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Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 2:21 AM
Joined: 11/16/2015
Posts: 22

Dear Caregivers:

     I want to thank all of you for your support and condolences.  My beloved husband passed away on Nov. 4th.   After a series of delays and frustrations with the funeral home, his services were held Nov 19th and his cremation on Nov. 21st.  I was required to see his body two additional times for identification; 1) at the funeral home and 2) at the crematorium right before the cremation.  I was heartbreaking to see his lifeless body again but I was OK  because got to spend a few more precious moments with him while I said some prayers.  I brought his cremains home on Nov. 23rd and they will remain with me until I am able to fulfill his final wish of taking his cremains to his favorite beach on the east coast.

    Just a year ago on Thanksgiving, my DH was dancing Rock 'N Roll with my mother and sister.  He also enjoyed his Thanksgiving meal.  In May of this year, he was dancing around with the nurse who came over to evaluate him for admission to the MC facility.  It seems unreal that he is gone now.

    I am still grieving my DH's death but don't cry as much as in the first weeks following his death.  However, I feel so empty inside. I wake up and don't want to get up because I feel the loneliness in the house.  I feel numb as I go through the motions of everyday living.  If I go out, I do what needs to be done but just want to be back home.  I am unable to listen to the radio and his favorite music because it triggers memories of how much he loved to dance and sing along-- and my tears start rolling.  I cannot go to restaurants or other places we used to go because I think it won't be the same without him.  I cannot even go to a McDonald's anymore because even with his dementia, he enjoyed a little "treat" from there. How he loved it!  I would take my DH by the hand making sure he did not fall on the steps and he waited patiently at the table while I got his "treat".

    There are so many unfinished "projects" to do at the house but I don't have any motivation.  I tried to part with his clothing and clear the closet but I am having a hard time.  I felt like I was trying to get rid of memories.  Each shirt, jacket, pants, etc. brought a memory of where or what he was doing.

    I find it hard to get up in the morning and face an empty house but I also hesitate to go to bed at night.  It is not unusual if I go to bed at 1:00AM or 2:00AM.  I have family and friends who come visit and check on me but once they leave, I am missing my sweet DH again. 

    I know that he is not suffering anymore and that he would not have wanted to live in that condition-- without any quality of life.  I took care of him for so many years and my world revolved around him.  I feel I don't have any purpose in life.  I do have counseling, and my mother, sisters, friends, and members of my congregations have been a great source of support.  It is said that "time heals all wounds" but it will certainly take a long time for me to heal.

    My DH's illness made me a better person-- a changed person.  As the illness progressed year after year, and as he became more defenseless and dependent, I became  more compassionate, patient, and caring.  Things I thought I could never do, I ended up doing them.  Things like changing his depends, bathing, shaving, dressing, spoon feeding, etc... Every night, after I put him to bed, he would tell me "thank you for everything you do for me". 

     It was heartbreaking to see his emaciated body when I got him out of the MC facility.  His suffering and his pain while he was in "comfort care" became my suffering and my pain especially the last two days of his life as he struggled to stay alive.  His thirst became my thirst when his lips and mouth became so dry from so much morphine and as he gasped desperately for air.  I would wet a small sponge and placed it on his lips and he would seek out the moisture because he was so thirsty.    When he died, I sobbed and as I held him one last time I told him, "your suffering is over dear, it's over". 

     I feel blessed to have been able to take care of such a wonderful human being who brought so much laughter and happiness to my life.  It is just unfortunate that my DH's death was hastened by unscrupulous and unethical people in charge of his medical care.  He is resting in peace now and that is what counts.  My faith is strong and I know that I will see him again.  He is not dead-- he is alive in God's memory.  I will be OK but it will take some time. God bless all the caregivers and give them strength to endure the pain we suffer when our loved ones pass away.





Lorena K
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 3:32 AM
Joined: 9/1/2014
Posts: 87

My beloved husband passed away on October 26 of this year . I have trouble sleeping , I don't want to eat and I don't wa.nt to leave my house.Everyone says that it will get better,but it seems to be getting worse . I have been offered counseling by the hospice company that cared for my husband . I did not think that I needed it,but I am beginning to think differently . It is now past 3 am and I am still awake. I miss him so .
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 5:25 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2008

Dear Nadine60, I was hoping you would post again. You write so beautifully about your husband's last days and how you were with him not only in person but with your soul connection. You gave him so much. Please take the time you need to gradually get through this grief.  It is not easy.  It is a rocky road. Comfort foods may help.  Also knowing that no one is expecting you to get through this quickly or easily. My dad died in September and my mom still asks if he is really dead.  We didn't throw out his clothing.  My mom likes to wear one of his old big flannel shirts that still has his nice manly aroma when she is at home. We go through his funeral album together. My mom asks me to tell stories of him. We talk about him all the time. His photo is right in front of the chair where he used to sit and solve Sudoku and watch the television. Take care. Nadine
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 5:42 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2008

Dear Lorena K, I would urge you to seek counseling if you have not done so already.  The counselors who deal with the grief process have heard it all.  They are very reassuring and affirming of your feelings around the death, and will help you to process it, on your timeline.  If you do not have a good rapport with the counselor, then seek another one. Talking all the feelings out is one good way to process it.  Sorry if that sounds like processing in a factory.  It's just really how it is. If you put the feelings under and suppress them, they will surface in weird ways and possibly behaviors (like compulsive shopping, eating, substance abuse -- anything to bury the pain). Better to let it out and go through the process by talking about it to another human being. Death is a part of the human condition.  If you do not have access to a person to talk with then post here and hopefully someone will be able to come along and say something reassuring to you.  It is a tough time and the feelings you think are unique to you (the raw pain, the empty place, the feeling of missing and longing) are very much a part of the deep love you shared and can help you to heal when you acknowledge them.
Still Waters
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 11:39 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092

Hi Nadine. I share the same issues you have with comfort care. I watched my mothers suffer for nine days from dehydration. I wish they would've told me it was going to be so horrific. I would have done anything to keep her alive if that were the case. I blame hospice for that. I can't get those images out of my head. I am not glad my mother is not suffering anymore. My mother was not suffering before she died. She was in no pain. She just wasn't hungry anymore. If I would've continue to coax her to eat she would still be alive. And then maybe passed peacefully one day. But I panicked. And I was stupid. I hate myself because I'm smarter than that I should've known better. Anyway just wanted to share my experience with you. Nothing we could do about it now.
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 12:45 PM
Joined: 9/18/2013
Posts: 243

I'm very sorry for the loss of your husband, Nadine60. I wish I could offer some pearls of wisdom about grieving but I can't.  I lost my sweet mom on Nov. 9th and I am struggling with grief myself. Just know that we are here to listen if you need someone. 


Veterans kid
Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016 10:59 PM
Joined: 10/17/2014
Posts: 1239


I just wanted to offer my condolences,  and let you know that you're in my thoughts, my prayers, and my heart.  

 Thank you for posting and letting us know-I know this message board doesn't get as much activity, but there are a lot of us that read and will post-especially when there someone new. The holidays are rough time, no matter what,  but please know that your friends here are always ready to hold you up whenever you need a little boost!  

Sending lots of hugs and poptarts!

Julie ( always be VK) 

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2016 2:25 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


You loved him so well.  I know that meant so much to him.  You held him up when he couldn't, you took such good and loving care of him.  I hope in time, you can look at all that you both went through, and feel comfort and peace.  Blessings to you.

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 12:13 PM
Joined: 9/8/2016
Posts: 46

Nadine, I am very sorry for your loss.  I usually do not come on this particular board because I usually go to the one for caregivers of spouses.  I was the caregiver of my dear husband, whom I lost on October 13th.  When I read your beautifully written account of events surrounding your loss, I thought that I was reading something that I had written.  I was at a particularly low point in my grieving today because it is 4 days until Christmas and I will be basically alone with 3 of my 4 children living miles away and I cannot be with them.  I will have a brief visit from my one son who lives here and I am thankful for that.  But not the usual big Christmas dinner at our house, no sharing of gifts, no watching of videos of past Christmas choir programs from 20 years ago in which we were participants, just more quietness and loneliness in a house that we built together 62 years ago.  Your writing made me feel that I am not the only one who has lingering suffering and pain from the loss of someone so dear to me.  I pray that both you and I can find peace at some point down this long, long road of loneliness.