I still don't think this has hit me. 7 weeks later and I am still waiting for him to come back. Like life is on hold or limbo or a bubble or that funny night before christmas or holiday feeling when there's an anticipatory crackle in the air. I look at photos of the man that is so dear and familiar to me and cannot comprehend the enormity that it's over. I have felt numb since he was first diagnosed less than a year ago - I experienced first-hand the phrase 'the bottom fell out of my world'. Then followed appts, treatment, endless pills, small hope, no hope, a&e admissions, a period of stability then a clear downhill day by day by day until it was time to go in the hospice. All borne so courageously by my husband despite all the pain and discomfort. I watched him fade to nothing. I wished I'd been more patient rather than getting frustrated with it all - how could this be happening and why? On the odd occasion he said he was scared of dying I promised I'd be there with him and I was. I didn't want to be. I wanted to run away. But I promised. And I stayed til the end even though it really wasn't him anymore. I wonder if he knew that I was there - I chatted rubbish at him all night - I worry that in doing so I trivialised the fact that he was dying - made a pretence for me or him that it wasn't happening. I talk to him still. To his ashes. To his side of the bed. To photos dotted around the house. I wear his wedding ring instead of mine. But it still doesn't seem real - it's like I'm acting out someone else's script. Even writing this seems dramatic. I don't feel that I warrant any of the sympathy I'm getting from friends and family. I'm ok in myself mostly - feel a bit blurry around the edges, not quite there. I worry why am I not in tears all the time. I feel its expected of me. Do I not love him enough. Or is it because I'd been crying since diagnosis and watching the decline of the man I didn't realise just how much I loved and not being able to do a thing about it. Since then groundhog days of getting up, dressed, preparing food and clearing away afterwards, getting kids sorted, food shopping, poking my nose in on here. Just as if he was away on business. But how can such an enormous part of my life just not be there anymore? I've lost my husband, friend, the person that let me be me, co-parent, past, future. Gone. In less than a year. I carry on for him, for me, and for our girls and because he'd be very cross with me if I didn't but also because I haven't felt like not wanting to carry on. But it will never ever be the same. It already isn't. That normal life I took for granted. Gone.
What beautiful writing Elent. Not over dramatic - what could be more dramatic than losing your truelove, not someone else's script (although I'm sure we will all identify with parts of your story), but a moving description of the impossibility of your loss and a loving testimony to your soulmate.
When I first lost my partner (six months ago and 12 months after diagnosis) I read everything I could find about grief and bereavement, books, poetry, blogs. Not sure why - I was just frantic to somehow make sense of what had happened and to find a way of believing that I could/would cope. Occasionally I found something that helped me feel less alone, something that helped me realise that others had been through this anguish and had somehow found a way back to life again. Reading your post has powerfully reminded me of how it was seven weeks in (desperate, hopeless, numb with misery). It's tough to remember, but infinitely tougher to go through, and my heart goes out to you. But the reminder also helps me see how much stronger I am now - as you will be too. The loss is still absolute, as if part of me has been ripped away, but I'm starting to smile at memories and when I chat to his picture, and just occasionally to feel as if I might have a future that includes happiness.
Please do keep writing. Your words have helped me and will no doubt help others. Thank you so much for posting.
'you'll ever be my heart's devotion'
So many aspects of yur loss I can relate to and probably everyone one else on this
STAY STRONG IT DUZ EASE HONESTLY.
Elent, so much of what you have written echoes things that I have felt - in particular, that disbelief and yearning of the early weeks; the nagging feeling of guilt when I was not actually feellng sad; the worrying that perhaps I didn't say the right things as he lay dying, hearing my voice but unable to tell me to stop blethering.
There's another important thing you touch on: the "anticipatory grief" that many people experience when they know their loved one is going to die. I had two years of this, and although we had a reasonable quality of life for much of that time, I experienced many of the emotions of bereavement, but had to try to behave normally. I am convinced that this actually prepared me for the inevitable loss and made it easier - well, less difficult - to get through the weeks after the death, as I had already been grieving for two years.
Don't worry about what you ought to be feeling, just accept each emotion as it comes. You sound to me as if you are able to reflect and be honest with yourself without being too sentimental, and you may find it helps to write it all down in some sort of journal. I have been doing this ever since Tony's diagnosis over three years ago; I think perhaps I can stop doing it now (progress!).
Beautifully put x Exactly how I am feeling x
Elent, your post could almost quite easily have been mine - word for word (apart from the fact that my husband was diagnosed on 24 Oct and 4 weeks later died on 22 Nov, and then later "getting kids sorted" because I don't have any!)
BUT otherwise, your words have resonated with me and no doubt everyone else as feelings, thoughts and emotions that we have all had at some time.
I am trying to take life day to day and I am only going through the motions and not living - just existing. I have been poorly too but expect to return to work next week, on shorter hours. All this to help me "come to terms with it" whatever that means !!!
I keep hearing the phrase "it's what he/she would've wanted". How the hell do other people know what he/she wanted - give me strength!!! Yes I am sure our loved ones would not want us to grieve uncontrollably for "decades" but we are all individuals and what is right for one is not always right for another - despite us all being in the same boat as it were. That normal life is gone and we have to find a new normal - but we don't have to like it. ... I am sure I won't! !
I haven’t been on here for a while but I’m pleased I’ve read you’re words Elent. Perfectly put I can relate to it all. My husband Dave was diagnosed 2 years before he died but I think something died in us both then. It’s the ups and downs, treatment, it’s all gone then it’s back we had for the 2 years that destroys you.
Dave died in December 2016 so I can’t even say he died last year even though it seems like yesterday. I’ve met and chatted to a lovely group of people on Wayup now which has really helped me.
I too could have been the author!
For sure we all grieve differently in the same way we all lived our lives (before cancer) differently.
In one hour I will have been a widow for seven weeks. However, my life changed forever in July 2016 when he was diagnosed.
All those kind well meaning folk out there living their uncomplicated lives tell me it’s early days. Really! To me it’s been an eternity! I’ve forgotten what’s it’s like to be part of a couple. I was a carer for my husband until the last 5 days in the hospice. Nothing has been normal in my life for a very long time.
I went back to work on Monday and realised how protected I had been from the real world, from banter! I even delighted when the photocopier jammed and I retrieved various bits of paper from odd places. I had a glimpse of the real world - and I liked it. As I nipped out for lunch I reached for my mobile to call him and then it came crashing down that of course I can’t call him any more.
So, here I am at stupid o’clock wide awake. Yes, it’s early days but I so wish I could turn the clock back. ❤️
I read your reply in the blog and found my self agreeing entirely with what you have said, especially what you have written in your last two paragraphs. I have been fortunate, or otherwise maybe, to have taken early retirement, but what resonates so well with me is your use of the phrase "it's what she would have wanted".....and "time heals", my question is always to them "please tell me how much time"
Normal has gone....a new normal?, I'll let you know when I find it James
Hi Elent ,
I am typing this in reply to your beautiful account of your husband and your life together, through tears in my eyes at the love that you are expressing. All the feelings that you talk about, love, closeness, guilt (because we are human and not a machine) every moment that you went through in that last year. Your best friend, your confidante, soul mate your trust, your love, yes your beautiful husband has died,
You often hear people say my 'other half' well yes they are right, because one of the biggest things I found that I had to adjust too was finding a place in life for me to live without my darling wife .We had always been together two of us thinking as one. Eventually this will happen to you too. Just now you are grieving and nothing makes sense, your loss breaks your heart in two and you want him back.
He is still with you, believe me, when you talk to that photo, to his pillow, to his side of the bed you are talking to him and he is really listening to you,,,,,Remember this Elent love never dies .Live with him in your heart, live for his and your girls show them his love as well as your own . You've heard it all before but life does become more bearable , you will get things back into perspective it just takes time. Time to remember , time to carry on loving him when you cant touch, see or smell him, because he is still with you and the girls, God Bless .Patrick
Dear Elmer, My husband after being diagnosed January 2016 had chemo op with view to a cure, but to no avail, he never really recovered over the two years and lost the battle just 3 weeks ago. I have just read your post and everything you say is how I am feeling right now. Want to say thankyou for sharing this as I don’t feel able to at mo ( although suppose this is in a way) you have helped me realise I am not going crazy! And what I am feeling is what others feel too in the beginning of this new life. I have read all your replies and thankyou everyone hopefully things will get better for me too. Jayne
Ditto to all of the above.
Two weeks tomorrow for my poor Joe and 3 years since first symptoms.
Can't say anything that has not already been said in all your replies.
I'm sure my dog is pining too - as he is off his food - I feel helpless as I cannot explain to him where his Dad has gone.
Love to you all - wherever you are xxxxx
Half of my heart is in heaven.
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