My wife

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by David Hughes, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Where do I start. Nadine, my wife of 42 years died of cancer on April 19, 2015. Since that time I have tried to resolve this loss with myself and two sons. One of the toughest things I have found is how to talk about this profound loss. Nadine was a person I admired, my best friend, and loved and looked up to, since the first time I wrote to her when I was serving in South Vietnam.

    Days would pass and the hurt just kept burying itself deep inside me. I have spent my time trying to forget, trying to move on. So I started watching YouTube videos on almost any subject. Then one day I found this video of a 10 year old violin prodigy named Karolina Protsenko . Her playing was/is beautiful and for some reason the violin seemed to help me deal with my tinnitus. I can truly enjoy the sound the violin produces, because it just cuts through the constant noise in my head.

    I wanted to know if someone had also sang the words of that song. I found Carrie Underwood's 'See You Again', . This song is beautiful, and reminded that while time may not heal all wounds, if you truly are a person of faith you will take hope in her words.

    As a Roman Catholic who believes in the afterlife, I do believe that one day I will see her again in heaven.
    As 4 years have passed during that time I was a previous member of Facebook. At some point I came to the realization that all I was doing was just posting with no heart in my posts anymore. So one day I quit and had my account deleted hoping to help forget about Nadine. That doesn't work.

    Not really being able to talk about Nadine has been extremely tough. This year as her birthday once again approached of course all the thoughts would flood back. I would have many sad moments.

    I never seem to remember anything I have dreamed as long as I can recall. but then one day when I woke I started remembering the dream I had that night A spirit all of white was sleeping on my chest, and I felt so comforted with that thought. Call me crazy, but that is the absolute truth. I have not dreamed another dream since that day. However, the dream was around Nadine's birthday.

    Now let me back up a little. The videos that I watched, and there were many. I found a collection of wedding proposal flash mobs, and I just could not see enough of them. I would cry, smile, be happy and wanted to watch them all, and there are many. I would watch even those of another language. Love is funny, even if you don't understand the words a person is saying, the actions they do are clear as a bell.

    We were living in Florida for 10 years when Nadine developed cancer. She was put on a transplant list so many times, going up and down on it. Finally the cancer had progressed to stage 4 and we had to all accept that reality.

    She asked to go home, back to Maine and be buried there. So Nadine ended up in the Auburn, ME hospice. My sons and I visited her everyday. As word spread of Nadine's sickness friends from all over showed up to share their love for her. What amazed me was her beautiful mind, she remembered everyone, their names, their kids, and those special bonds they shared.

    As we watched Nadine slowly prepare for the next stage of life, afterlife, she shared a dream she had with us. She had been visited by an angel, who told her that in heaven she would take care of children. The glow on her face just was amazing.

    As time passed, which seemed too quickly, a nurse came into her room. She lit a candle and told us that Nadine was for ready to pass on. The nurse read a poem to us that totally made all of us cry. You knew it was time but you didn't want to admit it.

    That night my love Nadine moved into the afterlife. It was the moment that is hard to put in words. I was relieved she would no longer suffer, but so very sorry I would no longer share my life with her anymore. The walk out of the hospice that night was the hardest thing I have ever done. Please forgive me if I have made any of you feel bad.

    This is my wife's obit with many pictures within, including our wedding. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/auburn-me/nadine-hughes-6409908

    Lastly, I am at a loss to find people to talk to, my sons have moved on mentally, my brother whose wife also died of cancer has moved on and won't talk about it. I am seeking those who might understand why I can't move on. As a person who strongly believes in the Almighty God, I have prayed to him many times for myself and others. Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless.

    If I had known how to post a picture I would have.

    David Hughes
     
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  2. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    David, you write beautifully. If we cry it is because most of what you have written has been felt by all here. You just did such a good job of expressing those feelings. Our person was /is loved and our lives are so much more than we could have ever hoped for. Thank you for your words. Should you wish to talk there is the open forum you started or personal conversations. I am one year on the 25th.

    Best to you David and thanks for posting.

    Paul M
     
  3. Dave33085

    Dave33085 Well-Known Member

    David, first of all, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. Everyone processes this thing called "grief" differently. Some grieve, get over it and move on. Others get stuck on it. I lost my wife November 9th, 2017. It was our son's birthday. We were married for 33 years and we were together for 7 years prior to our marriage. She died in the home we made together in our living room under hospice care. I too am Catholic. Not a "good" Catholic but baptized as one. My faith is strong in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. If it wasn't for my faith, I probably wouldn't be here right now. My wife fought cancer for 13 years. She fought till her very last breath. I too have trouble talking about her death with our children. We have 2 boys and a girl in that order. Our kids just seem to tuck away their feelings about her death and push on with their lives. Our son (the one who's birthday she died on) now has two children of his own. My wife got to meet his first (our grandson) but never got to meet our granddaughter. I sometimes feel like it's me that there's something wrong with. Like I should be able to move on with my life. Just when I think I've made progress, bam, I have several bad days in a row. I've tried group counseling at the church but didn't get much from it. I keep telling myself time will heal this and I know that my wife wouldn't want me stuck here. So I keep that Bible close and pray every day. May God bless you and heal our broken hearts.
     
  4. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Paul, thank you for your warm comments. I am glad I have finally found a place to unload some of my bottled up emotions. I will do the best I can over time to talk.
     
  5. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    As one David to another, hello. I have been all over the net trying to find a place I could talk to people who have suffered a loss such as me. I realize we all have moments in our lives we wish to share with others, to discuss the unresolved things that may be preventing us from healing. Let me first say, I am very sorry for you loss, any my loss is no bigger than yours or any one else's.

    What is important is to have open up to others and share. I have had such an extremely hard time doing this. My religious faith has never waned ever in my life. I just haven't attended mass as I did previously. I just believe that God is all around us, we each carry him with us in our own special way.

    Death is such an awful word, but each of us will at some time in our lives be tested. This to me is one of the most toughest loss and the passage oftime is just not making it any easier to face. If I actually believed that my sons like me were able to resolve the loss of their mother I think I would have noticed something.

    I know we all feel pain, and may cry many times, in public or private. However, how a person has gone forth after a loss is obvious. Actions speak louder than words. The one driving force in me is God. I at least talk and pray to him for many things. I talk and pray to my wife at those tough times. I don't need an answer, I just feel better for having talked to them.

    At my older age I do a lot of using the computer, watching television (tv) and other miscellaneous action. I have found some comfort in listening to violin music now. It just seems so beautiful. At times I even believe I can hear the words from the violin as odd as that sounds.

    The tv has allowed me some comfort. I watch all forms of videos. Some of the best videos I have watched is the rescue of animals who are suffering. I am pained to see their plight, but relieved when some beautiful people come along and save them. Then watching others be proposed to on tv is amazing. Some of the songs that have been made to help deliver that proposal are perfect. The proposal videos make me wish such songs as that would have been available when my wife Nadine was the focus of my life. I am sure I would have been scared to attempt one of those proposal, but I am sure she would have loved it.

    For now, I will cut this short, but wish to thank you for answering my post. God Bless.
     
  6. Dave33085

    Dave33085 Well-Known Member

    David, For the longest time, I couldn't even turn on the radio. Every song had a negative effect on me. Country music made me sad mostly because it reminded me of my wife. So I tried classic rock. It just agitated me. Ok maybe heavy metal. Just made me angry. So I didn't listen to the radio. TV helped me too. I too found that watching people getting rescued gave me some comfort. Maybe I'm moving forward a little since now I do play the radio while I'm driving and at work but I change the channel a lot. As Christians, we believe that we are going to a much better place than this after we die. I know my wife is there so why shouldn't I be happy? Maybe if I got to spend more time with her here it wouldn't hurt so bad. Being diagnosed with cancer at 44 years old when you ate good, didn't smoke, didn't drink, exercised, taught Catholic education for 25 years and was kind to everyone you met had to be a hard pill to swallow. I know it was for me but my wife just seemed to take it all in stride. After all the surgeries, procedures, medicine, chemo and doctor visits, she still keep her positive attitude and her beautiful smile. She just seemed to accept the whole thing. I wrestled with the whole thing. I prayed every day just for one more day with my Chrissy. I've read the Bible three times from cover to cover since I lost her. Everyone says that all the answers are in there. My children have stopped going to church. This saddens me. I keep asking them to go with me but they have no interest. This world is a lonley place without God. God bless you and all who are grieving today so that we all may find a moment of happiness in each day that we can connect together to rebuild our broken hearts.
     
  7. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    David, I remember my first tour in Vietnam. All the great songs to listen to and perhaps even sing along. Friends were made and lost during that time, but those songs helped so much during difficult times.

    I too have enjoyed a life listening to music, without it things would have seemed so one dimensional. When you are young you don't really dwell on death, but as you grow time and life events have a way of opening your mind's eye. I think back to remembering something I heard once about those who investigate the loss of a loved one. One person said something to the effect of 'I hope death will never become something I get accustomed to'. So by feeling and suffering we accept our own mortality and realize we need to grieve to move on in life.

    To me Faith is real. It is not something you hold as an object, but something you live by. You as a person shed that beautiful belief on others by your actions in life. Nadine my wife was a strong person of faith. She led others by her words, her actions and how she always played herself down and built others up. David you seem like such a person.

    Some of my love for God was built as a child with my sister Marcia (I have another sister and older brother). We were like bookends, did so many things together, went to church and Sunday school together. We shared our bad times and good times honestly with each other throughout our life to this very day. She has been my go to person in times of need. She just retired from teaching elementary school for 48 years.

    As for the Bible holding all the answers to our questions, I believe it. But, by each of us praying and talking to God, it allows us to cope with life's difficult times. As a child I can remember kneeling by my bed at night praying for many things. My mother always made sure I did this. I miss her as well.
    For now take care each and everyone of you. I hope you have many days with restful sleep and less stress in life. God Bless you all. nadine-hughes-auburn-me-photos14.jpg 12/15/1972 George left, Justice of the peace, Nadine my wife, and me the day we were married. I will post a recent picture eventually.
     
  8. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    David, she is something and the inner beauty you have mentioned but all of her, bring it. You also quite the dude and you loved her well. To your credit!!!
     
  9. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Thank you Paul. Nadine came from a family of 2 brothers and 2 other sisters, all but the oldest have passed before her. She coped with difficult times even the most resolute would have found difficult.

    Her surviving sister Linda and her niece helped her so very much during her remaining time. They were a Godsend and I will never be able to thank them enough.
    If you follow this https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/auburn-me/nadine-hughes-6409908 Just under Nadine's picture is an arrow that leads to a professionally done tribute video. The music is beautiful, the words touching, and the pictures are of Nadine's life story.

    God Bless
     
  10. Dave33085

    Dave33085 Well-Known Member

    David, first of all, thank you for your service to our country. You are a few years older than me but I remember Vietnam being the focal point of the news every night when I was growing up. You have so many great memories of the life you had with your wife. I can almost feel that as I read your post. Our faith teaches us to trust in God. I had a real hard time with that after my wife's diagnosis. But I continued to pray, every day. I made sacrifices in a way to try and make a deal with God. (I stopped eating meat on Fridays among other things). In the end, I still found out what I already knew. He is in control. I still pray every day. Mostly just to understand "why???, Why her??". I know I'll probably only get my answers on the day I see her again. But until then I will continue to pray that my faith stays strong and that He will lead me in a direction that will make me happy again. I especially like to recite Proverbs 3:5-6 when I am feeling down. It helps me cope. Have a great day and God bless.
     
  11. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    David, I wanted to share one other thing with you. You can take it for what it is, something I feel happened or just the flighting thoughts or someone.

    As I searched day after day, for weeks, for videos to watch, I realized that my tears and emotions were so strong. I just couldn't contain them anymore. No amount of tissues stopped the tears from my eyes.

    I realized if I wasn't aware of what I was doing I might lose myself in my grief. So I prayed to God and begged him to stop me from feeling so bad. The next day as I sat down in front of my television I started watched videos again, one after the other.

    It didn't matter what type it was, a happy one, a sad one or whatever. Soon I realized that I was no longer a person who was easily shaken. This went on for three days and it was if my emotions were now in check. I could watch but no longer feel. What good was it. So I prayed once more to God, asking forgiveness for what I had begged him to do to let me tolerate life once more.

    That next day I again sat down in front of television, and as if out of the blue, the videos were once again meaningful to me. I could cry, be happy, and feel. I guess what I am saying is this - without being able to feel and experience the pain, the loss means so much less. So I will take my grief in stride now, and understand that in order for my life to move forward - I have to feel.

    God Bless each and everyone of you and I hope God will answer your prayers.
     
  12. Dave33085

    Dave33085 Well-Known Member

    It makes perfect sense that going through grief makes your loss feel significant. I'm glad God let you experience that. I think it would help you to understand and to heal from your loss. I went to lunch with a friend from work yesterday. (A wonderful girl). Although she is married and her husband was fully aware of us going, it just felt a little funny going to lunch with another female. Maybe because this girl never knew my wife, I don't know. It was a restaurant I frequently took my wife. I wasn't sure how I would feel sitting there having lunch in a restaurant that I used to frequent with my wife. After almost 2 hours of lunch and chatting, I left the restaurant and started driving home only to realize that I hadn't thought of my wife the whole time. Then I felt guilty for not. After awhile, I realized that it's little things like this that I need to help me on with my life. A year ago, I wouldn't have even considered going out to lunch, let alone with another female. This girl has become a very dear friend and has no idea how much she has helped my healing. As so many have said,.. "baby steps". From now on, I will try to find at least one thing in every day that made me happy, and try to dwell on that. I know I will get to see my wife again some day and I can't wait for that day. To hold her hand, hug her and kiss her. Iknow I won't be able to as long as I walk this earth. But I owe it to her to try to be happy while I'm here. I prayed this morning for everyone who has lost someone in their life that they may find peace and that God helps them through their grief.
     
  13. christine 36

    christine 36 Member

    Hi again I watched both videos and they are both beautiful, I did cry watching the Carrie Underwood video because the words and video are so beautiful , I believe we will see our loved ones again when we pass I hope my husband comes to meet me and take me with him,
    Thanks again David
    Christine
     
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  14. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Christine a wonderful point of view and well said.
     
  15. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Isn't life wonderful Christine and Paul, when an artist can create something and so move us emotionally. Their skill helps us cope in so many ways.

    When I was a child I never realized how important music would one day be to me. Yes, Christine your words are what I also believe, that we all will one day be with the ones who we loved so much in life. God Bless.
     
  16. Sally Taylor

    Sally Taylor New Member