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Feel like I am losing my mind 
Started by Kirstie
06 Dec 2015, 4:02 PM

Since my husband of 24 years passed (October 23 2015), i feel like I am going crazy.  I do not recognize the person I have become.  I have always been a person who does not "share" my feelings easily, as I had a difficult childhood, and emotions were considered a sign of weakness in my house.   I did not show anger, sadness, anything, I was very private. it even took me about a year with my husband before I could tell him that I loved him.  It took me a long time to trust anyone with my heart, and Gord showed me so much love that he melted away all the ice in my heart.  Since he has passed, I am an emotional mess.  I cry at the drop of a hat (in public!) and start to tremble uncontrollably without warning.  He was such a sweet, sweet man.  He tried so hard to beat this disease, not so much for himself, but for us.  He always said, when he was gone, there would be no more suffering for him, but he worried about me having to face the future alone.  Even on his last day, he called the doctor back to his bed to ask the doctor to take care of me when he was gone.  He was so good - I wish his death could have been peaceful, but it was not.   He died from a hydro-morphine overdose, they just gave him more than his body could handle and he died of respiratory depression, he basically could not catch his breath - he was terrified, I could see it in his eyes, and it kills me that his last thoughts were so horrific.  I am so lost without him.  i will never have another hug, kiss or back rub when I have an asthma attack, nothing.  It takes me about two hours to get out of bed each morning, I just do not want to face the day.  When i get home from work, the only thing I want to do is go to bed - everything is just so hard.  Christmas is going to be a b*tch - my daughters 16th birthday is on December 21 and then Christmas.  I have yet to put up any decorations, or do any shopping.  Gord was always like a little kid at Christmas. his favorite time of the year. Life is just not fair - he was only 53.
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Reply by KathCull_admin
06 Dec 2015, 11:26 PM

Hi Kristie,
I know you don't recognize yourself anymore but I hope it helps to know that I think you are very normal. Your life has changed completely and you will never be the same. I sometimes think of it like a neatly packed suitcase - everything in it's place and it all fits but then somehow the suitcase opens and everything flies out. When we try to put it back it just doesn't fit the same or at all. 

Many things I read encourage those who are grieving to think about how to 'celebrate' - probably the last thing on your mind right now - differently. I put a wreath up on the door - but that's all I could do this year. My daughter and I are going to be in a different town for Christmas and both of us have talked about how hard it is going to be. How hard to have such happy celebrations like birthday when your heart is so sad. 

Would it be helpful for you to talk with those who provided care for your husband - thinking about how horrific a time that was for you and him?

As you can, please let us know how you were able to manage this Christmas - what helped get you through. You might find this article Grief in Times of Celebration: The Empty Spot  helpful.

Take care and please let us know how this time of year unfolds for you.

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Reply by Tian
07 Dec 2015, 4:15 AM

Hi Kirstie


First of all I'm very sorry for the passing of your husband. You make it clear that you loved him very much and his death has turned your world upside down. But you are still the same person. I think your behavior is perfectly valid and understandable and the terrible way he died makes things even worse. The way you have reacted seems strange to you because you haven't had such events to react to before in your life. You only have one love of your life. Of course you react as you never have before.


I cannot tell you how long you will suffer as you have been but the suffering will diminish. Life is not fair but it goes on.


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Reply by frustrated
07 Dec 2015, 3:33 PM

Reading your your post brought tears to my eyes. I lost my husbadn of 30 years at the end of June. I still don't feel the same. Yes, I cry for no reason and it hits me without warning. My husband's favorate holiday was CHristmas. Last year was the worst christmas I and our family have endured. He was in a care center as I was no longer able to take care of him at home. He had been sick for a long time. When we brought him home for hte day he was disoriented. He kept begging for me to bring him home. He didn't even know he was home. He yelled at all our grown children. It was awful.

We decided that we had to do ssomething different this year. SO we are spending Christmas in a cabin the the woods, all 11 of us.

I haven't put up any decorations at home, no tree, no lights, not even a wreath. I just can't. Christmas carols make me cry, christmas lights make me cry.

Nothing is the same, but yet I get through it. I am looking forward to starting a new tradition with my kids and grandkids. I know this year will be hard for all of us, but we will make it.

I used to be very organized with an excellant memory. NOw I can't remember what day it is. I make lists so I can keep everything straight. I worry about forgetting something. I over think everything. It is hard being the only one making decisions. ANd yes it is lonely. But life goes on. I put one foot in front of the other and move on.

It is like being in an ocean in a small boat with out oars or a motor and being at the meircy of the waves and winds. Some days are calmer than others and you think that you are finally drifting to a shore and then a blast of wind hits and you are almost overturned. But somehow the boat stay afloat and I make it through.

It is hard to be strong, but I have found out I am stronger than I thought. I am focassing on what I have now. My children and grandchildren. For now that is enough.

My heart goes out to you. I feel your pain and I do know what it is. Love your daughter and focus on her, she is hurting to, in a different way, but hurting.

Take care and hang on, yo are stronger than you think or even want to be.


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Reply by April01
14 Dec 2015, 6:18 PM

Ladies, I am so very sorry for your loss. I too, lost my husband on November 8th. I count the days now, I cry most of the time. I wake up crying and go to sleep crying. I am at the angry state, angry at the doctors who said that there was only a six percent chance of the cancer coming back. Angry at those two doctors who said my husband did not need treatment. Angry at the doctor who said on November 27 of 2014 that he was cancer clear so far, go home and enjoy the holiday. Only to find out on December 27th that the cancer had spread to the brain and lungs. Angry at the radiogistogist who did not send page two of the report showing the cancer had spread to the bones. Angry, yes I am. Not angry at my husband. He fought so hard to fight cancer and even at the end he fought death. He told me he was not afraid to die, he was afraid to leave me. We did everything together, even grocery shopping, right up until he was too sick to go anywhere. Then I got someone else to shop for us so I could stay home with him. My friends and family try to keep me busy but with the holidays coming I try to back out. I too forget things, I now have to make list. I never had to do this before. Even my mom teases me about my memory. My husband just turned 55 five days before he died. I am so sorry to go on, but after reading all of your post I finally realized we all have the same issues. We are all on the same road, just at different corners... I wish none of us had to go through this. Virtual hugs to all.
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Reply by KathCull_admin
19 Dec 2015, 2:50 PM

As I write this I am looking out at the waves on a lake. The wind is making that whistling sound as it whips around the walls.  I wonder how the small boats can manage to make the 30-45 minute journey but they do.  

It reminds me of your post frustrated. In the middle of the lake or ocean that is grief like April01 we wonder if  we are going to make it.... anywhere. 

It helps to know that although each experience, each loss and grief is unique and different, as you said April01, others do have the same issues and we are all on the same road - just at different corners. We are not alone.

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Reply by Carlyn
20 Dec 2015, 6:33 PM


If it helps... until my family members started dying, I was not a hugger. In childhood I felt very deep emotions, always had "too much feeling for others" is how it was put to me. When I grew up I deliberately chose a career in accounting to get away from other people's feelings.

Long story short, it didn't work.  We can't survive as human beings without emotions. They truly are not fun sometimes but they are necessary.

So when you said you tremble now sometimes without warning etc., I do that now. It's very upsetting when it happens.

I've decided it's because I've been so strong for everyone else and they gave me a safe place to express emotions;  when those safe people died, my emotions were still there but I had nowhere I felt safe to express them. If that makes sense.

Also, death, to me, is a form of traumatic experience to witness. Trembling can happen as part of grief anyhow but overwhelming emotions can too.

When my sister died, I happened to have a very expensive therapist, strictly for work related concerns I needed a safe & confidential place to discuss. Still, it was good thing I had her at the time as she got me through the worst of days following my sister's death.  I mention this because sometimes professional support is a great help. It doesn't replace or avoid the work of grief or process of greiving, but as an additional support, it can be a great help.  Unfortunately, we still have to feel everything and process it. It's healthy. It hurts but we can't avoid it really.

I don't know if you'll find any of this helpful but wanted to share in case it is. It's not easy or comfortable to share but it does help, if not ourselves, someone else hopefully.

And here it is, sincerely, ((Hug)) :-)

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Reply by Carlyn
07 Jan 2016, 1:01 AM

We're a bit into 2016 already and I'm wondering how everyone is doing? 

Kirstie, how did the holidays go? Bad? Ok? Skipped it?

Also, I've been remiss in offering my sincere condolences to everyone here on the deaths of your loved ones. Reading this thread this evening, each one of you... that is a lot of loss. I'm very sorry. 

Keeping comforting thoughts for each of you. 

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Reply by Kirstie
07 Jan 2016, 10:22 AM

Hello Carlyn:

The holidays were hard.  Our christmas routine has been the same since we started having kids. Christmas shopping on American thanksgiving (so we could both take the day off, and he could watch football after shopping).  On Christmas eve, after kids went to their rooms, we would haul out a crazy amount of gifts.  We would then turn out all the light, except the tree, and slow dance in front of the tree.  This year, no tree and a whole lot less gifts, as there were none for him and none for me.  Brought out the gifts,dumped them of the floor where the tree usually is  and sobbed for a few hours.

 My daughter received a huge bouquet of carnations and forget-me nots on the 21st (her 16th birthday) from Gord, along with a hand written note telling her how much he loved her and how proud he was of her.  He told her he would always watch over her.  Then, on the 24, I came home to find a package in from of my door with instructions not to open before Christmas. Inside, gifts for all of us.  Infinity necklaces for my daughter and i, and dog tags for the boys.  All engraved with a personal message.  

That destroyed me.  I can only imagine how hard that was for him.  Buying gifts for his loved ones, knowing that he would be dead by the time they arrived.  He was so sick and was still trying to take care of us

I had a meltdown on New Years.  I did not want to go into a new year without him.  I was panicked all day.  As if that would stop the year from changing.  I spent new years eve alone on the couch, clutching his shirt, bawling my eyes out as the ball dropped.  I have been a mess since.  I seem to be going the wrong way.  It seems to be getting harder.

I would do absolutely ANYTHING to have him back.  I am so sad.  Nothing makes me smile anymore, I am just going through the motions.  Everything is so hard to do.  I want to go back - life used to be so good.  I not only lost the love of my life, I lost my future.   
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Reply by Carlyn
07 Jan 2016, 3:18 PM

Hi Kirstie,

Your dear husband was a wonderful soul.

No tree is good. I'm glad you spared yourself that and are doing what's right for you. 

I don't think you're going backward....it's still early days and the time of year compounds your loss. ((Hug)) A significant date or holiday, especially Christmas or any world event, adds an extra deep layer of sadness. 

"He was so sick and still trying to take care of us." I know that feeling well. All I can think to offer is it's going to hurt like this for a bit. But then it will start to ease.  Impossible to imagine probably but as infuriating as that can seem, life does go on. You will find out when it's right for you. In the meantime, self care is a good help and it's ok to cry while doing or receiving care.

Is there anything you used to do to pamper or treat yourself, before you lost your dear husband? Any routine? I'm wondering if trying to do it, even once, to care for yourself and feel nurtured, would help. 

I don't want to suggest you push yourself. The timing on these things is different for everyone. But I wondered if there is anything you remember doing for yourself, while your dear husband was alive and before became ill, which made you feel good or comforted at least? Self nurturing thing....


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