Follow
Share

My husband has been gone 18 months now, still lost.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
What we strive to achieve someday is at least some Medicaid assistance for those elderly who wish to remain in their homes.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

May 7th. of this yr. my darling husband of 18 yrs. went home to be with the Lord. I have learned that there will be unexpected moments of release. Sometimes at the worse possible times too, (like in the dept. of motor vehicles getting a tag for my husbands truck. long story, but I felt awful because I just lost it). But on the upside is that I remind myself often that he would not want me to be sad. Therefore I have been staying very busy. This helps alot, and having my church family around has been a blessing. I too was concerned about not ever wanting to forget him or his voice. I know that won't ever happen. So, we keep going forward. Reaching out to others who need a warm hug, a smile, or a cheerful voice. I am going to go back and this time get my state certification in CNA work. I almost can sense my husband cheering me on to grab a hold of this time and do all those things he would want me to do. I still cry, and it's still seems to be an emptiness in my heart. I've asked Jesus to fill it, and I know with His presence even more, I will get through what ever comes my way. And so will you margee. Keep busy, fill your life with lots of laughter and uplifting activities. You can bet our loved ones and Jesus are our best cheering section. There is nothing you can't do margee.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Look up a home care service in your area. You will be a wonderful caregiver for other older adults. All our caregivers at Assist at Home Senior Care were the family caregivers for a husband, Mother, Father, or other family member or friend. Trust me you are the best ones to hire. They can offer training as a personal care aide or companion care worker. You will love it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Margee, Your feelings are normal...to be feeling lost. This man was your husband, and your life partner, and a part of your inner soul and spirit. Why wouldn't you feel lost? Your feelings are what makes you unique, and what made your relationship most special. You probably feel like you have been cut in half, and emotionally, you probably have been. Your are exercising what God allowed you to do, grieve, and to grieve will help heal your soul.

Over time, and no doubt a very difficult time it has been, there is no need to put a time table on your own personal grieving process. Let it unfold as it will, on your own time and in your own space. Know that you had a wonderful life together, and that there is a reason your husband passed before you...and your perhaps your greater emotional strength to survive a loss. It will never be the same, as there are no one or two people alike. However, you will learn to move forward, with greater strength and courage everyday. Remember, it's a day at a time, perhaps an hour or minute at a time.

Try and get involved with a grief group, to talk about and to listen to others that also feel like you do. Yes, you feel lost, but you are not alone in your journey for better days ahead. I attend a Men's Grief group, and it helps to share and listen to others that are experiencing similar feelings, from the loss of a loved one going back one year to ten years. It's a journey, and with time and people that understand and have experienced, you will start to feel and know that there are a whole lot of us just around the corner...with welcome and understanding eyes and ears to share with. We are out there. Try and take some small steps to reach out and to share your story and your pain, and your feelings.

You are not on a race track...it's on your own time...and with understanding people to share your experience. You see, I just gave you a hug.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Everyone has great ideas! Try to at least call your "good" friends when you can to stay in touch...or meet someone for coffee or lunch when your husband is at day care...also...some funeral homes have free support groups and it may be led by a trained therapist. That also helps you meet some new friends who do understand what you are going through! I have been losing my 63 year old husband for 8 years to a terrible dementia and it is very painful for me now. I hope I will be able to feel relief when he is gone. I know he does not want to live this way. God bless you!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

48margee: Please get busy with seeing friends, family, church members, support group, volunteer for anything, just to get out of the house and be busy and around other people. Staying home and locking yourself up is detrimental to your health and mental well being.

After my father died we realized Mom was having problems and we took her to USC to a Neurologist who told us she had dementia and it had been brought on by her locking herself away, when my father died. She refused to go back to church, go out to eat with us, go to the store, just go out for a ride to see the scenery. It was as though she felt she was being unfaithful to my father to have ANY FUN without him. They were married for 60 years and celebrated their 60th Anniversary in the hospital.

Please I beg of you NOT TO DO THIS TO YOURSELF! You can find others to help or confide in. I know your pain due to the loss of your husband is horrible but God has seen fit to keep you around and he has a purpose for you and I am sure your husband would be proud to know that you love him and you are spreading that love around to others.

I too am glad that this question was asked as I am the caregiver for my mother. I have previously cared for my Aunt, my Brother in Law, my Father and now Mom. I am 61 and divorced with a child and I too wonder how my life will change when Mom is gone, will I be lost or become depressed? That frightens me, because I want and still need to live the rest of my life and not be a burden on my child. I want to enjoy what time I still have left on this earth. I would like to work but getting a job at my age will not be easy. I am currently checking out some different ideas because I would like to become involved in these things now, rather than waiting until Mom passes. I just feel that I need something to already be "in place."

You can make this loneliness pass but it will require work on your part. You will never forget your husband and the love you shared....now run and live the rest of your life!

God Bless You!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Nancy, you are correct. You never "get over it" ... you just put it in some other place. It doesn't take but half a second for tears to well up if I let my mind go there. It's just that now I have a choice if I go there... well, aside from the songs and other mall things that bring back remembrance... whereas before I did not. For me, that was a certain degree of "healing", as I began to gain control over my thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Margee, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Though people will say that "time is a healer," I think the meaning is that in time we adjust to the loss of our loved one,
I do not think that we ever got over the loss; we simply re-channel our thinking and carrying around warm & loving thoughts of our lost loved one. My first husband passed away in 2000 from the dreaded Alz. Disease and I remarried in 2008 to a loving man who was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in 2012. We had no clue that he had a heart problem but then these things happen. He is now in an assistant living facility since the doctors would not release him into my home care. There are just so many things that the doctors took into consideration & pointed these things out to me. I had to concede and place him & thank God he had long-term care insurance.

We sometimes beat ourselves up over having to place our loved one in a facility but I have found out that it is not the worst thing that can happen. I continue to stay busy facilitating an Alz. Caregiver Support Group & working with others who are going through the caregiving phase. Sometime just being able to listen to someone who has problems is a gift in itself. There are many ways to move forward & yet remember your loved one, keeping the good memories close to your heart. Be at peace with yourself.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Just pray and think for a moment what a relief it will be when you and siblings no longer have to suffer abuse like I did. Mom at 93 was forced to move into a board-and-care because she was no longer able to care for herself but cannot pay for expensive private home care. She blames me for moving out of our home, but I know that I have done the correct thing to keep her from falling again; 24-hour supervision required. We will exist in peace but miss the good old relationship days of the past.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am SO GLAD to see these messages. I had power of attorney for a number of family members who have now "gone on" (my father in 2008 who lived 311 miles from me, my aunt in 2011 who lived 400 miles, and my 97-year-old mother-in-law who lived in a nursing home in our town. I have just realized these past few months how much I miss them! Yes, I too thought I would be relieved to not have all the eldercare responsibilities, but I feel lost without these loved ones in my lives and the tasks I handled for them. I was so used to "jumping" in the car to oversee nursing home visits, doctors' appointments, surgeries, etc. that I stayed on hyper-
alert. Now, I am so restless in my soul because I don't "have anything to do." I am thankful to read the good suggestions above on how to learn how to take care of myself, do fun things now in my free time, and learn to live a slower pace of life. But, I still miss them very, very much!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Everyone told me I would feel relief after my dad passed in 2011. Relief was the last thing I felt. I too felt completely lost, like I had no identity, didn't know who I was if not the caregiver, wasn't sure where I even belonged. I tried the grief therapy group through hospice but it wasn't a good fit for me. I ended up finding a therapist and a little over a year and a half later now feel like I am moving on, am able to move on. I'm not the same person I was before caregiving but that's ok. I personally think I'm a better person because of the experience. It will take time but you will feel "found" again. Please take care of yourself. Hugs ~ Kuli
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

When caregiving ends.......... then youget your 'reward'.......peace for yourself.......you get your life back........you sleep better.......you feel better.........you don't have to see the suffering anymore. As bad as this might sound.........the person you were caring for is at peace now......the misery of aging has ended.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am too glad the question was asked. My husbands first anniversary was last Mother's Day. And I thought I was doing OK - most of the time, keeping busy with probate paperwork, helping a friend who's husband is ill - but it all came crashing down and I relived the last day of his life (we were married 46 years) and realized I hadn't really given myself the chance to really grief. I cried until there were no more tears - ending in dry heaves like babies sometimes do. I do take long walks, keep busy - but deep down I am still lost, and I think in some way, there will always be that empty spot that he once occupied. In time hopefully this empty spot will be less painful. Another friend lost her husband 4 years ago and we try to lean on each other. But grieving is so personal - there are no time frames and it's those unexpected little things that catch you, that will remind you of your loss, that throw you off balance. BTW, I have done the yelling and screaming too - it helps!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Margee, I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my husband 9 years ago. It seems like it was only yesterday. His was suicide, so it had a whole different dynamic about it, but it had the characteristics of just about any loss, of a tragic nature. . Time is the great healer. And everyone's grieving is different. There is no time line for when we wake back up to the rest of the world. For myself, it was extremely slow. Everywhere I went I saw things or people, or heard songs that reminded me of him. So much to digest. We had only 4 years of memory together, to process, but it was enough to last a lifetime. Give yourself that time. One thing that did help... the main thing... was being able to talk about it. To friends, in online support groups. In the beginning, talking eased the pain. As I began to heal more, talking caused more pain, so I talked less and less about it. And I wrote, and wrote... I wrote long after I'd stopped talking. Be kind to yourself, be gentle... don't force yourself to do anything that others say you should do, unless you really want to do it... you will do those things in time when you are ready... and you will know. Blessings to you!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am sorry for your loss.
Permit me to share how I have dealt with grief, it may not all be right for you, but maybe something can help.
Grief, cry, scream for a period of time. When you are ready to move forward make a plan. I think you are ready, albeit difficult, because you are asking for help.
Your plan can include things you want - visit museums, exercise, learn to decorate cakes, join a book club.

When you are at a fork in the road of life, is the best time to create new habits.
Go on a vacation or visit a friend, something you could not have done while caregiving.

Use the return from the trip as the demarc for a new lifestyle.

Turn your goals into new habits: sign up for an exercise class, arts and craft class. Buy or rent a Series from Netflix - BTW, Breaking Bad is really good. Schedule yourself busy and productive - not necesarily stressful.
Give yoruself something to look forward to! Make new friends, with NEW interests, make sure you can converse about new things - weather, news, movies - NOT caregiving.

You are a caring and giving person, and you can be something other than a caregiver - reinvent yourself - your new widowed, but happy self.

If you focus on new things, new people and share superficial pleasentries, eventually you will develop a new life and new friends and be in a better place.

I wish you the very best.

L
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am so happy this question has come up. I am the caregiver for my 87 year old husband who has advanced dementia. I take him to Daycare twice a week and attend their support group one day a week. Several men/women in the group have lost their loved one and some say it is a relief it is over and have moved on by continuing the support group, traveling, visiting family, volunteering etc. I have often wondered what I will do as I will miss my husband more than words can say but I certainly know his quality of life isn't good and he would not want to live this way. So, I know someday I will need to move on and perhaps sooner than later. Thank goodness I have several good friends but wonder if they will still be there for me when I am alone. I think the most important things is having faith you can carry on and know that this is what your loved one would want you to do. God Bless all caregivers, it is a tough job and a lonely journey
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

After my mom died, I started working out hard. 1 1/2 hours a day, 4 days a week. I focused all my old "gotta do it" energy into my exercising. After about 5 months, I hit my breakdown point. I woke up one morning to work out and felt drained... this was my grief. I was finally at a place where I could move forward.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My Mom passed away at the end of October, almost 8 months ago. She was 93 and I expected it, I expected to be sad, but also somewhat relieved of the constant pressure and challenges. However, now 8 months later, with her very, very complicated estate still dragging me back to it, I find I feel like crying again.

I had been feeling better, walking regularly, then jogging, did a 5K on Memorial Day weekend, taking yoga classes and going to my gym three days a week. Then one day, on the way to yoga, jogging... I fell on black top road. Hurt two hands, elbows and knees. Went to the doctor a few days later with infected bruises on one hand. Got a tetanus shot (ouch) and antibiotics. Now the scabs are healing, but I am struggling to get going again two whole weeks later. Cried in two gentle yoga classes because everything hurts. Can't go to the gym, because my muscles still hurt. Now I'm reaching back out to a therapist and have an appointment on Friday.

I am so relieved to see this question and relieved to know that perhaps these feelings are normal. When I think about going back to work, after two + years out while caring for Mom, I start to feel very anxious and like crying. Why don't I look forward to it? Why do I feel like my siblings are not stepping up and taking advantage of me? I guess you would call this the definition of depression. Well, I'm determined to keep moving forward.

I use an AP on my I-phone called "MapMyRun" and walk 2 miles every morning with my dog and sweetheart. We try to do that at night too, total 4+ miles a day, but often I can't do it twice a day. I've been napping a lot since the fall... and for many, many years, I have been unable to sleep more than 1.5 hours at a time (bad habit of anxiety).

So, all I can offer is to say, thank you for helping me to know there are others out there struggling too. I am determined to keep trying to get back to feeling healthy again and trying to keep moving forward.

"More" Magazine this month has lots of good ideas on how to make new friends, how to take some risks and do exciting things. I hope it helps others to know... I'm with you on this journey. I'm 60 and hopeful that the next 40 years get better and better, and I know that will take some more work and good creative ideas from the people on this site.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My heart goes out to you, Margee. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to lose my spouse. Considering so much of your identity in your relationship with him towards the end was care giving, it is now wonder you would feel lost as to what to do now. In my experience as a grief coach, people begin to heal when they start asking questions just like the one you have asked, "What happens when caregiving ends?" It sounds like you are looking for a change and wanting to learn what to do next. Considering what has made you feel important in the past and then finding similar ways to tap into that can be very healthy during the grieving process. Though keeping busy may lend to keeping your mind of your recent loss, it doesn't always aid in the actual healing process. Also, having a support system in place that allows you to express your feelings and what you are going through is vital. I would be curious to know what you do have in place for support? If you are interested in some options for support, let me know. These may range from support groups, individual helping professionals, books and free resources. I am wishing you peace on throughout your grieving journey, my friend.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I remember feeling lost after my Grandmother died... I was her caregiver for the last few months of her life. I had a REAL physical pain in my chest for weeks. I would think she needed me and then I would remember she would NEVER need me again... I think you have to find some things to keep you busy. If you are financially able to volunteer, Nursing homes love to have people come and read to or talk with some of the residents. Many schools like to have volunteers to read with children, my parents did this and loved it. Our local hospital has volunteers to help folks and give information. I know that this isn't easy... Do you have other family close by or a girlfriend or sister??? I know you have heard this, but grieving is a process. take care, J
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Great suggestions have already been offered. Here some others: take a class at a local college. Volunteer with hospice, at a nursing home, animal shelter, etc. Reach out to old friends and get to know each other again. Learn to cook a new food, like thai. Be creative. Pray. Fulfill your dreams.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Your husband will always be a part of you. I'm not sure anyone ever "gets over" losing a loved one, but you can get through it. I found it helpful to allow myself 30 minutes a day to feel sorry for myself. I set a specific time. I cried, yelled and felt awful. I found by doing this I could function pretty normall the rest of the time, and slowly I found I needed less and less time each day. I was so afraid I would forget, that by setting a specific time I knew I could focus on my loved one and me at that time, and try to live my life the rest of the time. Be patient with yourself and someday you will find yourself smiling at life again.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Perhaps you can join a grief group in the area, make some new friends and get out of the house and out of your head.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you haven't done so, seek out a grief support group in your area. Often the best source of support is someone who has "been there." Your local area agency on aging or 211 (information and referral) can help you find a group with meetings in your area.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

First of all, I'm so sorry about your hubby. My mom and dad were married 63 years when my mom died 2 years ago. So I know a little of what you're feeling, from talking with dad. I don't know if you have any friends, but you need to keep busy. My dad has learned to cook, something my mother insisted that he shouldn't have to do. But while she was dying of cancer she started showing him the basics of cooking, and by golly he has really done it! Us kids try to keep him occupied by having him over for meals, and socializing as much as we can. He is spending Sunday's after church meeting up with other old people that are widowed, and going out to lunch with them. Actually he's been having lunch with a few old ladies from his church and eating with them. My sister and I were kinda ticked off at first cause it seemed he was being awfully quiet about that. But since then I've decided that if he's lonesome to hear a woman talk, then it's kinda like he's renting an old lady for a few hours. ha Anyway, my point is you need to keep busy. If you don't have a church home, then find one and get involved. The first thing we humans want to do when we're hurting is to isolate ourselves, which of course is the LAST THING we really need. We need companionship pure and simple. Reach out.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.