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I know you can't help, just need to speak

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

I know that no one here can help me, but I just feel the need to say how I'm dealing with my loss and pain. My husband, who was my best friend, passed from lung cancer on 10-13-09. I haven't been copping well at all. I'm on several medications, but the panic attacks are the worst. I can't even leave the house anymore.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I feel like my heart is just completely shattered. They say that God wants you to continue for a "purpose". I don't understand this because there is no purpose for me without my husband. Don't misunderstand me, I don't believe in suicide, to do so would ensure never being with my family again, however, if I'm supposed to stay for God's purpose....then what is it? I see nothing.

Dazey
Posts: 86
Joined: Sep 2009

Sometimes it is very hard to see the sun on a very cloudy day - we just need to remember that it is there, just well hidden. I can feel the pain you are feeling. I lost my husband to cancer 12 years ago. I know your thoughts are going in different directions, but try to believe that God is here to help you get through this. On some other posts, we have discussed an old book that has helped a number of us. It is by a Rabbi Harold Kushner and it is "When bad things happen to good people".
You have experienced a tremendous loss and need time to grieve. You also experienced the trauma of being the caretaker of a terminally ill loved one. No one can understand the depth and breadth of that experience unless they have gone through it. You need time to heal yourself. Make a commitment to yourself that each day you will do one thing different. If someone invites you somewhere, just say yes. Be kind to yourself and know that you will go on and that is the best testament to your loved one that could ever be done.
Being kind to yourself also includes knowing when to reach out for help. We all need help at times;panic attacks can be overwhelming, but there are ways to manage/eliminate them. Reach out, speak to your doctor who can probably guide you to any number of helps, not only medication, but some practical breathing techniques and counseling.

I wish you peace of mind and heart. Just know that the sun is still up there, even if you can't quite see it right now. Never, never, never give up. Dazey

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

I want you to know that you are not alone. My husband passed on 11/24 and I know exactly how you feel. I get up in the morning wondering what my purpose in life is anymore. I have lost my job so I have nothing to even get up for. But I push myself because I know that my husband would not want me to just give up. I know that you ache and I understand that you have panic attacks. I have noticed that I'm taking less and less trips out of my home except to walk my new puppy. I am trying to sink all of my love into her and I know that that's a lot to put on a little dog, but it has helped to have her here. I still can't face sorting through my husband's things but I'll do it when I'm ready. I've made a couple of changes in my home and I'll eventually change it a little more. It just reminds me too much of him the way it is and it hurts so I end up crying and making myself sick. I have to stop and go on with life as I promised my husband I would. I did decorate a Christmas tree because he and I discussed it prior to him becoming so seriously ill and he wanted me to have a tree. I know you miss your husband and your heart aches for him as mine does for my husband, but please, take it a moment at a time. I have had some of the same thoughts that you are having but that would only hurt my family. I can't do that. My mother helps me because she lost my father seven years ago to the same disease and she says that she still has hard times but she is English and she said that you have to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and go on. It can't be any other way. Please, just know that you are not alone with the feelings that you are having. My only hope is that one day I will be able to cope better than I am now.

CherylMike
Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2009

Michelle~ My husband passed away on halloween. I too suffer from panic attacks - started during Mike's chemo treatments (I ended up in the ER because I thought I was having an allergic reaction and my throat was swelling shut). My doctor put me on Wellbutrin (and antivan for attacks until the Wellbutrin kicked in). It really works. I also count backwards from 100 by 3's. This sounds silly, but it helps. I too miss my husband terribly. I can not answer your last question. I have tried to "see the glass" as half full and be thankful for my kids and the 25 years that I spent with Mike. If I can do this, I feel much better. However, that is easier said than done. I was so upset last Friday that I only got out of bed to see my son off to school and then make dinner. The rest of the day I spent in bed. It was just too much of an effort to do anything. I wish that I could give you words of wisdom, but all that I can do is let you know that you are not alone in your feelings. It is just devestating to loose someone you love to this disease. I am glad that you are on this board so that you can talk about your pain to people that are going through the same. God Bless you and try to take it one day (if needed one hour) at a time. ~Cheryl

pipwe1's picture
pipwe1
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 2009

I never had a panic attack in my life, could never imagine how they even felt, until I lost my partner... then they crept into my life.... i thought I was having a heart attack... they are getting better but I had one out of the blue last saturday, having not had one for almost 3 weeks... now I keep waiting for another one... which almost makes it worse. Hang in there Michelle..... hold onto those screws

Love and prayers

Wendy

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1613
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Michelle, I used to tell my kids that life wasn't fair and that nobody promised us that it would be easy. Now, I'm telling myself that. This is a hard time, especially near Christmas. I don't have answers. It does help to know that I am not alone. I'm sorry we are all struggling at this time. We need to stick together and keep writing. It does help. Please take care of yourself. That's the most important thing we can do right now. Prayers and hugs, Fay

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

Your God, I have read, reveals himself in mystifying ways, Michelle. In those books that you appear to believe in beyond doubt, there are stories that speak of these ways. The ones that come to mind are the stories of Abraham and of Job, two men of belief who were tested sorely by their God and who serve a great purpose even beyond their deaths as representations of the power of faith.

Your God works in mysterious ways, it is said, Michelle.

Have you considered, Michelle, that perhaps your experiences as lover and caregiver, your sobriety and faith, make you a perfect candidate for volunteering among those who are experiencing the very same slippery slide that you rode for those months and years? That you can find great purpose in sharing with others your raw experience as one who has ridden that emotional roller coaster and felt the devastating impact of loss that can be the end of the ride?

It is worth considering, my friend. You may find that you can sustain and cherish your husband's memory best by sharing all that you came to learn during those times of travail, not just the facts and the figures, but the emotions and the methods for dealing with them.

As always, I wish you the very best, Michelle.

You have served and continue to serve a great purpose in these boards. Maybe it is time to open the doors, to go outside, and share what you know with others going through similar trauma.

I wish you a merry Christmas, Michelle, and a hopeful New Year.

Take care,

Joe

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

Your God, I have read, reveals himself in mystifying ways, Michelle. In those books that you appear to believe in beyond doubt, there are stories that speak of these ways. The ones that come to mind are the stories of Abraham and of Job, two men of belief who were tested sorely by their God and who serve a great purpose even beyond their deaths as representations of the power of faith.

Your God works in mysterious ways, it is said, Michelle.

Have you considered, Michelle, that perhaps your experiences as lover and caregiver, your sobriety and faith, make you a perfect candidate for volunteering among those who are experiencing the very same slippery slide that you rode for those months and years? That you can find great purpose in sharing with others your raw experience as one who has ridden that emotional roller coaster and felt the devastating impact of loss that can be the end of the ride?

It is worth considering, my friend. You may find that you can sustain and cherish your husband's memory best by sharing all that you came to learn during those times of travail, not just the facts and the figures, but the emotions and the methods for dealing with them.

As always, I wish you the very best, Michelle.

You have served and continue to serve a great purpose in these boards. Maybe it is time to open the doors, to go outside, and share what you know with others going through similar trauma.

I wish you a merry Christmas, Michelle, and a hopeful New Year.

Take care,

Joe

Lea19
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2009

Michelle,

I am very sorry for your loss. I wish I had the right words to say to make you feel a tiny bit better. All I can say is that your heart has been shattered. You lost a part of yourself. Everyone goes through the grieving process at a different pace. Don't beat yourself up ... it really hasn't been that long at all! The Holidays make it all the harder. Do you have anyone that you can be honest with about your feelings? Sometimes just talking to someone about your husband and some of the good times and fun memories you had could possibly lift your spirits. I think at this point you just need to take care of yourself. I think in time you will start to realize that your husband would want you to
find a way to enjoy your life again. Hopefully little by little your anxiety will lesson and you'll be able to push yourself to start leaving the house.

I think in time the clouds will lift and you will see that God does have a way of showing us our gifts and encourage us to use them.

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

You are wrong about no one being able to help you Michelle because we most certainly can by just listening and understanding what you are going through as so many have been there in one way or another. Many I am sure can offer up things that they might have done or experienced that will sound familiar to you as what you have experienced in all of this and having people validate your feelings is a great help, as most of us have found from being on this site. Take comfort in knowing that at the very least.

As far as everyone having a 'purpose' in this life I honestly believe that. Sometimes we go through most of our lives without really finding out what that is but more than not, at some point - when the time is right, we ourselves realize what that purpose is. It can happen at anytime. I know my purpose was to live to adopt 2 children and show them the way and be available for them as they grew into young adults as they are now. I only hope I will be here long enough to watch them as they form young families of their own.

I truly believe that there is a Master Plan that God has and we all fit into that Master Plan in different ways, some more obvious than others, some more eventful than others but I do believe that every person is important to that plan. You have learned a great deal through going through cancer with your husband in every stage there is including the final passage for him and in just that one thing you have gained a great deal of knowledge that some who are just embarking on that difficult path can truly benefit from, that might be your path, to help them. I of course don't know what your true purpose is but I do know that you were truly blessed to have been allowed to find your soulmate in life, something many never find. For instance I was married for 23 years and today I had to call a lawyer because my ex now is refusing to pay my medical bills as he said he would. You were truly blessed to have spent the time with your true soulmate indeed.

I hope you have friends and family around during the holidays to help you through and if you don't then maybe reach out and help feed the homeless at a church supper or at The Salvation Army and gain your company and true meaning of Christmas in that way, not being alone and doing something for someone else. I know you said you were experiencing panic attacks so you might not want to venture out but if that is keeping you from going out then you really need to get some help for those attacks as soon as possible before it gets out of control. Not sure how long that has been going on but that will only get you in trouble, isolating yourself for too long.

Do keep posting on this board and I know others will chime in with help. Know that you DO HAVE A PURPOSE, no lesser than anyone else. You will find what it is in time, I'm sure of it. Blessings, Bluerose

JR1949
Posts: 230
Joined: Jun 2009

Michelle,

I am sorry for your loss. Please know that God has a purpose for you and is always watching over you. We on this bulletin board are here to help you so keep posting on this board, there are some amazing people out there. May I suggest you check with the oncology department of the hospital for support groups who have lost a loved one to cancer.

I wish God's comfort for you and I will keep you in my prayers.

JR

Kisma
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec 2009

I can say now that I would be lost with my husband. He is my rock. He keeps me going. He is my punching bag, sounding board and the person that just knows I need to be alone. He is my best friend and I know that without him, I would be lost.

I also hope that when that day comes, I know that I would find it hard to go on. He would want me to.

If I may, and you feel comfortable about it, can you tell us or me privately about him? Did you two have things that you did together? Projects... trips..

I don't know if I am helping and I really hope I am not making matters worse... death is hard and many people don't know what to say.. I certainly don't. But I wanted you to know you have support.

Anytime...

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

After my mom died, my sister developed fangs during probate, I sold the house my mom and I had lived in which was a huge change -- especially as I ended up with almost no furniture (those fangs!) and I can tell you that for several months my will lived on the kitchen counter. I started repainting the kitchen and spent 13 weeks doing it--cabinets, walls, decorative finishes. Every night I'd come home and paint until I couldn't do any more. After that, I did the living room, dining room and sunroom. You'll notice I don't mention food here; there's not much you can say about Cheerios. It was a terrible time in my life.

But I did finally get thru that and I started to make a little progress in a new life -- and a few years later I met Don.

God does have something wonderful waiting for you in the future. It may not seem so now and please believe that that's not only normal, it's a testament to how much you loved your husband. But do hang on. There will be something good ahead for you.

Now eleven years after my mom died, Don has very late-stage cancer. I know that a very dark time is coming for me. I too will have to keep going thru it. I will have to try to remember that God has something wonderful ahead for me. I think I'd better stock up on Cheerios.

God bless you, Michelle.

Kisma
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec 2009

Ruthelizabeth

I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. Even in the darkest times of out lives, it is nice that some people can still use human to tell a story. Your relationship with cereal. Thank you.

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