Update on 'What would anyone else do'

(46 Posts)
needahug57 Tue 15-Jul-14 20:47:42

I went to see him and after the initial shock as he is so very very pale, I'm so glad that I did. I think apart from wanting to see him one last time I needed to know that it's definitely him as the last time I saw him was in Spain. I've told my boys that I've been and told them what to expect if they decide to see him. They haven't made up their minds yet.
Thank you for all your help and advicexx

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Leakingwellies Wed 16-Jul-14 08:31:38

Im so glad that you found comfort seeing your dh. Its not something we ever think we need to decide. I hope you are doing ok. Im 19 weeks down the road and still struggling but making progress and you will too. X

Purplewithred Wed 16-Jul-14 08:42:57

Thank you so much for coming back and posting that. So sorry for your loss.

needahug57 Wed 16-Jul-14 15:30:09

I've just read that your husband Leakingwellies was only 44, that's dreadful. Mine was 58, recently retired from a stressful job and we thought we'd have 20-30 years to just enjoy being together. Our boys are grown up and we became grandparents just last summer. My dh was so proud and excited that we'd be looking after her together. We'd been married for 33 years and like you we were soulmates. I can't imagine the future just now. Has it got any better for you in 19 weeks?
We have the funeral to get through on Friday. Because it's taken so long to get him back to this country it's meant we've been able to plan just what we think he would have wanted but I'm dreading it. I don't know if you were like this but I'm finding it difficult to cry (it'll be different at the funeral though) and everyone's telling me how well I'm doing. I find that a bit insulting as I I feel they must be thinking I'm not upset. It seems to come over me in waves and sometimes I feel it's just too much to bear. He hadn't been ill at all and so it's been a terrible shock to us all.

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Leakingwellies Wed 16-Jul-14 17:39:57

Hello again. Yes he was 44, would have been 45 in June. I turned 48 five days after he died. It has been very very tough for me and the kids I won't lie but the truth is that life goes on whether we want it to or not. My son has been away with his friends, my daughter is learning to drive and my youngest still socialises with his mates. I go out for meals and drink too much red wine and another day is over. I look forward to going to bed every night as im so relieved ive got through another lonely day.

The saddest rhing for me is no longer being part of a couple. We enjoyed each others company so much and as the kids got older we were doing our own thing more and more. We had our first weekend break away abroadllast year sadly it was our last. I miss everythingabout him.

As for the funeral I didn't cry at all. I read a ten minute eulogy and surprised myself by getting through it. Everyone says how brave you are. Im fed up of hearing it now. It wasnt bravery just determination. We had his favourite Smiths song and his favourite Elbow song and no hymns it was perfect for him. It was my personal goodbye to the love of my life and I hope I got it right.

Im sure your sons will be there to support you on Fridayand although I totally understand your dread please believe me when I say you will cope and hopefully find solace in saying goodbye to your dh.

Ive always been a planner but now the future just seems an impossible concept so I limit myself to thinking a few days ahead and it helps. I think that looking too far ahead would drive me insane now.

Im rambling now sorry. I am thinking about you and your family and although we are strangers I hope that my experience gives you hope that you will find strength you never knew you had and by knowing that you are not alone on this path helps in some small way.X

needahug57 Thu 17-Jul-14 11:24:25

Thank you it's good to be able to talk to someone else who knows what I'm going through. Everyone's being very good but they all have their husband's still and so can't possibly understand. I lost my Dad at the end of 2012 and hadn't come to terms with that but this is just on another level. My friends talk to me about how awful it was to lose a parent but I just want to say that that is nothing like what I'm going through. Yes I'm feeling angry with the world already. Like you, all the dreams we had have been shattered. He'd had almost 4 years of retirement but that has been spent looking after his mother with dementia and then when she passed away we had another very close bereavement and then my dad. I just feel as if we were turning our lives around and about to go off on a wonderful journey together. It's so cruel that its been taken away.
It hasn't hit me yet. Because he died on board a cruise ship whilst at sea it's been a nightmare. I'm spending so much time trying to get his death registered here etc that I'm so busy and I suppose haven't had time to sit down and let it sink in. We were on holiday with Thomsons and I've had no contact from them not even a letter of condolence. The whole thing I feel has been handled dreadfully. The Polish doctor on the ship was appallingly rude to me and basically I was left alone for 4 hours in our cabin after he'd died. Once I'm feeling up to it I'll be writing a letter of complaint but not yet.
Sorry to go on. We have the funeral tomorrow and like you we've chosen his favourite music, a Van Morrison and a couple of Roxy Music songs I think he'd be pleased. One of my sons has written a lovely poem and wants to read it out but whether he'll have the courage I don't know. You did so well to be able to do that I'd feel very proud if I could but I know I wouldn't be able.
Thank you for helping me see I'm not alone X

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Leakingwellies Thu 17-Jul-14 21:21:35

I am here willing you on and believe me you are not alone. Your anger is just and understandable but don't let it consume you. Concentrate on your lovely dh and in time right the wrongs but not now. I threatened all sorts of legal action when my dh died but have simmered down now and will fight for answers with a clear head.

For tomorrow I wish you strength and courage. You will wonder how you can possibly get through the day but you will and you will slowly learn to live a different life. I am thinking about you and sending you love. If ever you need to talk about anything at all I am here. Xxx

Leakingwellies Sat 19-Jul-14 11:32:33

Needahug how are you? X

needahug57 Sun 20-Jul-14 09:30:21

Thank you. Yes I got through it and actually didn't cry. My younger son read out the eulogy and a poem he had written. He did so so well it was very moving. That was when I almost lost it but not quite. Lots of people turned up for the funeral and I think that's what carried me through the fact that so many people cared about him. Afterwards I worried that people might think I don't care and that really bothered me.
I think the fact that my dh died away from here makes me less able to believe he's gone. If he'd died at home it would have been easier to believe but I still can't believe he's not coming back. Yesterday it hit me more and myself and older son had a good cry. My mum who's 86 has come to stay. I think she wants to look after me but I'm finding that difficult. I feel guilty for feeling like this but really want to be on my own. She lives 84 miles away and is here for another week. I'll just have to try and disappear off to my bedroom for a lie down as sitting watching TV and talking about the weather is driving me mad.
Thanks for your support. I notice that you say in an earlier post that you're in the north west. I too live in the North West in Morecambe, Lancs xx

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Leakingwellies Sun 20-Jul-14 14:40:27

Im so glad the funeral went well for you all. Its funny but I cry buckets at other people's weddings and funerals but when I was the focus of everyone's attention I found myself numb and unable to show my grief in public.

I understand your feelings of disbelief. Nothing at all seems real does it? Frankly I find it almost laughable tothink II'll never hold my dh again. I would make a pactwith the devil for one last hug.

I find that I want to be on my own alot and sometimes cancel plans right at the very last minute because I can't handle putting on a brave face. My mum has been really badly affected by what has happened and has been hospitalised twice. She's lost a lot of weight and seems a shadow of her former self. Shes currently in a rehabilitation centre and we are trying to get her back home but I think it will be very difficult.

I have found myself on a really short fuse with some family members but thankfully my friends have been so understanding. Ive felt a real lack of support from one relative in particular and have washed my hands of her. I really don't need the drama.

My retreat is my bedroom too. My dhs ashes are at the side of me. His trainers are still at the side of the bed amd I feel so close to him here. I spend a lot of time here lost in thought.

I hope that you are feeling ok today. You need to be kind to yourself as grief is so exhausting. This week will be tough for you as the focus of the funeral has passed. As always I am here if you need to offload or talk about your dh. Im in Wigan btw xx

needahug57 Sun 20-Jul-14 20:28:25

Thanks so much.
Yes grief I'm realising is tiring. My eldest son finds going to work very hard as he's so tired. I don't work anymore thankfully the thought of having to work I just couldn't cope with.
I know what you mean, yes I feel my (our) bedroom is my sanctuary where I can be alone with my thoughts. I spend a lot of time looking at photos and just 7 hours before he died we took photos of one another at the dining table and asked the waiter to take one of us. I'm so glad we took them. I'm putting together a photo album of special memories of our years together dating back to 1973 when we first met which I feel I need to do.
I have his shirt that he wore on the last night and it still smells of him plus the t shirts he wore on holiday which I won't wash.
Everyone tells me its early days (everyone being ones who still have their husbands) and already I've had some ridiculous things said to me. I wish some would just say nothing except they can't imagine what it must be like instead of saying the wrong thing.
I can't imagine the future without him it just doesn't bear thinking about.
We became grandparents last year and he was so excited he absolutely adored her. It's just so heartbreaking.
My mum is still trying to cope after the death of my dad 20 months ago. I think she now realises that they were so lucky to have 30 years longer together than we've had. I took my mum to the park this morning where there seemed to be lots of elderly couples. I felt so angry when I realised that would never be us.
Yes now the funeral's over already the phone's not ringing like it was which is good perhaps but I think you're right, reality will hit this week
It's good to be able to talk with you xx

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Leakingwellies Mon 21-Jul-14 11:21:39

You must have so many lovely memories but they're just not enough are they? I too grieve for grandchildren not yet born and the fact he will never meet them. Life is so bloody unfair. I understand your anger at seeing elderly couples. I hate seeing old men driving around. Martin (im going to use his name from now on) had a really short fuse about getting stuck behind a doddery old guy in a little car. We used to laugh at him but god they drive me mad now.

Do you have family close by to support you and your boys? X

The first few days after the funeral were awful and I ended up on beta blockers and ads. Not for everyone I know but they help me keep the panic amd shaking under control. Only taking one bb a day now so making progress.

I work part time and went back five weeks after Martin died and it has helped to give my weeks a structure. Work have been brilliant no pressure at all.

He was really young in his outlook and I do find some small comfort from knowing he will never have to cope with getting old...does that sound mad?

needahug57 Mon 21-Jul-14 23:21:14

No it doesn't sound mad at all. I felt that when my dad died. He was 87 but still very active and hadn't become an old man. I felt grateful that he would never have to end up in a home or even become frail. He died at the end of 2012 of bowel cancer having only being diagnosed one week earlier. It was such a big shock for us all and only a couple of weeks before Andrew died we were discussing everything that's happened in the last few years and really felt that we'd had all the bad luck we could possibly have to last us a good few years. He was my rock during this bad time and we'd grown so much closer this last year and did everything together which I'm thankful for now but I just wanted and still want more time with him. Now this and it's just so much worse than anything that's ever happened. His mum died of dementia and just today I thought well at least he won't have to suffer that.
Yes I do have lovely memories of that last week together. He looks so happy and healthy. He kept fit (went to the gym a couple of times a week, cycled almost daily and ate a healthy diet). It really seems so unfair. He'd had no symptoms but for some reason one of his arteries was severely blocked. The pathologist thinks it's an hereditary problem as his dad died young too and of the same thing. I know it was better for him that he knew nothing about it...his heart stopped in his sleep. But for us it's been such a shock. Like you I wish I could see him one more time. One more cuddle and a chance to say goodbye. I feel so cheated and never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine this happening.
No my mum and sister live 84 miles away. My married son is 30 miles away and my younger one is 6, so they're both quite close thankfully x

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Leakingwellies Wed 23-Jul-14 08:01:56


Sorry I haven't replied sooner. Work and mum keeping me busy. Hope you are feeling ok.

We were also so looking forward to our next chapter as we had had our fair share of tragedies and health scares but thought it was all behind us. I look at my friends and can't help but feel bitter that we have had our future snatched away. We should be looking forward to our annual trip to turkey now and instead I am constantly thinking about how happy we were this time last year.

Martin was also a cyclist amd would be glued to tthe tour every summer.

It really comes across in your posts how happy and close you were and I really feel for you. It is just unbelievably painful isnt it?

How are you coping with the legalities. If I can help at all let me know x

Itsfab Wed 23-Jul-14 22:11:57

I am so sorry for your loss.

I really hope I will not upset you but I wondered if your sons will need to be tested given they have lost their father and grandfather to the same problem. I am sorry if I am wrong to suggest it.


needahug57 Wed 23-Jul-14 23:18:50

No you're right Itsfab. The coroner has told me that they have to be tested and my eldest is already in the middle of it. What's worrying is I spoke to a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation who told me that there is a gene but it hasn't been identified yet. Once they've had various tests and providing there are no sings of any problems yet they will have their blood pressure and cholesterol checked yearly and as soon as there's a problem they'll be put on medication. I think the problem has been undiagnosed high blood pressure. My husband i don't think ever had his blood pressure checked until 2002 and it was already high. So goodness knows how long it had been high before that but men just didn't get checked in those days unlike us women during pregnancies etc. This is what I'm blaming (hoping this is the case) and maybe his dad had that too. My dh's cholesterol wasn't high in 2006 but I don't know yet whether he had it tested since then.
Yes I feel very very bitter (leaking wellies) that our future we'd planned together has been taken away. He was so health conscious and careful about diet and exercise it's really unfair.
Last night I noticed a lady on here who lost her husband last year at the age of 39 leaving her with 3 very young children. I actually felt lucky that I had many more years than she had and to be left with such young children must be dreadful, putting on a brave face etc for them must be so so hard. She'd done the whole probate thing herself. I don't know whether you've had to go down that road but I thought I'd give it a go I just hope the Spanish death cert (in Spanish ) won't be a problem. I've got lots of time on my hands and maybe I'll feel as if I'm actually doing something. When my mum in law died we put everything in the hands of a solicitor and it was 12 months before everything was sorted. At least if I feel I'm in charge I'll know what's going on. But no apart from sorting out the bereavement payment and benefit which was very quick I have an appt. at the bank next week but haven't done much else yet. Then there's the letter of complaint to Thomson's which I'm not thinking about too much yet as I get very cross when I do. Can you believe I've not even had a letter of condolence from them or any acknowledgement that my husband died on one of their cruise ships? Nothing at all it beggars belief. I was sent home on my own on a plane with no help whatsoever and at the other end had to stand sobbing at the carousel waiting for our 2 cases with no-one to help me!
So apart from trying to come to terms with what's happened I've got this going on in my head as well. My mum's still staying with me so maybe next week once she's gone home I'll start putting a letter together.
Sorry to ramble on. Yes it is awful isn't it. Thanks for your kindness and for chatting XX

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Leakingwellies Fri 25-Jul-14 08:41:38

I can't believe how badly Thomsons have acted. To leave youpto fly back alone seems so cruel. It must have been torture for you. At the very least they should have arranged someone to travel with you. Words fail me.

Im so sorry your sons are having to go through medical testing it must be such a worry on top of everything else .
Martins illness was so rare it baffled all thw specialists but fromwhat they tell me it isnt genetic I hope they are right. I intend to do some research myself to put my mind at rest.

I didn't need probate as most of our savings were in my name and the mortgage was paid off. Martin was totally uninterested in our finances and was happy for me to sort everything so in a way it was easy for me to get to grips with it all. The DWP were really good but I found smaller companies and utility providers hard work. Talking to ypung kids with no idea what to say to me was surreal at times.

Im going out this morning for a walk along the canal with an old friend. We used to meet up every Friday but this is the first time since Martin died. Another first to get through and then ive got my eldests 21st on August. ...dreading it.

Hope you are doing ok xxx

needahug57 Fri 25-Jul-14 22:46:27

I'm so sorry you have your eldest's 21st coming up, that's so sad.
Today I looked after my little granddaughter for the first time. Andrew was so looking forward to the two of us doing this and now I have to do it alone. I enjoyed it but got tearful at times. Tomorrow it is her first birthday party, I can't believe he's not going to be with me.
I think I've been traumatised by what happened when Andrew died. I felt so alone and was in fact left alone less than an hour after he'd died I was left in the cabin for 4 hours all by myself. They wanted to give me something to help me sleep which I refused as I wanted to ring my sons first thing in the morning...as if I'd have wanted to sleep anyway.I was also asked if I had a book to read!!
My husband also wasn't interested in our finances and I did it all. I'm pleased now as it makes it easier for me. Most of the people I've had to ring so far have been good but the Teachers Pensions woman was dreadful. I rang her just 4 days after he'd died and she showed no sympathy whatsoever, she wasn't even young.
I saw my GP yesterday and she's sending me for counselling. Did you go down this road? I'm not sure about it but as there are no support groups in this area I thought I'd give it a go.
My mum is going home tomorrow after staying since the funeral. I've felt unable to grieve whilst she's been here. I know she wants to look after me bless her but I feel I need time on my own to think and try and get my head around it all. It still hasn't sunk in. Do you still feel disbelief or have you moved on from this yet? Hope the walk was OK. I made a big mistake 2 days ago of taking my Mum to town and going in TKMaxx. Andrew and I used to go in there every week and only a couple of months ago he met me in there and kissed me. He'd become much more demonstrative in the last few months. It's almost as if something or someone was telling him something but I know he wasn't suffering from any type of pain.
Thanks but it's just so hard XX

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Leakingwellies Wed 30-Jul-14 09:03:31

I've just posted a reply then got a phone call and it disappeared. I will try again later as I need to get ready for work but I hope you are feeling ok since your mum went home x

needahug57 Wed 30-Jul-14 14:22:47

Thanks, yes being on my own's enabling me to think a lot. Last week I felt I couldn't grieve as I was afraid of upsetting my mum. I took her out each day as for some reason I felt it was expected and I hated it...just pretending to be normal was so hard and not what I should have tried doing. I'm finding for the first time since the first week that I'm crying a lot which must be good.
I still can't get my head around the fact that I went on holiday with him and came back without him. It's almost as if I've left him there and I'm still expecting him to come back.
This whole business has already made me feel stronger as a person and I've decided I need to look after myself and put me and my family (my sons, daughter in law and granddaughter) first. They are what's important now and we all need one another to get through this. I just want to indulge myself for the next few weeks and please myself what I do. I don't think I've told you but since losing my dad at the end of 2012 we put all our efforts into looking after my mum 84 miles away. We kept going over there 30+ times in all and had her to stay with us many times (I have a sister over there so it wasn't as if she would have been alone.) We just felt so sorry for her being left on her own after 61 years of marriage and my husband was quite happy to do all the driving and never complained.
I feel quite bitter now though and wish we'd spent more time together, if only we'd known what was going to happen. There's nothing I can do about that now though but I just feel I need to be a bit more selfish and do what feels right for me and not what anyone else tells me.
How are you doing? X

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Leakingwellies Wed 30-Jul-14 18:00:40

Well I didn't get to work after all. My mum was readmitted to hospital this morning and we've been told the dreaded news that she's very poorly. She's in massive heart failure and has pneumonia in one lung. She is very frail and struggling to breath. But they will continue to treat her till they run out of options. They have advised us that resuscitating her if she gets any worse would be a bad decision.

Im home now trying to make sense of it all and wondering how this will end. Itwas difficult being back at the hospital as she's on the aame ward Martin was on and some of the staff remembered me. Ive cried alot today. Life just keeps throwing things at me and I m exhausted.

You must still be in a state of utter disbelief and indulging yourself sounds like a lovely idea. I think I understand how you feel with regard to the time you spent visiting your mum. I spent 14 years being there for my mum after my dad died often to the expense of Martin and the kids and he never complained. Who would have thought this year would be so difficult. Everything feels wrong. He should be here supporting me, making me a brew and giving me a hug. It's so hard realising thwy are gone isn't it? I cried all over the Avon woman yesterday qhen she said how happy we always looked. I sometimes wonder if we were too happy. Mad crazy thoughts seem to be the of the day these days.

Don't feel guilty for feeling bitter and take care xx

needahug57 Wed 30-Jul-14 18:29:32

Oh I'm so sorry you poor thing that's dreadful. You must like me feel that everything's come at once.
It won't make you feel any better when I tell you this but at the end of 2010 my mum in law passed away. I suppose everyone felt it was a 'blessing' because she had aggressive dementia which was very distressing. My husband was upset as he felt everyone felt like this but she was still his mum. One year on and I lost my uncle after contracting MRSA following an operation. Five months later my son and daughter in law lost their first baby 21 weeks into the pregnancy and then just 4 months later my dad (aged 86 but very fit) started feeling unwell. He was diagnosed in October 2012 with bowel cancer which had spread and he died one week later. Only about 2 weeks before my husband died we were discussing everything we'd been through and decided we'd had our fill of bad luck hopefully for many years to come. One of my sons is worried what's going to happen next. It's just so hard to remain positive. But then I have friends who lost their son and I can't imagine how anyone would cope with that. So there are people worse off. My husband always used to say that. I don't feel like that at the moment but know deep down that he was right.
Take care of yourself. I'm here anytime you need to talk xx

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ssd Thu 31-Jul-14 10:59:58

thanks for both of you, needahug and leakingwellies xx

sunshineandshowers Thu 31-Jul-14 20:17:32

A big cuddle from me too for both of you xxx

needahug57 Thu 31-Jul-14 20:36:01

Thanks for your kindness both of you xx

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