Jump to content

Anniversary of My Loss is Here Again


Recommended Posts

It was a few years ago, at this time of night (11pm), my son and I made another trip to the hospital to visit my wife (who had been admitted earlier in the day for a fever).  
As I walked in her room, I saw her sleeping (as I had—literally—close to a 100 times prior at hospitals around the country). 
This time, however, it was different.  I distinctly remember feeling sorry for her.  More than usual. 
I think by knowing her so well, I could simply tell by the expression on her face as she slept, she was not feeling well.  
At this time, her nurse came in and asked me for some information. “She was not up to providing it earlier he said “. 
As we stood outside her room, he starting asked all the common questions. I then heard my wife awaken and begin talking to my son. 
As the nurse was typing in my answers to questions, I kept leaning over looking in the door, “tell mommy I am here too.” I kept saying.  
Finally after 10 minutes, i went in, kissed her and we chatted for a bit.  I brought her a Twix candy bar (her favorite) but she was so sick, so mumbled “just put it there, I’ll have it later.”   
We stayed until about 1am, then proceeded home. The hospital is only 1.5 miles away.    As we left, I kissed her on her forehead, told her I loved her and said “Be nice to your nurse. He seems like a nice guy.”  She just kind of grunted in acknowledgement as she drifted back to sleep.  
I had a difficult time sleeping when my wife was away in the hospital, and that night was no exception.  
 At about 4am I was taking some trash to the garage and my phone rang.  It was a nurse telling me that my wife “isn’t doing very well, and she requested to see you.”
Honestly, even at THAT time I still did not consider the fact her passing. This was just our life.  She had spent the past five years in and out of hospitals so it was par for the course.  I was there by 4:05am…and within three hours she was gone.  
I hope I can sleep tonight. In the past when I was sad I used to only want to sleep. Now it becomes difficult, which confuses me.  
Unsure what I will do today to  commemorate her passing. 
What I do know  is I won’t hear from any family.  Of course I will contact them and let them know I am thinking of them and am here if they need anything from me, but will get the usual “I will call you in about 10 minutes” never hearing back of course.  It’s something I am used to now, and leave it to them to live with themselves.  I hold my head high knowing I remain supportive.  It’s all I can do.  Thanks for listening. 

  • Like 4
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand you about these commemorative days, how sad they can be. Your story is so heartbreaking. Today, (it's early morning over here, 15th),is actually 21 months to the day, since I lost the one and only love of my life. I still can't believe this, even as I'm writing, it was all so sudden and unexpected, untimely(heart attack) , that my mind just will not acknowledge the fact that we will never see him again. I still think he's going to come through  the front door at any moment, calling out: "HI, everyone, I'm back!". I keep reliving that horrific November Sunday afternoon, always on my mind 24 hrs a day, it was the start of another "Covid shutdown", and we had just spent a week stocking up on food any other necessities. I cry thinking how he never got the chance to see the world reopening, finally getting back to normal (almost), but I'm not seeing this anyway, my life stopped that day, my emotions stopped, my motivation, desires, enthusiasm, don't find joy in anything, everything stopped. I can't talk to my two grownup kids about how I feel, would just upset them even more. Other family members who haven't lost a partner don't understand at all, they see my false brave face, thinking all is well, just getting on with their lives as if nothing's happened. 

Take care of yourself. 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know the silence from family as well.  It's sad.  I am so sorry.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's going to be 27 months tomorrow, but who's counting? 

I was going to post in the "Final moments" thread, but couldn't do it. After she passed, I wrote everything out in as much detail as I could for her sister and Dad. I've mentioned some of it here, but not all in one place. I just can't do it when I still feel so guilty about letting her go. There's so much I should have done. I feel like I've convicted myself and am in prison for the crime. We always used to watch shows about prison like "Lockup" and say that we would be mentally strong enough to survive a sentence- if we knew that the other was waiting outside. It might be the only way I am getting through this lonely life, but I don't know how much more I can take. I'm trying to get used to nobody needing me, nobody caring if I'm alive... posting on here less even. Still, that damn nagging need or want of companionship, one damn friend, eats away at my best attempts to be solitary, aloof and uncaring that I am a useless person that no one living loves. This is the dichotomy that kills me slowly. I just want to disappear. Why can't I be so lucky to die in my sleep? 

I'm sorry I've failed you all. I am not a positive grief success. I'm just so ready to leave. 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

nashreed, you have not failed us. This discussion forum is not a test or final exam you are taking. You are living an experience like all of us, which is unique to you.

I can so relate to having that need or want for companionship. I have a few friends, but it's not the same as having that one special person you can tell anything too.

For what it's worth you are a friend to me, as is everyone here who posts here. Ya it's virtual, but what a blessing this forum is. At least it has been for me.

I can't sprinkle magic fairy dust and make it better for you. So instead I will say, be well my friend and send prayers your way 🙏

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, nashreed said:

I'm trying to get used to nobody needing me, nobody caring if I'm alive.

James, it hurts my heart that you think so little of yourself, as if your life has no meaning, no purpose at all. But you do have a choice! Our lives have as much (or as little) meaning and purpose as we choose to give them. 

I have to ask: Have you ever considered volunteering as a way of "getting through this lonely life"? There are so many organizations and places that need help, and they simply could not exist without the help of volunteers. See, for example, Healing Grief Through The Gift of Volunteering  ❤️

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the sentiment, Marty. Volunteering would be something that, although worthy and worthwhile, would be extremely anxiety inducing. I just don't know that I could do it. Annette's patience and kindness and belief in me got me to where I could maintain a job after having a retail work nervous breakdown. I don't have a support system anymore, just a guilt and worthlessness reinforcement squad (my family). 

I am the type of person that if I say something that I feel was the wrong choice of words to someone, even if the other person could care less, it will eat at me and I will replay that in my head for days. I have anxiety just going to my chiropractor, same time- same day, every week. I just stress about things for every reason, any reason and no reason, and it's definitely worse after the trauma of being a caregiver and blaming myself for failing at it. 

There is a lot of need in my hometown, but there are a LOT of homeless people here with serious mental problems. I cannot handle any kind of conflict or drama whatsoever. I try to go to my local Walgreens and there are homeless people out front being loud and aggressive. I have to drive to one way out of the way just to avoid being asked for change. I can be in line, and if I see a sketchy person come into the store, I have a flight response (I have agoraphobia and I'm always hyper aware of exits). I know it sounds like I'm making excuses. It's trying to weigh whether it's worth the fear and anxiety to get out of my comfort zone, but knowing that I probably won't be fulfilled ultimately. I mean, my brother has a full time job and has worked at Walmart for 15 years or something and he's miserable and he has no one in his life- and he's way more gregarious than I am. He's "normal" in society's eyes (just a weird looking dude, a very aged nerd). 

I think that, honestly, I'm a selfish lazy person and being with my family this long has reinforced and recreated the person Annette spent 30 years changing into someone who was good. I'm afraid that person died with her. 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, nashreed said:

Volunteering would be something that, although worthy and worthwhile, would be extremely anxiety inducing.

Volunteering is a great suggestion as it takes the focus off you and places the focus on others or your community. I get that it could cause anxiety, and I agree with you nashreed about drama. I'm not one who could volunteer while being around other peoples drama, difficult situations or stress filled situations. But volunteering can be anything. Tap into your interests. If you like animals, volunteer at an animal shelter or be a dog walker. Volunteer to clean up local parks if you like the outdoors. Volunteering behind the scenes at a library. Volunteering doesn't have to always involve being around people, and doing something for others can definitely boost one's worthiness.

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes just documenting your day is enough.  I can’t do anything so I don’t have that choice.   I totally understand not wanting to do anything.  I don’t make suggestions as it puts people in the position of defending themself.  No one has to do anything. I hope everyone will keep writing so they don’t feel so alone.  I don’t write deep things right now because I’m trying not to get lost in my roommates pain.  I have to live. I’m actually doing myself a disservice.   Ive never been so lost.  I don’t want to be here any more.  I haven’t a clue how to say I don’t want to live anymore.  Yet the ingrain feeling of not. knowing how to make that happen.  Fear of it.  I want the life I had and I can’t have that.  I’d settle for being able to move around in the world.  I know that wouldn’t  be enough for most people, but t would be for me.  To not spend every moment in pain.  I’m sorry I turned this into about me.  Keep getting those emotions out. It’s so important to express what is happening inside your heart and. mind.  Knowing someone hears and under stands.  

  • Like 5
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your responses.  As always I am “quote-challenged” so will do my best. 
VR - I can certainly relate on the ‘on my mind 24/7’.  I actually tried to deduce what % of time I’ve spent thinking of my wife since her passing.  I would guestimate that 90% of my waking thoughts have been on her.  This, and I still work full-time. 

Nashreed - Not sure what to say.  I can understand the desire in describe our loved ones final moments with family members.  I tried for months after my wife passed, they did not seem interested.  I will never understand it.  

I can also relate to the loneliness.  Trust me.  My family has completely abandoned me and the worse part I have no idea why. I’ve never had a problem with any of them.  Ever.  
I will go as far and say seeing them turn their back on me was worse than losing my wife.   It made me extremely suicidal.  My biggest fear was not killing myself, but instead my broken heart killing me.  My health went downhill in a MAJOR way. I could sense I was dying.

Now I would never kill myself due to my religious beliefs, but I considered…if I can feel I am dying inside, and I do nothing about it…is it a form of suicide? I still don’t know the answer.  I have been wanting to talk to my religious leadership about this.   
This is when I decided to give it ALL up. By that, I am planning to move 1/2 across the world (India), and live out my remaining days mourning my wife and giving myself to others.   There are a myriad of opportunities there (the struggle is real), and my ultimate goal is to fund an orphanage.   
I actually should have already been gone, but first COVID delayed things, now I have a passport issue I am working through….but it’s a matter of months at this point (I hope).  

Part of me is INCREDIBLY scared about doing this (seeing as I am only 52).  It is the absolute last thing I ever thought would do.  I mean it was never even a thought during my entire life.   But in reality my only other alternative is to stay here, continue ignored by my family, absolutely miserable and just work until I die.  Not going out like that.  

  • Like 4
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, nashreed said:

I'm trying to get used to nobody needing me, nobody caring if I'm alive...   I just want to disappear. Why can't I be so lucky to die in my sleep? 

37 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

I've never been so lost.  I don’t want to be here any more.  I haven’t a clue how to say I don’t want to live anymore.

29 minutes ago, Sad_Widower said:

I would never kill myself due to my religious beliefs, but I considered…if I can feel I am dying inside, and I do nothing about it…is it a form of suicide?

Some serious statements written here that are hard to read and weigh heavy on my heart.

I hope you all have someone to help you navigate through these significant thoughts and feelings.

🙏 ❤️❤️❤️

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's kind of the point, Boho. Absolutely no offense to your statement, but speaking for myself, I have absolutely no one to help me navigate anything. I really, truly don't.  That's why I post here. That's why I still talk to Annette, desperately trying to get an answer, but I never do. I feel terrible, like I am making her sad by feeling this way. It's just no one in real life has any interest in my grief. Why should I care about myself? I wish I felt emotions more deeply, so I could "feel" like the grief was killing me, but I'm here and my family is so emotionally repressed that I have just become a zombie. General moderate malaise just doesn't kill you quick enough. 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

if I can feel I am dying inside, and I do nothing about it…is it a form of suicide?

I once told my sister she is committing passive suicide.  She said, "I know I am."  Where you do not take care of yourself or do anything constructive to make yourself better or well.  She never took her blood sugar (although Diabetic), ate sweets all the time, sat in her chair all day, didn't get exercise or clean her home, or anything.  She watched t.v. and read.  And she got her wish, she died in her sleep, in her chair, in her home, in the early morning hours.

James, I understand your condition makes it hard to be out, it's why you aren't working.  Have you considered where you'll be if/when your mom goes?  

9 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

Part of me is INCREDIBLY scared about doing this (seeing as I am only 52).

52.  The age I was when George died.  So young.  I WAS young then!  Still had years left to work.  A lot of hardship and struggle ahead of me, somehow I've survived it all.  Now I'm turning 70 and while I don't consider myself on the home stretch yet (could easily live into my 90s), I'm getting there...another era, I see my life getting more limited.  Not quite in the land of the living, more of a homebody, I like to be in in the evenings, go to bed early, get up early in the wee hours.  My married friends continue living, plans, doing things, being with each other, sharing in life.  That's what I don't have any more...sharing in life.  Except with Kodie, thank God I have him.

James, have you considered getting a dog?  I know it seems rather off the wall, but honestly, it saved me.  Gave me someone to live for, someone to love and be loved by.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In reply to your post Kayc, I just couldn't resist the temptation to send you photos of our two adorable cats. We've always had a dog and a cat, but at the moment it's just two cats. I never used to believe in 'pet therapy', but I've discovered it really is so true! They provide us with real unconditional love and so much comfort and motivation. Obviously, not everyone perhaps lives in a place where they can keep pets. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, kayc said:

James, I understand your condition makes it hard to be out, it's why you aren't working.  Have you considered where you'll be if/when your mom goes?

James, didn’t realize you had a condition. It must be in an older post I haven’t read. That’s a very valid, and important question you posted kayc. James, maybe think how things would unfold if/when your mom dies.

10 hours ago, nashreed said:

I have absolutely no one to help me navigate anything. I really, truly don't.  That's why I post here.

If you have a condition perhaps your doctor could help connect you with the support you need to help you navigate your current situation. I’m just posting an option, never advise. I know you know this, but I just want to state it again.

13 minutes ago, V. R. said:

'pet therapy'

I’m pro with pet therapy! Maybe you could visit a local animal shelter, get some cuddles with a cat, or walk/play with a dog. You’d definitely give the animals some joy, and you just might experience some joy yourself 🤞

Always sending the best of thoughts your way 😁

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

Part of me is INCREDIBLY scared about doing this (seeing as I am only 52).  It is the absolute last thing I ever thought would do.  I mean it was never even a thought during my entire life.   But in reality my only other alternative is to stay here, continue ignored by my family, absolutely miserable and just work until I die.  Not going out like that.  

Dear Sad_Widower,

    You are doing exactly what the complicated grief experts advise (bold lettering mine):

"Robert Neimeyer, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Memphis, director of the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition and co-editor of “Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society,” finds that the most important goals of complicated grief therapy are to develop a narrative of what happened, to revise and re-create one’s relationship with the loved one, and to reinvent oneself. “After loss, we need to reconstruct life meaning and find a way to reinvest in living,” he said."

   I envy you your adventure. I want to return to the country where I was raised (not born there, but have always identified with that culture). It will have to wait a couple of more years, and probably my husband will not follow me there full time, but I will get back there even if I have to swim the distance.

 

  • Like 2
  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the thoughts and support, I do. My Mom is totally against pets. I'm a cat person. There's enough dogs here in this mobile park, and the inconsiderate neighbors let them bark incessantly. The next door neighbor has two dogs, one is a huge dog (I can't tell breeds at all) that they have in a cramped little yard, in the heat all day (though there is shade). They never give them exercise. It's just terrible how people treat animals. 

I just don't see any way out of my situation. I could only work part time even if I could find work that I could do- but everything here is customer service. The Amazon fulfillment centers are out of town- a commute I really don't want to do for part time. I'm desperately lonely but have no recourse to meet anyone. Last time I checked, they still weren't having in person grief therapy groups. It's easy to just be stuck. It would be hard for someone to start over even if they didn't have mental health issues. I feel like a complete failure, but what can I do? My family just reinforces it. At least I have somewhere to sleep. After my Mom is gone, I may end up one of the homeless here. 

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, nashreed said:

Last time I checked, they still weren't having in person grief therapy groups.

I did GriefShare twice, and got more out of it the second time. Everyone going is there for the same reason, and it's so supportive. Great thing is it's free.

Ok, just putting an option on the virtual whiteboard here:

Try googling GriefShare+your city and see what comes up. You might be surprised, and who knows, they might be meeting in-person now. If so, you'll have a support network, and you just might meet some new friends 🤞🏼

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, nashreed said:

That's kind of the point, Boho. Absolutely no offense to your statement, but speaking for myself, I have absolutely no one to help me navigate anything. I really, truly don't.  That's why I post here. That's why I still talk to Annette, desperately trying to get an answer, but I never do. 

I am on my laptop so can properly quote! 🙂 

@Nashreed, once again, I hope it does mean something to you when I say you are not alone in your experience. I'll share my struggle in obtaining help to 'navigate' through things, as I imagine you can relate:

1. The first week after my wife's death, I was given the contacts for some  grief therapy. I initially hesitated due to my assumption my family would be there for me. That was a BIG mistake. Instead of growing even closer to my loved ones, the opposite happened. 

2. Once I realized this (it was not in my mind) I was sitting at home alone, Christmas day, while my entire family spent it celebrating (only a few miles away).  I'd never had a falling out or anything as such with any of them....I just wasn't invited. It was SHOCKING, seeing as we held Xmas at our house each year, the first year without my wife, my entire family holds it at my parents (both sides of the family), I am not even invited nor told about it. I'm sitting at home thinking "How can this be happening?" What have I done? I could not believe the people I loved could be so cruel like this. I could understand if I had some baggage in that I was a less than perfect son, father, etc. but none of that. My entire life has been devoted to my family, and other than usual disagreements, never had a "falling out" with anyone. Worse yet, it's not like they don't talk to me or can point to anything I've done Instead they just have shunned me. I am simply unlucky, that's all I can deduce. 

3. After this I went in to COMPLETE isolation. I spent close to a year literally shut down. I stopped working. As in I just stopped going in to the office. I stopped paying bills. The only time I would even get up to pay a bill was when the service was disconnected. I allowed my home to go in to foreclosure, etc The crazy thing is I had more than enough money to pay these bills, I was just so wrecked I did not care about anything. I lost over 50 pounds as I barely ate, etc. 

One night I really felt as if I were dying inside. I started thinking about ALL the things being thrown on me, and realized (looking outside in) "This is enough to literally kill someone.". I just needed to talk to someone. I only wanted to ask someone "Am I wrong for being wrecked over all of this...or am I missing something?"

So...at 2:30am, .I called the National Suicide hotline. Let me tell you, this is not what it appears to be. Firt the woman who answered actually had an attitude. She answered "Suicide line. Name, address, birthdate, and social". "Hello?" I asked. "Name, address. Birthdate, and Social!" she quipped back. I tried to explain I just wanted to talk to someone (as it was obvious it wasn't going to be her. I was very trepid in giving my personal information  and tried to explain this. (I did not want to end up on some 'list'). She let me know in no uncertain terms could swe proceed further without that information. So I just gave her fake information. 

"Hold" she said....then I was put on hold for about 10 minutes, transferred here, transferred there...about 45 minutes in I was fighting through their VRU...and eventually just hung up.

I cannot express how defeated I was at that time. Here I was, at the worst of my worst, having always thought there was this service (for which I never imagined needing) that is there to help those in despair. I was completely ut of options. That had to be my lowest point.

To a degree, it was a positive, in that it took from this mesial state to realizing something had to give. This set me on the track to truly understanding what I wanted out of life at this point. I realized whatever is going on in my family's head, what they can't take away is I've been nothing short of a perfect son, father, brother-in-law, etc. I hold my head high on this. Above all, I have my integrity. 

I say all of this, as it might help you to really take a step back and think of what you want to achieve in your remaining years. As you know, they will go by quickly. For me, I have decided to move across the globe. There is a certain place in India where my wife wanted her ashes disbursed, and have decided to stay with her after doing so. From there, I plan to simply help others in whatever capacity I can. Even if it's as something simple as delivering meals/companionship to the elderly, or helping with orphaned children...whatever the need, I am there to help. 

I'll tell you, there are a lot of Widowers moving overseas. One reason being many countries in Asia are incredibly inexpensive. Unfortunately, I see a lot of them moving to the Philippines or Thailand, simply to get a young girlfriend (who seems to use them of their money) but my intentions are completely the opposite. Regardless, I would suggest some sort of change" for you, as I hate to see anyone stuck in the rut we know so well.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Sad_Widower said:

I would suggest some sort of change" for you, as I hate to see anyone stuck in the rut we know so well.  

Change can be good, but timing is important. One needs to be wise when deciding on changes. I'm definitely not a professional, but I'd suggest getting supports in place, working through some of your stuff (we all have stuff) and then once you feel you've reached a place of better emotional health then weigh out options for change. I just thinks it's wise to make changes from a place of wellness.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sad,

That's just such a heartbreaking story. I can't imagine calling the suicide prevention hotline and getting someone rude. You need a different job lady. I thought about calling....well, texting. They have that option now. But, it wouldn't be a "real" conversation. I can't imagine it would be anything more than scripted. 

I admire you greatly, Sad. I wish I had your pluck. As much as I hate my routine and my life, I freak out when my boring routine is upset. I wish I could move to Asia, but I can't even handle English. 

Truthfully, I just don't know how to carry on caring. Life just doesn't seem to matter without someone to share it with. Life means nothing to me without Annette's love. I am fully aware of her love inside me, but I'm still so alone. I just can't get myself to have a dream or an ambition or anything when nothing matters now without her. It's like the world is still going, but it shouldn't be. The heart is gone from it. I haven't gone through the hell you went through in your first year, but it changed me. I've become someone different from who Annette married. She wouldn't like me now. 

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, razorclam said:

Dear Sad_Widower,

    You are doing exactly what the complicated grief experts advise (bold lettering mine):

   I envy you your adventure. I want to return to the country where I was raised (not born there, but have always identified with that culture).

 Thanks for the reference. It was actually helpful, so I appreciate that.  
Do you mind if I ask what country you are from (I have traveled many places so am curious).  Yes I am looking forward to it.
 Lots to research and plan. I was also very concerned with disbursing her ashes and then leaving, so I think the fact I am going to stay. Many people thought her desire to be disbursed there was a “pie in the sky” dream, but I knew she meant it so figure it’s one of the best things I can do for her.  
Again, I see a lot of widowers doing this…they are called “Expats”.  Honestly, if I weren’t taking my wife’s ashes there I don’t know if I would have ever even considered it though.  

  • Like Copy 1
Link to comment
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
×
×
  • Create New...