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Hi all,

This is my first post to the group.  I have joined multiple Zoom calls and find them helpful in knowing I'm not alone with this un welcomed change in life.

My husband died of a Stroke at the age of 54 on March 10th.  He was a physician and had not been feeling right for a couple of months with mild headaches.  I nagged him continuously to see a doctor, but doctor's tend to "self diagnosis themselves".  He thought he had a sinus infection....   On February 27th, he came home from work early saying his head really hurt.  I had said that is enough and called his doctor and dragged him in that afternoon.   He told the doctor he had sinus pressure and they went about prescribing antibiotics! I stood up and said this isn't right - he hasn't been himself and they looked at me and did not acknowledge my concern.     On the way home he started vomiting and I said this is not a sinus infection and he said it must be the flu.   I told him he had 24 hours to get better or I would be taking him to the hospital.   Well, yep in 24 hours he was still not doing well so I drove him to the ER and found out he had already had the stroke.   He was in ICU for 11 days and it was a roller coaster of hope and despair from one day to the next and 2 surgeries.  He fought so hard to survive and in the end the stroke won.   I am fortunate that Covid did not stop me from staying by his side with the timing - I did get to say goodbye and he squeezed my hand and shed a tear.  I am thankful for that.  The day he died they were changing the rules at the hospital that would have not allowed me to be with him.   Now it is 4 months later and I am mad as hell at him for leaving me and having to figure out finances and not having  our planned future.  We were only married 1 year when this happened.   I feel robbed of a wonderful life with him.   I know he did not choose to leave me, but the anger won't stop.   I'm really trying to work through it with books and talking etc.., but feel deserted, abandoned, and like the weight of the world is on me to continue to provide for my kids and his (2nd marriages).    I need help in sorting the anger and getting to a peaceful place.   A few close friends check in and they have no clue of how I feel and I think I frustrate them.   Does anyone else feel this intense anger and how do you work through it?

Ellen

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Wow.  I lost mine mid  June.  Stroke.  I relate.

Hi - I was in the zoom meeting and commented on the beautiful setting you were in. My husband ended up in Rehab in mid February, for a lot of reasons, the staff and my family did not think it was safe for either of us to bring him home. The next day the Center locked down. I think it was March 9. He was OK until late April, then he contracted COVID and died a few days later.  We had agreed, for a lot of reasons, that he would be on palliative care, so there were no interventions. The Center was great - I can't be angry at them, but I am angry at COVID that I wasn't there to hold him - I feel like I abandoned him. He understood why I could not visit, but I still feel like I abandoned him. So I can't get past the anger of not being able to hold him and comfort him to actually be able to start to grieve for him. I think sharing my angry feelings helps. But, this is the first place that I feel people actually understand what I share. I've started walking my dog at times when I won't see anyone so that I won't have to talk to them because it is too hard to put on a brave face, and I can tell they don't really want to know how I am feeling (not that I even know).

So, I've been taking my anger out on twitter against COVID-deniers by responding to the anti-science stuff they tweet from facebook. I ask them where they got their data, and was it from a peer-reviewed medical journal or I challenge their statistics and ask them to share their algorithm. I get some brief satisfaction from that, but I am fairly sure it is only making me angrier, so am going to quit wasting my time. What is helping with the anger, is sharing here. I felt a sense of belonging on the call today and I feel like I can say anything here, and I won't be judged.

I've also started a prank in the community. I've painted a lot of small rocks with the word "hope." I leave them in different places when I walk the dog at night. Then, after a few days, I sometimes swap rocks, so the person has a different one in their yard. I don't know if anyone notices, but I never feel angry when I am playing with hope rocks. There is a big bush outside our clubhouse that looks like a face, so I am going to make googly eyes and a big mask and decorate the bush. I'll do it at night, too. I don't think I'll get in trouble - I actually don't care - I just know it gives some people something to gossip about. And, I probably will piss off a few COVID deniers. I also know that I am making my husband "roll his eyes" when I do things like that, and that feels good. For 47 years I did harmless things to make him shake his head or roll his eyes, and I am not stopping now.  If you didn't live so far away, I would drag you along on a prank walk. You look like you would be a great co-conspirator.

I paint rocks too and leave them for others to find. I don't think it's a prank though -- just leaving something fun for someone to find. Painting them keeps me occupied when I'm sad.

Leaving the rocks is probably nice for some neighbors, but it will make a few crazy because it probably violates some obscure HOA rule - so it's a win/win.  Painting the rocks is a distraction, and doing something mischievous seems to reduce the anger I feel about not being able to be with my husband when he got sick and passed. And I think working with "hope" plants it somewhere in my brain - and I need hope. 

Hi Ellen -- I've "met" you the zoom calls. My husband drowned in our spa. I'm very sad but don't have the anger -- I understand why you are experiencing that though. I also feel a little deserted and abandoned so think that's normal as everyone else in our lives moves along and we're still here struggling with the grief. Glad you found the zoom mtgs -- my husband died 19 weeks ago and they have truly helped me a lot.

Carol

Hi Carol - thanks for making me feel normal on the Zoom calls wearing my husbands shirts this week.   You made me laugh with the Hugh Heffner pants comments - you should wear them for a smile.    I am wearing another one of my husbands shirts today and think my version of his closet clean out is going to wind up being just putting all of his things in my closet to wear.   He had many very nice suits and ties and I am trying to find a good donation place where they will help someone in need interviewing.  With Covid they aren't really doing these drop offs.    

I am glad to hear you are getting out a bit now.  I think we are all growing a little at a time through this tragedy we each are experiencing and it is nice to be able to see some small signs of it on our calls.   

I'm not to horribly far away in Phoenix if you ever travel this way dogs and all :). 

Ellen  

I lost my 55 year old husband suddenly in January. I don't feel anger, but do feel very sad. Your anger is justified and it's okay. Just keep moving forward because right now, that's all you can do. Besides missing my husband tremendously, I feel sad about my future, our future and all of the plans we had. I feel robbed. Whether it's anger or sadness, those feelings are real and intense.   

Thank you Lynne.  I also feel sad about the future and plans we had.   It seems like there is nothing to really look forward to.  Each day seems to blend together for me - COVID quarantine surely doesn't help either.    Ellen

Ellen, I had a ton of anger and still have some. The hospice kicked me out after 5 days and nights because in change in COVID rules I was allowed back in when her signs took a downward turn, even then I kicked out at 5 and she passed at 12:30 the next morning. I was so frustrated I was already in the hospice why I could not  stay make no sense. I talked to the hospice several times trying to understand. I keep telling myself that no one did this on purpose but because no one knew what was happening with COVID. What really hurt was the RN on duty the day after they kicked me out told me my wife cried the whole day what a gut punch.

From today’s zoom, I sold my wife’s car, I gathered her old medicines to dispose of safely since a lot was marked radioactive. I have not dealt with her personal things, I am not up to it plus there no place to donate it to at the moment.

i hope that you can find the help and hope you need to more forward.

please take care.

Hi Outwest,    I turned in my husband's car a few months ago.  It felt like he was home every time I walked in the garage and it literally played tricks on my mind for the first month.   While it was sad to get rid of it, my mind has stopped playing those tricks.  I have all my husbands medicine - not sure what to do with it at this point, but would be nice if it would help someone who needs it financially. 

His 55th bday is this Monday and the 5 month mark of his death, and I am trying to figure out how to handle it.   I found that he had bought us tickets to go to LA and see Hamilton his b-day weekend before all this happened.  No with Covid, it was cancelled anyways but can't stop thinking that he had made plans that far out for us.    

Best,

Ellen

Hi Ellen. -  My wife did all of our trip planning since she retired in 2003. Looking at her computer, she was still planning trips just a few weeks before her passing, one to Texas and another to Oregon. Covid would have forced us to cancel.  She still had hope that the new treatment plan would work and we could continue lives together. This really hit me hard.

I sold my wife’s car because it made me sad to look at it knowing that she would drive it again. This week I used the money from the sale to establish a memorial scholarship fund in her name at her alma mater. She was teacher for 30 years, the scholarship will help students perusing a degree in education.

The first milestone can be difficult, whatever you decide be gentle with yourself. Remember those here and on the zoom calls will be thinking of you at this time.

Take Care 

Ellen thanks for your post.  I can't imagine your situation.  I just lost my wife, life partner, mother of my children...I'm stuck dealing with her art gallery, which is defunct, first due to covid, then her death.  Fortunately, for us it doesn't significantly affect our primary income, it was her hobby. Our plan was to move (retire) to Arizona next year, where our daughters attend college.  I was never angry before...but after two months, i seem to be more angry every day!  I worked my ass off for 25 years in this shit-hole (Detroit..I'm an automotive designer), so we could retire in our 50's and live comfortably in our favorite place, desert southwest. That is gone.  I can't image moving without Karey.  She was the socialite...if left her alone for 30 seconds, whether it was vacationing in Europe or at the local grocery store, she would strike up a conversation with strangers, that we would become friends with.   

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