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Help with dying husband

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2011


I am new here. I am my husbands caregiver and he has esophageal cancer. He has been given about a month. We have been through every treatment possible and we are at the end. No more treatments. We would have been married 30 years in September, we married early and he is only 55. We have one son that is 19. This has been the hardest thing in my life. I just can't believe that I will be alone soon.
I am having such problems of finding what to say to him, what can I say? He is keeping to himself and is angry. I can't do or say anything right and it hurts. He does not want to see us sad, that is a big no no with him. He did say to me today that I do not want to know what he is thinking because he is unhappy. I feel so helpless and lost. I do not want him to go angry and not talking to us. I think he is protecting us but I do not want that. I really need him to talk to us. We need him to.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom on this matter? I want so badly to comfort him,but he seems to want us to stay away from him. It hurts.

I am so upset.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

Shari, I am sorry you are going through this. There are others here who have been through this with their husbands.

Since you say you have tried treatments, the concept he might not make it is not new to your husband. Anger is a normal part of grieving and he is grieving right now.

He is also, probably, angry with himself for putting you in the position of having to live without him, even if there was nothing he could have done to prevent the cancer.

Honor his anger for what it is: helplessness in changing the situation.

A month can grow into two or three. I am prayerful you will be able to make the most of the time you have together.


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I don't have any words of wisdom, but I always have some words. Your husband is grieving the life he thought he was going to have, and of course he is angry. His greatest worry right now is you and your son. He was supposed to be there for you and now he knows he can't. I was lucky that my husband had a very strong faith which helped him accept his approaching death. He was able to talk and we left nothing unsaid. My suggestion is that first of all if you haven't called hospice, do that now. They are there to help the whole family. Then, just tell your husband that you love him. Remember that he is not angry at you. He is angry at cancer. Let him know how hurt you are that he is shutting you out. Try to find a time when things are quiet. I told my husband often that I was a strong independent woman and I could take care of myself. He actually apologized to me for putting me through this. I told him that I was going to be sad and that it would be a lot easier if he was a real sob. Then I wouldn't feel so bad. I gave him permission to go, too. I also asked his advice on things like finances.

This is really hard. I agree that caring for my husband until the end was the hardest thing I had ever done. I wish you peace. Just tell him you love him and hug him if you can. Remember good memories together. Cry and laugh together. Hang on. come here to vent and get support. Blessings, Fay

Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I lost my husband one year ago in March. His death was traumatic & sudden & we didn't have the chance to say goodbye. I'm sorry to hear about your husband, but only God knows how much longer he'll be with you. Just take the opportunity to tell him how much you love him and try to deal with his impatience. It's horrible for us to have to watch our loves suffer from this horrible disease, but it's got to be worse to know that you have it and can't do a damn thing about it. I think I would be a little impatient too!
So just be there for him and take one day at a time. But like it was suggested, if you haven't talked to hospice yet, do so as soon as possible. Hope you have family & friends to help you through this. We're all here for you cause we've all gone through this and understand how hard it is. Carole

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