How do people cope

I am just interested in how people cope after losing someone so close. For me, my husband dying wasn’t the worst part, it was the suffering beforehand and how powerless I felt. The worst feelings that I can’t shake off are about guilt (that I didn’t do enough, as I realised too late how terribly ill he was) and sadness ( for his pain, his loss of independence, loss of dignity and loss of pride). It was awful watching him go through this and seeing him deteriorate. I was prepared for his death and had great support from family and the district nurses ( who were fantastic) but I can’t stop thinking about those last few weeks of his life. It is only weeks ago so I understand it is all very raw for me but I have joined this site as I hope it will help me accept that I am not the only one to feel like I do. I don’t want to burden friends and family so I always just say I am fine when people ask but I am not really fine - I miss him so much and am filled with sorrow at what he had to go through.

Hi Marg
It sounds as if you’ve been through the same as me with your husbands illness. My wife passed away in April. Her illness became worse the eighteen months before she passed away she lost her independence and her dignity. She was beautiful and always a very proud person. We found out that she had a terminal brain disease and from Christmas she deteriorated every day and because of the illness her personality changed which was very hard to see. She did suffer a lot over the last few months and I was devastated at the end but was relieved she was no longer suffering. We had been together over 40 years and I still can’t believe she’s gone.
I have been the same as you and felt tremendous guilt, could I have done more or could I have said the right thing. The fact is, we couldn’t have done anymore, we were with them and loved them until the very end and I’m sure they would be proud of us.
I have three wonderful daughters who are grieving but keep telling me that I did everything above and beyond for her and they were proud of the way I cared for their mum.
We just need to get to the stage where we know we cared for them and loved them until the end and still love them now.
Hopefully the guilt will end sooner or later and we can start to remember the good times.
Take care
Gary

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Thank you Gary for this lovely and thoughtful reply. It means a lot when others truly understand the depth of feelings experienced when you lose someone you not just love but who has been a part of yourself for so long. Everything you say is wholly true for me and I know that I, too, really cared for my husband right to his last breath. He died at home with me and our son with him all the way and, if he knew (which I hope he did) then it is what he would have wanted. Like you say, the end was devastating but the important thing was to focus on the fact that he was released from the pain, anguish and suffering he had been going through. Thank you again Gary, your response has given me great comfort. x

I’m glad it helped.
It helped me writing it. It helped me Reading your message and replying to you. I’m sorry you find yourself in this position but Reading your message made me realise we both had similar experiences and it helps to know your not on your own going through all the emotions.
Take care
Gary

Yes, writing things down is very therapeutic isn’t it and it is nice to hear that you felt some benefit from producing your kind response to me. I am so glad I joined this forum. Like you say, just knowing that I am not on my own going through these feelings and emotions means a lot. You take care too, Gary.