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    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2008 edited
    Hello Everyone,

    I received an e-mail from a widow who lost her husband to AD, asking me if I had a section for widows (and widowers) to share their emotions and experiences with one another. I told her that I did not, but since I thought it was such a good idea, I would start one.

    UPDATE - 5/4/09

    This topic got lost in the many pages of discussions. Since so many of our members have lost their spouses to this dreaded disease, I decided to make it a "sticky", so it would always be available to those AD widows and widowers who would like to share their feelings with each other and us.

    In order for all of us to be able to identify those who are widows/widowers, one of our members suggested that they include an asterik * beside their name, and many have done so.

    The "In Memoriam" section on the left side of the home page will be up very soon.

    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2008
    Actually I did post some in 'life after death' which might be helpful.
    I find it hard to remember to change the "WE" to "I" in conversations about doing something. Since I'm usually walking the dog maybe there still is some "WE" in my life - but it defintely isn't the same. It has now been just over a month since Hank died and I still am surprised how hard it is for me to talk about it. Still, I do notice I am not having to take melatonin to sleep through the night, which makes me realize time does help with healing.
    I'm not sure I will ever learn how to cook for one...
    • CommentAuthorbeenthere
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2008 edited
    It's been a real rollercoaster ride. Somtimes I am almost delirious with a sense of ease and freedom (for both of us). Other times, I miss the real Gary so much - a physical hunger for his presence.

    The disease sometimes made me hate him while he was still here. Now I can love him again - so much - and he isn't around. I keep expecting him to walk in the door. I still talk about him in the present tense.

    The rituals of mourning have helped me - writing his obit, planning his memorial, washing his body. There is a kind of joy in experencing these intense realities - what it is to be human.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    Comment Author beenthere CommentTime 16 minutes ago edit delete

    I’m confused about how I feel (or should feel) and I figured you all would be more help than anyone else-

    I’ve joined a Grief Group for widows and widowers thru hospice. I’m the only one there whose spouse died of Alz – and I just don’t feel like I fit in. I don’t seem to be grieving in the same way as any of the other people and I wonder if that’s because of Alz. I feel sad sometimes, and I miss the real Gary often, but I’m not GRIEF STRICKEN in the same way as the other folks seem to be. I don’t think I’m suppressing my feelings (which is the vibe I get from the counselors). I feel pretty much ok, most of the time.

    Here are the different ways I feel.

    1. Sad that he suffered
    2. Sad that the real Gary isn’t with me
    3. Yearning
    4. Glad he’s released
    5. Relieved I don’t have to take care of a crazy person
    6. Looking forward to the future
    7. Scared about the future
    8. Generally ok
    9. Sometimes really quite happy.

    But I can’t help wondering if the counselors are right – am I avoiding my true feelings? Will I have some giant meltdown later on because of that? Or am I really as ok as I feel?

    I don't think you are avoiding your true feelings. I am not a counseler or Doctor but I already have the feelings you expressed. I had the same feelings when my Mother passed in May. I had grieved for her the past year and it was a relief that she was free of suffering with no quality of life. I think it will be similar when my DH quality of life is zero. I wouldn't want to live that way and he wouldn't either. I have been grieving for both of us for a few years. Now, adjustment to the new situation takes some time and I know I will be lost and lonely to be on my own.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    Comment Author Sunshyne Comment Time 2 hours ago edit delete

    beenthere, you've spent years mourning the loss of your husband. You've had to adjust to a series of declines, each one of which took you through the "normal" grieving process all over again. It's just not the same thing as losing your husband to an accident, or sudden illness.

    And even something like cancer, that can involve many months, or years, of suffering only affects the body, not the brain. The essence of your husband is still there, right until the end, when he dies of cancer or most other terminal illnesses. You lost the reality of your husband long ago.

    I found when my first husband died of cancer (six months after diagnosis) that I could be fine for relatively long periods of time (hours, sometimes a day or two). Then I'd have a short but extremely intense period of grief. I think that my brain suppressed the grief until I was in a safe time and place to let a little of it out. I wouldn't have survived that intensity of feeling otherwise.

    But I would ONLY be fine for a few hours, or a day or two, and then only when I was fully occupied with work, etc.

    You feel the way you feel, and the way you feel is normal for you. I don't think you'll go along fine for months and then fall apart. I think you are where the other widows will be in another year or two.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    beenthere Comment Time 1 hour ago edit delete

    Thanks, all - I'm so grateful for this group. Our issues ARE different; nobody else really has a clue.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    Comment Author carewife Comment Time1 hour ago edit delete

    I agree with are probably where the other widows and widowers will be in another year or two. I base this on my experience right now. I have been grieving for 8 yrs. over the loss of my sweetheart;the grief is never ending because I don't have closure; he is gone leaving a beloved stranger whom I love but I am not in love with. He has a familiar body, mannerisms, and much loved countenance and every time I see him, I am struck with sadness and grief for what we have lost. This will continue to happen until he leaves this earth and is once again a whole soul with a healthy mind and spirit. I have faith that God someday with allow me to be with my love and we will discuss this Alzheimer journey. You now have closure and continue to live the life you have been living for some time alone.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    Comment Author Bettyhere Comment Time 23 minutes ago edit delete

    Dear Beenthere: You won't have a meltdown--I never did. What good would it do? I cried & grieved for years until there was nothing left to grieve for. Yes, deep feellings of loss and sadness, but your points are right on, sometimes you're just happy.--I was and mostly I am. Don't let anyone push you into a cubbyhole. Your feelings are valid and normal for you. You're doing just fine.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    Comment Author bluedaze Comment Time 4 hours ago edit delete

    beenthere you seem ok to me. My husband is end stage and I think I have done the grieving. Like you I have tried support groups and really feel that family and friends that I can open up to are better. I actually go to a group at my husband's ALF to support the support group.
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    I think dementia is different. It takes so much longer for the patient to die, for one thing. And sooner or later, the caregiver that survives gets out of crisis mode, so the grief DURING the disease gets a chance to come out. Because you either give up crisis mode or you don't survive the disease.

    Imhor and carewife are right. You are at the point the others will be at in 6 months or a year from now.
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    I've thought about going to the Hospice grief group, as I did when my second husband died of cancer. But, I hesitate. I think part of that is I just don't feel I want to share anyone elses grief after another long time with an ill spouse. From all I read in this post it seems we are all doing what is right for us. I truly don't want to feel guilty because I am not grieving in the correct way! I am not happy to think of all these years alone, but I can't imagine investing in another partner that might get sick and die on me.
    • CommentAuthorThenneck *
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
    I'm of the thought that for spouses of AZ victims, we have to watch our partners die twice. The slow disappearance and death of the mental being of our partner then ultimately the physical passing. Thenneck
    My DH was just diagnosed 9 months ago and you wouldn't believe how much I've already grieved.
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2008
    I was beginning to think something was wrong with me because the others on another site I was going to, were "crying all the time" So depressed and grieving, and I just wasn't doing any of that.
    Then, it seemed a light bulb lit--I wasn't crying because I'd already been through that stage of loss and grief when I faced his mental breakdown and potential suicide. And so it continues. I went through a new, less traumatized bout when he was first diagnosed with VaD and I'm sure I'll go through more as his condition progresses, especially when there are major changes. However, I'm not going to beat myself up for not "grieving the right way". The right way for me is the way I'm doing it now. It's the way it's happening.
    When I lose him I'll go through more, but I'll be celebrating as well. You see, I believe love is stronger even than death and I will help him get through all this, and because he will not go through it alone, we will have won. His VaD is making him leave me, but it can never take him from me. He is in my heart and always will be.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2008
    Comment Author frand CommentTime 3 minutes ago edit delete

    It's almost been six weeks now since Hank died. It seems true that time is healing. There is never a day when I don't miss my dear spouse and always a time of tears, but life is good for me these days and I am content. This weekend my two step children and wives from my second marriage are coming to spend the weekend. It has been so nice here where I am parked right across from the beach, but now a windy and rainy storm comes when it would be so nice to have sun - oh well, I've had better weather than would be expected.
    I find myself thinking of York/Trisinger and knowing this is a difficult time for him...
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2008
    ((fran)) I hope you have a wonderful visit with your step children.
    I too find myself thinking of trisinger often.....

    I just wanted to add, that I agree with everyone about the grief.
    I know when God calls Lynn home, I will be incredibly sad. But,
    it wont destroy me as it once would have. I use to be of the mind
    Lord if you take him, take me too! I didn't think I could survive
    without him. But, I have .. ever since Alzheimer's enter our lives.

    I told my sister a long time ago, I wonder if this is God's twisted way
    of making the time he does pass easier. My Dad death, I am not over..
    nor do I think I will ever completely heal from his "senseless" death.
    There was no closure, nor will there ever be. I didn't get the chance
    to even say good-bye. With Alzheimer's all you do is say it...
    I have said good-bye for years... to each and every aspect of Lynn-
    Alzheimer's has robbed us of. The long good-bye, is so fitting.
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2008
    Each of your comments is so intune to what we live as caregivers and the daily loss of life we witness on a continual basis. like you all, i feel i have already been grieving 9+yrs from day one, and will every day til my DH is no longer here in body. his mind left me a long time ago, so maybe we in the end are just separating ourselves from the physical body since the real person we knew and loved prior to AD has already gone before ? The real pain and agony of AD is not caring for the shell of the person left behind but the loss of the true essence of what the person really was. I was in love with a man who had a wonderful mind and the loss of that nearly wiped me out. now the body remains and that is ever so slowly leaving too. just maybe the slow torture of AD is meant to somehow in the end release us of the normal rigid process of grief. divvi
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2008
    I know, divvi. Sometimes when I watch B. slowly walk away from me, I am reminded of the vital, sexy, alive man he used to be and I feel all of the faultlines in my heart trembling. I know he would hate seeing himself this way. A big part of me wants this journey to end quickly for us and another part of me can't bear the thought of living in a world without him in it....

    but i already am
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2008
    It has now been two months since Hank died. I finally decided to attend the Hospice support group where I am this week. I'm glad I did it. Just talking to the dog only satisfies a tiny bit...
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2008
    Trisinger, I find myself thinking of you often and wondering how you are coping.
    I miss your wit :) Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers~Nikki
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2008
    Fran, I must have missed your post. Sorry about that. How is the hospice support group
    working out for you? Please do let us know how you are doing ((hugs))
    • CommentAuthornanapapa
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2008
    My husband died on Nov.18 of this year .it will be a month this Thursday. He had Alz for about 8 years. I don't know how to feel. Like some of you said I feel like all I did was mourn him while he was still here with me.I want the man I married back not the man with the illness who did not know people or was in pain. My oldest daughter says she is very angry and my youngest is having dreams and crying I don't know how to help them because I'm not sure what I'm feeling yet I feel like someone walking in the fog. God I miss him so much.
    nanapapa....everything that you and your family are feeling and dealing with are perfectly normal. Give yourself time to is a process. There will be good days ahead...I promise.
    • CommentAuthornanapapa
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2008
    Thank you Sandi ' It can only get better it's been so difficult for so long . The hardest for the family will be the holidays I'm sure because you reach to pick something up to give your LO for Christmas then realize that he's not here to give it to.
    • CommentAuthorDarleneC
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2008
    My thoughts on grieving the death of someone with Alzheimer's is that you lose them twice. My DH is in a care facility, and I feel like I have been grieving for seven years. A couple of weeks ago he forgot how to feed himself (since then he has started feeding himself again) and I was in such a panic about losing him. I was very supprised by my reaction. Maybe it prepared me for what I might feel when he is gone. This whole journey is one of constant changes and hard to figure how you will react to the different situations.
    nanappa, give your self time and care. Your feelings are part of the healing process. My love and thoughts are with you.
    Darlene I feel as you do. I thought I was through with grieving but realize now that the worst is yet to come. Death is so final.
    • CommentAuthorbarbarakay
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2008
    I didn't realize they had started this thread. My huband died in March. There were no grief support groups until about 6 months later. I went a couple times, but I felt I had moved on. I griefed along the way as I lost each little piece of him. In the end all that was left was releaf for both of us. Now 10 months later I remember the goodtimes more and more. I sometimes think about meeting men, but not sure I am ready. I know for sure I never want to be a caregiver again. So I will guard myself well. Just casual friendships. I know now I can takecare of myself. Also, I find I am not lonely. I enjoy my life and freedom. I did love him very much, is it wrong for me to feel this way? I sometimes feel I am wrong.

    Now off to Tuscany, Italy in March. It is with Gutsy Women Travel. Come join me....with the economy I don't want it to be cancelled. I have lost the trip to Sicily that way.

    Happy Holidays to all.
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2008
    Barbarakay - I like the name of your travel group - Gutsy Women Travel! Since I live in a motorhome I guess that includes me! I know what you mean about the future, the older we get the more likely we would be marrying problems! But, the desire for closeness probably remains as long as we take in breath.
    I think this death bothers me more than when I was widowed before because I doubt I would ever be willing to take the risk of a deep relationship again.
    Right now I am on the Oregon coast where there hasn't been one day without rain since I came here! I just realized I don't mind it so much when it is just rainy, and not so cold! This was the last reservation I made when I still thought Hank would be with me, so I suppose when I travel on from here it will truly be life after death.
    • CommentAuthornanapapa
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2009
    Yesterday was very gloomy here and a bit rainey I felt very sad I'm also going through my husbands belongings I pick something up and it reminds me of him it is just so hard to do. He's only been gone for6weeks. I also start back to work tomorrow for the first time in 4 months since my husband became so sick he could not be left alone.It is like starting a new chapter in my life and I'm not so sure I want to. I guess it really means he's gone.I can't seemed to cry is this bad????? he was sick so long but died so quickly.I feel so alone......
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2009
    ((Nanapapa)) I am so sorry for the depth of your grieving. I think whatever you do , is ok. I think the tears will come when you are ready. Such a hard thing you are facing. Have you thought about going to grief therapy or support groups? I am glad that you are still posting, you are part of "our family" let us try to help you through this. Much love, Nikki
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2009
    nanapapa, it is possible you have already done your crying. It is a good thing that you are in a position where you can get back into normal life for someone of your age. Allow yourself to feel sad, and lonely. But also accept the fact that dementia widows and widowers tend to have gone through a lot of their grief well before their LO dies. And yes, that is also normal.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2009
    nanapapa, I think that your brain protects you. If the grieving will be too much for you, then it lets you function until you can deal with the grief, and it only lets you experience the grief a little bit at a time, so it won't overwhelm you. That's what happened to me when my first husband died. I went back to work, and I did a good job and I appeared pretty normal to those around me ... most people there didn't realize he had died. When the grief hit, it was extremely intense, always when I was someplace safe (alone at home), and the spells didn't last very long. But because I didn't get the grieving done all at once, I had those really bad spells off and on for many, many months.

    The way you grieve is the way you grieve.

    A support group may help you, a therapist may help. I think a close friend who will listen patiently is as good as a therapist. Also keeping a journal -- not for anyone to ever read, just for pouring your heart out. That really does help.

    And exercise as much as you can. I played racquetball until I dropped, and spent many hours walking on the beach. I think that was what kept me going.
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2009
    I've had some say to me, "you are doing so well". Those are the same ones that say "everyone forgets things" and don't accept your spouse has AD. Why people can't ask how you are doing rather than giving their pronouncements is beyond me and I hope I don't do that to anyone else.
    Nanapapa - 6 weeks is a very short time. I'm sure there was wisdom in widows in the past wearing black for a year. I almost wish that was required these days!
    I am like Sunshyne in that I have lost two spouses so I thought I knew what this would feel like. Wrong! Each relationship is different and I am in another space now.
    I am going to Support groups when I can. I think it helps if you link up with someone else. Last week I met a widow who enjoys jigsaw puzzles, so I am going by her place to visit and add a few pieces. I'm looking forward to that - just being with someone.
    I think it is a big mistake to not accept your feelings. If you don't have tears, that's fine. If you do, that's important.
    I surprise myself when something comes up when I am in public and I can't stop the tears. It would feel better if that always happened at home, but I can't control myself and I just have to accept it and hope people understand. If they don't, that just has to be their problem.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2009
    Comment Author dking* CommentTime 15 minutes ago edit delete
    It's been a little more than two months since my wife died. I am doing ok. I got a part time job yesterday, working as an office administrator for a female pastor. As I am not a religous person, it should be a lot of fun. I'm slowly remodeling the house (much deferred maintenance being addressed). I'm restoring a 1967 Camaro. I am breathing and take a nap whenever I want to. I've been in hell twice. Now each day is a new dawn, ripe with possibilities.

    I miss my wife. I think of the day we got married in the park accross from city hall, how she enjoyed babies and the great job she did raising our sons. I think of how she kept the boys and me in line and the sacrifices that she made. I think of all the good things. Just like Vietnam, the dark days are put away. It takes more and more effort to remember the bad things. I am spending less and less time trying to remember the bad things.

    As a former non-optimist, when you can't go another day, when it's just too hard, when all you can do is cry; take a breathe and go one more day. It's not all sunshine and rainbows on this side of it, but there are sunshine and rainbows.
    • CommentAuthorASY*
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2009
    dking, You are doing really well for being widowed only 2 months. My husband died last Sept and I am just beginning to feel there is an end to the tunnel. I too find I am remembering him as the man I married, not the man who died. I forget what a living hell my life was with ALZ. The irony is that when you remember the person you married your grief is so raw. When you remember the hell you were in the grief is less. I however would rather face the grief and feel the pain. My husband didn't choose to have ALZ, he had no choice but to take the journey. I was blessed though in that at the end of his life, the man I married made a brief appearance, to say good bye. I was amazed and thankful to see him one final time. How this can happen is beyond me but it did. His doctor said it is not that uncommon just before death. Finding your balance after being a care giver takes time. I found I was at a loss, I had nothing to do. Now I am filling my calendar with voluteer work, time with family and friends and time for me. It is a healing and rebirth time. But also frightening and sad. But are so right when say there are both sunshine and rainbows on this side. It fills one with hope and strength to keep going.
    • CommentAuthorjav*
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2009
    my dear husband passed away april 11. it has just been a little over a month. i feel so lost and sad and i don't want to go anywhere that i don't have to. my children are making me go places with them,but it is hard to enjoy things. i am just not ready to be around loud noises and alot of people. i truly dread getting out. everyone grieves differently and you have to grieve in your own way. my heart is so broken. at the end i prayed for the lord to take him on home and i know he is realeased from his pain and i am glad he did not linger any longer,but when he drew his last breath ,part of me died too. i will miss him every day of my life. i know time is supposed to heal,but i don't think i will ever fully recover from the loss of my precious husband. family.friends and neighbors are very supportive. it seems like i am realizing now he is really gone and sometimes i think i can't bear the pain,but i know i must. i was told last week that my brother has lymphoma and has to go through chemo and i am upset about him also. it seems when it rains it pours,as the old saying goes. i am having trouble concentrating and i tend to blank out sometimes,i suppose that will get better as time passes. the retirement system stopped my husbands retirement checks until i bring in the death certificate and fill out their forms. i am just not up to doing these things,but i have to or i can't get by. why does everything have to be so hard? it does look like things could be made easier for a person going through such a trauma. jav*
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    I'm not one of the widows, but I have a question. Have you gone to one of the local hospices and asked about grief counseling? Because I think you need to talk to someone who understands, and they are the people who have seen it all before and know how to help you. If he was with hospice, counseling is one of the services they provide, but I believe they will help you even if you weren't one of their patients.
    jav*, also the mortuary that handled my husband's arrangements also has a grief support group....I am sure all of them have something similar. Maybe that is something you could look into. Also, it hasn't been that give yourself some time.....My advice is get the paperwork will ease your mind....then do what you want to do. You don't have to "be better" right now.

    Grieving is a is a hard good to yourself and mourn and work through it. You will be fine.....and we will all be here for you.
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    jav, What your are feeling is what we all went through this soon after the death of a spouse. Please, dear jav, accept where you are and know that you need to grieve. The only thing you mentioned that seems necessary is getting the death certificate to your husband's retirement. Maybe someone could go with you, but you need to know that I couldn't help crying when I took all those death certificates around. Give yourself permission, people understand.
    I asked my doctor for a referral to a grief counselor and went a couple of times, which helped. Also, you can contact Hospice and join the support groups even if you didn't use them. I also went to a day spa and got their three hour package. That was wonderful and I fully recommend it. A "little over a month" is a short time in the grieving process. I send you my love and support.
    • CommentAuthordking*
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    It is a difficult transition. We we so engaged in caregiving. The next 10 minutes were the only thing that mattered. Now, ten minutes, ten hours, ten days have no particular significance. It took me a while to figure out that my son had taken me on as a project; making me go places and do things. Part of it was his grieving process, part of it was to make sure I was ok. I finally told him to leave me alone, that I had things to do. One of my important things to do was to do nothing. I reveled in the illusion of having no responsibility; that no emergency could occur in the next ten minutes. For me taking the time to do nothing, which is a semi-difficult task on its own, was an important step. It let's you feel sad without being overwhelmed by the saddness. It let's you remember good times that you hadn't had time or energy to think about for a long time. At some point, even though you are still conciously trying to do nothing, your thinking starts changing from things past to things ahead.

    There are some practical matters that must be addressed in a timely fashion. File the papers with the retirement system. Do what is required to get your money right, Let your children help if necessary. With your money as right as it is going to be, you have the luxury of doing nothing until you want to do something. It takes as long as it takes. You feel like you feel. No one, even your children, can change that. You were a spouse caregiver. That means that your have the strength and resolve to do anything. Take your time to let yourself decide what that will be.
    My dear, surely you have someone who can handle the delivery of the death certificate to your husband's employer. I cannot believe they stopped his checks so quickly.

    I wish you could come here and stay for a few days. I'd give you lots of hugs,and I'd "bless your heart" over and over..because we Southern women tend to say that quite abit.

    I have told my son that loss alwlays leaves a gaping wound in your heart. It will heal, in time. The scar will always be there and you'll remember how it came to be there, but the sting and pain will eventually fade. I pray your wound begins to heal very soon.

    Love and gentle hugs., Nancy
    • CommentAuthorFLgirl*
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2009
    I guess I'm in the new group DH died April 3. I have to agree with ASY. I didn't have time to grieve my healthy husband while I was busy taking care of my AD one. He was only diagnosed for 3 years before he died and he went very quickly. I can't mourn the man I was taking care, but now I do mourn the one who left me 3 years ago. And it's much more painful that I thought it would be. But I am one to keep very busy and I know that will help get through the grief.
    I just lost my husben of 37 years, the last 9 of them was with AD, on april 27th 09,, I went to work when the caregiver got here, not knowing I would loose him that day, he still knew me and was always exsited to see me come home, his vocabulary was only a few words, ,but his blue eyes and his sweet smile, and wanting a kiss, made taking care of him a lot of work, but rewarding, , I miss his smiles and his repeating , "there she is , there she is," when I came home , after he passed, he looked so at peace, and had a grin onhis face, , like he was happy it was all over, he was at peace now,,he looked so good, ,,A part of me died with him, but I still hold his love in my heart, the past 9 years, I kept telling him , Dont ever forget me, ,, he lost the words that said "your my wife, he lost my name along the way, he couldnt find the words I love You,,, but he never forgot me, , the smiles , the love in his eyes, the holding my hand and saying "I am with you,,, were all I needed , I have those memories,,he will always be with me in my heart,,,its going to be a long rough road ahead, but I think I can make it,,,Keep bisy,,, get out even if its for a walk in the park, ,I have my therapy dogs to keep me going,,we will visit more nursing homes now, I am still greaveing, and yes I still spend many nights crying my self tosleep, but with time we will heel,,,,, God Bless us all,,,,,,,
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2009
    jav, 5 weeks is such a short period of time. It's not surprising you're not feeling up to doing much yet. Hold on, things do get better. The bad memories begin to fade, the good ones begin to come back, life again holds some good moments. It does take time, though. Warm thoughts and prayers for you, FLgirl, and Katanshelties.
    • CommentAuthorFLgirl*
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2009
    I have 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that are helping me keep going. Two are therapy dogs, but we were too busy doing therapy at home to go many places. We compete at dog agility trials and it does help to keep busy. My dh did love those dogs and they loved him. Even though I knew it was coming, I can't believe it. Mine went so fast...still expect to see him when I come home. But now I really miss him as he was before the disease got him...makes it harder because he was such a wonderful man who loved me so much. Too young to die at 64 just as he retired to Florida.
    • CommentAuthorMrs T
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2009
    I lost my husband April 22. He had only been diagnoised 4 years. He was 61. He was also a wonderful sweet man. To young to die. I miss him so much. He knew me till the end and the last words that he spoke were I love you. Wish I could take a pill or place a band-aid on my heart to ease the pain but I know that I will have to walk thru this and only time will heal this pain that is in my heart. I have gone from everything to do to nothing to do. I have got to find the new normal in my life and start living in it because no matter how hard I want him to be here with me he is not coming home.
    My goodness......amazing that your husband could communicate up to the very end. I am thinking that maybe I was better off that my husband was bedridden, couldn't communicate and basically in a fetal position for the last five years. I had a long time to get ready for him to die.....his essence was gone long ago....his passing was such a blessing.

    I hurt for you all so much....
    I'm new to this group too. Claude passed away February 26 after close to seven years with this horrible disease. He was able to get around somewhat with a walker and talk a little bit until he went to bed on a Friday night and went into a coma sometime during the night. He passed away six days later.

    A friend was a 24/7 caregiver to her who husband had a stroke and was bedridden and semi-comatose for three years before he passed away. She said that she had a chance to grieve and mourn before he finally passed. Losing him was still a shock, but an expected one. I agree with her. I mourned for Claude for nearly seven years and cried for him those six days I sat by his bedside. I was with him when he took his last breath. It was still a shock but an expected one.

    It's been nearly three months and I still cry but I am remembering more and more the good things of nearly 38 years with him. I'm picking up the pieces of my life and am even flying (I'm a white knuckled flyer) across country by myself to visit my family in Seattle.

    • CommentAuthorjoyful*
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009 edited
    My husband has been gone from this earth since Feb.17th of this year after nine years of ALzheimer's. I am surprised at the depth of my grieving after so many years of having a stranger that I cared for instead of my vibrant, intelligent, witty, etc. etc. companion. It is a different grieving than I experienced during "the long goodbye". I accepted the returning of the good memories of my husband before the onslaught of Alzheimer's with gratitude but now find myself ctying suddently for little remembrances such as cologne scent that he wore, a blanket that was on his bed that has his scent still. places we frequented, his favorite restaurants etc. I have to be very careful not to talk so much about him. I seem to have him in my thoughts when conversing with friends and want to subconciously keep him alive by including his memory in my daily activities.

    I have not reached the place of "moving on with my life" yet and I know it but still cling to my need for him to be present in my life. Do you, my fellow widows and widowers have the same difficulties in being single once again ? I am wondering why I can't find meaningful and enjoyable activities and what this life is all about . All of life is a mystery to me right now and I struggle to be involved in the mystery.