There has been a lot in the media today about an app to record messages for your children before you die.
My husband died just before Christmas 6 weeks after it was clear his cancer was terminal. I’m really struggling with the fact that my husband left me no message, nothing to say he loved me, nothing to support me now. I didn’t realise that he never wrote anything like that down. I can’t even find anything from earlier in our relationship. I have things I wrote to him, but nothing from him to me. When he knew he was dying he said he wanted to record messages and write letters to his children (he didn’t mention me) but he kept putting it off and in the end we had to stop pressuring him to get it done as it was causing friction.
Now I feel so resentful that I have nothing to comfort me. Has anyone else worked a way to be at peace with this? Someone suggested that I try and write the letter for him but when I try to do it I just sit there feeling so angry with him that he didn’t do this for me. Then I feel guilty for being angry with him for not thinking ahead for me when he was busy getting increasingly sick and sedated and dealing with knowing he was just about to die.
I just wish I had something to hang onto to say he loved me. My memory of him is so sketchy, and the only memories I can really access are of all the difficult stuff at the end. I feel he’s slipped though my fingers and disappeared completely.
And now I’ve realised that with no children of my own there is no one who would be searching for messages from me if I was run over by a bus tomorrow.
I do understand completely your desire to have some tangible evidence of your husbands love for you- a letter or recorded message. I feel the same; my husband found it difficult always to express his feelings and throughout his two year cancer journey he generally avoided talking about his future and wanted me to cope in the same way. I think I hoped I might come across a letter left for me and because I haven’t, I now do wish that I’d asked him to record a simple message that I could play when I was feeling low/sad/ lonely etc. The thing that comforts me a little though is that I know he loved both his daughters more than anyone yet he left no message for them either and also said only a rather unemotional goodbye when the end came. That was the way he was and was no reflection on the depth of his feelings , certainly for our girls.
I see from your profile that you were married just two weeks before he died. Is there any momento from that so special day that could become a tangible, touchable token of his love for you? Did he give you any gift or anything to mark the day? Failing that, do you have any photos of times when you felt especially close - holiday snaps for example which might conjur up for you times when he told you he loved you? I know it isn’t the same as having his recorded words, written or spoken, but he clearly loved you very much . I have found myself at times doubting my husbands love for me. It seems such a long long time since I was last more than just his carer and hard to remember the happier times before his illness- but photos can help bring those memories back.
Im sorry - I’m not sure how helpful this will be but please know I understand .
I agree photos do help bring back loving memories. The family put together a collage of photos for the funeral looking at them brought back so many memories . Lots of them were of him cuddling the children & me . I think I might have a day looking at photos. Also I always keep Birthday & Christmas cards maybe you have some from your husband that he signed.
Love & hugs. Jojo x
My husband didn't leave me a message-for-afterwards either. But like you said, I can't imagine how it must have felt knowing he was going to die, and how awful it would be to have to acknowledge that by writing something, especially when scared and in pain and full of horrible brainmelting drugs.
Do you have texts or whatsapps or anything like that from when he was okay? And did you have favourite places you went when he was okay, that you could perhaps visit to bring him back a little, or music that brings back particularly good times?
I printed a bunch of photos of him smiling at me and hung them around the house. He beams at me from the cooker and grins at me in the living-room. He's still gone and it's still awful but it's some comfort having them there.
I think you’re right fshwife- it must have been almost impossible to contemplate saying goodbye. I think at my stage, four months on from Phil’s death, that’s what I am finding so difficult to come to terms with. Just the thought of his last words to our adult daughters and young grandson is so so painful to me. It’s desperately sad . He chose to withdraw life support so knew the day he would die and that memory is so painful. I think he had had enough of the cancer and the associated suffering and just wanted out but I can’t imagine the agony of knowing that was the last of everything. What a dreadful disease.
Hopong everyone is getting through the day. I am determined to live the best I can but some days are tougher. I too made collages of photos for the funeral and find such comfort from them now. Let’s all keep going forward even in those baby steps.
Thank you to you all for your thoughts and helping me know I’m not alone with this pain. It has prompted me to look at some happy photos for the first time since he died. It has helped me find a glimmer of memories of times when I am sure he did love me. Cancer sucked the joy out of our life for the last year. I knew we should be throwing ourselves into enjoying things in case he didn’t pull through but we found it pretty well impossible to do with the cloud of the cancer hanging over you, the tiredness, and the ever present inability to plan anything. It is a tough life to lead.
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