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Johnny

Lost my spouse to accidental prescription drug overdose

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I am 52 and this was my first time married. She was the love of my life. She passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 30th 2018. It was to be our first Christmas together. Our wedding was on Oct. 6th and I only had less than two months after being married before she passed away in her sleep. She had three prior back surgeries and two knee replacements. She had a regiment of pain medications and was very meticulous with her planning of times to take each one. She had one of those weekly planners which laid them each out by morning, lunch, evening, and night times.

She had sedatives at night to help her sleep. I was accustomed to seeing her become very sleepy 30 minutes after taking her night time medicine. We were sitting at the table and she took her night time medicine and she began to start to fall asleep while sitting in her chair. I knew she had a long day because she had her hair permed earlier that day so I suggested we go ahead to bed so she could get some much needed rest. I woke up during the night and went to get a sandwich and when I went back into the bedroom to check on her, she didn't appear to be breathing. I shook her shoulders gently and called her name aloud and she was unresponsive.

I immediately ran to the kitchen and grabbed the Narcan and administered a single dose. Turned her on her side and still no response. I administered a second dose. No response. I called 911 and started CPR while on the phone until the emergency personnel arrived. They examined her and told me from their experience she had passed away before I even began to try to help her. She had simply stopped breathing in her sleep.

I have relived that night over and over again each day ever since. I have been in experiencing extreme pain for the loss of my beloved wife. I am having a very difficult time. All joy has left me and I can not imagine a life without her. I feel the pain from the moment a wake till I go to sleep at night. This is the hardest thing I've ever experienced. I feel lost and hopeless. I still have not been able to open the Christmas presents she bought for me and she never got to receive the diamond ring I bought for her. I love her always and forever.

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Johnny, I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your beloved wife. I truly feel your pain. Four years ago, my wife Tammy died suddenly at only 45 years old. She was my one true love. She was everything to me. There's no words I can say that will ease your pain right now. I can only tell you that all of us here have lost the love of our life and we all hurt.

I know right now it feels like your life has little meaning. How the colors are gone and the world is a cold, dark place. It just becomes a one moment at a time life. You do the best you can. I know how much you ache for her and I know how things race through your mind about the day you lost her. Grieving the loss of a soul mate is staggeringly hard.

If you haven't gone to a grief counselor, think about it. Read and post here as often as you want. We're here to help. Try your best to eat properly and get as much rest as you can although I know it's easier said then done.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Johnny,

I am so sorry, I can only imagine, it's such a shock and takes a long time to even absorb something like this, how one minute you're happily looking forward to spending your life together, and the next...the bottom fell out.  My husband also died a sudden death, very unexpected.  In that early time (first few years) I felt like I was floundering, trying to figure out how to do life without him, I didn't know where to start.

I wrote this at about ten years out, things I'd heard, the best advice I got was to take a day at a time, try to stay in today and not think about the rest of your life, doing so can invite anxiety, it's helped me and 14 years later, I still do one day at a time and try to stay in today. I hope you'll keep coming here and posting, it helps to know you're not alone with your feelings.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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Thank you Mitch and KayC for your replies.

When I read yours Mitch, I teared up instantly. Your wife was close to the same age as my wife, she was only 49. Yes, are whole lives were ahead of us and each day we made more and more plans and it brought us great joy. Thanks for the advice on what could possibly help during this most difficult time.

I think it hurts the most when I truly think about all that I lost. The list is endless. There are so many things I miss that I feel like a stranger to myself.

I once told my wife that I did not know what I would ever do without her. She simply replied, " you'll pick up the pieces" . And, all I could think of to say was "but it won't be that easy".

Never did I imagine just how hard it is to pick up the pieces.

You are both right when you advise me to stay in the moment and take it a day at a time. I can not even imagine thinking about a future for myself right now.

My family, although they have experienced loss, have never had to face it alone like I do. I think that is the most difficult thing to do. We can make it through difficult times if we have one other person in our lives to lend a shoulder to cry on.

I truly feel I have nobody and I tried to explain this to my family. They do not live close to me. I hardly hear from them.

Sometimes when the walls are closing in on me, I pick up the phone and pray someone answers on the other end. Sometimes I just need to hear another voice.

I was really touched to see that someone had replied, thank you so very, very, much.

God Bless.

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3 minutes ago, Johnny said:

Thank you Mitch and KayC for your replies.

When I read yours Mitch, I teared up instantly. Your wife was close to the same age as my wife, she was only 49. Yes, are whole lives were ahead of us and each day we made more and more plans and it brought us great joy. Thanks for the advice on what could possibly help during this most difficult time.

I think it hurts the most when I truly think about all that I lost. The list is endless. There are so many things I miss that I feel like a stranger to myself.

I once told my wife that I did not know what I would ever do without her. She simply replied, " you'll pick up the pieces" . And, all I could think of to say was "but it won't be that easy".

Never did I imagine just how hard it is to pick up the pieces.

You are both right when you advise me to stay in the moment and take it a day at a time. I can not even imagine thinking about a future for myself right now.

My family, although they have experienced loss, have never had to face it alone like I do. I think that is the most difficult thing to do. We can make it through difficult times if we have one other person in our lives to lend a shoulder to cry on.

I truly feel I have nobody and I tried to explain this to my family. They do not live close to me. I hardly hear from them.

Sometimes when the walls are closing in on me, I pick up the phone and pray someone answers on the other end. Sometimes I just need to hear another voice.

I was really touched to see that someone had replied, thank you so very, very, much.

God Bless.

I love you Rene'e, always and forever.

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Johnny,

I completely understand your post and devastating pain and grief.  I found this special place where people understand this side of grief.  Those of us who are left behind to stay and live without your beloved spouse. I was in Shock and AWE for quite awhile.  I came here to listen, learn, and find out how to cope, manage, and deal with all of this!  I came home from work to find my beloved wife dead.  No warning.  Sudden loss.  

This place listened to my story, share my pain, and comforted me.  This is not something we get over and just move on.  Few people truly understand this grief and pain.  We are blessed to have MartyT, who helps us along with many others here.  This place helped me in this deepest and darkest time.  I couldm't sleep, couldn't eat, and had trouble just breathing at times.  Seek a grief counselor or pastor that understands what you are going through.  Please know that we understand, know, and care about you. 

My wife died four years ago, and I still deal with this grief and healing every day.  We are all here to listen, help, share, learn, and be there for each other.  As Mitch said, do your best to take care of yourself.  This grief/loss takes a lot of energy and you will need to be kind to yourself.  Thank you for sharing with us.  I will begin praying and interceding for you.  Please come back often and share whatever you feel you need. I find it helpful to get those swirling thoughts written down so I can sort them out.  - George - Shalom

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Hi George,

I am sorry for your loss. Yes, I believe that knowing there are other caring people who share the same pain is something I need. I see others continuing on with their lives at work doing the things I used to like to do when my wife was still with me. This valentines day almost killed me. Everyone was so excited talking about how they were going to spend the day with their special love one.

I just sat there in unbelievable pain not able to utter a single word or find one comforting thought.

My sister invited my to her boyfriends birthday party and I accepted feeling lucky just to have something to do to get me out of the house. There is nowhere in my home that I can look without being reminded of my loving wife. The first thing she did when we married was to make my bachelors look vanish and put a women's touch on my home. She was amazing that way.

When I arrived at my sister's boyfriends birthday party I was not prepared for what I saw. Everyone there was a couple except for me. I wanted more than anything to feel the happiness I saw in others around me. To feel again what it feels like to have your life's love right by your side. To be happy together again. I felt like I was dying inside all over again.

Who am I know? I do not have a clue. I feel nothing like the person I was when I was with my wife; strong, confident, always optimistic in any circumstance.

I don't understand what happened to the person i used to be. The person my wife fell in love with.

This is the hardest part for me. I am an electrical engineer and I have always relied on my mind and creativity. Now, even simple things seem incredibly difficult. I walk into the grocery store to buy groceries and leave with only bread and milk. I do not know what happened to me and I am even more afraid because I do not know how to fix it. Fixing things is what I'm supposed to be good at, but I can't fix this.

I don't even look the same anymore. I have many pictures of my wife and I throughout my home. I can see how happy I was in those pictures. I was shocked to see what I look like now in

comparison. I can hardly recognize myself when I look in the mirror.

I feel like I am alive but no longer part of life. I was never like this before. I am really thankful that you understand. It is so very difficult to explain to another unless they have known what

it is like to have the one person you love more than anything in this world taken away so unexpectedly.

Thank you and God bless.

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2 hours ago, Johnny said:

Thank you Mitch and KayC for your replies.

When I read yours Mitch, I teared up instantly. Your wife was close to the same age as my wife, she was only 49. Yes, are whole lives were ahead of us and each day we made more and more plans and it brought us great joy. Thanks for the advice on what could possibly help during this most difficult time.

I think it hurts the most when I truly think about all that I lost. The list is endless. There are so many things I miss that I feel like a stranger to myself.

I once told my wife that I did not know what I would ever do without her. She simply replied, " you'll pick up the pieces" . And, all I could think of to say was "but it won't be that easy".

Never did I imagine just how hard it is to pick up the pieces.

You are both right when you advise me to stay in the moment and take it a day at a time. I can not even imagine thinking about a future for myself right now.

My family, although they have experienced loss, have never had to face it alone like I do. I think that is the most difficult thing to do. We can make it through difficult times if we have one other person in our lives to lend a shoulder to cry on.

I truly feel I have nobody and I tried to explain this to my family. They do not live close to me. I hardly hear from them.

Sometimes when the walls are closing in on me, I pick up the phone and pray someone answers on the other end. Sometimes I just need to hear another voice.

I was really touched to see that someone had replied, thank you so very, very, much.

God Bless.

Johnny, this grief "journey" as we call it, will be hard, there's no way to sugar coat it. Like you, my relatives really don't stay in touch or even remotely understand what my life is like without my Tammy. It's very much a battle I've fought on my own for the most part. And it is a battle. Finding reasons to go on when you feel like there's nothing left takes an extreme amount of courage. I've learned that although my Tammy is gone physically, her strength, her courage, her smile and most importantly her love, are with me forever. She will always be a part of me and I do live my life knowing she and I will reunite at some point.

You may find it helps you to talk about your beloved wife. I know it helped me. It was important because I wanted the world to know what an amazing person Tammy was. 

In time, you'll find what works for you. It's all trial and error. You'll do plenty of grief dancing too. That's when you take a couple steps forward and then a step or two back. But for now, it's all about living in the moment and taking care of yourself. Doing things in your own time and on your own schedule. 

At this point in your grief journey I'm guessing you often ask... why? Why is life so unfair? Why did this happen to my wonderful wife? That's all normal but at the same time don't let that consume you. Right now it's about finding some small sense of peace and comfort in this world that now seems so different and so unimaginably and painfully hard.

Mitch

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Mitch,

You are right, the one thing that brings me some amount of comfort is being able to talk about my wife Rene'e. She was extremely loving and caring. I had to be careful of what I wished for or wanted because she would turn around and make it happen for me. I've never had anybody love me like that. She was what I needed and I was what she needed and together we made one.

You are also right about the why's. What is eating me alive right now is the belief that if only I had done one little thing differently, my dear wife would still be with me. I do not seem to be able to convince myself otherwise. As my wife's husband, I am supposed to be able to keep anything from happening to her.

It has only been four months now. I need to be able to find some small sense of peace and comfort in this world. I know that is what Rene'e would have wanted.

I also know how much she loved me and wanted to be with me. I am so glad I had her.

Thank you 

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Believe me, I get it. I've relived March 6, 2015 in my head far too many times to count. I asked the very same questions you're asking... to myself and to members here. I received a very profound answer from a member here. They pointed out that I did the best I could do with Tammy's best interest at heart. As a human being who loved another human being with all their heart, I tried my best to be Tammy's knight in shining armor as I always did. But still, she died. Sometimes you have to realize that there are things you cannot control no matter what you do.

You were blessed to have Rene'e in your life as I was with Tammy. Most people never experience the type of love we shared with our beloved. That deep love is what brought you to our forum. 

The wonderful thing about this forum is that people really understand what you're going through. I had many a day (and night) where posting here and reading the replies gave me some relief from my intense pain.

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Mitch, the profound answer you got makes since to me. I know I loved her and I did the best I could do with the knowledge I had at the time. The one other thing that helps me

is to remember how much Rene'e loved her son. Rightfully, she loved him above all. He was her only child and there is absolutely no way that she would knowingly ever do anything

to hurt him or myself. We were the only men in her life. The night she passed away she had her son's Christmas gift under her purse on the kitchen counter. He was coming to see us

for Christmas in two weeks and she was very excited. The last time they saw each other was on our wedding day.

Joshua, her son of 26 years was her life's joy. I often think of him.

life seems so unbelievably unfair.

I often thought I would go my entire life without meeting anyone like Rene'e. I am lucky to have had here in my life. It helps to remember the good times.

Thank you Sir

 

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Johnny,

This is a long journey, one that lasts the rest of our lives.  I have many widowed friends now, but when my George died Father's Day 2005 everyone I knew were couples.  Funny how quickly your friends thin out.  I'm glad there are other men here that you can relate to, men that understand and can speak to your heart.  This place has become an extended family to me, it is sacred, for here, people get it.  My little sister tries to understand and has hit it on the head at times but no one can fully understand unless they live it.  It's the difference between knowing OF something and knowing something.

Yes, we are the lucky ones who had love, who knew it in all of its fullness.  I was married to my kids' dad for 23 years but lived without love until I met George, we were in our forties when we met.  We lost each other way too soon, we were supposed to grow old together, that's what we planned, we'd even purchased the porch swing to watch the hummingbirds and our flowers grow.  Nothing is the same but our love remains.

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Hi KayC,

I can relate to what you said about buying a porch swing together to watch the hummingbirds and flowers grow.

Where I live in Sumter, during the Christmas holiday, we have Swan Lake Iris Gardens Christmas lights. Before I met Rene'e, I used to pass by during the holiday and every time I did

I would think of how nice it would be to go inside the gates to see all the Christmas lights but I didn't want to go alone.

Rene'e always did her very best to make me happy. That is one of the things that I cherished the most about her. When I told her about the Christmas lights, she wanted more than

anything to make my wish come true and we could go together as husband and wife. I was so happy just thinking about it.

My wife Rene'e had three back surgeries and two knee replacements so she could not walk for long distances without paying for it later on. So, she asked me if I would help her if

she got a wheelchair so she could enjoy the Christmas lights with me without risking being in pain from the long walk. Yes, I said with the biggest smile on my face.

So we purchased a very nice wheelchair.

The wheelchair was delivered the very morning on the day she passed away. She passed away at about 3:30 am on Nov.30th 2018, the wheelchair was delivered on the front porch

at about 9:00 am that very same day.

I was so devastated I was not even able to move the wheelchair off the porch. My family member had to move it into the garage for me. It still sits there in the box unopened.

Rene'es Mother Sandy, her Son Joshua, and I went together to see the Swan Lake Iris Gardens Christmas Lights in Rene'es honor.

I love you Rene'e,

the lights were beautiful.

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On 3/25/2019 at 8:25 PM, Johnny said:

Hi George,

I am sorry for your loss. Yes, I believe that knowing there are other caring people who share the same pain is something I need. I see others continuing on with their lives at work doing the things I used to like to do when my wife was still with me. This valentines day almost killed me. Everyone was so excited talking about how they were going to spend the day with their special love one.

I just sat there in unbelievable pain not able to utter a single word or find one comforting thought.

My sister invited my to her boyfriends birthday party and I accepted feeling lucky just to have something to do to get me out of the house. There is nowhere in my home that I can look without being reminded of my loving wife. The first thing she did when we married was to make my bachelors look vanish and put a women's touch on my home. She was amazing that way.

When I arrived at my sister's boyfriends birthday party I was not prepared for what I saw. Everyone there was a couple except for me. I wanted more than anything to feel the happiness I saw in others around me. To feel again what it feels like to have your life's love right by your side. To be happy together again. I felt like I was dying inside all over again.

Who am I know? I do not have a clue. I feel nothing like the person I was when I was with my wife; strong, confident, always optimistic in any circumstance.

I don't understand what happened to the person i used to be. The person my wife fell in love with.

This is the hardest part for me. I am an electrical engineer and I have always relied on my mind and creativity. Now, even simple things seem incredibly difficult. I walk into the grocery store to buy groceries and leave with only bread and milk. I do not know what happened to me and I am even more afraid because I do not know how to fix it. Fixing things is what I'm supposed to be good at, but I can't fix this.

I don't even look the same anymore. I have many pictures of my wife and I throughout my home. I can see how happy I was in those pictures. I was shocked to see what I look like now in

comparison. I can hardly recognize myself when I look in the mirror.

I feel like I am alive but no longer part of life. I was never like this before. I am really thankful that you understand. It is so very difficult to explain to another unless they have known what

it is like to have the one person you love more than anything in this world taken away so unexpectedly.

Thank you and God bless.

My wife died, just two days after Valentine's Day.  I had proposed to her on Valentine's Day. 

Grief is not something I could figure out logically.  I went through all of the "what if" and "If only" and tried to figure out some way to blame myself for her death.  There are things out of our control and death is one of them. It took awhile, but it helps me to remember all of the good qualities, love, and compassion, my beloved wife, Rose Anne, shared with me.  She loved me just as I am warts and all. 

Your thoughts and feelings are all normal and similar to what I and several others have gone through. Grief is another form of love expression for your beloved wife.  None of us were prepared for this journey when we had to suddenly deal with it.  Thankfully, this is a safe haven to express these thoughts, feelings, and learn how to deal with them. - Shalom

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28 minutes ago, iPraiseHim said:

My wife died, just two days after Valentine's Day.  I had proposed to her on Valentine's Day. 

Grief is not something I could figure out logically.  I went through all of the "what if" and "If only" and tried to figure out some way to blame myself for her death.  There are things out of our control and death is one of them. It took awhile, but it helps me to remember all of the good qualities, love, and compassion, my beloved wife, Rose Anne, shared with me.  She loved me just as I am warts and all. 

Your thoughts and feelings are all normal and similar to what I and several others have gone through. Grief is another form of love expression for your beloved wife.  None of us were prepared for this journey when we had to suddenly deal with it.  Thankfully, this is a safe haven to express these thoughts, feelings, and learn how to deal with them. - Shalom

Thanks George,

God Bless.

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Johnny,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I understand how devastated you must feel and what a "slap" it must have been to see that wheelchair. The night I took my husband, Ron to the hospital for the last time, we had just received a delivery of medicines and IV equipment prescribed by the hospital he was discharged from just 5 hours before("We think that the Sepsis is gone,but just in case it's not, give him all this medicine...........") Long story short, after 6 months of procedures done and redone and medical errors following his cancer diagnosis, his poor body and soul said "Enough". Following an aspiration into his lungs, he was put on life support. He could not recover and a few days later, I was responsible for removing the life support from the man I had been married to for over 40 years. I felt guilty beyond belief, unbearable anger against the medical profession and totally destroyed. A year later, I watched my daughter die after a long, vicious battle with cancer. I did not think that the pain could get worse, but it did.

For a time, I think I lost my mind. I did things that were costly and illogical without thinking, not like me at all. It was the only way I could temporarily escape the pain.

That was 6 years ago. There are still days where it is a challenge to want to remain a part of the human race. The horrible memories are burned into my brain, just as the good ones are. As time passes, those good memories will trample the bad. Grief has no expiration date. You will simply grieve until you don't anymore. It does not mean that you love the person less. I think it just moves to the back burner of your brain.

Sorry to be so long winded. Just know that whatever you are feeling is normal. Each of us has felt it and we remain here to support you in any way needed.

Karen

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13 hours ago, Johnny said:

The wheelchair was delivered the very morning on the day she passed away.

Ouch, what a wince-inducing thought. 😖  Anyone would be devastated by such a cruel cosmic joke.  I'm so sorry that so much "pile-on" occurred on top of Rene'e's passing

 

5 hours ago, KarenK said:

his poor body and soul said "Enough". Following an aspiration into his lungs, he was put on life support. He could not recover and a few days later, I was responsible for removing the life support...

Karen, that's pretty much what happened with Mark.  I so relate.  So unfair, so many errors and so much disregard from the "professionals" who were charged with care and support.

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13 hours ago, Johnny said:

The wheelchair was delivered the very morning on the day she passed away. She passed away at about 3:30 am on Nov.30th 2018, the wheelchair was delivered on the front porch

at about 9:00 am that very same day.

Sounds like what happened with my dad, he was in the hospital and a hospital bed was delivered but he never got to use it, he died and was never able to come home.  We had to talk our mom into having it sent back.  Johnny, the place would probably pick up the wheelchair if you called them, this happens all too frequently.  If it's too late for a refund, perhaps it could be donated to someone in need in her honor.  Having had a sister that spent her life in a wheelchair I know all too well how hard it is for the family to purchase one sometimes.  I'm sorry for the irony and how that must have added to your grief, something similar happened to a friend of mine too when her husband was dying...oxygen tanks delivered in the morning just after he'd passed during the wee hours.

 

13 hours ago, Johnny said:

Rene'es Mother Sandy, her Son Joshua, and I went together to see the Swan Lake Iris Gardens Christmas Lights in Rene'es honor.

I'm glad you did that, and I hope so much that our loved ones can see these things in spirit with us.

11 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

it helps me to remember all of the good qualities, love, and compassion, my beloved wife, Rose Anne, shared with me. 

Grief so strikes us that it seems to be all encompassing...in time we are able to smile at the good things we shared with them, but it takes a while to get there, what a process!

Karen, you went through so much, it's no wonder you responded as you did.  My heart goes out to you, for I know that even after all of these years, the pain is still so great.  (((hugs)))

 

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Johnny, that story about the wheelchair definitely hits home with me as well. While Tammy was trying to regain her strength and was at the rehab center after another near death crisis, I ordered her a fancy walker with all the bells and whistles. They delivered the box to the rehab place, I paid the medical supplies guy with cash for the co-pay and took it home that night.

The night of Wednesday March 4th, 2015  Tammy came home. Thank God! This was to be the start of a new beginning. Tammy was tired but had a renewed sense of optimism. She was determined to exercise and eat properly. She looked so beautiful. The next day, my plan was to fill some of her prescriptions and get some food from the grocery store. But we had a 10" snowstorm and we were snowed in. Overall, Thursday was a nice calm day... Tammy was tired but in good spirits. I felt like the world was back to where it should be... my beloved by my side, in our home.

Friday March 6th started out with promise. The roads were plowed and the sun was shining. I made an early trip to the pharmacy and picked up some food. Tammy and I watch some TV for a bit and she ate a bit for lunch. She was still zonked and rolled over in bed for a nap. In the meantime, I was preparing a special dinner for her and setting up exercise equipment for her to use.

But this day turned into the worst day of my life and the day that I re-live in mind forever. In just a few hours, my Tammy was gone. And I was devastated, in shock and forever changed.

A couple weeks later, I received mail from the medical supply place that we got the walker from. They wanted payment in full. What the %$#@? My insurance had paid them 80% and I already had given them the balance in cash. I was angry and could have gotten on the phone to "let them have it". But, in the scheme of things, it wasn't worth it and I surely wasn't paying twice. I tore the letter up and deposited it in the trash.

The thing about grief is you need to take care of you and your well being. Pick your battles. Do what you want to do. Tune out the babble from people who don't really understand how you feel. It's not an easy way to live. The loneliness and emptiness make it all the more difficult. But, life is precious and we only get one chance at it. And even four years later, it's still grief bursts and baby steps for me.

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Hi Mitch,

My last night with Rene'e was one of extreme tenderness and love. She had gone to get her hair permed and she was exhausted from the days effort. She wasn't happy with the way the perm turned out and I thought she looked more beautiful than ever. I was being so attentive and loving she asked me "what is so special about tonight?" , I just looked at her and smiled and said "I love you".

Just like you, there were no signs of anything to cause me concern, after we shared dinner together I told her not to worry about lunch tomorrow (I always came home to be with her during my lunch break) because I would pick lunch up for us, she smiled and said "wonderful".

We were both looking forward to our next day and the weeks ahead in preparation for our first Christmas together. She had boxes of decorations from Christmas celebrations she had in the past. I went out to the garage to get the decorations. We had already put all the lights on the tree and all that was left was to hang the decorations. When I came back inside with her box of decorations, she said "what are you doing?". I said I went out to get your decorations so we could hang them. She said, "Oh no, I don't want to use those, I want to go by more so we can start our own tradition together". I was really touched by this.

She also had a family album with pictures from before we met.

When she passed away, her mother wanted to know where the family album was. So I found it and when I opened it up, all that was in the album was pictures of her and I. She had taken all the old pictures out and left them at her mom's house without telling anyone. Her mom found all the pictures she had taken out in her old bedroom in the closet.

Both her mom and I had no knowledge that she had done this. She was perfectly happy starting her new life with me.

I have never experienced such love before in my life.

I am sure it was that way with you and your dear wife Tammy.

Thank you for helping me remember the good things.

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13 hours ago, Johnny said:

I said I went out to get your decorations so we could hang them. She said, "Oh no, I don't want to use those, I want to go by more so we can start our own tradition together". I was really touched by this.

That is beautiful.  I made George his first and only Christmas stocking.  I bought him his first ornament.  We made our first snow angel together.  We went for drives and picked Autumn leaves together and created an arrangement from them, every Fall. We enjoyed every season, every holiday, every everything...together.  I see that sweet tender love in the two of you, thank you for sharing that precious picture with us.

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13 hours ago, Johnny said:

Thank you for helping me remember the good things.

It is in remembering those good things that define us now...not the sorrow and pain.  They have indelibly etched themselves on our lives and in our hearts.

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I have been having a difficult time today. People at work just do not understand the constant pain I feel. I do not have any joy left and it makes doing anything much more difficult. I am just going through the motions still having a hard time concentrating, taking care of myself, trying to find hope. I do not know how to fix me. I feel broken and want so much to stop hurting.

Like Mitch said,  "It's not an easy way to live. The loneliness and emptiness make it all the more difficult. But, life is precious and we only get one chance at it. And even four years later, it's still grief bursts and baby steps for me."

I know I'm having grief bursts and trying my best to be just able to begin to take baby steps.  It's only been four months since my wife Rene'e passed away and sometimes I feel like I am going to fall to the ground.

I think it's the loneliness and emptiness that is the hardest.

My family said that they had never seen me so happy as when we were together. They were right.

Rene'e was all I've ever wanted in life but thought I'd never find.

I miss you baby.

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