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Old 06-16-2012, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
363 posts, read 206,114 times
Reputation: 672

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tami, I can relate....yet another thing we have in common. You talked about not being there when your husband passed away.

My husband had been slowly going downhill for a few days before he died. He refused to go to the hospital; I think he knew the time was near. On Saturday, the day before he died, he slept most of the day. I tried to wake him up about 10 p.m. to give him his nighttime meds. His breathing was very different, deep and labored. I called his name to wake him up.....his eyes rolled open just a bit. I should have stayed in the room with him, but to tell you the truth, it was painful for ME to watch him breathing like that.

So I went and laid down in my bed, thinking that if he needed me he would call me. As I found out later, he died about midnight, just 2 hours later. When I woke up at 6 a.m., I went to his doorway to see if he was still breathing....I think I knew too. I could not see any movement. I could not bear to go into his room and touch him or take his pulse because I knew he was gone. I could not go in there!!! Do I ever feel guilty about that now. Instead, I called 911 and told them that I thought my husband had passed away. While they were on the way to the house, I called my neighbor across the street, and she came over immediately. She went into the bedroom for me and tried to find a pulse, but there was none.

I have lived with the guilt that I was not beside him when he died. I think by the time I tried to wake him Saturday evening, his body was already shutting down. When the EMTs and funeral director came at 6 a.m., they said he died about 6 hours earlier.

I really don't know how I would have reacted if I had been there watching him take his last breath. I just keep telling myself that he would have wanted to die in his sleep, at home....which is what happened. Now, every time I walk by his room, I picture him laying there dead. It's just so hard to get that out of my head.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:04 AM
Status: "Time it was and what a time it was, it was." (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Not where my heart sings...
3,601 posts, read 3,274,342 times
Reputation: 4588
I wasn't with my husband when he died, either. I had gone to AZ on October 23rd to open up the condo and get ready for him to fly down on Oct 30th in time for his 60th birthday Nov 3rd. We spent hours talking on the phone the weekend I got here, and talked, emailed, and were watching the same football game on Sunday. He made dinner, and we talked into the late evening. He was fine. Monday morning, the 26th, I turned on my computer and saw him on my Buddy List as being online (AOL). This was normal. I waited for him to call, as he always did when he'd see me on his Buddy List. He didn't call. I tried his office. Voice mail. The house. Same. His cell. Voice mail again. I figured he was with clients; had gone to run errands and was out of cell range; all kinds of excuses. I kept trying all day, and I was getting really frantic. I finally called someone in the office building and they said he didn't come in at all that day. My heart sank. I knew then he was still at home and something horrible had happened. I called a neighbor and told him I couldn't get hold of my husband, so he offered to go to the house. I also called the Sheriff and asked for a welfare check and told them about my efforts to reach my husband. I didn't hear anything for almost three hours. I was shaking, terrified, but I knew in my heart what had happened. He was gone. I kept trying the neighbor and finally got through. It had now been 12 hours since I saw him online. The neighbor said the Sheriff didn't want anyone talking to me until they notified me. I asked if he was dead. He was. He was found in the driveway next to his car, with the ice scraper (it had snowed overnight) still in his hand. His car was running, the garage door was open, and nobody noticed. He had been there since 8:00 in the morning. The coroner called finally about midnight and said he'd had a massive heart attack and died instantly. His computer was still signed on to AOL. Apparently, he'd gone out to warm up his car, scrape off the windshield, and was going to go back inside as his wallet and briefcase were still in the kitchen.

So, I had horrific guilt for not being there. Not being able to say goodbye. Not being able to tell him I loved him, but I had the day before. He knew. When I got back there the next day, I felt his presence everywhere even when all the family showed up. I couldn't live there. I knew it. So, in the weeks after the funeral, I started fixing up the house and getting it ready to sell. I put it on the market in March, five months later, and it sold right away. I'm glad my kids convinced me to move here, even though it was hard starting over. But, being in the house, looking out at the driveway and knowing he lay there for 9 hours before being found just broke my heart. He lay there as snow fell and covered him.

I wondered if I'd have been able to save him had I been there, but I know I wouldn't have. He would have collapsed, and I wouldn't have thought anything about him warming up the car and being outside for 10-15 minutes, so I wouldn't have checked on him. I couldn't see the driveway from the house, so I wouldn't have seen him lying there. I know that by the time I would have wondered why he was taking so long, he'd have been gone for at least 10 minutes, probably more, and he couldn't have been saved. I know he died instantly, so he didn't suffer. The coroner said he probably never knew what hit him, so for that, I'm so thankful. He was just so young. Only six days short of his 60th birthday, and no history of heart disease. He'd even had a complete physical a week earlier with a complete cardio workup. No problems were found. No reason at all for dying. I just wish I'd have been there to find him that morning, so he wouldn't have laid in the driveway all day. That just breaks my heart more than anything.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
363 posts, read 206,114 times
Reputation: 672
Default My condolences

Marcy, thank you so much for sharing your story. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your husband.

I don't know which is "worse," losing someone who has been suffering and in pain, or losing someone who is the picture of health and has a sudden heart attack. I can only imagine the pain you live with knowing that he lay there in the snow, undiscovered. How tragic and sad.

I can understand why you would not want to live in that house and relieve that memory. That is sort of the same with me. I see that bed with him in it, lying there dead. Too many memories.

If this new house doesn't work out for me, I will change a lot of things in my current home to make it mine and try to create some new memories for myself.

Best of luck to you in your "new life" and I hope you can find peace. One day at a time.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Taxachusetts
13,703 posts, read 8,286,784 times
Reputation: 11324
Default My condolences also.

Good morning, tn and Marcy.

tn said it all, Marcy. All I can do is say I parrot everything she said. I wish you well in your "new" home.

Thanks to both of you for sharing your stories. They have helped this feeling of guilt ease a little.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,630 posts, read 32,543,684 times
Reputation: 37783
Oh, you guys, I think we all have guilt and regrets. I was there and I still feel guilty for panicking instead of accepting. I apologize to him almost every day for freaking out instead of gently riding through it with him. He went downhill so fast that no one saw it coming, although when I think back about his last day -- he was fidgety and anxious, and his breathing was louder and slower than usual -- I should have known. Hence the guilt.

Sometimes I'm a little weirded out by our bed, and our bedroom, but I know that our bedroom is the place he wanted to be when he left and somehow the comfort in knowing that is stronger than the weirdness.

Today I threw out his worn-out hiking boots (I'd been bugging him to buy a new pair, but he kept putting it off), the gross trash can he kept in his office, and some of his ratty old T-shirts that weren't even worth cutting up for rags. Baby steps.

Hugs to all of you.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Taxachusetts
13,703 posts, read 8,286,784 times
Reputation: 11324
(((HUGS))) to you too, Ohio.

I'm pretty sure if I had been there, I would have paniced also, run for a nurse and it would not have been the private both hubby and I had thought would happen. Nothing happened as we thought it would. *sigh* Well, I prayed for, and got my prayers answered. I just wish I could stop feeling guilty now.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: WA
397 posts, read 223,990 times
Reputation: 1751
Tamiznluv,

Please do not feel bad for being long winded. You needed to vent, talk. Regarding taking care of loved ones, each of us does what must be done. Please do not beat yourself up.

My own husband, had esophagus cancer, in January got a bladder infection and was hospitalized then moved to a nursing home. He needed professional care, more than I could give him. Thursday, slept in his room (he had been put in a recliner, I was in his bed), Friday I was called, a neighbor took me to see him about 8:00 pm. The neighbor asked the nurse how long, she replied a couple of days. We returned to his room as I leaned down to kiss him, the neighbor pulled me back. She didn't say anything, she kissed him. Then after I kissed him, I said "I Love You" and he replied (he hadn't spoken since Thursday afternoon) "I Love You". He went to Heaven, Saturday, 4:30 a.m. He was by himself though Jesus in his heart.

Now I am long winded. They say you always hurt the one you love. Your husband, it sounds, felt safe with you. He
might have known his days were short and was angry. My own dear husband thought he too, would be cured of this illness though we both knew it would be his last.

Happy you have decided to return to the home where you have good memories. Do remember the good times; I too have regrets, then think of the good times. My husband loved me enough to stay with me for 41 years. How I miss him.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:29 PM
 
Location: WA
397 posts, read 223,990 times
Reputation: 1751
Tamiznlu and others,

Just read Tamizluv from yesterday and responded to her 7:22 pm from yesterday, first page! Talk about being confused!
This Forum/Thread is such a comfort to me. Thank each of you for sharing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:01 AM
Status: "Time it was and what a time it was, it was." (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Not where my heart sings...
3,601 posts, read 3,274,342 times
Reputation: 4588
I'm taking it day by day, even though it's been 2 1/2 years. The first year was a legal blur with the estate and trying to learn how to manage paying bills and do things for myself. I'm happy that I sold the house because the family that bought it has two children who will grow up there as my kids did, and make happy memories in the house. I'm also happy to be in a condo--not as much work as a house that's suddenly too big--and it's a place he chose. It was his idea to buy this and he put so many of his Southwestern treasures from his family and his childhood in this house that I feel like the Keeper of the Memories he had of them. I still have hurdles. I haven't given away his clothes; his robe is hanging on the bathroom door, his shoes under his chair, etc. I'm still wearing my wedding rings (I still feel married) and I haven't taken any of his toiletries out of the medicine cabinet. My girls seem to think I need to start getting rid of his things, but I know I'm not ready yet. No one sees it but me. There are two other widows I've met, both in their 50's, and one's ready to move on and start dating after only six months, and the other's like me...not ready to think about another man.

Thank you Tamiznlu, Sera, tngirl and Ohio girl. You all have made me feel good as you understand. I really appreciate it. You're all very strong women and should be proud of yourselves. I like this forum as it's like online grief counselling. Thanks for your caring words.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,630 posts, read 32,543,684 times
Reputation: 37783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy1210 View Post
I still have hurdles. I haven't given away his clothes; his robe is hanging on the bathroom door, his shoes under his chair, etc.
I've started to clear things out, eight months later, but in spurts. I recycled all his medications (I kept the Ativan ) at the local pharmacy, threw away a few things, gave away a few things. But his clothes are still in the drawers and hanging on hooks, his keys are on his dresser just where he left them. The past couple days I've been spending about 5 or 10 minutes at most going through the stuff in his study. Some day I'm sure I'll get on a tear and start packing and pitching.

He had this ratty old foam chair in his room that had moved with him from apartment to apartment when he was single. It flipped out to make a bed; he'd curl up on it a lot when he wasn't feeling good and didn't want to disturb my sleep, or if he just wanted some solitude. Once I get up the nerve to haul that chair out to the trash, maybe the packing and pitching will be easier.
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