How do you adjust to the loss of a spouse when you have been caregiver for over 30 years?

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I can't even begin to comprehend that he is gone. During the last 3 years he was ventilator dependent and paralyzed, and had 24 hours nursing care in the home. On February 9th, my 100 year old mother died. She lived in a different town and I went up there to arrange her funeral and clean out her room in assisted living. I was gone for a week. I was back no more than 2 days when my sister-in-law (in same town as mom) died and back I went. I was gone for 3 days this time. I returned on a Monday. The following Saturday my husband was very ill and I said we had to go to the emergency room. He told me, the EMTs and the ER doc that he was refusing treatment and wanted to die. For the next 24 hours I stayed by him as the vent was disconnected and he finally breathed his last. Now I was planning a funeral again in town, then a whirlwind trip out of state to bury him in the cemetery at the little country church where he grew up. Now I am home a week with thank yous to write from Mom and his funeral, rattling around an empty house, unemployed since December, and just feeling lost. Yesterday all I did was sit in a chair and stare all day. I'm scared this could become my norm. How do I get through all this crazy season of loss?

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Doreen, you must be on overload, your plate, nay, your table is too full. My deep sympathies to you. No, this will NOT become your norm; your body and your mind need a break from the terrible strain that it has been under. There are some small steps that you can take, they may make you feel better.
1. Take a vitamin every day.
2. If you can, make sure that you are eating a fairly balanced diet, with some fruit and vegetables and protein.
3. Set yourself a task to do each day, small ones, like "write 2 thanks yous". If you have alist of notes to write, tick them off each day; you'll feel some sense of accomplishment.
4. If you are in your own town, call your doc; if not, find an internist who can see you to check out if your own health is okay. You might consider going on antidepressants for a bit to help cope with this tremendous loss. So sorry for all that you are going through. All my best, Barbara
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Thank you for your prayers and sympathy. I find it is the ones who have passed through this valley who have the most to offer in the way of encouragement. I hope things are better for you now, and I have hope that there will be light at the end of this very long tunnel.
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doreenblue, first I want to extend my deepest sympathy for the loss of your husband, mother, and sister-in-law. To lose all of them in such a short time is almost too hard to comprehend. Your plate has overflowed and then some. You are deeply grieving, you're lost and the reality is settling in. I hope you have some support from family and/or friends. This is too much to get through alone.
Several years ago I lost my sweet dad, my BIL, my dad's brother and two very dear cousins within four months and unbeknownst to me, I had an infected gall bladder. All of this was too much and I went into a deep, horrible depression. It took months of counseling, medication and my desire to get better to crawl out of this hellhole. Those were the darkest days of my life. I desperately needed help and I got it. I encourage you to seek help also. There is nothing wrong in asking. I don't throw around religious stuff very often, but I will keep you in my prayers. I am so terribly saddened by your post.
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