My husband passed away on the 15th May, this year. He had Parkinson’s. He was diagnosed in April, 2016. He was 73 and we had been married for 46 years (I was married at only 19). We had no children. I cared for him at home and he was doing okay, managing to dress, wash, shave and get his own breakfast etc. He also did the washing up sometimes! He had had a few falls but got over them okay. He did lose a lot of weight and became very frail. He was on medication but apart from this and seeing a specialist every 6 months we just got on with it. Then on Easter Sunday I found him on the floor in our bedroom, he was not making much sense and I knew something was not right, so I called an ambulance. It turned out his blood sugar levels were dangerously low. They treated him for this and took him off to hospital. I will never forget that day as I stood watching him in the back of the ambulance thinking he would be home in a couple of days once they got his sugar levels stabilised. I never dreamt in a million years that would be the last time I saw him.
He spent 3 weeks on one big hospital where they did stabilise his sugar levels. Then I got a call a few days later saying he was refusing to eat or drink. I was devastated. I thought this is not like him at all, After 3 weeks he transferred to a small one ward hospital where he just seemed to go downhill and I managed to get to talk with him only 3 times and two of these times he was delirious, was extremely upsetting. He was there for about 2 weeks and I got a call on the 14th May to say they were worried about him, he refused breakfast, was sleeping a lot, not his usual self. They then rang me at about 5pm to say his breathing was laboured and to be prepared. I was devastated, shocked, emotional etc. I rang back at about 6pm and tried to get to see him on Zoom but they could not get it set up. Then they said they could get a hospital taxi for me. Well, I was in such an awful state, I had not been eating or sleeping very well, I did not know when the taxi would get here, I was worried about leaving my dogs especially if it got dark and they would whine and bark (have had neighbours complain about them). I just did not feel as if I could cope with it emotionally at the time. I think the journey would have taken about an hour or so. I did manage to speak to him on the phone that night and told him I loved and missed him, but he could hardly talk. He also managed to get to see some photo’s of us both and the dogs etc. I was completely on my own and dealing with it all on my own. Now I am having guilty feelings which are starting to eat away at me for not forcing myself to get to see him the night before. I did not feel any guilt about it after he died but now I am.
I can talk things through with my mum on the phone which helps a lot, but I have not even told her this, I did not even think it mattered at the time which is weird. I loved him so much and miss him so much it hurts. Even though I cared for him as best I could I am still getting this guilt.
So sorry for long post but there is so much to say. Thank you.
So sorry for your loss, this site will help you with your thoughts and feelings, as we are all in the same situation.
Guilt is one of so many emotions we feel, we all feel the guilt of - what ifs - it can drive us mad going over and over things, you did what you thought was right at that moment in time, you didn’t probably think at the time that that would be the last time you saw your husband.
I understand the feeling of being alone, the pressure of it all, leaving the dogs, they’re such a worry, I’m a dog lover myself and they’re like your children, it’s so had to think straight in that situation.
You will feel like this for a long while, I still do after seven months, but deep down we all know we did the right thing, but we still can’t help feeling that way.
Keep posting on here it does help to take some weight off your shoulders to be able to share exactly how you feel and realise you are not the only one.
Hi Stephtim, thank you for your reply. No, you are right I did not think that that night my husband would pass away (he passed away at 1.45 am on the 15th). The nurse told me that if I felt up to it to let them know in the morning, but, of course it would have been too late. I know that during one phone call to my hubby he said “I do not want you to see me like this” so I am sure he had got a lot worse physically than he had been at home. Yes my dogs are my family and I could not have got through the last few weeks without them both. They are such a comfort and force me to get up in the morning! They also get me out to walk them! Could not be without them.
I was wondering if anyone else on here who has lost a loved one has been in a similar situation during this awful time. I hasten to add that I do not drive and did not have any family who could take me to the hospital, which would have been more comforting at the time.
Can I also just add that I sometimes feel very annoyed with my hubby…I have his ashes at home with me and I tell him how annoyed I am with him for leaving me so suddenly and leaving me with all the financial side of things to sort out on my own (he always dealt with all that). I am finding that talking to him is very comforting now, although the dogs think I am mad! I am sure this is all part of the grieving process.
Your dogs are keeping you going like you say you have to get up for them and they still need walking.
They are helping you so much without even realising .
I have my husbands ashes at home and I talk to him all the time, yes I felt angry with him at one point , but I’m more angry at the world now , how he was taken from us, he was 56 too young. I do get comfort having his ashes here with me , but angry and heartbroken that he’s gone and all I have is his ashes .
We have to try and get through a day at a time. x
Hello Countrygirl and Stephtim, I am so sorry for you both and feel your pain. My husband died very suddenly from a massive stroke on the 23rd ofApril. He was my soulmate and we would have been married for 50 years next year. I am just heartbroken and lost but yes I do still feel angry with him for the same reasons you said. I have his ashes in a willow casket on the bed and talk to him and cry every night. But I also feel so guilty as we had recently been having terrible rows with him going to bed and not speaking for hours and me shouting at him out of sheer frustration , I couldn’t understand why he did this and wouldn’t try to put things right, it always felt like me making the first move and making all the effort to put things right. Then, a couple of months before he died, he was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 73. Then all his behaviour became clear and I feel so guilty that I’d never realised what the problem was and for not understanding what he needed from me. I say sorry to h every night. Apologies for rambling on, but no one can understand, they say it wasn’t my fault, but that doesn’t take away this terrible feeling of guilt.I know just how you feel and hope we can finally find some peace and forgive ourselves. Be kind to yourselves x
Hi Bjane, I am so sorry you lost your hubby like that. I really understand how you must be feeling. Please try not to feel so guilty, you could not possibly have known that he had Aspergers. Me and my hubby used to argue and get on each others nerves (he even said to me during his first week in hospital that we got on each others nerves!) but we both knew we loved each other as I am sure your hubby knew you loved him. Life is never easy, because my hubby had Parkinson’s it did change him as a person. He was a keen cyclist, photographer and loved going to football and always had his head in a book but all this was taken away from him because of his illness and it was so sad to see him like that. I think the important thing to remember is that they knew we loved them. Did you manage to get to see or speak to your hubby before he passed away?
Hello countrygirl, hope you are managing to feel a little bit better today. None of us should feel guilt but we do, think it could also be a bit of a female thing, always needing to apologise! There was nothing you could have done in that situation andI can also understand your addedfeeling of helplessness, I don’t drive either and now really wish I did… Maybe something for us to think about? I’m so sorry for what happened to your husband, how heartbreaking for you.Mine was sort of opposite, he’d been doing a bit of gentle gardening, had lunch, had a little sleep on the sofa and while asleep had a massive stroke. He never regained consciousness and we could only visit him,me and one of our sons who lives locally , for his last couple of days when he had been taken off all medication. We .told him we loved him but no idea if he was aware we were there even .I left my scarf there with my perfume on, hoping he’d know… I keep thinking of something to tell him and then remember. Do you do that? Stupid really , I know. He’s not there but I still do it… I so appreciate being able to let all this out and sincerely hope we can somehow manage to muddle through this as best we can. Sending you loving thoughts x
I have not been feeling too bad today, I took the dogs for a long walk this morning. I have good and really bad days. Sundays seem to be worst day for me as I always enjoyed cooking a nice Sunday lunch, even though he did not have much appetite. I miss that so much and am finding it a lot more difficult than I thought it would be to get used for cooking for one.
I don’t think I would learn to drive now, partly for financial reasons and also I am quite a nervous person and the traffic now scares me! I do live in a village and the bus service is not very good, but I could always get a taxi into town for any appointments as the buses are just not reliable.
I am glad you got to see your hubby and to leave a scarf behind was a lovely idea. I wish I had had the opportunity to give my hubby a kiss goodbye when he was in the ambulance but it was all such a rush and I did not get in. I am grateful that I got to tell him I loved him and missed him even though he could not talk. I asked him if he could hear me, the nurse assured me that he said ‘yes’ but I wish he could have said he loved me.
Yes, I do want to tell him things too, like you such as when I return from walking the dogs I always used to tell him who I had met, which doggie they had and what we chatted about etc. Just miss having a chat with him.
Hope you are feeling okay today too, we have to struggle through. Take care x
Hello again country girl, hope you’re okay today, Sunday is here again, they seem to roll around so quickly yet in other ways time feels to stand still. I hope you can find some comfort from the company and affection of your dogs. A reason to get up in the morning. Our much loved cat died a couple of years ago and we had just been talking about feeling ready to love another one so I am thinking of going to a cat rescue when I can. An empty house is a terrible thing, something you can’t imagine until it happens. And at least then you’re not feeling completely mad. talking to yourself!Talking of driving I think I’m in the same position as you, my husband willingly took me everywhere. I needed/wanted to go and I took that for granted, . I was so lucky, he was so kind and caring. and I realise I didn’t appreciate that enough, I was so lucky.I was looking at the car and just thought maybe I should give it a go although I’d had lessons years ago and hated it. Like you, I live in a village which is quite remote and the bus service is infrequent and erratic, especially in the winter. I hope you’re somehow managing to come to terms with the loss of your husband though I suspect that’s being hopeful as I don’t feel any further along. each day feels just as bleak and hopeless.As a friend said, it’s the greatest loss of all, like your heart and your life have just been ripped to pieces and you wonder how people ever get over it. But I think they must do so one day we’ll start to feel a bit less raw too. Take care, sending love and thoughts x
Oh Mrs Colt , so sorry for your loss, we’re all in the same horrible situation unfortunately but I guess you may be slightly further along that grieving road than we are. Thank you for your encouragement, I am waiting for my provisional licence to arrive and then see if I can muster up the confidence and bravery to get behind the wheel of what was, essentially, his car. Best wishes and kind thoughts x P.S this car is automatic , unlike the one I had lessons in years ago so fingers crossed!
Bjane that’s good you are taking the reigns and beginning a new chapter of this life we never thought we would be living. A good start is the car is automatic, I am sure you will do it just keep thinking about the benefits. Good luck
Thank you Mrs Colt, still not sure if I’ll be brave enough but am definitely going to try. Have a good day and thank you again for the encouragement x
Hi bjane, I managed to keep busy yesterday doing lots of gardening but towards the evening it all hit me again and was in tears. I just cannot believe he is not here sometimes. I was married at only 19 so have never been on my own before. When you are used to sharing everything for more than 46 years and then suddenly they are not there. The longest we had ever been apart for (not including his last hospital stay) was for 2 nights. I cannot bear to throw out anything of his at the moment, even his toiletries etc. are all still here. When I got his things back from the hospital quite a lot of it was missing…the clothes he wore the day left which was a pair of joggers and a London Olympics 2012 polo shirt which I had wanted to keep as it was a happy memory of one of our last days out together. Also his mobile phone and his lovely smart glasses were gone. I have made several calls to try and get it all back but they say they cannot find anything. That has been very upsetting as well.
I hope you are coping. It is a good idea to get a cat from a rescue, it would be very good for you and it is doing something positive. I will give you something else to focus on. I would have another dog but because of my mad, completely bonkers sprocker boy who barks like mad if anyone visits I am not sure I would pass the homecheck!! I hope you do take up driving. Sadly I have to sell my hubbys car as he was quite poorly at the time and there is some damage to the car, done while he was putting it away in the garage. At the time I thought it was the Parkinson’s but now I think he must have had low blood sugar levels too.
Yes, I agree it does feel like your heart and life have been ripped to pieces, I wonder what the future will hold for me too. I do not really have friends, I have no children so it will be just little old me from on! Yes, things will start to feel a bit less raw hopefully. I have ordered a lovely photo frame for multiple photo’s and I am going to put in all my favourites of him in there. The last one I took at Christmas, a selfie of the both of us, just messing around and I never dreamt that would be our last Christmas together. I am dreading Christmas, as I feel emotional then anyway.
Hope you are okay, sorry for rambling on. Take care xx
For me Christmas will be the worst. Penny’s accident happened on Boxing Day.
Hi country girl,
Just reading your post about your husband’s missing things from the hospital. The same thing happened to me , I got back his coat and luckily his phone, but his wallet was gone, shoes and clothes he was in, I don’t care if he had money in his wallet just want it back as it had photos and his driving license, all his bank cards I had to cancel straight away, constantly phoning hospital and the lost and found department even spoke the the ambulance service, no one can trace it all. It just adds to the stress, people say it’s only clothes but I needed them back .
Just another painful and upsetting thing to happen. xx
That is awful. The hospital my hubby died in even rang the funeral director in case he had been cremated in the clothing but they replied to me by email and he told me that sadly this issue is too common and when jewellery and other valuables are concerned quite possibly criminal but very hard to prove unfortunately. Sometimes they are genuinely mis-laid. It turns out that he wasn’t cremated in his clothing so things just don’t vanish do they. I am so sorry you have through this as well. It just adds to the grief I always remember the day that hubby went into hospital and I was just about to give the paramedic his walking stick and he said “no, keep it or it will just go walkabout”. I am glad now that he did not take his watch or wallet. This is really bad all this happening, it really needs to be looked into. Take care x
I am so sorry. Christmas can be the worst time. Take care x
You’re right, it’s awful this is happening, there’s some cruel people about, when we’re at our lowest, something like this happens and like you say, a common practice.
It definitely does need to be looked into.
Take care x