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I am 45 and lost my husband Jeff, almost 3 months ago. We were together 21 years and married for 18. His death was very sudden.  He had a pulmonary embolism, in our home, in a horrific scene that will live in our memories forever. He had been at the doctor's the day before, mistakes were made and the result was tragic. Equal to the loss of what we had, is the loss of future. We will never travel Europe, as we dreamed of all our lives. He will never see our children marry or hold our grandchildren. There is a lot to be sad about. A lot to be angry about. And yet....life goes on. His life ended on 11/28/12 and my life without him, started on 11/29/12.

I know it is important to process the pain and I think I am doing that. I am trying, anyway. I certainly do not stuff it down, but I am not sad all of the time and seem to be functioning ok. We/I have survived many "firsts" already - Christmas, our wedding anniversary, our daughter's "sweet 16," Valentines day and Jeff's birthday. Weekends are tougher than any one day, for me.  On the whole, I try to focus on the positive. I am grateful for the life we built. I forgive people their thoughtless comments. I reach out to friends and accept their efforts to reach out to me. I have a wonderful family, albeit very tiny. So many bits of wisdom have come my way, since Jeff died. Some, I believe he guided directly to me. 

I had discovered yoga, 2 months before Jeff died. I even got him and our daughter into it!  I am so grateful, to have been in just the right place, to help me through those first weeks. I went to yoga constantly.  Crying on my mat, but feeling better for it. Then I hit a wall. Life as a single parent started taking it's toll. I went back to work after just a week.  Basic yoga moves started to be harder than before and finding the energy to go to the studio, challenging. I have also noticed that I have stopped breathing. LOL I mean the breathing that keeps you healthy. I am holding my breath a lot and finding that a problem at practice as well. So, I stopped going (1.5 weeks now) and feel awful. Insult to injury, I have gained 14lbs since Jeff died, making me feel even crappier. I am out of balance right now, but here is GOOD NEWS - I CAN CHANGE. I am alive and thus, have the option to change for the better.  I am going to work on this for a while and invite anyone interested to join me. What should the categories be for a balanced widowhood? Emotional - Physical - Spiritual? Past-Present-Future? Self-Family-Social? Grief-recovery-healing?

Jeff should be alive, but he does not. Life is not fair. I accept this and move forward. Life is a gift and I am surrounded by inspiration that promises better times ahead. I miss my husband dearly, but I am determined to honor him, by living this life to the fullest.      

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Comment by lovie on February 26, 2013 at 6:53am

dlm, your last paragraph will inspire many of us. Being ALIVE does give us many, many options and CHANGE is one of them. Sometimes we need to take a break so do not be harsh with yourself. Get back to doing the yoga if you can. I also joined a yoga class after my husband died. It was at night and the room was dark with candles glowing and soft muics playing. Some nights I would just lay on my mat and whimper like a lost puppy, but it got me out of my house and the breathing techniques really did help to calm me down. Filling your diaphragm with air can change your physical, mental and emotional well being in just minutes. Thank you for encouraging all of us to make the right choices and changes to smooth our path toward healing and recovery!

Comment by dlm94 on February 25, 2013 at 5:42pm

@GussieW-W  Yes I think I will try again this week. Maybe just some restorative and work up to slow flow. I would like to work on my breathing as well. I had an epiphany today in the shower - where all my great epiphanies occur :-) I fell in love with yoga, 2 months before Jeff died, because I had all my basic needs met. Going to yoga was a "luxury" of sorts. I was working on the inner me. It was like a wonderful stretch after a great sleep. Now, i am off balance. Not whole. I told my yoga teacher weeks ago -"I don't know why this is so hard. He traveled all of the time. I handled all of the finances, all of the decisions, all of the planning. I am used to this. He made the money and loved me, I did everything else." She said "Ahhhh, what is missing then? You have to learn to love yourself, now."  Rough. I am glad you are back at it and it was cathartic. Keep at it!

Comment by Suz on February 25, 2013 at 3:45pm

D,

I know Factor 5 Leiden well. My neighbor, Bob, and friend of twenty-five years, had several made relatives that they thought died of heart attacks. This year, Bob collapsed and was taken to the hospital. The "gist" of the story is that he had clots all the way up his left leg and several in his lungs. He was found to have Factor 5 Leiden and his daughter, who was pregnant, also has it. They are both on Coumadin. I think Carrie is giving herself daily shots in the stomach. He was so lucky he did not die and I still don't think he is totally out of the woods. They did put a screen in his leg which stops the clots. He believes that his dad and uncle actually ded of PS's.

 I remember being worked up for that at Mayo when I had my clots. They feel that it was caused by estrogen so they took that away from me. That was a pretty big problem for me but I am damn lucky to be here. 

Made it through my one year point. I am totally wrung out today but glad to be on the other side. Some friends had a dinner for my daughter, her fiance and myself which was very sweet. They did a toast to Jud and then my daughter surprised us with doing a scene from "My Fair Lady." Jud played Henry Higgins and went into that role any chance he had a willing audience. Katie did a perfect imitation of his timing, singing, pauses...of course, we have heard it a million times. It brought me to tears but also made me chuckle, remembering some of his foibles.

So glad you are doing yoga. Hope I am in good enough shape to get into some serious bodywork along the way. If nothing else, I could use a massage!

Sending hugs,

Suz

Comment by cec on February 25, 2013 at 6:48am

AWe sweetie ,,,,,you are going to make it ....This is a new chapter in or book of life....

P.S. single parenting sucks assssssss....

Comment by dlm94 on February 24, 2013 at 7:17am

Oh Suz...we do have much in common, huh?  I am so happy that you survived your experiences with PE. You are one of about 10 people, I have met in the last 3 months, with similar stories. All survived, mostly because they were sent to the ER by their primary physician. I have met others though, like my Jeff, who were just processed through with a misdiagnosis of bronchitis. I know PE can be tricky and very sudden, but my guy actually had Factor V Leiden ( genetic disorder that increases clotting). In retrospect, his doctor (his since childhood) was not managing that properly either. He had been on low dose asprin for 10 years. That was what the hematologist recommended when he was first diagnosed. We trusted the primary doctor, would let us know if that was no longer sufficient. Jeff saw him on a pretty regular basis for sinus infections too. It's just so sad. Looking back over it...I think it is just a case of doctors not spending time with the individual, but just cranking out the numbers. I feel pretty confident that the fact Jeff had Factor V had been lost in the chart and not marked in the chart as a risk factor. The doctor is somewhat high profile in this area too. He actually called me the next day. I thought he was just being compassionate at the time, but looking back...I am pretty sure he was ferreting info in an attempt to ascertain his liability.  Even with all that, I do not feel the ANGER that others expect. If I could ask Jeff though, I KNOW he would be angry. It was a tragic mistake and yes, I will hold them accountable  but it wont bring Jeff back.  I just hope they will be more diligent in the future. 

Comment by Cathy on February 24, 2013 at 7:11am

SO sorry you are here. I, too, have found it hard to get back into yoga, the effort to get to the class with the teacher I love is just too much. So I do a few moves thru out the day, here and there. Not the same, but the body welcomes them.  Do what you can do, when can. Eventually you will feel like doing more. I also have some small hand weights, and I grab them too, and try to keep moving. My weight went down, then up, and has finally stabilized. Your body just needs what it needs, don't let it get you down because of a few extra lbs.

You have such a positive and accepting attitude, I admire that. I am 3+ years out, and trying so hard to move on. Some days I can see a future, others I am still pulled to the past life we had. Day by day, I guess.

Take care of you,

Comment by Suz on February 23, 2013 at 8:24pm

D,

I think I have already told you that I am sorry about your husband. If not, I am. This is not a road we would have chosen. I probably didn't tell you that I am the survivor of three pulmonary emboli (at one time) which also started my pain disorder. I know I am so lucky to have survived. It makes me really sad to know that your husband was at the doctor just the day before. 

 I really resonate with a lot of this but particularly your last words. I do think the best thing I can do to honor Jud and our life together is to try to live my life well (did you see me write this somewhere else? LOL) I will always miss him. He was my soulmate. I was so lucky to find a man that matched me so well (I am kind of quirky!). I know I will never stop missing him but I do hope the pain lessens.

Jud and I both lost fifteen pounds the year before he was diagnosed, then lost fifteen pounds the year he was sick, due to the good food that was brought to our house. He is the only person I know who had pancreatic cancer and died with extra pounds. I have taken off 1.5 pounds as of this morning and I need to get more in balance, too. I had a very good meditation practice going for about ten years but totally fell off the wagon when he got sick. It never fails to amaze me why I quit something when I need it the most.

No, life isn't fair but it is pretty special and I don't want to squander it. This has been a hard week but I have found that I usually have a worse time before the "hard days" than on the day itself. Tomorrow is one year since Jud died and I hope I can have some smiles as well as a few tears.

Glad you are here.

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