A month ago my husband (86) passed away. He had had health problems for a long time (although apparently not serious illness). He could hardly walk with a walker, slept a lot, hardly ate and had lost a lot of weight. I have rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, but being his only caregiver I took care of him the best I could. He had many bladder and bowel accidents, and I would spend some nights cleaning him and changing his clothes and bedding. So one day I prayed the Lord to take him, but immediately I felt bad and added that only if it was His will and if it wasn't something that I would regret afterwards. In the last months it became harder for me to take care of him, and take him to doctors' visits, so when a nurse suggested home hospice care and explained that I would have help with him and I wouldn't have to take him to the doctors since he would have nurses and home help providers come to the house, I thought it was convenient. I loved my husband but I was feeling completely exhausted,

Two days before his death he had a very serious constipation problem. I gave him a tablet prescribed by the nurse, but since he refused to drink much water; it didn't work. That night he was struggling a lot (I felt so sorry for him), so I gave him another tablet with a full glass of water. A little after, he went to the bathroom and had a bowel movement (we both felt relieved), but later he started having terrible diarrhea and later he started to vomit a black liquid. Lots of it. I got scared and called hospice, but it was a long time before the nurse came. She then said he needed to to be taken to the hospice installations. When we got there the head nurse told me they would keep him there for a couple or three days, so I assumed his condition was not so critical. He kept saying he wanted to go back home, and complaining of feeling very cold. They added some blankets, but he insisted he wanted to go home. I told him to be patient, that he needed to stay so he could get better. Since I had not slept for two days I thought it was OK for me to come home and sleep. The following morning when I got there I and my daughter tried to wake him up. His mouth was wide open and he was breathing heavily and did not respond to us. The nurse told us he had had a very bad agitated night and had been vomiting a lot of the black liquid (I understand it was blood). She told me they had sedated him. I asked her if that was the reason he couldn't wake up, but she said that the medication should have worn off a long time before. We were at his side all day and his breathing pattern changed, and then there was a gurgling noise coming from his chest. He died at noon.

I am being tormented by my grief and my feelings of guilt: first, because I had prayed some time before for God to take him and second, because I didn't spend that night at his side.

Another thing that is tormenting me is that I can't understand why, just one day before he was conscious and talking, and the next day he died. I didn't receive an explanation for the cause of his death.

Now I feel so miserable. I feel so sad and lonely without him. I miss him terribly. The house feels so empty without him. I feel I am in deep depression (and I'm taking medication for it). If I could go back in time, I would have him back with me, even if I had to take care of him the way I was doing it.

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I am so grateful for all your words of assurance and encouragement in reply to my post. I am in great need of support right now, so your messages have been a great blessing. I know I will continue to grieve for my husband and feel lonely without him, but I feel like I am part of a group of people that understands me. Thank you and God bless you.
Helpful Answer (20)
cherokeegrrl54 Oct 2019
You bet we understand!! Please continue to heal from the loss of your beloved does take time, every one grieves differently.....give yourself the gift of healing....come here to let us know how you’re progressing....lots of love here to go around💞
I am sorry for the loss of your beloved husband, you have my deepest condolences.

You did not kill your husband by asking God to take him home, my friend. He was long suffering, and you were hoping to see an END to it. It was his time to leave the Earth, and that's why he died. It was blessedly fast and that is a wonderful thing.

Being that he'd lost a lot of weight and had been ill for so long, he probably had cancer which led to him vomiting blood. Nothing you did or didn't do caused his death, and hospice only eased any discomfort he may have been feeling.

You were not intended to be at his side when he passed,,,,,,he did not want your last memory of him to be an ugly one, so you were spared that sight.

Please try not to feel guilty or responsible in any way for your husband's passing. You were a wonderful care giver and wife, and I'm sure he was grateful for all you'd done. He is at peace now, in the next phase of his eternal life, where all is well and no more pain exists.

Wishing you peace and Gods comfort in your time of grief.
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anonymous828521 Oct 2019
Right on lealonnie1.
Listen Doglover, you are not to blame, in any way, for your husb suffering or dying. There's no perfect caregiver, & no perfect human. You did nothing hateful, so give it to the Lord to manage. Grieving is of course normal, & you are probably in shock. (But please don't keep condemning yourself, or you'll become sick or go crazy from it). We aren't God, so simply ask forgiveness for whatever u need, & then RECEIVE the forgiveness, (cuz that part is up to you). We all need God's forgiveness, (even the ones who don't think so)! 😉😉.
You have the right to live on.
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I am so sorry that your husband died. I am sorry that you were not able to be with him. None of it is your fault though. He is at peace like you wanted him to be. There was nothing wrong with your prayer and you included the most important thing, ‘thy will be done.’ So you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

Of course you miss him. How long were you married? Tell us about him if you like. I’m sure he was a very special man. We are here to listen to whatever you wish to share.

It is so obvious that you loved your husband. You are grieving and you are questioning everything. Both are perfectly normal. We all grieve and we all wonder about things.

Hugs for you. Take care.
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Please read lealonnies post.....i agree with everything she said. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. Please do not feel guilty , you did nothing wrong. What you described sounds like end of life for someone with cancer. Ive experienced it first hand with my husband as he was actively dying. Please know that he is no longer suffering, no longer in pain, you did the very best you could to take good care of him. Yes you miss him, and i know that feeling of loneliness. Please talk to a hospice counselor or chaplain, or take advantage of the grief counseling they offer. I understand and You will be in my daily prayers, for peace and healing for you. Liz
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anonymous828521 Oct 2019
Geat Cherokeegrl! 👍
It sounds like you loved each other very much. I rather think your husband would be sad that you are so upset and feeling guilty. You were exhausted. He knows you love him and did your best but needed to sleep too.

Losing someone unexpectedly, however ill they are is a terrible shock. I truly understand your genuine desire to want to rewind and redo that time. I’ve been there. But you need to admit that you are human, that with the best will in the world, you were totally exhausted and in need of sleep.

Thats not a crime, that’s normal human frailty. You and your husband shared, I’m presuming here, many years of marriage, and I hope, some wonderful times together. I’m sure if you consider your husbands many attributes, they would include a desire that you be happy for him that he is no longer suffering.

It rather sounds like the constipation feeling was in actual fact something else. Did your husband have a gastric ulcer? That can cause black vomit and faecal matter. You were right to take him to hospital with that happening - even though looking back you wish you hadn’t.

I am so sorry that the sudden loss, and lack of sleep, has triggered your depression. It’s very hard to lose a spouse whatever age and health. I see you have faith, I always loved the footsteps in the sand poem - where at the worse times - there was only a single set of footprints and they thought they were alone, and God says that’s when they were being carried.

I’d love to hear more about you and your husband, when you feel able to. My family have lupus so RA as that’s a part of it, it affected both aunts sight very much too.


Shall be thinking of you and and hope you keep in touch
Helpful Answer (11)
anonymous828521 Oct 2019
Beautifully said, Dare
Guilt and second guessing are so very normal after the death of a person You were taking care of, especially a spouse. You and your husband were fortunate to have a hospice facility that could take over at the end and could give you a break and could sedate your husband. Your husband's illnesses had become overwhelming; it was time for his suffering to end.

You will feel stunned for awhile by the sudden silence and emptiness at home. You will feel confusion, depression, and lack of concentration and patience and think maybe you need to move to "The Home for Dementia." The death of a spouse causes the equivalent of PTSD in the surviving spouse.

Take all the time you need to work through your grief. There are no "should's" about how long that takes or about how bumpy a ride it may be. Break down tasks into tiny pieces to make day to day life manageable. There is no rush for anything. Let people at your bank, Motor Vehicle Department, etc guide you through paper work. They will help you get it done correctly.

Talk to your husband: out loud if you wish, or written down. If you can find a support group, especially one for the newly widowed that encourages people to talk and share feelings,, you can talk about your guilt and depression and you will hear from others that your feelings are universal and you are not really plunging into built-in Dementia.

Be gentle with yourself. You are physically and emotionally exhausted and grieving takes a lot of energy. Please keep contact with the forum so we can know how you are doing.
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I have to tell you...God does not work that way. He does things in HIS time not ours.
I have asked God for lots of things and he has not out right granted my request that quickly!
There were plenty of times during my Husbands illness that I asked God to end his ordeal. (I can't say suffering because I really think with dementia the person WITH dementia does not suffer, it is the family that watches the decline of their loved one that suffers) And God gave me LOTS of other things in stead of taking the love of my life.
He gave me patience
He gave me the insight to deal with all the "problems" that we faced.
He gave me the ability to see that I was gaining knowledge to pass on to others
He gave me a new focus, I now volunteer for the Hospice that helped me care for my Husband.
He gave me a strength that I did not know I had.

It has not been easy
It does hurt..sometimes more than others.

You did the best that you could.
You can not nor should you feel guilty about anything.
Talk to Hospice about Bereavement counseling they usually have a group but you should be able to talk to a Counselor one on one. If you think you need more than that talk to your doctor about seeing a therapist.
But know what you are going through..the doubts, the anger, the guilt the frustration is all normal.
Helpful Answer (10)
vicky64 Oct 2019
Good Morning,
What a wonderful reply!!  We do gain patience, insight and a knowledge of our own abilities to do things..........all while we care for the ones we love and watch them fade away..  I think getting a focus afterwards is so important!! Great answer!
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Very sorry for your loss.

Please, do not beat yourself up. You did soooo much for your husband. Do not forget that. You had to take care of yourself too and that is not something to feel guilty about.

It is not necessary to stay by someone's bedside 24/7, so it is ok that you went home. He was safe. He was being cared for.

He was pretty old, had been failing for what sounds like a long time and sooner or later the end was inevitable.

Be kind to yourself.
Helpful Answer (9)
anonymous828521 Oct 2019
Well said againx100 👍
I'm so sorry for what you have and what you are going through. I lost my wife this past August and I've suffered the same as you.

My wife had many health problems which prevented her to have a normal life. I, like you was her caregiver until I couldn't do it anymore and her health got much worse resulting in her going to a nursing home. Even at the NH, I would do as much as I could to make her comfortable.

Just as you, it was hard for me do do things for her. Her health kept getting worse and I asked God to end her suffering. She wanted to die and she asked Him also. For her last year I was with her every day. But when she died I wasn't with her which still troubles me today.

Your husband suffered terribly, but you were there for him in spite of your health problems. You did the best you could, so don't feel guilt, there's nothing to feel guilty about.

You are upset because of not knowing what caused your husbands death. First look at the death certificate, it will have the cause of death on it. It you still have questions, simply call the office of the doctor who signed the certificate and explain what you want.

And don't feel guilt about asking God to take him. You chose the only possibility of finding help for your husband. I did the same but I have asked God for His forgiveness. I was actually angry at God and told Him I don't believe in Him anymore. That's how desperate I was. I went to my church and told the priest what I had done. He assured me that everything is okay.

Regarding your loneliness and your grief. You must seek grief counseling, it helps. Call your church or your local VNA, they can help you find a meeting place. And to help you with your loneliness, get out of the house and/or invite family and friends to visit you. What I have experienced is getting out and doing whatever I can think of sometimes gets my mind off my wife, but soon as I return home the loneliness starts all over. Only time will help.

We both have similar stories. It will take some time before we start feeling relief from what we are going through

I wish you well and express my deepest sympathy for your loss. May the days ahead lessen the hurt that you are experiencing. God bless.
Helpful Answer (9)
RedVanAnnie Oct 2019
It's OK to be mad at God once in a while. He/She can take it.

And you are quite right that over time you will move into your new life and your new reality and your memories of your wife will come with more smiles and less depression.

I remember a passage about dying from a booklet Hospice gave me when I was caring for my husband. It suggested that the dying person sometimes "picks their time" and may prefer to do die at a moment when you are not there. I don't know if there is any truth to that, but the idea has always comforted me.
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