Andy

Want to share my experience.

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"I choose us". That's such a beautiful thing. What a wonderful person, to think of such a notion, to feel so strongly about it, that he enscribed that very "idea" onto your ring. Lovely indeed. 

The notion of two strangers drawn together, by fate, destiny, divine guidance, whatever you choose to believe, to fall in love, decide to spend "forever" with one another, is miraculous in itself. All who experience this loss, we understand just how precious and rare such a thing is. Those marriages that last, that endure, they are filled with work, effort, sacrifice, unselfish acts of love, that's what it takes. It's not always easy, sometimes it's daunting, but for me, it was always, always worth every minute. No regrets, no compromise, no expectations beyond the love I recieved. How fortunate are we? To find that, even for the short time we have, is such a blessing. 25 years, relatively speaking, is a long time, but for me, it wasn't enough time. We weren't done, we had things to do, the rest of our life to live. I'd give anything for one more minute. To tell her just how much I miss her, how much I love her, what she always meant to me, and how much I absolutely need her. Just one minute. 

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Andy, My husband and I had 25 years also. Those years went by so quickly. Time crawls now. I can relive the memories, but they are still painful and cause me to cry and yearn for more time. Which we cannot have. We had our time together and we have to somehow wait until we can be reunited again.

 

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KMB, I'm so sorry. You're right, 25 years, 50 years, 100, it's not enough. It'll never be the same, things will never be as they were. 

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Andy,  Nothing makes sense dealing with our grieving and our loss. Things were so normal for us my husband's last day and night. One minute he's standing in front of the fridge, guzzling from the milk jug as usual and talking to me about the dog sleeping in the middle of the kitchen floor. We go to bed and a couple hours later he gets up to use the bathroom and he's gone. I still replay that last normal day and wonder how could it have changed so quickly, no warning. My husband thought I was the stronger of the 2 of us, but wonder where my strength went some days. Most times I am just on autopilot.

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3 hours ago, KMB said:

Andy,  Nothing makes sense dealing with our grieving and our loss. Things were so normal for us my husband's last day and night. One minute he's standing in front of the fridge, guzzling from the milk jug as usual and talking to me about the dog sleeping in the middle of the kitchen floor. We go to bed and a couple hours later he gets up to use the bathroom and he's gone. I still replay that last normal day and wonder how could it have changed so quickly, no warning. My husband thought I was the stronger of the 2 of us, but wonder where my strength went some days. Most times I am just on autopilot.

Autopilot, replaying moments and days, nothing makes sense, all traits I share with you and probably anyone else dealing with this. You picked thoughts directly from my mind, uncanny even. Work is autopilot, doing "chores", that's autopilot, thinking of the last three days of her life, over and over again, and trying to make sense of not only that, but the rest of my life. God, I miss her so much. I spent so many years caring for her, keeping up with her medications, alternating with my mom getting my wife to her dr appointments, seeing to whatever need or trouble she had. I became accustomed to taking care of her, I found a sort of "comfort" in being there for her. I was somewhat proud that she could always depend on me. I loved being there, I believed then, as I do now, that I was put in her life so I could do that very thing. Love and care for her. I accepted it as an honor, God thought that much of me to take care of this beautiful, kind, but "broken" girl, this future mother of my child. I was humbled by the that concept. Who was I? I'm nobody. I'm not wealthy, by anyone's measure, I'm not famous nor am I the picture of Greek god hood, and I'm sure I'll never cure cancer or save the whales. I have nothing exceptional to offer anyone, other than my loyalty, devotion, and infinite love. I have that. I pledged our vows, I meant them. I absolutely knew that I would spend the rest of my life with her, my sweet Tracie. Our minister who performed our wedding was also the minister who conducted the eulogy for her. As he walked by, I grabbed his arm and told him "I want you to know that I never broke the covenant that you made for us". It was important for me that he knew that, I wanted to stand and tell everyone. I did what was asked of me, because I did so out of love, out of my commitment to my wife. Things I took seriously, things that should be taken seriously by anyone willing to stand in front of God and creation and SWEAR their vows, to love and to hold, with all of your heart. I miss her so much, I want her back, I don't know how this is supposed to be, but this isn't it. My wife needed me, but it was I who needed her, she allowed me to be myself, made me the man and father I am now, she was MY caregiver, my foundation. I'm having a bad moment, forgive me. I'm trying 

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Andy 

Your posts are so heart touching. Your wife is very lucky to have you as her husband. 

25 years. I can't tell you how much lucky you are. You must have so beautiful memories together. For some people that's just a fantasy. 

I have known my bestfriend, the love of my life since I was 8, and he was 10. For every day since then, we sticked together. I can't remember when for the first time we fell in love with each other , it just happened. We grew up, loving each other. He loves me far more than I ever can. I have never known a loving and caring person more than him. He was my small world. My every relation, I found in him.. Like a brother he protected me, like a sister he understood me, like a mother he cared for me, like a father he guided me.. And like a crazy lover, he loved me.

We were going to get married probably at the end of this year. And suddenly, this happened. He was just 24. My past, present and future, my small world.. Everything is gone, in a flash.

And this big world is all that remains. With people, places, buildings, faces. I feel like a stranger here. Everything looks like I am looking at it for the first time ever..Like I am born just now into a total alien world. I have to regenerate myself now. I have to rethink my existence without my sweetheart's physical presence. Something that I hate, but I have to do it.

I was a very strong and confident girl. I used to have answers to everything. He was like a traveller, always seeking me, always questioning me, wanting me, telling me how much he is incomplete without me..and I was his abode, his destination. Then after he found me.. I became a question, a traveller and he became my answer, my abode, my home, my whole being .. And it still continues that way. I seek him everyday. 

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Sadaf Nazim, you've described things that I feel, exactly the way I feel them. I can't imagine losing this person, the way you have, him being such an integral part of who you are. From childhood on, this child, boy, man became a part of who you are. His presence has shaped you, formed you emotionally and philosophically, helped establish your world view. The sense of loss and loneliness must be staggering, and I hope you're able to find peace and strength, perhaps from him, from his lessons of living. He obviously cherished you as much as you cherished him, all that love, energy and passion didn't "vanish". It's with you, around you, helps define you. The irony of all this, for you, me, everyone going through this, is that the thing that brought us such comfort and joy is the very thing that's brought us to our knees. The love, while so fulfilling and incredible while "alive", is also crippling in its "absence". We both know that we aren't absent from that love, it's the physical presence we miss, the smell of their hair, a casual look, the touch of their hand, a reassuring word, those are the things we can't seem to live without. 

Remember this, he, like my wife, didn't make us the great people that they must have thought we were, it was that "greatness" that drew them toward us, and us to them. They may have allowed us to grow, become "better", to live in ways never thought possible, but there must have been something there to begin with, yes? I'm saying that you are still the wonderful, beautiful, inspiring women you've always have been, even absent our hearts true love. If  he returned, perhaps in another life, he would still fall for you, because you'd still be you. I'd like to think that if an exact replica of my beloved crossed paths with me, today or next year, she'd still find me as wonderful as she did last month. I'm guilty of thinking this, so I'll say this to you, only in assuming you may also think this, do not stop being the person he loved, regardless of our desire to shut down. He, as my wife would be, above anyone else, would be saddened by our failure to live on. If I were passed on, and I was aware of my wife, still here on earth, stuck in grief and sorrow, I'd weep for her. I'd plead with her to carry on, to find a way, maybe even find happiness again. 

The reality is, our lives will forever be different, changed forever by this singular tragedy. Different, in this case, is because of this loss, but different doesn't have to mean "bad". It's not what either of us asked for or wants, but it's what we have. We can stop, we can remain in this purgatory forever, or we can, little by very little, honor the love we shared, that we still feel, and carry on. Give ourselves a chance. They took a chance on us, and it was amazing, so why not take chances on ourselves? Our partners obviously thought we were worth the risk, so I don't believe that's changed. If I could, I'd hug you, tell you that "it'll be ok", like my wife did me a thousand times before. And if we allow it, allow ourselves time to heal, to manage this grief, things will get better. I really believe that. 

Bless you Sadaf (beautiful name by the way), things will look a little better one day.   

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12 minutes ago, Andy said:

Sadaf Nazim, you've described things that I feel, exactly the way I feel them. I can't imagine losing this person, the way you have, him being such an integral part of who you are. From childhood on, this child, boy, man became a part of who you are. His presence has shaped you, formed you emotionally and philosophically, helped establish your world view. The sense of loss and loneliness must be staggering, and I hope you're able to find peace and strength, perhaps from him, from his lessons of living. He obviously cherished you as much as you cherished him, all that love, energy and passion didn't "vanish". It's with you, around you, helps define you. The irony of all this, for you, me, everyone going through this, is that the thing that brought us such comfort and joy is the very thing that's brought us to our knees. The love, while so fulfilling and incredible while "alive", is also crippling in its "absence". We both know that we aren't absent from that love, it's the physical presence we miss, the smell of their hair, a casual look, the touch of their hand, a reassuring word, those are the things we can't seem to live without. 

Remember this, he, like my wife, didn't make us the great people that they must have thought we were, it was that "greatness" that drew them toward us, and us to them. They may have allowed us to grow, become "better", to live in ways never thought possible, but there must have been something there to begin with, yes? I'm saying that you are still the wonderful, beautiful, inspiring women you've always have been, even absent our hearts true love. If  he returned, perhaps in another life, he would still fall for you, because you'd still be you. I'd like to think that if an exact replica of my beloved crossed paths with me, today or next year, she'd still find me as wonderful as she did last month. I'm guilty of thinking this, so I'll say this to you, only in assuming you may also think this, do not stop being the person he loved, regardless of our desire to shut down. He, as my wife would be, above anyone else, would be saddened by our failure to live on. If I were passed on, and I was aware of my wife, still here on earth, stuck in grief and sorrow, I'd weep for her. I'd plead with her to carry on, to find a way, maybe even find happiness again. 

The reality is, our lives will forever be different, changed forever by this singular tragedy. Different, in this case, is because of this loss, but different doesn't have to mean "bad". It's not what either of us asked for or wants, but it's what we have. We can stop, we can remain in this purgatory forever, or we can, little by very little, honor the love we shared, that we still feel, and carry on. Give ourselves a chance. They took a chance on us, and it was amazing, so why not take chances on ourselves? Our partners obviously thought we were worth the risk, so I don't believe that's changed. If I could, I'd hug you, tell you that "it'll be ok", like my wife did me a thousand times before. And if we allow it, allow ourselves time to heal, to manage this grief, things will get better. I really believe that. 

Bless you Sadaf (beautiful name by the way), things will look a little better one day.   

Thank you Andy!  I don't have words to describe you how much your post means to me. It brought tears in my eyes. It's so comforting and bad at the same time that we are here together on the same journey. 

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We felt drawn to each other, I'm not even sure it was a choice but more like a magnet, we felt a connection that was undeniable, the communication so perfect, we could relate to each other, felt the same way about things, but as you said, certain parts of our personalities were so different we complemented one another...we just went together!  We could not deny ourselves each other and why would we want to?!    I've never seen a better relationship than we shared, I feel we were so fortunate.

Correction though, I wouldn't say I am "happy" but I have happy moments...there's a difference.  I think all of us carry around a sadness inside of us, it's part of that "coexisting with our grief" that I've talked about, part of that lost innocence...we can never again take for granted that life will go on the way we have come to believe it will.  For us who have lost the person most integral in our lives, that realization has hit us hard.  That there can be happy moments in anyone's life is undeniable, it is our choice and effort to recognize, embrace them, even look for them.  It is our duty to attempt to if we ever want any kind of quality of life again.

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16 minutes ago, Sadaf Nazim said:

Thank you Andy!  I don't have words to describe you how much your post means to me. It brought tears in my eyes. It's so comforting and bad at the same time that we are here together on the same journey. 

I'm glad you found comfort or meaning in what I've shared, you're very welcome. I must thank you also, for your kind words of encouragement and sharing with me your pain. This grief is a little easier when "shared". It's a hard road we're on, but we aren't alone. Thank you Sadaf

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17 minutes ago, KayC said:

We felt drawn to each other, I'm not even sure it was a choice but more like a magnet, we felt a connection that was undeniable, the communication so perfect, we could relate to each other, felt the same way about things, but as you said, certain parts of our personalities were so different we complemented one another...we just went together!  We could not deny ourselves each other and why would we want to?!    I've never seen a better relationship than we shared, I feel we were so fortunate.

Correction though, I wouldn't say I am "happy" but I have happy moments...there's a difference.  I think all of us carry around a sadness inside of us, it's part of that "coexisting with our grief" that I've talked about, part of that lost innocence...we can never again take for granted that life will go on the way we have come to believe it will.  For us who have lost the person most integral in our lives, that realization has hit us hard.  That there can be happy moments in anyone's life is undeniable, it is our choice and effort to recognize, embrace them, even look for them.  It is our duty to attempt to if we ever want any kind of quality of life again.

You're so right, taking for granted the assurance of tomorrow is a thing of the past. And I will endeavor to find a new state of happiness. I have no idea what that'll look like, not like before, I know, never again like that. But, I will give myself the chance to live again, my daughter will need the full spectrum of my support, so that's motivation enough. I hope there's still some adventure left though, adventure and possibilities. Tracie will be with me always, so whatever adventures I embark on, I'll take her with me, as I've always done. You've inspired me to keep trying, to keep in mind I have others who still depend on me, thank you, you're an honor to your late husband. I know he's proud of your strength and undeniable courage. 

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Andy, Sadaf, KayC----- All of you able to put words out there that I have in my mind but find so hard to express and get out. My thankfulness and appreciation to you all.

Andy, I was also a caregiver to my husband. His care filled my days. I believed in and honored our marriage vows. Which is why I feel so much more lost. He doesn't need me now. I feel like I am grieving double, for my husband's absence and that caregiver role. I had two identities and have lost both. I also feel it was destiny that my husband and I meet and fall in love. I was younger, healthier. The first half of our years were filled with much activity, trips,even though the health issues were there. The second half of our remaining years I became the caregiver. It happened so slowly, I did not fully realize it until the last 5 -6 years.I feel so honored that I was chosen to love and care for such a wonderful man. I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

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I am sure our loved ones found something amazing in us that they chose us to love till their last breath. What an honour it is! And now we have to find within ourselves what that 'amazing thing ' is and live for that. So that when we are reunited with them, they would tell us how proud we made them.

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54 minutes ago, KMB said:

Andy, Sadaf, KayC----- All of you able to put words out there that I have in my mind but find so hard to express and get out. My thankfulness and appreciation to you all.

Andy, I was also a caregiver to my husband. His care filled my days. I believed in and honored our marriage vows. Which is why I feel so much more lost. He doesn't need me now. I feel like I am grieving double, for my husband's absence and that caregiver role. I had two identities and have lost both. I also feel it was destiny that my husband and I meet and fall in love. I was younger, healthier. The first half of our years were filled with much activity, trips,even though the health issues were there. The second half of our remaining years I became the caregiver. It happened so slowly, I did not fully realize it until the last 5 -6 years.I feel so honored that I was chosen to love and care for such a wonderful man. I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

Amazing that two separate relationships, unique from all others, can be so similar in so many ways. Your lives together mirrored ours in what seems like very similar ways. I get that feeling of not only losing my spouse, but losing part of my identity of what I was, my "duty", if you will. There are simply so many layers and dimensions to this sorrow, we'll face the challenge of this the rest of our lives. 

Thank you for allowing my thoughts to comfort you, much as yours have comforted me. 

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14 minutes ago, Sadaf Nazim said:

I am sure our loved ones found something amazing in us that they chose us to love till their last breath. What an honour it is! And now we have to find within ourselves what that 'amazing thing ' is and live for that. So that when we are reunited with them, they would tell us how proud we made them.

They did find us "irresistible", I can't for the life of me figure what my wife saw in me, but thank God she found something there to love. Living an honorable, healthy life with our moral compass generally pointed in the right direction will, I believe, guarantee their pride in us. I think that's all we can ask of one another.

Thank you, and bless you  

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KMB, something I want to add. That notion, that your husband no longer "needs" you, I understand fully the sense of abandonment or maybe it's more a feeling of uselessness? I know what you're saying, though I may not be able to clearly express it. I would like to suggest something, if you would allow me. I think, I believe, they still still have a need that only we can provide. Not the day to day physical ministrations of care, of tending to their illnesses, but rather a need for us to celebrate the life we had together, to try and start living again, to essentially show them that WE were worth living for. They NEED to see us not only survive, but to be alive, to take the strength they helped nurture within ourselves, and live. To take what's left of our lives, and make something worthwhile out of it. I'm only about a month out from my wife's passing, so I'm not so delusional to think I'm going to always have this "sunny outlook". Darkness waits for me, sorrow isn't about to up and leave, but this, this feeling I have, it's real for me, it's how I need things to be. I hope I find this same self assurance in the coming storms, but this is how I believe my wife would want me to be, and if she could, she would say as much. 

So, maybe this way of looking at things will bring you a small measure of comfort, knowing that just because they aren't physically with us, they do in fact, need us so very much.  And in this way, we still get to take care of them, as we always have. 

Hugs and take care. 

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Andy,  Thank you. Some of your words have been in my mind in how to better cope with the uselessness I feel. It is so much easier to see these things when they are in black and white here. I appreciate your ability to put it out there in a way I am unable to.

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27 minutes ago, KMB said:

Andy,  Thank you. Some of your words have been in my mind in how to better cope with the uselessness I feel. It is so much easier to see these things when they are in black and white here. I appreciate your ability to put it out there in a way I am unable to.

Thank you, it's our willingness to share that allows me to conceptualize these complex emotions and feelings. I don't know if what I feel or what I say is "right" or makes sense, but its what I'm seeing as truth. It does make a kind of sense, a kind of expected pattern that I can grab onto and find comfort in. I feel so close to those of you who've reached out, and how is that? I can't "connect" with my wife's family, and very few of my friends. I suppose it's this place only we can stand in. Only we can see what we can see. I sincerely hope that I can bring some light into this place. If you can gather meaning out of my words, than perhaps I am onto something? Perhaps I am sensing the truth. That is a great joy, a great help too me, and I thank you ever so much. Like I said, we aren't alone, we're joined by a common despair, and for whatever reason, I was drawn here. And, I no longer believe in coincidence. 

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Andy,   We are drawn here together to seek solace from others who truly *get* what we are experiencing. We can get some degree of support from family/friends but they did not have the intimacy that we did with our partners. My husband had relationships with family, his friends. But I had the real, intimate relationship on a 24/7 basis. Therefore, us, as spouses/partners are experiencing the degree of pain/loss that no one else can relate with.

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KMB, well said. I couldn't agree more. It's that personal intimacy that's exists at a level only we can understand. No one else can know only what we knew, but that grief we have is as real as any monument, as any dedication, it binds us and is the "cost" of truly being in love. Giving ourselves over completely can exact a terrible price, but it's one I'd gladly pay again. And then again. 

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Andy,  I agree totally. This pain and suffering, missing our partners, is so devastating. I don't think of the future at all. Too overwhelming because I thought I would be going into the future, our retirement years for awhile yet. Our reward for this suffering will be the reunion at the end of our own days.

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My heart breaks for you. I recognize myself in you, so I know the devastation that's been brought down on you and how's it changing your life. Some would say that suffering is its own reward, in that it motivates us to eliminate, or at least mitigate that suffering by moving on. I'm not sure about that, perhaps it's true for some, but I think the suffering is a component of love. Without pain, without eventual loss, how would we ever truly know that what we shared was so incredibly special? We live to our fullest, at least we try, because we all know, that some day, our life will end. Awareness of our mortality compels us to explore, discover, try new things, seek out new experiences, for death is a motivation to live. Without the fear or awareness of death, we'd all live lives without urgency, no cost, no value. My grief and my sorrow is a high and exacting cost for my love, but it's a price that's proportional to the joy and happiness she gave me. In other words, as deep as this anguish goes, so high my love for her soars. I hope this makes sense, I'm sorting this out as I write this, but I "feel" a certain truth to this. 

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Personally, I don't think any of us need to suffer to realize how special our love is.But, suffering ,we are, because we love. I showed my husband on a daily basis how much I loved him by taking care of him. He knew this, also. Shortly before he passed, he told me how grateful he was by my care. He knew I was doing my best. I kept expressing my apologies, wishing that I could do more for him. I also expressed my fear of him leaving me here alone. I regret that now, it was beyond his control. I am more aware of my own mortality now, more than ever. I have never given it too much thought. I am not afraid of death. In fact, when the time comes, I will welcome it. My husband will be waiting with an outstretched hand that I will grab onto and never let go of. In our early years together, my husband first developed his health conditions. We lived life to the fullest we were able, in between both of us working. I sometimes wonder if he had a premonition of what was coming. We crammed a lot of living into those early years. He wanted me to experience so many things with him. Those were the strong, good times. The last 10 years or so was filled with surgeries, doctors, labs, etc. And this is where I am at now. I would not trade all those years for anything. I feel so honored that I was chosen to be the one with him those years.

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6 hours ago, KMB said:

His care filled my days. I believed in and honored our marriage vows. Which is why I feel so much more lost. He doesn't need me now. I feel like I am grieving double, for my husband's absence and that caregiver role. I had two identities and have lost both.

I think that's true when you've been their caregiver...I felt that way when my MIL died, we were so close, she was my best friend (this was many years before I met George) and I took care of her when she was bedridden with cancer nearly three years.  When she died, I was lost, my sense of purpose gone, my best friend gone, I didn't know where to start or turn!

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KayC---So much understanding there with you, I appreciate it. In the early years, my husband would be gone working, 14 to 16 hour days. Come home, eat supper, maybe watch a little tv together and he would fall asleep. Get up at 1 or 2 am and go again. The last 10 years or so, we were together 24/7. Our bond became closer, so did our dependency on each other. I so miss that. It all ended too quickly.

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