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I feel relieved - is that normal.

aandj's picture
aandj
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2008

My wife age 35 passed away on 10th Feb after a 15th month battle with ovairian Cancer, during that time I was the main caregiver, I just feel so releived that is over I dont seem to be griefing properly, I feel empty inside but I dont seem to be bursting into tears. Is this normal???

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

Sorry to hear of your wifes passing. It is the hardest thing we as cergivers have to watch and then go on without our loved ones. Your time will come for tears do not be alarmed. You are just so overwhelmed with all that has happened and for it to finally be over is sometimes a sigh of relief. Each person grieves differently i know myself when mom passed i was fine for the services and all that happened afterwards and about say 2-4 weeks is when i started having my tears and anxiety issues of being without her, it still going on these days it seems when your mind is occupied you dont think or feel as much once its a quiet time is when it will hit you. For now rest assured nowing your wife is at peace and no more suffering and one day you will meet again. remember all the loved you shared and all the memories and if things get hard try to remember she loved you dearly and wants you to take care of yourself be sad but move on eventually and be happy. May her smile and love fill your heart during your time ahead.

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

When my husband passed I was so drained I couldn't cry either. Eventually it happened though. I was overwhelmed fighting cancer myself and trying to help my soul mate of almost 28 years of marriage. It will hit you believe me but remember we all have our way of grieving and our time when it happens. I was by myself a few weeks later and I just sat and cried. I feel part of him is still with me and I live one day at a time. Prayers to you and your family
Sandy

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

because they both had suffered tremendously from their respective long-term illnesses. It is only love that prompts a desire to end the suffering of a loved one. It is our selfishness which begs our weak and pain-ridden family members to hang on to life long after their will for it has faded, they do so only for our sake.

Much has been written concerning the stages of grief. Here is something from cancersurvivors.org:

"A lesser known definition of the stages of grief is described by Dr. Roberta Temes in the book, "Living With An Empty Chair - a guide through grief." Temes describes three particular types of behavior exhibited by those suffering from grief and loss. They are:

* Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)
* Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)
* Reorganization (re-entry into a more 'normal' social life.)"

http://www.cancersurvivors.org/Coping/end%20term/stages.htm

Perhaps, you are still in the "numbness" stage? In any case, what is "normal" for you IS normal, there is no better way for "you" to cope, just let it take you where ever you need to go.

Love and Courage!

Rick

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I have read the other comments, and was particularly impressed with Terato's. His recommendations for literature to look at are spot on.

Even so, I must beg to differ with all of the above respondents. I am a survivor, by the way, who also lost my mom to cancer more than 10 years ago, and was there when she died. I was on the ground next to her gurney (in my parents' den), her in a coma, when it came to pass.

My dad suggested the next day that one of us was not grieving sufficiently (he said it differently and said it kindly and meant me) and that it would bite that person eventually (me). I am the oldest of six children and I think he expected me to crash completely, and when that did not happen, he made that dire prediction.

It has not happened, more than 10 years later.

Here is what I think happens: when a loved one dies immediately, the loss is sudden and profound. It is tragic and unexpectedly so.

When a loved one lingers one for some time, the grief has a chance to dissipate, and to be less painful.

For example, at the same time I was going into the ICU at one hospital to get a repeat surgery on my right lung, due to a MSSA infection, my father-in-law was being admitted to another hospital in the same area, for a COPD-related incident.

I came out, obviously. Regrettably, that sweet old man did not.

When he died, I figured that my wife and my mother-in-law, and even my brother-in-law, who has cerebral palsy and has lived at home forever, would simply crater. I really believed I would have bedlam on my hands, emotionally speaking.

This was not the case, and I think it is because he lingered so long that in the end, whether they would admit it or not, my wife and her mom and brother were glad to see that he was no longer in pain, and, frankly, that their visiting days were done, although I am in danger when I go that far, I will admit.

If I had died, on the other hand, my wife would have been extremely upset, as would have been my children, not because they love me more, but because they had every expectation that I would be leaving the hospital alive: they were not PREPARED to grieve for me yet, and they were NOT grieving for me yet.

Do you get it? What I'm trying to say?

Do not carry guilt about the way you feel. As someone else suggested, we each grieve in our personal way. I advise that you have been grieving for a long time, longer than you might consider, in fact.

And this is why it does not hurt so much as it might. This is why relief is not abnormal.

Take care,

Joe

Cindy54's picture
Cindy54
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

Joe has hit a lot of the right things. Sometimes when we are taking care of a loved one for so long, we grieve as we go. I took care of my Mom for 18 months, for ovarian also, and there were a lot of tears along the way. But when she died, I had none. It was months before the tears came, and even then it was not a gusher of tears, I think, because I was so overwhelmed with trying to put my life back together. I moved, I took a second job, I got cancer also, so there was not a lot of time or energy to grieve as I thought I should. Mom passed two years ago, and this past year has seen the true grieving come as I battled the same type of cancer that she passed from. The tears will come. There is no right or wrong way to grieve for someone we love. I also think that at the time of our loved ones passing, they are finally at peace, so they pass some of that peace on to us. Mom did not want me to grieve and cry when she passed. She told me that there had been enough tears. But I did cry for her. It was just long after her passing. Be gentle with yourself. Being a caregiver takes far more from us than we think. I felt that sense of relief also, that there would be no more hospital trips, no more parking tickets from staying too long in one spot at the hospital, no more struggling to find help when I needed it. That almost sounds selfish. But there is nothing to feel guilty about. We all do the best we can for our loved ones. They know that. And I do agree, sudden deaths or unexpected deaths cause that intense grief that makes you want to wail with tears right away. When you have watched someone slowly fade right before your eyes, well the grief is not as intense because you have spent so much of your emotional reserve taking care of your loved one. We all grieve differently, again, there is no right or wrong way to do it.Go with what you feel is the right thing for you to do. Hugs to you, Cindy

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