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Kelly,

I fully understand all that you are going through and I admire your determination to not second guess or what if this over and over.  I know how easy that is to do.  Before I went through this I had never even heard of sepsis.  In fact it was never mentioned to us until the night that we arrived at the hospital and was told what was going on.  When she arrived at the hospital and took her blood pressure it was 48 over 15. 

I read what you said about being hopeful of finding love again.  If that is what you desire, I hope that it works out for you.  Like you, I could not imagine going through this a second time.

Larry

Larry,

Sepsis seems more common than I could have ever imagined and often deadly. More people die from sepsis than prostate cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS combined. However, it can be misinterpreted as other ailments, and many doctors are not always in tune that it is developing. And in my husband's case, It all happened very quickly. His heart stopped again, but they were able to revive him and keep him alive through the night and next day. My girls were not in town yet, and I felt it was important that they get to see him to say goodbye. We were all together when they took him off life support. I took a picture of him shortly before, hooked up on all of the machines,  and I am glad I did. I look at it often. I don't know why, but it helps me realize that it actually happened, that he actually died. 

As for loving again, you know that it is said when you have had the best, forget the rest. My husband set high standards and loved me more than anything. I know the consequence of deep love can often be immense grief, and my heart has a lot of healing to do, but I don't want to shut that door forever if someone chooses to peek in. I'm fairly young and my husband would want me to stay open to happiness and a life beyond loss. When I am ready to live again, I just want life to be there with open arms - no matter what it has in store for me. I feel alone...a lot, I worry...a lot, but I am also trying to maintain a positive attitude.

That is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do - stay positive while grief keeps smacking me in the face. 

Kelly,

Thanks for writing back to me.  As opposed to you I do not have much of a support group.  There is no one left that knew my wife and I as a couple that I talk to more than once a month.  The vast majority of my support comes through this group.  Just for those of you that don't know that is a hard way to play this game.  My wife had heart restarted twice during the process and her chest really paid the price for that.  I saw her body the evening before we had the family visitation the following day.  Her casket was only opened for the immediate family to see her.  For some of those that had not seen her while she was sick, they said had they not known who she was, they would not have recognized her.  This disease took a massive toll on her body.  Yet during it all I only heard her cry one time and one time she asked me if she could scream.  I told her to go for it. A few days before I saw in a text she sent to her brother that she told him she was scared.  But through it all she remained so upbeat.  She made it to where we laughed a lot and we even had talked about an early vacation this year when she caught better. 

We met later in life.  We met when we were just past 40 and she brought me love like I had never known.  Next month would have been our 20th wedding anniversary and I would have done something big for that one.  We honestly believed, due to family history on both sides that we would make 50.  Although it was a second marriage for both of us it was something supernatural.  We truly felt like newlyweds for the entire time.  Unlike you, for I am several years older than you, I am done.  I would like to meet a friend that I could do the dinner and maybe an occasional trip with but other than that I will ride this thing to the end by myself.  Years ago my wife once said to me that I know you don't like being alone so if anything ever happens to me I know you will be with another.  She was half right, I truly dislike being alone but there will never be another. 

I agree you are very positive in the way that you are handling all of this and I hope only the best for you from here on.

Larry

Hello Everyone,

I lost my wife to Breast Cancer 5 short weeks ago, she was just 46. We started dating in our senior year of High School and spent nearly 30 years together. This September we would have been married 20 years. We have two children, a young woman who is 17 and a young man who is 14 ("girl" and "boy" labels just don't fit who they are now).

My wife chose to keep her battle with cancer private and only allowed myself and her sister to know until close to the end. At no time did she ever give up or allow herself or anyone around her to believe she was going to die. Unfortunately, this left most of us very unprepared to deal with the aftermath and those outside our immediate circle were very shocked by her passing.

She was the main income earner. I am still in the phase where I am trying to get accounts converted/closed and figure out how I am going to support the family. My brain is in such a fog I can't imagine interviewing for a job or functioning at a very high level when I find one.

I am looking for peers who know where I am coming from, this seems like a good place to get that support.

Edit: Typo

Kawboy,

I understand exactly what you are saying.  I lost my wife on January 20th to a colon infection that spread to other organs and ultimately dropped her blood pressure so low that it stopped her heart.  During those last few weeks when I was have to assist her greatly in her daily functions, she would tell everyone that inquired that she was fine.  In dealing with the doctors we were led to believe that in the long run that things were going to get better so of course we believed that way.  On the other side I was telling people that while we believed in recovery that this was going to be a long process and those that lived close to us needed to come and visit with her.  Of all of those that lived close and could have easily have come to visit her the only one that came was her oldest sister.  Her disease took a great toll on her body and those that had not seen in the past 6 months were surprised when they saw her during the family visitation. 

I am now 10 days away from 6 months and I wish I could tell you that this is all going to get better soon, but this is a drawn out process and you have to work through it. 

I also know the feeling of being so unprepared for the end to come.  In the span of 30 seconds I went from fully believing in eventual recovery to the end. I saw her take her last breath, lose all the color out of her face and totally not know what to do.  At this point I had 911 on the phone and he was telling me that I had to do CPR until the paramedics could get here.  Once they arrived they were able to get her heart restarted and off to the hospital we went. As bad as all of this was I still believed because they had gotten her heart restarted that things were going to be ok.  When we got to the hospital they took me to a private waiting room and they sent a lady from the hospital to go in there and sit with me.  I was in such a state of shock that I remember asking that lady if she thought that I would be able to take her back home that night.  She looked at me and said I do not ever recall anyone coming in this condition that was able to go home that same night.  After about 3 hours of working with her the doctors came and talked to me and said they thought we should give up.  But I said not we are going to give this until 9 in the morning to see if she can be saved.  At 9 the next morning the doctors told me that her heart had stopped for the second time since she had been at the hospital and they asked me if I wanted her heart restarted again.  I said no and once they disconnected the life support it was all over. 

She had just turned 64 in December and I am left here trying to determine how I am to put together my new life. 

I sure do not envy you have to try to do interviews and develop a new work career with all that you are going through.  How are the children doing? 

Should you like to discuss this any more with me, I will be happy to offer any assistance that I can.

Larry

Hello,

My name is Leslie in and I live in Little Rock.  My husband of 25 years passed away suddenly 5 years ago of an undiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism at age 52. He had flown the week before, didn't feel well, went to the doctor who said he was "fine" sent him home and he passed away less than 24 hours later.

Even though I worked part-time as a Technical Writer, he was a journalist and made more money than me. Our two daughters at the time were only 15 & 19 years old. The oldest one had just completed her first year of college and didn't qualify for Social Security but our youngest daughter did. A lady from the Social Security office called me a few days after he died and she I received her first check a few weeks later.

If you have any friends who are lawyers, CPA's, or financial planners, you might ask them to help you through this difficult time.

I'll be thinking of you and your family.

Leslie

Leslie,

Thank you for your words of wisdom.  From the sound of your post it sounds as though you have been able to deal with all of this and make take the steps to lead you forward.  It is so nice of you to offer support to us in the early stages of dealing with all of this.

Larry

Larry,

Thanks for the reply! I'm here anytime to help and offer support. I remember reading posts in my "early days" of people who were five years and more out, and I couldn't even imagine that!

I read something today about after a loss like this, you don't 'move on', you 'move forward'. I've been trying to do that ever since my husband died suddenly. It's been a series of highs (watching my oldest daughter graduated from college in 2015 and move to Boston while my youngest daughter graduated from high school the same year and is now a junior in college, taking early retirement from my job and going to school at USC in LA last summer) and lows (financial issues, having to sell our family home, health concerns, and still dealing with my late husband's family over an education trust fund for my daughters'). 

I remember one time I thought "what part of I don't want to fill out another form do you not understand?!" 

I hope you have a good week!

Leslie

Leslie,

While I am much fresher to this situation than you, I will be at 6 months on Thursday, I have found this ordeal to be very hard to go through.  I went from what I thought was a process of recovery to watching her take her last breath in a period of 30 seconds.  What has made this extremely difficult for me has been the lack of support from family and friends.  I was told on the day of the funeral service that we would always remain family.  I guess I didn't know what that meant.  I have only heard from one of her brothers and sisters in the past 3 months. 

You seem to be doing well and for that you should be congratulated.  I am sorry to hear about your health concerns, but taking early retirement and attending classes are truly accomplishments that should how strong you are. 

I always find in refreshing to hear from people farther down the trail and their insight can help as we take those steps.

Larry

Thanks Leslie!  

I wish Social Security was a cooperative with me, I can't get an appointment for two months. I'm going to go the the local office and "take a number". I don't have any friends that are those types of professionals but did get several recommendations. I meet with a lawyer Friday.

You should be able to get good results from just going to SS.  I went there the Monday before Thanksgiving and they had signs up saying you might want to go on-line because it would be a short, busy week in the office.  I waited and the wait wasn't long.  The on-line forms wanted all kinds of details about my late husband's two previous marriages and I knew very little (had met both of his ex-wives but the marriages were a long time ago and his second wife was now deceased). The woman at the desk was helpful and knowledgeable and the whole thing took less time than I expected.

Your description of your wife's breathing is SO familiar; my husband Ron was under hospice care and I woke for some reason (whatever it was I'm grateful) at 4:45 AM and went to check on him.  His eyes were half-open and his breathing was shallow.  I never did get back to sleep; gave him some of the meds prescribed to curb the bad terminal agitation he'd been having (via eyedropper), read aloud from the Book of Common Prayer to him, and sat down and write his obituary.  He was gone by 7 AM.  It was the peaceful end we both wanted.

You're in the right place.  The one thing I cam tell you is that we're all grieving differently and there's no "right" way to do it.

Thanks for sharing Larry, I had a similar experience at the time of her passing.

My wife had been home from the hospital for one week and we were sleeping in the living room (she in a recliner) because she was too weak to go up the stairs to our bedroom. I woke inexplicably at 4:00 am and noticed her breathing was very raspy and shallow. I tried to rouse her to get her to cough and take some deep breaths but she was unconscious. Like you, I called 911 and did CPR compressions until the EMT's arrived. After 3 rounds of efforts by the EMTs (a vision I will never get out of my head) they pronounced her dead. In truth, I think she was gone before they got there but not before I was with her. I tell myself that her soul reached out to me to say goodbye. 

P.S. The kids are doing OK. My daughter is incredibly strong just like her Mother. My son was already a withdrawn teenager and I worry about him the most. We are all going to do therapy but I am still trying to get insurance straightened out.

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