Denis Guay- My Husband, my partner, my lover, my best friend

by Bea Guay
(Elizabethtown, KY USA)

June 4, 2012 started as any other morning, Until I went to kiss my husband before heading off to work, I found him laid back across the bed, I knew immediately that he had had a stroke. He could not move or speak. There was such fear in his eyes. At the hospital later that morning he regained use of his left arm and leg, I thought it was good news, that with time everything would be ok, with a new normal but ok.

Denis had a massive hemorrhagic stroke they said most of the left side of his brain was gone. He could not swallow or speak. He had another massive bleed on Tuesday. By Wednesday the neurosurgeon and his primary Dr. said I had a decision to make, he could not get better, it was probably only a matter of weeks, but he could possibly live like that for years, his neurologist was not present. My choices were put him in a nursing home with a surgical feeding tube or take him home. I asked for time, they said that was fine. He continued to have more bleeds into his brain.

I had set up a system of yes and no with his left hand thumb up was yes and no was a hand up like a stop. His twin sister had the courage to asked what I could not. He had heard everything the Doctors had told us and he understood. When his twin asked him if he wanted to live he told her NO. He pointed to his two sisters and I and although it took over 40 mins. He managed to make us understand "don't want" The nurses could not believe he had managed to speak at all. We made the decision to bring him home. Had a Priest give him last rights. His face just glowed, he knew he was going home.

The next morning the neurologist came to the room and yelled at us that we were just going to take him home and starve him to death, nurses came running, my 19yr granddaughter was present and ran from the room. this Dr. said he was ordering another swallow test and if he passed he would have the ethics board remove me a guardian. Denis did not pass the test. He refused to follow any commands for this Doctor. We were told later that this Dr. had asked the speech therapist why she was saying Denis followed her commands,when he was not following his. She said she told him he won't for you because he wants to go home. This Doctors words haunt me.

We went with Hosparus the most wonderful agency. I also hired private care to help me for 16hrs each day. He was so happy to be home,to pet his dogs. He came home on the night of the 14th his birthday was the 15th. He had a wonderful Fathers day that Sunday. On Monday morning he suddenly put his hand to his head and started moaning. George from Hosparus was there and within a few minutes got his pain under control. He never responded to us again. He'd had another massive bleed. I fought with myself until about 5am on Weds morning when I found the courage to tell him it was ok to go, I would be alright, that I would always love him with all my heart. He took one breath after I finished and left me,it was 5:04 am.

I am afraid to let the full extent of my grief out, I am afraid it will destroy me. I have always been a person that can't talk about my feeling with others,(except Denis). I am better at writing.
I feel so lost, If I dream it's that I am looking for him and can't find him. I don't understand why I have trouble picturing his face, imagining him hugging me,or his voice they all seem just out of reach. I go from being numb to devastated. I am on meds for depression, anxiety and have sleeping pills.

I am sure there are many who have been through the same with the same feelings. I hope you will reach out and share with me, your story and how you are coping

Comments for Denis Guay- My Husband, my partner, my lover, my best friend

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Aug 01, 2012
no tears left
by: Sharon

I'm sitting here, reading your stories, and having to wipe away the tears. I'm feeling the same feelings that all you ladies describe. I mostly feel alone. My husband of 30 years, Richard, had a heart attack on my 50th birthday. He died 5 days later, on December 27th of 2011. I'm only 50 years old, and I've buried my Mother, Father, and now my husband, who believe it or not, I was still madly in love with. There's another death that affected me so deeply, that I'm unable to cry now for my husband. In 2002, our only child was murdered. Her name was Cami. It has been 10 long years, and I was starting to feel like maybe I was finally at the tail end of the grieving process for my daughter. Then, my entire world gets torn apart again. I can't cry anymore. When my child died, something happened to me. I think I put up a wall to prevent myself from ever feeling as empty and devastated as I felt then. I feel I need to cry, but I can't. My heart is with you all. May you find the comfort you need soon. It's all so confusing and tiring and almost impossible to even think of happiness. No one comes around anymore, and I'm so lonely without him.

Jul 25, 2012
Dennis guay-My Husband, my partner, my lover, my best friend
by: Doreen U.K.

Bea I am sorry for your loss of your husband. You really have been through such a very difficult time.
Just like you I don't like talking of my feelings to others. I can push a pen and all my best feelings and expressions come from writing. Bea you would benefit greatly from keeping a journal and write in this daily. Structure your journal how you want. Either in letter form each day to your husband. Or in a dialogue talking to husband or God. Telling all you are feeling. It is a very cathartic (Cleansing) experience.
You really need to get your feelings out. Grief is not something that you dictate. It happens automatically. You won't know when this will end. It will seem as if it is going to last forever. But it won't. If your grief is stuck and you are so numb. Go seek out a bereavement counsellor. they are specialized in this area of working at a deep level. Don't see it as an intrusion. See it as a Healing experience. You are at the stage of crying and searching which is why you are dreaming that you are looking for him. this is the first and painfull expressions of grief. I also find it hard to imagine what my husband looked like. It is as if everything is moving away from me and I am trying hard to grasp it all. Almost like my STeve is reaching out to grasp my hand and he is slipping away from me. then I panic. You will feel as if Grief will destroy you as the pain is unbearable. It actually feels as if inside you are hemoraghing. Like a scalpel being taken to your very core and you are oozing. You can't be closed up either till the oozing stops. that is when grief worked through is bringing healing. When the oozing stops. Different experience for each of us.
It has been 10 weeks I lost my husband from lung cancer. A deadly cancer caused by working with asbestos. I nursed Steve for 3yrs.39days at home. Steve wanted to die at home. He had his wish granted. The only memories coming back are that of the 3yrs living with pain and no quality of life. Slowly watching my husband die. I am angry. I am bewildered. I am shaken to my core. 44years of marriage gone. No golden moments for Steve to enjoy retirement. Husbands work hard all their life for their families and then comes retirement which is for them and they deserve this. Then DEATH. How cruel is this. We have to go on ALONE. All the dreams and plans will never be lived. Change is difficult in general but later in life it makes no sense to redirct our lives. I have lost my motivation to do anything. I don't want another man in my life. My song to Steve was SONNY JAMES. "MY WORLD BEGINS AND ENDS WITH YOU." This is what it feels like. OUR WORLD HAS ENDED. It will be hard to go on ALONE. I hope that you have good friends and family to support you in your grief and that the days ahead will be a little easier for you to cope with. You are not alone. Write back if you need to.

Jul 25, 2012
by: Karen

My husband, the love of my life, died next to me on June 21, 2011, at 3:10 a.m. of a massive heart attack. I thought Rich was snoring, but he was dying. When I realized something horrible was happening, I called his name. No answer. I called his name again, no answer. I called 911 and was told to get him out of bed and onto the floor. They talked me through chest compressions until the police and paramedics arrived. They didn't tell me until I got to the hospital that they were unable to bring him back. The love of my life was gone! Rich is now lying in a National Cemetery. He was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, a corrections officer, race car driver, and Harley guy. He was my "everything." I, too, couldn't recall his face for months for I was in shock; I still am. A year later, I have good days and bad days and cry and cry. The future without him is unbearable. Supposed friends are around you for two weeks and then they disappear because death isn't something they want to think about. The emptiness is oppressive. I beg God to give him back to me and I ask why over and over. I'm told to have found love is a blessing. Why was that blessing taken from me?

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