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I'm so unbearably sad


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How do you answer when people keep asking how you are doing? I get up, get dressed, eat sometime during the day, went back to work my 2 days a week last week and appear to be funtioning well. But I am so unbelievably sad. How are we supposed to go on living when the best part of us is gone and never coming back? How do we ever have hope for anything, or positive thoughts or even care about anything again? I can't even write anything to the new people because I wouldn't believe it anyway. I feel like the past 5 months of treatments, tests and drugs were all for NOTHING. I don't blame the dr. or Rod for smoking. Today in church the message was about "it isn't fair". My brain can't actually hold on to anything so I don't remember what he said but the one thing I caught was just that, life isn't fair.


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You are so right Barb, it isn't fair. It stinks and it hurts and right now you don't know where to turn or what to do to ease the pain for even one second. Sleep doesn't stop the pain if you can sleep it just makes you a little less aware of it.

All I can tell you is to put one foot in front of the other. Don't make any decicions if you don't have to. Spend the time alone that you need and spend time with whoever will talk to you about your loss. Talk to people who knew him and know you and share some of the memories with them both good and bad.

I didn't find this site until almost a year after I lost my Johnny. It has been a life saver for me, but in those early days I was alone. I had nowhere to turn except to Johnny's niece. She was there for me day after day and night after night.

I was so angry at the world that let them take him from me and at God for not letting me see what was happening so I could do something about it. I was mad at his family and I was mad at myself. Every part of my being hurt. I had to find an outlet. I found that by keeping a journal. Some days I would write in it for hours. I would pour my heart out and then I would write long letters to Johnny telling him how much I love him and how much I miss him.

I won't lie to you. It is not easy but in time you will see something worth living for. It took me the better part of two years. I still have terrible days like this past week and the aniversary of his death. I'm alive and that is what I know Johnny would want for me. He knows my love is with him and I know his is with me. That sustains me. I have also found a very personal relationship with God. It took time but I am here and for the most part doing alright.

It is just so soon.My heart breaks for you because I remember those first days so well. I seemed numb in some ways but most of the time I felt as if there were some wild animal eating me from the inside out.

Do the best you can for yourself and come here often. There are always people here to "listen" even if it is in print. We listen and we send you love and prayers. If you need someone to talk to just let me know. God Bless you.

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It IS hard to reconcile all of the misery of treatment, especially when your loved one passes on so soon after diagnosis. And if we could only peek into the future long enough to see if it would all be worth it in the end, well, I guess that would really be something.

But that isn't reality. The decision to fight the cancer was the best decision you both could make at the time. And seeing that Rod's cancer was apparently very aggressive, I personally believe that the chemo did give you both some extra time. So I would not say that it was a waste, but I do understand where you are coming from.

I can't give you any advice on how to survive losing a spouse, but there are a lot of people on this board who are in the same boat as you, and they would be in a better position to offer some advice. I cannot imagine the depth of your pain, and I can only tell you to be gentle with yourself and do not expect to recover from this too soon. It takes time, sometimes a lot of time.

Warm regards,


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It depends on the person asking-- if it is someone that I know really cares I tell the truth (not well). If they're asking just to be polite I usually say "we're hanging in there."

I find I do better away from home, at work or out of the house. I have my bad times at home where he should be but isn't. I know it will get better some day-- I'd just like to fast forward to that day.

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One person here commented some time back tht when she said she was 'doing better' what she really meant was she was doing better at hiding her pain from everyone. Grief doesn't just go away quickly, just because that is convenient for those around us.

I always think that our pain is in direct correlation with the love that we have lost. The more the love, the more the grief. We were so lucky to have people we loved so much, who loved us back. It just hurts so much when they are gone.

Lots of hugs and prayers going out to you.


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Hi Barb,

You are so newly in your grief. I am 5 months out (20 weeks tomorrow), and I can hardly believe it. For the first 3 to 4 weeks at least, I was completely manic and probably not in reality much of the time. I slept because I was so exhausted at the end of each day. I definitely was in a state of shock. I "appeared" to be the pillar of strength at Bill's service -- I read from his book, I laughed and talked to people -- it was surreal. Within that, I do also remember very well thinking, "Please God, just let me get in a head-on collision." I wasn't anywhere close to being suicidal, I just didn't care. Most of all, I just wanted to be with Bill again. And I couldn't imagine trying to go forward without him.

Ry, I had the same response as you to most people when they asked how I was .. "I'm hanging in there." To people I felt comfortable with, I'd say, "I don't know." Because I didn't (still don't really).

What I tried to do at first was to accept almost every invitation extended to me, and to seek out any little thing that gave me a sense of life and joy. I remember shortly after I was at home (after everyone left) that I went to the beach with my niece and little great niece and nephew. I was sick to my stomach, only halfway present, but I felt "life" when I held my little great niece's hand and watched her jump and laugh when the waves rolled in. I laughed, looked around, breathed in the ocean air, and saw life.

I can honestly say that I no longer pray to be in a head-on collision. But that doesn't mean that I miss Bill any less. I can also honestly say that I do want to find purpose and joy in life. I have no idea what form that will take. But I've found that diving into meaningful projects helps me. Doing things that will really make a difference to other people or myself helps me. And doing things I know I'm good at helps. Being around the people in my "comfort zone" helps -- and I do have a comfort zone that I don't venture out of too much.

You mentioned your church. Allow the people there to help you. Be open with those you feel comfortable with. If you're not in one already, join a small group. My church is my lifeline. I've also formed closer relationships with people that had been in my life before -- but only because I forced myself to accept invitations. Now I'm not forcing it -- I want to accept them. I value their place in my life. You need to be around people you can be honest with and who can deal with where you are. When you're ready, I would encourage you to seek out a grief support group.

It's a rough road. And as Katie said in another post, our grief is unique. No two people experience it the same way. You have to allow yourself to be where you are right now. Take it literally one day, or one hour, at a time. Don't compare yourself with anyone else. At the end of each day, remind yourself that you made it through. Realize also that things are going to change from one week or one day to the next. I often have my worst days right after I've had a good day. It always catches me by surprise. But it works the other way too -- I often have a good day after a bad one.

PM me anytime.


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I'm pm'ing you but one thing I'd like to say is we are strong women and have been made stronger in our love and faith through this experience. I know, it sounds strange to me too, but it's true. God does have a plan for all of us and as mysterious as it seems, this loss is part of his plan. I'm not really liking his choice, but that's okay too. He knows what he's doing and when we stop to listen, we'll hear his new plan. He knows that emotionally we're not going to be up and running around anytime soon. His plan will be unveiled when he knows we are ready.

Many heartfelt hugs,


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Barb, I didn't lose a spouse but I still lost my best friend. And I said with my Dad and now with my Mom--what was all that treatment for? The misery and pain were unbearable to watch. But I work in health care, and I know that we have to take that chance and afford everyone evey opportunity available. Mom knew it and she made the decision and I would make the same one.

I have read all of these beautiful responses and I am going to try to take your advice--even though it was for Barb :oops: .

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You just go day to day - survival mode for the first bit. In retrospect that is what I did. I have been without my husband now for 8 1/2 monthes. I find it harder now. I go on the www.ywbb.org alot - I find that helpful. As far as the treatments and tests being for nothing...take it to another realm. This might sound really stupid - but before Gerald was diagnosed with cancer I knew literally nothing about cancer.. Any kind of it. I hadn't seen anyone or known anyone on chemo or radiation that I was close to. I learned alot - about many things. Medically - I carried a brief case with me to the specialists - they asked me what I thought. Now I can be of help to others. Spiritually - Gerald was blessed to have a spiritual healer work with him on a weekly basis. She became a very close friend. I have contact and have had chacra healings with her - so for me also there has been some spiritual development. Gerald's illness and all of the stuff we did - carepages...now facebook have brought in my opinion some of the family and friends closer together. I hate the quote "there is a reason for everything" - cause it seems so unjust that our family have to die..but somehow I guess we have to look at that and try to find an acceptable reason. "It was their time" - is also a sad expression - but if it hadn't have been this way - could it have been a more brutal or heart wrenching way. I can't give you an answer. Stay strong and brave. If you need help go and get it. When being a care giver you do go through some sense of a traumatic experience if you have never faced anything in your life like this before. I am seeing my doctor on Wednesday about post traumatic stress disorder. Not sleeping - to many bad dreams - and the feeling of unfairness are still there hugely for me so you are not alone.

Take care.


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I will not pretend to understand how you must feel right now, and I can't give you any profound advice as to how to get through this loss. What I can do for you is let you know how very much you have been in my heart and mind the past weeks. Over Thanksgiving I was out of state and "computerless" for a week and I wondered about you often. My son even said as soon as we got home for me to get on the computer and check to see how Barb is doing. This is the first post I have seen from you and I am glad to see you back. Your cyber family loves you and are here for you anytime you need us. Take one day at a time and know that at times like these God IS carrying you (even though it may not seem like it).

God bless.


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Coping with the loss of a loved one is very much like a baby taking its first steps. At first, you're very insecure and feel you have to have something to hold onto for security so you won't fall. As time goes by, you begin to let go a little but you're still afraid to walk on alone. You often stumble and fall and hope there is someone close by to pick you up and comfort you. Finally, although sometimes unsure of yourself, you're able to walk alone although those first steps may be small ones.

December 15th will mark five years since I lost Dennis and sometimes, I'm still taking those tiny steps and reaching out for someone to catch me. But...the good news is that things do get a bit easier and there are times I can actually run!!!

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You certainly much advice on here.

I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you and I wish I could do something to ease your pain.

Only time can do that.

So sorry for your loss. I hope you have support and love of family and friends to help you get through this difficult holiday season.

I pray I never have to go through what so many of you are going through. I have no idea how I could cop with such a tremendous loss.

I pray for you.



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