Life Feels Over
My husband of 30 years died from lung cancer in January 2012. We were very close and did everything together. We thought he had longer than eight months to live after his diagnosis, so, though it should not have been, his death was a shock to me. Surely, I was in denial. I am thankful that he did not suffer much longer than he did, as his decline was a debilitating, painful one.
Compounding his death is the fact that I feel alone on the planet, and I have faced one calamity after another at the worst time of my life.
Before my husband died, he accidentally left the bathtub tap running for hours and flooded the downstairs of our house, which included collapsed ceilings. It was a nightmare.
Six weeks after he died, I very unexpectedly lost my job due to a layoff. I had planned to continue working to maintain needed structure and human contact in my life. At my age, this meant unplanned retirement--retirement to an empty house in a small cliquish town, where I have no friends or support system whatsoever. (There is no such thing in this little town).
After my forced retirement, it seems almost everything major that could break around the house has done so. First, there was the need for a new furnace, new heat pump, and an expensive, larger breaker box. Plumbing problems arose. The hot water heater broke. A hurricane hit the town in which I live, and my house sustained damage, though fortunately no flooding.
Last week, when I was on my way back home from a city located 35 miles away from my home, unbelievably, my car stopped running in the midst of traffic. The timing belt broke long before replacement was due. I had the car towed to a repair shop. I was blessed that the owner of the repair shop arranged transportation for me and my groceries all the way back home and again provided transportation so that I could pick up my repaired car.
My only family is one son who lives thousands of miles away. My oldest son took his life in 2007. I know it's abnormal, but I spend most days in bed reading. I've tried to connect with others through attending church and joining a widow's group and an exercise class (all out-of-town). I have seen a grief counselor, who advised me to rest and take my time, that "it's all been a bit too much."
I desperately miss my husband. He is the only one I had left in my life. I must muster the energy and motivation to clean my large home, sell it, and move, although I don't know where I will move. In the meantime, I know I should volunteer to keep busy, but the fact is I have no motivation or energy to do anything at all. Also I have had what I am sure were stress-related illnesses this fall, which further set me back. I do see my internist regularly. Right now, at my request, I am tapering off of clorazepate (generic of Tranzene), which my doctor prescribed, also at my request, during my husband's stressful, terminal illness. It is a benzo, which I did not know at the time I requested it, and the taper is difficult, but I am very determined to make it.
My fear is that I will never do all of the many, many overwhelming things I must do so that I can move, which will leave me in a lonely, hopeless situation forever. Where there is a will, there is a way. I must find the will.
My heart goes out to each one of you as you painfully grieve your own losses. Thank you for "listening" to my story. It helped to write this today.