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Really Bad Night


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I am so glad this forum is here. I'm having a really bad night and the weather is so cruddy I can't ask anyone to come out to be with me and I don't really want to get out myself. I really don't want to bring others down either so here I am like so many of us sitting in misery, bawling my eyes out because I've lost the one I love. In about an hour it will be the 2 year anniv. of when my life changed for ever. I will never forget that Dr. saying to Tom, I think you have pancreatic cancer and it's spread to the liver. Nothing has been the same since.

To add to my depression the "in-laws" had a party today. I was invited or so they say. Even though the words were put on paper the sighs of relief were heard around the world when I said I wasn't coming. Even though I hate what they are doing to me I still care about them and I miss the company. I don't even know what to do about my one sister-in-law who broke her humerus (upper arm). Not one of them has said a word to me about it but I did find out. If I send her a card or email she'll ask how I found out and be mad because I did. If I don't send something she'll say how terrible I am because I didn't even acknowledge it. So it's just like everything else with them, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. I wonder how many of them even remember what today is, but they loved him soooo much.

I still am trying to figure out why I was the one left behind. I know that is how Tom wanted it because he had often said so, but I just wonder if he could even imagine how hard it has been. It's almost 20 months and I feel like time has stood still. I know there are days that I am better but I can't say I have had one totally good day in all that time. Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. Music has REALLY gotten to me lately. (Like how many times would you think you would hear the song "I love you a bushel and a peck". Like you'd think once in twenty years or so and it's been in a movie and a play that I've gone to in the last 3 weeks. Before that I hadn't heard it in probably 30 years except for when Tom and I would change the words a little and sing it to each other. (Maybe it's him sending me a message, but it makes me sad).

Enough rambling. I love all you guys and gals.

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Hi Mary Linda,

I can understand your feelings when you have done everything one could possibly do, yet there is a feeling of inadequacy as is amongst many of us who try to understand the gap left behind in our hearts. We need to fill that space with doing right by ourselves. I hope you all the courage and spirits to keep moving on. I am sure our loved ones would like that for us too. I for myself have let my beloved ones to dance in the eternal bliss and hope to join them one day, while i try to learn to dance to that tune on this earth.

I found a lot of solace reading Deepak Chopra's book Life after Death: The Burden of Proof. And as I infer it "that without ego we would not have grief" or some meanings that I am deriving/devising for myself as I learn to be light in my heart and in my steps.

Thanks ,


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Mary Linda

I cried with frustration when I read your post because I can't come sit with you and just listen, sit, hold your hand. You are such a caring and giving person, and your in-laws' treatment of you is so undeserved, cruel even. We can wax lyrical about possible reasons for this such as; they are hurting and can't therefore acknowledge your pain because it magnifies their own etc etc., but the fact is, in this moment you need and so deserve their love and support, surely if they knew and loved him so well, they would want to do what he would do were he still here - love and support you.

Cliff and I used to joke that we had a deal. The deal was that I went first, or we went together, preferably on a flight at the END not the start of a vacation. But it's not funny now. I tend to think these days that in a perverse way I am glad that he went first because I love him too much and would hate him to go through this unspeakable pain that we endure daily. I am positive that he would not have looked for help along this journey in the way that I have ... participating in this Forum/Board, writing a blog, seeing a bereavement counsellor. He would have worked himself to the bone till he burned out and collapsed with no fight left in him, and I reckon he'd have become so hard to help due to his likely reaction to project his pain onto anyone with words that would not have been retractable. The imagined scenario of that does not bear contemplating.

I don't think they knew how hard this would be, but I do honestly believe that they know now, that they see our pain today and wish us peace and happiness again. After all that's what they strove for when they were physically here.

What I wish for you Mary Linda is to be able to listen to that song and smile one day. I really do, and I also believe that one day you will, just not yet. One day.

Big big bear hug to you today

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Dear Mary Linda,

Oh, honey. I feel for you. And hope you are feeling at least a little better as you read this.

I would like to discuss family situations. I don't exactly know what your situation was/is with your husband's family because I am new here.

I am having some unkind thoughts and some anger about my husband's family at this time. He died from cancer last week (I can't even believe it has been a week already!)

His identical twin brother with whom he was very close last saw him on Wednesday prior to his death on Saturday. That is the last day John was up out of the hospital bed to a chair. Earlier in the day I had gone out for about an hour to purchase some groceries, leaving John in the care of his brother and a very close male friend. When I retured home the friend told me that John had wanted to go to the bathroom to urinate - he needed assistance with this but he did it, by God - so they were both helping him and apparently did not make it in to the bathroom in time and he urinated in his PJ bottoms and underpants. "And we got him all cleaned up and changed and back into bed" the friend told me very matter-of-factly and with what sounded like some pride that they had accomplished this so well.

His brother said not much of anything and left shortly thereafter. The next morning (Thursday) he called me around 10:00 am, asked how John was doing and I told him he was quiet and not in any pain. He then said "Do you mind if I don't come over there today?" and I told him "No, not at all. You surely need to take a day for yourself. Why not try to get in a visit with your grandchild if you can? Doing that has sure helped me through this."

He never called me back that day at all and he never called me the next morning (Friday) at all. John's sisters had been urging me for several to make an appointment to meet with the funeral director to work out the details on a "pre need" basis, feeling it would be easier on me than waiting until he had actually passed and it was obvious that it was imminent.

So early Friday morning I finally felt I could do it and I called and made an appointment for 2:30 that afternoon. I waited until around 10:00am and then called over to the brother's house and asked if he wanted to accompany me for this. (He does not work, is on disability but gets around just fine. And he does not have committments of his time other than a very occasional doctor appointment) He answered "No, I couldn't handle that"

Okay. My daughter went with me with John's one sister and her husband here. By this time John was basically comatose, but with eyes half open. Not thrashing about or crying out or anything like that. All he required was mouth care with one of those little sponge thingys from time to time. We were only gone for 2 hours tops.

I kissed John goodnight at 1:30 am, telling him I was going to try to get some sleep now. Turned off the lights and fell asleep on the sofa, 5 ft. from his hospital bed in the living room - where I had been sleeping for the prior week that we had a hospital bed. When I awoke at 7:00 am he was gone.

His brother was the first one I called, even before I called the Hospice nurse to tell her of the death. When I told him John was gone his words to me were "I'm glad it's over." Yep, that's what he said first. Not "I'm so sorry" or anything like that. Not "Are you okay? Do you need any help?" Nothing like that at all.

I asked if he wanted to come over and see him and he said "No, no. I couldn't do that!" (Hospice had told me this could be done if it was desired.) So I just said to him "Well, do you think you could call your sisters and let them know he's gone, because I have to call the Hospice Nurse and their will be paperwork and details and phone calls.) And he said yes, he would call them.

Now, when I called my daughter (John was her stepfather for 20 months) , she immediately offered to come over. I told her no, she has a little one and husband to care for and the nurse would be here with me, she could come over later on, after the funeral home had come and gone. I asked her to call her brother (who was very close to John hroughout the almost 20 years we were together) and to wait a while and then call my mother who is in her late 80's with some slight dementia.

And it was only 10 minutes later when my daughter-in-law, who lives fairly closeby, called and asked if I wanted her to come down. And again, I told her no, that I was okay, the nurse was on her way and that she and my son both needed to be there to tell their boys - ages 9 and 11 and John had a very close and loving relationship with each of them from the day they were born.

Now I know the twin brother was devastated by his brother's illness. He spent many, many hours with John over the past 14 months and I was able to count on him to take John to the very few doctor's appointment that I could not attend. And he took him daily for 10 days for radiation treatments in June.

So why am I angry that he never even came to see his brother in his final two days on this earth?

What is making you angry at Tom's family? Maybe we can work this out together.

By the way, John's service was Wednesday. I had to go and pick up his ashes on Friday and take them to the Veteran's cemetery for burial at 12:30 that day. No service there because we had the formal military service at the funeral home on Wednesday. But I extended the invitation for family members to come down with me to see the cemetery and see his final resting place.

NO ONE called wanting to go, not even his son who is in from out West. (Oh, and that's another whole story. When son learned dad's death was coming soon - like about two weeks prior to the death, he "didn't want to have to make two trips")

No one called Friday or Saturday to ask if things went okay, nothing.

With love to all who grieve,


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Mary Linda, You are so caring and supportive to all of us on this forum and I am so sorry you are having such a rough time.

Just know that we all care about you and I am sure everyone will agree and that we are all sending you lots of hugs.

My father had prostate cancer, which was treated, but, 8 years later it came back and unfortunately spread. He died on March 20, 1999. While there are have been alot of advances in treating cancer, there are times when we really do not have any control over certain cancers. Sad, but true.

There will always be certain days that will remind us of something that we may not really want to or need to deal with. I believe we should just let these days go and focus on our happy times and good memories.

Maybe the next time that your inlaws invite you over, you may reconsider and go this time. You did say that you still care about them and you do miss them, even though they do what they do to you. We all know that no one is perfect.

My cousin invited my brother and myself to a gathering about 2 months after my mom died and I really did not want to go, but, I did. It turned out ok, but, I admit that I was not too comfortable being there. It was really too soon in my case.

Since my mom died on March 20, 2009, I really do not listen to music. I may listen to instrumental music sometimes, but, usually I am not comfortable listening to music with singing. I rather listen to talk radio.

Mary Linda, you are not going crazy. We all go through these feelings.

Always remember that you have alot to offer. You are caring, supportive, and very understanding of people's feelings.

You are here to help others and everyone appreciates you and in conclusion you will be helped too.

We all love you too, Mary Linda.

Take care,


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Mary Linda - sending a little love here as well! Sometimes this journey is so exhausting, I just want to stop for a while. Today is one of those days for me, too. I'm sure the extenuating circumstances of Tom's family's DGI status is only just adding to the mix. Oh, Lord, where to find the words to comfort you - because I've felt exactly the same way. Sometimes I think it's pure stubburness that keeps me going, even when I'm resisting it at so many levels. That day my life changed is always at the back of my mind; it's like my world, no, our world, shifted. I wish I could sit and just be with you, too. I hope for peace for you, tomorrow, another day - Love and hugs, Marsha

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Mary Linda,

My love is winging its way to you. I am sorry you are having this down time. I know all about that. You are so important to us all on this forum, please know that you are loved and respected and needed.

As far as your husbands family goes...I think you just have to do the things that make you feel good and not worry about how they are going to interpret them. Be true to yourself.

I hope today was a better day and that some sun came out to brighten life. I know I can be very affected when it pours rain and is dark all day long. Each day can be a challenge....to get up and make meaning. It was so much more fun to start the day making plans with Tom and end the day talking about what we had done. I know your longing. No one can fill that huge gap, that partnership, that unconditonal love and joy. And yet, we had that and I will be eternally grateful for that.

Love to you dear Mary Linda.

Your friend,


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Dear Mary Linda,

I, too, am sending prayers and hugs your way. I went into a pretty substantial funk for months before the 2-year anniversary. I thought I would be more accepting, more confident of my abilities, more able to face each day with this new face, more "further along" than what I could muster even on the best day. There is a reason they call it grief work. It is a continual, exhausting, painful, fight for survival. When I think back at the effort Bob put into surviving his illness, I have to expect at least that same amount of effort for me to survive his absence. There is no magical pill, no significant words, no "Aha" moment that helps to make sense of it all. It is hard work. You are still here, plugging along in all your sadness and giving hope and help to the rest of us. There has to come a day where smiles are the majority and thoughts are not consumed with questions and hearts feel a bit lighter and the dawn brings joy in place of discomfort. I really believe that day will come. Until then, keep reaching out and hanging on (and maybe we should all buy stock in Kleenex.)

I don't know if my in-laws remember Bob's final days. I do know they are forever etched in my being. We were there, walking each step, holding, caring, comforting, and praying with our loved ones. Each new diagnosis brings a memory. It has to be the same with every trauma. Everyone remembers what they were doing on 9/11 or (if you're old like me) when JFK was shot. It is a huge shock to our system, so the details seem to sharpen. I can't even say Bob's name to his brothers and expect any kind of reaction. One of them was here over the weekend and as we sat on the new deck, I said, "Bob would have loved this." Suddenly, he had to go. Maybe it's his way to cope. Grief is so personal. Not everyone is capable of being so vulnerable. Some of us, have no choice.

I'm curious as to when you hear your song. It could very well be a message from Tom, trying to imprint a stronger memory than that horrible diagnosis. Be patient with yourself. I can't give any advice on the in-laws...it sounds like your d----d if you do and d----d if you don't. So, just do what makes you feel good.

Take good care,


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I heard the song the first time in the new movie Julie & Julia and the second time in the play Guys and Dolls. Just not a song I really expected to hear.

Had a interesting moment today when one of his sisters emailed me and told me she was irritated with me because of something I had written on the guest book that the funeral home puts on their website. My girls and I have used it kind of like a journal and I put something about that it had pretty well come down that I wasn't a "family" member and apparently not even a friend. She said she couldn't believe I would say such a thing about them.

Wouldn't she be surprised about some of the things I've said on this site. Then she basically told me that Tom would be so upset with me and he would be telling me to get over it. Well, I know he would like for me to be happy but I think he would be more upset with his family than me.

I say try walking in these boots, lady

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Hi Mary Linda:

I come here every day and read all the posts. Sometimes I write something, but there are other times I just don't know what to say anymore. I know what you are going through and I wish I could come there and give you a hug. You sister-in-law should try and understand what you are going through. And also to mention your husband and how upset he would be. That should really make you feel good, thinking that your husband is upset. Sometimes it is better not to say anything to anyone.

I have three sisters-in-law and they all are very close to me. One of the sisters, even though she is very nice, she made the death of my husband, her brother, all about her. Every time we would talk it was how upset and depressed she was and never to think or ask on how I feel.

I do under Mary Linda on what you are going through.

We all love you Mary Linda.

Take care,


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Mary Linda: These people are first class idiots! But, then, you knew that.... I probably would not take kindly to anyone telling me how MY HUSBAND would have felt about something. Because let's face it, husbands tell wives things that they don't tell others and we get to see their attitudes and opinions over a course of time, perhaps as they evolve and change. So I would say a wife knows how her husband would feel about something the best of anyone.

Speaking of how people react: The ex-wife came to the funeral home for the entire time he was laid out, 2-4 and 7-9, and also came to the funeral and the luncheon afterwards. She is, of course, the mother of his only child.

But there was a reason the couple were divorced. And the divorce took place over 25 years ago. (Yes, it was long before I became involved with John. But I had known them as a couple and ironically, my then husband and I attended their wedding because my first husband worked at the same place John then worked and they were friends. Not best buddies, but freindly.)

Anyways, "Denise", the ex-wife was so happy to see so many long-unseen relatives and friends of John who were once a part of HER life, that every time she would spot someone she hadn't seen for a really long time she would give a squeal of delight and approach them with arms wide in order to receive a hug. Now this woman has always been a drama queen and continues in that vein today. She is all about herself, first, last and always.

I just ignored her. I was not unfriendly, but did not go over to her until at the very end of the night when I thanked her profusely for "being here all day".

There was even one point at which another woman from John's past came in. So at that point there were three of us who had loved him there. This is a woman who is a life-long friend of one of John's sisters and with whom he had about a three year relationship prior to the two of us getting involved. And I had known her also, as John had brought her around several times to parties that my first husband and I hosted as a married couple.

All in all, though, they were both respectful and kind and were genuinely sad that Jack had died of his illness.

So I guess I will consider it was a tribute to John and his loving ways that he seemed to have quite an ability to not leave a relationship with hard feelings. (And his sister's husband had, indeed, asked me in advance if it was okay for "Jenny", the old girlfriend, to come to the viewing. And I said "Yes, certainly".)

My daughter along with my youngest grandson (3 1/2) is coming to take me this afternoon up to the family second home in the Western Pennsylvania mountain ski area. We will spend the weekend doing some cleaning to get the place ready for the winter season, go out for dinner, and probably stroll the local Walmart together. I am actually looking forward to it.

Take care of yourself,


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Dear Mary Linda,

It is very hard, at the biggest ordeal we are ever going to go through probably - that of grief - to have people telling us what to do or not do, and to feel alone. But please know that you are not alone. We are all here for you. It is very hard to need comfort, and instead get this terrible, unwelcoming, unkindly attitude, and from relatives of your husband, no less. I am sorry that you have these extra troubles coming down on you. You are the last person who deserves them.

The thing to keep in mind is that grief is personal. You are not required to think of these relatives and all their hogwash attitude (although they are so obnoxious, I can see why it's hard to avoid it). Just take care of you. That, really, is what Tom would want, isn't it? Marraige is different from family. I think your relationship with Tom was certainly different than theirs with him, and like someone said earlier, he shared himself with you in ways that he did not share with them, so really, if anyone can say what he would think, it's YOU, not them!! ;)

Please accept many ((((((((Hugs))))))) from me, and take of yourself, :wub:


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I am thinking of you this morning at work, Mary Linda, because I expect that Patrick Swayze's death has affected you, and brought back a lot of painful memories (not that they go far away in the first place).

There are no words really as you know, but I wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and wish I could come give you a hug xx

Hold onto Shadow today :wub:

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