General Question

arb72's avatar

Has anyone had their spouse die unexpectedly?

Asked by arb72 (12points) June 26th, 2009

My husband died last October and my son is 4 and still does not understand. Trying to move on in our lives but confused.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

5 Answers

cak's avatar

I haven’t, but I am so sorry for your loss.

My mother was married twice, now, both husbands are deceased. My biological father was murdered when I was young. I was standing there when she got the news. It was a sound I’ll never forget. My—step—DAD died this year, it was heartbreaking and continues to be, for all of us.

She really never talked a lot of his murder (my biological father’s murder), because she was so unnerved by the fact that someone she was married to, was murdered. She said that for months, she was on autopilot, at best. She had two young daughters, and life as she knew it, was over.

For us, she spoke to us about the fact that he wasn’t coming back, but he was (we believe in God and heaven) heaven and he would be looking out for us. She encouraged us to color pictures and write letters. I don’t really know what she did with all the letters. I know the pictures are in a photo album that she still has.

Eventually, she had to move from the area, she just couldn’t move past what happened. She said it was like we all started fresh. We were no longer near where it happened, no longer around his family – there was a lot of weird stuff going on with that side of things. She said it was difficult, but after a few months, things started to smooth out, a bit.

I remember nightmares, but I remember my mom coming in and holding me. Reassuring me that she was there to take care of us, that her love was always there, she was always there.

We were very blessed when she remarried. My Dad (step) really loved us and really took care of us. He was a wonderful man.

marinelife's avatar

I have not lost a spouse, a loss I cannot imagine. My personal experience with loss has made me believe that losing someone suddenly and unexpectedly is much harder than knowing they will die, but having time to say all that you want and need to to each other.

That said, it may be better, but it is not much better in an absolute sense.

I am very sorry this has happened to you both. I can only offer these poor things that I have learned in my own experiences of losing loved ones, which may or may not be helpful since everyone’s process is different.

Be kind to yourself.

Give yourself as much time as you need. Do not let anyone tell you, “You should be getting over it by now.”

In the case of my Mom and my husband’s mother, both of them took at least two years before they even seemed like themselves again.

Anger at the deceased is a part of the grief cycle.

One thing I did not realize until I experienced it was how physical grief is. It actually affects us on the body level. Fatigue, aching.

For your little one, have books been helpful to you? There is some pretty specific research on how children of different ages experience death. This site has some good information on talking to your children about death and level of understanding based on age, the latter is excerpted below:

“Studies show that children go through a series of stages in their understanding of death. For example, preschool children usually see death as reversible, temporary, and impersonal. Watching cartoon characters on television miraculously rise up whole again after having been crushed or blown apart tends to reinforce this notion.”

I wish you as much as possible as you cope with this terrible loss.

DrBill's avatar

June 9, 2000 My wife died in a horrific car wreck
June 9, 2001 My son died in a horrific car wreck

PM if you would like to talk

Darwin's avatar

I haven’t lost a spouse (yet), but my husband was a widower when I met him. His first wife died very suddenly on bowling night. She wasn’t feeling well but wouldn’t let anyone call 911. My husband packed her into the car and began driving to the hospital when she suddenly stopped breathing. She died form a pulmonary embolism that was probably caused by a piece of a clot formed on her spleen due to a one-car accident she had been in a few days before. She had refused to see a doctor then, too.

I know from what he, his friends, and his family have said, that he was totally lost for about a year. He stopped eating properly and didn’t watch his blood sugar. His sleep cycle got all turned around. He didn’t clean the house or do anything besides go to work and then come home to watch TV all night. To make it worse, his step-son, who was legally an adult but was still living with him, began accusing my husband of having murdered his mother as part of his way of processing his own grief.

One thing that helped him recover was that he moved from the house he had lived in with his wife and step-son to an apartment in a completely different part of town. He also threw himself into charitable activities, raising money for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and several other organizations.

And finally, he started reaching out to people again, and let a mutual friend introduce us.

It really took him about three to four years to be able to remember his first wife without pain, and I learned how to help him talk about her when he needed to.

cyn's avatar

wow that’s intense @DrBill I’m really sorry.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther