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Widowhood

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

I have not been on this site for quite some time. It has been 7 mos. since losing my husband to Liver Cancer. So much has happened since but not a day goes by that I don't wish he were here with me.
We would have been married 40 years which seems like to long ago yet just like yesterday. I was only 17 when I met him and now I am left here to live the rest of my life without him!
The worse part of losing him was his not being able to walk our daugther down the aisle two weeks ago.. It took a lot of strenghth on my part but I did manage to keep my composure and get her down the aisle without too many tears. We did honor him with a picture with candles and in the program. It still is sad that all these years we waited for him to have that honor and he missed it!!
My heart is still broken however I try my best to make him proud of me everyday by the way I go on...
I don't know what the future may bring and it scares me to think of myself spending the rest of my life alone but I am trying to make the best of it as that is what he wanted.
I now must face my own health issue alone without my beloved husband.
Wishing everyone else on this site the best.

SLG72

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi SLG
So happy to see you my friend! I have not been coming on here as much either, but today I decided was the day for me to get back on and catch up with the old and new members! It sounds like you
are doing quite well considering it has just been 7 months. My dad has been gone 2.5 years now.

It does not get better. Do not believe anyone who says so. But...it does get easier to accept
the fact that our loved one has passed. Our loved ones had to pass. Your husband, my dad, they
were both suffering and in so much pain. Is that any way to be living? With no quality of life?
We both know the answer to that question. Please be comforted in knowing that they are both
with the Lord now. No pain, no suffering, NO CANCER!!!! Be comforted in knowing that we
will be reunited with them, and we will live forever in eternity with them in the Kingdom
of God. Hope this is helpful. You are not alone. Come back often...we need to help others
with all the experience we both have!
Tina in Va

JackieA
Posts: 150
Joined: Mar 2011

It has been a while since I have been on the site. I am so glad to see that inspite of all that has taken place, you are still holding on. Continue to honor your husband as long as you can. You have so much to offer as many are walking the road that you have traveled. You are giving hope that we can make it. Thank you.

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much! You made my day.. As hard as this has all been and is it is gratifying knowing that someone actually cares. This has been so hard and I have not been on this site regularly since it is painful. But it is also nice to know that there are some who have followed our journey through cancer and acknowledge that I am still here and alone.
I do my best but I have a hard time sometimes. I do grief support groups, see a one on one and come to these sites but the reality that I couldn't do anything to save my husband and that I miss him so much is too much to bear sometimes.
I will continue to honor Paul and do the best I can to get through this. I just don't know what my purpose is for the rest of my life.
I wish you well and keep in touch!!

QuisoNeo's picture
QuisoNeo
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi, I read your post and wanted to tell you I have been there in some of what you have gone through. I lost my husband of 32 years six years ago. He was the love of my life and my best friend. At six months after his death I think I was about to give up. Then one day I thought about driving in front of a cement truck and it scared me into wanting to live. He passed away suddenly, without warning, so I had no opportunity to say goodbye. I also did not have to see him suffer. There is just no "good way" to lose the love of your life. You are so brave to have walked your daughter up the aisle! My daughter was married a couple years after her father passed, and she purposely did not have a wedding with an aisle. It was just too much. I don't know if I could have gotten up an aisle without sobbing! It was hard to do without him there, but I felt his presence that day very strongly.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here...except keep going and know that you are not alone. I have had a hard time since I lost my husband; I've lost our home, one of my daughters barely speaks to me anymore, I've been financially struggling, and when I discovered it was possible to fall in love more than once in life, my now fiancee went and got laryngeal cancer! I am still going and I still believe I have a purpose in being here. I may not always know what it is either, but I trust that there is one. Please believe you are here for a reason and hang onto your good memories and the life you were so lucky to have with your husband.

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

QuisoNeo,
I truly appreciate your posting this message to me. I know it's not easy, and will take a long time and your message does give me hope that there is life after losing my husband of 40 years.
But the truth of the matter is I don't know how long I can wait for that to happen. I do see a few things different in myself. I used to say I have good days and bad days. I don't say that anymore. I just say I'm ok. Just ok.
I'm happy to hear that you found love the second time around but not that your fiance is now fighting cancer. I wish you well. Keep in touch!
slg

QuisoNeo's picture
QuisoNeo
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

Just checking in to ask how you are doing. I know; it's day to day, sometimes minute to minute. I think the point you're at was the lowest point for me. Just past the point where a lot of people are around and supportive and then suddenly you're supposed to figure out what to do from here. My daughter moved out six months after her Dad died and I experienced anger like I've never felt before in my life. Our youngest was on her own and it was the time we were supposed to have together (he and I) alone and he was gone. But somehow I managed to get though. You will too. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking care of yourself. I know I had a hard time eating after he was gone and I had to really work at caring enough to cook or eat somehting healthy. The only way I can describe what losing him felt like for me was that the color went out of my life. It did come back eventually, but it took a long time. Take it from someone who understands a lot of what you are going through. It's okay that you are just ok. It will get batter and good days will return. You have to believe it for it to happen.
Chris (QuisoNeo)

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you again for checking on me. I am still just Ok. Lot's of stuff going on that I have to deal with. Just hit the 8 month mark. I am planning an Honor Guard Ceremony for my husband's 65th Birthday next month. Then we will have a Remembrance Celebration to honor him... I feel like I am getting a second chance to honor his memory!
Hope you are doing ok..
Keep in touch.
Slg

QuisoNeo's picture
QuisoNeo
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

It sounds like you are a step up from okay with being able to plan celebrations to honor your husband. Do you keep a journal? For me it helped to write and then I could go back and see even small bits of progress. The day I stopped crazily searching through his toolbox (he was a cadillac technician and those tools were the things he touched every day for years.), the day I fixed my own headlights, the day I felt a little bit of joy and could hardly remember what that feeling was I was having. The day the sunset looked like it had just a little bit of color in it. Second chances are amazing and there will be lots of them in your future.

I am doing okay I guess. Pretty much to the point of nothing left to give though. Luckily Paul is on the mend. He is almost off his feeding tube and has lots of energy. He is driving and taking himself to PT and lyphedema therapy. I am backing away from the caretaker role, and he seems to be going through some nasty phase. Acting like he's about 8 years old and that doesn't mesh well with my trying to put myself first for a change, after putting him first for over a year. I'm not sure if this is a normal part of recovery for someone with cancer or what. Think I'll post on another link and see if anyone has had similar experiences. I am ready to give him his ring back, after all we've been through it seems unbelievable.
Hang in there and I will too.
Chris

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Chris,
Thanks for checking on me and posting again. this is the weekend of Paul's Honor Guard Ceremony. I can't beleive this day is actually going to happen. It will be the 9 month anniversary and the day before his 65th. Still just ok but I do see some progress. I do still cry when I think about him or everything he and I went through. Still don't know what the future holds for me but you do give me hope that there may be life without my Paul!
Don't give up. My husband was nasty to me sometimes too. It's the disease, the treatment and they feel crappy! I remember while he was new into Hospice he was mean to me. I know he didn't mean it. I'm sure your husband doesn't mean it either.
Hang in there! I will too!
Sue

QuisoNeo's picture
QuisoNeo
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

I'm anxious to hear how the Honor Guard Ceremony went for your husband. I hope it was a day of comfort for you, as well as a celebration for him. Of course you still cry! It's only been 9 months! It has been almost seven years since I lost my husband, and there are still days when thinking about him makes me cry. Most of the time I am now able to have happy memories of him and talk about him though. Interesting that your husband's name is Paul too. My fiance is Paul.
He is doing better. I left for a few days to take care of myself--to go to counseling, go to a doctor appt. and just to have a couple days to myself to think. We talked when I got home and things have been better since. I know it takes a whole lot of energy for him to be well, and he was just about empty with all the treatments and surgery, etc. I guess I need to be more patient. It just seems strange to me that he was having a nasty stage when he was feeling so much better. This stuff is so confusing and draining! My counselor said neither of us have much energy left after all this. And you have the double whammy of having been through all that with your Paul, and then losing him and now you have the grief to deal with. Please keep in touch.
Chris

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Hello Chris
How nice of you to remember the Honor Guard Ceremony that I was having for my husband's 65th Birthday... It was very nice, touching and very memorable. We actually managed to get video of it as well as pictures. I realized had I done this in Janaury at his services I would not have had pictures or video! So it was a blessing in disguise that the cememtery didn't arrange for it back then.
We came back to the house and had a Remembrance Celebration. The highlight was when Paul's Hepatologist was standing there in my backyard with a bouquet of flowers smiling at me while I was talking to our guests and remembering Paul with a story! Everyone was touched by the fact that he took time out to join us! He even spoke and it was sad to hear that he said he is still struggling with the fact that Paul did not get a transplant back in 2010 when he was on the transplant list!
All in all it was a very special day and nice way to celelbrate the 9 month anniversary and his 65th Birthday.
Glad to hear you are doing better. I know that when my husband was cranky with me he really didn't mean it and I'm sure your Paul doesn't either!
Take care
Sue

QuisoNeo's picture
QuisoNeo
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

Hello Sue,
I haven't been back on the site until now, but thought I'd check in and see how you are doing. I know holidays are tough, especially the early ones. They are still bittersweet sometimes when I wonder what happened to "My Wonderful Life." But they do get easier. I do remember working hard on doing things differently the first few years worked for me and my girls. It was too hard to get out the stockings and look at the ornaments on the Christmas tree that my husband and I had enjoyed all those years. So, I collected new ornaments that first year and my tree looked very different. We had Christmas breakfast, instead of dinner and went on a nature walk with the dogs. I don't know if this is helpful for you or not, but I thought I'd share it just in case. We changed our holiday traditions up so that there wouldn't be any expectations that it would somehow feel the same without him. And it was our own "new" tradition and I guess in some way a way to begin to accept how life was changing without him.

As for the present...I am struggling here. Paul is well, gaining weight and full of energy. I don't feel like the most important person in his life anymore. He seems to have become more self-centered and I am not sure this is going to work out. I will get my late husband's SSI in February and that will be a decision point for me. I had a while there where I was so exhausted I could barely get out of bed or feel like doing anything. I am much better now, but am just not feeling like a partner in this relationship right now. He won't consider counseling, so he may find himself on his own. We'll see. Hopefully he will change his mind and be willing to put in the work.
I hope you are doing well.
Chris

Couchie
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

There is nothing anyone can say that can make this better. I simply want to say that I appreciate your pain. There are millions of other partners, friends, family (caretakers) that have been through this for better or for worse. I imagine you're underappreciated and now that they've passed, you feel like everyone else has moved on.

I've been to that dark place. But the truth probably is that they realize what happened and they don't know what to say or do to engage you. Nothing will make it better and they know that. But perhaps with time it will become less painful.

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