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My Grief and losing a dear wife

Max71

New member
Jan 10, 2019
5
0
It is now just 8 months since my wife, Jean has passed, in hospital with severe Alzheimer’s and frailty. People often say to me how are you ? To be frank, I feel devastated I still cannot believe that she has gone. Jean was my partner, my rock, my anchor in life. I worshipped her and cared for her these past 7-8 years, and to have her gone now is almost too hard to take.
My grief is profound. I find it impossible to move on. I think about her all the time, with thoughts going through my mind about the caring I gave her, did I do enough, was she in pain etc etc.
My god was it hard going for Jean and for me.
What I had to deal with, felt at times unreal, and if someone had said this is what it could be like - I probably would have said that I can’t do it. Somehow I managed, how I don’t know, inner strength perhaps. What I do know is that because of my unconditional love for Jean and living up to my wedding vows, I just carried on and on and did it. I loved the bones of that woman. She was the most honest, caring, loving person you could wish to meet. She was after all my best friend. She loved family. She loved life until she was overwhelmed by this dreadful, dreadful disease. At times the fact her memory was waning would make her cry, and her tears destroyed me.
Grief was just a word to me, it meant little, but experiencing it now has been the hardest thing that I have ever faced. The thought that the person you were married too and lived with and doted over for 56 years and married for 51 years, shared life’s experiences and that I will never again speak to or interact with, is just so difficult to take and accept. To think that I will never again hear Jean’s voice, makes me want to weep.
Unfortunately Jean slowly ebbed away before my eyes, and I had to, although I didn’t have any choice in her matter, to step up and care for her. I would have done anything for her and often did without hesitation. A lot of the time I was floundering, scratching my head, thinking what should I do now. To watch a loved one go downhill before your very eyes is unimaginably difficult to take, and to accept. To look at Jean look at me questionably and not understanding me was heart wrenching. To think that I had to wash her, feed her, cook, clothe her, toilet her, medicate her, I find unimaginable, and it’s not something that I ever thought I would be doing. There were plenty of down days where Jean just wanted to do her own thing and I could not dissuade her. At times she didn’t recognise me which at first really hurt.
As Jean’s condition worsened I didn’t know which way to turn. She didn’t want outside help and getting any meaningful help during Lockdown was difficult if not impossible. I must admit that I didn’t want to lose Jean to a care home and she certainly didn’t want to it either. Although near the end I tried In earnest to get some form of help, as I realised that I was finding it difficult and if was affecting me. On her Alzheimer’s journey she had a lot to put up with. I could write a book.
I read somewhere that the grief I’m going through is like PTSD, I can quite believe it. I have had two doses of grief, one watching her deteriorate before my eyes and secondly since her passing, and the utter despair afterwards. After the initial grief we start to move into an all embracing sense of sadness and emptiness. At the moment I find it difficult to move forward. I know that I’m trying to live my life currently as if she is still with us. Like her dressing gown is still in place, as are her clothes etc.
I have survived some recent milestones like our Anniversary, her Birthday, my Birthday and Christmas, it hasn’t been easy. Luckily I have a Son and daughter who have been marvellous and very supportive. I am very proud of them and believe that Jean was instrumental in their upbringing.
I often get very emotional thinking about her. I do feel lonely and alone, and when I get home after visiting my kids, I close the front door and the silence is deafening. When Jean was at her worst, I used to fantasise about having time to myself, but now It feels like a dark place.
Although Jean was 80, I think she went too soon.
How do I move on from this ?
It’s difficult to imagine, I believe it will be a long and difficult road ahead.
It will take time.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,827
0
It is now just 8 months since my wife, Jean has passed, in hospital with severe Alzheimer’s and frailty. People often say to me how are you ? To be frank, I feel devastated I still cannot believe that she has gone. Jean was my partner, my rock, my anchor in life. I worshipped her and cared for her these past 7-8 years, and to have her gone now is almost too hard to take.
My grief is profound. I find it impossible to move on. I think about her all the time, with thoughts going through my mind about the caring I gave her, did I do enough, was she in pain etc etc.
My god was it hard going for Jean and for me.
What I had to deal with, felt at times unreal, and if someone had said this is what it could be like - I probably would have said that I can’t do it. Somehow I managed, how I don’t know, inner strength perhaps. What I do know is that because of my unconditional love for Jean and living up to my wedding vows, I just carried on and on and did it. I loved the bones of that woman. She was the most honest, caring, loving person you could wish to meet. She was after all my best friend. She loved family. She loved life until she was overwhelmed by this dreadful, dreadful disease. At times the fact her memory was waning would make her cry, and her tears destroyed me.
Grief was just a word to me, it meant little, but experiencing it now has been the hardest thing that I have ever faced. The thought that the person you were married too and lived with and doted over for 56 years and married for 51 years, shared life’s experiences and that I will never again speak to or interact with, is just so difficult to take and accept. To think that I will never again hear Jean’s voice, makes me want to weep.
Unfortunately Jean slowly ebbed away before my eyes, and I had to, although I didn’t have any choice in her matter, to step up and care for her. I would have done anything for her and often did without hesitation. A lot of the time I was floundering, scratching my head, thinking what should I do now. To watch a loved one go downhill before your very eyes is unimaginably difficult to take, and to accept. To look at Jean look at me questionably and not understanding me was heart wrenching. To think that I had to wash her, feed her, cook, clothe her, toilet her, medicate her, I find unimaginable, and it’s not something that I ever thought I would be doing. There were plenty of down days where Jean just wanted to do her own thing and I could not dissuade her. At times she didn’t recognise me which at first really hurt.
As Jean’s condition worsened I didn’t know which way to turn. She didn’t want outside help and getting any meaningful help during Lockdown was difficult if not impossible. I must admit that I didn’t want to lose Jean to a care home and she certainly didn’t want to it either. Although near the end I tried In earnest to get some form of help, as I realised that I was finding it difficult and if was affecting me. On her Alzheimer’s journey she had a lot to put up with. I could write a book.
I read somewhere that the grief I’m going through is like PTSD, I can quite believe it. I have had two doses of grief, one watching her deteriorate before my eyes and secondly since her passing, and the utter despair afterwards. After the initial grief we start to move into an all embracing sense of sadness and emptiness. At the moment I find it difficult to move forward. I know that I’m trying to live my life currently as if she is still with us. Like her dressing gown is still in place, as are her clothes etc.
I have survived some recent milestones like our Anniversary, her Birthday, my Birthday and Christmas, it hasn’t been easy. Luckily I have a Son and daughter who have been marvellous and very supportive. I am very proud of them and believe that Jean was instrumental in their upbringing.
I often get very emotional thinking about her. I do feel lonely and alone, and when I get home after visiting my kids, I close the front door and the silence is deafening. When Jean was at her worst, I used to fantasise about having time to myself, but now It feels like a dark place.
Although Jean was 80, I think she went too soon.
How do I move on from this ?
It’s difficult to imagine, I believe it will be a long and difficult road ahead.
It will take time.
My dear, I am in this position. My beloved husband Keith died two years ago. I’m not attempting to move on, not sure I even want to. I’m sure time will change all that. Just a quick post to tell you I know how you feel, I really do
With you all the way.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
66,350
0
71
Dundee
Welcome to the forum @Max71. I’m so sorry for your loss.

My goodness your post struck so many chords for me. My husband died 5 years ago snd I still feel grief over his loss snd I think I always will. The grief has changed over this time though. I love him now as much as I ever did snd I can now think back to happier days. I found a BBC clip about grief really helpful - I think it sums ip my experience. This is a shortened version of it - you may find it helpful. Please keep posting here. You are amongst those who understand.

 

Philbo

Registered User
Feb 28, 2017
854
0
Kent
Hi everyone

My goodness - the threads on this post most certainly strike so many chords for many of us?

I lost my lovely wife 2 years ago this Wednesday. I had cared for her since diagnosis in Jan 2014 and we'd been married over 40 years.

Without going back over the whole gambit of emotions in dealing with the trauma of watching your loved one deteriorate before your eyes, reading various posts about this only serve to show how differently we all cope (or not) and survive?

Obviously, I can only share how it's panned out for me but I found that by the time she passed away, it was a traumatic end and I found peace in the fact that our journey was finally over. To some, this may sound dispassionate but I do wonder if, in this modern world with a greater understanding of things like the autistic spectrum, I am in there somewhere?

I seem to have been able to compartmentalise my feelings/emotions for a fair part of our "journey" - don't know if this has been a coping mechanism or just how my brain is wired? God I miss her terribly and always will, I guess, but it hasn't destroyed my life. I get comfort from the fact that she always said she would hate it if I wasn't able to move on, if anything happened to her

I have a highly support family, really good friends and a strong desire that this awful disease will not take me too! 🤞❤️
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,123
0
South coast
Death and grief seem to be taboo subjects in our society
No-one wants to talk about it and the portrayal on TV seems to be that people die very quickly in sanitised situations and although there is grief, the bereaved person "gets over it" and "moves on" within a matter of weeks.

It just aint so.

Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace - it is less than a year since you lost Jean and are still going through the anniversaries. Be gentle with yourself.
 

Max71

New member
Jan 10, 2019
5
0
Many thanks for your comments.

For 7-8 years my dear wife Jean has suffered with Alzheimer’s. The pain I feel since her passing is all consuming and I find it hard, very hard to come to terms with it or even put it into any meaningful words.
As I mentioned before, I still after nearly 8 months since her passing structure my day around our past life and memories. What has taken us 51 years as a married couple to establish a strong bond and a loving relationship, going through life’s ups and downs, has gone in a heartbeat. I find that the hole that Jean’s passing has left, is too hard to fill at the moment. I cannot see, and it is too soon to begin to imagine, that my life will settle into some kind of normality any time in the future. Realising that I am now a widower is hard to take. It is hard at the moment to see a future where I can laugh and smile again. Although when I meet relations,friends or neighbours, I put on a brave face.
I put my life on hold over these last years to look after Jean, but now suddenly I find that I struggle to fill my days in a noteworthy and meaningful way, I realise that my situation will not improve for a while, but perhaps, I hate to use that word, but TIME will hopefully soften my grief.
What I hate now is that after all these years of caring which I suppose gave me a purpose in life, but that now there is nothing.
I realise that life will never be as good as it was but I also realise that just as I got on with life as a carer I have to get on with life as a widower.
I am at the moment going through the ‘Angry’ stage, why me ? Why now?, what could I have done differently, bloody Alzheimer’s (Sorry for the language) etc etc
I know this won’t solve anything, let’s face it it’s to late.
My grief is still very real, I shed tears daily, thinking about her.
I can’t remember if I mentioned before, that I used to play music as a therapy to help Jean with her anxieties, I do believe it helped. One of the songs on our playlist means a lot, particularly as some of the Lyrics accurately describe how I feel at the moment.

“Tell me, how am I supposed to live without you ?
Now that I’ve been loving you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
and how am I supposed to carry on
When all that l’ve been livin’ for is gone”