Jump to content
Jame

Trying to figure it out....

Recommended Posts

I have only posted a couple times but, as I said in a previous post, I am here almost every day reading.  The support and caring on this forum is amazing....so time for me to introduce myself.  My husband was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer on June 27, 2018 and died 3 weeks later on July 17, 2018.  He had not been ill...just said he didn't have his usual energy.  He was still mowing the yard, walking our big yellow lab 4 miles every day and enjoying retirement.  He was a young 65 year old.  We never had the opportunity to try any kind of treatment or even come home with hospice....the cancer was very aggressive.  So although this was not a sudden death like a heart attack, it was sudden in that I never had time to process one thing before getting hit with another....but we did have time to talk and cry together.  During one of those talks I promised my husband I would be OK....and now I am trying to figure out how to keep that promise.  This past November was our 38th anniversary and my 58th birthday (we got married on my 20th birthday).  I have lost both of my parents and my only sibling but this is the most debilitating grief I have ever experienced. I have read many books on grief, read a lot of forums and blogs and keep trying.  We were each others best friend and did everything together.  I am lost without him but determined to work my way thru this...I just miss him so much. 

I still work but our plan was for me to retire in December....so this should be my glide path right now.  We had so many plans for our retirement years together.  I have decided to delay my retirement for a few more months until I am sure I am thinking clearly.  It is hard to come to work....I keep tight control of my emotions while at work which is exhausting. 

With this introduction, I hope to be more active on this forum and learn more, share more, reach out more and, possibly, even help someone.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, dear one, for that lovely (and heart-breaking) introduction. I'm so sorry for the reason that led you here.

We welcome you with open arms and caring hearts ♥️

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jame:  Sorry to read of your loss.  

I lost my dear husband in 2015 after we had accidentally discovered he had bladder cancer.  Prior to his death he had no symptoms.  Once discovered, he chose to have surgery to remove his bladder and continue the rest of his life as usual.  The surgery created an infection and he had to return to the hospital.  The night before he was to be released, he passed a blood clot and suffered a heart attack.  I was blessed to have been married to him for almost 51 years, unlike you and your husband......so young and ready to enjoy all the plans you had made for your retirement.  I am so sorry.

I found this site and like you, read the encouraging words everyone shares and finally joined.  It has helped me so often.  Like so many will tell you, "Take One Day at a Time", or if possible, one minute at a time.

Dee

 

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Jame. I lost my soulmate Susan on 3/31/17 in about 10 minutes with no warning that her life was in danger. We had only begun to take the first baby steps at thinking about the next stage of our lives. I told our financial advisor that I didn't want to plan beyond age 90 as you couldn't really enjoy active life then...I didn't know we had 9 ms left.

I didn't even get to say goodbye after 48 years of unconditional love. I wish I had Susan's instructions on how I'm supposed to do this. She was always the serene one and me the worrier.I always assumed I'd go first. I think she'd do a lot better without me than I'm doing without her.  I know she'd want me to enjoy the rest of my life but I wish I could have heard it from her. I had a session with a psychic/medium and Susan said she would send me a new soulmate, but I don't know about that. 

I've been re-evaluating preventative medicine lately. I'm in apparent good health so this is projecting, but I do NOT want to be hospitalized without Susan by my side. So why bother with all these tests?

I have an endless sequence of OK periods followed by grief attacks. It's been like that for a while. Last weekend I had a 4 day stay on a warm beach in PR that was pretty good and my friends and some of my work are good, but then it hits. Grief world is an eerie place. Hard to wrap my mind around how all the things we did led to the Urn on my mantlepiece. It's probably true that the waves are a little farther apart now, which is what my grief counselor tells me to hope for. Best wishes, TomPB

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your responses.  I am so sorry we have a reason to be part of this community but I am glad it is here.  

@MartyT  Thank you...I have read many of your blogs and articles and have learned from them.

@widow'15 Thank you.  One Day at a Time has become my mantra. And when that is too much, I focus on getting thru the next hour. 

@TomPB I am so sorry you lost your Susan so abruptly. As hard as those talks were that my husband and I had (while in the hospital and usual at 3am), I am now grateful we had them. I call my grief attacks grief tsunamis...they can come out of nowhere and knock me down. 

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jame, I'm reluctant to welcome you here. This isn't the the kind of place any of us would've wanted to be at. But every one of us are here for the same reason. We understand your pain  because it's also our pain. Details might be different but when we lose a spouse we dearly love much of this grief journey it puts us on is the same. 

One thing I have figured out since I found this group is that no one is here that was involved in a bad relationship. How many times do each one of us use the words "soul mate". And it also seems that the stronger we love our mate the stronger (and even longer) we grieve after we lose them. It's a coin with one beautiful side and one ugly side. And it's a package deal. We have to accept both sides of that coin. 

I had to release my Cookie from this life on New Year's Day, 2016. I will soon begin my 4th year without her. I still miss her presence every day. And I am still trying to figure out what the Lord's reason was for leaving me here to flounder around alone. They say that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Cookie and I started a ritual in the beginning of our life together. When we would come home from our work each day the first thing we did was to meet in the middle of our king size bed. No, not for the frisky stuff. We would just lay there together and talk about how our day at work had been. If we got home in a foul mood because of something that happened at work, we talked about it and got it out of our systems so it wouldn't carry over into our evening together. We would just lay there still in our clothes snuggled up to each other and just talk. It always made our personal time better. And from that she has always been "My Snuggles". And I still miss My Snuggles so very much. But as much as I hate her not being here with me, I am day by day figuring out ways to survive without her.

I hope next Monday isn't too terribly hard on you. You will be in my prayers, especially that day. Be well, and remember to take good care of yourself. 

 One foot in front of the other...

Darrel 

  • Like 6
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jame,

Welcome to our "tribe" We are all warriors fighting our grief. Some days we are able to win the skirmish, others not so much. We are always here for each other to lend an ear or offer a much needed hug. I'm not sure I will ever be OK again. I'm not even sure what OK is. I suppose as Darrel says, it's "putting one foot in front of the other", which I have managed to do for 5+ years after the death of my husband followed by that of my daughter a year later, both due to cancer. Neither death was sudden or unexpected, yet I was not prepared to lose them. We never had "the talk".........things were left unsaid, but I have to believe he knew how much I loved him for 40+ years. I know she knew how much I loved her.

Peace to you as we walk this rocky path.

  • Like 6
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jame,

Welcome here...we'd all rather not have the need for this place but are very grateful it exists since we do have need of it.  My husband was barely 51, still had his birthday banner up.  I was gone for the weekend and he went into the hospital with heart trouble and died two days later.  He didn't let me know right away as he "didn't want to ruin my weekend".  I had just got to the hospital and never got alone time with him as they moved him to ICU and when they let me back in he was sleeping and then woke up having a heart attack.  I ran for the nurses station and they threw me out, calling the code, doctors running, using paddles...then they came to tell me he was gone...while I was praying for him.  That was Father's Day over 13 years ago.  I've learned to do my time but still miss him each and every day, not a day has passed but what he's uppermost in my heart and mind. I lost my job after my husband died and twice more through the recession, the last time decided to retire.  It was hard going to work after he died, my focus was not like it had been but it was helpful in that it passed time and I had supportive people around me...but my subsequent job was not like that so that retirement came as a relief when I finally made that leap.  I keep busy volunteering and lots of small groups.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, olemisfit said:

One thing I have figured out since I found this group is that no one is here that was involved in a bad relationship. How many times do each one of us use the words "soul mate". And it also seems that the stronger we love our mate the stronger (and even longer) we grieve after we lose them. It's a coin with one beautiful side and one ugly side. And it's a package deal. We have to accept both sides of that coin. 

Nailed it, Darrel. The quote that says it all for me is "It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch" and I'd add, the deeper love, the more fearful it is. If Susan wasn't so SWEET it would be easier to live without her - but then I wouldn't have had that sweetness in my life. Two sides of the coin. Actually my grief counselor told me my assignment for the week was to focus on gratitude for 48 years of Susan instead of the pain of losing her. She says I'm ready for that but I don't know if I can...

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m glad my grief counselor doesn’t give me assignments.  I’m not saying that is bad, it’s just my mind and heart need to go where they go. Indeed there are times to reel in catastrophic thinking.  As this is a very significant time of year with all special dates clustered into 2 months, I have yet in all these years found a way to make them not painful.  Have holiday commercialism thrown on top of it too.   It’s so very hard to go from the excitement and traditions to nothing.  Birthdays and anniversaries that will not mean anything anymore but a countbof lost time.  And adding an anniversary of his death in.  That sours all the rest for me.  

Had a horrid wind storm last night.  2 large limbs down on the deck.  My very first thought was how the heck am I gonna get rid of those?  Couldn’t call him and know it wasn’t a big deal.  Now I have to turn to strangers for help.  I’m so tired of being alone.  No, I wouldn’t change having had him, but sometimes I wish I could get out from the weight of this and breathe.     

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TomPB said:

Nailed it, Darrel. The quote that says it all for me is "It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch" and I'd add, the deeper love, the more fearful it is. If Susan wasn't so SWEET it would be easier to live without her - but then I wouldn't have had that sweetness in my life. Two sides of the coin. Actually my grief counselor told me my assignment for the week was to focus on gratitude for 48 years of Susan instead of the pain of losing her. She says I'm ready for that but I don't know if I can...

I haven't said hello to you in awhile Tom, so Hello. Hope your health is good. I do agree with you. I don't like this side of the coin, but then nothing good comes without a price does it? If this is the price I have to pay for having Cookie in my life then all I can think of to say is Bring it on! You'll be able to do what your grief counselor suggested when the time feels right. You might have to make yourself do it the first few time, but you'll probably thank yourself later. I do try to focus on the good when I can. I keep our picture album handy and flip through it from time to time and think back to all those memories. It was hard on me at first. But my eyes don't leak as bad now when I do it. From my "for what it's worth" department I agree with your counselor. You'll know when the time is right. Don't cheat yourself out of all those wonderful memories. Good luck.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, olemisfit said:

 I keep our picture album handy and flip through it from time to time and think back to all those memories. It was hard on me at first. But my eyes don't leak as bad now when I do it. 

I admire your courage, Darrel.  I see the pictures round our home of us in happy times, but I can’t really look deeply at them.  I can’t even listen to our answering machine message because of his voice.  I haven’t listened to anything he recorded in his studio in years.  His buddies have all his recordings saved for me.  My mood fluctuates.  I know deep inside I wouldn’t change a thing, but there are times I wish I never knew our love.  This time of year is especially hard with all the couples celebrating.  They don’t even know they are celebrating each other.  And some marriages are not as intertwined as those of us here were.  I know a couple widows that miss the company, but have so much to do they have more time for it and doing OK.

I'm laying in the ER.alone again wishing he was here as I was for him thru his cancer.  How the presence of someone that is your world makes stuff like this tolerable.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gwen,. So sorry you are going thru all this pain alone.  It is so very hard without our special one by our side.  Hope you feel better soon.  Gin

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gwen, first the wind storm and now this.  And I wish you weren't there alone.  I've had so much wind lately, I just got rid of my burn pile last week and now it's back...as many limbs as I picked up in a year I now got in one night!  I hope you get to feeling better.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I admire your courage, Darrel.  I see the pictures round our home of us in happy times, but I can’t really look deeply at them.  I can’t even listen to our answering machine message because of his voice.  I haven’t listened to anything he recorded in his studio in years.  His buddies have all his recordings saved for me.  My mood fluctuates.  I know deep inside I wouldn’t change a thing, but there are times I wish I never knew our love.  This time of year is especially hard with all the couples celebrating.  They don’t even know they are celebrating each other.  And some marriages are not as intertwined as those of us here were.  I know a couple widows that miss the company, but have so much to do they have more time for it and doing OK.

I'm laying in the ER.alone again wishing he was here as I was for him thru his cancer.  How the presence of someone that is your world makes stuff like this tolerable.  

Awe Gwen I'm so sorry to see you're back in the hospital again. The loneliness is certainly something I can relate to. I hope everyone will pardon my blunt choice of words, but the most descriptive word that always comes to my mind is that being alone just really SUCKS! But if I could go back to 1975 and was given the chance to prevent this feeling I wouldn't change a thing. Being able to grow old together. Watching each other's hair turn gray. Watching each other's teeth fall out (lol). Laughing at each other's homemade jokes. Supporting each other through the rough spots. Being there for her when she was sick (and even when she was dying). And now being so terribly all alone. All in all, it was and is so very worth it to have been able to share all those years with Cookie.

Christmas day, 2015 was the day before Cookie got the infernal c dif and started going downhill really quickly. I don't do anything for this season anymore. Not even any decorations. My family is all gone. There's no one to exchange gifts or even cards with. I do my best to not rain on anyone else's parade, but for me it's just another day now. 

When I was about 15 yrs. old I ended up with a bleeding stomach ulcer when my parents were dragging me and my 2 sisters through the muck and mire of their unpleasant divorce. Our doctor at the time convinced me that all that upset and worry I put myself through wasn't fixing a single issue and he broke me of internalizing problems that way. Over the years I guess I got fairly good at escaping bad situations mentally by finding something more pleasant to think about. Until Cookie's death. That "event" really sucked the wind out of my sails. But I try. What else is there to do but try? So I get through every day just by putting one foot in front of the other and plod along. Cookie wouldn't be happy with me if I gave up, so I won't do that.

Be well Gwen.

Darrel

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I'm laying in the ER.alone again wishing he was here as I was for him thru his cancer.  How the presence of someone that is your world makes stuff like this tolerable.  

Sorry to hear that Gewn. I camped out at hospital any time Susan was having something done and it gave us a good feeling about being such a strong couple. Now the prospect of me being hospitalized without her by my side is a nightmare. Theres a lot to be said for going first. ❤️🐼

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, olemisfit said:

I haven't said hello to you in awhile Tom, so Hello. Hope your health is good. I do agree with you. I don't like this side of the coin, but then nothing good comes without a price does it? If this is the price I have to pay for having Cookie in my life then all I can think of to say is Bring it on! You'll be able to do what your grief counselor suggested when the time feels right. You might have to make yourself do it the first few time, but you'll probably thank yourself later. I do try to focus on the good when I can. I keep our picture album handy and flip through it from time to time and think back to all those memories. It was hard on me at first. But my eyes don't leak as bad now when I do it. From my "for what it's worth" department I agree with your counselor. You'll know when the time is right. Don't cheat yourself out of all those wonderful memories. Good luck.

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

Darrel, I'd like to focus on the good, I know it's healthy, but the pain of losing Susan is so intense that I can't get past it, or not very much. people who aren't in the club sometimes think I CHOOSE to focus on the pain but it's just what the system does, I don't think I have any control. Counselor thinks I might shift the focus with a conscious effort. Maybe

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, olemisfit said:

When I was about 15 yrs. old I ended up with a bleeding stomach ulcer when my parents were dragging me and my 2 sisters through the muck and mire of their unpleasant divorce. Our doctor at the time convinced me that all that upset and worry I put myself through wasn't fixing a single issue and he broke me of internalizing problems that way. Over the years I guess I got fairly good at escaping bad situations mentally by finding something more pleasant to think about. Until Cookie's death. That "event" really sucked the wind out of my sails. But I try. What else is there to do but try? So I get through every day just by putting one foot in front of the other and plod along. Cookie wouldn't be happy with me if I gave up, so I won't do that.

Darrell, you are to be admired for that.  I think we've all had some hard places in life, it's given us the gift of resilience, although it didn't feel like a gift at the time!  I love the positive things you share with us.  When someone is hurting here, I lift them up in prayer.  As you say, what else can we do!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea when you can come home, Gwen?  I'm sure you'd rather be home with your doggies.  Are they helping you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was home that night after an almost 5 hour stay.  Still feel like crap and they gave me some antibiotics which are always fun.  Not.  Think I h ave both a sinus infection and bronchitis.  I’ve never felt so crappy and actually needed my oxygen during the day.  Wish I could sleep more but the back pain ruins that, plus they found a vertebrae fracture that wasn’t there before that I know of.  But I feel it!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no!  Is it a simple fracture, one that they can put cement in?  My pastor had that done and he felt so good after that they even stopped and ate out on the way home!  My fear is their letting it go and it worsening to the point of needing complicated surgery like my sister had.  How can one get a fractured vertebrae and not know it?  Oh gosh, Gwen, like you haven't been through enough!  I wish I lived close by.  :(

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I knew something was wrong.  I have had backaches in that area for years, but short lived.  This one gets me bending over.  And of curse, everything that can fall does.  I now have 3 pick up sticks.  If only they. Worked for dog hair and tracked in debris from shows and paws.  I don’t know what I am going to do.  I’m so burned out on medical stuff.  Last week was 2 ER trips for my and 2 to the vet for the girls.  The antibiotics I was on made me too sick with side effects, I have to switch tomorrow.  Decide between getting my teeth cleaned and counseling and I skipped the cleaning 6 months ago.  I need a clone.  One with no reaction to med stuff so I can do the stuff I want.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you thought of those robotic vacuums that go around on the floor without your aid?  Might help with dog hair, not sure about paw prints, I get those too.  

When my mom broke her leg, it wasn't healing (we later found that the doctor recommended surgery and she nixed that) and us girls were taking turns traveling to her home and taking care of her, for a YEAR!  We were all still working so it used up all our leave and free time and then some.  One day I came down and my other sister had left a few minutes early and I caught my mom hopping up and down on her good leg on a wet towel, trying to mop up a spill on the kitchen floor!  I envisioned her in traction with both legs in casts!  What we do to try to be independent!  Scared me to death, the "what ifs"...

(she eventually had the surgery)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×