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A little hand holding please...

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

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

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

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

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

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

YellowDinosaur Tue 14-May-13 11:33:33

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.


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

YellowDinosaur Fri 17-May-13 07:24:27

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.

friendlymum67 Sun 19-May-13 06:35:11

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.

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