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Not sure where to put this but exH is in intensive care, I feel numb!

(101 Posts)

I spoke to exMIL tonight as exH has tried to kill himself by setting his car on fire whilst sat inside. I'm sat here not really knowing what to do or think really.

I had another thread on here recently about him, I never thought he would do this.

He has been put into a coma but his mum says he is in a bad way. We have a 5 and 3 year old plus my 11 year old DD. What do I tell them?

I feel like shit! I should have made him get help! He drank up to 20 pints a day how could they have not thought this would end badly!

I have known him since I was 18, that's nearly half my life!


onepieceoflollipop Thu 05-Sep-13 21:18:48

You must be in shock. Don't blame yourself saying you should have made him get help. It was not your responsibility.
Hope you have some rl support at this worrying time.
I have no real advice, I would be inclined to consider telling your oldest dd the truth, but gently.
I haven't seen your other thread, but regardless of how and why he is your ex, as you say he was a big part of your life so it is bound to be distressing for you to hear this news.

FriedSprout Thu 05-Sep-13 21:20:37

Sweetheart, so sorry to hear this, you must be going out of your mind. No idea of your back story, but for what it's worth I wouldn't say anything to any of the children until you have more information ie clearer idea what is happening.

Leave it until the morning and phone the hospital or his mum, you will then have a better idea of what to tell the children. Think an accident in a car would suffice for the younger ones, not sure about the 11 year old. Sorry not much help but sat here sending your hugs.

cloudskitchen Thu 05-Sep-13 21:21:44

So sorry to read this. What a bloody awful situation. I think to the younger two "Daddys poorly in hospital" will hopefully suffice unless there's anything more to tell. Your 11 year old, if anything like mine, will be much more aware and take more careful handling. I would give a little info and then be guided by her questions. Good luck. Awful news sad

Boomba Thu 05-Sep-13 21:23:32

you couldn't make him get help. This is not your fault

zeprocrastinator Thu 05-Sep-13 21:30:13

Oh god, how awful - awful for you, for your poor daughters, for him and his family sad I have nothing useful to say at all, except it's not your fault. Wish you lots of strength in the days and weeks ahead.

NothingsLeft Thu 05-Sep-13 22:15:25

You poor thing. What a horrible thing to go through.

It is in no way your fault, please remember that. Alcoholism is a terrible thing. Nobody can seek help for an alcoholic, the have to do themselves. I'm sure you have gone all you can and more over the years.

Hope he pulls though thanks

TiredDog Thu 05-Sep-13 22:18:06

You would not have been able to help. It's not your fault so please stop thinking that way. What shocking awful news for you
Have you got support?

Thank you for your replies. I have a couple of friends on the end of the phone but my parents are on holiday and no partner or anything.

I will wait until I hear what the outcome is before deciding what to say to the girls. They only see him on Mondays and with being back at school I might have a bit of time to figure it out. I have spoken about him quite a lot to the parent support advisor so will ask for her opinion on how to handle it.

I think he tried to slit his own throat a couple of weeks ago but seemed ok when I saw him on Tuesday. He has a rape allegation against him at the moment but he seemed quite positive and has been seeing the girls for over 2 months which is so much better than it has been for a long time.

He did it because his ex wouldn't give him his stuff back!

Wellwobbly Fri 06-Sep-13 09:01:16

3, huge sympathies.

There are three Cs in life:

you did not cause this
you cannot control this
you cannot cure this.

He has chosen to run from life. These are all consequences of his choices.

Can I recommend al anon for support for the families of alcoholics. It teaches you to focus on you, to have detachment, and to let go with serenity.

You loved this tormented man and you can still carry on loving him, whilst you sit back and allow him to deal with his consequences.

There was never anything you could do for him, 3. You couldn't love him better, help him better, change him better. That is between him and his soul.
Learn to focus on protecting you, and you will be saner, safer and more powerful in life. Good luck.

Thank you.

It is on the local newspaper website with a picture of his car, from what I have read and heard from friends it sounds really horrific.

His friend doesn't think his chances of survival are very good, it's just waiting now.

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 21:22:03

You're bound to feel very complex emotions. But you didn't do this, he did. You wouldn't have been able to do anything to prevent it.

I have been in a similar position and you do feel a lot of guilt initially.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 06-Sep-13 21:31:31

This is not your fault, he sounded very unwell sad I hope he finds peace x

I was speaking to him a couple of weeks ago and he said that he wanted to end it. I told him that in a couple of weeks he would be back to his normal self again. He just said I know but I don't want to feel like this anymore.

He has had a lot of issues for a long time and was very up and down with his emotions. He went through phases where he would drink for days and not eat a single thing, those phases were becoming more frequent as he got older, even on a good day he would eat less than a small child!

I should have listened to him, maybe he would still be well if he had somebody to talk to who he trusted. I tried telling him that the alcohol wasn't any good for him but he wouldn't listen.

Thank you for your replies

cloudskitchen Fri 06-Sep-13 22:51:16

Please don't blame yourself. When someone has that illness they have to want to change. It has to come from them. Nothing you could have said or done would have made any difference. I'm so sorry you are going through this. The waiting for news must be just dreadful. I'm thinking of you thanks

LEMisdisappointed Fri 06-Sep-13 22:54:28

He sounded so desperately unhappy and unwell, nothing you could have said would have changed the outcome - its not your faullt!

He was very unwell. It is very sad and his parents will be devastated! He wasn't always the nicest person but he would help anyone who needed it.

DD3 isn't going to have a clue as she is only just 3 but DD1 and DD2 will be very upset, what do you say to a 5 and 3 year old?!

He was nearly 40 years old and has got pretty much nothing to show for his life! He has our 2 DC but could only put them first for 7 hours a week, the rest of the time alcohol took priority, at one point he was drinking 20 pints every day!

Thank you for the replies and you are right, the waiting is awful!

ExH passed away tonight with his parents by his side. Thank you for your replies.

SirRaymondClench Sat 07-Sep-13 01:02:27

I'm so sorry to hear that Three.
Sending you and your DDs a huge hug

I am so sorry for you and your DDs.

There is nothing I can really say to comfort you, but to reassure you that this was not your fault. You described him on here with love and compassion, despite the tough times you must have faced. And he has left a good mark on this world - your beautiful DDs - that is all any of us can hope to achieve.

Alcholism is a terrible disease... What a waste...

Hold your girls close tonight... My thoughts are with you and the rest of his family thanks

notanyanymore Sat 07-Sep-13 01:11:38

I'm so sorry for you all x

Selks Sat 07-Sep-13 01:18:52

That's very sad.

Thinking of you and your DDs. I feel for his parents too.

Please don't blame yourself. You did your best and you were not responsible for him.

Winstons Wish has lots of helpful resources for supporting children through bereavement.

CosmicForce Sat 07-Sep-13 01:24:11

So sorry for you and your DD's xx

NatashaBee Sat 07-Sep-13 01:33:56

How awful, especially for your DDs but also for you and his family. Poor kids. There is nothing you can do to make someone accept help if they don't want it - please don't blame yourself.

Silver15 Sat 07-Sep-13 01:35:03

Sorry to hear about yo loss.

So sorry to hear this news for you and your DC's.

springytufty Sat 07-Sep-13 02:20:27

Alcohol killed him, Three - or his addiction to it.

It may be useless at the moment to say that it wasn't your fault but I hope you remember it. My ex died suddenly and unexpectedly and you can't help feeling a lot of guilt. It's grief, really. You couldn't have done anything to prevent this. He was very seriously ill and there was nothing you could have done. Nothing at all.

Do get yourself some good support. Bereavement in a situation like this is called a 'complex bereavement' ie there are many strands to it, some good, some not so good; you need help to work your way through it. Suicide in itself leaves a dreadful legacy to those left behind. Do make sure you get yourself proper bereavement support. The kids too, of course, but please don't forget yourself . You will need it (take it from me).

I'm so sorry Three . Please accept my sincere condolences.

Thank you for you kind messages I will look at the Winston wish link in the morning.

cloudskitchen Sat 07-Sep-13 06:08:23

So sorry to read the news. So very sad for you all thanks

Isabeller Sat 07-Sep-13 06:18:43

So sorry you are going through this. Remember you can ring the samaritans day or night, they are very supportive and will really understand what you are going through.

Mixxy Sat 07-Sep-13 06:23:07

I'm very sorry to hear that Sandwiches. I can speak of the devastating impact of suicide and alcoholism.

Just remember: none of this is your fault. None of it.

I am so sorry Three. I hope you have people around you who are supporting you and your dc at this awful time.
He wasn't well, there wasn't anything you could have done to change it. Please be kind to yourself.

PaddyP00 Sat 07-Sep-13 06:52:38

I am so sorry for you all.

As others have said, this is not your fault. Be kind to yourself and hold your beautiful children close xx

TiredDog Sat 07-Sep-13 06:59:03

You poor thing. I really am so so sorry. You will need support to get through this. Please make sure you get it. Keep posting

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 07:00:48

Oh I'm so sorry xx as everyone else has said, be kind to yourself. Thinking of you and your girls

TiredDog Sat 07-Sep-13 07:02:24

If I could highlight posts it would be. Springytufty. I too have experience of a complex bereavement (but fortunately from a distant perspective) The ripples from it affected many of us for years. Please start accessing help for all of you

SamsGoldilocks Sat 07-Sep-13 07:02:44

Im sorry about your loss. He has his peace now and I hope you find some too.

SamsGoldilocks Sat 07-Sep-13 07:04:19

Im sorry about your loss. He has his peace now and I hope you find some too.

Thank you for your kind replies.

I want to speak to him, to say sorry for anything I did or said to hurt him and that i forgive the things he did to hurt me.

I wish we could have remained friends.

An ex-girlfriend of one of his closest friends put a Facebook status about it last night which annoyed me a bit. I think it was because it feels like I don't have the right to be upset about it so why should she, obviously I haven't said anything.

springytufty Sat 07-Sep-13 09:34:50

Yes, I also felt I had no right to be grieving. We were very acrimoniously divorced and it was no secret that we were sworn enemies. But I loved him once, very much; he was my husband, we had children together. So I did grieve - very deeply, actually (still am, really - there is so much sorrow). I felt his current wife, parents, our kids, his family had more 'right' to grieve and that I had to keep quiet about my own grief, like I wasn't allowed to grieve. You may feel your emotions swing about a lot in the weeks to come - keep close to your trusted friends. At one point I felt I fell passionately in love with him all over again; I also felt I went through the horror and pain, all over again, of our divorce - all in minature iyswim; my friends gently reasoned me through the excessive stages. Feelings can be extreme, it can be a very confusing and wretched time. Get all the support you can. You have the right to fully grieve.

springytufty Sat 07-Sep-13 09:39:11

btw I was the instigator of the end of our marriage, which made it seem like I was out of the picture as far as grieving for him went. Not so.

CCTVmum Sat 07-Sep-13 09:41:07


Remember your ex was ill and his illness killed him like any serious illness be it cancer, bipolar, depression or heart attack.
It was severe and nothing no one could do or say as his impulsiveness to want to die was extreme and very violent. I know it doesnt help but he now has peace and free from the illness.
You were their for him and he did talk and you did listen. You could not do no more. When he made the very serious attempt to slit his throat previous to that if he had contact with hospital it was actually their responsibility to get him the help even if it meant detainment. This was beyond your or his parents power.

Children are the most amazing rocks of strength at this time and having lots of hugs with mum and his parents will help so much as this is the closest thing they and you have to him now. I hope you come together now as a family to support each other. With your little ones daddy gone to heaven as was ill or car accident at worst. Best to leave the sucide out of it as too young to have this distress. Your older dd will understand. Take your time this a huge huge shock and very horrendous time.

FriedSprout Sat 07-Sep-13 09:46:28

So sorry it ended like this.

Can I suggest that you write everything down that you wanted to tell him it often helps. Also perhaps suspend your Facebook account for a few months. Death brings out some very odd posts in my experience, not all of them measured and thoughtful.

Take care

Thank you, you areal very kind.

I deleted the majority of people who knew him a couple of years ago as stuff I was putting on there was getting back to him and he wouldn't tell me who it was.

I am so glad we got on in the last few weeks and he got to spend some time with the girls. They loved going to the park with him as he could push the on the swings much higher than I can and on the roundabout much faster.

He had a way of making me laugh even when I was cross with him. I think I will give Winstons wish a call today for advice on how best to tell the DDs.

whattodoo Sat 07-Sep-13 10:16:15

I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish you much strength and hope you have some compassionate people around you who will understand that you are grieving despite your separation from him.
Winston's Wish sounds like a great idea. As someone who lost a parent when 2yo, I assure you that even your youngest will be affected by this.
But you sound full of love and compassion and together you will come to terms with this.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 07-Sep-13 11:46:57

I am so sorry for your loss OP sad How very very sad - poor man.

You must allow yourself to grieve, he was your ex for lots of reasons, but you loved him and that part of you will need to grieve.

His illness got the better of him, he is at peace now flowers

FlatCapAndAWhippet Sat 07-Sep-13 17:47:51

Gosh how sad three, sad for him, you and your children. Hope the lovely times and memories with him outweigh the bad. x

Wellwobbly Sat 07-Sep-13 18:09:27

Three, so sorry for your loss. You go ahead and grieve, who says we stop loving and caring about these impossible men!

"I should have listened to him, maybe he would still be well if he had somebody to talk to who he trusted. I tried telling him that the alcohol wasn't any good for him but he wouldn't listen. "

There was absolutely nothing you could do. You didn't do the wrong thing letting go and giving up.

As Springy wrote, there is so much pain in surrendering and letting go of someone we love and care about, when we stop our futile efforts and focus on us instead. It hurts so much, Three.

He is at peace now, and he is not hurting any more.

There are so many what ifs!

I didn't get a huge amount of sleep last night so an early night for me.

I will tell DD1 tonight on her own and the younger 2 in the morning.

cloudskitchen Sat 07-Sep-13 23:16:33

I hope it went as ok as possible with dd1. Thinking of you tomorrow morning as well when you talk the the your other two x

Jux Sat 07-Sep-13 23:29:48

OP, I'm so sorry.

Good luck in the morning. FWIW, when a dear friend of ours died when dd was 3ish, I told her he'd become a star and she could see him every night twinkling at her. He'd watch over her from up there.

Telling DD1 was a little strange, I'm guessing she was in shock. She asked some questions which I answered if possible but some I said I couldn't answer right now.

She asked where it had happened and who found him. I told her the basic facts that it happened in his car and someone on the street found him. She said she thought he had done something silly. She then said she wanted to go to bed. I told her that if she had anymore questions to ask and I would do my best to answer.

People I have spoken to in years have messaged me and offered their support, I feel like a fraud sad

People I haven't spoken to in years, I always forget the n't part!

giantpenguinmonster Sun 08-Sep-13 07:26:58

I'm so sorry for your loss.

People are messaging because they recognise how hard this must be for you- whatever the 'official' definition of your relationship. He was part of your life and you cared for him.

TiredDog Sun 08-Sep-13 07:43:48

You're not a fraud. Your feelings are justified and need acknowledging by you first and foremost. Other people can see why but you can't at the moment

I will grieve enormously when my ex goes, because I loved him so much for a long time. He struggled with alcoholism and also mental illness. Both made him very difficult to live with and at times abusive. Our divorce was horrible. Other people possibly do not understand how I could divorce a man so determinedly (he did not wish to divorce) yet care about him. He's also the father of my DC. I think you should expect yourself to grieve as a partner

We were so much better as friends than we were partners. I first met him when I was 18 and he was one of my best friends, he was DD1 s godfather. We fell out for about 3 years and when we got back in touch started a relationship.

I think an awful lot of our problems were caused by the drinking. I think if it wasn't for that the relationship would have been a lot stronger.

He could make me angry and then make me laugh. I could talk to him about pretty much everything. He wanted to be friends and I said after everything that had happened I couldn't do that.

I have told the younger 2 now. They took it ok. DD3 just kept saying daddy is dead but the older one was a bit more sad. She said DD1 has a dad and we don't, it's not fair. I said he will always be your dad but he is now in heaven. She said he isn't their dad because they can't see him. She said he wasn't going to be able to take them to the park anymore sad

They are downstairs playing at the moment, I have a feeling they will keep forgetting and I will have to keep reminding them. sad

TiredDog Sun 08-Sep-13 08:58:29

Drink is a bastard

The only person who can change that is the drinker. Until they stop drinking you cannot have a normal relationship.

Would it help them at some point to put together a collage of memories of their dada?

TiredDog Sun 08-Sep-13 08:58:55

Dad... An extra a snuck in there

DD1 doesn't see her dad at all as he chose not to. As she was speaking about him a lot I got a photo frame that fitted 10 pictures so she could have one of her and her dad in her bedroom. So the other 2 DDs weren't left out I got them on as well. I told them this morning we would do it and DD2 said she wanted to.

I said that daddy had died like the bee yesterday and DD2 said can I still see Phil (his name) and DD3 said she could see daddy daycare, they watched the film with him and she had started calling him that.

Thank you, you are right in the wrong hands alcohol is life destroying!

legoqueen Sun 08-Sep-13 09:13:10

Couldn't read this & not post, so terribly sad & so difficult for you to have to deal with the consequences of what as happened. It's completely natural for you to grieve, be kind to yourself.

sparkle101 Sun 08-Sep-13 09:20:57

Three daughters I am so very sorry for your loss.

You'll no doubt go through the huge range of emotions over the next few weeks and months but please remember this: there is nothing you could have done. As humans we are all accountable for our own choices and actions, you cannot take responsibility for anyone else's actions.

My dad committed suicide 23 years ago, he too was an alcoholic. He had the help laid out on a plate in front of him, he still chose the drink. It is a selfish illness and makes the outcome so much harder.

I am truly sorry for your loss. Love to you and your daughters.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 08-Sep-13 10:27:26


Your thread has made me cry. I really feel for you & your daughters.

Unfortunately my family experienced a very similar situation 22 years ago. My step dad hung himself. He was an alcoholic. My mum had left him but intended to return, he didn't believe her.

I was 17, my sister was 15 & brother was 13. My mother never got over it & although she drank before step father's death, she wasn't an alcoholic. She has been an alcoholic for over 20 years now.

So i lost my very lovely, kind & caring step dad. I also lost my mother. She crippled with ill health due to alcohol & smoking. She was 44 when he died, part of her died with him. Total waste...

Dont feel guilty. Alcoholics are their own worst enemy. Now, your responsible just for your little girls & yourself. Look after yourself so you can look after your daughters.

Take care. Thinking of you all. x

I'm so sorry your family went through that. Used responsibly alcohol isn't a problem but for certain people it really does ruin life.

I have spoken to exMIL this morning and they are absolutely devastated. They aren't up to seeing the DDs at the moment but will contact me in a couple of days.

I'm worried that the DC will say something that will upset them. We have got exHs dog with us and DD2 said he will be here forever now and I said maybe not her reply was yes because daddy is dead sad

RandomMess Sun 08-Sep-13 11:13:40

So sorry to read about this wishing you lots of strength to cope with what lies ahead.

Wellwobbly Sun 08-Sep-13 17:03:33

"Our divorce was horrible. Other people possibly do not understand how I could divorce a man so determinedly (he did not wish to divorce) yet care about him. He's also the father of my DC. "

Me too, thank you for writing that, you wrote it for both of us.

something2say Sun 08-Sep-13 17:14:57

Sending you love and care. So very sorry to hear of what has happened.

TiredDog Sun 08-Sep-13 17:52:47

Thank you WellWobbly

3Daughters I hope the girls have been ok today - you will all need each other

The girls have been ok. As expected DD3 doesn't seem to have a clue what I was talking about and hasn't mentioned him much. DD2 seemed ok this morning but while we were walking the dog she kept stopping and doing a waily (if that is even a word) kind of cry but with no tears. I asked what was wrong and she was saying that she wanted her daddy here and how she loved him and me more than anybody. She has mentioned him a few times since, like how he only has a lap belt in the back of his car in the middle.

I am going to go into DD2s school (primary) and phone DD1s school (secondary) to warn them. Though DD1 hasn't mentioned it to anybody today so might be avoiding it?

She is due to see someone from the child and adult mental health team on this week due to possible learning difficulties so maybe that explains why she doesn't seem interested or maybe it's because she hasn't had much or a relationship him since just before Christmas.

Thank you for asking.

VegasIsBest Sun 08-Sep-13 20:21:37

Sorry to hear this. You sound like a really good mum - being so thoughtful about how to help your daughters understand this. Hope you are all doing ok and can get some good support from family and friends.

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 20:28:47

So sorry to hear this, as suggested, Winstons wish are really very good and may be able to help your DDs. x

A friend of mines son required help coming to terms with the lose of a sibling and she recommended a local charity as did a social worker I know who says they use them so will probably try that root first.

I have seen a couple of articles on the Internet that say children benefit from going to a parents funeral even if they are very young, I'm still not sure.

Do they normally release the body before or after the inquest? DD2 has asked a few times today when everyone one will say nice things about her dad sad

sparkle101 Sun 08-Sep-13 20:50:39

I would have liked to have gone to my dads funeral and I really feel I would have benefited from it and some of my anger now is because my grandmother didn't think my sisters and I should go. Personally I think it would have helped me.

Dilidali Sun 08-Sep-13 21:02:20

I am sorry you and your daughters are going through such difficult moments. My thoughts are with you.

Thank you.

Sparkle101 one of the articles i read online said that basically nobody who went to a funeral of a parent felt any negative effects but I think 75% of people who weren't allowed to go regretted it and some were still angry 40 years on.

HeeBeeGeebies Sun 08-Sep-13 21:26:19

Hi op,

I'm so sorry to hear about your ex husbands death. My (absent) father committed suicide when I was 9, I think you've done great so far in explaining things to your daughters. It's so sad, I'm sure the four of you will keep each other strong and look after each other x

Thank you. There is no preparation for this is there?! It feels a bit like I'm winging it and hoping not to make it worse than it needs to be.

We took the dog for a walk earlier and if the girls went out of sight he barked like crazy sad

exexpat Sun 08-Sep-13 22:00:26

Are you planning to keep the dog? It might be quite helpful for the DDs - not just because it was their father's, and so is a connection to him, but I think generally pets can be very helpful for bereaved children.

We didn't have a dog at the time when DH died, even though both DCs were desperate to have one, as it was not possible with our location/lifestyle. So when we had to move countries etc after DH died, I promised them we would get a dog as soon as we had a house with a garden. It took about two years to be settled enough for a dog, but he has been the best thing ever - someone for both of them to cuddle and talk to, an excuse for us all to spend time together walking him, generally a very comforting presence to have around. I wish we'd been able to get him earlier.

newstarticus Sun 08-Sep-13 22:01:08

My heart goes out to you all. My husband died over two years from the effects of alcoholic liver disease. We still lived together but our relationship was destroyed and I was taking steps to leave. He never tried to get help and I know now that there was nothing more I could have done to change things.

I often wondered if I had the right to grieve as I was about to divorce him. Well, of course I did. I grieved for the person he was and the fact that the drink destroyed all of that. It is a truly terrible illness that can also have a destructive impact on those affected so never feel guilty about taking time to care for yourself as well as your DCs.

HeeBeeGeebies Sun 08-Sep-13 22:12:16

I think you should keep the dog too, if it's possible!

LegoAcupuncture Sun 08-Sep-13 22:22:33

I am so sorry for your family's loss.

springydafty Mon 09-Sep-13 00:27:18

No, there's no script for it and it does feel like you're winging it... when you're trying to come to terms with your own feelings as well as trying to do the best for your kids. I don't know much about the research but funerals do help to get it in to your head that the person has gone. It's times like this that rituals come into their own imo - I was amazed how traditional remembrance rituals came to the fore eg planting a garden. I think it's important that the children go to the funeral - perhaps keep an eye out to steer them away from any expressions of raw grief? They may also benefit from some informal rituals in the future eg going to the grave, even setting up an informal (and lovely) memorial at home; also remembering him at various times with eg a candle and a few words, poems etc. I'm sure orgs like Winstons Wish have some good ideas for ceremonies/rituals etc.

I think suicide in particular takes a lot of coming to terms with. I had a friend who committed suicide and, although I went to the funeral, it helped, about a year later, to go to the spot with a few friends (who were also similarly finding her death very hard to come to terms with) to perform a kind of informal farewell ceremony together. It felt a bit pointless at the time, especially as the weather was vile, but in hindsight it marked a turning point for all of us. We tied ribbons around a bench nearby, left flowers and said a few words.

Thank you. We have had the dog living with us since earlier in the year, around march time I think, because he didn't have anywhere to keep him. He went back to living with exH the week before he died.

I don't think there is anywhere else for the dog to go really. His dad might want him but in the past he has said he was too old to care for him properly.

Thank you all for you replies. I do have support in RL but I don't really want to go on about it too much as most of my friends and family didn't like him because of the way he treated me. I think my best friend is worried I'm going to lose sight of that and think of him as perfect.

The girls are happy and playing this morning so will be going to school as normal. I'm not sure if they will notice that he should have been picking them up today. The last time he had them was school holidays still so maybe they won't connect it.

Jux Mon 09-Sep-13 08:12:46

They very likely won't, or not think it at a particular time "dad was going to pick us up today"; they will notice a hole where he would be, and that they haven't seen him for a while, ime.

FWIW, my dd went to all family funerals (we had 7 in under 3 years at one point), she was just 10 yo for the last two.

It did help her, though the immediate after-effect was to make her emotionally wobbly and aware of the sadness of everyone. I do think that it was a good thing, as it allowed her to be sad and cry in the company of lots of other people who were also sad and crying. She also was part of the 'celebrations' (for want of a better word) after the funerals, where she could see that life goes on, and you can still laugh and feel pleasure without guilt.

springydafty Mon 09-Sep-13 08:13:14

Well, ime you do go through a rose-tinted phase of thinking they were wonderful and 'perfect'. Part of the grieving imo, especially in the early days. It took a friend to say 'don't forget what he did to you springy' to pop the bubble.

I'm worried that DD3 would act silly, she has her dads daft personality, at the funeral and it will upset some people.

She really doesn't get it. We split up initially when DD3 was a week old and we moved out when she was 3 months. There have been phases since then where she saw him quite a lot but much larger phases when she didn't see him at all.

When we were all together she was much more for me than she was him and I know he really hated that. At the wedding he was winding her up by trying to cuddle and touch me. She would scowl at him and say no my mummy. He thought it was hugely funny!

Moxiegirl Mon 09-Sep-13 09:04:52

So sorry threedaughters sad
When my ex dies (he is mentally and physically ill and has attempted suicide a few times) I will be devastated - I totally understand the cross with them then laughing thing!
Thinking of you all and be kind to yourself x

IJustNeedANap Mon 09-Sep-13 10:25:29

I'm so sorry OP. Your not a fraud to grieve, you have DCs with him and even though you wasn't together he was still a part of your life. thanks

DD1 saw a couple of women from MAST earlier and said she doesn't understand what happened and didn't want to say the died word. I have just spoken to her now and said there was a fire in the car and he died from his injuries. She wanted to know how it had happened but I think she is too young for the gory details. I said as she gets older she will understand.

DD2 was arguing about a towel with DD3 when they were getting out of the bath so I said the towel she had used to be daddy's. we spoke about him a little and she asked why I was talking about him. I asked if she wanted me to stop and she said yes because it was making me sad.

I'm have asked for advice about the funeral and was told to give all three of them a choice. The person I spoke to agreed with me that they shouldn't be told it is an accident as if they find out later on it will make then feel worse.

DD3 is still oblivious bless her.

onefewernow Tue 10-Sep-13 08:35:37

Three, please let them go to the funeral. We were kept away from my dads funeral as too young- I was eldest and 6- and we bitter regretted it.

Mixxy Tue 10-Sep-13 08:57:58

Please let all the children attend the funeral. From experience, just knowing you were present at the funeral helps figure it all out later in life. Being kept from it only adds to the mystery and unanswered questions.

You are so strong. I'm devastated for you.

I would never ever stop them going if they want but I'm not sure how well DD2 will cope with the service. I will explain it to her as best as I can but I can't force her to go.

I'm feeling a bit angry today, not with him so much as he was very ill, but with everyone who is still not willing to admit how bad he was.

There is an article in the paper where his mum is saying a lot of lovely things, some true but some are really not. Obviously she wants to remember him in the best light possible but she has said he was devoted to his children yet he saw them one day a week and never paid a penny to me. I know this was due to his addiction and am not bitter about it but all that needed to be said was that he loved them very much, at least that is true.

I feel awful thinking this but it feels like the last 3, awful, years of my life have been whitewashed somehow and he has been made to look like a saint.

I also keep thinking that if it wasn't for the alcohol we would still be together. The majority of our problems and arguments had alcohol at the root, whether that was him staying out 2 hours later than planned because someone else had bought him a pint or the fact he wouldn't get a proper job because it stopped him being able to drink.

Jux Tue 10-Sep-13 11:57:19

Please don't worry too much about how they will cope with a funeral. Having people around them who are also sad, who cry, is very cathartic. Sharing the grief is so important. Not understanding what is going on, again imo, is less important than being there. TBH, I would just talk as if they were going, no question; "this dress would be good to wear for the funeral", "you will see X at the funeral" and so on.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 10-Sep-13 13:09:05

Just read this. What a shock for you. I'm sorry it came to this. You did your very best but we can't force loved ones to make changes they don't want to make. Keep your girls close and be kind to yourself.

iamjustlurking Tue 10-Sep-13 18:44:02

Just wanted to send my thoughts. My ex died suddenly of alcohol poisoning 6mnths ago. We separated 9 yrs ago due to his addiction.

We also met at 18 and were together 15 yrs had 3 amazing children and I so miss the man I married. Alcohol destroyed him mentally he hated what he had become and he caused so much heartache and devastation to the children especially who will never remember the man he once was.

I will never love anyone like I loved him and he never stopped loving me, but at least like your exdh he is at peace and the turmoil has ended for them.

Be kind to yourself and don't be surprised if it hits you way harder than you expect. My DC are 18,15 and 9 and it's been hard for them wondering what if, but they will and you will be ok.

springydafty Wed 11-Sep-13 09:01:26

My ex's funeral was packed to the gills, standing room only. I was quite enjoying the eulogies but thought 'who are they talking about?' because the saintly, kind deceased they were lovingly and fondly telling stories about in no way mirrored the person I had known.

I'm not sure telling the absolute truth to the kids is a good idea tbh. Perhaps say it was a car accident? Which is true, in a way. Much later they can know the details, but they are horrifying and I don't think it's a good idea for them to know the details now? I may be wrong.

I agree with iam that it can hit you harder than you expect. You've already had a taste of feeling 'outside' re the stories about the so-say devotion to his kids. You have to keep quiet about so many things and it can make you feel guilty and excluded.

BerkshireMum Wed 11-Sep-13 10:10:43

So sorry you're going through this OP. I've seen what I assume are the the press reports and it must be so hard, at so many different levels.

Be kind to yourself. It is totally okay to grieve - for the man you knew and loved for a long time, for your DC's father and for the lost opportunity to build a better relationship (even if it is apart).

Earlier this year I supported the family of a close friend through a sudden death (very different circumstances). The youngest was the same age as your eldest. What we found, and still find, is that it's important to answer questions and to tell the truth. You don't need to give details and with-holding some information may be wise given their ages, but please make sure what you do say doesn't contradict the truth IYSWIM. As they get older, they may find out more and it's important they can trust you.

One thing you might want to do is a drawing / letter to daddy that can be placed in the coffin. It certainly helped my friends DD a little. And start a memory box. Photos obviously, but also pictures, songs, DVDs they watched with him, pictures of the park they went to with him, as it is now. Some of his favourite brand of after shave / deodorant etc.

In terms of the funeral I agree they should be given the choice. My mum was 7 when her dad died and at 69 she still bitterly regrets and resents not being allowed to go - and the feeling grew as she got older. There is no 'right' way for a child to behave at occasions like this and people will know this.

Please take care xx

Thank you. It feels so unbelievable that I think people are going to presume I'm making it up.

I am definitely not going to tell them the gory details, which seem to be getting worse on a daily basis, but also I don't want to lie about it either. What happens if I say it was a car accident and then they find out it wasn't an accident at all? Will they lose confidence in me completely? DD1 knows that it involves a fire and the car but nothing else. Unfortunately we have an uncommon name and it would be so easy for her to find out.

My emotions at the moment are changing constantly. Loads of people have said they are there if I need anything but I was on the outskirts of his life while he was a live and feel I should be now. The girls are coping better than I am.

springydafty Wed 11-Sep-13 10:44:03

It's weird being in the outside when you were once right at the centre. It does make you feel you have no right to grieve. But you do! You can hold conflicting emotions - none of them cancel out the others iyswim. One minute you can be raging, dismissive, cold; the next sad, sorrowful, full of regret... even longing - for what he once was to you. ime all those emotions crowd in. It's ok to go with them when they present, and let them pass through iyswim.

springydafty Wed 11-Sep-13 10:51:52

It's a tricky one but I think you can explain to them the details at a later date, but that perhaps 'car accident' neatly sums it up for now? Perhaps you can explain to them later why you couldn't go into detail at the time, because of their ages?

I'm sorry if that's crap advice - I'm sure those in the know will be able to give you more informed advice. I think you can make it clear that he was very ill, though, which will prepare the way for later info.

It's such a difficult one, on top of your own (complex) grief iyswim.

I have spoken to somebody at a children's bereavement charity and she advised against saying it was a car accident. She said to just say that there was a fire in his car and he was too injured to survive. She also said I should say that his mind was very poorly.

When he was a live I didn't think about him very often. I might wander what was happening about the girls but that was about it. Now he isn't here he is taking up most of my thoughts.

I was thinking of saying to the girls about doing a picture or card for him. At the moment they aren't mentioning him at all.

The memory box is a lovely idea and I think I will do that. Would it be a good idea to get a couple of his bits so they can see what he like. He was a huge F1 fan so something to do with that, he really liked Heartbeat by Scouting for girls as he said it reminded him of me. He wanted to play it at our wedding but he said he wasn't allowed.

The park where they used to go is on the same street as where the incident happened. Not sure how I would feel going there.

feetheart Wed 11-Sep-13 12:03:40

Threedaughters - I'm so sorry you and your children are having to go through this.
Glad that the person from the children's bereavement charity has given you some support, please use them as much as you can because this will be a long, involved process with each of you fluctuating in your emotions at different times.

For what it's worth I lost my dad suddenly when I was 7 and my brother and sister were 5. He used to race go-karts and crashed during a race.
My Mum decided that it would be better if we didn't come to the funeral as she was unsure whether she would hold it together and was worried about the effect that might have on us.
What she did do was ensure that we watched the funeral procession leave, were well looked after during the service and then she took the three of us to the graveside after everyone else had gone. We were allowed to say our goodbyes then and encouraged to take something from the grave - I took a ribbon that I had taped to the end of my bed for years.
I think she handled it brilliantly and don't feel any regret that I didn't go to the actual service, I think we were as included as much as she felt she could cope with. It probably helped that she was always open and honest with us so we knew the reasons behind her decisions.

On the other hand a friend lost her husband to cancer last year and both of their boys (7 and 6) plus a number of their friends were there and it was just right - seeing them all running around outside chasing each other after the service really helped a lot of people focus on what was important.

You need to do what feels right for you and your girls.

If it's any help, inspite of losing my dad so young, I don't feel that my childhood or my life has been defined by it. It is part of me, part of who I am but really just one of the many, many things that make me who I am. That may not help you now but thought I would share it.

Memory box with all sorts of things in it is a lovely idea - I don't have anything like that and am still asking my mum basic stuff over 44 years later.

Take care.

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