Bereaved spouses and partners

A place for widows and widowers to share their feelings and support one another.

He wasn’t ready

Posted by

Dalia, that's exactly what I could have written: "Even when doctors came and wanted to have a "serious conversation" we both knew what that meant but refused to know. Instead we just held hands, told each other how much we loved one another and decided to keep fighting and never give up. Naively, I convinced myself that doctors sometimes get these things wrong. As long as he was alive, there was a hope."

As long as Paul was alive, there was hope. And I, too, thought sometimes that the doctors may have gotten things here and there a little wrong. I also felt this because: hadn't we been so lucky in the past? So many biochemical failures of drugs we had survived and only been offered better drugs as a result! So of course there was some hope, however tiny.

But I also know that, if it hadn't been Paul, my soul mate, I would have been able to see the signs and more acurately assess the situation. When I look back now, I can see so many signs for the closeness of his death: the weakness, the exhaustion, sleeping a lot more and for longer periods, losing interest in almost everything, the disorientation in space and time, and, most of all, that he gave up fighting and hoping at one point, long before I was ready and able to do so.

Love, Mel.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Posted by

Oh, Mel, that was me. I did until I was almost dropping from sheer exhaustion. I never stopped. I did and I hoped, like you. I reacted, too, in the same way if Gllles mentioned anything about his death; I just changed the topic or made a remark that things could turn around. I know intellectually that I must have helped him a little bit emotionally because one morning when he was doing poorly and he had to be hospitalised for the umpteenth time he told me most despairingly that he didn't know how I was managing to stay positive in the midst of all this. I just loved him so much.

I hope you'll have a better day tomorrow. there'll always be ups and downs from now on, won't there?

Posted by

Limbo, I think that is a really interesting point. On one hand, we could think that we didn't support our partners well emotionally because we didn't allow the conversation about death and dying and we refused to see the truth for the most part. On the other hand, this may have been really helpful for our partners as well because we weren't willing to give in, to give up, to surrender to the truth; we kept going no matter what; and I suppose there was a lot of encouragement in that for them too.

Paul said to me more than once, "I really don't know how you are doing this staying positive and always having some hope, love. I really don't."

As you say, I loved him so much. I couldn't have done anything else or less.

But on the last day in hospital, after the doctors had told me that Paul was most likely not going to survive, I said to him, "Paul, I just want you to know that, if the time has come to let go, you can let go now. It is really okay to let go." And I think that was a relief for him to hear that. But I think if I had said, "Keep fighting, keep strong, we'll get through that" and all that stuff, he would have tried to hang on for me. Paul felt so bad for having to leave me so soon, for not being able to stay with me longer, for being so sick a lot of the time... It is heart-breaking to think tha, if I had said something else, despite all his pain and suffering he would have tried to hold on. I am so glad I had the sense to tell him that it was absolutely okay for me if he wanted or needed to let go.

Yes, I know, there are good days and bad days. I wouldn't even say that today was a bad day. I was just thinking of him a lot and feeling quite tearful at times.

Love, Mel.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Posted by

After he died I felt angry, confused, shocked, devastated, desperate and so many other things. Then I just wrote what came to me as I had to. I think we all can relate to this. Can't apologize for swearing, sorry.

I hate you for making me cry every day,

I hate you for taking him away.

I hate you for all the pain you caused,

and all the love that is lost.

I hate you for all that you do

for those you scared and those who didn't pull through.

But most of all I hate you for making me feel weak,

you horrible thing,always know the trick.

i screamed, fought, hoped, even prayed

but you're too evil and found the way.

You found the way to break my heart,

ripped it away, killing me inside.

I'll live and hate you more each day,

for as long as I have memories of him to share.

And if one day you come for me

I'll be ready to do the same.

I'll fight, hope and hear Him say:

"Hey Cancer, f*ck you! F*uck off to your fu*ked up hell,

and take her on if you dare!"

Posted by

Yep, you said it!  And you said it for all of us, Dalia.That poem was great.

What I regret, though, is that unlike Mel, up to about the third week before my husband died, I was still pestering him about fighting and being strong and reading  a book about people healing against all odds. It's a well-known book but I can't even remember the stupid name now. I was such a fool.