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Shoosie2 others have expressed some of my feelings. HelensRay, TCHA, may be others I missed.

I was discussing such regrets, with my counselor this week. That I am regretful, even guilty, we would sometimes fight, exchange words that we'd have to apologize. I'm blaming my Italian and his German nature, in sometimes allowing such ugly moments in our life.

When I think back over 47 years, better, more loving, even funny downright stomach-hurt-so-much laughing moments we had together. Those are the moments I want to come more, and take up more space in my mind and heart than the regretful times. There were MORE of those.

My counselor, whose husband died after 47 years of marriage also, told me, "we can't know at the time, what we don't know." We don't know how regrets and/or guilt might affect us. 

We all can always be better. And we're still here to be able to take that wisdom to the rest of our lives. 

I have so many grief waves, sobbing moments, every day still. I tell myself it's only been 6 months and to be easy on myself.

Love and {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}

I think it's important for us to bring our "stories of regret" public.  When I first started posting here, it seemed that everyone else's marriage but mine was decades of nonstop unadulterated bliss.  Then I started a thread about my own situation, and I could practically feel everyone's relief that they weren't the only one.

My husband was prone to depression the whole time we were together.   In the beginning, he prided himself on "extending adolescence beyond where anyone had before."  I was a serious, relentlessly practical person, and we complemented each other well.  Then he decided he wanted a career in IT instead of just a job, and that was where the problems started.  Oh, he succeeded, becoming a network administrator with every certification in the book.  And he was a very good one, too.  But as time went on, the industry changed with the development of "server farms", so the small companies he worked for now outsourced their computing infrastructure to these companies.  Or, he'd get a job in a company where the network was held together with Elmer's and baling wire, he'd rip it all out, put in all new wiring and servers and the company would say "It's running fine now, what do we need you for?"

Then, over time, he seemed to lose any ability he had to navigate office politics.  I now know that he'd had a series of mini-strokes that he either wasn't aware of or didn't tell me about.  The net result was that he kept getting fired over and over and over again.  I never knew from one day to the next when would be the day he'd be out of work again.

Over time (about a decade), this really started to wear on me.  For a long time, I had jobs where I didn't have a lot of work but was getting paid pretty well, we lived frugally, and we managed.  But in 2008 I was laid off from one, and got a job that I had to learn everything from the ground up, in a new industry that is infamous for working people to exhaustion.  And he really went into a tailspin, for a number of reasons.  One was that I got laid off, had another job within a month that paid more.  Another was that I got good raises, promotions, and a bonus every year.  He'd never minded me being the primary breadwinner, but as his career fell apart and mine grew, I think he had issues with that.  Meanwhile, I was 53 already when I got the job, and ended up working 50, 60, 70 hour weeks pretty much nonstop.  My stress with the job was off the charts.  I know I was neglecting him; our together time was limited to dinners out and sitting with him while he watched TV but I was buried in my laptop working.  He was fired from his last full-time job in 2011 and for the next two years, it was a nightmare of scrambling from one short-term contract gig to another, being depressed pretty much all the time.

By the time he got his cancer diagnosis, the needle indicator of my emotional gas tank was pointing to "E" and the warning lights were on.  I'd often resorted to crunching numbers to see how badly I'd get clobbered if I left.  Answer:  badly.  And I really didn't WANT to leave him, I wanted things to be better but every time I expressed any kind of unhappiness at all, what he HEARD was "I'm leaving" and then he'd fly into a rage and I'm the one who would end up crying and suicidal.

But when he got cancer and only wanted to go to an assisted suicide state and die, I moved heaven and earth to get him to the doctors who would treat him and give him hope.  There was a brief time in the beginning when he really opened up to me for the first time about his feelings, about how bad his childhood was, and for a time I really felt we might have a new start.  Then he closed up again, his treatment involved steroids, and he started getting snappish with me about everything.  Meanwhile, even though they let me work remotely on chemo days (I had a cousin who sat with him on the days I had to go to the office), I was still putting in about 55 hours a week.  

Then, after his brain issues were diagnosed and he'd had surgery for that, he was feeling hopeful about the future for the first time.  And once again, treated me like furniture.  Everything I'd done in the previous five months was forgotten.  For him, it was all about getting back into the job market, even though we no longer needed his income.  I told him, "Just stop.   Consider yourself retired.  Go enroll at community college.  You want to take mandarin Chinese?  Do it.  Philosophy?  Do it.  Music?  Do it."  But there we were and I knew nothing was going to change.

Then I woke up one morning and he'd had a stroke during the night.  It was the day after our 27th anniversary.  I called the ambulance and they took him to the hospital, where they proceeded to let him have seizures for 36 hours before I got them to intubate/sedate him after his neurosurgeon at a hospital in NYC got livid when I told him what was going on.  We had him transferred, and he had two more strokes and they could not wean him off the seizure drugs.  It was clear after two weeks that nobody was home in there anymore and I authorized removing the ventilator.

Now think about what it's been like for 4+ years.  I actually had a colleague say to me "Well your life is going to be much easier now."  and the damnedable thing about it is that it's true.  I hate that it's true, but it's true.  It was so hard and I was so empty, and no matter how many people told me, including his oldest friend, that I was the best thing that happened to me, or how much the lawyer who did his will told me how much he loved me for being so good to him, I still feel every single day like I failed him in so many ways.  I don't know why I didn't have more emotional resource to give him.  I don't know why I couldn't step up to the plate and be enough of a person on my own to not be affected when he would ignore what I said, or forget things that needed to be done, or just didn't want to help out.  I don't know why I couldn't not take it personally even when I knew it was the prednisone talking.  but I didn't, and I couldn't, and no matter how good my life is now, I live with guilt every single damn day.

NoLongerinBergenJC, your posts always resonate with me. I don't have time to post what I'd like right now and I hope to come back to it, but wanted to just say that while our situations are different in many respects, there are similarities and I understand that hold that guilt has~ guilt for all of it: the not being  ~~~ enough, the final decisions, so much of it.  I get the feeling our brains work in similar ways, taking responsibility well beyond what is ours. I am actively pondering it and trying to adjust my way of thinking because it's truly debilitating. 

Hi My Name Is Crystal, I Go By Crissy, I Lost My Significant Other On: 1/1/2018. It Was Completely Unexpected As Well As He Had Just Been Released From The State Prison. He Was Only Free For About 2 days Before He Passed. I Am Having An Extremely Hard Time Managing. I Found This Site Looking Up How I Could Get Some Help For My Situation. Figured It Wouldnt Hurt To Try.

Crissy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so raw and new, and completely unexpected! Of course you are having a hard time managing! I'm glad you found this site! People here understand...we all had too short a time with our loved ones, whether we had 2 years or 40. Please feel free to join us in chat, in a group, or on any questions in the forum that you find interesting. Or just read and get advice that way. I also clicked on your profile and noticed you're in Colorado. So am I! I live in Denver! Would be glad to direct you to some in-person supports or to meet in person for coffee some day. The best I know of is the HeartLight Center (heartlightcenter.org) Check it out.

(((hugs)))


Debbie

So sorry Chrissy. We are all here for you and know what it is like as we have all had similar experiences.Feel free to say anything you like to help you on the path to healing. 

Crystal, (MsCrissy67) I am so sorry for your loss. Here we know, as best anyone, the pain and anguish of what you feel. My husband of 47 years, Marty, died unexpectedly: 8/28/2017. We were planning a return from the hospital exploring rehabs with the discharge social worker. Then suddenly, he went back to intensive cardiac care unit. Everything escalated. Doctors still gave us hope until that last day. I'll never know why.

My mother died 2 weeks after him. She was in late stage alzheimers which progressed quickly. In 9 months my dad, my husband and my mom, all died. I've been thanking mom lately, because knowing her, I believe she tried to distract me from what would be enormous anguish. I still find myself in pain every morning, though out the day, and when I go to bed.

I continue with a grief counselor for 6 months. I've been through 3 grief/bereavement groups, one through our local hospice where he never even spent time. I've become a little active in the extensions of those groups with activities such as group walks, lunches, dinners, etc

I hope you'll check in your community for the support you need.

{{{HUGS}}}

My name is Susan. I lost my John in July, 2013. I am sorry to say that it doesn't get easier, just different. Valentine's Day is hard, as is his birthday in March, our anniversary in May, my birthday and the holidays. I finally decided to move, so here I am on my 8-1/2 acres in Republic, WA. I sold my childhood home to a developer; it has since been torn down and I am trying to start a new life. If I had had family, I would have tried to stay, but it didn't work out. John and I had always been loners. Unfortunately, we never had friends, just each other.

I am sorry for your loss Susan. And I am sorry to hear that it doesn't get any easier.  :(

So here we go.  My husband passed away in June 2017.  We were married for 34 years and have two children ages 31 and 29.  My husband passed away on a business trip in Chicago.  He had a heart attack in a hotel room, found by a chamber maid doing a room check when he failed to check out.  He was due home the day they found him.  He was packed, dressed and ready to go the airport to catch his flight.  He never made the flight and he never made it home.  He was 60 years old.  My daughter who lives 3000 miles away was 5 months pregnant with twin boys at the time of his death.  These are our first grandchildren, who he never go to see.  

My husband planned on working 4 more years and then retiring.  We had plans and both worked very hard to be ready for retirement. He will never see the fruits of all his hard work.

I am at month 9 of widowhood.  I see a grief counselor and according to her the fact that I am finding it worse as the months go on is very typical.  All the hub bub of finances, housing etc is over and this new reality is really settling in.

I do not have any family in my area.  My son lives 2 hours away and again, by daughter and the grandchildren are across the country.  I do try to keep connected with friends, but most of my friends have local family.  The weekends are the worst.  Some people reach out to me but for the most part I could sit alone for many days in a row, if I don't reach out the them.  Which I find is fine really.  I don't mind being alone, as my husband was always a business traveler, and not coming home every night expecting dinner on the table.  But this is different.  A different kind of loneliness.  Sometimes I am afraid I will die of loneliness and I have to snap myself out of it.

I don't know what I can expect of my children moving forward.  I am comfortable in my own home.  It's manageable, but the taxes are extremely high.  Its a nice home, in a nice safe neighborhood in a area where I do have a support system.  I can take walks and am close to services, so it isn't horrible or remote.  I have friends who are around, but they are friends and I do have my own share of health issues so I sometimes feel like I am walking a tightrope.  The weather is warm half the year.  The winters (like this one) can be long and arduous.  

So thank you for adding me.  I have yet to navigate this site and see what everything is all about.  Today isn't a great day.  I really miss my husband and my life with him.

EllenJ - My condolences. Although your reason for joining is terrible, know that this is a good forum for expressing yourself and for finding an online community of people who are on very similar paths. My wife died suddenly about 2.5 years ago. Your sentiments that you miss him and your life with him resonate with me. My wife and I had raised our children to young adulthood and had weathered ups and downs in a long marriage. The next chapter was right there. Then she died. I hope you are able to find some peace by participating here. 

Thank you.  I hope so too. I never ever thought I would find myself in this position, and honestly I still can't believe it in many ways.

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