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Loss of an ex spouse 
Started by Hospicenurse
27 Sep 2016, 2:17 AM

I recently lost my ex husband and didn't know how to feel at first.  I was shocked and more so worried for our boys who are 20 and 25 and had a not so good relationship with there dad.  He had no seen them for almost four years and I was angry with him because I couldn't understand why he would abandon them.  He spent time with his new girlfriend's children and grandchildren and that made me angrier.  Then he died suddenly and I cried like a baby for three days.  I knew him from the age of fifteen and we grew up together and had a history but he was abusive and hurtful and I would have been glad to have him dead so many times before but now he really was.  I deal with death all the time and have never felt like this before.  My husband is a little confused about my reaction and maybe even angry.  Is this normal?
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Reply by Carlyn
06 Oct 2016, 7:47 PM

Dear Hospicenurse,

I'm glad you found us. I want to apologize for late reply. That's not the norm here but the time of year etc. is a lot for many.

Your reaction seems normal to me but I'm not an authority on this. Our family had similar situations and feelings amongst members. As people died, some took it extremely hard for each of their own reasons. It was a mix to total disregard despite showing up for the funeral etc. you'd never know they really didn't care anymore. Then there were those who were very angry after the death. For some it lasted a brief time, for others it went on a few years. Each sought counselling to have a place to try to process and make sense of it.

For those not involved or who didn't know the person as well as you did, or didn't have same experiences even, it can be hard for them to understand your feelings. Having been through this a few times in my family and with others, your feelings seem completely normal to me - understandable. It's a horrible thing to endure though so feel free to vent here.

Your name is Hospicenurse so I wondered are you actually a palliative care nurse? It's ok, just helps to understand and avoid stating the obvious as your experience is likely varied and good.

Sending you good thoughts. I'll be sure to check in here daily again. I got sidetracked by health issues (living with illness here - not terminal per se just a lot)

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Reply by Hospicenurse
10 Oct 2016, 8:28 PM

Hi Carlyn,
Thank you for replying.  I am glad to hear that this is normal and that I'm not crazy for feeling the way I do.  It feels strange to feel this way about someone who hurt your kids and you son much and who I haven't been with or loved for so long like a spouse.  I am a new hospice nurse having only been in the role for about a year now.  I have always worked in long term care and have been passionate about palliative care since having the very personal experience of caring for my dad with cancer.  I have cared for so many lovely residents over the years and I have always wished for better palliative care in this setting.  I found it becoming for difficult to work in this setting and took the opportunity to work at St Joseph's hospice in London and realized how special a role a nurse has all over again.  I now work at Residential hospice Grey Bruce and soon to be Chapman House.  I love going to work and I don't feel stressed or anxious about how I will give the best care possible because I can in this setting.  This is a wonderful website and I am glad to be able to use it in my personal and professional life.  Thank you again for your help!
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Reply by Carlyn
13 Oct 2016, 1:56 AM

Hi Liz,

I'm so glad you feel relief about this. Your work will surely come in handy as you navigate this time. Sending good thoughts to you. All the best at your new job!

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