My husband is gone

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by Heyhoney, May 1, 2023.

  1. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    It’s my first time posting so bare with me. My husband of 38 years passed Feb 26, 2023. We were together 24/7/365 for years. I run my own business and a few years ago we moved so he could retire, He didn’t go gracefully into retirement and found it very hard to find his way. We had barely gotten settled and then covid hit. No chance to establish connections in our new neighborhood. Now I’m alone in a town where I really don’t know anyone. I have a daughter and 3 grandchildren who live very busy lives. We found out in October that he had a heart problem that would require surgery. Fast forward through the next few months of different doctors and lots of appointments and in mid February he went from 120 lbs down to 93 lbs within a week. I finally convinced him to go to emergency. He was gone within 12 hours. The doctor believes he had pancreatic cancer. I am strangely grateful for the isolation covid gave us. We spent hours talking on our front porch. They are good memories that cut through my heart like a knife now. I know we said all the things we needed to say. Now I find it’s just one painful day after another. I’ve been through grief before. My son passed at 7 years old from cancer. That was awful and if it wasn’t for my husband literally pulling me out of bed I don’t know if I would have gotten through. This grief is so different. It almost feels like fear? It is a real physical reaction if that makes sense?
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  2. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband. Also for the loss of your son. I can’t even imagine. I do totally agree that who we lose has different effects on us. I haven’t lost a child but I’ve lost both my parents and I thought I couldn’t live a minute without them. But then I lost my husband Ron suddenly over 4 years ago to a massive heart attack. Losing my parents felt nothing like losing Ron. There was no warning, Ron was healthy. We thought. He got a stomach ache and was violently ill and eventually I realized it was his heart. My life changed forever, I lost Ron in 2 hours. We were also together 24/7, we owned a business together and worked side by side. We were as one and all the sudden I was like half a person. Losing your soul mate is something you are never prepared for. The pain and fear is so deep. I can understand how the isolation during Covid gave you some wonderful yet bittersweet memories. I seriously feel for you being in an area where you haven’t had a chance to makes friends. However, joining this site, you’ll have wonderful support from people who understand everything you’re feeling. And never any judgement. Try to get fresh air every day and take care of yourself. Visit this site often and read and share thoughts and stories. We’re here for you. Sending hugs. Robin
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  3. BGreene

    BGreene Member

    Hi HeyHoney: I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a great site, and you'll be able to chat with/read lots of stories...most of which will say they felt/feel a lot like you do now. As for that visceral feeling of fear, yes it is very real. Even scary. At least mine was. I wish you nothing but peace, and I hope you're ok. Bill
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  4. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    Thank you Robin, you do understand.our experiences are very similar and my heart goes out to you. My father passed when I was 12 a much different grieving experience then when my mother passed 13 years ago. Different still than when my son passed. All losses but I knew the world would keep spinning. This is so very different. Even though my Howie wasn’t involved in my business like your Ron, he was the outlet for the much needed watercooler talk. The tiny breaks throughout the day that reset your mind so you can go back and get the job done. You must miss him so. We have three dogs so they do force me to get outside everyday. Some of his last words were I will miss my boys as I promised to scratch all their spots like he would. In many ways we were both closer to our pups than most people. It takes such an effort to start picking up the threads of our lives
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  5. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    You are so welcome! I wish I could do more. And thank you. I love that you have 3 wonderful and special dogs who are more like family. I have one dog that was given to me from Ron. He searched for a dachshund and then asked me to go for a drive. Long story short we picked the puppy we wanted and visited him each week until we could bring him home. Teddy became my reason to get out of bed to get outside and to move. He is my life saver. Along with my children of coarse but Teddy lives with me. Your dogs miss their Dad I know but will keep you going. Our business was both of ours but mainly Ron’s. We worked next to each other every day. Closing our business was a second loss. So difficult sometimes I only lasted minutes and I had to leave. We had an auto upholstery shop. And we were preparing to retire. He never got to retire and travel like we planned. We were married 41 years and in business 38. Nothing in my life is what it was before losing Ron. I had never lived alone and it felt not just lonely but so scary. The support Howie gave you is priceless and the time together will eventually bring a smile. But it takes time. I love that Howie was thinking of his boys during his last days. Ron’s last words to me were while waiting to be rolled into the ambulance he yelled, I love you Robin, many times. Shortly after that he got much worse. But I can hear him now yelling that while in the driveway. A special gift. Your loss is so recent you should be proud you found this site. It took me a year. I’m glad you’re here but sorry you need to be. Howie is with you forever. He’s a part of you. You were together so long you made each other who you are today. He’s watching over you and in your heart to stay. Be good to yourself you deserve it. Robin
  6. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    Oh Robin we have always had doxies’s. over the course of our years together and always 3. Our last one passed 6 years again and then we started collecting dogs with “legs”. Carrying the trio up stairs was always fun. They do love us like no other.
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  7. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Well we do have a lot of similarities. Doxies are awesome! Our first one Duncan was 18 when he passed. He had back surgery and then had diabetes. I was ready for another dachshund faster then Ron was but then when he wanted to take me for a drive and during the drive told me we were going to look at a litter of dachshunds I was shocked and so happy. We almost got 2 because the breeder was having trouble selling them all. But then she found someone. We were told he’d be little and only weigh 13 lbs like Duncan but he’s larger and weighs 24 lbs. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He takes care of me. And is sitting on me now. What dogs “with legs” do you have now? I hope u you our weather is nice and that you’ve gotten outside. I’m having rain for the 4th dsy in a row. Robin
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  8. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    I remember well the glee of seeing a litter of doxies. Nothing like it in the world. I’ve had smooth and long haired ranging from 9 lbs up to 28! When Howie knew he was passing and said he would miss our boys my daughter piped up and said but you will see Seamus. He was our last one and my husbands boy. He smiled at that thought. Now I have a mini Australian labradoodle (25 lbs), a Portuguese water dog (55 lbs) and my husbands chihuahua weighing in at a whopping 7 lbs. Once we got dogs with legs I started getting in to dog obedience and even competed with the doodle and the portie. I’m not sure who was prouder myself or Howie when we actually achieved titles. Covid put an end to that and with moving I haven’t been able to find a school where I fit in. That world can be rather snarky to newbies. Oh rain, we have had so much I quit counting the days but it is a welcome change from the snow. Except of course for the mud that I could do without and the portie is so full of beans he rolls in it if your turn your back. He has taken the loss most acutely. He would signal if my husband was going to have a seizure. He was never trained for it, he just did it. Howie started having seizures out of the blue when he turned 60 and the boy somehow figured out he needed help. They are remarkable and capable of so much.
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  9. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I’ll also take rain over snow any day. But I’m pretty sick of rain and being cold. You have some beautiful dogs. Love it! They’ll help keep you moving and put a smile on your face. That’s so awesome how your portie could signal a seizure coming on. Dogs sure are amazing. Teddy took the loss of Ron very hard too. And at times I feel he senses Ron now. I have to say your daughters response to seeing Seamus was perfect. Does your daughter live close to you? My daughter who is my main support moved back in with me after Ron passed and stayed for months. That helped me so much but also helped her. She lives about 15 minutes away and we see each often. I go check on her little dachshund while she’s at work. He is so full of it and gets into trouble, he just turned 2. But I love him. My son lives in Florida with his min pins. And also gives me support. I have a feeling if we lived close we’d be good friends. Take care. Robin
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  10. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    Hi Robin my daughter lives about half an hour away. I’ve only managed to see her twice since he passed. She has two young children and one in university so she is run ragged with activities. I try very hard not to be a bother to her she has so much on her plate. Howie was her step father and although she grieves him she is at that part of life where as mom you must keep life on track for your family. We text almost every day so I can see what they are all up to. She has an interesting view on how things should be. She messaged me last night and said she understands how hard this is for me but to realize my whole life has been spent as first being mom and a working one, then wife and now it’s just time for me and how beautiful (her words) it will be to just have “me time”. I know she meant well but it hit me as a wee bit perhaps premature to be able to think of this in a positive light. It was then I realized I needed some grounding with those that had some experience on this path. The rain continues here and yes the cold seems almost worse than winter. I see maybe by the weekend the sun will return and I hope so as I have 4 yards of dirt coming so I can overseed the front yard. It was our spring project. Some good old physical work should certainly set my head straight I hope.
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  11. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Im sorry that happened. Yes she means well. But sadly like most everyone in our lives, she doesn’t understand. Not her fault, unless you’ve been through it there’s no way to know just how devastating this loss is. I’m so glad you have your 3 wonderful dogs and also that you found this site. People can’t understand. I’ve explained to my brothers, just imagine your wife leaves and never comes home. But it’s real for me Ron is gone and never coming home. Everything is on me now. One brother I think got it better then the other. This love grew everyday over many years, you don’t just turn that off like a switch. Doing your front yard will definitely be a good project as long as the weather clears for you. Working in my yard or garden helps me a lot. I lost Ron in Nov, I didn’t do much of anything until spring. And that’s when I realized how much getting outside helped. Keeping your project is a good plan too. I did that too, I kept the plans that I could keep. And it felt right. We had a Disney trip planned for January that I canceled and sadly that’s when I finished emptying our business. There’s a lot of ups and downs. But over time you’ll get stronger.
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  12. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Words seem so very shallow at times, now being one of them. I hope you know how sorry I am that your husband passed away. My husband, Bob, was sick for many years, but it wasn't until the beginning of 2018 that I had to become his full time caregiver. It was the toughest, most challenging thing I've ever had to do, but, and this is one of those really BIG!!! BUTS!!!, I would do it all over again if I could.

    There is so much I want to tell you, but I have an appointment soon, and need to find a way to coax my little furry angel, Skye, into her "room," a/k/a crate. I adopted her from a rescue, and on May 14th, we will have been together for four months. Like you, your husband, Robin and Ron, Bob and I love dogs!!!, TUTTAM!!! (Total Understatement To The Absolute Max!!!) I agree with everything you and Robin have said about them. Skye is approximately 61 lbs, but I think she's gained a little weight recently, and from what I was told at the rescue, most likely an English Setter mix. However, people have stopped me while we're taking our walks, and have told me that they think she is much more than half English Setter. Others think she has some Australian Shepard in her, and even a little resemblence to a Border Collie. I don't see the resemblence to a Border Collie, but can see the resemblance to an Australian Shepard. She has the softest, silkiest fur, white is the background color with lots of black spots, a little bit of brown on her front legs and face.

    Her fur is starting to grow back, I think when she was found, pregnant at the side of a road in a neighboring state, her fur had to be shaved in places, definitely cut. When I adopted her, she had lots of scabs all over her body. Now that her fur is growing back, she has lots of feathering on her legs, and her fur is about medium in length. When she looks at me with those soulful brown eyes, it melts my heart every time, lol... I love her so much, can't even begin to imagine my life without her. She has given me so much, and asks for so little in return. Dogs are the absolute best!!!, TUTTAM!!!

    I'm so glad Robin has two amazing dogs in her life and that you have three of them. Georgine, also a new member, who I don't think you've "met" yet, is also a dog lover, and has three Standard Poodles. Bernadine, another member of our GIC "family" adopted an adorable dog several years ago. She sometimes posts pictures of Maggie, so it's been fun watching her grow up. I'm sure I've missed some of our other furry family members, but will blame this on my always foggy widow brain, lol...

    As usual, I'm getting carried away, I can "talk" almost as much as I can talk, lol... Lou, who you've already met, refers to my long posts as books. However, I really need to go, so keeping this to a chapter. Before I go, although I don't have time to go into detail, I was over the top terrified when Bob passed away. At times I thought I was having panic attacks. I agree that the deaths of those we love affect us differently, depending upon the relationship we had with them. Have to go, but rather continue "talking" to you.

    I'm so sorry you had to find us, but so glad you did. I hope you'll stick around, give us the chance to get to know you, and you the chance to get to know us. Welcome to our GIC "family," TGW (The Grief Warriors. The name Lou came up with for our group fits us so perfectly!!!, TUTTAM!!!)

    Sending you lots of hugs and love, to you and your three fur babies, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB & Skye
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  13. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    Hi Deb thank you. I was beginning to think I lost my mind. We all get scared once in a while but geez this is a whole other level that just needs to stop. I can tell how much you love your dog and she sounds like such a sweetie. I say this after literally carrying one of mine outside to do his business. It is again raining and every time I have opened the door he says nope and goes back to his cozy corner in my office. But after 14 hours of nope I had to force him out to do his business. He sure didn’t thank me for it but I feel much better. I will say it has been reassuring to know others have felt the same way. I have always said it’s not good to spend too much time in your own head and getting another view is very helpful. I am really hoping the sun arrives soon to at least brighten things up. I also have to cut the grass it’s getting so long I might just loose my chihuahua soon. She is quite a fussy little lady who my husband insisted needed the grass short so she could do her business. She was his dog but started gravitating to the portie a lot because he is so furry and warm. He happily lets her climb on him and nest. They have taken up the habit of cuddling in my husbands room while I’m in my office. At first I just closed off his room it was just to much to walk in there. But I gave in when they kept scratching at his door. I guess it’s just their way of processing too. So we cleaned out his room and freshened it up so they hopefully know he isn’t coming back as much as we all would like. Now I can leave the door open and it isn’t as painful. They all still go in after their last business meeting at night, have a little sniff around and come settle in my room. Hope your meeting went well and trust me I love books so write away. I so appreciate everyone’s kindness.
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  14. JackieH1029

    JackieH1029 Active Member

    Absolutely relate with losing 'half of you'. The pain and fear is insane. Unreal.
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  15. Georgine

    Georgine Well-Known Member

    I am so very sorry for your loss of your dear husband,. Everythiing that DEB and Robin and all other Grief Warriors have said in their posts could not be said better. I lost my soulmate in January, 2022. My loss was sudden. Covid struck Pierre, then, me, We were both very sick. Then, as I then was trying to help him get dressed so that we could make our appointments at the hospital for treatment, Pierre went into cardiac arrest. He was revived after loss of oxygen for more than 20 minutes. I never counted; only watched in disbelief as the EMTs struggled to revive him. After 40 years of being ONE, our life as soulmates on earth was over. I admire greatly the Grief Warriors like you, DEB, Lou and all the other bereaved spouse who spent weeks, months and years ministering and caring for their beloved. In my opinion, that act of selfless love is the greatest gift that a husband or wife can give. It truly is grace from God. While my husband and I were one in every way possible, I have almost wished that I could have given him that gift. Of course, I am grateful that he was active until the trauma at the end. But that trauma was indescribable.
    Your daughter certainly meant well when she made her statement to you out of love, but grieving human love cannot be viewed in a prism of compartments. My family has not understood the scope of this mourning and never will unless they experience it. Our children love us and want us to feel better, but you and Howie shared a love that only soulmates understand. The "24/7" continuous communication between a husband and wife lives in the memory forever.
    I am very happy that your 3 doxies who Howie adored are with you. They serve you in ways that are incalculable. They knew Howie, Howie loved them, and that fact is comforthing. Our 3 standard poodles, Elvis (named by Pierre), Socrates (named by me) and Giselle (named by Pierre) are loving creatures whom Pierre adored along with the rambunctious parrot, Chico, who demanded a croissant slice every morning. Pierre fed him by mouth. Disgusting.
    This site is miraculous. And, it is all due to the sensitive and compassionate souls who share and help. My heart goes out to you with deep appreciation of what you endure. We will all get stronger. I believe it.

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  16. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    Oh Georgine that must have been so very hard for you to watch. My heart goes out to you. I am trying hard to find the blessings in all this. I was fortunate in that when he finally relented and went to emerg the Doctor was quite good. He went from a healer to going out of his way to make Howie’s passing as peaceful as possible. He asked us what we wanted. Even in our shock we managed to say he did not want to endure a seizure and he had to be pain free. The doctor wrote order for meds that allowed that. He even found us a private room and instructed the nursing staff to stay away unless we asked for them. He gave us time to talk with him before they gave him the major meds. We had the chance to say everything and reassure Howie. I got to ask him what he wanted. Did he want his sister or any friends. Did he want to see the little grandchildren. Our oldest grandchild showed up and I know he was grateful to see her. We had our time. When doctor came in he told us exactly what would happen and left standing orders for additional meds if needed, to help with his breathing and pain. When he gave him his last dose of anti seizure meds and pain meds Howie simply held my hand, said he loved me and drifted off to sleep. He passed a few hours later. It was peaceful and quiet. The small grandchildren did come before he passed and felt better as it just looked like Poppa was sleeping. They gave him kisses and hugs. I know he had the best passing possible despite us being in stunned disbelief that it was happening. When the doctor had told Howie he would likely die he asked him what he wanted. Did he want more tests, should they do exploratory surgery, Howie said he wanted nothing but would defer to me. I take that as a measure of trust that he had for our relationship. I know I did my best and was fortunate to have such a caring doctor. I’m still just stunned that it all happened so very quickly. Everyone else has gone back to their lives as they should but I feel like I am still standing in that room wondering wtf just happened. I keep hearing his last phone call to me when I was driving to the hospital. He said hey honey I’m dying, I love you come soon. So matter of factly. Then he actually called my daughter and said come sit with Mom. The fear of that moment is still with me.
  17. Heyhoney

    Heyhoney Active Member

    Thank you JackieH1029 I appreciate that someone understands
  18. Georgine

    Georgine Well-Known Member

    I am moved beyond words by your post. Oh, how I relate to your feelings of being stunned, and how you feel like you are still standing in that room.
    Pierre was unconscious for 4 days in ICU. For 3 of those days, the hospital denied me entry, because I had Covid. They finally relented on day 4, which was the last day when I spent hours in shock staring at my unconscious soulmate.
    Thank God that you and Howie both experienced peace together. My hope for you is that that feeling of peace supplants the fear of that moment which you described.
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  19. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    Reading about Howie's passing, has me teary eyed... It's unbelievably heartbreaking, yet, so very beautiful at the same time. The doctor who treated him did everything he could, to make the most horrific, difficult time, in both of your lives, as peaceful as it possibly could be. He gave you privacy, carried out Howie's wishes, and was able to make Howie's transition pain free.

    It's way beyond wonderful that you and Howie had the time to say everything to each other that you wanted to say, that he was able to make decisions for himself, and got to see your oldest grandchild, before he passed away. When I got to the part where Howie held your hand, told you he loved you, then drifted off to sleep, I had to reach for the box of tissues that I always keep near me. I can't stop the tears, but, and this is another one of those really BIG!!! BUTS!!!, these tears are so very bittersweet. It is one of the most heartwarming, yet so very heartbreaking stories, all at the same time...

    I hope in time, knowing that Howie left earth on his own terms, that you had the chance to say all the things you wanted to say to each other, will be of some comfort to you, as you continue to move forward on this way beyond miserable journey, (for lack of a better word), that not one of us would have chosen for ourselves, TUTTAM!!!

    Sending you lots of hugs and love, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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  20. DEB321

    DEB321 Well-Known Member


    I'm so very sorry that you weren't allowed to spend the first three days of Pierre's final days on earth with him, that when you were finally allowed to be with him, he was unconscious. I know saying this doesn't make this total heartbreak, even the slightest bit less painful, but I believe that even though Pierre was unconscious, he knew you were there, that although he couldn't respond to you, he could feel your love, hear your voice...

    Bob's death was the most horrific experience of my entire life. It is way too painful for me to "talk" about, especially at night, so keeping this short. I was in shock too. I couldn't believe that what I was seeing was real. At the same time, I felt like I was having panic attacks, I couldn't catch my breath, the most intense fear I've ever experienced. I can still see the entire evening/early morning in my mind, playing out like some kind of twisted nightmare... It SUCKS!!!

    I'm so very sorry that like Bob and I, you and Pierre didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye to each other, the way you would have wanted to. It SUCKS!!!

    Sending lots of hugs and love to you, and your furry and feathered family members, wishing you peace, all of us peace. DEB
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