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Jim is Gone

May 2, 2016

I thought that when Jim died I would be ready. I have known that day was coming for a really long time. There was always the off chance I would end up dying first, but the disease took my love from us on April 2. I was supposed to write some blog pieces by now, but when your brain is frozen and non-functioning, it is hard to write. This is my first foray back into the arena.

I wrote about our experience before Jim passed away on my personal blog, www.missingjim.com. Since then, I have been functioning with erratic stability, with moments where I think I can embrace this new chapter of my life and times I can barely function, unable to think clearly enough to carry on a conversation let alone make any decisions. Sometimes I don’t even remember the conversation or who I was speaking with.

How can I be so ill prepared for a time that I not only have prepared and thought about anxiously over and over again for years? How can the finality be so shocking? How can I be so sad, so sorrowful, so emotional, so devastated? Haven’t I been grieving Jim since the day he got diagnosed in 2011?

Yet, I mourn. I mourn the loss of him, of our family, our children’s father, my best friend and the man that made the world a better place for all of us. I long to look into his beautiful blue eyes again and then it hits me: he isn’t just down the road at his home but he is gone and I will never see those baby blues again. I will never hold his hand again. I will never feel his touch, however weak or changed it had become, ever again. He will not miraculously recover and come home to help parent our kids. He will not aggravate me anymore.

I feel panic. What was his favorite movie? What was his favorite restaurant and meal? What was it we did last year for our anniversary? My own brain has started to let me down. I can’t seem to be clearheaded enough to recall all the little details I am desperate to hold onto.

How could I have been so stupid as to delete his voicemails? I saved one. ONE. Out of the hundreds. But my voicemail always got full and there would always be more from him, right? The only one I did keep doesn’t have the three words he always said to me, almost to a point of annoyance….I love you. Why? Why didn’t I save one of those messages?

Is it possible to miss someone who has been gone for years? Yes my friend. Yes it is.

I am grateful to Home Instead Senior Care for their support, understanding and patience during this time. And I thank you, my faithful and caring readers for your thoughts and your prayers.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. May 18, 2016 at 04:13 pm
    Posted by Paul Stallebrass

    My wife started having problems with her memory in 2011, initially her doctor dismissed this as depression, the fact she was watching trash daytime TV, and that she wasn't using her brain as much as before as she was not working. It took almost a year for her doctor to take her symptons seriously, and almost another 18 months of tests, waiting for specialists to finally be given a diagnosis. She turned 52 in April this year, and is in late stage Alzheimer's. Watching her die a little bit more is heartbreaking. Our time together is now precious. My heart goes out to you.
  2. May 4, 2016 at 07:13 pm
    Posted by margaret Janssen

    So sorry for your loss, Jim was so young and my heart goes out to you and your family. I know my time will come, my husband has Vascular Dementia for two years now and I feel sometimes I have a child to take care of, he forgets so much , I keep reminding him and showing him everything. It is draining, my husband is 84 and I am 77. Thank God for our support group here in our little town of Creston, British Columbia. My prayers are with you, that life will start looking up. Have faith in God, he knows your hurts and anxieties. Things will get better. God Bless you .
  3. May 4, 2016 at 08:31 am
    Posted by DIANE SHEIMAN

    My mother died at 88 after suffering for many years. I cried when she died, and I broke down at the funeral. I don't care how old they are or how long they have been sick, this disease is a tragedy and we question everything about how we handled it. My mom had the greatest care and I know now that I took good care of her. My husband died suddenly one night and its been two years. Seems like yesterday. I will mourn him forever. His dying changed by life, but he is in my heart every day and Jim will always be with you. No matter what, you will never forget him.
  4. May 4, 2016 at 01:58 am
    Posted by Isabel Primmer

    I know the exact feelings you are going through. I lost my son June 3rd, 2015 with dementia and cancer. I am still going through the loss of not only my husband but my son. Everyday is different as well as your feelings and emotions. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a husband or child. My son was only 56 and I still feel he should out live his Mother. I finally had to go to grieving classes and they have really helped. I love to do scrap booking of pictures for my Grandchildren.but my heart or energy is just not there. Just take one day at a time.

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