Widowed Village

A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation

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Long-term illness

For those widowed by cancer AND other illnesses or long term conditions that required caregiving.

We now also have a "Long Term Illness" discussion forum in the PERENNIAL main forum. Questions? Widville@gmail.com

Members: 608
Latest Activity: 10 minutes ago

Group greeters

Dianne in Nevada and Celestia have agreed to greet and coordinate for this group! Thank you, ladies!

Discussion Forum

I'm Lost

Started by MickeysLove. Last reply by Steve 10 minutes ago. 16 Replies

So, 4 days ago marked the 2 month period.  I had joined a support "group" where you go and sit with other people and talk about whats bothering you. I had went 2 times, I'm not going anymore - I…Continue

Grief and release at the same time?

Started by Germaine. Last reply by Vettegirl on Sunday. 29 Replies

I am aware of two different forces acting from within me.  One is the downward weight of grief. The other is an upward energy that comes from the release from caregiving.  After 16 years of part time…Continue

Looking to Put Together Resources for soon-to-be-widowed

Started by Mozzie. Last reply by ebwilkie Oct 16. 31 Replies

I found being the spouse of a terminal person very frustrating.  We were getting care at a prominent hospital, and there were social workers, but I didn't feel like anyone ever gave me useful…Continue

Anyone ever have a sense of peace?

Started by Timetoheal. Last reply by Juls Sep 17. 38 Replies

Has anyone been doing normal chores or random things around the house and had a feeling of calm or peace come over them? As if your loved one is standing there with you or just brushing by you to let…Continue

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Comment by Steve yesterday

Hi mtpcnc

Im so sorry to hear about your loss and have so much empathy and understanding of what you are going thru.  Everyone is giving you wonderful advise here.  the greater the pain you have to me, means how special and wonderful and fantastic your love is for your wife.  I know the loss and horror is very hard about your situation right now, but it is a testament of how much you love and that is wonderful.  As everyone is saying here, sadly, this horrific grief and loss is a process that takes time.  It is as if you have been hit by a semi truck while walking across the street and have survived it but broke every bone in your body.   Like your body may need yrs to fully recover, and find some normalcy, so your heart and soul will too.  Sadly we just have to go through this process and its different for everyone.  I personally cried so much daily for about 2 yrs before I started to feel some peace or less horror.  There was no controlling it for me.  Even after 18 months or so, I started to venture out a bit, with close friends, still would break down in an ugly cry in restaurants, grocery stores, in the car driving, made no difference, when it came hd no choice, just had to stop and allow.  period.  For me, it was about 4 yrs before the regular crying stopped.  It had gotten a lot less, in aabout three, but still was raw.  Now Im 5.6 yrs into my journey since my partner passed and I have a new love which I never imagined possible.  But, life has a way of taking care of us better than we can,, if we allow.  It is wonderful advise to be your own best friend.  Be kind, gentle, easy on yourself, allow yourself to feel how you feel, don't fight it.  If you just need to cry in bed for a month, do it !  You want a super hot fudge sundae with whipped cream for a late night snack, get it for yourself.  Whatever it takes to get thru this shock and awe of your life trajedy, do it for yourself. Everyone that falls in love has a 5050 shot at being the person that passes or being the person left behind and it sucks.  Im so sorry, you aren't alone, you will heal in time, take care    

Comment by only1sue yesterday

A wise person told me: "the longer you are a caregiver, the harder you grieve".  I don't think that is universally true but I do know it was true for me.  I cared for Ray at an intense level for 13 years, 22 years before he died he had his first stroke and my world changed.  Looking at the first year after his death I was grieving hard, not only for him but for the loss of the world I had built around us as protection, I had lost that too.

mtpcnc, for the long term caregiver exhaustion is also a factor.  How long you have been caring for someone determines how tired you are. When the one you cared for dies, that part of your life is over.  All the control goes,you don't have to be that strong person any more. Allow the tears to flow, it happens and it lessens in time. We have been there so we know.

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) yesterday

Dear mtpcnc -

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I wish there was something I could say or do to comfort you, but what the grief counselor said is true - all the years you were strong and holding back to be there for your wife, and now it all comes to the surface and the tears do flow.  I had entire days that I just knew were going to be "melt-down" days; so I'd cancel whatever I had planned and stayed home and just allowed myself to let it all out.  Tears are healing.  Tears are a release.  Next month will be 4 years and yes, I still have my moments when something will trigger tears.  But I don't have meltdowns, and I don't cry all day, but I do let myself cry when I need to.  And sometimes it's some small, nothing kind of thing that just happens, but it sets me off anyway.  And the episodes you have ARE intense, and that's okay.  And they're exhausting.  When I got through with one, I was so exhausted all I wanted to do was sleep.  So as Marlene said, be kind to yourself, be gentle and give yourself permission to grieve.  No one is the same when it comes to this; there are no nice, neat little stages of grief.  It just comes out of nowhere sometimes and knocks you back a few steps, but that's okay.  Eventually, and I won't say it gets easier, but eventually, it does get less intense.  This is a safe place, and a place where  no one judges or criticizes.  We just accept.  

Comment by Mford4 (Marlene) yesterday

Welcome mtpcnc.... to the club none of us ever wanted to join.  But here we stand, in pain so deep it takes our breath away.  I took care of my husband for 13 years, the last 8 he was mostly bedridden.  I was strong, tough, made everything work...then he died.  And I turned to mush.  It happens and I learned to let it flow.  And when the outside world can't stand to see me like that anymore I come here, read, listen, share and find out that I am normal for the place I have walked.  I know after awhile this too will bring you comfort.  It has been 2 1/2 years for me now, 2 1/2 years of time flying by and a roller coaster of emotions.  

What I have found is when I try to stuff my heartache it only reaches up and grabs me when I least expect it.  By allowing yourself to grief and cry like that six year old, you will find in time that each time it gets less intense.  Don't expect to much of yourself.  When we love, are needed as caretakers, we suddenly can find ourselves walking in circles, not knowing what to do next...because there is nothing to do...no one to care for...no one to hug, touch, or be with...that is when I found how deafening silence was.  I ran the first year afterward just to keep from thinking, only to discover when I did stop it all caught up with me.

Welcome friend, this is a safe place to share....Marlene

Comment by mtpcnc yesterday

New widower 10 weeks out from passing of dear wife. Trying to find my way through the grief and intense emotional pain and tears.  After years of cancer battling my dear wife went to hospice and passed peacefully into God's hands in early August. Now here I am 10 weeks out and still feeling like an emotional basket case much of the time. And the problem is that for 7.8 years I would just power up and be the strong one for my wife, but now the tears are flowing like buckets of rain pouring from my broken soul!  Any suggestions on how to break this cycle of emotional distress would be much appreciated.  I know the grief counselor says this is normal and alright and to be gentle on myself -- but these emotional sobbing episodes are pretty intense. I haven't cried like this since I was 6 years old! Thanks for listening.

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on Saturday

7greatyears - what everyone else said, I echo.  It will be 4 years in November that my husband of 31 years died from rectal cancer.  We only had hospice for 3 days - he went that fast at the end.  Taking care of the necessities kept me busy for a few weeks, and then I was where you are.  What now?  What Jocelyn and supernova said - be kind to yourself.  Cry when you feel it.  I had days I cried all day, and just cancelled anything on my schedule.  I walked around the house crying and asking why and saying you promised not to leave me... And I wasn't always rational.  And that's okay.  And yes, all you have to do is breathe.  If you don't feel like eating, go for the comfort foods.  Soup, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, whatever.  It doesn't matter what you eat, only that you do eat. And if you don't sleep, then sleep when you can.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  It's not fair, and it sucks. 

Comment by sueprnova on Saturday

7greatyears, like the others, I am so sorry you find yourself here.  1 week...I applaud you having found us so early.  

At 1 week, you don't have to do anything except breathe.  I know there are a lot of other matters to attend to... but, maybe, if you're up to it, do 1 thing a day.  Make lists.  Hopefully you have some support in the form of friends or family.

If you haven't, please check out http://www.sslf.org - there are many available resources for you.  

Stick close to the group.

Peace, 

~Sue

Comment by alwayshopeful (Jocelyn) on October 17, 2014 at 11:14pm

Dear 7greatyears. I'm very sorry to learn of the passing of your young husband. My heart breaks for you. This website has been a blessing for many of us, as there is usually someone online to talk to, complain to, cry to or even share (eventually) a happy memory or two.
Many of us know how hard those last few months were, so you are in good company here, where people will "get you."
My husband of 37 years died after a nearly 2 year grueling battle with brain cancer. I was his caregiver. We only had Hospice in our home for his last month, and he required care 24/7. I really understand the painful memories of your husband's illness. It takes a while to be able to stop seeing the pain and start seeing life before cancer again...
BUT, it does happen. My h.s. sweetheart will be gone 2 years on 11/1/14. At some time in the future, you may want to check out a support group or two. It might help being able to talk to others who have lost their partners. At this point, your loss is so raw and your broken heart probably consumes your entire day and night.
I had to train myself to stop seeing the last couple months when things were so awful, and replace those thoughts with mental pictures of when he was healthy and happy. It took time and hard work.
Please reach out to whomever you feel comfortable with helping you - family, friends, pastor, priest, counselor, neighbors, co-workers, etc. If you can be specific with what you need, it will help people help you. For example, have them put gas in your car, grocery shop for you, mow your lawn, etc.
Try to eat well and get sleep when you can. I imagine nothing will feel right for a while, but you will survive. Please be patient with yourself.
Huge hugs and good thoughts for you. Please come back soon and talk to any of us here on WV. I believe you will find support here like nowhere else.

Comment by Dave55 on October 17, 2014 at 9:24pm

Hugs 7greatyears, sorry you joined us in this journey.  So early I expect your still in shock, numb, not feeling much yet.  Be very gentle to yourself, your in survival now.  Cry if you can all you can, it's not time to worry about that.  Basics like eating, try to sleep if you can (very hard for me still, and I'm almost 3 months).  Come here to vent, anything, there are people here who are at different stages that can listen, help and just be a shoulder. 

Again lots of hugs, Dave

Comment by 7greatyears on October 17, 2014 at 9:13pm

I lost my husband last week to cancer. He was 30. The last few months were so intense...so hard....and now it's all over and I'm just sitting here empty. My husband is gone and I'm left with painful memories of his illness and I just don't know what to do now.

 

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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

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