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Gentle hugs sccrab! I too am widowed twice. I too am 52. I too live in the home where both my husbands died of cancer! I was married 30 years to my 1st husband. Remarried a lil over a year later (after swearing I'd never be with another). My new hubby became ill on our honeymoon, was dx with stage 4 after misdiagnosis & much testing; died a year later (they gave him less than 2 weeks).
I had a 9yo at the time (she was 6 when her daddy died) & I truly believe that's what kept me going. I had to keep her alive & healthy and that kept me alive & healthy.
I'm torn about moving! I want to leave here because of all the memories, but I can't imagine being anywhere else (because of the memories). Crazy isn't it?
I'm 6 1/2 years & 3 1/2 years out now. I've completely changed course as far as work so that's been challenging, but I like my job. I was a counselor & now I'm teaching. A few more years & I'm retiring & either moving to a warm sunny beach or near my son & his family. Hopefully I can talk them into living on/near a warm sunny beach! ;)
Praying you make the decisions that are best for you! If possible, I say don't make any life altering ones right now. Don't rush if you don't have to.
You said you have a boyfriend? I can't get beyond my fears to be able to date again. Maybe when my lil girl is grown, but I don't see it. I just can't shake the caregiver guilt & the fear of it happening again.
Glad you found this site!

Hi, I am so glad I found this site.   Hearing the good and bad of others who have experienced the same thing I have.   I lost my husband just over 6 months ago and sometimes the pain is so intense I wonder if I'm dying but then I remember I have a 10 year old who needs me.  And she is very sensitive.  She doesn't like to see me cry.    I have to find private times to mourn.   Anyway, glad to meet all of you.

Nice to meet you too Flissa. I am truly sorry for your loss. I understand having to hide and grieve.  Sometimes I cannot even say my husband's name out loud among company for fear of spoiling the mood. I am still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel even after almost 3 years.  Even in a crowd, you are all alone. The best thing that I have done is to find this site.

Hi all, I've been reading here for a few weeks, but haven't posted before. Today would have been our 7th Anniversary, but I lost Gabo on 10 April after 10 weeks of battle with pancreatic cancer. He was just 55, and never even had a cold in the 9 years I knew him, but on 31 January he looked slightly jaundiced. It took 5 weeks to diagnose (still mad at the doctors about that), and 5 week later he died under hospice home care. I never had children and i'm from Germany, so he was my family. I don't have much contact with his family since he died, as my father in law and brother in law did some aweful things during this whole time. After discussing the issues with a grief counselor, and deciding that having anger against them wasn't good for me, I've stopped dealing with them. I always said I had to come 3000 miles, wait 46 years and cross an ocean to find him, who loved me unconditionally. No man ever did before, including my father.  I'm trying to figure out what to do now. I work from home, so I do force myself to get out of the house on most days at least for a little while to meet a girlfriend for breakfast or so. I've redecorated a lot in the house, since this is where he died, so I can still live here for now. I've lived in this small community in coastal Georgia for 14 years, and know most people. He ran the local marina, and was much loved by many. There was huge support while he was sick and when he passed, but of course, afterwards it all stops. People say call if you need anything at all, but no one calls themselves. Thankfully I have 2 really great girlfriends. I just feel so lost. I'm 55 also, and can't really move back to be around my family in Germany at this point, at least not until I can retire. He was such a good, kind man, and it's just so not fair :(

Hi Evelyn, 

I am so glad you have 2 really great girlfriends.   I know what you are going through,  after my husband died.  He caught the flu in January, a week later he was in the hospital with severe pneumonia, I took him to the doctor half way through the week and they said it was bronchitis and gave him antibiotics.  Two days later he was in the hospital, one day after on a ventilator and he never came off.  A week after he passed.  It was heartbreaking because he was 47 and had rarely been sick in his life.    The sudden happening is really hard.   Especially when the person you love seemed to be invincible.    Anyway, I'm here, and I know the others are here and if you need us, all you have to do is send a message.   And I agree, it isn't fair.  

July 27th made 3 months that Patricia Passed away. A very difficult day for me.. to some it may sound silly  especially woman whom swoon for a Crooners voice.My job is a sound Engineer. and I had a show to do on this Day. Of all People My Client(Boss) for the day is Bobby Caldwell... So As I am Setting up.. I am staying calm, and Doing my job. Bobby Asks me  is Everything OK...I said I have One Request...Can we do this show today with NO LOVE SONGS.. He said all the songs are Love songs... then he realized  the Date it was exactly 3 months ago  I lost Patti. He did switch up the setlist so I can make it through the day...Awesome guy.. after  the shows and packing up.  I went into a Back room and just let it all out  For a few Mins... Everyday this week while Driving. Ive Been having Mini Meltdowns...however. She did Give me a blessing  to Move on, and the New Girlfriend of just over 1 Month Now has been keeping my Sanity. and it scares me If I were to Loose her..My daughter has been with hr mother.. so Its quite here. and my son works Nights.  so I never see him as we cross work hours...I really Need to Clea out this house. Hire a contractor To finish the little things so I can get my C.O.  and sell the house.  I need to Move on.

I would have liked to post a message "It's complicated." but don't know how.  I lost my husband about 2 months ago.  He had not been feeling well for a week and I had just convinced him to let me take him to the doctor.  He just drooped his head over; I called 911, he was still breathing, but died despite their efforts.  Heart attack, probably his alcoholism, which I tried to help him with, in and out of rehab over the years.  I was his 3rd wife and his caretaker while he was writing books and refusing to follow doctor's orders--walk every day, drink more water, less wine, etc.  I did all the driving, shopping, etc. since he lost his license.  I also lost my dog and my mother in the past year.  My mother had Alzheimers.  I had been managing her affairs and visiting her for the last 13 years.  My husband complained about that.  I put her on hospice last April when the nursing home put her on bed rest for bed sores. Then my dear french bull dog started having seizures and died of a brain tumor. a couple months later.  Then my mother died a few months later.  I saw them dying and dead.  So I was grieving and my husband did not like it.  After he would stagger to bed I would play music, draw their pictures, and write to them.  I thought he was too drunk to realize this, but I recently found his journals and the horrible things he said about me, and how crazy he thought I was.  I know I was not perfect and now regret all I didn't do or did wrong.  I feel so bad that it is too late.  I was so burnt out I and depressed but should have pushed myself to do more.   I have no children of my own (he has 3) and one brother far away who can't deal with it or doesn't want to talk to me.  I am just now wrapping up legal and financial matters, and have to get locks replaced from the attempted break-in when I was at the funeral. And I have to edit and publish all the stuff he left undone.  I guess it sounds as though I resent him, and sometimes it feels like every day is still all about him, but I miss him so much and wish he were here.  I am afraid that when I start crying I will never stop.  


@cloudwatcher:  Yes, sometimes it IS complicated.  Unfortunately, there's no thread here for "ambivalent and confused."  When I first started coming to this community, I felt I was the only one whose marriage was not like Loves Young Dream Forever And Ever (TM).  It made me feel more like a freak than ever.  Please look at my thread here:

...and know that you are not alone.  My mom died on December 19, 2012.  My husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer in March 2013.  It took 2 months to talk him into going into treatment after I found him the best doctors in NYC.  On July 3 our older cat had a stroke and died -- an omen of what was to come.  On July 20, my husband fell in the bathroom, didn't tell me for 3 days, and long story short, he ended up diagnosed with a very rare brain disease called moyamoya that makes one susceptible to stroke.  He had the first of two surgeries, seemed to be recovering from that just fine, had a stroke on September 22nd last year -- the day after our 27th anniversary -- went into seizures, and died October 5 -- and I had to be the one to sign the papers to take him off the ventilator.  Oh yeah, then my other cat died on January 28.  

So yes, yes, yes, my dear friend, I do get it.  And yes, I do not have children either (didn't want them.)  I know how it feels to resent him and be angry with him and miss him like hell at the same time.  My life is so full these days -- I have a good job, just moved to another department where my quality of life should be better than it's been (no more 80 hour weeks).  I am doing the remodeling in the house that I always wanted to do.  I went to Italy in May.  I go out with friends at least twice a week.  I have 2 new young cats.  In the cold hard light of day, my life is easier now, because my husband was depressed for a decade and could not hold down a job.  How much of it was his brain not working, who knows?  

You will have a similar rollercoaster of feelings.  You will come here and read about all these "perfect" marraiges and wonder where you went wrong.  You will sometimes feel relieved and feel guilty that you feel relieved.  Your husband was an alcoholic, mine self-medicated with pot his entire adult life to hide the pain he felt from his childhood.  I grieve for the waste of this smart, handsome man with so much potential but who was still a wounded 12-year-old inside.  I grieve for the years we won't have, the jokes I won't groan at, the trips we won't take.  And at the same time I will look at my new bathroom and kitchen and finally have the parties I haven't been able to have for 18 years because I was ashamed of my house and my husband did not like to socialize, and I will feel good that I can do this.  I can plan to retire wherever I want to and feel good that I can do this.  And this feeling good and the guilt live side-by-side.

But one thing I learned during my husband's illness -- there is a bond that we share with someone who's been part of us for decades.  It is a bond that can't be anything else but love, and yet we are so attuned to thinking of love as rainbows and roses and flowery words and mind-blowing sex, but there's more.  Did you ever hear the song "Do You Love Me?" from "Fiddler on the Roof"?  This about sums it up:

You will start crying.  And it will feel like you'll never stop.  But you will stop.  And then  you'll take a nap because  you'll be exhausted.  And you'll be OK for a while -- a few hours, a few days, a few weeks.  And then out of nowhere, you'll feel like you've been hit in the back of the head by a 2 x 4 and you'll cry again.  And you'll stop again and take a nap again.  And you'll be OK for a while.  And over time, you'll be OK for a longer and longer time.  

It is OK to recognize that your marriage wasn't perfect.  It's OK to be angry.  A few months before my husband got sick I was crunching numbers to see how badly I'd get clobbered financially if I left.  And  yet when he got sick I would have sold my soul to Satan if it meant he'd get well.  Because after 27 years, if that's not love, what is?  It takes a while to get here, and it's not fun.  If I can help in any way, like listening, reading, talking -- I am here for you.  Because I get where  you are.  I really do.

@BergenJC   - Well said.  My husband was bi-polar and suffered from PTSD.  He could be funny and in a good mood, and the next minute be verbally abusive.  And yet, I did his dialysis (at home) 3 times a day, cooked his food (special diet), and the last 4 months he was bedridden and couldn't always feed you know what that meant.  I knew he would die, one day.  But there were times I feared I might die before him, due to the stress of care giving.  

@Cloudwatcher - BergenJC has said it better than I can.  Know that you are among friends here who will give you support.  There are many in the "chat room" in the evening who are always ready to "listen".  What you have been through, layer upon layer, it's difficult to process.  ((Hugs))

cloudwatcher and BergenJC, I'd like to invite you to join the Survivors of Addiction & Substance Abuse group on here:

It's a safe space to talk about the less-than-perfect that comes with grieving a spouse who self-medicated/struggled with addiction. 

If you have any questions about it, please feel free to message me. <3

Bergen and Bestbuds are right.  marriages are not perfect and you did your best.  I am sorry that this has happened to you. I did not have the same experience with my husband but his family were a royal pain in the you know where after he died.  I am almost 3 years out now and feel confident that I have done my best and now it is time  to close that chapter. I will always love and miss my husband but I will no longer be held hostage by my thoughts of second guessing if I did a good job or not.  Given the situation that you described, I think you did an awesome job. Please do not be depressed about what he said about you. He was lucky to have you.  On the weekend on of my friends reminded me that no matter what you do, not everyone will like you. Even Jesus Christ had his problems with people while he was here.


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