The long Goodbye

by Adele
( Australia)

I have been losing my husband for 11 years. It began with a diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease in 2000 and ended last November 2011 when he passed away. We had wonderful experiences over that time - especially for the first five years as we lived many of our dreams...but by the end he was bedridden and unable to talk. It has been a long long series of goodbyes as he inexorably lost all that made him him. This is a brutal way to die and a brutal way for a relationship to end. Numerically we were married for 43 years...but his last three years were in a nursing home as I was unable to care for him...and my role for several years before that was of carer rather than wife. I have been shocked and surprised by the depth of my distress when he died. I thought i had become used to life alone, used to not having my partner with me...but the reality was that I visited him most days and fed him, stroked his arm, whispered to him, remembered the life we had and just spent time with him...and now I can not do this any more. It has been three months and I still subconsciously plan my day with these visits in mind...and every day brings a painful stab when I recall that I can no longer spend time with him. I know my pain is not as sharp as those who lose their love suddenly and unexpectedly, and on a practical level I am adjusted to living alone...but I am suffering from dreams every night and he is in all my dreams. In some of those dreams he is young and strong and healthy and I wake up filled with joy, although this quickly turns to pain when reality strikes. Other dreams are full of my horror, anger and outrage at what has happened to him, and empathy for the agony and fear I know he suffered as he inexorably 'lost' himself. Anger and outrage for the loss of our relationship and our plans of retirement together, and for our beautiful grandchildren who will never know him and enjoy him and his games as our children enjoyed his games. I hope these dreams will stop as I am so tired.

Comments for The long Goodbye

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Feb 16, 2012
Suddenly gone
by: Judi

Adele,
There really is no easy way to lose your spouse. Bob died suddenly. We had a great day July 22, 2011. After covering me he went into the office. Last time I saw him alive. Woke up at 11 and somehow I knew. He was sitting at his computer, hand still on his mouse. Called 911 but they couldn't help him. My world ended. While I did not get to tell him goodbye and feel guilty for not being there in time to save him I realize he went peacefully. My pain is great but his wasn't.
We are trying to live without him but each of us is hurting every day. We had 4 children but lost a son in 2003, it never gets any easier. I wake up every morning wondering how I will get through another day without him. Even today I find it hard to accept that he is really gone. Why weren't we allowed to go together. We did everything together.
This site allows me to state my true feelings. Don't want to add to my kids pain. I don't want to go on. While I know my kids want and need me the constant pain and sorrow seems to drown me. My only constellation is knowing Bob went doing what he loved and never knew one minute of pain. He was my world. I feel so lucky to have shared his love.

Feb 16, 2012
17 months of Til we meet Again
by: Judith in California

Adele, what you are feeling is completely normal in grieving. It's so much harder when we had to loose so much before they passed. It's like we began loosing them from the first diagnoses and with each thing they could no longer do for themselves. We took over proudly and did what we could . Some, like you, had to place them in a care facility but it doesn't mean you loved him less, you just knew your strengths.
I pray for you to get to the other side of this roller coaster ride of grief and find peace.

It's been 17 months now for me and I cry less and do things with my friends but I still long for the days of "US" before his illness. But I'd still take him back being sick , just to have him. And I still reach out to touch his shoulder each night.

Feb 15, 2012
Many Years of Suffering.......
by: TrishJ

Adele~
I know exactly how you feel. When I look back on my husband's illness it spread over a period of 10 years. It started with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure and ended on a horrific roller coaster ride of hopes for a heart transplant. We fought so hard to save him. He suffered so much in an attempt to stay with us.
I too have days when I'm angry. His little grandsons were 2,3 and 11 when he passed away 14 months ago. The youngest two will have no memory of him. Joe was so proud of his grandsons. He had so much to teach them.....so much to share with them. I feel cheated out of those years. I wanted to grow old with him but it just wasn't to be.
All I can do now is keep his memory alive for the boys. I can teach them things. It won't be the same but I have to do the best I can.
My husband also was so ill the last two years of his life. Many days I wonder how he lasted as long as he did. It was his strong will to live and take care of us. God had other plans.
Take care Adele. This is a wonderful site to visit when you feel lonely and frustrated. We are all grieving on this site. We've all suffered the loss of our loved one.
I hope you find just a little something to smile about today. One day at at time.

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