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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 11 of 31

Dear beardie,

To lose your mother and your husband so close together is a terrible double whammy. I am so very sorry. You and your father have each other and that is a blessing indeed. But yes it's a good question: when does the numbness go away? It's too soon, and that is no comfort to you. I wish there was a way to make it go faster or easier. I've experienced my own grief over losing my parents, and i've worked with people going through their own grief in my role as a hospice social worker, cancer social worker, and now as a therapist. The only way out is through. Small comfort, i know.

 

I wonder if your father and yourself might want to wait a little bit before moving? It is of course your decisions together to make. But there might be a familiarity about where you have been living that is comforting? People you know together and separately? Or on the other hand perhaps you both want a change of scene, as there are so many memories where you are now, of your mother/his wife, and your husband/his son in law. Perhaps moving within the same area?  I would just hate to hear from you that you regret moving and miss the familiar parts of what you left behind. Just a thought.

 

You were present and loving and attentive, caring and careful and helpful. And now, the universe can take care of you for a bit. Can you buy yourself a therapeutic massage? Go to a hot spring or a spa?  Can you afford to treat yourself and a friend, or your dad, to a special dinner? (I'm a real sucker for filet mignon.)  There is good advice here about staying busy, and it is also true that allowing yourself the room to feel what you feel, and cancel plans or choose against doing something you don't feel like doing. Try not to isolate. But you don't owe anything to anybody if you want to take a time out. You are in mourning. It is in some ways a full time job.

 

there is another group here that is specific to grief at aarp.org/griefcommunity. just in case.

 

i hope you know that your mother was lucky to have you as a daughter, and your husband lucky to have 40 years of life and love with you.

 

take care of yourself in all seriousness. glad you wrote. write more?

Jane

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 12 of 31

@n825542d wrote:

I'm 63 years old and my husband passed away 12/31/2015 from acute myeloid leukemia at 56 years old. We had only been married for 6 years, so we were essentially newlyweds! He was the love of my life and I thought we were going to grow old together. I also thought since he was 6 years younger than me, he would be the one to take care of me when I got "old."

My husband passed away 8 months from the time he was diagnosed. He went through 5 rounds of aggressive chemo, and throughout, he was very positive and upbeat. My husband had a very strong faith in God and I believe that faith helped him, it helped me to stay upbeat around him, even though I would breakdown when I left his hospital room! 

My husband had got tired of the frequent hospital admissions and 2 days before Christmas 2016 he was not feeling his best. We went to the cancer clinic for lab work and it wasn't good. We spent Christmas Day together and the day after Christmas he agreed to return to the hospital, his last admission. He was put on hospice and passed away New Year's Eve morning.

I'm not looking forward to Christmas or New Year but I know God has walked with me this whole time and He continues to do so. All I can say is if you do not belong to a faith based church, try to find one. I find reading scripture and praying to God helps to give me peace and acceptance of my husband passing. 

I just finished a 13 week Griefshare program at a church close to me. You can google "Griefshare " they have a lot of support groups all over the world and they're inexpensive. I found sharing my grief experience with others who have gone through what I have, healing. Unless you have lost a husband or someone close to you, you cannot really understand the pain, the loneliness, the empty house!

We all experience grief differently and I hope this helps someone on their journey to healing. 

I take one day at a time, that's all I can do. Looking too far ahead creates stress for me so I'd rather be stress free and find joy in today.

 

 

 


Thank you so much for sharing your story and about your benefitting from the Griefshare program. That is a terrific resource, one that everyone should know about.  Leukemia sucks. It usually means that folks need to stay in the hospital instead of going home because of all that fear of infection and all.(I used to be a social worker on a cancer unit.)   I'm so very sorry. Yes you were newlyweds!

 

I'm glad you have such a strong faith. this holiday season will be tough for everyone who grieves, and i hope that your faith will make it less painful. Or at least that the excruciating moments don't last quite so long. Argh. So much loss and sadness.

 

I hope you feel surrounded by love despite the quietness that should be filled with a joyful noise.

 

bless you, and feel free to write more. oh by the way if you get a chance you could share your wisdom about griefshare on aarp.org/griefcommunity which is specifically for grieving people to meet and share. your wisdom might be especially needed there.

 

Jane

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 13 of 31

I will definitely pray for you and keep you in my thoughts. The one thing I continue to hold onto is that people have felt exactly as we do since time began but somehow they have gotten through this horrible time. I know you and I will do the same. 

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 14 of 31

Thank you so much for passing on these words of wisdom. 

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 15 of 31

Two good bits of advice I received, so I will pass it along:

 

First, keep busy! You can not dwell on your loss. Emerse yourself into your work or, even better, a hobby.

 

Second, set no deadlines. Never think you should be over it by now; If you still need a good cry 5 years later, go with it. It may help you find some peace.

 

Don't be too proud to seek help with coping. Best wishes. 

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 16 of 31

@sc67503233 wrote:

I LOST MY HUSBAND 17 MONTH AGO AND IT STILL HURT , I AM A LONG AND AFRAID OF THE KILLING AND STAELING IT IS SO HARD TO LIVE WITH OUT HIM I WISH I COULD LIVE WITH SOME ONE I HAVE NO FAMILY SO I AM ALONG. MY FUNDS DO NOT REACH SO I AM SHORT EVERY MONTH. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. I HAVE YET TO GO THROUGH XMAS.


Hi there, I'm so sorry you lost your husband.  You feel so alone, that is very clear, and very painful. Please tell me, do you belong to a church or other worship community? If so, that is a place to reach out to others, even if you simply volunteer for a coffee hour or something, to fix the coffee not to buy it... perhaps the church has a christmas dinner, or the pastor can put you in touch with a member of the community who tends to welcome people.  Another idea is to find out which places in town have a free dinner for homeless people, and to volunteer there. You will meet other people, and feel useful. Since you are short every month on cash, have you applied for some help? if you are over 60, you are probably eligible for all kinds of help: food stamps (called SNAP), utility assistance (called LIHEAP), and maybe other sources of help.

 

I can imagine that you are concerned about crime (stealing and killing), and it must be terrible to feel so afraid. I hope you live in a home that you can secure with locks. Do you have a dog? I know that sometimes i am irrationally afraid no matter how many precautions i take. I hope you can get through this holiday season and not feel so alone.

 

please write more?

 

there is another community here just for grief, aarp.org/griefcommunity  if you want to post there, too, but its fine to post here only.

 

you are in my prayers. 

 

Jane

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 17 of 31

I'm 63 years old and my husband passed away 12/31/2015 from acute myeloid leukemia at 56 years old. We had only been married for 6 years, so we were essentially newlyweds! He was the love of my life and I thought we were going to grow old together. I also thought since he was 6 years younger than me, he would be the one to take care of me when I got "old."

My husband passed away 8 months from the time he was diagnosed. He went through 5 rounds of aggressive chemo, and throughout, he was very positive and upbeat. My husband had a very strong faith in God and I believe that faith helped him, it helped me to stay upbeat around him, even though I would breakdown when I left his hospital room! 

My husband had got tired of the frequent hospital admissions and 2 days before Christmas 2016 he was not feeling his best. We went to the cancer clinic for lab work and it wasn't good. We spent Christmas Day together and the day after Christmas he agreed to return to the hospital, his last admission. He was put on hospice and passed away New Year's Eve morning.

I'm not looking forward to Christmas or New Year but I know God has walked with me this whole time and He continues to do so. All I can say is if you do not belong to a faith based church, try to find one. I find reading scripture and praying to God helps to give me peace and acceptance of my husband passing. 

I just finished a 13 week Griefshare program at a church close to me. You can google "Griefshare " they have a lot of support groups all over the world and they're inexpensive. I found sharing my grief experience with others who have gone through what I have, healing. Unless you have lost a husband or someone close to you, you cannot really understand the pain, the loneliness, the empty house!

We all experience grief differently and I hope this helps someone on their journey to healing. 

I take one day at a time, that's all I can do. Looking too far ahead creates stress for me so I'd rather be stress free and find joy in today.

 

 

 

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Message 18 of 31

I LOST MY HUSBAND 17 MONTH AGO AND IT STILL HURT , I AM A LONG AND AFRAID OF THE KILLING AND STAELING IT IS SO HARD TO LIVE WITH OUT HIM I WISH I COULD LIVE WITH SOME ONE I HAVE NO FAMILY SO I AM ALONG. MY FUNDS DO NOT REACH SO I AM SHORT EVERY MONTH. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. I HAVE YET TO GO THROUGH XMAS.

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Message 19 of 31

I lost my mom in April of pancreatic cancer. 12 days from diagnosis to her death in hospice. At the same time we found out my husband had stage 4 esophageal cancer.  He had just retired in December. Since I was the one with many health problems, I always thought that I would be the first to go even though he was 9 years older than me.  He went through 6 courses of chemo and we thought that he was doing so well.  Suddenly in June he became dizzy, nauseous and became very weak. The doctor tried giving him extra fluids to see if that would work.  We thought that he had just hit that "brick wall" of chemo and his body just needed to recover.  The last day he was home, he was so weak that I had to call the paramedics to take him to the hospital for what we thought was just for more fluids.  When we left the house, something told me that this was the last time he would be home.  When he was in the ER, they did a CT scan just to make sure that there was nothing physical going on.  They moved him to his room and we were just waiting for the results of the scan.  When the doctor came in he dropped a bomb on us.  The cancer had metastasized to his liver and lungs.  The lymph nodes had also increased in size.  It turned out that all the chemo did was to decrease the size of the tumor at the end of the esophagus.  They also did a MRI which showed a golf ball size tumor in his brain that was not associated with the esophageal cancer and they were 98% sure it was benign.  When his oncologist came in he told us that there was nothing else they could do and it was time to consider hospice.  He went to the same hospice my mom had died in just 3 months before.  He entered the hospital on June 22nd and died on July 11th in hospice.  I was at his bedside 24/7 for the last 5 days of his life.  The nurse woke me and told me that he had passed between when she had checked him at 6AM and when she came back in at 7:30AM.  I was asleep when he passed on, but at least I was next to him.  He died 2 weeks to the day before our 40th wedding anniversary.  I still have not had time to grieve either of their deaths.  A week after my mom's funeral, dad was in ICU with a blood clot around his heart that the doctor said he never should have survived.  The 2 of us are going to move to another state to start over.  If not for my dog and my dad, I wouldn't have a reason to even get out of bed.  When does the fog and numbness go away?  I don't even know where the tears come from anymore.  Thanksgiving was very hard and I know that Christmas will be hard if not harder.

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 20 of 31

I lost my husband 10 years ago and it still is painful. It has lessened over time.

We were married 44 years. Only someone who has been through this can understand . Your children  can't, even though they say they do. I still feel so alone 

even with having  a part time job. It's there when I come home. I have sought help and all I have done is talk and the Doctor listened  ,and took my money. I don't feel any better. I have found to go walking in the fresh air is as good as anything else you can do. The Holidays bring too many memories. 

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