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I lost my husband coming on to 6 years ago. We had 10 years of happy marriage but in the last 10 years he became nasty, controlling and demanding. He died of Mesothelioma after a two year illness so his death was not entirely unexpected. I was sad of course. I did what I had to do to support my four children and keep life on track. I was, as they say, strong. For the first couple of years I had moments of really missing him.
My children have all left home now. I have a good job, great friends and a connection with my community. I’m even getting used to the loneliness!
My trouble is that I feel guilty. When I think of my husband I can remember the good times……but I can remember the bad too. Being yelled at, put down, not trusted. Feeling like I was walking on eggshells, not knowing what sort of reception I would get when I came home. Feeling like I had to constantly protect my children from his ranting. Feeling tired and down-trodden, and not being able to understand what had changed, what had caused this dramatic change in his behaviour.
We had a great palliative care team. The counsellor addressed my husband’s narcissistic tendencies with me and tried to convince me that none of his behaviours were my fault. I know that but still to this day I don’t understand why he was like that.
So why do I feel guilty? In my home there are no photos of my husband. When I hear people say they would give anything to just spend a few moments with their deceased loved one I don’t feel the same. My life is better now than it was for half of our marriage. I think I grieved before he died. I feel like I lost him years before the cancer got him.
Yesterday I found our digital photo frame and I started looking at the photos. I couldn’t look at them. I couldn’t look at his eyes. All I saw was nastiness and it brought back memories of the bad times even though most of the photos were of good times.
I wish I could miss him but I don’t. I miss him taking the rubbish bins out, helping with the cooking, fixing things etc but I don’t miss HIM! And I feel so guilty for that.
I also don’t understand why now, after almost 6 years. I’ve not given it much thought before – not dwelled on it like I do now. Now I want to cry, yell, throw things….do something! but I just seem incapable.
Despite everything, I loved him so, so much. I just wish I could understand why he was the way he was and why I’m the way I am now.
Writing helps. That’s got to be a good thing hey!
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