my dearest heart...

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by JennD.39, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. JennD.39

    JennD.39 Member

    Hello, everyone...My name is Jennifer. My late husband's name was Michael. I lost him on 17 August, 2014, after 37 years of marriage. He was a disabled VietNam Vet, USMC, suffered for 20 years from the effects of Agent Orange. We were married in July, 1977; we had eight children, lost two more...seven grandchildren (so far).
    In 1994 he was diagnosed with diabetes, a side effect of the AO that was to become the bane of his existence until he finally died 20 years later. :(
    He had congestive heart failure, which later developed into ischemic heart disease, liver disease, liver cancer, kidney failure (with more than 3 years on dialysis), 3 amputations, anemia, blocked arteries, internal bleeding issues...many other problems, too many to list here.
    He made many MANY trips to the hospital over the years, many times going in by ambulance...staying for days, weeks at a time. On his final trip, he was taken by ambulance on our 37th wedding anniversary; he was so out of it that I don't even know if he realized what day it was...:(...
    After 2.5 weeks there, he was transferred to a therapy hospital for some physical therapy, but after the first visit there by the therapists, I was told that he was too weak to take part. So he stayed in his bed, too weak to even lift his hands to feed himself.
    Finally, after all this, he was on the dialysis machine one day and suffered a red heart attack, which left him completely unable to talk, to move, to even stay awake...put on a respirator. I was told that he could stay on for no longer than 2 weeks, after which we would have to have him trached or have him try to breathe on his own ~ which would be a miracle.
    As we are Catholic, I am most grateful for the fact that I was able to have our parish Priest give him Anointing of the Sick just a few days before it was all over ~ I don't know what I would have done if he had passed away suddenly, with no Sacrament!! I thought he was surely going to die that day of his heart attack but he lasted for the full 2 weeks, passing into eternity in the presence of our entire family ~ all eight children, spouses, brothers and friends were there.
    I know that this is how he would have wanted it; I know that we did as much as we possibly do for him...so that, at least, is a great comfort.
    But it does nothing to take away the pain...:(
    I know this is a long post, but I wanted people here to know the background of our story, so they could see that this has been going on for a very long time, that even after 22 years of helping my dearest heart, I feel this emptiness and sadness still. I wish it could have been different, I wish he never got sick, I wish he was still here with me, enjoying a long happy life with our family ~ sharing the joy of our children and watching the grandchildren grow up...But I also know that he is looking down from where he is now and he is very proud of us, what we did for him...and we WILL be together again, someday.
    I remember you all here in my prayers. I feel for you all...know that I identify with the pain you all feel for your losses and I wish with all my heart that there was more I could do!
    But know that you are NOT alone...and that if anyone wishes to talk to me here (or via email) I am always willing to share stories, memories, and grief.
    God bless us, everyone. ❤
     
  2. griefic

    griefic Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you Jennifer, for being here and for reaching out and encouraging others to share their story. As you said, nothing can ever fully take away the pain, but I do find connecting with those who understand can make a difference. In support groups, I've seen people who are further along in their grief journey reach out and help those who are brand new. I find it so beneficial to each person and am so appreciative that you are offering your support and experience to those coming here looking for help. You are right, we are NOT alone in our losses and I hope this site is a reminder to you as well as you continue to move forward and heal. Please message me if you have any questions about the site and thank you again for sharing your story. Please take care...
     
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  3. JennD.39

    JennD.39 Member

    Hello, griefic! Thank-YOU for creating this website. Everyone has grief in life, no matter how it comes...I hope my prayers help! Everyone has been so kind to me, ever since my Michael passed away, I just want to give back any support I can...mostly just talking about it online here, by praying for others, by remembering him in the most positive way I can.
    He would have liked that.....
     
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  4. JennD.39

    JennD.39 Member

    Why does everything in my life fall under two categories: before Michael passed away and after?!?
    I was just now looking at an Artists' website for ordering books, videos, etc., and reviewing my downloads available there that I have ordered over the years...I noticed one that I d/l back in May 2012...my first thought was not, "Oh let me review this video! I had forgotten about it!!?" no...rather, my first thought was, "Oh! This was just over two years before Michael died!"
    And then again, another one, dated July, 2016: not, "This one is about pencil techniques! ~ or ~ This one is a good one...methods for pen&ink!" NO!! Again...my very first thought was, "Oh! Michael had died nearly two years ago by the time I ordered this one!!"
    My entire life's timeline is now divided forever by that fateful date....... :(
     
  5. griefic

    griefic Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Jennifer, thank you for so beautifully expressing what I know so many people experience. I've heard some describe it like a line that has been drawn - and everything becomes defined based on what happened before the line and what comes after. You may find your thoughts continue like that for some time, and while I'm sure it's at some points maddening, it's also very common and very natural and I think you'll find you become accustomed of how to work around it. Most of all be patient with yourself and continue to reach out! We're here if you need us. Take care...
     
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