Trying To Cope. I Miss Him So Much.

Discussion in 'LGBT Loss' started by MikeNYC, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC Member

    Keith, I am so sorry for your loss. It's been 7 months now and I still am "what if?" It's like my mind is stuck and when I think I've worked something through, it comes back again. I want answers I'll never have in this life and it is so difficult. I miss him so much. I always knew I would miss him if I lost him, but it has been so much harder than I ever imagined. I still don't see how I will ever feel any sort of happiness again. I know he would not want that, but it doesn't really help.
  2. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC Member

    edi9, I feel the same. People telling me "no you shouldn't feel guilt or this or that." doesn't help me because I don't believe it. I look at the last 4 weeks of Stephen's life and think, why did I push him to exercise, why did I fight him over what he wanted to eat, why did I try to keep him sitting up longer each day so he would be stronger? What was it for? We would argue about food, exercise, getting him to a medical appointment. He would say to me "don't be short with me", just typing those words brings me to tears. He once told me he knew he was a burden, and I hated he felt that way. I said you're not ever a burden. This situation that neither of us asked for is difficult but that's not your fault. If I get short it's because I want to do more and I can't. I want to fix this and I can't. And all I think now is I want to do it all again, everything that seemed like a chore sometimes, I would give anything to be doing again. Things just won't be the same.
    edj9 likes this.
  3. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC Member

    "Steven Crutchfield, Should I have insisted he eat and drink more so he didn't get dehydrated and spiral out of control at the end? Was I too hard at times when I got frustrated? What about all the fights over the years? Did I add extra stress??"

    Stephen and I fought over food and water so much. And now I feel I was too hard. And stress. I look back on fights we had before his tumor and think about how research shows stress can lead to inflammation and possibly cancer. And the guilt starts. Did I do this? Did I cause this? Did I hurt the person I love more than my own life this way? It's just so so hard. I know he would forgive me my shortcomings in a minute. I have cards I can read where he tells me how much he loves me and appreciates everything I was doing, but it doesn't help. I have not been able to forgive myself. And the thing that is always there is I won't see him or talk to him here again and I miss him so much. Ever day I write a letter and always end it the same way. "I love you. I miss you and I always will."
    edj9 likes this.
  4. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC Member

    One thing I've fallen into the habit of, is any time I'm reading something or see something associated with a date has become, oh that was 3 years before the tumor, oh that was 3 months after he left the hospital the first time, oh that was a month after he passed. Does anyone else do this?
    edj9 likes this.
  5. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    You’re not greedy, you simply want more time. We all feel that way. I had a stone made that I put in a memorial garden I made for my husband. It says, Forever wouldn’t be long enough. That’s how we all feel. I lost my husband suddenly to a massive heart attack. Took him from me in 2 hours. He had no health issues that we were aware of. And I have guilt too, but really how much could I do in those 2 hours. I got him to the hospital, called 911 as soon as I realized it was his heart. But did I miss signs previously, that night waiting to be rolled into the ambulance Ron yelled I love you Robin at least 5 times. But I never answered him. He knew I loved him but why didn’t I answer. I thought he would be ok and come back home. It’s just something we all tend to do, because we love them so much and want them back. So we must have messed up somewhere along the way. But, we loved them so much, that’s why we wouldn’t mess up, Miss something, not ask something. It’s vicious how we put ourselves through this guilt. Not necessary but we do it.
    You did everything in your power and loved him and took care of him and supported him.
    Be kind to yourself, take care of you.
    MikeNYC and edj9 like this.
  6. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC Member

    Thank you, Robin. Your words help. Would have, should have, could have is a horrible mindset to live in, but it's so hard to avoid. -Mike
    RLC likes this.
  7. edj9

    edj9 Well-Known Member

    I would often berate myself over being short or strict with Chuck, too, even before he died. I often apologized to Chuck for my irritability and draconian bearing, and explained to him that it was coming from a place of fear (deep, deep terror, in fact), and not because I didn't love him, or felt he was a burden. I think he understood and gave me the space to freak out every now and again. He understood that I was suffering right alongside him. One day as I was bawling my eyes out while driving to the hospital, it dawned on me that it is the natural instinct of every animal to struggle for survival, and when our lives are threatened and we cannot flee, we fight. We FIGHT! That's what the living do. And sometimes we don't know where to direct the fight and end up lashing out at everyone and everything. It wasn't so much that I think that my displays of anger or frustration in front of Chuck were OK, but it did prompt me to afford MYSELF a measure of compassion for just being human.

    I am well acquainted with anticipatory grief. I remember that I wrote a poem to express how I felt living under the specter of impending death and when I dug it out I was stunned to find I had dated it 12 years TO THE DAY before Chuck died. I am generally not good with dates, and the frantic scramble that I was constantly in while caregiving has made everything a blur. But I can pinpoint key events in our lives that I am convinced contributed directly to the decline in his health, and it kills me. And I will never be able to forget the date, the precise moment, that I realized he had left.

    As you have intimated, we loved our husbands more than life itself, and would have literally taken on their suffering if it had meant alleviating theirs, died had it meant saving them. Given that nothing short of our own deaths was enough, how could anything we did ever be "enough?" Rationally we can see how unrealistic it is to hold ourselves to that standard, but when Stephen and Chuck died, you and I both also died. Yet we still exist, and it feels completely inadequate.
    MikeNYC likes this.