Death of Husband: The hardest thing I've had to deal with

Posted by lind827 @lind827, Oct 27, 2020

We were married 37 years when he died 9/16 at 69 ears old. He has metastatic melanoma since 7/22/19 and was not able to handle the immunity treatments at the end, at that point lots of other problems started that brought him to death. This is the hardest thing I have had to deal with and wanted to do group therapy but no one is doing it. I feel that would be the best for me. I have started counseling but its only my 2nd time. I keep saying i want to feel him or see some sign that he is with me as everyone says it happens, but Neither for me. I think this is what is bringing me the most crying and depression. He was a great husband, father & grandfather. So sad that his 2nd grandchild is due 11/21/20 and he wont see her.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Loss & Grief group.

@dg0797

I lost my husband seven months ago. I found the website and signed up for a navigating the holidays session. Thank you for the recommendation.

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Hi Deb, welcome to the group. I read in your profile bio that you lost your husband of 23 years only recently (this past March) and that you feel very much alone. I totally understand how large the house can feel when you're by yourself, the kids far away and how overwhelming to deal with upkeep, repairs and finances.

It reminds me of my mom's situation when my Dad passed. My Dad always took care of things around the house. He liked to see things before they needed repairing. At the same time, he left many projects "almost" done. When he was gone, several things fell into unexpected disrepair (not his fault): the furnace broke, a leak in the roof, and something else that I don't remember. Things seemed to happen in three's. My mom said through tears, "I know I can pull myself together and handle these things, but I don't want to."

I tell you all this, first to let you know you're not alone. And secondly because your story triggered this memory. This was 7 years ago and I see how strong and resourceful my mom is today. Does she miss him? Yes. Does she like doing the things he took care of? No. But now she has found friends and neighbors that support her and help her, and she in turns helps and supports others.

Navigating first holidays are especially hard. Will your children be able to visit for the holidays?

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@colleenyoung

Hi Deb, welcome to the group. I read in your profile bio that you lost your husband of 23 years only recently (this past March) and that you feel very much alone. I totally understand how large the house can feel when you're by yourself, the kids far away and how overwhelming to deal with upkeep, repairs and finances.

It reminds me of my mom's situation when my Dad passed. My Dad always took care of things around the house. He liked to see things before they needed repairing. At the same time, he left many projects "almost" done. When he was gone, several things fell into unexpected disrepair (not his fault): the furnace broke, a leak in the roof, and something else that I don't remember. Things seemed to happen in three's. My mom said through tears, "I know I can pull myself together and handle these things, but I don't want to."

I tell you all this, first to let you know you're not alone. And secondly because your story triggered this memory. This was 7 years ago and I see how strong and resourceful my mom is today. Does she miss him? Yes. Does she like doing the things he took care of? No. But now she has found friends and neighbors that support her and help her, and she in turns helps and supports others.

Navigating first holidays are especially hard. Will your children be able to visit for the holidays?

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Thank you so much for your reply. No, our kids won't be joining me for the holidays, but my friend of over 40 years and her daughter will be staying with me at Thanksgiving before going to Disney.

I rejoined Civitan International and am volunteering at a friend's church for Operation Christmas Child. It's nice to be concentrating on the needs of others; it helps fill the void. There are so many people out there whose needs are greater than my own.

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oh what a wonderful photo. He looks like such a kind man and that is an adorable baby. I too have lost a husband, mine was 20 years, he was 64, cancer for the 2nd time. That was way back in 2008, my son who was 32 died of cancer in 2007 and I didn't think I could go on living actually, without my son even though he lived out of state. I was so filled with love for him. My first husband of 17 years and youngest son (by then 40) died in 2018, only 2 days apart so I totally get it…….I found a therapist who did a group but it wasn't a grief thing and didn't help because the people and therapist didn't seem comfortable when I spoke of anything since it was always the same thing – painful, I tried Compassionate Friends but I couldn't stand being in a room with so many people who have so much grief after losing children. It was just too much for one room. Honestly, nothing really helps. I remarried in Dec 2013, moved then out of our home because I couldn't afford it on my own, then the beautiful small condo I bought? It burned along with everything in it. I have learned the full meaning of living one day at a time. I have one child remaining and there are 2 grandchildren there all out of state which is OK and I am glad they do not have to live within my grief. I have one grandson by one son who died and that grandson lives in another state. One of the biggest hurts is that he has grown to be nearly 16 without a Dad. This might be more painful than just about all of it, perhaps because I cannot even begin to touch how that would be for a young man whom I believe needs a man in his life. I do what I can to be a support to my daughter and these 3 grandchildren – real support as much as I possibly can. Jeff, the first son to die, asked me if I would be sure to see that his 18 month old little son stays in our family which I have done even though his then wife wouldn't even let me see him, hold him or see Jeff when he was most ill. She has since then confessed that she was so terribly jealous because he loved me so much. She and I now have a good relationship which is a miracle indeed that only a God could accomplish. It is just all hard, painful and lasts too long but the alternative would be to be hard-hearted and to have never loved. Maybe we are the fortunate ones. A friend gave me a book that I have now read after each. The book is "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser.

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@dg0797

I lost my husband seven months ago. I found the website and signed up for a navigating the holidays session. Thank you for the recommendation.

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@debguide ❤️🙏🏻

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@donnacarp

oh what a wonderful photo. He looks like such a kind man and that is an adorable baby. I too have lost a husband, mine was 20 years, he was 64, cancer for the 2nd time. That was way back in 2008, my son who was 32 died of cancer in 2007 and I didn't think I could go on living actually, without my son even though he lived out of state. I was so filled with love for him. My first husband of 17 years and youngest son (by then 40) died in 2018, only 2 days apart so I totally get it…….I found a therapist who did a group but it wasn't a grief thing and didn't help because the people and therapist didn't seem comfortable when I spoke of anything since it was always the same thing – painful, I tried Compassionate Friends but I couldn't stand being in a room with so many people who have so much grief after losing children. It was just too much for one room. Honestly, nothing really helps. I remarried in Dec 2013, moved then out of our home because I couldn't afford it on my own, then the beautiful small condo I bought? It burned along with everything in it. I have learned the full meaning of living one day at a time. I have one child remaining and there are 2 grandchildren there all out of state which is OK and I am glad they do not have to live within my grief. I have one grandson by one son who died and that grandson lives in another state. One of the biggest hurts is that he has grown to be nearly 16 without a Dad. This might be more painful than just about all of it, perhaps because I cannot even begin to touch how that would be for a young man whom I believe needs a man in his life. I do what I can to be a support to my daughter and these 3 grandchildren – real support as much as I possibly can. Jeff, the first son to die, asked me if I would be sure to see that his 18 month old little son stays in our family which I have done even though his then wife wouldn't even let me see him, hold him or see Jeff when he was most ill. She has since then confessed that she was so terribly jealous because he loved me so much. She and I now have a good relationship which is a miracle indeed that only a God could accomplish. It is just all hard, painful and lasts too long but the alternative would be to be hard-hearted and to have never loved. Maybe we are the fortunate ones. A friend gave me a book that I have now read after each. The book is "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser.

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Thank you for sharing your story with me. I can't even imagine the pain you have gone through losing a husband and a son. You are right, we are fortunate to have been loved. I will certainly give the book a read.

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I'm so very sorry Deb, i lost my wife to a hit-and-run driver 3 and a half years ago, and we were also married for 37 years. We were both still relatively young, as we got pregnant while my wife was a Senior in high school and i was in my first year of Engineering College. Somehow, we made it work and i received my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and my Master's in Strategic Business Operations; later on as my career took off, it was my wife's turn and she got her Nursing Degree and worked for a Vascular Surgeon! At the time of her death, we had two grown daughters and a boy from one and a girl from the other. Seemingly God smiled on my family and my daughter with the boy had a girl, not one year after my wife's death. So we have counted our Blessing there, however, i have been fighting a battle of severe Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks since her death and have tremendously Stressful Dreams every night, all night. I've been Diagnosed with Acute PTSD. Hence, i'm sleep deprived and because my life was a bit rough on my body, coupled with playing every sport up to high levels and being somewhat of an Adrenaline Junkie, my body had been battered, bruised and broken a lot over my 58 years of life. I'm still going, but my Chronic Pain turned into more of a Disability than just living with a pain and both i and the Doctors agreed that the death of my wife has certainly made my pain, almost unbearable at times, because my brain has somehow attached/linked my actual pain with my psychotic pains from the loss of my wife. I have had several operations in order to get me to the best place that i'm going to be physically, yet the pain remains… So i'm seeing a Clinical Pain Psychologist in order to work on my problem. I will certainly share my experience as i continue to go through my own personal Hell, in the hopes that it helps others. One thing that i can say for certain, is, talking to the right physician's in the Psychological field has helped me tremendously, as long as you find the right one(s) for you! Don't despair, they are out there and it may take going through many, until you find the right one or two for you, but when you do, you'll certainly know it will finally be able to open up like you never knew possible! I'm living proof that if you stay the course for Mental Health, you WILL lead a better and more fruitful life than you ever thought! All my best. Emmett

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I lost my wife of 57 years this summer. What I found out is not to listen to what unqualified people tell you. In general I have found out that no one can understand your grief unless they have gone through it themselves. So I feel your pain. Keep busy.
I have joined a fitness center because I am sitting around to much. It has helped.

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@dg0797

Thank you so much for your reply. No, our kids won't be joining me for the holidays, but my friend of over 40 years and her daughter will be staying with me at Thanksgiving before going to Disney.

I rejoined Civitan International and am volunteering at a friend's church for Operation Christmas Child. It's nice to be concentrating on the needs of others; it helps fill the void. There are so many people out there whose needs are greater than my own.

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@debguide I just sa your post and wanted to give you a big hug. Your attitude towards the holidays is so beautiful. Please know that i, and your other friends on Mayo Connect, will surround you with love during the holidays. Becky

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@becsbuddy

@debguide I just sa your post and wanted to give you a big hug. Your attitude towards the holidays is so beautiful. Please know that i, and your other friends on Mayo Connect, will surround you with love during the holidays. Becky

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Thank you, Becky. My mantra has always been take one day at a time. That's all we can do.

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Dear @lind827

I noticed that a year ago 11/21/20 you were expecting the birth of a grandchild,: Happy First Birthday, Baby!

I hope you are experiencing some relief from your grief. You went through some major changes. You were married to your beloved husband for 37 years. I would imagine you were taking care of him and that can must have been quite intense.
I don't know if you had experienced depression prior to his death.
Having experienced depression intertwined with grief, sadness and disappointment, I know how important talking to someone helps me.
Having someone who listens, can empathize or sympathize, and gives me a sense of trust leads me to hope…my most important part of healing.
I hope you have found someone to talk to. I hope you are receiving a sense of comfort.
I hope the empty spots left behind are being filled with nurturing and nourishing thoughts, memories, experiences and activities.
I can only speak for myself–within my survival toolbox, 3 expressions help me put things into perspective and help me derail ANTs…Automatic Negative Thoughts. I'm sure you have your own little says. Please accept mine with the knowledge that my intentions are sincere.
"This too shall pass."
"Time does help heal wounds."
"Hope is the joyful expectation of good things to come."

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@audriana

Dear @lind827

I noticed that a year ago 11/21/20 you were expecting the birth of a grandchild,: Happy First Birthday, Baby!

I hope you are experiencing some relief from your grief. You went through some major changes. You were married to your beloved husband for 37 years. I would imagine you were taking care of him and that can must have been quite intense.
I don't know if you had experienced depression prior to his death.
Having experienced depression intertwined with grief, sadness and disappointment, I know how important talking to someone helps me.
Having someone who listens, can empathize or sympathize, and gives me a sense of trust leads me to hope…my most important part of healing.
I hope you have found someone to talk to. I hope you are receiving a sense of comfort.
I hope the empty spots left behind are being filled with nurturing and nourishing thoughts, memories, experiences and activities.
I can only speak for myself–within my survival toolbox, 3 expressions help me put things into perspective and help me derail ANTs…Automatic Negative Thoughts. I'm sure you have your own little says. Please accept mine with the knowledge that my intentions are sincere.
"This too shall pass."
"Time does help heal wounds."
"Hope is the joyful expectation of good things to come."

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Shirley, how observant and kind of you to notice that @lind827 just celebrated her grandchild’s first anniversary. That first birthday is such a joy. So many first in that first year, as their are in the first year of grief.

Like you, my mom and I often used the phrase “this too shall pass”. I’ll also add another one “It is what it is”. I found this phrase when said with meaning helped with acceptance.

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This group was just recommended to me.

My husband of 31 years died 1/15/21. I miss him more than I have words to describe. He was my best friend and the love of my life.
He’d been given that magical five-year cancer-free news. He’d been receiving treatments for aggressive prostate cancer. Ten days later, he collapsed and was transported to the hospital. On the third transport to hospital and almost bleeding out, his bleeding stomach ulcers were found and he underwent emergency surgery. Eleven days later he was dead.
I feel grateful that I was allowed to be in the hospital with him. And grateful for our years together.
I can sometimes feel his presence. Other times, there’s this big empty place inside. Re-building a life without him is sometimes tough.
Then, I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in May, four months after his death. Bilateral lumpectomies, radiation treatments and hormone blocker later, my prognosis is good. What a year!!

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