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~This is much longer than I had intended it to be so if you take the time to read it all, thank you so much.~

 

I lost my best friend and partner to alcohol poisoning a few months ago. I'm 33, he was 36. We've been engaged, broken up, friends and back together again during the last 16 years. He was my first love. I like to tell myself that I'm coping okay because there are some days I can go to the shop or see friends or family and it seems like a normal day, but those days only make the next day even more unbearable. Like trying to live without him only makes his absence much more obvious and painful.

Any time we argued over how much I was worried about the drinking and that I was terrified I'd wake up to him dead some day, he'd tell me not to be stupid. When I imagined that scenario I was certain it would end with me in a psychiatric ward. Too much had happened in life already and there was no way I'd ever cope with him dying. I don't understand how it's possible that my worst fear came true. I don't understand how I'm still sane. I don't understand how family members can already be asking, "You're still feeling that bad? I thought you'd be a bit better by now." I don't understand how during the two weeks it took for the coroner to release him and for his service to take place, his mum and I were making arrangements together and now she won't speak to me. The last message she sent me was so shockingly dismissive and cruel it made me physically ill for days.

She turned up at our house 3 days after his funeral service and told me I had four weeks to move out. She removed his belongings the next evening while I was out, without giving me any warning. She took our cat home the day she found him dead in our home and at the time I knew it was the best thing for them both. Now she is refusing me access to my own cat and I regret being so thoughtful. She isn't "just a cat" either, she's our cat. We got her when we were living in another country together ten years ago. She's all that's left of our life together.

When his mum referred to me as his 'special friend' during the service, I brushed it off. She didn't really know if we were together or not, we didn't talk about our relationship status with anyone this time around. It was nobodies business and we were happier without everyone's opinions and reactions. When she made me leave the house as if I was some stranger renting a room, I held my tongue. I had no rights, he owned the house and left no will. When she told me she needed some time before she had anymore visitors, I respected that and I didn't contact her for almost 6 weeks, even though she promised me she wasn't going anywhere, that I would always be welcome, that I could visit our fluffy baby whenever I wanted. When I finally tried contacting her, only asking to see the cat, the response I got from her was shameful. I don't know how she can be so cold and insensitive and it pains me so much when I wonder what her son would think of it all. He wouldn't have wanted it this way. A mother's grief, however unimaginable, is no excuse for this.

It's Christmas soon and instead of he and I sitting watching movies and admiring our tree with our kitty snuggled up between us, I'm living in my brother's old room in my parents house struggling to remember what day it is. As if his absence isn't hard enough, everyone else is conveniently aware of how much time is passing. They're keeping a note of the things I'm managing and the things I'm not- especially if the things I'm not managing are putting others out. The evenings I pour a glass of wine are met with raised eyebrows. The amount of days each week I simply don't get out of bed don't outweigh the days I'm up pottering about, but they're still noted. I'm not eating enough or drinking enough water. I need to go outside more. I need to see friends more. I should maybe see friends less and visit family more. I need to "let it go", life is unfair and I can't control how others treat me. I just have to "mourn the cat the same way you're mourning him. Remember, you still have the rest of your life to live. You can't let this break you."

My instincts that day were telling me not to leave him, but he was so convincing. He'd been almost two months sober and our friend and I had had this long weekend planned for months. Why did he squeeze me extra tight as I was leaving though? Was it just an 'I love you' squeeze because we hadn't spent time apart in ages or was it something sinister? Did he want to die that night? Was he really drunk and he simply passed out and fell to the floor? Lay unconscious until he stopped breathing? Or could he feel something was wrong and he was too scared or too drunk to call for help? The coroner couldn't give me those answers. We didn't even get a time of death. I will never know why he was found on the kitchen floor, but the bedroom door upstairs was damaged and there was vomit on the duvet cover. How did he not fall coming down the stairs if he was that drunk? Why was his backpack on the counter along with some shopping, as if he'd just come in the door when it happened? If he was really drunk, drunk enough that he passed out or had a seizure, he couldn't have walked to the shop. Why did I leave him that day when I was still concerned? Why didn't I insist his mum break our front door down that night, when I was hundreds of miles away and knew something was wrong?? Why did I listen to her going on about not wanting to disturb the neighbours and that he was "probably just passed out asleep"? I lay awake all night in that hotel bed, wide awake, staring at our messages, praying I'd see him come online just once. I didn't even want a reply anymore. If I could just see him online, I could relax.

I remember sitting trying to eat an egg for breakfast the next morning, knowing that no matter what, we were cutting our trip short and going home straight away. His mum called me as her husband was trying to climb a ladder and squeeze through our bedroom window. I remember hearing him open our front door and say, "call an ambulance." She hung up and I rushed back to our room. I remember our friend hugging me tightly on the bed as I rocked back and forward waiting for his mum to call me back. Our friend was promising me he'd be okay, that he was just being a selfish idiot again. Alcohol was the devil. He'd drank too much and passed out and maybe even needed his stomach pumped, but he'd be okay. I think she was trying to convince herself, because I knew she was wrong. His mum called me back, I cried out before she'd even told me he was gone and threw up. Our friend and I had met through my partner many years prior. They were old school friends. She must have been in so much shock and pain too, but she managed to somehow get us home that day. We had been best girlfriends from the day he had introduced us, two peas in a pod. During the reception, after the funeral service, there was a book people could write messages in. In our friends message, she thanked him for all the wonderful, hilarious memories and for giving her me. I couldn't even think of anything to write.

I remember our drive home, but I couldn't go home because he was still on our kitchen floor with his mum holding him, waiting on the ambulance to take him to the morgue. I went to my parents house but I couldn't settle and I made them take me home that night. I remember walking towards our dark house with my key in hand, praying this was all a nightmare or some cruel joke and that he'd be in bed with the cat, waiting for me to get home and yell at him for the panic he'd caused. There was his backpack on the kitchen counter, along with an open packet of jam donuts and some pringles. When I looked in the bin I could see how much he'd drank. The corner cabinet door was damaged and the fruit bowl was on its side, like he'd maybe tried to grab hold of something. Everything was just as he'd left it. The tablet was plugged in and still running a game upstairs. An empty chocolate wrapper was lying on the table by the sofa in the lounge. His beanie hat was exactly where he always threw it after he got home. His vape was sitting charging. He'd bought a pot noodle and some tins of pepsi max. The new ginger flavour. They've stopped making it now. I lay on the floor, in the place I could see he had been and cried my heart out as my parents watched in dismay. Mum stayed over with me that night and I didn't clean up until the next day. His mum didn't seem happy that I'd cleaned up but that was my home, not hers.

I woke up in that house everyday until the day of his service, expecting him to walk through the door at some stage with yet another pair of new trainers and a McDonald's cheeseburger. To be honest, I waited everyday after the service too. Even as I was packing up my boxes in the early hours of the morning, the day the removal crew were arriving, I was mad he wasn't there to help. Why did I have to do all this by myself? Why did I have to do it at all?? He'd asked me to move in with him the previous year when he bought the house and now he just leaves me to deal with this alone?

114 days later and I still can't process any of it. It helps to write it all down though. I haven't been crying a lot again, I go through phases, but this is cathartic. Willow, my mum's dog, was sick this past weekend. We had to take her to the emergency vet. I spent two nights awake with her, feeding her water from a syringe and keeping her temperature down with a cool cloth over her ears and paws. He was her favourite human. I think of that every time she's trying to give me slobbery kisses. I miss him so much my chest hurts. There are so many things already that I wish I could tell him. He'd probably have already seen it or read about it, but it kills me I can't share these things with him anymore. I've never felt so empty and alone. I don't feel like I have a home anymore, that I belong anywhere and I've never felt this way before. I have no idea how to face the rest of my life after this. If one more person says "one day at a time", I'll scream. 

I wanted to post something somewhere online, hoping for some relief and because there is a severe lack of mental health support in my local area atm due to covid restrictions and a crippled healthcare system. I also wanted to find out if anyone else has had any experience with partner's families turning cold towards you or treating you badly out of nowhere? That's what makes me feel sick most days at the moment and I've been trying my best to move forward and forgive his mum. I can't imagine her pain and I've never claimed to. Still, she has no right to dismiss my grief, no right to treat me like I no longer exist and can't see our cat. I know there's absolutely nothing I can do about it that won't cause more anger and pain and upset though. 

I keep coming back around to the idea that I must deserve all that's happened. For all the times I lost my patience with him and moaned at him over stupid things. Lecturing him for handling work and his stress the 'wrong way' and for not setting boundaries with his overbearing mother. I didn't take care of him well enough. I was always asking him for more than he was capable of giving. I didn't accept him as he was, I was too demanding. I never did the dishes. I stopped spending the evenings with him when he was drinking. I couldn't stand watching him drink so fast and get drunk so quickly. I couldn't stand the smell anymore, or how badly it made him snore. No matter how much I begged, he would just say, "I'll take a break tomorrow night."

I would give ANYTHING to have that snore back now. I would sit with him every night, even have a few drinks with him. If he hadn't been sober for two months and hadn't been to the GP and started medication for his anxiety, it might not have killed him. 

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Bunflo, I'm sitting here reading your very moving post and my heart really goes out to you. How I understand all your Whys and how irritating it is when people say life goes on, one day at a time, you'll get over it, and so on... I lost my husband suddenly, a yr ago, from a heart attack after 25 yrs of marriage, and at first I also had problems with my mother-in-law. I actually blamed her for having caused so much stress for my husband because lately she had been impossible to deal with. She lived alone and although my husband (the only son she had left, her other younger son had died 10 yrs before) had advised and literally begged her to come and stay with us as she was no longer capable of looking after herself, loss of memory, no hygiene, not taking medicines, just lying in bed or sitting on a chair all day(probably the start of dementia), she refused and became verbally aggressive towards us. Anyway, it's all passed now, I now know it's nobody's fault, but it's our human nature that makes us have feelings of regret, blaming ourselves and others. Your grief and your MIL's grief are different but are equally unbearable, so it can sometimes cause conflicts between the two.My MIL has now also passed away, but from the day after my soulmate was taken from me, right until the day she died, I just never really managed to  'make up' with her (sadly, I might say). 

Everything you are feeling now is absolutely normal,and the fact that you've written this post here  really is a big step towards your healing, and I'm sure sharing our grief all together will provide you with the comfort you need. 

Take care. 

 

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I am so sorry for your loss and for all you're going through!  I hope you will continue to come here to read and post, it helps us process our grief and know we are not alone.

Sending thoughts and prayers to comfort you...

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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I'm very sorry for your loss. I lost my boyfriend too, I was 35 years old and he was 31. Nobody in my circle understood my pain and my loss. 

Some people are new to this forum and have recently lost their beloved ones. I thought I may post and quote here two articles who aren't available online anymore (author Tim Lawrence) but they try to explain why we are/were feeling broken and misunderstood.

The following belongs to this author:

"Grieving people are already facing the most difficult battles of their lives. Labeling them as victims and wallowers only reinforces their feelings of shame and self-hatred.

With that said, even those we deem to be “wallowing” are still deserving of our love and compassion. In fact, they need our acknowledgment and support even more than others do, as they’re the most likely to be abandoned and forced to navigate their grief terrified and alone. 

At the end of the day, if you are grieving, please remember:

Grieving is not wallowing.

Grieving is not synonymous with weakness"

I would like to say to all of those who have recently or not lost someone: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FROM WHICH YOU SHOULD BE OVER BY NOW. Spoiler: that sort of expectation is fake news. 

I was terrified and alone. But I have survived and trust you can make it too. 

and for those who are hearing something related to Things happen for a reason, and you feel hurt at this, check this out https://www.smilingwisdom.com/single-post/2016/04/26/not-everything-happens-for-a-reason-the-magic-words-to-say-when-everything-s-going-wrong

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You have so much to process at the worst possible time.  My heart breaks for you.  I cannot understand why his mother is treating you as she is beyond she is reacting in her own angry grief.  This usually brings people together.  I wish I had something soothing to say.

57 minutes ago, scba said:

Grieving is not wallowing.

Grieving is not synonymous with weakness"

This was excellent.  I don’t know how much extra pain was inflicted on me by people trying to help, but had no clue.  I never got the 'happens for a reason' thank gawd, but I did get pressure to get 'better' faster.  There is no getting better.  Just have to exist with it forever.  
 

His mother is in another grief, but it doesn’t justify her taking out on you.  No right to take your cat that you and he got together.  Some get so angry (and losing a child must be devastating) they lash out at anything or one that reminds them.  It’s not right, but it happens. It sounds like you are still staying in his house.  It’s your house too....your home you shared with him.  I desperately cling to ours as we made it a cozy home.  I, too, feel how cold it has become.  My dog is with sitters as I have med problems and can’t care for her.  So it’s very empty.  All the life has been sucked out of here.  Half of me died when he did.  It’s gone forever.  Everywhere I turn has a memory. Not making any new ones.  That is the hard part.  Getting thru special times like the holidays on fumes of the past.  

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Thank you all so much for your replies. It means a lot to see that anyone has taken the time to read what became an essay in the end! I hope more members are able to respond, more that have had difficult MIL experiences like you have shared with me V.R. and some that have also lost partners they weren't married to, who have experienced feelings of isolation and powerlessness as you've touched on scba. It helps so much to know that what I'm feeling isn't wrong or unfair or cruel or simply self-pity. I need to know I have every right to feel these emotions. If anyone has lost someone due to addiction too... although I'm sure I will find an entirely separate thread addressing this. If anyone has any suggestions or can point me towards any real time chat rooms, I would really appreciate it. Preferably in the UK, but I'm awake all hours at the moment anyway and grief is most certainly universal.

If I can ask, what was it that you all did in the months after losing your loved ones that helped you to let go of the things you couldn't control and helped you accept the fact that others can be completely dismissive of your pain because of their own grief? I'm also learning that people's separate experiences of grief can have them offering up words and advice that are more harmful than helpful? I thought my grandmother, who lost her youngest son suddenly when he was only 23, would be the person I could talk to the most. Sadly, she is more concerned that I'm visiting her less since my love's death and doesn't seem to understand my emotions at all.

I would also love to hear from anyone who has had things taken from them by a deceased partners family that you owned together or that meant a great deal to you, purely due to the fact you had no legal standing. If so, how did you navigate the extreme feelings of despair and betrayal surrounding that? I know that I won't retaliate as it will only make things worse and upset and anger us all further, but my heart hangs heavy under the weight of this.

I need to find some way of reconciling reality and what I wish was reality. Not just when it comes to my partner's death, but also everything that has come afterwards that has been so unexpected and unimaginably difficult. I felt I had to contact the coroner directly for information on my partner's autopsy results. His mother had told me that as soon as she had been given the final cause of death, she would contact me. I knew it was taking too long and that I had every right to know. In fact I feel very strongly that I should have been directly informed along with his mother. So much was just taken from me, as if I had no right to anything other than a choice of flower arrangement (which he wouldn't have wanted, because he wouldn't have wanted a service at all!) and a spoonful of his ashes. It turns out the report had been filed for weeks and she hasn't told anyone outside of her now husband and my partner's father, her ex-husband. Not even his own brother knew. She feels shame because his cause of death has been officially recorded as being alcohol related, but I can't fathom how anyone can prioritise worry over other people's opinions in a time like this. I certainly can't fathom how the shame she feels keeps her from sharing that information with his only sibling and with me. So much stigma and guising to save face. So much falsity when all that should matter is how much we love him and how brilliant he was, faults and all. How dare she be ashamed of anything connected to him. 

I thought this evening that I was in a better space and was feeling a little festive, so I put a Christmas movie on in bed. It only served to remind me of our last Christmas together and that we'll never have one together again. The permanence of it all and how absolutely unfair it is still catches in my throat. It's so difficult to accept any of it.

I hope you're all doing okay during this holiday season, whether you celebrate it or don't and whatever okay means to each of you now. All my love.

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13 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

It sounds like you are still staying in his house.  It’s your house too....your home you shared with him.

 

Sadly I was forced to leave our home. His mum informed me not long after my partner's service that I had four weeks to leave and I had no legal standing. We were unmarried, he hadn't drawn a will up yet and he owned the house, my name was not on the mortgage. 

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. There are no soothing words, as we all know too well. Honestly I feel better when people avoid the subject altogether now and simply talk about their day or their stresses. Even if I'm not taking half of it in, most understand enough to know concentration isn't my strong suit at the moment.

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Unfortunately, legally things go to next of kin normally.   You have many questions, and will continue to do so.  I wish there was a manual as we all could have used it. These deaths evoke all kinds of good and bad reactions.  I’m so sorry you got so much bad on top of your loss.  

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2 hours ago, bunflo said:

If anyone has lost someone due to addiction too... although I'm sure I will find an entirely separate thread addressing this. If anyone has any suggestions or can point me towards any real time chat rooms, I would really appreciate it. Preferably in the UK, but I'm awake all hours at the moment anyway and grief is most certainly universal.

Alcohol-related bereavement

Adfam_Journeys-living-with-drug-or-alcohol-bereavement.pdf

Al-Anon - UK

Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs (The BEAD Project - UK)

CruseChat | Chat Online - Cruse.Org.UK

See also:

Coping with Hidden Sorrow

How We Mourn: Understanding Our Differences

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8 hours ago, scba said:

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FROM WHICH YOU SHOULD BE OVER BY NOW. Spoiler: that sort of expectation is fake news. 

I still sit in my chair and cry.  A movie will be over, something sad, something happy, I will just cry and cry, then I will quit and do something else.  No one will understand you, me, us, anything at all until it happens to them.  Then we have empathy for the other person.  And, when you have that much empathy, all you can do is say "I'm sorry, I have no words that will help."  And I go back to Rose Kennedy's words, not the official words, just the meaning.  The wound will never heal, you will form scar tissue.  That is true, but that scar tissue can just be knocked off.  

I am a Grinch.  I don't like Christmas.  Billy was a child all his life at Christmas.  He started telling what he wanted next year too.  And his kids, well, he was the child we bought for.  Now Christmas can come and go and I feel I let the whole family down.  I don't want anything.  I am hard to buy for and they know I mean it.  I ruin holidays.  

I'm sure I have written pages and pages of my feelings.  I let it all hang out and go on and on.  Mostly memories.  It still hurts to remember too much.  I will recall little things that happened.  Sometimes I will ask myself if it really happened.  He took up 54 years of my life and I knew he was so calm, so laid back, I knew he would outlive us all.  

Come back and read from years back.  I don't think anyone holds back.  And, we all understand.  I had a supervisor once who was so serious and one time she told me "you really are crazy."  I didn't get my feelings hurt, this was before Billy left.  It helps to be a little crazy sometimes.  Billy was gone three days and I found this forum.  Maybe misery loves company, I don't know the reason, but knowing you really are no different helps.  And, being a little crazy helps too..

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Good morning bunflo, as you've said, I see you live in the U. K., so I think we have only an hour's difference between us. I live in Italy, but I was born and grew up in London. I had always wanted to live in Italy (my parents are both Italian), and at 26 yrs-old, I decided to leave my office job in Central London, take an English Teaching course and move to Italy.. Just think, after about a yr I started having  second thoughts, wanted to go back to London, missed my mum and dad, but then I met my prince charming, and in a matter of 10 months we were blissfully married and expecting our first child. Now here I am, living a completely unexpected existence, still not 'understanding', 'accepting',not being able to come to terms with, he was only 57,I'm 54, didn't have any health problems. He was a smoker, but so many smokers live until their 90s.

Anyway,how did I get thru the first few months? Well, that terrible unforgettable day that changed our lives forever (15/11/20), was by coincidence the first day of our regional Covid total lockdown, could only go out for necessary shopping, medicines or work, taking along with you a completed, signed form declaring motive for leaving the house! So can you imagine, even if I didn't wish to see or talk to anyone, this situation added even more sorrow for us because house visitors were out of bounds and this lasted for 3 months. My son and daughter and I found ourselves completely isolated with my MIL staying with us(she had no choice, being unable to care for herself, physically she was fine, but mentally, no.) We just never talked about what had happened, there was a 'wall' inside us, that we were unable to climb over to let it all out. Nothing, complete numbness! My daughter said to me:I 'I'm trying to get over this by NOT THINKING.' At the time I just wanted to close myself up inside a cupboard and never ever again come out, but I had to look after my family, my house, I had to take the reigns, and this is what I'm still doing, and I hope I'm doing it well, I'm doing my best. Anyway, soon after, my MIL insisted on being taken back to her house, where a month later she fell and broke her hip bone! After surgery, she was bed-ridden, and my daughter and I had to care for her, luckily we found a night care - giver. I remember saying to the physiotherapist: "I haven't even had time to grieve my husband'. We were absolutely mentally and physically distraught, also because we lived far away, so driving backwards and forwards, in full winter, ice, rain, snow, etc. 

Recently, I have plucked up the courage to go into our music room (my husband and I had started learning to play the piano together), where now, I 'let it all out" and shout out my anger, grief, sorrow and hundreds of other emotions, by singing and playing, mind you, not the same songs we played together, no, can't do that yet.... Have to play different ones, otherwise, I would just break down. 

Of course your cat should stay with you,  she belongs to you and your loved one. How can anyone just consider taking her away from you? We also have 2 adorable cats and it really is very comforting to have your loving pet to cuddle and look after. 

Wishing you all the best. 

Enza 

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I thought mine was the worst in-law, he didn't love his son (his mom was dead), kids doing prison on the installment plan...one tried to bilk me.  His dad didn't even bother attending his funeral!  He lived two hours away and was offered a ride.  Took him a year to call me and all he did was badmouth George.  I reminded him of all his son had done for him and I told him to call back when he had something nice to say, he never did.

I am so sorry for these people who call themselves his family!  They'd be greatly grieved if they knew how their family behaved to us.  

Yes you should get your shared cat!  My daughter went through this, her BF broke up with her and took HER cat!  This was 20+ years ago, it still brings tears to her eyes.  The cat would pick YOU!

Nothing right or fair about any of this, I am so sorry.

Enza, I'm glad you have music for an outlet...

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I answered like I know what I'm talking about.  I had trouble with my in-laws at first, but lost my fil to cancer early on.  My mil did not live much longer.  First five years she and I were at a sort of war.  I wish you could have seen "Nanny."  In the old movies the women's prison warden looked just like my mil.  That woman could curse any sailor out any day.  I remember someone asked her if she liked her new dil.  She had only one bad thing to say.  "She's not a good housekeeper."  How could I get angry?  I'm still not a good housekeeper.  I had Kelli at 5 years into being married.  She was Nanny's favorite and Kelli got to keep her, and Nanny got to love her for about eight years.  And, as long as my Kelli is alive, her Nanny and her Maw will live too.  She is as tough as both of them.  Billy's family was a lot older than mine.  We didn't keep him or them long enough.  So, I can't fuss about my in-law's.  Now, Nanny was a "rounder" and Billy loved her.  I think when my fil passed, she had a date with the undertaker.  Billy had a lot to live with, but he loved his family.  And, I miss them all.  I'm sorry for the trouble you all had with in-laws.  I had my share of conflict with a sil.  I sat with her in the hospital when she passed from lung cancer.  The doc once asked her how many packs she smoked a day and she said four.  She was in her 70's.  Her son and Billy had gone out in the hall.  I watched her clean sheets folded once down from her neck.  She was asleep.  She was in no pain.  She did not move a muscle, no twitch to her face, totally peaceful.  I watched her breathing, no bad breathing, and then I noticed the sheet was not going up and down.  I called the nurse and Billy.  I had never seen anyone die before.  Billy loved her so much.  She was so much older it was like another mother. 

I had never bought groceries.  Dumb-ass kid.  We ran out  fast.  My in-laws were poor.  We ate with his folks the first month or so.  His mom made the best "fat back" pinto beans, cornbread and sweet tea, onions grown in my father-in-law's garden.  (He would not let anyone come in his garden).  I think I only have good, but sad memories. 

I'm sorry this pandemic is in such a mess.  I'm sorry we cannot enjoy holidays.  I'm sorry.

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6 hours ago, Marg M said:

I answered like I know what I'm talking about.  I had trouble with my in-laws at first, but lost my fil to cancer early on.  My mil did not live much longer.  First five years she and I were at a sort of war.  I wish you could have seen "Nanny."  In the old movies the women's prison warden looked just like my mil.  That woman could curse any sailor out any day.  I remember someone asked her if she liked her new dil.  She had only one bad thing to say.  "She's not a good housekeeper."  How could I get angry?  I'm still not a good housekeeper.  I had Kelli at 5 years into being married.  She was Nanny's favorite and Kelli got to keep her, and Nanny got to love her for about eight years.  And, as long as my Kelli is alive, her Nanny and her Maw will live too.  She is as tough as both of them.  Billy's family was a lot older than mine.  We didn't keep him or them long enough.  So, I can't fuss about my in-law's.  Now, Nanny was a "rounder" and Billy loved her.  I think when my fil passed, she had a date with the undertaker.  Billy had a lot to live with, but he loved his family.  And, I miss them all.  I'm sorry for the trouble you all had with in-laws.  I had my share of conflict with a sil.  I sat with her in the hospital when she passed from lung cancer.  The doc once asked her how many packs she smoked a day and she said four.  She was in her 70's.  Her son and Billy had gone out in the hall.  I watched her clean sheets folded once down from her neck.  She was asleep.  She was in no pain.  She did not move a muscle, no twitch to her face, totally peaceful.  I watched her breathing, no bad breathing, and then I noticed the sheet was not going up and down.  I called the nurse and Billy.  I had never seen anyone die before.  Billy loved her so much.  She was so much older it was like another mother. 

I had never bought groceries.  Dumb-ass kid.  We ran out  fast.  My in-laws were poor.  We ate with his folks the first month or so.  His mom made the best "fat back" pinto beans, cornbread and sweet tea, onions grown in my father-in-law's garden.  (He would not let anyone come in his garden).  I think I only have good, but sad memories. 

I'm sorry this pandemic is in such a mess.  I'm sorry we cannot enjoy holidays.  I'm sorry.

I hope you don't mind me saying this (is your name Marg or possibly short for Margaret..?), but parts of your stories have almost made me giggle and I am so, so grateful for that. Anything that makes me smile or laugh these days is sorely welcomed and I have loved reading everything you've written. Thank you for sharing so many little memories and tidbits too. Families are difficult, as if it isn't hard enough dealing with our own relatives at times. In laws, or the equivalent to I guess in my case, can be a pure nightmare. It's all just so tragic, I'm sure we could even cry for each other at times. I'm so sorry for your loss and I agree with you wholeheartedly, it absolutely helps to be a little crazy... In fact I think it's essential x

Enza, I'm so glad you have been able to go into the music room now and that you're able to take time to grieve. Once I left my home and moved back into my parents house, I didn't have our bedroom or his study to go and be still in anymore. I've found it has maybe helped in a sense but broken my heart more than was necessary too. I have little things of his I managed to keep, but I know how you feel when you say you couldn't stand to play the songs you and he did. I can't bring myself to watch new episodes of our favourite TV shows, or rewatch the movies we used to watch on repeat together at bedtime. There is music that I will listen to, because music was such an important part of him and our relationship, but I can't help but breakdown and cry at a lot of it. I'm reminded of him even in things he will never see or know about and sometimes I think that's even worse than the memories attached to 'our things'.

Kayc, I can't believe the gall of your ex fil and I cried when I read about your daughter and her cat. I cry about our cat all the time and I know sometimes people think it's a bit stupid, but pets can be just as important as people in my opinion (to be honest I prefer then 99% of the time). 

I keep having flashbacks to that last text message the would be mil sent me and feeling moments of frustration and rage. I wish I could forget about it completely and ofc I distract myself by sleeping or driving or being with family and friends, but it's eating away at me. The way she's spoken to me and how much I miss the cat. She probably thinks I've left her too, but I'm right here! She has always been comfortable in his mum's house, so I wanted her to stay there anyways. She wouldn't have settled well at my parents, but to think that she's wondering where her daddy is (they were inseparable, best friends truly) and that I'm also completely absent is just pain on top of pain on top of pain. I have to learn to accept these things as they are, because I'm not willing to stoop to hurting people to get what I want. Not even because I like to think I'm a good person because honestly if I saw her right now I might not be so silent, but because I keep trying to react to everything the way he would want me to. When I can. I know I'm not reacting to his death the way he'd want me to, but that's just pushing it haha.

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22 minutes ago, bunflo said:

hope you don't mind me saying this (is your name Marg or possibly short for Margaret..?)

It is.  Billy always called me Marg, unless he was angry and then it was Margaret.  My sister calls me "Moggy" and the same, if she is perturbed at me, it is Margaret.  It was an old name when Mama gave it to me.  Many relatives generations back carried it on.  Now, it really is an old woman's name and it dawned on me, I'm the last one to carry it.  (in our immediate family).  I'm glad to make you smile.  I had to watch the series "Grace and Frankie" to laugh the first time, and it felt good.  

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2 hours ago, Marg M said:

It is.  Billy always called me Marg, unless he was angry and then it was Margaret.  My sister calls me "Moggy" and the same, if she is perturbed at me, it is Margaret.  It was an old name when Mama gave it to me.  Many relatives generations back carried it on.  Now, it really is an old woman's name and it dawned on me, I'm the last one to carry it.  (in our immediate family).  I'm glad to make you smile.  I had to watch the series "Grace and Frankie" to laugh the first time, and it felt good.  

My middle name is Margaret, after my grandmother and I have an aunt called Margaret too! I think 'Moggy' is a great nickname for it. 

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Bunflo, just wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss and all that has taken place since. I am appalled at the way you have been treated. My in laws lived far across the country from us and I had very little contact with them. They never meddled in our lives and both were already gone when my husband died.

I hope someday soon that your partner's mother realizes what an injustice she has inflicted upon you.

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2 minutes ago, KarenK said:

Bunflo, just wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss and all that has taken place since. I am appalled at the way you have been treated. My in laws lived far across the country from us and I had very little contact with them. They never meddled in our lives and both were already gone when my husband died.

I hope someday soon that your partner's mother realizes what an injustice she has inflicted upon you.

Thank you so much Karen x

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16 hours ago, bunflo said:

pets can be just as important as people in my opinion (to be honest I prefer then 99% of the time

Me too, you're not alone.  Animals would never do some of the things people do.  Always loyal, loving, attentive.

16 hours ago, bunflo said:

I wish I could forget about it completely

Have you tried writing a letter to her, getting it out, and then burning it?  It might help as a way of dismissing it.

16 hours ago, bunflo said:

I know I'm not reacting to his death the way he'd want me to

You've got to remember, they never had to deal with this so they can't "expect us" to be any certain way!  We all handle this the best way we can and it's a process, I think they'd applaud us for the strength we've shown, even while in tears and pain...just to get up and go about your day is a LOT!  No matter how we do it.

16 hours ago, bunflo said:

parts of your stories have almost made me giggle and I am so, so grateful for that. Anything that makes me smile or laugh these days is sorely welcomed

Marg is a wonderful storyteller, she missed her calling, she could have easily been a writer!   She makes all of us smile. ;)

 

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