Christmas sure is not what it used to be

by Cathy
(Canada)

My husband died last year of a sudden massive heart attack in his sleep. We were together 33 years. Life has never been the same. I feel so lifeless and lonely without him. I live completely alone. Night time is the worst, when the house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts.
I did manage to put up Christmas decorations this month when the feeling hit me to do so. But then I look at it all and feel like ripping everything down because I figure why bother, it's only me here. What is there to feel happy about. The love of my life is gone. I'd give anything to be with him again, but of course this isn't going to happen, until I die. I must say though that when I went Christmas shopping for my grandchildren and my adult children and son in law I did have the Christmas spirit some of the time. I sure hope that next year will be a little better. If not I don't think I am going to put up so many decorations or maybe none at all.
Merry Christmas my beloved husband, where ever you are. I know, I hope, I will see you again on the other side. All of my love forever, Cathy.

Comments for Christmas sure is not what it used to be

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Jan 05, 2014
Not gone yet but soon
by: Cathy

To Not gone yet but soon.
I am so sorry for your terrible situation. What you are going through must be so very devastating.
I can only suggest that because your boys are grown now that maybe you can lean on them a little for some support. You are going to take this the hardest. Maybe the cancer society in your area also has a support team for you. When my husband unexpectedly passed away I was in shock for some months. I did talk to my adult daughter a lot which helped a little. Praying might help too. I did this even though I was very angry. Coming to this site seems to help people to comment on others stories, speak about their own, or to just read through others situations. Losing a spouse is a horrible place to be, but things do eventually get somewhat better to the point of functioning better. So sorry for what you are facing right now.

Jan 05, 2014
Life changes
by: Lesley

First of all the top worst pain is a parent losing a child and second to that is a spouse losing their partner, unfortunately I lost my husband in 2009.... The pain is worse as I get older..we met 43 years ago and were married for 37 glorious years...there is not a day that I don't shed a tear and as my grown up children say the day that their father died so did a big part of their mum did as well....I try to be strong but sadly my eyes tell a different story!

Jan 05, 2014
Not gone yet but soon
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous I am so sorry to hear your husband is dying of stomach cancer. You are in the same place as I was over 4yrs. ago. My husband of 44yrs was diagnosed with Lung cancer caused by working with asbestos. He battled for 3yrs.39days and died 20 months ago. I was his carer all this time and watched him die slowly and in a lot of pain. It was the worst experience of my life. I wanted to hold onto every moment and stretch a 24hr. day so I had longer with him. I didn't want to know how long he had left to live. But my relatives asked and told me later he only had a week to live. I felt angry. I am not sure if I made the right decision to not know. I wouldn't know how to react. Perhaps I may have wasted time crying instead of loving him? I did my crying after he died. I was in denial about him dying. I didn't want to believe it. The best advice I can give you is what I learned on this site. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. DON'T LOOK TOO FAR AHEAD. Say all you want to before it becomes too late. Don't be too strong for your boys to the point you don't look after yourself or your own grief. Support your boys but with your limitations and boundaries. They will lose a father but you will be losing a spouse and the grief is very different. In many ways you are grieving your loss now. My grief started the day my husband got his diagnosis of cancer. I have been grieving for almost 5yrs. from diagnosis to his passing away. When a wife has dedicated her life to her husband and children she suddenly feels. "What do I do with Me" "Where do I go from here." "How will I cope without him." "He was the centre of my universe and I can't bear this." The days and months ahead will be very painful and you will want to rush through your grief. Just take one day at a time. Surround yourself with loving supportive family and friends. Get counselling if it becomes unbearable to grieve your loss. Most of all know that grief does not last forever. It is a slow process to heal from. But you will recover from grief each day. Your husband is still young and this hurts. My husband was 65yrs. and I felt he had more years to live if he was given the chance. Death is no respecter of age. WE just have to live for the moment. May God comfort you and your family through this difficult time and give you His Peace. Please keep us updated.

Jan 05, 2014
not gone yet but soon
by: Anonymous

My husband of 35 years is fighting stomach cancer and now I am told that he doesn't have much time left. How do you say good-bye? How do you let go? I am trying to stay positive for my 3 (grown) boys, but I am really falling apart. He is only 57 years old and I didn't imagine my life would end up like this. I cry every minute of the day and struggle to be strong when I am at the hospital with my husband. How can you go on with life if your life is your husband?

Jan 01, 2014
Your Story helps me understand
by: Doreen UK

Lisa I understand what you are saying about how your mom feels after losing your dad. I can identify with her. I was married for 44yrs. and lost my husband to cancer 20 months ago. I was his carer for over 3yrs. and nursed him with a devastating cancer watching him die slowly. I couldn't function for 6 months. I bathed myself in T.V. and took one day at a time which I learned on this site and this was the best advice. I still today 20 months later can only take one day at a time. I am unable to look forward but one day at a time. Which means I can't make plans. I let each day unfold as it will. Your mother may benefit from this advice. In time your mother will get her life back but for now she will go through the motions of grief. You said that you thought that she would start to enjoy her life. This will come in time. For now your mother may be processing what it feels like to be ALONE without her soul mate. She will feel cheated out of retirement with your dad. This is how I feel. Each day I sit here alone I think of how life could have been. This is the part of our days of grief. But I do feel I have been left a gift from my loss. MY FREEDOM. I can cook and eat when I want. Shop if I feel like it. I don't have to do anything if I don't want to. I feel my retirement and I try to enjoy it as best as I can. I have good days and bad days but try to make the best out of each day. Give your mother time. All she will feel at the moment is her LONLINESS. and EMPTINESS. This aspect of grief will take longer to go. Losing a father is different from losing a spouse. The feelings are very different. Give your mother space to grieve, but ask her often how she is doing and how you can help her through this difficult time. Encourage your mother to let you know what her needs are and what she needs from you. This way it will take pressure off you and help your mother to know that you care whilst still giving her the space to feel her grief and work through this. It isn't easy and the worst experience any of us will go through in life. I wish you better days ahead and a good New Year!

Dec 29, 2013
Thankyou
by: Cathy

Thank you everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments. I am so very sorry for all of your losses. We are never ever prepared for this. How can you carry on? I like the advice about volunteering. It is something I have done in the past and I did enjoy it. Now is the time for us to be doing something, anything to help take our minds off of the intense grief I suppose. I hope we all are able to find some degree of peace eventually.

Sincerely, Cathy.

Dec 28, 2013
worse this second Christmas
by: June

Cathy,
Your words echo my own. No one knows what it is like unless they have gone or going through this grief journey.
I hate it.
I miss my Mike more as time goes on...it is 21 months since Mike passed away. We were married for 42 years.
I made myself put up a tree and decorate for Christmas, but what has helped me more is doing/helping others. I volunteer at a homeless shelter. I took up canoeing and found I love it, and the companionship with the group after our paddle is so helpful.
This website is great and the advice that people have given is very helpful.
I really don't have a faith but hope to be together again with Mike.
This is a phase in our life that no one is prepared for.
I sure don't know the answers, having someone to talk to helps.
My thoughts go out to you and everyone else going through this journey.
June
Canada

Dec 24, 2013
i want to escape this
by: Anonymous

i lost my husband 4 months ago from a massive heart attack. We had been married 30 years and he was my best friend and soulmate. His love was unconditional and i miss his company and love every day. People think i am doing very well because i am not breaking down all the time, but that is just a front for me. When i leave work i cry all the way home in my car. The slightest thing sets me off. I dont want to carry on without him and i dont know how to move on. I love my grandchildren dearly but cannot bare the thought of him not being part of their growing up. I am even thinking of just getting in my car and moving away without telling anyone as i am so loney. I

Dec 24, 2013
Your story helps me understand!
by: Lisa

First, I am so sorry about your husband! We lost my dad in Feb 2013 and this is our first Christmas without him. What has been worse through this terrible time is watching my mom unfold! Like you, she was married to my dad for 45 years. She not only was his wife, but his caretaker due to an illness. I really thought is passing would release her life and give her a chance to enjoy life. I was so WRONG! She expresses how lonely she is and again like you she said it starts around 5:00 pm into the night that the loneliness and pain set in each night. I feel so helpless! So i feel your pain. I keep telling her she is not alone, but my words seem helpless. I plan to forward you story in hopes she can understand she is truly not alone. As hard as I know it is going to be - I do wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2013
Christmas sure is not what it used to be
by: Doreen UK

Cathy I am sorry for your loss of your husband of 33yrs. I know how you feel getting through the utter loneliness. I always describe loneliness as an emotional cancer. It eats through one and is so painful to endure.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. 19 months ago to a deadly cancer. I could not function for 6 months. I took to the couch and bathed my sorrow with TV. and the God Channel. I built myself up each day by doing special things for myself. This nurturing was the foundation to help me move forward. I can't motivate myself to put up Christmas decorations. It is too painful. My youngest daughter lives at home and she went out and bought a Christmas tree and decorated it. Her motivation was her 2yrs. old niece, and 4yr. old nephew. Having grandchildren does lift one's spirits and helps each the pain for grief. I feel cheated now having retirement on my own and also my husband not having a relationship with his grandchildren. Taking one day at a time helps me get through each day. This is my second Christmas without my husband and this one is more painful. Having a family a wife/mother lives for her family and puts their needs first. When I lost my husband I was suddenly aware of my own needs and couldn't handle this. I said to myself "What do I do with me?" I discovered that I was left a gift. MY FREEDOM. Freedom to do whatever I wanted each day. If I didn't feel like doing anything that is what I did. NOTHING. This changed each day. So I do Echo what Sharon said in her post. THIS IS YOUR TIME. Don't feel guilty. Enjoy it. I have a strong Faith so I know I will see my husband again. This gives me the Hope to go on in life. You will get your life back in time. Meantime enjoy your children and grandchildren. They will be a good comfort at this time in your life. But I do understand how you feel. Best wishes.

Dec 23, 2013
no worse pain
by: Anonymous

I feel so sorry for you. Your words are as if I wrote them myself so I think you echo many of our thoughts and feelings. My husband died earlier this year after thirty years together, of a sudden heart attack here at home. He was the most beautiful soul and this grief is so overwhelming death is preferable. It's more than just the holidays that hurt but they certainly don't help. He was all I had in the world, I too am all alone. My heart, my very broken heavy heart goes out to you. I feel exactly the same way if that is any consolation.

Dec 23, 2013
Christmas sure is not what it used to be.
by: Jean

I also know your pain as we lost our son to cancer the 23rd. of November. Because he would have wanted us to, we decorated the outside with trimmings and lights. You must know that your husband would want that too. He would be there more fully if you decorate the house as always. It will never be the same but he is celebrating it as always but with Jesus this time and wants you to know that grief doesn't last forever but his love is still with you always. So enjoy every day that God gives you knowing he sees you and loves you, dear friend.

Dec 23, 2013
not what it used to be
by: Anonymous--MI

Denise---I feel your pain and sorrow. My husband of 43yrs died in Nov 2012 of SCA and life has been in turmoil and pain since. I also am alone and feel the quiet time as so sad and lonely. As you are feeling I too miss my husband more than anyone can know UNLESS they have lost their spouse also. I also put up decorations for Christmas mainly for my kids and grkids when they are here. It is indeed, a lonely sorrowful time to be without the love of our lives. I take one day at a time and if I can be of help to anyone I try to do that. If I can be very busy and pass the time in work, then I do that. This second Christmas without my dear husband is harder than the first as last year I was in shock. This year the reality has set in. I pray for God to lead and guide us to a place of light and some renewed joy---we deserve it as our lives have been ripped apart. I am working on trying to control my anger and resentment at others that are going on with their happy lives and I try to remember 'wasn't I just like that before I became a widow?' Let us try to move forward in our grief and pray for God to show us the way to do that. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Dec 23, 2013
MY CONDOLENCES TO YOU
by: Sharon Grabin

Dear Cathy,

Please hold on… it is so heartwarming to know you have children & grandchildren who value your company….. you are not alone…

I cannot imagine how it must feel to be alone after 33 years of marriage (I will be married to my husband for 35 years this coming May 2014!). I know your husband would want you to live happily.

This is the time to do something for yourself that you've always wanted to do, but never did!! THIS IS YOUR TIME!!! Your husband is in Heaven cheering you on..

My heart goes out to you, but that same heart is cheering you on to grieve as you need to, but promise yourself that you will get through this…. continue your Christmas cheer for Jesus is the reason for the season & nobody suffered more then Him.

Bless you & your family, but especially you as you take your rightful place as the only surviving parent in this family unit.

I lost both my parents in 2007 & am still going through the process..

Sincerely…...

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