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    • Buggins
    • By Buggins 25th Jan 18, 7:49 PM
    • 323Posts
    • 243Thanks
    Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 18, 7:49 PM
    Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it 25th Jan 18 at 7:49 PM
    Just wanted to put this thread on to replace the missing one. Worried that some people who have been following the old thread might really need it sometime and won't get the support they need/want. It has, and still does, help me.
Page 49
    • Sammie36
    • By Sammie36 2nd Dec 18, 9:25 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    My son today asked me if I thought his dad was mad with me for not being able to save him. I must admit that question hit me a little.

    I performed CPR on him before the paramedic arrived and I often wonder if maybe I didn't do it properly or quick enough.

    John apologised to me just before he died - and I didn't have time to respond. I SO regret not telling him I loved him in the short time before he lost consciousness but it was just so unexpected.

    I think the regrets and guilt make me feel even worse.

    I feel like I'm going to go crazy.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 2nd Dec 18, 9:30 PM
    • 1,956 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    Sammie, he knew, really, he knew. That question from your son was childlike, naive. You know you did everything you could, don't even think about that aspect of it. Not even the paramedics could help, so how could you?

    Be kind to yourself.
    • Sammie36
    • By Sammie36 2nd Dec 18, 9:50 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    Yes the question was naive, I know he didn't ask it to upset me he was just being a child.

    It's because I re play that night over and over again. I doubt everything i did/think i did. I told him I did all I could and that he was just too poorly and his response was "you tried mummy and that's what matters isn't it".

    This grief journey is so draining. It's probably also because life's other problems don't stop do they?

    Next first is my birthday - Christmas eve. Followed by Christmas itself
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 2nd Dec 18, 10:22 PM
    • 39,796 Posts
    • 37,030 Thanks
    I wonder if your son was trying to reassure you with that question - "do you think my dad is mad with you? How can he be when you know you did everything you could" - but possibly can't articulate it properly.

    anyway, we are all in agreement, you did everything you could.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 2nd Dec 18, 10:23 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 1,283 Thanks
    Sammie, thank you for returning and letting us know you are ok. You must be absolutely exhausted and so we really appreciate you having done so.

    John knew you loved him and I'm certain of that. I lost my wife suddenly too and also wished that I could have told her that I loved her, but it wasn't meant to be. However, I think we both know deep in our hearts that they knew - because they did . Sammie, the regrets you have are a natural part of the grieving process - everyone has them - and I most certainly did.

    Performing CPR on John must have been so frightening for you. Please don't ever blame yourself for what happened - you did your very best and that's all you possibly could do.

    When you wake in the morning, do remember that we are all thinking of you, and hoping that the day will be a little easier than the one before.
    • wort
    • By wort 3rd Dec 18, 7:25 AM
    • 967 Posts
    • 11,586 Thanks
    Hi Sammie. I hope you are looking after yourself. I'm really sorry about John. My husband died suddenly last year, he hadn't been ill just his glands up on his neck. I badgered him to see the Dr. Before we went on holiday. On the 2nd day of our cruise he went to bed feeling sick with a head ache, then wouldn't eat or drink. I was on a ship alone I didn't know what to do. We flew home after a week though my husband didn't want to.
    We went straight to A and E, who sent him home. We went back 2 days later and they finally admitted him. They gave him paracetamol and couldn't find what was wrong. At the end of the week I was told he had secondary metastes in his meninges in his brain and he wouldn't live more than a few weeks.
    He died a week later.
    I wanted to tell you this as I also felt as you did that maybe I could have done something more, got him to the Dr. Sooner ?seen some sign? And oh how I wish I'd climbed in that bed with him and hugged him, and told him how much I loved him.
    My grandson doesn't have his dad in his life and he and grandad were very close, he was just ten when it happened, and I was upset for him too.
    We were together 30 years and I was 54 a week before he died.
    What I want to say is so many people on here have been were you are and it's very difficult, I'm in tears now just remembering, but you are stronger than you think.
    I will post underneath as this is getting long!
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • wort
    • By wort 3rd Dec 18, 7:39 AM
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    • 11,586 Thanks
    Please go to your Dr, and get referred to a counsellor. It really helps to just pour your feelings out to a complete stranger, I cried buckets and told her everything without the fear of upsetting anyone. Which is what we are bothered about. I have a large family of support, but they were grieving too, and I felt I had to be strong, so talking to the counsellor was a means of getting it off my chest. Also they can get counselling for the children, it's often done in school. So please ask .
    I was given a book death and how to survive it, by Katie Boydell.
    She was widowed young with small children.the book is about her journey,but it's written well and with some humour. Maybe get the book from the library or ebay. She also has a website with a forum similar to this.
    • wort
    • By wort 3rd Dec 18, 7:52 AM
    • 967 Posts
    • 11,586 Thanks
    With regards to the room where it happened, is it possible to change it round a little , paint or rearrange the furniture. Not right away, but to help you , I know you must keep replaying it when you're in there. As my niece lost her partner in Afghanistan, and she ended up moving because she couldn't come down stairs without seeing the officers at the door. She was in her 30 with two very young children.

    I know I've done a lot of redecorating myself and he didn't die at home. But it helped to occupy my mind.
    In the early days I did everything I could not to think about it, and would clean and garden all day over.
    It's a year of firsts, birthdays ,Christmas etc. But be kind to yourself. No one will expect you to be super woman. Ask for help, even if it's to buy Xmas shopping. You don't mention family other than your parents, but most family and friends will be glad of being able to do things to help.
    I don't visit the cemetery very much, as I know he's not there. I know he's in the house with me, so I have his photo up, and buy flowers to put near it.
    Please keep posting .The people here are lovely. Don't be afraid to say what you feel as we've probably felt the same at some point.
    Much love and hugs.
    • joansgirl
    • By joansgirl 4th Dec 18, 9:14 AM
    • 15,123 Posts
    • 58,319 Thanks
    I don't normally post on this thread, I haven't really got anything to offer or any advice that hasn't already been given, but I do read it.

    My heart goes out to you all with your individual struggles, especially those who are in the early days.

    The reason I'm posting today is because it's what should have been our 26th wedding anniversary and this year I'm feeling it a bit more than normal.

    I'm trying to keep busy but a back injury prevents me from doing too much so I suppose I have more thinking time.

    My husband has been dead quite a long time now, coming up for 9 years. He was ill from the end of October 2009 and died on January 3rd 2010 so Christmas and New Year hold bad memories for me. With most people getting into the Christmas spirit it just brings the sadness to the forefront of my mind and makes everything that bit more of a struggle.

    Although I don't speak to people on here I do appreciate what you're going through.

    Thanks for reading.
    Some people only exist as examples of what to avoid...
    • wort
    • By wort 5th Dec 18, 9:50 AM
    • 967 Posts
    • 11,586 Thanks
    Joans girl. I don't think our grief ever goes. We just open up our world to make it seem smaller. There will always be times we will get upset that our loved ones aren't there to enjoy the present with us, but you aren't alone, sending you much love and hugs . Please feel free to chat to us , we are here to help each other .xx
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 5th Dec 18, 1:00 PM
    • 834 Posts
    • 1,886 Thanks

    Your constant reminders of your loss, what you did for John at that time will ease very slowly over time. Be assured that any attempt at CPR is better than no attempt. He would know instinctively that you loved him, he didn't need to be told at that moment. Your very action demonstrated more than words your love. The first time of everything is hard, humans are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.

    Children are also very good at managing grief, encourage chatter and laughter whenever you can, Christmas is especially hard for most, time for reflection and tears is normal, don't suppress your feelings or feel that you shouldn't express your emotion.

    My hope is that you can have some time for you as well as the children.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Sammie36
    • By Sammie36 5th Dec 18, 3:53 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 129 Thanks

    Thank you for everyones messages. I have read them and when the children are in bed tonight I will post a proper response - it's been a bit emotional here and some other problems arise that i had to try and deal with.

    Wort- your response was so detailed. Thank you so much.

    Thank you x
    • Sammie36
    • By Sammie36 6th Dec 18, 11:57 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 129 Thanks

    My son was poorly last night so we were up for a while - think it's just a bad cold but he felt really bad.

    I have been back to the gp. She has prescribed Prozac. She asked me if I had contacted cruise and I told her about the waiting time to be put on the list and she said "oh" and she wants to see me again in a month.

    Wort - thank you for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry for your loss.

    The week John died he had a chest infection, we went to the doctors on the Monday and she gave him some antibiotics. Wednesday came and he felt better and his temperature was back to normal but come Thursday he started to have a pain on his left side and he was very uncomfortable.
    I had a bad feeling, you know when something doesn't feel right? I asked him if he wanted to go to hospital and he said he was fine.

    Come Friday morning he was no better so I made him an emergency appointment with GP. She listened to his chest and said his chest was clear and his stomach upset was probably the antibiotics and to continue to take them.

    Friday evening came and he was in a lot of pain. Again i asked him to go to hospital but he said no. This time I wasn't happy with that answer and I had a go at him about it. Anyway I sat with him and he said if he still felt the same in the morning we would go to hospital then.

    At about 1030 he fell asleep in the sofa. As he had been so uncomfortable during the day I decided to cover him up and leave him to sleep while he could.

    I Went to bed and and at 3.40 am I woke up to him shouting that he couldn't..... I went downstairs and he said he couldn't move. I told him I was calling an ambulance. He was in a lot of pain and very worried.

    I called an ambulance and once I had ended the call John asked me to help him sit up, which I did. He then said he wanted a drink so I handed him a glass of water but he was shaking so I held it to his mouth and he had a sip.

    He asked me if they were coming and I told him they were.

    Then he sat himself back on the sofa and looked at me and he said "I'm sorry". I said what John but he was no response. I looked at him and I knew.

    I screamed at him as I attempted to pull him off the sofa and I started cpr as I was sobbing. I think about 5 minutes later I saw the blue lights and I ran out of the house screaming something at the paramedic.

    He came in and because they sent a paramedic car he was on his own. He asked me if I was ok to continue while he got his kit together. I didn't stop I just carried on.

    It must have been a further 5 minutes before the other ambulance arrived. Then one of the paramedics dragged me off John and picked me the floor and they took over.

    They had wanted me to leave the room but I wanted to stay I asked them if.i was in the way and if they had needed the space I would have gone but they said it was more for me but I wanted to be there.

    They worked on him for an hour, various drugs and a cpr machine. - it's like a mechanical arm that does chest impressions. They got a faint pulse and said they were going to take him to a & e.
    I asked the paramedic what his chances were and he said you want me to be honest don't you - which I agreed with and he said he didn't think we won't have good outcome.

    I called my parents in a blind panic and asked them to come round. The paramedics took my details and knew I would follow when my parents arrived to sit with kids.

    Just as I was going to leave I got the call that he was dead.

    I was told to call the on call mortician later on and I could arrange to see him.

    Post mortem said heart failure.

    Wort - what you said about decorating makes sense but as it is, it was our lounge and as much as I want to change it i don't. Does that make sense? Even though i can't be in it at the moment, John and I did that room together and he was in it as it is.

    We lost our income also so things are not going well in that sense either so that doesn't help.

    His coats are still hanging up and his shoes are on the rack.

    My parents have been great but they think I should be trying to "move on" now, but I can't. I'm stuck.

    I just miss him so much.

    Reality has set in and we are all just feeling it I think.

    Thank you
    • sheilavw
    • By sheilavw 7th Dec 18, 5:48 AM
    • 1,093 Posts
    • 1,560 Thanks
    Sammie , I am so sad for you all. I dont have any words at the moment that will help.l can only re-terate that time helps. I just want you to know that I have been thinking of you and keep checking in to see if you have posted.
    Take care of yourself xx
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 7th Dec 18, 8:01 AM
    • 1,956 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    Oh, Sammie, that sounds so traumatic. I imagine it is hard enough when someone has a longer-term illness, but to go so suddenly is very hard on those left behind, especially when you are so young.

    I am really sorry for your loss.

    As a parent of someone your almost age, I would be at a loss to know how to help ease the pain, I imagine your parents feel the same way and are just coming out with what they think will help you get through the day one step at a time. They will feel helpless, in addition to their own grief, seeing your child hurt is an awful thing to bear when you know you can't take away the pain, and seeing their grandchildren grieve too will be almost unbearable for them.

    I have no experience of this but others on here do and will try to help as you feel your way through. Take care and try to look after yourself.
    • humptydumptybits
    • By humptydumptybits 7th Dec 18, 9:37 AM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 10,047 Thanks
    Sammie I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I have a friend who did CPR on her father and it was unsuccessful and she felt much the same as you, questioning if she did it right bu I was recently asked to sign a DNR for an elderly relative the doctor said it wasn't likely to be successful at her age and he wouldn't advise it, he also said an unsuccessful attempt was very traumatic for the people involved, paramedics, nurses etc so don't think you are alone in that, even the professionals struggle with it.

    Firsts are always bad and Christmas is tough, when I was a child, just a bit older than your son, my father died 4 weeks before Christmas. You can imagine my mother was in no state to prepare for Christmas, I did the shopping and we had food in but on Christmas Eve she suddenly told me to get my coat on and my brother who was the same age as your daughter was left with my gran. We went to a local shop, back when we had local shops, and she bought loads of stuff for my brother and some for me. I can still remember helping her drag it all back. She suddenly felt she couldn't leave a 7 year old without Christmas. It wasn't as bad as we expected, watching a 7 year old opening his presents was good for me let alone her. I'm just saying that because I know it is hard to imagine having any sort of pleasure at Christmas but I'd hate you to wake up on Christmas morning thinking you wished you'd done more for your little girl.

    I do think it is hard when you have young children, you can't just give up and hide away but they will keep you strong as you will do it all for them.

    I hope you will all be OK and you get lots of support. My friend needed counselling about her father's death. Maybe you could consider that?
    • wort
    • By wort 7th Dec 18, 1:33 PM
    • 967 Posts
    • 11,586 Thanks
    Hi Sammie. How are you feeling?
    Your story touched me deeply as it resonates so much with my husband, also a John . I am surprised that your Dr's don't offer counselling, or maybe I was lucky mine did. Could you ask the receptionist ?
    I do understand you don't want to change things, it's everyone's way of dealing that is different. I got rid of clothes etc. Very soon, but that was my way of coping. Have you mentioned to the school what happened and if they can get counselling for the children?
    I too only have my part time wage 17 hours coming in. We had no life insurance, or anything that would pay the mortgage off etc. I don't qualify for any benefits . I get a reduction on council tax that's all.
    Check with the dss to see if you are entitled to anything. I did get a bereavement allowance.
    Which helps to pay funeral costs. There's also a tell all facility that let's all relevant places know of his death. Tax office etc.
    I'm due out now . So must go. Please take care and ask for help from who ever offers it.
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • Sammie36
    • By Sammie36 7th Dec 18, 3:33 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    MrAPJI - Thank you for sharing your story. Im so sorry. I must admit both stories from yourself and wort had me in tears. Knowing you felt/feel the same as i do is heart breaking isn't it and the circumstances being so similar too.

    Wort - I haven't got rid of anything. John's coats are still hanging up with ours, his shoes are on the still on the rack. His clothes are still in his drawers. My parents suggested getting rid of some of his things and I went mad. The thought of it feeling like he never existed makes me feel ill.

    I leave my change where he used to empty his out of his pockets.
    His coats still have his scent on them. I sit and smell them.

    We put the Xmas tree up (My parents made me), and I have some of the presents for the children we bought when John was here.

    Humpydumptybits- my gp gave me cruises number but they won't put me on their waiting list til 3 months after the bereavement.

    The children are doing some grief work at school. They have a memory book which whenever they feel sad they can go and get it and write a memory of their dad in it.

    It's Friday again which means in 12 hours and 40 mins It's been 11 weeks. Maybe that's why today as been so tough.

    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 7th Dec 18, 4:25 PM
    • 531 Posts
    • 1,746 Thanks
    Sammie, I think the memory books for the children are a wonderful idea and will help. A few years ago a close friend lost her husband very suddenly - it was such a terrible shock for everyone. The children were 2 and 4 and so very few memories of their daddy. Her mother-in-law made each child a book called 'My Daddy'. It was full of photo's from when Mark was a baby to the last few weeks of his life. Each photo had a little caption explaining where he was and what was happening at the time. A really thoughtful gesture which will help the children as they grow up.

    Thinking of you all xx
    • wort
    • By wort 8th Dec 18, 4:57 PM
    • 967 Posts
    • 11,586 Thanks
    Tuesday is John's birthday, and I know my family won't forget, they will be around. Dd2 said that my grandson is making a card for his grandad, and she'll take it to the cemetery.
    I nearly said he's upstairs , as I have his ashes in my bedroom. I take comfort from talking to him as I walk round the house, which is easier as I'm on my own most of the time.
    It's my nieces graduation on his birthday which is fitting as she is his goddaughter. She's organised a meal out in the evening, to which I'm invited. So I have a goal for the day, to be ready and smiling, when they pick me up.
    Hope all is ll with everyone.
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
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