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Cherry
11-13-2006, 03:29 PM
This board is a wonderful idea. I've been a member of the DIS boards for quite a while, and have wanted to share this, but just didn't have a place where I really wanted to post it, but this seems like a great place.

My husband, J.J., and I have been Disney lovers since our first trip in 1976. Since then, we have gone back too many times to count with kids and grandkids. Since we joined DVC in 1996, we have gone at least twice a year (sometimes three times), once in the summer with all the kids and grandkids, and once in the fall for a "grownups" trip with just my husband and I, or maybe a couple of adult friends.

My husband was diagnosed with throat cancer in February of 2005 and died with metastasis to the lung on August 18 of this year. I miss him more than I could ever say. He was a wonderful, funny many who loved God, his family and Disney in that order. During his entire illness he never complained, not even once, as he went through chemo and radiation. We had reservations to go to Disney in August, and his goal was to be able to make it to that trip -- but unfortunately, he was not well enough to go, and we had to cancel. Disney was his second home -- especially since we joined DVC. He was our cameraman, and we have wonderful memories of every trip -- as he recorded our every move throughout every day. He bought a van he called his "Mickey Van," to travel in. He had a Fort Wilderness cover on the tire on the back, and a small trailer he pulled with Disney signs all over it (the Mickey trailer, of course).

I am making my first trip back to Disney without him the week after Christmas. I was invited by his sister and her husband to stay with them at Old Key West. I couldn't decided whether going without him so soon was a good idea, but there are so many good memories of him there, that I decided it might be a good thing to do. I hope I was right.

Well, that's my story for now. I'm glad to have a place to tell some fellow Disney lovers about my wonderful husband of 41 years. I tried to have some kind of Disney symbol put on his grave marker -- he loved Disney that much. We got a very, very nice letter from Disney saying that they had made a decision years ago not to allow Disney emblems to be used in this way -- and I certainly understood that. Disney should probably always be associated with something happy!

Thanks again for giving me a place to get some of my feelings out among fellow Disney lovers.

CarolynU
11-13-2006, 03:32 PM
It seems that our stories are very similar, and you are going the week after I get back.
Let's hope that we can re-live old memories without too much pain, and try our best to make new ones.
Maybe we need to think of each other.

Mackey Mouse
11-13-2006, 04:12 PM
Hugs Cherry.. I just read your story and I have to say these men are so brave going through chemo and radiation and not complaining.. I hear ya.. my husband never complains. We are married 37 years this past July.....and I am hoping for more years to come.. I will take what I get and live each day and go for the gusto.......so hopefully we can go to WDW this December, his favorite time to go....I can only hope that he is well enough to go.

You take care of yourself....Hugs!!!!!!

CarolynU
11-13-2006, 04:25 PM
Who knows Cherry one day we may meet up, and we can empathise with each others pain, and try to move forward together.
If not at least we have this virtual family on this board to help us through the tough times ahead.

Philagoofy
11-13-2006, 07:01 PM
Cherry, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It sounds like you had a wonderful husband. I'm glad you have so many good memories of him. I hope they can be of some comfort. I can't imagine what you are going through but my heart really goes out to you. Hope your trip to Disney is good. Take care.

NeedaVacation03
11-14-2006, 08:06 AM
Cherry, I am sorry to hear about your loss. I think that you are very brave to make the trip back to a place that made you both so happy. Although it will be difficult, it could really be exactly what you need. You will be able to feel your DH around you, encouraging you every step of the way.
My father was just diagnosed with throat cancer and I appreciate you sharing your story. Thank you.

Mackey Mouse
11-14-2006, 09:04 AM
Hugs to Needavacation.....we will keep your Dad in our thoughts and prayers...If you need to talk, we are here.

Cherry
11-14-2006, 09:15 AM
Thank you all so much for your messages. Support and understanding from others means so much - and it sounds like we are all going through some pretty hard times. Mackay Mouse, I will be thinking about and praying for you and your husband as he goes through the treatments. We tried to find some good things about going to the treatments -- we met some really great people, and everyone at the treatment center, staff and patients, were very upbeat - no doom and gloom. We just all supported each other and had a good time. And it gave my husband and I a lot of time to spend together and enjoy each other. That may sound strange, but, like you said you have to go for the gusto and live one day at a time, making the best of what you're given. I'm so glad you're doing that.

Needavacation, I'm so sorry to hear that your father was just diagnosed with throat cancer. Don't get too discouraged. I know many people who have had it and are doing well years later. Two people in particular who were each diagnosed almost five years before my husband are still doing well. So be positive and never give up!

Thank you, Philagoofy, for your kind words. They are so much appreciated.

Carolyn, I hope maybe we can meet someday at Disney and talk about our wonderful guys. I will think of you during our trips to Disney. I'm so glad we will both have family there with us. What are the dates that you go?

CarolynU
11-14-2006, 12:22 PM
Cherry this vacation we are there 26th Dec to 2nd Jan, but I am trying to persuade another friend of mine who has also lost her husband to take a short break 10th - 17th Feb with me, but no luck as yet. I will probably try to go again in August but no firm dates yet.
I really don't want to stop going to this wonderful place, so I hope that this next vacation brings new happy times rather than simply reminding me of happier times past.
I expect that it's the same for you. I will keep you in my thoughts.

kdzgon
11-14-2006, 01:17 PM
Cherry and Carolyn,

If you find yourself thinking about not going on these upcoming trips or if they are painful while there, just remind yourself that those sad moments will come no matter where you are. Even if you are not ready to fully enjoy WDW this trip, being somewhere that your spouses enjoyed so much will be a good distraction for these difficult times.

I must disagree with those that say time makes it better - I think it just makes it different - including harder, sometimes. I think nurturing the Disney connection will not only be a wonderful tribute to your loved ones but hopefully you will be able to find some comfort in the familiar yet special surroundings.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Laurie

CarolynU
11-14-2006, 01:42 PM
"If you find yourself thinking about not going on these upcoming trips or if they are painful while there, just remind yourself that those sad moments will come no matter where you are."


Laurie how wise these words are. Do you know I hadn't even thought of it like that. I am going to remember this statement, and if I do start to feel unhappy then I will simply consider how unhappy I would be anyway, and probably considerably more so if I were anywhere else.
Carolyn

Cherry
11-14-2006, 01:52 PM
kdzgon, Carolyn is right -- I am going to remember that statement, too. I think it's a very good way to think about it. You sound like someone who has also been through this experience.

Carolyn, we are actually going to be at Disney at the same time. I arrive late on the 26th and leave on the 1st. Maybe we will run into each other. Where are you staying? I'll be at Old Key West.

Mackey Mouse, when will you be there with your husband?

Netty
11-14-2006, 02:12 PM
Carolyn and Cherry :grouphug: :grouphug: to you both.
Carolyn, i have known you for a while and will email you soon, how amazing if thats the right word,that both of you are going through the same lives and both of you will be in wdw at the same time, hope you manage to meet each other.

Mackey Mouse
11-14-2006, 02:33 PM
We are scheduled to be there December 3-10....our daughters are flying in to be with their Dad at his fave place....two of them, the other one lives in London and is going to come home for Christmas.. it will be her first Christmas home in two years...

CarolynU
11-15-2006, 04:24 PM
This particular vacation we are not staying on property, because my sister, her husband and young family are flying over from California to join us and do not share our love of all things Disney, but are coming especially to support us. Actually I really appreciate it, because I am hoping that showing their young children the place where we have shared so many magical times will help to take our minds off the huge part that is missing.
Cherry we will be at Epcot on NYE. Have you made any plans yet?

safetymom
11-15-2006, 06:24 PM
Cherry, I am so sorry for your loss. After my husband passed away my sister decided it was time for a family trip to WDW. It was the best thing we could have done. It gave us a chance to forget about the real world for awhile.

The days get softer, but there will still be those days his passing is very hard to bear.

Cherry
11-16-2006, 06:41 PM
Carolyn, I decided maybe I didn't want to be in one of the parks on New Year's Eve. I am considering sitting on the beach at the Polynesian and watching the fireworks from a distance. My son lives in Tampa, and he is going to come to WDW to spend New Year's Eve with us.

I thought I might enjoy doing something low key. I may be sorry, as it may give me too much time to think.

kdzgon
11-17-2006, 10:19 AM
Carolyn, I decided maybe I didn't want to be in one of the parks on New Year's Eve. I am considering sitting on the beach at the Polynesian and watching the fireworks from a distance. My son lives in Tampa, and he is going to come to WDW to spend New Year's Eve with us.

I thought I might enjoy doing something low key. I may be sorry, as it may give me too much time to think.

FWIW, I think the quiet while still surrounded by such a cherished place you had together will be good. No amount of distraction can pull us away from thoughts of loved ones lost, especially such emotional moments as the stroke of midnight on NYE. Besides, if you suddenly crave more noise and/or activity, it will be only a monorail ride away, no?

minkydog
11-17-2006, 10:39 AM
I'm so glad you're going to WDW. As a previous poster said, avoiding disney World won't help you avoid the pain and it sounds like it might actually help with your healing.

My DH has chronic illness which has been up & down. LIttle bylittle the activities he once enjoyed (hiking, singing,yardwork)have all slipped away. However, he can still do disney :thumbsup2 and we go about once a year. He says when he dies he wants his ashes discreetly dumped at EPCOT so the kids will be sure to come see him:rotfl: Not sure if one can actually do that, but we'll see...

Hope ya'll have a great time on your trip. :grouphug:

CarolAnnC
11-17-2006, 07:28 PM
I want to send hugs and encouragement to the ladies who have lost their DH's.

I was widowed at a young age (suddenly) and had two DD's who had just started grades 9 and 12 two weeks before. Jen had just celebrated her 15th birthday the week before Mike passed on.

I will not hide the fact that the first trip down to WDW afterwards was very hard. We of course love WDW so much and I thought we needed to get away. It is bittersweet. Painful yet comforting. To this day there is always the feeling that Mike is close by, especially when we are at his most favorite place.

We had booked a Disney Cruise and decided to still set sail only two months after we lost him. With the love, help and support of dear friends who decided to come along, we did enjoy ourselves and eased the pain just a tiny bit. Thank you Marsha and Tommy ... I can still see that beautiful rainbow across the sky at sailaway....it was our beloved Mike letting me know he was there in spirit.

CarolynU
11-18-2006, 05:54 PM
Cherry, I completely respect your decision to stay somewhere quiet on NYE. It was a really touch choice for us too. In the end we have opted to go to Epcot, but only because our tradition is either MK or The Studios, so this is different. It is also the place where my DS Simon and his partner Tam met while working for Disney, so we will try to focus on that. Like you though we don't know whether we have made the correct choice, and would prefer some quiet family time. I guess we won't know until we're there.

Mackey Mouse
11-18-2006, 06:41 PM
It is a hard decision to make about going and when to go, but I know that when Carol and her daughters went on the cruise that Tom and I were there for them.....their family as well and we had some smiles, a few tears, but most of all made some wonderful memories.. I will treasure these memories......

I am not sure what I will feel or if I have to feel, I hate even thinking that, about our favorite place, WDW, without Tom. We bought DVC last year and we were going for it, living the dream, and just enjoying his retirement and his feeling well. Now, we start again, but we are going in December and hopefully he will feel well enough to enjoy some things and know enough to come back to the room and rest when he needs it...

safetymom
11-18-2006, 08:24 PM
Sometimes as you know you need to take life minute by minute. Sometimes you take one step forward and two steps back.

It also seemed for me and other friends who were widows it wasn't "that" day that was the hardest but several days later when you let your guard down. That is when it hit me that my husband wasn't there anymore.

Cherry
11-19-2006, 12:07 AM
Safetymom, I think I know what you mean about it not being "that day" but several days later. I have told a lot of my friends that it's not the big things that get me, but the little ones. I can get myself geared up to handle my first birthday without him, the family reunion that he's not there for, things like that. They are tough, but I get myself ready for it ahead, and it's okay. What I have trouble with are the little things that just pop up -- a man who looks like him in the distance, a couple our age walking into the store holding hands -- even watching a silly Adam Sandler movie and hearing a song about growing old together, those are the things that catch me by surprise, and set me off for a little while.

This board helps a lot, just having some place to talk about it with people who are going through the same thing.

Mackey Mouse
11-19-2006, 05:27 AM
HUgs Cherry......I hear ya... we are here for you.. Just to listen, send hugs or whatever you need from the Dis family... we are here.

safetymom
11-19-2006, 07:37 AM
Cherry, I agree with Mackey. Talk away, it real does help. I still have those moments and it has been 12 years for me.

I know I am going to have a lot of those moments when my daughter delivers her first baby next month. My late husband would be so thrilled to be a grandfather. This will be our first grandchild. I will be thrilled and sad at the same time.