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Widowed in 2015

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Latest Activity: Mar 10

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Comment by Mary H on May 20, 2016 at 8:10am

Last week I had two back to back grief groups that stripped away my protective blanket of acceptance and let the don't-want-to-cry-in-front-of-people-but-can't-stop-it tears back out.  I had an evolution in my ways of crying, at first, just crying, all over the place and anywhere.  Then I had the tears I wanted to stop but couldn't.  Then I moved into a more graceful struggle-free way of crying in front of people which was just tears coming out on their own on a composed face.  Then I felt as if I had reached a level of acceptance that my life was just sad, I acknowledged in my heart that the worst had happened and that my life would always have this sadness in it, and I thought I didn't need to cry anymore.  I had learned never to think forward and scare myself, but I hadn't thought to guard myself against the past.  It was these things which undid me:  I went to this children's grief camp intake meeting.  It was my second one, and at the first I was overwhelmed, all those children filing in with one parent, it was devastating.  But this time I had my wits more about me, and I could see the mall across the freeway and all I could do was think about the times we had been together at that mall, and how we never would have guessed what lay ahead for us and so soon.  The second was a child's grief group closing party in which the children had to bring their father's favorite foods.  One of the things we brought was oranges from my husband's trees.  I couldn't stop thinking that these oranges were already started on the tree before he died, and how pleased he had been to see them starting.  I couldn't stop crying, it opened the struggling tears back up in me.

Comment by Hope on May 20, 2016 at 4:06am

Every day I recite this: My mind is clearing, my heart is mending and my body is relaxing. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Its been 10 months now...sometimes I feel the above affirmation is taking place and other days it apparent I have a long way to go to have peace. I cry most days because I miss him and because my path ahead is still unclear. I try to stay in the moment. There are days I accomplish quite a bit and other days I shrink back into my shell and just stay home in silence and rest.

Comment by JC on May 19, 2016 at 5:17pm
I don't really see it as a loss to have my child lose contact with abusive / manipulative people. (Actually, it's a relief.)

I would much rather it be different. I'd much rather that we had a strong, supportive extended family. But we just don't.

And there are so many fabulous people in the world. I'd much rather support his (and my own) contact with those people. Whether they are blood relatives or not is less important than who they are and how they treat themselves and others.
Comment by Mary H on May 19, 2016 at 5:03pm

That's how I felt, and I thought I could get away with not dealing with the people who were treating me poorly, but they upped the ante by not dealing with my children.  I never saw it going that way, that's for sure.  The only thing they have left of him, I thought his kids would be important to them and that I could just step out of it myself.  Sadly, I was wrong.  I'm not sure where to go from here, and I would hate to cave to such awful behavior, but... they have really got me over a barrel.  They have leverage over me because I care more than they do about whether or not my children are hurt.

Comment by JC on May 19, 2016 at 4:51pm
Mary H - I am right there with you in dealing with in-law issues.

What's been working for me is to do whatever I feel serves my son and I. No one is obligated to sit silently while people behave hurtfully toward them or their children. Sometimes the solution is to explain your perspective. Sometimes the solution is to greystone. Sometimes the solution is to cut ties.

Your life, your choice. For me it Sally depends on whether I think the relationship is worth salvaging.

I didn't get to call the shots re: being a widow. But I do get to call the shots in some areas, and not engaging in unhealthy relationships is one of them. Our family didn't play manipulative games when my husband was alive, and I'm not going to play them now.
Comment by Nardly on May 19, 2016 at 3:32pm

Kathryn1. Thank you for the hug.  You're right, nobody can understand unless they have been through it. My therapist keeps telling me I did the best I could at that time, under the circumstances. I hated it when she would be in pain late at night and I had to call Hospice, leave a message and wait for a call back. Then wait for the nurse to call and wait for her to arrive. She too was on morphine and methadone at the end. Like you said there's this stigma about assisted suicide. At least some states are starting to see the light but I bet if any of these legislators had to endure what we have it would be legal everywhere. Thank God for you and this group! Y'all really do "get it". Here's a hug back at ya. 

Comment by Kathryn1 on May 19, 2016 at 1:59pm
Nardly, i like your honesty. I struggle with something similar. And it was pain control in those horrific moments too. My love wasnt lucid but the pain was horrid. I completely understand. I was giving the morphine and knowing i was an RN the dr told me to use my best judgement with dosage. I under dosed. I know i gave less than he needed, because well, how can one make that choice, in that moment, knowing that a choice might end a life? I struggle with this awful burden every minute of every day. The guilt is never ending. I understand your regret, i too think, i wish i had another chance at this....and i would do things differently. I see a counselor about it as have trauma from it now, she tries to get me to see the love i gave when i cared for him and to try not to focus on those moments. But as you know, thats easier said than done (understatement of my life)...when i talked about ending my life (when my husband still was lucid) he asked me not to, and so i try to remember that. And people get all up in arms about assisted suicide, and that we must survive and go on. But until youve been in it, theres no way anyone can possibly fathom that guilt and despair we are faced with. So, all Ill say is, youre not alone. Unfortunately life doesnt give us a second try at this, but i keep telling myself i did the best i could at that point in time, and if the tables were turned and it was me laying in pain, i know 100% i would feel like my Paul did the best he could...and i am positive your wife feels the same way. I suspect its probably the hardest decision youve ever had to make. I know mine was. And seeing your spouse in that much pain is the most painful thing i have ever had to do. I will never forget it, and will likely never forgive myself, even though i try to reassure myself every day. So, ill just send you a virtual hug today.
Comment by Nardly on May 19, 2016 at 10:12am

I live near Richmond, Va. and there was a news article about a 73 year old man who's 68 year old wife had terminal cancer and was paralyzed. He shot her and then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. He was a retired anesthesiologist. Neighbors said that they were always together and still deeply in love. Of course this has prompted all kinds of comments good and bad. "A true act of love". This news has opened a wound I had not thought about in a while. My wife one night begged me to kill her. She was in pain, frustrated with being paralyzed etc. I told her I couldn't do it. That to do so would separate us for all eternity. God would send me to hell for murder and suicide. But the main thing was even in her pain I could not ever harm her. Never. But now I feel so guilty that I didn't. It would have saved her a lot of suffering and mine too. I would risk eternal damnation for her. I feel so selfish now for not doing it. If I had to do over again I would. Not with a gun but her pain meds and helium fas in bags over our heads. When she was sick I read a book called the "Final Exit" on how to do this. Could any of you do this faced with this decision?

Comment by Really? on May 16, 2016 at 11:18pm

A hug for you from me too, Nardly. Terry, I don't know how I would answer that question, either. I wonder how many words you're allowed! I think it's true what MaryH said, that you can cover both sides. Your first reactions might be the ones that are more textbook but you think you would probably move quickly from there to feelings of relief and happiness that you could reunite with your wife. From there, it seems a logical transition to discuss all the "insider" things you learned about the process and how as a result, you're more aware of how you would want to be treated, how textbooks sometimes fit and sometimes don't, etc. I think it's great that you're following through with your career aspirations. Of course it will be a bit bumpy sometimes and you should allow yourself space to pause or step back however you can if that should become necessary. But you give the world a great gift by turning your loss into something that can help others who find themselves in the sad place of having to lose their own lives or watch the ones they love do so. 

Comment by Mary H on May 16, 2016 at 7:39am

Hi Terry, I've asked myself that terminal illness question too, and my honest answer would be relief that there was an end in sight, and shame because I ought not to think that when my children aren't grown yet.  I think you're right though, they are wanting to see an answer that will show empathy for the anger, shock, grief and fear that most people would feel.  I think you could write a very good answer by addressing both sides, what you experienced through your wife, and then the overlooked who just want to be assured that their life had meaning, that they will be made as comfortable as possible, and that it's okay to let go.


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