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how do you start over??????????

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

It has been 2 years since I lost Richard to lung cancer. We had 34 years together and all I want is my life back, the way it was. It doesn't matter if it was before or after he was sick. I don't know how to start over without him.
Does this even make any sence?
I was 19 when we met, he was 21 so we basically grew up together. Shared our hopes and dreaams and Cancer took that away from both of us.
I know that people pick up the pieces and go on, but how. Most days I am good, then like the last couple of days..... BOOM it hits me like a brick flying through a plate glass window. And the life that I have tryed to put together without him are shattered and I have to start putting them back together again.
To tell you the truth it is really getting old. I can't tell you what he looked like before he passed. But I can tell you exactly what he looked like the night I took him to the hospital. It's a memory that I can't get out of my mind.
I am getting out and meeting new people, but this doesn't seem to help because I keep going back to OUR LIFE. Is it too soon? I waited 1 year 7 months before I even went out with friends.
If anyone has been or is going through this and has any ideas, thoughts, suggestions. Any comments period to help would greatly be appreciated. PLEASE let me know.
Barbra

shoppergal
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Barbra, I'm so sorry for your loss, I'm sure starting over is very difficult for you. I haven't lost a spouse so I can't say what that feels like. I have lost an Uncle who I was extremely close with. He always lived right across the street from me when I was growing up, and I remember him taking my sister and I places, and babysitting for us. As I grew up he still lived close by, and even after I got married we still lived close by and saw each other often. I would talk to him almost everyday, he was always there to listen to me, and at times he even helped financially, since I was a very young and single Mom. I'm very close to my parents and having my Uncle there was like having a third parent. Then 5 yrs ago he had a heart attack and needed triple bypass surgery. I was the one that sat at thbe hospital with my Mom (it was her brother)thru his surgery which took about 8 hrs or more. A year after that when we thought everything was great he told us he had pancreatic cancer and didn't know how long he had. They took him in for surgery, again I sat thru that, and then they started him on chemo. It used to break my heart watching him go thru all that plus chronic fatgue syndrome on top of it. After a little more than a year on chemo he progressively got worse and didn't want to fight anymore.He would forget things and then realize that he forgot and tell me I should let him know when that happened. I just didn't have the heart to do it. He went into a hospice and I knew that he was never coming home and my heart was breaking. I called everyday and spent Sat and Sun visiting him. Maybe two weeks after being there he no longer talked and was on morphine to keep him comfortable. Right before he stopped talking he told me to promise him I wouldn't mourn for him for to long. I don't even want to tell you what that did to me. One Sat when I got there the door was closed and I knew something was happening. They were only washing him up, but the nurse told us he didn't have much longer. I figured maybe a couple of days or a week. I didn't want to lose him but I knew it was time, he needed to be at peace. My mother went to hold her brothers hand and told him it was time to let go and that Mom was waiting for him. The strangest thing happened, he opened his eyes, looked right at my Mom, took a deep breath and was gone. I miss him so much and tell him so all the time. That was 3 yrs ago.In Nov 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Now I really understand what my Uncle went thru when he had chemo and my heart brokes all over again.But I know my Uncle was there with me,watching me every step of the way. I think about him everday and miss him terribly,but I know his suffering is over and that makes me happy. I also think about what he told me about mourning for too long. I now really know what he meant,he wanted me to go on with my life and enjoy it to the fullest, and to be happy. I have many happy memories of my Uncle and I think of them often, I speak about him with my family and I have many pictures to remember him. Almost every morning I look at his picture and try to remember him how he looked healthy rather than the way he looked the day I lost him. I know he watches over me and smiles down at me and he's happy that I'm try ing to live my life. I didn't mean to ramble but I thought it important to hear my story. After all the years with your husband, I know you have many happy memories to think about and pictures to look at. Keep those memories close to your heart at all times,but you have to live your life and be happy. Your husband is no longer in pain and suffering and I know he would want you to be happy. I tell my son exactly what my Uncle told me when the time comes for me to go don't mourn too long,celebrate the life that I lived, and go on and live life to the fullest. After all life is short and there are so many things to cram into that short life!! You'll never forget your huband or the memories, it's just time to make new memories. Look up once in awhile I'm sure you'll see your husband smiling down at you... you might even see my Uncle with him!! Best of Luck!! Wendy

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

Wendy,

I know that Richard is healthy and with alot of family member, probably even ones he'd probably not like to be with LOL. I have been trying despreatly to go with my life. Actually dated a guy for 3 months. It seems (and I have to realize this) that it's not going to be the same with anyone else. I was younger then and now I have to realize that I have changed and so have the people around me. It's just so hard to start over. And sometimes I feel like I don't want to. My life has changed drastically. I have never had cancer but my mom is a 5 year suvivor of breast cancer, i lost a brother in 08 and a sister 09. I'm thinking there is a block created, that I need to break.
I went to a counsler at the cancer center for quite awhile after he passed. And I am thinking that maybe it's time to go back again. He had some really good insight. I tryed group counsling but they cry too much. I need positive.
You didn't ramble on, I appreciate everything. I need information regardless.
Again Thank You
Barbra

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Barbara I too married my husband at 19 and we were married 28 years when he died of lung cancer in Oct. 2005. They found my cancer first then 2 years later they found Toms. He lived a year and a half me I am still here after 7 years of off and on chemo. Tom was my soul mate. Its been hard but he told me "one day at a time and make it simple". He could do everything and was a giving person. I get out the photos of things we did and talk to my sons about their dad. Also helps talking to friends. Find things to do when you get frustrated or do things we women enjoy with a friend. I have days I still cry but then remember his words "We will be together again someday." And his last words were "I love you." I am doing ok and have to find another chemo and will continure to fight for my kids. They are in their late 20s and have been quite lost with out their dad but we do our best and life does go on no matter how much we want things the way they were, It never stays the same. You have tough days come the this board we care, I do. I know your pain.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

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

Sandy,

My sons are 33 and 36. The youngest wants me to find someone to be happy with, the oldest still has the hardest time dealing with all this. I am trying to deal with all this one day at a time. Went to the chat room for the longest time, and it helped me alot. Go in once in awhile just to say hi to all the angels that helped me through my most difficult times. I think it's just now. The really bad thing is the friends that we did have together left when they found out he had cancer. I have a few close friends but they don't live close. I want to start a new life with someone else, and something keeps pulling me back. I know that Richard would want me to go on, but the strings still seem to be attached and I guess because we were together for so long it's gonna be hard to cut loose. And when I tell anyone that I had a heart attack, they back off even further. It was stress related (that's what the doctor said). But, i'm only 55 and I figured I would leave it in the hands of the man upstairs. What he has in plan for me is a mystery. So everyday I get up as if it were my first and go on. I expect nothing but the best to happen in my life. I have my family and if it weren't for them I have no idea how well I would be doing. I Will Survive.
Prayer and Hugs to you and your boys
Barbra

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I am a 2 year colon cancer survivor. I've lost a close friend and a brother in law to cancer. What cancer takes from us I don't believe we ever get back. Our lives will never be the same. Only each of us knows when it's time to move forward. There's no time line, for one person 5 years is to soon, for another 5 months may not be soon enough. They say time heals, I'm not sure about that. What I do know is when you love someone deeply a part of that person will always be in your heart, even though their gone. Please find a good support group. Think about what your passionate about, a hobby, volunteer work, something that helps give you peace and surround yourself with that. God bless and I'm sorry about the loss of your husband.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Barbra, First let me extend my condolances on the loss of your husband. It sounds like you had a wonderful long and happy relationship and for that as I know you realize, you were truly blessed.

From reading all that you wrote I don't think you realize how truly far you really have come already, I even noticed a 'LOL' in one of your posts here so you have regained a sense of humour too which is so healthy. I am glad to hear that you have gotten out and tried to begin other relationships but know that your life has changed with the cancer experience and your life will never be quite the same but that doesn't mean that it will be worse at all. You have learned a great deal from the experience, even if sometimes you don't realize it, and as I said before it seems as if you are using what you have learned to move on.

No doubt about it, losing a loved one is traumatic and it does hit you when you least expect it, I experience the same thing with the loss of loved ones in my life - even years and years later. You are going through the stages of grief as you should and some will come back now and again but time will help to make them less and less traumatic when they do.

Savor your memories of the wonderful relationship you had and try and celebrate that instead of grieve the loss, if you can. I know it's easy to say but harder to do but know that time does heal all.

Use this site to write when you feel down and share with those who understand, as you have found here by now, it's a wonderful way to help yourself heal.

All the best, you are in my prayers. Hugs, Blueroses.

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

Hi,
Yes it is a long road as I have began to realize. Men are not the same as when I was dating as a teenager. OMG I don't remember my hubby as a young man, because I watched as he went from a healthy man to an old man in a matter of months. That's what keeps popping into my head. And I know that it too will disappear, but the memories of the 34 yrs will always be in my heart. I just hope that someone can get past the fact that it will always remain there no matter what.
I think this discussion site is alittle better than tring to explain everything with so many people talking about different things. But I still go there great group of people. LOL I am just trying to get some insite on HOW? I know that 2 yrs is not along time but I am definitly ready. Just take each day one at a time. And hope that i'm pointed in the right direction. If I make mistakes then it's a lesson learned.
Barbra

Neenie3
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2009

You have my sympathy - starting over under any circumstances is never easy. I didn't lose my husband to cancer. He just decided he didn't want to be married to me after 35 years. That was six years ago. Amazing how time will keep marching on and we live one day at a time. A support group was helpful for me and I have many friends who have joined grief support groups. Allow yourself time to remember and enjoy the good times. Even I can remember good times! It is possible to be alone and be OK. I have become more active in my church, volunteered more, spent more time with my grandchildren and even done things to spoil myself.
Sometimes you just have to learn to be your own best friend. You know that your sweet husband wanted you to be happy when he was alive and he certainly wants you to be happy now.
Many blessings to you, Neenie

angelsbaby's picture
angelsbaby
Posts: 1154
Joined: May 2008

i too am at a loss being married for 35 yrs we did everything together now i have to go it alone and i am scared but he did instill in me to be strong and i am trying . I will never love another.

michelle

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

I have seen your many posts and knew that you were at a loss as we all are as caregivers, surviors or just going through the treatment. I haven't been reading as much as i should. And I am so sorry for your loss. To me it seems like yesterday, even though it's been over 2 years. Memories and my family helps alot.
I can't say that I will never love again. It will be a different love, mostly because my husband and i basically grew up together. I was 19 he was 21. But I am one of these people that do not wish to spend the rest of my life without a companion in my life. Someone to grow old with (thought I already had that), take long walks with, just a mans company. And oh yes I am going to be pickey. That's my right as a woman and a mature adult. I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!!!!!
It will take you time, but things will get better, I promiss. The memeories you had will always be there. And you will have good times and bad. Just take one day at a time, and cry, laugh be by yourself when it's needed and gather with friends and remember when necessary.
I wish you the best of luck. I will keep trucken on and do my best. thanks and again hugs to you.
Barbra

angelsbaby's picture
angelsbaby
Posts: 1154
Joined: May 2008

I hear you.

michelle

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

I am so sorry for the loss of your husband of many years, sounds like you had a wonderful life together. Never say never Michelle, time has a way of helping us heal and even though now it seems impossible to care for someone else you just never know. Sounds like your husband taught you alot about a good relationship as you did for him as well and I am sure you have alot to share with someone else down the road - even if the person only turns out to be a very good friend. Don't put blinders on you just never know. All the best in your healing. Blessings, Blueroses.

longingforhope's picture
longingforhope
Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2009

Blue Roses,

I will soon be facing what you are now, you and I chatted a few days or weeks ago and I was kicked off. Anyway my husband is stage 3 with a 10% chance of the Interferon working and only a 35% chance of living another year or two. It's hard we've been together since I was 14 and he was 19, married for 23 years and have two girls 15 and 18. We have endured two major surgeries, 20 lymph nodes removed, a 5 cm tumor that crumbled and took an hour to clean out and a 4 hour surgery, iv interferon treatments and now I give him shots 3 times a week.

It's hard, sad, exhausting and scary. I don't know from one day to the next what will happen, what kind of mood swings he will have from the Interferon, if I can make it through another day of Drs paperwork,appts and phone calls. Then I think what will I do when this is over. What will my days be filled with, tears, lonliness and emptiness??? I have to believe that we are the chosen ones, the Care Givers, and we are strong and will survive. If not I can't get out of bed.

What do you enjoy, reading, riding a bike, long walks, laying in the sun, talking on the phone, posting on line, chatting online or with a friend? Try to find something each day that makes life just a little easier. And remember you have a whole family that is here for you.

Much Love,

LH

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