I'm already grieving the loss of my husband although he's still alive. How can I cope with this?

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My husband has been diagnosed with terminal liver disease. In 6 wks. he's gone from a vibrant,healthy man who could work circles around men half his age, to an emanciated feeble man. I'll call his cell phone just to hear his voice mail message and what his voice use to sound like. My parents and in-laws are still alive so I haven't had to deal with this before. I'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around it. I feel like I'm already grieving the loss of my husband although he's still alive.

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You have so many things going on at one time. It's "unnatural" for you to lose your young husband, while all of the elders are still living. That makes the grief for all of you extra hard. His parents, and yours, are likely thinking that it should be one of them.

Then you are seeing the man you knew disappear as his vitality is lost. It's almost like he's a different man.

You also are are experiencing what is called anticipatory grief - you are grieving his loss even though he is still with you. You know he will die and it's impossible to accept this all at once. You will likely feel anger, resentment and fear as well as love.

It's a scary time for you, and the elders in your family are also grieving, so I hope you can find someone to talk with, outside the family.

You need friends, but you also need professional support. Is your husband under hospice care? Hospice care is wonderful in so many ways. They can help him be more comfortable physically and spiritually and help all of you with support and grief counseling. Hospice is covered by most insurance and if you don't have insurance, they will still find a way.

Please don't go through this without help. If you have a problem finding hospice care, please type in hospice into the search on this site. There is an article that tells you how to find hospice help. Or email the site people and they will help you get in touch with me and I'll direct you to help. Take care of yourself. You need your strength.
Blessings,
Carol Bradley Bursack
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Hello Linda my name is Chris;
My thoughts and Prayers are with you,I know everything gets overwhelming and sometime you wish you could just run away from all the bad! I lost my Mom 2 years ago and I still cant believe it happened.She was treated for lung cancer,she lived for three years more,Then in November of 2005 I brought her to the DR's everything happened so fast. She was admitted to the Hospital where they ran all the tests and when I went to pick her up the next day there was a Dr sitting there,He told me she could go home or to a nursing home I barked at him and said My Mother will go home.The next thing he said was we can send Hospice to the home,again I barked what are you talking about Hospice is for dying people! My Beautiful Mom turned to me and said Baby Girl I'm Dying! But I will have one more birthday and Christmas with you.I went completly numb,My Mom,My Bestfriend,what was I going to do,I had to be strong Bull I needed to scream,cry,run.But she was my reason for being strong.I took her home,The next day they sent Diane the Hospice Nurse our Angel.My Mom loved her right from the start.That was Dec.1st.Hospice is wonderful believe me put everything aside and call they will help you thru every step,And Lord knows you need that outsider now.And before long they become part of your life as well as your loved one.My Mom Passed away on her birthday Jan 5th 2006 so she was right when she said she would have one more birthday and one more Chrismas.She was at pease with all her Children with her.Please Take Care of You Too..This helps me Heal to Thank You Chris
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This post is ten years old. Is this a record?
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Record? I doubt it. There are probably others of the same vintage out there. Were you searching for this topic?
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Carol, thank you so much for your understanding and words of encouragement. Our community has a hospice organization so I'll definitely contact them once he's at that point. I need to wade through all the SS Disability paperwork and get them submitted, do a Living Will, contact the VA, etc. Overwhelming. Our community also has a Caregivers support group that I'm going to contact. I have a great support system here at work and my boss is WONDERFUL. I'm very blessed in that regard. Again, thank you. -Linda
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Hi Chris & Carol, thank you so much for sharing. You're absolutely right ... I always thought Hospice was for when they were in the last stages and on death's door. So grateful to know differently. The doctors say the only hope for my husband's survival is a liver transplant, so we're going to start that process. He'll have to be evaluated by a transplant team to see where he'll be placed in the waiting list of people needing a liver. Then the waiting.... The problem is that the whole process can take up to six months, and that's about all the time he has left, so we're really going to be in a race with time. We have a lot of people praying for him. Again, thank you both so much. Linda
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