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Old 05-16-2017, 08:32 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 30,322,237 times
Reputation: 28965

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My lovely, beloved and always cherished wife died in the hospital early yesterday morning after a three day struggle with a virulent form of rapid-onset pneumonia. I knew from the day she was hospitalized that she would not be walking out with me and that her six year struggle with extreme pain from a bad back and sciatica would soon be over. In one sense, death has to be a blessing for her as great her pain is now gone.

Back to grieving. I had three days in which to grieve before she passed and I did so in full measure. She was sedated and on a ventilator so we could not converse but I stroked her, held her hands and told her over-and-over again how much I loved and adored her. I also gave her "permission" to pass as it seemed inevitable and in the end would be a comfort for her and, thus, for me as well.

My wife was a young 68 and we'd been appropriate, workplace only friends for five years then married for 20.5. Late in life marriages can be a special gift. Time with my wife always was.

I spent the better part of yesterday making all notifications and necessary arrangements so I really had no time to grieve. I was too busy taking care of business and getting things done. At the funeral home I asked to see her and spent a few final moments stroking and talking to her before giving what was and is our last earthly kiss. That was the last time I shed tears.

Now there's the business to be done to take care of the house, our cat and myself. While there's decidedly an emptiness in my life and our home there is none in my heart. I sincerely believe my wife is with me every step of the way, watching over and taking care of me from a much better place. Rather than dwell on "my" loss I revel in the memories of the many, albeit all too few, years we had together.

I am convinced that grief is for the living, not for those who have passed. We who remain feel sorry for ourselves and what is seen as our loss. Those who have departed have, in my faith and belief, migrated to a better place without any of the ills, pressures and disappointments that may have plagued them in life. Do I feel as if I'm grieving? Why, yes I do. Am I debilitated by it. That's a resounding "no!" My lovely wife wouldn't/doesn't want me to and I won't disappoint her. And I'll do for her now what I tried to do in life which is continue to tell her how loved, adored and cherished she is. That's my grief plan! I so miss her.

And now I'm finished babbling. Thanks for listening.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:51 AM
 
5,146 posts, read 2,992,030 times
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Attitude is everything, Curmudgeon. I think preparing yourself to be accepting of loss is a great gift to yourself.


Grief has a surprising way of blindsiding us when we least expect it so having a plan for how you will greet this repetitive and sometimes tiresome old friend when he comes to visit is as prepared as any can be. A philosophy for grief helps put it into context in your life. I'm glad you have one.


It's a blessing that our early months are filled with many tasks while we adjust to the next chapter in our book. Grieving well clears the path.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:24 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
5,097 posts, read 2,913,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Now there's the business to be done to take care of the house, our cat and myself. While there's decidedly an emptiness in my life and our home there is none in my heart. I sincerely believe my wife is with me every step of the way, watching over and taking care of me from a much better place. Rather than dwell on "my" loss I revel in the memories of the many, albeit all too few, years we had together.
Curm...Condolences, again. From what I learned years ago, men find comfort in being busy when this happens. I think you will be okay after a while but it will be hard at times and likely be waves of sadness that come and go. Come back here if you need to. I went through this ten years ago and others have similar recent experiences so we might know what you are going through. I know your wife had family in California but I don't recall your family circumstances. I suspect you know pretty well how to live on your own but keep lines open to a social network because that will help...I don't necessarily mean on the internet.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
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"While there's decidedly an emptiness in my life and our home there is none in my heart. I sincerely believe my wife is with me every step of the way, watching over and taking care of me from a much better place."

Very simply, yes. Many of us have experienced things that have made it obvious this happens.

You have had experience of a full relationship, where the end of the physical is entered into knowingly, and the love continues on. You will grieve, but you will also have peace.

Write to her in a journal. It can be important. Seek support where it is available.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,925 posts, read 24,048,548 times
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Very sorry for your loss
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: WA
604 posts, read 527,604 times
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Blabble on Crum. There is no right or wrong when a loved ones journey is completed. For me, this Thread was a comfort.
The first year I was just numb, everyone said I was so strong ! 2nd year started to come to, life does go on. Now the 5th year, my Bruce still lives in my heart.


Definition: Folks asked me directly after his home going "Are you going to move" They wanted to know what I was going to do now-what are my plans. After 41 plus years of marriage, did not know what my plans were and still trying to figure it out ! Try to live One Day At A Time-Lord wilin' and the creek don't rise !


Keep Posting Crum, it helped me. Most wonderful, caring folks on this Thread and as you know Retirement. Again, am so sorry.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:37 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,247,246 times
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I am very sorry for your loss.

My dear husband, who passed on 2.5 years ago told me that he certainly wanted me to enjoy life and look back on our lives together (43 years) with joy. However, I know that HE had not gone through the grief of losing your spouse. Neither he nor I realized how painful, wrenching, and deep this would be or how long this would last. Being torn away from someone I loved so deeply was something unlike any of the other losses in my life. I am very grateful that he never had to experience this. My husband, like your wife, would not have wanted me to be be grievously unhappy, but he he did not realize that the work of grief must be done if one is to re-enter life at some point in a healthy state. So grieving now, especially so soon after your loss, is normal and should not be looked on as something that would disappoint your wife. We cannot deny our humanity, nor would our loved ones want us to, and it does not seem healthy to deny that you are in unrelenting pain right now. Sometimes reading about the grief journey can help us to realize that this painful time is part of living, and common to all people. There are many books that can help with this (although there are also some unhelpful ones.) Grief counseling can also help. I was greatly helped by attending an 8 session "Spousal Loss Over Age 60" group that met at my local hospice. Usually you don't have to have been a client of hospice to attend such support groups. I hope you have family or friends to lean on. Do you have a church family? Just talking about your wife can be very helpful if you have a sympathetic friend who knows that listening is very valuable.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
10,638 posts, read 3,311,331 times
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I'm so sorry for your loss! Your wife will always be with you! Hugs!!!
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Richmond
1,408 posts, read 699,315 times
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Sorry for your loss, I have been their myself, I know what you are going through.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:54 PM
 
15,187 posts, read 16,035,343 times
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I'm very sorry for your loss. Grief is different for everyone and you should give yourself permission to grieve in whatever way it happens.

When each of my parents died, immediately afterward I was very busy and felt numb. But in both cases the grief bubbled up later at inopportune times. A couple of months after my father died I was at a funeral for a friend's grandmother and I couldn't stop crying. I barely knew the woman and her family wasn't crying. I knew what was happening, but couldn't stop. It was embarrassing.

A few weeks after my mother died I was trying to tell a casual acquaintance at the gym that she had passed and I burst into tears. It was awkward but she handled it well.

My point is, don't be surprised by how your grief manifests and don't beat yourself up if it overwhelms you one day, or if you are able to carry on with your daily life without much interruption. It sounds like you two had a wonderful marriage and took care of each other as long as you could. Wishing you all the best.
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