Loss of husband: I'm only existing, how do I live again?

Posted by thisismarilynb @thisismarilynb, Apr 20, 2022

We were married 59 years. I don't feel like a person anymore. Shortly after his death, I had to have a full hip replacement and was alone. I feel I will never be the same. I am not living, only existing.

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Hi, @thisismarilynb So sorry to read of your loss of your husband. I lost my wife after 42 years and know the void is a tough one to manage.

This might not work for you but before I lost my wife I had started a "To Do" list. It had all types of things on it. Some large (see where our children had moved) some small, like call an old friend, write a birthday card to a third cousin, clean under my bed, etc. Now I continue to keep this list going since it keeps me going! I like always having something I see that I need to do or many which are fun to do. This also helps me feel motivated, needed, and more fulfilled than I had been feeling with my loss.

How long has it been since your husband passed away?

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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Marilyn, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband a year ago to IPF. We had been together since we were teenagers. He was 76. In many ways I feel blessed to have had him in my life for so long. We knew he was terminal, so we were able to do some things and get everything in order to make his passing easier on me. For that I am thankful. We moved close to our son so he could help me and make my life easier. Certainly I have my moments when it really hits me that he is not coming back. One thing that has been a great help to me is keeping a journal. I write it as though I am writing a letter telling him about my day and anything else I am thinking about or feeling. I don't write in it everyday. When I first started, I wrote about our courtship and the early years. I am adding things about his childhood and my childhood that I want our children and grandchildren to know about us. Sometimes I let the tears flow. But that's ok. We loved to travel, so I have started taking some short trips. Even going back to some places we enjoyed together. I know it must be difficult after surgery or an illness being by yourself. That's why I tell all my friends you should move close to whoever is going to be your caregiver. I also attended a grief share group. It helped me to hear other people's stories and how they were adjusting to their loss. I watched a family member give up on life after her husband passed away. She lived 30 more years and made everyone around her miserable. I didn't want that to be me. I have found that I am beginning to have more good days than bad. Please don't give up and let your grief consume you. I pray that God will bring you some peace and comfort in the days to come. May God Bless You.

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I am sorry for all and ask for your strength and peace. I lost my brother to a devastating suicide 10 months ago. I still am in denial.
Mikayla

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Hi @thisismarilynb, did you see the helpful and kind posts from fellow members @IndianaScott @wreath and @mikaylar? How are you doing today?

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@IndianaScott

Hi, @thisismarilynb So sorry to read of your loss of your husband. I lost my wife after 42 years and know the void is a tough one to manage.

This might not work for you but before I lost my wife I had started a "To Do" list. It had all types of things on it. Some large (see where our children had moved) some small, like call an old friend, write a birthday card to a third cousin, clean under my bed, etc. Now I continue to keep this list going since it keeps me going! I like always having something I see that I need to do or many which are fun to do. This also helps me feel motivated, needed, and more fulfilled than I had been feeling with my loss.

How long has it been since your husband passed away?

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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Thank you for your reply. Hearing from people, even via email, makes you feel more like a regular "human being," a feeling not familiar for me now. My husband passed away August 20, 2021. Then I had the hip replacement. Going through this alone was more than tough. I have two sons, but only one lives in this country. We have had a major falling out. Now my cleaning person didn't come and have no way to reach her. I look outside because I really feel the sky is falling down directly on my head. As I reread your message I see you like to keep going. This is not true for me. I just want to to lie in bed and wait for the end. I promised my eldest son that I would never harm myself because I believe it is a sin. Heck I won't even pierce my ears because I feel that is desecrating my body. I know in the end I have to heal myself, but not there yet.

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@wreath

Marilyn, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband a year ago to IPF. We had been together since we were teenagers. He was 76. In many ways I feel blessed to have had him in my life for so long. We knew he was terminal, so we were able to do some things and get everything in order to make his passing easier on me. For that I am thankful. We moved close to our son so he could help me and make my life easier. Certainly I have my moments when it really hits me that he is not coming back. One thing that has been a great help to me is keeping a journal. I write it as though I am writing a letter telling him about my day and anything else I am thinking about or feeling. I don't write in it everyday. When I first started, I wrote about our courtship and the early years. I am adding things about his childhood and my childhood that I want our children and grandchildren to know about us. Sometimes I let the tears flow. But that's ok. We loved to travel, so I have started taking some short trips. Even going back to some places we enjoyed together. I know it must be difficult after surgery or an illness being by yourself. That's why I tell all my friends you should move close to whoever is going to be your caregiver. I also attended a grief share group. It helped me to hear other people's stories and how they were adjusting to their loss. I watched a family member give up on life after her husband passed away. She lived 30 more years and made everyone around her miserable. I didn't want that to be me. I have found that I am beginning to have more good days than bad. Please don't give up and let your grief consume you. I pray that God will bring you some peace and comfort in the days to come. May God Bless You.

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My husband and I had been together for 59 years. He had Parkinson's so his balance was not so good. I begged and begged for him to use the walker at night when he had to get up to go to the bathroom, but all he said was "I can do it myself." So you can guess what happened. He fell and broke his leg and that was it. Shortly thereafter was when I had to have my hip replaced. My oldest son lives far away – he teaches school in China. If it were not for pandemic I would go to him. His wife is a nurse and they wanted me to come so they could take care of me. Other son lives in Texas. It is a place I would never want to live. In addition we have had a major falling out. We are still speaking, but barely. Now my house cleaner didn't show up. So will have to see if I can find someone – again. I don't have any plans to make everyone around me miserable, mainly because there are so few people near me. I am hoping to be in your place soon. That is, having more good days than bad. Thank you more than I can say for your words of comfort.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @thisismarilynb, did you see the helpful and kind posts from fellow members @IndianaScott @wreath and @mikaylar? How are you doing today?

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Yes, I have seen the posts and have appreciated them tremendously. Today I am not doing so well because my cleaning person did not show up. I got in contact with the friend who told me about her and she can't get into contact with her. The thought of going through all that hassle trying to find another cleaner is daunting. But the weather is nice today. So maybe later I will take a little walk outside with my walker. Go the mailboxes and pick up whatever mail is in there. I do know that some days I seem to be fine and others not so much. I guess there is some trigger that makes me think about what was and will never be again and I turn into a watering pot. Need a lot more time. But I am trying to reply to each post to thank them.

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@thisismarilynb

Yes, I have seen the posts and have appreciated them tremendously. Today I am not doing so well because my cleaning person did not show up. I got in contact with the friend who told me about her and she can't get into contact with her. The thought of going through all that hassle trying to find another cleaner is daunting. But the weather is nice today. So maybe later I will take a little walk outside with my walker. Go the mailboxes and pick up whatever mail is in there. I do know that some days I seem to be fine and others not so much. I guess there is some trigger that makes me think about what was and will never be again and I turn into a watering pot. Need a lot more time. But I am trying to reply to each post to thank them.

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I remember some of the feelings you are experience expressed by my mom when my dad passed away. She used to say, "I know I can do it myself, but I don't want to." It was really hard to take on those tasks and responsibilities that were once the domaine of my father. I get it.

I hate the way hassles like finding a cleaner can seem like mountains to climb. The dust bunnies will wait (as @IndianaScott likes to say). Tomorrow is another day to set to the task of finding a new cleaner. You want someone who is responsive.

Good for you for grabbing your walker and getting out to pick up the mail! The satisfaction of doing something helps.

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@colleenyoung

I remember some of the feelings you are experience expressed by my mom when my dad passed away. She used to say, "I know I can do it myself, but I don't want to." It was really hard to take on those tasks and responsibilities that were once the domaine of my father. I get it.

I hate the way hassles like finding a cleaner can seem like mountains to climb. The dust bunnies will wait (as @IndianaScott likes to say). Tomorrow is another day to set to the task of finding a new cleaner. You want someone who is responsive.

Good for you for grabbing your walker and getting out to pick up the mail! The satisfaction of doing something helps.

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The cleaner contacted me. Apparently I got the date wrong. So that hassle is settled. I did go out and get the mail. It is a block and a half away. So it was nice being out in the fresh air. Maybe I will take a little walk tomorrow as well. Supposed to be even warmer. I run cold so I do enjoy the warmer weather. Feeling relaxed enough to turn on the TV and Watch Iron Chef. I know the show is old, but I love watching their knife techniques and the way they present their food. So much better than seeing people popping out of their clothes and committing mayhem all over the place.

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@thisismarilynb

The cleaner contacted me. Apparently I got the date wrong. So that hassle is settled. I did go out and get the mail. It is a block and a half away. So it was nice being out in the fresh air. Maybe I will take a little walk tomorrow as well. Supposed to be even warmer. I run cold so I do enjoy the warmer weather. Feeling relaxed enough to turn on the TV and Watch Iron Chef. I know the show is old, but I love watching their knife techniques and the way they present their food. So much better than seeing people popping out of their clothes and committing mayhem all over the place.

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Good morning @thisismarilynb Nice to read your cleaner is "reset" so to speak! I agree it can often be seemingly small (to other people) irritants that send those of us who are grieving into personal tailspins.

I wanted to thank you for this post — it made me smile and chuckle! When the original Japanese version of Iron Chef played on TV, all our family were HUGE fans! We'd never miss seeing what Chairman Kaga's mystery ingredient was and whenever we see daikon radish in the grocery or farmers market I still shout it out like he did on this show. Folks think I'm crazy, but it brings me a touch of joy.

During the show's run we moved to Chicago and one day our daughter was walking to her first job when she stopped to see what a crowd was doing. It turned out The Food Network was holding a promotional event for Iron Chef! As part of this event, they did an Iron Chef trivia contest. Our daughter joined in, much to the astonishment of the crew got 100% of the answers right, and won a basketful of Iron Chef merchandise, cookbooks, and a set of knives she still uses in her kitchen. I still love Iron Chef and nice to know there is another fan out there!

Thanks for kicking off such a nice memory for me!

I hope the sun is shining on you today,
Strength, Courage, & Peace

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