It's been a year since my husband died

Well, almost a year. It will officially be one year next Sunday, March 14. I have learned that the dread is the worst part, so I am jumping the gun in hopes that this will help me, since that’s why I have written these. This is the last.

In some ways it is appropriate that I do this a week ahead, since the last week was the worst. It was on Monday that the MD told me that Rick was dying. I pressed him for the truth, and he told me. Monday was the day I changed Rick’s status to “do not resuscitate.” Monday was the day I had to completely give up hope, and the day I had to call his mother and tell her to bring the family as soon as she could, that her son was dying. The middle of the week passed in a blur. I remember that I stayed in his room most of the time, and slept on a cot. He was awake sometimes, but he slept a lot. I went into the hall to call people, and a sweet man gently pressed tissues in my hand and kept walking. My best friend came, my sister came, and we waited for his family. I fought with a radiologist to drain his lung and give him some comfort. I yelled at that poor doctor and then played the sympathy card, saying, “He is dying. Why can’t you help him?” It wasn’t fair, but I can’t say I regret it.

Friday was the day I remember best. His family finally came late in the evening, exhausted from their journey from the UK, and so shocked they couldn’t speak. He recognized them. He said a few words. They milled about, cried quielty. I acted like nothing was wrong–he was awake, so I was smiling and calm. I kissed him, but he had fallen asleep, or whatever it is called when they pass out from the meds. His family left. They needed to sleep. Here’s the worst part, so don’t read this if you ddn’t want to: I started crying, and he heard me. He had been agitated, so they changed his meds a hour or so before. It was late, very late. He was suddenly more lucid, and when he heard me crying, he said, “Are you ok, baby?” It was the clearest thing he had said in a day or more. I lied. “I am ok, sweetie, just tired. I am going to go to sleep.” Then into my pillow, not so he could hear, I said “please die. Please die.” I couldn’t stand it anymore. He was so sick. So weak. They kept his pain under control, but he was so, so sick. I hate cancer for making me say that. There is no greater cruelty than to make someone wish their loved one would die. I know that some of you won’t understand, but I don’t feel guilty. It was the disease. It made his life so bad that death was preferable. It did that to him in just 10 weeks. My strong, loving, vital, young husband became that pitiful being. I hate that for him so very much. He didn’t deserve it.

I write this for my own healing. I need to get it out of my head, which for me means onto the page. I am also writing to ask anyone who is willing to do something in my Rick’s honor. When Rick was dying, I posted a thread about how I used to ask him if he loved me more than various things he loved (his Mini, our cats, filet mignon), always ending with Diet Coke. If he loved me more than his DC, which he drank incessantly, I was good. A couple of people posted that they told their partners “I love you more than Diet Coke.” So here’s my request: If you love someone, tell them. If you feel so moved, tell them you love them more than Diet Coke.

Not mundane, not pointless, but thank you for sharing. How are you doing these days?

I am much better most of the time. Then something happens, and I hit bottom again. Fortunately, I regain my equilibrium much faster than I used to.

Today was a bad day for triggers. First, I woke up to a call from a friend who was upset with me. Conflict is much, much harder than it used to me. Then, I love the Oscars. The first year Rick and I watched it, we watched it over the phone with him in Englad and me in the US. So that brings back memories. Finally, the anniversary is one huge trigger. That said, I will settle down soon and sleep–not something that would have been possible several months ago.

Stunningly beautiful post. I wish you peace, Brynda, on this sad, sad milestone.

Would be more prolific but there’s rain in my eyes.
Need to tell my sweetie he’s higher on the list than the diet pepsi that is constantly in my hand.

Sending every good thought and hope for peace to you Brynda. I’m glad that we could be here for you to share this healing story.

Brynda, thank you for this unintended gift.

I lost my mother last Fall to cancer and my correspondents on the internet were a large part of my initial healing. An odd gift from some who were nearly strangers to me.

Talking about it does help work through the long and sometimes wearisome grieving process. And it does ebb and flow as you describe.

Sometimes I think of grief work as similar to going to the gym to exercise. Only you are working on your faith muscles instead of your physical muscles.

I trust that willingness to feel and express grief builds strength and renewed purpose of living and send energy for gentle healing for your efforts.

Such a bittersweet mystery it is. . .

All of us who’ve been there(abouts) do, though.

True. Thinking of death as a final gift is a new life experience.

Brynda, last year I bookmarked a post you wrote about the loss of your husband. That post affected me deeply with a sense of loss that was palpable. You were able to relay pain and anger in a way I have never read.

Your postings have been a topic of constructive conversation between my wife and I. Thank you.

I’m thinking of and praying for you during this anniversary.

I don’t think it is awful at all to want someone you love to be out of that situation and pain.

I’m so very sorry for your loss.

One day at a time, Brynda. Keep your chin up. We’re rooting for you.

Thanks for this.

I don’t always tell my wife I love her, even though I do always love her. (Typical “guy attitude”: “if I tell her all the time, it’ll lose meaning”) but for some reason, when I woke up this morning (ie before I read this thread) I felt the need to tell her like I meant it.

Brynda, that was a beautiful and moving post. And please, don’t be too hard on yourself. I think that most of us who have seen loved ones succumb to long and painful illnesses have had similar thoughts at some point in the journey.

I often tell my husband that I love him more than popcorn, but today I will go with Diet Coke instead. My thoughts are with you this week.

Wishing you good thoughts and peace as you move toward this milestone. I don’t think what you thought was terrible, and I understand.

You probably won’t recognize my name over here, but you and your stories about Rick helped me out so much when I was moving through my own milestones after my mother’s death. Just wanted to thank you again, for that.

Brynda, I remember reading your post from last year and wept quietly.

This post had me sobbing audibly. I can’t imagine the pain you are feeling right now, and over the last year from that matter.

There really are no words. :frowning:

I’m gonna hug the hell out of my fiance when he gets home, for sure.

You are still in my thoughts, and will continue to be even if you choose never to post on this topic again.

I’m so, so sorry you have had to go through this.

A friend of mine went through a painful divorce a few years ago. Her therapist told her that the first year is the hardest because it has all the anniversaries: first Christmas, birthday, wedding anniversary, etc. without him. After that the healing can truly begin.

I hope you find that to be true.

That was moving. Scarlett, I think your therapist is totally right. The first year after my nasty divorce was the worst, it got better after that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a nasty sunbeam coming in through the window, my eyes are watering.

I remember last year I told my SO about this after Rick died and I told him that I loved him more than Diet Coke - and that’s big because I am so very rarely without my diet coke!

It kinda stuck. I am not sure if he even remembers why, but I tell him that still and I still think of you and Rick when I say it.