STILL UPSET THREE YEARS LATER

I would like to know if anyone on here has had a similar thing happen to them when their loved one died, because for the past three years it has been eating away at me and I feel as though I let my husband down. I have never told our sons how I felt, I just kept it to myself. My wonderful husband and I were together for 50 years from 1964, he was 18 when we met. A tall, handsome young man who looked like someone out of a 1960’s pop band. From the day we me, we were hardly ever apart and through our lives together where one went so did the other, we were soulmates, joined at the hip. I became his 24/7 carer during the last two/three years of his life, even when he was taken into hospital, he used to wait for my visits so I could wash him and change his clothes, he only ever wanted me. One of our sons came to see me today and we were talking about his dad and the day he died. I started to cry and our son apologised for upsetting me. I told him it wasn’t him but the regret that ever since the moment his dad died I have never stopped thinking about not being able to spend time with him in the hospital. Our sons said their goodbyes to their dad and left me alone with my husband so I could say my own goodbye to him, I held him in my arms whilst he slipped away, but within a minute, the nurses came running into the cubicle and told me to go as they had to see to my husband. I never saw him again. I wish and wish they would have left me alone with him so I could have sat and held him for a while. We had been together for all those years but straight after he died I was shunted out. I feel as if I had missed being with him at one of the most important times of our lives. He was alone with strangers. I could not bear to visit him in the Chapel of Rest as I wanted to remember him as the strong man he had been and not lying in a box. I just wish I had been allowed to stay with him. I have spoken to other people and when their partners, fathers etc. had died, they were left in peace, no-one bothering them until they felt it was time to go, but in my case I was rushed out and not given the time to stay with him. If my son had not spoken about his dad today I would have kept it bottled up inside me for ever. I feel as if I let my husband down, I should have refused to leave him. I should have stood up to them and said no, I am staying but I didn’t, I just left him. He was in a large ward with the curtains around him, and a woman in the next bed shouting all the time. I am thankful for one thing, I was with him all through the previous night, holding his hand and he saw his sons before he went into a deep sleep. But I just wanted to be with him afterwards as well. It is the only regret I have.

Oh I feel so sad for you reading this. It really is so unfair and unfeeling of the nurses. I know they have a job to do but some compassion is all we need at these times. Being with a loved one when they pass away is very special and some respect should be shown for them and the person or people there. Time should be allowed for proper goodbyes.

I have been with both the people I care about the most, my parents, when they passed away, both at home. With my Dad the ambulance people came and took him away quite quickly and I was in shock, couldn’t bear to see him looking so awful so didn’t mind. My Mum, I was by her side and saw her slip away so quietly and stayed with her until I could bear it no more.

You are so lucky to have your sons. You have your darling husband to look at when you see them and to keep his memory alive. People to talk to about him who knew him and loved him too.

I wish there was something I could say to make it better for you but I know there is nothing.

Mel
Xx

Thank you so much Mel, every so often I think about it, I think it is now because on Wednesday it will be three years since he died. I know I was with him in the many hours leading up to his dying and with him all through the night, it is just that when he died in my arms I wanted to sit quietly with him for a while, just him and me without nurses and doctors keep popping in, and the machine bleeping all the time. I know they have to declare a time of death for their records but they ought to have let me sit with him as I had just lost the only man I had ever loved and been with for 50 years. I tell myself I should be grateful for being there with him all that time leading up to his death and being there for him when he died, as many people never, ever get that chance, especially when they lose their loved ones unexpectedly. Perhaps by telling my sons and putting it down in writing may lay some ghosts for me as I had kept it bottled up inside me and felt so guilty for not being more assertive with the nurses. Thank you so much Mel for your reply, it means such a lot. Love Sheila xxx

Hi. I have just joined this site and the first post I see is yours. Your post is so similar to mine. My husband died 4 yrs ago which seems as real as yesterday. People say time will heal but I am finding that as time goes by I am feeling more sad and lonely. I have family who are very supportive but do not know what I am truly like at home on my own. I met him when I was 14 he was so handsome just swept me off my feet. We celebrated our Ruby anniversary on the 24th of November 4 years ago and he was gone 7 days later he had strep A which caused sepsis it all happened so fast he had been ill for years and fought heart disease diabetes even cancer but this one infection killed him. My son and I was in the High dependency Unit with my husband and went to the relatives room to speak to the doctor and a nurse knocked for me we were only 10 feet away from the unit and rushed in to him but he had gone I could not believe it the staff knew we wanted to be with him at the end. I feel cheated and that I let my husband down they had time to remove all his tubes and support before they called us why didnt they tell us to stay I will never forgive myself for leaving his side those last few minutes so I also keep reliving those awful moments of that Sunday evening. I have found an escape in sleep as I quite often dream of him and find this so refreshing and I am happy.Then I wake up to the real world. I am sleeping whenever I can I do not think this is the answer or is really good for me. I joined this site to see how others cope and to see if I am normal (whatever normal is). Sad and Lonely

Hello, and thank you so very much for replying to my post. I am so sorry about what happened when your husband died. Like I said it is three years for me on Wednesday and it is as if it happened yesterday. My husband was always in the High Dependency Unit every time he was taken into hospital, I knew all the nurses there during the week, they even gave me a lunch so I could have it sitting with my husband. But it was a Saturday when he died and there was not many staff on. I feel cheated just as you do and I am so sorry that you missed the chance to say goodbye to your husband, at least I got to spend Peter’s last moments telling him how much I loved him, I held him in my arms and for that I am so grateful but it was such a rush afterwards, the nurses coming in, asking me to go, then bombarding me with leaflets and papers on what to do the next week because it was the Bank holiday week-end and offices were closed. Our son asked me if I would be okay on Wednesday, the anniversary of his dad’s death as he is working away, so I said I would be as I am childminding our two grandsons for two days and taking them out. I will be honest, I will never, ever get over it, as far as I am concerned, my life ended the day my husband died and nothing will ever change that. I live day to day, smile and laugh when in company but behind closed doors I just exist and want my husband back. All I think of is when we met in 1964 and wish I could do it all again. It is no life at all, yes I have our sons and grandchildren and I love them very much but I want my own life back, I don’t want to live someone else’s. Thank you once again for replying, but it does prove that even after three/four years the pain is still as bad as the day we lost our husbands and having this niggling at the back of our minds about letting our husbands down when they needed us the most does not help at all. Lots of love Sheila xxxx

Hi. Thanks for your reply. It is comforting to know you are much the same as me. I probably come across as happy and carefree to people in public but inside I am hurting. When I get back to the safety of my own little bubble my heart breaks and I reminisce of my life when I met my husband and our young love and the excitement of seeing him again. I want my life back like you but have to settle for my dreams. Maybe one day the pain will ease. I shouldn’t be lonely like you I have grandchildren and family and I try to hide my pain from them. This is where the actress comes in. I hope we can find peace one day. Best wishes to you. You are not alone. X Tina

Bless you Tina, It is no kind of future without the one person I spent most of my life with and like you I am a darned good actress but I think with the strain of keeping a smile on my face until it aches, when I get in our home and am alone, I just let it all out. It is the loss of the 18 year old boy I met, fell in love with and married that is killing me. I seem to live more in the past than the present, looking at our photos and wedding video. I get out the large Satin fronted cards we bought each other when we were ‘courting’, engaged and then married until you could not buy them anymore. I kept every one of them and they look brand new. I cry when I read the words we had written to each other, two young people thinking that they would be together forever. Lots of love and take care and remember, you are not alone we are all living this nightmare which never seems to end. Sheila xxxx

Thank you so much for your response. It does help to know I’m not alone we are not alone. I joined this site today and am enlightened to know there are other lonely people who feel like I do. Take care. Tina. X

You too Tina.

Sheila xx

I am so sad reading your story. We all have regrets, my husband had a fatal heart attack whilst we were out on our bikes together, he gave me the house key and asked me to go and get the car as he wasn’t feeling too good, I have never cycled so fast, about six miles, his friend was staying with us, I said ‘drive me to pick up John, I’m really worried about him’ I also phoned for an ambulance they said I had to phone again when I was with him… We drove 2 miles down the road and an ambulance was already there, he was nearly home but had a fatal heart attack on the hill. The worst day of my life, six years ago. I still can’t come to terms with it. I should have phoned whilst I was with him. He said he was okay. I feel wretched.

Dear Annette-Louise, I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know if your husband was like mine, stubborn, you would not believe how many times I wanted to call for an ambulance when he was really ill but he refused to let me and got really annoyed when I suggested it. The problem is that the person concerned does not want to go into hospital, my husband dreaded going into hospital because he knew there would be no-one taking care of him every single minute of the day, like I did. The times my husband had a bad do and I wanted to call the ambulance but all he said was give me a few hours and I will be okay, I gave him a few hours then had to call for the ambulance usually at midnight. You can only go by what they are telling us, we are not mind-readers and it is so easy to look back and think what if I had done this, what if I had done that because we will never know and there is nothing now we can do about it. I wish I had shoved all my husband’s antibiotics he refused to take down his throat then perhaps it might have cured his lung infection, I asked our Matron if it would have made a difference and she said, we will never know because Peter would do what Peter wanted to do and there lay the problem. My husband was the only one in the family who smoked, he didn’t give up until he started being unwell but it was too late, I had pestered him for years to stop smoking so there again, what if he had, why didn’t I make him. Would he have still been here. That is what hurts the most, all the what if’s. We must stop torturing ourselves and remember the good times. Our lives have changed beyond recognition if you can call the life we have now a life. I now live day to day, sometimes I am angry at my husband for not stopping smoking years ago, sometimes I am angry at myself for not forcing the issue but it is too late now. So I just get up each morning and live my life the best I can without the man I have loved for 50 years. Take care Annette. Sheilaxx

hello i hope you do not mind me writing to you
i have read your letter.
i had the same thing happen to me when my husband passed away in hospital from sepsis.I said to the doctors you would tell me if he was dying and they said they would.But after they brought him back from having a scan they said i could go in and sit with him which i did.But i held his hand and he suddenly went cold so the doctors came rushing in and i was told to leave,after three hours they called me in and i was told he had passed away. I was so upset that i did not get the chance to say goodbye.but when i walked in they had not cleaned him up and i was so shocked as i have never seen anybody who had died.They should have never let me see him like that.I was disgusted with the hospital.They knew he was going to die but they never said a thing .I like you could not face to see him in the chapel of rest because i wanted to remember him as he was before he became ill.It has now been two and half years and i still miss him every day and i think i always will.
Best wishes to you for your future.
Brendaj

Hello Sheila - I just wanted to apologize for not responding to a reply you had sent me on another thread. I saw it just yesterday even though it was written on the 10th August I think. It was kind of you to acknowledge my post with a reply and how rude you must have thought I was not to have sent a thanks for your time. It will be 1 year in 3 weeks for me and I worry what will I do when I can no longer say “This time last year Dennis and me were doing this …”. I imagine you may have had similar thoughts. You make a very handsome and striking couple if you don’t mind me adding. Take care Sheila.

Hello Tina, Don’t you worry yourself, there are so many wonderful and sad posts on here that anyone can be forgiven for not replying to some as they are overwhelming in their grief and many of them are like reading about your own life. I used to get an email when someone replied to my post, but I no longer get them so I check everyday. I totally understand what you mean about start making new memories and your loved one will never be a part of them ever again. It is heartbreaking, it really is. I always used to say, last year at this time Peter was here, but the second year after his death I felt as though he was disappearing into the past because the year before I had made new memories without him in them. I never thought I would be living without him, he was my whole life and I remember our wedding vows, ‘until death do us part’, that seems to mean once your partner has died it is over, you are no longer married, but I cannot and will not accept that, yes, he has died but he is still my husband and I still love him so much and I always will. I was channel hopping tonight and a programme came on about the songs of 1964, the year I met Peter when he was 18 years old, I just broke down and cried because the boys in the group were wearing dark suits, dark ties, white shirts and Chelsea boots and it was just like looking at Peter the night we met. I was looking at the girls with their bouffant hair, short skirts and 4 ins heels and thought, that used to be me. Where have all those years gone, when did I become so old. Sometimes I cry for what I have lost and sometimes I cry because I cannot go back and do it again. Thank you for your lovely comment about our photo on the site, it was taken in 2006, eight years before Peter died, he was aged 60 and I was aged 63, our sons paid for it taking for his retirement by a photographer. I had it enlarged and framed and it hangs over our fireplace. I have told our sons that when I die, that photograph has to be on show at my funeral. Thank you once again for replying and please take care. Lots of love Sheila xxxx

Thank you. xx

Lonely
I have just returned from spain 4am this morning this was a holiday my fiance and I had booked in November as we did every year and we went to the same place for last 8 years … I went with his daughter as this had been planned … tough 10 days and glad to be home it wasn’t all bad but lots of memories …so now i’m laying here reading this… 1st time of been on site for 2 weeks your story has me in tears because my fiance was diagnoised with brain tumour 19 th Feb 17 and passed away 22 march 17 he was only 54 and my best friend … My biggest regret is that I wasn’t there to hold him at the end we missed his passing by minutes 2.30 am dam security guard wasn’t at the door to let us in ( all the same memories and guilt of my dad passing at the same time same hospital on his own 25 yrs before came back ).why did I leave Stu on his own ?? The nurse said I couldn"t but I should have put my foot down altbough the nurses where brilliant when he had passed they left us as long as we wanted and it sad yours wheren’t and it was so hard to leave him there when I walked away i just roared … I think because your in shock and really can’t believe its happened you get allowed to be pushed around its not your fault … The most loveliest thing is that he knew you was there holding him at the end and that when he needed you most take comfort in that … I had /have an issue about his diagnoises during this time (not that it would have changed the outcome ) when i told my GP she said that to help resolve the way I felt about it was to talk to the hospital bereavement service ours is called pals (not sure if this is the same in all hospitals ) I don’t want a big ordeal but i want a particular consultant to understand the way i felt of her treatment and thet way she was so that someone else doesn’t get the same …maybe for you this may help you wasn’t at wrong and shouln’t feel guilty the nurses where wrong … take care xx

Hello SAR, thank you so very much for replying to my comments. I am so sorry about the loss of your fiance. It is so very new for you at the moment and I know exactly what you are going through, only those who have lost someone they have loved with all their heart can understand the pain, confusion and heartbreak we now have to live with. Our lives will never be the same, they can’t be, we try and carry on without the one person we want back more than anything in the world and knowing we will never see or touch them again is unbearable. I play our wedding videos over and over again, thankfully I have a video recording of my husband when he was well and when we visited our first grandchild after she was born, he was nursing her and talking to her and that is worth a million pounds to me as I will never forget his voice. I have hundreds of photos but to hear his voice is wonderful. I did think about making a complaint to the hospital but I was too upset to be bothered about it. The only comfort I have got is that I was with him from 7 pm until 6 am the following morning when our sons came and relieved me for a couple of hours and then I was with him before and when he died and no-one can take that away from me, I just wanted that bit extra time to sit with him and just think about our lives together but I wasn’t given that chance. He was asleep the whole time but they do say that the hearing is the last thing to go so I only hope he heard me saying my goodbyes to him. I do hope you will find some peace over the coming months. As time goes by you do adjust, in a way, to living on your own but it is not the life you want. When you are young and in love you think you have got forever, then all of a sudden you haven’t, the one person you have known most of your life is gone and you remember the young boy you met and fell in love with. You probably, like me, tend to live in the past when we had all the time in the world, we were young and being an OAP seemed a million years off so we never ever thought about it, then one day a million years have gone and you are now on your own, re-living your past life over and over again. Take care SAR, we are all here for your if you ever need to talk. Love Sheilaxx