I lost my wife 5 weeks ago. She had suffered from an agressive brain tumour and although she was expected to survive no more than a year, she battled of for almost four years. For three of those, I would say her quality of life was quite good and we continued to take holidays around thhe UK, until the covid pandemic stopped that.
When her brain tumour returned in January this year, further surgery made her weaker, and she finally passed away in September. Thankfully, I was able to take extended leave from work and I was able to care for her at home for the last 2 months of her life. She was 47 years old. With her, I felt truly loved, and the hole she has left is painful.
Like others, I talk to her photograph every day and I tell her what I have been doing. But I do find the evenings particularly difficult - the silence in the house underlines her absence.
Luckily, my work colleagues are very supportive, and I call my wife’s mother almost every day, and the regular chat helps us both, I think. What I find difficult, is realising that my life must now take a new shape - all the things we used to do together are gone now. Now, I need to somehow figure out how to spend my time. Right now, I find that I can sit on the sofa for hours in the evening and achieve very little. That can’t go on. My wife would want me to go on and find some joy in my life. She very much wanted to live - I have no right to waste the gift of my own life.
Like others here, at first all I could think of was her final moments. Watching her die was the most traumatic experience of my life. But it is vital to try to break that because I know that I did my very best to make her happy in the years before. I could not stop her dying, but I think I was a good husband. I try to think of all the happy memories we made when I had some control over what happened, rather than the end of her life, which I had no control over. Talking about it here helps…
This is my first day on the site and responce amazing to hear how someone feels like my self very similar sitting on the sofa just trying to focus and getting no where just moving forward every day is a struggle feelings of self worth and purpose we were together for 27years she diagnosed last November with IBC cancer she had Kemo and did very well but succumbed in September after a short holiday she was hoping for some new treatment to start orally for her liver but never got well enough to receive it and passed away on the 10/9/2021
I’m so sorry for your loss, Ross. The feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming. I’m so glad you had 27 years together - I’m sure you must have some amazing memories. Like me, it’s very soon to be figuring out what comes next. But I have no doubt my wife would want me to be happy somehow and so would your wife. So, take your time and just try not to allow yourself to get in the habit of doing nothing - that’s what I am afraid of. Change must happen, although I’ve no idea yet what that will be, I accept it must be. Take care…
Cheers Bob knowing people who are out there that truly understand helps people are so busy and are just getting on with things buts thats life reading some of the posts realizing i am not alone people are going through such pain i am on my own but my step son and his wife are so good to not to mention the grandkids 3 of them i am getting there
OMG your story is a mirror image of mine,oh how our wives suffered .the pain,the trauma,
watching them pass away ,this image is torturing me daily,I must get some counselling to help with this otherwise I will go insane.They say keep busy but you have to stop sometime and then it hits you again,the dark cloud drops on you and you fall apart,cry and cry until it hurts.We miss our wives so much ,they were the reason we lived.Michael.
We are feeling absolutely the same my friend it is so so hard it would have been Christines birthday yesterday which made it doubly hard took the grandkids to Blackpool illuminations with my stepson who has been like a rock for me ,it was mentally like being in a thick fog its being a month now since she passed it could have been yesterday, i too need counselling i have the local hospital bereavement team numbers but just knowing how to start , i know ive got to do it ,its just fear and apprehension knowing there people out there going through this i don’t feel as isolated but being at home on my own is just overwhelming decision making even simple things are so difficult one day at a time is all i keep telling my self good luck to you Mickey keep in there
Hi Michael. I know - I watched my wife draw her last breaths while I told her it was ok to go and that she didn’t need to suffer any more. Even as I write this, I can feel a knot in my stomach tighten as I remember the moment. Within days of it happening, I was aware that it would become a mental prison unless I did something quick to tackle it. I don’t want to focus on those final moments - there was nothing I could do to change it or make her better.
We had a hospital bed set up in our dining room and that’s where I cared for her for the final two months of her life. When she passed, they quickly removed all the medical equipment and bed, but the room jusst reminded me of the horror of it all. So I redecorated the room and made sure it looked completely different. I found things that would remind me of the happy times we had throughout our marriage and I put them around the house as a constant reminder. Although not a complete solution, it helped. You must remember that there were better times, and that she loved you. As I said in a previous post, my wife, and your wife, wanted to live, but they could not. You must not waste the gift of your own life - it’s very precious. Would your wife want to see you like this? You owe it to her and yourself to live on. Through you she will be remembered. Don’t expect the pain to stop any time soon, but know that you must find a new life and accept that the journey towards it, however slow, starts now.
I just want to say how you’ve helped me.
My story is so similar to yours.
My Valerie had 6 years of Cancer and passed away on her 69th birthday.
I thought her end was cruel and she was the only person to suffer like that.
My thoughts of her are painful because I keep seeing her last 3 days.
She was badly let down in her last 5 months, makes me sad that I couldn’t help her more.
I cared for her 24/7 and we told each other how much we loved each other.
The last thing I said to her before she lost consciousness turned out to be a lie… “Every thing will be ok”.
My complaint is that I was not allowed to see my husband after he had an accident and was taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on 8th October 2020. He crashed into a Cornish stone wall and suffered a brain bleed. After pleading , they allowed me to see him once. He was reasonably coherent. He had to be 'repatriated ’ to Barnet Hospital our home town. On the journey he was not properly hydrated and suffered massive dehydration as he wasn’t properly supervised on the journey home.
Barnet Hospital warned us he will probably die but he improved a bit.
Then he caught hospital acquired Covid.
Now it was too late for him to communicate we were told we could see him. Seven weeks of hell.
First the video of his final weeks and hours went round and round in my head but now after crying out all the pain, those recall session are much less but it takes some months to get to this point.
I fully intend to have a life beyond all this grief but sympathise with you all.
So here we go again,you wake up after another almost sleepness night and the sick feeling is still there,the anguish still there,is it going to be like this from now on,that awful gut wrenching feeling that you are never going to see or hold your partner again.Watching tv alone,eating alone or trying to eat which is a completely different matter.Then you go to bed and that is the last straw,no kiss goodnight,no cuddles anymore utterly devastating.I always made the first cup of tea for my wife and she greeted me with a lovely smile,oh I do miss her so ,it is eating me alive not having her here with me.I am a lonely old man now of 76 what is to become of me without my beloved by my side, Michael.
Its tough my friend going through the very same pain and anguish every day slogging it at work coming to an emtpy house just missing that i am home luv and hows it been reply going through the motions of life never knew how hard this was going to people asking me if i am alright and i give them the same reply no i am not ,stick at it Mickey we will get through it i look for your posts to see how your doing we will get there Ross
I give the same reply when they ask are you alright,how can you be alright when you have lost the person that made life worth while,gave you the reason to get up every day but now that is gone for ever.I just get this sick feeling all the time,the loneliness is getting to me already,I do not know if I can handle it .I am not young anymore and looking forward scares me.I am living in this bungalow that has her mark all over it,constant reminders of my darling Judith.I have nightmares after watching her pass away ,it was the saddest day of my life to see her just fade away.I am a mess.Michael.
I am at work Micheal can’t give you a decent reply my friend i have to go see family tonight ill try tonight if not tomorrow definitely stay in there , we have to hope my friend its what your Judith any Chrissie would have wanted will post back soon keep trying Mickey ,bye for now Ross
I do know what you mean. I’m back at work now after the death of my wife. Like you, I am haunted by her final moments. People ask if I am really ready to return to work but work is not the issue - at least it keeps me busy and I have some purpose. The hard part is coming home to an empty house. Just as you say, being alone and not having her there to chat to is so hard. I miss her every minute of every day. I really don’t know what to say to help - I’m 55 years old, so I believe I can make a new future somehow. But I think it must be so much harder when you are 76. But, today I thought that, if I could, I would go through all the pain and tears again because I was so glad of the time we had. She loved me more that anyone will ever love me. What I am suffering now is the price we all pay when we love and are loved. Everything has an end, unfortunately, but we must be glad that we had love - some people will never experience that. I’m sorry I can’t help you - your grief is natural. I don’t know what will give you some happiness in the future, but I think you need to be alone with your memories right now, and maybe in the future you will find some way of going back out in to the world as best you can and show your care and love for others. Maybe your wife would have wanted that for you.
Wonderful words bobCaz, especially “She loved me more than anyone will ever love me.” We often hear how much our lost ones where, and are still loved, its refreshing to hear how much they loved too, I know how lucky I have been to have had the love of my husband, to have had him in my life, to have known him as I do, I know he loved me more than anyone ever will, thank you for reminding me. Its comforting,