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Born in the 50s

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Comment by LP on August 9, 2018 at 5:17am

Gary's wife, death is such a mystery.

I can understand the despair of those like Melissa who were not present when their spouses died. The anguish must be unimaginable. But death is such a mystery that even when you are there, it is difficult to comprehend. You can never really know how the person experiences it, and it leaves you helpless.

I knew my husband was dying. He had been "brain-stem" breathing for a week, so I was constantly checking to make sure he was still alive. He opened his eyes a few times. Then, on a quiet, snowy but sunny Wednesday, I lay next to him and held him, while stroking his forehead. Each time my hand passed near his eyes, his lids would flutter lightly. Then they were still. I felt his face go hard, as the blood drained. His mouth suddenly felt cold. I knew he was gone. Just like that. An event so gentle but so catastrophic.

At least I do know that he died as peacefully as one could, but I knew he didn't want to go and I felt so helpless that I couldn't stop it.

Comment by riet on August 9, 2018 at 4:47am

dear Gary'sWife,

I had almost the same experience when my husband died. We also are not religious and we also didn't talk about death and dying.  I regret that now sometimes. We were in a constant state of denial.  Our daughter now explains this as trying to protect each other.

Our daughter, who is a nurse had taken care of her dad during his last weeks. She says, she is experienced enough to know people are in their last hours. Only she didn't see death coming to her dad. She went home that night to be with her own family, to return the next morning.

That night , my husband told me he had pain in his stomach.  Now we know it must have been his heart that was giving up. I sat next to him and he started to reach and touch for my t shirt. Every time his hand reached out for me. (the only hand he could move, the other was paralyzed by the brain tumor) . But he couldn't hold it there and he tried it several times. He couldn't breathe very well and I saw he had to vomit.  I was afraid he would suffocate. And so I started to turn him from left to right to make it easier for him. 

While doing so, he must have died. And I didn't see it. I was petrified and kept shaking him to awake him and begged him to open his eyes and breathe again. 

And now my obsession is: what did he experience in his last moments?  Was that me with him or was that me pulling and dragging and probably hurting him.  What a way to die is that?

I would like to hug him and tell him I only did it to help him.

My doctor and kids tell me I should get rid of these ideas.  I did everything I could for him and was able to take care of him at home.  Which he wanted.

But it haunts my head.

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on August 9, 2018 at 4:03am


Contact your local State Bar Association for a referral ...

Its best to choose a large reputable law firm, one that can afford to finance the lawsuit if it goes to trial. Hospitals have been known to settle out of court - they carry malpractice insurance ...

Comment by shelley on August 8, 2018 at 9:00pm

My dad's death was absolutely caused by malpractice.  Two attorneys reviewed his medical records and told me so.  However they were not willing to sue Kaiser because my dad's life was not valuable enough.  In California, the settlement amount is based in part on the value of the dead person's life (age, earning potential, etc).  The attorneys helped me file a complaint, but that's it.  I helped a woman I worked with find an attorney to sue San Francisco General Hospital for malpractice and she was awarded the highest payment in San Francisco history.  The settlement amount was for many millions and was based on the age of her son, his earning potential (he was young and healthy), discrimination and the obvious errors in treatment.  The most blatant error was that he was not given oxygen while they worked on his heart (10+ minutes).  Even blatant errors can be difficult to prove.  My friend had hospital videos of the errors and of the nurses apologizing for their lack of effort.  An attorney will look at the value of the life, the ease or difficulty in proving malpractice, and what the outcome is worth.  And it's at least a year of your life.  

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on August 8, 2018 at 8:37pm


In general, an attorney will hire an expert witness to do the research as well as provide the evidence. You will have to do the footwork to learn what type of attorney is needed since it involves Medicare ...

A case has a better chance of being accepted by an attorney based on what you can provide the attorney to uphold your claim. Secondly, your husband's medical records from the suspected hospitals will need to be obtained - most attorneys to prefer to obtain them w/legal authorization ...

Good luck ...

Comment by MsWizard on August 8, 2018 at 6:57pm

Any one suspect medical malpractice? I believe 2 hospitals did not provide the level of care the condition required.  No doctor will testify. Hospitals let people die! Medicare maxed out around 2 million so they would not put him on the transplant list. We could not pay for that. I feel so defeated, robbed of my husband and used to bilk Medicare out of our tax dollars. We do not get sick to enrich doctors and hospitals with wealth, but they think we do.

Comment by Melissa on August 8, 2018 at 6:54pm

LostandSad, the only thing wrong with you is that your beloved husband died and you're grieving. Everybody grieves in their own way.

I never think about the day my husband died either, because he lost brain activity on a Saturday night and the doctors wouldn't take him off life support until Monday. His greatest fear was being on life support, so it was making me crazy. I mean hysterical crazy in the ICU. From Saturday night until they let him go Monday morning is just a blur. I don't need to relive that. I don't think there's anything wrong with me except that I'm just heartbroken. 

I wish you comfort and peace.

Comment by LostandSad on August 8, 2018 at 6:28pm

Even though it's been three years, I can't even stand to think about that horrid and heartbreakintg day. When I do, I get even more depressed so I jump up and do something or log onto facebook, do dishes.....anything so I can block it out. I still can't even believe he is gone. I just can't accept it. I know there is something wrong with me....

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on August 8, 2018 at 6:13pm

(((Hugs Garyswife)))

Discussing the death is good therapy as well as journaling ...

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on August 8, 2018 at 6:08pm

Hi Melissa, 

This was not directed at you since I published a separate post supporting your choice of the show, "Somebody feed Phil" ...

I have seen mistreatment in the dating forums as well as this one as well as in postings about not being apologetic for flooding friends w/annoying e-mail, chewing out an employee for automated mail addressed to their late spouse, snarky remarks to friends who have not experienced the loss of their husband/wife. I can understand a needed response if the person is deliberately making narcisstic cutting remarks or the OP is writing what they would have liked to have said. Grief of this magnitude is unimaginable for everyone. Its the reason many widowed mention their symptoms in the hopes someone will validatemail it for normalcy ...

No one truly has to say "I'm a widow, I can do & say what I want" to understand what is meant ...

Grief can cause lapses in proper judgement, interpreting, listening, responding, sights & sounds. It's like being in another dimension. However, it only takes a moment to edit a comment before posting to make sure it does not come off as rude, hostile as well as a need for a better explanation. Forgetfulness & being oblivios can be problems for years to come - it's best to be aware of these to prevent a faux pas in any social setting including here ...

Triggers - some may not realize their mood can be detected in their response. I write this for the sake of awareness when choosing to socialize. Grief makes everyone aware of themself, but there is no manual on how to manage triggers, cope w/manic moods much less what to expect ...

Be kind & understanding, many of you will travel this journey together for years to come ...   :-D


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