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My sweet husband, Bill, passed away last night in our home of end-stage Alzheimer's. My heart is aching. I loved him so much and was blessed to be able to care for him at home during his illness and until the end. His passing wasn't unexpected and I thought I was prepared - but, somehow, I feel unprepared for this feeling of loss. He's been on Hospice since the beginning of April 2014, which has been a blessing. He was confined to a hospital bed in our home since the begin of May. Although the journey has been hard, I am grateful for the time I had with him. He gave me 28 truly wonderful years of marriage. He is the most kind, gentle, loving and unselfish human being I have ever known - and I am a better person for knowing him. He honestly treated me like a queen every single day of my life. I just left the funeral home after four hours of making decisions, arrangements, etc. His headstone will read, "Here lies a kind man." I'm exhuasted, but my heart still wants to break

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the compassion on this thread is so heartwarming, this is so much what is needed.
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Twopups, thank you very much for the kind words. I wish you well. It's so hard.
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Maggie, your response has helped all of us here that are spouses, I will copy and paste into my Keeper notes and when my time comes it will be there for me. I am 68 my husband 84, I see the slipping each and every day now, he is at home with me only ( and two furry girls - our Cockers) and this is where, hopefully, I can keep him until the end. Thank you so much.
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Yes, the heartache does stop. I am in the second year of widowhood. The grief becomes bearable. There is no "standard" timetable, and it takes as long as it takes. But healing will occur. I cherish my memories and move forward. It is easier now than it was a year ago.
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I am so sorry to hear about Bill. I can tell how much you loved him. I like to think that our loved ones have just crossed to the other side and will be waiting for us when we arrive. I hope the thought makes it easier for you to make it through the next few months. I don't think we ever stop missing someone we loved. It just grows easier with time. I am so sorry that he is gone too soon.
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My mom's hospice had a grief counseling group and it was a help. You are in my prayers too. I did think it was even harder on the widows and the ones who had lost children than those of us who had lost parents, and that was way hard enough for me. You are just hitting that one month anniversary now, and there will be first holidays and that one year mark and all kids of other things that will sneak up on you. Plan little things, like time off work, or special memorials, or to have friends around for those times, whatever will comfort you and bring you peace.
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I am so sorry for the pain I know you're feeling. It is heartbreaking. Now is the very worst time . . . at least it was for me. We were married for 26 years. Worked together for 20 of them. We were best friends, lovers and soul mates. He was sick a year before he passed away.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. It's been 18 years. (He was much older than I. I'm 67 now.) After all the hoopla was over, I went outside my country home at night and screamed. All the tension . . . all the pent-up emotions . . . just had to be released. I was lost.

But, know what? The sun will shine again. The joy will return. You'll always hold him in your heart and always be reminded. Music, perhaps, a special song, or the smell of spring time, or the bitter winter cold will bring back strong feelings that you'll marvel at. And, for a longer-than-you'd think time? You'll cry. Or get choked up. And then one day, you'll find yourself humming . . . or laughing like the old days . . . life will take a turn for the better, and you'll marvel at THAT.

Just keep on keeping on, my friend. My mantra was, "Just wake up every single morning and do the next right thing." I still do that after 18 years.

*Hugs*
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He would not want you to hide away, just think of the good times you shared together. You know that I am right behind you on the slide, so your feelings mean so much to me. I honestly have no idea ( which I'm sure you thought also) what I would do when my Husband Norman is gone, not at that point yet for me, but I know it won't be long. I, like you, just know I loved him all along and will to the end. Bless you in your future endeavors, you will make it out from under the covers. Smile for Bill.
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Thank you all so much for your kind words. It's been a little over five weeks since Bill passed and I'm still a mess - and have finally decided to go to a grief counselor. I loved him so much and it was an honor to care for him during his battle with Alzheimer's - he was that wonderful of a man. I'm sure a lot of us think this, but ours was a unique marriage - full of love, goodness and kindness. I am still so sad every day. I want to stop crying at the drop of a hat. I'm still working full-time, so that's helping to keep me distracted during the day somewhat, but I have only this week been able to go back into the office. I have pushed through to begin attending Church again because I owe so much to my Heavenly Father for helping me during the times of Bill's illness when it was so incredibly hard and I wasn't sure I could keep going - but He gave me the strength to persevere. I know He will give me strength now too - but I would love to just go to bed, pull the covers over my head and hide. I'm so hoping counseling will help. Thanks again to all who responded. Your words did help - I promise.
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My husband died four years and 2 months ago and I know the heart wrenching pain that you describe. DRBLESSED is so right. In the dark night of the soul, there is no where to go.........except to search for God. He is where the peace is. Yes, it still hurts and it takes time..........but you will be okay.
I went to GriefShare (go to the internet to find one near you) and it helped. Also, there is a widow's site on dailystrength that helped. "A Grief Observed" by CS Lewis - excellent book
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debca1 - So sorry for your loss. It is tough business losing our Moms. May all your happy memories soon bring you comfort. God bless!
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I just lost my mom this morning, several days ago she suffered a major brain bleed and there was nothing to be done for her that could restore any quality to her life, so we chose comfort care during the process of death. I was fortunate to be very close to her when she exhaled for the very last time and felt it on my cheek. When I first saw her after she was transported to the hospital via ambulance, and even though she had been intubated, she was mouthing "I love you.'' She repeated that until she was sure I understood, and then closed her eyes and went to sleep as she was being heavily sedated. My son, who was there said "What a strong, remarkable woman." I must agree. At 2AM she got her angel wings and flew away. I will feel a hole in my heart. Even today at home, I thought, "I need to call mom.", and then realized. But, as I said to her, she took my love for her with her, and she will remain in my heart until I see her again. See ya, mom, and thanks for all that your were to me, and all that you gave to me.
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First let me introduce myself Doris Griffin(Minister) I greet you in my Lord and Savior name Jesus the Christ. I offer my deepest sympathies for I myself have been down this road where you are and sometime not even words can be said to sooth the hole in your heart and the void that is so much real. But I can truly say that God gave me comfort during that time and no one knows your heart better than God for He can do what no other can do. So at this time it ok to shed your tears for God will be there to catch them and embrace you in His arms. I will offer up prayers for you and your family at this time knowing that weeping might endure for a night but joy shall come again. God Bless you and may God keep you In Jesus Name.Amen
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My heart grieves for you, and my heart is in total grief-mode for the loss of my precious Mother, who lived in my home until her rather sudden death, just a month ago. She had been progressing slowly through the stages of dementia, and had a coronary issue as well. Just one night before her death, her Dr. came to our home after his office closed because I had called him to say she didn't seem to be doing well, and I pleaded with him to refer us to Hospice to help us with knowing what to do. She perked up for his visit, and even though I told him something seemed very wrong, he briefly examined her, and proceeded to tell me "a lot of these dementia people just say they're having distress, because they're like children, and they like the extra attention." He said she didn't need Hospice, and he thought she'd be around another couple of years. The very next day she died at 4PM after a day of restlessness, and anxiety, and distress. My husband and I and two of our dear family friends gathered around the entire day with her, holding her hand, telling her all would be well, and not to fret, etc. The Dr. (after another frantic call asking him to let us have Hospice) said it was just agitated dementia, and she needed a good sleep since she'd been sleep deprived. He prescribed a drug (that Bipolar people) take to calm her down. She was thrashing about one minute, and then fall asleep, then awaken and begin the frantic thrashing. This was terrible to see, and we felt so helpless, yet continued to stroke her, and talk to her, and calm her down. Then she fell into a peaceful sleep for about an hour and never awakened. I now live with not only the indescribable sadness of the loss of the sweetest person in the world (as you described your dear husband) but also a terrible memory of that last day, as it seemed she was frightened and needed more help, but I was ill-informed by her Dr. and I thought she would sleep and then awaken and things would be back to normal. I can so relate to your crushing feeling of grief. For days I would feel as though I, too, might die. I felt so lonesome because I had my Mom with me always (since I couldn't leave her alone.) We did everything together. She was like my best little buddy, always happy to do everything and anything. Then POOF, she was gone. It's been a month, and I was a total wreck everyday for weeks. Finally, just as of three days ago, I feel I can get through a day now, without feeling the sinking feeling that my life is shredded. The horrible hole still exists, but now I feel sort of a numb anger, like my Mom was stolen from me too soon. I think it's not as painful as the earlier part of my grief, because it's something I can deal with better. Maybe it's more of a protective thing that occurs in grief to help us slowly work our way through to seeing that we CAN go on, and we MUST go on, and our loved ones want us to go on, and not be forever so sad that we feel immobilized. I didn't mean to ramble, but I wanted to reach out to you in your grief, to tell you about my experience, because I really thought I'd never feel any tiny measure of happiness again. Being with your loved one every single day, and then having them disappear, is excruciating beyond belief, but trust me.....as I speak from very recently doing this, it changes into something that is easier to handle. I still cry at a drop of a hat...as a memory of her sweet self fills my brain, but I can stop, and turn it into a sense of reality. A sweet memory. Thank God for our sweet memories!!! Soon they will bring us mostly joy! God bless you, and make you strong through this very hard time. Hugs to you.
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It takes time, especially when you loose someone you loved so much. I lost my mother May 10th of this year and all I feel is numbness. I go through the motions of living, but it takes so much effort to find joy in the good surrounding my life. My heartfelt condolences to you.
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I'm so sorry for your loss.
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May God continue to bless you. I write this through tears for your experience mirrors my own except for the dates. Losing my dear mate happened the end of April. We, too, had hospice care/help for the last 3 months. The hole in my heart, like yours, is huge and still rather fresh. I give God the glory for making it possible for me to provide the care he needed here at home, a place he could feel comfortable and familiar despite the cruelty of Alzheimers. I miss him terribly but , with the passing of time, I realize that he is now free of the effects of the disease which had robbed him of so much for the last 13 years. The memories of the last months and the total care he needed, are fading a bit and I am remembering so many good and funny things we shared. I'm thinking those good memories will outweigh the sad ones for sure.

When folks tell you to take care of yourself now, do so. The exhaustion should pass and you will have the strength to go on and honor Bill's memory in all the ways that come to your heart. If you have a good physician, go get a check up, be pro-active about your health, and stay as active as possible.

From my hurting heart to yours...Hugs.
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How fortunate you were able to care for your dear husband at home. My heartfelt condolences for your loss. May all those years of happy memories soon bring you comfort.

Just rest and take really good care of yourself. You know that is what your husband would want for you now.
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Nithisfault I'm so sorry for your loss but as you stated you gained some much by loving your wonderful husband.

Soon enough all the exhausting memories will dull and you'll be smiling thinking of the happier ones.. Hugs.
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I, too, remember when I first read your post. I remembered thinking that you had such a great outlook towards your husband - based on your avatar name"not his fault." I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband. You both had a true marriage that survived with love and through 'sickness and in health'. I have heard of negative stories here of some of things that a spouse would do to their dementia spouse. You continued to show your love and respect to your husband. You were a wonderful wife. I'm so sorry. {{{{HUGS}}}
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Bless your heart. First of all, my heart truly goes out to you and I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious husband, Bill. I remember when you first joined us. I admire you so much and know how much it meant to your husband to be home, with you, and I am thankful you had that extra time together. I don't think you can ever be prepared for this...even when we know it is approaching, when it arrives, there is just no way to be prepared. It sounds like the two of you had a true real life love story and how wonderful is that! I do think the pain lessens as time passes, it is not easy, it is not quick and it is a different journey for each of us...but in the interim, I pray you can hold onto the good memories, of which it sounds like there was a weath, know that you were there, as promised, throughout the journey...and to me, I am a true believer we will be reunited again one happy day....my heart and prayers go out to you.....
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