Sudden Loss Brings a Different Kind Of Grief.

by Ellen Wertheim
(Long Island, NY, USA)

My Husband and I a couple of years ago.

My Husband and I a couple of years ago.

I found my husband's body swimming in a pool of blood right outside my bedroom sliding glass door leading to the patio. He had fallen off the roof. He was trying to fix a clogged gutter at night and didn't tell me he was going up there.

He felt cold and rubbery. I was in shock I called Emergency Services. I tried to turn him over as they instructed, I could see his scalp and hair was stuck to the pavers, his eye was in the back of his broken skull and his mouth was filled with blood. I tried CPR. I knew he was dead.

They took him away to a trauma center where he was declared deceased within a half hour.
That was over 2 years ago.

Here is what happened. I lost my memory for 6 months, my hair fell out and I had to be wrapped up with heavy pillows on my chest to sleep.
My sister took care of me. I was diagnosed with PTSD. THis is where it gets tricky. People think PTSD is a Combat illness. NO! It can apply to anyone who has experienced a sudden shocking death.

You want to die, you don't see how you can continue..and you know what; the hardest thing you will ever have to do is just stay alive. Don't cave into pressure from others who don't understand how severe your loss is. It doesn't matter, it's YOUR loss. Be kind to yourself.
Cry when you want, stay in bed when you want, yell when you want..but don't give in..it won't solve anything. Gain weight, lose weight, eat what you want when you want..don't judge your progress.
The pain comes in waves once it starts to subside a bit, the waves will knock you over and spit you out. Go to your safe place, stay there until you can move again.

I am still grappling with this loss, I have lost friends who have lost patience with my loss(screw them), you get to know who really cares for and about you. You will be surprised that there are strangers who care more about you than some of your friends.

I still seek professional help, I take medication that has been prescribed and I do the best I can on a minute by minute basis. I don't judge myself anymore.

I was married for 45 years and we were together since we were 17. He was my whole life.
We have one grown son and 2 beautiful grandchildren. He lived to spend some time with them.

I think I will never love again. I'm told I will never love that way again but I might find joy in someone's company again. I don't care it's not important.

I'm still a very attractive older woman. I get hit on, chatted up, at bars restaurants, online..it's all so silly to me. I can't see anyone else in my future but friends and family.

It takes a long time, it takes a long time..your brain has physically been altered by sudden loss.
Hold on to something, someone, a pillow, watch a movie, eat chocolate, have a glass of wine..just keep living please.

OH..I became a photographer and a graphic artist. I never took a picture or had any creativity in my life. It just happened. I started to see things differently and needed to 'capture' the image
or idea. I now sell my work
Life is strange.


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