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hazydays2 we share some common situations - sudden loss, sepsis and in the end, failing liver. This is a caring and supportive community.

Hi Hazydays. I am so sorry for your loss. Your story rang true with me. My husband died last year in March from pancreatic cancer which had spread to his liver. Phil had no chance of treatment as it was terminal. From diagnosis to Phil passing away was only seven weeks! I feel for you and hopefully, on this site, we can all support one another. By the way, what part of the UK are you originally from? X

Hello everyone-

Like all the other members, we don't want to be in the position we find ourselves in- that of being without our other half. My other half, Rick, escaped his pain on December 20, 2017. He'd only gotten diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer the end of August. Incurable, inoperable but with chemo and Keytrudra, we'd hoped to at least manage this. At least that's what we hoped at the beginning. But things went poorly after his second round of chemo. They did his labs 10 days before he died, so he must have been strong enough to have been given his 3rd round, but his body just crashed. No white cells left and no platelets. He passed within one hour from the time the ambulance got to us (1 mile from the hospital) and they were working on him in the ER. I am just to grateful that he's out of pain, which was getting pretty bad. He knew he was dying days before. I just couldn't accept what I knew, too. I remember walking out of the ER, saying out loud to myself, 'now I'm a widow'.  And while I had a few months to do the anticipatory grieving, it was still such an earth-moving shock to me.

We'd met 18 years ago on an online penpal site. No dating for him or me, since we'd had enough with our respective ex'es. He was a 47 year old Brit, and I was a 44 year old returning college student in California. He invited me to the UK for Christmas break in 2000, and we were amazed and shocked at how perfect we were for each other- He proposed before I headed back to CA, and I moved to the UK in June of 2001 and we married that July. We only ever had one argument in the entire marriage- we were just so happy to be together. My mother has started her  long journey into Alzheimers 4 years later, and we realized that we'd have to move to California to support her. I was telling my story to a long-time acquaintance that I've just gotten together with again after 20 years. She said 'you know, that is best fairy-tale relationship I've ever heard of- you two were so lucky to find each other!"

Like we didn't know that. Now, every day is getting a bit easier. The past year has been one I never would wish on my worst enemy. My mother passed Thanksgiving 2016, I had to put down 2 of our old St. Bernards and our old cat we'd brought back from the UK, then Rick- all in the span of one year. Enough already. Now, somehow, I need to find a purpose for my life. I had tried to keep our artisan preserve and marmalade business going, but I just became so worn out, that I had to give that up. One way or another, I will NOT allow this grief to rule my life. I have given into it for 2 months, and that's not going to stop for awhile, I know. But I am feeling stronger, a bit more, every day. I still keep in touch with my stepdaughter in the UK and with my stepson here in CA. The second worst thing will be this coming October when my stepson will be married. All of his family from the UK, including my lovely stepdaughter, will be coming over, and it's going to be VERY difficult and bitter-sweet. The only thing that I can look forward to is that the wedding is 'costume only'. So that will at least relieve some of the stress by watching and guessing who everyone is. That is me, right now. Tomorrow, I may be a weeping mess, but I haven't cried now in over 2 weeks. It feels good to get past the feeling that every waking second I'd break down. On the other hand, I feel guilty for NOT feeling so bad anymore. I SHOULD feel bad- my Rick isn't here anymore. This is so confusing. Well, that enough of me for the intro. I hope to meet up with many of you fine people in the chat room or on the boards.

 Walking this path of grief with you all, arm in arm, and in solidarity.


Shoosie2 AKA Steph

Steph, its now 8 months since Helen left my side and I still struggle with that guilt thing.  There are times when I am feeling quite good and then think why am I feeling this good when I don't have Helen.  And when I do cry its not that easy because I don't have a flow of tears but intense internal distress. I am also ok when doing those things I used to do without Helen, going to the rugby, down the pub with the boys, etc. but when I do things that would have involved Helen (a recent birthday event for our grandson) it just breaks me up.

So sorry you have had to join our club but I hope you get as much help as I have had.  Ray

Hi, everyone :)  After a debilitating illness that started after her first back operation, my fear wife Sharon for 43  years went Home to be with the Lord on January 19,2018. She suffered from idiopathic progressive neuropathy, atonic bladder dysfunction and neurogenic bowel disorder as well as scoliosis and, finally, inoperable aspiration pneumonia.  

She was my best friend, always had my back and, while we didn't share always the same viewpoint, she nevertheless was the person I turned to for advice, companionship and love.  That love was based upon the premise that the more you give to someone else sincerely, the more you receive.  After all, as the Wizard of Oz told the Tin Man, "My friend, a heart is NOT judged by how much it loves, but rather by how much IT IS LOVED!"

Thank you WV for letting me  join your community. It is not something I would have chosen of my free will but I am so glad you all are here at this time of my life. 

Marty so sorry that you have joined us and it seems that you and Sharon have had a hard time before Sharon was taken away. Like you Helen always stood by my side but would always say that whilst she loved me dearly she didn't want to live in my pocket!!  Some one recently asked me if  I would ever "move on" or some such words as that, but all I could think of is that no one could love me more than Helen loved me so I don't know where that leaves me.  If I can offer any advice is to use this forum to let out your thoughts and feelings it has helped me in the past 8 months. Again so sorry about Sharon.  Ray 


I fully understand what you are going through.  I lost my wife in January of 2017.  She had a short illness which we were assured by the doctors would not be life threatening and she would recover.  However, they missed and suddenly her blood pressure dropped extremely low and her heart stopped beating.  I know you have been able to take comfort in the fact that your wife is in Heaven but that only helps so much with the pain and suffering that you are experiencing here on earth.  As you will find from talking with others in this group that are many stories out there and unfortunately they are all sad.  Now that I am in excess of 13 months I still struggle with everything now that my wife is gone.  If I can offer any assistance to you I will be so happy to do so.


Thank you both  Maryt G and Helens'Ray fo rsopnding

Today is 3/2, and I'm feeling vulnerable since yesterday since things have gone tit's up on stuff on the property. I have found  someone to fix the gate on Sunday. But I've had a grief wave hit me today, and all I can think of how I should have been a better wife.

Steph, we all could have been better one way or another.  I spent years away from home working and leaving Helen and the boys alone, and consoling myself that I was doing it for the family.  As it was I did do better but unfortunately Helen did not live long enough for us to really take advantage of the that time away from home. But in the time we had we did do a lot and Helen's sister say's that Helen was really really happy. I can say don't beat yourself up but you still probably will, but I would hope you don't really think every thing is your fault.  Could do with someone to move the snow here, I am in the UK and I have 4 foot drifts around the house. Ray

Oh, I so identify with that. I yelled at him once when he dropped his dinner on the carpet and the next thing he was in intensive care and I was sitting in the corner crying about how horrible I was when he was so sick. He did come home after that episode but I nagged him about his diet and taking better care of himself and now I feel guilty that I didn't just tell him how much i loved him instead of being on his case all the time. Those grief waves are intense and hit me at the most inopportune times. Especially when someone innocently says the word 'husband' and it hits me hard that I dont' have one anymore and I usually just burst into tears. 

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.


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