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Love of my life died suddenly (covid) and I can't accept it -- so many regrets


Mark loves Sandra

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Very sorry for your loss. Grief and guilt are old friends. Just remember hindsight is 20/20 and it's human nature to beat ourselves up about why didn't I do this or that or do it differently etc etc. Plenty of experience there myself. I think such thoughts are really an outlet we use to beat ourselves up to help justify the searing agony we feel.

I know this is easier said than done but as much as possible, try not to "go there" - you're human, you made mistakes, welcome to the club. It's no crime. You loved her and if you had any idea how serious this was, you'd have done anything you could. I feel very confident she knew/knows that. Being imperfect doesn't mean you're a bad person. 

FWIW I created a web site that speaks to grief generally - i don't know if anything there will help, but again FWIW: https://griefhelp.webs.com/grieving

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6 minutes ago, widower2 said:

You loved her and if you had any idea how serious this was, you'd have done anything you could. I feel very confident she knew/knows that. Being imperfect doesn't mean you're a bad person.

 

Widower2:  Thank you for your kind words -- it's consoling.  True, if only I had known how serious it was . . . . . I would have tried to move heaven and earth to save her -- as anyone on this forum would have done for their loved one.  But it's so hard to know she needed more from me and I just didn't get it.  Dammit.  Eternal regret.


You've apparently lived with this pain for 10 years -- I can't imagine.  I'll go to your website -- thank you for the link.  Very thoughtful of you to go the extra mile to create a website to help others.

--Mark

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13 minutes ago, LMR said:

I still can't accept that he is gone.

 

LMR:  Looks like I need to quit posting while crying -- can't seem to do the quotes right.  I better quit for the night.  Another night of quietly saying Sandra's name while tears run on my pillow.

I'm sorry your "him" -- your special person -- is gone.  I also just can't accept that Sandra's gone.  Just can't except it . . . 

Thanks for sharing your feelings.  Means so much.

--Mark

 

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@Mark loves Sandra  I am so sorry for your loss.  I lost my soul mate George 15 1/2 years ago.  We only knew each other 6 1/2 years, were married 3 years, 8 months.  He is the only man who ever loved me and it was very reciprocal.  We got each other, had great communication, understood each other, were each other's best fan.  He'd just had his 51st birthday when he suddenly died, it was a shock.

My heart goes out to you, these times are very hard, the whole last year, to go through these Covid times.  I am sorry you are one of the ones that suffered loss through it.

You have a lot of heartfelt support here, and I hope you will continue to come and post/read here.  It was a forum like this that saved me when I lost my George.  It will gradually lessen in intensity, but always, always, we continue to love and miss them and realize how irrevocably changed our lives are without them in it.

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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Mark loves Sandra
5 hours ago, ScotJ65 said:

Six years ago a wonderful, beautiful angel came into my life. I felt like the luckiest man alive.

Scot,

Geez, like everyone else on here, you totally get how I feel.  Which means I'm incredibly sorry you know exactly how I feel because that means you're in the same pain.  I'm so sorry.  To have your angel fall apart in front of you must have been the most agonizing and helpless feeling in the world.  I imagine you both were desperate for a solution.  I would be almost frantic.  Horrible to lose something so precious -- and irreplaceable.

When you wrote that an "angel came into your life and you felt like the luckiest man alive" -- I know EXACTLY what you mean.  Sandra appeared out of nowhere (from a dating app that I wasn't even paying attention to and only responded because she had a gorgeous hugely cheerful smile).  She changed my world.  She was everything to me.  My angel.  The twinkle in her eyes, the skip in her step.  How could something so special be taken away from us?  Why?  The answer for you of "genetic predisposition" is hardly comforting.  It doesn't really matter why -- just that our "angels" are gone.  Which hurts so much to even type.

Thank you for your thoughts.  I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy, but the fact that you (and the others who have commented) truly GET this horrible feeling and everything that goes with it gives me some support.  I will try to do as you say and make it through each day, but I don't know why -- without my angel the world is so dark.

--Mark

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@KayC, Thank you for the list of Tips to make it through grief -- and your kind words.  I have to admit I'm frightened by what you wrote --  you lost George15-1/2 years ago -- I can't imagine 15 years of this pain and longing for your soul mate.  15 years !  I don't think I can do this for 15 years.  You are obviously a wonderful person to continue posting and trying to help others like me.  George must have been a wonderful person too.  Thank you.

--Mark

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2 hours ago, Perro J said:

Beautiful, kind, smart, and she loved me with an intensity that I have never felt before.

Perro,

That's me!  I can't say it any more succinctly.  Sandra loved me with an intensity that I've never felt before.  She looked past my numerous faults and wanted nothing more than for us to be together -- and she was willing to change her whole life to make it a reality (quit her professional job, left her culture, embarked on learning a new language . . . ).  I was awestruck by how intense her love and commitment was.  She was all in -- with every ounce of her being.  Which makes me so much more distraught that I didn't do something -- ANYTHING -- to save her.  I feel like she relied on me to protect her in her moment of need -- and I failed.  My Brazilian angel (to use Scot's word) put her faith in me and I let her down.  And now I have to live with that.  Forever.

You two must have soldiered through the immigration system also.  The I-429, the waiting, the medical exam, the visa interview, the I-485, and on and on and on.  And then to have it all swept away in a few short months by cancer.  You turn around and suddenly everything you worked years for is gone.

I obviously don't know your full story, but I wonder if you now feel something special for Ecuador?  Because Sandra was changing so much of her life for me, I felt it was important to understand as much of her culture as I could.  And over many trips to spend time with her, I developed a fondness for Brazil and its people and way of life.  I poured myself into learning Portuguese (though I was still working on it when Sandra died), I came to appreciate sitting in small cafes by the street and having a beer with her.  Rice and beans were a part of my lunch every day.  I started wearing chinelos (flip flops) around the house.  We watched Netflix in Portuguese using a VPN service to get to her account in Brazil (though she often objected and said we should be watching in English so she could learn English -- but I wanted her to be able to relax and enjoy the evening movies).  And occasionally we would try to log in to her Netflix account and couldn't get any because there were too many users on her account -- and she would hilariously get on Whatsapp and text her kids and demand to know why all the Netflix licenses were in use and tell them that somebody down there needed to log off because we wanted to watch a movie !  Oh, the memories . . . .   So now when I see Brazil in the news, I listen carefully -- that's my angel's culture and it will always be a part of me now.

But that's all we have now Perro -- memories.  I don't know how we fell from joy to despair so quickly.  And that's exactly the right word -- "despair".  These people who loved us with all their being -- gone.  And I can't accept that.  Which make for a bad situation because I don't have much of an alternative.

I'm sure when you hear Spanish, especially from a female speaker, it's like daggers to the heart.  I'm so very sorry your special Ecuadorian is gone.  I know how you feel.  Thank you for posting and listening.   I wish you the best.

--Mark

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28 minutes ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

I wonder if you now feel something special for Ecuador?

I am headed back there in 10 days. I will be spending a week with her family - I consider them my family now too. I too recall deciding on movies to watch : "In English or in Spanish tonight?" "Subtitulos o no?"

My only time in Brazil was a morning at Iguazu Falls, I was there alone, before I met her. There is a long, not-so-funny-to-me-story about getting my visa to enter Brazil while I was in Buenos Aires. I spent about $200 and five trips to the consulate to spend a total of 5 hours in Brazil. As I understand it, the visa requirement was lifted last year. Bureaucracy is one of the things I do not admire about Latin America but I don't admire it here in the USA either. There are two places in Brazil I still want to go see. Rio De Janiero and  Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses. Not knowing any Portuguese might be a barrier. ( @Brazil Man - that's a hint!) Maybe someday. Iguazu was possibly the most beautiful place I have ever visited and I would have loved to go back there with her.

I am in contact with her family enough that hearing Spanish is not painful - but it is a reminder of her. The upcoming trip will have to be a refresher because I do find it hard to study now. No one else in her family speaks much English. Call it immersion learning.

I am also going back in July for the anniversary of her passing. There is a ceremony known as lapida (tombstone) and I want to be there for that.

So yes, absolutely Ecuador now holds a very special place in my heart. As Brazil now does for you.

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31 minutes ago, Yoli said:

I believe that even if you did things differently, like spending that last night with Sandra you would still find a way to berate yourself and beat yourself up.

Yoli,

That's absolutely true -- because I had so many opportunities to do it differently -- there's plenty to beat myself up about.  In my original post I left out the part where on day 3 of her coughing in the hotel room, at midnight she wanted to go the ER.  And I was annoyed.  I thought "Sandra, I've got to be up at 5:00 am for work and you want to go to the ER in the middle of the night because you have a cough and a 1-degree fever???"  So we went to the ER (different hospital) -- and I was less than fully sympathetic -- and we waited for 2 hours.  Then when she was about to be seen, there was some sort of paperwork mix-up and she got moved back another hour.  At that point she dejectedly looked at me and said "Vamos voltar ao hotel" (Let's just go back to the hotel).  And looking back, what she really wanted from me at that moment was me to say "No, Sandra, I'm worried about you and we're going to stay here as long as necessary to get you checked out."  But no, I screwed that up too, and just said "Good, let's go back to the hotel."  And maybe if she had been seen on day 3 instead of day 5, there would have been a different outcome.  And I have plenty more mistakes like that.  I let her down.

But you're right -- our new reality is here to stay.  I just don't want any part of it.  And it sounds like Indy was a very special person.  How you can make it to 9 months without her is beyond me.  But I will listen to your advice and sympathy carefully -- caring thoughts from you and all the other people who miss their special person mean the world to me.  Thanks Yoli.

--Mark

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Mark, I'd like to wish you my deepest sympathy on the loss of Sandra. Reading your story is so emotional and heart breaking. I also can relate to what you went through as my wife passed away 5 weeks after finding out she had cancer. Hers was a 1 in a million extremely rare adrenal cancer which gave her Cushing's disease. That is how we finally got the cancer diagnosed but by then it was too late. The suddeness of her passing has left me in shock and disbelief and like most here, have a lot of what if questions. My wife was a strong person, and she vowed to fight but the cancer treatments were too much for her and her body didn't respond. It was like my heart got ripped out from me knowing that she is gone and being alone in the house is gut wrenching and physically painful. It's not easy trying to cope and like others say, we have to plow on and hope for the best. We are all here for each other, and hopefully we can get some comfort from reading what everyone says.

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Mark loves Sandra

@Perro J:  It warms my heart that you too now have a tie to Latin America.  And I do have to admit to some frustrations with Brazilian bureaucracy -- they have some ferocious red tape.

Indeed Brazil has areas of breathtaking beauty.  Sandra took me to a few, but the plan was always to return often to see relatives and explore her native land.  Alas, all those plans are the trash now.  We did go to Rio together -- but specifically because the US consulate in Rio is the only place where fiance' visa interviews (K-1) are done.  We went a few day early before the interview and were there for the New Year Eve festivities ("Reveillon").  The tradition is that eveyone wears all white cotton outfits and then at midnight throw white flowers into the ocean.  And stays up until sunrise.  Which we dutifully did.  But a couple of 50-year olds saying up all night is different than doing the same thing when we were 25.  By 9:00 am my beautiful Sandra looked worse for wear.  Her makeup was smeared, her hair stringy and her white dress was a mess. But oh . . . . to me she was absolutely radiant.  And when we finally fell into bed at about 10:00 am, she put an arm around me, pulled me tight and said "Happy New Year my love" and then immediately fell sound asleep.  3 days later we had our visa interview at the consulate and were granted a fiance' visa valid for 6 months and one entry to the US, after which we had 90 days to get married (as I mentioned, we didn't quite take the full 90 days, more like 18 hours).  But now I'm just spilling out memories -- sorry -- didn't mean to do that.

Anyway, Rio is OK, but the water is amazingly cold (Sandra wouldn't go in it, and I managed about 90 seconds in it).  If you make it back to Brazil I would actually suggest one of the cities on the Northeast coast -- inexpensive and has pristine beaches and crystal blue water as far as the eye can see.  Just stunning beauty.

I think it's wonderful that you're going back.  I hope time with her family is soothing.  And I very much like the idea of going back on the anniversary of her passing.  Latin American cultures are very similar, so I imagine Brazil has something similar (not a subject Sandra and I discussed).  I will talk to her kids when the time is right and ask if they have a similar tradition.  If so, I'll try to screw up my courage and go back for the ceremony.  Thank you for the idea.  Though right now the thought makes my stomach churn and the tears flow.

Safe travels and best wishes,

--Mark

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@April Ballou

April,

Your story is heart-wrenching.  I too was not allowed to see my loved one during the last days.  And that haunts me.  As I mentioned, I had a last small kiss, and then the next time I say her was in a casket.  I'm so sorry to hear about your husband.  38 years is a testament to your love.  You and I and the others here have lost so much.  It's just not fair.  My deepest condolences -- and as others have said to me -- those words are written with the knowledge and understanding of the pain you're in.  So sorry.

--Mark

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April Ballou

Yes it is hard to say goodbye, but I do know where he is and one day I will see him again.  

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foreverhis
12 hours ago, KevinM said:

As you can tell, many of us here have some version of this story. Maybe all of us. In some sense death is always sudden, no matter what came before. None of our stories are exactly like yours. Your pain is unique. We do have a glimpse into what it must be like, though, and I am so very sorry that you have to walk this road with us.

Yes, losing our one and only is sudden, even when he has been fighting cancer for 15 months and even when I was with him on that last day, holding on to him, playing some of our favorite music on my tablet, and watching as his body wound down and his breathing slowed until the sudden shock of him not taking another.  I sat there thinking, "How can I be so shocked when we knew this was coming?"  But I guess until that final moment when I felt him leave this world for the next, I had a delusion that some miracle would occur or that I could will him to go on.

Although our loss, grief, and journeys are unique, you're so right that all of us here understand each other.

10 hours ago, Maria_PI said:


Yes, so well said! I need to remind myself of that every time the gut-wrenching guilt comes back to haunt me about what I could’ve / should’ve done to make my husband’s pain and suffering go away or what the doctors could’ve / should’ve done to cure him. It’s hard... Hugs to all!
 

Indeed.  I struggle with this still and maybe I always will.  The "If only I/we/the doctors had..." and the "Why did/didn't I...?" are still guilt inducing, though not as deeply as at first.

23 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

LMR:  Looks like I need to quit posting while crying -- can't seem to do the quotes right.  I better quit for the night.  Another night of quietly saying Sandra's name while tears run on my pillow.

Hi Mark.  Your story breaks my heart.  I am so sorry you have to be here with us, but you have found a good place to be.  Coming here almost literally saved my life when I was wandering lost and hopeless.  Even though I have a small, very loving and loyal circle around me, they're all too aware that they cannot fully understand.  The members here do and they embraced me, comforted me, and allowed me space to just breathe.  I hope we can be there for you too.

Please keep coming here and talking.  I've got to tell you that I cannot count the number of times I've ended up with tears streaming down my face (and the so delightful snot flowing along with them).  I suspect we all have.   And you're doing the quotes fine.  When you quote a whole post that has a quote within it, I think the system drags the whole thing along.

I wish I had some magic words to help, but all I can offer is my sympathy from someone who gets how impossible life seems now.

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April Ballou

Mark loves Sandra love never fades and neither will the loss of your beloved Sandra.  My husband, Darrell was the only man I had ever been with.  I was only 16 when we met right months later we got married.  I was 17, I was in love for the first time.  Darrell and I had our ups and downs just like most married couples but before we went to bed every night we always kissed and told each other that we loved them.  Love like that seemed like they were only in story books.  38 years may seem like a long time but to me it wasn't long enough.  It's the what ifs and why's that go through my mind.  I just wished I could have gave him one more kiss and told him one more time that I love him.  Darrell was a very special man.  There will be nobody else.  

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April Ballou

That's how I feel every night that I get into that bed I wished Darrell was there.  But I know that life goes on.  I believe that if I could have stayed at that hospital things would have been different.  Several times throughout our marriage Darrell was in the hospital for one thing or another and every time he was I stayed with him.  They could have let me stay.  I could have dressed in the same stuff they did to at least hold his hand.  But no they thought it would be best that he was locked up like a prisoner inside of that hospital room.

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I'm sorry you lost your beloved Sandra. I'm sorry it happened so quickly and that you're beating yourself up for not comprehending the possible severity of her illness. The regrets and what ifs are terrible and common. "If only I had" and "If only I hadn't" and "Why didn't I!?" and "Why did I?" ruminate in vicious, exhausting cycles. I think we do it in response to our lack of control and how our brains process it. Our love dying is the ultimate example of how little we control. We couldn't stop the worst thing from happening. We obsess about what we shoulda/woulda/coulda done in a fruitless attempt to go back and control anything by doing something different. As we live through what we couldn't control---our person's death---we fret about the things we did have control over and reexamine why we didn't do "better." But hindsight isn't fact based because it projects present knowledge on a past with different knowledge. I'm 9 months into my loss and I still do it, but not as intensely and I've developed some tools to stop/or at least shorten the ruminating thought cycles.

It's good you shared your story here in such detail. Continue to find ways to get out of your head and seek validation for your feelings. 
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9 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

And Sparky -- 5 weeks from diagnosis to losing your wife??? 

99.9 per cent of the time the tumor is benign, so we figured that once they removed the tumor, she would get better. That's what the specialist told us, unfortunately it was malignant and she did radiation and chemotherapy. After the chemotherapy, she went downhill because I think it was too aggressive for her body. I am devastated because they had told us she might have up to a year but she was in the hospital for 5 weeks and she didn't make it. I miss her so much , she was my life and I don't know how I'm going to make it without her.

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Mark loves Sandra
3 hours ago, April Ballou said:

I believe that if I could have stayed at that hospital things would have been different.

April,

You and I have exactly the same thought -- if only we could have been in the hospital room with our loved ones we could have encouraged them to stay with us -- to "will" a different outcome.  I believe that if I had spent the last night in the hospital before intubation I could have effected a different outcome -- and Sandra ASKED ME TO STAY !  Everyone else on here says we need to stop thinking like this because it will eat us up.   I think they're right because my regrets are making me highly unstable.  I can barely function.

I feel certain that Darrell knew you wanted to be with him -- and I imagine that brought great comfort to him.  You did the best you could.

--Mark

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Mark loves Sandra
1 hour ago, SDC said:

I'm 9 months into my loss and I still do it

SDC,

Oh that is so worrying to read.  I don't know that I can take 7 more months of this and still be wishing I had done "better".  The regret pounds at me each day, and a voice in the back of my head keeps repeating: "YOU let her down when she asked for support."  "YOU were worried about work in the morning when the light of your life asked you to hold her hand through the night."  "And now YOU have to live with the consequences". 

I'm not certain at all that I can live with the consequences.  But oh, it helps so much to hear supporting words from people like you.  Thank you so much for helping with the woulda/coulda/shoulda --  I have it bad.

--Mark

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April Ballou

You are right and I'm sure Sandra knew that you wanted to be with her also.  I will forever hold a very special place in my heart for Darrell.  I know he is in heaven.  One day soon I will see him again.  

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1 hour ago, SDC said:

But hindsight isn't fact based because it projects present knowledge on a past with different knowledge.

So true!  

 

18 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

I have to admit I'm frightened by what you wrote --  you lost George15-1/2 years ago -- I can't imagine 15 years of this pain and longing for your soul mate.  15 years !  I don't think I can do this for 15 years. 

None of can do the "rest of our lives" but we CAN "do today," so stay in today, do one day at a time, that we can do.  Sometimes we have to break it down to one hour or one minute in the early days.

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17 hours ago, April Ballou said:

I too suffered the loss of my husband of whom I had been married to 38 years.  Supposedly due to covid. Back in August of 2020 we had both gotten sick.  We both started taking medicine for a cold.  After about four days I got better, he was getting slowly worse.  On a Friday I finally talked him into letting me take him to the hospital.  I had to stay outside in my car.  After about 30 minutes I received a text from him saying that they did a covid test and it was positive.  They admitted him, they would not let me even go say bye or tell him that I love him.  I drove home praying the whole way.  The next day I received a call from the hospital telling me to self quarantine and to go get a covid test.  I did self quarantine.   Every day I called the hospital to check and see how my husband was doing, everyday it was the same answer, no change.  They intubated him and put him in a come to help his lungs clear.  The second week they changed doctors, a lady doctor took his case.  Took time to use her cell phone to Google duo so I could at least see him on the phone.  By this time they had put a trach and gave him a feeding tube,  would wake him up everyday to see how he would respond.  One time while we were Google duo he waved at me, blew me a kiss, and mouthed he loved me.  It was the best thing.  I blew him a kiss and told him I loved him.  He then wanted to know where I was.  I told him I was at come because they told me told self quarantine.   That doctor left on a Friday and I never got to virtually see my husband again until the next Friday.  During which time he went down.  She returned to the hospital and called me asking me what had happened.  I told her I didnt know.  She finally gave me permission to go see him in person, but I could not touch him, I just got to see him through a glass door.  I sat there praying the whole time.  I talked to him, got no response.  I was able to return the next day no change.  I went home Sunday September 6, 2020 crying and praying the whole way.  The next day I called the hospital and asked for the doctor  to call me back, she did and told me to get up there as soon as possible.  When I got there he was non responsive.  I talked to my kids and to his mother plus prayed after three hours of praying and crying I had made the decision  to cut the machines off.  When I did they finally let me go in and say my goodbyes.  I believe  that he was already gone.  Within about 15 minutes he was confirmed dead.   September 7, 2020, labor day will never be the same.  The love of my life is gone to be with God.

I am so sorry that you also are going through this.  I'm glad you came here and have been able to read/post with others that "get it."  It helps.  This is the hardest journey I've ever been on.  I have learned more about myself through this than in the rest of my life together.  It's changed me.  Yes, I love and miss my George each and every day of my life, but the pain lessens eventually as we learn to adjust/cope with the changes it's meant for our lives.  I want you to know there is that glimmer of light, although no one can say when as our timelines are all as unique as we and our relationships are.

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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Mark loves Sandra
1 hour ago, Sparky1 said:

99.9 per cent of the time the tumor is benign

Sparky,

Yep, and covid results in only minor symptoms -- what -- 99.5% of the time (and yet that 0.5% has resulted in 400,000+ loved ones disappearing)?  Heck, you probably know someone who had covid with virtually no symptoms.  And somehow your wife was in the 0.1% of people with a malignant tumor.  I feel like we won the despair/agony lottery.  How could this happen?

1 hour ago, Sparky1 said:

I miss her so much , she was my life and I don't know how I'm going to make it without her.

Uhhhmmm, yeah.  That's me too exactly.  If our wives (and the other loved ones from this forum) were our lives -- how can we go on without "our lives".  Straight out of "Jerry Macguire" -- Sandra completed me.  And without her, I'm not all here.  I'm lost.  You clearly know what I mean.  They were our lives . . . .

--Mark

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Mark loves Sandra
2 hours ago, Sparky1 said:

Mark, you know what one of the doctors told me? He said your wife's cancer is so rare, that she won the lottery in reverse.

Sparky, I don't know what to say.  It's all so random and unfair. Your wife was apparently something like one of 30 people in an entire country who contracts adrenal cancer, and Sandra died from a virus that gave me (and her kids/relatives) the sniffles.  And we were powerless to change the outcome.  And now we just walk around with intense pain thinking of the life we envisioned with these special women.  I just don't understand . . . 

--Mark

 

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Bennie Jets
2 hours ago, foreverhis said:

There are any number of times I can bring to mind from when my husband was fighting his cancer that I was overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and irritated with everything, including the man I love more than anything in the world. 

Wow, @foreverhis, thank you so much for your post! I gave you a set of angel wings for that even though I am not sure what they are for (as a comment) but they seemed appropriate to me. 

Your whole post was fantastically helpful. I just quoted the one line because I can relate to that the closest.

I even would go back, for myself, to before he got the cancer.  I blame myself for him getting the cancer. I sooo wish I could go back and re-do what happened then. You can drive yourself crazy.

Even with all the extreme care you gave for years and all the love that was there and shown, you find one thing and bite into it like a pitbull. I don't know why we do that, but talking about it and hearing each other helps me a lot.

Thank you for sharing your story. I still have to get the courage and energy up to post mine, in its entirety. Maybe I can't.

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