Husband recently passed away.

Discussion in 'Coping and Compassion' started by Cherry, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Cherry

    Cherry <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    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.
     
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  3. CarolynU

    CarolynU <font color=CC0000>Proud Mum twice over<br><font c

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    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.
     
  4. Mackey Mouse

    Mackey Mouse <font color="blue">Me read the Navigator? I don't

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    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!!!!!!
     
  5. CarolynU

    CarolynU <font color=CC0000>Proud Mum twice over<br><font c

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    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.
     
  6. Philagoofy

    Philagoofy <font color=purple>Guess my favorite dog!<br><font

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    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.
     
  7. NeedaVacation03

    NeedaVacation03 <font color=green>My first pair of real sneakers c

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    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.
     
  8. Mackey Mouse

    Mackey Mouse <font color="blue">Me read the Navigator? I don't

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    Hugs to Needavacation.....we will keep your Dad in our thoughts and prayers...If you need to talk, we are here.
     
  9. Cherry

    Cherry <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    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?
     
  10. CarolynU

    CarolynU <font color=CC0000>Proud Mum twice over<br><font c

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    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.
     
  11. kdzgon

    kdzgon DIS Veteran

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    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
     
  12. CarolynU

    CarolynU <font color=CC0000>Proud Mum twice over<br><font c

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    "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
     
  13. Cherry

    Cherry <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    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?
     
  14. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

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    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.
     
  15. Mackey Mouse

    Mackey Mouse <font color="blue">Me read the Navigator? I don't

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    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...
     
  16. CarolynU

    CarolynU <font color=CC0000>Proud Mum twice over<br><font c

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    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?
     
  17. safetymom

    safetymom Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  18. Cherry

    Cherry <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    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.
     
  19. kdzgon

    kdzgon DIS Veteran

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    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?
     
  20. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

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    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:
     
  21. CarolAnnC

    CarolAnnC <font color=blue>Caught Smuggling Jello Shot Syrin

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    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.
     

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