Loss of my husband of 44 years

Discussion in 'Grief in Common Updates, Questions & Answers' started by Patricia Leaman, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Patricia Leaman

    Patricia Leaman New Member

    My husband of 44 years, passed away on February 20, 2015, of lung cancer. He started with a tumor on the left side of his brain. Once that was removed, he did radiation & we found out his tumor began because of the cancer in his lung. It was a long, exhausting, illness that wiped us both out. I refused any nursing care, because I was his wife & loved him with all my heart. Every time he had to be in the hospital, I remained there all day & all night & was grateful the hospital staff let do this. He had surgery to remove half of his left lung & he underwent chemo. He seemed to get better, but as time went on, the cancer was in full force again. He never complained. Then, Valentine’s Day, 2015, he was coughing a lot. Took him to the hospital 2 days later & found out he had pneumonia. He knew he was at the end & told me he wasn’t going home. He went downhill extremely fast & went comatose. The last day he was alive, we were brought to hospice, where he passed 6 hours later. I lost my first love, best friend & I have not been the same. I cry uncontrollably sometimes & I don’t believe I should be here.
  2. Peter Anthony

    Peter Anthony New Member

    Dear Patricia - may Peace be with you. If you read my entries you will see that even though my personal experience of grieving is relatively new - it is very real - and even though I am a priest and monk, for the first time in my nearly 70 years I am experiencing it for some reason like everyone else does. And I am very grateful to God for that - because now I can truly empathize with people, can enter more fully into what they have gone through and are going through - it has just been a month since the co-founder of our group: The Joyful Servants of the Cross transitioned to "become eternal" - and from the moment he passed I knew he was still very much alive in soul, the same soul which animated his body while he lived here. He shows me in countless ways each day that he is still here and still "running the community, the group with me, but now he has this fantastic new perspective and perch from which to do it! BUT, after 16 years of co-habitating in some form of monastic setting, i am finding i miss his physical presence very much! He was Irish and German - with a very large personality, a great ability to tell stories, and a marvelous Irish laugh!

    He died of heart failure that he has for many years - but when it accelerated so very fast about 6 months ago - it involved about 8 hospitalizations almost back to back - and a month stay in a Heart Institute that kept him alive until they could do no more. He had a very peaceful passing of which he himself conducted a family meeting - with also his children present and grandchildren - and told us "I have some news that you might take badly!" and we looked at him saying to ourselves "what could be worse than saying goodbye to you now" - but he told us that the doctors have done all they could do now, and so it's time to turn off the temporary pump that we keeping him alive - (now he had to give his consent to this legally) so we looked and waited then said: WELL, are you going through with it! and he said: As the grand person he is, and a Nurse of 50+ years: O SURE! Let's do it! WOW! then they did turn off the machine and it took about 5 hours for him to gradually sink into a very peaceful sleep. It was really glorious!

    So after being his primary care taken - suddenly for six months - and hundreds of trips to the hospital - me with my own painful sciatic condition - now I am alone except for our precious monastic calico cat Gracie (actually Amazing Grace is her name) and now i am beginning to "see him everywhere" and i am now in the crying stage of grief that just doesn't seem to want to let up! But, I believe it is actually him comforting me, and telling me he's fine, and he appreciates everything I did for him, and that I will be OK! And I believe him!

    I hope some of this was / is helpful to you, stay in touch and God bless you with Peace, Joy and Hope!

    Father Peter Anthony, JSC www.rjoy4u.org