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

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Comment by Scott G. on June 24, 2016 at 8:32am

Hi Shane,

Thank you so much.  I've always been great at helping others and putting myself on the back burner for later,. But it does take a toll on the caregiver/survivor (for me in this past year).  It is nice to connect with someone who has had a similar experience.  There are so many different circumstances that all of us have gone through.  I think I have turned some corners recently in talking with him spiritually and often in a happy tone and talking about goofy things that he did or that made me crazy.  Those time are during the day..... and the other times are generally at night, combined w/ an Adele or John Legend song.... Well you know where I am going.  When I hear a certain song or something, my mind does not go to "our song" but instead to remembering where I was when I heard it and the answer seems to always be @ the hospital or driving in there.  In every major U.S. noteworthy event in 2012 and 2013 I can often remember the day of week and date and where I was.  Whew.

Thanks again,


Comment by Shane Clements on June 24, 2016 at 12:19am

Hi Scott

Forst i will keep this short because believe it or not your story could read as mine! Parents and all, Dad has passes away as well , mom is doing good but throw my Mothers invalid younger sister into the mix, who i now care for daily, Our stories are identical, Billy passed in 2013, we were together since i was 27 and he was 26. im 54 now and was 51 when he passed he was 50. needless to say your story has broughgt up so many emotions that i too am still dealing with, the same as you, anger, guilt. all very normal in the process. suffice it to say my heart breaks for you and i will write more later when i can digest this all. Thinking of you and wishing you love and peac!


Comment by John Lohr on June 11, 2016 at 10:34pm

Hi Scott.  I am so sorry for your losses, both your husband and your father. You hadn't finished your grieving for Skip, when you had to face the loss of your father. A double loss, and an overload of grief.   From your description of events, it sounds like the anger that is surfacing is part of your own unique path to grieving and healing.  It does seem cruel and unfair, to have fallen in love, "played by the rules", and have it taken away so soon.  You have every right to feel angry. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but also be gentle with yourself.  There is no correct or right amount of time to grieve.   Everyone is unique and has their own path to healing.  Trust that with time, the pain and loss will lessen, though there may be occasional episodes where a memory is triggered, and the pain seems fresh again. You will never forget,  and you will always miss Skip, but you will reach closure one day.  Sharing your story is an important step you've taken towards healing.  Best wishes to you.

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