Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Having To Grieve In Secret

Recommended Posts


I need to tell my story for I am finding it difficult to cope.

Several months ago I met Mark who I fell head over heels for. We were so alike, shared the same passions and dreams. However we were both married to other people with children - his older than mine, mine are 10 and 11. We tried to keep apart but eventually the inevitable happened and we started a relationship. Within 2 weeks both of our spouses had found out. We were both relieved, neither of us were coping well with the deceit and hadn't done anything like this before.

I left home immediately whilst I tried to work out what to do. It was so hard leaving my girls but I knew I couldn't disrupt their lives any more than I needed to . We didn't tell them why, just sad that Mum & Dad were having problems. He stayed in his home, sleeping on the sofa and tried to work out a way of living there whilst I sorted myself out. I was torn for a while - I wanted to go home but I was so in love with Mark.

His home life descended into hell, his wife was incredibly bitter and did everything she could to get him out of the house. She stopped him from having any money, only bought food for her and the kids. Eventually 3 weeks ago she accused him of assaulting her and got him arrested and charged. As a result he had to gather his things, leave the house and have no further contact with her and the kids until after the case was heard.

It was actually good for us. We could spend lots of time together and got even closer than ever. But then, last Friday, he was driving his works van and suffered a massive heart attack. He was gone, it took lots of CPR and shocks to bring him back. He ended up in intensive care and in the early hours of Sunday had another heart attack. Later the Doctors said that it was only the machines keeping him alive and his family agreed to turn them off.

Of course I was allowed nowhere near the hospital. I didn't even know what had gone for hours after his heart attack. Then after I found out he died I was forbidden from viewing his body even though I begged his estranged wife. I have also been forbidden from attending his funeral, visiting his grave, having any sort of contact with his family and friends.

I can totally understand her reactions. Things between them were left in such a bad state. She is going to have some serious guilt and pain to work through as are his children. They hadn't spoken to him in over 2 weeks. I feel desperately sorry for them. I know that Mark died happy with me and I can take some comfort in that. His last messages to me were minutes before he crashed and told me how happy he was, how he couldn't stop smiling, that despite the high cost he was so glad he had met me.

My estranged husband has been incredibly good in all this and supported me. He is desperate to have me back I know that. But of course I can only show so much emotion for I know it will hurt him. The rest of my family are good but they all think I need to put Mark behind me and concentrate on my family.

I have been having physical reactions, breathing problems and uncontrollable shaking. I visited my GP yesterday and she has put my on some medication saying that I am having panic attacks and anxiety.

I feel so lost and I don't know what to do with myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of us here grieve in our own way. You rosie1, have a somewhat unique position of not being in touch with family who can support you but perhaps you can talk with friends of Marks who may be neutral or one's that you have met while you two were together. Do you have any friends who knew of your feelings for him and are still in your life? If not, it would be a good idea to seek a grief counselor for your grief is every bit as real as any one else here. No one should or can grieve alone.

For what it's worth, I was in a very dysfunctional marriage when I met Kathy. I had no choice. I knew from the moment I met her that she was the one was always suppose to be with. I had to leave that marriage or lose her. Simple choice really. even if difficult. Even had I known it would only last fourteen years, I would do it again. I can handle the pain. The love is worth it. Without Kathy, I wouldn't have lived this long anyway.

Good luck to you in your grief's journey. You have so much to deal with yet you will find help here without judgment. Grief only means you love someone. It doesn't care how you got there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was another person here, Cakes01, that was in the same situation, her partner was a firefighter, they were living together, and he was estranged from his wife, who was carrying his coworker's baby. When he died, Cakes01 wasn't allowed to attend the funeral. Small town, everyone against her. It's been very hard. It's been quite a while now but she's doing better.

Is there a nearby town where you could attend a grief support group and people from your home town wouldn't know? You might want to see a grief counselor. If you want to save your marriage on down the road, there will be a lot to come to terms with, understanding the hurts you've both had (it's seldom all on one person), learning how to meet each other's needs, communicate well, etc., and rebuilding trust. A marriage counselor might be able to help you know how to proceed, but it might help to back up and start over as friends and go from there. None of this is going to be instant or easy. It takes time to grieve, and it's important you know that this is a safe place for you and we hear and care what you are going through.

My condolences for your loss...how very hard. If you do an (click on gear looking icon in top right corner) advanced search for Forums, author Cakes01 and leave the dates blank, click Specific Bereavement, as Posts, Ascending, you can find the posts from her. I'm unable to find the main post telling her story, she may have deleted it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry for your loss, rosie1, and what Stephen says is true: "your grief is every bit as real as any one else here. No one should or can grieve alone."

Yours is an example of what is known as disenfranchised grief, and I encourage you to do some reading about it, so you'll have a better understanding of what you're feeling and why. See, for example,

See also Disenfranchised Grief: Mourning The Loss of a Dream, and be sure to follow the links to the Related Articles you will find beneath the post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your responses. I have been to see Marks best friend, He knew nothing of us, Mark didn't see him very often and didn't want to burden him as he was having his own problems. He was so shocked when I told him and his wife but they hugged me. I have since had a very bitter message from his wife about it saying that I have now only hurt more people as they are in bits they weren't there when he died. No more contact from the friend.

Other than that there are people who know but I don't think they really appreciate what I'm feeling. They probably think that because we had only been together a matter of months, the feelings weren't that strong. But they were, in such a short space of time I loved him more than anyone. We had so many plans together. I miss him with every heartbeat. I feel like my insides have been ripped out.

I have searched for Cakes01 and found some stuff but not her original story. I think she has probably deleted it.

Disenfranchised grief sounds about right Marty. There is little acknowledgment for my loss. As I type this I can see a beautiful bouquet of flowers and sympathy card from Mark's landlord. And there is a letter in the kitchen from his solicitor with their condolences. That is it - two strangers. When my Mum died the house was overflowing. This is every bit as real and even more painful.

I desperately want to know when his funeral is. His best friend said that he would let me know but I've heard nothing and that was 4 days ago. They must have set the date by now. I am going to do my own little ritual at the same time. I have long black hair and it was a long standing joke that they ended up everywhere. Well I found one of his hairs and I have decided I am going to bury them together at a special place of ours as his funeral is taking place. But I am worried I am not going to discover when it is. I don't know why it is so important to me that I do it at the same time, but it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you checking the obituaries for information? Have you called funeral parlors?

Yeah, I think Cakes01 was worried someone from her town would read her story. She went through a pretty hard time, she eventually moved away.

Burying the hairs sounds like a good idea...at least you have a part of him to bury.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...