A long goodbye

by Al
(Cleveland)

Right now I hate Wednesdays - it's Wednesday the 18th of January, 2012 and its been seven weeks since the death of my wife Wendy. I feel sure that some time I'll stop counting the weeks but for now every Wednesday hurts.

Wendy and I were married for 40 years - she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003 - and she was my everything. The last year was especially hard as the cancer spread and finally took her away.

At first I tried to deal with the grief all on my own, pretty much telling anyone who asked how I was doing that "I was OK".
Finally, I told a counselor from the hospice my wife was at when she died the same thing and then realized that saying I was OK was the easy thing to say and clearly not true.

So I made an appointment with the counselor and we talked about the various ways of expressing grief. So far I'm just waiting for the floodgates to open - whenever I start crying, I "catch" myself even though I know I should just let go.

Comments for A long goodbye

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Jan 19, 2012
To A Long Goodbye
by: Annie

I lost the love of my life, my husband, on December 26, 2011 from bladder cancer. He was diagnosed 6 months prior and I thought that we would have him for longer. He suffered greatly for those 6 months, so I am glad that he is no longer suffering, but I have never felt such deep pain in my life. We had been together for 30 yrs. and to have that taken away from me has been unbearable. I want him back with me so badly. I cannot imagine ever feeling like normal ever again. I miss him so badly. It helps to know that I am not alone and that going through this process will make me a stronger person.

Jan 19, 2012
It's Friday's for me
by: Alwyn

So very sorry for your loss mate. May my loss be of comfort to you.

My beautiful wife of nearly 30yrs, Leonie, lost her life to lung cancer on Friday the 30th Dec 2011. Lee was only 51yrs of age.

The cancer was diagnosed in late 2007 when a tennis ball sized tumour was found in her right lung. She had the right lung removed in early 2008 and was cancer free until a node was found in her left lung early 2011. By mid year it was time to remove the tumour but the cancer had already spread to the pleura. She was given months to many years to live. Her last CT results the Monday before Christmas confirmed the cancer had spread to liver, spleen, diaphram, colon and multiple nodules in her lung and pleura. She was in a lot of pain.

Even though we knew the day would finally come, it's the last few days that get to me. She needed to be admitted on the Wednesday after Christmas. Being with her and seeing her fight for life was heart breaking and gut wrenching as I tended to her 24hrs a day by her beside.

When she finally drew her last breath I was inconsolable for 3 days. As I prepared for the funeral I felt elation, isn't that stupid! The day of the funeral was simply a chore that I had to get through and even managed to get up and say my personal eulogy at the service. Depression/pain/anguish hit me the next day and then the anger kicked in. We literally started married life with nothing and worked so hard together to build our home and family and now, we'll never reap the rewards together in our Golden years.

I'm better now as I've struggled through that anger period. This past week I've had a week to myself with no family or friends to "invade" my grief and I'm trying to get on with living, just as my wife wanted me to. Am going to try and get back into work next week but I've been saying that for the last two weeks, it's just easier not to go in.

I know it's still early days and I feel like an empty shell but I'm glad both Lee and I had time to plan for the worst and that has made carrying on without her that little bit easier. Of course I miss the love of my life and always will. Our love was so strong and I'm grateful we have a loving family to carry on that legacy.

I take a great deal of solace too in that when Leonie finally left us, all her loved ones were with her enshrouding her with love as she passed into the Afterlife.

Suffering no more, see you on the flip side Lee.


Jan 19, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss
by: Rebekah

I hate tuesdays and saturdays , my twin sister had a bad car wreck on her way to work on tuesday the 15th of november and lived untill the morning of the 19th which was a saturday, I am lost and so angry and unhappy , cry all the time , yell at everyone , stay by my self as much as possible. Grief is such a hard thing to go through . I never knew it was so real untill this happened . I am so sorry for your loss and wish you peach. It dosent ever get easier as ever one says it does get tolerable though. I think anyways everyone who has lost a loved one tells me this .

Jan 19, 2012
A long goodbye
by: Barbara (cancer survivor)

Al,
I'm so sorry for you loss. I know the pain that you carry. I lost my mother to cancer 15yrs ago, and everyday it seems like yesterday. I still cry for my mother, she was my mother, best friend, and companion. I always pray to our Lord and savior he keeps my mind sane everyday, and he keeps taking my heartache and gives me strength and faith. In May 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated and my world turned inside out, I thought..........that's it, I'm going to go through the same thing that my mother did. I would constantly asked GOD, "why? why me? what did I do to deserve this?" Then my mother n law, this wonderful, beautiful, christian women that has helped me thru my journey with cancer and grieving my mother, in 2011 got me closer with GOD and I'm cancer free and understand my mother's will!! After that, I have gotten closer to his word and GOD has been there after so many times that I took my heartaches, grieving, tragedies , and everything else that I have been through......I leave it on his cross. Prayer is a huge, huge, powerful word. Pray everyday, keep your faith when it seems like it's not working...it is Al, believe me it is real and GOD does hear you I'm a testimony. I have faith that our LORD and savior will heal your heart and take away your pain. You will never for get your wife, but our GOD will save us from anything we are going through. So, everytime you feel like the devil has a hold of you and bringing you sadness, negative thoughts, and depression in your life...pray, pray, pray have faith Al and keep looking up not down. I'm a firm believer that he has the strength to give us to get through anything.

A friend of Christ,
Barbara

Jan 18, 2012
Feel your pain.
by: Lou

Al I feel your pain. My wife of 42 years passed on Dec. 3, 2011 and I have been a train wreck. All of my friends ask "you ok?" and I say yes but I am not at all ok. My wife had cancer for 20 years and I was her advocate. My daughter is still living home at 35 and if not for her it would be much worse if that is possible. I can only say hang in there and as the books say "it will get better". Be well.

Jan 18, 2012
I'm sorry for your loss
by: Anonymous

I have never lost a spouse I can only imagine the pain of losing someone you had been with for 40 years. I lost my grandson who was almost 3 years old one week ago, the pain is so intense. I have told my family if I happen to die I do not want any tears for me, I have lived a good life and seen things many never get to experience, such as my grandson. I guess what I'm trying to say is take all the love the two of you had for each other and remember the good times. Would she of wanted you to cry for her or rejoice in the time that you had together. I'm not saying do not grieve because you have to, it's normal and I'm not sure if time heals the pain because I miss my little one more every day.

Jan 18, 2012
.
by: BBQ

I'm sorry for your loss.
Brought tears to my eyes.
It can be hard to let feelings flow esp if you have had a lifetime of stifling them. When it comes to grief, everyone expresses it differently, everyone grieves differently. Don't put any expectations on yourself of what you should and shouldnt do.
Sometimes it's easier to tap into sadness via the ways we already easily tap into. For example: anger. Anger is pre-emptive to sadness.
Take a baseball bat and go pound a tree. You might not feel like it but once you start, i bet you find more energy. and theres a point, where, you're no longer angry. only hollowed out in sadness

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