Author Topic: introduce yourself here  (Read 71648 times)

JeanGenie

  • Member
  • Posts: 240
  • Widowed 4-22-2013
    • Personal Blog
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2015, 09:48:25 PM »
I'm Jeanne and browsed YWBB but posted rarely. Met some good friends and found a lot of support from you all and so with a new board, I will try to make a renewed commitment to be more active/involved. That said...

Ed and I were together 31 years (I was 19, he was 29...a much older man!), married 29 years. Ed was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in December 2009. He started chemo immediately. We knew he was terminal and so we were committed to at least extending his life with chemo (surgery was not an option at that time). Ed continued chemo every 2 weeks over what ended up being 3+ years. During that time he continued to work full-time and our lives were fairly "normal" since he had minimal, if any, side effects from the chemo. Looking back, those 3 years were a gift. Ed would set milestones and one of his biggest goals was to see our only son graduate from college--which he survived to see in May 2012. Looking back, after surviving the first year after his diagnosis, we focused less on dying and more on living. And since he had minimal side effects or outward sides of "having cancer" it was easy to forget.

So when on March 26, 2013, he had severe abdominal pain and we had to call 911, we really weren't prepared for what came next. Ed ended up having emergency surgery (colostomy) and then we naively thought he'd be coming home after some rehab. That never happened. After more complications, he passed on April 22, 2013.

As much as I still miss him every day, I sometimes consider myself lucky that we had these 3 years since his diagnosis because it was the best years of our lives. And the last year, our son moved back home after graduation until he found full-time work. We had great quality family time and vacations together. And before Ed went into the hospital in March, our son did find a full-time job and we got him settled into his own apartment that February. At some level, I think my husband knew he could now rest since our son was well on his way.

And as awful as Ed's last month of life in the hospital was, I am grateful that I was with him every day during that month and that he died knowing he was the most important thing in my life. I was able to take a leave from work and I know he died knowing without a doubt that I loved him.

And for that I am grateful...
I miss how happy I was with you.

Shawn823

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Widowed 12/11/12
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2015, 09:50:06 PM »
Hi, I?m Shawn. My husband Blaine and I were best friends for 29 years and married for the last 16 of those. We met when we were both in the same internal medicine residency program and he was the resident supervisor on the same team on which I was an intern. We had an instant connection?-he was an amazing physician with an enormous compassion for others, but the other side of him of was pure wiseass. He had a totally irreverent sense of humor, a boisterous laugh, and a joie de vivre that simply was not in my nature. I never met anyone who didn?t like him. In some ways, he was a study in contrasts, a total sports fanatic but also a bird watcher and lover (my avatar is a flock of starlings in a unique display in the sky), an exercise nut who loved macaroni and cheese, a whiz with stocks and bonds who could not fix a thing in the house?.the list goes on.

In November 2011, he finally admitted that he had been having abdominal pain, which he had been chalking up to low grade diverticulitis. Ultimately, he had a CT scan that showed a cystic lesion in the tail of his pancreas. Almost a year to the day he died on December 11, 2012, we found out that what we thought would be a surgically correctable lesion, was actually inoperable pancreatic cancer. We both knew instantly what that meant, but he soldiered through chemo and radiation with the hope that he could possibly extend his life. Through all of it, he fought to maintain the solo primary care practice that he worked so hard to build from nothing over the preceding 12 years. I knew the end was near, when he came home from work one day in September 2012 and said.?Babe, for the first time ever, I did not feel like being there today?. Then came the trauma and chaos of having to close his practice, ultimately the enrollment in hospice care and the tortuous process of dying.

Prior to my husband?s death, I thought I knew something of what people who suffer such losses go through as I have worked in the field of HIV medicine for many years including back in the time when so many patients died. I watched the searing pain of loss over and over again, but I have learned that there are some experiences in life that are just impossible to fully understand unless you really walk in those shoes. I have been fortunate to have a very supportive family and circle of real-life friends, but none of them has ever quite been able to replicate the kind of understanding that I found at the YWBB. I am so very grateful that this community has been given new life here and to all the widow(er)s who have been willing to share their journeys.

Linda L

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2015, 10:30:54 PM »
I'm Linda, I lost my DH Hugh to suicide in January 2003.  My daughters were 5 and 2--they are now 17 and 14.  Although I visited the other board less frequently now than I once did, the thought of it not being here made me sad.  So I am thrilled this board is here (and that they got me activated here finally).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 10:32:42 PM by Linda L »
It's not what happens to you, but what you do with it, that defines your life.

lcoxwell

  • Member
  • Posts: 671
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2015, 10:44:51 PM »
I am so incredibly thankful right now, and crying tears of joy!  I made it!  Thank you so much Jess, for your help in getting me registered. 

Hello. My husband, Kenneth, died on March 10, 2014 from complications of diabetes, congestive heart failure, end stage renal failure, and a ton of other medical conditions, too many of which to list here. Thirteen years before he died, doctors were saying he likely would not live through another year, but he kept beating the odds and managed to hold on long enough to give me a good life and to raise our combined household of kids, six in all (though his oldest was actually grown and out on his own, before I came along, so really it was five kids that we raised).  The youngest one turned 18 two days before Kenneth died.

When I married him, I knew full well I would end up being widowed at a young age, but I did not care. I loved him enough to marry him anyway, wanting to have every possible minute I could with him. For thirteen years, I took care of him. I sat by his side through one hospitalization, after another, and I watched him suffer more than anyone should ever have to suffer. On March 3, 2014, he came home from the hospital for the last time. Two days later, we met with home hospice and made arrangements to end all life-saving treatment. A week later, he was gone.

Even after thirteen years of extreme caregiving, I would do it all again. At just a few days shy of the one year anniversary of his death, I still think of him each and every day, I still miss him so very much, and I still love him very deeply.
"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.

Elizabeth29

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2015, 11:27:39 PM »
I'm so glad that this board will be continuing.  I want to echo the "thank you" that so many have already said.

I'm Elizabeth. I rarely posted on YWBB, but I checked in frequently and got so much from being able to read the shared experiences.  My husband died of sudden heart failure almost three years ago, just two days before our daughter's 1st birthday. He was 29, I was 30.  We were together 7 years (married just shy of 3).   Now, that kiddo will be turning 4 in just a few short months and I still miss him every day.  Like so many other wids, I've struggled to find my way to balance the new responsibility of raising a child without the other parent, figuring out my own grief, and holding it all together.  But, at almost three years out, I think I'm doing pretty ok.  I've relied on the advice, stories and wisdom of others to get me this far, and I'm so happy that this will continue.

I look forward to being able to continue to follow (and, who knows, maybe even post a little more) here.


Elizabeth

Ann E

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2015, 11:32:59 PM »
Hi, I'm Ann E. I was "vintage" ywbb. I discovered the original board Oct-Nov 2002 when I hit a grief wall about four months after my husband Bob died at the age of 47. He had a laundry list of chronic conditions including Crohns disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, and hip joint necrosis from long term steroid use (to treat Crohns). We were together 15 years. We had our 13th wedding anniversary in the ICU where he spent his last month of life following abdominal surgery. June 10, 2002, was the day we ran out of miracles.

My life journey since then has taken me through graduate school, a career change, a serious relationship with a widower that did not last, and two major relocations before I landed in my current home in New Mexico. The ywbb was my lifeline in the early years but I have not been active for a long time. I recognize several names here from fb and bagos and our journeys together on ywbb.

Let's remember to be gentle with ourselves and each other.

::hugs:: and blessigs

Ann E.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 11:35:27 PM by Ann E »
Mr. B 8/4/1954 - 6/10/2002
"This journey is ended. Another begins. Time to rest now."
- J. Michael Straczynski, Sleeping in Light

widowat33

  • Member
  • Posts: 305
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2015, 11:39:56 PM »
He was my first love, and that love will live on forever..
We had been together for 14 and 1/2 years, married almost 11 years. We have two boys, oldest is now 12 youngest will be 10 in a month.
Dh worked away, on a two week rotation. His last shift they asked him to work overtime, so he had been gone for three weeks. He was on his way home to us.. I knew something was wrong, he always called when he got to certain towns on his drive home and I hadn't heard from him in a couple hours.. I still have two messages saved on my answering machine from him that day, July 10 2014. I was waiting outside at 3 am when the police pulled into my driveway to give me the news. He had an accident, had left the road and rolled his truck down a ravine into the river below.
I found YWBB a few weeks after he passed away, and even just reading that others are struggling with similar issues has helped me so much.
I started college less than two months after he died, I'm now halfway through my second semester. I am starting to find myself, to learn who I am, because I didn't only lose him that day I also lost part of my own identity.

Stargazer74

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
  • Jamie, 35, Dec 2, 2014, Unknown Cause
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2015, 11:49:09 PM »
I want to preserve my story, and this was my introduction and first post on YWBB, written about 5 weeks after I lost my wife.  Looking back at it I realize just how traumatized i was during this time.  I couldn't make sense of it all, and in many ways, I still can't, four months later.  But I can see that shock and agony is turning to acceptance a little bit more each day. I have edited it to correct a few grammar errors and a couple of sentences to add clarity.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I married my wife on April 30, 2005. I had previously been married and that ended in divorce the previous year. Jamie and I had already known each other at work, our paths crossed occasionally because she worked the night shift and I worked the day shift. She had previously been married as well and had two young girls, but that didn't bother me in the least. We started dating and within 6 months we were married. It was the first time in my life I knew what "being in love" was really about. My first marriage had come from a sense of duty. My girlfriend had ended up pregnant in high school and I didn't want to have a child who grew up without two parents. I got along with her okay mostly, but we were never really "in love". Jamie was easy to talk to, fun, and we just clicked. I couldn't imagine my life without her, and she felt the same about me. We had a few growing pains here and there as we blended our two families together, but through it all, our love grew. About two years into our marriage, she started having some health issues. About 5 years in, she could no longer work and had to go on disability. She was on a long list of medications, and had repeated hospitalizations and symptoms that often just never made much sense. The neurologist she saw diagnosed her with MS, and she was treated for that for about 3 years until a different neurologist said that she didn't think she had MS because she had no lesions showing up on the scans, despite continuing to have almost all the symptoms of MS. She suffered a lot. The last couple of years though her neurological symptoms had improved a lot though, although other conditions plagued her continuously. Watching her go from a young vibrant young woman to being in constant pain and discomfort was very hard. Through it all though, I never thought of turning my back on her. It wasn't out of duty, it was the depth of our love that could never be shaken. Our love never failed. I was still very much in love with her despite all the daily health problems.

Around Thanksgiving, she started complaining that her lower back was hurting really bad and she thought she had a UTI or a kidney stone. We went to the Dr. and they started her on some antibiotics. A week later, the pain hadn't gotten better, and over the weekend she was having intense pains, so she went back to the doctor and then to the ER because the office could not schedule a CT for the same day to rule out a kidney stone. (She had had several kidney stones previously) The ER CT'd her and discovered that while she did have stones, her pain was being caused by a kidney infection. They gave her a script for more antibiotics and sent her home. I came home from work that night and gave her the antibiotics I had picked up for her and I went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, she was up, and we talked and she said that she had been up most of the night because of the pain and I just loved on her and we held each other for a while. She got up again, made a few phone calls and then laid down to take a nap. This was Dec 2, 2014. I got up and started bringing in some fire wood, started a fire, checked on Jamie, who was sleeping comfortably by then. I made something to eat and went back to a back room to watch a movie (Frozen, of all things). About an hour later I went in to check on her and when I walked up to the bed I stopped just to look at her. She looked like she was asleep on her side, but I realized I couldn't see her breathing. I went to her and rolled her over and I knew immediately that she was gone. That moment was the worst I've ever experienced. I will be stuck in that moment for a long, long time. I pulled her out of the bed and lay her on the floor and started CPR. I had my cell on me, so I lay it in the floor in front of me and dialed 911, put it on speaker and told the operator to get me help NOW. The only thing is, we live in a very rural part of the state, and it was 20 minutes before anyone else got there. I'm a respiratory therapist. I know how to do CPR, I do it often in my job. 20 minutes of continuous CPR is difficult, and I almost passed out. I cannot describe the emotions that I was feeling. I wouldn't give up though, the 911 operator asked me three times if I thought she was gone and if I wanted to stop but I kept telling her I'm not going to stop. I knew in my mind that she was gone, but I felt God was telling me to keep going. In the end, it was the right decision. The ambulance crew did get her heart beat back on the way to the hospital, and it gave me and our kids, and the rest of the family a chance to say goodbye. Her heart gave out the next morning, while surrounded by her entire family.

I do not know what caused her death. She was only 35 years old. Her health was poor at best, but nothing was ever life threatening. Being in the medical field, I have meticulously went over everything in her medical record and everything in my memory about that morning, and I have no clue to point to a cause of death.  Whatever happened, it was extremely quick, extremely fatal, and I believe it was painless.  I have come to the conclusion that she either had a blood clot that went to her brain stem, or her heart just went into a fatal arrhythmia, neither of which I could have done anything about even if I had been laying right next to her. I opted not to have an autopsy, I just could not have that done to my baby. I have a peace that at least she went in her sleep. She didn't look like she ever woke up, and I know she didn't struggle, and that does afford me some comfort. The death certificate wasn't any help, it just described her condition after she got to the hospital, with no cause of the initial event.

My life for the last 5 weeks has been very hard. I miss her so much. All of the plans we had, all of the dreams, gone in an instant. She was my world, and because of her health issues, we didn't get out much to hang out with friends much. Her family, who all live fairly close by, has stayed in contact with me and have been very supportive. Her two girls live with their dad, but they have been living with him for the last few years anyway. My son is 20 and out of my house, and my teen girl is living with her mom, so I'm by myself now. I've kept in touch with Jamie's two girls, and have taken them to a couple of my family get togethers and we have had time to get together to talk and try to help each other. They are young teens, and have been devastated by this as well.

My faith in God has been the one thing that I can say has been a tremendous help to me in this time. I have been a Christian since I was a teen, but like most people, my faith has not been very consistent or strong at times. Jamie was a woman of faith, and she taught me a lot about perseverance and relying on God, even during the worst times of our lives. I long for her to be here, but I know that she is there waiting on me. I hope that the time I have left on this earth brings her honor. I don't know where to go from here though. I have anxiety, the waves of grief come and take me, then I am pretty numb for a while. I hope that this gets better soon.

Thanks for letting me share.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 11:55:25 PM by Stargazer74 »
?Knock and it shall be opened.' But does knocking mean hammering and kicking the door like a maniac??
C.S. Lewis

?Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.?
C.S. Lewis

AndysWife

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2015, 11:57:35 PM »
Hi, I'm Wendy. My husband Andy was 42 when he suicided 3 1/2 years ago.
I was very out of control in the beginning and pretty much just read the YWBB site when I was awake between feeds of our then 5 wk old baby. Both the board and our baby son get the credit for my survival - I'm not kidding either - I was a mess to say the least.

The 5 kids are all doing amazingly well. Only the little guy still lives at home (the others are now adults and in their own homes now) which certainly lightens the workload but it's also been a massive adjustment ie: cooking wise etc.

I think around the end of the 2nd year, I started to regroup and felt less angry (I swore so much the words lost their oomph) and we started travelling as I just didn't feel settled anywhere. We even came to America for a month back in 2013 but mostly,we just travelled around Australia.

I now live at the beach and I feel MUCH calmer and I have started working recently also. I will be 43 in April and I still shake my head at how I got to be a widow this young but for the most part, my life is good again. My mother who was in prison at the time of Andy's death, was acquitted 2 years ago and released immediately after spending 2 1/2 years there but I haven't heard from her since she got out. This is also a blessing. I really felt that I was living out some bad soap opera at the time. (She is a true nightmare)

Anyway, I learned that it really does get easier with time - or I just got stronger and wiser. 
A.B.D.  26/01/1969 - 08/08/2011

whoaminow

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2015, 11:59:41 PM »
I'm pretty new to all of this.  I lost my husband in a car accident in December.  We'd been together for 20 years and we have 2 kids, ages 7 and 9.  I think the first couple of months I didn't even have the opportunity to grieve, as the list of things that must be taken care of is so long.  At the same time, I found out that we had to move out of our home and I was dealing with a flare up of a chronic condition I have.  Then shortly after that I find out that the business I work at will be closing down.  I have no education past high school and am now looking at getting a certificate/diploma in something so that I can get a decent paying job.  It's just all so scary....all at once....but I think I'm grieving now.  Oh this life is so lonely. 

calimom

  • Member
  • Posts: 119
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2015, 12:33:48 AM »
Hello all.  I'm Amber, my husband Jeff was killed seven years ago on his way home from work by a drunk driver.  I've gone to court for the sentencing of the driver, and twice to parole hearings to ensure his continued residency in the prison system to finish his prison term.
At the time of my husband's death, our children were 1, 5, and 14.  I was honored to become the legal guardian of my stepdaughter, who is now in college. Our youngest two are currently 8 and 12.  Life is different, to say the least, but still good.  It takes a lot to recover and rebuild.

Only respect for the founders of YWBB and only respect for the organizers of this new site.  Thank you one and all for this opportunity to share our experiences and learn from one another.  Peace to all.
"I'm breaking through, I'm bending spoons, I'm keeping flowers in full bloom" - REM

littlebirdie

  • Guest
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2015, 07:36:29 AM »
Brent was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer in November 2011. He had been having back pain for a few months that nothing was helping; it just got worse and worse. He was young and otherwise healthy so they figured he had hurt his back painting the exterior of our house, which is what he was doing when the pain started. He was an OR nurse and one of his friends, a pain doctor, wanted him to have a CT of his belly because she was suspicious that something else was going on. Long story short, he ended up in the hospital, had a bunch of tests and a biopsy, and we got the diagnosis on November 10, 2011, that he had GB cancer. They thought initially that it was fairly localized, so we went to U of M in Ann Arbor and he had surgery. When they opened him up, the cancer was in his GB, liver, bile ducts, pancreas (that's where the back pain was coming from), and was infiltrating into his duodenum. He did three rounds of chemo and had too many surgeries to count, but he died 8 months after he was diagnosed. He was 43.

We met in high school when we worked at the same little grocery store and were basically inseparable for 25 years. It's hard to figure out who you are and what your life is supposed to be when the person with whom you've experienced every milestone since you were 17 years old is gone so suddenly. It's been nearly three years and I'm still trying to figure it out.

Shelby

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 37
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2015, 09:09:47 AM »
I'm Shelby. I'm five years out as of yesterday, March 8, 2015. i took care of my beloved Rich for a very very long time until his death from complications of diabetes and I would do it all over again. I kind of am. My new husband, Joe, also is diabetic and is beginning to have eerily similar complications. A part of me is afraid the writing is on the wall.

I lost myself along the way and didn't realize it until I went for grief counseling and the dude asked me what I liked to do for fun. I had no answer. Fun was such a distant memory and the hardship of those years and the aching emptiness of loss had changed me so much.

YWBB and the people there helped to save me. The people there, both online and in person, helped me begin to find who this new Shelby would be. So I'm glad that, in its absence, Justin and Jess have made this place available to us oldsters who need to revisit and to help and especially for all the baby widows who will come behind us.

Shelby


JacklessSally

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
  • Some Bunny Loves you DB
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2015, 09:13:59 AM »
Tiffany 29 years old, and on November 13 2014 I lost the love of my young life. Here is our story.


My love and I met over 10 years ago when he hired me to help him run his retail store.  Fast forward 8 1/2 years. I had gotten out of the relationship I was in (it turned out VERY BADLY). I was going to attend our mutual friends commitment ceremony. I got "dressed up" and went to the ceremony. Shortly after I was there, my love walked in. We were both all smiles, and made small talk to try to catch up with each other. I followed him around like a puppy dog the whole night. Our friends had convinced us to swap numbers at the end of the night. That was the start of it, we were inseparable. We had found the other half to our whole. We were working toward our life together.

Fast forward a year, a week, and 4 days. My love was on his way back to the office from a delivery and was 2 blocks away from our home. He went to change lanes on our little country highway, was clipped by a truck, which sent him into oncoming traffic. He was hit by another driver doing 60-65 miles an hour. We were told he died instantly. He passed away at 7:02 pm. We were not notified for several hours.

After hours of trying to reach him, speaking to his work, calling local hospitals and police stations... 10:30 pm, I look out our bedroom window and see two state troopers pulling up our street, shining flashlights at the mail boxes. I knew it was him... I hoped for a split second that he was in the car. When they pulled up to the house the state trooper asked if we knew him.. And that is when she told us that he was in a accident and he did not make it..

Since then my life has been upside down. His mother and I planned the funeral and laid him to rest on the 19th of November. He was only 40. We had so many more years that we should have spent together. A year and 11 days just wasn't enough..
B.H.S. 1-20-1974 - 11-13-2014

You will always be my Jack and I will always be your Sally. For we were simply meant to be.

Jess

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 670
  • AKA Jezzy
Re: introduce yourself here
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2015, 09:22:22 AM »
I'm Jess. I was married to my husband, Joe, for almost 8 years. He was never in bad health. Shortly before midnight on July 25th, 2014, he kissed me goodnight as he was going to sleep downstairs to watch the 2 month old puppy we had adopted the day before. I brushed my teeth, changed into my pajamas, and laid down to go to sleep. A couple minutes later, I heard strange noises and went downstairs to investigate and found he was having a seizure. He had never had a seizure before so while I knew the situation was bad and called 911, I didn't have any concept it could be fatal. His heart stopped on the ambulance on the way to the hospital and they were not able to bring him back. He died shortly after midnight on July 26, 2014, my father's birthday, at the age of 34.

While I have accepted he is gone and is not coming back, some days it is still so hard to wrap my mind around. He was kind, wonderful man that always made me laugh.
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