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My brave and wonderful wife Barbara

dinalt
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2011

It has now been 11 days since my wife died. I have buried her, had the family visit, and sent my mother home. My mom was helping me take care of her the last several weeks.

The emptiness in the apartment is overwhelming. I leave the TV on for the noise, but sometimes find it annoying and have to shut the darn thing off. Even the TV sometimes reminds me of her - she had, of course, favorite shows that we would watch together.

I am not in danger of harming myself, at least, I don't think so. But what I am is profoundly sad. The sadness that I feel is probably nothing unique. I miss her. So much of my life over the last year and a half has been about her, about her medication schedule, about her food, about her visits, chemo and radiation treatments, and scans.

There are friends available, and some family still in town. I'm sure I'm luckier than many of you, as I do have some resources available. I miss being able to hold her, tell her that I love her, prepare her morning cream of wheat, and her presence in our bed. In so many ways, I have been lucky - lucky to have the last year and a half with her after her diagnosis, lucky to be able to be with her at the end, telling her that I loved her, lucky to have traveled this very difficult road with her.

The last couple of weeks I was basically not sleeping, I was worried about her, was worried about the amount of food she was eating, about her breathing, about her weight loss, and now although there are different worries, and plenty of work to be done, I don't want to do anything. I don't cry a lot, but sometimes, when I am driving, or when I am doing the laundry (I've been emptying her laundry baskets), or just thinking about her, the sorrow becomes almost unbelievable.

I have an appointment with a grief counselor on Wednesday, which I know that I need, and will follow up. I just can't believe the intensity of the sorrow that I am experiencing, or the depth of loss that I feel. We were together from about 1997 onward, and due to my feet of clay, only got married after her diagnosis. We lived together for many of those years, though, and I think what I miss the most is hearing her, seeing her walking around, watching her clean up behind me (yes, she did this up until the last few weeks of her life), and just knowing that she was near. I was sad when my father passed away (I was also at his side), but it seems like this loss is more intense, stronger, and more overwhelming.

For those of you who are in my position and have been through this path, I admire you. For those of you making this journey with me, i hope you have a great support system.

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

dinalt, I really understand how you feel. It has been 26 days since my husband Mike passed away and he was the love of my life. We knew each other since first grade (we had classes together all through school) but did not start to date until the end of our senior year in high school. We then went together for 5 1/2 years and were married 31 years 3 1/2 months when he lost his 7 month battle to stomach cancer. We have a great support system in family and friends who made this journey with us; supporting us in many ways, and who have continued their support (thank God).

We did so many things together; skied, ski patrolled, cycled, worked around the house, liked and watched the same TV shows and movies, and just enjoyed being around together. We also did many things on our own, but we always knew we would be home together at the end of the night (if we were not traveling for work - which did happen sometimes). But the things I too miss the most are: waking up in the morning with Mike by my side, having a cup of coffee and reading the paper together before going to work, coming home to the lights on in the house and the drapes closed this time of year (he was usually home first), having supper together and watching TV or a movie and joking around - I miss his GREAT sense of humor!

I too lost my Dad who I was close to (2001 - prostrate cancer), but this is definitely different; more painful. I think the words you choose best describe it for me too; profoundly sad.

I wish you peace and comfort. And if you could, please let me know how the grief counseling goes (by PM if you want) as I was wondering if that would/would not help. Take care and I wish you the best.

dinalt
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2011

I went to the first session yesterday. I'm unsure if it is going to work or not, but at this point, I am reaching for anything that may help. There's a group or two on Mondays that I will also be trying.

The counselor was supportive and pleasant, but unfortunately, I have worked as a phone counselor before, so it was somewhat distracting. You know, kinda like going to a movie you've already seen. I will keep going but, the energy that seemed to just flow from me for months has now dissipated. I was working, taking care of her, cooking, doing the cleaning, shopping, laundry, and now I don't seem to want to move.

Anyway, I'm sure that this will get better, it just doesn't feel like it much. I know that I have to start making sure that I get some things done every day.

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Neverquit,
Just read your post and can't believe how similiar our lives with our husbands were. I, too knew my husband since 1st grade. We went through 8 years of grade school together, but went to different high schools. Also got together Senior year. Funny huh?? We were not only husband & wife, but best friends and it's so hard going on without him.
I don't work, but hate coming home to an empty house when I go someplace. Have to turn the TV or radio on all the time just for noise.
Hope you're doing okay. Take care!! Carole

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

I forget this board is here, so don't come often. I am sorry for your loss. My husband died from colon cancer 16 months ago. I still turn the tv on for noise. I don't know that I will ever get used to an empty house. Time does help, though. Take care, Fay

debbieg5's picture
debbieg5
Posts: 168
Joined: Nov 2010

dinalt....so sorry to hear about your wife. I forgot about this thread (usually on "Grief and Bereavement") and just now saw your post. I lost my husband just about a month before your loss. I think your reactions are par for the course. I too had spent the last several months in a flurry of activity...doctor appts, surgeries, chemo treatments, weekly (sometimes daily) trips to the local pharmacy, preparing meds, preparing tube feedings and on and on. And all of this while trying to make it into work some and take care of my 2 boys at home (older daughter is away at college). Then it all comes to a screeching halt. Now I still have tons to do and am overwhelmed with tasks that were neglected and need to be caught up...but I have the hardest time doing them. It's like my brain just refuses to make any more decisions. I think this is normal and I just continue to make an attempt each day with something.
I hope your counseling helps. I am attending a support group that is following a 13 week course. It helps by showing you that what you are experiencing is normal and that you are not crazy. We are all traveling this strange road together. Everyone on this board has been such a help.
God bless,
Debbie

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

Dear ones,

How I wish we were not here! Most of you know that I too, lost my beloved husband in December.

Meds have helped, even while my love was still waging his battle. Began therapy when he was first diagnosed. I remember my therapist saying at some point, " you are watching your husband die". I also remember my anger at her words! But she was correct. She is not a physic, just was able to see the forest for the trees.

I have been monitoring my state of emotion in the last few weeks. I find that I can remain composed and move forward, for the most part. But there come times when the dam bursts, and I feel it will never be done emptying! Mercifully, it does end and I am able to proceed and actually accomplish tasks.

I send my hopes and prayers to you all, may we find peace and a way to carry on.

Lucy

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Dinalt,
I'm so sorry for what you're going through, but I can relate to everything you're saying.
It will be a year next week, March 25th since I lost my husband. We were married for 46 years so it's like really hard to go on without him. He had been diagnosed in January with lung cancer. Was doing pretty good, but had a RARE side effect from Avastin which was one of the treatments he was given. It was a traumatic, and horrible thing for me to go through. They said he probably died within minutes so didn't suffer. Not sure if I believe that, but anyhow he's gone.
I went to see a counselor and was on meds for 10 months. It really helps so hope it helps you too. The worst part for me is coming home to an empty house. We were very close and had known each other since 1st grade.
Please take care & I know right now you don't think you'll get through this, but just take one day at a time. You'll never forget her, but you will live again.
Carole

tmd
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2004

Dinalt, Im so sorry to hear about your wife. As I tell many people you have to "walk the walk " to understand. My wife pass away from colon cancer in 01/28/08. A long battle of 6 years. We were married for 34 years. I loved her very much and still do. It does get better with time, but you never seem to get over it just get use to it. I have remarried and have wonderful wife. She is very understandind to my lose. I have alot of faith and do believe she is with the Good Lord looking down everyday. We all deal with loses differently. Try to go forward and be happy which is what your wife would want. God Bless!

Judy C.
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2012

Just checking to see how counseling or support group helped you. I'm a stomach cancer survivor and doing fine now, but it was a rough road for almost a full year.
Do you want an email friend? I'm 69, retired nurse, and I could use an email friend, even if you live in China.
Tell me how you're doing now.

Judy C.

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