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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

I recently had surgery.  It wasn't planned and it caught me off guard to be smacked in the face with such a surprise and listening to a bunch of medical jargon, possible outcomes, and options while I was still coming out of the anesthesia.  I'm very grateful that I had a friend stay with me until my daughter showed up but it wasn't the same.  I wanted my husband by my side telling me everything was going to be alright.  

I could see the scared look on my daughter's sweet face the morning after surgery.  She was trying to be calm and hopeful.  Did I look like that too when my husband was in the hospital?  Were the same anxious thoughts racing through her mind again that she might lose me also?  Is this how he felt when he was suddenly forced into a hospital bed, weak, helpless and confused?  

My last night in the hospital around midnight another patient was admitted and put in the bed next to me.  The curtain doesn't really block the sound so I could hear her husband kiss her good bye and tell her he would be back in the morning.  I got tears in my eyes wishing my husband was there to comfort me.  The next morning after talking to this sweet woman I found out that she was also a young widow at the age of 48! (She's now 75 years young).  I would have loved to talk to her more about how her journey in widowhood but I was discharged before we had a chance. 

You would think facing these unexpected scenarios of life without him wouldn't be so hard after 6 years. I miss him terribly and wish he could kiss my scars and tell me I'm still beautiful and everything is going to turn out alright.  

This is just one more step in my journey.  It's going to be okay. 

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Comment by bis4betsy on October 7, 2015 at 7:32pm

Thank you everyone who posted a response!  I've since returned to work post surgery and I've been quite busy. Good busy because I don't have too much time to think, but also sad busy because I have no one to share my day with when I get home.  One of the things we discussed in pre-marital counseling was what makes you feel the most loved and we both responded with being cared for when we're sick.  He was always amazing when I was sick and I was able to do that for him until he died. He would have done the same for me.  

Comment by lizbeth4 on October 4, 2015 at 6:18pm

It's been 2 1/2 years ago that my Husband of 31years died.  I still have times of overwhelming lonelines. I have 2 wonderful Daughters that would be there with me if I was sick or had to have surgery.  Although I am grateful for this, it is hard not having my Husband here.  We were there for each other when we were sick and during his surgeries and chemo.  We shared so much together. Sometimes I am envious when I see couples holding hands. I wish that I had that.  It's still hard. 

Comment by Bonnie on September 27, 2015 at 9:08am
I don't often feel bad and besides having little energy I have felt all right in the 15 months now since my husband died. But this week I have not felt well at all. My stomach has been upset, I have had a hard time eating which almost never happens with me, and this morning I woke up feeling really dizzy and have scarcely been able to get out of bed. I'm sure it isn't anything serious, not like recovery from surgery, but I have still felt my aloneness more keenly than ever and have had tears falling all morning. At one point I was thinking about being terribly ill some years ago and my husband and the wonderul woman who was our two-afternoons-a-week housekeeper at the time took such wonderful care of me and I felt I would surely be fine again. I was so longing to have that feeling again of being cared for and cared about. I know barbee is right, and we will gain strength and life will get better, but there will still be these moments when we will long for that time when things were different and we didn't need to tough it out. I understand bis4betsy exactly how you feel. It really will be o.k., but in the meantime, find whatever comfort you can even if it means indulging in the longing just for a little while. I'll get through today too, and I am also feeling very grateful that I have the memory of that time when I will really sick before and they were there.
Comment by only1sue on September 23, 2015 at 10:46pm

 I feel that way when I am sick.  I lay around thinking there ought to be "someone" who looked after me the way I looked after Ray.  My kids are scattered the nearest one three and a half hours drive from here and so that feeling of being somehow abandoned by my family comes into the picture still as they were all close by until after Ray died. But for them it has always been "Mum always copes" so they expect me to go on alone. Yes, I want someone to hold my hand and kiss me goodbye in all circumstances but there is no glimpse of that in my future right now.

Comment by barbee on September 22, 2015 at 11:25am

And it will be OK. You'll gain strength of kinds you never suspected and prevail. Life does get better if you open your heart

and be willing to accept the risks as well as the rewards. I didn't think  so three years ago; now I know so.  Be gentle with yourself.

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