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MsDelilah

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This is my first post, and it's very hard to know what to say...I guess I'll just start with why I'm here...

It's been almost 5 months since I came home from work and found my husband dead on the floor. Six days before my 39th birthday, I became a widow. Sudden Cardiac Death took him away. Not a single thing wrong with him, according to the medical examiner, but a spontaneous electrical malfunction in his heart struck him down. If I'd been home, I probably could have saved him--I'm a cardiac nurse after all. I would have known what to do. But while I was taking care of other people, he laid on our living room floor and died. Six hours later, I found him cold, face down on the floor. His face was black and blue, his skin mottled he'd been dead so long. He was so cold. I was so distraught, it took me several minutes to get the dispatcher to understand me.

He was 51, didn't take a single prescription drug, didn't have a single medical diagnosis. And he's gone. The grief has gotten worse with time, now that it's so final, so real. I have two moods: despondant and enraged. Therapy hasn't helped at all. I tried to join a bereavement group, but it was cancelled due to poor enrollment. Almost more irony than one can bear, to actually reach out for help and be told "I'm sorry, but despite the fact that we are a grief resource center, we can't find enough grieving people to actually help you".

So, here I am, with all my grief, all my rage, pushing all my friends away because I cannot bear any more platitudes. I'm so angry at him for leaving me, for getting a quick, painless death when I am left to hurt and grow old. Positively drowning in self-pity and thorough self-disgust.

I don't know when this gets better. Everyone says it does. Everyone says "Things take time". Everyone says "Everything you're going through is normal". Mostly I want to club "everyone" in the face for thinking that telling me these stupid, repetitive platitudes could possibly benefit me at a time like this. And people who tell me he's "In a better place"...those are the one's that really kill me. We were happy. The best place in the universe was here with me, in our home. There is no better place, and "God" is a myth that this devastation has completely bereft me of.

All I have left is rage...and ashes.

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I'll start by saying I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry you've had to join the club absolutely no one wants to belong to.

It's horrific that you had to be the one to find him, especially given your profession knowing you could have helped. Just awful. My 37 year old boyfriend also died of cardiac arrest, he was a smoker but nothing to the extent that should have killed him at 37. Life makes no sense whatsoever.

All I can say that it's a long road - someone on here said to me you have to let the feelings come in, go through you & go out. It couldn't be more true, it is all normal and it's at your own pace. Just be easy on yourself.

Sorry to hear about your support group, is there one in another town/city nearby? Could your doctor recommend a grief therapist? That is what I've found to be most beneficial, the one on one therapy. I've gone to a support group a few times but it's hard to be in that room. I hope you can find someone to talk to, help to release the emotions in a safe space.

One thing I've learned going through this is that people are...disappointing. People say the most inappropriate things thinking they are trying to help. With the people you can count on just be upfront about what you need, you'll be surprised at how that little (but difficult) step can make some difference. There will always be people who just can't grasp what you're going through and if they are not helping then it's ok to step back if you want. I know I've done that with a lot of people & am now just trying to surround myself with people who can let me be in the place I need to be.

I feel your anger. It's hard to get through, I wish I could say it will pass but I'm not there yet. Just give yourself permission to feel it all.

Write it down, scream it out, smash something. You have every right to be angry. Everything good has been taken away.

It's a bitter pill to swallow.

Hugs to you.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. As for what people say, trust me, if what you mentioned is the worst you get, you're doing better than most. I know that doesn't help, just suggesting you try and keep in mind the intent of these people, ie that they're trying to help, vs the unhelpful/idiotic/bumbling etc way they come off. There are about a million wrong things to say to people at a time like this and precious few "right" ones.

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This is my first post, and it's very hard to know what to say...I guess I'll just start with why I'm here...

It's been almost 5 months since I came home from work and found my husband dead on the floor. Six days before my 39th birthday, I became a widow. Sudden Cardiac Death took him away. Not a single thing wrong with him, according to the medical examiner, but a spontaneous electrical malfunction in his heart struck him down. If I'd been home, I probably could have saved him--I'm a cardiac nurse after all. I would have known what to do. But while I was taking care of other people, he laid on our living room floor and died. Six hours later, I found him cold, face down on the floor. His face was black and blue, his skin mottled he'd been dead so long. He was so cold. I was so distraught, it took me several minutes to get the dispatcher to understand me.

He was 51, didn't take a single prescription drug, didn't have a single medical diagnosis. And he's gone. The grief has gotten worse with time, now that it's so final, so real. I have two moods: despondant and enraged. Therapy hasn't helped at all. I tried to join a bereavement group, but it was cancelled due to poor enrollment. Almost more irony than one can bear, to actually reach out for help and be told "I'm sorry, but despite the fact that we are a grief resource center, we can't find enough grieving people to actually help you".

So, here I am, with all my grief, all my rage, pushing all my friends away because I cannot bear any more platitudes. I'm so angry at him for leaving me, for getting a quick, painless death when I am left to hurt and grow old. Positively drowning in self-pity and thorough self-disgust.

I don't know when this gets better. Everyone says it does. Everyone says "Things take time". Everyone says "Everything you're going through is normal". Mostly I want to club "everyone" in the face for thinking that telling me these stupid, repetitive platitudes could possibly benefit me at a time like this. And people who tell me he's "In a better place"...those are the one's that really kill me. We were happy. The best place in the universe was here with me, in our home. There is no better place, and "God" is a myth that this devastation has completely bereft me of.

All I have left is rage...and ashes.

I'm so sorry for your loss, and I can identify a good bit with your circumstances. I lost my husband to a sudden MI, and neither of us suspected he had heart disease at all. He was a MICU nurse, and I've been a registered nurse for almost 30 years. He was having upper back pain for months, and would not go to a doctor, and had never had any medical issues at all in his entire life. He thought it was old back and neck injuries.

I too have been (and continue to be) angry that he deserted me, and wouldn't get medical treatment, or at least find out for sure what was going on. About the best I can think to tell you is that it's not easy, but I find that time is helping, regardless of my willingness to hear it. I have more good days than bad days now. It's hard to accept losses like this, but I have had a couple of very serious losses in the past, so that probably helps me to a certain extent.

I'm sorry that therapy hasn't helped you. What do you think would help you?

 

Another thing that helps me is staying busy with hobbies and projects. I signed up for a yoga class a couple of times a week, and I take tai chi once weekly. I have also started getting back into pastel painting, which was a big interest of mine before he died. Journaling has helped me, and I've read many books on coping and loss, especially the ones written for widows. They have helped me a lot.

 

Best wishes, and visit the chat room if you are interested. There's a small group who participates most evenings, and if nothing else, it's good for communicating with others who understand your pain.

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I am very sorry to hear about your loss. This is a great place to come and get some support as we all know what you are going through. There are so many different stages of grief and at one point or another everyone here is in one of the stages. I find this group to be a part of my family now! I don't even know what advice to give you as I am a young widow and lost my fiancé to a tragic snowmobile accident and he drowned. I am also angry and feel lost sometimes. I do however know that eventually you will just learn to live with the pain as bad as that sounds. Hugs to you!

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MsDeliah I so sorry, my husband at 48 years old passed away in his sleep from a widow maker heart attack he had no symptoms. Because of a screw up it took the coroner office 4 months to tell us the cause of death. I too have been very angry at my husband. Your going to have good days and bad days. My area also doesn't have support groups, and my first therapist wasn't great. There is one book that I did find helpful, if I remember correctly it is called I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye. My best wishes to you.

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People here pretty much all share the same pain you are feeling so maybe hearing, "I'm sorry for what you are going through", will not come across as just another platitude. There are no magic answers, everybody is different in their grief and acceptance, but we all do have that same journey to travel, by whatever route life sends us down. I found a lot of relief here over the months, and at least for now I am doing pretty well for the most part, and although incidents still slap me down unexpectedly it's easier to get back up again.

Do you read? Well, silly question, you have to for your job. A book that I found to be excellent is called How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies, by Therese A. Rando. It's a rather old book, published in 1988, but I find it very relevant and helpful. I read a few pages every day and let those words soak in. It's less dry than what you might expect from a PHD, and includes many real life examples. What helped me a lot was understanding that a wide range of emotions is quite normal in our situation, with anger close to the top of that list of emotions. You can find this book on Amazon for one place, even as a used book if your want to keep expenses down. You might be able to find it at the library, although they tend to not keep old books as much. There are many other grief books out there, some just fluffy and others that I find more appropriate. Anyhow, please think about this approach as an aid to being able to cope better with your loss and acceptance. I say acceptance because I don't think we ever really get over the loss of a spouse, and a sudden loss is probably the hardest to live with. I lost the love of my life suddenly 5 months ago, its absolutely the worst thing that ever happened in my life, by a factor of 100 at least. Somewhere along the way I made the decision to go on living, and while I miss my Linda every day, my memories of her and our life together make me happy now instead of sad.

Good luck in your journey, please come back and visit with your fellow travelers if you can. Reading the other posts here might be helpful too.

Bill

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Delilah - I am so very sorry about the loss of your husband and that you found him. I can't even imagine how traumatic that would be.

My husband died on 1/4/13 after recovering from a terrible bout of Aspergillosis pneumonia. He was a 9 yr post transplant, heart/kidney. He died alone in him room his second night in physical rehab. One cannot live the "transplant" life without the fear of possible death hanging over your head. So while his death was somewhat of a shock it was no where near what you poor souls who lost someone just out of the blue have to deal with.

Being left behind at a young age is very scary. I think I'm doing quite well lately. It takes time, I read a lot of grieving books, I have a very strong belief in the Afterlife and in God and I really feel that has helped me on my journey. We never get over this but we do get through it.

You have every right to be really angry. I was! We got short changed. If you find yourself not getting past this though then please seek therapy.

Keep posting, reading and just know that we all care and totally understand.

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Its hard when they go so suddenly and unexpectedly. I also found my partner when i went to wake him in the morning. Id slept in the spare bed as hed gone to sleep halfway across the bed and rather than wake him i decided to sleep in the other room. I really wish i hadnt done that now, but ofc its too late for that, and ofc ive had to come to the realisation that even if id been there, there may not have been anything i could do, as we suspect that what happened was a sudden catastrophic block of his ventricular shunt (he had spina bifida and was hydrocephalic) which can be very sudden.

As has already been said, youre still in the very early stages of what is going to be, i wont lie to you, a long and sometimes horrific journey. Please do feel free to come here or into the chatroom to vent, or just to talk. Talking does help, even tho sometimes it can seem like an insurmountable effort. I wont tell you any platitudes, just give you a *hug*. Unfortunately were all on this little jaunt together tho none of us ever wanted to be, and we do our best to help each other out along the way. Please dont forget to take care of yourself as well. Youve been through a major trauma, and you need to treat yourself with kindness and gentleness.

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