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Periodic Contributor

Grief from the death of husband from COVID-19

My husband of 36 years recently died from COVID-19.  After being sick several days, going to the Urgent Care center (where he was tested for COVID-19), and still not getting better, I took him to the Emergency Room.  The last time I saw him was when they were wheeling him out of the ER to take him up to his room.  I was not allowed to go with him because of the "No Visitor" rule due to COVID-19.  He spent 1 1/2 days in a regular room where I was able to speak to him/face time him via phone.  He took a turn for the worse, was taken to the ICU, placed in a medical coma and put on a ventilator.  From then on I was not able to talk to him.  Five days after being tested and now in the ICU, we finally received the test results back, no surprise to anyone, he had tested positive for COVID-19.  In the meantime I was at home alone, in quarantine, and eventually came down with the virus myself.  Fortunately my symptoms were less severe than my husbands and I did not require hospitalization.  Thirteen days after my husband was taken to the ICU, the dreaded call came from the doctor advising my husband had succumbed to the virus.  He died with no family members allowed to be with him.  He was cremated; since all other family members live out of state, we had no service other than a very small, virtual service via Zoom.  To make matters worse, three weeks later my mother died from complications associated with Parkinson's Disease.  Stay at Home orders were still in place and since she lived out of state I was not able to attend her service.  I've read several books on grief, but due to COVID-19 and self-isolation most of the recommendations to help get through the grief process are not feasible (being with family & friends, hugs, going to church, etc.).  If anyone else has suffered from the death of a family member due to COVID-19 and/or during the pandemic, it would be appreciated if you shared advise on how you are dealing with your grief during the pandemic.

Regular Contributor

Phyllis, I hear you! All the pain you felt in a months time must have been devastating! I am twicw, so sorry for you! And this virus,.,. well it just sucks! (sorry for language). But there is a light on the other side, maybe not today, maybe not until later, but praise God there is a light! I pray that you are close to that light now. And I would like to suggest an alternate course to help your grief. In therapy, to help adjust to unanswered questions of the deceased, you set up two chairs, one for you and one for the deceased person. You can put a picture in the other chair or an object that use to belong to the deceased. You start talking,.,. saying all that you wanted and did not get to. It's very therapeutic and cathartic. I will go further on and suggest you take this same concept, and have your funerals at home. Select your music, say your good byes, and say your prayers. Remind your husband and mom, you know they are cared for by none other than Jesus Christ Himself! and you have a divine appointment to reunite with them in the future, when God brings you home!

Periodic Contributor

Sharon,
Thank you for your words of encouragement and your suggestions.  I still have my husband's ashes and speak to him almost every day; however, I never thought of the idea of setting up the two chairs and putting a picture of my mom on the second  chair.  This was a great way for me to "speak" to her.
 
I hope you are having a blessed day.
Contributor

 I pray that you are a believer in God. Prayer has helped me dial with the loss of my husband.  I don't know what else to do.  I know life will never be the same but it can still be good for you.  Try to focus on the good times more then the sad times. Maybe you should try single & group therapy.  I pray and wish the best for you in the future days to come.  

AARP Expert

I am so very sorry. To lose your husband and then 3 weeks later your mother, and then to be alive when the whole world seems to have lost its mind, and dealing with covid19 has upended everything... well, that's really too darn much.

 

I am a therapist, and i see a number of clients online, as well as in my office with us both wearing masks.  When i first meet a client in person, i stand more than 6 feet apart and i take off my mask so she can see my actual face. And then we talk. I would consider talking to a therapist, not because you are mentally ill in any way shape or form but because a therapist is neutral and is a really good listener, or should be. If i were your therapist, we'd talk about how to remember your husband and your mother, their wishes for you, maybe encourage journaling, talk about the emotional aspects of sorting through their things ... i'd also recommend something like "The Artist's Way," which is a wonderful resource for figuring out who you are after a huge change.

 

As for socializing, our church has a zoom group, a writer's group i belong to has a zoom meeting, too. I started a crochet group and we meet in a park with a shade tree in early evening, with masks on and folding chairs 6 feet apart. I love to play with yarn in a group.

 

The grief is huge and deep. And it will be with you for a long while. Sort of like a forest fire (i live about 11 miles from a burning one right now here in rural desert Oregon),a death leaves scorched earth; and then eventually, small shoots of new life appear...

 

Thank you for sharing your story. As hard as it might be to do, you might put as a goal on your fridge, once a week, reach out to a life human... and then do that.

 

with much respect, and condolences,

Jane

Periodic Contributor

Jane,

 

Thank you so much for the condolences and the various suggestions.  I've started socializing with others such as a weekly "lunch" with a neighbor.  We do carryout and eat outside on the back patio where we can eat at a social distance.  Started water aerobics, and have participated in church services via zoom.  Had not thought of journaling, I'll give it a try.  I can relate to the forest fire analogy, right now the earth is totally scorched.  Looking forward to when a sprout finally starts to poke it's head out of the scorched ground.

 

best regards,

 

Phyllis

Social Butterfly

@claudiac988855 @johnk415508 

Hi there John & Claudia 

So sorry for your losses

{{{Hugs}}}

Thanks for both of you sharing

Thanks Claudia for book info and wall saying very good info

 

Off topic to degree 

I've not seen any responses from original post @PhyllisC362264  curious if she's getting email notifications of all our reaction posts?

On another forum I've shared that in last few months all of my emails from community now go to spam so I have to search Spam to find.... wondering if that's case with her and she's not aware look for them in spam

anyway

Thanks again for sharing and y'all are in my thoughts and prayers 

Take care stay safe

Have a blessed day! 

Ginger  :  ) 

 

🙂 Smile & the world Smiles with you 😉 Pass one on....its free
Periodic Contributor

Thank you Ginger for your reply concerning my grief,  with positive messages. I just found   your correspondence in my spam folder. 

I was  hoping to communicate with the group and had been disappointed, hope I fixed the problem.  So heartwarming to hear from everyone.

 

Thank you

Claudia

claudia caudill
Social Butterfly

@claudiac988855 

Claudia glad you found the emails mine are still all going to Spam have done all I know to fix so apparently something changed on AARP community side

 

I pray your having a good day 

 

FYI you can tag a reply to particular person by putting @ & choosing their name from list that will drop down once type @ as I done yours above...This will send them an email letting them know you tagged them

Also if your unaware you can also send person to person messages by clicking on envelope above... since you stated that you were interested in being a pen pal you can make contact to others through messages and share addresses or email info there because if post personal info on thread they'll remove it. 

Just thought I'd share this info if anyone is unaware & like to know

Take care all and stay safe 

Blessings (((hugs))) 🥰

Ginger  ; )

🙂 Smile & the world Smiles with you 😉 Pass one on....its free
Periodic Contributor

You were correct, all of the replies to my posting were going to my SPAM folder.  Issue now fixed.  Thank you all for your postings, suggestions, and words of encouragement.  I hope all of you are staying safe.

Periodic Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and the Grief that is so overwhelming. My husband died in April from an accident, while he did not have Covid,  I was not able to see him or watch over him, as no family members were allowed in the hospital. 

 

There must be many of us, I hope through sharing we can help in some way through this awful time.I live in a town with no family nearby and the isolation seems to grab me with grief at times but I am finding things to do that help.

One of my biggest social events is taking my dog to the dog park every morning. I usually have someone to visit with (social distancing is easy at a dog park) Sometimes Have ordered take out food and share dinner outside, lawn chairs and under the shade.I have been redoing almost every room, refinishing furniture and going through closets, watching NetFlix and playing words with friends on my tablet and other challenging games.

 A pamphlet book that I read shortly afterwards  really helped me "A time to Grieve" by Kenneth Haugk.  it talks about what we may be feeling and was of the greatest comfort of all I heard or read. And another friend sent this and I have it posted on my wall.

  "Grief is like the ocean;

It comes on waves ebbing and flowing.

Sometimes the water is calm,

and sometimes it is overwhelming.

All we can do is learn to Swim  (Vicki Harrison)

 

Please let us know how you are doing. I would enjoy being a pen pal. Maybe others have ideas on what they have found helpful.  

 

Blessings, Claudia

 

claudia caudill
Newbie

Just seen your post. Our husband's death and mine are similar. He died from completions from Covid in the hospital. I was quarantined as I got the virus which turned in to pneumonia. No service my husband was cremated. Your not alone. My heart is broken as I'm sure your is. Don't know what else to say.😥

Periodic Contributor

Your story and mine are almost identical.  I'm so sorry for your loss and know exactly what your are going through.   You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

Social Butterfly

@PhyllisC362264 

Phyllis so sorry for your loss 😢

I pray that you'll be comforted and connect with others sharing your experience. 

Thanks for sharing Your not alone folks are here

One day one moment at a time {{{{HUGS}}}}

In my thoughts & prayers 

Ginger ;  )

🙂 Smile & the world Smiles with you 😉 Pass one on....its free
Periodic Contributor

Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers.  Taking it one day and one moment at a time.  The virtual hugs were much appreciated.  

Gold Conversationalist

My Sincere Condolences 😔🙏. I wish I had more to offer other than finding a support group that meets online or a therapist. 

Periodic Contributor

Thank you for the condolences.