Three years ago, my darling husband of 41 years died from cancer. He had struggled for years from this vicious disease that takes so many loved ones from us and after living a very full life, we were well prepared for his final weeks. Or so I thought.
Trev passed away peacefully while resting. His family and closest friends surrounded him and we held hands as he finally left us. It was beautiful in many ways, but as I said my final goodbyes to the love of my life, I was full of regret.
Not because I hadn’t loved him enough, supported him enough or done all I could for him. But because I wanted to spend his finals days together – just the two of us. I wanted him to be happy, going with the happy memories of us together, not just for him but myself too. And the reality is that this wasn’t the case.
His final days were spent with visitor after visitor. So many friends had come to pay their respects and say goodbye to my wonderful man. Our house had a revolving door and in came one family as another exited. I kept the house well stocked with freshly baked goods so people could enjoy their last moments with Trev in a normal way, without it feeling as horrible as the situation really was.
I was glad to do it, but because of that, I didn’t get to spend the time with Trev that I wanted to. We didn’t get to look over the times we had together and revel in our beautiful memories.
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I feel selfish for wanting that for not just him but myself too, especially because he lived a life with so many beautiful people in it. But to this day, I regret that we didn’t spend those final days together – just the two of us.
It is a hard thing, saying goodbye to anyone. You laugh, you cry, you want to remember your fond memories and reminisce on the wonderful times you spent together but you also can’t help but be saddened by the emptiness you know your heart will soon feel.
I am sure that many people in the Starts at 60 community have said goodbye to their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers and even children over the years and that you’ll agree with me – it doesn’t ever get any easier.
It is a personal thing, losing a loved one. Especially when you always envisioned spending your older years together, and I don’t blame a single person for making me feel the way I do. Every single person that came to visit deserved his or her chance to say goodbye to Trev. And he deserved the chance to see the profound impact he had on other people’s lives and to be proud of that.
Perhaps it was a coping mechanism that I spent more time in the kitchen than with him in those last days, and perhaps it is exactly how the universe intended it to be. But I will always wish that I had spent more time with my darling man in those final hours.
How have you dealt with the loss of a loved one before? Have you struggled with regret as I have? I would love for you to share your own stories with us today…