Feeling so aline

My husband died just before Christmas. He’d been in and out of hospital for last 18 months. He died of liver failure, he was an alcoholic. I retired 18 months ago and had been his carer when he was at home.
No-one told me exactly how bad his condition was despite asking him, doctors and his consultant. Now in hindsight I think he told them not too. All this time I’ve been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. I was finally told on the day he died that he only had a couple of days left but an hour later he died.
For the first month afterwards I’ve been calmer than I’ve been in the last 18 months. But on Monday I started clearing out the wardrobe and found hidden empty vodka bottles. I went into meltdown, it’s really hit me now. I’m feeling so tired, been crying my eyes out and feel awful.
Wed been married for 42 years, not the happiest of marriages because the drink eventually was number 1 in his life. My son lives in USA so I’m on my own now, no immediate family close by.
Will it get better, I really thought I’d been coping so well.
Thank you for listening x

So Sorry for your loss, everyone on here are really very supportive. It is very brave of you to open your heart whilst everything is still very very raw. My husband passed away 8 months ago this coming Saturday 38 hours after i was told the doctors found a malignancy following further tests. How ever we lose our husband, wife or partner is heart breaking, blessings and hope you find the support you need ☆

Thank you for your kind words.

My partner died at the end of December and though there are days when I get on with things other days will just find me weeping.
Just cannot bear to sort out his clothes in the wardrobe or even his sock drawer.
Only to be expected, it’s the end of the life you once had. I have no idea when I will be able to move on but believe it won’t be for a very long time.
Hugs to you.

My husband died in November. He was diagnosed 10 years ago but with Natural therapy the months he should have lived stretched into 10 years. He had a room that he used for his painting/music/photography/computer. He never allowed me to touch his things but when I started to sort out this room it was so full it took me weeks to sort. I wanted to get things done so I had his clothes and things taken as soon as possible. Not because I wanted to be rid of him. However I found empty drug packets that he had been prescribed unknown to me, hidden all over the place. He kept telling me that he was doing fine and Dr’s hadn’t given him anything. He knew my dislike of drugs. It broke my heart that he hadn’t been able to tell me, but I know deep down he was protecting me. While I was sorting his things I too would have a good cry. He would have so hated what I was doing. For Ten years I had the knowledge of his illness but his death has still devastated me. I thought I had prepared myself mentally but it didn’t work out how I thought.

It’s definitely a day at a time. I’m glad I’ve got my dog, which makes me go out every day.

I’m sure as others say the pain will lessen in time and we’ll remember happier times.

Hugs to you too.

I’m finding it hurts because my husband didn’t tell me what his prognosis was. I was so angry at first but now I feel so sad that he kept it to himself. I keep imagining him feeling frightened with no one to share it with. I know that’s not the way he was though, it’s just my dark thoughts.
However much we feel we were prepared, when it happens we’re not. Finding a way forward on our own is frightening and very lonely. I hope at some point I can find an inner strength to cope better and I hope you do too. x

It is almost 6 months since my husband died and since Xmas I seem to have gone downhill. The weekends are terrible because the feeling of being alone is overwhelming. Tonight I just feel totally lost, as if I am shrinking and disappearing. .I know those on here understand so I just wanted to post as it eases my despair. Luv to all Toria

It’s so powerful is thought, and where does it come from this need to exaggerate, or even invent scenarios, to bring us down further. It almost seems to run unfettered and we then begin to look at these becoming truths. The one that goes round and round with me is how much did my wife suffer knowing her days were potentially very limited. She actually lived four years instead of the median survival rate of one year. Did that make her moods lighter or was it her first thought every morning, after she eventually got to sleep dwelling on it in the dark hours of the night. Should I feel more guilty for just falling asleep when she couldn’t. How many more aspects could I turn into a guilt trip. I think I’ve said before it’s like sticking pins in yourself and being surprised it hurts.
And yet I still do it.

Thank you so much Mos. I have feelings exactly the same as you. I feel so guilty now, wondering if he was frightened Did I fail him in his hour of need. You know what it’s like. My husband didn’t like to make a fuss or be a burden to anyone, and could be very private… I just hope that one day he will contact me and let me know.

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Yes Yorkshire Lad I have exactly the same thoughts running through my head all the time. our situation is very similar. Like you I would have devoted my life to keeping my husband with me. Ten years instead of months we had. I should be grateful but it’s no consolation now. Could I have done more? Did I miss something?. I was determined to keep his dignity and care for him single handed. I was told I would never do it, but I prayed hard for the strength both physically and mentally. But did I do enough. I slept on the floor by his hospital bed that was in our dining room but did I get to him fast enough when he woke up so anxious. What was he thinking at these times? Bless him he was so worried about me hurting myself when I lifted him, or being tired through lack of sleep and constantly being on the move. He said he was ruining my life. I told him simply that he was my life. But was it enough??? Crying again now, had a shit day today.

You are probably like me in that you did things that you never dreamt you would have to do, but who else could do it. My wife had no mobility in her final three weeks and so we were supplied with a portable hoist for the carers to use. For 22 hours in every 24 there weren’t any carers and my wife was completely dependent on me. There was no option other than to use it with no help.From then on we had no secrets in terms of meeting her needs. I would gladly still be doing it but that is just me being selfish.

I cared for my partner alone, his dementia meant there were incidents which caused him embarrassment and I feel so incredibly guilty that sometimes I would be thoughtless or just irate.
Other times I coped, got on with things , but those times don’t make up for showing a lack of patience with someone whose world had changed completely.
The guilt and anger with myself is gradually eating away at me and I really don’t know how much longer I can go on feeling like this.
He always showed everyone such consideration yet my patience with him when he needed it most left a lot to be desired.
Three weeks on from his death and people tell me the rawness of the emotion dulls a little but I don’t feel I will ever be able to move forward shouldering all this guilt.

I felt very similar to you but the passage of time has made me think I did more good than bad. As my wife’s brain tumour continued to grow it caused all sorts of problems for her. Simple things that we don’t think about caused problems as her natural responses were diminished. I found it very hard whilst helping her with food. She would just give up chewing and not know what to do. Often I could be an hour trying to persuade her to either swallow or spit it out, compounded by the problem of her wanting to fall asleep. My patience was taken to the absolute limits despite the fact I knew her brain wasn’t working as it did. I’m normally a very patient person but I regret losing it sometimes. I put it down to stress, lack of sleep or any other convenient excuse. In a lot of ways it was similar to the effects of my father’s Alzheimers.
I think we just do the best we can in difficult circumstances and I tried really hard. The things we do for love.
I couldn’t imaging doing any of that for anyone else. I often wonder who will do it for me but that’s even harder to think about.

Hello 12remember. I know how you feel and Yorkshire lad is right we are all where you are. I too cared for my husband and slowly watched his ability to do anything for himself diminish. It may have felt degrading to him but I was able to make light of what I was doing and he eventually accepted my 24 hour care. However he became irritable, aggressive (verbally) and hard to handle. He told me I was a blxxxy nuisance when I tried to wash/toilet him. This was so out of character for my kind, gentle husband and there was times when I spoke firmly to him. I think for me and I’m sure for you we was suffering from pure fear, uncertainty, so many emotions, so much trauma entering your life. We was out of our comfort zone, thrown into a heartbreaking situation. I would have cared for him for ever, he was actually giving me a reason to keep going… Now I think back to the times when I told him off for shouting at me, as he constantly accused me of hurting him when I was trying to be so gentle and it was such hard work. I wasn’t used to him speaking to me like this. We’ve all been where you are, constantly thinking back to what we might have said when we lost patience. Now we must remember what we did in our efforts to care for the ones we loved. I keep reliving our last day together when he was virtually unconscious and while I was trying to wash and replace dressing got him into a position where I couldn’t move him. I called for help but non came for four hours, he died the next morning. Now I keep saying how sorry I am to him that his last day was so horrific and it was my fault.

It is so so painful when your memory of the last days is so upsetting. One of the very last things my husband said to me was “oh shut up!” When I was trying to stop him climbing out of bed as he was so weak I knew he would fall and I wouldn’t be able to get him up. It sticks in my brain as he spoke very little again until he died. We had just over 3 weeks from diagnosis to his death and he was so angry that he couldn’t do anything about it.

Thank you all. I relive the whole evening of his death over and over.
Think of all the times I was cross when he couldn’t understand things and now I would do anything to have him back here with me, just so that I could sit with him , hold his hand and reassure him.
Guilt is such a powerful and destructive emotion.

You are very right, it can be so powerful and so destructive, and yet there are people out there who seem capable of taking a person’s life without any show of remorse and can then go on and do it again. They obviously have a different way of thinking, and changing our thinking is something we are capable of, and I can think of examples in my life where I have changed my thinking, sometimes by '‘manipulation’. We can’t change the past however much we might want to and as we are living in this moment we need to find a way of leaving destructive forces behind. It’s likely that just the passage of time will softer the edges of your guilt, as I think has happened with me. I also became determined not to torture myself with it as that water flowed under the bridge over five months ago. However much I beat myself up the total of things it changed is zero.
I suppose I’m looking at a means of rationalising it but it may be that you could talk to a health professional as there may be therapies available that could help.
There is quite a lot of information about dealing with guilt on the What’s Your Grief website and just reading that may be a good start.
Sorry if that sounds like a lecture and I doubt I’ve said anything you don’t really know but somehow, sometime you will have to find a way round it and reduce some of the pain.

Your so right Yorkshire Lad and I know my husband would shrug and tell me it’s all in the past. No good beating myself up at what I think went wrong. I doubt we did anything that wasn’t in our loved ones best interests but these thoughts just push themselves inside of us and just won’t let go. It’s another cruel part of the grieving process. I have messages on my phone that Brian sent to me a week or two before he died telling me how grateful he was for all my care and help and telling me how much he loved me. He also left written ones around the house. I cherish those messages although I used to laugh at him for doing it. I loved him I didn’t need to be thanked.

I too relive my husbands last day and have said many times that if I could have just five minutes to talk to him, feel his arms around me. It’s so hard when you have watched them die, this image keeps coming back over and over and you start to convince yourself that you could have done more. I wish we had a switch in our brains that would take away the sadness and pain and make us remember the happier times. I have photo’s of him in every room when he was fit and well, in his walking gear or sat on his bike. I am hoping they will take away the image of him so ill at the end and then the guilt might also go.