How are you doing with your recovery?

doc8404July 28, 2007

I wanted to check back in to see how you all are doing. I noticed we have some new posters and my thoughts and prayers go out to each of you. This is the hardest thing we will ever have to do and I speak with some authority on that.

It's been 4 months now since my wife took her own life and I feel my sons and I are starting to get back to 'normal' even though my wife (and their mother) is constantly on our minds.

I have gotten over my clingy feelings towards the boys and now allow them to go out of the house without me or go to a sleepover at a friends house without too much anxiety. Their counselor has decided that they no longer need to see her as often as before. Once a month should do it for now she says. The boys do seen to be doing very well and are able to talk to others now about mom without too much trouble.

The grade school the boys attended have put some of my wife's artwork on permanent display in the library and the president of the PTA called and asked if it would be alright to have a plaque put up with Tam's picture and some information about her. My wife insisted for years that the PTA pres. was the devil incarnate and was out to destroy us and traumatize the boys. I think it was just part of her descent into madness.

I took a bunch of coffee and donuts coupons to our fire house and cop station for the guys. We have a small, but very professional, local safety force and these guys and gals treated my wife with a huge amount of love and care when they removed her from the house and took great pains to make sure my sons were shielded from any view that could have traumatised them.

I've started to clean up the house and move some things out. Part of my wife's pathology was that she was a collector of all types of things so the house had many, many items that had no purpose for us but were in the way. Dozens of rolls of wallpaper, over two tons of rocks in the basement, eighty pair of curtains, etc. I kept some things but gave most of it to Goodwill or my church. I started to go through her clothes and packed away much of it to save for the boys. All her jewelry I moved to my safe deposit box. I don't know what I'll do with it all but maybe give it to the boys when they are adults. I don't have any girls to pass it on to.

I mentioned that at the end Tam thought the whole world and everyone in it was against her. How wrong she was. I requested donations to the Boy Scouts in lieu of flowers and so far the scouts have received thousands of dollars in her memory. Her illness didn't allow her to accurately evalutate what others thought of her. What a pity that is but I'm confident she knows now.

My mother in law continues to disappoint me but I'm biting my tongue so as to not poison the boy's relationship with their grandmother. She hasn't talked to me since the funeral except to ask for some of my wife's things. I'm not happy with what was asked for (high value items, not keepsakes) but I might not be processing MIL's requests properly myself. I won't do anything until I cool off a bit about it.

I have noticed that my friends and perfect strangers have been wonderful and have confirmed my feelings that folks are generally good and want to do the right thing. I get calls often asking if there is anything that needs to be done for myself or the boys. I put a gentle stop to all the food dishes that continued to come long after the funeral. It was very appreciated but I didn't need it anymore.

I feel a bit guilty going on with my life and being a single man instead of a married man. Not crushing guilt but conflicted. A woman I recently met at the grocery store who did not know my situation invited me to a event with her. I politely turned her down and explained I was recently widowed and it was too soon. She asked me to keep her card and call when the time was right. I have to admit I did feel a bit of interest. But then guilt.

Sorry for the long post but this really helps me.

Has anyone heard from Dave in Conn? When he last checked in he seemed to be having a tough time.

How are the rest of you?

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Doc, I just sent you an email.

Things are moving slowly, yet quickly, here. It's been 3 1/2 months since my husband died of pancreatic cancer. He is NEVER off my mind. I have a 17-yr. old stepson at home, and he's spent his summer with his aunts looking at colleges. He seems to be doing ok.

Me - I can't seem to remember things and I get so lonely without my husband - we did everything together.

I am learning to do things I never even knew about while he was alive - he did SO MUCH behind the scenes. I am sorry I didn't show my appreciation for all he did, while he was here.

I am making decisions that I have to make, though I really don't know what I'm doing - thank goodness I have friends who do!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 3:32PM
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Hello Doc and Kay Jones

I'm sorry for your loses. May G-d bless you and yours...May his light shine on you always.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 4:27PM
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Hi Doc, i still feel uncomfortable posting here, i know i should get over it. i miss my Al sooo much, i visit him every morning and tell him about the day before. Matthew, our 24 yr old, is still a basket case and is having a hard time dealing with all of this, he will come with me to the cemetery while our daughter will not. she turned 19 2 weeks ago. i was the doer of everything =paying bills, taking the car to be repaired, etc. heck my daughter and i put in laminent flooring! Al's clothing is in plastic bins in the garage, my son says i can't get rid of them. but he got me a BFI bin for mother's day, so i could get rid of "junk". i don't sleep well at night and neither does Matthew, it's so weird. our daughter makes me go out at least once a day to one of the malls, just to get out, i have never been a real shopper. my sisters in laws have not contacted me or the kids, matthew is an assistant manager at a large sporting goods store where every one buys stuff and the one sister in law is part owner of a hockey team. Al and her had a fight last summer and had never spoken since, infact told me he wouldn't talk to her again. our friends set up a trust fund for us, but we haven't seen or done anything with the money yet, they want to do something good with the money so they say. i am lonely, and i will say lazy, the house is messy again maybe it's the heat or trying to get rid of the "old" stuff, i don't know. they say things will get better in time, i sure hope so!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:19PM
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Doc, thank you for asking. I went away for a week with my youngest daughter and her in-law family, who are wonderful, and it was great but coming home was bad. Last week was our wedding anniversary which, as you can imagine, was also bad. It has been eight months now and I still hurt as much as I did in the beginning. I don't ever want to forget him and I know I never will but I hope the pain lessens after a while,I feel almost guilty when I don't feel bad, does anyone else have that feeling?
Anyway, I just keep on keeping on as I hope you all do, the days ahead have to get better.
God Bless all,

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:42PM
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It has been 4-1/2 months since my beloved passed. We finally have the headstone in place. It gives a sense of closure, but at the same time the permanence and reality have been augmented. It was hard because we were surprised to see it. Now that it's "etched in stone" I've been reliving the tragic events once again in my memory, although this time around it stings less but aches more deeply.

Work has been hell. Not because I hate what I do, but because I hate going to work. I need to get over that for my own good, and I have help, but man is it hard to get up some mornings. If not for my son, I probably would have quit by now. That would have been a bad situation so thank heaven for my son!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 3:20PM
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Mavis, I think we have to go through all the phases of grieving, and none of them are to be regretted. It is just part of nature separating you from your husband. It is like getting a blister (IMHO) - very painful, even more painful once you realize you have it, and horribly painful until it heals.

Doc, I can relate to what you are saying about your job - I have been on the cusp - stay or retire. So far, my sensible side has persuaded me to stay, but my 'pity' side says to hell with it! For me, it's just minute-by-minute.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:49AM
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Hi Doc,
Thanks for the thoughtful question. I am trying to walk again and trying hard to enjoy life after my husband's suicide, 53 days ago. Since his death happened after an incident of domestic violence in which I did not how to react, I am still confused. My doctor thinks that my husband could have murdered me and commit suicide. His son also thinks the same, but my heart is still in denial, how could this man who said he loved me ended up doing something like that. My recovery will not beging until I finish executing his will and take off from his children at all. My husband was a health professional, he was abused by an older cousing when he was a child, was a captain in Vietnam and had a very unstable life in every aspect you want to look at it. He had many lawsuits when he had his practices and after when he was working for others. The last complaint was about 2004 when I met him. He was introduced in the clinic I was a patience as a very nice man. The woman who introduced as in a blind date told me he had some health problem (stomach) and problems with his children, but he loved them very much. After dating 2 years I told him I did not wanted to continue the relationship because his grown up children did not respected me and he was also unable to draw the line between his girlfriend/fiance and the wife either. His daughter was 35 and his was 38 at the moment we married. They never left him alone. They always wanted something. His son was still living at the house when we got marry and he only left the next day we came back from the honeymoon. Since I was working in a different city during the week and coming home on the weekend, his son always managed to come and sleep in during the week. His daughter required the inheritance before our marriage and promised not the request anymore more after that. Unfortunately, she continued requiring money with different threats and strategies. Last years she obtained 13 thousand dollars from my husband and this year in March and April she came to the house to "live in " for two weeks expecting that my husband fixed her car and gave her a monthly allowance. She was briefly married between 2005-2006 and she was still requirind money. After many conversations and arguments we agree with my husband to give her an allowance of $400 a month. My husband was very depressed with all this situation, he felt bad about his children, he was worried about them, and he also felt bad about himself for not achieving more in life. Two days before dying he said I have worked 40 years and I have nothing. That was not true. He only saw life through a dark filter, he was unable to draw a line with his children. His son was convicted and jailed twice for DWI. Hi spent three years in prison. His daughter was on morphine for extreme pain that over 15 doctors could not diagnose. My husband considered himself a failure. Hw would not even like the blinds openm or get out to the porch on weekends. I really did my best. I tried to give him love, but the family system my husband had with his children was too big for me. His Psychiatric has been of great help in my understanding. My husband had a personality disorder, was ambivalent, had great anger due to the abuse and PTSD. In the last meeting his doctor told me that my husband only could love his children and no one else and that he was literally married to them. It's sad but I have to accept that there was no much for me in my marriage, that my husband was so sick that he could not see me, neither hear my pleads to save his life. He was totally decided to end up his life that day. After holding him for hours, he finally got one bullet in a gun a shot himself in front of his son in the backyard. I left the house and the city that same night. Two weeks ago when I was in the front of the house organizing things, his son showed up in the drive up and frightened me to the point that my body was frozen, rigid. The police told him not to come without my permission because I was in charge of the house.I called for help and there were no neighbors around.He left an intimidating message in my phone. Next day, my lawyer called the police and I file a complaint that was labelled harassment and family violence.
So, How I am doing? I am trying to recover, I am trying to understand that my husband was sick and that his son is a danger to my own life. I am trying to execute the will and get out of this nightmare. I am so confused, sad and angry. I have not had the time to mourn my husband. The thoughest part is to be responsible for a vacant home with 82 guns that with the help of other people managed to storage in 2 vaults. My heart beats fast when I have to go to the house because he died there and because I am scared. I really hope I can recover. His clothes are still there, I think the end of this will be me resigning to my homestead rights and return the house to the children. Even 100 miles away from the house, I still can't sleep. Once in a while I take an anxiety pill, but every night I need a sleeping pill. My only consolation is that my husband's sister and her husband understand the situation and they told me they love me. I am alone in the US, only my children (medical and engineering students) are here with me. And you guys, have been wonderful in this forum. Sorry for the long posting.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 6:05PM
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