she was only 22

imamommyJune 30, 2012

My daughter in law passed away June 6. She was 22 years old & has a 3 year old son that I was raising at the time. I am completely distraught and nobody quite understands WHY!

See, my son married her on a whim & from the start, we didn't really get along. She thought I didn't like her... what I didn't like was my son's decision to marry someone he'd only known a couple of months & well, she had "issues". The more he told me about her, the worse it got.

Her birth parents were drug addicts that died when she was a child.

She bounced around Foster care until she was 6.

She was adopted at 6 but her adoptive parents split up a year later.

She bounced back & forth between them but neither seemed to really bond with her.

She started acting out in adolescence & was sent away to a "reform" boot camp twice.

When she was 18, they bought her a car & put her in her own apartment, paying the rent... until she met my son. Then they said he could take care of her.

I can only imagine the abandonment issues & feelings of being "unwanted" but I was also worried/concerned that my son was getting involved with someone that had so many problems. She was diagnosed bi polar & had abused alcohol a lot in high school. I felt for her but I didn't want my son to get involved. So, she assumed I didn't like her.

Well, they had broken up & when they decided to make up, it was in Reno getting married in the middle of the night. They told me about it the next day. A month later, she found out she was pregnant & he joined the military. They told me AFTER he had signed up with the Army. I was a bit crushed knowing he would likely be deployed & gone while the baby was young. I worried about her ability to care for a baby with all her problems. I wasn't wrong.

When he was deployed, she really went off the deep end. I think it was because of her abandonment issues & him leaving. I ended up with my grandson when she left him in her apartment with a guy that was spending the night & she rolled her car into a ditch, got a DUI & spent 4 days in jail. I was angry because she only had the baby one night a week & it was during that one night that this happened. When I filed for guardianship, her adoptive parents hired an attorney & demanded visitation, which I agreed to. As soon as the court hearings ended & I was the legal guardian, for some unknown reason.. her adoptive mom stopped talking to her. Her birth mother's parents offered her a place & took her in. She moved with them & they helped her get a job, put her in school & got her counseling. I really noticed a difference & actually thought she might turn her life around & assume the parental role with my grandson. But, she continued to have problems... she began suffering from Bulimia & went to a treatment center. When she came home again, she was anorexic. My son returned from the Army around that time & they were trying to put their lives together.

But, one stupid decision later... they went out drinking & well, we still don't know what really happened. He says they had an argument. She has threatened to harm herself in the past. She's attempted it. She was taking medication and drank too much. She died. We don't know if she got upset with my son & took pills to "show him" or if she was trying to get attention.. or if she was just upset & didn't know how the medication & alcohol would mix? or if it was something else. And just like that, she's gone.

I'm devastated... she was on the right track. She was finally spending time with my grandson & he always had a good time with her, always happy to see her. She had been coming to parties & events at my house so she could be more a part of her son's life. She had taken him the weekend before & brought him back 3 days before she died. She was supposed to pick him up again the next day for a longer visit. Her grandparents (where she was living) had gone on a trip out of state. They were equally distraught. They had spent the last two years watching her progress, only to have her die in almost the same manner as her birth mother ~ their daughter. I am devastated for my grandson that will never get to know her. I can't imagine what they are going through. My son is devastated & has had to endure finger pointing because he was with her, because he didn't stop her from drinking, because he argued with her... and he is blaming himself.

Well, her adoptive parents did not contact us to help. They called my son & asked what time the service was... that was the extent of their involvement. I arranged all of the services. Her grandparents had a fund they were using to pay for her education & ended up contributing that toward the funeral. We paid for it all, the adoptive parents gave nothing. Since the grandparents live a few hours away, I handled the arrangements myself & the reception that followed the service was at my home. I created a memorial page & wrote her obituary. It was an incredibly difficult time for me, but also because the week before she died, my husband & I had decided to divorce. He moved out two days before the funeral because he was just too insensitive to my feelings about the situation.

Then, a few days ago my sister told me something that has been bothering me ever since she told me... she won't tell me who said it ~ I guess it might cause a rift in the family? ~ but she said that someone was saying how ridiculous it is that I am getting so upset & crying at the funeral because I hated my daughter in law so much. My first reaction was to tell my sister that I guess whoever said that doesn't know me at all because, while my daughter in law & I did not agree on many things... we shared a love for my grandson & I respected her as his mother... and truly hoped she would get her life together enough to be a mom to him. I felt like I was a parental figure in her life, even though it was more of a parent/rebellious child relationship... I used tough love & her grandparents as well as my son have both told me that she knew I cared for her as well as my grandson. It is just bothering me that someone (and I think it's a family member)... well, not only would they think such a thing but to SAY it behind my back. It's a lot easier said than done to ignore it & not let it bother me... and I don't expect advice on that, I think I just needed to vent and talk about it here because I don't think anyone really understands what I'm going through... heck, I don't really understand all the emotions I am going through because I can't quite sort out which feelings are because of the impending divorce or because I am grieving the loss of my daughter in law, the sadness of her entire life including the way she was treated by her adoptive parents even after she was dead.. (and the anger of having to listen to her adoptive mother stand up at the funeral and thank everyone for being there to support her & her family, yet gave absolutely no acknowledgement to me or my son... nor asked to even see my grandson with whom they have an order for visitation that they have not utilized since they got it two years ago).. and watching my son lose his wife... and watching my grandson lose his mommy & my husband, who was his grandpa.. in the same week.

I guess hearing that someone thinks that way about me was the straw that broke the camels back... thanks for letting me vent. (this is one of the last pictures I have of her at his 3rd birthday party a three months to the day before she died. I'm so glad I invited her & that she came.)

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I am so sorry that you have experienced so much in so little amount of time. There is nothing to say to make it go away. I am a member of another grief forum where I get a lot of support. My 30 year old son died almost one year ago...I've been having a terrible time and without the support of the people on the website I think I would have already lost my mind. If you are interested, go to and they will ask you a few questions in order for you to become a member.
At this place, there is no blame, nothing but support and compassion for what you are going through. You can say what is on your mind and likely someone will have gone through something similar and can offer some advice, support or comfort to you.
Again I am so sorry for your loss, and that your grandson has lost his mom and your son has lost his wife.
I hope you find some peace.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 2:28AM
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Thank you Tammy.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:49PM
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