I remember, when we were given the news that my husband was going to die, I was remarkably calm. I was amazed how calmly we went home, carried on our routines that day. He was naturally a very strong man then and until his death. I was rather pleased at my ‘strength’.
48 hours later, I fell apart. I thought my sobs would break me, I nearly fainted, couldn’t even stand up. But I had to cope. It was the same at the funeral, I was so calm, I refused to cry. I was determined to give him a dignified funeral. I am sure many people thought I was unfeeling.
Two weeks later I began crying, I was so controlled it took that long to let go! Then I thought I would never stop and I haven’t. I hide it all except from the closest friends. My grief is very private.
This is the effect of shock. It takes each of us differently.
So how did you respond to the worst news you could ever imagine?
Hello there. When T had his diagnosis and prognosis - in his case terminal blood cancer - we were both really calm, too. We agreed how we would approach it, how we would try and behave and respond. In short, we agreed we would show up well, be brave, not bitter, and that we would keep going. Sounds odd, I know, but it provided a framework that helped. I carried on carrying on, through his long hospital admission, through the hospice, his death, the funeral and beyond. I have not yet really wept for him. Almost feel that I can’t. I wanted to be strong, too, to be dignified. But I think all reactions are valid, all reactions are the right and only ones for those on the receiving end. Someone I know lost control completely and fell apart really badly. That was the way she managed it. She came out the other side, with the help of her daughters and a new grandson. So to everyone on here who has had the worst of news, solidarity with you and hold tight through these days. Thank you for sharing this, Rachel.
I responded very much as you did when Pete had his cancer operation and we were told that they had also found pancreatic cancer and there was nothing they could do.
We told the family and I looked after Pete until his second stay in the hospice when it was the end and I was with him.
I seemed to cope well after his death and then little by little the cracks started to appear and reality set in that that this was my life now. I think initially that many of us go into survival mode and literally shut the horror of it all out as it’s to much to bear.
I didn’t cry at his funeral as I’m not good at showing emotion in front of others except my immediate family and I just felt as though I wasn’t really there and was playing a part in a strange play.
So I’m not sure if this helps but I just wanted to let you know that I felt very much the same as you did and we survive this new journey how ever we can.
My thoughts are with you and I’m sorry that you as all of us on this caring site find ourselves sadly in.
Love Jenny x
A policewoman knocked on my door at ten to 5 in the morning. I was getting ready for work. She asked me my name and did I have a son called Sam. Yes. I said. Can you describe him. I did. Ok do you want to grab some things I’ll be taking you to the hospital, we think he’s been in an accident. I ran upstairs and my wife said what’s going on? I explained the situation. She came downstairs and spoke to the policewoman. I reappeared and said which hospital. She told me it was one the other side of the city, roughly 20 Mile’s away. It’s ok I said, I no where that is, I’ll go down in the car. The police woman said. You don’t understand. I’ll be taking you. That was the day my world fell apart. I got sucked into a black hole and have spent last 7 years trying to climb out of it. But everything’s different. I’m different. A large piece of me died on the same day my son died. I will be incomplete for the rest of my life.
Dear @Jim10 - I am so sorry, this was brave to post and share. Thank you. I hope you are feeling ok. I know what you mean about everything feeling different and you being different. I feel the same after T died.
Dear Jim,I think that your post is one of the most heartfelt that I have read on this site as it is not in the order of things to have your precious child taken before you. I know that there are no words that I can say that would help but that just that I do feel for you. Thoughts with you,
I remember being in the most terrible emotional pain
My lovely husband was diagnosed feb 8th with terminal cancer with Covid didnt have chemotherapy till may he was the bravest person I no he helped me arrange his funeral when I I just wanted to scream he passed 11th November 2020 in his own bed I took him his cuppa and he had passed my life crumbled lv annie x x
sending loads and loads of love, @Annie11 - I remember talking to T about his funeral. Really hard. We got so far, and then the tears came. x
My husband had a long battle with cancer. We were eventually told it was treatable but not curable and he was on palliative care. This was in the middle of the pandemic, our daughter had her wedding arranged for may 2020 but had to keep postponing so it was all very stressful. She finally had her wedding in sept 2021 and mark battled on so bravely to get there. He deteriorated a lot in the couple of weeks before and was in a wheelchair and on oxygen but he got through his speech and got through the day. Sadly he died 4 days later.
It was all very stressful and we just ploughed through it together dealing with everything that was thrown at us.
When he died at home I had a massive panic attack it was as if it all hit me after being so strong for so long.
I pulled myself together to get through all the things that needing doing and the funeral but just a few weeks ago my anxiety got really bad and I was feeling very low. My doctor said he wasn’t surprised that it had affected me like that. On anti depressants and they seem to be working as I am feeling much better.
We are all affected differently and no matter when it hits you hard, straight away or months later I think we all have to face tough times and not be afraid to ask for help if we need it.
Take care xx
It’s the hardest conversion we ever had he wrote everything down a didn’t want to listen didn’t want think about it that’s my beautiful husband lv annie x x
I’ve not spoke about Doug’s long journey with his declining health before.
It started just over ten years ago, his blood oxygen level had fallen so much he collapsed and broke his leg, so badly he needed rods in his leg. I nearly lost him then from the anthestic. This led to him being diagnosed with COPD, asthma, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea, which meant he had to give up coach driving.
Five years on he became very anaemic and extremely tired, diagnosed with refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts. He was given a five year life expectancy. When medication, then injections didn’t work it meant regularly blood transfusions towards the end every other week, because his blood count kept dropping. They then discovered he had arterial fibrillation while having his cataracts done. It just went on and on. I nearly lost him again 2 years ago, we were told he might not survive, he was losing blood but didn’t know where from. He had to stop taking his warfarin for his heart condition. But I am so thankful to Kettering General Hospital haematology department for getting him home. Further scans showed he had bowel polyps, suspected sigmoid colon cancer, we decided not to go ahead with an operation as Doug was deemed high surgical risk. That was a good decision as when moved to palliative care further scan showed no increased size in his polyps and it was diverticular disease.
But despite that his health slowly declined, the blood transfusions were not keeping up with drop in his blood count. He had another bone marrow biopsy just five days before he died. His body just worn out with everything going on. In the end he died very peacefully, me and our daughter were with him, our son didn’t quite get there in time.
I’m so thankful to Kettering Hospital for keeping him with me for so long. I often felt I should have moved in the hospital the amount of time we spent there.
I’m sitting here crying as I am revisiting that very long hard journey. But even though I miss him so much at least he is at peace now. My neighbour gave a photo she took of us outside our house four weeks before he died, looking at it now I can see just how ill and frail he had become.
Love to you all, it’s been a hard journey for all of us.