Past the shock....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've spent since the weekend before Thanksgiving this past year until the day I was admitted to the hospital almost 2 weeks ago in shock. I survived by doing what needed to be done however I shut down in so many ways.

    When I was admitted to the hospital they put me in a room 5 down from the room husband was in for 3 weeks before he died. I started crying & cried for 2 days straight.....the first I'd been able to start the grief process. There's been too much in the way.

    Since being discharged I find I start crying at any time for any reason or so it seems. This past week I'd found that I missed several items in the "business of death". I couldn't believe that there was more. I don't want to haul out one more death certificate or talk to one more person about it.

    I find I'm not sleeping for days on end. When I do sleep I wake up in tears. And it's becoming very real to me that husband is gone. Really gone. I'd never prepared myself for that....didn't think I there was a need to prepare myself.

    I'm dealing with guilt & anger. Mostly anger. The man I spent 22 years with ~ 20 of them married, chose to move into a motel to finish off the long business of suicide. He chose to drink rather than seek help. He had to know he was ill - end stage liver disease just doesn't show up. It's there for a long time but he refused to see a doctor. My sister in law picked up husband's things from the motel & there were 3 quarts of whiskey & 1 half gone.

    I spent the majority of 3 almost 4 weeks by his bedside as much as humanly possible; fighting for a dignified death. All this for a man whom I loved beyond reason; for a man who couldn't/wouldn't stop his self harming ways.

    The reality is here. I hate this reality. I hate having to meet with lawyers to set up powers of attorney; to beg someone to take on the tweedles as guardians if necessary (looks as though it will be the county). My children are falling to pieces ~ husband was the first man they trusted ~ loved.

    This is all so very wrong. So very very wrong.
  2. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Linda, I'm so terribly, terribly sorry. I wish I could send more than just cyber {{{{hugs}}}}. But I am sending lots of those, and lots of thoughts and prayers.

    Is there anyone at all living near you who could help with the 'business' details?

    I hope you and the tweedles have someone nearby to talk to. When strong emotions flow in, just having someone to help keep your head above water during that wave is important. And then they ebb a little before they flow in again.

    Your husband struggled with something that turned out, in the end, to be stronger than he was. You have a right to feel angry; you also have a right to continue to feel and remember the love you had for him. That wasn't wasted.

    May you find peace and comfort, a day at a time. Much love.

  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Oh Linda, I'm so very very sorry.
    Words are just inadequate...

    Just know that you and the tweedles are in my thoughts and prayers, as you go through this very difficult and sad time. You have a right to be angry, to cry, to not want to deal with lawyers and business and...stuff.

    My arms are here for hugs, I have broad shoulders for you to lean on, and two ears always willing to listen.

  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I don't know what to say - I've thought about and prayed for you and your children every single day... I wish there was something I could do to help you get through this. Life isn't fair -What an understatement!!!

    While I don't have any experience with what you're going through, before I met husband I was madly in love with someone else. From the moment I first saw him, I knew I had to get to know him better. Anyway, to make a long story short, I thought he was the man of my dreams. At the time I didn't know he was suffering from alcoholism. We ended up living together. He wanted to get married and start a family. I left him... His addiction ultimately ended our relationship. His addiction ultimately ended his life...

    I know this isn't anything like what you've been through. I wasn't married to him, didn't have children with him, or at the time, any responsibilities to anyone other than myself. Even so, I struggled daily to make sense out of what happened. For months I had trouble sleeping. I kept on seeing his flag draped coffin in my mind... I kept on seeing the recently dug grave where he was laid to rest... I kept on seeing the flowers on his coffin, especially the white rose his youngest sister placed there... I NEVER would have gotten through this without the help of close friends. I was a complete mess...

    Many times I've wanted to tell you this story - In fact, once, soon after your husband died, I sent you a PM. However, it was late at night, I was fried, hit a wrong button - My PM is probably still floating in cyberspace somewhere... I then decided that maybe it wasn't a good idea to tell you this. After all, what you're going through is so much worse in so many ways... Then, this morning, while reading what you've written, I decided to tell you a much abbreviated version of my story. So, while I can't really understand how difficult this is for you, I just want you to know that on some level, I can feel your pain. I hope this makes sense. It is so hard for me to write - Face to face contact is so much easier for me.

    For me, the only thing that really helped was being with close friends and time, lots of time... I truly wish I could help you. Just know that while you may not believe this right now, and it's probably the last thing you want to hear, time will help.

    If you ever want to "talk", you can always send me a PM. Keeping you and your children in my thoughts and prayers always... WFEN
  5. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    I am sorry for your pain...... it's a hard loss when you are left to deal with this alone and you have your own health issues...... sending hugs.......
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Linda, maybe it's time to talk to someone else who has been through this type of loss. There are other young widows and survivors of death by addiction. Maybe they can help you work through this terrible time.
    You are blessed with wonderful family but you have some difficult obstacles in your married and parenting life. Some have it the other way around.
    Hopefully you will be around for a long time and the kids will have a parent who isn't leaving them. I don't know anyone who lost a parent when they were younger than 30 that wasn't left bruised and scarred.

    I can only imagine the anger at husband. Heck, I'm angry at him and I don't know him. How could he relinquish those who love him for the bottle? It's an ugly disease that most of us can't quite grasp. I'm really sorry for your pain.

    Please look into supports that will help guide you through this post death period for you and then for the kids.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Oh Linda...I'm so very sorry. All your feelings are so understandable. Are you going to therapy? Are you going often? Do you have at least one good friend that you can talk to about these things?

    I recall recently when my cousin died. We were close. She was my only remaining female relative. I still can't speak of her in the past tense. She was young. I barely know the others. I don't have siblings. I stuffed it all in. I gained weight. I was grouchy. I had heart palpitations. I ended up in the ER...embarassed. One day...I cried and cried and cried some more. It helped. I still cry a bit when I think of her. I give myself a little break. It's a big loss and it takes its toll on the mind and body. However, that toll is worse when we stuff our feelings. much more powerful your situation with all the complications here.

    I agree with the others, you really need to ask for help with different things. Help with household chores, help with business matters.

    Whatever you do, don't blame yourself for your husband's illness and/or issues. They are his and his alone. Perhaps he thought he was doing something noble those last days. You can never get in his head. It's not your fault. He made his own decisions. Regarding the's understandable. But he was not well and perhaps you got caught up into thinking you could make it right. I think all of us here have those two ingredients...anger at the pain and losses and frustration that we can't make it right. This is just such an extreme example of it all.

    Your decision needs to be to get heal. Time, rest, therapy, friends...use the tools around you to strengthen yourself.

    My heart goes out to you. Prayers and good thoughts for your strength and comfort during this very difficult time.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 18, 2009
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I am so very sorry. I am so sorry that he was selfish and that he left you alone to deal with all of this without him...

    On some level though, I am sure he didn't mean to...

    Addiction is scary....and addicts feel helpless and out of control. You are right--he probably DID know that something was wrong....but perhaps he felt powerless to do anything about it...or perhaps it was just easier to be in denial and hope for the best? We can't know his thought process or why he made the decisions that he did...

    My thoughts are with you...

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Linda.


    You know that he was addicted, and that it engulfed him. I completely understand the anger, rage and helplessness.

    I have no idea how long it takes to get through these things ... maybe a lifetime. But I would recommend seeing a dr for something to help you sleep at night. You have kids to care for and paperwork to do. You've got to have help. Get some friends or people from church or someone, somewhere, to help you. When your lawyer calls, tell him that you need support. He may have a friend or secretary or other staff person who can help you. Sometimes, just having someone sit there with-a box of tissues will help, at least for the moment.

    Sleep is so important. I cannot stress that enough.

    I have lost several relatives to alcoholism. It s*cks. The rage never really goes away.

    It is normal to burst into tears at any given time. I know a woman who was madly in love, got married, and less than 6 mo's later, her husband decided he didn't want the responsibility. She was devastated. Just when she thought she was doing fine, about 6 mo's later, she was trying on shoes at a dept. store, and burst into tears.
    That is completely normal. It just comes at you out of the blue, in waves, almost like the flu.

    I know you hate it. But I hope you can receive some comfort in knowing that what you are going through is normal. Be kind to yourself.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You've gotten some really good advice.

    The "business of death" can be a grueling process. I helped mother in law thru it when father in law passed away many years ago. I watched my Mom struggle with it when my stepdad passed.

    As for being angry with husband..........well, I'm angry at him and I don't know him. It's ok to be angry at him and grieve for him at the same time.

    You and the Tweedles are always in my prayers.

  11. judi

    judi Active Member

    I have a close friend who's son died of a drug OD - to this day (and its been more than 3years) she is still actively grieving. What she told me just last night was that she will never "get over it" she will just learn to "go on."

    I hope you have someone close that you can talk to. I'm so sorry.
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    When my dad passed away, my exMIL told me that grief would overcome me at the strangest of times, completely without triggers. I am so glad she told me that, because it did.
    It could be a beautiful summer day, driving in the car with the windows down, radio up, singing my little heart out, and next thing I know I'm on the shoulder of the road bawling.
    Its been 2 years. It happened a lot that first year. Not so much anymore, but it still happens. I have no idea why, most times there are no triggers, but had she not told me that, I'd have thought myself crazy (well, I am, but I'd have thought I'm crazier than I am).
    I can only fathom your anger. What husband did was selfish and you have every right to be angry at him and his choices and at the disease that so gripped him. Its not fair to you or the tweedles or anyone else. But anger is ok. Allow yourself to be angry. Its conflicting to love and hate someone all at the same time, but its your reality, and its ok.
    Time will ease your pain, tho that's little consolation now.
    Love and hugs and peace.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Linda -

    Someone told me to look up the 7 stages of grief when we lost Steven. I sorta knew about them and as time goes on even if you do look them up - you forget. I also know that everyone grieves at their own pace and for many different reasons.

    I love the last lines in this - because I think the words are true. It says eventually you can forgive them. I never realized I was angry at Steven for leaving.

    Hope this helps you see where you are, where you may be going and where you can start to forgive yourself and him.


    7 Stages of Grief...

    1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
    You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

    2. PAIN & GUILT-

    As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

    You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

    Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

    You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")

    Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.
    During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

    7 Stages of Grief...

    As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.

    As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

    During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

    You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I understand your feelings completely. I wish there was an easier way to get through this process, a fast-forward button. I guess there are no real shortcuts, at least none that are healthy.

    I hope you can take time for these feelings, see a qualified grief therapist, go to a support group, allow yourself to feel these things, however unpleasant they may be. They are only feelings and will pass in time, but only if you give them an outlet.

    None of us is ever prepared truly to deal with a loved one's death and the aftermath of emotion, let alone the legal mess that also has to be sorted out.

    I wish you didn't have to go through this.

  15. VickiL

    VickiL New Member

    You just wrapped up a lot of how I've been feeling this week...if I never see another copy of his death certificate I would be just fine. It's the business end of our relationship that I pretty much had turned over to him that I am having to deal with.

    PM me if you'd's overwhelming, tiring, draining and well, it's just all too much some days for me.
  16. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Just sending tender hugs.
  17. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm so sorry Linda but at the same time....and this is going to sound weird...this is a good thing in a way. You are processing and while you needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other, obviously its time for you to really start the grieving process. It HOOVERS that you are in the situation to need to do this but you need to do this. Don't feel bad about going through need this. You can't keep it all bottled up, it needs to come out. Be angry, be sad, cry when you need to and come to us or a family member/friend when you need to.

    There is a process to grief and no two people do it the same. The steps may be the same but the order or intensity are different with different people. And if anyone gives you any carp about "Well, I thought you were doing soooo well"....pfft. Smack 'em with a brick from the emotional wall you just hit.

    I know it doesn't help in real life, but please know that if you lived closer to any of would have many people there to help with whatever at the drop of a hat, me included.

    Many, many (((((((((HUGS)))))))))
  18. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    (((((((((((LINDA))))))))))))) Lean on us and vent whenever you need to.

    Forgive me for not remembering, but are you taking any antidepressants? I learned the hard way that even depression caused by situation can be helped with medications. It is OK to need a little help through the dark times. Please take care of yourself. -RM
  19. C.J.

    C.J. New Member


    Just this last week, one of your posts to someone else reminded me to respond calmly and without anger or resentment when my difficult child does or says something and I just want to SCREAM in retaliation. You have offered your experience, your wisdom, your insight to so many others, and your strength to carry on in difficult situations is amazing.

    The others have offered great advise about counsellling, medications, asking for help - how soon will your niece be there to give you a hand?

    And now that you're past the shock, like every other human who has lost a loved one, the grief you need to process will demand you process it. I know you'll regain your courage and your strength as you begin to heal - though it will be probably be a slower and harder process than you thought.

    Take the advice you would gladly offer another person in the same circumstances - take the time to do what you need to do.
  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Linda, I cannot even read the other posts, because this is all too close to home.So I am sorry if this is redundant.

    I want you to know that for the first time in my life, I can truly say I empathize. Losing someone you love as much as you loved husband is beyond devastating. There are no words. I have am sure that you have been in some stage of denial ~ and now the different stages are coming. Anger, blame, rationalization, etc....... It is all normal ~ and you need to allow yourself to process these feelings.

    Death is the most horrible form of pain I have ever experienced. And I am so sorry that you and the kids are suffering.
    Please keep posting, and venting.
    We are here for you and love you.