Helping me make sense of my husband's throat cancer diagnoses.
No particular direction but my own random ramblings in my own peculiar way,
just telling our story.
It's six weeks and five days since my husband passed away. Every day a difficult one, every day a struggle, every day hollow and empty.
It's not possible to put into words how grief feels. Even if I knew every language in every country I would still not be able to find the words to absolutely convey the misery of loosing my husband. I realise that I had spent so long thinking about him dying that I hadn't really given much thought to him being absolutely gone - forever.
It's been a tough year. For nine months we lived with cancer but we had hope too along with the treatment. Then it made an appearance up in his head and for that there was no answer. Three months later he was gone. Living with a cancer diagnoses brought about a level of anxiety I could never have imagined but I did every thing within my power to keep him as well as I could for as long as I could. Upon reflection I see now how I neglected myself too. Of course it was a sacrifice I made without hesitation and I would do it all over again if I could. But I went into carer's mode and gave him everything I had in the tank. Looking after myself was secondary and doing anything for myself including eating properly was just not on the agenda. It never entered my head to do anything but concentrate on hubby.
But I see that emotionally I started to shut down as he weaned me away from him. His decline was slow and steady, gradually decreasing his spirit each week whilst allowing me to make adjustments along the way. This of course is all upon reflection, I didn't see it at the time. How typical of him to let me down steadily, slowly withdrawing from me. Even the four weeks we spent in the hospice together, every hour of the day I spent with him, he slowly became less and less talkative and less and less needing me. Every single aspect of his care was a slow deterioration but always allowing me time to adjust and see how things were progressing. Every few days I saw a new normal, then another normal and then another. There was no hurry, ever considerate to the very end. I sat there with him on that Saturday afternoon, holding his hand, listening to his breathing, slow and steady, then slower and slower All very relaxed and "normal". I sat watching his pulse on his neck, holding his still warm hand and feeling calm.
I realise my grieving started some time before that but here I am now, still stuck. Stuck with those thoughts of the past few months. Going over and over and over again all the minute detail of the past few months. I still feel numb. Very numb. I'm putting on a great act of course, like so many of us do. But I don't FEEL anything. I go through the motions of living but nothing brings me any joy or happiness. I feel like I've died myself. I've lived with cancer for so long I can't remember what it feels like to have a life without it. Everything is such an effort. My energy levels are very low and I don't recognise myself anymore. Even when I look in the mirror I don't see me anymore either.
When in the past I've heard that someone has lost a husband or a wife I've felt sad for them but I've been on the outside looking in. Now I'm on the inside of that sadness and it's so ugly here, so terribly ugly. Of course people have been kind but they are also the ones who drive me up the wall - all at the same time. I need them, no I don't, yes I need them, go away, don't talk to me, please can I talk! Such a muddle in my head. Why can't people read my mind then they would be really helpful. It's so unfair of me to expect them to keep up with the hourly changes in my head. And of course there is the crying. Having spent so long crying in private I just don't feel able to cry any more in front of even those closest to me. I'm all cried out many months ago which does scare the heck out of me. I wonder if my feelings will ever return? Hubby had great faith in me, I wish I had that faith in myself.
So I'm broken now, I need time to recover from the demands of the last year but how to do that without my man beside me? Every day every day a challenge.
And I hadn't realised how physical grief can be too. My body positively hurts with grief. I ache from head to toe, every inch of my body. I feel so heavy all the time!
How I miss being touched too and hugged and held and kissed and comforted and loved. I know I was so fortunate to be loved so much and to be able to return my love to him but my heart aches like nothing before. I gave him all that I had got. My love. I'm utterly lost without him by my side now. What's the purpose now?
Grief - one tiny word but with a thousand hurts sitting right behind it in a dark and empty void.
How it blows us apart, how it destroys lives. Is there ever any release from it's grip?
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