Hi I am Scott. I widowed 2 1/2 years ago. I have recently realized that I am grieving late or maybe there is no real time and it will probably go on indefinitely. Sometimes I wonder which is harder; the loss of Skip or the hell that we went through for the year prior. It does not change anything but I think about it. Where was the payback for being on top of all the care giving and making so many decisions and all that? I sometimes feel so CHEATED which at first makes me feel selfish for feeling that way when he is the one that died. We had played by all the rules and because of a couple medical oversights and surgical mistakes the year to follow his surgery turned into 50 surgeries and his chest cavity had been kept open close to a year but we had made it to the finish line and were CANCER FREE ready for the final surgery.
I had even prepared for all of the worst: life possibly in the wheel chair, (we had done that), being on Oxygen full time(no problem), me having to carry him over steps (I did it all the time)..... So after a year and all those hospitalizations and surgeries HE WAS CANCER FREE. On the day of his final surgery, I knew something had gone terribly wrong even though the surgeon of course would not admit that. I had only about 5 days notice that he really would not make it. After lots of discussions with all the Doc's and team, I signed the DNR and I knew it would probably not be more than a couple weeks and it was just another 5 days. The hardest thing that I hopefully will ever have to do is softly tell someone that things in the last surgery did not go so well and that we needed to talk about some other directions. He on some levels understood but the last surgery left some mental incapacity and I now say that in that case "some of the new dementia WAS A GIFT" because he generally would go back to being happy. He did grasp what I had told him and the first thing he said was "What will happen to you?"
We had been together 5 years. We had put off officially getting married as we kept waiting for all this to come to an end. So as the final closing surgery kept being delayed and winter would be approaching we finally got married and found a minister that could do it with just a couple days notice (as we never knew when he would be admitted back in the hospital but knew when the surgeries were usually. We got married in a park by a lake with me standing with him and he was in the wheel chair.
Where was the justice? All of our LGBT community fought so long for marriage equality and WE GOT it. Everyone has heard about the jokes of "Wait 'til the upcoming gay divorces start".... BUT WIDOWHOOD????? I'm 51 now but he died when I was 48. We did not meet til I was 43 so it was later in life. Even though we were together 5 years I had actually gone from a newlywed to a widower in 7 1/2 weeks! I feel too old to be young and too young to be old.... Honestly BOTH ARE TRUE.
We had formed great relationships with Nurses and Social Workers at the hospital over that year and when we got married Skip changed his last name to mine so all the paperwork changed and I will never forget a Nurse Practitioner coming into his room and blushing and "happily crying" when she realized it was us as she did not recognize the name on the chart.
My Dad's health took a decline soon after Skip's death so my parents moved back here to Upstate NY so I could care for my Dad and then my Mom when that time will come.
I felt of course that caring for my Dad would be a piece of cake, as I had a house full of medical equipment and I WAS GOOD AT IT. Plus it was a distraction for me. For all my Dad went through it was thankfully nothing compared to Skip. My Dad only lasted 6 months here. The morning I talked to the hospital while my Dad was unconscious and I knew his death was close, my Mom said she could just not handle it and I said "I got this" and I packed a bag and went down to the hospital so I could be with my Dad when he died a year ago. I AM GOOD AT THIS ON THE OUTSIDE. Finally I am dealing with my grief and all that.
I know I was a good husband and a good son but I must say that I still feel cheated and have some anger and I often think that Skip and I had always planned on taking care of Mom and Dad together. he always called my folks Mom and Dad..... of course all that makes me feel bad because they are the ones that died..... Intellectually I know this is totally normal but I still feel it sometimes.
Well that is my story, now I just have to start healing me. Thanks for reading - Scott