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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 08/13/08
My husband has been in hospice for a couple weeks and I am feeling lost.  I visit him for several hours a day, but he doesnít know I am there most of the time.  I come home to an empty house and wander from room to room, not knowing what to do.  It seems unlikely that my husband will recover, but I still have hope.  He isnít here, but he isnít gone, either.  Any suggestions for how to deal with this time? 
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Name: Jim
Location: Maryland
Date: 08/14/2008
Time: 06:09 AM


The hospice where your husband is should have a social worker available or phone numbers for you to call for emotional assistance. You must look for a psychologist who specializes in grief counseling. You should not try to go through this alone. You should call for an appointment to see if you can work with this particular doctor. Not all doctors will necessarily be compatible with you and your particular needs. You are facing a period of grief and guilt that you donít even know you are carrying around in your heart. After two years I am still dealing with the grief from my loss of my spouse to a nursing home. When I come home it is an empty house and the furnishings, etc. must be sold or given away because I must downsize to an apartment on top of this loss. Get help to save yourself from certain deep depression from all of this. I have been there. There is still more to deal with as your spouse declines and talk to others at the hospice that you meet and see if they are members of support groups. I purchased the book ďThe 36 hour dayĒ which really helps you understand the various stages of loss even though it was developed out of the Alzheimerís patientís needs it is so helpful for you to understand what you are facing and how to cope. Best, Jim in Maryland

Name: Diane H.
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Date: 08/14/2008
Time: 07:45 AM


My significant other of almost 10 yrs., left me last fall to ride motorcycles around the country with a woman 20 yrs. younger. He moved in with her  3 months later and married shortly after. Like you, I wandered around our home day in and day out wondering what in the world would I do with the remainder of my life, since I'm retired already with no real daily schedule. Well, in the past 9 months I have created a daily schedule which seems to help my loneliness a lot. I also call and email my friends more than previously in the past 10 yrs. he and I spent as companions, best friends, and nurturers. Friends can nurture, too! My sons live within 1 hr. drive, and have stepped up to the plate inviting me to dinner and outings more than ever, too. Finally, I learned to knit on a circular loom and have made dozens of caps for veterans, where I volunteer at the Calif. Veteran's home. Find some volunteer work and share your time with others. In time, you will create new activities for yourself, just stay busy. Finally, I started a journal and reflect on the loving good times he and I have had the past 10 yrs. Occasionally I re-read the pages and feel comforted knowing that we did share a wonderful life before his mid-life crisis and his P.T.S.D. got the better of his judgment. The main thought for you to keep is that you have done nothing wrong and could have done nothing differently. That is a big point to resolve I am certain. So, even though your loneliness came about in a different way than mine, the outcome is still the same. I understand you so much, and after 9 months can say that I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not something I would have chosen, this living alone, but I can do it! The best of luck to you.


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