The Darkness has no end

My wife passed away on 19th March 21’, after an 8yr heroic battle against cancer. She was an inspiration to everyone she touched, her determination and spirit to be unwavering in her struggle (and I do mean struggle) to fight tooth and nail against the biggest foe anyone can stand against. I was her carer for those 8 yrs, rejecting my own wants to make sure my wife was comfortable and happy.
From waking up several times through the night to change badly infected wounds on her tummy, to taking her out for a drive at 4am because she was so anxious about her condition. My life WAS her, nothing else mattered. If I had to dance around the room like someone possessed I didn’t care as long as the result was a smile on her face.
The path we were taking was I suppose a short one, but you hope upon hope new treatments will be developed all the time, so long as there is hope you have to battle and put what you know is actual reality out of your mind. The tiniest pin prick of light is all that is needed to change direction in the fight.
But when realisation slaps you across the face with such force you stagger and wonder wft happened there. We had plans for the coming year holidays, trips, family and newly hatched grandson.
This path fell away, and you look down into the abyss and darkness, fall to your knees in grief, regret, disbelief, guilt and WHY couldn’t I catch her. Which I had always promised I would do, the first promise I have ever broken. Do I promise anyone anything again?
So my new path is narrow, dark and definitely really scary. I can’t see my hand in front of my face, I have to edge my toes forwards and wonder what will happen. I am told ‘start a hobby’, ‘do something for yourself’, WHAT though my wife was the beginning and the end nothing else mattered to me… So her ashes now sit in front of me and I now know there is no return to my life with her. How do I start my new life? Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten how?

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Dear Mark

I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost my husband I know that there is nothing that I can say that will take away your pain.

I too have had people say the same things to me - I think they see acquiring a hobby as a way to distract from the grief. The reality is of course that we need time to grieve - no matter how long that takes even if it takes a life-time. The emotions that you express are known to all of us on this forum who have lost a soulmate. I am a little further down the line and I have experienced and continue to experience all these together with varying degrees of anger.

Your love for your wife is clear in every word you have written. The plans and sharing the joy of a new grandson I can fully understand. We have two grandsons, the eldest 9 months when my husband died and the other born 7 weeks ago and destined never to meet the man who more than anything wanted to be the best granda in the world.

I did not loose my husband through illness and therefore can only imagine the pain that you and others on this site suffer as a result. My mother-in-law died as a result of cancer and charities which support research/support for families were always important to my husband and I have continued donations in his memory. There are others on this forum who will (regrettably) experienced similar circumstances to yourself and will, I am sure, offer you support.

Whilst I have no answers how we survive this darkness, I did want to let you know that there are people here who will listen.

Take care.

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Thank so much for your support Sheila26. Until we experience loss and grief it is an impossible task to explain to a person who assumes they can understand the bottomless void that consumes the spirit. Xx

So true. I have never felt pain like this before. Grief is all consuming and relentless.

Take care.

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Dear Mark, I am so sorry that you find yourself in the same pain that the rest of us are enduring. My situation was different in that my husband went out for a run one evening, collapsed and died. By the time me and my son went to find him it was too late. I never got chance to say goodbye. We still don’t know why it happened. So the situation was different but the result is the same. Like you, I don’t know how to live without my soulmate. We were together from being 16. He was my everything. My future has been shattered. I just have to take one day at a time - sometimes one breath at a time. People on here will understand so keep posting. It will take a long time for you to even begin to adjust from the life that you were in the midst of. Give yourself time to grieve.

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Thank you so much for support. In all honesty Sammy was on her own when she passed in hospital, she hated being on her own. But to have the unknown hurled at you from such a height, I can’t even get my head around what you must of experienced. With Sammy she was on her final journey. But to not even get to say goodbye. My goodness… The funny thing was I always thought I was a strong person, I wore my heart on my sleeve but strong enough to rationalise the ongoing events. But HOW do you rationalise a situation like that? I greatly admire (for want of a better phrase) your strength and endurance in coping with your situation. Because as I write this I don’t think I have either…

I don’t know how I am getting through. I have two young adult kids and without them I wouldn’t have any purpose. I feel so cheated that just as it was going to be time for us to enjoy things more as a couple, we never will. My mother had just had a dementia diagnosis - so can’t support- and now his mother is in hospital and probably won’t be able to live independently again. It’s all been too much for her. Everything I had is being taken away. I have found the website refugeingrief.com useful - it’s written by someone who lost their partner so she knows what it’s like. Luckily, I have good friends around me but nothing can make up for not having my wonderful husband with me. Sending hugs

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Dear Mark
I have t reply to you. I am so, so sorry at your loss but like so many on the forum you have come to the right place.
I was in almost identical situation in my husband final months and then I became his carer and can so relate to what you have written, every single heartfelt word… Everything was exactly the same. I wouldn’t say goodbye as I clung to the hope that it was all a bad dream or God would hear my prayers and make him well again. I lost my faith for a while afterwards. How could someone so good suffer so much, it didn’t make sense.
Like your wife my lovely husband was also an inspiration who I am so proud of.
I was fortunate that he was at home with me until the end and he asked me to take him on all my future walks. We was keen walkers. I carry his photo with me.

It has been over two years for me and you do slowly start to get back a life. It doesn’t happen all at once but it does happen.
Don’t worry about a future or hobbies just take your time and things will happen when your ready, no rush. Tiny steps. I was fortunate to have joint interests with my husband and it was his wish that I continued which I have done, I also have two dogs that have literally saved me. I owe them so much for their unconditional love and company. A furry shoulder to cry on.
Good luck to you Mark and God bless.

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