Author Topic: Four weeks later...  (Read 1457 times)

Jack Burton

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Four weeks later...
« on: July 28, 2016, 05:19:21 PM »
My wife died four weeks ago today.'Metastatic Breast Cancer' it said on the death certificate,but no words can describe the past six months of fear,anger,despair and frustration we had to endure.She was diagnosed four years ago(the day after my 40th birthday,what a treat),and ever since then we knew it was a matter of time - one year,five years ,ten if you're lucky.Turns out we got three before it turned sour,and that whole time we still had that underlying fear,trying to carry on with day to day life with two young kids.
She truly was a born fighter though,not physically tough but mentally prepared to plod on through the whole ordeal.We both never spoke of the illness between ourselves,maybe we should have more,but we never dwelled on things too much.I think we were both ignoring the medical side and concentrating on having as much fun with the kids as possible.I'm thankful we managed one more holiday abroad,as we had to cancel one due to treatments.
I had a brain tumour removed eight years ago,and the guilt i feel sometimes is unbearable.If only my condition had worsened and she was spared?That thought rattles inside my head many nights(along with about 500 others)and it keeps me awake a LONG time.After my operation,we spoke of having another child(already had a daughter),and my main reason for doing so was that if anything happened to me,it would be more company for her.So we had a son,and he's great company.
I could go on,as this is my worst time of day(11pm-ish),when the kids are in bed and i'm alone wandering the house with only sad thoughts for company.With my medical history there is also an increased chance of further complications down the line,but i'm pushing that to the back of my mind as far,far back as i can,there is life to be lived at the moment.
After watching her die,registering her death,closing her accounts,arranging her funeral and collecting her ashes,i couldn't believe how mentally drained a person could get.As if losing her wasn't bad enough,signing forms and making phone calls seemed to trivialise my devastation.Using the word 'disposal' in regards to her remains bothered me immensely.The tears that fall in the most unexpected of times.Anyway...
I decided to join this community after reading a lot of heartfelt stories but also positive attitudes.I don't know if it'll help me,but it is reassuring to know that i'm not alone in this grief,far from it.


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Re: Four weeks later...
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2016, 09:16:49 PM »
JBurton - I am so so sorry. I hope you this site helps you. I am older with 2 older kids but I too lost my husband to metastatic cancer. He died 6 months after 1st symptom. It is so hard to live with the sheer terror and unbearable knowledge that you will lose someone.

I can relate to so much of your post. As you said you just have to bury the worry and just forge ahead, because there is life to be lived. That was such a hard thing for me to reconcile, the whole world just keeps going although mine had imploded. You sound like you are doing a great job doing what you have to do. Everyone here gets it. I wish you strength.


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Re: Four weeks later...
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2016, 09:25:04 PM »
I am so sorry for the loss of you wife and the mother of your children but I am glad you found us.  This is a difficult journey and I hope you find the support and understanding here that I have.  The emotions can be fierce and unpredictable and the best thing you can do is give space for whatever you are feeling and it helps to have a safe space to do so.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: Four weeks later...
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2016, 09:45:25 PM »
I'm so sorry for the loss of your wife, Jack. I remember so well many of the experiences you have described in the early weeks after the loss of my husband 3 years ago. Making those phone calls to handle the financial and business matters was so difficult just saying the reason you are calling. I didn't want to say it out loud, because it made it too real. I also remember the lonely, sometimes frantic hours after my kids went to bed. I really didn't think I would make it through his loss, yet I am still here. Taking things one day at a time has been my saving grace.

I wanted to tell you I understand a little of how you feel guilty about you surviving your illness and your wife not surviving hers. My husband died suddenly from a ventricular cardiac arrhythmia. Six months after he died, I inexplicably developed the same arrhythmia. In my case, I survived, but required the placement of an internal cardiac defibrillator. I hated that defibrillator at first. I didn't want it. I wanted to turn back time and have my husband have it instead. I felt so guilty. It was hard for my family, friends, and doctor to understand, but it haunted me for a long while. The truth is that the two illnesses you and your wife had were not interchangeable, nor did your survival have any impact on her outcome. I think we just wish for anyway we could have kept them here with us. There is no need for you to carry that guilt, but I understand your feelings.

I hope you will find this special place and the caring people who understand the depths of pain in losing a spouse will be a source of comfort for you, as it has truly been for me.

Sending you a tight hug...
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.


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Re: Four weeks later...
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 02:47:39 PM »
Dear JBurton,

I can really relate to your post.  My husband died of a very rare form of cancer (GIST - sarcoma) on July 1.  He was buried on July 13.  I had hoped to have him around for at least 10 years, he was doing well, but in October of last year he took a turn for the worse.  I can not tell you how hard i fought to find information, get him to the best doctors and do all that I could to help him and today I grapple daily with the thought that maybe I could have done something different to help him (intellectually, I know that this isn't true, but I still struggle with this).

My husband was a very proud man and took his role as a husband very seriously.  He did his best to protect and provide for our family. He took care of everything around our home and made sure that we were safe.  All I want to to do these days is talk about him and how he was a perfect match for me and talk about how good he was.  I miss him terribly.  Terribly. 

I am also grappling with everything that happened to him during the last month of his life.  It hurts me to know that he had to struggle mentally and physically. I try to focus on the good times that we had, but the image of his deteriorating body is really hard to get out of my head.

I am in the process of closing his accounts, working with probate court and everything seems so final.  i'm tired too.

I do know that people have gotten through this. I have a huge family who are very supportive. I have hope that one day I will see things differently. I also believe that if I got through supporting him during his last days on earth, that I can get through anything.  I don't know you, but i believe that you will be able to get through this too.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 02:50:26 PM by 4maljaa »


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Re: Four weeks later...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 08:40:34 PM »
Just wanted to say welcome Jack Burton, and 4maljaa, and I am so sorry for the loss of your partners. I am also a cancer widow - he lived 4.5 years after his diagnosis so the deterioration was slower, but it was hell nonetheless. Re: holidays abroad, I always smile to myself in a sardonic way when writers (often doctors) have the romantic idea that people diagnosed with terminal illnesses can have quality of life and go off and do some kind of "bucket list"-- our limited vacations tended to be interrupted by urgent hospital visits when he developed a fever or, in one case, when a bone broke as it was weakened by bone cancer, and it is beyond risky to travel outside of one's own country from a travel insurance perspective.  We too have a young child and my husband did not want to acknowledge or talk about his imminent death, which I can understand, but it did make things more challenging.  I really get the "mentally drained" aspect and I remember clearly the administrative work after his death which never seemed to end and felt insulting and bizarre at times- indeed, I still have some loose ends outstanding. Wishing you the best.  You are not alone. 


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Re: Four weeks later...
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 09:42:17 AM »
Hello Jack. I know it's a force of habit to say "I'm sorry;" however, I truly am sorry for your loss. I think everyone that is able to post here can agree. Everything we feel and or don't feel is heightened after a great loss. I'm just going through the motions like everyone else right now. This is not a club any of us would ever want to be a part of, but I am thankful that there are people here that I can relate to. The "outside" people just can't meet me on the level I am on and they won't ever unless they experience what something tragic. Please keep an update.