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-   -   Still struggling (http://www.wowwomen.com/boards/showthread.php?t=2467)

kimie1964 April 9th, 2012 11:31 PM

Still struggling
 
On Oct 11, 2010 I lost my husband of 26 years to cancer. When he got sick I had to put him in a nursing home. I could not take care of him and keep working too and I was our only income. I will forever feel guilty for that, I was not there when he took his last breath.

When he left me everyone told me how strong I was and how well I was dealing with this. I only took a week off of work. That was all the time I had available to take. And everyone went on about how I was moving on so well.

If they only knew. It has been a year and a half and I am falling apart. I feel like a yoyo, laughing one minute, crying the next. Up and down all day long. I don't sleep, I don't eat, I just cry and want to disappear. I cannot seem to connect with other people anymore and I am pretty sure it is because I am such a downer. I feel like I am on the outside looking in at life. Is this all that is left for me?

Please tell me there is more out there.

Wolf_angel April 10th, 2012 05:18 AM

Well first off, you had no choice you did what you had too at that time. Yes it was sad you werent there but I bet he knew you had to work. So no guilt for doing what he knew you had to do not what you wanted to do, ok? They dont know the true strength is so you probably amaze them did you think that? I know you want to fall to pieces and that is sooo tempting but if you are like me that wont happen a lot or often yet when it does let it go it does help to heal. There is a poem that I hope to find and share with you that helped when my Mother died in 2001 and recently when my grandson of 3 1/2 months old (from SIDS). So yes there is more. You have to heal to rediscover those things you always wanted to do. Even if its a new hobby. Hope this helps as it was meant too, not meant to offend. Hugs

IRISH_EYES_99 April 10th, 2012 05:28 AM

kimmie, First I'm truly sorry for your loss. You did what you absolutely had to do. It's ok that you weren't physically with him when he passed. He was in your heart. He knew that in order to survive you needed to do what was necessary.
The guilt you are feeling is a normal reaction. Have you got someone that you're close to that you can talk with? Would you consider going to a therapist/ counselor? If you could do this it would help you to work though your feelings. You have yet to let your emotions go & settle down. Good luck. Keep us posted. Wishing you peace within yourself.

gardensparrow April 10th, 2012 06:50 PM

Wow-what a tough time you've had! Anyone in your shoes would be struggling. And, it really sounds like you did the best you could for your husband and I'm sure he knew that. But, working through grief is never easy, so I'd give yourself time. I also wouldn't hesitate to look into counseling as was suggested above. It's amazing what a difference some professional advice can make. I know cost might be a factor in whether you pursue this or not, but there are places that can offer counseling free or for a reduced cost. Maybe checking through a local church or getting a referral from someone who you know has talked with a counselor? I've also seen from my time at Focus on the Family that you can talk with their counselors free over the phone (just look up their website for the number). Another idea might be a grief support group. I have a lot of friends that have found so much help and encouragement through groups like that. So, just some thoughts to consider. I think the main thing is to not go through this alone, and don't hesitate to let your friends and family know that you're still struggling. In times like this you can use all the support you can get! Well, hang in there-you'll be in my thoughts and prayers. ((Hugs))

kimie1964 April 12th, 2012 12:27 PM

Thanks
 
Thank you so much for your support. It is a huge help just knowing that there is someone out there who is willing to listen.

Wolf_angel April 13th, 2012 08:23 AM

(((( Kimie1964 )))) I do know what you mean. You are quite welcomed and Have a great day!:)

rjsfeminist April 20th, 2012 06:03 PM

(((Kimie))) First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It is always hard to lose a husband or wife, especially when you've been married for 26 years!

Before I go any farther, what I'm about to tell you I learned the hard way. My husband died October 24, 2006. While we'd only been married 3 weeks shy of 9 years (we'd both been married before), he was the love of my life, so I know exactly what you're going through.

First off, I realize you're feeling guilty about putting him in a nursing home, and not being there when he took his last breath. I wasn't with my husband when he died, either (he was in the hospital), so I know how bad you feel about that. And about putting him in the nursing home...you had to work. If he had stayed at home while you worked, you most likely would have felt guilty about not having him get care while you were at work. Unfortunately, feeling guilty about everything dealing with the loss of a spouse is normal. As the surviving spouse, it is too easy to mull over the "what if"s and feel guilty about what you feel you could/should/would have done. But even if you'd done something else, you still would feel guilty.

I'm sure many people have told you how strong you are; I heard the same thing. But for someone who has never been in your (our) shoes, it's impossible to know what the loss of a loved one does to the survivors.

Okay, here's the deal: The first year or two are the hardest. You're an emotional yoyo? That is normal. Crying one minute, laughing the next? Normal. Holidays, birthdays (yours and his), anniversaries...rougher. You'll remember all the good times, etc. But this will get easier, I promise. Slowly, you'll be able to remember him without crying, you'll be able to remember the good times without feeling guilty that you're remembering them - with a smile, no less!

If you haven't contacted the local Hospice, contact them. They may have helped you while your husband was sick; even if you didn't contact them then, contact them NOW!!! Okay, if you're reading this over the weekend, you might not be able to contact them until Monday morning, but if you work a 9 to 5 job, call them on your first break. You can look up their number over the weekend so that you'll have the number handy when you do call. And if you're afraid that calling will start the tears (it just might), if anyone at work mentions it, you can mention that you just called Hospice, or that the phone call reminded you strongly of your husband...whatever you feel comfortable with. If it's someone you don't feel comfortable discussing that you've just called Hospice, a simple, "Just a rough moment, I'll be okay, thanks for asking," then, if they persist, change the subject, even if you have to tell them that you'd rather not discuss it at the moment.

When you do get hold of Hospice, tell them that you lost your husband and that you'd like to go to a spouse survival group therapy session. When I went to the sessions (which lasted 6 sessions) were very helpful. You know those travel-packs of Kleenex tissues? During the first session, the 5 or 6 of us went through 6 to 8 of those travel-packs for the group. By the time the last session rolled around, the group went through maybe one (if that). One of the members of our group had tried another survivor's group, but said that the first one didn't help, since it was too big, but that a smaller group helped. With a smaller group (under 10-12 people), you get support and get a chance to share your story, your husband's story, etc.

When I went, the Hospice worker also gave each of us in the group a piece of paper that we could show others that helped explain that we've gone through a painful experience. Can't remember everything it said, but it did help reading it...

Also, if you can get hold of a copy of C.S. Lewis's "A Grief Observed," read it. It's a fairly short book, but it describes how Lewis felt after his wife died. He wrote: "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." He goes on to describe it feeling like there's a blanket between himself and the world. Someone this spiritual took this hard, too.

Kimie, please know that it takes time, that you will pull through, and that talking through this will help.

Wolf_angel April 22nd, 2012 12:39 PM

I agree with RJfeminist Kimie! Hugs

Jennifer23 April 22nd, 2012 01:47 PM

Kimie, we're all with you here. Nobody knows what you're going through because we're not you. But all of us have lost loved ones. What I've said before to people is that when we grieve it's because of who we've lost. Irish wakes are about drinking beer and toasting those that have left; it's a celebration. They treat it a bit differently than we do because, rather than mourn, they are happy for the person that's going to a better place. I know that this may not help you now, but it is a positive way to look at things.
Good luck.

DACDjr April 24th, 2012 08:45 PM

Going home party.. The best party ever! Even though our loved ones are missed every second of the day.. I myself know they are safe, not hurting anymore.. My passed 5 years ago this year and I still to this day struggle with guilt. But I have learned to cope with that guilt and look at the happy blessed times I had with her. I have learned that mom would not want me to live my to the fullest.. It is not easy. I still have bad days.. But they are few and far between now..

Wolf_angel April 25th, 2012 06:28 AM

I agree with ya Dacd! Hugs

DACDjr May 3rd, 2012 08:28 PM

aye? Looked like I had been drinking when I wrote that.. LOL

Jennifer23 May 3rd, 2012 10:18 PM

Nah, DA. It was heartfelt.

maddiemondie July 17th, 2012 11:52 PM

I feel for you.

courtneyharris788 August 14th, 2012 11:27 AM

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