It s been a year since my wife passed away, now that my head works kind of normally I can start to think about how the end of her life went and how we did process it. I heard praises on how I did handle everything, but somehow there will always be the guilt of failure on many things.
I remembered, when I attended the Siskopäivä 2017, that even though death can wait for you at every corner, there is around the room a lot of life, hope, laughter and irony, which reminded me exactly the way of life we lived until the end.
There is in the last corners of the race, the fear, the fear to hurt, to tell your feeling to not make the other one feeling more sad about the future loss, and the patient to make her face her own death. But I somehow regret that… Because many things were not said, and kept to each other and these things will never be told, because now she’s gone.
It was too late for us, when we realized that time was counted, we had 2 weeks, and these two weeks were not appropriate for discussion due to my wife’s condition.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we did organise a lot of practical things in advance, but we never talked about our fears, or about how we feel about the disease because we both had to be strong, for each other and mainly for the rest of the family.
We talked a lot about the future of our family without her. I had my vision, my clear vision, with my own arguments, back then.
If I even knew, what I would have to go through, how I would react to her death and how the interaction between people is after the pillar of the family is gone, I would have never spoken about any plans in the future. I would have never wasted a single minute doing this. You cannot promise anything, you cannot forecast anything. It’s simply bigger than you, and if you go against it because of your promises, you will fail.
Instead, I should have listened to her wishes, and see what I could have done with those.
Instead of talking about the future, remember the past, build common memories, find some anchor moment that you both can remember and enjoy, tell why you love each other, why you stay until the end, why you are doing all this and how important it is to you.
Make her feel safe.
At the same time, the patient should also think that even if it hurts to think about what she’s about to leave. It will hurt more for the ones who stay. Therefore, love should be sprayed and told, memories should be shared. It is painful and at the same time feels safe to have common good memories after she has gone.
The worst thing in mourning is doubt, because doubt cannot never be filled by anyone else than the missing one. Therefore, dialog, even therapy could be useful.
Therapy was promised for the kids and their mum, or even between us, when we got to know that the cancer had spread. At the end, it was only for her.
This is my biggest guilt; not telling her how I felt, not about losing her, but about how I was happy and proud to live with her. At the same time, I wish we would have shared more of our good memories.
I built my life around her life, and now with time, I am learning day after day to live without missing her presence, which, at the same time, leaves me time to think more about what I have left. The kids and… not so much after all.
Realizing that can make you feel depressed again and instead of facing reality and doing something about it, it is easy to go back to mourning and missing her, using it as an excuse, since there is nothing you can do about mourning, just waiting that pain would go away.
It’s a difficult move but a natural one. It’s time to let her go little by little, to focus on the future and live with the beautiful memories inside our heart and less in our daily life.
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Kirjoittaja on Arnaud, 39-vuotias leski, 3-vuotiaan isä, joka asuu myös vaimon teini-ikäisen lapsen kanssa. Hän elää näennäisen normaalia elämää ja keskittyy lastensa onnelliseen kasvattamiseen. Hänen oma, uusi elämänsä on vielä alkutekijöissään.