MY HUSBAND OF 47 YEARS HAS JUST DIED IN MY ARMS.

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For the past few years my husband had COPD, over the past three years I became his 24/7 carer doing everything for him as his condition got worse. I spent so much time looking after him I lost my friends and never went out unless it was with my husband as he didn't like being left on his own and my sons worked away and could not help. We never had a holiday or a week-end break during these three years as he was afraid to go anywhere apart from short journeys to the shops.  Over a period of time I started getting bad tempered as I never had a minute to myself, I called him names, told him I wished I had never met him (which I didn't mean) but it really hurt him, he was a great husband and a terrific father but I was so frustrated with having everything to do and never getting a break everything got on top of me, I went to the doctors and they said it was stress and to take time to myself, but I couldn't, if he could not see me he would panic.  Yesterday he was admiited to hospital with pneumonia and Carbon dioxide poisoning.  Suddenly things took a turn for the worst and he slipped into a deep sleep.  Just before he died I told him how much I loved him and what a fantastic father and husband he had been and how sorry I was for not being more patient with him but he didn't hear me and passed away in my arms.  I am absolutely beside myself with guilt, he worked hard all his life to give us a great life, even taking jobs he didn't want to do to ensure we had a good living in our retirement and I repay it all with impatience and anger.  How I wish I had these last months over again to show him just how much I loved him and I honestly do not think I will ever get over never seeing him again.  I am absolutely devastated., my heart is broken and he slipped away not knowing just how much he meant to me.  If anyone is reading this, life is too short for petty arguments and you think you have forever together, but you don't.  I would think how lovely it would be to have an holiday without him, now I have the chance, I don't want to, I just want my husband back. 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I am so very sorry Sheila - please please do not be hard on yourself.
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    • Posted

      Why should I not be, I don't know if my husband knew how much I loved him as I spent the last few years being his carer rather than his wife. Yes I did look after him and yes I did everything for him, but that is what wives should do. He did get difficult and demanding, but he was ill and frightened and I should have had more patience .  I am totally devastated, I am doing something then think I will see if he wants a cup of tea, then my throat  closes because he is no longer there to ask.  I will never, ever forgive myself.
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  • Posted

    I am so sorry for your loss Sheila.  Please don't feel guilty as I am sure your husband always knew how much you loved him.  I am sure too he understood the pressures you were under and looked after him from love.  

    You are only human and it sounds like you did a great job and he was very lucky to have you.  He is at peace now and with the angels sweetheart.   You will meet again one day.  My thoughts and prayers are with you in your grief.  

    Bev xxxx

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, my sons have said the same, they said if I hadn't looked after him so well, he would have died two years ago when he had been seriously ill in hospital for 5 weeks.  I  told him I would always look after him at home, but suddenly I became a carer and a nurse and not his wife anymore and my needs didn't matter, it was all about my husband and I got bitter about losing my friends. We stayed in touch by cards and telephone but I was always cancelling meals with them and slowly I stopped being invited. He once said to me, why do you hate me so much, I said I don't hate you I just hate what we have become, I do  not matter to anyone anymore, all they are bothered about is how you are and not what it is taking out of me. We couldnot go on holidays or days out as he didn't have the stength and was frightened of breaking down and not having enough oxygen with us. When I think back, everything was down to fear, being afraid to stand or do anything in case he could not breathe and I hate myself for saying to him for gods sake just try'.  I went to bed last night and for the first time in two years I slept in our bed, on the sided he slept, in the sheets he last used before he went into hospital, I could smell him and I fell asleep straight away and this morning I woke up to a big empty silent house,  as the oxygen concentrator was turned off and that was the most heartbreaking thing, knowing it was not in use anymore.  I am sat here writing this to give me something to do and I wish to god I had been more patient with him when he asked for something instead of begrudging doing it.  If I had my time again things would be different but I won't have my time again, all I will remember is not the good times but the times I thought, not again when he called for me.
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    • Posted

      You are welcome Sheila.  It's very hard for someone without lung disease to understand what it is like not being able to breathe.  So don't blame yourself for being human.

      Having said that you kept him at home all this time so he still had a much better quality of life than in care.   I am sure with you there he did a lot more than he would have or could have without you.  With any illness it is best to do what you can and I am sure you encouraged him in this.

      The house will feel very empty without him I know but you will adjust in time.   People do you know and you will remember much more of the good times than the bad.   Just let yourself grieve.  There is no right or wrong way.  You have to follow your own path in your grief but you have to acknowledge it and deal with it one step at a time.  There are no shortcuts I'm afraid.  But you will get through this - just hang on to that.  

      Lots of hugs (((((((((((((((((((Sheila)))))))))))))))))))  xxxxx

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, BUT I cannot forgive myself for begrudging looking after him sometimes.
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  • Posted

    My deepest condolences Sheila.  I don't know what to say really as I am not good in these situations.  Your husband is at least at peace and there will be no more suffering.
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  • Posted

    Hi Shelia,the sense of hearing is the last sense to go. Often people in comas and deep sleeps can hear what you are saying and they testify to this when they retain conciousness.The chances are your husband did hear what you said.I hope this comforts you a little. The other thing is he did not  die  alone. You were there and the chances are that this was a source of great comfort to him. Harsh words are forgiven all the time in life.Lots of love Eleanor
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  • Posted

    Dear Sue, 

    I'm so sorry you're feeling so bad. 

    I'm sure that your husband would have known how much you love and cared for him so much, whether he heard you or not, I'm sure he would have felt it. They do say that hearing is the last sense to go. 

    Feeling guilty is a natural part of the grieving process, but try not to mentally beat yourself up too much. Remember, it was you who cared so well for him, feel proud of yourself for coping and ultimately fulfilling your vows completely. Love does not disappear if a person has departed, it just changes. Love is infinite, if you choose it to be. 

     I don't know if it would help you to search Google for the stages of grief - this helped my father.

     It may help to look into bereavement counselling. 

    Love, light and hugs, hanb xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much, I honestly want to believe he heard me, I am so glad we were all there at the end.
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  • Posted

    Bless you Sheila.  You are currently going through the grieving process.  I was the caregiver for my dear Mom and had guilt feelings when she passed.  It is SO true that the last sense to go is the hearing.  Generally, an ill or elderly person will pass when they "have all their ducks in a row".  The fact that you were telling him you loved him, in those last moments, told him "it's ok for me to go now".  Just remember the good times and before long you will be smiling and laughing about those memorable, positive times.  Hugs to you!!  XXXXX
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    • Posted

      Self hypnosis technique for catching up on sleep -

      Relax where you intend to sleep. 

      Take a few deep satisfying breaths. 

      Allow the out breath to extend to 1 1/2 times the length of the in breath, for example if you inhale to the count of 4, breath out the s count of 6.

      Take a breath and tell yourself, "I am body is completely relaxed...", take another breath, "...Now".

      Another breath before you tell yourself, "I am mentally completely relaxed...", breath, "...Now".

      Another breath before stating, "I am in deep sleep...", breath, "...Now".

      Another breath before stating, "When I awake I will feel refreshed; as if I've experienced 8 hours of deep, natural sleep".

      Expect a few minutes to pass until you slip in.

      If you're low on energy you can use the following breathing visualisation -

      Start the same breathing technique as above. On the in breath visualise inhaling the white light of positivity, healing and purity. On the out breath visualise exhaling the yellow light of stress, negativity and impurity. Continue for at least 10 minutes. Repeat as necessary. 

      Love and hugs xxx

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