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Started by Dar64
30 Dec 2014, 9:04 AM
My husband passed away on Dec. 18th 2014 @ 11:25 pm.. This has been one of the hardest things i have ever had to do in life. When my husband Ron was diagnosed with the cancer and they only gave him a couple of months, i was devasted, but as each day, week and month rolled past i felt a glimmer of hope that Ron would be around for a couple of years. I feel i let my husband down, he wanted to die at home, but on Dec 18th our daughter called for an ambulance as Ron was so confused he kept saying hurry up lets go!! When we got to emerg we were all in the room with him, we kept telling him we loved him. We were all touching him rubbing his shoulders, holding his hands, kissing him. When ever we told him we loved him he would try so hard to squeeze our hand and rub his thumb on our hands, then he would wave. His Dr. rushed to the hospital, she asked me if i see how his eyes were rolling to one side, i said yes, she replied the cancer has gone to the brain and she did not expect him to live through the night. Again i was devasted, my heart is broken. We took him up to his room, where we all gathered around his bed again, holding his hands,kissing him, rubbing his feet, telling him how much we loved him. I wispered in his ear that i loved him so much and that i don't know how to live without him, a tear rolled out of his eye, he took one last breath and was gone. The ambulance picked him up at 7:30 ish and he was gone at 11:25.. We stayed with Ron till 1:00 am, Ron wasn't in any pain, he passed away so peacefully, my husband was a huge Toronto Maple Leaf fan so in keeping with his interest he has gone for cremation with his Leaf jersey, his goofy slippers. Ron is just not Ron in a suit and tie. We draped his leaf flag over the coffin which went with him. We had his service on Dec. 27th.. I feel so alone, so sad, sleep is few and far between, i am trying to stay strong for our kids. Life is not fair, he was only 56 yrs old. I want to scream, how do you move forward when your whole life has been taken from you? We have a wedding picture out that Ron loved but everytime i look at it everyone is gone in that picture but me. Cry 
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Reply by KathCull_admin
30 Dec 2014, 4:37 PM

Dear Dar

Dar my sympathy to you and to your family.  You have had so many losses in the last year and added to that having to advocate for housing and Ron’s healthcare. And then Ron's death. Death always seems to come too soon – there is never enough time.

I think you did all you could to ensure Ron was safe and comfortable at home.  That is no small feat.  When he became confused, you and your daughter took him to hospital to make sure he had all the care that was available.  You did what you had to do - you were his advocate and fought for his rights all along.  He knew that, and so although I never met him, I think he would have understood your decision.

Thank you for sharing those details around Ron’s death and the service – so warm and loving. I hope the memories of how peacefully he passed and how you were all able to be with him can give you some comfort. 


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Reply by marstin
30 Dec 2014, 5:07 PM
Hi Dar64,

Welcome to the forum. Although none of us ever expected to find ourselves here, this is a great place to be able to share your pain. I arrived here just over 2 years ago after losing my husband and my mom back to back. With nowhere to turn, the wonderful people on here welcomed me with open arms and hearts.

Although you couldn't honor your husband's wishes to die at home, the amount of love that surrounded him had to have made him feel incredible. That probably made it so much easier for him to let go. I think we all feel some guilt when things don't work out the way that our loved ones want them to go but sometime's that control is taken away from us. My husband wanted to be legally married and on the day that we were to take our vows, he passed away at home in the early hours. My Mom was admitted to hospital the following day with health issues and within weeks we were told that she would not be able to survive and that her organs were shutting down. My family wanted to bring her home to care for her but I knew that most of that would fall on me to do and I just couldn't do it again so soon. She passed away with my brother and I at her side in the hospital after having family members surrounding her for days. That they were loved I think is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Moving forward is a difficult thing to do. Your loss is so new. My only advice to you would be to get up each day and prepare for the day as you normally would. Make sure you go outside for a few minutes at least and breathe in the fresh air. Try to be around people that you love and trust and that will support you. Do you have that kind of support?

How old are your children? Mine were 20 & 22 at the time of our losses and still living at home. We were a very close family unit and so losing 2 members was extremely difficult for us. It takes time, so much time, to start moving forward. That's why it is important to have people to lean on as you move forward. This forum has been my greatest support and because most of us have suffered painful losses, we understand the ups and downs of grieving. I hope you continue to share your load with the people on here. We're here and we care.

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Reply by oldbat
30 Dec 2014, 5:27 PM
Dear Dar,

I feel so deeply for you.  Please always remember the love, devotion and empathy that you gave Ron, right up until the end.  He died knowing just how much he was cared for by you and his family.

You have been through such a terrible year.  As Katherine said, not just caring for him, in the tender way you did, but also being his strong advocate in addressing his needs through the powers that be. 

I do hope that your fight with the apartment owners is successful and, with that behind you, you wil be able to rest a bit and BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.  Your sorrow is, and will continue to be, deep but your many happy memories will help you stay strong for your children, just as Ron would have wanted.

Rest now, Dar, and cherish your children, your family and your friends.  You have been a wonderful wife, mother and care-taker through all this terrible time.  Now it's your turn. 

I wish you peace, and the return of joy and contentment.  This may take some time, but it WILL come.

Loving hugs to you,

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Reply by jorola
30 Dec 2014, 7:14 PM
Dar my deepest sympathy to you and your family. You are right he was way to young. I am sure he was happy to have all of you around him, telling him you love him. I am sure this helped him to pass peacefully knowing he was surrounded by what matters most - family.

Your next journey is unknown and scary. PLease don't be afraid to ask for help - from family, friends, support providers, even us. You do not have to be alone.

Last year my husband's sister committed suicide on Dec 8. Christmas was so superfical that year. A time of year that is usually filled with love, laughter and togetherness was nothing but saddness and confusion. I just wanted it over so badly. We made it by being there for each other and taking time alone when we needed to too. Of course everyone approaches grief differently.

Sending peace and strength to you

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Reply by PPP
31 Dec 2014, 1:04 PM

Hello Dar

 Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts.  It can be difficult to put into words, the feelings we have when someone you love is no longer in your life.  Life seems empty and meaningless without our loved one. 

Three years ago, April 1st, I lost my husband of 43 years. Avery was 64 years old which also seemed too young, since he was so young at heart!  We went through cancer treatments for stomach cancer, stem cell and were told that he was cancer free.  Three weeks later, he was gone.  I understand, the hope you had for Ron to be cancer free.  We never give up do we?  Even after I was told he only had a few days left, I never accepted his imminent death.

We grieve in our own way  and there is no time limit, although people may suggest that. Take time to grieve and don't expect too much of yourself.  Every moment is a challenge to get on with our day.  You will be bombarded by people saying, "how are you doing?" which is only their way of saying, I am thinking of you.  We want to lash out and yell back at them!  "How do you think I am!  I just lost my husband! "  I  was so upset one time, I said, Not too good,  and it felt terrific to express my feelings!

I know that this site will assist you through the grieving process as it did me and  gives you the serenity you so need right now and the courage to carry on.

Regards, Jane

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Reply by Jimmie
31 Dec 2014, 1:52 PM
Dear Dar:

I am sorry to hear about your husband's death.  It seems, in the end, to have come so suddenly in spite of your hopes and perhaps expectations that he might have more time. It is a staggering loss for you and your family.

It was very moving to hear how you and your family were with your husband in his final hours. He would have felt your love so deeply through the comfort of your touch, and hear it affirmed in your loving words.  In his own way, the tear you mention and his attempts to rub your hand with his thumb, he was no doubt expressing that same love and gratitude for all of you present with him. You mention how hard he tried to convey that love to you by squeezing your hands.  It was obviously absolutely important for him that you "hear" him - hear and feel his love and gratitude for all of you expressed in the only way he had left to tell you.  IT was his way of trying to comfort you, just as all of you were trying to comfort him.

As for dying at home, I appreciate your sense of guilt and disappointment.  I know you wanted to fulfill that wish of his and remain saddened that you were unable to do so.  At the same time, he was in a very real sense "home" during those final hours.  Home for him, for all of us, is not so much the comforts of a familiar place.  It is above all else the comforts and presence of the ones who love and care for us. Your husband WAS home, Dar. He was surrounded by the ones who were his home, the ones he loved, the ones he wanted near him, the ones without whom no place is home. Everything else fades away in significance. Your loving presence was your final gift to him. Within the warmth and safety of the home created by the presence of those he loved and who loved him dearly, he died - peacefully - as you mention - peacefully.  May you remember that moment of peacefulness, remember it, and balance it in time with your grief and mourning.   

Now, having struggled so hard and so long to care for your husband, it is time for others to care for you and your family -those you have met and know personally, and those you have met here.  You deserve and need that care. The very least we can do, is to offer you our companionship as you move through the days ahead.

With respect and affection -

You were remarkably caring over the length of his illness throughout very traumatic and challenging times.  Life is not fair
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Reply by KathCull_admin
07 Feb 2015, 5:26 PM

So much warmth and support shared on this thread.  So much understanding. 

Dar64, the question you asked – how to move forward – and the one that PPP, Marstin, Jimmie, Oldbat and Jorola have joined in responding to is one that Myblueeyedman is asking on I lost the man I love.....how do I go on.

Could I ask you to consider responding to her post, if you are able?

Thank you.

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Reply by Dar64
09 Feb 2015, 2:24 AM

Thank you all for your words of comfort, Ron knew he was deeply loved. I am not sure how many times i was told that i was spoiling him throughout his illness. Of course i did not listen and whatever Ron wanted he got even if i had to go without. KathCull i did respond to Myblueeyedman, how ironic the name my husband Ron had the most beautiful blue eyes. When we got married people said it would not last, i guess we fooled them all, the reason they said this was because i met Ron on Nov. 26th 1982 our first kiss was on Nov, 27th 1982 and we were married on Feb 19th 1983, yep we only knew each other a couple of months, but this feb. 19th would have been our 32nd anniversary.


love and hugs to all and again thank you for your words on comfort and encouragement


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Reply by Dar64
24 Sep 2015, 5:47 AM
Well it has been 9 months since Ron passed away, i have taken a bereavement group (which has helped) But i also want to let you all know that i have also put many complaints in regarding CCAC. I wrote to anyone and everyone. I got an e-mail back from Dr. Hoskins the health minister for Ontario. He assures me there are changes coming and while making these changes he will keep Ron's story at the top of his mind. I will continue to fight the good fight for all the things that need changed. I even wrote on the face book walls of the leaders running in the election coming up.

I suggested that the health minister come on here and read some of our stories, so he has a better idea just what we as the care givers go through on a daily basis, and how much we have to fight for services for so many things just so that we can keep our families at home during one of the hardest times of our lives. This shouldn't be the way it has been, by keeping our loved ones at home we are literally saving the government money, saving space for the ill in hospitals, we do so much more than they know. And they probably won't know till they are going through ti themselves. In my efforts to move forward, i have been to see a grief speaker Dr. Alan Wolfelt, i high recommend seeing him if he should happen to speak in your area. I have started volunteering with Bibles for missions, it takes my mind off of things even if only for a few hours. What i do know is that you must walk through your grief, you can not go around it, nor can you just push it aside, it will rear its ugly head in time. I have also learnt that journaling does help, although i do not like to write via: pencil and paper, my solution has been to make a memorial page for my husband via: very private face book page, where i type almost everyday, i can post whatever i want including music such as our wedding song, where just pen & paper can get ruined Ron's page cannot. I had a very good friend tell me that i must step outside and breath in the air, i have been doing that as well. The funeral home here does a releasing of the doves every year, and sleigh rides every winter for the families who have lost a loved one, it really did surprise me that the funeral home continues to be a part of my life even after all is said and done. It is refreshing to know that they continue to give back and not just take. I sincerely do hope that the health minister comes on here to read about our horror stories even if it gives him a glimpse of what it is like it is better than none at all. Katherine you have my deepest condolences on your loss, i have been there. One thing i come to realize is that i wanted to spend the rest of my life with Ron, but instead i was honoured to know that instead he spent the rest of his life with me! just me. Maybe we didn't make it to our 32 anniversary, but i will continue to celebrate the day i married my soul mate, my life, my love, my husband. I miss Ron dearly!! He will always be a part of me and who i am, and if by chance someone else comes along, well they will just have to understand that they will not have my whole heart, as there is a space that no one can replace, that and i keep my husbands ashes with me till i die. I am no longer affraid to die, cause i know that when my time comes Ron will be there waiting for me with open arms.

With all my love & hugs to all
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