It has been a while since I checked the forum. I just happened by this evening, and found your very sad post. You are right - words really can't convey what you are feeling, and they are often just our hollow attempts to make you feel a little better.
I remember way back when, reading your tortured posting when Terry almost passed. You had quite a few of us almost in tears, and we quickly rallied to try and offer support and help. I can almost recall the feelings I had upon reading your cry for help.
Now we have reached the end of her journey. It was a most amazing one, from all the posts you shared with us. We lived your triumphs and your set-backs, almost alongside you. I recall seeing the photos of the places you went, reading the descriptions of the happy moments that you were able to share, and it was such a good feeling to know the two of you were still able to hold one another and share thoughts and hopes and dreams.
That time together was 4 extra years that would never have happened if it hadn't been for the strength of your love for Terry. What an adventure it was, and we were along for the ride too.
Now the physical part of the journey has come to an end. You are left with the terrible sense of loss for losing your life partner, your absolute love, and in a sense your only reason for living. You gave her all that you could, and the inevitable happened, as we all knew it would. But it was so great to still have her for that extra time. It was a blessing to extend her time on earth, and now it is a blessing that she no longer suffers such terrible physical pain.
I lost my mother many years ago. I was on my way to see her, having set up vacation time just for that purpose, but try as she could, the pain from her cancer was too much and she couldn't hold on. She passed 2 weeks before I could get there to be with her. She went quickly, and then she was no longer suffering.
We were very close in life, and I wrote or called her fairly often, sharing my victories or losses in life, the little things of my daily adventures that gave her such joy to see or hear about. But then she was gone and I couldn't write or talk to her. As Celeon says, it was a terrible pain, physical and mental.
As I dwelt more and more on it, I suddenly realized that my mother was even closer to me now in passing than she had been in life. She was always there now, in my thoughts, dreams, and feelings. Every now and then something would happen to me or my family, something good or some lucky turn of events, and I would know that it was my mother, her presence was so strong. It has helped me cope with her passing, as it has now in the recent passing of my father as well.
Doug, keep talking things out, and keep turning to your friends. Terry is now with you at all times, her presence has been so strong as to be with all of us spread out across the world on the internet as well. That is pretty powerful.
Your life is so much richer for having known and loved her, and the strength of her love will help ease your pain over time. It won't be fast, and you don't want it to be either, but it will happen.
You have done such a noble thing giving up your life to care for her in the waning moments of her life. You will be rewarded for such a self-less sacrifice - part of the reward was even having Terry around for as long as you did.
Stay strong and keep doing good things. It is what Terry would have wanted. She would want you to carry on and physically interact with all the wonderful people she and you shared your lives with over time, now that she can't do that herself. The pain may be strong now, but her love and your love and memories for her will overwhelm that pain and leave you with a profound sense of gratitude for having had that time with her granted to you.
I hope some of this helps you as you cope with this terrible loss. It is truly a blessing in disguise that she is no longer suffering. We all share in your sorrow and wish happiness for you in the future.