Too Far Away

by Shirley

I can't start this story at the beginning because the beginning seems to far away. The same way he seems to be to me. Too far away. I can't see him, I can't hear him and I can't feel him anymore.

June 5, 2013, he was sick and was so tired. I told him he should call his doctor and see if he could go into the office so he did. The nurse told him to come in and be there by 11:00 AM. When he hung up, I told him we did not have time to get there so he called back and was told to go to the ER so the doctor could see him there since the doctor would be going out of town the next day.

We got dressed and started to leave but every time he would stand up, he would soil his clothes. This was something very unusual. He had always been responsible for his own care but that day, he was too weak and too tired so I assisted him. This happened three more times. Each time I had to do more of the clean up and the dressing than before. I am so thankful that I did not complain but did it willingly and lovingly.

We started to the door and he asked me help balance him as he walked because he was getting so weak. I held on to his arm. We got to the porch and as I turned to lock the door, he walked just ahead of me. I turned back just in time to see him start down the three steps. I saw his feet as they became entwined and watched him hit the concrete sidewalk face first. By the time I got to him, he had turned over but was unable to get up. He had a cut above his right eye.

I called for my sister to call an ambulance. He was taken to a local ER which was about 35 miles from the hospital we had started out for. After he was stabilized, he was transferred to the other hospital. He never walked again.

We spent almost two months in that hospital. He got weaker and weaker and sicker and sicker. His mind began to come and go. In July I was told that he possibly had pancreatic or liver cancer but that he was too weak for the surgery necessary to verify the diagnosis. One day the doctor told me that he maybe had a few weeks to live.

I can't even remember the date we came home from the hospital the first time. He stayed home for about three days and had to go back because he was having difficulty breathing. He stayed close to another week and then we came home.

I took care of him everyday and he went to his dialysis treatments by ambulance. I don't even remember how many times he went. Maybe three or four. He had been going to dialysis for about five years because he had been diagnosed with a kidney disease about 18 years earlier. He made it about 13 years without dialysis.

On Monday, July 29, 2013 when I got up and went to check on him in his hospital bed, I noticed there was a difference. He spoke just a above a whisper and seemed so weak and so tired. I asked if he was ready for breakfast, and he said he didn't feel like eating. Usually he would let me fix his breakfast even though he had almost stopped eating. He did not his usual coffee.

His oldest sister called and I gave him the phone. He spoke softly and did not seem to be able to communicate with her due to confusion. When I took the phone back and spoke with her, she began to cry because she, too, noticed a difference.

I went back into the bedroom and asked if he wanted to go to dialysis and he said he was too tired but felt like he should go. Later he decided he did not feel like going to dialysis. He gradually grew weaker and weaker.

The home health nurse came and when she saw him, she told me that if she could sign him up for Hospice, I could get more help with him. The only thing stopping the Hospice was the fact that he was going to dialysis. She did not seem to think he would be able to go to dialysis again. She talked with him and he told her he was too tired for dialysis. She signed him up for hospice.

Within an hour or two of the nurse leaving, I noticed he was so much weaker. I kissed him on the forehead and told him that I love him. He whispered that he loved me too. He never spoke to me again. He fell asleep and did not wake up. His family came and we maintained a vigil by his bedside until he took his last breath on July 31, 2013 at 3:45 AM.

I had cried earlier as I watched his breathing change but I could not cry at his last breath. I could only stand there in disbelief that he had actually died. I don't know what I had thought was going to happen. At one point before his death, I told his twin sister than I was going to call an ambulance, get him to the ER and get them to give him fluids, do dialysis and get him back. She shook her head and told me it would not help.

I planned his funeral just the way I knew he would want it to be. The songs were happy songs and the ministers told happy stories about him and spoke encouragement to my children, grandchildren, his sisters and brother and me. It was perfect and I did not cry.

Today, one week and two days later, I have every emotion possible at one time. It is frightening. I sometimes think, "He is in heaven so he doesn't need or love me anymore." He seems so, so far away from me. I have his things on his table beside his chair. I have extra pictures of him and a burning candle but I can't seem to get him close again. I just don't want him so far away.

Comments for Too Far Away

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Aug 24, 2013
through the tears...
by: Lynne

~~~~I am soooo very sorry for your pain, I cannnot even hardly see through the tears I am shedding with you in this...this ~IS~ the most awful, gut wrenching pain for any of us...I dont know how I can help.... except for you to know we all on here (especially those who have lost spouses), KNOW what you are feeling, ours is yet soo fresh, and yet seems soo distant, sometimes it seems as if my HONEY will walk right back through that door and give me his great big bear hug...these emotions are awful, and yet we are created to have to grieve this way...I am told in time, this too will fade, and at this time we all think we are going crazy and will never make it...
Well...enough rambling...
DONT QUIT !! I KNOW we can make this...

Aug 20, 2013
Too Far Away
by: judith in California

Shirley, I know exactly what you mean. With everyday that passes it keeps taking my husband so far wawy from me. It' been three years and one of my thoughts is "please don't forget me" and I ask God nightly to please let Chuck know I still love him. I find I'm missing him more, not less.

Aug 19, 2013
too far away
by: silver

I'm not sure how much I can say.Your letter hit me.My love died May 2011.He had emphysema for several yrs.We went out for our anniversary dinner on Sunday the 22nd.Tues morning early he complained of not being able to breathe very well.I took him to the E.R. and 30 minutes later he was on his way to ICU on a respirator.The following Sunday night he was gone.I know how much it hurts.The hardest thing I ever did in my life was to tell them to turn off the machines.His kidneys had failed and his heart was only working at 30% because of the dialysis.The dr said he would only live 1-3 days without the kidneys filtering his blood.His body was slowly poisening him.He had no chance of survival except by a miracle.My children said I was so calm.I know now it was the shock.It was only after the funeral that I began to cry.The shock part is the first step in grief.It gets you through what you have to get done.No one can tell you how to grieve or how long to grieve.It's different for us all.I sit here with tears running down my face for all of us who have had to send loved ones on ahead of us.I know we all have to leave sometime Those of us left behind always wish for just one more day.One more chance to say "I love you".One more hug.One more smile.I am finally getting to the point where I can smile and remember the sweet words,the wonderful memories,the tender touches without crying every time.GOD bless you and keep you.GOD send you strength and peace.I keep you in my prayers.

Aug 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

Hi, sending you deepest strength for such a sad loss, i lost my husband suddenly 8months ago , and it wasnt till after the funeral that it hit me he wasnt coming back!! , and like you i never cried at the funeral, but like you the next week and so on i didnt stop weeping. The thought that you wont see him , hear his voice, smell him ,and touch him is too hard to bear, but things do get a little easier,and day by day you will get stronger, your husband is all around you, as half and half makes one whole xx i found joining a open circle good for me as i have made good friends and have support which we all need at such a sad and lonely time , always remember hope is around you and so is your loved ones in all shapes and forms, take care and try to be strong xxx

Aug 12, 2013

I can only echo the word of our lovely Doreen (UK), whose sympathy and advice has helped us all who have reluctantly joined this terrible club that nobody wants to be a member of.
The pain and anguish of losing the person you loved more than life itself is like nothing else you will ever suffer..
People will tell you they know how you feel, believe me they don’t, you have to experience it yourself to understand.
We all sooner or later we lose our parents and we grieve, but to lose your life partner is a different type of grief, totally overwhelming and soul destroying and you wonder how you can continue alone for the rest of your life,. The tears will be shed, even glancing at your loved ones photograph will start them off, a song on the radio or if you are like me seeing a love scene on the TV but as the weeks pass the grief will lesson, believe me I know, I was with my beloved sweetheart for nearly seventy years and am still in agony and cry daily but the pain is easing. It is just seven months for me but it is such early days for you the pain of your loss must be unbearable.
I wish I could think of some words to console you but I know there aren’t any.
Just remember “Grief is the price you pay for love” so be thankful, as I am, you had such love in your life.
We are all praying for you.

Aug 11, 2013
Too Far Away
by: Doreen U.K.

Shirley I am sorry for your loss of the man you loved so much and lost to cancer.
This is our worst fear after losing someone we loved. WE panic in case we lose memories and forget everything about them.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. to lung cancer 15 months ago. This was my worst fear. The early days I forgot what he looked like. I forgot the sound of his voice. I felt as if I was whisked away to another planet and the distance was too far. Then after this I started dreaming about him most nights and he was always alive in my dreams. I have stronger memories now and they are all good ones. In the early days all I had was the cancer journey and the horrendous time of looking into the face of the only man I ever loved and watching him die slowly over 3yrs.39days. I was numb for months and I detect a slight feeling of numbness still present. It is early days for you. Try and see a counsellor to help you with your grief so you don't become stuck in grief and unable to move forward. Don't try and force memories. They will come when they are ready to. Just like you can't force grief, it happens automatically you can hurt yourself by not allowing yourself to feel the sorrow and harsh grief fully. Crying will wash out the pain and healing will start.
This pain will be the worst you will ever experience. The pain of grief is like nothing we can ever imagine. It is tough getting through it. My heart hurts all the time. I miss my husband so much it is unbearable to live without him. Nothing in life could ever make me happy again as the 44yrs. of marriage which seem to have gone so fast as if they are a distant dream. WE just get up each day and live another day hoping it won't be a bad day until it gets easier to live with our loss. Different for everyone, but the pain is the same UNBEARABLE. Take one day at a time. Surround yourself with positive people who are willing to walk with you through your grief and hold you up when you need this and will let you be yourself. It does help immensely. May God comfort and strengthen you though this journey of grief and bring you Peace.

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