I have signed back into these boards after an absence of a couple of months (I guess longer than I thought--received a note to let me know).
On April 6th I received several calls about my husband being involved in an accident. (Of course no one could tell me anything, not even what hospital he had been transported to.) It took about three hours to receive information that he was alive but in a coma.
I should tell you that I have been separated from my husband due to his alcohol problem that I had been dealing with for several years. Even though I was separated, I was still supportive of my husband and we talked every day.
On April 12th I elected to remove life support and my husband passed away 10 minutes later. To this day I have no idea what happened to cause my husband's death. I have not been allowed to return to our home because that is where my husband was found unconcious and the local district attorney is still conducting a criminal investigation as to the circumstances of his death. Our 14 year old daughter asked everyday "did someone hurt my dad"?
I have not begun to grieve because I am still living a nightmare that my husband could have been a victim of a crime. I have this guilt feeling that if I had just stayed with him and kept supporting him, than he would still be alive. I know that leaving him was the best decision for my daughther and myself, but just the thought that a year later my poor sick soul mate would be found alone and hurt. The preliminary thought is that he had been on the ground for close to 20 hours before he was discovered. I know it is going to be years before I can forget getting those calls and finding out that he suffered for so long before help arrived.
I have read other posts and it is amazing how friends and family all say the same thing, that "time heals a broken heart". I know that I have been guilty of this exact phase, it seems so comforting at the time--I now know that "time Does Not heal a broken heart". Time just marches on, and each indiviual person must develop a way to wake up and make it though another day. The only thing time has done for me is to count down how many days it has been since I last saw him alive, lying in a hospital bed, how many days since the last card was received in the mail and how many days since I have not heard from the investigators as to why my husband and the father of our daughter is dead. (8 weeks yesterday)
I wake up each morning now and look at my daughter and hope that she is doing alright. We talk and cry and hug each other. We know that we are here for each other, and we know that my very large family are only a short car ride or phone call away.
I thank anyone and everyone who reads this story--it has been hard to write because I really do not know how I feel. I only know how I think I feel and that changes daily.
as I read thru your story I am amazed at the similiarities between us. My heart feels for you as I understand how lonely it can be once the cards and calls have stopped. People do go back to their lives, partly because it is simply easier than trying to think of something else to say. Being in the limbo of grief and anger is a difficult place; I don't think I could have imagined it, had I not been there to.
I was married for twelve years, the last five of which were spent probably very much like yours were. Like you, I was at the place of recognizing I could not save him....no matter how much I wanted to. He had asked me in late May if I still loved him, after thinking of how I would answer his question without being as hurtful as he had been to us, all I could do was turn away. Love? No, what I felt for him was not love. Our daughter was eight, old enough to know his behavior was not "like the other daddies". It had gotten much more difficult to make excuses for him and her little heart was beginning to know he somehow placed his friends, his highs, before her. And so probably just like you did, I made the decision to make him leave; for neither of us, it was worth having him at home. We were going to the beach at the end of July, there would be no need for him to unpack.
It was the Fourth of July. I received one of those calls asking me to go to the ER, they weren't sure what had happened to him. You probably had the same feeling I did, even before seeing the chaplain waiting at the ER door. He was on Life Support.
I never found out exactly what happened but from the autopsy report and the paramedic report(s), this is what I know. Paramedics arrived to find him in the floor sometime after midnight. His face blue, his skin clammy and his tongue bitten into following symptoms of a seizure, he had no heartbeat. Paramedics note "homeowner states Mr. /// had been down for 45 minutes ?" Something about the ? at the end pretty much said it all. The defribillator was used three times, a faint pulse; transported to the ER. Finding his insurance card, along with his ID, ER staff restarted his heart, his pupils remained fixed and non reactive. His BP 25/17.
None of his "so called" friends who seemed to fill the ER would tell me what happened. I don't guess they had to.
From the autopsy report his blood showed lethal levels of Methadone; I'm not sure where he got it from...unless it happened to be from the homeowner.....a Methadone clinic patient who only that week had tested clean.....instead of having to take his Methadone onsite, they allowed him to take it home. And so on the Fourth of July, perhaps a Methadone fireworks party........he suffered a Grand Mal Seizure following a Methadone overdose. While the homeowner and whoever else was there that night got rid of the drugs in the house and the MJ growing in the back room, someone called 911 some 45 minutes later (or ? later)...only then, it was too late. I had to make the same decision as you, life support was disconnected and he died July 4, 1995. Amid the whispers, they all went home, not a one of them bothering to say they were sorry.
It took me many years to get past the what if's and the guilt I felt I was supposed to feel. Surely I could have done something differently, even if it were to give him one more chance.....I had been too hard, too cold, should have answered his question differently......it had to be my fault.
Years of silent grief, I mean how do you tell people your husband died because he made a selfish and stupid mistake by chosing drugs over his daughter. No one would understand anyway......so as you are asking yourself this same question, know that I understand. And there is really nothing that can be said anyway.
It wasn't my fault. There was nothing else I could have done. Yes, I know about addiction ......but he made the initial choice to take drugs......his fault, not mine. And if this is your husband's story, not yours.
My daughter will be married in December; he won't be there. His choice. So to answer this part, your daughter, like mine, will be fine; please consider counselling as even the best of mothers cannot answer questions like these. My daughter was angry; I did not want this to be her only memory of her Dad. You too, will not want your daughter to only remember the ending.
I have done, and will do, the best that I can to help my daughter remember how her dad was before drugs. He was a funny guy, heart of gold, first in line to be there for his friends.....even this same homeowner who a year before wanted to kill himself when he went thru a divorce. And I did still love him in some strange and distorted way.
I have forgiven my husband, but most importantly, I have forgiven myself for making the choice to leave.....I did the right thing......I could not save him, I saved my daughter, I saved myself.
And so I understand where you are now. To say it will get better or that your husband is in a better place, no, I'm not going to do that, but I will say You are a strong woman, you saved your child, you saved yourself. You will get thru this and you will be okay..............only not now. Now and no matter who you felt about him, you must grieve, you must say goodbye. Do this in your own way, not how people will tell you to do it. The most important gift you can give yourself, is the return of your heart. For me, that place is a in a box on a shelf, beside the one I had when I met him and before the one he gave me when he died.
PM me if you need to talk, I remember what it was like. And I am there with you.
I'm divorcing my husband of eleven years starting Monday because of his past alcoholism. I have a feeling he fell off the wagon just recently. Even if he is not drinking he takes pills.
I lost my female best friend, she was 38 from alcoholism. Her liver finally gave out.
I lost my male best friend, he was 50 from alcoholism. He was dead five days before they found him. He was on diaretics but he started drinking again.
I've had countless nights wondering if and when my husband will die. We have been seperated eight years so I've been waiting for the call. It's sad because they had a choice. We can not be thier savior no matter how we tried. How do you fight something that isn't physical? Alcohol is a demon.
Educate your child. I have three children and I'm educating them. I've noticed my son has that gene. Just call it a hunch.
No one can tell you how to grieve. Oddly I have stopped social drinking. Just because the trama I've been through by watching someone commit suicide slowly.
Concentrate on you and your child. He is in the best place he can be in now.
(((((HUGS))))) You can pm me here if you need to talk or compare notes.
Thanks for the replies--it has now been 11 weeks since my husband died and I am still waiting for the state medical examiner to complete his/her report and issue a death certificate...only then will I be permitted to finally bury my husband.
3red3red...we will both always have questions..I really believe that someone did hurt my husband which resulted in his death. Maybe once I am permitted to read all the reports (police, hospital, autopsy) I will come to a different conclusion. My main concern, as I am sure is yours is our daughters. She seems to be doing alright, has her moments, but then again, I still tear up most days. She is currently at camp for the next two weeks and I am at home throwing away stuff. Just like her father, she is a pack rat, unable to throw anything away. I would do this general clean every couple of years. It used to be that her father would take her out for a few hours, just enough time for me to go into her room and clean. So while she is at camp, I have been sorting clothes and cleaning out school notebooks. Great way to keep my mind off all the other unpleasant events.
Walkingtall--I remember those nights waiting for the phone to ring or the door bell to be rung...instead of loosing weight due to the stress, I gained...now I must begin to loose because I know that the extra weight is unhealthy and I need to be healthy for my daughter. (to think that when I was growing up, everyone was jealous because I was so thin...how times change)
Again thank you both for your kind words..I know that I still have many more affairs to clear up (house is going to be auction next week..bank just call me to notify me--never received a letter). I keep telling myself.."No one promised me it was going to be easy". God how I now hate that statement.