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It Seems Like Forever......


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Its been a little over three months since i lost the love of my life..my wife Vicki. Some days it seems like forever, some days it seems like yesterday!! Sundays are the hardest....i remember i used to get upset when she asked me questions during the football game.....now i wish i took more time to explain it to her. Regrets i have many...could i have been a better husband?? Could i have been more understanding? Am i that bad of a person that God took her away from me?? I often ask myself many of these questions. Am i going crazy? I do know one thing for sure....I really miss her!!

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I'm sorry it feels so rotten. It has nothing to do with what kind of a person/husband you are. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust...in other words, it's just random. I think we were all good spouses and loved them with all our hearts...yet they died anyway, so it has nothing to do with that.

It's weird how it can seem just like yesterday...and yet it feels like forever too, at the same time! For me (over six years out now) it just seems like a lifetime ago. Sometimes I feel like I dreamed him up. And yet I remember his voice, his smell, so clearly. What's harder to remember is his holding me...I remember it felt like the best place in the world to be, but it seems like so long since he's held me I can hardly remember it. :(

You aren't alone here...please come here as often as you want, we're all in this together...

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Kenman1:

I had to respond as I feel your pain and loss and I can't seem to get over the guilt and regrets. My husband passed 4 1/2 months ago after a 16 month battle with cancer. I was so busy coordinating dr. appts., meds, feeding tubes and formula, and all the other caretaking responsibilities that I forgot about taking care of his emotional needs. Why didn't I stop and talk to him, hold him more, snuggle with him more and be more attentive to him, particular in the end? Inteluctually, I know I did the best I could and I know he loved me but my head tells me I didn't do enough. I can't seem to move past that. I am seeing a grief counselor for some help with this. Unfortunately, I wish I could offer some words of wisdom for you, but I am still learning too. I have learned to be gentle with myself and just breathe. There is no easy way to go through this and they tell me to stay on the roller coaster of emotions, that we need to feel these things and we will better for it when we get to the end of the ride. I have to place my faith in what the experts say, because I am not wanting to feel the pain or ride the ride. Please know that we are here with you and are feeling the same pain.

Blessings,

Becky

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You know,just the other day I took my mother out for lunch and when we got back to her place (she has dementia and paranoia, she's 89) she started rambling about how she believed in George "even when his wife didn't" (me) and she said when he had his heart attack he looked all over for (me) even coming to her house but he couldn't find (me) and I'd just gone off to my sister's reunion and didn't even care (about him).

I felt like I'd been stabbed in the stomach and the knife had been wrenched around and around. None of it is true, she makes things up in her mind and twists them, but still, hearing her say that out loud, it was hard. I tried to tell her that no he hadn't gone to her house and he hadn't looked for me, that he'd gone by ambulance to the hospital and the doctor tried to get him to notify me (I hadn't left town yet) but George refused because he "didn't want to ruin my weekend" (he didn't know he was going to die from it). Yes I'd gone to my sisters reunion, but I had no idea my husband was having heart problems, I thought he was safe at home. :( (She replied it depends on who you talk to).

When incrimination hits you, whether by your own self or the ramblings of a mentally ill person we have to reject it. We loved our spouses, more than anything in the world, we did our best, and no one could have done any better in the situation. We have to be kind not only to them, but to ourselves. If roles were reversed, would you come down on your spouse for not doing better? No! You would have known they loved you and were trying so hard to do their best. One of the beautiful parts of our relationship is we always understood each other and had faith in each other...this has to continue to hold true, even after separation by death. Our love surpasses all, even self-incrimination.

I hope it starts getting better for you, hugs to you both!

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Dear Kenman1

I am so sorry for your loss. We all understand the loss of spouse....sadly we understand too well. Bill, the love of my life....one and only, died 17 months ago tomorrow. I will miss him and grieve that loss as long as I am on this planet. It does get better though. i never believed anyone who said that KNOWING I was the exception but it does get better. It feels like a century since I held him that last day. It also feels like yesterday. We all know.

As for guilt...I have struggled with that since Bill died. I was his caregiver for 4+ years and there were times when I was not patient (so not typical of who we were), times when I was short. I now know in hindsight that I was also under so much pressure and exhaustion that I could not be who I was. We all have regrets....I regret that we spent so much time building or renovating houses, that I did not stop and listen at times when I wanted to do something else. We were like one person and yet we were human. I hope you can come to a place of peace with your guilt and regrets knowing you were human....i.e. not perfect. She wasn't either, remember. I think we tend to glorify those we love after they die. Bill was truly the kindest and sweetest guy I ever knew. He lived to love me. Yet, he had his stuff just as I did. The human condition does not include perfect.

Stick with us...it will help you.

Mary

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I think guilt and reqrets are just something that comes along with grief. We've all been where you are right now. Even after almost 19 months those feelings still come up. Mine has to do mostly with his last few days in Hospice. I was so worried about other people, especially the grandkids, not spending time with him before he died, that I feel I neglected him. Even though I know in my heart that is not true, my head likes to play games. You've come to a wonderful place. I don't know how I would of made it this far without all my friends (more like family) here. Keep coming back, we all understand & care. God Bless.

Chris

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So sorry for your loss. As the others have said, we all feel guilt. My guilt is that I was not there when Mike died, and that he was alone. My husband died very unexpectedly of a sudden massive coronary, no symptoms or warnings at age 62. I was in the hospital 1 1/2 hours away, having just had a total knee replacement two days before. The thought of him being all alone when he died is going to haunt me forever.

Sorry that you had the need for this group, but this is a wonderful caring group of people that really do "Get" what you are feeling. Praying for peace for you.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Bless all of you who have these extremely sad but so terribly true stories to share. I think that's what makes us all better, to hear that we're not alone in our 'rambling, insane" thoughts. I don't think, after reading your tale of what actually happened, any of you should worry one more minute that you didn't do the right thing.

I have to add that I didn't get that extended care-giving time (less than 30 days from diagnosis to the day I lost the most precious person in my life), and I'd give anything right now if I could be in the kitchen cooking her something to eat, doing the dishes, mopping the floor, and at the same time talking to her (I do that anyway, and I hope she hears) about what I'm doing, how she's feeling, and so on.

In the short time my magnificent person was sick, we were trying to get her to radiation treatments hoping that would ease the pain so we could get treatment for the cancer. It didn't work, but every day I worried about how to get her dressed, get her in the wheelchair, into the car, get her into the Cancer Center, then back home. Every two to three hours I worried about how to get her to the bathroom and what pills she should be taking. I was even dumb enough that I was trying to fit her regular (pre-cancer) medication like her cholesterol pill, her Levothyroxine, etc, when I should have just forgotten all of those things because she truly was beyond them doing her any good. I worried so much about her having something to eat, I kept urging her to eat something, and I brought everything she had any idea she could eat. Again, I was worried that her organs might shut down if she didn't keep nourishment in her system. To be absolutely truthful as I look back, I was still of the belief that God wouldn't let her go, that we were due for a miracle. All this time I wasted trying to MAKE HER BETTER, when there was absolutely no way that was ever going to happen. I was wasting what valuable time we had, believing if I could get her well we had a whole lifetime ahead of us.

How dumb...how utterly stupid I was wasting time like that when I should have been just hugging her, talking about how it would be without her...but I never in my mind or heart thought I would be without her. Then the ton of bricks came, and I still don't believe it. I walk into the kitchen and I stand there looking at the things she used to do. I water her indoor plants, and I know she should still be here doing it, with me just being the helper. She used to empty the dishwasher (we tried to run it twice a week, washed the dishes the other days), and when she took dishes out she wiped them off and set them on the counter. I'd come behind her and put all the dishes/silverware/glasses, etc in their respective places so she didn't have to reach. Now, I still try to run it twice a week, and I plan if after a bunch of the kids have come to visit, but I'm doing both her and my job....and I hate her not being there to talk to.

So, yes, we've all earned some of what we may term guilt...but in fact we each did everything we could do under the circumstances, and if I had it to do over again I wouldn't be so insistent that I was going to get her well, I'd enjoy every minute we had together. I'm afraid I worried too much about her overall health and getting well, so I couldn't see what was really happening until it was too late. Now I want to have her back and spend the time just loving her. We were a loving couple, and I talked to one of her sisters today, and she told me that my best friend had told her she was in the happiest part of her entire life...but it's gone, and I feel like I'm gone too.

But, each of us has to carry on, without guilt because we did what we could, and we need now to make sure that we reach out to make ourselves better, to get ourselves ready for the next part of this journey, the reunion....and I'm eager!!

Love and caring to each of you, make yourself understand that we've done the best we could. For those with guilt, let it go and take care of yourself now.

Earl C

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I wish I had not read this post. Brings me to the bottom of the pit again...yet..some of your words...(Mary)..The human condition does not include perfect...and Becky....so many of yours....I insisted Bill get a certain test...He did not want to...long story short...Dr. said less than 1% chance something would go wrong...It did..and I lost my husband...I live with that every day since...The results of that test put us in hell for five months...He fought so hard and was actually improving....I was with him 24/7 sometimes 48 hrs without sleep....but could not leave him....He came home after many days in ICU and as luck would have it....again....he died from something he contacted from his hospital stay ...a horrible and painful death. The test was not what killed him...but his death was the result of doing it in the first place...placed him in harms way...How do I ever overcome this feeling of "If only I had not made that appointmenmt"...????

I did get to be with him..hold him everyday and we expressed our love to each other over and over...I know in my heart he would never place blame on me.....but it still eats at me. They say God has a plan for each of us....and everything goes according to that plan....so...I continue to try and forgive myself...and to know something out of my hands directed this outcome. I must live with that...missing him every second of every day....while trying my best to keep moving forwrd. My heart goes out to each of you....we share so much...Carol

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I think many of you in this thread and others on the same subject have said it so well when you've stated that guilt is just a part of grief. Perhaps it's a stage we have to progress through, it does seem that many of us encounter it. I don't mean to diminish what you're going through when I tell you to try not to feel guilty...I'm sure it's something if you could change, you would, but it's hard to have control over our feelings.

One of the things that has helped me is keeping in mind that feelings are just that...feelings. They are not meant to be a barometer of anything, they are not intended as a guide, they are just something to be dealt with. When we have feelings that are difficult to deal with, it helps to remember that they are only a part of the whole, in other words, we have OTHER feelings just as valid and other facts to keep in mind, and it helps to look at the WHOLE of the picture, the WHOLE of the relationship, and the FACT is, we loved these people, and regardless of regrets, we did our best with the knowledge given at the time and with our human limitations. Guilt DOES serve a purpose in our lives, and that is to call our attention to something that needs changing. When we have already acknowledged that thing and made whatever changes we can or learned from the experience, then it is time to let go of guilt, for if we do not, it turns to shame. Shame has no purpose in our lives, but rather it holds us down and paralyzes us and keeps us from progressing forward.

We must also remind ourselves to be kind and gentle to ourselves, the way our spouse would have wanted us to and the way we would have with them if roles were reversed. Love yourself as your partner did, be understanding and forgiving of yourself just as you would have been with them.

(((hugs to all of you)))

Kay

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