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Judy S.

Lost my husband in June

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I've been reading the forum here off and on since my husband passed away suddenly after surgery on June 21. I was so stunned at the time I scarcely knew what I was doing, but I did come online a couple of days after he died looking for something, anything to take my mind off what had happened, as though that were possible. I had plenty of people to talk to but that wasn't really what I needed just then. Especially in the evenings. 

To be honest I'm sure I still don't know what I'm doing, and probably won't for a good while. Even though it's now been over a month since my husband died, it's impossible to believe he's gone. But - when it hits me, the floor falls away on me, and it takes my breath away. As so many have said on here about their husbands and wives, he was my best friend. He still is, always will be! I feel blessed that I have my faith to hold me up, but it's still the hardest thing I can imagine to go through. I still wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 AM many mornings and just start to shake. I can almost hear my husband telling me to "smarten up" or I'm going to make myself sick. And, he would be right. 

I was wondering whether or not to post here, but there is another new person here a couple of days ago who posted that she felt her husband had been somewhat hard to love. Well, I guess in some ways you could say that about my husband too. He was an alcoholic and had his problems, but in the last few years he had mellowed quite a lot, and wasn't able to drink as much. He could be a "grumpy old man", and he admitted as much,  the last few months we'd joke about it. Many years ago it really irritated me how cranky he would get once in awhile. It wasn't very funny then, although he never was abusive, it's never easy being with someone who has so many grumpy moments. Still, all in all, I miss my grumpy old man so much. Oh, I miss him. I think what happens over the years is you learn so much about your husband ( or wife ) and come to accept who they are. And that's what I did. And I loved him, warts and all. And he loved me the same way ( warts and all ! ) I'm sure I'll come up with more to say on here, I find it hard right now to say very much, it's really hard to keep from crying, which isn't a bad thing, I know. Anyway, good to meet you all, and  I'll sign off for now. 

 

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Hi JudyS.

I'm so sorry for your loss and know what you you're going through.  My Charles has been gone for 7 months and I still can't believe that he's actual gone and not coming back. 

47 minutes ago, Judy S. said:

He could be a "grumpy old man", and he admitted as much,  the last few months we'd joke about it. Many years ago it really irritated me how cranky he would get once in awhile. It wasn't very funny then, although he never was abusive, it's never easy being with someone who has so many grumpy moments. Still, all in all, I miss my grumpy old man so much. Oh, I miss him. I think what happens over the years is you learn so much about your husband ( or wife ) and come to accept who they are. And that's what I did. And I loved him, warts and all. And he loved me the same way ( warts and all ! )

From your post it is evident the love you and your husband shared for each other despite some of the challenges. But guess what, marriage is no joke; it can be work; it can be difficult, it can be hard, but I think working through those times, makes you stronger as a unit.  Couples who make it aren't the ones who never had a reason to get a divorced; they are simply the ones who decided early on that their commitment to each other was always going to be bigger than their flaws and differences.  And in the end of your lives together, the house you shared, the car you drove, your possessions won't matter - What really matters is that you had him and he had you. My Charles could sometimes be *grumpy* as well, but you know what, he was the one I ran home to; he was the one I wanted to tell how my day went; he was the one I wanted to share my life with; my happiness, sadness, frustration, and success with. He was the one I loved and still do.  No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can carry one umbrella and whether the storm together.  My idea of a perfect relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another.  That's what Charles and I had and I believe you had it also.

1 hour ago, Judy S. said:

I have my faith to hold me up, but it's still the hardest thing I can imagine to go through. I was wondering whether or not to post here,

I and a believer in faith and God and without them, I would not be where I am today.  Continue your faith because faith can move mountains; doubt can create them.   I think that even a little bit of faith - faith the size of a mustard seed - can overcome mountainous obstacles in our lives. If we leave everything in God's hand, we will eventually see God's hand in everything.   I think you were suppose to post here and I do hope you continue.  I pray God gives you Hope and Strength during this difficult time - Hope that it will get better and Strength to hold on until it does.

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Judy, I did the same as you, reading posts for a bit before becoming a member and posting myself. I had been doing it with another forum, and chose this one and I have been so relieved that it has been a good fit for me. The people here have become my extended, much needed family. I am deeply sorry for the tragic loss of your husband. I understand the shock of sudden death myself. It had me knocked flat for quite awhile.Plenty of moments still, when I cannot really believe my husband is not going to be walking in the door. I also "get it" when you mention not knowing what you are doing. We are in a fog and it is enough just to remember to breathe and struggle through each day, sometimes moment by moment.

Of course you love your husband! Relationships require a lot of work, commitment, patience, tolerance, acceptance. God knew what he was doing, placing you both together in this life. Your faith might stumble a little during this time, so you need to keep a tight grip on it. God will see you through your journey.  (HUGS)

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Hi Judy.  I sometimes was a grumpy young man for my wife too.  Sometimes I wished I gave my wife the attention and patience that she gave to me.  its not a huge regret but you know how they say that after marriage, some men should try treating their wife just like how they were when they were dating.  I'm guilty for not doing this.  I do wish that I could spend one more day with my wife just so I could be extra nice.  Thank you for putting up with us, men,

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13 hours ago, Judy S. said:

I was wondering whether or not to post here, but there is another new person here a couple of days ago who posted that she felt her husband had been somewhat hard to love. Well, I guess in some ways you could say that about my husband too.

This is why it is so helpful that we be authentic and post our true situations and feelings, we never know when someone might need to hear just what we have to say, plus it helps us to express it.

I am sorry for your loss, and perfect or not, our spouse was the person we loved and cherished and it's so hard to have that ripped from us.  Everything we feel and experience is "normal" in grief, our journeys are unique to us, yet we share so many commonalities, it's no wonder we feel a bond with each other.  This is a caring community, supportive and encouraging.  Even if we have nothing else to say we can "vent" safely here!

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Judy,

Sudden death is so very hard. I lost Lori to a sudden heart attack at the age of 46. One minute everything is ok then the next it's all over. From Eden to the desert in the blink of an eye. I am so sorry you are here among the loneliest club on Earth but glad at the same time. This is a wonderful place to come for advice, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. We speak with truth and without judgement. I pray that you will find peace and comfort as you grieve the love of your life.

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Hi all, 

Francine, I thank you for your reply. Yes, it does take some work to keep a relationship together - my husband and I did manage, and I'm so glad we did. Even though his drinking, he was the most honest, and I would have to say the most innocent person I ever knew. Innocent in that he never meant harm. Not that it wasn't difficult, but I know he never meant harm to myself or our kids. And by harm, I mean the cranky business when he drank. I'm not making  him into a saint, I wasn't one either! But he was a good man, all in all and I loved him so much, and I know I'll miss him forever. (And as you say,) faith in God is keeping me going. 

 

KMB, thank you! Yes, I'm in a fog. Some days are not quite as bad, but it seems at least every other day I feel like crashing. The one thing I'm able to do again is eat, I was really bad at not eating for a couple of weeks. Now if I can somehow get a little more sleep. And it is SO hard to believe he won't be walking though the door. The dogs will start barking and I hear a vehicle, and my first though is, " Allen must be home". But no. I know he's here with me, but he doesn't have to drive to be home anymore. 

 

Azipod, you were a grumpy young man for your wife? Makes me smile, in a way. I can still see my husband and myself sitting here at the table, each of us with our laptops discussing the news. He never, ever read the same news sites that I did. And we disagreed on so many things in the news, but we still enjoyed talking about our disagreements in politics, etc. The last few months he wasn't feeling all that well, so we mostly did quiet things, and doing the laptop news together was one of them. I can still see him sitting here, how I miss those times. Grumpy or not, I loved him to bits. 

Kay, I've been appreciating your posts on here since I found this site. And yes, none of us are perfect, my husband, and certainly not me. But it's true, he was ripped away and my heart is breaking. I am so glad this is a comforting place to come. 

 

Eagle, thank you. I am so sorry for your loss. Sudden death is just a horror for the survivors, I always knew that, but now, being a survivor myself, I can understand what it takes out of a person. Here I was expecting Allen to be home in a couple of days after his surgery, and instead, he's gone. Extremely hard to believe. As I mentioned in my first post I have so much more I feel I could say, and I will! my mind comes up with all kinds of things to write but when I start posting, I don't know what happens, I seem to clam up. Not like me at all. But then again, I'm not myself in general right now, so I guess that's how it is for right now. 

** I should have written individual posts to all of you -  I really wanted to thank you all for your good thoughts, they mean a lot, they really do. This forum is a good place for me right now. 

 

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Judy S. said:

 As I mentioned in my first post I have so much more I feel I could say, and I will! my mind comes up with all kinds of things to write but when I start posting, I don't know what happens, I seem to clam up. Not like me at all. But then again, I'm not myself in general right now, so I guess that's how it is for right now. 

** I should have written individual posts to all of you -  I really wanted to thank you all for your good thoughts, they mean a lot, they really do. This forum is a good place for me right now. 

You'll know when the time is right to share more about your story and we'll be here to listen. No pressure at all. This process changes us. It forms us into people we don't recognize sometimes. So it's ok if you "clam up" and don't know what to say. Go easy on yourself as this is likely the hardest thing you will ever endure.

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Judy S.--- it does my heart good that you feel safe here and consider this forum as a good place for you. I felt the same when I joined last fall. Our grief family here is the best and has become my life line. Be patient and kind to yourself. Self care is so important and taking it one day at a time. (HUGS)

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Judy, 

You did write individual responses to each of us, nothing wrong with putting them in one post, whatever is easier for you to do.  And had you not been able to respond to any of us, that is okay too.  This is all so hard, I'm just glad we have each other, it means a lot.

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Once again, I thank you all for your lovely responses. 

Just had to pop in and say that it's only been 6 weeks since my husband passed away and already I'm hearing from a few people - you seem to be doing well. Or - you aren't doing so well, so how do they think I should be doing? I'm not doing very well at all, I'm managing, that's about how I'd put it. Managing because that's basically the only option, also I know my husband would like me to manage, somehow, someway. Doesn't mean I'm doing a good job at it! - if God wasn't helping me along, I wouldn't be managing at all. 

I didn't say in my first post, but my husband died after having carotid artery surgery, he made it out of that okay, but then had a stroke and then  an aneurysm, and he was brain dead, how I hate to say those words. Anyway I had to decide whether or not to take him off life support, which is what happened, he only survived a very short time after life support was removed. I was about two hours away from the hospital and when the surgeon called with the news, I pretty much lost it, there was no way I could have drove the two hours to the hospital. A big, big part of me wishes I had been there and I have the usual guilt that I wasn't there.  ( and huge pain ) The other part of me knows that my husband never, ever wanted to be laying there kept barely alive by machines. We had talked about that over the years. He was adamant over never simply being kept alive for the sake of being called alive. And of course, he was brain dead. ( again, I hate, hate to say those words ) In any case this all happened very rapidly and it what happened was not expected at all - breaks my heart all over again to think of the food I had bought for him for when he was going to be home, a few days after the surgery. Soft foods, and stuff because he would have a sore throat. We were both so hopeful about the surgery. And he wasn't scared of it. If anything he was almost looking forward to having it done. So, for those reasons, I didn't stay up in the city with him close to the hospital, we had decided I would drive back home with our sons and wait to go pick him up in a couple of days after the surgery. I"m still so stunned I cannot hardly believe it. 

My husband also had other health issues, not related to the surgery he had done. He has neuro problems in his back and had been in a lot of pain for several years. I was just looking tonight at his notes that he always wrote to himself about how many pain meds he took, - so he wouldn't take more than what he was allowed for the day. But, he had been hopeful after the surgery he might get a little stronger and might be able to cut down on the pain meds. It's all just so heartbreaking. 

I talk to my husband every day, and yes, he knows that, of that I'm sure. Anyway, I'm a bag of tears right now, I'll write again soon. 

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Hi Judy,

I think you did the right thing when you made the decision about taking your husband off life support.  You knew what your husband wanted. Also, as the spouse, sometimes you have to make those decisions for your loved ones, even if it's a difficult one. You knew your husbands wishes.  Also, don't regret that you decided to go home.  We can only assume how things would have been different if you did not, but seeing the future isn't a luxury we have in life so don't fault yourself for that.

When my wife passed away, I was constantly thinking about what if this and what if that. I kept thinking about how things would have been different had we all seen the symptoms early and could have taken intervention. But the bottom line, in my case, even if I caught my wife's illness early it didn't automatically mean she would have survived. Perhaps she would have had to suffer more. Who knows and I would never find out.

Its been 5 weeks for me.  I found that joining a grief support group to be helpful.  Have you considered this?

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Taking the love of your life off of life support is undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions a person can make. You want them here but you don't want them to suffer. I did not have to make that decision as Lori coded after the stents were placed and her heart was just too damaged. Seeing the doctors and nurses running in and out of her room from down the hall seemed like slow motion. Like I was watching a movie. I am glad I did not have to make that decision and my heart goes out to those that did.

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14 hours ago, Judy S. said:

Once again, I thank you all for your lovely responses. 

Just had to pop in and say that it's only been 6 weeks since my husband passed away and already I'm hearing from a few people - you seem to be doing well. Or - you aren't doing so well, so how do they think I should be doing? I'm not doing very well at all, I'm managing, that's about how I'd put it. Managing because that's basically the only option, also I know my husband would like me to manage, somehow, someway. Doesn't mean I'm doing a good job at it! - if God wasn't helping me along, I wouldn't be managing at all. 

I didn't say in my first post, but my husband died after having carotid artery surgery, he made it out of that okay, but then had a stroke and then  an aneurysm, and he was brain dead, how I hate to say those words. Anyway I had to decide whether or not to take him off life support, which is what happened, he only survived a very short time after life support was removed. I was about two hours away from the hospital and when the surgeon called with the news, I pretty much lost it, there was no way I could have drove the two hours to the hospital. A big, big part of me wishes I had been there and I have the usual guilt that I wasn't there.  ( and huge pain ) The other part of me knows that my husband never, ever wanted to be laying there kept barely alive by machines. We had talked about that over the years. He was adamant over never simply being kept alive for the sake of being called alive. And of course, he was brain dead. ( again, I hate, hate to say those words ) In any case this all happened very rapidly and it what happened was not expected at all - breaks my heart all over again to think of the food I had bought for him for when he was going to be home, a few days after the surgery. Soft foods, and stuff because he would have a sore throat. We were both so hopeful about the surgery. And he wasn't scared of it. If anything he was almost looking forward to having it done. So, for those reasons, I didn't stay up in the city with him close to the hospital, we had decided I would drive back home with our sons and wait to go pick him up in a couple of days after the surgery. I"m still so stunned I cannot hardly believe it. 

My husband also had other health issues, not related to the surgery he had done. He has neuro problems in his back and had been in a lot of pain for several years. I was just looking tonight at his notes that he always wrote to himself about how many pain meds he took, - so he wouldn't take more than what he was allowed for the day. But, he had been hopeful after the surgery he might get a little stronger and might be able to cut down on the pain meds. It's all just so heartbreaking. 

I talk to my husband every day, and yes, he knows that, of that I'm sure. Anyway, I'm a bag of tears right now, I'll write again soon. 

People say you're doing well because they don't see what's going on inside of you, they don't see the sleepless night, the pain you feel.  "Well" is a relative term anyway, for those newly grieving, I suppose "doing well" could be applied if they just get up and brush their teeth once in a while!  

I'm sorry you're feeling guilt, that is a very common and normal grief response.  I hope you will take these articles to heart...
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/03/in-grief-coping-with-moment-of-death.html 

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/12/grief-and-burden-of-guilt.html 

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/03/guilt-and-regret-in-grief.html 

I think about my husband constantly...it's been 12 years and not one day has passed that he isn't on my mind and in my heart, and yes, I talk to him too.  I think most of us do. :)

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Hi, just kind of an update here. It's now been just over 2 months since my husband passed. I have to say, I don't think I'm doing all that well. And yes, I do know that's not unusual, it hasn't been that long. In the first month or so there were just so many things that had to be done with the paperwork, changing over things to just my name, all that stuff. I'm still working on some of it, but there isn't as much left to do now. Anyway, I managed to get in a bit of a panic about a lot of the paperwork, at any other time I would have been the one who would have handled that kind of thing with no problem at all. Not now! not with paperwork for my husband now that he's gone. Anyway, now there are many household repair and maintenance things that have to be done since Al and I had kind of put them on hold because he had a lot of neuro pain in his back and now of course, it all has to be done. 

It's all kind of overwhelming. Mind you, my sons are going to help and  probably do most of the painting, flooring that needs to be done. Al and I were going to do it, or hire a friend of his, but as many of you know, hope springs eternal - Al kind of always thought he'd start to feel better and be able to do more. ** The neuro thing isn't why Al died, it was something he would have had to live with for the rest of his life, and it was pretty bad. Also, now I find that I've been hit with a back/sciatic flare which is really putting a hold on things. I kind of wonder if the last two months and all the stress has brought it on, I suppose I'll never know! Whoops, see I'm rambling a bit here. :)

One thing I can say its, I don't post often here, but I stop by and read on a very regular basis. On the days when I honestly think I might be losing a few marbles because of the grief  I can come here and see I'm probably not the only one feeling that way. It's a great comfort. 

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Hi Judy.   Tomorrow, it will be 2-months for me.   Yes, it's tough.  And we are not alone.  We are all going through a similiar journey that is going to last a lifetime.  It hurts but we are not alone.   This doesn't exactly make things better but it helps us realize that this is part of life.  Life can be brutal.   It doesn't care who you are.  One moment things are fine and boom, the next morning we are hit hard on the face.   The grim reality is that this is a lifetime journey.   Putting a timeframe on how long we are going to have to "deal" with this is moot --- it is always going to last a lifetime.

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1 hour ago, Judy S. said:

Hi, just kind of an update here. It's now been just over 2 months since my husband passed. I have to say, I don't think I'm doing all that well. And yes, I do know that's not unusual, it hasn't been that long. In the first month or so there were just so many things that had to be done with the paperwork, changing over things to just my name, all that stuff. I'm still working on some of it, but there isn't as much left to do now. Anyway, I managed to get in a bit of a panic about a lot of the paperwork, at any other time I would have been the one who would have handled that kind of thing with no problem at all. Not now! not with paperwork for my husband now that he's gone. Anyway, now there are many household repair and maintenance things that have to be done since Al and I had kind of put them on hold because he had a lot of neuro pain in his back and now of course, it all has to be done. 

It's all kind of overwhelming. Mind you, my sons are going to help and  probably do most of the painting, flooring that needs to be done. Al and I were going to do it, or hire a friend of his, but as many of you know, hope springs eternal - Al kind of always thought he'd start to feel better and be able to do more. ** The neuro thing isn't why Al died, it was something he would have had to live with for the rest of his life, and it was pretty bad. Also, now I find that I've been hit with a back/sciatic flare which is really putting a hold on things. I kind of wonder if the last two months and all the stress has brought it on, I suppose I'll never know! Whoops, see I'm rambling a bit here. :)

One thing I can say its, I don't post often here, but I stop by and read on a very regular basis. On the days when I honestly think I might be losing a few marbles because of the grief  I can come here and see I'm probably not the only one feeling that way. It's a great comfort. 

Judy,

The grief we endure can, and sometimes does, cause secondary health issues. Let your doctor know about your grief and back flare ups as they could be connected. You won't know until you ask. I can relate to the paperwork issue. We don't have our soulmate there with us to be our sounding board and our help with these types of things. Even the smallest task can seem daunting now. I'm glad your kids will be there to help with the house. It's good to have family and friends that care with actions and not just words.

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Thank you - and yes I'm seeing my Dr. next Thursday and will definitely be bringing up how I've been feeling. My doc has been away for a month and I'm really glad he's going to be back. He's a good guy, he knew my husband too, so that kind of helps. You are so right about not having our husbands or wives there to be the sounding board. Now there's just me. Well, my sons are here and the've been wonderful, but it's not the same, as we all know. And they're hurting too. But yes, I'm blessed to have my sons around. 

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Judy, You are doing as well as the rest of us. Nothing is easy these days. It is how we react and respond that makes the difference in coping with the stresses of every day life without our significant others.  Hopefully, your doctor can help you with your back issues. You and your sons have each other to lean on. Your sons carry the best parts of you and your husband. His legacy for you to cherish.

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Hi Judy, so sorry to meet you here. I also lost my husband in June and have now passed the 2 month mark. I relate to a lot of what you've written. I think the first month I was in auto-pilot. There were a lot of people around, a lot of things that had to be done, and of course I think I was in shock. As more time passes I think the permanency of it all is setting in and that is hard. Sometimes I wake in the morning and feel like I've been hit by a truck when I remember that my nightmare is truly my reality. I still try and take it very slowly. Hour by hour, day by day.

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I also lost my husband in June, he was my life. I feel so alone. My husband was bi-polar and hard to love at times. It seems that no one talks to me anymore. I do believe in God and was attending church but I feel like I'm invisible or something. I have not cried much as that is considered a weakness in my family. I don't have anyone to turn to but I am so depressed right now and I don't know what to do. I feel for you.

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cjoney,  Go ahead and cry anyway! Crying relieves the pressure and is a sign of strength (in my opinion). Every tear we shed, helps us to heal. The intensity of our grieving equals the intensity in which we love that special person we lost. I am deeply sorry. Maybe, in time, when you feel up to it, you can try going back to church. Have you thought about a grief counselor or support group? Have you gone to your doctor to see about antidepressants or sleep aids? Self care is very important at this time. This is your loss and you need to deal with the pain in your way, not how anyone expects you to. I hope your family and friends are sticking by you and giving you the love and support you need. Sending prayers your way.

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cjoney,

I'm sorry for your loss.  It does help to cry, I think of it as the release valve on a pressure cooker, without it we'd blow!  Tears can be healing, it doesn't mean we're weak, there's nothing weak about this, this is the toughest thing we could go through.

Have you talked to the pastor about how you feel?  It is hard to go at first, but maybe trying again as you're more able.  I'd be lost without my church, I attend a couple of small ladies groups, as well as other activities, it helps me to get out, but I'm retired and with no job to go to, I'd go stir crazy if at home all the time.

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