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How Does One Overcome All The Emotions.

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I lost my husband Dec 18 after he was disabled for over 23 years. I was his sole caregiver and the last 2 years he was completely bedridden. I have a business that my busy season is Christmas time. I was so harried it seemed everytime I went to help him I always wanted him to do things that his body was no longer capable of doing, like holding his spoon or sitting up. Even though I sat with him and held him, I now feel guilty that I didn't do enough towards the end. How does one over come this terrible feeling. I just wish I had one more day with my Charlie.

He was in the Hospice program for only one day before he passed away and how I wish I would have put him there sooner like the doctors wanted me to, I would have been less stressed out and we could have had more quality time. But he wanted to stay at home. I can't praise the caregivers with hospice enough, at least that final day was a day to hold his hand, stroke his head and say my goodbye, although I don't think he heard me.

The doctors keep praising me for the magnificant care I gave him, but that only makes me feel worse.

Is there anyone out there that had the same feelings and how did you get your life back together.


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Guest Guest_Deborah_*

My fiance Larry died Nov 16th, so this is all very new and overwhelming as I am sure you are feeling. I was his caregiver also and the last few days he could not eat or hold up his head without me helping. I share some of the same thoughts you have... had I known those were his last days with me what else could I have done to help him...to let him know how much he was loved and how special he was to me. Hospice was supposed to come that day he died so there was no preparation, no comfort, only shock and pain. I have not accepted this yet, so I can't offer much help to you but I can tell you this site has caring people who have been there before us and are willing to share. It seems to be just to take one minute at a time.

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I am so sorry to find you here...so sorry for your loss. All here know your pain. It is so hard. No one understands except those of us "left behind".

I lost my husband, Gene on June 11th this year. This wonderful man was my reason for living and I have learned to survive somehow. For 18 or the 28 years we had together he had heart problems. The last 2 years it developed into CHF. We fought a long battle together but his heart and body could not fight longer. I lost him once 18 years ago and God gave him back to me. I lost him June 10th while standing outside the ICU doors and God gave him back to me. June 11th we shared nearly 14 hours reliving special times, sharing kisses, professing our love to each other. Gene knew this was his last day on Earth...he told me...he was ready...he had a glimpse of "the other side". At 7:30 that night while the nurses were changing shifts I left our daughter there besides Gene to use the ladies room. And to talk to my husband's brother about just taking him home...I would need help to argue with the staff. I was out of his room for about 4 minutes,Gene asked our daughter where I was, he took four breathes, and he left while I was gone. The first two months alone I thought I would go insane. The guilt of letting go of his hand that night was unbearable. People here saved my sanity. I've had to deal with the feeling of guilt for so many things...but they all were things out of my control. Guilt feeling is just one part of this journey. The support here has gotten me through all the emotions I have gone through and continue to go through. For our loves...we all did all we could...we did the best we could...we did not make the choice for them to leave. The pain "we left behind" journey with would not be so great if the love was not so true and deep.

I have learned to resolve some of my emotions. And am still learning. Sharing and knowing that everything I feel is part of this. Knowing I am not alone when I need to scream, vent, cry...knowing that "my way" is ok does get me through many days.

Pain is a companion now. In the beginning it was the tormentor. I go on one day at a time..one moment at a time...but Gene walks with me...his love gets me through the moments.

Be kind to yourself. Love does not die. We all are only a breathe away. Write and visit...someone is always here who understands.

Always Gene!


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Thank you for your replies. Just knowing someone has experienced the same feelings has helped me to cope. My biggest problem was the guilt for being so impatient with my husband the last month of his life. I have a confection business and was working 20 hour days to get my orders out. Needless to say I didn't have much resolve left when he called me every hour while I was trying to get some sleep. At the time I took care of his needs, but didn't have the qualtiy time, although I do remember holding him the last week and letting him know he will always be my solemate.

So many posts here seem to read like they never lost there tempers with their loved ones and I thought I was the only one.

USTWO I think Gene waited until you were out of the room to pass on, as he loved you so much he didn't want you to remember him taking his last breath. Remember the special moments you shared.

DEBORAH: My heart goes out to you, although I don't know how long you and Larry were together, I assume you were looking forward to a wedding. I at least had 41 years with my husband. Hopefully we both can move on and we will always have that special place in our hearts for the one we loved.

Contacts, friends and family are so important at this very difficult time, somedays you just don't feel like moving on. I find keeping busy helps and I have a wonderful daughter who calls me everyday.

How nice to have the internet to reach out to people we will never meet but who have experienced the same feelings and give us a shoulder to lean on.

May Charlie have found peace, he was sick for so many years (23)


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I was wondering this morning if I had a reason to get up – I did after my phone rang – and then I read your posting on here – and there was my reason to start my day. I am so sorry for your loss and I think I can help you with your feeling of guilt and regret that you are now experiencing. I have a number of postings on here – but the one in particular that could help you is a letter that I wrote to my Dear Jack a few months after he had died. It is called (I think) A Letter to Jack – Good vs. Bad). I was having a particularly bad day when I wrote it – I was thinking of all the “Bad” things” that I perceived I had done to Jack when he was ill – and forgetting all the Good things that I had done. By the time I got done writing this letter I felt much better. Please find my posting on here and read it – I do believe it will help.

There are other things I also have done to deal with these feelings of Guilt and Regret.

1. One is having a grief counselor talk with me – I have an hour session ever other week – we talk about a lot of things – and sometimes we discuss my feelings of Guilt and Regret. Talking to someone is extremely helpful.

2. Another thing I do is writing my feeling on paper – keep a Journal of what you are doing daily. I write poems and songs about my Jack – this has been extremely helpful. It is amazing what a great thing it is to put your emotions on paper – and then share it with people who are willing to listen to you.

3. I will be joining a Group-grieving group shortly – I need to share my thoughts and feeling with others – I feel this will help me – hopefully it will help you too.

4. Reading books on grief is also very helpful – I have read nearly 30 since Jack died on 7-31-05 – some of the information in these books speaks directly to feelings of Guilt and Regret – which is a very normal part of the grieving process.

I hope all this information helps you. When My Jack died he had been ill for 10 months. Prior to his becoming ill he had been the most independent and alive person I knew. His illness not only slowly took his ability to use his left side – and to walk – but three weeks into his illness he went blind. He had a brain tumor and spent 16 weeks in the hospital and had 7 surgeries. I watched him slowly die an inch at a time. I grieved his death for 10 months before he drew his last breath and have been grieving his actual death now for 5 months. That’s 15 slow months of grieving. I was his caregiver after his release from the hospital and he died at home. Being a caregiver is extremely difficult especially when the person you are caring for is your loved one – especially your mate of so many years. I have learned (slowly) that we are all human – and that there are times when although our actions toward our loved ones may seem to have been unkind or inconsiderate we did the best we could – made the best decisions possible – given the circumstances and emotions of the moment. It is sometimes easy to replay these bad times in our minds – and forget the circumstances of the moment. There were times when I was cleaning up Jack after having taken him to the bathroom and I was not the kindest person in my interactions with him. I always apologized later – but after his death these “Bad” things that had happened played over again and again in my mind. This is probably happening to you too. I had to learn to remember the circumstances under which this all happened – to learn to forgive myself – and to remember that like everyone else I was human – and watching the love of my live die at a snails pace. Jack would be the first person in line now to forgive me and tell me to move forward. I would bet that your husband (if he was here to hold your hand and look deep in your eyes) would have the some words of forgiveness for you. The trick is forgiving ourselves. Books and counseling sessions and writing about my feeling helped me – I hope they help you as well.

Two books in particular have helped me with the many issues that grieving presents to us. One is a book called “Grieving Mindfully” by Sameet M. Kumar. It is so good I have read it 3 times. Another book is “Healing After Loss” by Martha Whitmore Hickman. The book is arranged by dates – and the ones that would provide you the most comfort regarding the feelings of guilt and regret are 3/2, 4/2, 9/3, 9/4 and 8/22.

I have an entire list of books – 25+ - and I would be willing to send you this list if you are interested in knowing the titles and authors names. I do not know what I would have done or how I would have survived to this point without these books – they are great.

You have become my reason for getting up this morning. I understand your feelings – and please know that they are normal – and you did nothing wrong – you did the best you could under the circumstances and emotions of the moment you were dealing with. Your Charlie was disabled 23 years and bedridden the last two years – you were his sole caregiver. You have earned the wings of an angel. You are a good person - who did good things. There is nothing more difficult than care giving. Your Charlie would be the first to forgive you for any indiscretion. My Jack I am sure has done the same.

Later today I am going to post my Christmas Letter on here that I sent out to so many of the people who were our friend and family during Jack and my 27 years together. When I do that – please read it. You speak of how you help your Charlie’s hand to say goodbye to him and thank you do not think he “heard you”.

Read my Christmas Letter when I post it. I think you Charlie “heard you”.

Thank you for giving me a reason for getting up this morning. I am here to help if I can. The answer to this grieving process - lies within our ability to help each other. Please take care of yourself.

John - Dusky is my Handle on here

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