Six Weeks Into Widowhood

I have been a widow for a bit over six weeks now, but I have actually been grieving far longer than this. My husband was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer on Christmas Eve, 2007.  The prognosis was grim; his surviving more than a year was at 30%. He made it a year and three weeks.

The thing is that, despite his only having been gone since January, he and I began the grieving process while he was still alive. It began on the day of the diagnosis. Slowly my sweet baby was taken from me. It started in little ways; loss of appetite. Loss of hair. Loss of energy. Loss of vitality. Loss of the patience he always had. Not that he ever became mean; he just wasn't the same. Finally, on his last day, there was loss of pain for him-and that makes it a bit easier, but my pain multiplied.

Maybe this is why the usual stages of grief do not apply in my case. We did the deal making, the anger, and a whole lot of bargaining before my baby passed. The depression comes and goes. Even though it has only been six weeks, the acceptance is coming. I cry- from a bit to a lot- daily, but I can see myself coming out of this. Knowing that your love has a terminal disease may make it easier to accept. It does not make it easier to be alone.

 

Postscript:

For those of you out there that have commented or been moved;
Shortly after I wrote this message, I met a man that I am sure Don sent to me. Don did not want me to be alone, of this I am sure, so he hand-picked someone that would be a partner in laughter, riding, and love. No, there will never be another Don, and I continue to miss him daily, but my heart is again singing.

LucySu LucySu
46-50, F
5 Responses Feb 25, 2009

I understand fully what you are talking about. My husband died 8 weeks ago after fighting a long illness with COPD and lung cancer. So we had the last few years to talk and for me to try to make some plans. It sure did not make losing him and easier but I do seem to be able to move on through life a litlle easier then some other women that has lost thier partners. I am having to learn who I am and what I like with out thinking of what he wants and with out hurring home to take care of him. It all feels so different. Some days are good but still have those days that I could sit and cry missing him so much but I know that doesn't help much.

Wow, you are all so supportive- thanks for your comments. Gary- (his name was Gary too) I'm so sorry you couldn't be with your wife at the end. Do you replay that over and over in your mind? That's the kind of thing I tend to do; I feel that I dwell too much on it. And Meg- your mother's loss must be an incredible burden for you to bear. Thank God you have your loved ones to help you!

I went through quite a grieving time with my Mother too. She struggled for about 5 years before she finally passed on and now I am left with the battle against the disease that not only beat her but left me with a lonliness I never wanted. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts in this story and thank you for it. It is, or has been for me a hard process even 15 years out of her death......but with time and the love of the man in my life and my children and family of course, I pick myself up and choose life rather than giving in to this awful pain. <br />
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I pray you can continue to see the light that leads you out of this darkness and know that you are not alone.

Hayspell, I sent you a long letter to your message box. It's in two parts because the EP computer didn't like its length.<br />
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I don't know if any of what I said helps, but I'll try again if you need a hand. All you have to do is reach out- I'll try to be here for you.

I wish you luck and am encouraged by the fact that you feel that you are pulling out of it already. My soulmate of 35 years died suddenly a year and a half ago after 6 weeks in the hospital with no diagnosis, and not a day sick before that. The autopsy indicated stage IV Hodgkin's although it is still not clear that it was the cause of death. I have been unable to shake my depression- any thoughts?