What is considered normal?

I posted a couple of weeks ago about losing my husband aged 44. He had incurable cancer which we knew about obviously, but we had no idea that the ending was so close. He literally went from having stable scans to dying very very quickly.
He woke one morning and had lost his mobility and his oxygen sats was low. Cancer in his lungs had put him into respiratory failure. There was no slow decline, it happened so so quickly. He ended up in hospital on 8l of non invasive oxygen and was unable to walk. He was literally petrified.
I can’t get the images out of my mind as much as I try. Like I say, his oncologist was surprised at how sudden my husband had declined. My husband was so frightened that he peed himself out of fear.
He was put on a syringe driver to help with his breathlessness, morphine & midazolam and he died 48 hours later. During those 48 hours all he could say was that he felt overdosed and scared.
Last week it was his funeral and it was made that bit more difficult because our daughters grave had to be reopened for my husband to be buried in the same plot. The last 3.5 weeks have been quite a blur for me.
I’m not eating and I’m not sleeping. I’ve lost the ability to concentrate and if I am honest I feel like I have lost my purpose in life. If I don’t wake up tomorrow then it would be a blessing in disguise.
Are these feelings after loss normal?
I didn’t experience this feeling when we lost our daughter, but at that time I had my rock, my husband.

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i think it’s normal for those experiencing intense grief. perhaps being alone has something to do with the intensity. i lost my dad 40+ yrs. ago and my mum left in october and since her departure i’ve experienced memory lapses, lost over 25 lbs., have stomach issues, and sleeping is sporadic and short, waking in the middle of the night and unable to fall back to sleep. i’m unsure what purpose i have in this life. it’s almost as though i’ve fulfilled my life and have no more energy to look elsewhere. i often wish i could’ve accompanied my mum that fateful night. i hope you can find some peace of mind. my heart goes out to you.

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Peter, thankyou for your reply.
It certainly helps me knowing that you too have/is experiencing similar issues to me. I have the memory lapse issues too.
I remember the day that he died very very well, but nothing much after that.
Is there anything that helps you Peter?

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i’ve immersed myself in books. it makes the time go faster, i think. books i’ve always wanted to read in my youth but was too distracted or lazy to do. maybe it’s too early considering your pain is still so raw, but in my opinion courage is the most important virtue of all the virtues. because it takes courage to let go. unless we let go we will be perpetually stuck in the past reminiscing our loved ones and the pain they endured until the very last breath they took. i’ve yet to find the courage to let go. remembering her and crying is a comfort i’m unwilling to let go yet. there’s a saying which i believe to be relevant to our state of mind: if you live in the past, you’ll invite depression. if you live in the future, you’ll invite anxiety. if you live in the moment, you’ll invite peace of mind. i hope we can find the peace we desperately crave.

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@Peterb and @traybroth please stay, it’s a tough and s***ty dark hole at the minute but the light will begin to creep back in :pray:t2:

i’ve had those dark thoughts over christmas/new year but somehow i’m still surviving.
it’s such a messy, chaotic place is grief but i’ve recently read that joy and pain can live alongside one another and at the same time and i loved that quote Peter about the past, future and present - i guess i feel that if i live in the now then it’s like i’m forgetting my Dad because he’s not part of my now :broken_heart: just my past but another way of looking at it is that he is in my now because he’s forever in my heart

i hope this message makes sense - my insomnia is terrible again

love to you both

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Hi, so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband ages 59 in March last year. My husband suffered a cardiac arrest and for an hour or so before it felt unwell. Just before it happened he said he was scared. They were his last words. I had to do CPR untill the ambulance got here, he arrested 3 more times and died two days later with swelling to his brain.
I was in complete shock for weeks and the pain both mentally and physically of loosing him was unbearable. Now 9 months later, which is hard to believe, (seems like yesterday but also like years) the loss is not as raw and am having some good days. I try to accept invitations out and keep busy. I think keeping busy and pretending it hadn’t happened got me through the early months. Don’t get me wrong at times I want to shut down or scream and I do but then I force myself to get back up and get on with things. I have a deep sadness inside but also can laugh and talk about him as if he were still here. Still feels like he is going to walk in at times.

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Sorry I hadn’t finished and it the wrong thing.
What I was going to say is that every thing you are feeling is normal and you are in such early days, the not been able to eat and concentrate is what I experienced too. I hope in time the raw pain will ease for you too.

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@traybroth
I think for each of us it will be a new / different‘. normal’ certainly one that we have to try and shape for ourselves as we try and cope with the loss of our loved one.

I retired on 31/12 to spend time with Elissa however we had some unexpected developments and she was taken into hospital on November 6 and passed away on the 14th.

It’s a very new normal being without my beautiful Elissa but also adjusting to retirement age 60 though I have options to work freelance to keep the grey matter working though 2 days a week average of work is all I want.

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My husband was 44, killed two weeks ago.We lost his brother to cancer,he was 39.It is very upsetting as it is no age to go,am so very sorry for your loss.I am just in absolute shock and miss him so much.I am wearing his jumper, talking to him and he not here and I am having nightmares as he was shot dead.Truely awful.

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@Michelle15 im so sorry to read that both your husband and his brother have died . That’s tragic . Take care xxx

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I am so sorry to hear that and about your loss!

I gave CPR to my wife last year, following instructions from the ambulance control team until the paramedics arrived…… it seemed like ages ! She made a recovery at the time but it was very stressful

I have decided to do some form of training for her CPR etc (hope I never have to use it though).

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Thank you,that must of been scary though.But I like how you have turned this into a positive xx

I couldn’t live with myself if I let someone die because I wasn’t sure what to do

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Thank you and sorry for your loss.

I think it’s great you are going to have training for CPR. I have had training in the past via work but not sure I could at the moment. When it happened I couldn’t think straight and followed what I was told on the phone. And your right it seemed ages before the paramedics came but for me was only 7 minutes but it felt like 7 hours.

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I have done it as part of first aid training during my career but not recently

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Hi traybroth,

I would say that in the depths of grief/bereavement pretty much anything and everything is “normal” in what is a totally abnormal situation. Clearly everybody is different and people will react in all sorts of ways - some people will do some things that others won’t, etc. - but you’re trying to process a highly abnormal situation as best you can. Even if people do harmful/dangerous things (drink too much or take other drugs; have thoughts of self-harm or worse and so on) these are signs that professional help is urgently needed but so many people experience these things that I would still regard them as “normal.”

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It’s a new normal and unique oour own situation and our own experience of bereavement and grieving !

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