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i've lost my husband and have no idea how to deal with it... 
Started by Paige96
22 Dec 2013, 3:26 PM

In the early morning hours of November 21, 2013 I lost my husband of 13 years to cancer, he was just 41 years old. He battled this evil diseae for 3-1/2 years. His last few months were when he was really sick. Watching him go thru what he did changed me - I don't even know how to describe what I mean by that , it just did. Just 2 years ago I watched cancer take my 64 year old mother - that was aweful to watch and after being thru that I told myself that I was prepared for what was happening to my husband - yet found that I was not prepared at all! Watching your husband and the person who was suppose to be your patner in life until you are old, slowly die, at 41 years old, in front of your eyes was an entirely different animal!  We did not have children so it is just me and my little dog Jersey (who has no idea how much I need her right now) milling around in this big house. How do I accept what happened to him??? I have read some of the discussions here and see that alot of people are really in the middle feeling their grief - me I pretend it is isn't real and go about my day like nothing bad has happened and that he is going come back any day now. If I let myself think about it for even a moment I feel like a cinder block has been put on my chest - its just too painful and haven't got any idea how to wrap my head around the fact that he is not only gone but how he died as well.  Throughout the day I feel the pangs of pain when my mind strays to him really be gone but I quickly block it out and try to find something to distract me. My sister tells me that I have to let it in eventually - and a friend of mine sent me the link to this site , so here I am. I just can't let it in - I just don't know how to deal with the pain. Its like I am a fragile piece of glass and if I really let in what has happened I will shatter into a million pieces. Its too unbearable.


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Reply by KathCull_admin
22 Dec 2013, 6:25 PM

Dear Cathie

Welcome to Virtual Hospice – I am glad your friend sent you the link to this site. You have found a community of caring individuals who will walk with you.

My sympathy to you in the death of your husband and mother.  Such losses are never easy – your pain and grief touch my heart.  

You might like to join the thread Going from WE to ME… where you’ll meet Nanalovesu, Marstin and Mark99. Like you they lost their partners.  When you post a message there, they will get a notification and will be sure to welcome you.

You may find words to comfort your fragile heart in the thread started by eKim How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?

Please stay in touch Cathie.


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Reply by marstin
22 Dec 2013, 7:37 PM

Hi Cathie,

Welcome to one of the best place's on the internet to come to when you're in pain.  I can really relate to how you shut the door on feeling the pain. It has been over a year since I lost my partner of 23 years to cancer and within weeks after, lost my mom from the stress of it all. It is devastating. For some, the ravages of cancer can leave a horrible image etched in our minds and the memories of it stay for a very long time but do everntually fade a bit. I can understand what you mean when you say it has changed you as I am not at all the same person I was before this. I have had many issues related to losing my two closest people so close together and if I were to lose control of my emotions, I would be unable to function in a way that I need to. Does it delay the grieving? Maybe. It took me a year to join a widow and widowers group for fear of losing control. This has helped in many ways to just know that there are others suffering the same kind of loss. I think for some people that just gradually dealing with your sorrow a little bit at a time still manages to help you go through the process of grief, We all have to find our own way and it varies from person to person. The mind can only handle so much and it let's you know when it's in overload.

You are just beginning this journey and you will find so much support, and caring people here that will always be ready to listen to you and try to comfort you.

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Reply by NatR
23 Dec 2013, 12:15 AM

Hi Cathie,

I am so sorry for your recent loss - you have found a place where you can share, be understood and link with others who are dealing with grief and loss.

especially at this time of year, dealing with loss of your partner, or any family member is such a hard thing.

please post when you can...and your description of how you feel inside is pretty accurate.  no one else understands how devastating losing a loved one til it happens to them....here you will find survivors and supportive friends.

sharing the burden helps,

sending you thoughts tonight,
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Reply by JennJilks
23 Dec 2013, 9:33 PM

My condolences, Cathie.
You know you are not alone and you must reach out, as you already have done so!

Look for a local hospice, through 211 in many communities, who have both individual and group bereavement programs. They will help you on your journey through grief, bereavement and mouring. It can be done. It is not easy. You will come through this part of your life. 

I have a client, my age (56), whose wife has taken leave to help him in his palliative situation, while their daughter is in hospital with health issues. 
 We have many experts who will help you through this. Most have been bereaved themselves. Take care.
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Reply by KathCull_admin
28 Dec 2013, 6:21 PM

Hi Cathie
Just thinking about you and wondering how things are this week? Take care.
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Reply by NatR
29 Dec 2013, 7:04 PM

Dear Cathie,

hello, I am just wondering how you are doing.  You wrote so much in your first post, the sad loss of your Mom, and then the recent loss of your husband and partner.

This time of year is hard enough to get through for many people who perhaps have little things to deal with, like not speaking to family members, feuds with siblings, seasonal affective disorder,and  Frankly I fit into all those boxes!

for me, outwardly it seems like I have all my ducks in a row, but it isn't true.
i believe that each of us all deal with sadness, mixed feelings, minor upsets, abd we especially feel lonely and re-think the list of losses, grief, and sad things .....  

I do my very best to keep smiling, act like I have it all together. Like you said similar words in your post.
inwardly I am very grateful to those who go beyond the Hi, Happy Holiday line....and really ask So how are you Really?

so Cathie, I hope you have someone close to you who gives you that hug, that question, and who can listen to your heart - and let you get it out, let you vent....which we all need to do at times.

i hope you read this note and remember that even one post on the forum means something...it puts your feelings and your concerns.  It is read by others who like you know the pain.  Without each other we would have a difficult time getting through life.

i want to send you a huge wrap around hug....through this note...saying you are important, and I would love to hear that you are okay.

if you aren't comfortable sharing everything, you can just share one or two things....and I am glad you have a four legged friend, Jersey, and his job is important, unconditional love, affection in cuddles and licking kisses:) wagging his tail at you ( if he has one;) ) You know what I mean;)

Hoping today is a better day for you.  Hoping you are getting some comfort and guidance in your community....
sending my thoughts and best wishes,
NatR Hugs 
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Reply by Paige96
06 Jan 2014, 10:58 PM

It is January 6th and I managed to get thru the holiday season. It has been 47 days since my husband passed away. I went out of town to see my sister for Christmas this year - a good ten day escape from reality. In some ways it seems harder now than it did a month ago. Now that the holidays are over - everyone is back to work, school and living their normal everyday lives and mine will NEVER be same again. I have no idea what my normal will be now - I keep saying that I have to start figuring out what my life is going to look like now and everyone keeps saying that there is no hurry to do that yet I feel the opposite. I go back to work Jan 16th and I have a ton of anxiety about that. I work for a small company and have been there for over 10 years - it was like a family, or so I thought - until things stared to get really bad with my husband's illness. My co- workers were all very good and understanding -  but my two bosses(husband and wife team) turned out not to be at all - they handled things so poorly, I feel so betrayed by them that I don't know how to face them. 10 years of blood sweat and tears (literally on all 3) and their selfish calousness was what I got for it. These are truly the defining moments in a persons life when you really know who are the people that you really need and matter.

I would like to thank all those that took a few minutes to read my post and took time to say something(NatR,JennJilks,Katherine, Tracie). It IS helpful to know that others know my pain, almost validating in some way. No one in my life (thankfully for them) has lost a spouse so none of them truly know what I am feeling, how devastating it is to lose the person you shared every day with . Tracie I think you nailed it when you said you were afraid of losing control, I am so afraid of losing control because if I do then what?? So I keep "keeping on". I almost feel guilty for not walking around crying all the time, I do have my moments when I let it in but its just so painful.

I find myself just staring off into nowhere shaking my head back and forth in disbelief that he is really gone. Back in May 2013, after weeks of my husband suffering horrible migraines, he insisted were just headaches and him eventually collapsing in the shower and me having call 911 and have an ambulance take him to emergency, we found out that his cancer had spead to his brain (multipe, multiple tumors.) We knew then that his fight with this disease was a loosing battle and that our time would be short. His sister and I seemed to be the only ones that really understood that he was really going to die. I knew for months that it was going to happen and now I am disbelief that he is gone and that it all really HAPPENED - starnge how the mind works.

NatR you are right about my little dog Jersey. She is an amazing little being and could never have gotten thru these last few years truthfully and especially last few months without her! She is the only thing that makes me smile most days. She can give me what no one else can sometimes. We adopted Jersey from the humane society in Feb 2010 - just 3 months later we got the news that my husband had cancer. Ceasar Milan always says "You don't always get the dog you want, you get the dog you need" Never has this rung more true.


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Reply by marstin
07 Jan 2014, 2:08 AM

Hi Cathie,

Each day that you face is a huge step for you and every day seems to be so different than the other. The range of emotions are so difficult to deal with at times. I can hear the feelings of betrayal you feel from your bosses and sadly I do understand how painful experiences like this can be. I have found it in family, friends, the people that you most expect to be there for you. It is a tough thing to deal with on top of your loss. I don't know how many times this has happened to me in the past year and a half but somehow I have risen above it and found strength from it to move forward. I think that the people on here who have listened to me cry out in pain or in a fit of rage have been the one's to stand by me at those lowest times. I think you will learn who are people to allow close to you and the one's to at least mentally distance yourself from. One day they too will understand how difficult this is.

Isn't it funny how a pet can change your life. We got our dog Bella about a year before Len was diagnosed. Everyone who passed through our house commented on how she was a therapy dog who was kind and gentle and full of love and most of them just couldn't stop petting her while they dealt with issues of their own. Still, I call her our therepy dog as she seems to sense every emotion that we go through and will come and curl up with us and demand that we pet her. I think we were given these precious little animals to bring us comfort.

It's hard to imagine how quickly our lives can change. Len was always the healthy one of the two of us so it really caught us off guard when he was diagnosed and was gone within 6 months. Losing my mom so soon after didn't really come as a shock to me. I could almost see the writing on the wall and felt like it was going to go that way. Sometimes you can just sense these things. It doesn't change how devastating this all is or how difficult it is to keep moving forward.

Know that we are here for you whenever you need to talk. Sharing does lighten the load a bit when you know that you among people that truly understand the emotions that come with loss.

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Reply by Carolync
12 Jan 2014, 8:15 PM

I lost my husband and best friend, he was only 47, 1 year 6 months ago. He was diagnosed with Small cell lung cancer only 9 months earlier.  he was very sick for the entire 9 months. 
I feel as though I have fallen into a spiralling  hole of sadness Since the day he was diagnosed. I don't think there is any way to really prepare yourself for watching your true love grow weaker until gone.
i too am so afraid of losing control-  I try my best to pretend. I feel that the world expects us to. 
life will never be the same. It was not supposed to be like this. I can't help but ask why when I see couples together. He was such a great husband, father, son, brother and friend 
I miss him so much. And feel so alone. We have two teenage daughters and I know that i need to stay in control for their sake. 
people seem to have forgotten him.
When I mention his name it seems to make people uncomfortable.
He deserved to live ... 
Such a sad and lonely world out there. I wake up every single day praying this was just a horribly sad dream.  
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