Lost husband and son

Discussion in 'Dealing With Multiple Losses' started by Cheryl neeb, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Cheryl neeb

    Cheryl neeb Member

    I'm still a mess, my husband of 35 years and our 23 year old son died within 7 weeks of each other, both unexpectantly. It has been 1.5 years of thinking of them, missing them, trying to find some way to see a future. I stay busy, teach, work around the house, but there is not a second where they are not on my mind. I rehash every conversation, beat myself up for missed opportunities to express how much I appreciated the big ways and small ways they filled my heart. I am so very tired of this pain, am a strong person, but just drained of any joy. My best friend, my sister, and our beloved dad died within months of each other 9 years ago, so I am familiar with the complexities of a dual loss, but losing my husband and son has completely broken me.
     
  2. Ali58

    Ali58 New Member

    Hi Cheryl. I'm so sorry for your losses. Sadly, I can relate. I lost my husband in May of 2018. He had cancer, so it wasn't unexpected. It did come sooner that I thought it would though. 20 days later, I found my son in his room. He died from a mixture of alcohol and an anti-anxiety medication. I lost my dad and my grandmother together around 20 years ago, so I also have experienced duel losses as well. I was doing better at first than I'm doing right now. 9 months later, the reality has sunk in.
     
  3. Cheryl neeb

    Cheryl neeb Member

    Oh boy, it is just so very rough, isn't it? For me, the first year was spent in a fog of shock, profound grief. Now I find that nearly every minute of my day is somehow spent thinking of them. They are never out of my mind, some random thing will trigger a memory, and yet I can barely remember my 'normal' life. The only solace I get is when I think that at least neither one of them has to experience this torment. Our son also died of the same mixture. So then I am tormenting myself...did I not pay enough attention to his grief, too wrapped up in my own? Ugh, the regrets, the immense sadness. I'm so sorry that you, too, know the pain of such loss. Losing two is just so confusing...never know which loss will hit me harder at any given moment. How are you managing, do you work? You are approaching the year mark, and that is excruciating. I am finding that beyond that point is strange because friends think/hope that the pain is easing up, but for me, the passage of time only means that I am further from them. They don't realize that it still defines me, and probably always will. I'm trying not to think about them ALL the time, but not having much success with that. I miss them so much. Can you sleep? I have horrible dreams some nights. Do you have other children? We have 2 others, and we really can't talk about it. We refer to them, but never really talk about their deaths, still too raw. I cannot go into my son's room. My other son said that we are living in limbo, as if we expect them to come home. None of us can bear to clean out rooms, hate going in the family room where we all hung out. Hope you are doing better than I am.
     
  4. Ali58

    Ali58 New Member

    Thank you Cheryl for replying so quickly. Losing two is very confusing, as you said. I was still in shock after losing my husband, and so busy with preparations for the service. My son died just 5 days after the memorial service. I feel like I grieve for my son much more than I grieve for my husband, which leaves me feeling so badly. Maybe that is normal. I am back at work, although not doing that very well. I work as an aide in a preschool for autistic children. I'm often moody, and the noise gets to me in ways that it didn't use to. The teacher in the class told me today that she and my coworkers often think I'm mad at them, and they don't know how to help me, or what to do. I think I returned to work too quickly, only two months after my losses. Now, I'm not sure if I can finish up the school year, which ends in June. I actually sold my house and moved into a different one, 4 months after my son passed away. I thought it would help, since I wouldn't be reminded of finding my son, every moment of the day. I really miss my home now, but also thought I needed to sell it for the sake of my two serviving children. They didn't really want to visit there anymore. I now know that selling so quickly was another loss, on top of loss. I do sleep at night, and I can't remember any dreams. I wish I could. I think it would help me process. Like you, I'm dealing with so much guilt regarding my son's death. I wish I had paid more attention, and been more proactive in helping him. Do you still have children living at home? Are you attending any support groups? I'm going to start couselling next week, since I seem to be getting worse lately. I also attend a grief share group. It is hard to grieve my son alone, without my husband. Although it would have broken his heart, and he was already so sick. I do take comfort in knowing that they are in heaven, and their suffering is over. But it's so hard to move forward. I hope I'm not anting too much, but it feels better to get some of this out. How long has it been for you?
     
  5. Cheryl neeb

    Cheryl neeb Member

    My husband died May 23, 2017, my son July 11, 2017. I am a teacher, and took the last 2 weeks off after my husband died. I went back to work 5 weeks after my son died, walked into school and burst into tears. I have a 28 year old daughter who still lives at home, a 33 year old son who is married but lives in town. My daughter is dating a nice guy, so could be a wedding in the future...a happy event that will be SO bittersweet. After her dad died, she envisioned her 2 brothers walking her down the aisle. We so quickly went from a family of 5 to a family of 3, and it feels so wrong. I can't imagine selling this house, handprints in the cement, the jungle gym still out back. BUT, the memories give no comfort, only pain. I went to a grieving group, lasted for 3 sessions. People were there grieving a grandparent, or a sibling, a pet, and I felt no one had experienced what I had. We weren't supposed to compare grief, but I felt like the truly tragic story. My dad died, and I thought my world ended, then my sister died 4 months later and I just reeled. But this, wow, it has completely broken me. Like you, I miss my husband, NEED him to grieve with me. Losing my son is impossible to deal with, the regrets deeper, wrenching. They say it is the worst pain to lose a child, and I believe that. I am able to function, laugh, smile, teach. But everything single thing I do is with a shattered heart, a feeling of despair that is so strong I sometimes literally shudder. I fight to appear upbeat, smile. But it is all fake, I am utterly broken to my core. I am losing friends, they dont realize it, but there is a gulf forming that they are unaware of, but that I feel. It is becoming difficult for me to see posts of friends with normal lives, I don't begrudge them for going on with life, but it makes me feel isolated by this grief. I am wondering if I should get therapy, but that makes me nervous, because it will open it all up, and I don't know that I am ready for that emotional hurdle. I just want them back, want my life back. My son got on an anti-depressant right after, he says it helps him feel a bit more level. I want a pill that will bring them back. You are the only person I have talked with who has had such similar losses. If you want to communicate through email, mine is neebie1000cheryl@aol.com. I was married for 35 years, dated for 3 years prior, so 38 years together. Now a widow, grieving mother. Not the life story I envisioned. My son was the family bright spot, energetic, hilarious, always kept us on out toes. Now the house is far too big, far too quiet, and I am scurrying around, finishing up projects my husband and I started, just trying to put my mind on something practical. I went to church for the first year, and keep intending to go back, but then the Sundays slip by. I went through various phases, spending money, exercising, having wine, binge watching TV, all things to cushion the blow, but nothing worked. Well, maybe it did to some degree, I haven't totally lost my mind...yet. I have summers off, a niece's wedding in the east coast, which I was looking forward to, until I imagined how it would feel to be planning the trio with my husband and son included. Now I'm afraid it will make me sad. My son wanted to be married with 12 kids, more than anything. That was his life's goal. Now I watch it happen for his friends. His best friend is having their first, and wanted to name him after my son. It was too unbearable for me, it is a unique name, and I couldn't handle hearing it used. I think that was selfish of me, but hearing it caused me anxiety for some reason. I think because it belonged to my son, and he loved having an unusual name, got annoyed if he heard some other person with the same name! Well, I'm off to work, put on the fake smile and try not to be an old crabby teacher. I have wild mood fluctuations, never know what it will be, but I have become pretty good at hiding how I am really feeling.