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Born in the 50s

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Buying A House

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Comment by irishlady (jan) on May 31, 2018 at 6:22am

Barzan...What wonderful words...he had free will to seek medical care. I blamed my myself too for not having understood the seriousness of my husband's illness and being more proactive...making him stop smoking etc. But these words are so true. He was a grown man and could do as he pleased.

Love you idea of getting away across country on the anniversary. I just passed the 5th and I always plan a day off with one of my kids doing something, coastal drive, whatever. I do not want to sit here and relieve every moment of that day. Like you, an escape for the day has helped very much. It takes the dread out of that day. Have a wonderful and peaceful trip.

Comment by Barzan on May 31, 2018 at 6:05am

Reading all your posts about guilt reminds me of how I felt when my husband was diagnosed and we were told that the cancer had metastasized and there really wasn't too many options for him.  He'd been hiding his illness for at least a year and I was so angry with myself for not seeing the changes and forcing him to go to the doctor early on.  My son and mother-in-law assured me that I had nothing to feel guilty about as he was a grown man and had free will to seek medical care if he had wanted it.  There will always be "what ifs" in the back of my mind.

The 7th anniversary of his passing is coming up in 2 weeks and, as I've done since 1st year, I will be on a trip across country.  I feel as if I need to escape from the memory of watching him take his last breath.  Putting miles between that memory and distraction has been my prescription.

Comment by Athena53 on May 31, 2018 at 5:47am

I agree, Bergen.  While we must never forget that 9/11 happened (and I lived in Bergen County as well back then), my personal feeling is that I don't want to re-live it every year.  Those who lost loved ones can remember in their own way if they want.

A coworker lost a son on 9/11.  The son had recently been married and it took a couple of years before they identified some tiny bit of his remains through DNA. They were observant Jews and this meant that their daughter-in-law was free to remarry now because they had concrete evidence that her husband had died.  Stuff you never think about.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on May 31, 2018 at 5:35am

I have often thought about the 9/11 widows and how they have to re-live everything every year, over and over and over again in perpetuity.  I'm sure that there are some who appreciate the annual observance, but I know that if it were me, I would leave the country during that week every year.  

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on May 31, 2018 at 4:55am

Its good that you are able to see your grief from a different point of view in comparison to others. Its difficult to do when its so personal. I met a 9/11 widow that had it far tougher than me - death by terrorists & no body. One other circumstance that was difficult, Bob's death was public. A week after Bob's death I was sitting next to a couple of women talking about the collision - as soon as I realized it I had an anxiety attack & began to dry heave, then ran out the door. The 9/11 widow had the entire state & country talking about the plane that crashed into the tower. She moved clear across the country to live in the desolate mesa of my state to escape what she could ...

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on May 29, 2018 at 5:14pm

I sincerely feel for you gals - its hard to cope w/conflict when the opponent is yourself ...
I remember the guilt all too well including my deep anger & dark rage at what I could not control, prevent or make better no mattered how much I had thought of myself as a powerful supreme being. I had wished I could have been w/Bob to comfort him in his final moments, but I'm certain my reactions during his passing would not have unfolded as I had imagined. I realized later on that being w/him would have prevented my guilt. My understanding is death can be complicated to complete when not feeling permission from loved ones - that would have me & our kids ...
As many of you know, I had complicated grief w/extenuating circumstances & compounded PTSD - not as the initial victim, but as a survivor's victim of a crime. Believe me, they are not acute illnesses anyone wants to have. What they are is a testament that all types of grief can be survived - issues can be resolved to keep moving forward in grief & ultimately throughout life w/peace & love for yourself ...
I did alot of recycling, rehashing of shoulda, coulda, wouldas - all the possibilities that might have made a difference but no way for certain to know that they could have. Everything durrounding Bob's desth was incomprehensible - I couldn't make of it or why I thought these ponderings would help. Eventually, it dawned on me that what mattered most was that "Bob died in peace" following a horrific collision caused by a violent unsolicited attack from a man angry at a patron from his work. Death happens as it does - not by the choices we make or could have made. The police office who pulled him from the wreckage told me Bob died in peace and b/c of it he said it helped him get through his feelings of guilt for not being able to get there in time to stop the roadrage driver. Witnesses & other victims had called 911 prior to the collision ...

I found all I truly ever wanted for my beloved was a peaceful death ...
I hope all of you find your way to this kind of peace for yourself ...

Comment by Athena53 on May 29, 2018 at 1:34pm

I am SO reassured by the large number of us beating ourselves up with 20-20 hindsight!  Well, that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean. I don't feel so alone.  Our last conversation when I knew he was conscious (the night before) was a good one. If he was conscious at all those last hours in the morning he heard "A Commendatory Prayer for a Sick Person at the Point of Departure" from a replica of an early Book of Common Prayer, with delightful archaic language he would have appreciated (he was an English Lit major!) and a reading from Revelation that I'd read to him the night before and which I later used at the funeral service ("And I saw a new heaven and and a new earth..."). I'll get over the fact that I wasn't beside him when he took his last breath.  

When I read the stories of people who lost their spouses suddenly, typically from an accident, I'm very grateful for what I had those last few days even though they weren't perfectly-scripted.

Comment by NancyD on May 29, 2018 at 1:05pm

Athena53 and riet,  Yes, I think it's common to relive the last parts and wish we had done something different.  Frank went into home hospice care on a Thursday morning.  I remember the nurse telling me that she thought that he only had a week or two to live.  He was very sleepy.  I called our kids and a priest and they came and he received the last rites that afternoon.  He never opened his eyes but he thanked everyone gathered around our bed. That night, as I had for the past month, I went to bed in the guest room, leaving him in our big bed with a nighttime home health aid sitting there.  She came and woke me at 4 am to tell me he had just passed.  I ran sobbing to our bedroom, jumped in bed, and held him for quite a while.  Oh, how I wished I had known that was his last night!  Wouldn't I have spent it lying next to him, telling him how much I loved him?  I drove myself crazy with that regret---that he died without me there. I'm not even sure what my last words to him were.  I'm guessing they were something along the lines of "Good night.  See you in the morning." But really:  he knew I loved him and I had done the best I could for the 14 months he was undergoing treatment for stomach cancer.   I have to let this last regret go. 

Comment by Athena53 on May 29, 2018 at 11:44am

riet, even medical professionals don't always know when the time is near.  The hospice nurses who saw Ron the night before he died told me he probably had less than a week left.  Well, they were right, I guess!  If hospice nurses, and I think they were good ones, couldn't see that he had less than 24 hours left, there's no way I could have known, either.  You were in the same position- there are no signs that tell you exactly when it will happen!  Your husband would have understood.

Comment by shelley on May 29, 2018 at 11:36am

Gary'swife, Wow, congratulations.  Your efforts made a difference.  That's a big deal.  


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