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Losing My Husband

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On March 13, 2015 (Friday the 13th) I lost the love of my life.

It took me 34 years to find D and we shared 20 years together. Actually this Oct. 21st would have been our 20th Anniversary.

D was in the Vietnam Nam War and came home with many injuries both physical and mental. I didn't know him before that but I am told he came back a Very Different Person but all I know is the man I fell in love with was wonderful.

One of his injuries was a head injury that caused him to have epilepsy. He had only has a handful of seizures in our 20 years. He also suffered from PTSD which was sometimes hard to deal with,major depression, borderline personality, and about 10 yrs ago he was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

His lungs were basically turning to rock is the way the doctor explained it to us. Some days he was on oxygen 24 Hrs, some days he didn't need it at all.

On 3/13 he woke me up and told me he thought he was going to have a seizure (he was lucky to have 15-30 seconds before where he could feel it coming on), I told him to lay on the bed and I put my arm across his chest, not holding him down or anything, just laying beside him waiting for the seizure to end. He went thru it like a normal seizure but this time he quit breathing. I panicked, called 911 and proceeded to attempt CPR but because he was on the bed I couldn't get good compressions and I couldn't get him off the bed myself.

EMS arrived but I knew he was already gone. They attempted to get him back but that didn't happen. I was devistated.

I blame myself because I failed to turn him on his side as the seizure was subsiding. I think it would have made a difference and I can't get that feeling out of my head or heart. I knew what to do and I panicked. Now you all will probably say the same thing everyone else says, "it was just his time", " you can't blame yourself", yadda yadda yadda, but I can't get past the pain I have, knowing I might have prevented it.

I am so angry with myself. I don't want to be around others, I go to work and back home. I see my family for small amounts of time. I don't want to be away from home because I feel closer to D in our home. I keep hoping that he will somehow let me know that he's there with me but so far nothing like that has happened. I'm afraid that he's angry with me for letting him die....in my arms.

I've been to Grief Group Therapy, and talked to a woman one on one but I can't get past this place.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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I have not been through the type of experience you are talking about, but I want you to know that I hear you. I am so sorry for your loss.

I am so very sorry that you were not able to save your husband. I will not tell you that you should feel any way other than how you are feeling.

My suggestion would be for you to find a good grief counselor who will be able to help you through your pain and anger and any other feelings you are experiencing.

Our grief journey takes as long as it takes. It is not something we ever “get over.” Grief counseling takes as long as it takes, also.

You are very early in your grief. Right now the pain is where you are at and the anger is something only you will learn to release when you are ready.


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My dear, I too am so very sorry for your loss, and my heart reaches out to you in your pain. As Anne so wisely says, none of us would presume to take away the guilt that you are feeling, but we do want you to know that guilt like yours is a very heavy burden to bear alone. I hope you will consider finding a qualified grief counselor who can help you look more objectively at what happened when your beloved husband died. That had to be a very traumatic experience for you, and it's not fair to yourself to think that you can work through this without some kind of understanding and support.

It may interest you to learn that guilt is one of the most common reactions in grief, and I would venture to say that there is not a member among us here who does not feel guilty about something we've done or failed to do: something, anything, we could have done differently that might have saved our loved one from dying. It takes a great deal of work to get to a point where we can even begin to forgive ourselves.

When you feel ready, I invite you to do some reading about the guilt that normally accompanies grief, in hopes that doing so will give you a better understanding of it, along with some suggestions on what you might do to cope with and to manage it. Beneath each of these articles you'll find links to other helpful readings as well:

Grief and The Burden of Guilt

Guilt and Regret In Grief

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I am so sorry you also lost your husband. It's very hard to watch them dying and then to question ourselves afterwards about what we did/didn't do, when in reality we did the best we knew to do at the time and it may not have made a difference if we'd done something different.

What you are experiencing is normal and yes, many of us have felt that way.

It does help to express yourself and this is a good place to do that. You might want to see a grief counselor before trying group therapy.

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Twenty weeks ago, February 16th, 2015. I came home to my wife, who died, while I was away working. . She was on oxygen and had severe breathing problems when she stood up to go to the bathroom. Also her blood pressure dropped severely. I discovered later that the oxygen tube from the concentrator to the humidifier popped off. This had happened two other times when I was home and I was able to help my wife and fix the problem. My wife was able to switch to a portable oxygen tank and she knew her oxygen level was low but her body just couldn't recover from it. The guilt of not checking one more time haunts me but I just can not change what happened. Each of us has to go through our grief yet the beauty of this place is there are many of us traveling the same road. I pray that God will give you comfort and rest. Come back and share and read when you can. We care and will walk with you on your journey. Shalom

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Cjar, I am a nurse (although not currently practicing) and I seemed to remember that death can happen during a seizure. I looked it up and it appears that perhaps your husband had what is labled SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) and cardiac arrest. I would ask your doctor, or his, to explain how this may have happened.

I don't think that there was anything that you could have done for him. :(

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Also Cjar, I sensed that you're distraught that you haven't heard from D since his passing. I have a book that I bought last week: How to Heal a Grieving Heart.

I just happened to open to the information you may need to know to help calm down and not feel like he is angry with you.

When You Can't Feel Your Loved One's Presence

You hear and read about other people's encounters with their departed loved ones, and you wonder: Where is mine? If you have not felt this energetic presence, please do not despair. It does not mean you have been abandoned or are unloved.

Ususally it means that your loved one is in much-needed self-care.

Each person has a different heavenly path for his or her's soul growth. For instance those who didn't beieve in life after death may be shocked when their conciousness survives. They have to rest in the afterlife plain while they adjust to the fact that their souls live on. Other people that have had traumatic deaths need caretaking in heaven before they are strong enough to make visits to family and friends. And still others who are more highly evolved ascend above the earth plane and are not physically palpable.

You can more easily feel you loved one's presence by keeping your senses alive and awake, which means avoiding numbing yourself with addictions or stuffing down your feelings.

In time, you will both adjust to feeling each other's presence across the veil.

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