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Active Questions

How do you cope with the death of a husband?
Married Life / 12:20 PM - Wednesday December 24, 2008

How do you cope with the death of a husband?

My beloved husband of twenty-two years died two days ago. I am numb, I can't quit crying...I hurt when I eat, I can't sleep, I don't know what to do with his things. What do you do with a dead man's shoes and glasses and teeth??? Half the time I cry the other half I am so angry...It hurts in my heart so bad that I think I might die just because he did. Help me.

Update: December 25, 2008.
I can't update you all and say that everything is okay. After all, it is Christmas and he is gone. But I can say that hearing from people who have been in my situation was a good experience. As I read each of your messages and absorbed the fact that so many others of you have lived through this and recovered, some only a little, some even more, I began to think that I might get through it too. I started to realize it will take some time to get to where the most mature of you are but I am going to make it there. You can stop reading here if you like, the rest of this may be detail some of you might not want to read. A couple of things happened yesterday that also contributed to a more equitable feeling in my soul. My husband had been extremely ill since July. The docotors considered him a success story because in his time at the hospital he suffered two strokes, ARDS -- which is a lung problem that is fatal a majority of the time, he had pneumonia three times while he was there, he was intubated for almost 60 days and then he had a tracheostomy, he had bilateral pulmonary emboli and an alveolar bleed. He really had been through the ringer and his survival was, in my mind, a prayer-fed miracle. However time and unforseen ocurrances befall us all. The Coroner called me. Not something everyone would want on Christmas Eve but it was a good thing for me. My husband died of a heart attack. Not something any of us really expected. But it took a terrible weight off of me, just to know the cause of his death. You see, because he had breathing issues I was vigilant and when he would stop breathing at night I would poke him, or if he snored very hard, it would keep me awake. In any case I thought he died because he stopped breathing, but the coroners report means to me that actually he stopped breathing because he died. I hope you all understand how that caused me to think it was my fault and that blaming myself for my husbands death caused me so much pain I thought that I would pass away from the pain of it all. After the call, the sorrow and loneliness continue but the pain, the stomach problem and the inability to sleep have passed. Last night I wore his watch, and hugged his pillow and had a very vivid dream of him. So thanks to you all for helping me. My mom and my sister are here and they hug me when I cry. Go now, and have some trkey and some pumpkin pie and know that your effort was so appreciated by me, you were there when I needed someone...

- Asked by sweetwife, A Married Girl, Female, 56-65, Artist / Musician / Writer

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After reading your post, I wanted to reach through my screen and give you a big hug. You have my deepest, deepest sympathy.

You are grieving...and it is natural to feel the way you do...natural AND necessary. I remember how lonely my dad was after my mom passed...they were married just short of 50 years.

You will hurt...but only for a while. Your husband would not want you to suffer needlessly...and I am sure he would not want you to join him before it is your time.

Surround yourself with people who love you for a while...friends and family. If I may, I would like to suggest grief counseling. These people do WONDERFUL things in helping you work through the grieving process.

Please....try to remember all of the good and loving times you spent together. It will get better as time passes. heartfelt condolences to you. <hug>

- Response by drumboi2, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65

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I couldn't imagine your grief....and even more shocking is you on here asking the question? There must be family,friends,priest,e tc outside of answerology that you NEED to talk to on many levels.

- Response by honeywillow, A Life of the Party, Female, 46-55, Edmonton, Who Cares?

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How do you cope? It has been 5 1/2 years since mine passed and there are times I still can't answer that question...but I do somehow.

You pray, you think of all the wonderful things, you curl up in his sweater, you spray his pillow with his cologne, you cry, you rage against God for taking him from you, you grasp that God ultimately won't give you anything you can't handle. You visit his family and look at old pictures, you share laughs of the great things he did or silly ways he had with your kids. You think of it all, you feel it all, you mourn it all and you celebrate it all.

It hurts like hell, trust me. But know that he loved you yesterday, he loves you today and he'll love you tomorrow. That never dies and one day you will be joined again and it will be like time had never stopped.

- Response by sassafras, A Life of the Party, Female, 36-45, Atlanta, Other Profession

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I am so sorry for you loss. Right now you don't do anything with his things, you get rid of them when you are ready. You can take his old clothes and get a quilt made out of them. My sister lost her husand last year, after being married for 34 years, it was very hard at first and it took her 6 months before she was ready to get rid of his things, and she had two quilts made out of his clothes, one for her and one for her daughter. My Mom passed away on thanksgiving, my Dad is hanging in there okay, he had a really tough couple of weeks, he watches tv in his chair but sleeps in my Mom's chair, but is better now, he wants my sister to take her clothes and make a quilt for him as well, but he wants her to do it now, doesn't want to wait. We all deal with death differently but you need to know that even though it hurts really bad right now, it will get better, you will never forget but the pain will be lessened and in time you will remember all the good times and it will make you smile. Again I am so sorry for you loss.

- Response by screambeams, A Cool Mom, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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I dont know. Im sorry that you are in such pain.
Maybe allow yourself some weeks to cry, dont force yourself to "be fine"

- Response by sailormoon, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Other Profession

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I am so sorry. Please keep posting, as I know that there are several women here who've been through the same agony, I am quite sure that when they hear you, they'll help you.

Please hang in there.

- Response by unclemeat, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Who Cares?

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I am so sorry for your loss and this would be the hardest time of year to have to deal with that. Like the other posts try to just get out with friends and family surround yourself with them and let them be there for you to lean on.

It may sound crazy and maybe not right now but watch the movie PS I love you!!! I gurantee your husband is up somewhere saying that over and over and over to you too.

- Response by melodyalise, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Salt Lake City, Managerial

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be assured that what we commonly call death is the beginning of a purely spiritual and fully conscious existence;be assured that you two will meet again;he wants you to celebrate your love and his memory,not to suffer.There is a greater purpose and both of you are entwined for eternity.Open yourself to subtle signs of him around you and in your dreams;he will honor your mutual love with sure signs

- Response by cocoon, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, New York, Alternative Medicine

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I dont think you can keep them. You have to sell them. Meromies are going kill you. Keep him close in your heart. I am not sure what to do with teeth. But keep him close and remember the good times. Your lifes not over and dont give up. Its going to get better I am sorry for your lose.

- Response by twilightzone85, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 29-35, Milwaukee, Food Service

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Sweetie...I am so sorry for your loss..I have not much to offer, because what can one say? I cannot stop your pain, but I would if I could. Here is a hug,(((HUGS))) and know you have some good people out there that care about you, and will be there for you.

- Response by voodoo68, A Hippie Chick, Female, 46-55, Medical / Dental

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Having lost a wife 6 days before Christmas, I know how this feels. Allow yourself time to grieve, breathe in and then breathe out, don't make any more changes in your life for at least a year. Donate the clothes to good will, but put a value on them at tax time, it's deductible and legal, as well as tools, autos, computers, etc. The things you decide to keep put them in a box and don't open it for a year unless absolutely needed for legal purposes, ie life insurance etc. Eventually you'll see this differently than you can now. Much love f you in this time o

- Response by terrible, A Career Man, Male, 46-55, Seattle, Construction

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I lost both parents within 2 weeks of each other. I had not even gotten over Mom's death, and then my Dad died. Talk about a shocking loss!
But, time is the great healer. No, you don't forget, but the sharp pain gradually goes away, and then the pleasant memories take over.
I had a difficult time going into my parents house after that, seeing all of their belongings, the smells of the house, it was like the just got up and walked out. It took me 2 and 1/2 years to sell the house, longer to sell their cars. I donated their clothes to Goodwill and Vietnam Veterans.
The first Thanksgiving and Christmas were especially tough, with both of them gone, their seats at the dinner table empty.

You simply just have to hang in there, take it day by day. Time will heal your wounds, trust me. In the meantime, don't spend too much time alone, do volunteer work, keep busy. Don't listen to sad music, don't drink alcohol. You will get through this, believe me.

- Response by rhonda35, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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just because someone is dead does not mean you don't still have a relationship with them... very comforting to me.... yes they are gone from this world.... but the relationship continues.... but on a different level.

- Response by kypevans, A Career Woman, Female, 56-65, Medical / Dental

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I am so sorry for your loss, my mom died 2 weeks before Christmas and it's a VERY hard thing to deal with, especially when you have spent many years 'enjoying' one another...I am glad to hear that you are finding some 'peace' and I wish you all the best...I have no words that will/can take away your pain, but I can say that you are in my prayers and I wish for you nothing but strength, hope, health and comfort in knowing that you did all you could for your husband and you should be grateful that you had the time with him that you did...take care and stay strong...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

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I just want to say i'm so sorry for your loss. If i could, i'd take your pain away but as it is i cant even do that for myself. I lost my father this year at the end of october, he like your husband died of a heart attack, unlike your husband he had no prior illness and for that i am glad. I couldn't have seen him suffer. This is my first Christmas without him, and its been a hard one as i am sure it will be for you.

There are no words to be said that will make it better, no words to provide comfort. The only thing that has got me through is knowing that my father wouldn't want me to stop living my life and i'm sure your husband wouldn't want you to give up either . I know it will be hard for you, but just take it one day at a time, even one hour at a time, one minute or even one second. Whatever gets you through and remember to talk about how you feel , keeping it bottled up will do you no good.

- Response by misspixie, An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25, Artist / Musician / Writer

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My husband of 7 years was killed in a car accident when I was 29 and he was 39. We had a 6 year old daughter. When the police called to tell me, I fell on the floor and couldn't breathe. I wanted to die. What kept me focused was that I need to be around to raise our child.

However, there is a blank spot in my memory of several years. I truly don't remember anything, I was in such a state of grief.

It will take you YEARS to get over it. I'm not sure you will ever REALLY get over it. But with time you will reach the point where you can let those memories and that dream go, and create a new dream for yourself. You will remember him fondly and create room in your heart and life to love someone else. Just give it time and cry as much as you want. Don't hold back.

And talk to him! He is there around you, checking to make sure you are all right. He will be there until you heal enough and send him away to do what he needs to do on the other side.

- Response by msheartbeat, A Trendsetter, Female, 46-55, San Francisco, Self-Employed

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I'm so very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and the rest of your family. I can't answer you question on how to cope since I don't have that experience. God Bless You and yours.

- Response by mysticdream44, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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Heartfelt sympathy to you, I can't even begin to know how you feel. The pain my 4 yr old is going through is hard to see, as he lost both grandparents this year, so I can only tell you to take care of yourself because grief can be very debilitating.

I wanted to ask you about your "dream". Do you believe it to be an actual dream or was it a real visit? I wanted to suggest that if you so desire you can make contact with him. You can get a reading with a medium (choose very carefully, of course) or you can read books on how to make contact. This is very comforting to some when they are so grief stricken. In the meantime, you can talk out loud to him when you are putting his things away or clearing them. The watch must hold some significance, so wear it often. Also, I suggest to give his clothes and shoes to the homeless in your area, if there are none send them here please, we have soooooo many. Keep anything that he may have worn that makes you smile! Know that he is never really gone and may appear again to you in a newly born or very young grandchild, niece, nephew, or child of a close friend. God Bless and Keep you, Your angels surround you and you are NEVER alone.

Being on this site is also good therapy! LOL! Come here often!

May peace and love surround you always, you are on my prayer chain, Dawn

- Response by hooker, A Life of the Party, Female, 46-55, New Orleans, Retired

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Thank you for touching my heart. You wearing his watch and hugging his pillow and having that dream and reaping comfort from his true cause of death have made me cry. Please know our prayers are with you for your heart to heal and let us know how you are doing. Thinking of you.

- Response by dreamdancer, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Houston, Other Profession

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I am lifting you and your family up in prayer right now. Someone very special to me died the same day your husband did only it was a year ago. I know that all of God's Angels are surrounding you today and will continue to hold you up on days when you don't have the strength to stand up on your own.
Be Not Afraid!

- Response by bnotafraid, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Artist / Musician / Writer

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I am so sorry for your loss. I can't exactly share what you are going through with the loss of a husband but I experience the loss of my dad just a few weeks ago. Some of what you said about blaming yourself rang true with me. It was sudden and unexpected that my dad died, in a car accident. I've been blaming myself, if I hadn't let him and mom take my son, maybe it would have been different (mom and son are ok btw) or maybe if I hadn't lost my job a couple months ago.. I totally saw a chain of events that may not have happened if I hadn't lost my job that would have made it so this couldn't have happened. I blamed myself, my former boss, God... and I'm still in the anger phase... but it's getting better already... a little. I thought my thoughts were crazy until I found out that other family members were having similar thoughts. So, know that anything you are experiencing is not crazy or wrong, it's very normal and necessary.

As for my mom, she said that we (her kids) can't understand what she is going through as a grieving wife. That it's different for us, as her mother said it was for her when my grandpa died. She is not sure what to do at this point either, but she is really relying on family right now and we and our extended family are doing all we can to be there for her and each other as needed. She is gaining strength with them and knowing she is needed in people's lives. That people love her and are there for her. So, it's good to hear you have your mom and sister there for you.

take time to heal and know that there are people who love you. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

- Response by deadfish, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 36-45, Kansas City, Other Profession

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You will be are already on your way to "better moments" in Life. Continue Learning,,,continue "Loving".

- Response by joseraul, A Creative, Male, 56-65, Transportation

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There isn't a answer that one size fits all. I'm in my 7th month of no huband to hold and feel warmth of 41 years. I cry everyday several times. I'm scared that this will be how I am forever.
Removing his things was the most overwhelming feeling. It was like he was leaving again. I think of him 24/7 and want him to be with me again. If I didn't have 4 sons that need me and 3 grandkids that couldn't live losing PapaBear and then losing Gramma. My grand daughter sais "Gramma don't die before you see my babies, I want them to love you like I do. She's 8.
We will grow strong, some sooner than others. Some day the pain will be less. I just can't see that yet or why or what will change this feeling.

- Response by wewenttome, A Thinker, Female, 56-65

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