Findings underscore importance of prevention efforts
by OCMenno on Fri Nov 12, 2010 08:39 AM
On October 30th, 2010, 2 days before my 32nd birthday, I lost my wife and mother of our 3 children.
I don't even know where to begin. She was only 31 and our children are 10, 9, and 4. She was the most amazing person, right up until the end. I can't believe she's gone. It has been less than 2 weeks since she went home to be with the Lord. I have shed many tears but for some reason I haven't really been able to cry... I mean really cry. It was expected and at the end I was encouraging her to let go, so that she could enjoy a cancer free, pain free heaven, but I lay at night asking myself, "Is she really gone? Will I really never see her again on this earth?" I miss her so very, very much but I feel like I still need to really cry. The 12 years that we were married were wonderful and we had incredible love for each other even through the most difficult times. She naturally wanted to stay and see her children grow up, but she never once questioned God. She accepted His will with amazing grace. She touched everyone around her, especially during the 4+ years that she struggled with brain cancer. We received such an enormous amount of support from our family and church community I can't even begin to express my appreciation. We became very well known in our family of churches and beyond throughout this journey and the church where the funeral was held could seat a congregation of 700....the church was filled to capacity with an additional number of people in the overflow and basement. I returned to the hospice house where she passed away yesterday and was told by one of the staff members that she could honestly say that they had never been touched by anyone as deeply as they were by my wife. I have to say the same. She was my wife, she was one with me. But now she's gone. Half of me is gone. The visits, the phone calls, the text messages, emails, etc. are beginning to die down. They no longer need to worry about her. I no longer need to worry about her. Although I would not wish her back to this pain-filled earth, I would give anything to spend one more hour with her, talk to her, hold her, tend to her needs.
Here I am, a young widower, single father of 3, trying to figure out how to move on, how to return to work after being off for 5 months, how to take care of my children, how to find some kind of new normal. I have to remind myself that she is no longer suffering, she lost her battle with cancer but gained eternal glory, I will see her again one day, and just as the Lord had carried us through this terrible trial, He will continue to carry my children and I through this next chapter in our lives. But then again...I look around the room in the middle of the night and it is so quiet and dark...no matter how many times I look...she's not there.
Please pray for me as I pray for everyone else on this board.
I miss you Tina!
by miltana on Fri Nov 12, 2010 09:05 AM
I am so very sorry for your loss. What a huge viod you must be feeling in your life right now. After reading your message and wiping away my tears I thought my goodness what a blessed life your wife did have right up until the end. She obviously drew stregth from you and your beautiful children + her amazing faith in our heavenly father all helped her ease her suffering. She left this world for a better place but she knows that her loving husband, you Paul will provide for her children as you have done all their lives. She knows that you will keep your faith and be strong for the children. She knows that her family and friends who were there for her in her time of need will continue to support and help out when and if they are needed. She felt she could leave this world knowing that you'll know what to do and will be there no matter what for the children.
There is no right way or wrong way to grieve....this is something that could last forever. It is a very personal thing where there is no manual to follow. You may not feel that you have cried enough yet or you may not cry at all anymore, you handle it the way you feel is right for you. Do talk to people and let them grieve for your wife. Let them share their wonderful memories of her and this will help you understand what she also meant to others.
I wish you all the best on your journey forward...keep your faith and know that people care and want to help.
God bless you and your 3 children
by hotshot on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:06 AM
My prayers are going out to you and your 3 children. God will be right by your side throughout your life just as he has been there thus far. Tina, you know, had the faith that you need to carry on. As hard as this is for you, you know that this is the faith that allowed her to leave this world and experience eternal life with our Lord. You will see her again one day when you join our heavenly father. I can't imagine the pain you are feeling in your heart. Hold onto the memories of all the wonderful times. Stay strong for your children. Stay involved in your church and continue to grow in the Lord with your babies. Praying for you Peter., knowing that with God ALL things are possible.
by EstherMSKCC on Fri Nov 12, 2010 08:21 PM
I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your wife. I'm an employee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and am aware of a number of resources that offer advice on how caregivers (and children) can cope after a loved one passes away from cancer.
For example, the American Cancer Society offers some good information on this topic:
CancerCare provides no-cost individual bereavement counseling and grief support groups, as well as informational materials and practical help:
The National Cancer Institute also offers an online brochure with helpful information on this topic: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/bereav
Grief and children: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/bereav
I hope this information is useful and wish you the best of luck as you seek the support you need during this difficult time. -Esther
by Roselvr on Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:57 AM
Peter; I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't understand why the good ones are taken from us; yet we have jails filled with bad people. I agree that Tina knows you will carry on for the children.
As far as tears- you are in shock- it's still so new & fresh. My dads death hit me really hard about 6 weeks after he passed. You might be fine until something triggers it- then it will come hard.
I hope that it doesn't happen for you; but it very well could. Right now your at peace that she's not suffering.
How are the kids doing?
by lorir1104 on Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:12 AM
So very sorry for your loss, Peter. In the eyes of this world, she was taken way too soon. But thank goodness you BOTH have your faith in knowing that God had another purpose for her and took her home. Some day, we'll understand why - but for now, we're left with all the questions. Lean on God, as I'm sure you are. He'll lift you up in his arms and guide you through.
As for my story, I feel somewhat like you. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer on October 18th of this year. Symptoms started around January, diagnosis came in April. His faith was solid, as with your wife - and he fought like a true warrior. But I think my grieving started at diagnosis. I shed a LOT of tears throughout his diagnosis and treatment. I think in doing that, instead of the hard grieving when someone passes - we've already been through a lot of it, so it doesn't all flood in at once.
That, and the fact that she held so strongly to her faith through it all. So did my dad. I think seeing that, they give us the greatest gift - sharing their strong faith with us. I have no doubt where my dad is, and no doubt where your beautiful wife is as well. That's such a great comfort!
The tears will come....sometimes when you least expect them. You may even want to find a bereavement support group to be with others going through the same thing. I know there are also places in our area that are geared toward kids going through the loss of someone close. Something you may want to check into for them. Just remember, no two people grieve the same. There is no right of wrong as to how you go through it, or how long it takes. Just remember, God is right there at your side.
Blessings to you and your family, and again - I'm sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife.
by ILOVEDAD on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:42 PM
Peter - My heart breaks for you. How are you doing?
by OCMenno on Thu Mar 24, 2011 02:41 AM
I haven't been on CC for quite some time so I am really behind on everything that has been going on here. But I got your notification and checked your profile. First of all, I am very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you and your dad had a very close relationship. God bless you for that! I wish I could say it is only going to get easier now, but in most cases, as it is with me, it get's harder before it gets easier. You will need a lot of support and hopefully you have someone close to you that you can open up with.
This month (March) has been very difficult for me. This was the month that I met my wife 16 years ago (March 12, 1995). We then started dating a couple weeks later, and then her birthday on March 30th. So I have that coming up. During the day I am usually not too bad. I keep busy, the children are doing well, but at night is when I really struggle. Sometimes I wonder how my body is still functioning with the amount of sleep I am getting.
But I do have a close friend (and his wife) that I am very close to and can talk to about anything. They have been incredible both during the years while Tina was struggling with her illness and now also continuing to help me and my children however they can. I also joined a Grief Circle support group recently at Hospice Niagara. That also seems to be helping me to open up and share with others going through the same thing. I have really learned that keeping things inside and doing what you can to make it appear you are doing just fine when you are not, is not a good thing.
Anyway, sorry for rambling on. I do have good days too. I have some laughs and spend time playing and doing things with my little ones. It is hard, but I am slowly learning how to live with it.
I pray that you will receive the strength that you need as you deal with this loss of your own.
Let me know if there is anything I can do. God bless,
by luna1209 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 03:03 AM
So good to read your post. I lost my husband 2/11/11. I need to hear how others are doing...I agree that it definitely gets HARDER before it gets easier...I am in that phase right now - the hard one.
I also see a hospice grief counselor. Wonderful, compassionate woman.
No children for me. Just my husband and me and the cat...
With HOPE,Holly M.
by ILOVEDAD on Sat Mar 26, 2011 03:07 AM
Peter - I appreciate your response. My apologies. I typed you a nice long email back and "poof" it was gone. I hate when that happens.
Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system. I have a loving mother, husband, stepdaughter, bro, sis, bro in law and other extended family. It helps, but no one can say anything that will make me feel better during this time and no one can bring my dad back. I appreciate them reaching out - really I do - but the person I really want is gone forever. "Gone forever" - even so hard to even type.
My heart especially breaks for you this month with your wife's birthday and the anniversaries - a young family - so devastating. March will always be hard for me, dad died March 6th.
I am also going to start counseling. I am glad you are going too. You mention Hospice Niagara, are you from Buffalo? How old are your children?
I'm looking forward to having good days - hard to believe I will someday too, but I know I will.
Life will never be the same we say in our family - without dad. We are trying to figure out the "new normal" without the life of the party - my kind loving dad.
Dad had my whole heart - every piece of it - when he died I did too.
Prayers to both of us....it's so unfair....
God Bless you and your little one's.
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