Author Topic: New widow...suffering  (Read 15886 times)

SparkyDMFD

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New widow...suffering
« on: May 22, 2012, 08:34:42 PM »
Greetings,

I know why I'm here but I'm not sure what I'm looking for.  On April 6th, 2012 (Good Friday) the love of my life for well over 36 years died suddenly.  (sort of). 

"Rick" was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer in March, 2009.  He was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Kidney Angiosarcoma.  When the kidney was removed we discovered the cancer had metasticized to both lungs and liver  We prepared for the very worst while praying for the best.  Well, God blessed us with 3 fabulous years filled with LIFE that we never thought we would have.  in 2009, we were forced to face the inevitable.  We made all necessary arrangements not expecting him to live past 4 months with complications at the time.  After some palliative chemo...he rebounded and we began to travel.  For the past 3 years we have crammed about 15 years of living into a short time.  We have been blessed beyond belief. 

By the end of 2011 the cancer was really taking it's toll, his liver was now completely consumed by cancer, it had gone to his bones and  had spread throughout his pelvis region.  I could tell his health was dimishining but he still insisted on continuing with his lifestyle  The month of January we spent in Lake Havasu City, AZ.....living as Snowbirds.  In February, we were spending 8 glorious days in the beautiful island of St. Maarten.

We knew he was reaching the end of his treatment options.....and his liver was so large you could actually see it protruding from his abdomen.  However, the morning of April 6th he got up like every morning. Came to the kitchen for breakfast.  Once in front of him, life most everyday, he retreated to the bathroom to get sick.  This was because of his liver failure.  I followed him to hold a cold rag to his head.  However, today was different.  After a couple of dry heaves he said something was wrong and he needed to get to the bed.  I secured him under his left arm and with each step, he drew nearer to the floor.  Halfway to the bed he fell, crashing his head into the vanity.  Then the horrifice 30 minutes began, the last 30 minutes of his life. 

The ambulance arrived.  My husband had retired as Asst. Chief of the Des Moines Fire Departmnet and knew all of the medis.  He was fighting for air.....desperate to breathe.  It was so difficult seeing him in such distress and trying my best to make him comfortable.  I pretty much knew "this was it" although I wasn't sure what was happening.  He lost consciousness before he left the house and for all practical purposes, I know he was "gone" then.  They continuted to manually keep his heart going until my daughters and I could get to the hospital.  With our approval they stopped CPR and he expired immediately.

The week that followed was a complete blur but we all managed to make it throught.

Now, 7 weeks later...I find myself suffering more with each passing day.  All of the "hoopla" has ended....our "support system" has returned to their lives....as they know it.  But for me....each day my loss becomes more intent!  I've went to 2 public functions and nearly had panic attacks.  I now do not trust myself to go out in public where our "couples" friends will be.....or anyplace that holds strong memories for my husband and I.

I'm ashamed that I've felt anger....for reading posts of friends and their social outings on Facebook.  I feel isolated and alone.  I feel like everyone has already "forgotten".....have returned to their routine lifestyles.  I just want to SCREAM and tell them NOTHING is the same!  It will NEVER be the same....but for them, life goes on. 

So, I'm not sure what I expect from this group...but I think just finding others that feel the same hurts and victories will be a blessing to me.

Thanks for reading ths!
Pam

Doug1222

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 05:23:40 AM »
The week that followed was a complete blur but we all managed to make it throught.

Pam, I won't say I understand what you've been through. Everybody's story is so different yet so alike. I lost my brother and my dad suddenly in separate but nearly identical auto accidents. It's probably quite different.

I can say I understand this feeling, though.

I'm glad you found this place. There are a lot of people here who are happy to listen. This is a wonderful group of people, and you won't be judged here. Welcome.

(((((((((Pam)))))))))

Doug

helene

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 06:59:48 AM »
Hi Pam,

I am very sorry for the loss of your husband! Doug is right: no two losses are ever alike but we are all certainly suffering from grief here. Thank you for telling us about Rick and your last blessed three years together and the trauma of his last day. Sharing our stories and experiences and feelings is a lot of what we do here at Webhealing. I really related to your anger, panic and feelings of isolation now that everyone else is returning to their normal lives and you are left with your grief. We live in a strange society with a very short 'acceptable' mourning period which can last around a week or two and then, if people see you mourning they get uncomfortable. It angered and very much upset me me too and still does. I totally agree with you that things will never be the same.

My name is Helene and I lost my Dad many years ago and my older sister Lesley nearly two years ago.

Please post whenever you feel you can. Many people are here for you, me being one of them. Welcome to Webhealing.

 ((((((((((((Pam)))))))))))))

Helene


Helene & Lesley

gaberax

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 08:48:44 AM »
((((PAM)))

So sorry for your loss.

rayinsc

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 09:43:31 AM »
Pam, I lost my wife on Feb. 27th of this year to cancer, her time was short, she lived only three months following the diagnosis.  While three months is not a long time, it was for the most part a good time for us.

Following her diagnosis, I told my brother that she was on her last voyage.  For her it was one way, for me it was a round trip.  I knew then that the homeward bound leg of my trip would be difficult.  What I did not know was just how difficult it was going to be.  (and to some extent still is)

In the weeks that followed Arlind's death, I found myself alone in a void.  I knew my journey back had begun, but I did not know which way to go, nor did I care.

Like you, friends and relatives soon went back to their lives, as I knew then was what they were going to do, just as I did in the past when confronted with others who lost a loved one.  A day is a short period for people who have not suffered grieving, a day to me was like an eternity.  What was normal for them was no longer my normal.  I longed for what was my normal, but knew it would never be.  I was so alone. 

All of the emotion you are now feeling, we here have felt or are now feeling.  For me, the anger and rage, the guilt, the loneliness, the endless recounting of what happened and the 'what ifs' rolled through my mind.  It was agonizing.

For me this forum presented a place where I could write my story, write about my grief and pain, gain understanding from others, and read how others were coping with their loss, and how others had started to move on in life.  The ability to post my feelings at anytime I felt the urge, was a relief valve.  There was comfort in being able to let go and know that a response would eventually be there when I returned.

When I was in the depth of grief, several people recommended that I try Hospice grief  counseling.  At first I rejected the notion of counseling.  Then I went to a drop in group session.  I found there people like me who were dealing with their grief.  While most had family and friends for support, they all said that those good intentioned people did not really understand what was happening to them, or that the individual was uncomfortable to discuss with them their true feelings.  At group, there is a sharing of stories, of feelings, of loss, of progress in their new life.  The group is none judgmental, they are there to understand what life has dealt them.  They are there to help themselves and others. 

Group counseling has helped me more then I can say.  For others, it has not, and while it may not be for you, I suggest you find one that fits with your belief system and give it a try. 

In closing, grieving is a trying time, each has to find their own way to acceptance and understanding.  The majority of us come to terms with what life has dealt us and become comfortable in the new norm, a few sadly do not. 

While this may sound strange, at this early stage of grieving, let it happen, try not to be too hard on yourself or others, and most important, do not bury what you are feeling, because to do so will only prolong your grief.

Now my post may sound like giving advice, but in my reality it is not.  It is to me just a affirmation that the path I took has worked for me, it is a way to confirm that where I am now was the right choice and the right place for me.

Ray
Ray in Santa Cruz

stampingwidow

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 10:58:02 AM »
Pam, I lost my husband in early December from renal & pulmonary failure.  It was a shock!  Although he had been ill for a long time, his doctors gave no indication that he was near death at all.  He had polysystic kidney disease and the last few months required oxygen.  No one could explain his need for oxygen.  I was devastated by his loss.  Life is very different for me now.  At first I was numb.  I then the pain.  I am slowly improving.

Rays advise is good.  A hospice grief support group was beneficial to me.  I am now finishing attending a Grief Gathering Group at a local church.  Each have helped/  At first it did not seem helpful.  The benefits were not immediately noticeable.  Learning what grief is and gaining a better understanding of the process was helpful. The grief groups helped me realize that although I will never have my old "normal," eventually I will have a new normal and that it is okay to have a new "normal."   Talking with people that are also grieving helps too.  They really understand.  Many think they understand but actually do not.  A skilled group leader helps draw out our feelings so that we can examine them and learn to deal with them.  Probably no group is perfect.  I have benefited from the two I attended.  Grief work is hard work but it is necessary.

This forum is also helpful.  It is a very caring group.  It gives everyone a chance to express their feelings and to gain some understandings.  It is also something that you can participate in over the long term.  For most of us grief seems to be a long process.  My good days are more frequent now than they were.  Sometimes it is only some stupid little occurance that causes the grief to hit me hard.  My progress is slow.  Do not expect all your grief to suddenly disappear.  Just take it one hour at a time. 

It is so fortunate that you and your husband were able to live such a full life.  Eventually those memories will be helpful.  Right now it may be difficult to think about your wonderful experiences as a couple but hopefully the day will come when they will bring you comfort.

Please let us know how you are doing.  Do not hesitate to let us know about your fears & frustrations.  It helps to talk about it and at least here people can relate to your situation.  Ann


Terry

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 10:58:29 AM »

((((((((Pam))))))))

I'm so sorry for the recent death of your precious Rick. Bless your heart. And, thank you for sharing your story with us. I know it's not an easy thing to do.

Welcome to Webhealing. I'm glad you found us as there are a lot of very kind and supportive people on these boards who will listen with an open heart and understand.

We are always here for you.

Much love to you,
Terry

browneyedgirl

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 11:00:48 AM »
Welcome, Pam.  My name is also Pam.

I am so very sorry for the loss of Rick.  You have come to the right place.  We are all here for you and there are many who understand. 

Come back soon and let us know how you're doing and share more about your husband if you wish.
Tony Repola 07/20/66 – 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven

SistersinCanada

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 06:59:42 PM »
Welcome Pam
I too am so sorry for your loss.   I lost my sister a year ago and didn't see it coming.  I just thought bad things happened to other people. 
I know the feelings of anger, sadness and panic.
I went to two different grief counsellors and it did help me.  I journalled every day on my laptop.  I still do but it's not as often.
I hope you have close family/friends that allow you to be yourself and show your grief.  I felt like my heart had been ripped out of me but time does make it easier.  The pain will always have a place in my heart, I know that.  But after a year I can honestly say things are better.  Just take it one day at a time.  You have to suffer the pain to get through it even tho it sucks.
People on this site are kind and understanding.  We've all shared our own unique pain and we really do understand and wish the best for you.  Sharing your feelings even if it is only with yourself in a journal might help if you want to try that.
I hope knowing there are people that understand helps you.  Take good care of yourself.
Terry

arthur

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 09:03:29 PM »
Hi Pam...I am so sorry for you loss.  I know what you mean how can everyone be so happy and laughing when you are in such intense mental pain.
I lost my wife a little over a year ago. Although it has been a year for me I still find it hard to get used to when you are grieving and people laugh and live as if you and your grief do not exist. You have come to the right place to grieve Pam. Welcome! (((Pam))) arthur

sonya

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 01:53:42 AM »
((((((((((((((((((Pam))))))))))))))))))))

I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Rick. I wish that you didnt need to find this forum, but I am so glad that you have. You are most welcome. I hope that you find the comfort and support here that I have. It has been an amazing life-line to me.
I lost my Tone 9 months ago. I remember all too well those first weeks after the 'hoopla' and think that you have described it perfectly.
Advice that I was given was to be gentle on yourself. Drink lots of water. Eat something regularly. Go for a walk every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. 
But otherwise, come back here as often as you like. Share more about Rick if you are comfortable too and ramble on about your feelings as I have done so often. I find it really helps me.
Welcome,

Sonya x
Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy

roseygirl61

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2012, 03:07:48 AM »
Pam,
Sorry for your loss of your precious husband.
Welcome to the site, although I wish no one had to be here either. You will find much support, understanding and love here. It is a place where you can express your feelings with no judgement.  I understand the "support system thing",  I still have "friends" that avoid me just because they don't know what to do or say and it has been a year already, hard for me to beleive my husband, Bill has been gone that long, seems like it just happened.
There is alot of anger for me still, it is part of what professionals will call "The process", although I know everyones grief is different to a degree, there are still most things that are the same..........guilt, sadness, anger and feelings of being overwelmed.  I hope we all can make it through one day at a time.
May you find some peace and calm in the days, weeks and months ahead.........
Rose

MyLou

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2012, 03:42:04 AM »
Pam,

I am sorry for the loss of your husband.  If you want to cry, yell, scream, whatever it takes do. There is no rules to this journey. It's a hard journey I am so sorry to say.  We are here for you.  We are all FAMILY here.  

Our friends/family go on with their lives.  We all feel like you. They have their lives still.  I remember when I first lost Lou I felt so alone in this big world as it kept going. It didn't stop for me.  I screamed don't anyone know I loss My Lou.

No one understands US unless they wear these shoes. These are one pair of shoes I wish on no one.  

It's good to journal but it's not for everyone. I still journal but not everyday like I used to.

Please post anytime.  The most important person is YOU.  You need to take care of you rest, eat , drink , sleep.  It's hard to do but you need to try.

Wishing you peace ..................

Always
Lisa

((((((((((((( PAM ))))))))))))) [/
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« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 05:13:35 PM by MyLou »
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Spring2012

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2012, 07:49:52 PM »
So sorry for your loss Pam. I lost my husband of 48 years on Jan 17/2012 -- he had lots of medical problems but actually died from a perforated bowel -- done by the medical profession !!!
I hardly remember January -- February -- March -- !!! April and May have been painful. We are planning a celebration of life for next Saturday June 2/ 2012 and have spent lots of time in preparation. This has been difficult and I am hoping that once we have done it I will find some sense of peace --
It is a long, sad journey -- this is a good place to come --- people here are good and kind and they understand -- write when you can -- may you find comfort --

Spring
Good-night ! good-night !
As we so oft have said
Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days that are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.

SparkyDMFD

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Re: New widow...suffering
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 06:20:39 PM »
Thank you all for your words of wisdom and encouragement.   My life continues to be on a roller coaster.  The past 2 weeks have been horrible.  I made an appt with a counselor this Friday but I don't expect her to have a "magic wand" that she can wave over me and cure me.  I was caught completely off-guard when the life insurance/pension checks arrived last week.  It occurred to me that "Rick" had to DIE....in order for me to receive these funds.  The thought of it makes me sick.  I wish I could give it all back...just to be able to finish our lives together.  Live into old age....together!  I began dating "Rick" when I was 16!  We were married 36+ years.  I literally moved from my parents home....into my very own home with a man I dearly loved only one week after my 18th birthday! (I know what you are thinking...if this had been our daughters, we would have probably SHOT them!)   Until NOW, I've never had a life on my "own." 

Rick and I have a very large circle of "friends."  Another soft-spot for me is realizing that I will lose those close friendships.  Before just about ALL that we did were as "couples."  As the days and weeks have passed since I buried Rick, the silence has been deafening.  Only 1 friend has continued to contact me almost daily.  All of the others......I've heard nothing.  I feel like I've not only lost the love of my life...but also my circle of friends.  I'm struggling to find my "new normal" ....but I have a feeling it will be a long time before I know what this is.  I'm glad I found this group.  Please be patient with me....I have a long way to go before I begin to know HOW to cope with this grief!