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New Grief Member Recently Lost Wife


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Hi all, I just registered today. I truly thought I could get through this ordeal without grief support because the truth is that I have had and continue to have what I could term as the ultimate in support groups within a large family, from which someone shows up at least every other day to spend time with me; a Church family who seems to revel in my being able (not every week because I have Crohn's disease and can't always make it)to attend worship with them; supportive neighbors, even a former neighbor who was good friends with my wonderful Wife calls me when she has a chance; my Wife's best friend from her 25 year job, has called several times; and, my Wife's two Sisters with whom I talk a couple of times a week. Our kids do all they can, bring food and stay into the evening talking and watching television with me. Everyone has been absolutely fantastic ....but, as I'd bet each of you knows, if someone has not lost their spouse after 40 years, they really can't relate to how difficult it is. I spent some time in the Marines when I was young, and I can without a doubt take care of myself. My Wife and I cooked together and cleaned together, where one was the other was, so now it's difficult to do anything at all because she should be by my side. When I cook I find everything in the kitchen as she designed it, when I iron my shirts, I realize that I am getting it done, but not like she did it. I know how to do lots of things that even some of our Daughter In-Laws can't do, like make gravy or make my Wife's family specials like German Chocolate Cake, cinnamon rolls, a whole lot of things our kids, grandkids (20) and great-grandkids (13) enjoyed from my wonderful Wife's recipes. I can carry on the family traditions, but I have trouble living without her. We joked in our later years that it was taking two of us to make one person, so now I feel like I'm only half the person I need to be. I was sick for almost a year with a Crohn's flare-up and we couldn't go for anywhere for very long. She took care of me, and when the medicine made me anemic and I had to have iron infusions, she was with me at every step, stayed up at night to watch me and make sure I was OK. Then, all of a sudden, she had a sore back and a sore arm. After three doctor's appointments to try to get her pain eased, I decided she needed to go to the emergency room to get the tests she was supposed to get but couldn't get there for the pain. She had the tests and two procedures while in the hospital for five days, and on the 7th of May we were told she had stage-4 lung cancer. On the 4th of June, less than a month later, we lost her. We had made 6 of 10 radiation treatments and then we were told they were making no difference and we needed to call in Hospice. Since the 4th of June (we did have a beautiful Visitation and a wonderful Memorial Service for her, so really I was so busy planning that my real grief hit me after the service on the 9th), everywhere I look, everything I do, I see her and I now hate the word NEVER because I realize she will never sit in her chair again, she will never finish the crocheting she had begun, she will never want me to take her to the park to see the dear again. I have a wonderful support group, as above, but until they experience this kind of a loss they can't know how difficult it is. Thanks to whoever has listened to this story, and I am aware that I am not the only one who has lost a person so special to them, I do understand that each of you has your own burden, and I'm fully aware that when someone tells me she is in a better place, it is true but that does not make it easier. Thanks again...Earl C

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Earl...Welcome to the club none of us here wanted to join....however...you will find the most wonderful and understanding peolpe on earth right here on this board...We are all on this lonely journey to some kind of healing...mine..the loss of my husband of 54 years this past March. Your thoughts echo so many of my own and you are so correct....unless you have walked in our shoes..felt the pain in our hearts and the feeling of ALONE and NEVER AGAIN...there is no real understanding...even with all the good intentions. Be thankful though that you do have support....as I do....as some not as lucky as we are...and have no one.

You will be amazed at the people you meet here...you can feel free to express your every emotion...without judgment...I come here every day...sometimes just to read...sometimes to post steps forward...other times to tell of falling into that dark place we hate to visit..someone always understands...and they will let you know you are not alone....we do understand ....we are right where you are....Peace to your heart....wish you didn't have to be here...but not our choice....day by day...hour by hour...however we can make it....Carol

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Hello Earl,

I feel your pain, loss, and emptiness among all the other emotions that go with grieving as my wife Ruth passed 2/14/10...the first months are very hard, at times seeming unbearable, take it easy and slow, day by day, as you discover the new you and normal you will discover your wife is still with you just not on earth, with what you have in your heart you can build the new you and normal doing as she would want...you have a great support system 10 times what I had but you are so correct they do not understand and hopefully they will never really have to, but as life has it some will some won't...you have joined a place where you can find answers, vent, share, and express yourself as we are all on the same journey and we do "understand"...come as often as needed we have a great group of people here always listening...here is a quote that has helped me, harsh but true.......

May God Bless and Guide You....

NATS

" If you truly want to grow as a person and learn,

you should realize that the universe has enrolled you

in the graduate program of life, called loss".

-- Elisabeth Kübler-

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Hello Earl, I lost my husband of 34 years on July 4, 2011. I'm truly sorry for your loss and wish for you that you would have never needed to join our group. But, since you have, I'll tell you this is a wonderful group of people. They will listen without judgement and always seem to understand. I understand about looking at your wife's chair and realizing she'll never sit there again. I look at my husband's recliner and feel such pain. I find myself talking the most to Harv while looking at his chair. I try so hard to listen, hoping he'll find some way to answer me. I'm so glad that you have such a large support group around you. But, you're right, they just don't "get" it. This is a safe place to say whatever you want, whenever you want. Peace and love, Pam

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Hello Earl, I am so sorry you have lost the love of your life and that your loneliness is all but unbearable. You are truly not alone here. I lost my Bill in March of 2010. We were together 36 years and I mean together. We, like you and your wife, did everything together. We worked together in our own business; we played together; yes, cleaned the house and did the yardwork together and I really do understand the silence you now live in. I never thought I would hear myself say that it gets easier...I still cry almost daily but recover faster. I miss Bill more than I would miss breathing if I stopped. His chair is empty also and I know he will never sit there again. I also believe he is with me like a guardian angel. That does not really make it easier but it is a comforting thought. I am glad you have so much support. I do not have that at all but you are right...unless they have walked through this darkness...they can not understand. That is where this group comes in...we ALL get it. We know the silence. We know how it is to miss the loved one when a wave of grief comes in and knocks you off balance. Something as simple as finding a mug that has memories inside...memories no one else can see or notices or understands.

I am sorry you had to join our club but glad you found us. We do not judge. Everyone's journey is different so we support each other and understand each other's agony.

Stick with us. Peace, Mary

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Thanks Carol: That ALONE and NEVER AGAIN feeling you talk about is so real. I just had a crowd here (a Daughter and a Son, Daughter-In-Law, Son-In-Law, two In-Law parents, three Grandkids with one Wife and one girl friend, for pizza they brought in (plus a batch of peanut butter cookies and a batch of oatmeal cookies that I had made this afternoon), for about 3 hours. One Grandson was auditioning some songs for us all to hear and select two that he will put on a tape he's sending to The Voice TV competition. My dear Wife would have loved this kind of occasion, so I was sort of on edge that I was doing it without her. No matter what I do, even baking the cookies today, I got the baking sheets out, the mixing bowls, etc., all from the nice layout she created when we moved to this home two and a half years ago. Since I was sick for almost a year, and then immediately when she got sick I was well enough to take care of her, we would have had a much more difficult time in our old home because the bedrooms and bath, etc. were upstairs. So, we figured GOD led us here, where I don't have to worry about the grass, etc. But, it's always something. Yesterday morning one of the smoke alarms was making a beeping noise, and I had to replace the battery, so I decided to replace all of them in the house so I didn't have to deal with it again for a while. I probably shouldn't have gotten on the ladder with no one else in the house, and that was another time I said to her 'watch over me, don't let me do something stupid'. She did, and I got it done, but it's that way with every thing I go to do. If I could just have her, even still sick and in her chair watching, I'd be so happy to continue taking care of her. But, the good Lord had a reason for keeping me here instead of the normal situation where the man goes first. Our kids all say that even though I'm miserable and trying to get everything done here, she would have had a much more difficult time than I am, and if that is truly the case then I have to be happy that I'm the one to bear this hurt instead of her.

The lonely journey you talked about, the hurt in the heart, it's something others wouldn't understand. We have six kids now, out of seven. Our family was so fortunate for so many years, we didn't lost anyone for about 10 years. In 2005 we lost my Wife's Mother at almost 96, then in 2007 we lost my Mother at almost 93, then tragedy hit us in 2009, when we lost a Son to a terrible workplace accident, and I also lost my closest Brother, one year younger than I. But, to get through that, a parent's worst nightmare, we had each other, and we were so happy that we were able to share that pain. So, now in 2011 I've lost the most wonderful person in the world. It makes me think that in 2013 it just may be my turn, and that means I still have a lot of this grief to go through. It sounds like you have gotten past the initial shock and are trying to deal with the "I" instead of "We" phenomenon, and I know that has to be very difficult for you. I hope you're able to deal with it better as time goes on, but when someone says that we just need time to 'get over it', it makes me think they don't really know what it means to have a great marriage, because we'll never get over it as long as we live. Right now, I'm just trying to figure out what my new normal is, and I'd bet you're in the same boat because our normal life is never coming back.

I won't bore you any longer, but I appreciate you're reply to my message. I know that there's a lot of compassion from people who are walking in the same footsteps. I hope you're able to move forward with the reality of what our situation is, and that's one of the reasons I force myself to make worship service as much as possible, because as tough as it is to be there by myself, I know that solitude won't help me. Have a great day, and thanks!! Earl C

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Thanks to you NATS. It is nice to know that there are people who understand, although it's not good that any of us has to be facing this situation. I just had a bunch of the support system here for about 3 hours, and I'm kind of worn out. It sounds like you've at least turned some kind of corner since you lost Ruth, but I know that it will never be the same regardless of how much time elapses. You keep hanging in there, and I'll try to follow your lead. It was nice to have those quotations, and I don't know where you are on the Church scene, but I'm finding it very difficult to go alone even though everyone gets up to welcome me, the Pastor makes it known that I made it, and everyone tries their best....but, it's so tough to know that not very long ago she was by my side. I'll never "get over it" as people say, and it will never be normal again, so I'm trying to find my way with whatever the new normal is. Thanks again, and I'm sure we'll have a lot more to say. Earl

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Hi Earl and welcome to this group. I lost my husband four months ago today from a 16 month battle with cancer. He had throat cancer and we thought we beat it only to find out 4 months later he had sinus cancer. It was a tough ugly battle.The cancer took his left eye, his hearing and eventually made it's way into the brain. We also had no tragedies in our family, until 2004 when my nephew, age 13, hung himself in his closet. My sister's only child. 2006 my 59 year old brother died of a heart attack while driving to work. 2008 my dad died of congestive heart failure. I told my husband after we got through the throat cancer that we were good because we got through 2010 with no deaths, as it seems to happen every other year. Well... he passed away in April 2011.

I wish I could tell you it gets better, but I'm not going to lie.. it doesn't. It gets different but not better. Crying episodes out of no where, tidal waves of grief. Still feeling numb at times and still feeling like the world is moving and I am not. Mornings are the worst for me, as that was our time together, coffee, newspaper and disussing and solving the world's problems together. I so miss that. You are still cooking and baking. We also did that together. I tried making his favorite enchildadas by myself but wound up eating by myself and crying. Did not get any joy out of it. My meals now consist of eating something over the sink or in front of the television.

I envy the ones that get messages or signs from their loved ones. I have not had any dreams or anything. Some say I am looking too hard as they are subtle. Some say that the grief is too painful and it will happen when some of it subsides.

I wish I could hear his voice or get some kind of signs.

Anyway Earl, welcome to our group and I hope it will give you some comfort.

Blessings

Becky

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Thanks for your reply, Becky. I've heard from several members who tell me what a great group it is, and echo my sentiments that I'd rather not be a part of the group if I could just go back to where we were. Like you, I have not had any sign from my magnificent Wife...except that I believe they may be right when they say it's more of a subtle nature. A couple of things strike me when you say that. Right after we lost my beautiful person one of our Sons felt like he needed to say something at the Memorial Service (actaully two did, and two grandchildren spoke or read a poem to Grandma..as well as a Granddaughter sang Amazing Grace, and our closest Grandson couldn't bring himself to do it in person because of who it was, made a tape that was played), anyway the one Son wanted to quote from the card that the 48-year old Son we had lost two years earlier, but we went through all the cards (another thing that my wonderful Wife did was mark on the back of each card over the years, and there was a box for every person in the family well marked), but that card didn't appear anywhere. Some of them didn't leave that night till 11, trying to find that card. I told them "I'm going to ask Grandma", and while I never got a clear sign through the night, the next morning I told them that I felt like I had a message something like "it's not a card stupid, it's an email". So, we started through her email messages I had printed out for her, and lo and behold there it was in her packet of emails. The Son who we'd lost had sent it to her from Taiwan where he was on business on the Mother's Day in 2008, and was telling her how much she was loved by all. So, that may have been sign #1, then on the Wednesday after her Memorial Service, I had to have my bloodwork done for my anemia situation which had been caused by severe Crohn's disease. My hemoglobin had been down to 8.1, when it's supposed to be 13.1-17 something. I had not had a good test, red or white blood cells, anything, since December. This day it was 10.4 (now up to 12.9 at the last test), and I didn't have to take an iron infusion or get a Procrit shot. My first thought when the nurse brought me the results was of course Thanks To GOD, but also THANK YOU, MY DEAR ANGEL now watching over me from above. This kind of leads me to believe that at some point I too will have somce communication that I'll know about. Becky, I hope you too will be able to experience that, and even though I believe you when you say it doesn't get better because I've been thinking I want it to be better without her. I just want to be able to do whatever it is I'm supposed to do day by day until I rejoin her in an eternal life. Becky, the one thing I feel I can't do is be mad at GOD for what's happened, I believe HE is going to make it right for us in eternity and we are just living going through a burden to be able to enjoy the rest of our journey together. I hope that same for you, and from the trials you're describing I would say you're earning that happiness every day that you carry on. Thanks for your reply, and I know each of us has our own story, I hope we both enjoy the same ending, and that's to live the everlasting life with the one we love. Earl

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Mary, thanks for your reply to my sad story. I believe you are correct in that Bill is with you like a guardian angel, and I feel the same way about my wonderful Wife. She will help me get through these days even though I can't see her. In my heart I know that we'll be together again for trillions of years in eternity, and I wish you that same happiness. These days are tough, and I don't expect it's going to be a lot easier at all. Perhaps I will get used to doing things without her by my side, but I'll never forget that I need her there, so every day and every night I believe will be hard to get through, but I think between GOD and my Wife I'll be strong enough to do it until I'm called to rejoin her. You're right, this is not a group I would want to belong to because it means that each of us has a really tough story behind us, but even though I thought I might just try to work through the pain, I believe I've done the smartest thing in hooking up with some people who are fighting the same battle that I am, so between all of us there may just may be enough compassion to get us through. I hope that for you, and I truly believe that you will be with Bill again!! Earl

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Earl, My heart goes out to you, for I know this loss is the hardest thing anyone can face. Everything you describe hits home to all of us, for it is what we have lived and experienced. It is like living without them we have continual unfinished business. Even after all this time, I still have things of his here and there throughout the house. I will never forget his voice, or his smell, or how it felt to lay my head on his chest. I will continually miss his spontaneity and the joy he brought into my life.

I only wish I could have been married to my husband for 40 years, for he was my Soulmate, my best friend, and we had a truly amazing relationship with great communication and faith in each other. We were so in love! It took me my lifetime to find him and he passed away just 3 years 8 months to the day after we were married. I'd never dreamed we wouldn't grow old together! His death was an unexpected shock. It's been six years and although I've "adjusted" in that I know he's not coming home and I'm on my own now, the "missing him" part never stops. It hits esp. hard when things happen that you would have turned to them for, like when I lost my job and when I broke my right elbow. He would have taken such good care of me but instead I'm left trying to figure out how to get a jar open when I can't do it or what to do about the yard work when I'm unable to use the lawnmower or weedwhacker. And the worst part for me is the not being able to hold each other...well that, combined with the terrible aloneness. You can have people around and still feel alone.

You are right, it IS as if we completed each other and together made a whole, and having just the half now, it's hard.

Please keep coming back here, it helps to give voice to what is inside of you. I felt like all of my power was stripped of me when George died, after all, noone had asked ME if I wanted to lose him! So anything that restores any of that power, helps...and voicing myself is one of those things. This is a place that is almost sacred ground. These are some of the most special people in the world and the best site I've ever had the privilege of being on. You will find that we are a caring family and there is always room for another soul who is going through the same thing. I wish you well with this new journey. It feels like there could be nothing good come from this in the beginning, but eventually you will find that there are some silver linings, that there are so many lessons, so much to learn, it develops and expands you inside...still, there's not a one of us that wouldn't have them back in a heartbeat, for even five minutes, if only we could.

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Earl, My heart goes out to you, for I know this loss is the hardest thing anyone can face. Everything you describe hits home to all of us, for it is what we have lived and experienced. It is like living without them we have continual unfinished business. Even after all this time, I still have things of his here and there throughout the house. I will never forget his voice, or his smell, or how it felt to lay my head on his chest. I will continually miss his spontaneity and the joy he brought into my life.

I only wish I could have been married to my husband for 40 years, for he was my Soulmate, my best friend, and we had a truly amazing relationship with great communication and faith in each other. We were so in love! It took me my lifetime to find him and he passed away just 3 years 8 months to the day after we were married. I'd never dreamed we wouldn't grow old together! His death was an unexpected shock. It's been six years and although I've "adjusted" in that I know he's not coming home and I'm on my own now, the "missing him" part never stops. It hits esp. hard when things happen that you would have turned to them for, like when I lost my job and when I broke my right elbow. He would have taken such good care of me but instead I'm left trying to figure out how to get a jar open when I can't do it or what to do about the yard work when I'm unable to use the lawnmower or weedwhacker. And the worst part for me is the not being able to hold each other...well that, combined with the terrible aloneness. You can have people around and still feel alone.

You are right, it IS as if we completed each other and together made a whole, and having just the half now, it's hard.

Please keep coming back here, it helps to give voice to what is inside of you. I felt like all of my power was stripped of me when George died, after all, noone had asked ME if I wanted to lose him! So anything that restores any of that power, helps...and voicing myself is one of those things. This is a place that is almost sacred ground. These are some of the most special people in the world and the best site I've ever had the privilege of being on. You will find that we are a caring family and there is always room for another soul who is going through the same thing. I wish you well with this new journey. It feels like there could be nothing good come from this in the beginning, but eventually you will find that there are some silver linings, that there are so many lessons, so much to learn, it develops and expands you inside...still, there's not a one of us that wouldn't have them back in a heartbeat, for even five minutes, if only we could.

KayC, thanks. I appreciate your kind words, but I'm so sad that you only had the 3 years and 8 months, and it's too bad that it took so long to find your knight in shining armor. You missed a lot of time that should rightfully be yours to enjoy, but I do remember that GOD has a Master Plan that none of us understands. We're going through an ordeal right now at our Church because a Missouri State Trooper is missing in the flood waters, the 46 year old Son of people who attend our Church, and the man who is missing had the same Crohn's disease that I deal with on a daily basis (and, yes, my Wanda took care of me like she was Florence Nightingale). We wonder how these things can happen to good people, but it's just not our decision to make. I personally believe that as hard a time as you've had, and as short the time you had with George, you will at some point in time share trillions of years together. Wanda and I had put in place our own funeral plans back in 1997 (when, of course, I thought I would be the first to go as is the normal sequence), and our dual headstone says "Together Forever". I believe that, and I know that I will rejoin her at some point. You sound like you're younger than we are, but since I will turn 78 on the 30th of this month I believe that it won't be too long until we're together again....so, I'm trying to make the best of what I have and use this time that the Lord has provided for me to get everything wrapped up here so our kids don't have to struggle with losing us. I look at that as my job, while I know she is doing all she can to prepare for my joining her. That, along with the fact that the kids say that if I'd gone first she would have struggled and had even more pain than I do now, gives me some comfort because I wouldn't want to see her go through this. I understand that you'd like to have more time, but even after having her in my life for 40 years, it's the same feeling, and I think we both (all in this group) will someday get their "life" back for an even longer time. Hang in there, and it sure sounds like you've done well with all you've had to cope with. Keep going!! Earl

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Earl....Didn't I tell you these people were wonderful??? I am so in agreement with you about that reunion we look forward to one day. And I repeat again the saying I love....If I die before you do...I'll go to Heaven and wait for you....knowing my Bill...he will be right at the gate trying to elbow St Peter out of the way..I mean no disrespect there....I just know Bill....and how much he loves me....endless love......for each other....

I have surprised myself even after this short time in some things I never thought I could do by myself...only wanting to honor his memory and make him proud of me...day by day. This weekend is going to be another first ..one of many...some accomplished better than others...This weekend our small community hosts what is called Taste of the Northside. Fashioned after Taste of Chicago. It was something we so looked forward to...all our neighbors and friends..and all the restaurants we haunted together... featuring the dishes we used to order...It was one of Bill's favorite summer events...he was such a people person and seems everyone was drawn to him...little did he realize how much he was loved by so many. Needless to say...I will skip it this year opting for my now staple of PBJ...I am moved to tears without warning and I know what seeing all these people would do to me. Maybe next year. Maybe!.... God has a plan.....and tells us He has everything under control....Faith is hard...like grief....just ask my heart.....Carol

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Earl....Didn't I tell you these people were wonderful??? I am so in agreement with you about that reunion we look forward to one day. And I repeat again the saying I love....If I die before you do...I'll go to Heaven and wait for you....knowing my Bill...he will be right at the gate trying to elbow St Peter out of the way..I mean no disrespect there....I just know Bill....and how much he loves me....endless love......for each other....

I have surprised myself even after this short time in some things I never thought I could do by myself...only wanting to honor his memory and make him proud of me...day by day. This weekend is going to be another first ..one of many...some accomplished better than others...This weekend our small community hosts what is called Taste of the Northside. Fashioned after Taste of Chicago. It was something we so looked forward to...all our neighbors and friends..and all the restaurants we haunted together... featuring the dishes we used to order...It was one of Bill's favorite summer events...he was such a people person and seems everyone was drawn to him...little did he realize how much he was loved by so many. Needless to say...I will skip it this year opting for my now staple of PBJ...I am moved to tears without warning and I know what seeing all these people would do to me. Maybe next year. Maybe!.... God has a plan.....and tells us He has everything under control....Faith is hard...like grief....just ask my heart.....Carol

Carol, thanks again, and yes, this group may be just what I need to function more as a human being. I already have so many family and friends doing all they can, but as we all know, unless they've lost that one so vital part of their lives, it would be impossible for them to understand. I had 11 people here last night, and they all try to help, but they just don't know how empty the life is even when surronded. If I had all that and my Wife to share it with, whole new ball game. But, even if I know she's with me, I can't see her, talk to her, touch her, care for her like when she was sick. I think Bill is proud of you and how far you've come, and I feel the same way, like I'm finishing jobs my wonderful person started. I find it becomes my mission, and I'm doing all I can to take care of her home even half as good as she did, just so I try hard. I believe that if I were you, I would not want to attend Taste of the Northside....but, as you say, maybe next year. Even going to Church and having all the people come up to me and talk to me is very difficult because I'm supposed to have my partner with me, but I'm forcing myself to take that one step. Other things I'm not doing, but that one thing is something I have to bring myself to come to grips with. I just got off the phone with one of the Chapel members who also happens to live up the street from me, and she was telling me how she thought my Wanda would be so proud of me for making the worship service, hard as it may be to sing hymns, go to communion alone after we'd done it together. I believe GOd will reunite us, and I believe all of us (especially in this group) can help each other get to where we need to be. Life will never be the same, but we will be together forever, I really believe. Same for you and Bill, eternity will be the glorious culmination of all the trials. Keep working at it, and know that there are "strangers" who love you for who you are and who you'll be in the next phase of the journey we all take. Earl C

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Earl,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Welcome to our family. It is a family that none of us wanted but are sure glad we found!! When I first went on this site I think the best advise I was given was to take care of myself, so I am giving that same advise back to you. I don't know how I would of made it through the last 18 months without the support of all these wonderful people. I don't post alot, but I come here everyday and read everyones post. Just knowing they all understand makes a world of difference. I hope you are able to find the kind of comfort I find here.

Chris

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Thanks, Chris. Yes, I've found a lot of people so far who have a kind word for someone in my circumstances. I'm glad I was geared toward this particular site. I have so many in my support group, but until the day when they have to face this situation (hopefully long down the road), they will not truly understand how hard it is to walk into an empty home, to have no one to share the daily boo-boos with, or even to give or get an attaboy from. Sitting in my recliner and looking at her empty seat is just too much to bear, and I have not yet made it back to bed. I sleep on the divan every night, and try to be so tired that when I lay down at 11 or so I can sleep till 2-3 for bathroom, then again until about 6 or so. It will get easier to deal with over time I'm sure, but that's a ways down the road. With 18 months under your belt you've been through what I have yet to experience, good and bad I suppose. I do find comfort in knowing that my wonderful person would have had a much harder time in coping than even i'm having, so I'm thankful she doesn't have to endure this pain. Other than that, and of course knowing that she's preparing a place for me in her eternal life, there is only one thing to be thankful for (aside from all the people in my support group), and that's the years we shared together. My Pastor asked me if I would trade the grief I'm going through now if it meant also that I wouldn't have the memories that I do, and no, I'll go through this anytime for all the happiness we shared and will share again in God's kingdom.

Thanks again, Chris. Earl C

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Earl,

I too am so sorry that you had to join our group. I am so very sorry for your loss. I think you have already figured out that there will be many here for you for support.

It sounds as if you have great support in family and friends. I have that type of support also, but so many do not really understand, not until they are in the same situation. My husband died at age 62, on Jan 13, 2010 of a massive coronary. He had not been sick, no signs of what was coming whatsoever. I was 1 1/2 hours away from home in a hospital having had a total knee replacement 2 days before. I talked to him on the phone only hours before he died, and he did not indicate anything was bothering him. He was alone with our 3 dogs when he died. Our daughter found him in the afternoon. I have two close friends who lost their spouses in the year before Mike died. We have formed a very close "support" group, Tom lost his wife when she was 60 to cancer, as you lost yours. Dana's husband was the youngest, he was 48. The three of us "get it", where sometimes others cannot.

I won't repeat a lot of what you have already heard from others here, just know you have a lot of people on this site that do "get it" and are here for you when you need them. They have certainly been here for me.

God bless you, and give you comfort.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Well, thanks to you Mary in Arkansas. Wanda and I passed through Arkansas in 2001 on our way to Baton Rouge for me to participate in the Senior Olympics (my softball team, what Wanda lovingly called the 'old people world series'), on our way from Lee's Summit, Missouri, not too far away from Arkansas whenever we had a family outing in Branson, MO. Truthfully, I never thought I'd be here in this situation, as a matter of fact I'd done all I could to prepare for Wanda to live without me, but God had a different Plan, so here I am. You're right, I do have the greatest support system I've ever heard of, but it sounds like you've made enough peace that you have some 'survivors' to share with in addition to this group of caring people. The circumstances you describe (you in the hospital, your Husband at home taking care of things as he should, and then all of a sudden he's gone. Our next-door neighbor at our old house, who still comes over to visit and was a great friend of Wanda, lost her Husband about 10 years ago, when he had a massive heart attack after coming in from mowing the yard. She was at work....and found him herself. At least, even though we only had a few days to prepare and I was so busy taking care of her that I didn't say all I should have, when my beautiful partner of 40 years passed away I was holding her hand and telling her that I love her, and even though she was out from the morphine, I know she was hearing me. Her last breaths just broke my heart, and when they tell me that 'I'll get better', I know that our time together and those last moments will never be removed from my mind. I'm grateful for all the support here, and as we all know, it can only be fully recognized and understood by someone who has gone through it. Thanks again, and have BETTER day!! Earl C

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Pam, thanks. It's strange, you lost Harv one month to the day after I lost my Wanda, the best thing that ever happened to me. We both had 17 year earlier marriages, mine was a sickness/violent one from which I had to remove my 6 kids from; hers was a semi-violence perpetrated on her caused by too much alcohol, not enough humanity, certainly no love. Several of my kids (now all grown and married with their own families) spoke at Wanda's Memorial Service, and were so proud of her as a Mother, not a Step-Mother. One of the kids said he believed that I had never held a sales job, but he wanted to tell about how I would make a first-class sales person. He outlined a potential interview with me trying to get a sales job. The interviewer asked what my most proficient accomplishment was with regard to selling. Our Son said that I would say "Sure, that's real easy. At 44 years old, I convinced a beautiful young woman that she should give up her single life and come into my family and take care of six kids aged 11-19, do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, all the things that go with raising a family, and oh, by the way, wouldn't it be fun if you held down a full time job while you're doing all this, so you can help buy all the food you're going to cook and all the clothes you're going to wash and iron". The interviewer said "when can you start". We have a remarkable family, and though these grown adult kids and their own mates have not experienced anything like what I'm enduring, they have all, even the spouses, lost someone they truly loved and needed in their lives. We had one granddaughter who moved in with us when my Wife came home from the hospital, so she could help me with caring for my glorious mate. Katie had to work nights, but until she left she would help me all she could. So, while it's not like the family didn't lose a valuable part of their lives, they still won't know how it is to lose the other half of your self until (hopefully later in life) they have to go through it themselves. One of my goals is to show them that even grieving every day, I can live in dignity and help them with their own loss of this great woman. Your own story, like the others in this group who have replied to my initial post, makes me hurt for you, and perhaps that's part of this process. If we each feel the others' loss, maybe it helps us with our own. I've always known that I am not the only one who's going through a trauma situation, and there are others who haven't even had all the years I've enjoyed with my best friend. I feel for them, even as I know they also feel my pain. Thanks for your reply, and I do hope and pray that both of us, within a month of each other's loss, will be strong enough to weather this and somehow get through it. I talk to Wanda every day, every night, and I feel like she hears even though I don't get a response. Keep working on getting closer to understanding what you can and can't do, how you can make it through a day at a time. It's nice to know that there are others who are pulling for us. God's love to you....Earl C

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Earl, bless your heart! Yes, I too believe we will be together again for all eternity...sometimes this world seems like it goes on and on forever, but in reality, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what we'll share together beyond. It's hard to remember things eternal when we are such finite human beings!

I think your tombstone is sweet, I love that.

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"Wanda and I passed through Arkansas in 2001 on our way to Baton Rouge for me to participate in the Senior Olympics (my softball team, what Wanda lovingly called the 'old people world series'), on our way from Lee's Summit, Missouri, not too far away from Arkansas whenever we had a family outing in Branson, MO."

Small world, Earl. My town in Arkansas is just a few miles from Branson, and my husband Mike was raised in Baton Rouge, where you went for the senior olympics!

Mary(Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Hi Earl,

Like you Pauline was and is the center of my life. I always put her number one above everyone and everything. When she was told she had MS, we, done everything we could to stop it. But really it just slowed it down. I watched her be eaten away piece by piece, year after year. She kept up the battle. I always staid positive for her. I quite my job of over 27 years to take care of her for what turned out to be her last 2 1/2 years of her life. I would not have changed a thing, no regrets at all. Un like you I seen her suffer so much pain in the last years of her life, that it would have been selfish of me to want to keep her here. The last couple of months the MS just burned her up. We both have very strong Christian beliefs, I know she is my angel watching over me. The day I had my surgery July 25, 2011, was her 5 month date of her passing. GOD gave me a gift that day. As they woke me up in recovery. I saw her face so clear. The same color hair I had dyed for her 5 weeks before she passed. She was HEALTHY and HAPPY. It put me on the moon, my spirit was and is so strong. Even though I had a set back with C-DIF, I still have my spirit on high

I am truly sorry for your loss. I know she was your life and soul. Like everyone before, you are coming to the right place, where we all understand, your feelings and what you have to go through.

Stay strong, you do have some wonderful people around you in your family. I would look to hospice for their grief support group, where you can talk face to face with people who are at many different stages of their grief. It really dose help. I try to get to one once a week.

God Bless you Earl, my HE heal your broken heart and comfort your soul.

Dwayne

It has been said, TIME HEALS all WOUNDS. I do not agree. The WOUNDS remain. In TIME the MIND protecting its SANITY, cover them with scar tissue, and the PAIN LESSENS, but is NEVER GONE.!!!!!  ROSE KENNEDY

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Dwayne, thanks for your response and your kind words. I believe that time will help the pain to not be quite as intense, but I don't believe it will be healed until we're rejoined. At that time it will all be worth the grief endured. I understand about not wanting to see Pauline suffer anymore, and ultimately I did have to say to the Hospice people that she needed the pain relief that automatic dispensation of morphine provided, but it was at the time that was installed that I lost two-way communication with LaWanda and broke my heart. To this day I believe that she still was able to hear all the words spoken to her, by me and the entire family, but I needed her to tell me if there was anything she wanted me to do, I just needed more time. We didn't have those years of suffering you had, as a matter of fact less than a month from diagnosis to loss just wasn't enough to get everything said that I needed to say to her, since I was so much involved in making sure she had the right pills to help, that she was able to go to the bathroom, tried to get her to eat something.....all this because I still believed we were going to have a miracle and she was going to get better. That wasn't to be, and I should have given up some of the trying to get her better and used that time to make her soul more ready for the end of this part of life. Since my wonderful mate has left I've had some signs that she's helping me, but I haven't had the experience others talk about where they see their mate when they wake up or they hear the voice. I know she's with me, but that's just my heart and mind, not anything physical to show....I will get better, I will make it through a Chapel worship session without crying, but that's down the road and I can't make it any faster than it will be. God Bless you, Dwayne, and I hope and pray that Pauline and you will be reunited in God's kingdom at some point. But, as with me, wait a while because there's a reason we're still here. We have work to do!! Earl C

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Hello Earl,

Just wanted to say hello...I see you found our wonderful group of people...that's part of all this "helping each other", I check and read daily but don't always post...I prefer to make entries from laptop I still am having a hard time using the small keyboard on my smartphone LOL...well take care for now and may God continue to Bless you...

NATS

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