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I would like to start off by Thanking everyone here at this forum, you are all Fantastic, and I hope that you are able to survive all the things that come with losing the most important person in your lives, it's like an never ending roller coaster ride that never stops, all the ups and downs with no end in site!! You have all been there for me, and for others with words of kindness and forgiveness, and I am Thankful, I cannot get over, and I have spoken with professionals, and was in the hospital most of last year since Nancy left on Dec 3rd 2018, have a psychologist that I speak with every week, I have spoken with Chaplains, Priests, Rabbi's, and Mediums,  and joined a local Grief group, I have done everything I possibly can to try and understand this, but are unable to adjust to her not being here, with only her Memory to live with, it just isn't enough, you see I was the one that performed CPR on her the night she passed, she told me she didn't feel well, and I brushed it off, telling her that it would pass, I didn't believe her, thinking that she was just asking for attention, which I should have given to her, even without asking, and when I found her, she had already collapsed, she went too long without oxygen before starting CPR, and two days later, had to remove her from the machine, so you see, I am to blame, it's not a what if, even though the Doctor's told me there wasn't anything I could have done, given the cause of an Aortic Dissection that opened, causing internal bleeding, the fact that she came to me in her moment of desperate need, and I wasn't there for her, she relied on me, and I did nothing short of abandonment, so here I am, not crying because I feel sorry for myself or pity myself, I am here due to blatant negligence of not being there when it mattered, with her life the price.and our lives destroyed. I Adored her, and always put her on a pedestal, I always put her needs before mine, but not that night, not that night, she was my life, and I took it for granted, and now my price is continued suffering, of which there is no cure, I passed away on that same night, and where I belong is with her, I only pray that she will forgive me, I lost the only thing in this world that mattered the most to me, this is not a what if, or misplaced guilt, this is a what happened, and there's no changing it, no second chance, so I will have to suffer this for the rest of my lousy life, God that I wish it would end.  Thank you again for listening, and wish you all a pleasant day! Nancy and Jim

 

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I honestly don’t know what to tell you except that the doctors told you there would have been no saving her from the heart condition when it happened.  As for how you acted (or didn't) is something you have to grapple with.   I don’t know the intricacies of your relationship with your saying she looked for attention.  If this was common and maybe anyone would feel someone was crying wolf.  I don’t know if she was aware of her condition or not.  I would think if she were, so would you and would have taken how she felt very seriously.   I don’t know why you were in the hospital, but glad you are speaking with a counselor.  

All I do know is forgiveness comes from within now.  She can’t do that for you and, depending if you believe in life after death, may not be feeling what we do on this plane.  Your talks with people if many faiths could help you there.  Her memory will have to be enough because that is all any of us have.  I look at my relationship with Steve as a book we were writing and never got to finish.  So it will gather dust as I try and find meaning without him.  I never will find any as intense, but without any life is existence and very cold.  This pandemic has afforded me way too much time to think about it.  I feel half of me died when he did and this other half struggles every day to find reasons to keep going forward.  My body literally feels too heavy to get up in the morning.  My forgiveness issues lie with him leaving me. 

I hope you will start looking inward where you have power.  You’ve been thru a year of firsts.  First holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and a date now that carries a significant meaning.  Mine is in October and one I hated to add to ones I’ll never forget.   We all look back. Crave the time we were with them.  You are not alone on that..  

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12 hours ago, JimJim said:

the Doctor's told me there wasn't anything I could have done, given the cause of an Aortic Dissection that opened, causing internal bleeding

When you gravitate towards self-blame, focus on this.  I know it's hard to sink in because you FEEL otherwise.  It's hard to dismiss feelings...they aren't factually based, but they seem dominant over rationale.  We can destroy ourselves with feelings.

12 hours ago, JimJim said:

I only pray that she will forgive me

Do you doubt it?  You always love each other, she won't hold it against you because her body quit.  I continue on faith believing in my George's love, that it continues just as mine does.

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JimJim,

In my early days and years of grief, I too searched for some reason, for some way to blame myself for my wife's death.  If only I did this, if only I knew that,  etc...  I keep going over in my mind trying to find some way to blame myself so that I could hang on to a reason for her death.  I love my wife, Rose Anne, beyond the limits I can put into words.  Through this group, prayer, and my faith, I have come to understand that FEELINGS are not FACTS! Yet when examined can lead us to Truth.  I was my wife's caregiver the last six years of her life.  I learn to forgive myself for being a human, fallible and unable to perceive and keep everything working perfectly.  I am not Sovereign and control everything.  Life is not in my our our control.  I had to learn to forgive myself and stop looking for someone or something to blame.

My wife died five years ago while I was away at work.  I wasn't home to save her.  I miss her every day. ( Today is her birthday).  I cherish all of the wonderful memories and experiences we shared together for almost 26 years.  I pray you will find a way to forgive yourself for being human and loving your wife.  You are worth it.  Take care and I will be lifting you in prayer for healing your heart, mind, and soul.  Take care- Shalom (Peace)

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George, you so adeptly described how we can’t know everything and make mistakes.  I know I made my share in my 5 years of caregiving.  It’s a long time to have to adapt to changes as they come as well as knowing it will end too fast.  

Will be thinking of you today on Rose Ann's birthday.  Virtual hugs, wish they were real.  🌹

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14 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

Today is her birthday

Wow, you two celebrated really close together!  I know you love her, nothing will ever change that in the least.  Hoping this day wasn't too hard for you.

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Jim-Jim, when I first started typing all the medical data for the university hospital I worked for, the death note on a young man, probably 28, his wife was probably 24.  The final paragraph said they came in the room and Mrs. XX was holding Mr. XX like he was her baby and rocking him back and forth.  He had passed away. I had been married about 10-12 years at the time, but that was one of the sweetest/saddest things I had ever heard (he had leukemia) and I knew, if ever I was in that place I would do the same, the final loving hold.  We knew Billy's cancer was overtaking him when we found out he had it.  He was at doc twice a year, blood work,, etc.  We had no idea. Those five weeks were chaotic but he was not going to die.  That was unheard of.  The year before i had a miracle, coma and yet made it through.  Made it through the cancer, two  kinds, in a cancer hospital.  He was one of the first people to have a stent put in his kidney arteries and eventually had 2-3 of them.  Blood pressure put him in ICU, but he was never going to die.  I denied to him and myself how sick he was.  He knew..  After a grueling night in the ER with me feeding him morphine (they let me) after 4:00 a.m. we were in a room.  He was exhausted.  He had only had 2-3 chemo treatments but could not keep anything down.  I went to sleep laying my head on his bed next to him, he woke me up with his arms outstretched.  I knew what he was telling me.  He had to go and I wasn't going to let him.  I knocked his precious arms down and turned my back.  I turned around and he was gone.  I could not hold him and rock him like a baby.  My last attention to him was anger.  No!! He could not leave.  But he did.  Fifty-four years and my last emotion to him was anger.  Less than a year later, I saw my mom pass away.  She had gone so long before  with the Alzheimer's.  I closed her eyes and I told her "Mama, please tell Billy how sorry I am that I was not holding him.".

My friend passed away in April.  Her cancer was fast and furious like Billy's.  Her husband (she was a classmate,, relative and such a friend), her and his granddaughter had liver cancer with transplant of part of the child's mom's liver (their daughter) to save her. (It worked, she is in her 20's and beautiful). My friend and her husband had words before she left, they were words of anger.  She kept trying to call him but he had an aneurysm that night in his brain and died.  She never got to speak with him again and it haunted her for over 20 years.  (religion mentioned here).  I just believe she is with him again now.  I don't know what happens after death, I know the Bible says we will know as we are known.  After nearly five years, every night I pray to the cross at the end of my bed and I beg him to forgive me.  I know he did.  He knew I was not going to let him go.  (Many years ago) He knows the fights I had had with the doctors when they wanted to just dismiss his high blood pressure as hereditary.  He knew I threw a fit and went into the hospital room bathroom crying because I kept saying it was his kidneys.  I was not a doctor though.  But they listened to me.  He knows how I fought for him and I just was not going to let him go..  But my good intentions of holding him like the woman had held her husband, I never got to do  it.  My fault.  

I know you have read up on aortic dissection and some of the people who have had it.  It is a traumatic accident of the heart and CPR and doctors right with you could not have saved her.  Life does not seem fair sometimes and there is not a person on this forum that cannot tell you one similar to what I told you.  I had 54 years with my best friend and some of you younger ones, you did not have but a short time.  The pain is not less and it is not greater.  We did get to have a life that many did not get to have.  We helped take care of family for those 54 years though and our song was "A Time For Us" and we had just bought another RV a few months before.  We were in our late 50's our first retirement and got to RV for awhile, but family called us back and they were more important.  

This won't take your guilt feelings away.  Your not ready for that yet.  And Rose Kennedy was right, the wound does not heal,, but you do develop some sort of scar tissue and you live again.  I cannot say happily, but there will be a time when you notice the seasons changing colors again.  Not right away.  Right now you just have to take care of your grief and yourself on your separate path.  Know though, we may all be on different paths but we are here when you need us.........and we cannot cure a thing, but we can say you do live.  One of these days your concentration will come back and you can read, draw, paint, do photography, or anything that requires concentration.  Right now though, it is a slow painful journey.  Our hearts are with you, and words do not help.

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And Jim-Jim, I am sitting in this apartment with unopened big plastic boxes all in my bedroom because when I open them, there is something of his and it still cuts like a knife.  Where some people would get relief from the memory, it just makes the grief all hit at once.  I can handle it now.  I couldn't for awhile.  I had 50 morphine pills left.  I knew the national forest all around my little town and knew what to do.  I did not think of anyone but me and Billy and wanting to be with him.  I can handle it, but I still don't want to open those boxes.  

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On 5/19/2020 at 12:36 AM, Marg M said:

 because when I open them, there is something of his and it still cuts like a knife.  .  I can handle it, but I still don't want to open those boxes.  

This is so real. So true. I totally relate Marg

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I still can't bear going into the shop, only if I absolutely need something.  It was ransacked years ago and it hurts too much to look at it, he liked being out there.  I keep it closed.  :(

 

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