Lost spouse of 19 years to cancer

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by Lvmtjess, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Lvmtjess

    Lvmtjess New Member

    I lost my wife of 19 years to cancer 6 months ago. Up to four months prior, I lost 3 dogs. 2 which was very old... so my loses have been grand. The dogs are our children. I feel as if this is getting harder and scarier to live life without her. I am 43 years old. I have worked in the same place for 15 years. I am seriously thinking I need a new start... a fresh start... a new job, a new place to live... everyday it is a reminder of what will never be. I know they say no harsh decisions in the first 12 months... but for the 14 months of her diagnosis I was having to make harsh decisions... life and death decisions. I watched as she took her last breath in our house. My life is like ground hog day... even before her diagnosis.. get up in the morning, get dressed, tend to the furbabies, leave for work.. get off come home... tend to the furbabies and go to bed. But I don’t have her there waiting for me... and it hurts like hell. I was her caretaker when she became so ill and so weak by this dreadful disease. I feel as if I need to break this vicious routine because that part of my life with her is gone and the sad reminder every day of what it was is overwhelming. I feel as if I really need a fresh start. I was handed this life I do not want, so I know in my heart that if I don’t start making this life the best that I can, I will be stuck in a bad place. I am all alone. My family lives out of state and her family within the first month have disappeared. And I love my family but I don’t want to live with them. So that is not an option. The job I have is great, the people are great... but I am so overwhelmed with her loss and the routine. And I am just not sure how to do this ... all of this ... living.... without her. I use to be able to see the future of how we would grow old together... now I cannot even see 10 feet in front of me.
     
  2. griefic

    griefic Administrator Staff Member

    Lvmtjess, I'm so sorry for your loss. You are very young to have to be figuring out the rest of your life without your loved one in it. It sounds like you've given it a lot of thought, and while I often have told people not to make big decisions within the first 12 months, it's you who knows what is best for you. A change a scenery, a break in the sadness of your routine without her, those are all good reasons to want to try something different. It's just important to remember that wherever you go, the grief and loss comes with you. We can go on vacation, go to a different house, or move to a totally different part of the country, but the grief will always follow us wherever we go. I say that not as a deterrent, but just as a reminder as you are making the decision. In the thought you've put into this, I would guess you already know that. And so being prepared in some way helps. If you are going to move to a new area, getting involved, meeting people, volunteering perhaps - these could all be really important steps to help you set up a new support system.
    In the end, you can move away, and you can always move back if it doesn't work out. When trying to make big decisions I try to think about what's reversible and what's not. The good news is that few things that we do can't be undone. This is one of those situations I think. Still, as long as there is no rush, no deadline or no timeline (anyone pushing you to move) than you do want to be certain, or as certain one can be at a time like this, that this feels right for you.
    I find answers come to us when we look, and listen and make space for them to present themselves. Be on the lookout for the signs and the answers, and know that we're here for whatever journey you decide to take.
     
    Prison wife likes this.
  3. Lvmtjess

    Lvmtjess New Member

    Thank you for the kind reply. I don’t have things figured out... god how I wish I did. I keep looking for the signs that will lead me in the right direction. Scary to move forward and scary to stay. That emotional roller coaster is what I am battling with. I do know one thing for sure and that is, I am not the same person I was 6 months 14 months, 20 months ago. I lost that person when I watched the life of my greatest love slowly be pulled out of her. I watched her suffer and beg god to not take her that she did not want to die. Then I watched as she beg god to please take her out of her misery. I watched her go agonal and I watched her take her last breath. Her death opened my eyes and made me realize how short life is and how it can be taken away so quickly. I fear that if I don’t start making better changes for me, then I will continue to slip deeper and deeper into an abyss of depression. I don’t want that. I really don’t.
     
    griefic likes this.
  4. Laney55

    Laney55 Member

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my best friend & solemate of 19 years to cancer 5 months ago. I so relate to how you feel. I watched him take his last breath & it was devastating. We didn’t have children, and I’ve lost my parents & only sibling over the last few years, so no family to help me through this. I just keep going through the motions each day. I don’t know how to live without him ... but I’m taking one day at a time. I think of changing things too, but I know I will have to continue with the grief no matter what. This is so hard.
     
  5. YellowEyeDog

    YellowEyeDog Member

    Hi, I am so sorry for your loss. I just found this site today, looking for somewhere to try to help me in my loss as well. I know these feelings you are going through. I have family near, but nobody can be with me all the time, they have jobs and their own lives. I am retired, and have 7 dogs. They are the reason for me to get up everyday. I promised them I will be here, I am not going away like Tom did. I know they miss him terribly, and that breaks my heart....mmaybe if we all can continue to vent we will some day feel stronger about our futures. Hope you start feeling better soon.
     
  6. Cathy H.

    Cathy H. Member

    Surviving Holiday Triggers after loss: Make a plan ahead of time for the holidays; just in case you get stuck in a brain fog, you can fall back on a planned reaction. 1) If you get talked into going to someone’s event, make sure you give yourself an exit strategy. Say that you will attend, but you don’t know how long you can stay and that you may have to leave suddenly. Things can be fun for a while, but then you will become overwhelmed, just take care of yourself and get out of there. 2)I also have to stay away from the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. (These were a depression trigger for me when my spouse was still alive because life is not that perfect and romantic). 3)Change things up, don’t put up the usual tree decorations with all the ornaments that trigger memories. You can do this another year, but this 1st year, it helps to do something different. Or skip any usual tradition and try something new. You will get back to traditions in the future, this is just a survival guide, not avoidance. 4) You do need other people, don’t isolate completely, you need to remind yourself that there is still good out there, even though you may need to limit your exposure to happier people at this time, baby steps.

    This will be the worst holiday without your loved one, but it will get better. It’s been 1 year since my husband of 28 years passed and I can recall old traditions, but I choose to still switch things up a bit to limit my sadness quota. One day at a time; Happy New Year, and it will be a Happy New Life eventually. REALLY!
     
    YellowEyeDog likes this.
  7. Cathy H.

    Cathy H. Member

    Surviving Holiday Triggers after loss:
    Make a plan ahead of time for the holidays; just in case you get stuck in a brain fog, you can fall back on a planned reaction. 1) If you get talked into going to someone’s event, make sure you give yourself an exit strategy. Say that you will attend, but you don’t know how long you can stay and that you may have to leave suddenly. Things can be fun for a while, but then you will become overwhelmed, just take care of yourself and get out of there. 2)I also have to stay away from the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. (These were a depression trigger for me when my spouse was still alive because life is not that perfect and romantic). 3)Change things up, don’t put up the usual tree decorations with all the ornaments that trigger memories. You can do this another year, but this 1st year, it helps to do something different. Or skip any usual tradition and try something new. You will get back to traditions in the future, this is just a survival guide, not avoidance. 4) You do need other people, don’t isolate completely, you need to remind yourself that there is still good out there, even though you may need to limit your exposure to happier people at this time, baby steps.
     
  8. KellyDiane

    KellyDiane New Member

    My husband of almost 27 years passed away recently on May 3, 2019. Everyone keeps telling me I'm so strong and they couldn't handle their own spouse's passing like I have. Well hello. I yell, scream, cuss, and blame everyone i can think of. So many others out there who are walking around free and doing more harm than good to others. I've asked God why so many times, I've finally quit asking but tell Him I just don't understand. My husband, Loren, was sick for almost a month before we found out he had gastric carcinoma in his stomach. The cancer was so aggressive he never really had a chance. We thought he had gastritis. Never dreamed it'd be cancer because he hadn't really had any other issues. He was a diabetic and had a few minor problems but nothing major. I'm a 45 year old widow who watched her husband take his last breath and whispered for him to go. I couldn't stand to watch him suffer even though he was trying to wait on our children to get there. I am thankful his brother and sister in law made it. He's been estranged from his Mom and sister since his Dad died in 2013. I did let them come to the funeral but they never showed no emotion or shed any tears. All I have is hatred for them. Yes, these are the kinds of people that should be in the cold ground. NOT my Loren. Our children are biologically his and his ex wife's. But i've helped raise them from 7 and 4. They are grieving and dealing in their own way with their own families. So it's me and our fire department family. My best friend and her husband (my husband's best friend) are here constantly. Checking to make sure I"m eating and functioning. That's all I"m doing. I'm writing to you because you seem to have the same thoughts as me. Although I have no furbabies but have just applied for another job online. I can't stand the thought of going back to my old job with the sympathy looks in my coworkers faces and the constant, How are you doing today?...How do I even answer that question without telling them "I feel like shit. My husband is gone and you're doing nothing but bitching about yours.: I pray by now you've been able to move on and found peace. I'm just getting started.
     
  9. Cathy H.

    Cathy H. Member

    My husband of 28 years has been gone a year and a half now. I was unemployed when he died suddenly. I'm now 56. I had to get a job immediately and have been working as a temp for a year. This has been very difficult too because, it's hard to meet new people and start conversations without talking about your family. I could barely speak, no less go to lunch with people and talk family stuff. I have no family, just 2 dogs, 1 is very old. My manager told me I could eat lunch with the group, but it was too painful for me. I would frequently cry in the ladies room several times a day. My first 2 weeks on the job, they made me present myself at a team meeting with a slide profile about myself. Usually people show family photo's but I couldn't go there. I put recent widow on the slide, but didn't say it out loud. I was having a panic attack that these new people would know my grief now. They are all young millennials. Truth is, they don't care. I wish I were at a job where people at least were concerned about me. I only talk about safe subjects, like pets. I'm also very quiet now, It has been a year of listening to people. I don't know myself anymore without my husband. Every thing I did, I thought of him. I can now finally go grocery shopping without crying and sadness. I can finally make some decisions. It takes time, no matter where you work. It's too much change for me, life without him and starting over in a new career. I take one day at a time and just show up, even when it's painful and I don't know what to do or whether anything I do is working. Just show up and take a step at a time. I also go to follow-up grief support meetings.
     
  10. KellyDiane

    KellyDiane New Member

    It's been 11 days. Yes, i'm counting the days. My sister in law and I talked way into the night last night because she knows i'm hurting. Only thing is her husband is hurting just as bad as me and she's trying to handle us both. I don't want to get out of bed. I want to just lay there and literally smell his pillow. I miss him so much. My SIL says i'm young enough that maybe one day, not any time soon, i'll want to find someone and remarry. I'm not sure that's possible. Loren was my one true love. He loved me for me. The overweight, no make up, just hang out in her pj's kind of woman that i am. My kids haven't even called. I told my husband way before this ever happened that if anything ever happened to him, our kids (his) would be gone within a year. I don't know if it'll even be that long. I have my friends and my brother in law and sister in law and their families. but I dont want to feel like a third wheel. I go to the cemetary every night to talk to Loren. Then i scream and cry, come home, work on more paperwork and finally just fall into bed from crying. I don't know that I'll ever get over this lonely feeling. I see him in everything I do. I can hear him asking me what I want for supper. I can see him at the kitchen stove cooking, or in his garden. The fire department has a benefit fundraiser planned for this weekend. I don't want to go but my SIL wants me to. I can't even make myself go back to the one other place he loved most. Being a firefighter. back to the fire station. I just want him back. His brother just wants him back. My SIL was right..I think Loren knew he wasn't ever coming home. I wanted to bring him home even if it was where he would pass. Just so he would be comfortable. But we were two hours away and i knew he'd never survive the trip much less get the painkillers he needed at home. I just don't understand why good people die and bad people are still walking the face of this earth. People giving kids drugs or alcohol. Killing other people because they feel like they have the power to. Someone please make me understand why my husband had to die so some bad person could live.
     
  11. Cathy H.

    Cathy H. Member

    You're hurt is so raw right now. Please fight for self care. If you go to an event, have a plan to leave early by driving yourself. Everything you are going thru has been experienced by someone. I got so distressed 1 day with wailing/crying, that I called a grief support group. I didn't want to get stuck in extreme grief. Don't be talked into things by other people. You are starting in the right place by seeking info on blogs. People don't know what to say, and the weirdest things pop out of their mouths. Remember to take 1 step & 1 day at a time. I'm still here.