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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
I feel I Have no Purpose in Life Anymore
I am having a very difficult time these past weeks. It's been two months ago that my sweet husband passed away and I still cannot believe he is gone-- I miss him so much. People say that the grieving gets better as time goes by but I'm still struggling and coping with his death.
I find it very hard to get up in the morning. I wake up early but get up late because I see no purpose in getting up at all. I'm retired so I don't have to worry about going to work. I thank God for everyday that I am alive because life itself is a precious gift.
It's interesting that not only I can't get up in the morning but I also can't go to bed at night. I end up going to bed real late sometimes at 3AM. I cannot get motivated to work on projects around the house-- projects that should have been done years ago but couldn't because of lack of time. I have time now but nothing gets done. Some friends suggested I should go back to work (no thank you, I already worked for 35 years getting up at 5AM every day).
I prefer to be by myself and don't really want to socialize with people. I don't even want to hear music. I know I'm depressed but I don't want to take depression pills. My doctor gave me some and I had side effects-- I felt like I could not breathe.
I see people joking, laughing and being joyful and I wonder if I will ever feel like that again. Does anybody else feel like this too? I do have a support group. I have a clinical counselor, family, friends, acquaintances, Bible studies, etc. . . but still feel sad.
If only I could turn back time and be able to hold my sweet husband one more time . . .
I spend my entire day with " I wish I could" or "I should have" So many things I should have done.... And yes Nadine I feel like that too. USELESS is the best way I can describe to you how I feel and it has been almost 5 months now, with medication, therapy and reading. Even though I go to work every day and starting to tackle necessary projects in the house, I wonder if I will ever be able to enjoy life again without my mother around. I wish I did not have to work. I think it would be easier for me to grieve if I could take the time I need to take care of myself and clear my head. Work is just a distraction, nothing else. I briefly tried dating and visiting relatives but I discontinued making commitments because it made me feel worse.I find that I feel better at home alone. So that is what I do when I am not working. I have been to the mall and I don't even enjoy shopping anymore. I have no desire to try anything on. So I don't go to the mall now either. Things I used to love to do I don't care about doing any more. Things that used to matter to me, do not matter at all anymore. I have changed. Everything has changed. My world has changed, my life has changed. And yes sometimes when I am driving in my car I feel guilty if I put the radio on to listen to music. Sometimes I feel guilty for even enjoying a good meal. How void of joy my life has become. So it has nothing to do with if your working or not or medication. Its just how we feel. I just hope that one day we can be happy again because we deserve it.
Nadine please tell us what happened to your husband in palliative care.
I have no friends to turn to--they have all died. I heard from a daughter of one of my friends who died; the daughter said she would be glad to help me in any way she could if I needed her. Then I notice on Facebook that she has relocated to Alaska to get away from an abusive husband. Now I have nobody to call. I don't want to go anywhere there are couples--I am now a widow and I don't want to be around "couples." I have a very loving and kind cousin who lives 40 miles from me who has been very helpful to me via telephone, but now she is very sick and I am worried about her outcome. It seems that everywhere I turn, there is a wall. One of the pastors from my church just visited me, and he thought that I was very cheerful--well, if he only knew how my heart is breaking inside me. I, too, cannot listen to music even though it has been a very big part of my life over the years, and the TV is filled with nothing but politics and crime. Maybe when spring is here and flowers are blooming that I will find my niche in life--maybe I won't last until spring.
Anna...I remember saying over and over "I am broken". I am 15 months into widowhood and while I do not feel "broken" I do not feel whole.
I do not want anyone cheering me up. I do not want anyone telling me my husband would want me to be happy. I could care less. This is me, my life and have I moved into a life without my husband but I do not need to be happy because my husband wants it? No.
Truthfully I have found that being around others who did not know me as part of a couple is a lot easier. They just accept me as I am now.
I figure I will find days that are enjoyable as they progress and yes, I can laugh but I am very lonely. Being with others only allows me to forget how how alone alone can be.
And yes, I still check off married on forms and I wear both of our wedding bands next to each other.
Nadine60,your post could have been me posting.My precious husband passed away 2 months ago.He was my best friend for 57 years.I miss him so much. I too don't want to see anyone.I just want to be alone.I pray that will change with time.Maybe when spring comes things will get bettef.I also am in need of a change of scenery. I don't even like to go into our bedroom. I still have not moved his things from that room.I just sit and look at the tv...I do not watch it,I just stare at it.Maybe as more time passes ,life will get better.
Dear Nadine, Still Waters, Anna, jfkoc, & Lorena,
I wish we could all sit down together in the same room and talk to each other and listen to each other. I feel as if I just discovered new friends in all of you. My husband died 3 years, 9 months and 3 days ago. I'm off today and have many important things that I should tend to today. Instead, I looked at pictures of my husband. I looked at the Christmas pictures for the 100th time in the past month. I looked at the pictures of him in the last few months of his life. I miss him. I miss him in the morning a lot. We always had coffee together. He loved coffee and reading the news paper every morning. Doing the cross word puzzles. I just started drinking coffee again recently. I couldn't even look at the coffee maker for a long time. After he died I hid it away in the back of the pantry.
Sometimes at work I will remember something happy or funny about him and I will burst out laughing until I cry. I do have an occasional "good day" and all of a sudden, I feel as if I had been kicked in my stomach and all of the feelings come back.
I feel useless. I feel like I'm just waiting to die. Sometimes I will clean the house and yard and make everything look nice. Have everything in order so no one will be bothered. Then I feel like it would be okay to just go to sleep and not wake up. I recently got another life insurance policy because I plan to make my will soon. The additional policy is for my dogs to be cared for properly. I have someone who will be named in my will who will get the money and responsibility of the dogs. She is someone I trust. If it weren't for my dogs, I would have no reason to wake up, get up and go to work.
I can tell that you loved your husband very much. I am so sorry for your loss. I can understand how lonely you feel and especially if you don't have any friends or no one to turn to. I hope you find a little bit of comfort from those of us who have lost our loved ones. I am fortunate that I still have my mother around (she is 85 years old) and I have a sister. My mom is a great comfort to me and I talk to her every night. Sometimes she was not very understanding when I was taking care of my DH but I know she was just worried about my own health. My sister calls me every day. I have a few friends who call and drop in sometimes. I also have a Bible study every week and congregation meetings twice a week. But I still miss my DH a lot-- and sometimes I have good days and bad days. On the bad days, I remember how he died and I begin to cry. It is so painful to remember.
What I found out that helps me with my sadness is buying a small bouquet of flowers every so often. I cannot explain it but it brings a little bit of cheer to the house. I take a moment and sit and admire their beauty. My DH used to buy me flowers all the time.
Anna don't give up. Life is so precious and a gift from God. I offer my support to you and all those who are mourning their loss.
Dear Nadine60, Still Waters, Anna-81, Lorena, jfkoc, abc123, George K and others reading but not posting here: MPS here! I cannot pretend to understand loss of spouse. I cannot even imagine. Also, I do feel like I have a purpose. Without me my mom, husband, two kids, I believe they would be so lost or at least more lost than they are with me by their side. However, I can relate to the feeling that I am different now, so different than before. Something has changed forever inside of me. I am different now having midwifed my dad through his transformation to spirit.
I looked up to see if there was any correlation and some others have written on this. Soul to body, body to soul, each one requires a midwife. An end is just a beginning. But of what? That is the yawning question. What is the work that needs to be done now. For me it is clear. I have to take superb care of my family and do all I can within my power to make sure they are set on right paths. But this floundering, this searching for a purpose, the searching by itself is a purpose. It is not without value in and of itself.
Gritting one's teeth and plunging forward is not always the answer. I have found solace in prayer, in contemplation and in allowing thoughts to go where they may, trying to channel the thoughts towards some right actions that will help others. I am not in a hurry. I have the rest of my life. I know I am different now. I know I am not the child who saw her parents as monuments of stability. I see others differently now too and I recognize that I can learn as I go on this journey of searching, searching, searching for what is right, good, true and bright in the world, and try to give my own brightness and joy to give the world something too.
If only I could turn back time and be able to hold my sweet husband one more time . . .
Nadine and the others of you who are feeling the same way - I still feel like a part of me is missing - and it is - and always will be. I do the necessary things but that's about it. I can't seem to get motivated to do anything else.
I have no relatives very close by - a few cousins whom I talk with occasionally and a couple of nieces and sister in OKC. My sister is in a Memory Care Center and both nieces are in poor health. I have a very good neighbor I can call on when needed and our vet who feeds hay for me and would do anything I needed to have done. Also calls to check on me every few days. Otherwise, I'm by myself all the time and that's okay. Charles and I were by ourselves almost all the time. I have lots of animals to keep me company. I go into town only when it's necessary. I haven't been well for the past five months - dealing with EBV and CMV so don't have much energy. If I did I think it would be better, at least I'd feel like doing something.
Nadine - I hope that you're right - that when Spring comes it will be a little easier. At least we'll be able to get outside more. In some ways it was easier for me the first year than the second but maybe that's because I haven't been too well.
I think it would be best if when you've been with the same person for a long period of time, or even a short period, that you both go at the same time. I'll be ready as soon as I get my affairs in order. I don't call myself the "W" word - can't bring myself to do that yet and probably never will. We are broken, Judith, and will never be the same again. I lost Charles two years ago the 15th of this month. I did pretty well during the day except a couple of times but when 10:30 p.m. came I lost it for a little while. That was the time when he passed away.
I have friends I talk with on the phone and really enjoy that but as far as visiting or going anywhere I'm content here. I still feel Charles is here - maybe that's being silly on my part. I dream of him often. I haven't been able to clear out his closet yet - it's just as it was. I see no need to hurry. I feel privileged to have this forum to come to each day and visit with the friends I have made here over the past many years.
We'll make it - there's no other choice. Maybe it will get easier or maybe it won't but we'll endure one day at a time, one hour at a time. Some days will be better, some will be worse; some hours will be better, some will be worse. That's the way it is now without our life partner.
Nadine - so much of what you wrote is exactly what I am feeling. My H died 4 months ago and at first I guess I was kind of numb. I was surprised at how well I was dealing with his death. Now, in just the last month or so, it has hit me so hard and the loneliness I feel is almost impossible to tolerate. I think caring for them, especially in those last stages, is so overwhelming that, at least for me, I almost felt a sense of relief that his and my suffering were over. Now that the reality of his death is final and permanent I find myself almost longing for those days when his care required 24/7 dedication. It's like I don't remember what the all-consuming sense of responsibility of keeping him safe and caring for him entailed.
I am so fortunate because I have an amazing support system and yet no matter how much time I spend with my friends and family, when I come back home to an empty house I feel such dread and loneliness. I had 24 people here for Christmas day and it was very hectic. In the past, I would look forward to everyone leaving and then kicking off my shoes and enjoying the peace and quiet. This year, after all the excitement, after everyone left, I felt so sad. The reality that I am now alone really struck me.
I don't know how long it will take before I accept this new status - widowhood. Even the word widow bothers me. I sometimes will repeat this to my children "I'm a widow." It's like I can't believe it if that makes sense. After 42 years of marriage, the reality that I am now alone is so depressing. I hate sleeping alone, sitting at night watching tv alone, eating alone. I was a twin (my sister died 7 years ago), and I often say that from the moment of my conception I had someone with me. Now she is gone and so is my H. This is the first time in my entire life that I have been alone. And it's an adjustment that is going to take time.
I'm glad that we can come here and share our feelings. I hope we can lift each other up with our individual stories. Somehow knowing there are others out there who understand makes this transition a little less painful.
Bless you all.
It's like I don't remember what the all-consuming sense of responsibility of keeping him safe and caring for him entailed.
Helen, I am very close in the length of time of being a widow as you--no, I don't like the term "widow" either. My sweet husband has been gone since October 13, 2016. Like you, I still cannot come to grips with is. The loneliness is the worst thing possible. I have nowhere to go except to the grocery store, the post office, or doctor's appointments. I do not have a good support system and do not know how to find one. I do have one son that lives in town, and he is very good to check on me. But he has his life to live with a second wife after being married to the first wife for 30 plus years. So I do not want to interfere with their lives. On Sunday they returned from a week's cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, and I am so glad they enjoyed it. I was very scared that something would happen to me while they were gone and I would have absolutely no one to take me to the ER or other necessary thing. I have a son who lives 120 miles away and he said, "Mom, I can be there in less than 2 hours." Well, I could die before he could get here. Volunteer work is almost not an option with me because I am approaching 82, have heart problems and a bad knee that has been replaced twice and still gives me problems when I walk. So I guess that I just wait for a miracle.
I have thought to myself several times that I am just overdoing this grief thing, that everyone does not love their husband as I did. He was my life, especially after the children were grown and out of the house. But I am finding through this forum that grief is the same with most of us--it is very difficult to adjust to being alone. So far I have not found the answer to ending my loneliness. I don't want to be lonely but don't know how to solve it. Will time make a difference? Until then, it does help to share my thoughts with all of you. I hope that all of us will in some way, at some time find an answer.
Hi Anna and Nadine,
I'm at two years and I still feel the same way. I've accepted, I think, that Charles is gone and won't be back. For months and months and even now sometimes when I wake up and start to get up I'm very quiet - goes back to my caregiving days when I was afraid I'd wake him up.
I don't think being with people will cure this loneliness we have. My cousin lost her husband 12 years ago and she's still having problems dealing with it.
Anna, at the insistence of our vet, neighbor and friends on this forum, I finally got a medical guardian. It's to be worn around your neck, you only have to push a button and someone answers within seconds. It also detects falls and they call to see if you're okay. It doesn't just work in the house - it works anywhere and has a GPS so they can find you if something happens. If you fall or something happens and they try to contact you through the device and no one answers, they try your cell phone, if no answer, they can call a person you specify or they call an ambulance and police.
A year or so ago mine went off when I put it down and it made an odd noise so I thought it was okay. My land-line rang and I didn't recognize the number so didn't answer. I went on to bed and about half an hour later I saw a light at the bedroom window and one of my big dogs. It was a Sheriff's Deputy. They had contacted the Sheriff's office and the Deputy came along with an ambulance. Even if you don't need it, it gives you a feeling of security - that you can get help if you need it. You might want to look into it. I try to wear mine when I'm out and always wear it when I go to town.
The worst part of the day for me is when I first wake up in the mornings. During the day I try to keep busy and outside as much as possible. Wintertime is not a good time for me. Just remember, none of us are alone in this and someone is always here to talk with.
I agree with each of you. The loneliness is overwhelming.
I do no think you are clinically depressed...meaning, are sad because you have a chemical imbalance you brain....you are GRIEVING...this what grief looks like.
I wish I could have uplifting words help you, as you have helped me so much...but I think it just going be really hard a while...and on some level that have be ok. You lost the love you life. You have been take care him long time. It will take a while find you feet again.
Try trust in the process. 6 months from now it should be a little easier....a year from now easier....if it still THIS bad in a year, then maybe you depressed.
Hang in there. You have A LOT heal from. You eyes saw what you saw....and what seen can no be unseen as they say....healing will be a long road.
You might consider talking with someone trained in grief help guide you through the process.
Much love you way.
People say that the grieving gets better as time goes by but I'm still struggling and coping with his death.
I very much understand. I was hoping to get better as it it has been just under 3 months since my DW passed, but I feel worse each day - so sad, lethargic. I tried to stay busy over the holidays, but back to work these last 2 weeks I can't concentrate, don't care even about my job.
I hated the disease so much, but I just want my wife back. We were married over 18 years and it was just me and her, no children. We made a life together. I took care of her for 7 years with the disease and then it ended as I held her hand - I am so alone and would give anything to be with her again - I miss her so much.
I have no answers - I have taken some walks, hiked a little and hoping Nature, Time, and Patience are the three great healers. I feel like a rudderless boat caught in storm.
I've just read through some of this thread, and here's what came to my mind as I read about having a purpose...
I believe in life before birth. I believe I'm a spiritual being having a human experience. When I was born, I think I was immediately spirituality homesick, and I still am. I have tried to satisfy my homesickness with many things: relationships, caretaking and caregiving, money, cars, music, possessions, sex, excitement, but nothing filled my longing for God. As I went through the process of going through the ordeal this damned disease presented with my wife, I became a much more loving, compassionate, gentle, kind, accepting, and understanding person than I would have been without this damned disease in our lives. Not so coincidentally, love, compassion, gentleness, kindness, acceptance and understanding all fit under the heading of 'The Likeness of God' for me. Now that God has received my wife, my purpose in this life seems to me to pass on the message that we need God in our lives. The way I look at having this damned disease in my life is that life handed me lemons, when I finally turned to God, God made lemonade. I don't post on this forum much anymore, but there are several ways I can carry what I experienced to people in my community on a personal, face-to-face basis. What I'm trying to say is that my purpose in life today is to carry the message of hope to whoever needs it.
(As an aside to the other Nadine, aka MPSunshine, I think about you often. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.)
It's sorta strange, after posting what I did, I went to my e-mails - here's a copy of the first one I read...
for the Day
We are climbing up the
ladder of life, which reaches into eternity. Would God plant our feet upon an
insecure ladder? Its supports may be out of sight, hidden in secret places, but
if God has asked us to step on and up firmly, then surely God has secured our
ladder. Faith gives us the strength to climb steadily this ladder of life. We
should leave our security to God and trust Him not to let us fall. God is there
to give us all the power we need to keep on climbing.Prayer for the DayI pray that I may climb
the ladder of life without fear. I pray that I may progress steadily through
the rest of my life with faith and confidence.
As I read the posts from those who have lost a Loved One (and I feel as Nadine does) and now wondering what the future brings for them or what is their purpose now, I have no different words to share other than what most everyone has said.
I lost my DH a few months ago so I am in the early stages of grieving. Every day there are so many things that remind me of him and this is when I break down and shed tears. We had been married 43 years and it is difficult to think of the time I have left to live without him.
I just cannot see a purposeful future for myself since losing my DH. I was the sole caregiver of my husband for four years with hospice coming in the last couple weeks on and off to check his vitals and offer any assistance if needed. Since our daughter is a trauma nurse she was very helpful when I needed her to help me care for my DH - her dad. My husband passed away in my arms and I often wish I could have passed away at the same time and we could have gone together.
We do have a 13 year old dog that I care for and he gives me purpose to get up each day and I often find myself talking to him about my DH and his buddy, but of course the time will come when I will lose him and that will be another big heart break.
The good Lord must want me to carry on and so I will for as long as I have to but it will not be with the happiness I had with my DH in my life.
I truly am thankful in my prayers each day for the decent health I still have, our lovely daughter/grand kids and wonderful dog, but especially the fact I have had so many wonderful years of being married.
Each day I wake up and wonder what is the purpose? So difficult to living a long life with someone and than nothing....house is so quiet, no real conversations or hugs, sharing concerns and life with someone I shared the best part of my life with.
My faith in God will have to keep me going, as it always has, because I feel that is all there is left that will give me the strength to go on each day.