Time Frame > Beyond the First Year (1+ years)

I looked at the reports

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It's a bit different, but a month after the accident/his death, I went to the hospital to talk to the doctors who worked on him, to get information and understanding.  It was hard.  I took tons of notes.  When I got home, I folded up the notes and put them away.  A couple years later, I pulled them out.  I had the talk in my head - this could really upset you and set you back, maybe you shouldn't do this.  I did it.  And I was fine.  It was not fine, never will be, never could be, but I was (am) fine. 

[Maybe it's because we are living the worst case, that the details of how it's the worst case... they're not as important maybe as time goes on?  We've already absorbed the biggest blow.]

Captains wife:
That is very triggering but can understand why you did it. The first year after my husband was killed in a boating accident I was obsessed with how could it have happened ? I read through all the reports, met regularly with the Coast Guard, and went on my own interviewing the people that found him and the boat (firefighters - the dive team). In your case, maybe its better there were no pictures of him - I was on site when my DH was recovered and that image will never, ever leave my memory or brain.

The only thing I couldn't bring myself to do was listen to his Mayday call.....although the Coast Guard offered to let me hear it.

Hugs all around...this sucks.

Everyone needs to do what they feel is right but understand, there are consequences to either choice.

To not look at photos, if they exist, and to not read the reports could result is some unanswered questions. However, the reports, while official, many times do not answer everything and are, sometimes, devoid of particular details - cops and EMTs are human too after all. You may not find the answers you seek.

To look, especially at photos, will always show our spouses' bodies in the worse light they ever were in. I knew what a GSW to the chest with a heavy calibre weapon would do to a person. Thanks Marine Corps. No closure, whatever that is, would be provided to me by viewing the photos. My late wife was a beautiful woman in life - I'll just keep those images in my head instead. The scene was enough of a nightmare.

As bad as I knew they were, I never wanted my children to have any access to them. I petitioned a judge to have all the records destroyed and he granted my petition. There were some guidelines as to how long they had to be kept but, after that time had passed, they were destroyed.

As I said, each of us has to do what we think is best. But think carefully about if it would be helpful or detrimental to you.

Best wishes - Mike 


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