husband died unexpectedly wife having serious grief

by lois
(sacramento, ca, usa)

My husband had surgery foe stage. 1 cancer and Dr got all but scar tissue (unknown he had) made it hard for Dr to get to so lung was beaten up and he was to be in I.c.u. 2 days to regular floor for 4 days. He was in agony with what he said was severe heartburn and no meds gave him any relief. He had a 26 day in I.c..u. 25 years ago with an undiagnosed lung infection from which he recovered and never had lung problems afterward until this. Dr knew about that and did not check on it. The severe " heartburn" he never got relief from we since have been told could have been angina. He never complained about pain from chest tubes he had or incision. After 6 agonizing days with no relief, food or water he died of a massive heart attack. I have terrible grieving and am very angry with Dr. I feel cheated of more years with him, he just turned 70. This grief is severe and it has been over 2 months but feels like the first day.

Comments for husband died unexpectedly wife having serious grief

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Feb 27, 2014
dr issues
by: gayle

Issues about my husband are bothering me. In 1998 he had a high white count. In 2007 his white count was between 14-16 and he had to see a blood specialist he was trying to get cleared for knee surgery. No one checked to see if he had cancer. In Nov 2012 he was diagnosed with stage 111A lung cancer. Why didn't the drs check for cancer? Would he be here if they would've found it earlier?

Nov 10, 2013
Husband died unexcpectdly wife having serious grief
by: Lois

Oh my, I had no idea there were any comments to my post and let me tell you all thank you from the bottom of my shattered heart. It means so much to know that you really "get it." So many say, "I know what you are going through." NO, NO, NO.

I did join a bereavement support group but it only meets twice a month which is fine but the first time I went I felt the same way, "These people really get it."

I love having the capability of doing this online, I never ever joined a talk forum but you are all very sincere just to take the time to respond to me.

I am so grateful and thankful to all of you.


Mar 27, 2013
28 snow angels
by: Lois

I finally got to the Amazon site and found your book. I bought it. The reviews were so fantastic I had to and you got so many great reviews I knew it had to be mine. I can't wait to get it.

Mar 25, 2013
Thoughts of Hope
by: Diane Dettmann

Lois, I'm so sorry for the sudden death of your husband. I understand what you're going through. My 54 year old husband died suddenly in 2000 of complications from a lung condition. Madly in love and married for 28 years, the loss devastated me. I tumbled into a deep grief. I was angry at God for taking my husband away and for all the dreams we had together that would never happen.

The grief can be so painful, you don't think you'll ever get through it, but you will. I felt disconnected and like I was going crazy! Trying to move forward without my husband took tons of energy and small steps. If I crawled out of bed and unloaded the dishwasher, I applauded myself for the accomplishment. In time my energy improved. I found support in my family and a few close friends who stuck by me no matter how much I cried or what mood I was in. I also read other women's stories of loss which helped me feel not so alone.

It'll take time to work through the loss. Somedays you'll make leaps forward, others a few steps backwards, but eventually you will make it! I found writing helped. I dumped my anger and feelings into notebooks which eventually turned into a book, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow's Story of Love, Loss and Renewal, about my journey. The book's on Amazon and bringing hope to others.

Be kind to yourself, embrace the memories of your husband and carry them forward with you. Everyone's journey is unique to them. Lois, I'll keep you in my thoughts. Sending you words of hope and comfort.

Mar 25, 2013
Husband died unexpectedly wife having serious grief.
by: Doreen U.K.

Lois I understand what you are saying. I TOO in 2005 fought a hard battle against the medical profession. They invited me to meet the doctors to have my questions answered. I thought to myself these are medical professionals who would use medical technical jargon to support their argument whilst I am sitting there getting nowhere. The last thing I wanted to do was waste my time sitting with professionals who may tie me in knots and I get nowhere. The Challenge for me was to improve our medical welfare. To challenge the doctors lies. To refuse to see one particular doctor who was rude to my husband and told him to get out of bed and walk. He lost the power in his legs and couldn't walk. He nearly died of ENCEPHALITIS. The neurologist said to my husband. "Why did you wait so long to come in for treatment." This sparked a rage in me. My husband was in intensive care. before visiting him I wrote an email to my MEMBER OR PARLIAMENT (MP.) He was the one who set the ball in motion. I fought a hard battle to the top. It almost cost me a nervous breakdown. But at least I got the answers I needed. The ambulance paramedic was rude. She was negligent. She made Steve walk. He collapsed. She called urgently for a chair. She said if Steve fell down she couldn't pick him up due to "Health and Safety." She had to determine whether my husband's illness was GENUINE. It would take too long to go into details but this paramedic was found to be negligent and reprimanded and had to have supervision and monitoring.
You have to weigh up the facts. Will it add to your grief? Will the medical profession really listen to you and validate your concerns about your husbands last hours? You need answers and you want the truth. Someone is responsible. You want to know what went wrong? Tell them you won't give up till you get the answers you need to resolve these issues and concerns you have. Half the battle is having all the questions written down you need answers for. Then you need to have a relative or friend for support. Tell them also that you don't want a room full of people all giving you answers you don't understand. You need to approach this challenge in a structured way where you are the one who is taken seriously and respected. You have lost your husband and you know mistakes were made. You would have to be brave enough to hear something you may be afraid to hear of. If you are not comfortable with this you can then go into counselling and resolve your concerns with a counsellor. The importance is that you don't carry any regret through life for not finding out what happened. Think through everything carefully and then make an informed decision and see it through to the end. I know how it feels to feel so unhappy with things and the need to do something about it. It may not go your way. Or as you planned but you may feel happy you at least tried. These are just some thoughts. I have to end now as I have too much text. Best wishes.

Mar 24, 2013
Where does all that wisdom come from
by: Anonymous

Your wisdom is to be applauded. How you do it in the midst of grief is beyond me. I don't go through one day without something happening due to the grief. I know what you mean when you say you don't have the energy to pursue your issues. I might some day in the form of making appt with dr to answer questions, but none will admit to anything ever. I just feel it is futile and will only prolong any healing that might be taking place. My own health isn't that great, non life threatening, but an everyday challenge so do I need more grief? Maybe in the future. I truly believe because the surgery was so hard on him, it brought on the massive heart attack. He was tense the entire time, calling out for help in any form, and icu nurses were told so many times, dr was told, he said he has chest xray and lab work done daily and all show improvement so the rest is "up to him." Couldn't see how weak he was? It hurts to think about it and I get so angry. It seems like a non medical person could tell something else may have been happening.

No matter what I do, it won't help me feel better and he may tell me something I don't want to know. I really don't want to be a quitter but that is a pretty prestigious group to go up against, the medical profession. I just don't want to see someone else have to endure what we are and what he did. He paid the ultimate price.

Mar 24, 2013
husband died unexpectedly wife having serious grief.
by: Doreen U.K.

Hi Lois I ran out of space so wanted to add to my post to tell you that because your husband died suddenly this will affect your grief. Seeing a grief counsellor will help you to move beyond the pain. Often our grief can be frozen and when we thaw out we feel the pain immensely. Also you may be stuck in grief and can't move forward. I may myself be in this place as I am feeling my pain of grief more. Today would have been our 45th wedding anniversary. It hurts so much for you. I know how you feel even though our experiences are different. I thought my husband would have survived till his 80's since his whole family have lived late into their 80's. He died at 65yrs. He had a bad time with his cancer.
If you are not happy with the care your husband received I am sure attached to the hospital is a facility for patients complaints. If just one person admitted responsibility I know you would feel better. Because you could then resolve your anger issues even if it can't bring your husband back. The hardest problem for you is to know your husband could have survived and had more quality of years left with you. If Steve's cancer presented at 50yrs. and not 40yrs. Steve would have had at least 10yrs. of retirement. I feel cheated out of retirement with Steve. I am doing this alone now. I have lost all quality of life with the loss of my husband. I am crippled with arthritis and I don't drive so I have mobility issues. But I soldier on because there is nothing I can do. I have to make the most of each day and if it means all I do is encourage and support people on this site like yourself, then I feel my life is not in vain. I feel very fulfilled supporting other people. My life's experiences means I can talk from experience and so lift others up because I have overcome in these areas. I would have loved being available in person to come alongside you at such a time like this as just being there in person does help. But I live in England and You in America. But if you need more support you can email me at I will do my best to care for you in the way you need till you can feel less pain from your grief. May God be with you and comfort you and give you Peace.

Mar 23, 2013
Unable to get reply through to you
by: Anonymous

You are a very special lady! With what you have endured, you still encourage others. I wrote a lengthy reply this am to your reply to mine and typed the correct encrypted word and clicked submit - nothing. I tried another time with a different encryption and clicked submit and it then said I had too many tries and shut me down. This is the very first time I used a forum-type online site and maybe there is a rules and regulations area I need to print out so I do things better. I hope I can recover it and when I do I will do another response to you. You touched my heart.

Mar 23, 2013
husband died unexpectedly wife having serious grief.
by: Doreen U.K.

Lois I am sorry for your loss of your husband prematurely to a sudden death from heart attack. When doctors errors cause complications that bring death sooner it is a harder grief to come to terms with. You would greatly benefit from a few grief counselling sessions. This will help with your normal anger issues of this loss. It is hard enough losing a husband without any further complications to deal with.
I lost my husband to lung cancer 10 months ago. My husband had an Industrial disease type of cancer caused by working with asbestos that takes 40-60yrs. to develop. This cancer was incurable, inoperable and aggressive. My husband had an Oncologist who was careless. He saw patients with shingles and my husband ended up getting shingles in the worst place. He got shingles in the eye which is dangerous and could cause blindness. My husband then developed a blood clot from the last Chemo and had to have daily injections in his stomach for 3 months then tablets. he developed pneumonia and a heart attack. He really suffered. There was negligence in his care and the home care nurses would not administer pain medication due to the funding of this. My husband was in severe pain. I will never forget the look on his face due to the pain on the day he died. He couldn't even die with ease and less pain. My heart is breaking over this. I can't get this picture out of my mind. I feel so very angry. I have no energy to fight with the medical care system. I did it once in 2005 when my husband nearly died of ENCEPHALITIS. To cut a long story short I went to the highest authority and then the doctor came to our home and admitted that mistakes were made and then my anger went and I dropped the case. It was never about getting the doctor in trouble. It was about getting better medical care with no neglect and lies told. The doctor changed his system. His son is now also my doctor and he shouted at me in surgery and was very angry because I didn't keep up my heart clinic appt. and he can't do it because he has over 5000 patients. I came out disorientated and felt beat up. I had very high blood pressure which this doctor gave me I am sure. I told this doctor straight My appt didn't arrive in the post. I was busy caring for my dying husband "You know he had cancer." and you visited him also and attended to him. He was top priority. I then rang his father up and told him to clarify to his son that He told me to come to the surgery without an appt. And I told him to tell his son to speak to me with more respect. So I say to anyone. If you are not happy about anything in your loved one's care. Challenge this for your own peace of mind. Otherwise your grief will be more intense. Lois you are not alone. So many people can say there was neglect in their loved one's care. I hope you have supportive family and friends to help you through your grief as it does help.

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