My Wife

by Ray Gleaton
(Cottonwood, Ca)

I was just back from Vietnam and a friend wanted me to meet a beautiful lady him and his wife seen in a small rural church. I went on a blind date to meet her, she answered the door and I was struck with awe, I fell in love instantly and knew we would be together through this life. Two nights later I proposed while we were walking down the beach holding hands. Her parents were ministers and her mother married us in their church six days later. That was July 1, 1971 and she passed from liver cancer September 9, 2013 . She was my reason in this life, she was life. The last three years we woke in the mornings holding hands, every weekend I laid beside her all day, reading, watching stupid movies and talking about our lives together. She was so tiny and frail, her little heart could take no more and she faded from this life squeezing may hand and smiling at my big dumb face,
My daughter and son make me go on with their love and devotion or I would fade from this life for I have no purpose here. I have become lost, I live in memories of her laughter of her smile and of times gone from me that will never return.

What I am experiencing now is not just grief or sorrow but the loss of purpose, the loss of hope and direction. I don't know why I am here, what do I do now. Nothing seems important anything I was interested in even days before she left, I have no interest in now. Do I just wait my turn to join her, do I wear this mask of I'm ok so people quit asking how I'm doing. I could scream at them that I am a mess, I have no will to go on, I am angry at God,Life and everyone around me but to spare their feelings, I say I'm ok. Ok, I will never be again. She was my life, there is only time now and grey days and sleepless nights and I cry like a small child and I have become afraid of living to long.
There is no solace when souls are torn apart and one is left to wander in the cold darkness of the living. Living is harder now, than Vietnam was when I was young. There I had to fear dieting , it is much harder fearing to live.

Comments for My Wife

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Dec 13, 2013
by: Bill

I know how you feel. my wife of 45 years passed away on the morning of july 4th 2013 my wife went to a nursing home 5 days earler for rehab because she had the shingles. i got the call at 6:58 that morning and the nurse was awful she said mr bill your wife is dead my world changed for ever.the first month the first thought in my mind ever morning was i can not believe she is dead. i could not talk to anyone without doctor wanted to give me medication i took it for a month and stopped it did not help i read books on greving that didnt help i think about her every minute i am awake now i am so weak and got to the point i feel light headed from all the pain. i was suprised how many people that you talk to just dont understand some have told me to get over it that really hurts

Oct 10, 2013
by: Cathy

I am sorry for the loss of your wife. You are in the very beginning of this grieving process. It just takes hold of you and is so painful. I lost my husband 14 months ago to a massive heart attack and thought I was going to lose my mind with the early grief. It is so devastating to lose your spouse. No one can understand it unless they have been through it. But the grieving does get a little easier over time.

For me I don't think I could ever love anyone ever again. He was everything to me. It hurts to just think about the day he was taken from me. I must admit though that I do laugh inside when I think of some of the funny things he would say or do, but then I get sad thinking he's gone forever. I know he wouldn't want to see me so sad but I can't help it.

Hang in there Ray. Talk to trusted family members about how you feel if you want to. They will understand. Again, my condolences for your loss.

Sep 29, 2013
My wife
by: Alan

Ray, I just read your story and it mirrors mine exactly. I met my darling Phyllis on a blind date too, in 1971(December). We were married August 1972. I lost her on January 2013.
There's no point me telling what it's like because you said it all Ray. I'm so lonely. I walk around our house too, looking at her things, smelling her perfume. I can't watch videos of her. I cry over nothing. If I see someone cry, I cry too, even if they are crying with happiness. When someone asks how I am it's easier to say I'm fine than to burden them with my feelings.
Her 2 brothers, 3 sisters, our friends, my friends, not one has called or visited. I suppose it's too hard for them.
I feel for you Ray. I really don't know what more to say except try and be strong for your loved ones. Best wishes to you.

Sep 28, 2013
Thank-You all
by: Ray

I do not even know what made me post my story about my wife. I guess it just felt right to write down my feelings. I wander through the house surrounded by her smell, her nick-nacks and pictures. I keep waiting for her to come home,to call. Fortunately I still work and what use to be a five day a week job has become six and I drive to the coast (Arcata) and
and spend time with my kids and grand kids.

Thank all of you for your kind words, I do realize I have to wait my turn and I know the pain I would cause if I was to do something stupid. All I know for sure is I will be married to her until it is my turn to join her.

The lucky ones do go first.
Thank-You very much.

Sep 27, 2013
to: Ray, Doreen, Lawerence and Judith
by: Anonymous--MI

As I read your posts I wish we all did not have to go through this sorrow. Loosing my dear husband of 43 yrs was the worst and hardest thing that I have had to endure. I am into 10 months of this journey and I still think I am in shock at moments now and again. It hits me hard that my husband died---and I miss him so much. Life before my husband suddenly died, was so happy and wonderful and full of love that we shared. That life is now gone and I must try to create a new life that I can be strong for my children and grkids and my family. It is a life that I must spend many hours alone thinking of my once happy life. I am trying hard to be strong and be grateful for the yrs I had with the one and only love of my life. I wish that I could make a way for us to be happy and with our loved ones again--but not until we die and reach heaven's gates will we know that joy. I wish you all peace and ways to make your lives more bright and the trust and faith in God that will eventually lead us to everlasting joy with our loved ones.

Sep 27, 2013
by: Kathy T

I am so sorry for your lost and I do understand. Unfortunately I became a member of this group when my love passed away 3 months ago. When I found this site I felt just like you that no one could understand how I felt, that no one had ever had these feelings of grief and devastation. I was the only one who could ever have loved someone this much. It was comforting to find people who do understand. I was reading the writings of others and they were my thoughts, my words, my feelings. Other people knew my story.
While I am not feeling any better today than I did on June 23, I come here to have my feelings validated. I know that it is okay to feel this way. I know it will take time. I know there is no time schedule, everyone is different. And I know that I can come here whenever I need to and find someone who truly understands.
My prayers are with you.

Sep 27, 2013
Your intense grief
by: Lawrence

I am weeping with the anguish I feel for you at reading your contribution to this site.
I know the overwhelming agony of losing a precious wife and there is absolutely nothing I can say to ease your heartache.
It is such early days for you and grief has taken over your life, as you say the lack of motivation and feeling of uselessness and purpose are all normal in these painful days.
There is a huge empty gap in your life which nothing can fill, don’t try to fight the tears or the wish to join her.
We have all been there, screaming out at the world and God for taking the person we loved more than life itself and asking how to continue alone.
It is nine months since my adored wife died almost in my arms in the blink of an eye, one minute we were chatting and the next she was dead, a wonderful death for her but nightmare for we who are left behind.
Even after nine months I cry daily and miss her incredibly, but believe it or not it does get easier, there is no time limit on grief but one day you will notice its grip on you has lessened and the tears don’t flow so easily.
Always remember the forty two years you had together with such love and passion and thank God for it, so few people get to experience such wonderful bliss. I keep on repeating my mantra “GRIEF IS THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR LOVE” I don’t think you would have had it any other way.
I had nearly seventy years of love and even during the long lonely nights I continually give thanks to the good Lord for them.
Cherish your children, as I do, they are the fruit of your love.
You will never again in your life feel as bad as you do now.
We are all praying for you.

Sep 27, 2013
My Wife
by: Doreen U.K.

Ray I am sorry for your loss of your precious wife. You say you don't know what your purpose is to go in living. You have fulfilled your purpose of being here. Married to your Wife. Raising a family. Seek God for Comfort and strength to go on and find out what God wants you to do with the rest of your life. I felt just like you. Married 44yrs. to the first man I ever knew and loved till death. He was my first love and my last love. He worked with asbestos in his 20's and slowly over 40yrs. developed a malignant inoperable, incurable aggressive lung cancer. A material not known then as deadly. He didn't want to die. I watched this former body builder fade into an emaciated shell of his former self. I sent prayer out all over America and the world for him on the God Channel. I waited and waited for my miracle. Instead I saw him draw his last breath and I was angry with God for a long time for not Healing him from this cancer. The day he died he was anointed for healing. I said "God if you can't heal him then take him. God did 8 hours later. He died 16 months ago. I felt just like you. My purpose for living was gone. The secret is taking ONE DAY AT A TIME. After the funeral I took to the couch and bathed my sorrows in TV. and the God Channel TV. I then took one or two jobs a day and only did what I could. Days I did nothing. I nurtured myself over 6 months back into some emotional health. I know God is carrying me and not letting me fall to pieces. God is our only HOPE and strength. Just like you say all hope is gone. This is how most of us feel in the initial days of loss. Don't focus on your loss, or the years ahead. We don't have TOMORROW. God holds all our tomorrows. We only have today. Focus on only what you need to do to take care of yourself for that day. Seek Pastoral and Church support. I cared for my husband for 3yrs.39days of his life with cancer from diagnosis and watched him die slowly. These memories are getting less. Newer memories are coming in. I feel my loss greatly but my hope is that I will see my husband again when Jesus comes back as he promised. Till then I WAIT on GOD. God says we are to sorrow but not to sorrow as those who have NO Hope. We do have a Hope. There is nothing we can do to bring our loved one back. So we have to Go on with God and Wait on Him. You are in the early days of raw grief and everything you have expressed I have been through. One can't live with someone for over 40yrs. and not feel excruciating pain from this loss of them in our world. Every day is hard, but God takes us through this healing slowly, making us stronger each day. This world is not our home. This is to come. ETERNAL LIFE. You will see your wife again as I will my husband in ETERNITY. Don't give up on God!! or Life!! May God comfort you in the days and months ahead and bring you His Peace.

Sep 26, 2013
by: Judith in California

Ray, I'm so sorry for your loss. Those words somehow just dont register do they? It's hard loosing your purpose for living. WE become one and then we become numb when they are gone. I feel the same way. It's the hardest exoerience I've ever had to do. No matter how hard I try to fake it the emptiness jsut can nt be filled and proably never will. We walk in this world wanting so much our loved ones back and afraid to try again. I don't understand how others move on and marry again. They sure have to be one helluva understading man or woman to marry a widow/er.

I'm so glad you have your children to give you a different purpose.

I used to live near Fort Bragg. Thank you for your service and may God give you the strength to get to the peaceful acceptacnce side of this horrible grief ride.

It's been 3 years for me

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