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Jttalways

My husband died of leukemia

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Jttalways
8 hours ago, Gail 8588 said:

I just wanted to get the funeral over with, as our son was getting married 11 days later.  I so much wanted the wedding to be happy. 

I was a zombie at the wedding too. 

I can’t even imagine how incredibly hard that was for you. I feel guilty if there’s a moment I happen to smile or laugh due to something someone says or does. I have a family where most think they’re comedians. So I catch myself mid smile or laugh and stop, thinking I shouldn’t feel any smidge of joy or happiness because my husband is no longer here. But then I know my husband wouldn’t want me to be miserable. I know I wouldn’t want him to be miserable if the roles were reversed. 

46 minutes ago, foreverhis said:

Some unasked for advice, if I may.  If it gets to be too much for you and you feel yourself panicking, make sure you have told someone you trust that you may need them to help you take a break.  Have a signal or something that let's that person know you need him or her to come to you right now

This is good advice. I’ve been having mini breaks downs on and off today. One happened on my lunch break. I reached for my phone to call my husband like I normally did on lunch.  Once the realization hit, I sobbed uncontrollably for 5 minutes. I do not want to have one of these episodes tomorrow. 

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KayC

I found the funeral itself soothing, comforting, I had someone officiate that knew him and he was great and did a great job handling things.  My mom was a problem, she was crazy and said inappropriate things, he tried to get the mike from her but she held on with a death grip.  I wanted her edited out of the tape I sent to his kids!  And there was a lady (his friend's GF) that George didn't like and she showed up at my house right before we left for the funeral, that was intrusive, she grabbed his hat and said she wanted it!  I grabbed it back and said it was George's.  I didn't want to be rude but with people like that, that's all they know.  THAT was a bad experience, but the funeral itself was good.  So many people said good things about him, it meant a lot to me when my son stood up and said things about him, that really touched me, most guys can't become stepparents to teen sons as well as he did! They had a great relationship.

The place was packed out, politicians to homeless, he affected lives.

I really hope and pray it goes well for you today and that you find some comfort in it, we will be thinking of you.

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foreverhis
12 hours ago, Jttalways said:

I feel guilty if there’s a moment I happen to smile or laugh due to something someone says or does.

Last Thanksgiving my family, well one of our two sisters-by-choice, gently convinced me to take the train (4 hours) to them for the weekend.  She promised just immediate family, rather than the come-one-come-all it usually is.  It was a family tradition to all be together up there for Thanksgiving and they come down to us for the week after Christmas.

So I was doing as well as could be expected, surrounded by people who love us and who were also grieving.  We were sitting around at our other sister-by-choice's house talking.  She told an absolutely ridiculous, hysterically funny anecdote about my husband.  She is my age, her husband was 10 years older than she, and she lost him to cancer more than 4 years ago now.  She knows; she gets it.  When she finished her story, I laughed.  I couldn't not laugh because it was just so typical of my love and a perfect description of the relationship he had with her.  She looked over and said, "I made you laugh?  I did.  You laughed!" and was so pleased that she was able to bring a little lightness to my life, even if for just a minute.  I went over and gave her a hug.  I asked, "Did you know that he told me you are one of the best huggers ever?"  She smiled and said he was a great hugger himself (he was).  She mentioned how she appreciated that the first thing he did when we came up shortly after her husband died was say, "I'm so sorry" and simply gather her up in one of his loving hugs.  Then I teared up and said, "Well, of course he did.  He loved you, you know."

My convoluted point is that it is okay to smile or laugh.  I takes nothing away from your grief, it's not disrespectful or anything like that, and it's a great reminder that other people in your lives also loved your husband.  Better still, it means that your family is not afraid to talk about him with you.  Many members here will tell you that they'd give anything to have that.  That they feel like no one wants to talk about their loves or that people get uncomfortable when they do.  So please, take those small moments of light and joy.  You're absolutely right that your husband would be happy about that.

12 hours ago, Jttalways said:

I’ve been having mini breaks downs on and off today.  ---  I do not want to have one of these episodes tomorrow. 

It's not surprising at all that you would be having break downs right now.  And if you have episodes today, you're entitled to them.  That's why I was hoping you'd have someone you can signal to come help you.  Remember that how others expect you to act and what they expect you to say do not matter.  This is your husband, your grief, and your experience. 

Edited by foreverhis
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Rhonda R

I felt like I was in control and handled it well but thinking back on it now, it's all a blur.  I barely remember any of it.  My sister said I was a zombie.  I didn't have the energy to do anything.  I picked out the pictures and she made the picture boards.  She drug me to the floral shop to pick out flowers.  She stood three feet from me the entire time and made sure I drank a little water and had Kleenex or stepped in to give me a moment break when needed.  500 people showed up to Randy's funeral.  We had a large, life celebration immediately after with drinks and pizza for everyone.  Randy's request.  He didn't want it sad.  He didn't want it awkward and he didn't want it quiet.  He wanted people laughing and telling stories about him and that's exactly what it was.  I too was dreading it but I got to hear some wonderful stories about my husband that I had never heard.  Stories I will cherish the rest of my life.  Remind me to thank my sister for keeping my head above water.  Love and strength to you. 

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KayC

Oh foreverhis, I am so glad you had that time with your family AND that you laughed.  Yes, it's okay to laugh, we need, actually, to give ourselves permission to laugh.  I read an article about it early on and it really helped me, I wish I'd saved it.
This isn't the same one but along those lines...
http://www.aliveinmemory.org/2013/05/30/learning-how-to-smile-again/

2 hours ago, Rhonda R said:

I felt like I was in control and handled it well but thinking back on it now, it's all a blur.  I barely remember any of it.  My sister said I was a zombie.  I didn't have the energy to do anything.  I picked out the pictures and she made the picture boards.  She drug me to the floral shop to pick out flowers.  She stood three feet from me the entire time and made sure I drank a little water and had Kleenex or stepped in to give me a moment break when needed.  500 people showed up to Randy's funeral.  We had a large, life celebration immediately after with drinks and pizza for everyone.  Randy's request.  He didn't want it sad.  He didn't want it awkward and he didn't want it quiet.  He wanted people laughing and telling stories about him and that's exactly what it was.  I too was dreading it but I got to hear some wonderful stories about my husband that I had never heard.  Stories I will cherish the rest of my life.  Remind me to thank my sister for keeping my head above water.  Love and strength to you. 

I am so glad!  And 500 people, that is a LOT for a funeral, my grandmother's had maybe six.  It shows how much impact he made on people.  Also how much people want to be support for you.  I'm so glad you got the wonderful stories, that's what I loved about George's funeral also.  (((hugs)))  So glad you had your sister there for you, as my kids and sister were there for me.

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Jttalways

The funeral was beautiful. I gave control over to my in-laws to create and do the service program and they did a great job. My son and I wrote our speeches and I was able to give mine without breaking down or sobbing. Everyone told me they thought it was beautiful. It wasn’t a long speech, maybe 2 minutes long. About 300 people attended. There were moments where my son and I took refuge in an empty room there at the funeral home. Only complaint, my husband didn’t look like my husband and I knew he wouldn’t. Before he passed, his kidneys shut down, for 2 days. His body passed no fluids, even though the hospital constantly pumped him with fluids. Funeral was 2 weeks after he passed. So I was expecting a bloated painted version of my husband. I told my son to have me cremated immediately, straight to cremation. I would have cremated my husband immediately, but I didn’t out of respect and consideration for his father and 2 sisters that were out of the country at the time of his death. So I allowed them the opportunity to see him. Everything went well and I think my husband would be pleased. I think my son has been in shock or denial since my husband passed. But when he saw his dad in his casket, my son broke down. He also took it really hard the next day when we said our final goodbyes at the crematorium. We hugged each other as we watched him go in the cremation chamber. 
 

I am very sad today. Feeling extremely sad, missing my husband very much. My son went to a football game so I’m by myself thinking this would be a perfect night to go hang out with my husband at the hospital and watch some TV or a movie with him. I’ve been trying not to think about my husband, I’ve been trying to stay occupied. But today I allowed myself think about him and feel the pain. I am just so broken hearted and sad. I just want to talk to him, lay next to him, hang out, hold his hand, anything. I’ll take anything. 

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Jttalways
On 10/10/2019 at 7:02 AM, KayC said:

My mom was a problem, she was crazy and said inappropriate things, he tried to get the mike from her but she held on with a death grip. 

Oh geez I can sympathize with you. 2 aunts, one mine the other his, were competing for worst speech at my husband’s funeral. My aunt spoke of her messy divorce and how my husband drove her BMW once and he liked the way it hugged the turns. Waited for the point of her story and never got it. His aunt shared a memory of my husband and out of all the memories she could have shared, she chose to share with EVERYONE the time I kicked my husband out of the house and he had to go stay at his grandmother’s house (this aunt lived with his grandmother) for a day or 2. This happened during the early years of our marriage, about 14/15 years ago! I also didn’t get the point of her story or why she chose to share that. Really? They couldn’t have told everyone that he was a sweetheart or something? 

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KayC
6 hours ago, Jttalways said:

I also didn’t get the point of her story or why she chose to share that. Really? They couldn’t have told everyone that he was a sweetheart or something? 

Sounds like my mom...I don't think they had a point, just whatever popped into their empty little heads, at least that is how my mom was.  She shared how George was backing up his trailer and she was supposed to be directing him, the step was down and she directed him into a big rock which wrecked the step and he swore or something...only the way she told it she said he backed his trailer up and swore about it, she left out the part where she tried his patience.  Of all the stories she could have shared she told this?  Why not tell how he always came and got her and took her for rides, or how he's swing her around and say "Let's go dancing!" to make her smile.  Why not share how she could always count on him and he was always there for her, helping her with her plumbing issues, etc.

Nope, some people are nuts, inappropriate at best, and no containing them!  I hope someday we can laugh it off...may take a while, it's been over 14 years for me already.

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Jttalways

So I think about my husband all the time, all day long. But if I really start thinking about him, like how he died or the fact that he is really gone, never to return, I feel like I can’t breathe and I start to hyperventilate. Then I try to push the intense thoughts out of my head and try to focus on something else. I’m thinking about seeing a grief counselor but I am not so sure if I should so soon.

i had a dream last night that I had a big bump on my leg and it turned out to be cancer. When I woke up I was relieved that it had been a dream. I also dreamed my husband was trying to hug me but I was trying to tell him that he wasn’t supposed to be there because he had died. Ugh, it was a bad dream. 

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KayC

That is a horrid dream, I'm sorry.

I guess I don't think of George being gone forever...I believe in a reunion day, I don't know how I'd get through this if not for that, but the hard part is thinking how long it could be and that SEEMS like forever to me...yet I look back and see over 14 years are passed already so time is moving faster than it seems.  My mom was widowed 32 years.  Oh Lord I don't want to do that long!  I hope I don't live to 92 like she did, but George died when I was 52 so I could have longer to do than her.  She kind of went over the edge IMO but who can blame her.  What is the defining line between reality and unreality?  Between sanity and insanity?  I'm sure people would think me over the edge too if they could look into my home and see me talking to George, but who of us who have experienced this has not talked to them?  It's more common than people realize.

Here's an article on whether to see a grief counselor (remember there is a difference between a professional grief counselor and a psychiatrist or other therapist).
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/10/seeing-specialist-in-grief-counseling.html

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Rhonda R

I personally believe that early on is when you need the most help.  I don't know where I would be today or what I would have done without my therapist in the beginning.  I was seeing her once a week and now I make an appointment for once a month and if I don't need it, I cancel.  As with a grief counselor, if you decide to see a therapist, I would recommend seeing someone who has experience helping people with death and dying. 

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Gail 8588

 , but who of us who have experienced this has not talked to them?

 

Kay C,  I talk to John all the time.  Sometimes I argue with him.  Recently I was going to go on a trip for a week, and my front yard was looking a bit overgrown because some of the weeds had sent up tall flower spikes.  I was in a hurry to get on the road, but I decided to give the front yard "a lick and a promise" with the mower. I was pushing the mower around just hitting clumps where the tall seed spikes were most prevalent.  John was telling me to do a proper job and mow in straight lines covering the whole yard. I was arguing back that I just wanted to hit the tall spikes and I'd do a proper job when I got back. John was saying  it looks a mess in this hodge-podge mow job.  I told him if he was here he could mow it anyway he wanted, but I was going to do it this way and get on the road.  

It may be crazy to talk to a person who has been dead for over 2 years, but that is how it is with me.  

Peace

Gail

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