so familiar, but I couldn't place him.  I finally realized he was the man having dinner with his in-laws.  After the rehearsal, I spoke to him.  I told him that I recognized him, and he didn't know how that could be until I explained it to him.  I told him that I had recently lost my husband, and that I understood what he was going through.  It is strange, you never know how you can  be touched (emotionally) by a stranger, or what you say can affect them.

 

Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!  Maggie

At 5:08am on December 15, 2011, MaggieP said…
Linda, I'm thinking about you today. Hugs!! Maggie
 
 
 

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