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My DH's funeral is on Tuesday
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Lalaland50 · 04/06/2022 10:21

I've posted before about my DH who died on May 12 this year from complications after a stem cell transplant. His death was traumatic and relatively unexpected as the transplant was meant to cure him, but a number of factors meant that he died from multi-organ failure after 4 months in isolation in hospital. I am feeling particularly horrendous this morning as I had a dream that he was still alive and he had another chance at the transplant. Waking up this morning and realising he has gone, I just feel sick and have no idea how I'm going to get through the funeral.

I'm getting insensitive messages from friends, who i'm sure mean well, but saying things like "devastated to think we are saying goodbye to him" when I just can't see it like that. I can't see it as a goodbye. He needs to stay in my and my kid's hearts. He was so alive and full of energy and the most enthusiastic person I've ever met.

I have some diazepam to get through the funeral, and I still have to write a tribute, although I don't know if I'll be able to say it. I just can't believe it had to be him. He didn't deserve it and neither did my kids to lose their dad.

I don't feel like I spent long enough with him in the hospital after he died (lots of awful things happened in ICU before and after his death) which meant that i am making a complaint. But I think I have the chance to see him before the funeral, and wondering if I should do that.

I am having therapy, and trying to get help for my kids, but there's long waiting lists for the bereavement charities. My 9 year old is autistic, and goes to mainstream school, but is in complete denial about it and i'm worried about how she's coping too. It is honestly a nightmare and I don't know how to get through this.

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SoupDragon · 04/06/2022 10:29

I'm so sorry for your loss Flowers

I have lost both parents over the last 4 years and I do believe that if they are in my head and my heart then they are not fully gone. Of course they aren't here but they will always be with me. I imagine it is more difficult with a partner who was with you all the time.

I don't know how you get through it, you just do. With grit, determination and the hope that things will get less raw. It is important to remember that is is perfectly OK to not be OK.

have you looked at www.winstonswish.org for your DD?

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Lalaland50 · 04/06/2022 10:32

thank you @SoupDragon. Yes I have tried Winston's Wish, they have a waiting list of 6 months for 6-week zoom sessions, which I know neither of my kids will engage with, and it's too long for them to wait.

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Workinghardeveryday · 04/06/2022 10:34

Hi op. I am so sorry to read about your husband, that is horrific for you and your family.

I don’t have words of advice I am afraid, I just wanted to say we are here for you to help you through it x.

I read on here not long ago something along the lines of, as long as their name is still spoken they are not gone.

xxx

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WildCoasts · 04/06/2022 10:34

I'm sorry for your loss and I don't know what else to offer you but my own experience. I dreaded having to go to my child's funeral. I was terrified I wouldn't cope emotionally, I saw it as a cruel obligation of society and just had to get through it. When it came to the time, a bit of numbness took over, I focused on my other children, and it was actually okay. I only cried when one of my other children broke down, because my heart hurt for them. I didn't think I'd be able to watch the slide show. I did and enjoyed it. I didn't think I would cope with the cemetery at all. I did.

I know this isn't about me and you are not me, but I hope it reassures you that it might not be as bad as you fear.

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Irisbouquet · 04/06/2022 10:40

I'm so sorry to read this. Please also try Once Upon A Smile for your children, you can self refer via their website, hopefully the waiting list is shorter.

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druto · 04/06/2022 10:40

I'm sorry OP.

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ChangingStates · 04/06/2022 10:41

So sorry for your loss.
My brother died very suddenly a year ago, I wasn’t there but his wife was and it was quite traumatic, she did go and spend time with him in the funeral home because she needed not to have her last memories of him being of his death. She is glad she did. I wasn’t there when he died and didn’t go to the funeral home to see him as I wanted to keep last memories of him alive, but actually a year on, I regret it. I think having that time to say goodbye would have helped a little.
In terms of the kids- enlist the help of the school, they may have counsellors or access to other support networks. Winston’s wish is great as pp said. I wouldn’t worry too much of there is a wait- in the early days you will all be reeling from the shock and therapy is not very effective in the early period.
I know the coming days will be shit, get all the help you can from friends and family. Take care.

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coodawoodashooda · 04/06/2022 10:41

I am so sorry for your loss. I found an excellent homeopath who has helped my children and I with trauma. Not for everyone but maybe an idea for another day?

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BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 04/06/2022 10:51

Are the school able to assist with counselling or similar and have someone come in for sessions with the dc?

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SoupDragon · 04/06/2022 10:58

DC's schools have had a www.place2be.org.uk counselling service in place. Is this something your DD's school offers?

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Lalaland50 · 04/06/2022 11:30

Thank you for all the suggestions. @Irisbouquet is Once Upon a Smile only for those local to Manchester?
I have tried both schools. My DS13's school have suggested a drop-in councillor for him, but I wasn't sure if that was enough. I thought it might be better to have specific bereavement support. They both saw him suffer, in pain, and they saw him with delirium. They also didn't get the chance to say goodbye. I honestly can't believe this has happened to us. The dad that taught them both how ride a bike; watched endless films with them; cooked curries for them; fell asleep in their beds reading to them. I just can't understand how this is possible.
@coodawoodashooda I was given a homeopathic Grief Mix - i'm not sure what it's supposed to do though, I am taking a few of those a day. I am also taking propanalol and on sertraline and have been for a year now as it's been so incredibly stressful over the last couple of years with my DHs illness.
My DD's primary school is not very helpful in that they have tried, but all they are doing is contacting the same charities that I have already contacted. And they haven't even done it yet.

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Lalaland50 · 04/06/2022 11:33

@ChangingStates thank you for your experience.
My sister has spoken to the funeral home, but because we are a religion that isn't used to preparing bodies for funerals (they usually take place within 24 hours), they said it might not be exactly what I expect. I'm not sure what that means, but when he died, he looked so awful - I have this picture in my head day and night - and i don't want it replaced with something worse after 3 weeks in a funeral home.

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MagnoliatheMagnificent · 04/06/2022 11:44

Not to be insensitive but has be been embalmed? My MIL was and she looked peaceful and better than before she died in some ways. It might help you if you see him in a more relaxed way than in the hospital.

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coodawoodashooda · 04/06/2022 11:47

I am so sorry. I can't imagine how hard this is for you? Have you actually been to a homeopath? They listen in a way that gives your experience value. I would think, if nothing else, it would be very satisfying to know that you are being cared for from that point of view.

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Wordwatcher · 04/06/2022 12:11

No words of advice of how to “cope” with this but just want to say you are in my thoughts.
I’m so very sorry and know those words are futile.
Rosie

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ivykaty44 · 04/06/2022 12:17

have you thought about visiting the funeral home, you do not have to have an open casket, you could sit and talk to your husband but with the casket closed - this may go someway to helping and in this instance you'd have nothing to lose by doing so and not be left with further images that you might not want

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JuliaDomna · 04/06/2022 13:22

I am so sorry for your loss.

I lost my husband 15 years ago after a long painful illness. The pain of losing him was unbearable at times and for a long time all I could remember was him being ill and being a shadow of himself. Many of my friends and family would try to change the subject when I talked about him because I would get upset. But talking for me was healing. While his named was mentioned and we talked about him he was still real. I now mostly remember him as healthy and the good times we had together.

My advice to you is to keep talking about him. Look through photos and talk about him with your children. Eventually the pain will mellow and you will remember the good times. I wish you well and hope that you and your children can access the support and help you need.

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Virgo1958 · 04/06/2022 14:18

So sorry for your loss. My husband died 9 weeks ago and I was dreading the funeral. My defence was a large pair of sunglasses which I felt I could hide behind. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and I took comfort from the other mourners. I hope it goes as well as it can for you. Everyone on this thread is rooting for you.

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bloodywhitecat · 04/06/2022 14:28

I recently lost my DH too, his funeral was in March. I still talk about "us" and "we". I still expect him to be there. To reappear. To not have gone in the first place. His illness and death were traumatic too. I understand a little of how you feel.

Be guided by the funeral directors, I saw DH and I am glad I did but he looked truly peaceful for the first time in ages and I found the funeral directors were very honest about how he would appear. I helped dress him for his funeral. You get through the funeral because , well you have to. Time moves forward and all of a sudden the funeral is over.

Can your local hospice help with counselling for the children? I am trying to guide our 2 year old fosterling through and it is so hard isn't it?

Even writing this makes me cry because I can't believe we find ourselves here. I am sorry you are here too. No-one deserves this.

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Smallorangecat · 04/06/2022 16:07

I am so sorry.
I would say if you want to see your DH before the funeral, ask the funeral director’s advice. My funeral director said she would be honest with me about whether DH was looking ok if I wanted to see him and I trusted her (I chose not to in the end).
You don’t have to write or read anything at the funeral if you don’t want to or don’t feel able to. I said all along that I wasn’t going to and that was fine, then sat down with a week to go after I had taken my DC to school and just started writing, then I rang the celebrant and told her I had changed the plan. She was my back-up in case I couldn’t stand up and read it on the day. Do you have a celebrant or someone who can step in if you can’t read yours? It reduces the pressure a bit to have a plan. I had no idea how I would get myself and my DC (they were 6 and 10) through the funeral, but somehow you just do and now, 8 months later, it seems kind of surreal that we planned it and got through it even though it seemed impossible.

I got bereavement counselling for my DC through a local charity, the waiting list was probably 3-4 months. DC1’s school became concerned about how she was coping and chased it up, so, while the school couldn’t do anything I hadn’t done, maybe we were pushed up the waiting list because the teacher had contacted them too. It seems wrong, but it does seem to depend where you are for how easy it is to access support. I am in a city so maybe easier than in other areas. It’s all so hard though trying to support grieving children while feeling so utterly lost and broken yourself.
I will be thinking of you and your DC on Tuesday and wishing you strength.

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Lalaland50 · 05/06/2022 11:03

Thank you all. It's just so surreal. As @bloodywhitecat said, I guess I feel deep down he's going to reappear. Is that normal? I'm still in denial I guess. All that makes me feel better is that he's not suffering anymore and doesn't have to keep on fighting. A day before he was put on the ventilator, he sat up and said, very clearly, I want to walk, run and eat again. All his other words had been too slurred to understand. I took that to mean that he was gathering strength to get better. It's so hard to think about his last few days. I just can't stop thinking about them.

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prettymum · 05/06/2022 11:39

@Lalaland50 I'm so sorry to hear about your husband passing after his fight, it will be a long journey ahead and no words will make any of it better right now.

I'm not sure if you remember my post about my my 38 yr old brother being in ICU since beginning of December 2021 with covid. After nearly 6 months being on ventilator and then ECMO, he passed away on 15th May leaving behind my sister in law with 6 month old nephew and 4 yr old nephew. We are all absolutely devastated, he only held baby for 2 weeks, 3rd week he had covid so didn't hold baby and then was admitted.

Our dad passed away while he was in an induced coma, I'm not sure how we got through all of that but thought of our brother pulling through kept us going. He opened his eyes mid April and responded by blinking and gripping hands so we reassured him that we were all there waiting and so proud of him.

Two days before he passed, he had another infection and we were told his body was shutting down and that he was dying. They allowed us all to be with him from then on till his final breath, we convinced the nurses to let his 4 best friends to say their goodbyes, the nurses were in tears and had to walk out so many times. We are still in shock, it all feels surreal and can't imagine life without him. He was attached to so many machines, had tubes coming out of so many parts of his body, they did everything they could to save him.

We saw him before he was buried, we needed that to help the process and my 4 year old nephew said goodbye to his dad but it seems like he still doesn't understand what's going on.

My sister in law and kids had been staying with our family since and we went back to their home with her yesterday to settle them back. Memories of him are everywhere, from the paintwork, furniture, his corner on couch, his sports equipment, everything and it still feels unreal.

I'm not sure how long all this will take, but we're allowed to grief for the life taken too early, it's unfair and I'm not sure if we'll ever heal from this kind of heartbreak. Take each day as it comes, surround yourself with loved ones and take all the help that is offered. Take some moment for yourself to let it all out, cry, anything to lighten the weight on your shoulder. Your husband will be so proud of you and he will always be with you, through your children and from everything you both had set up together 🥰

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Smallorangecat · 05/06/2022 23:07

Lalaland50 · 05/06/2022 11:03

Thank you all. It's just so surreal. As @bloodywhitecat said, I guess I feel deep down he's going to reappear. Is that normal? I'm still in denial I guess. All that makes me feel better is that he's not suffering anymore and doesn't have to keep on fighting. A day before he was put on the ventilator, he sat up and said, very clearly, I want to walk, run and eat again. All his other words had been too slurred to understand. I took that to mean that he was gathering strength to get better. It's so hard to think about his last few days. I just can't stop thinking about them.

Yes, I think that’s very normal. It’s impossible for the brain to process and really believe it, so we can’t believe it and expect our husband to come back. It’s been 8 months and I still have moments when I expect him to walk through the door.

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Lalaland50 · 05/06/2022 23:52

@prettymum I'm so sorry about your brother. How devastating for you all. There are no words. Thank you for sharing - it's such a lonely place to be - losing someone you love in ICU felt so alien and wrong - but I know they tried everything. My DH also had so many machines and tubes attached to him, I just couldn't believe it. We didn't quite have the same empathy from the doctors and nurses, which has made things a little harder. But I hope you can feel some solidarity from me, I am thinking about you and your family tonight.

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loislovesstewie · 06/06/2022 15:23

My husband died in January, we did see him in the funeral home ,but I still think 'Oh I must tell him such and such'. I think it takes quite a while to realize that a loved one really won't be 'there' any more. I am sorry for your loss, the saying 'time is a great healer 'is trite but does sum up the situation. You will learn how to cope, how to remember him and the love you had and still have. My mother died when I was a child, and I think it was a full year before I felt able to be a child again , and enjoy life. I don't think I got over it, but learned to live with it, and that is what I am having to do now.

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