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Born in the 50s

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Discussion Forum

Buying A House

Started by Tekwriter. Last reply by shelley Sep 15. 10 Replies

Anyone experiencing loneliness?

Started by bblue5. Last reply by bblue5 Sep 13. 6 Replies

Dating

Started by Mike. Last reply by Athena53 Aug 28. 19 Replies

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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

Athena53,
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.  

Comment by Gary'swife on May 29, 2018 at 11:31am

I too wanted to sue a hospital....as most people it's not about the money, but about affecting change.   I happened across a notice at the hospital for their hospital accredidation, and filed a complaint with them. Although they would not give me the outcome of my complaint, they did inform me that had several other similar complaints, and I later learned they closed down the unit which was so badly managed.  Here's the web site if anyone cares to file a complaint.  I don't know if there is a time limit.  https://www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/hospitals.aspx

Comment by riet on May 29, 2018 at 10:41am

dear CarLady and other friends ,

Some of you used the words "I failed my husband". That is exactly what I feel. He should have died in my arms and surrounded by our kids and grandchildren. Instead he died while I was busy moving him from here to there. Yes indeed for helping him breathing.  But that failing feeling doesn't go away.  

The night before, the nurse had taken him to our bed. This was on my husband's explicit question. The nurse wanted him to sleep that night in the hospital bed that was in our living room. Because he was so weak, I had to support his head while moving him in the wheelchair.

When he was ready for the night, my husband asked me to join him to bed quickly. But I had things to do and only was ready to be there after an hour.  And then when I lay next to him for the last time, I felt the need to check my smartphone for some mails and the weather report.

And this during the last time we would ever be together.  No, I don't think I can ever forgive myself for this.

I can only say I had no idea he would die that night.  I must have been blind.  Our children and grandchildren all had come these last days to be with him.  

Even when I must have known it was not a normal situation : our kids leaving their jobs, our grandchildren leaving their schools.  I only know and that is a comfort: my husband has enjoyed these visits so very much. But we didn't speak about the end.  We better had done so, I think now.

I was very tired, my husband was every day and night more and more helpless. His body was almost completely lame by this braintumor. I hadn't slept well for more as two months. My husband needed help every hour at night.

But even knowing this, I failed him. And he never ever has failed me.

Now I cannot say how much I regret this.  All I want to do is hug him endless times.

 

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