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 I am 49 years old....My husband Frank was 58 when he died due t a freak Accident ( passed out and fell on the Kitchen floor causing a Brain Bleed) on June 14th that took his life. I had to be the one to make the FINAL decision to take him off Life support after two days being in a Coma due to a Fall that caused a SEVERE BRAIN INJURY that required 4 hours of Brain Surgery, he survived the Surgery, next day he had MULTIPLE STROKES to the Right side of the Brain and a few to the left...I was told by Drs he would never wake up and if he should by some miracle he would Never know any of us or be able to speak , walk talk etc again...I refused to give up, aiting for a MIRACLE to happen and bring my husband back to me...A few hours later, the swelling from the Brain was now attacking his Brain-stem and the Drs said he would eventually Die on his own IN PAIN ( since they were NOT giving him pain meds due to the Coma) or I could allow them to Medicate him with Pain meds and remove him from all Machines and allow him to pass away in no pain...I did NOT know what to do...I felt i had no right to make a decision on someone else' s life, especially a MAN i had been married to for close to 29 years! I cried and cried until I finally allowed the drs to remove all machines and medicate him so he would be pain free..He died 4 hours later with Myself and our 3 grown Children and Daughter N laws and Son N law by his side..I live with NOT only his loss but weather i made the right decision also. My pain is unbearable at times. I live every day thinking I killed him...That I made the wrong choice. should I have waited? Should I have let him die on his own? I dont know! I feel I did the right thing MOST days but the nights I lay awake I feel like Im in a nightmare and God is punishing me now. I dont know if these are feelings any of you have had that may have been in my predicament. I just feel LOST! 

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Comment by Patience on December 10, 2014 at 6:46pm
Thinking of you Joette. You did everything you possibly could....
Comment by Okbobbo on December 2, 2014 at 2:29pm
Joette, I am crying as I read how you suffered along with your beloved Frank. Our circumstances are close enough to awaken in me the last days and hours of my Laura's courageous battle with lung cancer. You were there for him. You loved caring for him and seeing to it that he was cared for. We are human and are limited in what we can do. Be at peace, for you were his Angel.
Comment by pixpuf on November 14, 2014 at 5:44pm

Hi Joette, I just read your comment on how your husband died and it rang close to home.  My husband acquired sepsis from a back surgery and it settled into his kidney stones and he kept getting the infection back.  He was in the hospital fighting the infection and his heart quit.  They got his heart started but he didn't regain consciousness and they pretty much said he was brain dead.  After a week we still weren't getting any response so we had to make the decision to remove the life support.  It is such a terrible thing to go thru and it seems like only something you should see in movies.  I don't know why the doctors told you they couldn't give him any pain medication because it seems like they did give some to my husband.  I think about it every day and wish I would have given him even one more week but I'm sure it wouldn't have made any difference.  It's difficult to live with our decisions but we have to move on and hold on to our precious memories.  I really feel for how hard it has been for you and wish you peace.  Like you I hope the pain eases up. 

Comment by lizbeth4 on August 22, 2014 at 2:17pm

Hi Joette, I questioned my Husband's death (17 months ago), over and over in my head.  Although our circumstances are different, I questioned whether I did enough to keep him alive.  He died from stage 4 lung cancer, 2 months after diagnosis and after 2 chemo treatments to prolong his life.  It took me about 1 year to realize that I did all that I could as his caregiver and that I made the right decisions at the hospital (ER) the morning he died.  I asked them to take out all the iv's as we had orders on file with the hospital.  His organs were shutting down and they were trying to get his blood pressure up with the iv's hence he couldn't have any pain meds.  He was screaming in pain for me to help him.  They removed his iv's and started to give him morphine for the pain.  After he calmed down, I held his hand and told him how much I loved him and that it was alright for him to go.  He passed away.  I let this bother me for a long time but now I feel that it was a loving way for him to die.  I'm crying right now as we looked into each other's eyes and I could see the peace within him and I could feel him letting go.  He didn't have to struggle and be in pain anymore.  He didn't have to walk with a walker and not be able to do anything for himself anymore.  He could finally be at peace.  I think he was hanging on for me.  I know the pain.  But you did not kill your Husband, you helped him transfer on to another place.  I know it is hard but we had to make the decisions and we made them with love.  Take care.

Comment by laurajay on August 17, 2014 at 6:07pm

dear Joettte.  All the horrible questioning is sadly a part of grieving.  To some extent in different ways each of us wonders if the outcome  would have been different if we had done or not done something differently.  Either way, at the time we did our best and we need to forgive ourselves  in time.  I am at 2yrs  4months and still feel lost   44yr married and unsure of everything 24/7.   Nights are pretty much the worst time because our minds begin to weave doubts into giant tales of woe and sadness until we cannot bear it and no one really understands how it invades  our thinking almost beyond control...surreal.

I don't know if you did the right thing and won't guess or give an opinion other than to say had my husband not died unexpectedly I would not have wanted him to die suffering in pain because I would not want to die suffering in pain.  Before the miracle of medicine, people died.  People still die--every person alive today will die.  We will never have all the answers here on earth.  All we can do is the best at any given moment and then move forward one  moment at a time.  You did that!  You gave your best in your decision making at that time.  You were one in marriage a very long time and your loss is very new and the pain right now is piercing and stabs at you and creates much questioning which is normal---terrible but normal.  This journey of grief has no time table  and no map.  We are all on the journey and we meet one another and we comfort and we care but we still travel alone in the end taking the comfort and suggestions hoping it will make the journey less painful.   There is no going back to change things.Our spouses  are dead.  We are alive and because we are all we can do is to move forward in love.  Love means forgiving.  Love means believing in a power greater than we are that keeps the universe in motion.  You were given a choice not many have to make  and you did your very best.  Rest in that.  His end of live was eased from pain because you cared.  Had he died mindless from agony and pain you would  still question your decision  , wouldn't you?   Anytime we alleviate someone's pain  we give our love-- I believe.  You loved.   Continue to do that as you heal and please  do not second guess yourself.  Thank you for sharing.  We understand.  We care.   laurajay

Comment by Dave55 on August 17, 2014 at 4:46pm
(((Joette))) I'm very sorry for your loss. I also had to remove the life support for my wife. It was the hardest thing I've ever done next to watching her pass. As the others said it was was not you but the injuries or in my wife's case the cancer. I also wonder at times wishing I could have done things different, been more aware. You're not crazy, sadly many here, myself as we'll feel the guilt and wonder if. I'm pulling for you if it helps as others here seem to be for me.
Comment by hisgirl on August 17, 2014 at 11:40am

(((((Joette))))). Yes, I understand how you feel. I am 3 years out. At first my guilt was unbearable. I blamed myself for letting hospice OD my husband. He was dying from liver cancer. They gave him 4 to 12 weeks to live. He lived 5 weeks. I blamed myself for not knowing he had liver cancer. After all back pain can be a sign of liver problems, as well as jaundice. I did not catch these. I was too busy concentrating on my mother (Alzheimer's).

I now realize I was trying to keep him here. I did not believe the doctor's; as far as I was concern they were lying. On the day he died, he said "Let me go". I thought he was confused and thought someone was holding him. I now realize he was telling me to let him go. He died while I was out of the room. Another guilt trip for me.

I was being selfish by trying to keep him here. I admire you because you eased his pain. A selfless act.

The guilt does ease over time. We have to say we did the best we could with what we had.

Comment by Cath on August 17, 2014 at 10:53am
Joette I am so very sorry you went through that. I don't have any answers but I do know you didn't kill him, the strokes and brain bleed did, and without the machines he did die on his own x. I wish you peace and am sending lots of hugs xo Cath.

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