Hello, I just joined the group. I accidentally started a blog but wanted to add to this group. I am having a really BAD day, can't stop crying.
My darling husband of 29 years died unexpectedly in August last year. I was overseas at the time. We have no children and no extended family where we live and very few friends. I had to ask the neighbour to check why he was not answering his phone and it took for EVER. I wanted him to break the door down but he was saying I am over reacting. Eventually my neighbour was able to open a small window and see though the bedroom curtains and he said he was unresponsive. The next minute the police comes to the phone and they say ' I am sorry, he has gone'. I was on the other side of the world and my darling was dead. It haunts me that he died alone. It was a cardiac arrest apparently caused by a virus that attacked his heart.He went to the doctor the day before for a check up and all was well. He was fit and only 61. They say he died in his sleep but how do they know? I could have been home with him. Could I have saved him? We were holidaying together visiting my my family in Europe but he needed to come home one week early. I asked him if he wanted me to go with him and he said' I would like that very much' but I didn't because my mum was upset that I was leaving earlier that expected.It was only a week. Last time I saw him alive was at the airport. I did not speak to him the day he died as we were both busy. I know he was happy as he had quite a social day,lunch and dinner with friends and he was happy. It haunts me that I was not there for him.
I am now living alone with my cat, I go to work as I am only 52. No family close by but I want to be in our home. I had to fill in a form the other day and I did not know what to put for' next of kin'. People expected me to return to Europe to my family but that is the last thing I want to do. I would have a lot more support there but it does not feel right. It is so tough not to have family though. I keep busy with work, I go to workshops, I meditate, I am looking after my husband's legacy and I am looking for a dog. I tried to set up a widow's group but got no response in my area. Just after David died a new neighbour arrived, a divorced lady with grown children. She has been a god send and I catch up with her a couple of times a week. I miss David so much, I met him when I was 20 and he has been an amazing husband. It was just us two. Now just me.
I feel your pain. I too lost my husband last August. It was from a brain tumor and it was only 10 weeks from when he was seemingly fine and diagnosed to when he died in hospice. I'm about your age and my husband was about the same as your husband. We all ask ourselves the same things. Could we have done something, could we have done more, was our person scared, etc...and the hardest part are the questions that we will never know the answers to. I couldn't save my husband no matter how much I tried and likely neither could you. I just read Option B and that was a good book that I found helpful. Also Widow to Widow and Healing After Loss. Option B also has a Facebook page where people share their stories, much like this site. It's helpful, I've found, to just know that you are not alone in that there are so many people in the same situation. Like you, we have no children and we were our own best friends so really didn't cultivate many. We have two cats and believe me, they look for my husband all the time as he worked out of our home and spent a lot of time with them. Also, like you, I connected with a woman who also lost her husband three months before me. I knew her prior as we are in the same business, but had no idea her husband was even sick and had been for 4 years. We've become good friends and do a lot of things together including traveling. For us, it helps to have things planned to look forward to. In fact we are going to Maui on Friday with several other ladies, including one who lost her son at 2 years old. The pain will never go away and we will never get over it, but we do learn to live with it and adapt. There are some things that I still haven't done, such as dealing with his driver's lc, certain banking and credit card issues, etc...mainly because it's painful and it's time consuming and I wouldn't want to be doing it under "normal" circumstances, let alone now. I finally did give most of his clothes to the church about a month or so ago and that was a big step. At any rate, it's horrible and unbelievable and very, very difficult. Keep breathing and do some reading as it will probably help.
Thank you for your reply Sheri and for the reading recommendations :) I used to love reading, mostly fiction, but now I only read self help books or books about widows. I did not know about option B so I will look for it. I have started watching TV again and that takes up some of my time. Now that it is winter where I live I plan to do stuff after work,usually on my own, but then I just stay home. Evenings are usually not so bad for me because I think the day is over and I made it through. Tonight I was driving home and I felt so desolated I did not know what to do though. I cried all the way home, had a tough day at work and felt so alone in the world. If my husband were still alive there would be a lovely dinner (he was a great cook) and wine and a fire roaring and a big hug to make it all better. Instead there was darkness, coldness but at least my cat turned up to greet me, bless him. I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and cooked a healthy meal.Small steps. I wander if I will ever feel ready to give away some of his things. So far everything is exactly as he left it. I hope he is around somewhere and he knows how much I love him, I just wish we could know they are ok where they are. Take care and enjoy your holiday :)
I am so sorry for your loss. It's an unbearable grief. I lost my husband on 1/13/16. He was just 52 years old and we were together for 30 years. I hope telling you this will alleviate your guilt of not being able to help him.........my husband had surgery in Sept 15 and as a result developed an antibiotic resistant bacteria which eventually claimed his life. He had been in and out of the hospital for the last 3 months of his life but on the night he died, he was in the hospital. I was standing right next to him talking to him when he went into cardiac arrest. The entire floor of doctors and nurses were in his room in less that 15 seconds after the alarms went off and despite working on him for over an hour, they could not bring him back. Please believe me when I say that you're being across the world or next to him would not have made a difference. You could not have saved your husband any more than I could save mine. It does still haunt me because even I wonder what I could have done differently but I know none of us can change the outcome. I'm sorry you have the added difficulty of being so far from your family. To be honest, even though my parents are still living and I have 4 siblings close by, I still have not changed my forms for emergency contacts. I don't know who to put because I don't want anybody besides Ken.
I hope you'll continue to come here and post. It really is helpful to correspond with others who have an understanding of what you're going through.
Hi Sarah, thank you for your kind words. They do help :) You have been though such a traumatic event and your husband was so young! I am so very sorry he died , and so suddenly. I can just imagine your agony of that hour and when hope of a different outcome finally died with him. Sending you a big hug! I am finding that every day that passes, my brain is less foggy. With that comes the realisation that he is NOT coming back.EVER. That though sends me in such a spin I just block it out but when it comes back its floods of tears. My body actually gets icy all over . I so miss him, and I miss talking about him. I like to add him in any conversation I am having and i LOVE when someone mentions him. I don't want him to be forgotten. The one year anniversary is coming up and it looks like I will be alone. I made a few suggestions to his sisters, who leave in different cities and my family in Europe. No takers so it will just be me on the day. I have no ida of what to do to mark this day. Just wander if you did anything and if it helped?
It takes a while for the fog to lift. My head knows he's not coming back but my heart still can't believe it. I still cry for him every day although not all day every day like in the beginning. For the first anniversary, I didn't do anything special with other people because I just wanted to be alone "with him" and reflect. We also did not have children. I will pass on the suggestion of another Legacy family member, Marsha (who has been a tremendous source of support). Buy a mylar balloon, write a message to your husband and send it to the heavens for him. I myself haven't done this yet but I may do it on Sunday which would be our wedding anniversary. I'm sorry your family isn't making more of an effort to help you through this. You've probably come to realize that unless you've lost a spouse, you can't understand the grief associated with it. Others tend to think we're "okay" because we go through the motions of the day and therefore don't lend the support needed beyond the first month or so. I've been doing a lot of reading about life on the other side so I feel a little better knowing my husband is happy, living a life and waiting for me to join him. I would still prefer his physical presence but I'll take what I can get.
Dear Sandfly ... My deepest condolences on the loss of your husband and I am so sorry you have to join this site, but all of us hope you will continue to post your feelings because this site saved my own life when I my dear Ernie (65) passed away April 27, 2011 of pancreatic/liver cancer. The members (angels to me) all gather around each to support one another and no one judges another. I know what a shock it was for me, so can't imagine how you must feel not being there for your husband. As is, many of us wonder what we could have done differently, or question why we 'just didn't know they were so ill at first.'
I want to tell you having worked in the medical profession and also First Aid at a construction site up North, that the paramedics know when someone has passed away in their sleep. I won't go into details, but they can tell so hope that gives you some peace of mind. Even if you had been there sleeping with him, you would not have been able to know that he passed away. I do believe with all my heart your husband is right there with you and one day you will get the feeling he is if you haven't already. If you read some of the posts many of us have had signs from our loved one.
Ernie and I couldn't have any children and had two dogs which I still have (my saving grace as they keep me up and walking and pushing me.) Although I have a small immediate family I don't get to see them that often and lone-time friends came around at first, but soon got on with their own lives and I'm quite alone. It was hell at first and I won't mince words about that, but now I'm trying to reinvent my life (I'm 75 now) and believe me it's not that easy at my age. I function, volunteer, go to Bible Study and have one loyal girlfriend and hear from the odd girlfriend. I can't even go on a vacation because there is no one to go with so what is the point.
As far as 'next of kin' you can put a family member down no matter where they live. There is no rush for you to feel you have to go back to family, but at least it's an option when you get over the raw grief and can think straighter. Please don't make any important decisions for the first year. I was warned about that as well and I listened to that good advice. You are lucky you are still working (your saving grace.) I am retired. Still, we all have to come home to an empty house and missing our spouse like crazy, but in time that pain will subside to become more tolerable. I am so happy you are thinking of getting a dog as they are such good company. My dogs are so comforting and boy, they sure get me up and going each morning. I am also happy you have made a good friend and that the two of you get along well and I do have one loyal friend I can depend on and that brings me some peace of mind.
Like you and David, Ernie and I were so close as well and now as you say there is just 'one.' One is a lonely number, but eventually we can fill our lives with more friends. Ernie and I were married for almost 40 years and I knew him 45 years. Now, I feel so lost without him, but grief has given me strength and reminded me of just how strong I can be.
Please keep coming back to Legacy as it's such a wonderful site to just talk to all of us and we do learn from each other. It's also wonderful we can relate to grief.