The pain is unbearable

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by kathahn, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. kathahn

    kathahn Member

    I took my husband to ER 12/10/2019, he asked me to because he was having trouble breathing. I was worried, but felt he would be coming home with me soon. From the ER he was put in ICU, had a CPAP, but was put on ventilator several hours later. It was shocking and unsettling to see him like that. On 12/15 I was told by his pulmonologist that he would recover. I was also told by a few of his nurses that he would recover. He remained on ventilator for 9 days. I was so happy to see it come off! He was very confused the first 2 days, but my son and I were able to communicate with him a little, and about half of it made sense. By the third day of being off ventilator he developed ICU delirium. It was awful; my wonderful husband wasn't himself. The next couple days were good, but Christmas evening he had a cardiac arrest. He received CPR, and was shocked once, and was stable. Luckily they did not have to put vent back in. He was off vent for one week, and things were looking up. He passed swallow test, and was able to finally eat. He was scheduled to be moved to CCU, which was an improvement, but aspirated from the food and water he had recently consumed. He was taken back to ICU, and put back on ventilator. Two days later he developed a blood clot on his left lung, and the next day I spoke to cardiologist about the fact he would not have a meaningful recovery, and was faced with decision of taking him off life support. We took him off vent on afternoon of 01/04/20, and he passed away 10 hours later at 1:10 am 01/05/20. My son and I were with him the entire time. I watched my husband die. I held his hand, kissed his forehead, talked to him throughout. He was never conscious for any of it, but I hope he had comfort in knowing we were there and love him very much. I never thought I would be planning his funeral, or going through any of this. His service was last night. I am still in shock, and miss him so very very much. He was my best friend and the love of my life, and now he is gone. I am devastated, and keep hoping to wake up from this nightmare. He was only 54.
  2. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member


    I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your spouse. Words alone really can’t express the sorrow you are now facing, not just you, but your son as well.

    Being faced with the final decision of his life had to be the most trying thing a person will ever endure. It must have been an awful time with so many ups and downs, and your hopes being up one moment only to be removed later. I know making that decision to a part of you is the most difficult thing you were faced with. It too required tremendous courage and heart on your part.

    Also knowing that this happened at what was normally the one of the happiest times of year is also real depressing. I really feel for you having to face this loss.

    Your grief you will now face can be overwhelming. Both you and your son and any other family members will have many days where sorrow can sometimes get the best of even the strongest among us all. This grief you now have will be a long road to healing. Please don’t ever be afraid to show your emotions, as keeping them bottled up is not healthy.

    As my own wife of 42 years was slowing passing on, both my sons and me were with her each day in hospice. When the Nadine took her final breath, words are hard to come by, tears and a tightness in your chest is present.

    On her last night one of the hospice nurses read a poem to all of us in her room. She then lit a candle and said she was ready to pass on. What can you say, how do you respond other than to be shattered with the realization your lover, your best friend, your son’s mother and so many other things was at her final moment. Silence was deafening, tears were plenty, and even when your spouse passed it is enormously hard to accept.

    Sure suffering for our spouse might now be over, but the true test of a person’s spirit is what happens next. Take it slowly, give in to your emotions, talk as you need to, and those tears will come freely now. For my sons and me, we are coming up on five years since she passed on. Still some days are amazingly hard to get through.

    Both me and my sons have searched for ways to deal (Cope) with this loss. My sons lose themselves in games online and friends and work, me, I listen to music and watch videos, happy videos to help me find my smile again.

    Please just don’t give up, Don’t ever think you are facing this loss alone. Share your love for him with others, whomever you feel comfortable with. This unknown road you are now on is difficult, and time may pass so slowly on some days, especially at night when you are alone.

    I hope you don’t mind but here is a song for us both I hope it helps some. For now, take care of yourself, your son going forward. God Bless

  3. kathahn

    kathahn Member

    Thank you for the beautiful song, and know I am sorry for the loss of your Nadine.
    I am praying that someday I will be able to accept this loss, but for now its seems unreal. Tomorrow will be one week, and it's unreal how each of the days since his death have been different, emotionally speaking. Sleep is welcome when I am able because I don't have to think about it. The moment I wake up the grief loop begins again. I am grateful that my son and I don't have to go back to that hospital, but the reason why is so very sad. I was so hopeful for his full, or even partial recovery. We knew it would be an arduous battle to get him back to some kind of normal again, but I was planning in my head for his return home. That was never to be.
    I just want all of this sadness to go away.
  4. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member


    I know days forward will be troubling with grief at times. Even though some days will be very emotional, please just realize it is active grief taking hold of you.

    It is normal to be sad, cry, sleep more, and do so many things that are out of the ordinary lifestyle you had in the past. What you are experiencing is sorrow for your spouse no longer with you. Just know as you grieve all that matters most is your well-being.

    I remember as we had to leave our house in Florida and ride back to Maine to be with Nadine in hospice. Her former boss had paid for her flight to Maine while we readied our home for selling.

    It was very hard to pack, throw away and keep what we wanted. So many memories gone past, but we knew the longer we delayed the less time we would spend with Nadine before she passed. So, we called and donated as many things as we could and waited for the movers to clear our house of the remaining items.

    Once the movers left, we also left in two cars, with walkie talkies in each car for the ride from Florida to Maine. Now that I look back, it was a quick exit, no looking back and once we reached our first stop on the first day of travel we thought about our ten years in Florida and all we left behind. But even the reality of getting to Nadine was what caused a sleepless first night.

    By nightfall on the 2nd day, we reached Maine. It was wintertime, so once we hit the snowline in whatever state it was, we could no longer travel as fast. So we finally made it to our temporary residence in Auburn, Maine and checked into our room for the night.

    Stress is amazing, grief is sometimes uncontrollable, and during our 3 months of visiting Nadine in hospice I got sick twice and had to be taken to the emergency room twice. Nerves sure can be an awful thing to deal with at times.

    Once we once again adapted to Maine weather our health and well-being started to improve. While we were seeing Nadine, we also had to find a more permanent residence. So we would search the internet, set up appointments for house viewing and then head to hospice and Nadine.

    I am sure during that transitioning period all three of us, my two sons and me, never really thought much about our health, just Nadine’s. You see we had been on this journey of Nadine’s declining health going on ten years now.

    We had our hopes dashed many times until finally the finality of Nadine’s cancer was no longer promising. I am not sure at what point we all accepted we were going to lose her, but I just know that many things that happened in the last 6 months of her life are sort of a blur.

    I guess what I am saying is, things happen in life that we have no control over. What seems trivial to others might just be significant to you. All you can do is take each day slowly, and expect your feelings to be all over the place.

    I hope for better days, for you, your son’s and that you will not neglect your health. I also hope that sleep will be more fulfilling. Take care of yourself. God Bless