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I'm not sure if there is a place to introduce ourselves or not, so I am doing it here. My name is Janine and I lost my husband on August 27, 2011 after a long, terminal illness. We have 3 children, two teenager sons still living at home with me and a daughter in Calif. Even though I knew my husband was going to pass away, when it happened I was shocked and felt as if I never knew a thing. I don't think you could ever be prepared for something so devastating. Needless to say, I am just reeling over this, laying on the couch crying and grieving, sleeping alot during the day, unable to sleep at night. I'm sure you have all gone thru these same symptoms, but it is just so hard to deal with it all. I was my husband's sole caretaker for almost three years and it is so lonely now that he's not here anymore. I'm so used to having him here with me 24/7, caring for all his needs and now I am just here alone all day while the kids are in school.

I know I'll feel better in time, but right now I am depressed and sad all the time. Hope this forum helps me get thru some bad days.

Janine

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Dear Janine,

You came to the right place and you will find a great deal of support and understanding here. I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure you are reeling from this even though he was sick for so long. My husband of 25 years died last year and I don't even remember the first 4 months. I too took care of him alone for 4+ years and yet was totally shocked when he took his last breath. I realize now that I was really in a state of some kind of trauma as I took care of him...also denial of his approaching death. So the shock shook me to my roots.

You will find many if, not all of us. reminding you to walk through the pain (not around it), be gentle with yourself, and not expect yourself to do more than necessary for a long while. Grief is exhausting as you know and these first weeks are traumatic. You are also a caregiver who has carried the load for a long time...that is also exhausting. This is time to heal that exhaustion and work through the grief. It IS good to get out for a walk each day if you can do that. You have two sons to deal with at home and that is a challenge as they miss their dad also but can't really understand YOUR loss.

Do keep posting here. Marty, who moderates the board, has posted many many helpful articles that you can read and use to assist you. Just go to the main page and you will see links to those. I think this is the main link: http://griefhealing.com/

All of us here have lost our spouses/partners and we are not a group to judge but rather we embrace. You are not alone. Others will fade away in your life and get back to their own lives but we will be here as long and often as you need. This site has been a life saver to me the past several months. The silence in the house is deafening. It is good you are sleeping in the day since you are not sleeping at night and we all need our sleep.

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Dear Janine,

I like you and Mary was a long term caregiver, To my wife Pauline. In 4 days it will be 7 months since she passed. I was her sole caregiver for years. We started making plans in 1996 about the end of live. This place has been a God send for me. Because of long term care giving, it takes a toll on your health that you may not be aware of. They compare it to Post Dramatic stress syndrome. I have been sick with one thing after another all summer long. Right now give it time, eat as good as you can and get the rest and sleep everyday. I also started walking in the beginning, and was able to start again just 2 weeks ago.

Please come here often and let out whatever you feel at the time. There are many very good people on here and we all care for and help each other out.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Hello, Janine, and welcome to a great group of people, as Mary describes so well. No judges, only those who are going through the same tragedy that you're facing. I have to tell you that I lost my beautiful and magnifient Wife on June 4th of this year, so I'm not much further along on this path than you are. In fact, I may be just about as raw because I didn't have the time to get used to the idea that she would be gone at all. In fact, I was sick for almost a year, had to have iron infusions and shots, etc. and my wonderful Wife was my caregiver. If it weren't for her I'd probably be gone myself. But, all of a sudden she developed a tremendous pain in an arm, then in her lower back, so bad that it was very difficult for me to get her to the doctor's for tests. She needed a CRT and some other things, but never felt like she could get dressed and go, so finally I took her to the emergency room on May 3rd. On May 6th they told us she had stage 4 lung cancer. I brought her home the next day, and she passed away on June 4th, so we didn't even have a month to figure out that we were losing her. Before she got sick I was so weak at times that I couldn't even get to the dinner table, and she brought food to my chair. I had a terrible bout with Crohn's disease and I was in the bathroom at least ten times a night, ten or twelve times a day. I stayed on the divan, and she got to where she stayed by me on a love seat. Lots of times we would just sleep in our chairs. When she got sick, the strangest thing happened, and I know it had to be God, I was immediately granted strength and energy to care for her. We tried radiation and it didn't help, and all the while I kept thinking we would be due for a miracle and there would be more time. It wasn't meant to be, and I lost the best friend I've ever had, a partner for 40 years.

So, Janine, I, along with others here, know exactly what you're going through, but I know that does not make your pain any less. You need a lot of strength to get through this, and especially since you have teenagers at home yet. We all hope and pray you will get through it, and as Mary says, Marty will also help you. I'm so sorry to hear that you have suffered this loss, and I hope no one ever tells you it will get better. It may get to where you're more used to not having your partner, but in my mind the hurt will never go away, we just learn to live with it. Please check in regularly, and I have to tell you, whatever you're feeling, just get it out here. Vent, no one will ever find fault. I'm a strong individual, I was in the Marines in Korea, but I have to tell you that I cry every day....Every day!!

Janine, there is never a good time to lose your spouse, even if you know it is coming. In fact, I know that if any couple is together long enough,one will eventually do without the other, and the timing will be lousy. You can take some (just a little) comfort in knowing that if your great husband was still alive and you passed suddenly, he would be in a terrible mess without you to take care of him, so maybe the Lord's plan was for him to precede you, and maybe he's getting ready for you to join him when your work is done on earth. Since you still have the teenagers, you have to know your work is not concluded.

I want to share one little consolation message with you:

"If a tiny baby could think, it would be afraid of birth. To leave the only home it has known would seem a kind of death. But immediately after birth the child would find itself in loving arms, showered with affection and cared for at every moment. Surely the baby would say 'I was foolish to doubt God's Plan for me. This is a beautiful life".

"For the Christian, passing through death is really a birth into a new and better world. Those who are left behind should not grieve as if there is no hope. Life is changed, not taken away. Our dear ones live on, in a world beautiful beyond anything we can imagine. With Jesus, they await the day when they will welcome us with joy".

'Do not grieve too much', they say to us. "We are living and still with you".

I do know that my Wanda is with me every day, and she is actually guiding me through some of the things I have to do without her now. I hope and pray that you will be able to manage the grief and refuse to make life any tougher for your kids.

Earl C

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[Janine,

I am sorry you lost your husband, it affects every aspect of our lives so it's no wonder it's such a hard thing to go through.

I am glad you found this site, we will listen to you and care, we've all been there, but it really helps to express what you're going through. I'm glad you have kids, they will be going through their own grief but all of you can be there for each other.

Please keep coming here...

(((hugs)))

Kay

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Janine, there is not much I can add to the posts you have already received. Everyone who has responded to you at this point have articulated perfectly well the nature of this forum. The one comment that resonates so resoundingly was written by Mary, and it is this, or at least my interpretation of it. Your tragedy is terribly fresh and everyone around you is sensitive to your circumstance. In a shockingly short time, close friends and perhaps even family, in an effort to diminish your pain, will try to encourage you to be strong and carry on with your life. They will not be as receptive to grieving with you as they are now. This is not an indictment of the people in your life, merely a statement of fact. Every one on this site recognizes that your experience is singularly unique, and not a single one of us will ever tell you that everything is going to be alright, because it isn't. Life will continue as surely as the sun rises, but you are forever changed in ways you cannot imagine. The place I come to when no one else seems to care, is right here, among strangers who have become friends because of our shared life transition. I hope you can find solace and courage here as I have, and for as long as you need it. My favorite bit of wisdom I have learned through this ordeal is this quotation, "God knows you have the right to grieve, but no one except you has the right to determine how long that process should last". Marc

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Janine, I can say no more than the rest of these wonderfull people have already said, just thinking of you and this journey that you have been given......at just over 4 months for me....I thought I was doing ok, until the last 3 days....really rough, thought I wouldnt make it through work today, unable to sleep and the tears wouldnt stop in route to work, but guess what? I made it through the day without hurting anyone and without getting fired! Am realizing how strong I can be one hr at a time...I wish the same for you and your family......I really am so sorry for your loss.....Take care and visit here often it really does help!!! Dave.....

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Hi Janine:

I am so sorry for your loss. We all understand here because we are living proof. It is a difficult lonely journey, this life without our spouses but this group is wonderful and available 24/7. If needed go see your doctor, many of us have acknowledged that it was necessary for anti-depressant medication, sleeping meds, etc. to get us through this, at least in the early stages. Be kind to yourself and remember you don't have to do anything except breathe.

I lost my husband in April after 18 months of caregiving. I was also his sole caregiver. He had two different bouts of cancer and it was an ugly horrific journey for him and me. He is at peace now but I am not, but I am working on finding a life without his physical presence with me. I am beginning to learn that he is with me always, just in a different way. At first it was not something I chose to embrace. But I am now more open to that possibility. He is in spirit with me , and I am finally beginning to feel peace with that.

Janine, please reach out if you need help, this group will always be there for you. Thinking of you during this long and lonely journey.

Peace and Hugs

Becky

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Hello Janine,

My friends in grief have said many words of wisdom, I can only add you have come to a place of sharing, caring and understanding, we all feel many of the same feelings you are having and will have, Please confide in us when your in need of direction you will find many aspects and guidance to comfort you...the journey we are on has no map so follow your heart and put yourself first it's now you that needs the the care, provide it to yourself...one day at a time you will heal but do so at your pace placing positive thoughts and memories at your focal point...may God be with you and provide you with comfort during this challenging time....

NATS

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Welcome Janine,

I hope that reading and sharing with us will bring you some clarity and peace. I have learned so much this past two years since my husband died.This site has helped me along the way. Please know that we all understand the emotions you will be going through and want to be a listening ear when you feel lost or alone. There is something to be said about strength in numbers. Cheryl

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Janine,

I am so sorry for your loss. This is not a club any of us wanted to join, but it does help to talk to, and listen to people who are in the same situation that you are in. We are at various stages of grief, but all share the same type of loss.

My husband died very unexpectedly 20 months ago of a massive coronary at age 62. I was in the hospital 1 1/2 hours away, having had a total knee replacement only two days before. Our daughter found him late in the afternoon of the day that he died. She moved in with me for a month or so, she always has been my rock.

It does get easier to bear with time, we never really quit grieving, but just be patient with your self, you are in the early hardest days, just allow yourself to grieve. I think most of us feel we are on a roller coaster. One day feel nearly normal (whatever that is now) and the next day having a SUG (sudden unexpected grief) attack.

People on this site have much wisdom, all who have written before me have given you good advice. Be sure to take care of yourself physically, eat right, and try to sleep, grieving takes so much out of you, and you are going to need all the strength you can gather.

Just know that we are here for you, rant, rave, cry, and we will listen, and offer any help that we can give to you.

Thinking of you and praying for strength for you.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Janine,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband and sorry for your grief and pain.

I lost my husband to cancer nearly 14 months ago. I was in shock when he died, and probably in shock for the first few months following his death. We were together nearly 30 years and have four sons - all in their twenties now. Our youngest was 18 when we got the diagnosis, and 19 when his father died. I still wonder why I was so unprepared for his death. I think somehow we convinced each other that he would be the one to defy the odds. I supported him in his belief that he would survive. And then he didn't.

When I wonder if I've made any progress, I think about those first few horrible months and realize that things really have gotten easier. Not great - but manageable. That may seem impossible to you at this point - but hang in there. We're all here for each other, and you'll always have a place to come and share your grief with people who completely understand. This is a good and kind group of people.

Melina

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