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Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by RobertaRT, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. RobertaRT

    RobertaRT New Member

    As I sit here and write this, I have a lot of apprehension. I am not a person who talks to a lot of people about my problems, the one person that I did talk to has been gone for nearly six months, and the silence is deafening. Clint, my husband of 24 years, passed away from colorectal cancer on October 07,2019. He was only 43 years old. He fought a hard and painful battle with cancer for six years. The doctors only gave him two years at the most when he was diagnosed. In that respect we were lucky and my children and I had four extra years with him. Clint was determined to see our youngest child, Fisher, graduate and he did four months before he died.
    Clint and I were married when we were teenagers. I met him when I was 17 and he was 19, it did not take me long to fall in love with this huge heart and we were married three months later. A year after we married, our oldest son Hunter was born. Our life was perfect. The following year we had a beautiful daughter, Vanessa, and the following year we were blessed with another son, Fisher.
    Six months after Fisher was born, May 24, 2000, our oldest son, Hunter drowned and died. At that time, my world crumbled around me. I spiraled into a hole that I never thought I could dig myself out of. My guilt and grief was so encompassing that I wanted to leave my life, my husband and remaining children so that they would not be hurt by me. Clint would not let me do that. His love and patience helped me to crawl out of my dark hole and brought me back to some form of life that I could manage. A short while after that, our daughter, Vanessa, was in a horrific accident and nearly died as well. It was then that I realized that I could have easily lost her, and for a year and a half, I had pushed her away. It was then that I found my purpose, to help others by becoming a respiratory therapist. I learned that a an RT, I would be on the frontline, in the ER when patients were brought in. I would be capable of either saving lives or being there with the parents that have lost their children to offer comfort and assure them that everything was done to save them.
    When I had set my mind to go back to school, Clint supported me in every way possible and the times that I thought that I could not do it, his belief in me made me believe that I could move mountains with him by my side, encouraging and loving me. After I graduated, he continued to support me and encourage me. When I had patients that broke my heart, I never confided in my colleagues or teammates, I went home and would talk to Clint about it and he would hold me and let me vent all of my anger and frustrations and then remind me why I loved my job so much and that without me there, a lot of my patients could have worse outcomes or their families would have always wondered if everything had been done to save their loved ones.
    After Vanessa's accident, we moved on with our lives for the next decade. We had grown into a routine as most families do believing that out fair share of tragedy was behind us and all that we could do was move forward and love each other as much as we can. That was until June 13, 2013 and Clint was diagnosed with stage 4, terminal colorectal cancer, he was 37 years old and in seemingly perfect health. I was blown away, it killed me trying to imagine life without him. I made sure that he had the best doctors, I spoke to any oncologist that I came across. I was determined to not give up and to try to keep him with me as long as I could, I was willing to try anything. When he was diagnosed, the oncologists said that he would live only two years and that was being generous due to his age.
    After his diagnosis, I was working two full time jobs, trying to pay all of the bills and make sure he had the best medical care that he could get. We were raising our two children and trying to help them come to terms with the worse case scenario. During all of this, he was planning his funeral so that the kids and I would not have to suffer through it. He had even designed and had placed a headstone for us at the cemetery next to our son. All of this time, we were hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, again, thinking that we have had out fair share of crap, never thinking to look at other things that could compound on top of everything else. We were trying to cherish every last minute that we had with Clint.
    It was November 30, 2018, that I learned to stop thinking that we would eventually get a break from tragedy. That was the day that our 19 year old son was diagnosed with gastric cancer, four months later, our 20 year old daughter was diagnosed with gastric cancer as well. The time that we should have been spending as a family was torn away again and again by cancer. I was petrified, scared, and exhausted. I did not know what to do. In January 2019, Fisher had his stomach removed and in May 2019, Vanessa had hers removed as well. The summer of 2019 was spent trying to get them well. On October 7, 2019, Clint passed away at home. I feel that I have been cheated by God and cancer. Cheated of the chance to spend the last days of his life with him. I feel so guilty that I did not have the time to hold him one more time and have one last meaningful conversation with him so that he could help me try to reason all of this out in my head.
    Throughout the last 6 years of this nightmare, I believed that I had already endured the worst pain that you can imagine when I lost my son..... I was wrong. When you lose the other half of your soul, your confidant, best friend and supporter for over half of your life, there are no words to describe the pain, the loss and the isolation. I am angry, overwhelmed and exhausted. I feel as if I am anxious all of the time. I don't talk to anyone about it, I keep all of it bottled up inside. It has reached the point that last week I drove 800 miles and two states away so that I could sit and talk to a headstone for two days with no resolution to my conflicts.
    I am sorry that this post is so long. As I said in the beginning, I am not comfortable talking about these things to someone other than Clint. I feel that if I did not get it all out, I never will. How are you all handling this and moving on with your lives? I an at a loss at how to do it.
  2. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Roberta, How to even start, my heart breaks for you! For the loss of your husband, your soul mate your everything! The tragic loss of your oldest son, daughters accident, and cancer diagnosis of your 2 children. That’s a lot for a family to bare. I’m so sorry for you.
    I’m a lot like you in the sense I’m not one to share my problems either, I don’t ask for help, I find it very difficult. And like you had Clint, I had Ron, he was my rock, my support, my love, my everything. He was even my co-worker, my boss. We owned a business together and worked together every day. We loved working together, people thought we were crazy, how are you 2 together all the time and still happy. We loved being together and wouldn’t have it any other way. We were unhappy apart, and text each other pretty constant if we were apart. Silly texts, loving texts, Ron would send me poems. We met and were together since I was 16 and Ron was 19.
    So I understand the love you and Clint shared and the loneliness you’re feeling. It’s all encompassing. The brain fog, the anger and anxious feeling are all normal and overwhelming. I wish I could say to you there’s some magic that makes this disappear but I’m afraid that’s not the case. It takes time, even though time seems to stand still now, time is your friend. You do need to express and talk about your feelings and story, rather then hold it all in. I know, it’s hard for me too. I’ll tell you a little of my story. Ron and I were together 44 years married 41, we were together 24/7. I have RA, Ron helped me with things that I have a hard time doing. On 11/17/18 we had a regular normal day together, getting our yard ready for winter purchasing everything for our Thanksgiving feast, visiting my daughter and I had made us chicken rice soup for dinner. Normal day. That evening we were watching tv together when said he didn’t feel well, like a stomach virus. When I checked on him he had thrown up and was sweating profusely, I got him a cool clothe and told him stay laying on the floor, he felt better, and got up and then started with chest pains. I call 911 they get him to the hospital and every cardiologist works on him. From the virus feeling to losing the love of my life, it was 2 hours! What had been a normal day was now the worst day of my life.
    What has helped me the most is staying busy keeping my mind active. It’s hard because you lose motivation, plus I had to empty and close our business, that was a second loss. And now, I have all this time on my hands with a loss of motivation and no schedule or routine. Absolutely nothing in my life is the same as it was prior to 11/17/18. However, I finally found this site at 11 months after losing my life partner. So wish I found it sooner. It is so helpful, people know exactly how you’re feeling and understand. You will find compassionate caring people on here. We’re all here to help others and find help ourselves. For whatever reason, reading other people’s stories and telling our own, is very helpful. So read if you don’t feel like posting but post when you can. I feel it will help you, it’s definitely helping me.
    This is a very difficult time we’re all going through with this virus causing social distancing and quarantine. We’re all trying to push through, I know it has made me feel more anxious and missing Ron even more. I’m on this site quite often.
    So please post and keeping visiting the site.
    My thoughts go out to you and your children, wishing you better days ahead
  3. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member


    So sorry for your loss of Clint. Marrying your childhood sweetheart had to be wonderful. Being with him for over two decades I am sure you had many great memories, like having three children.

    To lose any of our children breaks our heart, and when Hunter passed was tragic, I am saddened by your losses. Then to have your daughter be in a terrible accident and almost dying, is a crisis of your heart.

    Living with cancer and watching Clint slowly getting weaker as time went on had to be smothering. I know when my wife Nadine died of cancer, my two sons and I had 10 years to prepare, but when that moment came it was indescribable let alone bearable.

    Roberta, dealing with such losses is extremely hard to get beyond. I know for me nights were lonely, days were long and sometimes with no clear cut purpose other than to make it through the day.

    After loss I found it easy to question my actions, did I do enough, did I truly listen to Nadine. I now understand it was just me grieving, I wanted answers, why and how this happened. The sad fact is when tragedy comes into our lives, we are helpless.

    With you having found a purpose and becoming one who helps others in need was amazing. Having to deal with the loss of those you love, and those you treat is of course very depressing. Clint was great how he helped you cope with those moments.

    While we were married, 42 years, Nadine lost her two brothers, and one of her sisters, her parents and a grandmother who watched over her during high school. I was there for her with each loss, and as resilient as she was, she made it through and never went into depression.

    When we had our 2nd child, he almost died in her arms, so she went to nursing school and trained in the Baltimore General hospital emergency room area. I think she believed since I was in the Army, and could be sent off at a moments notice, she never wanted to feel so helpless again in her life. So life does motivate us all to do things we never would have dreamed of doing.

    It is uncanny how life moves us, while Clint guided you during his worst time in life, Nadine did the same for us. Details don’t matter as much as how love even guides us during hopeless times.

    Roberta, I am so sorry for all you have had to face in life. Even after all this time cancer is so unforgiven. Having your children also suffer is one of, how does your mind handle it all, how do I face them, and not show them I am so shattered inside. Wow, you have experienced a lot of pain, too much in fact, but you are still here, you were here for them in their greatest time of need even if it did not have the best ending.

    When you say how strongly you had to visit Clint’s gravesite, I understand truly. After my wife passed I kept a painting of her, hung it in the hall. I would find myself talking to her so many times when I am sure I am alone. I have been unable to go to gravesites, my losses, and funerals shaped me into that in life, so rather than face them that way, I have used tokens, photos and mementos to help me remember them all.

    Roberta, it will take time, crying a river of tears, many nights tossing and turning, as grief is overwhelming at times. I found what finally helped me get beyond my profound sadness was openly talking about my losses and my feelings with complete strangers. It took me so long to finally face the loss of my wife.

    I don’t know if it was because of all my other losses I faced in life and collectively they all finally came to an impossible thing to overcome. But talking, sharing, helped me recover. I know at first my thoughts were fragmented, not well thought out, but as time passed, and my emotions did no longer hurt so much inside, I could get past the hurt and finally talk.

    I won’t kid you, in April it will have been five years since my wife passed, and I can still get emotional when I talk of her, and tears, boy do they form. So please take care of yourself and hold your children and tell them you love them each and every day.

    We are in awful times, we have no promises of what tomorrow will bring, but as long as we can show our continued love that is all that matters anymore. Please keep talking, no matter how you feel. Peace be with you.


    This song is for your troubled mind

    This song is for Hunter’s loss

    This is for the loss of Clint your beloved

    Billfromwa likes this.
  4. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Beautiful songs David. I get help by talking to Janet as if she was still here, I try to visualize her presence and speak to her as I recall the good times. (Those small, sweet memories are the building blocks of eternal love) Talking with her (my Janet) helps to allay my fears, albeit through a torrent of tears.
    Keep reaching out and talking about your losses. You have already endured far more than anyone could ever imagine, and your choice of vocation is a testament to a loving, caring soul.
    May God ease your pain, and grant you peace.