Beyond heartbroken

Have been reading messages for some time now and decided to join in conversations. Like many of you I am feeling more and more isolated during this current crisis. My husband died of a sudden cardiac arrest last November while out with our younger son (27). At the time I was staying with my mother 150 miles away as my father died last June and I was helping sort her affairs. I was whatsapping my husband and was waiting for his next reply. I wasn’t unduly concerned. 15 minutes the phone rang and a policeman told me my husband had collapsed and to come to the hospital. I had to get a taxi as not in fit state to drive and arrived three hours later. My husband had actually died immediately but I didn’t know this until I arrived at the hospital at 2.30 am. It was a journey from hell. No phone signal but hoping he was pulling through.
The profound shock I suffered from the time I received that phone call has endured and I do not recognise the person I have become.
My two sons have been very supportive but they are also suffering. They were exceptionally close to their father.
Like others on this site I am becoming increasingly irritated by friends who are so insensitive. I would love to be at home with my husband as he always made me feel safe no matter what.
Others of you on this site understand how frightening it is coping alone without the love of your life. Even old friends just don’t get it and actually make me feel worse sometimes.

Jobar,
Just read your post and my heart sank reading it.
Our stories are so similar. I lost my husband from a cardiac arrest in November, and still struggling.
I understand when you said the hell of trying to get back to him, we had to travel from home to London which took about three hours because of traffic, it felt like the longest journey of my life.
I feel for your son, it must of been so distressing for him.
I do understand about people they just don’t get it, it seems that after the first few weeks everyone just gets on with their life and as you say so insensitive. They don’t seem to realise how life has changed for you, and the pain goes on and on.
That’s why it’s good to come on here, as you’ve probably read, everyone’s feeling how you are feeling, we all understand.
I can’t talk to people around me because they don’t understand, but the lovely people on here, if it wasn’t for them I would be in a much darker place.
Keep posting, you’re not alone,
Love to you and your sons.
Steph x

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Hi Stephtim, I remember your original message resonating with me too. I think it is the suddenness with which life changes is so difficult to accept. One minute life is so happy and then the next despair has taken over. I felt as if someone had pressed the nuclear button when my husband died as our future had been obliterated. My husband was 64 when he died and had been retired for four and a half years. For the past four of those years I had been sharing my time between home and caring for my very elderly parents on the south coast. Nearly two years ago I started spending alternate weeks with them as my mother, then 89, broke her leg and was struggling to care for my father ,96, who had heart failure. When my father died last June aged 97 following a fall I was spending even more time with my mum who was struggling losing her husband of 72 years. My husband was so supportive and selfless and was quite happy for my mother to move in with us. We were so looking forward to our future and I am heartbroken that it was snatched from us so cruelly. He was such a cheerful happy person and we all relied on him. He was seemingly strong and fit and I worry now that because of that I put too much on him. His only medical condition was high blood pressure for which he was on a low dose tablet and apparently under control. I keep going over whether I missed warning signs but my sons reassure me that I didn’t. Nobody could believe it when he died as he was always so active. Initially we were refused a post mortem as the doctor was convinced it was a heart attack. We contested that diagnosis and the pm confirmed it wasn’t a heart attack but a sudden arrythmia . It showed that his heart was enlarged and he also had a congenital heart valve malformation. This had never been picked up during his GP consultations and he only had annual checks. I realize now that with a bit more simple investigation his condition would have been discovered and controlled by different medication. I feel I was perhaps not as vigilant as I should have been since I was preoccupied with my parents. Living with this guilt is so difficult to cope with. I also hate the fact that my lovely sensitive son had to see his dad die before his eyes. What could be worse?
Friends have said at least it was quick and that is how they would like to go. I keep thinking how my husband would have hated leaving us as he did and had so much more to contribute to this world.
Communicating on this site is invaluable for those of us in this unenviable position.
Thank you for your heartfelt empathy.
Sending love to you and yours
Jobar

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It is the suddeness of it all, no time to say goodbye.
Life is normal and happy and making plans for the future and next your whole world falls apart. Last time I saw Tim was a Friday morning going to work, he seemed fine, then two hours later the dreaded phone call from a paramedic saying we’ve got to get there quick .
Your husband sounds so supportive and selfless, a lovely man, and a lovely dad.
We also relied on Tim, he done so much for us, made sure everyone was ok, and was always there for my daughters if they needed anything. We , like you are so lost without him.
It’s heartbreaking that they didn’t pick up on your husbands heart condition, I know that will live with you and play on your mind always.
You shouldn’t feel guilty about not picking anything up, like you say he was very active, there was no way you could have known.
I must admit , I feel the same, Tim was fit and active always on the go, more energy than all of us put together, I didn’t pick up in anything , neither did he. He hardly ever went to the doctor, a typical man thing, if he did, perhaps high cholesterol would have been picked up and he could of had medication. I feel so guilty for not making him go to the doctors for a ‘mot’ but no he wouldn’t have it, he thought he was invincible.
Nothing could be worse than your son witnessing that, he will be struggling, so heartbreaking.
I hate it when people say- at least it was quick, I know Tim wouldn’t want to go like that, without us, and your husband wouldn’t want that, it’s so desperately sad to go and not say goodbye to your loved ones , I know I wouldn’t want to leave everyone like that .
Thinking of you and your family, keep in touch, it will help you, if only a little bit.
Take care x

Your understanding has been a great comfort to me. Because we are all making more phone calls at the moment I am finding that friends who I hoped would be supportive are anything but! A close friend said how she hated her ordered world being turned upside down by covid 19. When this does resolve one day her world will revert to normal but ours never will. I hate being so jealous of friends and neighbours who are couples . I see them walking together like we used to and just enjoying each others company. My husband John really was my best friend and we had so much fun together. I keep thinking of the really happy times we had together and the thought of never having that again is unbearable. I’m pretending he is away somewhere and will be back sometime soon. I think when someone dies so suddenly that is quite a common feeling. Your husband Tim sounds a lovely man too and I can see from your messages how deeply loved and missed he is.
Only someone who has experienced losses like ours can understand. thank goodness for this site.
Take care
Jobar

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Yes, their lives will go back to normal after this and we will still be in deep pain and will never be normal again. It does annoy me when people moan that their husbands are getting them down being stuck at home together, I would give anything for that , if only they knew, but only we know what it feels like .
I’m so jealous of couples, I hate it, the thought of never being with him again, it’s so devastating.thank you for your kind words about Tim, he was so loved and will be so missed.
Are your sons at home with you?
I have three daughters and my youngest is still home with me, she was so close to her dad and is struggling.
Life is so cruel, Tim was 56, and your husband 64 no age , our lives of plans ahead of us, gone.
This lockdown situation, does make things harder, more time to think.
Try and stay strong x

Hello Jobar /All
We are lucky to be able to chat on here, like you I feel no-one, not even close relatives and friends truly understand what I am going through. Unfortunately, this Covid19 pandemic takes a back seat with our losses doesn’t it?
I lost my husband almost 8 weeks ago, he was only 57. He had an oesophageal problem and suffered an aspiration pneumonia (inhaled food). I really get what you mean about the nuclear button - it was just like that for me and my son. We were just up getting ready for the school day then we found him. It’s like a split life, before and after, as life has changed beyond all recognition.

I have two sons. The elder one lives 30 miles away from me with his fiance. They are due to be married in August but along with everyone else’s plans that may not be possible. My husband was so looking forward to their wedding and the thought of being there without him is beyond imagination. friends say it’s good to have something to look forward to but they haven’t done it alone!
My younger son is back at home for the time being. He had moved into a flat with a friend but was travelling so much with work that he decided to save rent and move home. We loved having him around and he shared many interests with my husband. He kept us young.
Both my sons are truly heartbroken as John was so supportive and great fun to be with. Utterly irreplaceable.
At the moment I am with my mum on the south coast. I was due to bring her back to my home but my son has just returned from USA so was going to wait and then lockdown so have no idea when I can return home. Having split from his girlfriend just before John died he is now alone working from home. We are in very frequent contact but I hate him being alone.
Your daughters are obviously a great comfort to you as my sons are to me. At first I didn’t want to continue life without John but it was my sons who kept me going. For the first month I shook so badly and literally didn’t sleep at all. They helped me sort all the admin and gradually I found a way of existing. I still don’t know how we got through those initial days and then the funeral.
It will be 21 weeks on Thursday since John died.
Every day I ask myself why he had to die when he had so much to live for. It’s the same for you I know as Tim was even younger. I rage at the senselessness of it.
I find also that I cannot bear to refer to myself as a widow. It’s just not something I had envisaged or was prepared for. Not yet. You are much younger than me, I am 65, so even harder for you to accept.
Thank you for your replies to me this evening. I am so grateful for your support. Just wish we had never needed to be here.
Take care

Hello Clare 325
I am sorry to hear about your husband and really feel for you and your son. You are so right when you say how life is split into before and after. I can remember so vividly the moment I was told my husband had died. I arrived at the hospital and was shown to the relatives room hoping against hope that my husband was recovering. My two sons were already there and as I walked in my elder son just shook his head and something in me just switched off. It was and still is so unreal. Even my closest family and friends don’t seem to grasp the horror of that moment and how it changes a person forever.

So sorry to hear this, it must have been the worst of nightmares for you. The shock of the event alone takes a lot to deal with, and then you have to get used to the fact that they won’t be coming back.
For my Dave one saving grace (if there ever can be) was that he was at home, where he would have wanted to be. It’s just the massive shock, distress and sadness that’s left for us to bare isn’t it?.
I’m the youngest of 8 children, and the first to be widowed, so my family don’t really understand the pain.
It was my 50th Birthday 2 days after Dave’s funeral. My son jokes that he was trying to get out of buying me a gift, which he would find very funny. He had a great sense if humour and I find this helpful in the darkest days.
Sending love and hugs,
Clare

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Hi Claire325,
It’s still very early days for you, and this situation making it a million times worse.
It must of been hard finding your husband like that, ,and awful for your son.
It seems people and even family around us, just don’t understand, they move on, and don’t seem to want to talk about it anymore, it’s so upsetting, all I want to do is talk about Tim, and when the conversation changes, because they don’t seem to want to know , it breaks my heart.
We all understand each other on here.
Love to you and your son
Steph x

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That’s the thing, occasions that come round in life, from now on are going to be so hard. You try and be happy and excited for your son’s wedding, but inside it’s just too painful to think about it without your John. I’ve got grandchildren’s birthdays coming up soon, and it’s hurting that he can’t see them growing up . Also with this lockdown, I won’t be able to see them on their birthdays.
You must feel awful not being able to get home, with your son on his own, and not knowing how long all this is going on for .
It’s 21weeks and two days since we lost Tim, so we’re both at the same stage along this awful nightmare, my daughters and grandchildren do keep me going, at first I just wanted to be with him and still do, but I need to be here for them and I can see more now that I need them and they need me , I love them all so much .
Like you to think of being a widow, I can’t bear it, I would never say I’m a widow , just can’t, it’s such a horrible word.
I’ve been awake half the night , just can’t sleep, thinking of Tim constantly and still can’t believe it after all this time, I don’t think it will ever sink in, he is all I’ve ever known.
We can give each other support, it’s so nice to talk to others that understand.
Thank you x

You are so young to have lost your husband. My sister was 48 when her husband died suddenly at home. That was 20 years ago and I can remember how shocking it was. I still can’t believe that two sisters can lose their husbands so suddenly. It’s like lightning striking twice. In the fee weeks after my husband died it was our 35 th wedding anniversary, my 65th birthday, my sons 30th and of course Christmas and New year. I still can’t believe I had cards from friends wishing me a very happy birthday. All these days were just a blur .
John also had a great sense of humour and I miss our laughing and joking. We could talk about anything and everything but equally we were completely at ease just being together.
Outwardly I am calm now but there is a complete disconnect between my outer and inner beings. I can carry out daily tasks and to the outside world probably look quite efficient. Inside I am constantly struggling to quell a rising panic and fearful that I will lose control. Only now do I understand the phrase mad with grief.
Not only do you have your own shock and grief to deal with but of course that of your son who is also so young to have lost his father. hopefully if you can get support from this site it will help both of you. The loneliness of grief is even more apparent at the moment. Sharing our experiences and coping strategies is a lifeline.
Sending love

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Hi Stephtim,
I am sorry you have had such a restless night. It’s only now I understand why sleep deprivation is used as torture. the middle of the night is the loneliest of lonelies.
I totally understand your anxiety about not seeing your two older daughters and grandchildren. The middle of the night is always when thoughts about what might have been are worst. Like you and Tim, with a loving family, I am heartbroken when I think of the milestones we will miss together. When someone is so loved and needed what possible purpose does it serve to die before their time. . I would happily give away all I own to have John back and to have saved my sons from this awful grief.
Hope it is helping to know you are not alone. You sound lovely and it’s just so sad that we have met like this…
Sending love

Hi Jobar,
It is sad that we’ve all met each other like this, in this situation, but thank goodness for this site, I’ve said it a few times on here before, we all can bring a bit of light into the darkness of our lives, especially during this time.
It’s just so sad how many on here who have lost partners, we never thought we would find ourselves in this situation.
You’re all so lovely on here.
Stay strong x

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