My Mother in law died January 2009.  I dont know what else to do for my husband.  Her foot was dying from a disease, and he and his sister had two choices, either amputate from the knee down, or operate and try to save,she was 89 years old.  My sister in law was in her power of attorney, and decided due to her age, she would try the operation to see how her foot would react, this all happended the day before xmas eve 2008.  My husband wanted to amputate, but felt he had no choice in the say, she had some dementia, and lets face it, she was 89 years old, and lived a very very good life. They did the operation, and it seemed to go well, On xmas ever we received a call it had not worked, and she needed to go into surgery xmas day again. so she did, that night she suffered a heart attack, and she was never the same, she was in pain.  the dr's said there was nothing further they could do for her, she was weak, and hey couldnt save her foot at this point, and her heart, couldnt take anything else, she was dying, so they moved her to hospice. My husband went in the ambulance with her, she was awake, and talking with him, this is the part, he seems to have the problem with and cant live with himself about. when she got to hospice she was in pain, and she was dying, they started to give her morphine, so she started to sleep, the next day he went and there was a sort of smell to her, the nurse explained that was the smell of decay, when you start to die the body also starts and it just gives an odor off. His mom was still speaking but nothing like the day before she was in and out of it. by the next day, she never spoke again, and on Jan 3 2009 she passed in her sleep,.  What he cannot except is he believes hopice killed her by giving her the morphine which I tried to explain, yes they give her heavy doses, because she was in pain for her operations on her foot, and they had no choice, and she was dying and thats their job to keep her in peace and a painless death, he insist they killed her with the morphine, and he keeps playing over and over in his head what he did wrong and what he could have done to stop her from going there, or to stop his sister form doing that operation, and having the amputation instead. He will go to the cementary to visit his dad, but refuses to recongnize his mom is in the grave, I just dont know what to do, he has not greived properly for her, and im afraid its taking a toll on him and he is not right over this, any suggestions please would help thanks Linda

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Thank you Jo, and believe me I understand loss, I grew up with my grandparents, my mom has epilepsy, and back then they didnt really know how to handle it yet, they were still calling it fits, she was contstantly in the hospital, so my sisters and I practically grew up with my maternal granparents, so when they passed it was like losing my parents, and I totally greived as if I losed my parents my sisters too, so i am understanding of what he is going thru to a point, he knew she was dying, he came home one night from the nursing home, and said, I had a long talk with her, (she was in a slight coma and almost at death  at this time), he said he told her it was ok to go this night, he loved her and didnt want her to suffer, and he was at peace) two days later she died, he was fine through the funeral, and the next week, then all of a sudded, he started to relive from the day of the surgery, to the day of hospice, why did they do this, and why did they do that, if only they did this, and I said to him, you cant to that to yourself, she was 89, the drs did everything they could to save her but she was 89, she put up a fight, and lived as long as she could but her heart couldnt hold out anymore, her husband had been dead for 30 years, he died so young, I told him maybe she just wanted to finally go she missed him and never remarried or even dated you were okay with this you told her to go you were at peace, and now you wont even recognize shes in the grave when you visit the cementary he goes to visit his father only, when you talk about her or anyone does, he stops you and says, please dont because shes not dead to me, and I dont talk about it, my children have told him, dad, grammas dead, she has been for three years now, and you need to accept that, I know its hard, but you need to live your life, she wouldnt want you to walk around thinking she is still alive she would want you to think she is in heaven with grandpa happy, sometimes that helps him,  I offered to go to grieve counseling with him, he wont go, men dont go to grieve counsiling. Its to the point were he tells me you dont know what is its to loose someone, and thats when the fights really start,because hes right I dotn know what its like to lose my parents, and they are aging, however, I was closer with my grandparents than I was with my parents, and I certainly know how that affect me, and I cry every week sometimes thinking of them, I just do it to myself Imiss them dearly, but I dont let it effect my life, I have three beautiful grandbabies that need me, and theyneed him, and I tell him youhave to live on for them, and your mother would want that, sometimes he cant get out of bed, and the babies are here, and they call for him, Im at my witts end, and really dont know what to do, his sister dont want to hear it, I thought of calling my priest but will he be mad at me? I dont know what else to do, its really at the point where after three years, it shouldnt be where it is anymore, he should be past this part of it, I understand he should be missing her but not devestated and reliving what went wrong, and not accepting she is not in the cementary, and as much as I try to understand thats the part that gets me and I get upset with him over, I tell him, I know your upset but you have to start excepting she is dead, and buried, or esle you will never get better, I even said lets buy her nice  flowers and bring them to her, he said there is no where to bring them to her. Im at my witts end

I will thank you , I think I will call the priest because Its not getting better and after three years, It should be, I dont expect him to ever get over the death of his mother, however, I expect him at this stage to be getting past this and on with his life, or at least accepting she is dead and buried and visiting the grave but not to just see his dad but her too. thank you for talking to me, because Im was at my witts end, thinking I must be nuts or maybe its me, but I will call the family priest who he adores, and hopefully he will speak with him, and he can help him through this a little better thank you



 Linda, as a man your husband will feel he could have changed things for the better. Its grief, believe it or not, three years is not so long. And he is grieving this is his way. My husband feels the same way it’s been over 20 years. I listen to him, reassure him that I was glad he was with her before she pasted and remind him of all the good he did for her that seems to help change his focus for a time.  As you go through this period of sorrow remember; The Bible assures us God "is healing the broken hearted ones, and is binding up their painful spot." Psalm 147:3 pour your heart out to him this will help both of you 



Aloha Linda,

I can sympathize with you and your husband! I lost my father on January 26th of this year. He was a retired Mortician of 20 years. think it woud be easier for me but it wasn't! He has performed thousands of funerals of which I attended and still I found mysef having lots of difficulties accepting it since he was only 66. He had a bad heart. Two weeks before he died, I went to visit him on Kauai but I was told that I coudn't see him. A lot of drama escalated from that! And continued till his death. The guilt that I was feeling for not being by his bedside was tormenting me. But...what helped me to overlook the situation was remembering that my father was a minister of God. He believed in the hope of the resurrection promised in the Bible at John 5:28, 29. Jesus promises to wake up our loved ones from the grave. And Psalm 13:3 speaks of death as falling asleep. I share the same hope. This has helped me to carry on day after day. But...this weekend we scattered his ashes and I finally broke down! So, it will happen but your husband is the only one who can measure when that happens cause it's personal! My husband actually hates to see me cry so I try not to in front of him cause he freaks out! So maybe, in private, he has found his time or he will. What is important is that he knows you are supporting him no matter how he's dealing with her death and let him know you will never leave his side. Time and patience plays a big part in this. MY condolences to both of you. Aloha!


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