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Dear Gail,
When I first contacted Empowering Caregivers I was caring for my wife of 57 years. She was terminal wilth colon cancer and I had been caring for her for some 12 years plus. She died of the cancer on 5 May 2001. She was only 79 years old at the time of her death but she had shared my life for 57 years. I was devestated by her death but have continued to read your newsletters as they bring me a certain amount of comfort. I would like to hear from others who have devoted a share of their life to others who have cared for a terminal patient and now struggling with survival after the end of the caring. Sincerely Bill Saunders. Email Bill sandy59@earthlink.net
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Hello William,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear of your wife's passing. After so many years in a loving relationship and caring so dedicated for 12 years I am not surprised to hear that you are still struggling. I am going to include your email in the newsletter which will be going out shortly along with your email address and I am posting your request at the message boards at:

http://www.care-givers.com/ubb...m12/HTML/000013.html

There are also many support groups online where you can find additional support and comfort. If you just do a search online under google for grief and support for spouse, you will find many. You can also post and visit with us in the chats when they resume. You might also want to check what is available to you in your community in terms of support groups. Cancer care usually has programs as well as the Cancer Society. I am not sure where you are located... I am sure there are more avenues as well.. Was she in hospice? They help for a few years after the loss as well. Thereis no right or wrong way to grieve. There is only what you are feeling. It is important for you to slowly get back to living your own life more fully.. and I feel that your reaching out is a big step and I truly honor you. Here are some of the chats that I came up with when I did the search.

Griefnet.org has email groups,
http://griefnet.org/
Grow has chats http://www.groww.org/

Heartprints http://www.heartprints.org/

Beyond Indigo http://www.death-dying.com/

Healing After Loss http://healingafterloss.org/

Share Grief http://www.griefcare.info/

http://www.rochester-info.com/endoflife.htm

Also William, we have some excellent professional articles on grief and bereavement that will also nurture and support you through this time at: http://www.care-givers.com/pag...xperts/featured.html

I hope the New Year will bring a gentle and nurturing healing for you...richest blessings

Gail
Hi Bill...

I'm glad to hear this site is helping you cope just a little bit better...I think everyone who has been a caregiver, then lost their loved one goes through much of the same emotions...
In a way it is harder because you've devoted so much of your life to caring for them and spent so much time with them, but easier because you know you made their life the best you could...
What got me through losing my mother after caring for her was to take my time, not rush into anything and most importantly not rush the grieving process...you must take as much time as you need for yourself afterwards, as it is not an easy task feeling "worthy" after doing such important work as caregiving...
Keep your memories safe...as hard as it is at first to think too much about them, in time you will treasure your thoughts, and they will bring a smile to your face...

take care
PrairieGal

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