Specific Situations > Suicide/Addiction/Mental Illness/Abuse

Still numb and in shock, but terrified of the guilt I will face

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BrokenHeart2:
So sorry Meemzie. Yes the guilt is another thing to deal with in this horrible journey.

Bunny, you nailed it with the comment about the way other people will 'help you' figure it out. Suicide, cancer whatever the disease. In DHs case he died from lung cancer, yup first question out of their stupid mouth is did he smoke?  Really, so what if he did?  He didn't but asking that stupid question is like implying he deserved it if he smoked. My guilt is that I'm a stupid smoker, then the next thing people say is then it's from your second hand smoke.  Wow, that sure makes me feel better, only once again, no, I never smoked in the house.  Usually by this point I want to tell them to shut their stupid pie hole but I don't.
Only 20% of lung cancer patients smoked.

Stigmas are so hard to break
And then again you nailed it by saying "says everything about them and nothing about our partners" yes, yes and yes thank you for that Bunny!

Gentle hugs Meemzie

WifeLess:
meemzi,

Welcome to Young Widow Forum. Shortly after losing my wife to suicide in 2009, I wrote:

I have accepted that my wife's suicide was not about me or even her life circumstances. It was about illness. If medical science has learned anything in recent decades, it is that so many psychological/behavioral problems stem from physiological/biochemical abnormalities of the brain, many of which are genetically inherited. And if I learned anything during the past several decades with my wife, it is that clinical depression is a serious illness just as real as any other life-threatening illness, like heart disease or cancer. Unfortunately, it happens to be classified as mental illness, which makes it appear different. My wife died of a disease of the brain that impaired her thinking and her judgement. I take some comfort in accepting that she died, not by choice, but of natural causes.

And later, after meeting many other widows and widowers who lost their spouses to suicide or addiction, I concluded:

The great majority of adult deaths by suicide or addiction are not due to freely chosen, self-destructive behaviors or character flaws. They are instead the result of serious mental illnesses that often have a physiological/biochemical basis of genetic origin. Such illnesses may be chronic, life threatening, difficult to manage, and impossible to cure. And therefore, the great majority of Special Situations members here lost their spouses to illnesses just as real and deadly as those that took the lives of most other members' spouses.

Sorry for the traumatic loss that brought you here.

--- WifeLess

piecesofapart:
Meemzi...so sorry for your loss and that you are now a member of our group.

It will be 4 years in a few weeks that I lost my husband to suicide.

For over 15 years I went thru the ups and downs of his illness with him- doing the same things others have posted they've done. 

The last few days with him were horrible- and similar to yours.

Even with all the help we tried to get and sticking by him -I still felt horrible guilt. Thanks to the lovely people in this group I've learned so much. But the most important is something you've already written. That he would have done it anyway.  He had a fatal illness..it was just a matter of time.

Still the guilt after the first few weeks was destroying me too. Thankfully I felt such an urge to go to church one day. I rarely ever go- but something pushed me to be there that day. The topic was about guilt. What I took away from going that day was...what purpose does guilt serve?- nothing...let it go.

I still went round and round some days- as I am sure all of must have done/still do...it's a lot to figure out and organize in your brain.

I used to pray for God to help him and heal him. I never thought He would call him home- but if that's God's will then I have to accept it. Only God can give a life or end a life.

If people ask me how he died- I just say It was God's will...because that is what I believe to be true. But it still hurt and I still felt guilty.
What gives me comfort is that the answer to my question will always be "YES!".
The question is...Is he OK now...

When I finally got to the end of my guilt- I decided- If my love could have saved him- he would have been the healthiest person ever.

Hugs...

meemzi:
Thank you all for your replies.

He suffered a lot before his passing and it's a comfort to know that he isn't in pain anymore. It's the other side of the "Why didn't I do anything?" coin.

I think I'll find great comfort here.

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