Scary future

Lost my dear companion and housemate of 20 years, 4 weeks ago. He was 45. I cared for Michael since his bowel cancer diagnosis and stoma operation in February this year. Now utterly lost without him. I was with him in hospital when he died. It was a horrendous end. All I could say to him for hours afterwards was, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Now I can’t get the images out of my head.

Last 4 weeks have been awful. I arranged his funeral and it went to plan and everyone tells me I did good. Am so glad it’s over.

Obviously, everything in my life is broken now. We got on so we’ll together and this year have been locked down together pretty much since March. Only going out for occasional appointments for scans etc. We have both said to each other, how much we enjoyed being locked down with each other, despite the increasingly difficult medical issues he was having, and the increasing amount of care I was providing.

I think I can learn to accept his passing eventually but I am struggling to accept his suffering at the end. It haunts me, and has made me terrified of death. I have told his family and friends that he went peacefully. I don’t want them to know what I know. So now I can’t share it, except here. And even here I can’t explain the details. They are too hard for me to even think about.

Also, I hate myself for having such self pity when it is Michael who has lost his life, but I’m now terrified of my future. Who will care for me when I get old and ill? I’m 57 and I have no children to care for me. I don’t really have close friends as I have an autistic kind of nature. I don’t have much in the way of savings but I do own the house. It all seems very scary. I never thought about it before now but now my world has changed and it all looks very bleak.

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Hello @colman
My wife died at the end of August from bowel cancer which had progressed to her peritoneal. She had endured several operations over the last few years and she also lived with a stoma.
During the first lockdown Karen was shielding and I was furloughed. We both utterly loved the time spent together, we had nine more years to work before we could retire, but it gave us a taster of how good it was going to be. Sadly those dreams are now shattered.
When Karen died it was extremely peaceful. It was just us, we were holding hands and I was stroking her hair.
I cannot offer any advice on the long term outlook as life is still bleak for me, but having found this forum, you are surrounded by people who are feeling exactly the same as you are

Hi Colman, you are in the right place to let these things out when you feel like it.

All you have been through sounds extremely traumatic. Losing someone so close is terrible but the trauma of the actual death when you have witnessed certain things is a separate additional horror. We have had the reality of life exposed to us and its absolutely awful.

There are counselling services through cruse and sue ryder. maybe you could put your name on the waiting list in case it helps.

But please keep talking to us. We are all alone with these previously unimaginable thoughts but we are also together in understanding its better to air them here than a lot of other places. Take care and keep going short term only for now to avoid too much panic setting in (easier advice for me to give than take but I’m trying).

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Hello Colman
I am sorry you are scared but it’s understandable. A while ago, a friend of ours was in a similar position and, like you, had no idea how to cope. He struggled on until it got too much, then he sold his house and booked himself into sheltered accommodation which meant he had his own flat but if anything went wrong, he could call a warden. With the proceeds of his house, he not only paid the fees for the sheltered accommodation, but he also bought a studio flat which he let out, the rent he received from this went some way towards paying his expenses.
You don’t say how big your house is but another idea might be to sell it and buy something much smaller. That would release capital to help pay your bills. Or perhaps rent a room or two out to students or similar to enable you to stay there and afford it. It would also give you some company.
I don’t know if any of these ideas appeal to you, but might give you food for thought and might help you sort something out for yourself. In either case, I wish you good luck and peace of mind.
Ann

Hi Colman, I went through the same thing 2 months ago. Like you, I’m a loner by nature, my husband was too and we are each others’ best friends. (I do have some close friends, but they are far away.)
The world seems a very cruel place after losing a partner. I remember in the first weeks hating the passing of time, because every moment seemed to pull us further apart.
Like you, I was haunted by my husband’s death.
Last week I talked about it for the first time to a counsellor - that helped enormously. I will never be able to ‘accept’ what happened, but I hope I can learn to live with it. I don’t want to burden anyone else who was close to him with the fact that he suffered, but a counsellor is trained to listen and help you to deal with your feelings of guilt and anger and grief.
Please think about counselling. It’s free on this site via video link, you can also go to Cruse or your GP.
Of course you are feeling self pity. I did. I still at times wonder how I’m going to manage. Please don’t hate yourself - it’s completely natural.
Don’t think too far ahead. I’m afraid of the future too - who will care for me and my dogs? I try to force myself to take a day at a time, if that’s too much, and hour at a time. I tell myself that the future never comes, the future is now.
I’m a similar age to you - I might live another 30 years. I get through each day in the hope that better times will come, that I will somehow manage to climb out of the chasm of grief and despair. It helps that I believe in an afterlife, that somehow I and my beloved will meet again .
Hugs, Christie xxx

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Dear Colman,
I too now know first hand what it is to watch a harrowing death that lasts for days and days of a loved one. There can be nothing so traumatic in life. The only silver lining was death itself which brought the suffering to an end. We who are growing old and with no children at least have each other, there are plenty of us, we are a very quiet bunch. Thinking of you. Hang in there.

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Hello @Colman ,
I am very sorry for your loss and what you had to go through… I too lost the centre of my universe two months ago, it’s still painful and scary to open my eyes every morning to realize it’s yet another lonely day.
Keep reaching out to us here, it’s good to express your feelings to people who have experienced the same and understand.
Sending you some support xxx

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to send kind messages of support. I do like ‘the future never comes, the future is now’.

So many of you suffering like me. I had no idea the world was this cruel. I guess it always has been, and always will be. We will find the strength from somewhere. Mostly from each other?

Love and best wishes to you all.

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Michael is gone. Every minute of the day is spent wishing this wasn’t true, but it just keeps on being true. There’s no escape. Nowhere to hide. Just relentless heartache.

Sometimes I feel myself almost grasping the full enormity of it, but then fear makes me stop myself. It feels like I would just go into freefall if I let myself continue those thoughts.

Early days xx

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Hi @Colman life is cruel. i don’t know why we put a brave face on. I’m sorry for us all. Even the others who are not here only because they don’t know yet that this will happen to them too one way or another.

Wish we could live in a big commune where we could all help each other through this lonely time. I keep thinking I’ll survive then something new hits me.

I saw on TV someone dealing with grief and he said “life goes on”. How though?!? All those people getting on with their lives are really pissing me off!

Hi @FleurDeLis

We’ll get through this. I try to remember that it’s not the world that has suddenly changed. It is only my view of it that has changed. And in the fog of grief, maybe I shouldn’t pay too much attention to my views right now. There will be a brighter day.

I may be a widower now. But I’m not just any widower. I’m Michael’s widower. He will live on in me.

Thinking of you FleurDeLis xx

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Thank you @Colman you are of course right, the world was always like this but we were oblivious to others doing what we are now just like they and others are to us right now. It is comforting to read your post thank you.

I keep typing in here like a regular human and speaking to people and smiling to the postman handing me yet more brown envelopes but I am not really here. Inside, my soul is like a pinball convulsing around my body, I feel like I am acting, even in here sometimes, I can say something sensible because I use this forum as a distraction, just like all other things I am doing with my body. It is an act though as I am not holding it together. I am panicking, scared and almost totally hopeless. I don’t know why i still have any hope because i cannot think of any future scenario that is worth going to this trouble for … I would love to hear from anyone who felt like we do now some time ago and if you ever live a life worth living again where you are not so terrified. Is it even possible? Even if you say it is I will just think that probably you never felt as we do now.

I was not going to take this morning’s “Aunty Val” as need to do some serious stuff with the bank and mortgage today so need my wits about me but i had to relent and take the diazepam a short while ago. Why then am i still crying and feeling hopeless. I am a wreck, not really human anymore, not anything.

Michael that gave me comfort though, I am Renés wife, he would stick it to the bank and I will try to remember I am his wife still and I learned a lot from him.

Sending you a big hug, hoping to all there is that you and I and all of us can find something worth living for again. I am so thank ful for this forum because now after typing this I feel just a smidge better. OK I will make the phone call. Good luck today everyone whatever it is you are battling today.

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