Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 1920 times)

Dahlia

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  • And I am rich in all I have lost. S. Sassoon
Introduction
« on: March 23, 2015, 01:09:01 PM »
Hi, everyone.

I'm a 45 year old window. My husband died on the 9th of March from a recurrent brain tumor. We fought it hard for 16 years, and made sure we really lived during that time. We started a successful small business, traveled, raised our lovely two kids to something like adulthood, fell in love regularly with each other and just tried to live every day like it could be our last.

Still, though, I can't believe our last day together actually happened. I had always hoped we would be one of the lucky ones. My husband was amazingly fit and healthy except for the brain tumor, and so I hoped his good health and our good health insurance would help him to stick around for a long, long time. I was shooting for both of us dying on our 90th wedding anniversary in an accident involving an experimental race car and an illegal sex act. Something guaranteed to stain the family name for decades to come. It was not to be, though.
 
I find this state of widowhood difficult to bear sometimes because I have become his ambassador in the world with his family and friends. I feel compelled to be kind and friendly even when people say ignorant or unintentionally cruel things. One of his friends compared what I was going through to the loss of his dad. I lost my dad eighteen years ago, and it was awful, painful and horrifying, but this experience is far worse. I saw my dad every day, and he was one of my best friends, but Scott was my everything: he was my best friend, my favorite companion, my lover, my partner, the father of my delightful children, my sounding board and the most handsome man I know. To compare the two is to do justice to neither experience. To be polite at that moment is almost more than I can bear, but I am. I tell people that they are wrong in the most gentle way I know how even when I am dying to just swear at them. I know a lot of my anger is at the situation, too.

My children and I are together right now, which helps a lot. My daughter is pursuing a doctorate in the United Kingdom, but she came home to be with her dad and is staying until the memorial service. My son is still in high school. They are responding in different ways. My son is only 17, so he is in denial about a lot of what he is going through right now. That is a perfectly normal response, but my daughter and I are gently working to get him to a recognition of what is happening.We are all going to sign up for some time with a therapist soon, not to fix the unfixable, but to accept the distorted reality we now inhabit.

My true, good friends are super helpful. They leave me alone when I need it and are there when I need someone. They understand that they don't understand, which really helps. They don't try to make me feel better with cliches or suggestions, but they just listen and respond sincerely.

My husband's family has been pretty wonderful, too. In this experience, they have become my family, and we are all looking out for each other. I thought I would only need my own crazy family, but, apparently, I need two crazy families. His parents have suffered such a devastating loss, a loss I cannot comprehend, but still they do what they can to help the kids and me. We return the favor, but it just always makes me so grateful that they are as generous and compassionate as they are.

I have a lot to be grateful for, and that does help, but I have a long way to go before I can reconcile myself to this loss. 
 

LostMyCharles

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 01:56:25 PM »
Hugs to you, Dahlia.  I am sorry for your loss, but the way you wrote about your anticipated future made me smile, which is rare these days.  What would any of us give to have lived to a ripe old age with our loved ones, tearing it up the whole way?

It sounds like you have a wonderful support system and are coping the best way you know how. I hope you continue to turn to us in the cyberworld to commiserate with you about those folks who just don't get it. I almost punched the woman I met at the mall who tried to tell me that her husband's sudden request for a divorce was just like my husband's death!!  ::)
"He was my North, my South, my East and West..." W.H. Auden

My love is with you always, Charles. 6/29/66 - 12/08/14

Dahlia

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  • And I am rich in all I have lost. S. Sassoon
Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 04:02:27 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I have had newly divorced women, and some married women, insinuate that they are jealous of me. It's so weird. I would have been so happy if Scott got better and divorced me because he would be alive, and I would see him once in a while. Divorce would have been a small price to pay for all that I would gain. But no one really understands.
BTW, I love that Auden poem. I recite it to myself sometimes. And, another BTW, my husband was born the day after your husband (but a year before).

Jen

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 04:08:39 PM »
Dahlia, so many hugs... I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace...
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

lcoxwell

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 05:02:17 PM »
Welcome to the board, Dahlia, though I am sorry you have a need to be here.  Like LostMyCharles, I had to smile at your description of how you expected your future to turn out.  This would have made my Kenneth smile, too. 
"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.

swilson

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 06:05:23 PM »
Dahlia, I'm so sorry you've lost your husband and for your children. It's good to hear about your family & support group helping out. Awesome friends are a blessing during a tragic time such as this.
~ she's gone to Heaven so I've got to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world ~

Jess

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 09:03:21 AM »
Dahlia, I am so sorry for your loss but glad you found us. The divorced vs. widowed thing is a strange comparison. I have found that people that compare their divorce to being widowed really do usually mean well and are trying to relate. To us, especially so early on, the comparison can sting, but it comes down to people just want to say the right thing and have no idea what that may be. I am wishing you much peace and comfort.
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

Dahlia

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  • And I am rich in all I have lost. S. Sassoon
Re: Introduction
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 03:26:03 PM »
Actually, I do think some divorces have a lot in common with my situation. A good friend of mine's husband walked out on Christmas Eve after 25 years of marriage. She never saw it coming, and her very stable life suddenly became completely unstable. She had a lot less money, a lot more work and her children were struggling. She worked really hard for a future that was denied to her. I feel she really understands a lot of the reality I am in. We text each other a lot as we sit on the couch watching netflix 2000 miles apart. But maybe the point is that she didn't tell me the similarities in a bid to make me feel better, but she and I just talked normally about our lives and saw the similarities together. It's when people try to minimize the pain that I get annoyed.