Topic: A Wife's Grief

Dear Friends,

This is one of those days.  I feel like one foot won't go in front of the other today.  All these things - helplessness, keeping everything together for everyone, caring for my sweet Charlie, doubt, fear, grief - it's overwhelming today.  It's 1:00 p.m. and Charlie is still sleeping.  I feel like I have disappeared, but how can that be?  I'm the one holding everything together, aren't I?  This limbo between Charlie's life and his "shell" of a life is unbearable today.  Everybody talks about the precious time we have and how lucky we are.  As it drags on and on, it doesn't feel so lucky.  Seeing the love of your life deteriorate isn't easy on anyone.  Charlie says he feels like a 90 year old man.  I feel so guilty and bad thinking this way because everyone keeps reminding me how lucky we are.  What's wrong with me? 

Thanks for letting me get that out.  I am so tired and burned out.  Today is bad, pray for better tomorrows. 

Carol

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dearest Carol, have you not earned the right to feel the way you do? There is nothing more I can say except to let you know I am thinking of you daily and sending love and prayers your way.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dear Carol

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dear Carol,

As  Lainy said, you have earned the right to feel as you do and I too think you are doing a good job holding everything together.  You also know where to come to let your feelings out & gain strength & support.

As I have said before, I only dealt with the caretaker part for 7 weeks and know how much it took out of me.  I am still trying to deal with it all. I often wish we'd had more time, but  after watching what Jim went through, deteriating so quickly, as hard as that was for me, I can't imagine what it must  be like for you & others who have had to watched it go on for so long.

I too would have said how lucky you are to have this time together, but I can see now that is not always good either. I suppose, there is nothing good about this cancer and how it affects everyone touched by it. I guess we just have to take what we get & deal with it one day at a time. We have no control over any of it or the outcome.

Although I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that I lost Jim so quickly, I know that for him it was better as he did not have to suffer for a very long time.  I would have wanted more time for me but if that time would not have been quality time for him, then  I guess I was just being selfish & thinking of myself. I will keep you & Charlie in my thoughts & prayers & hope for peace & comfort for both of you in the days to come.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dear Carol,
I so feel and totally understand your pain. 
Peace,
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dear Carol,
  I remember feeling like it was never going to end, and wanting it to be over at the same time I was feeling guilty and, also,  wanting to keep him by my side forever, BUT, only if he was whole and well. It is so difficult to stand back and watch someone we love so much suffer. You are doing a tremendous job, and you can be proud. We are thinking of you and your family.

Joyce C.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dear Carol,
My grief is over my mother, and not a husband, so I know the circumstances are different, but I know exactly what you mean. I kept getting the "you're so lucky she went fast, and didn't suffer" speech. Also, "you're so lucky to have had a mother for so long - some people don't have that." And yes, I've been guilty of saying the same thing to people!!! I guess a part of me acknowledges that yes, I am lucky to have had such a wonderful person in my life, but that's just being too rational. When you're grieving or in anticipatory grief, you don't feel LUCKY at all. It's HELL. You just wonder why you can't be one of those people whose loved ones live to a ripe old age, happy and healthy. It just doesn't seem fair.

This cancer knocks you down and sometimes it makes things worse to try to make people see the "sunny side" - there really are times when there is no sunny side when you're going through this nightmare. You're entitled to feel this way - you're going through so much, and you have such a huge burden to bear. I hope, as you said, tomorrow is a better day, but just the fact that you're putting one foot in front of the other is enough for now. You're not superhuman and you can't do this alone. I hope you find strength in your loved ones to help you - you are such a strong woman to have gone through so much already, and sometimes you need to share the pain.
Cyberhugs,
Joyce M

Re: A Wife's Grief

Carol,

My Mom has now been released into Hospice care.  One of the grief articles I was reading had the following statement:

GRIEF IS NOT AN EVENT....IT'S A PROCESS.

I believe this is so true.  It starts with the anticipatory type grief and then seems to go on and on.  It's so wearing and draining.

You are entitled to every  emotion you are feeling.  You have so many people depending on you and you ARE holding everything together.

I check your blog daily.  You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

Love and Hugs,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Carol,
Know that somewhere half across the world, I am praying for you and Charlie. I am praying for strength and love and peace. You are doing amazing.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dear Carol I have recently experienced what you are going through and I found it an absolute nightmare.I felt so stressed all the time .I found the sea very therapeutic.I swam in it every day sometimes I would only be away from the house  for 17minutes-I timed it(just a quick dip).Just being near the ocean helped for me.I realise not everyone lives near the sea but any water or special spot might help.Of course nothing really takes away the pain and stress of it all just lifts it very slightly

                   Wishing you strength  Janet

Re: A Wife's Grief

You all are amazing!  That was a really bad day, the worst yet.  I just wanted to crawl under the bed and make everybody and everything go away.  Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes.  I can feel my strength coming back as I read your encouraging and heartfelt words.  I will make it and get through this! 

Janet, I have always wanted to live on a lake or pond where I could hear the water gently lapping and hear the frogs croaking in the summertime.  I'm sure your swim helped you cope a little.  It sounds lovely. I wish you strength too.

Carol

Re: A Wife's Grief

Carol you and I are the same age and its terrible that we are going through what we are.My husband loved living near the beach-it was like a dream come true for him.Our house is old and ramshackle though we are simply living types in this beautiful place that we live.But of course its the people in a community t hat make it and luckily this small community is not too bad and I hope yours isnt too bad also.If I could bring you a meal or a bunch of flowers I would.
                  kind regards  Janet

Re: A Wife's Grief

This February, I am right where Carol was last February. I am watching my husband suffer, day by day, and struggle to hold on for his family.  I am scared, but trying to keep everything together for my family.
This feeling of helplessness is overwhelming.  I am just watching him fade away. We are on Day 59 of Hospice.  Carol's description of limbo is exactly where I live-between "normal world" and "cancer world".     
I have been told, too, how lucky we are to have extra time since his doctor was thinking, back in December, that he wouldn't make it to Christmas.  Lucky would not be the word I would use.  I don't want extra time, I want a lifetime.
People try, but no one really understands. There are no words to describe it exactly.  Only those who have walked this path can grasp the enormity of this cancer. 
We are having another snowstorm.  The good thing?  We are all home together, safe and warm. 
One day, one hour, one moment at a time.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Debby,

My heart just breaks for you.....

I joined this site last August after my darling Dad died 7 weeks after diagnosis of CC, he had a failed liver resection and never regained consciousness, dying 9 days after we waved him off to surgery.

At the time the devastation and shock we felt was so painful and raw, but reading your story I think for my Dad it  was the right outcome.....

Like you said people say you are lucky for the extra time but watching your beloved husband fail in front of your eyes must be devastating.

Thinking of you and wishing you peace and strength along your journey,

Katie

Re: A Wife's Grief

We are still here to understand and wish you well,we have been through it too
                Janet

Re: A Wife's Grief

We truly do understand what you are going through now. The suffereing was what made it possible for me to accept that he must go from this world when the time came. My husband wasn't on hospice as long as yours has been, but it was agonizing. I pray for strength, peace, and that God will comfort you and your husband  at this time.

Joyce C.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Debby,

This is so hard.  I know this time last year we were starting to see the decline in my Mom's condition.  She died April 3, 2009 after being diagnosed in May of 2008.

To watch a loved one slip away on so many fronts is agonizing.  By the time the end was near I was able to tell Mom that we would be ok and that it was ok for her to "let go" - something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do.  I think I spent the last month of her life teetering between acceptance that she was really going to die and leave us and grief that it had to be.  Mom's passing was mostly peaceful and I wrote about it on this site as we entered the last hours of her life.

As the one year anniversary of her death approaches, I find myself still unable to believe it's almost been a year.  It seems like it was only yesterday I was caught up in helping my Dad make decisions.

There is nothing that we can say to make it better but it is helpful to know you have a place you can come to talk, vent and know that we understand all of the conflicting emotions.

Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and daily prayers.  We're here when you need us.

Hugs and much love,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Debby,

I read Pam's response and thought, hey, that's me exactly. But I would like to add something to it.

My father passed away last September. He began appearing in my dreams for the first time since then just 3 days ago. l have been struggling more as of late than any other time and I believe he knows that.

In the first dream, we were together on a vacation, having fun doing something we both enjoy. In the next, he was sick, very much like he was last summer, failing physically and suffering from dementia. Last night's dream is not as clear, but he was himself and not sick.

Maybe it is my subconscious telling me what I already know, but I like to believe it is him reminding me that he had to go, that it was his time and that I should remember the good not the bad.

I (and many others here) completely understand the awfulness those last days can bring and the relief that will come. I spoke with one of my best friends who lost her father suddenly when we were in high school nearly 30 years ago. Obviously, there are pros and cons. I got to say goodbye *and everything else I wanted) but the price was having him linger longer than he or I wanted.

I am so sorry for where you are right now. But there will be better days.

Jan

Re: A Wife's Grief

Dearest Debbie, I cannot even imagine. The best I can do is send you love and hugs and let you know we are all sending you courage and strength.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Oh Debby,

I am so sorry for what you are all going through right now.

My post above to Carol (#4) would be the same to you.  As you said, you are now where she was then.  I too know what it is like and yes, it is so very hard no matter if it is fast or slow.  No one but us who have walked this path can truely understand.  We are all here for you.  My heart goes out to you and your family.  Know that I am thinking of you  and wishing you strength and courage to carry on. 

With Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Thank you all, so very much, for your words of encouragement and your prayers. I knew I would find support and true understanding here.  As you all have said, what we need now is strength, courage, and peace.  I feel the prayers coming our way!

Re: A Wife's Grief

I lost my beloved husband of 24 years last Monday evening, February 15th, at 10:47 pm.  I am numb.  Our service was on Saturday and my son delivered the most moving eulogy.  He honored his father.  My daughter was by my side, where she has been throughout these 20 months.  She was my inspiration and her Dad's nightly protein shake maker. 
We are heartbroken.
Peace and Love to all.

Re: A Wife's Grief

Please accept our sincere sympathies on the loss of your good husband. He was very lucky to have such a wonderful, loving family. I just know he is not far from all of you and will be watching over you all forever. Prayers and thoughts floating your way.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: A Wife's Grief

lucille and i send our sincere sympathies to you and your family, our prayers are with you... your husband will be with you always...he will live forever in your hearts and mind....i know no words can comfort you and your family but like lainy said he is not far from you......lucille and ron

Re: A Wife's Grief

Debby,

My most sincere sympathies go out to you and your family.  No words can ease the pain.  Take comfort knowing that he is now in a better place and no longer suffering.  He will be in your heart and memories forever. He will always be near you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Love & Hugs,

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.