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Does it get easier?

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

As you all know, my husband passed on 11/24/09 and since the funeral I have just been going through the motions. I don't sleep much and then I force myself to get up in the morning and do what needs to be done. My family have all disappeared into their own lives again and life goes on. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have gone back to their own lives and I don't hear from them. However, my nieces on my husband's side are doing their best to keep me occupied along with their husbands. I have picked out a tree to be cut and they are going to help me do that. The niece in Pennsylvania and her husband have asked me to come and spend Christmas with them and I have accepted. They will come and pick me up on Christmas Eve and I'm not sure when I'll be coming home. I just know that I need to get away from here for a couple of days and I hope that I won't be too depressing for the rest of the family. I'm sure that there will be some tears. I know that when I went to dinner at the niece's the other night, the kids just come right out with questions about Uncle and it doesn't phase them. They understand that he is gone but I don't think they really understand. They just know that they won't see him again.

I can't go into the room where he was right now. I started to clean it out last week but I just can't seem to do it now. It just hurts too much.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm glad to see you back posting. I suspect Christmas is going to be a little rough for all of us. I decided not to decorate, but I have been shopping. I will be going to our son's. After Christmas the family is going to the coast and to an aquarium. It will be nice to get away. I also went to our cancer support group's Christmas luncheon. They had enchiladas in honor of my husband. He had suggested that at the last meeting he was able to attend. It was very nice. Two of us there had recently lost our husbands. The other lady also lost a son lately.

I don't know if it gets easier with time or not. I'm still waiting for it to happen. I don't cry as often now. Maybe that's a good sign. I still talk about him in the present tense instead of the past most of the time. I catch myself at times and I guess reality hits me. I haven't been able to clean out his office and clothes yet. I keep saying I'm going to but never seem to get to it. I have given myself permission to grieve, though. I think that helps me. Take care. Fay

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

I lost my aunt and uncle in 10 months. They were more like a second set of parents to me as I had lived with them for sometime when I was young. My cousin took ownership of their home right after their death. It took us a few weeks just to walk in the door. A year later and 90% of the home has not changed. We are not putting time limits on changes. Everytime I pick up a pot or pan I remember my aunt cooking in the kitchen. And my uncles handiwork is all over the home. We meet almost daily now at the home for tea. And their coffee cups are put away. And its pretty easy to hear my aunts voice telling us to clean up. Its a monument to the 55 years they spent together so out of respect to them I don't care if it ever changes. I guess when we can sit at the kitchen table and not get emotional when talking about them it might be time. But right now it has too many good memories. Slickwilly

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

I guess I'm depressed but I know that is understandable. The only reason I am decorating for the holidays and that is only putting the tree up and a wreath on the door is because my husband discussed it with me and made me promise to do it in his memory. He seem ed to know in October that he wasn't going to be here. I have cleaned a few things out of his room, I gave away the bed because everytime I looked in I could see him laying there. Not that that is a bad thing but I don't remember him in a good way. I just remember the last few moments we had together and I know he looked up at me and told me he loved me and then was gone. I can't talk to anyone on the phone yet because I just burst into tears whenever they start to talk about him. Sometimes when I'm sitting here in the evening, I want to get up and go in the room to check on him. It's almost as if he is still here. I know it sounds crazy, but I'll go into his room just to smell his clothes. I guess I'm just not ready to let go. I know that you, too, are having a hard time now because of the holidays. I love people who don't know what you're going through say, "oh it gets easier and you'll get through it with no problem." I talk to my mother a lot because she lost my father in 9/2002 and I guess we have more in common than a lot of mothers and daughters. She told me that she, too, has a jacket that belonged to my father that she just could not part with. He wore it a lot so she will pull it out sometimes when she is missing him. She sold the home that they lived in and unfortunately, the family threw away most of my father's belongings or took them themselves. I guess there are some things that you would rather not have in common with people and I know that you feel the same way. I tried to sleep in my bed last night but I just couldn't do it. I lay there for almost an hour tossing and turning and finally got back up and came out to the couch about 2:30am. I seemed to doze off then. I still don't sleep much because I just have so much going on in my head. I'm glad that you get out and try to do something. I know that I'm trying that myself a little more each day. I'm trying not to rely on other people because they won't always be there. I haven't given away anything of my husband's yet because I just can't seem to part with it. I guess when the time is right, I will know. There are two items though that I have to give to a nephew because the last time he was here, my husband specified that he wanted him to take them. I did receive a condolence card from my husband's oncologist which is more than I can say for his primary care physician. But then, we never heard from her while my husband was here. I am considering sending a letter to the oncologist and telling him that I feel that the medical field let my husband down. I am going to advise him that when we were there on April 27th, we were told by his RN that there were no problem with his scans and he was still in remission. If that is the case, then why when he was admitted to the hospital on 5/11 did the scan show that the cancer had gone to Stage IV. Maybe he won't respond, but at least I'll voice my feelings.
Things are back to normal, I don't hear from anybody now that the funeral is past and my husband is no longer here. I guess people have their own ways of dealing with things. Sorry to run on like this, but I feel that I can talk to you because you are experiencing the same situation.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I am really blessed with a strong support system. Each of our sons calls at least twice a week, and many friends have been getting me out for a meal. Members from our church often go out to a local restaurant after church and I join them. One lady told me that they promised my husband that they would look after me and they are going to do that. I set a goal for myself to have a meal out at least once a week with a friend. I have even contacted a couple of people and asked them to join me. One friend actually told me that she was honored that I called her. She was one of those who had offered to "help in any way." This was one way she felt she could help.

I still find that I lack focus. I lose things and start projects I don't finish. I read in one book that we may have what is called "the fog of grief." Boy do I! It was nice to give it a name. I did find my GPS in a place I could have sworn I had already looked.

Please don't hesitate to call. Crying is good. That's one of the things I have given myself permission to do. Friends understand. Those who don't understand are not worth my time.

I take medication for my fibromyalgia that helps me sleep. I don't know where I would be without it. Also because my husband slept in a chair due to pain in his back for over a year, I was used to the dog sleeping in the bed with me. I think that has helped. The dog is also a help in general. He's company and quite the character. He's over 65 pounds and still thinks he's a lap dog. He used to climb in my husband's lap. Now he climbs in mine.

I hope we all feel better tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. Take care, Fay

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

Reading your post somehow seemed as though I had written it myself with all I'm dealing with. My husband joined the Lord on 10-13-09. Since that moment I'm completely lost...I have tried many times to go through his things and nothing ever gets finished. I have piles of things everywhere because when I look at something that mattered to him the tears begin to flow and I have to stop. In fact, I feel like my entire life has come to a halt. I feel like I have no purpose in life anymore. If I didn't firmly believe that suicide was an unforgivable sin I would have followed him immediately. And as of now I feel as though I'll follow shortly anyway due to a broken heart.

I'm so sorry...........for all of us.

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

I know exactly what you mean. I, myself, have contemplated suicide but then I think about the animals that I have and what might happen to them if I'm not here. It sounds crazy I know to worry about animals but they rely on me and if it weren't for them I don't think I would still be here. I have had cats but they are not very loving so Monday I went out and bought a puppy. She is a toy spaniel and she is the best of company. She is very loving and has become totally attached to me. She gives me a reason to go on. I know that my family is there and I speak to my mother who has gone through the same thing with my father. He passed from cancer in 2002 and she still has some of the feelings that I am experiencing. She said that it's not that it gets easier but that you accept what has happened and adjust your life to the changes. It never really gets easier. You live with the heartbreak and even though it has only been two weeks since my husband passed, I miss him terribly and sometimes I feel that I can walk in the other room and see him and then I realize that no, he is gone and then I'll just have a good cry. Crying seems to help a little to release my anger because he is gone but I, myself, don't think it will ever get easier to accept. Just take it minute by minute and try not to let what others say upset you. Unless they have walked in your shoes or experienced what you have experienced, they will never know how you feel.

((HUGS))
Shirley

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm glad you got the puppy. My lab is 18 months old and a real sweetheart. I love spaniels,too. The lab's name is Moose and he is. He really is company. I know he misses my husband, too. He still thinks he's a lap dog, but he always sat on my husband's lap. Now he thinks he should spend time in mine each day. Take care and don't ever think of suicide. Your husband would not want you to think of that, and it is so hard on families. We are called surviving caregivers for a reason. We are strong enough to survive. Take each day, hour, minute and grieve in your own time and way. Fay

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

I know that my family thinks I'm crazy because I got the puppy so soon after my husband's passing and they said that I should not make any major decisions that quickly, but I feel that she has been a blessing these past few days. I miss my husband terribly and a puppy, I guess they think, is not going to replace him. As you said, it just helps in the healing and the grieving. I named my little girl Angel because I think in a way when I saw her she reached out to me and maybe it sounds crazy but I feel that my husband was there with me. I would like to feel that he is with me where ever I am and whatever I'm doing. As you know, when someone is a part of you for so long, you would like to think that even after they pass that you still know what they would be thinking if they were still here. I know he would have loved this little baby as much as I do and I would like to think that she was an angel sent by him to watch over me. Although, I don't know what a 10 pound puppy or dog could do. It's nice to have her to snuggle up to at night and just to hear her breathing is almost a comforting sound. I have passed the stage of considering suicide because as you said, that only hurts the family that is left behind and my mother is English and tells me all the time that we are strong blood and we pull ourselves together and carry on. She has done it for seven years and is 82 years old so I guess I'll pull myself up by the bootstraps as she calls it, and carry on in both mind and my husband's behalf. I am a strong person and I will go on. Life will be a lot different but I will adjust to the changes. My husband is and always will be a part of me. I went to the funeral home yesterday and put an ornament on the tree that they have for the holidays and on the ribbon I placed a little note "Beloved Husband, William Glenn Somerville, Always and Forever" which was our song. He will be with me in spirit always.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I read through several of your postings here and let me say that your decision to get the puppy will be very theraputic for you, more than you might even realize. Who cares what the family thinks of you getting the dog - you know what you need and what a pet gives you is so healthy for you especially right now. I have 2 cats and mine are like kids, one talks to me all the time and the other one always has to be near - I don't know how I would have gotten through without them. They are like little fuzzy angels.

The second thing I wanted to throw in for consideration is a question. Have you considered speaking with a grief counsellor or someone else who you might trust, in a professional capacity? I'm sorry if I missed that you have done that somewhere in your posts but I didn't see it if you did. I really think that everyone who goes through any traumatic event should touch base with someone to just keep an eye on them to make sure the grieivng process is proceeding at a healthy pace and that the person isn't getting stuck in any of the stages of grief or is in fact depressed. Depreseion isn't something to wave off and it can so easily be treated and can make such a big difference in your life. Just wanted to make sure that you have considered this as part of your healing plan. You don't want depression or grief to go too far without intervention. I have many side effects from treatment many years ago and with it all physically came alot of emotional issues and so from time to time I check in with a counsellor just to make sure I am still 'firing on all pistons' as I like to call it. lol. Think about it is all I ask.

I think that your husband's request for you to decorate for Xmas no matter what was such a caring and loving thing for him to have said to you as he knew it would be healing to continue on for your own sake. Lovely.

You are in my prayers and please give that adorable puppy a little hug from me will you? lol. Blessings, Bluerose

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Sometimes when I read your posts, my little computer nearly vibrates with your pain. Perhaps because you have been so well loved, I often think of the writer Joan Didion, whose beloved husband died suddenly. Her "grief memoir," called My Year Of Magical Thinking (I think) might possible help you feel less lost. Most libraries have it.

Please be patient with yourself. When your heart is in shreds, it takes time to heal.

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

Yes, I was so well loved by my husband. In the 25 years that we were married we never went to bed mad. The last thing we told each other before we went to sleep was "I Love You". So I know that he passed knowing that I loved him because that was the last thing that he heard from me. I will take your advice and locate this book. It's just that there is a big emptiness and nothing will ever refill or replace that love. He was my first love and he will be my last. I will never love another. I did not marry until I was 30 years old and it took that long to find the one and only love of my life.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I, too, was well loved. We met and married in college. I don't know if that makes this time harder or easier. I surprised everyone when I got our lab. I even questioned myself after I did it, but I know now it was for a reason. We had to put our 13 year old basset hound to sleep a week before my husband died. My mom and her dog have gone to live with my sister. I know I would have been even more lost if it wasn't for Moose. He really is company. Plus, he doesn't judge. I can cry in front of him, and I can tell him anything I want to say. More and more studies are showing that having a pet is good for us. The one person who didn't seem surprised when I bought the dog was my husband. I gave Moose to him as a birthday present and he understood. Take care, Fay

CherylMike
Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2009

My husband and I would have celebrated our 25th wedding aniversary on December 27th. We were college sweethearts. I am having a very hard time. Today was a really bad day. I got out of bed to get my 13 year old off to school and went back to bed until supper time. I feel better now. It is just really hard without Mike. He was my best friend. I will see something funny and think "Oh, I can't wait to tell Mike about this" and then I remember that he is gone. It feels like someone has hit me with a ton of bricks - each and every time. I am glad that you got a dog. We have 4 (a yorkie, golden and 2 italian greyhounds). The yorkie and golden are around 12 years old. They like to have you scratch them, then they will curl up for a big nap. The italian greyhounds are "wild childs". They chase each other around the table at full speed then reverse and go the other direction. They make me laugh. We all pile in bed at night. (The greyhounds always knew when Mike hurt - the cancer mets to his bones and was very painful. They would gently curl up around his stomach. He always said they made him feel better.) I love my dogs and do not know what I would do without them. I think that we were blessed to find our soulmates and get to spend time with them on this earth. I know so many people that really dislike their spouses. They really have horrible marriages. I am so glad that Mike and I found each other. We have three terrific kids. I keep trying to see my glass as half full and be thankful for the time we did have. Sometimes (most of the time) it is really hard, but when I do, I feel much better. I will keep you in my prayers~Cheryl

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

I am trying so hard to carry on as my husband would put it. I went out and got the Christmas tree this past weekend and I have decorated it as best as I am going to this year. I did not put any of our ornaments on the tree, I bought inexpensive nonbreakable ornaments so that the puppy, if she knocks them down, can't get hurt by them. I sit here at night looking at the tree and crying because I think of Glenn so much. I like to think that he can see and knows what I've done. People might think I'm crazy but I sit here and talk to him at night. I don't sleep much at nights, I just sit up and have the television on. I can't listen to a lot of Christmas music because it makes me think of him and I end up crying. People tend to think I'm a little odd but I don't really go out much. I've become pretty much of a shut in except to go to the supermarket. I have to push myself just to get through the days and the nights are long and hard. But I will do what I have to to get through. After the holidays, I will find myself a new job and I will make some changes in my home. I have made a few because it's easier to take down some of the things and put up new pictures of us together. I seem to be able to cope a little easier. Thank you for being there. Today has been an extremely hard day and I've spent most of it crying.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Sassy I am so glad to see you on here posting and even happier to know that you have accepted an invitation to spend Christmas Eve with relatives. So many would just hide but you are so doing the right thing for yourself. Try not to worry about how others will take your grief at times throughout the season, just worry about yourself and others will understand I'm sure. Just wonderful you are getting out and will be with people at this normally emotional time of the year from the get go on top of all the emotions you are going through this first Xmas without your husband.

His room can wait Sassy. It would be too early for me too right now. Let that go for now, I think that would be best. You will go in and do what you have to when you are strong enough, you will know when that is.

Let the love and support of those around you on Christmas Eve help you to get through this holiday season. I know your husband will always be with you in spirit.

Hope the season goes as well as can be expected this year, the 'firsts' are always the hardest. Many cyber hugs to you. Blessings, Bluerose

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

Bluerose,
You are right that you have to go on but it was extremely hard. I went to a niece's and stayed there for Christmas Eve and then I came home last night with another nephew. It was so difficult because my niece and her husband actually created a hardcover book of photographs of my husband over the last seven years. They gave it to me when we were alone on Christmas Eve and we were so glad that they did. When I opened the book and saw what it was, I could feel the tears in welling up and as I turned the pages I just started crying and could not stop. It hurt so badly to see how he was over the past several years and then in 2008 to see the changes in him where you could tell that there was something wrong. He had lost so much weight and looked so weak. I finally stopped crying and they said that it was okay for me to cry and that is why they wanted me to have the book with just the three of us. She understands that her parents are not the greatest at showing their feelings and that they have difficulty in understanding how others display theirs. On Christmas Day it was just so overwhelming and at one point I just had to go and hide from everyone because I missed my husband so badly and knew how much he loved playing games with the kids and it wasn't the same without him. I was supposed to stay longer but I felt that I had to get away. My brother-in-law does not stop and think before he says things and he comes out with statements that are very hurtful as far as reminding me of my loss. My niece and nephew tried to be protective of me but, unfortunately, they couldn't be around me all of the time. Maybe one day they will understand but I don't see that happening anytime soon. My niece and nephew said that they want to make this a tradition for me to go and stay with them for holidays just so that I can get away. They are very supportive and loving and I appreciate them being there for me. I am taking it one day at a time now. I know that my life will fall back into order eventually and that I will get some assemblance in my routine again. I just have to adjust that I am now a self-supporting widow (I hate that word) and that I have to take care of myself.

THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE.
((HUGS))
SHIRLEY

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

We're all taking baby steps, one step at a time. Our sons, grandchildren, and I are all on a short trip to the coast right now. This is one of the last places my husband and I came to. It's one of my favorite places, and I wanted to come with family. Christmas Eve was hard because that's when we always celebrated. We hosted it every year. This year it was at one of the son's. It was nice. I had trouble sleeping that night, though. I have so many happy memories, and sometimes I feel alone even in a group. I am blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support. I know my sons feel the loss, too, as do the daughters-in-law and older grandchildren. They realize that my loss is different and they do try to understand. I think only those who have been through it really do understand, though. That's why I came here. Take care everyone. Fay

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

Well, as we all are who have lost a loved one, we are sitting here in our homes and if you are like me, you are just crying in the new year. All this does is make me miss my husband even more than ever and it hurts so badly. I know it's only been just over a month since he passed, but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier at all. All this whole season has done is make me realize even more how much we were so much a pair. I mean, we finished each others sentences and we always seemed to be on the same thought line. And now I have the flu and am not feeling well so everything seems worse. I guess I'm feeling sorry for myself right now, but I MISS MY HUSBAND soooo much. Last year we sat here and discussed what we would do for the next New Year celebration, but unfortunately, fate had other plans. I miss the holidays we used to have together and most of all, I miss our New Year's Eve together. We didn't do much but we were together. I know that I'm not alone feeling this way and there are plenty of us going through the same feelings. WILL IT EVER GET EASIER!!!!!

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

Sassy, i know the pain and grief seems to have life of itself and surrounds you. I have an suggestion that may help you heal and feel good about what your doing as well. What if you volunteer part of your time to help other cancer patient or/and their family members. This can be done by seeking out internet sites that include other cancer patients and their loved ones or meeting at support groups locally as well. You can inquire about what you can do to help at local hospitals, community centers, schools, or other organizations that had lost someone in their family. Or you can see what can be offered by being a volunteer by phone to others who seek someone to talk too. A bond can be created that could make you feel better as well as the other person in a common cause. Its a way to help make a positve difference and heal too.

Steve

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I don't have the flu, but I have a nasty cold. Not feeling well sure doesn't help. I went to bed early not wanting to see the new year in alone. I did wake up to the noises of others celebrating the new year in the neighborhood. We had a good family trip to Monterey and the Monterey aquarium. I enjoyed being with the grandchildren, sons and daughters-in-law. In the evenings we watched videos and played games. I didn't get my cold until I got home. Both sons called today to see how I was doing. They miss their dad,too, and worry about me. I guess it is getting easier. I don't cry as much, and I'm not in as much of a daze. I still misplace things, but not as bad. I don't feel any less lonely, though. After 42 years of marriage I guess that's to be expected. My New Year's Resolution: I will continue to pray for all of us. I will come to these boards, hope that something I write might help others, vent when I need to, and cry with those who are struggling to deal with this devastating disease and those who have been left behind. Fay

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