Doesn't get easier


It's been five months and one week since I lost my beautiful, sexy, loving soulmate. She was my only friend, the only woman I truly loved and would have sacrificed anything for her.
I don't cry so much and in many ways I'm stronger than I was. I know for an absolute fact she lives on in me and watches over me from heaven. She is no longer suffering and has her angel wings.
I'm doing what I can to take better care of myself because she wants me to. One problem I have is when I have a better day I feel guilty because she doesn't get to experience it as well.
I'm now getting flashbacks run through my mind of her terrible suffering for the last six weeks of her life. She went from being a strong, gorgeous sixty year old who took care of the sick as a nurse, to being frail, fragile, not being able to do much herself. Her hands shook from the pain killers and finally she ended up in ICU on a ventilator and dialysis. She fought so hard to beat the cancer, even listed out all the restaurants she was going to when the tumour in her oesophagus was shrunk so she could eat and drink again. She lasted a mere six weeks from the diagnosis and died of sepsis caused by her feeding tube and lack of proper care from the same healthcare organization she had worked for for thirty years.
I now don't seem to be able to stop my mind replaying the horror. On her last day the doctors asked me if it was time to stop the drugs keeping her heart beating, I consented. Two hours later she went to heaven. Throughout though I had hoped beyond hope for a miracle. I prayed to God to spare her and take me instead.
I thought I had been coping but last week I hit a new low, I ended up in a GP's office crying my eyes out. It really isn't me I feel bad for, it's the nightmare of the things my sweetheart endured just to try to stay with me.
The doctor offered me pills which I declined, chemicals wear off and the pain comes back worse, but she did refer me for counselling.
In my stubbornness and strong will I'd seen it as weakness and failure to ask for help, I now realize it takes more strength to admit a problem and seek help than the other way around. I know as well I was guided by God and my own personal angel.
For those just beginning the journey of grief, please don't make the mistake of thinking you can handle it alone. It's the most devastating thing we ever deal with, the more we loved them the harder it is. It takes a strong person to admit they are weak and need a helping hand.
Prayers and good thoughts for my fellow travellers down this sad, sad path. Carl.

Dear Carl
I'm still on the early road of grief. Nearly two months on from losing the love of my life, soul mate, and best friend to pancreatic cancer. Anne's passing was different to your beautiful loving soul mate but the thing we both have in common is the journey of grief. Anne and I were married 50yrs and I'm now pushing 74. I don't know about your circumstances but in any case, age and time, in any event are irrelevant. It's not the content that's important but the process us grieving folk are going through. At this time Im not sure where help will come. Im not sure I need professional help. Ive had counselling in the past for clinical depression and acute anxiety. It was helpful and I would recommend it. However due to a genetic predisposition concerning my mental health inherited from my mother I've had to go on medication and have been on SSRI's for 25yrs. They without doubt prevented me from committing suicide. But we all have to tread our own path and I'm coping the best way I can at the moment. Would I wish Anne back as she was? - No! Would I wish her back a 100% fit and healthy 71yr old? No! Because she might then be placed one day in the situation I'm in now. But with the loss of her husband. Anne is at peace now along with all the other folk who've suffered and at last were able to give up the body that had caused them so much pain and suffering during their Earth Walk. The past is an illusion that's recreated in our present minds. It will present itself in many guises, and sadly has a habit of dishing us out with a huge handful of guilt and sadness. But if we did our best at the time of our loved ones passing and we know thats a fact - and got through it - what are these illusionary flash backs and false memories our minds are conjuring up? There is an afterlife of pure love where our loved ones now reside. Some folk call it heaven. This has been proved beyond doubt but that's another journey. Do what you have to do Carl to find some kind of resolution and peace.I wish you well in your journey.
Love and Light

My Heartfelt love and compassion to both of you brave men. What brave, helpful and inspiring messages.
My lovely, kind husband had cancer for over ten years and fought it bravely trying to protect me all the way. The NHS were of little help to us and we dealt with it our own way and it worked for nine years then unknown to me he was given medication, why, after all those years, he was dead in just over a year. Now I suffer from such guilt. Could I have stopped that medication, why did I miss that he was taking them. Would it have prolonged his life if he hadn't have taken them. And like Carl I have the most awful flashbacks of his suffering over the last months. How my lovely, caring handsome husband became riddled with pain and the look on his face over his last hours on this earth, he was not peaceful and I could do nothing to help him. I have never felt so helpless. He didn't go into hospital, I nursed him myself at home and for that I am grateful but was it enough.
As Geoff says I believe and have been assured that Brian is now in a lovely place with love and no pain. So, why do I keep having those awful moments replaying in my mind over and over.
Well done Carl for not taking pills, they haven't made one yet that can stop this pain.
Today there was a presentation in my husbands memory and I tried to make my thanks but a few words and I was lost. I couldn't even do that right.
God bless you both.
Pat xx

Dear Pat
We all are so often left with the decisions made by Doctors and Specialists. And we accept their decisions as being the right path to tread. However I sussed out talking along with Anne to her Specialist that he was simply looking at the medical and surgical proceediers without taking into consideration that Anne was a human being not just a a piece of meat. This is I how discovered that. 11yrs ago quite by chance a cyst was found on Anne's pancreas. The surgeon Specialist said the best course of action was to remove half her pancreas as a precaution even though no test said whether it was benign or cancerous, We were told to go home and think about it. So I researched the operation and discovered it was called the Whipple Procedure. A major operation that also removed a part of the intestine, the gall bladder, part of the stomach, as well as a part of the pancreas. It leaves the patient having to take insulin injections for diabetes and pills to assist with digestion for the rest of their life plus the possibility of life term pain. . Anne already had Lupus an immune system disorder which is life threatening in itself. Now the decision! Do I tell Anne what I'd discovered and perhaps put her off the operation? Or do I leave her in ignorance? Well I told her. Fortunatly Anne was glad I did. So on the next visit the Specialist surgeon asked what our decision was.And I put him to the test. I asked what were the long term ramifications of such an operation and he said quite bluntly and coldly ' Injections and pills,' I then told him there was a bit more to it than that! Anne and I had researched the Whipple procedure and the devastating life changes it would make to Anne's quality of life. As well as any complications from Lupus. I also mentioned that people who have this operation have only a 5% chance of living beyond 5yrs. So Anne said thank you BUT No thank you. Anne went on to live another 11yrs before the cyst became cancerous. The same operation was offered again but she refused. Anne said let nature take its course as she was 71 and what time scale could be attached to her survival. He said 6 to 12 months. Anne went 14 months, So whats the point of this message ? Should I feel guilty about telling Anne the awefullness of the Whipple procedure? Had she had the operation 11yrs ago would she still be alive today? Did I influence her decision? Anne always said I was right telling her? But I could easily - if I wanted to - feel guilty about telling Anne but I refuse to. You did your very best for your kind husband and based on what the medical practioner told you and Brian. Everything was his decision in the final analysis and not yours.The buck always stops with the medical practioners decision which I'm sure was made with the best of intentions. Rest easy Pat. Brian would want you to but you know this already.
Love and Light.

Geoff, thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story.
When Brian started to take medication in his last year I was never told either by him or his doctors. I only found out by finding the empty packets hidden all over the house after he died. It was as if he had been living a secret life that last year.
I was angry with Brian at first but I had to accept that he and he alone had decided on going down this road. I was never consulted. Brian knew that I would have done exactly as you did, I would have researched the medication, I would have asked numerous questions, which isn't always a popular move with the Doctors. If I had known could I have stopped him from taking them and if I had stopped him would this have shortened his life or lengthened it, but I reasoned that with the Natural Therapy we chose he had lived years longer than was expected with an excellent quality of life for most of that time. With the medication his quality of life diminished and he died, but was this the fault to the drugs or not or was it simply his time to go, as I have been told.
I admire what you did in your research and proves that if more people did this then they would possibly extend their lives not shorten it. You took control for your dear wife and helped her. You should be proud. I have been told by the medical profession after Brian died that I had performed a miracle and extended his life. I should be grateful for those extra years but this is little comfort now. Like you I searched and searched for information and never stopped in the ten years. This is what we did to save the most important people in our lives.
Thankyou so much for your kind words

Pat xx

Dear Pat
Your loving Brian took a decision to take the meds and without telling you. And I'm sure he did so because in his heart this was the right journey for him to take. He was sparing you the worry of wondering if his decision was right or not. That's how true love works.Thinking about other people's feelings and not just our own. What a courageous and wonderful man Brian was. Whether his decision was right or wrong you will never know - but to respect his decision is all you have to do and Im sure Brian would want that of you. . Non of us know when our time on earth is to be completed. I personally believe that spiritually we all do have our time preordained. That's why some folk survive situations that should have finished them - and against all the odds. Whilst other folk seem to succumb to the merest of illness or incident. Maybe you were right Pat. It was dear Brian's time to pass despite all the loving care you gave him all those long years. Everything happened as it should. Bless you Pat.
Love and Light
Geoff xx

My experience too was painful, I lost my husband to cancer 2 weeks after diagnosis and only vague symptoms until being admitted to hospital. I was by his side 24/7, he had a side room in a busy ward. So many things wrong with the care and support and we pretty much nursed him until he passed away suddenly. His passing will stay with me forever, it took counselling through Sue Ryder to enable me to cope with the first anniversary in March. I have logical/illogical days, painful/peaceful days. What keeps me strong is feeling my beautiful man right by my side. So many signs that cannot be just coincidence.
I have connected with some really genuine people on this forum, they have helped me and I hope in turn I can help someone on the same journey. It’s the hardest one we will ever travel x

Geoff, thankyou so much, your words have helped me no end because they have made me see a different view. Brian would always try to protect me and he knew how hard I was trying to keep this terrible illness out of our lives.
I have blamed myself, I have blamed the Doctors who must have talked him into taking that medication, I have blamed Brian, but you have made me see sense.
After Brian died his GP said to me that Brian chose his own way in the end but I didn't want to listen or discuss it, I was in no sane mood at that time.
Although my family did say that Brian would have protected me, I just couldn't see this at the time..
Thankyou Geoff for your helpful words they have done more for me than anyone else has managed. Perhaps I am now ready to listen.
Pat xxx

In reply to SanW

SanW, how I can relate exactly to what you say. First the pain of watching them die. This nightmare will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was alone with him at home, during the night he thrashed about and then went quietly in the early hours of the morning. It all seems like a bad dream now. I too have those days. Some better than others. Doing my best to cope with each day. I do however make sure that each day is productive. I never sit at home moping, this would be suicidal. Don't get me wrong I have never felt suicidal. I still say that life is a gift and precious.
I do agree with you that feeling our men by our sides gives us strength. I too have had numerous signs that is no co-incidence. I hope he never stops visiting me as I know for certain that he will always remain the most important person in my life.

I agree that it is up to us to try and help others in this journey, never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be this difficult. I had time knowing what was to come but it did no good at all. The shock and trauma is still so hard to accept and we are left a shell of our former selves. I never planned for that.
We must keep faith that we will survive this journey and keep looking for that light, it does show itself occasionally.
Take care of yourself.

Pat xx

Bless you Pat.
I'm just an ordinary man who thinks a lot and tries to understand why us folk behave the way we do.
Love and Light.
Geoff x