A little hand holding please...

(510 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.

Homebird8 Fri 26-Apr-13 04:20:07

Survival, what a dreadful shock and I am so sorry for your loss. Have you anyone in RL who can be with you? Family? a friend? Sleep if you can but if you can't then there are MNers all over the globe who can be with you in the wakeful hours. Sending a hand hold and a brew.

5madthings Fri 26-Apr-13 04:24:37

Oh i am so so sorry, no wise words but holding your hand and thinking of you and your lovely boys xxx

saffronwblue Fri 26-Apr-13 04:31:30

survival holidng your hand. Hope you get some sleep with big hard days to face. What a terrible, terrible shock and loss.

ecofreckle Fri 26-Apr-13 05:15:27

Sending you love and light.

Maybe use this thread to share how you are feeling. Maybe writing it down will help you navigate through it all and we'll always be here to respond.

Sure that advice at present is probably too little to plug the massive gap but from experience I'd focus on short term goals like getting through next half hour and remembering to have a cup of tea and biscuit if you can.

Contacting cruse (bereavement charity) by phone early on might be useful. As might delegating as many jobs to others as you can so you can focus on your dc. Get some Rescue remedy too maybe.

Just some thoughts, but mostly just sending lots of support your way.

PollyLogos Fri 26-Apr-13 05:25:05

Much love to you and your boys. I hope you've managed to fall asleep and get some rest. I agree with one of the other posters, after such a shock you need to have small short term aims at the moment. Also if possible get your mum, sister or a friend round for support.

overtheseatocalais Fri 26-Apr-13 06:09:38

So sorry to read this desperately sad news. You must feel shocked beyond belief. Sadly, there are others on here that have been through similar and they may be able to offer you some support and empathy. I hope you have lots of support in RL. Your DH and the boys' Daddy sounds amazing. In deepest sympathy.

Greydog Fri 26-Apr-13 07:22:56

I am so sorry to read this, sending you and the children love and hugs, and much sympathy.

ben5 Fri 26-Apr-13 07:31:12

sending you all a big hug. take one step at a time and remember to ask for help

tumbletumble Fri 26-Apr-13 07:34:17

Survival how absolutely devastating. Sending you strength and hugs. Have you told the boys yet? Maybe ask someone to come and help you with that?

Jinsei Fri 26-Apr-13 07:37:43

I'm so, so sorry. What a terrible shock. I can't offer any words of advice but sending big hugs. Somehow, you will find the strength within you to go on, for the sake of your beautiful boys. I hope that you have good RL support around you, but we will be here too, whenever you need us. Take care.

HairyPotter Fri 26-Apr-13 07:40:04

Oh my goodness. I am so very sorry, there are no words. You have had an enormous shock. Can you call someone to be with you.

Just try and take it minute by minute for now.

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts xx

purplewithred Fri 26-Apr-13 07:42:35

I am so very sorry to hear this, you and your DCs are in my thoughts.

Rowgtfc72 Fri 26-Apr-13 07:44:11

Im so sorry. Ask family for help, take things one day at a time and cuddle your boys. Thinking of you x

I am so sorry.xxxx

TheUnicornsGoHawaiian Fri 26-Apr-13 07:45:54

I am so sorry for your loss.

SpringMoreLikeSag Fri 26-Apr-13 07:48:14

Survival - I am so, so sorry to hear about your wonderful dh. The word shock seems pathetically inadequate to describe how you must be feeling.

Do you have friends or family that can be with you?

<holds hand>

Allice Fri 26-Apr-13 07:49:33

I'm so so sorry for your loss.

SoupDragon Fri 26-Apr-13 07:51:59

So sorry to hear this

sassytheFIRST Fri 26-Apr-13 07:54:10

How very sad and shocking for you. I'm so sorry.

SageBush Fri 26-Apr-13 07:56:05

I am so very sorry.

What a devastating shock. I'm so sorry. I can't find the words. Sending you so much love.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 26-Apr-13 08:00:37

Oh lovely, I'm so, so sorry

I hope you have someone with you now to give you some support.

Please come back to this thread if you feel you can - there's always someone here to hold your hand and listen x

InkleWinkle Fri 26-Apr-13 08:04:31

I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine what you must be going through.

Stay on MN though, there are (sadly) others who have experienced such loss & can help you.

5madthings Fri 26-Apr-13 08:46:09

survival i hope you managed to get some sleep and that you have family/friends around to support you.

Big hugs to you and your boys, thinking of you xxx

PicardyThird Fri 26-Apr-13 08:48:51

Oh, you poor, poor love. I am so very sorry. What a horrible shock.

Concentrate now on looking after yourself and your darling boys.

Much love across the ether.

x

flyingcloud Fri 26-Apr-13 08:57:18

Survival, a dear MN friend, I am so sad for you and your boys and the terrible loss of your DH's life.

Please keep posting if it helps.

Much love and hugs.

xxx

FoxyRevenger Fri 26-Apr-13 09:26:24

Oh I'm so so sorry for your loss. I hope you managed to sleep a little.

Your hand is being held by us all.

BabyGiraffes Fri 26-Apr-13 09:44:36

Oh survival sad sad sad. People with more experience will be along to offer practical advice for yourself and your boys but for now, try to keep eating and drinking, try to take one minute at a time and accept all the help you can get. I hope your friends are still with you to support you.
<hugs>

Survival - I am so so sorry.

Thinking of you and your boys...keep talking xxx

Lizzylou Fri 26-Apr-13 11:00:31

Oh Survival, I am so so sorry.

TheDeadlyDonkey Fri 26-Apr-13 11:02:13

I'm so sorry.
Thinking of you all xx

exexpat Fri 26-Apr-13 11:12:05

Survival - I've been where you are. DH died suddenly at age 41, leaving me with DS 8 and DD 3. I was in shock for days, felt completely numb and couldn't really process anything but had to get on with things because of the two DCs and all the aftermath of a sudden death.

No one can make it better, but two things that helped me were Winston's Wish, the children's bereavement charity - I only had access to the advice on the website, as I was overseas, but they do have a helpline. Also, the Merry Widow website and discussion board - it's for young widows/widowers, so you'll find lots of people on there who are going or have gone through this themselves.

Do you have family and friends around to help with the children? What I found mine wanted, after the initial shock, was as much normality as possible, as I think they found familiar routines reassuring. DH died on a Friday afternoon, and they went back to school on Tuesday (they wanted to go back on Monday, but after discussing with the school over the weekend, they wanted to be able to brief the other children first).

GibberTheMonkey Fri 26-Apr-13 11:37:36

I'm so sorry
Thinking of you and your boys

everlong Fri 26-Apr-13 14:14:41

I'm so sorry to read this.

Such a terrible shock for you.

BabyGiraffes Fri 26-Apr-13 23:55:10

Survival, hope you and the boys manage some sleep tonight.
xxx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 27-Apr-13 00:40:21

Thank you all. It's been a mixed day of tears and laughter. Ds1 understands and has had some prolonged spells of tears, in between completing new levels on angry birds, obviously! He also asked first thing if we could just get a new daddy now. Tonight he told me that when people die, they are still walking next to you, but you just can't see them.
DS2 has very little concept of what's going on. He's been very excited to have lots of visitors and an overnight stay from his uncle. As the day wore on he moved to, "It's very sad," with a sad face. Small steps. I'm being very honest with them and crying from time to time openly so they know that is okay. I couldn't have asked for more support than i've had from family and friends today. Has been truly remarkable and humbling. Our fab gp arrived unannounced and gave me a massive hug. Phone calls and messages from far and wide.
DH's family are struggling, as you would expect (and they have no one playing angry birds to distract them...) and may come up again over the wrekend if well enough.
Post mortem will be on Monday and we hope to clarify things then, all being well. I've requested the extra samples are taken in the hope that it might help us solve some of the gastric mystery that was my dh and both boys-for their benefit.
We blew bubbles up to daddy in the park this morning. Ds1 wants to send him a card on a balloon and to buy him a teddy. I'll definitely ring Winston's Wish too. Have worked with them to support other people's children, but never though i'd need them myself.
Day 1 of our whole new world is complete. We will keep on keeping on, as i've mastered muttering to myself in the last 3 years. My aim is to do dh proud and to do as much with the boys as we wanted us to do. We are still TeamSurvival, just a slightly smaller team. And I could always do more 'keep me ups' than he could, so that's a good place to start!

saffronwblue Sat 27-Apr-13 01:18:47

Oh survival you may not feel it but your strength shines out from every word. Well done on getting through day 1 and surrounding your boys with love and security. What a massive shock- don't forget to eat and drink yourself as you get through each hour.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 27-Apr-13 01:46:57

I'm so so sorry sad xxxxx

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 27-Apr-13 04:28:01

sad I agree with saffron's post. You are amazing.
<hugs>

StoneBaby Sat 27-Apr-13 06:49:54

Oh survival you are amazing

tumbletumble Sat 27-Apr-13 07:14:33

Go Team Survival! You are amazing xx

TheUnicornsGoHawaiian Sat 27-Apr-13 07:22:33

Survivor I was thinking about you yesterday. Brave and amazing x

Am so sad for your loss. Your family unit sounds amazing as it was, and I hope that the strength you had as a team will help you to carry on without your lovely DH being on hand.
Mumsnet is a wonderful source of support and although there are sadly many others here who have had similar experiences, you may find sharing stories helps a little.
Your DH will always be in your heart thanks

ajandjjmum Sat 27-Apr-13 07:29:55

So sorry for your loss.

But you are amazing and doing so so well for your DC. Don't forget to take time for yourself too.

Love and thoughts to TeamSurvival.

5madthings Sat 27-Apr-13 12:50:48

Oh survival your post has made me cry, your boys sound adorable and yes keep on keeping on, one foot in front of the other.

So glad you have support from family and friends, much love and strength to you and your boys xxx

Survival you sound amazing and very very strong. Your post made me well up and smile in equal measures.
I have every faith in Team Survival doing very well, with one invisible member (and a bunch of Angry Birds) at your side x

Cerisier Sat 27-Apr-13 13:15:23

Survival I am so sorry to hear your sad news. You sound such a lovely family. Sending you best wishes and strength for the journey ahead xx

PeggySusan Sat 27-Apr-13 13:25:39

I've just read your post with tears in my eyes. How suddenly life can change path. I wish you and your two boys much strength and love in the next few years. You sound so strong and I have every faith that you will get through this. You will make your husband proud. Xxx

ScienceRocks Sat 27-Apr-13 14:11:57

survival much love and hugs coming your way. I am so sorry for your loss.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 27-Apr-13 14:18:52

I am so very sorry.

ClimbingPenguin Sat 27-Apr-13 20:33:20

<holds hands>

PoppyWearer Sat 27-Apr-13 22:50:14

Oh my....sending love to you and your boys xx

OnTheNingNangNong Sat 27-Apr-13 22:58:35

<hand holding> and love and hugs. Go Team Survival!

Take care of yourself, you are amazing.

So so sorry to read your dreadful news. You must be devastated yet you have no choice but to carry on somehow. Thinking of you all x

No words, but sending love to you and your boys. My heart breaks for you xxx

QOD Sat 27-Apr-13 23:07:45

I'm so sorry for your loss, so awful

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sat 27-Apr-13 23:15:55

I am so sorry to hear about your husband, love and strength to you all.

weblette Sat 27-Apr-13 23:16:31

Survival, sending love and thoughts to you and your family x

MotheringShites Sat 27-Apr-13 23:22:23

So sorry x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 28-Apr-13 00:38:13

Thank you again for all your support (and chuckled at the angry birds at our sides!) DH was a firm believer in the power of mumsnet. I'm sorry I didn't say yesterday that I am sorry for exexpat's loss.
Today has passed in a flurry of visitors, phone calls, flower deliveries and more games of angry birds than is probably recommended for 5 year olds.
I had a fab chat with dh's lovely aunty and assured her that due to dh's empathy for others, and all round loveliness, he had a huge number of female friends. I may have gone as far as to say that there would be a bevvy of beautiful ladies at the funeral!
The low point today was when ds1 shouted at me, "I don't want you anymore and I'm not going to give you cuddles ever again!" I know that is totally normal, but, gosh, it was hard to hear. Luckily, about an hour later he'd had a serious rethink and he came up and cuddled me.
The highlight was at bedtime when we were talking about Daddy still being next to us. Ds1 decided Daddy is now a superhero with invisibility as his special power. I think that's a good enough place for the boys' day to end on day two.
Another great friend has stayed tonight, the recycling is done, the washing is done, the boys have had all their meds and even a bath. Ds2 climbed into my bed at 5.20a.m and told me I was a little bit smelly! In fairness, the bed should have been changed by now, but I'm not ready to wash dh's smell off the pillow case etc.. just yet.
Tomorrow will be a holding day as we wait for the post mortem results on Monday. Tonight, I am on autopilot, somewhat numb, and hoping for sleep. Writing on here seems to help me to process my thoughts.

saffronwblue Sun 28-Apr-13 01:15:31

survival, you and your boys seem to have a strong sense of your dear DH still being around you. I hope that is giving you some comfort. He was evidently a lovely and deeply loved man. What a huge loss. The bevvy of beauties will be a fine tribute to him.

I am sure your boys will continue to test you in lots of ways, and I do feel for you having to deal with their range of feelings and keep on being the parent for them in amongst your own shock and grief.

Hang on to the pillow case as long as you want to. I don't think there are any rules in this situation.

Thinking of you and your boys.

BabyGiraffes Sun 28-Apr-13 08:57:27

Go team survival and superhero daddy! Hope you all got some sleep last night.

BabyGiraffes Sun 28-Apr-13 09:00:23

And why not keep the pillowcase in a memory box?

flyingcloud Mon 29-Apr-13 11:38:10

survival Thinking of you so much.

Your warmth and strength shines out through the words of your posts, there is a lot of superhero Daddy living on in you too.

Huge hugs. xx

5madthings Mon 29-Apr-13 11:45:05

survival so glad you have support here and in rl. Your sons anger sounds very normal and five yr olds say lots of things they dont mean.

I hope the wait for post mortem results passes quickly and it yields some answers.

Much much love and strength to the survival team xxx

chinam Mon 29-Apr-13 21:25:14

You are a very brave lady and your children sound amazing.

beachyhead Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:37

Oh what brave posts. My thoughts are with you today and tonight.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 30-Apr-13 01:10:44

It's been a hard day. I've decided I watch too many documentaries and knew too much of what they were doing to the body of my gorgeous husband. We heard nothing until 2.40pm (having expected a lunchtime call). Apparently my phone provider changed today so I could not receive calls for a while - of all days!
Most unfortunately, the post mortem wad inconclusive. This means there was no obvious cause of death and more histology samples have now been taken. No death certificate has been issued and this could take another 7 working days. Was told I could aim for a funeral on Friday May 10th, which seems too far away. The worst thing is that the coroner warned me that it may end up that they can not say why it happened. As far as I could make out, this may also be more likely to affect the boys' health. Hearing that made me shake. Just one awful thing too many to take on board. I will see the gp tomorrow to ensure their tests happen fast.
My lovely friends came round speedily, bathed the boys while I spoke to a funeral director, made me tea and gave me wine and a neck massage (needed due to constant texting and phone calls!).
Messages, flowers and gifts continue to flood in. People are so amazingly kind.

Boys had an awful night sleepwise last night, as they often do, so i'm quite tired now, but have at least managed to reserve an online shopping delivery for Friday, adjusting an old order for now.

Spoke at length to the head teacher about ds1 and made a detailed plan for his reintroduction tomorrow afternoon, all being well. He would stay at home forever if I let him, but he needs some normality.

Note to self: must keep on breathing.

ScienceRocks Tue 30-Apr-13 07:29:38

Oh survival, so much to deal with. One foot in front of the other... Good luck with school today x

flyingcloud Tue 30-Apr-13 07:59:53

Hope you managed some sleep, good luck with school and hope some answers are coming your way. xx

Oh Survival, so sorry to read such devastating news. You sound amazing, and I hope you get the answers you need so that you know your boys are OK. Your DH sounds wonderful, too.

Please keep posting and let us know if there is anything any of us can do.

GO Team Survival!!! Lots of love and hugs XXX

tumbletumble Tue 30-Apr-13 16:37:23

I think, if they are unable to tell you conclusively what happened, then you need to come up with a simple wording for your boys which may not be 100% factually accurate but in order to give them an answer, both for themselves and to use when other people ask them. Something like 'Daddy had a weakness in his heart which we didn't know about, and it suddenly stopped beating'??

Wishing you strength, Survival. Hope you got a bit more sleep. How did DS1 get on at school.

Yes, keep breathing xx

Homebird8 Tue 30-Apr-13 17:52:41

So sorry that you're no closer to any answers Survival. sad

I'd talk with one of the child bereavement charities about something simple to tell the children. Something that won't add to any completely understandable fear about losing someone else.

Your RL friends seem to be coming up trumps. Wish I could do more than simply send you flowers

I hope your DS's return to school goes well. I'm sure it's the best way of keeping things more stable for him if he can manage it. If you had a good talk with the head teacher then I'm sure they'll be working with you to support him during the day.

Let your friends take care of you a bit and spend your energy on the things that only you can do. Everything else will happen somehow. You are amazing, don't forget.

Heebiejeebie Tue 30-Apr-13 20:22:27

I am so sorry. It sounds like you have a family and friends full of love and that will stand you and your boys in good stead. I don't have wise words, but my friend, who also lost her husband suddenly,was advised by a counsellor that making the explanation concrete rather than general would mean that her children wouldn't worry about the same thing happening to her. Please take every offer of help, however vague. Having been a friend in a similar situation, I berate myself for waffling and not doing. Your friends will want to rally round but may not want to intrude etc. I wish you and the boys happiness to come.

SugarMiceInTheRain Tue 30-Apr-13 20:25:47

survival I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. Big hugs to you and your boys xx

dontmixthecolours Tue 30-Apr-13 20:34:09

survival I am so sorry for your loss.

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 20:40:50

survival i am sorry the initial post mortem didnt give you the answers you were hoping for. I hope you do get some kind of answer/explanation.

I hope your ds1's first day back at school went ok and that getting into the normal routine of school goes smoothly for you and him. Does ds2 go to pre-school?

I wish i had some wise words, i dont but am thinking of you and sendinh strength. I hope you are managing to sleep, let the sheets be smelly, i agree save the pillowcase or clothes he had worn recently, anything that helps in any way.

Much love xxx

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 20:42:21

A further thought, a relative of mine after her husband died suddenly at a similar age was put in touch with cruise? I think and found them.helpful. Xxx

exexpat Tue 30-Apr-13 21:04:40

Survival - so sorry you have the added trauma of an inconclusive post mortem. Is the general assumption that he had a cardiac arrest for an unknown reason?

DH died of sudden heart failure, but I never had a real explanation as to why. Obviously I also worried about the children, but one reassuring thing has been that DS's school participates in a screening programme run by Cardiac Risk in the Young. They screen for heart abnormalities in teenagers, and DS has been given the all-clear. DD is still too young, but I will get her screened in due course.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 01-May-13 00:39:57

Exexpat we seem to have been dealt some similarly hard situations. My gp has rung the CRY charity today and they have agreed to screen the boys outside their usual age group. Maybe they'd do it for your DD too? The gp is also referring them to the paediatrician/cardiologist -whoever they feel is the right person. With a plan, I am calmer.

We've had a much quieter day today, for
which I was ready. Ds1 did his 90mins at school. Luckily, I had suggested some possible answers to questions he might get asked, as he said a lot of children asked him why his daddy died. He was very matter of fact about it and also told me that it was okay as no-one laughed. On the way there he said, "Mummy, I'm ready to go to school today, because I like it there." He has chosen to repeat today's short visit tomorrow. I think fielding questions for longer would be too tiring.

DS2 is still saying, "When is Daddy coming home?" and I feel he is beginning to realise that this is permanent (about as much as the rest of us, at least!) He is constantly wet at the moment. I've washed seven pairs of his trousers today so he's obviously feeling it. He was making transitions in both childcare settings and doesn't have the relationships with staff yet that ds1 has in school, so I haven't made any decisions yet about when or if he will go back anytime soon.

I had a ridiculous run in on the phone today with a quite unbelievable woman at the solicitors. I gave her a very firm but very frank (yet polite) reminder about the nature of my call and that her rudeness was unnecessary and remarkable. One of dh's friends was here at the time and he'd only met me three times before. I'm sure he was probably thinking, "I'm glad it wasn't me that married her!" The lady did apologise profusely!

I'm here alone tonight by my own request so that I can stop and remember dh all by myself. I'm listening to some songs that remind me of dh and wondering what to play at the end of the funeral service. The good news is that there are many options.

I can't quite believe that my lovely, smiley-eyed and generous husband is not coming back to slip his arms around me. In the meantime, as this realisation dawns on me slowly, the laughter, cuddles and giggles of my gorgeous boys will help to sustain me through the days ahead. It has been a sunny day today and has brought with it hope that Team Survival can make it through this, one tiny step at a time.

TwentyTinyToes Wed 01-May-13 05:43:47

I am so so sorry for you loss. What dreadful shock this must have been. Your love for your husband and your strength shine through your words, what a gentle, thoughtful mother you are too. I wish you love, strength and light for your path ahead. X

ScienceRocks Wed 01-May-13 07:23:40

Survival, so glad that DS1 handled school so well and is keen to go back. I wonder that it is easier for him to handle it all than DS2 because he is able to talk to you about it much more freely. Your poor DS2 you sound to be managing him so well, he will get there.

Sorry about the rude woman at the solicitor's office. Hope your evening listening to music helped you in many different ways.

Your situation is so very difficult, rest assured that many of us are thinking of you thanks

StoneBaby Wed 01-May-13 09:01:58

thanks and brew and wine and lots of support for Team Survival

FreckledLeopard Wed 01-May-13 09:06:50

I'm so terribly sorry about the death of your husband. Wishing you and your boys all the love, peace and strength in the world to get through this horrific time. flowers

Bakingnovice Wed 01-May-13 09:25:04

Thinking of you and your lovely family. And in awe at your strength.

Jenijena Wed 01-May-13 09:28:43

Sending you thoughts and hugs and prayers for your family.

ClimbingPenguin Wed 01-May-13 14:13:39

I hope you got some enjoyment from last night and that DS1 is enjoying his school time again.

GladbagsGold Wed 01-May-13 14:21:27

I'm so sorry for your loss. A very close friend has been through similar and its heartbreaking. Lots of love and support x

BabyGiraffes Wed 01-May-13 21:20:59

Survival, hope ds1 had another good session at school today and you are remembering to look after yourself, too. Shocking that you had trouble with a solicitor's office. My DSis and BIL had that when he tried to register both birth and death of his first child who only lived a few hours. The official told him he couldn't use the same form and registering birth and death on the same day wasn't possible! BIL stared at the woman until the penny dropped. Insensitive cow.
Sending you lots and lots of hugs and brew and biscuit and wine and thanks

Norem Wed 01-May-13 21:49:05

Hello survival just wanted to say how sorry I am about your lovely husband. You write so beautifully about him smile
Lots of love to you and your boys.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 02-May-13 00:17:09

Thank you all. Very tired tonight after a long but positive day. Difficult decisions lie ahead regarding specialist cardiac pathology which may help the boys but delay the funeral.
Must sleep now but drawing strength from your kind messages. BG that's just terrible. I'm also realising how common this 'sudden adult death' all is. Tragic.

saffronwblue Thu 02-May-13 01:26:52

Hope you get some sleep survival. Thinking of you and your boys.

Homebird8 Thu 02-May-13 03:46:58

Hope you're getting some sleep Survival, and your gorgeous boys.

You'll make all the right decisions for you. I hope everyone in RL is supporting you when things like the choice for the extra pre-funeral testing is offered.

How are your plans coming along for the funeral? Are you managing to find the things which will make it special for you all? I'm glad you had a chance to listen to your music the other evening and that you had some time to yourself.

Oh crap, I'm terrible at this. I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and praying for you and your little ones. I'm also more than a little bit in awe of you. thanks

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 02-May-13 06:56:16

Thank you. When the decision seemed all too much yesterday, in walked my friend who is a paediatric nurse, just by chance. I am trying to involve dh's family wherever possible in the arrangements. We heard yesterday that dh had left a directive in his will re cremation, and that was a huge weight lifted, as his family and I had different ideas on that. If only he'd left me a full manual! A lot of our friends are now having the kind of conversations that you don't usually get round to, because trying to make decisions without much direction from my gorgeous husband is hard. I'm so keen to get it all right for him, which is hard in this 'fog'. I am starting to have bits of time in the late evening to myself,so I can try and bottom out the music and other content. Bit by bit, it is starting to take shape. As with everything at the moment, it's about making tiny steps, and hopefully ones that take us in the right direction.

HairyPotter Thu 02-May-13 09:20:20

Little steps. Just keep taking little steps. You are being so strong, I have nothing but admiration for you.

I hope ds1 has another good day at school, and you are able to try and finalise the arrangements for the funeral. I'm sure it will be perfect.

I'm terrible at this, I'm sorry. Nothing sounds right because there really are no words. I just wanted you to know I'm still thinking of Team Survival.

Poledra Thu 02-May-13 09:28:42

I've just seen this - I'm so so sorry for you and your boys - you are all in my thoughts.

ScienceRocks Thu 02-May-13 09:58:46

Survival, you will get it right. Your DH would be so proud of you, you are doing so incredibly well. Your strength is awe inspiring <hug>

ephemeralfairy Thu 02-May-13 15:02:49

I am so very sorry. This is all too horribly familiar. My own brilliant dad died very suddenly of a heart attack when I was nine (I'm an only child). I'm now 32. It hasn't been easy but I made it and so did my mum. You will too. I can tell you are an amazing person and a great Mum!
If you ever want some advice or just a chat with someone who has been there, please please DM me.

Thinking of you and your boys. A big hug xxx

Survival - I am full of admiration for you. You seem so composed and strong in the most hideous situation, tho inwardly I am sure you must be devastated.

Like others have said, words are so inadequate but you are all in my thoughts. Life is so unfair at times.

tumbletumble Thu 02-May-13 18:21:25

Survival, the truth is that your lovely husband probably did not given much thought to his own funeral, so I think it is appropriate that the funeral is a combination of what he would have wanted and what you choose for him, with love.

Thinking of Team Survival tonight.

Homebird8 Fri 03-May-13 03:05:36

I was un lucky enough to have a conversation with my DM the night before she passed away and asked her what she wanted included in her funeral. She usually a complete control freak unexpectedly said that she thought that funerals were to comfort the living and to put whatever we needed to in it.

I'm sure you will find the things that you need for your DH's funeral and given your wonderful descriptions of him I think that he'd just want to know that in some small way they were right and comforting for you.

You are so thoughtful in including your ILs in decisions. Perhaps it will help to know that you are all in this together and that whilst you all may need to express things differently it's simply a reflection of everyone's individual relationship with your loving DH.

Team Survival are amazing and an inspiration. Sending balance and comfort for you to express yourself and cope with everything you're going through.

Thinking of you Survival....

xx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 04-May-13 00:13:41

Sorry for your loss Ephemeralfairy. I'm amazed by how many folks this actually seems to happen to.

Yesterday, dm and I managed to get both boys to our regional children's hospital for a regular appointment. On the way back, we also managed to purchase a tiger teddy that ds1 had said he wanted to buy and have placed in Daddy's coffin. My dm brilliantly suggested that the boys should have one each to keep too. They are now named Bounce and Pounce, which fits the boys nicely!

Yesterday we got a cause of death - myocardial fibrosis - which effectively means scarring on the heart muscle, which can cause fatal arrhythmias. (It also means dh had an enlarged heart, so it is now officially recognised that he was indeed a man 'with a big heart', as everyone has been telling me). An underlying cause may be more tricky to establish apparently.

Practically, what this means is a) we now have a date booked, next Friday, for a funeral and b) the medics know what they are looking for in the boys (and they each have an hour's appointment next week).

Last night, some good friends and I were looking for the perfect song for dh's departure from the church. This morning, I suddenly remembered Jack Johnson's 'Better Together' and it is perfect. We nearly danced to it at our wedding, but felt it was too tricky to dance to. This time, we don't need to dance.

The vicar and I have also decided we will sing 'Swing low sweet chariot' as a hymn, in recognition of dh's love of sport. The words fit the occasion too. He will enter to the Imperial March from Star Wars and I believe he would have a big grin on his face because he was teaching the boys how to swing light sabers (without decapitating my only ornament) to it recently! It's gradually starting to come together.

I have found and cropped a fab photo of dh for the order of service, ordered a shirt and tie for ds1, and located 80% of the paperwork required by dh's company to progress with financial stuff. At one point today, I was talking financial stuff with the support worker from dh's company, while an electrician fitted me a new electrical box, as arranged a few weeks ago by dh. He'd given me a 6 hour window, but of course came at the exact same moment. I did laugh, as it rather descended into farce!

The boys are very sensitive at the moment, but also very easily excited by guests. This is keeping me on my toes and I am very tired. I played the piano for them tonight while they fell asleep and this seemed to relax both them and I.

I'm hoping things will gradually start to slow down soon so I have more time to play with the boys and to take the time I need to begin to deal with my own feelings. Now, time for sleep.

BabyGiraffes Sat 04-May-13 00:20:04

xxx

Homebird8 Sat 04-May-13 00:59:21

Oh Survival. Your arrangements sound perfect. Good to have support from a vicar who is encouraging you to make it personal. Your music choices will make all the difference.

I hope knowing a bit more about cause of death will set your mind at rest a little that your boys can be well looked after. My friend's husband died suddenly (half way down stairs) leaving her with 1 year old DS. She takes comfort that he was well checked out and there is no indication of the same problem with his heart.

Your DM sounds as lovely as you. Just wondering whether your own tiger might help. Nobody has to know. The boys might like to know you've all got one.

ScienceRocks Sat 04-May-13 07:36:29

You are doing so well Survival. Glad things are falling into place, and I think the odd moment of hysteria (such as the two appointments descending into farce yesterday) is most definitely allowed.

Sorry you feel you are struggling to find the time and energy to deal with your own feelings because of dealing with so much other stuff. It will gradually happen in time.

Cuddle those tigers tight and know that we are all thinking of you and your DSs x

TwentyTinyToes Sat 04-May-13 08:28:37

Still thinking of you all. The tigers are a lovely idea. X x x

tumbletumble Sat 04-May-13 09:04:07

The funeral arrangements sound perfect, and glad to hear you now have a date for it.

Wishing you strength for a big week ahead.

Sounds like it will be a lovely funeral Survival IYSWIM....a splendid send-off xx

saffronwblue Sat 04-May-13 22:36:07

The funeral sounds so full of love and individuality. I hope it will help you, your boys and your wider family.

LST Sat 04-May-13 22:43:34

I am so sorry for your loss OP.

You and your little boys are in my thoughts at this awful time xxxx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 05-May-13 07:30:39

Yesterday wad hard. We usually had very active family weekends, biking in the park or visiting a local hill to fly a kite, etc.. I think it hit me more yesterday, than on any other day so far, just what we have lost. I managed to carry on going through the motions, and I guess that it is important to be able to do so when necessary. My lovely friends arrived in the evening to check on me and I was glad not to spend the evening alone.

The hardest point was when my brother rang while we were eating lunch. Ds2 thought it was Daddy on the phone, from my responses, and his face lit up, and then fell when I explained. It was heart wrenching to see.

Today the in laws are coming. MIL hasn't seen the boys yet. Sil will probably stay over which will be nice.

tumbletumble Sun 05-May-13 08:14:29

It's not surprising that you are feeling your loss right now - a bank holiday weekend is normally a special family time. So glad you have lots of support from friends and family members.

That story about DS2 and the phone is heart breaking sad

Hugs for Team Survival xx

MelodyBaker Sun 05-May-13 13:15:40

I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you strength x

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 05-May-13 14:08:31

I have no words. I am very very sorry. Wishing u strength. X

Oh, Survival... xx

Sending you all much love x

MrsMeg Sun 05-May-13 19:33:36

I am so very sorry for your loss and am thinking of you and your boys at this very sad time sad

BerryLellow Tue 07-May-13 16:48:47

So very sorry to hear this Survival. You are doing remarkably, and your love for your husband radiates from your posts. Be kind to yourself x

Survival, I am so so very sorry to hear of your loss. Your arrangements for the funeral sound lovely. We very nearly danced to better together at our wedding but quickly realised we couldn't dance to it either so did an awkward swaying to Chasing Cars instead.

All your posts are infused with love and you seem to have a very strong team around you. Don't be afraid to use them when you need to.

Sending you love and strength. I shall be thinking of you on Friday.

My heart is breaking for you and your darling boys. Your strength is inspirational, and your lovely husband would be so proud.

Will be thinking of you all on Friday. Much love xx

Homebird8 Tue 07-May-13 21:56:25

I'm still here thinking of you Survival. In the run up to Friday you are probably flat out with people and arrangements. A busy time at a point where time probably doesn't make much sense. When you are ready, and if it all goes quiet and you need us, we are here. flowers

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 08-May-13 01:02:17

Thank you for your lovely posts. I wrote my piece for the vicar to read on Friday last night ( which apparently made her cry) I role with a migraine this morning. Tonight I have been sorting the order of service. It reminds me of planning our wedding, but this time I have to make all the decisions myself. I hope we will do him proud. I am so bloody determined to do so and to help the boys get through this, both now and in the future. Have finally been able to register dh's death today. Also chose flowers and received the pm report, which the gp then discussed with me. Tomorrow dm and I will be taking the boys for two hours of appointments with their new paediatrician. Busy, busy...

AuntPittypat Wed 08-May-13 01:22:58

I'm so sorry for your loss, Survival. You are being so strong, I'm in awe. I'll be thinking of you and your boys on Friday. You say you hope you will do your DH proud... You already are. Good luck with the boys' medical appointments tomorrow.

OnwardBound Wed 08-May-13 07:09:17

Thinking of you and so sorry for your loss.

Your boys are very lucky to have you X

HarrySnotter Wed 08-May-13 07:20:00

I don't know what to say, other than I am so, so sorry. Another hand here for you and your boys. sad

MunchkinsMumof2 Wed 08-May-13 18:11:10

I am so sorry for your loss Survival you are being incredibly brave and are very good at articulating your feelings. I'm not sure what a random stranger on the interweb can say but I am thinking of you and your boys and am sending love and strength at this hideous time.

FoxyRevenger Thu 09-May-13 15:51:45

You and your boys have been on my mind so much this week, in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is still asleep.

I can't imagine how you are doing this, but you are.

Still holding my hand out for you.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 09-May-13 22:33:16

Still reading...thank you.

I have finished all the preparations for the funeral tomorrow and am pretty much ready for bed. I have never felt this level of exhaustion and have ground my way through the last couple of days, hence not managing to post on here each day.

I went to visit dh today. My lovely friend who came to support me at the hospital on the night dh died had been and said that dh was looking great. Altough it was not something I would normally considered doing, I concluded that my lasting memory of him at the hospital was not a very positive one. I'm so pleased I did go, as he just looks like he is asleep - very relaxed and comfortable in his normal jeans and hoody. I took pictures from the boys and the tiger teddy that ds1 had wanted us to buy for him. Ds1 (aged just 5) wrote his card for the flowers last night and independently decided to write, "I love you right up to the moon and back," from 'Guess How Much I Love You'. I thought that was perfect.

Think of us tomorrow. It's going to be a hard day, but my determination to get it just right for dh and the boys remains strong.

5madthings Thu 09-May-13 22:39:57

Xxxx

VitoCorleone Thu 09-May-13 22:42:19

Thinking of you x

DisappointedHorse Thu 09-May-13 22:45:59

I'm so very sorry for your loss. My uncle died in very similar circumstances a couple of years ago, it's absolutely devastating.

Your funeral plans sound lovely and I hope tomorrow goes as well as it can. You're all in my thoughts.

SingingSands Thu 09-May-13 22:52:39

I just wanted to say I'll be thinking of Team Survival tomorrow. Wishing you peace and love x

ChippingInLovesSunshine Thu 09-May-13 23:07:17

Oh my love, I've only just seen your thread sad

It's not fair... it's just not fair - though my Dad would have said 'Who told you life would be fair love?'

My Dad died in a very similar way and I'm still in a mess over it (3 years on) - the shock is so very hard to deal with.

I hope you can take a little comfort from the fact that he kissed you all & told you all that he loved you before he went to play football.

You are doing very very well - hang in there, I'll be thinking about you all tomorrow.

Big big hugs
x

Survival - will be thinking of you and your darling boys tomorrow. My heart goes out to you all x

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 09-May-13 23:35:05

Thinking of you my lovely. Will be holding your hand in spirit tomorrow Xx

saffronwblue Thu 09-May-13 23:45:58

Will be thinking of you and your boys tomorrow. I hope there are some happy moments among the pain. What a loving family you were and still are.

TwentyTinyToes Fri 10-May-13 04:15:53

Holding you and your darling boys in my thoughts, especially tomorrow. X x

AshokanFarewell Fri 10-May-13 04:53:26

I'm struggling to find the right words but I am so sorry for your loss. Your love for your husband, and boys, is so evident in every post. I will be thinking of you all today xxx

chipmonkey Fri 10-May-13 05:52:55

Survival, I am so very sorry for your loss. You are doing wonderfully well. Your boys sound so lovely and bless your ds2, he's the age my ds4 was when dd died and it is such a difficult age. You think they "get it" and then they say something which shows they don't. But a part of your dh will always be there in your precious boys.

Homebird8 Fri 10-May-13 06:32:03

I'm glad he looked so comfortable in his hoodie and that you felt up to seeing him after the trauma of the hospital. I'll be think it of you all tomorrow and will be here for you as the days go on. Pease don't worry about posting every day if you aren't up to it. We're here for you and I hope in some small way our quiet watch together supports you. You and your boys will make it the very best it can be.

DeafLeopard Fri 10-May-13 07:29:33

Wishing you love and strength today Survival.

lucidlady Fri 10-May-13 07:30:00

Thinking of you today, Survival.

johnworf Fri 10-May-13 08:02:33

You are in my thoughts today. ((((hug))))

FoxyRevenger Fri 10-May-13 08:05:26

Wishing you strength today Team Survival. xxxx

ssd Fri 10-May-13 09:36:18

hope today goes as well as it can xx

Rowgtfc72 Fri 10-May-13 10:09:05

Thinking of you and your family today x

So very sorry for your loss xx
Thinking of you and your boys today and sending strength and love.

5madthings Fri 10-May-13 12:00:29

Thinking of you and teamsurvival today, hope everything goes smoothly xxx

MunchkinsMumof2 Fri 10-May-13 14:46:41

I have been thinking about you and your darling boys and willing the funeral to pass as perfectly as possible for you all. I can't imagine your pain but I too can tell just how loved your darling husband is and how much he loves you and your boys. Sending many ((((((hugs)))))))

tumbletumble Fri 10-May-13 14:49:25

Well done for going to see him yesterday - you are so brave! Hugs for today.

financialwizard Fri 10-May-13 14:49:33

I want to give you a huge hug, my thoughts are with you and your boys today xx

Thinking of you today, Survival, and really hoping that your DH had the best send off you could give him.

Love to you and your boys.

Xxx

Your plans for the funeral are so beautiful they have had me in tears. Hope today has been a fitting tribute to your wonderful husband.

I have never been in your shoes but one of my best friends lost her husband just poverty a year ago so I have seen her heartache and wouldn't wish that on anyone. As a word of comfort her ds (6 when his Dad died) has actually taken it in his stride more than anyone so fingers crossed your boys are ok.

Lots of love xxx

Lots of love to you Survival on this days and the coming days too. Talk to us whenever you need to xx

RatherBeOnThePiste Sat 11-May-13 00:19:12

Thinking of you tonight my lovely, sending much love X

echt Sat 11-May-13 06:47:48

I've just caught up with this thread.

Sad for your loss, Survival but smile at the joyful plans you've made for the celebration of your husband's splendid life.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 11-May-13 06:53:53

Thank you all for thinking of us.

Yesterday went perfectly - as perfectly as any such day can. The sun shone, the church was full to overflowing, and the plans I had made worked out well. My darling dh had a fitting send off and I'm sure he'd have been proud of us all. I heard all sorts of great stories about him that I hadn't known before, and I got to meet and thank his football friends who were with him, and helped him, on that awful evening two weeks ago.

The boys were amazing all day. I brought them home at 5pm after 4 hours of running around in the pub garden. I think that, as long as I carry on talking with them and helping them to deal with their feelings, they will continue to flourish, just as dh and I wanted.

The real question is 'what next?' I hadn't been able to think past yesterday and now I have to begin to try and work out how to build our tomorrows. I know that ultimately this is where the hard work starts and that I must start to try and process my own feelings, whilst still bobbing along for the boys. The support from family and friends has been amazing, but they can't do the next bit for me. More tiny steps, I guess. As someone who likes to plan ahead as a coping strategy, I am trying to learn how to stick with the here and now as much as possible. The task ahead is huge and daunting, but my determination to make dh proud remains strong.

flubba Sat 11-May-13 07:06:25

I hope yesterday passed as well as it could have - your arrangements sound perfect.

Wishing you much strength, light and love x

ClimbingPenguin Sat 11-May-13 07:11:44

It was certainly lovely. You and your boys were (and are) amazing.

Thinking of you all and sending love x

Jenijena Sat 11-May-13 07:20:05

I'm glad it was the send off he deserved. I'm a planner too, and can well imagine the need to know what comes next. Thinking of you.

MunchkinsMumof2 Sat 11-May-13 08:39:53

That sounds like a perfect tribute to your lovely husband, I agree that now is when you have to garner strength and please accept any and all offers of help. The only event I can liken it too is when you bring a newborn home, everyone trips over to see you and help but 4 weeks on, it's much quieter. I fear I'm not being succinct but please allow your loved ones to help you and your darling boys through this. Sending love x

ScienceRocks Sat 11-May-13 09:28:53

So pleased that it went well survival x

ssd Sat 11-May-13 09:42:47

pleased it went well too x

saffronwblue Sat 11-May-13 10:39:37

Well done- I am so pleased for you. You and your boys should be so proud of yourselves.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 11-May-13 11:07:48

So sorry for your loss Survival sad
Sending much love and hopefully a little bit of a WoollyHug xx

MNPin2013 Sat 11-May-13 15:57:36

I am glad it went well Survival. Hugs.

Jules146 Sat 11-May-13 19:40:07

Sending lots of love and hugs xx

MrsHiddleston Sat 11-May-13 19:44:02

Just seen your post survival, I am so sorry for your loss. Be strong for your children. Sending you my thoughts and best wishes.

Homebird8 Sat 11-May-13 23:48:14

The funeral sounds like a wonderful occasion at the saddest of times. Great to hear all those stories about your wonderful DH and be able to share time with others who loved and cared about him.

I'm so glad your boys had time to run around together. You're right to feel proud of them and also that you will be a great Team Survival as they grow into wonderful young men like their daddy.

Tiny steps yes, and nobody can take them for you, but I am sure they will be at your side.

twinsister Mon 13-May-13 10:14:44

I have been following your very very sad path over the last couple of weeks but haven't posted before. Wanted to check in to see how you have been since the funeral. Tiny steps sounds wise. Sending you much strength and support from the other side of the world as you step down this new path xx

Just wanted to post to say i'm thinking of you survival. From watching what my dear friend went through after losing her dh to leukaemia it was these days after the funeral when everyone elses lives have gone back to normal that were so very hard. Here for you anytime you want a cry, rant, distraction or just to talk about your lovely husband xxxxx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 14-May-13 07:09:53

Thank you for your continuing support. It is indeed like having a newborn still - I try to do things, but am still having a lot of calls, messages and random food items arriving. Of course, I know these will dry up in due course, and that will be harder, but it does make it tricky to actually achieve the most basic of tasks.

The weekend was hard. We visited lovely friends and had some fun, but dh would usually have been with us all. I have agreed to go away with them for the weekend of our wedding anniversary in August, on the premise that i'll probably be rubbish company, but probably shouldn't be alone. My lovely friends just said that was fine and they will cry too. Practically, there will be implications, as I have to learn to keep both my little monkeys safe in the great outdoors with only one pair of eyes for both of them. I've suggested we don't spend that weekend near water!

I sat and sobbed on Saturday night and then asked a fab neighbour in for a hug. Like I've already said, I do need to take time for thinking about all of this but it's so hard and scary to do. Once I cry properly, I'm not quite sure how to stop.

On Sunday, I managed to iron dh's work shirts that he had already worn that fateful week. They are now in the cupboard, rather than sitting in my ironing pile as a constant reminder of what we are going through. The next thing is to move forward with the paperwork.

Boys up now so must start the day. One foot in front of each other still seems to work.

5madthings Tue 14-May-13 07:39:16

survivsl one foot in front of the other is the way to go and yoi are doing so well, keep talking, keep leaning om friends and family and keep postinh, we are listeninh.

Much love xxc

TwentyTinyToes Tue 14-May-13 08:35:42

Here to listen whenever you want to cry, scream and rant or to tell us about your lovely husband. He sounds like a wonderful man. X

MunchkinsMumof2 Tue 14-May-13 11:21:35

You are so brave and are doing so well, I think that one foot in front of the other and saying "this too shall pass" helps me when I'm feeling overwhelmed - that is not to say you will get over your darling husband but you will somehow learn to live with the loss. I am sending love and strength and we are here to listen x

I'm i'm awe of you managing to iron shirts - I think I'd have just stuffed them in the cupboard... I get why it was important for you to do it though. Sounds like you're doing much better than just putting one foot in front of the other though I agree with the others that if that's all you can manage that's enough.

It's also good that you're able to cry and fall apart a bit. Losing your dh is just fucking awful and grieving and getting upset is essential to move on through this. Here to hold your hand and support you through that x

ClimbingPenguin Tue 14-May-13 21:26:03

No one expects you to answer messages straight away so if you don't want to read them, leave them be for a bit, they ain't going anywhere. Your true friends would welcome you saying please leave it a week and then call, send stuff. No problems with bring too direct at this stage

ScienceRocks Tue 14-May-13 23:00:22

Hear hear CP!

saffronwblue Wed 15-May-13 00:31:55

You are doing so well survival. Crying, ironing, just whatever will get you through each next 5 minutes.

FoxyRevenger Wed 15-May-13 20:37:49

Hi Survival, I just wanted to let you know we're still thinking about you and your boys. You seem to be doing really well, I hope you're proud of yourself for keeping going.

xxxxx

QOD Wed 15-May-13 22:03:22

You're still in my thughts

Homebird8 Thu 16-May-13 01:44:08

So glad you have some wonderful friends around you Survival and that you can ask for a hug. Even better that it is there for the asking even if it's not the one you really want. Plans to be with friends for your anniversary is a good thing too especially when you are assured that your tears will be accepted as and when they come. You give permission for other people to grieve too and plenty will look to you to see how they should behave. Just be natural, if that is not too glib. Whatever comes, comes, in terms of expression of emotion. I don't know about stopping once you've started. I am sure you will find a way to get the next foot forward each minute and each day. We are all here still thinking of you and willing to listen to whatever you would like to share.

Oh, and amazingly well done with the ironing. I would have done the same.

ephemeralfairy Thu 16-May-13 20:43:51

Have just read all your posts, you are doing so well. The funeral sounds like it was just right for you, the boys and your dear DH. I know how painful it must have been though, and I remember the time after my dad's funeral being so hard for my mum. Keep talking if you need to, we're all here for you every step of the way.

TwentyTinyToes Thu 16-May-13 21:13:40

Thinking about you. X

Lifesagame Thu 16-May-13 21:30:22

Have just read through this and am now sobbing - so very sorry for your loss yet in awe of the way you are handling everything. Thinking of you and your boys xx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 16-May-13 23:32:26

Well, the last couple of days have been rather draining. The main event yesterday was a phone call from the patron of the charity that is supporting us. She was able to tell me from the information on the post mortem report that the boys have a 50% chance of inheriting/developing the same heart problem that my dh had. I knew that the boys were going to be screened, but the GP had not told me (if he knew) quite how high the risk was. It was just too much to take on board and I shook again for hours.

The lovely lady was very positive about the fact that there is a lot of research going on into it, developments are happening all the time and there may be drugs that can help as and when required. I think I missed a lot of the detail, to be honest, amid my shock at what I was hearing. The boys will be at particular risk during puberty and will need screening every six months then until they are 22. I have rung the boys' paediatrician today and have asked to be referred straight to the consultant at our regoinal centre that the lady recommended.

Today, I am feeling a bit calmer - I tend to find with all things in life that one can only remain so scared for a short period of time. It's almost like it becomes yesterday's news and the body and brain start to deal with it somehow.

I made a big list last night of all the companies I needed to ring in order to change documents and to help me commence the probate process (which I am intending to do myself, as opposed to paying the £500-£4000 bill that it would otherwise entail if I used a solicitor). The reposnse I have had on the hpone has been shocking in part, and I am going to write some of it so that if I decide to write a book in the future (or a letter of complaint), that the detial is here.

On Tuesday I had a visit from a telephone engineer. He asked me lots of techy questions that I couldn't answer as it was dh who had set it all up. In the end, I told him tha the appointment had been booked by my husband who had since died and that i really had no idea about the speed of our current broadband etc.. He replied, "So, do you actually want faster broadband still, or don't you need it now?" Perhaps there is some rule somewhere that I have missed tha says that widows don't need fast broadband?!!

When ringing my car insurance company today (as dh was a named driver on my policy), I was shocked to hear the lady telling me that I would need to pay them an extra £56 today, because of my sad loss. I managed to decrease this a little by putting my mum on it instead, but it still cost me £36 extra. To add insult to injury, the lady then said, "I'm not sure how to tell you this, but I'm afraid there is also a £25 administration fee payable, as we will need to rewrite your documents without your husband's name on them." To this, I spluttered and asked who to complain to. She replied, "Well, it is in the small print on your policy that you would be liable to such a charge if you needed new documents at any point." I broke down at this point and replied angrily, "Yes, and when I took out the policy with you, I wasn't expecting my 39 year old husband to die on me!" She put me on hold and then said the admin fee could be waived in this instance. I had to pay today and that involved setting up a new card to pay with as, "Your husband's card seems to have expired!" (No shit...) Meanwhile ds2, aged 3, had taken it upon himself to get the hoover out and was merrily hoovering the carpet in the background - another farcical moment!

This afernoon, I rang BT. I wasn't sure when we changed provider and needed to know if there was an oustanding balance on the day of dh's death (as this is what I need to know for probate - I've learnt so much in the last 3 weeks). The lady kept asking if she was speaking with the account holder (even though I had already explained that my husband had held the account and had since died). Eventually, I raised my voice and said, "No! He's dead!" She then got very shirty with me about the fact that our account swapped to a new provider on April 29th and could not fathom why I would need to know the balance on the 25th (even though I had explained several times). I asked to speak to someone else and she refused to put me through to anyone. In the end, I put the phone down!

I can not believe that companies treat people like this and am quite shaken up by the whole affair. On the up side, I have successfully rung 10 companies today, have renewed my car tax disc online, ordered the online supermarket shop, taken ds2 back to his swimming lesson for the first time since dh died, taken ds2 for his routine hospital appointment, made spaghetti bolognese and done bath and bed on my own, carried the beautiful 8 foot tree (delivered by courier) from my lovely, supportive MN ante-natal group across my garden (and tied it to the climbing frame to protect it from falling over until my brother can come on Saturday and help me dig a big hole), tidied out a big cupboard (as I needed to find birthday presents hidden within it) and persuaded ds1 to get out of bed this morning, after an hour of cajoling (and making him scrambled eggs on toast), as he simply wasn't up for joining the world today. When I list it like this, I know why I am tired. I haven't had enough time today to think about dh (and that in itself makes me sad). I did discover yesterday that he had neglected to renew the house insurance in November last year for 2 weeks. I did tell the rather surprised lady on the phone that it was a good job he had died, or I might have throttled him!!

Three weeks have passed already since that fateful evening. I was just arriving back from the hospital at this time then, completely shocked and unable to process what had unfolded since dh left for football at 5:50pm. Now, I still can't really get my head around the fact that this horrible set of circumstances is happening to me and to my gorgeous boys - it is something that happens to other people. We all desperately wish he could just come home. Hearing the risk about the boys' health would have been hard enough to deal with if dh was here to help me. Suddenly facing it alone (but with a merry band of fab helpers), it seems enormous, overwhelming and pretty unbearable. This isn't something I can learn to get over, but something that I now have to deal with through the years, in addition to the loss of my wonderful husband. Life seems very fragile and unfair today.

saffronwblue Fri 17-May-13 05:08:26

Oh Survival. Life is fragile and unfair. I am in awe of all you are achieving and my blood is boiling at the insensitivity of the bureacracy you have to deal with. Take your time processing the boys results. Just keep asking and asking until you can really take the information in. Thinking of you xx

tumbletumble Fri 17-May-13 06:42:53

Survival - wow! I am exhausted just reading about what you have achieved in the last couple of days, never mind doing it!

What upsetting news about the risk to your boys. Still, forewarned is forearmed and hopefully this knowledge will help you to protect them in future.

Sorry but I had to laugh at the sexist phone guy asking if women need fast broadband - what an idiot!

You are amazing, you really are. Your boys are very lucky to have you.

everlong Fri 17-May-13 07:16:18

You are amazing. Amazing.
I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all the crap from those companies, I've seen in many times before on here. Truly appalling.

ScienceRocks Fri 17-May-13 07:23:46

Survival, keep writing this all down. You are doing amazingly in such trying circumstances. Things will calm down on the admin front in due course, at least.

There is definitely a book in all this, and you are the perfect person to write it thanks

I remember my friend going through this. I still can't quite believe how totally fucking awkward it seems to be to just sort basic stuff out. I mean you aren't the first person to be widowed and won't be the last and I think it's utterly shocking that what is already a horrible painful and stressful time is made worse by these utter cunts. Do you have any friends who could come and take over some of this unpleasantness? You'd probably have to be there just so you could say 'i'm the account holder and I give permission to you to discuss this with my friend' but could then let them have the awkward conversation.

Going forward something my friend found helpful is the deceased preference service who can stop all the junk mail / phonecards etc to your dh by all the companies who will have his details.

The other thing I think was pretty shit actually is that they told you about the risk to your boys over the phone like that. Your much loved dh has just died and they want to tell you that there is a significant chance both your boys are also affected by the same disease that killed him? On the phone without making sure they're is someone there to support you? Ffs! If I (as a doctor) told someone they had cancer over the phone I'd be in a whole load of trouble and rightly so.

I guess the plus side of days like this is that it can't get worse but it's incredibly emotionally draining and i'm not surprised you're shattered. Any chance you can prioritise jobs like this and only do one a day?

Thinking of you and your lively boys at this time. There is always someone here to hold your hands through this. Look after yourself x

Homebird8 Fri 17-May-13 10:11:01

Survival, your phone insensitivity troubles are shocking! My DF found that a lot of companies have a bereavement team if you ask and they are a lot more considerate and helpful. I am in absolute awe of your productivity. I am a bit worried though that you are managing to do too much. Is there anyone, as YellowDinosaur suggests, who can do some of the admin stuff for or with you? Then you can think about the mum things and yourself a bit more.

50% risks are a real worry but wait to see what the specialist says. At least you know who to see with the boys for the best. That sort of news, based on statistics and not on individual examination of your boys, is a shocking subject of a telephone conversation.

I am sending stern orders for compassion to all who deal with you through the ether. There are enough thorns in your world. You should be surrounded by flowers

lurkerspeaks Fri 17-May-13 17:25:04

Couldn't agree more. We are sorting out probate for my Mum at the moment. Her affairs are in a terrible state and we've had to contact 37 (yes, that is 37) banks/ building societies. The responses have been very variable.

You sound like you are doing a great job and are a lot more functional than my Dad!

FoxyRevenger Sat 18-May-13 13:23:19

Oh Survival, it is unfair. Bloody, bloody unfair.

My heart goes out to you survival - I can't imagine how you are feeling, let alone coping with everything. Be kind to yourself - as Foxy said, it is bloody unfair! x x

Homebird8 Mon 20-May-13 05:38:23

Hey Survival, just sending you a flowers for when you need to know someone was thinking about you all.

NeverBeenToMe Mon 20-May-13 06:16:43

Just read the whole of this thread and lying here with tears rolling down my cheeks, but in total awe at how you have coped/ dealt with everything so far.

Hugs to you and your boys xx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 20-May-13 06:58:32

Have been rudely awakened by ds1 needing his blood sugar checking. The paediatrician is wondering if he might be slowly becoming diabetic because he goes very vacant when hungry and wakes feeling sick due to hunger at 6am. This morning it was fine, but I've gained an hour at the start of the day!

I have registered with the mail preference service through the registrar, but thank you for checking Yellow Dinosaur.

I've remembered since my last post that the BT woman actually said, "Well, did you ring us on the 25th?" when I was asking for the date of death account info. My reply? "Funnily enough, I did not!" In fairness, I summoned up the courage to ring BT again the following day and the man was lovely and very apologetic about his colleague. I will complain about her.

The weekend has passed in a blur of activity, with children's parties and visits to and from friends. This seems to work for the boys. Somehow, I need to make more time for me to think and process my thoughts and feelings.

I did go to the local theatre on Friday evening with colleagues to see a production of Calendar Girls, which was booked months ago. It was surprisingly scary going to meet them and my lovely friend collected me and sat next to me. I managed to stay dry eyed until they played 'Fields of Gold' in the last poignant scene. I wasn't the only one 'leaking' then, as ds1 calls it.

My aim today is to get to the jobcentre to have my documents processed so I can sort out the benefits to which I am now entitled, but wish I wasn't.

I keep catching sight of the photos of dh and they literally make me catch my breath. This still all seems very surreal. Supermarkets are hard as there seem to be so many daddies with little children. I guess parks at weekends will be the same. Ds2 asked this morning if Daddy would be having a beer in heaven during the blood testing cufuffle with ds1 at 6am. I laughed and said I thought he'd be having a lie in!

I feel very responsible now and it's quite a strange feeling. This has been made worse by the fact that I saw the gp on Friday a.m about some strange events with my own heartbeat that happened before dh died. I'd asked dh if he thought it was normal and he said his heartbeat did something similar. At the time, I was reassured, but of course that reassurance was soon shattered! The gp says the events I reported aren't normal, so need testing. I'm not remotely afraid of my own mortality, but I obviously need to hang around long term for the boys. Let's hope we can all get the tests done soon.

MunchkinsMumof2 Mon 20-May-13 09:40:25

Oh Survival, you are having to endure so much. Is there an organised friend who could do some of the admin for you, pretend to be you on the phone if need be? I think you need to be kinder to yourself and start delegating some of the unpleasant tasks. Well done going to the theatre, that was brave and I hope you enjoyed the show. Wrt to your heartbeat, mine flutters and misses beats when I'm stressed or have had too much caffeine - I'm not a medic and I know hearts are now frightening for you but there could be a simple explanation. You are doing so well and your boys sound so sweet. Your posts make me leak, I think you could write a book one day if you wanted to. I'm thinking about you all and sending love and strength x

tumbletumble Mon 20-May-13 18:35:04

Well done for going to the theatre on Friday, Survival. I'm so glad to hear your friends are supporting you through this.

I think you're right to keep weekends busy and active for the sake of your boys. Can your thinking / processing time be in the evenings after they've gone to sleep? Or are you too knackered by then?

Thinking about you.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 21-May-13 22:56:08

Yesterday was hard. Ds1 wouldn't get out of bed for school and cried a lot about not wanting to go. I guess he knows that I am currently at home full time and that ds2 is getting more of my time (although actually, he is entertaining himself a lot while I make phone calls etc..) When Ds1 is at home, we have had a lot fo visitors and he said, "No more visitors this week!" which I have decided is a good idea. I'm also arrangin for my mum to have ds2 for a bit during half term so I cna spend a little one-to-one time with ds1. I hope this will help, but it wasn't in time to help yesterday morning. I emailed the Head who was very sympathetic and we have set up a weekly session of child-led play herapy for him at school so that there is an outlet there if he chooses to use it (or can just play dinosaurs if not). I pretty much wobbled all day after that.

I managed to take the certificates to the JobCentrePlus for verification re benefits. Bizarrely, a man was involved in a scuffle with two police officers barely 10 feet away from me and arrested while I was there. I giggled about the fact that you could write a comedy sketch of my life at the moment. Ds2 was safely out the way at pre-school, so it was only me seeing all the excitement, luckily.

I also rang the fire brigade to request a visit to us re creating a safe exit plan from the house at night. My house caugth fire when I was 14 so I am very aware of the dangers of fire and feel very vulnerable without my great big, strong husband around. I don't actually meet the criteria for a free check (as I don't smoke or take drugs basically!), but the lady did say she would see if they could do one anyway due to my circumstances.

Today, I have done chores in town with ds2 and had lovely friends round tonight after bedtime. It was lovely to have some playign time with the boys before tea, just the three of us. Ds1 didn't even really want me to join in the game they were playing, but my proximity and interest seemed to be enough for him.

The hospital has been in touch today and the boys will have some initial heart screening done next Thursday locally, before being referred straight onto our regional centre. It's nice to have a date to work towards now.

The best news in the last 24 hours (in addition to a lovely donation from a group of friends) has been that one of dh's cousins is helping the football club that dh supported to apply for match funding for a defib machine that would be kept at the ground for players, staff and supporters. I thought that was a fab idea. The British Heart Foundation and the FA have apparently got a scheme running until the end of next week for teams in particular leagues. Might be worth folks checking it out if any clubs locally haven't got one. Certainly the one in our village is now to be sited at the local sports club, rather than at the village shop. Clearly, people can need it anywhere, but sport does put extra strain on the heart.

Time for bed now. I've been reading a fab book that a friend recommended called 'Death and how to survive it'. The problem is, I can't put it down and I'm getting even less sleep! Thank you for continuing to read and offering your support.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 21-May-13 22:56:50

Sorry for typos - I'm tired and forgot to proof read properly.

Poledra Tue 21-May-13 23:37:05

Don't apologise for typos - just put down the phone and curl up in bed for some sleep. I'll hold your hand until you've drifted off.

You are one amazing woman.

saffronwblue Wed 22-May-13 01:19:03

Hope you are havng a lovely sleep. I can't believe how much you are doing and how you are managing to put your DC first, as individuals and as a family.
I hope the fire brigade come through. xx

MunchkinsMumof2 Wed 22-May-13 12:47:33

You still sound like you are doing incredibly well, Survival. Maybe writing how you feel down could help as it could be a way of processing your thoughts and emotions when the boys are asleep. Poor Ds not wanting to go to school but it sounds like your Head is aware and being sensitive to his needs. You are allowed as many wobbles as it takes to get through the day, they are perfectly normal and one of the many aspects of grief. I hope you slept well and today is as good as it can be for you all x

FoxyRevenger Wed 22-May-13 15:16:28

Hi Survival,

Just a wee wave from me, checking in to see how you are doing.

I hope you're managing to chill out a little bit, your days seem so jam packed!!

PollyLogos Wed 22-May-13 20:46:24

Just wanted to say 'Hello" and say that I think you are being amazing. x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 25-May-13 07:10:37

Well, today it is a month since dh died and I still can't really believe it (or the journey that we have taken since that awful evening). It's like I'm in some horrid dream that I'm hoping will end and that my marathon of managing alone (with an army of fab helpers) will be finished. And then it hits me that this is really only the very beginning and it takes my breath away all over again.
We are all missing dh so very much in so many ways (and ds2 at 2.15a.m every night when he's mostly asleep and cries out for him). We miss his cuddles, his big smile, his constant love and support, and his relaxed attitude (even though it sometimes drove me slightly bonkers!) I'm doing my very best to look after the boys as well as I can and to help them along their journey into this whole new world, but, gosh, it's tiring (especially after a couple of very short nights).

We bought memory boxes yesterday and the boys want to decorate theirs over the weekend. I've bought a file for all the probate paperwork and so, practically at least, we are taking the next small steps. It is half term now and ds1 has really benefitted from less visitors this week, as he requested, because he has had some of my undivided attention. I'm planning more opportunities for this in the coming days.

Ds1 has a urine infection, which he told me about at 5.30 last night, so I had a rush around to get antibiotics arranged. Much more planning required just to achieve the simplest of things.

The boys' appointments have come through for the 6th June (not next week) and a kind friend has agreed to come with us, as the families are all busy.

Time to start the day now. Thanks for your support.

saffronwblue Sat 25-May-13 09:00:27

I hope some nice things happen for you and the boys today. You are amazing.

Heavywheezing Sat 25-May-13 09:20:17

I have just read your post. As one mum with boys your sons ages.I'm so sorry.

ChippingInLovesSpring Sat 25-May-13 18:02:01

You are doing really well, I'm sure your DH would be immensely proud of you x smile

It is entirely shit & shouldn't be happening, it's so bloody unfair.

Lots of love & strength - and know, no matter what, you aren't alone x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 25-May-13 22:12:41

Thank you for your lovely messages.

Today started awfully. Ds1 cried non-stop for about 30 minutes because he didn't want to go back to his swimming lesson (which he subsequently really enjoyed). He then threw his favourite teddy in the bathroom bin while I was in the shower because he was angry. I insisted it then had to go in the wash, which made everything much worse. He and ds2 then decided they wanted to go and live with their grandparents. Having tried to jolly them out of it, I eventually got the phone and started to dial numbers. Both boys started crying and we kissed and made up.

At swimming we were surrounded by daddies and their children, which I hadn't factored in. I ended up blurting out our 'story' to a lady I've only spoken to a few times! (In fairness, it's a miracle I haven't told at least half a dozen checkout staff in the supermarkets I've been in since 25th April!)

The day improved greatly from there, with a visit from a lovely friend and her children. We potted up some tubs in the garden and then had a visit from the local fire officers who came to talk to me about fire safety (at my own request) and let the boys sit in the cab and wear their helmets. The boys were made up! The day ended nicely.

I'm feeling lonely tonight and wishing we could turn the clock back. The last month has proved to me how brilliant our friends are, and I'm definitely not alone, but they're not dh, and somehow I have to carry on finding the strength to support our gorgeous boys without him. After two consecutive short nights, that seems like a rather daunting task. My determination to get it right for them will see me through though, I know.

lucidlady Sat 25-May-13 22:33:51

Thinking of you x

YoniMitchel Sat 25-May-13 22:49:41

you are amazing, I am in awe of your strength and determination x

JewelFairies Sat 25-May-13 23:16:24

biscuit and brew and thanks
Thinking of you every day and still in awe of what you are doing. Have had a few chats with dh and it is pretty clear neither of us would manage as well as you are.
(Name changed 'virtual friend' here from the postnatal thread)

JewelFairies Sat 25-May-13 23:22:15

Random thought. Have you thought of having two photo books printed 'me and my daddy' one for each ds? It would mean sorting through five years of photos to choose ones with each ds and daddy and there will be some overlapping ones of course from the last three years. But I could see your boys taking some comfort from the lovely times they had.

ScienceRocks Sun 26-May-13 01:13:30

Survival, I can't believe a month has passed. There isn't an hour of a day that has passed without me thinking of you. You are doing tremendously well, stay in the here and now for the time being. It sounds as though ds1 is struggling, but hopefully some down time over half term will help.

I am also a pn friend. Stay with us, we are all there for you. Whatever and whenever you need it. Much much love and hugs x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 27-May-13 08:03:56

Thank you, as ever. I like the idea of the photobooks. They do have 2-3 general photo albums from baby days until aged 3, but not specifically focussed on them and dh. There would be plenty of photos as I was always the one behind the camera.

Ds1 had a very sad day yesterday. He told me at one point that he wanted to show me a picture. He took me to our wedding photos that hang in the stairwell and cried because be was worried we'd have to take them down now. I showed him my wedding ring and said that I still wear it and that we'd only ever take them form if we all decided we wanted to.

He's very hard to help as he's not a cuddly boy and often runs off if you try to console him. I can't work out if he does it for attention and actually wants to be followed, or if he genuinely wants space, so I generally go after him and sit quietly at a little distance, offering a cuddle from time to time.

Yesterday we spent a successful day with my in laws here and I guess it must have felt strange for the boys as dh would always have been here when the in laws visited.

Ds2 was up for an hour in the night being sad about Daddy. He is still asking when Daddy is going to come home at night, although in the daytime he does seem to understand a little better. Again, I'm not sure if he's just enjoying my company in the night, or if that's really the unfortunate time at which he processes it all. I feel I have to go with it for the time being. Doesn't help improve my tiredness though!

Sending you a big hug. What you are doing in holding everything together for your boys is amazing. Be kind to yourself too - as you say its still really early days for you all. I love the photo books idea. I think that would be lovely for your boys if it wasn't too painful for you. Thinking of you all x

Cross posted. More hugs and it sounds like you are handling everything just right even if it probably doesn't always feel like it. Your boys will continue to be sad but with you as their Mum they are very lucky x

Ilovegeorgeclooney Mon 27-May-13 12:29:22

So so sorry. My DH also died suddenly of a heart problem, SADS, he was slightly older 51 and our DC were in their teens. I think you just have to muddle through, two years later we are still going and still missing him dreadfully but it is more affectionate memories than the gut wrenching pain of the first year. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 28-May-13 07:52:33

Sorry to hear that your dh has died too Ilove. Thank you for giving me some reassurance that we might not always feel quite this awful.

We had a fairly okay day yesterday, with the usualS ups and downs. Mariah Carey's 'There's a hero' came on the radio as I drove home from shopping. That finished me off and I'm sure the people in the traffic jam around me probably noticed!

ClimbingPenguin Tue 28-May-13 20:39:59

oh Survival sad I don't think anyone would have withstood that song.

How you doing tonight?

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 29-May-13 08:13:03

Worked on the photobooks far too late! My db is coming today and is staying over so I can have a little lie in tomorrow morning. 1:1 time planned for ds1 and I this a.m which will be nice.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Wed 29-May-13 09:48:56

Good that your DB is coming, hoping you can rest.
hugs

ScienceRocks Wed 29-May-13 11:32:21

Good work on the photo books. Would the boys like to choose some photos for a collage print they can have on the wall of their bedroom? They could even write things around the edges.

Enjoy your one to one time with ds1 and your db's visit x

ScienceRocks Wed 29-May-13 11:32:21

Good work on the photo books. Would the boys like to choose some photos for a collage print they can have on the wall of their bedroom? They could even write things around the edges.

Enjoy your one to one time with ds1 and your db's visit x

Gingerbreadlatte Sat 01-Jun-13 12:26:58

How are things survival ? I've been lurking on your thread from the start. You sound amazingly strong at such a difficult time x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 01-Jun-13 23:22:52

I've had a hard few days. I've always found school holidays hard, and this one has been tiring. Ds1 has had a couple of meltdowns and it's hard to know how to help him. Ds2 is still constantly damp, which has been his reaction to all this since day 1, but I'm getting fed up of washing 5 pairs of trousers a day 5 weeks later. We've had some lovely visitors, and I've built in plenty of down time too so that the boys have had my attention.

I've ordered ds1's photobook but haven't had the strength yet to start ds2's. I will obviously keep ds1's until I have both ready. I think they'll be relatively unimpressed now, but will appreciate them as they get bigger. I've called it 'My adventures with Daddy'. It was hard to put together as it really drove home what we've lost.

I can only liken all this to the feelings of becoming parents for the first time - the shock of the world changed forever; the busy nature of the first few weeks, with gifts, flowers and visits from people you haven't seen in ages; and the tiredness - overwhelming, bone-numbing tiredness that zaps your memory capacity and leaves you with little energy to do the most basic of tasks. I remember hitting a metaphorical wall at about 6 weeks with ds1, before he started to sleep a bit more, feed regularly and smile a lot. At that point, the fog lifted and we settled into life as a family of 3. I'm 5.5 weeks into this strange new world, as a family of 3 again - but with different members, and my energy levels are very low. The bad news is that I know we are not about to turn a corner and that, somehow, I just have to keep on going. I know I need to lower my standards, go to bed earlier and generally be kinder to myself, but I'm a perfectionist and it's not easy to do. I need to play more with the boys and try to nag them less about the small things. I, of all people, should know how unimportant the small things are, after all, but tiredness makes it hard to be patient.

Then there's the tears... I can't talk about dh at the moment without 'leaking', as ds1 calls it. I was never one for crying in public. I know nobody minds, and people are probably relieved, but I worry that once I start, I might not be able to stop.

The financial side of things is gradually becoming clearer and looks like we will be okay, but it is always on my mind. I feel very responsible for getting things in place to be able to provide for the boys, but I know nothing about financial stuff. I've made an appointment to see a financial advisor we know and trust for a week on Monday. Hopefully, I will sleep better after that.

I need to go to bed but there's no one here to encourage me to turn off MN! Practically, I'm coping pretty well. We're all eating, beds are changed, homework is done... There's just this ache inside that doesn't go away. Music helps to distract me for a while, as does bouncing on the trampoline with the boys or running after them on their bikes in the park, but it's always there, reminding me that things will always be slightly worse, no matter how much better they get in time. Generally, I try to forget that, and concentrate on each little step instead. Changing the beds, mastering the use of the petrol lawn mower and remembering all the boys' daily medicines are small victories along the way. My determination to make the best of this still remains. Hopefully, a good night will give me more physical strength to take tomorrow's steps.

ScienceRocks Sat 01-Jun-13 23:58:43

Survival, you are doing brilliantly. You really really are. Stop beating yourself up about being a perfectionist (oh, the irony) and just take it as it comes.

I'm not sure the fog will lift in the same way that it does with a newborn baby, but I wonder that it will gradually get easier, and one day you will realise that the day has not been as much of a struggle. And the the next day will be a little easier.

You will carry this pain with you forever, I suspect, but it will get more manageable. In the meantime, please please try to be kind to yourself. Are you keeping a journal? A gratitude journal might help - writing down a couple of things each day that feel like achievements or have gone well. Doing that each night just as you go to bed may mean you go to sleep feeling more positive and wake up the next day feeling a little more refreshed.

Remember that holidays are always going to be the hardest times. Next week, when the DSs are back at school etc, you will have a little more time to breathe.

hugs

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 02-Jun-13 00:00:43

Thank you, as always.

tumbletumble Sun 02-Jun-13 07:26:14

Hi Survival, I've been away for half term so just caught up on your thread. It's hard to know what to say, yes it will get easier over time but you are right that it will always be slightly worse. My heart aches for you and your little boys. The photo books sound lovely, what a precious memory they will be.

You do seem to be managing brilliantly and I hope the financial advisor can reassure you about the financial side of things.

I'm sure you know that DS2's toilet regression is very normal. Can imagine the extra washing is a bit soul destroying though.

Wish I could say something helpful but instead will just hold your hand xx

Survival,

You are doing incredibly: I am in awe of what you are doing, and the resilience and sense of humour you show while doing it. Changing beds ... good grief!

You seem like such a wonderful, loving family. The sort of people I would love to know in RL and would feel honoured to support in such a time of need. I'm sure your friends feel exactly the same, and ache to be able to stop the 'leaks' and to help in some tangible permanent fashion.

Wishing you and your boys the very best - keep posting if and when you can: you write wonderfully well, and hopefully one day this can be part of YOUR memory book! Much love. XX

JewelFairies Sun 02-Jun-13 19:41:17

Survival, is dd2 bothered by the wet pants? Would offering him pull ups help to keep attention away from him esp in nursery?
My em had treatment for aggressive and advanced cancer when my brother was 4. He regressed as well and went back into pull ups for a few months. It solved itself quite quickly and he wasn't embarrassed about wetting himself.

MunchkinsMumof2 Sun 02-Jun-13 20:19:28

You are doing brilliantly Survival, I have thought about you and your darling boys many times this week and I admire your courage so much. I think that as there isn't a tried and tested protocol to follow with grief, it's an ever changing emotion but you being there for your boys and being kinder to yourself and acknowledging your daily achievements, can only be positive for you all. Sending love and I hope you have a better sleep tonight x

JewelFairies Sun 02-Jun-13 22:16:01

Ds2.. dm... Must learn to proof read!!!!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 02-Jun-13 23:12:21

Thank you all.

We've had a much better day today. Successful bike ride in the park with both boys on my own, roast dinner cooked, etc.. We had no visitors during the day today and the boys are very settled when they have my full attention.

Think I might ring the hv re ds2 and discuss the toileting regression. Pull ups might be a good idea.

I don't think you can be amazing in this situation - I am really just making it all up as I go along! It is lovely to get some reassurance though!

ScienceRocks Sun 02-Jun-13 23:49:57

Of course you are making it up as you go along... But you are making it up and making sense of it <doffs cap>

<surveys cap hair and sighs>

<realises the cap was imaginary and my hair looks the same as ever>

<wonders if this kind of thing is suitable on this thread, but hopes it has made Survival smile>

maxeen123 Mon 03-Jun-13 00:41:26

So sorry for your family's loss reading all your update you seem to be coping well and have found your inner strength carry on doing what you are doing sending you love

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 03-Jun-13 23:43:06

It did make me smile Science.

Today I took myself to the park and the football pitch where dh died. It was not an easy thing to do but it felt right (and I need to be able to take the boys to play there if they want to at some point, as it's our closest and a favourite). I just stood for a few moments and reflected on that awful evening (and remembered that when I turned to see dh in the back of the ambulance receiving cpr, I shouted, "Oh fuck!" loudly, before apologising for my bad language!) I'm sure it will never be easy to go there, but it can only get easier now I've made that initial visit. Just driving past on the main road reminds me of my crazy Bond girl driving that night (on the wrong side of the road - in the 30 mins since dh had gone to football, temporary traffic lights had been erected outside the park and there was a mile long queue. I decided I didn't have time to sit in it, bunged the hazard lights on and made my way carefully past all the standing traffic, much to the annoyance of the drivers I was passing).

saffronwblue Tue 04-Jun-13 06:56:23

Survival you are very brave. That must have been so hard to go back to the park and relive that night.

Homebird8 Tue 04-Jun-13 09:22:31

Wow, going back to the park must have been hard. Perhaps it will make it possible for you to take the boys there now.

From everything you tell us Survival, it sounds like you two would have moved heaven and earth for each other. It made me smile to think of you with your hazards on just doing what you had to do. I'm sure that whatever you have to do now you can draw on the strength the two of you had. Pop your hazards on and go for it.

FoxyRevenger Thu 06-Jun-13 08:22:50

Survival, you're on my mind a lot, and your wee boys too.

I think you sound great; you could easily crumble but you're just not going to allow it, are you?

Going back to the park...that must have been so hard.

We are still here, you know, still thinking of you.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 06-Jun-13 23:50:49

Thank you. Will update tomorrow.

Homebird8 Fri 07-Jun-13 01:59:05

flowers

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 07-Jun-13 06:34:05

Thinking of you thanks.
I agree that you should put your DS2 in pull ups for a bit of respite (for him and you).

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 09-Jun-13 21:44:09

Thank you for your kind and positive words. I have no inention of crumbling, but I'm also going to try and forgive myself if/when I do. This has changed my perspective somewhat, and I am learning to forgive myself and give myself a bit of an easier ride.

Homebird I love your suggestion of popping my hazards on! Going for it, I am!

The boys had their initial heart screen tests on Thursday. Both echos were clear, as we expected them to be at this point. The ECGS say scary things across the top ('significant sinus arrhythmia' and 'abnormal ECG') but the consultant seemed to think this might be to do with the boys' age and the fact that the lady didn't put their ages into the machine. We have been referred straight onto our regional specialist cardiac team and their geneticists for good measure. The local man did confirm that this is not something to which I am going to get an answer next month, or next year, but something which is going to be part of our lives from now on. Quite how I get my head round that on my own (well, without dh, at least), I don't know.

The paediatrician did tell me that for people of our age (late 30s and older), a weekly dash at full speed around a football pitch/squash court etc.. with no underlying activity to develop fitness at other times is really not advisable. I have to say, I had repeatedly told dh this in recent months, without any medical knowledge to back it up, and he had told me to stop being daft. If I can write it here and can encourage anyone else to enjoy sport more sensibly, then that would be a great thing. I am also hoping to find a way of getting a screening session made available to dh's 5000 colleagues at work. I feel that this would be something good to come out of all this.

I had my own echo done on Friday and my heart looked good apparently. It was much less comfortable for me (with somewhat tender double D breasts to scan through/round!) than it was for my little boys. I did manage to reduce the two nurses to tears with our tale of the last couple of years!

The weekend has been a busy one. We attended the village church fete for an hour (which was hard, as I saw lots of people who wanted to tell me how sorry they are for our loss, and had to go back into the church where we held the funeral), and went to two barbeques as well. I've done the usual ironing and have almost finished ds2's photobook entitled 'my adventures with Daddy'. Ds1's book arrived on Friday and it's great. I will keep it hidden until i can given them both their books at the same time. I suspect they will be somewhat underwhelmed at the mo, but will appreciate them more as they get older. Hopefully, it will particularly help ds2, who's memory of dh might otherwise be a bit sketchy, due to his age.

Less tears this weekend, but I'm aware that Father's Day (and related activities at school) will make this a tricky week ahead.

JewelFairies Sun 09-Jun-13 21:44:52

Survival, I hope your weekend has gone well. Thought of you a lot as I was in sole charge and will be for a few more days. I'm exhausted, and this is only a temporary thing and without the trauma of a bereavement. Hope you get a chance to take a little time for yourself now and then to recharge your batteries a bit. brew biscuit

JewelFairies Sun 09-Jun-13 21:45:35

Oops, x post. thanks

MunchkinsMumof2 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:11:59

Well done Survival, you have got through tricky and stressful situations with bravery and dignity and have every right to feel very proud of yourself. Having tests on you and your boys would be hard going in the best of times but I guess knowledge is power in this situation. I hope you have things to look forward to and your boys have a good week. Be extra kind to yourself wrt Fathers Day. Sending love and strength x

ScienceRocks Sun 09-Jun-13 23:19:30

Well done on the tests, and it sounds as though they are being very honest with you about when you might get results. This is definitely better than false promises or warnings, though it may well not feel like it at the moment.

The fete sounds hard work, but I am sure you managed with your usual dignity and courage. And you have done extraordinarily well to get the photo books done in such a short space of time, great that they look so good.

How are the boys doing? Are they getting used to the new normal? And you? How are evenings?

I hope you have something nice planned for next Sunday. Hopefully the school and nursery will factor your situation into their planning, and remember that your boys need a little handholding with Father's Day looming.

<more hugs>

Thinking of you with love.

Xxx

FoxyRevenger Wed 12-Jun-13 13:29:05

Survival, I think that must be right; giving yourself a break if you crumble at points. I don't think anyone could not have moments where they need to just stop and try to breathe. Thinking of you with love. xx

waltergal1 Thu 13-Jun-13 02:41:40

sending you thoughts, support, and big hugs! Hang in there...always remember the memories and keep smiling for your boys smile

Homebird8 Thu 13-Jun-13 08:58:25

Whew, what a lot is going on for you Survival. All the heart information and testing must be filling your mind. You will find a way to live with the checks for the boys and it's comforting news about your own heart once they found it behind your curves just a bit jealous with only A cups to boast of wink

* I am also hoping to find a way of getting a screening session made available to dh's 5000 colleagues at work.*

Wow, now that would be a triumph. Possibly not as big a challenge as making it to the church fete though. Well done!

tumbletumble Thu 13-Jun-13 10:49:03

Well done on getting through your busy weekend and making progress with the screening.

I will be thinking of you and your boys on Father's day.

TwentyTinyToes Thu 13-Jun-13 21:34:44

Thinking of you and your boys, i think you are doing so well. X

timetopost Thu 13-Jun-13 22:11:39

Just want to let you know that I've read your thread and Im thinking of you and your boys. I can't find any suitable words, I'm so incredibly sorry to read of your sad loss. You are doing an absolutely fantastic job of taking care of your boys, I'm sure they will grow up being incredibly proud of you. I will be thinking of you all on Sunday x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 15-Jun-13 00:26:43

Thank you all again for your kind words of encouragement.

I've had a pretty good week. I began by reminding the boys about following instructions at the first time of asking and this dramatically improved their behaviour, and immediately decreased the nagging from me. This has led to a more harmonious atmosphere.

Yesterday passed (7 weeks) without me noticing it was a Thursday. I think this is a big milestone. Could also just be that I am very tired due to ds2's 90 minute night wakings that have occurred each night this week! It even included ds1's first sports day, which dh wouldn't have missed for the world, and we got through it in one piece.

Tonight, our best man drew the short straw and has helped me go through our entire two drawer filing cabinet. This has helped me to feel much more in control and organised for the future.

Two big things have happened today. Firstly, I have paid off a large chunk of our mortgage. I'd have given the money back in an instant to have dh back, but in terms of the new life that we are starting, it was a good thing to be able to do.

Secondly, and much more worryingly, I had a copy of the letter today that the local cardio consultant dictated to the regional one during the boys' appointments last week. He has added a note at the end, having scrutinised their ecgs more closely, which says that ds2's ecg shows some arrhythmia. This was a huge blow as I thought it had all gone well and that the boys were currently clear. I spoke to one of our GPs, who reassured me a bit, but I shook again all afternoon, like I did for those first five days. He thinks we should get seen in about 2 weeks and I will have to try and keep calm in the meantime. I have worked very hard at not appearing anxious or talking about their health in front of the boys.

On a nicer note, the boys have had their photobooks from me today and seemed to really love them. The Star Wars helium balloons they want to release on Sunday have arrived and they have asked to take them to the park where dh was playing football. They have both made cards for daddy to go in their memory boxes.

I have a busy weekend ahead. Some of my lovely friends are coming over with takeaway tomorrow night and are then staying over. They will leave after breakfast and we will take the balloons, bikes and football to the park (gulp). Luckily, ds2's best friend's birthday is on Sunday so we are then going to see them for a birthday barbeque, which will be perfect. This weekend represents the first key date in the calendar to get through. I know it won't be easy, but I feel better about it at the mo than I expected to. That has to be a good place to start. If ds2 will now let me get some sleep, that would be even better!

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 15-Jun-13 07:35:42

I am in awe sotu, you are amazing flowers.
Thinking of you for this week end, glad to hear that you have support with you.
Sorry to hear about your DS2 though. Do say if you need something.
Can you co-sleep for a while, so you don't have to be up during the night?
Sending virtual hugs.

ScienceRocks Sat 15-Jun-13 09:32:58

Glad your week has been better (other than the cardiac letter) and that you have plans for Sunday. Will be thinking of you x

TwentyTinyToes Sun 16-Jun-13 07:21:55

I hope today passes gently for you all. As someone upthread has said, i am in awe of you and how you are coping. X

PollyLogos Sun 16-Jun-13 08:16:16

I hope you did indeed get a better nights sleep and that today you have a pleasant day with your sons, friends and good memories and not too much sadness.

You are absolutely amazing. Truly. I hope never to be where you are, but if I were to find myself there, I would think of you in order to find the strength and inspiration to go on.

Love to all 3 of you today.

XXX

MunchkinsMumof2 Sun 16-Jun-13 19:23:19

I hope today has been as pleasant as it can be in the circumstances and you've shared some fond memories of your dh. I have thought of you and hope you have a good week x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 16-Jun-13 21:33:23

You are all so lovely!

It has been a hard day, not helped by another short night. My lovely friends who had stayed over took the boys downstairs while I went back to sleep for an hour. I also had the opportunity to have a long shower without having to listen for the boys. That gave me the opportunity to have a cry and to steel myself for the day ahead. The boys decided to release their Star Wars balloons in the garden before we went to the park (where dh was playing football on the evening of his collapse). I showed them where the pitches were, where I had run from and to, to reach him in the ambulance (it was quite a distance!) and then we kicked the football around and blew Daddy some bubbles. We had an ice lolly and a quick play on the play equipment, before going to a barbeque with ds1's godparents and a couple of dh's closest work colleagues. I was pretty knackered by then, but they were all happy to let me sit for most of the time. We came home, did ds1's homework and both ds were asleep by 6:30pm. I've done the ironing and am now ready for bed myself.

I've had the chorus from the Scouting For Girls song 'This Ain't A Love Song' going round in my head all day ('And I'm a little bit lost without you; And I'm a bloody big mess inside', but it does go on to say 'I'm going down, but I'll be coming back fighting; I may be scared and a little bit frightened, but I'll be back, I'll be coming back to life.. And you can try, but you'll never keep me down...') This sums up my thoughts well at the moment. Each time I sit here with tears in my eyes, I hear dh's voice saying, "Come on, girl.. keep going..." It's giving me a lot of strength and makes me smile.

The only thing I really need to do is to believe more in myself. My self-confidence has never been high and dh was the one who was most able to support me in believing in myself. Now I have to finally learn how to believe in myself without his reassurance. He would say, "About bloody time!", and again it makes me smile.

I'm going to bed now, but didn't want to end this first milestone without reflecting.

ScienceRocks Mon 17-Jun-13 07:50:03

Oh survival, yesterday was always going to be hard. Well done on surviving, and it sounds like the boys had a good day.

Please try and believe in yourself a bit more. While your DH may have been the one to give you confidence, allow yourself to look back over the last few weeks and reflect on what a fantastic job you have been doing. Look at your boys and let how well they are managing also fill you with pride in them and yourself. And also, just because your DH isn't with you to tell you that you are getting it right, you know he would be saying it. He would be so proud of how you are doing.

Hope things feel better this morning and you got a decent night's sleep x

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Mon 17-Jun-13 10:17:49

As always SR is right. Look at the thread everyone agrees that you are "worth it".
Thinking of you.

ClimbingPenguin Tue 18-Jun-13 10:01:06

Well we are all here to believe in you while you figure it out fully for yourself. Hope today is going well

SconesForTea Tue 18-Jun-13 23:33:22

You are doing amazingly Survival.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 21-Jun-13 21:39:56

Another week draws to a close. I am now 8 weeks in to my new life: still very tired; up and down; have had pmt this week, which is now passing; migraine today and yet feeling happier than I have for a couple of days! I can't predict at the moment how things will be from one day to the next.

Both boys took their photobooks into school/pre-school today and enjoyed showing them to friends/staff. I think this is a good thing that they wanted to share them. They seem to have had a reasonably positive week, although ds1 did say a couple of days ago, "When I get into bed in the dark, I have very dark thoughts and they make me sad." My poor five year old is too wise for his age. He has had some difficult dreams, including one about me being sent to prison and one about dh coming back. At least he is telling me and letting me comfort him, as he doesn't usually like cuddles very much. I have propped his blackout blind so that a large shard of light can now get in while he is going to sleep and I have sat with him during the worst times.

I have had times in the last few weeks of worrying that I was particularly harsh on dh when he was alive (as he was somewhat lacking in the memory department during times of stress, which pretty much accounted for the last 3 years of our marriage, due to our boys' health issues!) This evening, I have tidied out a cupboard that ds1 started emptying this morning. In a pile of random items, I found last year's Valentine's card from dh to me. It says, "To my beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful wife - to the love of my life and my very best friend - I am so very lucky. All my love, Mr Survival" This made me sob, but it made me feel so relieved that I couldn't have been that horrible all the time!! I shall keep it in the beautiful memory box that my friend brought round to me the other night (that she has had made for me). It's funny, because I had no intention of tidying out the cupboard tonight, and probably wouldn't otherwise have found it for weeks or months. I've had the hardest few days yet in the last week, and then I have found something so lovely and reassuring that has picked me up and will carry me forwards again. In addition, the pots that my lovely friend and I planted out a few weeks ago are looking beautiful in my garden tonight and I still feel that we have a lot to be thankful for, despite the situation in which we find ourselves. I hope this feeling, and my optimism, will last as I think it is seeing me through.

Might not be posting for a few days as the laptop is being taken by a friend to see if he can sort out some issues with connectivity.

ScienceRocks Fri 21-Jun-13 22:04:57

Of course you weren't too harsh, survival. Your DH adored you, as you did him. So pleased you found the card and it made you feel good.

Glad the boys are sharing their thoughts and memories with you and others too.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other, my friend, and remember that many of us are thinking of you every step of the way.

JewelFairies Fri 21-Jun-13 23:29:26

What SR said. We really need a 'like' button on mn!!!

Homebird8 Sat 22-Jun-13 07:26:35

I'm sure you weren't harsh Survival. If we've seen anything of you here, it is that you are real. That card is about the real woman he loved and I'm so glad you found it.

tumbletumble Sat 22-Jun-13 09:49:03

Just read your Father's Day post with tears in my eyes at the thought of your DH saying "Come on girl... Keep going...". And how wonderful for you to find that card and your DH's incredible words. Of course you got cross with him sometimes when you were stressed - you're only human! But it's clear that the two of you loved each other very, very much.

You can do it, Survival.

MunchkinsMumof2 Sat 22-Jun-13 14:27:51

I echo the posters that have said your dh loved you because you are you. No marriage is perfect and we all make mistakes and say and do things we regret but essentially yours sounded like a good relationship based on friendship and respect. You are so eloquent and are such a good Mum and i know from experience that people like you are easy to love and easily forgiven for any flaws. Keep going just how you are and without wishing to sound woo, I think you were meant to find your dh's lovely card this week. Sending love and strength xx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 22-Jun-13 20:59:15

Thank you all. (Laptop still here tonight!) You are so very kind and it really does help me.

Bearcrumble Wed 26-Jun-13 20:52:45

Thinking of you and the boys. You have been so wonderfully self aware and articulate about how you're feeling.

I hope you are getting enough support for yourself.

So sorry that DS2's heart trace has a few questions over it - hoping they are not anything significant.

xx

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 26-Jun-13 22:59:17

Thanks bc.
I've been asking for and accepting help in the last few days as I've been struggling a bit. I think I'm just tired.
Today went pretty well until I collected ds1 from school. He'd been to meet his new teacher with the class and she asked them all to draw their family. He told me after bedtime, finally, after a few unsettled hours, and said, "Mummy, I just couldn't." We talked it all through and his main concern is that he doesn't want to go into Yr 1 because he thinks his teacher doesn't know about his daddy. I have every confidence that we will sort this out in the morning at school, but my heart ached for him. He drew a picture of the rest of us in the end apparently, and I told him I thought he'd been very brave. Gulp!

Tabliope Wed 26-Jun-13 23:14:22

Poor little fellow. I've been following your thread. I'm so sorry for what has happened. You sound so strong even though I know you probably don't feel it. I'm glad your little boy is opening up to you. Take care.

ScienceRocks Wed 26-Jun-13 23:24:52

Oh, your poor DS, Survival. Doesn't sound like it was handled very sensitively at the school though...

Well done on asking for and accepting help, but sorry you are so tired sad

Still thinking of you all a lot. You know where we are if you need to vent in any way <hugs>

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 26-Jun-13 23:54:36

Thank you. I need to learn to remember that when he's having a complete meltdown, it means something has happened that I will hear about later. I am being pretty patient anyway, but I do reach my limits with him at times. How guilty I feel now! My friend did remind me that I am only human!

Homebird8 Thu 27-Jun-13 02:55:44

I am so shock angry shock at school for putting your DS1 in that position. Of course he 'just couldn't'. Who could?

You are an amazing safe place for him to be able to share his experiences with though and you mustn't forget that. It will take time for him to bring things up sometimes and you aren't a mind reader so please don't expect unrealistic things of yourself. You are what he needs and he will feel safer for realising that you are human too.

Good luck in the morning. I'm sure you'll hear all the 'right' things. Make sure they know that you need them to think for themselves too though. None of your lives need to be made harder by thoughtlessness. flowers

SconesForTea Thu 27-Jun-13 09:54:15

Holding your hand. It's great that you feel able to ask for and accept help. Of course you're tired. It's all still so new, bizarre and horrible. Your poor DS. It sounds as if the teacher wasn't aware?

TwentyTinyToes Thu 27-Jun-13 20:57:18

Hope your chat with the school went ok, i am shocked at their lack of thought. Poor little boy. sad

Please continue to ask and accept help, your boys are so lucky to have you to help them through this, but of course you need to look after yourself too. Once again i am in awe of your strength. X

ClimbingPenguin Fri 28-Jun-13 21:40:16

Good luck for the weekend, it is suppose to be nice (I think)

timetopost Sat 29-Jun-13 20:55:56

Hello Survival, I've not been able to log on for a little while, but I wanted you to know that I'm still thinking of you. You are doing an amazing job, I hope it helps you to know that there are many, many people who are inspired by you and wishing you and your boys well.

I hope all went well when you went in to your DS's school, it must have been a very difficult and emotional conversation.

You're doing so incredibly well, I'm glad you are accepting help, I'm sure that is helping you (I think it will be helping your loved ones, as they will be wanting to do all they can to support you).

Take care x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:22

I don't think I've posted the fact that the school responded well re the family drawing situation. Ds1 seems to have forgotten it now.
I have also spoken at length to the regional cardiac nurse who co-ordinates the response to families dealing with sudden cardiac death and possible genetic links. We won't be seen until August, which seems like a long time to wait, knowing that ds2 had some cardiac anomalies. They are the right people to see though, so I must steel myself.
Well, we've had an interesting weekend. Ds2 fell about 3.5ft down from a moving piece of play equipment yesterday lunchtime onto his head and back. The thud made me feel sick. Miraculously, the only injury at the time was a grazed, bruised and swollen ear that he caught on a tyre as he hit the hard ground. However, a few hours later, he started losing a bit of blood through the nostril on that side of his head. I did some watchful waiting and decided at 8.30 this a.m, when it was still bleeding to brave A&E. It took 4 medics to decide that he was okay, and we left nearly 2 hours later. The trip involved using the resus toilets next to the room where dh was on the evening of his death and telling the receptionist that dh was no longer ds2's next of kin. I then carried on with a very busy day and cooked a roast chicken that had maggots in it!
Upon reflection, and for only the second time since dh died, I can see I've coped well today. I also saw the lovely lady who looked after dh, and then me, on the evening of his death. She shouted my name down the corridor and gave me a big hug. I'm not sure being known by staff in A&E is a thing to aspire to!
The boys and I went for a lovely walk in the fields tonight before bedtime to make sure the day ended positively. They said they were on an adventure and it reignited my desire to start making memories again with them. The nurse today also said what happy boys I have. This warmed my heart.
I contacted Cruse this week re counselling for me and they probably won't see me for about 8 weeks. This worries me a bit as I know I need to start the process now. However, she offered me the Samaritans' number and I know I am a million miles away from needing it, today at least. After a day like today, that's about as much as I can hope for at the mo.

Awks Sun 30-Jun-13 22:18:12

Gawd reading your thread makes me feel sad and proud of you at the same time. You will be okay - all of you and that will be down to your strength of character and your determination. A shite thing happened to you all and I am so sorry and I wish you all the luck and love in the world x

ScienceRocks Sun 30-Jun-13 23:02:18

I think everyone in this thread would say that you cope fantastically well every day, but it's about your perception, not ours. So I am really pleased that - despite such an eventful weekend - you feel you have done well today. Hold on to that feeling if you can.

Is there another counselling service you can access? Your gp may be able to help. You really shouldn't have to wait that long.

Homebird8 Mon 01-Jul-13 04:04:07

I am so glad that school responded well to your family drawing situation and that DS1 has managed to put it behind him. I hope that means now that you and school feel like you're working together again.

A&E must have been really hard to return to. A hard one to come to terms with that you're remembered there though the hug must have been welcome. Glad DS2 came away from it all fine. Children are remarkably resilient although they make the most dreadful noises to go with their adventures sometimes.

Good idea to get a positive adventure in later on. Don't worry, you'll make those memories. flowers

MunchkinsMumof2 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:25:12

Wow, Survival life is really throwing so much at you but despite that you are still coping and still always thinking about how to make a good life for your sons. You are inspirational and such a good role model for your darling boys. I hope your son's head is less sore and I also hope you can start bereavement counselling soon as it can only help. Sending love and strength x

You are amazing, Survival. You honestly are.

Lots of love. Xxx

GoatsHaveStrangeEyes Mon 01-Jul-13 16:07:43

As a woman who's dad died young (he was 41, I was 13, dbros 9 and 7 and dsis 4) I can honestly say you are amazing. You are an inspiration to me x

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 01-Jul-13 22:34:31

Thank you very much. Honestly, I'm just bumbling along!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 01-Jul-13 22:35:13

And, Goats, so sorry for your loss.

timetopost Tue 02-Jul-13 21:41:40

Survival, I'm really pleased to hear that things are sorted with the school.

So sorry to hear about your little one, you must have been very frightened, and having to go back to A&E must have been very difficult for you. I'm glad that he's ok now.

Keep remembering what the nurse said about you having happy boys - that in its self shows what an incredible job you are doing.

tumbletumble Wed 03-Jul-13 07:19:23

Hi Survival, well done for your feeling that you are doing well, have a pat on the back from me!

Sorry to hear you've got to wait for your counselling and the cardiac specialist. Hope you can hang in there okay until then. What are your plans for the summer holidays?

saffronwblue Wed 03-Jul-13 13:20:39

Survival I am in awe of how you navigate each new situation and always put your boys first.

HomageToCannelloni Wed 03-Jul-13 14:14:17

Survival. Just read through your entire thread and I just want to thank you for sharing your journey. You evidently have a great inner strength and determination, both of which are to be admired, especially after all you have been through. Your boys are very lucky to have you as their mum. I will think of you whenever I'm feeling sorry for myself, and it will encourage me to find the positive in each day as you are doing. You truly are an inspiration. Good luck with your new life, though from where I'm sitting you won't need it with the great attitude you have.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 03-Jul-13 23:27:14

What lovely posts - thank you.

It transpired that ds2 probably bruised one of his kidneys in his fall at the weekend. The blood in his urine seems to be decreasing so the gp was unconcerned. You really couldn't make up a story about our lives at the moment!

The health visitor came out on Monday. She is new so I had to go through ds2's history. She was thinking of starting a CAF for us, I think, which feels a bit weird as I usually contribute towards them for families with whom I work. However, they can be very positive and I do agree with her that I have got quite a lot of plates spinning at the moment. I find I can remain upbeat and positive through conversations about it all until someone asks about me directly.

The summer holidays scare me slightly. We used to plan for dh to have 2 separate weeks off work so that I didn't have the children on my own for too long in one go. 6 weeks is going to take some doing now! I'm looking into activities that the boys can do so we can all have a break, but there aren't many options for ds2 because he is 3 (and ds1 is such a home boy that getting him to go anywhere may turn out to be more hassle than it's worth, but I shall try it). Lots of friends are suggesting trips out, but we will need to balance those with some relaxation at home. We have moved our holiday to the third week in September. The boys and I made a long list of things we'd like to do in the summer tonight so that will help. It will be a tricky time, but there are parents all over the place in similar scenarios. Unfortunately, I'm booked in to have a partially erupted lower wisdom tooth removed under local anaesthetic on the second day of term in September - not a great reward for getting through the 6 weeks!!

I'm going on ds1's school trip tomorrow so time for some beauty sleep.

ScienceRocks Thu 04-Jul-13 07:40:13

Survival, I know it isn't the same at all, but I find planning the long summer holiday works well for me. The DCs and I know what is happening pretty much day to day and it is really helpful in managing everyone's expectations and enabling me to get organised. The time also passes quickly. I tried to freestyle one summer and found it incredibly difficult (and slow).

The CAF sounds sensible, and you will have a a very different take on it to most. You could even think about it as continuing professional development!

<hugs>

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 05-Jul-13 22:36:38

I like that thought Science!

Planning the holidays makes good sense, I'm just not sure I've got the capacity to do it properly at the moment. Certainly, we have a lot of options and now it is just trying to sort out what fits together well.

Had a really good day today. When ds2 went to pre-school, I dug my bike out of the shed, found the key to dh's D lock (that I had forgotten he even used!), so that I could liberate my bike from his, attached the front wheel (and brake!), found the bike pump and guessed correctly how to use it. I only cycled for 20 minutes as it was very hot and I was a bit nervous being on my own (due to general wheeziness on a bike), but it was fab to feel I had mastered something (even if they were straightforward things I should have already known blush), and been out in the fresh air on my own for a bit. Some other mums are hoping to accompany me on a bike ride to a local pub next week, so that would be great.

I've also mended a broken door handle tonight and enjoyed the tennis. smile I went on ds1's school trip yesterday which was also good fun. The sunshine definitely helps.

JewelFairies Sat 06-Jul-13 09:47:05

Are there any holiday schemes near you for ds1, like Kings camp or similar? Something activity based where you can book him in for a day at a time? Might be nice if you can arrange the odd day just with one child to give them your full attention. And don't forget to plan something for yourself. Glad to hear you've been out cycling smile and quite impressed by your DIY skills!
brew and biscuit and thanks

saffronwblue Sun 07-Jul-13 23:50:03

The ride sounds lovely! Well done for maanging all the logistics around it.

With the holidays I think a chart detailing all the 6 weeks is a good idea. You can show your DS's how you will have (for example) one day out followed by one day at home. Put in things like a pyjama, movie and popcorn day. I have no doubt that you have friends who are keen to help and spend time with you. Try booking them in for easy low maintenance things like a picnic in the park or a garden day together.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 09-Jul-13 00:30:20

Thanks. I wanted to post tonight as I have officially finished the probate paperwork and accompanying ball ache tasks (date of death balances from all companies/utilities etc.., set of accounts, tax return...) My brother has been a big help this evening and I'm very grateful for his support. Now, I have to collect dh's original will, make copies, post it all, await a copy of the oath for swearing, go back to the solicitor to swear it, and then wait again for the Grant to come through. When I send it off to the relevant parties, I can begin to wind up the estate. I'm very glad to have done it myself, rather than paying others lots of money to do it for me, but it has been ridiculously convoluted. I fell the need for a celebration!

As rather an aside, I encouraged the boys to watch the last 30mins of the tennis with me yesterday. Dh would have been ecstatic to see a Brit win Wmbledon and it made me quite emotional. He would also be pleased to see the boys showing an interest.

Ds1 wanted answers to lots of medical questions about dh, and his death, tonight. I don't know if something prompted them, but I just tried to answer openly but without more detail than he needs aged 5. Ds2, meanwhile, said again yesterday, "Mummy, I'm still hoping Daddy will come back." More work to do, obviously.

saffronwblue Tue 09-Jul-13 03:43:30

Well done on that huge job of probate. I can understand lots of feelings around the tennis and those hard conversations with your boys. They must feel so secure with you that you will answer their questions. Their grief will not be complicated by secrets and mysteries. X

ScienceRocks Tue 09-Jul-13 06:43:41

Well done on doing all the probate (all your talk if swearing made me smile as the amount if work involved would make anyone swear). I think it fab that your ds1 is showing an interest in the medical side of things and the fact that he and ds2 feel so comfortable I. Talking to you about their feelings and questions are a huge indictment of your parenting (though it must be difficult to provide answers).

Keep putting one foot in front of the other, my friend, you are doing brilliantly x

SconesForTea Tue 09-Jul-13 10:45:48

Oh Survival. Your poor DS2. He is just too little to understand properly sad No reflection at all on how much work you have or haven't done.

Brilliant on getting through the probate nightmare so quickly - that really is impressive.

As for planning the summer hols, can a friend help you sit down and do it? I too would be (incredibly) daunted by both the long holidays and the planning of it. But I'm sure it will really help make it an enjoyable time.

FoxyRevenger Thu 11-Jul-13 12:41:16

Oh Survival, poor DS2, I suppose he will only begin to comprehend as life keeps going on with your new Team of 3.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 11-Jul-13 23:47:28

Ds1 brought his first school report home today. After a tough first year, with attendance of only 87%, due to all his medical appointments, injuries and time off for a few days when dh died in April, he has exceeded expectations in 4 areas, met them in all others, and is described as a very brave and determined boy who the teacher will miss next year. As a teacher myself, I couldn't find anything that needed reading between the lines, and I'm just so proud of him. I would never normally mention it on MN, and have resisted doing so on Facebook, but I think on this one occasion it is justified. One of my dearest friends said this week that the boys haven't changed as a result of dh's death. It made me cry because I think that's probably the biggest compliment she could give me right now. I know that it has changed everything, and the path of all our lives, but the fact that they are still lively, inquisitive, happy little boys has to be a good place from which to build our future.

SaveWaterDrinkMalibu Fri 12-Jul-13 00:55:12

Just seen this thread & have tears in my eyes

Sorry for your loss, you seem like you've coped amazingly well. Stay strong

ScienceRocks Fri 12-Jul-13 07:37:48

Survival, definitely take that compliment and hold it close! Sounds like your ds1 has done brilliantly in the most trying of circumstances and his report really reflects that (and I love the fact that the teacher in you couldn't help trying to find hidden messages grin). It is not boasting at all, it is simply confirmation of what a fantastic job you are doing (especially the 87% attendance which I think is amazing given what he has going on).

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 12-Jul-13 09:16:35

What Save and SR said. Be proud!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 12-Jul-13 09:22:37

Thank you ladies!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 13-Jul-13 00:24:25

This afternoon (as I haven't been to bed yet!), I took the boys to Wagamamas for tea on my own. This is a first and they behaved really well. (Well, apart from a bit of drumming on the table with the chopsticks and ds2 falling backwards off the bench, somehow getting his hands round to save himself, but then waiting, in handstand position, for me to dive round two tables to rescue him by his thighs!) I've also been for an 8 mile bike ride with friends. I felt free and joyous for the first time in 11 weeks. Beware the Saturday morning emotional crash, but at least we have a busy weekend (including a little light loft clearance) with friends.

Homebird8 Sat 13-Jul-13 00:37:37

I chuckled at your DS2 coming off the bench. Mean I know, but he reminded me of my DS1 who, at 10, still can't sit on a chair without falling off.

Well done on making plans for the harder times of the week. The loft stuff should be satisfying though I'll be thinking of you. You're bound to find some stuff which will rock you. flowers

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 13-Jul-13 08:45:50

Uurgh! After a lovely afternoon yesterday, I went to bed late, having finished the jobs late, only for ds1 to wake at 2am with a wet bed and feeling sick. He and I were then awake until about 5.15. At 5.30 he woke again with a shout, having had a nightmare, and that woke ds2 for the day! Today will be a test of endurance me thinks! I think the outside jobs I hoped to achieve with friends today will still happen, but not the loft stuff as the boys (and I!) will need to sleep after lunch and I don't want to infect our lovely friends. The situation also leaves us with a gaping housebound weekend ahead.

JewelFairies Sat 13-Jul-13 09:03:42

Survival sad Feel for you and hope you can all get some sleep after lunch. Dd2 has also been awake most of the night crying out with tummy ache every 20 minutes or so. She's now sleeping but I've been up for the day since before 5.
Be kind to yourself and don't try to do the impossible especially in this weather (forecast for 30 degrees where I am and I already feel hot).

Homebird8 Sat 13-Jul-13 09:27:33

Oh Survival, lack of sleep and poorly children is a nightmare at the best of times. Definitely let the loft wait. Mine waited years! If you're all well enough try to catch up with your friends. Otherwise now is the time for TV, easy to eat food and cutting yourself some slack. brew

<hurries off to stick a thermometer in DS1 and hope it's not a chest infection. 38.8 anyone?>

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 13-Jul-13 09:33:05

Hope all the poorly ones are better soon.

Homebird8 Sat 13-Jul-13 09:38:54

Thanks Survival. I'm only just better myself and he's so cuddly when he's not well. Too busy at work to be off sick again. Luckily I have the world's most understanding boss.

How's DS1? Hoping it's one of those things they just bounce back from leaving you knackered in their wake.

ClimbingPenguin Sat 13-Jul-13 19:37:27

Hope you survived the day. That sounds a night bad enough to break you even when things are going 'well'

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 13-Jul-13 19:48:02

Hope you had your nap, and can get an early night today.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Wed 17-Jul-13 23:37:04

Well, I have survived the long, hot, sleepless weekend and we're already halfway through the next week!

I posted the probate paperwork yesterday (after my mum had scanned and photocopied it all for me in the last week). It seemed like a big moment, yet I can't really explain why, other than the hours of labour and another step along our journey that it represents.

The other exciting thing is that, through the contacts of one of my lovely ante-natal MN thread friends, I have been invited to write a blog for the Huffington Post. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that initially I assumed that it was the local paper for a small town named Huffington somewhere in South East England. When someone gasped when I told them, I decided to Google it. Now I realise it is rather a bigger thing than that. It is lovely to feel enthusiasm for something once more, and just a smidge of hope that the future might be brighter than I have been able to envisage since April 25th. I have found writing my thoughts on here to be very cathartic, but I have not edited my thoughts at all (other than avoiding mentioning my MIL!) and it will be an interesting challenge to see if I can write something people might actually want to read, other than for the very kind purpose of supporting me, as on here. My problem now is that I am tempted to stay up too late when ideas flash into my head. I need a one line bio/main title for the blog, so if any of you are inspired to suggest one, based on what you've read on here, I'd be grateful. As you can see, writing concisely is nor one of my skills!
Ds1's head teacher has received some info from one of my colleagues about schools needing a bereavement policy. I have offered to work with the staff on this, as it is very similar to things I do for work anyway, and we have decided to move forward with it in September.

I've had a lovely evening tonight with one of my regular visitors and am feeling more positive than I have in a long time. Long may it last.

saffronwblue Wed 17-Jul-13 23:49:49

Wow the Huffington post is a HUGE deal! You write really well and I am sure there are many readers out there who will want to learn from you and share your journey. You should be really proud and I bet your DH would be too.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 20-Jul-13 07:47:32

thinking of you flowers

tumbletumble Sun 21-Jul-13 18:16:08

Hi Survival, I've just caught up on your thread and I'm incredibly impressed! Finishing probate, lunch at wagamamas with your boys, bike rides, the Huffington post offer and describing yourself as feeling 'free and joyous' a couple of posts ago - you are doing amazingly well (while not forgetting the memories of your lovely DH). You are an absolute star and an inspiration. Have a wine

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 22-Jul-13 11:00:18

Thank you (blushes a lot but gladly accepts the wine!) We're at the cinema now as an early holiday treat. Ds2 hasn't been before and loo trips for both might be entertaining!

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 25-Jul-13 22:23:57

Tonight it is exactly three calendar months since my wonderful dh died and I have been very contemplative today. It has been an extremely long three months, but also seems like yesterday. I still can't believe it at all and am waiting for support from Cruse to help me process stuff. In the menatime, my firs blog post about our situation has gone up today in the lifestyle section. I don't want to link to it directly on here in case people then google it and come back to this, but it has the word 'survive' in its title.

I'd like to thank all of you who have posted such lovely things on this thread in the last three months, as it has really helped me. I will come back and update from time to time, but also have to spend time on the blog now too. I do tend to write my unedited thoughts on here in the hope that it is not entirely 'out there' amongst my friends, family and colleagues!!

JewelFairies Thu 25-Jul-13 22:58:59

thanks

ChippingInHopHopHop Thu 25-Jul-13 23:12:09

You are doing so incredibly well... I am impressed with how 'togther' you are now and have been since it happened. I am in awe actually.

I'm glad you are having flashes of a future that could be happy - that's a big deal! smile

DS2 is so young, it's so hard for them to understand the finality of death. My (4yo) nephew saw his Nana's car on the driveway and got really excited that she had 'changed her mind and decided she didn't want to be in heaven anymore' - he was heartbroken all over again when she wasn't there sad

Sometimes life sucks and all you can do is get on with it the best you can and you definitely are.
x

twentyten Thu 25-Jul-13 23:16:17

Just caught up on the thread. You are amazing. Well done. So many could be helped by your story. Doesn't take away the pain but you are an inspiration.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 25-Jul-13 23:54:54

Thank you. Dh's car confuses the boys too as my SIL has bought it from us. I had the foresight the night it all happened to have it removed to a friend's house, but now that SIL arrives in it they keep talking about it. Yesterday ds2 said we should have kept dh's car because it goes much faster than mine!! (He certainly had heavy feet!)

It would be nice to feel that the story could help others. It seems to help me to formulate my thoughts by writing it.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 26-Jul-13 07:46:20

It is brilliantly written, I needed some tissues flowers

Four4me Fri 26-Jul-13 08:32:43

You are amazing, best of luck to you all for the path ahead.
Where do I find the lifestyle section? I'd love to read your blog.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Fri 26-Jul-13 15:30:10

Sorry, yes, it's on the huffington post website life style section 'surviving ..'

MunchkinsMumof2 Fri 26-Jul-13 17:00:07

Beautifully written, Survival, your blog sums up your new life very eloquently and your love for Dh and your boys shines through the page. I wish you well on your future path but I know that you are resilient and loving and your boys are very lucky to have you. Sending love to you all x

saffronwblue Sat 27-Jul-13 00:47:55

That is a very moving blog and is such a tribute to your husband, boys and how you operate as a family.

Rowgtfc72 Sat 27-Jul-13 09:34:40

Survival that is beautifully written. You are very resilient and I wish you and your boys all the best .

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 27-Jul-13 14:34:16

Thank you lovely people.

TwentyTinyToes Fri 02-Aug-13 10:13:57

Sending you much love, and i echo the other posters, you are amazing, your boys are lucky to have you.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 03-Aug-13 18:20:31

Thanks Twenty. I don't always agree. I've done too much shouting this week and have managed not to shout at all today. Hopefully angry ds2 (aged 3) will now rein it in too!!

timetopost Mon 05-Aug-13 20:00:37

Hi Survival, just catching up with your posts, I echo what everyone else has already said, you are truly amazing and inspirational. Your blog is written so well, I'm sure it will help many, many people.

Hope your lovely boys are well.

Take care

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 06-Aug-13 17:43:41

Thank you. It helps to hear it. Dh used to give me reassurance and it's hard to try and say it to myself as I really only see my mistakes. I think I will write a blog post about being a perfectionist at some point!

TwentyTinyToes Wed 07-Aug-13 16:26:57

You write beautifully, i hope the writing helps you. We all have shouty/less than perfect days, we are human after all. I hope the school holidays are working out ok for you all and you are managing to find a minute to yourself here and there. Much love. flowers

FoxyRevenger Thu 08-Aug-13 12:38:38

Survival, I so want to read your blog, but I cannot seem to find it!!

Please can someone PM me the link...thanks!

PS: you're doing beautifully xx

FoxyRevenger Thu 08-Aug-13 12:42:54

Ignore me...got it. You write really well, and even though I've followed your thread from the start I am still sitting here with a lump in my throat at the thought of an invisible superhero Daddy.

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.