My first post on here, reading through other threads it sounds like my position is similar to most but I wanted to write about it in the hope it will ease some of the pain.
I lost my beautiful 46 year old wife to cancer 3 weeks ago today, her funeral took place last week - we’d only been married for 3 years but had been together for a few before that. We were the love of each others lives, our ‘happy ever after’, inseparable and simply wanted to spend every minute together. The brutality was that she was only diagnosed in May and went downhill rapidly, the last 2 weeks especially. I’m forever thankful I was by her side when she passed and that we whispered tender words to one another in the final hours, but the pain seems to get worse and worse as the days go by, especially since the funeral. Feels like the rest of the world thinks they’ve done their bit now.
It’s the loneliness and loss of ‘what should have been been’ that hits hardest, not sleeping beside one another at night, no shared coffee in the morning, no more text messages. She was the most beautiful person with the kindest soul, she would have done anything to help others, it’s so cruel she was taken so young.
It helps to share.
@KH77 Hello there and sorry to hear of the passing of your wife, it must be devastating, she was young. I’m a lot further down this road than you, 9 months, I found when I was where you are that it really did help to get it all out, it started the understanding process for me, coming to terms with the new and awful reality. It sound as if you and your wife had a very close and special relationship. All that you had to witness and experience is a a brutal cost for the love you had. But you did have that love and it does matter and over time I came to realise that in the end it’s perhaps all that matters. To have loved them, for them to have known and for you to have been able to be with her at the end. SO many things wil have changed and they will continue to ambush you with their strangeness, coming on here and talking about it has really helped me, I hope it can do the same for you. Take care of yourself, be patient, small steps.
Thank you Walan, really appreciate you taking the time to reply to and to hear the perspective of others who are going through this - I’m sorry you’re in the same position but I do hope the passage of time is helping.
We were so incredibly close, we felt truly blessed we’d managed to find each other - so many plans ahead of us but a simple life is all we truly wanted. Still struggling to understand why she of all people was taken.
I have just been down a very similar path and similar age
My partner was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer and passed 8 weeks ago. She had just turned 50.
She was diagnosed last year July, so more protracted than your wife’s but equally devastating.
No advice really - far from being in that position.
Just wishing you all the strength you need in this dark time
So sorry to hear that - likewise, strength and kind wishes with you.
@KH77 The passage of time does help, probably not in the way I expected and certainly not in the way that people understand it to mean when they say ‘time heals wounds’ etc. My wife and I had studied, lived and worked together, when she left my world literally ended. It took me time to come to terms with, to admit that fact to myself. It was over. But it was also the beginning. The beginning of me without her physically but not spiritually, I have managed to find her again within me. To allow her to be with me again, something that was too painful at the start. Now I can think of her and smile at the times we had together. The pain never goes, but it does diminish, life grows around it.
My wife was in hospital for most of July and I realised, without ever being told, she only had a few weeks left - she was starting to suffer from confusion and I was thankful that eased the level of distress she would almost certainly have experienced otherwise. I thought I might have started to experience grief at that point but instead I became focussed on making sure she had everything she needed, washing, dressing and feeding her. The grief hit me as soon as we got home, after she passed (I stayed at her side in hospital for 4 weeks) - I’ve continually sought her presence, signs she is still around me and my step-son and there have been definite times when I’ve felt her. But I despair when I feel she isn’t there and that perhaps those moments of comfort are fleeting. How long did it take before you felt your wife within you again ?
@KH77 I can’t really put a definitive time on it, but I think around 7 months or so. I’ll not pull any punches, you are at the start of a very terrifying, painful journey. If it is like it was for me it will involve a lot of questioning, guilt, anger, confusion, the list goes on. As with you I was focused on my Wife, caring for her, when it ended I was at a loss, that routine just melts away, services stop phoning, the show moves on. And we are left alone thinking ‘what the fuck just happened there?’ Again as with you my wife lived with her prognosis for 9 months, we knew what was coming and we could focus on each other to get us to that point. But afterwards you’re on your own, I thought I would be ready, that somehow the knowledge that she would go had given me time to prepare for the grief. It made no difference, I was lost. I was in shock for around 5 moths and then that eased off and I was back to square one again. Again it was hard. But I feel now as if I have managed to rebuild myself, slowly, bit by bit and at the same time build my wife back bit by bit to fill the hole that was left. the journey we are on has no map, we move forward and we see where it goes. If I lose myself I come on here and ask for directions, more often than not someone has an idea of where you are and where you might want to be.
Questioning, guilt, anger and confusion are with me every moment of every day - simple, minor, things that could always have been answered by a conversation that can now never happen. But instead they grow arms and legs and lead to more questions. All the while missing her, and the life we should be having, intolerably.
Really appreciate your insight.
@KH77 I have chatted about it on here with others and it’s a normal part grief. At first all I could remember were all the shit times I’d had with my wife, all the arguments, bitter words, we loved each other deeply but all I was left with was the crap. It terrified me. I was scared that this was all I would have left. But it slowly fell away, the good times came back, I catch myself smiling at memories. I build her back bit by bit. Others on here have experienced all you have described and all I have experienced, it is normal and it will change.
So sorry for your loss. My husband is 43 with terminal cancer and we have two young boys. I can honestly say I don’t care about myself but I am furious that my boys will be losing their dad. I’ve no doubt I will be lonely as hell and I’ve already realised people vanish as soon as they’ve done the whole “let me know if you need anything”. It sucks. Lots of love to you xx
I forgot to add. These is a group called “widowed and young” which you may find helpful
That is so young. At least my husband had a longer life. 2 days shy of 71. Although that is not considered especially old these days. Xx
I’m here right now, occasionally I’ll have a glimpse into us and I smile but mostly I remember the not so great moments and question if I was good enough and I should have done more and said and done things differently. I struggle to remember us the 95% of the time that was great!
I still have those days but not so bad now, but then when my wife was here, we had our ups and downs. I guess it’s hard not think I should have been a better person, done more for my wife, as you say done things differently. But she loved me for all of that, and I loved her and we lived our lives as we pleased, together. And that was what was great about us, all the storms but all the sunshine. It was life and we lived it, and I’m seeing that it’s all part of who we were.
I’m so very sorry to hear that Nori, I truly hope you can find the strength to get through the weeks and months ahead. My wife wrote us letters and made us videos, all of which have helped, although I’m sure you’ve probably heard that from others.
Wishing you strength and love.
Thank you. I don’t think my husband is up for the whole letter writing thing. I think it’s just too hard for him to do tbh. I’ve not pushed it
My husband was diagnosed and died within 7 weeks the week after his 62nd birthday! We were leaning a perfectly normal life up to that point! He didn’t write letters but did write down information about bank accounts, instructions for his funeral and what to do with his belongings! Just don’t know where he got the strength from except he wanted to make it easier for me. Life is just shit without him!
@Ali29 and @Walan I am at the 5 month stage and feel I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall. I thought I was making progress but the last week or two feels like I’m going backwards. I just hope like @Walan I then start to move forward again. @Ali29 I too feel I can only remember the shit bits. My husband was diagnosed just before Covid and had treatment all through lockdown. Even though we were together 37 years all I can remember are the last few which were mostly awful for him.