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FIRST PERSON: A Widow’s Words

TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE & BEREAVEMENT

first person

“What’s in a name?

Daughter, sister, friend, wife, widow….. Why do I get so hung up on titles? The title I was happiest to have was given to me on Sunday 25th May 2008 – the title was Wife. Or Wifey as my hubby Deanie called me.

But then Dean took that title away on Saturday 20th August 2011 and gave me a new one – Widow. I am a widow aged just 25.

I just don’t know where to start. I’m feeling so many different emotions – anger, grief, sadness, loneliness, lost. But the one emotion I know will never change is love. The love I have for my husband can’t change despite what my darling husband has done to me.

I greatly appreciate all the love and support of my friends and family. It’s mad – you don’t realise how much people care until something like this happens. I just wish people would show their loved ones how much they mean to them each and every day. I wish I was one of those people that showed my husband how much I loved him, despite our arguments.

I fear I did not do enough for our relationship. It is very difficult when you have two very strong minded individuals in a couple. Arguments are frustrating because one of you has to be right, it seemed like we never compromised and that is what relationships are all about – give and take.

My mind at the moment is full of ‘What ifs’. What if I hadn’t started to argue back? Should i have stayed quiet and done what my husband wanted me to do? That’s what made him ‘happy’, at least for a while.

Dean was depressed and I didn’t even realise.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I now kick myself so much for not noticing the symptoms.

I saw his unshaven beard, mismatched clothing and general poor appearance as him not bothering to make an effort. I saw his lack of interest in going out to the cinema, bowling or to a restaurant as not caring enough to take his wife out. I saw the lack of kissing, cuddling and intimacy as him not fancying me anymore.

Yet all of these characteristics are classic signs of depression. He was often very irritable and argumentative. His moods would swing so easily from calm to anger to feelings of worthlessness with such ease and quickness.

I’ve been left with so many unanswered questions. I know I will never get these answers, but I truly hope the pain will ease. I am the most impatient person in the world and all people keep saying to me is ‘The pain will go away with time’. It has got more bearable but not a day goes by without me thinking of my late husband.

The emotional rollercoaster I have been on has been incredibly intense. The emotion I felt most at ease with was numbness: I’m not even sure if it’s an emotion or not, but it’s the one I felt most at peace with.

My emotions have varied wildly.   I feel intense frustrated anger at why he did this to me and his family. I am so incredibly mad at him. It’s not just me that has been affected, but my poor Dad felt so helpless that he wasn’t able to protect me but how could he? We didn’t know Dean was thinking of killing himself.  No one did.

I occasionally brighten up a little and even laugh at jokes, but that is closely followed by extreme guilt. What right have I got to be happy or laugh when I felt responsible for the death of my husband? I know I’m not 100% to blame, Dean made the decision to do what he did himself. But how can you not blame yourself and feel responsible when someone so close to you does something like this?

The funeral was incredibly tough. I never expected it to be easy, but no one can prepare you for burying your husband – the man i was supposed to grow old with.

On the morning of the funeral, I was going through the motions alright, but it hit me when people started arriving at the house. There were so many people.  It was such a beautiful day and everyone was standing outside. But when I heard the funeral car was coming, I had to go inside and didn’t want to see it.

The journey seemed to take forever, which of course is silly to say since we were travelling understandable slow. I was annoyed by people staring at us, but not showing any signs of respect like bowing their heads or signing a cross. The first person to show respect was a man, similar in age to me, with a cigarette in his hands but at least he showed respect.

I was so shocked at how many people were there for Dean at the crematorium. I was so proud to see how many lives Dean had touched.

We walked into Wild Horses by Rolling Stones, such a lovely song – Dean loved the Stones. At the beginning of the service I read a poem. It was such a beautiful and fitting poem.  My goal for the day was to have the strength to do the reading, and I did. I tried my hardest to read it on my own, I wanted to do it for Dean. But my brother saw how emotional I was, and came to stand with me.  But i did it.

The service was beautiful and when we said our final goodbyes to Dean I placed a rose on his coffin alongside some of his family. Two lovely pictures were displayed of Dean with his beaming smile. The photos were so bitter-sweet. He seemed so happy in them but I find myself wondering if it was really a mask?

I thought I had cried all the tears I ever could but even today I still get upset thinking about Dean. Dean was my life for nearly seven years. I was very young when we got together. I have a saying: “Never regret something that once made you smile”. And despite all the tears and heartache I have experienced because of Dean’s decision, I have no regrets about our life together.

I am just incredibly sad that the person who I thought i was so close to, someone I would tell my deepest, darkest secrets to, wasn’t able to speak to me, his wife, about his wish to end his life.

I’ve written this article to urge anyone thinking of ending their life to spare a thought for those they are going to leave behind. Please don’t think that it would be better for them if you were not in their lives. Even the strongest person in the world will be destroyed when someone they love decides life isn’t worth living.”

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