Author Topic: Loss  (Read 64 times)

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Offline Dibsy

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Loss
« on: May 17, 2020, 12:05:33 PM »
it is almost the anniversary of my partner's death last year and I keep torturing myself for not being with him when he died. I left him in hospital that afternoon and he died late that evening. To add to that, they never rang me to say he had died. When I telephoned the hospital the following morning to ask how he was, I was then told he had died.  They said they had tried to contact me but could not get a reply but I have caller display and memory and I know they did not call me. I asked the ward nurses that morning if anyone was with him at the time he died and was told 'there were lots of people around', I took that to mean that he died alone. I did put in a complaint but they viewed that it was my word against theirs. They also put the wrong date of death on the paperwork (and on the letters to me re the complaint) which almost prevented the funeral going ahead. The paperwork showed two different dates of death. I keep thinking how different it had been if I had been there with him, he would not have died alone, he didn't deserve that. I should have realised the end was near because when I left him he was asking me bring food in for him, although he had not been eating for some weeks. I have seen this before with a friend who died years ago, she was asking for food and she died very shortly after that. I wonder if it is the body's way of trying to stay alive but I should have realised all this at the time and stayed with him.  I miss him so much. I have also had to deal with his family who he hadn't wished to see for years but they want as much as they can get. So far the Solicitors have prevented this as it was not his wishes. Every day I get so upset about all this, I have lost enthusiasm for doing anything and feel so lost. I have a sister but she doesn't seem to want to know. Does it really get better in time?

Offline Sandra61

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Re: Loss
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 01:45:25 AM »
Hello Dibsy,

I am so sorry for your loss. It reminds me of how I lost my mum. I am a bit further along this journey than you. I lost her in October 2017, but in similar circumstances. I had stayed with her for four nights and only taken short breaks to rest during the day. It was shortly after I had come home on that last morning that I got a call from the hospital to go back because they didn't think she would last much longer, but she had gone before I could even leave the house. I don't know either if anyone was there. I hope one of the nurses was. It was the hardest day of my life.

You ask if it gets better. I think it does, but it's more a case of learning to live with it than it getting better as such. You have good days and bad days, but I don't think it began to be more a case of more good days than bad ones for me until at least 18 months after I lost her. The other thing I believe is that it doesn't get any better unless you put in some considerable effort to help it to get better. I found various things that helped me and I still turn to them when I need to. In the early days, I found it helped to put together an album of photos of my mum that I can turn to when I need to. It also helped to have flowers around to lift my spirits a little and remind me that there are still good things in the world. It helped quite a lot to take walks in the park and sit there to try to come to terms with all that had happened and it helped to take up a new activity that got me out of the house once a week and made me think about something else for a while.

It sounds to me as if you are dwelling on those final days of your partner's life, but what you have to remember is that those days only made up a brief part of their life and you need to look past those to the person your partner was throughout the majority of the time you had together. Prior to lockdown, I would have told you to try revisiting the places you went together to remind you of the better times you spent together. That helped me, but with the current situation, why not start a memory book instead, where you write down recollections of the person you have lost, their smile, their character traits, what made them laugh, any memorable times you spent together, what they liked to eat and do. It should help remind you of who they were, not just what they suffered at the end.

Lastly, I would say, stop blaming yourself for not having been there. I am told that often someone chooses to leave when their loved ones are not present; perhaps because they could not bear to part from us if we were there. I know you feel angry at the hospital for the way your partner was treated. We too complained at the treatment of my mother, but like you, got no change out of those who were supposed to be looking after her during what I now think of as that hospital horror. All we can be grateful for is that they are no longer suffering and are free now.

As for those of us who are left behind, it's our job now to do for ourselves, what they would have wanted for us, in honour of the love they had for us and love we will always have for them. You gradually have to find a way forward, but that doesn't mean you leave them behind. Their memory lives on in our hearts and minds and will be with us for the rest of our lives, so they will never really leave us. So you move forward, but you carry them with you and you make the most of the life you have, because if they were still here, they would want that for you and this is something you can do for them.

It is a long hard journey and no, it doesn't get better by itself. You have to work at it, but it does get easier to bear, if you work at that. Just go on taking it a day at a time and find the things that help you most and turn to those when you need to. Love goes on. The pain of loss is the proof of that.

In regard to his family, block their calls and let the solicitors deal with them. If there is a will, there should be nothing they can do to overturn his wishes. If not, you may have to rely on your solicitor to do what may be needed, but either way, things are just things in the end. They cannot take your memories or the time or love you shared together. Hold on to that and look after you. He would want the best for you, so it's up to you to make your future the best it can be, as he would have wanted for you now. One day at a time, Dibsy.  :hearts:

Offline Karena

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Re: Loss
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2020, 11:35:41 AM »
My mum died alone and like you i felt so guilty about that - she told me to go home early because it was snowing and she was worried about me driving - i did and she died before i got home.
There was no indication she was going to die then - she was terminally ill but making plans looking forward to meeting her first great grandchild - looking forward to coming back out of hospital - and yet to this day part of me wonders if she knew - if she was trying to spare me by being optimistic and by sending me home that day - of course she was, either way because she would have worried about the weather but perhaps it was more than that.

Sometimes we have to accept on this horrendous journey we have been dropped on that there are questions that cant be answered  -i haven't heard the one you are thinking about, asking for food,  so thats one i cant answer but maybe that was his way of trying to shield you by talking as though it will be fine for you to go home and bring something in tomorrow . many nurses have experienced this, where peoples last gesture for their loved ones is a choice to do that - If that is the case and whether we feel it was a decision they made rightly or wrongly for us  its a last selfless act of love for us and thats what i hang on too.
 
It is awful that the hospital didn't inform you and would have perhaps been better if they held their hands up to the mistake they made  we spend so much time dwelling on these things -  the hospital my mum was in was later embroiled in a killer nurse scandal although
my mum was never named as one of the victims i also spent a long time wondering about that as well - but it doesn't change that they are gone and thats what we have to live with and try and take forward steps from. Since then i also lost my husband and it has taken a long time but as Sandra says you have to work at it -and its a roller coaster sometimes you climb up a hill  and find yourself dumped  back at the bottom again - but once you climb one then you know you can find the strength to climb the next. :hug: 

Offline Dibsy

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Re: Loss
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 11:59:25 AM »
Thank you Sandra and Karena for your replies which I have read many times. You are right I am angry at the hospital, if they had just said 'sorry we made a mistake' I could have accepted that, we all make mistakes, but they were determined not to accept that they had failed to inform me. I think because of that I am dwelling on his final days, he was in so much pain almost every time I went in I had to ask for pain relief for him. At the moment I can only rely on my memories of him, you mentioned photos and I have a favourite photo of him where he was looking straight at me when I took it. I don't know if you understand what I mean but his eyes are really smiling as he looks at me and when I look at this photo, I just have to smile back. The others I can't look at just yet. Mornings are really bad so I do try to get out if just for a walk in these times. The feeling of loss sometimes overwhelms me and I do try to get on with other things but it is very hit or miss at the moment and my achievements are very limited.