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My husband has end stage congestive heart failure. He is on hospice now and daily declining. Each day he is getting weaker, more frail, sleeping more. How do I get past this and accept that he is not going to be with me much longer? We have been married for 41 great years. Have 4 children together. All with their own families. I am 18 years younger then he is. He is 82.
I know in my mind that that the end is coming, but My heart is breaking seeing him wither away in front of my eyes day by day. How do I get past this continual feeling of sadness and the crying. I always thought of myself as a strong person but now am not so sure.
I have people to talk with, started on antidepressants.
I try not to cry in front of him but sometimes we end up crying together.....which I guess is OK. I think my husband is accepting of his what is coming.
Financially I will be fine when he is gone. He has made sure of that for that I am thankful
Is this normal? Any ideas how to get past this phase and accept what the is coming quicker then I want.

Worried wife113

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Yes, we can grieve while our loved one is still with us. It actually helps in the long run, because you are "ahead of the curve" in the next stage.
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There's nothing wrong with crying. We often begin to mourn our loved ones while they're still with us. And I'm afraid there's no "getting past it". You have to go through it. Allow yourself to feel it.
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Ten years ago I was in the same place. My husband, 15 yrs older than me, was 79; we'd been married 41 years, 4 kids, 6 grandkids. He had CHF as well as recurrent lymphoma. The lymphoma stopped responding to treatment about April; it was a six-month wind-down. One day in April, with no lead-in, said "Y'know, we have a lot of choices in life. We can pretty much believe what we want, do what we want, but this is one choice we don't have." Fortunately, his mind was clear up to the last week. They were beginning to mention hospice when it was becoming hard for him to get food down and he was coughing it back up and a feeding tube didn't work (he pulled it out the first night). We had our own business and I took him to work every day, even though he wasn't able to do much but we still had his expertise available. I found that he did better out with people than at home. After Saturday and Sunday at home, Monday was harder to get him up and ready for the day; by Friday he woke up more easily. We were blessed by having 2 daughters and one son-in-law helping with him, as well as the sons available as much as they could be (they both lived about 1-2hrs away) as well as good friends and a good crew at work. He lost about 25 pounds in August, and there wasn't anything I could do except deal with every day as it came, and realize that I couldn't ask him to hang on any longer and there wasn't anything I could do to change that. I had to take him back into ER about the first week in November; they had him under observation and the folks at work covered for me so I could stay with him as much as possible. That last week they let us bring the local grandkids in; even a ten-year-old, and he gave them a real patriarchal blessing. Late in the week he was hallucinating; not anything scary. The day after that when I came in very early in the morning (I tried to get there before the night shift left) he was just beoming unresponsive, and they were just getting ready to move him down to an observation unit near (but not in) ICU. I called the kids, they called their aunts and uncles and cousins and friends, and we had a lot of folks there between the room and a waiting room. His brothers and sisters came by for a little while but didn't stay, finding the reality too tough (he was the oldest). A bunch of the nieces and nephews stayed with us all day, as well as folks from our church. He slipped away in the evening. I just had to deal with life; figure out who I was without him (widowed friends and relatives were a lot of help; spent an afternoon on the phone with my youngest brother's widow, who was also quite a bit younger than he was, and later was able to spend some time with her.) We had his family over for thanksgiving as we normally did, and then I spent New Years with my own family in my folks' home town. People who had known me before I married were a big help; many of them knew and loved him as well. Several of his siblings still find it hard to see me without him, but the nieces and nephews have been great-- they've known me all their lives. I finally sold our house this last year; realized that it was too much for me, and I needed to deal with it while I am still able to do it and adjust to the change. I am still working, living with a daughter whose kids are just at the move-out point of their lives, with my other daughter's place available for backup as well. I'm crying as I read your post and writing this; grateful for the 41 years we had and realizing that meeting and marrying him was a God-given blessing, and God's not through with me yet.
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Keep crying. It's better than holding it in.
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Why do you feel you need to stop crying? You have things to cry about. I'm so sorry that you're coming to this situation.

If you really feel that the crying is getting out of hand, for example if it's eating up time you would rather spend talking to your husband and creating good memories to keep, then why not speak to a grief counsellor? - perhaps the hospice team could recommend one.

But with the hard changes ahead, and the decline in your husband that you're seeing every day, I think I'd be more surprised if you weren't heartbroken. I hope you're able to find helpful strategies and good support to see you through - wishing you all the best.
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Worried, this must be very difficult for both of you. Ask hospice workers for help. They are such compassionate people, I do not know how they do their jobs day after day. I recently lost a very close friend after a week in hospice. He had been so sick for so long I learned to be grateful that his suffering finally ended, though I still feel the lonliness and this time if year it is more difficult. Thinking of you and hubby. Make sure you take care of yourself too.
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