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A terrible thought
Posted: Sunday, March 8, 2015 2:39 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 13478

Hi everyone,

I lost my husband of almost 44 years a little more than seven weeks ago. It has not been an easy seven weeks, far from it. Some days are okay ,others much worse.

I just watched a TV show and at the end a couple who has just become engaged, kissed. An elderly man said "now, that was a kiss"

It just came to me that I would never again be kissed by my wonderful, Ray. He'd never again hold my hand and kiss my fingers. He was always a big one to kiss my hand.

Why is it that this has just occurred to me just when I was beginning to think things might be getting a tiny bit easier? I imagine these realizations will keep coming to the surface making it so much harder to recover.

Does this happen to any of you who have lost their husband or wife? I can't imagine that it hasn't. I guess it's just another of one of the many hurdles we'll encounter on this rocky road to- would you say recovery?

Posted: Monday, March 9, 2015 2:46 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


I just want to say how very sorry I am for the loss of your wonderful husband of 44 years. I read the spouse's board from time-to-time and I know you took such wonderful care of him.

I didn't lose my spouse, I lost both of my parents to this disease. I know the feelings are not the same, but some some of the feelings in the grieving process are commonly shared. The realization that things won't ever be the same, we won't experience the sames things anymore. All of these feelings coming welling up, something causes us to think, to remember, and the immense feeling of loss washes over us again and again.

We never ever get over this, we never forget, we never stopping missing them. It's just been seven weeks, so fresh and so recent your loss is. All the time of caring for a person is an intense time, the years spent together is engrained in your soul. When that ends, it's no simple quick adjustment to it. It will take lots and lots of time. Even then, as time softens the pain, there will always be those times when a thought pops in our head of what we miss, the characteristics of the person, their habits, their smile, the jokes and phases they used to say. We miss it, we miss them. It takes a lot of time to adjust and it is a painful process. I can only hope in time it does soften for you.

My mom passed away from AD going on 14 years now, my dad almost 3 years ago. Sometimes the pain of their loss comes on very strongly, something I see, hear, feel will trigger it and it washes over me again. Sometimes, now I can think about them and say I'm miss you, I love you, I remember you and I think of good things and tell myself I was fortunate, I had that time with them, even though no amount of time is ever enough, it's never easy to say goodbye. Then I tell myself, it's a temporary goodbye, we'll see one another again, we'll be together again.

Just this morning, I saw a penny on the ground. I always think of my dad when I see a penny on the ground, he like to save coins and was always happy to find free money. I picked it up and said, "Hi dad, thanks for the penny."

We loved these people so much, and we spent a great deal of our life with them, we miss them.

I try and keep them with me, in my heart. I remember my mom, I remember the things she did and what she would say, I remember her personality. I remember the things my dad taught me. By doing this, I feel I can keep them with me and that can help bring comfort.

Lorita, I know it is so different when it is your spouse, your partner, but time can help ease the intensity of the pain. I like to think they are still with us, we can't see them, but we can feel them, they are everywhere we are, watching over us.

I've read a couple of books on grief and that helped me, too. One was called on Grief and Grieving, it helped me feel normal and what I was feeling was okay. Please take good care and here's a hug ( ).

Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:00 AM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433

Hi Lorita,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I haven't experienced the loss of a spouse. I can only imagine the pain of losing someone who was such a huge part of your life for so long. I lost both of my parents fairly recently. I lost my Mom nearly 3 years ago and my Dad in December. I know how hard it was for my Dad when Mom passed away. They were high school sweethearts and had been together for 60 years, married for 58 of those years. He grieved SO hard for her. He was completely and totally devastated when she died. I told him over and over again, nobody expected him to get over it. But he had to find a way to get thru it. Everybody grieves in their own way. There is no timetable. People will try to tell you that you should be doing this, or you should be doing that. Only you know what you need at any given time. You need to be gentle with yourself. You have suffered a huge loss. Your grief will take time. You spoke of him holding and kissing your hand. Remember those times. Think fondly on those times becasue those are the special times between you and him that are your precious memories now.

Take care. I am sending prayers and hugs to you.

Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 7:00 PM
Joined: 10/6/2012
Posts: 924

Hi, Lorita. It's only been 10 days since Dickson passed away. We were married for 37 years. I thought for the longest time, as he progressed through the disease, that when he eventually died, it would be easier for me to mourn the loss. After all, I had watched him decline for so long, and perhaps it would even be a blessing when he did pass.

What I have discovered since Dickson passed is that I was very wrong. I did mourn losing Dickson with each step deeper and deeper into the disease. The man that didn't remember my birthday became the man who didn't know we were married and eventually he was the man who was bedridden and lost all his language.

Now I mourn forever losing him. I'll never again hear him ask, "want a cup of coffee". He was my buddy. I totally understand your feelings of loss.

I grew up in a Sicilian neighborhood, and the women always wore black for an entire year when there was a death. As a child, whenever I saw a woman in black, I always treated her with the utmost respect. It took them a year to work through their sorrow. Lorita, even though we aren't wearing black every day, we should treat ourselves to the very same respect and know that it is going to take a long time to work through this.

I think that eventually we will be at the point like KML, where we can find pennies, old movie tickets, scented hankies, and treat them like wonderful surprises that flood us with great memories. Until that time, I think that it's okay to cry, even it its everyday.

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 5:01 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 13478

Hi everyone,

KML - thank you for mentioning the book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. When I was in town a couple of days ago I stopped at the library in our little town. They had one of her books and that was the one they had. I checked it out and have read some of it. Today I started to read some and couldn't - but I will finish it in time.

Oceanbaum - I lost daddy in 1995 and mother in 1996, only 13 months apart. Daddy had dementia and mother had Alzheimers so I was a bit familiar with it. I still mourn their loss and always will remember them. I don't think you ever get over the loss of your parents or quit missing them. They had been married 61 years when daddy passed away. Mother had been caring for him at home for quite some time until we realized it was impossible for her to continue. At that time Ray and I both worked and weren't able to help too much. They lived closeby, on the same farm, so we were available to help when we were home.

I'll always remember the way Ray held my hand and kissed it. Another thing - almost every day I'd sneeze seven or eight times in a row and he never failed to say "are you all right?" and I'd tell him I was. Now when I do that I always say "I'm all right". Just a couple of the many things I remember and always will.

SocWkr - Another thing I'll always remember is - when I'd give him a starlight mint - he'd say "oh, boy". Now, every time I pick one up I think of him saying that. Sometimes it's just the little things that get to me most.

Caregiving was hard but not nearly as hard as this loss you and so many of us are going through now. I can fully understand the one-year mourning period and I don't imagine it'll end even then. There will always be that empty spot in our hearts.

It's been two months and I still cry everyday - some days more than others. It seems better when the sun's shining and I can be outside more.

Thank all of you for your kind words - I appreciate them so much.

Posted: Monday, March 16, 2015 6:37 PM
Joined: 7/21/2014
Posts: 1164

Lorita, You know I actually love you, even though we have never met. It is a hard time, and will continue to be. Today marks the 6th month since Don left. It was not a good day, but not a horrible day. I have dreaded it for a week.
You have just barely begun this long and arduous journey of life so different from the one you have led for the past 44 years.
I hope the sun shines for you tomorrow. Leanne

Posted: Monday, March 16, 2015 10:47 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 13478

Hi Leanne,

Thank you, I feel the same about you. It's a shame that Montana and Oklahoma are so far apart. We do have a lot in common.

I'm happy that today wasn't as bad for you as you thought it might be but I know it wasn't easy either. I don't think any of these days will be.

It is very different. I've been used to doing everything outside so that part isn't so different even though Charles was outside with me some of the time. It's just being inside and alone that's so hard and I can't imagine that it will get much easier. Going anywhere is also hard- we were always together. That empty seat is hard to take. But we'll get through it - there is no alternative if we want to be with them again.

I hope you can sleep well tonight- have sweet dreams of Don. Good night, dear friend.