Alone & Lost
We all come into the world alone & we leave it alone too. Being alone can be very awkward, especially when you’ve been with someone for over 20 years and the past two years for 24 hours a day. Caregiving is like this and it is absolutely necessary. A lot of people can’t handle the stress and they divorce and/or leave their loved one because they cannot cope with what lies ahead. I felt that people judged me when I made the decision to leave my job to care for Ken 100% but I know now that what I did was the most meaningful gift that I could give and receive from Ken. I don’t regret a single moment of any of that time and I’m so eternally grateful that I had that time to spend with him. Others are not granted that gift so I know how special an opportunity it was for both of us.
I try so hard not to sound too sad, ungrateful, etc. but I’m also trying hard to be transparent and honest in my posts after Ken’s passing.
I arrived home on Sunday to an empty house, except for my two loving companions Mila & Pickles. I gleaned the mail to find a UPS letter which contained Ken’s official death certificate. It seemed to put more finality to the situation. I also receive lovely cards and letters that help me to cope somehow.
I feel very lost & confused about what comes next. I thought that the trip to Hawaii would give me some closure and it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to do something lovely with some of Ken’s ashes, but the pain hasn’t gone away but has intensified. I can’t explain it, but it is always there, gnawing at me beating me down about what I’m to do next or do at all.
I just miss my Ken so much, his touch, smell, voice, presence, laugh, smile and motorcycle purr. It’s absolutely so quiet here and I’m not inclined to go outside because I need to be alone, I’m not sure why. People keep telling me “to be kind to myself” and I’m still unsure of what that means. I know that life is hard and I am selfish for feeling the way that I do but I can’t help myself, I MISS KEN. He is never coming back and I don’t know what my life will be like without him. People say it takes time, but I’m also unsure what that means. Time will not return my husband to me, the love of my life and eternal soulmate that he was. I’m not interested in starting over or getting on with things. I guess I’m in a stalemate of sorts. Stuck in between different realms of possibilities. I feel lost and keep looking for Ken to guide me in my dreams.
I think that I felt the most sad on vacation when the monk seals swam away. Very happy sad but it reminded me of losing Ken. I was so strong that day, I don’t know where it came from, but now I feel that the stress is settling into my body and I’m trying to cope.
All that I can say and hope for with anyone reading this post is that you grab on to life, hug the people dearest to you and tell them how much you love them every opportunity you have, and to appreciate what you have now. Forgive and don’t hold on to hate or anger because it only affects you in this life now. Seep in every sunset, sunrise, day, night, watching the glorious moon and the opportunity you have to love and help someone else. If everyone followed this the world would certainly be a better place in which to live.
Hugs to you, Tina.
Dear sweet Tina, those of us who have been a caretaker during a loved one’s terminal illness can certainly identify with you and feel your pain. I would akin to PTSD the seemingly bottomless pit of sadness, despair, fear, loneliness, and anger that follows the trauma of one desperately fighting for the love of one’s life, yet welcoming his death as relief from his pain, going through the emotions of celebrating his life with family and friends while being anesthetized by sheer exhaustion, then waking up to a gnawing reality of life without the one you love. Your desire to be alone at this time, grieving for Ken is being true to yourself and your needs. Grief is an individual process that has no timetable, no right or wrong way. At some point, though, you may want to consider attending a grief counseling group through hospice or your place of worship. Knowing you are not alone, and sharing your grief with others in a sheltered setting can impart life-affirming, renewed feelings of connectedness, faith, grace, and strength.
Tina, I only started reading your blog a few weeks before Ken’s death. I’m a friend of Haui Tarshis and he reccommended it to me. I am so thankful that he did. Today I feel compelled to thank you for the beauty of your words and your willingness to be transparent in your suffering and loss. I don’t know you. Will probably never meet you. But your pain reaches out and touches my pain and by some magic, brings comfort. Maybe knowing that I’m not the only caregiver out there struggling. Maybe just feeling connected to the larger human family – we all love and laugh and cry and struggle. Your writing lets us know how alone you feel. I just want to remind you that feeling alone is not the same as being alone. You are one of us. We are here. I hope that helps in some small way.
I’m not going to pretend to even know what you’re feeling. My heart breaks for you and Ken. Y’all are some of the most memorable people Sara and I have met in our life and would talk about you often with fond memories. I only wish we could’ve been better friends and visited more often—we truly regret that and hope you can forgive us.
If you’ll allow me a few words, I’d tell you that you are completely entitled to your feelings and don’t ever apologize for them. This change is still so new. Embrace your emotions, recognize them and live in them. If you try to shut them out and ignore them, it’ll do more harm than good. Take your time to sort things out for yourself. Find moments of happiness wherever you can. And when you’re ready to take the next step, you’ll know.
You are a strong, vibrant and beautiful woman and even though you may feel alone, you’re truly not. We’re here whenever, however you need. Hope to see you soon.
All our love and thoughts
Danny & Sara
Dear Tina. I cried reading this, as today I feel the same emotions, I lost my soulmate of 30years to this disease in feb. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I wish I could say it gets easier but 6 months on I feel so lonely. I just wonder if the first year is the worst as you visit places for the first time on your own. I agree with you where do we go from here?. how can we move on when life is so unfair … My advise is to take time on your own and do things at your own pace, it’s the only answers I have for you right now..
Hello Dear One,
While reading your post this morning, I realized what a gift your thoughts and words are to everyone who is reading them. Your spirit and Ken’s spirit shine through your words, and through that, both of you are lifting the rest of us. You are doing exactly what you should be. Honoring Ken and yourself in this horrible stretch of time. Whatever your future holds, will unfold in front of you when you feel you can see it. I’m here whenever you need me.
With Love, Lisa
I can only speak for myself, but I don’t expect to get any closure. I still feel married and talk to Bil all the time and he has visited me in dreams. Ken will visit you when the time is right. It won’t always feel so raw as it does now. Your life has changed and not in a happy way. Cry when you want, be alone when you want and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. They don’t have to walk in your shoes and everyone’s way through this is different. I am here if you ever want to talk or just cry together. Death can do many things I don’t like, but it cannot stop us from loving our husbands or anyone we’ve had to let go.
Thank you Amy for your lovely and strong words. They give me comfort. I will call you soon.
Your words are so real and straight from your heart and I thank you for that so much. I’m so sorry for your loss although i’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before that you don’t even register when someone says it. I found so much truth in Ken’s blog and i found him a real sense of strength and inspiration in my own life. My mother is suffering from the same tumour as Ken and its truly heart breaking to watch them slip away before your eyes when all the while we feel strong and almost guilty for not being ill. Please take care of yourself! You need a good nights sleep, please let yourself rest and Ken will come in your dreams and give you the strength you need just now. All my thoughts and prayers are with you x x
I feel so much sadness for the tremendous loss you have experienced. The relationship you had with Ken is one in a million. I can only imagine what a large whole that has left in your heart and in your world. I can only say that I will pray for your strength and that you will get stronger each and every day. Kebo will be looking down on you and taking every step with you in spirit. Stay strong and force yourself to keep on keeping on! I know he would want you to do that carry his legacy forward!
my husband died after 28 months with a glio…july 8th…not long after yours. i think i was numb at first because the pain is getting worse for me too. the seperation alone is unbearable. all i can do is be strong for my kids and take one day at a time. I wish you the best..you are not alone.