27 years married to my Craigy Baby...

by Amanda
(Campbelltown NSW Australia)

Christmas Day 2013- 3 months since Craig died. I am heart sore. I cry, rant, rage, cry, sob and nothing, not anything I do seems to help. After fighting so very long and in so much physical and emotional pain the cancer took its toll....not just on him but on our daughter and I....and then 2 days post funeral his mother died.
It has been a long, long journey to an end that I just can’t seem to grasp, let alone cope with. So alone...so lonely...so consumed by indecision...job gone...income gone...health shattered...emotionally scarred and just so very very tired.
I cry!
Craig died from skin cancers He was treated with steroids for asthma and eczema since birth...unfortunately the long term effects were not known and regardless of regular and ongoing surgeries to remove skin cancers, attend to brain aneurysms, and brittle bones the cancer was deemed terminal in March this year. ...just when his mother suffered a stroke which took her to nursing care where she died from an aneurysm surrounding her aorta 8 days after Craig. Please know that general skin cancers (not melanomas) can be fatal...abet highly rare, they can become so aggressive that they continue to grow and erupt while under aggressive radiotherapy....now there is just our daughter who continues her university studies and I left....such a small family.
Just so sad.

Comments for 27 years married to my Craigy Baby...

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Nov 01, 2014
a message to Doreen UK
by: Amanda

Doreen UK I just wanted to send through a message to say you are very much in my thoughts today. Please take care.

Sep 22, 2014
another calendar date...
by: Amanda

CraigyBaby entered palliative care 12 months ago today. I'm finding it so very difficult to accept that his physical presence has been gone for nearly a year! Between the 6 months of palliative radiotheraphy that did not give him any relief but just zapped his energy and had him in such horrific pain to the last 12 months without him, I just can't explain the pain. I know there are others here who can comprehend how I am feeling, I just wish there was a way I could get through this without continually been drawn to this black hole that is consuming me.

Sep 13, 2014
another date on the calendar
by: Amanda

September 13 would have seen us celebrate 28 years of marriage. I spent the day on the lounge, curled up crying. Just another Saturday without you. Nothing to celebrate, nobody here, just sadness.

May 24, 2014
Another Rant
by: Doreen UK

Amanda these days of grief get longer, harder, and more difficult to bear, and we lose our Hope to go on in life another day. I had this day yesterday and the day before. I also hate each new day as it is just the same as the day before. I have lost my MOTIVATION for a while now despite painting and doing all the jobs that need to be done. Now the roof is leaking again and I want to STOP THE WORLD AND GET OFF!!!
When you lose your entire family it doesn't feel as if you can go on in life with no one.
Many of us have family and they are busy with life we can feel as if we have no one. This is how I have felt the last week, and getting worse. I tried to push myself forward from needing anyone and it is futile. We do need people in our life. We can't survive in isolation. How can we help ourselves get out of this pit? I know if I got outside support what those answers would be. But it is taking that first step to help ourselves which is hard.
I could go out. But where? with who? for what purpose? just to get out of the house. We have to find a way of putting structure in our lives otherwise we will drown. When you lose all your family it doesn't matter how busy you become you still have the pain inside. You still feel alone, and are alone. This is the problem and only God can help us with LONELINESS. Ask God to come and get you. You can't reach him. You have no strength to try. Take this first step. We have reached rock bottom and there is no further way down than up!. Let us try together.

May 24, 2014
another rant...
by: Amanda

How can I go on?
So many people all gone...husband, parents, in-laws...all have died.
All the readings tell you to keep your family and friends close – well they’re all gone!!!
I can’t find purpose, can’t see a future and I know I’m not coping...health is deteriorating; motivation to do even the simplest of things is nil.
I just want to curl up on bed and cry, but even that seems too hard at the moment. I cry!

May 05, 2014
Oh Why?
by: Doreen UK

Amanda I can ECHO what you say. Oh Why?? Every day we wake up it feels just the same. Trying to cope is HARD. Today is 2yrs. Steve died. I don't know how to feel? How to react? I feel numb today. My daughter and I went to the grave yesterday to put down a plant pot with lovely flowers to honour the man I loved. A day I wish I never had to re-live. We all (spouses) lose a part of ourselves from the unit of being ONE. Having to re-structure one's life, and the person they were by being married is the difficult part of moving on. Take your time. It is going to take us much longer finding ourselves again as half of the unit of ONE. It almost feels CRUEL to have to live like this. God put in place the FAMILY. MARRIAGE. It is to God we must look each day to be able to carry on. I don't know any other way. I don't know how long we will go on hurting and trying to find ourselves after such a loss. A lifetime together and now gone because of a disease that rips through families and destroys this family unit God put together. I hate it also. Wish it didn't have to happen. Wish I didn't have to look down memory lane with regrets that we couldn't finish this journey a little longer.

May 04, 2014
Oh why........
by: Amanda

It’s just so lonely without my husband. I find I can barely function or focus when I have time to myself. When I can distract myself with working I can try to appear to have myself together when in all reality everything that I am, think and feel has fallen apart. I am no-longer me. This person I have been forced to become is someone I am so very unhappy to be. How can I change back without him here? How can I have had to change the person I am because without him I am no-longer the person I have been for over half of my life? I hate this!!!!!

Mar 29, 2014
Still sad after 6 months
by: Doreen UK

I can ECHO how you feel!!! I haven't done the painting I wrote about. The paint trays are still in the hallway and all the mess that goes with it. Lying there for over 6 months. I felt so angry today at the cancer and losing my husband. Having to go through each day ALONE is
H--L. My heart aches every day. It is coming up to 23 months I lost my Steve. I am feeling more angry because I missed my husband whilst he was working away from home and family for 47yrs. of his working life. He was due to retire and this was our time. Now I do this ALONE. I think we are entitled to be angry and sad and sorrow for ourselves because this grief journey is tooooo long and haaaard. Just don't feel you are ALONE in your suffering. It still huuuuuurts. I stand with you. In SOLIDARITY and GRIEF. God be with you and us all.

Mar 29, 2014
6 months...
by: Amanda

6 months since the Cancer took Craig from this earth.
Anger, regret, bitterness, fright, but mostly sadness engulfs me.
How can I continue without my husband? I am so angry with the Cancer, with the doctors who couldn’t save him, with Craig for leaving me, for being so unable to cope, for being so angry.

Jan 19, 2014
by: Amanda

I sob
I cry
I rant
I delve into thoughts that reduce my capacity to think straight and reduce me to self pity, anger, fear and anxiety. So alone...so lonely.
How do ‘things get better’ when all I do is grieve. Life as I know it is over. There is no opportunity to share, gain and give support and help each other when one of the pair has died.
Today my daughter and I scattered some of Craig’s remains at his favorite fishing spot where we holidayed annually. Such a traumatic and sad sad event.

Jan 01, 2014
Oh what a phone message can reduce me to....
by: Doreen UK

Amanda I empathise with you. I feel worse 20 months after losing my husband to cancer. This was the second Christmas without him and I really felt it.
I also just like you and many others have lost friends and family after the funeral. They all go their separate ways and get on with life regardless of our loss. They don't feel this loss in the same way we do. This intensifies our grief and makes it harder. You will have triggers go off just like you sending the text message and this will throw up other feelings and cause stress and crying. This is not a bad thing. This is part of grief. Crying is one way of healing from grief. Let us hope that this New Year 2014 will be a better year for all of us grieving and that our load will get lighter and easier each day till we can recover from our grief. Best wishes.

Dec 30, 2013
Oh what a phone message can reduce me to...
by: Amanda

Christmas was difficult – so different and such a lonely time.
I have been sorting through so many things and organised a council clean up of items that have sat aside for ‘projects’ of Craig’s which no longer are an option – so to others they go – already the items have been picked through by people and I hope they can benefit from them in some way. Other items are going to the donation bins for charities – I haven’t as yet tackled Craig’s clothing and personal items – might have to put them aside for a bit while I concentrate on other less stressful things.
My personal health continues to be of concern and I worry about becoming a burden to my daughter as a result. So many friends no longer keep in touch regardless of my contacts – sad but true you really do find out who you can call your friends – I can count them all on one hand. I worry about my daughter and her milestones and how she will cope without her grandparents and father...I had my parents and relatives die before I turned 25 and I recognise that this had a significant impact on the person I have become and I just wish I had the power to reduce the impact on my daughter.
Tonight on Craig’s mobile there was a text from a friend he meets up with every January whom he worked with years ago. ...I returned the text to tell him of Craig’s passing and that he was a very valued friend of Craig and apologised for not reaching him sooner – just a text but it has seen me crying and sobbing since. This sadness seems to have no end.

Dec 23, 2013
it hurts so much
by: Heidi

I never knew losing my true love – my soul mate – could be so excruciatingly painful. It’s absolutely soul crushing. It’s been 11 weeks since my Mickey died. I cry each and every day. I miss him so much. I wake up crying. I used to be able to do so much when Mickey was here from taking care of him due to his illnesses, taking care of our animals, taking care of the house, the yard, going to work full time, extra hours that work required of me (I was so afraid to lose my job since I had to support both of us). I was so stressed and became paranoid and highly anxious. But my biggest regret was not being able to spend more ‘quality time’ with Mickey before he died. I was so busy trying to take care of him that I didn’t spend more time ‘with him’. His death was unexpected from a hospital error. Up until then, it never even occurred to me that Mickey could or would die. I was just in go go go mode to try and take care of him with what I thought was best.

Now after his death, I can’t even seem to do more than one thing a day. Everything takes so much effort and I am so much more exhausted that I was prior to his death. My entire back aches. I picked up a cold/bronchitis or something and I don’t even care. It’s snowing outside and I used to love the snow. Don’t really care about it now.

Amanda – like you I feel lost. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Not when he was so young. We didn’t want much in this life. Mickey and I just wanted to be together and be happy. We didn’t need material things or always going out to restaurants or shows or take vacations. We just wanted each other’s company and love. We were together over 15 years and it seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. I wish I would have prepared myself better. I should have realized it sooner.

I hope we all can find peace someday with our grief. I know the hurt and loss won't go away but maybe it won't be so devastatingly painful.

Dec 21, 2013
27 years married to my Craigy Baby....
by: Doreen UK

Amanda you are feeling worse because Craig didn't communicate his needs to you. We are human with our shortcomings and weaknesses and we have our limitations. You feel that you let Craig down. If he knew how you felt he would probably be surprised. We can only work with what we have in skills and knowledge of what our loved one wanted. Then there is the cancer/illness that interferes with what we need and want to do. We will fail people all the time. This is life, and part of our human frailty. Try and reverse what and how you feel. Do it every day till your mind set and perspective change. If God was standing in front of you. He would take you in His arms and embrace you with His Love and would hold nothing against you. Now you practice this for yourself. Find one positive thing you like about yourself. Build on this till it grows from the negative feelings you have now. One day your world will change and you will find happiness come out of your sorrow. It won't always be this way, even though it feels like it now. You are in the very worst days of your grief. It can only get better now in time. Just don't give up! Best wishes.

Dec 21, 2013
27 years married to my Craigy Baby....
by: Doreen UK

Amanda don't be hard on yourself. Craig hid things from you because this is a MAN THING. My husband was the same. We only discussed things at the last minute and although married for 44yrs. Steve took many things to the grave that he wanted to protect me from. I found out at the last minute that he was molested by a stranger when he was 8yrs. old. This explains why he repressed a lot of his own feelings and emotions and never shared them with me. I also didn't know what my husband Steve really wanted. He shouted out at the last minute what his wishes were for his funeral. I can understand why he didn't want to talk about death. Cancer causes a lot of the confusion and behaviour which has affected us as wives after they have gone. Picking up the pieces is hard. I cope as if I am sleep walking. Doing all the male jobs and getting tradesmen in is hard. It is all so expensive that I am PACING MYSELF and painting the hall myself. It takes me months to plan. I have had the house upside down for months tripping over paint trays etc. But I put no pressure on myself. I do it when I am able. I am 65yrs of age. I felt the strain clearing out Steve's garage and putting most of his clutter in the skip. It was hard work, but I was determined. All our married life I was working and working to build up the house. Now he is not here to enjoy it and I have to finish it for my daughter so she doesn't have to do it when I am gone. I can't leave UNFINISHED BUSINESS.
The way you think and feel is normal. I used to feel this way before I did my counselling. Your counsellor can see your progress. Accept this. I was in such a state I didn't know if I was coming or going. In pain all the time. Woke up one day and my whole world changed for the better. I have not suffered depression since. 40yrs. of depression gone in 4yrs. of counselling. I can't tell you how great I feel in 45yrs. after counselling. IT DOES WORK. Stick with it. Healing is a slow process. When you look back you will know what I mean. Hang in there and DON'T GIVE UP! Best wishes.

Dec 21, 2013
Thank you....
by: Amanda

Thank you for your comments, prayers, support and guidance. Some days are just so overwhelming and being alone without support just amplifies the loss. I am finally able to see that Craig had been so unwell for so long and it wasn’t just the few months of his terminal diagnosis, but that he hid his situation from me due to my health problems at the time. I know swing from feeling so guilty that I wasn’t able/willing/capable of supporting him and having him seek early treatment before it became so aggressive and then sadness that he hid his pain and suffering from me...that he was so tired from endless medical interventions that just didn’t go away and were escalating.
I find it difficult to focus, to concentrate and feel adrift but sinking. I have been seeing a counsellor who tells me she can see progress where all I can see is this huge endless chasm.
Time they say heals, but heavens it’s a painful and lonely process and one I wouldn’t wish for anyone.
The scattering urns for Craig’s remains arrived via courier today. I will take them to the funeral parlour Monday. I am hoping to scatter some of his ashes at a favourite fishing spot of his, then some on his sporting field and will keep the others for the time being. I just can’t believe how frightened I am to not do things that he would have wanted (without knowing what they would have been – Craig was unable to give us any direction or advice on his wishes and I have been ‘flying blind’ in all of this). The counsellor told me that I would ‘know’ what was right to be done – and to do things that I am happy with – sadly I seem to over analyse and ponder on things (too many vacant hours) which results in ongoing indecision and anxiety of actions taken.
I have been attending to a number of things that we had planned years ago – because of his long illness our home was also in dire need of attention, so I am currently paying tradesmen to install new kitchen appliances, garden make-over, house painting (external) and I am attempting to brighten my kitchen cupboards by painting them myself (not an easy task with a stroke affected dominant arm and very tiring) and I am hoping that Craig is happy with what I am doing – I just wish I had done it when he could have experienced it with me. Oh the regrets.....
Again, thank you for your support and I wish you comfort kindness and love.

Dec 20, 2013
To Craig's wife.
by: Jean Benson

I do know of your suffering and feel the pain as my son died in Nov. 2013.It was cancer that took my son too. He left a wife and 2 adult daughters, one who just started college.
You are not alone as our hearts are broken too. Take hold of Jesus' Hand as He is there thru all our earthly troubles.
Craig also is near you and past all pain and suffering now. He is happy and wouldn't want you to cry but tears will come it will be a sad memory but only that after a while. He also saw and helped his Mom cross over to her new and eternal life. I will pray that life will be kind to you and the Lord will help you. May God bless you and be near you always, Jean Benson

Dec 20, 2013
27 years married to my Craigy Baby.....
by: Doreen UK

Amanda I ran out of space. Just wanted to say that grief assaults the body and makes us feel worse. Don't fight tiredness, or fatigue. Rest all you can at this time. Make priority lists and work down this as and when you are able. If you look at all your needs now for a job, and money you will be overwhelmed by this mountain at a time when you have had 2 losses to cope with. Start with trying to sort out one problem at a time. If this be a job then only tackle this. Money worries can escalate at this time and compounds ones loss. Take one day at a time and don't look too far ahead. This is how I got through my grief.
If you find yourself struggling then you may benefit from speaking with a grief counsellor. They are skilled and trained in this area to support those having difficulties. they may even help you to work out the other difficulties you have with money concerns by putting you in touch with other organisations that can assist you. Without the right support your battle will be harder. Best thing to do is let someone help you carry this burden.
I had my garden landscaped for my husband and have a corner just for him. But I was so trusting and let the man use the garage to pass through making the job easier, and he stole all my husband's expensive tools and the only two long ladders we had. I can't get past my anger at the moment. It was good having the support of a husband, now I have to handle everything on my own. I am coping but fed up with so much to do. The roof was leaking, now the tap is leaking and the TV needs a repair. I have had over 20 problems with the house to deal with since he died. I makes lists and prioritise and the list is growing. I am having to add things as I go along. You may have to cope with this also and anyone reading this will realise they are not alone. After the loss as if this is not bad enough, problems increase and you don't have the support of your partner. This hurts. I hope the days get easier for you and that you cope better with the support on this site. Best wishes.

Dec 20, 2013
27 years married to my Craigy Baby...
by: Doreen UK

Amanda I am sorry for your loss of your beloved Craig. I empathise with how you feel. Cancer affects the whole family and a difficult recovery from. My husband worked with asbestos not known as a dangerous material. As a result the fibres lodge in the lung and takes 40yrs. to develop into a terminal cancer. Inoperable, incurable, and aggressive. I nursed him for over 3yrs. and Lost my husband of 44yrs. 19 months ago to MESOTHELIOMA (lung cancer caused by asbestos). I know how hard the cancer journey is. How it leaves the whole family depleted, angry, confused, shattered. At this time you suffer all the other problems of money, having to budget, how will you do house repairs, how do you go on? etc. People will support you, and some won't. you may even lose close family members and friends. People carry on with their lives and we struggle to go on each day. For the first six months I took to the couch and couldn't do anything. I put food in the oven. That is all. I nurtured myself back from my sorrow. I did lovely special things for myself each day and this picked me up and allowed me to start taking one job a day. Some days I did nothing. I am coping better but still hurt by my loss of my husband. This is the second Christmas without him and a turbulent one. I feel more insecure and upset, but I take one day at a time knowing each day will be different. My husband was a carpenter. Now I have to get tradesmen in to do all the jobs he used to do, and I get ripped off. It is a very hard place to be. If I didn't have a strong Faith in God and his power to comfort me and take me forward I would give up on life. The cancer journey still hits me every now and then. I can't resolve what he went through whilst I observed his suffering and tried to comfort him. It was such a cruel place to be. I can still feel angry about how he suffered. May God comfort you and give you his Peace and good supportive people around you to help ease the burden of grief.

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