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Born in the 50s

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Dating

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Comment by chef (John) yesterday

Maggie,

Resentment is like acid: It damages its own container. That's not exactly how the late, great Ann Landers put it, but that is how I recall it.

As you said: "It just is what is." Your husband was not able to deal with retirement. That was his issue, not yours. Please cut yourself some slack on this, and focus on what was good in your relationship. [My wife had a sudden personality change a few months before she died, and I had to deal with that afterwards.] Hugs.

Comment by LP on March 15, 2019 at 6:45am
Hi Maggie
I think you’re right- it is what it is and sometimes there is nothing that can lessen
The pain of regret except time perhaps. I don’t expect all pain to go away but it might soften its grip. I was lucky enough to have had a happy marriage, but I regret losing my temper at times while caring for my husband through 3 and a half years of progressive Illness. It was hard work and I got tired and irritable. I tried to hide but not always with success. It adds to my grief, but what can you do? It is what it is.
Comment by Maggie on March 15, 2019 at 6:29am

Bergen...I know where you are coming from.

Asyou may remember from some earlier posts of mine way back, my marriage was not ideal. We were quite normal and happy for 17 years and then we retired. He lost purpose from having nothing to do, no one to manage and we had moved, so his friends at work and comfort zone were gone.

Then he became depressed, even though he’d never admit it, and became critical and controlling and picked at little insignificant things I did. 

Long story short...he got cancer, died in 5 months. In a year I moved to another state, love my new home, have made a few friends, garden and lately taking up art painting. So I’m fairly content. But...what’s left now in memories, after almost 6 years, are while there are many happy memories from those first 17 years and some from the last 11, the past is farther back and the more recent unhappy memories are what always comes to my mind. They come easily while the more distant, I have to work at. 

So im left with some resentment of how he treated me and the very real feeling that he no longer really loved me and had grown tired of me. This is what I live with now. It’s permanent and I know this will never really end and there is no getting past it for me. I’m busy enough and content enough that it is mostly on the back burner...but it is there...always.

sometimes I think what it would have been like if our marriage had been wonderful and full of love and kindness like so many here. But would it have even been harder to handle...the missing and longing more painful..the feelings of despair stronger? I don’t know. It’s almost like the resentment I feel is a cushion against deeper hurt. I don’t have an answer for that and ultimately it just is what it is.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on March 15, 2019 at 3:52am

@Melissa:  I am so sorry you were blocked from your husband's room.  I was lucky; there was no one but me.  My husband had only had his father and brother,both of whom he disliked and both of whom predeceased him, so at least I didn't deal with that.

I have to think that despite everything, it doesn't really register that they are going to die.  We see the tubes, and we see the ventilators, and we see that when their eyes open there is clearly no one in there, but at the time it just doesn't register.  How could I have functioned at all?  How could I have gone into the city and then home?  How could I have not talked to him all day (not that he enjoyed me chattering all the time when he was with us)?  How could I have not spent all day holding his hand?  (Oh, right.  I was on a deadline and had a data manager trying to get me fired to cover for HER mistakes.)  And I think it's because it just never really registered that this was real.

I remember after my husband died, my sister and brother-in-law went to the visitor lounge for a few minutes and she gave me a danish, which as I recall tasted like cardboard.  Then we WENT OUT TO LUNCH.  I'm not joking.  We went out to lunch.  And it seemed normal.  I remember being both confused and horrified that we even laughed a bit.  Steve was dead and there we were, eating burritos like nothing happened. And it really SEEMED like nothing had happened. 

I got home, my sister and brother-in-law went to the hotel (because my sister is kind of princessy and prefers staying in hotels to my house, which was a mess), and I was alone.  I don't think it even registered then.  I was dry-eyed when we went to the funeral home.  Perhaps it hadn't registered because my sister did not want me to confirm that the body was him (he'd had to be transferred from NY to NJ).  She did that, which I'll always appreciate.

They stayed 3 days, then my father and his wife came for 4 days.  I know at some point I collapsed into screaming because I wrote about it in an email.  But I don't remember that.  I remember going on a cooking spree making things I liked that he didn't -- short ribs and lima beans in tomato sauce.  Lamb chops.  I had only about 3 or 4 days from the time my dad left until I had to go back to work.

I don't think I've ever processed all this.  I remember that I had terrible reflux and heartburn in those early days.  I remember wearing rose quartz on a chain because my sister said it would help (don't ask).  I remember that when I did cry, my chest would hurt so much that I thought I might die.  I couldn't do it for more than 2-3 minutes at a time because it was just too painful. I still can't.  I tell this story over and over and over again to anyone who'll listen. I go back and read emails I sent to my sister during the bad times when he'd be depressed and angry all the time and the rage I expressed because there was just no talking with him is terrifying to me now, and just complicates things further.  I was damaged and fragile myself and I did not have the internal resources to deal with someone who reacted to any dissatisfaction from me by flying into a rage and thinking I wanted a divorce.  (I didn't.  I just wanted things to be better.)  I don't think there's really ever going to be any getting past this, ever.

Comment by Melissa on March 14, 2019 at 9:13pm

Thanks, Shelley. I just feel so guilty that in order to help keep things calm in his room while he was in the coma, I let his sisters keep me out. I should have been beside him during that time, but he had so many sisters and brothers in law, and they didn't like me and didn't want me near their brother.

I was alone and broken and let them be with Gilbert because I wasn't strong enough to fight them. They literally formed a human wall to keep me away from him, even laughing at me once. I let them win, and I will never have that time back with my husband, and I'd give anything for those hours with him. I didn't want any part of him that was aware to know there were problems.

It upset him terribly in life that his siblings treated me so badly. I didn't want that to be the last thing he thought of before he passed.

Thanks so much, Shelley. Hugs to you. XO~

Comment by shelley on March 14, 2019 at 8:57pm

Hey Melissa, Thinking of you, wish I knew something to say to make you feel better about those days.  I am so sorry.  XO

Comment by Gary'swife on March 14, 2019 at 6:47pm

@Tess     Thank you for your kind words.  It triggered a memory of when I went to go clean out the desk of my first husband when he went on disability...about 6 months before he died.  As I was packing up things, one of his colleagues came over to talk to me and just said " is he still with us"?   I just remembered being shocked...not even sure what I said.  Needless to say my husband had always thought this guy was a jerk, and he certainly confirmed it.  

Comment by Tess on March 14, 2019 at 1:31pm

Barzan, I am speechless that someone could be that heartless to another human being, let alone one who experienced a recent loss and is grieving. All I can say is, karma is a b#$ch.

I am also so sorry for you, NoLongerBergen and Gary'swife. No one should have to endure the impending loss of a spouse and also have to stress about potential job and insurance loss. That is inhuman in my eyes.

Comment by Barzan on March 14, 2019 at 6:57am

Dear Melissa,  Just so you know, we are not here to judge you.  We are here to give you support and listen.  If and when you are up to sharing, we are here for you.

I read the posts about the lack of support from employers during the time we need to be with our spouses and fmla when they pass.  My director told my coworkers when I'd been gone 2 weeks post my husband's passing that I just need to get over it and get back to work.  I did return to work and struggled to get my work done.  I remember making a mistake and this director tear me to shreds.  I went home to an empty house with no one to share and support me.  Not sure which one hurt more.

Comment by Roxi on March 14, 2019 at 1:50am

Ciao i'm very grateful to all of you to let your heart out here..even the hard feelings as guilt...i have the same questions and the same bad emotions as all of you...tonight is one year my love is gone..i choose to celebrate him and our wonderful life together instead of remember him ,alone in my house crying feeling miserable and wanting him back...i'll go at one concert here in Milan where i live with a friend of us...it's not that i'm healing...i was terrified to remain alone tonight... Thank you all for your support...i hope for us peace and a strong heart ciao roxi

 

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