Author Topic: Anticipatory Grieving  (Read 10384 times)


  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: Anticipatory Grieving
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2017, 11:13:22 PM »
My wife was diagnosed with primary cancer over eleven years ago, and with terminal cancer eight years ago.

That's a lot of time to assimilate, at least intellectually, what was going to happen. The moment her terminal prognosis was confirmed, that was when we knew she would die young, and there's no question I started grieving at that moment. I remember sitting in hospital corridors with her mother crying and hugging for hours on end. That was when I started to live with the fact that she and I would never grow old together.

After that horrible time, when her prognosis was very poor, things unexpectedly started to improve. My wife defied the doctors' expectations and went into remission for nearly seven years, despite the fact that the cancer had come back very aggressively. Over that period, while we knew it would end badly, we achieved such a degree of stability and normality that we would go for weeks or months at a time without thinking directly about what was going to happen. I don't wish to minimize how hard it was for her to live in the face of an early death and deal with physical hardship and discomfort, but she refused to waste her time worrying when she didn't have to. Similarly, while I knew I'd be widowed young, only once or twice did I confront this reality head-on, in all its horror. We more or less decided not to waste our time on misery when we didn't have to. After all, the misery would take care of itself. I think this was the right thing to do, and I don't regret it for one moment.

We made the most of every hour, and said all the things we needed to say.

My wife died in November, and it was not unexpected, but it's only in the last several weeks that the reality of her loss is starting to hit home. I think now that I overestimated the extent to which I had processed and accepted what had happened. I thought I was OK, but now I think I've been hiding from what it means to be without her. I just miss her so much.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 05:52:14 AM by HCE »
They lived and laughed and loved and left.


  • Member
  • Posts: 314
  • widowed 2012
Re: Anticipatory Grieving
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2017, 10:52:03 AM »
I was only a caretaker for two years. i could not admit that my husband was actually going to die until he slipped into a coma days before his death. I remember hiding from everyone in the bathroom, trying to calm myself down by making plans on how I was going to deal with his absence. That was shot to hell pretty quickly. Widowhood was so much harder than my imagination could possibly conjure.
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.