Loss of Raymond, my love, my husband 4-23-11

by Marnie
(Tennessee)

We were married 23 years. The second marriage for both of us. He suffered terribly with cancer for two years. Lung, bone, pancreas. For two years I was his nurse/doctor/caretaker..everything. I worked so hard trying to make him better, trying to give him some quality of life worth living. He died at home suddenly. He pulled me close, kissed me, stroked my hair and cheek and then fought to breathe and died. I have all these feelings of guilt, grief, sadness. I keep thinking over it wondering if there was some other thing I could have done. If I could have been more loving, more supportive. I didn't want him to think I thought he was going to die. I tried to be more upbeat. I was exhausted, with caring for him, but couldn't let anyone else do it. The sadness and emptiness. I'm afraid to go anywhere because I need to be home to take care of him. Like I'm hoping I can go back and do it differently. I'm so sorry for the pain he endured, I'm so sorry for the times I wasn't loving, I'm so sorry for his loss of dignity and the times I was angry or feeling tired, or feeling sorry for myself because I didn't get enough rest or a break from the stress of a situation I couldn't make better. I want forgiveness, I want him back. And neither are possible.

Comments for Loss of Raymond, my love, my husband 4-23-11

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May 26, 2011
Me Too!
by: Cindy

Marnie, I too lost my husband to cancer and was his care taker until he passed at home under hospice care. I use to joke with him that my purpose in life was to take care of him and now I look back and see how very true that statement was. Know that you are not alone evidently there are many of us in the same boat as you and somehow 7 months later I am still here and functioning, a little better each day. The loneliness is unbearable at times but somehow we make it through. My comfort is knowing that John is no longer suffering and with his heavenly father. I dreaded the day where John would pass as I did not want the visions of him struggling for that last breath, I knew the end was near and tried to avoid the situation and finally went in and laid down with him, holding his hand telling him I loved him and he finally passed. Why could I not have been more comforting when he needed it most! That is something that I will have to live with the rest of my life. I pray every day for God's guidance and to help get me through the day. So have hope, trust God will walk beside you and hold you up as long as you need him. May God Bless!

May 23, 2011
we are here to help
by: Anonymous

One of the things they try to teach you as a caretaker is to take care of yourself. But I know that I did not. Oh I did the basics to get through the day but my world revolved around taking care of hubby, worrying when the next trip to the E.R would be. I did not realize how exhausting it was until he died. I would have given anything to take care of him another minute, day, hour, week or year.

And yes there is a huge amount of guilt when they die that we could have done more. In time you will realise that you did everything possible and he loved you so for you unselfish Love.

It has only been a month for you, You are in the very beginning of grief. Take things slow and allow your own body to tell you what you need, and your mind to let grief take you down the many ups and downs all part of grief. One of the things that helped me most was venting here. Just telling how I felt and have others understand. Knowing that yes you are grieving properly and are not crazy, just crazy with grief.
Please come back often. And let us help...
HH

May 23, 2011
Being Wife and Caregiver
by: JG

Marnie, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I too was the caregiver for my husband like you, TrishJ and others. It never crossed my mind to quit and at the time I didn't know or feel it was stressful. but there were days when my husband verbally struck out at me and called me vile names. I feel guilty for handling that the way I did because only later I found out it was his medicines that created the problem. He had never talked to me like that in all our 32 years before. I feel so guilty but my therapist asked me what good does it do to to hang on to the guilt. I have worked on forgiving myself as I forgave my husband for anything he did that caused me hurt or pain. I have prayed on it and told God I'm so sorry for not being better under the circumstances.
WHen I look back , now 8 months , I do see how very stressful it was and all the things that I did to keep him alive even to the point of hurting my own body.But I'd still do it if he were here.

We caregivers had a tough job but we loved them and took our vows seriously...till death we did part. I couldn't imagine someone not wanting to care for the person they are supposed to love and that loved them regardless of problems. Doctors told me that we, who choose to give that care, are rare. I too found that odd and unbelievable.

You did the best you could so be proud and know that God will care for you . Forgive yourself and hand it over to God. I will do the same.

Take care.

May 23, 2011
Loss of Raymond
by: Brenda Richison

Marnie, this what u are feeling , is natural during grieving periods. Remember this- you were his angel.Caring for him was hard I know. I was there with my Grandmother. She had full blown cancer through-out her 91 yr. old body.I cared for her so the family wouldn't put her in a nursing home. She had her right mind till she died. She used to cry, saying she shouldn't have to put me through that. I'd just smile and remind her of the yrs. she took care of me. You got to believe he is an angel now, out of pain, and happy. But Marnie, remember too, that he loves you and doesn't want to see you in the shape you're in. He'd want you to go on with life, till it's your calling. Right? So, first off, you need to go to a Dr. and tell him how you're feeling. He may want to put you on Depression medicine. Next, do not leave this website. Read what others have gone through, it'll help you. Write as many letters as you want. I'll be here, as many, many, others are, to listen. And right now you need that.I'll answer as many letters as I can. Then ask the Dr. to refer you to a group therapy. This will be the most aid in your healing. They'll help you with the grieving process. Yes, there's a process to go through. It tells all about it in this website. I'm not going to tell you that you'll heal all your wounds, but they will get easier for you once you learn to think positive again. There's no time limits, each person grieves differently. And you'll never forget him. You'll find easy days and very difficult ones. You'll cry till there are no more tears to cry, but let it out! Scream, with the rage you feel inside. Guilt? It'll be there scrambling your brain. Questions you'll one day be able to answer. It's a very hard trip you're going to take, but it'll eventually work out. This about covers what I've been going through for 7 long yrs. I also suffered a loss, my middle son-"Chunk". He took a 9mm and shot himself on July 8, 2004 outside on his porch. He left behind 2 little girls and a wife. Why? Only him and God knows that answer. I am better, but not healed. I have my days. But, I go on because I know thats what he wants. He was only 26 yrs. old. Take care of yourself Marnie. Write to us often as you like. Brenda May God bless you and help you through this.

May 23, 2011
Loss of Raymond
by: M. Mack

Marnie,

I am truly sorry for your loss. At only a month, you are very new to grief and just beginning the journey. It can be very confusing, with all the emotions going in different directions. Whatever you do, take it slow. You anger, sadness and guilt are all part of how it feels to loose the love of your life.

I lost my soulmate (also a Raymond) on July 23rd 2010. I still miss him very much, and I am not the same person I was.
This new life without him is lonely and I want him back so desperately, yet I know that's not possible. He died suddenly and there was no warning. He never complained and I would never ever think he would die so young, before me. We had so many plans to grow old together.

If there was anything I could do to help you get through this first stage, I would. I was numb, just wanted to stay in bed, didn't eat and cried all the time. Now if I break down, and I still have bad days, at least the cry is refreshing, and then I feel better. I've had time to sort my feelings and that's what you need- hang in there, pray for strength and know you are not alone in your grief. Writing helps, so come here as often as you need to because we really do care. Prayers and hugs.

May 22, 2011
Don't Feel Guilty
by: TrishJ

Oh my word. It's as if I was reliving the past few years of my life reading your story. I know exactly where you are coming from. My husband was so ill for the last three years ~ the last year being an absolute hell on earth. I was exhausted. There were days when I was very short with him. How many times do I have to make the 1 1/2 hour each way trip to Chicago to get him to the specialists? Sometimes 4 and 5 times a week. He couldn't drive, he was too ill. We couldn't go out to enjoy a dinner with friends ~ hauling his oxygen, iv tubing and the device he carried like a shoulder purse to keep his heart going. My days consisted of planning no sodium meals that we both could enjoy and nursing him. I changed IV's, I did sterile dressing changes, I counted out 16 medications each day. At night I slept with one ear open. Many times I was awakened by him gasping for breath and had to drive him across the street to the hospital barely able to get him into the car. We hoped and we prayed together.
It was exhausting but I would give anything to be able to do it for just one more day. Just to hear one more, "I love you honey. Thank God for you. I'm the luckiest man in the world to have you for my wife."
Don't feel guilty. We did the best we could. Many women would've cracked under the pressure. I remember my husband's transplant coordinator telling me, "You know you are remarkable. Many spouses leave when the going gets so tough." I said, "You have to be kidding me. What kind of person would walk out on the ~ TIL DEATH DO US PART?" She said, "You would be amazed at the people who quit. Just like they were quitting a job that gets too hard to handle."
Well.....we didn't quit. We stuck it out to the end. We honored our vows and our husband's lives. For that we should be proud.
Please come to our site and express your feelings. Your pain is still raw. Like a flesh wound it does get better but never fully heals. We will miss and love our husbands forever. There will always be a scar. You need to take your life one day at a time ~ one breath, one step at a time. God bless :)

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