That last week is all I can think about

My wife had a chronic debilitating and painful condition but wasn’t terminally ill. We went abroad for a procedure that required eight hours of surgery. The surgeon told me he was pleased with the operation. But she didn’t seem to come out of the anaesthesia and a scan the following day revealed that she had suffered a stroke and if she regained consciousness she would be paralysed. I was in great distress and felt so much that I hadn’t been able to talk to her, to tell her how much I loved her. The following day the surgeon said she had locked in syndrome and could understand me when she had short periods of being awake. I spoke to her and had a day or two of hope. Then they told me she had oedema on her brainstem that cut off the blood supply to her brain and was now brain dead. I was required to give consent to the ventilater being removed and held her hand while she died. It took 55 minutes for her to die, it was an extremely traumatic and distressing experience. She was 54 and we had led active healthy lives.

Now that last week from Thursday to Thursday dominates my thoughts. I am traumatised. I tell everyone she died peacefully from the complications of a stroke because I don’t want to get into the whole conversation. I’m trying to get a good counsellor.

One concern is that my distress about that final week is preventing me from feeling all the other stuff, like the loss of my wife forever.

Sorry if this post upsets anyone. I don’t know where else to say what I’m feeling.


Glad you could offload, hopefully just writing this gives some relief. This is so hard for you and something that should have helped her ultimately shortened her life. This is heartbreaking and losing the love of your life at such a young age is traumatic.
My partner was 49, fit and healthy, I’m 57 fit and healthy. We were active and he went out on his usual Sunday bike ride, had a great ride, finished the ride, said he felt faint and died instantly and never came home.

We are all on different journeys and suffering with different traumas and quite often people can be left with significant trauma and need help to get out of the darkness that can be all consuming.

This forum is a great start, I did need a counsellor at the beginning but feel I don’t need her now but the option is open to go back if I need to.

I feel different day to day, week to week. Please take/get any help you can, whether that’s family or professional.

Keep sharing on here too. There’s always someone to talk to and will listen.


Thanks Ali. I’ve just contacted a therapist so just writing the message spurred me on positively. Wish you well.


This not the same but my husband was in bed with something else and i was not happy as he had lost 3 stone in a month take doctors 2 weeks to do blood test next day he was in hospital than take tham 4 days to do ct scan than told us he had cancer and he had 4 weeks we come home and we had 3 weeks he did not know who i was and the last 1 and abit weeks he was not able to eat are talk to us my heart goes out to you sending hugs


Thanks for the reply Suzanne. I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. We had a lot of problems getting help due to Covid-19 and NHS funding. It’s difficult to feel like your loved one is a victim of underfunding and lack of resources.