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luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

What is it with me? I've tried so hard not to count days. I didn't count time after my love's dx until I began to sense that we were nearing the end of our time together. And I told myself not to count anymore since he passed.

But here I am today, marking the one month anniversary of his death! At times I feel that the counting of days is more about my survival without him. That I have "made" it this long.

Good thing I have an appointment with my therapist today! Months ago I would see the thread here for "surviving caregivers" and wonder about that title. Did it mean that we outlived our loved one that had cancer? Did it mean that we were "surviving" in spite of the Beast that had attacked our loved one? Or did it mean that we were left to pick up the pieces after their passing and we were hanging in there?

As I write this, I think it meant all of this and more, that I have yet to experience or feel, as I navigate this new journey. For months, I defined myself as a "caregiver", now what am I, who am I? I am not only grieving the loss of my love, but the loss of myself with him. The couple we were. Even how others saw us. The loss of me.

My mission, should I decide to accept it is to: Redefine myself. Search for who I want to be. See myself as who I am now. Look inside myself and see if I am capable of planning an "adventure" with just me as the lead character. It won't be easy, this I know.

Thinking of you all that have come to this time in your lives, and praying and wishing for all the best in your lives.

Lucy

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

It has been 15 months since I lost Doug. On another post I put 16, but I just recounted. The 20th of each month still hits me. Sometimes I make a decision not to count, but I still feel the day. Don't know if that will ever change. Yes, we survive and we change, but we don't forget. I still cringe every time I have to mark the widowed box on a form. That word just doesn't describe me. Yet, it does. We had a very good marriage. As one neighbor put it, we even liked each other. I have learned to eat out by myself or to be a comfortable third or fifth wheel. I have lunch out regularly with friends or on my own. Time has mellowed the pain, but I still find myself in tears over a memory or when their is a family event that he would have loved. That's ok. I have learned to accept and respect my grief. That takes time, though. Meanwhile, those days can hit hard. I think most of us on here have talked about the month dates. It is important that you take the time to grieve. Don't place extra burdens on yourself by pushing too hard. Give yourself a break. You aren't going to get over this. It's not a disease. It is your life and change is hard. We didn't choose this life and we didn't plan things this way. We do move forward and time helps us live our continuing lives that are forever changed. Take care of yourself now. That has become your number one job. As wives and mothers we haven't done much of that before, but we can learn. Take the hands of those who reach out. Our families are hurting, too, and helping you will help them. I have also found that it helps to get hugs, so hugs, Fay

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

Hopefully this isn't too off topic, but in reading your post, Fay, I was struck by your statement "Don't place extra burdens on yourself by pushing too hard." My boss called today-theres a special training at work next Tuesday and Wednesday, and she wanted to know if I'd come in for it. First of all, I'm on FMLA till at least the 30th of January--if I go into work for 2 days won't that negate the FMLA? Second, how could she ask me that question when it hasn't even been a week yet? I got so stressed out because she wanted an answer by noon I started getting nauseous and got sick. I'm not sure if that was a stress related response, maybe I'm getting the flu, but it certainly felt like I was physically sick from the thought of putting on a suit, showing up at the hospital where I work,and putting on the corporate face.

I wanted to cut my nose off at the face and tell her what she could do with her job, right then and there. But I can't afford to burn any bridges, nor can I afford to be unemployed. Mikes hospitalization away from home for 8 weeks plus the cost of the cremation have taken my bank account down to 00$$

How soon is too soon to expect to go back to work?

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi, It's just me. We have all gone through losing our husbands and realizing that we are now alone. I feel the same way filling out forms that say "widow", but had one that said Miss, Mrs. or Ms. and wasn't sure who I was. I still want to be a Mrs. but have no Mr. so can't mark that one. Our lives have changed completely and we are now on our own. It's going to be a year in March that I lost Tom. I can't believe the things that I'm doing, that used to be done by him. I even bought myself a small snowblower cause our big one would "blow me away"!! And when I'm out there looking like a Snowbunny cause I keep forgetting to turn the darn chute the other way, I try to picture him up in heaven looking down and laughing and saying " Carole, what are you doing?"
Penny, I can't believe your boss called and asked you that. Just take your time & use up your family leave. You need to take care of yourself & adjust to your new life.
Lucy & Fay, I think all 3 of us are doing pretty good cause it hasn't been that long. Too bad we don't live near each other so we could all go out to dinner or something.
We are all going to make it, but let's stick together!!! "Carole"

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

Only you can say when you will be up to going back to work. I have found that those who haven't been through this themselves don't have a clue. I can even look back and realize that before losing Doug, I didn't have a clue either. Obviously if just thinking about something is making you physically Ill, it is too soon. Sometimes we need to educate those around us. Your boss may have thought she was helping you get back to normal, but pushing you to make a quick decision just isn't right. Also, she may not understand that you don't really have a normal right now. You are still trying to figure out just what that is. Depending on the type of relationship you have with her, you might be able to tell her that. You really do need to be kind to yourself right now. It is hard for us to think that way, I know. Do what is right for you. Sometimes, I wish I had a job to go to. Other times, I am glad I am retired. Keeping busy is good, but we also need to have time to find our way. Since you do need the job, try communicating with your boss as honestly as you can. Let her know that you do want to return but that this might be too soon for you to be able to do your best work. Feel you way forward and know that whatever you do, it is right for you. All we can do is the best we can do at the time. We really do need to cut ourselves some slack. This is new territory. I once read a reader board on a church that said, " Life is fragile. Handle with prayer." For me, that is my go to place. Others may choose another way. We each have to find what works for us. I read these posts and am constantly amazed by the courage I find here. We are awesome, strong, and caring. We truly will survive. Fay

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Luz...you really have the right idea, from what I understand, about what your mission will be...redefining yourself because right now you are me, myself and I and that's who you have to live with from now on. I have found that, yes....I can and do take care of the things Doug used to. I am happy that he is no longer in the horrible pain he was in and I know he is at rest and in peace. And that one day I will be with him again. Some days are good, some not. I like to involve myself in as much as I can....zumba, the gym, and I just volunteered to help at a Laughfest at Gilda's club here in Michigan in March. Any way I can keep busy and stay out of trouble because it sure wouldnt take much for me to get in too deep with alchohol right now...last thing I need, but first thing I want to go to. So, keep fighting, stay positive, live for you and be good to yourself!

Blessings, GAyle

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Hello friends,

I have found all the postings very revelent. At my last support group we talked about the loss of a spouse like an amputation of a limb...devasting but survivable once you adapt and figure out how to adjust to a new way of life. After 7 months I can't say are any easier but trying very hard to move forward...working, exercising, reading and getting out. It is what my Terry would want me to do. A big "attagirl" to all of you. Hang in there.
Becky

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