A little hand holding please...

(487 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.

Itsfab Mon 14-Apr-14 20:54:03

I have thought of you over the 11 months since I first read the dreadful news that your DH had died and I think you are one of the most incredible people I don't know.

Please go to a phone shop asap and ask them how to make sure your precious messages are saved forever. I wonder if there is even a way to print them out? Maybe if it is cut and paste and then email them to yourself for printing out?

timetopost Mon 14-Apr-14 13:55:26

Hi Survival, so sorry I've not been back to reply to you sooner, it was so lovely to hear your update. I continue to find you an inspiration, I'm sure your DH is looking down on you and your boys and is incredibly proud.

So sorry to read that you have had problems with lack of contact from some family members, that must be very difficult for you all.

I hope DS1 enjoyed his birthday, and hope all is well with DS2 after his sleep survey.

You and your lovely boys will in my thoughts on the 25 April.

Take care xx

onedev Sun 06-Apr-14 10:46:23

I'm another who has just found & read through your entire thread with lots of tears in my eyes.

Your love for your husband & children shines so brightly & you sound like you are doing amazingly well (although I can imagine that's hard for you to see at times) - no doubt he would be very proud.

Wishing you continued strength.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 05-Apr-14 21:55:50

Thanks folks.
Cezella, thank you for taking the time to read my thread. I hope you had a glass of wine handy! I'm just a person who has found myself in the middle of a situation with little choice but to do what I can to keep going for my boys. The WAY group is full of other people doing exactly the same (or slightly different, depending on their own individual situations). If you ever meet anyone who is widowed under the age of 50, please send them in WAY's direction.

TwentyTinyToes Tue 01-Apr-14 00:16:51

Great to hear from you, as ever your strength is inspiring. Wishing for plenty more rainbows along the way. X

Cezella Mon 31-Mar-14 11:17:42

Survival, I have just read this whole thread and am sat here in tears. I just wanted to say I think you might just be the strongest person I've ever encountered. Massive massive hugs for you and your boys, I'm in awe of you xxxx

Survival: it sounds as though you are making progress. I'm so glad to hear that you have found a truly understanding and supportive network for you and the boys. Small steps, lovely, and some days sound better than others for sure (the only direction?)
Much love

Rowgtfc72 Sat 29-Mar-14 07:56:00

Survival, hope there are many more rainbows for you and your boys.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 28-Mar-14 23:23:51

Hi folks. Sorry I've been a bit absent. There have been things going on about which I have been unable to post, so it felt disingenuous to give half a story.

I can now say that I have left my old job and have taken on a simpler role part time, which suits me well for the moment, although it leaves me with virtually no time for myself to get things done. Once ds2 goes to school in September, this should ease.

I have also had very little contact with some family members since Christmas and this has been difficult to deal with. The boys have been vaguely aware and I have tried to cover it up for the sake of their relationships with relatives who love them, if not me. It is very tiring to maintain this.

On Sunday, we held our charity event in dh's memory, to mark what would have been his 40th birthday last Tuesday. It began as a vague idea to raise money and keep me busy at a difficult time. It turned into a big charity fun day which involved a sponsored run/walk going on at the same time. I had a lot of help from a wonderful group of local friends and the whole village community really ran with the idea. Dh's colleagues also bought a lot of raffle tickets and provided a lot of tombola prizes etc.. Anyway, dh looked after the weather, as I had instructed, and we had an amazing day. So far, we have raised more than £7000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) but money is still coming in. Now, I am somewhat worn, not least because I had to spend last Thursday night in hospital with ds2 having a sleep study and I only slept for two hours. I guess some 'come down' from the last few weeks was inevitable and today I have been really tearful for the first time in a long time.

Day to day, we are doing pretty well. The boys are being challenging, but I have no way of knowing how they would have been behaving if we were still a regular family with two parents. I've started a new reward system to try and get them back on the straight and narrow. Ds2 has started saying that he wants to go and be with Daddy, but I suspect that he really means he wants him back with us. I have merely said that we need ds2 here with ds1 and I for a long time to come, but I understand why he wants to see his daddy so much.

The biggest change that has happened so far this year is that I have become more involved with Widowed and Young (WAY). CommsWhizz, if I had one piece of advice for your friend, along with my condolences, it would be to join WAY. I meet up with other people in our situation regularly and there is always someone else up and on the facebook page at all times of night. (Their new website is nearly ready too). The boys are enjoying getting to know other children in a similar situation. We have a lot of fun and laughs, but if anyone is feeling sad, we all get it and the 'front' can be dropped for a while. My friends continue to be truly wonderful, but meeting up with people in the same situation is very supportive.

On Monday, ds1 will celebrate his 6th birthday. It will be the last 'first' since dh died, apart for the anniversary of his death on April 25th. I am definitely moving forward and feeling more able to cope on a day to day basis, but special occasions are still immensely difficult days, which must be endured.

Someone asked me recently if I thought the boys were over the worst. I laughed. Our journey is only just beginning. It is a rollercoaster ride every single day, and our emotions can change minute by minute and hour by hour. Just because we've been learning how to live this new, reconstructed life for 11 months does not mean that we have mastered it. Some days, I feel like I could take on the world and am full of energy. Some days, just getting through the day is still exhausting. When I wake, I have no way of knowing which kind of day I will face. (If the boys are jumping from a window sill as they were today before 6a.m, I have a fair idea..).

I feel extremely fortunate. I have met a lot of bereaved people in the last few months and have reflected on the fact that the manner of Dunc's death was the easiest it could be on the rest of us. He didn't become ill over months or years and he didn't collapse in front of us all. The shock of his sudden death was hard to bear, but it is fast becoming a blur. It is amazing what the brain does to help us to heal. I am also extremely fortunate to have fantastic friends who still go way beyond the normal bounds of friendship to support us (including my amazing MN friends). Of course, most of all, I am fortunate to have two gorgeous, lively, clever boys who get me out of bed, make me run around the park/over hills and dance madly every day. They wear me out, but they also pick me up when I am sad and they give me a reason to keep on keeping on. Little by little, we are doing just that.

I'm under no illusions. We will be dealing with the fall out from losing our invisible superhero forever, but we are finding ways of managing without him visibly by our sides because we have to do so. On the more difficult days, he seems to consistently send us rainbows (yes, it's our fault that we've had the wettest winter in years - but have you noticed all the rainbows?!) I hope that we are making him proud and I fully intend to keep on doing so.

Love to you all.

DGLLB Wed 19-Mar-14 14:47:51

How are you doing survival, hope you & your boys are well thanks

CommsWhizz Mon 17-Mar-14 18:43:13

Another here joining in the 'we're thinking of you and wondering how you are' general vibe. Heartbreakingly, a friend of mine now finds herself in the same situation as you and I've found your posts genuinely inspiring and when she's ready, I'll advise her to read them.

I so hope you're doing OK, and those glorious boys of yours, and 2014 is being kind so far. It's still such early days, I hope that you're coping and not struggling.

Sending love.

saffronwblue Sat 15-Mar-14 22:30:43

Yes, I too have been thinking about you and hope the year has started OK. x

TwentyTinyToes Fri 14-Mar-14 19:13:27

Another one who often wonders how you are? Hope your lovely boys are ok.

timetopost Fri 14-Mar-14 15:12:54

Hi Survival, just wanted you to know that I'm still thinking of you, hope things are ok and I hope your boys are both in good health. X

timetopost Sat 15-Feb-14 19:18:45

Hi Survival, how are you doing? Hope you and your boys are ok, thinking of you x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 31-Jan-14 23:40:29

Thank you all. Will update tomorrow night.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, Survival. You are an amazing woman, and I hope that 2014 brings more glimmers of light for a future you can bear to contemplate.

Lots of love to you and the boys, and good luck for the medical appointments.

A friend of mine found a new life with the WAY Foundation - I hope it helps you as it did her.


timetopost Sun 26-Jan-14 09:59:11

Hi Survival, sorry I've not been around for a while, I'm still thinking of you and your boys and still incredibly impressed with how you deal with everything that is thrown at you. I hope things go well with your sons hospital appointments. Take care x

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 26-Jan-14 08:36:22

thinking of you!

saffronwblue Sat 18-Jan-14 23:08:10

Hoping that 2014 can bring some calm to you and more and helpful information about your boys' health. Those household crises must be hard to deal with on your own. Good to not be rushing back to work.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 18-Jan-14 22:11:09

Thanks Scones.

SconesForTea Wed 15-Jan-14 18:56:21

<waves to survival> Thinking of you.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 10-Jan-14 22:13:23

So sorry to hear about your DGS allotmenteer. Messages sorting will be a priority. Thank you.

allotmenteer Tue 07-Jan-14 14:02:35

Special thoughts to you Survival and your brave boys. Just put downloading your messages on your 'to do' list as a priority: my DDIL thought she had lost her phone recently - it held very very precious photos of our darling DGS - she and my DDS had had to make the hardest and most loving decision any parents have to make in January 2012 - I do not know how she would have coped if they had been lost

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 06-Jan-14 22:28:27

Christmas has gone surprisingly smoothly. The boys have been well and truly spoilt by everyone we know and we still have more Lego to build in the coming weeks. I said to several friends before Christmas that all I really wanted was some good weather so that I could get the boys outside each day for a run around. Of course, this has definitely not been possible, but they have coped pretty well with being cooped up, due to the new toys.

The boys and I have spent a lot of time just the three of us and I have been more grumpy at times than I would have liked, but I guess I can only do my best. Ds1 has said he will miss me tomorrow when school starts, so I guess it can't have been that bad!

There have been some low moments, obviously, when I have felt detached and like I am very much going through the motions. I was very hurt by one particular Christmas present and that knocked me more than it would normally have done. I guess it brought home the fact that there is no-one to put me first anymore. Life is no longer something that I relish in the way that I did, and I no longer look forward to the future with anticipation. I hope over time this will change. At one point, my 3 year old managed to write 'Daddy' on the shopping list. My 5 year old pondered the fact that a new daddy wouldn't look like dh so wouldn't be the same. He also asked me to take him to a wishing well for his birthday, after watching a pantomime. Explaining that no wishing well could bring Daddy back was really hard.

The night before Christmas Eve saw water pouring through the top of both lower front windows. After using 6 towels to mop up, I headed out into the rain with the hammer, nails, bin bags and a head torch to make some temporary fixes to see us through the night. A fab friend came to my rescue the following morning. Dh and I would have dealt with such a problem together and I imagined him giggling at me and urging me on.

Three nights later, the recycling was blowing around outside. I opened the window to alert a neighbour to a box that was flying through the air towards some windows, only for the loft hatch lid to fly up into the loft from the wind. As the ladder was tucked away in ds2's cupboard, I had to use a stool and climb up into the loft to retrieve it. Not something I wanted to do over the stairwell and after midnight, but no other choice really.

The amazing gifts that we received from our MN secret Santas made a huge difference to our Christmas, and even accounted for some of my favourite presents. I have really appreciated the support I have received on this thread since April 25th and the secret Santas showed again the good side of MN.

So, 2014.. I wonder what it will hold? We had our first two hospital appointments of the year today and have booked the first procedure for ds2. I heard in the week before Christmas that he has abnormal structures in his kidneys, but I won't know more until 7th February. Trying not to worry about it! His sleep apnoea monitor has been going off a lot over Christmas as he has had a cold. I think he will be keeping me busy! It will also be the year that he starts school. By the end of the year, I will either be back at work or doing something different. I have booked on the AGM of WAY (Widowed and Young Foundation) so that I can meet some other people in my situation. In addition, I will be going to a support day for partners of people who have died young from heart conditions. I plan to arrange an event to mark dh's 40th birthday in March too. By then, both boys will have had their birthdays.

Time for bed now, in an attempt to stick to my new year's resolution to go to bed at a reasonable hour! Thanks again for reading and for supporting me.

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