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CAREGIVER QUESTION

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

My Wife of 25 years lost her battle with Cancer on Dec. 27th, 2008. We had her funeral
yesterday Jan.3rd. The Service Was very nice with over 200 friends and family coming. The
shock of losing your best friend is slowly wearing off. I have been her caregiver for the last 5 months full time and will start back to work on tuesday. Hopefully I can make it thru seeing all of my co-workers with out losing it. I just don't know what to do. It seams so lonly around my house. I long to hear her call for me. Is there anything that I should be doing to make this any easier, its seems so hard for me to do anything. I cry a lot and have a lump in my throat all the time. When does it start to get any better? I have her ashes here
at home now and that does seam to help some. I find myself talking to a box. Should I not be doing that? I just need any advice anyone could give me! Thanks for helping

hunpot's picture
hunpot
Posts: 90
Joined: Nov 2008

Mr sad--
I cannot speak of losing your partner but a mom is probably the same feeling. Im glad your services were nice and you had a lot of support and friends.
It all takes time and patience and feeling sad, angry, lonely, is all part of the process. Mom passed on August 18th and It was the hardest 3 months everytime i thought about the good times just made it worse, everytime i thought about her pain and suffering and what she had to endure just brought up more questions as "what if" and "we should have done --"
It was always during a quiet time or when i wasnt staying busy, then it seemed to get easier, holidays came so was hard again now its okay.
I just try to remember the good times and think what she would want me to do and that seems to make the pain not so bad. I have her pictures everywhere i look and talk to her i used to go to cemetary everyday but now only go once a week but i talk to her picture evry morning and every evening. Crying seems to ease your pain a little and when you see your workers you may cry but they will understand so dont feel that you have to be strong it time it will all be less upsetting. Crying is good and to some im sure makes it easier. Just try to think remember she is in the lords hands now and no more pain, she is happy and healthy again, try to remember her love for you and the times you had together, and it may help but think what she would want for you , she would want you to be sad and cry- not for long she wants you to be happy and try to make the best of your life. To lose someone so close is horrible and tragedy but we must remember we as individuals we have strength, courage, and determination to go on and be successful and happy as they would want that for us.
May the new year bring you peace and prosperity and happy time ahead.

PS im still waiting to hear moms voice again or see her in my dreams i know someday it will happen. Keep your faith!!!
tracy

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Thanks for your response. Today just seams to be the toughest I have had. It seams I can't
stop crying. My boys are out and about so I think I need to get out and go somewhere. I am very Lucky to have such wonderful memories. She really spoiled me. She was the best Wife anyone could of had. She Loved me dearly, never denied me anything, always stood by me even if later she told me I was wrong. I just miss her so bad. Take Care and thanks again.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 680
Joined: Nov 2005

I am very sorry for your loss. Truly I am.
Please don't deny yourself such little comforts as touching her box. That is no different than looking at photos of her or going through her personal effects or any other way of keeping the connection you so much need to feel now.
In time you will find yourself not needing these literal 'touches' so much as your psyche adjusts to the fact that she is now a spirit and you can 'touch' her with your spirit. I do not mean to sound too other-worldly here, but I really do think we have to have time to realize our loved one's new place in our lives after they are physically gone from us. And it IS a real presence, as you will find as time passes. The Bible says...'love never fails'. It is the thread that keeps us from loosing track of our dear ones.
God bless.

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

First of all I am sorry for your loss. I would hope that going back to work will keep your mind busy. If you think talking to a box is not good then I am really in trouble. I talk out loud to a few friends I have lost to cancer. 5 months ago my uncle lost his wife of 53 years. They were attached at the hip and the family didn't think he would survive long without her. A cousin and myself spent many days changing his home around as he is disabled and wanted to live alone. We supplied meals and still do at times. He could not sleep in the same bed without his wife so we completly changed it. He has a picture of her on the kitchen table that he can see every morning. He visits the cemetary sometimes twice a day. He reads her books, the bible, plays their music and talks to her. Its all his way of dealing with her loss. You just can't push all the emotions and love aside after spending most of your life with someone. We respect the things she loved. Cleaning out her flower beds, feeding her birds and adding to her hot air balloon collection. We never forget, but we live life as she would want us to live it. It has taken my uncle a few months to get on his feet and there are rough times when we talk about the old days or look at family pictures. But he is here for the rest of the family that loves him as I am sure yours loves you. Be open to the help and comfort of others and healing will slowly come. Bless you Slickwilly

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Thank you so much for your advice it really helps to hear other peoples way of handeling all of this greif. It does make me feel better talking to her even if it is her ashes. I feel like she hears me. We were like your aunt and uncle, We seldom did things apart. I am glad I am a member of this site. Without your support this would be a lot harder to handle. Take care and cherish each moment you have with a love one.

Mawoni
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2008

Dear Mr_Sad ... I think how you're feeling and reacting is very normal considering how close you were and the fact that it has only been a couple of days since the service. The full impact of the loss is just now setting in. You have been so absorbed in her care and then all the arrangements that it has been impossible to allow yourself to grieve. Now the time has come. You may find that going back to work tomorrow will be the best thing for you ... or you may find you need a few more days at home. Each of us responds differently to our very personal loss. Follow your heart. Do your grieving in your way and in your time. How old are your boys? How are they?
My heart goes out to you on so many levels. I know the pain can be intolerable. Remember the good times and take comfort in the knowledge that you were there for her. She is without pain now and she will always be nearby. Talk to her.
A gentle hug ... Maw

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Thanks MAW
My boys are 16 and 21. They are doing pretty good.The 16 year old is having the toughest time.
My older boy had help more during our time of careing for his mom. So I think he was preparing for this better than even me. He seams to be our rock. He has been a fire fighter
for a few years and has seen a lot of tragedy. I guess that has helped him deal with the loss of his mom. I do feel that she is nearby. and talk to her often.
Thanks for you support

arbrab's picture
arbrab
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2007

I wrote in a journal for along time, got out alot of frustration. sometimes i yelled at him for leaving me, then i cryed because he wasn't here for me. and i sat his ashes on the mantel, my youngest drew a picture of him and i put that on the front of the box. every morning i would just say "good morning". so you talking to the box is not out of the picture. I finally spread half my husbands ashes on the day of his passing at the place i'm gonna be in oregon, then on his birthday my boys and i spread the rest here in california where we live. that way we can always know where he is. please don't worry about making it at work. your co-workers know what you have been through. just take one day at a time. don't do anything your not comfortable with. there will come a day when all this seems like a dream. i feel guilty because i can't remember our past together, but that's part of the process, i am told. it's been 1 year 9 months for me. so it is a long battle, just go slow and give yourself time. nobody is the same. especially your boys, mine are 32 and 35 and boy are they different as night and day. still they grive for their dad, and it's one day at a time for them too.
barbra

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

I am having the same feelings as you have had, some times I get so mad at her for leaving me. I go from being ok one miniute to losing it the next. I sometimes can't even look at one of her pictures without crying. How long did it take for you to have some kind of normal day. We have spent most of the last 28 years inseprable. It seams so hard for me. I thought being a caregiver was tough and so stressful but I would trade what I am going thru right now in a heartbeat. I had to pick up all the flowers today from the funeral home so I think that has made it a little harder. I guess I will just go tommorow to the cemetary by my house and put all these flowers on some of the graves. I don't really know what else to do with them.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 680
Joined: Nov 2005

I think you have hit on something important here Mr. Sad. Reaching out to others is one of the best healing exercises we can do. Giving her flowers to others (doesn't matter whether they know it or not, but who knows?), is a gesture out of yourself into the reality of others. As time passes you will meet up with others you can comfort and encourage in big and small ways and each time you do so, it will be in honor of the woman you love.
God bless.

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Thanks for the reply. I think comming to this Site has been the biggest help I could have found.

arbrab's picture
arbrab
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2007

Really I don't know what normal is. We spent 34 years together. People said that we were joined at the hip. I knew what he was going to say or do before he did it, and visa versa. But getting better, I think it took about 1 year, 6 months before I was able to start to move on with my life. It may not take that long for you. Sometimes people are right back out there. But, my feeling is they were not as close to their mate as we were. Just take it one day at a time. Cry, laugh, get Angry, it's all part of the greiving process. I don't cry as much now, not that I miss him any less. But I have to get on with my life. When my dad passed, we gave the flowers to a nursing home, just to brighten their day. But, placing them on the graves of others is good too. I do that when I go to the cemetary to visit the in laws, I always take flowers for people I know that have passed. Lifts my spirits. I wouldn't trade the 2 1/2 years I took care of my husband for the world. It really made me a better person. And I thank him for that. But, I really took a beating for that one. I lost alot of weight and still haven't been able to put it back on. We all go through this differently, that's why the Caregiver taking care of themselves is so important. Please, eat, get out of the house, you have two boys that need you too. Just take it day by day. It will get better, but I don't know how long.
Just know that she is at peace now.
Hugs to you and the boys
barbra

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

I see what you mean after 25 years of marrage (+ we Lived together 4 years before) there can never be Normal as we knew it. I probably don't have another 25 years I could give to some one. Today I go back to work. I think this will help. It really helps having all of my friends on this web Site. I know we have never met in person, but I feel extremly close to all of you. With out your support this would have been an unbarable situation. I have plenty of Flowers and their is a Nursing Home real close to the Funeral home where we had Cathy's Service. I will take some up there after Work today. I to have lost quite a lot of weight in the last 6 months and I know I need to Start Eating More. It seams that if I can get 2 meals aday down I have done Good. I just don't feel very hungry. Take Care
Your Friend
MR_SAD

arbrab's picture
arbrab
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2007

I still have the problem with eating more than 2 meals a day. It's just stress, and also sleep is another issue you will deal with alot. I really think your doing good for the most part. I wish i had this site or the chat room sooner. It really helps when you have people to talk to that know what your going through. There are a couple of people I talk privately to that help me through the day. And one especially that helps me with family members going through cancer treatment. He is a true god send. Just keep hanging in there. I hope that work today will help you get back to some kind of normal (what ever that is). Keep us informed on how work was. And please get out of the house, you need to keep busy.
I think the hard part will come when you start going through her things. I didn't have a problem, my boys were bigger than their dad, and I certainly couldn't wear anything. But, he was an artist and oh boy do I have lots of artwork. Know that when this time comes we are all here for you, so are your boys and it will effect them too. Sorry to have had to tell you that but you need to be prepared. I know what I went through with no one to help me decide. My boys said it was up to me. Gee boys thanks alot. LOL but i made it, and so can you.
Not a day goes by that someone won't be here to help you through this, please keep that in mind
Your friend
Barbra

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Work went very good it was kind of hard talking to everyone without a lump coming in my throat, but I made it thru with lots of hugs from everyone.I am Truly Blessed to have so many Great co-workers. They were real supportive. It did Help to think about my work and stay busy. I am an Engineer so I get to do something different almost every day. Now Im at home and i really need to get caught up on my house work. I have Kind of let things go for the last few days. Dishes, Laundry, Getting ready for work tommorrow. I guess I should try and eat, For some reason I just don't feel hungry. I guess it must be all of the stress. I know what you mean about Sleep. After sleeping with some one for all these years, We had our best times in our bed, Talking, laughing, Making Love, I think that is what I miss the most. So I have not been sleeping to well at all. I try and think about all of our good times, it helps but it makes it hard to fall asleep. I just lie there thinking about her. Maybe in time this will get easier. I hope so, I do feel very worn down at times. I seam to get sleepy in the afternoon around 3:00 pm I guess its from not sleeping to much at night. I have never been one to take a nap. Well the dryer just stopped so I had better Go. Thanks for being my friend

arbrab's picture
arbrab
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2007

I am crying, just because I know how hard this is for you. Just know that we are all here for you. Just take your time to adjust. I slept on the couch, because my husband couldn't lay down. And then made my grandaughter come stay the weekend with me to get back in bed LOL. It's funny now, but then I had alot of stress, and depression going on. It will take time but you'll get there.
I'm so glad that you have great co-workers. Work is the best medicine besides laughter. Keep a smile on your face, and remember her deep within your heart. You will make it, you are strong.
Your friend
Barbra

MarcoV's picture
MarcoV
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2004

I walked in your shoes almost 5 yrs ago. I was married to the love of my life for only 1 year (we were together 4 yrs before getting married) when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He fought for 21 courageous months before dying at the age of 36. His wish was to be cremated.. and I too kept his ashes for quite some time before knowing exactly what I should do with them to honor him. He left it up to me to decide what to do with his ashes saying once to me.. "you'll come up with the right thing"...and 8 months later I scattered then in the ocean where he loved to fish and swim.. I used to look at that box of ashes up on the mantle and think.. his illness kept him trapped here in this house.. how he missed his fishing trips and swimming and jumping the waves.. collecting rocks and shells.. so i gave him back to the water.. for he deserved to be free. I realized.. i didnt need a physical part of him left behind to talk to... he's everywhere... and so is your beloved wife!

It will be 5 yrs this coming march 1st.. and i can tell you honestly.. that the passage of time will ease your pain... it will never go away entirely... but it will get easier to deal with day to day... please dont deny yourself the grief.. you must go through all stages... the anger.. denial.. sadness.. acceptance.. and please consider finding some professional counseling in addition to this site.. i made the mistake of trying to cope all on my own... and i still suffer bouts of post traumatic stress because i had never properly dealt with my grief, not only from his illness.. but from all the responsibilities of being a caregiver and watching.. waiting for your loved one to slip away..

Mr Sad.. speak to her... she is with you... even though you cannot see her.. she has only crossed over to another side where she will wait for you.. i firmly believe that we are all passing through this life on a journey.. for some the journey is longer.. and others all too brief.. but i know without a doubt.. that we will all be together again someday.

In closing.. i will say.. that my beloved husband gave me the greatest gift of all... he looked at me with love just 2 days before he passed.. and said that even though his life was over.. mine was not.. and when he found the right person... he would send him to me.. to love me as he did.. and he was true to his word... I remarried 2 yrs ago an old childhood sweetheart who came back into my life so unexpectedly... and when i looked at him for the first time in 18 yrs.. i knew my husband was smiling at me from above...and i could almost hear him say.. "I told you so.."

I dont know if any of this will make you feel any better.. i remember feeling so badly for so long.. get involved with things.. keep busy.. fill your weekends.. and most of all rest when you can.. close your eyes and see your darling wife.. and ask her to come lay with you to help you sleep.. your rest is important.. God Bless!

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Thank You so much for your Kind words of support. Life sometimes throws Us For a loop. I know that Cathy Will always be with me till the end of my days. I am an old man now. She keep me young. I just don't feel very young anymore. I don't have 25 More years to give. The days are slow for me. Getting back to work and starting back into Scouting has helped me alot. Its the only thing I can do right now is try and stay busy. Having this web site has been a true blessing. Talking to people that have been through what you have does seem to help. We all have been part of this Cancer fight. It is hard on the one with the disease and hard on the Care Giver. Both have to endur Pain one has Physical pain the other has mental Pain. It is hard on Everyone. I went to the Chat Room last night It was Great. I meet some new folks and had a good time in there. Time finnally flew by all of a sudden it was 10 pm. That has not happened in quite a few months. The Care givers go in there on tuesday Nights at 7:00 pm Eastern time.
Take Care

hunpot's picture
hunpot
Posts: 90
Joined: Nov 2008

mr sad id like to try that chat room on tuesdays when im not working :) what room number do they meet in and is it every tuesday. I am eastern time also so 7pm is good for me. I think it may help me some and i can meet new people.
tracy

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Mr. Sad,

I am a 57-year-old divorced cancer survivor who has lost both parents to long-term illnesses and my only sibling to suicide and have no easy answers for you, with the possible exception that our loved ones are not really gone but, rather, have made their transition to a happier pain-free existence that we will all occupy one day. In the days to come, you may sense your dear wife's presence in the things she touched, like her coffee cup or favorite chair. Though some would say that this is just your imagination, I prefer to believe that she is really there attempting to comfort you, wanting you to be happy as you continue your life's journey.

Love, Courage, and Peace of Mind,

Rick

MR_SAD's picture
MR_SAD
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2008

Rick
I to am 57 years young. Thanks for your kind words. IT is a tough thing not having your best friend with you. I am thankful that you are a survivor. You are right some day we shall all be together in a place with no pain, Where will will all laugh and have no worries. Hope you have a great weekend.
Floyd

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