Thank you both for the note. I agree, and do remind the kids of good things and love. They are 5, 6 and 11 and it is so ok that they think of their dad in only good ways. They did witness a lot of things, and my oldest has the hardest time but she has a good therapist helping. I appreciate the welcome and the advice.
Hi Angie, so sorry for this crazy roller coaster you are riding. Our situations are not similar, but the emotions your are trying to deal with strike a chord. About 2 months prior to his passing, I found out about a year+ long online affair. So, when he died I was still hurt and angry but had to put on the grieving widow face. It was so new and fresh , I hadn't dealt with it. So...it took me a long time to put it to rest so I could grieve. I knew I couldn't move forward with my life without letting it go. I probably seemed cold and heartless after he died but I just gave up caring what others thought. I let people believe the best in him because ..why not? The truth would have hurt them and not made me feel any better.
Almost 2 years later, I still waffle between relief, grief, sadness, anger, being thankful, etc. Most days are great, but there are still trigger days, sounds, smells...
Be kind to yourself. Nothing is right or wrong. You just deal the best way you know how. Whatever works for you. Sending gentle hugs your way Anita
So sorry you had to join us here.
As a survivor of suicide your situation is unique. Compounded with the abuse..I can imagine you have so many feelings swirling.
I cannot encourage you enough to seek out a suicide survivors group near you. There is also a group here in Widowed Village.
You act/feel/think however you see fit. You are entitled to feel whatever you feel.
Also - www.sslf.org is a great resource if you haven't already found them.
Keep thinking out loud and processing. Be kind to yourself.
I'm so sorry, Angie. I hope you make some important connections here in the Village.
We do have a private Suicide Survivor group: http://widowedvillage.org/group/suicidesurvivors
And also one for Survivors of Addiction and Substance Abuse: http://widowedvillage.org/group/survivors-of-addiction-and-substanc...
I'd also like to highly recommend a closed Facebook group that a young widow I met at our San Diego Camp Widow last year has started called Stigmatized: The Suicide Survivor's Journey. It is very active and honest: https://facebook.com/groups/1892637544291938/
My 1st husband I divorced because of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. 90% of physical abuse was targeted at our infant son, possibly causing a TBI, admitted to covering his face many times to stop crying to the point he stopped breathing while he was 2-3 months old. He never lost parental rights, because once the divorce was finalized, the state of KS dropped moving towards terminating my parental rights AND his (stupid on their part) and worked towards reunification with me. However, when he won appeal of guilty verdict in felony child abuse trial over TBI, and case was reversed and remanded, prosecution decided not to retry, which resulted in original divorce agreement staying in place. Ex-husband still has joint custody, equal decision making, and 4 weeks visiting rights a year in summer. 2 years ago abused son one more time, which was reported when I found out next day to police there, CPS here and there...4 months later, sheriff out there updated me no further prosecution could be continued, because it was my son's word against his dad's, no physical evidence, in spite of history, and domestic battery charge on dad's record from child's infancy with child listed as victim....
2nd husband, reason I am a widow, was active alcoholic, who presented himself as recovering for the 5 months we talked before we met in person, and for the first several months of dating, once a week approximately until I for sure knew that was a complete and total lie. Me, being naive, had never been around an alcoholic in any type of personal, long-term way. I did not know the extent of the dangers to his health, the extent of the addiction, etc. He was sometimes emotionally and verbally abusive, although rarely, and never physically. In the end, in spite of the alcohol, I did agree to marry him, and We were married 2 years. 2 days before the 2nd anniversary, he was suddenly jaundiced, we knew he needed the hospital, and when he agreed to go to the ER, it was not til the next night I got him to allow me to drive him, and still him stalling in the car over half an hour outside the entrance before I made him get in the damn wheelchair and take him in. I think he was hoping he'd just die in the car. I learned later it was a miracle he survived that first night in the hospital. After night one, he was moved to ICU, spent 4-5 days there, then the rest in another floor (less critical), but when it became clear not only his liver had failed, but no, his kidneys did not eventually take the turn back to improving as we all hoped, and it seemed like maybe they would...he was put on hospice, 2 days later left hospital, died 24 hours later. 12 days after our second anniversary, I became a widow at age 31. He was 43. I am raising my 10 year old son, his stepson. His therapist was able to visit him second week in hospital, because I specifically wanted her to evaluate his mental health (he was schizophrenic and depressed, but relatively stable prior to hospitalization). I found out later from my mom who was in room with therapist and Shane, that he said he was there because of suicide, that he was serious, and that the amount he drank in 24 hours before actually arriving at ER was active attempt to complete the job. My grief is complicated as well. How do you manage a substance abuse death? A death you are blamed for by many, in this case, specifically his mother (who I have not seen or spoken to since his death, she did not come to the memorial service I held according to his wishes and did not invite me to the event she held at her home for family and friends) and also my church (why weren't you honest and open about his alcoholism with all of us, we could have helped???--first off, no, he had all the need he could have wanted available to him, including weekly in home therapy. It is up to an addict to accept the help. He never wanted to and never did. And, it was his secret to share, not mine). How do you cope when you realize, this is also, yes, a suicide, though not as obvious of one, not a bloody one? I am accepted into one Facebook suicide widow group, but specifically excluded from another. And that's a secret to many. I can share on here, especially with my friends in the chat, and in my support group of young widows I meet with in-person in Denver. But if his family finds out, especially his mom, that he called it suicide? The blame will be even more on me, I guarantee it. Stigma, upon stigma, upon stigma. Pile on that that ex-husband once blamed an overdose attempt on me. "Don't you remember when I tried suicide because of you??? Um, no, because at the time you claimed that that was not what happened..." The fact I have mental health issues myself. The fact my son carries my biology and his fathers (The best...I mean worst...of both worlds). Anyway, I am not meaning to overwhelm you. Just trying to share my story to say I think we could relate on many, many different levels. I am at a point that I am almost 2 years out, and overall am handling things in a logical, calm, way. I can offer insight and advice as you are wanting or willing to hear it. And I also like to listen (and talk) when I am available. Send me a PM or a friend request if you'd like to chat sometime, or catch me when I am online in chat. Thanks.
Wow, that is such a very hard story. I am so sorry you went through so much, and it sounds like you should be very proud of yourself for handling things with such grace. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing your story.
Thank you all for the welcome and for the great resources and advice. I will look at them. As for kids? My 11 year old for sure has the worst time, but she talks and goes to therapy and was already a bit of an unhappy child because of the abusive situation. She begged me to leave so many times. I know she is handling a lot of guilt, but I do believe she will work through it.
AngieK, I am so sorry that you need to be here. Your loss is so very tragic. I understand the "not fitting in" feeling because I am an alcoholic/suicide survivor as well. Do what makes you comfortable in your interactions with others. There are many that do not know how my husband died. I finally came to terms with the fact that it is my decision what and if I tell others.
Be good to yourself and although it seems difficult, don't worry about others. I do want to say that the Suicide Survivors and Survivors of Addiction and Substance Abuse groups on here do not seem to have much activity. I have posted in both and not received input from anyone. The recent posting are older as well.
Hugs and peace to you.
Just a heads up Mom ...
At the of 11, she has more memories of Dad than the younger 2. My 2 youngest were 11 & newly 13 when their father was killed 11 years ago ...
Monitor signs of numbness in your daughter. My daughter's therapist never detected or monitored for it b/c it was not part of her therapy guidelines. Girls are far more likely than boys their age to get into cutting their arms w/razor blades from box cutters or an Xacto knife. It provides feeling. It's not a sign of suicide. My kids did their own laundry so I never noticed the blood on her sleeves or towels. Her brother mentioned she was not cleaning up the blood in the bathroom, I thought it was menstrual blood till I noticed box cutter razors on a receipt that I had not noticed on the conveyor belt at the checkout. My daughter still hasn't told me where she learned about cutting - I suspect it was from the Internet ...
Many people say kids are resilient - under the age of 10 more so. Just go ahead w/monitoring & safeguarding as well as report any concerns to her therapist ...
Many blessings on your journey w/kids ...
I've been lurking a bit and decided its time to introduce myself.
I lost my husband Aug. 1, 2016. He battled pancreatic cancer for 20 months. We had just celebrated 21 years of marriage, 25 together. On the 6 month anniversary of his diagnosis, he was able to walk our daughter down the aisle and dance at her wedding. Two months later he made it to our sons graduation. Our youngest turned 12 just 3 weeks after he died. We had almost two good years after his diagnosis. He was able to stop working, we traveled, we laughed, we enjoyed our kids. But we never, never talked about him dying. He was not going to let that happen. At the time I thought, what difference does it make if he doesn't face it. It's going to happen and I'll be left to pick up the pieces. Now, 2 years later, I wish I'd tried harder to talk about it.
Here I am, 9 days into year 3. Wondering if it will be different. Wonder where I'm headed. Turned 50 a few months ago. No idea what 50 alone is supposed to look like. Feel so very old, but in some ways, still feel too young to even be a mom in charge all alone. I'm hoping year 3 is a time I can move beyond just surviving and start living a bit.
I've found lots and lots of joy in the last two years. Always with a shadow of sadness hanging right behind it, but the sadness is getting less. The joy and laughter getting stronger. Needless to say, I miss him terribly, but I do everything I can to make sure I'm living the life he would have wanted, and taking care of our kids the way he expected. I take the kids on lots of trips to places he loved. We stay busy, and they seem happy. That makes me smile, because I know he would.
I only know one other widow. An old friend from HS, she lives in a different state. She's dealing very differently then I am. I've read so many posts here and thought, YES! Exactly, thats what I think too!! It's good to know I'm not the only one thinking and feeling things.
Well, thats enough rambling, sorry. Look forward to 'meeting' you and getting to know you.
Jabs, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am glad you had some good times with your husband and family before his passing. Maybe your husband wanted to preserve the joy that you were having by not bringing up the inevitable. I think we all look back and wondered if there was something different to be said, but I've come to the conclusion that my husband is listening now, so I talk to him often.
It is invaluable to have relationships with other widows/widowers. I found that out. Even if it is through this site. Others have their own opinions of how you should be progressing and what your life should look like, but they have no point of reference. Until you go through it, you would not understand.
I am glad you are doing okay. I'm sure it was not easy for you and the kids. I am September 14, 2016, so my second "anniversary" is approaching. I really feel the difference from year one to year two.
Hang in there. Sending hugs your way.
Hello all. My 37 year old husband died four weeks ago, after a seizure caused a cardiac arrest three weeks previously. He never regained consciousness. Whilst he had a condition called NF2, it was being well managed, so we thought we had decades left to enjoy each other. He was/is my soulmate. I take comfort in the fact that the last words we exchanged were “I love you”, and that he wouldn’t have known anything other than falling asleep on the Friday night, excited about the start of our holiday the following day.
Dear CelticLass, you are very new to this grief; I'm glad that you found this site. My wife of 25 years died of a cardiac event almost three years ago. It seems incomprehensible that it's been that long. Over the years, I've read many posts and I've contributed some too. Please write what you feel like and know that we all get it. Many times others have written words that to them seemed like rambling. Yet to me, they were exactly what I needed. This grief, that grief surrounding the death of our spouses, is so dreadful and painful. I suspect you may be in a bit of a fog right now. If this is so, don't push it away. It is there to protect you. Do you have friends and family to lean on? You may need to be direct with them and tell them what you need. In my experience, people - even those who love me - have no idea what to say or do. In the early stages, I really had to say what I needed. It is beautiful that your last words were the three special ones. How long were you together? I wish you well this evening.