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cushty1, first, my condolences. It is good that you are here and please read thru our stories and write what you want to - it may help you and will likely help others. What you are feeling and experiencing is totally normal (but horrible). Right now you may be in a fog of uncertainty. I found, in retrospect, that it is there to protect our minds from reality. If you don't have to, don't push it away. My wife and I were together for 32 years - she had a sudden heart event and was gone in an instant while our adult children did CPR and I called 911. There was nothing to be done. It has now been 2.5  years. The intensity of the pain and anguish has lessened and there are times where I experience happiness. You will get there too - but it may be a long time. Please reach out to your friends and family and other support systems you have. I found, as many of have, that most people have no idea how to respond to death. I had to ask people very directly for help. Sometimes I just needed someone to sit with me or listen to me. 

I've mentioned before but it bears repeating. When our spouse is lost to us it is much more than the loss of one person. I see it as the loss of 2/3 of who I was: Me, her and our relationship. I'm still here but she is not and our relationship is not. 

Your feelings of not wanting to make it thru the day are totally normal. Yesterday, even after 2.5 years, I fell into a funk for several hours where I was a limp noodle with zero force of will. I've learned to ride these periods out because based on my experience, I know they will pass. Sometimes I just find some meaningless task to do.

I hope you find peace soon. 

My condolences to you Cushty. I know exactly how you feel! My husband, Phil, passed away in March 2017, seven weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My whole world fell apart then and also my two children’s. Phil was only 56 and we had been married for 36 years. We were so happy as a family and enjoyed going on holiday together. I too felt like I wanted to be with Phil and that I wouldn’t be able to get through the day. I used to wake up crying, go to bed crying and also a lot of the time in between. I thought that life will never be the same again and it won’t. You ask whether you will ever feel happy and normal again? I am feeling more ‘normal’ now, after 15 months but I will never be happy again. How could I be without Phil? We were just about to start enjoying our retirement, going on breaks in the UK and more holidays abroad. I feel like life is nothing without Phil but I have our son, aged 32, who has Aspergers Syndrome,and our daughter, aged 28, to think about. We look after each other and my daughter, Sammi, still lives with me so we have been together all the time. She had to give up her job as a graphic designer when her Dad passed away and is only now feeling able to start looking for work again.

it will be very hard for you. I totally understand how you feel. Do you have family and friends to help you through this? I have a few really good friends but my husband’s family were pushing us to ‘move on’ after 8 weeks so we have had to sever all ties with them. I could not believe how they could not support us through this terrible time.

it is still very early days for you but I hope you find comfort from friends you make on this site. Xx

Vanda,

Bless you!! Your response to me touched my heart. Isn't cancer an evil thing? It is so horrid. It destroyed both our lives. We fight, yet are helpless against it. It is do devastating. We fought as best we could but it would not be denied. It crushed our hopes and dreams. How I despise it!! It took my love away and left me nothing but pain and emptiness. I pray for the day when it is no longer a death sentence for those we love. 

I know how you feel too well about the callousness of those we most need to comfort us. I had a family member, very close, tell me to "quit blubbering" when she came to visit me  5 weeks after my husband had passed. She reminded me that my life with him was not perfect and I occasionally complained. Of course I did! That happens in marriage. That does not diminish our relationship or the power of love.She also hid all my pictures of him and us I had put out. When she returned home she texted me to keep the pictures put away. They are again taking pride of place throughout my house. People just don't understand that you can't move on without a glance back (so many glances). They are our beloved ones and you can't wipe away a lifetime spent together.  It is confounding  how people can leave you gutted and despairing when you're the most vulnerable. 

Just getting through each day is an ordeal. I never knew I could cry so much and so often. I have never felt such pain. When will it end?

I am happy that you have found some degree of normalcy. I understand how happiness would be elusive. Is that something that has to be redefined in our lives? How do we find it without our love's heart? You are fortunate in your children; they are a blessing! 

I am not from this area so my family is dispersed. I have friends who have been kind and helpful. My husband's 2 daughters have not spoken to me since the funeral. We never had a strong relationship so that is not a loss. It is sad for them because I would love to share memories of their father.

Please continue to contact me if you would like. I am happy to talk with you. Some of our best times were spent on vacation in the UK. I have wonderful memories. We had planned a trip to Wales. Alas, that dream will never be. 

I do want to make friends here; I want to grow and heal. I joined so that I could meet others who understand the pain and struggle we have to endure. I hope to find others to share the journey and to find a measure of peace together.

Take care and many blessings,

Best,

Angel

Totally apropos of nothing, I chose cushty1 as my screen name due to our vacation in Scotland. My husband was watching tv and discovered Only Fools and Horses. We have had a love affair with Del Boy and company since then. Again, my husband's good taste comes through in my choice of name. Thanks for allowing me to express myself here.

Angel:  I'm sorry that you are finding the cold, hard truth -- that the people who are supposed to care for us the most have no patience for normal grief.  And if you had a marriage that was often, or even sometimes, troubled, they REALLY have no patience.  If you click on my posting history, you can see a LOT of stuff I've written about mine.  I even created a thread early on asking if I was the only one whose marriage wasn't moonbeams and roses all the time.  And a lot of people came out of the woodwork.

What people who have not lost a spouse don't understand is that there is a bond that transcends all those times when you feel you cannot stand another day with your spouse.  It is only after they are gone that you realize this sometimes.  My sister still doesn't get it.  By the time my husband got sick, I was wretchedly unhappy.  I did not want to leave.  I made a lot of noise about divorce but it was never what I wanted.  I just wanted things to be better but he would hear nothing from me that I wasn't 100% happy all the time.  So I had to hold it in, because "I'm unhappy...something has to change" was interpreted by him as "I'm leaving" -- and then he would fly into a rage at me and a little more of my soul would be shredded.

And yet, when he got sick, I would have moved heaven and earth to get him the care to make him recover.  

Just because someone is your soulmate doesn't mean you are ecstatic all the time.

In answer to your question, yes it is possible to be happy again, or at least contented.  And yes, it has to be redefined.  For me it was found in moving away, buying a house I loved instead of one that always needed updating, in making new friends.  I don't know how old you are, but I am 63 and "meeting someone else" is not on my radar, and is not even something that interests me.

My own timetable was as follows:

Months 1-9:  Numb, sometimes even euphoric at not having to walk on eggshells anymore.

Months 10-24:  Horrible.  Terrible, awful grief.  Complete and utter lack of focus (which has never returned and resulted in me retiring from my job early).  Only could remember the last six months; could not recall good times.  I relied on my widows and widowers social group to get through it, because by that time no one wants to hear about your grief.

Months 24-36:  New and developing normal.  I moved in month 26.  Good times memories started to come back which caused tears.

Months 36-48:  New life is in full swing.  Contentment.  Memories of good times and funny things no longer so painful.  Gratitude for what I had.  Thoughts of husband are not constant.  Life feels normal; my married life feels as much like it was someone else's life as my single life did when I was married.  This is its own set of baggage.

From what I understand, this is pretty typical.

Thanks for you insight. I am experiencing much of what you are. You're right -- people just lose patience and don't want to hear it anymore. It seems just when you need people the most to help you through, they turn away. It is hard to do this yourself. I am grateful for people like you how share what it's really like and are open about your experiences. I think your timetable makes sense for me too. It is a struggle and I try to find balance. Happiness is beyond my reach. I just try to get through each day. Your comment about gratitude is key for me. I try to have that as my focus when I spiral. I had a mostly happy life with him and I am grateful for that.

Thanks for being real and not sugarcoating what real relationships are like. Nothing is perfect, especially people. We learn to adapt and accept. Doesn't mean we don't love or have deep feelings. We just know that what we have is special and worth fighting for and now longing for.

Best,

cushty1

Thank you for your kind response. I am sorry for your loss and I fully understand the sense of not being completely whole. I have never in my life wanted to not be on this Earth until now and it scares me that I feel this way. My husband took care of everything and I am at loss at what to do. I was safe, loved, and protected. I now have nothing. My reason for love and living is gone. I do know what you mean about losing 2/3 of what you had and try to figure out what the heck that means. I was always a happy joyful person full of life and now I feel the life is sucked out of me and I understand where you're coming from. I feel like a zombie just walking this Earth lost confused without any sense of who or what I am anymore. It's nice to know that there other people who've gone through this and head there is hope for me because I need help right now. I wish you the best I thank you for your kindness. Bless you on your journey

cushty, I so feel for you all our feelings are different but the hurt is just so bad. I lost my Helen 30th June 2017, the past 2 weeks up to that milestone (not anniversary - thats not the word) has been so bad, just remembering those last 2 weeks before Helen was taken has  just been so bad. But now past that milestone I am not "better" just different and a little more comfortable.  When I lost Helen I could not imagine not going on without her but you just have to, no way I was going to pour more grief onto our 2 boys - but it is hard - just so hard. But I have so much great support from family and friends and I think there is a future - not the one I wanted - but a future that Helen would want me to have. 

Thank you for your kind response. I understand your feelings about milestone vs anniversary. Such a difference in what that means to us!! That date is one we are forced to acknowledge, not celebrate. We honor and celebrate the person, the life we had together, our memories. We don't celebrate the date that changed our lives forever. I am glad you have found comfort as time has passed.  I wish you peace and a blessed future. You are in my prayers.

Angel

Hi all,

I lost my wife 17 days ago to complications from cirrhosis of the liver after a two month stay in ICU.  We were just running through our lives until one morning, she complained of back and chest pains. Went to the emergency room, then to icu, where we experienced complication after complication until the night they told me there was nothing more they could do. Looking back there were so many signs that I missed. Hindsight, right?    

She was my light. This little girl with a giant voice and an even bigger heart.  She was everything to me and without her, I'm lost.

I have no idea what to do now. I'm finding myself reaching for something that is no longer there. I figured I'd start by reaching out and saying hi.

Bless you! So sorry for you loss. So sudden and painful. I know how you feel about being lost.  I am there now too. The light has gone out in my life also. I also feel like I should've read my husband's pain and realized how sick he was.I felt like I should've been paying better attention and been more focused on him. How are we to know? We can only love and honor those we hold most dear. 

I am in the same place you are. It is not something we expected or know how to cope with, I hope that we can go on this journey together.

I hope you find some degree of comfort and peace. 

Blessings.

cushty1

 

Cushty1,

I thought I would send a few words to give you a different perspective on what you are going through.  As much as you can you need to be able to hang on to those people that are willing to support and help you.  I lost my wife in January 2017 so I am a good bit further into this journey than you. The main layers of support that I have come either from this group or a Grief Share program that I went through earlier last year.  Most of the people that I know have never been through this so they simply don't know how to help and over time give up trying.  Therefore, I have a lot of lonely and empty times by myself which gives me much time to reflect on all of this.  My wife's death was not supposed to happen, according to the doctors, and came extremely suddenly.  I also lost my mom in February of this year so I have been through a good bit.  At this point I am 63 and really can not fathom having another in my life.  As you would imagine none of this is easy but the hardest parts seem to be when first waking up in the morning and when it is time to go to sleep.  If anything that I have said strikes a cord with you I would be happy to discuss this further,

Larry

Wow! You have had your fill of loss!! I appreciate your input. I do agree that many don't know what to say and are often awkward. They are there at the beginning, but after awhile no one wants to hear it anymore. This doesn't end at their schedule. It seems to last forever. And I completely agree the hardest times are bedtime and waking. How awful those times are!! I dread going to bed and have such difficulty getting out of bed.The lonely and empty times are what cut me. The tv and my dog are my constant companions now that I have lost my love.

I look forward to more conversations with you and others. Your kindness and openness are so appreciated.

Best,

cushty1

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