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I am 51 years and lost my husband of 26 years on January 28, 2010 to Pancreatic Cance

JillWest
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011

I have a son who is 23 years old and graduated from U of o yesterday. I am so angry my husband is not here to support my son and to show how proud he would be of his oldest son. He bought a graduation card for my son and never wrote on it. I have another son who is a Junior at OSU. I know it is not my husbands fault he got sick and died, but the responsibility of maintaining the responsibilities of my boys, house and day to day living is so overwhelming. I am down about 120,000.00 a year to maintain the life style we were use to. I have not had to live from paycheck to paycheck for 15 years. I want to still provide my boys the same life style they were accustomed to. I know life changes and everything else changes but I am having a real issue dealing with it. I almost feel I have to overcompensate for the loss of their dad. They are dealing with it much better than I am, from what they are telling me. They think I am to emotional and I need to get over it. I do not like to go in public alone, I have not a single friend and am not really interested in dating at all. I know I need to find "hobbies: but my only life I have ever know is to take care of my husband and children. I know I need to let go of my kids, but they are the glue that holds me together. I really feel like "disappearing" and leaving my kids all our assets would be the right thing to do, so they do not feel like "babysitting" me. I miss the shooting off ideas to my husband and having him disagree or not. I do not feel I will ever have anyone to TRUST with anything. A true friend that my husband was for me. I want to quit my job! I just want a different life and new interests. Working full time and taking care of a home all by myself overwhelms me. I know it a chicken way out but I would like to be done with life. I am not strong enough to keep fighting every day to be a perfectionist every day. I am really a good person, very giving and really miss taking care of a family. Does anyone have any suggestions as to overcome the loss of my husband and not make my children feel I can not live if they are not a constant in my life. I have not single friends and do not feel comfortable associating with any FAMILY or acquaintances that we had with family friends. I have basically shut everyone out!!!I have my family, friends but I am totally tired of being the widow that needs help from my friends. I want to do this on my own even if it kills me. Does anyone know of any professional services that can help me make the right choices or guide me? I do not want to get up in the morning, I feel very angry and at my job as an office manger I am so negative. I really want to be positive. Do I need to change jobs even though I make good money. I just want to start a new life with no baggage, be happy and live each day happy like I have in the past 26 years. I still not have honored my husbands wishes to have his ashes spread where he wanted, I just cant do it. They sit in a very special box in my family room, that I just can not dispose of as that would be a final reality check. How crazy am I?

Noellesmom
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

You don't sound crazy to me, Jill, not at all.

You and are about the same age. I have had to imagine over the past year how things would be if I lost my sweet husband. Anger would definitely be part of my coping mechanism.

There are definite stages to grieving and sometimes we spend more time in one stage than we do another. Anger is a strong emotion capable of carrying us through some pretty awful situations.

You ask about changing jobs - hold off on that until you can rationally assess your situation, including benefits and salary.

Disappearing and leaving your kids with your assets - while that might seem like a solution, your children are going through enough grief - they are watching you closely to see how you carry forward - and, believe it or not, you are setting examples they will follow the rest of your life.

I am sorry for the loss of your husband's presence - it is obvious his love still surrounds you and colors everything you think, feel and believe. This is good and this is bad. It is good in that it is sustaining you in caring for yourself and your children and planning a future and how you will continue to provide support. It is bad in that it can hold you back from your future. Use his love to go forward when you are ready.

Others who have lost their spouses will post on here soon, Jill. There are some wonderful people who have experienced what you are experiencing and can share wisdom.

Hang in there. I know things are rough, and may get rougher, but you will come out the other side.

The goal is not to survive, but to thrive. And you will.

lovingwifedeb's picture
lovingwifedeb
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

I just wanted you to know that all here understand what you are going through, some more than others. I am posting quickly as I'm on my way to work so I hope the others jump in with sound advice for you. Never feel like giving up on yourself... You are worth saving! You are overwhelmed right now, seek someone to talk with. When your best friend passes or is sick half of you disappears Also... You need to find yourself again and det strong for yourself AND your children.

Peace to you.
Deb
lovingwifedeb, to Bob stage 4 melanoma

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

You're not crazy, you're in grief. Your life won't be the same, you're kids are older and are moving on, your husbands gone. That's a lot of loss. The "baggage" you refer to is the horrible stuff that is happened, but it in and of itself is not the bad guy. It is in fact, the very thing that will strengthen you and allow you to become a stronger, better person. It just REALLY sux when you're going thru it.

I lost my husband to liver cancer in January and have felt all of the things you're describing. I have a good therapist that I trust; she's helping me by being a sounding board for my crazy, rambling thoughts. I've forced myself to re-engage with the friends I neglected due to my husbands illness. Sometimes I don't feel like it, but I do it anyway, because focusing on someone else, even for a short while, takes the focus off of my own pain.

My middle son just graduated from basic flight school for the Navy, he's going on to be a helo pilot in a few weeks. My youngest graduates from FSU next month. Life, apparently has not stopped for everyone else, all though sometimes it seems unfair to me that everyone else has a normalcy but I don't.

I'll leave you with a quote I'd heard before, but had forgotten until I heard it again yesterday. "There is no normal life. All of it's just life. Best to be getting on with living it."

Hope you're feeling better soon,
Penny

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

I'll be in Tally for the commencement on April 30. I'll be the one sobbing hysterically in the nosebleed section, wishing that Mike could be with me. My children are from my previous marriage, but Mike adored my kids and the feeling was mutual.

I hate the title of widow, especially since I'm 46. I've been fortunate enough to have held onto my career; working is a blessing because it keeps me from feeling that lost, empty feeling that you're describing. I am sure you're going to be challenged by re-entering the work force, but I'm also sure that you'll be successful. Other women who aren't as smart or intelligent have done it, so can you.
Go Noles!
Penny

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1627
Joined: Aug 2009

No, you are not crazy. You are just as normal as the rest of us. Your sons lost their father. That is really hard, but their lives are not nearly as changed as yours is. They aren't the ones going home every night to an empty house. They really don't understand what you are going through, or they would understand that you will never truly "get over it." However, they are grieving, too. Just in a different way. You are important to them. They don't like to see you hurting and want the best for you. I know you want the best for them as well. Right now they need you as much or more than they ever did. They are a constant in your life and will always be there. Granted, you need to let them live their own lives, but you can still be a part of that. I lost my husband 17 months ago. I am older than you and my sons are 41 and 37. They are still an important part of my life. They have families of their own which means that I have granddaughters and daughters-in-law as well. They are all a part of my life. Yes, they went home after the memorial service and I was alone, but they call and visit. They know I will never get over the loss of their father, but I am learning to live with it. I'm not interested in dating yet either. I may never be, but I do make a point of having lunch with friends.

I think this grieving business is really hard. We each have to do it in our own way and time. I can't really give you advice. All I can tell you is that you may need to get some professional help. Find someone who understands grieving. You may also need some medication. I'm a strong believer in asking for help. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strenghth. Also, how did you feel about your job before you lost your husband? If you liked it then, you need to try to remember why. If you didn't like it then, maybe you do need to consider other opportunities. Only you know what is right for you.

Please know that what you are feeling is normal. Of course, you are depressed. You lost the love of your life, your best friend. I did, too, so I know how big a hole it left in your heart. You have a right to be depressed and grieving. Maybe you have tried too hard to move on, and didn't really allow yourself to grieve. Now you need to do your sons a huge favor. You need to take care of yourself. Think about what you need. Get some help. Don't try to be the strong one. Your sons sound like caring people who will always be there for you and will bring many new pleasures into your life. You're right, it isn't fair that your husband isn't there to share these special moment with you and with them. At least, he is not physically there, but he is there in all your hearts and memories. He will always be with you. It is ok to cry a little, too, as you grieve his physical absence.

Please feel free to PM me at any time. You are not alone. Many here feel your pain. Many here have experienced similar pain. Take care, Fay

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Jill,
I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. You sound just like all of us who have gone through this. One day we have everything and then the next day everything falls apart and our whole life changes. I can tell you're angry as I've been that way many times. How could they leave us to go on alone? My husband died on Mar. 25th 2010 and had planned on retiring that June. What the heck, we were supposed to be entering the time of our life where we could do what we wanted to do and travel and just enjoy being together in our "Golden Years". Ha! Who ever said they are Golden Years??? I think they suck!!! Coming home to an empty house and not having the one you spent 1/2 your life with isn't easy.
Tom and I had known each other since first grade & started dating in our Senior year. He was my best friend and was the best husband, father & grandfather anyone could imagine.
Please don't try to do this on your own. Check in at the hospital where your husband was and see if they have counseling??? I went for 10 months plus she put me on meds. It helped so much. I was so scared cause he had always done everything. But it's amazing how this past year I've learned to put gas in my car, snowblow, get my taxes done & just realize that I am now on my own. You'll be okay Jill, but please try and get help. Having someone help you is nothing to be ashamed of.
We are all here for you too, so come here to talk anytime. You can send me a private message if you want. Take care. Carole

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Jill
Welcome to our family. A lot of us here have recently lost a loved one in the past year, so you are not alone.I lost my dad to ec March 9, 2010. The grieving process takes a year or more to go through. Give yourself that time. Everyone handles it differently. You do not have to date, or change jobs. You just have to learn how to deal with things on your own. You will see, a year from now, how much you were able to accomplish. I would suggest that you seek some kind of counseling. I know that after coming here and writing down all of your thoughts and feelings, you felt better. Counseling will help you vocalize all of your thoughts and feelings. Speaking to a counselor will help you learn that all of these feelings are normal, that you are not crazy. You can contact the ACS to ask about counseling. Check with the hospital, check with your church. Ask for help, it is ok to do so. Come here often, we are always here. Stay in touch, and please don't run away....we need you here!
Tina in Va

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

Jill,
I am so sorry to hear about your husband's death but I am right there with you. We are really close in age(54), years of marriage(30) and time of husband's death(Jan 8). Finances are also one of my biggest fears right now. The annuity I will get from my husband's job will be about half of his salary and I just found out that the contract job that I've had for almost 20 years is coming to an end. Luckily, the employer has offered me a regular employee position but that will also cut my pay in half. I have a daughter in college and 2 boys still living at home that are in 7th and 9th grade and still have college ahead of them. With their young age I don't want to scare them with our financial woes but at the same time they need to be aware that life will have to change. Your boys should be able to comprehend that at their age.

And you are by no means crazy. Everybody is different and handles grief in a different way although I'm beginning to see that we all share a lot of similarities. there are 4 or 5 of us women on here who lost their husbands in about a 6-8 week period. So we are all on this road together. You do need some alone time but DON"T withdraw from everybody. I have gone through the same thing with not wanting to talk to anybody. But since I have young kids at home I sort of am forced to be in contact with others. It actually does you good even when you don't want to.

I have learned to accept the help from others and not feel like it means that I am any less of a person for needing help. Also, it lets others have a blessing to be able to help you so you are doing them good also. Tomorrow, I have a friend from church coming over just to help me sort through stacks of mail and insurance papers. She is a 2 time cancer survivor herself and just wants to help in some way.

You may need to have either medical help or just counseling to help you deal with your feelings. Again, everyone is different but try something and if it doesn't help then move on to the next thing. Feel free to send me a PM and we can talk further.
We can do this!
Debbie

sarge57's picture
sarge57
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2010

Jill,
If it helps there are others of us in the same boat, I am close in age to you 53 my wife died last month of cervical who was also 53, and I too feel like a new life; want to sell the house, get a new life but I am here to deal with paying bills, 2 daughters in their 20's, housework, meals, etc... you must know the drill. It is easier for the kids to get over especially boys (not as emotional), as their day to day life does not drastically change. When you lose your spouse and best friend our lives fall apart in front of us, so dont feel you are being overly emotional you are going through a total change of life, the kids are not. There is no real answer how to get over a loss of a spouse especially at our age early (50's), they have their lives and we dont. As most of us we dont have any real single friends mainly couples and family, and I know I dont feel real comfortable in those situations. I try to get out and do things; go to coffee shops, drives, bowling, gym, etc.. it is not the life we had but is better than sitting around by ones self. A lot of us our given wishes or promises to keep from our spouse but when it gets down to it you need to do what works for you, unfortunately now you are the important one and you need to do whatever is going to help you cope and get on with your life.

I hope this helps somewhat Jill, good luck and best wishes.

John

sarge57's picture
sarge57
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2010

Jill,
If it helps there are others of us in the same boat, I am close in age to you 53 my wife died last month of cervical who was also 53, and I too feel like a new life; want to sell the house, get a new life but I am here to deal with paying bills, 2 daughters in their 20's, housework, meals, etc... you must know the drill. It is easier for the kids to get over especially boys (not as emotional), as their day to day life does not drastically change. When you lose your spouse and best friend our lives fall apart in front of us, so dont feel you are being overly emotional you are going through a total change of life, the kids are not. There is no real answer how to get over a loss of a spouse especially at our age early (50's), they have their lives and we dont. As most of us we dont have any real single friends mainly couples and family, and I know I dont feel real comfortable in those situations. I try to get out and do things; go to coffee shops, drives, bowling, gym, etc.. it is not the life we had but is better than sitting around by ones self. A lot of us our given wishes or promises to keep from our spouse but when it gets down to it you need to do what works for you, unfortunately now you are the important one and you need to do whatever is going to help you cope and get on with your life.

I hope this helps somewhat Jill, good luck and best wishes.

John

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