Spouse/Best friend Loss

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by Billfromwa, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    On the 18th of October at 8:40 AM , I lost my very best friend, and wife of 25 years to brain cancer. She ended her life at Providence Hospice in Everett, Washington. The caregivers were marvelous and became like in the end. To me, my wife, Janet, was the single most selfless and courageous human being I have ever met. The only people who can comprehend the depth of this loss is to go through the pain themselves, and I don’t want anyone to go through this torment. I am having a horrible time coping. The counselor from Hospice have been very helpful but I’m not getting any better.
    Thanks for listening.

    Bill
     
  2. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Bill,

    I am sorry for your loss. Hospice was simply amazing as well for my wife. I understand how getting up to face each day as the love of your life is slowly slipping away is an awful thing to endure.

    Each day I rode to hospice with my two sons I am sure my frame of mind was erratic at times. The doctors and nurses at hospice were very caring and made my wife Nadine as comfortable as humanly possible.

    We were married for 42 years and our 47th anniversary would have been on the 15th of this month. I have found that my grief comes in stages. There are time of mindful rest and then an event or an object seen or a person’s words can all of the sudden rush memories suppressed but not forgotten, back in full force.

    Bill, I am sure Janet meant the world to you as did my Nadine to me. She also had cancer, just not the same type. I think what bothered me the most about my wife is how long she had been sick off and one (over 10 years), and for the first four years they hadn’t found cancer yet, but she always seemed to have something new appear over time.

    The worst part of cancer is how helpless you are. So far our medical experts are still delving for answers to cancer. People's hopes are met with a parade of ups and downs. Words while nice really don’t mean much other than to say how they too are at a loss on how to help her beat cancer.

    When you sit beside your spouse in a doctor’s office and they deliver the news that cancer is now in the untreatable stage, TIME stops, your heart gives way to aches, and your mind races with hopelessness. Sure you cry with your wife as you hug each other, but how do you really comfort someone who now knows their outlook has no more future.

    Bill I feel really bad for you, I know life is awful right now. I won’t kid you, no amount of counselling can prepare you for the future. No books, no movies and no family members. What you now have is stone cold grief. You have lost the one who you loved with all your heart and soul. Those special talks, those tender moments, and your walk through life with Janet with so many memories.

    I hope you will see many happier days in the future. I also hope you find peace of mind. Bill I have turned to music now for helping me work through my emotions. I have also viewed many wedding proposal videos done impromptu on the internet (for some reason watching them made me feel happier). I also posted two separate threads https://www.griefincommon.com/threads/the-good-in-our-world.1324/ and https://www.griefincommon.com/threads/the-good-in-our-world-part-2.1415/ I did this for one reason only, to help us see the Good In People. It also includes many videos, some with words as they are sung and some with just pictures. Even though I haven't continued both threads, I still do watch videos daily and listen to music endlessly at times.

    But the one thing I want to stress to you Bill is don’t give up. Don’t ever give in to despair and never ever stop loving what you once had with Janet. Life can be so amazing. There is still much to do even at our older age. Just remember Bill, you are not alone. I am here along with others to offer you words of encouragement and our memories as well. May peace caress your mind and love never leave you soul.

    David
     
  3. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Bill, I am so very sorry for your loss! I know how you’re feeling and it’s the worst most lonely feeling in the world. You feel alone in a room full of people. Nothing in life can prepare you for such a loss, all you want is the life you had with your loving spouse to be back. Instead we have to muttle through as best we can. One day at a time, one hour, one moment. I lost my husband Ron a little over a year ago, to a massive heart attack.. enjoying our evening after a wonderful day of purchasing everything for thanksgiving visiting my daughter doing chores and had homemade soup for dinner. 9:30 pm he didn’t feel well, stomach virus symptoms, turned into chest pains and at 11:34 I lost my best friend, the love of my life. Devastating! And he didn’t have heart disease. Go figure, healthy, to gone 2 hours later. My brother in law, Ron’s brother had brain cancer, so I kind of know how that goes, cancer is horrible.
    A mistake I made early on, was when people said if there’s anything I can do let me know. I said thank you. And let them go on their way. I should have said can we get together for a cup of coffee on Tuesday at 10 or yes I could help getting groceries or please stop by tomorrow. But I didn’t do that, I wasn’t thinking clear enough but would have been nice. My husband passed Nov 17, 2018 6 days before Thanksgiving, his funeral was the day after. And Christmas around the bend. I was in a fog for those holidays and this year feels horrible, possibly worse then Last year cause I was not thinking clear at all last year and this year I’m a mess of emotions. The holidays make things worse. Everyone else is happy and full of life. You need time before you’ll feel any better. Have no expectations just get by today then Think of the next day. I’m told that the wonderful memories will eventually make you smile. I’m not quite there yet, I love our memories but they still make me miss him more then they provide a smile.
    You are so right that no one understands how this feels unless they’ve gone through it. They just can’t know. I didn’t know until I lost my husband. However, everyone here on this site, gets it and absolutely know what each of us is going through. And that feels like a warm hug! I only found this site as I was approaching one year without my husband. I so wish I researched and found it long ago. The people here are here for the same reasons and that is helpful. Knowing everyone understands the pain.
    Please take care of you, and take one step at a time. Reach out to friends and family and on this site. We’re here for each other.
    Robin
     
  4. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Thank you Robin for your response. I feel terrible acknowledging that someone’s pain might give me comfort but that’s exactly what’s happening here. You folks get it. No one else can possibly understand. The pain is unbearable.
    Thanks to the wonderful staff , who helped us get through this, O was able to sleep in my sweet baby’s room and was with her 24/7, until the end. I will be eternally grateful for the extra time I had with my wife and best friend. I held her hand as she left her body. She was (and is) the bravest, sweetest human being I have ever known, and I’m sure that our love will never end.
    Thank you again for reaching out to me.

    Bill
     
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  5. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    I will love her forever.
     
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  6. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Thank you David
     
  7. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Bill, I know where you’re coming from when you say it feels terrible aknowledging that someone else’s pain gives comfort. That is sad, however it’s true. I feel the same way. I can tell you had a wonderful loving marriage and that’s so hard to lose. I’ve said I’d do or give anything and everything to have my saint of a husband back. We had discussed how awful it would be for the remaining spouse after one passes. We didn’t want either of us to have pain of the loss or to be first to go. But here I am, alone and suffering just like we discussed. As he was laying on the stretcher waiting to be put in the ambulance he yelled very loudly, “ I love you Robin” at least 5 times! How wonderful is that!? I have guilt that I didn’t answer him, no idea why I didn’t, except I expected him to come back home. And we’d be together for many more years.
    That was so caring of them to let you stay by your wife’s side 24/7. I’m sure also that your love will never end, as will mine and Ron’s. The kind of marriage we’ve experienced is rare but so very wonderful, but when one is gone the pain can be excruciating and is. I feel half of me is gone. Sleeping comes very difficult and there was a time I wasn’t eating. I try to stay busy, so far that’s the best therapy for me, but sometimes that’s too difficult too.
    There’s no question in my mind that your loving wife Janet knows you love her forever!
     
  8. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    I really appreciate your response. It does seem to help getting stuff out there and getting feedback from people who know what I’m talking about. At the time of Janet’s passing, we were the longest tenured patients in the unit. We were there for nearly three months as she slowly deteriorated until she was barely lucid. At first she could eat, then I had to cut up her food and feed her. Then, she could only eat pudding or yogurt. She had been on 24 hour bed rest and had a catheter (which she hated) from day one. This strong, intelligent woman was wasting away in front of my eyes. I had lost 40 pounds worrying about my life’s true love. All the while the was worried about me, and how I was doing. I’m so in awe of this woman I can’ t see, because of my tears. She is my Hero. While she was dying she was talking to unseen people. I hope when I go that she’s there to help me back to her.
     
  9. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I’m sure Janet will be there to greet you. I do truly believe that. And my Ron will greet me. Here’s a little story I hop you’re open to. My in laws both passed couple years back. My father in law first then my mother in law 7 months later. Shortly after my mother in law passed I had the most vivid dream. It was my Mom reaching out to me, in my dream she sent me a text message saying this message is for Ron. I find my husband in the back yard, tell him I have a message from my mother. He thinks I’m nuts cause my Mom passed in 2006. Takes my phone and somehow receives another message saying. Ron, I want you to know that your Dad was here waiting to greet your Mom! I still get goose pimples as I retell that dream. I woke up from that dream with such clarity that it was definitely a message not just a dream. Let’s just say it was just a dream, it gave me hope and hurts no one. I’ve had dreams like that from my husband since he’s passed. They’re helpful to say the least. Try to be open to signs from your beautiful wife. In short, yes I believe our spouses will be there to help us find our way back to them.
     
  10. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Bill,

    That is amazing about your love for music. Even though you might no longer be active musically, I am sure you still enjoy others immensely. I remember my past, first being brought into music by my parents tastes, and then onward to mine.

    At one time I had amassed over 3k vinyl's, and then cd's came along. In your life you must have seen many great artists perform, and I wouldn't be surprised if you were also gifted musically. To me, music has always been a way of speaking to others, and helped me throughout life in one way or another to work through emotions or events that were tough to deal with.

    I know when I was serving in the military, while in Nam, music was what made life more bearable. It helped with loss, endless sleepless nights and taking your mind off life in general. The two threads I had created were weaved with peoples different losses in mind. I know grief is not something you can grab onto, but when you are sad and down, and feel hopelessly lost, music can help.

    The most acute thing I found about my wife Nadine when she was in hospice was how her memory seemed enormously on overdrive. She could recall so much, it was as if she must be flashing through her life. As people came over the months she was in hospice, she remembered them all, their families, their events and I was just so amazed at how remarkable a person she was.

    She was always the person you asked if you couldn't find something, or the one who could help you find the words when you had to write something. She had many abilities in life. Bill I imagine Janet was the same for you.

    Never be afraid to cry or feel. Never be ashamed to talk about her to whomever you so desire. She was you, you were her, in short she was what made you and vice versa. Even though we have a hole in our heart, those sweet memories will always be with us for the rest of our lives. There isn't a day that has gone by in over 4 and half years that I haven't thought about my wife, so even though you feel bad and down, that is ok, for you are remembering. Take care of yourself and God Bless.
     
  11. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

     
  12. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Thank you Robin for your encouraging post. I too, have had vivid dreams of similar nature. When I touch the urns containing her ashes and talk to her, I’m awash with goosebumps. I truly believe we are communicating. Ever since the day she died I have been texting Janet, sometimes several times a day. It’s almost like keeping a journal. It does seem to help. It’s like discussing the day’s events the way we used to. I tell her how much I love her several times a day. Your marriage seems strong like mine and Janet’s. I pray that you will have some easement of the horrible pain you are enduring and hang on to the promise that you will be together and happy once again. I truly believe this to be true.
    Janet and I believed that our purpose in this life is to find and perpetuate love. I think you and your husband and Janet and I, have fulfilled our assignments.

    God Bless.
     
  13. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Bill, I can’t thank you enough for your post. I took a chance telling you that story because I had a feeling you were having signs from your wife and believe as I do that these signs are real. How ever I’ve had people think I’m nuts. So I’m cautious in sharing some of my signs. I’ve had many. You’re right, our marriage was svery strong, we were as one. We were together 24/7 for the most part. And we loved being together. We had a business we ran together and I had to empty and close our shop. It was terribly difficult and a second loss. Losing our business along with my soul mate is too much to handle and that fact is something very few people can understand. My life doesn’t have a single thing the same. You mention texting your wife, I love that!! I so terribly miss texts from Ron. So loving and caring. If we weren’t together we were texting. I carry his cell phone with me everywhere. Makes me feel he’s close. I carry his wallet too. I saw on his phone that he was researching to find a cruise to go on for our 42nd anniversary. Jan of this year we had a family vacation planned, we went every year with our children. We canceled it of coarse. I talk to Ron regularly also. Hoping he is with me and listening. I believe he is. I feel like half of me is missing and wish with all my heart I could feel whole again. I know in my heart Ron and I, and you and Janet will be together again one day and feel the love we’re so desperately missing.
    I’m guessing you probably have a difficult time sleeping, it’s been very difficult for me but I will post this and try to get some rest. The holiday season is making things so much worse. God Bless, hope you receive a message from Janet tonight.
     
  14. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Thanks ag
    Thanks again David. Beautifully written and well said. You offer some great advice. I’ll work on it.
     
  15. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Robin
    I’m feeling a very strong kinship with you and Ron. Your story is very similar in that we both have strong connections to our spouses that spanned each and every minute of each and every day. People throw out the old question “of you could pick anyone though-out history to be stranded on a desert with, who would it be? No hesitation...Janet Waite Lathrop. She would be the first person to enter
    My mind. An absolute no-brainer!
    I love Janet without reservation, and I know that you feel the same way about Ron. Maybe we’ll all meet up with each other when we get to the other side. I think that would be great.
    God bless you and Ron.
    Thank you Robin.
     
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  16. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Bill you bring tears to my eyes. I’m feeling the same about you and Janet. You 2 were meant for each other there’s no question in my mind. I love your love story and feel sick about your pain. Ron and I first layed eyes on each other, I was 16 he was 19, on the corner we live on! I met him through his cousin and we actually held hands the night we met! He told everyone that story. That’s not normal for either of us. We’re quiet kind of shy people. People would either be jealous of the wonderful marriage we had or say how can you 2 be together all the time. We’d say how can we not! We didn’t need or want alone time or anyone else, we had each other. I’m glad you can tell how close Ron and I were, and I feel the closeness you and Janet had. Let’s say have, because we’re still feeling the love. After my husband passed I was allowed to go see him, I begged him to try hard to send me signs. And he’s coming through with many signs.
    Every time I write your wife’s name, Janet, I think of my cousins wife. Her name is Janet and they are as close a couple as you and Janet and Ron and I. Not sure why I’m sharing that but I think of their marriage.
    I wish we lived closer, we could get together to support each other through this nightmare. But I agree, how wonderful would it be to have us all meet up together on the other side. You’d love Ron and I know I’d love Janet!
    Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to your posts. Take care of you Bill
     
  17. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

     
  18. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    I’ll be looking forward to all of us getting together. It’s awful that we have to endure this horrible pain in order to meet, but maybe that’s just part of the plan. I have a feeling that we will all benefit in the long run from our meeting here. I think “meant to be”.
    God bless you and Ron.
    Hey Ron, look Janet up. You’ll like her.
     
  19. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I love that! And I can tell you without a doubt, he would take care of her too. And I agree, our meeting each other on this site must have been meant to be. I get posts from others on here and one in particular I’ve bonded with and she’s seriously struggling right now. She lost her husband a couple years ago, I forget exactly how long. She lives in Canada and she had the type of marriage you Janet Ron and I have. I’m not doing great myself, the holidays magnify everything. But this site has been a help to me. Hearing your story and telling mine, for some reason is comforting. I don’t have a huge support group so this site is a God send to me. They should be able to find each other, they’re the two most loving, caring people there.
    Who knows maybe they’ve already found each other and see we’re supporting each other as best we can from here. Thinking of them supporting each other gives me comfort, two very good people. I keep hoping he’s with my parents. They loved him and Ron loved them.
    Do you have children? Ron and I have a daughter who is my gift from god and we support each other daily and a son who lives in Florida but he tries hard to give me support from there. Calls, tectonic etc.
    god bless you and your wonderful wife Janet
     
  20. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Hi Robin
    You are right about the difficulties in handling the holidays. This was our favorite tome of year. Both of our birthdays were in November (mine on the 16th and hers on the 22nd. Then comes Thanksgiving and her beautiful, delicious pumpkin pie. We started watching our collection of Christmas movies every Thanksgiving always starting with “The Christmas Wish” with Neil Patrick Harris and Debbie Reynolds.
    Janet loved Christmas movies, from old to new. Then came Christmas. That was a joyous time for us. It has been very difficult for me this year. Today I got into the car and as I pulled away from the house I looked over to where she should’ve been sitting and I burst into tears and started screaming uncontrollably “ O don’t want you dead, I don’t want you dead. I was crying so hard I had to pull over. I have had episodes like this before. Must be the time of year. I hope that you can get through the holidays OKAY.
    Bless you Robin and know that Ron will welcome you home when it’s time.