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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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Bennie Jets

Mark, this may not help but I was thinking about you and Sandra while I was doing stuff offline today and I was thinking:

You watched movies with her in Portuguese and tried to learn her language. That must have been a big part of your lives and must have made her feel very much appreciated and loved, often and for a long time.

The couple of days in the end and especially the one night you blame yourself for: you staying in the hospital or staying in the ER two days earlier most likely would have changed nothing - we cannot control internal processes, as much as we would like to flatter ourselves that we can, at least that is what it sounds like from so many accounts from others on the forum - and the last night when she was in the hospital without you, she most likely did not feel good anymore and may have been sleeping anyway, like you do when you are sick, not really wanting to be bothered. 

When I called my grand-mother in the hospital before she died, she was very irritated and did not want to talk anymore.

Even though Sandra asked you to stay, she may not have gotten much out of your time together anymore at that point. It seems to me that the important times were your happy times together when you and her had fun and you did things together that were important to you both and she was well and able to enjoy the time. And during those times you did shine by showing your love and paying attention and making an extra effort just for her and being there.

Maybe if you had stayed in the hospital that night you would have blamed yourself for causing her decline because you would have been agitated and made her upset while trying to help and get the doctors to do things differently. Maybe you would have second guessed yourself that you should have left and given her and the doctors some peace to get her well again. There are so many scenarios. We just start reeling in agony because we are left behind now. I don't know how to help that but I don't think any of this is your fault.

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April Ballou

There a lot of you who had that moment in time to say bye or I love you but for me I did not get to do that due to covid.  All I did get to do about a week and a half before my husband, Darrell passed away I did get to tell him on the phone that I love him.  I know people love their spouses but I think the love Darrell and I shared was different.  We seemed like salt and pepper, you can not have one without the other.  Everytime I went somewhere by myself I was asked " Wheres Darrell?"  And the same thing happened to him.  We always held hands when we could, kissed whenever and wherever we felt like.  Now I dont have that, dont get to hug him, he always gave the best hugs.  He was so strong, but gentle.  Life is crazy I know God has a plan, life will go on, it will be hard but it will go on.  I have to keep my trust in God.  He will see me through.

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18 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

I've been seeing a grief counselor but quit because, despite her best efforts, she just didn't "get" it.  She even said some of the same things you all have said in this forum, but I could easily sense the lack of true understanding.  When someone on this forum offers sympathy or advice, it has deep meaning to me (and everyone else I'm sure) because you all definitely GET it.

I understand your feelings as my first "grief counselor" turned out to be anything but!  He should have stuck to drug/alcohol counseling because THAT he understood.  He gave me a book to read and it opened with "I took off my wedding band."  WTH!  I took his book back and told him it lost me on it's opening sentence.  We don't WANT to remove traces of them, this isn't like a divorce!!!  We WANTED them here with us for the rest of our LIVES!   Idiot counselor told me "Well you know, if Debbie (his wife) died, I'd have to move on..."  WTH!  BTW, they are divorced now. ;)  I rest my case.  Fortunately my next one I got on line and she's literally been a lifesaver!  I have learned so much from her over the years!  I now count her as mentor and friend, and when she can't be on the site she's left it in my hands.  Not all counselors are equal and the same, that's for sure!  It's not about just book knowledge, it's about experiences and understanding, having been there.

14 hours ago, foreverhis said:

It's only in hindsight that we torture ourselves with the "If only I had" thoughts.  You are only human.  You were tired, frustrated, and had no way of knowing the future.  I am aware that you will continue to feel guilt and regret and doubts about yourself for some time to come.  But I urge you to remember that we all have faults, we all wish for things we could do over, and that your wife loved the whole of you, as they say, warts and all. 

Yes.

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Mark loves Sandra
14 hours ago, Bennie Jets said:

You watched movies with her in Portuguese and tried to learn her language. That must have been a big part of your lives and must have made her feel very much appreciated and loved, often and for a long time.

Bennie,

Thank you so much for your kind words.  I only quoted a few sentences, but your whole post was so thoughtful -- you delved into my relationship with Sanda and took the time to provide comfort that Sandra knew I loved her deeply.   Bless you for that.

I imagine Alan was grateful to have been blessed with your love -- clearly you two had a special bond.  For you to be trying to help me be at peace with Sandra only weeks after losing Alan is humbling.  Thank you so much.

Indeed I did my best to recognize the sacrifice Sandra made for us to be together.  She gave up a successful career, left a tight-knit family support system, relocated to a foreign country with a language she didn't speak (but she studied English everyday here) and trusted a Gringo who said he would love her till the end of time.  And, bless her heart, each night when her head hit the pillow, she would whisper "Voce e' o amor de minha vida" ("You are the love of my life").  So yes, it seemed like the least I could to do is to watch "Shawshank Redemption" in Portuguese with her.  And she seemed to take particular delight in me pausing the movie to ask Portuguese questions.  Particularly prepositions.  Exactly why did Morgan Freeman just use "por" instead of "para" -- I don't understand.  She would giggle and explain the nuance of the sentence structure -- in Portuguese. Which then usually led to more questions from me. Shoot, a 2-hour movie usually ended up being a two-night affair.

And a shared conquest was our long voyage through the U.S. immigration system.  We struggled together to gather the most arcane documents ("Sandra, can you find an original version of your mother's birth certificate?", or "Now I need to make copies of my last 3 years of tax returns and 14 months of savings account statements", etc.).  But after a couple years of us shuttling back and forth between here and Brazil (she had a tourist visa to take trips to see me), she finally touched down at Houston International with a sealed thick brown visa packet from the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro and was escorted to a special interview room by U.S Customs and Immigration.  I had to wait outside the customs area.  After 30 minutes, she emerged red-faced and flustered -- but with a big grin -- and an approval stamped in her passport on the fiance' visa page.  I threw my arms around her, picked her up and her and twirled her in the air. Years of work and filing endless forms had culminated in that moment.  And we still had many more steps to move through before she was granted permanent residency, but now we could begin our full-time lives together.  Which brings us back to spending evenings watching Portuguese Netflix by the glow of the lava lamp next to the couch. Alas, I had no idea how short our time together would be.  That soon I would no longer be able to twirl her beautiful long hair in my fingers . . . .

Geez, here I am rambling on.  Every one of us has these beautiful memories of our special person.  Bennie, if you're up to it, please take a moment to tell us about a special memory with Alan.  I find it helps to talk about Sandra -- perhaps it would be helpful to talk about Alan -- he sounds like a very special person.

And again, thank you for taking the time to think about Sandra.

--Mark

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Bennie Jets
5 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

That soon I would no longer be able to twirl her beautiful long hair in my fingers . . . .

Bennie, if you're up to it, please take a moment to tell us about a special memory with Alan.  I find it helps to talk about Sandra -- perhaps it would be helpful to talk about Alan -- he sounds like a very special person.

 

Hi Mark - can't write much right now becasue I am crying. 

Alan had such wonderful soft hair - I used to love to touch the back of his neck and I told him 'you've got baby fur' ! - it felt like the soft, warm, fluffy baby fur of a baby animal.

I was always strong where Alan was concerned.

Now I am falling apart.

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Gail 8588
16 hours ago, foreverhis said:

 . . .  he fought for me and our girls longer and harder than I should have asked. . . . 

Foreverhis, 

Your story in many ways is my story too. I felt enormously guilty after John's death. So many things I did wrong, including not being home when he had his stroke.  I failed to save him with every decision I made. 

On day 8 of his stroke he told me he just wanted to go home, to die at home.  I wouldn't even consider it. We were going to get him into rehab and he would recover.  That was the only path I would consider.

After 17 more days of torture, that I inflicted on him, he died in the hospital when I agreed to turn off all the machines he was connected to.   

I can remember so vividly his efforts in physical therapy to cough and clear his lungs.  Each cough was excruciatingly painful, but he would do it over and over again at my urging.  He tried so very hard for me and our boys.  It was as if I was asking him to drive nails through his hand, and dutifully he would pick up the hammer and pound another nail though his hand, because I asked.

So many invasive procedures followed, each one with me urging him to be strong and we could turn the corner on this and he would recover. 

I absolutely hate that I put him through so much terrible physical pain, just because I was unwilling to see that he was dying. 

As you so eloquently stated, we have to recognize that we are imperfect  human beings neither omnipotent nor psychic.  It does no good, and can cause significant harm, to stay in that dark abyss of guilt too long.

To Mark loves Sandra, we understand your feelings of guilt and remorse.  No words from others can comfort you right now.  But in time you will need to find a way to forgive yourself. 

She loved you and she knew you loved her and she wouldn't want you to stay in this darkness.

Gail

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My husband used to say, "Damned if we do; damned if we don't."  Grief is a torture chamber. 

Quote

 

I never thought life can be this hard. 

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April Ballou
On 2/2/2021 at 9:01 PM, MissyLaLaLa said:

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband Mani of 16 years to Covid on January 23rd. It was just so random he was literally only sick for 4 days. It started affecting his breathing so I called an ambulance and he passed away on the way to the hospital. (they wouldn't let me go with him because of Covid) I honestly feel in my heart that if they would of let me go with him he would still be alive. We didn't even get a chance to say I love you or goodbye. So I don't think he even knew it was his time.

So I understand your pain and I have been going through the same thoughts as you. My 7 year old son has been the only thing keeping me together. I couldn't leave him in this crazy world alone.

Lately I have been looking into "Life after Life" and "Life after death" it has given me some kind of comfort. The thought of believing we will meet again after I die has been the only thing that has helped me. Just know you're not alone anytime you need to vent this is the perfect place to do it among people who understand your pain. 

MissyLaLaLa I know that sorry for your loss seems like throwing mud at your face.  Been there done that.  People tell me to call if I need to talk.  Dont know what I would say if I called.  It's been almost 5 months since my husband Darrell passed away, they say he had covid, but it doesn't matter.  The only man that I had ever loved is in heaven and I am here on this messed up earth.  There are no words except keep your faith remember you have a son to raise.  I am alone, my kids are grown and have kids of their own.  Darrell and I were married 38 years, he was my first love and my last.  Still having trouble sleeping, my bed is so empty.  There are some days that I cry myself to sleep.  The only thing that helps me is talking to God.  He gives me strength.

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Mark loves Sandra
1 hour ago, Gail 8588 said:

On day 8 of his stroke he told me he just wanted to go home, to die at home.  I wouldn't even consider it. We were going to get him into rehab and he would recover.  That was the only path I would consider.

Gail,

I can see this so clearly -- it would be my first and only thought too.  To beg your loved one to fight harder, to not leave you.   If Sandra was conscious I would have asked her to pound a nail through her hand too.  And, like John, she would have dutifully picked up the hammer.  I can't imagine having to say "Enough".  Having to make that decision.  Unlike in the U.S., in Brazil the decision to remove life support is made by a team of physicians after going through a rigid protocol.  I had no say in the matter (which might be a good thing) -- they followed the protocol and then removed her life support and she died immediately thereafter.

Thank you for sharing your feelings of regret and remorse, and your thoughts on what Sandra hopefully knew.  I need to believe you're right.

--Mark

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19 hours ago, April Ballou said:

The only man that I had ever loved is in heaven and I am here on this messed up earth.

Yes, this says it for us all.  :(

 

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KellyAdalee
On 2/2/2021 at 6:42 PM, Mark loves Sandra said:

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting, and I'm a mess -- which is unusual for me.  I'm a 52 year old engineer and am normally pretty composed, but then I've never had to face anything vaguely like this.  And it seems like everyone else on here is facing similar staggering grief.  So I'll just pour my heart out and maybe it will help someone else here, and possibly be a little cathartic for me too.

 

So, first of all, my wife (Sandra) was Brazilian, and a licensed speech-language pathologist in Brazil.  We met late in life (she was 56) and were still head over heals for each other after 3 years together.  Together we navigated the incredibly convoluted and years-long immigration process and finally in January of 2020 we got a "fiance" visa that allowed her to come to the US.  We were married 2 days after she arrived in May 2020 (17 hours before the borders were closed to flights from Brazil).  Life was very simple, but we enjoyed every moment.  Sitting watching Netflix (in Portuguese), taking walks in the parks, and -- heaven help me -- going to Hobby Lobby (she was like a kid in a candy store in that place).  Laughing as she helped me improve my Portuguese.  Then came a scheduled business trip for me back to Brazil in December of last year.  And here's where things go downhill.

 

After being there for about 15 days, she contracted covid -- as did her adult children and several other relatives that we were visiting.  But here's where I went wrong.  I had already had covid -- with virtually no symptoms.  Same with everyone else in our circle down there -- almost no symptoms -- a nuisance at most.  And . . . . Sandra had a tendency to be a tad dramatic.  So . . . .  knowing all this, I didn't take her covid seriously.   For 5 days she was coughing and constantly checking her blood oxygen level and taking 9 gajillion over-the-counter medications.  I just kept telling her to relax, stay in bed, and recuperate.  In fact, I was somewhat annoyed that she was making such a big deal out of it.  And I let my annoyance show through multiple times -- being less than totally caring.  She needed my support, and I wasn't fully there for her because I thought she was making too big a deal out of it (knowing that we weren't in a demographic that was typically at risk for serious covid ramifications).  Then on the fifth day, she called me at work and begged me to come pick her up and take her to the hospital.  Exasperated, I left work, made the 40 minute drive back to the hotel and picked her up in the lobby -- she just seemed very weak to me, but nothing more.  I took her to the ER and they took her back (I wasn't allowed in due to covid).  I waited in the lobby -- I figured they'd give her a few hours of oxygen and then we could be done with this overreaction and go back to the hotel.  After 4 hours waiting, a nurse came out and told me that Sandra wasn't going to be released that night.  I asked what time in the morning I could pick her up.  The nurse said it would more likely be a couple days.  Geez -- what a hassle I thought.  Well "a couple days" turned into 10 days.  Somehow the last couple of nights I managed to sit with her in the evenings (she was no longer contagious, but had pneumonia), and my usual question was "When can we get you out of here?".  The evening of the 10th day she asked me to spend the night in the hospital with her.  To my eternal regret, I said I my contact lenses would dry out (can you believe it?), and I had to work in the morning, etc.  So she took off her oxygen mask and quietly said "Eu te amo" (I love you).  I said the same, gave her a small kiss and said I would see her the next evening.  The next morning I received a text from her son that said she had been intubated.  NOW, I started to get a little concerned -- but her sister (a nurse) said her vitals looked fine and the intubation would allow her to relax, so I stopped worrying.  Each evening thereafter we received a summary text from the hospital about her condition.  Each day was fine -- "patient vitals good, responding well to antibiotics", etc.  No problem.  Then . . . . on the fourth day of intubation, I was sitting in a restaurant at 7:27 pm eating a salad and wondering why the text from the hospital had not come out yet.  Then I got a text from her son -- he said "Mark, I got the message from the hospital -- and it's not good."  Suddenly my world went dark and my head was swirling -- suddenly I grasped how ridiculously nonchalant I had been.  I frantically texted back to her son "NO ! don't send me the information."  But he had already forwarded me the message.  It was in Portuguese and my muddled brain was struggling to translate.  I managed to understand "pupils fixed and dilated" but then couldn't comprehend the next phrases.  After a few moments, her son sent me the horrifying translation:  "massive stroke" -- and the hospital wanted to see me and the kids at 10:00 am the next day.  I paid and stumbled out of the restaurant and managed to somehow drive over to her son's apartment (I apparently got two traffic tickets from automated radar on the way over).  We all gathered there crying.  But somehow we managed to convince ourselves that a neurosurgeon could drill a hole in her skull and relieve the blood pressure (my dad had this done when I was young) and all might be fine.  We decided the hospital surgeons wanted to meet us the next day to ask permission for some emergency procedure.  And so the next day we (me, two adult kids, and sister) met at the hospital and were led downstairs to an area with some chairs.  We sat down and a group of four doctors came over and one started speaking to the kids and sister in Portuguese, then she suddenly turned to me and said -- in English -- two words that destroyed my world -- "brain dead".  I collapsed in the chair sobbing.  I begged the doctors -- in badly mangled Portuguese -- to tell me there was a chance of recovery -- ANY chance.  They just sadly shook their heads no.  [As I write this, tears are literally dripping on my keyboard and my heart feels like it's being squeezed into a ball].  I continued to cry uncontrollably and beg for a glimmer of hope, but the doctors were resolute -- Sandra would never regain consciousness.  A CT scan of her head was horrifying -- a giant pool of blood taking up about a third of her brain.  And with that my will to live evaporated.  Later that day she was taken off life support and she died.  That night her sister took me to the funeral home and in a daze I picked out a coffin and countless other gruesome choices ("heavy, medium, or light makeup?", etc.).  The next day we said our final goodbyes and she was buried.  In the space of 36 hours in late December I had gone from wondering when my beloved wife would finally get out of the hospital to seeing dirt being piled on her casket.  I left Brazil the day after Christmas in a daze.

 

And so I entered this world all of you have described -- intense pain, agony, disbelief.  And mind-bending REGRET.  Were it not for my 20 year-old son, I very likely would have killed myself over the next several days.  I genuinely wanted to die (and still do), but couldn't imagine putting my son in this same pain.  So I stumbled along.  But I can't deal with this.  Each and every damn morning I wake up and for 3 or 4 seconds I think Sandra and I have just broken up and all I need to do is text her quickly and send some roses, and grab a flight to Brazil.  Then reality comes crashing down:  Sandra is DEAD!  I will not see her EVER AGAIN!  Period.  No way to change this.  No way to fix it.  I have all manner of irrational thoughts.  I'm distraught that she has embalming fluid in her because how can she come back with embalming fluid in her veins?  I'm distraught that she's buried because that will make it very difficult for her to get out of the casket.  I check my Whatsapp to see if she has texted me.  I wonder if she will come back to me in someone else's body.  And I incessantly berate myself for not taking her illness more seriously [more tears dripping on my keyboard].  And, oh my god, WHY DIDN'T I STAY WITH HER IN THE HOSPITAL THAT LAST NIGHT WHEN SHE ASKED ???   I can't stop thinking about all the things I could have done to change the course of the story.   And I blew it.  I feel like I had the winning lottery ticket in my hand and I just let it blow away in the wind.  I was blessed with a gift that was so special to me -- and I let her slip through my fingers.

 

I can't take this pain.  I can't sleep -- I get maybe 2 hours per night.  I'm so shaky I can barely text my son.  I have zero appetite and have lost 15 lbs.  Life seems cold, scary and pointless.  I hold our wedding rings and say to thin air "Sandra, why did you leave me?" [now I'm crying so much I can barely type].  I keep thinking something will change and she will "come back".  Or I have darker thoughts that I'll go find her.  I just feel lost and don't care about much.  I go through the motions at work.  I find things in my notebook that she wrote in Portuguese and break down crying.  I have waves of the thought "Oh my god, she's dead."  that hit me like a brick wall.  I can't fathom that I will NEVER see her again.  Perhaps I'll be alive for another 30 years -- and in that 30 years I'll never be able to twirl her hair in my fingers again.  So those 30 years are worthless to me.    I just don't want to go on.

 

Thank you all for listening.  I wish my pain and agony was only something I have to suffer, but no, it sounds like we're all going through something similar.  What a sh*tty world.  I'm so sorry for all of us.  It's just not fair.  I want my Sandra back . . . .

Im not quite sure how to work this website fully yet but I wanted to quote the part where you heard she was brain dead I will explain why in a second , I’m so deeply sorry for your loss mark she sounded like a wonderful woman I really relate to your story although mine is not exactly the same you see I lost my boyfriend age of twenty two days ago his name was julian we had dated for two years but shared a lifetime of love I know we are very young but I 100% believe that was my soulmate we took a break around September and he became very suicidal I didn’t take his suicidal thoughts serious I thought he was “over exaggerating” he wouldn’t harm himself he wouldn’t kill him self even thought he constantly told me he would without me in his life I was so stubborn I didn’t make sure he knew we were going to be back together he thought he had lost me forever and I thought he was dramatic he begged and prayed God everyday to take away his pain and his life he told me everyday how he did not want to be on this earth and on Halloween night he got into a car wreck , he had called me a couple minutes before the wreck God why didn’t I answer it is a guilt that eats me up alive if I would’ve answered I would’ve got to hear his voice maybe even could’ve saved him from passing I really feel like his whole death is my fault honestly I got the call from his sister at 7 am saying he had wrecked she was crying freaking out, I said is he dead? She said no but that he was in the icu he had a brain bleed and a broken leg and they were going to take a piece of his skull out to relieve pressure and once again I thought he’s going to be okay God wouldn’t let anything bad happen to him everyone around me my friends family were telling me dont over think it he’s going to be okay I then thought was this car wreck a suicidal attempt there came the guilt luckily it was not it was pure accident and he was a crazy driver gosh he gave me so much anxiety every single time I was in the car with him worst part was he was not allowed any visitors except for his mom and dad and his sister every so often but they would have to beg the hospital to even let her see him, so far so good surgery went “well” his sister was giving me updates every couple hours then I finally got the text the most heart breaking text half of his brain had died the right side which controlled the whole left side of his body, I immediately broke down and screamed my world had stopped my heart had broken his sisters said the doctors say it’s not looking good because well you know when your brain dies it is dead forever no chance of recovery but I did not lose hope because he still had his other half the doctors said he would never open his eyes again breathe on his own do anything they moved him to a neuro rehab clinic which he was there for about two and a half months, he finally started breathing all on his own he even ripped out his trachea twice out of his neck! Even opening his left eye eventually later opening both he could move his arm to his chest he did it all the time he couldn’t talk but he would move his mouth like crazy couldn’t move his whole body but I was hopeful he would someday do it and through all of that thats when I begged and cried to God everyday for him to be a miracle and come back to me he’s still alive for a reason Gods not done with him finally the rehab center said there was no more they can do with him they’re gonna discharge him home he didn’t didn’t have half his skull he was put back to my local town hospital to have his skull put back again, this is where he finished out the rest of the three months and through all of this I not once got to go and visit him let him hear my voice feel my hands in person I know he would’ve loved it so much to hear me breaks my heart I wasn’t allowed to see him in his last moments sadly only over the phone FaceTime which I feel like he could barely hear and see me two days ago I got a text from his sister saying he stopped breathing for 8 minutes he had choked on his tube food and the food is very sticky it got stuck in his lungs causing him to stop breathing the doctors got him back but he was no longer breathing on his own she said he was too much for the machines to keep up with and that the doctors would do everything they can to keep him alive but that this was ineffable it was going to keep happening to him they were going to need to keep bringing him back to life so they let my love go I am so heartbroken without him I feel as if I took his love for granted reading your story I know they are not exactly the same but I do understand your pain and how awful you felt finding out your wife was brain dead I hope that one day your heart finds peace and comfort! All of my condolences to you

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I hope that for both of you and don't be afraid to reach out to a professional for help, this can be a lot to navigate alone.  
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/10/seeing-specialist-in-grief-counseling.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2010/04/finding-grief-support-that-is-right-for.html

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April Ballou

I would love to go to some counseling but I can't afford it.  I am disabled, I am on a fixed income.

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foreverhis
3 hours ago, April Ballou said:

I would love to go to some counseling but I can't afford it.  I am disabled, I am on a fixed income.

Hi April.  Although your husband didn't die on regular hospice care, most hospice groups/facilities offer some grief counseling services for spouses/families who had a family member die in the hospital.  Some offer loss-specific support groups, but others have pro bono or sliding scale counselors available if the hospice coordinators refer you.  As you are disabled (I am too, so I get the challenges of finances--it's not as if we can just go get a second job or something), you will likely qualify for pro bono grief counseling if your local hospice(s) offer that. 

Please, please check into your options.  Start by calling the hospital and ask for patient-survivor services (or similar).  They should be able to guide you from there.  But also call local hospices directly and explain your situation.  I suspect (but do not know) that hospices and hospitals have ramped up survivor services because of COVID.

I wish I had magic words for you, but there aren't any.  Nothing can make things better and nothing in life could have prepared us for the loss of our soulmates.  I was married to mine for 35 years, knew him for 37--well over half my life.  I will belong to him always.

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foreverhis
5 minutes ago, April Ballou said:

Will counseling even help?  It won't change anything.  God has been helping me and will continue to help me through this pain.

I just want to make sure you know that I didn't intend my post to be "nagging" you.  As you had mentioned not being able to afford counseling, if you wanted it, I thought I'd throw possibilities out there for you.

The truth is that when it comes to seeing a grief therapist, I haven't.  It's just not for me, at least not for now.  I have been to support groups for my medical conditions, but the local ones are mostly people complaining about how bad their lives are.  Yeah, I get that--obviously--but don't find a group kvetch helpful.  In general, I'm a pretty private person, so in-person group support settings of any kind are usually uncomfortable for me.  That's one reason being here has been such a saving grace.

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20 hours ago, April Ballou said:

I would love to go to some counseling but I can't afford it.  I am disabled, I am on a fixed income.

Many are income  based.  You also might check with your insurance, I know the Oregon Health Plan which most on disability here in OR have, covers it.  You might check with your insurance.

I just read your more recent response, I also was responding to your post where I quoted.  Also some churches provide it.

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borbzgirl

Crying as I'm reading this, because I can relate to this so much...

My boyfriend was murdered January 11th midnight... We had plans of us living together (him moving to my city) and I had held it off so long because we had different Covid protocols in our cities that meant he would need to undergo quarantine for a couple of weeks. But last December, he begged me. He wanted to come already. But, I said to wait for January (because in my head I was thinking about all the holiday plans I had that I didn't want to miss, I had plans with family to be at a resort, and I just thought I couldn't go if he arrived then). I feel so guilty about this and am so embarassed of myself. It cost him his life, my selfishness cost him his life.

 

The night before he died, we talked for a bit (we talked every night) but that night, I was just inattentive. When he started saying he wanted to come here already I just cut him short and said I was sleepy.

The next day, he was murdered.

You know what goes through my head? That if he had already moved here, if I had allowed for it to happen earlier, that we could have just watched the shooting incident from the news, together. He wouldn't have been there, he wouldn't have died. He was only 35 (like me), and had his whole life ahead of him.

 

I have so many regrets it's unbearable. I have so much self-loathing. He was my life, you know? And like you, the only reason I'm still here is because of my 3-year-old. I go through the motions, but I am tormented with the pain. The feeling of doom, hopelessness, helplessness... I hate everyone who isn't him, he's all I want. 

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April Ballou

Borbzgirl I know what it feels like when you think about the what ifs but that doesn't change what actually happened that just puts you on a state of depression.  Not only do you have a three year old to think about you also have family members to think about.  There is no way to go back in time and change what has happened.  If there was I would in a heart beat.  My husband of 38 years supposedly died due to covid, although I have my doubts.  But no matter what hes up in heaven and I'm here in this crazy world.  I dont have any small children, but I do have some young grandchildren.  I have to think about.  There are times that I relive the last month of our lives together.  I wonder what we could have done different, or think about why it had to happen the way it did.  But then I pray and God helps me.  I understand that your boyfriend is all you want, so is my husband.  I will never have another man in my life.  We have to keep going.  Pray, keep your mind on the good things.

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But we never had what never happened so how can we regret something that was beyond us?  We can only make choices with the knowledge we have at the time so to apply what we learn later to something past and gone brings us undeserved guilt and regret that's not ours.  Not sure I'm saying this clearly but hope you understand what I'm trying to say. :wub2:

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16 minutes ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

Everyone,

I was at a grief counseling group today at my local hospital.  One person said something that really encapsulated frustrations with meaningless platitudes.  She said any time someone starts to offer consolation by starting with "Well, at least . . . . . " -- she just cringes.  As in, "Well, at least you had xx years with him/her."  Yep, even though the other person is probably well meaning, that just really hurts.  There's no "at least" in this equation.  Our loved one is gone and that's all there is to it.  That's the pain.

Anyway, just had to vent on that.  Because soooo many people say things that are just -- at best -- useless, and at worst, hurtful.  A simple "I'm sorry for your loss" is best when the other person can't grasp the pain.

Welcome back Mark. So far people have been pretty good with me about my wife's passing. I haven't had any of those stupid " at least" comments or I guarantee I will tell them where to go. Unless a person has gone through the loss of their partner, they have no idea how it really feels. I sympathize with you because everything you've said about your loss, I am also going through it and it is unbearable at times like you said.

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Wow, Mark.  I'm sure the person appreciated your knowledgeable help, but wow, that had to be hard hitting for you. :wub2:

14 hours ago, Perro J said:

Documents are in order, Covid test is negative, just a few more things to pack and I fly Saturday.

I asked if they would help me get flowers to her tomb on Valentine's Day.

I know I will cry there. I am OK with it.

You'll be in my thoughts as this weekend comes.

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Tombigsgy69

I am so sorry this happened to you.  It is so hard to accept that death is an option when we see our loved ones in bad health.  Denial kicks in.  I really think that denial is a defense mechanism in these situations that allows us to cope with emergencies better.  However, in the end it causes so much guilt.  My father died of cancer many years ago.  The night he died my mother called me to tell me I better come down to the hospital.  I did, but all I could think of was that I had to get some sleep to go to work the next day.  My tunnel vision of my day to day activities was all I could think about.  After my father had been checked out they decided to keep him overnight.  I went home to get some sleep and go to work the next day.  The next morning my mother called and told me he had passed during the night.  All of a sudden my desire to get to work dissolved and I realized what had been happening.  He was dying the night before and I didn't even see it because I was thinking of other things.  I hesitate to say I was selfish.  I wasn't, I just didn't realize what was really going on because my defenses of denial wouldn't let me see it.  I don't think you realized what was really going on either in your situation.  You thought it would a small thing and soon everything would be back to normal, as did I.  There shouldn't be any guilt in that.  I hope that you will continue to heal after such an experience. Take care

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Mark loves Sandra

@Tombigsgy69

Tom,

Thanks so much for your comments above.  I read your full post on your thread.  Good luck with your situation, and I'm happy for you (don't get to say that very much here).

Everyone,

Just venting here.  Remember how I said I wake up every damn morning thinking Sandra and I have just broken up and I can fix this?  Well, early this morning (very early) my brain decided to vary the script a little bit, and shook me up anew.  Here's the gist of it:  I was walking around an indoor soccer complex and I saw a giant Brazilian flag hanging on a wall (Brazilians are absolutely obsessed with soccer/football) along with other national flags.  I thought, "Cool, I'll take a picture of this and send it to Sandra -- she'll be happy." (in my dream, we seemed to be separated again like in the early years).  I sent the photo and then thought "You know, you're an adult, if you want to be with Sandra, it's your prerogative, just tell your parents that's how it going to be." [note: my parents never approved of Sandra and refused to meet her -- said she was a Brazilian "gold digger" -- hurt me deeply, and has destroyed my relationship with them].  Anyway, in my dream, as I was walking around the soccer complex, I kicked around the idea of how to "fix" our relationship and suddenly I thought "Hey, we're still married -- the immigration visa is still valid !  She just has to get on a plane and come back up here !"  I was overjoyed.  I was so happy in the dream, I semi-woke up.  And as I was waking up I was enveloped in a warm, cozy feeling -- pure joy and happiness -- Sandra would be here as soon as she could catch a flight.  It was so wonderful.  But . . . . slowly reality crept back in.  I could almost feel her slipping away as the dream receded and I became fully awake.  Very brutal.

So, yet another morning waking up crying (yeah, very masculine . .  ).  I don't know how much longer this can go on.  I miss her sooooooooo much.  Just like everyone else here . . .

Life sucks.

--Mark

 

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19 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

Everyone,

I was at a grief counseling group today at my local hospital.  One person said something that really encapsulated frustrations with meaningless platitudes.  She said any time someone starts to offer consolation by starting with "Well, at least . . . . . " -- she just cringes.  As in, "Well, at least you had xx years with him/her."  Yep, even though the other person is probably well meaning, that just really hurts.  There's no "at least" in this equation.  Our loved one is gone and that's all there is to it.  That's the pain.

Anyway, just had to vent on that.  Because soooo many people say things that are just -- at best -- useless, and at worst, hurtful.  A simple "I'm sorry for your loss" is best when the other person can't grasp the pain.

"Well, at least....." tells the speaker does not understand! They are not feeling the grief we are going through.  And most people don't. 

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foreverhis
21 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

She said any time someone starts to offer consolation by starting with "Well, at least . . . . . " -- she just cringes.  As in, "Well, at least you had xx years with him/her."

I didn't get too much of that after John died, but there was one incident that happened while he was in the hospital.  His brain had kind of gone inward because he was just overloaded with the stress of chemo, surgery, an infection, needing a blood transfusion, etc.  The hospitalist ordered an EEG.  I was so distraught because he had become unresponsive and I was terrified that he wouldn't come back.  He did, but it took a week and the doctors said it was his brain protecting him from overload and kind of "resetting" itself.

The tech who came in to do the EEG was nice enough, but at one point she asked how long we'd been married.  I answered that it was coming up on 35 years.  She said something like, "Oh you're lucky I only had 24 years with my husband."  I was dumbfounded, thinking, "This isn't a damn contest and it's not about you.  I don't give a crap that we've already had more years than you had.  This is our life and our love.  Thanks for intentionally making me feel worse."  I'm not one to leap to "I'm telling," but I told one of the administrators when she came in to see how John and I were.  She was appalled and said she'd take care of it.  I believed her.  She lost her husband 10 years earlier after 35 years together, so she really understood what I was feeling and thinking.  Actually, at the hospital, she was practically a pre-grief counselor for me whenever things got more challenging or I couldn't handle it.

People say the stupidest, sometimes cruelest things.

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28 minutes ago, foreverhis said:

I didn't get too much of that after John died, but there was one incident that happened while he was in the hospital.  His brain had kind of gone inward because he was just overloaded with the stress of chemo, surgery, an infection, needing a blood transfusion, etc.  The hospitalist ordered an EEG.  I was so distraught because he had become unresponsive and I was terrified that he wouldn't come back.  He did, but it took a week and the doctors said it was his brain protecting him from overload and kind of "resetting" itself.

The tech who came in to do the EEG was nice enough, but at one point she asked how long we'd been married.  I answered that it was coming up on 35 years.  She said something like, "Oh you're lucky I only had 24 years with my husband."  I was dumbfounded, thinking, "This isn't a damn contest and it's not about you.  I don't give a crap that we've already had more years than you had.  This is our life and our love.  Thanks for intentionally making me feel worse."  I'm not one to leap to "I'm telling," but I told one of the administrators when she came in to see how John and I were.  She was appalled and said she'd take care of it.  I believed her.  She lost her husband 10 years earlier after 35 years together, so she really understood what I was feeling and thinking.  Actually, at the hospital, she was practically a pre-grief counselor for me whenever things got more challenging or I couldn't handle it.

People say the stupidest, sometimes cruelest things.

People try to comfort others who are suffering, they just don't know exactly HOW!  The intention was being kind, I like to believe. 

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Mark loves Sandra

@Brazil Man

Brazil Man, are you still here?

I would love to talk with you, to hear about your life with Rosana before you lost her to lung cancer.  To hear about where you live in Brazil.   I am still working to become fluent in your language (by the way, your English is very good!), but studying my Portuguese is very hard for me right now.  Each word is a reminder of my Sandra.

Brazil has such a special place in my heart now.  Sandra lived in Campo Grande, MS, about a 2-hour flight west from Sao Paulo.  I have come to love your culture, your country the warm nature of Brazilians.  Sandra and I celebrated Reveillon 2019 ( for Americans reading this: New Years Eve) in Rio because we were there for the fiance' visa interview at the U.S. consulate.  Reveillon was a wonderful tradition -- we dressed in all white cotton clothes, and at midnight we threw white flowers into the ocean.  Then we stayed up till sunrise with hundreds of other Brazilians.  By 10:00 am Sandra was a mess -- her hair was messed up, makeup smeared, and she was tired -- but she was so beautiful to me.  I miss her so much.

Eu amo seu pais.  Mas, saudades muito minha Brasileira.  Nao e' justo.  Estou muito muito triste.  Ela e' enterrado no Campo Grande . . . . 

Sinto muito sobre sua Rosana . . . .

--Mark

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3 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

@Bennie Jets @MissyLaLaLa @Missy1 @widower2 @LMR @jmmosley53 @ScotJ65 @KevinM @KayC @Maria_PI @Perro J @Yoli @April Ballou @Sparky1 @foreverhis @SDC @kay TX @Gail 8588 @borbzgirl @Tombigsgy69 @Brazil Man

Hey Everyone, if you're interested, I finally got the courage up to post a picture of my angel and I -- it's at the top of my original post on this thread.  Caused a lot of tears to just post that picture.  I haven't been able to look at any of her pictures -- just destroys me.  It was all I could do to post this one.

To save you some clicking and scrolling, here's the link to the original post:

https://forums.grieving.com/index.php?/topic/17428-love-of-my-life-died-suddenly-covid-and-i-cant-accept-it-so-many-regrets/

--Mark

 

Nice photo. 

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On 2/9/2021 at 5:15 PM, Perro J said:

Documents are in order, Covid test is negative, just a few more things to pack and I fly Saturday.

I asked if they would help me get flowers to her tomb on Valentine's Day.

I know I will cry there. I am OK with it.

CRY and get better!  

Just now, kay TX said:

CRY and get better!  

Just CRY and CRY and CRY ......  I did that for HOURS!!!

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borbzgirl
15 minutes ago, Yoli said:

Those of us left behind and our loved ones passed have all been cheated.

Yes, they have. And I don't know who to hate for it, but I have so much hatred. At this world, in general. I hate that it only took & never gave back & sucked him dry & this is the kind of thank you he got. He didn't deserve to get murdered, he was so young, he was so kind, he deserved to die of old age. To not die in the violent way that he did. 

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Brazil Man
15 hours ago, Mark loves Sandra said:

@Brazil Man

Brazil Man, are you still here?

Yes, I visit the forum everyday. I wrote to you a  private message.

Moises

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Mark loves Sandra

@KayC What a beautiful picture. You look radiant and so does George.   Not enough love like that in our world.  And damn, when it does occur, it gets taken away and we end up on this forum.

--Mark

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