I'm so lost without him

by Heather Starzynski
(Batavia,NY)

On February 9th 2011 my husband of 14 years collapsed at midnight while I was sleeping..I heard him fall and got out of bed right away only to find him not breathing and unresponsive..I started cpr right away and called the ambulance ..My 10 year old daughter was watching the whole time..She kept telling me to save her daddy..Thank God my 6 yr old slept through it. The paramedics arrived and took over so I could be with both of my children while I waited for my father to come take me to the hospital. Once at the hospital I was told my husband had suffered from a sleep apnea attack which resulted in a heart attack. We didnt even know he had a heart condition..8 days later the neurologist came to his room and told me that my husband had also suffered brain damage due to the sleep apnea and said he would never wake up..I had a choice to make..Thankfully we had discussed the issue of life support after his mother died 1-1/2 years before, so I knew he didnt want to be kept alive by machines, but that didnt make my decision any easier..How do you tell your children that you are gonna kill their daddy..I made the arrangements to have him taken off the respirator and the day before this was to happen I sat with him and asked him to give me some kind of sign that I was making the right decision..I spent the rest of the day with him and friends and family..After I left the hospital I received a call from the doctor saying my husband had pulled his breathing tube and that his heart would not hold out much longer, So that was my sign ..He didnt want to put his death on my shoulders. So I got my kids and family to the hospital to say good bye..My daughter wanted to be in the room when he passed and she was the whole time..it only took 45 mins for him to pass after thay stopped the breathing bag..9 days after he was admitted. But my girl was so strong..she completely amazed me,she held her daddy's hand while he took his last breathe and told him good bye..Now 2 months later I am so lost without him. I am doing my best to make sure my kids are ok but don't have time to process the pain I feel myself. I havent even really cried.. What is wrong with me???

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Apr 07, 2011
Lost My Son In A Similar Way
by: Sharyl

On March 13,2010 our 26 year old son got up from taking a nap and collapsed on his bedroom floor. His brother heard him fall and at that point he was still alive but moments later he stopped breathing. They started CPR right away but could not bring him back. The autopsy showed he had an enlarged heart and it simply gave out. Our son had sleep apnea for a couple of years but he did not use a breathing machine when he slept,so we think that is why his heart gave out. I was wondering if your husband was supposed to use a machine?

It has been over a year since we have lost our son but it is still very difficult to accept he is gone at 26 years old with no warning. Our other children are 28 and 30 and they watched they're brother die, I'm not sure they will ever get over it. I can only imagine what it was like for your little girl, but it was probably important that she be there.

All I can say is One Day At A Time, and just remember to Breathe....
I would like to tell you it gets easier but for our family it really hasn't, but we keep plugging along!

Mar 29, 2011
your way of grieving
by: Judy

Heather,

There is nothing at all wrong with you. This is just how grief is affecting you at this moment. The numbness and shock will wear off eventually and you will be in the ocean of tears that we have all shed at one time or another. Right now your emphasis is rightly on your children but don't deny your own pain and sadness when it comes. You can't avoid grief, it will just follow you around looking for a way to sneak in. Just ride whatever emotions you feel and know that you are not alone.

My best wishes to you and your brave little girl.

JM

Mar 29, 2011
I Had to Decide Also....
by: TrishJ

Heather~
I too had to make the decision to turn off my husband's life support. He was very ill for several years (waiting for a heart transplant). When it came down to the wire the only thing that was keeping him going was the device on his heart that kept it pumping. All of his other organs had failed. As a nurse I can assure you that the doctors would never suggest this if there was even a glimmer of hope. We would just be prolonging the inevitable. Once the brain goes nothing can be done.
What a brave girl your daughter is. You should be so proud as I'm sure her dad is.
As for the crying ~ or not ~ you are in a state of shock right now. Mine lasted for 60 days. The months of December and January (my husband passed away on December3, 2010) are just a blur to me. I was moving on auto pilot. I did nothing but cry during that time and couldn't stop. Now I have one good day followed by two or three bad days. I'm told it gets better.
Grief is the price we pay for loving. It can be a long and painful journey.
Talk to God. I am a total believer in the after life. I know I will be reunited with my husband some day but for now we have to survive on this earth and do the best we can. All you can do is take things slow and not push ourselves too much. For almost a month I let myself sit and stew about the fact that I had to spend the rest of my life without my husband. It went into a total fit of anxiety and depression. I had to learn to not think beyond today. Get up, face the day, and do the best you can. Don't look too far into the future. One step, one breath at a time.
God's blessings to you and your daughters.

Mar 29, 2011
So Lost...
by: Tony

Heather, you are normal in your grief, things happened so quickly for you, your still in shock. The tears will come, I`m sure. God love you in your grief. Grief stages come in various times, your normal. Hugs!

Mar 29, 2011
Absolutely Nothing is wrong with you
by: Terri

I am so sorry for your loss, although my husband died suddenly and unexpectedly I can only imagine the pain you had to endure making this very difficult decision. There is nothing wrong with you. Everyone grieves in their own way. Dont let anyone else tell you different. There is no right or wrong way. I can only pray that you find comfort in what ever way you grieve. Maybe God is not allowing you to cry excessively to avoid worrying your children. My son also witnessed his fathers death and also assisted me in giving CPR. Our children are stronger that we think. I know this is a hard time for you as well as your children but I pray that God will ease your pain a little each and every day.

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