So…. My Husband Died

I’m in nursing school.  In just over a year I will have finished a diploma program and will have (almost) earned the title “Practical Nurse.”

It is a … therapeutic process for me. Each new thing I learn, each new skill I learn brings up memories from when he was in the hospital.

And each new instructor I have to have a conversation with them.

“So… my husband died.  And this is bringing up a LOT of memories and triggers.  And if I step back from what I’m doing or what’s being taught, please understand that it’s a matter of trying to get myself under control or minimizing the emotional battering I’m going through.  But I AM learning, I just don’t want to be penalized because I have to do it differently at that moment.”

So yeah.  My husband died. And I get to talk about it over and over.  And maybe as I talk about it, I’ll desensitize more?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t seem to be happening, but I still talk about it.

Sometimes I don’t want to though.

Today I didn’t want to, but I did want my instructor to understand that I am going through things and working on them.

Because my husband died.  And he wouldn’t want me to live life any other way than out loud and as boldly as I am. So I talk.  And I learn.  And I try to make the world around me a bit better and a bit brighter.

And I will take the lessons learned from him and his death and build a life that is beautiful and bright.  And be there for another who is going through the same thing.

It’s part of why I’m becoming a nurse, yanno?




3 thoughts on “So…. My Husband Died

  1. Natalie says:

    God bless . I too am in health care and I find I often bring up my husbands passing. I lost him suddenly. When I have a patient whom has a fixable condition and are on a pitty pod I remind them they should be thankful for it and be positive

  2. Kristin Gibbs says:

    I was previously a CNA before marriage. When my husband got liver cancer my work never stopped. Being his care giver was additional time, mental comfort to a higher degree for him, and pampering beyond all means.
    Sure I had worked for a few families. Only one not stayed by them till their passing. Accepting death was easier with a regular job. It was more accepting because level of care changed to progress towards it. No shock just happened. But my husband stages hit my heart hard, kept me in fear of each rattled breath, and held constant anxiety in me over any tiny change.
    Basically, I spent last year 2015 living reclusive, weaning off Xanax, and learning antidepressants. Relived nightmare thru probate, moving, and arguing of step kid. Recently, found courage to go back to work. Choking it back now walking again thru hospital once at for him to a wonderful new job outlook ahead. Not to forget. Always remember the love, time had, and the blessed comfort before parting. He smiles from above on me certain doing what I was called to do. Being a blessing to others gives meaning to my life. Healing one day at a time.

  3. Thank you for this blog. You write the truths that can be hard to articulate, yet we (other widows) share.
    My husband passed on March 15, 2012.
    This posting is of intrigue for I understand the battle of nursing school and the tightness you feel in your chest and throat as various triggers arise, and as a nurse you have no option to bow out. I am an instructor in a PN program, I think and hope that your instructors appreciate your loss and the perspective you bring to the class and to nursing. However, choosing when to share is something I work to balance as well. It seems I want to blurt out my identity – “Widow” as soon as I meet someone, and I can’t exactly figure out why. You are right – it does help to desensitize oneself to the statement and the truth. In a moment of empathy, I have shared with a student my loss. Have you noticed how this sharing builds connection at times when someone in the room just needs to know you understand?

    Your writing is very sensitive and reflective, and truthful. A caring compassionate nurse I bet you are!

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