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Try to cope with the loss

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

My wife lost her battle with lung cancer on July 3. She was told on April 16 that she had stage 4 lung cancer.During these three months we went to constant drs app.The cancer was not found until an emergency room visit when her blood work up was bad.Before that the only pain she complained about was in her hip.So she was going to an orthro to see why her hip was hurting so bad.They did an MRI and saw nothing,so they were going to do a ct scan but it never happened.It seemed they wanted to wait to see if her hip got better.That decision took a lot of time away from us because the hip was a secondary cancer site.The problem I am having is trying to live with this terrible event.My wife and I did everything together,so the thought of never seeing her again has overwhelmed me in sorrow.I do not eat or sleep,just cry and asking why?I keep waiting and hoping to see her somehow in the mirror or just sitting telling me she's ok.I do not want to live without her like this.Seeing her lying in bed in terrible pain from the cancer rips my heart out.I get these images in my head of her in pain or just being in bed and seeing what the cancer is doing to my beautiful wife.I have a beautiful picture of my wife blowing me a kiss.I sit in front of that picture talking to her telling how much I love her and how sorry I am.Everyday is terrible,the pain I feel in my heart is the worst pain ever.I cannot imagine living the rest of my life this way.I am sick to my stomach everyday.When my wife past,my life ended as well.The only problem is I am still here.The only two things that keep me together are taking care of our three dogs, and taking care of our house which she loved very much.I am having a lot of problems with living right now and comments would help.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

i am so sorry you are still feeling this way. One widow friend of mine told me that it takes at least 3 years before you begin to feel better. For some, I'm sure it's longer. After five years, I am learning to live by myself. It doesn't hurt any less but it has mellowed. There are still things I don't do. I have wonderful friends who invite me to evening things that are mainly couples. I usually say no. I still don't like going out in the evening and coming home to an empty house. Thanksgiving was particularly hard this year because I was ill and not able to make it to our family dinner. Someone did bring me a meal, though. Whereas those family gatherings remind me of my husband and that he isn't there, I still miss being with the grandchildren. A couple of them are now in collage so I don't see them often. I'm sure that my faith has helped me. I figure I'm still here because God isn't through with me yet. I think we all wish at times that we were the ones who had died. I said something like that to my husband about his impending death. He told me that that was pretty selfish. I know it would have been very hard for him. Women talk and share their feelings. They gain strength from one another. Since I belong to a church with many wonderful widows, I am blessed to have people who get it that I can talk to. I also have a number of younger friends who look after me and a couple of guys I can call on for emergency things around the house. If they can't fix it, they know who can. There is no way I could live here without that kind of support. I do mainly family vacations these days. That helps, too. I hope you are able to find some peace as time goes by. I know that men usually communicate to solve problems. The whole men are from Mars and women are fron Venus thing. This isn't a problem that can be solved. my husband used to tell people who asked how he kept a great outlook even while dying that he woke up each morning knowing that he had a choice. It could be a good day or a bad one. He usually chose to have a good day. Take care of yourself. I know the holidays are extra hard. Fay

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

Thank you for your post Fay, I hope you are feeling better. Just as yourself I have been invited to go out with couples and I just cannot do that. They do not really understand how that makes me feel and miss my wife more. I am glad that you have friends that will help you when you need them. They sad thing for me is I do not have that support and help. My wife was my best friend and we did everything together, we were a team and good one. The worst part for me is right now, I am sitting in room with pictures of my wife, talking to her about what I did today, how the dogs are, what I plan for tomorrow. I know my job is to take care of our family, and I will, as she would want me to. But being alone is the worst, no one to talk to,no one to confide in, just sitting here with your mind racing About what you could of done different to help your wife. Thank you for all your support I appreciate it.  Take care of yourself.    Bill

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Hondo
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I am sorry to hear that she is gone; life for me would very hard without my wife and best friend who is also my caretaker. We been married for a little over 40 years and she lives with the dread that I can go anytime and she will be alone. But we have a faith that no matter what happens here on this world we will one day be together again. It helps to have faith in God; I am not able to talk anymore because I lost my voice but if you like e-mail me, I can talk that way, just click on my name.

 

Tim Hondo

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

I never really dreamed about my wife until early this morning. This dream has hit me so hard that I sit here with tears running down my face wishing it never ended. It was a dream so there were some strange things in it. It was not about our home here but at our home in New York.  I was running down our street with our dogs running behind me and when I reached our home standing at the front gate I saw Montrue standing in the front yard. As I entered the gate with the dogs, it was the feeling of being home and being safe that is overwhelming me. I never felt that feeling of love and safety since she has been gone. As soon as I walked though that gate and was standing next to her the feeling that, I do not know, maybe a lot of pain, despair, sorrow all left me at once like whoosh and I felt complety safe and sound back with my wife. The hard part is back to this reality, back to the pain, the sorrow back to being alone and wondering why did this have to happen. Maybe that was a glimpse that when I die I will be running to her and maybe I will be able to go through that gate and stay there. I could only hope that to be true to see her again and have that feeling of being home.  Bill

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

i am sorry you continue to have such a hard time. have you considered seeing a counselor or attending a grief group? Grief can really hurt. i have continued going to our cancer support group and also have good support from my church. Since isolation is the biggest problem for many who have been widowed, I make a habit of eating lunch out each day. I live in a small community which makes it nice, too. At this time, I find that getting out is good for me. i hope you are able to find some peace Soon. Our furry friends do help us. I don't know what I would have done without my lab. He even let me cry on his shoulder. I have added a rescue dog to my family now.  Plus i have an older cat who thinks he is in charge of all of us. Take care, Fay

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

Dear everyone, it's now coming up on two years since since my wife died. I still sit here with my my dogs looking out the window wondering what is life about now. No real friends just me trying to cope with what is left in this life without her. I find myself retreating even more to being left alone. We used to sit on the front pouch and have cocktails and have friends stop by. Now I was sitting out there alone with candles lit for her. I noticed people coming by looking over giving me look which has made me uncomfortabl. So now I do not sit out front anymore, I have now moved to sit on the back pouch where I can be left alone. I have never felt so alone in my life. Just yesterday I cut my arm on some broken glass, I was so lost because she was not there to tell me to go to the Dr and get stitches. I was in the house looking for her to tell me what to do. I finally went to our vet and asked her if I need stitches and she said yes and told me were to go.That just showed me how much I depended on my wife to take care of me and how. lost I am without her.       Take care of yourself, Bill

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wolfen
Posts: 1321
Joined: Apr 2009

Bill,

Just wanted to reach out and let you know we are still here. I still think of Ron each day, talk to him, and confer about decisions that must be made. It is a throwback to the fact that we rarely acted alone, only together. He does not answer of course, but still it makes me feel better. I still grieve his loss, but rarely with tears now. Can't remember if I mentioned this before(old age does that), but I grieve a double loss. My daughter was Johnnybegood on the Colon forum. She lost her battle last year in July. As much as I loved my husband, the loss of my child is incomparable.

To keep myself sane, I do not dwell on the fact that they are gone. Denying reality, I know, but I choose to think they are nearby. If I think too hard, I will drown in tears.

I'm sorry you are so lonely. Don't know your age, but have you thought of joining some singles social groups. Not for dating, but just to be around others who may be in your shoes and your age bracket. I am older and belong to a widows' group and a solo seniors group. They are for friendship, dinner, bowling, outdoor activities. It gives you a little something to look forward to. For sure, a lot of these things will bring back memories. The first one I attended(country/western bar & dining) featured a band that played at a club Ron and I went to on our first date. How ironic is that? They were still good, but I did have to excuse myself and go have a good cry during one of the songs. Was very strange to be in that environment without him, but I am slowly moving forward.

I have no close friends, but my youngest grandson lives with me. Of course, he is 50 years younger so we don't have a lot in common and don't spend much time around each other. I also adopted a beautiful 3 yr old Shepherd/Husky who keeps me on my toes.

Sorry this was so long, but I just want you to know that it will get better. This pace of grief is different for each of us.

Take Care,

Wolfen

 

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

Dear Wolfen, Thank you so much for your reply. I am so sorry about your daughter, My god how much can one person take. I cannot even imagine the pain that you have endure. Now I know when my pain is bad, there are people like yourself who have gone thru so much more pain.I have been sitting here trying to think about what to do on this fri since it's the anniversary of her death. I wanted to do something for the inner core of her friends that went above and beyond for her during her illness. Then I realized that they have all  moved on with there lives and its me who is still here in the same time talking to her everyday and looking at her pictures and telling her about everything that is going on. I am 61 years old and just retired from my job where I worked for 20 years. It was just not working out with being away all day for the dogs with my wife gone. I do have a part time job which helps pay for healthcare, then I can be there to take better care of the dogs. I know she would be saying what are you doing? We own our house so I do not have a mortgage so I think with a little luck I hope I can make it work. But the dogs are costing me a fortune lately so I am not sure. Please take care of yourself and thank you for everything, you are a true friend.   Bill

 

ll

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 507
Joined: May 2012

i was just thinking about you and checked to see if you have posted recently.  I am still alive.  I have survived stage IV colon cancer for 3 years now.  I have got to see a lot, my twin boys graduate from high school in May, my twin grandaughters born in May 2014, and now my son and his wife are expecting in February.  I was hoping you were doing better in time.  Please know that your wife may have not lived a full life in years, it appears she lived a full life in love and happiness.  Not everyone has that.  I think she was lucky to have you.  Please take care.

Sandy

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

Dear Sandy, I am so happy to hear from you. I hope you continue to do well forevear. I am glad you got to see your boys graduate and to see your grandchildren. Continue to beat that beast down and win, you are my hero. As for myself I am having a tough time coping with life with out her. Even though its almost three years now I cannot get over it, I have tried to met other people but I always compare them to her and they always lose. I know this is all about me, I cannot just let her go. Maybe I have to make a big change and move and leave here and start over somewhere else. But I know I would be sitting outside the house just looking at it. I guess I might need professional help, but how do they know how much I loved her. I guess I just have to deal with what has been dealt as she told me before she died " man up ***** take care of our family" so you take care of your self Sandy, I will talk to you soon. All my best to you and your family. Bill

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

It is now approaching 4 years since I lost my wife, every time I see a movie or tv show that has someone dying of cancer It brings me back to those terrible days. Then I start wondering did I do all that I could of done. Did I understand the awful pain that she was in. There were times when I thought about myself and how I needed a break from the 24/7, how could I even think like that, she was the one that needed a break. I know I was there for her and helping her everyway I could. I never thought she was going to die and maybe I would not accept it and that makes me feel I could of done more for her. My wife was under heavy medication so I could not communicate with her but I was always talking to her, I hope she could hear me. All and all I know the doctors said there was nothing more they can do but I will always hate myself for this is the woman of my dreams dieing in front of me and I know I could of done better and done more for her.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

While it was good to see your name, I am sorry you are having such a rough time.

Part of what you are describing is PTSD. Other parts are incomplete grieving. You are stuck and can't move forward.

It is time to get some help. Have you seen a counselor? If it is not helping, find a different one.

Done more and better? I doubt it.  I read your posts and know the story.

You are a good person and you loved a special person. Grieving takes time but you need to get some help, Griffon.

Hugs, Griffin. Bunches and bunches of hugs.

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

Hi, Noellesmom, Thank you for your advice. You are right I am stuck and probably need some help to start moving forward. The problem is I am all alone now, no family no friends even the married friends we had together just do not even call anymore. So I come home to the same house and sit in the same room where she died in with her pictures all about and just talk to her about my day and what's going on. Plus I live in the sticks and not much going on here, so we were each other's friends. Not a recipe for moving forward. Plus with spring around the corner  never a good time since we were big in gardening, I miss my gardening buddy. But I will try to find some help near by and maybe it will help. Thx again and all my best to you. Bill

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

Are called churches and they don't even care if you believe exactly like them.

Remember, it is good to be needed and any group you find, church or not, will have people who need others.

People need other people. There are people who need YOU. Go find them. We all have only so much time to help others.

Go, Griffon

 

yeppers
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2017

Hello, Bill,

I just found this site tonight and your posts here about your walk through this valley of loss are the first I read - and want to share with you too.  Thank you for sharing your experiences in writing here.  Although it is my 14 year old daughter who I lost, not a spouse, you have described much of the same I have thought and felt and I don't feel so alone while reading your posts.  It will be 5 years on Oct. 14th for me and I too am still trying to get used to my "new normal."  She had Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma and died a brutal death almost 6 months after being diagnosed.  She died from the treament not the cancer, which is very difficult for me to live with that fact.

My oldest son is an Iraq war vet who suffers with bouts of post traumatic stress and we share much of the same symptoms.  I beleive the trauma of witnessing a brutal death leaves the same mark, whether it happened in war or by cancer or other.  I have learned that everybody's greif is as individual as the loved one they lost but many "symptoms" are similar.  And that there is no time frame or set order of "stages" in grief.  They will come and go and in any order they want, for as long as they want.  

There is no "moving on" but a new normal  Time does not heal, but will eventually soften the hurt and shorten the waves of raw greif.  I'm still not used to my new life and don't think I ever will be, and really don't want this new life either but have resigned to try hard to accept it and apreciate it as I really have no other choice.  

As far as posessions of the loved one you lost, that too has no time frame or right or wrong way to deal with them.  I still have my daughters clothes and school books and papers she was working on and feel close to her when I see and touch them.  I use her desk for my computer desk now and keep all her things she had in the drawers, even her hair brush with a few strands of her long blond hair that remain in the bristles.  I cherish these things and will never ever let them go.  They aren't for anyone else.  They are for me and should not concern anyone else that I choose to hold on to them and to touch and hold them once in a while.  I too have many pictures of her and talk to her.  I have had several dreams of her and I that I call "real" dreams.  They are not like regular dreams and only those who have had similar understand what I mean.  I love your post about the dream you had of you and your wife.  

Friends do seem to fall away, all mine did.  My freinds were parents of my daughter's friends and her teachers so I think they just didn't know how to handle such a thing, or was a constant reminder that the same could happen to them.  That was very hard on me but now I prefer to be by myself for most of the time I am not at work.  I do have a freind I made from church after my daughter died but we only get together every couple of months.  I stopped going to church because that is where all my "old" friends are and my daughter's friends, and it's just too hard.  And I have made new friends with others at a grief group I recently started going to, which is who I feel most comfortable with now, those who are also greiving.  But nothing like friendships I had before where we would phone and chat and that sort of thing - yet.  I like it this way.  At least for now.  It feels too overstimulating for me (overwhelming?) to do more or have more contact with people than I do right now.  (post traumatic stress symptom)  

My job helps give me an identity and I really need that.  Without my job I think I would be in trouble emotionally.  My job is dealing with children and helping people and I would highly recommend finding something to involve ones self in that is helping others.  Even if just an hour a week or an hour a month.  Meals on Wheels is a great org.  Where I'm at this is organized out of the churches and they will pair you up - a driver and the deliverer, the one who takes the food to the door.  I would choose to be deliverer because I can't spare the extra gas it takes for all the shut-ins to deliver to.  I would like doing things like this now because it is only short bursts of quality time you spend with one person and move on to the next - like I do on my job.  And speaking of identity - my veteran son tells me he thinks the effects or main symptoms of this trauma all boils down to having an "identity crisis" or losing one's identity, and I think he is right.  Who are we now and what are we to do with ourselves, our life.

In the grief group it is all widows and widowers where I am the only one who lost a child, but we share so much of the same grief experiences.  We also get together for dinner once a month, either a park or resruaunt.  And I can tell you that each one of them also feel the same that you have described.  I would not wish it on anyone to go through greiving a child, of course, but wish that I was able to get together with another mom and think that would really help greatly in this walk through the valley ....  to walk side by side with another bearing the same type of loss.

I wish you the very best.  Peace to you.

Your Friend 

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

i have been off this for a while, maybe thinking I had a grip on this new life but only fooling myself. First of all I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I cannot even imagine your pain. Reading your post really struck me especially when you talked about her hair in her hair brush. I have not touched anything of my wife's since she is gone. A lot of people would  say that's nuts. When I was working I would not take any time off because I did not want to be at home. Some people found that hard to understand. Now that I have decided. to retire this has become a big problem. Now I am more alone then ever and things could not be worse. Especially in the winter when you cannot get out and work outside. We used to love to garden and even when I am doing it alone I can still hear her telling what to do, I miss that so much. I have lived here for eighteen years and we were suppose to live here together and work in garden as we always have done. But as you have said all our married friends are gone. In two months I have not received one phone call, and back in the day this was the place to be. All the parties and pop ins were all here. But now that my wife is gone......nothing. That's fine I can understand somewhat so I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing here for me. I am thinking about moving on and starting the last part of my life somewhere new. Years ago I would think that's not possible, my wife died in this house how could I leave it. I was always afraid that if I left I would be sitting across the street looking at this house. It's been coming up on six years since she has died and I do not know how people just move on and find someone else. I have read your post four times and feeling more pain and sadness each time. I have always told people you just cannot understand the pain unless you have lost some that you loved so much. I am so sorry for you because I do know your pain. I feel it everyday. Take care of yourself, remember the good times, your friend always Bill

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

Just decided to visit this site. Have not been on much since my husband, Jim, passed awayDecember 2017. I find widowhood exhausting. Still working but it is an effort. I watched my mom survive widowhood about the same age but if she missed my dad she did not show it. Perseverance is overrated, though. There are so many things to Miss about marriage.  Even words are failing me. Hugs.

Griffon
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2013

Dear Noellesmom,  I agree there is so much to miss about marriage. I was thinking today about what cancer has taken away not only my wife‘s life, but indirectly has killed me also. These last couple of years have been very difficult. The problem is that I am all alone now. My wife was my life. Everyday is a chore, trying to stay motivated and keep busy. This winter was very difficult but maybe with spring here it might get a little better. I recently had some surgery done and I can tell you i felt so alone there. One reason because everyone keep asking me nobody is here with you? I kept saying no my wife had died. I felt so alone in a big hospital. People say time heals all wounds but maybe not for everyone. I sincerely hope that time will help you and just remember you are not alone ever. Your friend Bill

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