I came to this site looking for relief from the angst of dealing with a sudden death. What I read was so enlightening, that I felt like someone was writing my story. It is calming to know, that someone out there knows how I feel. January 7th of this year, my beloved sister and her husband were trapped in a three story house at the shore in Margate,NJ. They thought this house was going to be a dream come true. A fire broke out in the wee hours of the morning. By 1:30 am,both my sister and her husband were dead from smoke inhalation. Their bodies were not burned, but the fire did create intense heat and smoke, which they could not escape. The sad thing was, they were both fully awake, and were aware the house was filling with smoke, but according to the fire investigator, smoke fills up quickly once a fire starts, and smoke rises, and there was no way out. The toxic smoke made it impossible for them to breathe. My dear sister was found in an upstairs bathroom curled up on the floor with a wet towel over her face. The image haunts me, and the questions are rolling through my mind, like a movie that never ends. I feel like my world is a very scary place, and even though, I have tried to move on with my life, I feel like I am floating around in a surreal existence. I suppose I need to reassured that these feelings are normal, and I am hoping that this sense of losing control over my thoughts is normal. I do experience intrusive thoughts over and over, as I relive those last moments of their lives. It has been 5 months since they died. Are these feelings normal ?

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Comment by janice shannon on May 30, 2012 at 10:22am

Dear Mary, I am so sorry for the loss of your sister and brother-in-law.  In times such as these we can find comfort and strength  to go on.   Sudden death is very hard to accept because we are not given the luxury of saying goodbye.  Having bizarre and abnormal thoughts  is part of the experience, they are quite normal.  Grieving can take a little longer when sudden death is involved. Don't be afraid to grieve it will help you get through this earth shattering experience.    I am dealing with sudden death myself as I lost my dear husband of 32 years just a few short weeks ago.  I am a Christian  and rely heavily on my faith to get thru each day.   May God watch over you and give you His peace.  

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