The vultures strike! Everyone is grieving in their own way, but you must put yourself first! My husband Ernie passed away April 27th, 2011 from pancreatic cancer and I was not able to make it in time before he passed. It was a long illness and I did everything humanly possible, but I miss my love. It was not long after he passed I had some family and some friends ask if they could have this or that of my husbands (mainly his fishing equipment; was I selling his boat; truck/camper.) My heart was breaking; I was walking around in the fog, but, in that fog I learned to say the words 'NO!' You should never make any decisions on selling or giving anything away; going through your husband's personal effects until you feel like it. Just say it like it is! If you feel like it then bag up your husband's clothes, but keep a shirt; t-shirt; bathrobe of his that you can cuddle up in when you feel so alone.
Unfortunately, unless others such as all of us here on the forum have lost a spouse no one else who hasn't can never feel the loss you do or that you feel your heart has been twisted in your body. It is OK to cry; kick a door; yell or just try and go to sleep for an hour or two and put the phone ringer off so you are not disturbed. You will feel mentally and physically tired for some time to come.
YOU are fine and it is those around you that are not being sensitive enough. His mother is grieving and not coping well and it is time for other relatives (even yours) to step in and help you out. Your husband chose you as his wife and you have children together and whether his family likes it or not your husband loved you and it is no one else's business. Religious conflict is very common and I had problems with my husband's sister because she is a Born Again Christian; my husband was an Agnostic (I am Christian) but my husband and I respected each others belief systems in the 38 years of marriage and knowing him for 45 years. Thankfully, the funeral is over and now you are left wondering if you did all the right things which is very normal. You did! Your husband would be very proud of you.
Because my husband's sister did not treat me well throughout our marriage and interfered at the hospital scaring my husband with 'if you do not take Jesus into your heart you will not go to heaven' (knowing full well when I was not going to be at the hospital at that time until I had the nurses ban her from seeing my husband) my husband and I had a long talk about religion and I told him not to worry and he was much loved and to let go. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Now that my beloved is gone I have divorced my sister-in-law and no longer see them. I told her straight out how I felt and to not bother me any longer. So far so good. You do not need to answer emails or the phone and you have a right to take time in your grieving process. Reach out to your own family; love your children; call on your friends and ask for help when you need it and if you have a religious faith then use that too. It is one shaky step at a time and we are all going through it, but no matter how dark our lives may feel at times we will make it and there will come a time when we are calm and well enough both mentally and physically where we can think of the wonderful memories we had with our loved one.
Meanwhile, phone any local hospital as there are generally Hospice Counseling (I go to them) for grieving widows and try to go as it does help. It makes you realize that others are going through the same pain and keep coming back onto this forum for moral support (time changes will allow one of us to be here to listen) and just let your feelings come out on your keyboard. Don't ever apologize about venting; feeling angry; crying; etc. We all understand.
Christie Am so sorry about your struggles with family, and your loss. I had a similar experience, and have gone on to counseling, and have been getting stronger, with groups I have joined. Be Strong Christy,, And God keep you in his Arms.
Marcie I say ditto to you, so well said
Christy - that is unbelievable what your in-laws have done to you. As others have said you take care of yourself. I can't believe they think the ex had any right to help plan his funeral. I think that was inappropriate for her to be there - especially when she made life so difficult for your husband. They need to realize you have to do things in your own time not their time! I know it is their son and and sibling but you are and were his wife. There is no way they should have received the autopsy report. That should have been released to you only. You may have a case in HIPAA if the hospital or a hospital employee gave them this information without your signed release. The exception would be if your husband previously signed a release giving them access to his records. A text message no less! They are being down right cruel and obviously are not thinking about you and your feelings doing things like this. It makes me pretty angry! I'd like to call them and give them the 101 on losing a spouse and how in-laws should behave!
Don't you feel any pressure to give up anything else to them until you are good and ready. Put them on ignore as much as you can and take care of yourself. I'd certainly look into the released autopsy report to find out why that was released to them before you. You are the rightful heir to your husband's estate not them. Grrr!
Geeze- bless your heart; you really have been treated disrepectively by these people. I have had it equally hard, but I was not the "legal" wife, so they could get away with disrespecting me, although they held me in very high regard while Larry was alive. Out of his entire extended family, only about 5 photos were supplied for the DVD that was made for his funeral, by anyone other than me! Then, while they are ignoring me, they made copies of those photos & put them on a local channel commercial with a statement of how much they love him & named each of them-brother aunts,... but no mention of me. They didn't know where the photos were made, when; nothing. They make me sick. They even put a photo my daughter took of us on the cover of the DVD & cut me out of it!
It hurts tremendously knowing that it was me & Larry for the past 8 yrs recovering from our painful pasts -his stemming from the neglect & mistreatment of these people who now have turned on me. We accomplished alot together during our time as husband & wife. Yes, we really were husband & wife- a completely committed/devoted couple who shared a home & combined family & looked forward to many years together making up for lost time. I have no legal rights, yet I alone have taken care of nearly everything, all the while wondering if they were going to come behind me & undo whatever I did. It has been 1 yr. next wk & he still does not have a headstone-the 1 thing they said they had done-of course without my input, yet where is it? I really don't think they will ever do it. They straight out lied 11 months ago when they said they ordered it.
How long were you & your husband together before you married? I was just wondering how attached the children might be? You sd they live 4 hrs away? I know they are very young & you want to remain in their lives, but it does sound like a very difficult situation. My stepson lived with us & now lives only 20 minutes away, but I have only seen him once during his summer vacation. He has sd repeatedly that he wants to live with me & go to school here, but lawyers say I would be subjected to his mother's authority... and it would be a very bad situation for me to live under. His mother is so jealous that it will never happen.
I say all this because because I relate to what you are going through. I don't mean to compound your problems by adding mine. It's just that we have to hang in there & do what we can in every given situation wether its dealing with headstones, or ex's, or trying to be there for the children. All we can do is all we can do. Don't let them bully you & above all, don't bully yourself! Hugs & best wishes~ Christy
Christy, Cathy and Pete, I am so sorry for what you all are going through with in-laws and family. I have always heard that the real person will come out in people when there is a death and pretty much I think that is true. I also think that in every family there is someone who shows their real self when someone dies. I always knew that Neal's mother did not treat him like her other children, but I never would have guessed at what she did. On Friday at lunch time, October 15, 2011, I knew Neal was getting worse so I had one of my sons call his sister who lives in SC (I live in NC) and tell her about Neal. Neal's mother lives with her so they both came up here. Neals mother and sister came in the bedroom and she kissed Neal on the forehead and then she told Neals sister she wanted to go to her sisters and visit. Can you believe a mother would leave to "visit" instead of staying with her son who was dying? I wrote her off my list then and there as she was not deserving to have had a son like Neal. One of Neals brothers had not talked with Neal in 2 years and did not even call him when he was told that Neal had lung cancer. Then he had the gall to come to my house after the funeral, which he did not attend. I know he was just going to see what he could get, But both of my sons and some of their friends escorted him off my property and I did not have to deal with him.
I have 2 sisters and they were right there for me for about two months after Neal died, then nothing. I have not heard from either one of them since, but my brother calls me every week to check up on me. So some family members are so disappointing to us.
We just have to hang in there and be there for each other here on this site. It is so unreal to me that all of you on this site, whom I have never met, have "talked to me more than my sisters. Thank you each and everyone of you. HUGS