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Juss

Missing my beautiful wife

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Juss   

This is my first post. My wife passed away 3-30-17. We were married for 16 years & together for 18. We have two children 12 & 22. Our 22 yr old is my step daughter, who I helped raise since she was 4. My wife Christina was an trauma ER nurse. She had been off work for the last year with heart troubles. At one point it was only working at 20% but over the last year it was up over 60%. A few months ago she had to have hernia surgery. It was the second time in over 2 years. I'm so lost for words right now. I got called to work in Los Angels for 2 days. We live about 2 hours from there. I talked to her at noon the day she passed. Everything was fine. I tryed to call her around 2:30 and no answer. Called my 13 yr old to go and wake her. She could not get her to wake up. She called 911 and my 22 yr old rushed home from school. My soul mate best friend love of my life passed away in her sleep. It's been 5 weeks and we still have not got back the results. So not sure if it was her heart or the mesh from the hernia surgery? The day before she went to her Dr b/c it felt like somthing was poking her stomach. She was sending her for an MRI on Friday. Since this has happened I hardly eat, sleep & not 1 second goes by that I don't think about her. On top of that I have two kids who I have to be there and be strong for them. If it was not for them I would not care about living anymore. I miss her and love her so much. I just think had I stayed home I could of done somthing for her! Sorry for rambling on, I'm just in so much pain. I lost my mom 10 yrs ago, but I had my wife to help me through it then. Now I'm so alone. My friends and family have been here, but they have no clue what were going through. My brother in law said throw out your bed and paint the house? Like does that even make since?

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9 hours ago, Juss said:

I lost my mom 10 yrs ago, but I had my wife to help me through it then. Now I'm so alone. My friends and family have been here, but they have no clue what were going through. My brother in law said throw out your bed and paint the house? Like does that even make since?

First off, the brutal feeling of being alone, even in a crowd of family sucks and I am sorry.  I feel this all the time.  Second, and more importantly, friends and family, unless they have have lost a spouse, will tell you everything from an intellect point of view, not an emotional point of view.  For this reason nearly every piece of advice they give is worthless or opposite.  For friends and family to be of any help you have to educate them on grief.  Otherwise you will get these off the wall comments like throwing out your bed and painting your house....which every grief book advises against major changes.  Painting the house seems like a major change to me but thats up to the individual I suppose.  You see one of the two tenants of grief recovery is you have to process every memory you have had with your wife and feel the feelings.  In order to do this its best if things are left unchanged for a while (so the memories can be processed).  There are a lot of good grief books out there to read.  Thats a good place to start IMO.  

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AceBasin   

Juss- I agree with all the advice from bradley1985.

This forum is a great place to receive support and have your questions answered. Please feel free to read the various threads and ask questions or respond to those threads. Everyone is glad to read your posts and respond. All have had very similar experiences. To a great extent,  it takes a widower or widow to really understand what you are going through.

My family doctor came to my house and met with me for over two hours after the death of my wife. He expressed concerns because statistically there is an 80-90% (and that is just my recollection, the % may be a little different depending on the study) in the risk of serious injury or illness in the year following the death of your wife.

Among his suggestions were to get 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep. He prescribed some gentle non-addictive sleep aids that are completely out of your system in six hours. He said to take a half hour walk each day. He also said make sure you get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and drink plenty of water. He also said to avoid risky activities and hobbies. Those can include operating power tools you are not used to, climbing difficult trails, driving at night in unfamiliar areas, etc….

I understood completely what he meant when I was driving home from work and missed the turn into my street. And drove 2 more miles before I realized it. My office is close my house, traffic is light and speeds are 25 mph. Apparently, grief and anxiety can crowd out brain functions you are used to relying on.

Particularly in the first month or so, many men who never cried will have frequent and unexpected crying spells. The loneliness in the quiet times is especially brutal. 

There are plenty of good grief recovery books. Two that I have found most useful are (a) A Grief Observed, by C. S. Lewis, and (b) The Tender Scar: Life After the Death of a Spouse, by Richard L. Mabry, a physician who lost his wife. Others have their favorites and will share titles. 

After a brief time, you may want to locate a local support group.

Please post with any questions or just to talk.

 

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KMB   

Juss, Such a beautiful photo of you and Christina. You can see the love and contentment you two shared. I am deeply sorry for your tragic loss. It has to be even more heart rending not to know the cause. I've seen on the news the warnings of using that mesh for surgeries. But yet, we have no recourse in having faith and trust in the medical professionals.

Listen to your own heart and do what you need for yourself. Advice from people who have not gone through the loss of a spouse is not a good thing. Some people do change their bedroom furniture and repaint walls, etc. Whatever works for them. This is an individual process and it is advisable to wait awhile for making any decisions involving household changes and your wife's belongings. Our minds are not operating at full capacity and you don't want to do something you might regret down the road. I'm going on 9 months and my husband's things are still around me. I find great comfort in needing that proof that he was indeed here and that I didn't dream our 25 years together. Some people are the opposite and start clearing out things almost immediately. They can't bear the sight of the reminders. It is your journey, do it your way.

Please do your best in taking care of yourself. Self care is important to keep our bodies and minds from falling completely apart. You have 2 children who look up to you and still need you for support and guidance. Christina would be wanting you to carry on the best you can for yourself and your children .I know how hard and painful this is. One step at a time and one day at a time. That is all we can do. Prayers for peace and comfort to you and your family.

 

 

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KayC   

Juss,

I am so sorry for your loss.  You are a beautiful couple and the love shines through!   A lot of people do choose to change things in the house because they are memory triggers, I am not one who chose to handle it that way, I've kept things pretty much the same.  Our loveseat is broken and I don't even want to get rid of it and it's been nearly 12 years since he died, so we all handle things differently.  The important thing is to do what YOU feel most comfortable with.  

As KMB said, self care is very important when we're newly grieving especially...just when you could care less is when you need it the most!  I hope you'll continue to come here, the people here "get it", we've been through it.

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Francine   

 

Juss  --  I am so terribly sorry for your loss.  It is so evident, from your picture, the love you shared for one another was real.  Expect things to get harder and more difficult before it gets, tolerable, I don't like to use the word better (it just doesn't work well for me).  After all, you just lost a part of yourself.   You will experience many feelings in a way that you never have before. Sadness, guilt, despair, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, longing, anger, and frustration will likely run through your mind. Your feelings need to be expressed, but always remember that they are “at this moment”, feelings which  gives you hope to have different feelings at a later time.

The “why” and “what-if” questions will be asked over and over in your mind. At some point, you will realize that you cannot understand the divine nature of birth or death. Embrace living without an answer by trusting God.   There is no storm that God won't carry you though; No bridge that God won't help you cross; No battle that God won't help you win; No heartache that God won't help you let go of; HE is so much bigger than anything you will ever face - the good thing is you won't ever have to face it alone - God is always with you.

During your time of sorrow, you must be the one to bring your family together and not pull it apart. Be patient and find ways to support each other. If you or your girls need to cry, then do it; It is human to cry and it helps us heal. Cry with friends, family, and alone. Don’t be surprised when a “grief ambush” overcomes you. Just be in the moment, and it will pass.

Talk to people about your loss and pain. Don’t hide or deny your feelings. Joining a support group or seeing a one-on-one grief counselor might be beneficial to you.  Talk about your loved one, and share your precious memories. Be grateful for those with the courage to hear your pain and stay with you on this journey. Always remember that we on this website are here for you and you can always talk to God through prayer.  Stay strong for yourself and your girls; they need you more than ever.

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Juss   

Thanks you guys for the kindness and support. Today is is the 5th week since she passed, feels like it was yesterday. In a way it seems worse now than before. My wife was from Canada & all her family were here and now they are back home.  Have not heard much from my family latly. I get the the phone call telling me to be strong and hang in there. My best friend has not text me in about a week. I don't think he knows what to say? It's nice hearing from people who know and feel what I'm felling. My boss has told me to take all the time I need. Friends say go back to work , it would get my mind off it? I don't know, I drive a transport truck hauling gravel etc. Dont think I could even do that right now. I have no drive what's so ever. If I didn't need to take care if my younger daughter, I would not want to get out of bed. Worse pain I haver felt. I do have faith in God, we went to church with my uncle last week. I think it helps my kids. Will keep going maybe I will get somthing out of it. I know my wife wouldn't want me to give up.

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KMB   

Juss, You know deep down in your heart that Christina would not want you to give up. She would want you to try your best in carrying on for her, your children, family and for yourself. We have the duty now to keep their memories and legacy of love alive, to pass it on to others.

You have a compassionate boss allowing you to take all the time you need. Take everyone elses advice and suggestions with a grain of salt. Listen to your intuition and do what you need for yourself. Keep your faith in God. You might falter a bit in that faith right now, but this is a time you will need your faith more than ever .Be the support behind your children"s faith. They will learn by your example. Trust in God, He understands and will love and guide you through your journey.

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Francine   

Juss,

KMB said it all.  Keep the faith - it will help you get through this suffering.  Faith is seeing the light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.  Your faith can move mountains; your doubts and create them.  Try not to worry; God is never blind to our tears; never deaf to our prayers and never silent to our pain. HE sees, HE hears and HE will deliver in HIS time, not ours.   Stay strong and God bless you, God bless us all.

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13 hours ago, Juss said:

Friends say go back to work , it would get my mind off it? I don't know, I drive a transport truck hauling gravel etc. Dont think I could even do that right now.

Being too busy probably wont help.  Its a myth.   My family told me to get busy.  Get a new job.  Go volunteer.  yadda yadda.  However, that said, if you were working prior to her death it would probably be good to go back to work WHEN you are ready.  The activities you did prior to her death at some point should be re-engaged.  I just simply dont listen to anyone who has not been through the process.  That keeps it clean and simple.  Why listen to folks who have not experienced it when you can listen to a multitude who have?

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HHFaith   
17 hours ago, Juss said:

My boss has told me to take all the time I need. Friends say go back to work , it would get my mind off it? I don't know, I drive a transport truck hauling gravel etc. Dont think I could even do that right now. I have no drive what's so ever.

I was interviewing when Pat died.  That went on hold for a while, but I started up soon after. I guess it's a blessing in disguise that I wasn't working when this happened.  I don't know how people go back to work after a tragedy like this.  I don't even remember those first 2 months - I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't focus or concentrate on anything. How would I have been able to focus on something for 8 hours at a time??  Impossible!  Now that my focus is coming back (a little bit, anyway), I feel for the first time that I can go back to work and am actually looking forward to a "normal" routine, not to mention a paycheck!   I actually just came home from another interview at the place that is my first choice.  This is my 3rd meeting with them.  Sounds very promising and hoping it all works out.  But I must admit that even though I am somewhat nervous about starting a new job and getting back to the real world, I also am feeling like I have something to look forward to - a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning.  How have others dealt with going back to work??

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KayC   

I went back to work two weeks after George died, not because I wanted to but because I had to if I wanted to keep a roof over my head.  It was very hard to do my job, my brain wouldn't focus, I'd burst into tears.  I asked my boss to check my work as perfection was required in my job and I wasn't up to snuff at the time.  I was lucky to have a boss and coworkers that were understanding.  Unfortunately I found myself out of work soon because the business went out of business (beginning of recession) and the next place I wasn't so lucky.

Maybe try going back part time at first?  

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Juss   

My wife has some pretty good life insurance through her work. Thank god for that. I just need the death certificate with cause of death, before I can start the claim. We pulled about 30k out of 401k a few years ago when we bought our house. So don't think much left in there. My wife loved taking the girls to Disneyland, so I'm going to take them in a few weeks when they get out of school. 

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KMB   

Juss, You and your girls will be ok. It is ironic how in the beginning, arrangements, decisions, have to be rushed for the convenience of others but afterwards, we have to wait for the other things like death certificates, insurance, etc.Our minds, emotions, are so chaotic with trying to absorb our loss and process it. Taking your girls to Disneyland is a great idea for all of you. The girls need stability and the structured routines they are used to. It will benefit their healing process. You are a great father. You miss your Christina and the girls miss their mom. All of you will stick together and support each other. Peace and comfort to all of you.

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ronbb   
On 5/4/2017 at 7:30 PM, Juss said:

Thanks you guys for the kindness and support. Today is is the 5th week since she passed, feels like it was yesterday. In a way it seems worse now than before. My wife was from Canada & all her family were here and now they are back home.  Have not heard much from my family latly. I get the the phone call telling me to be strong and hang in there. My best friend has not text me in about a week. I don't think he knows what to say? It's nice hearing from people who know and feel what I'm felling. My boss has told me to take all the time I need. Friends say go back to work , it would get my mind off it? I don't know, I drive a transport truck hauling gravel etc. Dont think I could even do that right now. I have no drive what's so ever. If I didn't need to take care if my younger daughter, I would not want to get out of bed. Worse pain I haver felt. I do have faith in God, we went to church with my uncle last week. I think it helps my kids. Will keep going maybe I will get somthing out of it. I know my wife wouldn't want me to give up.

Funny how these experiences seem so familiar. And I will dare say that while this has been going on with me, I have had trouble feeling the presence of God. And it's not because I didn't get what I wanted from him. It just seems that his comfort seems a bit hard to find right now. I wonder if others have had the same experience? I had a cancerous tumor on my arm and felt led the entire time through the process of healing it with out the use of a Dr. But when this demon struck down my Wife, I just had trouble feeling that he was there anywhere. Wish it wasn't so as I could use the feeling of saying "He's got this!" But Juss, I hope each and every day gets a little bit better for you. For me, I have found that while I certainly don't want to erase her presence in my life, the more time I spend thinking about what was always turns into what isn't and it can be a day of real pain. Blessings upon you Juss!

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KayC   

ronbb,

I experienced the same thing the first year, I had always been an avid pray-er but I found it hard to pray, kind of like God was a million miles away, I felt alone in my grief.  Eventually I found He really was there all the time, but I sure didn't feel Him.  I don't know why this happens, but keep proceeding on faith that God is there and does care, He doesn't leave us alone in our grief, more like our grief is so all consuming, we don't have room in us for much else.

Juss,

Your wife not wanting you to give up...you're right, that's not an option.  As someone else said here, one foot in front of the other.  Maybe you could try going back to work and if you're not ready, take more time off?  It's hard to know how we'll do until we try.  When I first went back to work it seemed impossible, I cried, made mistakes, had a hard time focusing, but it gradually got better, and it was good to be in my work environment, I had a wonderful boss and coworkers, but then the business went under and that was another loss.

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On 5/3/2017 at 11:21 PM, Juss said:

My brother in law said throw out your bed and paint the house? Like does that even make since?

Juss

I and several others have addressed this issue in our postings. I suggest reading them and learn from what has already be done. Just maybe it might give you some insight. In my post "Autocharge my experience " I have talked about this subject 2 or 3 times now. Good luck and be patient.

Autocharge

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Andy   

Juss, I'm truly sorry for the loss of your wife and the wonderful mother of your children. Tragic and heartbreaking, and as you well know, here at least, you're in similar company. 

The feedback and insight you've already received has been, as usual, fantastic. The only thing I might add (and if I missed it in a previous reply, I apologize) is as far as being "strong" for your children, there's another way to approach that. Personally, I think it's ok to be honest with them, tell them that you are devastated, hurt, the loss of "mom" has broken you. They'll get it. They'll really get it. Now, it's also important to let them see you doing what needs doing also. We can cry and hurt and be weak, but show them that living is the only option regardless of how we feel at this moment. I tell my daughter that I'm having a bad day, or one of those "moments". Believe me, she understands, and sees me as not some robotic thing but as someone like her, someone utterly and completely crushed by the loss of the most important person in our life. It makes us closer, gives us a new level of trust and understanding towards one another. Now, only you know the personal dynamics of how your family works, so take what I say as a reference more than advice. I just know, that for me, showing my daughter just how much my wife/her mom meant to me, has been a good thing. It's good to show how much we love and care. 

Anyway, please take care of yourself and your beautiful children, peace and comfort to you,

Andy

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Juss   

Thanks for all the great advice. It's nice to hear from people who actual know what your going through & feel. My younger daughter had a hard time sleeping last night, because of Mother's Day. Told her we will take some balloons & flowers out to her today. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers & to the Dads who are both now. 

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KayC   

Juss,

I hope that went well and that you drew strength and comfort from each other as you did so.

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