Author Topic: Happy to find this forum  (Read 1606 times)


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Happy to find this forum
« on: July 14, 2015, 02:40:44 PM »
My husband died on 22nd May, he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in September 2014. Despite going to our doctor 4 times since January 2014 no investigations were done until September and by the time he was diagnosed it was a stage 4 and he was for palliative care only. It was an up and down 8 months of chemo, CT's, hopes being raised and dashed. A month before he died he was hospitalised with multiple PE's, two weeks before he died an MRI and CT showed multiple mets to his spine, pelvis, brain and lungs. He died in our local hospice in my arms.

He was only 40 when diagnosed, 41 when he died. He has been my best friend for 22 years, we have two children, a girl 10 and a boy just turned 9.

I am struggling so much, struggling to see how this is fair, he was fit, healthy, never smoked or drank alcohol. I'm struggling to accept he didn't receive the proper medical treatment when he first went to our doctor, struggling to cope with being a single parent and deal with my own grief while trying to keep things as normal as possible for the children. They have been really pushing me, challenging me at every opportunity and some days I feel like I just can't cope with them. I feel like they would have been better of being left with him and not me, he had endless patience and was much calmer and more level headed than me.

I live in New Zealand, there are no support groups in my town for young widows. I feel like everyone at school is staring at me, yes I'm sure they feel sorry for me but no one approaches or acknowledges what has happened to me, it's like they don't want to be tainted by our bad luck.


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 03:05:59 PM »
Hi Deb,

I am happy you found us, but sorry for the reason you are here. My husband, too, died from esophageal cancer with mets to the bones. My children were older than yours, 25 and 23 when he died. We had 27 years together. He was 50.

Nothing I can say to make you feel better, but hang in there. Come here often and tell us what you are going through, there will always be someone who can relate to what you are going through.

Wish I had more...
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 04:04:21 PM »
Welcome, though I am so very sorry you have a reason to be here. There aren't any good resources for young widows where I am from either, but I have found that the people here have provided far better support than I ever could have imagined. I hope that coming here will be as helpful, for you.

Please, try the best you can to take care of yourself. Eat when you can. Sleep when you can. Just take one thing at a time. Most of all, just breathe. Remember that, for now, all you need to focus on is what is necessary to make it through one day, one hour, one minute at a time, if you need to.
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 07:32:12 PM »
Hi Deb
so sorry you have to be in this forum
its so hard to be out there and not have the support of people who have been on this awful journey
Your head must be spinning as your heart is breaking and yet we still have to do the day to day things
please come on here as much as you need , it helped me tremendously and still does
Take care
My everything


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 08:48:37 PM »
Hi Deb,

I'm really happy you found us! I am so sorry you had a reason to look for us at all, but since you did I am hoping you find the same comfort that has helped me so immensely in my own journey. I know what you mean when you say people don't want to approach you because at almost a year out I know my proximity to others is enough to make them uncomfortable. It is hard to lose so much and then lose even more because people don't know what to say or somehow think grief is contagious.

I am wishing you and your children much peace and comfort. Share as you need or want to, someone here will be able to relate.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 09:04:39 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you find the comfort, understanding, and support that you're looking for here. This group has brought me a lot of comfort and made me feel less alone.

I'm also a cancer widow. My husband was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October 2013 and he died in February 2014. He was 38 when diagnosed and died one week after his 39th birthday. He was healthy, worked out 5 days a week, non-smoker, not a drinker, no recreational drugs, rarely sick. I have asked myself the same questions that you mentioned. How? Why? What if?


"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 10:57:10 PM »
((((Deb)))) I am so, so very sorry that you had to look for us, but grateful you found us. My sweet dh was my best friend from the time we were 11 or 12 years old, but we had only been married 4 years when he passed away very suddenly, three days after his 40th birthday, from PEs. He had chronic health issues, but we had no reason to expect that he wouldn't be around to see our 20th, 30th, even 40th anniversaries. Instead I found myself a single mum at 39 with three children and a shattered heart.

Now, 15 months later, I can say there's a little light to be found, but this is a dark and scary road, and I don't know what I'd have done without this community. Keep breathing, even when you don't want to. Eat at least once a day and drink as much water as you can manage to remember. Most of all, be gentle with yourself-- and keep talking. We're here, and we understand (though we wish we didn't!). So many hugs to you.

another Jen
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 09:08:54 AM »
I echo what the others have said, this forum is a lifesaver, I'm glad you found us but I am so sorry you needed to.

Children give us a reason to get up and keep moving but also make our grief journey more challenging. Take advantage of anyone you have who can take them out for a few hours so you have time to take of yourself and process your own grief. 

The single parent part is a big adjustment, take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself. You are only one person and it takes time to figure out how to mange it all on your own.  It will be 2 years for me in September and while there are many days I think I'm doing a good job on my own, there are other days that it still feels overwhelming. 
You will forever be my always.


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 09:36:53 AM »
DebW, a warm welcome to you and I'm glad you could track us down in our little Widda online hub. I lost my wife to suicide in October 2013 so different circumstances, but grief is grief and it's horrible for us to have to be hurting. But the good comes back and joy re-enters. Promise.
Musings of this sarcastic but upbeat young widow can be read here :


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Re: Happy to find this forum
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 03:03:09 PM »
What a boost it is for me to have so many lovely people taking the time to respond - thank you all so much.

Yes I guess the kids are my reason for getting up - the least I've had to do is get them to school each day, feed them, clothe them, keep on top of the housework. When my husband was diagnosed he was already very unwell, in fact he was unable to start chemo for a month as he had uncontrollable and unremitting nausea so unfortunately the kids were very quickly exposed to him being sick, not working, not driving, barely functioning. He was not the dad, nor the husband that he was. He required full time care so I should have more time on my hands but I find that without him to focus on I feel aimless and useless, unmotivated to do much beyond the basics.

When Anthony died I went a bit loopy, searching the house upside down for a note, a letter, something, anything that he may have left for me, I knew this was completely ridiculous - he couldn't even hold a pen and because he'd never acknowledged that he was dying he'd never talked to me about anything. At the end it was very quick and I thought we'd have more time to say what we wanted but I feel like there were things unsaid. I also feel bad because he wanted to die at home but at the end it didn't happen that way - I hope he has forgiven me for that. I know there's no point feeling guilty or obsessing but it's hard not too and I find myself begging with him to send me a message or a sign, something that might comfort me or help me feel a connection to him. During the day I'm ok because I keep busy but the nights are terrible when the kids are in bed, I hate the evenings alone.

I have not worked since September but am going back next week, I am so scared of how I will manage, I already feel exhausted most of the time let alone putting in an 8 hour shift at the hospital where I work. I am lucky in that my employer has been so understanding and there is no pressure on me to go back but I don't think sitting around all day moping will help and I need to for financial reasons.

When I find myself on that downward slide I try to think of the positive things:
- I was lucky to have him for 22 years, some people don't have what we had in a lifetime
- I have two children, forever a part of him, my daughter was born the spitting image of him and hasn't changed one bit
- I have some wonderful friends and family supporting me
- I feel privileged to have been able to care for him, I decided early on that was my purpose on earth, to support him through   this, to love and hold him close till the end.

Sometimes of course all the positive thinking in the world doesn't help and I can't help feeling so sorry for myself, for him and what he will be missing out on and also the children, growing up without their daddy. It's just too painful to think very far into the future so I am just trying to concentrate on the here and now.