Wow that is a long time 32 years. I would have been married 6 years this March 22nd. I was with him for about 7 years. A mental fog is a very good way to put it. One of my friends that also lost her husband told me that I would be very forgetful. I am luck that everyone at work has been very kind and taking it easy on me as far as workload and giving me space when I need it. Your wife sounds like a wonderful person. I am sorry for your loss.
Cindy, welcome, but sad that you have a reason to seek out this lovely community. No, you've never experienced anything this painful, and hopefully never will again. So, there's a small comfort: the worst thing that can happen has happened... it probably feels totally unbelievable for you. (I am still feeling that after 9 mos and my husband, while I think he's young, was not as young as yours; he was 58).
I have to say that I have not had anyone say anything that I considered stupid or insensitive, not really. I guess I'm lucky, but maybe I also don't talk to quite as many people as some others do. Sometimes my own thoughts put words in other's mouths, though. I need to watch out for that.
I do know, because I know this is how *I* felt early on, that people might think 9 mos is a long time, time enough to be getting back to normal, but it's not really, and the fact is that more time 'out' is painful in its own way. Some acquaintances might forget this has happened, and also, it's not so recent that I have it to readily share when speaking with someone... my husband didn't JUST die, even if it feels as if he did.
just rambling, I guess...
Nance, I don't think 9 months is long at all and sometimes people to say some dumb things. My father told me that I know it is hard but you need to get over it. But I told him it has just been a week, LOL. I know he didn't mean it that way but it did kind of hurt my feelings. I guess as a father is bothered him that his only daughter was so upset. Please do tell me about your husband. My husband was a lot younger than me I am 51, and he looked strong young and healthy. He had a heart of gold. I won't say he was perfect, but he sure could make me laugh. I know I will always miss him.
(((Hugs))) So sorry for your loss Cindy. I also lost my wife 2/17/17 after 8 years battling cancer. The fog is just now starting, I had been soo sharp for soo long, I think because I needed to be. This is brutal, no two ways about it. My mother said the same exact thing to me last week, that I need to move on. She also questioned my counselor's effectiveness because I'm feeling worse as time goes by. It's been 3 weeks. This is not helpful. I am taking a break from speaking with her for fear I will say something I cannot take back. I am stunned at how much my brain seems to be letting me down right now. I can see the value in it, but my kids are embarrassed at how forgetful I've quickly become. I hope they never understand it. This place is a Godsend, and the people here "get it" like nobody else can.
I think that people say you have to move on because a) they think it's helpful (it isn't), b) they are belaboring the obvious; and c) to make themselves feel that they are helping. The truth is that no one gets it until and unless they've been through it, I don't care how empathetic one claims to be. Dealing with someone who has suffered this kind of a loss makes people uncomfortable. And if you "move on", it means that THEY can be comfortable again and don't have to deal with your grief (or think about how they could also end up in your shoes).
From my experience, the bottom line is that with your existing friends (unless you know someone who has also lost a spouse; people who have lost a child also "get it") you will have to "act as if" you are fine...and seek out other widows/widowers. Because no one else gets it and most people just don't want to be bothered getting you through this.
I know this sounds harsh, but it is such a common experience for us. I was helped greatly by a friend who lost her young adult daughter to drugs. For some reason she thought I was helpful to her for that time. I think all I did was listen when she wanted to talk, stay in touch, and ask her to go to dinner frequently. I never told her to move on or anything else. People with children would tell me "You can't possibly know what she's going through because you don't have children", and I would reply "You're right, I can't know. And neither can you, because you are going to go home and tuck YOUR kids into bed." Advice is NOT what a new widow/widower needs.
I've had to just accept that people don't get it, they don't want to know, and they want us to just shut up about it. Ultimately this is a journey we take alone, or among strangers, like this. Don't even try. Look, I had times even after my husband got sick when I couldn't take anymore and the thought of living another minute with a sick man who was angry with me all the time was enough for me to want to take my own life. I now know that his social phobia, his depression, his inability to hang onto a job, was because he was having TIAs and they were affecting his executive functioning. But I didn't know it then. People think I should be happy that he is gone, because of so many times I was unhappy and often at the end of my rope. They don't get it. They don't get that when you are married a long time you have an intimate bond of love that transcends all of that. That on any given day you may not like your spouse very much, but if you dig deep, you would have to admit that you still love him. Sometimes we don't find that under all the garbage of depression and chronic unemployment until those day-to-day aggravations are gone.
I don't expect anyone to get that.
I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. My hubs didn't have TIA's, he was diabetic and non-compliant. He would go to the hospital and be so sorry he was putting us though all of it, he was so sorry and when he got out, he promised he would do what he was suppose to. It never happened. I would get so aggravated with him, just do what the doctor tells you. I said the other day it was like a defiant 2 year old and there were days I wanted to yank him out of his chair and paddle his butt. Why wouldn't he do what he was suppose to ..... we'll never know. He would get so mad at me, tell me to pack my shi$ and leave. I think he actually didn't feel well on those days but I would get so mad.
I understand the depression and the day-to-day aggravation you had. I DO get it. Many hugs to you.
NoLonger and mcbeth, I appreciate reading your honest remembrances of the negatives. I feel like everyone who knows me knew I was unhappy and I fear they think I'm happy now that he's gone. I think that's my fear and not their belief. I think. (?)
For my husband and me, the depressions as well as the aggravations were mine. My husband was childlike and childish and happy go lucky. He didn't understand me and didn't try to. We were married 34 years. I remember when we were married about twenty years and I was around 40 and thinking to myself with complete dismay and agony, really, that I would likely have another FORTY years I'd have to live with him: another length of time equal to all the years I'd already lived. ACK! And, now, he's gone after "only" fourteen more years and I'm thinking, ACK! I still don't say I loved him, not in a romantic way, but I do know now that we had a sacramental marriage that united us and I do love him in THAT way, as the person I was united with, for better or worse.
NoLonger, I'm expecting to learn that my husband also had something going on in his brain that will explain things to me. I tried a number of times to get medical explanations but ran into the strangest obstacles each time (One doctor pooh pooh'd me and asked my husband if maybe the trouble was that he'd been married too long? in front of me!!).
I'm sorry both of you struggled with your husbands' failings that made life difficult. It's a burden, to be sure!!
Tom was the baby in his family and his mother doted on him. When he got sick he acted like I should be his mother and he shouldn't have to do anything on his own, I should baby him like his Mom did. I didn't mind helping him, but when he wanted to do things that he was perfectly capable of doing. He could call on his phone to talk to people but couldn't call in his own prescription because his fingers were to big to dial. Silly nonsense stuff like that.
When we were first married, we were both working full time jobs, I did the housework, laundry, supper, dishes and took care of the yard work. When I made him pay bills instead of having the guys over for a beer, he got made an moved home to Mommy, we had been married 3 months.
Since 2011 I was not treated as a wife or partner, he treated everyone nicer than he did me. It got to the point where when we went places and people asked if I was his wife, I'd say "I'm just the driver".
I miss him, boy do I miss him. At lest I could talk to him and he would help me figure out what I needed to do at the time. I think I really miss how our life would have been if he hadn't gotten sick at least in my mind that's how it would have been. Well life is what it is now, no sense in wishing how it could have been.
On a different note, I had fish sticks for supper tonight, plain old Gorton's fish sticks. Haven't had them since before I got married. He didn't eat fish, so I never had then again because it would make the house smell. I'm taking it one day, one fish stick at a time.
This is exactly what I'm talking about -- that bond which transcends all of the bad stuff. My husband was a real Peter Pan. He wasn't interested in a career, he just wanted to have fun. He used to say when we were first dating that I bring the structure to our relationship and he brings the Slack. I had literally given up on ever meeting anyone nice the day before I met him through a friend. There were three things that drew me to him: 1) We both had the same weird pop culture references, so we were weird in the same way; 2) he never played games. He would ask me out and then before I'd get on the train home he'd set up our next date; and 3) he was drop-dead gorgeous and did NOT know it.
When I think of the things I tolerated because I loved him -- drugs in the early days (including when he got busted for pot), having NO help with housework at all, some friends who were less than savory...it's kind of amazing. Then he decided to pull himself together and grow up. He told me right after he got sick, when he was so frustrated that his career seemed to be over, that he decided to get a career because he wanted to be the man I deserved. He never realized that the one I chose, and the one I broke for a while with my own mother to be with, was the happy-go-lucky one who balanced my own "the wolf is at the door" mindset. We did balance each other well, but later on when he had bouts of depression and became unable to hold down a job for more than a year, and after he had an emotional affair because I was finishing grad school and working full-time and he felt neglected but was unable to ask ME for what he needed, my need to be responsible didn't work so well and I would have liked him to step up to the plate.
When I got laid off in 2008, he had a job he was content with (his last fill-time permanent job) and he told my sister that we would be OK beacuse he had a good job now. He was proud of that. But by 2011 he got let go of that one and never recovered emotionally.
Fish sticks -- In the weeks after my husband died I made all the things I loved but had never made because he didn't like them. I made lamb chops. I made my mother's old braised beef and lima beans recipe that had been my favorite when I was a child. I don't know if I was expressing anger at him for dying by making these recipes or if I was reclaiming my childhood or what. But I found comfort in them.
This is one of the things I love about this group- I see so many things people post and realize they apply to me, and it always makes me think!
Bergen, I don't think it's anger that makes you cook stuff your DH didn't like. We all make compromises in a healthy marriage to accommodate the tastes of our spouses. Since DH died my TV/Netflix viewing habits have totally changed. I enjoyed what we watched together, and especially liked commenting on everything with DH, but now I watch things that didn't interest him at all, or that he couldn't follow because even with hearing aids, soft voices and accents were hard to understand. The refrigerator and the pantry have far fewer processed foods, less meat and potatoes, more fruits and veggies. My next two major trips are to warm climates- DH didn't tolerate hot weather well. I see these changes we make post-widowhood not as any act of rebellion against a beloved spouse, but as a healthy focus on what YOU enjoy as you move forward.
GrandmaH, that was one of my strongest feelings right after my husband died... how little everything really means in the end. All the spats, the struggles and worries, are just gone. That phrase: you can't take it with you; that applies to everything. Material stuff and emotional stuff. It's just gone. Done. It sort of puts the world into perspective.