A little hand holding please...

(511 Posts)
SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 26-Apr-13 03:48:37

My gorgeous husband kissed ds1, aged 5, ds2, aged 3, and I, tonight, told us each that he loved us and went to play football, as he has every Thursday for the last 10 years.

38 minutes later, I had a call from his mate to say that he was having some kind of fit. By the time I arrived at the pitch, he was receiving cpr. Eventually we agreed they should stop at the hospital. He was 39 years old and the best daddy and husband one could hope for.

I'm lying here, wide awake, totally numb, and trying to think how to tell our beautiful boys that their super daddy didn't make it home.

I don't know when I'll be back on here., as I'm supposed to be trying to sleep, but just needed to say the words above.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 08-Aug-13 20:46:01

Thank you both. Will be hoping ot add more in the next day or two.

zeno Thu 08-Aug-13 23:42:55

Hello survival. So many things you write about have resonance for my family. Thank you for putting them into words on a page. It helps to know others have been there.

Our dd1 died suddenly of acute viral myocarditis when she was 4.

We are on first name, hugging terms with the funeral directors, with whom I have organised a funeral every two years or so for what seems like far too many years now. Last time they said "I've put your dad in the usual coffin for you".

We are just about to face dd2 starting the school that dd1 didn't quite make it to. First thing, first induction day, draw a picture of your family. I am having panic attacks entering the classroom and the school has no idea what to do with me. When calmer, I will be asking them about their (probably non existent) bereavement policy. They are trying, but so clueless it's embarrassing. It's as though we are the first bereaved family they've encountered, but of course that can't be true.

I loathe the avoidance and denial that passes as dealing with it. They make me feel invisible. Fortunately dd2 is fine so far, but I want to make sure they don't mess things up by undoing all the good we have done being honest and open with her. She's doing so well, and we've done so well to get her this far happy and not messed up with it all.

Do you have a sample policy from elsewhere or are you starting from scratch? I'd be very interested to hear more about it. Our preschool have handled things wonderfully and I'd love to see more places following good practice. I'm a big believer in using our experiences to inform and improve the way organisations handle bereavement. It helps me feel better.

And btw, huge kudos for huffington!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 14-Aug-13 23:47:03

Hi. Just spotted this but I'm writing this in the garden in the tent in the dark so will come back to you in daylight hours. So sorry for your loss.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 16-Aug-13 00:10:54

Hi zeno, I wanted to come back to you and have just finished writing my latest blog post, which I hope will be published over the weekend, when it would have been our 7th wedding anniversary. (I've learnt that if I don't get it in by the end of Thursday night, then it might not be published before Monday).

I work in education, and if your school happens to be small, it may be that you are the first bereaved family that they have worked with. I know our school has several unfortunately. I too think it's good to use our experiences to improve things and hope to pursue the creation of a bereavement policy with the Head once they all settle into term. He certainly seemed very open to it, and to me working on it with them (and policy writing is part of my job anyway). I haven't got any such policies to hand at the moment, although I know my colleague has sent some samples to the Head, which were received at a training day led by one of the bereavement charities. Can I come back to you once I know more? Do nudge me if I forget!

In the meantime, I hope your dd2's start to school goes as well as it possibly can. My 2 ds show me daily how to carry on and cope in tricky situations! Perhaps dd2 will do the same for you? The first day of school is always an emotional one (and it's the one day when no-one will bat an eyelid if you are sobbing, even if they don't know you and the sadness that you are carrying).

TwentyTinyToes Sat 17-Aug-13 06:53:05

I am not surprised to read you are using your terrible situation to help others. I also worked (off with DC now) in education (SEN teacher) and am shocked to learn that schools do not have bereavement policies in place, they have policies on just about everything else! I am fortunate in that i have never needed such a policy, either personally or professionally, however i entirely agree that having a policy in place could make it just slightly easier for a bereaved family.

How are you doing at the moment? flowers for you.

zeno sorry for the loss of your DD and sorry that your experience with school has been so negative sad

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 18-Aug-13 23:42:13

Today would have been our wedding anniversary and it has been a very hard day. I have made it through, but the smiles have been forced and every step has been an effort. My optimism has slipped a bit tonight and I wonder just how badly this whole thing will affect the boys as they grow up and why things never run smoothly in my life. I don't like self-pity, but tonight the world feels pretty crap to be honest. 7 years ago we were just finishing one of the best days ever and it seems so very unfair that my wonderful, lovely dh has been taken from us. Everywhere I went today - Sainsburys, the park, a birthday party - was full of daddies and my two gorgeous boys don't have one anymore. Sorry for not being more positive tonight. Hormones and grief have collided. I do know that a new day usually brings me back up again.

JewelFairies Mon 19-Aug-13 10:02:14

<hugs> How are you today?

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 19-Aug-13 20:31:17

Thanks. I'm a lot better than yesterday, but feel a bit detached from the world and the boys today. Ds2 has had a very difficult afternoon (and has bitten me) and ds1 is lying in bed feeling sick while I write on here on my phone in the dark!

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Tue 20-Aug-13 09:27:55

Survival sending <hugs>. To use a cliché, sometime when you drown you have to let go and touch the bottom to be able to kick back up again, rather to exhaust yourself in the mid waters.
You are allowed to have bad days (everybody is). Your boys will be what they will be, don't try to control things you can't. I know you are doing your very best and supporting them.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 20-Aug-13 20:40:58

Thanks Mous.

timetopost Thu 22-Aug-13 17:31:20

Hi Survival, just seen your post from Sunday, so sorry to read that you had such a bad day, these special days are bound to be the toughest. Be kind to yourself, even on your bad days take a moment to tell yourself how amazing you are, and think about all the positive things that your Internet friends have said to you. You are going to have bad days, but the next one will always be just that bit easier. We're all here wishing you and your boys well. Take care of yourself x

FoxyRevenger Fri 23-Aug-13 10:05:37

Survival, please don't say sorry for letting your positivity slip for a day! I think we all agree how brilliantly you are doing but that doesn't mean you're not smack bang in the middle of a bloody difficult part of your life.

Have a hug ((( )))

TwentyTinyToes Sat 24-Aug-13 08:28:20

Thinking about you this morning. Hope you are feeling a little brighter. X x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 25-Aug-13 07:52:13

Thank you all again. The boys have been tricky this week and I had a bit of a meltdown at them on Friday evening and then felt awful. They have responded well and we had a better day yesterday. We are going to visit dh's lovely relatives tomorrow which involves about 3.5hrs of driving and a long day, but it is definitely time to visit, even though it will be odd and difficult without dh.

timetopost Sun 25-Aug-13 21:29:45

Hi Survival, I hope you all have a good time with your family tomorrow x

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Mon 26-Aug-13 09:51:08

Thinking of you, I hope you have a nice time today.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 26-Aug-13 21:18:35

We've had a lovely time thanks. The boys have spent most of the day sitting on top of dh's 25 year old male and sporty cousin and have slept all the way home. The drive was easy (thanks to a new dual carriageway) and I'm only slightly knackered! We had arranged to visit the relatives the weekend afer Dunc died and I obviously had to cancel. I had been worrying for months that if we didn't get up there soon, Dunc would never see his 91 year old granny again. Little did I know that I'd be right, but that she would outlive him. She is truly fab and lovely and I'm so pleased to have been able to take the boys up today to see her (and many other of his lovely relatives) again, even if it is in circumstances that are just so wrong. Dh would have been so proud and grateful to me for making it up there without him. It didn't feel difficult all day, until I was driving home with both boys asleep in the back and no co-pilot to keep me company. A busy week ahead and the last days of holiday to make the most of with my fab boys. One of dh's cousins commented today how resilient the boys are and I think that sums them up nicely!

saffronwblue Mon 26-Aug-13 23:47:47

That sounds like a wonderful day and very generous of you to make the huge effort. I bet your DH's family are really proud of you.

timetopost Tue 27-Aug-13 22:24:08

Hi Survival, I've just logged on to catch up with how your day went. It sounds like you all had a lovely day. It must have meant a lot to your DHs family (your family) that you and your boys went to see them, and your lovely boys will have good memories of seeing their Dad's side of the family. I'm glad the drive went well. Your boys sound very resilient, that's testament to you and your DH. Enjoy the last few days of the school holiday. Take care x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 30-Aug-13 22:10:03

Thank you for taking the time to come back to my thread. I transferred my Huffington Post blog posts onto a blog of my own this week and then sent it to the MN Bloggers Network. It was featured on their carousal yesterday which was very exciting (and unexpected!) I'm sure the HuffPo is bigger, but as an avid MNetter, I was possibly more excited by this. smile

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 03-Sep-13 00:07:37

Today feels like an important one, as I have made it through the summer holidays pretty much unscathed with the boys. I have been yelled at daily by my angry 3yr old, punched and bitten too, but we've certainly had a full and action-packed summer which has finished with a 5 mile bike ride (both boys cycling independeny and me cycling too for the first time) and a trip to the cinema. I might even be very sad to see them go into school/pre-school tomorrow. I'm taking the term off work as a teacher to try and give myself a little time and space to process my own feelings and to begin to come to terms with our loss. The last four months have really been about caring for the boys but I need to look after myself too. Unfortunately, it starts on Wednesday with the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth under local anaesthetic only! Yikes!
Tonight though, my feelings are similar to the day I got my degree result - relief and pride that I have achieved something pretty huge. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I really was dreading the last 6 weeks and they've actually been a lot of fun. I'm sure it's partly because the boys are growing up. They've also played beautifully together a lot of the time, referring to each other as their best friend. Long may it last! The charity Guy's Gift are hoping to support us in the coming weeks as ds2 definitely needs some outlets for his feelings, even though I've been putting lots of things in place. It will nice to have some support from someone who is not emotionally involved.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Tue 03-Sep-13 07:58:47

You have every right to be proud! It is not ridiculous. Good luck with the teeth (DH says wine helps hmm) and I hope you get the support for your DS2 quickly.

saffronwblue Tue 03-Sep-13 09:53:40

Survivial that is a huge achievement to have made it through the endless holidays and to have surrounded your boys with love and security. Good decision to take next term off too.
Hope Guy's Gift can meet some of the family's needs and hope you have some nice things planned as well as the dentist.

TwentyTinyToes Tue 03-Sep-13 10:33:42

Well done on making it through the summer holidays and managing to have fun with your boys. I think taking time for yourself is really important. Hope the tooth goes ok and is over quickly. I second the advice that wine helps. X

timetopost Tue 10-Sep-13 21:55:24

Hi Survival, I'm just popping by to say hello, I hope you and your lovely boys are doing ok x

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