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My name is Mary N. My husband Chris and I met on MArch 17, 1991 and had our first date March 19, 1991. we have been together for 18 years. We were married on his 40th birthday july 3, 1999. We lived together for 8 years before we were Married. My Husband was a lawyer for disabled and the needy for 10 years. He was a paralegal for 16 years prior and put himself through law school on his own. we wroked together, drove to work, played hooky, and still managed to call each other 4-5 times a day. This was an incredible relationship because we actually liked each other. In jUNE OF 2005, my father had a 3rd major stroke leaving him 95 % loss of mobility on one side. In August he came home in a wheelchair and refused the Hired caregivers we had for him. He called me up and since I had taken care of my mother when she was dying of Cancer from Jan 1991- August 1992 I asked him if he wanted me to take care of him. He said yes. I made a life changing decision for myself and my husband. Being the Man that he has always been he closed his office and moved from the beautiful beach to Garden grove, CA. My job was 24/7. We rented the house directly accross the street for my husband since my fathers home was too small. This is where Chris lived. That was 3 1/2 years ago. My father is able to walk prettty well, but has severe vascular dementia, bad diabetes, and now kidney problems. he is 83 years old. My husband was an alcoholic He didn't admit this until 2008, and diagnosed with major depresion in the 1990's. I have not drank since 1992. Because the only nights off I have is when my sister is here around the 1st and 15th of the month, chris and I didn't get all that much time together. Although we saw each other every day and when we took my father to his chili cook offs on the weekends, I just didn't notice how bad his drinking and depression was. He was always about taking care of my father and me from the stress of everything.

He got a bad toothache on Sat. Dec 5th 2008, started taking tylenol/ codeine 1-2 every four hours along with drinking. I didn't know anything was wrong until Sunday around 5. By 11:30 pm He was throwing up blood and off we went to the Er. His liver was so bad he had a TIPPS procedure two days later, a 4 hr surgery took 12 1/2 hours. He was fortunate to get his tube out on the 15th for 1 1/2 days. He told me how much he loved me and felt like we were on our 2nd honeymoon. He couldn't stop kissing me. He accepted Jesus as his personal savior and said he was not afraid to die or live. The doctors had high hopes then. Then he got pnuenomia. The tube went back in. He had all his faculities, but needed a new liver. Every thiing that could go wrong went wrong. He died 1-6-2009. We had a chuch service on Jan 16, and buried him on Santa Catalina on Jan 26th. Where am I now. I sit next to my 83 year old father thinking horrible thoughts. My husband was 49 years old. I am 48 we tried to have children but to no avail. Started adoption but my dad got sick, so we put our lives on hold not thinking we would be here in this same situation 3 1/2 yrs later. I'm alone with an 83 year old who can't even carry on a conversation with any one. Every day I relive that my husband died because he doesn't remember. He has his memorial folder, knows its someone important to me but asks every day. Its like reliving that movie Groundhogs day. I cry every day 3-4 times a day. eVERY NIGHT,every morning, during the day all day. But I have to buck up around my father because he's confused enough. I am lost, alone, and missing my life partner. That's me.

To see alittle about my husband here is a link http://www.legacy.com/OrangeCounty/gb/Gues...122798463"

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Mary I do understand your pain.I lost my husband 2 years ago and Im taking care of my mother who is 90.My thoughts are the same why GOD this is not fair.I know we can not change anything and its hard to go on.You are young and I wish abetter future for you.Here is the place you will find caring friends that realy understand.I living in Greece some of friends may be closer to where you live.Do you have familly?Your far away friend TENY

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Nicollaw, I am so sorry you had to join us here. Perhaps as Teny said, life is not fair; but who ever promised it would be. I can relate to the sudden unexpected loss of your spouse, as can so many here. It would take you a long time to adjust to your loss, even without the added duties of your father`s care. You don`t understand all of what you are experiencing at the moment, but it isn`t necessary to understand it. For now you just have to get by on a minute by minute basis. This group is a wonderful family of support and compassion, I hope you will make yourself at home here. Feel free to visit, read, post, share and vent at any time of day or night.

On a practical level, maybe now would be a good time to bring in professional caregivers. Your father may never accept their presence, but for your sake, and his, please do not try to continue the way you have been. You already realize that your grief will, at times, overwhelm you and make it almost impossible to contend with everyday chores. To postpone your own mourning would not be a wise idea, there are aspects of grief which can be even worse than what you are presently dealing with. Putting off your own feelings may only intensify some of what is to come. The number one thing you need to do right now is to care for yourself. You have done a wonderful job of caring for your father, you just need a little help now.

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I'm sorry for all you have been through and all you are going through. You husband sounds like a terrific person, and you too! I have to agree that it could be of immense help to you to have some professional help taking care of your dad. What they won't accept at first sometimes they will come to accept later, and if he doesn't remember your husband is dead, he may not be as aware and may be more accepting of help now. You need to take care of yourself, first and foremost, or you won't be able to take care of anyone else. Grief takes a tremendous amount of energy and adjustment and you need to be able to pour yourself into that. It is not wrong to take care of yourself and put others second...we women just sometimes have a hard time doing that.

Please feel free to pour out your feelings here, there is usually somebody on line here, and it's often in the wee hours when we can't sleep that we have the need to do that.

Keep coming back, we'll all be here for you.



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I am glad you found this site. The people here have been my salvation.

Don't worry about the crying 3-4 times a day. Some of us never stop, in fact I just passed my 1 year mark 1/18 and for the last 3 weeks have done nothing but cry. You are barely in to this grief journey and it will be the hardes job you ever had.

I agree with Fred and KayC. You have to focus on yourself now. Not that your dad isn't important but he will have to adjust to additional caregivers. Even if you don't have them around the clock, either have them come during the afternoon or stay all night so you can go to YOUR house and sleep. You need to get away. I just wish you had been able to do this before.

You cannot let the guilt eat you up. You will have a lot of could have, should have would have syndrome moment. Just remember you were doing the best you could and Chris accepted that.

I am so glad you are journaling on the legacy site also. Our funeral home has a site like this but it does not end in a year like the legacy. Be sure to print out the entries before the year is up. It will surprise you have far you will have come. You may also want to buy a journal or make one up on your computer. My girls and I use our site a lot to tell Tom what we are thinking. There is just something about putting it down in black and white that is different than speaking it from your heart.

Keep posting here and here is your first ((((((((HUG)))))))) from all of us

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Dear Mary,

From the poems on your guestbook, you were desperate for a place to come to where there would be understanding, comfort and support. Welcome to our world. We are here for you and you have a lot on your plate, my dear. It is really important to take care of yourself. So, I echo everyone else in saying that if possible, find someone to sit with your dad so you can go home, at least for a while. It is where you feel closest to your husband. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I'm glad you found us.



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Mary, I just went to the site you wrote on, and I want to encourage you to go back and read what you wrote...it is very revealing and you already gave yourself the answers you need. You don't want to let go of you and Chris' home, so don't. Experts don't recommend making major changes the first year if you can help it, anyway. Second, you said you don't want to live at your dad's house, that you spend enough time with him as it is. So don't. Get some relief. Have you contacted hospice or anyone about getting some help? I took care of my mother-in-law for 2 years and 8 months when she was bedridden with cancer...we never dreamed it would go on so long, yet I'm very glad she was able to stay in her own home where she wanted to be. My father-in-law just wasn't able to cope, so I did it, yet he stayed with her at night. I took my babies down there first thing in the morning and my husband took them home and put them to bed and I would follow about 11:00 at night, dad would stay with her during the night. It was hard, not having time as a family, and I felt it was hard on the kids, having to be quiet because grandma was in pain, but I am glad we did it and it taught the kids to value people. But I did have relief at night to sleep, and in her latter stages, we had someone come in and give her morphine, and we had a lady that came in and washed her hair once a week the entire time. I did the cooking, laundry, taking care of her, housecleaning, everything, plus I was her link to the outside world. I wouldn't have traded it for anything, but it was one of the hardest things to go through. I felt I needed support but had no time to get any. They have support groups for caregivers but I never could figure out how one got the time to go to them, and if I had that time off I wouldn't have needed the support! What a juxtaposition to find one's self in!

You wrote "Hi honey: I have to keep my feelings to myself or write them elsewhere because people are concerned about my feelings like I'm going to do something to myself. Well I'm not." I had to smile at that because what do people think, anyway? This is the hardest thing in the world to go through, how do they expect us to just go on like nothing happened? Of course it doesn't mean you're going to do something to yourself, but it never stops us from wishing we could be with them. It is such a process, this adjustment, the hardest thing in the world.

Please don't feel guilty for listening to the experts when they told you to go home and rest and to take care of yourself. I tell you, that is sound advice, if you don't take care of yourself you don't have anything in you to take care of anyone else, I learned that when I was very young. It is nothing to feel guilty about, it is just a fact. Besides, there is no way they could have known or you could have known how things would turn. I face the same thing because I was gone the weekend my husband had his heart attack. Once a year I'd go away with my sisters and wouldn't you know, that'd be the weekend he'd die. We didn't know he had heart trouble! He looked the picture of health, wasn't overweight, was strong, just turned 51, how could we have known! Did I struggle with guilt? Yes. But it's important to overcome that and let it go...you did the very best you could, as we all did. You have nothing to feel guilty about, we don't have foreknowlege, we proceed with the knowledge we have at the time.

I can relate so much to what you've written. I have a "letters to George" file in my computer, it's like that, the date, then talking to him, continual letters. I kept my letters to George on my PC because much of it was private, but I've also used this forum extensively to get my feelings out. It's so important to express ourselves and not hold it in. You are doing well under the circumstances, yet you are taxed to the limit. I want to encourage you...this is such a long hard process, all I can do is exhort you to get some help for your father and take some time for yourself, you need it. We're all here for you, pulling for you.



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Dear Mary, I haven't been getting online for quite awhile because nothing seems to really help me ....today I did because I just sometimes get so desperate

for some relief, some human contact that can understand....and I saw your cry for help. I don't know if my writing to you will help - sometimes just knowing

that there are others who understand - really understand, does help - if only for a moment or two. My husband and I were married in 1962 and he died

in my arms October 2007...and still I can't get him out ofmy thoughts...he is with me in everything I do...and on the surface, I act reasonable, rational, sane and so people think i"m ok...."she's doing fine", "you seem to be better" - and all I can think of is - they just don't know....it seems as though the world thinks

you have to be crying and screaming and unable to function - and then it's depression...I do cry almost everyday - and I miss him so much I don't think my

heart will ever stop breaking - like you and your husband - we really liked each other - even after all those years - we talked, and laughed and joked and

teased and argued and bickered - but we were always there for each other - always understood who came first, I guess. We live in Pennsylvania, but

when the treatments for his cancer became useless, I drove with him to California for a clinical...and there in California he died as I held him in my arms.

Like you, I'm tired of the cliches - the stages of grief - the don't be afraid to cry - the it's ok to cry (don't tell me what I know; and I never thought or

said I was afraid to cry or questioned whether it was ok to cry - //don't tell me it'll get better because you don't know what or who I've lost - and yes,

maybe someday I won't cry everyday - but I will love Rich to the day I die - and the hurt and pain of not having him with me - just watching tv or

kayaking or biking the rails trails or calling me to help him with somethinghe was fixing in the garage or basement - or teasing me - or us joking around

while shopping - or just walking holding hands - or his being there by my side for every problem, or sickness, or death in the family - or for every

stress I ever had - he was just there....I know that you know Mary that words just don't do it....do they? I can listen to a friend talk and respond,

but all of that is superficial....I feel no joy; I'm not living - just existing. And it's not that I don't do things - I go for walks, I shop (for basics), I watch

tv, and I read -I have always loved reading, but now It takes all my effort to concentrate...I've tried making some small items for donations to

charities - and all of this keeps me busy - but I dream about Rich almost every night...and I don't know what else to do to give me peace and

serenity - I've tried watching inspirationals on tv and for the moment I either cry or feel soothed - but nothing lasts - if I could die today it would be ok.

I don't have a large family; we didn't have children; and we didn't live in our "hometown" so I really don't have easy access to extended relatives and

don't really know them...my father, who was 92, died just a few months ago...after I came back from California, I stayed alone in our home and I

would talk to my dad over the phone - he lived alone and he wanted me to come stay with him...and I just couldn't....I just didn't have any energy

or heart left to give to anyone else...I knew I couldn't - just couldn't be the caretaker I would have to be. I just couldn't. All my life, I gave - my

love, my time, my thoughts...but after Rich died - I guess I was finally depleted and devoid of any real feelings - I don't know how else to express it -

I loved my dad but I just couldn't give anymore. And I thought that after all the years I had with Rich, of all the things we were going to do with

each other - was over and I was right back to the young girl of 17 who hadn't grown yet ...people want me to get out - "you have to try things",

but, see, I have already "tried things" I know at this stage of my life what I like to do, or who I like or don't, ....Rich and I had been through a lot

and through the years we knew each other and what we wanted to do or didn't - so it's not as though I'm being stubborn - my life was formed

with Rich and I can't just "start" again.

Mary, if I've not helped,I hope I haven't hurt you more. It's just I know that unless you are going through this, you can't understand. People try but

they can only say words and not feel the pain and if they haven't suffered the loss that you have, they're not really understanding your pain.

One of the characters in Iris Murdoch's "The Sacred and Profane Love Machine" says "Of course bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the

imagination of the unbereaved...." It's true.

Can you get help for your dad? Because with the sadness that you're having, with this unspeakable darkness, you can't do this. I don't know how

you're doing it now. The sorrow, the grief, the emptiness and desperation must surely be almost unbearable. I'm so sorry you lost your husband, your

friend, your kindred spirit, your heart. I wish I could take your pain away because even though I can't feel your pain, I can feel mine and I know how

agonizing it can be. We were fortunate to have such good friends as husbands - I saw this somewhere - and wrote it down just can't remember

where it's taken from "Who you can trust and will help you in times of sadness...who will defy the storms of daily life at your side" I think your

husband must have been that....keep writing to him - I write to Rich all the time and it helps because I can say things to him that I can to no other...

I don't have to be afraid that I'm frightening others, or boring them, or insulting them by not following their advice; he knows me - always has.

I know that you had that too...write to him. Lily

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Hi all:

Thank you for all your advice. Unfortunatly I don't have help and can not get it. If I was to take time off I wouldn't have an income. So here I sit. My heart breaks every day without Chris. He is my soul and heart. I don't want to do anything but sleep away the pain. So when my father sleeps(which is alot) I sleep. I am not doing anything productive. My sister suggested I start to think about moving out of the house I had for him across the street. that is not an option for me. That would leave me in this house with dad and when she's in town her. I would have no where to go to get away. I'm 48 years old and For the last 18 years I have been living with Chris. I should pack everything we have collected over 18 years move it into storage and move back home with daddy and susan? I don't think so. I need my time alone as well. The little amount of time I have in the house I appreciate it. It represents our life together. My dads and susans home represents Susan and Dad. Its all their stuff. I barely have room for clothes here. Half of my clothes are across the street. Susan has never been married so she could not understand. No one can unless they have lost a husband or wife. I sit on this computer day after day hoping for releif but can not find it. Everyones advice is spot on. I am just in a bad situation. Thank you for listening.


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I attended a grief share support group (at my local church) for several weeks after my husband passed away. It was very helpful, at least a safe place where we could share and cry. I now receive daily e-mails from the Grief Share website, I just received this info in the latest e-mail and I thought I would share it with all of you.

"You are not the same person you were before. Too much has changed within and without. Do not try to fall back into the same patterns because you will only struggle to fit into a lifestyle that no longer fits. In order to live this new life, you must first identify the areas of your life that you struggle with, and then take steps to learn how to move forward in those areas. For instance, you might find yourself in new situations that you are not comfortable in without your loved one, or you might have new responsibilities that you do not know how to fulfill because your loved one used to take care of them for you.

Here is where you need to grow. God will provide what you need to experience true growth. Pray for wisdom as you develop new patterns of living.

Gretchen says, "My husband could talk to anybody about anything for any length of time, and I just always let him do it. I wasn't a big talker, but the Lord gave me some of that talking ability after he died. And I've been grateful for that because I was very happy in just letting my husband carry the conversation with people. Now, every time I go to something that I really wished I didn't have to go to, I just call on the Lord. The Lord is so faithful. Every single time I get through it and wind up enjoying it."

By God's grace you can be changed. You do not have to try and be the person you were before, because that is not possible. Instead . . .

"Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:10).

Lord, even though I don't necessarily want to change, I know that I must. Give me confidence and wisdom in the areas that I struggle with. Amen."

I apologize if I have offended anyone, but I printed this out and put it on my mirror so I can re-read it...to give me strength in the areas I struggle with. And I wanted to share with all of you. The statement that "You do not have to try and be the person you were before...Instead...." is very meaningful to me.

I am surprised I have gotten through this first year and I know (with God's help) I can continue on...I do not know the plan yet, but I am sure there is one. If you are interested, you can start receiving the e-mails by signing up at the website (365-one each day). griefshare.com Some of the e-mails have been about losing someone other than a spouse, but most have been very good.

Again I apologize if I have offended anyone or broken any rules by this posting. But since this e-mail was insightful for me I wanted to let anyone who is interested know they are available. In the beginning of my first year (sometimes still do) I searched for any guidance or advice to get through this time. Thats how I found all of you....

Thank you all for your kindness yesterday...one of my darkest days.

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Dear Mary,

I, too, am glad you found your way to this warm and caring place, and I want to encourage you to spend some time (if you choose to make the time) to explore some of the excellent resources I've listed on the Care Giving page of my Grief Healing Web site. You say you "don't have help and cannot get it," but there is a wealth of information and support available to you as a care giver, and it's as close as the keyboard on your computer. You just have to look for it. Since you're "sitting on your computer day after day hoping for relief," I sincerely hope that instead of just sitting and hoping, you'll spend some of that time finding and utilizing some of these resources.

Like all the rest of us here, Mary, you have grief work to do, but you have no time or energy to do it ~ unless and until you first get some help and support in your role as a care giver. The only one who can demand that for yourself is you ~ but first you must believe that you're entitled to it. To think that you can do all of this all by yourself is terribly unrealistic, and totally unfair to yourself.

We are here to tell you that you're worth it, you deserve it, and you have every single one of us right here pulling for you.

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Mary I also am so sorry for your loss of your husband Chris and we will all be here for you to help you along on this journey you must take. Please don't worry about crying three or four times a day, cry ten times a day if you need to. I agree with what already has been said about resting and eating well and taking care of yourself, it is so very important. I hope you will continue to come here when you need to, this family here is what got me through a few different grief times in my couple of years here, I lost my husband 5 months after my best friend died and then had my mother come down with cancer and my grandmother has become sicker and sicker with Alzheimers, my other grandmother passed away and then had a very special love relationship end. I am still here because of everyone in this group getting me through these devastating times and they will help you too.

Love Always,

Wendy :wub:

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