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January 21, 2016 in Advanced pancreatic cancer
I was fine all day as I've been busy sorting things. The only thing that got me was I had to make someone a cup of coffee and used hubby's coffee machine (I only drink tea). So stupid but pressing the button on the machine made me bawl because I suddenly realised I'd never hear him say "love make me a coffee" ever ever again.
I haven't allowed myself to stop since 8am this morning until now because I just don't want to think about it. Yesterday I was replaying the last 10 minutes over and over in my head and it was torturing me. Today, I'm having trouble recalling them which is really weird, perhaps my head knows when somethings too painful to contemplate, who knows.
Just a little bit about hubby. He was a character. Quirky, charismatic and funny. He had a massively larger than life personality. His glass was always half full and he had such a way,
you'd know when he entered a room. Well, since his diagnosis, he decided that colour was the name of the game and invested in some massively brightly coloured tracksuits with matching t shirts and caps when his hair went thin. Even his underpants and socks matched the colour he was wearing, whether it be a brighter yellow day, orange or green! We used to go into tesco and he'd show one of the assistants we'd got friendly with the elastic to prove he matched. I used to say how can you do that in tesco but everyone roared with laughter!
So a fitting tribute will be a yellow and orange stripped coffin and I'm going to ask everyone to wear yellow. Although we never got around to discussing his wishes other than cremation, my son and I have decided its going to be a happy event but moreover, it's going to be massively colourful and we are going to give a send off no-one will forget in a hurry because it's such a fitting way to end such a colourful life.
My son came downstairs wearing one of his dad's matching volt yellow tops, matching cap and black sun glasses with yellow on the side and declared he was wearing it to his dads funeral. I know hubby would roar with laughter at the very thought.
I have been very productive today. I have always been a "do-er", an organiser so as long as I am kept busy, I'm okay. I cannot bear to contemplate what will happen when things go back to normal and I run out of things to arrange. The future looks so bleak and worthless without the love of my life but I have an amazing son who has been such an incredible emotional support today. So as well as a Proud Wife, I am a Proud Mother! xxx
Annette, would love contact. Will email support, thank you xxxx
PW/PM That all sounds marvellous,
I know how you feel, the night I came back from the hospice, I washed everything, I had 3 full lines and a full whirly gig thing full of washing, and was pegging it out at midnight, my son bless him just let me get on with it, I think he realised I just needed to do it. Trevor's pet name for me was always "Washy".
I keep saying this sorry, but I felt as though we were all playing parts in a play and when it was over everything would go back to normal and Trevor would be back sorry to say that it didn't happen of course.
Your hubby sounds a lovely very special man, and not unlike my Trevor, he too was always chatting to everyone, and everyone in the oncology unit knew him, and he would pull every ones leg right up to the last few days of his life. Please try to take care love sandrax xx
Can someone please tell me how to contact support!!!
It's nice to hear a bit more about Trevor, Sandra. We get to understand one another because of the common bond, we go through the same but our loved ones are all unique xxx
How lovely Steve was a pink person .sounds like you are going to have a wonderful celebration .I am still running around doing things that don't need doing but keeping busy helps me to x
Hello my lovely, just been thinking about you and proud son and realised it was too late to text you. All the support on here is just amazing and those of us on this side of the divide (to coin didges phrase) certainly know what you are going through. I'll be in touch tomorrow my love hope you've managed to get some sleep xxx
Dear PW & PM, just email the support line and explain you would like to contact me. They will then provide my email address. Look forward to hearing from you. Annette xxxxxx
I was so sorry to hear your news, sending love and hugs to you and your son xx
I just wanted to leave some words for you that I hope will be of some comfort to you. Its a rather long poem but I felt I wanted to share it with you. Its called Forever in your heart. "Feel no guilt in laughter, he knows how much you care, Feel no sorrow in a smile, that he's not there to share, You cannot grieve forever, he would not want you to, he'd hope that you would carry on, the way you always do, so talk about the good times, and the ways you showed you cared, the days you spent together, and the happiness you shared, let memories surround you, a word someone might say, will suddenly recapture, a time, an hour, a day, that brings him back as clearly as though he was still here, and fills you with the feelings, that say he's always near, for if you keep those moments, you will never be apart, and they will live forever, safely locked within your heart" Thinking of you at this time xxxx
Hi PW, hope you and your lovely son are coping. Being busy does help - I still do it now after 16 weeks. Stewart didn't talk much about his funeral either. We always thought he would get home and we were going to get his chosen funeral director to the house. I only knew he wanted cremation and no religion. We had a celebration of life, a white casket with the musical notes of two of his favourite songs (one along each side) and his football club badge at each end. Hubby does sound like a real colourful character and I know he would appreciate your plans. Its so hard to do but you will do him proud. Its one of the last, most important things you will do for him. Take care of yourselves.
Judith, that poem is beautiful.
How are you doing PW? x
Thinking of you PW
Judith the poem is beautiful
We are so sorry to hear of your dear husband's passing, and thinking of you at this sad time. Please accept our deepest condolences from the nurses in the support team and all members of the charity.
PW your strength and courage throughout this journey, like so many others here has been amazing and your ongoing support of the other members in the forum family.
Please do be in touch with us as you may need. Thinking of you and your son and extended family at this time.
With our heartfelt sympathy,
Pancreatic Cancer Nurses,
Pancreatic Cancer UK
I hope you are bearing up PW. I try not to keep posting here but I want you to know I am thinking of you and your son. x
PW, just wanted you to know I am thinking of you both sandrax xx
Thank you all for your valuable support, you are all so lovely, each and everyone of you.
What a week. My son and I have planned hubby's send off now. We are different religions so this is a first for me but I'm loving it. It's the very last thing I can do for hubby and I am going to send him off with a massive bang. I didn't realise we could have a bespoke coffin and seeing as neon yellow was hubby's favourite colour, We have ended up choosing the correct neon yellow from Dulux paint chart and his coffin will be paint sprayed.
When we were first married and we talked about our wishes "if", he just said to me, throw me in the sea and feed me to the sharks. He was serious. When he was diagnosed, all I could do was get him to tell me whether he wanted cremation -v- burial. He wouldn't talk about it anymore as PC was never going to get him. So, not only have I never attended a cremation, I've certainly not planned one before so all I can do is plan something that reflects hubby's zest for life, his amazing positivity that Jeni will understand, having spoken to him just the once. He was a crazy, fun loving, colourful man where miserable or depressed were words that did not exist. Therefore his funeral will be a party but I just feel so very guilty that in all of our years of marriage, we never had such a party and the one time I arrange one, he's not there to enjoy it. Can anyone else relate to that?
As I said before, hubby wore the most colourful outfits imaginable after diagnosis. My son asked me to get a top in the same neon yellow for the funeral. Being a rather cuddly person of large proportion,I would look like a giant grapefruit if I did that so I've taken one of his neon yellow tops to a sewing shop and they are going to cut out yellow hearts to stitch all over a black outfit of mine. I've ordered the same neon yellow trainers for my son and I to wear and the seamstress is going to make badges for the funeral directors and wrist bands for the mourners so that everyone has a piece of his favourite yellow. We will look a sight for sore eyes but who cares, it's his funeral and I will do it how I think he would want it, I only hope I've got it right. We've chosen Monthy Python's always look on the bright side of life as people leave the crematorium which sums up hubby in a nutshell. Needless to say, it will be yellow balloons that we shall be releasing at his party.
For the rest, I've kept myself busy from morning til night so as not to think. It's not real at the moment so I can cope. Hubby is away on a business trip and will be home soon. I know I'm in denial but it's my coping mechanism for the time being.
My son has been TRULY, TRULY INCREDIBLE. It's as though he's morphed into his father. He's there to give me constant hugs and now and the weird thing is, when I ask questions now, how do I do this or what should I do, he gives me exactly the same answer as I know his dad would have done. I am so so very proud of him. We spent his 21st birthday quietly together and given the circumstances, it was okay.
Wow! Fantastic, I love it PW. I think he will hang round in spirit waiting for you so don't be so sure he will miss it all. Most of all he will want to know that you are ok and will get on with life as he did until it's time to meet up again.
Your son sounds a darling and I know you are proud of him too. I am actually smiling this morning reading this, we are both younger wives, and both 'traditionally built' as Mme Ramotswe (No 1 Ladies Detective Agency) would say ha ha ha.
You are doing incredibly well and we are all proud of you. We will also still be here for the days that are to come happy and sad meanwhile I am thinking of you as always xx
It sounds amazing PW, love the idea of yellow hearts on your outfit and the Monthy Python song. (I pretend Jem is working away ,I think anything which helps us cope is fine )
HA! HA! Marmalade! Yet another thing in common.
Too true Jayne. Doesn't matter what we do, as long as we get through it as best as we can.
Busy de-cluttering house, only old papers and rubbish, can't touch anything of hubbys yet but I will have to downsize so if it's not needed, it goes. It's strangely therapeutic. Anything that keeps me busy and stops me thinking. xxx
Hi PW, Its seems as if you are doing a stirling job (as usual). It all sounds brilliant. It is the last thing you can do for him and doing what you know he would appreciate will be a great comfort. Like you, I only knew Stewart wanted cremation, the rest I had to make up as best I could, imagining what would please him. Stewart was a guitarist and singer and I played one of his CD,s during the service. It was a Neil Young song called "Look Out For My Love", brought the house down. So glad you restarted the poem thread, they are beautiful. Hope you and your son can keep strong through this difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your family.
To each and everyone of us, whatever side of the divide and whether it's husband, father, brother nephew or niece affected by this evil disease, I wish you all a very happy fathers day.
Proud son's Dad may not be here with us in person but he is here with us in spirit and we are celebrating father's day as it's his special day. We've had 2 "firsts" within his first week of passing, Proud son's 21st and Father's day. That is so typical of hubby, when he does something, he does it in style! I cannot at the moment talk of him in the past tense and I don't know if I ever will, for me, he's not gone, just gone ahead of me.
Much love to my forum family xx
Hi PW. You and your son are amazing and your hubby would be proud of you. I love all of your ideas for his funeral and it seems you have encapsulated everything you love about him and everything he is. I am glad you and your son are close and are being there for each other. You pretend all you like that his is away and talk in the present, everyone grieves and cope in their own way. I know for sure your hubby would want you and your son to be fighters and work your way through this together in exactly the way you are. Much love to you both. x
I did reply to your post about Hubby's "send off" but it appears to have disappeared into the ether.
All your arrangements sound really really fabulous, like we did, you are celebrating the life of your husband and father rather than mourning his loss. The neon yellow sounds amazing too, Always look on the bright side of life, that was Trevor's mantra too, we had Buck's Fizz making your mind up, it was the song Trevor always played on the stereo in the car with the grandchildren, so it had special meaning for them.
Its sad that your son didn't have his dad with him for his special birthday, but I am sure you both felt him with you on the day, but how wonderful that he can step into his fathers shoes and give you so much support.
I hope you have a truly splendid day, quite a few of our friends said, even though they felt it was wrong to say it, that they had really enjoyed their day, and how much Trevor would have enjoyed it had he been there, so I can relate entirely. I am sure there will be a very Proud Husband looking down on you all. love sandrax xx
Thank you both. I do hope he's a Proud Husband. It's so hard to know what to do. Tomorrow I have to visit the funeral directors with his clothes. Bright yellow of course. Does this sound weird but I want to make sure they've got the right person and see him for the very last time? However, I have been warned that he's not looking as good as he was the day he passed so perhaps I shouldn't? We made sure before we left the hospital that we said our goodbyes so I have no regrets there, I just don't know what to do. I don't want to be haunted by bad memories in time to come. We still have one week to go before the funeral. This time next week, it will be over and then I suppose reality will hit. It still feels like he's away on business. I don't feel I've lost him, I keep saying out loud the whole time "how can you be dead, you can't - its impossible". Because he went so quickly in the end, because I've got so much of him around me, his clothes, his things and so many photos, because I'm constantly talking to him and because I feel him with me the whole time, it just doesn't feel real and I start to wonder whether it ever will? I suppose the answer is very simple, I am in denial.
Lots of love
Proud Proud Proud Proud wife xxxx
Another task… I don't know about seeing people either. I was young when Dad died although I had helped nurse him for many years. My mother tried hard to make me go and see him but I refused. I wasn't afraid just didn't see how seeing him was going to make any difference. I was with my Mum when she died and it was so peaceful and lovely I didn't feel any need to see her again.
Perhaps, as you have time you could leave it a day or two and see how you feel. My Mum always said 'if you are not sure how you feel, don't do it, whatever it is' and by and large that has stood me in good stead. You have time so don't put pressure on yourself.
Much love amigo xxx
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