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How to help my spouse...

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by tncarolyn, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. tncarolyn

    tncarolyn New Member

    My husband has lost his father, something he just wasn't prepared for even though his dad has had health issues for years. I think he had been hospitalized so many times and then got better, when he didn't get better it was something of a shock to the family. My father in law was alert enough near the end to refuse further treatment (he got a pacemaker then 4 dialysis treatments) after a month in the hospital with severe fluid retention from a combination of COPD, heart failure, and kidney disease. He had been a diabetic for many years after a heart attack and open heart surgery. I feel like we were lucky to have the 22 additional years with him after the heart attack, and I know he was so tired of being sick more than he was well. My husband (only child, lost his sister to unsolved murder 30 years ago) signed the hospice paperwork so his mother (married 60 years) wouldn't have to bear that burden. He knew it was what his dad wanted, he knew he wasn't going to get better this time (without continued dialysis), and he made sure that the comfort care provided by hospice wasn't going to take away anything his dad already had (insulin, oxygen, etc) as had happened with my father several years ago. We were all with my father in law at the time of his passing. My husband had gone on hunting trips with his dad (and mine before his death) and as recently as this past spring had gone on an annual golfing trip to Florida with his dad. Yet he is feeling so much guilt like he wasn't there enough. We live 2 minutes from his parents' home, saw them, went shopping and to meals with them regularly. My husband has basically shut me out, telling our children he is not going back to work (retiring with no discussion) so he can spend more time with his mother (84 years old). I knew he was grieving and all I asked was for him to not make any sudden, life changing decisions right now. I guess he's put in his paperwork online, with no concern for our finances, or my ability to retire when we had planned. I'm devastated, and to make matters worse I'm also angry. He got to spend more time with his dad (and my dad for that matter), and could have spent more if he had wanted since we lived so close. It's like a slap in the face, because I have cut short so many visits to my mom and sister out of state because one of his parents (usually dad) was sick and I needed to be home to help. There were times I didn't go visit my mom because he couldn't get off work or one of the kids couldn't go and he didn't like me driving so many hours alone. All of our upcoming retirement plans now mean nothing, and him leaving like this so suddenly (right after buying a newer car for commuting and taking out a second mortgage to pay off all other debt) means my retirement will now be delayed. My husband has had some health problems of his own, and isn't the most active guy out there. I know that his retirement is not going to be good for his health while I'm still working, because he will just sit and watch tv with his mom or go eat. So I'm also angry because it probably means that by the time I retire, I will be spending a good portion of it alone instead of enjoying it together like we have discussed for so many years. So while I'm grieving the loss of a good man I've known 25 years, now I'm grieving what feels like the loss of my husband as well.
  2. riverinohio

    riverinohio Active Member

    Well this is a tough one..some people make rash decisions following a huge event in life like a death. You really need to talk to him and express all of your feelings. He is probably feeling a lot of guilt right now which is normal no matter what the situation is, whether he spent time with his dad or not. I would tell him to not make such a huge decision suddenly and revisit this in six months and see how he feels about retirement. It isn't fair to you for sure but grief is also an individual journey that is not shared by anyone else. What I mean by this is that his feelings may be different than yours. Everyone grieves differently and they have different priorities then too. I would learn from this and try to spend more time with your immediate family so you don't have any regrets. Communication is key and let him know that you know he is grieving but he needs to be more thoughtful of your feelings too.