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Hi everyone- I lost my husband 3 months ago, after watching him deal with cancer for almost 2 years. I feel like i was grieving for a lot of that time, since we knew it was incurable. It was really hard at first, and it comes and goes, but I almost feel guilty that i don't feel terrible right now. I read what other widows write on this and other websites. I was married for 19 years, am 51 and raising two teenagers and working, and I have lived by myself before I was married. 

Is this the numbness others talk about? In some ways I feel so busy with things that it keeps some feelings at bay. My hormones seem to be in overdrive as well and I definitely look at men with an appreciative eye:) A nurse told me that is part of the grieving process too.

We had a good marriage and I definitely miss my husband. But i don't have this " I can't go on" feeling that many others seem to have. Maybe that comes in the second year?

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Hello!  First my deepest condolences.  I lost my wife to cancer, and she had been ill "only" about six/seven months before she passed.

As I went through that, I learned that there was such a thing as "pre-grieving."  We may not necessarily do it  consciously, but we do do it.

And of course everyone is different.

I was in a complete...numb painful daze for the first couple of months....

Regarding the...hormones issue :-)  it is a...biologically driven survival mechanism.  Remember that to our...genes...survival is what matters,not affairs of the heart and soul.  So yes, your nurse is quite right.

My kids were 14 and 18 when my wife passed, and it was...rough.  And I find it even now hard to do things by myself, so to speak, to not have someone that close to think things over with etc.  BUT again - everyone is different.

I think, for example, that we were married very young - and I was a very lucky man indeed - makes that difference too regarding being alone.

Hi, and sorry you have to join us.

One thing you'll learn here is that we're all different.  My husband died in November, 2016 at age 77, six months after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and ten years after being diagnosed with a precursor condition (polycythemia).  I was 63; I'm now 65.  I'm doing amazingly well and, being an analytical type, I've spent a lot of time pondering why grief has never hit me like a ton of bricks, as it as so many others here.  In the 17 months since he died I've taken a few road trips to visit family, made 3 international trips (just deposited some of his ashes in the Ganges and at the base of a huge, beautiful old tree in Kathmandu in March) and started taking seminary classes.  My body is in better shape because I spend more time at the gym.  I have two beautiful granddaughters and life is good.  

First, we saw this coming. I knew I was likely to outlive him.  Second, I saw Ron waste away.  He'd hiked the Appalachian Trail in places when he was younger- now he was down to 117 lbs. (6'2" tall) and it was a constant worry that he'd fall and hurt himself.  (Which he did 4 months before he died- needed a vertebroplasty to repair a couple of compression fractures.)  He was sweet and mellow to the end but it was clear he had little quality of life left.  Money isn't a problem- I'd always managed it and knew where it all was and knew that the long-term projections looked good.  Finally, I wasn't burnt out by years of caregiving.  I'd managed to keep up outside activities so I had a life outside of the house.  Not everyone has that choice.  

Anyway- that's my story.  Some of it may resonate with you and some not.

Here's an excerpt from Pablo Neruda's Sonnet 89 which someone once posted here.  I love the "permission" to continue living life to the fullest after their partner is gone.

"I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on."  

I love that sonnet too. 

My grief buddies widowed by anticipated death said the same as you have ...

In general, they began to experience grief later in the year. The ongoing worry & angst at their husband's constant pain & suffering provided them w/relief & thought of "for the best". Its truly understandable why they would feel this way & not something to feel guilty about. I understood it to be a peaceful feeling ...

There's alot more to grief than the pain from the loss of your loved one - there's the loss of yourself/identity ...

I can see how this explanation makes perfect sense.  

Hello (and also sorry you had to join us).

I agree with the posts above. It could well be numbness. Grief isn't "linear", but folds/loops/doubles back when one leasts expects it. 

I'd certainly agree with that.  I was watching a YouTube video of a Widor organ toccata, a piece I've always loved, and suddenly I was crying- the heavy bass notes just touched something sad in me.  This happens sometimes; you just have to go with it.

Here's the link if you're curious.

I wish I could help, but I really don't have first-hand experience with those feelings, however, I would just like to say. Everyone reacts in their own way and there isn't anything abnormal about your thoughts or feelings.   They are yours and you get to own it without guilt.  

Personally, I'm both envious of you and happy for you.  I wish I could "do better" with my situation.  

Thanks everyone. 

Athena- some of what you say does resonate with me. Also I have been following the forums for a bit, and I have been impressed with your travel and all that you do!

I don't really feel that loss of identity, that's an interesting thought. I was very independent before we married which is helpful to fall back on.

tonight I feel quite sad and lonely...but that often happens in the evenings, its definitely the worst time. Thank goodness for netflix!

I appreciate all the feedback. This is such a great website.

I was independent, too, Fromage- married the first time at 31 and had a career that gave me a lot of satisfaction.  I even went to a meeting of my professional society last May because it was in Toronto and I liked Toronto- also planning to go to Honolulu next November.  I'm retired but still interested in the business and still run into some people I've known for decades.

My Aunt, OTOH, just lost her husband to Alzheimer's after more years than most could tolerate keeping him at home, and then getting him into a care facility where she visited him for a couple of hours every day and was very involved with his care.  They married in their 20s and she's now in her 80s.   Caregiving has been her life for so many years that I doubt she had much of a life outside of that, other than her two sons and their families.  Totally different circumstances. 

What you feel is what you feel. There is no better or worse. We are all different because of the time and way death came into our lives. We can get comfort here by knowing others are grieving too and we can share our stories and offer our condolences. But our story is our own story and ultimately we each walk our own path.  My husband died over five years ago after a 49 year marriage. The last 16 years I was his primary caregiver. Take good care of yourself and be well. (((HUGS)))

3 months, still a very raw time.

My late husband was ill for 3 years, and, like you, at first I was almost just heaving a sigh of relief - he was out of pain. Eventually my grief hit me.  

I don't think I ever thought I couldn't go on. But I do know I struggled with the pain of my life being so different and nothing like we planned.

Everyone's journey is different. You might find that at different point you feel different things. There are no rules (kinda wish there was so I could "predict" what was next). 

As far as the hormones, I was crawling up the walls (and that is all I will say about that in a public forum). Yes that is grief too.

Even 9 years later, when my eldest asked me to walk her down the aisle, it hit me hard again. HE was supposed to do that, not me!

All that to say, your walk will evolve as you need it too. There is no right or wrong in this.


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