Andy

Want to share my experience.

823 posts in this topic

I'm new here, never knew this site existed before yesterday. Not a "lurker", so I'm not exactly sure how or what I should say. I know I'm wanting to express my grief in a supportive atmosphere, communicate with others who belong to this terrible "club", this most bewildering of places. 

On December 31st, 2016, my wife of 24 years, 5 months, age 42, passed away unexpectedly. We have a 20 year old daughter and an adopted 23 year old daughter, but she's been largely absent from our lives for the last 8 years. I have my parents, and that's it basically as far as my family is concerned. What I feel, daily, is an indescribable sensation of utter sorrow, despair and complete loneliness. Nothing anyone here hasn't experienced, I'm sure, but knowing that doesn't lessen the pain. Seeing others go through and survive this is a comfort, and I take those "lessons" to heart. I miss her everyday, I still text her phone, I still question reality, "Is this real? Will she come back? Will I wake from this?" I know she's gone (her mortal form), I know she isn't coming back, but the truth is almost too much for me to accept. But I do. My daughter lost her mom, so her grief is every bit as accute as mine, but from a different perspective. One day, my daughter may get married, may have children, but all without her mom. As a dad, it crushes me that I can't "fix" that. I can't make that better. Everyday has presented new challenges, financial issues, emotional side effects, anxiety, worries where none existed before, and waves of despair that cover me in anguish and a flood of tears. This wasn't supposed to happen. We were supposed to grow old together, start being a "couple" again, post parent planning beginning to happen. I found out, in a very real way, that tomorrow is a lovely idea, a wish and a hope, but it doesn't exist. 

Thank you, I have more to say, and I hope I can help someone or someone can help me. Bless you all. 

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34 minutes ago, Andy said:

"Is this real? Will she come back? Will I wake from this?

I think like this everyday. I feel suddenly he will be standing on my front door, laughing, and telling me that this all was a joke. Then, I would punch him hard and embrace him tightly. 

I am sorry. 

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Andy

Saying sorry for your loss isn't enough I know.  I can't offer any positivity, only heartfelt empathy.  I lost my Husband a day after my birthday on 6th October to a heart incident.  Anticipated but also suddenly.  I feel he was 'snatched' from me before his time and that brings with it shock and trauma as well as despair and sorrow.  I'm sure you feel the way too. It's a lot to accept, and  I haven't yet.  There will be other people who will be able to offer you some comforting words of wisdom and I hope you get lots of responses.

 

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1 hour ago, Sadaf Nazim said:

I think like this everyday. I feel suddenly he will be standing on my front door, laughing, and telling me that this all was a joke. Then, I would punch him hard and embrace him tightly. 

I am sorry. 

Yes, it's a surreal state of mind, the consistency of someone in your life, in a very personal and intimate way, and then they're gone. Those two realities, existing only a second apart, shouldn't be. This new world I'm in is terrifying for me. My "need" for her comfort, her reassurance is the one thing I could depend on during times of crisis. It's just another aspect of this new world, reality, that I have to try and understand. Like you, I wish this were some cosmic joke, laughing at me as I cry. I'd accept any reasoning if she walked through the door. I'm sorry for your pain, the agony of this new existence. 

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1 hour ago, Zara19 said:

Andy

Saying sorry for your loss isn't enough I know.  I can't offer any positivity, only heartfelt empathy.  I lost my Husband a day after my birthday on 6th October to a heart incident.  Anticipated but also suddenly.  I feel he was 'snatched' from me before his time and that brings with it shock and trauma as well as despair and sorrow.  I'm sure you feel the way too. It's a lot to accept, and  I haven't yet.  There will be other people who will be able to offer you some comforting words of wisdom and I hope you get lots of responses.

 

Thank you, I hope I can be helped and also I'd love to be able to actually help someone else, if that's even possible. My wife suffered years of "issues", but her passing wasn't related to any of that. Her problems, while life altering and very serious, were not terminal. So the idea of her struggling, day after day, for years, to fight and overcome "demons" the way she did, made what happened just the more heartbreaking. I take comfort that those "demons" no longer haunt her, no longer cause her pain, but the battle now resides in me. Shock, stunned into a state of disbelief, having my entire foundation shaken to its core, yes, my system is in turmoil. Accept my heartfelt condolences for your pain, your loss, the path you are forced to walk. 

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Andy....you are right...there is no tomorrow and I think we have all learnt that the hard way. One moment we are hugging the love of our lives and the next we are putting them to rest. Life can be so cruel sometimes...it can just rip away any sense of purpose we once had. I lost my husband on October 19, very unexpectedly from a sudden heart attack. He had just turned 47. We were so happy and so much in love as I am sure you were with your beloved wife. 

Every time you post, your words are helping someone just as we hope our words can help you. God bless you. 

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2 hours ago, Andy said:

My "need" for her comfort, her reassurance is the one thing I could depend on during times of crisis.  

This is something huge I miss.  Someone that picked me and loved me, even in bad times.  Someone who comforted me and held me when life was tough.  

I am so sorry for your loss.  I know everyone says that, but those are more than lip service.

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Andy

I am so terribly sorry for your loss and I can feel in your post how much love you had for her.   The worst loss is the one you are experiencing at this time.  When we lose a love one, we sometimes feel life has abandon us, but it hasn't; that nothing matters, but it does; that life is not worth living, it is.  

I lost the love of my life (almost 2 months ago), and I'm still hurting; still having those roller coaster rides, still have my own personal tsunamni's.  You might experience them as well.  If it happens, try to find someone to listen to you,   to be there to hold you, talk to you, go places with you.  Surround yourself to those people.  

I hope you find some comfort in knowing that your wife is no longer suffering and that the spirit  - her spirit -still lives on no matter what.   Yes, there will be hurt and hard times, but God wants to help you find ways to survive, grow stronger, and even thrive - no matter what happens. You really are going to be okay.   God Bless and keep you safe.

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2 hours ago, Emeliza said:

This is something huge I miss.  Someone that picked me and loved me, even in bad times.  Someone who comforted me and held me when life was tough.  

I am so sorry for your loss.  I know everyone says that, but those are more than lip service.

Thank you, your words are kind and taken for the compassion they convey. Turning to my wife during my troubles or just life's little issues was a "safe" place for me. No matter the problem, she could always make it "ok". 

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Andy, I don't know what to say that already hasn't been said by all the wonderful, caring people on this site. Even though we are all in pain and grieving in our own ways, we will be here for you. We will listen and you will be heard and given comfort, suggestions and advice if you need them. None of us here never imagined we would be in this new reality, at least some of us not quite so soon. My husband suffered sudden cardiac arrest. He had heart surgery, was on medications and seeing doctors regularly. He had congestive heart failure of which there is no cure. We were doing what was asked by his doctors and we both thought we had 2 or 3 more years together yet. Life took a tragic turn and here I am. I still have moments where I think that this isn't happening to me. My husband's last day was a good one, his last evening, normal. Here one minute and gone that next. How could that be?

Keep posting Andy. This forum will become your lifeline in the days, weeks, months to come. Be loving and supportive of your daughter, she needs you. Be kind and patient with yourself.

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1 hour ago, Francine said:

Andy

I am so terribly sorry for your loss and I can feel in your post how much love you had for her.   The worst loss is the one you are experiencing at this time.  When we lose a love one, we sometimes feel life has abandon us, but it hasn't; that nothing matters, but it does; that life is not worth living, it is.  

I lost the love of my life (almost 2 months ago), and I'm still hurting; still having those roller coaster rides, still have my own personal tsunamni's.  You might experience them as well.  If it happens, try to find someone to listen to you,   to be there to hold you, talk to you, go places with you.  Surround yourself to those people.  

I hope you find some comfort in knowing that your wife is no longer suffering and that the spirit  - her spirit -still lives on no matter what.   Yes, there will be hurt and hard times, but God wants to help you find ways to survive, grow stronger, and even thrive - no matter what happens. You really are going to be okay.   God Bless and keep you safe.

Thank you, you're absolutely right. My wife, in her struggles, her daily battles, taught me that despite the misery that life will throw at you, the pain it will exact, life is worth living. She lived for my daughter, she lived for us, her family, for herself, to hopefully become "whole" again. I will not allow her passing, and in essence, her life, define me by becoming mired in despair or sorrow. I feel those things, and I'll allow them to stay, in a healthy, natural way, if that makes sense? But instead, I'll use her lessons, about fighting everyday, not because of personal gain, but sacrifice of self for love of others. I like to think of her as being the very ideal of grace. She suffered with grace, not spending her days complaining, but instead finding reasons to carry on. She had every reason to hate life, curse God, to give up. She didn't. She loved, she appreciated, she cherished, she LIVED. She was ALIVE. To turn my back on that example would not only be an insult to her, it'd be an affront to my faith and her love for me. I'm hurting like I've never hurt, pain I didn't think was possible, but it's a testament to how deeply, how faithfully, I love and miss my wife. I want to drift away, just disappear into some void, but I can't. I have to figure this out, move forward. I won't dishonor my wife's legacy of grace. 

I apologize for what may seem like a long winded reply or narrative, but being able to share with you, fellow travelers in this land of sorrow, has been a great discovery for me. Thank you, so very, very much. 

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Andy---You shared a beautiful, sensitive epiphany that we should all remember in how we are also coping. Thank you. Your words do inspire and your wife is proud of you.

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Nads and KMB, thank you both. I plan on utilizing this site and sharing with the many kind people who have found comfort with each other, bonded by a common element. As I had said, my wife suffered many things, for many years, but her passing wasn't directly related to any of that. She lived 5 days, 2 hours and 42 minutes after Christmas Day. 6 pm, the 30th of December, she complained of a stomach ache. I called 911 at 7:56 pm. She was "called" at 2:42 am, Saturday morning. Somehow, cause unknown, she had developed, a perforation in her intestinal system, her blood became toxic, and ultimately she died from multiple organ failure due to sepsis. I "see" her everyday, asking me to help her, seeing the fear in her eyes, the growing realization that something was very wrong. It scared me, has left me with an anxiety that won't subside, the guilt of not being able to save her, not saving my daughters mom, is crippling. I know I didn't cause it, and I also know I didn't have the power to save her, but this is pure emotion. This tendency to look back over her last few days and second guess everything. Was there something I should've seen? Did I miss some clue? Why did I miss this? I feel like I need to be guilty, if I forgive myself, let myself off the hook, then I'm absolving myself of responsibility. I must be accountable somehow. I know this isn't rational, but my heart is crushed, and I'm feeling things I've never experienced before. I miss her terribly, I cry every night, I don't know how I'm supposed to live now. All my plans, hopes for the future, dreams of days to come, they're all gone now. I know I'll need to find new plans and hopes, but how? My daughter is my primary focus, my energy for her. I can't bring mommy back, I can't BE mommy, I can't seem to figure this out. The utter loneliness is overwhelming, it consumes so much of who I am, or was. My daughter will move on, that's inevitable, my parents will, statistically, pass before me. After that, it's just me. And that's terrifying. 

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22 minutes ago, KMB said:

Andy---You shared a beautiful, sensitive epiphany that we should all remember in how we are also coping. Thank you. Your words do inspire and your wife is proud of you.

Thank you for saying so. That's very sweet and kind of you to say. I certainly hope she's proud or approves of my attitude. I've always been a positive, "I'll make things work" kind of guy. So that mindset (thank my incredible parents) has buoyed me, I think, but this is a different kind of assault. In the last few years I've had some very challenging events occur, but nothing remotely like this. I thought I knew what pain was. I knew nothing. My natural tendency is to remain positive, through most anything, but this is taxing my ability and desire to do so. Thank you again, your words mean a great deal. 

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Andy---Your pain is so tangible in your words, We have been there also. It is heart shredding. We all carry to some extent a burden of guilt. It is an extension of the grief. We felt responsible for our partner. We love them and wanted the best and we feel our best was not good enough. It is like we need to feel guilt on top of the grief because we have a need to validate our grieving as much as we can. I don't know if that makes sense. We feel we need to suffer greatly because of our loss. The emotions are so complex and all consuming and no where to go with them except internally and it is so hard for our minds and hearts to make sense of everything that has happened.

You and your daughter are going to be OK. Your positivity and attitude will help you to survive.

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2 hours ago, Andy said:

Thank you, you're absolutely right. My wife, in her struggles, her daily battles, taught me that despite the misery that life will throw at you, the pain it will exact, life is worth living. She lived for my daughter, she lived for us, her family, for herself, to hopefully become "whole" again. I will not allow her passing, and in essence, her life, define me by becoming mired in despair or sorrow. I feel those things, and I'll allow them to stay, in a healthy, natural way, if that makes sense? But instead, I'll use her lessons, about fighting everyday, not because of personal gain, but sacrifice of self for love of others. I like to think of her as being the very ideal of grace. She suffered with grace, not spending her days complaining, but instead finding reasons to carry on. She had every reason to hate life, curse God, to give up. She didn't. She loved, she appreciated, she cherished, she LIVED. She was ALIVE. To turn my back on that example would not only be an insult to her, it'd be an affront to my faith and her love for me. I'm hurting like I've never hurt, pain I didn't think was possible, but it's a testament to how deeply, how faithfully, I love and miss my wife. I want to drift away, just disappear into some void, but I can't. I have to figure this out, move forward. I won't dishonor my wife's legacy of grace. 

 

This is so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you. 

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10 hours ago, Sadaf Nazim said:

This is so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you. 

It's kind of you to say so, it's how I feel, it's how I choose to accept this new reality. I don't like it, I didn't ask for this, but, ultimately, I've learned that I have very little, if any, control of the world I live in. I can control my reaction, most of the time, so that's what I'll do. If I lose that minuscule amount of control, I'm afraid I'd lose my sanity. Thank you for reading and finding value in what I'm sharing, it means a great deal. I wish nothing but peace and happiness for you. 

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Andy, i admire how you are handling losing your wife. You're right, we have very little control in this world we live in. We might go along thinking we do, especially when life is going our way. But, we learn the hard way that we really don't. I just want to let you know that it is OK to lose control and openly grieve for your wife. It is OK to cry, scream, vent at the unfairness of it and to feel the pain. Do not keep it bottled up inside, all the emotions need to be released. We grieve because we love. There have been plenty of days where I think I am going to lose my sanity, when the challenges and obstacles that present themselves become overwhelming. So many things to deal with when you suddenly find yourself alone and no partner to help you through. But, we grit our teeth and meet each challenge a step at a time. Take care, Andy

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KMB, thank you. I do cry, in solitude for the most part, but I do. I try my best to not fight it, to let it run its course, to not keep things inside. While at work it's a bit more difficult. I've explained to my supervisors that if I suddenly get up and walk outside, please excuse me, I need "air", I need space. They've been very accommodating in that regard. I have an hour commute to and from work, and driving home is the worst. I'd send my wife a text, "I'm coming home", she'd reply, "okay, be careful". She'd call me halfway, we would discuss mostly unimportant things, what we wanted to eat, what our daughter was up to, things like that. I miss all of that, all of the "trivial" things that's often taken for granted. I don't get any messages, I don't get a phone call, and when I get home, no one is waiting for me. No plans, no anticipation, no one to talk about my day with. Eating is a function of biological need now, joy, pleasure, they don't factor at all now. I cry in the evening, the only witness being my wife's little Yorkshire terrier, watching me with what I imagine is bewilderment and concern. I catch him, only occasionally now, looking for his "mom". Heartbreaking. Thank God I found, was lead, stumbled across, this forum. I have so much I need to say, to express, and this has been so helpful for me. I hope maybe someone reading my thoughts will get something from it. Wisdom to do, or not do, things I've done or said. I'm blind, today is misery, tomorrow is just a possibility, and hope is almost fantasy. I've always believed in possibilities, I think it's that very thing that makes life worth living. Sharing that life of possibilities with someone, I suppose that's heaven, paradise, shangri la, the Elysian Fields, or as close to that as one can get on earth. Life without possibilities is horrid for me to even contemplate, I'd rather not go through it. To say that my outlook hasn't been "tested" would be an understatement, a lie. However, I'm trying so hard to remain convinced, that as long as I draw breath, then it's possible I'll get through this, I'll learn to live, differently, but live, I'll find some sort of happiness. I HAVE to find happiness, without that, what's the point? Life, as everyone here can attest to, is too short to live miserably. I'm not talking about those who haven't a choice as to the conditions they live in, but given a choice, I choose joy, harmony, peace and love. And to be clear, I'm not speaking of "new love" or some romantic notion of finding love. I'm talking about just myself, seeing joy around me, expressing compassion and love for friends and family, in a healthy, sincere way. Not forced or begrudgingly, but willing, wanting to be happy. Thank you, everyone who takes the time to read these long and ponderous narratives. I ramble, I lose my thoughts, I must seem a bit unhinged, but believe me, this has proven to be most helpful. 

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Oh Andy,

My heart goes out to you.  My husband died barely 51, I felt the same as you do, "But we were supposed to grow old together!"  It's hard.  It's been 11 1/2 years for me and I still miss him each and every day of my life.  I've learned how to do my life alone but that doesn't mean I like it.  Sure I have some good times, but it's nothing like it was when I had him to share all the joys and bumps with.  We have a granddaughter and are about to have a grandson and my daughter is also expecting, although we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet, and I wish he were here to be "grandpa".

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23 minutes ago, KayC said:

Oh Andy,

My heart goes out to you.  My husband died barely 51, I felt the same as you do, "But we were supposed to grow old together!"  It's hard.  It's been 11 1/2 years for me and I still miss him each and every day of my life.  I've learned how to do my life alone but that doesn't mean I like it.  Sure I have some good times, but it's nothing like it was when I had him to share all the joys and bumps with.  We have a granddaughter and are about to have a grandson and my daughter is also expecting, although we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet, and I wish he were here to be "grandpa".

Thank you, and my heart goes out to you, 11 + years and still grieving, still feeling the loss. I'm touched you shared that with me, and I'm so sorry that the "sting" still makes itself known. I'm afraid of that very thing, that as time passes, and I "learn" to live with this new reality, that the pain will be constant. I know I'll miss her for the rest of my life, I'll never stop loving her, but this sorrow, this constant pain of her loss is so intense, I don't know how I'll shoulder this months from now, much less years. Bless you and the strength you've been given, you've obviously been a source of strength for your children/grandchildren, and that's such a great gift to them. I hope I have whatever it is you have, so I can continue on, for my daughter, my parents, my wife's legacy and ultimately, myself. I sincerely believe that "grandpa", regardless of his physical absence, will be there, through the life of those children, the memories, and his spirit, his energy. He'll be watching, with joy, over "his" legacy. Thank you for reaching out. 

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The pain isn't the same as it was in the early months/years, it's not as intense or sharp, but I've learned to coexist with my grief.  It's like there is a sadness we learn to live with, like all is not quite right, certainly not like before.  But I do have moments of joy too and I've learned to fully experience the joy that does come my way, even if much smaller than it used to be with George, nothing is quite like that, of course!

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Things aren't quite right, I understand that completely. It's as if the world is "off", an imitation of what was, nearly identical in most ways, but missing something of great importance. I'm inspired you've found happiness, even if it's not the same, or that happiness that only a "mate/life partner" can provide. I'm having a somewhat difficult time with "connecting" with my daughter. Her grief, while every bit as devastating as mine, is different. She's lost her mom, and that's a bond I will never share, so I can't know exactly how she feels. On top of the pain I have for my wife, I feel the weight of my daughters pain. For the same reasons, my daughter can't understand exactly what I'm going through. Youth is on her side, she has far more resources than I when it comes to friends, distractions, and the still unfolding aspects of her life. I'm 45. We had, due, in some part, to my wife's illnesses, a small circle of friends. We were never social butterflies, I have no social network identity, anywhere, and I have a very small family. My options are few. I know that I can reach out to professional help, grief support groups, church, or just "jumping" into new social environments. I'm not comfortable with that, I prefer the intimacy that only small groups can provide. My daughter, understandably, doesn't quite appreciate the type of love that only long time partners experience, that only comes from shared joy, sorrow, the mundane, the excitement, routine, sadness and mutual, unconditional affection that comes from these types of relationships. That can't be duplicated, I can't find that anywhere, no one can provide the kind of assurance and absolute honesty and love that I recieved from my wife. I'm so frightened of what this next chapter contains. I'll face it, but I'd like to be happy doing so, even if it's only for a short time. 

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I find it strange yet humbling when I consider the nature of humans and this love we developed with others. A parent will always love their child. The child may be a horrible pox on society, a disgrace to their family, but whether we want to or not, we will love our children. We don't have to like them, but love them we must. Same, I think, for a child's love of their parents. It's natural, bonded by DNA, it's hard wired, and only extreme circumstances or psychological influences can alter that. But, look at marriages, or similar, long term relationships. Not connected by genetics, no family continuity (normally), nothing but mutual attraction. Attraction, depending what stage of life you're in, based on physical appearance, perceived intelligence, shared interests, shared values/backgrounds, cultural or religious similarities, or the fact they ARE different may attract you, but some or all of these things draw us together. And we CHOOSE this. We decide for ourselves that I will love this person, I will honor and respect them, care for them, expose my heart and vulnerability to them, willingly and unconditionally. It's such a glorious thing, two people, complete strangers, that find each other and fall in love. I grieve for my missing half and all she represented, all the promises kept and those never to be realized. I marvel at this process of giving ourselves over so completely to another person, entrusting our innermost fears, desires, insecurities and dreams to someone NOT our family, not our blood. It's glorious, and I realize now how precious and rare that is. How truly special it is to find that, that one person who allows you to be "you", needs you as much as you need them. How do you find that, get to keep and treasure that, and then lose that? How is anything ever going to be okay after that? I've had what so many people write songs and poetry about, and now it's gone. The songs, the symmetry of life, the poetry of living, they're gone. Or I can't hear or see them anymore. How do you do this?  

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32 minutes ago, Andy said:

And we CHOOSE this. We decide for ourselves that I will love this person, I will honor and respect them, care for them, expose my heart and vulnerability to them, willingly and unconditionally. 

I journaled about this very thing last night.  How different my grief was than that of my daughters, not more so, but different.  

I also journaled about how we had chosen each other.  How different it was than the love I felt for my children as that was natural and almost automatic, but for our relationship it was different.  Not unnatural, but more work, more conscious, more of a decision.  The best decision. That through all the ups and downs, we still chose each other.

When my husband proposed to me, he had inscribed on the ring, "I choose us" and it was so fitting and lovely.  

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