I have been reading many, many, of the stories on the site and I can honestly say that every single one is exactly what I went through from the very first day. I tell a lie, it really happened two years before my husband died because we were living a day to day existence, not knowing when my husband’s next visit to hospital would be his last one, waking up in a morning and turning to him, holding my breath and dreading the fact that he may have died in the night. When I saw he was still breathing I myself could breathe again and know I had another day at least with him.
Then it became a reality, he died in hospital with his sons and I around him, he had fallen asleep and was peaceful at last. I could not cry, I felt numb, could not believe what had happened, I did not really understand what had happened I was in total shock even though I knew that one day it would happen. When we got home, I told our sons I wanted to be alone and they went to their own homes to be with their families. I was in a complete daze, I locked the front door, took our German Shepherd dog into the garden, gave him a cuddle and got on my knees and screamed into a cushion knowing I would never see my husband again, the only boy I had ever loved from him being 18 years old to him dying at 68. My life ended that day. I crawled into bed where he had slept the night before he was rushed into hospital and I cried and cried, wishing to die with him. I tossed and turned could not sleep then I felt myself being held very tightly, I pushed myself into the hug and fell asleep. I am sure it was my husband saying goodbye.
The next few days our sons came over, we had to arrange paperwork and all that entails, then sort the funeral out by the time everything was sorted, banks, etc. it was four months later. Our home had fallen into disrepair over the few years my husband was ill, as he could not be bothered with it. I then decided to get it sorted. it took me 6 months, just about up to the first anniversary of my husband’s death until it was all finished. That was when I realised there was nothing else to do and I was facing the rest of my life without him. I have never cried as much as I did over those last 12 months but I had jobs to do so got on with it. That was when it hit me, I had not let myself grieve properly, I had just kept busy to try and take my mind off it but there was nothing now left to do but think. I was always looking at my husband’s clothes, going through photographs, watching our wedding video over and over again. My face ached with putting on a smile for our sons as they were worried about me, then when they went home, I was once again, putting photos in frames, playing our music over and over again. I realised I was now living in the past when we were together, the future meant nothing to me anymore, even though I have wonderful sons and grandchildren they just were not the one person I wanted.
To cut a long story short, it is now three years since I lost the love of my life, a few months ago I decided to sort through all his clothes, that was a day of tears, laughter and me shouting at him, I have never seen as much rubbish in a grown man’s pockets. My earrings I had asked him to look after because they were hurting me and when I wanted them a few days later, no he didn’t have them, but there they were in his pocket so I said, Peter, I told you you had them. Tissues, polo mints, train tickets, combs, after-shave, it took me ages sorting through his pockets. What hurt the most was many items of clothes still had the tags on, that really crippled me, knowing when he had bought them he was a fit man but never got the chance to wear them. I have never sought counselling, never taken anti-depressant tablets, perhaps I should have, but I did scour the websites looking for forums about grief and the loss of a husband/wife. They helped me a lot, helped me to see I was not alone in this nightmare. I met a lovely lady on one of the sites who lives in Australia and in the same position as myself, and we now email each other every week, keeping track of each others lives and giving each other the strength to carry on.
People say it will get easier as time goes on, yes it does in a way because you have had no choice but to live without him, learned to do jobs on your own but you never, ever get over it. I live day to day, wishing and wishing I had a time machine so I could go back to the day I met him at the Mecca Locarno in 1964 and do it all over again, but I can’t, so I watch our wedding video, look at our photos and play our songs hoping that I will outlive my Barney my GSD then after that I don’t really care.
To all you lovely people who are just starting out on this nightmare journey, all I can say is live day to day and handle what comes and most of all, if you want to cry, for goodness sake cry. I put on a stiff upper lip now, but still cry for the wonderful husband I have lost and the fantastic life that we had but they cannot take away my memories and as long as I have got those, my husband is with me. I have his ashes and they are going to be scattered with mine in Devon when I die so we will be together in death as we were in life.
I wish everyone of you going through this tragic loss, the strength to get out of bed in a morning and put one foot in front of the other, because that is all it takes to get through another day.
Lots of love Sheila xxxxx