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From Caregiver to Widow

As I was internalizing the loss of my husband of 48 years, I recently remembered how stressful and terrible the last few months of his illness were for both of us.  Despite our best intentions to achieve an extended quality of life, we couldn't do more than we did.  That guilt and emptiness carried over when my husband died and consumed many weeks of regret and what ifs.  It is only recently that I have come to terms that I did the best I could at the time and always honored my husband's wishes.  That was hard since he chose to stay in a medical facility much longer than I wanted.  That hurt me to the core, since I knew that he was spending his last lucid days away from me.  The hurt is still with me, but I now understand that he wanted 24/7 medical care.  We lost precious time together and I was finally able to arrange for him to come home under Hospice care.  Unfortunately, he was only home for 3 days until he passed.  I tried to make those days comfortable for him and constantly reassured him that I loved him and wanted to be with him.  I hope in my heart that he heard me.  Don't know, but hope so.  The reason I am sharing all this is I think I went through an early grieving period already during those declining days.  The end of life definitely set the grievance phase into motion.  While widowhood definitely has many challenges and ultimate loss, caregivers like me, also go through an earlier grievance stage as well when watching their loved one decline in front of their eyes and there is nothing you can do.  This has added to the intensity of emotions which others in a similar situation may also feel.  I just wanted to share that it is probably understandable and you as the caregiver and now widow/widower should not have any regrets and know you did the best you could.  That revelation will help you through the grievance stage with forgiveness and understanding. Sue

Regular Social Butterfly

I hope you will see he may have wanted to spare you, not spend his time away from you? This is one of the reasons I hope everyone considers end of life choices. And has the important conversations early... BIL (my friend of 40 years) passed very early in life, leaving sis and their daughter lost as to what to do. Sis chose to have his parents make health decisions. That was okay, but I wonder it they truly knew his wishes; but that doesn't matter now.


What matters is that every adult needs to understand it's not fair to leave others with these tasks. Some of us have learned this (1-Oct), but everyone please think about this, please!


Leaving final decisions to anyone else is not just cruel but irresponsible; that is only iho.



Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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